Video Fridays: Monty Python’s Election Night

With the U.S. presidential campaign in the home stretch, with less than two months until election day, I was inspired to post my first Monty Python Video Fridays installment since November 2011.

Watching the following hilarious lampoon of representative democracy in action, I can’t help thinking about how The Daily Show has become a comedy institution.

Politics is such a breeding ground for buffoons and farcical irrationality, if we didn’t have Monty Python, Jon Stewart, and others to make us laugh about it, we’d either be constantly depressed or scared for our lives.

So, for now, have a good laugh and a Happy Weekend, everyone!

Tweet(s) of the Day: #iPhone5

Following up on my post yesterday about the new iPhone 5, after I got over the embarrassment of my flip-flop on the matter, I went looking to see what folks were saying about the phone on Twitter.

Predictably, reactions ran the gamut, from hardcore haters, to more utterances of “meh” than I’ve ever seen in one viewing, to people willing to sell their children into slavery if they could have the phone right.this.minute!

But, I found more than few tweets on the subject rather entertaining and decided to post them here:

https://twitter.com/samsh1elds/status/246361140144271360

Damn you, Apple!

Oh, I was SO sure of myself!

Really, I was!

I bragged to all of my friends and family, something like this:

You know all this hype about the upcoming iPhone 5? I’ve been following the rumors and I just don’t see the big deal. I still LOVE my iPhone 4, so I just don’t care about the new iPhone, and I’ll wait until the iPhone 6 or something.

But, then I saw it.

And, I watched the launch and the promotional video…

…and…

Damn you, Apple!

Eyecatchers: The World Trade Center

GreatBuildings.com
Quite naturally, different people deal with the memory of 9/11 in different ways.

Some wish to revisit the rage they felt that day, rage being just one way of managing the underlying feelings of deep loss and sadness, and so they post photos on the socialwebs of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, accompanied by urgent pleas, shouted out to whomever might be paying attention, pleas that we “NEVER FORGET!”.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed this morning, I found that I couldn’t linger on any of the photos of this nature.

But, when I came upon this image, a photo taken by a friend of a friend, I knew that this is how I’d prefer to mark 9/11, to remember the towers whole and majestic, as they once were:

Josh Hankes

I haven’t been back to New York since the towers came down, and I still can’t get my head around the idea that they aren’t there.

They were an indelible icon as I grew up in New Jersey, a 40-minute train ride away from the city, or, better yet, a ride away on the Staten Island Ferry, so that, as the boat came closer and closer to the terminal in Lower Manhattan, that unlikely forest of skyscrapers sprouting out of that tiny island grew larger and larger before my awe-filled eyes, with the twin towers dominating the foreground, standing guard over that amazing city, a city both powerful and precarious.

Anyway, I’ve browsed around and have collected here some particularly good photos of the World Trade Center, to help me keep those positive images alive.

silive.com
markwalston.wordpress.com
GreatBuildings.com
Joel Cohen
QT Luong
Wikimedia.org
Flickr user ~It’s_me!
skycrapercity.com

New Music On A Monday

The Tallest Man on Earth

Well, new to me…

My boss’s boss stepped into my office this morning, he’s not normally a man to make a personal connection, but the fact that he did speaks volumes.

Our exchange went something like this:

Him: Hey, you’re a musician, right?

Me: Yes, I am.

Him: Well, wow, have you heard of The Tallest Man On Earth?

Me: Hmmmm, no, I haven’t.

Him: We saw him last night at The Moore…he was…amazing…real unusual voice…Swedish guy…you gotta check him out…on YouTube, watch, let’s see, look for…what’s it called?…”Love Is All”…yeah, “Love Is All”!…really great stuff. Let me know what you think!

This is how we act when we discover new music that has touched us. It leaves us a little speechless, which is rather inconvenient, when all you want to do is shout about it from the rooftops, so that others might share in your discovery, so that others might feel that electric charge, that joy that good music can bring.

So, this Tallest Man On Earth guy, he’s actually a Swedish neo-folk singer/songwriter named Kristian Matsson, and, now that I’ve listened to an album or two, I’m happy to join the chorus singing his praises.

While the Bob Dylan influences are front and center (Are they ever not, if you’re a guitar-slinging folksinger?), Matsson is no Dylan rip-off.

There’s a freshness to his music, maybe it’s the Swedish roots, and there’s a very raw and genuine, expressive and non-affected quality to his voice. His lyrics are visually striking and emotional (you’d never, ever know that English was not his first language), and his guitar playing is deft and melodic.

And that’s where the words start failing, at least for now. I’d rather go back to listening to him instead of writing about him.

Here’s the song that my boss’s boss recommended, a good choice, for me especially, since I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with the gorgeous-sounding and gorgeous-looking Gretsch Firebird that Matsson is playing.

Enjoy!

Peppers or Candy?

20120908-164311.jpg

Video Fridays: Radiohead

Well, it’s been over two years since I last chose a song by one of my favorite groups, Radiohead, for a Video Fridays installment, and that’s just.not.acceptable!

But, thanks to my sister, who posted a Radiohead songMorning Mr. Magpie, from their most recent album, The King of Limbs — on Facebook yesterday, I now have Radiohead very much in my, um, head, and, conveniently, it’s Friday.

Funny thing, as I was watching the version of the song that my sis posted, something seemed really off, at first it didn’t even register that there was something wrong about the captions, I just noticed that all three guitarists and the bass player were playing lefty, and that just couldn’t be right! (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against lefties, but, just statistically speaking, the chances of there being that many lefties in one band are so astronomically thin, and if it were really the case that all four were lefties, you’d think I’d have noticed it before, given I’ve watched hours of Radiohead performances.)

Suffice to say, the video was somehow posted as a mirror image. </embarrassment>

Anyway, because I didn’t want to throw others off as I’d been thrown off, I’ve chosen to post the following, more recent version, performed on Austin City Limits.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Eyecatchers: Paralympics Pics

Ok, I confess, I did not watch even one event during the whole two weeks or so of the London 2012 Olympics. When I was a kid, my eyes were always glued to the TV screen whenever the games were on, but for a variety of reasons I’ve lost all interest over the years.

But, if anything was to renew my interest in an international sports competition, it might just be the other London 2012 Olympics, still going on right now: the London 2012 Paralympics.

Thanks to a STUNNING gallery of photos at The Atlantic, I am completely blown away by the passion, determination, and courage that these athletes ooze from every pore of their bodies.

Seriously, I habitually get all whiny because of my herniated disc, and now I look at these images of folks from all over the world who have refused to be held back by congenital or injury-related disabilities, and I feel utterly lazy and ridiculous.

The photography here is powerful, capturing all of the dramatic subtext of this remarkable event, and I can’t imagine anyone not being moved and inspired by them.

Here are some of my favorites, be sure to click on each image to see them larger, and PLEASE be sure to view the whole gallery, where the captions help tell the story:

Bay

Dock of the Bay