Tag Archives: Music

Is Anyone Else As Concerned About the Sudden Ubiquity of Chris Brown As I Am?

In the course of two weeks, this troglodyte has virtually usurped the entertainment world spotlight right out from under the Kardashians. He dominated the Grammy’s with not one, but two “live” performances AND walked away from the spectacle hoisting a shiny phonograph statue of his own – for best R&B Album.

He then brazenly used this apparent validating moment to opine via twitter, “HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That’s the ultimate F**** OFF!”

Sure, he later backtracked, deleting the above communiqué and replacing it with this gem, “IM BACK SO WATCH MY BaCK as I walk away from all this negativity #teambreezygrammy.”

The thing is, it is difficult to “watch someone’s BaCK” when they are being forced down your throat at every turn.

Cut to last night’s NBA All Star Game Halftime show, and who joined Miami hip hop native Pit Bull on the main stage? Sure enough, it was that thorn in the side of battered women everywhere – Christopher Brown.

I have no problem with redemption and giving people second chances. But I do have a serious problem with this sudden reemergence of Brown…on many levels:

A)    Some ridiculous “women” (read: infantile ignorant girls) got so caught up in the hoopla surrounding Brown that they literally begged to be beaten by the pop-star via twitter! (I really wish I made this up…but click here to be VERY disturbed);

B)    Chris Brown served no real time for his crime. Community service and probation are hardly paying his debt to society like people such as Michael Vick (super-douche doggie Hitler) and Plaxico Burress (and Ja Rule, Lil Wayne and DMX in the hip hop profession) have done;

 C)   The theory that Rihanna has apparently forgiven her accoster, so perhaps society as a whole should too. Seriously? First of all, there are millions of documented cases of battered women who “forgive,” “love” and “protect” the men who abuse and beat them repeatedly, many times within inches of their lives, and as a result, allow the cycle of abuse to continue and fester for far longer than it ever should. Rihanna may or may not fall into this enabler category, but who says she doesn’t?

D)   Whatever Rihanna’s motivations to forgive and forge a new relationship with the man who bloodied and humiliated her and threatened her life, be they spiritual, sexual, love or business related, they are misguided and appalling. I am horrified at the message this sends to battered and abused women worldwide. Even if this is purely a business play, and it may be – god knows this reconciliation has garnered plenty of attention – it is akin to a family who loses a child due to cancer caused by a company that polluted their neighborhood (think Erin Brockovich type stuff), that then forges a business relationship with that same company for mutual financial gain…sickening;

E)    More to the point above, for the most part, celebrities are role models, whether they want to be or not. Sure, celebrities, for better or worse, must deal with brutal life events in the public eye, and I realize this is difficult and I even sympathize with many celebrities at times (like with instances of domestic violence, funerals and difficult situations arising with their children).

But I absolutely shudder to think of the reaction among impressionable children and present and future women abusers worldwide who are using this sudden rebirth and proliferation of all things Chris Brown as validation and vindication for their own actions and thoughts. To any ignorant or naïve male, and judging by the state of our world right now, there are billions of those, it would seem that what Chris Brown did to Rihanna is no big deal (see A) above);

F)    I will even concede that while the masses hurl slings at Brown and Rihanna for their behavior and criticize the Grammy’s and NBA for showcasing an awful man, our attention and concern would be far better spent focused on raising awareness, money, protection and help for the millions of non-celebrity women who are battered and abused every day. So true!

That said, this is a travesty. People like Brown and Rihanna make millions because of star-worship in our culture. And both of their actions in this nauseating relationship are reprehensible and are being watched and scrutinized by millions of impressionable people;

G)   Apparent ambivalence by our populace and community at large regarding domestic violence and the horrific abuse, assault and battery of women that leads to more than THREE DEATHS DAILY in the USA alone is reflected by an even more terrifying phenomenon – A LARGE FACTION OF OUR GOVERNMENT IS NOW FIGHTING TO ABOLISH THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT, a bill first introduced in 1994 to end violence and abuse against women and to protect all victims that face this senseless and barbaric plight.

Senator Leahy (D-V T), who is from Vermont and obviously supports the VAMA and who is leading a bill to increase the act’s reach, says the act’s opposition, primarily Republicans (go figure), argue that the bill aims to “protect too many victims.” Are you friggin’ kidding me? For more on this disturbing story, please click this link;

H)   Roman Polanski sexually abused and raped a teenage girl thirty five years ago, was arrested and convicted, and subsequently fled to Europe to avoid sentencing. He is no longer welcome in his own country, forced to live a life in exile. Sure he was awarded an Oscar for making The Pianist, a wonderful movie. And that is fine. Talent is talent, whether wielded by good or bad men or women. But Polanski isn’t thrust into my living room three times in two weeks on two of the bigger stages in the world, and he never will be; and,

I)   Chris Brown’s music, by and large, sucks (My own definition of talent is pretty simple…Is our world a better place with Chris’ music in it?).

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

IDROS

 

 

 

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Grateful Salute to a Dead Legend…

As Jerome John Garcia’s birthday recently passed and the anniversary of his passing rapidly approaches, I felt that the DAYS BETWEEN are the perfect opportunity to reflect on a few trivial, emotional and extraordinary facts about my own love affair with my favorite guitar playing musician.

TRIVIAL:

1st JG/GD song I ever heard: Casey Jones

1st song I ever memorized all the lyrics by heart: Friend of the Devil

1st song I learned to play on the piano: Uncle John’s Band

1st live version of a song I ever heard (though on the radio): Shakedown Street

1st song I ever heard live: Touch of Grey

1st Encore I ever heard at a live show: Brokedown Palace

1st Live Venue: The Spectrum, Philadelphia

1st Live Show Date: October 20, 1989

1st Cover Ever Heard Live: Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (Bob Dylan)

1st Album I Ever Bought: American Beauty

2nd Album I Ever Bought: Workingman’s Dead

Song I Requested DJ at Maloney’s (Margate) to Play on my 26th Birthday – Eyes of the World

2nd Song I Requested When DJ Told Me He Didn’t Have First Song:  Brown Eyed Woman

Song I Settled On After Asking DJ To Name All Dead Songs He Did Have (he had only 2 BTW): Shakedown Street

Live Album I Have Listened to Most, Including Dick’s Picks: Without A Net

Total Live Shows Attended (While Jerry Was Alive): 27

EMOTIONAL:

Where I was when I heard Jerry had passed: Summer following my college graduation, had just returned from a trip cross country and was moving to New York

1st Song I Played following the News: Standing on the Moon

Lyric that particularly reminds me of Jerry from that song:

Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
At this crescent in the sky

Song I Most Associate With Jerry: Althea, mostly due to a terrific interview of Jerry by Greg Harrington in 1981 as they share multiple joints

Favorite Song Today that I Didn’t Care Much for When I First Started Listening to The Dead: Wharf Rat

Cover and Jerry Moment I Will Always Remember: Jerry Laughing Audibly As He Belted Out the Lyrics to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

First Dance at My Wedding: They Love Each Other – thanks again to Drew T and the band for jamming it out perfectly

EXTRAORDINARY

Of my 27 Live Shows, The Grateful Dead played Truckin’ 21 (78%) times and Sugar Magnolia 20 (74%) times. The next most frequently played song (Not including Drums/Space) was Touch of Grey, 12 times (44%)

I saw 4 different Keyboardists over the course of my 27 shows: Brent Mydland, Vince Welnick, Steve Winwood and Bruce Hornsby – This is not overly surprising if you know the curse of the Grateful Dead keyboardists

Jerry began his musical training learning piano, like his father. His first foray into stringed instruments was the banjo

Jerry lost his right middle finger at the age of 4 after suffering an accident while steadying wood his brother was chopping with an axe – so if Jerry ever gave someone the finger…he actually gave them THE finger

Jerry was dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as the 13th greatest guitarist in history in 2003 – Imagine where he would rank on that list if he had 10 fingers like the 12 men ahead of him

Jerry’s funeral took place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

If you are into numerology, 8 was a very important number in the life and death of Jerry:

There is a span of 8 days between Jerry’s birthday and the anniversary of his death

He lived 53 years, and when the numerals are added together, they total 8

His music career spanned 35 years, and again, when you add the numerals, they total 8

There are 16 total letters in Jerry’s full name, a multiple of 8

Jerry named his first child Heather, the first letter in her name, H, is the 8th letter in the alphabet

When Jerry died, his band lived on without the word Grateful, as The Dead. Grateful has 8 letters

And Jerry came into this world and left it in August, the 8th month in our calendar year. August 9th 2011 will mark the 16th anniversary of Jerry’s death…a multiple of 8

You are missed Jerry. I hope you are that headlight, shining though the cool Colorado rain.

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If you try sometimes….You realize a rock singer-songwriter from Indiana is a genius…

Nobody likes to come up empty handed. The best of us shoot for the stars, but not all of us are armed with this:

And so some of us settle, or at least grasp at the lower hanging fruit.

Countless songs have been written over the years about our hopes and dreams, our true desires, and our basic necessities for survival.

This entry focuses on two primary categories – The best songs ever written about what we “want” and the best songs ever written about what we “need.”

The rules are simple:  The word “want” (or an acceptable variation) or “need” must be in the title of the song (sorry to the likes of “Box of Rain,” “Somebody,” “Where the Streets Have no Name,” “Just a Friend,” “Dead or Alive,” and “Young Lust” – all great songs with lyrics featuring our buzz words, but alas, rules is rules).  Also, the song must be great – at least in your humble author’s opinion – sorry if my taste in music offends you.

We will begin with the best songs with “want” in their titles – these songs greatly outnumber those with “need,” well, because we all desire more in life than we actually require to get by.  So without further delay, please find the top 25 songs in recent memory that focus on our wants, counting down to the best from number 25:

25)   I Want to Break Free – Queen

24) Tie: All She Wants to Do Is Dance – Don Henley /

What Do You Want From Me – Pink Floyd

23)   I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys

22)   All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey

21)   Tie: Any Way You Want It – Journey /

I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

20)   If You Want Me to Stay – Sly and the Family Stone

19)   Baby I’m-A Want You – Bread

18)   I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister

17)   Wanna Play That Game – Hall and Oats

16)   I Want Candy – The Strangeloves

15)   All I Want Is You – U2

14)   I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

13)   You’re the One that I Want – Grease Soundtrack

12)   I Want You Back – Jackson Five

11)   I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner

10)   I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick

09)   If You Want to Sing Out – Cat Stevens

08)   Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson

07)   I Want a New Drug – Huey Lewis and the News

06)   I Want Your Sex – George Michael

05)   Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cindy Lauper

04)   I Wanna Love You – Bob Marley

03)   Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

02)   I Want You – Bob Dylan

…And the greatest song of all in this category, the one that inspired this entry in the first place and the perfect segue into the next section….

01)   You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones

As previously mentioned, based on the slim pickins of song titles that feature them, our needs are evidently not nearly as prolific as our wants.  Or at least they aren’t as interesting for the creative minds of lyricists and song writers.  I had a great deal of trouble finding enough gems to balance our lists, and so I did the best I could creating a smaller (but no less impressive) list of songs about what we need in life.  Below are the top fifteen, starting with number 15:

15)   I Need Somebody To Lean On – Elvis Presley

14)   I Need A Doctor – Eminem Featuring Dr. Dre

13)   Baby I Need Your Loving – The Four Tops

12)   I Need You – America

11)   All I Need – Jack Wagner

10)   You’re All I Need to Get By – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

09)   Tie: I Need A Hero – Bonnie Tyler /

Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

08)   Love’s In Need of Love Today – Stevie Wonder

07)   I Need You Tonight – INXS

06)   I Need to Know – Tom Petty

05)   I Need Love – LL Cool J

04)   I Need A Miracle – Grateful Dead

03)   A Man Needs A Maid – Neil Young

02)   All You Need Is Love – The Beatles

01)   I Need a Lover (That Won’t Drive Me Crazy) – John Cougar Mellencamp

You might find you got what you needed from today’s ramblings.  Or maybe not so much.  Either way, I am sure you are fuming over some of your author’s selections and rankings. Still, if you have any opinions, feel free to voice them below.

Til next time,

IDROSA

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