Monday, May 16, 2011

Two Recent Song Purchases, Plus, Leaving on a Jetplane

As this post publishes, I'll be recovering from my flight to L.A. and preparing to board my plane to Sydney. If you check back here 15 hours later, I'll still be on that plane, a bit grumpier and with bigger feet. A reminder that my appearance schedule for Sydney and Melbourne is here.

In other news, those of you who receive my blog posts as e-mails may be wondering why you've been receiving so many random e-mails in the past few days. It turns out that Blogger has been having some hiccups and sneezes, but all should be well again now. My apologies!

So, the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" is about an asswipe with a sense of entitlement who sets a woman's room on fire with seemingly little provocation, but you might not notice that, since it's such a cheerful-sounding song, with a bouncy melody in a major key. :o) I enjoy the juxtaposition, not complaining, but one of the many things I love about the Aaron English Band's mashup of "Norwegian Wood" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" is that it's creepy. If this guy came into my room and started leering at my Norwegian wood, hell, forget the bath -- it'd be straight back out into the hallway for him. I LOVE the minor key setup with occasional flashes into the major key. I love Aaron English's eerie, beautiful vocal interpretation -- a series of great decisions for this song. (He is WAY too excited about the Norwegian wood, and listen (below) to the way he says, "biding my time, drinking her wine." *shudder*) I love the flute. I love that there are tiny little hints of "Kashmir" seeping in -- not the strange Kashmir-ish time signatures, but hints of the chord patterns. (What do I mean by that? I'm not sure how well I can explain it, but try this. First, listen to Thing 1: the guitar from 0:13- 0:22. Then, listen to Thing 2: the guitar chords from 4:11 - 4:27. Can you hear how Thing 1 hints at Thing 2? Imagine Thing 1 shifting a little bit, and breaking out of its cage. Mightn't it sound like Thing 2? If you can't hear it yet, try listening to Thing 2 first, then Thing 1. Thing 1 is from this band's version of "Norwegian Wood," and Thing 2 is immediately recognizable as "Kashmir" to anyone who knows the song. Also, the bass you can hear in the background starting at 0:23 (that's a bass, right? I don't really know my guitars) makes me think of Kashmir, but with descending notes instead of ascending. IMO, the entirety of this "Norwegian Wood" sounds like a song being played in anticipation of "Kashmir." While also sounding like "Norwegian Wood.")

The "Kashmir" part of the mashup, OTOH, seems to be pretty purely "Kashmir." I'm not catching any hints of "Norwegian Wood," though my ears could certainly be missing something. Actually, guaranteed, my ears are missing plenty things, but they're taking in enough to know that they love it. The lyrics of "Kashmir" are not my favorite (incomprehensible + cultural appropriation that makes me uncomfortable), but the music is AWESOME, of course, and the guitars have always struck me as A Reason to Learn Guitar. What a great couple of songs to put together! And thank you, Aaron English Band, for sharing the song on youtube and enabling embedding so that I can share it here. Readers, if you like it, do buy it!



My other recent song purchase is the motet "Ubi Caritas" by Paul Mealor. I purchased it from The Royal Wedding -- The Official Album. You are welcome to sneer at me for that. I suggest you listen to it first.



Happy taking off and happy touching down, everyone, in whatever sense that applies to you :o).