Category Archives: Music

A Halloween Fox

One of my coworkers, Shane, has a violent hatred of the song The Fox (What Does the Fox Say) by Ylvis.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please visit this link and join the rest of the people who either hate it or love it. And if you you’re wondering what the hell they were thinking when they wrote it, you should take a look at some of their other songs***.)

My coworker dislikes the song so much, that if one of us turns it on while in the lab–usually just to annoy him–he’ll leave the room.

So when I found a large Halloween card with a fox on it last month, I HAD to buy it.

Untitled

 

The inside was fairly blah…

Untitled

 

After a little time spent playing around with background colors and font…

(and a trip to Kinkos to print it out since we haven’t replaced our dead printer yet).

…this is what Shane received for Halloween…

Yes, I went there...

Yes, I went there…

 

It’s a good thing he has a sense of humor.

 

***The song Work It is another one of my favorites, but it’s definitely not safe for kids.

 

RIP: The Father of Loud

Dr. Jim Marshall died today at the age of 88.

Marshall was a larger than life figure with a taste for single malt Scotch whiskey and Cuban Montecristo cigars. Even in his 70s, when he was already suffering from some serious health problems, he thought nothing of hopping a plane to catch an Iron Maiden concert.


It's the only image I own that fits

UPDATE: News like this made its way quickly through work today. Honestly, I think the majority of the people at the Austin site for my company are either involved in the music industry in some way, or are audiophiles, or both. Most of my knowledge of the Marshall stack came from trying to keep up with the music gossip at the office, listening to my husband, and my own research when making that little Spinal Tap cake.

Here’s my favorite article so far… from the LA Times.

Zombies on Old Highways

This is for you, Jeremy.

I spent quite a bit of time last Wednesday driving all over Austin. Whenever I’m in the car for an extended period of time without Steve, I replace our car’s iPod with my private playlist.

A song from my playlist called Ghost of Old Highways by Lovett caught my attention, and a story with zombies suddenly jump fully-formed into my head (yes, I know zombies are pretty much over-exposed at this point, but it’s not much stranger than what Lovett did with this song*). These imaginary music videos are nothing new, as some songs set me off and then I obsessively work out a mental storyboard–listening over and over to that one song–until I have it worked out to my satisfaction (and then I listen some more, still playing out these little videos in my head).

I rarely share these with anyone, although I’ve attempted to explain a few of them to Steve. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to put what I see into words and so he’s always unimpressed.

Anyway, after Wednesday, I jokingly mentioned tap-dancing cowboy zombies to Jeremy, not thinking he’d be interested. In fact, I’m not sure he’s being anything other than polite, but it’s giving me a chance to try something a little different. I’m going to publicly share some of the weird shit that goes through my head.

First of all, you need to listen through Ghost of Old Highways.

Now, play the song again, but this time follow along with what I’m seeing:

When the song starts, I see an exhausted soldier staggering down an old highway in the middle of Texas with the sun and dust all around him. Through the first few verses, there are washed out and abrupt flashbacks to various stages of a progressing zombie epidemic taking down both his family and civilization during the Civil War. This carries all the way through the bridge of the song, going back and fourth between his present and his past until he finally finds himself alone on the road with nothing other than a his few remaining weapons.

After the bridge (2:14), he notices multiple figures on the road slowly walking towards him through the glare of the sun. As they get closer, you can see they’re zombies.

Yeah, here’s where it gets kinda weird, but I swear it works. The zombies move with a forward movement that’s a cross between syncopated shuffling and slow tap-dancing, going along with the beat of the song (starting off with steps every few beats). As they get closer, they pick up speed (steps every beat to several steps to a beat). The man also starts walking faster towards them (2:30) as well. Then (2:45.05), he pulls his weapons and begins to run towards them as fast as he can until they crash together violently (3:05). That’s when the stylized dancing/fighting begins with blood, limbs, and internal organs flying through the air (seriously, I can see intestines bursting through the air like streamers) in a blended strobe effect of slow motion and normal speed set to the song’s tempo. I’m still working on how to end it, but I’d rather he didn’t survive the experience.

Now that I’m done, I’ve just realized that putting it together this way was rather fun. A little frustrating, but much more fun than I expected. While I’ll probably never share any of my other storylines–I think I’d like to learn how to use some sort of storyboard software so I can play a bit more with my lovely little obsession.

* When I started looking for a copy of Ghost of Old Highways on YouTube, I discovered Lovett had already made a short film based on this song. It’s described as “a man pursued by an invading army as he hunts down previous versions of himself amidst the purgatory of a fractured consciousness.” Yes, it’s classier than what I came up with, but I didn’t write the song either, so my interpretation is just that–my goofy interpretation of something someone else created. But it’s a damn fine song either way.

http://lovettmusic.com/

And now for something clever, yet adorable

It’s a song.  About chocolate. And it’s stop motion animation using cookies, chocolate, cake sprinkles, and all other sorts of deliciousness (…I said CAKE SPRINKLES!).

Seriously cute.

Oh, and all the text below this is from Carlos… I can’t take any credit for it (he’s the director of the deliciousness).

Jesse & Joy- “Chocolate” from Carlos Lopez Estrada on Vimeo.

WARNER MUSIC 2010

WATCH THE BEHIND THE SCENES HERE: http://vimeo.com/9758804

During the first month of the year 2010, a group of 9 brave soldiers worked for 30 days straight, without seeing the light of day inside a secret dungeon located in Los Angeles, California. Their task was to gather 90 handmade cookies, sugar, milk, flour, chocolate, eggs and dough; and utilize them to create a 4 minute stop motion video for a foreign artist whose lyrics still remain unknown. They disappeared for 6 weeks and just recently emerged out of the darkness with a small floppy disk containing this:
The Official music video for Chocolate!!!

Please watch while enjoying a cold glass of fresh milk.

I feel like my life is all hockey and concerts

My last few weeks have been pretty busy and I’m still catching up from it.  So lets do this by date.
 
Tuesday 3/22/11 was hockey!

I took the night off from the camera so I could concentrate more on the game. The Houston Aeros are our big rivals this year and we not only beat them, we shut them down for a 3-0 victory. Even though I’m trying to ween myself off of the camera during the game… I really missed being able to see the game a second time while sorting through all the photos the next day.
 

Wednesday 3/23/11 was more hockey!

Our hockey buddy also works a few evenings a week as an on-ice official for our local hockey league.
 
Faceoff
 
Interestingly enough, the game I decided to attend to get photos of him working as a linesman was also the same game that my boss was playing in (he’s in the background of the next photo and going after the puck in the one after that).
 
New LinesmanBoss Hockey
 

Thursday 3/24/11 was our weekly Skate Night.
 
Steve's Skates
 
While I don’t skate, Steve loves it and even purchased his own pair of hockey skates. I tried it several times, but while physical therapy may keep my bilateral vestibular hypofunction in check, but it’s not enough to allow me to balance on two thin blades of metal without spending most of that time clinging to the rails or on my butt. So I sit and take advantage of the rink’s free wifi connection instead.
 

Friday 3/25/11 was Bernadette Peters in concert at the Paramount Theater.

No photos of that because I’m not completely camera-rude. She’s still incredible. Steve covered that show quite well on his site, so I won’t bother repeating it.
 

Saturday 3/26/11 was more hockey!

It was the Texas Stars vs the Grand Rapids Griffins, and we kicked some serious ass.  I even told Steve that we’d score our first goal within the first five minutes and sure enough, four minutes into the first period – Greg Rallo proved me right (I could have kissed him. Still willing to too).
 
Texas Stars vs Grand Rapids Griffins
 
(…that’s Francis Wathier.   I didn’t have a good photo of Rallo from this game.)
 
Steve spent the first intermission riding on the Zamboni.
 
Steve on a Zamboni
 
You can tell by the look on his face that he hated every moment of it.
 

Sunday 3/27/11 was Devo in concert!
 
Devo in concert (Austin)Devo in concert (Austin)Devo in concert (Austin)
 
Once again, Steve covered this concert thoroughly, so I’m not going to add much other than I finally learned how far I could be pushed before grabbing someone and tossing them back behind me (I don’t know if she sneaked off or if the crowd continued to move her back, but she wasn’t there when I turned back around).  While I did have several strangers come up after the show telling me how awesome that was, I’m still kind of embarrassed about losing my temper.  Other than that, the show was worth the hours of standing outside the venue, out on the terrace, and finally in front of the stage. 

Devo also has the best concert t-shirts – I picked up two of them.
 
Devo in concert in Austin, TX
 

Afterwards, we finally had a few days off that were spent catching up on work, chores around the house, another skate night, and getting lots of sleep (I’m getting too old for this). Then it was back to fun times.
 

Friday 4/1/11 was Texas Stars Hockey!

Texas was up against Chicago, who had recently moved up from a joke to being real competition. The best parts of the evening were the goals scored by two of my favorite defensemen (Fortunus and Larsen each got a goal).

There was also a horrible and then beautifully karmic moment with one of the on-ice officials for the game.

During the score-tying goal by Chicago, Deveaux jabbed Bachman (our goalie) in the face with a stick. After seeing several replays of the incident from different angles, there was no question about whether it was deliberate or not. There was no penalty called for high sticking, so the crowd starting chanting “Ref you suck!” over and over when suddenly the ref was knocked to his feet by a player. My first thought was “Oh shit, we’re gonna get called on it,” until I realized that we didn’t do it.
 
Stars vs Wolves - Hitting the Ref
 
Yep, it was Jaime Sifers from Chicago. Heh heh.
 

Saturday 4/2/11 was a SCOTS concert

I didn’t attend the Southern Culture on the Skids concert at the Continental Club with Steve this year. Normally I make a batch of homemade banana pudding for the go-go dancer to pass around during the song “Banana Puddin”.  Not this year.  With only a day notice, Steve had to throw something together with store-made nasty stuff.
 

 
This is the best copy of the song I could locate on YouTube.  There’s no go-go dancer with pudding, but at least you can hear what SCOTS is about (rockabilly surf music!).  I’ll have to make it up to them next year with a special batch for the band after the show.
 

Sunday 4/3/11 was a Scissor Sisters concert.

I brought a book to read while we waited for the show to start–someone else had a more productive idea.
 
Waiting for Scissor Sisters
 
It was a great show, but the combination of pain/nausea and heat forced me to leave the great spot Steve and I had carved out for ourselves. I ended up watching the rest of the show from the sidelines… along with some guys in hot pants (very nice legs).
 
Scissor Sisters in Austin
 
I can’t wait to catch them again when they come back to Austin.
 

There were finally a few more days off from with nothing other than work and chores before it was back to league hockey games, a skate night tonight, and the Wire concert tomorrow.  I really don’t know anything about Wire, so Steve’s going with his music buddy instead.  Me?  I have no idea what I’ll do other than sit with my feet up and snuggle with cats.