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Friday Influences Thread 10.02.09


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What has influenced you in the past ... or since the last FIT?






Is this some slacker complaining, or is it a plea, or is an accusation? Wonderful song that has so much going on in just over three minutes. That spaced-out, dreamy middle section effectively uses the two different voices -- is it an internal dialogue or is it the real world vs the individual? The middle section is finely crafted and detailed. Great falsetto throughout. Pay attention to the role the drums play in the various sections of the song. Note the structure, which is essentially AABA.


It's a classic rock radio staple, but it hardly has anything in common with classic rock. See if you can listen to it with fresh ears.



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Supertramp - Crime of the Century. Guess what I've been listening to? Just yesterday as I drove my daughter to the dentist, I was cranking it. Probably listened to this album 10 times in September. My favorite of the album is Rudy. The story of a loser with no direction other than wherever his hollow gaze is pointed.


Rudy thought that all good things comes to those that wait

But recently he could see that it may come...but too late...too late.


And though that has been a recent influence, this week I'm going back to Del Amitri. The overlooked and extremely talented group of Scottish ruffians with a black cloud always looming, even in their perkiest moments. This song more describes how an deserved audience eluded them even more than the woman sung about. I'm sure they're well aware of the irony. Great pop/rock. Justin Currie sings...


She don't want me

'Cause I'm not where it's at.


Ignore the horrible video and follow long with the lyrics. Their videos always sucked. They were one of the very best live bands I 've ever seen though. 4 times I've seem them. Fantastic.




With some girls it dont matter who you hang with

With some girls it dont matter how you talk

And some girls they are easy to be yourself with

But the one girl that I want, aint easy to please with what Ive got


With some girls it dont matter where youre aiming

With some girls it dont matter how you act

And some girls they dont care what car you came in

But the one girl that I want, she wants that one bit of geography I lack


Yeah, she dont want me cos Im not where its at


And some girls they will worry about reactions

And some girls they dont give a damn for that

But somehow I aint ever in on the action

cos the one girl I want, she wants that one little quality I lack


Yeah, she dont want me cos Im not where its at


I dont have my finger on the pulse of my generation

I just got my hand on my heart, I know no better location

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I've been going froggie again...


This one (posted before in prev FIT's) destroys me every time:




I love the way the girl dancing with the guy mouths the words (in French): "Don't ever leave me," as Montand sings the line.



Here's a perhaps equally great English version (unfortunately the vid is a slide show, but it's not the worst I've seen) by the Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf... normally I don't go for Piaf's English versions but this one works pretty well for me -- and she kicks into the mother tongue midway through:





Here's one of Piaf's signature tunes, although it was written near the end of her life and she recorded it in 1960 only 3 years before her death, the defiant "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" (roughly translated: I don't regret a thing):




I love the way she balls her fists as she sings it. She's not a kid in this old film -- but her voice is bold.


One tough little sparrow.

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Right now, I'm hooked on the new Muse record. It's ridiculous and wonderful...just completely over the top and cinematic.


I've also rediscovered my obsession with King's X. I wish I could have a band even half as awesome as that. I find it absurd that they're not more popular.


Brian V.

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This is off their new album, which is pretty good. The Banjo seems like its out of tune on the video which is a strange but the song is still strong and I'm going see them this weekend on Saturday night. I'm playing a block party during the day and then going see the Avett Brothers that night! I also have a gig with the same band I am playing the block party with on Friday night at one of my favorite bars to play at


Its going to be a good weekend. Things are also starting to move along pretty well with this country band. If you'd have told me 2 years ago I would have this gig I would have probably laughed and told you pass, but as it stands I couldnt be happier with things are moving along. So thats pretty inspiring


I also finally put a pedal board together this week. I've always been a guitar into amp kinda guy. However, this current project was screaming for the versitilliaty a pedal board would provide. I ended up cutting a piece of wood and putting a nice stain on it. It looks pretty cool. I'd like to think its organic ;) The main effect I have been using is a DL4 which a buddy of mine perma-loaned me. He is a great friend, had no use for it, and thought it would help me out, which it definately has.


Two nights ago I figured out the loop function amd havent slept much since. At this point it is more about chops than songwriting. It has been a really nice exercise to layer as many guitar and lapsteel parts together as I can. More than just self indulgent wankery, I find it forces me to create very simplistic melodies. I could see this turning into a powerful songwriting tool in the near future.

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Here are a couple who were a huge influence on me when I was just coming of age, Richard and Mimi Farina. Mimi was the sister of Joan Baez and Richard was a novelist, poet, songwriter. At the informal publication party near Big Sur for his first and only novel (Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, do not track down the movie, which was awful and really ticked off fans during the approximately 10 days it was in general release), Farina took up a buddy's offer to let him try out his new motorcycle and he was killed in an accident a few miles away. It was Mimi's 21st birthday.




Here's one from the same session, with Pete Seeger sitting in, a song as sunny and charitable as the song below it is dark and unforgiving:





And here's one that reflects that dark mood of the times -- not long after the assassinations of John Kennedy and Medgar Evers, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham by the Ku Klux Klan that killed 4 innocent young girls, during the period where the US was plunging into the Vietnam war, and only a few years before the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy:



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