Duel of the Fates

The Obi-Wan trailer reminds me of how great Duel of the Fates is.
It sets the perfect tone for the cinematic climax of Phantom Menace. Nothing to that point in Star Wars was choral, which set it apart even more.

I had no idea what they were saying, or if it was a made-up language. It just sounded cool.

“The great sword fight at the end of the film – the decision to make that choral was just the result of my thinking that it should have a ritualistic or quasi-religious feeling, and the introduction of a chorus might be just the thing. … [T]he medium of chorus and orchestra would give us a sense that we’re in a big temple.”

The words originated in the medieval Welsh poem Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees). The text was translated into English by Robert Graves, and published in 1948 as part of The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth.
John Williams selected lines 32-35:

under the tongue root
a fight most dread,
and another raging
behind in the head

Williams had it translated into a variety of languages, eventually selecting Sanskrit “because of the quality of the vowels.”

Korah Matah Korah Rahtahmah
Korah Rahtamah Yoodhah Korah
Korah Syahdho Rahtahmah Daanyah
Korah Keelah Daanyah

Weird Fact

According to both Al Green and Willie Mitchell, they earned by far the most royalties for this song not from their own version, nor from those of Syl Johnson or even the Talking Heads, but from Billy Big Mouth Bass. Even Queen Elizabeth had one.

There’s No Way This Will Be Good

Will I still watch it? Morbid curiosity compels me to check out the first episode.

Best YouTube comment …

I’m getting “Vyvyan from the Young Ones” vibes from this – and not in a good way.

Someone else made the astute observation that Rotten was always more sardonic than angry. The tone is all wrong.

New Memphis Power Pop

Delayed by the pandemic, of course. Your Academy is a Memphis supergroup of sorts, made up of likeminded middle-agers. I think the video’s been up a year but the vinyl is new. What a set of pipes on that Brandon McGovern! (I’ve always loved his voice.)

Extensive band bio and purchasing options on Bandcamp.

Magical Mystery Chord

Harmonics doesn’t get more fun than this chord.  I think someone’s posted an analysis here before, but I’d forgotten the details.  Randy Bachman got to listen to the individual tracks at Abbey Road;  here he is breaking it down.  Truly a band firing on all cylinders during this time, the height of their early period.

Pedal Pusher

I think my meager collection includes a RAT, a chorus, and a wah-wah, and I have no idea where they are. It’s about all I deserve. This guy, though:

“The merits of a geezer with my inconsiderable musical skills owning even one Big Muff are debatable; more than one is indefensible. See, I have a problem. I quit drinking 35 years ago and began spending beer money on guitars and related toys, like amps and speakers and, worst of all, effects.

My guitarsenal now takes up so much space in my house that I “joke” that at this point I would have been better off had I just kept drinking. Pedal addiction is particularly evil because so-called stomp boxes take up so much less space than instruments or amps or speakers, and also because there’s so damn many different ones out there! I realized long ago that I have too many pedals, and also that I’ll never own enough. Now I’ve got suitcases and drawers and cardboard boxes full of them. I’ve also got a rack effects problem, a close cousin of pedal addiction. I spent last weekend in the basement wiring up a ridiculous arsenal of decades-old tube overdrives and multi-effect units in one big shelf. Push a few buttons, and this assemblage of rock electronics can turn “Kumbaya” into “Eruption.”

Effects aren’t for everybody. The Beatles, it should be noted, weren’t pedal pushers. Gearheads took to message boards to marvel about how in the new documentary about the band, Get Back, pedals get next to no play. Eagle-eyed nerds claim to have spotted a Fuzz Face, a box also stomped on in that era by Jimi Hendrix. But little else in the way of tone-enhancing implements could be spotted. (I haven’t watched much of Get Back yet, but of the scenes I’ve seen so far, nothing hit me harder than seeing John Lennon playing through an Ampeg B15 amplifier. I have two Ampeg B15s.) Then again, there weren’t that many pedals being sold in their day, and as the new doc shows these guys had sound technicians in lab coats walking around Abbey Road Studios, inventing sounds for them on request.

It has been reported, but not confirmed, that there are bassists and keyboardians amongst us. Do you people use effects pedals? Do you need a Rick Nielsen secret storage location to manage them?

Yep

One of the measures of a great song is relatability. This one’s got it in spades.

McCartney’s Worst?

He’s a genius, but this song is awful.

Don’t go jumping waterfalls
Please, keep to the lake
People who jump waterfalls
Sometimes can make mistakes
And I need love
Yeah, I need love
Like a second needs an hour
Like a raindrop needs a shower
Yeah, I need love
Every minute of the day
And it wouldn’t be the same
If you ever should decide to go away
And I need love
Yeah, I need love
Like a castle needs a tower
Like a garden needs a flower
Yeah, I need love
Every minute of the day
And it wouldn’t be the same
If you ever should decide to go away
Don’t go chasing polar bears
In the great unknown
Some big friendly polar bear
Might want to take you home
And I need love
Yeah, I need love
Like a second needs an hour
Like a raindrop needs a shower
Yeah, I need love
Every minute of the day
And it wouldn’t be the same
If you ever should decide to go away
Don’t run after motor cars
Please, stay on the side
Someone’s glossy motor car
Might take you for a ride
And I need love
Yeah, I need love
Like a castle needs a tower
Like a garden needs a flower
Yeah, I need love
Said I need love
Every minute of the day
And it wouldn’t be the same
If you ever should decide to go away
Don’t go jumping waterfalls
Please, keep to the lake

Whoa Indeed

Paul McCartney + Todd Rundgren + Memphis = Van Duren.  Van made probably the best album from the ’77-’78 local power pop “scene.”  I use quotes because that “scene” consisted of three bands, a revolving cast of girfriends, about 20 midtown weirdos, and no clubs that would book those bands more than once.  So barely a scene at all.  Which is why everyone tried relocating, with varying degrees of failure.

Great song, although he might have overused the “whoas.”