On a Lighter Note…

 


Video of the Week: High School Receptionist Belts ‘At Last’ Over PA System

A North Carolina school receptionist on Wednesday stunned students on the last day of school when she belted out the Etta James classic “At Last” over the PA system. Regina Ballard, the songstress, posted the video on Facebook, and the clip went viral. “I love my job, y’all, but I look forward to summers when I can spend time with my grands & family, sooo…here it is…At Last!!!” Ballard wrote in her post. The video of Ballard’s hearty ballad sung at North Lincoln High School has around 165,000 in a recent tally Friday night. “That’s it. It’s 3 o’clock, y’all. At 3:15, it’s official,” Ballard said before raising the volume of the classic song’s instrumental version on her computer. In between hitting all the high and low notes, she flashes a big, bright smile. “For summer break is ours at last,” she jovially sings. “At last!” A crowd in the background then erupted in thunderous applause for her.

Video of the Week: Flying Colors–‘The Storm’

See also: 

https://edcyphers.com/2012/04/03/recommended-albums-13/

Video of the Week: Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney

On Music…

Songs You May Have Missed #629

The Dean Ween Group: “Exercise Man” (2016)

Dean Ween and Gene Ween–Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman respectively–have made a career of what reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine called “cheerful vulgarity”.

But with Dean and Gene each having now released solo material, it’s easy to discern that Dean was the writer more given to the madcap Zappa-esque tendencies and showcases for guitar pyrotechnics while Gene provided the smoother, more mellifluous  moments of a typical Ween album.

“Exercise Man” is credited to the Dean Ween Group, but it’s classic Ween.

See also:

https://edcyphers.com/2013/11/03/songs-you-may-have-missed-498/

“Track and Hook”: The Death of Creativity in Songwriting?

(via The Pudding)

“Track-and-hook” is Seabrook’s coinage for a music-making method that fundamentally distinguishes today’s music-making from all that came before. What separates track-and-hook from its predecessors is how the music is made. The storied, solitary figure working out musical problems at a piano while filling up an ashtray has been replaced by teams of digital production specialists and subspecialists, each assigned to a snare track, a bass track, and so on, mixed and matched and stuck together like Legos.
“The process doesn’t lend itself very well to art,” Seabrook said. Instead, track-and-hook is far more literally factory-like, a mode of production that emphasizes specialization and volume. As the technology writer Nicholas Carr wrote, “The manufacture of pop songs has been so thoroughly industrialized that it makes the old Motown ‘hit factory’ look like a sewing circle.”
Read more:

https://pudding.cool/2018/05/similarity/

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Our thoughts on this: As Gary Trust writes in Billboard“A Bacharach melody is not inviting people to get involved with it. But track-and-hook creates a template for a lot of different cooks stirring the broth.”

We think the first part of this statement is key. If you were Bacharach, McCartney or Elvis Costello, you wouldn’t want a lot of cooks stirring your broth. While track-and-hook involves more participants, the potential for Bacharach-like greatness is negated. We live in an era of songwriting homogeneity, but not much music that rises above the artistic mean.

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