We're nearing the end, folks. It's almost time for the final article, featuring what will hopefully be our most submissions ever! Send in that song you wish everyone knew, the one you can't stop sharing; get it out to the public! Submit your songs for the last time here and listen here(Article Playlist) and here (Archive and Top Contributors)!
Guillaume de Machaut - J'aim sans penser laidure
And now for something different. J'aim sans penser, by the 1300s French composer Guillaume de Machaut, is a short and sweet piece of medieval music featuring some bagpipes, percussion, and a harp. Throughout the song, the bagpipes sing with a very impressive, forceful passion as the harp dances in a similar but less pronounced fashion and the drums contribute the beat. The bagpipes are certainly the main focus of the song, dancing vibrantly between low and very high notes while also providing a background drone. There's a lot of other great stuff going on with the harps and drums too, but, being uneducated in music theory, I can't exactly describe why they're so great. You'll have to listen to see.
The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band With Choir - Sow some Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers Bloom
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, a.k.a. Thee Silver Mountain Reveries, a.k.a. The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, a.k.a. A Silver Mt. Zion, is a Godspeed-related post-rock band consisting of about half of the members of Godspeed plus Jessica Moss, led by Efrim Menuck. Sow some Lonesome Corner So Many Flowers Bloom, off of "This Is Our Punk-Rock," Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing, is notably more folky than your usual godspeed song, featuring singing and lightly plucked acoustic instruments that complement the distorted yet calm electric guitar and bassy drums.
The first part of the song is mainly centered around the singing by "an amateur choir [that] was assembled from a few dozen friends and colleagues," according to Wikipedia, and the album "was essentially created as a requiem for open and abandoned spaces in Montreal." Starting off relatively unified and focusing on a select few notes, the choir gradually evolves into something much more chaotic and active, sounding a bit more like an acapella choir, before culminating in a climax around the 6 minute mark, where the voices unify once again, playing single notes over some of the singers' very prolongued and probably edited holding of a single note over a full minute.
The second part is mainly ambient for the first few minutes until the guitar motif that introduced the first segment returns and the intensity and melodic activity slowly build to the second, very beautiful climax around the 13 minute mark, where an orchestra of strings and a drum set are introduced to the song and remain until the song's end. The second climax is, in my opinion, the very high peak of the song, and if you're not patient enough to sit through 16 minutes of post rock to get to it, then I suggest maybe skipping ahead to that part. In the video above, it's at 13:22.
Swans - The Sound
I've been a bit reluctant to share this one for a long time, essentially since songs of the week began, both because of the relative inaccessibility of it and because of recently developing events concerning the band's lead singer and songwriter Michael Gira. Concerning the former: songs of the week submissions have evolved quite a bit by now, and The Sound isn't too far off from a typical submission, so it should fit in fine, now; concering the latter: I'm very conflicted. I suppose a work can still be enjoyed to an extent if it is enjoyed as a piece by itself, removed from its creator, but I don't know.
For the first 3 minutes, the song is building up pressure. Only strings, a vibraphone, and a heavy-reverb electric guitar are present for almost the first 2 minutes of the song, after which soft drumming and Michael Gira's soft singing are introduced. Gira seems to be singing of a person suffering from paranoid schizophrenia or just plain loneliness ("And wide are your delusions ... Closed forever is the door to your room"), using an unusual adjective-verb-subject syntax that emphasizes the qualities of the objects he describes.
The first segment closes as Gira sings, "You despise, but I love / You despise what I love / You despise, I love / You despise, I love", hinting at a growing rift between the speaker and the song's subject through the subtle changes and removal of the line's verb. Gira also hits a deep and ominous note on the second syllable of "despise", tinting the apostrophe with a bleak, disheartening tone. After that, the once calm drums and electric guitar start picking up steam and continue for the majority of the song, creating a massive wall of sound that at some points seems to be pushing the microphone to its limits.
The wall of sound that lasts for the majority of the song - the first part is from around 4 minutes to 6 minutes, while the second part is from around 7 minutes to 10 minutes - is, in my opinion, one of the most passionate and powerful specimens of any piece of modern music that I can think of. Throughout both of the aforementioned segments, tension, energy, and activity are constantly building; the melody or percussion is constantly changing in subtle ways; the song as a whole evolves, swelling into an immense ball of sound pouring out of the instruments of impassioned musicians.
Near the 10-minute mark, the song returns its origins of strings and a vibraphone first heard at the beginning of the song, albeit with one difference: when Gira's voice is reintroduced, he's not just softly singing anymore, he's shouting: "Mother, I / I was wrong / I am wrong / You were wrong / I am wrong." The words are spoken with immense regret, and the subtle change of subject at the beginning of each line expresses a sort of doubt, first regretful, then accusatory, then regretful again.
Ultimately, while the song is probably best characterized by its volume, what really shines through as, in my opinion, the song's most redeeming aspect is the way in which the song communicates very complex emotions through a gradual buildup of subtle changes at a level much more gradual than that of typical post-rock yet at the same time much more powerful. It's something I've yet to see replicated by any artist or group that I've heard, and it's something that leaves me in awe to this day, years after first finding the song. I hope to one day discover something as imposing as The Sound so as to be able to relive that feeling of discovering something like it for the first time, but so far, the chances of that happening don't seem too great; The Sound seems to be on another plane of music entirely.
The Chords - Sh-boom
I really fun and light hearted love song full of seemingly made up words. Good Stuff.
Family of the Year - Make You Mine
I first heard this song while being dragged around kohl's and proceeded to spend a good amount of time looking for it remembering only a few lyrics. Really awesome and chill song from people I have never heard of and keep telling myself I'll try listening to...eventually.
EleventySeven - Evil Genius It has been awhile since my last joke entry and this one should make up for it. I honestly don’t know where I find this stuff. Anyway here's a nice story of an evil high school genius in his search for love. Please do not let your children watch this and do not view alone. Proper safety protocol is to close all doors and windows, draw a triangle on the floor and recite the proper ritual chants before viewing. Please turn to page 89 for more info.
The cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical - Finale
So much goes on during this finale. I think it's the longest musical finale on CDs that I own, so of course stuff's going to go down. It's so sad. I found a bootleg of a portion of it (I'm such a badass), and part of it actually got me to cry without watching the rest of the musical (although I know what goes on during the rest of the musical) . But it's so beautiful. The last four minutes of it are so beautiful and hopeful and I just really love this musical as a whole.
The cast of Beauty and the Beast the Musical - If I Can't Love Her
This song was on a Disney princess CD that my sister and I have. We have a lot. Kyra and I love Disney a lot. Anyway, we would listen to that CD a lot when we were younger, so I listened to this song frequently. I was putting music from CDs onto my phone, and I found this song in my iTunes library. So, I added it to my phone and I started loving this song again. It's so sad but Belle ends up loving the Beast so it's all good.
Epica - Victims of Contingency
I just noticed that my other two songs are from musical adaptations of Disney movies. This one obviously isn't. I used to listen to Epica a lot, but then I stopped. But I still love this song. Like the metal and classical elements are so awesome together. Plus Simone Simon's voice. She goes so high in other songs omg.
Charles Manson - Close To Me
Many people, when first listening to the music Charles Manson made in the Summer of Love, react initially with shock. This is usually followed by a comment about how he's actually not bad. This response is pretty valid, I'd say, but when listening a bit further, hearing the words Manson uses in what's supposed to be a love song, something is clearly already off. He sings how he's "watched you from afar," and from there the lyrics are generally slightly wrong. It focuses very much on Manson himself, despite the fact that it is written for and about someone else. There's something unsettling about listening to this song after knowing what he went on to do.
PWR BTTM - Ugly Cherries
Ben Hopkins confronts what's wrong with his identity, in mostly a gender-related way. This is sort of a song criticizing how specifically Hopkins, but also many others, live in a way that is immediate and loud, but ashamed of that fact. People are ugly cherries, bona fide.
Titus Andronicus - A Pot In Which To Piss
A Pot in Which to Piss details what seems like a mood swing or a descent into and an ascent from hopelessness. The track begins with a quote from Jefferson Davis' description of his inauguration as president of the Confederate States of America. He describe the audience as "large and brilliant," but he also points out that "beyond them, [he] saw thorns and troubles innumerable." The point +@ tries to make here, I think, is that no matter how many people side with you, there will always be many against you as well. The speaker of the song starts in a good place, having both traditional success, as in the line "it was a pretty good GPA," and artistic success, as in the line "it sounded like a pretty good seven-inch." Everything was going pretty well, until seeming out of nowhere, the fact that everything was inherently pointless started to set in as a damaging fact. Things get bad quickly, and when he reaches the end of his rope, "[he] feel[s] like swinging." In other words, suicidal. He goes on to reference the band's critics, possibly because the sudden depression was a result of scathing comments on their music. As a result of this, +@ was considering calling it quits.
At this point, the song takes a sudden turn, introducing a fighting spirit. After all the shit they've been through, you're goddamn right its not over yet. End with a quote from Walt Whitman's "Vigil Strange I Kept On the Field One Night." A man finds his son dead on the battlefield and buries him. He kept fighting right on until the end.