Category: Music

The Bee Conspiracy Uncovered!

Further in the series of Danish serendipity, it turns out that my Aqua revival ties into the recent discovery that bees are dying out. Theories abound, like it’s the fault of mobile phones. So calling your mother to tell her to pick you up is right out if you want some honey!

This, of course, is ridiculous. If you listen to the Aqua song “Bumble Bees”, which at first sounds like nonsense pop from a group that really, really likes to sing songs composed almost entirely of choruses, you will find that it contains the true secrets of the conspiracy.

Watching it is entirely optional, particularly as the video was apparently made to distract the audience from the lyrics:

That said, if you freeze at 2:01 you can see Lene holding a baby.

If you haven’t picked it up already, the reason bees are dying out is this: monogamy. Jealous flowers have demanded that bees stop going around with the whole “pollination” bit. The bee of the song reasons:

I’m a true believer, that goes for what I see
And one little flower is not enough for a bee

Yet the flower can’t help but say:

Bumble bee, bump into me
I am in for pollination
Bumble bee, take what you see
I’m in need for your donation
You don’t need no invitation

So … uh … wait, did you actually read those lyrics? This is some pretty high brow (and filthy) stuff!

The theory goes that the bees finally succumbed to the nagging of the flowers, and as such have not been meeting their quotas, and have been dying off from having to fly around with so much pollen and nowhere to put it. This also explains why bees have been so low and slow flying this year (expect Joanna Newsom to sing about that part of the phenomenon on her next album).

Basically, bees are being pansy whipped. I’m sure that Brokeback Mountain is the cause of this, somewhere. Back in my day, if flowers weren’t interested a bee could sting one right in the face and then high six its bee friends on the way back to the hive while the Queen shook her head and chuckled “drones will be drones”. Damned Sensitive New Age Bees. We need to put the good old disrespect of flowers back into them! Divide and conquer, boys!

True, this completely irrefutable theory doesn’t explain why flowers aren’t dying out, but don’t look at me: I’m just a beeologer, not a botanist!

Next on Alexander Doenau’s Animal Kingdom: The truth behind Baby Seal Clubs!

Can I Get Get Get to J-J-J-Junior Senior?

There must be some sort of serendipity involved in the fact that the week that I looked into Junior Senior for the first time in ages is the exact same week that their second album came out in Australia. It was also the same week that I developed a brief, morbid fascination with that other Danish band, Aqua.

Why it took nigh on two years to make its way to my fair shores, I’m not quite certain. If you recall our friends Junior Senior at all, you probably remember them from “Move Your Feet”, which featured such memorable images as a smiling hotdog and a squirrel spinning in an X-Wing.

This Danish duo is like a singing gay-straight alliance poised to sing songs about parties and dancing but also to reinforce their playful distaste for the others’ proclivities (“Hey gay, get out of my way!” “Hey straight, you’re always too late!”). This was a new idea to me when I bought D-D-Don’t Stop The Beat in 2003, in my first week of work, and it’s a message that has stuck with me since.
I’m not quite sure why I bought the album beyond liking the “Move Your Feet” video, but these were the days when my musical tastes were not defined very far past Roxette, Kylie Minogue, Björk, and anime songs with excessive guitar solos.
In the same week I bought Daft Punk’s Discovery, which probably goes to show that having a disposable income leads to wild musical experimentation. Unfortunately it also leads to the disposing of said income, but that’s a story for another time.

I listened to D-D-Don’t Stop the Beat a lot back in the day, before it was replaced in my heart by Scissor Sisters and Franz Ferdinand (damn them and their self-titled albums). Stumbling across the existence of Hey Hey My My Yo Yo of course led to the discovery of a couple of new music videos.

The first is “Can I Get Get Get”, which is edited together from fan sources and raises a smile for world love:

The idea of people just putting videos of themselves lip-synching on Youtube is still pretty alien to me (hello, “Peach Plum Pear”?), but when people put effort and editing into their fandom then magic happens.

The second is “Take My Time”, which is notable for two things. The first is that Junior drew it himself, and the second is that backing vocals are provided by the female portion of The B-52s. Watch out for the volcanoes, because they’re a kind of magic:

Junior Senior are clearly big in Japan, like several notable acts before them: Queen and Scissor Sisters are the two that strike me the most. There are some others that I can’t recall off the top of my head, but with Junior Senior making it to #2 on the Japanese charts clearly they’ve got something going for them over there. Perhaps the fact that they’re an awesome happy band.

I’ve already got a great fondness for these two songs, and when I checked the track listing I found that there’s a song called “Dance Chance Romance”. One of the key phrases in the City Hunter ED “Super Girl” (and, if you’ve read Anime Pilgrimage at all, you’ll know that City Hunter is among my favourite titles ever) is “Dance Chance Romance”.

This is a sign: a sign that I must go out and buy this album. How could I refuse anything released by a label called “Crunchy Frog”?
Come on in, leave your coats. Grab some chips – they’ve got loads!

Even if they had money they’d still be white trash, yeah!

Musical Obsession of the Moment: The Decemberists’ “O Valencia!”

I think that if you ignore the start and end of this video and pay attention to the part that’s set to music – you know, the music video part – you can discover greatness within.

“O Valencia!” sounds quite different to the rest of the material on The Crane Wife album, but it’s not difficult to say that about an album which doesn’t have a consistent sound. It’s my first album by The Decemberists, and all I can describe it as is “kinda folksy”. They’re essentially an intermittent break from my constant listening to the Dreamgirls deluxe edition soundtrack.

So if you listen to this song, good times may abound! Just watch the epilogue at your own risk.

Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man

YouTube’s resolution can’t really do this justice, but the song is fun any way you cut it. I’ll look into the black suit action later, but keep in mind this is a more legitimate use of the Scissor Sisters’ talents.

Update: I’ve done more reading into this, and for a better idea of what it’s like, check out Matrix Ping Pong:

I like that you can see how it’s done. The perspective change is awesome.
If I could see “She’s My Man” on a TV, it would probably be more impressive because you can better see what’s going on. That you can sometimes see the men in black suits in the video makes it better, but I can’t help but think they filmed it somewhat “wrong”.

I’ve decided.

Passions must die.

My heart broke a little inside when I realised it wasn’t even bad enough to be good. I asked Curtis how it could possibly have been worse than the first instalment. His suggestion: because they wrote more and kept filming it.
To add insult to this grievous injury, it’s not even a good recording of I Don’t Feel Like Dancing. Listen here, NBC: I no longer feel like living!

I can’t say anything more about it than that … so I’ll follow this up with some happiness!

I Can’t Decide …

… if this is the worst thing ever, simply terrible, or shock and awesome.

I love Scissor Sisters and, several years back, I watched Passions for about six weeks before I realised that nothing ever happened. The show was going nowhere, and it was going there slowly.

When last I watched Passions, Timmy was still alive, some guy had fallen through the skylight at a New Year’s Eve party and it had been New Year’s Eve for three weeks.

Timmy being dead, it appears that they had to replace her with Endora. Considering that Juliet Mills plays Tabitha, I have to wonder where Samantha is. Seeing as Endora is a mute five year old girl who communicates in thought bubbles accompanied by pop-up sounds … I don’t actually know where that thought is going but I can emphatically tell you that it ain’t going anywhere good.

Further analysis of the clip itself: Scissor Sisters are singing “Land of 1000 Words”, which you may recall from their clip shot in Scissorvision. When they perform the song, Ana doesn’t seem anywhere near as into it as she does when she’s actually on a real stage. When Tabitha cuts the song short, Jake freaks out. The best part about this freak out is that it essentially this:

Where the hell are we? Moments ago we were performing in Wembley! That’s right: Britain loves us, you ingrates!

Then comes the anger, where they look hilariously like they’re going to beat up an elderly witch and a child witch.
If Del Marquis has ever looked more threatening than that, I’ll go hide under my bed.

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that “The Wizard”, who is a part of the stage band but is not an actual Sister, didn’t get any dialogue. I understand that these fine folks will be back to play “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” at whatever the hell club that these dull-eyed Jesse Metcalfe-lites go to so that they can plot to steal each other’s boyfriends and sell their souls and expose or cover up rich family conspiracies, so if I find that I’ll be sure to give you second by second coverage.

Thanks to the people on YouTube who filter through all of the crap so that I can take the fleeting nuggets. I couldn’t actually find this on YouTube myself, so thanks to Towleroad for working that magic.

Update: Hah! Jake Shears strikes back at some of the detractors!

For cryin’ out loud.
We bugged ’em for two years. They wrote us into a script.
We went on the show, had some good, doofy fun. It’s not like it was some evil publicity stunt the record label hatched. I even get a Kathie Lee Gifford Carnival Cruise moment in tomorrows episode. It’s not like we were looking for a daytime Emmy either. I couldn’t act my way out of a paper bag.
I think the cynics are just jealous. Who doesn’t want to be on Passions?

Having spent a large part of my night reading about Timmy’s adventures in a fantasy wonderland before finally giving up his heart to Charity (and then his actor tragically dying in real life) … sign me up! I can get there before the September 7 finale!

Scissor Sisters at the Sydney Entertainment Centre: February 5, 2007

Monday night was the Scissor Sisters concert! Now, I’ve not been to a lot of concerts in my time: Tenacious D twice, Joanna Newsom and Smog in a double bill (I found out too late about their performance at the end of last month, though) and, of course, Kylie Minogue.

Scissor Sisters, while being friends of Kylie (is that a new euphemism?) are entirely different on the stage. Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Paddy Boom, Del Marquis and Babydaddy totally love their audience. Nowhere have I felt more loved and accepted by people who knew absolutely nothing about me.
When you go and see Kylie, she certainly loves you, but the concert is more about focusing your adulation on her. The name of the Scissor Sisters’ concert album is We are Scissor Sisters … and so are you!
I finally understand: Scissor Sisters concerts are giant love-ins.

Warning: This entry contains profanity. There will be a further warning inside.

Tenacious D at the Hordern Pavillion: January 16, 2007

Last week I saw Tenacious D at the Hordern Pavilion. They had a really good “He is Real” shirt for the tour, but the ATM at the venue (one ATM at a venue that holds thousands? Good idea!) was broken. The night got off to a sour start as a result. The support act, a pair called TnT … I have no idea how good they were, because they tended to sing about the sort of stuff that appeals to “all young men in Australia except for me” … which indicates they were probably too generic for the rest of the audience, because do you really want to hear songs about going out and drinking with your friends?

The concert itself was fun, although it was strange to see JB and KG stringing a story onto the stage. The songs that I knew went down a treat but, because the danged movie hasn’t been released out here yet, I didn’t know a lot of the rest.
This would not have been a problem had the D not gone electric (me! Judas!). The acoustics were not really calibrated for electricity and vocals, so I had no idea of a great deal of what Jack Black was singing. The band – consisting of the Anti-Christ on electric guitar, Charlie Chaplin on bass and Colonel Sanders on drums – was good, but it all became as so much noise to me.

It was a fun night, but not as much fun as I would have liked. I prefer the D when they treat a concert as a concert rather than a performance – and when using the Saxaboom makes sense!

For this reason, I present to you my write up of December 30th, 2004: the Day of the D.

Contains frequent profanity!

Year of 1000 words

Having just killed myself pumping out the last of the 12 Months of Movies 2006 feature in record time, I think that there’s little left to say about 2006. It had many good films, but I believe films are assessable largely on their own merit and are not always capable of being compared. Does 2006 have a winner? Let’s just say that it has many winners – I liked going to the movies almost every one of the 96 or more times I deemed fit to attend.

I shall bid you adieu with the new stylings of Scissor Sisters, with their music video for “Land of 1000 Words” presented in Scissor Vision. All you wanted was a sweet distraction for an hour or two? How about one for a minute or four?

Good hunting for 2007, my internet brethren.