Archive for the music Category

Who took the bomp?

Posted in Activism, culture, music on August 29, 2009 by Philonous

The Power Ballad Conspiracy

Posted in 80s, music on September 15, 2008 by Philonous


Remember the 80s? Don’t answer that. Those ten years made up the best possible tribute to that most hallowed of musical forms – the Power Ballad. I was listening to Bonnie Tyler’s Total eclipse of the heart today and thought it sounded rather like Meatloaf. Indeed, it sounded like a lot of songs I remember from the 80s. I discovered that in fact there was a much more tangible link between all of these; the man, the legend – Jim Steinman. He wrote and produced all of these songs and many more including:

In fact, he wrote the whole of Bat out of Hell (I&II) and a significant proportion of 80s chart music. Amazing eh?

Belle qui tiens ma vie

Posted in music on September 12, 2008 by Philonous

I thought I’d write a quick little ditty about a bit of music with which I have been strangely obsessed ever since we sang it in the Burlington Choir a couple of months ago. It’s a piece by Thoinot Arbeau (1519-1595), real name Jehan Tabourot originally written as an instrumental dance. Apparently Arbeau was a master of dances and wrote the definitintive book on Renaissance dance, the Orchésographie from which much of modern knowledge about the period is derived. The pavane Belle qui tiens ma vie is I think one of the very few pieces in the Orchésographie with all four parts filled in by Arbeau himself, the others having only the top line. Here’s a facsimile of the relevant pages and here‘s a modern version.


Perhaps because all of the original parts are included, this seems to have sparked off a great number of people with their own versions. The one which strikes me as most like an actual dance is that of The Broadside Bandand excerpt of which I couldn’t find online, but which is being played in the background of this YouTube video. What follows are a load of versions which get progressively… well I’ll let you decide.



Check out:

Undercover Busker

Posted in art, music on September 5, 2008 by Philonous

One of my friends sent me this great article from the Washington Post. It turns out, Joshua Bell, virtuoso violinist by day, asleep by night, decided to busk one morning in a DC rush-hour to see what would happen. Check it out.

And here’s the article from which this post came. Oh, and here’s the article in Terrence Tao’s blog which pointed Steve at the WP article. Oh and here’s another similar experiment with abstract art instead of a violin. Well I guess I might as well embed the video (complete with plinky plonky piano music so that you know it’s deep). See if you can spot the subterreanian moral gravitas.

Zoe Keating

Posted in electronica, music on September 1, 2008 by Philonous

Just heard Zoe Keating on the always excellent Radio Lab.

It’s like a one man band, but with a cello and a computer. She plays a couple nice tunes in this piece.

Of course, radiolab isn’t usually about funky cellists. It’s usually about blowing you mind.

Philonous’s MashUp Collection

Posted in music, random on August 24, 2008 by Philonous

Inspired by Danzig vs. Shakira, I’ve hand picked some rather good (if I do say so myself) mashups and put them together in this easily digestible format…

You are watching

  1. Prodigy vs. Enya
  2. Snoop Dog vs. Led Zeppelin
  3. Pink vs. Billy Idol
  4. Michael Jackson vs. Metallica

Danzig vs. Shakira

Posted in humour, music with tags on August 18, 2008 by Philonous