Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cool & Strange Music Vol. 4

It's time once again for another version of Cool & Strange Music! Yippee!!!

Let's start of the show with a Brigitte Bardot video from 1968 that has a great remix along with the original video. This song is called "Contact."

Here's what Wikipedia says about the very outspoken and fascinating Brigitte Bardot:

Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a former French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist. She was one of the best-known sex symbols of the 1960s. Starting in 1969, Bardot's features became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France.

Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer in early life. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous due to her role in her then-husband Roger Vadim's controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film Le Mépris. Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for her role in Louis Malle's 1965 film Viva Maria!. Bardot caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir's 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a "locomotive of women's history" and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France.

Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, Bardot starred in 47 films, performed in numerous musical shows, and recorded 80 songs. She was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1985, but refused to receive it. After her retirement, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. During the 1990s, she generated controversy by criticizing immigration, Islamization and Islam in France, and has been fined five times for "inciting racial hatred".

Next up is a cover song. Now, usually I hate covers, because I think it's rare when a cover song is better than the original. But sometimes people can do a cover and make it all their own. I think the String Quartet Tribute does that with their Tribute to Led Zeppelin album!

A few years back, they changed their name to "Vitamin String Quartet." Here's what Wikipedia says:

The Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) is a musical group from Los Angeles, California that is widely known for its series of tribute albums to rock and pop acts. Their albums are released through Vitamin Records and primarily performed by a string quartet, though other instruments have been used. "Vitamin String Quartet is about applying rock n' roll attitude to classical technique," says Tom Tally, a violist and arranger who has performed on and produced over fifty Vitamin String Quartet albums.

Their albums honor a wide variety of genres, including pop and rock, techno, country, and rap, and a wide variety of groups, such as System of a Down, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Adele, Lady Gaga, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Paramore, Muse, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold and many more. Their discography includes 261 albums.

And at this week's number three is our usual Japanese number. This time here's a see/listen to a lady who is probably Japan's most famous female singer in history, Misora Hibari! Misora Hibari was a singer, actress and TV star. She is the definitive Japanese star for the post-war years.

Misora Hibari is so famous she even has an English Wikipedia page!

Hibari Misora was a Japanese enka singer, actress and cultural icon. She received a Medal of Honor for her contributions to music and for improving the welfare of the public, and was the first woman to receive the People's Honour Award which was conferred posthumously for giving the public hope and encouragement after World War II.

Misora recorded 1,200 songs, and sold 68 million records. After she died consumer demand for her recordings grew significantly and by 2001 she had sold more than 80 million records. Her male contemporary was Michiya Mihashi and although he was more popular as a singer, Misora's movie career made her more popular with the general public. Her swan-song "Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni"  is often performed by numerous artists and orchestras as a tribute to her, including notable renditions by The Three Tenors (Spanish/Italian), Teresa Teng (Taiwanese), and Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan (Mexican).

Each year there is a special on Japanese television and radio featuring her songs. A memorial concert for Misora will be held at the Tokyo Dome on November 11, 2012.

OK, so that's probably not that cool and strange, but I think it is very interesting.... You say you want strange? Oh, you got it. Here's Country Punk musician Jon Wayne and the song is called Texas Funeral... Yes, that's the way the song is supposed to sound. Jon Wayne always sounds like he didn't practice; is drunk; and is hellaciously hilarious!

You're kidding me! Jon Wayne even has a Wikipedia page?????

Jon Wayne was the name of a cowpunk, alt-country band in Los Angeles in the 1980s, made up of pseudonymous session musicians who decided to form a more underground band as a diversion. Their song, "Texas Funeral", appeared in Robert Rodriguez's film "From Dusk Till Dawn" as well as the song "I've Got Texas" in the film "American Strays".In 2010 the Texas Funeral LP was reissued by Third Man Records, which is a label owned by Jack White of The White Stripes.

Finally, here's something for the whole family. It is a classic sixties electronica album by Jean Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley; better know as Perrey Kingsley. Here is the wonderful song, "One Note Samba."

The musical duo Perrey and Kingsley are pioneers in the field of electronic music. Before their collaboration, starting in 1965, electronic music was considered to be purely avant-garde. They were among the first to create electronic music for the general public.

The best thing about these guys is that when the Beatles hit the states and everyone and his sister were making music that sounded like the Beatles, Perrey and Kingsley were doing their own thing! Cool!

Well that's it for this week! See you next weekend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Perrey's version of Little Spanish Flea was a fine tribute to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass! I had no idea that stuff was being made back in '65!
And the Bardot song? Crappy - BUT the music... again... I had no idea? I mean Pink Floyd was experimenting with electronica (in Pompeii) but I had NO idea it was so far along in '68!
The Texas Funeral song was brilliant, too. It takes some skill to make music that sounds drunk, but Jon Wayne did it! It's like Jackie Chan in Drunken Master... there's skill involved in doing moves that appear to be counter to what you are used to... uh, Jon... he wasn't really a drunk musician, was he?

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