Songs come Alive

Music Videos are sometimes underrated; they are a method of expression in which the artist can show off who he or she is. Music videos are also the one time the artist has to be able to show their fans how creative they are and find a visual representation behind the words of their song.

I love watching music videos-it is one of my to-go procrastination tools. Usually it’s the artist singing in some location and a bunch of shots of the artist or band looking straight at the camera while singing or playing their instruments. Sometimes the artist has an interesting concept and makes the best out of those 3-minute videos.

I found the concept behind these videos pretty interesting:

Houdini by Foster the People: Actually most of their videos are pretty creative. I just liked this one.

This is Gospel by Panic! at the Disco. It looks pretty simple, but every movement is choreographed and its makes for an interesting video.

Sometimes simplicity is the key: 

Lover of the Light by Mumford & Sons. There is something about Mumford that just makes you think of green pastures and valleys. I don’t know, is it just me?

Lights by Ellie Goulding. Some lights and Ellie Goulding. That’s all you need.

Popular songs: 

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. This song has been so overplayed already, but at the beginning of the summer when it was just a “catchy song” and I liked it- I expected a better music video. White background, awkward dancing… I had more fun watching this.

Applause by Lady Gaga. I just had to add this because all of her videos are weird. I don’t even know what she’s on when she thinks of a concept, but its always interesting to watch. I’m still unsure if I even like the song.

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First Music Disappointment: TDG

Ever since I can remember music has always been my hide-from-the-world outlet. I am the definition of someone who disappears as soon as my headphones are on. I’ve also gone through so many music phases. I listen to everything, but there are music bands that are my go-to for everything. Up until I was 16 or 17 it was Linkin Park. After Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight, I kinda gave up on them (and I used to call myself a hardcore fan). I understand that they wanted to explore the various sides of them and eventually might make something that will sound back like Hybrid Theory or Meteora. After I gave up on them I felt like I had no favorite band. I then realized that around the same time I was listening to Linkin Park, I had found another band that I loved too and somehow I never got tired of that one cd they had come out with: Three Days Grace.

Years after, I was going through some changes in my life and at the same time Three Days Grace came out with One-X.  I loved it and listened to it non-stop. The lyrics were simple, but they hit every right spot when I listened to them. Then I saw the little documentary that had come out about the lead singer and how he had been able to overcome problems in his life and that most of the songs that I had fallen in love with were written by him during his time in rehab.

Fast forward to my hardest year in college. Three Days Grace was there again. That year they came out with Life Starts Now. The timing couldn’t have been better. I promised that one day I would go to their concert. Even though they offered Itunes versions of the CD, for this band I had to pre-order the hard copy of the CD. The experience you get when you open a CD box and see the design they picked for the CD and the booklet inside is something that no one can take away from you. It is pure happiness and excitement in that precise moment. Yes, I’m kinda old school.

There is a pattern in this right? Guess when Transit of Venus came out? The same year I graduated college and the same month I had decided I wanted to attempt to get into law school or I would regret it. My broke self- pre ordered one of the fan packages that came with the hard copy of the cd, a poster and t shirt. (yes, I also added my name to the back #nerd)

Disappointment knocks: a couple of months after Transit of Venus came out Three Days Grace broke up. The lead singer decided that he wanted to go solo because the band was no longer producing things from the heart. Alright before someone kills me, they said so many things during this time- but essentially I’ve come to the conclusion that this is what probably happened.

I’m just sad and disappointed that this happened and the way it happened. It was truly my first music related disappointment. Even though the rest of my relatives were thinking I was nuts for feeling like I was. I was sad for a couple of weeks. I was sad that I wouldn’t get the chance to see them live, I purchased a shirt one of their old tours and listened to them non-stop.

Lets Recycle…Music?

I have the weirdest music taste. I honestly will listen to anything. With that clarified: I wanted to have a small rant about popular artists (I thought the definition of ‘artist’ meant to ‘produce’ and ‘create’ something) using previous songs to make hits today.

Do you ever feel déjà vu when you listen to a “new” song?

The other day when I was at work I heard the new Christina Aguilera and Pitbull song Feel This Moment (I work in a department store in the mall) something in the song sounded familiar, I just couldn’t tell what it was. It kinda bothered me all day so later that night I went to the mighty Google to see if I could find it.  Boom. Answer was A-ha’s Take on Me.

I don’t know why it bothers me when I hear an artist re-use samples from older songs. Granted in this case it was Pitbull and I think it is part of his music to do ‘mixes.’  He also did it with Jennifer Lopez’ recent ‘hit’ On the Floor.  That interesting hook at the beginning of the song and used throughout it is from an old song called The Lambada.

Also, I’m going to clarify that yes when an artist does this he or she probably asked for the rights to the sample. The company probably got all the paperwork settled, but why are we listening to recycled music and not entirely new tunes? If you take the Lambada tune out of J.Lo’s song, the song sucks. You would quickly forget it.

Here are some other examples I can think of right now:

1)     Remember Lady Gaga’s Alejandro (2010)? I do too, but I also remember Ace of the Base’s Don’t Turn Around (1994).

2)     Long time ago Madonna had a hit with a song called Hung Up (2005). I remember it was number one on rankings for a long time. Abba’s Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (1979) was probably a hit during its time too.

3)     How about a double ‘who recycled whose’ song? Shakira had a catchy intro to her Hips Don’t Lie (2006). Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz had a similar intro to Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby) (1998). I didn’t know about that one but I heard the intro of Jerry Rivera’s Amores Como el Nuestro (1992).

I have to say techno, dub-step and artists that mix 100 songs in one don’t bother me because well, they say they are doing a remix and we know what to expect. (Example)

Side note: Why wasn’t the Black Eyed Peas- This Time (Dirty Bit) called “(I’ve had) The Time of My Life) cover”? They take excerpts from the original song…

I think my new hobby will be to grab DaVinci, Van Gogh and maybe Vermeer’s paintings (I think all of their works are public domain by now, not sure but I just want to make a point) and stick them all together. Maybe add some brushstrokes so I can say it’s my creation and I’ll probably have a ‘hit’ too, right?

Popular Songs Define the Artist?

Just like anyone else I love a catchy tune that gets stuck in my head and I need to purchase the song because its popular and because I hear it everywhere and like it…(at least for the first couple of times) Then after you hear it EVERYWHERE… Movie trailers, tv clips, girls singing in target…etc. You get tired and don’t want to hear about the artist at all. Maybe its just me? We get to a point that we generalize the artist to that one song that got viral and think that because  of that one song the rest of their music is probably going to be the same.

Sometimes this is true: that one song was actually the only one you truly like from the entire cd and already spent the money on it.

Then sometimes, there are pleasant surprises and you’re happy that you gave the artist a chance by listening to the rest of the cd. This happened to me a couple of days ago. Who’s tired of listening to Thrift Shop? I was on Spotify, bored and attempting to study for the LSAT that is in less than 20 days and decided to click on The Heist and listen to the other songs while I was mindlessly playing with my pen.

I was surprised. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis picked the less powerful song as their first single, it is catchy and a good song but is it a representation of their entire cd? No. Each song other than Thrift Shop has a message and its not like other artists that are rapping about prostitutes and ass, ass, ass, ass…- I actually heard a story within each song and I’m so happy I gave it a chance.

This is my most recent example of what happens when you explore an artist beyond that one popular song. I’ve had others, though I can’t remember them now.  I love hunting for new artists and new music all the time, I listen to everything and give everything a chance. You never know when you’ll find new interests.