maandag 19 oktober 2015

Musical Monday: 5x Oldfashioned

I like history. I like swing. I like jazz. And I like anything that is modern and uses any of these. There are some very, very good electro-swing or retro artists or songs out there. But today I'd like to tell you all about those pop-songs which have used vintage influences in their music and/or video's.

Fergie - A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie did some stuff on her own. One of those things is this song for the soundtrack of the newest The Great Gatsby movie, with Leo Di. The entire movie could be called modern-swing and a first watch leaves you flabbergasted. This song and it's video give a good impression. Basically it's a bunch of people doing very loud in clothes and manners that are very 1930s inspired.
The song samples the rhytm and partial lyrics of Duke Ellington's  It Ain't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) from 1931. This song however isn't about swing alone, it's about that good Partay. The song is a little electronic and pop-ish, but it has a lot of nice, electro-swing features. And it surely sounds catchy. Papada. 

Christina Aguilera - Candyman

In 2006 X-tina released her Back To Basics album full of songs influenced by 1920s-1940s jazz, blues and soul of her all time favorites. This song was the third single from that album and is obviously very 1940s swing inspired. Not only in music, but also in the video. Christina performs like the Andrew Sisters in front of a large crowd of soldiers, looks like a sexy pin-up girl and she even imitates Rosie. I actually really love it. 

Outcast - Hey Ya!

This song in itself it catchy, but doesn't refer so much to old music. The video however is legendary. It is a reference to the appearance of The Beatles at the Ed Sullivan Show. Apparently, the director of the video was inspired by the songs musical structure, which is very similar to the way The Beatles build their songs. In this version, Outcastmember Andre 3000 plays all eight members of The Eight Below. We see a crowd of screaming girls and even a very cool family doing the twist. 

Yolanda Be Cool - We No Speak Americano

Thé summer-hit of 2010 (or was it 2011?), is this (until now) one hit wonder by Yolanda Be Cool. It samples a 1954 song Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano by Italian singer Renato Carosone. Especially the fun, slapstick-like video make this song feel very ancient. I love this track, it is fun, it is light and it is danceable.

Pitbull ft. John Ryan - Fireball

I have come to appreciate the songs by Pitbull, though, there is some fluctuation in the quality of his songs. Probably because Pitbulls monotone rapping can't make a full song on it's own, so there is always a featuring artist. Some of these artists are good, and some aren't.
This song is typically Pitbull, bold, arrogant, fun and all Latino. But, this time, with a little old-school mixed in too. The latin-jazzy instrumentals remind me a lot of the song Tequila! The video is in black and white (well, most of it), very burlesque with hot girls in bikini's with a lot of tassels, long gloves and doing all kinds of old school burlesque dancing and acts like fire-breathing. 

maandag 10 augustus 2015

Musical Monday: 5x buns

Last month I made a little body-part list that was very decent, didn't you think? I mean, since a few decades ago it hasn't been a big deal to see someone's legs and I don't think it has ever been an issue to talk about one's feet, although Shakira's converstation-seeking hips might have caused you some hot flashes.

I have noticed, lately there's a trend. Big butts have become some kind of fashion statement. And it's even more hip to sing about it. As a woman with a big butt, I don't particularly mind, though I never quite feel they're talking about my cellullitis-cratered buttocks. And as this seems to be body-fashion, it means in a few years my body will be quite out as well.

Caution, I might have been held at gunpoint when writing this, because I do like these songs, even though I know I shouldn't. 

Sir Mix A Lot - Baby Got Back

Yes, this one is old 24 years (though not the oldest). It's so old, it has become cool again. And if it isn't cool, at least it's cult. I've been aspiring a t-shirt with the text:  I like big books and I cannot lie, for a while, you know, because it's cool, and funny and it instantly gives you this song in your mental-player.
Although the song caused some controversy at the time, and was even briefly banned by MTV, there is a deeper meaning to the song, if you listen carefully, it's also about being confident in your body, even if it isn't in fashion.

Nicki Minaj - Anaconda

If I mention Baby Got Back I should also mention Anaconda, which heavily samples the first song. I even thought Sir Mix A Lot might have had a hand in the production of the song, but the mighty Internet that isn't the case, though Sir Mix A Lot does like the song.
Anaconda in this song isn't a snake, but another bodypart. Though the song is mostly about big butts, and Nicki Minaj is obviously very happy she spend money to enhance her.
I think, maybe, you do not like this song. Or this type of very nude video, but I strongly advise you to watch it and be amazed, lose your faith in humanity, spend the day watching all the parody-versions and keep awake at night because you can't get the lyrics out of your head.

This song, the video and the cover obviously was cause for yet another controversy, which Minaj responded to by showing underwear advertisements which looked rather similar to the cover and stating something like her sexuality was empowering for her.

The Black Eyed Peas - My Humps

Some kind of similar discussion could be said when talking about The Black Eyed Peas song My Humps which is about both a woman's assets, both in the front ánd the back, being used for her own advantage. Does that give her power, or not?
Anyways, I think this song itself sound rather good. So maybe don't think about that, don't listen to it's lyrics and just enjoy.

Jason Derula ft. Snoop Dogg  Wiggle

I find this song very funny. And it sound quite nice as well. Times called it one the worst song of 2014. The song and video do show the dude's side of using/showing/wiggling your bodyparts for some advantage. Please tell me if you still feel confident, empowered and non violated.

Destiny's Child - Bootylicious

Before Beyconé started doing the dry-hump moves in her choreography and wear clothes that were a billboard for whoever does her waxing, she was half of the more fun-loving group Destiny's Child. And they made a song called Bootylicious. And there was a video, in which we rarely see butts. Or in anyway too much skin. We see three confident women goofing around while having a dress-up party. Now THAT is empowering. 

dinsdag 28 juli 2015

Angels, steken en wespen

Ik merk bij veel mensen nog steeds het onbegrip met betrekking tot bijen en wespen. Ik ben zelf best een beetje panisch van wespen. Vrij onrationeel, dat weet ik, ik was me ooit peentjes aan het zweten toen ik bij mijn bijenkast stond, in imkerpak, en er een wesp om me heen vloog (ik bedoel maar). Toch zijn wepsen hele nuttige en mooie beestjes om te zien. De slechte naam hebben ze vooral te denken omdat ze snel steken. Dat mensen daarbij het verschil niet zien tussen een wesp en een bij, dat is meestal ten nadele van de bij.

Een beetje info.

Zowel wespen als (honing)bijen hebben een angel. Deze zijn geëvolueerd vanuit een legboor, waarmee de voorlopers van wespen en bijen eitjes legden in stengels van planten. Een bijenangel heeft een weerhaakje. Als een bij dus na de steek wegvliegt blijft de angel aan je huid hangen en wordt, samen met een gifblaasje uit de bij getrokken. Een bij overleefd dit niet, hoewel ze nog best een tijdje blijven leven. Lief ondervond vorig jaar dat ook een bij die net gestoken is, best wel stoer kan zijn, en haar kaken gebruikt om je nog even flink te bijen (so cute). Een steek van een bij is dus eigenlijk altijd een kamikaze-actie, ze offert zichzelf op ten bate van haar nest.
Een wesp heeft een gladde angel. Als zij prikt komt er ook een beetje gif mee. Een wespensteek is echter veel minder pijnlijk daardoor. Wel steken wespen sneller.


De cyclus van een wespennest is ongeveer hetzelfde als die van hommels. De 'limonade-wespen' leven in groepsverband (er zijn ook solitaire bijen). Zij bouwen hun nest van houtvezels. Het nest ziet er uit alsof het gemaakt is van papier. Daarom worden deze wespen ook papierwespen genoemd. De koninginnen overwinteren in hun eentje. Ergens in mei zoekt zij een plekje uit voor haar nest wat ze in het begin helemaal zelf opbouwt. Ze bouwt de eerste papieren raten, legt daar eitjes in en zorgt voor voedsel voor de larven. Als ze eerste wespen eenmaal zijn verpopt nemen zij de verzorgingstaken van de koningin over, die dan alleen nog eitjes legt.
Wespenlarven eten dierlijk materiaal. Wespen zijn daarom grote opruimers in de natuur. In ruil daarvoor scheiden ze een zoetige vloeistof af, die de werksters eten. Aan het einde van het seizoen gaat de koningin steeds minder eitjes leggen. De werksters vervelen zich en krijgen bovendien minder voedsel van de larven en krijgen honger. Ze moeten zelf opzoek naar zoetigheid. Je hebt dus een chagrijnige wesp met honger die jou cola of ijsje komt zoeken. Tja, als je dan iets verkeerd doet moet je het al snel bekopen met een steek.

Wat moet je nu doen als je bent gestoken?

Stel eerst vast of het gaat om een bijensteek of niet. Zit de angel er nog in, haal die er dan direct uit met een nagel of een pincet (of desnoods een bankpasje ofzo). Met een nagel tegen de steek in duwen is meestal al genoeg. Het gifblaasje aan de angel injecteert nog even gif, zelfs na de steek. Zorg er wel voor dat je niet het gifblaasje leegdrukt.
Bij zowel een bijensteek als een wespensteek wordt gif in de huid gespoten. Zuig dit eruit en spuug het uit, niet doorslikken.
Koelen helpt het beste tegen de zwelling. Op internet zijn verder nog meer tips te vinden. Mijn schoonmoeder zweert bij azijn (zuur zou het gif afbreken). Mijn moeder droeg vroeger altijd 5 centjes bij zich omdat het koper de pijn zou verzachten. Verder lees ik nog over een droge pijnstiller erop leggen, het pilletje zuigt het gif uit de steek en de pijnstillende stof trekt de huid in. En ook menthol zou helpen, dus lekker tandpasta smeren. Overigens verkoelt menthol ook. Ikzelf heb bij bijensteken ook vaak verlichting gevonden met koelzalf op basis van menthol.

Wanneer naar de huisarts?

Sommige mensen zijn allergisch voor het gif van een wespen- of bijensteek. Je merkt dit als je zwellingen krijgt op andere plekken in je lichaam, vooral bij de mond. Dit ontstaat al binnen een kwartier na de steek. Wordt je benauwd of voel je je niet lekker door bijvoorbeeld koorts, ga dan direct naar een huisarts.
Ben je gestoken op een gevaarlijke plek, bijvoorbeeld in je mond, op je lip of in je nek, ga dan ook even langs de huisarts.

maandag 27 juli 2015

Musical Monday: Awesome songs for awesome people 3

Katy Perry - This is how we do

I adore this video. It's fun, artistic and summery. And the song is happy and catchy too. 

This is how we do, dodo dodo.

maandag 22 juni 2015

Musical Monday: 5x Just Dance

I really love dancing. I love to do it, but I also very much love to watch it. Ballet, modern dance, you name it. If you like dancing too, there was a series on TV called Bunheads, which was all about a group of girls doing ballet. They had some mean choreography, I really liked it. Though the storyline was somewhat thin. Some of their dances you can watch at YouTube.
There is more fun dancing to be found from behind your computer. In music video's for instance. I've shown you the dance battle video's, which have some great dancing in them. But there are a lot more that show us some good moves. here are my 5 favorites.

Sia - Chandelier

I never really listened to Sia, until this song was one of the suggestions YouTube gave me, and I gave it a try. I was stunned by it's video, in which we see a girl (Maddie Ziegler) perform one, long, solo-dance showing us how crazy she is. Ziegler said about the video:

"I like the whole dance. It was really different and weird for me, because I usually don't, you know, be a crazy person every time. It was so fun to do and it was really out of the box and it expanded me a lot, because I'm used to competition dances where you're like, 'Point your legs!' But this time it was like, you just need to let go and feel it."

And that is just the way it is.

Pink - Try

I was in doubt, weather to use this in the 'fight'-list or not. I think this is one of the strongest music video's there is. It shows Pink and a male dancer (Colt Prattes), in some sort of dance-fight, and everyone knows it is portraying domestic violence. It's beautiful, it's violent, it's emotional. Pink herself said about the video;

"Making this video was the most fun I've ever had in my entire career," I never wanted it to end. It's my favorite video ever."

 Janet Jackson - Rhytm Nation

The Jacksons have some dance moves up their sleeves. Michael proved it in numereous video's, like Bad, and Thriller. But Miss Janet Jackson knows how to dance just as good. In fact, as a teenager, I once saw a Janet tribute on TV, in which they praised her dance skills by doing some cool dancing too (look for it on YouTube, there is some mean dancing going on there too). Janet has some some VMA's for her video's and this is one of them. Janet did most of the choreography herself. And best of this video is, that it is almost all dancing. no storytelling, no boring face-shots. Just dance.

Kiesza - Hideaway

This song isn't really special in itself. The video is one that keeps amazing me. Kiesza's Hideaway video is one that is one single shot. Yes, all those dancers, impeccable timing and amazing dance moves  were all done in one, single shot. Can you imagine how many times they've had to do this over and over and over again until they had it perfect. 

Stromae - Papaoutai

This very disturbing video by the Belgian singer Stromae features some very beautiful choreography, showing parents doing fun stuff with their kids, but also how kids become very similar to their parents. The song is about a dad who's not around, something Stromae can relate to, as he only seldom saw his father until he was finally killed. The title means where are you papa? In the video, the dad is physically present, but not in mind. In the song, somewhere it is said: we can all make babies, by why can't we make papa's? In the end of the video, the son becomes the same lifeless mannequin as his dad, as that is the only thing his dead taught him. 

maandag 4 mei 2015

Musical Monday: Awesome songs for awesome people 2

I am a shy person, but when they play this song and I am somewhere public, I am having some difficulties containing myself to not dance and sing out loud. 

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk