Nothing much to say here, but check it out…
The Rolling Stones…
The original record just sounds great. Whatever you think of these guys, they could play rock n roll. Oh yes.
Rich Dishman told me about this video he found of a young Aretha Franklin. Wow.
OK – the music is just fine, but it’s the video concept here…
Watch the video. Uplifting. By filmaker Christian Letruria.
I found this video at the Daily Dish.
I’m a huge Police fan and a huge Elvis Costello fan, so imagine my joy when I belatedly ran across these two icons video intersection:
Oh, and what’s your favorite Police song???
Sorry, Elvis, the reharmonization doesn’t really work – kinda jumps the shark – but, I hasten to say, Elvis Costello’s Alison is just a fantastic song…lets see if I can find it…
The first time I heard this song was in the late 70s on the radio in Los Angeles, sung by Linda Ronstadt. I haven’t heard that cover for years and years, but with the magic of the internet: (don’t look at this video – just listen)
She basically just covers Elvis’ arrangement, with musicians who play in a style acceptable to the then current radio gods. But, in fairness to Linda Ronstadt, check this out:
Oh, the joys of YouTube. The above cover is a good example of the Southern California pop sound circa 1978. There was a true archetypal style by then. The backing band could have backed the Eagles or Jackson Brown, or any of a numbers of others. I like this sound. Did I say Eagles, circa 1978?
You know, I get carried away with this stuff. I really loved a lot of this late 20th Century rock/pop music. There was a real good run there. I don’t know where we are now. Records are no longer what they used to be. The old music business business model is a dinosaur. Yet music always finds a way. Like mathematics, music is always there on the cutting edge. It can’t help it. It’s just that the cutting edge is no longer to be found in record companies or on radio stations controlled by corporations.
The first explosion of culturally – mythically transformative music that makes its mark through the great mythical tubes of the internet – that’s when we’ll feel it again.
Janis Joplin sings Piece of My Heart…
And again, with slightly cleaner sound, in Germany:
What a song. (By the way, read this Wikipedia article about songwriter Bert Berns.) What a singer. What a singer for this song. Piece of My Heart was always my favorite of Janis Joplin’s recordings. She just takes this thing – of course I’m talking about the chorus – through the roof. And what is it about this chorus, anyway? Well, there’s a build up the the chorus that eventually grows on a dominant chord for a full three bars before breaking into “Come on – take another little piece of my heart”. (Oh yeah – about Bert Berns – he also wrote Twist and Shout, another pop song that sits on the V chord for a week before breaking into a I IV V chorus with great backing vocals…) The horn stabs on the back beats. The ascending backing vocals that lead up to Janis’ “Take another little piece…” Eventually it stops on the IV chord – “You know you’ve got it…” and then actually quiets down for the verses.
It’s always interesting for me to speculate on whether a song embodies some Platonic ideal – whether a perfectly realized arrangement and performance is implicit in a song. Something about the Janis Joplin/Big Brother and the Holding Company arrangement – just the vibe of the thing – is transcendent. The singer meets the song and magic happens.
It isn’t even about how it sounds – the above recordings leave a lot to be desired. It’s just that Janis Joplin hops on this thing and takes a ride.
God bless you, Janis.
By the way, here’s audio of the original release of Piece of My Heart, recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967. I’d like to see/hear Erma Franklin doing this one live.
(Again on Bert Berns – the Isley Brothers cut Twist and Shout first (oops, second – The Top Notes were first in 1961) – and yet it’s the Beatles version and John Lennon’s vocal that will forever be the recording.)
Oh man. It doesn’t get any better than this. Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder singing For Once In My Life. Together. What a great vibe. I mean – set aside the fact that these two men are great and influential vocal stylists – they just obviously really love and respect each other.
This makes the music really something special.
I found this video at The Daily Dish.
From The Daily Dish. This one is worth sharing, and very much cleverer than the average art school project…
By the way, the music, which I like even though techno pop is generally not my cup of tea, is by Royksopp. Here’s a link to the video page at their site.
So…I went and looked and listened around. Truly the video is more interesting than the music. In the Deadline piece, they at least had a harmonic change thrown in at one point. A lot of the music just repeats the same thing over and over and over…
There is a problem implicit in using too many primitive 21st century thinking machines while writing music. The music gets locked in as code in an embryonic 21st century computer, and never has a chance to self-organize in the mature technological environment of the human bio-computer – which, after all, has been evolving for thousands, nay – millions of generations (if you count apes and early mammals and reptiles and whatever else we’ve evolved from all the way back to the most primitive self-organized nervous systems…)
(Updated a couple of times 7.12.09)