Thinking Bout You Redefines Traditional Pop With Reflective Lyrics & Masterful Mixing

27 Sep

Thinking Bout You brings all the elements of pop, hip hop, and fusion all in one track. Listeners will most likely draw comparison between front runners in the pop circuit such as Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, and Nick Jonas. Although based in Sydney, Australia listeners can anticipate Nick de la Hoyde bringing his sound over to the United States pretty quickly, just based on the catchy beats and the deep lyrics. With reflections within the song saying, “I know it’s kind of hard, I know you’re kind of scared”, it definitely cites with anyone who has experienced heartbreak or the thought of the past and memories. Furthermore, additional lyrics state “we were only young, I’ve been losing my pact to you”, digging deeper into the pop melody. With exceptional production value by Joseph (ZUZU) de la Hoyde and strong vocals, Nick de la Hoyde should be on anyone’s “ones to watch list” for 2017.

Reckless Gods Sets New Sound For Eagle|Stallion

22 Sep

With the start of the song heavy on synthetic beats, listeners become drawn into another world crafted by Eagle|Stallion in their new EP called Reckless Gods, in particular with the track Poseidon’s Dead. The whole tempo of the song is overall upbeat, with synthetic drop down tones adding musical variety to the song as well. Typical of a traditionally good EDM beat, listeners want to listen to beat variation, and the synth sound that is so unique to EDM tracks. The unique part about Eagle|Stallion’s EP is that it’s centered about the theme of mythology; citing the out there stories with their equally out there sound. Overall, with the tones of the mythological world and the sounds of Eagle| Stallion, the two worlds collide to form a perfect world.

Two Young Hearts Provides Memories & Feel Good Sounds

16 Sep

With the heartfelt lyrics of Dino Jag, any listener that hears Two Young Hearts will immediately think about a relationship that needs rekindling, or a lost romance. Either way, the vocal talents of Dino Jag draws listeners in this song, yielding an emotional reaction. Lyrics such as “we made it to the moon, but we got lost on Mars” simply provide an unconventional metaphor that demonstrates lyrical genius. Additionally, with the lyrics such as “If I could press rewind to the first time”, Jag paints a story within the song effortlessly. Known for his music within the international music spectrum, listeners in the United States will definitely be catching on to his unique and contagious sound.

Using “Girl In the War” as a Teaching Tool

11 Sep

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If you have read this blog somewhat consistently over the last few years, you may know these two facts: 1.) I am a High School English teacher and 2.) I greatly appreciate all things Josh Ritter. Thus, it is always a pleasure to combine these two elements into a lesson plan, and next week I will utilize Ritter’s “Girl in the War” in a lesson reviewing figurative language. Students will not only identify the plethora of writing devices Ritter uses in his 2006 anti-war classic, but also they will assess how Ritter’s use of these devices ultimately made his song more effective. Through it all, I’ll make sure to have “Girl in the War” blast over the sound system in my room – perhaps a few times.

I’ve used Josh Ritter before in my classroom. Last year, students explored “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Another New World” by Josh Ritter. It was rewarding to see students unravel the similarities between Ritter’s tribute to Poe’s classic about a “love that was more than love.”Since Ritter’s lyrics are so cogent, intellectual, and literary, the transition from iTunes playlist to classroom is quite simple.

I’m eager to hear the 16-year-old’s take on “Girl in the War” next week. The song contains several allusions, including the biblically-inspired conversation between apostles Peter and Paul. It also utilizes such clever metaphors as “talkin’ to God is Laurel beggin’ Hardy for a gun,” which I anticipate going over the heads of my students; a little clarification will certainly need to be in order. Ritter’s plea, eloquently sang through the lens of Peter and Paul, should be evident for students, as the “girl in the war” is repeated throughout and Ritter uses words like “yell” and “hell” – a sagacious rhyme in an otherwise “holy” song – when Peter begs to the angels that are “locked inside the kingdom.”

I hope students catch that Peter has the “girl in the war.” Peter is also the individual in charge of the pearly gates, with say of who gets to enter heaven. However, Peter has no say about his “girl in the war,” whose collective fate is out of his holy hands and is left, ultimately, to tears falling on Earth as the song ends.

Black Sabbath Blazes Jones Beach – 8/17/16

25 Aug
of Black Sabbath perform onstage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 18, 2016 in Wantagh, New York.

Black Sabbath perform onstage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 18, 2016 in Wantagh, New York. Credit Getty Images

On the concert poster that supports Black Sabbath’s “The End” farewell 80-date tour an inferno encompasses the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. That includes the south shore of Long Island that at times this summer has felt a bit like the portrayed firestorm. On August 17, Black Sabbath started the second leg of the North America swing of its farewell tour at Jones Beach Theater and with the help of 15,000 raucous fans set the beach ablaze (figuratively, of course) with a vehement and booming show.

Before I get to breaking down Sabbath, let’s start with the turn out. I’ve been to plenty of concerts at Jones Beach, and I’ve never seen it as crowded as it was that night. The turn out was a fascinating mix of black-clad Sabbath fans. The mark of a great band is its ability to attract a range of fans, and Sabbath has developed that loyal following over the 45+ years of existence. The opening act was a band I had the opportunity to profile back in February. You can check that out by following that link. The band was an excellent choice as an opening act. Rival Sons plays a style of Southern Rock injected with heavy metal vocals and instrumentals. Back in February I wrote that the band features “old-style rock n’ roll music with a keen blues sound, driving percussion, and raspy vocals,” but after seeing them live I’d like to emend those descriptions, and add that the band can also crush a lick and headbang with the metal bunch. Rival Sons is an original sound, and you should check them out. Plus, the keys/synth player has an Amish-style beard that is all kinds of awesome.

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                   He’s the one on the left but you can’t really see the mega beard

Black Sabbath played a 14-song set in around 2 hours. The set featured the classics, but the band dispersed the hits throughout the nights, which was kind of them: I hate when bands wait until the last three songs to play the top hits. After a dystopic video opening (the video was a cool supplement throughout the show except for when it stopped working for around 15 minutes, but what are you going to do), Black Sabbath came out to the apropos “Black Sabbath,” and Ozzy, the grand master of wicked ceremonies, greeted the crowd with an energy that can be best described as effervescence. Throughout the night, he bounced around the stage, throwing up his hands to rile up the crowd, and leading several call-and-response lyric and clap sessions. He even prostrated twice and professed his love for the fans. He was Ozzy at his finest, and he made it explicitly clear how much he enjoys to be on stage. The concert must have also been joyous for Tony Iommi, who was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphona in 2012 but announced only a few days prior to the concert that his cancer was in remission. Iommi is a wonderful guitarist, and he proved it with his usual stage adeptness and fretboard adroitness that he has had his entire career. Also, let’s give love to Geezer Butler whose bass is not made with any animal products; he is a strict vegan (which I find excellent as a vegetarian and husband to a vegan). Butler mans a potent bass guitar, and did so throughout the concert. The rest of Black Sabbath is keyboardist Adam Wakeman, who strangely played the role of man behind the curtain, as he was not actually visible on stage; Ozzy said it was because he was too ugly, but I think the massive amplifiers blocked him, and session drummer Tommy Clufetos, who played a sick drum solo during “Rat Salad” that gave the rest of the band a piss and water break, and entertained the crowd thoroughly.

All-in-all, what else can I say. Black Sabbath was tremendous. The crowd loved every second of the show. It was a riotous affair. Yes, Ozzy, we had fun. Excellent show. Get tickets to this one if you can.

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