Category Archives: Time

Spanner in the Works: Weaves, “Scream” (2017)

The simplest polyrhythm is three over two. (Two posts ago I noted frequent use of this triplet pattern in the Smithereens’ “Listen To Me Girl.”) The time is primarily defined by a duple pattern of two, and then a threesome … Continue reading

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When Did Pat Most Get to You? The Smithereens, “Listen To Me Girl” & “I Don’t Want To Lose You” (1986)

For Pat DiNizio (the sunglasses) 1955-2017 When did Pat most get to you? (Of course we’re talking about the band, not Pat alone.) I bet some would answer, “The whole somber mass of Green Thoughts” (1988). I feel like that too. But … Continue reading

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The Ten-Year Hook: The Rolling Stones, “Rocks Off” (1972)

As the poetically inevitable result of my complaint about The Trouble with Horns, Matt Smith made me a mix of great horn parts in rock (posted now in Mixes). When “Rocks Off” by the Rolling Stones came on, I wondered … Continue reading

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Intensity Ruse: Joan Osborne, “Right Hand Man” (1995)

Music is intense—it’s an intensification of tone and felt time—but a paradox of music is that its intensity ploys generate their own defeaters. The especially pure or loud tone just is the recognized idiom of that singer or instrument—the means, … Continue reading

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The Justice and Mercy Beat: Michelle Shocked, “Quality Of Mercy” (1996)

How would you put justice into music? Justice involves balancing, tit for tat. A strict regularity is demanded, as in 1…………..2…………..3…………..4………….. Rat………tat tat tat tat……………………… like when a fellow is being marched to his execution. Or perhaps a better way … Continue reading

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Killer Trochees: The Temptations, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” (1966)

“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is a major hook mystery. How can a song so great be so monotonous? Well, of course it’s not monotonous at all; it more than makes up for its lack of melodic and harmonic variety … Continue reading

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Oddly Not Odd Meter: Jethro Tull, “A New Day Yesterday” (1969)

In an earlier post on odd meter the main question was, How can a song rock when it doesn’t stay in one of the physically cogent “regular” meters repeating two, three, or four beats? In that context it seemed remarkable … Continue reading

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