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Monday, August 31, A.D. 2009
I Can’t Stand Losing You

Here is the last song from The Police that I’ll post, at least for a while. It is “I Can’t Stand Losing You” from Outlandos d’Amour.

Nothing captures the essence of popular music more than adolescent whining about suicide—though later incarnations of the theme are more disturbing, like Metallica’s “Fade to Black” and, more recently, Blink 182’s “Adam’s Song.” Though, is anything as creepy as “The End” by The Doors?

Posted by Joseph on Monday, August 31, Anno Domini 2009
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Sunday, August 30, A.D. 2009
Every Breath You Take

Here is the biggest hit from The Police, “Every Breath You Take,” from Synchronicity.

On Wikipedia, the song’s article states that Sting was disturbed that many people found the song to be a simple love song. Such is surprising, but it reconfirms my experience in talking to people about song lyrics. Most people, it appears, do not really reflect upon song lyrics, even if they can sing such songs by heart. It is astounding.

Anyway, the song is a melancholy rock classic.

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, August 30, Anno Domini 2009
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Saturday, August 29, A.D. 2009
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Here is another popular song from The Police, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” from Ghost in the Machine.

I am not sure whether the video comes across as exploitative, S.W.P.L. multiculti avant la lettre, or perhaps both simultaneously.

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, August 29, Anno Domini 2009
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Friday, August 28, A.D. 2009
Message in a Bottle

White guys, reggae, and New Wave—The Police was an interesting band. Here is one of their hits, “Message in a Bottle,” from Reggatta de Blanc.

A goofy video, but Stewart Copeland is fun to watch. Chair drumming? You know that you’ve done it in private!

Posted by Joseph on Friday, August 28, Anno Domini 2009
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Saturday, August 22, A.D. 2009
Luckenbach, Texas

I do not like contemporary country music much, but I like a bit of the old stuff. I suppose that I heard so much of it growing up that I had to develop a taste for it.

Here is “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” by Waylon Jennings.

Jennings had a wonderfully masculine, country voice with its quintessential honky richness.

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, August 22, Anno Domini 2009
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Thursday, August 20, A.D. 2009
Mercury, the Winged Messenger

I have already mentioned my admiration for Gustav Holst’s Planets suite in “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity.” Below is “Mercury, the Winged Messenger” by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox.

I am not sure whether “Mercury” is my second favorite movement from The Planets, but it is a contender.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, August 20, Anno Domini 2009
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Saturday, August 1, A.D. 2009
Video Killed the Radio Star

Pop culture is fascinating. Of course, all human things are so; man is endlessly interesting. We should expect no less from a creature made in the image and likeness of God. From his most transcendent pursuits like philosophy to his glorious deeds throughout history to the quirky and mundane aspects of his life such as his tastes in footwear and his ways of eating, man is an object worth examining. So, I am not ashamed to admit curiosity about such lowbrow topics as popular culture. Besides, it is all around us.

Watching movies, television shows, commercials, and music videos from the last century of moving images provides an entertaining outlet for amateur anthropology. Popular music especially makes me wonder how it was that Victorian society could transform into the Age of the Beatles, Elvis, and Madonna. Plus, I get to indulge my partisan tendencies in wondering what on earth “those folks” were thinking back in 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. The bewilderment continues, but I do not consider current freak shows to represent the present moment. I suppose that it is wrong to interpret the 80’s through the examples of Duran Duran videos, too, but it is just too tempting. A culture that produces Boy George and Prince deserves some belittlement. But, hey, I like “Karma Chameleon” and “Raspberry Beret” just like everyone else.

One interesting example of weird but catchy pop cult is the Buggle’s one hit wonder, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The late 70’s video is a bit odd (that woman), but it pioneered the new art. Plus, you get to see film score composer Hans Zimmer as a young fellow in the video (he’s the black suited one on the keyboards in front of the big equipment). Sehr toll.

It is geeky but charming in its own way . . .

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, August 1, Anno Domini 2009
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Tuesday, July 21, A.D. 2009
Moon Songs

I tried to think of a fitting lunar song as a followup to yesterday’s post about Apollo 11. I never liked Moondance or Blue Moon, and Bad Moon Rising seemed too ill fitting. So, I have settled for one high brow piece and one low brow song: Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Mecano’s “Hijo de la Luna” from their Entre el cielo y el suelo album.

You may listen to Beethoven’s hauntingly beautiful Piano Sonata No. 14 below.

I first heard Mecano’s “Hijo de la Luna” when I was studying in Paris. The video is very 80’s with oddly androgynous people and weird, sullen styles. The song, however, is about a gypsy woman who prays for a child. The moon grants her a child, but the woman’s husband rejects the boy because he is pale (like the moon). The man kills his wife, as he thinks that she has committed adultery. Yet, the boy escapes to the moon.

The video depiction of the moon boy is fittingly creepy.

If only 80’s fashion had not gotten in the way of elemental pagan imagery, it could have been an excellent video.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, July 21, Anno Domini 2009
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Thursday, July 16, A.D. 2009
100,000 Fireflies

Below is an unfortunately blurry fan video made for the splendid song, “100,000 Fireflies,” by the Magnetic Fields—from Distant Plastic Trees.

Susan Anway’s vocals are enchanting, and Stephin Merritt’s work is always a treat.

I have a mandolin.
I play it all night long.
It makes me want to kill myself.
I also have a Dobro,
Made in some mountain range.
Sounds like a mountain range in love.
But when I turn up the tone,
On my electric guitar . . .

I’m afraid of the dark without you close to me.
I’m afraid of the dark without you close to me.

I went out to the forest and caught
100,000 fireflies.
As they ricochet ‘round my room,
They remind me of your starry eyes.
Someone else’s might
Not have made me so sad,
But this is the worst night I ever had.

‘Cause I’m afraid of the dark without you close to me.
I’m afraid of the dark without you close to me.

Always was.

You won’t be happy with me,
But give me one more chance.
You won’t be happy, anyway.

Why do we still live here,
In this repulsive town?
All our friends are in New York.

Why do we keep shrieking,
When we mean soft things?
We should be whispering all the time.

The fan video is a bit weird but well done and still rather cute. Where are the fireflies, though?

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, July 16, Anno Domini 2009
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Saturday, July 4, A.D. 2009
Stars and Stripes Forever

Washington’s own John Philip Sousa gave America so many of its patriotic tunes. It is meet and right to honor him on the American civic holiday. Here is his “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Perhaps, it is due to national chauvinism, but American military marches seem so much cheerful than other countries’ tunes. If so, we can thank Sousa.

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, July 4, Anno Domini 2009
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