Pink Floyd

Catching Up On The Week (Jan. 2 Edition)

Some #longreads while you nurse that hangover…

It’s always a treat when we get to hear from Aphex Twin, so you should probably read this interview where the man himself answers questions from several famous DJs and producers in this special from Groove magazine.

The AV Club takes a look at how Pink Floyd ended up with a number one album when they released The Division Bell in 1994, based purely on the power of nostalgia.

A look at the greater context of Black Messiah, with an eye towards how those unfamiliar with the work of D’Angelo should approach it, with help from a fan.

And finally, for the more technologically inclined, here’s a look at how the different ways you physically store your digital music can affect its sound quality.  I haven’t read it yet, but for those readers who have a stronger scientific background, feel free to chime in and respond.

Time vs. Money: A Debate

With the recent release of their latest (and most likely final) album, The Endless River, now is the perfect time to do an article on Pink Floyd.  And since we’re unlikely to review a post-Roger Waters album featuring re-worked leftovers from The Division Bell, even if it was done as a tribute to Rick Wright,* we decided to write up a discussion we’ve had among friends for years, and settle a debate once and for all.  What is the best track from The Dark Side of the Moon: “Time” or “Money”?

vs.

Now, I am sure that there are those of you out there that will claim that neither of these songs are the best tracks from that album, and to that I simply say not only is that irrelevant, it is factually incorrect.  And I am sure that there are those who will say that Wish You Were Here is the superior Floyd album, and even though you would be correct, that’s neither here nor there.  We’re simply going to break down these two tracks (and only these two tracks) using “advanced metrics” to finally arrive to a conclusion that has eluded musicologists for decades.

Does the song feature an unnecessarily long intro?: Yes for both.  While “Money” quickly settles into its memorable groove, “Time” meanders for a bit with an ominous prelude that bears little in common with the rest of the song.  However, that intro does allow Nick Mason to play a drum part that is for once not the part of a beginner, so for his sake, we’ll give the nod to time.  Advantage: “Time”

Does the song feature annoying sound effects that are ridiculously literal interpretations of the title?: Again, Yes for both.  But the cash register noises from “Money” are less irritating than the flurry of alarm clocks and bells that kick off “Time”, the latter of which can provide all sorts of confusion when the song is only in the background.  Besides, M.I.A. proved the musicality of the cash register.  Advantage: “Money”

Are there any notable technical musical feats?:  Or to put it another way, is there anything in the song that music theory nerds would go crazy about while everyone else just nods politely?  And the answer is yes, for “Money”.  That song is an excellent introduction to teach people about odd time signatures, since it is written in 7/4.  People can clap along to the beat while nodding along with the groove, and then the nerd can point out that each measure contains seven beats.  There’s no similar music lesson with “Time”, ironically enough. Advantage: “Money”

Does the song feature the greatest guest backup vocalist performance of all time?: No, to either.  That honor goes to “The Great Gig In The Sky”, the song that bridges our two contenders. Advantage: Neither

Which song has the better “best line”?: “Money” does have one of the few lines with profanity that classic rock radio stations  don’t even bother to bleep with “Don’t give me that do goody-good bullshit”, but “Time” has the eloquent phrase “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.”  It’s that kind of self-deprecating attitude that makes one almost forgive the terrible acts of the British Empire. Advantage: “Time”

Which song has the better guitar solo?: While “Money” has a pretty rockin’ solo, the better display of David Gilmour’s technical dexterity and melodic sensibility are the myriad of leads from “Time”.  “Money” gets additional demerits because the solo section is in the much easier 4/4 instead of 7/4 like the rest of the song.  Advantage: “Time”

WINNER: “Time”.  If we tally up the scores, “Time” wins in a 3-2 decision, but even then it should never been in doubt–because Time IS Money, you can add all the winning points for “Money” into the “Time” column (it’s kind of like the square-rectangle relationship).

*This was not said as a slight against the band, just that we are probably unable to offer any opinion beyond “do we like it or not”, so it’s not really worth additional exploration on our part.

Catching Up On The Week (Nov. 14 Edition)

Some #longreads for your weekend, as we bring “Foo Fighters Week” to a close…

Fulfilling our need to have a #longread specifically on the Foo Fighters, Consequence of Sound takes a look at the career of Dave Grohl for their FACES retrospective.

Speaking of the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl came up in the music controversy of the week, as the industry deals with the fallout of Taylor Swift pulling her music from Spotify.  First, I’d recommend reading this letter from songwriter Aloe Blacc which illustrates how the Spotify business model shortchanges artists, and then taking a look to see that pop artists aren’t the only ones concerned about the streaming service.  Dave Grohl, as per his usual, gave his own opinion on Spotify, which of course was only half-reported in headlines around the internet (the qualifier “But I can understand how other people would object to that” changes the tenor of his response).  Of course, as the frontman of a band that CAN sell out Wembley, he’s in a different spot than a lot of other musicians, so I’d weigh his sentiments with only a grain of salt.

For some reason, I feel this is the right weekend to finally getting around to reading an extended essay on Billy Joel from the New Yorker.

It may be hard for some of our younger readers to believe, but there was a time when Ice Cube was a legitimate musician, but one of the most feared rappers on the planet!  Relive those years at least for a little bit (or experience them for the first time, if that’s the case) with this AV Club look back to his landmark album The Predator.

And finally, with Pink Floyd releasing their first album in decades this week with The Endless River, Pitchfork takes the opportunity to explore the unexpected connection between the prog rock of Floyd and the evolution of punk and other independent music.

Over the Weekend (July 7 Edition)

Hope everyone had a fun holiday weekend, with all fingers and toes still intact.  On to the news and videos:

Big news last week as Death Grips broke up, just in time for me to miss seeing them on their tour with Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t fully expecting the group to show up, considering their history, but it’s a bummer nonetheless.  The “break-up” makes sense, in either their own narrative of being an art project or an outsider’s perspective of being a pure troll-job.  At least we can say that a lot of rich people gave them money, and they repaid that debt by giving the public a lot of cool music for free.

Some might say that the biggest news was the leak that Pink Floyd is releasing a new album, but this is only significant for people who never listened to The Division Bell and don’t care that Roger Waters is not involved in the new project.  Still, if you’re looking for an excuse to turn out the lights and fire up Wish You Were Here, might as well make it this one.

Or you could listen to “Wish I Was Here”, a collaboration between Cat Power and Coldplay for the new Zach Braff film of the same name.  I don’t remember much of the movie “Garden State”, but if it got more people to listen to The Shins, I’m perfectly fine with its existence.  I still get chills listening to “New Slang”.

Continuing with another (un)expected collaboration, Rolling Stone has the latest video to result from the Miley Cyrus/Flaming Lips partnership, this time with special guest Moby.  Yes, drugs were involved.

Jack White is continuing to clear out his vault, and announced the release of a single from his band The Dead Weather, along with a live album from The White Stripes.  Pitchfork has the details if you’re interested.

If you’re in the mood for some reading, you could do better than read the AV Club’s Hatesong feature, which continues to be a waste of time for most everybody involved.  This past week saw a comedian complain about Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” because…he was in 8th grade and didn’t like his classmates that liked the song.  AV Club, you’re better than this.

If you need something to lift up your spirits after that, no worries: we finally have a new song from Death From Above 1979.  The track “Trainwreck 1979” made its debut on Zane Lowe’s program on BBC Radio 1, and you can catch it at about the 1 hour and 54 minute mark.  Be sure to set your cursor back a couple of minutes before that, as Zane explains the significance of You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine to many music fans, even if it never sold all that much.  It reminds me of “Sexy Results”, but a quicker and dirtier version of it.  In other words, it’s grimy, but still has a good dance beat.

[Edited to add:] The band has uploaded a lyric video for “Trainwreck 1979” and have also included information to pre-order the new album The Physical World on their Facebook page.

Still bored?  Check out some Best Albums So Far lists, courtesy of Relix and Stephen Thomas Erlewine.  Several the albums we’ve touted appear on both lists, so good news for us, but they should also provide the opportunity to discover other new artists as well.

And last but not least, Spoon continues to release new tracks from its upcoming release, They Want My Soul.  The band released “Do You”, plus Brit stopped by the BBC Radio 6 studio to do a quick acoustic show and interview.