How Muppeteers “Muppet”

One of my daily routines is watching videos on Uncrate while I eat lunch at my desk. (Exciting life, I know)

Yesterday I stumbled on a great video from Wired: Sesame Street Puppeteers Explain How They Control Their Puppets

It’s a pretty fun little video – about 7 1/2 minutes worth – that has some great behind-the-scenes info PLUS a look at the performers themselves embodying their characters (voices, mannerisms) without actually having their persons inside of them.

Better to watch than to have me explain, but it’s basically people pantomiming – which goes to why the characters are so memorable – the performers are great without the help of felt & wires!

Anyhow, just a little something for your Wednesday pleasure.

Echoes of Familiarity

Did you ever get a tune stuck in your head and you just can’t stop whistling or humming it to yourself? Happens to me all the time.

In college I used to actively try to get songs stuck in Jennifer’s head by singing them when she was around. Turns out she’s incredibly susceptible to suggestion (and I imagine most other folks are too).

A funny thing happened recently when I heard the new (to me) Urge Overkill album, I swore I’d heard one of the themes before. Listen to the guitar chord changes of “Thought Balloon” and tell me you don’t immediately think of the theme song to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

“Thought Balloon” by Urge Overkill

“Go” by Valley Lodge

Maybe it’s just more proof that there aren’t any new ideas, only new combinations and both artists simply got to similar sounds around the same time. Urge Overkill’s album is from 2011; Valley Lodge’s is from 2013.

Or maybe I’m just hearing them for the first time and imagining a correlation.

What do you hear?

Straight Outta Memes

Since we’ve all seen (or made) those “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme images promoting the new movie about NWA, Straight Outta Compton, I thought I’d bring your attention to something else.

If you’re in the middle of the Venn Diagram of NWA fans & comic book fans, please enjoy Straight Outta Gotham. A former coworker of Jennifer’s is the creative force behind the whole thing & it’s been amazing to see the response online & on his Facebook feed.

I’m embedding the clean version but if you don’t have kids around (or if you’re in a more relaxed office), here’s the explicit version.

If superhero mashups aren’t your thing, you could always check out The Muppets singing NWA’s “Express Yourself”.

For other Muppet/NWA goodness, check out some other posts:

Happy Thursday!

Tame Impala: Currents

I hadn’t pulled the trigger to buy Tame Impala’s latest album, Currents, until a couple of videos crossed my path this morning.

First, I watched the haunting & emotional video for the single “Let It Happen”. It might be a little heavy for a Tuesday, but there’s no denying that it left an impression.

Then I did a little clicking around to accompany my morning coffee and heard Haim’s cover of “‘Cause I’m A Man”. Billboard has a great little post about the versions of the song & video that are floating around the internet.

For my part, I’d only heard either single on SiriusXM, but hadn’t bought the album figuring it might go on sale soon. I did the same thing with Tame Impala’s previous album, Lonerism, which I love.

If you’re in to atmospheric pop music or psychedelic rock (something like a more melodic, less melancholy Pink Floyd) check them out.

The album artwork also reminds me of the cover to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, which is always a good cultural, musical touchpoint.

You can listen to the album in its entirety on YouTube too.

Happy Tuesday!

Earworm: King Tuff

Not sure whether I heard King Tuff‘s single Black Moon Spell, from the album of the same name, on AltNation or XMU but it was definitely one of those SiriusXM stations.

Either way, I’ve been wearing out the YouTube versions of his most recent two albums, Black Moon Spell & King Tuff.

Black Moon Spell has been out for a while now; long enough for King Tuff to make the rounds at KEXP & Conan, but it’s so terse that it feels fresh after a ton of listens. So many, in fact, that I ought to just buy both albums.

If fuzzy, guitar-driven punk-pop that dabbles in darkness like a middle schooler who’s just watched The Exorcist for the first time isn’t your thing, skip this one. Otherwise, enjoy the non-ironic rock-n-roll, black fingernail polish & turn off your brain.

Happy Tuesday!