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Friday Influences Thread 12-30-11!!!!


Lee Knight

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Where has the year gon... oh wait, there it is. Post 'em or don't. We prefer you do.

 

 

I was thinking again. :eek: Lost in my reverie. Song and structure and lyric and harmony and melody and... and... that intangible something that sometimes just clicks when a quad of buds start writing and playing together. When the pinnacle of success and joy is getting this 3 minutes to crack like a freakin' Christmas nut. To pop like a Christmas cracker. To zing like...

 

Yeah, I know, sounds like an Oasis cover band. Well, la-di-da to you then, I love these guys. Great 'tude, fun songs, a sneer with a cup of tea. Vox and Marshall and Ampeg and P90 pickups and loud Thinline Teles and all the cool things that my kind of pop needs to really connect in all three vital areas. The brain, the heart, the nads.

 

The beauty is in the syncopation. In the fun shifting of that melodic rhythm over a repetitive rock motive. There I go again. Melodic rhythm. Clever and simple. Stupid and bright. My favorite combo.

 

Brother... now known as Viva Brother. From Slough, a 'suburb' of London. I spent a week in Slough one night, as the old joke goes. Really. They do have pubs though...

 

[video=youtube;WXQOfXkLY_s]

 

 

And no, they don't suck like a lot of these Brit Pop throwbacks lately. They can really do it... witness...

 

[video=youtube;yt3I7kWz5so]

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Songs about my town.

 

An acoustic version of Steely Dan's "Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More"

 

[video=youtube;X-Js3GiNtns]

 

The Tierney Sutton Band.

 

[video=youtube;22WPRuMoWlo]

 

Paul Simon singing an "I-Miss-You" song to his singing partner, who was in Mexico filming Catch 22.

 

On their first record they were called Tom & Jerry, Tom being Artie.

 

[video=youtube;-RQm7EXe9ZE]

 

LCK

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Song about
my
town... written and performed by Diana Monzeglio back in '77. A classmate, bandmate at times, and now gone... like a lot of good ones...

 

 

I can go you one better. Here's former Boise, Idaho native, Curtis Stigers singing "San Diego Serenade."

 

I lived in Boise (pr. Boy-cee, not Boy-zee) my last two years in high school, and first two years of college.

 

[video=youtube;DXVA0L1CpQg]

 

Another song about San Diego?

 

[video=youtube;lKmTk6WcPgg]

 

LCK

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Curtis Stigers singing "San Diego Serenade."


 

We here in Leucadia/Encinitas area don't really consider ourselves part of San Diego. :) We're more of an uncharted island. Time seems to pass outside our city lines but stays in neutral here. If it weren't for having to work for a living...

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Before the Dead Boys (and long before Guns and Roses and others) performed "Aint It Fun," the Dead Boys' Cheetah Chrome was in a seminal Ohio proto-punk band called Rocket from the Tombs with original (small-D, small-B) dead boy, Peter Laughner -- who did, indeed, die young. Together, Chrome and Laughner wrote that morbid -- and prescient -- little slice of punk angst...

 

[video=youtube;PExEDuGKDo4]

 

 

A whole different side of the new music eruption... theres plenty 'wrong' with this presentation (Martha fellating the sax with the mic for one, the cheezy-even-for-the-time synth for another) but it's such a great song and this is probably one of her better performances of it on vid...

 

[video=youtube;F1Uu5nsfmic]

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I think someone may have posted this someplace here before but I heard it earlier via the NPR app on my phone and got hooked.

 

I would have never thought of Stephen Sondheim as kind of a regular guy -- but that's precisely how he comes off, at least when he's not talking about compositional theory.

 

I think some of the most interesting bits are when he and hostess Marian McParland are talking about other people's writing... Of course, there's plenty of music, as well; it's nice to hear McPartland's lyrical but relentlessly intelligent approach to playing Sondheim's work. And his tenor renditions of a few of his songs will make all of us non-Mario-Lanzas feeling a little better.

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144485557/stephen-sondheim-on-piano-jazz

 

 

On this episode of
Piano Jazz
recorded in 1994, legendary musical theatre composer
is
's guest. They perform and discuss selections from his extensive catalog, including "Anyone Can Whistle," "Old Friends" and "Send in the Clowns." Sondheim sings and plays piano on "I Wish I Could Forget."

 

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I think some of the most interesting bits are when he and hostess Marian McParland are talking about other people's writing...

 

 

I agree. I haven't listened to the whole hour, but found the stuff on Jerome Kern's writing process (as told to Sondheim by Oscar Hammerstein II) very interesting. The same goes for Leonard Bernstein.

 

LCK

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Sondheim. I remember being taken aback a bit hearing him slam Ira Gershwin's lyrics. It was an episode of Fresh Air. He had a point. Ira didn't write real. Where I differ with Sondheim was that Ira wrote fun. But strong opinion bring focus, and it clearly worked and works for him. One of my favorite movie musical moments and a great lyric by Sondheim. Where Momma Rose gets the bug for the stage in her living room, and of course Gypsy, her daughter, later steals that dream... I love this lyric. Very real. I see his point. Rosalind Russell was not the greatest singer :) and yet... that lyric carries it...

 

[video=youtube;mDIMtUHiVbM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDIMtUHiVbM

 

 

Anybody that stays home is dead

If I die it won't be from sitting

 

It will be from fighting to get up and get out!

 

Some people can get a thrill

knitting sweaters and sitting still.

That's okay for some people

who don't know they're alive.

 

Some people can thrive and bloom

living life in the living room.

That's perfect for some people

of one hundred and five.

 

But I at least gotta try

when I think of all the sights that I gotta see

and all the places I gotta play,

all the things that I gotta be at.

Come on, papa, what do you say?

 

Some people can be content

playing bingo and paying rent.

That's peachy for some people,

for some hum-drum people to be,

but some people ain't me!

 

I had a dream,

a wonderful dream, papa,

all about June in the Orpheum circuit.

Gimme a chance and I know I can work it.

 

I had a dream.

Just as real as can be, papa.

There I was in Mr. Orpheum's office

and he was saying to me, "Rose,

get yourselves some new orchestrations,

new routines and red velvet curtains.

Get a feathered hat for the baby;

photographs in front of the theatre.

Get an agent and in jig time

you'll be being booked in the big time."

 

Oh, what a dream.

A wonderful dream, papa.

And all that I need is eighty-eight bucks, papa.

That's what he said, papa.

Only eighty-eight bucks.

 

Papa

You ain't gettin' eighty-eight cents from me, Rose.

 

Rose

Well, I'll get it someplace else! But I'll get it! And get my kids out!

 

Goodbye to blueberry pie.

Good riddance to all the socials I had to go to,

all the lodges I had to play,

all the shriners I said hello to.

Hey, L.A., I'm comin' your way!

 

Some people sit on their butts;

got the dream, yeah, but not the guts.

That's living for some people,

for some hum-drum people I suppose.

Well, they can stay and rot!

But not Rose!

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I was 19... and a friend of a friend, a successful L.A. recording engineer with some serious credits, wanted to branch out into production. He took a liking to my songs and my band. We drove up from San Diego to "cut some tracks". There were three of us, me the main writer. We stayed at the budding producer's house. He takes me aside and asks what types of music I like... beside Costello, Graham Parker and early John Hiatt.

 

"I like it all."

 

Really? I'm sure you don't. Country?

 

"Oh yeah, Haggard and Jones, man!."

 

Jazz?

 

"I just won the Louis Armstrong award last year in school..."

 

Classical?

 

"Of course! Bach, Tchaikovsky! Beethov..."

 

Holst?

 

"Who?"

 

Follow me...

 

And he took me to his back room. There was this gigantic turntable. Some granite base to give the thing stability. And a McIntosh tube amp. Huge and it lit up! And these speakers... like Japanese room partitions. Flat panels. Magneplanars. Like the stereo of the future. He said, close your eyes and listen, I'll leave you alone, just lay back in the bean bag.... listen... And I fell into the rabbit hole...

 

[video=youtube;hUx3G6YHp7Y]

 

Nothing is like this music.

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Nothing is like this music.

 

 

If nothing else, I think Holst has probably been a primary influence for nearly every "serious" movie soundtrack composer of the last 50 years or so (with the possible exception of Michel LeGrand).

 

LCK

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If nothing else, I think Holst has probably been a primary influence for nearly every "serious" movie soundtrack composer of the last 50 years or so (with the possible exception of Michel LeGrand).


LCK

 

I'm not even sure "influence" is the right word. More like melody supplier? :) How many times have we heard the Mars/War theme, or something very very close. Williams uses it all the time. Jupiter as well. You're so right...

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I agree. I haven't listened to the whole hour, but found the stuff on Jerome Kern's writing process (as told to Sondheim by Oscar Hammerstein II) very interesting. The same goes for Leonard Bernstein.


LCK

Yeah, I thought those bits were great. Particularly their observations about "All the Things You Are" and the way it plays around the tonic but only uses it once... as soon as McPartland eased into her rendition of it, I thought, of course... it's always had a sort of diffused, haunted quality to me, a sort of melodic yearning... if that makes any sense.

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Anybody that stays home is dead

If I die it won't be from sitting


It will be from fighting to get up and get out!


Some people can get a thrill

knitting sweaters and sitting still.

That's okay for some people

who don't know they're alive.


Some people can thrive and bloom

living life in the living room.

That's perfect for some people

of one hundred and five.


But I at least gotta try

when I think of all the sights that I gotta see

and all the places I gotta play,

all the things that I gotta be at.

Come on, papa, what do you say?


Some people can be content

playing bingo and paying rent.

That's peachy for some people,

for some hum-drum people to be,

but some people ain't me!


I had a dream,

a wonderful dream, papa,

all about June in the Orpheum circuit.

Gimme a chance and I know I can work it.


I had a dream.

Just as real as can be, papa.

There I was in Mr. Orpheum's office

and he was saying to me, "Rose,

get yourselves some new orchestrations,

new routines and red velvet curtains.

Get a feathered hat for the baby;

photographs in front of the theatre.

Get an agent and in jig time

you'll be being booked in the big time."


Oh, what a dream.

A wonderful dream, papa.

And all that I need is eighty-eight bucks, papa.

That's what he said, papa.

Only eighty-eight bucks.


Papa

You ain't gettin' eighty-eight cents from me, Rose.


Rose

Well, I'll get it someplace else! But I'll get it! And get my kids out!


Goodbye to blueberry pie.

Good riddance to all the socials I had to go to,

all the lodges I had to play,

all the shriners I said hello to.

Hey, L.A., I'm comin' your way!


Some people sit on their butts;

got the dream, yeah, but not the guts.

That's living for some people,

for some hum-drum people I suppose.

Well, they can stay and rot!

But not Rose!

I've actually never seen Gypsy, despite my deep, and, some would say, peculiar immersion in musicals (for a straight guy).

 

 

I'm thinking that the people who made the Johnny Depp vehicle-ized Sweeney Todd (also, of course, from Sondheim) probably saw that and said, Yeah, we're gonna have to tune Johnny...

 

:D

 

I love Roz Russel but that is, for sure, the most, uh, character-singing singing I think I've ever heard in a movie musical. I recently saw How to Succeed in Business (a great little musical and movie, double-bill it with non-musical but not-necessarily coincidentally parallel Hudsucker Proxy) and that movie is rife with character singing but nowhere close to this... this, this is pretty close to Mrs Miller level. But I suspect it is probably tied into why Roz's character became a show biz mom instead of a singer...

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I was watching Daddy Long Legs, the 1955 Fred Astaire/Leslie Caron vehicle and fell in love with the slow, drawn out anticipation in the stars' reading of Johnny Mercer's "Something's Gotta Give."

 

This version is much the opposite... it comes out swinging, hard, and by the time its 2 and a half minutes are up, it's pretty well knocked over everyone in the ring and the first three rows of spectators.

 

[video=youtube;q-8WwidVKGo]

 

Here's Fred and Leslie... the music kicks in after a minute or so. The stereo sound on this 1955 soundtrack puts Fred way up front but the band and strings barely make the gig. I suspect the mono LP sounded great but the mix here is a bit of a disaster. Also, the aspect ratio of the picture is hosed.

 

[video=youtube;Qc6tGS0YOdA]

 

By the way, the charms of this song -- and the penthouse terrace where they're dancing -- not withstanding, this isn't my favorite Astaire number. I like his flashy tap, jazz and jitterbug dancing better than the ballroom stuff.

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I've had this song on my mind all week-end.

 

0eAOt_YOLt8

 

What a great song. What a strange thing that Pat Boone, Mr. White Shoes would sing it. And I have no idea what 'more deadly than the veinist (vainest) knife' means. Doesn't matter. It went to #1 in 1961 and Sinatra, Fogerty & lots of other luminaries have recorded it.

 

There have been some great dead teen songs, like this masterpiece

from 1958. Best of genre IMO.

 

aORD1aRz_qI

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There have been some great
, like this masterpiece

from 1958. Best of genre IMO.

 

 

Agreed - Endless Sleep is a classic.

I also have it on a Blues Project album circa 1970. Here are a couple of other folky tracks from the album.

It's a great album all round.

 

[video=youtube;3mOVsr1K_aw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mOVsr1K_aw

 

Interesting instrumentation and production values for its time

 

[video=youtube;YAB8ZkSxjSM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAB8ZkSxjSM&feature=related

 

[video=youtube;lUPKszrmGq0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUPKszrmGq0&feature=related

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