Archive for the ‘hip-hop’ Tag

11-26-2014 Journal–The Music Never Dies!   Leave a comment

I started collecting music at a very young age.  I didn’t just collect everything because that would be impossible.  I have my musical likes and dislikes but as everyone else the music of my twenties and thirties holds the biggest attraction.  I collected first on eight tracks, then cassettes and later on CD’s which resulted in a collection of more than 400 albums of what are now called classic oldies.  Ten years ago I decided to make the move to digital and spent months with a software package called Audiograbber and converted all of my CD’s into MP3’s.  It was a massive job but it permitted me to take my entire collection and install it on my first 80 gig IPod.  It was one of my better purchases because I’m still using it today, 11 years later, on the original battery.






Most of my music is from the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s.  Only a few albums and artists have been added over the years because I only collect what I really like. I could sit here and attempt to razzle-dazzle you with song titles and artist’s names but what would be the point of that. We all love the music we love and some of us don’t like much of anything.  Some people only enjoy the music for its ability to create an atmosphere that will lead to social gatherings at bars and clubs, drinking, dancing, and the occasional bout of recreational sex.

I’m fairly eclectic in my music tastes and enjoy quite a variety which doesn’t include Hip Hop or Country & Western.  Only a very select few from those genres made the cut.  Salt & Pepa, En Vogue, Delbert McClinton, and Bonnie Raitt are just a few that did.


Every so often when I’m alone for a few hours or when I’m working on the computer I’ll crank up certain selections and rock the house down.  One day last week I decided to celebrate some of my favorite artists that had tons of musical talent and died before their time. I spent two hours listening first to my two favorite balladeers, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin.  Then I moved on to the Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and Buddy Holly.  I saved the best for last with Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and ended the montage with Jim Morrison and Freddie Mercury.  Wow. . . it was more than just a little wonderful.  I’m still humming and singing those songs in my head and will be for quite some time. 


After two hours of that music I found myself extremely sad to have lost them before their time and could only imagine all of the fantastic music that died with them.  The only positive thing I can think of is that they and their music will outlive us all and be enjoyed by millions in future generations.  They found their immortality albeit in a most unpleasant fashion.

I look toward to many more special moments listening to their songs as I’ve enjoyed doing in the past.  With that:


12-16-2013. Resolutions   Leave a comment

I’m still trying desperately to figure out exactly what New Year’s resolutions I need to make for 2014. I’d like just  once to be taking this process seriously instead of resorting to silly and humorous resolutions that I never intend to keep. I decided as always that further research is necessary to assist me in my endeavors.

Being the patriotic citizen that I am what better place to start than with the always politically correct US Government webpage. Here’s their suggested list of New Year’s resolutions for 2014 which are so politically correct and lame they must have been written by Obama himself.

Drink Less Alcohol

Eat Healthy Food

Get a Better Education

Get a Better Job

Get Fit

Lose Weight

Manage Debt

Manage Stress

Quit Smoking

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Save Money

Take a Trip

Volunteer to Help Others

I was seriously tempted not to put that list in this posting because it’s so damn embarrassing.  However it’s important that I look at all the possibilities when trying to decide what will be my goals for the new year. During my research I then discovered a suggested list of New Year’s resolutions for senior citizens. I knew that list was going to piss me off because there’s no way someone who is not a senior citizen can write a list for senior citizens.  Here’s that list and it’s only a little offensive and condescending.

  • Visit your local senior center.
  • Plan to eat at least one nourishing meal a day, not junk food or fast food, but a real meal.
  • Increase your social contacts and make new friends at any senior center.
  • Consider getting help If you live alone and don’t have family or friends.
  • Learn how to use the Internet.
  • Schedule regular exercise.
  • Clean house. Go through your residence to identify items you no longer want, need or will never use again.
  • Get your papers/affairs in order.
  • Consider a personal emergency response system.

Well was I right or was I wrong? You can’t expect much more from a non-senior.  Now, in an attempt at diversity which I’m almost always famous for I decided to see what our friends in the hip-hop community are resolving to do during 2014. These listed resolutions are not from one single rapper but a number of people involved in the hip-hop music scene. They’ll speak for themselves with no further comments from me.

  • I’m an artist…Silence is my canvas!
  • Focus more on the music.
  • By the end of the year I’d like to receive some monetary compensation for creating music.
  • As nice as it is to get weed or liquor for beats, I think I’m ready to step up.
  • Stop spending more time on set up and reading manuals than I do writing.
  • Start playing my saxophone on a daily basis again? Oh yeah,and get some exercise…..
  • Return to sample based 90’s boom bap including scratches.
  • Take guitar lessons.
  • Get back to basics and not focus on what I hear on the radio and finish my studio.

My one last attempt at finding some real help on the Internet landed me onto the trail of a British stripper. Her heartfelt resolutions touched my heart and seemed more genuine  than most of the others I’ve mentioned. This is obviously a woman who loves her work and is trying to make those improvements necessary to increase her revenue stream. If I knew where she actually worked  I just might be tempted to pay her a visit and be talked into stuffing a few good old American dollar bills into some really interesting British places.

  • Work on my flexibility.
  • Whiten those teeth.
  • Work at least four days a week.
  • Work on a few new variations to my lap dance routines.
  • Wake up sober on Thursdays.
  • I’m going to begin yoga until I can once again lick my own leg.

All of this research hasn’t help me at all. My list of resolutions for 2014 is still tentative. I can’t decide on what approach to take in writing them and this research has made it even more difficult. I have a few weeks before the end of the year and I’ll continue my diligent efforts to come up with a few real resolutions I can strive for.  I’d hate to be forced to again  resort to making a list with items that are humorous, sarcastic, and silly.

More to come.

03-30-2013   2 comments

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head?  Over the years I’ve listened to hundreds of thousands of songs without any problems whatsoever.  I’ve listened to Jazz, Pop, Hard Rock, and yes even Opera.  I’ve avoided when possible Hip-Hop, Rap, and the old style Country and Western songs because I just don’t care for them.  There are a few exceptions to that list of course but not many.

I live with my better-half who is obsessed with music, singing, dancing, and humming songs almost constantly.  It can be really annoying if you ever crave absolute peace and quiet like I do at times. Every once in a while as I’m listening to music I also find myself unable to disconnect completely.  It’s maddening because I find it interfering with my everyday activities.  I’ve been in conversations with people and as I’m listening to them speak I begin to hum to myself and I can hear the lyrics in my head very clearly.  Then I begin to tap my toe to the music and then suffer from the almost uncontrollable urge to dance.  It takes all of my will power not do anything stupid and embarrass myself.  This has occurred in the past not just in casual conversations but important business conversations as well.

My mother passed away last year and as I was sitting in the church with my sister listening to the priest drone on and on I had the song "What a Man" by Salt and Pepa echoing through my head.  Why? I have no freaking idea but it was actually better than listening to that priest and thinking about my mom’s passing.

On one occasion I was driving to Pittsburgh to visit family which is eleven hours of sheer boredom.  For a large part of the trip through Pennsylvania there is little or no acceptable radio stations to listen to.  Unfortunately I also forgot my IPod and was limited to one CD I found under my seat.  For the rest of that trip and for the  next week the song, "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood drove me freaking crazy.

When I’m cooking I find myself humming and occasionally singing various songs by Luciano Pavarotti in Italian no less.  How weird is that? I love opera but it’s not something I want to hear over and over again.

This problem isn’t limited to good music but also to really bad songs and a few truly annoying television commercial theme songs. The theme songs are the absolute worst.  Lately it’s been that stupid commercial with the Korean version of Richard Simmons singing some stupid song that I don’t even understand while he hops around the screen in a pukey green sport coat with a bunch of pistachios.  I ‘d look up the name of the song for you but what’s the point, I hate that stupid song.

I think the worst part of this problem is that once I capture a song in my head, it’s there forever. I have quite a long list of tunes that show up unannounced at the weirdest times to entertain me. I may be forced to involve myself with some sort of meditation program that will allow me to sit quietly and purge my mind of all this nonsense.  Maybe I’ll become a Buddhist monk where I can spend my time in quiet self-reflection in an attempt to make these evil music demons go away.

As I’ve been writing this I’ve been humming "Three Time a Lady" by Lionel Richey.  Someone please help me!

02-26-2013   Leave a comment

Last week I casually mentioned my fascination with Victorian women and some of the responses I received were interesting to say the least.  Still, the more I read the more interested I became in that time period.  That resulted in further research to satisfy my  strange yet engaging Victorian fixation.  I realize that I’m taking a real risk in ruining a life long sexual fantasy but what’s life without a little risk.

As I’ve always been told by friends and family alike, "be careful what you ask for".  My research into the Victorian age revealed some of the downsides of the era.  The social intercourse of the time had many strict rules for behavior including rules for just visiting someone. Here’s a quote from a Victoria Domestic Manual explaining the rules of "calling on someone".

"Those who mix in society are in the habit of reminding one another of their existence, either by personally calling on each other during certain hours, or by merely leaving their cards at the door."

Those visits were normally made by single women and idle men between the hours of  1-5 pm  in the city or between 12-4 pm at the country house. A call was to last no more than fifteen minutes and was made twice a year and on certain special occasions.

1. After the birth of a baby – either in person or by a servant
2. On the marriage of a daughter – usually the day after the wedding
3. After a death – no calls were made until the lady of the house had sent round her cards "to return thanks for the inquiries" made during the time of
4. Prior to a long absence  from home – ladies then called on their friends
When a lady making a call is married and her husband is too busy to call, she may leave his card for the master of the house.

In leaving cards for a married couple, a lady is to leave one card and the man should leave two.

Formal calls on certain special occasions should be returned within a few days. If not a formal apology is required and expected.

Refreshments are not required in town visits but in the country they should be made available if a caller comes a long distance.

Could you imagine having these sorts of rules in place now.  All of our younger generations would be required to drop a card when they visited anyone.  I can only imagine what those cards might look like.  It would break out into individual groups like everything else seems to do.   You would have Hip-Hop cards, Nerd cards, Artist cards, Sports Cards, and Designer Cards for every occasion.  The look of the card would become another peer pressure item with competition making their costs skyrocket.  Plain old black and white print would no longer be cool but gold embossed print with an accompanying  graphic or photo would the next step.  It would be the next new old thing for the 21st century.  What will come after that? A return to bell bottoms, mullets, or my all time favorite, girdles. 

People need to realize that something stupid a hundred years ago is still stupid today.  I hope we haven’t just run out of new and original good ideas.  It’s too depressing to ponder, so I won’t.

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