Music To Get You Through The Trump Years…

Hi all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I felt inspired to share a playlist I procured. The last couple of years and particularly the last few weeks have been terrible for our country, future, the world, and our sanity. With all the disgusting things being done now by the Trump administration and some of his uniformed and bigoted supporters and how far it has and will continue to set us back, I find myself more hopeless and angry than ever. When I feel like I’ve reached a breaking point, I’ve been listening to a playlist I created called “Revolution” which is exactly what we need! We have tried and are still trying peaceful revolution via protests and political discussions via social media and in person, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten us anywhere. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” (JFK). You can save and listen to this playlist whenever you want by clicking “Follow” at the top of the playlist in Spotify. The playlist is embedded at the bottom of this article.

There are songs on this playlist that address the Democratic Primary and the rigging, cheating, and sandbagging of Bernie Sanders. Thanks a lot Hillary, DNC, and the media for screwing us of the only decent person to run for President in 2016 and probably since the 50s or 60s! Bernie would have won! The opening song “Disco Inferno” is a direct deference to Bernie, as it became an unofficial anthem for his campaign and is a fun note to start such a dark and angry playlist on. Bern baby Bern! There are songs that directly address Trump and his Facist mentality. There are songs that address the government at large and how we got to where we are. Many of these songs express the anger that is stirring and that we will need to harness to overthrow the current regime and shape a better future than we have had for the past 30-40 years. There are songs about our dying planet. There are protest songs. There are songs about the militarism of the Police. There are songs about race. Black Lives Matter! The only song missing from the playlist is Prince’s Black Lives Matter protest song “Baltimore” since his music is unavailable on Spotify. If you want the full experience you can insert that song after Bruce Springsteen and before Pussy Riot. There are also songs about income inequality. And  toward the latter half of the album, there are songs of hope and love, which is just what we need. Obama was a good step further and he made some good changes, which are now being undone, but he never went far enough. He wasn’t allowed to because he was still owned by Wall Street and Corporations like almost every other politician. He answered to them ultimately. Not us. We need a real Progressive in office who doesn’t take money from Wall Street or Corporations, who can’t be bought, and whose only concern is the betterment of life for the poor and middle class of this country. Like Bernie! Bernie and/or Tulsi Gabbard 2020! We shall overcome…someday, but until then, I hope this playlist is cathartic and helps you push through the dark times we are living in. Power to the people! Viva la revolucion!

Song(s) of the Day: 4/17/12 (Hail Mary/2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted)

This year’s Coachella Music Festival’s first weekend was this past weekend and boy were the attendees in for a big surprise when Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre “brought Tupac back to life” via an on stage hologram!!! What an awesome idea!!! The performance of “Hail Mary” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” was great and makes you miss the Hip-Hop legend all the more. Snoop and Dre are actually in talks about taking the Tupac hologram on a tour too!!! This is a very cool and interesting idea. I would love to go to one of the show. Think of all the other great artists they could do this with (e.g. Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix etc.) Tupac lives!!!

Song Of The Day: 2/8/12 (Peter Gunn)

I recently made a playlist in Spotify of all of the Grammy winners for Album of the Year, from the very first to the most recent. There are however a handful missing from the playlist because I don’t own them and they aren’t available on Spotify (e.g. John Lennon’s “Double Fantasy”). Today I started listening to the playlist in anticipation of this Sunday’s 54th Grammy Awards. I started with the first album to ever win the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1959, Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn”, which is a soundtrack to the television series of the same name. I recognized the title track, which is today’s song of the day, but had never heard the full album. I very thoroughly enjoyed the album and plan on going out to buy it soon. I liked it that much. I see why it won. Over the next 4 days I will be sharing songs from 4 more Album of the Year winners as well, but today belongs too Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn”.

My Collection Of Rolling Stones: 2011

I’m a big music collector. I’ve always collected CDs, which is the main reason I still buy CDs and will never buy a digital album (unless, of course, I have free iTunes money from a gift card or something). I received an iTunes gift card once and bought “The Best Of  Hall & Oates” with it. I like them well enough, but would probably never buy the actual CD. I also collect vinyl records. I started collecting in 2006 and currently have a collection of  80. However I haven’t really bought many new records in the past 3 years. Too many bills!!! Eventually I’ll continue my collection.

I’m also a big fan of Rolling Stone magazine. I think they do a terrific job of covering so many facets of the music world and also have great writing. They also cover other areas of entertainment as well as politics, which I enjoy reading about, as well. It is really the only magazine I read other than an occasional Entertainment Weekly. I’ve always wanted to collect Rolling Stones too, but didn’t start till October 2008, because I’m a total completist. Being that I could never collect all the past issues right up to the very first issue, I decided I’d rather have no collection at all if it weren’t complete. In October 2008, Rolling Stone changed the format of the magazine from the larger, more newspaper-y format to a normal magazine format. The  first cover of this new format featured then presidential candidate Barack Obama.

I saw no better time to start collecting than that issue. At least I could have a complete collection of the new format, right!?! Since than I’ve collected every issue, even all the covers of the issues that had multiple covers and the special issues too. The first picture of this post is all the issues, multiple covers and special issues of 2011, as collected by ME. All 30!!! Although I abandoned the dream of owning every issue of Rolling Stone ever printed, I do have every issue of the new format and a replica of the very first Rolling Stone ever printed, featuring John Lennon on the cover. It doesn’t get much better than that for a first issue, does it!?! I was given this replica by a co-worker who knows how much I love music and collection Rolling Stones.

I take a lot of pride in my music collection (CDs, vinyl records, Rolling Stones and other memorabilia). They are by far my prized possessions. I’ve spent A LOT on all of it!!! I can’t even begin to imagine how much. Do any of you out there, collect anything music related or not, that you take a lot of pride in and/or consider your prized possessions?

P.S. I had a little trouble deciding what to title this post. I played around with some cheesy play on word titles. One was “Danny Collected Rolling Stones, Every One Ever Printed He Owned” (a play on a Temptations lyric from “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”. Another was “Magazines Like Jagger” (a play on the Maroon 5 song title, “Moves Like Jagger” about Mick Jagger a Rolling Stone. I decided to forego the cheese and went with the simple title of “My Collection Of Rolling Stones: 2011”. Pretty self explanatory.

Song(s) Of The Day: 1/17/12 (Tied for #1. OutKast) (The Way You Move/Hey Ya!)

My final #1 favorite music act, tied with The Beatles and Michael Jackson are OutKast. You may be wondering why I did a 3 way tie and how that could be. The Beatles, Michael Jackson and OutKast are all so different and equally great in their genre. They have all played very important parts in my life and in the molding of my musical taste. Being that one is Rock, one is Pop and one is Rap, I didn’t think it was fair to compare them and rate them 1, 2 & 3, so I tied them all for #1 because they are all my favorite. OutKast is without a shadow of a doubt, the best, most original and most talented Rap group to ever do it. My favorite for sure. They are also 2 of the best lyricists in the Rap game. They have even been called the Paul McCartney and John Lennon of Rap. They have made classic album after classic album and are still the only Rap group to ever win a Grammy for Album of the Year for “Speakerboxx/The Love Below”, one of my personal favorite albums of all time. “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” as well as all of their other albums, which are all so different, innovative and genre bending, opened me up to even more music than I was before. “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” was a double album. One disc “Speakerboxx” was technically a solo album by Big Boi and the other disc “The Love Below” was technically a solo album by Andre 3000, all under the moniker that is OutKast. It was a very successful album. One of the few Rap albums to ever go diamond. It swept the nation and world. Today I decided to do 2 songs of the day. “The Way You Move” (for some reason I couldn’t find the video for this) from “Speakerboxx” and “Hey Ya!” from “The Love Below”. Both of these videos are also available in one large video, that is connected by a segment in between, but I couldn’t find that version online either. Enjoy. Tomorrow we move on to #4.

What Michael Jackson Meant To Me……

The death of Michael Jackson on June 25th, 2009, caught me by complete and utter surprise, as it did with millions of people, worldwide. The sadness enveloped me very quickly and I found it hard to breath. His music started pumping out of every radio station as I drove home and I couldn’t help but tear up. I know many people will say it’s weird to be sad or even affected by the death of a celebrity you never truly knew, but with Michael Jackson as is the case with many celebrities, you feel like you truly know them. His sudden death came as especially eerie to me seeing as only 2 days before his death, I bought Michael Jackson’s CD “History”, which was the last CD to complete my whole Michael Jackson collection (from Off the Wall to Invincible). I was listening to him non stop for the days leading up to his death. I go on music binges every now and than with artists. I’ll be completely enthralled with their music for a while and listen to only them and that’s what I was doing the days leading up to his death. I was speaking with my friend only the night before he died about how much I loved him and his music and how along with The Beatles and OutKast, is one of my favorite artist and biggest musical influence. I was also telling her how if I tried really hard to think back as far as I can to my first memory, I can’t remember anything before the first time I ever watched the Thriller video. Truly that is as far back as I can remember. There is nothing before that. My mother, step-mom, and even my brother had him playing around the house and in the car all the time. When a person is in your very first memory and their music, style, dance moves, and charisma is engrained in your psyche and in the fabric of your life (from childhood to adulthood) you are bound to be deeply sadden by their passing. Just like the passing of Elvis, John Lennon and any other great legend in the past, people are deeply sadden by losing someone so talented, influential, and important to them.

People have had a lot of horrible things to say about Michael in the past because of ignorance and a lack of tying to understand a person who was different from them. You don’t get to be who M.J. was by being just like everyone else (for good or bad). No doubt Michael Jackson had some problems, but I never believed him to be a molester. This is America and everyone is innocent until proven guilty and seeing as he was never proven guilty, he is innocent. You have to keep in mind Mike was one of the most famous people in the world. When you are on top, people want to bring you down, We have seen that time and time again with many great people. Michael Jackson was a very easy target too because he was so soft spoken and tender hearted. Everyone knows Michael Jackson had an affinity for kids. That in no way means he was a molester. He had psychological problems stemming from his childhood. When he was a kid he seemed so grown up and when he was grown up he seemed like a kid. He really felt like he was a kid and that’s why I don’t think his relationships with kids ever became sexual. A kid does not have those sexual desires. He was a very lonely man. He had millions of fans, but very few real friends. Everybody wanted something from Mike (money mainly). That is the main reason I believe people tried to sue him on molestation charges. He was an easy target because of his eccentricity and because he had so much money. People wanted to take him for a ride. The court cases never held up in court because the kids and parents testifying against him were lying. When they were put on the stand, their stories fell apart.

As for Michael’s physical appearance over the years, it’s time to put all the rumors to rest. Michael Jackson did not bleach himself to be white. He had a skin disease called Vitiligo, which causes you to lose the pigment of your skin. If you look at pictures of him from the Off the Wall, Thiller era you can see he had a lot of acne. His acne was a result of the layers of makeup he had to wear to just look normal and cover up his blotchy leopard skin. Eventually the white part of his skin got too much for him to cover up with make-up so he completed the process by bleaching out the rest of his skin so he wouldn’t be all spotty. If you had the same disease you would have more than likely done the same thing, especially if you were in the spotlight everyday with pictures being taken of you all the time. Once he was white, his African-American facial features still were there. Black people have more pronounced noses and lips so once he was white he felt it necessary to thin out his nose and lips to look more normal for his new skin tone. I think that is understandable. Everybody in the world wanted to pass judgment on his childness, his skin, his nose, everything. So he became ever more reclusive over the years and more “strange” because of people’s constant picking him apart. He was already painfully shy and lonely and pointing all his flaws out and problems out caused him to further fall down a spiraling road.

In the end Michael Jackson should be remembered for the things he did. He sold over 750 million records worldwide to people of all races and religions and musical persuasions. He broke the racial boundary on MTV (before him no black artists were played) and in turn made MTV what it is or was. He invented Pop music which was more or less a mix of Rock, Disco,/Funk, R&B (everything). His songs had a little something for everyone and that is why is music touched so many people. He innovated the art of music video with every one he made. He innovated the art of dance. He was an activist for world peace, and against world hunger, child abuse etc. He inspired scores of dancers, singers, artists, everyday people etc. He was truly the King of Pop!!! He will be sorely missed by the billions of lives he touched. I know I will miss him and I deeply respect him for what he accomplished in his life. Let’s all respect his memory and just enjoy his music, moves, and all around greatness. Mike you were a true idol/icon to me. You were the first musical artist I ever listened to. There will never be anyone like you ever again. You are truly the greatest. In your own words “I just can’t stop loving you.” R.I.P. Michael Jackson A.K.A. The King of Pop.