Song o’ the Mornin’ – Prisencolinensinainciusol

Another dozen nails in the coffin as to why lyrics aren't important

One of the benefits of being in a backwater burg like Prague, CZ, is we get to hear of stuff long after its sell-by date. Let’s call it the cultural dribble effect. Or at least, internet backwash. Anyway, a good example is Prisencolinensinainciusol, the groundbreaking single by Italian ‘Gainsbourg’ Adriano Celentano.

What sounds like gibberish is apparently Celentano’s mickey-take on posy Italian pop stars, who’d string together any old Englishy-sounding stuff to be cool. Yeah, funny, thinking English is a cool language… But we digress.

Here it is:

Aside from the Engrish lyrics, let’s look at what makes this an uberly-fab tune:

* It is actually 1973. At Power’s Towers we thought this was a contemporary song with a retro-video, so under the spell of the spectacle we have become. And, indeed, why not?

* The backing track’s looped! We’d hate to have been the poor assistant engineer copying and splicing that baby together, sans SMPTE code…. Yikes! “Look ma – no computers!”

* Celentano’s rapping long before the Sugarhill Gang hit the charts.

Fact is, it’s delivered more like Brian Johnson’s vocal on Back in Black.

* Plus! He sings off-key at the end to keep some interest in what’s by then running to almost 4mins of 45rpm singleness. Check out his phrasing throughout – fine work, and tasty ad-libs.

* The video has super-seventies choreography that only white people can put together. So square it’s almost oval-shaped…. In a good way.

* The actual lyrics are hilarious. Here’s an alternate version of Prisencolinensinainciusol with the ideal classroom composition:

So, to return to our theme – the lyrics are a doggam sight less important than certain po-faced individuals claim. What matters most is the song.

 

(Though we still think it’s shit to steal someone’s song, lash it up on YouTube, and put ads on it).

 

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Frank Zappa’s King Kong

"We're involved in a... sort a... low-key war against apathy.... Something's gotta be done before America [redacted] up the world and [redacted] on it."

Thus speaks Frank Zappa, the man who understood personal branding and the music industry long before it understood itself.

Comment aside, Trey stuck his head in the office and said two words – King. And, Kong.* This left the crew, our intern especially, scratching our cobnuts trying to solve the riddle. Yes, it was before noon and, yes, after Trey’s first coffee of the day and, no, he wasn’t wearing his customary slippers and bedtime onesie. This could only mean one thing – so we raided his iTunes search field to find out.

The actual tune begins at 2:35.

BTW, a search in the iTunes store reveals hella‡ songs called King Kong, and FZ’s stuff can actually be found there now. King Kong variations take up side four (side four! Them were the days!) of the LP Uncle Meat.

Naturally, TR has FZ on CD, as you never know when the spirit of Steve Jobs will rise out of the Internet and take back all your music you bought. He still can certainly make it hard for you to play it on your devices….. Devices!°

Here’s the studio version, with the obstreperous genius Jean Luc Ponty:

And one with FZ’s 80s band, who we don’t care for all that much. Is kinda soulless, compared to the 70s ensembles, especially. But for a middle-aged guy who scorns Californication, FZ is in damn good shape.

Son of Zappa, Dweezil, also turns this tune out with his high-school band (kidding!). Unfortunately, we could only source a version with the stickety Chick Corea∡:

 

* Yes, we didn’t know how to punctuate that either. 

‡ Do people still say ‘hella’? That seems to have gone the way of the minidisc.

° Another Zappa quote. Miniquote. Snippet. And it has nothing to do with anything using an OS.

∡ Yeah, we did wake up with a snarky woof today.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Neil Young’s Pocahontas

How One Man Combined Whimsy & Feeling And Made You Blub

Early mornings, Trey’s something of a sleepy bear – best approached with caution. But this morning was different, tinged as it was by the Song o’ the Mornin’, the plaintive Pocahontas, by Canadia’s very own Neil Young.

As the subtitle boasts, Neil’s forte is far less his stomping rock tunes + scrap metal solos, and far more his deft touch at mixing whimsy with genuine emotion. After all, Neil ain’t an injured Indian. But the Marlon connection to Pocahontas may have been inspired by Sacheen Littlefeather’s acceptance of Brando’s* Oscar in 1973.

Which is worthy of an entire album of songs, that can never be bested by that one speech.

For more whimsical, tear-inducing acoustic emo, check this out. A salmon on your plate will never be the same.

Songs available here:

Pocahontas

Will to Love

 

 

* Notice that it’s ‘Neil’, and ‘Brando’. This is probably why:

Marlon Brando, Pocahontas, Neil Young

Nirvana Guys Talk to NPR About In Utero’s Gestation

Holy Gettingoldfastcrap Batman! Can't Believe It's Been Bloody 20 Years!

Here at Power’s Towers we have a strict policy on stringing stories – we’re forever stopped our interns from posting news just, y’know, to get something on the board for the week. Ne! We aim for quality posts, and quality posts is what we shall have.

Having said that, we’re going to make ourselves lairs and let you know about the fabtastic Nirvana interview on NPR’s All Songs Considered, where the boys talk about the behind the scenesing of making their last studio LP.

Anyway, brushing tears of nostalgia aside, we highly recommend the NPR ASC podcast too. It’s brought a lot of inneresting music into the office, life, universe, etc.

And to finish, here’s producer-engineer Steve Albini’s famous letter to Nirvana prior to recording In Utero. It’s pure Albini – opinionated, visionary and quote worthy*. We really can’t wait till Trey gets his ass into Albini’s studio for what would be a fricken amazing roquing selection of tasty cuts.

http://www.electricalaudio.com/StudioA/controlroomA.php

Here’s the overalled man in action:

The man has chops in Japanese!

And what must be one of the best interviews with Steve-san:

 

 

 

..no interference from the front office bulletheads.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – The Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be Adored

You're Never Too Old to Feel Uber-Longing

Apparently there’s a movie coming out about the Stone Roses’ tour de force of yore, featuring I Wanna Be Adored. Yeah, more 90s. Seeing as the 90s is the new 60s, let it ride….

Anyway, Trey hardly recollects what he was doing when all that shoe-gazer stuff was bulging the charts. He says, “If you can remember the 90s, you weren’t there”. Which is kinda typical of him, given his penchant for both knowing where he was at any given time in the universe while stringing together a convincing narrative otherwise.

However, word is Trey thought the hook lyric was in the best tradition of Mondgreen I Want to Be Your Dog. Maybe it’s his rock’nroll credentials that drive his unconscious. Who cares.

The song itself sounds like a lazy jam pieced together by a producer to form a genuine composition. But it does capture that youthful longing for immersion – in love, sex, addiction, meaning, causes, whatever – that haunts us rapidly-ageing-but-very-hip folk.

Listen and decide for yourself. Leave your sun hat at home. And please dance less white.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Kath Bloom’s Come Here

Since Linklater's got a new movie out, Before Midnight, the gang at Power's Towers have checked out the first two of the trilogy.

And we can’t wait for the appropriately late showing at Bio Oko, so lovely have been the others.

One might quip that Richard Linklater is America’s best French film director (if it weren’t for the execrable School of Rock), given that his movies are ever so talky and about important stuff, like love, life and the meaning of it all. It ain’t Taratinesque, fo’ sho’.

Anyway, a Yank boy and French girl meet on a train and spend a night of magic in Vienna, waaay back in the early 90s. How they hit it off, what’s important to them, their chemistry, the natural performances and leisurely story telling – are all uberly hard to do once a camera starts rolling.

So this morning, like the last Trey’s had all week, it’s Kath Bloom‘s Come Here, from one of the most pitch-perfect romantic scenes in cinema history.

You can buy the song here, or where the hell you please. Sadly, not in a chic vinyl store in Vienna, in 1994. 1994’s gone, baby. Gone.

The movies can be rented or bought here, among other places.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Bob Dylan’s Country Pie

Bob at his most funky

Sometimes the Song o’ the Mornin’ (official name!) is a bit downbeat. Is nice when it’s a toe tappin’, jaw-scratching-singalong-shaving number like this. A slice o’ Country Pie.

No YouTube link, but check out a few bars here in iTunes.

But we did find this Beck uncut gem:

How many bootlegs has this guy got? (Not complaining, mind).

From the Nashville Skyline LP which, like most of my faves, was panned when it came out. I got to admit, hearing his nasal twang made me double-check I’d the right disc. Just more evidence that Bob’s a true vocal stylist*, with balls like large brass dangling objects – to turn his back on his audience so twistily.

We at Power’s Towers recommend you buy the whole LP, as its brevity and variety and 100% freshness will get you googling for cowboy hats and cleats for your boots. Honest.

 

 

 

* Courtesy of the reduxed The Word mag podcast.

Song for the Morning – Your Redneck Past

Ben Folds' Five Swan Song ... Or Is it?

A nice upbeat tune for breakfast. Ben tap-dances around his southern heritage nicely. Ain’t no rednecks playing swinging piano!

On iTunes.

Ben Fold’s Five were a breath of fresh air through the often bad-breathed 90s. Witty, both musically and lyrically, and kick-ass. I just love me some phat fuzz bass.

Song of the Morning

Taggin' A New Blog Post

Trey’s a dreamy kind of guy. Not dreamy, like “What a hunky, dreamy dreamboat!”, but like more daydreamy than Mr Spock, for example.*

“Every morning, as long as I can remember,” Trey reveals, “I’ve had a song in my mind as soon as I wake up. Sometimes it’s not even one of my own.”

Modesty is one of the things we at Power’s Towers love about the Treymeister. Especially as it’s as rare as the sound of the lark to hear him being so.

Anyway, this is the first of what promises to be long line of quickies on Trey’s song of the morning. Maybe it’ll reveal his bad taste, maybe something worthy of a paper by Freud, or maybe it’ll be just plain innerestin’ for the musically curious.

Without further ado, today’s song of the morning:

Available on iTunes.

This also happens to one of Trey’s favourites – it’s like a songwriter’s prayer. And it’s brevity is so poignant, that every song, love, life is so brief and bittersweet.

And with an LP cover like that, is it any wonder they split up?

 

 

* Sorry, but that was a bit of a straw Vulcan, wasn’t it?

Going That Extra Mile for Music

You may not notice the screw-ups, but we sure do!

Okay, agreed, enough already! Music needs imperfections for our analogue brains to dig.

This is one reason why so-called dance music sucks. And it’s not the only one, but we digress.

From James Jamerson paying a major triad over the minor in Bernadette:

To Freddie singing flat and drowning the microphone:

“Who gives a doggam if the music is cookin’?” I hear you bellow. And we at Power’s Towers agree.

But sometimes there’s the kind of howler maybe only musos – or the truly fan/tastic – get. And here’s one, for your edification and listening pleasure, a fab song with a cheeky alternative guitar solo to the LP:

The Power’s Towers are so into Brian at the mo – his uberly musical approach to guitars, in the bish-bash-bosh arena of rock guitar no less, is unparalleled. Really. He’s like the whole guitar section of Freebird in one skinny, man with a ‘fro.

This mistake is so minor (at 2:11), but I feel his pain as he shakes his head, knowing full well that one day someone will create YouTube, dig out an old video, and put this minor flub online for the world to see and cop.

For that, is for nothing else – and there is so much more else – we got to love our Brian. Going the extra mile for music.

We promise you lovely people the same attention to detail – to keep the screw-ups that enhance the sound, and to put a Paddington Bear hard stare on those that don’t.