Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Dolphin" / Prince / The Gold Experience

This one's funny. I'm a huge Prince fan (actually, this album was in the "Artist Formally Known As.." stage in 1995), but let's be honest in that his best days are behind him (as a writer, not a performer).

This one's unintentionally hilarious. I like The Gold Album, actually, it's got some great songs on it :"Pussy Control", "Endorphinemachine", "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World", "Gold", and "Shhh" (which blew me away in concert when he played it - talk about a freakin' deep cut) but this one's pretty bad. It's got the same theme as the classic "If I Was Your Girlfriend", but on crack.

I'm including the lyrics here just for a laugh. God bless Prince with the 2s, Us and whatnot.

How beautiful do the words have 2 be
Before they conquer every heart?
How will U know if I'm even in the right key
If U make me stop before I start?
If I came back as a dolphin
Would U listen 2 me then?
Would U let me be your friend?
Would U let me in?
U can cut off all my fins
But 2 your ways I will not bend
I'll die before I let U tell me how 2 swim
And I'll come back again as a dolphin

Why does my brother have 2 go hungry
When U told him there was food 4 all?
This is the man that stands next 2 the man
That stands 2 catch U when U fall (Oh!)

If I'm under water, will U find me? (Find me {x4})
Will U shine a light and try 2 guide me?
It's happened before, I've knocked on your door
But U wouldn't let me in

How beautiful do the words have 2 be
Before they conquer every heart? (Oh!)

If I came back as a dolphin
Would U listen 2 me then?
Would U let me be your friend?
Would U let me in?
U can cut off all my fins
But 2 your ways I will not bend
I'll die before I let U tell me how 2 swim
Come back in the end as a dolphin (Oh)
(I'll come back, baby)
(Let me in, let me in) As a dolphin
(Be my friend) Dolphin
(Yeah, yeah)

As a dolphin
As a dolphin
As a dolphin

Seriously, man, that's gold, I tell you. Gold.

It's like the worst 9th grade poetry I see set to music.

And, speaking of music, it's not actually too bad. I like the little break right after the chorus with the neat little bass riff (check 1:03 to 1:15 for the first instance), but I just can't get past the lyrics. Help yoursleves, though:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"The Clairvoyant" / Iron Fuckin' Maiden / Best of the Beast

Now that's what I'm talking about. If you don't love Maiden, I don't really know what else to say. Could they be the ultimate metal band? They fulfill every metal cliche to the point that it goes beyond hilarity to utter,sublime greatness.

I do regret not ever getting the chance to see them, though. I was going to go see them (with Anthrax opening!) at some point in high school, but they had to cancel and never returned. All I have to rely on are old videos, which are as good as anything. It was also fun to freak my parents out by putting up a great Maiden poster in my room in 9th grade (I know, "Oooohhhh, dangerous" - gimmie a break; I grew up a typical suburban white boy. That's about as shocking as I got.)

This song comes from "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", the masterpiece conceptual album, prophicies, wizards...and, er, other random shit. Doesn't matter, it's still great.

I love the beginning with the classic Steve Harris galloping bass, followed by the anthemic guitar riff. Actually, the verse is a little dull, but then they get to the second half of the song. When the band , out of nowhere, churns out the "There's a time to live / and a time to die" chorus at about two minutes in, it's just complete, classic Maiden. I picture thousand of greasy, long haired, denim jacketed burnouts pumping their fists and bobbing their heads in unison. Love it.

Then later at 4:08 or so, that riff from the beginning comes back (and check out the drop in key on the third time though of the chorus at 3:50 . What's up with that?), and Bruce Dickinson finishes off with the "I feel reborn again" lyric, which just brings everything back around very nicely, full circle.


Here's a great video of a performance of it a Donington - Look for Big! Walking! Eddie

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Alright, try this one

Due to the comments on the last Ted Leo song, I went out and found another one of his I really like.
I know it's against the "rules" of my blog, but ....Matchbox 20? Come on...

Here's "Where Have All the Rudeboys Gone?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Walking to Do" / Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / Shaking the Sheets

I can't remember how I found out about Ted Leo. I guess I first remember hearing about his cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone", which was a great one, by the way.

I think I then downloaded a random song, "Better Dead Than Lear", which I liked enough to put on a mixtape. It lead to getting a couple of proper CDs from my buddy Mike when I raided his itunes library last Spring. Now I've got cred out my ASS. Ted Leo will do that for you.

I really like the dude, though. He's got some great, catchy tunes and some sticky hooks, which is what you want in a pop band. The music is pretty complex, too - not just straight up melodies and verses, but lots of nice little nooks and crannies to the songs that reveal themselves over several listens.

Take this one. It's pretty unfamiliar to me as his songs go, but damn if I don't have the refrain stuck in my head now after only two listens. I love the breakdown that starts with cutting everything out but the guitar, bass and drums at about 2:16, then slowly building back up to the chorus - with an "answer" back this time, of course, and for God's sake, do I hear handclaps too?

You can count on it - a great hook, studio hijinks, three minutes and some seconds = pop perfection

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"If" / The Darling Buds / Erotica

Wow, time to go pretty deep. I'd be surprised if any of you ever heard this group (and I say that not in a "hipper than thou" context, I just mean they were a tiny, tiny flash in the pan).

The Darling Buds was a group that had a couple of popular 99X songs in the early 90's in the heady, post-Nirvana alternative goldrush. You may remember a song called "Long Day in the Universe" - that was them. Their sound could fall into that "shoegazer" genre with bands like Lush, Curve and My Bloody Valentine.

The thing is, I really like this CD. It's not something I can sit and listen to regularly, but if a song randomly pops up on the 'ol ipod shuffle or here on the computer, I still enjoy it. The band's sound is pretty soothing, with dense layers of tracks throughout the songs. They also have a chick singer (which I'm a sucker for) and lots of great hooks.

This song is a good example of the band's sound. The beginning reminds me of "Gigantic" by the Pixies with the bass and vocal, then moves pretty quickly into the standard sound of the band. I like how the bass line that's introduced by itself at the beginning carries throughout the song and how the other tracks tail off at the end, leaving just the bass again. It's worth a listen, I reckon.