Mix-Tape Monday: Springtime Mix (2011)

So, it’s going to be near 70F in Massachusetts on Friday.  Spring is finally coming to New England!  Never mind that it’s only going to hit 40F on Saturday!  Spring is here!   And since all of my thoughts are turning to Spring, I thought I’d share some of the tracks I’ve been listening to today.  They’re not meant to be trendsetting, or cutting edge, by any means.  So, please, no flak there.  Rather, they’re just the songs that my mind drifted to when I thought of the seasons changing.

And since I’m showing you mine… what about you?  What songs does your mind go to when you think of Spring (or seasons changing)?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!  I’ve thrown together a few things to help make the day a little more musically satisfying.  There’s a nice playlist I put together over at Grooveshark, some videos on YouTube, and some links to other fine sources of entertainment.  Hopefully, there’s something for everyone!  As for me, I’ll be passing St. Patrick’s Day in that most traditional of places… an English jail.  (Well, all right, university.  But there’s not much aesthetic difference, I’ll tell you that!)

Now, just click the link to see the good stuff, and enjoy!

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Friday Night Videos – Heading for the ’90s!

This week, in lieu of a proper post, I’m taking you on a journey through the ’90s.  These videos are more of an ongoing discussion about the history of music videos that I really ought to write down, or turn into a conference paper, or something.  But until then, you’ll just have to talk to me here.

I’ve left out some pretty obvious choices (NIN, Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc.) and gone with a “first things that come to mind” list of ’90s videos.  As with my other site, I’m all about seeing where all of this stuff fits together – and now you get to play, too!

So, click here, play all, and enjoy!  They’re probably not all winners, but they’ll definitely stay lodged in your brain. (You’re welcome.)  Next week, we’ll have a smaller, more focused list.  If you’ve got requests for our version of Friday Night Videos, then throw them in the comments section.  Might be fun for someone to challenge me with a theme!

As always, you can see some of the outtakes after the cut…

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Friday Night Videos – Revenge of the ’80s

So, this afternoon I had the pleasure of giving my girlfriend a tour of the ’80s via YouTube.  We went through white screens, bizarre experiments in contrast, several videos that were twice as long as the song they contained (I’m looking at you, Ms. Lauper), and more leotards than I really feel comfortable discussing.  One curious result: Because she’s from Luxembourg, my girlfriend is actually more familiar with “deep cuts” from Falco’s catalog than she is with Duran Duran or The Cure.  The things we learn, eh?  (And no, no buck teeth on her.)

Anyway, I’ve always found it fascinating to look back at the years after music videos first came into being – and now, with Youtube, I can waste countless hours doing it!  There’s so much experimentation – music videos with plots, really stupid plots, humor, sequels, space age effects, white screens, tour footage, high concept art, the Robert Palmer Girls… it’s all there.  And it’s great to see just how far everything goes before becoming more rigid and formulaic in the 90s.  Of course, it’s also amazingly embarrassing to sit through a lot of this stuff – but perhaps that’s part of the fun.  In thinking about all this, I was reminded of the now-defunct Friday Night Videos.

Now, we had MTV from the beginning.  Cable has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  But for some reason, my father and I would be up late to watch reruns of Friday Night Videos (usually after a lengthy session of Night Stalker on my Intellivision).  From that time, I think The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” are the two most memorable video-watching experiences for me.  So, whilst giving a tour from the Buggles through to Guns n’ Roses, I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the “gems” that turned up.  You know, have our own little Friday Night Videos revival…

Of course, some of them weren’t embeddable, and you’ll have to visit my playlist to see everything.  Just leave your irony-filter set to on, and click here.  Press play all, and you’re good to go!  And if you can think of anything I should’ve put on the list… let me know!  I’m sure this won’t be the last time…

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