Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 31 – Sound of a Crescendo

Artist: Michael Jackson
Song: Thriller 

I have no words. I’ll leave this space blank in honor of the greatest pop singer of all time. Of all time
Album: Thriller
Best Lyrics:
You hear the door slam and realize there's nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you'll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination

And with that I bid you adieu. Honorable mentions go to all the awesome bands that couldn't quite make it on the list. Maybe next time

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 30 – The one and only Billy Shears

Artist: Beatles
First Song: You never give me your money

Favourite song: Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a little help from my friends

Awesomest Album Ever. Ringo’s singing voice is pretty smooth. It’s a bummer he didn’t do more songs.
Favourite Beatle: Tie between Pre-Yoko John Lennon and Ringo Starr. Ringo is quite underrated isn’t he?
Least favourite Beatle: Post-Yoko John Lennon: He really was a smug jackass, wasn’t he?
A sign of how ubiquitous the Beatle are culturally is that I don’t even remember when I first heard of them. Even when I was in Sierra Leone, I remember hearing the songs on the radio, at clubs and in a lot more random places than that. Everybody knows the Beatles. I don’t need to say anything about them other than there’s always a Beatles song that perfectly matches my mood. They’ve been such a huge influence on some of my favourite bands. Looking at bands like Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and a whole host of others are in some way channelling the Beatles. The Beatles did everything before everyone else and did it better with their effortless genre switching. Viva The Beatles

Best Lyrics:
Out of college money spent
See no future pay no rent.
All the money’s gone, nowhere to go.
Any Jobber got the sack,
Monday morning turning back.
Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 29 – Never be the same

Artist: Tupac/Notorious B.I.G
Song: Changes/Big Poppa

Big Poppa

Growing up in the early 90s as rap was going through a bit of a reinvention and a renaissance, Tupac and BIG were in the centre of it. Their coastal beef inspired the genre to new heights. Biggie Smalls aka Christopher Wallace was an East Coast Rapper, who was known for his loose style of rapping and his lyrical storytelling. His legacy is as one of the greatest rappers of all time and he deftly weaved a multitude of themes and motifs into his music. He remains one of the best known figures in rap and a pioneer of the second generation. Incidentally, he is also well known for unleashing Sean Combs on an unsuspecting and ill-prepared world.
Makaveli aka Tupac Shakur was a west coast rapper and actor who was more of an artiste than BIG. His lyrics tended to be more cerebral and dealt with issues of racism, inner city despair and violence in his lyrics. He was born in New York but eventually moved to California and his rap career began in earnest while there. He started off doing guest spots for the rap group ‘Digital Underground’ before eventually forming the group Thug Life and then branching out into solo work. His music tended to the cerebral and included a lot of philosophical flourishes such as Afro-centrism, Black Nationalism and egalitarianism. His music also could have a playful and more carefree side which probably helped with his commercial success. His musical talents were often overshadowed by his problems with the law. His untimely death was a tragic loss for rap music. His legacy remains that of one of the most revered and respected rappers of all time.
The 90s was a good time to listen to rap and they definitely played a huge role in my musical interests. They were both larger than life and as a youngster it was just a joy listening to their music. Dying young is a good way of becoming a legend, but I’d rather still have them both here with us. R.I.P

Best lyrics:


Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the blacks givin' it back to you

Big Poppa
A foolish pleasure, whatever
I had to find the buried treasure, so grams I had to measure

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 28 – Well, whatever, Nevermind

Artist: Nirvana

Song: Smells like Teen Spirit

Album: Nevermind
Nirvana are part of the cultural zeitgeist in a way that very few other bands have managed. They managed to take a fledgling genre and give it mainstream recognition. Their music was a sound that defined a generation, and in Kurt Cobain, they had a lead singer who personified the genre. And just like that, it was all taken away.
They’d been part of the Seattle Grunge scene for years prior to their mainstream introduction with the album ‘Nevermind’. A lot of people assume it was their first album, but that’s not actually correct. Their first album ‘Bleach’ was released in the late 80s and was released independently. It’s a much different and harsher sound than their more accessible followup. The lyrics are just as indecipherable though.

They first found success with their single ‘Smells like teen spirit’ and their success revitalized the alternative rock genre and introduced a whole slew of youngsters to not bathing, drugs and mumbling incoherently. Over time, their music got less angry, more poppy and with convoluted lyrics and wordplay. Songs such as   ‘Come as you are’ and ‘In Bloom’ are a testament to that. Their third album continued their unique sound, but alas, it all came crashing to an end soon after that. I blame Courtney Love, but that’s just me. They’ve left quite a legacy behind them.

Best lyrics:
Load up on guns
Bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over-bored and self-assured