I was sitting at work the other day just minding my own business. One of my Co workers was listening to some music on his cell phone and another employee walked in and said to him, inquisitively and somewhat disgusted, “what are you listening to?” “Country music” he replied. “Its something different. Its refreshing”. Now normally he listens to hip hop. What an extreme I thought and how awesome that he doesn’t limit himself to just one form or style. I used to tell people…and I guess that I still do, I have everything from punk to opera! And I have pretty much listen to everything in between. Sometimes I think people are afraid to leave their comfort zone and venture out into new territory. Mind you that doesn’t mean that you will like every where you may venture. But I know that when I have heard other songs that some one might have said just give it a listen even though its not your style. I have. And you know sometimes I find that I actually like it. There are also other times where I think, ok not my thing but I can respect them as an artist because I couldn’t do what they do. I guess all I am saying is go out there in the musical world and broaden your horizons! You may find that you actually like it. It might be your “refreshing” experience.
I was taking a listen today to some independent artist that I have on my Facebook page. As I listened I thought to myself, why are these people not signed by a major label? There is so much great music out there that never gets heard. And there is some horrible music that is main stream; and its terrible! I mean seriously, is that what music has come to is just signing everyone that can be a quick flash in the pan or who is some childhood star that is now stripping their close off trying to prove they are an adult, Miley Cyrus comes to mind. No offense. But seriously. What happened to all the great bands? Sure we have Fleetwood Mac, which you must see in concert, and the Eagles, but what about others?
How often now has a band come along that you know for sure is going to last for the next twenty, thirty, forty years? And is that even possible anymore? There use to be bands like Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Journey, Van Halen, Hall and Oates. These groups have been going since the late sixties, early seventies and they are still touring and making music today. Yeah, they are all getting up there in age, but let me tell you something when I watched Lindsey Buckingham on that stage playing guitar and jumping around like he was twenty, it was freaking awesome; and inspiring! It’s amazing to see someone who has been doing what he does for so long and have that kind of passion in him for the music that he’s played for years!
So why don’t we have any groups like this anymore? In my opinion, we do. But they will never get that exposure that all of those other bands had. You know why because they aren’t signed by major labels. They don’t have the money to back a giant world-wide tour and hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote their music! They rely on other musicians, their small fan base and internet radio to get their music out there.
If I have been fanned by another artist on Facebook or reverbnation, I always will be a fan back to them. We need each other as musicians. I want to see other artist be successful with their music, just as I want to be. I think that it’s a shame that record companies don’t develop their artist anymore. They don’t work with them to make them successful. That is what has changed. Music has become so disposable with quick instant downloads and record companies that are quick to sign anyone that can make them a few bucks and then they can drop them just as fast as they signed the dotted line. And usually those artist are not only dropped by their label but end up owing the record company thousands of dollars because they were fronted money when they were signed.
There is so much great music out there! Take sometime to go to places like Reverbnation.com or CD Baby. There is great music there! There are so many talent artists and bands! Who knows maybe one of them is the next great group that will have that thirty year career.
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I was watching a movie last night and one of the men acting in the movie had passed away. He was also a musician. In the movie he has a cousin that gets killed and all this character has left of his cousin are these songs and tapes that he made before he was killed. Well, that got me thinking. How lucky we are to have things like that; music and movies. We are constantly in someway capturing memories over and over everyday of our lives. Maybe at the time we don’t thing about it, but we are capturing some part of that person, on film, on video, or with a microphone. In this age of digital cameras and phones that take pictures and video and the way that we can share them with the world, we are archiving our lives, our memories. Even years after an actor or musician has long since passed away we are able to still hear their voice, listen to their music, see them on film. And more personal to each of us, we have pictures, we have home videos, look at all of the things that we have to remember each other by. Now the lesson in all of this is of course don’t take any of these people for granted while they are living. But instead now that you can find comfort in knowing that they are always there. We are all immortal in a sense if you think about it. We are all captured by camera or by microphone or some other recording device. So I guess what I am saying is, don’t take people for granted, and capture every picture or video of them you can. We are the record keepers each one of us. It’s up to us to show future generations that we were once here.
I am hoping to keep up with Blogging. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts with you. Sometimes they might be things about music and sometimes just thoughts that I might have going around in this head of mine. Either way I hope that you enjoy and please share your thoughts and comments with me. I would love to hear them!
So I couldn’t sleep last night and I decided to try to watch some tv. A movie was on that I had always wanted to watch, but I had only ever seen pieces of it. I decided to leave it on that channel since it had just started. “Boyz in the Hood” , that is what movie was on. For those of you that don’t know this movie, it came out in 1991, written and directed by John Singleton and starred Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Ice Cube. Now I am already a Laurence Fishburne fan so naturally I wanted to watch this movie. I was happy that I was finally getting to watch the entire thing, because as I said before I only ever caught parts of it.
The movie takes place in South Central, Los Angeles in 1984 to show a little of a back story of the main characters as kids then jumps 7 years ahead to show them as teenagers and what is going on in their neighborhood and how it affects them.
Anyhow, there is a scene where one of the main characters is killed (spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen the movie and want to stop reading) and his brother and best friend carry his bloody and lifeless body into his mother’s house where his girlfriend, baby and mother sob and scream inconsolably at his death. The main character that sees him get shot and holds his lifeless body in the street is of course covered in blood and walks out of the house bent on revenge.
So instead of telling you the whole movie let me get to the point. Why do things like this have to happen? Why are there so many kids that die at the hands of another kid? Some people say that is just what happens in the inner cities, it’s all the gangs, it’s all the drugs, it’s the life style in which they chose to live. Well what about the people who can’t get out of it? What about the people who don’t have the money to leave? What about the people who have to struggle everyday and want a better life for themselves. What about the reasons that these kids join gangs. They give them a sense of purpose, a belonging, someone to watch their back. It’s their family. If you don’t have anyone you find one of your own. And if that means that you get into a gang, then so be it. There is a part in the movie where Ice Cube talks about how he was watching the news and they were talking about all the violence and the wars in some foreign country. And he says, ” what about the war here? No one cares about what happens here. It was all about some foreigners there wasn’t nothing about my brother” Think about that. How many times do we only see what is going on someplace else in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I think that we should bring all of our soldiers home, war doesn’t have any winners! But what about the wars here? What about all the kids that die everyday on the streets of our cities? What about the ones that are innocent that have nothing to do with gangs, or drugs, it’s simply that there were there in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wish that there were a way to stop all of that violence, the wars that people who aren’t soldiers have to fight everyday, just to stay alive and survive their neighborhoods. And I wish that I could say something to one person and that would make a difference. But you know what, I haven’t had to live that life. I haven’t had to struggle like that, or know what it feels like to live in that situation where you fight to survive. I don’t know what its like to sell drugs, or join in a gang, or do whatever to be accepted by someone. I’ve never lived in an inner city. I wish no one had to. I wish that people could stop seeing color, or race, or how much money we do or don’t have. We are all the same color underneath. And we all look the same underneath. I wonder to myself, with that image stuck in my head of that mother in the movie