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 The storied, solitary figure working out musical problems at a piano while filling up an ashtray has been replaced by teams of digital production specialists and subspecialists, each assigned to a snare track, a bass track, and so on, mixed and matched and stuck together like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.

Songs You May Have Missed #628


Jeremy Messersmith: “Monday, You’re Not So Bad” (2018)

…and when you’re listening to the hooky, melodic Jeremy Messersmith, it almost isn’t.

On a Lighter Note…

Songs You May Have Missed #627

Courtney Barnett: “Need a Little Time” (2018)

On her Grammy nominated 2015 debut, Courtney Barnett sliced through the muck largely due to a brilliant off-the-cuff lyric style, a wry, witty sense of detail, and a punk lite, almost Dylanesque delivery.

All good stuff.

But “Need a Little Time”, from the sophomore outing Tell Me How You Really Feel, confounded expectation. Where most of Barnett’s work playfully jabs at your frontal lobe, this one earnestly pulls at your heart. And the melodic hook here is like a fall into a vat of strawberry-flavored taffy.

Also good stuff.

See also:

https://edcyphers.com/2015/05/16/songs-you-may-have-missed-531/

Video of the Week: The Making of ‘Aura’, the Stunning Light Show at ​Montréal’s Notre-Dame Basilica

Loreena McKennitt: Why I’m leaving Facebook

(Richard Haughton photo)

The invasion of privacy and erosion of human rights, the weaponizing of our personal data, the destruction of the music and news industries, a platform designed to be addictive — the time has come to act, writes Loreena McKennitt.

By (via the star)

I remember as a rambunctious red-headed tomboy running around the house with my playmates and my mother admonishing me, “Don’t run so fast, you’ll break something!” And sure enough, sometimes we did.

Now, decades later, those words come flooding back as I reflect on the defining motto of Silicon Valley, “move fast and break things.” In particular, I think of Facebook.

In response to the recent revelations of its misuse of personal data, I’ve decided to leave the platform and encourage my half-million-plus followers to instead keep in touch through my website. I’m told this is a path of professional suicide, especially as I’m about to release a new recording.

Times have certainly changed in the music business since I started out busking in the 1980s. Some would argue we were the first industry to be broken…

Read more:

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/04/19/loreena-mckennitt-why-im-leaving-facebook.html

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