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Strong Songs

Music: it's good. On each episode of Strong Songs, host Kirk Hamilton takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work.

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"Space Oddity" and "Starman" by David Bowie

Let the children lose it, let the children use it, and let all the children join in for Strong Songs year three! Kirk kicks off the new year with a pair of classics by the great David Bowie: 1969's melancholy "Space Oddity" and 1972's triumphant "Starman." What goes up, as they say, must come down. Written by: David Bowie Albums: David Bowie (1969), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972) Listen/Buy Bowie: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify Listen/Buy Ziggy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ALSO FEATURED: Audio of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, courtesy NASA "A Day in the Life" by Lennon-McCartney, 1967 A cool Guardian interview with Rick Wakeman about playing Mellotron on Space Oddity OUTRO SOLOIST: Carlos "Insaneintherainmusic" Eieine Carlos Eienie is a prolific multi-instrumentalist and YouTube creator who's done some extremely fun jazz arrangements of great video game music, among other things. You can find him on most social media as some variant of @insaneintherainmusic, and on his website at https://www.insaneintherainmusic.com/. NEW THEME MUSIC! Thanks to BJ Cord, Kyle Molitor, and Carlos Eiene for lending their horn chops to the Strong Songs year three theme. You can watch a video of the whole band playing the tune on Twitter or Instagram. STRONG MERCH! Check out the Strong Songs merch store for some cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com KEEP IT SOCIAL You can follow Strong Songs on Twitter @StrongSongs: http://twitter.com/strongsongs And you can find Kirk on Twitter @Kirkhamilton and on Instagram at @Kirk_Hamilton: https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG PLAYLISTS Kirk has condensed his Strong Songs picks into a single new list, which you can find on Spotify and Apple Music, and YouTube Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! Thank you so much to all of Strong Songs' Patreon supporters - you make this whole shoe possible. For more on how to help Kirk make Strong Songs, go here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs JANUARY 2021 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS Patrick Funston Jamie White Johanna L. Branson Thomas König Angus McKimm Christopher Kupski Christopher McConnell Joshua Jarvis Rick Klaras Niko Laurie Acreman Ken Hirsh Jez Jenness Gardner Simon Cammell Guinevere Boostrom Narelle Horn Nathaniel Bauernfeind Bill Rosinger Anne Britt David Zahm Erin Aidan Coughlan Jeanneret Manning Family Four Matt Butler Doug Paton Robert Paul R Watson Viki Dun Christer Lindqvist Sami Samhuri Craig J Covell AccessViolation Ryan Torvik Merlin Mann Fraser Glenn CALEB ROTACH Andre Bremer Chad Barnard Mark Schechter Dave Florey Dan Apczynski JANUARY 2021 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Achint Srivastava Ryan Rairigh Michael Berman stephen matthews Bridget Lyons Melody Valdez Olivia Bishop Jeremy Schwartz John Gisselquist Elaine Martin Belinda Mcgrath-steer Eoin de Burca Kevin Potter M Shane Borders Pete Simm Shawn McCarthy Dallas Hockley Jana J Terron Ishihara Jason Gerry Rich Roskopf Melissa Gallo Joel Stevenson Will Dwyer Alethea Lee Lauren Reay Eric Prestemon Erika L Austin Cookies250 Damian Brady Angela Livingstone Jeffrey C. Yarnell David Friedman Phillip Dalton Christopher Cudnoski Mark Edwards Randall Browning Sarah Sulan Diane Hughes Kenneth Tiong Jo Sutherland David Catlett Joe Laska Michael Casner Michael York Barb Courtney Derek Bender Melanie Andrich Jen Small Don Hutchison Lowell Meyer Etele Illes Jeff Almond Stephen Tsoneff Lorenz Schwarz Becca Sample Wen Jack Sjogren Aparajit Raghavan Benedict Pennington Geoff Golden Robyn Fraser Alexander Geddes Pascal Rueger Randy Souza JC Brendan Jubb Clare Holberton Jake Tinsley Diane Turner Tom Coleman SUELLEN MOORE Judy Chapple Stuart Terry Mark Perry Malory Dhu Wik Mel Eric Helm Jake Roberts Briony Leo Bill Fuller Jonathan Daniels Steven Maron Michael Flaherty Jarrod Schindler Zoe Little Albukitty Caro Field Judith Stansfield Jenifer Carr michael bochner Duncan Dave Sharpe brant brantphillip Markus Koester David Cushman Alexander Jeremy Dawson Robbie Ferrero Gavin Doig Sam Fenn Tanner Morton AJ Schuster Jennifer Bush David Stroud Amanda Furlotti Andrew Baker Brooke Wilford Cyrus N. White Chris Brown Mark Haberlen Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Matt Gaskell Jules Bailey Eero Wahlstedt Bill Thornton Brian Amoebas Brett Douville Jeffrey Olson Matt Betzel Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Melanie Stivers Richard Toller Alexander Polson John and Sharon Stenglein Tom Lauer Forrest Chang Earl Lozada Jon O’Keefe Justin McElroy Arjun Sharma Shane DeLeon James Johnson Andrew Lee Kevin Morrell Tom Clewer Kevin Pennyfeather Nicholas Schechter Justin Liew Emily Williams

53mins

13 Jan 2021

Rank #1

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"Satisfied" from Hamilton

A toast to the groom! To the bride! To knowing you'll always regret the sacrifice you made for your sister! Kirk takes an overdue dive into Lin-Manuel Miranda's epic Broadway musical Hamilton, focusing on Renée Elise Goldsberry's first act showstopper, "Satisfied." Regret tinges an otherwise joyous day as Angelica Schuyler remembers the night she met Alexander Hamilton, fell in love with him, and quickly realized they could never be together. It's a heady mix of complex rhyme schemes, powerhouse vocals, and musical character motifs so densely interwoven that it's hard to keep track of them all. (UPDATE 6/30/2020: This episode's audio file has been updated since it originally ran on May 1, 2019. It includes a new intro and outro, a couple of small editing tweaks, the show's current theme music, a new aside about Angelica's introduction to Alexander, and some added mentions of Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton's fabulous musical director.) Artist: Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda Album: Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording), 2015 Composed by: Lin-Manuel Miranda Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: Tracks from The Hamilton Instrumentals, 2017 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Rob Reich This episode's outro soloist is the wonderful bay area pianist/accordionist Rob Reich. Rob performs all over the place with a bunch of different groups, and is a total pleasure to see play. He's got a bunch of albums you can check out and contributes to an array of interesting projects (Live silent-film scores! Circus music!) and experiments. Find more at his website, http://www.robreich.com/. 'GRAM BY 'GRAM If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, as well as teases for upcoming Strong Songs episodes, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS Kirk has condensed his Strong Songs picks into a single new list, which you can find on Spotify, Apple Music, and thanks to listener L.B., it's now on Google Play. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! Thank you to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons! You all make this show happen. For more information on how to become a patron, go here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

49mins

1 May 2019

Rank #2

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"I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton

It takes an extremely strong song to top the charts three separate times in three separate decades, but "I Will Always Love You" is just such a song. Written and recorded (twice) by Dolly Parton and then re-recorded in show-stopping fashion by Whitney Houston, the ballad has morphed from a fond farewell to a former mentor, to a theatrical goodbye to a lover, to a soaring ode to the very notions of love and loss. We follow that journey from the beginning, with all the vocal tricks, dramatic line-readings, and epic key changes that were added along the way. Band/Artist: Dolly Parton & Whitney Houston Albums: Jolene (1974), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and The Bodyguard soundtrack (1992) Composed by: Dolly Parton Listen/Buy (Jolene): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify Listen/Buy (TBLWIT): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify Listen/Buy (The Bodyguard): Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO DISCUSSED/FEATURED: The sensational new WNYC podcast Dolly Parton's America "The Last Thing On My Mind" by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner "Applejack" by Dolly Parton from New Harvest...First Gathering, 1977 "Let It Go" from Frozen performed by Idina Menzel ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Dan Nervo Mr. Dan Nervo has the tiller for this episode's outro solo. Dan plays guitar all around the San Francisco Bay Area in bands like Neon Velvet, and also teaches private guitar lessons. Hit him up if you want to get really good at guitar: https://www.facebook.com/DanNervoGuitarLessons/ ONE 'GRAM AT A TIME If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest of thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons. If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs NOVEMBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS (Thank you!!) andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik NOVEMBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O'Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kingy Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Molly Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tanner Morton Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

58mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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"God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys

As sure as there are stars above you, Strong Songs will be here to deliver musical deep-dives straight into your eardrums. This week is no different, as Kirk picks apart Brian Wilson's chamber-pop masterpiece "God Only Knows." The sleigh bells ring, the french horn solos, and The Wrecking Crew lays down the foundation for an immaculate collection of chords and melodies, all placed over a bass line that's as Bach as it is Beach-y. Turns out there's a reason so many people call this the greatest song ever written. Artist: The Beach Boys Album: Pet Sounds (1966) Written by: Brian Wilson & Tony Asher Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "And Your Dream Comes True" by The Beach Boys from Summer Days (And Summer Nights), 1965 Discussion of Danny Tedesco's excellent 2008 documentary The Wrecking Crew OUTRO SOLOIST: Luke Price This episode's outro soloist is the wonderful Portland fiddle player Luke Price. When he's not working as a side man in a variety of killer bands, Luke joins his wife Rachael to form the excellent songwriting duo DEAN!. They've got a new album coming soon and it's gonna be pretty great; in the meantime you can follow them on Instagram and listen to some of their stuff on their website, wearedean.com. 'GRAM BY 'GRAM If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, as well as teases for upcoming Strong Songs episodes, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. You can also find a new playlist Kirk specifically designed for listening while staying home and not spreading viruses on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play (thanks Thomas for making that last one) SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! A huge thank-you to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons, and to everyone who has recently signed up! If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs MARCH 2020 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS AccessViolation andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Craig J Covell Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik MARCH 2020 HALF-NOTE PATRONS AJ Schuster Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton brant brantphillip Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Christer Lindqvist Cyrus N. White Darryl Stewart David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Gavin Doig Jacob Dye Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush Jeremy Dawson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Leigh Sales Mark Steen Markus Koester Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller Robbie Ferrero Sam Fenn samuel gardner Shane DeLeon SP Tanner Morton Tom Clewer Tom Lauer Toni Isaacson

56mins

18 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Well, either way, this is definitely an episode of Strong Songs about Queen's genre-blending rock saga "Bohemian Rhapsody." STRONG SONGS ON PATREON Strong Songs has a Patreon! If you liked this episode (or, you know, any of them), we hope you'll consider supporting the show. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs MAMA, JUST KILLED A MAN Kirk dives into Freddie Mercury's operatic opus and learns a lot about vocal technique, piano motifs, harmonic easter eggs, studio production, Strategic Brian May Deployment™, and all the ways doubling a track can make your voice sound cool in the studio. Band/Artist: Queen Album: A Night At The Opera, 1975 Composed by: Freddie Mercury Produced by: Roy Thomas Baker Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "Don't Stop Me Now" by Freddie Mercury from Jazz, 1978 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "We Will Rock You" by Brian May from News of the World, 1977 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "Somebody to Love" by Freddie Mercury from A Day at the Races, 1976 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "Bohemian Rhapsody" a cappella cover by Pentatonix from PTX Vol. IV: Classics Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe ------ SPOTIFY PLAYLIST! You can now follow a Spotify playlist with all the songs from this show, as well as everything featured as one of Kirk's music picks on his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen. STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

49mins

20 Feb 2019

Rank #5

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"Kiss From a Rose" by Seal

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say... especially if that man is named Kirk, and the thing he's telling you about is Seal's "Kiss From a Rose." Kirk goes back to the 90s for a close look at Seal's Grammy-winning, Batman-adjacent power ballad and finds a song that's much more interesting than he even remembered. It's an indulgent world of thick counterpoint, long phrases, harp flourishes, and oboe solos, with some of the richest vocal arranging this side of a chamber choir. Band/Artist: Seal Album: Seal II, 1994 and the Batman Forever soundtrack, 1995 Composed by: Seal Produced by: Trevor Horn Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Sam Howard This episode's outro soloist is bassist Sam Howard. Sam lives in Nashville, TN, where he performs and tours with all kinds of artists, most recently hitting the road with the wonderful singer/guitar-shredder Molly Tuttle. Sam played all the way through the Strong Songs outro, so keep an ear out for his playing mixed under the horns on the way out. You can find out what Sam's up to at his website, https://samhowardmusic.com. NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest of thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons. The show is drawing ever-nearer to its next goal, which will mean a bonus episode all about music terminology. If you want to support the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs OCTOBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann OCTOBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Alex Singer Alexander Polson Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White Dominik Schmitt Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O'Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

52mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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"Tiny Dancer" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John

Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote so many great songs over the years that it was impossible to pick a single one for Strong Songs. So, why not do two? Kirk dives into a pair of classics by the storied songwriting duo, talking about Elton's chameleon-like voice, his love of pedal tones and embrace of the circle of fourths, the fascinating relationship between lyricist and songwriter, and what it means for a song to sound "piano-y."  Both songs by: Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin Album 1: Madman Across the Water, 1971 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify Album 2: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "I'm Still Standing," "Your Song," and "Grey Seal," all by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. "I Want Love" by John/Taupin, as performed in the 2019 movie Rocketman. NEW THEME MUSIC! Strong Songs has a new theme song! It'll evolve a bit over the next few episodes as Kirk adds a couple more musicians to the mix, so that should be fun. Hope you dig it. NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The new theme music was a result of the Strong Songs Patreon hitting its first goal of 150 backers. It's juuuuust about to break the next goal of 200, too. At 250, Kirk will do a bonus interview episode with an interesting musician or educator. Find out how you can support the creation of this show over at the Strong Songs Patreon: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs A huge thank you to all of the show's backers this first month, in particular those who've signed up for the Half- and Whole-Note tiers. WHOLE-NOTE BACKERS: Caleb Rotach Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Sara Walsh HALF-NOTE BACKERS: Andre Bremer Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Chas Lednicky Earl Lozada Emily Williams Fishbones Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeff Dixon John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kyle Simons Max Schechter Michael Blackwell Shane DeLeon Tom Lauer Thanks, everyone. You're making it possible to put in the extra time and work to make episodes like this one shine.

46mins

12 Jun 2019

Rank #7

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"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin

Do you hear a faint.... bustling? It's coming from your hedgerow. It's not just a spring clean for the May queen... it's a new episode of Strong Songs, straight from the Internet to your eardrums! Yes, Strong Songs is back from the holidays and ready for a lush new year of thumps, pops, sizzles, and higgada-buggadas. On the first episode of 2020, Kirk goes deep into Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," a song that develops with unusual subtlety, from those quiet opening guitar arpeggios to that howling, rocking culmination. Band/Artist: Led Zeppelin Album: Led Zeppelin IV (1971) Composed by: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO DISCUSSED: "Black Dog" also from Led Zeppelin IV Clips from Wayne's World, 1992, and a Billboard magazine retrospective with director Penelope Spheeris "Taurus" by Spirit from Spirit, 1968 "The Mandalorian" by Ludwig Göransson from The Mandalorian soundtrack, 2019 "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen from A Night at the Opera, 1975 "Grace" by Jeff Buckley from Grace, 1994 A clip from Jeff Buckley Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition), 1993, which is a really incredible live compilation and you should listen to it ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Kirk Hamilton Kirk is, well, the host of Strong Songs. He realized he'd never actually done an outro solo, so he figured he'd kick off year two by recording one. He's playing tenor sax, and there's actually a video of him recording the solo here: https://twitter.com/kirkhamilton/status/1214319584959877123 'GRAM BY 'GRAM If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest of thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons, especially all the new folks who signed up in December! If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs JANUARY 2020 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS AccessViolation andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik JANUARY 2020 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Adam Georgandis Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Gavin Doig Jacob Dye Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush Jeremy Dawson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Mark Steen Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller Robbie Ferrero samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tanner Morton Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

57mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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One Year, Twenty Songs

Strong Songs is one year old! In honor of that anniversary, Kirk takes a look back on the year that was, sharing musical highlights from each of the show's 20 single-song episodes. SCHEDULING NOTE: Strong Songs will be off in December, and will return for Year Two on January 8, 2020. If you're a patron over on Patreon, that means you won't be charged for the month of December. That also makes December a great month catch up on episodes you may have missed, share the show with your friends, listen to Year One playlists, and enjoy a hopefully very musical holiday season. SONGS DISCUSSED: "Africa" by Toto from Toto IV, 1982 "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon from Graceland, 1986 "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" by Beyoncé from I Am... Sasha Fierce, 2008 "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder from Songs in the Key Of Life, 1976 "Thriller" by Michael Jackson from Thriller, 1982 "Dancing Queen" by ABBA from Arrival, 1976 "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen from A Night At The Opera, 1975 "Let It Go" from Frozen, 2013 "Moanin'" by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from Moanin', 1959 "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra from Out Of The Blue, 1977 "Satisfied" by Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton, 2015 "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973 "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe from The Archandroid, 2010 "Barracuda" by Heart from Little Queen, 1977 "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead from OK Computer, 1997 "Like a Prayer" by Madonna from Like a Prayer, 1989 "Think" by Aretha Franklin from the Blues Brothers soundtrack, 1980 "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal from Seal II, 1994 "Making Christmas" by Danny Elfman from The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993 "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton from Jolene, 1974, and as performed by Whitney Houston on The Bodyguard soundtrack, 1992 ------ YEAR ONE PLAYLISTS You can find new playlists with these 20 songs on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/strong-songs-year-1/pl.u-V9D7gaGiJ7o0a and Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5d9ym1sUymGoySMXOw3zbZ?si=knUCLdHHTQ2lTIQq-uXYmQ OUTRO SOLOIST: All Of Them! Thanks to all of the outro soloists we've featured over the past few months: BJ Cord, Galen Clark, Rob Reich, Dan Nervo, Sam Howard, and Steve Pardo. We'll feature plenty more great soloists in Year Two. SOCIAL MEDIA ALERT You can find Kirk on Twitter @kirkhamilton, and if you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, follow him on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG PLAYLISTS In addition to the year-one playlists above, you can find bigger playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest of all thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon backers. Hundreds of people have supported the show since the Patreon launched over the summer, and you've made it possible for Strong Songs to be what it is. For Year Two, we're adding a smaller "Eighth-Note" tier for those of you who just want to kick in a little bit, since a few folks have asked for that. Find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs NOVEMBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik NOVEMBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O'Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kingy Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Molly Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tanner Morton Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer Thanks everyone for listening - see you in 2020!

50mins

27 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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"Let It Go" from Frozen

What happens when you put a straight-up power ballad in the middle of a Disney movie? "Let it Go" happens, that's what. STRONG SONGS ON PATREON Strong Songs has a Patreon! If you liked this episode (or, you know, any of them), we hope you'll consider supporting the show. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs LET IT GO On this episode, Kirk climbs to the top of a snowy peak and summons all his magical powers to figure out why Elsa of Arendelle's self-coronation song rocks as hard as it does, and what it says about the evolution of Disney musical numbers over the past 30 years. Band/Artist: Idina Menzel Album: Frozen Original Soundtrack, 2013 Composed by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey from Escape, 1981 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "Part of Your World" by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman from The Little Mermaid, 1989 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "A Whole New World" by Alan Menken and Tim Rice from Aladdin, 1992 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "When Will My Life Begin?" by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater from Tangled, 2010 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "Defying Gravity" by Stephen Schwartz from Wicked, 2003 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify "How Far I'll Go" by Lin-Manuel Miranda from Moana, 2016 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

51mins

6 Mar 2019

Rank #10

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"Making Christmas" from The Nightmare Before Christmas

When the full moon starts to climb, we'll all sing out... it's time to talk about the best stop-motion animated Halloween/Christmas movie musical ever made! Hee hee hee hee heeee! Tim Burton and Danny Elfman's maniacal miniature-musical The Nightmare Before Christmas was unusual when it came out in 1993 and, despite the fact that it went on to became a beloved Disney classic, is still unusual today. The centerpiece ensemble song "Making Christmas," during which the well-meaning but hopeless denizens of Halloween Town attempt to craft their own kind of creepy Christmas, is a crucial turning point for the film, both narratively and musically. In this episode, Kirk takes a closer look at what makes "Making Christmas" tick, from its densely interwoven character motifs to its ever-shifting orchestration to its earth-shaking contrabass woodwinds. Band/Artist: Danny Elfman and the Halloween Town Cast Album: The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, 1993 Composed by: Danny Elfman Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: Various other songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, 1993 "The Simpsons Theme" by Danny Elfman, 1989 "Dead Man's Party" and "Weird Science" by Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo from Dead Man's Party, 1985 "Dies Irae" performed by the monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame "Theme from The Shining" by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, 1980 "The Carol of the Bells" by Mykola Leontovych, 1914, with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky, as conducted by John Williams on the soundtrack from Home Alone ------ Update 10/31: After I published this episode on the 30th, several listeners wrote in to tell me about the Dies Irae, a 13th century Gregorian death chant that also shares the first four notes of the "Making Christmas" motif and has turned up in a TON of movies besides. I wasn't familiar with the Dies Irae (I know!), so I've updated the episode to include a mention of it. You'll have to redownload the episode if you want to hear that version. You can also watch a great Vox explainer video about the Dies Irae here: https://www.vox.com/videos/2019/9/16/20868789/creepy-melody-movies-catholic-chant-lion-king-shining - Kirk ------ NEW MUSIC VIDEO! It's a multi-instrumental arrangement of the theme from the classic  adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island, featuring both pennywhistle and normal whistle, among other instruments: https://youtu.be/zf7VQiu1MGo  To catch the next one, subscribe to Kirk's YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/kirkhamiltonmusic ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Steve Pardo This episode's outro soloist is the one and only Steve Pardo. Steve and Kirk met when they were both jazz saxophone students at the University of Miami; Steve currently lives and performs around the Nashville, TN area. He's a producer, composer, and does work in the world of video games, having spent several years at Harmonix, where he helped make music games like Rock Band and Dance Central. You can find out more at his website: https://www.stevepardo.com/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! Thanks as always to everyone who supports Strong Songs on Patreon. If you want to support Kirk making this podcast, find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs OCTOBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann OCTOBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Alex Singer Alexander Polson Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White Dominik Schmitt Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O'Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

50mins

30 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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"Thriller" by Michael Jackson

Darkness falls across the land, and it's the right time for Michael Jackson's "Thriller." STRONG SONGS ON PATREON Strong Songs has a Patreon! If you liked this episode (or, you know, any of them), we hope you'll consider supporting the show. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com IT'S CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT Kirk picks apart Rod Temperton's dance floor classic in all its groovy, corny, sound effect-y glory. Band/Artist: Michael Jackson Album: Thriller, 1982 Composed by: Rod Temperton, produced by Quincy Jones Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ A NOTE FROM KIRK: It’s been a couple months since I produced this episode, and just a few days since I watched the first part of “Leaving Neverland,” a devastating new HBO documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, detail their alleged childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson. It’s an intense and difficult documentary to watch, but I recommend that everyone listening to this episode do so. Jackson’s estate denies it all, but watching people on camera relaying such painful memories, in such excruciating detail, is both wrenching and convincing. It’s impossible to separate an amazing song like “Thriller” from the man who sang it. I still think Thriller is a great song and admire the many people involved in making it, but hearing Robson and Safechuck’s accounts, on top of the similar stories I and the culture at large brushed aside or shrugged our shoulders at when they first surfaced many years ago, has certainly changed the way I hear Jackson’s voice. I’m leaving this episode as is, but I wanted to add this note, as well as to link to this New York Times editorial on Jackson’s legacy by Wesley Morris, which says so much, so well. ~KH 3/6/2019

29mins

9 Jan 2019

Rank #12

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"Single Ladies" by Beyoncé

On this episode, Kirk dives into one of the greatest pop songs of all time. STRONG SONGS ON PATREON Strong Songs has a Patreon! If you liked this episode (or, you know, any of them), we hope you'll consider supporting the show. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs UP IN THE CLUB Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" is arguably the defining song of the last decade, but it's far from your average pop tune. With its unusual tensions and unstoppable groove, it defies safe harmony and resolution, and its composers were more than happy to flip the beat and leave their audience searching for the downbeat. Band/Artist: Beyoncé Album: I Am... Sasha Fierce, 2008 Composed by: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, Thaddis Harrell  Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

26mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #13

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"Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra

Today's forecast calls for blue skies, and today's Strong Songs calls for an in-depth analysis of Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky." NOW ON PATREON Strong Songs now has a Patreon! If you liked this episode (or, you know, any of them), we hope you'll consider supporting the show. Learn more here: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs BLUE SKIES It's time to welcome all our pretty faces to the human race, thanks to ELO's most enduring concert-rock classic. Kirk goes for a sunny stroll on a beautiful musical day full of layered vocals, fire extinguisher drumming, time-tested chords, Les Paul solos, vocoders, and... unexpected saxophone interludes? Band/Artist: Electric Light Orchestra Album: Out Of The Blue, 1977 Composed by: Jeff Lynne Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "Yesterday" by Paul McCartney from Help!, 1965 Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify -- "Confirmation" by Charlie Parker, 1946, included on In Person Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ———————————— NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

35mins

17 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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Hamilton, Hozier, Multiphonics & Modes

Mailbag May returns for round two, as Kirk continues catching up on listener questions. NEW THEME MUSIC INBOUND! Strong Songs passed its first goal of 150 backers on Patreon! That means Kirk will write all-new theme music for the show. Keep an ear out for that sometime in June, most likely. A huge thank you to everyone who's signed up to support the show so far - we've also got some new goals, which you can check out over on the page: https://www.patreon.com/strongsongs MAILBAG MAY, PART 2 The Strong Songs mailbag continues to overflow. This week we've got some follow-ups on Hamilton as well as questions about Mariah's whistle register, vocal multiphonics, rhythmic misdirection, the lydian mode, and the differences between a sequencer, a sampler, and a synthesizer.  REFERENCED ON THIS EPISODE: Various pieces from Hamilton, composed by Strong Songs celebrity endorser Lin-Manuel Miranda, 2015 The graphic novel Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli, 2009 "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic from Native, 2013 "The Third Eye" by the Pillows from My Foot, 2006 "The Simpsons Theme" by Danny Elfman, 1989 "Something" by Snarky Puppy feat. Lalah Hathaway from Family Dinner Vol 1, 2013 "Emotions" as performed by Mariah Carey on Emotions, 1991 "Movement" by Hozier, 2019 "Show Me The Way" by Peter Frampton from Frampton, 1975 "Nut Bush City Limits" by Ike and Tina Turner, 1973 "Shake Your Rump" by the Beastie Boys from Paul's Boutique, 1989 "Without You" by Pete Ham and Tom Evans, as performed by Harry Nilsson, 1971 "White Winter Hymnal" as performed by Fleet Foxes, 2008 "Fugue 24" by Anathallo from Sparrows, 2002 "God Only Knows" as performed by the Beach Boys on Pet Sounds, 1966 "Baba O'Riley" by Pete Townshend and The Who from Who's Next, 1971 "Memories" by Thutmose from the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack, 2018  ———————————— NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com

58mins

29 May 2019

Rank #15

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Strong TV Songs: Animated Edition

It's time for something a little different, as Kirk takes a look at the theme songs from some of the most beloved animated TV shows of all time. This super-sized episode focuses on five different pieces of music, each of which is the theme for a different animated show. It's a ton of music in a variety of styles, full of frantic key shifts, earwormy melodies, bodacious drum fills, and a surprising number of saxophone solos. The songs, in order: "The Simpsons Theme" by Danny Elfman, 1989 "Duck Tales" by Mark Mueller, 1987 "Rescue Rangers" by Mark Mueller, 1989 "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" from Neon Genesis Evangelion, by Hidetoshi Satō, Neko Oikawa, and Toshiyuki Omori, 1995 "Tank!" from Cowboy Bebop, by Yoko Kanno, 1998 ALSO FEATURED: "Maria" from West Side Story's 2009 Broadway cast recording, by Leonard Bernstein The Batman: The Animated Series theme by Danny Elfman "The Disney Afternoon Theme" and "Monkey In Your Tank" performed by The Disney Afternoon Studio Chorus "A Cruel Angel's Thesis: Bike Horn Cover" by Alex Small-Butera on YouTube "Front Burner" arranged by Sammy Nestico for the Count Basie big band "Cat Blues" and "Sax Quartet" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, both by Yoko Kanno OUTRO SOLOIST: Rob Reich This episode's outro soloist is the fantastic bay area pianist/accordionist Rob Reich. Rob performs all over the place with a bunch of different groups, and is a total pleasure to see play. He's got a bunch of albums you can check out and contributes to an array of interesting projects (Live silent-film scores! Circus music!) and experiments. Find more at his website, http://www.robreich.com/. NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest possible thank-you to everyone who's signed up to become a patron of Strong Songs—your support is making it much easier to dedicate the time that the show deserves! If you want to support the show, check out the Strong Songs Patreon. Here's the link: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs AUGUST 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS Caleb Rotach Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Sara Walsh AUGUST 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Alexander Polson Andre Bremer Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Chas Lednicky Earl Lozada Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeff Dixon Jeffrey Olson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kyle Simons Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Nick Clements Ravy Vajravelu Richard Toller Shane DeLeon Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

1hr 10mins

7 Aug 2019

Rank #16

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"Like a Prayer" by Madonna

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone... except for everyone listening to this episode, because we're traveling together through doubt and deliverance with Madonna's "Like a Prayer." Kirk takes a look at the high-contrast drama of the megastar's 1989 megahit, with its cathedral-like verses, bus-driving guitar rhythms, bouncy basslines, and perfectly placed Latin percussion flourishes. The music video got a lot of attention back in the day, but there's plenty in the song itself to celebrate, from Prince's mystery guitar to Madonna's vulnerable vocals to the joyful power of the Andraé Crouch Choir. Band/Artist: Madonna Album: Like a Prayer, 1989 Composed by: Madonna and Patrick Leonard Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED/DISCUSSED: "Open Your Heart To Me" by Madonna from True Blue, 1986 "Like a Prayer" as covered by the cast of Glee The music video for "Like a Prayer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA983t3Rdzs Three excellent music documentaries: "Muscle Shoals," "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," and "20 Feet From Stardom." (Seriously, watch all three!) OUTRO SOLOIST: Steve Pardo This episode's outro soloist is the one and only Steve Pardo. Steve and Kirk met when they were both jazz saxophone students at the University of Miami; Steve currently lives and performs around the Nashville, TN area. He's a producer, composer, and does work in the world of video games, having spent several years at Harmonix, where he helped make music games like Rock Band and Dance Central. You can find out more at his website: https://www.stevepardo.com/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! A huge thank-you to everyone who's signed up to become a patron of Strong Songs—your support is making it possible to make this show as good as it can be! Stay tuned for a bonus episode in the next few weeks, made possible entirely by our Patrons. If you want to support the show, check out the Strong Songs Patreon. Here's the link: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs SEPTEMBER 2019 WHOLE NOTE PATRONS andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Sara Walsh SEPTEMBER 2019 HALF NOTE PATRONS Alexander Polson Andre Bremer Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White Dominik Schmitt Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O'Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kyle Simons Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese Tim Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

44mins

4 Sep 2019

Rank #17

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"Sinnerman" by Nina Simone

Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? To the rock? To the river? To the sea? Well, wherever you run, you'll still be starring in a Strong Songs analysis of one of Nina Simone's greatest recordings. Yes, it's time for Strong Songs' first-ever analysis of a live recording, as Kirk digs in to legendary pianist/vocalist Nina Simone's 1965 interpretation of the traditional spiritual song "Sinnerman." It's time for some syncopated piano, popless grooves, band crash-landings, hand-clap breakdowns, hip hop samples, and one spectacular vocal cadenza. Artist: Nina Simone Album: Pastel Blues (1965) Written by: Traditional, arr. Nina Simone Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: "I Put a Spell On You" and "Feeling Good" as performed by Nina Simone on I Put a Spell On You, 1965 "Strange Fruit" as performed by Simone on Pastel Blues, 1965 "Sinner Man" arranged by Les Baxter for his orchestra "Oh, Timbaland" by Timbaland from Shock Value, 2007 "Get By" by Talib Kweli from Quality, 2002 Audio from John McTiernan's underrated 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair Audio from Liz Garbus' excellent 2015 documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? OUTRO SOLOIST: Rob Reich This episode's outro soloist is the wonderful bay area pianist/accordionist Rob Reich. Rob performs all over the place with a bunch of different groups, and is a total pleasure to see play. He's got a bunch of albums you can check out and contributes to an array of interesting projects (Live silent-film scores! Circus music!) and experiments. Find more at his website, http://www.robreich.com/. 'GRAM BY 'GRAM If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, as well as teases for upcoming Strong Songs episodes, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! A huge thank-you to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons! If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs MARCH 2020 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS AccessViolation andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Craig J Covell Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik MARCH 2020 HALF-NOTE PATRONS AJ Schuster Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton brant brantphillip Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Christer Lindqvist Cyrus N. White Darryl Stewart David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Gavin Doig Jacob Dye Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush Jeremy Dawson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Leigh Sales Mark Steen Markus Koester Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller Robbie Ferrero Sam Fenn samuel gardner Shane DeLeon SP Tanner Morton Tom Clewer Tom Lauer Toni Isaacson

55mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #18

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"Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe

Whether you're high or low, you got to tip on the tightrope... and Kirk's got to tip right into a Strong Songs analysis of "Tightrope" by Janelle Monáe. It's time for some thump, some pop, and some sizzle, along with some clever rap phrasing, phrygian harmonies, surprise ukulele, and the funkiest horn section in Metropolis. Band/Artist: Janelle Monáe Album: The ArchAndroid, 2010 Composed by: Janelle Monáe, Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: Several other songs from The ArchAndroid; "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder from Natural Wonder Live; re-created beats from Strong Songs episodes on Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller." For more on the lore behind Monáe's Metropolis suite, read this great summary by Charles Pulliam-Moore at io9: https://io9.gizmodo.com/from-metropolis-to-dirty-computer-a-guide-to-janelle-m-1825580195 OUTRO SOLOIST: BJ CORD This episode's outro soloist is BJ Cord, a fantastic trumpet player based in Portland by way of Chicago. BJ works at Monette trumpets making some of the most beautiful horns in the world, and is a regular presence on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monettetrumpets THE STRONG SONGS THEME! You can listen to a (basically) final mix of the Strong Songs Theme Song on Kirk's Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/kirkhamilton/strong-songs-theme-song NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! Join the club over at the Strong Songs Patreon and help make this show as good as it can be. We're well on our way to 250 backers, at which point Kirk will do a bonus interview episode with an interesting musician or educator. Find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs A huge thank you to all of the show's backers for June, in particular those who've signed up for the Half- and Whole-Note tiers. JUNE WHOLE-NOTE BACKERS: Caleb Rotach Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Sara Walsh HALF-NOTE BACKERS: Andre Bremer Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Chas Lednicky Earl Lozada Emily Williams Fishbones Forrest Chang Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeff Dixon John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Kyle Simons Max Schechter Michael Blackwell Shane DeLeon Tom Lauer Thanks, too, to everyone who has signed up in the last couple weeks.

54mins

26 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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"Lovefool" by The Cardigans

You don't have to cry, pray, or beg - Kirk is happy to break down one of the 90s' most iconic pop hits without any further encouragement. Yes, it's time to take apart The Cardigans' 1996 hit "Lovefool," a song that sounds one way when it's that Romeo + Juliet song that's on the radio all the time, and another way when it's the centerpiece of First Band on the Moon. Kirk zooms out a bit more than usual to place this song in the context of its (fantastic) corresponding album, and to hopefully help everyone better appreciate the meticulous mastery of The Cardigans. Band/Artist: The Cardigans Album: First Band on the Moon (1996) Written by: Nina Persson and Peter Svensson Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify ------ ALSO FEATURED: Many other tracks from First Band on the Moon ------ OUTRO SOLOIST: Kyle Molitor Kyle is a Portland-based trombonist who plays in all sorts of bands, and the dude can really get it done. Find him on Instagram @tbonemolitor and find his upcoming shows on his website: https://klmolitor.wixsite.com/tbone 'GRAM BY 'GRAM If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/ NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe STRONG MERCH! Visit the Strong Songs merch store for some very cool t-shirts, mugs, totes, and more: store.strongsongspodcast.com STRONG PLAYLISTS You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music. SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON! The biggest of thank-yous to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons! If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs JANUARY 2020 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS AccessViolation andrew walters CALEB ROTACH Chad Barnard Dan Apczynski Dave Florey Glenn Jared Norris Mark Schechter Merlin Mann Ryan Torvik JANUARY 2020 HALF-NOTE PATRONS Adam Georgandis Alex Singer Alexander Polson Amanda Furlotti Andre Bremer Andrew Baker Andrew Lee Arjun Sharma Bill Thornton Brett Douville Brian Amoebas Brooke Wilford Chas Lednicky Chris Brown Cyrus N. White David Stroud Earl Lozada Eero Wahlstedt Elliot Jay O'Neill Emily Williams FlSHBONES Forrest Chang Gavin Doig Jacob Dye Jaehoon Jeong James Johnson Jasmine Fellows Jeffrey Olson Jennifer Bush Jeremy Dawson John and Sharon Stenglein Jon O’Keefe joujou Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua Jules Bailey Justin Liew Justin McElroy Kate Albury Kevin Morrell Kevin Pennyfeather Mark Steen Matt Gaskell Max Schechter Melanie Stivers Michael Blackwell Miriam Juskowicz Mueller Nate from Kalamazoo Nicholas Schechter Richard Toller Robbie Ferrero samuel gardner Shane DeLeon Shaun Wiese SP Tanner Morton Tom Clewer Tom Lauer

49mins

22 Jan 2020

Rank #20