valadilenne: (And I'm his friend Jesus!)
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I would pick something that has had absolutely nothing to do with my entire life.

"Rocky Raccoon," by the Beatles.

Now the doctor came in
stinking of gin
and proceeded to lie on the table
Said "Rocky you've met your match."
Rocky said "Doc, it's only a scratch
And I'll be better
I'll be better Doc as soon as I am able."
valadilenne: (Retro: Music note phonograph)

The best part has to be when Tjinder starts singing with the English children's chorus
Makin' the dope dope and the dope dope
And then they're
making the dope dope and the dope dope

The whole song is an anthem to something culturally cosmic and obscure and inherently cheerful, no matter how many brick walls will leave us for done for.

Handcream For a Generation is the only album where I have a strong love for each and every song, so much so that I have it on double set LP. It's from 2002.
valadilenne: (Alice: secrets secrets)
It was 70 degrees yesterday when I came home. It's 1pm and barely 40 degrees now. Why?

I'm not kidding about the listening to Mingus on repeat. The more I listen to him, the more I want orange-chocolate-flavored-tea. Something about the hard bop.

I can already tell this weekend isn't going to be very productive.

Just listen

Feb. 6th, 2009 06:31 pm
valadilenne: (Retro: Music note phonograph)

There's nothing as good as a fictional interview in the middle of trance-y electronica. Wait for his list of all the countries he's been to--it's the kind of epicness that makes me want to check them off on a list as I visit them.
valadilenne: (Holidays: Pumpkin time)

Enjoy this bizarre but oh-so-catchy Portuguese song "A Minha Menina" by Os Mutantes, which roughly translates into "My Girl," by The Mutants.

You might recognize it from a recent McDonald's commercial--which is really strange to me. But it's a catchy, fun little tune.
valadilenne: (Retro: microphone)
Some people think that these are three of the most horrid things ever, that they destroy the integrity of the original song and make everyone forget how awesome The Original was in the first place.

I think it's good for music to evolve, even on a smaller scale. Mashups, those horribly illegal stepchildren of the music industry, can either be an exploration of depth and texture in crossing music over (think crossing the LAZOR-wires in Ghostbusters) or can fall flat and never recover.

Covers are okay as long as the person treats the song with enough respect. You want to cover "Wonderwall" at Glastonbury, Jay-Z? Um, okay. And Jonas Brothers? If you cover "Year 3000" by Busted and your producer makes you take out the lyric about three-breasted women because it's going to get mega airplay on Radio Disney, don't expect anyone to take you too seriously. For a while, anyway. I mean, Hanson is finally respectable, and they're from my hometown. We had high standards for those kids--the strip malls on the east side kept showing up in their videos, and we were like "That's not what this town looks like, wth?"

The only thing that bothers me about remixes is that there are too many of them. You get a song by Goldfrapp or Groove Armada, for example, and they release an entire CD of 10 remixes of the same song, maybe one or two of which are listenable and not just a cut-back repeat of the first ten seconds of the song for ten minutes. What is the point? I do really enjoy remixes better than the other two above, though. Here are my picks:

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Re-Whipped
Motown Remixed
Verve Remixed 1 & 2 (these have songs by Dinah Washington, Nina Simone--very textured and excellent music)
Christmas Remixed (shut up this is so good)
valadilenne: (Retro: Music note phonograph)

I first heard this song waaaay back in 2002, which was well after it came out, I think. My friend Julia made me a mix CD and this was the very first track on it. I had never heard it before then, and it was fascinating to listen to the mix of English and Hindi. When I Was Born For the Seventh Time was Cornershop's 1997 album (despite loving this song more than anything, their Handcream for a Generation is the one I prefer because it has a better House blend and is more integrated), and this song still does not fail to cheer me up when I feel bad. It's my go-to track for pretty much anything. It's upbeat and deep at the same time, I think.

So let's break it on down.

Read more... )

Asha Bhosle is India's most famous Bollywood soundtrack artist--she's recorded hundreds of thousands of songs for the expansive and wealth-generating Indian movie industry. She has a very distinctive voice, because high-pitched singing is considered a very beautiful standard.

The word "Asha" is both her name and, translated, means "Hope." So it's both a Brimful of Asha Bhosle, and as you'll see, a Brimful of Hope for the Indian people.

Saadi rani means "Our queen" in Punjabi. The rest of the song is about how Indian moviegoers will never be swayed from the beautiful fantasies portrayed in Bollywood films--how despite the "government's warnings and promotion of the simple life," the colorful sets, lengthy dance sequences, catchy songs, and just plain silliness of the whole thing is always going to capture people's attentions.

The long list of famous performers includes Mohammed Rafi, who sings the famous "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" from the opening credits of Ghost World, and Lata Mangeshkar, who is Asha Bhosle's sister and the second most famous Bollywood singer.

But the real poetry is from that line

Seventy-seven thousand piece orchestra set
Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow
Mine's on the RPM

That's the real majesty--imagine an orchestra as big as a city, all performing for one beautiful soundtrack. That kind of universal scale is so comforting to think about.

Best song ever.
valadilenne: (Travel: Big wheel keep on turnin')
I have pretty broad taste in music, but I do have a special affinity for certain genres, and classic rock is one of them.

I can't say that my parents were roadies or groupies at any point in their lives, or that I grew up under a '71 Charger in the process of being badly restored. In fact, my parents' musical tastes are pretty limited: I'm not totally sure what they enjoy apart from Buckwheat Zydeco and the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? I mean, I've collected their old (pristine) LPs and while there are the expected ABBA records (I wouldn't be related to them if they hadn't listened to ABBA--it's in my genes), there's mostly Disco. But more on that later.

That's not to say that we didn't listen to the La Bamba soundtrack or old Buddy Holly hits in the car on our 500 mile trek up to Grandma's house every year when I was a child. And herein, I think, lie the beginnings of it. It wasn't that my parents liked classic rock, it was that they liked whatever came before that. It was a gateway to later pieces that they had never wound up listening to themselves--and they lived through that era.

And so in the summer of 1996 I felt like I had to make a choice because I was getting out of elementary school: all my friends gravitated toward the Today's Best Hits station on the radio (hard to believe this was the days before CDs were really popular), and I just wanted to find all those old songs that I had listened to before. I hit the 60's station on the dial and stayed there for probably six or seven years. I went to camp and everyone was listening to "The Thong Song" while I wanted the Mamas and the Papas in the background.

But my methods of making sure I got all the songs I wanted on tape were elaborate. I can remember listening to the Saturday night shows waiting for someone to request a song so that I could hit Record and play them back later--over and over and over, sitting in front of my vanity lip syncing along with the Partridge Family or Diana Ross into the mirror, wearing a huge pair of can headphones so the sound came in almost perfectly.

They even had call-ins where people had to guess the name of a song after hearing the first three notes, and let me tell you: I am good at that game. But back to classic rock.

After the advent of the internet, things got interesting. I remember the first song I ever downloaded from Napster: Alicia Bridges' one and only hit, "I Love the Nightlife." What a great choice, huh? Anyway, that made me realize that it was okay to listen to music from the 70's and that my mother was wrong when she told me that "Anyone who likes Disco shouldn't admit it." I don't know what she was thinking--Chaka Khan and Donna Summers are my friends on the treadmill. But for some reason I thought 70's rock music was off limits, like it was too edgy and too dangerous for little 10 year old Melissa. Now I listen to it and think how much better the quality is than the "rock" that's coming out today. It actually had melody and good power chords--even the lame stuff did. Now it's just "let's amp up our distortion machines and scream."

So there you go. I think it was just an inevitable offshoot of all the Beatles and early 60's pop that got me into Free (especially Free), Journey, Foreigner, Pilot, Jefferson Starship (God help me I love ALL OVER THE WORLD)--all those groups whose songs that are bizarrely coming back en vogue; or maybe they never left. And I don't think liking classic rock and liking disco somehow cancel each other out. If we didn't have classic rock, we wouldn't have Guitar Hero. If we didn't have disco, we wouldn't have modern dance music--or a movie where Meryl Streep dances around in too-tight overalls.
valadilenne: (Default)

... today is the day you turn 50. It does not seem so very long ago that I was rocking out at Hendrix, being unable to really get into a party without some Pussy Control. I took your suggestion, and I partied like it was 1999.

When my aunt was married to the Coca-Cola North America VP, they lived in Minneapolis in a neighborhood called North Oaks, very exclusive where everyone was rich and all the houses were very secretive and mysterious and hidden by trees. But apparently Prince lived there, and he had gates around his house with the symbol on the front. So I tell everyone my aunt used to live near Prince.

I have to go purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.


valadilenne: (Default)

May 2009

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