Daniel Craig and Adele have a love affair at Skyfall.

Let me get something off my chest here: Why is it that good music never does well on the radio? Let’s think about this for a moment. Did you ever hear a song on the radio and go “This song is great! I can’t wait to hear it again!” and then 5 minutes later it’s back on. And then again. And then again. And forever and ever until there’s practically blood coming out of your ears from all the incessant amount of times it’s been played. OR you think the same thought “This song is great! I can’t wait to hear it again!” and then you NEVER HEAR IT AGAIN. Why is that?? Why is there no happy medium?? Either you’re so sick of it, you want to kill the artist and then yourself, or you hear of it once and never again.

The second option was my experience with “Skyfall” by Adele. Once again, for those of you who have yet to hear the song, or see the James Bond movie, here it is.  The good thing about this video is that it is also somewhat of a trailer for the movie, which is also unbelievably good, so you can get a feel for both simultaneously.

The song in itself is amazing. For people who are James Bond fans, you can absolutely hear the bits and pieces of the old James Bond themes. That, in addition to Adele’s voice is spectacular, mind blowing, just perfect. When you combine the song and the visual aspect of the opening credits of the movie, it’s sensational. This movie is one of the best Bond movies yet, and they could not have picked a better singer, and they could not have written a better song for it. I love Adele, and I LOVE Daniel Craig. Their love child Skyfall is a gift from the heavens.

Keep listening…

 

Jo

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&#9835 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here

One of my favorite songs of all time. Reminds me of someone special… It speaks to all minds and souls and hearts.

Steve's Playlists

♫ Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

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Alesso Ft. Matthew Koma – Years (Vocal Extended Mix)

This is seriously a feel good dance song. I don’t often listen to dance/electronic music unless I’m at a club or trying to get myself into a party mood, but this is definitely one of those songs I’d want to hear in one of these cases. It’s got a great beat, an exciting melody, and the vocals and lyrics are cool. If you’re into this type of music, this is a good one to add to your collection.

In the eyes of an extraterrestrial

In the eyes of an extraterrestrial

I felt compelled to share this song with you. If you’ve had the pleasure of listening to it before, hopefully you can share the love affair I’ve had with it for so many years.

Radiohead is probably my favorite band. They’re a progressive rock band from England and they’ve had popular singles such as “Creep” and “Paranoid Android”. I’m a weird fan in the sense that I couldn’t tell you which songs came out when, or necessarily which album they belong in, or whether or not they were singles. I just look for songs, and they end up in my library. This song is by far my favorite Radiohead song ever. Maybe even my favorite song, in general. I’ve described this song to many people by saying that it makes me feel high. Now, I’ve never taken drugs of any kind before, really, but I can only imagine that this is what it feels like. It just lifts me up, and I feel as if everything is calm and I can do anything. The world is mine when I listen to this song.

I took a class in college where the icebreaker at the beginning of the semester was to give our name, year, major, and we had to give the title of a song that we identified with and why. As a music major you’d think this would be an easy task. Not so. As I mentioned in another post, MUSIC IS MY LIFE. How was I expected to narrow MY LIFE down into just one song? Was it possible? Could it even be accurate? Would I give the right impression? My first reaction was to whip out my iPod and start looking through my songs to see if I could think of anything that made sense. Many people had a hard time coming up with a song, so our professor said to us “Don’t think about it so much, just pick a song that you love, and you’ll find there’s a good reason for why you love it that describes you.” The first song that came to mind after this was “Subterranean Homesick Alien”.

So now I had to come up with a reason for why this was my favorite song and how it described me. (This was a philosophy of education class, so there was obviously some philosophical reason for why we needed to describe this.) I kept thinking of the words that I had sung so senselessly so many times before and tried to put meaning behind it. Now for those of you who are not very familiar with Radiohead, let me explain something. Aside from maybe “Creep”, their songs and lyrics are not the easiest to understand. They mumble a lot (probably because of their accents) and their lyrics are just so nonsensical sometimes. So here I am thinking about this song and I’m just like wtf??? I really had to think about it! I eventually came to the conclusion that this song is really about aliens from outer space, and not some metaphor as I had originally assumed. It starts off with the singer, Thom Yorke, describing a typical day in his boring little suburb where nothing ever happens. He starts talking about aliens and what they would think of us if they came down to earth as tourists. What would they think? How would they understand our routines and the things we do everyday? He says “Aliens hover making home movies for the folks back home of all these weird creatures that lock up their spirits, drill holes in themselves, and live for their secrets. They’re all uptight.”

There’s something really powerful in that statement. He’s describing humans in the way that aliens would see us; as sheltered beings who keep secrets from themselves. But Thom Yorke has never spoken to aliens. Or at least I don’t think he has. So really, this statement is his own description of us. Gee Thom, tell us how you really feel!! So the song goes on and he starts talking about how he wishes the aliens would take him for a ride in their spaceship, so that he could see the world in their eyes. He describes how excited he would be to tell all his friends about this experience, but says “I’d tell all my friends, but they’d never believe me. They’d think that I’d finally lost it completely. I’d show them the stars and the meaning of life. They’d shut me away, but I’d be alright. I’m just uptight.” 

That last line has always struck me as strange. If he really does understand everything in a different way, then you would think that he would be separating himself from the other humans, and insisting that they’re all uptight because they couldn’t possibly comprehend everything he’s just experienced. But instead he talks about how he’s uptight. Why? I can’t say for sure, but maybe he feels as if he has experienced something that is greater than him, something he could never fully comprehend no matter how much he saw and learned. He’s uptight because he’s human, just like his friends who didn’t believe him. To him, meeting these aliens was like a religious experience. He has seen the face of God, and it has brought him to the only real fact he can comprehend; that he is a mere mortal.

I don’t know what any of you can take from this song, or whether or not you’re getting what I’m getting, but realizing what this song means in my opinion made it that much better for me. I get you, Thom Yorke. At least I think I do. And I’d love to hang out and talk about the meaning of life. Or maybe he did understand it, and it’s in the song. Maybe my locked up spirit and secrets are keeping me from the truth that he’s trying to uncover. Maybe I just have to keep listening…

Jo

What a beautifully written perspective on the life and dedication of a teacher. It’s true, we give our all and sadly are often shoved to the side as someone who is replaceable and worthless. Thank you for your words!

lisamyers.org

Please see the follow-up to this letter at http://lisamyers.org/2012/12/31/a-follow-up-to-dear-america-from-a-teacher/.

Dear America,

It feels strange to hear your voice praising teachers for their selflessness, dedication, and love for their students. We’re listening to what you’re saying, but we must admit that we are listening with tilted head and quizzical eye. Why? Because we’ve become accustomed to hearing a very different voice from you.

For the past few years, you’ve been certain that most of society’s problems stem from our schools, more specifically the teachers in those schools. We are lazy and useless, we are only in it for the money, we only teach for the vacation time, we don’t possess the intelligence to teach anyone much of anything, our demands for a respectable wage are selfish, we don’t teach students respect, we are leeches sucking the blood from State coffers, we don’t even work a full day like everyone else, and…

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Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars

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Here goes nothing.

First off, let me just ask this: Have you heard “Locked out of Heaven” yet? If you haven’t, please do so now! This will only help you understand my review more (hopefully). Here’s the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-fA-gBCkj0. Seriously. Do it. Thank me later.

Once you have listened, or for those of you who have already heard it before, please tell me that you also heard the uncanny resemblance/influence by The Police. AMIRITE?? If you don’t agree, thats fine, but I just cannot hear this song without thinking “Roxanne, put on the red light!!” It just screams Sting! it has this awesome, old school, funky kind of feeling that is so refreshing in a constant radio playlist of house music, dub step, and Ke$ha. From the moment I heard this song, I was singing it, dancing it, but most of all, talking about it. This is what music does to you people! That gift I was talking about, this is it. Music should move you, both physically and emotionally. This song just makes me feel good. Whoever influence the writer of this song, THANK YOU! And congrats on the skills. Awesome.

One of the conversations I had about this song was with my boyfriend, a fellow musician. He sensed my excitement and decided to check out the song, as well as the rest of the album. Boy, did I get even more excited! Lemme tell you something people, if one minute and thirty seconds of a song once through is enough to get you to buy the song, it’s worth it. Listen to your gut feeling, and you’ll know whether or not you like it from the beginning. Just to give you guys a taste of each song, I’m going to go through each song and rate them on a scale of 1-5, 5 being mind blowingly awesome!

1. “Young Girls
Ok, so remember that first gut reaction? When I heard this song my gut told me “eh” but I gave it a few tries before I made my official decision on how I felt about it. Now that I have, I can only say that this song does not deserve to be a single. To me, this song does not do justice to the rest of the album, which is so fantastic. It’s repetitive, the lyrics are boring and unimaginative, it’s not fast enough to be a dance song, yet not slow enough to be a ballad. It just kind of exists, and frankly, I can live without it. One of only two songs from the entire album I didn’t care to keep for music collection. 2 out of 5 stars.

2. “Locked out of Heaven”
Did you read the beginning of this post? Ok, good. Really, the only complaint I have is that during build up of the chorus you have that typical dancing music “whooping” sounds (sorry for not knowing the correct word). This is not because I hate that kind of music because I don’t, but it just seems extra. The song is perfect because it is not the same dance song you’ve been hearing for the last few years. It’s different, and to add those electronic sounds seems a bit conformist to me. But it doesn’t change how I feel about the song, I just thought it could do without. P.S. Sting and/or members of the former band The Police, if you don’t cover this song or request a duet with Mr. Mars, you are doing our generation a GREAT disservice. PLEASE. 5 out of 5 stars.

3. “Gorilla”
Disclaimer: this one is not appropriate for all ages, around conservative parents, grandparents, or at work. While many of Bruno’s other songs deal with sexual references, this one uses metaphors that are much more obvious and obscene, as well as cursing and other heavy material. For this reason, this song has earned its “explicit” stamp. If you’re away from any of the aforementioned parties, or particularly if you’re with that special someone, turn this one up and have at it, baby!! This song is the quintessential “baby maker”, and deserves to be in the same playlist as Trey Songz and Sade (don’t pretend you don’t already have one. That’s what I thought). This song is not just sexy, but it’s motivating. The build up to the end has got to be a metaphor for the act itself. It’s euphoric, daring, and animalistic, as the title suggests. It’s HOT! 4 out of 5 stars.

4. “Treasure
Without a doubt, one of my top three favorite songs, if not my favorite of the entire album. It’s fun, it’s dancey, it’s old school, and it sounds like Michael Jackson. And who doesn’t love a little MJ? This song transports me to a time where I wish I could’ve existed. I need an afro and some bell bottoms. I have to take breaks from writing this review just to dance because it is that intoxicating. This does not sound like it is from this era, AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! 6 OUT OF 5 STARS!!!!!! (is that allowed? Whatever, it’s MY blog!) **PS, this song also has an explicit stamp. It is ONLY because of the MF bomb at the very beginning of the song. Kind of unfortunate because the song is exquisite and otherwise appropriate for any age!!

5. “Moonshine
Another flashback of a time when music was beautifully and artfully written. Moonshine is somewhat ethereal and intoxicating, perhaps which is why it’s called Moonshine. I actually haven’t been able to really figure out if Moonshine is a metaphor or nickname for a love interest, or if he is really just loves drinking Moonshine. Either/or, the song transports you and take us “to that special place” that Bruno talks about in the song. Musically speaking, it’s just great. Just when you think you know what’s coming, it surprises you with a delicious chord change (ahem, excuse the music geek). Just listen to it. 5 out of 5 stars.

7. “When I Was Your Man
This song is the typical “I’m sorry” song about the one who got away. It’s intimate and bluesy, with just his vocals and a piano. Many of you guys may be able to relate to this song if you didn’t necessarily treat one of your girls as well as you should have and (hopefully) regret it and realize the wrong in your ways. And as far as us ladies, for me, it reminded me of my ex who wronged me. But for once, I don’t want to punch him in the face. Hearing this kind of song makes you wonder whether he feels the same, and if he does, I’m glad he realized what he did was wrong, and that I’ve moved on to someone who treats me right, and that I’m finally happy 🙂 4 out of 5 stars.

8. “Natalie”
REVENGE is the name of the game for this one. Bruno is PISSED, and all because of a little trick named Natalie who ran off with all his money. He’s not just pissed, but he’s willing to go to jail for crimes committed against this woman. It’s serious, ladies and gentlemen. It’s an energetic song with a really cool rhythm section, where Bruno belts out his frustrations to the world. This is the only song that I listened to the preview and didn’t like it at first. The reason for this is because the chorus standing on its own is not great because it needs the build up and background of the verses to really sell it. While it’s not one of my favorites of the album, it’s worth listening to and who knows? Maybe some of you will be able to identify with this song (I hope not). This is the kind of song I might listen to if I was really mad at someone and was going to a kickboxing class to let out my own frustrations. 3 out of 5 stars. 

8. “Show me”
I will give you all three guesses as to what genre this song is. I don’t know about you, but I would not have guessed that Bruno would have dipped in the the waters of Reggae. Ya mon, Reggae! Picture yourself lighting up on the Jamaican shore as the sun is setting and the bonfires are growing. You meet up with someone you’ve always had some sexual tension with, and tonight is theeeeee night. There you have it, my friends. It’s interesting and totally unexpected. Props to you Bruno Marsley. 3 out of 5 stars.

9. “Money Make Her Smile”
Aspiring exotic dancers, ladies of the night, and the men who love them: this is your anthem, mainly because it’s about a stripper. Or just strippers in general. To be honest, I’m not totally in love with this song. I kind of only vaguely like it. I keep replaying it and thinking, “Wait do I like this song or not?” That is the tell tale sign that you’re not in love with the song. It does, however, have tremendous potential to actually be played as a stripper’s entrance song or whatever it is they do, or as a good song to add to the soundtrack of a movie that includes strippers. Other than that, the song itself doesn’t do that much for me. And honestly the little “give it what you got” sample in the chorus kind of annoys me. This is the only other song from the album I did not keep :/ 2 out of 5 stars. 

10. “If I Knew”
Helloooo Righteous Brothers! Another oldie sounding goodie. It’s jazzy, soulful, and just delicious. It seems in this song that Bruno has just found out that someone he has known since he was young is in love with him, and probably has been for a long time. He’s probably done some things she doesn’t approve of and he wishes he would have known sooner to be able to give her everything she wanted before he was “corrupted”, however you want to take that. It pulls at your heart strings and I can feel myself sitting in a dark, smokey piano bar listening to the blues singer pouring out his heart about a girl that was under his nose the whole time that he can now never have. 4 out of 5 stars. 

That’s (finally) it, folks. The album as a whole gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s new while still keeping it old school, and just a delicious breath of fresh air. I really hope you enjoy the album as much as I do! To purchase the music, here is the link to iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/unorthodox-jukebox/id573962245

Keep on listening…

Jo

My Never Ending Playlist

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So, I guess I’ll start by answering a question. Johanna, why are you starting this blog? Hopefully, the blog itself will help me answer that question, but for now we’ll go with this: I love music. But, who doesn’t, right? For me, music is more than just my distraction, my entertainment, my friend, my lover, my shoulder to cry on. It’s my life, it’s me.

As a child, I was surrounded by music. There was always music playing at my house, of all different genres. My parents are what you might call “frustrated artists”. My dad’s dream in life is to be a classical guitar player. While he has all the commitment and dedication in the world, he lacks the God given talent to actually play well. Still, A for effort, dad! My mom is a self-proclaimed frustrated dancer/actress/entertainer; another one who would have loved to be in the limelight, performing for the world, but lacked the resources to really get anywhere. She does have talent, though. All my salsa dancing moves came from my mom, and anyone who knew her in the youthful partying years always comments on what a beautiful dancer she was. Or is, rather. She also has a really good ear, which she uses to remind me when I’m singing out of tune……..

Anyway, I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who fully support my music habits. And of course, like many parents, they filmed my every move and breath from the time i was born until about the time I was old enough to care. I am not kidding when I tell you that I am dancing in almost every video. I was dancing before I could even walk! My parents would turn on the music and I would just start moving. I even have a video where I am just months old and I am moving my feet as if conducting “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship. Seriously. My love for musical was simply undeniable. By the way, I am one of those people that believes that some people are born to do certain things. I knew I was born to be a musician or an artist of some kind. (Becoming a teacher is a story for another time.) My parents were very supportive, putting me through piano lessons for years, flute lessons, they came to all my chorus concerts, concert and marching band shows (where I played trombone. Yes, that’s right, trombone.), orchestra concerts and musicals, and finally put me through college to get a degree in Music Education. See what I mean about music being my life? So many people describe music as their escape from real life. This is sooo not the case for me. Music IS my life. It just is. I live it everyday, and to escape this life would be terrifying. A tragedy. 

So back to the main point — Why did I start this blog? I HATE New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I think they are empty, unrealistic promises that we never end up keeping because we don’t really want to change, so I’ll call this my Life Resolution. Music = Johanna, right? In high school, I realized that my life’s purpose was to pass on the gift of music. And trust me people, music is a gift. I want to educate the younger generation about music so that I can pass on what I know and love. So, why not start a blog so I can share my love in another way? This blog is for me, because I’m selfish at times, and I like to talk about myself. But really, this blog is for you, whoever you are. I’d like to give you a gift, so keep listening…