Posts Tagged ‘#Song review’

Thank you so much to everyone who participated so far in my “Who Do You Love” post.  There were some very interesting lessons as I collected and listened to the recommended songs  that have influenced us over the years.  I say us intentionally.  You are the best group of people I have never worked with!!  LOL.  I mean that in a kind way.  It is easier for some people to develop good relationships with some one they work with or “serve” with.  The bonds can last a life time.  We do not have that work platform, but the friendships made here are also very strong.

I was equally surprised by two things:  1) I knew a lot of these songs and bands and 2) I didn’t     know a lot of these bands and songs!!  It took me a long time to go through them all.  But there are some gems in here.  Many are the best of their category – NOT necessarily the most popular or the one with the most airplay.  I encourage you to look deeper into comments as I will not list them all here again, but I want to point out a number of them that caught my ear.   A lot of your suggestions were passionate and you can tell there is a lot of history and emotional connections in the lists. Here are just a few – but again not a complete list of the gems you suggested. Please continue to post your musical influences.  I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your suggestions.  I hope others get a kick out of these too!  IN NO ORDER WHATSOEVER

Active Child – what a range the vocalist has.  Unusual set of musical toys, and lyrical   themes and vocal textures blend into a unique soundscape.  They create a house and invite you in.  Well worth the visit.

Switchfoot –  “Hello Hurricane”, This is a clean sounding song. Well recorded and mixed. Driving beats and vocal power that can be smooth and open.  Good blends in harmonies.  Good energy and I like the ay the song builds at a slow pace.

Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands.   Here is another great blending artist.  Nice harmonies and the background music surprises with different arrangements and instrumentation.  Very good dynamics.  Addictive style that is pleasant and easy to relate to.

Bat for Lashes – Laura is a great example of this artist’s prowess.  She quickly sets up the mood and the tone and then lays the lyrics on you with vocals that seem to have more control than humanly possible and enough emotion to cause global warming.

For raw power with a message it is hard to beat La Dispute.  Combining a number of styles into a passionate assortment of lyric driven songs.  A speaking style not trying to be rap that works very well for this group.  Great driving music for a long trip.

I have to mention this because it was cool from an historical point:

https://ahigherrevelation.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/triple-js-20-years-of-hottest-100-countdown-what-did-i-vote-for/

I was really fascinated to check out Barclay James Harvest.  These guys are right up my ancient alley and I have never heard of them.  I know this might not be the most popular suggestion the community has suggested, but they cover all the progressive territory of other bands I am familiar with.  Some of the video clips from around 1979 are out there and worth an evening or two.

I had heard Ed Sheeran before, but wasn’t that familiar with his works.  Nice variety, works on a good image – that is a good guy image and it comes of very well for him. He tries to add variety and the songs are great.  It was definitely worth my time digging more into his songs and videos.  Great voice.  Solid music and production.

Kate Nash – Nicest Thing.  I can see why this is a favorite.  The style is intentionally out there and it has the sneaky ability to pull you in instead.  When you can make comfortable and eerie blend perfectly you have a great emotional landscape play in.   She calls this her territory and of course the lyrics pull you right into the main theme. Good call.

City & Color – As Much As I Ever Could is another great example of a band that has it all. The vocals are outstanding and his control is impressive.  Lyrics are fine and fit the ballad style of this song.  Band dynamics are worked out by what seems to be magic. Harmonies kick in and punch it for added tension and for me the keyboards are a great touch.

Dave Koz’s tunes are cool jams and the performers are all top notch.  You don’t have to be a genius to get into their grooves as well.  Slick mix production.  If it is time to sit back and enjoy, take in a few of these live performances and watch the players do some cool stuff.

Ian Carr’s Nucleus – Roots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Cu5TJm0GI This is a great progressive jazz.  Maybe an acquired taste for some but worth checking out for the chops and creative jamming.
Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul – I Need You: https://youtu.be/U7uJ_zddoSs This is another great jam band with solid grooves and guys that know their axe.  Percussion to die for and the organ player is pretty top notch.  Great live musical fun.

The Hep Stars got by me completely somehow.  You can hear a lot of influences that were dominant at the time.  Good vocal blend and the recordings are actually pretty good. They captured the times and the look and ran with it.  For a blast from the past this is a good history lesson.

 The Raconteurs are a great groove band with a heavy guitar sound.  The vocals and the harmonies are well worth the price of admission. For a lively rocking jam, this is a great place to start soaking up some new tunes.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu9hj_kMm48

This video stands on its own, but the vocals have to be heard to be believed from The Temper Trap.  Great name too.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMuuc_pqx2s is a great song with a vision.

 Lana Del Rey is one of those artists you have to sample more than one song to get a feel of the true talent.  Maybe listening a few times would help, but once you cross over she has a powerful musical presence.  Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1aF54DO60 for the unfamiliar.

Manic Street Preachers have a great Brit rock/POP sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nusymqINrSc is a fun video to start with.  Good clean style, great vocals and they are not afraid of dynamics.  They also love a song with a theme or message, so good for a fun musical cruise.

Acoustic Alchemy are worth noting for a band that has chops and a smooth modern jazz style.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVtQHpwv9sE is a good example of their live performances.  Fun jams and precision licks from a talented group and for a nice addition try a “Shelter Island Drive”.

Notables: 

Ashestoangels

Sufjan Stevens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asCLMdrWuA0 for eye candy.

From The National, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Tod1_tZdU to set the tone for the evening.  A vocal and visual treat.

Amaia Montero – Quiero Ser and I have no idea what she is singing, but I can understand why it was recommended’

Thank you again.  I really enjoyed this project and thank all that participated and to all the thought put into it, even if you did not post your list!

MIDIMike’s Reviews Are Coming Soon!

As a result of requests from fellow bloggers and ReverbNation members, we are just a few weeks away from launching the new ​MIDIMike’s Reviews Site.  This site will be dedicated to reviewing original music and creative writing submissions every week.  I assembled a​n amazing​ team of reviewers to work with me and they are ​also ​excited to help with this new project.

I have been writing and performing for decades, but recently I struggled to get my material professionally reviewed for my on-line presskit.  I have seen a number of artists struggle to acquire this simple but necessary stepping stone.  Several of you have asked me for opinions on your material and I want to make that advice available to everyone.  I want to be able to give back to all of you for the support and encouragement you’ve given me over this last year.

MIDIMike’s Reviews will  be free and honest.  I will be posting the reviews on my http://www.midimike.com site (which has thousands of views per month) and on the upcoming review site.  You are also welcome to use the review for your own website/blog/presskit when referencing MIDIMike’s Reviews as the source.  The individual review posts are not guaranteed for all submissions, but every submission will receive feedback from us.  I enjoy raw talent, but the submissions should be presented ​as professionally​ as possible.  Your creative works will be handled with the utmost care and you retain full ownership.  HOWEVER: You must guarantee you are the sole author and have full permissions to publish these works.

If you are interested in having your material reviewed, please e-mail: midimikesreviews@gmail.com

Music – You may submit a song or an album for review.  Please send a link to the material in full and any additional presskit material or websites (if available).

Poetry – Please e-mail the poem or poems in full to the e-mail address with any websites/social media (if applicable).

All levels of experience accepted. (If you have any questions, you can also e-mail them to us at midimikesreviews@gmail.com)

Please keep in mind; I do what I can, but sometimes life gets in the way. Please be patient with us while we get this up and running.  I tried to avoid as much legal jargon as possible but there are exceptions, exclusions and I have the final say on what reviews will be posted and for the content of the reviews.

On a more pleasant note, I get to hear a lot of great music from new bands and artists before they become wildly famous and read great poetry before it’s professionally published! Thank you for making the first half of 2015 a blast, and it is just getting started!

​MIDIMike​

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Hey everyone!  While the question is open and I still hope people continue to post their most influential artists and bands at https://midimike.com/2015/06/29/who-do-you-love-influential-musicianbands/ , I want to thank everyone for participating.  I have listened to a ton of new music.  With some I was familiar with the artist and others I was not aware of at all!  Even the bands I knew of, the suggestions were songs I had not heard before but were probably the best the artist recorded.  I would like to summarize the lists you posted and make a condensed suggestion article once I have listened to each suggestion a few times.   What music and band we like tells a lot about us in many ways.  This is a good community and we share a number of qualities and talents.  We have our own pulse.  A common foundation that is very cool.

I have been influenced by so many individuals, bands, groups and performers over the years it is quite amazing.  I was never stuck in a particular style of music.  I am not a fan of opera or deep country music or blues, for that matter (I know, that will not go over well with some of you! HA!) as I lean to the other side toward open and interpretive styles.  There are a bunch of names we all know and can pretty much agree on if you listen to rock, pop, jazz, R&B, country, etc.   But I have almost always been drawn toward the unusual but talented; the bizarre and clever; off axis dead on target!  I love bands with great vocals and harmonies.  Some of my favorites are quite popular now!  Household names sometimes, but many are just now getting recognition and others never gained much of a following……  I know what at least one feels like, LOL.

After growing up listening to the music of my parents and older brother and sister, I enjoyed groups out at the time.  No need to go over ancient influences here.  But as I was growing more and more music-aware, there were bands I really enjoyed – not just a song or two, but everything they would release.  The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Procol Harum, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, Steely Dan, The Police, Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and others before and after them just kept getting better and better.

Today I love a lot of music, but there are very few bands or artists I love most of what they do. For most it is hit and miss.  Other groups are fairly consistent.  Just no one I go out of my way to hear every song.  Just me getting old, so no need to panic.

If you will, let me show you what has affected me growing up and songs from groups I consider the best of the best.  I will probably get to your favorite groups to, but there are just so many over the years.  As this is not a reflection of history, I will again avoid attempts to be chronologically accurate.   Buffalo Springfield was one that managed to send me a message, and it helps to remember the times and the events surrounding some of these songs and those that lead to their hit “For What It’s Worth”.

I was way to young to know why or when I developed an aptitude for music.  I always enjoyed the musical landscapes around me.  Not just the notes;  with all the talk and technique, notes are still only half the picture.  But I think I can tell you when I developed an appreciation for popular music.  I have many influences but these are different times.  Again, I am not trying to be a learned historian, and as a young kid the timing of events were hazy at best and are not clear to me even now.   You were lucky to have one radio station that played your favorite songs.  Three major network TV stations and no Internet, no cable, no Wi-Fi, no downloads, no digital.  Hard to imagine now.  WE had limited choices.   But there were pockets of musicians and savvy citizens, sharing, listening and teaching, just as there are now.

If you were into astronomy, you could find lens grinders or professors or local enthusiasts that could show you the universe.  Photographers, carpenters, everyone searching for their own needs.  I started searching for new music.  I could say new styles, but in a way they were all new.  I am drifting a little here as I think back.  I have been interested in anything that was beyond ‘standard, normal, traditional, formal or cookie-cutter songs’.  Old movie musicals, TV show and commercial jingles, and the various music cultures (Country, Broadway, Classical, ancient “Pop”…) might have been cute, but after I listened a few times, there was no excitement in listening to the song.  Kinda’ like; I already know the punch line, so why listen to the joke?  I can be a harsh critic.  But fair is fair, I throw stones at my own glass house.

There have been many songs that lead up to this.  I hate to give credit to one song.  I hope I remember the name of a song from Billie Holiday called Strange Fruitrecorded around 1939.  At the time I did not know what it meant.  I was still innocent.  This was devastating poetry mixed with liquid emotion.

From this point on I knew… I knew there was some thing that could reach my core.   I don’t mean to say ‘soul’, but that is the closest and easiest word to use.  Find me at my depth and talk to me.   And that meant I could also talk to others from those depths.   I found a language and at the same time not necessarily a family, but a culture of musicians.  I still have a weakness for female vocalists that make their own way.  I am a succor for a Hammond B3 Organ and a great brass section too.  I would like to share a few of them with you from time to time.