Posts Tagged ‘Songs’

My Valentine’s Day Love Story to Music

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on February 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

I think I’ve finally figured out my love for music.  Despite bring completely oblivious to the technical side, knowing any real musical terms, or having any knowledge whatsoever on how to play any kind of instrument, I have still always felt very drawn to and moved by music.

There is that girly side of me that hears a song and says, ” oh my god, that’s EXACTLY how I feel right now!” There’s also the side of me that enjoys the pure creativity of it.  As a writer and (recently dabbling) painter, it’s very easy even without any real knowledge to appreciate another’s form of expression and that’s a very important thing for the artistic community, no matter what your craft is.  And a good play on words or an intellectual and beautiful flow of words that reads or sounds so elegant and pretty on paper or on the tongue set to a melody? I’m a sucker…

But what really sparks my love for music is the ability it has to remind me of who I am, that magical moment during the first few seconds of a song that somehow transports me to another time and place that I may not have even thought about in years.

Example A: anytime I hear Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believing” I am taken back 4-5 years to a grungy Irish pub on a busy street a little over an hour from my home with 2 of the best friends I’ve ever had.  We’ve all started our lives outside of the college world now – jobs, responsibility, marriage, kids even – and it makes it hard to stay in touch as much as we’d like. But as soon as  that very well-known bit of music begins, whether it be on the radio, a cover by a band in a bar, or a terrible karaoke rendition, I’m right back in my early 20’s with my two best ladies on each side singing our hearts out and living it up alongside at least a hundred other strangers doing the same exact thing. No care in the world, being invited to sing and shimmy on the bar top, feeling as free as we possibly ever may in our lifetimes.

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Are my ears really old, or should we all be concerned?

In Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on December 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I have very eclectic taste.  My Ipod is so full of randomness, it’s ridiculous.  It’s a surprise what decade will shuffle on, let alone what genre.  I do have my favorites, though, across the wide range of all musics of all times.  Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven” is agreeably one of the most amazing songs I will ever hear until the day I die.  Most people enjoy it for the level of guitar skills.  I enjoy everything.  The guitar: sick.  The vocals: sick.  The lyrics: double sick.  It’s eerie and slow and then suddenly fast and kicking your ass.  It’s perfection.  It’s not even a song; that thing is a work of art and an eargasm.

Any Def Leppard is also perfection to me.  Thsi is probably because I was raised on it.  They were my mom’s favorite band and were plastered on our television from the time I was born – you know, back when music television actually played music. (I’m looking at you, MTV and VH1.  We are all very disappointed in you.)  By the time I was using full sentences, I could tell you that the band was Def Leppard, the name of the song, and whether the drummer had one arm or two when the song was made just by hearing it.  I don’t think I will ever accomplish anything else in life that will make my mother any more proud.  Unless I figured out how to magicly give birth to a unicorn with a British accent that laid eggs full of $100 bills – that would probably top everything.

The Everly Brothers, a little bit of Elvis, Chantilly Lace by the Big Bopper,  The Beatles (good God, The Beatles!), Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons….Heart’s Magic Man, Alone, and Never…

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14 (Moonlight Sonata) gives me chills every time and makes me want to cry and hold my breath and do a dramatic ballroom dance routine all at the same time.  Für Elise, as well.

All of these are amazing and inspirational and memorable.  These people and these bands are immortalized for their contributions to the arts and to the music world.  But notice how all these that I’ve named are prior to or just barely a part of my generation.  That’s the scary part for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy quite a bit of current music, but how much longer will To the left, to the left, to the left, to the left.  To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right be done?  In 3o years will people my age be saying that the song ‘Clique’ changed their life or changed their view of art, or even held real meaning to them?  Frankly, that song just makes me want to immediately *click* to a different station.

‘Beauty and a Beat’ by Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj is currently #9 on the Billboard Top 100.  NUMBER NINE!  And part of the lyrics are “Buns out, weiner,” which is then rhymed with “Selener.”   Nicki, come on, that’s not even a real word.

I imagine she’d make a face kind of like this in response to critique…

Then I come across something even worse.  A “song” called ‘Swimming Pools‘ by Kendrick Lamar.  It’s a rap about drinking – how original, right?  And it gives some typically amazing rap song advice:

I’mma show you how to turn it up a notch
First you get a swimming pool full of liquor then you dive in it
Pool full of liquor then you dive in it

I wave a few bottles then I watch em all flock
All the girls wanna play Baywatch
I got a swimming pool full of liquor and they dive in it
Pool full of liquor I’mma dive in it

Riiiiiiiiiiight.  That seems “legitimate” and as if it took a whole lot of “talent.”

Another great example is an ad I recently saw on Youtube before the real song I was attempting to listen to, who’s chorus is just “Who booty is it?  Who booty is it?  Who booty?  Who booty?  Who booty is it?”  Are you kidding me?!  Who is deciding what to consider music these days?!

Then I started thinking.  What if this is the good music now?  What if…my old music soul is just taking over my ears?  Then I thought again.  And I realized that I don’t care if I have old ears.  I will take my old soul and old ears and old good classic music over being relevent any day.  And in addition to that, I will stay relevent according to the artists, bands, and music that continue to be of real talent with something new and something to contribute, and I’m definitely okay with that, too.

Recommending: Covers

In Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal, Recommendations on November 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Since I already name dropped Melanie Martinez in a post, I thought it was the perfect segway into my first official Recommendations post about covers.  No, I don’t mean blankets or throws or comforters style covers.  I’m talking remakes of popular songs kind of covers.  Sometimes, sticking true to the song is the best way to go, especially if a song is so amazing to begin with.  Sometimes a slight change-up, such as a male singing a song originally done by a female, is the perfect little push in the right direction to take the song from good to great.  And sometimes (and often what has proven to be my favorite kind of cover), a complete re-imagining that is so out of box turns out to be a shining moment.

Although performance shows on television are rarely ever actually legitimate, they do produce some of the best renditions of songs.  Here are a few that have stuck out in my mind (and if you haven’t seen or heard them, click it and it’ll take you to the video):

Melanie Martinez – Toxic, Lindsey Pavao – Say AahColton Dixon – SeptemberDavid Cook – Billie Jean, and possibly my favorite of all time, Phillip Phillips – U Got It Bad

Those are all really different takes on pretty popular songs that ended up working out really, really well.  Then there are the covers that are completely unexpected and off the wall.  I find these very entertaining, and so far the best example I’ve found of these covers are the Punk Goes… albums.  Punk Goes Classic Rock, Punk Goes Pop, Punk Goes Crunk.  Some of these covers are really good, and I personally prefer them over the original.  Check out the covers of Umbrella, Disturbia, and We Found Love.  No offense, Rihanna, but these boys take the cake for me.  Some of them are just hilarious (Say Anything – Got Your Money).  Look into these more on Itunes if they interest you, there are numerous cd’s of different bands covering different songs.

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Poems by Karem Barratt


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