Sunday, August 28, 2005

LCD Soundsystem Video "Tribulations"

LCD Soundsystem has a new video out for their song "Tribulations." Watch it here (.mov). The video is excellent, and really plays around with the borders between reality and film. It actually reminds me of some of my favorite surrealist paintings by Magritte. I've watched the video once, but I definitely want to watch it again, paying more attention to all the little details. I wonder how they pulled off a lot of those effects. Very cool, indeed.

The first time I heard this song (I think) was at the Deerhoof concert I went to back in May. They played it in between sets. Nearly all of the kids around me thought it was the Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch" because of the similar opening beats. They were all "singing along," and hardly any of them realized it was an entirely different song. hehehe

I certainly like this song (and video) much much better. Although it's very true that we're "nothing but mammals."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Homeless Neurotic

After a summer of shuffling from one place to another and moving myself into my dorm room, I have reached a conclusion: I hate moving.

It's not that I don't enjoy going to new places. I love traveling, and have been known to get bored if I stay in one place too long. But there is a huge difference between moving and traveling. When you travel, you still have a place you can call home awaiting your return. When you're constantly moving, however, you really don't have a definite "home".

Being a college student, I suppose my parents' house would be my "home." But ever since they moved 14 hours away from where I grew up, the folks' place really doesn't feel too homey. More than anything else, it is where all of my stuff lives. And since the life of a student is filled with moves from dorm to dorm, and from school to random summer location, etc. I don't have any other place to claim for myself. I'm not especially bothered by this. I've gotten sort of used to the whole college student life, considering I've lived in dorms for 5 full years now. Such a wandering nomad. ha

But each move reminds me of a personal trait I often forget about. I am incredibly anal when it comes to my living space. But I never realize it until I'm forced to up-and-move to a new place. Once I've got things set up in a nice orderly fashion, I am happy. But until then, I plain hate it.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to actually being able to settle down in a place for more than a year.

iPod Sluts 2

As discussed in a previous post, I want to start a large-scale iPod exchange program on the Case Campus. I'm not completely sure on how I'll go about starting a group. But, I've at least taken a first step!

To get an estimate of student interest in such a program, I started a facebook group called "iPod Sluts." So, any Case students who are interested, you can join the group here. Spread the word!

Comments, Questions, and Ideas about the program welcomed.

P.S. I'm not a huge fan of facebook, but it was the best type of forum for such a project. If you're interested but aren't on facebook (and don't want to be), just let me know via IM, email, or commenting here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I Need a Million Hearing Aids, STAT!

While packing up for school today, I had MTV's TRL (Total Request Live) on in the background. I don't really know why. Part laziness--not wanting to change the channel to find something decent to watch--part curiosity as to what's "popular" nowadays, I guess.

After watching their top 20 countdown, I have come to a conclusion. Preteen America is suffering an amazing epidemic of deafness. It is the only logical conclusion as to why they regularly and willingly subject themselves to such suckitude (with a few minor exceptions, but my guess is those are just flukes). It could be a rising increase in masochist tendencies among youth, but that seems doubtful considering the large amounts of gleefull cheering they do for their favorite acts. Deafness is the only explanation.

I wonder what natural phenomenon could have caused such wide spread hearing loss. So strange. Doctors, you best get on this. Hearing aids all around!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Express + Gang of Four = wtf, Mate?

During more shopping with the mother today, I noticed something incredibly bizare:

Gang of Four was being played in Express.

Several odd things about this.

1) While they don't play terrible music in Express, I can't say that I've been overwhelmed by their selections either. Plus, post/dance-punk certainly isn't their style. I expect things like Jamiroquai and Kylie Minogue from Express. Not Sonic Youth and Gang of Four.

2) Most amusing, though, is the fact that Gang of Four was being used as background music in a mall store. The Definitive Source described the hilarity of such a situation quite well:

I think it's hilarious that Gang of Four was being played while people were shopping. . . because of the obvious Marxist critique in their songs. They spent great amounts of effort deriding consumer culture, and now they've been commodified and turned into background music while women try on clothes.

Somehow I doubt that Express is a terribly Marxist organization. . .

See Alanis, this is irony.

P.S. TDS would like me to note that he does not necessarily condone or agree with Marxism. He is a huge Gang of Four fan despite disagreeing with their politics.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Soundtrack Police

This evening, I watched Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason with my parents. I can't say I was overwhelmed with the film. As with the majority of sequels, disappointing compared to the first. Too bad.

Amusingly (and not too surprisingly), the only definitive criticism of the film I can come up with is their music selection choices. The music wasn't especially bad, but it just didn't seem to fit that well. It was pretty obvious that they selected songs based on their popularity, rather than their melding with the storyline and scenes.

The scene that brought this to my attention:
While Colin Firth fights with Hugh Grant over the latter's possible relations with Bridget, The Darkness' popular hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" plays in the background.

Ok, I suppose 80s-esque rock is fitting for a brawl. But if any song by The Darkness is to acompany a lovers' quarrel, the only possible choice is "Get Your Hands Off of My Woman, Mother Fucker." I mean, come on!

Now that I think about it, I'm amazed that I haven't seen "Get Your Hands Off of My Woman, Mother Fucker" used for a fight scene yet. I have a feeling it'd be delightful. I suppose it's their loss. They decided to sacrifice possible screen gold for popularity. What a shame.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Emperor's New Clothes

In the good ol' Back-to-School spirit, I've been doing a decent amount of clothing shopping with my mother recently. Generally, shopping for clothes is something I loathe. At least if I have something(s) in particular that I need to find. I really enjoy looking at clothes. It's great fun. Trying things on, however, is usually a very different story. For many years, I swore that all designers were given a mannequin version of me to make sure that all clothes made did not fit or flatter my figure. After most shopping trips, I am completely sure of my hideousness and am ready to live in sweatpants.

But, recent shopping expeditions have proved very different. I attribute the vast improvement to two things:

1) I've finally thrown up my hands and sworn off all Juniors Departments and teen-targeted clothing. They may be trendy and cute, but those things just plain don't fit a girl like me. And having moved on to more adult clothes, I must say that I'm thrilled to find styles and cuts that don't require a Walking-Stick-esque body. My hips are finally finding the acceptance they needed.
Not to mention, the little kid inside me who still loves the idea of playing dress-up is having a field day. I get almost giddy thinking of cute "grown up" outfits I can put together. Yes, I am the type of girl who still requires that skirts pass the twirl test.

2) A complete lack of caring about sizes. Before, I used to worry when I had to get a bigger size of something. Somehow, I took it as a personal "you are getting fat" from the item of clothing. But having tried on jeans almost identical to a pair I own (which fit very well), and requiring a larger size AND shorter length, I came to the conclusion that almost all women's clothing sizes mean nothing. So, who cares. If it fits, great. I'll take the XXXL, thanks.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Guess Mornings Aren't Completely Terrible...

Let the pop-act mocking continue!

Today, I (somewhat unwillingly) rolled out of bed before 12am. A very rare occurrence for me during my stays at home. But, my efforts at least yielded some personal amusement.

While sleepily eating breakfast, The Today Show was on in the background, and I happened to see Hilary Duff's live performance of her new hit "Wake Up." Video of this can be seen here (Windows Media).

All I can say is that Hil's got some really smart people working for her. The attempt to cover up her lack of singing talent is well done--and soooo obvious. Between the reverb and excessive background singers, you really don't hear her voice at all. The real Hilary does pop out once near the end of the bridge. Reverb and background singers cut out, and it's just her meek little off-key voice by itself. Sad, really. While it's shameful to deceive people with these musical tricks, the consideration of the public's ears is much appreciated. I don't think I could stand it if we actually heard her sing live the whole time.

The kids and the hosts seemed to really like the show, despite it's fakeness. I wonder if her Mom tried to beat up anyone at this show...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

80's Goes Teh Suck

Listening to the The Spandex Years on WRUW the other day, I heard a song that is surely in the top running for The Lamest Cover Of All Time Award.

Apparently, the "Christian punk" band Relient K, of "Be My Escape" (undeserved) fame, has recorded a cover of the 80's hit "Manic Monday" by The Bangles. The hilarity that resulted can be heard in full by downloading the archived Spandex Years show here (click the 56k link. Available until 8/20 only!). The song appears approximately 49 minutes into the file if you don't want to listen to the whole thing. But if you enjoy good 80's music, I highly recommending sitting through the 2 hours. A short clip of this terrible cover (and oh so many others) can be heard at the MySpace page for the Punk Goes 80's compilation it appears on.

So many things to insult, I hardly know where to begin.

On Relient K:

Why do they need 2/3 guitars? I hear no counter melodies. I don't hear anything that requires more than a guitar, a bass, and drums. Two theories as to why they need the extra instrumentation:
1) If they have at least two of them playing the same part, between the two/three of them, the melody will actually get played.
2) One or two of them just wanted to get laid, and so they added the members on unnecessarily. Since it's lame to play the tambourine, they just stuck a guitar in their hands. The main problem with this theory being that they're a "Christian" group, and joining such a band for the purpose of getting action seems....somewhat contrary. But it is still highly plausible. I'm sure plenty of pre-teens are willing to "be their escape."

On Punk Goes 80's:

Not a single band on this compilation is "punk." And don't argue that they're "pop punk," because that term means nothing. It just indicates pop that's a little heavy on guitar. This certainly bears no resemblance to punk music in it's original form (i.e. Sex Pistols, The Ramones, etc).

I also don't understand the notion that speeding a song up makes it "punk." I'm sorry, but it doesn't. It makes it (gasp!) faster. It also makes it worse if the arrangement doesn't merit the speeding up, as the Relient K ditty highlights.

This song is just so horribly bad; it almost becomes good. Awesomely bad, perhaps? I find myself listening to it just to giggle. In particular, the slow emotional ending that takes the song far too seriously. How can they sing "I wish it were a Sunday, cause that's my fun day" as if they were singing about a new young love and not crack up laughing?

That may very well be my only credit to this song. Relient K's amazing ability to take themselves and this song seriously despite the multitude of reasons not to.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

"I feel so deliciously white trash"

Ah, the American South. This amusing video captures some of the pervasive stereotypes of Southern life (via Boing Boing).

My entire extended family living well below the Mason-Dixon Line, and having spent a decent amount of time in North Carolina and Virginia recently, I can say that these stereotypes certainly don't apply to all southerners.

The video is still hilarious, nonetheless.

Cruel Intentions, Staring Mom and Dad

Parents, for the most part, are well intentioned in their actions. I often remind myself of this in dealings with my mother and father. It helps prevent the typical teenage "MY PARENTS ARE TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE!!!" reaction to parental interaction. However, lately I've been wondering if these well-meaning parents ever keep their goals in mind when dealing with their children. Because with my parents, usually what they do and what they mean to do are about as closely related as me and Hilary Duff.

My parents have always been reasonably supportive of me and my academic persuits. They're proud of my accomplishments, and encourage me. They usually have the "find what makes you happy and do it" attitude.

Except now that I've been pondering less science-oriented careers, their reactions to discussions of such changes reveal a modified philosophy of "find what will get you a job and money, and do it." Yet, they still claim to only be interested in my happiness. Apparently, rolling your eyes at the mention of non-scientific fields, and discrediting my reasons for disliking scientific research are actions of someone trying to be suportive of my search for a fulfilling career. Odd.

Of course, I sort of suspected such things from my engineer father. As with most engineers (and scientists), he sees science and engineering as the only worthwhile fields. And of course, if you go into anything else you'll end up an unemployed bum. Particularly with engineers, if you go into anything that's not completely practical (i.e. something artistic or more academically founded), it is seen as a complete waste of time.

As a previous post indicates, I completely disagree with my father's notions. For the most part, that's what I find so frustrating with his sudden lack of support--the fact that it's based on ridiculous principles. There's also the fact that my confusion about what I want to do is not at all helped by my parents disliking a lot of the things I've pondered persuing.

Oh well. I've never been one to compromise my desires just for other people, so I don't suppose I'll start now. But still, this incident (among several other unrelated ones) really make me wonder if my parents ever think before they speak and act. They may mean well, but intentions hardly matter when they rarely come across.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lazy Drunkards

Finally! I have access to a computer where I can upload pictures!

In celebration of this fact, let's look at a picture from this summer's adventures. Below, we can see Matt (aka The Definitive Source) posing with a product found in the wine section of a Farm Fresh in Newport News Virginia.

The product our lovely Vanna is displaying here, as you can see, is incredibly classy. Take a look at the description found on the box:

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Not only can you get drunk on a box filled with "premium wine beverage" (i.e. watered down, flavored wine), but they also give you to the cups!

Honestly, how lazy can people get? Can we not even be bothered to find cups in which to put our liquors?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Kylie Fever

Looks like I'm not the only one thoroughly enjoying Kylie Minogue's poppiness at the moment. Fluxblog posted "Sweet Music" today. Nothing beat's a pop song about making pop songs!

You know you want to go download it. There's no sense in denying it.

I promise, no one is looking.