A few weeks back I shared a song from each of my top 7 favorite artists/groups as songs of the day. The artists were as follows #1 The Beatles, #1 Michael Jackson, #1 OutKast, #4 Kate Bush, #5 *NSYNC/Justin Timberlake, #6 Matchbox Twenty & #7 Billy Joel. I decided that sharing my top 7 just wasn’t enough and that my #8 to #10 artists/groups more than deserve to be shared too. So coming in at #8 is the amazing, Jamiroquai!!! I absolutely love these guys and the pure, delicious funk they deliver time and time again. Most of you probably only know them for today’s song of the day “Virtual Insanity”, but they are very big around the world. Not so much in the U.S.A. which I’ll never understand. You may also know their song “Canned Heat” from the dancing scene in “Napoleon Dynamite”. Jamiroquai is what music is all about. Making you feel good!!! This song is only the tip of the iceberg for Jamiroquai. They have so many gems. I got their CD “Traveling Without Moving” back when it came out in 1996 and “Virtual Insanity” from it was a big hit. For many years (about 7) I never really listened to the album. I was going through my CD collection in high school and disposing of bad and emarrasing CDs, when I came across this CD and decided to give it one more listen before I tossed it. I fell in love with it instantly and needless to say kept it and have been a huge Jamiroquai fan ever since. Their smooth, fun, funky grooves also have helped me through some hard times. They always do the trick on really cheering me up and making me want to get down with my bad self.
So Superbowl Sunday has arrived!!! I’m not into sports at all, but I love Superbowl Sunday for the food, drinks, commercials and of course the halftime show!!! As mentioned in a post earlier this week, Madonna will be performing at this year’s halftime. Although I’m not a big Madonna fan, I’m looking forward to seeing her halftime performance, especially since I now know that she will be performing a song with Cee-Lo Green!!! I got to thinking today about the great haltime shows of the past and thought I would share my top 5 favorites with you, in chronological order.
Of course, Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime show was epic!!! I love how they created the allusion that he teleported from one end of the stadium to the middle of the stadium and I love how he stands there for about 2 minutes before he even starts and people are just going CRAZY!!!
I also loved the 2001 *NSYNC, Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige & Nelly halftime show. I liked seeing so many great artists from different genres sharing the stage and killing it. And you gotta love the opening sketch along with Ben Stiller & Chris Rock!!!
And then a few years later at the 2004 halftime show, there was the “wardrobe malfunction” heard round the world, when Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake performed. If you watch the performance you can tell they planned on doing exactly what happened. I mean he says in the song, “I bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song” and do you see how he really digs in there and so obiously, purposefully pulls her breast covering away and how it pulled away so perfectly. That was totally planned!!!
The next year they brought in the great and safe bet, that is Paul McCartney, to clean the shows reputation up a bit. And boy did he put on one hell of a show, as he always does. Viva La McCartney!!!
And finally in 2007 they brought in “The Purple One” A.K.A. The Artist A.K.A. Prince!!! He put on an awesome, rip-roaring spectacle. Unfortunately the Youtube video doesn’t include when he plays Purple Rain at the end, for some weird reason and I couldn’t find it on Youtube. I had to find another video of it on a different website, but that website won’t let me embed the video into this post so follow this link to see the rest of the performance (http://www.veoh.com/watch/v389304XGYhx25k?h1=(Purple+Rain)Superbowl+Halftime+Performance+-+Prince). I love how they added in the thunder and lighting, but how perfect was it that it actually rained!?! The power of Prince, people!!!
The #5 artist/group on my top 7 artists/groups is Justin Timberlake/*NSYNC. They are my favorite contemporary (from my generation) Pop act. Let me explain why Justin/*NSYNC is on this list with such legends and icons. First, you really have to understand that Justin Timberlake/*NSYNC are pop icons of my generation. Just like Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson were of their generations. These guys were so wildly popular when I was in middle school and high school. I grew up on them/him. They are one of the first groups/artists, I remember liking, all on my own, from my generation (the very first, I can remember, is actually #6 on this list and you will hear about them tomorrow). The first concert I ever went to was *NSYNC (with my mother). It took me a while to admit that. But they were awesome!!! They have the top 2 fastest selling albums of all times. When Justin went solo he got even better as an artist. I’ve seen him solo in concert also, with a friend, back in 2007 and he was great as always and showed he was also a respectable musician by playing piano, guitar, drums and even keytar!!! You can see the exact concert I was at, on DVD “Futuresex/Loveshow – Live From Madison Square Garden”. People have made a lot out of who is the “new” Michael Jackson”. People have said Justin Timberlake, Usher, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown, but the real inheritor of M.J,’s impossible to fill throne is without a doubt, Justin. Not only is he the most successful of this aforementioned group of performers, as well as super talented, his music is often uncannily similar to that of M.J., he was a child star like Michael (Mickey Mouse Club), he was in a boy band like M.J. (Jackson 5 of course), and let’s not forget that Michael Jackson gave his personal stamp of approval to Justin by performing with *NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, as well having *NSYNC perform with him at what turned out to be his final concert. Justin Timberlake is without a doubt the biggest male star of his generation. He’s made so many catchy, well crafted pop tunes with and without *NSYNC. And he is still young. Unfortunately he hasn’t had a new album since 2006’s, “Futuresex/Lovesound”. Come on with a new album already J.T. (also known by his initials like M.J.). You too OutKast!!! OutKast also hasn’t had a new album since 2006’s, “Idlewild”. All you guys need to come on!!! So today in honor of #5, Justin Timberlake/*NSYNC, check out “Rock Your Body” from Justin, “Bye, Bye, Bye” from *NSYNC and I’ve also included the two videos of Michael Jackson and *NSYNC performing together, all for your viewing pleasure.
So I LOVE music!!! All music, from Rock to Pop to Rap to R&B to Folk and Country to Classical to just about any other music genre you can think off. Just as a basis, you should know that my very favorite musical artist are The Beatles, Michael Jackson, OutKast, Kate Bush, Justin Timberlake/*NSYNC, Matchbox Twenty, Billy Joel etc. From that wide range of artists I just mentioned you can get a little feel for my wide range of musical tastes, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of how expansive my tastes are and how deep my love of music goes.
I’ve always had this love for music and have had many different influences in my life that have shaped my eclectic tastes. I grew up listening to music around my Mother mostly and she had me listening to a lot of Pop, R&B & Disco. My father was more into Classical Rock. Being that I was raised by my Mother, I wasn’t exposed to as much Classical Rock in my early years as I would have been, had my Dad been around me more playing that short of stuff. So in my early years I was very much into the type of stuff my Mother listened to and my earliest favorite artist I can remember was Michael Jackson and as I’ve just stated he’s still up on top for me. My older Brother listened to a lot of 90’s Dance music and Rap while I was growing up which later changed to Metal and Hard Rock. So with the combination of my Mother’s influence and my Brother’s influence, by the time I was about 13 to 15, I started to discover my own music taste.
Some of the first artists I remember finding and liking all on my own were *NSYNC, Matchbox Twenty, OutKast, Eminem and The Beatles. Between about 2000 to 2010, throughout high school, college and post college, I dabbled here and there with all sorts of music. Learning about new stuff from friends, media and my own quest for great music. In 2003, OutKast released the incredible “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”, which is my very favorite album and had a huge impact on me. The reason I love it so much is because it, like me and my musical journey, experimented with all different genres, styles and sounds. It is still the only pure Hip-Hop album to ever win Grammy for Album of the Year. This album opened me up more than ever to new sounds and adventurous music. I started listening to other experimental artists and groups like Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley and more.
I always said the only genres I didn’t really care for were Country and Metal/Hard Rock, but in recent years that wall has started to crumble. When it comes to Country, I actually had a phase when I was around 10 and Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus came out that I listened to a lot of country, but that phase passed pretty quickly. Now a days I enjoy listening to some of the more poppy stuff like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley, but also some more gritty Country Rock, like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers. When it comes to Metal/Hard Rock my likes don’t stretch to far because I’m a sucker for Harmony and Melody and I personally find it difficult to hear those elements in Metal and Hard Rock, but I do throughly enjoy System of a Down, early Linkin Park, AC/DC and some others.
I’ve always had a VERY strong desire to create music, but never had the opportunity or resources to learn to play an instrument, so I joined chorus in school and acted and sang in school musicals to exercise that desire as much as possible. In high school and early college I actually started rapping over instrumentals with friends, which was a great way to make music without having to know how to play an instrument. It was a great creative outlet for me, but after a certain point, just rapping wasn’t enough for me and I felt boxed in and unable to really express my musical ideas anymore, because I didn’t have the theoretical knowledge or the knowhow with an instrument to be able to further my creative growth in music.
I stopped making music in about 2006 and since than I haven’t thought to much about creating, but in the last few years and especially the last year as I’ve been trying to step a little more out of mainstream music and into more unexpected artist as well as classic/legendary artists, I’ve realized my desire to no longer be solely an observer (listener) of music, but also a participant (creator) or music. So I have made it my new goal to get a guitar and to start practicing and taking lessons. This leads me to the reason I wanted to start this blog in the first place, which was to have an outlet to share my pretty vast knowledge of music and learn more about music from all of your vast knowledge of music. I also want to document and share my musical journey as I discover more music and learn to play music myself on the guitar and hopefully one day on the piano. I hope that Volume 11 can become a community of passionate music listeners, players and creators. A place where we can share and enjoy all that the music world has to offer. So let’s turn up the music to Volume 11 and jam out!!!
Me, about 4 years ago cranking the music up to Volume 11 and rocking out with my air guitar. I really need to learn to play a real guitar; air guitar isn’t cutting it anymore.