There’s a delicious middle finger extended here, beyond the fact that the four-chord loop never alters: Pharrell’s vocal performances, and Nile’s guitar parts, are photocopied. The pre-choruses, the choruses, they are exactly identical, copy-pasted in GarageBand. It’s not even evident that Daft Punk asked its guests to do complete takes. This isn’t innovative, but it is egregious, a punkish move, sending a clear message: “This Is Pop, Where Repetition Is King, And Our Time Is More Valuable Than Yours.”
Let’s start by talking about the ingenuity of the harmonic content. This song is all about suspension—not in the voice-leading 4–3 sense, but in the emotional sense, which listeners often associate with “exhilaration,” being on the road, being on a roller coaster, travel. This sense of suspension is created simply, by denying the listener any I chords. There is not a single I chord in the song. Laymen, the I chord (“one chord”) is the chord that the key is in. That is, the song is in G but there are no G-chords. Other examples of this, in hit singles: Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds...
Tom Junod, writing for Esquire, pens a great piece on the mysteries and career of Bob Dylan:
It's quite a trick. Dylan's public career began at the dawn of the age of total disclosure and has continued into the dawn of the age of total surveillance; he has ended up protecting his privacy at a time when privacy itself is up for grabs. But his claim to privacy is compelling precisely because it's no less enigmatic and paradoxical than any other claim he's made over the years. Yes, it's important to him—"of the utmost importance, of paramount importance," says his friend Ronee Blakley, the Nashville star who sang with Dylan on his Rolling Thunder tour. And yes, the importance of his privacy...
I received this message this morning: "I've been writing for 10 years. I work a shitty job to try and pay for a record I'm about to make and can't afford. Please help me with a post, or anything, I just want to be heard. - Steve Van Tine" -- and maybe it's because I'm riding a caffeine high and feeling sentimental -- but it worked. Here you go Steve, check the replies for the video of "You're Not Bob Dylan."
Light Years is the latest band to appear on the Punks in Vegas Stripped Down Sessions. Hit the replies to watch vocalist Pat Kennedy perform an acoustic version of "Uphill Battles" outside the Eagle Hall in Henderson, Nevada.
The Binary Sea (Christian Guerrero of Bedlight For Blue Eyes) recently performed an acoustic session & interview - check out "Dream Like Kids" and "Fly" in the replies. The band's first show is tomorrow at Maxwells in New Jersey - grab tickets here.