Maroon 5

 

What can I say?  I love Maroon 5.  They’ve won my fandom fair and square and deserve my adoration.  Their music is fantastic and they are a legitimate band.  Which is something that I respect immensely. And Adam Levine is one delicious looking white boy.  He’s so freaking hot, I almost can’t stand it.  How can he stand it?

When they came out with “Songs About Jane” I was hooked from the word go.  And it has everything to do with that funky guitar riff track on the song “Harder To Breath”.  Do I have to remind you of the sexiness that I find guitars to be?  The lyrics were secondary.  Having never been in a long-term relationship it wasn’t something that I could relate to.  But that does not diminish the sheer concentrated excellence of the song.

My song from there is “Sunday Morning”.  If I could set it up so my alarm clock played this on any morning, my day would start off right.  It’s such a beautiful song.  Sometimes when I listen to it, it makes me smile.  Other times I’ll listen to it and cry.  The mark of a great tune is that it puts your emotions through the wringer.  What girl wouldn’t want to be serenaded with this song?  Answer: dead ones.  It also is one of those songs that keeps my longing to learn to play the piano alive.

When “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long” came along I already knew I was gonna get it and I hadn’t heard a song yet.  Then I heard “Wake Up Call” and I had two thoughts. Number One, the song was freaking awesome.  Number Two, I hope this song was not conceptualized by a personal experience.  If so, I want to look into the face of the idiot woman who cheated on Adam.  If you’re gonna cheat on someone like him, he’s got to be a serious upgrade.  And I don’t see how that’s possible.  The whole album is awesome.

So I finally got around to listening to that song “Moves Like Jagger” and I’m not kidding when I tell you I watched that video almost a whole day.  A shirtless Adam sliding around and gyrating like Mick Jagger, but infinitely better looking mesmerized my freaking face.  When he got around to the line “Look into my eyes and I’ll own you”, I could only think to myself, I wish you would!  I haven’t heard all the songs on the “Hands All Over” album but what I’ve heard so far, it’s on my wish list to buy at some point.

I had seen some vicious internet rumor that they were going to be disbanding and moving on with their lives.  I’d like to take this moment to say that who ever started that rumor is an asshole.  I nearly had a panic attack.  The world needs Maroon 5.  They are awesome and I’m not ready for the next band to come along and bite their style.  And a world were I can’t stare at Adam Levine’s divine visage depresses me.

Nevermind

 

So I’m at work and I see the cover of the Nirvana album on CNN.  I couldn’t hear why they were talking about it, but I did think it was odd.  Now I know why it was there.  Nirvana is 20.  It’s pretty darn awesome considering they’ve been gone since 1994.

When I first heard Nirvana back in 1991 I was in one of my middle schools in FL.  Being one of the few black people in the entire school it’s safe to assume that I hung out with the white kids.  Not just any white kids though.  I hung out with the stoners.  I rocked the ripped jeans, Doc Martens, and flannel shirts and I gotta say it was one of the most memorable and awesome times in my life.

Everyone knows about “Nevermind”.  It’s one of the greatest records of all time.  Everyone also knows about the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.  It came along at exactly the time it needed to.  It captured everyone’s imagination.  It defined an era.  The way they played with volume control in both the lyrics and the music was a sight to behold.  I still remember the sight of Kurt Cobain smashing that guitar at the end of the video.  Even now, that image is epic.

The only other song from the album that I can remember was “Come As You Are”.  And if I have to be 100% honest, I remember the music.  I never knew the lyrics so I don’t know what the song is about.  I just remember that instrumental wise, it was genius.  I have the record, but for some reason didn’t put it on my ipod.  And it won’t get there til I get it out of storage.

Now through the power of the internet, I have learned that they had 3 albums altogether.  “Nevermind” was the second one and the only one that I ever knew.  And considering that I have fond nostalgic memories of my time with this album as  a kid, I think I’m gonna leave it that way.  Listening to new music would only fill me with regret that I didn’t get to experience it fresh.

Playing it forward

Thanks to my good buddy DJ Underground and his wonderful mixes, I have a new list of music to listen to.  And it’s instrumentals!  Win and double win!  I don’t get to hear to many instrumentals.  Let alone an entire mix of them.  So thanks E! Love you man.

It’s so easy to get swept up and lost in just listening to musical instruments.  No concerns about lyrics and having no desire to sing anything, unless you want to.  I especially like to imagine myself playing some of the instruments.  It takes me back to happier times when I did play musical instruments.

I’ve given you the link to DJ Undergrounds music mixes on PodOmatic.com  Go there and listen to some of his other music.  You won’t be disappointed.  He has an excellent ear for music and a love of music that is pure and beautiful.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know any of the artists.  It’s good to branch out.  Which is sort of the point of this blog anyway.

Eternal Champions

Oh my God! Did I ever have a nostalgic moment.  Looking through some of my music files on youtube and came across some music from one of the greatest games that nobody really played.  Eternal Champions came out in 1993 for the Sega Genesis.  Fantastic game!  Really could have stood up with the other fighters like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat if it had stayed around.

I love the soundtrack to this game.  It’s 16 bit music at it’s absolute greatest.  Listen to the “Character Bios” music.  Those who have never played this game before but happen to listen to rap will recognize this music immediately.  If you can’t I’ll only tell you that you’ve missed out.  Happy hunting though!  Oh and for the record for when you do figure it out, the game came first.

Each character had their own stage and theme to go with it.  Each was unique, stylish, catchy and has endeared themselves to us nostalgic game hounds that remember it from when we were young.  Had such fun playing this with my little brother.  Good times!

All the cool kids have theme music

We have all at some point in our lives wanted to be someone else or someone fictional.  Admit it, it’s ok.  When I was really little I was a spoiled brat and therefore wanted to grow up to be a princess.  This of course evolved as I grew older.  At one point I wanted to be MacGyver.  Mullet and all, despite the fact that I am a girl.  He was just too cool and he was smart and he could do anything.

There are just certain tunes that you hear and you just automatically think of the person it was made for.  As a great movie quote once stated ‘Theme music! Every good hero should have one.’  And truer words have never been spoken.  I play the MacGyver music n my head whenever I’m trying to fix or jerry-rig something.  Here are some of the ones I wish I was cool enough to have for myself.

“007”  ‘My name is Bond.  James Bond.’  I’ll admit at some point I wanted to be this guy too.  Much like MacGyver, he was just too cool to be real.  Smooth, smart, super suave, he was in my opinion the perfect human being, except for the tiny flaw that he was a total whore.  Yeah, I said it!

“Shaft”  Thank you Mr. Isaac Hayes for creating this masterpiece of theme music.  The Shaft theme music transcends time and space.  Listening to it now, it is totally dated, yet this does not diminish its epicness not on iota.  I don’t know what instrument is being used to get that funky little rifftrack, but it’s what makes the song for me.

“The Imperial March”  Darth Vader, you are my other father.  You know it to be true!  The first time I saw Star Wars and Vader came on-screen all in black and swirling cape, it was instant love.  He was just so bad ass and cool I could hardly stand it.  He commanded the screen and being voiced by James Earl Jones didn’t hurt.  Even now after George Lucas worked so hard to ruin him, he is still my favorite character from the movies.  If I ever get married, I want this played when I come down the aisle.  I’m nontraditional, so what?

“Rocky”  I admit, even though I’ve seen a movie or two I don’t really remember too much about them.  The only thing I remember is that Rocky wins in the end.  And with this as his theme music how could he not?  It’s just too awesome.  I listen to this when I’m on the elliptical at the gym.  Totally gets the adrenaline up.

“Indiana Jones”  The man! The legend!  And we share the same last name.  Indiana Jones is one of my favorite movies ever.  These movies totally capture what I believe adventure is all about.  If I was even 1% of the person he was I would be 95% improved upon.  He’s the ultimate hero and he has the ultimate theme music.

Looking at this bunch, I’m actually very surprised at myself.  Why are all of these kick ass themes that I love so much dedicated to men?  How on earth is that possible?  I’m gonna have to do some searching.  There has to be some woman character out there that has theme music that rocks.  And for the life of me, as I write this I can’t think of any.  Help me out people!

Remakes. Heartfelt homage or insidious ripoff?

They say that imitation is a form of flattery.  I say that this is true only a quarter of the time.  What the hell am I talking about?  I’m talking about remakes.  In my opinion there are only a rare few remakes that are really, really good.  Other times it’s just downright bad if not insultingly so.

In general I tend to frown upon remakes.  It’s not that I dislike all of them.  I just feel that at this point in time music should be going forward, going toward a new frontier.  Not going backwards and redoing someone elses work.  Especially if said work was picture perfect to begin with.  Here’s some examples.

“We Are The Champions”  Everyone on earth by this point should know this classic song by Queen.  It is the ultimate victory song.  I don’t even need to explain it.  So when I was listening to an internet radio show and I heard this remake or rather this re-imaging I RAGED so hard that I had to turn the show off.  Don’t get me wrong I like a lot of these guys.  But did they seriously have nothing better to do than to desecrate one of the most iconic songs in the Queen library?  It’s not bad, but hell who am I kidding it’s god awful and it was not necessary to do it.  Seriously, not since “Don’t Worry Be Happy” has a song made me want to destroy something.

An example of a great remake, at least I think, is Chantay Savages remake of Gloria Gaynors “I Will Survive”.  She took an upbeat disco song, slowed it down into a ballad and knocked it out of the park.  It worked as a ballad.  Considering the subject matter it made sense for it to be a ballad.  This song has actually been remade by a few people/groups.  I know Cake did a remake of it.  According to my research it is Ms. Gaynors least favorite cover as there is cursing in it.  Depending on your taste that’s could be hit or miss for you.  I liked it.  I love the disco version of course, but I actually prefer listening to this version.

Another one that’s kind of hit and miss is Alien Ant Farms version of “Smooth Criminal”.  I kinda have mixed feelings about it that are sort of difficult to explain.  First and foremost I must say that I don’t hate it.  Not at all.  Those guitar riffs are just awesome and by now you should know my feelings about guitars and how sexy I think they are.  I love the original very much though.  I get these feelings of conflict like I’m committing some sort of blasphemy or something for liking this version.  It’s like a part of me wants to feel bad for it.  I don’t know.  I will say that I LOVE the video.  I found it profoundly entertaining.  They got the essence of his videos down pat.

There are so many remakes out there. I don’t have time to talk about every last one of them because I don’t have all day, heck all week hunting and researching them.  But I think you’ve gotten the point.  Also I don’t know why I’m the only one who finds something wrong with this sudden new trend of remaking a song of an artist who is currently active.  What is that all about?  Seriously! I want to know.

It’s as a I said, I don’t hate them all, but I just wish all these artist would do something original and unique and totally their own.  Rather than scavenging from the vaults of musics past.  Sadly that does not appear to be what’s happening now and it’s pretty damn heartbreaking.

Blast from the past in cartoon form Part 1

On nights when I’m really bored, I’ll lay in my bed and scour youtube for music or some sort of entertainment.  One this past Monday I was flipping through trying to find something on the new Thundercats, when I decided to click on the old school theme and was instantly blasted to the past.

Some of the theme music from shows I used to watch were beyond awesome.  I went through and listened to a bunch and got chills down my spine from the nostalgic memories it gave me.  So I thought about it and tried to come up with a bunch of shows that even now I would sit back and just listen to.

I was going to do this in a list format.  I was only going to do my top 10 favorite but that’s just too stupid on my part.  There are too damn many that I just absolutely love and ten is just too low.  So I’m going to do five for now and do others in separate posts.  After watching hours upon hours of videos, digging up and being reminded of shows that I haven’t thought about in a long time and reminiscing about stuff I do remember here is what I want to talk about today.

“Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego” While these days I’m ok with educational programing, as a kid coming up I preferred to keep my learning and entertainment separate.  This show almost got me.  The theme song sung by Rockapella was just too damn catchy to ignore.  Not enough to keep me watching the show but it’s still awesome.

“The Pink Panther” This show was simplicity at its finest and the theme is no exception.  Even without the show the music can stand up perfectly well on its own.  I just love that jazzy saxophone and that bass line.  I FEEL cool just listening to it.

“Ghostbusters” For years, I thought I had conjured this up from my imagination.  I could find no proof whatsoever that this show existed until the internet.  And finally, validation and proof that I wasn’t completely insane.  Why do I love this…there’s a gorilla wearing cargo shorts and a robot ghost.  Someone was on something and I’m glad to know it wasn’t me.

“Scooby Doo” This show has too many damn theme songs!  However since this is the one I grew up with and impacted me the most this is the one I’m going with.  I will discuss ‘Pup’ another time.  Scooby takes me back to my spoiled days when I was 3 and queen of all around me.  It was during this era I could demand Cheetos, grape soda and Hostess cakes and have them given to me without much fuss.  Well, at least when my grandparents were around there wasn’t much fuss.  Mom was a different animal altogether.  Good times.

“Jem” If you didn’t think this would show up sooner or later, then shame on you.  I LOVED this song.  I could listen to this all day long and not get sick of it.  The first version of it is iconic on its own, but the other one just creates magic for me and I remember what life was like when I was nine.  Just epic.

Before I started this post I didn’t think there’d be as many themes to talk about, but thank goodness tv shows knew how to draw me in.  To be continued…