Category Archives: viral video

hey, hey, it’s a working day

Since I missed the boat on blogging about Lonely Avenue when it was released last year, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to finally, belatedly discuss it in this space thanks to a fortuitous Twitter posting from Mr. Folds this morning.

Ben just released the video for “A Working Day,” the album’s opening track and my favorite in the collection. (Close second: “Saskia Hamilton.”) Perhaps it’s because I, too, have had several guys (and gals) on the ‘Net (and on the phone — two just today) tell me I suck, thanks to my day job writing mostly about small towns and their accompanying small town bickering. Perhaps it’s because like the song’s protagonist, I also think that “everything I write is shit,” including this very blog post. Either way, I love this song if for no other reason than it’s an excellent tune to crank in the car. Rolling in my Nissan, listening to Ben Folds wax philosophic about his own inadequacies, I am nothing but the epitome of cool.

Anyway, the point is, this song makes me happy. And — as if it could happen any other way — its accompanying video makes me equally, if not even more so, ecstatic.

The energy and unadulterated joy behind this clip is contagious. I watched it twice before work this morning, and both viewings left me with a big, goofy grin on my face. I’ve been to a bunch of Ben Folds’s shows over the years and have gladly taken part in his a capella arrangements for songs like “Army” and “Not the Same.” But seeing it done for the first time with a new song — and wishing to God I could have been there to do it, too — is like witnessing Ben’s process for the first time. It’s at once cool and confounding — how on earth did he get it to sound so seamless? How long did he craft the arrangement by himself before trying it out on his audience/guinea pigs? It always works in the end, but the obvious preparation he put into this video in particular warrants new appreciation for his musical genius.

When I first heard Ben was collaborating with Nick Hornby, one of my favorite authors, for this album, I was thrilled. It didn’t immediately occur to me that I would get the chance to hear these songs live if I went to see Ben solo — they lived so perfectly together as one entity on Lonely Avenue that I couldn’t picture them out on their own in the wild concert halls across the continent. Now, I’m ready and willing to jump right in, playing living instrument to Ben’s madcap conductor.

As the song says,

I’m a genius, really, I’m excellent
Better than them, I kick their asses

The next time Ben needs someone to participate in a viral video, he knows who to call.

there is nothing like someone new

I’m moving to Albany next Friday.

I keep saying it, but it still seems unreal. The last few weeks have been teeming with Major Life Changes: I got a new job (in journalism! Finally! Huzzah!), I bought my first car (the brightest of bright reds), and I’m moving back to a city that I love and miss to move in with someone I love and miss. (I’m also pretty sure the laptop — or at least its hard drive — is lost and gone forever. Sigh.)

Frightened Rabbit‘s “Nothing Like You” has been another breath of fresh air,  soothing me amid the stress of all these changes and captivating me for the better part of last week, swirling still about my head six days after it first caught my ear.

This latest single from their forthcoming album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, is nothing short of miraculous, joyously buoyant and ever so catchy. I dare you to watch this delightfully DIY video (far superior to its glossy counterpart) without cracking a smile:

As one YouTube user put it, “I can’t understand how this band aren’t a total chart destroying, globe-shagging phenomenon.” Indeed, these Scots have been pumping out great, slightly-under-the-radar albums since 2006, particularly 2008’s fierce, lovely The Midnight Organ Fight. But shout-outs in the pages of Esquire and repeated plays on shows like Chuck prove that the world is starting to take notice.

The greatest thing about “Nothing Like You” is that it’s essentially a scathing rebuke of an ex disguised in a shimmering pop package, topped off with a ribbon of jangling tambourines. The video depicts various band members and company bopping about to this chorus:

She was not the cure for cancer / And all my questions still asked for answers / But there is nothing like someone new/ And this girl she was nothing like you

All my Major Life Changes are exciting and terrifying, and as much as I try to assign them meaning, they will probably not end up as grandiosely Life-Changing as I assume them to be.

But there is nothing like something new — job, car, roommate, song, or otherwise — and I can thank Frightened Rabbit for that realization.

i’m not lying — this is stunning

As anyone who’s talked to me in the last few days is aware, life at home, it ain’t so grand. Good thing the Internet exists.

Thanks to a mention on The Huffington Post, I was introduced to this uh-may-zing a capella cover — complete with choreography! — of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” Behold, the glory of goofy guys attempting (and ROCKING) hilarious, suggestive dance moves:

My love for all things a capella dates back to high school, when I harbored a slightly unhealthy obsession with the University of Rochester Midnight Ramblers. But putting my clear bias towards these kinds of things aside, I truly think it’s a swell cover, and entertaining as hell.

If it can bring a smile to this miserable monster’s face, it gets my seal of approval. And I’m not bluffin’.

you make my dreams

Well, I spoke too soon. Instead of enjoying what’s left of Upstate New York’s pleasant fall weather before a hellish winter descends on us all, I spent yesterday sick as a dog. I won’t go into specifics, but suffice it to say, I really did need to “take it easy,” a.k.a., do exactly what I’ve been doing these last few months of unemployment: nothing.

Though I’ve got a lingering cough and runny nose, my spirits have been sufficiently lifted, thanks in part to this clip from (500) Days of Summer:

The entire soundtrack — and movie, for that part — is great, but none of the tunes brings a smile to my face quite like “You Make My Dreams.” As I said in a recent Facebook status, I think Hall and Oates are one of the most underrated bands of our time. After having these sentiments echoed by friends — save for two, including my own boyfriend; oh, the shame — and then discovering that this delightful duo isn’t even in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m convinced that I’m right.

There’s no denying the awesomeness of “Rich Girl” and “Maneater,” and you know you cheered when “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” popped up in Ed‘s lucid dream episode (or maybe that was just me?) Tom Cavanagh clearly shares my affection for these two, since he also found a way to sneak them on to Scrubs.

Sure, they’re the very definition of late ’70s/early ’80s cheese. The “Private Eyes” video alone makes that case, what with its trenchcoats, claps, and gratuitous shots of Oates’ Jew ‘fro and J-Stache. But as one YouTube user dubbed them, they’re “the tall Germanic/Anglo-Saxon/Nordic blond and the medium mustachioed Mediterraean dynamic duo.”

And sometimes, I really can go for that.

there’s something about “meredith”…

Fawning (v): To seek favor or attention by flattery and obsequious behavior. See: Meredith Viera’s cringe-inducingly awkward behavior on a recent episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

I’m all for double entendres and showing appreciation for fine male specimens, but dear lord woman — keep it in check! Although I suppose with a name like Meredith, these things are bound to happen:

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