Welcome back to “Audio Files,” my new column here at When Falls the Coliseum. AF runs every Thursday at noon EST. In last week’s inaugural flight, we explored Bulgarian pop, Geddy Lee, and David Allan Coe’s thoughts on prison sex. There’s lots of important things to discuss this week, too, so let’s hunker down.
- Dio commemorative statues are available right now.
- Greg Kihn, author of such hits as “Jeopardy” and “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em),” has a blog. There’s some good entries in it too. His font size needs a boost though.
- Please familiarize yourself with Soriah, the deepest throat in America.
- Teens! Headphones! Drugs! For the love of God, please give these wigged-out moppets an emergency dose of Public Service.
Unclothed musician of the moment
Drum rudiment of the week
- Triple your pleasure with the triple ratamacue.
Weekly display of virtuosity
- Watch as Ralph Macchio bests Steve Vai in some minstrel-on-minstrel violence (ghost-virtuosity by Vai and Ry Cooder).
Random shards of sonic information
- Experience overhead projectors as musical instruments; and
- Step into a vast repository of Finnish pop music covers. While you’re there, give aerobic pop connoisseur Frederik a run through your stereo system (and through Parsifal’s dreams).
Sailing the seas of YouTube (and beyond)
- If you haven’t cozied up to the Legion of Rock Stars, please do so now. The skinny: “While listening to songs on headphones equipped with 30dB sound blockers to blot out the outside world, the band plays and sing their hearts out, all while unable to hear themselves.” I’ve got some gems already cued up for you: “Paperback Writer,” “Pick Up the Pieces,” “You Better You Bet,” and “Islands in the Stream.”
- I can’t take my eyes off this Amphetamine Reptile “action box” promo featuring Boss Hog.
- Miho Hatori has a really great animated video for her song “Barracuda” (not a Heart cover). It’s a journey that mends the soul, complete with two-headed deer and phosphorescent mushroom forests.
- Take a tour of Ken Nordine’s studio.
- The Polyphonic Spree has a cool interactive game where players help the band navigate through various scenescapes toward a final treasure. It’s challenging. I’m not terribly familiar with the Spree, but I believe the game was designed to promote their 2004 album (*).
- Watch Ethel Merman‘s disco disaster. As a YouTube commenter deftly notes, it’s possible she inspired Axl Rose’s serpentine moves.
Time signature of the week
- It’s a real beauty called 6/8. Chad Smith gives it a stellar workout in the Red Hot Chili Peppers ditty “Breaking the Girl,” and the Beach Boys traverse the 6 elegantly on their introspective classic “In My Room.” Of that song, Brian Wilson says: “I had a room, and I thought of it as my kingdom. And I wrote that song, very definitely, that you’re not afraid when you’re in your room. It’s absolutely true.”
Album cover of the week
- Let’s go with John Yam at the trap kit! (Summoned from this collection of Asian pop album covers.)
Heating up my playlist
- Charlie Sexton, “Beat’s So Lonely.” I’ve been giving this 80s anthem a lot of play lately. Many folks associate it with the climactic scene in Some Kind of Wonderful where Eric Stoltz and friends thwart the preppy antagonist. Class warfare was never so vapid and danceable as when rendered by John Hughes.
- Jack DeJohnette, “Dancing.” Pretty stuff from Parallel Realities. Clear guitars ambulate off the fingertips of Pat Metheny; DeJohnette’s drums fall like soft rain; and piano by Herbie Hancock bathes everything in light.
- The Academy Allstars, “Twin Peaks Theme.” I discovered this cheese-laden cover of Angelo Badalamenti‘s Twin Peaks theme while listening to Last.FM’s Spongebob Squarepants station with my son. It really taps into the song’s muzak potential.
- The Clash, “Washington Bullets.” Here’s some summer sprightliness for you, with lyrics about the Bay of Pigs and Chilean dictatorships. The marimbas are touched by god.
Genre of the week
- It’s none other than psybient. Entheogenic‘s material is said to be representative of the genre. The band takes its name from entheogens, which provide divine illumination on demand.
Obscure 80s Flashback
- Earlier this week, WFTC’s Ricky Sprague and I happily recalled Sammy Hagar’s emotional contribution to the Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling quest, Over the Top. “Winner Takes It All” never became as successful as Sammy’s other hits, so it was ripe for mention in this space. Of tangential note: I have it on good authority that a male musician in Madison, Wisconsin (who shall remain nameless) once performed fellatio on Hagar. Speculatively, this anecdote may lend context to Hagar’s 1984 song, “Two Sides of Love.”
Music history moment
On this day in sound, the cosmos emitted the following lyrical creations:
- MCA, vocalist from the popular hip-hop musical ensemble “the Beastie Boys” (b. 1964);
- Rick “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” Derringer (b.1947); and
- Tawny Kitaen, famous Whitesnake video prop (b. 1961).
On August 5, 1992, the cosmos also reclaimed Jeff Porcaro, ace studio drummer, perhaps best known for playing the crap out of the Purdie Shuffle on Toto’s “Roseanna.” (John Bonham did a scary-good half-time shuffle as well.)
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