Friday, March 09, 2007

Do people actually listen to the lyrics in their music? Sure, many people can sing along to a plethora of their "favorite" tunes but have they taken a minute to actually read into and examine the lyrics which that particular artist has penned or do average people take things at face value and leave it as such?

I will state that I initially just listen to the tune but my challenge this year to myself was to review music week in and week out and by doing so I find myself not just knowing the lyrics but examining them from time to time. By doing that, I am intrigued; I wonder if the artist meant the lyrics to be interpreted as I am interpreting them or if they have any personal value to the artist at all.

I remember a conversation a few years back with Pharmacy Tech Guy about a tune I had cranked up at one point or another. He was doing what I do -- he was listening to the lyrics, not just taking them at face value. The tune was 'Hey Pretty' by Poe.

It featured not only the vocal stylings of the singer-songwriter who peaked in the late 90s but mixed-in spoken word passages from brother Mark Danielewski's novel "House of Leaves". With the addition of Mark's spoken word passages intertwined with the dark and already sexual lyrics of the tune, it made for one of the most intentionally sexual tunes I have ever heard in my 27 years on this planet. Pharmacy Tech Guy commented that I should throw together a mix CD of nothing but tunes with 'dirty' lyrics.

That task seemed easy enough due to the fact that I had as many CDs as a smallish music store but I fell flat on my face in the aftermath of his suggestion. The fact that I still remember this six years after the fact is a testament to my determination and I am getting closer to achieving a collection of tunes which may actually fill one CD. I welcome your suggestions to help me on this challenge.


Hold on there hoss. You're thinking I missed the local feature. If you said that, you're wrong. I skipped it because I haven't actually heard anything worthy of mention in all of the Twin Cities in either the way of live music or crap on the airwaves. The may well be something but my ears heart from trying to find something of value so I am throwing in the white towel for this week. Onward to better things for now!

The Detroit Cobras, together officially since 1996, are relative unknowns outside of - you guessed it - Detroit, Michigan. Their style is a mash-up of garage rock and 50s and Motown sounds which translates into a distinct sound that, due to its distinct nature, hasn't garnered the band mush in the way of mainstream success.

In keeping with the them of "sexual" lyrics, I present you with a tune I first heard late last summer on The Current from the musically knowledgeable Mary Lucia.

The Detroit Cobras-Hot Dog

Download it. Listen to it. Interpret the lyrics however you want. I guarantee that after a couple listens you will arrive at the same conclusion I did -- vocalist Rachel Nagy most certainly isn't talking about a frankfurter.


C-dell said...

I am a big fan of listening to what is said in music. I used to not, but as I grew i did. That is why know I don't listen to rap much anymore. If you stopped by the blog when I had that song playing the words are really deep especially the last person on the song. I listen to the words of Everuthing I listen to. Great post.

sAssY brOwn said...

I always listen to the words.

DAV said...

Honestly, I sometimes do and sometimes don't. It's kind of like I thought that Nelly Fitado song was Mysterious Girl, then was pretty surpirsed when it was Promiscuous girl. Yikes! It depends, some songs have a great sound and are easy to dance to, other songs are deeper and have a messsage to them. It's important to not drown out the message with too much of a beat. I dunno..