The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN

The New Jazz [Part I]: Ghost

I’ve been getting into the Ghost lately. This is a little old band from Sweden famous for their highly theatrical live shows. Not quite a Rammstein level of theatrical, but still pretty damn theatrical. They are fronted by a guy who calls himself either Papa Emeritus or Cardinal Copia (depending on his mood), who wears Roman Catholic clergy-inspired getups onstage coupled with what looks like Norwegian death metal-style makeup. Like a zombie pope. Which precisely no one in the band’s homeland finds offensive, because it’s Sweden. The rest of the band dress in face-concealing identical costumes, and are known only as the Nameless Ghouls. Brilliant, when you really think about it. If one member abruptly quits, they could just quietly replace him without having to bother with the press release.

It most certainly doesn’t hurt that those Nameless Ghouls also just happen to be damn good musicians, churning out tunage the likes of which I haven’t heard in years. There’s definitely an audible Eighties influence here. Tastes just like the hair metal my mother used to hate.

Here’s another Ghost jam I dig. The harmonics between the guitar lines are exquisite enough when considered on their own merits, but the singer’s proclamation of “Rats!” in every fourth measure of the chorus (if you can call it that) totally makes the whole tune. The lyrical subject matter indeed deals with the titular rodents in a literal sense, and the singer’s delivery ensures you never forget that.


The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN

“Baby, it’s cold outside…”

As many of us know, there’s a certain song often played around Yuletide that a number of radio stations have ceased playing on the grounds that it is deemed offensive in light of modern sensibilities. I happen to think that a comfortable majority of Christmas music is dreadful crappola and should never be played under any circumstances, but that’s another rant. If we’re going to start “retiring” holiday standards, we’ll obviously need new standards to replace them. Might I suggest this one? If a group of carolers showed up at my door and performed a rendition of this ditty, I would be impressed, even though they would almost certainly fail to replicate Mr. Petersen’s evil clown-like wail. The lyrics contain no references whatsoever to sexual assault or exploitation of women, although that bit about Donald Duck is open to interpretation…