Archive for category YouTube

American Baby on MVM

I will admit that it did take a little bit for this Dave Matthews Band track to grow on me when I first heard it (like, 5-6 listens as I picked at the lyrics). It’s actually one I did not know there was a video for at the time, but find on odd (read “good”) resonance with the visuals to coincide with today’s holiday here in the states.

We should be a collective, inclusive country… that’s part of of what’s etched on the the big green lady’s tablet off the coast of NYC.  If more people would remember that, then we’ll be able to “Stay American, Baby.”


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The Infamous Question

If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook for the last couple of weeks, and especially if you have any writer-minded friends (and, really, to be honest, who doesn’t), you’ve likely seen or at least heard referenced a recent interview between George RR Martin & Stephen King. King is on tour for his latest book [End of Watch], and the final question of the conversation is that infamous one about writing speed.

Here’s the full video… the question is asked at about the 50 minute mark.

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Sanderson Lectures

I am on record as being a pro-Writing Excuses person. On more than one occasion I’ve suggested particular episodes to fellow writers/crit partners for something they’ve had trouble with, or just spread the gospel of “you should listen.” Several episodes happened to hit at just the right time while I was completing my MFA that forced me to think about aspects of my thesis as I was moving from finishing my first draft and facing down the revisions. A central part of that comes down to Brandon Sanderson.

Outside of his active writing career, he also teaches a writing class at BYU. Sanderson recently posted this on his website:

Several years back, grad student Scott Ashton asked me if he could record my BYU lectures and post them for an online curriculum as part of a project he was doing. I said yes, and it was never supposed to be “a thing,” not really. It was a student doing a project, and using my lectures as a way to explore online education.

Well, since that time, those lectures (which are collected at Scott’s site, which he called Write About Dragons) have been viewed tens of thousands of times, and become one of the big hallmarks of my web presence, at least as far as writing education goes. I’ve been blown away by the reception to them. At the same time, I’ve been keenly aware that the recording was subpar. This isn’t Scott’s fault—he actually did an excellent job, considering his background. But the lectures are at times difficult to hear, and the filming was handled on a single amateur camera.

For years, I’ve been wanting to do something better. And this year I had my chance. My good friend Earl is a semiprofessional filmmaker, and was looking for a new project. I pitched a better-recorded set of lectures, filmed this year in my class, and he jumped at the idea.

The TL;DR of his post, in case you couldn’t guess from where I ended the copy, is that he has a “newly recorded” set of lectures that will be posted over the next few months. Since I have, in the past, watched several clips and pointed writer friends to the above Dragons site (and with an interest in teaching this stuff, myself), I’m stoked to be able to check these out.

Here’s the first lecture, so you can start checking them out yourself.

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Call Me on MVM

Blondie had come and gone by the time I was discovering music as a kid. Sure, there may have been some radio singles that I might have heard, but I have no clear memory of being exposed to their music when I was growing up. I’ve heard it since, of course (even if it’s generally just been the big singles).

I have been known, when receiving texts that read “call me” from close friends, to say, “Hello, Blondie” when I’ve called them back.

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Piano Man on MVM

Billy Joel is an institution: sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, with 33 Top 40 hits in the US, all of which he wrote himself. Let me say that again: he wrote them himself, essentially over a 20-year career*. And it all started with this one.

* 1973-93, with Columbia Records. While, technically, his first album was released in 1971 by a small label, it tanked. But it paved the way for his getting signed by Columbia, which is where he spent the rest of his “pop” career.

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Babylon on MVM

David Gray‘s first major US single, from his 4th album White Ladder (originally released in the UK, but re-released in the US on a label founded by Dave Matthews). It’s a bit on the mellower side, but still regularly lands on playlists.

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I Wanna Rock on MVM

Twisted Sister was a little before my time. That’s not quite right. They were at the dawn of my discovering of “my” music, but really only existed for the span of two singles. I’ve featured the first, before. This is the other.

A funny side-story. Kids provide strange opportunities for music to emerge. One of the twins, when it’s time for bed, is good for walking into their room and saying “rock rock.” Invariably, if I’m in a playful mood, I will sort-of sing, “I wanna rock… I want to rock” as we’re sitting in rocking chairs before putting them to bed. Goofy, I know, but that’s how I…roll.

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1979 on MVM

The Smashing Pumpkins were big during the 90s. Their radio singles were part of my college soundtrack. This week’s selection is from their third album.

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(BNL’s) Brian Wilson on MVM

I’m more of an “old school” BNL (Barenaked Ladies) person. Granted, I’ve not listened to anything since Steven left the group, so perhaps that’s not entirely a fair statement. To me, it seemed like he was the voice of the group, singing most of the catchier or higher-profile songs, like this week’s pick, “Brian Wilson.”

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All Star on MVM

If you’re only reference for this song is Shrek (like my kids), know that the song existed several years before the movie. (And I remember hearing it on the radio when it was new, which really makes me feel old.) Smash Mouth played a show in my local area recently, and this was what they closed their set with – inviting folks from the crowd up on the stage to dance while they played.

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