Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

The Music Court iPod Shuffle – “Bike” by Pink Floyd

26 Oct

Pink_Floyd_Bike

Have you ever wondered how the Music Court comes up with its vast variety of content? Are you saying the blog does not have diverse content? Who are you invisible, detached voice and why must you always negate me! Ok, I’ll stop my idiocy, but it is apt that I get into a disturbed state of mind prior to discussing Pink Floyd … usually. I emphasize usually because today we will be discussing “Bike,” which despite its unique oddness is a childish piece that is purposely humorous because of its psychedelic simplicity. Oh … and the answer to the somewhat haughty initial question is songs in our head and, today, as the title of this post suggests, a shuffled iPod.

“Bike” was written and recorded during the greatest year of rock ‘n’ roll in the history of ever – 1967. Argue with me all you want, but 1967 has the insuperable crown. It will forever reign as rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest year unless we have another musical renaissance, which doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

Syd Barrett, the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of Pink Floyd prior to his forced departure from the band in 1968, may have very well been a tortured soul with mental illness ranging from schizophrenia to a cognitive disorder like autism, but “Bike” does not maintain that disturbed flavor. It is psychedelic. There is no question about that. The song is driven by eccentric percussion transitions (gun shots?), an oscillating theremin, and an eerie piano that sounds like it is right out of an ironic horror movie. But the tortured Syd Barrett who inspired almost all of Roger Waters’ songwriting for some time (“Brain Damage,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,”etc.) does not permeate through this piece … which is a purposely childish love song.

Less than two minutes of utter goodness. The song was actually written for Barrett’s girlfriend at the time. Yes, “Bike” was written for a girl … the song with the line, “I know a mouse, and he hasn’t got a house.  I don’t know why. I call him Gerald. He’s getting rather old, but he’s a good mouse.” What? Can’t you feel the love? Come on! This or “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees? Your choice.

Barrett wrote this song like a child because it is supposed to be a child’s love song. Think about it. The lyrics are utterly random, but the chorus constantly repeats “You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world. I’ll give you anything, ev’rything if you want things.” Barrett takes on his inner elementary school child and writes a hilarious love song for a first crush. It’s almost genius if you think about it.

By the way, tell me the video above is not hilarious. So … now that you have this love song stuck in your head for the rest of your Saturday, go find a bike and ride it if you’d like, but remember I can’t give it to you because I borrowed it.

Rocking Babies to Sleep…Musically!

11 Dec

Beatles Baby

Let’s face it, babies just do not understand good music. While we adults turn on Beatles’ tunes and pretend we are Paul or John, babies are content with any mellifluous sound that distracts them from the poop they just made in their diapers. Why pick any old pleasant sound, when you can show your baby what “good music” is before they even have the opportunity to grow up and shriek at some teen idol with meticulously practiced dance moves and vocal manipulation?

Meet Rockabye Baby, an extraordinarily creative music project that since 2006 has created CDs of instrumental lullaby versions of popular rock bands. Since the first releases in 2006 (Coldplay, Metallica, and Radiohead), Rockabye Baby has put out nearly 50 albums, the latest a tribute to U2. So, parents, here is the perfect opportunity to introduce babies to “Enter Sandman” without traumatizing them. “Enter Sandman” goes from advising babies to ignore the voices they hear from the beasts under their bed, closet, and head, to an instrumental that, while also rather freaky, is significantly more baby-friendly than Kirk Hammett’s guitar. Hammett, by the way, bought the Metallica version of Rockabye Baby for his son.

Not a Metallica fan. No worries. Bathe your baby with Beatles music. Here is a lullaby version of “All You Need is Love.”

I am caught between singing along and falling asleep. The version is just…so…relaxing. I *yawn* think I am going to just rest my eyes for a little bit. Forget about the baby, I want this as the soundtrack of my nighttime snooze. A parent (supposing the lyric is appropriate) can sing the song to their baby while rocking them to bed. “All You Need is Love” is certainly appropriate. I might not suggest singing the lyrics to the rendition of “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd. Even though the baby may not understand what you are saying quite yet, it is probably unwise to alert them of the lunatic in the hall.

The Pink Floyd CD (and The Beatles) will certainly be in my future child’s music collection. Start them young, right? Don’t laugh, a child’s impressionable ears are a horrible thing to waste. My father would play “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2″ by Franz Liszt when I was a baby. I consider it one of most incredible pieces of music I have ever heard. It was hardwired into my fledgling brain!

Talking about Rhapsody, why not introduce your baby to Queen. The lullaby version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” may be the best of all the albums.

Buy the CDs at Rockabye Baby.

Save The Starlite – Preserving English Rock History

25 May

What’s left of the Starlite Ballroom on Allendale Road in Greenford, UK

When you listen to the classics you tend to get a sweet spot in your heart for the venues that allowed for the “magic” to happen. I know there are many historical places like this in New York (Cafe Wha, Cafe Au Go Go, CBGB) and it is fun passing by them and realizing what rich musical history occurred within the auspices of that building. This is why whenever I hear of a classic rock venue that may be shut down, I shed a tear (like the “Keep America Beautiful” crying Native American). Well, the tear is dripping from my face. Here is the story of the Starlite Ballroom, which has been threatened with demolition.

Located in the United Kingdom (specifically on Allendale Road in Greenford – northwest of London), the Starlite Ballroom featured an incredible list of well-known 60s artists. Ready for the list?

Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, the Small Faces, the Who, the Quiet 5, David Bowie, the Yardbirds, the Troggs, the Move, Zoot Money, the Midnights, the Action, the Mode, Julian Covay and the Machine, Steampacket, the Symbols, Cliff Bennett, Cream, the Gass, Fleur de Lys, the Bystanders, Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Creation, the Syn, Pink Floyd, Warm Sounds, The Jeff Beck Group, Human Instinct, Breakthru, Alan Bown, Chris Farlowe, the Marmalade, Legay, Honeybus, The Gods, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the Knack, the Triads, the Easybeats

That is quite the list. Pink Floyd, The Easybeats, The Animals, Cream David Bowie, The Troggs – heck I’m just going to repeat the entire list above. Most of these bands were knee-deep in the musical explosion of the 60s and this venue saw them at the beginning. Notice the Quiet Five there? We did a post on this excellent underrated band back in February which you can view here.

After it was abandoned as a music venue, it became a snooker club and has now fallen into disrepair, which is unfortunate because you would hope classic venues, especially those that sat more than 1,000 people, would spark more historical society empathy.

Before the venue held concerts, it opened as a cinema on September 16, 1935 with a showing of “The Mighty Barnum” starring Wallace Beery. It remained a cinema until 1956, when it was gutted and turned into a concert hall.

Do you want to help with the efforts to save this little piece of music history? There is a Facebook page devoted to it which can be accessed right here. The about section includes a little more about the venue and some plans of how to mold it into something else without subjecting it to the wrecking ball.

From the individual leading the efforts to save the venue, “I’m now asking everyone to send polite letters/emails to Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council (http://www.ealing.gov.uk/councillors/10/julian_bell) asking him to take action to save the Starlite Ballroom site and save it for use by the community. A petition is also in the works.”

Help out if you’d like! Also, there is a theme that goes along with this post. You will have to wait until Memorial Day to find out what that is! Have a happy long weekend!

Zappa Plays Zappa – Baker Street Closes – Pink Floyd Ends a Legal Dispute?

6 Jan

Dweezil Zappa Talks About His Father


Growing up in the Zappa household must have been a wacky atmosphere teeming with psychedelic drugs, right? On the contrary, Dweezil Zappa, 41, remembers his house as clean and sober.

“We grew up having a lot of respect with our parents and none of us ever got in trouble,” Zappa told Spinner in an interview. “I’ve never taken a drug in my life, I’ve never gotten drunk and I’ve never smoked. Frank never did drugs or got drunk either. People assumed he did because of his music, but Frank used the power of the mind.”

This is one of the wide misconceptions about the older Zappa who died of prostate cancer in 1993.

Yet, do not think for a second that the Zappa house was conventional in other ways.

“To rebel in our house, I always said I’d have to become an accountant or a lawyer,” said Zappa

Zappa is currently playing Frank’s 1974 album Apostrophe in it’s entirety on tour. He admits it is tough playing his dad’s material which is infused with several different musical elements that he studied for two years before assembling his band.

Link: http://www.spinner.com/2011/01/03/dweezil-frank-zappa-apostrophe-tour/

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Gerry Rafferty Passes

Gerry Rafferty, the Scottish singer/songwriter who brought the world “Baker Street,” “Stuck in the Middle,” and “Right Down the Line,” died on Tuesday of liver disease. He was 63 years old.

Rafferty’s musical career is marked by the success of these three songs.

“Stuck in the Middle” was written by Rafferty and Joe Egan, both members of the band Stealer’s Wheel. The song hit immediate success, peaking in 1973 at #6 and the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It now remains a staple for classic rock stations.

And, for the soft rock stations, “Baker Street,” an entirely different soft rock classic, may very well go down at Rafferty’s most successful piece. The infectious saxophone solo, performed by Raphael Ravenscroft, is one of the most noticeable sax riffs ever. The song reached #3 in the UK and #2 in the U.S.

Rafferty spent years fighting alcoholism and depression and eventually the alcohol consumption did catch up to him. His music still does live on.

Here is “Baker Street”:

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Floyd Ends Dispute

The dispute you are all thinking of ended a while ago. Now, simply, Gilmour does not want to work with Waters anymore because, well, Waters is arrogant and domineering. He is incredibly talented, but, you catch my drift.

Pink Floyd did settle a legal dispute with their long time record label EMI. The two sides agreed to a new five-year deal, officially ending the legal battle over whether or not the label could rightfully take apart their albums and sell individual tracks online.

The news is not at all exciting, but, let’s face it, most news is not. EMI should be happy to have Pink Floyd back, though. While no new material will ever be created, the band still generates a ton of revenue from their expansive discography.

An Educated Gilmour Guess

1 Jan

Happy New Year! If we can base music predictions off of 2010, I believe 2011 will be another great year for experimental genres and folk-blend rock. Harmonies are in! That is good news folks.

There are some confirmed tours for 2011, but we will have to wait a little while for most of the Spring/Summer concert schedule. I can tell you that Roger Waters is still doing his The Wall tour. It picks up again in March (Lisbon, Portugal).

Now, remember, David Gilmour will join Roger Waters for one show to perform “Comfortably Numb.” This was confirmed last summer. After it was confirmed, I predicted where Gilmour would join Waters. This is what I said:

“My guess is that Gilmour joins Waters at the 02 Arena in London on Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Yes, the tour reaches far into the new year. The 02 Arena is in a convenient location – it is near Gilmour’s residence – and the date is the last in the straight series of five shows played in London, only a mere hour away from the original Pink Floyd stomping grounds, Cambridge. It just all seems to perfect. But, like most things, we must wait and see.” July 19  http://musiccourt.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/relax-ill-need-some-information-first-just-the-basic-facts-where-is-gilmour-going/

UPDATE

I took this straight from Roger Waters’ website (www.tour.rogerwaters.com)

“Roger Waters will be filming and recording all 6 shows at The O2 Arena in London in May.”

I smell clue. Roger Waters likes money and attention. Many would argue that these are his two most favorite things. Music is in there as well, of course. Filming implies a concert DVD. And, what better way to draw buyers than feature the Waters/Gilmour reunion on DVD. I am not saying that this is set in stone, but I do think that the filming may be evident of the “Comfortably Numb” reunion taking place during one of these dates. So, you have a 1/6 chance to pick the date. My guess was May 17. I stated that it was the last date for Waters at the O2 arena and at the time it was. But, another concert was added for Wednesday. I change my guess now to May 18. I guess we will see if I am right.

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