by Maxim Daniels
Writing about heartache has to be the easiest to write about. I mean seriously, how many hits does Taylor Swift have about a guy doing her wrong? A clinical psychologist would likely tell you writing a song about heartache is a way of coping. I would tend to agree. Is it possible to write about it if you have never experienced it first hand? Probably not, so as long as two people decide to get involved, we will always have the break-up song. Tell me, who doesn't love a good break-up song?
Since most of my personal heartache occurred in the late eighties and nineties, the songs I tend to think about come from this era.
This might end up being the most difficult top ten list I've ever compiled. I stopped writing songs down once I reached one hundred, and then narrowing down to ten was almost impossible. However, pushing past the difficulties and wiping away the tears of past heartache, I was able to narrow it down to ten. I apologize the videos are not original. VEVO seems to have everything copyrighted on YouTube and doesn't allow you to share. Without much further delay, I give you IAATM's "Top Ten Break-Up Songs."
Most people have been with someone who wasn't fully committed to them and still hung up on their ex. This song speaks to that. As much as you wanted to tell that person it was all or nothing, you still hung on until they eventually headed back to their ex. Side note - Don't ever date someone who is still hung up on their ex! Nothing good will come from it.
#8 - Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 You"
Some people know Sinead O'Connor due to her appearance on Saturday Night Live where she tore up a picture of the Pope. It was a stupid expression, but we need to separate that from what a great song she recorded. It really is an emotional and heart felt song about love lost.
#7 - Nazareth - "Love Hurts"
If there ever was a song that gives a clear definition of the word love, Nazareth hits the nail right on the head. Let's be honest with ourselves here, sometimes love hurts a hell of a lot more than it doesn't. If you read my book "My Blue Eyes" http://www.amazon.com/My-Blue-Eyes-Maxim-Daniels-ebook/dp/B00X8ZG4BS you will see why love hurts and read the perfect definition of love. (Sorry for the plug)
#6 - Air Supply "All out of Love"
Can there even be a break-up list without a little Air Supply on it? I mean, come on, one of the sappiest groups ever to put out some iconic love songs.
The other meaning could possibly be about an unexpected long distance relationship that has drained them of the love they felt for the other person. The person wants to hold on, but the distance is creating too much heartache. Either way, it's a good song and deserves its place on the list.
I should revisit the side note at the end of song #10. (Don't ever date someone who is still hung up on their ex! Nothing good will come from it.) I think this was this particular girl's theme song. Every single one of her exes, including myself, she wanted to give one more try. I think it's time to move on to #4. See how these songs can get a memory off track? Also, Timmy T holds the honor of having the cheesiest ending to any video ever created.
Wouldn't it be kind of cool if you knew you were the person someone reminisces about? I don't necessarily know if it would be an ego boost, but it wouldn't hurt. Just a thought.
What exactly does this song mean? This could be considered the pre break-up song. You've had that relationship before where you know it's just a matter of time before they break up with you. Consider this song one last ditch effort to keep their love. A great song!
relationship this song is about. It's probably the most intense love you will ever experience, also, it's the most toxic one you will experience. These totally opposite love and hate relationships are no good no matter how bad you want it to be. Long after your love/hate relationship ends, this song will always ring true as one of the greatest break-up songs.
Being it's the number one break-up song, I figured it best to go with the original artist. I cannot even fathom what Pete Ham and Tom Evans were going through when they wrote this song. It's a really heart wrenching song that everyone thinks when a break-up happens. I can't live without you!
There you have it. The top ten break-up songs of all time. Anyone can argue with the list, but here at IAATM, this is ours and we are sticking to it. We would love to hear what other songs you think should have been included in the list. Just remember, as long as there are relationships, there will be break-ups and more outstanding songs made.
I had such a positive response to "The Curious Case of Country Music," I decided to do a follow up. Then, the more research I did on the issues with country music made me realize it's going to require more than one follow up. Unless, of course, I wanted to write a ten thousand word blog. As much as I don't want to, I'm sure it's mutually agreed the readers wouldn't want to read it either.
There are so many ways to go when writing about the issues of country music, I need to focus on them one at a time. When I say issues, I mean problems. The first one needing addressed is Big Machine Record Label president Scott Borchetta.
It's important you remember that statement as I discuss why I feel Borchetta is not good for country music.
I honestly don't know where to start when it comes to Borchetta. Seeing him in action on American Idol made me question how in the world he was able to start a successful independent record label in 2005. Yes, he did have the backing of Toby Keith, who ironically left his affiliation with the label a year later. Keith still holds some ownership with the label and is said to be the reason why year after year he continues to be one of the top grossing country artists. More on Keith later.
We all know Borchetta's claim to fame is his discovery of Taylor Swift. Like I said in the previous blog, you don't discover an artist like Swift, she discovers you. If you want to get down to the dirty of it, Big Machine is only what it is today because of Swift.
One would think if Swift had designs on staying with Big Machine, Borchetta would have sold in a heartbeat. Whatever Swift decides to do in the future, people should really take notice. One of the most played artists in the world, she has the music industry in the palm of her hand, along with Borchetta.
Why should people take notice? People should take notice, because Taylor Swift is Taylor Swift because of Taylor Swift. Borchetta had little to do with her success. Her success came from the tons of hard work she, and her family put into her music career. Now, Borchetta is taking all the kudos in the world for his "discovery." Again, he did not discover her. He simply provided her with a platform.
This is what kind of person I feel Borchetta really is. For the life of me, I can't think of the name people generally call these individuals. For now I will call him a poacher. Swift seems loyal, so if Borchetta truly is responsible for her, she will stay. If not, then this verifies Borchetta just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
The biggest news in the music industry within the next couple of years will be what Swift decides to do. If she happens to leave Big Machine, I suspect Borchetta and his team will start the mudslinging immediately. Trust me, it will make good TV.
Like I said earlier, Borchetta started Big Machine in 2005. Before then, he was a struggling country/rock artist who eventually landed a job working in the mail room for his father. After a couple of different adventures within some major labels, Borchetta decided to start his own independent label with the backing of Toby Keith.
I would personally love to know why Keith ended his affiliation with Big Machine a year later to start his own label. Is it possible he knew the direction Big Machine was going and wanted no part of it? Keith seems to be the type of guy who holds traditional country values dear, and Big Machine is nowhere close to having those same traditional values. To be fair, Keith does still have his hand in the cookie jar at Big Machine. Would this make Keith the type of person who likes to talk out of both sides of his mouth? Again, all speculation as to why he ended his affiliation.
When you take a look at the musicians Borchetta has in his stable, you can't help but be impressed with some of the names. He has a few current hot artists, some up and comers, established veterans and some leaving me shaking my head.
Rumor has it Nelly is interested in going country. Let us not forget both of his collaborations with country artists are members of the Big Machine Team. This would be Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw. Both collaborations had major success, so one could see Borchetta pursuing this.
With some of his other up and comers, you have the sound of southern rock and pop continuously being noticed in their music. Is this the vision Borchetta has? Is it his vision to get rid of all genres and have music be one big entity? Or is Borchetta simply trying to stick it to the powers that be in country music? If this is the case, there has to be a better way of doing it.
Part of me wonders if this isn't really who Borchetta is. I have to go back to Swift, but can you imagine any other country artist who is with a country label switching to pop, while still signed to their label? Her pulling this off just goes to show the power she possesses. Maybe Borchetta is just one big act, trying to save face as Swift told him to stick it, because she wants to do what she wants. Now Borchetta is stuck playing games with country music.
Those who watched Idol this year saw or read about his issue with Clark Beckham. A moron could tell Borchetta was completely into Clark as the season started. As the season progressed, Clark refused to change and was caught in a power struggle with Borchetta. Clark eventually lost, because really he had no say. I'm sure the clip of Borchetta and Beckham discussing his direction in no way, shape or form happened with Swift. Could you imagine the conversation.
Swift: Hey Scott, I'm thinking my next album is going to be a pop album.
Borchetta: Okay, thanks Taylor.
I used to be one of those people who was sick of hearing about different genres. After some serious soul searching, I've decided we need those genres. We need those genres to separate the music that people hold near and dear. It's true, music is music, but sound and style are always different.
When I turn on the radio to a country station, I want to hear country. I don't want to hear pop country. I don't want to hear rap country. I don't want to hear R&B country. I want country, traditional country. When I'm in the mood for pop, I will turn to one of the mainstream channels. Same as all the other genres.
It's really up to you people, the fans of country music. Ask yourself if you're happy with the direction. Ask yourself if you would trust this guy handling the careers of your young son or daughter. My answer is no.
This article is my opinion and my opinion only. It does not represent the view of everyone here at itsallaboutthatmusic.com. These are my feeling about Scott Borchetta, and I am always open to someone who believes otherwise. My challenge is for Scott Borchetta, to sit down and have a one on one interview with me to change my mind and convince me he is not bad for country music.
Are you up for it Scott?
by Maxim Daniels
What I was prepared to do was rip into the core values that die hard country fans always preach about. I was ready to tell them things are changing, and they better get on the train or get lost forever. Something happened though. Something happened when I started to research Sam Hunt and other new country artists. Something happened that even had me surprised. Surprised I would have this type of response.
Today's country music sucks!
It really is quite horrible. Sure, you have those few artists and songs that remind you of traditional country, but for the most part, it's not listenable. And I love Hunt's "Take Your Time." Sure, at first I hated it, but it grew on me. I thought the whole spoken and singing of the words was a nice little twist and fit his voice. Then, the more I listened to the rest of the album, I came away with a different impression. This wasn't country. His album is a cross between hip hop and country, and I didn't care for it.
Then I started to listen to some of the other new artists out there. It took me some time. I had gone away from country music for the past few years, and Sam Hunt and Little Big Town started getting me back into it. What I found out was, there wasn't much to get back in to.
This is where it got a little weird. As I researched these new artists, I found myself going back and listening to the more traditional country artists from years ago. And I enjoyed the heck out of it! I enjoyed it so much, I spent four straight hours singing along to all the old hits. I also found myself quoting the old country traditionalist, "Country music needs to go back to its roots." I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. Am I becoming a country traditionalist? If the state of country music is headed in the direction of these new artists, then by God I am a traditionalist.
I want to believe in 1985, the writers were starting to get worried about the state of country music. I'm sure they predicted it to happen sooner, but thirty years have passed and this song has you asking that question today. Who's gonna fill their shoes? Who are the radio heroes of today? Are there any radio heroes today?
You can come up with a couple off the top of your head. Whenever I tune into the country stations here in the Midwest, they're always populated with Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. A few others are always thrown in, which half I either don't like or can't recognize. A lot of it doesn't even sound like country anymore.
Some would like to blame Taylor Swift for this, but I think that would be a little naive. Taylor does her own thing, and when people didn't think she was country enough, she went in a different direction. Funny thing happened there too. The powers that be who tried to run her off are the same ones begging her to stick to country music. You can't have it both ways. By the way, who the hell are the powers that be? Whoever it is has been doing a crap job.
Then you have David Allen Coe. Was there anyone outside of Waylon and Willie who was more renegade country than Coe? Yes, some of his songs were raunchy, but for the most part, he put out great music. Let's face it, he and Steve Goodman did write the perfect country western song. Who's gonna fill his shoes? Who's going to fill Willie and Waylon's shoes?
How about Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. Heck, what about Hank Williams Jr? I could sit here and go through the names one at a time, but seriously, is there anyone new out there today that reminds you of any of these artists?
Maybe it's not fair to compare. I don't like to compare any of the featured artists on this site to anyone else. Still, the musicians of yesteryear are the ones who laid the foundation for today's artists. Do today's artists have any respect for this foundation? I would say no, because if they did, they wouldn't put out crap music.
I guess it's all about radio play these days, and the new pop country. You have to sound a certain way to make it in today's business. All I have to say is, kudos to those artists who are keeping it real and not changing who they are just to fit the bill of what a "Country Artist" is today. Even if it means no air play. If today's country is any indication of the future of country music, then I want no part of it.
It has to be tempting for an up and coming artist to sacrifice everything they are to make it today. That's a shame in itself. No one should ever sacrifice themselves to fit the mold of someone they are not. I wonder what Hank would have to say about that?
Then you have Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta. Borchetta left the major record label business and founded his own independent label. It's said Borchetta didn't like the way the major labels were run and this was his way of giving them and Nashville the middle finger.
Of course, after this season's disastrous American Idol and his poor mentoring, Borchetta seems to be in the news an awful lot. This is what they call "saving face" in the PR business. When it comes to these two I even confuse myself a little. I've always had a soft spot for Swift, whether she sings country or pop. Borchetta on the other hand, not so much.
I would love to know what Scott's definition of country music is? Scott seems to be leading the charge of today's pop country, so I would also love to know what he thinks of today's artists compared to the traditional country artists. Maybe if he finds time between discovering the next Taylor Swift, he can read my blog and get in touch. What are the odds of that happening?
Being away from country music for a couple of years, I thought everything was peachy. Was I ever wrong. I should have known when all four of my kids can't stand country. This is disheartening to me. (Get ready for me to go all country on you) You see, my daddy's dad grew up on country, my daddy grew up on country, and I grew up on country. My kids, they're growing up on pop, and not because of my influence.
Here's where it gets even funnier. Every time I turn on the country stations in the car, they beg for me to turn it off. Every time I play classic country at home, they stop and listen. Interesting, right? They do enjoy them some Taylor Swift, but I think we can all agree she is no longer country.
Country music needs to go back to its roots, and like George Jones sang about thirty years ago, "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?" Maybe no one will ever be able to fill the shoes of the classic country singers, but it wouldn't hurt to strive towards that. If you ask me, most of the new artists today have forgotten about the past. Yes they can pretend to care, but real people can see through this.
I ask those reading this to really take a look at the status of country music and ask yourself these two simple questions.
1. Are you happy with the sound?
2. Are you convinced by any of the artists today?
My answers are no, and if yours are too, do like I did. Take a visit to YouTube and just keep typing in the country classics, soon you will find yourself spending the next four hours listening, remembering and feeling what country music is supposed to be. Country music is life. Country music is me. Country music is you. And back in the day, country music delivered.
I guess I should explain what it means to record something on the radio, for the younger generation. You see, back in the eighties, if you were too cheap to buy the cassette tape, you waited until you heard the song on the radio. You would place your blank cassette tape in the radio and once the song came on you would press down the always difficult to push "record" button. Pretty crazy, don't you think? Now that I briefly explained that, I should move on with my blog.
I will admit, I was a Milli Vanilli fan, with my favorite song being "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You." If I'm being completely honest, I still like the song to this day and can sing it word for word. I hope this doesn't require me to turn in my man card. For your entertainment and listening pleasure, I've added the song via YouTube to the blog.
Truth is, listening to this song still pisses me off! What ever happened between knowing the difference between right and wrong? Screw all those involved! Guess what though? They don't piss me off nearly half as bad as the spectacle that took place this past weekend. By spectacle, I mean the biggest scam in sports history took place in the match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Everyone involved with this scam should be ashamed, all the way down to the millions of people who paid money to watch it.
I love boxing. I've loved it for most of my life. I remember fondly the days of my childhood when I pretended to be a heavyweight fighter with the nickname Lightning. I was undefeated at twenty-six and zero with twenty-six knockouts. I was the Rocky Balboa of my imagination. This is why it pains me to say I've lost faith in all those involved in boxing.
I've lost faith, because boxing is the most corrupt sport in the world today. The fight that took place last weekend verifies this. And for the millions who bought the pay-per-view, you're ridiculous. The simple fact that Mayweather pocketed over one-hundred million dollars makes me sick. Pacquiao doesn't escape this rant free either, but I will get to him later.
The fight was five to six years too late - I think pretty much everyone can agree on this. What people watched this past weekend was two fighters past their prime, putting on one boring boxing display. I refused to watch the fight, but I am embarrassed to say, I followed the live updates through ESPN. Hell, I didn't really need to watch the fight to tell you what would happen. Everything I've read following this fight comes to the same agreement, it was boring and way too late.
Floyd Mayweather Jr is a terrible human being - Where do we start with this one? Let me preface this number by saying first, by buying this fight, this is what you gave your money to.
Only in America can a man be sent to jail for beating his girlfriend, only to be glorified because of his athletic ability. Just think, this man is getting ready to cash a check for over one-hundred million dollars. How does this not make you sick? How does it not make you sick when a man who sees a woman simply as property, makes more in one night than we can only dream about? How does it not make you sick when a man thinks the only reason a woman exists is to please a man? How does it not make you sick this man just cashed that check?
You know what Floyd should do? He should donate every single penny he made for this fight to domestic violence shelters all over this country. Most shelters are so underfunded as it is, imagine what they could do with that type of donation. What do you think the odds of this happening are? Probably less than the odds this was actually going to be an exciting fight.
Manny Pacquiao apparently had an injured shoulder - I'm calling bullshit on this one. Be a man an just admit you lost a fight that should have never taken place, or at least taken place several years ago. Hearing this, I wonder if you were in on this scam all along. You and Floyd carefully orchestrated this whole, wait six years for the fight.
I do have a way for you to make this right Manny. How about you take every single dollar you made and put that money towards improving the lives of people who live in remote villages in the Philippines? I happen to know a couple from the Philippines who live here in the states who still have family back in those remote villages. These people take crap jobs just so they can send money back to their families. I'm sure there is some charity in the Philippines you could come up with in regards to the massive check you're getting ready to cash. Hell, these people adore you Manny. I used to really like you, but unfortunately, you're about the same scum as Floyd Mayweather Jr.
I am curious to know if this shoulder ploy was also another way to get a rematch, and then cash in on another huge payday. I have to think boxing fans are smarter than that. Smart enough not to fork out the cash they did for this garbage of a fight. Unfortunately, you and your buddy Floyd know they will, and I will be stuck writing another blog about how despicable both of you are.
I do feel bad about something. I feel bad my editor refuses to read any blog on boxing, and everyone who reads this will make fun of my misuse of the English language. It just so happens, we are self-funded here at IAATM, and we don't have the type of money to afford more editors. However, I don't have to worry about Floyd or Manny reading this. Manny barely speaks English, and we all know Floyd can barely read.
by Maxim Daniels
I was surprised this particular band member did happen to be the first to leave. As an adult myself, whenever I hear the name One Direction, the name that first pops in my head is Harry Styles. In my opinion, he is the face of the band, just like JT was of N'SYNC. If one person was going to branch off on their own, most would have thought it would be Harry. This is what makes this particular move by Zayn so brilliant. No matter what he says, he and I both know the real reason behind him being the first to leave the group.
I'm sure you are asking yourself, How does little old Maxim Daniels know why Zayn left One Direction? My answer to you is simple, math. Now you are asking yourself, what does math have to do with Zayne leaving? Trust me, I will explain, and it will take three parts to do so.
The first thing we need to do is understand a little about who Zayn Malik is. As an outsider looking in, I will tell you he is the fourth most popular member of the group. Call me crazy, but this is simply my opinion. Zayn is a twenty-two year old born in Bradford UK. Zayn has been a founding member of One Direction. since it's beginnings back in 2010.
Off the top of my head, the most famous of the boy bands were The Beatles. I'm just kidding! We can't technically call them a boy band because they all played instruments, correct? Some of the more famous boy bands were N'SYNC, Backstreet Boys, NKOTB, 98 Degrees, O-Town, Color Me Badd, Take That and New Edition. I realize there are several more, just work with me here.
Now I will give you how long each of these boy bands lasted. I'm talking about their peak years, and not when they reunited after breaking apart. I will not be including reunions, because we all know how well that goes over. No one wants to see a bunch of overweight, balding, forty somethings acting like they did when they were a founding member of their particular boy band. Here we go:
N'SYNC - (Seven Years) Of all the boy bands, N'SYNC is the only one who has a clear beginning and end. One of the most popular boy bands in the history of music, they lasted from 1995 to 2002. Thank you N'SYNC for keeping things simple.
NKOTB - (Eleven Years) I'm being extremely generous by giving these guys eleven years. The time frame went from 1984 until 1995, but anyone with a pulse realizes they faded sometime around the early nineties. Nine years would be more of an accurate number. As a child of the eighties, I absolutely hated these guys. They were my first introduction to the boy band, and left a horrible taste. Sorry NKOTB fans.
98 Degrees - (Six Years) This was one boy band I could get on board with. 98 Degrees actually produced some good music, and for some reason, never reminded me of a boy band. They just seemed more masculine than the other boy band. The guys have since reunited, but again, unless you are a die hard fan you might have difficulty knowing how they're doing.
Color Me Badd - (Six Years) Another boy band from the eighties, and another one I couldn't stand. I'm sure there are those who will argue their time was much longer than the six years I gave them. Their peak went from 1987 to 1993, and then after a four year hiatus, they emerged with another album in 1996. I'm still only giving them six years.
Take That - (Six Years) You will be forgiven if you have never heard of Take That. Except for one video that VH1 played over and over, I would be unable to tell you who they were. However, their time lasted from 1990 to 1996. These guys are still together and might be big in some circles, but for me, their peak ended almost ten years ago.
New Edition - (Seven Years) It gets really dicey when coming up with a clear time frame for these guys. Somehow, I managed to break their peak from the years 1983 to 1990. It's hard to say how long they were together, but I'm pretty confident to say seven years were their max.
This is when the simple math comes in. Since One Direction has been together for about five years now, one could assume they have only a couple years of popularity left. What does this mean to Zayn? What it means, is Zayn has given himself a two year head start to re-establish himself as a non-boy band member.
Zayn has a very difficult task ahead of himself, and in Part II of The Zayn Malik Departure, I will dig a little deeper into what I mean by re-establishing himself as a non-boy band member. For now, let me leave you with this one question to think about.
Outside of Justin Timberlake, give me one former boy band member who has established himself as a legitimate star? By legitimate, I mean Justin Timberlake legitimate, or at least mainstream legitimate.
I try to hold out, but no matter how long I try, I always end up caving in. Don't get me wrong, their music tastes aren't bad, it's just not something I can listen to all the time.
So much of today's mainstream music sounds the same. It's easy to identify an artist on the radio because every song they release ends up on the station's playlist, good or bad. Unfortunately, there is more bad than good. I've been fortunate enough, except for car rides, to avoid listening to mainstream music due to this site providing me with a plethora of independent artists. I would be lying if I said I didn't use this site for my own personal playlist.
I should give my kids some credit though, their favorite songs to listen to at this time would make a solid top five, with the exception being number five. With their tablets and IPhones, these five songs have been consistently played over the past month or so. I imagine my kids are not the only ones listening to these songs, so no doubt they should be the top five songs out there today in mainstream music. Again, the exception being number five, and by mainstream, I mean the predominantly dominated pop channels.
#4 - "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift - I admit, I'm a fan of this song. I think just about everyone with a pulse is a fan of this song. I would be curious if this song has the most covers done on it in the past year. Everyone has put their own spin on it, even a couple of indie artists featured on this site. One thing keeps ringing true, it's truly a great song that can be played in multiple genres. The official video has been played over seven-hundred million times on YouTube. Say what you want about Taylor's personal life, the girl produces damn good music.
#3 - "Dear Future Husband" - by Meghan Trainor - Another admission, I really like the whole beat with this song. I don't dance at all, but once they play this song, I can't help but bust out some 1950's style dance. God help me if one of the kids records it and puts it on YouTube. The only thing I ask of Meghan is to switch it up a bit from time to time. Everything sounds the same.
#1 - "Heartbeat Song" - Kelly Clarkson - Hands down, this song has been played more than any other song in my house in the past week. Thanks to her appearance on American Idol last week, this song has shot up to the top of my household chart, and doesn't seem to be losing any steam. For anyone who reads my blogs, you understand I'm an Idol fan as well as a fan of Clarkson's. I'm just happy my kids enjoy her as much as I do or else I would be ready to pull my gray hairs out.
The biggest obstacle is coming up with a topic people want to read about. Just because I find something interesting doesn't mean someone else will. I then started to question myself a bit. I thought, I'm not going to be able to write about something I don't enjoy just to please the masses. Then a friend told me something that made my decision making a lot easier.
He said, "It's your site, just write about whatever you want, if people want to read it, fine, if not, oh well. Maybe they will want to read the next one or the one after that. Maybe they won't want to read anything at all, but the main thing is that you enjoy what you're writing."
I thought about this for a bit and said to myself, you know, he's right on the money. I mean, I'm not expecting to get rich off this site, nor am I expecting everyone to love it. The main thing I need to do is to make sure I love it.
In essence, my writing about something I love goes hand in hand with the reason for this site in the first place, the independent musician. Yes, I'm sure just about everyone who has been featured on this site would love to be signed to a major record label. Just like I would love to have this site be The Rolling Stone of independent musicians. In the meantime, we all strive to put something out there that people will enjoy, that we enjoy ourselves.
I love this site because it gives me the opportunity to interact with musicians all over the world. We may not share the same language, but we all have one common goal, and that's to put out a product we love and hope that others will love it too. I'm inspired by some of these indie bands that have been together forever and never received that big break. I'm inspired because they keep chugging along and making music they love for people like me to enjoy.
Doing this site has opened me up to genres of music I never thought I would love. I recently did an interview with a trio from Italy called the Psychords. Their genre of music is punk, and for almost all of my life, I avoided it like the plague. Then I see these three hot ladies and decide to give them a listen, and it opened up a whole new world. Same thing with SPELLCASTER. I hadn't listened to heavy metal since I was a little boy in the third grade. Once I listened to them, I was hooked again.
Then you have the lighter side, like Sydney Blake and the Misters, Valerie Broussard, Mariah Domby, and most recently Alexandra Kay. Every single one of these ladies sounds different, but I enjoy each and every one.
Same with every other singer or band on this site. If I didn't like them, they wouldn't be on here. Bryce Vanhoosen from SPELLCASTER said something during the interview I will never forget. He said, "I really don't know where the need to classify everything as its own sub-genre comes from. I guess it makes it easier for the hard rock/heavy metal record nerds of the world to organize their LPs."
He's right, music is music regardless of the genre. Don't get too caught up and labeling yourself a fan of one particular genre and neglect the many others out there you might just come to love.
It seems so simple for a musician. Just put something out there you love and maybe people will love it too. I think I need to live by that same motto. Write something I love and maybe people will love it too. And that is exactly what I am going to do.
You see, every artist on here and myself have one common goal, and that's to love what we do. I am going to take inspiration from all these fine indie artists and write what I love until my fingers bleed. Guess what, writing this here blog page was the easiest thing to write about in months. Want to know why, because I enjoyed it.
I liked the music so much that I downloaded a couple of songs. Without the subtitles in the movie, I have no idea what is being said in the songs. Still, they are easily enjoyed. What I find most fascinating about this style of music are the beats. Something about Indian music makes you want to get up and move. It is also so pleasing to listen to. With that being said, it has taken me getting older to appreciate the music. I remember in my college days some Indian students blaring their music from the bottom apartment, and it about made me go postal. If I was as wise and accepting as I am today, I would have gladly walked down to their apartment with a case of beer and enjoyed the tunes with them.
To be honest, I don't know if it's technically called Indian music. I imagine there are a large amount of people who think Indie Music means music from India. The little bit of research I did on the topic came back and said it was also described as Hindi music. Maybe a more educated person on the topic can verify the correct name of the music in the comment section below. For now, I will continue to call it Hindi Music, or refer to it as Bollywood music.
What I also liked with this soundtrack is the incorporation of English words into the song. A well versed friend of mine once told me this is typical of Bollywood music, often referred to as Indian English. I mean, why should it not be? America and India are best of friends, right? Actually, it's more like BFFL's.
According to Wikipedia, the most trusted source for legitimate information, Bollywood played a big part in the revival of American musicals in the 2000's. Deep down, I think everyone appreciates a good musical. There's something about bringing a movie to life with song and dance.
A more serious movie, several years ago, waited until the end of the movie to showcase the Bollywood style. I think we all remember Slum Dog Millionaire, the huge hit back in 2008 that included the song "Jai Hoe." This was actually my first introduction to Bollywood and this style of music. Go ahead and admit it, the song you dance to the most on the video game "Just Dance" is the Bollywood song.
Another thing always catching my attention about Bollywood movies is how stunning the female singers are. This is what those in the industry call an "item number," or "item girl." Often times an "item girl" performs a catchy song and dance completely unrelated to the main topic of the film. Whatever sells, right? In order to boost viewership of the movies, the soundtracks are generally released well before the film, causing the soundtrack to end up being more popular than the film itself.
Whatever it is, a lot of time and money are spent on the music in the films, generally leading to its popularity. For the most part, I think American movie soundtracks do the same thing. Music plays such a vital role in all films, and a bad soundtrack can completely destroy a movie.
I was also surprised to read that Bollywood movies rake in over a hundred million dollars in North America. I guess this shouldn't be too surprising since the amount of people from India living in Canada and the United States increases every year. And with that comes the chance of natural born U.S. citizens experiencing this particular genre of movies and music.
With this all being said, I am a fan of Bollywood music. Now, it's not everyday that I listen to it, but two of the songs mentioned in this blog are in my playlist. I enjoy an uplifting beat, even if I can't understand the words. I would prefer to listen too this than the doom and gloom in some certain genres of music. What Bollywood music does most though, is it reminds us that music is supposed to be fun and enjoyed. Music should be celebrated in all forms through dance and interpretations. Music is life, life is music, and Bollywood does a good job bringing it all together.
"I want to be in a band." This is exactly what I used to say when I was in the third grade, and so did four other classmates of mine. This was right around the time when Poison was at their best with what I consider one of the greatest albums of all time, Look What The Cat Dragged In. We loved, I mean LOVED this album. If you didn't have the cassette tape, then you were not cool. Every day we would be singing these tunes when we got the into our little groups.
One day, while we were all together, we thought it would be a great idea to start a band. We had the coolest of cool names picked out. Are you ready for it? We were going to be THE ELECTRIC EELS. That's right, all in caps. We even had our logo drawn out, which I provided an actual sketch of below.
Anyway, here we were, myself, Chris R, Jeff, James and Chris B ready to pick out which instrument we would be playing. I wanted to be the lead guitarist, Jeff was going to be back up guitarist, James would be bass, Chris B had drums and Chris R would be lead vocals. We were set and ready to rock n' roll.
Now all I needed to do was break the news to my parents. I remember going home that night and sharing my new band with my parents. My dad was all for it and my mom immediately said the lessons would be too expensive. Me being the know it all I still am today, decided I wouldn't need lessons, all I needed was the guitar. I got our JC Penney catalog and turned it to the instruments and picked out a killer guitar similar to the one down below.
In the meantime, Chris R and I decided to start writing some songs. And did we ever start writing some songs. I think when it was all said and done, I had written a total of six in a matter of two weeks. They were golden, and the two I still remember were called, "Breaking Up" and "Damn You." I wish I still had the songs, but you will see later why I no longer have them. The chorus of both songs went something like this:
Golden, I know. Give me a break, we were in the third grade. We were all set, all we needed were our instruments. Chris B got lucky because his parents went out and bought him a set of drums and had him in lessons. They had the money, where as a couple of us others grew up on the other side of the tracks. Our only hope was that Santa would come through.
Unfortunately my plan of waking up early was derailed by my inability to go to sleep. If I remember correctly, I was the last one to wake up. I still walked into the living room to where my V shaped guitar was waiting. I walked into the room slowly, stopping to peak around the corner to get a glimpse of this thing that was going to make all my dreams come true.
I couldn't see it. What was going on, I thought. My brothers and sister were all seated next to their presents, and the only pile left did not have a guitar in it. I came out from the corner and walked to my pile and stood there, staring in disbelief. Santa had done me wrong. I was as good as I could be the last three months before Christmas and he still failed me. I can't remember if I cried or not, likely I did. All my dreams went away in an instant. Seeing my disappointment, my parents asked me what was wrong, and I cried about not getting a guitar. They didn't say much and insisted I could buy the thing once I got a paper route. That would have taken a whole year to save up that kind of money.
It makes me sad to think about it now. Everything I had hoped for went down the drain. The thought of not playing in a band flooded my thoughts and my emotions didn't stop pouring out. I know it sounds ungrateful for being this emotional over not getting something, but I was in the third grade. It was my dream, and I knew my band mates would move on without me.
The day school was back in session, I walked into class with my head down. I met with the rest of the band and told them I was unable to get a guitar, and likely wouldn't have one for a while. Much to my surprise, Chris R and Jeff didn't have their piece as well. Chris R continued to get crap because all he needed was a mic. Jeff was now backing out of the band all together. The EELS were on the verge of falling apart before we even got started. This couldn't happen, I wouldn't let it happen.
I proceeded to beg my parents every night for a guitar for what seemed like a month. After so much pleading, I realized my dream of being in a band would not come true, or would have to at least wait a few years. I informed my other mates, and James and Chris B were disappointed. Chris R had still not gotten his mic.
With our hope dwindling, Chris R and I decided to write some more songs. Chris R had found this company out in Los Angeles that was looking for songs. We mailed everything we had, failing to maintain a copy for ourselves. Weeks went by until I finally got a letter in the mail stating they wanted to record the previous listed songs, but would need a down payment of around $300. Of course I didn't have this money and when I asked my parents for it, the letter was dismissed as a scam.
It probably was a scam, but just let a little boy dream. So much disappointment, so much regret for a little third grade boy. Eventually the ELECTRIC EELS broke up, but we all remained friends. Years would pass and James and I often talk of what could have been with the EELS.
I texted James recently and told him I was going to write a blog about the EELS. His response was, "I still have that same bass and still can't play it. I bet Chris R still hasn't gone out and bought that microphone yet." James was probably the most disappointed out of us all. He was also a die hard metal fan and had dreams of really rocking it. Santa ruined so many lives that Christmas Day.
Years have gone by and I continue to want that guitar, but unable to pull the trigger on the purchase. Maybe I'm afraid of what might have been, or maybe I'm afraid of never being able to play it. The latter the most likely due to the dominance of the right side of my brain. I can't comprehend how people can place their fingers while strumming with the other hand. I try and my brain tells me to stop thinking about my left hand and focus on the right. Same way with the piano. If a song only required the use of one hand, I would be good to go. Unfortunately, my piano playing has only resulted in mastering one handed Christmas songs.
It's kind of ironic, Santa ruined my life, but yet the only songs I can play are Christmas songs.
I have a random question for you. If you were a fighter pilot getting ready to go out on a mission, what are the top five songs you would have in your playlist? (I do realize the likelihood of being allowed to carry your iPhone out on a mission with a set of headphones is slim to none. For the sake of this simply being a hypothetical, let's say it is allowed.) So, just for the fun of it, what would they be?
Number one on my list would be "America" by Neil Diamond. Yes, it's a song about immigrants making their way to the United States, but it would be the perfect song as I zeroed in on enemy targets.
The second choice is a no brainer. I think you could easily switch number one and two around and not get much of an argument. I must note, I did double check about the whole listening to music thing if you're a pilot. A hilarious response was given after someone asked if fighter pilots are allowed to listen to music while they flied. Someone responded, yes, but only if it's "Danger Zone." How classic is that?
The last song in my playlist would have to be a slow number. In choosing these, I generally went with the first songs that popped in my head. No other song kept coming up than this slow piece by Ozzy Osbourne.
There you have it, the top five songs on my playlist if I were a fighter pilot and allowed to listen to music during missions. I know it's a pretty odd thing to write about, but I enjoyed it. You know what they always say, write something you enjoy, otherwise the piece will come across as boring. In reality, this is just a piece demonstrating the importance of music in life. Music plays a vital role for everyone, whether they work down at the local coffee shop, fight fires, wait tables or blow up enemy targets. It's just fun to think of what might be in your own playlist.
With that being said, what are some other songs you would include in this list?