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Old 05-14-2010, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The New American Songbook.


For those who don't know, the Great American Song book is...

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The Great American Songbook is a construct that seeks to represent the best American songs of the 20th century [1][2][3] principally from Broadway theatre, musical theatre, and Hollywood musicals, from the 1920s to 1960, including dozens of songs of enduring popularity. The Great American Songbook became (and remains) a vital part of the repertoire of jazz musicians, who describe such songs simply as "jazz standards".
It also pulled heavily in many cases from Tin Pan Alley...

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Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
But the days of Cole Porter and Dizzy Gillespie are long gone. As our parents are poised to become Grandparents, people born at that time are being less and less available. While the songs live on, music has shifted drastically to bring in many elements that would have normally existed outside of the medium: poetry, experimentation, philosophy.

But then, as it is today, the Songbook took not the kitschy, gimmicky, or oddball - it took the pure strains of emotion that songs could embody and said "for those of us who lived then, this is the best of what we produced."

Lets set, as an arbitrary point, 1970 as the begining. Since the last took into account roughly 40 years, what has the last 40 years in Americas ragged landscpae produced worthy of time's merit, that when our grandchildren put the last of us in the dirt, they can still look back and say "those guys really could write."

Criteria: I'm going to sit with this for a bit, but feel free to put in here songs that have/can be redone a million times and always carry that chracter of what made them brilliant.

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Old 05-19-2010, 12:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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is this only for jazz?
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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well i'm primarily going to stick with the 90s but i'm totally down with the idea. you looking specifically for American musicians? what about those who had influence stateside? (thinking Wonderwall).

either way, first contenders based on this bit - "for those of us who lived then, this is the best of what we produced." mixed with a healthy dose of 'something everyone should know'

RHCP - Under the Bridge
Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
Soundgarden - Spoonman
Faith no More - Last Cup of Sorrow
Jane's Addiction - Jane Says
Nirvana - Lithium
QOTSA - Go with the Flow


these aren't necessarily my favourite tracks by the respective artists but in terms of what i think the songbook idea embodies i believe they fit the bill.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Georgia On My Mind


This song is as deep down American as the artists who have covered it over the years. Being performed by greats like Louis Armstrong and James Brown and Dean Martin and even Willie Nelson, it has been a staple in the history of Amercian music since 1930 and is still being performed today. What I appreciate the most about the song is how easily artists can mold the song to fit their sound, genre and idea of what it means to them. But it will always have those classic lines:

"Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind...
"
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Flower Child View Post
it has been a staple in the history of Amercian music since 1930 and is still being performed today.
which is probably why it's already part of the original Great American Songbook...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_A...he_songwriters
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheBig3KilledMyRainDog View Post
Criteria: I'm going to sit with this for a bit, but feel free to put in here songs that have/can be redone a million times and always carry that chracter of what made them brilliant.
I thought that we were making our own, Mr Dave? Maybe I read it wrong, but with what the Big3 said right here made me think that we would contribute favorite songs that have/can be redone a million times and I didn't think ones that were already in there would be ruled out (I didn't actually look to see if it was already in there anyway). Sorry if I screwed something up, just trying to give a nod to a great American classic.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would argue Bruce Springsteen's body of work as being one for the ages, considering how much of his material has ingrained itself into the popular consciousness.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Flower Child View Post
I thought that we were making our own, Mr Dave? Maybe I read it wrong, but with what the Big3 said right here made me think that we would contribute favorite songs that have/can be redone a million times and I didn't think ones that were already in there would be ruled out (I didn't actually look to see if it was already in there anyway). Sorry if I screwed something up, just trying to give a nod to a great American classic.
but just prior to the bit you copied he specified 1970 as a start point so that it would be relative to our generations. what's the point of trying to create a new book if it's going to repeat the old one?

there's no denying Georgia On My Mind is great, though I prefer Blue Skies for the same mood.

i also think it's kind of ridiculous to just refer to catalogs as well. whatever, let's see what Big3 says about this. it's his idea after all.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr dave View Post
well i'm primarily going to stick with the 90s but i'm totally down with the idea. you looking specifically for American musicians? what about those who had influence stateside? (thinking Wonderwall).

either way, first contenders based on this bit - "for those of us who lived then, this is the best of what we produced." mixed with a healthy dose of 'something everyone should know'

RHCP - Under the Bridge
Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
Soundgarden - Spoonman
Faith no More - Last Cup of Sorrow
Jane's Addiction - Jane Says
Nirvana - Lithium
QOTSA - Go with the Flow


these aren't necessarily my favourite tracks by the respective artists but in terms of what i think the songbook idea embodies i believe they fit the bill.
If Nirvana is remembered for one song generations from now it will be for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.



Songs that are specifically of MY generation and can be reperformed a million times while still maintaining their beauty:

The White Stripes - 'Seven Nation Army'
Weezer - 'Buddy Holly'
The Strokes - 'Last Nite'

And a few others:

Violent Femmes - 'Blister in the Sun'
Stone Temple Pilots - 'Interstate Love Song'
Alice in Chains - 'Would?'
Smashing Pumpkins - 'Today'



Wow, way more grunge heavy than I would have liked, but that's what I came up with...
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i also think it's kind of ridiculous to just refer to catalogs as well. whatever, let's see what Big3 says about this. it's his idea after all.
just refering to catalogs? What?

Anything since 1970. Yes. It also have to be able to translate into differnt styles, I'm a little curious about V&F's suggestion of 7 nation army.
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