Musical artists I know little about

In an effort to extend the breadth of the publicised subject matters I know little about, I thought I’d continue with the theme set out in this post of a month ago, in which I asked for index cards on each of religion, Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine to bring me up to speed.  (Apart from a link kindly provided on Israel/Palestine, nothing has been forthcoming.)

This post lists a few musical artists that are sufficiently mainstream and well-respected to warrant people having a good, high-level background on them, but for which I have no such background, for whatever reason.  (Too busy listening to shit pop in the 80s, I expect.)

Anyway, in no specific order, below is my starter list for ten.

There are lots more.  But I can’t think of them right now, so I’ll append as I remember them.

Apologies if this ill-education offends anyone.

Agadon’t: the importance of intonation

On speaking about his band’s re-release of Agadoo to mark the single’s 25th anniversary, Black Lace singer Dene Michael was quoted by BBC News as saying:

"With all the doom and gloom in the world, this is just what we need."

I think this should have read:

"With all the doom and gloom in the world, this is just what we need."

Subtle but important distinction.

(Post categorised as music for want of a more suitable alternative.)

The Dandy Warhols’ sleeping arrangements

The sleeping arrangements in the Dandy Warhols’ Bohemian Like You have troubled me since I bought it upon its release in 2001 following the relentless airtime it received courtesy of Vodafone. Specifically, the following extract from the lyrics causes consternation.

Wait, who’s that guy, just hanging at your pad.
Hes looking kinda blah, yeah, you broke up that’s too bad.
I guess it’s fair, if he always pays the rent, and he doesn’t get bent about sleeping on the couch when I’m there.

Here’s my question: where does "that guy" sleep when the singer isn’t there?

If he sleeps with the girl, then that’s very bohemian and accommodating of the singer—that’s where I’m leaning. If he sleeps in his own room, surely the singer staying over doesn’t mean that "that guy" vacates his bed for the singer (a) because the singer would likely sleep with the girl and (b) if he didn’t, what right has he of kicking "that guy" out of his own bed?

Anyone?

Top three children’s TV tunes

Admittedly I have a lot of experience of this subject. But the three examples below all have fabulous theme tunes, each with a link. So, in no specific order, the top three children’s TV tunes are:

Best moments in songs (part 3)

A couple of additions to the first and second posts detailing the best moments in songs:

Best Christmas choon ever

Enjoy the Top of the Pops version or a live concert rendition. Equally fabulous, and both equally toothless.

Eagerly-awaited lines (part 2)

In addition to the three eagerly-awaited lines in Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson, I feel bound to give similar stature to the following line from Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby, which attracts significant iPod playtime at this time of year.

The enunciation is sublime. Just lovely.

A sheltered upbringing

I had quite a sheltered existence as a teenager. I didn’t do drugs, didn’t drink that much before hitting 18, and sex was not quite as commonplace as were Stock, Aitken and Waterman hit singles.

Listening to Primal Scream’s Rocks yesterday, I wondered whether an element of this straightlacedness was a result of my ambivolence towards musical lyrics, making me less aware of the forbidden fruits on offer.

I loved music, and still do, but was way more aroused by the tune than by the underlying meaning of the lyrics therein. To me, the lyrics were merely there as something to mouth/sing to the song. Beyond that, they held little importance in my enjoyment of the work.

So lyricists that wrote about sex, drugs and all-night drinking sessions—or indeed all of the above—might as well have been writing about raspberry-ripple ice cream, spearmint mouthwash and Tesco’s deli counter as far as I was concerned. I genuinely wouldn’t have known which they were writing about, as the words were mere syllables to me.

In the main, I’m the same, arguably shallow self today. While my awareness of lyrics has indeed increased, it still and will always play second fiddle to the musical make-up of the song.

Incidentally, the Primal Scream lyrics that I chose to analyse on the bus yesterday read as follows:

Dealers keep dealin’
Thieves keep thievin’
Whores keep whorin’
Junkies keep scorin’
Trade is on the meat rack
Strip joints full of hunchbacks
Bitches keep bitchin’
Clap keeps itchin’

Back in high school

I had a friend, was a big baseball player
Back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool

Bruce Springsteen, Glory Days.

Back in high school: musical genius or arrogant laziness? I’d like to think the former. Either way, a fabulous track.

Glissando

I find it odd that the musical chromatic scale is made up of twelve notes, the thirteenth repeating the starting note an octave higher. And that the major and minor scales are made up of seven notes each. I’m not suggesting that any other numbers would be any more logical; merely that having any number higher than two play such a pivotal role in something as fundamental as music seems bizarre.

I wonder whether relative pitch resonates (in the mind sense of the word) with us as humans more than it does with other animals. And would we find it musically odd our scale were broken into any number other than twelve intervals? After all, pitch is a continuous scale (ask anyone who listened to me play the violin), so have we artificially manufactured the notes that we know and love? (I’m guessing that there is something inherently significant about two notes an octave apart, given the way they resonate with one another.)

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