Archive | January, 2010

Philadelphia Trip

29 Jan

On my way to Philadelphia for a Delta Sigma Phi leadership academy.  City of brotherly love, as much as you cheer for the dreaded Phillies, please welcome me with open arms. Here is a little Springsteen to get you in the Philly mood.

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Court Links: Joe Walsh suing and Bob Dylan performing

28 Jan

Joe Walsh has lost his mind and is suing himself. Well, not really himself, more like his doppelgänger. Ah…no not the person can’t even be considered that. While Joe Walsh is indeed suing Joe Walsh, the second Joe Walsh is not anything related to the Eagles’ rocker. He is actually a Republican congressional candidate in Illinois who decided it would be absolutely legal to take Joe Walsh’s song “Walk Away” and change the lyrics around to suit his campaign. I don’t understand this. First John McCain decided that he wanted to use Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty” in his campaign so he just took it without permission, then we see Eagles bandmate Don Henley also battling with a Congressional candidate named Charles DeVore over the use of songs in a campaign. Politicians, can I please suggest something? STOP USING SONGS WITHOUT PERMISSION. There is a United States Copyright Act and if you are too dumb to realize it please stop your campaign!!! Man, politicians can be dumb sometimes. Joe Walsh’s case is special because there is a possibility that people may believe that the Eagles’ Joe Walsh supports his name-brother (which he certainly does not).

Check out the article (which includes some humorous writing from Walsh’s lawyer): http://www.billboard.com/#/news/rocker-joe-walsh-takes-on-namesake-politician-1004063221.story

Mr. Tambourine Man (otherwise known as Bob Dylan) will be performing at the White House Concert on Feb. 10. The concert will be streamed live from the White House website at 5:15 p.m. and will appear the following day at 8 p.m. on PBS. This is only fitting for Dylan to perform. He spent the majority of his time singing for the civil rights movement in the early 1960’s.

Check out the article: http://www.examiner.com/x-21829-Bob-Dylan-Examiner~y2010m1d26-Bob-Dylan-to-perform-at-the-White-House-February-10

Visual Music #24

27 Jan

No, Internet, I did not forget about you again. Simply put, the internet connectivity on campus is terrible. I had the whole thing written up, and after waiting 5 minutes for the picture to upload I just said forget it. Here we go again, I’m gonna try this out…

Song Title

ALTERNATE TEXT!

Hint ( This ballerina may not be in the sand, but you should have seen her )

Answer ( Tiny Dancer by Elton John )

Lyric of the Day #73: Top 100 Lyricists #74 – Joshua James

27 Jan

Joshua James, the young folk troubadour from Lincoln, Nebraska, is certainly on the rise. Since 2006 he has released 6 albums, only two of them EP’s, and he has sparked some major recognition from magazines that focus on judging young singers and song-writers. Variety Magazine has called James, “a young Midwestern singer-songwriter who writes hard-bitten songs of family tragedies and sings them in a voice that’s as sun-bleached and wind-battered as a Nebraska cornfield,” which is most certainly some eloquent high praise. Paste magazine has named him one of their “Next 25 Artists You Need To Know” in their September, 2008 edition. He has even gotten the support of his fellow musicians who recognized his talent and wanted him to help their North American Tours. On that names list is Brett Dennen, Ani DiFranco (oddly Top 100 Lyricists #75), David Gray, and John Mayer. Putting all the recognition and praise aside I can tell you truthfully that he is one of the more exciting artists in a long time and his lyrical prowess is in the top 5 of below-40 artists scribbling songs.

James, currently based in Utah, grew up in Nebraska with strict parents who banned certain music. Of course, like any rebellious child, James constantly sneaked listens and developed his own musical longing and ability. In using music as a therapeutic connection, James began writing songs about the world around him and the people in it. His ability to delineate human struggle and emotion is certainly uncanny, but, what shoots him above other lyricists able to evince emotions is his remarkable hold of the English language and the cadence in his lyric. Let’s look at the opening verse in James’ song “Soul in the Sea” which you can also listen to below the lyric.

“I dream of dusty roads, paved with gold that lead me in your eyes.
The marmeladed paintings sing a song that not the crows will try.
The Piano screams a sound inside your lips I have found,
Something I could never save.
The current pulls me down, into your river deeper now, than I had
Ever planned to sink, planned to sink”

Not only is the song catchy and the melody calm and beautiful, but, as you can see above, the lyric reflects it. “Dusty Roads,” “Marmeladed Paintings” “The Piano Screams a Sound.” The description is effulgent and even James’ personification in the piano screaming is original and shocking. Shocking is the name of the game with James’ next song “Lovers Without Love” where he explores truths in our society.

“Love and hate can not see colors,
like the human eyes,
so priests and preachers, parents teachers,
don’t act so damn surprised

its the world we’ve made and living in
of greed lust and poverty,
of war and pride, teen suicide,
and lovers without love like me
from topless dances to Marilyn Manson
and lovers without love like me.”

In what seems to be an attack on those who claim ignorance in our world, James explores how we all spot the distinct color of hatred in this world that we are living in. We have greed, lust, poverty, war, pride, teen suicide and lovers without love. It is a list out of the Seven Deadly Sins and it is unfortunately true. James is able to express this, like everything else he does, with a Midas touch.

SWOD (Song of the Day/Word of the Day) #5

26 Jan

Today’s Word:

Evince: To show in a clear manner; to manifest; to make evident; to bring to light.

Music Example: Out of all of the informative protest music that came out of the late 60’s early 70’s, “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young certainly evinced the horrible events at Kent St. the best out of any musical piece. The song, written by Neil Young in reaction to the shootings that occurred at a Kent St. war protest at the hands of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, peaked at #14 on the Billboard Top 100 charts after it was released as a single. The song spread rapidly and its critical lyrics were met with a mood of turmoil and consternation in the wake of the shootings. The song was truly one-of-a-kind because of Neil Young’s ability to deny the caitiff stance and keep Richard Nixon’s name in the songs famous beginning line “Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming.” This did two things for the band. Firstly, it got the song banned from AM radio stations who wanted no part in the band’s criticism of the president. Second, and most important, it became the anthem of the American counterculture movement and gave all four members of Crosby Stills Nash & Young anti-war spokesmen status that they still enjoy today.

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