Thursday, February 28, 2008

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová — "When Your Mind's Made Up"

Congratulations to these two on their well-deserved Oscar for Best Original Song, from one of the best films of 2007, Once. I previously featured their winning song, "Falling Slowly," here. This is probably my other favorite from the film. The video quality ain't great, but the audio track is clear.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Two Pieces from Verdi's Otello

Tito Gobbi — "Credo in un Dio crudel" from Verdi's Otello

Sorry, another multiple video entry. I only really got into opera after college, but Verdi's Otello is one of my favorites, and I'm seeing it again tonight. This is one of my favorite arias, as Iago explains his "belief in a cruel God." The video's a bit out of synch here, but Tito Gobbi really sells the juicy deviltry of the piece. A translation is here. Opera buffs might enjoy comparing it to Mephistofele's "Son lo spirito che nega" ("I am the spirit who says no") from Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele, since Boito wrote the librettos for both operas. (Alas, I could not find an English translation of the Mefistofele piece online. I actually worked on the Verdi aria a bit in college, but was far too shy at the time to commit to the unabashed melodrama of the piece.)

Renée Fleming — "The Willow Song" from Verdi's Otello

I just couldn't pass up this performance of one of Otello's signature arias. A translation is here. Fleming's voice is simply gorgeous as well as nuanced, and I appreciate her acting in this clip, too. She's completely present, and that helps her fully inhabits this piece musically as well.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lily Allen — "Smile"

The Club Blue pick from 2/15/07.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day: Three Tracks

In, um, honor of Valentine's Day, here's a super-sized, three track edition.

Ben Folds Five — "Song for the Dumped"

We'll kick if off with one fiery breakup song!

The Bird and the Bee — "Fcking Boyfriend" (live)

Really, what sensitive (available) gent could deny the charming Miss Inara George here? (Here's the studio version, for comparison.)

Marvin Gaye — "Let's Get It On" (live)

We'll close with the master. (Here's the studio version, and here's another live version, this one with a prominent horn section.) As Harlan Ellison once quipped, "Love ain't nothing but sex misspelled."

If you want more, NPR has both more anti-Valentine's Day songs and a bunch of other stories for you more touchy-feely saps. Ehh, whatever.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Miles Davis and John Coltrane — "So What"

The Club Blue pick from 2/8/07.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Beatles discuss "Sexy Sadie"

With the recent death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, I couldn't help but think of the most famous (veiled) song about him, although some folks claim John's take was unfair. Here's more footage of the Beatles in India and a fan video of the full song. Michael Gerber has an interesting piece on how the Maharishi helped John to a certain (perhaps crucial) degree despite any animosity, and David Lynch is one of those mourning.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – "Your Long Journey"

A fan video for what I think's the most gorgeous of the tunes on their new album together.

(This was my Club Blue pick subbing for Questiongirl a while back, but I'm a slacker getting it up here. Big surprise there.)