Losing My Religion, Every Breath you Take

Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees

 

I wrote here, a few days ago, something about Every Breath you Take, from Police :

  • The strange lyrics of Police‘s Every Breath you Take, the story of a stalker after a break up. “Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.” – and not a gentle love song.

Tonight I just watched a documentary about Pixies, R.E.M. and Nirvana. I saw the clip of Losing my Religion, then discovered this on Wikipedia :

  • The phrase “losing my religion” is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one’s temper or civility, or “being at the end of one’s rope.” Stipe told The New York Times the song was about romantic expression. He told Q that “Losing My Religion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.” Stipe compared the song’s theme to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, saying, “It’s just a classic obsession pop song. I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.'”

 

Well, I suppose everybody remembers these two songs. In France, I admit both were hits, though we didn’t care that much about the lyrics. Though we felt that R.E.M.’s song and clip was, indeed, about a powerless obsession. The mandolin…

 

Yep, it’s a tool for my blog, a dial for creatives. Stipes says it perfectly :

I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’

It’s true I admire poets, photographers and musicians who are able to talk about subtle things “between words”. Words are simplifyiers, and it’s sometimes boring. They put life, and moving shades into immobile boxes.

We talk here about another thing. When words are “so” flat, grey, imprecise, that anyone will find what one wants. Haziness as a talent. The audience jumps into it. We apply it to our story…

Sting told the story of a stalker, but lovers love it, they play the song at weddings! Stipes sings about past pining, but never explains what it is about in the song. It’s like a tropism, a flake of feeling. One person is “losing religion” – and we all understand the frustration.

It’s like the “But I could be wrong” image. You don’t know the author, and why we see that picture, what does this mean. You raise an eyebrow in wonder. And YES, you could be wrong, dear!

 

Awweeee. Have a nice day…

 

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Life is bigger
It’s bigger
And you, you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream, try, cry, why, try
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
Dream

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“Sways & Totters” : Teetering Harmonies in Bear in Heaven

One motto of art is “What’s new here?”, right?

Therefore my inner dial is the “Eyebrow Criteria” – one has to move up.

Like : “What??!”

Thus today I gathered some sick pop songs.

 

If the verses sounds minimalistic plastic “I make you wait”, the choruses lift you up dangerously in uncertain harmonies. Don’t be sick.

 

This one is pleasantly teetering, right? Your ears warn your brain : there’s a mistake! There ARE mistakes! But… Errr… these ears of yours also say : I feel pleasure. Mmmh. Maybe. When it climbs?

 

I opened a community about dissonant pop in G+ :

https://plus.google.com/communities/115751320828152239563

 

 

 

 

Burst of Punk : Sex Pistols & The Clash

I continue watching a BBC documentary (BBC – Seven Ages of Rock), an episode about Punk Rock. They showed pretty well what was under it. The Ramones or Television as a source. A will against virtuosity and special effects. Raw rock energy, like a angrier faster sixties rock&roll.

Interviews of the guys and journalists of this era were pretty funny. I remember the leader of the Buzzcocks taling about this song “Boredom” and its guitar solo made of two stupid notes tatee-tatee in an endless boring loop…

Sex Pistols‘ slogan was “No Future”, and obviously it was the case. But how to get out of this crabs’ nest??

It led to this : No fun. Wikipedia tells it pretty well :

On 14 January 1978, during the tour’s final date in San Francisco, a disillusioned Rotten introduced the band’s encore saying, “You’ll get one number and one number only ’cause I’m a lazy bastard.” That one number was a Stooges cover, “No Fun”. At the end of the song, Rotten, kneeling on the stage, chanted an unambiguous declaration, “This is no fun. No fun. This is no fun—at all. No fun.” As the final cymbal crash died away, Rotten addressed the audience directly—”Ah-ha-ha. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night”—before throwing down his microphone and walking offstage. He later observed, “I felt cheated, and I wasn’t going on with it any longer; it was a ridiculous farce.

The band split, Sid Vicious died of overdose. No Future.

Another group (The Clash) used Punk energy and injected reggae or rockabilly in it. They became stars.

 

Tools :

It’s an interesting pattern, right? How do you use big thrust? Do you let it flow the fields? Do you let it burn itself in insanity? Do you channel it? Do you feed it with external elements? Like what? Curbing? Surprises? Taming?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : anapaula380

 

Modulating Solos : The Pat Metheny Swervy Syndrome

“To the end of the world” is a Pat Metheny track. It begins like some empty “jazzy elevator music”, then floats into a nonchalapleasant piano jazz, until (go to 6 or 7′) Metheny wakes up with a long modulating guitar solo :

 

There it is. It’s my point. I’m listening to this long solo full of swerves and stridence, and my brain is agitated in ambiguity.

  1. Half of it finds it really toomuchy, almost as if I was watching some indecency. I’m like : “OK dude, it’s cool. OK I like it. Good. Please stop now…”.
  2. The other half is amazed and mesmerized (oh, I love this word!), because of the modulations.

Wiki : In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another.

Well, you know, you feel the music climbing stairs…

Let’s call this ambiguity “The Pat Metheny Swervy Syndrome”. I like it so much. It’s a great skill for Röyksopp or Mike Oldfield, or Puccini. The syndrome is when it becomes a trick, a knack, when you wanna say “Hey! OK! I got it!”.

Stairs of synths is a Klaus Schulze common trick (he knows how to make you wait).

 

To show you it’s a knack, here’s a soloing guitar guy who is perpetually modulating. Well, he’s good, I suppose! I dislike this music/I love the way he changes colors (imagine this in a fast car). Yep :

 

You can study Miles Davis‘s career with this spot only. This great musician used this threadbare trick until he stopped it almost completely. Because it became, at one point, “harmonic virtuosity”, acrobatic modulations, crafty bends, speedy warps which, well, could make you forget the melody forwardness (sorry for my English). He went until he killed the idea of progression…

Well, that’s another story. But there’s a tool here : When do you go to good at something? How do you get out?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

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Funny Seeds & Distorted Dials in Pop or Metal Rock

There’s a series of DVD about history of rock (BBC – Seven Ages of Rock). Far from perfection (where are the girls?), but very fun to watch. Yesterday it was about Stadium Rock, with names like Dire Straits, Police, Bruce Springsteen, or Queen. This whole pack of DVDs is a source of seeds, ideas and paradoxes.

  • The misinterpretation of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born in the USA” (“a bitter commentary on the treatment of Vietnam veteran”), by politics who didn’t read the lyrics.
  • The paradox of “Money for nothing” (Dire Straits) (“from the point of view of two working-class men watching music videos”, seeing guys getting “money for nothing and chicks for free”), becoming a huge hit (thus big money) thanks to its… music video. “I want my MTV”.
  • The US disaster of “I want to break free”, from Queen. The clip (all of the band members in women’s clothes) was well accepted in the world, but not at all in the USA (MTV forbid the video), which did hurt the Queen live career there.
  • The strange lyrics of Police‘s Every Breath you Take, the story of a stalker after a break up. “Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.” – and not a gentle love song.

There are Wikipedia pages about all of them, if you want to go further, it’s very interesting!

 

The Metal Rock documentary sounded sometimes like some… history of arts!

As Wiki says : “Heavy metal is traditionally characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals”. So there. And within an hour you witness one interesting thing : how each group replaced the other one with “something new”. A strange interval in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”‘s intro. Faster beats. New looks (Judas Priest’s singer with hardcore metal/biker/S&M macho look). Changes in sound (trash metal). More precised built songs, with new producers… How many more levers?

In a way, it’s very satisfying to watch this little dial in every art, which becomes here a balance between :

  1. the audience needs to be a little surprised
  2. but not too much because it’s mainstream

(Oh! It’s called MAYA, remember? : Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable)

Judas Priest sold 50 millions albums, and Metallica 120 millions…

 

Seeds, tools, dials, levers. Paradoxes, misinterpretations, failure due to culture misreading, progress in art (which lever will you activate? Complexity? Surface? Strangeization?), and this one : what is needed to be able to please a stadium crowd? Quite surprising, right?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great sunday! Bon dimanche !

 

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Damn Lazy Rappers, an unexplored voice territory

So, yep, rap and rappers. It is what it is, and it’s, as usual, interesting to study the shades in the sound, the beat, the samples, lyrics and, well, voices.

Dark voices, fast flows, anger, laziness, there are plenty! Some voices are doubled, harmonized, etc. Each rapper, each group has its own thing, its style.

Good. But if you study this field a little longer, you also notice the narrowness of the territory. It’s always the saaaame…

I regret that, as the “flow” is THAT important in this area, the rivers of words are not more twisted, hurt, invented. They could increase force and tension by doing this. Rappers rap, but why don’t they bend over other styles, other ways of using human voice?

Here’s a lexical field :

  • Preacher
  • Incantations
  • Erratic
  • Muezzin
  • Idiot
  • Imprecation
  • Beat poetry
  • Gospel
  • Curse
  • Indian loops
  • Chant
  • Stravinsky irregular rhythm flow (cf the Rite)
  • Threnody
  • Silly monolog
  • Sprechgesang (cf Berg)
  • Speech
  • Walls of voices (cf Queen)
  • Faulknerian modulations
  • Elegy
  • Whispers weaving
  • Irregular
  • Vocodered yelling (cf Pinhas Houston 69)
  • Uncomfortable holes
  • Choking
  • Dark choir rap
  • Sporadic disappearance under musics
  • Dirge
  • Dissonances
  • Waltz
  • Melting sing & talk (write it on sheets)

 

Well : 1/ Invent more 2/ Prove me I’m wrong in the comments 3/ Combine two

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : mabelmorrison

 

 

#ECM, a music label – #Jazz

Wiki says : ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by Manfred Eicher in Munich in 1969. While ECM is best known for jazz music, the label has released a variety of recordings, and ECM’s artists often refuse to acknowledge boundaries between genres. ECM’s motto is “the Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence”.

If you don’t know this label (and if you’re an music explorer), it can keep you busy for a quiet evening. It’s interesting in many ways. Sophisticated jazz of course, but also minimalism, quiet worlds, inventions, disturbing surprises and splendid smokes, with a… you’ll see : ECM has a sound.

You can YouTube it. If you like to read, I suggest you Google “ECM Best Albums“. This page is great, for example :

https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/ecm-40-favourites/

In a way, it’s always interesting to READ about intelligent music, right?

Randomly found 9 sleeves for you.

 

Have a nice day!