Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Music That Saved me, Letter S--Part 1

My goodness there are a lot of S bands! This will be a three-parter! So let's get started, shall we? These are in no particular order. I thought about putting them in chronological order, but i couldn't be arsed. So I will just try to tell you when they were hits if I can.

Simon and Garfunkel
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This dynamic duo has been in my life for as long as I can recall. My folks were fans and Spiderman grew up on a diet of S&G as well so it was one of our bonding things early on. My lovely mother-in-law bought me the complete S&G on CD and completely fooled me into thinking she was buying it for Roy her husband. There are so many songs that speak to me. My mum had a whole poetry unit based around their music starting with Sounds of Silence. But I think my first choice has to be Scarborough Fair/Canticle. This traditional ballad with a subtle anti-war message woven in as a counter song overlaid by lush music that includes a harpsichord. I *really* love a harpsichord. You will recall how I loved this song (minus the Canticle) by Queensryche, but here was where it began for me.
Listen to it here:
My young friend and long lost sister Rosie-Mai sang this song in choir when she was in high school and so we plan to learn to sing it together for funsies when she comes back to town. 

My second choice  is called A Poem on the Underground Wall. I once taught this as part of a unit on graffiti to a group of disaffected 11 year old boys. 
Listen to it here:
Interesting fact: The first time I ever overdrew my bank account when I was in college (the first of many, I'm afraid) was going on a binge buy of every S&G album on cassette that I found in Waldenbooks (of all places) --they were all half price and I bought them all and then I had no money. Or, if I'm being honest, I had no money and then I bought them all.

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I associate this more with late 70's disco sound (I always think of this and Chic's Le Freak in tandem) but it supposedly came out in 1983. I loved this song so much with it's little jingly bell sounds and synthesizers and even spent my pocket money on it to buy it on 45. I don't know anything else by her, but i still love this song and will dance around the house like a mad woman if it ever comes on the radio.
Watch it here:

Starland Vocal Band
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My parents had this album on vinyl and I listened obsessively having *no* idea what most of the songs were about. Seriously. Afternoon delight? Thought it was about the 4th of July. There were the sound of fireworks and the words sky rockets in flight so what was an innocent kiddie supposed to think? My friend Tammy H and I loved them and spent many happy hours singing into hairbrushes pretending to be them. She always said she had to be Taffy as her name Tammy sounded like Taffy and I had to be Margot. (this was the same sort of argument she gave me when she had to Electra-Woman because she was older and blonder and I had to by Dyna-Girl because I was younger and had browner hair)  I didn't mind that much when it came to the Starland Vocal band. Taffy might have been a cooler name, but Margot was more exotic in her looks.
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Margot on top, Taffy on bottom
My favourite song off the album was called War Surplus Baby.  
Listen to it here:

Interesting fact: Taffy and Bill Danoff wrote Take Me Home Contry Roads made popular by John Denver (but I love the Me First and the Gimme Gimme's version) 
The Smithereens
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They had a couple of hits and I really liked their sound. Their lyrics were spot on and the music rolls through you. My partner in crime and roommate at LC for one semester Anna C gave me the cassette of Especially For You for my birthday.  My first choice is one that I feel accurately deals with depression. How it feels to love someone who is suffering. it's called Blood and Roses.
Watch it here:
Can I just say how much I love Pat DiNizio's Henry the VIII haircut here? My second choice is also from Especially For You and it is called Behind the Wall of Sleep. 
Watch it here:

Steve Taylor
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I discovered Steve Taylor when I was at LC. He was part of the Christian alternative/punk movement and he was unafraid of sarcasm such as the song I Want to Be a Clone about how becoming a Christian makes some people stop thinking for themselves or I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good which criticises the Pro-Life idea that it is ok to blow up and kill adult doctors just not fetuses. That song got his I Predict 1990 album pulled from Christian record stores because they didn't get the satire. He also touched on topics of race about the no inter-racial dating policy at Bob Jones University in We Don't Need No Color Code. His songs Meltdown and Jim Morrison's Grave got some MTV airplay which was very unusual for a Christian artist. It was hard to choose but I decided on one sillier and one more serious song. My silly pick is Am I in Sync? Just because with all of today's technology  and selfie culture this is more relevant than ever.
Listen to it here:
My more serious song pick is called Jenny. It's a story song that has shades of Hayride to Hell by the Hoodoo Gurus. 
Listen to it here:
Stay tuned for Letter S, Part 2

1 comment:

  1. What can I say about Simon and Garfunkel...Giving all the props possible to every choir teacher I ever had...S&G, along with the Beach Boys, taught me everything I know about singing harmony. I will comment more Ssss when you post!