Artists of 2012, listen up. Less is more. As this song (and even the video) illustrates, there’s something to be said for minimalism.
I personally love this video. But some people say that it borders on pretentious – as if the video is too artsy for its own good. And since LL Cool J takes himself a bit too seriously in this video, it is ripe for parody. The crew of Always Sunny in Philadelphia did a good parody, complete with Danny DeVito in a Kangol hat.
But, back to my original point – when you’re undertaking any kind of creative endeavor, less is usually more. The only exception I’ll make is for the B-52s. I kind of love that it looks like a box of crayons exploded in all of their videos.
From cantata BWV 140. Also known as Sleepers Wake.
Thank you, WFMT, for informing me that today is Bach’s birthday! WFMT (Chicago’s fine arts station) had an all-out Bachapalooza today, and I was reminded that it is possible to rock out to classical music.
Sometimes I’m not a huge fan of Bach… but then I remind myself that it’s not Bach that I dislike - it’s the harpsichord. Worst Baroque instrument EVER! But I am happy to report that this arrangement is harpsichord-free.
Speaking of arrangements – it’s amazing how the arrangement of a classical piece can totally change the feel of the music. Most of Bach’s music was not written with a full orchestra in mind. But I feel like this is the only way to really hear the music in its entirety. There are some versions of this piece that are only for the pipe organ or the acoustic guitar… but in my opinion, one instrument alone doesn’t do it justice.
Mark my words, people. This song is going to BLOW UP this summer. If you live in the Chicagoland area, you won’t be able to escape it. Yeah I know, Sufjan Stevens already has a song about Casimir Pulaski Day. But who are we kidding, this song is a thousand times better.
A few choice lyrics:
“This goes out to my people in Chicago, celebrating on the first Monday in March!”
“Damn, my government is shady”
“Pull out your grills, we got brats to cook”
I’m not much for indie music, but man this song is awesome. It’s so darn indie, I couldn’t even find a video on You Tube. Despite its indie status, I think it has popped up in a couple of movies at Sundance, and even.. *shudder*… a Tommy Hilfiger commercial.
But alas, no video. So you’ll just have to play the link below and create a music video in your own imagination.
Note: This is the ultimate song for any kind of nostalgic activity. Something about that line in the chorus… I’m just trying to get back home.
I love this song, okay? So sue me. True, it’s not Elton John’s greatest work. True, the place you’re most likely to hear it is in a dentist’s office. But I will forever associate it with one of my fondest childhood memories. When I was a kid, sometimes I got to tag along with my dad to a recording studio in Streeterville. The handful of times I got to go, I thought I was the luckiest kid in the world. It was downtown, it had a big leather couch, a pool table, and a freakin’ Game Boy. If that doesn’t meet the criteria for a 3rd-graders paradise, then I don’t know what does.
And sometimes after he was finished at the studio, we would go to a restaurant called The Moosehead. It was at Ontario and Fairbanks, across the street from Timothy O’Tooles. Moosehead has long since gone out of business, but I remember it vividly – we would always sit at the tables outside. (In retrospect, I suspect the inside was probably a smoky bar.) But the few times I did go inside, I specifically recall hearing this song play.
Thank you Derek, for reminding me that while I may have heard every U2 song ever made, other people haven’t. So as a U2 Evangelist, it is my duty to make sure the world knows about this song.
The story goes that Bono wrote this as the sun was rising on a night of partying way too hard. A great side note about this song - it was played almost every night during the Zoo TV tour in the early 90s, but hasn’t been played in it’s entirety since then. It has been locked up in the vault, along with Promenade, Red Hill Mining Town, and other gems.
I consider myself to be the leading expert on early ’90s alternative music… in my own particular zip code, at least. (My current zip code isn’t quite as trendy as the one I lived in last year, so it’s a bit more realistic for me to claim that title).
That being said, I am embarassed to admit that I forgot all about this song. Thanks for the reminder, Scott! Urge Overkill recently re-united and released a new album, but for now I’m enjoying the old tracks from Saturation. Something tells me they’d sound good on vinyl.
This song…. aside from rocking my socks off, is one of the earliest examples of sampling in alternative music. Or any genre, for that matter. Siouxsie Sioux rocks harder than any other female singer I can think of – so it’s no surprise that singers like Lady GaGa, Shirley Manson, and Karen O list her as an influence.
If you’re trying to kick your caffeine habit like I am, just play this song as you roll out of bed in the morning – it’s the musical equivalent of a Starbucks Red Eye.
Recorded live for the PBS series Soundstage in 2oo4. Originally released on Rumours in 1977.
Top 3 reasons why this particular performance blows me away:
1. There are some songs that just sound better live, and this is one of them. There’s certain soul to this performance that just isn’t there on the Rumours album.
2. Lindsey Buckingham plays this (and most) songs without a guitar pick. The fact that he played banjo before learning guitar results in an original fingerpicking style that you don’t see too often. One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac stories is that during the period when Buckingham left the band, they had to bring in two guitarists to replace him.
3. The chemistry between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham is… it’s just unavoidable. Whenever I watch them, I feel like I’m intruding on a personal moment. I mean seriously, do you see how intensely they stare at each other? It’s like the audience isn’t even there.
Side Note: This has nothing to do with the performance, but Stevie Nicks is ridiculously beautiful. This was filmed when she was fifty six. I honestly think she looks better now than she did in the ’70s and ’80s. Not being totally drugged out might have something to do with it.
Sometimes it takes a band like Billy Talent to knock me off my high horse. It hurts to admit this, but I have a tendency to dismiss songs or bands that don’t immediately sweep me off my feet. It’s a bad habit that I hoped would be broken by creating this website. And slowly but surely, it’s happening. Scott, thank you for being patient with me.
Lyrically articulate bands are few and far between, especially when you get into the post-punk/post-hardcore genres. But these guys prove that eloquent lyrics and hard rocking guitar aren’t mutually exclusive. Give Billy Talent a few re-plays and you’ll see what I mean.