9.20.2005

Nostalgia

This is pretty cool . I am 25 feet from my computer, sitting on the couch, watching David Boreanz (Julliard or Yale, girls?) and typing on my bluetooth keyboard. This is good because the cat meows a lot when I am sitting by the computer screen.

I think that you should listen to these two songs before you read this:


MP3: Beautiful

MP3: Guilty

Which one makes you feel more nostalgic? Interestingly it is the song from the 30's that does it for me. I love the Gordon Lightfoot song. And it does send me back to the age of A.M. radio, wood paneled station wagons and car heaters that really got hot. Oh yeah and vinyl seats. (Hows that for nostalgia?)
Music lesson 101. "Beautiful" is filled with major 7 chords. They are very prevelent in the 70's. Peter Frampton, Little River Band, America all used them to good effect. They definitely take me back to another era. And I love that era. I think the great thing about 70's music is the lush harmonics (major 7 chords for example), the funky, prominent bass playing ("Brick House") and the terrible, terrible lyrics. You would think that the baby boomers would have demanded poetry more rooted in the concerns of the world; unless of course the concerns were cocaine, hooking up and saying "baby" a lot. But this song really did impress me back in the day. I wasn't old enough to analyze the words, but on some molecular level I appreciated the harmonies. It is charming to revisit again after many years. It impresses.....but does not suprise.

"Guilty" , on the other hand, sends me into fits of reveries. The vocal is so imploring. And he has that crooner vibrato that is near impossible to do today without sounding like a clown. The song has great drama as it builds. When I heard it a month ago. I got a very comfortable feeling beacuse it reminded me of the end of a movie. I immediately started trying to think of what Woody Allen it must be. I knew it wasn't Hannah and Her Sisters or Stardust Memories. Too happy for Crimes and Misdemeanors. Rozzi said that maybe it was Alice. That sounded right to me because the song and the movie have a similiar eerie feeling, only cute-like. I came home and looked it up on the internets. The song is from Amelie, a movie that is just a few years old. I was overcome with the wash of nostalgia for a movie that is new to my life. The cultural vibe of the 30's is so ingrained in me that things that are not old to me can perfectly convey a sense of oldness and even oldness-emotional impact. It is as if I have lived though the Depression via music, movies and books. I thought this was intesesting to discover. I wonder if any of you who did not know these songs well had a similiar sense of cultural deja vu?

13 Comments:

Anonymous maya said...

wow jeff - cool entry. i listened to both, and although i really liked guilty, i felt much more nostalgic listening to gordon - it crept right into my bones and evoked some magical feeling from my kidhood. rare, those.

thank you for your gifts of music and experience!

4:06 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

That is one vote for Lightfoot!

7:03 PM  
Blogger sistra said...

well my brother, i have yet to listen because i am without dsl. it takes awhile for the songs to load, and maybe you heard about ma crazy week.

but am compelled to talk back to you nonetheless. my goodness that was some ripped up shit you wrote. i like best the way you pay attention to what the elements within a song remind you of. what are the allusions embedded within a thing? these are the most important things to pay attention to because they lead us to places, the things we are looking to discover as you noted, connections to past, to generations past maybe, to the grain within us.

i will have to listen. i loved your synopsis of 70's music too, for many personal reasons. my time, my growing up, always surrounded by music like we were steeped in it you and i.

i'm all sappy now. goodnight.

12:40 AM  
Blogger matty said...

jefe ~

i'm more taken emotionally by the lightfoot -- for the smae reason as sistra... that's my childhood. i have something real to hang my nostalgia on. i think the false nostalgia instilled by movies is an interesting point, although i've often felt i belong in a different era.

as for guilty -- you do know that it isn't _from_ amelie, just used there, right? the song was indeed written in 1931 by Kahn, Askt, and Whiting, and was recorded by billie holliday among others. this recording sounds like it could be rudy vallee, or one of the other crooners of the depression. so in a sense, the song, while being introduced to you by a new movie about an old time, is still very old.

and i hate to keep pooping at the party, but it's boreanaz. with an extra a.

10:31 AM  
Blogger sistra said...

yeah for sticklers. you go ahead on and stick, matty.

miss youse guys.

1:29 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

Matt,
How 'bout we just call him "Angel"?
And,
I was unable to find out who was singing it. Why is it such a mystery?
And,
That 2 1/2 for Lightfoot and none for "Guilty".

7:24 PM  
Blogger matty said...

i'm all for calling him angel...

i've just exhausted the internets looking for the artist who sang that track. is it in the liner notes to the album?

i think it might be that none of us was actually around for that time so there's no visceral response... but we all have a connection to the 70s.

9:56 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

So I realized that we had the CD in the closet here; reached for it .....
NO LINER NOTES.
Do you think the answer is in a tin box in the wall?
And,
Don't you know any 24 year olds?

10:46 PM  
Blogger matty said...

tin box? henh?

sure i know 24 year olds, but are any of us who've answered the question 24? i was merely postulating why i thought the sampling gave the answers it did.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

The version on the Amelie soundtrack is apparently by Russ Columbo. The only version I could find on the web did not sound like the same guy, but that information is corroborated in many places, so....

1:30 PM  
Blogger glycerin said...

Guilty - can I please have a sidecar, and do be a dear and light my cigarette. these sparkles on my dress have grown tiresome. I want to dance. Why doesn't anyone ask me to dance. Oh my this is the most beautiful place I've ever been. Oh, he's singing! It's like he's singing to me. Ooh, the slicked back hair, the tuxedo. So lovely. Maybe he loves me really. Maybe he loves me even though he's never met me. Yes. He must. Oh dear, that viola player is sort of sawing away over there - oh well, it's a nice distraction to a song without a bridge. Here come the trumpets! How I adore a bright brassy trumpet on a night like this! Ah, here is my drink. thank you. Me? Yes, I'd love to dance. thank you.

2:54 AM  
Blogger glycerin said...

another comment in real time:

"Beautiful"

guitars, nice. oh my god, it's Gordon Lightfoot. Dad, had a perm and big sideburns and this song played on the wooden unit that housed a turntable, speakers and storage for albums. I got a piano for my birthday. Mom played the autoharp. I'm imagining flowers on album covers - could be Tanya Tucker or could be Joan Baez - how the hell do you spell Baez, oh, nice descending bass line on "such a long time" Yep, I'm a kid again. I'm probably wearing cordoroy overalls and pretending I don't like Gordon Lightfoot. But how can you not like him? He's your past.

song over

2:59 AM  
Blogger jEFF said...

She should have a blog.

11:41 AM  

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