Oasis, Sting, Uffie, Locrian Mode and “Don’t Stop Believing”
Oasis by Alexander B. Huls
I just don’t get it. Oasis used to be huge. Remember What’s the Story, Morning Glory? Huge! After that, they just kinda fizzled out. People complained they were basically ripping off the Beatles, which was true. People complained about the antics of the Gallagher brothers, specifically Liam, who was perpetually being an idiot. People complained their music just wasn’t that great anymore, if it ever was. But here’s the thing: people always complain they wish the Beatles were still around. Well, why don’t you fill that void with Oasis? Regarding the Gallagher antics, it’s more fun than watching a high school prom dramatically spiral out of control once booze has been secretly introduced to the punch! Besides, in these days where being a punk band means you probably never even actually listened to punk and you date Hilary Duff, isn’t it fun to see old-school destructive rock ’n’ roll antics? As for their music not being good, well, you got me there. I just mourn that they didn’t stay popular, since we may have been able to continue a real-life rock spectacle for the ages.
Sting by Allana Mayer
Yes, he’s a pretentious twit, whose real name no one cares to know. Yeah, his ego is pumped full of bleeding-heart-collagen, endless-giving-silicon, and do-gooder-fat — transplanted from his pragmaticism, which long ago dwindled to nothing (but people who can afford to feed entire third-world countries don’t need to be pragmatic). Yes, most people would prefer to forget that there was ever a life after The Police. But hey, The Police are reforming, so you’re gonna have to fill in those gaps in your selective memory. And those gaps will be filled with Grammy Awards, honourary music degrees, and — oh yeah — acting in Dune! That’s gotta get him a little credit. Plus, making fun of his own teary-eyed earnestness on The Simpsons. Plus, being a moderately attractive, well-educated, self-assured older man who hasn’t been caught in any celebrity scandals.
Sure, no one under 45 cares about his easy-listening soft-rock achievements post-”Every Breath You Take,” but I loved that shit when I was young and dependent on my mother’s CD collection. And if you insult my mother’s taste, I’ll have to hurt you. Anyway, since then I’ve never been able to shake the idea that there’s something of value in his agreeably distant voice, his straight-up traditional pop structure, and that his songs are actually inspired by interesting cultural facts. If it can be cool to listen to both Can and Damo Suzuki, why can’t it be cool to listen to both the Police and Sting? (Man, I’m going to get into so much trouble for that comparison.)
I’ve said it many times in the last few months, sometimes in secret, but I’ll announce it plainly now: I love Sting. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t, too. Lutes notwithstanding.
Uffie by Natalie Sylvie Plourde
As soon as I get out of the shower, before I do my hair or put on makeup, to get ready for a night of dancing and malfeasance, I like to listen to music that will get my blood rising and my ass shaking. While many listen to whatever generic hip-hop or pop is on the Top 40 this month, I have managed to seek out terrible music to love. The most recent sin is Uffie. This little white girl from Miami often fakes a British accent and raps. Sort of. But damn the music is fun to listen to.
Uffie is more vulgar than a frat guy you’d meet at a kegger, and the beats are great — thanks to her boyfriend DJ Feadz. There is something infectious about the voice of an 18-year-old (who sounds like she’s 12) lyricizing about the rap industry, hos, and “popping the glock.” If you’re not familiar with Uffie, think of me as your new pusher.
Locrian Mode by Elisha Denburg
“That’s not a real mode,” I’d overhear teachers and colleagues say as I passed their classrooms, practice modules, bathroom stalls and other places of higher learning. “It doesn’t even have a perfect 5th.” Phrygian’s hunchbacked cousin, they called it. “The runt of the litter.” The mode that’s only there to complete the cycle of seven in the diatonic system we as western music academics hold on a lofty pedestal that sits on top of three bibles, perched atop two more pedestals.
But who says the mode that’s based on the leading tone of the major scale shouldn’t enjoy the accolades and fame in which its brothers and sisters bask on a daily basis? Listeners, theory geeks and music snobs of the western world, to you I say, “TI IS THE NEW DO!” Let not your prejudiced ear be fooled by the tri-tone centre! The devil’s interval will find its way into your ears and hearts and become so firmly loved and embedded that the next time you hear a sappy movie soundtrack in Lydian mode you will cringe at its sweeping and expansive consonance! Flattened degrees 6, 7, and yes, even 2 will cry out for even more dissonance as 5 follows suit! We shall march ever onward, upward, and so far beyond time and space that the universe will collapse on itself and all you will be able to hear are the first two notes to West Side Story’s “Maria.”
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey by Lonny Knapp
When the road ahead is too steep to climb; when dark skies and rain fill my brain; when all I want to do is watch TV, eat corn chips, and masturbate — the strength I need to carry on can be found in a song.
“Don’t Stop Believing,” Journey’s motivational masterpiece from their hugely-successful-1981 release, Escape, is like a four-minute-and-twelve-second shot of inspiration. It has been discovered, through years of clinical study, that simply listening to the opening keyboard riff of “Don’t Stop Believing” drastically reduces the effects of depression and outperforms prescription drugs Paxil, Prozac, and even Viagra. In fact, by the one-minute mark — the part where the electric guitar comes in — nine out of ten listeners report a change in their mood for the better.
A word of caution: side effects may include a loss of control of the extremities (“Don’t Stop Believing” has been known to induce involuntary rock kicks) and in some cases the inability to differentiate between everyday objects (listeners have found themselves strumming on a tennis racket or singing into a hair brush while jumping around the living room in their pyjamas).
“Don’t Stop Believing” should be taken aurally to combat the blues, but should never, under any circumstance, be used in combination with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” or Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”