Wild Packs of Family Dogs

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"Wild Pack Of Family Dogs"

A wild pack of family dogs came runnin' through the yard one day
My father got his gun, shot it up, they ran away ok
A wild pack of family dogs came runnin' through the yard
And as my own dog ran away with them, I didn't say much of anything at all
A wild pack of family dogs came runnin' through the yard
As my little sister played, the dogs took her away
And I guess she was eaten up ok, yeah she was eaten up ok
My mother's cryin' blood dust now
My dad he quit hisjobtoday, well I guess he was fired but that's ok
And I'm sittin' outside my mudlake, waiting for the pack to take me away
And right after I die the dogsstartfloating up towards the glowing sky
Now they'll receive theirrewards, now they will receive their rewards

best lyrics ever. that is all.

A Man's Skeleton

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I felt strongly that I had to post this. I wasn't going to, but it encapsulates my views on gender in such a graceful and heartfelt way that it seems only right.

Now, I will admit that her ideas of what 'sex' and 'gender' are a tad confused, but it doesn't take away from her point: although someone still has male or female "units", they are still free to choose their lifestyle however they see fit.

Here's the video.

I'm not trying to be preachy, and I'm not embedding some secret hint that I want a sex change. Just watch the video and maybe you'll grow up a little. Thanks.

"...Go, now! Go!"

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This is the first television dramaI'veever completed (thanks in large part to the lengthof its run), and while a part of me obviously laments the annoying, jilted feeling at the end of that fatal 19thepisode, a part of me is also content; becoming so attached to the characters and their developments, admiring the inspired but subtle filming techniques, and the almost mystical brilliance of the writing - having that all ripped away and reluctantly knowing that there is nothing else hurts, but at the same timeit'sa good, cathartic kind of hurt.

The acting here - everything that could be used to describe it would be a silly understatement or completely beside the point, as the writing and situations are so ingeniouslyintertwined and relative to every character, to comment on the technical aspect of the actors or standouts would undermine how much they simply become a part of you. In short, the acting is, yes, amazing. I will admit something here: I didn't think much of Jared Leto's performance of Jordan at all, until Jordan's story developed and I realized the true power of Leto's acting (this didn't really come to me until Jordan was revealed to be far complex than his initial presentation and shaking off the stupid assumption that Leto was just as dumb as Jordan).

Also due to the writing (I'll get to the writing itself in a sec, I promise), the character development is superb, with buds of relationships, revelations, and past-lives growing in ways that are unpredictable, making the developments either heart-warming, painful, or surreal. Sounds like high school to me. The high-school experience in reality may have been way less dramatic and impactful to most people, but it's the perfect stage for feelings of confusion and anger that are evoked so well in this show. The beauty of it is that you relate to it in a melancholic but cathartic way. Personally, it made me miss high-school; it may have been a sh*tty experience at times, but the potential for silly drama and the mentality that LIFE ISN'T FAIR is a welcoming memory that distracts from my sterile life currently. Case in point of this drama is the "friends or not friends" ordeal, the relationship of Angela, Rayanne, and Sharon is a fantastic roller-coaster of supressed feelings and knowing glances, masks of hatred and those moments everything feels right. But not for long jesus christ it takes a turn! When they're in the girls bathroom, just know sh*t is about to go down.

The writing. It is both a delight and a hammer. The delight comes from its parallels and the way it ties psyches and events together, so the situation comes full circle in the Caress (Rayanne's mother got this from a Vonnegut book describing a phenomenon in which a certain group of people, no matter how they feel about each other, are always linked). In the beginning of the episode, a character will say something that has a hint of poignancy, such as "That was so long ago! Why do you even bring that up?", and then another character will say the exact same thing later in the episode. This may not sound that impressive on paper, but in execution it is a beautiful and subtle reminder of the themes swirling through the episode...or whatever.

I could go, like, on and on about this, but I'm supposed to hang with Tino.

In the rain (poem)

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In the rain,

the town

was Japanese watercolor

wet canvas of a zoo

In blue

greens and reds,

and smeary heads

awash in lush,

and hue

Favorite Music Videos #3

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Daft Punk - Da Funk

Director - Spike Jonze

Spike Jonze, the greatest music video director of all time (sorry Gondry and Fincher), has an uncanny knack for turning a concept that is initially alien and forlorn into something heartfelt that packs an emotional, often melancholic punch. This quality seeps gracefully into his feature films, but it is the music video medium where his talents shine with mastery of the form and devilishly keen ears for music and eyes that give the music an exhilarating, playful, and warm visual essence. "Da Funk" is Jonze at his weirdest and otherworldy heart-wrenching - a fish-out-of-water display that is bizarre yet laden with pangs of sympathy and awkward grief for a dog-man with a broken leg making his way in the Big City Nights.

The actual song is more or less in the background here, acting as the figurative crutch for the dog-man's actions, and allows the characters within the video to be aware of the song, for better or worse; mischievous boys comment "That's a good song!" while making fun of him, an odds-and-ends street vendor complains about its volume while the dog-man pleas that the knob is broken, and cuts to him looking at the inside of stores drowns out the song, effectively giving the impression of the song being a tangible element. The use of heavy dialogue and the constant shifting and drowning out of the song may seem disorienting at first, but the reactionary nature of it (and it's sped-up bpm) creates an unnerving tension that is alleviated during the video's climactic sequence.

Entering a convenience store and seeing a girl he knew from his childhood (implied lost love), they begin to make awkward conversation until the dog-man (who we now learn is named Charles) jogs her memory. Ecstatic, the girl invites him to dinner, but when she gets on the bus, he is frozen with shock and quick cuts are made to the sign saying "No Radios". The bus leaves as the girl is visibly alarmed and confused, with Charles turning away sadly down the street. This moment is the dagger of melancholy amongst small spikes of melancholy throughout the video and leaves the viewer feeling dogged sympathy towards a dude in a dog mask.

Only Spike Jonze can make you feel sorry for a dude in a dog mask.

Favorite Music Videos #2

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Bjork - Big Time Sensuality

Director -Stéphane Sednaoui

Bjork is posing and dancing like an idiot on the back of a truck, going through New York in the middle of the day. She is singing, speaking, whispering, and sweetly pleading for the world to listen as she looks into the camera as an invitation into her subdued grandeur.

It's a quiet little spectacle.

And oh, how these silly poses and smiles and naivety work like ethereal magic in the lens pierced by black and white. An icon is born.

Black and white imagery, whether it's a drawing, film, or old photograph will always succeed in creating a stark, immediate, striking sensation far more than their colorfied counterparts. It virtually eliminates any other distraction the brain may entertain and imprints it with a frank, bold, blunt statue or silhouette that demands absolute focus and submission to its figure. The BIGness of Bjork's intimate yet thrillingly universal and gleeful cruise through the city lends itself perfectly to the black and white, besetting a wholesome and exhilarating display of iconicism on a grand scale.

What a cruise it is. The version of the song you hear is a remix by Fluke (English electronic group) that cuts almost all elements of the house-rock that comprises the original version and places sustained, faux string lines and choppy synths that does wonders to enhance the brevity and BIGness of Bjork's big time lyrics, topped off with a faint whisper mimicking the lines throughout. This brevity is accentuated by the slow speed of the truck, which creates an excellent contrast to the fast moving world around her, effectively giving the trailer a mobile stage quality for Bjork's shenanigans while maintaining the focus on her wild, enlightening performance.

I'll say it right now. This b*tch can pose. I don't know if she can dance, but my god does this woman own the camera. She makes absolutely zero bones about demanding attention towards her various hand motions, exaggerated facial expressions, and emotive stances and prances. If any element of this video pounds the stamp of an icon in its wake, it is surely the result of her uncanny ability to prowl, lurch and hold her hands to the sky or face to get her goddam point across. And she'll do it too.

It takes courage to enjoy it.

Favorite Music Videos #1

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Some of you may know that I am an ardent enthusiast for music videos, perhaps to the point of annoyance, but they offer to me a perfect combination of imagery, music, and a showcase/representation of a band's attitude towards themselves and the rest of the world. They can be iconic, powerful, artsy, and (my favorite quality) downright fun. It is a thrill when a band or artist knows their place, is comfortable with themselves in the given video, and delivers a creative piece of magic that gives me chills.

However, whether or not the band is the centerpiece (some of my favorites don't show the band at all), the last call for arms for music videos as a respected medium is the director. Most artists will collaborate with the same director throughout their tenure of promoting their music through clips, such as Weezer and Beastie Boys with Spike Jonze, Bjork with Michel Gondry, and U2 with permanent visual artist Anton Corbijn. Much of the culture and reputation surrounding these groups owe a significant amount of thanks to the directors they've worked with, in establishing artistic statements for not only the director, but the performers as well. The right director can transcend the initial throwaway impression of music videos and create something truly original and memorable that lines up with any other field in the visual arts.

Once the director is chosen, and both the artist, director, and producer have a basic idea of how they want to convey the song, the real magic happens. They can approach the music and imagery pertaining to it in virtually limitless ways. Either present a framework of image or narrative that doesn't exactly match the music, or piece the images to rhythmically match the music. It doesn't necessarily have to be a cohesive fusion of imagery and sound, but when it's done right, it can be an exhilarating experience. I'll give examples of this juxtaposition as the series goes on, as well as the importance of iconicism and stark imagery. For now, ON TO VIDEO #1!

Korn - Freak on a Leash

Director -Todd McFarlane

I knew choosing this one right of the bat would either make or break it with anyone who read this. But hear me out.

This is my favorite music video of all time. I chose it to start the series hopefully to introduce my reasoning of enjoyment that music videos present to me, and explain enough so that you can appreciate it and hopefully enjoy it for the masterwork that it is.

The director, Todd McFarlane was known mainly as a cartoonist at the time and provides the stellar animation pieces that bookend the video (McFarlane also helped with animation on Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution video, one that will get it's own spot in the series). As a cop chases a mischievious little girl and accidentally lets a bullet go from his gun, the genius of the clip literally bursts through the fabric of the animated reality into a reality that is torn to shreads by the escaped bullet. The initial sensation of the bullet entering the real world is, of course, matched with the song kicking in, and blazes a stirring trail for the bullet's path, in which the trivialities and tropes of normal life (a bored kid's birthday party, a mother doing dishes, employees in a cafe line, etc) are decimated in slow motion by the bullet. Sure, the slow motion display of the bullet tearing through what seems to be conveniently placed items can be seen as gimmicky, but that sidesteps the symbolism of the bullet as a destructive, anxious force, escaped from the supposed freak.

The main star of this show, and the one that gives it its punch, is the editing. The way in which the scenes showing the bullet soaring matched with the relatively quiet verses creates an unsettling effect that explosively unfurls as the band launches into the chorus and immediately cuts to the band themselves; they are appropriately bouncy and energetic and longing to either escape or accept their place in the cage exponentially pierced by bullet holes.

This bullet infested cage also introduces another fantastic visual effect - the light coming through the holes creates a visually interesting space for the band to jump around it. Lighting in that sense can be a very simple tool, to prevent boredom, and the way the light bounces throughout the cage (helped by the revolving camera) is just pleasing to the eye.

No, I am not a fan of Korn. I am a fan of great visual art and I usually know when I see it. This video is an instance of music matching gracefully with an ingenius concept that has the possiblity of trancending pre-concieved notions of a band, and this sure as hell did.

Favorite Part: As the band breaks down into that silly beat-box goofiness, the bullet enters the cage and swoops around the band as they follow it with their eyes in confused but concerned expressions. It offers a little moment of profound flippancy and sets up the climactic return of the bullet to its weird animated realm.

Please comment and tell me if you're interested for more. I usually stop doing stuff like this after a while, but with at least some support and interest I will do my best to continue. Thanks!

The Desired Life of a Mariner

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He got stabbed in the heart with a hard-shell crab

And wailed for mercy on his old trombone

With his old, tired life on the ocean floor

Even the fish asked him why he was alone