Is there a smart way to search and see if someone has already made a vid to a song that makes you think of a fandom? Because this happens to me, reasonably frequently, and I think, "Someone else has to have had this thought before, someone who, unlike me, actually knows how to vid or feels a stronger compulsion to do it, in any case." But I don't know how to go look for said vid, that someone else must have already made, because duh.

This post brought to you by Autoclave, by the Mountain Goats:

Because if anyone is going to describe his/her heart as a piece of scientific equipment designed to destroy things, I mean really.
Isk came up to me in the dining room while I was sending a work email. "Mommy," he said, "On the new Ben Folds album there is a song with the name of the man that you and Mama like reading stories about."

I blinked. "There's a song with Sherlock Holmes in it?"


I hugged him. "Thank you for telling me, honey."

In the car later that afternoon, he said, "This one is it! He said Sherlock. He didn't say the Holmes part."

For the record, I can detect no mention of Sherlock Holmes in this song, and no conjunction of syllabus which sounds like "Sherlock," but I still trust my baby.

Also, this video is hilarious.


So, basically, I'm letting my preschooler give me a fic prompt...
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (Default)
( Jul. 3rd, 2012 03:28 pm)
One of my tasks for the summer is to learn a new dialect of Arabic. It's necessary, and fascinating, and frustrating, as all language study is.

My name, the one I use here, rests on a pun of Arabic-to-English transliteration. عملنا حرية means "our work is freedom," and املنا حرية means "our hope is freedom," but you'd write the first 3amalna hurriyeh and the second amalna hurriyeh so it's a simple thing to make them the same thing, to create a person, Amal Nahurriyeh, from the linguistic mess. (It helps that Amal is, actually, a name.)

One of the things about the dialect I'm learning is that it does away with the [q]. Formal and classical Arabic has a sound, like a [k] but made in the back of the throat (here it is), but most dialects do away with it, turning it into a [k] or a [g] or an [ʔ] (that's the glottal stop, often rendered as ' when people aren't using IPA for fun and little-to-no-profit). In the dialect I'm learning, it turns into a [ʔ]. Simple enough to remember: qawha is ahwa (coffee). waraq is wara' (paper).

But qalam is 'alam (pen). But that's a problem, because then there's 3alam, world and if you start telling me that the world is a pen I'm not going to know what to do with myself.


If I sound like I'm a little crazy, that's pretty accurate. Suffice to say that you're very lucky you're getting medidations on Arabic phonology and not a ten thousand word essay on why Regina Spektor's Eet is the perfect embodiment of my mental state right now.

it's like forgetting the words to your favorite song
you can't believe it, you were always singing along
it was so easy, and the words so sweet
you can't remember, you try to feel the beat

spend half of your life trying to fall behind
keep using your headphones to drown out your mind
it was so easy and the words so sweet
you can't remember, you try to move your feet
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Mulder, looking down and laughing (mulder laugh)
( May. 21st, 2012 05:55 pm)
St. Elsewhere is the least depressing album ever made about depression.


(Examples: A transcendently remixed live version of Transformer; Crazy, obviously; Just a Thought, warning for discussion of suicide/suicidal ideation; St. Elsewhere, the title track.)

(Also let's talk about Cee-Lo's voice. That live version of Transformer, holy shit.)

ETA: How could I forget Boogie Monster? URGH, THIS SOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG.

Being The True Story Of A Young Woman In A Big City, As Told In Song

Download the music here.

the front door of the Nahurriyeh family apartment, Brooklyn, NY, ca. 2011

2004-2011 )
Fox Mulder is not a man who makes mixtapes.

Prior to iTunes and the digital dominance of our musical lives, making a mixtape was hard damn work. I know this, because my dad has been making mixtapes my whole life, and they used to take, like, math and having lots of different pieces of technology and you had to sit there the whole time. I just can't see Mulder putting that much time and effort into it.

Plus, there's an weird sentimentality involved in making a mixtape. You're looking for a creative narrative thread, and frequently it revolves around the person you're making it for. Especially if you don't make them a lot, you have to find a way to create something consistent, something that captures the spirit in which you're making it. I don't see Mulder as wanting to draw on those sorts of creative skills, not for something as trivial-feeling as a mixtape.

So he just wouldn't. OK?

But let's say he did.

Let's say, oh, he decided he was going to make Scully a mixtape. For their anniversary, maybe.

("We have an anniversary?" she says when he slides it across the breakfast table. "Well, we have to, don't we?" "And now we celebrate it?" "I just thought...never mind." He sulks away with the dishes. She briefly contemplates gathering a blood sample--she's a normal doctor now, she can get it done fast--but puts the CD on for her commute, and listens to it on repeat for two weeks, until he gets in the car with her one time and it turns on automatically, and she shuts it off to try to forestall the gloating. She does not succeed.)

This is an attempt to telepathically read Mulder's musical preferences, through the admittedly limited framework of music I own. It's also an attempt to figure out, if he were so inclined as to make a mushy stupid romantic mixtape for his partner, what he'd put on it; that is, what would he want to obliquely tell her about his feelings? What sneaky things would he want to slide in there? I've done my best not to use songs I've used before on mixtapes, even where the Mulder in my head approved of them.

As my parenthetical ficlet above suggests, this is unremarkable-house era, though, actually, parts of it seem more s7 appropriate. Some bits of it are Caseyverse compatible, but it's not necessarily so. Anyway. Don't think too hard about it.

10 tracks: Bob Schneider, Joan Osborne, and others )

Download from mediafire here.

Every Known Abuse: Politics With A Backbeat

A mixtape by Amal Nahurriyeh, [personal profile] amalnahurriyeh/[ profile] amalnahurriyeh, amalnahurriyeh at gmail dot com

Made for [personal profile] fiercynn, for her generous donation to [ profile] help_pakistan.

Content Note: Music on this mixtape contains explicit language, both curse words and racist language. In my quotations, I've left most language intact, but I've starred out racial epithets.

It's hard putting together a mixtape for someone! When I offered music, I suggested "music about politics that isn't traditional protest music," and [personal profile] fiercynn was intrigued. I hope this is as interesting as the concept!

This mix proceeds from my own political position, as a white feminist and leftist, born and raised in the US, whose musical taste and political perspective are deeply rooted in those places. It's also composed from my intellectual biases, towards examining life and politics primarily as about communication and language, in which all interests and desires are necessarily filtered through speech acts before they can enter the political world. Many of these songs are about speaking in political space, and coming to political voice. In fact, that's much of what I think "non-political" music can do for politics; it can enter into the conversation, become a new way of speaking about political life in ways that don't have to adhere to set narratives, or can speak across limited frameworks.

While all these songs have interesting politics, I also love them each as pieces of music. Political art only works, I think, if it is successful as art, not just as polemic. These songs are all awesome. That's what makes them useful.

11 tracks: Jay-Z, Beth Orton, Janelle Monae, Fountains of Wayne, and others... )

Download the mix, track-by-track, here.


amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (Default)
Amal Nahurriyeh


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