Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here are some super belated Halloweeny videos for your enjoyment. :)

* The Yeah Yeah Yeah's Heads Will Roll

This is a great video and an awesome song. It's obviously an homage to Michael Jackson and Thriller while having a slightly different tone and making their own unique song and video. The tone is darkly comic and the video has an gruesome, sparkly ending. I love the confetti slaughter scene. The song is catchy to the point of being infectious. Karen O has a gorgeous voice and really holds her own beside the acrobatic, Michael Jackson-esque werewolf.

* Science Fiction/ Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, sung by Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer singing Science Fiction/ Double Feature with Moby, Stephin Merritt, and Neil Gaiman. This was right before I saw her in concert with Neil Gaiman on Halloween, which I will post about when I am not swimming through school papers. Anyway, Gaiman is very stoic on the toy piano and Palmer is just as charismatic and effervescent as ever. Plus they are a super cute couple. ;)

* Schubert's Der Erlkönig (The Erlking)

Franz Schubert set Johann Wolfgang von Göethe's poem to music in this Lied, or artsong, for solo voice and piano. The story is based on a Danish legend of a deadly and seductive fairy that preys on children. The poem starts with a father clutching his son and frantically riding by horse back to his farm. The boy is sick and in his feverish delusion, he sees the Erlking trying to entice him with riches and his daughters. These entreaties start nicely until he is frustrated and willing to take him by force. The father only sees wisps of fog or shuddering leaves and tries to calm the boy. The boy's terror reaches its peak and the boy shreiks. When they get home, the boy has tragically died in his father's arms. Here are the original German and the English translation of the text.

The music follows and enhances the story in interesting ways. The horse can be heard in the constant, frantic piano bass part. The characters all have their own ranges and tones although the Lied is to be sung by only one person. The boy's entreaties to his father are always high and frightened and get progressively higher as the song progresses. His father's part is low and reasoning. The Erlking's part starts high and soft when he tries to ply the boy with things, but turns lower and more hostile. I love this song and had the wonderful opportunity to analyse it in a music theory class. Even the keys and modulations have significance to the plot.

This animated short by Ben Zelkowicz is a wonderful adaptation of the tale in which sand and glass are used in a very innovative way to illustrate the song.

Any Halloween songs you guys like? Please share!

1 comment:

LoriStrongin said...

Okay, you RULE. I *love* Heads Will Roll and anything related to Rocky Horror! Did you hear/like the mashup glee did of Heads Will Roll and Michael Jackson's Thriller? Even with the massive abuse of autotune, I still think it was awesome.

So, go ahead and call me a dork, but any time I hear This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas, my Halloween-loving heart does a happy little twirl. And Werewolves of London by Warren Zefron always makes me chuckle.