Thursday, April 29, 2010

So Into You/Superstition

This lost '70s mellow groove is in my head, 'cause I caught it on KFOG's Ten At Ten last night on my way home from San Jose.

Artist: Atlanta Rhythm Section
Year: 1977
Rating: Luke Hot

And this morning, the funky chord progression of the refrain of "So Into You" is leading me into Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Here's a fantastic studio performance. Enjoy!

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Year: 1972
Rating: Hot!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby Come Back

Wow. Baby come back to The Songs in My Head! I've been on somewhat of a hiatus of late, but I hope to get back on track in the next few days. Life has intervened in a major way in April, but I'm ready to explore my neural firings again, especially when they deliver such epic '70s cheese.

Nope, this is not Hall & Oates, even though the structure and timbre of this song is remarkably similar to the music of those contemporary hit makers. And the singer's voice is reminding me of an inferior version of one of the Brothers Gibb, which must have worked in the song's favor, since Bee Gees songs preceded and followed this song at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.

Artist: Player
Year: 1977
Rating: Warm

Note: You might hear a lot more about neural process and fancy musical terms like "timbre" in the coming months. I'm reading a fascinating book about the neurophysiology of our experience of music - how the brain is evolutionarily wired to perceive, process, interpret, and remember music. It's called This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin, a musician, former music producer and engineer, and professor of cognitive psychology at McGill University in Montreal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Welcome to Paradise

The first Green Day song in my head since the start of the blog. I'm not a big fan, but I appreciate 'em for their politics, localness, and staying power.

Artist: Green Day
Year: 1992/1994
Rating: Warm

I Understand

And again with the Sloan.

Artist: Sloan
Year: 2006
Rating: Luke Hot

Note: I'll probably write about every song from Never Hear The End of It, eventually. (Hats off for tagline inspiration from Matthew Perpetua at PopSongs.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

(I Just) Died In Your Arms

Wow. While I appreciate the sentiment of equating death with orgasm and/or merger of Self-with-Other in the treacherous intimacy of love, I don't think this song merits a reading that deep. It's just a lock-step standard '80s pop-rock song. With none of the edgy appeal of new wave, its lyrics hark back to all the schmaltz of '70s love ballads dunked in a heavy dose of synth and cookie-cutter '80s guitar riffs.

Artist: Cutting Crew
Year: 1986
Rating: Cold + fondness for the catchy concept chorus = Lukewarm

Note: And oh, my word, what a perfectly corny fan video!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why I Cry

The melody and guitar riff, rather than the lyrics, were foremost in my mind on waking.

Artist: Magnetic Fields
Year: 1995
Rating: Warm

Note: This is the 12th entry 'bout The Magnetic Fields, fyi.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Even The Nights Are Better

This is always an amusing song, but truly so waking with it this morning. You'll just have to trust me on this one.*

Artist: Air Supply
Year: 1982
Rating: Warm

*You don't trust me? Okay, yes, it involves sex and alcohol. And Atari.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Groovy Kind of Love

Here's another situation in which a song came into my head in cover versions of the exact opposite chronology of original release. This also happened recently with Tom Waits's Downtown Train. Similarly to my experience with that song, it's likely that my memory lines default to the version I heard first or I'm most familiar with.

This trifecta of covers featured prominently at a Jewish youth group dance my junior year of high school, when Phil Collins's super-schmaltzy 1988 version was topping the charts.


My good pals Kama and Barry planned Beau-Sweetheart Ball: "A Groovy Kind of Love," and attempted to make brilliant use of the song. They carefully instructed the DJ to play music from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, in roughly chronological order, kicking off each era with its version of "A Groovy Kind of Love." Unfortunately, the DJ wasn't compliant (creative differences, perhaps?*) The song was written by genius pop songstress Carole Bayer Sager ("Don't Cry Out Loud," "Nobody Does It Better," "Arthur's Theme," "That's What Friends Are For"...should I go on??) and Toni Wine, one of the real humans behind the cartoon band The Archies. Artist: Phil Collins Year: 1988 Rating: Cold Artist: Sonny & Cher Year: 1967 Rating: Warm Note: Okay, this version didn't represent the '70s, per se, but Sonny & Cher sure as hell did.) Also: I found this version of the song courtesy of Romanian video site Trilulilu. It wasn't on YouTube. Artist: The Mindbenders Year: 1965 Rating: Warm *A tip of the hat to Kama and Barry.