4275. “Peteneros” by Juan Zarzuela & Pedro Pimentel

The fourth challenge with addressing songs from the Songs of the Outcast CD is that they don’t always spell everything correctly. Here’s how I got these track names. First, I saved the tracks to my iTunes library. ITunes figured out the titles and artists all by itself. Then, I copy and paste all the titles into a single document. Then, when its time to search for any given song, I copy and paste the title to Google.

Long story short, searching for the title above doesn’t even turn up its listing in Songs of the Outcasts. I already had to correct the title of the previous entry. Bah.

Juan Zarzuela is the singer here and I’m 99% certain this is the same Juan Zarzuela:

Similarly, I’m 99% certain that this is the same Pedro Pimentel:

Some searching around suggests that the title here should actually be peteneras, which is a specific flamenco palo. It is, of course, possible that “peteneros” is a different noun form of “peternas” in Spanish, but wow whomever transcribed the titles of the Songs of the Outcast tracks didn’t make it easy for additional research.

Here is a petenara with dance:

4274. “Farruca” by Juan Pinilla & Carlos Zarate

Apparently, the words to “Farruca” are communist. Who knew? Certainly not I.

Farruca is yet another form of flamenco. The Wikipedia entry I just listed describes some of its typical qualities.

Here is a farruca with a dance. Dance is an essential part of the flamenco tradition and, whoa, the dance is always so bad ass. Flamenco dancers, male and female, appear to be the coolest people in the world.

4273. “Taranto” by Juan Pinilla & Carlos Zarate

Oh jeez, “Taranto” is also a form of Flamenco.

Juan Pinilla is the singer and Carlos Zarate is the guitarist on this piece, also from the CD from the book Songs of the Outcasts. Here’s Pinilla singing an entirely different piece with a different guitarists:

I would love to be able to share the piece I have with you because I think its an especially excellent example of Flamenco singing. Such is life.

4272. “Taranta” by Juan Cortes Coquillo

We’ve explored several flamenco tunes from the CD that came along with the book Songs of the Outcast. I’ve faced several challenges in tracking down online versions of these tracks. The major one is that the tracks aren’t always labeled correctly. I could be wrong, but it seems from some cursory searching that Juan Cortes is the name of the performer here and Coquillo is his nickname.

The second challenge is that “Taranta” is the name of one of two related styles of flamenco music. So this guitar solo by Mr. Coquillo (or, perhaps, Mr. Cortes) is probably not named “Taranta” so much as it as an example of Taranta.

The third challenge is that my ear isn’t good enough to tell if any of the flamenco “Taranta” videos online are different pieces or the same piece interpreted differently by different guitarists.

So, with that all said, here’s a great “Taranta” that doesn’t sound like the one on my iPod by Joe Hernandez. It is a great introduction to the Taranta style and he’s a phenomenol guitarist, so I hope you’ll forgive me if he’s neither the artist in the title nor is playing the piece I’m ostensibly discussing.

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the things that intrigues me about flamenco is that it sounds “formless” to me. This, of course, is impossible. If a style of music is popular enough to be identified (“Hey, that is flamenco”) then clearly there are formal elements and characteristics that identify it as such. I find the piece on my iPod particularly intriguing because it sounds like the guitarist has a certain amount of freedom to explore, but the piece also sounds like there’s a clear, deliberate journey. I can’t really explain it and I’d love to have a lengthy discussion with a flamenco expert to come to a better understanding of this musical form. Its gorgeous.

Favorite 4271. “Whirring” by The Joy Formidable

Cat-filled Official video:

I am pretty sure I first heard the terrific “Whirring” because of its inclusion on Pitchfork‘s “Top 100 Songs of 2011″ list. Really, its as good a rock song as you’re going to hear in the 21st century (and I say this as a big fan of 21st century rock). The ending, especially, is a gorgeous build of psychedelic guitar/bass/drum noise. I confess that I’ve not paid much attention to the lyrics, but that’s just because I’m overcome with excitement from the music. Also, the lead singer has a fabulous rock voice.

Favorite 4270. “The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie” by The Joy Formidable

Fan video:

I learned about The Joy Formidable back in December of 2001 when I was compiling my now annual “Best of this year” playlist. I miss a whole lot of what is released and if I don’t do some end of the year research, I can’t keep up. Curse you, aging process!

The band hails from Wales and follows the early 90’s “shoegaze” tradition of sound. I’ve only heard two of The Joy Formidable’s tracks, but they’re both strong, memorable songs.

“The Ever Changing Spectrum of a Lie” opens their 2011 debut album, The Big Roar. Its over seven minutes long, but that’s seven minutes of rock constructed like a dream – I mean literally like a dream. It sounds like the way some of my dreams feel, if that makes sense.

Anyhow, certainly worth some of your time.

Favorite 4269. “Transmission” by Joy Division

Live on the BBC:

Single version:

Opening with a powerful bass line from Peter Hook, “Transmission” is a gripping single. While, like many UK records at the time , it never found its way onto an album before a greatest hits package, the song is one of Joy Division’s finest. Its also a surprisingly upbeat way to end our time with the band.

This is the last entry from Joy Division (though there will be many coming up eventually for the band that emerged from Joy Division’s ashes, New Order). I think I mentioned this early on, but I want to stress how important producer Martin Hannett was to creating the band’s sound. According to legend, they were initially angry about how much space his production gave their sound – they thought of themselves more as a loud punk band. Hannett found something in their music, though, that really created a sound that dozens of bands have since tried to emulate.

Anyhow, RIP Ian Curtis. I love New Order, but without Curtis their lyrics rarely rise beyond the level of average.

4268. “I Remember Nothing” by Joy Division

Fan video:

The brooding, ominous “I Remember Nothing” closes Unknown Pleasures. The song opens with something that sounds like a glass hurled against the wall – and there are other sounds of breaking objects as the song progresses. I think this is intended to suggest that the subject of the song is a domestic relationship that is disintegrating.

This makes the line “We were strangers for way too long” seem to mean “in this relationship, we spent a whole lot of time not really knowing each other at all.” Man, its hard to maintain meaningful, communicative relationships. I get you there, Curtis. This is why I didn’t marry until so late in life.

4267. “Interzone” by Joy Division

Album cover video:

Joy Division Bassist Peter Hook is the lead singer on “Interzone.” Curtis sings a kind of counter vocal. I love this effect.

Bernard Sumner’s guitar work sounds much more like standard rock guitar on this one. Indeed, this is the least “Joy Division-y” track on that I have by the band. I mean, its a decent song, but it just sounds like its by a different band.