regina spektor

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Video Hookup

Once again my video links have reached critical mass.

01. Regina Spektor does “Blue Lips” on Jools Holland (via Culture Bully). It is probably an understatement to say that I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO anticipating this new album. Also, R.Spektor is so very adorable.

02. Space Cowboy’s new single, “Falling Down” (via Electroqueer). I am enamored of this Space Cowboy fella because of his collaborations with Lady Gaga, but he’s also monstrously danceable by himself.

03. Bishop Allen does “Butterfly Nets” in a bathroom (via IGIF). It’s one of my favorite Bishop Allen songs, definitely. Plus, ukelele is the new orange.

04. JoCo singing “Future Soon,” (via Boingboing), the ultimate nerd anthem. I find it a very sad song (I can’t decide from the text whether it’s supposed to be sad) — I hate to think of science smoothing away everything that makes us human (i.e., our flaws).

05. Don Omar’s “The Chosen” and “Virtual Diva” from his new album “iDon” (at Slate). Of course I can’t understand a darn thing Omar is saying, but if it’s reggaeton and cyborgs, I am on board like Scully on a ghost ship.

06. Beverly Sills singing from “La Traviata” with the Muppets (via LAist). Is there something that’s not to like? I didn’t think so.

07. Over at Boingboing they are obsessed with cigar box guitars, which I think is weird, but then they linked to this video of Keni Lee Burgess playing that Muddy Waters classic, “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and I can now see their side of the story.

08. Has everyone already seen this? YANP linked to a trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are,” complete with Arcade Fire soundtrack. If it wasn’t Spike Jonze directing, I would say, psh, you can’t make a movie out of this book. Instead I’ll just say, this sounds like a movie for other people to watch.

09. EQ does it again — lots of footage of the nostalgia 80s reunion in Quebec — Tiffany, Deborah Gibson (maybe she went by Debbie for one night), Samantha Fox, and Rick Astley. I don’t care what you say. I listened to “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Spanish Eyes” about a million times when it came out, so THERE.

10. Iron & Wine does “Godless Brother In Love”s on Jimmy Fallon (via Culture Bully) — get it while it’s hot at Hulu. I love Sam Beam but looking at that beard gives me the willies.

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The Sound
by Kim Addonizio

Marc says the suffering that we don’t see
still makes a sort of sound — a subtle, soft
noise, nothing like the cries of screams that we
might think of — more the slight scrape of a hat doffed
by a quiet man, ignored as he stands back
to let a lovely woman pass, her dress
just brushing his coat. Or else it’s like a crack
in an old foundation, slowly widening, the stress
and slippage going on unnoticed by
the family upstairs, the daughter leaving
for a date, her mother’s resigned sigh
when she sees her. It’s like the heaving
of a stone into a lake, before it drops.
It’s shy, it’s barely there. It never stops.


The New Amsterdams — Change My Mind

Regina Spektor — The Noise

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Video hookup

M. Perpetua from Fluxblog comments briefly on the hype; his point is well made, that the hype (and its bedfellow, backlash) has always existed in some form, but that in recent years its wheel has sped up, grinding everything even more exceeding fine. But interestingly enough, the article ends with a quote (and accompanying video) from Fall Out Boy. I had never heard a Fall Out Boy song before. But the video was darned amusing. Sort of like “Fight For Your Right To Party” in reverse. And thus your massive video hookup begins.

Not really video, but Culture Bully has three awesome Halloween mashup compilations going:
Son Of Monster Mashup
Mashing Pumpkins
Bride of Monster Mashup + Evil Twin of Monster Mashup

LAist has a bunch of Regina Spektor videos up in honor of her appearances in our neck of the woods this week. See you at the El Rey Wiltern if you’re going on Tuesday! Wooo!

Via Electroqueer, new video by Valeria. If you like a lot of leg, the French Revolution, and girls sneaking out with each other for smooches, this is the video for you.

Fabulist found an old video of Skip James from 1966 — Devil’s Got My Woman.

Muzzle of Bees proves that even in 2000, when Ry Ry wore very unfortunate sunglasses and looked like he was gonna fall over, he was still a musician right to his bones. MOB also has a very nice Q&A with the 1900s!

Stereogum has new video for Mary J Blige’s song “Just Fine.” Work it, girl!

Muzzle of Bees links to the Takeaway show concert of St Vincent singing “Paris Is Burning.” At the same time, GvsB links to video of Amanda Palmer covering “Marry Me.” Dude, I am so in love with Amanda Palmer’s voice. Who sings St Vincent better? I can’t decide!! So watch a video of Ms. Palmer covering “Patience,” via Muruch. And wave your lighters!

Via Fabulist, Sony paints the pyramids, sort of, in a crazy new Bravia ad.

And sweet Colin and friends put on a nice performance of “Yankee Bayonet” at ACL. Via Stereogum.

Ferraby Lionheart is growing on me, so I’m liking this video up at ECEU — “The Ballad of Gus and Sam.”

Here’s one for all you Icelandic hipsters (James, I’m looking at you) — “Rhubarbidoo,” by Múm, via Idolator. Er … not sure what’s going on … delicious rhubarb popping up all over the place! Is this a metaphor? Or is a rhubarb sometimes just a rhubarb?

Via Sixeyes, Feist plays drums for her opener, Bob Wiseman, and his song “You Don’t Love Me.”

Via ECEU, Okkervil River, “A Stone.” What really gets me about this is the complete silence of the crowd. No drunk guy screaming “I LOVE YOU WILL!” In the continuing saga of Do I Like Okkervil River, I think this song is too emo for me. But still, that silent crowd.

A ton of links from the Music Slut, a’course:

“Teardrop” (Massive Attack cover) by Jose Gonzalez. Moral of the story … er… don’t get on the wrong side of a guy with a crown?

Sea Wolf! Winter Windows! Video! Did I already link to this? Too bad! Watch it again!

Conor + M. Ward = OTP. At least on stage. No, I don’t want to hear from the Bright Eyes bandom writers. Check out Bright Eyes at the Hollywood Bowl.

And PJ Harvey on Leno — man, she makes younger folks look like mumbling amateurs. Oh, PJ, if only I could have afforded tickets to see you.

And if you got to the bottom, here’s a fun link from Freakonomics: “The Mythbusters Answer Your Questions.” What I wouldn’t give to be on an episode of Mythbusters.

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So like … Radiohead, and stuff*.

But also new Regina Spektor video! (I’ll be seeing her at the Wiltern very soon, yippee.)

And oh baby, new Sea Wolf (how can something so totally indie be so totally hot?). Take a chance on this local boy, because you will not regret it.

And if you want something stripped to its bare bones, new Peter & the Wolf! I was a big fan of “Lightness,” so we’ll see how “the Ivori Palms” shakes out.

If you like light jazz numbers, Queen Latifah put out a new album called Trav’lin Light — very unobjectionable and in parts even inspired.

[ed. note — tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

Queen Latifah — Trav’lin Light

Sea Wolf — Winter Windows

Peter & the Wolf — The Ivori Palms

*yes, I bought it, but more to show good faith than in actual expectation of a good record. I’m a “Bends” girl, so I didn’t take the change to Kid A style all that well.

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Top 10 2006; 2

[ed. note — anyone that wants to guess #1, feel free to drop a comment. If you guess right, I’ll upload one (non-protected) song of your choice from my iTunes playlist (careful, it’s a long list).]

Regina Spektor
Begin To Hope
On the Radio (removed. contact me for a copy.)

Another album that blindsided me; I was not a Spektor fan before this year. Her vocal pyrotechnics made me sort of uncomfortable — even though I used to listen to Tori bang on her piano and howl, listening to “Uh-Merica” was just a little much for me. Just a personal thing, I think, and it kept me from beautiful songs like “Ne Me Quitte Pas” and “Reading Time With Pickle.” So I was very glad to find on “Begin To Hope” that she’s polished everything up. The pyrotechnics are still there, but damped a little bit. This probably bugs the heck out of devoted listeners, but it increases Spektor’s accessibility and since she gets VH-1 time and a Logan/Veronica kiss scene on “Veronica Mars,” I’d say that it’s successful on the whole.

Spektor’s songwriting is gold caliber — it’s almost impossible to pick the best-written. They feel classic, almost archetypal — let’s consider “On the Radio” for a minute. It starts out irreverent:

This is how it works — it feels a little worse /
than when we drove our hearse right through that screaming crowd

and eventually segues into this beautiful, minimal summary of the human condition:

This is how it works — you’re young until you’re not /
you love until you don’t / you try until you can’t.
You laugh until you cry / you cry until you laugh; /
and everyone must breathe until their dying breath.

and then she goes and tops it with:

No, this is how it works — you peer inside yourself /
You take the things you like and try to love the things you took /
And then you take that love you made and stick it into some
Someone else’s heart pumping someone else’s blood /
And walking arm in arm you hope it don’t get harmed /
But even if it does you’ll just do it all again

Basically, a more succinct representation of the joy and folly of love, you could not find. I could go on all day, but it wouldn’t do that song justice. And what’s more, all the songs on the album are like that. “Apres Moi” is in three languages, for crying out loud. “Summer in the City” juxtaposes the cheerfulness of summer with personal loneliness: Summer in the city, I’m so lonely lonely lonely / so I went to a protest just to rub up against strangers. And “Lady” is beautifully bluesy, with that fabulous refrain I can sing this song so blue / that you will cry in spite of you / little wet tears on your baby’s shoulder / little wet tears on your baby’s shoulder.

Spektor has managed to strike a balance between songwriting, singing, originality, and theatricality that is unmatched this year. I have listened to “Begin To Hope” about a hundred times so far, and I’m sure I’ll listen to it a hundred more. And if you’re like me and you would have liked “Soviet Kitsch” but it was a little raw, please give this album a try. It’s practically perfect in every way*.

[see Best of 2006 for more]
[*please don’t sue me, Disney.]


I’m sick and my typing arm hurts from a stupid tetanus booster (stupid tetanus! Stupid sexy Flanders!) so here’re some things you could be listening to if you were as cool as me.

[These links don’t work anymore! You can get a copy by contacting me, though.]

01. Regina Spektor – Ne Me Quitte Pas
02. Soltero – Fight Song For True Love
03. Rachmaninov – Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
04. Beck – Hell Yes
05. Dan Zanes & Friends – We Shall Not Be Moved

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