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Monochordal Music 2: Glenn Branca's Influence

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Author Topic: Monochordal Music 2: Glenn Branca's Influence  (Read 424 times)
Bad Penny
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« on: March 11, 2011, 07:55:42 pm »

Here's an excellent example:

(Actually, "Confusion is Sex" is an LP separate and apart from the EP "Kill Yr Idols", "Brother James" being part of the latter.)

This is one of my favorite songs, as it illustrates a manifestly Western version of monochordal music (most frequently presented by Western bands in imitation of Indian (i.e., South Asian, not Native American) music, and usually concerning the effects of intoxication by hallucinogens).

The great American Classical guitarist and composer Glenn Branca managed to construct a totally Western, totally technological version of monochordal music, which his prize pupil, Lee Ranaldo, together with the other members of Sonic Youth, manage to further personalize for the North American listener by using the tune of the traditional French-Canadian song "Frere Jacques", which describes an attempt to wake a boy up in time for school, to illustrate a young woman's attempt to break free of the mental enslavement of a religious cult (i.e., to "wake up" from such mental enslavement).  (Those of you who are not of my generation have no memory of the myriad phony religious cults that magically popped up in in the early 1970's just as the movement against the war in Vietnam was gaining serious traction.)

Here are the lyrics:

Take my hand he said to me
Follow now or you'll be damned
Let's go to the other side
Let's go to the other side
Great thoughts are simple to teach
Great thoughts are simple to teach
Brother James gave 'em to you
Brother James gave 'em to me
I don't need 'em anymore
Stop a'knockin' at my door
I don't need 'em anymore
Don't come a'knockin' at my door.

Take my hand you might as well
We're all going' straight to hell
I don't want him hangin' around
Go on and stick your head in the ground.



« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 08:43:44 pm by Bad Penny » Report Spam   Logged

Are you taking over?
Or are you taking orders?
I ain't going backwards!
We're going only forwards!

The Clash, White Riot

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