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Archive for February, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Posted by purplemary54 on February 27, 2015

I don’t really feel like a song today.  My inner Sci-fi geek is too sad.

Now if only we had a Genesis planet to send Leonard Nimoy’s body to so he could be reborn, and we could have more years with his talent and good humor.

Live long and prosper.

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Posted in Gone to the Movies, Obituaries | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“The Main Event”

Posted by purplemary54 on February 26, 2015

I know I disappeared for a couple of days after my last post.  I think I felt the need to distance myself from a decidedly disturbing musical experience.  Which would also explain today’s song.  Because the only way you’re going to be disturbed by this inconsequential Barbra Streisand tune is if you have a phobia about cheesy Disco-Pop.  Although since it’s sung by Barbra Streisand, this song does have one thing going for it.

Never let it be said that my taste in music is elitist.

Besides featuring Streisand’s powerhouse voice, “The Main Event/Fight” is also pretty darned catchy.  Too bad the movie the song is the theme for was so freakin’ terrible.  After the success of the screwball comedy What’s Up Doc?, Streisand re-teamed with Ryan O’Neal for the bland, unfunny, clichéd The Main Event.  Successful businesswoman finds herself nearly destitute.  Investment in not-so-great boxer is one of her remaining assets, so she makes herself his manager to ensure his success.  You can figure out what happens from there because it is painfully predictable.  I don’t think I even liked it when I was a kid.

But I did like this song.  It’s pure fluff, but it sticks with you–which would make it more like marshmallow fluff.  (FYI, my aunt makes the best fudge in the world using marshmallow fluff.  I have to get the recipe.)  One of my favorite things is the tempo changes that keep the song bobbing and weaving like a boxer, which not only ties it into the plot/characters of the movie but makes it a great song to dance to.  The best Disco gives the dancers time to catch their breath and get closer to each other on the floor.  There’s even an eleven minute extended version.  I also think the way the song is arranged, from opening to fade out, was also designed to make it easier for DJs to incorporate it into their sets at discos.  (That’s my guess anyway; it’s not like I’m an expert on how DJs do their jobs.)  Whatever the reasons for how it was made, “The Main Event/Fight” works as a song.

Posted in Music, Pop | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“I Can’t Breathe”

Posted by purplemary54 on February 23, 2015

I’m not entirely sure I should be starting the week out on such a dark note.  But this song demands attention.

I was going to make this a Freaky Friday post, but I decided to go with my Oscar picks instead.  (I went 0 for 2, but I’m not upset.  The music that won was good music.)  Really, I was just kind of avoiding exposing myself to this video again.

Pussy Riot’s first song in English is a good one.  They were in New York around the same time as the Eric Garner protests were happening, and they were inspired by that to write the song.  It is an oppressive song about oppression.  The electronic music and insistent drum beat give “I Can’t Breathe” a foreboding, ominous feeling–not surprising, given this band’s own experiences with oppression, censorship, and political imprisonment.  And I like the way fear and defiance balance each other out; they’re going to stand up for themselves even though they’re terrified about what might happen if they do.  That’s highlighted at the end by Richard Hell’s reading of Eric Garner’s final words.

But what makes this song indelible, and to me absolutely horrifying, is the video that features Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina being buried alive.  One of my major phobias is the idea of being buried alive.  It wigs me out beyond belief, and I found this video almost impossible to watch.  I started looking away from the screen as soon as I could see their faces.  It is massively disturbing and just as massively effective.  If you want to make a statement about the way people are being treated by law enforcement, you can’t do much better than this.

I recommend this song.  I suggest watching the video only in a well-lit, well ventilated place.  Outdoors works.  Outdoors, but only if you’re surrounded by concrete and other stuff that can’t be dug up and piled on top of you.

Posted in Music, Punk, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Awesome Kids Playing Zeppelin Covers

Posted by purplemary54 on February 21, 2015

Okay, so I saw it on Dangerous Minds (again, letting them do my work for me).  But like they said in their post, this video really is too good not to share.  You’re welcome.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oscar Music Picks

Posted by purplemary54 on February 19, 2015

I’ve been doing my research for the annual family Oscar party.  Here’s my choices for who should win for Best Original Song and Best Original Score.

Song: Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”

Yeah, “Glory” is the front-runner, and a perfectly good song to boot.  But Glen Campbell’s last recording made me burst into tears.  It is one of the most heartbreaking pieces of music I’ve ever heard.

Score: The Theory of Everything

All the nominated scores are pretty good, to be honest.  I think The Grand Budapest Hotel is more original, but Johann Johannsson’s score is just so gorgeous.  Really good stuff.  And most of the pundits seem to be picking this one as the front-runner.

I won’t be sorry if I’m wrong on these.  If “Glory” wins, that will be fine; like I said, it’s a good song.  And if one of the other scores get the Oscar, that’ll be okay, too.  But I hope I’m right because there are prizes for the most correct picks.  I won a couple of years ago, and I’d like a repeat.

Posted in Music, Soundtracks | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

“That Was Your Mother”

Posted by purplemary54 on February 17, 2015

Yeah, I know Fat Tuesday is almost over here on the West Coast, and it’s long past in many, many other time zones.  I suppose it’s not really an issue for me.  I’m not Catholic and do not celebrate Ash Wednesday or Lent; I only celebrate Easter in the sense that I like hard-boiled eggs dyed pretty colors.  (I will also enjoy Filet-O-Fish sandwiches being on sale at McDonald’s every Friday for the next month or so.)  But here’s a little Zydeco stylings via the great Paul Simon for your musical enjoyment, anyway.

On a totally unrelated note, if you are in need of a giggle, please check out this tumblr blog.  It’s sick and dark and twisted, and I’ll bet it’s right up a lot of my readers’ alley.  You’re welcome.

Posted in Music, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lesley Gore

Posted by purplemary54 on February 16, 2015

Lesley Gore was one of the classic voices from Rock/Pop in the 1960s.  She sang songs from a teenage girl’s point of view, songs about love and heartbreak as only a teenage girl could see it.  But what made Gore’s music different was that it was rooted in realism.  It wasn’t just melodramatic sap or fantasy romance.  It was the kind of stuff that girls dealt with all the time.  Her characters fell for boys, lost them to other girls, got them back.  They knew the truth about their guys’ flaws, but loved them anyway.  These were realistic relationships–the kind I still saw being played out when I was a teenager in the 80s, and that probably still get played out in high school hallways today.  Listeners could identify with Lesley Gore’s songs because they lived them.

Her biggest hit was “It’s My Party,” and it’s a cracker.  Catchy and emotional.  Name me one teenage girl who didn’t feel like she wanted to die when she found out her boyfriend was with her frenemy.  I love that song.  But Gore made a lot of other great music, too.  One of my other favorites is the plaintive “Maybe I Know.”  You really feel for this girl who understands that her boyfriend is pretty much a cad, but she just doesn’t want to give up on him.  Heck, maybe you were that girl.

When I was reading about Lesley Gore’s death today at 68, I found out that her life was richer than the teenybopper love songs she sang in the 60s, and that her career didn’t end with the end of that decade.  She had a degree in English from Sarah Lawrence (which means she was one smart cookie), and a 33 year relationship with her partner Lois Sasson (which means she had a better love than the ones she sang about).  I also found out that she co-wrote one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack of 1980’s Fame with her brother Michael.  It’s another touching song about a girl who feels lost and afraid, but won’t back down from the troubles in the world or in her heart.  I think it kind of sums up the kind of person Lesley Gore was.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Dial-A-Song

Posted by purplemary54 on February 13, 2015

Things have been both busy and quiet enough for me to forget to remind everyone about the return of They Might Be Giants brilliant Dial-A-Song.  It’s been back for a few weeks now, and although the songs themselves have been a little hit or miss, I haven’t been disappointed at all.

One of the best parts about the new Internet-era Dial-A-Song is the fact that these are basically music videos.  All the songs are accompanied by appropriate (or completely irrelevant) video, images, and animations.  The other nice thing is that if you miss a week, you can still check out the song because it’s archived on the site.  Neither of those things would have been possible in the original incarnation using a telephone and answering machine.  Yay, technology!

Even if you think TMBG aren’t your cup of tea, you should give Dial-A-Song a try.  Who knows?  You might become one of us.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Head Hurts

Posted by purplemary54 on February 10, 2015

Know what’s worse than a sinus headache?  Yeah, me neither.  While I don’t quite feel like I’m being stabbed in the eyes with icepicks while having my face pressed into a brick wall (trust me, I’ve been there), it still kind of sucks right now.  This probably borders on TMI, but using saline nasal spray generally keeps sinus headaches away.  I just haven’t been using it enough lately.  And when I have a sinus headache–or any kind of headache, really–I don’t like listening to music.  Or anything else.  So here’s some nice, soothing, quiet Brian Eno music; it’s about all I can handle right now.

Of course, it helps that Eno’s music is really awesome, too.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Death

Posted by purplemary54 on February 9, 2015

Back in the early 70s, Detroit spawned a band called Death that was sadly overlooked by the mainstream and virtually forgotten.  Death was interesting because it was made up of young black men playing Rock music–which for whatever reason is not something that happens very often.  (I could get into some kind of analysis of culture, race, and genre, but frankly, I think it would get too complicated for me to handle articulately.) By most standards, that should’ve been the end of the story.

I first heard of Death when a documentary about the band was released in 2012.  The story of the Hackney brothers and their proto-Punk band sounded intriguing, as did the story of their resurrection.  But life intervened, and I didn’t get around to seeing the movie or listening to the music.  Honestly, I kind of forgot about Death.  (Note: I still haven’t watched the movie, but now that I know where to find it, I probably will.)

Dangerous Minds reminded me today with a post announcing that Death will be releasing new music for the first time in forty years.  The new song embedded in that post is terrific, so I decided to check out iTunes to see if there was anything else officially released by these talented guys.  Imagine my surprise when there was a seven song EP (I guess that’s how it should be classified) available for purchase. I came, I sampled, I downloaded.  To expose myself as hopelessly dated and unhip, this shit’s da bomb.

YouTube has the whole recording, . . . For the Whole World to See, posted, but I’m only linking to one song to encourage everyone to pony up the less than seven dollars it will take to buy this puppy on iTunes (prices are probably comparable anywhere else it’s available.  This music is so good I can’t believe I went this long without hearing it.  You shouldn’t wait any longer either.

Posted in Music, Rock | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »