My Old Kentucky Homesite

Three Videos

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 02/15/2010

My friend Srsny told me that Channel 13, the PBS station in New York City, gives viewers an opportunity each week to vote for the short film they’d like to see broadcast on Saturday night.

Since I’m still a New Yawker at heart, I thought I would check out this week’s choices. Obviously, none of the offerings have anything to do with basketball, religion, bourbon, coal-mining, and/or horse-breeding, so I’m fairly certain that a concept like this would not work in Kentucky. But, jaded New Yawker that I still am, I enjoyed all three of these little gems, even though they seemed irrelevant to my new life in Lexington.

Surprisingly, each selection reflects, in some way, my feelings about music-as-life. I won’t reveal which one I voted for, or write anything further about my reactions — right now. Instead, I’m hoping that you’ll leave comments saying which short you would have picked, and why.

Here are the videos, in order from shortest to longest. Have fun watching them.

1) El Pianógrafo

2) Be Like a Duck

3) Comme Un Air

If you’d like to  influence what New Yawkers get to see on their TVs, you can vote here.

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20 Responses to “Three Videos”

  1. srsny said

    Oh, great! Now I have a new earworm, but it’s in French!

    I have more to say later. But I need to think which I would vote for.

  2. Srsny:
    I was thinking exactly the same thing. You took les mots right out of my bouche.

    Apropos of nothing — except that I’m not one to miss any opportunity to perpetrate a groaner:
    As Sarah Palin may have learned after getting caught with scribbled notes on her palm,
    A word in the bouche is worth two on the hand.”

  3. Naturally I’d have to pick the animated one.

  4. Philly:
    I’m assuming you meant “animated” in the cartoon sense only, because the other two videos are quite animated also.

  5. srsny said

    I am torn between the first and the third.

    The Duck one is cute, but it really is just a music video for Sandra Boynton’s album for children called Philadelphia Chickens. It was strange, but when I first saw the scene with the young woman in the kitchen, she seemed vaguely familiar to me. After I read in the credits that her last name was Boynton, along with the young man who was the singer, I looked up a google image of Sandra Boynton, and realized that the familiarity was because of the mother-daughther resemblance. Then I went to Sandra’s website and found out about the children’s album.

    The piano one is fabulous. I love the music, and the animation was simply gorgeous. I love how the artist forced me to be puzzled by the strange headpiece the keyboardist was wearing. Before the “twist” I kept having fond memories of the Nairobi trio. At the end I loved the hommage to that much-imitated shot from the silent film “The Crowd.” I luckily did not have to call my silent-film-expert friend Sharon to ask, “What was that movie we saw with the guy who comes to the city and is in the office with all the desks?” That’s because Turner Classic Movies is going to show “The Crowd” Thursday night and have been promoting it to death with a conversation by King Vidor on how he shot the scene.

    And then, of course, there is the French earworm one. Thanks to an email from Larry, I listened to the Julio Iglesias version of the song several times, and had the worm locked firmly in my ear. It struck me how much the song and Iglesias reminded me of Jacques Brel, and so I watched that amazing Youtube of the young Brel singing “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” then listened to the versions of that song by Nina Simone, Sting, Mirelle Mathieu and Julio Iglesias himself. So now I have replaced the worm with another and ….

    Oh, hmm, I’m supposed to be voting on a video.

  6. Srsny:
    I didn’t associate the name Sandra Boynton with the sappy greeting-card lady, which is how I think of her. Thanks for the info. I did figure out, though, that the kids and the auteur must be relatives.

    I’ve never seen The Crowd, but I’ll definitely never forget the Nairobi Trio, which is not only entertaining, but also proof positive for Evolution.

    I woke up this morning with that French earworm burrowing through my brain. I’m assuming that it was looking for cheese.

  7. Voting is the Cat’s Meow!!!

  8. srsny said

    Voters – I’ve just been to the channel 13 website and the vote count is as follows:

    El Pianografo 9 votes
    Comme Un Air 11 votes
    Be Like a Duck 88 votes

  9. Percy:
    So did it meow once, twice, or three times?

    Srsny:
    Of course. As happens everywhere in this country — even in New Yawk — the stupidest choice wins. By an overwhelming majority.

    Oops. I guess I’ve given away that I didn’t vote for the Duck.

  10. I liked the frog one. Of course, part of the problem with the first film was that I once heard a story about a 12-inch Pianógrafo.

  11. Des:
    Yeah, that joke has been kicking around for years. It used to be about a 12-inch clavichordist, but the punchline didn’t make any sense until pianos were invented.

    I also liked “One Froggy Day” the best. It was close for me, because I often feel like the poor guy at the keyboard. But, ultimately, as an earworm fan and a meme-believer, I had to go with the sheer musical joy of the French entry.

    So far, on this blog, the votes have gone:
    El Pianógrafo: 1
    Be Like a Duck: 0
    Comme Un Air: 2

  12. srsny said

    I think the problem with the voting is that Sandra Boynton has legions of sappy greeting card lovers. It’s now 10, 14, 107! By the way, Larry, did you count me as a Pauvre Diables voter?

    Do you think there are 93 readers of this blog who can possibly keep the sappy ducks off of my TV on Saturday. It’s not as if I hate the duck video, but I hate the idea that the vote count is so lopsided.

    I guess I need to be like a duck, and just let it go.

  13. Srsny:
    I hadn’t counted you, because you hadn’t committed in a comment yet. I’ll add you to the tally now:
    The vote’s 1-0-3.

    You may be right about Sandra Boynton’s fans. Maybe somebody needs to feature “Pauvres Diables” in a musical greeting card. For what occasion, though? Mother’s Day? The Eve of St. Agnes? National Femmes Fatales Week?

  14. srsny said

    Well, I’m very disappointed. I put Sandra Boynton and Julio Iglesias into both google and bing and did not get your website.

    by the way the tune is still in my head. however it is not unpleasant. I think i need to download the song and learn it, so i don’t keep looping the same two musical phrases.

  15. srsny said

    Even worse: I put in Sandra Boynton and Eve of St. Agnes and got 5 hits on google, one other one on bing. none of them yours.

  16. It’s probably a conspiracy. Google and Microsoft both have it in for godless heathens.

  17. srsny said

    Oh my god – the song in my head just morphed from “Pauvres Diables” to the theme from Love Story – the movie they shot at CCNY because it looked like Harvard! It really does sound very similar. Scary! I need to replace it with something quickly.

  18. Srsny:
    I wouldn’t expect to find My Old Kentucky Homesite listed on a search for Sandra Boynton or Julio Iglesias, because neither of them were mentioned in the original post. And even here in the comments, Sandra Boynton and Julio Iglesias have not beern mentioned that many times. Now, if someone were Googling the phrase “Sandra Boynton and Julio Iglesias” this blog might come up. But I can’t imagine anyone but you (OK, I’ve been known to use some weird search terms, too) ever keying in “Sandra Boynton and Julio Iglesias.”

    Try again later, and see what happens.

    …the song in my head just morphed …
    Aha! Evidence that earworms evolve. That’s so obvious, because memes clearly change over time. But I’d never thought of that in terms specifically related to music.

    Des:
    Haven’t you noticed? Everybody has it in for godless heathens.

  19. the chaplain said

    I like #3 a lot (and, yes, the tune is still playing in my head – at least it’s a nice tune), but I vote for #1. What can I say? I’m a pianist who works in an office.

  20. Chappy:
    I hope you don’t wear an outfit to work. (Hey, maybe you do. I never thought of that.) In any case, I don’t suppose it’s anything like the mask worn by the guy in the video.

    Now the tally among readers here is:
    El Pianógrafo: 2
    Be Like a Duck: 0
    Comme Un Air: 3

    Isn’t there any quack out there willing to put in a good word for duckdom?

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