Listening Log Fridays: Number 1

Every Friday, each of my classes starts their day by writing a brief listening journal. The prompts vary. One week, they might be comparing two different performances of the same piece. Another week, they could just be trying to identify different instruments and timbres. But, the goal always remains the same: I want to expose my students to some new music, and expand their boundaries.

I’m going to start doing the same thing here on my blog each Friday. I’ll throw my iPod on shuffle, and share whatever comes up. First up…Hey Eugene by Pink Martini.

What’s this doing on my iPod? Well, simply put, Pink Martini is one of the most creative groups out there today. They offer a fantastically unique mix of pop, rock, classical, ethnic and folk music. You can’t pinpoint any one style, because on any given album, you’re bound to hear at least a half-dozen different genres. You’ve also got no hope of understanding every song on an album unless you understand English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish, and Russian.

Seriously. The album Hey Eugene contains lyrics written in all of those languages. And probably Klingon, too. It makes for a really interesting listen. You can’t focus on the words if you can’t understand them, so you’re left to focus on the rhythm and melody of China Forbes’ voice.

Why this particular song? It’s possibly the classiest song about a drunken hook-up ever written (no, I didn’t play this one for my students).

Why should you listen to it? Pink Martini shows what popular music can be. Their creativity seemingly knows no bounds. And Hey Eugene is just a catchy, well-constructed song that will likely get stuck in your head after just a single listen.

Creative Commons License
The Trombonist’s Mouthpiece by Joe Guarr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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3 thoughts on “Listening Log Fridays: Number 1

  1. I got to see Pink Martini in concert at the Hollywood Bowl a couple years ago, and the concert was as eclectic and fun as their albums. Beyond their own songs, they had guest singers Rufus Wainright, Jane Powell, and the live cast members of Sesame Street. They also had Ari Shapiro do some duets he does on the albums. He is rather handsome in person, and that has made listening to him as a correspondent on NPR a lot more exciting.

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