kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Here is a wonderful Steven Universe vid by [personal profile] skygiants, which is about loving and being together even if the world might end. Disclaimer: I introduced this song to her as part of a "cheerful apocalypses" playlist called "(and I feel fine)", which you can listen to via YouTube, and I am unreasonably pleased by that. But it's still an amazing vid, it packs so many character arcs and has such great bouncy movement to match the bouncy song. If you're up through . . . I think the latest thing I recognized was S04E16, "The New Crystal Gems", you should definitely watch it.

Clean Light_ from skygiants on Vimeo.

If you like, here are links for feedback: skygiants' DW, AO3, or click through for Vimeo.

Also, I can't remember if I've recced this already, but I made the playlist before I knew about "Dance Apocalyptic", so here is another fabulous vid, this one multi-fandom, by [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] thingswithwings:

Comment at thingswithwings' DW or click through for YouTube.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Here's an obscure one: "The Other Shoe" by the Old 97's, a cheery little double-murder ditty.

By the time she thought you'd probably got to Phoenix
She'd arranged for your shoes to be filled
You've got your pride and a blue-steel .45
And you're waiting for the other shoe to fall

A straight-up live version, or if you prefer a more old-school country feel, one with Waylon Jennings on vocals.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I wasn't planning to make this post for a while, because I haven't finished listening to some of the albums these are from (the perils of shuffle and a really big backlog), but I figured I ought to make a substantive post after the last post at LJ (and a locked post after that), just to demonstrate. So here's a bunch of new-to-me music that I've been liking lately.

  • Metric, Fantasies: a number of songs, particularly "Blindness," which is nicely creepy and rich with narrative (Google [*], YouTube) and "Satellite Mind," which is catchy and mildly NSFW (Google, YouTube). Alt rock (and with a female singer).
  • Muse, "Uprising" (Google, YouTube): bass line, baby. More alt rock.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Why Walk When You Can Fly" (YouTube): and now for something completely different, a gorgeous pop song. I first heard it without the piano intro and I like it better that way.
  • Tracy Grammer, "Gypsy Rose" (YouTube, live): more gorgeous vocals, this time further on the folk side of things. Also, a song that would be very different if you gender-reversed it; I keep meaning to do a post about cover songs that are interesting that way.
  • Band of Horses, Infinite Arms, particularly "Laredo" (Stereogum): pop rock, nice harmonies.
  • Josh Ritter, "Long Shadows" (YouTube). Simple (for Ritter, who seems to specialize in songs with eight million words) but lovely. Chad also likes "Lantern" from that album (YouTube), which is growing on me.
  • The Gaslight Anthem, "The Diamond Street Church Choir" (YouTube, live acoustic): reminds me of 80s rock, in a good way.
  • The New Pornographers, "A Bite Out of My Bed" (YouTube): I have no idea how to describe this other than catchy.
  • The National, "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" (Google, YouTube): I seem to be on a run of "songs whose titles or meanings I don't really understand, but like anyway." Slow, pretty alt rock.
  • Sara Bareilles, "King of Anything" (YouTube): I think this is going to be the best-known song on this list. Upbeat pop rock with piano.

[*] I think the Google links ought to give you, at the top of the page, a music-only option for listening in full for the first time through.

Finally, Chad has an Ode to a Rubber Dinosaur.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Three that I've been liking recently:

  1. "The Last High," the Dandy Warhols (YouTube). (Note that when I link to YouTube it's for the song not the video; indeed I recommend queuing it up and then putting it in the background, so that the video doesn't affect your opinion of the song.) This reminds me a bit of the Afghan Whigs in 1965/"Lost in the Supermarket" terrority, slinky pop-rock about dysfunctional relationships. Can anyone tell me if this typical of their stuff? We have two other songs of theirs that doesn't sound much like it at all, more guitar-ish.
  2. "A Million Ways," Ok Go and Bonerama (YouTube). Many things are better with a horns section, and this is one of them.
  3. "Devil Take My Soul," Son of Dave (featuring Martina Topley Bird) (iLike, possibly only a sample). Catchy R&B.

What are you listening to lately?

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Answers behind the cut to last week's post, with links and suchlike.

six songs )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

No, I don't know why. Because my brain is weird.

If you can identify more than one of these, you can probably also tell what they have in common. Some of them are quite obscure, though, so I'm not counting on it (indeed, I'm not sure even Chad will get all six, and we share a music collection).

  1. I know I look tired, but everything's fried here in Memphis.
  2. What five letters spell "apocalypse"?
  3. I have dreamed of a black car that shimmers and drives down the length of the evening to the carnival side.
  4. Well don't you remember, they put a patch on your eye; like Dread Pirate Roberts, you looked so unplanned.
  5. Forget about your ego, forget about your pride, and you will never have to compromise.
  6. You missed a spot over there.

(Feel free to i.d. by providing additional quotes from the same song, if it amuses you more, or to add lyrics from other songs that fit the theme.)

Minor corrections made to #1 and #3 after double-checking.

Music notes

Apr. 1st, 2008 08:35 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Only one of my very short lyrics hasn't been guessed, and it was in retrospect not a good one, so I've updated the post with a full line.

Chad's posted a two-word lyrics quiz.

And today's candidate for Best Thing Ever: the iTunes Lyrics Importer automatically imports lyrics into iTunes from Lyricwiki (Windows). It's like magic.

(Oooh, and then I can use the script here to see what songs didn't get lyrics automatically imported, and do them by hand if I want! The Internet is awesome.)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

When I read this quiz of lyrics in alphabetical order, I remarked to Chad that some of the songs were given away by single words. Combined with a dim recollection of Izzle Pfaff's 2003 two-word lyrics quiz, this set me off on yet another cat-vacuuming project, to wit:

The Very Short Lyrics Quiz )

Updated April 1 with a better clue to the one unguessed lyric.

kate_nepveu: headshot of German Shepherd mix dog against snow (Emmy)

While I work and suffer from the Wintertime Blues [*] and unusual prose sensitivity [**], Chad discusses our book shelves; poses a cheery hypothetical on love and death in preparation for teaching "Story of Your Life" (spoilers); and posts a more detailed explanation of the pregnancy health issues. And the dog hunts squeaky toys in the snow.

[*] John Hiatt (last.fm). Particularly:

There's no spring
There was never any spring
Spring's a long gone thing
There won't ever be a spring no more

Since my favorite line, "Three hours of daylight and all of them gray / the suicide prevention group has all run away," is no longer quite applicable.

Oh, and while I'm linking to music, have some pretty harmonies from a lesser-known alt-country/folk rock band called the Jayhawks who came up on shuffle recently:

  • "Save It for a Rainy Day" (YouTube)
  • "Stumbling Through the Dark" (YouTube)
  • "I'd Run Away" (last.fm)
  • "Blue" (YouTube) (also covered by The Thorns (last.fm))
  • live version of "Tailspin" with the Sadies (artist website)
  • short, poor-quality live snippet of the very pretty "All the Right Reasons" (YouTube)

[**] Decided not to attempt Acacia because the retrospective omniscient was grating on me. I hardly ever care about this stuff, what is my deal lately? Not that I have time to be reading now.

kate_nepveu: line drawing of startled cat with vacuum nozzle held to back (cat-vacuuming)

iPod shuffle tossed up the Death Cab for Cutie version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and the Afghan Whigs version of "Lost in the Supermarket," and I said, "Oooh! Cat-vacuuming!"

This cat being thoroughly vacuumed, behind the cut find:

A cover songs poll )

Bonus Afghan Whigs edition )

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Inspired by the morning earworm:

[Poll #1100244]

Feel free to explain in comments.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

On the way in this morning, the iPod tossed up a song with a whole lot of words—Fountains of Wayne, "The Girl I Can't Forget"—and then one with almost none—Fatboy Slim, "Praise You." Which made me laugh, and then wonder: does "Praise You" win the "fewest words in a song with lyrics" contest? I mean, it has one verse of four lines, and all the words are that verse or from it:

We've come a long long way together
Through the hard times and the good
I have to celebrate you baby
I have to praise you like I should

(Contrast the lyrics for the Fountains of Wayne song.)

Other suggestions? Bonus if you actually like the song in question.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

A busy and fun week.

As I already said, there was the Springsteen concert, which was fabulous. Chad wrote that they didn't leave anything in the locker room, which is a good way of putting it. The encore exemplifies this: it started with "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," a new song with a sing-along chorus, and then "Thunder Road," and then the house lights came up for "Born to Run," which I expected was the end . . . but then there was "Dancing in the Dark," still with the house lights up, so I figured that was the end . . . but no, there was still one more, "American Land." The crowd was completely into it, belting along with the obscure "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" as much as the newer stuff or the classics, which increased the fun. I gave myself a coughing fit two-thirds of the way through "Born to Run" and came home exhausted and exhilarated.

Setlists: at the official site, with links to lyrics ("Thunder Road" has a lot of words), and at a fansite (search "restored calliope" for a picture of what puzzled me, too, at the opening). And the local paper's review.

Friday we had dinner with a classmate of Chad's, Ethan Zuckerman, and Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi—who has the best blog name and tagline: "When can I run and play with the real rabbis?" Great food, great conversation, and we'll have to go over to their neck of the woods sometime.

And my sister-in-law passed the California bar! Go, her! (56.1% pass rate overall, and 69.0% for first-time takers. Yikes—the equivalents for NY the year I took it was 67.5% and 76.5%.)

Saturday we had remarkably good home-repairs and -improvement luck, including the purchase of a bigger fridge that can be delivered before Thanksgiving. And then we watched the movie Stranger than Fiction, which I really enjoyed. Harold Crick is an IRS auditor with no life, who suddenly begins hearing a voice narrating his actions. Which is itself upsetting, but then the voice casually mentions his imminent death.

I asked Chad to NetFlix this because someone at the Worldcon Metafiction panel said that meta was the whole point, which is true. I've seen some reviews saying that the love story is the heart of the movie, which I just don't get: I found it flat, predictable, and unconvincing. (Ditto Queen Latifah's character, alas.) But I liked the meta, and the sad look on Harold Crick's face (Will Ferrell—no, don't run away, really!), and the slightly magic-realist flavor of it all. Recommended.

So, a really good entertainment week, as it also included Shaun Tan's The Arrival, a booklog gush about which is forthcoming, and new Saiyuki Gaiden (resulting in a few new icons). Though I didn't manage to finish the last WFC panel report, on Tolkien as a horror writer. (I do intend to; it's mostly done.)

Oh, and those of you who've read Grant's Daughter of the Game: I've gotten as far as chapter five, and I'm not particularly invested in any of the characters, plus I'm finding the prose slightly hard to fall in through. Should I bother with the rest of it?

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Bruce Springsteen? Wins. EVERYTHING.

Oh, how my jaw and hips hate me now. (Come to think of it, my stomach's not too happy either.) Don't care!

(Shockingly, the setlist isn't up yet; the Times Union Center actually has WiFi, and so I was sure some fan was live-blogging it.)

ETA 12:04 a.m.: setlist up. Wow.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I had a bit of excitement, last week, when I turned my computer on . . . and found it caught in an endless reboot cycle because it couldn't load the OS. Fortunately, I had 1) the bootable CD that came with the computer, 2) the sure and certain knowledge that all of my data was backed up, and 3) relaxation techniques to keep me from wrecking my shoulders, jaw, and stomach while I determined that it was a software, not hardware, problem (some file in the boot sector had gotten corrupted).

Back up your data!

We bought an exercise bike a week ago. It uses magnets for resistance and so is remarkably quiet. So far, so good; I'm going to have to be very diligent about my stretches (hip bursitis), but otherwise no complaints. Oh, and very diligent about keeping the foolish dog away from it: I clonked her good right on the flat of her nose with the pedal, the first time I was pedaling away.


  • My Neighbor Totoro is a charming, odd, low-key, family movie that deserves the label. I recommend it. Also, have some icons.
  • We saw Amos Lee, Elvis Costello, and Bob Dylan in concert last night.

    Unfortunately we missed all but the last couple of Lee's songs, but he was quite good and got a satisfyingly warm reception from the crowd. He closed with his best-known song, "Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight," and I think he may have played "Shout Out Loud" too, which you can hear at his website.

    Costello was doing the very solo thing, him and a guitar. He came out and banged right into "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes," and did several songs before doing any stage patter at all. Good stuff, very energetic and entertaining, also notably smooth at getting the audience to sing without explicitly asking for it.

    Dylan was touring with a band. I am not terribly familiar with his music, especially his recent stuff, so I can sum up my reaction in eight words: I like my pop music to have words.

    Seriously, except for the occasional line, he might as well have been singing in Swedish. And I know he's capable of enunciating, because he did do it once in a while, and because he was great when we saw him in 1999. I ended up zoning out for much of the set, trying to relax in the uncomfortable seats. Fortunately, I was fully awakened by the last song, "All Along the Watchtower" Hendrix-style.

    For the perspective of a Dylan fan, see Chad's report.

  • Episode 51 of Bleach has an amazing number of characters and not much forward movement. (It was on Adult Swim while I was doing stretches after the concert.)


  • Donate $30 to DonorsChoose and buy Chad's blog.
  • Someone came to my booklog and put "i am searching for a spell to reverse timeto july29,2007" (sic) into the "search" box.
  • Neighborhood fauna spotted recently: a fox, fireflies, bats, and frantically-active squirrels.
  • Useful LJ bookmarklets, including one that will change pages to your style—even ones in "format=light".
  • del.icio.us is my new obsession. I'm planning to use it for con report roundups, and to that end, added this year's Boskone links as a trial run. Any comments on the tagging or anything else? (Chad suggested tagging by panelist as well, but I'm uncertain about that; people often don't show or are added at the last minute, and not all panel reports will reflect that. However, if people would really like it, it can be done.)

    (Also, for the auto-posting, I need to hide the tag lists with CSS or otherwise format them so they don't overwhelm the links (see what I mean?).)

kate_nepveu: Duck in duck form looking out from girl's school uniform, text: "nothing more boring than a perfect heroine" (Princess Tutu)

Here, let me share a Swedish song that I've fallen in love with: "Håll om mig nu" ("Hold me now"), by Nanne Grönvall (4.2 MB Mp3). File will be up for about a week. I am terrible at describing music, but it's pop-rock with a fast percussion/synthesizer (?) thing going that I just adore, and listened to loud on repeat a lot while I was driving in the past couple of weeks.

Does anyone know this artist and whether her other songs are similar?

I discovered this through a Princess Tutu vid, which is fabulous but contains series-destroying spoilers and so should only be watched by people who (1) have seen the entire show or (2) know they aren't going to watch the show. (If you're not sure if you fall into the latter category, I have a handy-dandy recommendation post for your perusal.) If you can watch it, though, do, because even my inexperienced eyes & ears can tell that the craft in putting it together is fantastic. [*] Here's a link to high-quality downloads (the "indirect" link takes you to the vidder's home page, which doesn't require registration but may sometimes run out of bandwidth).

[*] I particularly like the set of transitions at 0:54-0:58, the foot-stomp at 1:02, the overlay at 1:23, and the image matched to the drumshot at 2:47, but I could say something about almost every shot.

Oh, and I updated the Princess Tutu icon gallery.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

The most important news first: I'm an aunt! Six weeks earlier than expected, but the daughter of my brother and his wife appears to be doing well regardless.

Much cookout food the last two weeks. We held one here last weekend, at which the dog ate a piece of pineapple (from the ground) and half a piece of bread (from the hand of a small child, who would wave it in front of her face); people ate all of the mac and cheese, again (I keep thinking it's not a summer food and being proven wrong); people ate [livejournal.com profile] orzelc's spiedes and [livejournal.com profile] lbmango's over-bourboned pies; and I ate way too much baklava and contemplated learning how to make it myself. Yesterday we went to a cookout hosted by someone at work, at which the food was quite good but not nearly as interesting as my coming within twenty feet of a doe. Oh, and in-between we had deep-fried mozzarella sandwiches, among other tapas-y things, at Cella Bistro. If you live in this area you really need to be eating there.

And as Chad already said, we saw Richard Thompson perform live and electric last night. Impressive show, even though I don't like Thompson nearly as well as Chad does.

In non-weekend news, I have finally started working on learning a bit of Japanese, and can recommend the audio lessons at JapanesePod101.com (the audio is free; extra material requires membership, though you can sign up for a free trial). I find it a lot more appealing than my half-remembered college language lessons, and am planning to work my way through the "Survival Phrases" series. Someone here may well have recommended this, so thanks.

So, learning survival Japanese, doing a lot of Worldcon reading, eating a lot of cookout food. There was a disc of Princess Tutu in there too, but that's a separate post. And as always, I feel like I'm forgetting something, but if I am, how important could it have been?

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

A friend got married in Massachusetts yesterday, so we drove out Friday night. Had dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, where we saw the amusing teppanyaki trick of stacking onion rings, pouring oil in the middle, and lighting it on fire: "Mount Fuji!" I'm quite sure that it's a tourist thing, but the kids in the restaurant loved it.

It was a daytime wedding, which allowed us to drive straight back here so that Chad could go to Union's graduation at 9 o'clock this morning. Long day, and neither Chad's knee (which he banged up playing basketball on Friday before we left) or my various health issues thanked us for it, but we're managing well enough now. Especially after I napped this afternoon—had one of those days where everything was unsatisfactory until then. I just wish I could tell in advance when a nap's going to help and when it's going to make things worse . . .

Oh, and a question for you, readers: the wedding provided an example of the inappropriate, non-ironic, wedding reception song, namely Beck's "Lost Cause". (Though that's not as bad as being broken up with by someone handing you that CD, as happened to someone there.) I still think that Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" is the worst I've heard, though, as there's no way you can avoid realizing how inappropriate it is; at least "Lost Cause" is pretty and requires an effort to focus on the lyrics.

So, what inappropriate and non-ironic songs have you heard at wedding receptions? If there are enough really bad ones, maybe I'll do a runoff poll . . .

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

It is April 15 and it snowed for most of the day. This is the second time this week that we had snow on the ground.

I don't know if this is just some kind of balance for the abnormally long and mild fall we had, or a sign of climate change, but whatever it is, I disapprove.

(However, it could be worse: my uncle is running the Boston marathon for the first time tomorrow.)

Chad was away for most of the week, and I think I had jet lag by proxy or something. Also, I spent too much time playing with my new PDA, a Palm TX (wireless! nice big screen! yes, it was an indulgence, but thanks to eBay it was at least half as expensive an indulgence than retail). Today I spent too much time preparing to be a pixel-stained technopeasant, and gosh, but my for-public-consumption life has been really boring lately, hasn't it?

(I am noodling with a post about capers & morality, but my brain cells are refusing to cooperate. There will be actual content here eventually, I promise.)

Meanwhile: what's the last song you played over and over again? This week it was Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark"—I tend to be suddenly seized with the desire to learn a particular song note-perfect, or at least as note-perfect as possible when one's not a very good singer. (These usually aren't new-to-me songs, either; I think the last one was "Fairy Tale of New York.") That third verse keeps giving me trouble . . .

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I've been thinking about this for a while, and the dog is asleep on my foot, so now's as good a time as any to ask: is there a generally-accepted theory about the women in "Tangled Up in Blue"?

This will be easier to explain with lyrics, so cut for length:

'Tangled Up in Blue' lyrics )

The women in verses 1 & 2 can't be the same. I think verse 5 refers to yet a third woman (who is also the same as the woman in verse 4). The woman in verse 6 could be the same as any of the prior women, or someone completely different. And yet the singular is used throughout.

Any generally accepted interpretation of this? Personally I like to think of it as a fantasy story of some sort, but my biases are showing.

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