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Dizzying Intellect » Tunes

Category: Tunes

Her Morning Elegance

I can’t look at that entry anymore, but I don’t have anything to say that doesn’t involve buckets of self-pity and sadness. So here’s a nice song with a really beautiful video.

Katy and Ellen sittin’ in a… er, bathroom?

I don’t love the song. It glorifies behavior that annoys me, and I still think it’s a ripoff of Jill Sobule, even though it’s a completely different song and meaning. But this is too freaking adorable to not link. I’m glad to see that they’re both total goofballs (as I suspected). In the nicest possible sense of goofball.

That’s My Girl!

That’s the Megan Corkrey that I fell in love with at her audition.

They’re cracking down on youtube again, but go here and watch it. They don’t have an embed function, but it’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline, and she did it wonderfully.

I actually loved her version of Rockin’ Robin last week. After she’d just finished talking (and crying) about her little boy, I thought it was perfect — not just because she seemed to be singing it for him, but because it was fun and light and so not very very serious.

And if you’ve never seen a close-up of her sleeve tattoo, it’s just as gorgeous as she is.

(I meant to post this earlier, along with a few others, but today was one of those days. One of those awful, awful days that make me want to never touch a computer again. So I didn’t have time.)

We All Hate Them, Really.

Dear world,

If you’re going to make fun of a Britney Spears song, please don’t include a link. Someone did that for “Toxic,” five years ago (Billegible?), and it’s still stuck in rotation on my ipod. I don’t want to like this girl’s music. I don’t. And it’s easy enough to avoid, except when you enablers put it right there where I can hear it. And now I’ve had “If U Seek Amy” stuck in my head for the past three hours.

And I may be overthinking this, but after watching the video twice and humming the song for half a freaking lifetime, I think this song may actually be a lot more complicated than it sounds.

(I googled “if u seek amy meaning,” to find out if I’m right, and instead found out that the intertubes are full of idiots. Yes, she’s saying “f-u-c-k-me,” Einstein. That’s the deeper meaning. Thank you for that inspiring psychological boost.)

Now I’m not saying that she came up with all of this symbolism herself, but I think she might be a little pissed at the media. Calling her a (”ha ha hee hee ha ha”) HO, and giving her no help at all when she needed it (”Can’t somebody take me home”), and yet expecting her to be SuperMom 2.0 and crucifying her every time she made the tiniest parenting mistake (the piece at the end with the kids and the pie). It’s easy to see how she could start believing everything they said about her.

And certainly she was oversexed and very likely to be the next Anna Nicolesque pretty corpse for a while, but I like the idea that she has the good sense to be embarrassed and angry about it now.

Idol, Season 8

Yes, you’re going to have to tolerate American Idol posts. I feel like I have to defend myself every year, so here it is.

I’m a Randian Objectivist to the core of my being. People who have the sense to be proud of their god-given and patiently-crafted talent make me happier than almost anything on earth. And I couldn’t survive without music. It’s the only thing that gets me through the day, sometimes.

So to see these young people pouring their hearts into these songs, fighting to prove their worth, gives me hope. And it makes me smile. We know how rare that is.

Anyway. The goal isn’t to find the most perfect or highly trained voice, but one that’s original and immediately identifiable.

After auditions in eight cities, Hollywood Week starts tomorrow. These are my favorites (90% of them will be gone next week, so I want to mention them):

1: Phoenix 1/13
Emily Wynne-Hughes - Barracuda - (No, it’s not just the song choice) Awesome.
Arianna Afsar - Put Your Records On - Adorable and so likable and good
Stevie Wright - At Last - Lovely voice, from a non-descript girl
Cody Sheldon - Wonderful World - Skinny emo kid with a tough voice
Alex Wagner-Trugman - Skinny, cute, nerdy kid with surprising soul

2: Kansas City 1/14
Casey Carlson - 1000 Miles - Adorable, great voice, from Mpls. Total package.
Von Smith - Somewhere/Rainbow - Nerdy but awesome voice. Disproving the loud != good rule.
Michael Castro - Better than his brother. Not a great voice, but identifiable
Mike Breitzke - Ain’t No Sunshine - Big welder guy. Nice, very warm voice
Jessica Furney - Crybaby - Cool. Chubby, nerdy, and great. First person I ever remember singing Janis without doing an impression
Danny Gokey - Grapevine - Nice, soulful, nerdy. I hate the sob stories, so the dead wife made me want to not like him, but he’s really good.
Asa Barnes - Way You Make Me Feel - Like Furney, the first MJ I’ve ever heard on Idol that wasn’t an impression. Nice.
Lil Rounds - Stevie Wonder - Nice!! Defeating the no-one-can-sing-Stevie rule. “Rounds!” Hee.

3: San Francisco 1/20
Kai Kalama - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - Effortless, and such a cutie pie. Love his hair and that he calls his mom “Mambo.”

4: Louisville 1/21
Alexis Grace - Skinny little blonde mom with soul voice
Kris Allen - Nice tone
Ryan Johnson - Better!
Shera Lawrence - Sweet. Old school jazz voice
Leneshe Young - Own song - “Homeless” girl. I really wanted to hate her for drowning us in the sob story, but she’s really good. The original song was very cool.

5: Jacksonville 1/27 - None

6: Salt Lake City 1/28
David Osmond - Yes, those Osmonds - Not my favorite song or style, but he made it effortless. Nice voice.
Frankie Jordan? - Can’t tell if I like her or not. Good Amy Winehouse impression, but we have an Amy Winehouse, and she seems determined to live now.
Megan Corkery - YES!!! Love her. LOVE.
Austin Sisneros - Bad song choices, but the second one at least had the right vibe. Nice voice.
Rose Flack? - Not sure. Nice, but too much like Brooke?

7: NYC and San Juan 1/29
Jorge Nunez - Lovely tenor. Really nice.
Melinda Camille - Feelin Good - Love this girl. So gorgeous and confident and really likable.
Jackie Tohn - Cool and bluesy. Hate the Mraz and the weird faces, but the second song was much better
Norman Gentle - Amazing Grace - Insane and bizarre, and very snarky, but actually pretty good
Kendall Beard - I’d love to hate her, but I can’t. Lovely voice.
Monique Garcia Torres - Bad song choice, but good and very identifiable voice. Probably not this year, but it’ll be good training for next year.

I’d love to give you more links, but youtube’s being really strict this year for some reason…

In Other News

Lalala. Changing the subject.

Here’s a Christmas tune for you. No Doubt’s version of Oi To The World. I had no idea there was a video for this song — check out how adorably young they are here.

And tell me that “They went back to the pub where they bought each other bourbon” isn’t the best line ever in a Christmas song.

[Meh. No embedding. Here's the link.]

Dr Pepper Delivers

Hilarious. Dr Pepper is following through on its tongue-in-cheek promise to give everyone in America a free bottle of their soda, if Chinese Democracy dropped in 2008.

The album will finally be released on Sunday, so:

Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper’s Web site. They’ll be honored until Feb. 28.

I hope this turns out to be good publicity for them, because they’re being awfully good sports about it.

Heaven Knows

Listening to this indescribably beautiful album to calm my nerves lately (as one does), I’m reminded of something that I’ve noticed a zillion times, but I don’t think, ever publicly questioned:

Malcolm X, a later-in-life reformer to Islam, stole one of his most famous lines:

We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.

from a 1930’s-era gay, white, (and unutterably lovely) male composer.

If today
Any shock they should try to stem
‘Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock would land on them.

Deliciously ironic? Discuss.

Whisper Tell Me I’m The One

I started listening to Tom Waits religiously about fifteen years ago. A friend played “Fumblin’ With The Blues” for me, and I was instantly addicted. It’s still one of my favorite songs ever. That whole album, The Heart of Saturday Night, means so much to me — it’s attached to so many memories, and the overall story is so weirdly lovely.

Funnily, it turned out that I had actually become hooked several years earlier, when I was living in Russia, but I didn’t find out that it was Tom Waits until google eventually turned up.

His music has changed so dramatically over the 35-ish years that he’s been writing/recording, I wasn’t sure exactly how last night’s show was going to work. How does one person perform a song like “Please Call Me Baby,” and follow it up with something like “Filipino Box Spring Hog?” They’re incompatible.

The answer turned out to be simple. For the more… eclectic songs, he stood in the middle of a raised platform with a microphone and swayed and twiched and stamped weirdly, exactly like every crazy old man you’ve ever seen feeding ducks and talking to an invisible friend, if that crazy person happened to be an obscenely talented genius.

For the traditional songs, he picked up a guitar or sat at a piano, and played and sang his heart out. (I know neither of them is actually a guitar or piano, since he’s notorious for using outlandish instruments, but I don’t know enough about musical instruments to identify, like, a harpsichord, by sight). At one point, he even played what I’m almost positive, from the distinctive sound, was an honest-to-god old fashioned calliope.

His speaking voice is just as bizarre as it sounds in the movies, if you’ve ever seen him in anything. And he chatted us up, told stories and anecdotes, but also replied to people yelling things in the audience, which I’ve never seen before. It was great being in such a small venue.

Speaking of that, he’s also the first person I’ve heard share my dislike of the acoustics in the Fox. It’s supposed to be virtually perfect, but from the front of the stage, everything feeds back and echos weirdly. It was driving him as nuts as it does me, and he kept going “whoooooooooooooo” and laughing about how bizarrely the sound bounced around. Which is gratifying. Anyway.

After listening to his music for so many years, and never having seen him, I was afraid that I might have waited too long. Worried that, since he doesn’t sing the traditional songs so much anymore, he wouldn’t be able to really sing anymore. In the same way that Billie Holiday eventually couldn’t, but it was absolutely beautiful. I mean, his voice is certainly distinctive and rough, but it didn’t sound damaged at all.

I’m awestruck and blown away, and so happy. And I’ll shut up now. Go see him if you can get tickets. He’s amazing.

p.s. As I mentioned before, I’ve had a pseudonymous blog for a while, at a domain named for a line in one of his songs. And he played it last night. And now I’m soooo tempted to move this blog back over there…

One Moment While I Spaz

I just got Tom Waits tickets!


[Note: One of the many, many places that I blogged, between my last permanent home and here, got its name from a line in a Tom Waits song. Triple-bonus nothing points if you can name it.]