Friday, 20 August 2010

sing a song of ... somebody else's

*boots self up arse* since this is the only theme I'm actually bothering with at the moment, have some tunes...

With the other Friday's musical thread being parodies, this week's is a little more direct. Here's a handful of artist's singing other bugger's stuff.

Ever heard Outkast's 'Hey Ya' being played on an accordion? No? The result is surprisingly good:

Nick Cave's 'The Mercy Seat' is a song about redemption and the electric chair. Cave's vocals are dark and melancholic but Johnny Cash brings a different aura to the song. You can well imagine Cash walking the last hundred yards of his life, his prison denims creased by the wardens' fingers...

Here is the lovely Pixie Lott singing Kings Of leon's 'Use Somebody'

It's hard to imagine a ska version of Aha's Take On Me, but when you hear it, it all makes sense. I think it beats the shite out of the original video, so I'm linking to this 'literal video' instead. But don't worry Morten fans, it's still got him brooding away in squiggly charcoal.

And finally...Dusty Springfield's 'I just don't know what to do with myself' (although her version wasn't the original either) has been given the white stripes and supermodel treatment to create this rather interesting video:

I suspect the men may find it more interesting than the ladies!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Not Got That Friday Feeling... but hey... men in wigs and heels...

Nope, it's still not happening. I'm still as depressed as a pushed-in button. And flat as that joke. Ho Hum.

But I have discovered a new favourite film: Hedwig And The Angry Inch, the story of Hedwig, an East Berliner with a botched sex-change op who is dumped by her husband in the US and spends the entire film telling her life story and playing in a series of restaurants called "Bilgewater's"

I suppose this can go on the shelf alongside two of my other favourite films about transsexuals. The best of these is undoubtedly Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
By the way, the music here has got sod all to do with the film, but I like the song.

And then there's The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is still going strong after god knows how many years.

and as a bonus: more Hedwig

Friday, 6 August 2010

Hey, that sounds awfully like that other song...

It's Friday again and time for some more musical masterpieces. This week my theme is parodies, or rather songs that pay homage to other songs. The formula is simple, take someone else's song, change the words and hey presto, new song. But there's a definite knack to it.

First up is Newport State Of Mind, homage to Alicia Key's Empire State Of Mind. Quite simply the best parody floating around the net at the moment, the way the lyrics have been subtly altered to fit this Welsh town. And best rhyme award for making 'rap star' rhyme with 'hamster'. Superb.

The plain white T's song 'Hey Delilah' has proved to be fertile ground for the parody-fans. There's a Harry Potter version, a cupracabra song and one about weed. But as the best parodies are mirrors to their parent songs, I'm choosing this one:

And, talking of parodies and parent songs, how about a parody of a cover song? Leanard Cohen's Hallelujah (he wrote it, Buckley sang it), it's got so many cover versions that I suspect many people aren't even sure whose song it is. One of the latest versions is Alexandra Burke's, she of the pop-idol fame. I wasn't overly keen on her version, and it seems I wasn't the only one; Mitch Benn... take it away:

and finally, if Nickleback's song is all about wanting the rock and roll lifestyle and how wonderful it would be, but this song certainly gives a different spin on celebrity.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

In A Blue Funk

I am today, a miserable bint. Feeling completely uncreative and grey. So here, in stolen lyrics and videos, is a message to myself...

"..when sleep won't come and you've got no occuptaion, but nibbling at the fruits of the melancholy tree..."

"save yourself from pain, when you can..."

"and we dance while the sky crashes down"

melancholic to lunatic in three easy stages.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Songs and video games...

Music and gaming go together like hack n slash. In some games the music is simply background, so far into the background in fact that the only reason you remember it is that at 4am, when you are still mentally replaying that last unwinnable boss level, the music is going through your head like a toxic stream.

Other games use 'proper' music that you may or may not have heard in the charts. Chief culprits of this are urban sports games such as the Tony Hawk series. There's nothing like grinding your way through major cities to the tune of heavy metal, rap or punk/ska. This tune accompanied many a wipe-out of mine on a certain skateboarding game. Embedding is disabled but here is an unofficial version of the same tune.

Some games have quality soundtracks or theme songs written especially for them. The Silent Hill franchise is well known for its excellent musical score written by Akira Yamaoka and is well worth checking out on youtube (beware of the scary vids, the game is not rated 18 for nothing). This video is from Silent Hill 4: The Room, and is just breathtakingly beautiful. I *think* it is free of nasty imagery, but not 100% certain (trying to type and listen here)

I don't know what it is about women's voices and shuddery horror but here's another soft breathy song about death and killing. The 'Portal Song' or 'Still alive' to give it its proper title, is a rather pithy message to the player from the computer GLaDOS. The line "I've experiments to run and research to be done on the people who are...still alive," is deliciously creepy. Wholly safe for work and young eyes:

And finally, if there could be a song so unsuited to horror survival gaming and yet so bloody funny when applied to ya go; silent hill meets Benny Hill.


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Dead weird

Although the topic of birth may be more appropriate to kick off this first Wednesday's Weird Wonderful Websites, I'm going with its dark deathy equivalent: zombies.

So, you're a fan of the genre. You've seen a fair amount of Romero films, argued that 28 days later isn't technically a zombie film and split your sides watching Shaun Of The Dead. Well, my odd little friend, here's some more zombie goodness for you...

To start with... the Zombie Alphabet , twenty-six panels of awesome artwork, cute in a gross way and not too scary.

Want to be a little more interactive with your zombies? Why not join the survivors in Malton fighting against the Urban Dead. Or, start off as one of the shambling undead.

Ever wanted to know just how fast the zombie invasion will spread? Try this interactive flash demonstration but if you fancy being the cause of the zombie apocalypse, then this game is for you: Infectonator:World Domination

But just remember... if you see this sign on your way to work, the end of the world is Extremely F***ing Nigh*

*Go on, be a smart-arse in the comments and name the reference.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Sorry, can you repeat that, please?

Well folks, I'm still deaf. It's been nearly a week now since the onset of this gunkyearitis and it's no better at all. Dh very kindly rang up the GP surgery and I've got an appointment on Friday. I guess I discover then whether it's glue ear or hardened wax. The latter will be easier to get rid of.

But in the meantime I've been living life as a hearing-impaired person. Granted, I'm not completely without hearing but there is definitely quite some loss and the difference is huge.

Firstly, I've never truly appreciated how isolating hearing loss can be. I went to a family barbeque at the weekend and despite me joking that at least I wouldn't have to listen to all the kids there screaming and yelling, it was hard work. Because I'm finding speech the hardest thing to hear, most of the conversations were completely passing me by. I was trying to compensate by leaning in close, staring at people's lips and asking people to repeat themselves. Not great, and it leads me to another revelation; people think you're a moron.

It's true. Despite me telling everyone I've had to speak to this week that I've got an ear infection and can't hear a bloody thing, I've had more than one instance of the person I'm talking to looking at me like it's IQ points I've lost. Shop cashiers mostly. I never expected that. I suppose I ought to have done, historically the deaf were usually considered mentally deficient, but I thought society would be past it by now. Obviously not.

It's been an educational week for me (and probably good for writing, I'm damn sure I'll be able to write deaf characters with a slightly better understanding now) but I'm hoping the doctor can sort it on Friday. Wish me luck.