Tuesday, June 30, 2015

music music # 10

The torrent resumeth -

ThusSpakeSomerville  suggests

Michael Smalle  deposits a large amount

Always meant to "do" L. Cohen, but never really have, despite swooning to his songs on McCabe and Mrs Miller

Ah, Larry...  He'll be returning in due course with one of his later bands.

Shout going out to Andrew Mueller.

"Apparently about Boy George" says Michael

Always forget how great Pere Ubu are - what a fantastic piece of music

Douglas Keeley   bringing some unusual nominations

About which Doug comments: "In that clip I can't help but think that he looks a little bit like Josh Homme?  Back in the mid 90's Jarvis Cocker was presented with an award (perhaps the Mercury Music prize?) and his entire acceptance speech consisted of the lyrics of this song (make of that what you will!!!!)"

Doug: "I went for this version which is like something from "Godspell" (remember that film from 1973?) rather than the Kiss version.  A stadium singalong with some nice "noodley" prog elements....but oh so cheesy!"

"Made after his LSD enlightenment/breakdown in the mid 1960's.  He doesn't write about music in general terms like the other two - just his own music ('Brand New Cadillac' etc) and I find the backing track genuinely unsettling and creepy."

Wow that is weird....

Ed Torpey pops by again, proffering this good 'un

James Parker points to an essay he and a Tiny Mix Tapes colleague wrote about self-reflexivity in pop and nonpop, which they argue represents a conceptual turn.  James says "this  meta-thing has obviously always been around [but] it's gone into overdrive in recent years. Almost to the point that, as a conceptual strategy, it has come to define the contemporary moment. In other words, the argument chimes quite strongly with some of what you say in Retromania, but with a more optimistic a spin."
Fascinating read - and as James says there are lot more contemporary examples of self-reflexive music posted to illustrate that essay than have appeared in this collective blog series, so far

That said, I'm not sure self-reflexivity per se is the main thing I'm pursuing here with my own posts - more like songs that proffer some sort of wisdom - or at least thoughts - concerning the nature of music and the role it plays in anyone's life... the power and the mystery. Vernacular philosophizin’ about music - giving praise to music - love songs to songs.  
But certainly pop's persistent compulsion to refer to itself is most interesting. It runs all the way through the music  -  things like ‘Rock and Roll Will Stand’ were recorded when rock’n’roll was barely out of diapers.

Then you get your sort of genre-patriotism songs, your national anthems for the jungle nation, the garage nation, the heavy metal people, and so forth.   Hip hop, with things like Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray". Reggae - innumerable examples.  This literally seems to come with the territory, in so far as they are the byproduct of  territorialisation, in the Deleuze/Guattari sense. As soon as there’s an us versus not-us dynamic, you get the reflexive anthems.

I don't get the sense it's quite the same with pre-rock'n'roll genres of popular music, although obviously you have your "There's No Business Like Show Business" type songs, your "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" numbers... 

CJ comes again with a few more goodies

I think there must be more from Pavement that fit this category - what with them being a bunch of former record store clerks.

Love that song - might be my favorite thing by him, still. 

In some ways, quite a silly band, The Clash. 

Kevin Quinn back again with some more 

At the Boogaloo launch in London for Rip It up ten years ago (goodness me, is it really ten years?) I started by saying that postpunk was like a gigantic answer record to "It's Only Rock and Roll", saying "no it isn't... this music can contain Dada and disco and Futurism and free jazz and Suprematism and noise and changing the world and dub and Situationism and musique concrete and a thousand other things". However later I wondered if perhaps I hadn't misunderstood what "It's Only Rock and Roll" was about...   What is it about, anyone?

Ah, postpunk's great foe!  The butt of its abuse, I mean. I'm sure Chuck Berry didn't give a toss about Wire and Cabaret Voltaire's calls for the de-Berryfication of rock. 

One of the greatest things to watch is Chuck Berry bossing Keith Richards around in the rehearsals for some kind of rock superstars gathering round to celebrate the godfather of r'n'r type anniversary concert... making him replay the riff until he gets the twangy little whammy bar flourish exactly to his liking...  Keef visibly fuming but keeping his trap shut.

Kev fingers this as "one of the many sites of plunder for Ronson's Uptown Funk"

I am of the opinion that 1999 is a really poor album. 

Keith McDougall offers

Completely forgot about the existence of this one. Back in the day it spurred some fun posts about the concept of "Alt-Rock Slow Jamz"

And a bunch from meta-man Jeffery Lewis

Out in the parish: Cardrossmaniac2 again, twice

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hauntology Parish Newsletter June-July - Xylitol, A Year In The Country, Walberswick, Ghost Box

"sketches, fragments, half-finished instrumentals: 2005 - 2015" - glorious stuff from Xylitol, drifting between radiophonia, sinogrime, that recent (also glorious) Aphex-dump, Req, and the peripheries of this parish (Mordant in library mode, early Woebot, etc)

I don't know if Xylitol recognises the H-word but he did put out a tune called "Ghost Office", which made me titter


Behold, a new release from A Year In The Country

In Every Mind - Transmission Resonances: Volume 1.

"In Every Mind is released as part of the A Year In The Country project, which began as a year long journey through and searching for an expression of an underlying unsettledness to the English bucolic countryside dream; an exploration of an otherly pastoralism, the patterns beneath the plough, pylons and amongst the edgelands… a wandering through the further flung reaches of work with its roots in folkloric concerns and what has been labelled hauntological culture... and which has now begun to wander pathways anew...

"A fractured otherly pastoral audiologica dream via the reverberations and signals of transmissions gone by...

In contrast to the telling of tales from the wald/wild wood in times gone by, today the stories that have become our cultural folklore we discover, treasure, pass down, are often those that are transmitted into the world via the airwaves, the (once) cathode ray machine in the corner of the room, the zeros and ones that flitter around the world and the flickers of (once) celluloid tales.

They take root in our minds and imagination via the darkened rooms of modern-day reverie, partaken of in communal or solitary seance.

The Transmission Resonances volumes of audiological constructs will take as their wellspring such stories; focusing on those tales that continue to resonate over time, which have gained layers of meaning as the years have passed, that express and/or explore some sense of otherly pastoralism and which skirt the edgelands.

From that first fount, the plan is for these volumes to wander through their own particular journey, pushing aside the brambles and travelling the pathways that they will; to consider the stories of the patterns beneath the plough and the pylons across the land.

In Every Mind: Transmission Resonances: Volume 1 has as its wellhead the continuing reverberations of the 1969 cathode ray version of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

It pushes open the attic door from whence the scratching descends and travels to places that surprised, and intrigued our good selves when it was being shaped on our own particular audiological potters wheels; creating its own particular form of fractured albionic audiologica.

This is the first release constructed solely by A Year In The Country.

The album is available in two different hand-crafted editions - Night and Dawn  versions - printed using archival Giclée pigment inks; presenting  and  encasing their journey in amongst tinderboxes, string bound booklets and accompanying ephemera."

hear here


Jon Brooks recently put out a superb record on More Than Human - Walberswick  - in more ambient-eerie mode than library-wistful -  all done on the Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box apparently -  the vinyl sold out now but I heard there was going to be a repress - there was also supposed to be a digital download version becoming available in June but it has yet to materialise

read the Quietus review by Bob Cluness


Finally, exciting news - coming in the autumn - Ghost Box celebrate their tenth anniversary with a double-LP / double-CD compilation In a moment... Ghost Box - it contains  "thirty especially remastered tracks that we think are the highlights of the label's output so far" + extensive liner notes

In the meantime, to tide us over - there's this split 7 inch "Machines Are Obsolute" b/w "Pathways" by Pye Corner Audio and Belbury Poly, in Ghost Box's Other Voices series: 

Which Cardrossmaniac2 reviews thus

A-Side: "Easy listening dystopian sounds. 80s attempts at futuristic soundtracks."*

B-Side: "Future Sailor but not as good like Howard Moon has found the new sound but no he hasn't it's just an old one. It sounds like every single song from 1983!"

Friday, June 26, 2015


Thursday, June 25, 2015

music music # 9

Songs about rhythm...

Not really about musical rhythm per se - but rhythm as a mystic-materialist principle pervading everything at every scale.  Riddim runnin' tings - all tings.

In that sense, not music-about-music but music-about-reality-(and-reality-as-fundamentally-musical)

Got into all of that in Rip It Up, but I didn't go on nearly as much as I should about what an amazing piece of music "In The Beginning There Was Rhythm" is - what the guitar and the bass in particular are doing. And Ari's vocal (inspired by hearing the early rap records). The total effect is disjointed but On the One.

Again, not just music under discussion here. Like "In the Beginning", a cosmological statement, but less of a celebration - fatalistic. (A sister-song perhaps to Siouxsie's "Circle", about cycles natural and abusive - "the circle has an empty sound").

The full album  of Slave To The Rhythm - whizz ahead to 20.36 for some mad mouth-music - Grace concrete.

The Ian McShane "annihilating rhythm" bit crops up sampled in many a house record over the years, but check out this sample of GJ from that mad-concrete track on Slave

The same era of junglizm produced this rhythm song...

And also this one - "rhythm" isn't in the title but it is in the sample lick

Many many more rhythm candidates I'm sure -  but I'm gonna wind it up with this one....

Now that one, that's not about music at all.

.... Ian Dury does have a bunch of music-music candidates, though -  I'll be coming back to them later...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

music music # 8

Just a couple from Ariel P's meta-pop collection

(and both from the same album)

The first is a hymn...  a cosmology....  a  mission statement, even, in its gentle, floppy way

The second is a musician talking about music-making, a song about the moment just before setting out to write a  song...

"Hardcore Pops Are Fun"

Pop music is free
For you and me
Pop music's your wife
Have it for life

Pop music is fun
Just like chewing gum
Pop music is good
It sounds like it should

Pop music is wine
It tastes so divine
Pop music's a bird
It goes with the herd

Pop music's a fan
A fan to a fire
Pop music's for you

I'm at the point
Where I can kiss the harmony
'Cause you know it's a thrill
When you go in for the kill
Hardcore pop, your pills are popped

Pop music makes you wanna
Go and do your thing
'Cause your body is a dance
Built to end, not to last
Hardcore pop is fast
Just like your life

Pop makes it seem so easy
Any sound will do
'Cause it's true, you're alive
Like a bird in the sky
If hardcore pop is dyin'
Then I'll be fine

There I go again
Can't help myself

"Interesting Results"

Will I write a song you love today?
There's no way to tell and who cares
Well, I don't, thank the lord
That my standards for success are so low

Every time I pick up the pen I get interesting results
Every time I sit down and I try I get interesting results
At least interesting results

Will I write a song I like today?
Decidedly no, there's no way but okay
I guess I'll just go sing
What's on my mind

Every time I pick up the pen I get interesting results
Every time I sit down and I try I get extraterrestrial results
I get these interesting results

I'm not gonna try
I'm not gonna try anymore
This is not tryin'
This is not tryin'

No, I'm not gonna try
I'm not gonna try anymore
I'm not gonna try
I'm not gonna try anymore
I'm not gonna try
I'm not gonna try anymore

It may not be much but let's see you try

Monday, June 22, 2015

music music # 7

And they keep coming... 

Anwen Crawford drops by again to inform in re.  what the Manics were on about in "Motown Junk"

"MSP always claimed they were railing against Wet Wet Wet/George Michael style blue-eyed soul/80s AOR in 'Motown Junk'… not Motown per se. Much the same stuff that Morrissey was complaining about on 'Panic', in other words…"

She also nominates The Smiths "Rubber Ring" which I also had on my list  - a song about the song as lifesaver -  the singer as surrogate friend, companion, rescuer -  playfully (but also deadly seriously) beseeching his own fans not to forget the singer or his songs 

Michaelangelo Matos drops science about The Four Tops's "It's The Same Old Song" and whether it's an answer-back to the critics:  

"It's not a riposte, it's an admission--nearly a boast! It's the follow-up to "I Can't Help Myself," and a note-for-note ripoff, which the lyrics acknowledge upfront. The reason? When "I Can't Help Myself" hit big, Columbia Records announced it was going to reissue its only Four Tops single ("Ain't That Love") from 1960 to cash in, so Holland-Dozier-Holland were instructed, Get a followup out now. Engineer Bob Dennis, in the liner notes of The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 5: 1965: "With the Top standing by, they wrote [the words to] 'It's the Same Old Song' on the spot." They rush-released the single to undercut Columbia--and then cut ties with the latter's pressing plant, which they'd been using since 1960."

Matos also nominates The O'Jays "I Love Music"  

Keith McDougall brings a lot

Love it

Like it

Not one of their best  

Never been able to get into the first Clash LP

(For me The Clash get going - words and music wise - with "Complete Control" and "White Man In Hammersmith Palais" (also both songs about music / music biz, as earlier discussed). Then go right off the boil with Give Em Enough Rope. Then heat up a little (to lukewarm) with London Calling. Then heat up slightly more (tepid plus) with Sandinista. Then hot up a fair bit more with Combat Rock ("Rock The Casbah" is also about music, as is "Overpowered By Funk" I assume). Hmmm, seems like I don't rate the Clash much at all.) 

Back to Keith's list - he has five for The Fall  ("Music Scene, It's the New Thing, Session Musician, I Am Damo Suzuki, probably heaps more")  but let's go with this one - 


Love it, although more conceptually-historically than grime-as-grime, tune-as-tune - although it's good. 

LUVVIT TO THE BONE, THE MARROW. Well, of course, I do, I posted the YouTube clip, didn't it? This is the vastly superior mix to the ones posted by others, which is why I had to put it up there.


LOVE IT. Fantastic lyrics. 


That sample is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, isn't it?


And a happy birthday to Green, three days after my own, oddly enough. Would you believe he has just turned sixty? We were listening to "Petrococadollar" in the car on a trip over the weekend, and it occurred to me that next year it will be ten years since White Bread Black Beer. You are keeping us waiting, Mr Gartside.

Much of the Scritsongbook could fit under the metapop heading... 

A joint suggestion from Andrew Parker and Diego Poletti (and one that Green would cosign I'm sure)

Great Wyatt-y Mouth Music on both of these versions...

Diego also suggests "O Caroline"  ....

...and an Italian counterpart to - "or the reverse shot" - to "Signed Curtain", by Lucio Battisti

Stanley Whyte offers a good one I had forgotten, and one I had not heard of: 

(Oh yes and Mr. Whyte also suggested "Put A Donk On It"...  )

CJ pops by again to make the observation that "Ariel Pink looks a lot like Kurt Cobain (hair, jawline, high cheekbones, eyes"

And from the wider parish  - 

David Pascoe with "Don't Want To Be Grant McLennan"

Cardrossmaniac 2 with The Sports "Who Listens To The Radio", Joan Jett "I Love Rock'n'Roll" and a tribute to Opal (sorry about the dog and the credit cards, man).

And Aaron from Airport At The Trees with some more suggestions, including a "Music Is The Key" that reminded me of another "Music Is The Key" by one of my favorite groups ever. Unfortunately it's my least favorite track by them -  and only marginally more tolerable as an Omni Trio remix. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

music music # 6

The torrent continues..

Anwen Crawford suggests one of Manic Street Preachers's many songs about music (which also include, she says a whole "subset of songs about themselves as a band -- this started early with songs like 'You Love Us'," but "post-Richey Edwards there's a whole slew of mournful lyrics about how much they miss him, the follies of youth") 

As with so many Manics songs, I have no idea what they are on about - why are they railing against Motown? Are they railing against Motown?

(I really think they are quite frightful as lyricists, which makes it all the more puzzling why so many literati-type music fans are obsessed with them).

Neil Kulkarni says his favorite meta-music song is by Creedence Clearwater Revival -

Andrew Briggs  drops a load 

Strikes me as one of Ray Davies's more petty swipes, that one - perhaps there's some justifying back story, a run-in with some jaded faded pro who mocked their lack o' chops, but yeah...

Probably my least fave song on my favorite album by them, one of my favorite albums ever... remember being taken somewhere on first hearing Younger in 1983 (Micalef's copy)... could not believe something like "Everybody's Been Burned" could exist, could be so wise... still think "Mind Gardens" is incredible, the one everybody seems to regard as a period-piece embarrassment... my recent favorite on it is this one which has nothing to do with meta music, but let's have it

But yeah "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" - bit smug, isn't it? Bit superior....

One more from Mr Briggs 

Crowleyhead of Dissensus proffers this - 

Ooh it's got my man Don Blackman on it, lovely... 

Dario Stajic with some dance-ish ones

There are a few other "Music Is My Life" type songs in the dance zone... this is the one that springs immediately and most fondly to my mind, although the phrase occurs in the vocal lick, not the title 

Ooh gosh

Kevin Quinn (again!)

Kev says this is a riposte to critics who accused them of releasing samey material as singles...

This made me wonder if the Four Tops could really have critics.... what would they say? "Yo, guys - that last single was only exactly as immaculately sublime as the previous six... Cut it out"...

Still he might be right...  in the same way that I and others took The Smiths "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before" as Morrissey playfully taunting critics and foes who accused him of retierating the same old misery-me moan-stance over and over again, song after song....  It might well be doing that, on the titular level, but if you listen to the lyric they relate some oblique tale of interpersonal something or other...

Likewise that Four Tops tune, internally, is a love song that makes sense but yeah, the title maybe has this rejoinder aspect...

I could look it up on the Internet to find the truth but I can't be bothered.

And finally the return of CJ - getting greedy

That one was on my list.

That one was not.

See also "Radio Unit Shifter" or whatever it was called... and quite a few others, probably

On my list, also.

Reminds me to post Dobie Gray's "Out On The Floor" - which isn't only about music, it's also about girls that are out of sight ("and I am approving"), and sharp suits and shiny shoes, and possibly pills of one kind of another... but music is the core of the floor, the pretext, the enabler.  

Also on my list ...  And there'll be more from Ariel P, meta-musician par excellence, in a post or two. 

Connected in any way, shape or form to this book?

Whose author also created this piece of music-not-about-music... 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

music music # 5

Daniel Barrow at A Scarlet Tracery points out a good one:

Although... I reckon it's much more a song about a drug than a song about music -  pretty certain the  "you" that improves music is not a person but a pill...  MDMA... perhaps even those delicious Mitshubishis around at the time

1 hour loop version!

As DB observes, DP's entire body of work contains a thick seam of dance-about-dance.

Well, Random Access Memories, regardless of what specific songs on it concern, is - on the macro level - framing concept, interviews, the Grand Statement / Throwdown /Polemic of how it was produced and the restraints embraced   -   entirely about music: bringing life back to music, remembering the future-past / past-future of music (in the genre-inventing aubiography-disco of "Giorgio By Moroder"), losing yourself to dance, etc

But this here is my favorite out of all of Daft Punk's  meta-matter, and it happens to have the most on-the-nose title too!

Now, regarding other candidates that simply have the word "Music" in the title and nothing else, let me advise that -

Madonna will be denied admission

But Bukem

For Bukem, I might just build a throne...

Back to Daft Punk and music-reflexivity, here's their private pantheon tribute track, showing how the RAM-like meta tendencies were there right from the start -

Not nearly as good as LFO's equivalent, though

Monday, June 15, 2015

music music # 4

A swelling tide of suggestions from the parish...

James Stamos pinpoints a sub-category of songs not so much  about Music as about musicians - specific bands or artists. 

plus a sub-sub-category of self-reflexive songs - musicians singing about themselves

I thought of a few songs-about-other-bands, one of which I like very much and the other not much at all (have a guess...)
Then there's this which is a whole other kettle of five-eyed mutant fish

James has one more general suggestion 

Enda Connaughton points to a swathe of indie-rock meta

I'm sure there must be candidates here from Urge Overkill and Teenage Fanclub (this one below isn't quite it) (although in a certain meta-meta-sense, all TFC songs of that era are "about" Alex Chilton aren't they?)

Enda also proffers

and Todd Rundgren's "Death of Rock and Roll" which isn't on YouTube. 

Kevin Quinn pops up again: 

Marc Goodman brings a bunch - including a couple with "thematically matching videos" 

Must confess that while generally a big fan of Saint Etienne I found Words and Music a bit....cloying, especially the opening track, with its settled version of acceptable pop history ("Dexy's ... New Order... anything Postcard" ), nothing too excessive or gauche or vulgarly rocking...  no Goth or metal

Marc also mentions

A great choice -  meta-music with edge and a point - the most interesting song about White projections towards / misrecognitions of Black Music ever  - as well as being about a lot of other things beside...

And also 

Another great choice, this time in the songs about the music industry subcategory -  The Clash's  "E.M.I.", their "Working For M.C.A." - but better than either

Prefer the studio version though- Lee P at the controls

One of the most purely powerful rock songs ever  - which says something for the power of Spirit and Will, given how clumsy and untogether the Clash were as musicians (see the live version above)

Meanwhile out in the parish itself, Phil Knight posted an interesting choice  at The Phil Zone, while Aaron at Airport Through The Trees came again with some postdisco candidates.

More to come soon...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

music music # 3

A flurry of suggestions from parish elders and youngsters alike -

CJ, sticking with the songs about the music biz as opposed to songs about music sub-category, proposes:

I was really struck when reviewing a Lynyrd Skynyrd box set  that three years before the Sex Pistols's did "E.M.I." , the Southron boys had recorded a song jibing at their own record company.

CJ also proposes "Punky Reggae Party"

Stanley Whyte suggests these four

Always thought that the Chills one wasn't....  really....  quite....  heavenly enough.... (They've done heavenly-er songs). And then there's the hubris move of putting "hit" in your song title when the chances are that it won't be - ballsy, or foolhardy, who's to say?

"Heavenly Pop Hit" did remind me though of one of my own fave meta-pop songs that also includes the word "heaven" but even more rashly and hubristic-ly includes the word "Number One":

That one does really sound heavenly, to my ears, but is stained somewhat by the humiliation of only having got to Number 14 in the U.K. charts.   

The longer version (LP and 12 inch) is sublimer still  - the intro section surely an influence on The Associates's "Party Fears Two"?

Talking about heaven, this gorgeous garage classic - a foundational anthem for UKG - celebrates  the spiritual power of music via the archangel and his horn.

(Well, of course, the most exciting bit in "Number One Song In Heaven" - the acid-house-a-decade ahead-of-schedule breakdown - is preceded by Russell shrieking: "Gabriel plays it, God how he plays it/ Gabriel plays it,  let's hear him play it")

Which connects - gospel to garage via disco and house - to the final guest suggestion:

MM  nominates "It's All Right" by The Pet Shops Boys.

I actually reviewed  Introspective and for a moment almost saw the point of the PSB.  

"It's All Right" is a cover version, of course: 

(Paris Brightledge, what a name!) (Sterling Void, what a fantastic name!!)

Actually that's not the final guest suggestion, because MM also nominates- 

Stop press: Aaron at Airport Through The Trees with a couple of suggestions, including one I'm kicking myself about, because it is pretty much my favorite song-about-music - Sister Sledge's "Lost In Music."

We're lost in music
Caught in a trap
No turning back
We're lost in music

As per Wild Cherry above, Aaron is right to point out that with dance music - disco, funk, house etc - there's a lot of self-reflexive songs - it's music that's about itself most of the time: its own functionality, the behaviour it incites and that it is built for, the community and release it creates, etc etc. There's  too many candidates and I almost thought of excluding dance, rave etc from consideration for that reason.

Mind you, especially in the early days, there were a lot of rock'n'roll songs that simply announced the existence, power, and immortality of rock'n'roll.  But then that was when rock'n'roll itself was dance music.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

music music # 2

Suggestions from two parishioners -

Ed Torpey nominates

(One Brother recently died - Louis Johnson - see also Aaron Grossman's tribute to the late great bassman)

Ed also suggests this

Kevin Quinn proposes "Hit Factory / Business Is Business" by Godley & Creme, while conceding it's more about the industry of music than music-as-music (as saviour, haven, elevation, surrogate friend, reason to believe, reason to keep going, remedy for all that ails,  etc ). Indeed this falls into the category of anti-pop pop, the tradition of The Byrds's "So You Want To Be A Rock'n'Roll Star", Pink Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine" and "Have A Cigar", etc. As Kevin notes, it's about "the economic benefits of renovate/revive/repeat/release/reap the rewards...  the clanging music of the machines churning out product, the ennui-driven mantra of the drones at the plant."

Keep it simple
Keep it neat
Aim your hook
At the man in the street
Throw him the bones
But freeze the meat
`Cos the meat goes off
But the beat goes on
Business is business
Business is business
Business is business
And only the tough survive

Radio fallout
In an open prison
Jazz-based soul tinged
Watered down rhythm
Too many pretty sleeves
With Nothing in `em
Johnny be good or bad
But not indifferent
Hard-core bland-out
Stocking filler
Soft-sell overkill
Tee-shirts given
Everybody's wearing them
See you at the party tonight
Force fed
On half dead melodies
Dragged up from the archives
Playing on your sympathies
I'm being brain-washed
And don't know how to block it
`Cos something in the chorus
Burns a hole in my pocket
And I can't feel the pain
When my finger's in the socket
And only the numb survive
Only the numb survive
Only the numb survive

The Godley & Creme reminded me of two other pop-about-pop tunes by (over)producers and master confectioners, albeit in this case celebrations of pop:

"Silly Love Songs" actually starts with wheezing 'n' clanking sounds suggestive of the idea of manufacture, pop as assembly line...

Also, as I learned reading Aaron's post at Airport Through the Trees, the bass on "Silly Love Songs" is played by Louis Johnson....

Monday, June 08, 2015

music music

Hello friends

What are your favorite pieces of music about music? Songs about songs?

Here's two to start with.

"When I'm tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day"

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted it's really just
A question of your honesty, yeah, your honesty

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity, yeah

For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sound of salesmen
Of salesmen, of salesmen

Friday, June 05, 2015

Musique à bouche

musica bocca

mouth music (mournful)

sourced in an Alan Lomax field recording: “Untitled keen for a dead child”, sung in Irish Gaelic by Kitty Gallagher, recorded in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, in 1951

(via rockets and rayguns)

mouth music (wulu bunun)

mouth music ( + mallet + saw + grand piano)

Tuesday, June 02, 2015