If you are (or aspire to be) a critical thinker, you’ll likely appreciate this blogger’s content, which, typically, speaks truth to power and promotes human dignity and equality, honest even-handed liberty-based governance and solid environmental stewardship. If you have a hankering for prose, poetry and/or are a music aficionado harboring diverse tastes, you’ll also discover posts along these lines. Consult my home page’s Categories menu for further details.
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!
Full disclosure, I still am a diehard NASA geek. My fascination gets backdated to their Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. So… yes… once again… this blog will rehash Apollo 11’s Golden Anniversary. But, try not to yawn and/or nod off… by blog’s end there’ll be an unanticipated, sonically / visually enhanced twist. That said, let’s blast this BlogCast off the launchpad…
This past Saturday evening, my primary mission became recreating 07/20/1969… inclusive of synchronizing my main timepiece to that half century old NASA timeline. And that countdown clock readout was telling me T-Minus 59:00 (OK… it was actually a red LED, forward moving digital alarm clock… so sue me!). Anyway, that meant I could fit in the playback of a mood enhancing compilation CD (featuring… what else… 1969’s pop songs). Yep, there was plenty of time before Neil Armstrong’s 10:56 p.m. EDT EVA, where he’d be taking his first “small step” onto the lunar surface.
By disc’s end it had suddenly dawned on me that I had heard two futuristically themed tracks, which had actually rocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart during lunar missions… the 5th Dimension’s Aquarius / Let the SunshineIn syncing to the May flight of Apollo 10 AND Zagar & Evans’ In the Year 2525 matching up to the Apollo 11 odyssey.
However… it’s the two contrasting, lyrical story-lines that are even more compelling… namely… Aquarius’ conjecture re humankind’s better days ahead versus 2525’s prophecy of a stark dystopian society… inclusive of humanity’s end.
That got me wondering… was a group hug for humanity in order? After all, an astounding half-century had somehow managed to elapse sans some itchy trigger fingered, foolhardy prez insanely spiking nuclear WMDs planet-wide… to be followed by that dunce’s “victory dance” in the irradiated end zone. Apparently… we had successfully averted morphing the 5th Dimension’s Aquarian dawn into a premature Zager & Evans, In the Year 10K dusk.
Of course… the day is still young! Lest we forget, the current nuclear saber rattler / little boy does want to play with his nuclear toys. He’s also so drunk on fake patriotism that, in all likelihood, he can hardly wait to see the “rockets’ red glare” and nuclear “bombs bursting in air”.
Well before Mister Ballistic gets a chance to dust off the cover of the nuclear launch code book, we had better launch this BlogCast’s two song set.
All you need do is “push the button” on each of these vids. I’d recommend first experiencing Aquarius’ elation before taking the plunge into the deep end of 2525’s despair.
Hmm… now that we’ve tracked through both songs, maybe we should track down 7+ billion lead-lined Hazmat suits? Might the manufacturer cut us a sweet deal if we buy in bulk? Hey, it can’t hurt to ask, right?