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The Cardigans: “My Favourite Game” and “I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to be Nicer”

Soul of Wit, a good friend of the site, commented on a post last week featuring Tom Jones. He sent a link of Jones and The Cardigans covering The Talking Heads’ Burning Down the HouseHe suggested that it is impossible for a rock fan not to like the clip and, of course, he’s right.

The clip raises some questions: Are two people, at least in their public personas, more different than David Byrne and Tom Jones? Why does Jones always seem to be lip-synching, even when he almost certainly isn’t? Why does Jones make me think of William Shatner? Is that real fire in the video? I hope not.

In any case, here is more on The Cardigans:

One of the most pleasing pop groups of the ’90s, the Cardigans specialized in sugary confections that would grow annoying very quickly if they weren’t backed by solid musicianship and clever arrangements. The band’s 1995 breakout album, Life, reflected the Cardigans at their most saccharine — the sunny disposition of vocalist Nina Persson being the major argument in favor — and critics inserted the group into the space age pop revivalist camp. the Cardigans later proved that they were more difficult to pigeonhole, however.

Even the band’s origins showed that their later appearance was quite misleading; two heavy metal fanatics formed the group in October 1992 in Jonkoping, Sweden. Guitarist Peter Svensson met bassist Magnus Sveningsson in a hardcore group, though he had previously trained in music theory and jazz arranging. The two later grew tired of metal and decided to form a pop band with vocalist Nina Persson — an art-school friend who had never sung professionally — plus keyboard player Lars-Olof Johansson and drummer Bengt Lagerberg. (Continue Reading…) 

Above is My Favourite Game and below is I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to be Nicer. Here is the band’s rather minimal site.


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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.