Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Davy Jones School of Dance

It all starts and ends with The Monkees. Some people just overlook these guys as a slapped together novelty band, but now is the time to explore the phenomenon that has swept the landscape of musical generations to follow: The Davy Jones Dance.
You know the one. Hip sway, foot shuffle, arm flail.
It all started with Davy...but it didn't end there. Everyone has their own variation, but in the end its all Davy.

Case Study Number One: Axl Rose

Axl has the patented sway down, and takes it to the next level with a deeper dip from side to side... but took out the arm movement and added microphone stand carrying.

Case Study Number Two: Michael Stipe

Stipe takes the arm flail to extremes, making it his signature move on the variation.

Case Study Number Three: Scott Weiland

Scott's is pretty much the same, save for some added head bobbing.

My theory is, when you decide to become a frontman, you're given the option to attend the Davy Jones School of Dance. Davy works with you one on one to ensure you develop a move that's all your own, coaching you every step of the way.
This makes for a successful performance, and higher self worth.

Here are examples of said dances:

Daydream Believer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uohP4gk0wU

Paradise City:

Losing My Religion:


Big Bang Baby:


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Reality Show Phenomenon

Admit it: You've stood, at least once in your life, in front of your mirror and sang the words to your favorite song. You've sung "It's My Party" into your hairbrush. You've belted out Singin' in the Rain in your shower. You've cruised I-95 with the windows down and screamed Highway To Hell. But would you do it in front of your friends...let alone a nation of millions of people you have never met?
If you answered no, that's perfectly normal. If you've answered yes, you're probably an American Idol wannabe or reject.
What is it about reality shows like Idol and America's Got Talent that suck us in? My friends and I watch for the liquor shot game...whomever gets told off most viciously by Simon in the auditons has to go bottoms up. Some people watch to see who fails, while others watch to see who takes the cake. My mom watches relgiously every week, celebrating each victory and mourning the losses of the good ones.
Secretly (or maybe not so secretly) I think we all just wanna be rockstars.

Listening: Jimmy Eat World-Chase This Light
Quote: "I write the songs that make the whole world sing/I write the songs of love and special things"~Barry Manilow

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Novelty Bands

Some artists know, without a doubt, that they just don't posess that traditional rockstar look. In this case, the best thing to do is just embrace it. You can go completely oddball and paint yourself blue, as a nod to the Blue Man Group. You can sing in your best montone about complete nonsense, like John McCrea from Cake (best known for "The Distance, and a cover of Donna Summer's I Will Survive). You can go potty humor like the boys in Bloodhound Gang. Or you can mix your real musical talent with jokes, like Tenacious D or New Zealand's HBO duo Flight of the Conchords.
Many of these bands can really play and sing, but it's easier to make fun of yourself than have others make fun of you.
Tenacious D's singer/actor Jack Black has a high and low range most vocalists would envy, but he sillies up his performance...peppering in jokes about his bodily functions.
Flight of the Conchords recently released their debut full-length album, and using their jokey status allows them to explore every genre: Dancehall, Folk/Balladry, Faux French, even spaced-out Bowie. They escape the persecution regular muscians would receive for bouncing all over the musical map.
The moral? When in doubt, form a novelty band.
Listening: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny movie soundtrack
Quote: "You're so beautiful, you could be a part-time model"-Flight of the Conchords

Friday, September 25, 2009

Road Trip Playlist

No matter your destination, there are some songs that just fit when you pack up and hit the road. Layered songs with a medium to fast pace, easy to sing along to and keep you bouncing in your seat as you watch the trees rush by. Stop worrying about the guy that cut you off just to slow down to 20 miles per hour! It's all about the good times!
Here is my road trip playlist:

Cake-Stickshifts and Safetybelts
Foo Fighters-Learn To Fly
Sublime-What I Got
Violent Femmes-Blister in the Sun
The Beatles-Drive My Car
Queen-Bohemian Rhapsody
Led Zeppelin-Rock N' Roll
Tom Petty-Runnin' Down a Dream
Lovin' Spoonful-Summer in the City
Weezer-Buddy Holly
Willie Nelson-On the Road Again
Johnny Cash-I've Been Everywhere
Beach Boys-I Get Around
Beastie Boys-Brass Monkey
Guns N' Roses-Paradise City
Red Hot Chili Peppers-Road Trippin'

What are your favorite road trip songs? Leave me comments below!

Listening: Weezer-Self Titled ("The Blue Album")
Quote: "Stickshifts and safetybelts/bucket seats have all got to go/when we're driving/in the car/makes my baby seem so far"-Cake

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Favorite Album Beginning to End

It's easy these days to skip right over half of the tracks on any album. Maybe it isn't what you expected, they've "taken a different direction", or you just bought it for the one song you've heard on the radio or on iTunes. But there are some in your collection that you can hear anytime, no matter what kind of mood you're in and not skip a single track. These are the perfect albums to listen to...beginning to end. For me? Incubus-Make Yourself. Every track is funky, as is demonstrated by deep slap bass and easy to groove to beats. Brandon Boyd's voice is on point, and his lyrics paint very clear picture. DJ Kilmore scratches his way through "Battlestar Scratchlactica", showcasing his skills. There's a little something for everyone. Men and women, young and old. Gnarls Barkley's debut album, St. Elsewhere, is another I can hear without skipping around. Cee-Lo Green evokes the image of a preacher, calling the listener to take to their knees at the altar of gospel funk. DangerMouse spins a swirling wall of beats, picking up the pace on tracks like "Transformer", and Cee-Lo fights his demons on "Just a Thought" and "Who Cares".
What are some of your favorite beginning to end-ers?

Listening: Gnarls Barkley-St. Elsewhere
Quote: "Consequence, it seems, can be stranger than a gang of drunken mimes"-Incubus


Welcome, music lovers. I was shuffling through my email inbox today, and came across some entries for a blog I had started writing when I worked at CBS4. I was going to be a music correspondent of sorts, but it never came to fruition. Eventually I got laid off, but I saved the entries, as it seemed a waste of perfectly good writing. I've decided to post them here, and hopefully keep up with writing about music on here with some sort of regular frequency.

I'll try to keep it lively and interesting, and I hope my writing inspires all of you to have some excellent discussions about my biggest passion.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for musical things you'd like to see discussed here, let me know :)