April earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Some fade quickly, other last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can rarely know what triggers them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.

Here’s a roundup of my April earworms.

 

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Arts intersecting – Pablo Picasso

I am a lover of all things arts. They are the happiness I pursue. So when any of the arts intersect it makes me very happy, I suppose that’s because it makes my pursuit of happiness a little bit easier.

For example music and the visual arts find inspiration in one another.

Probably the most well known example is Don McLean’s song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), which I did my first Arts Intersecting blog about, but the song Pablo Picasso by Jonathan Richman is the crossover arts song that I am most likely to play on my iPod. I love that it successfully rhymes Pablo Picasso with the word asshole.

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and
So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole

Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down you street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you
Alright

Well he was only 5’3″
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not in New York

Oh well be not schmuck, be not abnoxious
Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
Alright this is it

Some people try to pick up girls
And they get called an asshole
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare and so
Pablo Picasso was never called…

This is may be my favourite, but it’s not the only song inspired by Picasso.

David Bowie incorporated part of the Johnathan Richman song into his own song called Pablo Picasso.

The lyrics for Picasso’s Last Words by Paul McCartney & Wings mention a grand old painter, but only the title references Picasso specifically. 

Bulletproof Picasso by Train doesn’t really talk about the artist but talks about the artistic character in a generic sort of way.

Citizen Cope also has a song named for Pablo Picasso. Why it’s named Pablo Picasso I don’t know because it never mentions the artist in the lyrics, but it’s the thought that counts.

Blue Period Picasso by Peter Bjorn and John is interesting. 

There is a song by Jay-Z too, but I don’t like it so I won’t include it. It’s my blog after all.

 

Cover image: Pablo Picasso, 1921, Nous autres musiciens (Three Musicians), oil on canvas, 204.5 x 188.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Easter songs

When it comes to western holidays Christmas wins the pop culture game. Easter runs a distant second. Easter is seen either as a day only for kids, or as a solemn religious celebration with not a lot in between for us secular types. I’m not religious, and I don’t need more chocolate, but I have found some music that I go to every year in early spring.

See the music and pop culture clips below.

Gene Autry – Peter Cottontail – Gene Autry
Judy Garland – In Your Easter Bonnet (From the movie Easter Parade)
 Here Comes Peter Cottontail – by Rankin/Bass Productions
The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic – with Jim Henson’s Muppets
I Want an Easter Egg – Bugs Bunny
Everything’s Alright – from Jesus Christ Superstar
And finally, because as I said above, Easter is for kids:
Who Fed the Chickens? – Ella Jenkins

 

Happy Easter!

Women classical composers – the April Edition

As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are four female classical composers whose works I enjoy, with links to songs for each of them.

 

Elisabetta Brusa (April 3, 1954) is an Italian composer. She started writing piano pieces as a child.

 

Germaine Tailleferre (image source)

Germaine Tailleferre (April 19, 1892 – November 7, 1983) was a French composer and the only female member of the group of composers known as Les Six.

 

 

 

 

Ethel Smyth (image source)

Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (April 23, 1858 – May 8, 1944) was an English composer and suffragist. Her father was very opposed to her making a career in music.

 

 

 

 

 

Luise Adolpha Le Beau (April 25, 1850 – July 17, 1927) took piano lessons with one of my favourite female pianist and composers, Clara Schumann.

Luise Adolpha Le Beau (image source)

 

 

 

Classical composers – the April edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. This is by accident rather than design. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I have luckily stumbled upon while on other paths. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music, and that’s a shame. I feel like it’s a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are links to 31 works of classical music composed by artists born in April whose works I have enjoyed plus a link to composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who I think most of us should recognize.

Photo of Sergei Rachmaninoff by Kubey Rembrandt – US Library of Congress

Sergei Rachmaninoff 

  1. Pieter Hellendaal 
  2. Ferruccio Busoni 
  3. Anis Fuleihan  
  4. Grigoraș Dinicu  
  5. Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco  
  6. Mario Lavista  
  7. Eugène Bozza 
  8. Louis Spohr  
  9. Robert Volkmann  
  10. Robert Casadesus 
  11. Jan Novák 
  12. Theobald Böhm (or Boehm)  
  13. Aulis Sallinen 
  14. Photo of Ferruccio Busoni by Varischi & Artico

    Eugen d’Albert  

  15. Jacques Castérède  
  16. Joseph Lanner 
  17. Leó Weiner 
  18. Jean-Baptiste Accolay 
  19. Artur Schnabel 
  20. Jacques Widerkehr   
  21. (Johann) Karl von Ordoniz 
  22. Alexandre Pierre François Boëly 
  23. Antonín Kammel  
  24. Randall Thompson 
  25. Joachim Andersen

    Alessandro Rolla 

  26. Sergei Prokofiev 
  27. Nicolas Slonimsky 
  28. Ludvig Schytte 
  29. Joachim Andersen 
  30. Harold Shapero 
  31. Peter Sculthorpe