vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Only two doors: to die or to fight /)
Cat Power's RAMBLIN' WOMAN (Hank Williams cover).

Some folks, some folks might say that I'm no good
That I wouldn't settle down, but if I only could.
But I love to see the towns go rolling by,
something I got to do before I die.
I love you baby, but you gotta understand:
When the Lord made me, he made me a ramblin' woman.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (dear miami you're the first to go /)
A while ago [ profile] ticketsonmyself suggested that I should post more of me singing stuff, and I happened to have this demo leftover from my arts supplement. So, here's roughly four minutes of me wishing I could be a contralto instead of a mezzo. (Just kidding - apart from one bit of dodgy tuning it's actually pretty good.) I really wish I could have included something other than this jazz, easy-listening stuff, but unfortunately, record stores don't carry instrumental versions of PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" or the Dead Weather's "So Far from Your Weapon". *sigh*

FYI, if you've never heard the Ella Fitzgerald version of this song, check it out. It so completely blows mine out of the water, but that's to be expected, because, well, ELLA.

VANITASHAZE : Black Coffee
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (dear miami you're the first to go /)
Look what I found!

SHANKILL BUTCHERS [Vanitashaze's Basement Acapella Remix]

Wow. That's a trip. Mostly I'm sort of proud of it, but just - ignore the third chorus, okay? I'm not sure just what I was thinking. And it's a bootleg in-my-basement recording, so there's random whirring noises, thumps, and the sound quality is not that great. Desktop speakers, be warned. But seriously: wouldn't this be a great song to do a lounge remix of, strings and piano and female voice? Man, I wish I played stuff other than my vocal chords. Though maybe I could get a friend to do that; God knows I've got enough piano-playing friends, and I need some good songs for my college auditions tape. What do you guys think?

(Or the Dead Weather's "So Far From Your Weapon". Or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Berlin". That would be awesome with a female front, though she'd really have to belt it out. Or - well, you get the idea.)
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (dear miami you're the first to go /)
1. Arguing with one's parents really sucks. GODDAMNIT LISTEN WHY DON'T YOU. I swear, it's like carrying on a dialogue with Soviet Russia.

2. I owe [ profile] redfairie19 a whole bunch of fic, don't I? Or, really, well, two. The ghost one and the fix-it. But that's still a lot.

3. BAT FOR LASHES. Like Mirah, she's an artist I've heard a lot about these last few years, but for some reason - perhaps after listening to one of her songs - I was under the impression that I disliked her. So, of course, I'm talking with E about how much I dislike Bat for Lashes, I mean, What's the hype about anyway, and then she turns around and fiddles with something on her computer, and "Prescilla" comes on, and I am like, That is very cool, What is that, and she, of course, turns around and smirks. Now I have a burned copy of "Fur and Gold" and have been listening to it nonstop. I get weird about music sometimes; I don't know. Maybe she just differs from album to album - like Mirah, again - but this one is so much fun. It reminds me of PJ Harvey's Is This Desire?, with a slightly sweeter voice and richer sound, not to say that Harvey's is poorer. It's just starker. Think harsh, stormy salt-cliffs, buffeted by water - that's Harvey, on Is This Desire? Bat for Lashes' Fur and Gold has the same isolation, the same loneliness, but it's softened, somehow, a little more gold than silver. Rubies rather than diamonds. You get the drift.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (dear miami you're the first to go /)
When I first heard "La Familia" off of [ profile] trinityofone's Four Quartets playlist, I was not impressed. Being a rather good classical singer myself*, I tend to, eh, look down on those artists who have childish, or nasal, or talk-singing voices - one of the reasons that I still cannot get into the Mountain Goats, despite their obvious brilliance - and Mirah was like, okay, yet another girl-soft indie songwriter, move on. But I am so glad that I gave her another shot, because really, she's kind of brilliant. Gorgeous imagery, songs about sex & complicated relationships, and boom-boom bass lines? I'm listening to Advisory Committee and am completely hooked, with eleventy million fic ideas spiraling off each song. (Chief among them: a rather angry "Cold, Cold Water" McKay/Keller fic dealing with this.)

Also, the comments at SongMeanings are so cute.

*And yes, that was the sound of my horn tooting you heard.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
From [ profile] sheryden:

Leave comment on this post, and I'll give you a band.You put your ten favorite songs by that band on your LJ and challenge others to do the same. Don't worry, I'll make it one you know.

I got the lovely Vienna Teng.

i. Recessional
In the terminal she sleeps on my shoulder / hair falling forward, mouth all askew
As fluorescent announcements beat their wings overhead / "Passengers missing, we're looking for you."

ii. Undone [Live at the San Francisco Independent]
Like sudden daylight there you were / took all I had just not to swerve
And slow instead of yield / but then your light was gone

iii. No Gringo
Oh Arizona's burning / they say the fence turned 'round
Now the razor wire keeps us out

iv. Radio
Oh the flash / then the silence
Shouldn't there be screaming praying crying / oh anything at all

v. Pontchartrain
Who drew the line? / Who drew the line between you and me?
Who drew the line / that everyone sees?

vi. Watershed
While you were building your empires / I was still sleeping / I was still sleeping
While you were setting your woods afire / I was still dreaming / I was still dreaming

vii. Daughter
You're talking about things / interesting just slightly
And things that matter too much / to say any way but lightly

viii. Decade and One
I thought of anger and adulation / And the taste of dreams realized
And the waste dreams realized / leave behind

ix. In Another Life
And we feel it like the shiver / of a passing train
That other life / deep underground

x. Love Turns 40
But something keeps you faithful / when all else in you turns and runs
Love turns forty / and the morning comes
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
As some of you may know, I spent Spring Break plowing through the first half of Carnivàle, and though I have not yet seen season two, I am very sad that this show was cancelled. It's slow, perhaps, but it has practically everything that pushes my supernatural plot buttons: secrets, Reasons with a capital 'R', mysterious backgrounds, that lovely dichotomy of grit and ghosts - the reality and unreality inherent in circuses. Most especially, I love worlds - such as that of Supernatural, and Pearl in Torchwood - where what you might call "magic" exists, but it's not recognized or regulated, but rather is found in trickery and peasant tales. Where it's recognizably our world, but with the edges blurred out a little more, and I don't think I'd be nearly as happy if everything was explained.

Perhaps it's because I'm in that mindset that I enjoy Vienna Teng's "In Another Life" so much. Off her new album, Inland Territories, comes this song, and it's very Carnivàle, very 1930s with jazzy piano and clarinet, more layers than an onion. It's about these two people, and the times they live in, but more than anything it's the Multiverse, cycles of karma, it's [ profile] toft_froggy's All These Places We Have Met but not as obvious about it. Seriously, you guys. My previous recommendation "Watershed" was the "Pontchartrain" of the album - vast open spaces, pounding and powerful and very solid ghosts. Sea-creatures, and "Here Be Monstyrs". This song, however, is the same amount of creep and haunt, but slyly ironic, almost taunting, because someone knows exactly what's going on, but isn't telling, and the narrator doesn't know, not necessarily, but they have a guess.


Like Terry Pratchett said: "God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

Then in this song, my friends, is God. Is Management. Is Apollonia, and Lodz, and everyone who Knows Things.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Picture this:

Rodney McKay, playing the first few bars of Nina Simone's "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" (download link provided, of course). That not enough for you? Picture this, then:

There is a piano. In Atlantis, perhaps; in Jeannie's house; in an empty auditorium, dust on the lid, even the sunlight there secretive and strange. Where it is, though, this is not actually important; nor is his reason for being there with it. There is a piano - that is enough.

He sits. Hunched, mouth turned downwards. He is not sure whether to be happy, or sad, or if what he feels is D, none of the above, the third answer in a true/false question, which is to say, indescribable, not that it will keep him from trying. Perhaps John is there; perhaps he is not. Someone is, though. Someone should be there to witness this.

Pencils at the ready; begin. He will start lightly, almost tentatively, like shaking hands with an old friend - it's been so long, after all, and he's not really sure where he stands with the piano - but stronger with every note, a crescendo of movement and sound - faster, faster, harder - until he's pounding at the keyboard, mouth tight, eyes bright. His back muscles clench; he leans into the keys. He feels the music like the time AR-1 almost got caught in a imanam, a rockslide, on MX4-829: the sheer impatience and power of it, as if nothing could stop the rocks' descent, like this tumble was written into the basecode - nay, the bones of the land, somehow essential to the existence of it. Absolutely terrifying, of course. Completely inevitable.

He could have died from that. Considers this, and pounds on, fingers slick on the keys. He thinks he could die from this, too.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
As all you Tengephiles know - or, perhaps, might not - Vienna Teng is coming out with a new album sometime in April. Which, you know, is awesome. Even more awesome, though, is the fact that it was released early in Germany, and so I have managed to scrinch one of the songs from the internets, and I have listened to it, and it is beautiful.

Vienna Teng : WATERSHED

While you were building your empires, I was still sleeping. I was still sleeping.
While you were setting your woods afire, I was still dreaming. I was still dreaming.

Every time I listen to it, I think of Tia Dalma; Atlantis; sea women, sea creatures, the potential energy of the ocean. When I heard about Inland Territory, I was kind of nervous that it was going to be a break from that edge she has lately - think a whole albums' worth of "Harbor" - but obviously, I need not have worried. Because this isn't a break; this is growth. This is more, and I am so, so happy to be a fan of hers.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

2. You know how when you're really, really tired, things start to kind of... make sense in a really nonsensical way? Well, I've been listening to Sufjan Steven's "Seven Swans" for the past hour and a half, and only now do I realize that he's singing "the Lord", and not "the Lorne".

vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Never let it be said that I am too great a fan of Coldplay, but the combination of Viva La Vida and my new SkullCandy earbuds - cute and functional - completely blows me away. "Cemeteries of London" especially. Such a great tune, but most importantly: the lyrics. Victorian london, that crazy supernatural magical-realism that Latin America does so well; it's practically steampunk rock. It's a key, a window into somewhere else.

Why wasn't this the album single? It should be a single.

Coldplay - Cemeteries of London

Also, the new version of Mediafire is weird.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

April 2012

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