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Music

Random Lyrics Thursday

No Direction by Bad Religion

A sullen figure walks along a dusty road
his life was holy and he couldn't bear the load
he left his people and a simple life behind
he raised his torso and he looked into the sky
shouting his questions
looking for directions
"what do I do now?"

now a confused school girl stares at the TV tray
the stresses of maturing compound every day
she glances up to see her favorite video
and gets ideas from Madonna's nasty clothes
in need of affection
she craves a direction
her heroes offer her

everyone is looking for something
and they assume somebody else knows what it is
no one can live with the decisions of their own
it seems so they look to someone else
to tell 'em what to be
tell 'em what to wear
tell 'em what to say
tell 'em how to act and think and compel others compulsively
until the world is all like them

a righteous student came and asked me to reflect
he judged my lifestyle was politically incorrect
I don't believe in self important folks who preach
no Bad Religion song can make your life complete
prepare for rejection you'll get no direction from me
you'll get no direction from me
you'll get no direction from me


By fnord12 | March 29, 2007, 9:00 AM | Music | Comments (0)| Link



Who doesn't love lists?

In the video game magazine i got suckered into subscribing to (Game Informer) they list the top ten most wanted songs to appear in Guitar Hero III. Here's the list.

  1. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  2. Master of Puppets - Metallica
  3. Back In Black - AC/DC
  4. Layla - Derek & The Dominos
  5. Outshined - Soundgarden
  6. Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
  7. One Armed Scissor - At the Drive-in
  8. Cult of Personality - Living Colour
  9. 12:51 - Strokes
  10. Venus - Television

So my thoughts are:

  • I love including a Television song. It's a real unexpected pick.
  • Stairway and Layla are some long-ass songs to have to slog through. You know, i might replace them with shorter songs and then make you go through Television's Marquee Moon instead.
  • If you absolutely have to include a Bon Jovi song, and it's not Keyboard Hero (in which case, you do Runaway), you do You Give Love A Bad Name, which at least has that cool riff. But really, why not pick a good hair metal band - like Ratt! How about Lack of Communication?
  • This list contains mostly good songs but it doesn't really... rock, you know? It needs some more songs with an oomph, and less ballady stuff like Stairway and Layla and Wanted Dead or Alive. And three arty-farty songs (At the Drive-In, Strokes, Television - all of which are good, btw) is probably too many.
  • Not enough Dio.


By fnord12 | March 28, 2007, 2:23 PM | Music & Video Games | Comments (1)| Link



Random Lyrics Thursday supplemental

Take it to the limit one more time.


By fnord12 | March 22, 2007, 10:15 AM | Music | Comments (0)| Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Peace & Love by Camper Van Beethoven

Restless, three days without sleep, his mind wrapped in barely perceptible haze, he continues east, shaking, despite the stuttering convulsions and near death throes of his endearing 1962 Chevrolet. Storm follows him closely as it has for 3 days. In the pouring rain on the long dark highways he sees roadside casualty armadillos on their backs and owls and bats fly out of the his eyes into the blinding horizon.

Despite the solitude of his dear car he feels he is being watched by more than just the curious deer and west Texas highway transients. At dawn, he begins to feel the first nearly imperceptible signs of the drugs taking effect. He crosses the border east into New Mexico. There is now no question in his mind about the flavor of the coffee and the sardonic smile of the crusty over-made waitress. As he's crossing more than 2 states at once, his watch stops. He picks up a hitchhiker, some young lady, but unfortunately, as he's been expecting, his car breaks down in an abandoned shanty town known only as Brubaker.

"Just remember," she says. "I'm holding you responsible for all this." He cringes at the tone of her voice. A quick glance in the rear view mirror reveals to him the vision of the 3rd unattached eyeball. A star of dried cream at the bottom of the Styrofoam cup on the dashboard smiles at him and somehow, in her loneliness and boredom, her twelve-pack dwindling in the midday heat, he forces her into sex.

The Chevrolet temporarily fixed, they drift on and fall upon a small bar in no place specific. Drunk by evening, she complains of morning sickness and by morning has noticeably grown in size. 2 days later, still heading east towards the holy angelic temple he has been envisioning in his sleep, she is 9 months pregnant. Later that day she gives birth to their son.

Born with gingham snakeskin cowboy boots and three umbilical cords he is within hours cursing his parents in some otherworldly alien language. And he mutters in perfect English in his sleep, while sucking his mothers breast, his twisted Utopian visions. She looks at him terrified and says, "Remember, I'm holding you responsible for all of this."

Peace and love
Love and anger
Brotherly love
Brotherly love
I thought I had something to say
But I forgot what it was
I'm gonna try and say it anyway
Too much ginseng
Makes me nervous
Organization
Shortened sounds
Too much ginger
Takes me over
John the baptist
Comes to mind
I've got to drive faster
The road is falling
In front of my eyes
I've got to drive faster
If I want to get home

If I don't look where I'm going
[blah blah blah blah] I'm gonna get [blah]

If I don't look where I'm going
[blah blah blah blah) I'm gonna get [blah]

I've got to drive faster
The road is falling
In front of my eyes
I've got to drive faster
If I want to get home

Too much open space
Makes me nervous
Too much ginseng
A [blah] wide open
Then a [blah blah blah] his face
Then a doctor [blah] fucking open spaces
Give some cowboys some acid
Many [blah]
Makes me nervous
Nothing seems right now
Too many open spaces
Yes wyoming
Makes me nervous
Someone ought to go up to wyoming
And open up some fucking open spaces
And call her some hotel rooms
And look at the turf in the open spaces
Don't say it's fattening
Be careful what you're doing
You can do anything
Yeah you can do anything
I said you can do anything
You don't know what you're doing
Or don't do anything at all
Because there are wide open spaces
[blah blah] and children

[blah blah] horizon

They're on acid
They don't know what they're doing
So they can do anything
I wonder where those cowboys are
I wonder where those cowboys are



By fnord12 | March 22, 2007, 8:45 AM | Music | Comments (3)| Link



Underwater Opera

If they always incorporated dance with opera, i might be persuaded to actually sit thru an entire performance. Mebbe.

Sasha Waltz has now taken the opera Dido and Aeneas, which always had a couple of dance scenes, and expanded it. Each character has a singer and a dancer, forming a kind of duet. That sounds pretty kewl to me.

Waltz has gone a step further, adding a water tank. The stills can be viewd from this page.

Waltz's version of the work, for which she has cast both a dancer and a singer in each main role, opens with dancers bobbing, diving, swimming and gliding their steps in a tank of water. This underwater sequence relates to the libretto of the opera's prologue, for which the original music is lost, in which mythical sea creatures dance as the gods Apollo and Venus look on.

The review in the Guardian seemed to like the water prologue. Another reviewer said the choreography was sadly limited but on the whole an interesting device.

When i look at the stills, all i can think is "I hope they filter that water".


By min | March 15, 2007, 11:27 AM | Music | Comments (0)| Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Balls to the Wall by Accept

Too many slaves in this world
Die by torture and pain
Too many people do not see
Theyre killing themselves - going insane

Too many people do not know
Bondage is over the human race
They believe slaves always lose
And this fear keeps them down

Watch the damned (God bless ya)
Theyre gonna break their chains (hey)
No, you cant stop them (God bless ya)
Theyre coming to get you
And then youll get your

Balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall
Youll get your balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall - balls to the wall

You may screw their brains
You may sacrifice them, too
You may mortify their flesh
You may rape them all

One day the tortured stand up
And revolt against the evil
They make you drink your blood
And tear yourself to pieces

You better watch the damned (God bless ya)
Theyre gonna break their chains (hey)
No, you cant stop them (God bless ya)
Theyre coming to get you
And then youll get your

Balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall
Youll get your balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall - balls to the wall

Come on man, lets stand up all over the world
Lets plug a bomb in everyones arse
If they dont keep us alive - were gonna fight for the right

Build a wall with the bodies of the dead - and youre saved
Make the world scared - come on, show me the sign of victory
Sign of victory - sign of victory

You better watch the damned (God bless ya)
Theyre gonna break their chains (hey)
No, you cant stop them (God bless ya)
Theyre coming to get you
And then youll get your

Balls to the wall, man
Balls to the wall



By min | March 15, 2007, 10:56 AM | Music | Comments (1)| Link



Music Training Makes You A Better Listener

Link

The study, which will appear in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience, is the first to provide concrete evidence that playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem's sensitivity to speech sounds. This finding has broad implications because it applies to sound encoding skills involved not only in music but also in language.

The findings indicate that experience with music at a young age in effect can "fine-tune" the brain's auditory system. "Increasing music experience appears to benefit all children -- whether musically exceptional or not -- in a wide range of learning activities," says Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and senior author of the study.

...

The research by co-authors Wong, Kraus, Erika Skoe, Nicole Russo and Tasha Dees represents a new way of defining the relationship between the brainstem -- a lower order brain structure thought to be unchangeable and uninvolved in complex processing -- and the neocortex, a higher order brain structure associated with music, language and other complex processing.
...

The findings also are consistent with studies by Kraus and her research team that have revealed anomalies in brainstem sound encoding in some children with learning disabilities which can be improved by auditory training.

Or you could all just learn some Mandarin. Cantonese might be better. It's got twice as many tonal sounds. Too bad Mandarin's the official language.


By min | March 13, 2007, 2:32 PM | Music & Science | Comments (4)| Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

White Room by Cream

In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Blackroof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment.

I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.

You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.

I'll wait in the queue when the trains come back;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.

At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
She's just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.

I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves.


I found this analysis of the lyrics online. I don't know how correct his interpretation is. It sounded good to me. But i'm not the english major. And high school english took away my ability to interpret anything.


By min | March 8, 2007, 8:41 AM | Music | Comments (0)| Link



I Love Christopher Walken

I saw this a looooong time ago on tv and never could find it again. Now, thanks to YouTube, i can watch it over and over and over and over again. He's such a freak. He's the bestest.

Weapon of Choice

Love that YouTube.


By min | March 5, 2007, 4:02 PM | Music | Comments (11)| Link



Musical Perspectives.

So there was a woman in her 70s who was battling cancer and was releasing all these classical piano CDs that everyone thought were just beautiful. And now it has been revealed that they were in fact forgeries of relatively unknown young piano players. It raises questions about how we interperet music:

Yet the Joyce Hatto episode is a stern reminder of the importance of framing and background in criticism. Music isn't just about sound; it is about achievement in a larger human sense. If you think an interpretation is by a 74-year-old pianist at the end of her life, it won't sound quite the same to you as if you think it's by a 24-year-old piano-competition winner who is just starting out. Beyond all the pretty notes, we want creative engagement and communication from music, we want music to be a bridge to another personality. Otherwise, we might as well feed Chopin scores into a computer.

This makes instrumental criticism a tricky business. I'm personally convinced that there is an authentic, objective maturity that I can hear in the later recordings of Rubinstein. This special quality of his is actually in the music, and is not just subjectively derived from seeing the wrinkles in the old man's face. But the Joyce Hatto episode shows that our expectations, our knowledge of a back story, can subtly, or perhaps even crudely, affect our aesthetic response.

I've always argued that an artist's intention and biography is very important to the understanding/enjoyment of a piece of art. I've had lots of disagreements with friends and teachers on this subject. If i listened to those piano recordings and thought that i was listening to the expressions of an old woman fighting cancer, and enjoyed it in that context, now that i find out that they were forgeries, does that mean that the music is no longer good? I would argue yes. Or at the very least i would need to re-evaluate it and determine if it was good for different reasons. Certainly it would no longer be valid to listen to the music and still enjoy it as a portrayal of old age and disease. Some have argued that art can mean whatever you want it to mean, that whatever emotions it evokes in you are valid regardless of the artists intention or the actual meaning of the piece. I say if it's a poem about a boat, it's about a boat.

It's an especially tricky thing when we are talking about "covers" (to use rock terminology) of classical music. You have the original composers intention, and then you have the performer's emoting through the pre-arranged music. I still think the same basic idea is true, however.


By fnord12 | March 1, 2007, 6:05 PM | Music | Comments (0)| Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green,
Can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war.
We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day
Despite of all your losing.


By min | March 1, 2007, 9:17 AM | Music | Comments (5)| Link



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