Blurred Lines

I heard Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up on the radio today.  I’m still hesitant to say Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines was an intentional copy beyond Pharrell’s “woo!” noises.  However, I’ve been listening to Shawn Mendes (what, it’s surprisingly good!) and think his song Nervous sounds A LOT more like Got to Give it Up (starting around the :33 second mark).

There are also some similarities to the Blurred Lines video, namely the white backdrop with strong pops of red, a slight sepia tone, and women as props (have you seen the uncensored version of Blurred Lines, for sure NSFW!).

What do you think, am I wrong?  Will he be sued by the Gaye estate too?

California Loco

My kids are obsessed with a short film included with “Moana” called “Inner Workings.”  An important part of the movie is a song called “California Loco.”  It’s one of those songs you can’t get out of your head, no matter how hard you try.

Looking into its background, the composer, Ludwig Göransson, is someone you may not know by name, but you’ve certainly heard his music.

I’d first heard of Göransson through his collaboration with Childish Gambino/Donald Glover.  Genius has a great breakdown of their recording process of “Redbone,” which started with Donald playing drums and Ludwig layering many, many instruments to build the sounds they wanted.

Not a Gambino fan?  Well he also scored Black Panther and Ryan Coogler’s other films, “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed.”  Similar to his work with Gambino, much of the music was built by layering contributions from others, in the case of “Black Panther,” Senegalese artist Baaba Maal.

He also scores “New Girl,” contributed to music to “Community,” and many other films and TV shows.

Lastly, I love this and I’m tossing it in for the heck of it (song starts around 1:16)…

Signs

The Seeb remix of Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza is one of those ear worms, something you can’t shake – even if you want to.  I’ve attended my fair share of Dylan concerts, own most of his albums, and have seen any movie he’s been a part of (yes, that includes ‘Hearts of Fire’).  Because of this, the inspiration for video for the original version of Mike Posner’s the song was not unfamiliar to me.  In my youth I remember buying INXS’s ‘Kick’, and more than a few ‘Weird’ Al albums on cassette.  This prompted the need to have a little video marathon and I thought I’d share it here, too.  Did I miss any others?

 

 

 

 

Honorable mentions:

Summer Madness

I have a bit of a confession; I’ve become a fan of pop and other forms of music I never thought I’d like.  Here are some songs I’ve been listening to over the last few months.  Keith Urban?  Harry Styles?  Miley Cyrus?  Yup, I wouldn’t have expected these either, but there’s something there for me!  It’s a byproduct of a few things; I’m married to a huge pop fan, we have kids, and I get a lot of my music via the radio.  I don’t hear the same music I did even 5 years ago.  That’s not to say there’s stuff on there I wouldn’t have listened to anyway.  The tracks by Childish Gambino and Thundercat would probably be in heavy rotation for me no matter what (and The Weeknd/Daft Punk collaboration isn’t a million miles away from those).  There’s the nostalgia pick of my time in Ireland with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ and a song from the show Nashville.  There’s more than just the songs I’ve mentioned, so give my little list a listen!  What have you listening to lately?  What else should I hear?

A Thousand Miles Behind

I’m headed to see David Gray tonight, who I’ve seen many times. It made me curious. Who are some artists you’ve seen frequently? Also, what was your first concert?

My first concert was to see Partners in Kryme perform Turtle Power from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  Adam Ant also performed and I learned about lip syncing.

Album referenced: A Thousand Miles Behind

Cool as Ice

Art class was a bit of an oasis for me.  Despite being considered a reasonably bright kid, I didn’t excel at academics – reading on someone else’s schedule just wasn’t my idea of a good time.  I’d been drawing and painting from an early age and found it was something that both came naturally and gave me a great sense of enjoyment.

It was in high school art class that I’d make some of the most meaningful friendships, even though many didn’t last beyond graduation.  Two of those friendships came my freshman year in the form of two seniors – both of whom I couldn’t be more dislike. It was in painting class where they’d started performing parody songs to entertain others.  They’d tap out the rhythms on desks, textbooks, or any other surface the could find.  Topics included obscure literary references, chronicles of their experiences hanging out in Portland, and just about anything else under the sun.

I was so into it that I’d offered to help them record their music.  It should be noted that this was a ludicrous situation that makes me sound like a teenage entrepreneur/record producer.  I had neither the money for, nor did I posses, any recording equipment.  My brother, a musician to this day, did own enough cables and splitters for me to assemble something that would work.  In addition to recording, I started designing band t-shirts to make in art class, photographed practices, and designed the cassette insert. They chose the name Mint Chocolate Chip as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Vanilla Ice.

Over time they’d developed their musical abilities.  To fill out the band, there was a rotating cast of other musicians playing lead guitar and drums (see also Spinal Tap’s drummer issues). We eventually outgrew the cassette recorder and foraged cables and made the decision to pay for a studio about 30 minutes south of our hometown. We made the journey one evening, along with a substitute drummer and cheap electronic drum pads and began the process. Now, I’d led a fairly sheltered life up until that point and, not having spent many nights away from home, I had no clue how to call long distance to alert my mother I’d be home late. It was, after all, the mid ’90s and we didn’t have them new-fangled iPhones and email and texting was in its infancy. After a few failed attempts, too embarrassed to admit my lack of knowledge of telephony, I gave up. I figured “I’d told her we’d be hours, what’s the worry?”

Recording went until the next morning and we were happy with the final tracks. We paid our $75 and headed home. My mother was waiting in the doorway, having stayed up all night, wondering if her 14-year-old son was still alive. I was immediately grounded. Any photoshoots would have to occur at my house, sans-drummer number two as he too had suffered the same punishment.

We eventually sold the cassettes for $5 a piece, easily making back the recording money. The mere mention of Mint Chocolate Chip to those who bought the cassette or were lucky enough to catch a performance will immediately bring a smile to their face.

Movie referenced: Cool as Ice