Posts Tagged ‘record’
I like free music. Who doesn’t?
My unquenchable thirst for downloadable music — legal or questionably legal — took a strange turn when a friend turned me onto the archives of the United States military bands. The Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps bands all have their own websites and, because these bands are funded by the taxpayers, their recordings are free.
As far as I could find, our friends in the Coast Guard were left out. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve been looking for a copy of their theme song — nine times catchier than Anchors Aweigh — to no avail.
Seven years of marching band in high school and in college well-prepared me for the huge collection of marches and patriotic music. Three hours later, I finished importing the complete John Phillips Sousa into iTunes. I don’t know who Colonel Bogey is, but he makes me smile.
I imagined military sanctions for band members.
Twenty push-ups for each missed chord change. Play through a rest means half-rations for a week. Talk during rehearsal? Court-martial.
Then it got weird.
Google gave me a link to the old Air Force archives, filled with recordings of our fighting men and women playing and singing music of all genres. Dixieland. New Wave. R&B. There was even a rap song.
It’s hard not to crack a smile at the idea of stoic, serious-faced officers playing the blues in their full dress blues, chiseled jaw and all.
I found all of these songs for free online. Most of them are cheesy.
Featuring the thrift-store Enya knock-off.
Imagine government-funded rap about living your life drug-free. Imagine it worse.
You can steal something like eight consecutive melody notes before it’s legally plagiarism. Joseph Spaniola knew this, and wrote for us the Space Fanfare. It starts by almost quoting the Star Wars, Superman and Star Trek themes. It’s a downward spiral from there.
They Died for You, They Died for Me
Hey — did you hear? Vietnam was a fight for freedom, at least according to this Nashville-style Soft Rock. “They died for freedom, God and family/ They died for you/ They died for me,” attests the honkey-tonk crooner. Strangely enough, references to carpet bombing, conscription or the Gulf of Tonkin were cut from the final version.
‘Taint So, Honey ‘Taint So
A white man doing his best Louis Armstrong impression provides the lead vocals about halfway in — as you’d expect, it’s immediately singable. Everything in this album really isn’t that bad, though this is the only selection with such a gravely hoarseness to it.
Tax dollars well spent.
I’m a mix artist. That is, I will organize songs into well-flowing playlists. Usually, given my illegitimately huge music collection, there’s some overarching theme.
I’ve done a few that compile inside jokes. I’ve done decades of American history. My iTunes even has a playlist-in-progress that compiles good songs inspired by record producers. So far, I’m at Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” Cake’s “Sad Songs and Waltzes” and Weezer’s “Pork and Beans.” I haven’t gotten many more songs. I’ll appreciate any suggestions.
While that last idea stalls in mid-completion, my masterpiece is almost done. When I finally give it to a selected target, it will be a prank of proportions I find very amusing.
At first listen, this masterpiece sounds like a pretty standard, ho-hum classic rock playlist. Paint it Black. Killer Queen. Message in a Bottle. When You Were Young. Your target puts the CD on in the background while he raids around on his World of Warcraft server.
Yet as your intended target listens on, he’ll passively notice a few out-of-place additions. How did parody glam-rock band Spinal Tap make the cut, beating out The Beatles? Why “Spanish Castle Magic” when we all know Jimi Hendrix’s best chart is “Voodoo Child?” And where has he heard “The Beast and the Harlot” before? He begins listening intently, much to the detriment and frustration of his online raiding party.
Listening on, he thinks he recognizes a pattern. By the time he gets to the requisite Tenacious D selection, he’s pretty sure of himself. Before listening to the last three songs on the disc, he calls you up.
With a bemused smile on his face — you can tell when someone’s smiling while they talk on the phone — he triumphantly lets you know just as the last few notes of “My Name is Jonas” fade into the “Knights of Cydonia” preparing for a battle against a dragon-man.
Riddle to my readers: Name one other song that could have been on this playlist. There are many.
For the sake of the riddle, don’t give away the pattern.