Now I’ve been happy lately, Thinking about the good synths to come…
Today the Songwriters Hall of Fame is welcoming some new members, including John Prine, Missy Elliott, and Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf.
You may recognize that name from his series of classic songs from the 70s, like “Morning Has Broken,” “Father and Son” or “Moonshadow.” Or maybe you know his story of converting to Islam at a time when that wasn’t something you heard much about in western pop culture.
But do you also know that Yusuf Cat Stevens was a pioneer in electronic music?
In 1977, he started work on a new album, which he’d call Izitso.
His most famous works were songs built around acoustic guitars and pianos, but for this album, he decided to mix things up and add some synthesizers.
Most of the songs still sound like Cat Stevens songs, just with some added elements.
But one of the songs had no calm acoustic strumming and no singing unless you count the occasional dog bark, just blippy synth parts and electronic drums spinning out a groove that would have sounded at home on an album by Kraftwerk, but would’ve come from far out of left field to the casual Cat Stevens fan.
Even the name was unusual: “Was Dog A Doughnut?”
In 2014 he told Uncut magazine that he’d read an article asking the question “Was God An Astronaut?” – a question he found so absurd that he trolled it with his instrumental track.
Stevens released “Was Dog A Doughnut?” as a single, and it even hit the charts, winning fans in dance and club circles.
It later became a hit among hip-hop producers, thus proving it really is a wild world.
For those who love duct tape, today is a big day in Avon, Ohio, the city known as the Duct Tape Capital of the World.
It’s day one of – what else – the Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival.
The 16th installment of the annual festival features games, rides, food and music, but most importantly, Sunday morning’s Duct Tape Parade.
Yes, people dress up in duct tape costumes, there’s duct tape art.
It’s like Red Green’s imagination come to life.
Key Tracks: Cat Stevens’ “Was Dog a Doughnut?” (Red Bull Music Academy)