Week 63: “Turn the Koala” by Red Blue Green

Most circles of friends include at least one person who is the musical know-it-all of the group. A musical encyclopedia wrapped in an obscure band t-shirt, this person has a rebuttal for everything. Your favourite band? Yeah, they were pretty good before they changed drummers. Your favourite song? Yeah, it’s good, but the live version from 2006 is way better. Having a friend with this type of knowledge can be helpful, but more often than not, you just want to decapitate him with that limited-edition vinyl he just bought at that store near Chinatown. Oh, you’ve never heard of that store?

Well, this week I’m offering you a trump card in your next interaction with that person: Red Blue Green.

Your friend will be taken off guard when you mention the band’s name. In response to his blank stare, say something like, “yeah, they’re pretty experimental, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of them.” Then, if he hasn’t started crying yet, throw in that the pianist plays with The Hidden Cameras from time to time. Not knowing this indie connection will render him powerless, and you’ll be raking in free tickets to everything as your friend tries to attain your coolness level.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The eerie chromatic piano part. It reminds me of “Planet Telex” by Radiohead, except here it’s somehow made eerier by being in 6/8. I can imagine ghosts waltzing to this song.

2. The middle. Old funk songs have a middle section called the “breakdown” where most instruments cut out, leaving the drummer and bassist to groove for a while. In this song, it’s more of a “meltdown”. Things stop making sense, the time signature dissolves, and you might be excused for thinking that your computer has decided to spontaneously de-fragment itself.

3. It all comes back together. Just when you think the musicians have fallen asleep at the wheel, that chromatic piano part comes back, and everything makes sense again.

Recommended listening activity:

Inventing your own paper airplane designs.

Buy it here.