The Soviet-Afghan War to a techno soundtrack…vaguely haunting…
I guess songs about war (or as soundtracks to war footage) either need to be in the ‘kick-ass’ vein or sentimental for those who were lost or the folly of war. The former really only have value for those steeling themselves to go there or those looking to cop a vicarious feel. I suspect the sentimental songs are the ones that stand the test of time, especially as we all get older and more susceptible to maudlin feelings over youth gone by and the waste of human life ended too quickly.
Our wars really haven’t generated iconic songs, have they? Vietnam certainly had a number as did WW2 (although I guess Korea didn’t). I’ll just take that as further evidence that our population is so removed from our wars it just hasn’t had much of an impact upon the collective consciousness. And yet, music is an important way to remember and understand the past. You can read a book about WW2 and Vietnam but I’m not sure they could capture the cultural context (as quickly and directly anyway) of listening to and comparing ‘I’ll be home for Christmas‘ versus ‘Eve of Destruction‘.
Since my formative years were really in the late ’70s and early ’80s the songs of war I grew up with were a strange lot, perhaps reflecting the unusual situation of the Cold War. 99 Luftballons? Paul Hardcastle’s ‘19‘ (which manages to be dated, disjointed and powerful all at the same time)? My favorite from the time is probably R.E.M.’s ‘Orange Crush‘
Reflecting my day at work today…and potentially the foreseeable future…Methinks I need to get serious about finding alternate employment.
Soundgarden with Fell on Black Days
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An oldie but a goodie…Nine Inch Nails ‘The Perfect Drug’ Guilty by Gravity Kills
Thanks to J for pointing out my error….so here (finally) is The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails.
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I’m listening to the Teaching Company’s course Bach and the High Baroque now and it rocks. I’m totally sold on Baroque music and haven’t been able to get enough of it. Conversely, I’m thinking that music from the Romantic era sucks…bunch of pretentious poseurs (Beethoven is the exception that proves the rule, btw).
So, here’s your weekend music
Since I recently wrote about Soviet/Finnish conflict, EnglishRussia comes through again with some photos of a Soviet bomber that crashed in 1939 on the way to the front.
Some really cool people have created a trading card game (think Magic: The Gathering) based on the principles of biodiversity and ecology. It’s called Phylo and it’s free. There’s a forum where the game system continues to be hashed out (the game is still in beta).
On a whim, Mrs. TwShiloh and myself went to a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic concert this weekend. I’ve been a long time (although not rabid) fan since I was a kid couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see him given that it was a wild coincidence we even found out about the concert. After all, this is the guy who made a Dire Straits song almost listenable.
And it was well worth the $39 bucks a ticket. Al puts on quite a show, clocking in at just over 2 hours. He went through who knows how many costume changes and figured out how to cram all of his ‘classics’ into that time (not an easy feat given his proclivity for 10 minute, polka themes melodies and parodies of looong classics.
The two best songs of the set (IMO) were two new ones in the Yankovic repertoire: CNR and Craigslist. The latter was so good, in fact, that I’m tempted to give the Doors another listen.
Tapping the Vein – Broken
Heather has a phenomenal voice…
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One of their ‘newer’ tunes….A little bluesy/country actually
Blue Oyster Cult – Real World
So…I know you all can hardly contain yourselves waiting to hear my impressions of the Blue Oyster Cult concert last week. Big surprise…I really enjoyed it. It was a short set because they were only opening for Styx (I didn’t stay for that…if Dennis DeYoung was with the band I would have but it’s not like they could have been better than BOC so what was the point).
The guys sounded amazing. This marked the sixth time I’ve seen these guys over the past 22 years (Holy crap, you are old. eds)! Is is possible for a bunch of dudes in their 60s to sound better than they did in their 40s? I have to admit, their early studio work was never my favorite since it always sounded…old…and at times like they were trying a bit too hard to sound like the Doors but they’ve really re-imagined many of those songs and they sound totally fresh. Case in point: Quicklime Girl.
Eric Bloom gets better and better every time I see him live. Buck Dharma continues to play the guitar cooler than anyone around. The band was really good when I first saw them in ’88. Now they seem like a well oiled machine. Totally relaxed, enjoying the crowd and music. It’s a total treat watching these guys play. Great stuff.
Given the short set, they were limited in how deep they could reach into their catalog. They have so many songs that are simply required playing at a concert (Godzilla, Cities on Flame, Don’t Fear the Reaper, Buck’s Boogie, Burnin’ for You) that there wasn’t much time for anything else. Still, I’ll take what I can get…
In a few short hours, I will be witnessing one of the most impressive exhibitions of human creativity.
Blue Oyster Cult in concert….
If you’re near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania get over to the Musikfest tonight as there may still be tickets. If you’d like to stop by and say ‘hi’, I’ll be the guy in the green fedora and spats with a chrysanthemum in my lapel.
If you can’t get there, here’s a little Godzilla for you…
Blue Oyster Cult – Then Came The Last Days of May