Friday, January 18, 2013

International Monkee Holiday and Nez's Electro Swing

We modestly propose an International Monkee Holiday to be celebrated every year on December 30th. Chosen because it is the birthday of half the Monkees (Mike: 1942, Davy:1945). Highly recommended is a day spent listening to the entire Monkee playlist while cleaning out for the New Year.  Or just chillin' with the substance of your choice (we'd pick chocolate).  Better yet, gather together with fellow Monkee friends and find (or CREATE) an event.  In Northampton, fans were treated to a tribute concert/70th Birthday Party of Nez's music covered by a collection of AMAZING local musicians.  If you were there, or know about future plans, please share and spread the word!!

Almost 50 years later, this songwriter still has his ears up for excellent sounds and is offering his own beautiful interpretation.  For those of you not (ahem) "a Friend" of Nez (at least on Facebook), you might have missed out on this gem of a post.  He discusses Electro Swing and his first memories of bopping around in the backseat of his mom's car.

And he brings in THIS!  A clip of Ginger & Fred (and sometimes Rita and Fred) dancing to Electro Swing.  Fun and anachronistic.  And what he thinks they must have ACTUALLY heard in their heads.  (I'm a fan of the original music they were dancing to, and my only argument with the clips is the non-structured element to the music.  House Music for Swingers.  The speed was also jerky and inconsistent, which also ruins the fluidity, but I'll blame that on the quality of the download speed, not the editors.)

==

His full FB post as of noon, EST, 1/18/13:

Dancing for me is as close as I get to flying. I love it -- but I am not so good at it. 

Some music is better than others for getting me up and going. I have been known to dance in the yard when the music is right.

I've been listening to Electro Swing for a few years now -- the early stuff -- 2009 -- pales in comparison to this newer stuff but it all sounds great to me.

Parov Stelar is my go to Electro Swing "band" when they work as a band-- mostly it is Marcus Fureder doing the main mixing. There are some great mixers out there.

But where it all comes together for me is when I see 30's movie dance footage synced up 2013 Electro Swing.

What resonates for me here is the sense that the actual music I hear now as they dance is probably close to what F&G, for instance, were only hearing in their heads.

Electro Swing was not possible in the 20's and 30's. Krupa probably heard this in his head. And Goodman. Basie. And the rest -- and when I watch the footage of them I smile with a feeling I know now what they were hearing in their heads.

I am swept away by the power of the latest music making gear and the way it can make traditional music sound.

I remember sitting in my car waiting for my mother to finish painting a mural in a theater and I was listening to the radio and heard Carl Perkins Blue Suede Shoes and Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. They were new records -- just out -- and the sound of them was so new and exciting to me I couldn't sit still.

So I just danced in the car. When Mom came out for a just second she saw me thrashing -- bobbing up and down in and out of the view. I think it freaked her out a little. Of course I couldn't explain it.

Years later when making records on my own I came to understand the sound I heard then was not actually there. It was in my own mind. The internal sound was what the recording only implied.

Recording and performing became a quest for me to find this actual sound.

Electro-Swing uses the sonic range and the loops and clips of the great big band charts driving the dances -- so when I saw this clip on wimp.com this morning:

http://www.wimp.com/fredginger/


I thought of dancing in the car --a 1951 DeSoto -- thought of the sounds in my head then -- implied sounds -- that I can now actually hear. I think this is a particularly good sync/montage -- and I think I really see Fred and Ginger flying -- Ginger doing "everything Fred did but doing it backwards and in heels":)

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