Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Omega Omega Top

June 14, 2021

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro of 6/11, a cartoon that’s totally incomprehensible if you don’t know know one piece of American popular culture:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

I would have entitled the strip Ω Ω Top, but Wayno and Dan went for Omega Omega Top instead. (More on the title below.)

In any case, to have any hope whatsoever in understanding the cartoon, you need to know that there’s an American rock band named ZZ Top. (The name of the band is pronounced /zi zi tap/, which is written as ZZ Top. Contrast this with the statistical test whose name is written as the Z-test, a name is pronounced as /zi tɛst/ by American speakers, but /zɛd tɛst/ by British, Australian, and most Canadian speakers. The band’s name is pronounced /zɛd zɛd tap/) only as a joke, or as a mistake by someone unfamiliar with the name.)

To begin to understand why the cartoon might be funny, you need to know that Ω is the (upper-case form of the) last letter of the Greek alphabet, just as Z is the (upper-case form of the) last letter of the Latin alphabet (as we use it in writing English); that the figures in the cartoon are playing ancient Greek musical instruments (two stringed, one percussion); and that the instruments and the appearance of the players match those of ZZ Top (two guitarists, one drummer; sunglasses for everybody; stetson hats and long beards for the guitarists). So the cartoon provides a complex mapping between ZZ Top today and music-making in ancient Greece.

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Sacrilegious puns for Pride Month

June 10, 2021

… on t-shirts from the Hear Our Voice on-line store (“empowering feminist clothing” — also clothing on Black, LGBTQ+, kindness, and disability rights themes), in a Facebook ad today (I believe the shirts are available from other sources as well). In the ad, a complex pun (both verbal and visual) on the song title “Proud Mary”; and then, elsewhere on the site, a pun on the religious exclamation amen.

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Pandering to the bass

June 6, 2021

About a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 5/29, which turns on the title phrase pandering to the bass being understood as a pun:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

We are to understand pandering to the bass as a pun on pandering to the base (which has become a stock expression in political contexts), and, given the image and text of the cartoon, as involving bass (/bes/ rather than /bæs/) ‘someone who plays the bass guitar in a rock band’ (rather than in one of 7 or 8 other possible senses).

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Idumea

May 31, 2021

My 5/29 posting “The hairy and the smooth” is about (among other things) a story from the biblical book of Genesis, about two fraternal twins, Esau the hairy brother and Jacob the smooth one — Esau also known as Edom, Jacob as Israel. Edom is the Semitic version of the name, Latinized as Idumea / Idumaea. Both Edom and Idumea gave their names to the lands of their descendants. From Wikipedia as quoted in my 5/29 posting:

Edom and Idumea are two related but distinct terms which are both related to a historically-contiguous population but two separate, if adjacent, territories which were occupied by the Edomites / Idumeans in different periods of their history.

My 5/29 discussion then turned to the shapenote song Edom. It turns out that the Sacred Harp has not only Edom (SH200), but also Idumea (SH47b), both song names from the placenames.  Edom is joyous, but Idumea is something altogether different: by turns, powerful, moving, dark, mournful, literally apocalyptic, and shivery, a package that has has made it a great favorite of folk singers. Music from the Denson Sacred Harp (1991 revision):


(#1) SH47t Primrose and SH47b Idumea — both from the early flowering of shapenote music in the South in the early 9th century, both on salvation and resurrection, in Primrose (in A major) merely joyous; in Idumea (in A minor), triumphant, as part of the Apocalypse  — texts from two amazingly prolific writers of hymn texts, Isaac Watts in Primrose, Charles Wesley in Idumea

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The Raw and the Cooked

May 30, 2021

The title of the first book of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s monumental 4-volume work Mythologiques — a title that served as the model for the title of my posting yesterday, “The hairy and the smooth” (referring to male body types) — one of three conceptual oppositions treated in that posting, the other two being raw – refined (referring to crudeness, naturalness, or simplicity vs. artfulness, in the presentation of these bodies in underwear ads) and authentic – synthetic (referring to natural materials, like leather, vs. various imitations, mostly based on plastics, in the garments the models are wearing).


(#1) A cover for a French edition

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The hairy and the smooth

May 29, 2021

(Much attention to men’s bodies, wearing nothing but what’s billed as fetishwear / kinkwear. Not over the raunch line, but possibly not to some readers’ tastes.)

It starts with some photos of ensembles of bulldog harness plus jockstrap, all in high-macho black, but differing in significant details — of the model’s body, the way his body is displayed in the photos, and the garments he is wearing. With respect to the oppositions

hairy – smooth
raw – refined
authentic – synthetic

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More bears in the woods

May 25, 2021

A Leigh Rubin Bears in the Woods cartoon from a few years ago:

(#1)

A follow-up to my 11/1/19 posting “Bears in the Woods”, which had 5 cartoons on the theme of bears shitting in the woods, including a Bizarro that is similar in spirit to the Rubin above.

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Up, up and away…

May 22, 2021

… in my beautiful speech balloon — in a fine Pearls Before Swine cartoon from 7/12/20:


A 4-panel Pearls playing with speech balloons — and then a single-panel crossover to Bill Keane’s The Family Circus

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Musical numerology: two days in May

May 5, 2021

5/4 (yesterday; yes, I’m late, but I was without internet access for about six hours and couldn’t finish assembling the materials for this posting); and 5/9 (Ann Daingerfield (Zwicky)’s birthday, and, this year, Mother’s Day). About the occasions, but also about the dates as 54 Day and 59 Day — in the pages of the Sacred Harp.

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Rollin’ on the roadway

May 2, 2021

The mobility equipment piles up. I now have a cool cane (with four feet); an indoor walker (fairly recently equipped with a tray for carrying things around the house); and now a big fancy outdoor walker — a Rollator! — that can, in seconds, be turned into a comfortable seat to rest in on the street.

And now a tour of my assistive devices, as they’re called in the trade.

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