Traveling the World from my desktop.

Ok so I have not yet played with Google Earth (shameful, I know!).  But I do love to explore Google Maps, especially with the satellite feature (and I just love maps in general).  I just discovered a new feature--looks like Google Maps has teamed with a product called Panoramio, which pairs gorgeous photos taken by just about anyone, with different points on the map.

It's pretty darn cool, man.  It's just enough information to make me want to visit ALL these cool places.  Well actually, I actually have been to Bagan Archaelogical Zone in Burma.  One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life--1000s of pagodas dotting a plain stretching as far as the eye can see.

The best '9 Crimes' covers on YouTube.

There are a heck of a lot of covers to be found on YouTube of Damien Rice's spiritually bankrupt and hopeless, but nevertheless hauntingly beautiful song, '9 Crimes.'  I think Damien Rice is pretty hella whiny and angsty, but I do like this song a lot--I like how it gives rise to a lot of different interpretations, on piano or guitar, by men and women, boys and girls, some terrible, some wonderful.

I originally wanted to post on all the homegrown talent on YouTube doing covers of popular songs in their bedrooms/living rooms, but it's practically old news, especially with the rise of Marie Digby and her debut album (I love how she's singing in front of a white pleather couch on one of her early videos, and a dog wanders into the room on another). 

But then I realized many of my favorites did some version of '9 Crimes.'  Interesting.  So here are some of them:

By far my favorite.  Yes it looks like they're a couple of goofball ass-clowns (is that a towel on his head?), but the second they start playing you're hushed by the very masterful fingering and even the boys' voices.  Awesome.

Kiersten Holine
I love this girl's voice, even if it's a bit jazzy for this song.  Fabulous control, just a sprinkling of vibrato, effortless and lovely.  Her guitar isn't bad.  I first found her through her rendition of Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am," which is just fantastic.

Ignore the skull cap and beer gut, and you'll find a really sensitive and nuanced rendition.  Love it.

Jennifer & John Yi
Super young twin sister and brother, as easy on the eyes as they are on the ears.  Their interpretation is very deliberate, correct, almost choral.  One might say it kind of strips the original meaning from the song, but it's still enjoyable.  Check out Jennifer's rendition of U2's "With or Without You" also.

Here's the original:
Definitely creepy.

The Best of the Rest:

1. Captain Burrito - They get props for adding "impromptu" tributes to Vanilla Ice, Salt n Pepa's "Shoop," and Bone Thugs n Harmony's "Crossroads" at the end.
2. Matteo Cocconcelli - I can't really take him srsly because he's so silly making love to the mic like that, plus he pronounces all his i's like ee's.  But that's some lovely guitar-pickin'.
3. CSandman - Lovely piano, and she gets her voice to sound like she's about to cry, which is perfect for the song.  Plus she's pretty. Timing's a bit off, but not bad!

On being a 'startup girlfriend'...

Sad.  This gal nails it right on the head--the life of a startup girlfriend.  True, for the most part!

Update:  My mom made me read this article covering '10 Signs That You're Dating a Commitment-Ready Guy.'  Food for thought.  Also sent me the article, 'Six Dating Behaviors That Scare Men Away.'  I think I did like every single one of these things, so it's amazing Garry stuck around in those early days =D

Movie trailer as a form of art, part 2

I've been getting a few naysayers who hate trailers because of how much they reveal.  While a trailer that reveals too much is probably poorly cut, I, like Pooja, maintain that the story told by the trailer is pretty much independent of the movie, so it almost doesn't matter what the trailer shows.  I love that they are miniature movies in their own right, that they have their own structure (intro/beginning, exposition, rising action, climax, resolution/suggestion), and yes, they keep you wanting more.

Case in point: a few years ago there was a contest among students of film editing, and the task was to take a popular film and recut a trailer for it that would make the movie look like it belonged in a totally different genre.  The best of the bunch was this, The Shining, recut.

Now it's got a bunch of copycats on YouTube, but this was the original.  Total genius.