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April 27 2008

Classic Moments: Giles sings in Buffy. Digital Spy looks at that great scene from the Buffy episode "Where The Wild Things Are".

Or as I like to think of it, the only good scene in the entire episode. (Okay, the Anya and Spike scene is also good. But that's it.)
Hahaha that crazy ranga chick who Xander chats up. Always laugh for all the wrong reasons in this ep.
Ooohhh Giles, my 'God of acoustic rock'!

This was truly my fave part of the episode. And one of the highlights of Season 4. But I think we've discussed this episode recently, and then some.

*Ms Nitpick wants to add that those character quotes in the article aren't quite accurate. And the Espresso Pump was NOT a bar.*
I really hate that scene (and the other one a couple of episodes later). It totally took me out of the episode, it felt like it was Anthony Head singing rather than his character Giles.

(The dream song is brilliant though. As is, obviously, OMWF.)
Oh, I adored when Giles sang. They tipped it in just infrequently enough to hook me completely, while leaving me wanting for more. And the reaction of the Scoobs? Priceless and oh-so-real. (I remember learning from my friend's older sister that my high school AP Biology teacher was playing sax at a very hazy head-shop jam she attended on weekends. It turned my world on end.) When, oh when, will that acoustic album ASH keeps hinting at come to pass...?
This moment in the Espresso Pump and the moment when Giles beats up Ethan in 'Halloween' really crystallized the character for me. He's not just a Watcher, with a demon-summoning past, he's a man of many facets.

I love it and it really made Giles appear sexy to me for the first time.
"[A] song called 'Freebird'"? "[A]n emotive song"? "Freebird" and "Behind Blue Eyes" are two classics of modern rock, and the article treats them as if we would never have heard of them before. . . .
but one middle-aged librarian needs to let off some steam in an unusual manner.
This makes it sound like Giles was singing because he was affected by the spell.

I also love this scene (and this is probably my least favorite Buffy episode), but then I always thought Giles was sexy.
My roommate's girlfriend was ecstatic when Giles sang, because she always thought he was sexy and it just reinforced her heart's pitter-patter. So basically, she joined the melting Willow/Tara/Anya crowd, heh heh.
The look on the Scoobies' faces while Giles is singing was the best part of this episode for me.
"[A] song called 'Freebird'"? "[A]n emotive song"? "Freebird" and "Behind Blue Eyes" are two classics of modern rock, and the article treats them as if we would never have heard of them before. . . .
Pretty much what I came in here to say, alixtii. Is the author trying to make some of us feel old?
I just giggled all the way through that article. From the opening about Tony being a "coffee-bean shaker" to the screwed up dialogue. And they totally missed his Exposition Song in "Restless."

Not that I have that scene memorized or anything, but it goes thusly:

GILES: "No one knows what's like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes/No one knows what it's like to be..."

ANYA: "Oh."

WILLOW: "Wow."

XANDER: "Um. Could we go back to the haunted house? Because...this is creepin' me out."

(Giles singing throughout)

TARA: "Does this a lot?"

XANDER: "Sure. Every day the earth rotates backward and the skies turn orange."

GILES: " empty as my conscience seems to be/I have hours, only lonely..."

WILLOW: "Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him."

TARA: "Well, he is pretty good."

ANYA: "His voice is...pleasant."

XANDER: "What?"

WILLOW: "Oh, come on. He is kinda sexy."

XANDER: "I'm mental breakdown here, Will. No more fuel on the fire, please."
Giles (thought balloon while singing): "What? I can't have layers?"
Mmmm. I loved that scene. Is it sacrilege that I like ASH's singing of Freebird in "Yoko Factor" better than Lynyrd Skynrd's version? ASH and The Who are pretty much on equal footing for Behind Blue Eyes.

I think that this was the first time I thought of Giles as sexy...granted, I was very young when this show first started, so I didn't really think of too many guys as sexy as a rule. (Does any 11-year old?)
Never liked Lynrd Sknyrd, and especially not that bloated southern anthem rock monstrosity (and disliked even more "Southern Man" riposte's "Sweet Home Alabama"), but must confess to being a purchaser of Who's Next when it first came out and loving BBE, and misting over when Giles gave it a truly soulful rendition.

That said, the Giles who loves The Who, Cream (with a glass of whisky in salute to the departed Joyce), who is sophisticated and learned and of discriminating taste, simply would never have been a fan of "Free Bird."

I call one of the worst mischaracterizations of a Buffyverse character ever.
Right on, Chris! We two can march in solidarity... alone... ahem. :)
I say thee nay, Chris.

Lynyrd Skynrd was influenced by the British Invasion bands; Cream probably was, inasmuch as Clapton *is* British. The Who--they were one of the invaders (much like Vikings). They both (Clapton and Skynrd) have roots in Blues.
Sweet Home Alabama was not a Southern Man's anthem but rather a response to Neil Young's song Alabama. In a very far stretch, one could compare it to a kind of "Passionate Shepherd" response.

Giles, as a guitarist, would definitely pay attention to both old Slowhand and Allen Collins and Gary Rossington, who was very accomplished (Freebird being one of the true testaments to this).

I call it perfectly within character, especially as both songs would have come out around the time that Ripper was in full destructo-mode. It rings true to me.

Edit: fact emendment.

[ edited by BandofBuggered on 2008-04-27 23:07 ]
I dislike Freebird myself, but have a soft spot for Sweet Home Alabama, which is bouncy and riffy. More important for the Giles-in-character issue, I had a high school friend whose band would play a mixture of punk and Velvet Underground (one of whose records Oz picks out of Giles' stack in The Harsh Light of Day) and blues, and typically end their set with Freebird.

Concededly, Giles is a self-confessed snob, so he may not have been quite so into southern-fried rock (and I believe English blues musicians like Clapton and Peter Green aspired to being much more purist), and the choice of FB always did strike me as a little odd; still, music can cut across tastes like that.
We need the full version of both songs.

C'mon, ASH! Do the acoustic album!

"Behind Blue Eyes"
"Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)" - Tom Waits
"Have a Little Faith in Me" (He's performed this at many conventions, but I'd like to hear it w/out background babble. the bloody gorram hell can you talk when he's singing!?)
"Coast of Marseilles" - Jimmy Buffett

And then kick it up some, with maybe "Thing Called Love" (Another Hiatt song, also covered by Bonnie Raitt), something from CCR, just about anything from the Beatles, maybe "Who Are You?" by The Who.
I still think Freebird is not too much of a stretch to connect to Cream via Blues. Now if ASH busted out in some Aretha, that might not ring quite true. (Though somehow I can see him doing a pretty damn good retooling of "I Say a Little Prayer." In a very manly, studly, god of acoustic rock kind of way.

Honestly, I think of Skynyrd as more than Southern-Fried rock. Those guys were accomplished musicians all. If they hadn't done Sweet Home Alabama (which I will always have a soft spot for because it reminds me of my own Southern grandmother)...I don't think they would be shoved into the Southern Rock genre so easily. Yeah, they would still be there, but it would take longer to come to that conclusion.

I think that the fact that the has bands such as Velvet Underground (now Lou Reed...that's some interesting stuff) gives credence to the fact that he would know and like Freebird. I bet he also has a Hendrix album in his collection. After all, Oz was impressed by his collection, calling him an "animal" in his day. You don't get that by just listening to a few bands.

I still just can't wrap my head around the idea that Clapton is a purist. The guy is just arrogant, in my mind. He's a hell of a guitarist, but he's a mediocre singer and an unoriginal songwriter. Besides Derek and the Dominoes' Layla, Cream put out only a few great songs, including Cocaine (which sounds like Sunshine of Your Love) and Crossroads. And, of course, Tales of Brave Ulysses. But I mostly like that song because of Joyce Summers.

I don't know why I'm arguing this point so much...I don't even like Freebird much, except when ASH sings it.

ps...I firmly believe that if ASH decided to do a rendition of Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way," it would be incredible. Because Frampton's weenie version sucks, but Big Mountain's reggae version is quite good. What we need is a *good* acoustic version.
Well, I'm not exactly arguing. In fact, I'm tending to agree with you, BoB, that it wasn't that out of character for Giles, but . . . Clapton was initially very much a purist. He left The Yardbirds, supposedly, because they were venturing into pop territory (although it's hard to reconcile that with some of Cream's later stuff - I Feel Free is not exactly a straight-up blues number . . . ) BTW, Cocaine wasn't a Cream song, but a EC solo effort - and a cover of a great J.J. Cale original to boot. And Crossroads isn't an original song either, but a loose version of a Robert Johnson number. But White Room, Sunshine of Your Love, TOBU, and Badge are all genius, IMHO.

I didn't mean Southern-fried as an insult. I love me some Kings of Leon - and they're definitely of that ilk.
Sweet Home Alabama was not a Southern Man's anthem but rather a response to Neil Young's song Alabama.

No, Chris is right. Neil Young's song is called "Southern Man."

And it would be very easy to pull two CDs out of my collection and say, "No way the same person would like both of these!" Tastes can spread in funny directions.
I forgot to add the classic Ray Charles number "Georgia (On My Mind)" to my Ideal Acoustic ASH list.

'cause...I'm still kicking myself for being stupid enough to go up to my room for my cameras Friday night during the karaoke kick-off, and missing him singing that. The last...half-minute I heard made my heart melt, though.
Ah, thank you SNT, for your Clapton lesson. I have a few compilations of his music, but most of my education comes from that and what my parents have told me (they are both former military, so not necessarily the best sources).

As for eclectic music tastes, I have no room to talk: my iPod on shuffle will frequently go from The Clash to Spice Girls (a guilty pleasure from my youth), or from Flogging Molly to Simon and Garfunkel to Sarah Brightman back to the Sex Pistols. Add in a little Aretha, Sinatra, and all Whedon-y soundtracks; sprinkle some insanity. Oh. And of course, The Jam, The Beatles, The Stones, and Del Amitri.

I'm still pretty sure that at least some of Sweet Home Alabama was in response to "Alabama," possibly as well as "Southern Man." Doesn't seem too much a stretch.
Well, I never thought I'd look up Lynrd Skynrd, but apparently you're right (that SHA was a response to both Young songs). However, a lot of people say it was tongue-in-cheek and not the heartfelt reaction their fans took it to be.
(I also learned lots of other irrelevant information. :))
I took both of Giles' song selections to be part of important season 4 (and 5) themes. "Behind Blue Eyes" came back to me when Buffy found out what it was like to be hated, caged, and spat on Faith. "Freebird" was Giles thinking about leaving Watcher-hood. I may be reading too much into it.
I'm afraid I have to point out that Giles said he liked the Bay City Rollers once.
Completely unable to take technical sides in the discussion (what I know about all the bands in question could fit on a single hand-written page with room to spare) but I do agree on the fact that it's really a stretch to say anyone who likes "A" and "B" couldn't like "G."

Interesting nobody has mentioned Giles's expressing of liking for the Bay City Rollers since at least one writer (TOpping as usual) said they were bit tame for a self-styled badguy like "Ripper" was. (edited to add; Bravo for coincidences.)

I do like the idea of making the songs into symbols.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-04-28 17:51 ]
I always thought he was joking about the Bay City Rollers. Of course, it's not a joke Buffy would be likely to get, so maybe that's just wishful thinking. :)

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