June 29, 2006

100 Awesome Music Videos (Pitchfork)

Pitchfork Feature: 100 Awesome Music Videos

Being one who loves both good music and good film, I really love good films of good music (i.e. great music videos). Now, thanks to the inovation of sites like youtube.com, I can view all of the illegally posted music videos I ever wanted, and then some!

Pitchfork Media has gone through and posted their choices for the top 100 videos, and I must say that many of these are very awesome, most of which I have never ever seen because MTV doesn't show "awesome videos", they show 90210 rip offs and reality dating shows.

Besides all of the obvious genius in videos from the 80s and rap videos from the 90s, here are some of the highlights from Pitchfork (all of which are linked to from their page, so I don't feel the need to link them from here):

Björk: "Triumph of a Heart" - she so crazy, but this one takes the cat, I mean, cake!

Cee-Lo: "Closet Freak" - if you wondered why Gnarls Barkley was so off the wall, now you have the answer

Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew: "Super Bowl Shuffle" - this is rather painful, but so full of fond memories (I used to be into this kind of rap in elementary school, probably because this rap could have been written by a 4th grader)

David Brent: "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - if you're a fan of the BBC version of the Office, you'll love this one

David Hasselhoff: "Hooked on a Feeling" - if you're a German, you'll probably love this one... I can't believe he's doing this with a straight face, but it shouldn't be surprising since he did Baywatch with a straight face... oh, Davey, you should have driven off with Kit and never tried to have a career after that!

The Postal Service: "We Will Become Silhouettes" - indie rocker meets indie film maker... this video is "friggin sweet!"

Pulp: "Bad Cover Version" - this is the first time I ever saw this video... it's genius

Radiohead: "Just" - best video ever by best band ever

Sigur Rós: "Untitled #1" - they have this thing for slow motion kids in their videos, but somehow it fits the music so perfectly

The White Stripes: "My Doorbell" - this song and this video are just so catchy... can a video be catchy? I think so! (and here's that video for your viewing pleasure!)

June 26, 2006

Paste Podcast on 100 greatest living songwriters

Paste Culture Club - Episode 19

holy jeepers, if you didn't take my previous advice about listening to the Paste Culture Club Podcast, then you have to listen to me spout of about how great it is... again!

the most recent Paste Magazine has Bob Dylan on the cover and is their attempt at naming the 100 Best Living Songwriters of All-Time. when it came out, I held off from blogging about it because I realize that ever 100 Best List is pretty subjective and there's no reason to get my panties in a wad about someone else's opinion. the blogosphere (silly name, I didn't come up with it) was all aflutter about who they left out... if you don't believe me, just check this google of 174,000 results (the best part is that a ton of people didn't catch the whole "living songwriters" thing and started complaing about Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and Johnny Cash and many others being left off)

after listening to the podcast, I have to say the guys (and girls) at Paste have THE "job that I most envy" (I'll have to make a list of these at some point, but then why would you want to read my subjective opinion about jobs I don't have!). on the podcast, they play 3 of the interviews that they used to publish the magazine: Paul McCartney, Peter Buck (R.E.M.), and Andy Partridge (X.T.C.). how freakin' cool is that?!?

well, beyond my vocational covetousness, you should just listen to the podcast because it's good stuff. case closed. you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or you can simply download this episode.

June 22, 2006

pc(usa) general assembly decision

I don't know whether to be sad or furious. the PC(USA) GA has decided that you don't have to operate like a Presbyterian to be in a Presbyterian Denomination. Simply put, they passed a measure that makes each Presbytery autonomous when it comes to ordination procedures. this does solve issues on the surface, but it is only a symptom of the progressive decay of absolute truth of Scripture in this once great (in size) denomination. Not that the PCA has it right and all figured out, but at least we all can agree on certain things, like the Bible tells us who can be an elder.

I found this quote submitted by a minority report supporter rather stimulating:
"Saying that people are 'looking for churches where people are gracious but have clear boundaries,' the Rev. Michael Carey of Central Florida Presbytery said approval of the measure would 'open the floodgates of controversy.'"
PC(USA) - 217th General Assembly (2006) - Controversial 'authoritative interpretation' garners 57% support

June 19, 2006

soundtracks to our lives, v. 1.0

Before I go on any trip, I try to think through the soundtrack for my travels. Typically, I try to capture the mood of the city or region that I'm going to and then find a new release that has caught my fancy. Sometimes this works out, others it isn't so good, and even others there is an organic culmination of people and music that seems to make the music and locale inseprably committed to each other.

One recent example of this was a trip up the Puget Sound that Sarah and I took with Andrew Mathias and Kelley Kirker. I had just purchased the Garden State soundtrack, as had Andrew, and as we drove along Whidbey Island, we got fixated with Frou Frou's "Let Go". We listened to that song over and over, and then a few more times. It has been ingrained in my mind forever that this song is for driving two-lane highways along coastal waterways in the Pacific Northwest, much like its intended use in a film like Garden State (which by the way, is the song that seals the love story between Zach Braff and Natalie Portman).

So what did I listen to when I was in New York? Well, here's what has now been permanently associated with flying into LaGuardia Airport, riding public transportation, and navigating the many city streets and glamorous Manhattan shops:

Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
I don't typically by hip-hop/rap albums, but this one seemed too good to pass up. Definitely a throw back to Marvin Gaye flavored soul. I read one review that described it as what would have happened if Marvin Gaye had made What's Goin On? with today's modern technology. I couldn't agree more! Actually, I would add that Marvin Gaye would also have had to use today's post-modern approach to production, with crazy shifts between styles and start/stop timing. Standout tracks: "Go-go Gadget Gospel", "Crazy", "Just A Thought", "Transformer" (just can't get that one out of my head!)

If you haven't had a chance to see them on television, don't miss the below video from the MTV Movie Awards!

Josh Ritter, The Animal Years
If you've read Paste Magazine for any period of time, you start to pick out the staff's favorite artists. One of these is clearly Josh Ritter. Even though this is the only CD I have purchased of his, I feel like I know his career track fairly well just from reading about him. This album is all at once raw and elegantly crafted. I think it attests to Ritter's ability as a songwriter more than it does to quality production and stand-out performers. The band knows how to back him up and give just the right canvas for his songs to take flight. There is an intimacy here. The characters that he sings about he has clearly inhabited. Being from Moscow, Idaho (the home of Douglas Wilson and New St. Andrew's College), I wonder what sort of religious climate Ritter grew up with. Nonetheless, the opening track "Girl In The War" is an interesting conversation between the Apostles Peter and Paul, dealing with each of their writing styles. An overall strong album, I have a feeling I will continue to follow Ritter's career. Stand out tracks: "Girl In The War", "Wolves", "Lillian, Egypt", "Thin Blue Flame"

Simon and Garfunkel, "The Only Living Boy In New York"
This is not a CD that I purchased for my NYC trip. Rather, it is one that has shown up on a few of my CDs, most recently the aforementioned Garden State soundtrack. Not to be outdone by Mr. Zach Braff, this has now become a part of my own soundtrack. I think I listened to this 10 times on repeat during my train rides into the city. Beyond the fact these guys are one of the groups that seem to embody New York to me (another being Billy Joel), this song seems to soar above the skyscrappers with its vocal flourishes and organ swells. I loved this song before my trip, but I think that it is now a part of my traveling vocabulary.

So with all of this discussion of music fueling the memories of my life, what songs or albums have become connected with your life? Please post your comments. I plan on making this a fairly regular thread, and I will be encouraged to discuss this more if I see people getting in on the fun with me!

NYC Day 4

The Met (Day 4) - 6
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

Final set of photos from NYC. I'm back in South Carolina now, trying to get rested up for the week ahead. I will likely post my thoughts over time as I will be working on my final project for this course throughout the summer.

June 15, 2006

NYC Day 3

Subway - 2
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

19 more photos (plus 1 that wasn't posted earlier this week). we spent the day in the city, just Brian and I (the other class participant). we did not visit any galleries, rather the World Trade Center Site, the Harbor, and Strands bookstore.


NYC Day 2

The Cloisters - 20
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

19 more photos from Wednesday are now posted. We spent the morning at the Cloisters, a museum of Medieval Art owned by the Met. We then went to Grand Central Station to have lunch at the world famous Oyster Bar. Then we went to see the Frick Collection, which had a few magnificent pieces, but I was not able to take any photos there.

June 14, 2006

NYC Day 1

Trump Tower
Originally uploaded by Luke and Sarah.

Day 1 in NYC was quite successful! I don't have enough time to dialog about all of my posted photos, but there are 20 new ones on my flickr page, so check it out!

June 11, 2006