Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Mashup

August 16, 2014

Today’s Zippy, on musical mashups:

 

The third panel veers into a Zippy favorite, Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL, in a parody version.

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The song sparrow

August 3, 2014

Today’s revisiting of Calvin and Hobbes:

The song sparrow segues into a bit of kidlore (beloved by campers and scout troops), and that gets Calvin thrown out of the house by his mother.

A lot of kidlore has no traceable history, but this one has an official story.

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Arne

June 20, 2014

WHRB (Harvard’s student radio station) came along with a piece of pleasant Baroque music (for organ and strings) that was entirely unfamiliar to me, so I looked up at the identifying tag in iTunes. Which told me it was by Arne. Not my friend Arne Adolfsen (with his Norwegian-derived disyllabic personal name), but Thomas Arne (with his British, but presumably ultimately Scandinavian-derived, monosyllabic family name). I had just heard one of his six Concerti for Organ and Strings, probably #2 in G major.

A fascinating but little-known figure, who suffered musically by being overshadowed by Handel and personally by being Catholic (so he was barred from the usual sources of patronage) and also a renowned lecher.

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Briefly noted: two-language pun pairs

June 3, 2014

On May 31st, Xopher Walker, listening to a live opera broadcast on WFMT, groused about the tedium of Wagner’s Parsifal. Ned Deily noted a different radio broadcast (BR Klassik) of the more pleasing Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) by Mozart.  Extensive discussion of Parsifal and performances of it followed.

And then Michael Palmer produced this marvelous pair of puns on the name of the Mozart opera, one in German (playing on Ente ‘duck’ instead of the prefix ent- ‘separate, remove’), one in English (playing on duck instead of the Latinate root -duc- ‘lead’):

Die Enteführung aus dem Serail, aka the Abducktion from the Seraglio

(It’s all about the ducks.)

Applause for Palmer followed.

Palmer then wondered if there was an accepted term for this phenomenon – “puns in two languages that are translations of one another”. Not that I know of.

 

Piercing

May 23, 2014

(Not much about language.)

It starts with a postcard from Xopher Walker, a photograph by an artist I was unfamiliar with, Paul Blanca (for maximum confusion, there’s also a photographer Paul Branca, and Google really truly wants to tell me about Branca rather than Blanca): the 1985 “Selfportrait decoration”, a male torso shot, showing a line of chest hair and the model’s (Blanca’s) left nipple, and in between a safety pin piercing in his pectoral muscle and, below that, a white composite flower (like a small chrysanthemum flower) looking much like a boutonnière. I’ve added a caption of my own: “Piercing, man, piercing” (a little pun).

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Alan Fletcher

May 20, 2014

More from my back files: graphic designer Alan Fletcher, creator of images on postcards Max Vasilatos sent me in 2008 and 2009.

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An epicene protest

May 13, 2014

In a bizarre response to the winning of the Eurovision Song Contest by a bearded drag queen, Conchita Wurst singing “Rise Like a Phoenix” (reported in almost every media outlet), some Russian men have taken to shaving off their beards (if they had them). The position seems to be that Wurst’s beard so poisons beards as a symbol of masculinity that real men have no way to protest except by going beardless. (The idea here seems to some degree to be similar to the position that same-sex marriage diminishes and debases opposite-sex marriage — except that in the Wurst case, the threat comes from a single case: just one, though admittedly very visible, bearded man in a dress.)

The result is paradoxical.

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Musical talent decomposed

May 7, 2014

A cartoon from New Yorker artist Tom Cheney decomposing musical talent into an assortment of distinct abilities, much as style books decompose writing style:

The band has a lot of work to do.

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The St. Francis

April 30, 2014

Not the hotel or the yacht club or the hospital in San Francisco (or the high school in Mountain View or the winery in Sonoma), but the St. Francis Fountain, as celebrated in today’s Zippy:

  (#1)

From its website:

San Francisco’s Oldest Ice Cream Parlor: St. Francis Fountain, home of hearty breakfasts, top-rated hamburgers, and classic soda fountain desserts, 2801 24th St. [hence the title of the strip], San Francisco (since 1918)

Meanwhile, Zippy riffs on “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”.

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Easter Anthem

April 20, 2014

Background by P. L. Brayfield to accompany a YouTube video:

Sacred Harp singers are among the most enthusiastic and energetic vocalists anywhere! Here they express their joy in singing a favorite shape note song for the Eastern season: William Billings’s 1787 composition [Easter Anthem] also known as ‘The Lord is Risen Indeed.’ Recorded at the Kalamazoo all-day singing, July 20, 2009. NOTE: on the video, the number for Eastern Anthem is mistakenly given as 238. If you start to sing from that page, you will still be singing Eastern Anthem, but you will be two pages ahead of everyone else ;) The correct page, of course, is 236, as several viewers have reminded me!

The music, spread over four pages:

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