Google Engine: Find What You Need
As a child, over several decades ago, I used to love, LOVE listening to the radio. The music culture was so different back in the seventies and eighties. It was such a wonderful time because the type of music culture we had really allowed us to discover new and interesting music every day. But today, a feral cat can literally put up a music video on YouTube and become a viral hit! Don’t get me the wrong way; I’m not one of those old farts that thumbs down every single music past year 2000. I’ve heard some darn good music recently. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the internet has changed the quality of music in so many ways unbeknown to the average music listener. Of course, our individual tastes has a LOT to do with it. On the other hand, back in the day, a lot of artists with potential where coached, trained and groomed to be that performer/band that we knew and perhaps still love today. I think this is one of the reasons that so many “old timers,” such as myself, that’s been listening to music for so long we’ve developed an ear for music quality. People like me have come from an era where music truly was about art; but today music is about shock value, and doin’ anything to get attention. Regardless if you’re talented, or even like music. Although it is common knowledge that the music industry had a hand in destroying music culture as we knew it; however, their greed for “that money maker” filtered the airwaves and prevented us from hearing music that would be less desired by the general public. I do believe that like it or not, there was a formula to what the labels were doing. It’s just their unchecked greed fucked it up for everybody.
The radio used to be essential when it came to discovering new music
When I was growing up, there were only two real ways of finding new music we loved. Listening to the radio, and or, going directly to the music store and listening to what they were playing. Music was so serious when I was growing up, that most record stores would play portions of an album for you, so that it would help you make your decision as to whether you wanted to by a record or not. But, today most record stores I grew up with are not defunct. The radio stations are now practically on repeat. Repeat because most stations are now fully playlisted. Even if a studio has a live DJ, they’re still using pre-selected playlists. I’ve mentioned this before…. A playlist (at least in the context of radio), is not the same thing as hand-selected music. There is a difference!! Most, if not all playlists that come from radio are automated, based on algorithms that pullout songs by record sales; and do not take into consideration the various music culture, neighborhoods, or even emotion. Music today are selected by robots.
Automated Playlists Hinders Further Music discovery!
Now we have a new problem with playlists. That problem is what I call cycling. See, I realized that there are only a set number of songs per given time frame or radio segment. In other words, if you’re listening to Internet radio, the selected playlist will play again usually in a 2 hour time span. On a “live radio station,” a playlist will get replayed about every 6 to 8 hours. Some times they’ll even shuffle the same playlist. What’s bad about that is, it’s become harder to find new oldies, because there is no effort to use a human DJ. A seasoned DJ. This brings up an important point, on how interesting it is (if feel) that now music streaming services (not youtube) are more important than ever! Why? Because huge streaming services such as Spotify and Apple/iTunes have complex algorithms that really do learn the type of music you like, therefor now becoming the best ways of finding new music (customized to your tastes).
I don’t think it’s my imagination, but finding album stats are becoming harder and harder to find. In my opinion, “Rhythm Nation,” has got to be Janet’s second, most successful album of her career (next to her “Control” album)! Or if not, it is my second most favorite Janet Jackson album! Almost all the songs in this album were in the top 10 range, and just about all her videos were perfect as well.
Now, I have to be honest, normally I’m not attracted to albums like these because there are some portions of the album that are political. Yet, there is enough diversity in the album that still managed to catch my attention. I think the best songs (and videos) from this album are “Escapade,” “Alright,” “Black Cat,” “Love Will Never Do,” and “Rhythm Nation.”
Hey guys! I’d like to quickly write about something you may or may not be aware of. It’s about converting your albums and playlists from one streaming service to another. Awhile back, I’ve written a little bit about a site called soundiiz. Soundiiz is a site that allows you to convert all your playlist and albums from one popular streaming service to another. Example, converting all your Spotify playlist to your new Apple account; or all your playlists from Youtube to Pandora; or iHeartRadio to Amazon; etc, etc. It’s important that streaming users be aware of sites like soundiiz, because streaming is here to stay, and from time to time it may be necessary to change back and forth between services. You don’t have to be chained, or obligated to stay with a particular service any longer.
There are also a number of conversion sites that convert specifically song and album links for use with social media. One of them is called SongWhip. This will convert any streaming link (including YouTube) and convert it into several services to be shared on social media, such as Twitter & Facebook. Very easy to use. In fact, I’m contemplating using SongWhip instead of direct Spotify links. Using sites like these truly makes music universal. I encourage other bloggers to use sites like SongWhip, because not only is it free to use, but it puts all streaming users on the same page.
Oh man, I found a beauty of a gem here! This is a relatively young band called “The Fightnrs.” I never heard of them before to be honest. However, I stumbled upon a cover they did called “I’d rather Go Blind. I’m not sure who originally sang this, but I first heard this song, it was song by the late, legendary Etta James. I loved the way she sung this song! This reggae cover is smooth, and I really appreciate the fact that they kept the old ska feel to the music. This song sounded so authentically classic, I was in disbelief that these young dudes came up with a musical interpretation I could jive to.
These talented young men are from Queens, New York. But their music travels in time to Jamaica, in the Rock Steady, 60s era. I enjoyed their cover so much! I don’t mean to sound like I’m putting down other artist that do old covers; but at the same time, it’s incredibly rare that young artists/bands keep the spirit of the original songs they’re doing. Everyone wants to do something “different for a change.” Whatever the hell that means. Look them up, I think you’ll enjoy their music too (that is if you love reggae).
Man….. It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. A lot has happened in my personal life in the last 6 months. I had (and still have) many personal challenges to deal with, and it has caused me to leave blogging for awhile. Don’t worry, my passion for blogging music has not left me ( despite the occasional need to take a break every once in a while). The good thing is, my financial circumstance has changed a little bit, and looks like I’ll be able to afford to keep my blog active! YAY!! 🤠 I really hated having to deal with the very real possibility of shutting down my blog. I’ve done so much bloody work designing, coding, and writing my own content. However, those worries are no more. At least for awhile. Interesting enough, I see I still get what I consider a sizeable amount of visitors, given the fact I haven’t written anything or advertised in quite a bit. I even removed my link from twitter. It’s nice to know there still exist people of my generation who not only are thirsty for nostalgia, but are savvy enough to know how to use technology to find the music they desire. No need to be pissed off at your brother for not returning favorite coveted album 30 years ago. Or mad at your sister in-law who accidentally sat on your only copy of James Brown album, and cracked it 100 pieces. You can just look it up on YouTube, or use your favorite streaming service. We may be old, but we’re not incapable of learning something new. Especially when it comes to finding music. It’s fun!!
In truth, this blog wasn’t just about preserving music history; or about saving our lost Black music culture that most parents have failed to introduce many of their children. Not all music is “devil music.” If you knew the kinds of truly vulgar music that would be coming, I bet a lot of you would have tried harder. Anyway, it’s also about me feeling technologically relevant, while using this same technology to revitalize our ethnically musical past! I spent (I don’t know how many) hours on my computer researching better ways of having a healthier relationship with social media in relation to my blogging. If you can’t see or feel the massive change within internet culture, you must be out of your mind. Those of us trying to do something positive online has to now figure out new ways to tell our story, as the cancel culture still continues to push on with vengeance. I’m trying not to let this discourage me, but I also know bloggers shouldn’t have to be working so damn hard to do what we love. If you’ve started on social media from 2010 and earlier, you’re one lucky bastard! It was so much easier for us then. The algorithms were fair, and chances are you got followers galore! Now, everything is entirely different if you’re a blogger or a public personality. Speak to you guys again soon.
It’s sort of troubling to me, when I think about just how fast music streaming is moving (including YouTube). Between the fast movements of social media/streaming services verses the old folk who simply isn’t interested in tapping in to what streaming has to offer; I realize it’s very hard to measure the level of appreciation we still have for classic music. Classic music such as one of Celine Dion’s album “The Colour Of My Love (1993).” It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve heard anything of Celine on either mainstream radio or radio streaming. It’s a shame because she’s had many, many hits. But, I suppose with America’s culture shifts, if there are people who still do remember Celine, would be mostly likely associated with her Titanic theme song.
One of my favorite hits from this album, is her cover of Jennifer Rush’s “The Power Of Love.” I feel that both artists have done an amazing job with this song. I’m not sure if I like one over the other. “The Power Of Love,” is definitely one of those “made for females” romantic songs. We don’t talk about it much, but woman can make romantic music too. Another amazing song from this album is her cover of “When I Fall In Love,” featuring Clive Griffin. If you are a fairly good singer, I can’t see how anyone could screw this song up! It’s a simple love song, with easy notes that almost anyone can carry. Check out this classic album, and add it to your favorite streaming service.
Do you remember this album? Did any of you hip hop fans even knew this existed? This was Queen’s first jazz album! I had mixed feelings about this album (but neither one of my feelings were negative tho..) I guess it’s because Queen took such a 360 degree turn, it made me do a double take. Let me say this, Queen was one of the very few artists from back in the day that could actually sing! And was one of the very few hip hop artists that could have pull that off. Probably the only other person I can think of that was pure hip hop that could have pulled this off was Lauryn Hill. But, not even then, because she would have turned her album into a jazz/beats project.. I know for most of you youngin’, this album is perhaps too mellow for you liking, but it’s really a good album. Although her album is called “The Dana Owens Album,” the album is really filled with a bunch of cover songs which she performed quite well. I liked her cover of “I Put A Spell On You,” she sounded like a mellowed down version of Nina Simone. I also really liked “Simply Beautiful,” and “California Dreamin’. This may not be the album many of you would add to your daily music consumption, but it’s a nice album for relax time. Check it out..
After that whole scandal/tragedy of Jam Master Jay’s murder, for some reason, I haven’t thought much of Run DMC. Not that I felt some kind of way… Perhaps we all sort of neglected them. I mean, when you listen all these hip hop documentaries talk about who was a GOAT, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone mention Run DMC. This was a damn shame, because Run DMC actually made history, as they were the first hip hop artists to merge hip hop and rock with their hit “Walk This Way,” featuring Aerosmith. Young people today don’t know how huge that song actually was in the 80s. Also, another rock inspired hit they had was a song called “Rock Box.” Just before Jam Master Jay’s murder, Run DMC recorded an album called “Crown Royal” some time in 2001. It was around that time I stopped listening to mainstream radio and got more into music streaming, so I can’t recall if this album was promoted or not. This has some really good tracks in it. I love the fact that they continued to kept their same distinct Run-DMC style. It’s old school yet their sound is modern. Same flow, yet relevant. Check out “Queens Day” feat. Nas & Prodigy, “Ay Papi” feat. Fat Joe, ” and “Simmons Incorporated” feat. Method Man.