Author Topic: Stupid Questions  (Read 31197 times)

Talix

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #120 on: November 22, 2010, 04:53:04 PM »
Wow.  Tough.  Way to many extremes to cover.  Yes, Bruce or JCM, but I like the idea of including something that speaks to other experiences of the US.  Any song where a woman gets to talk about taking care of herself - Trisha Yearwood's "American Girl" comes to mind.  It's nowhere near my favorite of her stuff but it's got the killer couplet "Well, she's got her God and she's got good wine/Aretha Franklin and Patsy Cline."  And that reminds me of I think it's a Tim McGraw song about the contrast between Saturday night and Sunday morning.  No, I'm confusing his "Drugs or Jesus" with something else.

Then there's the whole "Strange Fruit" angle.  It hardly gets more USian than that.
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random axe

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #121 on: November 22, 2010, 04:56:43 PM »
Quote
Fairytale of New York

:hmm:

Someone told me that instead we should do a list of top songs about America (meaning the US, yeah) written by foreign bands.  First song suggested was "Breakfast in America", which, OK, I like the song, but it's not hugely about America.  I guess it's not that hugely about anything, but it's more about the girlfriend than anything else, I guess.  They also suggested "American Woman" and "Calling America".

I'd put "Fairytale of New York" near the top of that list.

Wikipedia tells me that the Venture Bros folks recorded a version in character as The Monarch and Dr Girlfriend a few years ago.  WAT / WANT.

Talix

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #122 on: November 22, 2010, 05:38:27 PM »
Reading the lyrics reminds me of Tom Waits...."Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis" is one of the Welder's favorite songs.
"If you need Grover to explain "under", you're not ready for Playboy."
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Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #123 on: November 22, 2010, 05:38:35 PM »
And Nat King Cole singing "The Christmas Song" - I know, I know, loathsome Xmas music, but he was awesome and makes the song something pretty cool rather than something plastic.
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mrcookieface

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #124 on: November 22, 2010, 10:38:17 PM »
I listened to Paul Simon's American Tune practically nonstop after Bush won his second term in 2004.

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it's all right, it's all right
for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong


Those lines resonated heavily with me.  Heck.  Come to think of it, I could fill up my top five solely with Paul Simon's work.  My Little Town is another gem.  And yeah, America, Homeward Bound, The Only Living Boy In New York, and Graceland aren't really about America, but they certainly draw cues from Americentrism.

Oh hey!  It just occurred to me.  You know what song really represents America well?  Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue.

stormneedle

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #125 on: November 22, 2010, 11:39:20 PM »
Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite
“I'm generalizing from one example here, but everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.”

mrcookieface

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #126 on: November 23, 2010, 12:54:10 AM »
Along those lines I could mention Aaron Copland's Fanfare For The Common Man or Rodeo (Beef: It's what's for dinner).

Those songs sound so American to me.  I'd also love to include some good jazz pieces that represent America since jazz itself is so uniquely American, but I'm drawing a blank right now.  Tal mentioned Strange Fruit, but does it represent this country as a whole, or just the particular incident of Smith's & Shipp's lynching in Redneck, Indiana?

As for pop songs about America written by foreign songwriters?  Hmmmm.... That's a good request.  The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is Bowie's I'm Afraid Of Americans.
 
:hmm:

Aha!  I've got it!  The late, great, Canadian, Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere.

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #127 on: November 23, 2010, 01:12:43 AM »
What, best song ever done by a foreigner about America? Done, I win.  ;)

(eta: also, best American song about America)

(I have all the Venture holiday songs too...here's the one in question: The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch)

« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 01:26:24 AM by First Post »

random axe

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #128 on: November 23, 2010, 08:41:35 AM »
Sweet!  I saw one season of Fry & Laurie on Bravo many years ago, and Netflix finally got the rest for Instant Play just recently.  So good.

I saw a bunch of lists that had the World Police theme song.  It's funny, but it can only go on certain people's lists.  A still catchy and bite-my-balls but more, uh, wordy version of the same idea can be found in the Damn Yankees song "Damn Yankees".  It's kind of like replacing Trey Parker with Ted Nugent.

A number of people recommended Green Day's "American Idiot".  That's one of those songs I know I've heard but that didn't make a big impression on me.


Cookieface, if you like Simon's "American Tune", I should mention that a couple of people nominated Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come", which is a good bookend for it.

vox8

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #129 on: November 23, 2010, 09:17:03 AM »
Those lines resonated heavily with me.  Heck.  Come to think of it, I could fill up my top five solely with Paul Simon's work.  My Little Town is another gem.  And yeah, America, Homeward Bound, The Only Living Boy In New York, and Graceland aren't really about America, but they certainly draw cues from Americentrism.

Paul Simon might be my all time favorite musician. I got to see the Rhythm of the Saints tour in St. Louis and Rog took me to see the S&G reunion tour here in Atlanta.

He is a genius and his music moves me like no other. America is heart-wrenching and Homeward Bound always makes me tear up.

"Kathy I'm lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping. I'm empty and I'm aching and I don't know why. Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, they've all come to look for America."

Funny thing though, he wrote Homeward Bound while living and performing in England.
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Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #130 on: November 23, 2010, 09:37:43 AM »
Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite

OOOH, this.

Appalachian Spring (duh) ;)
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

pdrake

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #131 on: November 23, 2010, 02:42:33 PM »
ray charles, america the beatiful

or

canyonero
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Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #132 on: November 23, 2010, 02:44:29 PM »
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

mrcookieface

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #133 on: November 23, 2010, 06:24:32 PM »
A Change Is Gonna Come!  Can't believe I overlooked that one, axe.  I'm a huge Cooke fan too.

God, that song tugs at my heart like few others.

mrcookieface

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Re: Stupid Questions
« Reply #134 on: November 24, 2010, 10:18:52 PM »
My head is still loosely wrapped around this.

By chance, I sat down at the piano tonight and learned the chords to Neil Diamond's Shilo.  What fun!  There's only three chords to the entire song!  C F & G if you're interested, and that G is just to finish off the chorus.  You don't even need it for the verses.

It's quite a contrast from Paul Simon's American Tune.  Simon's songs sound deceptively easy, but he throws all kinds of crazy chords in his songs.  That's what makes him so great.  They're augmented, diminished, suspended.... Fuck that guy for making it so difficult.  You know, Johnny Marr of The Smiths pulls the same impossible tricks.  "Unnecessary notes" – like that scene in the movie Amadeus where Jeffrey Jones chastises Tom Hulce for playing too many notes for the royal ear.  But fuck Jeffrey Jones in the ear.  He's a pedophile.

Anyway, back to Neil Diamond.  America from The Jazz Singer on Soundcloud, and available for download.  How perfect it was released in 1980, just as the Reagan years kicked in, huh?