For better or worse, we’re all in this together.
Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:
Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old.
Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old.
Something Borrowed: A cover song.
Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad.
Everyone loves/hates a good pun. It’s one of life’s few treasures that can make us grin while we groan. When you’re young and in a band it might sound like a fun idea to name your band something ridiculous because hey, why not. It’s not like it will define your musical identity or anything. It’s not like your taste will change or your level of fame will increase. Nah, go ahead and get that tattoo that says “TATTOO” it’s a good idea and you won’t regret it.
So go ahead and call your band Salvia Plath or Bleeding Rainbow or Ringo Deathstarr or Joy Orbison or Truman Peyote or Harmonica Lewinsky because it’s fun! Wordplay is great!
The Beatles | “A Day in the Life”
George Martin passed away this week at the tender age of 90 and no eulogy I’ve seen so far has been able to overstate how important his work was for popular music as we know it. He was often referred to as the Fifth Beatle as he worked as their producer for nearly the entirety of their professional career (excluding Phil Spector’s misfire putting a needless glossy sheen all over Let It Be). Martin hired a 40-piece orchestra to play over the final 24 bars of “A Day In The Life” to produce a certain grandiose crescendo that John Lennon believed necessary to cap off the song and the Sgt. Pepper’s album. Martin’s 1979 memoir All You Need Is Ears recounts that request:
“He said, ‘What I’d like to hear is a tremendous build-up, from nothing up to something absolutely like the end of the world.”
Martin was integral in changing the landscape for pop music and the possibilities of a studio acting as an instrument. His legacy is also an important reason that the actual spelling of “beetles” is somehow more jarring to the eye than the band’s punny version.
The Dandy Warhols | “STYGGO”
Looking back on the late 90’s alternative rock music scene can be at times nostalgic other times cringe-worthy and ultimately a bizarre time. It was the dawn of the internet and music piracy, which paved the way for nearly-free nearly-instant everything as far as music goes, leaving behind the dinosaur bones of the music recording industry as we knew it. The Dandy Warhols jettisoned from being a respected American Brit-pop band into a commercially successful pop-rock outfit eventually opening for David Bowie on his 2003 A Reality Tour. Their 2000 song “Bohemian Like You” was used in a commercial for Vodafone (lol, wut) in 2001 and was re-released hitting number 5 on the UK Singles.
The Dandy’s are back with a disco-pop jam called “STYGGO” (an acronym for Some Things You Gotta Get Over) and they do not seem worse for the wear. Their next album Distortland will be released this year and hopefully choc-full of more tasty licks.
Rihanna | “Pour it Up” (R.L. Grime Remix)
R.L. Grime (a play on children horror fiction author of Goosebumps and master creator of pre-teen nightmares R.L. Stine) remixed Rihanna’s strip club anthem “Pour It Up” three years ago, giving it an extra level of darkness we didn’t think possible adding heavy bass and wall to wall synths. The drops are out of control and blend perfectly with Bad Girl RiRi’s chant “Strip clubs and dollar biiiiiiiiiills.”
Elvis Depressedly | “N.M.S.S.”
Singer/songwriter Mat Cothran and multi-instrumentalist Delaney Mills are two halves of lo-fi pop duo Elvis Depressedly, an appropriate name for a band that sings sad songs with all the sentimentality of a lovable goofball. Cothran has desribed their most recent album as “like crying watching Looney Tunes or something.” It’s another song with an acronym (No More Sad Songs) but an entirely different mood. “N.M.S.S.” captures the earnestness of a lonely heart with its catchy albeit somber melody and light string section within the rhythm.
No more sad songs
I owe the world nothing
I’ve been strung alone too long to really care
“Someday” never came so I keep waiting
I will go to sleep still believing