Two things kottke posted recently that I had to share:

This is what A-Ha's Take On Me would sound like if the lyrics actually had anything to do with the video.

In a similar vein, a song where the lyrics are about the lyrics. It's worth listening to the end.

Thursday music

I walked into the Deep Dish, a cafe at uni, the other day and had a bit of a twilight-zone moment when I hear Joe Dassin's 'Et si tu n'existais pas' playing. I don't sing very loudly, but the lady at the counter noticed and, after a chat, offered to lend me the CD - a 'best of' collection - if I could make her a copy too. Since then, I've been listening to it non-stop. I haven't heard most of these songs in at least 20 years, but I actually remember most of them. This week's song, then, is one of my favorites off that CD. It's not the best of recordings and not much of a video at all, but that's ok because the song is the point. It's called 'Ca m'avance a quoi?'

Thursday music

Fiction Plane this time. They closed their set at the concert with this song. Lots of energy, great performance, fun to watch...but it's still kinda freaky. I suppose I'll get over it eventually. No sense not enjoying the music till then though.

The Police in concert - and a few surprises

So we saw the Police live in concert at the MCG last night. I'm still not over it, but at least now I can speak and write about it. It was absolutely amazing not just because they rock but because it was so weird to see them at all - they did break up in '85/'86, after all. Seeing them up there after being a fan for almost as long as I can remember and knowing that it was all over for most of that time was simply surreal. And I can't honestly say I know any other band quite like I know the Police. I actually have everything they've ever done as a band, plus a lot of what they've done solo. I know the band history. I even spent enough time poring over their biographies as a teen to have random details at my fingertips years and years later. But most of all, I know their songs so intimately that each time they'd vary the chords or beat slightly to start a new one, I'd know the words even before I registered what the song actually was and basically sang along with the whole concert.

On the whole, they didn't vary the songs very much from the album versions, and even where they did I knew where they were going because I've listened to so many concert recordings. Most of the variations were the kind the Police themselves made back when they played, but some were more Sting-y. Interestingly, they didn't really play any of the songs Sting has sort of absorbed into his own repertoire. I'd have loved to hear Bring on the Night, Low Life, Demolition Man or Shadows in the Rain, for instance. I don't know if that was deliberate or whether they just didn't feel like doing them. The set list itself was the same they've been playing throughout. They opened with Message in a Bottle and then went into Synchronicity II, following that with Walking On The Moon. Then came Voices Inside My Head, When The World Is Running Down. Don't Stand So Close To Me, Driven To Tears and Hole In My Life. Everyone went suitably mad for Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and Wrapped Around Your Finger was really really good with Stewart Copeland using gongs, chimes, bells, xylophone, and all manner of percussion to give it that air that it has. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da was a fun follow up. Then we had Invisible Sun, which was accompanied by lots of images of children living in poverty. That theme continued with Walking In Your Footsteps, but then they changed the pace again with Can't Stand Losing You followed by Roxanne and then 'closed' with King Of Pain ( I think). They came back with So Lonely and Every Breath You Take, and then came back again to do Next To You before leaving the stage for good.

Fergie opened for the Police. Yeah. It was odd at first, but she was actually quite good - she's one hell of a performer and sings her guts out. Yes there's lots of posturing and posing - that's what her music is like after all - but along with that she did a Black Eyed Peas medley and, what was most surprising, a few covers of Guns and Roses-type music that were actually quite fun. I could have done with a little less ass-shaking (Yes, you have a bottom. Wow. I'm thrilled to bits for you. Really I am.) but that's really my only gripe and even that's a bit forced because it was, as I said, good fun.

The big shock though, was Fiction Plane. We weren't seated yet when they started playing so I couldn't see the stage, but I remember thinking, man, that sounds a lot like Sting, only it can't be because that's not a Police song. We might not have gone down at all, only the music was echoing horribly in the hallways so we thought we'd go ahead even though it was about 7pm and we knew the Police wouldn't be on till 9:30. I vaguely remembered that there were two opening acts listed on the ticket so I figured this was whoever it was that wasn't Fergie and thought they sounded pretty good once we got away from the hallway echo and started making our way down the steps to the ground (did I mention that we were on the ground? Not in the prime, thousand-dollar seats, obviously, but not too far from the stage either and the perfect distance from one of the big screens.). And there on stage was someone who was clearly not Sting by my god did he look like him. And sound like him. This is what he looked like. Go look. It's uncanny. And then I remembered that yes, Joe Sumner* has a band and yes, there was something about him touring with the Police. But it was weird to actually see someone whose existence I've been aware of pretty much as long as I've known anything about the Police. Anyway, I got over the weirdness enough to quite like the band and want to hear more. They're playing tonight at the Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne and while I don't know if I'll make it, they're definitely worth a look.

* To clarify: I assumed that anyone reading this would be aware that Sting's actual last name is Sumner, and that his eldest son's name is Joe and would therefore get the reference. Obviously that wasn't entirely reasonable given that not everyone was a 14-year-old Police fangirl.

Thursday music

The Kooks. I first heard this at least a year ago and scribbled the song title (She Moves In Her Own Way) on a piece of paper so that I'd remember to get it. I found that little scrap of paper a few days ago - having forgotten completely about the song and the band - and since then have been addicted to this song.

Thursday music

Gosh the week passes by fast when you're not doing much of anything. Well ok, I'm reading a bit, but I'd do that anyway so it doesn't count.

This came out when I was in DC and is one of the songs that remind me most strongly of it, even though I hate the ending about as much as I like the beginning (of the song, that is).

Moving music

We move in four days so, naturally, I've only sorted about one set of shelves. But that's because I've been doing something far, far more important: making a playlist. I don't think I can stress the importance of the playlist in moving enough. Sorting, packing, cleaning, moving heavy things around - all must be done to music. And not just any old music, either. The right kind of music.

For me, that means Springsteen. Oh yes. From Dancing in the Dark - which I danced around to in our half-empty living room in Geneva - to the gorgeous Radio Nowhere which I have on repeat at the moment and pretty much everything in between. It's probably because I've been listening to him my whole life that I associate Springsteen with moving, but there's also something about the songs. Think of Badlands, Thunder Road, Born to Run, Brilliant Disguise, Murder Inc., Glory Days, Human Touch, Lonesome Day, Worlds Apart, and most of the other songs like them - don't they seem to require some kind of movement? You can't just sit there, and it's not just happy dancey music either. You need to be doing something, preferably something that involves lifting heavy things and traveling.

There are others, of course. Some, like We Built this City by Starship (or were they still Jefferson Starship back then?), Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner seem to always have been there. But over the years the playlist has expanded to include Jackson Browne's Running on Empty, Cher's Walking in Memphis, The Passenger (both Iggy Pop's original and Siouxsie and the Banshees' cover), Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper and Burning for You, Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan and, of course, Everybody Knows, Melissa Etheridge's Bring Me Some Water, the Indigo Girls' Galileo, Least Complicated, Closer to Fine and Hammer and Nail, pretty much everything by the Police, and the La's There She Goes. Currently, they're all sitting lined up with Sisters of Mercy's This Corrosion, Placebo's Bitter End, Gin Blossoms' Hey Jealousy and Found Out About You (gotta love the intro), Dallas Crane's Curiosity, the Cars' Magic, the Stone Roses' Waterfall and She Bangs the Drums, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Royal Oil  and The Impression that I Get, and Something with Numbers' Apple of the Eye.

I'm still looking for the old Sponge and Killing Joke songs I used to listen to but haven't had much luck so far. Found the video for Plowed which I loved listening to while flying. There's some videos of Millennium here and there as well, which is encouraging. But these are simpler songs more suited to actual traveling. With sorting and packing, you need - I need - a good, strong beat first of all, but then lots of instruments doing something else entirely. I'm not a fan of lead guitar - I'd rather a great bass line and lots of piano and horns instead.

So there you go. The actual playlist has many many more songs in it, but these are (or look like they're going to become) staples. I'm still mining my mp3 folders for songs with that something extra going on in them and will hopefully have an even longer list by the time I'm done. In the mean time, suggestions are welcome.

Is it Friday already?

Oosp. Things aren't actually upside-down yet, but they're about to be. Starting right after this post, actually. But anyway, this time next week we shall be unpacking boxes and officially moved in to our new place. Oh and I graduate on Monday. I'd be excited but I really hate ceremonies and I don't know anybody I'm graduating with so it's a bit of a pain. Ameel and some friends of ours will be there, but frankly I'm a little sorry to put them through the 2.5 hours of watching people walk across a stage. I'm a bit sorry about putting myself through it too. Bah, humbug.

But to make up for somehow missing Thursday, here's that iPod advert song:

And since you're going to want to sing along, here are the lyrics.