Top Music Videos for August 2014.
A round-up of our favourite music videos posted over the month of August!
An experimental rapper with an afrofuturist edge, it’s hard to not pay attention to anything South African artist Okmalumkoolkat does.
Nigerian R&B crooner Banky W features on this steamy new track and video for fellow artist Niyola’s hot new single Love to Love You.
The UK singer is back in full force with a brand new uplifiting anthem Conqueror that shows some vocal ability we haven’t seen before from Estelle.
Desert scenes, dirt bikes, and the fiery self-proclaimed “best bitch in the rap game”.
Kenyan boyband Sauti Sol have a brand new dance (called lipala) to accompany their latest single, and a music video that shows you just how to get down to it (with the help of the Sarakasi dancers).
An insanely catchy and beautiful electronic pop ballad with a solid house beat, MNEK’s rich and soulful voice is
The man who brought us one of the continent’s most-loved Soukous songs is back! Whilst the single was released a few months earlier, Longomba’s finally dropped the offiicial music video for his track Bundelele (meaning ‘dance’).
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.
- umberto eco, foucault’s pendulum
- sylvia townsend warner, lolly willowes
- saiichi maruya, kagayaku hi no miya
- donald barthelme, forty stories
- soren kierkegaard, fear and trembling
- ursula leguin, the wind’s twelve quarters 1&2
- margery allingham, sweet danger
- brewer’s phrase and fable
- margaret atwood, lady oracle
- eliza acton, modern cookery for private families
1. it’s my favourite book; it is a stupid romp about intelligent people; every other eco leaves me cold; all of the characters are archetypes and the women the most so but they are at least subtle and funny in their archetypicality; i think a lot about this, the cynical idea spiralling out of control into terrifying sincerity.
2. sylvia townsend warner is a genius fyi: this book says “oh did you think you wanted the literature of the spinster’s life of quiet despair? what you really wanted was THIS”. (‘kingdoms of elfin’ has also been pretty crucial in my imagination).
3. i have never even finished this book (it’s in japanese and it’s dense as hell ok) but i think about it a LOT, the main character and the intertwining of her intellectual and personal lives.
4. d o n a l d b a r t h e l m e i s t h e b e s t
5. i am the grossest pseud you know but seriously when i am sad i like to read this book the way one listens to sad music or watches sad films. it’s like an apocalypse film, it has that quality of luxuriant dwelling, it burrows in the mud of despair like a contented pig, and like the hollywood apocalypse it blithely gives you a happy ending that is impossible. there is no phrase i can think of more poetic than “the knight of infinite resignation”.
6. this is technically two books but w/e - every idea i ever had that was in any way good was ursula leguin’s first. my heart belongs to ‘the dispossessed’ but these short stories shaped the inside of my head.
7. this could be almost any albert campion novel tbh - margery allingham’s investigations into the bohemian middle classes through the medium of detective novel - but the ruritanian kingdom of the plot is very important to me.
8. the feeling i had as a child that all interesting information could be found between the covers of brewer’s phrase and fable and the Everyman classical dictionary; that somehow it was important to know the names of all nine muses, the location of the river acheron, where the phrase “between the devil and the deep blue sea” came from.
9. sometimes when I remember my teenage reading I think only of brittle funny sensitive young dead white men i read and imagined myself to be but that’s a lie born of lazy thinking, and here’s a counterexample, the raw madcap of atwood’s early funny stuff. i don’t know why this book felt so crucial to me when i was a teenager and i am inexplicably unwilling to go back and try and work out why. i can’t even remember what happens - there is a woman? there is poetry? there is a lake? there is a dirtbag boyfriend who’s into roadkill taxidermy? there are… some cars?
10. i don’t use the recipes particularly but they are incredible to read. eliza acton is a prose master, and though a victorian she writes with the ironic grace of the regency greats. her “author’s receipt” for brawn is stellar flash fiction.
(The meme doesn’t really call for notes on your choices but i guess i was feeling defensive - the problem with writing a list like this as fast as possible is that you always look back and decide everything you have chosen is wrong and identifies you as terrible and you might as well have just put george macdonald’s ‘the princess and the goblin’ ten times but EH.)
Tagging (lol livejournal):
If there’s pee on the seat it’s my pee,
battery’s dead I killed it, canary at the bottom
of the cage I bury it, like God tromping the sky
in his undershirt carrying his brass spittoon,
raging and sobbing in his Hush Puppy house
slippers with the backs broke down, no Mrs.
God to make him reasonable as he gets out
the straight razor to slice the hair off his face,
using the Black Sea as a mirror when everyone
knows the Black Sea is a terrible mirror,
like God is a terrible simile for me but like
God with his mirror, I use it.
The Jukebox is behind on its Tumblr-ing, because we’ve been busy, including contributing 24 blurbs on the subject of “Shake It Off.” The one most worth reading is Sabina’s, which I will quote here:
This is what bothers me about Taylor in her twenties: the self-image she communicates hasn’t kept up with her growing privilege and reach. Taylor tended to present as the awkward, uncool, normal-ish kid — not popular or bullied but sidelined — even though she was objectively blonde/thin/gorgeous and a multi-platinum selling songwriting prodigy… The world is a riot of ladders, and one can be at top and bottom simultaneously — one can stand on the next-to-top rung and still look up. The worst shit in the world happens because people believe they’re still punching up when they’re punching down or sideways.
I’ve been thinking about this song — the video, truthfully — all week, but I limited my blurb to the song itself (mostly). Then when I read Sabina’s I thought she had articulated a point I was having trouble with; but if y’all will bear with me, I’d like to elaborate a little further.
First, I don’t actually think the main problem with “Shake It Off” is racism. Yes, we have White Girl Failing at Twerking, but that’s after we see White Girl Failing at Ballet, White Girl Failing at Breakdance, and White Girl Failing at Rhythmic Gymnastics. Twerking is a form of dance, not an example of black women doing the crazy sexualized things that black women do. As far as backdrops-for-Taylor-Swift go, ballet and twerking are equivalent. Which is a more respectful statement about twerking than, say, Hyuna manages to make.
This piece, which is partially about “Red”, got me thinking about the politics of backup dancers — I’m still hoping we get to hear more about and from the black dancer in “Red” — and so when I watched “Shake It Off” I saw a number of very hard-working craftspeople with potentially interesting stories to tell. Why shouldn’t we learn more about the twerkers? Or the guy who appears to have rubber arms? Or the expressive modern dancers? Because it’s a Taylor Swift video. But what is Taylor Swift doing? What has she done, in the context of “Shake It Off,” to earn our attention? Nothing. We’re supposed to understand, implicitly, that even when Taylor Swift is presenting herself as the least disciplined person in the video, she should still be the focus of attention and sympathy, simply because she’s Taylor Swift.
So my problem with “Shake It Off” isn’t that it’s racist; it’s that it’s antidemocratic. I don’t dislike Taylor Swift, but I do dislike this presentation of Taylor Swift, coasting on hierarchies, condescendingly assuming that to present herself as “one of us” she should be goofy and clumsy and vaguely rebellious, while in the background the “us” have no such luxury. From one clumsy, overprivileged white woman to another: Taylor Swift, get out of the damn way.
I am so proud to announce that the Katamari Collab is finished! After around 7 months since it started, the final piece features all 58 Katamari cousins and the King and Queen of the Cosmos, completed by 61 unique artists! All artists drew one Katamari character, and I did the Prince, background, and organized them all onto the final images.
I want to give a huge shoutout and round of neverending applause to all the artists who’ve participated in this collab. They have taken time out of their day to draw these characters out of love for the series and this project. Without them, this project wouldn’t have existed- all these amazingly talented artists are the heart and soul of this collaboration. I truly cannot thank you all enough!
I made sure everyone is included, but if I forgot you in any images or links, or would like me to link a different social media on the google doc, or anything else, please let me know right away!
Complete Masterpost of Artists and Image Files:
Please do not alter/edit the final image or claim as your own, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License!
High Resolution Image
Huffington Post article by Simone Collins of ArtCorgi
These are the book recs from the African Speculative Fiction panel I saw at Nine Worlds. The panelists said that these should be something that can be found at places like Amazon and Waterstones; I found A Tale for Blue Bird at Waterstones online but haven’t bought it yet. Most of the fiction discussed at the panel focused on utopian scifi, but some of these are fantasies.
* = books I remember I wanted to get.
Kwane Prize Anthology
The Hairdresser of [not finished]
Queer Africa - anthology
Fairytails for Lost Children
One Day I Will Write About This Place - Wainanga
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
The Palm Wine Drink [something I can’t read]
Wholewatcher: Ways of Dying
Haimbe - Mulimba
For the Mercy of Water - Karen Joyes
Nigerians in Space - Deji Oloutun
Hear Me Alone
The Book of the Dead - Kgebitli Maele [?] *
H. Oyeyemi - Boy Snow Bird *
A Tale for Blue Bird *
it’s “The Palm Wine Drinkard” iirc
This list is super helpful and thanks for typing it up! So many books to read~~
All of the post-9worlds stuff I’ve seen on tumblr and about the place has been so full of interesting responses and useful information - it sounds like it’s been an ideal of a convention.
"Withered Flower," by Faye Wong, from To Love
This is the Cantonese version of “Passenger,” Faye Wong’s excellent cover of Sophie Zelmani’s “Going Home.” No surprise that Faye Wong sings a completely different song in Cantonese than she does in Chinese; she does that pretty often. The Chinese version, which you can find subtitled here, seems to be about two ex-lovers or from the point of view of the xiao san of an affair being driven home — while it opens with an idyllic, peaceful drive home between two people who are “not unhappy” with each other, the last Chinese line is Faye Wong asking, teasingly, plaintively, “Where’s your lover?” When Faye Wong sings back Zelmani’s lyrics, “I’m going home, I must hurry home, where your life goes on / So I’m going home, going home alone,” there’s a little bit of an ambiguity. Did the narrator go home to her lover’s home, where their life goes on without her? And in the end, did they bring her home to her own, lonely home? Where her life goes on, alone, without them?
The Cantonese version seems to hew much more closely to the intent of Zelmani’s original. It’s more obvious that Faye Wong is singing as the ex-lover of “you”. “Life’s much to long to be shared with just you. Let me thank you for giving me unfulfilled happiness,” she sings. As the song goes on, she paints the picture of “you” — demanding, possibly monopolizing, a relationship that never fell to equilibrium, something Faye Wong is too exhausted to keep around. It’s an experience she might have been happy to have experienced, but it’s time, she seems to say, to grow out of dramatics and endless emotional upheaval, even if the ups are so sweet. ”It’s because I’ve settled down that I’ve grown weary of being harassed by happiness,” she murmurs, echoing Zelmani’s original lyrics — “We’re too old to make a mess.”
While the Chinese Faye Wong is the passenger, Cantonese Faye Wong and Sophie Zelmani are both driving their own cars. Perhaps the passenger is the “you”, who they drop off along the way. “I must hurry home,” they tell the “you”. “And our lives will go on, steady, not unhappy, as they already have all this time, without each other.”
(For an explanation of the referential meaning behind the line “flowering season’s over,” see this.)
Above are a series of tweets by Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape, that he sent as a way of previewing his firm’s $50 million investment in Buzzfeed. In them, Andreessen makes the argument that trust in the U.S. media has declined over the last 50 years because of Watergate.
For those of us who research trust, this is a familiar argument. But it’s also an inaccurate one.
This town in Russia is called Zheleznogorsk.
Their flag and coat of arms is a bear splitting the atom.
That is all.
*kicks down door, knocks over end table, vase crashes to the floor*
No that is NOT all, because Zheleznogorsk is really interesting.
It was a secret city, established in 1950 in the middle of Nowhere, Siberia for the purpose of researching nuclear weaponry and producing massive quantities of plutonium, the facilities for which were hidden inside a hollowed-out mountain. It appeared on no maps and no census data. Although more than 100,000 people lived there at one point, satellite imagery would have shown only a fairly small mining town. The mountain complex contained 3,500 rooms and three plutonium reactors, which were kept cool by one of the mightiest river in Siberia. The space had been excavated by tens of thousands of gulag slave laborers, who removed more rock from inside the mountain than was used to build the Great Pyramids. Protected under the granite peak of the mountain, these facilities would survive a direct nuclear attack.
No one called it “Zheleznogorsk.” Officially, it was “Krasnoyarsk-26,” which is something like naming a city ‘Arizona-17.’ Residents traveling outside the city called it Iron Town, if they had to refer to it at all. They were under strict instructions never to reveal to anyone the actual business of Krasnoyarsk-26.
And life there was fantastic. People living and working in the secret city received some of the best wages in the Soviet Union. There were sports stadiums, public gardens, a movie theater, and the shortages notorious in the rest of the USSR were unknown. The best nuclear scientists in Russia lived in a sealed-off utopia.
A third of all the nuclear weapons produced in Russia during the Cold War were powered by fuel from Zheleznogorsk. At the time, the image of the great Russian bear ripping apart an atom with brute strength wouldn’t have seemed very funny at all.
the more you know about secret Russian utopias
(reblogged correctly, whyyy won’t the app let you pick)