Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top 10 - Why So Fussy?

For once it appears as though Connor is not the fussiest one in the room. Can you guess who it might be?

Over a month late, I am going to start releasing the Top 10 finally, so comment away if you want. And remember, with this blog, you get exactly what you pay for.

Heroin - The Velvet Underground

Like many of the songs that have made this final list, Heroin has a little bit of everything in it. It's a simple song, but I think that this song is a perfect example of what real musicians can do with even the simplest of ideas. There's only three chords used in Heroin, but the group makes the most of them, changing the tempo, dynamic, and texture several times through the song. And that really is an electric viola in the background there. No bass player in this one either.

I love how the song starts slowly and calmly, you might even say it's pretty. Then we are taken on the journey all the way up and all the way back down again. It's one of the best absolute freak outs that you will ever hear in any song. And we know that no one is doubting Lou Reed's credentials and his influence on future musicians, but if you listen to a lot of the popular grunge music of the 90's, there is no way you can tell me that those guys didn't listen to a LOT of Velvet Underground, and this song in particular.

I could listen to that thumping drum line and feedback viola all day long.

Harry Hood - Phish

When I got the idea to do this, there was only one song that I knew would be on the list for sure, and this is it. I prefer this recording from A Live One to almost any other recording of anything I have ever heard. I often listen to this track while flying, usually when I think I am around 20 minutes from landing. I don't think that there is one note out of place in the entire song. And it has a little of everything of course. There's some sort of a bridge section in the middle that just blows me away - they are playing together so precisely, but I have no idea what the count is. It's a remarkable show of what "tight" really means. And Trey's guitar solo over the last several minutes of this one is absolutely beautiful. And you get the double climax in the last section too - I still get goosebumps listening and this has been around for over 10 years.

If you made me pick one track, one single recording of something and told me that it was the only thing I could ever listen to again, this would be it.

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