2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

2 Shades on the Road – upcoming events

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Worsthorne Arts & Craft Festival (end of July), Keirby Hotel charity event (date tbc), The Bay Horse (date tbc), Cliviger Ladies’ Group (date tbc), Tesco Burnley charity event (date tbc)

For more information about our activities and events contact Barrie on  07514 072 393  or Mike on  07595 895 961


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Ain’t no love any more when it comes to pop songs

If the Righteous Brothers lost that loving feeling back in 1965 then its got worse ever since.

Pop songs now are less likely to be about love and are increasingly likely to be about sex.

An analysis of the top 50 songs in the US Billboard charts from 1960 to 2008 found that almost 60% of songs were about romance.Since then the proportion has dropped to 49%.

And male singers are increasingly singing about sex – up to 40% from only 7% in the 1960s.

No longer the Beatles vanilla “I wanna hold your hand” but Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous“, “Birthday Sex” by Jeremiah, and “Love Sex Magic” by Ciara.

And on of the greatest modern songwriters Marvin Gaye progressed from being crazy about his baby in 1963 but demanding sexual healing ten years later.

And the researchers – from 3 universities in America – blame it on male R & B and rap artists. They say “Over these five decades relational content became somewhat less common and sexual content, including objectification of women, became more common. These trends were slightly more apparent in songs performed my males rather than females.

The changes seem driven by the rap genre which did not place a song in the top 50 until the 1990s”(I would argue that rap doesn’t have songs but that’s my traditionalist view).

Song lyrics inevitably reflect the language we all use to express ourselves said a British Phonographic Industry spokesman. “Back in the fifties and sixties public morality made it difficult for people to speak as openly as they wanted and it’s likely that love was simply a euphemism for sex“.

And were songs any worse for that? Using allegory and imagery rather than misogynistic, in your face, puerile language?

I’ll leave you with a song from the great Bobby “Blue” Bland ” from 1974 (also Whitesnake’s first hit)

 


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Little Richard………comes to Manchester in 1963

I played in a support band at one of his shows.Management pulled us off as the Teddy Boys in the audience, jiving with each other, didn’t appreciate our Motown covers. Not quite as bad as The Blues Brothers being bottled but you get the idea!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

In 1963 I was fifteen years old and just getting into my stride with pop music. There was little opportunity to listen to pop music as the BBC rigidly controlled the airwaves and looked down on popular music with considerable distaste. The best we could aspire to in those days was “Family Favourites” on the radio (on Sunday dinner time, thats midday for those who live in the south), which would very occasionally play something “new”. Most of the time it was music requested by families (many in the forces) and was of the 30s, 40,s and occasionally 50s eras.

In 1963 the Beatles had begun to make waives and not long after the “beat boom” exploded with bands pouring out of many major cities, but particularly Liverpool.

Many of the British bands had been influenced by American R&B, country blues and gospel music (It was Bonnie Raitt who said…

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Scott Walker…………a wondrous voice

My favourite Scott song too written by Tom Rush and in our repertoire. Rush said this song, although not one of his best but made famous by an “English” group, (common misconception by Americans as Walker Bros weren’t known in US and more successful over here) paid for his kids’ college tuition.

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

During a recent bout of redecorating the house (not by me I might add) I had to move all my CDs and store all 800 of them, into boxes for safekeeping. This was an onerous task and one I had been trying to avoid but the painter phoned me and said he would be coming to start work in a couple of days……….so I could no longer put off the task.

So one morning I began taking CDs off the storage shelves and carefully placing them in cardboard boxes. It was quite remarkable what I discovered in my collection, CDs I had bought and then never played, stuff I had bought on my trips to Vilnius and Copenhagen (remember the Jazz CDs we bought here Mike?) and not to mention Tel Aviv (that was one hell of a record shop).

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One of the CDs I came across was “The Best…

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Song lyrics are getting more repetitive (and crappier)

That’s official! A Canadian scientist, Colin Morris, has analysed 15,000 songs dating back to 1958. From the poetry of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to the modern pap that is churned out by the likes of Rhianna whose song Oxygen mentions America 33 times and breathe 22 times.

The most repetitive was a 1999 song by Sisqo called the Thong song and among the least was the late Chuck Berry’s 1959 song Back in the USA.

He used a compression algorithm which reduces files sizes by assigning repeated sequences a marker rather than storing the whole sequence. So a song with no repeating sequences can’t be reduced in size. On the other hand Daft Punk’s 1997 hit Around the World simply repeats the title 1,480 times and can be compressed 98%.

Songwriter Crispin Hunt blames the trend on the chart-buying public which comprises largely of 8 – 12 -year olds. The music industry focuses on this age group to get them hooked early.

It does raise the question of whether words really mean so much. When music is so repetitive and songs (?) like Get Low by Dillon Francis and DJ Snake comprise solely the words Brr  x 4 and Get low x 28 repetitions.


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It’s not what you play it’s the way that you play it

Heres a post I wrote elsewhere before I had 2 Shades up and running

Mike the Psych's Blog

bow_piano_performance_500_wht_12530Professional musicians (96% of them) and novices (84% of them) agree that sound matters most in a musical performance. Pretty obvious you would think. But it’s not so.

Experiments by concert pianist and psychologist Dr Chia-Jung Tsay ( a good name for a psychologist) showed that when it comes to a live performance it’s what you see that counts most – and that applies equally to professional musicians and the novices.

They were more accurate at picking out good performances by watching silent videos rather than audio recordings.

You might have noticed how many classical musicians, especially women, seem to trade on their looks. There are some good looking female musicians out there and the fact they they often appear scantily clad on CD covers hasn’t escaped my notice.

Naturally the study, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and which used 900 participants judging a mixture…

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