Homonym: “Red”, by King Crimson & “Red”, by Okkervil River
First, a caveat: this isn’t the video you really need to see for this song, but the original material is pretty well scrubbed off the internet. So here you go:
Why not this video? Because it is the 90’s band, still looking and sounding pretty 80’s, doing the title track from the album that was really the last one they made in the 70’s before things got all… 80’s and 90’s. Everybody was affected by the ascetic of the era, but I don’t have to like it. You can listen to Dicipline all by yourself. Onward.
I couldn’t tell you why Fripp named this song or the album “Red”. There’s no lyrics to support that decision, and who’s to say that Fripp even chose; he gave up some creative control over this album to try and make the band dynamic better(spoiler alert: it didn’t take. It would take them another 20 years to make a good album, THRAK. Don’t @ me.)
This is a great tune, above video non-withstanding, from a great album that kept the vibe of Starless and Bible Black going, down to having a track originally vetoed from the Starless and Bible Black sessions, titled “Starless”, included. “Red” would be a pretty good introduction to someone interested in King Crimson that would get turned off by the acoustic sounds of previous albums. Just recommend the actual album, not the YouTube crawl.
“Red”, by Okkervil River, is a good place to start, too. It’s their first song off their first major-ish label release, and it has all the parts that are good and just get better about their music, and all the shitty trappings that you can hear them correct if you start from the top:
You know why it’s called “Red” from the very beginning, and from the very beginning of their first album you get to hear Will Sheff excel at writing lyrics with perfect and compelling rhyme schemes and phrasings, literary strength in storytelling, and thematic arcs that make each of Okkervil River’s songs seem like short stories. The lyrical power of their music just gets better after each album.
That forced buildup in the vocals that happens just after the three minute mark, though? That keeps happening in songs. One of my favorite “looks like it’s time for me to run away” songs was “Kansas City”, off of the same album, and even in the dull and depressive state I would get in, that forced crescendo would hit in the lyrics and I would think, “dude just let it happen”…
Homograph: “Feel”, by Chicago & “Fancy Colors”, by Chicago
I know this is shooting fish in a barrel, but this fish needs to be executed:
This is the reason I picked this song: I saw today on Twitter that Pringles, the potato crisp snack that comes with its own homemade Fleshlight starter kit, was sponsoring a Rascal Flatts tour, and I immediately felt bad for the brand that it had to associate with those fucking terrible musicians.
Jay DeMarcus, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, produced the album, Chicago XXX, if it’s not painfully obvious by listening. I would rather fuck that can with the duck bill crisps still in it than listen to this song again.
I’m nor gonna post a shitty bootleg video of a Chicago song that you will want to watch over and over, and not just because of the exotic, Japanese-ness of it:
Again: if time machines were real, I wouldn’t be wasting my time killing Hitler. I’d be going to the Nashville recording sessions for Hot Streets and politely, graciously, murdering Peter Cetera.
Near Cognate: Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”, by Steve’n’Seagulls
Everything about my general disdain for cottage-industry “file under X” style switch cover bands/tributes wanted me to mark this “False Cognate”, but there’s a couple of reasons why they get a pass:
One: I fancy the mandolin player.
Two: There’s a decent following of country music in Scandanavia, but it’s mainly of the pop variety(re: Rascal Fucking Flatts). I encourage some people with a bit of technical talent doing something “country”, rather than just pretty(to me) boy Kurt Nilsen getting some semi-stoned photo op with Willie Nelson to help his “brand”.