Where can I find more music like "What You Feel" from Once More, With Feeling?
May 21, 2012 8:27 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to find more music like the song "What You Feel" from the episode "Once More, With Feeling" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The musical episode of Buffy has a song called "What You Feel" which is sung by the monster of the week, Sweet, and which I really like. I wanted to find more music like it but don't know enough about music to know how to go about it.

I've listened to the commentary track, where Joss Whedon says he wanted it to be a "bluesy" jazz number but doesn't elaborate on what specific influences he was riffing off of. I've checked Wikipedia and allmusic.com, but neither address this song's influences or style, though they both talk a bit about the others.

I've also seen the previous AskMe asking this question, but it's got one broken link with unclear link text, so I don't know what was being recommended, one recommendation where the poster later stated s/he misunderstood the question, and two recommendations (Cab Calloway, The Mask soundtrack) which aren't really what I'm looking for.

In particular I like the timing and the melody on the vocals (esp. "I know what you feel girl," "that's the penalty when life is but a song," and "I can bring whole cities to ruin and still have time to get a soft-shoe in"), and while the music isn't especially complicated or surprising, it is stylish and has nice interplay between the instruments (the trumpet leading into the strings, the drum snap followed by the piano, etc). The lyrics are fairly clever but not the main draw for me.

I haven't seen The Mask since the mid-1990s but what I remember of the music was mostly Latin jazz and raucous big band instrumentation, both of which are fun but don't remind me of this. As for Cab Calloway, some of his work might be a decent match--maybe "Minnie the Moocher"--but generally it also doesn't remind me of this. The only full album of his work I've heard is one with Chu Berry where all the songs seemed to have a major-keyed backing that was serviceable but dull, and the vocal melodies likewise.

Dear Metafilter, please can I have a pony?
posted by johnofjack to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This episode came out at (or slightly after) the peak of the swing revival movement and, though it is a little more barebones than most of that genre, that's clearly what this track is drawing from.

For more loungesque and less big-band takes on the genre, check out Mitch Woods, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and Big Rude Jake.
posted by 256 at 9:14 PM on May 21, 2012

Peggy Lee - Why Don't You Do Right

Sarah Vaughan - Whatever Lola Wants

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand

Any of these near the ballpark? (They're great regardless.)
posted by nicebookrack at 9:35 PM on May 21, 2012

The Asylum Street Spankers is worth a listen, too. They covered a range of styles, some of them roughly what you're looking for . Good luck!
posted by sapere aude at 10:51 PM on May 21, 2012

When I first heard that song, the vocal style and some of the instrumentation reminded me of Squirrel Nut Zippers. Not certain if the likeness is valid -- I am often musically deaf. But just in case, you might want to check out their music.
posted by artemisia at 11:28 PM on May 21, 2012

I think the Benny Goodman/Peggy Lee song might be the closest match to what I was looking for, though the instrumentation on the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Sarah Vaughan songs have aspects of it too. I'd forgotten about Squirrel Nut Zippers and I'd never heard of The Asylum Street Spankers, so I'll look into them both.

Maybe I didn't relate this to swing because when I think of swing I typically think of the music in the dance scene at the end of Swingers--but that's more a problem with my idea of swing than it is with swing. The man's wearing a zoot suit, yes? That was a clue. ^__^

I'll look into swing and the swing revival; maybe by poking around some more in allmusic and various music guides I can find the kind of laid-back/loungey swing I'm apparently looking for.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by johnofjack at 5:02 AM on May 22, 2012

You might like Fiona Apple's Paper Bag.
posted by willnot at 7:07 AM on May 22, 2012

That song always reminded of a couple of Tom Waits' tracks.

Big Black Mariah

Telephone Call from Istanbul
posted by Benjy at 8:24 AM on May 22, 2012

super late to this, but I just thought of Screamin' Jay Hawkins I Put a Spell on You
posted by fireflies at 2:28 PM on May 31, 2012

Ultra late to this, but have you heard any Barry Adamson? He's got the sinister blues/jazz thing down pat.

Try Jazz Devil, or The Man With the Golden Arm to get a feel for what Adamson has to offer. I'm awfully fond of Can't Get Loose and What It Means, too. Actually, I'm pretty fond of all the Barry Adamson I've heard, and he's got the interplay of sound that I think you're seeking.
posted by terrierhead at 10:02 AM on June 4, 2012

Also - Jools Holland does jazz remixes of songs, some of which are on youtube. Try this rendition of Bono singing If You Wear That Velvet Dress. No, really. The video is something a fan made and posted online, but the song is brilliant.
posted by terrierhead at 10:12 AM on June 4, 2012

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