Category Archives: bands
How can anyone ever improve upon a piece of work like Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart? The passion and urgency of Bonnie’s throaty vocals, the bombast of Jim Steinman’s rock-opera arrangement… who could possibly attempt to rethink such a masterpiece?
Hurrah Torpedo, that’s who! This Norwegian trio puts their hearts and souls (and, in one case, ‘bottom cleavage’) into a timeless homage to the anthemic classic. Performed on guitar, chest freezer, and two ovens (one played with some sort of small club, the other with a large metal trash masher), this stirring performance is surely a fitting tribute to Tyler and Steinman’s magnum opus.
Watch it here – but get the tissues handy first!
(Just a mild warning – one of the percussionists in this video has a severe case of ‘plumber-butt’…)
Sadly, Hurrah Torpedo’s site appears to be circling the drain. At one time there were fantastic videos of innocent bystanders being subjected to their music. Nowadays, there’s hardly anything there but the occasional blurb in Norwegian. It’s a pity.
What follows is a personal story in which my own musical horizons are broadened. I hope you’ll indulge me.
There used to be a not-half-bad sketch comedy show called Fridays that came out around when SNL was starting to peak for the first time. I remember watching it one night when the musical guest was some group named King Crimson.
I’d never heard of them before, and when they started into a song called “Elephant Talk,” I had no idea what was going on. I had never heard this kind of music before, or seen instruments played this way. Why was that one guy strumming the strings on the headstock and twiddling the little knobs on that box? How was he making his guitar sound like an elephant? And what in the world is that thing that the bald guy is playing? Were these people insane or something?
At first, I thought I didn’t like it. But I was very, very wrong. It stuck with me for some time, and a while later, when my record club sent me a copy of Discipline (the album on which this appears) by mistake, I ripped it open and listened to it about a hundred million times.
Thanks to the internet, and YouTube, I can watch that performance again, and think back to that time when everything I thought I knew about music started to change.
In fact, my loyal Parts Unknown readers can watch it, too, and maybe even find their horizons broadened as well: King Crimson – Elephant Talk
Learn more: King Crimson’s official website | Elephant Talk, a now-defunct but still info-packed KC newsletter | Wikipedia: King Crimson
Other great King Crimson performances on YouTube: Dinosaur – Three of a Perfect Pair – Frame By Frame – Matte Kudasai