Tags » Rock Aesthetics

Honest: Dire Straits, "Sultans of Swing" (1978)

“Sultans of Swing” was the breakthrough for Dire Straits’ wondrously fresh small-combo sound built around Mark Knopfler sensitively finger-picking his Strat. Weirdly, the song’s subject is a jazz band that plays “Creole music,” with horns “blowing Dixie,” not remotely like what Dire Straits play; nor do Dire Straits try to imitate them (except once in ironic counterpoint, when an expressive guitar fill follows the remark that Guitar George “doesn’t want to make cry or sing”). 209 more words

Rock Aesthetics

The Greatest/Worst "I": John Lennon, "I Found Out" (1970)

We already covered the “I” of “Gloria” and “Psycho Killer,” but that was in two special contexts. What about the first-person pronoun as something generally meaningful, one of our top go-to words? 208 more words

Rock Aesthetics

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 is dropped into the space for two, gliding waltz feel over stomping march feel. 237 more words

Rock Aesthetics

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  421 more words

Rock Aesthetics

Comfortably Together: Traffic, "Heaven Is In Your Mind" (1967)

A December 1967 release:


We’re sitting in Traffic’s living room and digging how the cozy ensemble isn’t trying too hard. The track speaks to us calmly and confidently like a jewel of a demo. 86 more words

Rock Aesthetics

The Phantom of the You: The Young Rascals, "How Can I Be Sure" (1967)

What an unexpected song!

As emblematic of the whole wonder, I admire certain unexpected low notes in the melody. They come at these places in the first verse: 461 more words

Rock Aesthetics

Just Stay There: Beck, "Dreams" (2015)

This just in from Beck, as re-issued on his 2017 album Colors: a wonderful simple chord trick in “Dreams.

The song’s main chord progression is stated right away (this forms the reference baseline for the trick that comes later). 272 more words

Rock Aesthetics