Here’s Victorian band The Exploders with the bright’n’breezy “Little Summer Dress” (2007):
If you ever come across a post on this blog where something in it isn’t right – e.g., a song won’t play, a link is no longer valid, or a graphic is missing etc. – please let me know and I’ll fix it as soon as possible.
If you don’t have anything better to do for the next 10 minutes, here’s the reason for that public announcement…
In the right column of this blog is a thing called Feedjit. I think it’s marvellous, as it lets me know which of my posts people visit. Courtesy of Feedjit, I see that in addition to the newest posts, people also have a look at much older posts. Thanks, chaps and chapettes.
When people do have a look at older posts, I tend to check them to see if the files there are still functioning A-OK. I need to check them occasionally because DivShare, the MP3 storage facility I use, occasionally does some unusual things to the older MP3s I have there. Sometimes the file will be there but the link won’t work. And sometimes (admittedly, this is very rare) the MP3 won’t be there at all. Subsequently, I’ll replace the MP3 with a working one and tidy up the post.
I’m mentioning all of the above because someone visited an old post of mine (from 2009) which featured “Greedy People”, a song by The Electric Hippies. I checked the post, and to my consternation the MP3 had disappeared. Eek.
I’ve updated the post with a shiny new MP3 of the song.
This is the post that caused today’s “To whom it may concern” message:
If you read all of that, thanks for your perseverance. I’ll try to reward you with a shorter post next time.
Back when Blogger deleted the previous incarnation of this blog, I received a wonderfully consolatory email from my friend, the redoubtable Dr. Keats. When I had told him earlier that Blogger deleted my blog, the good doctor gave me one of those “Chin up, old chap!” pep talks, and recommended a song to lighten my presumably dark mood. I must admit that I don’t have dark moods (I was born an optimist), but I was grateful nevertheless that the Special K thought enough to say “Howdy!”.
This is the song Dr. Keats recommended:
Nushu – “Precious To Me” (2011)
I’m very glad he recommended that particular song, because: a) I think it’s a splendid version; and b) I’d never heard of Nushu before. (I like what I’ve heard.)
By the way, I’ve just found out that Dr. Keats has created a brand new shiny blog of his own. I’m pleased to report that Dr. Keats’ blog focuses on music. Yay! (Beware: In addition to music, it has cats.) I’ve also discovered that the first in his series of “Music You Should Check Out” posts is… Nushu’s “Precious To Me”. Oops.
Ah well. I’ve already typed this post, and I don’t want to untype it.
Anyway, here’s the original:
Phil Seymour – “Precious To Me” (1980)
Today’s post is about American singer Kat McGivern.* The post is pretty long, so you may want find a comfortable chair…
Preface / Disclaimer:
Although this post may end up seeming like a non-stop catalogue of complaints, it’s not. It’s just a few things I noticed in the course of listening to the music. As for the music overall, I didn’t mind it. (Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it.)
I think I’ll have to treat this post a little differently today. I’ll make it a post with chapters.
THINGS I NOTICED
1. The Name
I’m not a fan of shortening names. For example, I loathe being called “Pete”. (Ugh. My name’s not “Pete” – it’s Peter.)
However, if somebody wants their own name shortened (rather than someone else shortening it for them), I’m fine with that. I’ll say: “No problem. I won’t call you Albert if you don’t want me to. I’ll call you Al.”
The reason I’m bringing up this pet peeve of mine is that today’s artist goes by the name of Kat McGivern. Now, because I’m not entirely sure if young Ms McGivern’s first name is actually Kat, my grumble in this instance may be completely misjudged and misdirected. But I wonder if Kat’s name is actually something longer, something like the more poetic Katharine, or Kathryn, or even Katarina. If so, I’d rather call Kat by her full, much-more-appealing-to-me name. Unless she prefers to be called Kat, of course. Then I’ll shut up about long and short names.
Anyway, Kat is being promoted as a frisky Grrl, full of Grrl-power (think P!nk / Kelly Clarkson / Miley Cyrus / Taylor Swift / Hayley Warner et al). I reckon the name suits the image very well because it’s short, snappy, zappy, zippy, and punchy. Kat.
2. The Album Cover
The cover of Kat’s album, My Kamikaze Heart…
As far as the image concept goes, I’d say they’re pretty similar.
3. The Music
At the risk of not making much sense, I’d say that this: the songs are very good but I don’t like them much.
Now to explain the above sentence…
For what they are – i.e., modern rock songs by a strong-willed person of the female persuasion – they’re accomplished and highly polished.
4. Song That Sums Up Kat McGivern
Probably this one. And I think the word is “feisty”:
Kat McGivern – “Kamikaze Heart” (2011)
5a. Enjoyable Song With Annoying Vocal Mannerism
Kat McGivern – “Dance With The Devil” (2011)
This song contains a glaring example of a current vocal practice that I detest. It involves breaking the voice as it introduces or ends a vocal line in a song. I’ve heard it called the “catch”, but it may not actually have a name. Whatever it’s called, it’s something many, many singers do nowadays. It’s now very common, and is such a blatant attempt at wringing as much emotion out of “the moment” that it unfailingly gives me the heebie jeebies. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Def Leppard‘s vocalist Joe Elliott explains it in a part of a documentary about the making of Def Leppard’s Hysteria:
5.b Same Song, Lyrical Coincidence
In “Dance With The Devil”, the line at the end of each chorus is this:
“If loving you is wrong I don’t want to be right.”
Cue a Luther Ingram song:
6. Song With Odd Pronunciation
Kat McGivern – “Fall To Pieces” (2011)
At 2:50 Kat says “pieces” so strangely to me – differentiating the two syllables of “pieces” – that it sounds like she’s saying two separate words: “Peace Ezz”.
7. The Bit At The End Of The Post That Wastes Even More Of Your Time
I don’t have anything to say here. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve finished the post.
(*Thanks to the delightful Amanda** at LaFamos for letting me know about Kat.)
My favourite song on the album so far is this one:
The marvellously splendid Talia (hi, Talia!) at PRawr alerted me to today’s band. PRawr is Talia’s band-alerting company, and it focuses on groups that are described as indie/punk/hardcore.
Today’s band, All Eyes West, certainly ticks those category boxes. They’re a noisy rock-ish, punk-ish band from the land of Americans – but there are some melodies in amongst the noise, so I thought I’d give them an airing here.
The publicity for the band says that All Eyes West “pays homage to alternative rock giants such as Swervedriver, Drive Like Jehu, and Jawbreaker”. I’ve never heard of any of those bands, so I’ll take their word for it.
All Eyes West have released two songs and made them both free to download. I didn’t mind the first one, but didn’t like the second one. Ah, well. (As the Bananas in Pyjamas used to say: “No harm done, B1!”)
This is the one I preferred:
All Eyes West – “Help Is On The Way” (2011)