Victoria Sananikone, Editor
Gifs and pictures from Google
Welcome to the fourth installment of Vic’s Tuesday Tunes! As a lover of music, I thoroughly enjoy sharing my tunes with others who share my obsession or those who are simply looking for new music to listen to. Please enjoy the music listed below that I have been listening to frequently within the past month.
“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” is a cinematic gem, one that tugs at your heart and opens your eyes to real struggles that humans face on the daily. Don’t worry, this isn’t a movie review, but the other week, Netflix placed this film amongst its ranks, and as a coming-of-age film fanatic, I immediately watched it for the second time. Remember that scene where Charlie, Sam, and Patrick are driving and “the tunnel song” comes on the radio? “Oh my god, what is this song?” Sam gasps, mirroring the same awe and excitement when one discovers a new fantastic tune. “Heroes” by David Bowie (if you truly want to feel alive, give it a listen) blared through the car as the trio drove through the tunnel and Sam stood in the truck bed with her arms spread wide as the wind whipped her clothes. Aaaaaaand that’s what got me on a Bowie kick, which also inspired a tribute to a number of my favorite oldie tracks. I’ll keep this relatively short and sweet since I’m struggling to limit myself on just a handful of my favorite oldies.
Rebel Rebel- David Bowie
I love the story of this song. Through the classic rock, Bowie tells the story of a girl who is “rebelling” against the societal standards of what a woman should be. “You’ve torn your dress, your face is a mess… You’ve got your mother in a whirl ’cause she’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl” Bowie chants in a melody that calls your arms to raise and your hips to sway to his eccentric music.
Cat People (Putting Out Fire)- David Bowie
This song is absolutely dope. It begins with the ominous tune of a synth as Bowie sings slow with a deep pitch, giving off the illusion of relaxed vibes. “And I’ve been putting out the fire… WITH GASOLIIIIIIIIIIINE” Bowie belts as the song leaps into an uproar of drum pounds, keyboard notes, and electric strumming. Towards the middle of the song, Bowie ceases his singing for a moment, replaced by the epic pounding of drums that makes me want to strut down a runway or swipe some red lipstick across my lips and cheeks (this song fit Shosanna Dreyfus’s demeanor perfectly in “Inglourious Basterds.” If you want to see this song featured in the perfect powerful movie scene check this out.)
Girl from the North Country- Bob Dylan
This beautiful ballad by Bob Dylan snatched my heart when I first heard it. The slow, soft strum of the guitar along with Dylan’s deep, twanging voice paints a story about his long-lost love who resides in the “north country.” Unable to see her, Dylan pleads to hear if she is still the same woman he remembers “if her hair hangs long, if it rolls and flows all down her breast, please see for me if her hairs hangin’ long, for that’s the way I remember her best.” It’s apparent that he loved her unlike anything, for he must know if her coat will protect her from the cold, and he thinks about her during his lonely nights and during his happiest moments.
Bennie & The Jets- Elton John
By far, my favorite Elton John masterpiece (it’s probably a tie with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”). I love his skills on the piano that make this song one of a kind, as well as the quirk of Elton’s stutter when singing the chorus. The fact that Elton can sing so adept while his fingers dance across the piano keys is what wraps this song into the sensation that it is. This master performer will forever reign as one of the most unique and talented artists of all time, one who awakened my love for older music.
I Wanna Be Your Dog- The Stooges
This punk song is featured in a number of films and TV shows, and it is one of the reasons as to why The Stooges were dubbed “The Godfathers of Punk.” The harmonics are constant throughout its entire three minutes and nine seconds. The heavy distortion of the guitar at the beginning sets the intensity for its consistent riff, followed by the pulse and pounds of the drums, tied together with the jingle of sleigh bells. Iggy Pop’s vocals focus on a meaning that isn’t appropriate to explore here, but from the lines of “and I’ll lay right down in my favorite place, and now I wanna be your dog,” it’s clear Pop is alluding to the idea of domination as a stimulus.
Crimson and Clover- Joan Jett
Y’all know me; I’m a sucker for a chill, classic rock tune. This cover by Joan Jett perfectly mirrors the original song by Tommy James & The Shondells, with her own spin making it hers. Jett doesn’t display her usually gritty touch, but the way in which she growls and harmonizes this song exemplifies her aggressive, female rock persona that was usually associated with males around that time.
Everybody Wants to Rule The World- Tears For Fears
Not only did this song skyrocket to fame because of its catchy tune, it captures the truth about human nature. Don’t be deceived by the upbeat, happy melody; this song highlights the lust that humans have for power and control, zoning in on the concept of corruption. This song is so popular my absolute idol, my favorite artist of all time, Lorde, covered the song that was featured in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack. Honestly, that increased my love for the song tenfold.
Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
This is one to sing along to with your friends or your family, a tune to shout along with the vocalist. This chorus is fun to cry out, and the melody invites you to dance. However, the message is bleak as John Fogerty asks us if we have ever seen the rain, referring to the terrible feelings of depression that are “comin’ down on a sunny day.” Fogerty’s battle with depression is what sparked the creation of this song, a relentless illness that he has felt “yesterday, and days before,” where the “sun is cold and the rain is hard.”
Live And Let Die- Wings (Paul McCartney)
Paul McCartney wrote this epic piece for the 1973 James Bond film that shares the same title: “Live and Let Die.” The band Wings recorded the song that was nominated for an Academy Award. I love the beginning of the song that starts out smoothly with a lone piano and multiple voices. Then comes the heavy thud of guitar and drums that is true head banging material. This is followed by a frenzy of orchestral harmonies that echo the intensity of a Bond film, a satire of the phrase “live and let live” in which you should tolerate other people’s behaviors and the way that they live. This tune twists that mantra to a dark concept of if somebody wrongs you, then you should kill them.
Dreams- Fleetwood Mac
That mystical voice of Stevie Nicks is quite distinctive, one that engulfs your ears in pleasure and prompts the slight forward sway of your head. Nicks wrote “Dreams” in 10 minutes and it quickly soared into fame, ruling as Fleetwood Mac’s only Number 1 hit. This melancholic song features the gentle twang of the guitar and the light ting and thrum of the drums that chills your senses. The song is wrapped up by Stevie’s charming voice, a voice that sounds inviting as if she’s an old friend of yours.
Now, back to the tunnel song scene from The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Again, I’m not trying to redirect this into a movie review, but this scene visually masters the feeling that lovers of music get when they find a new song whose tune seems unreal.
“What?” Patrick asks Charlie who is staring through the windshield with a mesmerized expression on his face.
Charlie turns to Patrick. “I feel infinite.”