August Möbius and Max Planck
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
This is a song for kids. As I don't know any kids or understand what they like, I have no way of evaluating how successful it is at achieving its intended purpose. For this adult, the cutesiness of the kid's voice is a little grating at first, but then takes on a very different dimension halfway through the song. At 1:05, when the Hammond organ reggae opens up into a strummed family folk, the parents and the kid start into a call and response. Only at this point does one begin to hear how difficult it is for the kid to form words with his tiny little mouth. He hasn't been speaking for long, and he's not quite used to it yet. When he sings "I woke up this morning," we understand that this is still a relatively new state of affairs for him. He saw three little birds - probably the 89th, 90th, and 91st since he learned the word 'birds'. He sings the exact same words as his parents, but he means something very different by them. He is still sensitive and obtuse and receptive. And here are his proud parents - just as hopeful, but far more wary - singing "don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing is gonna be alright."
Also: What's up with that funky krautrock bass line? Who let Moebius and Plank in the house (cf. Rastakraut Pasta)? Seriously, who? There's a child on the premises! [Buy]
Four facts about "Trying to Make it Through":
Staccato is the soul of soul. Every note is an island. The rhythm section builds little legato bridges and the scorching guitar burns them down.
Raise my body from this seat, then raze my body to the ground.
James Brown, alone in a hotel room after a Night at the Apollo, thirsty.
The Mighty Hannibal knows how to grunt and moan and clip and suppress, but he's at his absolute best when he turns inward and sings. [Buy]Posted by Jordan at March 7, 2007 5:09 PM
That was adorable. Thanks for the smile.
Also, staccato may be the soul, but the slides (horn and guitar), those are the heart. Or rather, staccato notes are the bones, and the slides are the blood.
Anyhow, thanks.Posted by Evan at March 7, 2007 8:23 PM
As a preschool teacher, I have to say that kids would love the Elizabeth Mitchell's song, which I guess means it is successful, at least if you ask me.
As an adult, I have to say that it's charming anyway. Thanks for putting it up!Posted by melissa at March 8, 2007 3:03 AM
I'm thinking that either Eno or Roedelius let M&P in. Let's be frank: Not every German is gonna bring funk, soul and reggae. Hence Rastakraut Pasta. But there is precedent. Consider Can. The "Jakibeat" alone is a contender, though it is cyclical and circular, sometimes that's just how the boot sesh goes. Funk: Holger loves you. Reggae: Rastakraut Pasta (the song) and its sister, Missi Cacadou. Some German music is like the Kantian categories; filters through which other things are detected. Of course, we can talk about those things in this case, the ding-an-sich that is James Brown, Pete Tosh, B. Marley, or Bootsy. So, granted, that's where this analogy fails.Posted by Joel Taylor at March 8, 2007 3:42 PM
Supposedly the titular "Three Little Birds" were three (little) birds eating the seeds Bob Marley tossed out while sorting through a bag of pot to roll a joint.
Nice song anyway, and (with "Mr. Brown") one of my favorites that he's done. And a nice cover of it here too.Posted by Tuwa at March 10, 2007 1:37 AM
Our daughter, only six months old, absolutely loves the entire Elizabeth Mitchell record, and this song in particular seems to be a favorite. If a successful children's song is judged by it's ability to 1) quiet a crying baby and 2) not be annoying to his/her parents, even on the 834th listen, then "Three Little Birds" certainly succeeds.Posted by Chad at July 18, 2007 2:30 AM
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.
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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.
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montreal improv theatre
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