Monday, 4 April 2011

I'm the Duke of Earl? (BSDA #3)

I was listening today to my latest iTunes download, La Carotte Bleue by The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger, which is the project of John and Yoko sprog Sean Lennon and his girlfriend (don't worry, it's actually brilliant), and fulminating on what it was I liked about the band. Was it their slightly ridiculous hipster name, their sometimes French language lyrics (always a necessity for the higher echelons of pretension society), or the fact that at least 98% of the people I know won't have heard of them. In fact, it is option D - I love their sound, which is, it seems, simultaneously marijuana-fuelled aristocratic garden party and disturbing noirish horror flick, while at the same time is drenched in a foam of echoing vocals and soft organ (you'll never read this sentence again, you can be sure of that!), which, at the simplest level, I like.

The above paragraph oscillates tremendously, because I'm really a terrible writer, but I suppose the conclusion I'm trying to steer the semantic ship towards is that while I'm generally a fan of obscure music, it isn't that quality of such bands I like, rather their music - which is, it would seem, not always the case with some people. You must be aware of the guys who always drop the most unknown names into a conversation merely to seem better than you; against whom a brilliant tactic is to simply put together two random words and try to pass off the result as the latest undiscovered Belgian sensation.

What the hell am I talking about? This is what happens when you sit down to write a blog without a plan and just spew. Which is all the time.

Anyway, part two - in which I talk about the opposite to obscure hipster chic, the humble twelve-bar standard. So Hank Green recently made a video showing the waiting world how many different songs have been written around the so-called Ice Cream Changes, I-vi-IV-V, including Reel Big Fish's ska classic She Has A Girlfriend Now, the Police's stalker anthem Every Breath You Take and even Justin Bieber's Baby.

Delightfully, however, he started at the dawn of musical time with the Penguins and Dion & the Belmonts, and, a magnificent singer of whom I had never heard called Gene Chandler, whose lovely Duke of Earl is a beguiling satire on the interbreeding of the British aristocracy. (Late April fools... or something. It isn't, anyway; that was a poor joke, which is what you get when you write blogs after 11 in the evening. Soz.) So afterwards I had that song's refrain in my head ALL FREAKING DAY, after which it slightly started to lose its sparkle, I'll be honest.

There was a point to this blog, but it has temporarily escaped the author's mind. Something to do with the difference between obscure and well-known music and how it ultimately comes down not to the label you give a song, but to the musical quality it has of itself.

Yeah. Kinda got away from me.

Follow me please, or a thousand thousand slimy things will crawl upon the slimy sea. (Coleridge, now. Anyway now I'm off to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Who the hell do I think I am?) 

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