Tag Archives: videos

Kooky Christmas: #19, “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds

We turn now to the seedier side of our Kooky Christmas (if philandering Santas weren’t seedy enough for you).

Now Santa has turned to robbery, and the results are unpleasant for everyone involved.

Number 19: “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds

This song comes to us from Maybe This Christmas, a compilation of alternative artists from 2002. In the concert video below, Ben tells the true life story behind the song.

UPDATE: Lyrics NSFW, and not kid-friendly either. Funny though.

Concert video of “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds

The album has a mix of artists performing both original and traditional songs. It’s a mixed bag, but with priceless gems like this how could I skip it? to see more, click here: Maybe This Christmas.

Next up on Kooky Christmas: Santa may not be as generous as he’s made out to be….

Kooky Christmas: #20, “The First Noel” by Crash Test Dummies

Picking up where we left off last year, let’s continue counting down my top 25 Kooky Christmas songs.

“The First Noel,” Crash Test Dummies

Those of us who remember when MTV played music videos all the time may remember Crash Test Dummies from their hit, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” notable for the extreme low bass of the lead singer and the ubiquitous funny/creepy video.

I was never much enamored of the band, but I like how they perform this classic Christmas carol. I hadn’t seen the video before tonight, and I’m delighted to say it’s pretty darn kooky as well.

“The First Noel” by Crash Test Dummies

In tomorrow’s Kooky Christmas: Santa meets an timely demise.

Music for an international mixer: “Une americaine a Paris” by Rupa & the April Fishes

With leaders of the twenty largest economies, their assistants and entourages, worldwide news media, and demonstrators and protesters of all stripes converging this week on Pittsburgh, life in this region has begun to feel a wee bit tense.

OK, more than a wee bit. So far there have been people hanging banners from bridges, march permit applications ignored or revoked, windows boarded over, Pittsburgh businesses and schools closed for the rest of the week, personal friends of mine pre-emptively called up from the reserves to help quell any violence, and lots and lots of people looking anxiously about.

I wish and hope that whatever happens could end up like this video.

Une americaine a Paris

The band is Rupa & the April Fishes. This song nicely fits the description of their music being an “enchanting mix of chic French nouvelle vague, rousing Latin alternative grooves, energetic Gypsy swing, and dreamy Indian ragas.” That’s something we’d like to see in Pittsburgh this week I think.

Qu’est-ce tu pense, qu’est-ce tu pense?
C’est histoire.

“Sunday Morning” covered by Beck and friends

Big thanks to my friend Sharon for letting me know that Beck has covered The Velvet Underground & Nico and posted the music videos online.

Record Club: Velvet Underground & Nico ‘Sunday Morning’ from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

It’s part of an on-going project by Beck called Record Club, covering classic albums, rehearsing and recording each single track in a day. Read more about the project in the Wall Street Journal.

I love the super-simplicity of Beck’s website. No frills, no fuss.

Add to your playlist: Eleni Mandell

I learned about Eleni Mandell through an interview on The Sound of Young America podcast.

Eleni Mandell (her Flash-based website and MySpace page)

In the interview, she seemed a little nervous and hesitant, but also charming, thoughtful, and well-spoken. She comes from the Los Angeles music scene of the 1980s, a big fan of the band X, then got connected with Tom Waits, and has been making music under the radar for all this time.

(You should add The Sound of Young America to your playlist too, by the way.)

The occasion of the interview was that she was promoting a new album, Artificial Fire, and so she played some songs, just her singing and playing acoustic guitar.

You know how you’ll hear an interview with a musician, and he talks about his influences and how he writes, and you’ll think, “Oh, he loves exactly the things I love! I’m going to love his music too.” And then you hear the music, and it’s just completely different from anything you would ever like or choose to listen to, and so you vow never to listen to interviews of musicians again? Maybe that only happens to me. It happens to me a lot.

Anyway, so that’s what I expected would happen. But Eleni Mandell played a few songs from Artificial Fire, and she turned out to be exactly the kind of musician I have wanted to hear lately. Her voice is warm and lush, a little deep and sexy, and her lyrics are smart without being uber-clever, and the songs are interesting and melodic, sometimes hummable and sometimes complex and layered.

Incidentally, the song that most knocked me out was “Personal.” You can hear it on the Eleni Mandell website, and you can order the album there too. If she ever releases an acoustic version, it will be the best thing ever recorded.

Artifical Fire represents something of a departure for her style. Prevous albums are what you might call “folky chanteuse,” while this new album is a bit more rocking and varied. I like it all, but you might want to search through her catalog and see which flavors you prefer.

Eleni Mandell – video for “Girls”


Lately I have been on a 70s kick. This afternoon, apropos of nothing, I found myself thinking of 70s songs, which got me thinking of 70s clothes, which had me thinking of bellbottoms.

Which had me thinking of this song — which is not 70s at all, although it certainly is something.

(iPhone visitors: You will have to make do with the even lower-quality vid on YouTube.)


One week and counting — best Steelers song round-up

Super Bowl Sunday comes in just one week, and all of Steeler Nation seems to be searching for “The. Best. Steelers. Song. Ever.

If you are among these searchers and have thusly arrived here at My Brilliant Mistakes, here are a few key links to help you on your quest:

Bob Braughler at Masters of Gilligan/Subdivided We Stand links to Mr. Devious’s “Puhlahmalu” — updated for 2009 with references to Mike Tomlin and current players — and to the above updated “Renegade” video.

(“Renegade” is, by far, my favorite song to hear in a sports stadium. I love it even without the sports connection, actually. But I think it is the most crowd-energizing anthem out there.)

Bob also links to a video of the crew on the International Space Station representing Steeler Nation from space.

Pre-teen band The Pop Rocks reworks Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” with Steelers lyrics. And they’re from Butler! Find details about them in the Post-Gazette. (Thanks to my friend India Amos for cluing me in on this.)

The blog Hail to Pitt provides a comprehensive listing of all the classic Steelers fight songs, and has warm words for the new Pop Rocks creation as well.

And if none of those is quite raunchy enough for your tasts, local force-of-nature Mindbling and her crew deliver a new and nasty fight song, one that I feel sure was the final boost the team needed to triumph over the Ravens: “No Sleep ’til Tampa.”

You Rock!!

One of my childish escapes guilty pleasures is playing Guitar Hero on the Wii.

I’m nearly through Medium level in “GH3: World Tour” — I haven’t mastered the fast fingering needed in the final section, and of course once I get through that I’ll still have to beat the final boss.

Now and again I make an attempt at playing at the expert level, and it’s just world’s harder than medium. So I find this video inspiring, astonishing, and maybe a bit depressing.

Yeah, he’s using a fake drum kit to play a fake guitar. And yet he’s my new hero.

(Thanks to Anthony for sending me the link. Or maybe curses to him, because now I want to go play all night.)

Love, love is a verb / Love is a doing word

I enjoy the TV show House, largely because I like watching Hugh Laurie.

One of the small but pure joys of watching the show is watching the opening credits — or rather, listening to them. The music used in the credits comes from the song “Teardrop” by Massive Attack.

The House credits use only instrumental portions of the song. But for me, the vocal is the really stunning part. See the eerie video above to appreciate the full combination. Lyrics to “Teardrop” are here.