Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

I just dropped my daughter off at sleepaway camp where the kids will have to survive without Roblox and TikTok for the summer. They are allowed old-school non-internet enabled iPods for music, though. I filled a 7th Gen Nano with Hot 100 hits for her before she gave me a list of songs she wanted: a few dozen random Vocaloid remixes, and one track each from Mitski and MGMT. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ No new Pom Pom Squad/Faye Webster/Spellling/Lightning Bug/SAULT/2nd Grade/Lucy Dacus/Tyler, The Creator, smh. But hopefully you heard something new you liked this week ’cause it’s a particularly fruitful New Music Friday. (When I went to sleepaway camp everyone was bumping to He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper — how times change.)

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10  Guy Incognito
Score:31 | Jun 21st

the same people picketing and bitching about being denied admittance or access for vaccine refusal are the same people that want to boss around women for their reproductive rights. They can fuck off.

Posted in: At MSG, Foo Fighters Gave Us The Post-COVID Return We’d Been Hoping For
#9  Decatur Or
Score:33 | Jun 21st

whatever, it’s messed up she didn’t prioritize me specifically

Posted in: Lorde Reveals Solar Power Release Date, Tracklist, Tour
#8  Steely Dan Halen
Score:33 | Jun 21st

I hadn’t heard this song since I was a kid, and it didn’t made a big impression on me back then. But listening to it again this morning, I have to say this song is masterfully constructed. Here are some thoughts:

(1) “Two Hearts” uses the Lydian mode, in a classic pop-song fashion. I don’t believe we’ve seen a song reviewed in “The Number Ones” column that features the Lydian mode since REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You.” (I haven’t paid close attention, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong.) Other examples of Lydian mode include Danny Elfman’s theme from “The Simpsons” (which technically is Lydian flat-7), the intro to Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels,” and John Williams’ “Flying” theme from E.T. Leonard Bernstein’s “Maria” from West Side Story is a beautiful example of Lydian mode. Some people think Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is in F Lydian — and I don’t necessarily disagree, but I could also make a case that it’s in G Mixolydian.

Lydian is the 4th mode of the Major scale and contains the following degrees: 1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7. [In Indian Carnatic music, this mode is called “Kalanyi Raga”; in Hindustani music, it’s “Raag Yaman.”] In Phil Collins’ “Two Hearts,” it is the verses that are in Lydian mode — and specifically, G Lydian, which contains the following notes: G, A, B, C#, D, E, F#. If I were to transcribe the song into sheet music, I would probably put one sharp (F#) in the key signature and notate the C# as an accidental because the song’s gravitational center really does feel like G.

The chords in the verses mostly alternate between G and A/G. The A/G contains a C# (the major 3rd interval from the root), which is the raised 4th in G. It’s this raised 4th that creates a feeling of hopefulness and wonder, and it gives the song its characteristic “Lydian” sound.

(2) The bridge in “Two Hearts” is truly astounding, and it’s the highlight of the song. Lamont Dozier and Phil Collins achieve a big “lift” using what is paradoxically a “downward” key modulation. They go from the key of G down to F# — using a series of transition chords with an insanely awesome string arrangement and crazy cool syncopation (which Phil nails with his inimitable drum phrasing). The transition chords are: Eb/G, Ab, F/A, Bb, Ab/C. You can see that the first four chords climb chromatically, but then the Ab/C chord makes no sense to me, especially considering they’re about to land on a BMaj7 (the IV chord in F#). Nevertheless, it sounds awesome — and frankly, I don’t understand why. The next time I teach a university course on functional harmony, I may pose this to the students and offer extra credit to anyone who can explain it coherently. The key change itself, and the method by which it’s executed, do not utilize “circle of fifths” relationships or secondary dominants as pivot points… and specifically, the intrinsic logic of what the Ab/C is doing there eludes me. The chord progression kind of reminds me of some of the inventive musical contortions we hear in Stevie Wonder songs, or Gino Vannelli songs. They sound natural (and even beautiful), even though the underlying musical architecture is pretty bizarre.

Moving along: the bridge proceeds in the key of F# Major — but without ever playing an F# Major chord (a compositional technique I absolutely love… never going “home” to the root chord). And the transition back to G Major (for the final chorus) is deft and efficient, as they gracefully modulate up a half step to Amin7, followed by D9sus, executing the classic ii-V-I turnaround. The melody Phil sings, and all his harmony parts, perfect weave through these surprising chord changes in an instinctive and unaffected way — making it clear that these novel chord changes are not gratuitous, but actually necessary for the song to go where the songwriters want it to go.

(3) “Two Hearts” employs pedal points, a compositional device Phil Collins seems to use frequently. Pedal points are bass notes that remain unchanged while the chords above them modulate — creating tension using passing tones, chord suspensions, and resolutions. The aforementioned G–>G/A–>G–>G/A progression in the verse is a simple example. But we also get what’s sometimes referred to as “The Genesis Chord” (or perhaps the Tony Banks chord): the Maj9(no 3rd) chord. In this song we hear a more common variation: a sus9 chord (with dominant 7) — specifically in the bridge, with the D#sus9 and and G#sus9.

(4) The performances in “Two Hearts” are top notch. I love the sound of Phil harmonizing with himself (note how he uses inverted pedal points in his vocal harmonies.) I’ve always liked Phil’s prog-rock drumming, but here he demonstrates marvelously tight R&B chops with a deep-pocket shuffle groove and tasteful restraint. The overall production is outstanding, and I imagine a lot of that is Lamont Dozier’s work. Freddie Washington’s bass tone is punchy and tight, and his 8th-note swing feel is perfectly groovy. The low C he plays in the choruses (three octaves below middle C) tells me he’s using a 5-string bass [GASP!]. This does not comport with the requisite classic Motown 4-string Fender Precision Bass sound with flatwound strings (a la James Jamerson)… but I love it. BTW, have I mentioned how awesome the string arrangement is? I did? OK, good.

(5) I have one gripe: the chords in the chorus section go Cmaj7 (to C6)–>D–>G. It’s not terrible, but it’s a little plain and disappointing. It also creates an awkwardness when the chorus ends in a G chord and then the next verse starts on that same chord. The chorus-to-verse handoff is “stuck in neutral” (i.e., it stays on the G chord), and doesn’t go anywhere. May I suggest the following improvement? If they were to substitute a Bmin7 for the D, and an E7sus for the G, they could have the same melody but with far more interesting harmonic movement underneath, adding more color, flavor, and forward momentum. Then when they go to the G chord at the top of the next verse, it sounds fresh because we haven’t just heard it. So it would be CMaj7 (to C6)–>Bmin7–>E7sus (to Emin/D). Try it out (with the melody) and see if you agree.

Other thoughts?

Posted in: The Number Ones: Phil Collins’ “Two Hearts”
#7  unknown
Score:34 | Jun 24th

this dummy doesn’t seem to realize andy ngo isn’t some neutral party with an inside scoop on antifa. dude was literally marching with proud boys when he got soaked with a milkshake and got so mad that he wrote a whole book full of easily debunked bullshit. pretty sure he is insisting to this day that the milkshake had concrete in it, which is not a thing.

incidentally, Concrete Milkshake would be an excellent name for a hardcore band.

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet
#6  SumDude
Score:34 | Jun 23rd

As God is my witness, the Cranberries’ “Linger” is a ten.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Sheriff’s “When I’m With You”
#5  7eleven
Score:35 | Jun 22nd

such a fascinating thing that ppl can take heat for singing along to tyler songs while tyler is becoming more of a mainstream celeb, with what seems to be a pretty high online approval rate.

Posted in: Billie Eilish Apologizes For Ethnic Slur In Resurfaced Video
#4  ShadowMorpheus
Score:35 | Jun 21st

No one, because it’s not being released on CD. ;p

Posted in: Lorde Reveals Solar Power Release Date, Tracklist, Tour
#3  Saint Nothing
Score:36 | Jun 18th

Meanwhile, in the UK…

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan’s Especially For You is into the second of its three weeks at number one.

Neneh Cherry was 24 but had already been around for a while. Stepdaughter of Don Cherry, he took the then fifteen year old Neneh with him when touring with the Slits, and she ended up becoming a member of the band very briefly and living with Ari Up in a squat. Inspired by Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, she then fell in with and co-fronted Rip Rig + Panic, arrhythmically jazzy post-punks formed out of the ashes of The Pop Group and most famous for performing on The Young Ones (though Cherry isn’t on that appearance). As a sideline she was a DJ on Dread Broadcasting Corporation, credited as London’s first Black music pirate radio station. In 1987 she semi-rapped on the B-side of Looking Good Diving, a Stock Aitken Waterman-produced flop that was the only release by the duo Morgan-McVey, the production half of which Cameron McVey was her partner. Some time in 1988 she finally began work on her solo debut and as part of it Tim Simenon, AKA Bomb The Bass, was recruited to re-record that flip as Buffalo Stance, named in honour of Buffalo, the umbrella name for the loose collective of musicians, models, photographers, stylists and hangers-on that Cherry and McVey (and Morgan belonged to. It reached #3 on both the Hot 100 and UK charts and launched a end of the decade supernova.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWsRz3TJDEY

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”
#2  brightcolorsanddirt
Score:37 | Jun 24th

This dude completely does not understand, or more likely does and is pretending not to, that there’s a difference between “criticizing the far left” and “using alt-right propaganda to criticize the far left.”

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet
#1  Gary O’Stum
Score:38 | Jun 24th

If someone is talking about the “far-left” as a bogeyman or a serious threat, you can be certain they are a total dipshit. The left exists on the fringes in America while the right controls the military, police, business, etc.

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#4  chuckamok
Score:-15 | Jun 24th

Left controls the musical discourse though, and they are mostly idiots, so I can understand his regret at apologizing to them.

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet
#3  Legal Eagle
Score:-15 | Jun 21st

Not really fitting the mood of the moment, but okay.

Posted in: At MSG, Foo Fighters Gave Us The Post-COVID Return We’d Been Hoping For
#2  kamala-biden-is-a-hand-puppet
Score:-17 | Jun 24th

The best part of you dripped down your mom’s leg! (Is that how we do these clever insults?)

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet
#1  kamala-biden-is-a-hand-puppet
Score:-21 | Jun 24th

At this point, everyone needs to either not apologize for anything, or apologize for everything. There is no other way.

Posted in: Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons, Claims That He’s Not Really Far Right, & Says He Shouldn’t Have Apologized For Andy Ngo Tweet

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

  eastside tilly
Score:27 | Jun 23rd

“We are listening to all your suggestions.”

I suggest a no stabbing rule.

Posted in: “Redneck Rave”: Kentucky Music Fest Descends Into Grisly Violence

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