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Diversity

March 15, 2010

Part of my problem with writing a music blog is that none of my tastes fit into any sort of cohesive category. Just in the last 24 hours, I have listened to Dogs D’Amour, Joni Mitchell, and Montgomery Gentry. On any given day, I might flip between Johnny Cash and Ella Fitzgerald. I might throw in some obscure 80′s hair band, or I might even decide to play some uber-cheesy Lady gaga-esque pop.

The point is, I have no idea what my musical taste is and when I started this blog, I started it as an opportunity to explore a particular genre of music (that is, predominately hair metal) as part of the internet community. I realized quite quickly though, I can’t stay in one category….I just don’t listen to any one thing regularly enough to focus on it. While I’ve certainly not stopped listening to music, it is sometimes difficult for me to blog about it because I dont really have any particular  focus.

But anyway….hope you’ll forgive me for my long periods of absence :)

here’s a song that I’ve really been jamming to lately, enjoy!

I told you I was all over the place :P I’ve always loved Kenny Rogers. In fact, his Christmas CD is one of only two that I ever listen to. He’s got such a gentle, approachable voice. However, has he ever been young?? I don’t think Ive ever seen a picture of him where he isn’t white haired and bearded. and Dolly Parton….what isn’t there to say about Dolly?? she’s just all-around fabulous, a timeless act. She was so beautiful back in the day, too. Shame she decided to cut herself up :(

rock on!

Elvis’s Last Concert

December 1, 2009

Wow, long time no see, eh? Seems like I’ve come to the point where every post i write is begun with a paragraph explaining my last hiatus. There’s no sense in that, though. Here I am back again, regardless…with another post. So just enjoy it while it lasts!

Now, I’m an Elvis fan and have been for some time. This video is not new to me, but it may be for some. In my opinion this is among the best clips on youtube, and if you’re not an Elvis fan now, I’m confident this can convert you.

I love the beginning, when he “forgets the words.” Whether or not he actually did forget the words or was just having a bit of fun with the song is up for debate, but either way, his humility and humor shines through. I hope that clip makes you smile as it made me :)

I love his version of My Way. Sometimes it is possible for us to hear Elvis so much that we begin to stop paying attention to him. We get use to hearing his version of Blue suede Shoes or Hound Dog or Suspicious Minds or In the Ghetto, or what ever else…and after a while they fail to impress us. Hearing him sing this song, one that I’m not all that used to hearing him sing, what strikes me the most is just what a powerful, beautiful voice he had. So often I really underestimate what a talented singer he was.

Besides that, the pure stage presence he exhibits is astonishing. I could not take my eyes off of him while he was singing. He’s emotive and honest, the words come from somewhere deeper inside of him. When he sings “and to think I did all that” he genuinely sounds surprised and astonished at himself. As he sings, he really gives the impression that he is reflecting on his own life in the lyrics, and is singing the story of his own life.

For an artist to pull that off with a another artist’s signature song and make it his own is a challenge in itself, and when it is pulled off so well it truly is remarkable.

Thanks for letting me share that. I’ve been watching it over and over this week, and enjoy it just the same every time.

ROCK ON

Michael….I love you

June 27, 2009

Well, as everyone on the planet knows, Michael Jackson died on Thursday.

I wish I could write a proper tribute, but I don’t really know what to say that would make it different from every other tribute, or an announcement in a newspaper or something.

I guess all I can do is say how he touched my life. he was a musician without borders, reaching out and collaborating with soul singers and rockstars, even though he was usually classified as some sort of 80′s “pop.” whatever that means. In reality, I think Michael Jackson was a little bit of everything. I think thats part of what makes it “ok” for me, a rock/metal fan, to listen to his music. If slash and Eddie Van Halen can collaborate with him, why can’t I give it a spin?  MJ became a hero to me for a long time…I haven’t listened to him in ages now but when I do the magic is always still there. He still has a very special place in my heart, and I’m so sorry he passed.

I thought I’d just post a comment I found around the net that I think give great testament to his role in music history and how he impacted our lives:

“I woke up from a nap and there were three text messages on my phone. Nobody ever texts me, so I knew it must have been big news. I thought there was a fire or something. Turned out, Michael Jackson is dead. I was startled, to say the least, because MJ never seemed like the kind of person that could, you know, die. To be honest, he never really registered in my consciousness as being a person; Michael Jackson was the androgynous sexual panic of “Billie Jean,” the breathless seduction of “P.Y.T.,” the thrilling kitsch of “Thriller,” the chattering afro-popisms of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” The idea that he had a human body, one that needed food and air and sleep, never really clicked in my mind. But then again, I guess that’s to be expected. I mean, how can a mere human being really be thought to be capable of creating something as monstrous, as mechanical, as all-encompassing, and as awesome as Thriller? This kid wasn’t the king of pop; he was the whole damn kingdom. And we, the audience, are not his loyal subjects; we’re just reading the travel brochures.”

-Lazylo Matyas, review on Amazon.com

Truly, Michael Jackson was super-human to us. he eats and drinks and needs sleep, just like anyone. But somehow, he still seems to be from a different world altogether…someone to high up for any of us to ever know or relate to. He doesn’t seem like the kind of being who could die…and especially not so soon.

I feel for his kids, his family, his friends, the performers who were looking forward to the chance of a lifetime to get to work with him on his upcoming London shows…and then for the other fans such as myself, who loved him, and truly do feel the loss…

I hope he finally gets some good rest…

and I just wanted to post my favorite MJ song…PYT :)

Uh…forget about that other dude…lets talk about Adam Lambert.

May 21, 2009

So i know that this topic has been milked to death already but I just HAVE to put my 2 cents in…and for some reason this is actually important enough to motivate me to finally get back to blogging.

A couple things…I’m in Poland and I don’t have a TV, so coincidentally I haven’t seen any of this season of American Idol. I might as well be on a different planet, the amount of news I hear about the United States couldn’t fill a teaspoon. But somehow, the news that Adam Lambert lost the contest last night did make its way across the pond (and most of the european continent) to my little room in poland. Granted, the only reason I know is because I have been avidly stalking Adam via YouTube (henceforth known as the greatest invention of the 21st century thus far)  and waiting for the results to be announced…I was so sure he’d win, though…

Dude, the guy can sing. he can sing ANYTHING. He’s original and creative, he has an incredible range, he’s an expressive and emotional singer, he can put a new twist on an old song without ruining it…in my opinion, he captures the best of what the  song has to offer, and then builds upon it.

Frankly, I think that the fact he didn’t win has nothing to do with the fact he might be Gay and that he wears eyeliner, like everyone thinks. I mean, look at Tokio Hotel. Eyeliner obviously didn’t stop them, nor did Bill Kaulitz’s hair…in fact, its my opinion that Bill’s hair and eyeliner is the only reason anyone looks twice at that band. Everyone from Nikki Sixx to Little Richard wear eyeliner, no biggie.Rock stars have been shocking parents with androgenous appearances for decades now. And as for being gay…well, Elton John’s career hasn’t been hindered by that, has it? and don’t tell me we didn’t have an inkling that Clay Aiken might be “coming out” soon even when he was on the show. Then there’s Freddy Mercury, Rob Halford, Morrissey…the list goes on.  None of this is new and radical or shocking in this day in age…in fact, I would go so far as to say Gayness and eyeliner often go hand in hand with Rock n Roll.

So whats the deal here??? Personally, I don’t know, I think its all just a marketing thing.  i do think part of his downfall is that he is a tad exaggerated and dramatic. He is obviously suited for performing, he has been on broadway for years…and frankly, I think he would be well suited for the type of flashy, theatrical glam that I love. But for the mainstream pop that this type of show is catering…maybe not. If you go back and watch his audition, you’ll see that even then, Simon was a little critical of him for this reason, and almost hesitant to let him through.Yeah, Adam does scream a lot. he does sometimes border on over-singing. I’m used to hearing this due to my little obsession with 80′s metal, but I understand that the other 90% of America isn’t listening to this kind of music. Kris is a good singer too. He’s not wildly different or dangerous, but he’s good. I understand why people might prefer him…although I’m still a little surprised.

Now, it doesn’t really matter who wins or loses. Who cares. They’re both going to have CDs come out within a year, and I’m gonna buy Adam’s, and someone else is gonna buy Kris’s…whatever. However, all I have to say is that I really, really hope that this gives rock n roll a little more visibility, and Adam sticks around for a long time. I think its time that this type of performer comes back in the spotlight, and he has a great future ahead of him….he’s confident and articulate, he’s a born performer,  and just seems like an all-around nice guy. I think he’ll be a great american idol, even if not The American Idol.

He reminds me a little of Alice Cooper, when he said that he had been called the “last of vaudeville.”

rock n roll isn’t about reality, its about fantasies and making your own world and escaping the problems of this one…it allows you to have the freedom to be absurd and to be more than a little fantastic and unrestrained.

anyway…let me know what you think…

leavin’ ya with some videos :)

as a big fan of Tear for Fears, I was impressed by this. NAILED.

and of course, he performed with KISS last night. I’m not a kiss fan much at all, but I have to say, he made them sound pretty good, eh? haha.

ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY

Pride and Glory

March 29, 2009

So I’ve been MIA again, but this time I have a good excuse…since my last post I’ve been stuck in Ukraine with no internet access. While I wish that was a bad joke, it is actually the truth…man, had you told me a year ago that I would be in Ukraine meeting with the American ambassador and touring orthodox monasteries, I would have laughed at you…life is bizarre sometimes. Everything about my life right now is just surreal.

anyway, whatever.

here’s what I’ve been diggin’ lately….Pride and Glory, Zakk Wylde’s post-Ozzy project. Its surprisingly good, although I don’t really know why I’m surprised…it came out in 1994, and as far as I know hasn’t been re released in the last 10 years, so it might be a little hard to find outside of the internet, but totally worth it if you can get your hands on it…Its heavy and bluesy; Zakk has a soulful quality to his voice that really strikes a nerve with me. its both tender yet forceful and fierce. Its exactly what it should be. and of course…Zakk is one of the guitar heroes of our generation, so that element is spot on, as well. THAT wasn’t a surprise. I don’t underestimate Zakk’s guitar playing, that’s for sure.

take a listen:

I’m so glad someone posted this album on youtube!!! Love this song.

and of course a ballad…

that touches me every time…strong lyrics, a beautiful melody, and Zakk’s voice and guitar are expressive and moving.

ok, I can’t fake it…I don’t really have much to say, kind of tired, honestly, even though you’d think 18 hours on a train would give me plenty of time to rest…oh well…so this is all I’ve got now :) just wanted to take a few minutes and let you know I’m alive and share what is on my mind…

enjoy the pride and glory!

Zakk Wylde is truly one of my favorites…always seems like such a great guy, and also such a talented musician. Five stars, check it out:)

(oh and ps if you’re ever curious about my travels, you can check me out at jennygoestopoland.wordpress.com!)

Collections…

March 14, 2009

I never understand how I can have so much music…hundreds of albums, thousands of songs…and yet still feel like I have nothing to listen to. Anyone else have this problem? I tend to justify my music purchases by saying “if I enjoy it its worth the money.” Well, the truth is, usually I listen to it once and then throw it on top of my pile. I forget I have it. I haven’t gotten my money’s worth out of half the CDs I’ve bought, and instead I listen to the same 5 favorites on repeat, until I finally get bored and decide to buy something new and fresh (even though there is bound to be something new and fresh and already paid for in my closet). I started going through my CDs some this summer, and I’ve been trying to take inventory. It needed organizing badly, if for no other reason than so I know what I’ve got. The other day someone mentioned an album and I thought, “I have never heard of that in my life!” only to come home and find the damn thing in my own music file. I realize that I’ve lost control. I’m also hoping to get to the point where I can trade with other people.

So, I’m actually pretty proud of my list at the moment. I’ve got a really spiffy Excel document going, and it looks impressive :) I’m also hoping it’ll be a place I can record information on each album…including what I paid for it. I think it’ll be interesting to look back on one day and see how many millions of dollars I’ve spent on music during my lifetime. It’ll be something ridiculous, I know.

Anyway, I know none of y’all care. But I’m thinking maybe as I start filling in the information on each album, I’ll give it a listen again, and try to write something about it here :) that’ll at least give me a framework/subject matter for future posts, since I’ve been kind of brain-dead and out of ideas lately. And if you see anything come up that you don’t have (and is no longer in print…give the artists their due) give me a holler I’ll be glad to upload it for ya :)

Rock ON!!

Because The Dogs Never Die

March 14, 2009

Well, i wanted to write something but couldn’t decide what…Just really love Dogs D’amour and have been listening to a lot of them lately…so thought i’d post a song :)

enjoy!

such a great band :) If you don’t like the Dogs, I can’t help you. They’ve made some of the best sleaze rock n roll I can think of, just a great all around band. Its a shame they’ve been forgotten by so many.

rock on!

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