Thursday, September 29, 2005

Musical Motives

I haven't had a musical post in a couple weeks, so this is an attempt to fill the musical void in your life.

  • When given the choice between going to a live concert and buying the CD, I would much rather buy the CD. I want the perfection and the clarity of the recording, and I think listening to that outweighs any added energy the performance gets from being live. Live energy may be good in an improvised jazz solo, but for pop music all you get are uneven performances played too loud. Musicals are different, because the live performance gives you a visual element missing from the recording, and there are no drunk fans trying to sing along. Les Miserables is back at the National Theatre this winter -- I may organize another trip to go see it.

  • There's a new boxed set of Bruce Springsteen music coming out. I really don't understand peoples' love affair with Bruce Springsteen -- I dislike all the music I've heard. To me, he's just another guy with a bad voice who can't sing trying to rock, and those are a dime a dozen. Another group that can't sing but pretends to is the British group, The Paddingtons.

  • When it comes to bad singing, the singer in the group, Athlete, is borderline, but somehow manages to pull it off and still have a pleasant sound (Half Light, 391KB MP3).

  • I think some songs are just written so the performers can be cheeky, like Simple Plan's Addicted with the phrasing that lets them say "I'm a dick" on public radio. The best example of this is the Italian rap song, Piu Fuoco. There's really no reason for Italian people to be rapping, so the ulterior motive behind this song is definitely being able to sound like you're swearing on the radio (296KB MP3).

  • James Blunt's High is a good song, but he hits the note under the word "High" about eighty times too many (375KB MP3). It's like a highly refined and abridged version of the annoying chorus in Daniel Bedingfield's The Way.

  • Nickelback is the inverse pinnacle of good music. I don't understand how their song, Photograph is a Top 20 hit when it sounds just like all the rest of their songs: a grating hoarse lead singer who sounds like he's randy for a walrus, foghorning his mating call over forgettable frat-rock guitars. This type of music does absolutely nothing for me. Creating massive blocks of guitar sound can be very effective when used properly (see also, Muse) but generally it's just mascara for your lack of talent. Luckily for you, their CD on Amazon does not have audio samples of this atrocity because it's not yet released and Amazon knows that "try before you" would scare customers away before the "buy". I've never heard a Linkin Park song I liked either.

  • My Humps is a ridiculously undeserving Top 20 song too. It's painfully apparent that Taboo was not a Boy Scout, because if he had gotten his Orienteering merit badge, the group would not be traveling in a straight line towards Crap. Pretty much every song on their new album is like an aural rendition of the scum that grows on the underside of the rubber trap on your garbage disposal.

  • Putting your voice through a modulator to make yourself sound more like a robot in your song is the most overdone device in the history of overdone devices. If you are still doing this, you need to cease immediately (see also, Cher, and Magnolia's All In Vain).

  • When a song has offensive lyrics, there are generally three ways public radio stations manage them. Back when songs had one swear word which was used as the climax of the song, bleeping was standard. Nowadays, with the ratio of swearing to sweet at a raging high, it's more common to simply mute the offending word or change the lyrics all together. I think it would be better for everyone involved if people just got over their hangups with offensive words. Allowing your kids to listen to an uncensored 99.5 in preschool will help eliminate the concept of swearing by 2018. The only downside to this: there wouldn't be anything saucy to say when you accidentally hammer your thumb or drop a cake on the floor.

  • Starsailor's Four to the Floor is awful, but in a good way (268KB MP3). It's got that retro 70s sound with strings that says "this song is trying very hard to be serious and deep but you are welcome to disco to it".

  • At some subconscious level, I am always analyzing the music I listen to at a deeper level than just good vs. bad. This is the curse of years of music school. When I write posts discussing my appreciation of some random chord or device in a song, it's something I automatically hear, not something I worked out after the fact to look smart. I wear glasses -- that makes me look smart enough for all intents and purposes.

  • The season premiere of Alias is on tonight at 8 PM. I find it amazing that the ABC marketing department can consistently churn out horrible print and television promos for this show, regardless of how good or bad the show actually is.

    Yes, officer, it's a lunch box for my kid which I got as a souvenir from an airport kiosk in Bogota.
    People have nothing better to complain about
    Attendants call for boycott of Flight Plan

    Yesterday's search terms:
    jehovah witness songs midi, free anna nalick sheet music, hung upside down in a chastity belt, half blood prince audio cd download

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