Monday, 12 September 2016

Music That Saved Me, Letter S--Part 3

Sam Harris
Image result for sam harris star search
I remember him from Star Search in 1984. He was adorable--He had a cute 80's mullet hairdo and converse high tops. What was not to love? he was a phenomenal singer on a mediocre show. (side note: Star Search was very uneven. Singing competition-- person with best voice wins, OK, I am cool with that. Dancing competition--best dancer wins, yes that is as it should be. Modelling competition--prettiest one wins. I may not like the idea of being judged solely on your appearance, but that is what modelling is. Acting competition--complete and utter bollocks. The youth competition was a scene from a badly written sitcom and the winner was the child who could mug to the camera the most. Honestly--that is NOT acting that is RUBBISH. ) Anyway--Sam Harris. I had a big crush on him and i should have realised by his signature song that he was a "friend of Dorothy" and would never love me back. He is now happily married to Danny Jacobsen and they have an adopted son Cooper Atticus Harris-Jacobsen. Awww....

His signature song was Somewhere Over the Rainbow and he sang it with a slightly jazzy voice and could hold that last note for what seems like years. Our Sam has a set of  lungs on him that's for sure.
Watch it here:
My friend Robin C and I were crazy for him and has his album Sam I Am where he wears silver (silver, I say!) converse high tops and we were inspired to jazz up our Chucks.

Sunday Driver
Image result for sunday driver band
They are a steampunk fusion band that mixes east and west. They use instruments that range from the harp to the bassoon to the sitar and their music is often literary. We have been lucky to see them in concert twice.  They are based in Cambridge/London and many (if not all?) band members have a day job in science. The lead singer Chandy composed several of their songs in Antarctica while monitoring ice floes. Kat (who plays harp, spoons and bassoon) works in cancer research is is the sister of Helen Arney (my beloved ukulele idol who does lots of stuff like Festival of the Spoken Nerd) My first choice is Black Spider (but of course!)
Listen to it here:
Interesting fact: They used crowdfunding to fund their last album and we sponsored them for £20 and got the lyrics to this song handwritten by Chandy.
My second choice is their Christmas song The Christmas Goose  that is full of literary allusions and was inspired by the recession. It is a sinister song sung in a chirpy Mary Poppins voice. You have to listen to it off their bandcamp page.
Listen to it here:
Interesting trivia: Sunday Driver is named for a gene originally found in fruit flies. 

Image result for shakira whenever wherever
I have a secret soft spot for Shakira. Spiderman says it is because I fancy her. That's probably true. But I really love this song and the accompanying video. I really love the whispery sound of the pan pipes. I even love it in Spanish, but I am going to play the English version for you. My favourite lyrics are: Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains. This is Whenever, Wherever. 
Watch it here:

  I know people take the piss out of Shakira. Mad TV did a very funny parody of this video. But my beloved Rachel Bloom does a funny homage to this video in a song from Crazy Ex Girlfriend called Group Hang  that i cannot resist showing you here. Really, i just want to shoehorn another Rachel Bloom because I love her so. Just roll with it.
Watch it here:

My first year at LC when I was a commuter I was obsessed with this song. Shriekback were a a new wave band who were made of up ex members of bands like XTC and Gang of Four (to name a few.)  Nemesis is possibly the only song I know to use the word parthenogenesis.  I played it constantly trying to learn all the words. I was once babysitting these kids named Nana and Jade and i remember having to explain the meaning of  parthenogenesis to them and then soon we were all singing
Priest and cannibals
prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home. 
I bet their parents *loved* me for that.
The video is a bit freaky--you have been warned.
Watch it here:

The Sisters of Mercy
Image result for sisters of mercy
Anna C introduced me to the Sisters of Mercy. They were this goth/dark wave band and I was in love with their lead singer's distinctive voice. Many band members defected to form The Mission UK--which is what this song is supposedly about.  Both were good, but i am in love with the song This Corrosion. There is a fantastic operatic quality about this song (it has a 40 piece choir)  and I love the ba-dum-dum-dum before the chorus. This is the short version coming in at nearly 5 minutes. there is an 11 minute version that is a bit like Hey now, hey now now, repeat this chorus over and over. but I am not complaining.
Watch it here:

  Trivia: The extended version is exactly how long it took to walk from St Margaret's Hotel to the unheated classrooms with no toilet facilities where we did our schooling in 1990 when Spiderman and I were exchange students with LC/MC.

 Image result for sting
I know Sting has the reputation of being a twat. I did love him with The Police (even though i didn't include them on my list) but my real love is Sting. Or more specifically The Dream of the Blue Turtles. That was a fantastic album released in 1985 with a variety of great songs that really spoke to me. There was a song called Moon Over Bourbon Street inspired by Anne Rice's book Interview with the Vampire. I recall some snotty a-hole from St Thomas More school saying in a condescending tone "Surely you recognised that song is based on Rice's Interview?" and me saying, "Well yea. What else could it be?" and then being mad for not knowing it. It was in the liner notes in tiny print and I hadn't seen it. Probably because i was too busy playing the song Russians over and over and worrying myself into an ulcer over what I perceived as the impending doom of the world due to nuclear war. The song with its honest lyrics of
We share the same biology
regardless of ideology.
What might save us, me and you, 
is if the Russians love their children too. 
Watch it here:

The other song that really spoke to me was We Work the Black Seam.  All I could focus on was the other form of nuclear I feared--nuclear power. With lyrics like:
One day in a nuclear age
they may understand our rage.
They build machines they can't control
and bury the waste in a great big hole.
Power was to become cheap and clean.
Grimy faces were never seen but
deadly for 12,000 years is carbon 14. 
Watch it here:
Interesting fact: I only realised recently that this song is actually about the Miner's Strike. This is a huge part of British history and another reason to hate Margaret Thatcher. Read about it here:

This whole album was full of interesting sounds on every song--I loved the do-do-DO-do-do in We Work the Black Seam and hated and feared the ticking sound in Russians--like a countdown to our doom.

That's the end of my very long S list. Spiderman has been teasing me by adding random S bands to my list when i wasn't looking like Slayer, Skinny Puppy and Slipknot. The one that made me laugh the loudest and he jokingly said aught to have their own post was the Christian, yellow and black wearing. heavy metal,  hairband Stryper.  So, here they are, just for you Spiderman.
Image result for stryper

Now piss off, darling.

Stay tuned for T!

1 comment:

  1. Sting is one of my very favorite musicians! Take a listen to his album Ten Summoners Tales. Awesome! My favorite S and indeed favorite group of all time is STYX!