Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Musical morsels

Hit single of the year, so I gather, is "Despacito" by Puerto Rican Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee later remixed with Justin Bieber no less.  Well I'm more than happy to inform you that curiosity triumphed, and so I became number 501,505,533 to watch it on YouTube.  Half a billion views - absolutely amazing.  Then I discovered that the pre-Bieber original video has amassed, er, 3,333,741,910 - yes three and one third billion views. Apparently tourism to Puerto Rico has rocketed - because of a song! Incidentally, speaking a little Spanish, I can tell you the lyrics get, um, sort of raunchy as they say - amazing what I learned in three months in Spain back in 1971 living with students.  Another century, another life...
Since I was last blogging what have I been listening to?  Well, via their big hit "Pompeii" I got into the band Bastille and their two albums "Bad Blood" and "Wild World", each of which has got a clutch of excellent songs.  Jack Savoretti's "Written in Scars" (live here) caught my attention as did James Bay's "Hold Back the River" with its universal feeling of wanting to stop time.  Christine and the Queens and their strangely beautiful video to "Tilted" is very unusual, as was Rag'n'Bone Man's "I'm Only Human", which made into a sermon one Sunday. Then via the film "The Way" whose soundtrack includes Alanis Morissette's song "Thank U" (nice unplugged version here), I've been listening to some of her stuff - only about 20 years late! 
On Youtube I recently bumped into a big American percussion-based band called Stikyard (right).
A dozen or so young guys bashing their drums and stuff for the Lord, they are Christian in origin, it seems they also perform at "secular" gigs. Their version of "Then Sings My Soul" is pretty amazing - best played loud! On the classical front I seemed to reach a plateau a few years back, and have  a huge store of CDs covering a wide spread. Lastly, the 50th anniversary of Sergeant Pepper's got me dusting that down and rediscovering it. I remember well it coming out, learning it as fast as I could, every word, and singing it with my friends. Hard to imagine nowadays one band or singer dominating the scene as the Beatles did. If you hadn't learned the words, you were nobody...  There was some kind of simplicity about it, and, despite the hints of drugs etc etc there was a deep humanity and goodness.

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