FloRida Spins Us Right Round (Like a Record)

February 25, 2010 at 12:58 am (Entertainment, Media, Music) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m afraid that now that I’ve got this whole “this song sounds like that song” thing started, I may not be able to quit. It’s becoming like a sort of addiction, or compulsion. Every time I turn around these days, I spot another new song that sounds like a tune I heard years ago. Case in point…

I was visiting a friend the other day, and the TV was playing a music on demand channel. This song by FloRidaRight Round – popped up, and my memory ran up a flag, too. Let’s listen to FloRida:

Yep. There it is, a nifty little musical hook from 1984. Back when I was a much younger man, a band called Dead or Alive had a big hit titled You Spin Me Round:

At least FloRida seems to be open about the origins of the hook, which was sampled for Right Round. The Wikipedia entry for Right Round discusses the source, so it looks as if the lawyers will not be called from their crypts to put the bite on FloRida.

Hey, maybe there’s some hope for modern music after all! And no, I’ve got no idea why the eye patch. Or that ’80s Big Hair! Damn, man! One forgets. Go back and watch music videos or movies from the ’80s, and you’ll see what I mean. Stick thin girls with short skirts and hair teased and sprayed until the blondes look like dandelions with eyeliner.

Tank GirlWhich reminds me. Not sure why it reminds me, but – it reminds me. I ran across a site online where you can watch the movie Tank Girl all the way through for free. Never seen Tank Girl? Oh, it’s an experience. Go ahead. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

More soon, film fans and music mavens. It’s a busy time. Got a sick friend, and my dad had surgery a couple weeks ago, too. So – chaos, discord, and mayhem. Lovely.

And if you have any ideas for topics, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Oh, one more thing, in the immortal words of Columbo. I had a really interesting comment on my most popular entry, They Call This a Jeep? Click the link to read the comment, and my response.



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Kookaburra Sits And Laughs While Men Work

February 5, 2010 at 1:33 am (Entertainment, Media, Music) (, , , , , , )

Once again, dear readers, we will take a few minutes to revisit the concept of the borrowed melody, or as I’ve called it, kleptomelodica.

Apparently, some cases of misappropriated tunes take some time to come to light and be resolved. I was surprised to see in today’s news, that a band I was quite fond of, back in the ’80s, have lost a lawsuit over their biggest hit.

The BBC reports that Men At Work, an Australian band whose big hit, Down Under, had borrowed a bit of its melody from the old song, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. Let’s start by having a listen to Down Under

Now that’s a bunch of bonza blokes who seem to be having a good time. Oh, yes… I do remember this one from my misspent youth, lo so many years gone by. And I even used to buy Vegemite at the local health food store, where I also had a bit of a crush on the young lady who worked there. Fun little tune. And funny that I didn’t notice the similarity to Kookaburra. Hell, even I knew that melody from my childhood. Here’s the Aussie song about the bird, then…

Now that I think about it, and listen to Kookaburra alongside the flute riff from Down Under, I can see (or rather hear) the similarity.

But I wonder why, in this performance, the lyrics are changed from “gay your life must be” to “rich your life must be”.

Probably to keep the boys from sniggering uncontrollably.

Ah, well. Whatever. The bottom line is – the courts have decreed that Men At Work shall compensate the estate of Kookaburra composer Marion Sinclair.

Good on yer, mates.  And maybe an “I’m sorry” might not be out of place.

More soon.



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They’re Coming To Take Me Away (hah hah!)

January 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm (Entertainment, Media, Music) (, , )

Hey, fellow music nerds! In the last few days, I ran across something completely unexpected. It’s one of those things that you really don’t think about until you see it, and then it becomes obvious – even inevitable.

Since it seems that all the good melodies have already been written, those bands who choose not to sample or rap are mining our musical past for golden nuggets. Here’s one such effort. Neuroticfish with a cover version of “They’re Coming to Take Me Away”:

Yes! Very nice! Wonderfully deranged, in a way that the original version from the 1960’s, by Napoleon the XIV, could never be allowed, back in the day… With the added benefit of the bass line from the Dr. Who theme. For comparison, here’s the happily bent little ditty that I first heard when I borrowed the LP from my neighbor, Mike Platt:

Ah, they don’t make ’em like that any more. Sometimes, they make them even better.

Well, for a given value of “better”. Like the difference between making a fire “better” by putting water on it, or gasoline. It all depends on your point of view, really.



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Google Bailing Out of China?

January 13, 2010 at 2:37 am (Cool Tech, Internet tech, Politics) (, , , , , , , , )

Wow. I did not see that one coming.  This is the biggest news since the Internet’s 40th Birthday last year.

Google has had an uneasy relationship with China for several years.  The search engine mega-corp (up until now) has been working with the Chinese government to censor and limit the search results returned to Google users in China.  Apparently, when users in China search for things like “Tiananmen Square” there are no results.  (Not so here in the US, of course.  Today.)

But now, it appears that the gloves are off, and the search company whose motto is “Don’t Be Evil” is prepared to stand up to Beijing.  Why? Reports are that G-Mail web-mail accounts belonging to Chinese dissidents (and others) are being hack-attacked by cyber-forces within China.  And Google doesn’t like that very much.  Sort of the last straw for the boys at Google.

So, will there be no more kow-towing to the Great Firewall of China?  It’s a bit early to tell, but I think we’re looking at a “irresistible force vs. immovable object” situation here.  And it’s a safe bet that the US State Department will get involved at some point in this new cyber-brouhaha.  Trade agreements, loans from China to the US, Chinese imports, most favored nation status… there are so many factors that tie America to China at this point, that any disruptions could cause significant and unforeseen consequences.

Potentially, this is a good opportunity for China’s home-grown search engine industry to get a leg up.  Baidu.com has been mentioned in some reports as a possible beneficiary of the cyber-snottiness.

The Internets - TWO Series of Tubes?One possible result: two Internets.  BusinessWeek is reporting Bloomberg expects some serious tussles between the Western World and China over the shape of the Internet.  The two visions – China’s desire for a controlled, stable, sanitary web, versus the American / European insistence on a democratic, open, accessible Internet – are going to be hard to reconcile.

Personally, I’d rather see China either open, or have their own bloody-minded, locked down Internet.  I sure don’t want to see the rest of the world following the Chinese model.

Feel free to disagree.  There’s space, just below.  Go for it, and enjoy our open Internet, and the freedom of discourse.



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Even More Silliness

December 31, 2009 at 3:44 pm (Damn funny, Entertainment, General, Music) (, , , , , , )

Rebus PuzzleReba McEntire

RebusReba

Well, I did say that it was more random silliness.

And as I wrote today on my Facebook page, 2010 is bound to be better than 2009, especially if we all go out into the world, in the days and weeks to come, holding that intention in our minds and in our hearts. Spread a little compassion, a little joy, a little happiness. Here’s a start. Enjoy.

Happy New Year!



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UFOs Over The Kremlin?

December 28, 2009 at 12:28 am (General, Media, Politics, UFO) (, , , , , , , , , )

Boy, oh boy.  For some reason, the 2009 solstice season has really given us some high-profile UFO sightings.  I’m beginning to wish they’d just frickin’ land already, and get it over with…

The Russians seem to be having all the fun these days.  Two separate videos of triangular or pyramidal UFOs, seen over the Kremlin, supposedly on two different dates.  The first video shows what appears to be a large triangular or pyramidal UFO over Moscow’s Red Square.

I need to pay closer attention to the news wires.  This daylight UFO sighting apparently took place on or about December 9th, about the time that  Norway was treated to a massive blue spiral in their sky, which may or may not have been a failed Russian missile test launch.

The next video is a night-time sighting, shot from a moving car.  It’s not very clear, but there does seem to be a triangular shape in the sky above the Kremlin, perhaps on December 18th.  Very cool… My best advice is to click “full-screen” and watch closely.

Some sources are indicating that this second video is just disinformation, but I don’t really understand the reasoning behind that assertion.  Another article on the subject can be found here.

Since the video images are so dark, I decided to grab some screen shots of still frames, and “bump them up” a bit, using Gimp, the open-source alternative to Photoshop.  Here are the results.  Click the images to see larger versions.




Okay. If that isn’t some seriously weird $#!+, then I’m Mary Queen of Scots. I’d be interested in seeing what other people make of this footage, and if anyone has similar results with photo enhancement programs.

(If you want to know what I did in Gimp, to get these results, just e-mail me, or leave a comment below.)

Back soon with more weirdness, or perhaps just something silly. You can never really tell with me, can you?

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Oh, Those UFOs!

December 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm (Cool Tech, General, Media, UFO) (, , , , , )

More UFO news last week.  Yeah, I know.  I should have mentioned it last week, when it was still actually news.  (It’s been busy here at Maison D’Lock – sorry.)  But if some of you have missed it, since the mainstream media have the attention span of a stunned guppy, let’s take a quick look.

First off, parts of Norway were treated to an amazing visual spectacle in the form of a spiraling blue light show in the sky, early on the morning of December 10th.

Looks pretty amazing!  Many news services now seem to think the spiral light formation was the result of a Russian missile test launch, which failed in the upper atmosphere, going out of control.  Check out the video – you can actually see the spiral rotating.

The very next day, news agencies and bloggers began reporting on the discovery of an “alien graveyard” in Rwanda, of all places. Claims of more than 200 bodies, in a 500 year old mass grave, are circulating on the ‘net.

But, given that the source seems to be the World Weekly News – home of Bat Boy, this may be more coprolite than fossil remains.

More soon, kids.  Christmas approaches like a freight train on a downhill, with no brakes.  I need to either get running, or get out of the way.

Peace and a happy season to you all.

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UFOs? What UFOs?

December 7, 2009 at 3:23 am (General, Media, Politics, UFO) (, , , , , , , , , )

Greetings, programs! I read today that our dear brothers across the pond have pulled the plug on their UFO research efforts. Yes, some 40 years after the US government did the same thing (officially, anyway) after publishing the Condon Report, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has decided that “in over 50 years, no UFO report has revealed any evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom.”

Well, sure.  Right.  No potential threat at all.  Not if you believe that objects flitting through the sky above your country, at speeds you can’t hope to match, and going wherever they please, are no kind of threat.  What kind of fuzzy thinking is that?  Hello, McFly!

Maybe they should talk to the guys over at the Space Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.  Their deputy director, Lachezar Filipov, seems to think that the aliens are already here, and are among us now.

Or perhaps have a chat with the folks at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, who saw something quite peculiar, just over three years ago.  Workers on the ground and pilots both reported seeing a huge gray disc hover over the terminal for several minutes, in November 2006.  And when it left, it just shot off, straight up, punching a hole through the clouds that took a few minutes to close back up.  Probably swamp gas.

Here’s the reality – there is something going on in the skies, all over the world, and it remains unexplained after more than 60 years of research.  Anyone you talk to will admit that much.   But turning your back on the issue and pretending it’s not a problem, or doesn’t exist, is completely irresponsible.

And that’s what the MOD has done, and so has the American government.  So have many other agencies world wide.  This has led to a widespread belief that the major governments know something that they refuse to share with the public at large.

So, what shall we do about it, Dave? Petition the government to show us what’s in Area 51?  Throw up our hands and shrug?  Move to a cabin in the wilderness?

Maybe just keep an open mind, and remain skeptical.  Don’t trust everything you read.  Even this.  And especially not the mainstream media.  Do the research for yourself.  Read a few books on the subject.  Maybe even watch the skies some night, instead of the frickin’ boob tube.  Grab your friends, family, maybe a few beverages, and go look at the sky.  Yeah, I know.  Better dress warmly if you’re going to do that tonight.  It’s wicked cold here in Vancouver, WA.  But the viewing is great!  The stars are clear and bright.

I just can’t stay out for long.  My eyeballs start to freeze.

P.S. If you want to have a look at the UFO report data collected by the UK’s Ministry of Defence, since 1997, you can find it all here. There’s not a lot of detail, but what there is may convince a few folks that our sky is a busy place.

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More Random Silliness

December 3, 2009 at 2:09 am (Damn funny, General) (, , , )

Anais NinNiacin

Yes, another stupid bit of wordplay. Well, I thought it was funny…

I promise, I’ll post something much more serious, very soon.



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Surfin’ With Sweet Little 16

November 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm (Entertainment, General, Music) (, , , , , , , , , )

web_surferGreetings, fellow web surfers! And my apologies – it’s been over two weeks since I last posted. Life’s been getting in the way. (And that’s getting annoying…)

But let’s get on with the fun, and revisit the “Stolen Songs” theme that I was doing a couple months ago. For some reason, this one came wandering through my head the other day like some sort of melodic vagrant, mooching for spare change. First, the original moldy oldie – from 1958, Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen:


Chuck Berry is, without doubt, one of the biggest influences ever on rock & roll. Everybody learned to play his songs, covered them in bars and clubs, and his records were in every jukebox. That probably explains why The Beach Boys song, Surfin’ USA, sounds so much like it.

I’m kind of surprised that I never really noticed before. Chuck Berry sure did -in 1963, he apparently accused Brian Wilson of stealing the melody, and Murry Wilson – Brian’s father – seems to have agreed. He signed the rights to Surfin’ USA over to Chuck Berry… including the royalties for the lyrics!

And before I get slammed for ripping off someone else’s blog, I will insist right now that my connection between these two songs was not prompted by the October 15th entry on SoundsJustLike.com.  But here’s the link, nevertheless.

Back soon with more goodies, everyone!

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