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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

_____________________

Today’s FVF is short and sweet.  It’s about, uh…  Actually, I hope it just makes sense and doesn’t need an explanation.  That’s the whole point of this writing thing, right?  If I need 300 words to explain 27 words, I’m writing the kind of words I always hated to read/hear.

So with that:

promised you’d forget me.
didn’t say it
but i knew.
it was in the way
you hugged me freely
when i was still so tied
to you.

And, uh, that’s that.

But I’m really excited about the music feature I’ve got for you today.

The Sweet Remains.  Go to the site.  Do it.  There are a handful of tracks there for your streaming pleasure.  The audio will auto-load, but forgive it.  It means well.

If they don’t get your weekend off on the right foot, it might be hopeless.

See you on the other side.

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

_____________________

Okay. So I’m utterly confused by WordPress’ failure to execute tonight — or last night — including prematurely publishing a scheduled draft. Hopefully not, but there may be draft-like content in your reader, or a post that only somewhat resembles this one. Sorry about that. It kind of makes me want to go back to Blogger and have a legit reason to play around with Google Wave.

But whatever. It’s hard to be that upset at anything while listening to Sam & Ruby, which is exactly what I’ve got for you today. They’re not new, but they’re growing, by leaps and bounds. And thanks to Sam at It’s the Little Things, I’m kind of in awe of them. Actually, in awe; no need for a mitigator.

For a studio version, go here.

But the business: this week’s FVF is a continuation. And a conglomeration. A cohabitative collaboration, celebrating the collision of chorusticular contemplation.

I apologize. I just always wanted to talk like Don King or Jesse Jackson.

The moment has passed. Moving right along.

The verse is a little of this plus something new, written to the instrumental of a song I submitted in a contest a few years ago. So it is at least a continuation. And I think it’s a little bit of growth, because a song that started by asking to be part of something, now has a chorus asking for something in return. But it’s still, as seems to be a trend lately, a work in progress.

Happy Friday. Go make some bad decisions.

“center of your universe”

close your eyes.
spin around me.
let me be
the center of your universe.

all i’m asking for
is the chance to be
your dream come true
and everything you deserve.

but before my heart strings pop
a smile breaks
and i fall head over feet,
i want you to stop me
and say you mean it.

’cause i’ve been oh so close
with a front row seat
just to watch it slip away,
so i want you to stop me
and say you mean it.

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Unless you’re a president of some nation or the leader of some over-achieving guerrilla faction, rarely do you get the chance to put the world on stop.

rick rubinBut then there are people like Rick Rubin.1

Go ahead; look at that face. That grizzly-Jesus-lookin’ mofo is a pioneer of modern music because of his influence on hip hop. From what I understand, his gameplan was as follows:

a) make music I like, even if I don’t look like the kind of dude who should like it

b) make you like it, too, even though you’re not supposed to

c) be happy.

To have had this mission in the 80s with music featuring black artists, when up until 1983 the Billboard music chart gods, for instance, had filed most of the music by black artists as “Black” Singles, Records, etc., is nothing short of remarkable.

And I miss his era.

Look, I’m not gonna get all “there are X-number elements of hip hop” or “I know real hip hop” with this. Hip hop (“HH”) is a wedding reception celebrating the marriage of soul and inner city blues.2 And, like at any wedding reception, you’ve got all sorts of different people at different tables. There’s a table for the wedding party; and a table for the cousins you don’t really remember; and one for your coworkers that insisted on being there, etc.

At HH’s reception, it’s the same thing. You’ve got a table where the giants of the industry sit and there are all sorts of other people there who have been invited because that’s just what you do. It’s like a sprawling family reunion. That’s how you get people like Russell Simmons — a co-founder with Rubin of HH’s groundbreaking label, Def Jam — in the same room with someone like Chingy. And people drink heavily at this party. Hell, I’m sure Souljah Boy was the result of a night — and pregnancy — of really, really heavy drinking.3

But it’s not a secret that something’s missing lately. And I don’t know what it is. It’s like: friends – check; money – check; soundboard – check; microphone – check. But while I totally think a bunch of these young artists should get paid if they can, you can’t convince me that doing the stanky legg is anything like It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock.

I was watching the 2009 Hip Hop Honors last night and Lyor Cohen was telling the story of how he decided to sign Warren G — most known for Regulate, a track with a famous Michael McDonald sample — to Def Jam. Cohen said he walked in to Warren’s house and there was barely any furniture; a TV and one chair, basically. But when Warren took him to the space where he made music, Cohen looked down at his turntables, saw a copy of Carole King’s Tapestry spinning and knew this was the kind of guy he wanted to sign; someone with versatility who wasn’t afraid to like good music and not care who made it.

And that’s what I miss. I miss the almost tangible sense that HH artists were multifaceted fans of music; that they appreciated sounds they “weren’t supposed to” like; that they found a way to convince us that these were sounds they were supposed to like. Because at the end of the day, all of our talk about what “real men” listen to, or white people listen to, or older generations really “get/understand,” is nonsense.

It’s just about whether it’s good music. It really is that simple.

____________

1Great article, though now dated, about Rubin here.

2Just an “oh, by the way,” but one of the best songs ever: Marvin’s Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).

3I kid, Souljah Mom. I kid.

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.
_________

The funny thing about this whole FVF thing is that it’s kind of like public nudity. There’s always the risk of you seeing more than you want to. There’s the guarantee that I’ll be self-conscious of every nook and cranny.

Actually, I guess that’s a lot like everyday, since I like to keep the outright lying to a minimum.

But on Fridays, it’s like the spotlights are a little brighter. And so I’m probably breaking one of the top 5 stage rules — Patrick? Any verification on stage decorum? — by admitting that for the last few weeks, including today, I’ve written new stuff but I simply can’t say any of it out loud yet. I imagine you’re not allowed to take the stage and say “never mind” but that’s sort of what’s going on today.

Wow. Great lead-in, me.

Anyway, there are still a few things in store for today.

First up, what are you listening to right now? Yes, right now. If it’s silence, or your boss screaming at someone in the background, or even some band not called The Noisettes you should start listening to The Noisettes right now.

Start with this (which Universal won’t let me embed).

And then listen to this:

Second, actual FVF.  Since today is officially the first day of my second lease with this domain — best 10$ ever — I figured I’d dig through the archives from the past year.  Below is the first full song I ever put in a post.

Happy Friday.

” señorita “

it’s a saunter
when she steps on the floor
she can feel all the stares.

they all want her
just one look in their eyes,
you knew somebody would dare.

one by one, she refused them
sat ’em down, brokenhearted
pushed their egos aside.

had no time for amusement
none of them knew the music
she was crying inside.

oh… senorita
what lies beneath you
is haunting me
it’s the song I wrote for you
it’s you I sing

it’s a whisper
but she shakes when she breathes it
like she’s screaming aloud.

blink and miss her
she moves in secret ways
under the gaze of the crowd.

she’s confused them
cloaked in red
seems a shout for romance.

but for her it’s acoustic
private, reclusive
a plea for a chance.

oh… senorita
what lies beneath you
is haunting me
it’s the song I wrote for you
it’s you I sing

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri–

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a special announcement.

I am a ruh-tard.

And, well, I had never done karaoke before.  Until last Friday.  When LiLu made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

We were at this bar called Recessions where they serve beer at happy hour by the 32 oz. mug for $3 each.  That’s right: $1.50 per pound beers.

So we sang our hearts out.  There may have been some “dancing.”

Sorry for the poor lighting, but I think these three and a half minutes speak for themselves.

Just in case you don’t have video access, LiLu rickrolled the entire bar.  That’s like one hundred people, kids.  And I went along for the ride.  My entire strategy was to sound and dance as much like Rick Astley — one of history’s greatest human beings — as possible and to pay homage to a Family Guy episode.

To answer your question, if you watched the video, yes I do have a short-bus pass and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world.

Happy Friday.

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This here is a media blitz.  Ready?  Let’s go.

evergrey

First up, Different Worlds by Swedish progressive metal band Evergrey.

Let’s not mix words: worst song ever.

Eighth track on their third album, In Search of Truth.  The album is a concept album.  The concept is simulated alien abduction.  True to concept, some of the lyrics:

All my pride has left me
My value as a human has been extinguished
My close ones those who love
Disbelieve me won’t believe me
So I got no one to confide in
And what’s worse is
I’m beginning to accept this
My body’s become my prison
My keepers are what you would call…
Fiction.

Enough said, right?  Nope there’s more.  At the 3:46 mark, the frontman starts audibly shivering and shaking, barely able to murmur-chant anything other than “Please don’t touch me.”

You are welcome.
_____________________________________

Next at the podium,

glee1

I call “bullshit.”

Seriously.  I don’t get it.  I haven’t been this bamboozled since the new nanny my mom hired when we were kids showed up with presents on the very first day we met her and then it all ended a few months later after she moved her 30 year-old son in (like we wouldn’t notice) and we had to call the police to have them forcibly removed from the premises.

The last time I’ve seen any production receive this much hype and fail me so hard was Scarface.  I waited three hours for that anti-epic to finish and by then I’d already seen the “climactic” final plunge so many times elsewhere that I wanted my 25 bucks back.  Yes: 25.  I actually just bought the damn thing at Best Buy because everyone assured me it would be life-changing.  Six years later, I just want to throw it out.

But I know some of you really like Glee. And the fact that I think it’s just a series of YouTube-worthy clips with no appealing writing whatsoever is just me being me. So, to even out the hate, I’ll throw you a bone.

I own Garden State.  There.  Said it.  Call it a Jersey thing.  Fair?
_____________________________________

Finally, Cougar Town.

cougar townThere were a couple of gems:

Supporting actress #1(“SA1”) — photo, rear — said “crack-a-lackin” and had a visible boob-hickey.  Star cougar, Courtney Cox, said “coochie cooch.”

But the best was this scene outside Courtney’s front door:

[Knock on door. Courtney opens and sees young guy she met at the bar. Drunk SA1 in background screaming from midnight blue VW Beetle with its top down has dropped him off.]

SA1: “Hey! You left that at the bar, bitch!”

But there’s one glaring error: Courtney Cox is the only cougar in Cougar Town.  There is no town full of cougars.  Sure: at some point, she goes to a bar/cougar lair.  But a bar is not a town.  And that, my friends, is false advertising.  It’s like going to the zoo to see the monkeys and in the pen there’s only one, lonely, botoxed, twitching monkey.¹

But I’ll watch again. I mean, it’s about cougars.

_________

¹Obviously, women are not like monkeys.  Do not go call your girlfriend a “monkey” and tell her I said it was cool.

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workshop

Greetings.  Salutations.

So… there may be two posts in your reader from me today.  Sorry about that.  The first was a lie.  Er, maybe not a lie.  I never lie.  But it is still FVF!

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.
___________

So today’s FVF is a little different.  It’s more like a workshop.

On the way home yesterday, I had an idea; complete with light bulb and mental-image cloud above my head and everything.  I got home, and after about an hour with my guitar, two chords, a muted strum and a pocket full of keys, this is what I came up with.

Obviously, it’s raw.  But it was fun.  So I’m sharing it, even though it’s the definition of “unfinished.”  I have no idea whether I’ll keep the melody and change the rhythm, keep the rhythm and change the melody, or scrap the entire thing by the end of the weekend.  But whatever: no take-backs.

The “video” is below.  But just in case flash is outlawed at your office, the lyrics:

i got
miles and miles
but just one
cross to bear;
i got
so far to go
and yet i
go nowhere.

i got
reasons for reasons
to be
oh so scared;
and i
convince myself
that i’m just
being prepared.

maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way,
maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way;
but will i be
will i ever be
my own redemption
my own redemption.

i got
one big dream
i’ve built
stories high;
i got
passion for days
and yet these
lonely nights.

maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way,
maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way;
but will i be
will i ever be
my own redemption
my own redemption.

Happy Friday.  Go make some bad decisions tonight.

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