Sleigh Bells/Cloud Nothings
Sometimes/I Feel I Gotta Get Away/Bells Chime/I Know I Gotta Get Away
I'm happier than I would have figured that they've cut down on their distortion-flaunting pile-of-sound shtick. Several times, in fact, Derek Miller makes me love guitar sounds as bell-like as Alexis Krauss's crystalline soprano, as tapered as her gorgeous gams. Then there's the dying siren that repeats addictively through "You Lost Me"‑-the one that makes me say, So what if the lyric is about singing from the grave, death is real, and anyway, I really want to hear that sound again right about--yeah! After all, "Comeback Kid" does stay positive no matter how brutally Miller pummels his own riffs with that drum sample. That's nice, right? Elsewhere it's just sweet sensation. Succumb‑-succumb. A MINUS
Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory (Carpark)
Although his voice is lower and his guitar solos are longer, the idea that Dylan Baldi has therefore achieved some sort of maturity is silly. Come on‑-the guy's 20. His attack on memory isn't a young hero jousting with history, it's a callow confusenik trying to forget: that It's all been done before, sure, but that's the least of it. How about: Life is hard and then you die? Or: Old people have all the stuff? Or: I don't have a clue what the world will be like when I'm 40? Or merely: 40‑-that's two times 20, God!? These are all honorable thoughts that have required reiteration and adjustment for as long as I've been alive. Slight individual recalibrations of the noize-toon continuum have oft proved useful in getting them under control. Such recalibrations are harder than they look and much harder than most confuseniks assume. Congrats to Baldi for getting one right. A MINUS
I can go on and on, but I also note "Disco Inferno" - the start of the last verse - nice scream of the word "Satisfaction".
Joe Tex "I GOTCHA (beat) uh HUH HUH".
Little Richard - take your pick, but I like the screams right before the instrumental breaks on "Slippin' and Slidin'"
Joe Cocker - "With a Little Help from my Friends".
Now that I think about it, Joe Cocker and Wilson Pickett have the benefit of Jimmy Page's and Duane Allman's screaming guitars, which gives added enhancement.
I also enjoy "Land of 1000 Dances" - Wilson Pickett lets out some good screams right after the "Na NaNaNaNa" sections.
Oh, and "Hey Jude", also during the "Na Na Na" section - arguably even better than any of the below-mentioned James Brown screams.
First, ... "I'm Back! ... I'm Back!" I was sick a couple of weeks ago - flu, stomach ache. But now that "I'm Back on the Good Foot", I'll be participating again - although I still have a lot of catch-up.
I couldn't resist the current topic. As a connoisseur of James Brown screams, I agree that the screams on "Cold Sweat (extended)" (Joe) and "Super Bad" (Michael) are excellent. I need to re-listen to "Mother Popcorn" - I don't recall the screaming as exceptional. Also worth considering are the following:
- "There It Is (Part 2)" (with a nice "Good God" right after the screaming)
- "Prisoner of Love (Live at the Apollo, Volume 2)" (particularly right after he sings "... My face is wet ...")
- "Bring It On" (First a very down-home piano intro, then a JB countdown, then the scream, which frames the intensity of the rest of the song.)
- "I Got a Bag of My Own" (toward the end, a lot of screams)
- "Goodbye My Love" (The song builds up each time before the line "Take it down, Jimmy" (referring to Jimmy Nolen's guitar). JB gets some nice screams in on the later build-ups.)
- "Take Some - Leave Some" (from "The Payback" album - This one builds up to the end of the song. Right at the peak of the build-up, JB lets out a nice high-pitched nasal scream.)
- "Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year" (Nice screaming of the word "No" in the second half of the song, while the backup singers are singing.)
Patty Waters, "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"
Prince in 'The Beautiful Ones', and Stephen Malkmus in the outro section of "Half a Canyon".
 And if we include scream singers, hats off to Robert Plant and Mike Patton.
Hey Bob, great question: but can I ask a clarifying question. Does it have to be a wordless scream? Or can it be a scream in words?
Greatest rock scream of all time? I nominate Roger Daltrey's after the drum break near the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again."
i'll go with you on this insofar as it is in the context of the CSI: Miami opening credits.
but in all seriousness, it's the James Brown sample from "Don't Tell a Lie About Me and I Won't Tell the Truth About You" at the end of "Otis."
The Pixies, "The Happening." "Into that light...RIGHT OUTTA THAT SHIP!"
Or, how about that "murder" at the beginning of "Love Rollercoaster?" (ha ha.)
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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