Happy New Year: Very Sexy Poppin’ Joy!

Happy New Year: Sexy Joy!

Happy New Year: Joy!

 

Happy New Year 2013: Very Joyful!

Happy New Year 2013: Very Joyful!

Happy New Year 2013: Very Joyful!

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Down on the Bowery: A Fairytale of New York

Down on the Bowery: A Fairytale of New York

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: Fairy Tale of New York

Some people feel that The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York is the best Christmas song ever, and not just one of the best, but a gorgeous song no matter why or how you observe Christmas. Fairytale of New York isn’t exactly the epitome of restraint, with Shane MacGowan and the sadly departed Kirsty MacColl singing all over each other, slurring words and tossing all kinds of insults at each other.

The song starts out tenderly, with MacGowan recounting Christmas Eve spent in a Bowery drunk tank, but also his recent gambling win and dreams for the future. MacColl lets us know, as the tempo picks up, that they met on a Christmas Eve, and after some light banter they really get into it, blaming each other for anything they can get their hands on, MacColl ending with “Happy Christmas your arse / I pray God it’s our last.

But then they sing the chorus again, and a string section that actually sounds like it belongs in a Christmas song begins to take over. And it all feels, in spite of itself, grand and sweeping and even a little touching. They squabble a little more, the same as every Christmas, but they’re losing steam; finally MacColl accuses MacGowan of stealing her dreams when they met. This is a terribly poetic way to depict the deadening of expectations in terrible lives. But MacGowan’s voice turns gentle, even though it’s still rough, and he responds: “I kept them with me babe, I put them with my own, Can’t make it all alone, I’ve built my dreams around you.”

It’s a tough old life, and Fairytale of New York practically oozes with the gritty spirit of urban decay, poverty, alcoholism and general dysfunction. But as the sounds of those strings float off and out of sight, it doesn’t seem to matter. Not to them and not to us, because it’s the day to sigh and give in to our better inclinations and hold each other and admit there’s still something there. Christmas is the arbitrary day of the year that purely through willpower and tradition we’ve turned into the day where we all try just a little bit harder at being better than we thought we could be.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: Fairy Tale of New York

Slide Show: Down on the Bowery

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Happy New Year: Sexy Joy!

Happy New Year: Sexy Joy!

Happy New Year: Joy!

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New York’s Blizzard of 2010

New York’s Blizzard of 2010

Here’s the moody, brilliantly-shot meditation on a buried city that’s being called Oscar-worthy by Roger Ebert.  The video was shot by filmmaker Jamie Stuart in Queens, New York, during the snowstorm on the night of the 26th.  Like the video itself, the title, Idiot with a Tripod, is an homage to the 1929 silent film Man With a Movie Camera.

New York’s Blizzard of 2010

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A Happy Holiday Christmas Card for 2010

A Happy Holiday Christmas Card for 2010

The Sherbet Jolly Musical Christmas Card for 2010

United Fakes Wishes You a Joyeux Noël!

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For a Peaceful New Year: The Kuroshio Sea

The Kuroshio Sea: Japan’s Spectacular 2-Million Gallon Aquarium Tank

Kuroshio Sea is an amazingly peaceful five-minute short film from the acclaimed filmmaker Jon Rawlinson, accompanied by music (“Please Don’t Go” by Barcelona).  Rawlinson studied at the Vancouver Film School, where he was a top student in the New Media program. Kuroshio Sea was filmed at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan; the main tank, called The Kuroshio Sea, holds 1,981,290 gallons of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank. The film is presented here in HD and it’s best watched in full-screen mode. You’ll feel like you’re right there!!

This video has been chosen by Vimeo as one of its 25 favorite videos of 2009.

The Kuroshio Sea: Japan’s Spectacular 2-Million Gallon Aquarium Tank

(Best Viewed in Full-Screen Mode)

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