Saturday, August 1, 2009

'Fountains of Wayne Hotline,' by Robbie Fulks

'Fountains of Wayne Hotline,' by Robbie Fulks is an article on Okay, article is a little generous. It's more like an explained link to a song about how to make a Fountains-of-Wayne-style song (in the style of Fountains of Wayne, of course). Click through for the song.  Or fine, you know, take the FLV file from here. 

Spinner epxlains the tune:
"In 'Hotline,' Fulks imagines himself calling a telephone crisis line where panicked songwriters and producers in a pinch can get access to Fountains of Wayne-sanctioned operators. The pop technicians on the other end proceed to talk the distraught songsmiths down from their musical ledge, suggesting solutions such as "employ the radical dynamic shift" and "slather the holy hell out of the thing with a semi-ironic Beach Boys vocal pad." All this is set to music, including an announced "slightly distorted melodic solo," that would fit snugly on the Fountains' resplendent 'Welcome Interstate Managers' album from 2003 (with Fulks twisting his usual twang into a dead ringer for FOW's Chris Collingwood)."
The whole thing kind of caters to musicians and Fountains of Wayne enthusiasts. The telegraphed vs. gratuitous inside joke is explained by Metafilter reader unSane:
"The ninth is a whole tone above the octave, so a C9 would be C-E-G-D (usually with a Bb thrown in there) and a CAdd9 would be a straight C-E-G-D. In either case the D is the ninth. A telegraphed ninth would mean the D had been established as a strong tone before the ninth chord was hit whereas gratuitous coloration would be a ninth chord where the D had never featured as a significant tone in the melody before.

It's an insidery joke because most non-musicians (and a lot of musicians) would have no idea whether the ninth had been telegraphed or not, but to anal harmonizers it would be equally obvious whether the ninth was a throw-in or if it was an integral part of the melody.

I can remember an similar bitch-session in the pages of either NME or Melody Maker where Roddy Frame was ripping Edwyn Collins a new one for simply moving a diminished shape up the neck of the guitar, which is kind of a neat trick the first time you discover it but gets old pretty fast even if you are only about 17 at the time, as Roddy must have been."
Now you  know, and it's probably not funny anymore. Oh well.

(From Metafilter)

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