Thursday, August 25, 2005
I give my last music presentation at work today, on the history and sounds of Jazz. Doing three presentations in a row was a lot of fun, but I'm glad it's all over so I can go back to doing nothing with my afternoons. I have the bad habit of signing up for too much stuff when I'm in a slow, bored period, and then wishing I were bored again when I'm insanely busy. While recording samples for my presentation, I rediscovered just how much I enjoy a jazz chart that cooks. I don't really like combo jazz at all (the kind of jazz that evokes a small ensemble in a smoky room playing inaccessible melodies for their own amusement), but the sound of a solid big band chart is easily my favourite type of music, edging out all the random pop garbage I've been listening to in the past couple years.I would really like to learn how to swing dance someday, but I would probably never take lessons without a partner. I consider myself a horrible "club" dancer, purely on the virtue of the fact that I'm male and I cannot see myself to know if I'm flailing like an Oriental windmill. I'm also not sure if they have windmills in China, but something has to keep the rice cool.I would also like to play in a jazz band again someday. Surprisingly, I've played my trumpet for a half hour a day almost every day since I posted my Manifesto of Ambitions back in July . You can tell I'm a particularly awesome trumpet player because of the size of my veins when I play high notes. Move over, Bill Chase. I like this sax soli (914KB MP3) from Cruisin' for a Bluesin' on Maynard Ferguson's Footpath Cafe, moreso because Maynard doesn't play in it. I think this is a Chip McNeill arrangement but I could be wrong. This was the song playing in the background of Tuesday's cat video. I wasn't intentionally giving Amber a theme song -- I was just recording the soli off the CD for my presentation.Most of you probably don't care about jazz, so let's return to the magical land of pop music. New on my playlist this week:
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Kylie Minogue's music is not particularly inspired, yet I like it anyways. It must be my guilty listening pleasure -- for example, I think the interplay of the rising and falling 3rds and 6ths in I Believe in You (291KB MP3) turns an otherwise horrible dance tune into one with a few redeeming qualities. I also like the sound of her voice when she's singing in octaves with herself. Anna is right, though, when she says that Chocolate sounds like it should be the theme song of a porn flick (285KB MP3). If any of you musicologists out there aren't too busy, you should write a paper figuring out why I like Kylie's music. I'd be interested to read it.I fluctuate on my opinion of the lead singer of the Cranberries. Depending on my mood, her voice has either got an interesting timbre, or it's the most annoying sound on the planet. For some reason, listening to it sometimes evokes bad memories from the 90s involving Alanis Morisette and her "Mr. Ed Sings the Blues" approach to live performance.Daniel Bedingfield's The Way (414KB MP3) is another perfect example of a great song ruined by an annoying chorus. If your chorus is only two bars long, it has a 92% chance of being annoying. You should hire me to rewrite it into something more interesting. I charge no fee, only working for the love of the music, and I can also shape concrete and assemble an Ikea bed. References available upon request.The chorus from The Way was stuck in my head when I went to bed last night. Pain in the ass.I remember the days in the early 90's when rappers suddenly discovered that their drum machines could do 32nd notes and incorporated the rhythm into every single song. Cheesy.Jason Mraz's Wordplay is very catchy just like Remedy, even if it is way too self-referential for its own good. I always like songs with rhythmic patter-y lyrics though. Something about the spewing of syllables is very appealing to my ear, like the bridge section of Rob Thomas' This is How a Heart Breaks.I had some thoughts on remixes and the bleeping of lyrics, but my samples haven't finished downloading yet, so I'll save those for another day.
- Citizen King - Better Days
- Fun Lovin' Criminals - Mi Corazon
- Garbage - Why Do You Love Me
- The Coral - In the Morning
- The Faders - No Sleep Tonight
Happy Birthday Nancy! When I said 'assassinate' I meant 'hug' and when I said 'Chavez', I meant 'the purple Teletubby and/or Jerry Falwell' Respect your maid
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