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I know lots of you just don’t “get” rap music because you can’t relate to the clothes, or perhaps the jail-inspired saggy pants fashion, or the paradox of a scary-ass looking dude brandishing an automatic weapon and whining about how hard it is “out there for a pimp”. And believe me, I feel you on that.
But does it have to be that way? Can rap a song transcend its “gangster” stereotype and cross the boundaries of social class, fashion, and thumping animalistic sub-woofer straining beat thumps to be appreciated just for it’s cleverness and sense of fun? You know I think so if you’ve already grooved to the funky style of Brett Domino, and MC 900ft Jesus here on this blog.
So go ahead, wanderers into the weird…check out the rap “stylings” of Mr B. Not only is he a gentleman through and through, he’s got a great sense of humor, a very cool hat, and a banjolele! Quite right, old chums! Enjoy!
What happens when you take a vintage clip of gals in polyester doing Bob Fosse and slide a little hip hop into the mix? This completely astounding dance mashup — enjoy!
Back in 1995, the hot ticket all over the world was the celtic dance sensation Riverdance. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to see the original cast featuring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, I do admit that I nearly wore out my videotape of the performance.
If you’re looking to get “warmed up” on a cold day, I suggest you take a few minutes to watch the amazing “Fire Dance” featuring flamenco legend Maria Pages and step-dance superstar Michael Flatley. It starts slow and sultry, but by the time you’re done watching it you’ll know why the title features the word “fire”…
Woooo hoooo! Are you fired up yet? Want a little more of the original cast of Riverdance? Here’s another favorite of mine, “Thunderstorm” featuring Michael Flatley and the men in the cast.
Who knows what I’ll come up with next?
As you may have surmised from glancing at My Cool Job today, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging during the holiday weekend. However, I would like to provide all of you with a stressful holiday ahead with a place to go and chill out for a few minutes when it all gets too hectic.
If you need a moment or two to compose yourself during the chaos, give yourself a break and watch the silly videos I’ve found with a Thanksgiving theme. See you all next week, peeps! I’m thankful to have such loyal readers and friends!
The Gobble Gobble Pow Wow
My New Favorite Thanksgiving Song – The Turkey Song by Tomee Profitt
Cousin Emmy Jams Out On “Turkey in the Straw”
A Little Peanuts to Get You Ready for Xmas…well, sort of! Dance Time!
For most of the 20th Century, America has been known by the rest of the world as a country with a lot of money and power — but also some of the most uneducated idiots in the modern world.
But for a brief, wonderful, shining moment in our history between 1973 and 1986, those of us who were sitting in front of the television on Saturday mornings knew our multiplication tables through 12 X 12, knew the difference between a noun and a verb, knew the important events and battles of the American Revolution, and could recite the entire Preamble to the United States Constitution (with only a little quiet humming to ourselves to get started).
If you are of a “certain age”, then you already know that what I’m referring to is “Schoolhouse Rock“, the series of short animated songs that the ABC network ran between cartoons on Saturday morning and you’re thrilled and grateful that I took the time to post a few Schoolhouse Rock classics here on my blog for you to enjoy on Saturday morning and sing along with.
If you don’t remember the Schoolhouse Rock videos it’s probably because you’re not the right age to have seen them during the late 70s and early 80s and while you may have heard of them, or recognize a bit of the music here and there, you may still be wondering what the big deal is. However, if you grew up outside the United States (or were raised by wolves in the wilderness) and you’re wondering how all of the information listed above could be possessed by hundreds of thousands of 7 and 8 year olds hopped up on sugary breakfast cereal in 1978, then you are in for a treat.
Before I present these videos, I’d like to explain the title of this post. Bob Dorough is the musician who wrote and performed many of the Schoolhouse Rock tunes, and certainly some of the most memorable. I am ridiculously fortunate that Bob Dorough is not only still around, but lives in my area and performs around here regularly.
I’ve had the opportunity on a number of occasions to see him perform both his classic jazz songs (you may know “Devil May Care”, recorded by Diana Krall), and many of the songs he wrote for Schoolhouse Rock. I’ve also been lucky enough to meet Bob at a few of his shows and he’s just as hip and awesome as you’d expect the guy who played with greats like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis and then went on to write “Conjunction Junction” would be. Bob is still hip and still performing live at 85, and if you ever find out that he’s playing in your town, please go see him and tell him I said hello!
So here’s a trip down memory lane for some of us, and an introduction to Schoolhouse Rock for those of you who may have missed it the first time around.
We’ll begin with math and brush up on our 3 and 7 “times tables” (these are my two favorites, and both feature great vocal performances by Bob Dorough):
Now that your math skills are up to date, we can move on to History and courtesy of Schoolhouse Rock get our facts straight on American expansion and Manifest Destiny, and memorize the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. These songs were written and performed by another Schoolhouse Rock regular, Lynn Ahrens):
Did you get the extra credit on the History test for knowing the Preamble? I’ll never forget my eighth grade class getting the giggles during a test when we saw the extra credit question, and then all started singing!
Moving on to Science, we’ll painlessly learn a few facts about the human body and the force of electricity:
I hope you’re having as much fun as I am learning all this stuff. And of course, you know I saved the best for last. If you’re not familiar at all with Schoolhouse Rock, I’d like to present you with the two most famous and enduring songs, “I’m Just a Bill” (written by Dave Frishberg) and “Conjunction Junction” (written by Bob Dorough), both performed by vocalist Jack Sheldon.
There are many, many more great Schoolhouse Rock songs, and if your favorite is not here, or if you’re new to Schoolhouse Rock and would like to see more, most of them are available on YouTube. Or you can just be a mega-geek like me and get the DVD, the CD Box Set, and the songbook!
Schoolhouse Rock has been so enduring over the years that it’s spawned a live musical which has toured the country and a “Junior” version of which is being performed in schools everywhere, a spiffy tribute album featuring artists like Blind Melon and Moby, and even a parody on the Simpsons about “An Amendment To Be” that is side-splittingly funny and features original Schoolhouse Rock vocalist Jack Sheldon.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if I can track down some more episodes of “Hong Kong Phooey” to make my Saturday morning nostalgia-fest complete!
I’m proud of my Celtic heritage. I’ve had the good fortune to travel to Scotland and see 400 pipers massed in the shadow of Edinburgh castle. And lately, there is someone in my neighborhood who practices the pipes outside — I vow that one of these days instead of just enjoying the music around 7pm each evening I am going to seek that person out and say hello. And of course run right back here, upload the video to YouTube and tell you all about it here…
Until that magical day arrives, please enjoy (or should I say to you non-Celts “enjoy”) a few selections from my extensive collection of bagpipe videos — from the traditional to the majestic, to the awesomely rockin’ out!
Traditional : Piper David Quinn climbs to the top of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park and plays “Scotland the Brave” — stirring!
Majestic: The Massed Bands from the Scottish Regiments at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Yes, it’s even more amazing in person!
Awesomely Rockin’ Out: Ozzy Osborne never sounded this good!
If this music doesn’t get you awake and functioning, you might want to check and see if you still have a pulse…
Few musicians write song parodies that are as funny as those created by Weird Al Yankovic, who was featured here yesterday — one of those few is Tim Hawkins. This parody is short, sweet and hilarious…just like me!
Pay attention husbands, this is important stuff!