Tag Archives: Binghamton University

If Only She Was Lying to Me – King Crimson Rules

23 May

Bob Dylan Was Addicted to Heroin?

Link: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bob-dylan-admits-heroin-addiction-in-newly-released-1966-interview-20110523

On Sunday I graduated Binghamton University. One of the many reasons that I received my degree was because of academic integrity. In other words, I didn’t lie. On the heels of his 70th birthday, I can confidently say that Bob Dylan certainly does not get an A in honesty class.

Okay, that was a miserable transition, but I did want to mention my graduation. Yes, I am officially an alumnus of Binghamton University. How does that sound? I am back on Long Island and writing this post in my permanent room. My next room may be one that I own and that is certainly an odd prospect. But, until then, I remain a resident at home (which is not a bad thing at all) and since I have a little more time during the summer you all will see new categories and longer feature posts over the upcoming weeks. Sound good?

We begin with Monday’s staple (music news). According to Rolling Stone (link included above), Bob Dylan kicked a heroin addiction that he picked up after arriving in New York City. He told this to New York Times writer Robert Shelton on a plane from Lincoln, Nebraska to Denver during the 1966 Electric tour. But this newly released admission is already receiving many B.S. calls. Remember, Dylan is well known for his love of fiction. He did claim that he worked as a male prostitute after moving to New York. With all of these claims, I’m starting to think that Dylan is more of a “Midnight Cowboy” inspiration, rather than a folk/rock pioneer. Did he kick a heroin habit? Who knows. My guess is no. Dylan loves storytelling. That is one of the reasons his lyric is legendary. That is the issue. The man lives in the fictional world of song.


“In The Court of the Crimson King” #1

Link: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/141547-best-25-rock-songs-of-all-time/P4

Peter Sinfield

King Crimson‘s “In The Court of the Crimson King” was named the #1 progressive rock song in an enjoyable list by Sean Murphy of PopMatters. Murphy writes:

“Virtually any song from this album could ably represent the whole, but the title track is an unsettling, ceaselessly astonishing track that is at once the introduction and apotheosis of what progressive rock became. It has all the important elements: impeccable musicianship from all players, rhythmic complexity, socially-conscious lyrics and an outsider’s perspective that is neither disaffected nor nihilistic.”

Eloquently put and absolutely correct. King Crimson’s impact on progressive rock cannot go understated. Any mention of the genre without talk of this supergroup is a crime. The band simply oozed with talent and this song is no different. The lyric of this Crimson classic is poetic and medieval. It is a creative image of hell and it comes from the mind of Peter Sinfield, the true unsung hero of the band. So, while you enjoy the song make sure to also respect the lyric.

The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournament’s begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the Crimson King.
The keeper of the city keys
Put shutters on the dreams.
I wait outside the pilgrim’s door
With insufficient schemes.
The black queen chants
the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring;
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the Crimson King.
The gardener plants an evergreen
Whilst trampling on a flower.
I chase the wind of a prism ship
To taste the sweet and sour.
The pattern juggler lifts his hand;
The orchestra begin.
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the court of the Crimson King.
On soft grey mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke;
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play
But gently pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the Crimson King.

The Koobas Play “Sweet Music”

19 May

I will be a graduate of Binghamton University on Sunday. For some graduates the prospect of graduation seems unbelievable or “scary.” The word scary is thrown around. I am embracing graduation. I cannot wait to get out into the world of journalism and hopefully enjoy the fruits of my labor. This will most likely be my last post as an undergraduate and it leaves an opening for some nostalgia. I started this blog at my wise brother’s urging after I finished Sophomore year. Since then, The Music Court has amassed over 400,000 views and, while this statement does seem trite, it is because of the support of you all. Thank you to all my faithful readers and I hope to continue to provide you with enjoyable music writing as I enter into the post-undergraduate world.

We are in the early morning hours and I wanted to do a quick song of the day prior to going to sleep. The Koobas are The Beatles that never happened. The emerged as a Beat group from Liverpool in 1962 (two years after the Beatles) and were signed by Brian Epstein (The Beatles’ manager) in 1964. Heck, The Koobas even toured with The Beatles as their opening act during The Beatles’ last British tour. Yet, despite the connection with the most successful band ever, The Koobas could never catch a hint of success and fell off into obscurity, reserved for future listeners of 60’s music lovers. Here is my favorite song by The Koobas, the 1966 single “Sweet Music”

School Day, School Day

25 Jan

Nothing like crayons to welcome students back to universities after winter break. Who doesn’t like variegated symbols of joy and youthfulness? How this has anything to do with college, I don’t know, but aren’t you now happy? This post is already so colorful. Let’s keep it that way.

As some of you know, I have just started the spring semester of my senior year at Binghamton University. In May, I will walk across the stage of my school’s events center to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstances,” (which I just found at today was originally written to profile young men dying in war. A quick shout out to the Cracked.com article). I’m not Van Wilder-ing my college experience. But there may be graduate school in my future, so I guess more college can be on its way.

Anyway, all this school talk had me thinking. What are some of the best songs to listen to when you are going back to school after a break? So I have taken the time to compile a list tonight of my top five school songs. The list encompasses school pride created by the Beach Boys and school…uh…indifference from Animal Collective. It takes elementary school and college and mashes it together into this amalgamation of pencils, chalk and locker room effluvium. So, in my best Mr. Mackey, “school is good, mmkay.”

Check out the posted songs and vote. Plus – this is the best part – if you think I’m an idiot and another song deserves a spot on our list, you can vote other and comment on why your song should be on the list.

The Songs:

Going Up The Country…For the Last Time

20 Jan

On The Spine - I am not in this picture. But I should be

Today marks the last time I will make the trek up to Binghamton University in anticipation for either Fall/Spring semester. I have reached the Spring semester of my senior year of college. In May I will adorn green and white and graduate with a BA in English – Rhetoric – Creative Writing – whatever other English specification you want to pack into my degree. I am excited to enter the “real world.” I may be continuing my education at a Graduate level in hopes of achieving a masters in journalism. Or I may immediately enter the work force and become a member of the working population. For now, I will enjoy my last semester of college.

Since today is the last time I will be heading up to Binghamton after winter (or summer) break, it also is the last time that I will feature “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat paired with my farewell Long Island post. This classic, that was made iconic by the Woodstock movie, is not only a Woodstock anthem, but also an ode to my departure to the north country. Upstate New York…where the water tastes like wine?

The Canned Heat recording from Woodstock also makes the perfect driving song. In it you can hear Bob Hite say that he really needs to pee but there is nowhere to go. A problem when you are driving up deserted 17 as well. So, for good luck on my final trip, here is Canned Heat with “Going Up The Country.”

The Best Songs of 2010: Sneak Peak – Number 11: “Tighten Up” by The Black Keys

14 Dec

Last year at around this time in December I was summing up a decade of music. Today premieres a preview of the top songs of 2010, a post category that will run from December 20 – December 30 (Skipping the Sunday in between). Each day will feature a different song in a running countdown to the best song of 2010. Please understand this disclaimer. All opinions expressed in this list (especially order of songs) are opinions. That’s right. So, if you have another song that you believe deserved a spot, post it in a comment and let’s talk. Also, be nice. It’s New Years and Christmas and overall merriment should be the pervasive thought during this season.

Anyway, before I travel home tomorrow (today marked the official end of Fall semester of my senior year at Binghamton University), I wanted to leave you with the #11 song on my 2010 countdown. The list is made up of 11 songs to mark our transition into 2011 and to hold true to the “one for good luck” axiom. I know. Aren’t I witty? Okay, not really. Let’s get to some music.

#11.) Tighten Up” by The Black Keys

We kick off our list with a song about a dinosaur. Well, no, it’s not about a dinosaur, but Frank, the Black Keys’ puppet dinosaur, does star in the video for this catchy rock tune. Take a listen:

Yes, Frank is infectious, but so is the opening whistle, catchy riff, excellent bass and drum portion (Pat Carney at his best). The song is excellently put together, clean, but rugged. The mini-solo that repeats throughout the song serves as a shaking breakdown (or Frank dance portion). Because, as we all know, Frank is a Funkasaurus Rex.

The song, not to be confused with Archie Bell and The Drell’s “Tighten Up” from 1968 – because who in the world would confuse a Black Keys song with Archie Bell’s awesome hit – appeared on The Black Keys’ release Brothers (May 18, 2010). The song was created by The Black Keys and Brian Burton, a.k.a Danger Mouse (who actually makes several appearances on our list through numerous different projects).

As guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach told The Sun, “That was the last song we did for the record. We had a couple of days off and so did Brian (Danger Mouse) and since we are friends and like hanging out with each other we thought it would be fun to go into the studio and see if we could come up with a tune. We always have a blast when the three of us get together.”

The result was a rock hit that fuses pop and the Keys’ trademark gritty style. Also, let us not forget Auerbach’s vocal which is trademark Keys, bluesy and upbeat. The end of the song definitely shows some Danger Mouse influence, as the song slowly moves into an odd techno, robotic beat and cuts out.

I think the songs greatest strength is in its simplicity. That, and Frank, mark it as #11 on our countdown. Tune your dials to The Music Court on December 20 where we will pick up with #10. I will be back posting on Thursday. Wish me happy traveling tomorrow (and hopefully none of that white stuff)

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