I discovered Breakwater on a whim. When I heard the first few seconds, I realized that Daft Punk sampled this song to make “Robot Rock”. This was a really fun song with the right mix of guitars, bass, and synths. How did I not know about this band even though they were before my time? This song really slaps and I want to check out their other songs and their albums.
Can’t you tell I’ve been on a bit of an old-school kick? I heard the song Rock Steady a few times a long time ago, but this song came to my attention after seeing it used while synching the Sami Zayn dancing meme. I was unaware that The Whispers have been around since the 60s and I have heard some of their other songs before. One such example is “And the Beat Goes On” which I also recently heard while I was shopping one day. Of course for my generation, we mainly know it because “Miami” by Will Smith used the beat for that one. “Rock Steady” is a really fun song that will certainly get one moving.
Technically, I’ve listened to this song before, but not this version. This is the lost band Morella’s Forest who were a gothic rock/new wave band from the 80s. Two of the members would be none other than Ronnie Martin and Jason Martin of Joy Electric and Starflyer 59 respectively as well as their one-time side project The Brothers Martin. Joy Electric would re-release this song in their typical experimental synth pop sound, but I wasn’t aware the song was older than that. It was surreal hearing that song with guitars, basses, and drums though. I also found out Ronnie and Jason were only 18 and 16 when they recorded this album that was lost until this year. It was very fascinating getting into the musical history of the Martins since I listened to both bands starting out in junior high and Joy Electric was certainly an influence on Ospreyshire as a recording project. No, this is unrelated to that Tooth & Nail band that was there in the 90s and early 00s.
Yes, I do listen to some classical and symphonic music while I don’t consider myself well-versed in that field. I recently discovered the Guadeloupean composer Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges after watching a documentary about him. He was a multi-disciplined man who was a virtuoso violinist, champion fencer, composer, and was even the a general, too. It was also surprising since I didn’t know many Black or biracial composers in the classical era and what made learning about him more interesting is that he actually inspired Mozart of all people when the much more famous musician was younger. I’m glad some people in the art music world have been doing their best to revive his works.
Okay, Driver Eight isn’t new to me and some of you know about me liking them in older posts. After watching No New Kinda Story which was a documentary about Tooth & Nail Records, I had a nostalgia trip. While I didn’t know or listen to this band until several years after they broke up, I really like their only album “Watermelon”. They have a good mix of indie rock with a hint of shoegaze. All the songs were good and “Getting This Thing to Go” has a place in my heart for me because that was the first song I learned how to play a guitar solo from. How many people can say that given how obscure Driver Eight are.
Before anyone else says anything, I’m aware they’re named after an REM song. Thank you. 🙂
Now here’s something completely different! I had never heard of Beverley Knight until recently. I heard this particular song while shopping and it was stuck in my head. Naturally, I typed in lyrics of the song to my phone and Googled it after the fact. I think she’s got a great voice and I liked the mix between R&B, soul, pop and some of those disco-esque strings in this song. While this is poppier than what I normally listen to, I actually enjoyed it. I even found out that this singer was from Wolverhampton, England of all places (that’s near Birmingham, by the way). Maybe that city has a good music scene there?
Here’s some music from different time periods, different genres, and from different countries as well. I just needed some positive jams (Hold Steady reference!) to listen to as well as share.
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Recently, I’ve been having a kick of listening to classic R&B, soul, and blues. There were so many artists that I have ignored after listening to so much music that was released when I was alive. After researching music plagiarism and how so many forms of Black music were stolen and appropriated without credit (contrary to semi-popular belief, I’m not just talking about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or the documentary The Lion’s Share). I underestimated how bad it was in America, but that’s a story for another time.
This is a ballad from the singer Joe Tex which dates back to 1966 called “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)”. I had never heard of Joe Tex or his music until just a few weeks ago, and this was the first song I heard from him. I stumbled across it when I researched how rock, blues, soul, and R&B were stolen en masse and this song was mentioned. This sound is haunting with the waltz time, orchestration, and Tex’s mournful vocals. The part of the song that really hit me hard was the second verse. Here are the lyrics that stood out to me:
“I’ve been pushed around
I’ve been lost and found
I’ve been given til sundown
To get out of town
I’ve been taken outside
And I’ve been brutalized
And I’ve had to always be the one to smile and apologize”
WOW! Those are tremendous words and it shows how so many musicians in multiple genres are such sheltered cowards while also being extremely relatable even though this came out decades before I was born. The sundown line is brutal since he’s clearly talking about sundown towns. Those were towns where Black people had to leave before night lest they be slaughtered by the white population during the Jim Crow era. The line that really hit me in the feels was the last one in that quote. I have a bad habit of apologizing too much and there were times where I was coerced to do so even when I didn’t do anything wrong. I HATE being treated like the bad guy when others are exalted for worse things! A song like that could ONLY be written by someone like him, but even I could relate to those lyrics even if it’s not entirely for the exact same reasons. How did I not know about Joe Tex or his music until now?
I liked the wrong genres for the wrong reasons since my high school years
5 star reviews and independent spirits caught my eyes
Namedropping bands most have never heard of was a wasted talent
Things have slowly changed once I wanted to know more about my heritage
It only went to show that the bands I hated and even some that I liked were sheltered
I mean, if I wanted to hear first world problems in musical form, I’d listen to pop punk
The originators have become even more apparent once I delved into classic soul and blues
Cultural appropriation ruled for decades in the realm called rock and roll
As the original innovators still haven’t been renowned in Cleveland
I was insulted and mocked for liking music in my college days
While I can’t distance myself in that regard (I’m a musician, you know)
I have to shed so much of what I used to like to codify more of what I stand for and honoring the innovators in music who never got credit
No matter if they are pop fans or the indie elite, I will not take your judgmental pretensions.