Scene in Yi Yi that takes place in bar at which patrons sing along with a house band. Well, a house pianist and flautist. While not strictly speaking karaoke–because no recorded music is involved–the idea is roughly the same. Given the awfulness of most karaoke machines, with tinny MIDI backing, I’m given to wonder why a similar idea hasn’t caught on here, at least in the more upscale locales. There are any number of underused stages in drinking establishments. Why not get a house band to play and let customers get up and belt? Although the costs may be somewhat higher–the house band would have to be paid, after all–I have to imagine the fun level would be high enough to offset with either increased drink prices or even a cover charge. Right?
April 30, 2010
April 24, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, while road-tripping the Peloponnese, I came to the startling realization that “Mycenae” is not pronounced “My-Sen-A” or “My-See-Nee” as I had up-to-then believed, but something closer to “Mee-Ken-Ee” or “Moo-Kay-Nye.” When “C” is used in a transliterated Greek word, think “K,” not “S.” So the “Cyclades” are the “Kee-Kla-Thes,” not the “Sye-Kla-Des.” And Macedonia is not “Ma-Seh-Doe-Nee-Uh,” but “Ma-Ke-Tho-Nee-Uh.”
What’s frustrating is that, at least for English speakers, “C” is an ambiguous letter, whereas “K” and “S” are not. So why on Earth would “C” ever be used to transliterate? Isn’t the whole point to make the word more readable to those not well versed in the native language? Of course the answer may be that the letters were well-chosen for Latin, which I would assume was the original transliterating language, and that the Cs are retained for consistency’s sake. Which may also perhaps explain why β is off-puttingly rewritten as a “b,” rather than a more appropriate “v.” Or why δ’s aspirated “th” sound is frustratingly often written as a “d.” Is that right? Is English all fuggered up vis-a-vis Latin? Or are the folks that mucked up Latinized Greek cut from the same cloth as the irritatingly academic Yalies that wrote “Beijing” as “Peking” all those years ago with special marks and expected everyone to notice the special marks?
Having just returned from Greece–almost a week late, by the by, what with Iceland’s volcanic activity–I’ve yet even finish unpacking. But D, with her prioritization skills, has managed already to upload a few photographs of our travels. The camera crapped out on us several times throughout the trip–dead batteries, a cracked battery door that required tape, etc.–so some locations are underrepresented. Also, more photos forthcoming.
In the taxi on the way to the Athens airport, the cabby was playing a CD of Greek hip hop that sounded remarkably similar to Sage Francis. Shame the fellow, unlike nearly everyone else we met in Greece, didn’t speak much in the way of English, and moreover, that my Greek skills were so woefully underdeveloped.
April 5, 2010
I think we can all agree that, at least lyrically, Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” depicts sex that’s, well, a little on the rough side, and maybe has a domination-submission undertone. Observe: “tonight I’mma let you do your thing,” “I like the way you pull my hair,” and the repeated refrain “take it, take it, baby, baby.”
But when Rihanna requests the titular Rude Boy “take it,” is she requesting the Rude Boy “take” her? Or is the song about female domination and strap-ons? I ask because Rihanna’s tone definitely seems to be swimming in the master end of the pool, asking Rude Boy whether he can “get it up” and is “big enough.”
My reading of the song is this: Rihanna is ordinarily the dominatrix, exacting all sorts of humiliation on Rude Boy for his and her sexual gratification. But tonight, she’s getting “a little crazy,” and wants to know if Rude Boy is up for a little role reversal, where he gets to play the master. But she’s not embracing the concept whole hog, and keeps slipping back into a more familiar position of power. Evidence? Early in the song, Rihanna indicates Rude Boy tonight is allowed to be “the captain” and “a rider,” and “do [his] thing.” Then she slips into a more equal relationship, suggesting tonight she’ll “let [him] take [her] higher,” and predicts the two of them “can get it on.” Later, she slips further and suggests tonight she’ll “give it to [him] harder” and “turn [his] body out,” and orders him to “[r]elax” because she’s planning on “do[ing] it how [she] wanna.” Then she goes back, indicating she likes it when he orders her to “kiss it here” and “move it there,” and when she has her hair pulled. Complicated relationship, no?
[Aside: does anyone know if this song suggests ska slang is making a comeback in popular music? Or if there's another explanation?]