Blog Archives

Downton Abbey and One Direction “What Makes You Beautiful” mashup

Love this.

Have a lovely Presidents’ Day!

(What’s the story) Morning Glory?

Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory?On a recent episode of “Girls,” “Wonderwall” by Oasis was played and it immediately brought back a flood of memories from my time at uni (translation: university).

If you haven’t heard the album “(What’s the story) Morning Glory?”, check it out. (I’m listening to it on Spotify today.) Oasis is an amazing band and this album is legendary in my mind.

Favorite tracks include “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” “Champagne Supernova” and “She’s Electric.”

The Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style

Each week, the Washington Post hosts a weekly contest called the Style Invitational, inviting readers to a different creative writing challenge.

The best one I’ve seen to date is the response to their prompt – create a set of instructions for something, in the style of a famous person. Voila! Meet the Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style:

Hokey Pokey, Shakespearean style

The only thing I take issue with the name of the game. Brits call it the Hokey Cokey, not the Hokey Pokey, and I do expect that Will Shakespeare would fall in line on the cokey side of things. Don’t you?

The amazing Lianne La Havas

I haven’t heard about British singer Lianne La Havas until NPR’s Morning Edition this week. What a voice! She is like a modern Ella Fitzgerald and writes her own music.

The story referenced this performance that she did on Later with Jools Holland that really put her on the map. They played a clip of it – just her and a guitar – and I had to hear more. I found the clip! Enjoy!

S Club Reunion? Yes, please!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post, I’ve just received word that S Club 7 will be reuniting.

Apparently, all seven original members are getting back together for a comeback, which is set to coincide with the joyful British summer events planned including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

I saw them in concert about 12 years ago and they rocked it. Then despite all promises that they wouldn’t stop moving to the funky, funky beat, well, they did. I’m so glad to hear they’re bringing it all back.

Singing with an accent

On Sunday morning, I stopped into a Starbucks for my morning coffee and ended up in line behind a middle-aged couple, who were trying to decide whether to buy a copy of Hugh Laurie’s latest blues CD on display.

After a moment of consideration, the barista said, “Have you heard anything from his album? It’s really very good. It has some great piano and he has a good voice. You can’t even tell that he has an accent.”

One moment later, the man handed it to the barista and said, “I’ll take it.”

This whole interaction was fascinating to me for a couple of reasons.

1) I have never seen anyone buy a CD at Starbucks. I’ve never even seen anyone ever pick up a CD featured at Starbucks to take a closer look. Have you? And for this man to purchase this CD, without ever hearing any of it? Truly a leap of faith.

2) I am fascinated that the barista felt compelled to say that Hugh Laurie sings without an accent. It’s a strange selling point. Is music more or less likable when sung with or without an accent? Does anyone really care?

I’ll admit that the ability to sing without an accent is an unusual talent. I’m not quite sure how it works. But I can only imagine it’s like the natural inclination I have when I hear a country song and feel the need to sing to it with the worst hillbilly accent that I can muster. Maybe that’s how Hugh Laurie feels when he sings the blues. Sometimes songs just sound better or feel better with an accent (even if it’s not your own).

But I’m sure part of this homogeny of accent-less music these days is a calculated move by studio execs to make music more palatable to an American audience.

And to that, I say calculated commercialism, be damned. I like hearing an accent in my music. I like the way the Proclaimers sound when they go all Scottish on “500 Miles”. I like hearing Herman’s Hermits singing about how Mrs. Brown has a lovely dah’er. And I like hearing the Arctic Monkeys’ Fake Tales of San Francisco, when I can already tell they’re not from there.

Am I the only one? How do you feel about hearing accents in music?

American vs. British news theme songs

I’m sorry to say I’m late to the game in discovering the awesomeness that is British comedian/actor/musician Bill Bailey. But thanks to Brian Braiker, I’ve discovered his hilarious look at the differences between American and British news themes.