Crooner

Crooner: (n) someone who utilizes smooth but exaggerated singing

Late one night, as a friend and I drove across the expanses of the American prairie, where it was so lonesome and dark that even the prairie dogs had turned in for the night, we quickly discovered that we were getting sleepy.

We tried eating.

We tried listening to the radio.

We tried talking. (I think we confessed all the sins and indiscretions from our youth at least three times over.)

While flipping around the radio, we discovered a channel set aside exclusively for old-time singers like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

We were deeply surprised at how much production was put into each and every song, and how these crooners took every single tune and made it sound the same as the others—simply by homogenizing the words and blending the tones together to develop the same consistency on every ballad.

We got tickled.

We decided to take great rock and roll songs and sing them to one another as if we were crooners. From “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, to “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, to “Hang On Sloopy,” by the McCoys, to “Get Back” by the Beatles—each rendition was funnier than the last.

After all, rock and roll is known for separating words and lyrics, almost in a syncopated style. When you smear it all together, it not only loses its beat, but certainly threatens to remove all meaning.

Crooners are interesting vocalists.

They took a time in our history, when we wanted our background music to be nearly symphonic, and then they added cottage cheese vocals, to make everything resound with romance.

Still, I don’t think anything else could have kept us awake that night, as we drove across Americana.

It was especially funny when we decided to do our “crooner rendition” of the Kiss song, “I’m Gonna Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day.”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cacophony

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Cacophony: (n) a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.

To blend together as one while still maintaining the presence of an individual tone.

That’s what a band is.

You should be able to close your eyes and hear each magnificent instrument. It should not be a wall of sound. It should not blare. It should co-exist without disappearing.

Part of this is the sensitivity of musicians playing with precision while honoring their collaborators, and part of it is the ability to mix the sound in such a way that everything doesn’t blur into a cacophony of colliding notes which often do not seem to coincide.

Some people choose to go solo because they don’t believe it’s possible to find harmony. Other people have surrendered to the inevitable orchestration, often ending up as a cacophony.

It’s the same thing with people.

Freedom is not an overwhelming explosion of celebration; it is a distinctive melody played by each human soul, which is not smothered by the harsh overtones of the brassy.

 

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