Thursday, May 29, 2014

A song like a story

Sometimes, listening to the radio, a new song starts playing, catching your attention. You turn up the volume, interest piqued. And then a minute later, you realize you've stopped listening. What caught your attention has either shifted to something less interesting or has begun repeating itself in a diluting way. Sometimes you like a song and then find it repeats itself into an eventual fade without ending, inconclusive, no sense of climax or resolution. Some of this works well for dance music, where repetition keeps the feet moving or creates a sexual energy, but I'm thinking of the songs meant for listening, meant to convey an emotion or an idea and sometimes a sexual energy too, but more progressive and climactic perhaps.

And that's a lot of prep for my interest in looking at songs from a literary perspective, the building, the climax, the resolution, the need to have an ending, the need to wait until that last note so you feel your experience is completed. From the radio play, I moved to Train Company's song "Change" and then to "Steve." And then I began noticing how every song requires its ending. How at the end of "Other Side," I have to wait at each pause between notes for those last notes and the cymbal taps because they conclude the experience, because the song built to the climax and needs the resolution.

[Well...I need to hold off on the rest due to a work deadline today, but I didn't want to forget that I want to look at song structure, mostly through this band because I've been listening to them most this past year, and the songwriting amazes on many levels.]

Take a listen here


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