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« Music Clips for the Week | Main | New Orleans as Museum »

August 30, 2007

Further Vids

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

My previous posting elicited some excellent listening-and-watching suggestions. Rick Darby tipped me off to this video of a physical and energized Natalie Merchant; Yahmdallah has gotten me interested in the quirky and foul-mouthed English sprite Lily Allen; Flutist sent me off in search of the exuberant Helen Humes, here with Dizzy Gillespie's big band. (A late addition courtesy of Tatyana: Portland's nightclub-suave Pink Martini go head-to-head with Rita Hayworth in "Gilda.") Thanks to all. Good lord but it's a great time to be a music fan.

My own favorite recent YouTube discovery, though, is one I made myself -- a video I just ran across of Bette Midler horsing around with Mick Jagger, then ripping into "Beast of Burden." As much as I love the Stones' original version of this song, Bette shows Mick a little something -- make that a great big something -- about moves, lustiness, humor, and dynamism. (Not to mention acting chops.)

Midler can be such an amazing performer, can't she? Such a lovable mix of power and delicacy, sweetness and forcefulness, schmaltz and funk. And talk about joy in performing. Have you ever seen anyone so switched-on? Who seems to be having such a good time? Fun to learn that ball-of-fire Bette is all of five feet one inch tall.



posted by Michael at August 30, 2007


Wow. Thanks!

Posted by: susan on August 31, 2007 6:56 PM

That version of Beast is like a flamenco dance: the peacocking male struts his stuff before the female, and then she steps forward, and struts hers worth twenty of his.

There's a famous duet, can't remember what song, from about the same period, with Jagger and Tina Turner, who supposedly taught him his dance moves, which is equally - what shall I call it? - energizing.

Posted by: alias clio on August 31, 2007 7:18 PM

Yes, I was doing the same, after the previous post - looking at Allen videos; seen a few and still can't get it - what's in her? A slutty fake innocent, no voice, no looks , just a scheming little tart.

What a relief to see Bette! She's a real deal.

You know who else is good? Pink Martini. Returned from work one night and heard the incredible voice, still outside the door - my son has a habit to blare his favorites at full volume when he's in the shower - who's that? i asked - it's China, haven't you heard?

Posted by: Tat on August 31, 2007 8:27 PM

If Bette's 5'1", Mick must be about 5'6".

Interesting choice, Natalie Merchant. I feel like she's a guilty pleasure - look at her there in that goddam suit of protestant armor! She could be your sister or the girl down the street (if you're a New England WASP like me). Yet I love my sister and I didn't mind the girl down the street. And her first mid-90s solo album is inextricably linked in my mind with the death of my beloved 94 year old grandfather. I remember crying to the song (Beloved Wife, says Google) about an old married couple like my grandparents.

Natalie Merchant has irreproachable credibility for me yet I suspect she must be uncool in the broader judgement.

Posted by: robert on August 31, 2007 9:13 PM

Guilty pleasure or not, I've just imported that album - which I probably haven't listened to for at least a decade - to iTunes. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: robert on August 31, 2007 9:22 PM

Ah, when I was a very young thing, in the early 1980s, some of the "older men" (perhaps about your age, M2B?) who hung out at my college bar, used to sing that song in chorus to the young girls as we walked into the room together. In those days I could never understand why a group of men in their late 20s-early 30s would want to keep company with first-year university students. Alas, my innocence of that time is long gone...

Posted by: alias clio on August 31, 2007 11:42 PM

We haven't had a Youtube roundup in a while!

Tat complains Lily Allen appears to be "just a scheming little tart"; all I can say is that's not a bug, it's a feature. (I like this live version of LDN, here.)

James Brown burns up Paris, here.

I never knew Diz and Satch played together, but they did, here

The Bobby McGees may puzzle some, but the cognoscenti will connect, here.

People who think today's music isn't catchy haven't had their brain invaded by Young Folks, here. (God I hate that tune.)

Tom Waits can still Make It Rain when he wants to, here.

Some Los Campesinos fans prove that all the best music these days is recorded on a cameraphone, here.

Enough music. How about some Timothy Carey, here? Barking mad as usual, god bless him.

Encore from Uncle Floyd, which will mean absolutely nothing to anyone not raised in New Jersey: here.

BTW, there's a five part Nick Drake documentary here, a five part Glenn Gould biography here, a truly superb sixteen (!) part Orson Welles interview here, and a guy I used to kind of know called rankflv has posted 674 Bob Dylan videos here.

Television? What the hell's television? Oh, you mean that box in the corner with dust on it...

Posted by: Brian on September 1, 2007 12:04 AM

By the way, don't forget that you can rip Youtube videos at Mux, here.

Posted by: Brian on September 1, 2007 12:07 AM

Brian: yes, a marketing feature - for a certain target audience. If I was a man, I'd be ashamed to appear as such.
I know it is difficult sometimes to recognise intonation from a written comment. However, stated opinion is different from complaints; the latter presumes appeals to superior authority. I did not complain.

Posted by: Tat on September 1, 2007 12:07 PM

If you like the jet-set pop sound of Sergio Mendes:

Posted by: Bill on September 1, 2007 5:02 PM

I love Natalie Merchant. 10K Maniacs' Our Time in Eden is one of my all-time favorite albums.

But Bette's always rubbed me the wrong way, so I can't start liking her now, despite the fact that the clip you posted is pretty good. I just find her cheesy and irritating. Plus, she sang Wind Beneath My Wings, which puts her on lifetime parole at the very least.

Posted by: JMW on September 1, 2007 5:58 PM

I may just be to young to know, but did the "arab" with the pies have any special meaning?

Posted by: benp on September 2, 2007 6:47 PM

Great get on the Sergio Mendes. Lani Hall in her prime. Sigh ...

Here is my No. 1 YouTube music video.

The Clash on Tom Snyder

Fasten your seat belts. Get your car out of that gear ...

Posted by: Glenn Abel on September 3, 2007 9:50 PM

Bette's very versatile, too. She can teach Mick something on "Beast", but you should listen to her updated version of Rosemary Clooney's "Mambo Italiano". Talk about adding straightforward sex to a fifties little dance hit. A few years ago I read a quote from her. She said she was proud of her legacy, because she was responsible for Britney Spears, et al---"and all the girls with big boobs and lousy voices." Obviously, Bette is being self-deprecating. No "lousy voice" there.

Posted by: annette on September 4, 2007 12:21 PM

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