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"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, July 4, 2016

Professor Shady Probes the Serebro Cortex: A Quick and Dirty Tutorial On How Context Determines Meaning!

Remember the Four Tops' hit:

Now it's the same old song

But with a different meaning?

It is something to keep in mind as you watch
the TV campaign spots run by the presidential
candidates. The manner in which a piece is
 edited - the images used - influence the
meaning you take from it. I found an
excellent example of the power of
visual images to change meaning
and change minds. It's time to
probe the Serebro Cortex.


This summer the edgy Russian girl pop trio
Serebro released "Chocolate," a new single
from their third album Power Of Three.
Two very different music videos were
released to promote "Chocolate."
Here... for your listening and
viewing version #1.

"Chocolate" - Serebro
(June 2016 single from
May 2016 album Power Of Three.)

As you watched version #1, did you notice
the scenes of innocent summer fun,
sisterhood, the water ballet
and the puppy?

Submitted for your approval...
(or disapproval as the case may be)
...version #2 of "Chocolate."
For some, the "director's cut"
is an acquired taste.

Here, once again, "From Russia
With Something Resembling Love,"
are the girls of Serebro with
food for thought -

"Chocolate" - Serebro
(June 2016 single from
May 2016 album Power Of Three.)

Did you have a different gut reaction to
"Chocolate" the second time around?

Which of the following comments more
closely matches your opinion of version #2?

A.  The second interpretation of "Chocolate" is in
    good taste, Shady. I know art when I see it
    and, by golly ----- that's art!!!

B.  The second interpretation of "Chocolate" is
    in bad taste, Shady. The video sends the wrong
    message because, as I'm sure you've heard,
    eating sweets promotes tooth decay. :)



This tongue-in-cheek post

marks the official start

of a new chapter here at

Shady Dell Music & Memories.

For the last eight years nearly all of my posts
have focused on music made in the U.S.,
Canada and the UK. From now on
I intend to add variety. I invite you
to come along as I travel around
the world in search of great
new artists and sounds.

Pitbull: Mr. Worldwide

Inspired by "Mr. Worldwide" - Miami based
rapper Pitbull - I will soon be launching three
new series in which I will introduce music
makers from the four corners of the globe
and expose you to exciting sounds that
are bringing together people of many
different nationalities and cultures.
I hope you will join me on this
journey of discovery.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Kathryn AndersonJuly 4, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    Chocolate is a fun, catchy, summery song. Comparing the two video versions definitely illustrates how image selection and editing influence the way we experience a song-- a speech-- or a political message.

    The second version might be art— but it reminds me of the kind of art they used to show in Times Square-- lol. I won’t go as far as to argue that it is an example of the objectification of women-- because those three are obviously willing participants— but it seems-- more than ever before-- sexy images are used to promote pop music. Do you agree?

    I think it’s great that you are branching out and presenting music from other countries. Variety is a good thing-- as long as you don’t abandon your roots entirely. May I assume that you will continue to post the old songs from your Dell days?

    1. Good morning, Kathryn!

      Serebro is one of my most recent musical discoveries and has quickly become a favorite. The trio represented Russia in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest and placed third. Many of their songs are recorded and released in both Russian and English language, the latter enabling Serebro to gain worldwide popularity. Serebro has undergone several personnel changes over the years, the latest very recently - March of this year. As they made the stylistic transition from alternative rock to dance-pop, Serebro began to adopt, as stated by Wiki, "a more overtly sexual image." The group even appeared nude in one of their videos. To answer your question, yes, more modern artists are opting for a sexy image because it gets them noticed - generates buzz. Image alone isn't enough if an act doesn't deliver on the sound but, in release after release, Serebro does deliver. I think they're great. I also love the work of rapper Pitbull.

      Thanks again for checking out the post, Kathryn, and happy 4th of July to you!

  2. Their music videos are just wow.
    Happy 4th of July.

    1. Hi, Luxie!

      Thank you for coming halfway around the world to experience the edgy Russian girl trio Serebro. I'm happy to know that their videos wowed you.

      Good evening to you there in the Philippines and have a great week, dear friend Lux!

  3. I admire your shift into International waters. As you have no doubt figured out, I don't stick to borders, and if the song is good enough, the language doesn't much matter either. Go for it!

    THAT song, however... let me just say I have a problem with the "maturity level" of the chorus. As in, the lyrics, which had seemed so promising earlier, kind of fell off into Barney-land for me. I liked the singing, and the music was okay, but...

    The videos didn't have that much of an effect on me, frankly. I had already seen something similar to the second one done by Weezer, so it didn't exactly "break new ground" for me. The first one, I thought, matched the song a little better. I do think I'll have to explore Serebro and see if they have anything more to my exquisite (cough cough, spat*) tastes.

    (*Says the man who finds Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey high art...)

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for dropping by, good buddy. Happy July 4 to you!

      I spend most of my time in Barney-land, and so the maturity level of a song is not a factor for me. I don't pay much attention to lyrics. What is most important to me is the way a recording is produced, the sound mix. Serebro has some excellent recordings out and I will be presenting more of their stuff in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

      Hey, I agree that "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" is high art!

      We're so sorry Uncle Albert
      But we haven't done a bloody thing all day
      We're so sorry Uncle Albert
      But the kettle's on the boil and we're so easily called away

      Admiral Halsey notified me,
      He had to have a berth or he couldn't get to sea.
      I had another look and I had a cup of tea and a butter pie.

      "Butter pie?"
      "The butter wouldn't melt, so I put it in the pie, alright!"

      Thanks again for spending a little of your I-Day in the Shady, good buddy Chris. Have a good one and a great week!

  4. Hi Shady!
    Did I have a different reaction to the second version? Heck, yeah! Who changed the channel?
    Because the not-so gradual barrage of semantic changes of words and meanings tends to render conversations pointless, wouldn't you think they would just invent their own language?
    In a comparison summary of the two songs, I equate it to a rendition of our National Anthem by Roseanne Barr at a 1990 Padres game.
    I'll miss the oldies, my friend. But I wish you (and us) pleasant surprises on your trip around the world of music!
    Happy 4th of July, dear Shady!

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for coming by on your holiday, dear friend!

      You reminded me that I forgot to answer Mrs. Shady's question about the oldies. Surely, I will never abandon my roots. Here's the thing, though. I was getting ready to "retire" this blog at the end of 2010 and go into "reruns" because, at the time, I believed there wasn't anything left for me to post about. By then I had presented all of the original Dell songs and had written everything I remembered about the people, the place and the times of my life. How wrong I was to think there was no future for SDMM! In the months and years that followed, I met Phil Spangler, Kathleen Mae Schneider and her mother Margaret, three people who opened up entirely new chapters in Shady Dell history. Since 2010 I have discovered thousands of great recordings made during my youth - records I never even knew about. I wanted to share them with friends like you. Then came heavy metal and now I'm into modern pop, made in the USA and around the world. It's a very exciting time for me and I appreciate your interest in what interests me. It's the mark of a great and devoted friend.

      I smiled when you mentioned Roseanne's butchering of the national anthem. I remember it well. I also remember that she performed it proudly and with a great big smile. She did it her way.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend Diedre. Happy 4th to you and have a wonderful week!

  5. Happy Happy Fourth of July.
    I will be interested in what new and different music from around the world will be showing up on your posts.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      I am very happy to see you back here at SDMM, dear friend. I've been missing you and thehamish!

      Thank you for taking an interest in my new direction for SDMM. Oldies will still be my bread and butter, but I am discovering a wealth of exciting new artists and recordings in countries around the world and I am eager to share them with you. You won't have long to wait for the next batch. It's coming up next weekend!

      I hope you are having a restful holiday, dear friend Gayle. Thanks again for drpping by!

  6. Hi Shady!

    Happy 4th of July! Wow, I've never seen people eat so sensually. I prefer the first one... I like the innocence behind the first video - the second video is different. I do like the song, however!

    I can't wait to see what you post next week. :) Have a good week, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Welcome back to SDMM, dear friend, and happy 4th of July to you, too!

      Yessum, it's all in the editing. When you break it down, everybody eats, right? There's nothing particularly interesting or arousing about that. It is a natural, ordinary and necessary part of our daily lives. But when you show brilliant color closeups of beautiful women eating sweet treats in slow motion and making a mess of it, there is no mistaking the intended meaning.

      If you are still with me, then I invite you to join me this coming weekend for my first ever midnight post! I think you'll enjoy yourself.

      Thanks again, Jessica Marie, and have a great week ahead!

  7. It will be fun exploring the music world with you. I love to see what other countries are showcasing. I was watching a show on the fashion scene and just the present scene in Russia, mainly St. Petersburg. I never thought I would hear rap music in Russian. The first video makes me think the girls were more in charge of what they wanted to portray while the 2nd is what the men in charge wanted to convey. It's interesting since this show I watched showcases exactly the what one has just watched in the 2nd video. Since WW 2 the male population have never recovered so there are a lot more women to men regarding the ratio...I think they said 3 to 1. The men kept telling women what they deem attractive in a woman which is basically be attractive and seductive but make my dinner, bring my slippers and think of me as a God! In fact, more than one Russian man said they should be viewed as a God! I think if you would have watched this program ( which we just happened upon) you would have found it very interesting and it seems to tie into your music post here. Obviously I prefer the first video and even their singing style in the first. I don't think I will ever look at gummy bears the same way:)

    1. Hi, dear Birgit!

      Thank you for coming by tonight and for this marvelous comment!

      I would be very interested in seeing that documentary about modern Russian culture. I certainly don't agree with men trying to position themselves as gods to be worshiped by women, and I don't think women should be coerced into dressing and acting sexy to please men. From what I have read, the Serebro act has made a deliberate attempt over the years to present a sexier image than that with which they they started. Of course, there might be a male handler or handlers behind the scenes requiring them to adopt this bold new image. (They appear nude in one of their vids.)

      You helped to prove my point about how the visuals can change your evaluation of a song. You became "anchored" to those slo-mo shots of gummy bears dropping into a waiting mouth. From now on you will probably think of that scene whenever you see, smell, taste or even read about gummy bears. I believe the two audio tracks of the song are nearly identical. The lead vocal on #2 sounds higher pitched, leading me to conclude that the track is speeded up slightly on that version for whatever reason.

      Thank you again for your friendship and for this particularly good comment, dear friend BB. I wish you a very happy week ahead!

  8. Well, that was interesting! The second video was certainly a different side of the same tune and frankly I wasn't that impressed...although I would say I'm craving a gummy bear now! Funny how the image of Russian women has changed in my day. I still think of them in drab clothes, scarves on their heads, orthopedic shoes and a crabby face. Guess I'd better get in the groove and be here for your around the world in many days music fun! I will learn something new and replace old images with cool, young, vibrant ones! Hope your week is great!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend!

      Yessum, I grew up with the same images of Russian women in my head - exactly as you described. I've a feeling that most Russian women don't clean up as well as the striking beauties of Serebro, but the group does remind us that the phenomenon of globalization in modern music is blending the influences of East and West, making it difficult at first glance to tell which part of the world an act comes from. I can't wait to take you around the world in my three new series, the first of which begins this Friday. Stay tuned!

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend YaYa. I hope you don't have a tummy ache from too much vodka, borscht and gummy bears! :)

    2. When my boys were young we had a little boy (9yrs old) from Chernobyl who stayed with us for a summer. The kids were sent to the US to get healthier, away from the radiation in that area. One of the things his parents sent was a big bottle of vodka. We don't drink but even if I did I don't think I would want radiated liquor! Gives a whole new meaning to being "lit up!"

    3. Hi, again, dear YaYa!

      You and your family were very generous opening your doors to a boy from Chernobyl. It reminds me of something John and Helen Ettline would have done. Holy smoke! I wouldn't have touched that vodka either. Maybe you could have used it as a decorative "lava lamp" in the game room. :) It's a good thing his parents didn't send along some fresh picked produce from their garden!

      Thank you very much for the return visit and for sharing this story, dear Kathleen. A couple of days ago I came across one of your comments on a post I ran early in 2014. I paused and gave thanks for having a great and loyal friend like you in the blog universe. I know that you won't care for some of the material I present here in the future, but I can tell that you care about our friendship, and it is all that matters to me. :)

      I have a new post coming tomorrow morning and another one close behind it on Friday night, my first experiment with late night publishing!

      Thanks again, YaYa, and God bless!

  9. Shady, I get you! I've been immersed in Asian groups lately.

    Serebro is great, and I especially like video 1. It is more fun and playful.

    Have a great week. Thanks for voting in my BOTB, my friend.

    1. Hi, Dixie!

      Thank you very much for joining the party today, dear friend!

      I am getting into Asian groups, too, and will be presenting dozens of recordings in that category beginning next January. I can't get them posted any sooner because I am so backed up with material from other countries.

      I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed the Russian girl group Serebro. Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Dixie, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. Hi Shady,
    I'm anxious to see the changes in SDM&M! More up to date songs, perhaps???
    a aaa, um, yes , those 2 vids were like night and day!!!! The second one was pure porn only replacing sweets instead of certain body parts!!!!! LOL!
    Can't say I love the song!
    I do love me some Pit Bull, though! I was fortunate to see him live at the Allentown fairgrounds over a year ago. I love that Latino sound. His new song, "Messin around" is a new twist on REO Speedwagon's , "Heard it from a friend". Good stuff!
    Anxious for the new journey, Shady!

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit today, dear friend!

      I'm happy to know you're up for some changes here at SDMM. In the 8 year history of the blog, songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s have greatly outnumbered more recent releases. I assure you and everyone else that most of my posts will continue to be older material, but I am balancing things out a bit to reflect my current interest in modern music from around the world.

      Isn't it fascinating how version #1 of "Chocolate" is about a group of young women having good clean fun - "Saturday in the Park" kind of feel, while version #2 is so radically different that it reminds you of porn? All they are doing is eating... something all of us need to do every day to survive. It's the method of filming used and the editing that make all the difference.

      I didn't know you went to see Pitbull at the Allentown fairgrounds! I love the rowdy, macho style and the global reach of "Mr Worldwide."

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend Toni, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. Hi, Shady! Sorry to be so late. My website had a nervous breakdown and I decided to re-design it from scratch. Fun, frustrating and incredibly time-consuming. :P Anyway...I'm happy to see some "non-girly" voices here. ☺ I wouldn't call the first video "art", but neither would I call the second one "in bad taste". They were singing about "chocolate cookies", after all. ;) Speaking as a person of European heritage, I'm thrilled that you will be presenting international music in future. There's a lot of great stuff out there. And Pitbull is definitely cool! I hope you had a nice long weekend. Cheers!

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thank you very much for Russian over here! (BA-DUM-BUMP) :) I'm sorry to learn that your website gremlins continued and finally forced you to revamp, but I'm sure the new design is killer. I'll be Russian over there to see it a.s.a.p. :)

      Your comment is excellent and I thank you. Given your heritage I fully expected you to be excited and supportive about the new direction I am taking. In the days, weeks, months and years to come I will be spanning the globe to bring you great recordings and live performances from artists in places I never even thought to look. I am receiving an education and eager to share my finds with you.

      Thank you again for coming by and for your kind remarks, dear friend Debbie. BOLO for a quickie post two days from now on Thursday followed by another post Friday.

      I'm shaking things up! :)

    2. Sometimes, it's good to shake things up! ☺ There are some killer metal and rock bands in Greece, Italy and Scandinavia. That said, I hope you'll still be doing posts from the "good old days" as well. Many of your readers really love that too!

    3. Hi, again, Debbie!

      I also like the metal bands Kells and Eths, both from France.

      For the most part I have rock and metal on the back burner this year while I focus on my latest interests, dance-pop, electro-pop, house, hip hop and rap. I am launching three new series majoring in those categories. The first series begins two days from now, this Friday night, at MIDNIGHT! It will be my first ever midnight post. The second series will be unveiled around Halloween and the third (a 50-parter) next January.

      I won't forget the oldies, but 90% of them will be "new" oldies - newly discovered artists and recordings of the past that most people never heard of.

      Thank you for sticking with me, dear friend Debbie! :)

  12. I preferred the first video because it was more interesting. My statement pick would be neither of the ones you stated. Mine would be more like, "That video is gross--I was taught better eating manners." Though I will admit that at least the food was sweets. It would have really been gross if it was like meat and real food. Handfuls of mashed potatoes and gravy or mixed vegetables dropping into the girls mouths. More nutritional perhaps, but I don't need to see anything like that.

    Interesting song though. I've noticed the trend of artists making two or more videos for the same song.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      Thanks for dropping in, good buddy! Some people call it art. Other people call it gross. Either way, that second video got some buzz going about Serebro, and so it's "Mission Accomplished" as far as they and their handlers are concerned. The girls even shot a video in the nude!

      I think you're right. I have been noticing two or more versions of videos being released. For example, a female artist performs solo in one video version and in the second version a performance by a male rapper is inserted to add street cred. The two versions target different markets.

      I'm sorry the slo-mo cookie and candy eating wasn't your cup of tea, good buddy. Stay tuned now as I prepare to go international in a higher percentage of my posts, something you routinely do in your BOTBs.

      Thanks again, Lee, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  13. So glad you are going to use your platform to showcase music from around the world! This should be an exciting venture.
    Re: the second video: obviously put together by someone who adheres to the adage "Sex sells"... which, let's face it, it does.
    Two very different presentations. I do like the first one better. That should come as no surprise.
    I liked the song. Now it's in my head "choc-o-late, choc-o-late, choc-o-late cook-ie..." :)

    Hope you're having a good week Shady!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, dear Michele!

      Thanks for Russian over to see me! :) I am very happy to have you here on the last day of this post's run. Yessum, occasionally, when warranted, I will be breaking my own rule and posting more often than once a week. For example, I have a new post coming tomorrow and another new one the following day - Friday at MIDNIGHT - for night owl friends who love to party!

      "Chocolate" is a catchy song, isn't it? Plus, the second version of the video gets burned into your brain and you get anchored to the song - proof that a distinctive video, even a controversial one, gets an act noticed and sells product. (I have already ordered their "Serebration" CD.)

      I'm delighted to know you look forward to my new direction - spicing things up with international flavor. I haven't forgotten about my 50-part Soul Train series which begins next January. It will incorporate international acts.

      Your friendship is like a choc-o-late, choc-o-late, choc-o-late cook-ie, dear Michele. Thank you again for coming and enjoy the rest of your week!

  14. The second video literally made my stomach sick. I don't want to see someone chewing cookies and having crumbs dribble all over the place. Disgusting! Where are the table manners? Obviously, I prefer the first video.

    Have a wonderful week, Shady. And thank you for your nice comments regarding the anthology promo video I did!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend!

      I'm sorry vid #2 made you throw up in your mouth a little. :) Think about it, though. If the camera had been placed at a distance of 20 or 30 feet away from the girls, if they had been shown eating their treats in a normal manner, and if the action had been run in real time instead of dramatic/erotic slow motion, the end result would have been much more natural - young women eating sweets - something millions do every day, and it wouldn't have disgusted you. The shooting and editing techniques made all the difference in our interpretation of the song.

      You did a fine job on that promo clip and I was happy to let you know. I am always willing to support a friend who supports me. :)

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Sherry, and enjoy the rest of your week!


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