Monday, March 17, 2008

THE FIVE SONGS: FOURTH INSTANCE. This time around I've decided to take inspiration from the world wide web that we seem to be swimming in at this very moment and think about five songs which to me are particularly "spidery". This should strike a nerve with those of you who are fond of barking wall spiders (Hi Cheeks!) and those of you who are terrified of any sort of insect life whatsoever (Hi Fink!). So let me spin you a fable of five songs:
  1. SPIDERMAN by THE FRANK AND JOE SHOW. There are of course many version of the classic Spider-Man cartoon show theme song ("Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can...") particularly the Ramones version. However, I didn't feel like being that obvious so I went with an instrumental version from a jazz album by The Frank and Joe Show (yeah, you heard me!). Now, the Frank and Joe Show album 33 1/3 is a fantastic cd which features jazz instrumentals as well as guest vocalists on some songs (Hi, Jane Monheit!). This frenetic instrumental seems like it's twice as fast as the regular cartoon theme and features only guitar and drums. The guitar playing is lightning fast and the drum playing features frantic brushwork. A really classic, unusual jazz update of the Saturday morning tune.
  2. THE SPIDER AND THE FLY by THE ROLLING STONES. This bluesy number is from the Stones' 1965 album "Out Of Our Heads" and is a harmonica-driven blues featuring a wandering-eyed singer (Mick Jagger, of course. . ."sittin', thinkin', sinkin', drinkin', wonderin' what I'll do when I'm through tonight/smokin', mopin', maybe just a-hopin' some little girl will pass on by") with an eye for the ladies. Unfortunately, his girlfriend at home warns him not to take up with strange women. "Don't wanna be alone but I love my girl at home/I remember just what she said/She said 'My, My, My/Don't tell lies/Keep fidelity in your head". What a way to cramp Mick's style. And some hopes he's gonna follow that advice!
  3. SPIDER by THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS. Incredibly bizarre song. . .well, it's TMBG what did you expect. This incredibly short song sounds like it's sung by anime characters dubbed into English (think Speed Racer, folks): "Shpider!/He is our hero!/Shpider!/Get rid of!/Shpider!/Step on spidah!/Shpider!/We love you, spidah!" Bizarre instrumentation veers from drums and tambourine to mariachi trumpets. And after about 45 seconds of this madness, the song ends.
  4. BORIS THE SPIDER by THE WHO. Yes, this is my favourite Who song. Yes, I don't particularly like the Who. Yes, it's a perennial favourite around Halloween. Yes, he's one of the coolest spiders I know. Yes, he's crawling up my wall.
  5. SPIDERMAN LULLABYE by ZACHERLEY. The Cool Ghoul himself, the original horror host with the most, provided this oddly touching yet warped lullaby which I wish my mom had sung to me. A Brahms-Lullaby-like harmonica softly eases us into the tune as Zach croons: "Hushabye, rockabye, the spiderman is comin' by/to spin a web of dreams for you/casket high, casket low/Daddy rocks you to and fro/the spiderman will make your dreams come true." The song spins a dreamlike land where monsters and goblins walk -- and this is meant to be soothing! It is if you're a little monster like me. And we're not talking about the Marvel Comics superhero here -- we're talking about something more like a man-spider, I like to think. My favourite rhyme of the song: "If you're good/pretty soon/the creature from the Black Lagoon/will come and guard you while you dream away." Zach later soothingly hums the lullabye tune -- which degenerates into a diabolical, sinister yet quiet laugh. "Dream about a tiny hearse/drawn by a fuzzy bat/and by your side some mummies ride/think how you'll like that!" A perfect way to bring our five spidery songs to a close and rock you gently to sleep until next time when we present another five songs.


Dis Guy said...

I just let one rip (a barking wall spider that is) in honor of this very awesome five songs installment.

Cerpts said...

I am truly honoured.

Now open a window.