Not-So-Subtle Advertising @FleetwoodMac #FleetwoodMac #music #wine #booze

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These guys really want me to drink their booze.

It may work.

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Hate Always Beats Like/Love @Nickelback #Caturday #haters

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This is a Caturday post, but in the most roundabout way possible.

The other day, a music video hit my Facebook stream. It was a video I had never seen, and song I had never heard. The video was Nickelback’s This Afternoon. The video quickly arrives at a scene in which someone brings a band they’ve kidnapped to play at a party intending to prove that “the Nerd Brigade knows how to rock.” The organizer is disappointed to see that the band is Nickelback. This is a brilliant moment of self-awareness that’s lost on society today. No one seems to be able to laugh at themselves anymore, especially when it comes to politics and religion.

But that’s not my point.

This got me thinking, yet again, about how everyone hates Nickelback. There’s even been a “scientific study” done to prove this is the case. And yet, Nickelback was, as of January 25, 2017, the 11th Best-Selling Band In History. How do you explain the discrepancy? It’s simple: This is yet another example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. A bit more formally, this is yet another example of the statistical fallacies people commit when analyzing data. In the YouTube generation, a single point of data is often used to extrapolate a broad rule. Confirmation bias also plays a factor, of course, and people don’t appreciate the fact that their specific search command loads the data. For example, if you Google “eating sauerkraut on ice cream,” you’ll find plenty of stories on it, and if you leave your blinders on, you’ll ignore the fact that almost all of those stories are reporting the same phenomenon originating from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania region.

But again, I’m drifting from my point.

The truth is that Nickelback is, in fact, very popular (or at least was), and is probably still well loved by those that grew up with it (much my love of Rush, Fleetwood Mac, etc. doesn’t fade with time). So why is it that the only people you see in your streams are the haters? Consider this: How many of you (myself absolutely included) have criticized people for talking about home much they like CrossFit, veganism, or, well, Nickelback? Anytime someone does, they get blasted. There are countless social media posts asking which fan group is the most annoying of the bunch. That drives positive comments underground. On the other hand, we welcome the hatred people spew for just about anything. It’s probably seen as “edgy” or “raw.” It’s really just dickish. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be allowed to be dickish. Here’s another example, and it’s the one example where hate is criticized.

As a free speech nut, I’m completely fine with you spewing your hate; I just have a problem with the weakness society has embraced allowing your hate to cause them to self-censor themselves. No one’s opinion is more entitled to be voiced than any other’s. The second we abandon that principle, everyone will be censored. You need support for that assertion? Look around you, America. It’s everywhere. But the fact that this phenomenon favors hate is a bit disturbing and explains how we get the impression that beloved things are largely hated.

Full disclosure: I shamelessly admit that I like (don’t love) Nickelback. It may appear that I’m trying to do the same thing, saying I like Nickelback because everyone else supposedly hates it, thus turning around the attempt to sound counter-culture on itself. However, I’ve often said that when asked about guilty pleasures. Nevertheless, Nickelback is not a guilty pleasure. I’m far from alone.

If you don’t like Nickelback (or anything else), that’s fine, but holding them up as a poster child for what’s wrong with music is stupid. If there’s something wrong with modern music, it’s a trend among all the bands, but there’s isn’t. Popular music is popular because it’s what people want to hear, and not all of it is as formulaic as is claimed. Take it from this old fogey: No one cares what the old people think. As a demographic, you don’t have a lot of disposable income, but even if you do, you aren’t spending it on new things. Don’t become your parents. Stop hating on what the young-uns want. You’ll be dead soon, and the only people left will be the young-uns. While you’re at it, stop basing your worldview on one video or article.

Nickelcat?

With that in mind, fuck you guys. I like cats, and I’ll post about it (and anything else) whenever I want. Your hate has no power over me.

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I’m About to Turn 54 @blink182 #aging #happybirthday #birthday #music

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Once a decade for an entire year, I get to make myself the subject when I sing Blink 182’s What’s My Age Again? Today is the last day of that year. Sing it for me as well. See you in 9 years.

0:57

I’m still a child.

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Golden Anniversary #aging #movie #music #art #history

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To make some of you feel as old as I do, here are things that have or will turn 50 this year. Some held up very well.

The sequel was better. 🙂

Even the younguns know this one now.

Oops.

Awkward.

A “Wet Paint” song.

Basically matheletes.

A song remade this many times must be great.

Just the theme song is all it takes to make me laugh.

But it took 47 years to release a chicken sandwich.

My cousin, Tom, always beat me at this at Mr. T’s restaurant.

All of these things are younger than I.

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Drastic Measures @KansasBand #music #Kansas

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If you’d rather listen to this blog, you may watch the video here.

No, this isn’t about something serious. Rarely will I discuss serious things on my blog. Drastic Measures is the title of my favorite album by the band Kansas. My guess is that their most popular album is either Leftoverture or Point of No Return (both of which I love), and so perhaps in that way they’re in some odd sense objectively better albums, but the value of an album is always subjective, and this blog isn’t about your opinions. 😛

Well, that was an obnoxious thing to say.

Sure this album’s hits weren’t as popular among their 18 hits. None of its songs are in VCR’s top ten list of Kansas songs. In fact, Leftoverture and Point of No Return are the only two albums with more than one entry. The same can be said for Louder’s list, Classic Rock History, Return of Rock, and Chaospin. I think there’s a clear consensus, but just like with my favorite Rush album, Grace Under Pressure (also an unpopular choice), the heart wants what it wants, and as far as Kansas is concerned, mine wants Drastic Measures.

Being that this is a subjective issue, there’s no point in providing an argument, but there is something that I can say about the album that I find interesting. First, an anecdote. The first concert I ever attended was Billy Joel on The Bridge tour. Among many great aspects to his show was his ability to reduce the intensity at exactly the right moment (ordinary among true pros). His first three songs were high energy, followed by a slower song, Piano Man (which nowadays he reserves for the final encore), and then he ramped it right up again. Once we got to Only the Good Die Young, no one sat down again . . . but I digress.

Drastic Measures mirrors this technique on a smaller scale. The first three songs (Fight Fire with Fire, Everybody’s My Friend, and Mainstream) are high energy, with the first two being the songs released as singles. After that, they slow it down a bit with Andi. Andi is a song that’s either ahead of its time or a prediction of the end of the world, depending on your politics. I’ll let all of you dopes argue over that one.

Well, that was an obnoxious thing to say.

In any event, Andi has a wonderful sound to it. After Andi, everything picks up again. Don’t let Dust in the Wind fool you. Kansas has always been a high-energy band, and Drastic Measures is no exception.

I know we no longer listen to 8-track tapes, so we can listen to songs in whatever order we want, but even today you may sometimes just want to put on an album and let it ride exactly how the artist intended. This is the best way to enjoy my favorite album, Duke by Genesis, and it’s certainly the best way to listen to Drastic Measures.

. . . which I’ve been doing an awful lot lately.

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Weirdly Misheard Song Lyrics @ThatEricAlper @TheClash @ThePoliceBand @IronMaiden #music #TheClash #ThePolice #UpTheIrons #IronMaiden

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Still on break from gaming posts, today’s post is about a thought triggered by a tweet from Eric Alpert.

This is by no means an original idea, but I suspect I have something to add to it. As we all know, there are some song lyrics that have been famously misinterpreted by the fans. For example, in Manfred Mann’s Blinded by the Light, “wrapped up like a deuce” has been misinterpreted as “wrapped up like a douche.” Then there’s Rockin’ the Casbah by the Clash. Cingular Wireless made a commercial in which the actors were arguing over the song’s lyrics, including the title itself (e.g., “rock the cash box” v. “stop the cat box”). Again, this is not an original thought.

There are two examples of this going back to my teen years that I’ve never discussed with anyone. It’s not that these embarrass me; I point that out to illustrate that I have no idea whether anyone has ever misheard these lyrics in this way. First, in Every Breath You Take by the Police, I always heard, “how my poor heart aches” as “I’m a pool hall ace.” It didn’t make any sense to me, but I can’t understand these damn British and their mangled form of the English language.

Then there’s Caught Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden. The lyric in question is the title of the song, so of course I always knew what was being said. Nevertheless, “caught somewhere in time” still sounds like “constant wear and tear” to me. I have to force myself to hear it correctly. Considering Bruce Dickenson’s tedious inflection and tone while singing it, there’s some sense to that being the lyric, isn’t there?

There was another silly one for me, but at least a couple other people heard it too.

I love Stevie Nicks.

Again, I’ve never discussed these with anyone, so I have no idea whether either is common. I’d be surprised if “pool hall ace” is common, but as I point out, Bruce’s approach leans a bit towards my mistake. In any case, I bet you’ll never hear those songs the same way again.

Suckers.

What are your weirdly misheard song lyrics?

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In case the tweets are deleted, here are images of them.

Participatory Songs: Music Involving the Crowd @acdc @VanHalen @originalasia @linkinpark @QueenWillRock @Nirvana @jimmybuffett #music #ACDC #VanHalen #Asia #LinkinPark #Queen #Nirvana #JimmyBuffett

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It’s time for another break from gaming posts. This one will last two days.

A random thought popped into my head on my morning commute on March 18 (I’m way ahead on writing posts) when my random music mix spit out AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and Van Halen’s Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love in succession. For lack of an established term, I’m calling them participatory songs. Fans sing along with all sorts of songs, but some songs actively encourage it, giving the crowd cues as to when it’s their time connect with the musician.

Sing Along

The two songs I mentioned above have moments serving as a clear cue for the crowd to sing along in unison. All they have to do is sing one word, “Thunder” and “Hey” respectively, with a particular cadence and repetition. Even the worst singers in the world can handle that.

Another song comes to mind: Wildest Dreams by Asia. Back in the 80s, there was a Friday or Saturday night show that ran concert footage for a different band every week. One week, it was Asia playing in Japan. When they got to the relevant points in the song (I think this is the actual video), the crowd knew exactly what to sing. Why? Because all they had to do was repeat exactly what John Wetton (R.I.P.) had just sang. This was made even easier by the fact that in the studio version of the song, the crowd’s part is intentionally sounds like a crowd shouting rather than a chorus singing. Again, that’s easy for everyone.

Sometimes it’s forced. I have an mp3 of Linkin Park’s In the End live in Mexico City. The singer tells the crowd, “Sing along with Chester [Bennington]!” I guess that works too, but the best songs in this regard don’t require a command. Still, that song demonstrates a benefit to creating a participatory song. By encouraging a particular part for the crowd to play, the majority tend to sit out waiting for their moment. More on why that’s a benefit in a moment.

Playing the Beat

Then there’s another type of song that cues the crowd to make some noise, but not with their voices. Queen’s We Will Rock You immediately comes to mind. Not only is its three-beat hook extremely recognizable, but as it’s such a simple rhythm, it’s easy to perform. The movie, Bohemian Rhapsody was heavily dramatized, taking remarkable liberties with history, but that was discussed as the intended goal of the song, which is certainly believable.

Dance Moves

These two types of songs can screw up the musician’s cadences. For professionals, not so much, but I’ve heard bar-band amateurs actually say, “I hope they don’t start clapping.” As I mentioned with In the End, expressly or implicitly cueing up the crowd keeps them focused and in turn keeps their distracting effect to a minimum. But there’s a third way to involve the crowd that avoids that issue altogether. Enter the third category of songs: Dance moves.

Note: “Dance” is being used very broadly here, but “dance moves” is easier to digest than “bodily movements,” and is, well, less suggestive of digestion.

When people hear that opening guitar riff to Nirvana’s Smells Like Team Spirit, they start stretching, because they know within seconds, they’re going to be getting an aerobic workout. As soon as the rest of the band kicks in, everyone starts jumping. Then there’s Jimmy Buffet’s Fins, a song that analogizes men in a bar to sharks hunting their prey. The crowd uses their hand(s) to simulate a shark’ dorsal fin, leans to the left, leans to the right, and then sways back and forth.

Jimmy attracts . . . an older crowd.

Songs made for audience participation allow the audience to feel connected with the artist, and thus can make a song particularly memorable.

What are you favorite participatory songs?

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A Weird Music Thingy @billyjoel @SpandauBallet #music

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Music has a way of evoking emotion, and I’m certainly no exception to that. I’m writing this after a trip to the gym. Like most people, I listen to music while I work out, and a particular song came up on my random music mix, inspiring this post.

Dread GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

There are two songs that oddly fill me with dread when I hear them, and one of the artists is one of my favorites.

I love Billy Joel’s work as much as anyone’s.

And then there’s this one.

Horrifying, right? These two songs make me very uncomfortable, and I don’t know why. It’s certainly not the lyrics. Just the opening of the song starts the dread.

I should see a shrink.

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Genesis is in Danger! @PhilCollinsFeed @tonybanksmusic @officialmatm @genesis_band @StarTrek #music #StarTrek #Genesis

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s about a recent conversation. Strangely, a coworker asked me just this past week whether I enjoyed the Genesis concert from 11/18/2021. I told him . . . yeah.

But as you know, I also love Star Trek.

A perfect mashup.

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Music and Education #music #education

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a lesson in how to work music into your other classes. First up, geography.

If this were accurate, I’d rather live in Asia.

How about combining music with your English lesson?

I can’t verify any of this.

Health class?

Believe it or not, I’m not a professional teacher.

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