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Lydian Birdsong

In my backyard, two black-capped chickadees sing an unintentional Lydian song that sounds like “Better Man” by Pearl Jam. Click on the score below to listen and loop.


The Eb-bird sings his phrase while the F-bird answers, and the Eb-bird answers that; then there is a measure of silence. Are any females listening to these guys? In such a situation, which of them is truly the better man?

Los Doggies covered the chickadee song on the album e’rebody using the whole tone interval, but above the birds are singing minor thirds--which sound like the 3rd and 5th of a major chord. In the crowded urban areas, the birds’ interval tends to widen, while in the woods, they sing the smaller whole tone. Basically, city-birds have something to prove.

My blackheads sing Pearl Jam and take other requests off Vitalogy in exchange for bagel seeds. Somehow these two competing males are much more songful than the two local church bells racing to announce the dissonant hour.

Interview

Literary mag SPANK the CARP interviewed Evan from Los Doggies (that’s me). Herein you can find many startling truths and incomprehensible insights into musical creation, including how to write a song, why to write a song, and the nature of the song itself. Enjoy!

Link to interview

April Shows

Our record Ear Op is being pressed and will come out in May. In the meantime, we’re gearing up for some shows.


Los Doggies tour dates

Tape

Queen City Tapes released a new compilation of Hudson Valley artists with yours truly. It features our recent song “Homebody” that didn’t have a home until now. The cover has an Illuminati eye because we know who really funds all the DIY tapes.

We’ll be shaking that Ass of Horus on April Fool’s at Darkside Records as part of a showcase of compilation artists. We hope to see you there.

C Power Chord

Do you know this sound? The sound of a swelling C power chord? Click on the score below.


This is the chord of the wolfmother network. This is the chord born of noise.

That’s actually an HBO chord. The H stands for “home” and nothing spells home like a C chord. From a flood of white noise comes a harmonious root and fifth. Ordo ab chao. The television poltergeist gives way to a choir of angels and men. The chord is played so low it has to be written in bass clef. And everyone hates bass clef. It’s the clef that never gets laid.

You know HBO — that softcore porn network your parents watch. It’s got that highly enjoyable Luciferean show your grandparents make out to. But this isn’t shilling for Big Media, just big chords — C power chords that almost sound major and are not, but do lie.

Anyway, in my day HBO had a really cool aerobics anthem and it could only be viewed on a snowy CRT. There weren’t all these hogwart witches with holly-wood wands casting spells into the night. Instead we’d fade out gently on dead air in the small hours after a little landline tiquing and orgies.

Jupiter Melody

I often think about this melody from Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Drag over the black stemmed noteheads below.


This is the G Suspended Seventh chord in melodic form. It goes up in fourths because that’s what Suspended 7th chords do. It’s what I do too.

Jupiter, the Jolly One is part of a seven-planet suite (fuck you, Pluto; fuck you, Earth) by English composer Gustav Holst, who also wrote for the Super Mario Brothers. Holst is very accessible because his planets are basically glorified songs and everybody rips him off; there probably wouldn’t be a King Crimson or Norwegian black metal without him.

In 1918, the debut of Gustav’s The Planets helped achieve armistice in WW1 on 11/11 at 11:11. Meanwhile, Stravinsky was banging odd-time drum-beats, and Charles Ives conceived the Universe upon a xylophone solo.

Go listen to Jupiter by Holst and then tell me you didn’t get your jollies out!

The Vanilla Version

your mother

As you grow old and weary of this world, you begin to realize certain people in your life, like your father or Vanilla Ice, were right about everything. In this classic ’90s clip, five-time platinum rapper Robert Van Winkle explains to you about the birds and the bass lines.


Mr. Van Winkle has a valid point here although it gets taken largely out of context. He never plagiarized Queen or claimed he didn’t sample their song; he was merely showing off the superiority of the Vanilla version. Compare the two bass lines below by clicking the scores on and off.

Deacy Version



That’s the familiar Queen line. Nothing all that special. But listen for the little bitty change that makes everything not the same.

Vanilla Version



The Vanilla version features the extra pickup beat at the end of the first bar. How a quaver can make all the difference! Not only that, it contains the Queen bass line in the second bar. But now the small variation provides some much needed emphasis.

Now I’ve never been a fan of “Under Pressure”, so I’m not going to link it here, but you know the tune: It’s the one with Bowie and Mercury having a fuck-about in the studio. There’s some scatting and shit. It sounds like it belongs in a John Hughes movie.

However, “Ice Ice Baby” is one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s hip; it’s real; and the rhymes sound as fresh today as they did in 1990.

While “Under Pressure” features a ridiculous “I V IV V” chord progression played on top of the vamping bass line, the Vanilla version will have none of that. DJ Deshay kicks it old school with straight-up pentatonics. Unsatisfied by rock samples, Deshay throws in his very own anthemic funk line when the verses get going. Kick it one time, boyyyyy.


* * *

According to an article written by Queen guitarist Brian May, the infamous bass line was the basis for the entire song and written by bassist John Deacon.

But what we got excited about was a riff which Deacy began playing, 6 notes the same, then one note a fourth down. Ding-Ding-Ding Diddle Ing-Ding, you might say.

However, when the band returned from a “lunch” break, there was some confusion about how the bass line went. Too many other kinds of lines. Too many beads as well. Deacy could no longer play it. So Bowie plucked the bass from Deacy’s hands and played it proper.

This was a funny moment because I can just see [David Bowie] going over and putting his hand on John’s fretting hand and stopping him. It was also a tense moment because it could have gone either way. Deacy did not take kindly to being told what to do, especially by physical interferences while he was playing! But he was good natured, and it all went ahead. Then we began playing around – using the riff as a starting point.

Did Deacy accidentally start playing the superior Vanilla Ice version of the bass line? I’m afraid the story and the bass line will remain shrouded in mystery, much like Brian May’s Wonderguitar crafted from lightning-stricken cedar.

It may not be true of sex and ice cream, but as far as bass lines go, the Vanilla version is the best flavor.