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A Journey into Sound Part II - The Human Voice (lots of videos!)

by rg Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 04:42:38 AM EST

Saturday bump up for our listening pleasure! - In Wales


(Note: treble frequencies!  Also, some of the videos cut off abruptly--and some of them start with a slight bump.  I've added timings so you know how long each piece lasts.  Volumes may vary--not too much, I hope.)

I'd like to start with these two videos, narrated by David Attenborough--but lots of time given over to the...non human voices of:

Humpback Whale (2:24)

The Most Amazing Birdsong (2:40)

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Okay, what about the human voice?

Human voice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The sound of each individual's voice is entirely unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but also due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body. Humans have vocal folds which can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, and over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of chest and neck, the position of the tongue, and the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, volume, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound also resonates within different parts of the body, and an individual's size and bone structure can affect the sound produced by an individual.

And, in particular, what about the human singing voice?

Well...where to start?

A Native American song (2:19)

Huun Huur Tu at Philadelphia Folk Festival, August 2006 (3:33)

The human voice...in an open space and no...noise to distract my attention from...those strange sounds.

Overtone singing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tuva

The best-known of the traditional forms comes from Tuva, a small autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. The history of Tuvan throat singing reaches too far back for anyone alive to accurately discern. Among the Tuvans, throat singing is taught formally at the Tuvan School Of Art, but it also comes naturally to them and is picked up like a language[citation needed]. Many of the male herders can throat sing, and women are beginning to practice the technique as well. The popularity of throat singing among Tuvans seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Tuva allows for the sounds to carry a great distance. Ethnomusicologists studying throat singing in these areas mark khoomei as an integral part in the ancient pastoral animism that is still practiced today.

The animistic world view of this region identifies the spirituality of objects in nature, not just in their shape or location, but in their sound as well. Thus, human mimicry of nature's sounds is seen as the root of throat singing. (An example is the Mongolian story of the waterfall above the Buyan Gol (Deer River), where mysterious harmonic sounds are said to have attracted deer to bask in the waters, and where it is said harmonic sounds were first revealed to people.) Indeed, the cultures in this part of Asia have developed many instruments and techniques to mimic the sounds of animals, wind, and water.

------------

Moving westwards...

Add a bagpipe, a low keyboard drone, and...a singing competition called Music Idol:

Music Idol Bulgaria - The Winner: Nevena (3:56)

Okay, this is where I wanted to start, and here we are.

Vocal Range

Humans have a wide vocal range.  Nevena can hit the high notes, but...what about the bass?

Paul Robeson - Ol' Man River (1928) [3:54]

From Nevena to Paul Robeson--quite a range!

Stylisation

All of the above singers (including the whales and the lyre bird) create  sounds which are not just similar to others of their species (and gender) but also--unique!

Vocal resonation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of phonation is enhanced in timbre and/or intensity by the air-filled cavities through which it passes on its way to the outside air. Various terms related to the resonation process include amplification, enrichment, enlargement, improvement, intensification, and prolongation, although in strictly scientific usage acoustic authorities would question most of them. The main point to be drawn from these terms by a singer or speaker is that the end result of resonation is, or should be, to make a better sound.[1]

A better sound.  Hmmm.  Here's someone with an easily recognisable vocal resonance.  "Like glue and sandpaper" is the description I remember.  This is from his pre-electric days:

The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carrol (3:27)

Once you have individual resonance...your own unique sound...people will listen--and if you're singing words they'll listen to what you say.

But what if I don't understand the words?

And what if I can't even hear the...sounds?

Sound of India

Now, as an example, take a sound (or tone) having a frequency of 100 Hz.  Another sound, having twice the frequency, that is, 200 Hz, will sound the same.  But it will sound 'higher'.  The frequency ratio 200:100, which is 2:1, represents what is called an octave.  The number of sounds that the human ear can hear, in an octave, is infinite.  But the number of sounds that it can discern, differentiate, or grasp, is 22. They are called shruti-s (microtones).  Shruti has been variously translated as: microtone, microtonic interval, interval, step etc. It is mainly determined through fine auditory perception

The shrutis are those notes that make indian (and arabic, and many other styles of) music particular to the western pop-habituated ear.

Lata Mangeshkar: Wada Na Tod (Don't break your promise) [5:54]

------------------

Singing Together

Solo voices are great, and since the advent of the microphone they have come to the fore.  But...historically there was group singing, maybe with a leader at times, to get things going, but it was the group effect that was important (there is a theory that singing started as a way of letting the wild cats and other tribes know that our tribe was united--the power of voices singing together--)

strati na angelaki doumasche (2:55)

-------

Okay.  These diaries are experiments.  I'm hoping to be able to produce one each Wednesday.  Here's a link to Part 1.  I hope you enjoyed this one, and don't forget: my hope is that you will participate by adding a video following the week's theme, only one video per comment (my reasoning is that a single video will draw attention to itself, while a great video in with a bunch of other (no doubt great!) videos might get lost--he types...having filled a diary with videos...)

Maybe write a few words about why you've chosen the particular clip--but if the music makes its point, no words necessary!

Display:
Here's a singer that has resonance for me.  Her first song, Wuthering Heights, showed us her vocal range (from so high to so low then back to so high!), but I'm going to go with another song which, for me, brings out the clarity of her tone.

Of course, musical pleasure is in the brain of the listener--let's hear what voices do it for you!

Kate Bush: The Man With The Child In His Eyes



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 09:46:35 PM EST
rg, i haven't had a chance to go through more than a few of the examples here,,much less the previous one, but i just want to say, this diary is brilliant.  The idea of making a series is powerful.  i only wish i had the space to contribute.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 07:30:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read about your new hip--hope that goes well.  Glad you like the series.  Next week rhythm--get your titanium dance-bone ready!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 10:07:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There you go, an example of hip-hope. ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 10:49:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Most performers get Gregorian plainchant wrong, this group don't. Listen to the echos(You need the building to make it sond right) and listen to how each individual line speeds up at the start, and slows at the end. Most plainchant performances get this wrong, and turn out a broken, victorian version with a metronomic, regular beat. This is from when plainchant had a period of popularity, but just dosn't sound right. knowing you were bringing up the voice, I had a couple of days hunting for an example, only to find a horde of incorrect versions. this is the most correct I have found

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 10:14:27 PM EST
Talking of echoes, I came across videos about this place yesterday--my mind boggles when I try to imagine throat singing with this reverb.

Battistero di Pisa



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 05:35:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]

More throat singing, but this time with a bit of a western twist.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 10:21:35 PM EST
Great stuff, ceebs.  A good one for In Wales--a bit of rhythm then in comes the bass, a guitar is strummed and then--basso profondo!

Your clip reminded me very much of:

Yat-kha, Albert Kuvezin Tuvan throat singing punk band. New 2005 Album "Re-Covers" released June 13th

Albert started the band many moons ago, he is the guitarist and the singer.
KANZAT is his special style of kargiraa khoomei. When he was a little boy he was thrown out of the choir and told never ever to sing again. So he tried playing football instead. When he realised that there was such a thing as Deep Purple and Sonic Youth, he decided to get rid of the football and get a guitar and start singing again, although the ideology department of the Communist Party didn't like it very much.

Nobody else in TUVA can sing like Albert, perhaps it is because his style is closer to some singing by the Khakass, just north of Tuva. His father is Tuvan - Budachy (he who likes soup) KUVEZIN took Tuva to the quarter-finals as a coach as well as playing for the all-Russia team as the top volleyball player ever in Tuva. His mother's family came from the Tuvan/Khakass border high in the narrow gorges of the Sayani mountains where the river Ust-Usa meets the storming river Yenisei. But when he was 7 years old the Soviets built the greatest hydro-electric Dam in the world - Sayano-Shushinskoye - and the whole of this area was flooded forever.

Now there is a huge lake (but only in summer - not in winter and spring when you can still see the old drowned towns). His family moved to Shagonar (or Rio de Shagoneiro as they like to call it). This is where he grew up in the long hot summer months playing down by the waterside where there are many interesting plants.

Also from the lake you can see "Hairukn" - the great bear mountain which sticks up out of the steppe and which is sacred to all Tuvans. From here the Yenisei flows north to the cold wastes of the tundra and the Arctic Ocean...

I searched for a track by Yat Kha to compare and contrast and--Aiee!  It's the same band!  Heh!

I can't resist offering one more of theirs.

Ah--with a female singer, big heavy rock guitars--I think DoDo might like this one ;)

Yat-Kha ahoi

Ahoi ahoi!  (Great speed up at the end)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 05:47:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have that sitting on my shelf. First encounter with them was at the Dollgellau festival. it was one of those days when we were about to head for the tent just as they came on, knackered at an end of day of festivalling. and the evening turned into one of those nights of bouncy fun.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 11:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I liked that song! But most of the rest of the selection, too. Especially the Bulgarian coral at the end of the diary (from an album Helen mentioned when I posted the Japanese adaptation of another).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 03:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Rythm and rhyme (Unfortunately no prety pictures)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 10:35:12 PM EST
Ian Dury!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 05:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about this concept of using the voice? (LOLLL!)

by das monde on Tue Mar 25th, 2008 at 11:23:59 PM EST
): I get a "this video is no longer available" message.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 05:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The person who placed the video disabled embedding (check out on the right in the Embed box: "Embedding disabled by request")

This should be the same song:

Leningrad Cowboys & Russian Red Army Choir--Delilah (7:33!)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry... The video can be watched on YouTube: on the embedded video frame, click on "menu", then "Copy to Clipboard", and them paste it to the address bar.

Your video is also great!

by das monde on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I start by violating your rule (again). To show the range of a single voice, that of Elizabeth Fraser.

Cocteau Twins: Evangeline

This Mortal Coil: Song to the Siren



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 01:50:50 PM EST
Rosenstolz is a German duo that emerged from the gay scene into the mainstream. The music is not that special, but I find the voice of singer AnNa R (she's straight) captivating.

Rosenstolz: Liebe ist alles ( = love is everything)

(YouTube judges the original video too erotic for viewing under 18... hence this fan video)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 01:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of voices, female voices, no way I leave out the following.

Björk: All Is Full of Love

(Apparently, android lesbian love was not too erotic for YouTube.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw The Sugarcubes live at Reading back in the day.  For me, she has the same particularity as Thom Yorke from Radiohead: live there is some extra attenuation (not sure if that's the right word) in the ends of the notes that brings them fully into pitch whilst leaving all the microtones hanging.  Somehow (these are just my ears, mind you) the recordings don't manage to pick up those extra overtones.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be, no way for me to say: never saw either live. Also, for me, the opposite experience is more typical: that of singers unable to sing out in concert what they could in a studio.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 05:28:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way - what do you think about languages and song styles?

A Scandinavian singer (probably Nina Persson of The Cardigans) told once that she sings in English because the language of pop/rock is English, and it sounds funny/not alright in other languages.

I sure feel there is truth in that. Every language has a melody, and musical styles have to be 'fitted' to them to work together. German hip-hop doesn't sound like either US school, same for the French. I think AnNa R. had a great success building her singing style on German language.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 03:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a friend who says:

"They took the voices of french people, saying common phrases, and they put them into this machine and measured the waves, you know, evened it out, and then took some Debussy.  It was the same shape, same form, I'm telling you."

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have heard this. It is especially true of the stresses and rhythms -- as well as the melodic shape of the tones. Janacek and other Slavic composers, thinkers, had elaborate theories about this, I believe. This is one justification musical nationalists had for collecting folk music and using it as an inspiration for their art music.
by John Culpepper on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, for me this is a great theme.  For some reason in my head I have these two songs placed at the same point: maybe it's the simplicity of the instrumentation--but how would one sound in the language of the other?

English--passing through dutch (in my ears)--is a germanic language with an overlay of french (which, if I've understood right, is re-toned latin.)

Uralic languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Uralic languages (pronounced jʊˈrælɨk) constitute a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. The healthiest Uralic languages in terms of the number of native speakers are Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian. Countries that are home to a significant number of speakers of Uralic languages include Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Slovakia.

The name "Uralic" refers to the location of the family's suggested Urheimat (homeland), which is often placed in the vicinity of the Ural mountains.

My feeling is that to the extent tones are enlightened by new environments--there will be a changing of tones, and if the new environments contain tones there will be a mixing of tones.  What I would call french pop is by far my prefered version--

Hip Hop--I once asked a fan of Hip Hop what made it Hip Hop.  It's something to do with the beats, and then you rap your lyrics over the top (in my experience), so tonally and rhythmically very language based

Hey, I'm just rambling.  It's an intriguing subject!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hip Hop--I once asked a fan of Hip Hop what made it Hip Hop.  It's something to do with the beats, and then you rap your lyrics over the top (in my experience), so tonally and rhythmically very language based

how about hiphoprisy.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My honest question: what (apart from the name of the band) makes hip hop different to rap?  It has to be the beats.  'Television' (great track!) for me has beats overlayed with american intonation.  French rap (or hip hop--maybe hip hop has more rhythmic bounce?) I like (some!)--maybe because I can't understand the words, but I've heard (can't remember the groups) rap (or hip hop) from Paris, Marseille, also Napoli (I once worked on a theory of new music growing in ports), different tones.  Maybe in american hiphop/rap there's a division between the 'white' tone (eminem?  I haven't heard much so this is a guess) and 'black' tone.  I would place the white tone (from what I've heard) in the 'fight, for your right, to paaaaaarty' area, there's maybe a nasal inflection, while 'black'--Public Enemy and back to 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised', back through talking blues...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re colour: I'm pinky yellow and have been known to turn green, red, or brown depending on diet and sunlight.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My honest answer, I don't know. I became relatively disinterested as it became a celebration of fast cars, cool drugs and loose women.

Early days Public Enemy, NWA, and other more political stuff was more interesting. recently the only interesting RAP based music has been Mashups

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No no no no.

"Rap" only describes the singing style (e.g. no tonal singing just rhythmic chanting). "Hip hop" is a term for general music style, which includes rapping, scratching, beats, sampling, and the dance too.

As for sub-genres. In 'pure' hip-hop (later there was much mixing, see f.e. nu-metal), as I understand it, the main sub-genre distinction was East Coast vs. West Coast. Gangsta rap (which developed into the commercialised guns-fast cars-drugs-lewd women thing I find as attractive as ceebs does) was a variation that more or less pushed out other hip-hop within both.

I don't think we can speak of a "white" sub-genre in any sense, even in tone. I think we can speak of a minority of US white rappers, neither of whom fits easily into the previous two genres. Notably, Vanilla Ice, whom I'd call Mr. Wannabee; Beastie Boys (you know them for 'fight, for your right, to paaaaaarty'; I think 'Sabotage', below, is their best, also as video), who AFAIK are East Coast-inspired but built on punk and funk; and Eminem, who definitely grew out from 'black' hip hop, but in Detroit -- thus neither East Coast nor West Coast. (I see on Wikipedia that some now call it Midwest style.) That both Beastie Boys and Eminem sing in high nasal tones is accidental, less known white rappers and crossover style singers aren't like that. (Also, what about female rappers?)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 06:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or a bit further out



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, tonight I think its nasal: This voice reminds me of William Burroughs (but I hear tones of Woody Guthrie, up in the nose, okay it's laid back compared to my version of english, but...what is it?  Singing/talking through the nasal cavity rather than the chest?  Another intriguing track, you and DoDo will have to let me know who the artists are!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Glad it does because it is Wiliam Burroughs. Theres an albumn of his recorded speech put to music done by the  same band that did Teevision, above

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 09:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm-m! For my ears, in your examples, what's similar is the instrumental music and a sense of melancholy. But the singing is all different, just what I was talking about!

It's hard for me to describe it in (English) words, but let's give a try... listen for example to the end of words and sentences! English: drawn out, German: snappy, cuts it short. The English feels as 'lazy' phlegm. The German feels as if the closing words are making the point. Both seem to have some provocativeness in it, but, er, the English is laid-back, the German in-your-face. I hope what I wrote makes some sense...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It certainly does.  This is a huge subject--I'm intrigued by the crossover aspect--where music (including voice intonation--detonation--you said it better!) won't fit in the box, maybe in spite of the desires of the composer(s); or even vice versa: where an individual or group strenuously try to break out of the box, but the wider culture-gravity...I mean, from outside a certain culture it's clear that these attempts are culture-locked...see, I'm worse at describing it than you, for sure!  You made me think of Tchaikovsky composing self-consciously nationalistic music; and Bartok hunting out old folk tunes--they were trying to find some cultural or national or folk soul--this is the kind of conversation I was having when I heard about french music (no words) following the intonations of spoken french.  I think it was immediately following that that we listened to Janacek, Along an Overgrown Path and pondered...what the music expressed of the culture embodied in the language that was being expressed through the music...one of those evenings!

I'm sure this widens out into any cultural divisions--ach, I can't explain it!  I was thinking female/male, now imperial/regional, .  But then--heh!--in the diary I was also pondering the connection of music to mimicry, where (ponder ponder!) you need a certain size of culture (the cities?  The birth of cities always reminds me of margouillat!) before it naturally treats itself as the object(s) rather than assuming human ears as the subject and the non-human sounds as the objects to be mimicked or....I'm sure there's a word...brought somehow into the world of human...expression?

Yes, a huge subject!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 06:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm intrigued by the crossover aspect--where music (including voice intonation--detonation--you said it better!) won't fit in the box, maybe in spite of the desires of the composer(s); or even vice versa: where an individual or group strenuously try to break out of the box, but the wider culture-gravity...

I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

I think this culture-style thing is fuzzier than that, and fuzzier than I first made it. Even if say French hip-hop is not like US-American English hip-hop, it's still different from what was there. The combination (language+style) has to work, meaning changes to both, and I would even say there will be a change (enhancement, addition, new variant) the 'entire' language. In the example, I mean both English in which it grew originally and French into it it was transplanted and then grew on on its own. I think "self-consciously nationalist music" is a somewhat different thing; not in practice: it also involves creative adaptation of styles from outside; but in its ideology: the focus is not in the mixing and fitting but on the creation of categoric separation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm curious, what do you mean with the latter?

(These are my muddled thoughts):

In the attempt to break out of limited (in this context musical) cultural environments, it's hard not to end up tinkering within, making superficial changes without being able to hear (because we're using music as context)--in some way--the wider structural impositions.  My simple example is the four beat: it's ubiquity is recent (here's my guess: before the advent of television the most common beats were threes and twos, the folk music steps, foxtrot, polka, mazurka, tango, waltz, etc.)  The four beat of, say, Johnny B. Goode, with its chugginess is--if we think of dancing to music--more a ONE an TWO an ONE an TWO an... oompa choompa, which (my knowledge of folk dances is very limited)...is sorta polka-like (?) but with an added hip kick...

Anyways, (I may have that all wrong!) groups and individuals will experiment with guitar sounds, vocal sounds, verse-chorus structure--but...move away from the four beat?  (And I'd go a bit further and say its actually a sub-element of the four beat that is to the fore--but I haven't listened to much contemporary music recently--so I'm throwing a few stereotypes around--trying to make my point, badly!)

Ach: how about this non-musical example?  I don't know how true it is now, but in the late eighties, early nineties, the japanese who came over to england had a uniquely japanese approach to western fashions: what they'd do (this was my experience) is, they'd dress from head to toe (from hair cut to shoes) in the fashions they'd seen in magazines.  Thing is, very few people here actually dressed like that.  There'd be one item or two from the fashion rails maybe, but there was actually a term (fashion victim) for a person who bedecked themselves is bought-fashion.  The idea was (as I say I'm way out of the loop now) that you'd have to invent a bit yourself--

So within the UK culture there were limits imposed--to break out of that might be an urge, but the wider culture (you have to invent a bit yourself and...I dunno....people have to notice and give you the positive nod in some way) was unseen--but it was clearly there because the japanese, who didn't know these rules, loved the fashion culture but they couldn't quite get...that they had absorbed it in their own way.

Of course, from all these mixings and matchings and clashings and contrastings new forms arise.  I don't know much about all the nineteenth century nationalistic movements in music, but I'd guess that the very idea of trying to create a national sound using modern techniques (e.g. full orchestra) must have bent whatever Tchaikovsky chose to use as source material (whether musical, ideological, or other(s))

Is all that confusing?  The compare and contrast in the context of this diary would be to find musicians stepping wide outside their cultural situation, but in an enlightened away, using synthesis because they can, for some reason (my guess: their upbringing in the home) see within and without and rather than passing value judgments they can synthesise such that the new sound(s)...is and are traceable but the package is very much in a (I want to say higher, but only because I'm using the thesis-antithesis-synthesis model--how about 'more encompassing'?) way.  The best example in this diary (for me) is Yat Kha, though I think some of the nordic material you've posted has that element (and northern germany?)  An alternative comparison is with Einstürzende Neubauten who (again, for my ears) turned the other way and attempted to decontsruct western music by pointing to its industrial structure...or maybe not--!  ;)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 10:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lou Reed has a very American voice, but that girl to the left was, of course, German.

Here's some more of that minimalism

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 11:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I got "Sunday Morning" muddled up with "I'll be your mirror"--then I liked that Nico was in the pic with Lou in the video.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<yaw drops>

Singing in English as if she's singing German, just the end-of-words thing I mentioned, indeed. Hehe, now I know the similarity rg meant. (And must admit I barely know The Velvet Underground: only the first of the three songs.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 01:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's "I'll be your mirror" (2:06).



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 02:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Back when vinyl was the music format, I had a 45 rpm of Song to the Siren.  For some reason I played it at 33 rpm--very strange but it keeps the same overall space--even more space!--

For a while, 45 rpm sounded too fast.  Even now I remember it in my head in the slow version.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
btw, I like the idea of the back to back videos if they have some link between them (e.g. "And that....sounds nothing like...this!" ;)  My only worry is that a well-considered comment with lots of videos risks....not being considered on its full musical merits.  I could be wrong on that, of course!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually agree. No more than two, and even two only in exceptional cases.

Even posting 'em separately, maybe I carried myself away already with female voices, so I'll wait with my selection of male voices until Saturday.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh!  Now you've got me thinking...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 07:05:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hre's a singer who seems intent on killing her vocal chords - Sandra Nasić, ex lead singer of heavy metal band Guano Apes, here featured by Apocalyptica in: Path:

(I wanted to put up what made Guano Apes famous, the snowboarder anthem Lords of the Boards, but YouTube only has crap versions)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:11:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This Mortal Coil was a project uniting a range of alternative musicians under the same label. Of these, my love is not Cocteau Twins, but Australian band (ultimately duo) Dead Can Dance. There is no lead singer, in the next, Lisa Gerrard sings in her etheral voice.

Dead Can Dance: Persephone



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uhm... I mean, Dead Can Dance: The Host Of Seraphim.

But having mentioned it, Persephone is another great song, again with Lisa Gerrard singing:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 02:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another In Wales track--starts with bass, then a voice and slight backing of keyboard--a deeper tone.  In Wales, if you've been listening, how are you getting on with the various pitches--(the singing in Wada Na Tod is very high pitched!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello!  Haven't had a chance to listen so far.  That's what the weekends are for!  I'll get to it today hopefully.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 04:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very bulgarian overtones!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really lovely scenes from bicycle to motorbike about four minutes in.  Lovely voice--excellent arrangement for the voice.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 08:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you'd like this, but wow, could it be you haven't heard of Dead Can Dance before??? If I understood that right, then I highly recommend that you get at least one full album, one from the eighties, say Within The Realm of a Dying Sun.

The video BTW is a sequence from the film Baraka.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:08:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, now listen to a REAL female vocalist (:

Marie Galante singing Youkali-tango by Kurt Weill.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 12:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some (other) country singing. This girl has a very clear voice. She does get some overtones when she sings out loud. But they are absolutely lovely.

Tift Merritt - Another Country (04:52)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 06:41:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You've made me wonder how related the yodel is to the overtone.  I think the overtone is the simulatneous production of different pitched tones, while the yodel is a sudden break up the register.

The country and western yodel, Dolly Parton style (2:33):

(I love this recording, great space, sounds really fresh.  Really lovely leap at 2:05, no pics just the music.)

(btw, as I understand it overtones are created by most instruments--including the voice.  The flute (metallic) doesn't create overtones which gives it that piercing sound and makes it hard to...er...well, apparently Mozart hated composing for it.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:06:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always heard that the yodel is a relatively "pure" tone -- in the sense of open-throated, relaxed and uncovered (opera singing is "covered"). All human voices have overtones -- does covering produce more of them? Then there are the "harmonics" that give such pleasure in music. Are they the same as overtones?  
by John Culpepper on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:42:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know--I understand the basics of overtones, but I'd never heard of covered and uncovered singing before.    As I understand it, harmonics are created by multiple voices sounding different tones, while overtones are created around the single voice, but I suppose overtones are a kind of harmonic on the single voice.

A quick check on wikipedia tells me I've got it wrong:

Overtone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An overtone is a natural resonance or vibration frequency of a system. Systems described by overtones are often sound systems, for example, blown pipes or plucked strings. Approximate harmonic overtones on a string

If such a system is excited, a number of sound frequencies may be produced. These frequencies, are usually, but not always, a close approximation to an integer multiple of a lowest resonance frequency. Thus, overtones and harmonics should not be confused or interchanged. By definition a harmonic is an exact integer multiple of a fundamental frequency, whereas in most systems, overtones are never exact integer multiples of a root frequency. For example, the first overtone of a circular drum is approximately 2.4 times its fundamental resonance frequency.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I think I understand the difference now. I think opera singing is relatively open and relaxed, it has to be for the musculature to produce rapid and virtuosic effects, but covering (voluntarily partially tightening parts of it to alter it) produces distinctive overtones. (This is true for all voices, not just female).

Music, vocal and instrumental that is electronically processed and amplified loses a lot of harmonics/and/or overtones, that is why aficionadoes don't care for it. But you can get used to anything.

by John Culpepper on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Going from one side to the other, I also greatly enjoy female singers with husky voices. Like Dusty. It's good on slow, relaxed sonday morning music, as well as dark and atmospheric sunday evening songs.

Here's a contemporary example:

Cat Power - Lived in Bars (03:54)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo has a point that music has a different sound across languages. Fun things happen, though, when you bring the intonations of one language to another (like in Nico's singing).

Some music has lent itself better to borrowing. New wave was also quite cool in French, and in German.

To mix up as much as possible, here's a rendering of a Neue Welle song by a French bossa nova-ish covers band:

Nouvelle Vague - Eisbaer (03:52)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 08:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 07:18:09 PM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 07:43:21 PM EST
To make this journey take a trip down an unfamiliar road, I add ,,The Dillinger Escape Plan", which Rolling Stones called the best live band in the universe (they always play only 40 minutes, though).

It's a bit... unusual, you have to hear it loud and... concentrated. I guess you either "get it" or - most likely - you don't.
I opt for their "most hearable" song.



"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Wed Mar 26th, 2008 at 11:06:11 PM EST
super-concentrated!


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 04:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
btw, is there a lineage to that singing style (not quite full throat roar but getting there.)  Reminds me of Napalm Death (what I've heard), but I'm sure it must have roots further back.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 04:56:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting question. The singing is practically the same for all bands in this genre (called mathcore). Wikipedia lists Post-hardcore, Extreme metal, Crossover-thrash, Progressive metal and Jazz fusion as the stylistic origins, most of which can be traced back further to punk and heavy metal (the two main influences of Napalm death).

The earliest song that is shouted more then sung would probably be "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath (1970):



"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 11:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mathcore--it makes perfect sense!  For some reason when I read that I got a sudden image of Migeru and Jake S throwing themselves against the walls and the hordes in a frenzy of fiendishly complicated rhythms based on even more fiendishly complicated mathematical structures.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Mar 28th, 2008 at 03:25:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what's the subject of the next installment?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 04:39:40 PM EST
Rhythm: it's a beastie, at least for me, but might as well get on with it.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing leaps instantly to mind

by the way have you heard these

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bootie bootie bootie!  Never heard it before--like I wrote, I am way out of the current loops, I'm still hoping young ETers--young lurkers!--will appear with fantastic music I've never heard before.

For rhythm I'm thinking: Okay, we'll need a one beat (I have that in mind); a two beat (okay...); a three beat (can do); four beat (just the one--but which to choose and why?); five beat--hmmmm....I heard something the other day, but can I find such things on youtube?; six beat (doable); seven beat (ah!); eight beat (two fours?  Could be interesting); nine beat--okay, I have ideas; ten beat (lovely!  But can I find anything?); eleven beat--???; twelve beat--doable; thirteen, fourteen--the only music I can think of that has thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen beat cycles is indian, though sixteen is four fours so that could be another aspect of the four--

Hey, here's a three beat.  Actually, I think there might be a nine or twelve in there too.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, on a re-liten I'll call that a six basic with strange multiple-of-three combinations--

Ah, but the ten--

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:47:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh...that intro is a thirteen!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and recognised the song from the picture, so sang it trough in my head, rather than changing to IE ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well jokingly I was going to throw this at you

plus once you have done those rythms you have bands like the Cardiacs who have a tendancy to change rythms sometimes every few bars.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:48:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, rhythmic variation--also I'm sure DoDo will know of pieces with no clear rhythmic patterns--not just chopping and changing (or/and slowing and speeding) but...no clear pulses at all.

And Captain Beefheart, of course!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:52:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like I said, it's a beastie!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 07:55:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Help might be in the mail

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 27th, 2008 at 08:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the bump, In Wales.  Now I can't get the videos to work!  They start and then hang after a couple of seconds.  Any technical whizzes got any suggestions?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 04:54:53 AM EST
Hmmm, I don't know why.  It is no different for me from usual.  Some take longer to load and playing catches up with the limit to how much is loaded, but once it has loaded once it runs without a problem.  Others run without catching at all.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 06:07:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What browser are you using? has the firefox problem spread?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 06:20:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well...hmmm...they're working again now.  I'm using firefox--mysterious!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 06:41:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the series needs a note at the bottom of the main text saying how some people have had problems with the videos in firefox, when there are too many on the page and suggesting using another browser for the rest.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:12:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I'll add one to the next.  'Twould be nice to know what the problem is, tho.  It's all working for me now.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:20:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently it's a problem with the current version of flash player, you can sort it by removing flash player, and getting an oder version from the net and reinstaling it.

apart from that the only reccomended way of dealing is to use ie....

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doh!  I just installed the latest version of flash player!  That explains it.  Any reason why it works sometimes but not others?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:40:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The will of the gods, Karma, a Butterfy flapping its wings in the amazon, insufficient blood sacrifice, The usual causes of random computer problems.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:58:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Downloaded IE7 now--everything's working fine.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 10:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently. I also get the problem with firefox. The diary works with IE7.

Great diary, rg! I want to post some more vids before giving you mojo, but what you say about music and culture and breaking out of bounds is something I... resonate with.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:04:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking forward to your selections!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:18:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's posted a video--I count 39 so far, that's a couple of hours (or more!) of listening pleasure.

I'm hoping that as many people as possible (=wide range of styles) will post.  Next Weds. the theme is "rhythm"--I've got a take on it I'll try to get across, but all input appreciated.

Special hat tip to DoDo and ceebs!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:14:16 AM EST
If that isn't enough music for you, Bernhard over at moonofalabama has a music thread up.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2008/03/a-music-thread.html

From his selection, here's a lovely piece by Purcell which fits with this weeks theme.  This is the sound of a countertenor:

Alfred Deller - Music for a while - Purcell (4:02)



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 07:33:54 AM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 08:29:04 AM EST
Male vocalists have an unfortunate habit of dying young. To give some prop to Dodo: there's a connection to the female vocalist he opened with.

Also note the opening statement.

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (6:26)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 01:54:10 PM EST
Another dead guy. I have to admit that with male voices I attend more to the singing than the voice. If that makes sense. So while I like Jeff, I'm much more moved by this (even though Jeff is the better vocalist). This song cuts.

Elliot Smith - Waltz #2 (xo) (04:02)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 02:12:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I do love that Jeff Buckley track, that and "Corpus Christi Carol".

The difference between the singing and the voice, Tom Waits does it for me, first up his softer side, which is both more tuneful and less heartfelt (more storytelling than truth telling, though the two are entwined):

Tom Waits Martha (4:40)

I used to listen to this on a walkman way back when, walking home through the empty town late at night, Closing Time on one side of the cassette, The Times They Are a-Changin' on the other, both pretty much one instrument one voice--one all lovelorn the other protest music--great lyrics in both cases

Then there's Tom after he met Kathleen Brennan, worked up a showman role and bent his music into crazy shapes, but (for me) used the strange shapes to--over time--pick at the truth ever closer:

Tom Waits -- God's Away on Business (3:04)

There's a leak, there's a leak in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves and lawyers

God's away, God's away
God's away on business, business
God's away, God's away
God's away on business, business

From talking to people it seems his is a voice you either love or hate.  I love it.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:15:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know very narrowing down, but for me, Tom Waits the musician is inseparable from Tom Waits the actor/songwriter in Jim Jarmusch movies.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 02:06:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really like a lot of Dutch music, except for this. This music sometimes make me homesick. You should like it, rg, if you can get past the drum computer.

Spinvis - Voor Ik Vergeet (04:25)

Lyrics:

Spinvis - Spinvis Spinvis - Spinvis
3: Voor ik vergeet 3: Before I forget
Voor ik vergeet dat hier een kerk heeft gestaan
Voor ik vergeet dat ik jarig was
En een tic-tac in mijn neusgat had toen we naar Zeeland zijn gegaan
Voor ik vergeet koninginnedag
En wie toen mijn vrienden zijn geweest
En niets meer weet van straten en examens en vakanties en ruzie
Op een feest ergens in de Biltstraat waar ik toch niemand kende
Before I forget that a church stood here
Before I forget that I had my birthday
And had a tic-tac in my nose when we went to Zeeland
Before I forget queen's day
And who were my friends back then
And know nothing no more of streets and exams and vacations and fights
On a party somewhere in the Biltstraat where I didn't know anyone anyway
Voor ik vergeet en later alles anders heet
Voor ik vergeet en ik de feiten en de cijfers en de namen van de schrijvers niet meer weet
De hele dag
En alle woorden en elk uur
De hele dag en ook de nacht
En de zomers en de handen van mijn vader
Vergeet ik op den duur
Before I forget and everything later has a different name
Before I forget and I don't know the numbers and the names of the writers anymore
All the day
And all the words and every hour
All the day and also the night
And the summers and the hands of my father
I forget on the long run
Voor ik vergeet
Vergeten ben van die hersenscan en van die toestand met dat huis
Voor ik vergeet
En dat ik iemand was die van alles wou en niets begreep
Van de film waarin hij speelde en de lafbek die hij was
Ik hou van jou
Ik hou zoveel van jou
Tot ik vergeet
Ik jou vergeet
Jou vergeet
Jou vergeet
En nog alleen maar lijk te dromen
Before I forget
Forget about the brain scan and the situation with that house
Before I forget
And that I was someone who wanted all kinds of things and understood nothing
Of the film in which he played and the coward that he was
I love you
I love you such a lot
Until I forget
I forget you
Forget you
Forget you
And only seem to be dreaming
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:08:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Before I forget that I had my birthday
And had a tic-tac in my nose when we went to Zeeland

Gotta love it!  Her singing reminds me of this lot (similar type of intro, too, though this is more upbeat):



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stereolab is one of these bands I keep reminding myself to listen more to, every now and then. And again.

But Spinvis is a male singer. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish. Here's another soft-sung male voice in the same vein:

Erlend Oye - Sudden Rush (03:36)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 04:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's how-could-I-thought-that funny in hindsight, but when I heard their first few songs, I thought Brian Molko, Placebo's singer is a deep-voiced female...

The voice of Jas Mann is less in danger of such confusion.

Babylon Zoo: Zodiac Sign, 4:57 (I wanted to put up the un-noisy Aroma Girl, but it's not on any video site)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 02:43:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hip-hop music. It's not all about bling & bitches. Some say that's not even hip-hip. Here's a big part of what it's about.

Mos Def - Close Edge (02:37)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was busy off-line over the weekend (among others, a don't-try-this-at-home style cutting down of a dead tree), and am too tired for a real selection here... I'll show one.

I'm not better disposed to local music than nanne to Dutch, what I like is usually older. One is the rock opera István a király ( = Stephen the King) from 1983. Note this was then a big event with sublime politics: it's superficially about Hungary's first Rome-recognised Christian king's rise to power after defeating his pagan uncle. But while Stephen argues about the need to fit in with the big Western powers and their ways, but it appears the 'freedom-fighting' pagan uncle is the real hero (e.g., West = Soviet Union, Stephen = Kádár and the communists).

What I chose doesn't involve the uncle, only pagans: Áldozatunk fogadjátok ( = accept our sacrifice), in which the táltos (pagan priest) is impersonated by Gyula "Bill" Deák, a half-footed rocker and blues singer (his first solo begins 1:25 in).

(Sorry for video quality, I didn't find better than this video from a 1990 concert I happened to attend too).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 03:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The song is 03:00 in in this section of the video of the first concert in 1983, you can see more of the singer (but the sound quality is worse):



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 03:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One last:

Though Brendan Perry's voice is not nearly as speactacular as Lisa Gerrard's, here is Dead Can Dance: Enigma Of The Absolute:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 05:24:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boom...boom...boom...boom...

And a cello at the end!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 05:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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