28 April 2014

28 April 2014 - Marina and the Diamonds - Hollywood / Are You Satisfied?

I know, I know, we've been terrible about posting!  So let me bring you up to speed.

I am currently completely and totally obsessed with Marina and the Diamonds.  So why not post a song, from her 1st album (which has more of a singer/songwriter feel) about her being completely and totally obsessed with America?

Because 'Merica.

And because Marina is freaking brilliant in her imagery and song construction.  

Really, I have had THIS song stuck in my head for WEEKS!  It's a song about believing in yourself, specifically when pursuing your dream of getting a record deal.  This is a quiet version of the song, from the KCRW studios.  And it's my current favorite song.

07 April 2014

7 April 2014 - Toto - Rosanna

This song, a Grammy-award winner for Record of the Year - yes, this song.  Not "Africa" - was NOT about Rosanna Arquette, but the band really wanted you to think it was.  She was dating a member of the band at the time, but the song wasn't really about her, but about a lot of ex-girlfriends.  She just had a nice, melodic name.

The song, like a lot of Toto's work, is heavily jazz influenced, using a lot of structure and meters from that genre not usually seen in pop/rock music.  Horns and keyboards sit right alongside guitars, basses, and drums. 

By the way, if you look closely, you'll see Patrick Swayze is one of the backup dancers.  No joke!

02 April 2014

2 April 2014 - Cameo - Word Up

Cameo had been around for well over a decade - making good, funky music - when "Word Up" hit the radio airwaves in 1986.  For some reason, this is the song that made them huge - a crossover sensation to mainstream radio.  Maybe it was the non-stop old-school funk, which was gaining in prominence with the rise of hip-hop.  Maybe it was the timely horn sound.  Maybe it was the red codpiece that Larry Blackmon wore throughout the video, which also got heavy MTV airplay. 

I encourage you to listen to this twice.  See if you can catch the speed-enhanced sample from the theme song for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  Also, see if you can catch LeVar Burton, at the time best known for his part in Roots and as the host of Reading Rainbow, as the funkiest cop alive.