Archive | March, 2010

Help Me Raise Money For Cancer Research

31 Mar

Hey Guys,

Bingamton University, like many colleges, holds an annual Relay for Life event. My fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, raised the most money last year for cancer research and we are looking to succeed in our quest to not only raise the most money again, but also raise over $4,000.

It is a wonderful cause and is incredibly important. Any donation is much appreciated. If you have a chance and you want to donate to the worthy cause follow this link:

Thank you so much for any donation. You are contributing to the research of a cure that would save many.

And, to entice you to donate, here is one of my favorite lift-me-up songs “Here Comes the Sun”


Bob Dylan: Hip-Hop’s Godfather? (The Origins of Hip Hop and Rap)

31 Mar



Have you ever seen the hilarious viral video about Bob Dylan writing every popular song in the last 35 years. You Haven’t? Okay, watch it.

Now that you are well versed in Dylan’s ability let’s look at the Rolling Stone article which asks the question: Is Bob Dylan Hip-Hop’s godfather? Godfather may be a good term because he is certainly not directly related. He can be considered a good friend. But, he just took from the same people that Hip Hop took from.

Hip Hop has two big influences. First, we must look at New York City in the late 1960’s into the 1970’s. African and Jamaican roots were rich in a burgeoning musical climate. Block parties, where these two cultural groups combined, became popular in especially the Bronx. DJ’s during these parties started combining funk and soul, with heavy isolation of percussion. This technique became known as Dub music and the style spread. Names like Afrika Bambaataa (Kevin Donovan), Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Keith Cowboy and, of course, The Sugarhill Gang starting popping up and thriving in this new atmosphere.

But, even before this culture appeared in New York, the origins of rap/hip hop really came from true African culture. Blues music and work songs of slavery (inspired by griots of West Africa who were poets who delivered rhythmic, spoken word poems) were played by blacks (some whites) in the Mississippi Delta region around the middle of the 19th century. This was around one hundred years before Bob Dylan was born. This music, in my opinion, was rap and hip hop’s predecessor. And, it not only led to blues, but also jazz. Jazz led to beat poetry and spoken word poems from musicians like Gil Scott-Heron. Similar in style, Lost Poets formed in 1969 and performed poetry over drum beats and other instruments. The Lost Poets are considered one of Hip Hop’s first bands.

It is always a chronological list, but, with most music the roots are deep in the slave culture of the south. Because, without blues or jazz, there is no rock or hip hop or rap or even country music. And, without these genres of music, we would not have a Billboard top 200 chart. Or, better yet, we wouldn’t have this blog.

So, in summation, Bob Dylan’s brand of lyric-heavy folk could certainly be considered a godfather. Someone who blessed the baby, but didn’t have a hand in raising it. But, the father and grandfather can be found in the African and Jamaican cultures of New York, and jazz/blues inspired by ancient African culture and the Mississippi culture in the 19th century. Wow, that was a mouthful.

SWOD (Song of the Day/Word of the Day) #13 – Popinjay

30 Mar

Today’s Word:


Popinjay (noun): A vain and talkative person.

Musical Example:

Okay, let me begin this SWOD with a disclaimer. Not all politicians are popinjays…just most of them :). Sorry to all the politicians (or aspiring politicians out there) but the stereotype is not always wrong. And, what is the best politician song out there. I think Roger McGuinn and his Byrds would probably say, “I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician” would take the prize. The 1971 song is a bit satiric and, in my opinion, catchy and funny. It may have been better if the song was “I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Popinjay.” Well, that does not flow very well. Let’s stick with politician.

Here is Roger McGuinn performing the song. Sorry for the minute-long exposition.

New Gossip Single “Pop Goes The World”

29 Mar

Hey everybody

I hope everyone is enjoying Passover; whether you are observing it by not eating bread, or enjoying it by poking fun at your Jewish comrades who are not eating bread.

Amidst the holiday hysteria I’ll  keep this post relatively short. The Gossip came out with their newest single Pop Goes The World, off of their most recent album Music For Men. The song is fun, lively, and proper fit to the Gossip’s musical catalog. If you need to stay awake while on the treadmill or in the office, I suggest blasting this tune (with headphones on of course). The video is just a shot of color, drama and energy.  Beth Ditto is indisputably the epitome of  glam.

Also the Gossip will be performing with Lilith Fair, so everyone should also check that out!

Six Degrees of Your Ipod

29 Mar

Six Degrees of Your Ipod

I have a theory that all music is somewhat related. Whenever you find a band they have some connection (whether it be inspiration, concert, producer, etc.) with other bands which have connections with other bands. It may be confusing but it is most likely true. The Ipod allows for all of this music to randomly dispersed.

Since I am on Spring Break, I have the opportunity to make a new category. This category will only work if I get participation. Six Degrees of Your Ipod is an easy game to play. Go to your Ipod (or other musical device) and play one song. Do not use that song. Then, after you make sure your Ipod is set to random, skip to the next song. Starting with that song post six songs on the comments and attempt to connect the first and sixth song. If I am right, you will be able to find a connection between the first and sixth. So, shall we begin.

Kevin Bacon concurs

With my list of six songs I am going to describe why I like them as well. And, since I like you guys, I will include a video of each of them. Yeah, I am that nice.

1.) “Bros” by Panda Bear

Noah Lennox, otherwise known as Panda Bear, is an experimental musician and founding member of the popular cult band Animal Collective. One thing I respect about Lennox is his sampling ability. “Bros” samples The Tornados’ song “Red Roses and a Sky of Blue,” Cat Stevens’ “I’ve Found a Love.” It also contains a sampled lyric from The Equals’ “Rub A Dub Dub.” The song is over 12 minutes long and, trust me, it is quite epic.

2.) “Welcome to the Machine” by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s eclectic blend of psychedelic rock and thought- provoking lyric has propelled them onto the top pedestal of my prestigious favorite bands list. “Welcome to the Machine” is off of Wish You Were Here which is a fantastic album. The song’s lyric that explores the “corrupt” music industry is foreboding and Floyd’s use of distorted guitars and keyboards adds to this odd adumbration. One of my favorites off of the album.



3.) “The Trapeze Swinger” by Iron & Wine

Singer/Songwriter Samuel Beam goes by his stage and recording name, Iron & Wine. I am glad this particular song came up. “The Trapeze Swinger” is my favorite song of his. Beam paints a bucolic photo of life and death and this dulcet tune is the perfect palette. Sweet and sobering.

4.) “Mad World” by Gary Jules

I have always enjoyed this Jules cover of Tears For Fears’ song “Mad World.” It is most popular for having appeared in the Richard Kelly film “Donnie Darko.” The song is like a melodious dirge and I can’t get enough of it.

5.) “U.S. Blues” by Grateful Dead

“I’m Uncle Sam. How do you do?” This lyric from “U.S. Blues” is one of The Grateful Dead’s best line. This song is classic Dead blues and that makes it absolutely amazing.


6.) “Blue Ridge Mountains” by Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes is the latest up and coming band Seattle-based indie rock band. These bands seem to sprout up like spring flowers. But, Fleet Foxes is special. They describe their music as “baroque harmonic pop jams” and that is not far from the truth. “Blue Ridge Mountains” is just one example of how far a sweet voice and interesting melody can take you. All the way to my Ipod and there is more where that came from.

Connection: Pitchfork Media really likes Panda Bear and Fleet Foxes. “Bros” appears on the album Person Pitch and “Blue Ridge Mountains” appears on the eponymous Fleet Foxes. Person Pitch was rated the best album of 2007 while Fleet Foxes was rated the best album of 2008. Back-to-back. I listen to some good music!


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