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A New World

12 Oct

In most ways, I’m not a traditionalist.  But when it comes to holidays, I fall very much into that camp.  I’m all for days off, but I hate the whole making Mondays the default holiday thing.  It’s weird.  I mean, would you like it if your birthday had to be on the Monday of the week it fell on?  Of course not.  And so,

Happy Columbus Day!

Yes, today is the actual date he made landfall.  I wonder if they even teach kids that anymore.  I’m sure they don’t show gems like this Mel-O-Toons instructional cartoon.   I know I should be appalled about the un-PC content, but I’m too busy loving the plural of ‘red skins.’

This film is from 1960, which is also the year that the crazy and wonderful “I Hear a New World” was released.  “I Hear a New World” was a concept album by record producer, Joe Meek.  Joe had some major commercial successes later, but music history-wise, this album is what he’s best remembered for.  It was, in retrospect, a landmark release.

It was about life in space and was one of the first recordings to use electronic sounds like this.  Of course this sort of musical exploration meant that it was never released in the way he intended and the EPs that were released were few in number.   It’s been described as one of the “100 Records that Set the World on Fire (When No One Was Listening).” (Wire Magazine)

Here’s the original track, credited to Rod Freeman & The Blue Men, as well as two other versions I like a lot, by Television Personalities and by They Might Be Giants.  Yes, three tracks today.  I’m making up for my weeks of silence.

But, back to my point.  I’m pretty sure that when Columbus or Joe Meeks was dreaming of his respective new world, neither would have been okay with just arbitrarily moving the day when The Future would acknowledge these discoveries to a Monday just so workers could have a convenient day off.

In fact, I’m haulin’ out the ouija board right now and asking Columbus himself.  My Italian isn’t that good. I may end up asking him if October 12, 1492 was a Monday.

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Cannes You Believe This?

22 Jun

Lou Deprijck

Almost everybody I know is in Cannes this week.  I can’t help but wish I were there too – especially tonight.  A Girl Story – which I wrote about previously – won a Cyber Lion earlier and I’d have loved to have been there to hear that announced.  Regardless, yay!!

So with France on my mind lots, you might think I should post a song by a French artist.  And I kind of am.  What I mean by that is that I am going to give you one that you thought was by one.  Plastic Bertrand’s 1977 smash “Ça Plane Pour Moi” is as Frenchie a song as they come, but Plastic Bertrand (Roger Jouret) is actually Belgian.  He’s half French though.  But it really doesn’t matter what he is because….he never even sung on the record!  It was actually sung by the composer, Lou Deprijck.  It gets weirder.  Lou was the singer on not one, not two, but three Plastic Bertrand LPs!

After denying reports that he was not the real singer, Plastic Bertrand finally came clean and admitted his voice does not appear on any of the songs of those albums.  Somehow, for reasons I don’t completely understand, Belgian courts said that even though he did not appear on the record, he could still claim he was the “legal performer” of the song.

Wait!  I’m not done with the story of the song yet!

Also in 1977  an English band called Elton Motello released “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” which was basically the same song with very different and far more risque lyrics.  Elton Motello was a legit band, but this single “Jet Boy, Jet Girl”  wasn’t actually them.  It was the original “Ça Plane Pour Moi” musicians and was sung by….Lou Deprijck!  When the Plastic Bertrand news came to light last year, Alan Ward, who was the main guy in Elton Motello, confirmed this fact as well.

I know none of this makes much sense.  But you don’t need sense to have a lesson.  The moral of this story is that just as it really doesn’t matter if Lou Deprijck was the singer on a huge hit for Plastic Bertrand or that Elton Motello’s gay cult hit wasn’t really Elton Motello, it also doesn’t matter that I wasn’t in Cannes to hear the news.

It’s all completely awesome.

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I Believe the Children Are Our Future

14 May

Last night, A Girl Story, a PSA project that I helped work on, won a Gold Pencil at the One Show Interactive Awards.  It was pretty great.  Not just the winning, which of course was great, but the winning specifically for this piece.  We did it on a budget of negative numbers and every single thing by every single person who worked on it (for months!), without exception, was done completely for free.

It was a tiny little website and for it to win alongside huge brands and huge budgets made us all giddy.  The reason I’m writing about it now is to try to hit you all up for money.  I mean, c’mon, a few dollars here and there?  I don’t have many readers, I’m sure, but if each one of them could give a teensy bit….well, that’s a teensy bit more than we had before.

Here’s the dealio.  Nanhi Kali is the organization and their mission is to send Indian “girl children” to school.  Most likely you’re probably reading this here in First World, where you wouldn’t dream of not educating a girl just because she’s a girl.  But please, just think about that for a second.

Our creative concept was to create the World’s First Donation Based Film Series.  Until each segment reached a certain dollar amount in donations, you couldn’t view the next chapter.  The whole film is unlocked now, so you can see it in its entirety here.  But I really hope you will still think of donating.

While you’re hopefully digging out your credit card information, here’s the Margauxville download of the day – The Langley Schools Music Project’s version of “Good Vibrations” – which is exactly what all the Indian girls are sending to you right now.  I just know it.

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They Did

29 Apr

A one-size-fits-all picture

If ever there was a day for a terribly romantic song, today would be it.  Here is just that: Hoagy Carmichael’s “Two Sleepy People” from 1938.

You know who was King in 1938?  None other than George VI!  You probably know him better by his given name, Colin Firth.  Or at least from my post on Margauxville a couple of months ago.   Life is just chock full of these little connections.

And, I’m not normally a GIF type gal, but this is one that is kind of perfect in every way.  To love.

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Biting the Hand That Feeds Me

9 Apr

Sidney Lumet died earlier today.  Even though he directed a ridiculous amount of classics, it’s hard for me not to immediately think of the “Mad as Hell” scene in Network.    I know it’s shocking to think of that before The Wiz, but it’s true!  Plus I think of that before Serpico, a movie I adore more, but that is also true.

My download for today had to be a protest song of some sort, and what better to protest against than the media?

There was a time in my life when I listened to The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy’s album, “Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury” every single day, at least once.   Here’s “Television, the Drug of a Nation.”  Listen, go to your window and yell….

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One Final Rant

28 Feb

I don't really have anything against Mr. Firth. He's just representative.

The more I think about The King’s Speech and especially Tom Hooper winning last night, the more annoyed I am.  Haven’t the Oscars awarded to Forrest Gump, Shakespeare in Love and Crash taught us anything?

It’s not like I didn’t think it was a good movie.  I did.  Just should never have won over The Social Network and David Fincher.

Here’s one of the things I did love about The King’s Speech:  the fact that it used one of my favorite pieces of music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, Allegretto.  I was wondering why I’ve had that in my head all day today, and just realized it must have been the darn Awards.

Anyway, download here.  It’s beautiful.

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Movies Are a Mother to Me

27 Feb

As anyone who knows me will tell you, there’s pretty much nothing more important to me than movies.  I mean, after water and oxygen and love and stuff.  But you know what I mean.  And so tonight, Oscar Night, is the most important night of the entire year.

I’ve tried to explain how important this event is to me, but honestly the only way to fully explain it, is with this absolutely lovely tribute from 1970 by Loudon Wainwright III:  “Movies Are a Mother to Me.”  For those of you keeping track, he also re-recorded it a million years later, in 2008, but the original is so much better and since I only want the best for you, here it is.

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