I’d hate to dance after these two

Few things in life would be more devastating than to follow up on stage after these two perform.

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Travel and dance

To travel and dance — anything more fun has to be dastardly.

14 months in the making, 42 countries, and a cast of thousands. We still don’t know Where the Hell is Matt! I’m sure he’s fine, he’s doing ads for Visa now.

In case you want to see the outtakes.

SPOILER: Read further after you’ve watched the video.

If you’re wondering how all the people joined him, then it was after the popularity of his first video that Stride gum took part. They both “networked” with the locals in each city  the next time he traveled (which Stride helped with) and arrange the place and time to meet. And everyone was so ready to shake a leg!

Dance – the way it is

Continuing from the last post, here are some current music videos with… uhm.. spontaneous dance. Let’s call it that. Whatever it is, it puts a big smile on my face! The music itself is quite upbeat and cool.

Anna Sun is by far the best track from the indie band Walk the Moon’s debut album iwant! iwant! The first 2:40 minutes was shot in one take in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine brewery district at the historic Mockbee building last year. Esquire magazine called Anna Sun song of the summer.

Another fine track from Walk the Moon is Shiver, shiver, shiver

 

I have no idea why I’m incriminating myself by posting something so tween-y but it’s OK, I obviously have no self respect.

 

Guillemots was formed by my favorite Fyfe Dangerfield in 2004 with band members coming from England, Scotland, Brazil and Canada. They started out rather unknown but I’m glad to say they are doing quite well.

 

Not very dancey but a fine song by the band.

 

Dance – the way it used to be

Some golden songs with timeless moves by none other than the master himself: Fred Astaire.

This is one of those songs that you think you have known even before you were in your birthday suit. Because it’s that familiar I never paid attention to the words until now. Delight.

 

It is said Smooth Criminal‘s video is inspired by this.

 

 

This one does not have dance but thought it was worth one listen.

Just music

Today it will be instrumental music.

First up is the opening/closing score from the film Carnage composed by Alexandre Desplat. The man is diverse. He has composed for my favorite my favorite like Syriana, Fantastic Mr Fox; remarkable ones like King’s Speech and The Queen (I yet have to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close); and even Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 1.

If you like strong character-driven movies without any special effects and sets, Carnage is your ticket. I enjoyed it a lot. You don’t know when the movie will end and after it does you leave wondering which character was the sane one? First appearances can be deceptive. With a cast full of Oscar winners (and a nominee) and a stellar director like Polanski you know it is something special. It will be a shame if Jodie does not get a nomination for this role.

From 2011 we go to a classic from the 50s. Patricia by Perez Prado. You must have heard it before, even if you haven’t.

Now we are back to 2007. On The Nature Of Daylight is a masterful composition by Max Richter; I will post more of his work later. The video is a ballet performance created by David Dawson for the first AIDS gala held in Munich in 2007. I have not seen enough of ballet to critique anything but the subtle and beautiful performance transpires to even novices.

Foster The People – Torches – album review

Well, more like a sales pitch: Buy it! It is very good.
The group was formed two years ago in LA by Mark Foster who does vocals, synthesizer, piano, guitar, and more. To make it a sharp trio came Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink. First hit Pumped Up Kicks got so popular last year that they got signed and released their debut album Torches this year.

The thing that separates them is  they focus very heavily on making catchy chorus tunes. That often compensates for everything else. I know it’s nothing new, most performers try to do just that, but they achieve it. Their style of music is a little fusion but basically everything good pop is supposed to be… just updated for this decade. Mark also has this pleasant simple, straight, and bit rough around the edges voice. He often over-synthesizes his voice though. Here are some of the cool songs from the album:

  1. Helena Beat: happy little pop party. That’s why it’s the first track. The end makes you want to hit repeat.
  2. Pumped Up Kicks: The acoustic version he performs on radio is better than the one in album. This is a good example of how their music makes you forget that its lyrics are pretty twisted.
  3. Call It What You Want: Initially didn’t like it, but like I said it works because of the chorus. Again, the end makes you want to hear it again.
  4. .
  5. Waste: Its words seem like someone genuinely smitten. Normally the music would seem too out-of-place but somehow works but maybe not symbiotically.
  6. I Would Do Anything For You: The Best song of the album. It’s what got my attention.
  7. Houdini: mostly for the music. Focus on your ability, focus on your ability…
  8. Life On The Nickel: ‘Gonna’ make it through’ kind of feel with quite a fast tempo.
  9. .
  10. .

Ballet

The gist of a day at the ballet, on-stage and behind.

Video is by the creative Matthew Brown. Background music is Joshua Bell performing Vivaldi’s Summer, from The Four Seasons.