It’s Got a Great Beat, and You Can File a Lawsuit to It: “Originality is a con: Pop music history is the history of near overlap. Ideas rarely emerge in complete isolation. In studios around the world, performers, producers and songwriters are all trying to innovate just one step beyond where music currently is, working from the same component parts. It shouldn’t be a surprise when some of what they come up with sounds similar — and also like what came before.”

Clubbing: ‘I can’t bear the idea that there is an age at which you should stop’: I’m 46, and while I don’t get out as often as in my 20s (can’t do 3-4 nights out a week anymore), I have no intention of stopping. It’s too much a part of who I am and what I need. “Typically, clubbing loses its appeal in our early 30s; 31 is the age at which most give up, according to a 2017 survey. But for those who do keep dancing, it can be much more than just a night out. What starts as an act of teenage transgression becomes radical in middle age.”

For no particular reason (and certainly no good reason), resurrecting a silly little meme from a few years ago

Some silly pointless statistics on my iTunes music library:

Sometime between January 11th and January 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

Sometime between July 16th and July 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

We’re once again in the holiday season, which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite winter song debate: Is Baby, It’s Cold Outside acceptable or not?

Personally, while I certainly understand why lots of people today find it objectionable (and are even rewriting the lyrics), particularly due to the “hey, what’s in that drink?” line, I think it’s important to look at the original context of the song:

I’ve heard the take on “Baby” as “rapey” a couple of times over the years and the concern about the song usually centers in on one line: “Say, what’s in this drink,” which many contemporary listeners assume is a reference to a date rape drug. But narrowing in on this particular line divorces it from its own internal context, and having only passing familiarity with the song divorces it from its cultural context.

The structure of “Baby” is a back and forth conversation between the male and female singers. Every line the woman utters is answered by him, until they come together at the end of the song. When we just look at “Say, what’s in this drink,” we ignore the lines that proceed and follow this, which are what indicates to the listener how we’re supposed to read the context.

Personally, I’m a fan of the song. And thanks to that Wikipedia article I linked up above, it turns out that though written in 1944, it was broadly popularized in the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter (which I’ve never seen), in which it’s performed twice: once by Ricardo Montalbán (Khan!) and Esther Williams, which in staging, I have to admit, seems to hew fairly close to today’s interpretation of the song, with Montalbán coming across as predatory; then again by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett, in which the roles are reversed as Garrett tries to keep Skelton from leaving.


If you’re not a fan, I totally understand — but for me, it will remain a staple of my winter playlists.

Lo-Fidelity All Stars’ “Battle Flag” is one of the few times when I’ve heard a group release a de-profanitized radio-friendly edit of a track that I actually prefer to the original uncensored version. Not that I have any problems with the uncensored version, but rather than simply mask out the profanity with silence, beeps, or word substitutions, they use a drawn-out stutter effect on the words immediately preceding or following the censored word. Not only is it a neat sounding effect on its own, but it’s an effect that they use elsewhere in the song as well, so it doesn’t stick out as much due to only appearing when they’re removing words.

Plus, it’s a pretty cool song, whichever version pops up. Good sound, heavy beats, some organ riffing, and a nice slow-ish tempo that works really well on a dance floor.

For comparison purposes…


Radio edit:

Pulp’s ‘Common People’ has been one of my top ten songs for quite some time now. I’ve mentioned it a time or two in the past, which I spent a few minutes throwing together a silly little video putting the audio from the song against this mashup of the song and panels from Archie comics, which you might be able to view here or here on my blog, or maybe here on YouTube, depending on what the copyright rules are in your country.

So it was fun to come across this post about the song from The rage of Common People « 33revolutionsperminute’s Blog:

Insecurity breeds viciousness. The pathos of “watch[ing] your life slide out of view” and having “nothing else to do” gives way to blistering fury at those who “think that poor is cool” and that, in turn, to violence. In a verse cut from the single edit, Jarvis compares the “common people” to a dog lying in the corner who, without warning, will “tear your insides out”, a line so savage that it seems impossible that just two minutes ago we were still smirking in the supermarket. In the BBC3 documentary, Jarvis calls another section missing from the single edit (“You will never understand…”) the “punchline” to the whole song, and winces at the intensity of his own vocal. Did he intend the song to contain so much discomfiting ambiguity, or did it get away from him, as great songs often do?

(via MetaFilter)

I think it’s the slide from amusement to condescension to all-out-rage as the song goes by that really does it for me. This is one song that I just will never get tired of.