Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Day 3: Monster Sociality = Music Sociality

LISTENING CONTEXT: bus stop, starring up at the crest with an old Packard logo in it waiting for a bus

Okay, I know that yesterday I said that the Monster Mash was isolating, but here's a shocking fact: the monsters are having fun. Despite their monstrosity, and the implicit social stigma attached to that, they seem to be getting along, mashing.... At the same time, the musicians on the record genuinely seem to be having fun too--it's a party record, and it sounds like a party! There are few party records I can think of that don't--it was 1962, Lesley Gore's bad time party records came the following year, and synthesizers were several years away. Party records underline the role of sociality in pop music. The lyrics bring that home. Even if Leon Russell's piano sounds like its having it's own little party in a closet somewhere, away from the rhythm section, and everything is super compartmentalized on the recording--and parties often involved stuffing Leon Russell in a closet.

As I was listening to it, I thought about another great dance party record (and one I'd listened to a few minutes earlier): Quarter to Three by Gary US Bonds. The record sounds like a party was happening in the studio, and I think part of the genre's appeal is in conveying that sense of partiness. His New Orleans is another great example. Which, as I've been learning recently ties into the fun of actually playing music with other people. Which is a social phenomena. However, it also explains, going back to yesterday, why listening to other people's good time together can be so isolatin' when you're walking through Westmount.

Also, whatever became of Packard cars?

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