In an age of outlandish criminal politics (is there really any other kind anymore?), I'd rather talk about art - and popular music specifically. It'll be fun to volley the verbal banter about something immediate, intense, and creative as opposed to cunning, crafty, or destructive.
This article is meant to be a celebration of music, all kinds and every taste. This article is also meant to be fun and interactive. Let's write about music, one of the most inspiring and healing mediums ever! Forgive me if I gush, folks - just pretend we're on the beach, glass of wine in hand, breeze in hair, chatting away at the possibililty of everything and anything.
Pop songs. Rock songs. Any kinda songs.
They can define memories, memorialize generations, re-route neuro-transmitters, and elevate consciousness. They can be idealistic and they can challenge OR they can just offer a couple minutes of a naturally induced altered state.
Okay, here I go...(all opinions are strictly my own).
I think the Bee Gees were genius at creating a completely original sound through vocal harmony; Talking Heads were innovators and brought a heightened sense of IRONY to their lyrics; and Queen had one of the best frontmen ever.
Or how about the Stones - deep country and blues poured, churned, and stirred into an amalgamation that even dopey white kids could be proud of? What about the great heart of Lennon, the poetry of Dylan, the pain of Joplin (did she ever realize her depth of suffering or how easily it translated into vinyl profundity)?
Jim Morrison was one of the sexiest poets, and Bowie was one of the most prolific. Joni Mitchel and Bruce Cockburn created awesome masterpieces with words and their intonations. Or how about Kate Bush - a woman whose high wails of brilliance influenced everyone from The Cure to Tori Amos.
The Smiths were a paradox: lonely outsider lyrics were often married to an up-tempo, airy acoustic guitar - "I want the one I can't have and it's driving me mad"...can anyone relate to that???!!!!
Remember the easy cool of Steely Dan and 10cc and Peter Cetera fronting Chicago, or the awesomeness of Michael McDonald? Or how about the ultra smooth of Christopher Cross and James Taylor?
What about the stunning sexiness of Lena Horne, the soaring genius of Barbra Steisand, the infinite power of Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin and now, Macy Gray and Mary J. Blige? These gals are heavy heavy in the way that Ross and the Supremes were heavy light. Heavy light, in their case, by the way, is just as cool as heavy heavy.
Remember The Who and Tommy? Elton John's Pinball Wizard or how about Honky Cat? Pete Townshend went on to be almost as fascinating as David Byrne. Anyone remember Face the Face?
And how about those voices that could shred steel? Rod Stewart lamenting Maggie, Al Green wondering how to mend a broken heart, or Tina Turner describing the lonely angst of a private dancer? Or what about the "second" guy heading AC/DC - I mean, how does a throat survive it all?
The great Tina - the energy - a human powerhouse moving across the stage in a way that no one else had before (except maybe for a James Brown, who wasn't half as sexy:). Tina took my breath away as a kid (and she still does, even as she nears her seventh decade). Forget the showmanship of Kiss (but don't really) and give me some more hair, heels, and heart. River Deep, Mountain High - who else but Tina could have demolished such a Wall of Sound? I've actually been fortunate enough to see Tina Turner perform live seven times!!!
What about the sheer organic unity of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or The Police??? The magical, electronic Beatle-esque gems of E.L.O? All almost unbearably incredible. And the "group dynamic" intensity of Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles or Rush and The Tragically Hip?? - wow, what a combined musical body of sheer bliss!
Don't forget about the White guys that sounded Black? Stevie Winwood and Steve Perry and the red-head from Simply Red...or just the ones that sounded angelic - Karen Carpenter, Patsy Cline, and Boy George? (yeah, I know El G, you really want to hurt me).
And country legacies too - Johnny Cash singing HURT or Willie Nelson singing anything? And how on Earth could Dolly pluck that guitar so well with those nails? Jolene, oh Jolene.
Then we have the cool, smart, smug girls like Pink and Gwen making fun of the not so smart ones, and I won't mention names. And let us not forget the compassionate, amazing gals such as Lauper and Raitt, Lauren Hill and Linda Ronstadt.
Was anyone as sexy as Olivia Newton John or Annie Lennox or Prince or Anthony "sexycoolhot" Keidis??? And didn't you kind of love Duran Duran - shake up that lizard thing, indeed!! Was anyone ever more cool than Debbie "hottie" Harry?
Does anyone want to take on the cultural significance of Madonna or R.E.M or Bob Marley???? Or the controversy of metal in its more extreme forms? Or how about gangsta rap? Punk? And what do we think about the massive decline of record industry profits?
Yes, I admit it - I'm a music fan (hey - I even got into a mosh pit at a Fishbone concert) and was transported to another dimension at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion listening to the opera of Hei-Kyung Hong. I could go on for days but I'd rather hear from you. Talk to me about what tunes changed your life, made the hairs stand on end, inspired you to your own magic? This is an area where opinions can co-exist quite peacefully, no matter how different.
Talk to me about your favorite "unknowns" - the master creators who get no recognition from our corporatized existence (like a Jane Siberry, a Strange Advance, or a Mary Margaret O'hara) - the poets and the alchemists.
PS --- Am I crazy to think When Doves Cry is the greatest, most complete pop song ever created?????
Let me know, and I'm sure you will:) Peace.
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 Kay C
Copyright © 2010 Kay C
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