Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5

I dug Sondre Lerche back with “Two-way Monologue”; that post-millenial folkie sound that used to fill “The O.C.” soundtracks. Since then, he’s had his jazz album, his indie rock album, his soundtrack album… so where he goes from here is anyone's guess. One hint might come from Steve Carrell. Besides writing the score for "Dan in Real Life", Sondre wrote a song specifically for "Dinner With Schmucks".
I haven’t found any music videos for any songs off of “Heartbeat Radio”, so here’s the funny video for “Two-Way Monologue,” starring Sondre Lerche, Sondre Lerche, and… Sondre Lerche.

For a few years, MTV was the home of subversive comedy, and nothing hit the spot like the funniest sock puppet duo ever. They were the last MTV show that tried heckling music videos, before the channel abandoned music videos altogether. So, of course, I snagged as many of the episodes as I could; to this day, you still can’t find the show on DVD.
These days, Sifl & Olly mastermind Liam Lynch has his podcast, Lynchland, when he’s isn’t directing music videos and movies with long-winded titles (Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic.)
One of the Sifl & Olly songs, “United States of Whatever,” made the radio charts in 2003, one of the shortest songs ever to do so. But I don’t want you to think he’s a one-joke wonder, so here’s another earworm of his: “The Panda Song”

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Freddie Mercury. At least, you’ve heard of that band he was in. And it’s not like he’s done anything new lately (besides being voted the best British mustache of the 20th century... or that his long-lost duets with Michael Jackson ‘mysteriously” showing up on the Internet…) So why am I talking about him? To introduce you to one of his most beautiful songs.
Mercury had a soft spot for opera. Barcelona, released in 1988, showcased Mercury singing alongside celebrated opera soprano Montserrat Caballe. It became a top 10 album, while the title track became the theme for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“Exercies in Free Love” was a song Mercury co-wrote for the album (Caballe added Spanish lyrics, and the song became “Ensueno”.) The original track is on his farewell music collection, and it’s one of the most haunting pieces I’ve heard.

I’m going to finish with John Stewart, who is not the television satirist most trusted than most TV reporters. This John Stewart played with the Kingston Trio in the 60’s. He also wrote the song “Daydream Believer,” which many presume was either originally by the Monkees or Smash Mouth.
And I’m not bashing the Monkees; they were my gateway to the Beatles. But I’ll admit what the “Pre-Fab Four” were: four talented actors, under the supervision of one of the decade’s most successful producers, with lyrics by songwriters at the top of their game.
While the cynics cheer for endeavors like this to fall on their face, how hard can it be to believe that sometimes, it works?
I’m getting too cerebral about this. I’ll let Shonen Knife state my case: a great song is a great song.

If it's your birthday, happy birthday! If it's not, I'll get there eventually.

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