Blog 2: Paul Simon

 

I read up on Paul Simon and I would have to say that I was very impressed with his music resume. He and his partner Art Garfunkel did some awesome things. Listening to some of his songs, I would say that I like his writing style. That being said, when I was clicking through the lists the song Diamonds On the Sole of Her Shoes leaped out at me. I listened to it over and over again. Dissecting the parts. The vocal harmonies were spot on and the depth of the mixing was perfect. It was phenomenal! They were literally making perfect sound waves. The reverb was perfect. The placement of things in the mix was perfect. It’s hard for me to find the right words to describe how I felt while listening to it. Mr. Simon has every right to be proud of this work. I read that it was controversial for him to be in South Africa at the time, but I could tell that he was really there for the art of culture. That really comes across in the performance.

When I looked to compare this piece with something, the only other track that gave an authentic ethnic performance was Bob Marley and the Wailers. There recording is muddier and definitely not as clear but, it was genuine and I could feel the conviction in the music. It sounded like they were in a closed place and they allowed feedback and everything else to get on the recording.

To me there was nothing else between the two songs that really compare to Paul Simons recording.

Resources

Biography.com. Paul Simon. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/paul-simon-9484431

Songfacts. Diamonds On the Sole of Her Shoes. Retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=26084

Ruhlmann W. (n.d.) Bob Marley and the Wailers Biography. AllMusic.com. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bob-marley-the-wailers-mn0000069402/biography

Songfacts. No Woman No Cry. Retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1744

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WELCOME

Thanks for stopping by….

I am a musician, producer, singer and a writer of songs, poetry and stories. In fact, I like to write about everything. Making great music is my main priority, but one day, in the not to distant future, I plan on running my own label, music nonprofit and having a line of children books. Now settle in and have a good read.

Blog 1: CHIC: “Good Times”

Producers: Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards

After listening to the Disco songs, there were two standout songs for me and one was Le Freak and the other was Good Times. I would have to give an honorable mention to the Bee Gee’s, but their production didn’t compare to Chic. To me, Chic sounded a little more hip and modern than the other Disco songs which sounded kind of dated. The instrumentation that set this song, as well as the other song I listened to, apart was the use of the lead guitar and the bass line, which are very distinctive. They really caught my ear. I found out that the creators of this sound were Nile Rodgers, who uniquely played guitar and Bernard Edwards, who was also unique on the bass. Together they created some awesome sounds and arrangements. My research showed that Chic was called the greatest Disco band. I would have to agree.

I always thought that Rappers Delight reminded me of this song, but it never dawned on me that they had used the actual song. My research showed that Rappers Delight was not only inspired by Good Times, but made with the backing tracks of the song. FYI: Another song that was inspired by the bass line of this song was Queen’s, “Another One Bites The Dust”.

Considering that Good Times is a “feel good” Disco song and Rappers Delight is a rap that automatically shows contrast, but the comparison goes deeper. Although both songs are in the same key, Rappers Delight sounds like it is much lower. However, without all of the bells and whistles of the Chic production, the stripped down track accentuates the bass.  I checked the key (E) to make sure.

I was shocked to learn the real story behind The Sugarhill Gang. When Music industry producer and label owner Sylvia Robinson wanted to cash in on the under rap scene, she went out and found three rappers to put in a group.

This reminded me of the boy bands from the 90’s, but it worked and they ended up making history. I was also very shocked to find out that Big Hank had used another rappers lyrics for his part. He even spelled the guys name out during his part. That was hilarious to me.

Bottom line: Both songs are still unique in their own right. Although the production styles were very different, it worked for each song. I am now interested in seeing what could be done with stripping away some of our new songs. I wonder what kind of substance would be left for us to hear.

Resources

Huey S. (n.d.). CHIC Biography. AllMusic.com. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/chic-mn0000092942/biography

Fontenot R. (n.d.). Profile: Chic. About.com. Retrieved from http://oldies.about.com/od/70spopandsoul/p/Profile-Chic.htm

Bush J. (n.d.). The Sugarhill Gang Biography. AllMusic.com. Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-sugarhill-gang-mn0000564631/biography

The Sugarhill Gang. BlackPast.org. Retrieved from http://www.blackpast.org/aah/sugar-hill-gang-1979

Music Supevisor Assignment

Morning (9 AM – Noon) 1970 -1975

Everything that is created comes out of silence

  1. Oye Como Va = Santana

Good Morning , how are you doing?

  1. Everyday People = Sly & the Family Stone

Everyday people do extraordinary things

  1. Smoke On the Water = Deep Purple
  2. Blue = Joni Mitchell
  3. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) = Marvin Gaye

Afternoon (Noon – 3 PM) 1975 – 1979

Artists make the world they want to be in

  1. Go Your Own Way = Fleetwood Mac

Every person has to choose their own path

  1. Walk This Way = Aerosmith

Some people just know what to do and where to go to fulfill their lives

  1. Show Me the Way = Peter Frampton

Others need to be told which way to start pursuing their goals.

  1. You Should Be Dancing = Bee Gees

You should be dancing and having a great time pursuing your goals. Not stressed

  1. LE Freak = CHIC

This is representing whatever “dance” a person may need to do or learn to be unique and successful

Late Afternoon (3 PM -6 PM) 1980 – 1990

Sometimes art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart.

  1. The Message = Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

Sets the tone for things being out of control

  1. Another One Bites The Dust = Queen

Inevitably, some people and things fall through the cracks along the way.

  1. Higher Love = Steve Winwood

Most people are looking for some great love to change their lives and make them fee more secure

  1. Nite and Day = Al B. Sure!

The obsession with people and stuff gets to be consuming

  1. What’s Love Got To Do With It

Ultimately, we all realize that some of the love we seek is only a distraction and a major cause of the pressure we feel.

Dinner (6 PM – 9 PM) 1990 – 1999

Small dreams work this way: figure out what’s available, then choose your favorite. Important dreams are based on what needs to be done, and then… find your how. It’s always easier to order off the menu. Is easier the goal?

  1. Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) = Tony Bennett

I want to reach the pinnacle of my field.

  1. All I Wanna Do = Sheryl Crow

I want to have fun while I pursue my goals

  1. Doo Wop (That Thing) = Ms Lauryn Hill

I’m always worried about “that thing” which is my goals

  1. Blue = LeAnn Rhimes

I have some regrets that I reflect on while I am pursuing

  1. No Diggity = Blackstreet, Dr Dre

I’m going to “work it” until I reach my goals

Night Party (9 PM – Midnight) Electronic Music

There’s a cost to being ordinary. That cost isn’t as easily felt, but it is real. It’s the cost of boring your audience, of dumping ‘me too’ on people who have something better to do with their time

  1. Move For Me = Kaskade, deadmau5

This song gets the party started so that there is no boredom.

  1. Disco Diva – USA EDM Festival Mix = Trendsetter, DJ Burciaga

This song continues the party atmosphere, but suggest that some people may be finding a partner

  1. You Dancing = WildOnes, Davis Julien

The couples are enjoying the dances

  1. Delirious (Boneless) = Steve Aoki

The height of a great night out.

  1. Don’t Stop The Madness = Hardwell