Posts Tagged ‘night songs’

Night Songs: Slight Return

May 13th, 2017

 

Been a while since I had this feature but right now I am taken with this synthpop gem from Japan in the early ’80s. Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) had their biggest single with “Kimi Ni Mune Kyun”. Decades later, it was revived as the closing theme for an lesbian schoolgirl anime. Because Japan.

 

Let’s just move to Japan, folks. Let’s all do it, right now. Those ‘Muricans who say “If you don’t like it, leave it”? They’re right. Let’s leave and go to another country. And let’s never come back. Let’s go to Japan. Or Australia. Or Canada if those places are too far away. But I would like to go to Japan for a while.

 

Let’s talk about this swell track from 1983. YMO had released about six albums by this point. They had started off as a response to Kraftwerk/mockery of western ideas of Asian culture (hence the name). Their song “Behind The Mask” had been selected and re-written by Michael Jackson for what became the Thriller album but was left off the final track listing. It would come out about thirty years later.

 

All three members of YMO wrote songs. Initially the group was to be a one-off project by they were so successful they kept going for about seven years. “Kimi Ni Mune Kyun” is a smooth dance pop song with lyrics entirely in their native language sung by drummer/vocalist Yukihiro Takahashi. This song peaked at #2 on Japan’s pop charts. For a time in the early ’80s, YMO were the most popular band in Japan.

 

For all I’ve heard of YMO’s music, “Kimi Ni Mune Kyun” sounds like nothing else in their catalog. It’s a poppy love song. Maybe they wrote it just to prove they could write a song like this. Most of their material experiments with electronics and world music. The rest of “Kimi”‘s parent album, Naughty Boys, betrays the single’s pop sound. Oh sure they kept the synth pop textures but the songs are nowhere near as singable and the melodies are nowhere near as harmonious. YMO has many layers, this song a tongue-in-cheek New Romantic turn that became a smash hit.

 

I enjoy YMO so much and most of what I’ve heard from them I’ve had to hear on Youtube because I can’t get it anywhere else. The market for Japanese techno pop from thirty-five years ago in the U.S. is apparently minimal, at best. I blame our country’s immigration policy.

 

Let’s move to Japan and fall in love and end up in a teenage lesbian manga. All things are possible, if we really try hard to make our dreams come true. I read that in the Bible, I think. Somewhere near the middle.

My Sweet Lord/Today Is A Killer

September 7th, 2016

 

Today is a killer.

 

I maintain that there is a God. A vindictive, petty God. He has made us in His image. He will shit on us. And the only thing you can do is climb out of bed and raise both middle fingers in the sky in defiance of Him. You have to tell Him to go fuck Himself. Because He will make your life as hellish as possible.

 

Being yourself will put you in a lonely place, especially if you are not like the others. You want to give love to people. You want to be loved in return. When you are not like the others, it will make you strong or it will make you whimper. Regardless, you will be rendered bitter and lonely.

 

People who sing to God sing because they need God. They don’t sing for the people in the pews. They do it for themselves. “God knows I need to see you but it takes so long my Lord. . . but everything today is a killer.”

 

And God reassured his flock, the flock that he pranked and trolled and tortured for ages, and he sayeth unto them “I will be there for you when everybody else is gone.” And sadly, many people believed that shit.

No Complaints Department

October 15th, 2014

“There is no complaints department/it’s only up to you”

 

I’ve been getting into new old music. Old music because it is old music. New because it I have never heard it before. Such is the case for “No Complaints Department”, a song by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band recorded in 1978.

 

 

What a sad song. Alex Harvey lays it all out. “My best friend was killed in a plane crash/my brother was killed on the stage” and that shit actually happened. His brother Les was in a band called Stone The Crows and was electrocuted onstage in 1972 after touching a microphone that wasn’t grounded. His manager and friend Bill Fehilly was killed in a plane crash four years later.

 

This song is just one big “it is what it is”. Lay it all out there. There is no complaints department for life. It’s only up to us to get through. If we sit around and compare our problems, it’s just gonna turn into a pissing contest. “Oh your brother died? I wish I had a brother. I can’t even afford to feed my family.” “Oh I wish I had a family to feed. My dog has a malignant tumor in his belly.” “Oh I would dream of my dog having a tumor in his belly. Would be a sweet fantasy compared to what I’ve got going on. The doctor wants to amputate my legs.” If we’re not careful, we’ll turn into an unfunny version of that “Four Yorkeshiremen” sketch from Monty Python At The Hollywood Bowl.

 

As for Alex Harvey, things picked up for him. The Sensational Band broke up after recording this song and he died from a massive heart attack four years later.

 

He’d probably get a laugh at that line, I hope.

 

 

 

 

Remember Marilyn Manson?

May 7th, 2014

Wow. It’s really been a long time. I was just thinking about Marilyn Manson and decided to throw on Anti-Christ Superstar. For once, listening to Marilyn Manson seems like a good idea.

 

2014 sucks. I need a blast of 1996 to clear all the gunk out of this so-far shitty year. Eighteen years have passed since 1996. I have distinct memories of 1996. I graduated from high school in 1996. Someone born in 1996 graduated from high school in 2014. And that is far from the shittiest thing about 2014, I can assure you.

 

I need Marilyn Manson right now. It’s five in the morning. Life is a box of dildos when all you need is a fleshlight. How far ahead of the game was he? Then 1998 comes and he drops the fucking ‘Dope Show’ on us? We didn’t know how good we had it. Joe Lieberman blamed the Columbine massacre on Manson even though the two kids who masterminded the thing weren’t Manson fans and music doesn’t cause violence anymore than this blog or your shirt does.

 

Oh, you don’t remember “The Dope Show”? Fuck you, get your dick out of your ears.

 

 

That swings, kids. That’s a club anthem. Strip club, night club, football club, club sandwich, I don’t give a shit.

 

I was never the biggest MM fan. I had two friends who gave him up when they converted to Christianity (I’m serious). It was just music but I guess they thought Anti-Christ Superstar was a channel to Hell. And the guy thanked Anton LaVey in the liner notes which probably gave them the willies.

 

Poor Marilyn. Just goes to show that you can’t even come out and plain old say it to their faces in black-and-white English. People are going to get it wrong. We really are a bunch of Mechanical Animals. How long do you yell at people who don’t listen before you start to feel like a tired fool?

Night Song: “Josie”

February 15th, 2012

Tonight’s song is “Josie” by Steely Dan. It has been a long minute since I’ve done the Song of the Day/Night Songs feature on Kyprophet dot com.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twl9fyBs1M4

 

I never paid a lot of attention to the verses in this song, treating them as an excuse to get to that chorus again. . . but I looked it up for funsies and boy are there some doozies in the second verse.

 

Jo would you like to scrapple, she’ll never say no.

Shine up the battle apple. We’ll shake ’em all down tonight, we’re gonna mix in the street.

Strike at the stroke of midnight.

Dance on their bones ’til the girls say when…

 

I had to look up “battle apple” and here’s what Urban Dictionary had to say on the matter:

A large mace-like weapon used by street gangs in small town America in the Fifties and early Sixties. The battle apple works most efficiently when buffed up to a fine shine with a shammy cloth and a dab of saddle oil.

 

Yikes. That Josie is a dirty bitch! Hitting cops with a steel club. Cops? Yeah, I assumed she’s gonna hit cops because “scrapple” is a meal of ground-up pig. Everything but the snout. I had to look that up, too. Apparently, it’s a Pennsylvania thing I’ll never understand. Scrapple, not beating up cops.

Night Songs: “Be Mine Tonight”

June 14th, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUu0JYtiNTM&feature=related

 

“Be Mine Tonight” by The Tubes. Written by The Tubes, produced by Todd Rundgren.  From “Remote Control” released in 1979. A fantastic song. Should have been a single. It wasn’t.

 

The Tubes had to sell out hard to get their smash hit “She’s A Beauty” in 1983. They hired David Foster to produce them and some of the guys from Toto helped play on the album, including “Beauty”. Most of the weirdness had been washed away by pop gloss.

 

Everybody has to do things they may not want to do in order to provide for themselves and their families. For most that means working regular jobs, many that you hate. Day in, day out, they take a bit of you every shift you work. Empty yourself out in order to keep the lights on and the fridge stocked.

 

For the Tubes, it meant selling out. Can’t blame them. Everyone sells out, except Abba. Abba could have reunited a billion times already and made so much money on a reunion tour, and yet they never did. They didn’t need the money, also the musical “Mamma Mia” did a lot for them. Abba were the only true singing group that kept it real, to this day. Not the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, my beloved Queen. None of them. Abba and Abba alone.

 

But this was supposed to be about the Tubes. Satire is lost on the braindead. At some point, even the most jaggedly iconoclastic artist stops playing for the margins and goes for flyover America. Zappa had it foisted on him with “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Valley Girl”, but he embraced it. It helped him raise funds to do the stuff he really wanted to do, mostly orchestral works of original material. Still a sell out. The Tubes are not immune. We are not immune. I am not immune.

 

If they want me, I should let them name their price.

Night Songs: “Shakedown Street”

April 21st, 2011

 

So here is “Shakedown Street” off the Grateful Dead album of the same title. You’ll notice this song sounds almost, how shall I say, “disco”. I like it a lot. I like about three Grateful Dead songs and this is one of them. The other one is “Fire On The Mountain”. I said three songs, didn’t I? Two of them are off a 1978 Grateful Dead album that gets two stars from AllMusic. Did Stephen Thomas Erlewhine or whatshisname write the album review for AllMusic? Of course he did. It’s his uncle’s website. Nothing against the guy but nepotism worked out well for that guy. Not to mention I’ve never even heard the studio version of “Fire On The Mountain”.

 

I said I liked three GD songs and I only mentioned two. Can’t think of any others except for “Hell In A Bucket”.

 

FAKE EDIT: I just went to watch the music video for “Hell In A Bucket” on Youtube and I recommend you do the same. Bob Weir is wearing a Sonny Crockett/Miami Vice getup. A light purple sportcoat and yellow tanktop. He looks like an older Chevy Chase. Phil Lesh is a carnival barker and Brent Mydland portrays an old saloon upright piano player and the drummers drive a pink Caddy dressed as twin devils. There’s a dominatrix chaining Bob to a chair and there’s some fireeaters and a swan wearing a leather-studded bracelet. Meanwhile, Jerry sits at the bar in some dive playing his guitar, wondering how the hell they decided what video treatment to use and why this particular one.

Night Songs: “Emotional Rescue”

April 18th, 2011

 

Tonight’s Night Song is “Emotional Rescue” by The Rolling Stones. The entire video for this song features strobe effects because it was shot entirely in something called “thermo-vision”. So we get to see what kind of body heat Mick Jagger produces during a video shoot.
This is one of my favorite Stones songs, which may seem blasphemous to most Stones fans. “Bitch” is another one I like, but that’s acceptable. Classic-era Stones with Mick Taylor and a classic riff. “Emotional Rescue” is 1980 bullshit with Jagger croaking in a high falsetto and a lot of electric piano. And still I dig it.

 

“I’ll be your savior, steadfast and true…

I’ll come to your emotional rescue.”

Song Of The Night, Part 2

March 29th, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvQSR6O_Eeg

 

“The Windows Of The World”, as performed by Isaac Hayes and written/composed by Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

 

Some people seem to only remember that Isaac Hayes was the voice of Chef on South Park, threw a shit fit over that show making fun of Scientology (his religion), and then dying after a stroke. These people need to be educated. There was a lot more to Isaac Hayes between “Shaft” and Chef.

 

In college, I bought a double-cassette (!) set Live At The Sahara Tahoe. Two albums worth of Isaac Hayes and his Movement in concert. The best parts of that album could have been condensed to one cassette, and this performance was one of them. Isaac Hayes covering David/Bacharach? Not that odd, if you know your Ike. He did it often, and there is also a great version of “The Look Of Love” on that same live album. He also recorded these for studio albums, but this particular performance is one of my favorites. I forget about Chef, about Scientology, about all that stuff. None of it matters, just this music which is incredible. Musical miscegenation through the ages. It has often brought us some incredible music, and it is not as unlikely as people might think.

 

I think there are a few artists out there in mainstream popular music still trying to bring it all together and mix it up. Kanye West on one side, James Murphy on the other.  We could always use more of that sort of thing. Otherwise, indie kids are gonna end up too sensitive to press down on the guitar strings and hip-hop kids are gonna have swollen testicles from putting their sacks in the microwave for extreme periods of time. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

 

Also, I only know realized the album was called Live At The Sahara Tahoe, and not the Sierra Tahoe. My bad, ten years plus.