So, this was our final project!
Enjoy if you’re listening.
So, this was our final project!
Enjoy if you’re listening.
Every once and while you hear a piece of music and know what it’s saying. There are no lyrics. But the music itself tells the story as clearly as any words could. This is not how my relationship with Oddisee started. =) The first encounter with Oddisee was an acoustic version of “You Know Who You Are,” with Olivier Daysoul. Listening to him over the next few months and then years, led me to discover Oddisee had this ability, to create stories with just music. I know what you’re thinking. Rock Creek Park, obviously. He had a concrete vision of his inspiration, and told the listener the back story of the album. But it didn’t happen for me on Rock Creek Park. It happened on ODD SEASONS. More specifically, on “The Second Date” off Odd Autumn. Once I heard it I couldn’t unhear it. Everything needed a second listen. A comparison. Not too tough of a task, since his lyrical prowess impresses me repeatedly. There are too many quotes that have struck chords within me. Whole songs that could have come from my journal. But this is not what impresses me. What impresses me, is his ability to evoke that same feeling from so many of his fans on a regular basis. I’ve done a lot of analysis on the matter and feel it boils down to two things:
1. He’s able to remove himself from what is going on around him. Using observation as inspiration.
2. He knows himself well enough to process the stimuli and create his message. Picture perfectly balanced chakra’s.
When his latest release, “The Good Fight,” came out, not listening was not an option. If I had to briefly describe the album I would call it a blueprint of evolution. Keep in mind this is only my bumbling interpretation, so take it with a grain of salt. The album begins with “That’s love” talking about love in many forms, perhaps showing that the inspiration for fighting the good fight comes from love. Then comes “Want Something Done” – Branching out on your own. “Contradiction’s Maze” – Uncertainty…Choices. “Counter Clockwise” & “First Choice” – Mistakes, Recognizing Endings/Promise of New Beginnings. “A List of Withouts” – HATERS. “Book Covers” Lessons Learned “Meant It When I Said It” Acceptance of Selves “Fight Delays” – I’m Good “What They’ll Say” – Recognition of the need for further growth. “Worse Before Better.”
The album is cohesive, meaningful, and while the first word that comes to mind is inspired I don’t know if that accurately describes it. It’s not inspired, it’s Thought About. It’s Inspiring. Maybe that’s what makes his albums different from so many other artists out there. He GIVES with his art, through work. And I think this album is something you should TAKE a listen to!
A few days ago I posted the first 20 in my “Top 40 Albums of 2014” list (check it out here). Below you will find this year’s edition of what I consider the top 20 albums of the year. You’ll find albums from varying genres and possibly a few albums that are new to you. I think it’s important to note what I define as a top caliber album. Great songs are always a plus, but more important to me is the ability of an artist to create a series of songs that tell a story, that convey an overall theme, that complement each other, and that make the listener think differently about the human experience. We are moving into an age where most consumers are more concerned with hit songs, which is why I feel compelled to highlight those musicians that have stayed honest to the age-old art…
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The British side of Women gaining the right to vote!
March 20, 1907
A “Lancashire lassie” being escorted through the palace yard, in Westminster Palace, London.
Image: Museum of London/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
July 5, 1910
A woman campaigning for the vote is restrained by policemen. British women did not win full voting rights until 1928
Image: SSPL/Getty Images
British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928), being jeered by a crowd in New York Read more…
Jazz; smoky lounges, sunglasses, and devil may care grins. It’s easy, while listening to Jazz, to sink into the damp and racing melodies of an upright bass. But the minute you start to sink, saxophones pipe in, warning of the dangers to be found in those plucking strings. To me, that’s what Jazz is. It’s a balancing act. Jazz says, “Hi, I’ve been there, and it felt GOOD, but it messed me up something terrible.” Words don’t allow us to express joy and sorrow at the same time. Jazz does.
The kickoff of the NYC Jazzfest took place last night at Le Poisson Rouge, loosely translated to mean the finished red fish. One has to think this was deliberate since their banner is one of fish bones. The kickoff was a compilation of artists showcasing their 2015 releases on Blue Note Records. For representation of their earlier works, check out Madlibs’ 2003 Shades of Blue, which sampled their archives heavily. In order of appearance:
Kendrick Scott Oracle
This was my favorite performance of the night. Kendrick performed on the drums, with Taylor Eigsti on piano, Matt Penman on bass, Mike Moreno on guitar and John Ellis on saxophone ( who also played the bass clarinet) . But let’s be honest, their names won’t make you listen to them. Their sound WAS JAZZ, and so were they. Kendrick, Mike and John all went to the same high school and played together there. The band itself, released a previous album Conviction under Concord Records. They played well together, very well. The music was fluid, beautiful and FUN. The beginning of their set met with some micing issues, apparently the mic on Kendricks’ floor tom was malfunctioning. But once that got taken care of, thank you Eigsti, the sound was phenomenal. At one point Kendrick used brushes and he was getting DOWN, then Moreno came in with a guitar drop that would make my mama blush, which if you see this man, makes you chuckle inside.
Hodge is the bass player, leader of the band, which led to two amplifies being attached to the bass, with a mic on the dome. I’d like to say it was off axis, but I’m sure it was super cardioid to capture sound from the second amp, which it was facing. Another micing issue came into play with the kick drum. It seemed like they only had one mic instead of two, so you were really overwhelmed with this clicky sound. Frederico Pena was playing a Korg Triton which can never be a bad thing, but Michael Aaberg was also on keys and the sounds they were blending just didn’t mesh well to me. Not in a discordant this is jazz kind of way but in a I can’t really hear when you’re dropping in with that sound kind of way. I think it was just too modern sounding for me, in a venue like this.
James’ performance was a mix of songs from his upcoming album Yesterday I had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday and his 2013 release No Beginning No End. (No Punctuation) Definitely the most vocally oriented performance, he was the only one who didn’t play an instrument. It touched more on the spiritual aspect of the art. There lies the appeal, for me, to Jose James. He’s young, vibrant, and embodies the image of a jazz musician bad ass. He was also the first performer to use the Steinway and the first vocalist to touch on slavery and hangings. Definitely, have to check him out in greater detail.
Robert Glasper Trio
Comprised of Glasper on keys, Vicente Archer on bass and Damon Reid on drums, this Trio has the potential to be an amazing team. They’re all amazingly talented and their solo performances made you boogy. They even had some really great moments of blended sound. They’re going to be performing the last week of February, at the Paramount, and I feel like by then they’ll have all the kinks worked out of their live performances. They recently recorded a record at Capitol Studios, to be released this Summer. This is probably the first time they’re performing those songs in a live setting. During the performance Glasper displayed his stellar ear training. Asking the engineer to raise levels, reduce feedback on a particular key from the Steinway, and at one point, he even asked for a decrease in signal being sent from the DI box, requesting more sound be added from a mic directly on the amp. All I could think was, he must really like that amp.
Overall, the experience was really great. The sound was an amazing fit for the space, except with Hodges’ performance, which literally made my entire body vibrate. The staff and guests were really friendly. A-typical for “artsy” Manhattan locales. The scenery was pleasing, artsy, but not so obscure you feel like a hay chewing dung farmer. Coat check was also only $3 dollars, score. However, HOWEVER, the bathroom situation is deplorable. It’s all low level red lighting with automatic faucets, that when starting, cause the pipes to bang and clatter inside the walls. I don’t even want to think about what the puddle on the floor next to the toilet was. With the amount of lighting in the bathroom how could you even be mad if someone missed. The music though, was not a miss. Awesome experience, and I recommend you get tickets to the remaining performances today and tomorrow.
So, this one is called Hones, because I did some things I’ve never done on a beat before and I just wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn some new techniques. Unfortunately, I had written a song the other day that I really want to make a beat for so the ending is going to have to be ironed out later.
I really want to learn how to combine the instrumental sounds, which are my favorite, with the electronic sounds which are upbeat.
Supad Beat? Yup, I want to create a Supad Beat.
So this is the song I wrote. I chose to not use the double down on the lyrics because I decided I didn’t need them, just the base. Maybe in the future I will.
Also, we just chopped up a drum sample from earlier in the semester. Would really like to get a band come in and do this song. Drummers would be awesome if anyone knows anybody.