BY BRYN TAYLOR//
Long time, no see. Welcome back to Frission; your one-stop-shop for all things auditorily-pleasing. Although we will pay homage to some mesmerizing music, this column is not just giving you knew sounds for your ears. Frission allows readers to discover pieces that enlighten the body, mind, and soul of the average music listener. The highlighted pieces in Frission are here to allow your entire being to experience the ecstatic world of music.
Our first song this week takes us all the way back to Cornell, 1977, when the Grateful Dead played Live at Barton Hall. All three discs of this album are extremely ethereal; encapsulating the essence of 70s spiritual rock as a whole. However, Disc 2’s final track, “Estimated Prophet” is an especially sonic sound.
Although the original song only lasts for around five and a half minutes, The Dead’s live performance of the piece goes on for a whopping eight minutes and forty-eight seconds, leaving room for all sorts of experimentation, solos, and live surprises. We’ve got highlights from Garcia’s guitar solos, airy and battered scatting from the female back-up vocalists, and even Weir’s famous electrical riffing that transcends the piece to a peak. The song’s groove is in Weir’s iconic 7/4-time signature, which takes the listener on a Funkadelic trip- the exact point of the song.
In a previous interview, Barlow shared that his inspiration for curating the story of the piece were the doped out, bug-eyed dead heads standing at the stage door after sets. Barlow and Weir’s funk creation live is just enough to make you feel like one of those drug-crazed fans having a vision like no other.
Our next song jumps ahead to modern day, with New York City-based band, LAUNDRY DAY. Their 2018 song, “Trumpet Boy” starts off with a deep 4 chord progression coming out of an 80s-style keyboard. The listener is immediately transported to the slow dance of depressing prom, alone and surrounded by a thousand slow-dancing couples. If that doesn’t get your heart breaking, the rest of the song will.
As Jude Lipkin begins on vocals, a moody, raw voice laments of a love that has come and gone. “And there’s photographs, framed the walls of me smiling, clueless and innocent,” Lipkin voices the feeling of failing at a first love. As the chorus kicks in, we get layered harmonies from Sawyer Nunes, along with soft builds of electric guitar, which emulate the anger that comes after grieving a first love.
What brings the song to life are the interludes between verse and chorus, which implement an actual trumpet section. Instead of being a heavy brass sound that would create a strong, upbeat jazz piece, it resembles that of a “Taps”, mourning the young love that has now ended.
Culminating in the bridge, “Trumpet Boy” riles itself up, screaming for the ex-lover to “save me from me”. The entire song takes the listener through the multi-stage grieving process, creating a dynamic and unique piece.
Our final piece we will be exploring in this week’s edition of Frission will be “I’d Have You Anytime” from George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. The song is iconic for several reasons, but primarily because it is Harrison’s collaboration with Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. The song, written during the 1968 Woodstock festival, to many fans, may sound like just another Harrison-Dylan collab, but it holds a lot of unique eccentricities that the artists music rarely touches on alone.
For one, the song relies on all major 7th guitar chords- chords that are used extensively by the Beatles and many rock artists, but at the time, Dylan had never heard of them. The irony of his lack of knowledge birthed the chord usage in the song.
Although the piece is extremely simple, it’s easiness allows the listener to relate to the lyrics, ambiance, and aura. As we progress through the song, Clapton’s guitar mixed with Harrison’s downward vocal riffs make the listener feel as if they are falling slowly downwards- gently being brought to a safe resting place.
Of course, the song builds towards the chorus, but instead of this rise taking the listener away from this relaxing feeling, it intensifies it, growing upon you the more you listen.