I am soooooooo happy that I finally feel my book is complete, and that there is nothing further to added. Next step is a proofreader. I’m also seriously considering creating an audio book, I’m still undecided. It would be wonderful if I manage to self-publish my book by the end of this year. I think this is a reasonable goal. I never realized until I started doing this, how labor-intense this would be. However, I believe in the importance of what I’m doin’, and quiet frankly, my story simply needs to be told. Period. Hope all is well, and stay safe.
I have something important to say that is weighing on my heart. However, the problem is, I’m not sure how to convey what I feel in order that my readers can understand what I’m talking about fully. I will try to explain as best I can without rambling. I think the cancel culture continues to affect us in ways that even I couldn’t imagine. It has gotten to the point where social media influencers are now looking for new platforms to create their content. Before I move on, I would like to make one thing clear; my blog is not about politics at all; my blog is strictly about music history. However, at the same time, I could not foresee the troubles bloggers like myself would endure indirectly as a clear result of this new political climate.
Understand That Even The Innocent Are Being Cancelled!
I realized the new “cancel culture” has became a problem when various social media platforms started giving me warnings about “inappropriate language” on my own website (a site I pay for). This didn’t matter if I typed special characters such as the @ sign in order to replace other letters. Some ads were even taken down. All of these things were happening, and my blog is not even political. I was really, really perplexed. And what confused me more than anything else is that, social media is inundated with hip hop media. Over 70% of hip hop media has foul language in it. Therefor, I couldn’t understand why small music bloggers were all included in this new world-wind of “disinformation.” There was a time when the first thing someone would say was “what makes you an authority?” “What are your credentials?” It’s funny, if big tech companies would sensor and block religious blogs and websites they way they do others, there would literally be bloody hell to pay.
How Is It That People Are Losing Our Voices? How Big Tech is responsible?
In the simplest and easiest way I can explain how big tech is responsible for America losing our voices— Our own ignorance. Without turning this post in to a 400 page book, I’m gonna say that I estimate our problems emerged shortly after the popularity of “podcasting” back in early c. 1980s. If I’m correct, Apple pioneered in the world podcasting. In fact, I’m pretty sure that podcasting was probably the one thing that attracted many people to use Apple products. Podcasting was that one tool that anyone can use to make known issues going on in their communities. People got on the mic and talked about everything known to man. That included sports, music, movies, etc. Even various kinds of therapists created their own podcasts to discuss a wide range of issues from children with “attention deficit disorders,” to sex education. There were tons of websites that specialized on giving you advice on what kinds of mics to use for podcasting, software, etc. There were even hosting services that were purely dedicated to storing your podcasts online. Podcasting was a way for regular people like you and I, who had no political attachments, to speak their voice.
This Was The Moment We Lost Our Voice!
The moment I pinpointed when we started losing our voice was when business took notice of not only how popular podcasting got, but the heavy following podcasters accumulated. All of a sudden, CNN had a podcast, CBS had a podcast, NPR had a podcast, etc. All of a sudden, I could no longer find independent podcasters in Apple’s search box. They’ve been all “shadowed,” or almost completely removed from their index. It was then I knew that it was a rap. Big business has taken over. Same was true for blogging. The meaning of the word “blog,” meant a personal journal. A blog is almost like a public diary. Today you hear companies like MSNBC say “visit us on our blog!” A blog was never about business or “news” for that matter. Blogging was about having a personal journal. Now, Big tech has effectively taken that over too. Don’t let me get started on corrupt YouTube! I hate YouTube with a passion. You can write a paragraph long response to someone, and YouTube will delete your entire post in less than a second, if it contains a word YouTube set as a flag. Regardless of how you felt (and still feel) about our former commander and chief, for the love of our country, you must understand that if a company such as twitter can make a decision to shutdown a former commander and chief’s account that is a very very serious problem, and is unthinkable. And if you think that’s ok, then you obviously don’t understand what democracy is, and how it’s supposed to function.
I sincerely hope that all my readers and first time visitors are doing well during this crazy pandemic. I apologize for the long, long hiatus. I really needed that time to think some things through in regards to my blog. I really struggled deciding whether to keep my blog or not. In the midst of trying to decide the future of my blog, I was having what they call “blogger’s burnout.” I learned the hard way that blogging everyday is not healthy! Regardless of what other opinionated bloggers say. It’s just too much work for a single person to do. Now, that’s not a complaint, it’s just a fact that the brain needs rest, and blogging everyday consecutively is just not reasonable for a single blogger. But, unfortunately, every single blogger that recommend this as a way of gaining followers is an utter lie. Especially when you consider the fact that we are all bombarded by so many different images and links everyday on the net. In fact, I learned for myself, it’s important NOT to blog everyday, so that you don’t completely lose interest in your blog projects.
There is bullshit lies everywhere, as far as tips from how to design and build a blog, to how exactly we should blog. Now, I’m not saying everything out there isn’t useful information, but I think we should be asking ourselves, is the advice realistic? Then again, I guess we wouldn’t know whether or not something is realistic unless we do some of these suggestions. As I’ve mentioned before, I still love what I do, so it’s not a matter of self insecurity, but more about the frustrations of dealing with social media and how they now operate.
It really can be frustrating when you’re doin’ something unique, and you literally can’t find anyone to model after, or at least use as some sort of guide. But, what I do know, I still think that blogs that focus on classic culture is incredibly important. Not just from the standpoint of keeping history alive. I realized that if other people didn’t make content available on social media, I would never find 90% of the news I curate for twitter. That brought a new realization for me. Although, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a whole lot of obstacles that a blog owner face trying to get seen on social media.
I was inspired by another classic music blogger, who had his blog online for a long time too. Although he hadn’t made a blog post for a few years, his blog was still available for others to see, and his twitter followers still interact with him. I sent him a short message thinking him for in essence reigniting my interest in continuing to blog. I once again felt proud I’m a site owner/and technically a writer. However, I think I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself, and I needed to step back and do some analyzing.
So, I decided to keep my blog around a little longer. To save money on storage and SSL features, I changed my server. I hope you’ve noticed my blog is a little faster now 😜! Also, because my blog is a personal blog, I decided to add an option for my readers to donate. I hate asking for donations, but the reality is server costs are expensive. With cancel culture in full force, I think personal blogs are more important than ever, as our voices should not be stifled (especially by a nonhuman computer algorithm)! I’ve had music ads removed because of an innocent word blocked by algorithms. Algorithms cannot account for context, and this is why it means our free speech is and has been violated. So, this is why it is necessary that bloggers have our own platforms. I have chosen to use BitCoin as a way for you to donate to my blog. Any little bit helps. I don’t require any personal information, in addition, cryptocurrencies are decentralized.
Now, I’m not sure just how frequent I will blog, I’m still figuring that out. However, at least you can look forward to new oldies content in the near future. I’m usually very active on twitter. So, as always, follow me on twitter to get my latest blog pins. Thanks everyone for your understanding and support. Remember, America is really going through a tough time, but don’t let that cause you to forget our American music history!
Just wanted to share some very positive energies and wishes to Olivia Newton-John who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. I am so shocked by this news. But it’s a constant reminder that no matter how much money you have, it doesn’t always buy you your health. And mind you, Olivia is practically a vegetarian! Not saying you shouldn’t eat healthy, but, sometimes a carrot is not always enough to heal. Keep fighting Olivia!! We believe in Magic.
Genre: Streaming News
It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about any streaming news. I wanted to share something I discovered a couple of days ago. Occasionally, one of the things I liked to do is use built-in radio from various free streaming applications, such as iHeartRadio & Slacker. They all have different algorithms that offer the chance to hear even more diverse music. Well, I hadn’t done this for a while until a couple of days ago. I decided to login to YouTube music. Oh boy, has it changed! It changed a LOT, and for the better.
YouTube Music Has Become Very Spotify Like!!
First off, I must say that YouTube Music has become very “Spotify Like.” As much as these streaming services want to be unique, at the end of the day, they all windup looking very much the same (if not aesthetically, at least have many of the same elements). I still maintain the belief that when it comes to music, there isn’t too much you can do differently to attract new customers/free users. Users either like your service or they don’t.
So, in essence Google has replaced GooglePlay with YouTube Music. If you still have GooglePlay installed on your phone, Google gives you the opportunity to download all your old uploaded music. You can also transfer your uploaded music to your new YouTube Music account. I have to say I’m really impressed, yet, I’m not surprised either. I’ve predicted this many times in the past before. It’s not gonna matter what service you use, it will all be a matter of preference. However, I’m not gonna lie, I think YouTube has one up on all the other services (including Spotify), and that is the licensing. I’ve been noticing this for quite some time. I think YouTube is the only giant entity where music licenses don’t expire! Come to think about it, they’re probably the only large entity that is literally almost immune to all and any music licenses. No other company can get away with that! In terms of the artist themselves, this has got to feel kind of f*cked up, as real legitimate streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn Pandora, etc, all must adhere to a different set of rules, and additional set of sub-rules within those rules. But, as messed up as that sounds, it’s a benefit to music fans, as this means access to music content is truly unlimited. No other streaming services (including Spotify) can match that.
One of the biggest complaints I used to have with YouTube was that, as a music fan (especially of classic music), there was no access to original albums. Music was just sloppily spread all over the place. That was a huge problem for me, because I realized we were dealing with two entirely different music cultures. I’m not talking about the issue of old music and the new music either. The new breed of young music listeners are only interested in the “single hit song of the week.” Young music listeners are not really interested in albums (I think). I am confident this is true, since a significant majority of them has never seen an actual 12 inch vinyl before.
Kids and Teenagers Are Not Interested In Albums!!
This made it difficult for older folk like me, because we remember good music on old albums that did not hit the music charts. This is one of the reasons I make it a point to post original album covers, because it adds to the whole nostalgic experience. But, I’m not gonna lie, if YouTube NOW was the same as when I started streaming (6-7 years ago I think), I’d probably be using YouTube instead of Spotify. But, I still don’t think YouTube’s algorithms are as good as Spotify tho. YouTube Music (specifically) knows how to match up similar music, whereas Spotify’s algorithm learns the listener’s listening habits. I’ve also noticed that both free version of YouTube and Spotify are pushing less ads/less intrusive. My complaints among these services are becoming less and less. My only pet peeve now seems to be I can’t use all of the services to tweet, as they are often missing the album cover when tweeted. That’s annoying 🤣. Hey guys, just as a reminder, if you ever want to convert my Spotify playlist to your YouTube Music account, you can simply use Soundiiz for free! I encourage you to try out other free music services.
Just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year. I’ve already made major changes before the New Year, and probably one of the biggest decisions was to leave Facebook. For various reasons, Facebook was no longer practical for me as a blogger. In fact, it became more of a hindrance than a useful tool. Luckily for us, Facebook isn’t the only social media tool.
A New Year In Classics!
Although we’ve entered a New year in 2020, remember that any old classics you don’t know of, is actually new music to you! Old doesn’t necessarily mean a throwaway, or no longer valuable, not by any means. Neither does playing classic music means you’re stuck in the past. Playing the classics means we’re paying homage to real artists of the past, perhaps reconnecting with who you were as a young person, or maybe you’re a young person just looking for something different to listen to.
Remember That Most People Are Multifaceted! There Should Be No Shame In Listening To Old School Music!
Relatively speaking, there are only a handful of true classic bloggers. And when I say “true classic bloggers,” I mean websites that don’t only post YouTube links of the same Motown performers, or YouTube links of the same blonde rockers breaking their guitars (and no text around or under the post). Our music culture is so rich and diverse, I don’t think the average person really understands that, regardless of the age.
We’re Here, So Come & Find Us!
All I can say is, although there are few of us true classic bloggers, we’re still out here! I guess that makes us specialists in a way, doesn’t it? Come and find us! With every new year, there should be at least some effort to find good classic music. With the major shift in American culture, major changes in the music streaming world, the massive heavy push of hip hop, it has removed much interest for not only classic Black music, but music of all kinds other than hip hop and pop. A message to parents and other adults: The excuse of not having any money to buy music no longer applies. Music is practically free. As much as I’d like my readers to use ANY paid streaming service like Spotify to support your artists, you still have free YouTube!
Song: Love Is A Battlefield
Artist: Luke Evans
Album: At Last (2019)
Do you remember the incredibly handsome & gorgeous Luke Evans? He’s the guy I think is probably best known for “Dracula, Untold (2014),” and “Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013).” I highly recommend both these movies, he’s a wonderful actor. He can practically play anything, and the movie winds up being a hit. Well!!!!! Let me tell you guys something! Not sure if any of my readers know about it, or have even been paying attention. This hunk of a man just came out with his first single a couple of days ago.
Actor Turned Singer? Hmmmm.
To be honest, I’m still feeling my way through his album. I guess if I’m taking this long to figure out whether I like it or not, it’s probably all that. Yet, it’s also true that I’ve only been familiar with him as an actor; so it could be an issue of trying to adjust. Immediately I’ve noticed that he’s got quite a bit of covers on his new album.
You know, now that I think about it… I think the one thing that appears to be throwing me off is the style of music on the album itself. Personally, without knowing anything about Luke’s tastes in music genres, I would have imagined his album would have been closer to either modern rock or pop music. However, after listening to his album, it definitely has a movie soundtrack feel to it. I’m not sure if this is the type of music he’s into, or this is what he was musically trained in.
The Album Has A Soundtrack Feel To It!
His cover of Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” sounds pretty good though. I honestly never thought that it could be possible that a man would pull that off! Thank goodness he changed the tempo of the cover; I think it would have sounded really bad (given the texture of his voice) trying to keep up with the way Pat Benatar sang it.
My least favorite on this album is his cover of Etta James’s hit “At Last.” You know, in my opinion, this is a very delicate song. Not everyone can sing this song, it’s very difficult. I didn’t even liked the way Beyoncé sang it!! Sorry gay people, I’m over 50, it should be expected that I’m not gonna like many redoes made by much younger artists. For real, he should have left this song alone. This album is definitely an acquired taste. It’s not a bad album, on the other hand, a certain crowd will gravitate toward this album. I have a funny feeling I’m gonna enjoy him more as an actor than a singer. One thing’s for sure, if his album flops, he has his acting career to fallback on.