matchbook people & dance pop

“Warriors’ Dance” by the Prodigy (featuring animated matchbook people) is a cool video, but the song ain’t no “Fire Starter” (also by the Prodigy, 1997)! In a similar musical style, “Harder Better Faster Stronger” (by Daft Punk, 2007, the recent Grammy winner for Best Dance Recording) demonstrates exactly why I always thought that the vocal-effects dance song “Believe” (by Cher, 1998) was a waste of a great voice AND a great technology. Also, for me, a song has to work first as a song, and a good video is then “gravy.” Not that I care much for the Grammys, as “Believe” also won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.

I think the best mainstream artist working in dance pop is Kylie Minogue. Check out “Speakerphone” from 2007’s “X,” for example. I don’t think there was a real video for that song, but the song is on YouTube. The same album’s song “The One” isn’t nearly as good musically, but the video is OK (it also helps that she’s so good looking!). I’m actually getting very tired of all of these low-fi videos on YouTube and am looking forward to this new venture of some of the major record companies, Apple, etc. to provide a better online product (including graphics, liner notes, lyrics, and HD videos) for about the same price that you’d pay for just the song. That’s what’s going to get the music industry back on track in the next couple of years.

Speaking of matches, I don’t know if this guy from Iowa is the one whose wooden matchstick art I saw in ship form at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum, but it’s pretty cool. Check out the US Capitol building (478,000), Notre Dame of Chartres (174,000), and Hogwarts (602,000), for example: http://matchstickmarvels.com/models.html

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