Musically speaking there are few things which match the sublimity of the mashup - although nightcore and happy hardcore remixes of songs come close - and plenty of music typists have attempted to decrypt why. Nostalgia is the hook most commonly grasped, but that only explains part of it. Besides evoking the frisson of familiarity, like good comedy, mashups work by subverting expectations, presenting the familiar in new contexts and introducing an element of surprise. There is also the delayed gratification of anticipation, the same principle which explains why the bass drop has become such a fixation in contemporary music. That feeling when you sense one song fading out, or hear another one creeping into the mix, waiting to experience the introduction of a new element into the formula, is just as important.
On this day in music history: July 21, 1987 - “Appetite For Destruction”, the debut album by Guns N’ Roses is released. Produced by Mike Clink, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders, Take One Studios in Los Angeles, CA and Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, CA from August - December 1986. In spite of a solid following on the rock club scene in L.A., the album will initially get off to slow start, taking more than a year it to earn signficant sales and upward chart momentum. Through a relentless tour schedule, the band will grow their fanbase beyond their hometown borders, eventually leading to MTV playing their videos. It will eventually spin off five hit singles including “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (#1 Pop), “Welcome To The Jungle” (#7 Pop) and “Paradise City” (#5 Pop), being certified 18x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, becoming one of the best selling debut albums of all time. “Appetite” is credited with bringing hard rock back to mainstream popularity during an era that is dominated by dance oriented pop music and lightweight pop metal acts. The albums’ original cover artwork by Robert Williams will be changed after some retailers refuse to stock it because of its graphic and violent imagery. “Appetite For Destruction” will hit number one on the Billboard Top 200 for five weeks (non-consecutive) in its 50th week on the chart on August 6, 1988.
"Carey," by Joni Mitchell, from Blue
Blue is probably Joni Mitchell’s most talked-about album — for good reason. This is the confessional singer-songwriter album, this is what people are talking about when they hand-wavingly discuss the James Taylor and Jackson Browne brand of music, this is emotion laid bare. As Joni put it:
The Blue album, there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals. At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.
Just like her relationship with Leonard Cohen drove many of the songs on Clouds and her relationship with Graham Nash drove Ladies of the Canyon (again, I want to be careful here — these men are not responsible for these albums, these men could not write these albums if they tried), the aforementioned James Taylor — his struggle with heroin particularly — is the romantic partner who shows up in many of the songs on Blue. ”All I Want" and "This Flight Tonight" are supposedly about him; they’re also excellent songs, with some wicked dulcimer on the former, and the latter showing the pop-song-integration that "Come in from the Cold" would later refine.
"Carey" is one of my favorites from the albums and another in that long, long list of wanderers’ anthems that have come from Joni Mitchell (this album has another, "California,” which is utterly worth listening to). The self-awareness in this song is beautiful — Joni’s always been painfully self-aware — and the atmosphere created in the second verse is so incredibly liveable. You can picture the beach town she’s stuck in, and you can see the “freaks and soldiers,” and feel the wind come in from Africa. She paints pictures.
always reblog blue. always reblog carey. always reblog joni.
You ever listened to vaporwave? While some say that it’s a mere extension of other joke aesthetics like soft grunge or norm core, it actually has a pretty subversive message and has an almost biter sense of humor. Macintosh Plus’s hit song, リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー, a song so catchy that most people probably don’t even think about what it’s message is. But it really gets at the heart of what I think the whole genre’s trying to say. It juxtaposes 1980s earnestness with the distorted version of that earnestness we experience today, and manages to both create a sense of distaste with the modern Digital while being a pretty great tune. Because it’s not just an earnest love song, it’s an expression of the disenfranchisement that the modern internet user feels vis a vis the Digital! Hey Paul!