Monthly Archives: January 2013

Blackstreet f. Dr. Dre-“No Diggity”-1996

I can remember walking to 7th grade with my Discman listening to this over and over again. The opening verse by Dr. Dre wherein he shows that he can rap clean without making his lyrics portray a bloodbath (not that I mind his violent lyrics especially in Natural Born Killaz) is what draws you in and the deep, melodious tones of the rest of the vocalists keeps you and envelops you in the caramel-smoothness.

For me, however, the real gem in this song is Queen Pen’s verse. I am a sucker for female rappers (recall my Nicki Minaj post) but she just seems to be the real superstar in this song. Certainly, her importance can be underscored in light of the talent with which she is surrounded in this piece.

This song is one of the few songs that I still like as much today as I did when it first came out.

Advertisements

Greatest Musical Acts You’ve Never Heard of (and if you have, my regards)

Much ado has been made of my posts about the band Tommy Merry and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. Certainly, they belong on the following list as well. However, inasmuch as I dedicated entire posts to them, I see no need to be redundant. Here are other artists that are better than anything you’ll hear on the radio and, yet, probably will not be on the radio.

Royce da 5 9-Not to brag (well ok to brag) I have been listening to Royce for almost 11 years. Royce provided the second verse in the Eminem song “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars. In 2004, Royce released and album called M.I.C. (Make it Count) which I regard as one of the best albums I have ever heard. His albums Death is Certain and Rock City are also some of the best music I have ever heard.

Head On-Their song “Nice to Meet You” was featured in the 2002 Playstation 2 game “ATV Offroad Fury 2.” From what I have gathered, Head On was a studio band formed by Sony to create hard rock music for video game soundtracks. They were a really good band, though. They sounded almost like Nickelback with a slightly harder edge. ┬áTheir work is extremely difficult to find.

The Relatives-This is a funk/gospel band with a definite Motown flavor. Bands like this are a dying art form. Watching this band is almost like being treated to a performance of The Temptations. The Relatives are wonderful and, make no mistake, the fact that they aren’t more popular is an indictment of the music scene today.

Imogen Heap-You probably don’t know this woman or any of her work. Now if I tell you that she was the female voice in Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say” you’ll have an “a-ha moment”, won’t you? While Jason Derulo is certainly talented, Imogen Heap made the song. It would not be the same song without her voice and would not have been popular had she not been a part of it.

Sevendust-Now they were popular back in the late 90s but for some reason have faded into obscurity. This is one of the preeminent metal bands of their time and they are still doing the damn thing. I recommend their entire catalog. They reinvent themselves without being inconsistent.

The Queers-No they’re not a Gay band or an anti-Gay band. They chose that moniker to piss off their whitebread, straight laced New Hampshire townies. This is easily my favorite punk band and, yes, I’m factoring in The Ramones.

I could go on and on (and probably will) but for now I will release you to your own devices. Be gone.


Family Guy Music

We all know and love the Fox hit show “Family Guy” and if you don’t, you’re probably old, prudish, in possession of a double digit IQ, Certainly the show is a hit because of its great writing, superior voice talent, and clever animation. I believe, however that the music of Family Guy is really the unsung hero.

Recall that the song “Now that You’re Stinking Rich” even won an Emmy award. However, it goes beyond that. The orchestra numbers as well as the smart songs (often even performed by Seth MacFarlane himself proving he is a man of many talents.) I am hard-pressed to think of any other show that takes the time to create as impactful music as Family Guy.

Considering the above, it boggles the mind as to why Fox actually canceled Family Guy twice and keeps the tepid bilge water known as “The New Girl” on the air.

Irrespective of that, if you are a fan of shows complemented by good music, splashy music numbers, need to burn through a few minutes of your work day, want to tune out your spouse, or just want to relive the moments for yourself, checking out the musical numbers on Family Guy probably won’t spoil your weekend. However, if it does, I’m not responsible.


When I was 22, it was a Very Good Year. . .

Paraphrasing The Chairman of the Board himself is always a great way to start a post, no? Disagree? Oh well. Go get your own blog then.

Listening to my iPod today while diligently achievement hoarding on Xbox Live, I realized that the few songs that played in succession were all from 2006. I began to muse at that coincidence since my iPod was set to shuffle and then it occurred to me: 2006 was a really wonderful year for music. Here are some of my favorites and some of my non-favorites that are ones that nonetheless stick out in my mind.

Bad Day-Daniel Powter
This may have faded into obscurity had it not been for the NFL Fantasy Football League ads.

You’re Beautiful-James Blunt
I hated this song when I first heard it. James Blunt just sounded like a creepy pervert that I could just picture singing that song whilst staring at a woman duct taped to a chair in a dungeon not unlike what would appear in one of the “Saw” movies. The song grew on me after a while then I forgot about it by 2007. Given James Blunt’s (lack of) activity, I see I wasn’t alone.

Hips Don’t Lie-Never liked this song but I mentioned it because Shakira can ask me to do her dishes or pick up her dry cleaning any day. I used to love her until I discovered Sofia Vergara. Still, her unique voice allows her to enjoy a special place in my heart.

Crazy-Gnarls Barkley
What happened to Gnarls Barkley? Nevermind. I don’t care. Neither does the record industry evidently.

Ridin’-Chamillionaire
Great song. Another one hit wonder.

Sexy Back-Justin Timberlake
This is the song that really helped him break out as a solo artist if you ask me.

Be Without You-Mary J. Blige
The first time I heard this song, I was drinking a Cinnamon Dolce Latte for the first time and also looking at my then girlfriend (now wife) deciding I was going to propose to her. Yeah. This song is pretty important to me.

SOS-Rihanna
Remember when Rihanna was good? Listen to this song and it will refresh your memory

I’m N Luv (wit a stripper)
MIKE JOOOOOOONES! What happened to that guy? This is a great song with a great beat. I guess that’s par for the course with T-Pain, though.

Laffy Taffy-D4L
Probably one of the most creative songs with the most intelligent use of metaphor that I have heard. I would love to hear more from D4L. They’re part of G-Unit Records now so hopefully I’ll get my wish.

Bossy-Kelis f. Too $hort
I should hate Kelis for what she did to Nas but, whatever. Interesting (and sad) that this song actually did better than the album Too $hort released this same year.

Life is a Highway-Rascal Flatts
I hate covers. I hate Tom Petty. I hate country. That’s why it is so astonishing that I like this song. Then again, Rascal Flatts has a great sound and I like most of their stuff oddly enough.

Soul Survivor-Young Jeezy f. Akon
This is the song that sparked a great run for Akon for about the next two years. I still wish I could find the explicit version of this though!

I wish Sean Paul and Fergie had STAYED in 2006 too.


Why I like Pitbull

I know that in the past I have been a little critical of Pitbull, (I said that I could not stand him because the local radio station is overplaying him) but I wanted to make it right and let it be known that I have respect for the man and what he has accomplished. When I mentioned not being able to stand him, it was merely a poetic license on how overplayed he is on the radio here. Pitbull the entertainer and the man, are things I admire.

What I like best about Pitbull is the fact that he’s original. There’s nothing like him out there. A while back, I enjoyed the music of Control Machete which is a hardcore rap group from Mexico, and I liked their music. Pitbull really infuses Latin “flavor” into his music and his use of Spanish and English in his work is masterful and highly enjoyable.

For me, a true testament of how enjoyable Pitbull is comes in the form of my desire to hear his music again after taking a short break from it. I thought I needed a break from Pitbull but I just needed a break from the local radio station. After a week of not listening to him, I saw Pitbull in the Bud Light commercial singing “Don’t Stop the Party” and realized that I missed his sound. From then on, Pitbull’s music, my iPod, and my eardrums have been in a triangular auditory orgy ever since. I don’t plan on stopping the party either, pursuant to Pitbull’s command.


Will.I.Am is Garbage

All the proof you should require for the above captioned statement is the fact that he surrounds himself with someone like Fergie and proverbial birds of a feather flock together. I came across an article written by a Ned Hepburn citing 8 reasons why Will.I.Am is so horrible. While I have not been acquainted with Ned Hepburn formally, I must say that I see eye to eye with his work.

I am not going to rehash Mr. Hepburn’s article, if you want to read it (and you should because he makes some very cogent points) please click the hyperlink above. I agree with Mr. Hepburn for only one reason. Will.I.Am is totally contrived, devoid of soul, and has no talent outside of pressing buttons. Has he ever sang a song without electronic assistance? Emphatically not. In fact, I would like to hear him try. In predicting the outcome of the same, the phrase, “epic fail” will no doubt be bandied around.

Will.I.Am is what is wrong with music today. It is his popularity that makes the plebian mass audience think that someone like him is talented when they merely press buttons and know people who can get their music airtime.