Tag Archives: music video

When I’m Bangin’ On The Radio

Usually I say that I don’t have much time to post, then I end up writing two or three paragraphs anyway. This week I seriously don’t have time thanks to my generosity in helping my friends move, so I’ll just share a bangin’ summer tune that I can’t seem to get enough of: “Bad Girls,” by M.I.A.

I’ve been a big fan of M.I.A. since I first saw the video for “Galaang” oh so many years ago, but her latest might just be her greatest, in my opinion. Not only does the song have a cool tempo with a world music flair, but the video is just as awesome. I’m not even the type to be impressed by flashy car tricks, but something about this song mixed with these visuals seems to be the epitome of badass. And M.I.A. herself is thirty-seven, can you believe it? Amazing. I hope she keeps cranking out excellent tunes for a million more years to come if they can all be as great as this one.

And that’s it from me for July. See you in August, little earbuds!



Filed under Artist Love, Music Videos

Musical Grab Bag: Don’t You Ever Wish For A Pretty Pair Of Wings?

Today, little earbuds, I really don’t have a lot to say. I realize that this is shocking, coming from someone as wordy as myself, but, well, that’s how it is. I’ve downloaded some new music that I haven’t had a chance to absorb yet, the last film that I saw had no remarkable soundtrack to it, and even my beloved anime has left me a bit high and dry in the music department. Hence, I bring you another musical grab bag entry. Today my iTunes decided that I should share a slice of Alabama 90s alt-rock with you, and so I shall do just that via Verbena.

I remember seeing this video for Verbena’s “Baby Got Shot” on MTV (back when they actually, y’know, showed music videos). I loved it instantly and ran right out to purchase their album Into The Pink. After a few listens I found a couple of songs that I liked a decent amount, but none as much as the single that prompted the purchase. This is a great tune that hearkens back to 90s alternative music, when banging on a guitar and growling into a mic was the highest form of rebellion. As this song came out in 1999, it’s also a fitting farewell anthem to the decade of flannel and grunge, Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine, post punk and Doc Martens and hair so long you could sit on it. Now that I think about it, the alternative scene of the 90s had a lot in common with the hippies of the 60s, just a little darker and a little angrier. I know that I, for one, didn’t really appreciate the 90s as I lived through it, wishing fervently that I could have been a teen in the 80s with the Brat Pack and Jennifer Connelly and the sounds of new wave filling my ears. But now, more than a decade later, I can appreciate the 90s for its cultural contributions as well as being the time of my own teenage years. That’s when I discovered 85% of the things that contribute to my personal taste and make me the cool character I am today. And so, farewell, 90s. You are missed, but you will always be remembered, at least by this music fan.

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Every Time You Overdose I Rush To Intensive Care

Hello again, little earbuds. Sorry I’m running a bit behind this week: I got started celebrating Cinco de Mayo early. (By that I mean that I spent yesterday evening cooking Mexican food and hanging out instead of blogging; you thought I meant that I was hungover, right?) Anyway, I had a totally different blog entry I was working on for this week, and it’s still in the works. However, I’ve also been inspired to begin a new writing project. It literally came to me in the night and kept me from sleep early in the a.m. of May first. I love creative projects that take hold of you and won’t let you go until you answer their call. Heaven knows I need an aggressive Muse, otherwise the call of TV, video games, and general internet faff sinks its claws into me and I have massive trouble escaping.

This new writing project is all about a certain quest I’ve had in my life that I’ve now given up on, so I’m exploring what put this fervent desire into my head in the first place. I go on to chronicle the ups and downs, the near successes and inevitable failures I’ve had on this quest. I might publish it online, because maybe some other readers out there will be able to identify with me. Maybe some won’t, but still, it’s something I need to do right now. When the Muse calls, I answer! Well, today, before I began working on the new blog entry, I sat down and wrote about my most recent (and possibly most devastating) failure, the one that shut down the dream factory for me, as it were. I didn’t intend to, but of course I got pretty melancholy as I remembered in painful detail how high my dreams got before they fell crashing and flailing to the depths below. I was writing in silence, and I got so depressed that I had to stop writing and just hit “shuffle” on iTunes to try to drown out the sad memories overtaking my brain. The music was okay, nothing particularly great… and then The Raveonettes just shook me out of my funk completely.

I love this band and I love this song, but for some reason I hadn’t heard it in yons. And then to have it burst forth from my speakers when I was feeling so low, and to be such appropriate music for what I was thinking about, too, was amazing. The situation I was writing about was indeed my “last dance” with this particular dream. I was overdosing on nostalgic bitterness and heartache, and The Raveonettes provided intensive musical care. It’s such a joyful and sweet song, I couldn’t help but feel my spirits lift as I sang along.

So instead of my planned post for this week I decided to bring you yet another true tale of the power of music. When things get crappy, I hope that you have a song or two that you can turn to, dear reader, in order to overcome the crap and get back to feeling awesome again.

Next week: A real-life vampire brought to light! You don’t wanna miss this!

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Filed under Artist Love, Memories and Nostalgia, Music Videos

Musical Grab Bag: It Never Rains

Hello once more, little headphones. I’ve been behind on pretty much everything this week, partially due to illness and partially because I just couldn’t be arsed. Hopefully that second part is due to illness as well and will dissipate as I get better. All of that aside, I had earmarked a delightful musical treat to share with you this week, then I discovered that not only could I not find a video for it, I could barely find any information on the artist! So I decided to make my own YouTube video in order to get this great song out there and onto the internet… but then we have the sickness coming into play, and the tiredness, as well as constant storms keeping me off of the computer. And so, after getting halfway done, once more I just couldn’t be arsed. (Having zero energy and being unable to eat seriously super sucks.)

So for this week’s video I once again decided to play musical grab bag, and only a few clicks in my lovely iTunes provided me with this classic Siouxsie and the Banshees song, “Happy House.” This was one of the first Siouxsie songs that I heard knowing it was Siouxsie; perhaps the very first, now that I think about it. I received it on a mixed tape, and I instantly loved how maniacally playful and creepily happy it was. As I listened to the song again today and heard the line, “It never rains,” I knew that this was my destined tune of the week, as it’s currently quite dark and stormy in my little corner of the world. The video is clearly ancient (in terms of music videos) but we do get Siouxsie Sioux dancing around with her punk/soccer mom hair, harlequin clown outfit, and ugg boots, which certainly makes for an amusing visual. All in all, it makes for a fitting end to a strange week that for me has been filled with insomniac daydreams and tiny cups of watery, unseasoned rice for dinner. Here’s to the end of another week, and may the next one be more fruitful, or at the very least more pleasant.

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I Left My Childhood In The Garden Green

Yesterday I finally made it out to the cinema in order to watch The Secret World of Arrietty. It was really just…breathtaking. Something about that film completely captured my heart. I wrote about it in great detail over on Otaku Haiku, where I couldn’t stop myself from gushing about the beautiful soundtrack, which caught my attention as soon as the film opened. To quote myself:

…the music is stunning. The entire soundtrack is by Celtic musician Cecile Corbel, and while a Japanese film with a Celtic soundtrack doesn’t seem like it would necessarily be a good fit, it’s actually incredible. The vocals are lovely and lilting, and the harp makes the natural setting come alive, especially in the rain scenes where every pluck of the strings mimics a drop of water on the leaves. As a longtime lover of Celtic music, I know that the genre can get a little heavy at times, hearkening back to those 90s Pure Moods compilation CDs. However, the soundtrack to Arrietty is as far from the Celtic clichés as night and day. It would be a gorgeous album on its own, but paired with the film it perfectly enhances this Western tale in an Eastern setting.

I bought the album as soon as I left the cinema, and I’ve been listening to it non-stop ever since. The delicate harp and gentle vocals are the most prevalent, but the dancing flute that recalls wind and the soft beating of the bodhrán as footsteps all play a part in making the woodland setting of Arrietty come alive in a really astonishing way. I’m of the opinion that you don’t have to already be a lover of Celtic music to enjoy this album, but take a listen* to the opening song, “The Neglected Garden,” and decide what you think. Music this lovely that plucks at the heartstrings speaks for itself.

*SPOILER ALERT: This fan-made video, while excellent, shows many scenes from the film The Secret of Arrietty, including almost the entire end of the movie. Watch at your own risk.

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Filed under Movies, Music Videos, New Album Love

Cheer Up, Sleepy Jean

Y’know, I must admit that I was never a huge Monkees fan. Their heyday was a bit before my time, and since I grew up on a remote farm with all of five TV channels (one of them not being MTV) and my parents didn’t get cable until after I left for college, I missed any opportunities to watch reruns of their television show. At present it’s almost difficult to imagine growing up in an era before YouTube and smartphones, but I most certainly did. Luckily I’ve spent my years at college and beyond catching up on all sorts of anachronistic pop culture, though still never checking out the other fab four. In high school I had a friend who was really into The Monkees, and in fact kept insisting that she and I (plus two other friends) needed to begin a similar television show of our own. I just nodded and smiled, because I had no idea what kind of show that would be. And I still don’t, truth be told, other than I imagine it would involve music. Perhaps bell bottoms as well.

Even so, I felt that this week’s video should mark the passing of Davy Jones. When I finally did see a picture of The Monkees, I remember thinking that he was pretty darn cute. Then, after reading up on his life, I can dig where he was coming from. He was a theatre kid who saw The Beatles at the start of their stardom and wanted a piece of the pie for himself. And by gods, he got it, going on to be named the number one teen idol of all time by Yahoo Music in 2008. Not that Yahoo Music necessarily holds much sway in the world of pop culture (at least no more than any other music outlet) but the fact that even a girl on a distant farm who only listened to classical music until she was fifteen years old had heard of him and his band speaks to how far-reaching his stardom was (and still is, and will probably always be).

Sure, everyone’s heard “Daydream Believer.” It’s one of the only two Monkees songs that I can actually name off the top of my head. But damn, I really do love it. It’s simple and sweet and summery, hearkening to some innocent teenage years that never really existed outside of retro movies and Brady Bunch reruns. But we all kind of wanted to go there at some point. That opening piano is so familiar that it kind of lights up your heart from the get-go. You almost have to nod your head or tap your toes or even sing along under your breath as soon as you hear it. It’s universal and far-reaching and incredibly memorable, just like Davy Jones himself. May he rest in peace.

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The Only Girl I’ve Ever Loved Is Andrew In Drag

I’m trying to remember how I first got into The Magnetic Fields. They’re one of those seminal indie bands that you feel like you’ve known forever. I think perhaps I received a few songs on various mixed CDs over the years, but it was the film Pieces of April that made me seek out their albums. I say “their,” but The Magnetic Fields is mostly the genius of one man, Stephin Merritt. The Gothic Archies, The 6ths, and Future Bible Heroes are all his creations, too, but The Magnetic Fields is really where he shines. The simple instrumentation and Merritt’s deep voice highlight the pure poetry of the lyrics, but everything works together so well that it doesn’t feel preachy or boring. Each song is a story, and The Magnetic Fields write some of the most unique and interesting ones in music today.

The newest single from their forthcoming album, Love At The Bottom of the Sea, is no different. This is a song that illustrates how fragile gender lines really are, and how much false facade is involved in what we consider to be “feminine” and “masculine.” However, true to form for The Magnetic Fields, this is also a really sweet and wistful love song. Be warned that there is nudity, so this video is probably NSFW. Without further ado, I give you “Andrew In Drag.”

The lyrics flow in a rhyming poetry, but the story, which is sentimental while making a statement, never gets lost. That’s the beauty of The Magnetic Fields: everything works together, and no one aspect outshines another. Their entire catalogue is full of gems like this, beautiful short songs that are so much fun to listen to. I’ve been a big fan of Merritt’s work for many years, and this video makes me extremely excited for his newest album, which comes out on March 6th. Leave it to one of my favourite musicians to poke fun at gender norms while singing an actual love song!

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One Year Later: I Still Wanna Be Adored

Hello again, little earbuds! Hard to believe that a year and a day ago I began this, my first public blog. (I’ve had various personal blogs, kept private save for close friends, on and off for several years.) I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve debated shutting it all down in order to concentrate on other writings. Besides that, my anime blog, Otaku Haiku, gets many more hits than this one every day. But I think I’ll keep Hot Pink Headphones going for a while yet. I love music so very much that it’s nice to have a wee place to gush about the videos and artists who bring me such joy. And while passions come and passions go, music was one of my first true loves, and I can never stop listening.

There have been so many amazing artists and songs that I’ve discovered in just the past year alone that it would be difficult to name a favourite. BUCK-TICK spring readily to mind as a huge new and vibrant musical love of mine. Since I first heard their sexy opening theme song for Trinity Blood I’ve been completely head-over-heels for this Japanese visual kei band (and especially for Atsushi Sakurai, their enigmatic David-Bowie-as-vampire lead singer). Just last night I was watching (for the billionth time) the video of abingdon boys school in concert covering BUCK-TICK’s “Dress,” and when special guest Atsushi hits the stage, I get chills as though I’m in that audience, too. Come to think of it, anime has introduced me to all sorts of new and wonderful music (158 new artists, to be exact, according to my iTunes library). Writing my Music For Otakus series was definitely lots of fun, and something that I’ll probably expand soon, seeing as how I watch new anime practically every week.

But it’s not all in with the new and out with the old here. I continue to discover new albums by bands I already love as well as re-discover beloved albums from a few years ago (or even a few decades). And seeing those much-loved artists in concert is always a thrill. I went to many great shows last year, but finally seeing Dolly Parton in concert is probably closest to my heart, and a memory that I’ll always treasure. Then there’s all the amazing fan-made videos, such as this one for “Keep You” by Class Actress (which is my current fav-of-all-time-omg-I-can’t-stop-watching-it fan vid). Come to think of it, with so much incredible music to be seen and heard, how could I ever think of stopping this blog?

Today’s video is, in my humble opinion, very fitting for my one-year anniversary. When I first heard the original song by The Stone Roses back in college, my immediate and only thought was, “This is my life’s theme song.” It was so mellow and cool, but never pleading; the lyrics were a demand, not a request. To this day it remains an important and beloved addition to my musical library. However, just a couple of years ago, one of my favourite modern bands, The Raveonettes, covered the song. The Danish indie rock duo made something already amazing into a dreamy fuzz-fueled haze of musical bliss. To top it all off, if the excellent video doesn’t make you want to hang out with your grandmother or even just have a picnic and lie in the grass, nothing else will. And on that note, I give you The Raveonettes’s version of “I Wanna Be Adored.”

Thank you to any and all little earbuds for reading, and thanks for listening and sharing in these great tunes with me.


Filed under Artist Love, Covers, Memories and Nostalgia, Music Videos

Gone Is Another Day

Another Wednesday, and honestly, all I can listen to is Class Actress. “Keep You” is amazing, but so is the rest of Rapprocher. Even so, another Wednesday calls for another music video. So, in keeping with the electronica vibe, today’s song of choice is a dream pop ditty that I haven’t listened to in a while but recently re-discovered it thanks to the glorious shuffling of my iTunes. I remember that I couldn’t stop playing School of Seven Bells when I first got their debut album, Alpinisms. This song, “Half Asleep,” was the reason for that initial purchase. After I saw this video on Logo’s NewNowNext video block, I was immediately entranced with the dreamy vocals and upbeat synths that sound like showers of glitter exploding at every chorus. There’s so much movement in both this video and this song that it always makes me want to dance or swim or fly on an airplane; basically it feels like diving into the great flow of life. It’s completely enchanting, which is why I’m sharing it with you today.

I had the fortune of seeing the band members in concert when they were touring with Interpol in 2004, though at the time Benjamin Curtis was with Secret Machines and twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza were part of On!Air!Library!. Later on I was lucky enough to see them together as School of Seven Bells at Moogfest in 2010 (sans sister Claudia, who had recently quit). Let me tell you right now that they are just as glorious live as on their albums. It was a powerful performance, one that commanded attention even in the hippie hustle and bustle that is Moogfest. I adore their second album, Disconnect from Desire, and I eagerly await their forthcoming release, Ghostory, due in spring of this year. However, this song was the initial seed from which my undying love for this amazing band bloomed, and no matter how many times I go running after a new musical crush, I always find it blissful to return to the dreamy waters of “Half Asleep.”

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