Trouble In Mind

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Much like the movie from which it came, of which Trouble In Mind is also the title, it creates its own world.  Alan Rudolph’s movie is a masterpiece of modern noir.  I can get lost in this song forever and it is one of the few songs that I can put on repeat for several plays every time I hear it.  I know that this is an old standard, and that there are purists who will probably like other versions, one that don’t feature synthesizers and reverb drenched trumpet, but this is the one for me.  It’s a sad song, but one in which the very acceptance of that sadness seems to take on some kind of healing quality.  Like all the best art it makes you feel more than one emotion at the same time, and this version is highly emotional.  Marianne Faithfull sings it as if she was born to, and we are all better off for its existence.  

Mary Coughlan and The Whore of Babylon

Mary Coughlan is an absolutely exceptional singer that I have luckily stumbled upon.  The above video is her performing the classic song Magdalen Laundry live.  She is an Irish singer that usually tackles jazz or blues.  If I am being honest, I prefer when she sings more melodical songs, like the one above, or Sleep On It and Your Angel from her excellent album Whore of Babylon.  I also love when she goes batshit crazy such like in title track from Whore of Babylon or the song Antarctica from that same album.  This is all a matter of taste as I’m not a big listener of traditional jazz, especially.  However, even I can tell that she sings jazz and blues with complete authority.  Her phrasing is impeccable and when she goes for the high note, like in Your Angel, it can send chills down your spine.  She is the kind of singer that makes you believe she is living each song while she sings it.  There is a rasp in the back of her voice that sounds like a thousand cigarettes and a thousand bottles or booze.  It is the kind of sound that no TV pop idol could ever hope to achieve, unless they too are willing to go through the looking glass of life.  A great deal of her work is hard to obtain in the U.S. unless you are willing to buy import CD’s.  However you can get The Whore of Babylon and several other albums of hers at digital retailers in here.  She is the real deal.  An fearless artist that sings unflinchingly staring into the abyss.  

Damien Dempsey, Stockholm Pop, and Declining Record Sales

Damien Dempsey 2-2

http://mic.com/articles/95260/the-music-industry-is-literally-brainwashing-you-to-like-bad-pop-songs-here-s-how?utm_source=policymicFB&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social

That is a link that talks about how popular music is driven by how much you hear it, and not by the quality.    The more you hear something the more you are likely to like it.  This is due to the way people’s brains function.  It compares the modern pop world to the Stockholm Syndrome.  Corporations are cramming this nonsense down people’s throats.  

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/album-sales-hit-historic-low-falling-below-four-million-units-sold-20140829

This is an article about how album sales are at an all-time low.  I realize that technology has had an effect, but if one compares todays popular music with popular music in the past, one can’t help but feel quality of the things that are getting the most exposure is also at an all-time low.  

In closing, I will quote part of Damien Dempsey’s song Patience:

Well I’ve exchanged the spear and the sword
For words and melody
Oh what a felony
How the record company pushes this McDonalds music
An aural lobotomy
For those who choose it
Corporations pumpin all this money into pop
To keep the real singers far away from the top
So folks are never told what these corporations do
Fuckin up the planet, exploiting me and you

P.S.  I love the term McDonalds music!  

The Birds of St. Marks

Jackson Browne, one of my favorite songwriters, has a new album coming out in October.  This is the first song released from the record, The Birds of St. Marks.  I’m glad that it sounds like he is in top form.  HIs last studio album, Time the Conqueror, was one of the best albums of 2008.  There are few songwriters that can match intelligence and emotion in equal measure as he has done throughout his career.  

Only an Expert Lyrics

laurie_anderson_1

Now only an expert can deal with the problem
Because half the problem is seeing the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

So if theres no expert dealing with the problem
Its really actually twice the problem
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

Now in America we like solutions
We like solutions to problems
And theres so many companies that offer solutions
Companies with names like Pet Solution
The Hair Solution. The Debt Solution. The World Solution. The Sushi Solution.
Companies with experts ready to solve the problems.
Cause only an expert can see theres a problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
Only and expert can deal with the problem

Now lets say youre invited to be on Oprah
And you dont have a problem
But you want to go on the show, so you need a problem
So you invent a problem
But if youre not an expert in problems
Youre probably not going to invent a very plausible problem
And so youre probably going to get nailed
Youre going to get exposed
Youre going to have to bow down and apologize
And beg for the publics forgiveness.
Cause only an expert can see theres a problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

Now on these shows, the shows that try to solve your problems
The big question is always How can I get control?
How can I take control?
But dont forget this is a question for the regular viewer
The person whos barely getting by.
The person whos watching shows about people with problems
The person whos part of the 60% of the U.S. population
1.3 weeks away, 1.3 pay checks away from homelessness.
In other words, a person with problems.
So when experts say, Lets get to the root of the problem
Lets take control of the problem
So if you take control of the problem you can solve the problem.
Now often this doesnt work at all because the situation is completely out of control.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

So who are these experts?
Experts are usually self-appointed people or elected officials
Or people skilled in sales techniques, trained or self-taught
To focus on things that might be identified as problems.
Now sometimes these things are not actually problems.
But the expert is someone who studies the problem
And tries to solve the problem.
The expert is someone who carries malpractice insurance.
Because often the solution becomes the problem.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

Now sometimes experts look for weapons.
And sometimes they look everywhere for weapons.
And sometimes when they dont find any weapons
Sometimes other experts say, If you havent found any weapons
It doesnt mean there are no weapons.
And other experts looking for weapons find things like cleaning fluids.
And refrigerator rods. And small magnets. And they say,
These things may look like common objects to you
But in our opinion, they could be weapons.
Or they could be used to make weapons.
Or they could be used to ship weapons.
Or to store weapons.
Cause only an expert can see they might be weapons
And only an expert can see they might be problems.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

And sometimes, if its really really really hot.
And its July in January.
And theres no more snow and huge waves are wiping out cities.
And hurricanes are everywhere.
And everyone knows its a problem.
But if some of the experts say its no problem
And other experts claim its no problem
Or explain why its no problem
Then its simply not a problem.
But when an expert says its a problem
And makes a movie and wins an Oscar about the problem
Then all the other experts have to agree that it is most likely a problem.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

And even though a county can invade another country.
And flatten it. And ruin it. And create havoc and civil war in that other country
If the experts say that its not a problem
And everyone agrees that theyre experts good at seeing problems
Then invading that country is simply not a problem.
And if a country tortures people
And holds citizens without cause or trial and sets up military tribunals
This is also not a problem.
Unless theres an expert who says its the beginning of a problem.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

Only an expert can see theres a problem
And see the problem is half the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

By Laurie Anderson.  I posted a link to the video of Laurie Anderson performing this song on David Letterman the other day, but I thought the lyrics were worth reprinting in and of themselves.  She has a mind like a laser beam.  

 

At the Doctor’s Office

At the doctor’s office
Warm earth tones
And serene posters
Try to distract you
From the intrusive instruments
Waiting to poke and prod
Muzak is playing
But it’s not Muzak
It’s the latest hits
From the top of the charts
No wonder we’re such a sick nation
When this less than meaningless
Benign clap trap
They call music
Is what the masses use
To sooth the soul
Is the recording industry
Run by the CIA
To deaden the will of the population
So that businesses
Have empty vessels
In which to fill with their slogans?
Or do people simply prefer
Vanilla emotions
So that they don’t have to question
The state of things?
My blood pressure goes up
And I feel more ill
Then when I entered

Austin, Texas 8/18/2014

Oboe Concerto

Many of you liked the unofficial video for Morrissey’s World Peace is None of Your Business.  Here is an excellent one for Oboe Concerto by Sharon Jheeta, who is the same person that did the last one.  I found this thanks to http://www.true-to-you.net, which is Morrissey’s official website.  Oboe Concerto is the fitting final to Morrissey’s excellent new album.  

P.S. I read that Richard Strauss was asked to compose an oboe concerto by an American soldier after World War II.