Archive | June, 2014

Holy Holy Hozier

16 Jun

Hozier

 

When I first heard Hozier’s dark croon masterfully guide the lyric of his subtle condemnation “Take Me to Church,” I listened in silent awe and quickly lapped up his EP. That was month’s ago, and since then Hozier has taken the alt/rock world by storm by way of YouTube, Reddit, and the eager ears of many active listeners. He has also released a new EP, From Eden. I am not that different from the rest of the millions of ears that have allowed Hozier’s voice to soothe them; his vocal has become unmistakable and one listen can easily ensnare any music lover.

What is it about the 24-year-old Irish musician that is so enticing? Is it his aforementioned voice, which blends the passion of Dan Auerbach and command of Bhi Bhiman? Is it his instrumental diversity, wet and heavy with foreboding percussion mixed with lightly plucked guitar accompanying consequent softness? Clearly both of these elements play to Hozier’s draw, and it is an absolute pleasure to write about such a skilled musician.

Hozier is a true musician. He has consistently been involved in groups, including Anuna, an Irish choral group, which he sang in for three years. Now, he has shifted his focus to unique rock music, and the music scene is the better for it. Hozier’s seminal piece “Take Me to Church” is not only a commentary on religion but also an oddly spiritual experience; the vocal and voluminous melody transport the listener to a melodious shrine. It is difficult not to listen to this song on repeat.

“Like Real People Do,” which also appears on Hozier’s debut EP (Take Me to Church) is a completely different tune. While “Take Me to Church” is a dark, rhythmic piece, “Like Real People Do” is more Iron & Wine than Airborne Toxic Event. The song is subdued and, dare I say, pretty. The guitar is picked with Hozier’s voice, and the song is fluent.

I suggest checking out more of Hozier’s music on his website. You can also check out his Facebook and Twitter.

Dog Songs – Vote for Your Favorite!

3 Jun

Tully

 

This is Tully. Say hi to the Music Court community, Tully. As I type this, Tully is nestled into a ball with his head on a soft, green pillow. He is adorable. The picture is worth more than my words.

As you might have deciphered from the opening to this post, I adopted a dog! Thus, I have been solely in a dog mood over the past few days. Musicians are often in dog moods. Whether it are songs about dogs or song titles/ideas that use “dog” in popular sayings or with different connotations, dogs often find their way into popular songs of all genres. Off the top of your head I’m sure you are already thinking of 1-2 songs you know that have the word dog in the title.

In line with my puppy mood, I bring you the first Music Court poll in months. There are a plethora of dog songs in the vast musical catalogue of life; what song is the best? First, let’s fetch some songs.

 

1. “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley

This is the version most are familiar with, and it is hard to argue that it is not the best recording of this Lieber and Stoller classic. Originally recorded in 1952 by “Big Mama” Thornton, “Hound Dog” has transcended decades and has garnered a long list of cover versions (included Elvis’ 1956 cover) and popular media references. Contrary to the lyrics though, I will certainly feed Tully!

 

2. (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window by Patti Page

I had to. Tell me you don’t think of this song when you walk by the window of a pet store! Written by Bob Merrill (also wrote “Mambo Italiano”), the song was most famously recorded by Patti Page, and I first heard it through Kidsongs (my pre-kinder source for all music).

 

3. “I Love My Dog” by Cat Stevens

Because the song includes lyrics like the following:

“I love my dog
As much as I love you
But you may fade
My dog will always come through”  (Note: I love Tully and my fiancé very much)

4. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges

Oh, Iggy and your Stooges. Recorded in 1969, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a quintessential example of the budding hard rock/punk movement that would sweep the music world for the next two decades (and beyond that if you count the 90s, 00s, and 10s). The song was produced by John Cale of Velvet Underground fame. The Velvet Underground is often cited as the grandfather of punk. No coincidence there folks.

 

5. “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin 

Classic Zeppelin riff over lyrics inspired by a sexually promiscuous retriever that would amble around the recording studio. It also has the mark of a Zeppelin song that was not stolen. Haha. I kid. I kid. It’s a killer riff.

 

6. “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine 

Florence Welch, otherwise known as the goddess (according to my sister), took a commanding hold of the Indie/Art/Pop genre with the release of her first two albums (Lungs and Ceremonials). “Dog Days are Over” is featured on Lungs, which is a tremendous first release.

 

7. “Martha My Dear” by The Beatles

Wild Card! This jaunty Beatles tune was written by Paul McCartney and most likely inspired by his sheepdog (named Martha), although it was probably about an old love interest. It, like all Beatles songs, is excellent.

 

 

There you have it. What is the best bark – I mean, song! Vote below.

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