Tuesday, November 07, 2006

MP3 of the Week #1

This is an experiment that will hopefully work. As many readers know, music has been a huge part of my life for decades, and my collection is enormous, spanning all sort of genres. Generally speaking, I know what I’m talking about … unless you get into rap, polka, classical, jazz, many kinds of world music, marching bands, most latino genres of music, pop since the 90s, post 70s heavy metal, etc. I know enough to know there’s a ton of stuff I don’t know. Nor have much of an urge to know. It’s a struggle just to keep up with stuff I like.

So, what I want to do here is post a song a week from my collection, hopefully something you haven’t heard, and do a little write-up about the song and how it relates to my life. Let me know if this works, referring more to the process of accessing this SendSpace site. The way I figure it, there won’t be thousands of people popping in here, so it shouldn’t be any big strain on their system. And I suspect you’ll get one or two pop-up windows if you download – that’s how these sites work. All I know is I’m not shelling out more money every month to have an extra storage site for this sort of thing.

This week’s MP3 is an interesting cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by a band called Toda Costa I came across on the web. A hard song to cover to say the least, and my main criteria with covers is that they should take the song in a new, unexpected direction and have the same spirit/sense of excitement I got listening to the song in the first place by the original band. That’s not easy to do – most artists do rote cover versions of songs that are always dull to my ear. And just taking the song in a different direction doesn’t necessarily win me over – sometimes the new arrangements are just awful or boring.

As for the original, that song blew my 11-year-old mind when I first heard it on the AM radio of my mother’s station wagon while waiting for her in the parking lot of Citizen’s National Bank in Gordon, PA one summer day. At first, I thought it was a barbershop quartet. Then a quasi-classical 70s piano ballad. Then some bizarre opera. Then a blazing metal song. All wrapped into one. I knew of Queen from the single “Killer Queen,” but this was something else. If there was one song from my youth with that sort of galvanizing “what the fuck is that” effect upon first hearing it, it was surely “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I became a huge Queen fan – in tandem with my love for the Electric Light Orchestra – which guaranteed I would not get laid thereafter for a very long time, since I was a total nerd, my only saving grace being that I wasn’t also into science fiction or soccer.

So, download if so inclined, let me know if it works. If it does, I’ll make this MP3 thing a weekly feature. And as a disclaimer, if the artist, record company or any other entity associated with a song has a legal issue with any MP3 appearing on this site, I will remove the link immediately. Not looking to pirate music here – just looking to spread the word.


angie said...

Cool idea! And I was JUST listeing to Queen 3 days ago in car saying, "BOY, can that Freddie sing!"
Ok, I'm currently downloading that Toda song! So far, it's working. I'll let you know if I succeed in playing!

angie said...

Whoa! You trying to kill my lunch hour? I should have guessed it would be in Spanish, with the name Toda, but didn't plan to hear it that way. Wasn't sure if that song was possilbe to sing in another language, but the arrangement in this one I did not care for, AT ALL!

The singer's nasally voice really had me cringing! The bongo beat was great for Tango, but that's it. Let the Mex retaurants know about this song and they will scoop it up in a heart beat!
Hopefully, you will be able to keep your food down!