Educating Peter # 16

October 7, 2012

This week Michael has sent me a song by a band I’d heard of, but not the music (as in “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of them. What are they like?”).

The band is Any Trouble. As far as I could remember I thought they were a punk/ska kind of band. I discovered after listening to the song that my recollection of them was way off beam. (Curse you, shoddy memory!) By the way, when I told Michael that I thought Any Trouble was a punk/ska kind of band, he very diplomatically declined to say anything. You’re a good man, Michael.

(Update: I’ve just discovered that I have heard Any Trouble before. On this blog. As I was adding the tags for this post, “Any Trouble” popped up as an existing tag. It appears in this post from 2010. Courtesy of my memory, I have no recollection of that at all.)

But this waffling is stopping us from getting to the meat of the matter: the song and its potential to sway me into thinking the 1980s weren’t so horrible after all.

Now that I’ve heard the song, here’s my summary:

“Oh yeah. I like this. I still think the music of the 80s is dreadful, but I like this song a lot.”

And now for the details (if you’re interested)…

Any Trouble – “Yesterday’s Love” (1980)

Link

0:00-0:02 – Because of my ongoing and hopeless Beatles infatuation, when the band’s singer Clive Gregson sang “I don’t wanna be your lover” at the very start of the song without any instrumental accompaniment, I instantly thought of Ringo singing “I wanna be your lover, baby…“.

0:02-0:05 – But then Clive sings “I just want to hold you for the rest of the night” and I’m not thinking of The Beatles (as much). Unfortunately, I first thought Clive sang “I just want a hoodie for the rest of the night” but then realised that back in the 1980s not many, if any, singers would have sung about “hoodies”. The term “hoodies” is a 21st-century thing isn’t it? As far as I know, hooded jackets have been around for a long, long time but I don’t ever remember them being called “hoodies” until this century. (Note to self: Shouldn’t you be writing about the music, Peter?)

0:05-0:10 – Now the music’s started and I’m thinking to myself “Wow, that reminds me a lot of early Elvis Costello“. I’m also thinking to myself that grammatically I’m botching up my tenses. (This paragraph is in the present, whereas the first one was in the past, and the second was a mixture of both. What’s going on here?)

0:10-0:26 – And straight into the chorus. This song doesn’t mess about. I’m very pleased that it doesn’t want to waste the listener’s time. Hooray for brevity!

This song is zipping along. And I’m humming the tunes with remarkable ease.

(I think I’ll settle on present tense for the rest of this post.)

0:26-0:36 – It’s only been 26 seconds and we’re already into the second verse. I’m enjoying this enormously. No cavernous echo on everything, no exploding drums, no synthesizers set to “Ice Crystals” etc. Why haven’t I heard anything from this band before? (Hint: not played on the radio in Australian in the 1980s.)

(Sidenote: I’m going to have to hear more from this band.)

(More words in italic to signify importance.)

(Note to self: It doesn’t work, Peter. Knock it off.)

I’ve paused the song.

Michael, before I press play and resume the song I think I’m now able to say the following:

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. Thank you, Michael, for sending me this song.

Now, back to the song…

0:26-0:36 (revisited) – Boy this reminds me of Elvis Costello. This second verse is reminding me of “(The Angels Wanna Wear) My Red Shoes“. It’s not really the tunes or the vocals – “Yesterday’s Love” has, for me, a total My Aim Is True vibe. But I’m also enjoying it for what it is (i.e., an Any Trouble song) as opposed to what it isn’t (i.e., an Elvis Costello song).

0:36-0:52 – Another chorus. Splendid.

Incidentally, I’m wondering how, at the rate the band are racing through the song, they’re going to manage to make it last two minutes and 47 seconds. Maybe they’ll put in 15 middle eights or something.

0:52-1:03 – Well, here’s my first slight disappointment for the song. It’s the middle eight. There’s nothing wrong with the middle eight at all. It’s a fine middle eight (except for the bass player’s out-of-tune E string at 0:55-0:56 which made me go “Wha???”). My disappointment is that the middle eight appears, right on cue, after the second chorus. It was dishearteningly predictable. But it’s not a major thing for me because I’m enjoying the song so much. And I love those jazzy chords from 0:58-1:02. Classy.

1:03-1:18 – A repeat of the middle eight. (Maybe they won’t play 15 middle eights, but at least two will help fill out the song.) And there’s that out-of-tune bass again, from 1:05-1:06, but I’m glad it’s not as out-of-tune as it was the first time around. Oh, I noticed something odd in this middle eight. It’s extremely minor, but… at 1:10 the drummer (Mel Harley) hits his bass drum sooner and harder than at any other time in the song. Up until then, the bass drum had been steady and at a fairly constant volume but that particular kick is louder and a little sooner than the others. If you’re as nerdy as me when it comes to audio, and you want to know the exact moment, it’s at 1:10.966.

1:18-1:28 – Back to the verse. More splendidness. Oh, and another early bass drum kick (at 1:25.621).

1:28-1:44 – Chorus. It sounds like the guitarist may have played the wrong chord at 1:32 – or that may have been deliberate. (I’ll go with deliberate.)

1:44-2:09 – Guitar solo. I wondered what that weird sound was when it started at 1:42, but then realised it was a guitar getting ready for its solo. For me it’s a mighty good solo. It’s Country-style, with lots of bent notes, and I thought it was fabulous (despite the guitarist’s hesitant phrasing at 2:00-2:01, and not bending the note up enough at 2:03).

2:09-2:20 – One more verse before the chorus gets repeated and fades (or stops). That’s my guess. 2:11 – The E string on that bass sure is out of tune.

2:20-2:36 – Chorus. I don’t know who decided to really crank up the acoustic guitars here (from 2:25), but I’m glad they did.

2:36-2:44 – The last chorus, but with an enjoyable twist: stop-start drums.

2:44-2:47 – The end bit. I love how the band doesn’t let the last note take a long time to fade away. It’s just Bang. Last note. Quick fade. We’re done.

Yep. it’s definitely time to listen to more songs by Any Trouble.

Thanks, Michael!


Frank’s Faves on Fridays

April 30, 2010

Here are some more recommendations from Frank (and some more unwanted comments from me):

Adam Schmitt – “Just Listen” (1993)

Link
I liked this song, although I wouldn’t have minded it being a little less repetitive (A major, B major, A major, B major, A major etc etc). The guitars and especially the drums shouted “80’s Rock” to me.

Adam Schmitt – “Can’t Get You On My Mind” (1991)
LinkThis was even more 80’s Rock, but I liked it – sort of (I was musically scarred by the 80’s). I’m pretty keen on finding some more Adam Schmitt to listen to. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard so far. America – “Today’s The Day” (1976) LinkThis sounds like a record America made when no-one was listening to America anymore. It was nice when it was on, but when it finished I couldn’t remember what I had just heard. But I’m glad you presented me with a song by America – it’s inspired me to make “Sister Golden Hair” Song of the day sometime*. “Sister Golden Hair” is one of my all-time favourite songs from the 70’s. I can’t tell you how much I adore it. (And George Martin‘s production of “Sister Golden Hair” is immaculate.) Incidentally, the melody of the background vocals in the chorus of “Today’s The Day” (“I’ve got this feeling that today’s the day” starting at 0:47) reminded me of the melody that starts the chorus of Huey Lewis and the News‘ “Do You Believe In Love” (starting at – believe it or not – 0:47 in this video). The two melodies may not be that similar, but when I hear one I hear the other. Actually, you can sing the line “Do you believe in love?” over the top of those background vocals in the America song. I don’t know if you’d want to, but you can, and it fits… Any Trouble – “Second Choice” (1997) LinkEven before the singing started I was singing along with it: “Haaa-aang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on…“. Although I’d heard of Any Trouble, I’d never got around to hearing any of their music. I have no idea how representative this song is of them, but judging by what I heard I’d say that they’re a bar band (in Australia and England they’d be known as a pub band). Hang on… Any Trouble’s MySpace page says they’re from England, so that’d make ’em a pub band. Bonus song! One of the four songs Frank suggested last week was a cute little ditty from 1974, the gently rocking “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim. After listening to the song, I mentioned to Frank that I thought Andy sounded like Neil Diamond. In return, Frank sent me a song where AK apparently doesn’t sound like ND: Andy Kim – “Baby, I Love You (1969) LinkUseless Sidenote: There’s a later video of Andy singing this song which, judging by Andy’s mullet, was probably made sometime in the 80’s – but I think that one video of Andy Kim singing “Baby, I Love You” is more than enough. When I first played the song I wasn’t paying much attention and thought that it was nice and pleasant and, well, nice. It sounded vaguely familiar, but when the chorus kicked I went, “Oh, it’s that song.” I think “Baby, I Love You” is a great song but Andy’s performance is unremarkable. For me, it certainly doesn’t erase memories of the original: The Ronettes– “Baby, I Love You (1963) Link (*Which I did on 24 March.)