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SFF Music Video of the Week #33

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So we've had a couple of rather sombre weeks, let's pick up the pace with a track that we first encountered via the game Just Dance. This one had quite an energetic set of moves, making it great for an aerobic workout, the visuals were (ahem) cool.


In fact, before we go on, here they are:



The song itself is rather good, too. Intriguing lyrics, Sia's amazing voice, and a compelling dance beat. So we went looking for the original video, and what a treat it is.

Let's open with some Bronze-age hunters, proto-Vikings perhaps, chasing a wolf across the ice. A great visual statement, hints of the wolf having already been wounded, and a full-team dog sled in full flight to round out the imagery.

So, very cool, but not especially SFFish.

Right up until the chase hits the rocks, and the hunters think they've got the wolf cornered. Because then something weird happens. With with music beat becoming visualised in the rocks and ice, you'd think that it was just a cool vis…

SFF Music Video of the Week - Rejected Part 1

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In amongst all the SFF music videos out there, there's always a group of videos that are not going to make the cut. They might have a genre sensibility, but are not actually genre themselves.

Quite a few of these are thoroughly excellent videos in themselves, and so I'm going to share a few of them tonight.

First up is Marian Call's "Good Morning Moon". I had to think long and hard about this one, but ultimately it is all about something real, not fiction. So here is her ode to the ISS.



Next up we have one of Lindsay Stirling's many collaborations, this one with The Piano Guys. An homage to, and cover of Mission Impossible, it still does not quite transition across into SFF. But it is amazing to watch, and the music is wonderful!




Moving on we get La Roux, and "In for the Kill", which despite a deep Bladerunner aesthetic never quite tips over the edge.




Next is another one I had to think very hard about which side of the fence it was on. The Postal Se…

Simon Pegg with An Important Message

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SFF Music Video of the Week #32

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Billie Eilish is a remarkable person. Musically gifted in ways that alter the musical landscape, and having a fierce independence that defies the music industry norms, she hit the music scene like a bomb.

This track from 2019 is a fantastic reflection of that - confronting climate change head-on, and pulling no punches in any way, she also manages to create a superbly Dantesque visual story in just under four minutes.

So, with no further ado, here is Billie Eilish and "all the good girls go to hell".




The 19, Wikipedia, and politics collide

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It could be argued that the least popular minister in Australia is our Minister for Home Affairs, the Honourable Peter Dutton. So when the word broke yesterday that he had tested positive for NCovid-19, it was inevitable that there would be some sort of fallout.

Sure enough, minutes later, a co-worker of mine (a recent immigrant) visited Wikipedia to read up on him, and encountered the following. Now it was reverted within 2-3 minutes, but he managed to grab a screenshot at my request.



SFF Music Video of the Week - #31

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One of the modern musical greats this time around - and from a work released just two days before his death. I am, of course talking about David Robert Jones. Better known to  the world as David Bowie.

This is the title track from his last album, Blackstar. And what a ride it is.

Surreal in ways that cannot be adequately put into words, the video features a cat-tailed woman, living scarecrows, religious ecstasies, a dead astronaut, and a button-eyed Bowie. The music meanwhile most strongly fits experimental jazz in style, and the lyrics are similarly surreal.

 Debate about various elements of this video abound - mostly around the identity of the astronaut (Major Tom?), but also about various other things. For example, what is with the lovecraftian creature at the end?

So have a look at Blackstar, and tell me what you think it all means! I'll cheerfully admit I'm way out of my depth.



SFF Music Video of the Week - #30

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Advances in CGI in the 90s led to a spate of CGI-based SFF-inspired videos. Combine this with boy bands and house music and you get things like this offering of Eiffel 65.

Musically it is ... well let's be honest and say that it is not exactly Mike Oldfield, and the lyrics are not Bob Dylan. It is, however annoyingly catching, and extremely danceable. The video, meantime, is odd, to say the least. One part alien kidnapping, one part arcade fighting game, and one part concert video, it really is something of a creation of its time.



SFF Music Video of the Week #29

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I've got an amazingly odd one this week.

The story centres around a couple. They are not well suited to each other, but have fallen into a too-hard-to-change sort of trap.

How is it SpecFic? Well, for that you will have to watch the video. Pay careful attention to the details. But, must importantly, enjoy Hot Chip's "Hungry Child" from 2019.




Give'r Winter Competition

Usual rules, enter using this link, and I get a handful of extra entries.

All sorts of neat stuff, including goodies from BioLite and Peak Design.

Giverway Winter 2020 ... 20 Winners! 20 Brands! AND ... $12K+ in gear up for grabs, including SKIS, a KAYAK & MORE! http://prmo.me/73PR8i

SFF Music Video of the Week #28

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Let us turn to the more mainstream world of pop, and a bit of comedy.

Dark Horse, by Katy Perry (modulo various claims by christian rap/hiphop artists) is not what I would call musically exciting. It is, however, extremely saleable, helped in no small part by this wonderfully comedic/horror video.

Let's face it - if you took what our sorcerer queen does at face value it would be dark, dark horror. Imagine it re-worked by Hammer Films, for example. But the bright lights, the goofy outcomes, and the over-the-top sets and costumes manage to overcome the core of horror, and create something that is undeniably hilarious.

So, without any further discussion, here's the video.


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SFF Music Video of the Week #27

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It is Valentine's Day, so I'm going for a little romance, and what could be better than a pastiche of Le Voyage dans la Lune? A romance of science and the heart, we follow the charming couple who are our protagonists through their magical journey to the moon and back.

Smashing Pumpkins did not originally intend this to be the style of video for this song, and had tremendous problems with costuming, as Titanic was being filmed at the same time. Despite this, they were able to shoot a Georges Méliès themed video, with back-drops and puppet work, in just three days.

So darken the room, cuddle up, and enjoy "Tonight, Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins.

Hecate - Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company - Review

TL;DNR: An astounding production that should not be missed.

Macbeth is arguably Shakespeare's most recognisable play. A story of betrayal, murder, and revenge, it is a powerful icon of English culture.

But is that the only way of seeing it?

Eight years ago, director Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn] and Kyle J Morrison had the idea of performing Macbeth in Noongar. Along the way they discovered parts of the play that resonated in unexpected ways, and resonance grew into the play that we saw last night.

Drawing on Noongar traditions as well as translating the play the director has transformed it from a tale of destruction to one of renewal. Of course, to renew, there has to be destruction, but that is no longer the point of the story. Macbeth becomes not a villain (although he is still villainous), but a tool. Just as the Noongar people use fire to renew the land, Macbeth becomes that fire, and is consumed by it. But the destruction of Macbeth is not the end of the story - there …

SFF Music Video of the Week #26

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Let's revisit the work of Seasons (previously)

This time around we have a nightmare inspired drama of cloth-puppet-faced pursuers and an arbitrarily changing world.

This video raises questions for me - especially the last 20-30 seconds - about who, and what, is really the monster. Questions I do not have a satisfactory answer for.

Anyone have opinions?



SFF Music Video of the Week #25

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English/Bulgarian electronic/pop group Ladytron frequently feature SFF elements in their videos, and this is one of their best. Starring the band in two roles, with amazing mythic imagery and wonderful stop-motion critters, this must have been hell for the band to produce!

So wrap yourself around some hot chocolate, and enjoy to snowy mountains of "Destroy Everything You Touch".



Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out is a classic whodunnit. No, that's not right. Knives Out is a brilliant comedy whodunnit.
With a cast of thoroughly unlikeable characters, and a scattering of ones who are not, this riotous tale of who murdered the murder-mystery writer is a joy to watch. The actors are chewing the scenery with more gusto than a nest of termites, there are red herrings and Chekhov's guns popping up at every turn, and in the centre of it all is the victim's nurse. A young lady, still living with her kid sister and her mother and possessing a most unusual physiological response, she is the glue of the film.
Throw in a private consulting detective a  la Sherlock Holmes, and a police trooper who is a fan of both the writer and the detective, and you have a bubbling cauldron of personalities that delight at every turn.
It would be not unfair to compare it with Clue and Murder By Death, my two gold standards of comedy whodunnit, and it compares very well indeed.
10/10 and Miss Marple as i…

SFF Music Video of the Week #24

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Au Revoir Simone are a band I have a great fondness for. Releasing albums only rarely, they are a treat for the ears. Tending towards low-key and downbeat lyrics, they counterpoint them with bright and cheerful tunes rendered on old-school synths.

This is one of their early works, and one that has distinct fantasy elements.


SFF Music Video of the Week #23

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I've got a pair of videos for you this week. Two things tie them together - Steve Aoki's involvement with the music, and the fact that both of these music videos are essentially advertisements for a well-known brand of vodka.

So set the product placement cuts to one side, and enjoy two very different stories.


First up is the obviously Star Wars inspired "Back to Earth" from Steve Aoki and featuring post-punk rock band Fall Out Boy. We've got masked troopers (or bounty hunters), psychic powers, blaster pistols, and all the rest.



And then there's Home We'll Go (Take My Hand) from Walk Off The Earth (and Steve Aoki). Featuring a quintessential Manic Pixie Girl, and lots of really big plants.



GoSun Fusion Paella - Recipe

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Ingredients for 6 serves
2 cups shortgrain rice (Arborio, Short-grain white, or Paella rice)
4 cups chicken stock (warm)
.1g saffron threads in 1/4 cup boiled water
1 chorizo sausage (sliced)
200g chicken (diced)
3-4 cloves garlic (crushed)
Small handful of runner beans, string beans, or similar, sliced
1/4 cup capsicum (diced)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp olive oil
Pepper

All measurements are metric (250ml cup).

Method
Optionally fry the chorizo beforehand. This is not required, but does improve the flavour.

Put the rice in the bottom of the cooking tray, and top with diced vegetables, chroizo slices, and chicken.

Sprinkle with paprika, olive oil, and pepper.

Add saffron and stock.

Place in Fusion in full sun for 1 hour, and check.
Serves 6


Notes
This skips pre-frying the rice, as  it is not really an option with the Fusion. Mixed seafood could be added to this, or substituted for the chicken and chorizo.

St Duke's Red - HaVe Cheese

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After a long hiatus brought on by the death of G+ and the demise of our cheese subscription service, we're back.

This time we've got St Duke's Red, a Epoisses de Bourgogne styled washed rind cheese from the notable W.A. manufacturer HaVe, based in Wokalup, near Harvey.



Not as potent to the nose as the French offering, St Duke's Red is definitely bold in its aroma, and you certainly know when it has been in the room. Because of that, it is relatively friendly as an introduction to the 'stinky' family, and the rich earthy flavours are rewarding.


We found it enjoyable with fruit, onion chutney, and a light salad. It would certainly go well on a more sophisticated cheese board, and a strong fruit paste, such as plum, would also be an excellent complement.

HaVe cheeses are available through selected outlets in W.A.'s South-West: https://www.harveycheese.com.au/retail-outlets.html and check with the particular retailer as to their specific range.

SFF Music Video of the Week #22

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This week, let's travel to Iceland (or Spain) and take a look at one of Bjork's creations.



Some thoughts about scoring in Galaxy Trucker Digital

Galaxy Trucker Digital has an interesting scoring system.

There is a base score for if you made a profit (i.e. did not lose completely) of 100 points, and a couple of multipliers for game length and type of game. Most importantly, you get points for who you defeated in the game. These are added to your base points, and the multipliers are applied. The actual credits scored in the game do not come into it at all.

The points for who you beat are the interesting bit. You get 20 points per level of the person you beat. You go up levels according to what appears to be a geometric scale.

So what is my point about all this?

I was investigating the leaderboard earlier today. It ranks every online player according to their total point score - not level. I'm in the top 100 players in the world. So I looked around at the other players, and that is where I noticed something odd.

With many such leaderboards, you see scores per rank fairly level to begin with, with jumps between them very small…

SFF Music Video of the Week - AI special mention.

The following link is not really a part of the series. It fits none of the criteria, not even a little bit.

And yet, it still deserves a special mention.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1209511648618172421

The ... carol(?) in question was created - no - instigated by the indomitable Janelle Shane, over at https://aiweirdness.com/ .


SFF Music.Video of the Week #21

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Gorillaz need little introduction, and "Feel Good Inc" is a classic of their work, both musically, and cinematically.


That said, I am not a big fan of their music, or the rather dark and sad worlds they typically portray. Despite this, there is no denying the genius present.