Monday, April 8, 2013

Using a Choir – Rolling Stones to Paradise

     In the column on the left, we maintain a listing of musical guests on late night shows. We record at least one per night and then watch within the next few days. Last week we recorded the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on David Letterman, but didn’t watch the performance until last night. They sang “Sacrilege.” It reminded us of one good reason for catching the televised performances, since we gained a greater appreciation for the song in particular and the band in general.
     “Sacrilege” was progressing along as expected, until the choir kicked in and our appreciation ramped up. The band leader is a show all by herself – great energy. We watched it more than once. The performance is below.

     We started thinking about other songs in which a choir played a major role in a song and, admittedly with insufficient research, decided upon the following awards.

     BEST EARLY-YEAR USE OF A CHOIR – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. The song title is one of the most widely referenced, because its message fits so easily into different discussions. But the choir performances at the beginning and end definitely add to the enjoyment of the song.

     BEST USE OF A CHOIR TO MAKE THE SONG TOLERABLE DESPITE OVERPLAY – “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. We have nothing against the song and certainly don’t blame Bedingfield for how often it was played.
If you want to see the video, CLICK HERE

     BEST CURRENT USE OF A CHOIR – “Blue Flower” by Paradise. Paradise is based in London. They identify themselves as being in the shoegaze genre. “Blue Flower was released in November 2012.

     SECOND BEST CURRENT USE OF A CHOIR – “Home” by Skylight Avenue. The band is comprised of only three guys - they cannot produce all that vocal power. Skylight Avenue is based in Eugene, Oregon and is comprised of Forrest Emery (Drums/Vocals), Jordan Poet (Lead Guitar/Vocals), and Trask VanZant (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals). Yeah we know, there are three singers and the track may be the same three voices recorded more than once. But we already admitted to doing insufficient research.

     BEST COACHELLA BANDS THAT USE A CHOIR – we have a three-way tie among (1) the above song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, (2) “We No Who U R” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and (3) “Haunted Man” by Bat for Lashes. 
      “We No Who U R” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The choir is subtle in its approach, but that is one reason for its effectiveness.

     “Haunted Man” by Bat for Lashes - Warning: This can be a very slow download at times.

Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man MusicVideo from Karp (821) on Vimeo.

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