Best Music Videos of All Time??

According to nme.com, the top 10 greatest music videos of all time are:

10.  The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up (1998)

I remember seeing this video singing along to its catchy tune and then getting a big shock at the end.  Did not see that one coming.

9.  Sigur Ros – Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa (1999) (Good Weather for Air Strikes)

A really powerful video, set in the 1950’s.  When you compare it to the likes of pop videos made nowadays, you realise you watch those sugary pop videos to get away from reality for a while.  A touching song and video, representing really the milestone we aim to achieve on May 22nd.  #voteyes

8. Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1994)

A piss-take of 70’s cops shows and the like, but done in a great manner.

7. Weezer – Buddy Holly (1994)

A homage to Happy Days, superior editing for the time that was in it.

6. Foo Fighters – Everlong (1997)

A really well edited video full of monsters and metamorphosis.  Love the ending.

5. Bjork – All Is Full Of Love (1997)

A futuristic video that still stand the test of time to this day.  It’s also on permanent display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

4. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun (1994)

Satiring the perfect American family, with a psychedelic feel of a melancholic song.

3. Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (1989)

Romantic song, 50 Shades of Grey-esque video.

2. Radiohead – Just (1995)

A man is lying on a pavement.  Why? Well….

1. Johnny Cash – Hurt (2002)

One of my favourite songs of all time.  The Man In Black is a legend.

”What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt ”

Originally a dark Nine Inch Nails song, Cash covers this song with such emotion.  Everytime I hear it, I feel it.  It has special meaning to me.  The video itself is so well done and artistically beautiful.  I love great songs but when the video compliments them and makes you love the song even more, it’s incredible.

” I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

The original by Nine Inch Nails (1994)

All videos sourced from YouTube.

IKEA….The Maze of All Things Household-y

Ah Ikea….a labyrinth of wonder containing every woman’s (and man’s) household dreams.  The excitement of taking the exit of Ballymun and turning into the road that seems to be made especially for this Swedish masterstore.  The carpark…oh so big and wide, full to the brim of eager shoppers wanting the sacred IKEA items to glorify their house.  Taking the escalator upstairs builds the excitement.  A woman waits with a yellow shopping bag and asks if ‘you know what you’re doing?’  A stand awaits with special mini IKEA pencils and measuring tape so you can measure to your hearts content.  Ah the joy!  Walking into the showrooms is like trespassing into someone’s very well presented, chic home.  I want to buy that,that and that!!  Oh no, not that.  We need one of these!  We don’t!  We do!  The urge to go to the toilet increases as you see toilet after toilet.  You think, hmmm….I wonder, no I can’t, someone might see me, oh and they’re not plumbed, but…no, I’ll wait.  What?  The bathroom stuff AGAIN?!  But we already saw that stuff earlier,ugh!!  My feet are sore.  Oh, yep, getting those.  Ok, I’m ready to go, how long else will this take?  Walking.  When will this end?  My feet are sore, this chair is comfy.  I need food.  So thirsty…. Walking faster.  Yay, there’s the cafe. Oh wifi.   Coffee machine isn’t working.  Eat half a sandwich with coffee….finally!!  Ok, so now we have to actually go downstairs to the warehouse bit and pick up everything that we saw.  Whoops, picking up more than we saw.  Keeping.  Putting back.  Going back, no…don’t need it.  Next time!  I forgot how big this warehouse was.  When is it ending?  My feet are sore.  Great, now my legs and whole body is sore too.  Ugh, I just want to get out of here already, stupid household crap that we don’t really need but kind of do.  Why didn’t we just go to Argos?!

 Time to pick up boxes.  Almost out of this entrapment.  Wheres the bloody aisle?  Odd and evenly numbered aisles.  Trolley is going sideways, can’t push…must go back to gym.  Get these fecking boxes and get the hell out of here.  ‘This product has two boxes.’  Ok, grand, its that one and that one or whatever.  Queue up, beep.  Beep. Beep.  No beep.  Looking for barcode.  NONE.  Off he goes down to look for the mystery box we somehow left behind.  Avoiding eye contact with people in queue behind.  Here he comes, no box.  Must be another box.  Off he goes again.  Definitely avoiding eye contact with people in queue now.  Oh just look at these cups, lovely.  Jesus, hurry up!  Here he comes again…with a box.  My inside slowly turns happy.  Wait for it….BEEP!! Yes.  Lets get out of here.  Young lad bashes into my trolley slightly, in fairness, these trollies are uncontrollable.  Almost there.  Almost there.  Where’s the car?  Oh right.  Almost there.  Unpack without breaking anything.  Throw trolley into holder thingy.  Get back to car, sit…breathe.  Yay we got crap for the house, woohoo!!  5.5 hours later (I.KID.YOU.NOT).  Let’s go to Blanchardstown, I’m starving!!

Like the gym or Alice in Wonderland...or something...

Like the gym or Alice in Wonderland…or something…


One Week Later…Almost

Bathroom cabinet is in kitchen, half assembled.

To Be Continued….  

Veronika Decides To Die

A novel by Paulo Coelho.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is one of his more famous novels, but today I want to talk about Veronika Decides To Die.  My sisters often inspire my choices, such as clothes, music, books.  My eldest sister was reading novels by this author named Paulo Coelho.  I don’t recall which novel of his I picked up first to read, but I remember Veronika…. I read it on a Sunday, cover to cover.  I’m certain I stopped for dinner only and maybe a toilet break.  It’s not a thick book to begin with but it was too good to put down.  Veronika is a 24 year old Slovenian woman….who decides to kill herself.  She wakes up in a mental hospital and is told she only has a few days to live.  Whilst in the mental institution, she releases all inhibitions she had whilst ‘living’.  I predicted the end of this book whilst reading it.

Veronika Decides To Die

Veronika Decides To Die

Published 17 years ago, it still has a great effect on me.  I would recommend anyone to read it, especially if feeling down.  Paulo Coelho himself is a best-selling Brazilian author.  I have read a handful of his books.  He was influenced by pilgrimages such as the Camino de Santiago, a route I would love to explore myself one day.  His books are vivid and imaginative.  They are inspiring and gives you new eyes on the world.  I have a boxset of his books and have decided to re-read them over the Summer.  I am excited to do so.  There is nothing like a good physical book in your hands.

http://www.paulocoelho.com/en/

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

Lights, Camera, Action!

I had a great conversation with a friend about films recently.  Up popped the age-old question, ‘what is your favourite film?’  I don’t have one.  I have not seen a film to date where I have thought, wow, that film is the best I have ever seen.  Maybe I haven’t seen enough films, it’s possible I will never have one.  I decided to have a look at the top 10 highest grossing films in the world.  James Cameron is ruling the roost with Avatar coming in first at $2,787,965,087 in 2009, followed by a favourite of mine, (but not my ultimate favourite) Titanic at $2,186,772,302 in 1997.  For interests sake the following 8 are as follows:

3 The Avengers $1,518,594,910 2012
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 $1,341,511,219 2011
5 Frozen $1,279,852,693 2013
6 Iron Man 3 $1,215,439,994 2013
7 Furious 7 $1,156,687,512 2015
8 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1,123,794,079 2011
9 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $1,119,929,521 2003
10 Skyfall $1,108,561,013 2012

Having seen the top 10 myself, the most recent being Furious 7, no doubt grossing highly due to the untimely death of Paul Walker, I agree that these films are good.  None are my favourite however.  They are in most part franchised films/trilogies that have avid followers as it is.  Throughout the top 50, you have a repetition of the Hogwarts devotees, the Frodo followers and the Transformers Bumblebee/Megan Fox worshipers.  The following are the highest-grossing franchises:

Rank Series Total worldwide
box office
No. of films Average of films Highest-grossing film
WordItOut-word-cloud-799677

I loves me a bitta Captain Jack Sparrow I do!! (Say in an accent or not at all).

Things get interesting with the highest-grossing films (adjusted for inflation):

Gone with the Wind $3,440,000,000 1939

Avatar $3,020,000,000 2009

Star Wars $2,825,000,000 1977

Titanic $2,516,000,000 1997

The Sound of Music $2,366,000,000 1965

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $2,310,000,000 1982

The Ten Commandments $2,187,000,000 1956

Doctor Zhivago $2,073,000,000 1965

Jaws $2,027,000,000 1975

10 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs $1,819,000,000 1937

If I had to choose an era of great film-making, it would be the 80’s and 90’s without a doubt, great movies without CGI’ing the whole entire thing.  Actual storylines and plots, not just action scene after action scene.

If I had to choose from the above lists it would be Titanic because the sinking was a reality, it affected so many lives and it’s a tribute, albeit a typical love story, money making movie tribute.

My three favourite F films are: Footloose, Flashdance and Fame.

I’ll end this post with the highest-grossing movie of the year I was born, in honour of the first video on youtube being uploaded 10 years ago today!  If you haven’t seen the Back to the Future films, watch them, they are in my top 10 somewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1i5coU-0_Q&list=PL96478722DF7FF45E&feature=iv&src_vid=95_DB6GgLQs&annotation_id=annotation_676246

The Falling Soldier

I often open up my laptop and up pops my Google homepage. I like the surprise of when they have an animation of some sort to celebrate an event or a birthday of someone famous.  I click on them out of interest and end up learning something new.  I sometimes click on external links and end up absorbing information on someone I had no clue about prior to this. This is what happened when I ended up on Robert Capa’s Wikipedia page.

Robert Capa taken by Gerda Taro

I had forgotten about him until yesterday when I was looking for a quote to end my previous blog with.  There were numerous quotes from different photographers.  Only one stood out to me. ”The pictures are there, and you just take them.” This is something I would think or even say.  I saw the name Robert Capa and realised it looked familiar.  That is twice now that I have accidentally been transported to his world.  He was a Hungarian photographer that covered many wars. One such war was the Spanish Civil War.  His most famous photograph during this time period was the Falling Soldier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Soldier
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Soldier

It depicts the death of a Republican soldier in mid-shot.  It’s authenticity has been questioned due to evidence coming to light that the photo was not taken in Cerro Muriano but in Espejo, 30 miles away.  Photographs were often staged at that time.  His work included ”The Magnificent Eleven”, which were photos of D-Day.  Here is the Wikipedia link: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magnificent_Eleven).

Bunker

Bunker

He was with the first wave of American troops invading Omaha beach.  He took 106 photographs, but only 11 survived an accident in a photo lab in London.

Utah Beach

Bomb Crater, Pointe Du Hoc

It is said that Steven Spielberg was inspired by these photos when filming Saving Private Ryan.  He tragically died in 1954 after stepping on a landmine whilst accompanying a French regiment in Southeast Asia.  I never knew anything about the Falling Soldier photograph until I came across it that day.  I find controversies like these fascinating.  Regardless, he was an amazing photographer and literally put his life on the line for the perfect shot.  Included are my own pictures of D-Day beaches which I visited.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

My own picture of Omaha beach

Omaha beach

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Take A Picture, It Will Last Longer….

Sea Mist, Donegal

Sea Mist, Donegal

I love travelling, absolutely love it!  Not so much the queuing up for security and the stress of airports in general.  No I love the hop off the plane, you have reached your destination bit.  The sun hits your face as if you have never felt the experience of it in your life.  Or the wind hits you….depending on what you are into.  One of the things I love most doing is taking photographs. Not so much to share on Facebook and make people jealous, but more so to capture the beauty of this new world I’m seeing for the first time.  Seeing new places and new culture is a great thing, so for me I love capturing the moment I am in on camera to share the beauty of it to others later on, or simply to look back on the images and reminisce.

The Statue of Liberty, NYC

The Statue of Liberty, NYC

I received a present of a Canon camera one Christmas and find it to be one of the best digital cameras I have ever used. It’s a simple camera that is light to carry around and does the job for me.  One day I would love to invest in a deluxe camera, but right now I’m happy with what I have.  Some of my favourite moments I have captured are non-posing type ones, where the person is unaware of their photo being taken.  That is how we live our lives, we don’t go through life posing.  Even selfies are taken multiple times before being published.

The Beatles Story, Liverpool

The Beatles Story, Liverpool

Scenic photography is a hobby of mine also.  The most annoying thing I find about that though is the fact that sometimes you cannot get the real beauty into your mini machine.  They say that taking a photograph of something will leave you less likely to remember that moment as you are viewing it not through your eyes, but through a lens.  On hearing that, I still capture the moment.  I also however put the camera away and try to enjoy the scenery.

Derry

Derry

The Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum, Rome

I love my little camera but it has not seen the light of day for some time now. The mobile phone camera has taken over quite a bit.  I was at an event and had my camera and felt slightly strange even taking a picture with it.  How times change….

I have a 1TB hard drive that I purchased off eBay some years ago to store all my photographs.  I browse through the albums now and again and smile as I have some memories restored.  I have squeezed in some of my photographs here after spending more than an hour browsing through my hard drive and not realising the time.  If I could put more in I would, but I’ll include them in future blog posts if they have any relevance.

”The pictures are there, and you just take them.” – Robert Capa (1913-1954)