Some music I’ve heard recently to have some positive vibes going on

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.

All videos are property of their respective owners.

Ospreyshire Origins: Cameroonian Originality March

Lyrics:

Attention!

[French]
Nous avons des vautours de la culture a venir!
Notre musique est attaquee!
Marche en avant!
Oui, monsieur!

Barnwell, Baranquilla, Gary, Portsmouth
We’re coming for all of you
Your status as godfathers, hip shakers, kings, and misdemeanors
Have nothing on us
We’ll keep marching on (X2)

[French]
Nous devon securiser le berceau de nos ancetres (de nos ancetres) [X4]

What do we want? (Our original tunes!)
When do we want them? (Right now!)
(X4)


Before I get to talking about this song and what inspired me, I would like to give major props to my Cameroonian blogger friend Dr. Y from Afrolegends. He’s been awesome in making high quality posts for over a decade about African history, culture, news, trivia, proverbs, and then some. Dr. Y was able to educate me about some of the musicians from his home country and even gave me some nuggets about plagiarism cases involving their musicians.

Not going to lie, Cameroon has some great artists. I got into Mr. Leo’s music last year, been listening to some Salatiel (I knew who he was before he was a part of THAT companion soundtrack), and more recently Tim & Foty who are part of the topic of this song. I also wanted the song to have a balance between French and English lyrics to represent unity in that country given some of the issues going on with those communities based on those languages. There have been four high profile songs straight out of this Central African nation. Prepare your ears because some of these songs are going to sound familiar to you.

Exhibit A: “Zamina mina (ZangalĂ©wa)” by Golden Sounds

Exhibit B: “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango

Exhibit C: “Hot Koki” by Andre-Marie Tala

Exhibit D: “Douala by Night” by JM Tim and Foty

Doesn’t Cameroon have a lively music scene? Did you also think some of those songs sounded familiar? It would certainly be a shame if a Colombian and some Americans were to steal them.

Yes, that happened and I’m going to correlate each rip-off song to their respective originals.

Shakira stole from Golden Sounds:

Michael Jackson stole from Manu Dipango:

James Brown stole from Andre-Marie Tala:

Missy Elliott, Method Man and Redman stole from Tim & Foty:

All of this came from one country. Some of your favorite artists are musical robbers, so deal with it. This blew my mind and I have Dr. Y to thank when it came to the Shakira and James Brown issues before discovering the rest on my own. Unbelievable, and Cameroon deserves so much better and not just because of some of their current issues right now.

Besides that, I wanted that marching vibe like the “Zangelewa” song, but completely different chords and instrumentation with the Omnichord with hand percussion. This is homage and at least I acknowledge MY inspirations.

The Cameroonian flag picture is from Flags of the World.

Music Spotlight: “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” by Joe Tex

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 hope you enjoy the song.

Shedding The Vestiges of Music Fandom Within

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.