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Music recs: Gregorian, Hayley Westenra, Heart August 17, 2019

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Starting with a multi-artist cover band.

Gregorian – Gregorian-chant-inspired covers of pop/rock songs, full choir and all. They record in churches and only pick songs that are “translatable into the 7-tone scale,” which I assume is more historically authentic. (Gregorian playlist. Switches to non-cover-music Gregorian chanting around track 175.)


(Pink Floyd)


(Sarah Brightman)


(Celine Dion)


(Simon & Garfunkel)


(anyway here’s Wonderwall)


Hayley Westenra – operatic new-age classical-pop singer. Apparently has songs in over a dozen languages — including Maori, Japanese, Spanish, and (since she did a version of “May It Be”) Quenya. (Hayley Westenra playlist.)


Heart – classic ’70s rock, lots of big hair and power ballads. (Heart playlist.)

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Music recs: Full Blown Rose, Genesis, Giant July 27, 2019

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Well, this post came together fast. Mostly because of the first artist….

Full Blown Rose — polished, dramatic pop/rock. Turns out they never released a whole album, just 14 disparate songs (only a few of which got official releases on soundtracks). Surprisingly good songs for that track record! (Full Blown Rose playlist…such as it is.)

(Including good cover songs.)

Genesis – soft prog rock, vocals by Phil Collins, with a range from “mainstream romantic pop” all the way to “nightmare from the POV of a mouse.”

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a deeply surreal fantasy/dream/psychosexual/anti-consumerist single continuous story that’s worth listening to in full. (Genesis playlist.)

Giant – eighties glam-rock power ballads. (Giant playlist…with some songs from similarly-named bands mixed in. They run out of glam-rock Giant by track 55.)

Music recs – Delta Goodrem, Emmy Rossum, Fefe Dobson July 24, 2019

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A string of female solo singers this time around. Didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how the alphabet lined up.

Delta Goodrem – contemporary piano pop-rock. My favorites are her wilder, more evocative songs, but she does more traditional-type love songs too. (Delta Goodrem playlist.)

Emmy Rossum – dreamy new-age hurt/comfort pop. Sadly, she’s only released one original album, along with one Christmas album and an album of cover songs. Apparently she’s too busy being an award-winning actress to do more.

Her voice sounds oddly processed in a lot of the original songs — not in a bad way, it gives them a distant ethereal quality, I just wish I knew what it was called. It’s not present in the cover songs, and her vocals do fine standing alone, so it’s more than just autotune. (Emmy Rossum playlist.)

Fefe Dobson – punk/rock power pop. She’s got a running thread of songs about “young woman’s anger about gender politics and how they screw with her relationships.” Mostly from a clear straight/cis point of view, but “if I was a guy, here’s all the [obnoxious] things I would do while dating girls” sure works on a lot of levels. (Fefe Dobson playlist.)

Music recs: Dan Fogelberg, Darren Hayes, Delain July 12, 2019

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Okay, I’ve decided, I’m doing four songs per artist now.

Dan Fogelberg: soft folk rock, soft pop/country, lots of melancholy ballads. Nobody does wistful nostalgia better. (Dan Fogelberg playlist.)

Darren Hayes: pop with a boy-band-y vibe (though it’s only the one guy), sometimes with dubious electronica tangents. Previously the lead singer of Savage Garden — I’ll do recs for them later. (Darren Hayes playlist.)

Delain: symphonic metal, featuring a keyboardist who left Within Temptation. Not as deep into fantasy-goth, more inclined to dramatic-realism-goth. (Delain playlist.)

Music recs: Alan Parsons Project, Aldo Nova, Anggun May 30, 2019

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I’m running out of time to fill up my library’s monthly music-borrowing quota…so naturally my soundtrack for this afternoon was “YouTube playlists of singers I already know I like.”

Alan Parsons Project — soft prog rock. Lots of sci-fi-inspired songs, lots of songs about emotions you don’t hear put to music often. (Alan Parsons Project playlist.)

Aldo Nova – eighties glam rock/metal. (Aldo Nova playlist.)

Since the ’90s he’s been singing his own songs less, and working more behind-the-scenes…on tracks including Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory”, Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come”, and Clay Aiken’s “This Is The Night.”

Anggun – emotional, rich-voiced pop. (Anggun playlist.)

Indonesian-French, she sings in both those languages plus English. Sometimes she’ll do translations of her own lyrics; sometimes she’ll take the original tune and release it in another language with a new, unrelated set of lyrics.

She represented France (with a bilingual French/English song) in Eurovision 2012:

And she was in the end-credits version of Let It Go for the Indonesian dub of Frozen:

Things I will pay extra to avoid having to do myself December 8, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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  • Put together furniture
  • Shred my own cheese
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow, cut grass
  • Wash dishes
  • Transcribe audio, and/or text in images
  • Move a lot of boxes
  • Replace a hard drive
  • Walk any distance to do laundry

(This list brought to you by, though not limited to, my next impending move.)

I may not have house-buying money, but at least I’m still managing to make the Life Transition into “willing to outsource minor annoyances rather than spend the time.”

I also pay for a lot of digital music now. Although I do it with the gift cards Bing gives you for using their search engine, so that may not be quite the same category.

(December talking meme.)

I dread the day when the suffering of my fellow is none of my concern June 28, 2018

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I’ve had Grace Petrie’s “They Shall Not Pass” in pretty heavy rotation for a few days now, and wanted to share.

Stand up today that we might save tomorrow
Oh I know there’s a way that we might save tomorrow
Yes it’s late in the day but we might save tomorrow if we try

We shall not turn against each other, for our creed or for our colour
Nor the ones we choose our lovers, or our class
You that beckon us that way, you shall not pass

Lesbians for Yuletide, and other Christmas cheer December 26, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup, Recommendations.
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Yuletide is open! Here’s all the fake news (& related) fics.

It’s my second Yuletide, and the first one where I’ve written treats. So if you read a fic and think “huh, this writing style/character interpretation/combo of favorite tropes seems familiar”…you might be right.

And for a gift — guys, I got my incredibly-niche moonshot prompt — it’s Dorothy hanging out with lesbians in turn-of-the-century San Francisco!

The Road Built in Hope (5346 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz – L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Original Female Character(s), Eureka (Oz)
Additional Tags: Slice of Life, Canon Compliant, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

Dorothy stays with friends in San Francisco before the events of ‘Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.’

Bonus cheer:

NBA stars playing Carol of the Bells using basketballs. Hardcore.

Vintage holiday wishes from Catball & Clown Girl:

Orchestral version of the Colbert Report theme February 25, 2016

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…is a beautiful thing and worth sharing.

Old stuff: math teachings from 1917, scandalous pop songs from 1909, cat video from 1903 February 8, 2016

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In reverse chronological order!

Books are Weapons in the War on Ideas: the librarians who worked with the army in WWI and WWII.

“…contractors removing old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery: Underneath them rested another set of chalkboards, untouched since 1917.” Historical penmanship and out-of-date multiplication methods ahoy!

“It may seem like a Halloween hoax fit for the eerie October holiday. But officials from the MBTA say the discovery of two tattered rags affixed to strange masks at Government Center Station is all too real.

How a sexed-up viral hit from the summer of ’09—1909—changed American pop music forever.” (Excerpts: “It was used in advertisements for everything from Broadway musicals to pretzels. It was translated by newspapers into Esperanto (“Ho! Vi kaprido!”). It was bellowed by a lovelorn Philadelphian as he leaped from a bridge into the Schuylkill River, attempting suicide. It brought scandal to a church in Geneva, Ill., when a prankster altered the hymnal, adding the line “but, oh, you kid!” to the lyrics of the devotional “I Love My God.””)

Millennial in China taking an excited photo with a bowl of rice. And by “millennial” I mean “circa 1900-1904.” Next time you hear someone complaining about Kids These Days sharing photos of their lunches on Instagram, you can bring up this hard evidence that the generation from a hundred years ago would have done the exact same thing.

The first close-up shot in recorded film was from 1903’s “The Sick Kitten”. In other words, humans have been making cat videos literally for as long as it as been possible to do so.

Check out these 19th-century warnings about that most morally-degrading of modern habits. It leads to crime, mental anguish, weakening intelligence, and corruption among the children! Clearly, respectable people should have nothing to do with…novel-reading.