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In praise of all things eleven

November 11, 2011 in Culture / History, Music by snark

Happy Eleven Eleven Eleven day (11/11/11)! This also turns out to be Nigel Tufnel Day, in honor of the Spinal Tap guitarist who famously cranked up his amps as far as they would go, then took it up a notch from there.

These go to eleven!

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Syd Barrett – Word Song

July 27, 2011 in Music, Poetry by snark

Stained, glaucous, glycerine, gold, goat, clover
gold, local, stocks, type, food, wild, national, lake, flag,
valve, gyroscope, sect
heat, helium, lead, bare, state, invention, medieval
refraction, faction, ultra-action,
hunter, interest, bullet, market…

Loads, liquids, neon, heater, jaws, jungle
mains, signal, knives, kitchen
ingot, lovely, mirror, mold
Mycenaean, moat, poppy, rubber,
radar, rags, sugar, teak
silver, poke, tin, beetroot,
carrot, ebony, fruit, copper, silk…

Carpet, distant, pigmy, hid, pack,
timber, pudding, straw
raindrops, spattering, ramps
chameleon, prairie, pods, trigger
museum, scales, square, ultra, out of map, vent
volcano, vain, wreck, tactic
tidal, arches, valley, hand
inflect, impression, loom, last, molten
you gamma, meeting
lighting, signal, island, coral-cold

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The Incredible String Band — Little Cloud

May 21, 2010 in Music, Poetry by snark

Just because it’s Friday and I’m in this kind of mood, let’s listen to Little Cloud, by the The Incredible String Band. Sing along, everybody:

Little Cloud

How sweet to be a cloud, floating in the blue.

Lying awake, late the other night
Heard above me a trembling,
I looked up, it was a little cloud,
From which a gold string was dangling;
You know, I gave the string a little pull,
Just to see what was on the other end.
Just then a voice came down to me, says,
“Hey, now, don’t you want to be my friend,

And float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;

You see I’m just a happy little cloud,
I laugh and float and sing my song,
But the other clouds don’t like me none.
They say I am behaving very wrong.
You see a cloud’s supposed to be sad,
To cry and weep and tear its hair and all,
And don’t matter how hard I try,
I can’t get the first little tear to fall.”

And float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;

I said, “Hey, I like you little cloud,
You are a nice little fellow, yes.”
“You making some, kind of a joke?”, said the cloud,
“Now can’t you see I’m wearing such a pretty dress?
You see I am the prettiest little chick cloud
That you’d find anywhere up above.
I just dropped in on you awhile
To see if you could give me some kind of love.”

And float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands wondrous and fair;

Just then the chief cloud come into view
And says, “Hey, girl, now what you
think you’re doing there?
I told you so many times before
You just don’t seem at all to care.
You know you should be floating up above, now
Don’t let me catch you down here again.”

And as my cloud pulled out of view,
There come failing down a gentle shower of rain.
Happy rain come failing down,
Red, green, blue and golden.
And every drop, as it fell, it smiled
And, throwing back its head, began singing,

“Oh float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair.”

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One Love and The Wailers Trademark Dispute

June 30, 2007 in IP Issues, Music by snark

Here’s an interesting article on BobMarley.com discussing the adaptation of the classic reggae anthem “One Love” as the tourism theme for Jamaica.

“One Love,” which adapts several lines from Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” was originally recorded in 1965 by Bob alongside fellow Wailers Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh and was produced by Coxsone Dodd for his legendary Studio One label featuring the jaunty tempo that typified the era’s ska music. However, much better known is the more melodic interpretation of “One Love” that was included on Bob’s 1977 album Exodus (cited as Time magazine’s Album of the Century). With its slower reggae beat and cheerily plunked piano chords, the Exodus rendition of “One Love” was selected by the Jamaican Tourist Board as its theme song in the early 90s and continues to be used by the organization to promote the island within the competitive travel industry.

“One Love” symbolizes the message of Jamaica to the world through tourism as we seek to promote peace and harmony and tolerance of all people,” explains David Shields, Deputy Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board. “The song has been used repeatedly by the tourist board to promote Jamaica and in recent research, our consumers have indicated that not only does the song resonate positively but as a destination Jamaica resonates positively through the song. So Bob Marley’s iconic presence and his music continues to represent Jamaica and our work in a positive way and in all of our campaigns we continue to use ‘One Love’ and reggae as one of our unique selling propositions to the world.”

On a somewhat-related note comes news from a Seattle Trademark Lawyer, reporting on a recent lawsuit filed in the United States by an American rock band called The Wailers. They’ve been performing as “The Wailers” since 1959, and they registered their band name as a trademark in 2003. Now they complain about the registration of the domain name wailers.com and allege that The Wailers in Jamaica have infringed and diluted their trademark for the band name and are causing confusion among music lovers everywhere.

The Wailers was a ska, rocksteady and reggae group formed in Kingston, Jamaica in 1963, consisting of Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Bunny Livingston (aka Bunny Wailer), Bob Marley, Peter McIntosh (aka Peter Tosh), and Cherry Smith. They were called variously The Teenagers, The Wailing Rudeboys, The Wailing Wailers, and finally The Wailers.

Hmmm…wonder what Bunny Wailer would think about all this.

What your hands do, it’s your own eyes that ‘ve seen. So, won’t you judge your actions, to make sure the results are clean? It’s your own conscience, that is gonna remind you, that it’s your heart, and nobody else’s, that is gonna judge. So, be not selfish, in your doings, pass it on. Help your brothers, in their needs, pass it on. Live for yourself, you will live in vain. Live for others, you will live again.

Peace. One Love.

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Meaning and origin of the Foo Fighters band name

June 9, 2005 in Culture / History, Music, Names/Naming by snark

Many of you techno geeks know all about “foo”, or think you do, when “used very generally as a sample name for absolutely anything, esp. programs and files (esp. scratch files)”, to quote the <a href=”http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/F/foo.html”>Jargon File</a>. But what about the Foo Fighters?

Dave Grohl, formally a drummer with the likes of Freak Baby, Mission Impossible, Fast, Dain Bramage, Scream and a little-known band called Nirvana, now fronts Foo Fighters. But what’s with the name?  The Jargon File entry continues:

<blockquote>
One place “foo” is known to have remained live is in the U.S. military during the WWII years. In 1944-45, the term ‘foo fighters’ was in use by radar operators for the kind of mysterious or spurious trace that would later be called a UFO (the older term resurfaced in popular American usage in 1995 via the name of one of the better grunge-rock bands). Because informants connected the term directly to the Smokey Stover strip, the folk etymology that connects it to French “feu” (fire) can be gently dismissed.
</blockquote>

For more on Foo and the Smokey Stover comic strip <a href=”http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/F/foo.html”>go here</a>. If this post has whet your curiosity and you’d like to know the origins and meanings behind other band names like Goo Goo Dolls and Pearl Jam, these are sticky questions and you’re on your own. This is a family program and we mean to keep our PG rating. Sort of.