September 25, 2010

Music Is...My Cleaning Up The House Music

This may be my favorite post of all.

My cleaning up the house music is pretty extensive and sort of just happened on its own. First of all let me mention that my mom has always said to me that there wouldn't be "new school" without the "old school". I heard that so many times that it got to the point were I could tell when she was getting ready to say it. I willingly and gladly admit that she is so right, to me anyway. When I was little there was such a variety of music she played, particularly from the 80's and before, that I became "music blind" so to speak. What I loved more than anything was listening to them on her record player which she still has. I'm telling you, the sound of a record player is something that cant be mimicked, either its the real thing or its not. 

Nowadays when it comes time to clean up the house, she always knows exactly what to play. Straightening up was when I became most familiar with a huge assortment of music. I can remember being about 7 or 8 years old, before I switched elementary schools, and seeing this album with five heads on it, black people, and the word "5ive". At that age I, wasn't too good at reading so I didn't know that the name above read Jackson. I know she would've had a fit if I touched it. Anyway, she always plays somethin that gets me more inclined to make sure things get done. 

The list includes artists such as: (trust me, this doesn't event scratch the surface)
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Natalie Cole
  • Phill Collins
  • Whitney Houston
  • Barry White
  • Barry Manaloe 
  • Tony! Toni! Toné!
  • Mint Condition 
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Temptations
  • James Brown
  • Carly Simon
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Dixy Chicks
  • Alan Jackson
  • Randy Travis
  • The Pointer Sisters 
  • Love Unlimited Orchestra
  • AC DC
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Gladys Knight and The Pips 
  • Elton John.....
    The list goes on and on truly. 

    The songs from these artists just create a homey feeling for me. They create memories that I doubt I'll ever forget. Earlier I said my cleaning up the house music was extensive, and that it is. If you don't know by now, I can't leave you without something to listen to. Here's some and I stress SOME of what the "Clean Up Woman" listens to:

    September 23, 2010

    Music Is...Video Games And Theme Music

    This post is along the lines of where I spoke about a few music videos that I like. Well to follow suit, these video games are those where it'd just be wacky to have any other theme music except the original, that's for the entire game including intros, endings, and stages. I just couldn't imagine anything else. I was born in 1990, so I don't remember everything but I know a lot. My cousins had these games before me so I had the opportunity to play many of them, and often. We played Sonic The Hedgehog more-often than anything else as far as I can remember, but eventually I got into a little bit of everything. Listed are theme songs from only three select games that I know many of you remember. Ahhhhh, memories. 

    (not every song is here, but these are the most memorable for me)

    I think you can play with Knuckles

    The game speaks for itself
     I remember for the life of
    me I couldn't get Guile's 
    Sonic Boom down pat until
    much later

    September 22, 2010

    Music Is...Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks

    Get it

    I don't know how many of you have heard of this London born artists, but I was introduced to his music around mid to end of July this year. I may have previously heard his name a time or two but it never went beyond that. However with only one hearing of this whole album, I have to say there isn't one song I don't like. The album is telling the story from the viewpoint of a concocted character named Strickland Banks, a British soul singer, and how his life takes a drastic ride downhill, hence his defamation.

    The two openers, "Love Goes Down" and "Writings On The Wall" are songs he performs in concert which lead you to assume he's talking about his girlfriend. "Stay To Long" then follow him and his crew through the night celebrating the successful concert which results in a one night stand with an unknown female. In "She Said" the woman becomes absorbed in Strickland's music and finds herself insanely in love with him. His feelings are far from the same, so he rejects her causing the woman to accuse him of rape. After the conclusion of the ensuing trial, Mr. Banks finds himself heading to prison narrated in "Welcome To Hell". 

    The rest of the songs describe prison life for him and how he copes. "Hard Times" and "The Recluse" detail Strickland's feelings of isolation and vulnerability. While inside he is confronted and abused by another prisoner. On "Traded In My Cigarettes" he says, "So I saved up all my cigarettes and I traded them in for a tool....I don't wanna hurt nobody but what choice do I have..." During the confrontation mentioned before, an inmate sentenced to life helps him put down the attacker and takes the blame for it. "Darkest Place" goes on to describe the guilt in his conscience for what has occurred. Strickland's initial frustration, rage and eventual acceptance of life in prison are expressed on two of the final three tracks "Free" and "I Know A Song". With the last track, "What You Gonna Do" Banks is in court again regarding new evidence brought to life on his case, leaving you to interpret whether or not he returns to prison or released. 

    I like the beats. The album has a 50's Motown vibe to it. His voice has and underlying raspy feel. As always, I cant leave you without a play-list.  

    September 17, 2010

    Music Is...The Song And Visual - I Cant Have One Without The Other

    For me there are certain music videos where the music and the video perfectly complement each other. I'm sure there are those of you have your favorites and feel just as I do. With me, the song is typically the first insight I have. I'll to take you on an expedition through the ABC's of a few of my inseparables from Ms. Jackson to show you what makes them my favorites.

     "Alright" is one of those songs that, for me, gets stronger as the years go by. I love the beat, and I highly doubt that I'll ever take this one off repeat. I don't remember exactly when I heard this song but I know it was quite a few years ago. I immediately fell in love with it. There where certain sections that I anticipated.....Then I watched the video for the first time and that unquestionably sealed the deal for me. The whole nature of it attracted me. The atmosphere, her black and white pinstriped Zoot Suit, the choreography, the Nicholas Brothers, Cab Calloway. All of these components create a nostalgia that makes me want to experience that time period.
     There are a million and one things that I could say about this joint right here, but I'll try to keep it at one million. This is a strong case in point. The whole project trumpets a firm militant core that can't be denied. The choreography is so tight and contains so much precision with the crisp movements that it makes me wanna drop down and give'em 50. Janet and her dancers was jammin in this one. With "The Pledge" as the interlude and introduction for the album and video, along with what is delivered in this fine tune package creates for me the pièce de résistance. 

    I don't necessarily have a single favorite music video of hers, however If is definitely one I watch often. The saying goes that a picture says a thousand words, well I'll let you type If into the video  player above and watch those words in action.
    Just click the upward arrow in the bottom right corner.

    September 13, 2010

    Music Is...Mike Posner

    My first glance of this guy was roughly a month ago. I was flicking through the channels and I caught him at the end of his performance on the Regis and Kelly show around 11am or 12pm that day. Considering the fact that my outlook on music changed around mid 2007, as far as what I felt was relevant and what simply wasn't hittin, I decided to immediately look him up on the PC. I listened to some tracks on his album "Mike Posner: 31 Minutes To Takeoff" and I have to say he's refreshing. One particular song I keep on repeat is 'Delta 1406'. I love this one. Mr. Posner talks about his takeoff in the music industry and how maybe his departure from possible mediocrities was too fast and too far. A verse says, "Maybe I flew too far, shooting stars leave no mark." He also expresses the fatigue he feels as a result of the traveling and promotion.

    He has many mix-tape hits that I like too. From the mix-tape "One Foot Out The Door" (which by the way, the cover art looks like a mixture between Kany West's Graduation and Salvador Dali's The Persistence Of Memory). I like 'Kiss Me Through The Phone', 'I Don't Trust Myself', 'Red Button', and 'One Foot Out The Door'.

    Take a listen.

    September 09, 2010

    Music Is...Velvet Rope - Janet Jackson

    Get it

    Velvet Rope. This track is after the Interlude - Twisted Elegance. If I recall correctly there was no official video created for this song. In my opinion, however, the song as a whole creates such imagery that each individual listener may visualize a personal video for themselves. 

    On that interlude, on this jagged, distorted, "twisted", jazzy layer Janet proclaims, "It's my belief that we all have the need to feel special, and it's this need that can bring out the best in us yet the worst in us. This need created The Velvet Rope." A majority of those words are echoed throughout the lyrics of the song. Within the first ten or twelve seconds it sounds like your being taken on some sort of industrial intergalactic voyage towards a forbidden location. As you land and begin to take notice of your surroundings, you discern that you've arrived at the very depth of her realizations, moreover you find that this destination isn't too alien from where your deepest thoughts reside. Throughout the chorus and each verse, she narrates many feelings that in some form or another represent that figurative velvet rope inside all of us. If you listen closely, from 0:15-0:31, in the background sounds like what could be a very slow pulse rate, that's what I imagine it to be anyway. Just a bit before the beat drops, you'll hear some sort of rough, computerized voice begin to say repetitively, "Come on, come on, baby come on, come on, baby, come on, come on", as you dive continuously into this never-ending twilight zone of intense emotion. Within the lyrics, "Put others down to fill us up. Oppressing me, will oppress you..." is the message that so many of us will do what we deem necessary to feel bigger or accepted, only to find that in the end we cause harm to others and ourselves as well. "Outside leave judgment. Outside leave hate. One love's the answer you'll find in you." Analyzing those words, it seems she may be saying that once you leave any hostility, any malice out the door, then that "rope" will be more readily unhooked. Nevertheless, it's easier said than done.

    I have to say that my favorite section is towards the end, where the violin travels along its highs and lows of notes. The way in which the sound of that instrument works in conjunction with the bass and this cacophony of abstract sounds in the background leads to an intense zenith that truly gives you an earful. While there are beautiful, recognizable, and awkward sounds on this track, they all unquestionably portray the fact that "The Velvet Rope" isn't always glamorous.

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