Jamie York is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks, November 14th, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011 - 03:48 PM
Your weekly dose of recommendations from the staff of OTM. Give us some of your own down in the comments section and enjoy!
Doug Anderson: My pick this week is the 1995 music video of "Drop" by The Pharcyde. (Spoiler alert! Watch that first link in its entirety before clicking on. Watched it? Good. Read on.) Here's a behind-the-scenes look with the video's director Spike Jonze—yes, that Spike Jonze. If your obsession runs as deep as mine, you're going to want to watch this version too.
Sarah Abdurrahman: I’ve been really enjoying Mindy Kaling’s new book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Best known for her writing and acting on “The Office,” Kaling weaves together anecdotes from her life and job with random observations, like “How Guys Need to do Almost Nothing to be Great.” This is one of those books that makes you laugh out loud while reading it on the subway because you are too lost in Mindy’s world to realize you look a little like a crazy person. Thanks to OTM producer PJ Vogt for lending it to me.
Brooke Gladstone: When the staff came over to brunch this weekend to celebrate Alex Goldman’s epic win, I played Nellie McKay’s Doris Day tribute album, Doris Day 'Normal as Blueberry Pie,' and I was reminded how delightful it is. You should give it a listen – it’s a whole lotta fun. Right, Jamie? (yes, Brooke – JY)
Alex Goldman: Not new, per say, but I spent all weekend listening to “Special Herbs,” a nine-volume collection of instrumentals by rapper/producer/mask-wearer MF Doom. Perfect background music for reading or writing or playing video games or getting ready for work. A ton of these beats appear on MF Doom records, and a couple of them appear elsewhere (like on Ghostface’s epic Fishscale.) Some of my favorites: Galangal Root, Datura Stramonium, Dragon’s Blood, Nettle Leaves.
Chris Neary: My staff pick this week is http://drinkify.org/. It works like this: Put in a band you like (or don’t like) and you get a drink that accompanies that band.
Patsy Cline: 1 oz. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
Bell Biv Devoe: 2 oz. Coke, 2 oz. Tequila Reposado
Fugazi: 1 oz. Havana Club Dark Rum, 1 oz. Grapefruit juice.
This is the internet in its purest form.
Gianna Palmer: I choose this video of 8-year-old Sophia Grace (and her 5-year-old hype girl, Rosie) on the Ellen show, giving a hilarious interview and singing an Adele song:
The back story: these two little British gals made it big in a viral Youtube video of Sophia Grace belting out Nicki Minaj's 'Super Bass.' Then Ellen DeGeneres had them on her show to sing WITH Nicki Minaj in person. Ellen also dressed as them for Halloween. Now, it seems they're becoming regulars on her show. Which is fine by me!
PJ Vogt: 11/22/63, the new Stephen King book. It's just terrific. It's about a guy who discovers a tear in the space time continuum that transports him from the present day back to 1958. Naturally, he decides that the best thing to do with his new power (besides drive around in beautiful 1950's cars) is to kill Lee Harvey Oswald.
One of the enjoyable things about time travel books is seeing what rules the author is going to set in place for their particular version of time travel. Here's how this one goes -- however long you spend in the past, when you come back, only 2 minutes will have passed. And if you go back again, it'll reset whatever things you changed in your previous visit. The only bad news is that time itself will conspire, Final Destination-style, to stop you from making big dramatic changes.
This book would be good for people who are fans of being entertained or of feeling excitement.
Jamie York: Four quick things I’ve been listening to this last week:
I thought I knew what Etta James was about. This new collection shows I didn’t. Like Ray Charles she’s a country unto herself.
Joe Henry continues to impress and join the ranks of those he admires. For his latest album he recorded a group of musicians largely improvising in his house. He mic’d the band and he mic’d out the windows and turned up the outside ambience in the musicians’ headphones so that they could react to what was happening outside.
Oneohtrix Point Never is like listening to a puzzle, in the way that puzzles can be deeply satisfying. I listened to this over and over this weekend. The back story of using as raw material audio from 80’s ads is a good one but the results are better then that.
And finally I wish there were more to this article because what’s here is so thought-provoking. Sound historians are creating portraits of the natural world so that they can measure, audibly, how that world changes. They’d also like you to know that the eagle screech at the beginning of the Colbert Report isn’t an eagle, it’s a hawk and Kevin Colver recorded it. It’s become the Wilhelm Scream of bird effects. But there’s also a more profound importance to forgetting what the natural world sounds like – our eroding audio literacy might be hurting us:
“For people inhabiting forests, like the Kaluli, who live in Papua New Guinea, sound is still supreme. “Virtually all Kaluli men can sit down in front of a tape recorder and imitate the sounds of at least one hundred birds,” wrote anthropologist Steven Feld in his 1982 book Sound and Sentiment, “but few can provide visual descriptive information on nearly that many.”
There’s increasing evidence that nature sounds are mentally and physically good for us. In one study, a group of psychologists exposed subjects to an artificial stressor—a series of math problems. Subjects were then hit with various sounds, ranging from a noisy road to a fountain with tweeting birds. People who heard the nature sounds recovered faster from the stress (as measured by galvanic skin response, or how much they sweated). Other studies have found that nature sounds can reduce perceived pain during surgery.