28 February, 2011

Colder Weather // Zac Brown Band

When I close my eyes I see you
No matter where I am
I can smell your perfume through these whispering pines
I'm with your ghost again
It's a shame about the weather
But I know soon we'll be together
And I can't wait till then
I can't wait till then
Colder Weather written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey, and Coy Bowles; performed by Zac Brown Band, 2010, from "You Get What You Give"

This is the newest song so far featured here on the BackSell Jukebox. A frightening number of young people tell me there is no good music today. I want to tell them that they're only listening to the images of music (Lady Gaga, Bieber, Bruno "I do cocaine" Mars, etc.) that are merely talentless hacks used by a failing industry to create ephemeral bleeps and bloops that sound good in the moment and appeal to humans on a very shallow, unemotional, and uninspiring level designed merely to gain massive stacks of bills and greens for said struggling industry in an attempt to regain lost income because they do not want to adapt to new technology and would rather everyone repurchase their entire music library every couple of years to fit the new DRM requirements instead of allowing some sort of right-to-listen agreement that carries over to any other medium or technology...um, got away from myself there...images of music instead of people who want to make music regardless of fame, but these young people are too busy walking into water fountains while texting. My point has something or other to do with product-music versus artistic expression... somethingsomething.

Here is a good example for people who think there is no good music today. Colder Weather is one of the best songs performed by ZBB. If you liked this song, check out: Highway 20 Ride, As She's Walking Away and/or Free.

14 February, 2011

A Night At The Grammys

My dissection of last night's Grammophone Awards and Celebration Night Spectacular:

Album of the year – Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
    Never heard it yet, I'll have to check it out.

Record of the year – Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
    I have this album, while I don't think its album of the year its still pretty good.

Song of the year – Need You Now (Lady Antebellum, performers)
    No. Too whiney. The winner should have been F*** You by Cee-Lo Green
Best new artist – Esperanza Spalding
    Thank goodness it wasn't Drake or Bieber. Anything but that. Seriously, give it to Hannah Montana before these jackwipes.

Best female pop vocal performance – Lady Gaga, Bad Romance
    I rarely listen to "pop" as it is usually just bouncy noises and dance routines. (Good word of advice: It there is a dance routine involved, its not a good song to begin with unless its a musical. There is no dance to go with Hey Jude, and there never should be.) Therefore, these categories did not qualify for me (DNQ). Computer voices and repetitve sounds designed to sound good for the 2 minutes of the song is not good music to me, with exceptions.

Best male pop vocal performance – Bruno Mars, Just the Way You Are

Best pop vocal album – Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster

Best traditional pop vocal album – Michael Buble, Crazy Love

Best electronic/dance album – La Roux, La Roux

    I love La Roux. This is one of the few awards that made sense last night.

Best solo rock vocal performance – Paul McCartney, Helter Skelter
    Its P-C! If we want to shave some time off of the next few Grammy shows, just give him Grammys 5 years in advanced, for whatever category he wants. Do not question him.

Best metal performance – Iron Maiden, El Dorado
    Iron Maiden is still a band? Huh.

Best rock song – Angry World (Neil Young)
    Still good after all these years. You go Neil.

Best rock album – Muse, The Resistance
    I never liked Muse, personally. But maybe they've improved.

Best alternative music album – The Black Keys, Brothers
    At first, I heard "Black-Eyed Peas" and shot my TV with a angry look, and shed a single tear. Luckily, I heard wrong.

Best urban/alternative performance – Cee Lo Green, F*** You
    I love this song. Does that me crazy? Does that make me crazy?

Best R&B song – Shine (John Legend and the Roots)
    Legend + Roots = Heaven in music.

Best rap solo performance – Eminem, Not Afraid
    No. Rap is shit these days. Someday I'll talk about Rapper's Delight..

Best rap song – Empire State of Mi--

Best rap al-- Damnit, no.

Best female country vocal performance – Miranda Lambert, The House That Built Me
    Great song that I will feature it in a "Country Music Won't Kill You" Week.

Best male country vocal performance – Keith Urban, Til Summer Comes Around
    Fantastic song. I don't like much of Urban's stuff, but this song changed my mind about his work.

Best country song – Need You Now (Lady Antebellum, performers)
    We all mistake when we're drunk and stupid. Drunk to be stupid? Stupid, so get drunk? Anyway, its a good song but Free and If I Die Young deserved this award, to be shared for equal awesomeness.

Best country album– Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
    OK, not best album, but under country it was the right choice.

Best contemporary jazz album – The Stanley Clarke Band, The Stanley Clarke Band
    I need to listen to this.

Best Americana album – Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone
    Same as above.

Best contemporary blues album – Buddy Guy, Living Proof
    "  "

All in all, I'm worried for the music industry. But it was still a good night of music. Strange, yes. But still good.

Anyone else watch? What did you think?

You Are So Beautiful // Joe Cocker

Such joy and happiness you bring
Like a dream
A guiding light that shines in the night
Heavens gift to me
You are so beautiful to me
You Are So Beautiful written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher, performed by Joe Cocker

For all those celebrating V-Day today (although this is a bit late as of posting, my auto-fire post didn't work because of my own silliness) I bring you what has to be one of the most played songs of February 14th. This live version done for a concert in Germany truly shows how strongly a man can feel for a woman. The lyrics speak for themselves.

Someone To Watch Over Me // Willie Nelson

Although she may not be the girl some
Men think of as pretty,
To my heart she carries the key

Someone To Watch Over Me written by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, performed by Willie Nelson, 1978, from "Stardust", Written in 1926 for the musical Oh, Kay!

This is one of those songs that has been recorded and interpreted and reinterpreted by multitudes of artists. These include Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as stated before, Roberta Flak, and Amy Winehouse. A great singer named Linda Ronstadt covered the song for her 1983 album "What's New", a collection of jazz songs from the 1920's, 30's, and 40's which she referred to as "little jewels of artistic expression".

I consider Ronstadt's version second to Willie Nelson's version, which is like saying I consider blueberry pie second to warmed-up blueberry pie. I think that makes sense. Willie Nelson's version for the album Stardust is the best there is. His choice to change the original lyric "Although I may not be the man some/ Women think of as handsome" to "Although she may not be the girl some/ Men think of as pretty" brings a new viewpoint to the song, this time centered more on the girl in mind. It gives the song a more genuine feel as the singer seems to care more about the girl and who she is and rather than what he is to her. His relaxed style of singing brings a heartfelt warmth to the song that no other artist can. Like this song was made for him.

Happy Valentine's Day, all you lucky singles!

11 February, 2011

The Dance // Garth Brooks

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance
The Dance written by Tony Arata, performed by Garth Brooks, 1990

A song with a double meaning, both as a love song and a song for a person that has died for something they believed in, The Dance is one of the most moving and woeful yet inspiring songs I have ever listened to. Here, Tony Arata performs his song live. But below is the version Garth Brooks made famous.

I absolutely love this song. I can listen to it a thousands times a day for years, and still feel the same emotion and power of the lyrics.

Too Much Heaven // The Bee Gees

Ev'rything we are will never die
Loving's such a beautiful thing
Oh you make my world.. a summer day
Are you just a dream to fade away

Too Much Heaven written by the Bee Gees, performed by the Bee Gees, 1978

From the song's Wikipedia article: "The recording process was the longest of all the tracks on Spirits Having Flown [the album on which the song appears] as there are nine layers of three-part harmony creating 27 voices, though the high falsetto voices are the most pronounced in the final mix:

* Barry on falsetto lead three times
* falsetto high harmony three times
* falsetto low harmony three times
* Barry on natural voice lead three times
* high harmony three times
* low harmony three times
* Barry, Robin and Maurice together on lead three times
* high harmony three times
* low harmony three times"

27 voices. We all miss you, Brothers Gibb.

10 February, 2011

The Weight / The Band

I picked up my bag, I went lookin' for a place to hide;
When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin' side by side.
I said, "Hey, Carmen, come on, let's go downtown."
She said, "I gotta go, but m'friend can stick around.
The Weight, written by Robbie Robertson, performed by The Band, 1968

Songs that makes you feel gooooood. A perfect song to include in any travel playlist, The Weight describes one man's adventures in a small town in Pennsylvania. A man who cannot direct him to a hotel, Carmen and the Devil, dying Luke and his young bride, and Chester and the dog he is willing to trade for a room all have awkward conversations with the man.

Featured in Easy Rider, this song would forever set the tone for every motorcycle video ever.

Shilo / Neil Diamond

Shilo, when I was young
I used to call your name
When no one else would come,
Shilo, you always came
And we'd play

Shilo, written and performed by Neil Diamond, 1967-1968

Imaginary friends. Shilo was always there for the man in this song, always a thought away. No one could take Shilo from him, not even the narrator of the song. I hear this song as though Shilo was a dog, a family pet that was always there to play. The dog never yelled, it never spoke harshly, and it never expected more than a bowl of food and a stick flying in the air. A human friend with the mind of a dog. Truthfully, it is more of a cat as my family did not have dogs growing up.

This is the original recording of the song, I believe, not the rerecording. I prefer this version because it feels more introspective and Diamond's voice seems more emotional.

Until The Night / Billy Joel

I'll have my fears like every man
You'll have your tears like every woman
Today we'll be unsure
Is this what we believe in
And wonder how can we go on


Until The Night, Written and performed by Billy Joel, 1978.

Off of Joel's album 52nd Street, this track is the second best song after Honesty, and easily one of the best songs by Billy Joel. The melancholy feel and sound leading up to the triumphant choruses warms my heart.

I've decided to try out Amazon Associates. These are referral links to purchase the songs or albums or other cheap tricks.

Is this too annoying? Make me seem...I don't know, commercial and/or greedy? I mean, I'd like people to listen and buy these songs for their own pleasure to match that which they have given me. I'll try it out for a few days or so.

09 February, 2011

Closer To You / Brandi Carlile

I'm staring out at endless rows of green
There are miles of hay like I have never seen
Just when you think you've had enough and
your dreams come true
I just want to be closer to you

Closer To You, written by Brandi Carlile and Phil and Tim Hanseroth, performed by Brandi Carlile in 2005.

She writes great songs, sings beautifully, and is as cute as a button! I'll be honest, I only looked up her albums because of how she looks, but I bought her music because of what those albums contained. Anyway, here's a live version of the song. Her live performances blow her albums out of the water.

This song has always, and always will, remind me of traveling aimlessly for hours in my car. No direction, no bearing, no stereo. But as much as I want to keep driving forever and leave it all behind me there is always that spark, that purpose, or that person that keeps drawing me back.

(Fun mini-game: "Count The Clich├ęs!")

Go Your Own Way / Fleetwood Mac

Loving you isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could, maybe I'd give you my world
How can I, when you won't take it from me?
Go Your Own Way, Written by Lindsay Buckingham, performed by Fleetwood Mac in 1976.

 Buckingham, the male lead of Fleetwood Mac, wrote this song in regards to his bandmate Stevie Nicks after a recent break-up. It would eventually peak at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. While some see this song as repetitive, I see it as one of those rare songs where the title is half the lyrics but you never seem to mind. Every verse that is repeated seems different than the last, and for anyone who has ever been through a separation with a lost love you almost want to scream it out, FINE GO THEN. I DON'T CARE, GO YOUR OWN WAY!

Wichita Lineman / Glen Campbell

And I Need You More Than Want You
And I Want You For All Time
And The Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line
Wichita Lineman, written by Jimmy Webb, recorded by Glen Campbell in 1968.

A lonely telephone company worker, or 'lineman,' feels the pain of his long days away and yearns for his absent lover to return. Phrases such as "singin' in the wire" and "hear you through the whine" reference the interference and whine heard during land-line telephone conversations. This elicits an idea of why the lineman's lover is gone, as there might have been a communication problem between the two lovers and the "whine" of their differences got the best of them. The organ accompaniment is what really makes this song beautiful, in my opinion.
On my iPod's "Top 100 Most Played Songs" smart playlist, I've apparently listen to this song almost twice as many times as the song in second place, The Dance by Garth Brooks. How this is possible, I may never know.