Archive for Tongue and Groove

They can change, they can change

The fourth album by the ad hoc “Andrew Oldham Orchestra” was called The Rolling Stones Songbook, which Oldham had no problem getting the rights to, inasmuch as he was, at the time, the Stones’ manager. It did not sell on the level of, say, a Hollyridge Strings Beatles compilation, and it mostly disappeared for the next two decades, when Richard Ashcroft, then of the Verve, requested permission to sample Oldham’s version of “The Last Time” for a song to be called “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

Permission was granted, but quickly withdrawn, once Abkco Music, owner of the Stones’ catalog (and Oldham’s) in those days, heard just how much of the song the Verve actually used. Long story short: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wound up with their names on the publishing rights.

And that’s the way things stood for the next couple of decades, until I imagine Keith and Mick said to each other “Hasn’t this gone on for long enough?” Abkco boss Jody Klein, generally regarded as less of a hardass than his father Allen, apparently assented, and while the parties in question retain nominal ownership of the song, neither Jagger nor Richards will collect any songwriter royalties: they’ve assigned their statutory songwriter-royalty rights to Richard Ashcroft and taken their names off the pertinent papers.

Roebuck “Pops” Staples, who died in 2000, was not available for comment.

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Quantities are limited

Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album Dedicated dropped Friday; remarkably, this is the fourth single to be released, and so far it’s the best, possibly because it’s so skeletal you can feel it in your, um, bones.

I still don’t get why it took nineteen producers to record a thirteen-track album, but Jepsen reported that she’d come up with over 100 songs for it, so maybe it takes that many to clean house.

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Someone got paid for this

Perhaps the dumbest aspect of Quora is the fact that they actually pay people to ask questions. The inevitable result of this, as could have been predicted by anyone who doesn’t drink the social-media Kool-Aid, is that lazy bastards will write the same question dozens of times, changing a single variable in each one, and then uploading the lot.

That lot will almost always contain something at this level of stupid:

Which artist sang the song Tequila

As regular readers of this space know, the One Whole Word in that record by the Champs was uttered by composer/saxophone player Danny Flores.

And yes, they offered to enroll me in the program. I threw the offer away.

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He could have danced all night

In 1964, Anthony Hopkins — yes, that Anthony Hopkins — composed a waltz; like many geniuses, he had little faith in his ability to create something so far out of his usual métier. And he might have gone on composing for the cedar chest, except that his wife sent a copy of the score to Dutch violinist André Rieu. Rieu thought it was wonderful:

That was in 2011. By the next year, Sir Anthony had dusted off a whole CD’s worth of music. And there isn’t a fava bean to be seen anywhere.

(Via Kim du Toit.)

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Nobody came

Well, it fits, sort of:

I mean, she wasn’t picking up all that rice because of mere hunger.

And by Gawd, McKenzie came through for her, although his timing was a bit off.

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All the sentiment you could want

About a week and a half after the musicians’ strike of 1942-44 drew to a close, Doris Day sang “Sentimental Journey” in front of Les Brown and his Band of Renown; that spring, Columbia put it out on a 78, and it made Number One on whatever charts existed in those days. It’s appropriate that we play it here:

Incidentally, when Doris got her own radio show on CBS in 1952, Brown was her bandleader.

I’m sure there were at least some guys of a certain age who didn’t crush on Doris Day, but I never met any of them.

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Tickets torn in half

If your knowledge of Michelle Creber is limited to “Wasn’t she the voice of Apple Bloom?” this will put socks on you just long enough to knock them back off again:

On Display, released last summer, is her sixth album. Sixth.

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Don’t overlook her

For every young, cute, chirpy singer I fixate upon, there are a couple of dozen I manage to miss entirely. One of the latter is Sabrina Carpenter, twenty today, who’s been acting as long as she’s been singing. At 12, she had a teensy role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; shortly thereafter, the Disney Channel picked her up for Girl Meets World alongside Rowan Blanchard, and inevitably, she had a single promoted on Radio Disney:

If she comes off here as a younger Meghan Trainor, you will not be surprised to hear that M-Train wrote this one.

Sabrina Carpenter poses in front of a faux-finish wall

Sabrina Carpenter curls up on the sofa

Sabrina Carpenter is about to lose a shoe

Still, she’s ready to shrug off that whole teen-dream image thing:

[A]n “utter and complete transformation” is what Carpenter had been craving — a creative vacation as she was in the midst of crafting her shimmery, dance-driven third studio album, Singular: Act I, released last fall. “I was looking forward to stripping down in every aspect. I wanted to dye my hair for a role. I wanted to be able get into a character in a way where I’d look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. And that’s exactly what I was able do with Nola,” she says. “Ani [Simon-Kennedy, writer-director of The Short History of the Long Road] asked me, “Are you OK with no makeup?’ I was like, ‘Please!’ She asked, ‘Are you OK with not shaving?’ Again, I was like, ‘Please!'”

As Carpenter points out, “This girl, living in a van her whole life with her dad, doesn’t care about her appearance at all. There’s no self-awareness, only an appreciation for what’s going on inside of herself and others. And Nola’s story is one of survival and autonomy, which I think is very empowering for young girls to see.”

That said, Singular: Act II is on the way, containing this song:

In which “chirpy” meets “melancholy.” I promise to start paying attention.

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She loves me not

This, of course, is the default. That said, this cover of a Billie Eilish song deserves to be loved in its own right; to quote the video description, “this song makes my heart sing and also cry a trillion tears at the same time.”

And this, in its own way, suggests another cover RB might consider: Lesley Duncan’s “Love Song,” perhaps best known as a duet between Duncan and Elton John, included on his Tumbleweed Connection LP in 1970.

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Get ’em while they’re young

Being awed at Symphony Hall is not uncommon, but this exuberance was extraordinary:

The Handel and Haydn Society, one of America’s oldest performing arts groups, had just finished performing Mozart’s Masonic Funeral at Boston’s Symphony Hall, when a young child broke the silence with an exuberant “Wow!”

The awe in the child’s voice is so palpable and genuine that it won laughter and applause from the audience, and deeply touched the musicians.

The president of the Society wants to meet the kid and present her (or him; I can’t tell) with some goodies, including a recording of that very concert.

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A lifetime later

When Sabrina Lentini was ten years old, she was singing Leonard Cohen:

That was the summer of 2008. This past weekend:

Sabrina Lentini's 21st birthday party

I’m not sure which counts for more: her strong yet sweet voice or her legendary work ethic. I’ve characterized her before as the hardest-working singer in Orange County, and rare is the week when she doesn’t have at least a couple of gigs. It doesn’t even have to be in the OC:

Sabrina Lentini at a Dodgers-Padres game

And shortly, she’ll be heading for Nashville for a couple of weeks:

Sabrina Lentini, guitar in hand

This is the current single, released Sunday:

All grown up, she is.

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Don’t believe them, just watch

Eight million copies in the States so far. Imagine if it had had a 90-year head start:

And life goes on at 115 beats per minute.

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Always sane

An old friend has turned one more page, and understandably, she feels great about it:

Schooled in music, Carolyne Mas skipped college to travel the world pursuing her musical passions. A triple threat; singer, songwriter and guitar player, Mas was living her dream.

In 2002, after decades in the industry and years on the road, Mas found herself needed at home. She would first become her aunt’s caregiver then later her mother’s, both were living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

During her musical hiatus, Mas said she developed pain in her hands.

“I started having problems with arthritis and went on disability and was very unhappy because I’m not one to sit idly by and let time just roll on,” Mas said.

Hoping to help her get out of her funk, Mas’s husband suggested she “go to college.” By this point, they were living in Pearce, Arizona. So she started looking into programs and came across the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Bachelor of Science in integrative health.

Monday, Arizona State will present her with her diploma — summa cum laude, yet. What’s more, they’ve asked her to speak at the convocation. All of us unrepentant rock-and-rollers should have done so well.

One of her signature songs, recorded live in Paris. (The Europeans always appreciated her more.)

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She said “Meh”

No, wait, it’s “Me!”

On second thought, I was right the first time. Meh.

Exactly what here couldn’t have been done better by Meghan Trainor at one-eighth the expense?

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White boys playing

A really good mashup will bring on the giggles, every time.

“Super-duper supermen!”

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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The off-white album

Roger, a couple of years ago, on the album formally titled The Beatles:

Lots of people speculated what the album would have been like if it were a single LP, rather than a double, starting with producer George Martin. But it was The Beatles we’re talking about, who, that year, put out a seven-minute single, “Hey Jude.” (Now if YOU want to speculate what would be lost, besides “Revolution 9”, go ahead.)

I did exactly that in 2004. A lot of folks have done similarly. But few of them went to this much trouble:

Fantasy cover for Beatles '68

Fantasy cover for Beatles '68

The artwork, of course, is splendid. But I’m perhaps most delighted at the inclusion of “Not Guilty,” a Harrison track that was reportedly among the last songs to be cut from the final track list. Said a YouTube commenter:

“This was left off, but hey, at least we got Revolution 9 & Wild Honey Pie,” said no one ever.

As track lists from alternative universes go, this one is among the best.

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Let’s do it again

Eighties teen dream Tiffany, last name Darwish, got her biggest hit from a cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now,” written by the late Ritchie Cordell for Tommy James and the Shondells. She got a #1 charter out of it, three places higher than those James boys had done twenty years earlier.

Since them. the Tiffster has never actually left show biz, but her profile ain’t what it used to be. So why not remake her original remake?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a really bad version of this song, which I guess attests to Cordell’s unfailing pop instincts. And Tiffany is canny enough not to imitate herself.

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But I get overwhelmed

There hadn’t been a new FKA twigs single for three years now, and truth be told, I never quite envisioned her as a pole dancer, especially this pole dancer:

Some of the visuals may be upsetting, and by “some” I mean “damn near all.”

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Extended longevity

One of the things that Roger Green does exceptionally well is turning back the time machine that comes with every mental jukebox. And he picks up on the details you or I may not have noticed:

[T]here were actually THREE different [Billboard] charts: Best Sellers (BS from 1940), Juke Box charts (JB from 1944) and Disc Jockey charts (DJ from 1945).

So I thought I’d pick out songs that charted at #1 ten weeks or more, or if there were none for that particular year, the songs that charted most often.

This was the last such song in 1954:

1954/8/7 Sh-Boom — The Crew-Cuts, orchestra conducted by David Carroll — 9 weeks DJ; 8 weeks JB; 7 weeks BS. The pop hits of rock and roll era are on the horizon.

Earlier that same year, the Chords, the R&B outfit that actually came up with the song, managed to get to #9 on one of those charts. Either way, the song is iconic. Even Rainbow Dash knows it:

Not bad for a song 65 years old. And if you turn back that clock only about halfway:

The very nature of an icon: it requires no explanation.

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I have three of these

Naybe four. At some point, the details start to blur:

I should point out here that I paid the long dollar for an Elton John box set, making it unnecessary to own any of the various Greatest Hits discs.

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Speaking now

Most of the time, I can get through Quora with a sentence or two. Sometimes, however, I find myself more greatly motivated: What do you respect and admire most about Taylor Swift?

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She’s somewhere between a very good and a superb lyricist; almost every song in the Swift catalog contains at least one passage that hits you square in the heart. And she’s by all available evidence a firm believer in the idea that those who have been given much are expected to give back. Perhaps most inspiring, though, is the fact that she’s negotiated her contracts with music distributors, not to her best advantage, but to the benefit of musicians who aren’t in a position to command the numbers she does. An example: The nascent Apple Music offered 90 days free to early subscribers, financed by the artists, who would draw no royalties during that period. Swift objected:

“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field … but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

“These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”

Apple backpedaled. Quickly.

Taylor Swift has her quirks — her legs are insured for $40 million, and after a long period of contemplation, I don’t see how they’re worth more than $35 million — but I will always wish her well.

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Clef for me

I’ve actually heard this sort of statement more than once:

I am not a big fan of classical music, Rock & Roll is more my style. Lately though I have been listening to classical music when I am driving, mostly because the classical station doesn’t have as much blather (people talking) as other stations. Also, occasionally, depending on the tune playing, I get the feeling of being in a scene from a movie. Scenes where we have someone driving down the road and the soundtrack is playing some classical music are fairly common.

The lack of blather is handy during the late-night hours when I’m trying to get some sleep. (Our local classical station carries the overnight programming from WCPE in Raleigh/Durham.)

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And we’re out of here

In 2016, YG Entertainment, one of those humongous Korean leisure-time conglomerates, announced the disbanding of 2NE1. It wasn’t a surprise, I suppose, since the girls hadn’t released anything new in a while, one had left, and one had been dismissed for, um, pharmaceutical excesses. So “Goodbye,” the last song to be released under the 2NE1 name, might have been one of the most cynical tracks ever released. And yet, somehow, it doesn’t feel that way:

It was nice while it lasted, I guess.

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Take that, Mortimer Snerd

Female ventriloquists have always been fairly uncommon. Female ventriloquists who sing opera …?

I don’t think Edgar Bergen (or Charlie McCarthy) ever once tried to sing Puccini.

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Basses for comparison

In nineteen ought eight, Cadillac won the prestigious Dewar Trophy, and arguably deserved to be called the Standard of the World:

[T]hree Model Ks were selected from stock at the Anglo-American Motor-car Company, Cadillac’s London agent. On Saturday, February 29, the three were driven 25 miles to the Brooklands Circuit, opened only a year before, where they did 10 laps of this oval, another 30 miles.

After resting under [Royal Automotive Club] lock and key, on March 2, 1908, the three Cadillacs were disassembled, each car reduced to a heap of 721 parts. Then R.A.C. officials scrambled everything into a pile of 2163 pieces. What’s more, they chose 89 of these to swap with replacements selected from the dealership’s parts supplies.

The resulting heap was categorized into three appropriate piles, from which three Model Ks were reassembled. These three “harlequin cars” were fired up on Thursday morning, March 12, and began lapping Brooklands.

By 2 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 1908, the trio had completed 500 miles. After this, one of them was locked away until the June 1908 R.A.C. Reliability Run, at which it earned a class trophy. And, of course, Cadillac deserved the 1908 Dewar Trophy for this impressive display of parts interchangeability.

It’s been many years since anyone thought of Cadillac as being a world leader in anything, but interchangeable parts are still a thing. Behold Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Diana Ross:

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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Stick several forks in it

Just when I think I’ve figured out K-pop, something like this shows up:

Dropped Friday morning, “Kill This Love,” a title utterly lacking in nuance, rolled up over 100 million YouTube views just this past weekend. It’s getting more of a push on this side of the Pacific, I suspect, because the girls’ recordings are issued here on the big-time Interscope label. And if someone sidles up to you and asks “What’s a cross between Taylor Swift and Rammstein?” you can just give him this link.

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Butterfly bleu

You don’t, or at least I don’t, see something this small and awesome very often:

Inevitably, this called to mind Iron Butterfly’s “Butterfly Bleu,” from their third album; it’s not as iconic as “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida,” but it’s a bit more adventurous.

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This time, give it to me easy

The Zombies are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2019. What better time to do a promotional appearance on American television?

Vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent remain from the original five; Jim Rodford, who replaced Chris White on bass, died last year. (Son Steve Rodford took over drums in 2004.) Blunstone’s voice has changed markedly in the 50 years (!) since “Time of the Season” was recorded, but that’s to be expected.

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It’s waiting there for you

Postmodern Jukebox, from last fall:

Robyn Adele Anderson, who sang many sessions with PMJ, from this spring:

I’m not sure, but I suspect Rosanna was not available for comment.

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Little jewel

Papa John Phillips, known as such by dint of being one of the Mamas and the Papas — to my knowledge, he’s never been in the pizza business — sired five children, of which Bijou Phillips, who turned 39 yesterday, is the youngest. She’s been described as a “wild child,” probably because she quit school at 14 and moved into a Manhattan apartment. She had a brief career as a model, which she apparently didn’t like, and in 1999, at nineteen, she cut an album, I’d Rather Eat Glass.

Bijou Phillips gives you That Look

Bijou Phillips semi-formal

Bijou Phillips dresses down

She sustained an acting career for better than a decade; after a brief stint on Fox’s Raising Hope, she reported that she was going to devote herself to her family and her health. She and Danny Masterson — they were wed in 2011 — have a five-year-old daughter; in 2017, she had a kidney transplant, presumably not because of eating glass.

And from that one album, this was the single, “Wnen I Hated Him (Don’t Tell Me),” which did not chart:

Phillips has co-writer credits on 11 of the 12 songs, including this one, and wrote the last one herself.

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