The Inaugural "Impact of Music on Culture": Three Songs to Know.7th August 2014 • No comments
This is going to be the inaugural article of an analytical uncovering of music’s impact on culture as a whole, and individual lives. Sometimes it will be a topic based article, and other times we will explore particular pieces of music, and their impact. This week, I would like to introduce you to three songs, each with an interesting story.
In 2012 Serengeti’s “Don’t Blame Steve” answered a call that has been coming for years, and it does so in a lighthearted way. The Steve Bartman thing makes you want to trade in your humanity card. Mob justice at it’s worst. Serengeti speaks truth to power from the outset, “Ball coming atcha! Ya catch it, or knock it down!” There was excitement around that team, “A chance for redemption, so the home town could kick it. Been a fan of Florida teams since Hawk Dawson left.” “Calm it Down, Calm it down,” Serengeti says demonstrating the need for peacemaking at the scene.Then Serengeti adds the humor to the song, “Blame Farnsworth, Derrek Lee, Eric Karros, Steve Stone, Dan Rohn, Galaragga. Blame number 8, 21, Wayne Gretzky.” The list goes on. The music video is perfect, it features Serengeti, and a little kid with a mustache rapping in Wrigleyville. Here is the video:
Next, Lawrence by Girls is a tribute to Lawrence, the lead singer of Felt. It has no vocals, and great guitar. The patterns are even better, and happier than felt, and maybe thats the point, it ends in this kind of cartoon theme song way, where all felt songs end with a dark, or nondescript melody. It was released with a letter to Lawrence from lead singer, Christopher Owens:
I wonder who will be writing me in twenty years, and what they’ll be looking for. Don’t worry, I’m not writing to talk about the things I’m looking for in life, I’ll spare you that. I’m writing to FINALLY be able to send you a song that I wrote in 2008. When I wrote this song I was the guitarist in a band called Holy Shit, Matt Fishbeck (our fearless leader) was the one who turned me on to Felt. I fell in love with your songs, I wouldn’t stop listening, I loved you and Maurice.
To make a long story a shorter story, I once wrote this song and wondered what you would sing to it, I could sometimes hear your voice but I didn’t dare write down any words. I never thought for a second you would ever hear it, I wondered if you would like it, all that. I called it Lawrence, after you. To send it to you now is incredible for me, I want to show you I’m thankful. You gave me something to love, or in other words you gave me love itself. You took something that can sometimes feel so common and dull and brought it back to life with so much beauty and verse. You gave me happiness, and you still do.
Anyway, I’d just like you to have it, it’s yours, take it as yours. Do anything you want with it. I hope you enjoy listening to it. And all the best to you forever and ever.
With love- Christopher Owens
Lastly, The Monochrome Set’s I Love Lambeth has a really folky guitar line, with a baroque, romantic, and above all grand, take on life’s difficulties. The lyrics are the story of this song. You feel the streets lead singer Bid sings about while hearing them. You see the beetle, the Bishop of Durham, and the Hydra. In one line he mentions Telly Savales, the actor best known for playing detective Kojak in the crime show Kojak. Maybe Telly Savales, known as a detective, is a reference to needing curiosity to enjoy hard times. Clearly Bid intends to describe hardship, but also just life, who doesn’t feel like those vacationing kids never leave. Here is the song on Grooveshark, and the lyrics, which are great just by themselves: The Monochrome Set- I Love Lambeth
I try to breathe, I try to breathe But all I get is a lung full of fumes from an old Chevette.This cold’s been hanging around for years.
I try to eat. I try to eat, but all I can buy is a piece of tough meat that’s red with the dye. This cold’s been hanging around for years.
But, I love Lambeth, with all the dirt on the streets There’s no better place for your feet. If you were a beetle, or if you were a tsetse fly. This would be heaven.
I need some space,I need some space, but in the day the streets are all crowded for a long holiday, these kids’ve been hanging around for years.
And I love Lambeth, with all the poison in the air. There’s no better place for your hair. If you were a lizard, or Telly Savalas, this would be heaven.
I need a walk, I need a walk, but wherever I go there’s the smell of the putrid, and the feel of a hole. This pain’s been hanging around for years.
But, I love Lambeth with all the mud on its face, for romance there’s no better place. If you were a hydra, or the Bishop of Durham. This would be heaven