Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 31st 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

I often try to go big on these #1s – to put my thumb on the scale and really pick a song/video that is inarguably great, that reflects some kind of true artistic achievement. I get pretentious with it, is what I mean.

But if I’m being honest, one music video this year gave me more enjoyment than any other. There’s nothing so special about the video or the performance for it to be considered any kind of high water mark. But – and here I’ll get pretentious with it again – it does reflect, as well as any video I’ve seen in a long while – the pure stupid joy of music. Yeah it’s throwaway, in some senses, but in another sense, that kind of makes it the perfect Music Video of the Week.

1. Tubthumping – They Might Be Giants & The AV Club Chorus (song starts at 1:18)

Happy New Year!

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 12:17 am on December 31st 2011

The Candidates on Executive Power

Here was this year’s survey on the subject that is, inherently, the most important – namely, how do the candidates view the inherent powers, and restrictions therein, of the office they are seeking.

If the contrast on the first answer alone doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Second reaction: and the newsletters are disqualifying?!

Third reaction: btw, don’t get smug – Obama’s answers, in practice, are no different than the rest of the Republican field.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 30th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

Guy just missed being the lead on another Music Video of the Week of the Year. He’s just an incomparable performer. So much so that I’ll double him up here. And although the sound and video quality is decidedly worse, I think I’m going to flip these and put 105 first – ‘cuz, man. Turn this one all the way up.

2. Guy Forsyth – 105

Guy Forsyth – Adam’s Rib

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 12:19 am on December 30th 2011

Why Ron’s Running Ctd

As I’ve said, the Ron Paul 2012 campaign is about the Rand Paul in 2016/2020 campaign.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 29th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

A nice side effect of one of the year’s dumbest fing political controversies of the month is that it had me rediscovering Common’s back catalog. This song/video is a real gem.

3. Common featuring Lily Allen – Drivin’ Me Wild

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 12:30 am on December 29th 2011

Bachman Campaign Iowa Co-Chair Bolts for Ron Paul

On the grounds of electability.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 28th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

Try to not dance.

4. Jamiroquai – Traveling Without Moving

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 27th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

From my original post (which are the hyperlinks in the song titles):

Sometimes, I have a song I really want to post, but can’t find a video for, so I don’t.

Sometimes though, I find a cheapy user-created video that I like way better than I likely would any “official” music video…

5. Iron & Wine – Freedom Hangs Like Heaven

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 26th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

I’m not much of a Radiohead fan, but this is a great song, and probably the most iconic mainstream music video of the year.

6. Radiohead – Lotus Flower

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 25th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

The best non-Brad find of the year (thanks Cameron!), this would have ranked higher if it had an actual video. Still, I’m incapable of listening to this without getting pumped.

7. Gangstagrass – Pistol Packing

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Rojas @ 11:25 am on December 25th 2011

12 Days of Music Music Video of the CHRISTMAS

Twisted Sister–O Come All Ye Faithful

It seems that they only know one chord progression.

Happy Holidays to all eight of our readers.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 24th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

8. Mumford and Sons – The Cave

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 1:17 am on December 24th 2011

Quote of the Day

Libertarianism, because it is about allowing people to do things, is easily conflated with the things it allows people to do. In that sense, it is always vulnerable to being regarded as indifferent to injustice – not because it is inherently indifferent to injustice (although it may often, in practice, be), but because it puts freedom first.

Andrew Sullivan

Posted by Rojas @ 12:10 am on December 24th 2011

So how come there’s no NCAA Division One football playoff…

…in spite of overwhelming public support and vast sums of money to be made by universities and the NCAA?

Here’s how.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 23rd 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

9. Jaymay – Gray or Blue

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 22nd 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

Kind of a subtle earworm. I notice now that I’ve seen this song pop up in the commercial / movie preview circuit lately.

10. The New Pornographers – Moves

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 9:08 am on December 22nd 2011

A Great Side Effect of the End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Hot lesbian action.

Posted by Rojas @ 11:50 pm on December 21st 2011

12 days of “music” video of the half-day

10.5 Kazookeylele – The Final Countdown

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 21st 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

Alright, so yeah, this is a joke song. But it’s a kick ass one, and in terms of MVOTWs that I’ve rewatched (which I do to an unhealthy degree), this one might have gotten the most rotation. NSFW (Adam).

11. Lonely Island – Jack Sparrow (featuring Michael Bolton)

Incidentally, as with every year, you can click the links below these videos to see the last #11s (or whatever) for previous 12 Days of Music Video of the Week. A great way to stroll through the archives.

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Brad @ 1:49 pm on December 21st 2011

I Don’t Care About…Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters

We’ve been here before. Every time Ron Paul threatens to break into some kind of national relevance, the subject of his early-90s newsletters pops back up. It’s one of those things, too, for which the significance is just kind of assumed. But for me, the significance is far from self-evident, and as much as I’m biased towards Ron Paul, I legitimately try to put myself in the shoes of the critics on this one, and as much as I try, I can never quite articulate why, exactly, the issue matters that much or why, exactly, it’s relevant either from a 1. policy, 2. politics, or 3. personal perspective. Meaning, why I might feel that the fact of these undeniably racist newsletters being put out in the early 90s under his name signals 1. the possibility of Ron Paul creating racist policies or his candidacy having success resulting in moving American policy towards a more expressly racist direction, 2. the idea that a Paul presidency or a successful Paul candidacy will lead to less stigmatization for racism, or that his relative success will have any but the most marginal impact on the relative racism of American politics or politicians, or 3. that Ron Paul himself is racist, cow-tows to racists (and will thus lead to them having more relative power), or is indicative of a general intolerance that will express itself in some impactful way down the line.

Usually where I end up is the old fall-back of “it reflects poor judgement, in terms of the people he surrounds himself with”. Which, I think, is true…it does. I think that’s a fair knock on Ron Paul, both then, certainly, and now as well. Part of that is just his general indiscrimination (he does not seem to be of the mind, as we sometimes demand of politicians, of denouncing people who hold objectionable views in other contexts, for instance), although I generally find those sorts of critiques of candidates to be really weak relative to everything else that’s wrong with politicians. I wrote an “I don’t care about…Jeremiah Wright” post in the 2008 campaign, could have easily written an “I don’t care about…Jane Fonda” post in 2004, and wrote posts in 2007 about how it didn’t particularly concern me that Paul would appear on Alex Jones’ radio program or that, in combing through a list of all donors to the Paul campaign, some enterprising journalist had discovered a white supremacist, and the Paul campaign didn’t particularly care and couldn’t be goaded into returning the contribution. I am interested primarily in what views, ideologies, and policies a candidate himself is advocating, or whether those things get materially advanced in supporting a candidate, and I was no more worried that Ron Paul’s election would lead to an explosion of 911 Trutherism (whatever that means) or white supremacy than I was that Barack Obama’s election would lead to a resurgance of militant black nationalism or black “separation theology” (spoiler alert: it didn’t).

But part of it too is just that he does, and has, I think, surrounded himself with people whose judgement I don’t trust or respect. Even today, he has a few campaign advisers who I think move him in a direction I don’t like (such as banging on about illegal immigration), and certainly, almost by definition, the rag tag bunch of people who have been in the Paul foxhole for the long haul are not nearly as ironed out as they would have been had they attached themselves to, say, John McCain. Living in the political wilderness does tend to both attract, and turn people into, relative political ferals.

But, in any event, I don’t begrudge people who knock Paul on those grounds. I think it’s a legit critique. I just then weigh that against the people that the other candidates surround themselves with (that Peter Schiff or Dennis Kucinich or Jesse Ventura might be more objectionable than a Kristoff or Poderherst amazes me), and mostly weight that against the policies and philosophies. And, when I do that, the “he has shown flashes of poor judgement in the people he lets into his inner circle” minus, put up against, say, the “he won’t start a war” plus…well, let’s just say it’s not a comparison that I find terribly compelling.


Posted by Rojas @ 11:16 pm on December 20th 2011

The Future of American Sports

If you’re like me (and I, for one, certainly am), you’re intrigued by Middlebury’s razor-thin victory over Florida at last year’s Quidditch World Cup, and desperate to know where the sport is headed now that Middlebury’s long reign as the predominant force in the sport is now apparently nearing its end. Not to worry; the fine folks at the International Quidditch Association have published their annual State of the Game report, and have much to say about the fact that eleven thousand paying spectators spent a weekend last fall watching a bunch of college kids running around with brooms between their legs.

(Full disclosure: I am seeking to become coach of my high school’s fledgling Quidditch program. Our rise to national hegemony shall be Voldemortian.)

Posted by Brad @ 10:59 pm on December 20th 2011

Quote of the Day

I will have an “I Don’t Care About…Racist Newsletters” post up at some point, but in the meantime, Reason gives, I think, the fairest roundup on the matter imaginable. And when I say fair, I don’t mean sympathetic. They also give a nice garden variety roundup, in which Doherty, responding to a blog conversation with Jonah Goldberg in which Goldberg makes a series of assumptions about why Ron Paul is useless in America as he understands it, says simply:

an America in which Ron Paul can be, even for a while, the GOP frontrunner in even one state is a very different America than Goldberg, Congress, or I thought we were living in, and the Republican Party at least will have to change in reaction to it–if not in 2012 then down the line.

Posted by Rojas @ 10:09 pm on December 20th 2011

Gary Johnson bails on the GOP; seeks LP nod.

Probably for the best, as several of the other possible LP candidates were non-starters. Johnson immediately becomes the highest-profile candidate and the most skilled campaigner in the history of the LP, as well as the candidate with the most actual governing experience. So even if Ron Paul doesn’t parlay the ugliness to come into a third party run, we have a very solid option come November.

And seriously…if the means by which Paul is run out of the race is as ugly as I expect it to be, one could expect a lot of Paul’s support to cast ballots for Johnson in the fall, as the Republican alternative will have completely disqualified himself. Five percent is in play.

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 20th 2011

12 Days of Music Video of the Week

I have to admit it wasn’t a very strong year for my music video posting. After last winter it really tapered off. Starting a new job and getting married tends to suck up free time.

Nevertheless, it was still good enough that I had to make some hard cuts (sorry Spose! Sorry Martin Sexton! Sorry Chuck Brodsky!) So, without further ado (from now until New Year’s!)…

12. Ane Brun & Ron Sexsmith – Song No. 6

(Hard to pick my favorite Ane Brun one, so really check out all three in that original post, which I always link in the song title.)

(2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

Posted by Rojas @ 11:33 am on December 20th 2011

Twelve days of Music Video of the Music of the Day/Week

13. “Let it in” -Bree Elrod

A harrowing journey into the mind of madness.

Posted by Cameron @ 10:54 pm on December 19th 2011

Music Roundup

This is meant to serve as a compliment to Brad’s music-video-of-the-week wrap up and is a bit of a dumping place for songs that I’ve neglected to share on here or which slipped through the cracks over the last few months.

The first is seasonally relevant and is one of those rare non-religious Christmas songs but it does tug on the heartstrings pretty effectively. And sappy is a good place to start, right?

Tim Minchin – White Wine in the Summer

Click for (more…)

Posted by Brad @ 3:00 pm on December 19th 2011

Music Video of the Prelude to the 12 Days of Music Video of the Week of the Week

It’s that time of year again, my roundup of my 12 favorite Music Videos of the Week of the year.

I actually take my compiling of music videos semi-seriously. Just random surfing through YouTube to hunt down leads or go fishing for stuff is one of my main avenues of music consumption, and when I think to I usually paste the stuff back here. So my MVOTWs actually represent fairly well my year of music.

I also, once every few months, update The Crossed Pond YouTube channel. I’m not sure why I go to the trouble, as maybe it’s been checked out twice by anyone who is not me. But it’s a very good archive, I think, and when you use a randomizer (enter user “TheCrossedPond”), it functions very nicely as a Pandora-type shuffled channel (with your song seed being, well, me). It’s organized based on year – from last week’s nine inch nails to the very first MVOTW in 2007. Really, check it out:

In any event, to kick off this year’s 12 Days of Music Video of the Week, here’s a song that didn’t make the list – and frankly I’m not sure it even qualifies as a music video – but still kicks ass.

The Great Grand Rapids Lipdub of 2011

Posted by Brad @ 9:33 am on December 19th 2011

Ron Paul Favored in Iowa

Latest Iowa poll has Paul as the big recipient of Gingrich’s slow deflation in polling this last week.

Ron Paul 23
Mitt Romney 20
Newt Gingrich 14

Nate Silver plugs this last into his model, and gives Ron Paul a 44% chance of winning the caucuses. Paul is also still polling really well in New Hampshire – easily in the mix in the top three, and being dead even for first in some polls.

As long as I’ve been on the Ron Paul bandwagon, even I’m having a hard time taking seriously the idea that Paul might actually, you know, win something. But I think, as a dedicated horse race watcher, I have to start giving sober consideration to the idea that Ron Paul taking Iowa, New Hampshire, or both, seems about as likely as any other reasonable scenario for how those states go. And boy, wouldn’t that be something.

Posted by Brad @ 9:26 am on December 19th 2011

Celebrities Always Die in Threes

And one would think Christopher Hitchens would be tickled that #2 in the set he kicked off was Kim Jong Il.

Posted by Brad @ 2:04 pm on December 16th 2011

Music Video of the Week

Trent Reznor and Karen O – Immigrant Song

dir: David Fincher

I have not called attention to my legendary Trent Reznor man-crush in at least 6 months.

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