Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Paramore vs. Apollo Up! The Nashville Cream Remix [MP3]

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 9:06 AM

click to enlarge Paramore_vs_ApolloUp-thumb-400x165.jpg

Since long before there was any such thing as a "mashup," I've had an innate (and might I say impressive) ability to take two songs, often of disparate styles or eras--and get them totally confused. Or, if you will, mashed up. Considering that so many songs share time signatures, tempos, keys, chord progressions, etc., that's not terribly surprising, but I didn't know anything about any of those things when this started.

For example, when I was a young lad, I was convinced that I had come up with the greatest melody of all time. Some time later, I realized it was basically the chorus of "Born to Be Wild," crossed somehow with Tommy James' "Crimson and Clover." I've never been able to reproduce that melody on an instrument, or even hum it. I just know it was there, in my mind, and it was in essence (if not in form) what we now call a mashup, only somehow even more warped.

This kind of musical synesthesia still happens to me from time to time. Most recently, part of an Apollo Up! song got lodged in my head, as songs will. I couldn't even remember what song it was, or the lyrics, but this one section of the song kept repeating, and I couldn't shake it. A couple days later, same song, same effect. A couple days after that, I got Paramore's "Misery Business" stuck in my head, for whatever reason. (I hadn't heard the song in months, that I remembered, unless Brad played it at The End a couple weeks ago between bands.) I'm sure you see where this is going.

Eventually both songs got caught up somewhere in my mental circuitry and started to overlap, so that when I heard one, I also heard the other. The brain being the wonderfully weird supercollider that it is, the more this happened, the more the songs seemed to become part of each other.

(Brief side note: Remember when we found out that How I Became the Bomb had subconsciously influenced Spoon? I guess I was kinda hoping that would happen again. And by "kinda" I mean "really.")

Of course, it was inevitable that I would have to just sit down at some point and listen to the two songs side by side--most likely destroying my cognitive remix entirely in the process. But you know me: soldier for the truth. So, I listened to Apollo Up!'s Chariots of Fire (it had been a while), and--after really enjoying "Walking the Plank," still one of my favorite local rock songs ever--figured out that the ditty buzzing in my belfry as of late was "No Song." It was about how I remembered it--though I had obviously forgotten that the verse part I kept hearing belonged to that choppy chorus--but I couldn't hear the Paramore song in there at all.

On to "Misery Business," then. When I listened to that song, I couldn't really hear the Apollo Up! song in there, either. I tried to just hear the version in my head and figure out why it wasn't lining up with what I was hearing when I listened to the actual songs separately. But just as I feared, listening to the recordings was degrading my mental mashup. So, I asked my friend Ed to crunch the songs together. Have a listen.

When I listened this way, I realized that it's not the two vocal melodies that are similar--it's really that Jay Leo's vocal on "No Song" has an emphatic sort of syncopation that is echoed (somewhat) in the guitar line of "Misery Business." Not an exact correlation, but enough to hear why the two had gotten crossed up in my head. Of course, no amount of computerized mashing can produce my totally mental version, which was perfect in its own way but has now been supplanted. Since we're having fun with this, here's a longer mashup of the two songs. Enjoy.

Incidentally, word is that Paramore will record their next album in Nashville, though no producer has been named. As for Apollo Up!...well, you will probably hear from more than one person in our Rock 'n' Roll Poll (coming Dec. 25) that they are missed.

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