pet shop boys

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Video Hookup

This one is kind of Electroqueer-heavy, but that’s just because EQ is so awesome.

01. Video for Matt Alber’s “The End of the World” — this guy, seriously, he can sing. I love this song, I have seen this video a million times. It’s romance with a capital Row.

02. If you have an hour and a half to watch a great film, clap your peepers upon “Sita Sings the Blues,” by Nina Paley. It’s augmented by the beautiful blues of Annette Hanshaw.

03. Via BoingBoing, I am fond of the chipper song “Happy Up Here” by Röyskopp. Space invaders!

04. Not to jump onto the literal video bandwagon, but I like the literal video for “Head Over Heels,” because when you don’t have to concentrate on the song, you notice how dippy the video actually is. I used to love those old-timey videos (heh), which weren’t slick and stupid and full of plasticked-up singers doing ripoffs of Janet Jackson dance sequences.

05. Largehearted Boy has John Darnielle doing “Woke Up New,” with backup singer Tobias Wolff. How cool is that.

06. EQ links to nifty Pet Shop Boys montage, done live at the Brit Awards (scroll past Brandon Flowers to the second video). Lady GaGa does a little cameo too. Oh, Lady G.

07. Via BoingBoing, the totally adorable Nano Song, about … what else … nanos. I still don’t really know what a nano is but that’s cool.

08. Also at BB, Chinese bluegrass. Awe. Some.

09. Stereogum has video for Ladytron’s “Tomorrow.” Brandon’s right, it does look a bit like Parrish, although to my knowledge he never painted flying jellyfish.

10. The Gum also has video for Malajube’s new song (well, it was new as of last month, okay, geez) called “Porté Disparu.” The band all gets murderated. It might be because of their poor sartorial choices.

11. Fabulist! has Amanda Palmer doing “Creep” on a ukelele. That woman can do anything, I swear. If they told me she was playing the tuba with her toes, I’d believe it.

12. EQ showcased Private doing a crazy video for “Killer on the Dancefloor.” I’m a fan of Private’s 80s sound, but I have no idea what any of his videos are about. Paging Killer, paging Killer, please wash your hair, repeat, please wash your hair.

13. There is also video at EQ for Lady GaGa’s “Love Game.” Lady G never fails to amaze with her trashy French-cut bodysuits and her awful lyrics (she got her a** squeezed by sexy Cupid. HAH), but when she belts it out in that voice, she rocks my socks.

14. At BoingBoing, Japanese Saturday Night Fever meets, uh, public breakdancing. It’s Peter, Bjorn, and John’s video for “Nothing To Worry About.”

15. And last but not least, snails slithering in time-lapse to the tune of “Go West.” My 4-year-old son’s favorite word is “snail.” I should probably show him this video, but then of course I would have to watch it a thousand times.

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Paid Off Mix

This one’s for my sister Juliette. Notwithstanding my previous driving mix, I think if you make a driving sing-along mix and you don’t include some Pet Shop Boys, you have no cachet whatsoever. As with my previous mix, this is intended to be played in the order given. I have however included single links for those persons unable to listen to mixes (*shakes head*).

JCarmix cover

Juliette’s Paid Off Mix (.rar file)

01. Madonna — Hung Up
02. The Beatles — Back In the USSR
03. Cake — Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
04. Nelly Furtado — Maneater
05. Bodies of Water — Doves Circled the Sky
06. The Ballet — In My Head
07. Pet Shop Boys — It’s A Sin
08. US3 — Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
09. The Strokes — Modern Girls & Old Fashioned Men (f. Regina Spektor)
10. Amadou & Mariam — Chantez-Chantez
11. Pop Levi — Blue Honey (Hollywood Version)
12. Sinead O Connor — You Made Me the Thief Of Your Heart (12″ mix)
13. Patrick Wolf — The Magic Position

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Video hookup

I have been megahooked on re-watching “Friday Night Lights.” Who knew I’d love a show about football so much? It’s crazy! So this site has been sitting sadly waiting for me to finish watching season one again.

Before I start with the mind-numbing video goodness, I want to give literary props to Blogs Are For Dogs. Every Saturday Josh runs “Short Story Saturday,” where you can get your English major on. Woo!

01. Via the Music Slut, the video for Travis’s “My Eyes.” I love this song, but the video is just odd.

02. Each Note Secure rounded up some nice Elvis covers, including the Pet Shop Boys doing “Always On My Mind.” I absolutely love that video with its classic line: “I’m a bilingual … illiterate. I can’t read in two languages.”

03. Via New & Used Records, video of the New Pornographers doing “My Rights Vs. Yours” on Letterman. If you haven’t heard this song yet, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR. Seriously, as a person who was not a fan of Destroyer or New Pornographers (much) before this, do yourself a favor.

04. Electroqueer reminds us all of how the Eurotrash scene is alive and well, with Sergey Lazarev’s “Eye of the Storm.”

05. From Fabulist, “Les Escargots,” a short French film about … giant snails. Moral of the story — don’t water your plants with your tears.

06. Wonderful Jax from Rock Insider turned me on to Jenn Grant — quintessential girl indie, and the video for “Dreamer” has this little smidge of interpretive dance around the 2 minute mark … just a tease of it … so beautiful.

07. Gorilla vs. Bear shared the odd video for El Perro del Mar’s song “Party.” Very Rear Window.

08. Perhaps you like Motown revival. Perhaps you like skinny girls with Barbra eyeshadow. MOKB has you covered with Candie Payne’s “One More Chance.”

09. The Music Slut gives me a nice Ry Ry fix with this clip of “The Sun Also Sets” for a Nissan Live gig. Way to make it look easy, Tiger. (hur hur)

10. New & Used Records proves that Nelly Furtado is the new Paula Abdul. I mean that respectfully, because Paula was my girl, back in the day. This video for “Do It” has a righteous beat.

11. Electroqueer bemoans the lack of lesbian moments in the Veronicas’ video “Hook Me Up.” Well, they are sisters, after all… there’s only so much you can hope for, even in this great perverted fantasyland we call the internet. Great song tho, seriously.

12. From Audiography, a link to the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center in Cebu, Phillippines, ddoing “Thriller.” This has 6 million views, maybe you’ve seen it before. It’s disturbing but so nicely choreographed! Well played, inmates. Well played.

13. And last but not least, I Am Fuel gives up some crazy British groove: Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” (scroll to the bottom) I could have done without the strippers, but I was loving the chorus.

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In ninth grade, I had such a crush on this guy named Lee. I used to stare longingly at him during drama class — probably drove him crazy. Not that I would have known what to do with him if I’d gotten him — I didn’t want him, exactly. I just wanted someone to stare at.

So my best friend through this whole crush thing was Carrie. She came up to me one day with a tape (that’s a cassette, for you young’uns. We rolled like that, back then) that had this ugly, swirly cover.

“Try this,” she said, “you’ll love it.”

“‘Mixed Up’?” I said, very dubiously. You may remember from a previous post that I was still at this point coming out of my country music phase and just dipping a toe cautiously into REM. I judged tapes by album covers for some reason. “This doesn’t look very good.”

“But Laura,” said she, very slyly, because Carrie was sly like that, “Lee likes it. He told me in art class that the Cure was his favorite band.”

How could I refute that? She and Lee had art together, and I didn’t. Maybe they had regular conversations about music. So I took “Mixed Up” home, determined that I would like it. But I didn’t even have to try very hard — in fact, my love for Robert Smith lasted a lot longer than my love for Lee.

Carrie had longish, dark-brown curls and a beautiful smile. She was very thin, had brown eyes, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She drew cartoons, and when she wrote me letters, they were always at least ten pages of her intricate writing and her cartoons. She introduced me to Nirvana, to Pulp, to PJ Harvey, to Monty Python. She made beautiful mix tapes with handmade covers and funny titles. You kids today, you don’t know what a mix tape is anymore. Carrie was a mix tape artist. It’s been ten years since I last spoke to her, and I don’t even have a tape player anymore, but I still have some of her tapes packed away, because I can’t bear to throw them out.

Without her, my musical education would have stayed stuck in the ninth grade. We had no indie radio play to speak of (AFN did not count, folks). I was fond of “Kokomo,” Weird Al, and even taped an NKOTB album from another friend. I was a mainstream dweeb, and I probably would have hung around in the pop mainstream and today I’d be a big old Kelly Clarkson fan. And I’d probably be just fine. But Carrie developed my music taste into something outside of radio play, outside of MTV, something that appreciates the fine music that can be traded, ear to ear, on a well made mix tape. Maybe this whole blog thing is just my way of paying it forward.

So thanks, Ms. McNear, wherever you are now. I hope you’re happy. I hope you remember the times that we sat in your basement watching “The Cure In Orange” and writing dark poetry. This one’s for you.

Videos (for songs I don’t own).

1. Enigma — Sadeness
2. Information Society – Think
3. Bettie Serveert — Something So Wild

Music

[All tracks removed. Please contact me for a copy.]

01. Tori Amos — Raspberry Swirl (Lip Gloss version)
02. PJ Harvey — Sheela Na Gig (live at the Forum, London, 5/23/93)
03. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin — Kill Your Television

04. The Cure — Subway Song
05. Victoria Williams — Crazy Mary
06. Sinead O’Connor — Ode To Billy Joe

07. 50 Foot Wave — Your Ghost
08. Pet Shop Boys — Go West
09. The Violent Femmes — Gone Daddy Gone

10. Cream — White Room
11. Shakespears Sister — Stay
12. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — Straight To You

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