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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #16 
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I especially liked Fleet Foxes' "The Cascades". I'm a big fan of their music -- just wish I'd get to hear more from them before too long.


They're back touring a bit... I saw them in Sydney a couple of months ago where they featured a lot, if not all, of their new album.  I seem to recall there are now lyrics over part of Cascades (I don't think it's something they've done for the new album....EDIT I found one of their live performances from Sydney and there are still no lyrics... hmmmm)

I note Darren also picked up on Bond & Autumn Leaves.
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #17 
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I note Darren also picked up on Bond & Autumn Leaves


You bet, DAN. 

I'd already prepared my comments before I saw yours. 

When I did see yours, I was delighted. 

There must be something in it. We both cited similarities with the same 1945, but oft covered since, classic tune. 

Here it is in its original French incarnation as 'Les feuilles mortes', featuring the beautiful Helene Remy, whom, alas, I was born too late to marry....





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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #18 
Tom, It Takes Two To Tango are from the UK.


Tame Impala "Half Full Glass"  (2010, but it's close enough?)



Glenn Jones "Flower Turned Inside Out" (2016)





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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #19 
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Originally Posted by Tom Tobben
we still hear occasional popular or rock instrumentals, but they are certainly less common in contemporary popular and rock music. 

You said it, Tom! Good idea to loosen your criteria (now back ten years instead of five). Nevertheless, within the original time period:

Ratatat, from their Magnifique album (2015):

"Magnifique"


"Pricks of Brightness"


"Nightclub Amnesia"



Delicate Steve, "Cartoon Rock" (2017)


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Graciegirl

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Reply with quote  #20 

Gold - Suenos – Santana

Silver – Half Moon Bay – Brian Wilson

Bronze - Flight from the City – Johann Johannsson

Tin – Sir Surfalot – Elliot Eastons Tiki Gods
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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #21 
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Here it is in its original French incarnation as 'Les feuilles mortes',


one of the first songs I ever "learned" on organ (not counting ones I played by ear!)...probably my introduction to the "minor 7 flat 5th" chord.
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #22 
DAN - full diminished?

Tom. - this is one challenging week. I've gone back and forth and forth and back again. I'm still not there yet.

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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #23 
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DAN - full diminished?


half, apparently... We learned it as "Bm7-5" 
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #24 
From Lee's Season 6, Week 1, by the other Larry:
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Explosions in the Sky, "First Breath After Coma", The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, 2003 (a great name for a band. Their instrumental music has been classified as "post rock", meaning "a subgenre of rock music characterized by the influence and use of instruments commonly associated with rock, but using rhythms and guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures not traditionally found in rock". This has more than 5 million views even though it's 9 1/2 minutes long.) 

It's now 7.4 million views.

More contemporary Explosions in the Sky (2016), "Wildneress" and "The Ecstatics"





Similar instrumental music to zone out or ponder the end of the world by:

God Is An Astronaut, "Light Years From Home" (2017)


Do Make Say Think, "Return, Return Again" (2017)


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Lisa G/TS

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Reply with quote  #25 
GOLD -- Elliot Easton & The Tiki Gods, Sir Surfalot -- Absolutely groovable retro instrumental. Buoyant from start to finish. Can you ever go wrong with Nicky Walusko, I ask you?... (EDIT: I'll add that Car ain't ready for the junkyard yet, either).

SILVER -- Brian Wilson w/Mark Isham, Half Moon Bay -- Missed Gold by a whisker. Isn't Brian somewhere in the vocals? (I don't have the CD close by, but even if I did, I'd need a minute for the squinty print credits. I'm gettin' a little old for white text on dark or black background). If he's not in the vocal blend, he's there in spirit and style. I'd agree with Lee, going back to having an instrumental on a BW product is like opening a window and taking a deep breath. Ahh..refreshing. 

BRONZE -- Santana, Suenos -- Muy Bueno, Senor Carlos. Gracias!

PEWTER/TIN -- Johann Johannsson, Flight From the City -- Okay, I get Darren's reference to an ad for feminine hygiene products. As a feminine consumer, I'd say it's calming enough for those PMS, menopausal or perimenopausal times. (Am I testing the filter with this?)

Great week, Tom! Clever to have Nicky toe to toe with Brian in a friendly battle!
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Tom Tobben

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hello again, everyone. Back for another check-in. Thanks to Graciegirl and Lisa for your votes, and thanks to DAN, Darren, bonnie, Larry, and Al for the additional comments and/or contemporary instrumental songs. 

DAN, good to hear the Fleet Foxes are touring again. With or without Father John Misty? Has he left them for good, do you know? Interesting that both you and Darren picked up on the "Autumn Leaves" similarity in Santana's "Suenos". Now about that diminished "minor 7 flat 5th" chord or "Bm7-5" that you and Al are referencing. I'm no muso, so I don't know what that is, but it must be something different or special. I love it when you trained musicians talk technical; helps me to appreciate what all must be involved in making distinctive or complex music.

Darren, thanks for sharing with us the original French version of "Les feuilles mortes" and your flights of fancy about the former beauty Helene Remy.

bonnie, thanks for the added info about It Takes Two To Tango and your two additional instrumental selections. The Tame Impala selection didn't particularly grab me, but I thought the acoustic guitar piece ("Flower Turned Inside Out") by Glenn Jones was lovely, and with a very different, but pleasant, tag in the last minute or so.

Larry, thanks for those additional selections. Among the songs by Ratatat, I particularly liked "Pricks of Brightness", but "Nightclub Amnesia" was too grating or cacophonous for my tastes. The Delicate Steve video and song "Cartoon Rock" was distinctive. Interesting stuff from Explosions in the Sky -- I was not previously familiar with them either. Similar thoughts about the pieces by God Is An Astronaut and Do Make Say Think. If these are all considered "post-rock" selections, I'm not sure I'm much of a fan yet. Must be an acquired taste. 

Al, good to know you're having to weigh these songs closely. In my opinion, that's the way a good weekly battle should be -- requires some considered thought, and not easily ranked on first pass. Four interesting instrumental pieces, and certainly different from one another. 

Lisa, thanks also for your considered thoughts and comments! Regarding the subtle wordless vocalizing in the background of parts of the song, I do believe that Brian is part of the mix. When I watched this song performed on the Brian Wilson & Friends DVD, I do seem to recall him doing a bit of humming or oohing and aahing. It's interesting to observe how Brian uses wordless stacked vocal sounds like additional musical instruments in some of his songs. 

Regarding Nick Walusko and his role in the Tiki Gods, I thought it was interesting that he was an integral band member and co-writer on some songs, while other members of Brian's band were simply additional backing musicians. This sort of instrumental music seems right up Nick's alley, with all the kinds of distinctive and twangy guitar sounds he can make. Likewise, for some of his songs on certain old Wondermints albums. Glad you also enjoyed this week's battle -- something a bit different, and perhaps more challenging, than some of our battles among well-known old hits. 


To all -- back through 2011, the Grammys had an annual award for Best Rock Instrumental and Best Pop Instrumental, but they discontinued these separate categories from 2012 forward. (If you'll recall, Brian won Best Rock Instrumental in 2005 for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow", from his wonderful BWPS album.) Now pop and rock instrumentals compete in the same categories as Best Pop or Rock Song by an Individual or Duo/Group. As a result, these days we see very few pop/rock instrumentals in the hunt for Grammys each year, which is a shame because that may further lead to instrumental songs becoming more neglected by both artists and fans than they used to be. 

Going back through the Grammy winners for Best Pop or Rock Instrumental over the past decade (2007-2011 before these separate awards were discontinued), here are a few that were Grammy winners for Best Pop Instrumental for their year (I'll save some of the Best Rock Instrumentals for my next update):

2007 -- "Mornin'" by George Benson and Al Jarreau:


2008 -- "One Week Last Summer" by Joni Mitchell (a lovely song):


2009 -- "I Dreamed There Was No War" by the Eagles (from their excellent Long Road Out of Eden double CD album):


2010 -- "Throw Down Your Heart", Bela Fleck



I'll be back tomorrow (Sunday, US time) to check in on the latest voters and commenters, as well as to cast my own votes and to share some of the "Best Rock Instrumental" Grammy winners during the past decade. 

Still plenty more people who have not yet voted, and certainly more contemporary  instrumental music and artists out there worth exploring. Looking forward to seeing all the remaining votes, comments, and additional contemporary instrumental songs as we head down the home stretch of this week's battle.  

Thanks to all of you who participate in these weekly battles and for sharing your thoughts and musical interests with the rest of us!
  

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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #27 
Larry, is that meant to be a tied Silver? 
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David W

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Reply with quote  #28 

My votes , conveniently in the posted order :

Gold-"Sir Surfalot", Elliot Easton's Tiki Gods

Silver-"Flight from the City", Johann Johannsson

Bronze-"Half Moon Bay", Brian Wilson

Tin-"Suenos", Santana

Still my fave band of the moment The XX and Intro which sort of fits the vibe


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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #29 
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DAN, good to hear the Fleet Foxes are touring again. With or without Father John Misty?

Has he left them for good, do you know


I believe so.   As it happens, he's touring Australia right now...I'm not seeing him but I am seeing *these* guys in a couple of days.    May have been through Probyn's facebook I first heard of them.



Another non-instrumental, sorry, Tom

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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #30 
GOLD - Elliot Easter Eggs and the Kontiki's.  There is something special about surf music.  It's timeless, boundless, and hardly ever related to the actual practice of surfing.  While a little more difficult to relate to when you are ankle deep in mud, it still kicks into the brain and does a roundhouse cutback through the other songs this week. Surfs up! 

SILVER - Brian.  Well, this is lovely, innit?  This reminds me of when I first became a fan and NPP was released soon after. It also reminds me of Half Moon Bay in Auckland, where you can get the ferry out to Waiheke Island and spend your day eating ice-cream and wandering around on the beach. But, alas, back to reality and all that mud.  The slightly farty trumpet at the start is the only thing that puts me off a very funky piece.  

BRONZE - Johann Johannsson.  Oh dear.  I was gripped much more by my fear of these two drowning than the actual song.  At one point I thought the girl was a goner, but she popped back up okay.  Some nice fluffy towels and a hot drink would be appreciated after that shoot, I bet.  The song?  It took a couple of plays to realise how beautiful it actually was, and it slipped past sleepy Santana and his vanilla dream.  Just as long as I didn't watch ...

TIN - If you said, "Who does this sound like?" I'd reply, "Well, it sounds a lot like ol' Santana."  And then I'd be really proud of myself for picking it, even though it's bleeding obvious.  I didn't believe him so much, especially when he picked up the pace a little.  It felt suspiciously like a contrived, paint by numbers drama, rather than Mr Santana letting it all hang out. Dreams?  I like mine a little more exciting than this one.

Thanks Tom.






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Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

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