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Archive for the tag “The Mamas and the Papas”

California Songs

Santa Barbara, CA

At the last Guitar Train stop, Quirky T looked at New York songs so now it’s time for California songs. I have not spent nearly as much time in California as I have in New York (it’s a long Guitar Train ride to get to the West Coast) so I am biased towards New York and its familiarity. Many California songs make the state into a dreamy paradise while New York (especially New York City) is more gritty and one has to be tough to survive the weather, the congestion, the fast pace, and the people.

 

California Songs I like

 

  1. “Blue Jay Way” – The Beatles
  2. Any surfing song by The Beach Boys
  3. “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and Papas
  4. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Billy Joel
  5. “Don’t Mean Nothin’” by Richard Marx

 

Billy Joel also had a song on my list of New York songs I like. He is a New York guy but he lived in California for a few years in the 1970’s which inspired him in writing some songs such as this one on my list.

Huey Lewis concert T-shirt

One song which mentions both New York City and Los Angeles is “The Heart of Rock and Roll” by the San Francisco, CA band Huey Lewis and the News. Actually, New York starts off the song and LA is mentioned later in the song. Along with those two cities, several other rocking cities throughout the United States are named.

Hollywood, CA

 

Before the Guitar Train departs for the next stop, I have one California video mention. For some unknown to Quirky T reason, the British band Genesis filmed the video for their song “Misunderstanding” in Los Angeles. Every time I watch the video, I think, “Yeah, Phil, there is a misunderstanding. You’re driving around LA looking for your girlfriend and she’s back home in England.” That being thought, I do like to watch videos, TV shows, and films shot in California to see locations I don’t normally see just as I like to watch videos, TV shows, and films shot in New York City to see locations which are familiar to me.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite California songs?

 

Get your tickets ready as next month Quirky T conducts the Guitar Train to go “Back in Time” to 1985!

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New (to Quirky T) Music Month – Stop # 2 – The Lumineers

The second stop on New (to Quirky T) Music Month is The Lumineers. Before I start the “review”, I just have to mention that it is much easier to catch up on musicians I’m not familiar with when they’re only released one CD such as the last post’s Lorde and this post’s The Lumineers.
So I listened The Lumineers’ self-titled debut CD which is very accurately described on their website http://www.thelumineers.com as “stomp-and-clap acoustic rock.” I like the acoustic guitar and imagery of the song lyrics. The song “Big Parade” really paints a visual image.

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The only Lumineers’ song I had heard before listening to this album was their hit “Ho Hey.” I had seen them perform it on a TV show and I didn’t understand the seemingly random shouting of the words, “ho hey”. Why did they do that? How did they come up with the idea to have that in the song? And so much so to make it the title of the song? The chorus is very catchy but can lead to misunderstanding the song. It’s not about a couple that is together but one that is separated. That is obvious in the second verse which also contains a pronoun change that irks me. He starts off singing directly to his ex-girlfriend calling her “you” and then changes to calling the ex-girlfriend “she” by the end of the verse. Why do that? It seems to be poor writing for someone who in verse one claimed he could write a song. Also in several songs, I wasn’t sure why certain lyrics were repeated. I’m only asking these questions to advance my musical knowledge, not to criticize a professional songwriter.
I like the song “Classy Girls” which includes noises of people talking in the background as if they were actually in the bar where the song is set. I found the positive attitude towards women in this song to be refreshing as well as the strong female protagonist.
Another refreshing attribute of this band is its mixed gender composition. Joining founding members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites is Neyla Pekarek playing cello, piano, mandolin, and singing backup vocals. Male-female combo bands are rare. Off the top of my head, I could think of a few – The Black Eyed Peas, The B-52’s, Fleetwood Mac, and The Mamas and the Papas.
I’m glad I listened to this album. I understand why The Lumineers are popular and have many fans. As the first New (to Quirky T) Music Month arrives at its destination, I can now say I’ve actually heard music made in the past few years as opposed to the decades old music I usually listen to. They are welcome additions to the Guitar Train.
Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite bands containing both females and males?
Hey, Guitar Train passengers, please hop back on the train in April when I conduct the Guitar Train on a detour off the music track.

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