Educating Peter # 54

June 30, 2013

Where does Michael finds these songs?

This week it’s “Can’t Get Close”, a 1980 track by Canadian skinny-tie band The Cry. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m fairly confident that it’s going to be a skinny-tie song because of this:

I see skinny ties.

Technical Note Before We Get To The Song:

I’ve discovered that the version of “Can’t Get Close” that Michael supplied is in mono. (I had a quick listen.) I found a stereo version, and it was tagged as “remastered”, but it sounds awful. I’m going to listen to the mono version.

The Song:

The Cry – “Can’t Get Close (1980) (mono)

The Cry – “Can’t Get Close (1980) (stereo)

0:00-0:13 – This is the introduction, and it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the song. It’s all a bit anonymous-sounding to me.

But it has prompted me to ask a question I don’t usually ask in day-to-day life: Is that a flanged bass?

0:13-0:38 – Yep. It’s a skinny-tie song. An Elvis Costello-inspired skinny-tie song. And I must apologise for the amount of hyphens in the previous two sentences. Sorry about that.

This is sung well enough, and played well enough, but it’s not igniting any flames of excitement in me. I can, however, imagine this going over well in a live situation (i.e., at a gig).

0:38-0:50 – This chorus would definitely be well received at a gig. It has a shout-along quality that sweaty, inebriated audiences can yell at the top of their lungs.

By the way, the vocal melody of the chorus reminds me of the chorus of Johnny O’Keefe‘s “She’s My Baby” (1960):

(0:29-0:33)

Also by the way: This song deals with a chap who’s in a state of extreme irritation because he “can’t get close” to his potential romantic partner. Why are so many power pop songs concerned with frustrated love? There aren’t that many frustrated singers in The World of Power Pop, are there?

And one more thing: the last couple of bars of the chorus (from 0:47-0:50) reminds me a lot of the end of the chorus in The Rolling Stones‘ “Get Off Of My Cloud” (1965)…

(0:51-0:56)

Because of this, I think the chorus of “Can’t Get Close” is going to be followed by the verse of “Get Off Of My Cloud”.

0:50-1:15 – The singer sure sounds agitated in this verse.

1:15-1:27 – Time to shout along again: CAN’T! GET! CLOSE!.

1:27-1:40 – This is a repeat of the introduction. Coming as it does after the second chorus, my spider senses are telling me there’s going to be either a middle eight or a guitar solo appearing very shortly.

1:40-2:04 – It’s a middle eight.

2:04-2:17 – Here’s the chorus again. SHE’S! MY! BABY!…

2:17-2:29 – A repeat of the chorus. SHE’S! MY! BABY!…

2:29-2:58 – And a variation on the chorus. The big difference (which isn’t all that big) is the background vocals. There’s an elongated “action” (first time from 2:34-2:35).

And that’s about it for the song.

***

It’s a three-minute blast of skiny-tie-ness. (And there I go with the hyphens again.)

Hopefully, the singer finally found the “action” he was looking for. And I’d also like him to relax sometime.


Song of the day: The CRY! – "Discoteque"

November 29, 2012

The CRY! is an American band that I’ve mentioned in the past – but I’m not here to tell you that. I’m here to tell you that they have themselves a new song.

It’s called “Discoteque”*, and unlike the late-70s/early-80s new wave/power pop flavour of the band’s previous efforts, this new one is redolent of glam.

No, not redolent – it’s positively soaked in glam. To me, “Discoteque” sounds like almost every glam song ever recorded.

If you’re in a glam mood, then The CRY! can help you out in a major way:

The CRY! – “Discoteque” (2012)

Incidentally, according to the band there’ll be a new album in “Spring 2013”. Unfortunately for me, I can’t tell you exactly when that is. I live in the Southern Hemisphere, and Spring for me is September to November. Wikipedia says that Spring for the Northern-Hemispherically-inclined is March to May. Given that Wikipedia has been known to occasionally contain factual errors, that may not be right. For all I know, Spring Up North could be in December, when people have Christmas with their snow-covered Christmas trees, and Snowmen and on their snow-covered front lawns.

Gee, you Northern Hemisphere people sure have a cold Spring.

How about I just say The CRY!’s new album will be available sometime before The Laughing Goat God sings his praises to The Enchanted Shrubbery when The Sun shines on The Fourth Quadrant of The Sea Snail’s Secret Ocean?

Nerd Note: I had to use Box for the MP3 today because DivShare is playing up. (It won’t let me upload anything.)

Official website
Twitter
Facebook
MySpace
CD Baby
Reverbnation
Bandcamp

(*I’m not entirely sure that spelling was deliberate.)


The CRY! has a new VIDEO!

February 16, 2012

It’s Attack Of The American Bands this week because I was contacted by The CRY! who let me know they have a new video for their song “Think I’m In Love”. It looks a little like this:

Incidentally, “Think I’m In Love” was Song of the day on this blog a while ago. You can hear it properly (i.e., not in a video) there, along with some of their other songs.

The CRY! official website
The CRY! on Twitter
The CRY! on Facebook
The CRY! on MySpace
The CRY! on ReverbNation


Song of the day: The CRY! – "Think I’m In Love"

November 28, 2011

I was contacted by someone called either John or Greybush (I’m not sure which) about a band called The CRY! who are from Portland, Oregon. I need to specify that they’re from Oregon because they’re not from Portland, Victoria or Portland, England.

Anyway, John/Greybush (or maybe he’s “Greybush John”, like a pirate) stated quite unequivocably:

“We are The CRY! out of Portland Oregon. WE ARE THE BEST NEW POWER POP BAND IN THE WORLD!! No kidding!! Let us prove it then give us some love!”

Greybush John provided me with some songs (thanks, GJ!) so I put on my listening ears.

The CRY’s music reminds me of those British punk bands that endeavoured to write pop songs while retaining their punkiness – bands like The Undertones and the Buzzcocks and plenty of others I can’t think of at the moment.

I must admit that I find the band name (The CRY!) slightly confusing, because the word “CRY” is quite deliberately in capital letters. That makes me think it’s an acronym. If it is, do the letters mean something like “Combustible Rancorous Yeti” or “Carnival Ridin’ Yams” or “Can’t Really Yell”?

But you’re not interested in rhetorical questions – you’re interested in music. I’ll play you the first four tracks I received. I won’t play you all the songs I was presented with because I wouldn’t want the boys in the band to send me emails along the lines of: “Why are you giving away all our songs??? We’ve only just put them on an album!!!”

I’ll comment on the songs as they play, and I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to read them or not. (I don’t blame you if you don’t.)

1. “Think I’m In Love”

Link

When I heard this, the first word that came to mind was “fun!”. And the title reminded me of:

Eddie Money – “Think I’m In Love (1982)*

Link

But back to The CRY!…

2. “I Wanna Know”

Link
I’d love to know what on Earth possessed the band to play parts of the song at double-speed. For me it doesn’t quite work. I usually don’t mind “OK, now let’s play it twice as fast!” songs, but here I think it results in the song having too much of a split personality. I didn’t mind the slow part, and I didn’t mind the fast part, but I wasn’t keen on them being together in the same song. Ah well. C’est la vie.

3. “Sleeping Alone”

Link
Oh-oh. The song starts with a not-terribly-well-disguised lift from “Lust For Life“, but once that’s out of the way it settles into its own (enjoyable) song.

4. “Be True”

Link
I was surprised when the song started at the instant musical coincidence here:

Paul McCartney & Wings – “Jet (1974) (excerpt)

Link

But that’s only a small part of the song. The rest of “Be True” doesn’t mention Paul McCartney at all.

The other songs I heard are pretty much par for the course. (The course being British-punk-inspired power pop). I reckon those four songs will give you a decent idea of the band’s raison d’être. Some of the other songs are more melodic (i.e., have better tunes), but I think the tracks presented here today are representative of the band’s oeuvre.

And sorry about the needlessly French phrases in this post.

The CRY! official website
The CRY! on Twitter
The CRY! on Facebook
The CRY! on MySpace
The CRY! on YouTube (playing “I’m Henery The Eight, I Am“, believe it or not)
The CRY! on ReverbNation

(*Believe it or not, I’ve been wanting to put that Eddie Money song on the blog for ages but never thought it was a good time because either: a) readers would wonder what a non-Australian song from 1982 is doing on an up-to-date and hip-n-happening blog; or b) readers would think that song is nowhere near ‘cool’ enough to go on a blog – any blog. Thanks to The CRY!, I have the perfect excuse to play it. Thanks, guys!)