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The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta

Date: Feb 25 2008

Themes: Alternative, Music

Intro

1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

The Mars Volta’s music often seems to come from another world. Guitar solos played in scales that sound so strange the band probably made them up themselves come out of the speakers at high speeds. The rhythm can change from a Latin beat to punk and back within a minute. Electronic effects are often used on the vocals and the lyrics sound like a book of poetry read backwards.

But you might actually be able to hear the spirits on the Mars Volta’s latest album, The Bedlam in Goliath, The band claims to have been communicating with the dead while they were recording. Listen to Marni tell Jason about it.

Dialog

1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Marni

Marni

Jason

Jason

Marni:  So I was just listening to NPR and they were talking about the new Mars Volta record.

Jason:  Oh yeah, what’s the concept this time?

Marni:  Apparently it’s about a Ouija board. It has a lot to do with this Ouija board they bought and they felt like it was really talking to them and all this weird stuff started happening, like the recording studio flooded and I guess it got really intense to the point where they literally took it, destroyed it and buried it so they could finish recording it.

Jason:  All the drugs they do probably helped them think that the Ouija board was talking to them.

Marni:  Yeah, I think they do a few substances a little. I mean, their music is weird. I don’t know if I’m really into it.

Jason:  What does the new album sound like?

Marni:  It’s kind all over the map. They’re obviously very skilled musicians, you know, a lot of weird time signatures, all that sort of, you know, Rush-y kinda…

Jason:  But is it just really schizophrenic, like the bit that you heard?

Marni:  Yes. I would say that’s a good…

Jason:  Because I love how virtuosic they are and how weird their sounds are, but sometimes I think they just need to focus.

Marni:  Exactly! It’s just a little too all over the place.

Jason:  Make one song.

Marni:  Yeah, exactly, I agree with you. But it was definitely interesting. I mean, I gotta give ‘em credit, and the story’s intriguing.

 

Quizzes

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Discussion

Marni heard some of the new Mars Volta album on the radio. Since previous Mars Volta albums have been made around concepts like dreams in a coma, Jason asks what the concept of the record is this time.

Marni says that the album is based on an experience the band had with a Ouija board, which is board with letters on it that some people believe can be used to communicate with spirits and the dead. When the studio flooded and things started going wrong with the recording, the band decided to destroy the Ouija board and bury it. They finished the album OK after that.

It’s an interesting story, but Marni isn’t sure if she likes the album. She and Jason agree that sometimes the Mars Volta’s music all over the place. Marni thinks it sounds like Rush sometimes, and there’s no doubt that any band that sounds like Rush has got to be a group of amazing musicians.

Grammar Point:
If you listen to the audio, you might find the pronunciation of “Ouija” a little bit confusing. It’s pronounced “WEE-gee,” and no one’s quite sure where the word came from. Since the word doesn’t sound like it starts with a vowel, it’s proper to say “a Ouija” instead of “an Ouija.” It’s capitalized because it’s a trademark. But it’s a common term that’s applied to similar products that aren’t part of the trademark. It’s like how the word “Coke” can actually refer to any soft drink.

 

Comments

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 julito

julito

Argentina


 I would like to advise that  this ouija  board  can actually attract spirits , and in many cases  they are not  easily to dealt with.    

08:31 PM Mar 04 2011 |

zz-top

zz-top

Uzbekistan

the mars volta is awesome

08:13 PM Oct 19 2009 |

miffoo

miffoo

Slovakia

I never heard this band

08:17 PM Jan 28 2009 |

yamilai

El Salvador

WELL, I LIKE SOMETIMES ROCK MUSIC BUT I PREFER TECHNO SOMETHING TO DANCE YOU KNOW…...Laughing

04:07 AM May 10 2008 |

sunflame

sunflame

Ukraine

rather interesting story

02:28 PM May 07 2008 |

kaderya

kaderya

Turkey

i like the music "my heart will go on " too

06:54 AM May 07 2008 |

sunflame

sunflame

Ukraine

rather interesting lessonSmile

03:09 PM May 06 2008 |

sunflame

sunflame

Ukraine

rather interesting lessonSmile

03:09 PM May 06 2008 |

isael

Mexico

is a son of bitch jaja fuck you jajaja

10:01 PM May 05 2008 |

albertorios

Colombia

i had heard  about of the board ouija and stories of evil spirits that you have, but i don't know this band i would like to see more of them.

05:19 PM May 04 2008 |

PJessica

PJessica

Vanuatu

It sound really weird!

03:25 AM Apr 24 2008 |

ravindra_2009

India

i can not say about it because i have not knowledge about it can any one tell me about it in detail

01:00 PM Apr 17 2008 |

Chintan Trivedi

India

its great.. to hear,,, pronunciation is too good,, 

05:10 PM Apr 16 2008 |

jean-inocencio

Brazil

muslin songs,no?

06:33 PM Apr 13 2008 |

rafou

Algeria

i like song muslim

 

03:03 PM Apr 11 2008 |

jean-inocencio

Brazil

what do you think about the chinese socialism?

12:38 AM Apr 11 2008 |

Nomad27

Mongolia

Sup?

01:29 PM Apr 08 2008 |

smallmice

Viet Nam

i don't know how to use chat. i want to make friend with everyone.

 

09:47 AM Apr 07 2008 |

malonrose

malonrose

China

musicCool

03:00 AM Apr 01 2008 |

cylu

Costa Rica

hi, let me try to explain the meaning of "ouija board", it's a table with some words, apparently u ask some question to the spirits , and they answer u,  by moving  around the letters of the table

07:54 PM Mar 31 2008 |

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