Beatles 101: And then Some

The Beatles are cool… Charts are cool.

So some genius decided to mix the 2 together and came up with charts for Beatles Songs. We all know the Beatles have an almost unhealthy obsession for Walruses, and Lucys, an Strawberry Fields and “Yah Yah Yahs”, the charts let you see where they appear in each of the songs.

It’s an ongoing project. Charts that have been made so far include one that shows the keys of the songs that the Beatles have played. Trust me, it’s cooler than it sounds. Kinda like Emma from “Heroes”… for those that are still watching. It makes for really cool visual effects on TV, but if you ask me, it is a pretty useless power… personally of course..

You want to know the amazing thing?

Being able to see sound might not be as far fetched as you might think. Scientists (who are, surprisingly, not quite mad) have actually been able to do it for some time. Who knows? In the not so distant future, we would have a new way to experience the world.

On an not altogether unrelated note, I heard you can achieve the same effect from ingesting certain not so legal pharmaceuticals…

Rumor has it… of course… all from hearsay

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Retarded… literally

The Fiance introduced the concept of literal videos to me a while back.

What are literal videos? Takes too long to explain, just click on the dang video below.

This was the first that I was shown and it remains one of the best I’ve seen.

Another video just begging to be turned into a literal video?

For the Moment…

For the moment, my favorite comic related imagery is this…

beatles Sandman neil gaiman Michael Allred Abby Road

What’s not to like? It features my favorite characters (Delirium, Dream, Death, Desire, Delirium’s flying goldfishes… if only they have Destruction) created by my favorite writer (Guess…), drawn by one of my favorite artist (Michael Allred), paying tribute to my favorite band (Beatles… that’s Abby Road for those of you who just came out from under the rock. Be careful of the sunshine).

Days like these, feels like someone up there wanna look out for me.

I take it as a sign.

Also… my favorite quote of the moment:

Penny: While you’re there, could you pick me up some comics for my nephew’s birthday?

Sheldon: I think you mean comic books. “Comics” are feeble attempts at humor featuring talking babies and anthropomorphized pets, found traditionally in the optimistically-named Funny Pages.

big bang theory, flash, leonard, sheldon, holowitz, raj

Thanks Jacq. Big Bang Theory rocks! Appeals to the inner (REALLY) geek.

Helter Skelter..

Picked up a copy of “Across the Universe” DVD from my favorite DVD seller today. To be honest, I’ve not even heard of this show before this, but the synopsis read…

” The film title and main characters are named after various songs by The Beatles. It’s a musical based on The Beatles songbook and set in the 60s England, America, and Vietnam. The love story of Lucy and Jude is intertwined with the anti-war movement and social protests of the 60s. Over 30 Beatles’ songs are woven into the plot together with visual allusions to films”

which of course means… I HAVE to get it…

Across the universe

Right off the bat, I have to say that the plot of the movie is paper thin. It is straight forward and so predictable that you can tell what the next 5 minutes of the movie is gonna be about at any given time. The entire movie is so disjointed that it feels like 30 + MTVs that has been randomly pieced together. And worse of all, it is also more poorly paced than me when I’m taking my physical fitness tests (in other words: not good).

And once you’ve taken away the story, what are you left with? The music and the visuals of course. I am a HUGE Beatles fan. For the past few years, there seemed to be a revival in interest in the Beatles’ music. The last memorable one was “Love” by Cirque De Soleil, which looked really good. For me, you simply cannot go wrong with Beatles songs… or can you?

The songs used in the movie are sung by the actors/actresses and many of them have been remixed or reworked (the songs, not the actors/actresses) to reflect the tone of the movie. Among these are a slow and soulful rendition of what I thought was one of the happiest songs around, “I wanna hold your hand” and then there were the couple of tunes that had been interwoven with Hendrix-esque guitar riffs (don’t ask), and of course, Bono singing “I am the Walrus”. The question is: does it work?

Of course it does! Putting the lyrics out of context from the tunes we are familiar with just show how timeless the songs of the Beatles are. It makes you feel the joy of love, the conflicts inherent in love and the pain of war.The overall feel of the movie sort of mirror the Beatles’ musical journey. From the earlier carefree days of rock and roll, to the psychedelic golden age to the later, more socially aware, politically active Beatles. It’s all there.

The visuals for the show is also amazingly weird. It captures the fashion, the colors and more importantly, the spirit of the period beautifully. I was gonna use “bizarre” to describe the aesthetics of the show but somehow don’t think it’s enough to do justice to the jumping blue men, the naked performers in rich blue waters, the dancing masked women and the strawberry bombs dropping out of the skies. The sequences are just… “psychedelic”. And as diverse and strange as these visuals were, they work extremely well with the music. Sort of like Jim Henson’s “Dark Crystal” mixed with the pink elephant sequence from “Dumbo” and laced with a dangerously unhealthy dose of rock and roll. Great stuff.

In fact they are so good that you almost overlook the non-existence of a storyline. More than 1 person has likened this experience to the feeling of falling in love. Where character traits that would normally annoy or piss off any other normal, sane person are simply “endearing quirks”.

So I do like the paper thin plot of “boy meets girl. Boy and girl falls in love. Girl’s brother goes to war (ok.. not THAT basic). They drift apart. They realize that they are meant to be together. Happily ever after.”

I do like being able to predict that “Dear Prudence” is going to be sang as soon as Prudence hide in the closet. I do like being able to foretell the songs that are coming up next and SING ALONG with them. The lack of twists just add to its charms.

I do like artsy tootsy modern dance sequences that follow hard core rock and roll ones followed by soppy ballads. The disjointed sequences simply highlight the diversity of the Beatles songs and how unbelievably cool they are.

I do like how there are smart little allusions to be found for anyone who is looking… like coaxing Prudence (a lesbian character) to “come out of the closet”; to the various references to Beatles’ songs; to references to real life characters from the era. I’m pretty sure there’ll be plenty more surprises for me the next time I watch it (yes, this baby still has a lot more runs in it). If you’re a fan of the Fab Four, there’s certainly more tidbits in the show for you. And if you’re not a fan of theirs, you really should start listening to some real music.

Most of all, I like the fact that as flawed as various parts of the movie are, it proves that

*i am almost literally shaking with excitement as I prepare to type this next line…*

Sometimes….

All you need is love…

Remembering John

John Lennon

Isn’t it funny that someone who has not even been on the same physical plane of existence as you can affect you so much? Today’s the day the Cowardly Psychopath, Mark David Chapman gunned down the Musical Genius John Lennon. 27 Years ago to the day, in fact. A while ago, I blogged a bit about how the Beatles with the title “Some people never really die, they just stop giving live performances”, but to find the actual article of John’s assassination 27 years later, brings this statement to a new level.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/8/newsid_2536000/2536321.stm

Like almost everyone else, I “discovered” the Beatles through their music and truly, truly believed that they “belong” to me and no one else. That is how good and personal the band and their music are.

These days (Warning: Old fossil rant coming up, in fact, this whole post is the rant of an old foggy, but what the fuck) where singers and bands talk about their “blings” and their “bitches”; where being in a band can mean you are the guy looking intensely at the turntable while trying to coax out more squeaky weasel-ly noises from it; where good hair and successful plastic surgery are all you need to succeed in the music “industry”, it’s not hard to look back at John, Paul, George and Ringo and wish for those simpler times where people still make music. (NO! Mumbling really fast and incoherently while pretending to be nonchalant about being surrounded by scantily clad, big busted women IS NOT MUSIC!!) (It is good entertainment though…) (If you press the “Mute” switch) (I mean who wouldn’t be entertained by spastic looking guys wearing their caps back to front??) (ermm… front still mean the side with the bill…) (right?)

Some things are still the same now as it was back then. Come on, let’s not delude ourselves, the music industry is, has been, and I suspect, will always be about 3 main components – Sex, Drugs and Sex. The Beatles are certainly no choir boys, but in those days (I hate it when my dad use this terms, but it seems the most appropriate for now), being a musicians actually stood for something.

You have a chance, an opportunity to stand up and tell other people what you think. Most people did not, does not and still will not take Right for fear of affecting their popularity and hence their income, but not John. For goodness sake, he refused to get out of bed to support world peace! If that is not inspiration, I do not know what is. It’s about telling the government off when you think they are wrong. It’s about creating “Imagine”, the most definitive shout for peace in our times. It’s about speaking the truth without fear of being labeled a traitor/a communist or in modern day terms: terrorist or religious fanatics. The terms change but the use of them as tools to instill fear and hence, command sheep-like obedience from the flock remains the same. Isn’t it funny and frightening how some things are still the same now as it was back then?

It’s NOT about supporting the most popular “unknown” causes or adopting children from little known country so you can collect them like others collect “Barbies of the World”. (Not that I would know anything about THAT, of course.)

Anyway, this post is a tribute to a great man, his beliefs and more than anything else, his willingness and steadfastness to stand by these beliefs.

Tributes performances to John.
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/7902/JohnLennon/tribute.html

I want to join your band of dreamers and I sincerely hope we’re not the only ones.

Some people can never truely die…

they just stop doing live performances…

There was a documentary on John Lennon on TV the night before and talks about his life, his ideals and the things that shape him into the man he is…

Was just reminded of the timelessness of some of his music that I have in my playlist. Songs he created with the Beatles, songs that he created in his solo career… There’s a certain timeless quality to the lyrics and to the tunes. They were a part of my growing up and I’ve always thought that they were as amazing then as they were a few decades ago. And now… it’s still as much an audio trip listening to their tunes as they were when I first heard “Till there was you” so many many years ago.

Yes… I’ve slowly but surely moved on from “War”