Archive | Blues RSS feed for this section

California – Oh Laura

2 Jul

(Oh) Laura

Howdy! I’ve finished with school for good, one of is already on vacation and I’ve a long stretch of . . . nothing in front of me. That all means one thing: I shall be imprinting my confused mix of indie/rock/dream/pop on you all summer long. The other guys have good music taste, but let’s face it: My music taste is tailor made for summer music. Fine, fresh, fierce, it’s undeniable:

Continue reading

Bright Lights – Gary Clark Jr.

22 May

I am so close to school ending that it is teasing me. There are two days left until I am free to, well, work all day every day. Exciting isn’t it, that old life of mine. Anyway, the track that has been driving me through these final days that seem to go on forever is Gary Clark Jr’s Bright Lights. Continue reading

Pony – Ginuwine

26 Apr

It’s my birthday today!! That’s right, I am finally allowed to drink and go clubbing legally. It is somewhat ironic/annoying that when I go to college in Chicago next year both of these things will immediately become illegal again until I reach the ripe old age of 21. If you know this song, you might think it’s an inappropriate one to  feature on my birthday. In fact, you might think it’s inappropriate to feature at all. Continue reading

1 Thing I Love About Pop

21 Jan

This is a rather sad column today. Firstly, I have flu so looking at this laptop screen is about the 177th I would like to be doing right now. Secondly, the great blues singer Etta James passed away yesterday. She died from complications from leukemia at the age of 73. There aren’t many ways to say ‘I’m really upset about this,’ and sometimes simplicity is key. Thus: I’m really upset about this. James was a singer whose voice was at once instantly recognisable and identifiable as well as completely unique. It’s funny (if I can use that word) that two major pop songs right now (Avicii’s Levels and Flo Rida’s Good Feeling) both sample James’s ‘Something’s Got a Hold on Me’. If that introduces a whole new generation to James’ magic, then the world’s all the best for it. More gushing after the jump:

Continue reading

Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Winehouse

1 Aug

Amy Winehouse: As she should be remembered.

By now, every aspect of Amy Winehouse’s life, downward trajectory and death has been pored over, analysed and commented upon. As such, it’s difficult to add anything that hasn’t been said. However, I believe it is worth adding support to those who praise Winehouse’s wonderful body of work and her obvious amiability rather than those who focus upon her excessive drug taking and downward spiral. Many things irritated me about Winehouse’s life. It wasn’t simply the constant documentation of her life and partying but rather the nonchalant treatment of a fantastic singer as nothing more than a Big Brother contestant. Russell Brand has already written a moving, heartfelt obituary for The Guardian but I’m more interested in Lady Gaga’s reaction. She claimed that Amy Winehouse made it okay for girls to be weird in pop. As The A.V Club noted, in the way that Winehouse presented a different image, she was a ‘trailblazer.’ Her force, if not musical influence can be seen in the likes of Gaga and Adele today. For that, I will be thankful and I regret neglecting that in my article about pop music’s tendency to embrace ‘weirdness.’

That’s all I have to add to (the on-going and deserved) discussion of Winehouse. The kindest thing any music journalist could do would be to remind everyone of Winehouse’s overlooked song-writing and her unforgettable voice. Which is exactly what I’ll do now, with my favourite Winehouse single, which seems apt for many a Winehouse mourner, Tears Dry On Their Own:

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

18 Jul

A classic for today because it has been completely stuck in my head for the past few days. Fast Car is my favourite song by multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award winner Tracy Chapman. Chapman began writing songs at the tender age of eight, and it becomes crystal clear that songwriting is her calling when you take a listen.

Yeah, breathtaking. Sorry, just had to fit that one in today even though you all probably knew it. Recently I have become a huge Tracy Chapman fan, and am on the verge of worshipping her, so hopefully you can all join me. As I was watching the live performance on YouTube, this comment stuck out to me: “If you’re younger than 20, watch and listen carefully because this is what they used to call talent.”

Maggot Brain – Funkadelic

14 Jun

I’ve said again and again that there are those times when I feel like I can’t do a song justice by describing it in words. Indeed this is one of those times. Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain is probably definitely one of the best songs I have ever heard in my life. There are just no real words to describe the way the sound is. It’s a simple song; just a guy shredding with his guitar, but my god, there is more emotion in there than almost anywhere else I can think of. Take a listen, and don’t be put off at the beginning. The magic begins after about 1:15, and I’m telling you, it will all be worth it.

I love the stories about this song. Every Sunday morning/ Saturday night, the radio station WMMS in Cleveland used to play it at 1:00am. One guy tells of how he worked at the airport, and when the track came on he “used to take the radio outside and crank it. And when Maggot Brain echoed across the field, off buildings, and back to us it was like the whole world was just floating and we were all taken to that little space most personal inside of us.” This song is why I love music.