Tuesday, November 30, 2010

100 Music Videos, Part 5: Insane Clown Posse to Corb Lund

For today's installment of "100 Music Videos" I'd like to introduce a game I call "Irony or New Sincerity?" I don't think Alanis Morisette reads this blog, so I will assume you all know what irony is. New Sincerity, on the other hand is a bit more complicated. The idea is that, when something doesn't have indie credibility, but someone likes it anyway, they will pretend they only like it ironically. Then they keep their true feelings bottled up for a really long time, before admitting that they like it unironically. And then they go on obnoxious pseudo-philosophical rant about how admitting this represents some sort of paradigm shift in the way we as a culture perceive art until somebody makes them shut up. And that's new sincerity.

But sometimes there are things that just demand good, old-fashioned irony, so it can be tricky to figure out which one applies to which situation. I'll give you a head start here. The first video on the list: definitely, unequivocally irony. The last video on the list: so inherently awesome that there's no need for either. The rest, you'll have to figure out for yourself.

Let the games begin!

41. Insane Clown Posse – Miracles [dir. Paul Andresen]

Monday, November 29, 2010

100 Music Videos, Part 4: Freezepop to The Imagined Village

In our previous installment of "100 Music Videos", I mentioned that, despite being in alphabetical order, you may find some unexpected thematic unity in the entries. This time, nothing. Two of the videos have mice. Two of them are about going to space. But beyond that, today is schizo day.

There are some things that this installment will focus on a bit more than other installments. If you are looking for videos about math, or Australian politics or epic battles between orcs and Nazis, you will find a higher concentration of those topics in this installment than any other one. By which I mean more than nothing.

. . . but I've been talking too much.

31. Freezepop – Less Talk More Rokk

Sunday, November 28, 2010

100 Music Videos, Part 3: The Coup to Finntroll

Since I'm arranging these videos in alphabetical order, there isn't any explicit theme for each installment of "100 Music Videos". But sometimes, patterns emerge. On the basis of this installment, I have come do an astonishing conclusion: every single band starting with "D" or "F" is jovial and light hearted, while every single band starting with "E" is dour and serious.

For the most part, this will be a light-hearted installment. We will get to explore the lighter side of war, the lighter side of domestic violence and, most importantly, the lighter side of being hacked to pieces by surgical implements in a demonic hell-bar. Even the lone "C" band in this entry is taking a fairly humorous dissection of inequality in America. All in all it's a laugh riot. At least it would be if it weren't for those few "E" bands coming in and spoiling the mood.

So kick back, break out the nitrous oxide and enjoy (most of) the show!

21. The Coup – Fat Cats and Bigga Fish [dir. Andrei Rozen]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

100 Music Videos, Part 2: Bijelo Dugme to Bruce Cockburn

I like to think of our first installment in "100 Music Videos" as something of a journey. A journey from Norway all the way over to Iceland. This installment will be an altogether stranger journey, as it begins in a country that no longer exists and ends in a country that most Americans don't believe exists.

We also venture into a wider range of genres, ranging from country to German hip-hop to some crazy made-up bullshit genre called "pronk". We get so see supermodel Kate Moss get murdered, a topless Japanese chick covering herself with sugar and Kate Bush getting gritty. People disappointed in the lack of Jonathan Coulton videos will get a nod. There's something for everyone. In fact, there's even something for unbirthing fetishists (furry fetishists are advised to check out our previous installment).

On with the show!

11. Bijelo Dugme – Lipe Cvatu

Bijelo Dugme - Lipe cvatu
Uploaded by Mr_Kelevra. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Friday, November 26, 2010

100 Music Videos, Part 1: A-Ha to Besti Flokkurinn

I now present the first installment of a ten-part series entitled "100 music videos". Like my "Check Out This Thang I Found On Teh Internetz" feature, it exists mainly as an excuse to add blog entries while other people do the work. As the title suggests, it will present one hundred music videos, ten in each installment, covering a range of eras and genres but, each in their own way, somehow pretty cool (don't worry, the ICP entry in the fifth installment is there ironically).

Some ground rules. No fan-made videos (sorry Jonathan Coulton). And there has to be a video online that can be embedded. It has to be reasonably good quality. So I'm not including videos that had the sound removed for copyright reasons (sorry, Prince) or if the only video is an incomplete copy from a VHS tape (sorry, Miranda Sex Garden). Some of the videos may be NSFW. In those cases, I will put a warning before the video that explains what potentially objectionable content may be found therein.

Let the videos commence!

1. A-Ha – Take On Me [dir. Steve Barron]

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

North Star: The Life of Peter Camejo

An article I wrote for Socialist Alternative.

Peter Camejo was a well-known political activist from his work in the Vietnam anti-war movement to his challenging of the two-party system with the Green Party and Ralph Nader. Two years after his death from lymphoma, his autobiography North Star: A Memoir has been published. It’s a good read, covering his whole life. In both its strengths and weaknesses, his life provides valuable lessons for future political activists.

He was born in 1939 in New York to Venezuelan parents and he grew up in both Venezuela and the United States. He describes how his childhood experiences in these countries resulted in his early political development:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Return to Standard Time!

I know a lot of people don't like Daylight Savings Time. This is understandable because Daylight Savings Time kind of silly. However it does have one great advantage: the return to Standard Time. To celebrate this holiday I thought I would share with you what is inarguably the best (and only) return to Standard Time holiday specials on television. That is The Adventures of Pete and Pete episode: "Time Tunnel".

This episode captures all the things we love about the return to standard time. The extra hour (enough time to watch this episode twice with commercials). The fact that going back in time let's you rectify mistakes you may have made the first time round. The riboflavin. Although it does get the time wrong, since you're supposed to change the clocks at 2am not midnight, but that can be explained away by the power of imagination.

But most importantly, it introduced countless children to the phrase "No fog; no fun", a phrase that will forever be associated with the return to Standard Time. Happy return to Standard Time, everybody!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clowns to the Center, Jokers to the Right

After the Republican victories in the mid-term elections on Tuesday, the response from many people, liberals and Democrats mainly, has been to blame this on collective insanity. On the surface this explanation seems somewhat almost reasonable. After all, if you're so angry about Obama's bail-outs for big business why are you voting for the party responsible for Bush's bail-outs for big business? That's insane!

But, do you know what else is insane? Going to an outdoor rally with this sign:

I mean, come on! When you're outside is precisely when you're supposed to use your outside voice.