Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An Obsession

Main Entry:
ob·ses·sion           Listen to the pronunciation of obsession
\äb-ˈse-shən, əb-\
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling

I am admitting here for all the world to see that I have an incurable obsession with Grey's Anatomy. It's truly pathetic. The show has been in decline for over three seasons now, yet I (with legions of other Grey's fans) consistently watch what Shonda Rhimes and her writers put in front of us each week. And let me tell you, if you haven't seen it lately, it's definitely been unreasonable.

One thing however, that hasn't suffered quite as much on the show is the music.

The first few seasons, Grey's always had a very prominently promoted song that invaded the airwaves, commercials, and all that we held dear.

The minute you heard Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars, you knew that it was time for Grey's.

Season three's theme was by far the most prominent of all the Grey's music. The Fray's How to Save a Life became a hit, not only on the show but on the pop charts as well.

Oh angsty, angsty. How I love thee.

Sadly, the last few seasons have not had a theme song as in the good old days. Hopefully tomorrow night they may just pull one out of the cracks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Blog for Dustin

A year ago my good friend Dustin introduced me to an artist that changed my outlook on pop music. I had already been a fan of Europop having lived in Poland, Germany, and Austria for a year. I had been listening to Wilki, Anna Maria Jopek, and Kasia Kowalska from Poland (yup...there's going to be a full blog on just Polish pop music one of these days), and Heinz aus Wien and Die Prinzen from the Germanic countries. Kate Ryan was the only exposure I had from the French pop scene.

And then came Yelle.

What I truly love about her is the fact that she doesn't take herself so seriously, but is still truly committed to her music. Her sexuality comes out through her own natural je ne sais quoi and not some over produced, skankified, buy-my-record-because-I'm-hot dribble. Her videos are fun and unique. I will never get enough of this petite little poplett.

A perfect example of exactly what I mean is her newest video, Ce Jeu. I mean, who doesn't love candy stripes and french fries?

Yelle's lyrics however are what put her spot above the rest of the French pop scene. She is not afraid to poke fun at other artists and the two hot guys in her band always make fun cameos in her videos.

(see translation here)

And no mention of Yelle can go by without my favorite song A Cause des Garcons (Because of the Boys). Apologies to Dustin come here...he got REALLY sick of this song once I kept it on repeat for about a month.

And just for old times sake, here's the video of the concert we attended at the Logan Square Auditorium. You can see Dustin and I at the front of the stage. This was literally one of the best nights of my LIFE.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Two Worlds

One of things that I love most about my life is the amazing assortment of friends that I have. I come from two different worlds, musical and literal. Being an opera singer, I've got my over the top, knowledgeable of all music genres, drama filled yet lovable friends, but I've also got an entirely different set of much more relaxed, cerebral, yet somehow still extremely fun friends as a writer. The worlds collide sometimes and this is the result.

I put out messages yesterday on facebook and twitter asking for suggestions for my next videos to blog about. A writer friend had been listening to The Ting Tings. Take a good close listen to Katie White's leads vocals. Sound familiar?

The video itself is a simple one, but really lends itself to the song. The drum beat is pounding and Jules De Martino (the second half of the group) definitely pounds it well in the video. Katie has a great vocal ability that sets her apart from the pop queens that usually rule the roost, but the blond hair, spunky outfits, and slightly too cute hat make this perfect pop fodder. The use of such intense colors is an explosion of sight equal to the sound we hear, but to be honest though, it looks like a complete rip off of the new marketing campaign for iPod (like the link I posted above).

I have a burning question though. What exactly is Jules saying in between the lyrics that Katie is singing? He's definitely mouthing something, but I have no idea what.

One of my singer friends suggested something much more classic, a video very dear to my own heart, Take On Me. Being a child of the 80's, I followed A-ha religiously. Morten Harket was one of my first celebrity crushes (followed by the likes of Jordan Knight, Corey Feldman, Anthony Michael Hall, and did I mention Jordan Knight?) The video won six awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, one of which included Most Exprimental Video for the pencil-sketch animation/live-action combination called rotoscoping, in which the live-action footage is traced over frame by frame to give the characters realistic movements.

However, what I found on my musical quest today is that it is not the original video for the song. There is an earlier version of both the song and the video that did not fare well in UK pop rotation in 1984. Warner Brothers decided to give the song a try in the US and the video we all know and love was brought to life. It soared to the top of the pop charts and another one hit wonder was added to the history books. So without further ado, the original version for Aha's Take On Me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Man at the Piano

So it's been quite a while since I've posted. Things have just been super busy (last weeks of the semester in grad school, never fun). Tonight I will post something that doesn't really need any explanation. The man is legend. His music is legendary. He is one of my true loves. I give you...

Billy Joel

'Nuff said