Friday 3 June 2016

Everything will turn out alright...

Earworms of the Week

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Shall we get back on the horse?

Maria” / “Tide is High”– Blondie

It seems hard to believe that “Maria” was released as long ago as 1999 as Blondie’s comeback single. It’s alright, I suppose… I suspect that some people are snooty about it partly because their image of Debbie Harry is locked at 1979 and they weren’t fully prepared for the 1999 version… but it’s when you listen to some vintage era Blondie that you really start to understand the difference. Nobody really wants someone shrilly shrieking “MARIA. YOU’VE GOT TO SEE HER” at them, do they? Give me gentle cod-reggae any day of the week.

Come What May” – Moulin Rouge OST
"Wild Horses" - The Rolling Stones
"Happy Together" - The Turtles
"Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane
River of Dreams” – Billy Joel

Every single one of these is a song in the summer season at my choir. We’re about halfway through the season now, and as a result I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to the MP3s of my rehearsal tracks in an attempt to get my part into my head and not just the melody lines. As a result, when a song starts playing in my head, the chances are that it’s one of these. They’re mostly pretty fun to sing, although I don’t get a great deal to do in “Wild Horses” and find the lyrics distractingly bad to even consider the idea that it might be a beautiful song (“let’s do some living after we die”? You what?). I’d quite like to be listening to something else though. As I definitely can’t do the big concert this summer (I’m doing a 24 hour race), I’m thinking I might actually treat this as a bit of an off-season, and just sing at the rehearsals for fun and not lose too much sleep about it. We haven’t really had a proper break since last summer, so I could do with giving it a bit of a break and to come back refreshed for the Christmas season in the autumn.

"Nightrain" - Guns n'Roses
"Touch too Much" - AC/DC

I had tickets to see AC/DC at the Olympic Stadium this weekend. We had a small window of opportunity to get a refund when we heard that Axl Rose would be the singer… and I’m afraid to say we took it. I’m a massive fan of classic guns n’roses and AC/DC are on my list of bands that I’d really love to see... but it’s an awfully long way to go to put up with his shit, and it just wouldn’t be the same anyway. Shame. Do you reckon he can pull off lyrics as brilliantly stupid as “she had the body of Venus with arms”? Probably. (Here's the Axl version. Not for me, Clive...)

"Words" - The BeeGees

I never seem to be too far away from a falsetto this week. I very much enjoyed Matt Jardine’s as part of Brian Wilson’s backing band, but for some reason that I don’t fully understand, my brain seems to enjoy Lion-O from the BeeGees’ voice too.

"Dosed" - Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Although still very much a going concern (at least as a touring band), for me the RHCP peaked with this album (“By The Way”). I suppose I’m very much a John Frusciante man, given that I initially climbed on-board with “Mother’s Milk” and lost interest at about the same time as he finally left the band. I love “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, but it’s on this album where the band’s harmonies just lifted them up to another level – about a million miles away from the lumpen funk-cock-jock-rock of “Special Secret Song Inside”. This song is probably my favourite, and although I’m a bass and much more in a Johnny Cash kind of a register, I can’t help but reach for those high notes in the chorus. They were never this good again.

"Blame it on the Boogie" - The Jacksons

Another pretty high set of singing voices. Something of a surprise to me as I’m not an especially big fan of disco and haven’t actually heard this song in years. I think it’s Ted Cruz’s fault.

"Tennessee Stud" - Johnny Cash

Amidst all these falsettos, it’s nice to hear a man with a voice in the perfect range, isn’t it? It’s all about the bass.

Don’t Worry Baby” – The Beach Boys

Yeah, so it’s another falsetto, and I’ve probably banged on about this stuff enough this week, but some of Brian Wilson’s songs are just achingly beautiful. I’ve not really paid this one all that much attention over the years, preferring to focus on some of the more obvious songs in his canon…. But on Wednesday night, this just sounded divine. Hats off to Matt Jardine to have the voice to be able to pull it off… but he NAILED IT. Lovely. [there's a version of him doing it here]

That’s your lot. Have a great weekend, y’all and see you on the other side. Sometimes the shorter weeks are the hardest, aren’t they?

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