nineteen successive notes no longer
Tuesday, May 23 2006
Based on only one of their songs, "Even Numbers" (heard on SOMA Indy Pop Rocks), I ordered the CD entitled Wire Post to Wire by a band called The Standard. It arrived today and, while simultaneously attending to the needs of a demanding little piglet, I put it on for a listen. I'd never heard the first song before, a monumental piece called Metropolitan that sounded best when the volume was cranked to eleven. To my ear it sounded like Rush both in the vocals and in the arrangement, though it was more modern and the vocals, though every bit as overcaffeinated as Geddy Lee's, had greater range and were buried deeper in the mix. One characteristic of pop music over time is that it has tended to increasingly assume that its listeners have ever-decreasing reserves of short-term memory. A riff that would have lasted for nineteen successive notes in 1970 would more commonly have just five today, and there seem to be more and more bands capable of making creative use of just three. In keeping with this tradition, The Standard's melodies tend to be built out of extremely simple guitar or piano riffs, usually of the minor-key melancholy school. I'm a sucker for that sound (and love to play that way myself on a piano). There are a few weak songs on the album, such as "Runway Week," which seem like ill-considered attempts to lighten the dark mood of the CD.
A fellow animal rights terrorist came by this evening to pick up Franklin the piglet and keep him up for the night. Some day, before too many weeks have passed, he will have outgrown his adorable pigletness and have to settle down for a live lived in a barn stall. In the meantime, though, he continues to be a crowd pleaser. I shot some delightful video of him playing in the yard with Eleanor this afternoon and when I get a chance I'll be uploading it to Youtube.com
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