Ok. I need to get this off of my chest. Today’s music does NOT suck! Every generation has their highs and lows. The inevitable “good, bad and ugly.” It happens decade after decade. But honestly, what is a “real musician?” They come in many forms. Singers, songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, etc. You cannot claim that today’s music sucks, because that’s not true. Like every other decade over the years, there is most definitely CRAP. But there are also some really fantastic artists, albums, songs, inspiration, catchy hooks and memorable moments.
What I am trying to address here is the following 4 points:
1) What is a real musician?
2) What is a “writing team?”
3) Is there something WRONG with Katy Perry or Imagine Dragons?
4) Is today’s music ONLY catchy and NOT inspiring?
1) So…what is a REAL musician? Well that can be tricky…but not really. According to various sources; such as the Oxford Dictionary and the MacMillan Dictionary:
“A musician (or instrumentalist) is a person who is talented in making music or performing music creatively, or one who composes, conducts, or performs music (particularly instrumental music).
“Musicians can specialize in any musical style, and some musicians play in a variety of different styles. Examples of a musician’s possible skills include performing, conducting, singing, composing, arranging and the orchestration of music.”
Lady Gaga is someone whom I am not a fan of. I respect her music. I don’t have to like her but she DID learn how to sing and play piano as well as many other instruments and she puts her music together.
Nicki Minaj: she’s a singer/rapper, which she normally describes herself as, not a musician. She’s also an artist. NOT a musician.
Kanye West: Rapper, artist, can he play an instrument? He often samples other people’s music but then writes his own additions to it.
Taylor Swift is in fact a Musician (not one that I care about much) but she is something of a teenage heartthrob and only writes about relationships. but DEFINITELY a musician.
The Beatles… Duh? I should just bitch slap you if you say otherwise!
Justin Bieber is AN IDIOT….A MONKEY….NOT AN ARTIST…..NOT A MUSICIAN.
I agree that Neil Young, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan are all MUSICIANS (REAL ONES TOO)
2) The writing team = I believe this can be applied to over 90% of the songs out there (yesterday and today). You don’t have to write your own songs to be good. Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Glen Campbell didn’t write their own songs. Collaborations aren’t new to the recording industry. Producers like Quincy Jones, George Martin and Rick Rubin are what make good music GREAT! Low Fi recordings are good and so are Hi Fi recordings. It is a matter of preference. Do you want your song all polished and pretty? Or do you want it to sound raw and stripped down?
Actors in films read and follow scripts and unfortunately, as viewers, we can easily be tricked into thinking that those beautiful words they utter are their well-acted lines of passion. But isn’t that what makes them great actors? To be able to pass something off as their own in a convincing way.
Even awesome singer-songwriters like Carole King collaborated with other writers to make such great songs.
3) Is there something WRONG with Katy Perry or Imagine Dragons? FIRST of all, you are either a FAN of artists/musicians like these two OR you just simply don’t like their music or care period. No one is forcing you to EVER listen to someone or something that you don’t really want to. That being said, I personally am extremely fond of these MUSICIANS who do in fact ACTUALLY WRITE their music.
Katy Perry, is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She can play the guitar and piano as well. Katy puts a ton of work into her recordings and her live shows. Here is something she recently said about her latest record: She told Billboard, “I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone….. I even know what type of tour I’m doing next. I’ll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality.”
Perry also revealed that she is simply a “singer-songwriter masquerading as a pop star” and stands by the fact that honest songwriting is very important to her. She has also stated that “I feel like my secret magic trick that separates me from a lot of my peers is the bravery to be vulnerable and truthful and honest. I think you become more relatable when you’re vulnerable.”
On the surface, she appears be this bubble gum and infectious pop star. Beneath the surface there is an ocean of mixed emotions, a collection of hidden motives with lyrics deeply complicated enough to fill a dylanesque folk record. Her stuff is truly inspiring if you ACTUALLY LISTEN TO WHAT SHE IS SAYING!
As for Imagine Dragons, they too write all of their music. In fact lead singer-songwriter, Dan Reynolds, tends to write too many songs that can’t all be used on their albums. As a collective band, they all play drums. They have also admitted to being perfectionists when creating their INSPIRED songs for all ages out there. Much talent lies within this band. Its so incredible how spiritually addictive their music sounds can be. Alternative music in the past couple of years never sounded so “potent” like these guys do.
I am constantly reminded of their songs profound meanings. To know what it is like to be human and have real pain and emotions that we tend to bury, hide and ignore. We all make mistakes. We all deserve a second chance. But we all must learn to forgive ourselves. We cannot let the sins and the black coins of our life fill up the jar of our minds and soul or else there will be no more room for love.
4) Is today’s music ONLY catchy and NOT inspiring?
NOPE NOT TRUE! There are a lot of bands nowadays that I really enjoy. Plenty of bands I do not like either. But it was the same in the 90’s and the 80’s etc… NOT exclusive to today’s music at all. If I wasn’t “inspired” by “today’s” music then I wouldn’t even have this blog and I wouldn’t be trying to expose today’s music to my friends and family. It’s not just a bunch of glamorous sell out trash thats being played on the radio and bombarding your tv commercials. There’s A LOT of talent out there! You should check out St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) who is an amazing singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A female who pops weird stuff out like David Byrne and Wayne Coyne like you wouldn’t believe. You just have to do your homework, dig a little deeper, open your mind and get your facts straight before making false claims and assumptions. 🙂
Let me just get this statement out of the way with. I AM OBSESSED WITH KATY PERRY. There. I said it. Now you know my guilty pleasure. I’m not really ashamed of it. She’s beautiful. Her voice is stunning. I love her songs. I think her music videos are really cool and sometimes thought provoking. I don’t know what it is about her but I just love her. My wife knows this about me. There are no secrets between us.
It all started back in early 2007 when I was flipping through the television stations and came across some live show. Sort of like a Jerry Springer audience setting but it wasn’t a bizarre freak show or anything. It was some kind of variety program. This tall brunette girl was bouncing around the audience with a microphone singing, “I Kissed a Girl and Liked it!” She kept repeating that line over and over again. Why was this girl singing that? Why was she running around the audience and the stage like this. Who is she? I found myself intrigued.
I’m not gonna lie, pinup art is quite glamorous and sexy. One day I am going through a newspaper and come across the same girl posing in a Betty Page sort of way. I’m thinking, “So is she really a singer or a pinup model?” Come to find out she is both. Katy loves vintage model poses and she loves to have fun with her songs. It’s bubble gum pop with a true rock and roll edge. It’s like Madonna meets Joan Jett perhaps. But it’s honestly more than just that.
As the months went by I kept hearing more of her songs on the radio. I finally picked up her debut cd “Just One of The Boys,” and I really dug it a lot. I remember listening to it in the car or even when I would be mowing the lawn. I just was mostly obsessed with the lines “cherry chapstick” in that “Kissed a Girl” song I mentioned earlier. That certainly paints quite an image. However, I didn’t give it much thought once 2008 and 2009 rolled around. Suddenly her music was on the back burner.
Then all of a sudden; in 2010, she releases an astonishing sophomore album called Teenage Dream! It was daring, bold and provocative! Her first single, “California Gurls,” was a smash hit right from the start. I mean, there’s Snoop Dog on backing vocals and a music video that is a takeoff on the board game Candy Land! Need I say more? The hits just kept on coming. This girl knows how to write songs. She’s not some pop star that just dances around and fills in for the vocals. She is very much involved in the process of choreography, lyrics, music, videos and live shows (which always sell out).
She broke a record with this album releasing like 6 top singles, I believe. My favorite ended up being the song entitled, “Firework.” This one is like a pocket symphony. It is motivational and awe inspiring. I first heard it playing in a public venue at a skating rink when my wife and I took our middle niece (Samantha) there for her birthday and as I am skating around the track I suddenly hear the lines, “Just Open Wide and Let it Shine.” I was like, “I know this song!” It was just a perfect moments with the lights, the people gliding around on their roller blades grooving to her awesome pumping music.
Now here we are in August 2013. After 3 years of touring, marriage and divorce and plenty of drama; Katy Perry is doing it again! She’s releasing a new record in October, entitled PRISM. Her first single just came out today. It’s called ROAR. She seems to be unleashing a beast of a record, again! Miss Perry is raising the bars by promoting the album via Gold Semi Truck driving around the truck with her name and album title blazed on the side of it. She’s heavily using Twitter and Facebook to get the word out there.
She’s still into fashion, because she (like Madonna) is constantly changing wardrobes and coloring her hair but she definitely is doing her own thing, “and I like it.” I cannot wait until the new record is released. Sometimes it’s hard to explain why we get so addicted to people, sounds, colors, ideas and voices. We just do.
From a previous post…..this pretty much explains why I chose them as number 12 on my list
Tegan And Sara are twin sisters from Canada. Both of them sing, play guitars and keyboards. “Indie rock” is their most typically fitting category of music. But they have put out some really pleasing and heartfelt music over the years and they like to mess with their styles. Together they write beautiful music and lyrics.
“Heartthrob” is the title of their newest record. It will forever put these girls in the spotlight. Tegan And Sara have just peaked with this release! This music is some of the best tunes I have heard from the indie scene in a really long time. “Closer”, which was the first single, is probably one of the best ways to get an idea how this album as a whole sounds. It’s dreamy, with excellent catchy lyrics, and dueling vocals. If you do not know anything about them, then this is the perfect tune to get into.
There are ten songs full of these fantastic 80s vibes popping all over the place on this CD. Every single track could be a hit! It explodes with pop! Some are anthem chorus-driven tracks,others are simply alluring but with painful vocals, and also a very dance feel throughout. At several times, there are these sentiments on the album most of us can say we’ve felt and relate to.
I love the use of their funky synthesizer beats and the echoing vocals which move nicely into the great refrains. I can’t think of too many groups recently that are comparable. This record, “Heartthrob” definitely deserves checking out.
Overall, it was worth the money. I am sure this will be the album that finds them a much broader audience with pop stars like Katy Perry; especially while promoting it in their Twitter feeds, but more importantly this is a CD that longtime fans (I’m a newbie to them) can grasp and appreciate.
Based on what I am hearing, this is a new sound that shows a lot of maturity, and yet that Tegan and Sara ‘vibe’ they have become famous for, is still there. Highly recommended, even from a new fan, like me.I look forward to seeing them at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 4th. I am sure they will be a real treat!
We’re in the middle of the summer, almost approaching the dog days. It’s hot and sticky out there. July is an eventful month. At least this year it is for me. First my wife and I took our nieces to Michigan to hang out at my dad’s cottage by the lake. We are also training for a Sprint Triathlon! Denielle (my wife) has a birthday coming up too! But there’s BBQ’s, summer blockbuster films, pool parties and MUSIC to celebrate all of these events…..and more!
A playlist for the month of July was put together by the two of us. It expresses the feelings of summer; volleyball, the beach, more road trips, swimming, the heat, the parties, surfing and just whatever feels good during these dog days. There is ice cream to keep cool, or times you wash your car on the driveway, just hanging out at the drive-in movies or walking downtown and listening to street musicians. Even buying a balloon from a clown at a county fair while you wait in line for a roller coaster is a good time. It’s the music that we all sing and tap our feet to. I’ll list the songs with these little explanations as to why and how they fit into your 2013 July Playlist. Enjoy!
1. California Gurls…..Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dog
Guilty Pleasure!!! Not gonna lie. I LOVE her music!!!! It’s an awesome song about the summer!
2. Get Lucky….Daft Punk
So far this is shaping up to be THE SONG of the summer of 2013….it’s just really catchy
3. California Sun….The Rivieras
I know it’s from the 1960’s but I always think of the film Good Morning Vietnam because it’s on the soundtrack and feels good on the ears cruising in my car
4. Playing With The Boys….Kenny Loggins
My wife likes this one because they play it during the “volley ball scene” in the film Top Gun. A bunch of cute guys in the sand, I guess. Still I don’t mind the tune.
5. Pipeline….The Chantays
I love the guitar work on this one. A surfing classic!
6. Baltimora…..Tarzan Boy
Ooooooh Ahhhh Ooooooh chantings of Tarzan! Total 80’s track. Not sure why it’s
on here but it seems to fit the group.
7. Brown Eyed Girl…..Van Morrison
Denny’s birthday is coming up. She likes Van Morrison and has brown eyes so why not???
8. Summertime….DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
9. In the Summertime….Mungo Jerry
I love this song! Sounds good anytime. In the car, at the pool, having a drink, at a party, anywhere.
10. Surfin’ USA….The Beach Boys
You gotta have the Beach Boys on the list. And this is a perfect example of why.
11. Tequila….The Champs
Makes me wanna dance on the bar like Pee Wee Herman. Ha ha ha
12. Summer Girls….LFO
Never heard this before but now I think of Abercrombie & Finch and pretty girls.
13. Surf City….Jan & Dean
DO I have to explain this one?
14. Wipe Out….The Surfaris
15. Good Day Sunshine….The Beatles
Makes me smile and nothing can go wrong when the Beatles are on
16. Leader of the Pack….The Shangri-La’s
This one’s kind of a wild card. I like the song a lot. It deals with greasers and pink lady type of relationships and car accidents and I guess it’s not really a summer song but it does seem to blend well.
17. Brighter Than The Sun….Colbie Caillat
Just a feel good sunny song
18. Summer of 69….Bryan Adams
Kind of an anthem, if you ask me
19. Great Balls of Fire….Jerry Lee Lewis
It’s energetic and keeps the pace going
20. Surfin’ Bird….The Trashmen
This one is really hyper and definitely can induce laughter. Plus it’s definitely a California surfing tune