Friday, 2007 February 23, 22:46 — music+verse

I’m depraved on account of I’m deprived

Today’s Straight Dope responds to this inquiry:

Everyone is familiar with the song that goes, “There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance.” What’s the origin of this mysterious song and its seemingly Egyptian melody?

So naturally I’m not familiar with those words; but they do scan to the tune quoted in Divers Ayres on Sundrie Notions: “Ask for P.D.Q., take a tablespoon or two.”

Tuesday, 2006 August 1, 19:38 — mathematics, music+verse

beauty’s where you find it

I mis-heard some trivial question as “What is Hamming music?”

For some of us, the name Hamming is strongly associated with information theory, and so I imagined that “Hamming music” must be algorithmic composition using error-correcting principles.

And that got me thinking vaguely about redundancy in art.

Sunday, 2006 July 2, 22:58 — music+verse

a particular kind of earworm

Does anyone remember a song of thirty years ago that ended with the narration “But now we must descend, for there is another side to this vision”?

Later: I am advised that it’s “Solar Boat” by Ray Manzarek.

Saturday, 2006 May 6, 13:09 — arts, cartoons, economics, music+verse

wandering the web

Gunnerkrigg Court, a newish cartoon-strip set in a decidedly weird boarding school.

This is too good to leave buried in the comments: Loituma perform “Ievan polkka”

Sheldon Richman: Capitalism vs Capitalism

Something Positive: It’s entirely possible that you’ll appreciate this joke more than I can.

You don’t need me to tell you that MC Escher laid down some killer grooves. It’s high time someone made a movie of his last work: Snakes on a plane!

Friday, 2005 October 28, 20:18 — music+verse

the title of this post, containing a joke that I’ve made before

If you haven’t already, go here and listen to “Title of the Song” (MP3), a spoof on the “boy band” genre.

Monday, 2005 October 24, 22:36 — music+verse, neep-neep

Salivili hipput tupput täppyt äppyt tipput hilijalleen

An unexpected effect of listening to music through my computer’s speakers is a better stereo image than I’m used to. That’s how I noticed for the first time that Loituma’s joyously goofy song Ievan polkka has four vocal parts, not three: the female lead and the male accompaniment are in the center, with two female voices, singing almost but not quite the same part, in the wings. (Maybe it’s one woman singing the same part twice but adlibbing.)

If any of you understand Finnish, by the way, I’d love to have a transcription and a translation.

Friday, 2005 May 6, 08:28 — language, me!me!me!, music+verse


I called a locksmith today and he said he recognized my voice’s “heavy tone” from a previous job. I wonder whether that’s a translation of a Chinese idiom. Perhaps my voice was gravelly, as it sometimes is in the early morning.

I sing baritone, and that word comes from Greek bary- ‘heavy’, though you’d think the metaphor would apply better to a basso profondo.

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