A moo point, basically …

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The anatomy of a song

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a.k.a. A confession about how I typically listen to music

The song below (Otherside, Red Hot Chili Peppers) is an excellent song. I must have listened to it quite a few times, quite often in a loop.

It might come as a bit of a shock then (well, at least a mild surprise) that I don’t really know the lyrics to the song. Sure, I know the ‘how long how loooong will I fly …’ or ‘… take it on the other side’ portions. But that’s more or less the extent of my lyrical eloquence. Besides, to be honest, I’m quite sure the song will be about one/more/all of the following –

Angst/ drugs/ Rock-n-Roll/ Chillin’ (or killin’) like a villain/ More dope/ Suicide/ Broken hearts/ Kinky stuff. Pretty much like most RHCP songs, I guess. So, drawing wisdom from the song where it says somewhere in the middle – ‘… Once you know you can never go back …’ – I’ll take my chances and stick with ignorance.

I will, however, claim to be quite well placed to identify pretty much every note, every drum change, every cymbal beat and probably every instrument used in the song. Try waking me up and going ‘aaaaaaaa … aaaaaaa … aaaaaa’ like the guys in the background do towards the end, and I’ll recognize the song. Unless I’m really pissed or if you’re an exceptionally bad singer – then, all bets are off.

The way the bass guitar is used to not just give the song some volume (of the mass x density or the nice-bouncy-hair type) but also to give it direction by making its presence felt without grabbing too much attention. I invariably like songs which do  justice to the bass guitar, in fact. Case and point – With or without You, U2.

Then there’s the way each stanza builds up to a crescendo, with more instruments and then the harmony/chorus all combining quite nicely. The way the opening notes keep persisting through the whole song. That’s what I end up humming every time – the opening notes (twang, twang twing twing …) or the wailing mentioned previously in the context of a challenge. This does end up irritating people in my vicinity (when I do the humming bit), but whatcha’ gonna do ’bout it? Every time the song ends, I resolve to pay attention to the lyrics the next time.

And it’s not just this song – every rock song that I like is a song whose lyrics I probably never know- I end up humming/ murmuring something which is at most phonetically similar to the actual lyrics (or at least in meter). Contrast this with Hindi film songs or any ‘Pop’ song, and I usually get the lyrics the first time. Unless it’s a Himes songs, ’cause then I don’t need to listen to the song at all – a glance at the song title gives away half the lyrics right away.

Is it because my grasp of the English language is poor? Maybe. Consistent poor performance in CAT Verbal Ability tests do point in that direction.

Is it because my grasp of the English rock language is poor? Quite likely.

Is it because Hindi film songs have less intricate music and/or better lyrics vis-a-vis English rock? Highly unlikely. At the risk of offending purists, though, I will say that the two are fairly on par.

Is it really that important? Moooo

Written by sujaybedekar

March 30, 2010 at 3:47 am

Too much of sharing

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(Bill Cosby talking to a kid on the Show “Kids Say the darndest things“)
BC: “Do you know who Cher is?”
K:”Unn huh yes. What we do on Passover.”

Darndest indeed. 🙂

(video here)

Written by sujaybedekar

November 9, 2009 at 4:44 am

Posted in family, US, videos

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Hugh: Douglas picked a buttercup. Why people leave buttocks lying around, I have no idea.

Doesn’t make too much sense? Try reading it in a ‘propah Bridish accent’.


From this, at 4:42-

Fry and Laurie are awesome! 🙂

Written by sujaybedekar

July 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm