Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Out of the shadows

Hope Sandoval has spent most of her career in music in the shadows. Literally, in the shadows. As in, not allowing the house lights to be turned on, not allowing a spotlight to be turned on her, not allowing cameras or videotaping…. she spent most of her career hiding in the shadows.

But there was one time when she could not hide.

It was 1994, and Mazzy Star agreed to play the Bridge School benefit concert. The concert was scheduled for mid-afternoon, and the Shoreline Amphitheatre is an open-air venue. And there was a camera crew filming everything for the benefit concert tape that was going to be sold for further revenue.

The result was shy and beautiful.

– Badtux the Music Penguin


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Welcome to the machine

And you are living it:

Picture a crew who are clearly insane
Picture no windows, picture no doors
Glued to a screen in the state of Nevada
To follow the dream gets harder and harder

Roger Waters, “Picture That”, off his new album Is This The Life We Really Want?.

For too many Americans, the answer to that question appears to be “Yes.”

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Can’t we see beyond the pain of losing

We quit dreaming long ago
And our distrust
And our addictions
And our desire to kill each other
Makes all the sense in the world

Lisa Germano, “Of Love and Colors”, off her 1994 album Geek the Girl.

A truly disturbing song on a truly disturbing album.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Hadn’t had the time to choose a way to lose

Nick Drake, “Riverman”, off his 1970 album Five Leaves Left. The patron saint of melancholy singer-songwriters everywhere with a deceptively simple song. But you try playing that guitar part in 4/5ths time while at the same time singing….

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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Charles Bradley, a soul singer who was one of the hardest working men in R&B, died yesterday of liver cancer at age 68.

To answer the question in his above song, “Why Is It So Hard?”: Selfishness, greed, and hate.


Time to go back and re-listen to his three-album catalog of heartfelt soul.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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The Shaggs.

They couldn’t keep their guitars in tunes. They couldn’t stay in time with each other. They couldn’t sing in tune. Their drummer was drumming beats that did not in any way correspond to the song. They were so bad, that hipsters love them.

And the funny thing is, they knew how to read music, and even how to write music. They just couldn’t play or sing music. Bwahaha!

Oh, here’s a more recent iteration of the above song:

Nobody even knew that accomplished musicians could ever replicate, note for note, one of the worst songs ever recorded. But they did! Man, that must have been a challenge, having to forget everything you know about making music in order to replicate…. this. LOL. But apparently Dot Wiggins, the former lead singer of The Shaggs, had charts on *exactly* how to play it. A quick listen to the record to find out just how badly detuned the guitar part was, and there you are — the world’s worst song, replicated by professional musicians who manage to get through it without barfing. Wonders!

— Badtux the Ear-abuse Penguin

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Too dark for finding my ground

Mark Lanegan, “Low”, off his 2001 album Field Songs.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

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