Last week our tour of Lifestyle stopped to gaze in wonder at the minor miracle that is “Raging Bull”. At only a hundred seconds long Tim Midyett’s microscopic masterpiece is easily the shortest song on the album. It is no accident then that the track which follows “Raging Bull”, and the subject of this week’s blog entry, is Lifestyle’s longest song. It is appropriate that “Around the Outline”, a song with a landscape of mountains, peaks, and cliffs, should stand just slightly taller than anything else on the album.
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“‘Raging Bull’, I think, is one of the smallest masterpieces of a rock song I’ve ever heard.”
—Matt Kadane, Couldn’t You Wait?
The subject of this week’s blog is “Raging Bull”, Lifestyle‘s magical eighth track, and there is no better way to begin the entry than with the above quote from Matt Kadane, captured in the extras to Seth Pomeroy’s essential Silkworm documentary Couldn’t You Wait?. With a concision typical of his own superlative rock music, Matt gets to the crux of why “Raging Bull” is so special. Not only is it good — and that’s an understatement — but it is the scale of bassist Tim Midyett’s creation which is so extraordinary. Lasting barely one minute 40 seconds, it is easily the shortest track on Lifestyle, and like a model city carved from a grain of sand, this tiny production contains multitudes.
Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has been a thread throughout my life in music, from teenage punk wannabe sneaking into clubs for shows (thanks, Randy!), to not getting hired at the first radio station I interviewed for because the program director told me he hated Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and I defended them anyway (look who turned out to be right, Chris), to one of the very first radio shows on Country Fried Rock, before we had a podcast and were still streaming on Live 365, to now—me filling my dream of talking to the best songwriters about music I love and so many of y’all loving what we share. Kevn Kinney changed my life and now his band will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
Lifestyle began with the song “Contempt”, a song of easy beauty from Andy Cohen or, given the lyrics of the track, should that be the easy beauty of Andy/Brigitte Cohen? The opening of the second half of Lifestyle is a mirror of the first in some senses. “That’s Entertainment”, the subject of this week’s blog entry, is another languid classic from Andy. However if “Contempt” was a poignant, smouldering take on a broken relationship, then “That’s Entertainment” is an elegant firestorm. The two tracks are similarly paced but strike wildly different tones.
Girls’ Generation – “Party”
What’s great—or horrible, depending on your perspective (maybe a little of both?)—about the internet quickly shrinking our nostalgia cycle is that in 2015 you can get a song as clearly nostalgic for 2010 as Girls’ Generation’s “Party”. Specifically, the single has all the trappings of a Teenage Dream-era Katy Perry/Dr. Luke song: Fizzy synths, disco-lite guitar and slap bass, and a chord progression that cleverly avoids resolving to tonic. I didn’t know I could get pangs of nostalgia for auto-tuned vocals, but the subtle inclusion of the vocal processing effect when the girls sing “P-A-R-T-Y” is the perfect amount to bring the song to a different level. The lyrics too, focus on Perry-esque Summer fun, with a chorus about drinking and traveling to beautiful beaches around the world (“Lemon soju, tequila for me, mojito for you/Let’s go to Jeju, California, Rome/Let’s go to a white pearly beach with great waves”).