Hello, I’m Ky. You might recognize that name from the Award-winning* show Musical Spiderweb.
Last week’s chapter was a bit of an experiment, I wanted to test out two of the inspirations that made the show into what it is today.
One was an old documentary series from the 70s called “Connections” – in it, a science historian named James Burke would make connections to seemingly unrelated events, and explain each link in the chain as he went along. As an example, he linked the development of precious metal standardization in the ancient through a series of events that ended with the development of the atomic bomb.
To paraphrase Mr Burke:
- Standardization stimulated trade between Greece and Persia
- Which led to trade routes getting bigger
- Which ledd to Alexandria, and its library
- Which contained Ptolemy’s star tables
- Which led to a wealth of astronomical knowledge
- That knowledge allowed better navigation.
- The library also contained knowledge from Arabian sailors, including triangular sails and rudders
- Both those inventions, and the better knowledge of navigation eventually starting the Age of Discovery
- during which, mariners noticed that magnetic compasses didn’t always point to true north
- Which eventually led to the discovery of electricity
- Study into static electricity led to the invention of Wilson’s Cloud Chamber, which allowed the confirmation of Rutherford’s theory that ionizing radiation existed
- that discovery led to two things – the development of Watson-Watt’s RADAR, which was the first workable RADAR system
- And it allowed further development into Rutherford’s work in splitting atoms
- The RADAR and the study into splitting atoms led to two bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a nearly 50 year nuclear arms race
So yeah – kinda insane
The OTHER inspiration, as mentioned in last week’s chapter, was an old show/contest run from a (possibly pirate) radio station around the time my dad lived in England in the 70s. That show would play two songs, seemingly unrelated to each other, and listeners had to write in their guesses on how they chained together. Similar to what I was doing last time.
- I linked Selena Gomez’s “Wolves” to DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” (shared songwriters)
- “Let Me Love You” was linked to Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (Justin Bieber)
- “Despacito” was linked to Black Flag’s “Jealous Again” (singers are from Puerto Rico)
- “Jealous Again” was linked to Misfits’ “Bullet” (produced by Glen Lockett, better known as Spot)
- “Bullet” was linked to Danzig’s “Mother” (Both written by Glenn Danzig)
- “Mother” was linked to A$AP Rocky’s “F****** Problems” (Both were in the soundtrack to The Hangover Part III)
- “F****** Problems” linked to Gomez’s “Good for you” because of A$AP Rocky, and brought the chain full circle
Now there’s a reason I’m telling you this.
I got a LOT of feedback from last week’s chapter. Way more than the usual “nice job”s and “not bad”s in passing – full, constructive, positive feedback.
That’s never happened before, and that made me really proud of myself.
Anyway – a couple comments I got were asking if I could do a full chapter – which I intended to do, though not right away.
But two things changed my mind (and my scheduling). One was spending the last three days sorting through 50 years of vinyl collected between my parents and I. After all the time spend in dust, fossilized plastic, and deteriorating paper (not to mention building EIGHT IKEA shelves, none of them the same model) I don’t want to look at any kind of album for a long time. So that nixed what I had originally planned to talk about on Wednesday (concept albums). (I also developed an intense hatred for Sweden and my brother, but both passed after a liberal application of Swedish-style meatballs he made).
The other thing that changed my mind was a couple challenges I got relating to the concept.
The challenges were:
- Link a song from the mid-60s to today’s number 1 on the Billboard (at the time of writing both this post and Wednesday’s chapter, it’s Drake’s “God’s Plan”
- Link any parody by Weird Al to any alt-rock song from a band he has NOT parodied (thus excluding Nirvana, Presidents of the USA, U2, and Lorde, among others)
- Use Little Shop of Horrors in a chain
- Link two songs using mythology or ancient history (or both)
So on Wednesday, I’m going to link The Who’s “My Generation” (released in 1965) to Drake’s “God’s Plan” (#1 as of writing), and in that chain, those other three challenges will be met. The chain will feature a Weird Al parody, an alt-rock song from a band/artist Weird Al has NEVER parodied, a song from Little Shop of Horrors, and two songs that somehow involve mythology or ancient history.
It’s going to be a fun ride.
I loved writing last week’s chapter, and so far I’m loving this week’s just as much – feel free to issue your own challenges, or even suggestions for chapters. There’s some coming up that were listener suggestions, so it’s not like I’ll ignore you.
Thanks for reading, dear listeners. I’ll talk to you next time.
*The “award” it won was the Asky Just Made This Up for Effect Award