Friday, 24 August 2012

Fatboy Slim ~ 'Weapon of choice'

Often when I'm in public spaces I get aggravated by other people's choice of music, so I can identify with this man's initial response to the music issuing forth from the nearby radio.  But he does something with it - lots of fun here, both for those who merely think about breaking out from the straightness of everyday life, and for those who actually do so:


The dancer is none other than actor, director and script writer Christopher Walken.  He was in his late fifties when the video was made.  Wikipedia has this to say about his performance:
Walken had a notable music video performance in 2001 with Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice". Directed by Spike Jonze, it won six MTV awards in 2001 and—in a list of the top 100 videos of all time compiled from a survey of musicians, directors, and music industry figures conducted by UK music TV channel VH1—won Best Video of All Time in April 2002. In this video, Walken dances and flies around the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles
I hadn't come across Fatboy Slim, otherwise known as Norman Cook, at all until just now, when I was idly watching a few minutes of the C4 TV channel.  Thank you, C4, Christopher and Fatboy!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Kina Grannis ~ 'In your arms' ~ Jelly bean art reaches its zenith!

Who would ever think of creating an entire video backdrop of moving images made up of jelly beans?  And who would ever have the patience to make it happen in co-ordination with a singer performing their song?  Boggled?  So was I!  Here is such an artwork.  I found it fascinating and beautiful - and enjoyed the song!  Kina has a lovely voice. 

Few people watching the video would think of the time and effort that went into creating the video.  It took almost two years to make.  A lot of people helped.  One 'still' camera was used to take 2460 individual images which were shown in sequence to create the apparently moving imagery.  This technique is called Stop Motion animation.  288,000 jelly beans were used.  Amazing!  The whole thing seemed impossible to me so I was glad that Kina has also posted a video about how it was made!  Total hats off to director Greg Jardin, and huge congratulations him and Kina - this is impressive performance art!

If you want to read more about it you can click on the title bar of either of the videos to reach the host YouTube site.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Stan Walker ~ 'Stand Up' ~ and the Narnian connection

I'm a big fan of Stan Walker, the winner of Australian Idol in 2009.  He is a Maori man, a New Zealander, who has made his home in Australia.  In this song his very special voice can be heard at its best.  Some footage from "The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is included as Stan recorded the song for the film's Australian release in 2010.

Stan's website is here:

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Katy Perry ~ 'Wide Awake'

I never thought I'd find myself sharing a Katy Perry video, but was surprised to find I liked this one - and the great little movie featuring her singing the song.  I encourage viewers not to be put off by the opening part in which she wears a pink wig and appears to be reclining in candy floss! 

The photography and sets are well worth looking at on the full screen, so it's worth selecting this option once the video has started playing.  To find this move your mouse pointer to just inside the lower right hand corner of the video clip.  The word 'full screen' then appear.  Click on it.  To reverse back out of it go to the lower right hand spot just inside the corner of your screen and click the same spot, or simply press the Escape button on your keyboard.

Marina and the Diamonds ~

During the last couple of weeks I've been greatly at a loss over what to watch on television, not that I watch it all that often, but there are times when it's nice to watch something vaguely entertaining.  Not being at all interested in sport or the Olympics I haven't found much else on, so I've turned to the New Zealand channel, C4.  This channel is available through Freeview.  Lots of music videos there and some lively chat from time to time, so it's a bit like a music station on tele.  It's been something of an eye-opener; some I've liked and other stuff I've found quite impossible but in amongst it all there have been some new discoveries: Marina and the Diamonds is one of them.  

Here is Marina singing Primadonna Girl.  It's worth enlarging the screen to full size to get a proper look at the action:

I've heard this song on the radio, but didn't know who sang it, so was interested to put a face to the song, so to speak, and enjoyed the video - very amusing actually, watching Marina acting out the moves of such a person, and sweet too.  

The next video is very different.  I found it had an oddly mesmerising quality, but maybe it's because like the song writer I have historic issues to do with Power and Control - yes, that's what it's called.  I thought too, that the man of the piece was a good foil for her performance.  Very nicely done, Marina! 


Marina's site is here:

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The astonishing Amanda Palmer in Neil Gaiman's 'Statuesque' ~ and as herself

Amanda Palmer is such an individual that she stands out from any crowd and it must surely be impossible to confuse her with anybody else.

In my view art at its best shows us different ways of seeing the world and introduces us to ideas that wouldn't otherwise occur to us.  In this short movie our assumptions about an older man who sits and watches models is unlikely to be anything like what we see going on here - or is it?  And the people who somehow permeate our thoughts, what of them?  I'll let you enjoy the film for yourselves...

She's married to Neil Gaiman.

Amanda is a singer, songwriter and performing artist.  There is nothing tame about this unexpected woman, only an oddly endearing naturalness that has a certain naivety to it.  

You can explore her website here:
If you're comfortable with a certain amount of nudity you may find the "Want it back" video and song (uncensored version) pleasing.  I liked it.  Now that was unexpected!  She's not vamping the audience or making up to the camera-person - just using her body as an art canvas.   This aspect of it has something in common with Gotye and Kimbra's video of "Somebody that I used to know" although the artwork itself is very different! Let's bear in mind too, that the naked human body has been the subject and inspiration of great art since time immemorial.

Gotye and Kimbra ~ "Somebody that I used to know" ~

Gotye was born in Belgium but grew up in Australia; Kimbra is a New Zealander who now lives in Australia.  In this surprising video both musicians have their bodies used like a canvas for a piece of abstract art, imagery which is as memorable as the song is catchy!

In the audio clip below Kimbra is interviewed by Jim Mora of Radio New Zealand (30th July 2012).  Readers may be interested to hear what she says about the process of being painted for the video shoot.  Jim Mora remarked that it was the first time a guest of Radio New Zealand had fans come up with them in the lift!