Jul 072020
 

I woke up today and was reminded on public radio that it’s Ringo’s birthday, his 80th! The first thing I thought was, “Wow, just thinking about Ringo makes me feel good! He’s the perfect antidote to these times.”

Last week, his song “Photograph” came on the radio, and as happens any time that song kicks in – pre-pandemic, pandemic, and eventually post-pandemic – I teared up. There’s so much empathy in that song, in Ringo’s delivery, in the arrangement. If I’m ever required to tear up, something that isn’t too hard to get me to do, play me “Photograph” or Elton John’s “Daniel.”

I’m a John Guy with a strong Paul Sensibility lurking in the background, but I’m going to let Ringo be my co-pilot today.

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Jul 062020
 

I wish I had seen this video a couple of days ago, to help me cherish it on the 4th of July.

Beside Japan’s Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi; Beto O’Rourke; and the late, not-lamented, reprehensible White Boy Blooz icon Lee Atwater, are there any other contenders for Most Rocking Political Figure? Politicians from outside the United States are welcome. Some contenders who immediately come to my mind…after the jump!

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Jul 062020
 

Lately, I’ve been playing a song by a local (to Philadelphia) songwriter, Tim Bowen, now sadly deceased, that uses the trick of modulating repeatedly within the song, changing the key, seven times. Since that song is not available on-line. I give you this classic example:

The immediate inspiration to bring this up was hearing this song on the WFMU morning show:

I always loved how that trick works here to create a palpable sense of pandemonium in behind Gil Scott Heron‘s onslaught of images.

Can you think of any other examples? Is it cheesy or genius?

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Jul 012020
 

Nine things I like. Do you have a tenth?

  1. The song rocks.
  2. It took all of 3 notes out of the bass to get all the bald heads bouncing and swaying in recognition.
  3. The matching stage wear of the band. All agreed; no shirts. We’re  going for the escaped prison camp look. That’s some real dedication to a uniform look.   
  4. Guy Picciotto, the hardcore hype man I find so entertaining to watch. He’s getting a lot work in for very little asked of him. 
  5. The melding of band and audience. There are so many people next to them, behind them, and even over them. Everyone is giving the band enough room, and no one is tossing kids off speakers.
  6. At the 00:55 mark when it’s the sing-along I Wait, I Wait; from behind, the one hardcore guy puts his arm around the other hardcore guy and they look like they are singing along to a sea chanty. It’s sweet.
  7. Camera sweep over the audience, and you see how chill it is for a “hardcore” show.
  8. You can really hear the audience singing at the end of the song before a tight ending.
  9. It’s a joyous performance.
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Jun 292020
 

I don’t know how we measure this, so let’s trust our hearts. Years ago, after already putting in 10 years of loving The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society album, my wife and I were driving somewhere as that album played and I had my finger on the SKIP button of our old car’s CD player as “Big Sky” began to play. “Big Sky” was not a surefire needle-lifter for me, but beside Lou Reed’s music and some Bob Dylan songs that may qualify, I’m not a big fan of talk-singing. I felt there was something hokey about “Big Sky” to make me want to listen to it every time I listened to that album. And I listened to that album frequently.

DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL, my wife essentially said to me. She explained, “The song captures how I feel about nature, and the break is the most beautiful thing!”

She had a point there: the break is the most beautiful thing. “When I feel/That the world’s too much for me…” Beautiful!

I no longer skip “Big Sky,” not even occasionally, and for this city boy, it’s 100% for the love of the middle eight, not nature. Sorry. To be less of a natural, take-it-as-it-comes person, every time I hear that song I ask myself, Is there any middle eight that dominates relative to the song into which it’s set, that is so far greater than the rest of the song, than this one?

I think not.

You may have your own relatively most-dominant middle eight to suggest. REMEMBER: This is different than simply your favorite middle eight. I’m looking for songs that you find possibly saved by the middle eight. You might say, “the break is worth the price of admission.” Let’s hear it!

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Jun 242020
 

This may be one of those highly specific Last Man Standings, with only 5 possible answers. I can only think of a few instances of this happening, but you rarely fail to impress me. And please, read closely to get the rules straight.

We’re looking for artists who, after their professional, credited career started, changed their name on album covers, billboards, recording credits and other documented places. (Get ready for some rules…)

  • Multiple name changes by the same artist DO count separately; please list them one per post, according to our usual “Don’t Bogart that thread” guidelines
  • Newly acquired nicknames do NOT count if the artist still has an underlying name he or she is credited by
  • Attempts to go by a new name – one that was documented on a record credit – that didn’t stick DO count
  • Your knowledge of the artist’s real name or stage name before earning any credits does NOT count – this is about documented changes in how an artist is billed/credited
  • Credits on demo recordings that were not released commercially do NOT count (same goes for credits on bootlegs)
  • Variations in spelling DO count
  • A official return to an earlier variation on an artist’s name (ie, A to B, then back to A) DOES count as separate credit. If you’d like to earn that credit, please post the information in the right order, in a separate post
  • It will be the judges’ discretion whether the addition or dropping of a diminutive or nickname in an artist’s name counts or not
  • This is about artists – human beings, NOT bands (eg, anyone trying to point out that Slade was originally known as Greenslade will be served a yellow card or put in the penalty box)
  • The judges reserve the right to add new rules as discussion ensues.

Let me know if we need a separate thread to debate the rules. Because the field of possible answers is so tight, I won’t prime the pump with an example. As always, DON’T BOGART THIS THREAD. Limit yourself to one entry at a time.

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