"...cheap objectification isn't witty...

by tosca on Wednesday, April 11, 2012

...it's hot."
~ Nellie McKay, Mother of Pearl

My first introduction to Nellie McKay's music was thanks to a TED Talk performance (the one above, actually) of Mother of Pearl. The first time I watched it I thought, "Jesus Christ, is she serious?" and it left me with that feeling where you're not sure if you should laugh or swear. So I watched it again, and then I got it. I think. It was a list of feminist issues reduced to little more than stereotypes. I'm not sure that's all it is, though. Is she implying we take it all too seriously and should, really, lighten up a little? It makes me want to babble incoherently about misogyny and satire and irony and lots of other words along those lines. It grew on me. So much so that I looked up more of her stuff and came across a piece that she did for NPR Music's Project Song where artists are given two days to write and record an original song. Fascinating process watching McKay work her way from music to lyrics to recording. It kinda made me fall in like with her work, and her style, a little bit more. Have requested anything/everything we have of hers at work, most of which are contributions to concept albums.

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Things you need in your life at 2 am...

by tosca on Monday, April 9, 2012

...or something a little like it, anyway.

Most nights I can't sleep. And then some weekends I do nothing but sleep. Go figure. For the nights when I can't sleep I have a fanfic soundtrack that I like to listen to over and over. It contains acoustic songs/performances that are all quite introspective. Some nights, though, it isn't quite enough. So I play in YouTube. This clip is one of those finds. Lisa Hannigan (Irish singer) performing on NPR Music's channel, in particular their Tiny Desk Concerts. In this performance she plays a ukulele, a guitar and a mandolin (not all at the same time, I'd like to point out), and is joined partway through by John Smith. Yes, that *is* his actual name. Her voice is like oh. I've requested anything/everything we have of hers at work.

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10 reasons I'm moving to Sweden, and they're all to do with music

by tosca on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"I have had much to learn from Sweden's poetry and, more especially, from her lyrics of the last generation."
- Knut Hamsun

A bit of a break from my norm. (And then I realise that I don't have a norm. Huh). I lovelovelove to look up international idol/talent audition clips on YouTube. That's probably not such an odd thing I mean, people look up all sorts of stuff on YouTube. Where I may differ slightly is in that I watch them, am constantly blown away by the performances, and then bawl my eyes out. Especially if they're kids/teens. I'm not sure why. I just know that I do it, and I enjoy it. (Both the music, and the crying). Do I speak Swedish, German, Dutch, Bulgarian, etc.? Good grief, no. I can't understand a single word they're saying. But I can read their faces and their body language, and something about European idol/talent competitions is a little less composed than its American counterpart with stonefaced judges. I revel in the judges' ability to let loose and sing along, utter a curse word or two in appreciation, clap in time and, just generally, be greatly encouraging of the contestants. It's a lesson we could all take away from it, I think. In this post I'll stick to past Swedish audition clips of some sort or another. Also? I'm moving to Sweden, dammit.

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"Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin...

by tosca on Monday, April 2, 2012

...A la rose s'assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs riant au matin..."
Lakmé, by Léo Delibes

Confession: I like opera. And it's got nothing to do with my name. If anything, Tosca is the least of my favourites. (Although she was a vengeful woman and that I can get behind). My most favourite opera ever is La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini. That's not to say I don't like anything else. I do. Just not in their entirety. Usually certain songs, more than anything else. Such as the one in today's clip.

Joan Sutherland & Huguette Tourangeau in Lakmé by Léo Delibes. In particular the Flower Duet (1976). Cliche, I know. So sue me.

This is going to be playing in my head all day.