Thursday, December 17, 2009

Name that tune. Not that one. The one this one reminds you of.

Do you ever hear a song and the minute you hear it you think it sounds like some other song you know, but you can't figure what that other song is? You play the former over and over thinking that the other tune is going to pop into your mind, but it just won't? Perhaps you play the former for just a short while and then turn it off so it doesn't distract you from rummaging around in the mental pile of thousands of songs you have heard and stored and clear them away one by one until you extract the one you know is there in the folds of your memory? But more often than not, you can't?

Well, I am here to tell you I have overcome! My memory and recall functions are not completely dulled by age, children and certain distilled liquids.

This week one of the only non-Christmas albums being played is Arcade Fire's Funerals (I have been catching up with them since they made so many decade lists--more later). And one of the many great tunes on the album is call "Haiti." Here you go. I will wait while you listen if you don't already know it.

Haiti Arcade Fire

Done? Nice song, right? But are you sitting there with a funny feeling that you have heard that song kinda, sorta somewhere else? Of course you are. It is not that the opening guitar style and chord progression are exact matches, but there is something that is so familiar that makes you want to start singing something else, right? But what? Don't worry, I am here to spare you the angst and sense of failure and defeat.

For I have listened to this song again and again and each time I could feel it getting closer. Then it would slip away. And then come back, even closer until finally . . . I knew it. The Clash! I could just hear Joe Strummer's voice coming in over that guitar--but what song? Must be on London Calling with that poppy sound. Side one? No. Two? No. C'mon think! Alas I was in the car so I finally gave in to the fact that I was going to have to wait to get home and look at the album and others because clearly I was forgetting a song or had the wrong album, but I was sure it was a Clash tune--aren't you?

But just as I arrived home, so did the answer. It was Joe Strummer--just not The Clash. In fact it is this song.

Johnny Appleseed Joe Stummer and the Mescalaros

OK--it isn't some total rip-off, but you do hear why I was making the connection right? Right? And it is impressive that of all the songs out there, I was able to retrieve this particular one from memory right? And you, too, now feel victorioius don't you? Of course you do.

Okay, now back to the holidays--more Christmas music to come, I promise, as soon as the cookies are done and the piano recitals completed.

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