A Song for World War III and Philosophical Thoughts

I stumbled on this interesting article on a singer / song-writer / comedian / satirist by the name of Tom Lehrer who was active in the 1950’s and ’60’s. He long preceded the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic but his music, despite it’s age, was right at home on the Dr. Demento radio show of the ’70’s to ’90’s. Besides the pure “cool” factor of the man and his work, his career spurred thoughts in me bordering on the philosophical.

One of the many songs of his that grabbed me is, “So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III)”. Continue reading A Song for World War III and Philosophical Thoughts

Music: Rube Goldberg musical instrument

Coolest thing I have seen in a LONG time. Looks like he’s using lego for the “programming” of what note’s fire when on the main melody, but there is SO much going on in this machine and the tune is pretty fun.

There is also a video that shows a bit of the very LONG build process that is worth a watch.

Music: Listening to ‘Flake’ over my Cornflakes

Jack Johnson - Brushfire FairytalesSigh… Ok, I’m not really eating corn flakes. But it is much too early to be thinking this “deep” and depressed about something so trivial. Driving to work this morning, this song — heard a hundred times previous — really punched me in the gut. It’s a great song, but…

Outwardly, the song’s about being “wishy washy”, a flake, unable to commit, tied up by life’s baggage, habit or laziness. But what it communicates to me is the frustration and exhaustion one gets over the inability to really communicate with someone you care for, either because of your own uncertainties, the other person’s, or both.
Read More, Listen to Song & Read Lyrics →

Music: Map of the Problematique

Muse - Black Holes & RevelationsThe song “Map of the Problematique” by Muse gets me grooving and kicks my butt at the same time… every time.

I was very late discovering Muse but they have become my go to “muse” in so many ways. At least once a weak I put 3 to 4 albums of theirs in my queue and play them straight through in their intended track order — the songs are great individually but seem to carry even more weight when heard with their neighbors.

“Map of the Problematique” – by Muse on the album Black Holes and Revelations
Listen to Song & Read Lyrics →

Music: Possibility Days

Can’t stop playing the song “Possibility Days” by Counting Crows recently. All the lyrics are pretty good, but the bit below really grabs me for some reason.

“the color of everything changes
the sky rearranges its shade
and your smile doesn’t fade
into a phone call and one bad decision we made
and the worst part of a good day
is the one thing you don’t say
and you don’t know how but you wish there was some way
so you pull down the shades and you shut out the light
cause somehow we mixed up goodbye and goodnight”

Music: Muse – Redemption

Muse - The ResistanceThis animated music video for Muse’s “Exogenesis Symphony, Part III” from the album The Resistance is really powerful in my opinion. Made me want to cry… But they were “manly” tears… 😥

I’ve always liked the Exogenesis Symphony by Muse, but I hadn’t seen this video for Part III of that ‘rock’ symphony, “Redemption”. Apparently a shorter version of this animated video was created by the Japanese comedian Tekken using part of the song. The Muse band members saw it, and commissioned him to do their ‘official’ video for the song by expanding on what he had already done. The only decent quality online copy I’ve been able to find for it is this one with foreign sub-titles.
Listen to Song & Read Lyrics →

Music: These Presidents Still Rock

So I got an email from The Presidents of the United States of America recently…

Presidents Of The United States Of AmericaThe rock band, not the actual politicians who have held the office.

I knew that PUSA had put out a new album called “Kudos to You” recently and had downloaded some free songs that probably got me on their mailing list. I have actually been listening to them a lot recently, so decided it was past time to check out the new album more fully. After a quick listen to the tracks on their site, I went ahead and added this album to the earlier five PUSA albums I already own. It’s hard to believe that this band from the 90’s is still rocking it, (albeit with one new member and after a couple of hiatuses).

Below is a fun music video of one of the cool songs on the new album: Poor Little Me. Continue reading Music: These Presidents Still Rock

Johann Gambolputty… …von Hautkopft of Ulm

As many know, I like classical music, particularly Ludwig von Beethoven.

Well, I recently discovered this little-known German composer:

Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern -schplenden -schlitter -crasscrenbon -fried -digger -dangle -dungle -burstein -von -knacker -thrasher -apple -banger -horowitz -ticolensic -grander -knotty -spelltinkle -grandlich -grumblemeyer -spelterwasser -kürstlich -himbleeisen -bahnwagen -gutenabend -bitte -eine -nürnburger -bratwustle -gerspurten -mit -zweimache -luber -hundsfut -gumberaber -shönendanker -kalbsfleisch -mittler -raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm. Continue reading Johann Gambolputty… …von Hautkopft of Ulm

Music: R.I.P. Bob 2 of DEVO

Sad news. Bob Casale (Bob2) of DEVO passed away yesterday, February 17, from heart failure. See the press release from his brother and DEVO founder Gerald Casale.

The news had me crawling the web watching DEVO videos…

Devo’s “Beautiful World” seems an appropriate song for today, exposing that ironic mixture of beauty and ugliness of life. Continue Reading and Watch Some Devo Videos →

Music: Beethoven’s Response to a Critic

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven composed a short (15 minutes long) orchestral work called “Wellington’s Victory” or “The Battle of Vitoria” (Op. 91) in 1813. Wellington’s Victory is now often compared to another famous “battle piece”, namely Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, as both call for the use of a large “percussion battery” including muskets and artillery, and by opposite “sides” of the orchestra playing the national themes of the opposing armies.

Like a lot of Beethoven’s work it has been called a hodgepodge of styles and an “atrocious potboiler”. I of course love it! You can listen to it here (with full muskets and cannons, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the Herbert Von Karajan,) and judge for yourself.

The reason I bring it up is that I happened to discover a response by Beethoven to similar criticism to this piece that he was receiving in his day. Read on for Beethoven’s Surprising Response→