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Friday Influences 2/25/11


kennychaffin

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That's one of my all time favorite Leonard Cohen songs.

 

It's been a weird mix of music for me this week.

 

Dock Boggs - Sugar Baby. The banjo part, the tone of his voice, some of those vocal phrases... something about this is just so haunting and hypnotic to me.

[video=youtube;m5zW2CWJmdU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5zW2CWJmdU

 

Shostakovich's String Quartet no. 8 played by the Emerson String Quartet.

One of the most intense pieces of music I've ever heard. This is where heavy metal music REALLY started.

[video=youtube;khpm7RLFnGw]

 

17 Hippies - Adieu. Even if you don't understand the lyrics this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Not only that, but they are making the clarinet and accordian cool again! (They used to be at one time... right? Right?)

[video=youtube;4979xOtMvAc]

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For a guy with good taste I sure have {censored}ty taste...

 

I love good pop music put together with skill and craft that manages to tap into something real at the same time. It touches 12 year olds and 51 year old nut cases like myself. All at once. So yeah, Taylor Swift.

 

She can barely deep breath let alone sing. Her pitch is so shaky, Auto Tune is required or people will spend the next year slamming her lack of skill. BUT THE GIRL CAN WRITE.

 

REALLY.

 

So instead of choosing a Smithsonian recording and or something on the "so not hot it's hot" list, I'm going to say it. I wish I wrote this song. She captures what it is to feel that pure excitement over meeting someone who might be... the one. All of us wish we could do this, we just don't realize it sometimes. If you can't hear past the Auto Tune and teen sensibility, I get it. If you can...

 

...check how her tense evolves. From "just happened earlier this evening" to "right now" to "hope for the future". But all spoken from thjis moment". Fresh memories, new dreams.

 

Sorry. :)

 

[video=youtube;RY5hPF96a34]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY5hPF96a34&feature=fvsr

 

And in a truly Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon twist... Enchanted was about the kid from Owl City. Well, he is Owl City. He finds out Taylor wrote this about him and their recent meeting... and he responds with even more Auto Tune.

 

I'm a sap today. But hey, it is a great pop tune.

 

[video=youtube;e9qKHGsoc8k]

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This is a Frames song in a subtle and supreme Swell Season arrangement. I first hear this one the Frames disc, For The Birds. This is one of those songs that kinda quietly escaped my attention for the first few listens, but then starting working its way in. Glen Hansard (who also wrote the tune) on git and vox, Marketa Irglova on piano and vox. You may have seen them in Once.

 

[video=youtube;E2SJgepGVns]

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Hansard is awesome. I wish I could pull of stuff like this. (song starts at 4:15 for those who want to skip the story). So much passion and ferocity, but still musical. If I tried this I'd sound like wounded animal, though I guess that isn't too far off what I usually sound like. ;)

 

[video=youtube;6eExQiKspfU]

 

I get most of my music exposure here and on youtube. Radio doesn't play much more than classic rock, the rare times it is actually on. So, I've been into these ladies lately. Great, approachable songwriting.

 

[video=youtube;k1g7dhju0Vg]

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Lee - I'm a fan of Ms. Swift's songwriting as well. I can only hope as she ages her singing will improve. I know she gets (or at one time received) vocal coaching from Brett Manring here in Nashville. His technique seems to work well for some other singers (Hayley Williams & Leigh Nash come to mind).

 

I have no influences this week. I'm brain-dead from wrapping up my current job before I move on to another opportunity next Friday.

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Musically they had some interesting stuff going on. They started out as a punk/rock rhythm section with songs centered around two chord whole step vamps in the mode of their producer (Ray Manzarek)'s first band, The Doors. Billy Zoom voiced the rhythm parts as fuzzed out guitar power chords (with the great tone of a vintage Fender tube amp run wide open) but then added 50's style country/blues/rock leads and fills on top. Exene's non-standard sense of pitch added a distinct flavor to the vocal harmonies (and I can understand that this flavor does not appeal to everyone). But the lyrics are lovely. Exene also had a non-standard sense for rhyme and meter, but sometimes she really hits it just right.

 

"I hate it, I love you

I hate that I need to know what you do

When our love passed out on the couch"

--When Our Love Passed Out On the Couch

"Drain every beer left over at home

And listen to ghosts in the other room

Why not"

--White Girl

Here's an early video from the great west coast punk documentary "The Decline Of Western Civilization", directed by Penelope Spheeris (who, in a truly bizarre turn of events, would go on to become her generation's answer to Penny Marshall :freak:)

[video=youtube;wRWunSUmEm4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRWunSUmEm4

 

A later performance of an early song. I love the way the juxtaposition of scope in the chorus - "The world's a mess/It's in my kiss".

[video=youtube;R9lCSvvKw-8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9lCSvvKw-8

 

In a poppier vein (no good sounding youtube videos still available)

http://www.rhapsody.com/x/under-the-big-black-sun/under-the-big-black-sun

 

Trying a little too hard for mainstream acceptance ("We're desperate/Get used to it" was but a distant memory), but still a good song (written by the great Dave Alvin):

[video=youtube;VbUsNeyNDJ0]

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Speaking of classical music influences here's a rendition of Antonin Dvorak's "Humoresque," for any young 'keyboard' players here, who may have heard about piano god ART TATUM but have never seen the man at work: One man alone at the piano -- blind too! Or at least "legally blind" -- the late piano giant Hank Jones says he once caught Art playing a pretty good game of pool, which is pretty tough to do when you're REALLY blind. If you're seeing Art at work for the first time here . . . well, prepare to be amazed!

 

http://www.jazzonthetube.com/page/188.html

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I was 20 when I saw X. It was the Starwood in Hollywood. I'd heard the buzz and then had just heard their debut Los Angeles. John Doe, Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake kicked into a gnarly punk/rockabilly groove that just killed. 3 minutes of just pounding... then Exene comes running from the side stage dressed in Motocross leathers caked in mud. She grabs the mic and I left the planet for the next hour and a half. They were {censored}ing great.
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I am not in any way condoning the message of this song. However, how many guys can do a "coughing" break and make it sound musical?

 

[video=youtube;BPh6pOSq_Ik]

 

The singer/songwriter is Dennis McGregor. He's a friend of mine. I've known him since the early 1970s. We wrote a very nice little country song together many moons ago. So yeah, he's an influence on me, and vice versa.

 

LCK

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For anyone who's interested, here's a link to the song Dennis McGregor and I wrote together.

 

http://picosong.com/5nh

 

If anyone is interested in the collaborative process on this tune, it was an unfinished song that Dennis was stuck on. He gave me a recording on a cassette tape while I was at a mutual friend's wedding in Santa Barbara. I took it back to New York, thought it had great potential, and I sort of put some of the finishing touches on it, finished a few unfinished lines, tightened up some others, and wrote the bridge.

 

Dennis has 3 CDs out. You can check him out here: http://www.dennismcgregor.com/CD-index.php

 

LCK

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From influences to pimping your own collaborations.
:lol:
I think that's FIT First. Such a shame.
:(

 

Hmmm. Let's see. This forum is about the art of songwriting, and this particular thread is about who and what has influenced one's own songwriting, correct? Wouldn't a collaborator -- particularly someone like Dennis whom I've known and traded songs and licks with for over 30 years -- qualify as an influence of mine?

 

As for posting a link to "The One You Love," to me that falls under the heading of "further information," to wit: Dennis is a far more versatile songwriter than the "Wakey-Bakey" song would indicate. It's a novelty song, but he's a pretty serious songwriter too.

 

I'm not sure why you were offended by my posting a link to the song we co-wrote, but it's just a link on a webpage. No one is forcing anyone to listen to the track. For some people here it might be interesting, for others not.

 

So I'm not sure I understand what the problem is.

 

LCK

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Do what you wish, LCK, but that kind of stuff is usually reserved for the Showcase thread. IMO you've opened up a {censored}can of worms for folks. What you've done is basically a backdoor method of showcasing your own work in a thread that hasn't ever really condoned that kind of cheap self promotion. Again, do what you wish. What could I possibly know about the FIT and your intentions? :idk:

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