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Posts tagged ‘Music’

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.

To celebrate, let’s do this video of what is, by some measures, the world’s most popular Christmas song.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.

Just like I said I would, here’s the video of one of the songs that I said would “surely make it” to my best Christmas songs list:

Sorry, the other one will have to wait until next Christmas Eve, (as befits the title).

Also, thank you to Vevo for making it possible to post the audio and not have to use a pretty crummy video with outtakes at the end.

Bad music

I found this list of songs reportedly used for the purposes of torture (via).

First of all, I have to say that no one, even the worst composer/songwriter, deserves to have their creative works used in the infliction of torture.

I’m not really going to revise my list of worst songs. Earlier this year, I remember thinking that one of the biggest recent songs, “All About That Bass” was one of the worst songs ever. Since then, having heard it several times more, I’ve decided that it is nowhere near as bad as the ones I’ve already listed. And indeed, I don’t really really mind hearing the songs I previously listed every so often; it’s really the genres rather than the songs per se.

However, since it is the holiday season, I do see fit to list what I see as some of the worst Christmas songs:

  • “River”: I’ve never liked this song.
  • “Last Christmas”: Actually, my problem isn’t with the song itself. The problem is that this song is so ridiculously overplayed that anyone can get sick of it.
  • The novelty ones: The worst novelty ones are “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth”. I’m lumping them together and won’t dignify them by giving them their own entries.
  • “The Christmas Shoes”: I interpret the last verse to be saying that God is killing someone’s mom in order to teach someone else the “true meaning of Christmas”. Enough already.
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside”: The sooner this duet melts away the better. And has anyone actually listened to the lyrics? They ought to turn anyone off.

However, I will eventually have to revise my personal list of best Christmas songs. While the top three remain the same (in a different order) two other ones will surely make it. I’ll choose one and post a video of the “winner” tomorrow. The other one will have to wait until next year.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

To celebrate, why don’t I put on a video of one of the few cover songs to be better than the original?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

Let’s celebrate with some music. I considered a video of Auld Lang Syne, but couldn’t find really good video, so instead I’ll present a music video by a Swedish group who is one of the few winners of the Eurovision Song Contest that lots of people have heard of.

Scattered thoughts and random links

I think that the Civilization series is one of the best series of computer games ever. Don’t ask why, but for some reason, it seems to go better for me when this song is repeating endlessly in the background:


Inspired by the Arbourist, I present this quote from Corey Robin, writing in The Nation:

St. Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both.


Why Liberalism (US definition) works.


I’m most definitely not the first to notice this, but people borrowed from themselves centuries ago. Consider these two annotated Mozart incipits:

Sheet music

The first two bars of the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 7 K. 309.

Sheet music

The first two bars of the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 K. 331

The one on top is the first two bars of the first movement of Piano Sonata No. 7 K. 309; the one on the bottom is the first two bars of the second movement (the minuet) of Piano Sonata No. 11. K. 311 (that’s the one with the well–known Rondo alla Turca). As can be seen, perhaps even by someone who cannot read music, they begin with almost the exact same phrase. Indeed, they start with the same pattern (ignoring the acciaccaturas) of scale degrees (the annotations above the staves). They also have basically the same pattern of “long” and “short” (ill–defined terms) notes. Just about the most significant difference is the key, as C major and A major are not closely–related.

After these two bars, the two movements diverge significantly.


France and Slovakia qualified for the next round of the 2013 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship. The main tournament is takes place in Finland and starts December 29.

A few scattered thoughts

I really wish I knew of a way to have comments numbered both by order posted and by nested thread. For example, if Alice posts a comment, it would be #1. Bret posts a response, and this is #1.1. Carol posts another response. Her comment is #1.2. Lastly, Alice responds to both, and those comments are #1.1.1 and #1.2.1. This makes it easier to refer to comments, while preventing them from incrementing if someone makes a nested comment further abode. This is kind of like software version numbers.


I just learnt that my local public library subscribes to a service that allows me to legally download three songs per week. To my annoyance, songs which I have been wanted to get a copy of for years aren’t available on it yet. But would me using this be a good idea? After all it costs the public library money, and since that is in part supported by public tax dollars, this service is not free in that sense.

Since I think people should pay (for the most part) when they use or get other people’s creative works, it seems to me that musical piracy is almost a sign of market failure. Rather than trying to get everyone to pay the same price, different prices should be offered to different people. This way, they can get sales from both those willing to pay a lot and those willing to pay a little. Books do this, with prices ranging from hardcover territory all the way down to free at a library or Project Gutenberg. Other industries involving art and creative works should do the same. I can almost guarantee that they will get good PR.


My knowledge of HTML is getting good use with all these horizontal rules!


I could swear that the amount of spam comments I am getting is skyrocketing. And yet, when I look at my stats, I’m only on pace to get about as many as the last few months. I am also quite a ways behind my spam “record” (if that’s the right word). Maybe I’m just more aware of this menace or something.


I have hardly any online accounts. I’m not on Twitter. I have never used eBay or Amazon. I’m not on Facebook, MySpace, or any other social networking site. I don’t have a Wikipedia account. I’ve never uploaded anything to YouTube, Flickr, or any such photo– or video–sharing website. For the most part my online accounts are WordPress, Blogspot, e–mail, and those online accounts which come with something outside of the internet. I only shop in brick–and–mortar stores and do all my banking offline. Maybe I’m just old–fashioned, but I like it that way. I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible.

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