Friday, January 26, 2007

Gwen Stefani and No Doubt ~ Modern Day New Wave/Punk




No Doubt was founded in 1986 with a ska-pop sound . . . the band's diamond-certified album Tragic Kingdom helped to launch the ska revival of the 1990s, and "Don't Speak", the third single from the album, set a record when it spent sixteen weeks at the number one spot. Tragic Kingdom (1995) propelled them to stardom and sold more than fifteen million copies worldwide, with the singles "Just a Girl", "Spiderwebs", and "Don't Speak". The band's popularity went into decline with Return of Saturn (2000), but Rock Steady (2001) was generally well-received.




The lead singer, Gwen Stefani experienced the bittersweet accolades from the media and fans, driving a wedge between her and the band, much like Blondie. Gwen is today's Blondie . . . she was born October 3, 1969. Gwen recorded her first solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. in 2004. The album contains pop and dance tracks and influence from hip hop and R&B. Its third single "Hollaback Girl" became the first U.S. digital download to exceed sales of one million and "Cool" was one of 2005's most popular radio singles. The Sweet Escape (2006), Stefani's second solo album, was preceded by the single "Wind It Up".




In the media Gwen is known as a fashion trendsetter and regularly graces the covers of fashion and entertainment magazines. She debuted her clothing line L.A.M.B. in 2003 which showcases clothing that she is often seen wearing herself and also features handbags and purses. She released a limited edition, high-end line of dolls called "Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Fashion dolls" in 2006. They were inspired by her multi-platinum album and tour. Each doll reflects Gwen's eclectic onstage distinctive style and personality like her Hollaback Girl to the fashion-forward Harajuku Girls of Tokyo. She also designed and promoted a Harajuku girl-themed camera for Hewlett-Packard. Click here for more information on L.A.M.B.




An inspirational young lady with diversified talents and charisma who has come far since her early days as the lead singer in a garage band writing tearjerker songs about her rocky relationship with the guitar man Tony. In 2002, Stefani wed guitarist Gavin Rossdale, of the rock band Bush . . . their baby boy was born in May 2006.





It is rare for me to feature a song, but Don't Speak is one of my top 5 favorite songs of all time . . .

I always enjoyed Storytellers since I am such a music enthusiast. For me, it is all about the music and I love all of it! Being a once-aspiring singer/songwriter big time wannabe, the roots of a great song is always interesting to me.

When it is one of my favorite songs and singers, it is so much more special. So it goes with this one . . . Gwen Stefani and No Doubt . . . all about the song "Don't Speak" . . . one of my favorite songs of all time.

The lyrics of this song are hitting home for me at this time of my life, as I have reached yet another crossroads and a realization of what is happening in my life. Music lyrics sometimes mimic life and come back to soothe our soul to let us know all will be ok.

Storytellers ~ Don't Speak




Don't Speak ~ Live


Don't Speak ~ The Video




Lyrics:

You and me
We used to be together
Every day together always

I really feel
I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end

It looks as though you're letting go
And it it's real,
Well I don't want to know
Chorus

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me 'cause it hurts
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me 'cause it hurts

Our memories
They can be inviting
But some are altogether
Mighty frightening

As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry
Chorus

Outro

It's all ending
I gotta stop pretending who we are . . .
You and me
I can see us dying ... are we?
Chorus






Gwen Stefani is one of my favorite entertainers, singers and fashion icons of all time . . . she rocks . . .

Gwen Stefani ~ A Medley of Singles








Playlist of Gwen Stefani and No Doubt songs:







No Doubt Official Website



My niece Angie was a pre-teen and totally obsessed with Gwen Stefani at the height of the "Spiderwebs" popularity. I think we heard that song a million times . . . over and over again.

She and her sister Valerie would spend weekends and summers with my husband and I . . . at their ages, it was a good thing we loved music because they were 24/7 with their music. The song "Spiderwebs" reminds me of those times with my girls who were the little girls I never had.

The music of "Tragic Kingdom" represents one of the happiest times of my life . . . the summer of 1995 . . . my last memories of the girls being little girls and camping in the back yard, singing out loud like fools . . .




Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lenny Kravitz





Born in New York on May 26, 1964 . . . his mom is Bahamian American actress Roxie Roker, best-known for her role as Helen Willis on the popular television series The Jeffersons and his dad is Ukrainian-Jewish American film producer Sy Kravitz. He grew up in Los Angeles around celebrities and the most famous musicians of the time and taught himself bass, piano, guitar, and drums at an early age.


It was 1989 when he made his debut and took us back to the days reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and psychedelic music of the 60's and 70's with a hint of 80's Prince . . . and the definite Prince look.






On January 2006 Kravitz participated in absoluttracks a project of the vodka brand Absolut. He was given total freedom to realize a track that reflected his vision of the product, the result was the track "Breathe". Later on this song was re-mixed by other ten musical producers from the eight most important markets of the vodka brand, the traks were only available via internet, in the sites www.absolutkravitz.com and www.absoluttracks.com, where also were wallpapers and videos relating to the subject.


ABSOLUT KRAVITZ "BREATHE" INTERVIEW



Kravitz appeared in the audience of Madonna's Confessions Tour during numerous shows. He would later join Madonna live on stage for the song I Love New York at one of the Paris gigs. An accomplished songwringer . . . he wrote the song recorded by Madonna "Justify My Love".






He's definitely retro, but you can't define his music in one genre since his music transcends soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, rap, hip hop, techno and ballads. There is no doubt that his musical influences were as varied . . . Prince, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, and the Beatles. He took the varied range of styles and spun it into being a trendsetter in his own right . . . the result is the awesome music of Lenny Kravitz . . . a music chameleon.






Not only has he been known for his music . . . he's had his brush with the tabloid press, making news with his relationships with Lisa Bonet and Nicole Kidman.






Lenny's Official Website



Fly Away . . . Live . . . with Prince






American Woman






Breathe Remixed by Nikko Patrelakis





IF I COULD FALL IN LOVE





ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY






FLY AWAY






IT AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER ~ LIVE





HEAVEN HELP





I BELONG TO YOU





CAN'T GET YOU OFF MY MIND (ACOUSTIC)





AGAIN





BELIEVE








I've found a new toy and since I am in a Lenny Kravitz kind of mood tonight, I decided to experiment with this new website with the funky, soulful and awesome music of Lenny Kravitz.

This should work like a jukebox and the music should continue to play even if you venture away from this page, just make sure it stays open.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Punky Ladies of the 80's ~ Martha Davis and The Motels


Martha Davis and The Motels were one of the most successful groups of the 1980's new wave/punk era.



She was the punky lady that was my fashion icon of that time . . . the look was retro vintage . . . sophisticated, in a punky trashy sort of way.

The music is dark with hauntingly sad lyrics led by strong vocals, catchy melodies and awesome hooks . . . this is the music I listened to when I was feeling down and wanted to wallow in it. At the moment, I have no idea who wrote the songs that The Motels recorded, but I assume they went through a time of intense depression and heartbreak . . . most seem to be written by the same person judging by the writing style.



The Motels helped usher in the music video generation and were one the prominent groups on MTV . . . the group, one of my personal favorites . . . currently on the comeback trail (check their website and new song) . . . and the 80's punky rock vixen, Martha Davis, one of the most beautiful and glamourous women of rock . . .







LINKS:

Martha Davis and The Motels Official Website


This is an awesome acoustic version of one of my favorite Motels song, "Only the Lonely" featuring the gorgeous voice of Martha Davis . . .




Here are some of their best songs on video:


Only the Lonely


Last Summer



Remember the Nights


Shame


Take the L Out of Love


Icy Red

Monday, January 8, 2007

Punky Ladies of the 80's ~ Blondie

Blondie . . . a pioneer in the early American punk rock and New Wave scenes.

Blondie's first two albums were successful in Australia and the United Kingdom, however, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of a third album in 1978.

Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles and was noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a New Wave band.

Lead singer Deborah Harry achieved a level of celebrity that eclipsed other band members leading to tension within the group and they officially disbanded in 1982 and reformed in 1998, achieving renewed success touring and performing throughout the world over the following years. Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Debbie Harry is the Punky Lady Queen . . . the guys fell in love with her and the girls tried to look like her . . . and we all loved the music of Blondie! Back in the dying days of disco, we were hungry for the exciting beat and sound that was glamourously reminiscent of disco, but decisively different . . . and new wave/punk was born as the "new sound and attitude of the 80's" that came with many styles and variations as new groups and singers emerged. The glam new wave sound (that is what I call it) is still my preferred style of music of all time and is the sound of the 80's . . . of course, it was the happiest time of my life when I met my future husband, fell in love and got married, so I am a little prejudiced since the music is mixed in my memories of the times.

LINKS:

Blondie's Official Website



Blondie ~ Call Me


Blondie ~ Rapture


Blondie ~ Heart of Glass & One Way Or Another
(Live ~ American Bandstand ~ 1979)


Blondie ~ In The Flesh


Blondie ~ Maria


Music Playlist:

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Michael Jackson . . . King of Pop . . . can he come back?





Without hesitation, I call him the greatest entertainer ever and you can't take the "King of Pop" title away from him . . . because he IS. A little boy grew up before our eyes while amazing and dazzling us with his talent as he entertained. He gave his life to the music. Musically, I grew up on the Jackson Five and Michael Jackson took me into the music video generation . . . and he and his brothers showed me how to dance.





MJ MegaMix



Short Clip about Michael's dancing



The highlight of a visit to Epcot Center at Disney World was to see the groundbreaking Captain EO 3D movie that I wish I could see again. Michael Jackson at his best! I would stand in line for hours and go back to see it again . . . it was THAT good. Somebody bring it back, but this time to the movie theatres!!!!! . . . it was awesome. I found the promotional advertisement that ran on television before they premiered it at the theme parks and a clip from the movie . . . watch them before Disney has them removed from YouTube as they have all the others. Imagine seeing this on an usually large movie screen, awesome sound system and in 3D . . . WOW!!

Walt Disney's Captain EO Trailer


. . . and a bit of the video . . . watch it before Disney has it removed



Maybe I was the only one who was so happy when I heard that Michael had married Lisa Marie Presley . . . the King of Pop married the King's daughter . . . they could have been awesome together even though the music styles are somewhat different. Could have been the birth of a new style of music, who knows.



My feelings about him personally are so torn and it breaks my heart since he has always given me the impression of being a very honest and sweet person and I have loved him as an entertainer so much. Only he and God know the real truth of what has been accused of him in the past . . . AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MUSIC. I try not to judge another human being, especially one with lots of money and a target for opportunists . . . either way, it is a sad world that we live in.




Take a look back at his amazing talent and remember WHY he has been labeled "The King of Pop" . . . he is one fabulous entertainer. I've compiled quite an array of Michael Jackson performances that convinces me he will come back better than ever because he has the unique talent that surpasses time.





Rumor has it he will be making his United States comeback in Las Vegas . . . other than Cher and Elvis, I can't think of anyone else who could do so much justice to the stages of Las Vegas in a grandiose style with so much star power and entertain with such excitement, sparkle and shine. What a treat! I would be the first in line if I could afford the tickets!



Hopefully we can all rise above his personal problems and get back to the music . . . check out the videos and be reminded . . . I did, and he blew me away again.



Thank you for the decades of entertaining us Michael . . . hopefully there will be more and more to come . . .

Michael's dance steps


Michael Jackson clips


Blood on the Dance Floor


Janet and Michael Jackson - The Grammy Awards 1993


Dance Break . . . Dangerous (Live) 1993


Black or White


Black or White (Live)


Smooth Criminal Video


Smooth Criminal - Live in Mexico


Bad - Video


Beat It


Billie Jean


Best Dance


Michael Jackson - best of - part 1


King of Pop . . . Bad Live


Thriller . . . full version


Scream - Michael and Janet Jackson


Motown 25 - The Jacksons


Earth Song


The Way You Make Me Feel/Fly Away (Live)


1995 MTV Performance Medley Video







My Michael Jackson music playlist . . .

check out the awesome remixes!



Monday, January 1, 2007

Best songs of 2006




UPDATE ON October 13, 2010 . . . this post is one reason I have begun the practice of copying articles directly to my post AND providing the source.  Not because I am "stealing content" . . . these websites change content and remove articles that are interesting even years later . . . at least they are in my opinion . . . now no one knows what the hell my post is talking about . . . so why did I even bother linking to their website?


Contrary to what the following says . . . don't click on the magazine cover to the to the article . . . apparently they are too big to care about links to their content . . .



Click on the magazine cover to go to the page . . . see how their "best of" compares with yours.

Since I have discovered the internet, I'm very guilty of not being "up" with the latest top 10 list and have no idea what is popular at a given time. I just drift through music that is new to me on playlists made by others on Rhapsody Music Service and cruise MySpace for awesome new bands and singers I have never heard of that are leaping out of my computer screen, waiting to be discovered.

Having said that . . . some of the songs listed on the list I've never heard of . . . so . . . it will be a good time to catch up on what mainstream music lovers were listening to last year as I contemplate the clean slate of a new year staring at me in the face. I've always found New Years Day to be a very optimistic day . . .

Happy New Year to everyone . . . whatever you do, keep the music playing . . .