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The huh, the yeah, the hoo, the hmm, the uh huh. These are the perfectly timed little subtleties in the song that make it classic. The interjections you likely won’t find on the lyric websites. The ones that make you wait in the car until they happen, just to hear them. Even though you reached your destination, the journey is not complete until you hear the singer sing, “Yeah.”

They’re the ones you have to hit in a sing-along. The ones you need to hit right on time all together at a party with friends, or alone in your car with the radio playing loud, very loud. You need to sing or shout the perfectly placed, “Uh huh” or fail.

Some songs have just one. Others are filled with them.

Not a refrain. not the lyric, but the interjection.

I will parenthetically honor just some of the interjections of which I speak:

“Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” … First verse ends, “Every rose has its thorn (Yeah it does)”
Artist: Poison

“Do You Know What I Mean?” … At the very end after a keyboard riff. (Hooo. Help me)
Artist: Lee Michaels! Yeah, I thought it was The J Geils Band too.

“Sweet Home Alabama ” … The song starts with a classic southern rock guitar riff then the very first words you hear are, (Turn It Up). I once was on a date. Heard the first chord. When I sang, “Turn it up”, my date turned up the radio volume, having no clue that was the interjection. Bless her heart.
Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress” … Guitar riff second verse …wait for it. duh da duh do / da duh da da duh da duh .. (HOOO). You GOT to hit the HOO on time. It’s slickly screamed on the back beat.
Artist: The Hollies.

“Start Me Up”… Start me up (hooo) Jagger only does the “hooo” once in the entire song. It’s some where after the 12th “Start Me Up” that is sung. However, research for this article reveals that there are only 11 “start me up’s” then bang, on what seems to be the 12th, Mick actually says “slide it up” (hoo) knew.

A prolific artist of the interjection is Mick Jagger, many an interjection has he. Another classic is the subtle (mm hmm) before the classic refrain, “huh sha doo be, Shattered.”
Artist: The Rolling Stones

“She Loves You” … This one gets it for the ooo, not the “yeah yeah yeah’s” (There are 29 yeahs according to Metrolyrics.com in case you were curious.) However, that qualifies as a refrain. “And you know you should be glad (oooo)” is the interjection.

Yeah, there were many by the Fab Four. But, after a “trip” to see the Maharishi, their interjections reached epic (1) proportions.

“I Am The Walrus” … “Expert, Experts, Joking smokers, Don’t you think the joker laughs at you (ho ho ho, he he he, ha ha ha).” The triple triple interjection is classic.
Artist: the Beatles

Michael Jackson is the master of interjection. The King Of Pop is in a category all by himself so I list none here, lest I forget the best. Pick a song any song.

So, here’s my top three:

3. “Levon” …The classic piece starts out with a slow piano, builds in intensity, then in the third verse builds to an outstanding climax, “And he shall be LEE-von in tradition with the family plan (WOOO).” Elton does one more (WOO) for good measure after that. Paging Alvin Tostig.
Artist: Elton John

2. “Mack the Knife” … This song is subtlety sprinkled with as many of the interjections as a sixties crooner could fit into a lounge shows. There are many, but, the best series is, “On a sidewalk (eh huh) , blue Sunday mornin’ (uh hah) Lies a body oozin’ life (eek).”

Artist: Bobby Darin.

1. “25 Miles” … In the first 21 seconds of this song, there’s an (ow), a (hey hey), an (a ha ha ha ha, Oh), an (a ha ha ha ha ha yeah) and another (Oh) for good measure. Seven strategically placed (Huh’s) sprinkle the remainder of the 3:08 1969 hit. Ya gotta hear it to believe it! Hat’s off Edwin You’re my interjection king.

Artist Edwin Starr

Vote for your top interjection. Add one in a comment if I missed your fave.
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FOOTNOTE: (1) The author apologizes for the interjecting the overused word, “Epic.”

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Sharing a scattering of thoughts this week on College Football since I spent my last two Saturdays back in college again.

No, not to get a classroom education, rather to watch the pageantry, the drama, the spectacle and pure fun of College Football. (Unless of course your home team blows an 18 point lead and loses by 20. I saw that happen too. Not so much fun for many in Lincoln, Nebraska last Saturday.)

Here’s a random thought on the College Football conference structure today:

The Big 12 Conference has 10 teams
The Big Ten Conference has 12 teams

These are hallowed institutions of higher education, yet their conference names do not match the number of teams in the conference. To rectify this matter, The Big Ten will add (yes I said ADD) two more teams next year, so the Big Ten will soon have 14 teams. No wonder America students continue to lag behind the rest of the world in math test scores when college administrators can match the conference name with the number of teams.

For those of you not familiar with College Football, a game consists of four 15 minute quarters or sixty minutes of football. The average college game last three and a half hours. That leaves some down time. 210 minutes of real game time minus 60 minutes of actual game time equals, uh, carry the one, yeah 150 minutes of unaccounted time. (Do the math America).

I know what you’re thinking. What happens in those 150 minutes? If you are at home, watching it on TV, commercials, lots of commercials. There’s big money that needs to be made from this amateur sport.

If you are lucky enough to be at the game, the downtime is filled with lots of music. The live college marching bands provide some of it. Loud pumped up riffs of rock, rap. metal or soul blaring over incredible speakers provide the rest.

At last Saturday’s game, I could not help but notice the UCLA kickoff team jamming while waiting for the time out song to finish, then scatter to their spots for the kickoff. The funkiest kickoff team I’ve ever seen, the Bruins did the shing-a-ling and booga-loo to time-out oldies songs. (See cover photo.)

Nice set up for the segue to the song portion of this week’s Wedwand. So here are my favorite songs that get played a whole lot at college football games, complete with my easy description of the song (in case you don’t recognize the title and a youtube link to a real performance.)

7 points for a touchdown and extra point, so here’s my top 7.

7. Enter Sandman – Metallica. A long rhythmic metal intro is conducive to the time out break. Rarely does the song make it to the lyrics. “Lost in never never land.” Virginia Tech claims it is the best intro in college football. You decide.

6. Hey Baby – Bruce Channel (pronounced “shu-NELL”). This number one song from 1962 reaches Number 6 just because I love the contrast of a fun happy song being played during a violent, physical game. The marching band plays the tune with the trombones and tubas keeping the beat, while thousands of people sing, “Hey, hey yea baby. I wanna know whoa whoa, if you’ll be my girl.”

(Nebraska) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPwsdsHkDWw

5. Hells Bells – AC/DC. The tolling of the bell in the intro followed by the metallic guitar is often played on 3rd down at many games. At the Horseshoe in Columbus Ohio, Ohio State uses it as their entry song,

(Ohio State) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZuVCcDtPtw

4. Kernkraft 400 – Zombie Nation. A German band with a catchy sing-along for kick offs, sacks and big plays. The words are easy. “Whoah oh oh oh oh, oh — Whoah oh oh oh oh oh oh oh — Whoah oh, ah oh (X10)”

(Penn State) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6hIQiDkz6s

3. Jump Around – House of Pain. The lyrics scream to a packed house for football, “Pack it up. Pack it in. Let me begin I came to win …Jump up. Jump up and get down…Jump around” Nobody does it like the crowd in Madison, Wisconsin does.

(Wisconsin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tODlPxhbGF8

2. Rock & Roll Part 2 – Gary Glitter. Who would think a 1972 song by a guy named Gary Glitter would be played at least once at virtually every college football game? Personally, I never heard Rock and Roll Part 1, but I guess there is one. The words are easy according to most lyric sites it’s: “Ba na na na… Hey! Ba na na. Ba na na na… Hey! Ba na na. Ba na na na… Hey! Ba na na. Chakachaka chakachaka chaka” The Terrapins from Maryland add some custom lyrics.
(Maryland) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqZ92vo21Do

1. Sirius – Alan Parsons Project. You will not find this song on their Greatest Hits Album, but you will hear it played in many college stadiums on game day. Nebraska uses it for there famed pre-game “Tunnel Walk.” There are no words, and I defer to the Chicago Bulls of NBA basketball fame for the most classic sports version.

So Hey, Whoa, what do you know? It was fun to stay but it’s time to go.

If you disagree with my ranking, vote for your favorite. I invite you to share your favorite stadium song.

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The NFL season started this weekend past. “Are you ready for some football,” rang out from my TV. Yes I was! The hoopla, the promotions, the build up, bombs even bursting in air, games on TV. I loved it. But there was a lingering flaw.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my sports. I’m a huge fan. But, generically, whenever I think of sports today, I get depressed. Not at sports in general. Not at a great game, a great series, a great accomplishment, a great highlight. Those are, well, great.

Played sports for years. Coached them too. Spent a helluva lot of money going to games. These days, I go out and watch friend’s kid’s games, just to see the game, the story, the effort, the teamwork, the competition. Still appreciate “the human drama of athletic competition” but …

The problem is, lately, professional sports are all about the money. Yeah I know it’s inherent in the name, professional sports. However, when you can feed a starving family for a month for the price of a game ticket these days …therein lies the sports depression.

Here’s why.

Trouble number one: The main trouble with sports today can be summed up by these two comparisons:

In 1981, the Tribune Company purchased the Chicago Cubs from the William Wrigley. The purchase price, $20.5 million in cash.

31 years later, the salary for Alphonso Soriano for the 2012 season was 19 million dollars. It was part of a $136 million dollar deal. ONE player’s salary for one year almost equaled the price of an entire team 30 years ago. The total contract itself is astounding.

Trouble number two: The proliferation of sports talk radio stations. Don’t get me wrong. I love them and listen to them regularly, but REALLY 24/7 coverage of SPORTS talk in DRAMATIC fashion with in depth analysis over and over and dare I say it, over again, as if the RESULT of a single game actually matters for the common good of mankind?? Never mind the hyperbole of the pre-game show.

After this weeks opening game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears, the talking heads went something like this:

In Cincinnati: The Bengals lost. Therefore, the world will be destroyed in 40 days, possibly by rain, maybe fire. 12 men on the field means fire. Look for fire.
In Chicago: The Bears won. The world will be a place of peace and harmony for 40 days. Noah can’t find the other mosquito.

In depth analysis on whether the zit on the quarterback’s forehead affected his passing with people calling in professing to be experts on the same subject?

“Hi, I’m Bob. I have an amazing zoom lens on my camera. The quarterback had a huge zit that made him lean to the left causing him to throw off his back foot.” Thank you, Bob.

RANTING and RAVING and SCREAMING IN LOUD VOICES that ONLY a hearing impaired person could appreciate? HE HAD A ZIT. BOB EVEN SAW IT. Spare me.

Trouble number 3: The violence. I challenge you to find ONE football game where someone does NOT leave the field injured. Need I include hockey? Further in depth analysis is not needed. I leave that to the sports talk shows.

Trouble number 4, ticket prices: See problem number one. The price of player’s contracts puts the price of tickets back on the fans. The common man (or woman) cannot afford a ticket.

For the price of tickets for a family of four for ONE game, that same family can have a nice weekend getaway complete with hotel and pool. Ok kids, do you want to spend three hours looking for Jay Cutler’s zit or three days at a water park hotel? Nobody voted for the zit.

Trouble number … well let’s stop here.

So, if you wanna see a football game this weekend, check out your local high school and drop $5 for a ticket. If you wanna see a zit, drop your wallet, and call in on Monday, then you know where to go.

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