shadowkat: (Default)
For Women's History Month: Three ladies that revolutionized the music industry and broke through barriers.

1. Etta James - 1950s, blues singer who defied classification and opened for the Rolling Stones in the 1980s. She died just a few years ago. And struggled with drug addiction throughout her life.

Here's one of her tunes:
Read more... )
Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid-1950s, she gained fame with hits such as "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album The Seven Year Itch.[2]

James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.[3] Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etta_James


2. Nina Simone

http://www.ninasimone.com/about/bio/ - Known as the high priestess of soul, she was also a strong social activist, and wrote and sung songs about the Civil Rights Movement.
Read more... )
Here's one of her songs, a favorite of mine entitled Four Women written and sung by Nina Simone in France. It's about four different women, who are different colors.



3. Tina Turner

Tina Turner battled domestic violence against Ike Turner and the music industry to become a powerful female performer in her own right and a pop icon.

From wiki:
Read more... )
Here's my favorite signature Tina Turner Song, which she originally sang with Ike Turner, but now sings on her own quite well:



Two earlier versions of the same song as performed by Turner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqIpkMDRjYw&feature=related

And here's the Ike and Tina Turner version of Proud Mary )

And for Tina and the current fight in the US Senate/Congress for the passage of the Violence Against Women Bill, I'm including one more songstress who wrote about domestic violence, Janis Ian - "His Hands".



[As an aside, in a former life...I volunteered with the Domestic Violence Coalition - Legal Aid of Western Missouri, to obtain orders of protection. (Not restraining orders, we couldn't get those under the law at the time, but we could get an order of protection which was basically the same thing. What a lot of people don't know is many states still have laws on their books that permit husbands to beat their wives, since "wives" were considered "property of the husband" under the old laws. This shocked me when I found out about in Missouri. Most states have fought to put new laws in place.]
shadowkat: (tv slut)
1)So far I adore the new tv series Smash - this week's episode was better than last week's. Smash review, vague spoilers, also referencing tonight's Glee, which wasn't quite as good. )

2) There's another mid-season replacement that I'm excited about - Jason Issacs (you know him as Draco Malfoy's Dad in the Harry Potter films) portrays a man who's split his consciousness in two - and isn't sure which world is real. He has had a car crash with his wife and son. In one reality his wife survives. In the other his son survives. He closes his eyes and he is in the other reality. He doesn't know which reality is real. He's a detective. So it is episodic in that sense, with a mystery to solve each week but the catch is - the man is living two lives and is aware of both. What innovative idea. It's called AWAKE and premiers in March. Definitely one to watch out for.

3)In personal news?Read more... )

4) Mark Watches...I'm still reading, but close to giving up. my issues with Mark Watches )

5) After downloading both Adelle 's album 21 and Florence and The Machine's Lung's last night and listening to them at work today, came to the conclusion that Florence and The Machine is a lot more interesting and was robbed. Adelle got old fast. She has three good songs on her album, Somebody to Love, Rolling in the Deep and Rumor has it. But everything else feels repetitive. Reminds me a lot of Amy Whinehouse and Christina Aguilerra vocally - that deep multi-layered voice. Lady Gaga's voice is similar. Goes up and down the scales, yet tends to be a deep alto. I love altos and bass, not a fan of high soprano. Meanwhile...Paul McCartney's Wings Greatest Hits is also quite good, diverse and not repetitive. It doesn't sound the same. My hunt for a perfect mix is music that does not sound the same.

Florence and the Machine does remind me a great deal of The Cranberries though sound wise, has that same psuedo British/Irish Gaillic sound, not that they are, really have no idea, but they have that lyrical feel...and the lyrics haunt in the same way. Not a bad thing, I rather liked the Cranberries.

my weird eclectic music tastes )
shadowkat: (Calm)
1. I think I need a really good book to read, to escape into and away from the world, not to think deep meaningful thoughts or crack-wise/snark at the world (I apparently am quit good at doing that on my own, I don't need help). Bit depressed. Work has sucked the soul out of me and I just want to crawl into a hole somewhere. It's complicated and not worth boring you with.

my attempts for hunting a good or rather just enjoyable book, but not a satire because clearly not in a satirical mood. )

2) Finished watching the premiere of Luck - which has an amazing cast, as well as a great production team. Luck Review )

Off to watch a movie I think, maybe bake some gluten-free cookies. Try a mindfulness exercise. Feel a little less...bummed out.

3) I feel as if all week long I'm lying. Lies by omission. Restraining myself. Suppressing something. Playing a role. Do you ever feel like an actor in your own life? Saying the words...with a bright smile, a laugh, but not quite feeling it even though you do appear to? Poker face fixed, smile intact? Quip at the ready? Not sure I want to know the answer to that. Don't want advice. Just want ...well there's a lovely song by Janis Ian that fits what I'm feeling right now perfectly.

Here it is:

Janis Ian's Arms Around My Life )
shadowkat: (smiling)
As a kid, I used music to relax. Would go up to my room and study for hours with the radio playing, often made mixed tapes of the songs. We didn't have DVDs, CDs or MP3 players back then. I played records, 8 track tapes, and cassettes - which had a nasty habit of degrading over time. Remember reading American History to the Rolling Stones or the Beatles or...*cough*Air Supply*cough*. My taste has always been incredibly eclectic. I loved Rush - favorite song in Junior High was "Tom Sawyer".

TV shows and films are often more memorable if they have a really good musical score. Songs that hit home, nail the feeling or plot arc. Not music videos - although we became a video world a long time ago. Back in the age of MTV - remember that? Dire Straits song Money for Nothing, Chips for Free...I Want My MTV - a defining moment of the 1980s and the beginning of the "video revolution". It was so long ago, and yet it sometimes feels like yesterday. Odd that. Where did the time go? I wonder if that's why people have kids - to track time - you see it as they grow and age...no most likely not.

No...a good song, a good band can make a show that is okay amazing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is amongst the few shows that had an excellent soundtrack. I'm not sure I can give you a favorite song. But I own both compilations. And there are songs on that show that I still can't find. One is from Crush - the initial scene, in the Bronze, I can't remember the title and I can't find it anywhere.

My favorite? It changes. Right now it's a four way tie between Ballade for Dead Friends, Pavlov's Bell, Key, and Lucky. All ballads. Although I love Pain and the Teenage FBI. God, whoever decided on the score - was a genius. But we also had a musical fanatic behind the show-running duties - who turned one episode into a self-mocking, fourth wall breaking musical - which was by the way the episode that got the Momster's attention and was when she understood, finally, my insane obsession with the series. I showed her The Body, but you just can't get that episode unless you've watched all the episodes that came before. The other series that had a marvelous soundtrack was The Wire - which I also own the soundtrack too. It's songs furthered plot and resonated. It hammered the themes of that series home. TV shows with good soundtracks - I tend to get fannish about, I remember them long after they've left the air. This was true of Battle Star Galatica who turned "All Along the Watchtower" into a plot point, and True Blood - who has the best credits song on the planet..."Bad Things" and oh god, the great Nick Cave cover She's Not There! There's
also Farscape's soundtrack, although they didn't have many songs, unfortunately. But a good soundtrack.

Anyhow...I need new songs. So I've a favor to ask to anyone who comes upon this post...and you can link to it, if you want:

Please provide...

1) Your favorite song for this year - the one that you listened to the most, that made you the most happy, that made you dance at your desk
2.) Your favorite tv show song - whether it be from Buffy or some other show.

See easy. Just two things. If I get five responders? I get five new songs...or maybe two, in case they pick ones I already own.

Oh and if you wish..the song you wish was nominated for a Grammy or already was...since they are coming up.

As someone told me a few weeks ago...music is like a lifeline to the soul. When people sing, you hear their soul. When they play the same. I can't sing, tone death, but the woman who told me this believes everyone can...they just need to learn how. I wish that were true. Sometimes I think it is.
shadowkat: (work/reading)
It's late and I'm restless. Taps internet impatiently. Did finish watch S3 of Fringe finally, very weird series. Impossible to follow if you don't start towards the end of S2. There is no way that show can attract new viewers. It's more complicated than a soap opera. It has dual universes. At the end of S3? It merged the universes. And introduced a whole new wrinkle about the first people, which frankly made no logical sense. Think LOST's bit with time travel and magnets but thrown into a meat grinder. It is brilliant in places, there's an episode in S3 that takes place in Olivia's mind that pays homage to Art Linkater's animated film about Dreams, Chris Nolan's Inception (someone on Fringe is a Nolan fan - there's a lot of Nolan references in that show), and Star Trek (although that may just be Leonard Nimoy's presence).

Been thinking about criticism.

Me to Momster: You need to be critical of entertainment medium. Of things. Of information. You can't just accept it at face value. Thinking it through is crucial. Regardless of what it is.
Momster: Except for politics apparently. People seem to take that at face value.

(Newt Gringrich won South Carolina. Momster isn't that upset, because it means the Republicans don't a viable candidate and well the Republican Establishment hates him.)
politics, look away, look away )

Anywho...criticism is important. Critical thinking is important. Particularly with all those choices. So much information is sent to us on a daily basis. On tv? At least in the states, we have more channels than I know what to do with. Then there's the internet, also lots of information, competing blogs, etc. I remember having a discussion with a professional film critic/reviewer and writer about this. This guy has a degree in film studies, he worked hard to hone his craft and he writes beautifully. No text-speak, OMG, or CAPS. He knows his craft. It's Glenn Kenny who once upon a time wrote for Premiere Magazine.

Me: Is it harder to get jobs as a professional writer/freelance writer now with the internet than it was before?
Glenn: Harder? Try impossible. It's harder for everyone. There's so much competition, mainly from amateur bloggers. People who have no background, no knowledge, no film history or literary history.

He's right. I've read some of the upstarts, who's idea of writing is well "OMG" or "EVERYONE, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!" They haven't honed their craft. You read some of them, and think, has this person read a variety of literature? Have they seen a variety of films? Go read Glenn Kenny, who I seldom agree with but has taken time with his craft. Or go read Rob Will Review - a guy who also honed his craft, read and watched a wide variety of series and has taken the time to explain what works and what doesn't in each in detail. He is more emotional in his reviews than Glenn, but he is also genuine. And blatantly honest. He's worked at it. Each review is different from the next. It's not boilerplate.
Rob is sort of like Mark Watches, except...more genuine, smarter, and a much better writer. Go read him instead.

I think reviewers and critics who make a living at their craft, require the same scrutiny and critique applied as those who make a living creating art. We are all evaluated at our jobs. I am.
You are. Whether it is as a student getting a grade, a teacher teaching a course, an actor playing a role, or a database builder - building a database. I do however agree with a poster, I think it was sue_world who told me a year ago that I shouldn't apply that level of criticism to fanfic or fan posts...she may be right about that. Should we be critical of the person who plays real well for free, who is doing it for love not money? After listening to a Harry Chapin Carpenter tune - Mr. Tanner several times at work...my ipod keeps landing on it for some reason...it strikes me that a line must be drawn.

Mr. Tanner )
It's a song about a man who sang in his free time and loved to sing. He makes the mistake at his friends bequest to sing at a public performance in front of a Simon Cowell style critic. The critics tear him apart. And as a result he never sings again.

Criticizing someone like Joss Whedon or MARK Watches or Steven Speilberg or Nora Roberts or Stephen King...or even Glenn Kenny, isn't a big deal, we should do that. But not someone who is merely blogging on lj, or blogger, who is not a professional. Is not making his livelyhood at it.

It reminds me of another song...this time by Joni Mitchell, as sung here by Mitchell and James Taylor:
Read more... )
This song expresses more than anything else...the pure pleasure of seeing art that one creates for nothing more than the love of it. To not make a dime. What I loved about the Buffy fandom that I discovered in 2001 was people wrote and blogged real good for free. Constructed websites. Created vids. And art. They did it for love. Not money. The only applause...the posts and comments they may or may not get in exchange.
shadowkat: (Calm)
Should make dinner soon. Have several things taping via DVR tonight...amongst them, yes, The Lady Gaga Monster Ball Concert in Madison Square Garden on HBO - it should be noted that the only other concert I taped and watched in recent memory was Madonna's Truth or Dare. Okay maybe not the only one. There's been other's I'm sure. Not a huge fan of going to concerts - find them noisy, overly crowded and not conducive to hearing let alone appreciating the actual music. There are exceptions. The best concert that I've ever been to - was in Wembley Stadium outside London, England in 1987, with Peter Gabriel - we had to stay seated, that is until surprise, surprise, out of the blue Kate Bush appeared and sang the last five numbers with Gabriel as an encore duet. Everyone stood up in unison, roared and light matches and Gabriel threw himself into the crowd and they caught him. Was quite the moment. Far and away better than the Pink Floyd reunion tour in 1988 at Denver Stadium. Or Aimee Mann's concert in NY. I wish I saw U2 at Red Rocks in 1986, but oh well. I like live music, I am just allergic to huge crowds, cheap beer (literally unless gluten free - I think Rolling Rock (which was all the rage, because we hated Coors) may have done me in), stadium food (see beer), and smoke.. and background noise and bad stereo feedback. This may explain why I hate fan conventions and avoid them like the plague.


But enuf of that. To the interesting stuff, before I race off to make myself something to eat. Sigh, I feel like I'm always eating. This would explain the expanding waistline, wouldn't it?

1. Glee - sigh. Hmmm...apparently they can only create one great episode a month or maybe every two months? This week's was sloppily written. On all counts. Bad bad episode. vague spoilers )

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