“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.” (Carl Sagan); “Nothing ever dies on the Internet.” (anon.); “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” (Madison Ave. [m]adman). My posts amalgamate these three philosophical elements into one novel experience; they champion critical thinking, human dignity / equality, levelheaded / even-handed / liberty-based governance and solid environmental stewardship. C’mon in!
So much has changed in our world / our lives this past year. If the musical selections, which follow, uplift your spirits even half as much as they’ve elevated my own, I will consider my New Year’s Eve, DJ stint a resounding success.
As we will soon eye and ear witness, dozens of our human family, whilst sheltering at home, have virtually assembled to cheer us up. Until the vaccines are available to every member of our global community, it is our responsibility to help save lives / save humanity by following the pandemic protocols set by our world’s finest scientists, epidemiologists and health care professionals; by emulating the exemplary behavior of our featured star quality, musically talented, selfless souls, too.
This DJ’s Rx for 2021 and beyond: Give these inspirational tunes a listen; 1, 2, as many times as necessary. They are sure to be habit forming, but, this will only be in the best way imaginable.
“U Can’t Touch This”, recorded by MC Hammer / composed by Stanley Burrell, Rick James and Alonzo Miller, provides the musical nucleus, from which two, relatively new to the scene, rapper parodists, SongBird and Quentin J. Lee, hammer home (in the best sense of this phrase) their spot-on op-eds regarding two of 2020’s top, front page news stories. These two clever cover artists, via their clip set-ups, will relate the rest of their stories. Their creds as rappers will be self-evident.
Sticking with the hammer theme for a few more moments…
Songwriters Lee Hays’ and Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer” provides, yet, one more musical nucleus, from which the late Trini Lopez hammers home (also in the best sense of this phrase), a much needed lyrical appeal for justice, freedom and “the love between my (our) brothers and my (our) sisters… all over this land.”
Had everyone been able to take this vital to humanity’s survival message to heart, oh, say, back in 2016, by now, Hillary Clinton would’ve been applying the polish to her second Inaugural Address to America / the World AND it’s highly unlikely that the twin scourge, of Donny-T and Corona-V, would’ve ever wound up sledgehammering the crap out of Democracy and Humanity.
Our RIP wishes to Mr. Lopez, 83, who succumbed from complications of COVID-19 back on 08/11/2020 and our heartfelt condolences to all of his loved ones and dear friends.
If you’ve experienced any playback issues above, try your luck over @YouTube via these links:
If you’ve enjoyed this BlogCast and would like to check out past casts, they’re all neatly archived under my homepage Category Menu; clicking onto either BlogCasts or Music will get you to where you wanna be.
02/11/21 Update: Throughout most of George Harrison’s career, he had been known as “The Quiet Beatle”. Seeing how his videos have been getting yanked from this BlogCast, how I’ve had to seek replacements to restore 3 out of the 4 clips below, he has certainly been living up to that reputation. My best advice to my listeners / readers is to click fast while they last…
Scant months after the spring 1970, Beatles disbandment, George Harrison released his solo album, All Things Must Pass, ATMP (on this very day, fifty years ago).
My local FM station’s late afternoon DJ, Jim Curtis, immediately opted to air it, in it’s entirety, and, upon my ear-witnessing that bygone broadcast, four things became abundantly clear:
John, Paul, George and Ringo, recording / performing, individually, could now offer their mourning fans four times the musical output; a consolation prize that was truly groovy (slang-wise and in the vinyl sense, too).
For far too long, songsmith Harrison’s talents had been underappreciated and inordinately eclipsed by the Lennon / McCartney songwriting team.
Had the Beatles continued recording together, all 18 of those ATMP tracks could’ve fit in, perfectly, on their albums. Alas, one can only imagine how John, Paul and Ringo’s instrumental and vocal interpretations would’ve enhanced / changed the final mix.
I needed to get this musical masterpiece into my life / record library, ASAP (and did so scant days later).
Upon spinning this album in its entirety, late last evening, I decided to blog about it on its golden anniversary; to feature, in Side 1 thru 4 numerical order, each lead off track. It’ll be up to you whether you listen to all four songs in their entirety OR choose just one or two, OR merely sample ’em, etc.
Seeing how Harrison’s songs amply speak for themselves, my commentary will be minimal.
This Harrison / Dylan collaboration, at face value, serves as a let’s take our friendship to the next level appeal to that special someone. Yet, the lyrics could also be interpreted as George’s clever way of re-introducing himself; his own appeal to fans to accept him in his new soloist role.
Could this track be considered the sequel to Lennon / McCartney’s All You Need Is Love? The resounding chorus, “Tell me, what is my life without your love; Tell me, who am I without you, by my side” doth ring true.
The couplet, “Watch out now, take care, beware of greedy leaders; They take you where you should not go”, admonishes average Janes and Joes to never empower ideologues who are little more than PTDs (Politically Transmitted Diseases).
We get a glimpse of Harrison’s less serious side. His whimsical, lyrical reversal, “I Love Dig”, doth prove so Lennonesque, too. Obviously, George spending all those years with John served him well. Even better, this track ends this post on an upbeat, playful note.
If you’d like to track thru past BlogCasts, they’re all neatly archived within both my BlogCast and Music categories. Check ’em out at your convenience.
Although America’s future as a Democracy, in no small sense, now hinges upon the outcome of two January 2021 run-off elections within the Commonwealth of Georgia, I’m not here to talk politics in these predawn hours of this surreal November Thursday.
Even so, there can be little doubt that this political hot spot, as of late, has been on my mind, so much so, that the “prompt word”, Georgia, became my first waking thought. Upon factoring in my lifelong love of music and 10+ year YouTube addiction, it was only inevitable that I’d free associate three aptly titled songs, track ’em down and promptly post ’em, below.
Hope you enjoy, as much as I do, the following Great Performances…
Shaneequa Cook + Unity Youth Choir ~ Sweet Georgia Brown
Usher ~ Georgia On My Mind
Randy Crawford ~ Rainy Night In Georgia
Seeing how YouTube clips are often here today / gone tomorrow here are some alternate clips that could, someday, add to this BlogCast’s “shelf life”. But why wait for that someday? If you’ve got the time (and who doesn’t these days), why not give a listen to ’em now?
As Black SabbathAMPLY proves, above, Heavy Metal, typically, has all the subtlety of a herd of rampaging, stampeding dinosaurs, that is, if… in the beginning… dinosaurs had ever, actually, herded, rampaged and stampeded. Hey… don’t ask me for proof… I may be old but I wasn’t there! And… re my above op-ed… I’m not complaining… just paying a compliment.
That duly noted… how about atypical Heavy Metal? Huh? Can such an art form even exist, let alone, actually, rise to avant-garde magnificence?
Well, I do believe the two clips, below, will “A” that “Q” with a resounding YES!
That both musical scores showcase womankind, exclusively, does meld well with this man’s contention that the XX chromosome configuration enhances the intellectualism, sophistication and vibrancy of any endeavor. Not slamning XY’ers, per se. Just expressing my eternal gratitude for the positive female influence upon society.
That both of this BlogCast’s selections feature the, unconventional to Heavy Metal, classic keyboard, bagpipes and the snake charmers’ flute… a.k.a. the pungi, the been and the murli… also proves instrumental to such transcendence.
All discussions of instrumentality / mentality set aside, let’s let the musicians’ performances validate my thesis.
Gamazda (Keyboard Extraordinaire – Russia) covers / breathes a new life force into Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”
Over the course of this past half year, worldwide events have certainly been doing their damnedest to establish the new abnormal / humble us / redefine who we are. Oddly enough, it’s also been six months since my last Interwebs BlogCast, so, the time did seem ripe to go for a restart. Perhaps, in the process, this will help you and me forget our troubles for awhile?
So, in pursuit of that goal, I’ve tracked down three related musical selections. How related are they?
Short answer: Angelic Voices.
Slightly longer answer: Always being on the lookout for new music, YouTube’s recommendations were ever-ready to indulge me… eager to introduce me to Aurora Aksnes’ Queendom. Within mere nanoseconds of hearing her mezzo-soprano vocal delivery… well… it was as if, somehow, she was channeling the late Dolores O’Riordan’s ever-lingering energy… which led me back to the Cranberries’ mega hit, Dreams… which led me to a cover version of Dreams, as performed by a socially distancing ensemble featuring Allie Sherlock plus 39 of her colleagues.
Cranberries ~ Dreams
Aurora ~ Queendom
Allie Sherlock and 39 Colleagues cover Dreams
Thanks for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this BlogCast and would like to check out past casts, they’re within earshot… all neatly archived within both my BlogCast and Music categories.
Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!
Two days ago, I posted a Valentine’s Day BlogCast… my twin spin presentation of Barry White’s symphonic interpretation of Amore… aptly titled Love’s Theme… along with Linda Ronstadt’s lyrical lamentations, among them, her rendering of songwriter Eric Kaz’s superbly crafted couplet…
“Love is blind…
And it cannot find me.”
Anyway… it was along about noontime, today, when a triple play of 1960s era, instrumental selections just kept on seguing in my head. The more I thought about them, the more I felt the need to BlogCast them onto www. To put this musical set’s common thread into DJ parlance, each song title ties together the flip side of love. And, as a whole, this Sunday BlogCast bookends Friday’s program.
To get this show on the road, we’ll be giving a listen to Maestro Paul Mauriat’s full blown symphonic Love is Blue, which will lead into American Hall of Fame pianist, Floyd Cramer’s country music twinged Last Date. And speaking of a Shakespearean magnitude last date, we’ll be concluding this set with Henry Mancini’sLove Theme From Romeo and Juliet.
Paul Mauriat ~ Love is Blue
Floyd Cramer ~ Last Date
Henry Mancini ~ Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet
If this has all seemed a bit too blue / pessimistic to suit you, be thankful I opted not to feature the J. Geils Band blasting forth their hard driving, saturated with cynicism, raucous rocker… Love Stinks.
Speaking of thankfulness…
My shout-out to YouTubers DocReepery and NANCYFLORESSANTOS, the latter videographer responsible for both the Cramer and Mancini clips.
My gratitude, too, to all of you… i.e., for spending precious moments out of your lives here.
And that said (depending on where and when you read this), Valentine’s Day weekend is either over or will soon be so. For all who had a grand time, thank your lucky stars and be sure not to ever take your soulmate for granted. For the rest of us… well… uh… maybe things will improve by next February?
If you’ve enjoyed this BlogCast and would like to check
out past “Casts”, they are all within earshot… all neatly
archived within both my BlogCast and Music categories.
To tap into the wisdom… as presented by “Saint Wiki”…
“Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.” [Read More Here]
As I now suggest two tracks to add to the above celeb’s playlist… and even echo one recommendation (Barry White)… I’ll also be presenting the two sides to this holiday, devoted to romance.
If you’ve found the love of your life, consider yourself the luckiest soul in the firmament… and be sure to profess your love for your soulmate… profusely, wholeheartedly and daily.
Undoubtedly, for you, the song found within your spinning head and beating heart… could easily meld with the upbeat, soaring musical mood set by Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra… aptly titled… Love’s Theme… his instrumental / orchestral arrangement, which became a Billboard Chart topper a scant five days shy of Valentine’s Day 1974.
For those of us, who’ve found love to be rather elusive… perhaps composer Eric Kaz is on to something, which might best explain away our situation. After all… his song, Blowing Away, does present what has got to be the all time best lyrical hook on the subject…
“Love is blind and it cannot find me”
Linda Ronstadt will now sing her heart out to cover Kaz’s sentiments. Follow The Link to give a listen to Kaz, too.
If you’ve enjoyed this BlogCast and would like to check
out past “Casts”, they are all within earshot… all neatly
archived within both my BlogCast and Music categories.
Full Disclosure: The following content is an abridged revision of my June 1, 2017 BlogCast. That said, let’s rock and roll!
Recording artists dig that a big part of a rock band’s success depends upon establishing a unique, distinctive sound (and a horn section would certainly do the trick). To be sure, were an on-air, www or club DJ to be remiss in mentioning them by name, their fans would know instantly… just by hearing a song intro’s opening notes.
Undoubtedly, the trailblazing Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band… with it’s opening, horn section enhanced title track… wound up inspiring other bands… of that same era… to be as musically adventurous… e.g., Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Ides of March.
We’ll now be hearing tracks from these horny sounding bands. You can EITHER casually play them back OR…
For my more adventurous readers, you now have the opportunity to DJ your way through the rest of this post. If you’re new to these classic tracks, I’d advise first familiarizing yourself with each song’s beginning and ending measures. Next, cue up, in advance, the second and third tracks (hit play and pause while ensuring that all of the counters are reset at 0:00). You’re now ready to roll.
I believe you’ll find the extra effort well worth it, because merging these 3 tracks into 1 musical statement is fun and really sounds cool. At the risk of “tooting my own horn”, that Chicago and BS&T segue… in particular… really rocks!
It’s been quite awhile since the self-imposed suspension of my monthly BlogCasts. But, seeing how the content, herein, engenders the spirit of community, not unlike that felt during 9/11 memorial services…
Today! Today! Today is the day to hit the comeback trail!
For those who may be new to this site, these BlogCasts, typically, feature anywhere from 3 to 5 musical selections that thematically, visually, instrumentally… sometimes even tonally… all tie together quite nicely to make a more impactful impression.
As for the specific music, at hand, we’ll get a snapshot of where America was, is, and (if we’re lucky) can be all about.
For starters, our blog topper vid, America, melds Neil Diamond’s emotionally driven, lyrical sentiments with YouTube videographer Johnny Kim’s smartly edited photo montage. My mega-thanks to Kim, for I could ALMOST envision the (circa early 1900s) Ellis Island arrival of my own maternal and paternal grandparents.
Suffice to say, this emotionally uplifting vid offers up a welcome breath of fresh air. And that’s no easy task, considering the gloomy, funky, stale storm clouds of intolerance which hang over the White House these days. If only restoring America’s image… as a welcoming nation… were as easy as clicking onto that playback button, right?
Let’s now move along to Simon and Garfunkel’s performance of America. This track takes on a dramatically different meaning when accompanied by YouTuber Eric Schantz’s skillful edits, which reveal Saginaw, Michigan’s urban decay. Suffice to say… we’re viewing a textbook case of greed ruining a once grand city and state. If left unchecked, it can only metastasize nationwide. Sorry to say, no matter how frequently roaring political rally throngs chant “Make America great again”, this cannot possibly come true until that hollow mantra gets backed up by substantive actions of a green nature.
BTW, be sure to keep an eagle eye out while playing back this vid. Amidst the drab scenery, you’ll discover all of the song lyrics appearing as graffiti, spray-painted on buildings, fences, vehicles, overpasses… and everything else in between.
With Michigan being my lifelong home state, I’ve felt a strong bond with this song ever since its April 1968 release date. Additionally… I’m pretty sure that, as a little boy (road tripping with my parents and sister) we did pass through Saginaw on our way to Minnesota to visit my above-mentioned grandparents.
For this BlogCast finale, I’ll also be making my own cinematic statement. You see, not unlike the B&W Kansas cross-fade to the technicolor found within the Land of Oz… less dreary / more cheery times are ahead… all courtesy of the late great Ray Charles’ rendition of America the Beautiful… visually enhanced by YouTuber 12mulligan.
Their combined creativity provides us a view of The Real America. Wow! I really do get a sense of being home, again. And, to quote one of the most memorable lines from that Wizard of Oz flick…
“There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!”
I now thank you for stopping by and cordially invite you to check out my Sunday Song Series presentation that hits the www… when else… each Sunday… usually between midnight and six a.m. in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.