Words and or Music by . . .

A few of my buddies didn't get Wednesday's post.

Well, lets face it, it was a bit slapdash.

C, D flat, F, D flat, E flat, below a black photo. One would have to have an instrument nearby in order to hear the melody, and it would take an unreasonable amount of useless information banging about in one's noggin in order to recognize that it is the first four melodic notes of "What I did for Love" from the musical "A Chorus Line"

So many apologies for my being an ass.

The idea came to me as I was trolling around Facebook and noticed all comments referring to the death of composer Marvin Hamlisch. Almost everyone was quoting from "A Chorus Line"

One singular sensation

Kiss today goodbye

At the Ballet

Tits and Ass

Only here's the thing: Hamlisch composed songs. He didn't write the lyrics.

Its as if Jimmy Page had died and everyone was posting "baby, baby, baby, baby, baby" or whatever numb nut shit Robert Plant was slurring into the microphone.

Apologies to Zeppelin fans. Your lives suck enough as it is.

But the posts kind of made me realize that we no longer exist in a time when the words of a song can be constructed as a separate entity from the melody. Tune-smithing has become a solo venture. In fact, if you listen closely, you'll notice how modern song are crafted from the production up, like they are built in the studio.

Beat and Bass first.

Pads and Rhythm instruments.



Its just the opposite in classic song construction. Lyrics, Melody, Chord Progression, Orchestration.

And you can tell that after eight hours in the studio, everyone starts to get a little punchy:

"Hey Rihanna, what was that shit you said earlier?"

"You mean when I said that we fell in love in a hopeless place?"

"Yeah thats it, were done."

"But I haven't sang anything yet."

"Don't need to. I sent those words through the Melodyne and all I have to do now is tweak the pitch so that its off just enough that people will think its you. Then Marvin over there will just keep hitting "Ctrl V" for three minutes. We're Gold."

True story.

Except for the fact that they weren't gold.

They were platinum.

And I don't begrudge that a bit. I only wish I had thought of it first and was hot enough to pull it off.

So I am both powerless and hypocritical when my fuddy duddy ness kicks in and I sit here bemoaning the death of a craft I hold so dear.

Cause the craft hasn't died. It's alive and well on the edge of pop radio. And occasionally it pokes its little head through the muck when a video goes viral or when Pandora says it can.

And yes, there will come a time when I have to explain to my son that there used to be people called composers, and there used to be people called lyricists, and no it wasn't all good, but that's the way it was done.

And if you're going to pay homage to an artist, at least know what the artist did.

And if you don't pay attention to what you're listening to, then the terrorists win.

And by terrorists, I mean record companies.

And by record companies, I mean any company that wouldn't be interested in me.

The rest of them are all kind and generous entities.

Seriously though, I will gladly learn the diggerydoo if that's what it takes to get signed.

Just tell me where to blow.


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