July 30, 2015

Best Thing I've Seen All Week

So a few folks in the city of Cesena, Italy, decided they really, really wanted the Foo Fighters to come play there.  They called some friends.  They practiced a bit.  This is what they ended up with:

1000 musicians, 350 of them playing guitars.  The drummers looked like they'd drilled together for a decade, not a few hours.  I'm not ashamed to say that there were some tears in this duck's eyes while watching the vid.

No way the Foo's say no to this... not after featuring it on their Facebook page.

EDIT: Dave Grohl said yes!  In Italian, no less.

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May 15, 2015

The Thrill Is Gone

We lost one of the true legends of the music industry today.  BB King, best known as "The King Of The Blues", passed away at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 89.

Mentor to other guitar heroes like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Buddy Guy, he also inspired countless number of blues performers and fans worldwide.  Like many rock fans my age, I was introduced to him via the band U2, who featured him on the Rattle & Hum song "When Love Comes To Town," which they wrote specifically for him.

More recently, he hit the radio waves once again with his collaboration with Eric Clapton, "Riding With The King."

As it turned out, BB King hated to sing while playing Lucille, his guitar, so he had a unique call-and-response style to his songs.  That's clearly heard in "The Thrill Is Gone," of course, but I'm fond of the tribute song he wrote for his guitar as well.

More than that, he had a distinctive sound to his playing, in a way that almost no other guitarist did.  Silky smooth but with a hint of dirt to it.  Drop him in a group of guitarists, and you'll always be able to tell which was him.

For music fans of all genres, the loss of BB King is immense.  He will definitely be missed around The Pond, and around the world.

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March 14, 2015

The Video Is Pretty Decent, Too.

While we're waiting for the Australian Grand Prix to start, I wanted to drop this in your lap.

When this first began, I just started grinning.  By the end of it, I was ready to listen to it again, this time with the volume turned waaaaaay up, cigarette lighter ignited in my hand and my head banging.  So I sent it to friend GrayDuck, my brother in feathers, to see what he thought.  His response was similarly enthusiastic, if totally incoherent from excitement.  So now I share it with you.  Enjoy.

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February 02, 2015

Imperial

I'm just going to leave this here.


This too.

Yes, that's the group that provided music A number of people in the Kuricorder Quartet were part of the group that provided music for Azumanga Daioh.  Performing John Williams' Imperial March.  I suck.

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January 21, 2015

Getting Away With It

In the final year of the 1980s, two of the biggest bands in Britain if not the world were imploding. 

The Smiths were a band that sounded like their songwriters were constantly on the edge of jumping off the highest building in Manchester.  This resonated with listeners and critics both, and they were hailed as "the most influential British guitar group of the decade."  They eschewed the keyboard and synth excesses of the time, instead concentrating on an echo-and-minor-key guitar-based sound.  Despite independent success unlike any seen before, the band split in 1987 from internal pressures.

New Order was formed from tragedy.  When the lead singer of Manchester-based "post-punk" band Joy Division hanged himself on the verge of the band's first North American tour in 1980, the survivors reformed as New Order.  Throughout the '80s, the band mixed what we'd call "alternative music" now and electronic dance music to create a critically acclaimed and influential sound that left major fingerprints on modern techno.  However, the various members all had audio interests that wouldn't fit the band's style.  Side projects were common, with a resulting loss of time for the main group.  Stumbling to the end, New Order broke up in 1993.

But in 1989, lead singer Bernard Sumner was wanting to add more synth programming to New Order, and was rebuffed.  He took to the recording studio alone, intending to make an "anonymous" album of whatever he felt like, but came to a discovery early on: he hated working alone.  Picking up the telephone, Sumner called Johnny Marr, the ex-guitarist of The Smiths, and asked for his input.  The two created a track, entitled "Lucky Bag", all loops and electronic drumkits, and called themselves Electronic.  If it had stopped there, Electronic would have been an interesting non-entity, a footnote in music history if that.  But of course it didn't... I wouldn't be writing about it if it had, right?

more...

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November 24, 2014

Music! Nonstop!

A week or so ago, I get this e-mail from by brother in feathers GreyDuck talking about having "introduced someone to the Yoshida Brothers the other day."  I had never heard of these people, but I trust GD's taste in music to approximate my own pretty well, so I looked 'em up.

Yoshida Brothers - Rising

Who knew you could shred on shamisen?

Yoshida Brothers - Storm

I'm thinking this was from the soundtrack to the Spy Hunter video game.  If it wasn't, it should have been.
 
Yoshida Brothers - The National Anthem


I've never been a fan of Radiohead, but covers like this could convince me.

There was once a time in my life where the very concept of listening to "world music," no matter how funkified or Americanized it was, would have appalled me.  I guess that's fallen by the wayside, huh?

Thanks, GD!  Good stuff here.

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October 08, 2014

Something Really Completely Different

It's been pretty grim around here of late, and for good reason.  To lighten things up a bit, let me introduce you to my latest music/video obsession: World Order!

The music is catchy, but its the dance moves that makes the group stand out.  As an added bonus, their front man, Genki Sudo, is a retired mixed martial arts / kickboxing fighter.

As you can imagine, their live show appears to be quite impressive.  To the point where I've found myself weeping tears of amazement and regret.

If I hadn't failed in grad school, I could have been doing lighting designs like this.  Or not.  Who knows?  There were tears, let's leave it at that. 

Ben-To! Ep09 is forthcoming ASAP.

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August 02, 2014

Saturday Night Tunage XX

It's time!  It's time!  Get your greasy little faces up next to the speakers because it's time for everybody's favorite music break, Saturday Night Tunage featuring DJ Wonderduck!

Yeah, you know you've missed it.  Yeah, you know you need it.  So I'm here for your musical edification, bringing you the best tunes from the 80s, 90s and... um... more 80s?  Something like that, because (cue old man voice) today's music is all crap!  CRAP, I tell ya.  Get off my speakers, you whippersnappers before I hit ya with my tonearm.

Kids, ask your parents.  Parents, make fun of your kids.
Not one of the good ones with the diamond-tipped London Decca cartridges, but a cheap one.  I had a Decca cartridge once, I'm not sure how I found it (probably through the radio station), and it sounded soooo sweet, and dug such a big trench in my 12" singles...  Y'know what?  Let's just get to the music, whaddya say?


more...

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February 18, 2014

Spudboys Has A Sad

Everybody had a first "favorite band."  The position of favorite band changes as ones musical tastes evolve... it's just the way of things.  Long before Joe Jackson or ABC, years before Bryan Ferry or the Gear Daddies, decades before the Foo Fighters or Nine Inch Nails or Caravan Palace or Daft Punk or Dire Straits or the Clash, there was the band that wore flowerpots on their heads.

DEVO was certainly my first favorite band.  They looked weird, they sounded weird, and they didn't give a crepe about not being cool... which, to a hyperintelligent duck trapped in a world he never made, was awfully great.  Time marched on, and I started to actually listen to DEVO's music, and realized it was deeper than it first appeared... and while they became something of a synthband, in the early days they were very guitar-centric.

Bob "Bob2" Casale had a lot to do with that, what with actually being able to play and all.  His style was hardly smooth... in fact, it's very nearly the definition of what punk guitar should be... but he could sound herky-jerky while still being technically skilled.  It's weird to call DEVO "punk", but it's hard to call Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! or Duty Now For The Future anything but.  After that, they became New Wave, synthpop, legendary, then simply themselves in a way that few other bands can ever claim.  Along the way, Bob2 wound up as a skilled engineer and music producer.

Bob Casale passed away today at the age of 61.  It seems very strange that members of my first favorite band are passing away.  It's a beautiful world we live in, I suppose, but it seems less so now.

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December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Tunage

It's Christmas Eve.  For the past few weeks, the only music I've been able to play at the Duck U Bookstore has been... you guessed it... Christmas music.  I am not ashamed to say that I'd rather gut myself like a fish than do that.  Which means it's time for a special CHRISTMAS EVE TUNAGE with DJ Wonderduck!!!

There won't be ANY Christmas music in this one, oh no!  Just great rockin' good times in an attempt to crush the holiday music out of my brain.  Let's not wait, let's just do this!  TUNAGE!!!

more...

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September 13, 2013

WAFFO!







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August 13, 2013

The Nightmares Have Begun

The stress of work is leaking into my sleeping brain, causing nightmares beyond telling.  This one, though, is at least a little humorous.  The other night, I dreamt that I was the only person in the world who remembered a particular song from 1992, and I HAD to preserve that memory, no matter what. 

Now, the way I learned about this song in real life was interesting enough.  I was home from Grad School, and had a few bucks free to spend on stuff.  I had become the unofficial master of the mixtape for just about any party held by the theatre department, owing to my ginormous cassette collection, supplemented by a small but growing assortment of CDs.  Add in the collections of the two roomies, and I had a ridiculously eclectic range of music to play with.  There was only one problem: none of it was new.  I jumped on my folks' computer (a 386, maybe) and swear to god, connected to Prodigy.

THAT was cutting edge back then, folks.  Anyway, I headed to some of the message boards to ask for help... mostly for dance music.  I got a few good song titles back, including the track involved in my nightmare. 

Oh yeah, remember that?  The nightmare?  I woke up from it, thinking I REALLY WAS the only person in the world who remembered the song.  I stumbled into my living room and started going through my CDs, trying to find the maxi-single... and I couldn't find it.  The boxes in the closet didn't have it either.  Actually desperate now, I called up yourfaceinatube, hoping beyond hope that someone else out there knew the tune!  As it turned out, I need not have worried.

In fact, it was rather stupid of me to have been half-scared out of my wits; this was actually a Billboard Hot 100 hit, back when that meant something, and I KNEW that.  Of course people weren't going to have forgotten it.  Still, nightmares aren't supposed to make sense, are they?

And now, just in case something really DOES happen and everybody else forgets "Love U More" by Sunscreem, it'll be here.

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July 20, 2013

Saturday Night Tunage XVII

Oh no!  Look out!  It's another installment of Saturday Night Tunage with your host, DJ Wonderduck!

It amazes me that I've managed to go seven months since the last one of these, or at least that's what the search feature says, but it does appear to be true!  I do believe that I've deprived you, my faithful readers/listeners, for much too long.  What you believe, on the other hand,  is up to you!  I make no promises that these songs haven't been featured before, but I don't much care... I like 'em all the same!  With all that out of the way, let's get on with the tunage!

more...

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May 14, 2013

Simply Amazing

How is this video not being hailed as one of Humanity's Great Accomplishments?


It's worth watching in HD... go ahead, I won't mind
In my lifetime, we've gone from grainy black-and-white video of Neil Armstrong's small step that the entire world watched... to a Canadian mission commander in a more-or-less permanent space station orbiting the Earth, just shortly before he returned to Earth in a Russian capsule, singing a song originally recorded by a Brit a month before that first moon walk.  And it's all in glorious high definition video.

When did the world get so blasé about stuff like this?  How did we let it get so jaded?  What's wrong with us???

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December 22, 2012

Saturday Night Tunage XVI: The Christmas Edition

Hello, everybody!  DJ Wonderduck has returned with a special holiday-themed edition of the world's famous SATURDAY NIGHT TUNAGE!

Okay, locally famous.  Locally known?  Not despised within the confines of this blog?  Whatever.  It's a whole post of the few Christmas tunes I can stand to hear after having to hear them over and Over and OVER at the Duck U Bookstore... and no schmaltz, either!  Let's get right into the musicing!

more...

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December 05, 2012

R.I.P. (In 5/4 Time)

After 91 years of insane time signatures, legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck took five today.

He wasn't the first jazz artist I was a fan of.  Heck, he wasn't even the second or third, and to be honest, while I loved "Take Five", both the single and the album, I thought he was a gimmick.  "Oh, hey, watch me play songs in a completely bizarre time that nobody other than beatniks and jazz critics can comprehend."

If you needed proof that I was an idiot when I was young, too, there you go.  Yeah, he could follow beats that would make strong musicians weak and weak musicians want to be somewhere else in a hurry, but on top of that was always a masterful melody.

It's hard to believe that "Take Five" hit #25 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1961.  Times have changed so much... musical talent isn't much appreciated anymore.  But I'll tell you this: guitar god Chet Atkins decided to take a shot at the song and declared it the most difficult piece of music he'd ever played.

...and the most entertaining. 

Dave Brubeck.  He was an artist, a pioneer.

He'll be missed.

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October 06, 2012

Music While You Wait

While the hours tick down until the Grand Prix of Japan, I am enthused to bring you some music that I've never heard before this morning.  For all of you who don't like music, here's a shaved alpaca:


For those of you who do like music, click and let's go!

more...

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August 18, 2012

Saturday Night Tunage XV


And now, by nobody's request whatsoever, Wonderduck Productions in conjunction with The Pond Entertainment presents... DJ Wonderduck with another installment of Saturday Night Tunage!  It's an eclectic mix of old and new music tonight, always with an eye on keeping your ear intrigued.  And some '80s, too.  So lets just get right to it, shall we?  Surely!

more...

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July 21, 2012

Saturday Night Tunage XIV

By request, it's the return of Saturday Night Tunage with DJ Wonderduck!

Yes, "by request!"  At dinner this past Tuesday with Vaucaunson's Duck and his wife Geese, The Pond came up in conversation.  It turns out that both are avid readers of this little website, and she particularly liked Saturday Night Tunage... and wanted a return.  Well, I had been planning to do one last weekend, but the latest outage of Pond Central's broadband connection (caused by a van knocking down a telephone pole) put paid to that idea.

Knowing that someone out there actually wants it, here's the newest installment of Saturday Night Tunage, the catch-all edition!  It's music time!

more...

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May 30, 2012

The Obligatory Music Arguement Post!

Over in some Fark thread a few days ago, someone suggested (perhaps in jest) that The Who's Eminence Front was the "quintessential '80s song."


Naturally, I took exception to this assertion, despite the fact that Eminence Front is my favorite song by The Who, mainly because of the keyboards and John Entwhistle's bass line.  No, I suggested that anybody who believes that Eminence Front is the quintessential '80s song is forgetting the only song that really qualifies for that title.

Seriously, when you throw the Miami Vice tie into the mix, is there really a song that screams '80s more than In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins?  Don't get me wrong, this is not a putdown in any way; I'm quite fond of '80s music in general.  It's just that nothing is considered too excessive for the recording, which is what makes it work, of course.  It's brilliant in that way.  It's also been overplayed to a hideous level, rendering it almost a parody of itself.

Of course, many would say that being the "quintessential '80s song" is something of a booby prize anyway.  To this I say "Feh."  FEH, I say.

Got an opinion on the matter?

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