Saturday, January 07, 2006

Music-osity, partie deux

It seems to be a recurring theme that these posts occur only when I'm avoiding homework. I think I'm going to skip anything I've analysed before, because otherwise it will be boring. (Hold the snide comments, s.v.p. I'm not holding a gun to your head.)

Did you know the science of music is musicology? Doesn't that sound really fake? Like it's a the profession of a character Tara Reid would play.

Anyway, onwards.

1. 5.49 - Gang of Four
My brother sent me this song. I've never actually listened to it before. The horn or whatever sounds kind of like when I would try to play the clarinet - a bit squeaky.
Hey, you can hear the singer's accent!
Lyrics seem a bit pretentious from what I can make out. I tend to have a personal ban against songs that use the word bourgeois (that is a hard word to spell). So far the only song on the list is that Madonna "Music" song, but you never know. My bans are inflexible. I can't see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang because of the one against Val Kilmer movies. Hey, it's tough, but these things are instituted for a reason.

2. Let's Go Fly a Kite - from Mary Poppins
Yay! I love this song. It's really ideal as a show tune, and as the ending to a movie. I love the way Dave Tomlinson's (yes, that's his name) voice bounces along. Dick Van Dyke is slightly less awesome due to that accent*, but hey, it's still him. The chorus is lame but you can't avoid it in Disney movies of this era. They're omnipotent. Mostly this song is fun, and fun to sing along to because of the way it "bounces", especially when you are in fact flying a kite.

*Oft-repeated personal fact: I believed Dick Van Dyke was Cockney until I was 14 or so. Despite the poor accent (which, according to Wikipedia, has been voted the worst movie accent of all time); despite having seen him with his American accent; despite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where his children were English, his father was English, and he lived in England, yet he had no accent. What can I say? I also believed my mother and doctor when they told me vegetables were growing in my ears until about the same time.

3. With a Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles
I never really listened to this song much until I saw it covered by a band (god, I cannot remember their name. How embarassing. They were named after a liquor brand, I remember that) from my high school at a talent show. They were awesome. Fun song. What more can I say? It's the Beatles, with Ringo singing. Go Ringo! I saw him on the Daily Show when his last album came out. Seems like a nice guy. And he is talented. It's like putting Mother Teresa in a room with Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha. What, so her good deeds are nothing next to them?

4. Haven't Seen You in a Long Time - Great Big Sea
Meh. I only have this because it's on Play. Kind of boring. This isn't representative of the band's skillz at all.

5. One of Your Own - Carter Burwell
Another on of those "only because it's on the CD" tracks. This is weird in many ways. OK, it's off the A Knight's Tale soundtrack. It's a sound clip of Paul Bettany's final speech from the movie, you know: "...born a stone's throw from this very stadium, and here before you now. The son of John Thatcher, Sir Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilliam Thatcher!!!!!" [crowd goes mild. not a typo] And yes, I just quoted that from memory. I could probably do the whole speech. Anyway. Carter Burwell wrote the score for the movie. What's with the credit? I think they just needed some padding on the soundtrack and decided to throw this on.
Oh yeah, that reminds me I saw an ad for a Paul Bettany/Harrison Ford bank heist movie yesterday. Awesome, no?

6. Falling for the First Time - The Barenaked Ladies
This is the part, were this an actual conversation, that I'd casually let it slip that I saw them in concert recently. Oops, just did! I don't really get this song. Either it has no point, or it's a fiendishly clever one that people who aren't crazily talented can't possibly grasp with their feeble, yellow-sun powered minds. Still a good song - check those vocal harmonies, and non-cheesy tinkling piano, and subtle electric guitar in the background, and oh so many other things. I think it's Ed singing in this song. He's a tiny bit of a fox, actually. Seriously, see them in concert. It is so worth it. But don't throw KD at them. That must hurt.

7. When You Dream - BNL
Hey, another song from the Ladies! I've wanted to talk about this one for a while. This is off Stunt, a very solid disc. I've never read anything about this song, but the subject matter is obvious. The writer is wondering what his newborn son dreams about as he sleeps. It's a very beautiful song, with the perfect accompaniment - quite sleepy and fantastical. Gorgeous, poetic lyrics too. Read them, but more importantly you should listen to the song.

8. Good Rockin' Daddy - Brian Setzer Orchestra
I got into BSO after listening to a double album of two live concerts. There's an unbelievable number of good songs on those two CDs (just to list a few: "Jump, Jive An' Wail", "Rock This Town", Hawaii Five-O theme, James Bond theme, "The Dirty Boogie", "Stray Cat Strut", "Rumble in Brighton", "My Baby Only Cares for Me", and "Hoodoo Voodoo Doll"). There has to be some filler, I guess. It's not that I don't like this song - it's certainly good - just not as great as their other stuff.

9. Thanks That Was Fun - BNL, again
OK, this is getting ridiculous. Anyway. I think this is the video with all those VW bugs. This is a good song, but you know what? It's what someone would write if they were good, but didn't have enough talent to write "The Old Apartment". Wow, that sounds harsher than I meant. I don't understand why songs like this are released as their singles, though. I think this was released to promote Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001, a song which also has songs like "Jane", "Brian Wilson", and "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" on it. Oh yeah, that reminds me. On their holiday tour, which was when I saw them, they played a new song at each venue. So I've heard a new BNL song that you haven't. :P It was goooooood [/Mitch Hedburg].

10. Needle in the Hay - Elliott Smith
Oooooh, this is a good song. It stuck with me when I saw The Royal Tenenbaums (incidentally, that movie improves every time I watch it. Give it a second chance if you didn't like it the first time. I didn't, either). It's from the scene where SPOILER ALERT Luke Wilson's character tries to commit suicide END SPOILER. I thought it was the most powerful scene in the movie, and the only sound is this very minimalist, very very very depressing song. If I'm correct, I think it's only Elliott Smith singing accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. It only gets more depressing when you learn how Elliott Smith died. Amazing song, though.


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