|Sometimes, what's old becomes new again... Swing is really an old form of popular music that has come back into style. Music pioneered by great musicians like Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, and other Big Band leaders has come back in a big way, with many different groups pioneering the cause. |
How best to describe swing... it isn't quite jazz. More of a hybrid, drawing on some of Jazz bebop roots. Groups in retro suits and fedoras, big orchestras with horn section, steel guitar... and a simple sound that just dares you to dance to it.
A large majority of swing music has proven a great inspiration to my style of writing the past few months. The musical atmosphere, the storytelling of some songs... it floods my mind with fantastic images, and as a fan of pulp and film noir-style fiction, it just puts me in the right mood.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
You may have heard this group play at the 1999 SuperBowl, or at one of the various Bowl games of the past year... or maybe you saw them perform in the movie Swingers (Club BMG says the group on the right were in that film, but don't make the same mistake.)
Maybe with all the press they've been given lately, you may choose to ignore them; I know this is generally my attitude; I still haven't seen the film Titanic for that very reason... but this group can really jive, and their sound is infectious.
One song you have to hear: "You and Me and a Bottle Makes Three Tonight". This song has become the group's signature piece. It's a song that will convince you of just how good they are.
Purchase Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Royal Crown Revue
This is the group I mentioned as mistakenly listed for the film Swingers. Their music is very different in style from that of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - but also fantastic in its own right.
Royal Crown Revue tell stories through their music. The album Mugzy's Move plays as a pulp fiction dime novel put to music. The songs all follow a theme, and even the CD booklet looks like a pulp novel.
Whenever I want to get into the mindset of writing very kinetic, adventurous fiction, this is the CD I pop in my CD-ROM drive.
[BTW: an interesting bit of trivia: the group name comes from a brand of pomade (hair gel)]
Purchase Royal Crown Review's Mugzy's Move