Category Archives: Music

Well, What Do We Do Now

So it’s been a wild couple of months again, including some unexpected medical crises. And we really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future except that it’s looking bad and probably will involve another global recession. So I’m thinking about what I am going to do/need to do and that includes how I want to handle this blog, which has gotten rather intermittent the last couple of years. For now, I am chugging through the end of the year, and I hope all of you chug through it too without disaster.

In the meantime, I enclose this very sweet piece by author Maureen Johnson about dealing with one’s spoons, this up-lifting quote from Kurt Vonnegut Jr. from his work A Man Without A Country:

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

And lastly, the latest video from OK Go for their new song “The One Moment,” which includes all their favorite things: paint, explosions, Rube Goldberg machines, geometric patterns and umbrellas, plus you can check out the charity causes being supported by their sponsor, Morton’s Salt. And if you don’t want to do that, if you can, support your local food bank.

 

 

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Briannah Donolo Followed Me on Vacation

So we’re on a vacation trip and my husband and I are eating lunch in a restaurant and pop songs are playing on the restaurant’s sound system. And my husband stops eating and says, “Isn’t that Briannah’s song?” And I listen more closely and realize, yes, that is Briannah Donolo’s single, which has been doing pretty well, being played along with singers like Drake and Lady Gaga. It was a rather weird experience, to be sitting there eating shrimp while listening to the kid I used to know sing in the background from whatever satellite channel they were using.

The entertaining music video for the song “Fake It Till You Make It” seems to no longer be available online. I believe it’s probably been pulled because an album is in process that will include it. However, Briannah, who also goes by Briia on the music scene, does have an official audio video for that song still up as well as one for her other single, “Back to You.” Both songs are good and so I put them up for folks to enjoy until there is a full album out there. Briia has been running around performing, mostly in Canada, and doing some modeling. More power to her. I expect her music will be lurking behind me at even more places as time goes on.

 

 

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The Internet Amuses Me

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This is All I Have Today

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Filed under Music, Social Equality

Some Light/Heavy Music

No, I did not fall off a boat into the ocean. Working on several things, have them up soon.

 

In the meantime, enjoy Jennifer Hudson and James Corden hamming it up performing public domain songs, because it was a Monday, and we could all use some nice singing:

 

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Some Music Videos to Accompany Snow. And More Snow. And Yet More Snow. (Enjoy the summer, Southern Hemisphere!)

Just to get things started (and clean out some files,) here are some music videos that contain great tunes and interesting video experiences.

First up is folk singer Shawn James, who decided to cover the A.A. Bondy song “American Hearts” in a wolf sanctuary near Fort Collins, Colorado. Some of the wolves came to check out the musicians, as hoped, but to their surprise, the wolves in the area also joined in for part of the song. You can check out the wolf sanctuary, which also takes donations, at:

http://www.wolfsanctuary.net/index.html

And Shawn James’ music at:

http://www.shawnjamesmusic.com

 

Next is the video from alt rock Franco-American band Hold Your Horses! for their single “70 Million.” In it, the band members and some pals re-create famous works of art. You can check out their music at iTunes and here:

https://holdyourhorses.bandcamp.com/

This additional video takes you through it with the paintings they copied:

 

And lastly, alt rock band OK Go, the king of creative silly music videos, had to come up with a doozy to top previous efforts. So they decided to go weightless for their new single, “Upside Down & Inside Out” from the new album Hungry Ghosts. You can check out their music at:¬†http://okgo.net/

Bonus, a previous music video for their song “Needing/Getting,” which added a car to their Rube Goldberg machine style videos and is quite funny:

 

 

 

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Some Music Tunes to Groove On

First up, the remarkable Jesse L. Martin, backed beautifully by Rick Cosnett and Carlos Valdes, his castmates from The Flash (apparently everybody on that show can sing,) sing a gospel version of the cult show Firefly‘s theme song, “The Ballad of Serenity,” as a thank you to Joss Whedon for making a big donation to Martin’s up-coming folk musical short film, The Letter Carrier:

Next, the trippy nature video for Kate Pierson‘s single “Bring Your Arms” on her solo album¬†Guitars and Microphones:

With similar bursts of color, the hit single “Rule the World” from Walk Off the Earth‘s new album, Sing It All Away:

And lastly, in my tradition of often liking groups that use numbers for their names, new rap/hip-hop group twenty one pilots‘ hit single “Fairly Local“:

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Some Mid-Week Humor

I’m excavating a lot of stuff (so many links,) so in the meantime, have some humorous videos:

Alex Boye, an old-time musician, got together a bunch of his friends to provide their own take on the song and music video for Mark Ronson’s “Up-town Funk” hit, featuring the singing of Bruno Mars:

Comedy group Nacho Punch made a very funny movie trailer for the thriller that is Daylight Saving:

Comic Lauren O’Brien does some spot-on impressions for her video Celebrities Stuck in Traffic:

And an innovative and fun short film imagines what happened to the original Power Rangers, with quite a cast playing the roles (it has a lot of in-series plot points.) It’s called Power/Ranger Unauthorized:

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Re-Animation

No, I did not bury the blog in a sand-pit so that insects could pick clean its bones. I just had a bit of a summer, is all. To fit the mood, here is a terrific new song by young Canadian Alessia Cara, called “Here”:

 

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On Writing and Publishing Links (Dumping Days)

Some stuff left over from last year, but interesting and likely to be related to interesting developments in publishing coming up:

In 2014, during the height of negotiations with Amazon and other e-vendors, HarperCollins set up selling e-books of their titles directly to readers. Now, this isn’t exactly a new thing. “Direct mail,” as it used to be called, has always been available from publishers, where readers could order books directly from publishers, usually at a discount because of shipping costs. In the 1960’s-1980’s, it was a sizable, though not central, market for paperbacks, with book order forms printed in the back pages of paperbacks, and some publishers setting up subscription services that operated sort of like book clubs, not to mention actual book clubs run by publishers or working with publishers. (The romance publishers had it down to an art form.)

In the 90’s, when the wholesale and paperback markets collapsed, direct mail became considerably less important but still existed. With the Internet developing, publishers set up buy options on their websites, however, that increased overall direct sales. For the last several years, publishers have been setting up selling e-books directly. This is, though, HarperCollins’ formalized, larger effort. Whether that’s going to help with the lack of breadth in the e-vendors market is anybody’s guess, but publishers have definitely amped up more of their book-selling efforts as the market has changed.

To that end, Mills & Boon publishers in the U.K. has also set up not only e-book selling, but doing so to mobile phones easily through an app. This is again a re-adjustment of the romance publishers’ practice of making subscription easy for buyers who will read lots of titles each month.

Related to these developments of publishers are the continual battles going on in the music industry. YouTube is getting serious about trying to compete with various streaming services, and so threatened to ban indie labels that didn’t sign up for its new music service. Likewise, Amazon and other big e-vendors have been pressing smaller houses on terms and marketing fees and signing up for various service programs. We’re going to see a lot more of these kinds of battles in most of the arts.

Other links: an interesting author interview on io9.com with Kelly Thompson, author of illustrated superpower novel, The Girl Who Would Be King, which just got a movie deal. Thompson ended up self-publishing the novel after not being able to sell it, and funded it with a Kickstarter campaign. This is becoming more and more common the last few years — the funding that authors could get from partner publishing by selling a license to a publisher and getting an advance against their royalties, they are now obtaining in a donations model, allowing them to act more effectively as writers and go bigger in production and marketing. It doesn’t work out for all authors, but in the begging electronic economy, it’s a solid model for raising capital support.

Chris Sims of the Comics Alliance wrote an interesting piece on Business Insider about DC and its relationship to Marvel, regarding moves both companies have made regarding their comics, films and other projects.

And lastly, fantasy author N.K. Jemisin offers authors some advice about dealing with reviews of their published work, “Author Strength Training”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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