Thursday, March 01, 2012

Santigold, Davy Jones, and musical influences

I wanted to post something today but it's been a little busy around here lately, which is good. Busy doing work that is appreciated is always good. Santigold has been busy too (do you like how I led right into that--oh, that was clever, plus I get to vaguely compare myself to Santigold--what an ego boost), working on her follow-up album for what has it been now--four years? There's nothing wrong with taking your time. Most musicians rush that second album, hence the moniker "difficult second album" and it shows.

Don't know how "Master of My Make-Believe" will compare to the quirky weird-greatness of "Santogold." Let's take a peek and form opinions. Note: the music video has been taken down within a day due to copyright issues--that was fast! Here's a "making-of" video of the new album cover with the song playing throughout. Santigold, you charmer:

Santigold, genre-buster.

I'm very saddened by the death of Davy Jones at 66. I had such a crush on him when I was eight years old, watching Monkees reruns throughout the 70s. He truly was my first teen idol, although David Cassidy was much appreciated as well. There was something so appealing about Davy Jones. He always looked great on camera and he could laugh at himself, despite his good looks ("I am standing up!" was his catch phrase on the show). He was little and so very non-threatening to children. He had that British accent--kind of garbled and musical at the same time. And he could really swing a heartfelt tambourine. Mostly he was adorable.

While Mike ultimately was my favorite Monkee (I loved deadpan humor at a very early age), Davy caused much excitement, just being on my TV. Plus the show itself was wacky and good-natured in the extreme and perfect for the times--late 60s, early 70s--which needed that wackiness to offset the economic and environmental angst, political strife, rampant drug use and shifting family values. The songs were catchy but not irritatingly so and of course the composers and musicians who worked on The Monkees were top-notch. For an initially pre-fab band, the product was world class.

Thinking about musical influences, The Monkees--the show and their collaborative music--are right up there with the best bands. I'm sure as a child I very much decided that being in a band would be an excellent and worthwhile past-time full of friends and surreal hijinks, due to The Monkees. While the Rolling Stones and the Beatles had the authenticity thing going for them, the Monkees fulfilled the fun factor every week for a half-hour in my living room. This powerful blend of pop-music overload  probably inspired untold future musicians, composers and singers. I know it worked for me, a disgruntled classically trained pianist who quit lessons at age 13 to follow my muse, starting with the purchase of sheet music for piano of Sweet's Fox on the Run (gotta start somewhere).

Kim Gordon says it better than I can in her blog of note, Sunset Gun. Just read that. An appreciation by David Browne is also worth a read. Farewell, Davy Jones, Monkee of great renown

Monkees-penned song featuring Davy on vocals, Neil Young on guitar (thanks for the link, Neo).

This was the only episode of "The Brady Bunch" I ever missed. Every time it was on reruns I missed it then too. I decided that the Davy Jones episode of The Brady Bunch was cursed for me, probably meaning that I would never get "the cute guy" once I started dating. I had a fatalist streak. To this day I've never seen this episode in its entirety. But I have managed to date some cute guys and in fact ended up marrying one, so maybe this was a reverse curse or something.

Marcia was so lucky.

Go, tambourine man, go! A fine all-around performer and by many accounts, a really good guy.

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