I can not wait until this album drops…
Tag Archives: R&B
The King Of Pop Passes (1958-2009)
It’s no news that everyone has heard about the late pop-star Michael Jackson. The King of Pop is no longer with us.
I really was not going to blog about this instance because everyone already is and I was not quite sure what I really had to say about it.
Twitter was overloaded with updates and Facebook seemed to have endless comments but fans as well as people who thought it would be a good time to start with the jokes.
This morning I thought maybe I should just post something about the musician seeing on how he had a pretty big influence on me musically as I grew up.
I was getting a tattoo yesterday when I found out. I was just killing some time during the process and checked Twitter where I started seeing posts that Michael Jackson was taken to the hospital, then rumors of his death followed by statements of the artist falling into a coma. Finally it was confirmed, Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest.
I did not know what to think at the exact moment it hit me that the pop star passed.
I can tell you one thing, Michael Jackson was the last person I would have ever expected to pass away on a summer day. The news was shocking and it took me a few visits to various websites to finally learn it was the truth. I realize sometimes things get blown out of proportion but this was real.
I was a Michael Jackson fan when I was a kid and I am not ashamed to say it. I am pretty sure everyone was and I do not believe you if you say you did not like any of his material. I rocked the parachute pants, did the moon walk, but never had a sparkling glove.
One of my favorite memories of when I went to Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in the late 80’s was when I saw the 3-D adventure Captain EO. Just a few weeks ago I was actually talking about it to some friends and watched the movie in two segments on YouTube. (Part 1 & Part 2 for those of you that have never seen it and are wondering what I am talking about…)
Then there was Moonwalker a movie/music video that I watched over and over on VHS. Sega actually even created a video game based on the movie that was easily one of my favorite Sega Genesis video games of all time.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the video for “Thriller” on MTV. It was late at night and my Aunt warned me it was going to be scary. I loved every minute of it.
I still have Thriller on my iTunes and always will. It is easily one of my top 100 albums of all time.
Today Michael Jackson’s name is being said a lot. Good things and bad will be talked about him for days to come and just like many other music lovers out there I am saddened by his loss.
I really wish that Micheal Jackson could have toured just one more time not just for the millions of fans, but also for himself. The poor guy really went through lots of hell. Regardless if all those allocations were true or not, the guy changed the way people would listen to music forever. It would have been nice to see Michael Jackson back on the stage doing what he liked to do best…
Sony Comments on the Passing of Michael Jackson (on www.michaeljackson.com):
NEW YORK, NY – June 25, 2009 – Michael Jackson, one of the most widely beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all-time, leaves an indelible imprint on popular music and culture.
Commenting on his passing, Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation, said: “Michael Jackson was a brilliant troubadour for his generation, a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era. His artistry and magnetism changed the music landscape forever. We have been profoundly affected by his originality, creativity and amazing body of work. The entire Sony family extends our deepest condolences to his family and to the millions of fans around the world who loved him.”
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “Michael Jackson’s unsurpassed artistry and beloved music brought joy to every corner of the world. We join today with his millions of fans in expressing our profound sadness and we offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. It was a true privilege for all of us in the Sony Music family to work with one of the most talented superstars in the history of music. We will miss him greatly.”
Martin Bandier, Chairman & CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, said: “Michael was the kind of amazing talent that comes along once in a lifetime. He was an incredible recording artist, an insightful businessman, an unmatched performer, and a true icon. To all of us at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, he was also a trusted and passionate partner, who was very proud of our accomplishments. He will be dearly missed. We wish his children and entire family our deepest condolences.”
Five of Jackson’s solo albums – “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous” and “HIStory,” all with Epic Records, a Sony Music label – are among the top-sellers of all time. During his extraordinary career, he sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and “Thriller” as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award.
Michael Jackson started in the music business at the age of 11 with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. In the early 1980s, he defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking videos as “Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and the epic “Thriller.” Jackson’s sound, style and dance moves inspired subsequent generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists.
Bonnaroo 2009 – Day 3 In Review
Day 3 really seemed to fly by. Before I knew it I was watching NIN on stage and planning my escape from all the drugged out drunk folk who came to the ‘Roo to party.
Not this guy. I came for the music. In fact, here is my review for the third day of Bonnaroo:
Concert Review: Bonnaroo 2009 – 06/13/2009 – Day 3
Matt, Adam, and I all slept in a little longer than we wanted to. Needless to say I missed some artists I wanted to see like the Heartless Bastards and Allen Toussaint. I guess when you stay up till almost 5am sleeping in is expected.
We actually made it to the day lot without getting searched or even stuck in a traffic jam. It was nice for once to actually get there not pissed off.
One of the highlights of my weekend was sharing the stage with the sorrowful folk singer William Elliot Whitmore. During his set he decided to invite the fans to come a little closer and join him on stage. I took the opportunity and actually snuck into the back end of the tent where I got to watch the backside of William Elliot Whitmore and also all the fans who were glued to him.
One thing I like about William Elliot Whitmore is how personal he is. In between the songs he would run around and shake hands and give out hi-fives. He’s a friendly fellow who, with his guitar and banjo, is a one man show telling tales of what he sees from his eyes. His voice is haunting yet so appealing. His set was one of my favorites of the weekend.
Adam and I walked around a lot again on Saturday and the ever so smart Matt purchased a folding chair at Wal Mart in the morning and took it into Centeroo. He did his thing, we did ours, and later we would meet back up with him before the Boss took stage.
Throughout the day I was entertained by some artists I knew and others who I had not had the pleasure of hearing before. One of the new bands to my ears was grassroots heavy The Del McCoury Band. I really got a kick out of their material but had to cut it short so I could see Ms. Jenny Lewis.
While trying to see Jenny Lewis I managed to make way into a sectioned off side stage area where others were already viewing her set. As I was looking for the best place to see Jenny Lewis I noticed a certain someone checking out her set. Elvis Costello. Pretty damn cool.
After Jenny Lewis played we checked out Wilco, a band I really need to see live in their entirity. Every time Wilco plays a festival I seem to skip their set to see someone else. I enjoyed the couple songs I heard them play but really wanted to see Elvis Costello play.
Elvis Costello once again just blew my mind during his set. I saw Elvis Costello perform at the 2006 Bonnaroo so I knew what I was in for. I was pleasantly thrilled to see both Allen Toussaint as well as Jenny Lewis both join Elvis Costello on stage separately during the set. I was kind of figuring it would happen since both artists have worked with Elvis Costello but still when it happens live in front of you, you can not help but get excited.
Seeing how this was my first Bruce Springsteen experience Matt was quick to tell me what to expect. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band were everything I thought they were going to be. Where as I am not a huge fan of The Boss, I have enough appreciation for him and his band to watch the entire set and thanks to the live performance am looking to listen to look last the hit songs and dig deep into his catalog. Matt had taken off get a closer look and later told me he made it about fifteen rows back from the main stage. Good for him. I don’t think I could have done it myself.
Nine Inch Nails was awesome as I expected. I was pissed because I felt NIN deserved the What Stage, the main stage of the event. Instead they played the Which Stage which to me was not big enough for NIN. Playing through a mix of songs they shocked me most by busting out “Burn”. That song alone won me over for their set list. Sadly this performance by NIN is slated to be their last US performance for who knows how long… Glad I was there to witness it.
NIN sounded awesome as usual and as soon as MGMT and Moe took their respectful stages some of the douchbaggery cleared out. That made things much better for us as I am pretty sure the three of us were the only folk who were not retarded on substances.
Once NIN finished up and we got back to our hotel it was almost 4am. I stayed up till 6am writing the above review and managed to get a couple hours of shut eye.
Today is of course the last day of the event. We plan on getting there in time to check out Dillenger Escape Plan as well as come other artists. Once Coheed & Cambria finish their set we are done with the ‘Roo. I have absolutely so desire to see Phish close the festival with their hippie material.
This has been one hell of a trip so far and I am really looking forward to the final day to this outstanding festival. Time to head to the farm now, but first we need to stop at Tennessee / Alabama Fireworks for some souvenirs that might be illegal in Ohio.
Westbound Train – Come And Get It – CD Review
Boston’s Westbound Train are back with an all new album following their impressive 2006 debut Transitions. This time the seven man crew completely outdo themselves in every way possible with Come And Get It. The album was once again released on Hellcat Records and proves to be one of my favorite releases to date this year hands down.
Think ska music infused with jazz, reggae, and heavy doses of R&B and you have the perfect blend of what Westbound Train specializes in. Not to be compared with Motown, although close at times, the band remains a ska act throughout this release but keeps a soulful attitude.
I had the pleasure of reviewing the band’s last CD a while back and was impressed with every moment of it. This time I am back to that same level of excitement with Come And Get It. I must say that I am pretty sure that this CD will be my soundtrack for this summer hands down.
As soon as the CD started with “I Don’t Belong Here” lead singer Obi Fernandez’s voice seems to sooth the soul and set the mood. With horns, a groovy rhythm, and even some background harmony the song immediately put me in the most relaxed of states as the song reminisces about the good times. Almost reminding me of a Smokey Robinson song, “Ain’t Gonna Be Easy”, was a full forced R&B track sure to please any listener one way or another.
“Why You Cry” was an amazing ska soul track with ear catching singing thanks to King Django and also amazing tenor saxophone solos. “Come And Get It” featured some sick organ playing throughout the song with even more impressive singing.
“What You Need” was one of the more diverse tracks on the CD thanks to The Sweet Divines adding their classy soulful backup singing. If that was not good enough they return on “So Many Things A Man Can Say”, one of the albums more Motown inspired songs. If there is any track on this CD that proves this band has soul, this is the track.
“Critical Ska” was just that; a fine instrumental ska track from start to finish with an array of guitar, piano, and sax solos perfect for playing in the background of any outdoor party. “Cheers! The World’s Almost Over” ended the CD but not without leaving a good feeling.
Westbound Train is a ska band that has some serious soul playing abilities and Come And Get It proves it. I’m not saying this album is pure Motown but I am saying this comes very close and Westbound Train does it well. Fans of The Slackers, The Pietasters, and just good soulful music will enjoy this CD over and over as did I. Look for the band this summer at the 2009 Van’s Warped Tour.
In the event that you have not heard these guys it is only right for me to post some videos of material from their previous releases: