What Does Chingy, SWV, and Jaco Pastorius Have In Common?

I was listening to a radio bit on National Public Radio, and I was stunned by the riff I heard.

Hitting me, was a bass riff that was so familiar and so soothing; it came at me as a backup song during the credits of an interview. I listened, not thinking of its importance, for all backup music to endings of radio bits are made up of obscure pieces from other musicians ( or musicians pertaining to the interview/ journalist piece at hand ).

As I comforted myself into the NPR piece, the bass line hit me. It was an exact ( almost exact ) riff of an R&B song that I heard when I was a kid:

But it wasn’t this song at all. The surprise came first with the intuition that the former song took the riff from a piece that was older:

It is one of those times that you would be upset that you didn’t know a song you liked was semi-covered, but you are comforted somehow with the fact that the riff did exist some time before, and that it was liked by others. It was liked by others who wouldn’t neccesarily be privy to any hip-hop or R&B. Not others who would give any importance to those who used the riff for their albums.

But to hear it, and hear where it was given birth, it gives me a better love for those who “covered” it and felt it was a good enough riff to exchange it in a tengent genre for others to listen. It makes me like the songs that use this riff so much more. It makes me want to find other similar ventures of current and past music; to find musical pieces that have been used in history to create mainstream music.

Let’s be honest: Could you ever think a Chingy song would be derived from a Jaco Pastorius bassline? I don’t think so.


Kitty Daisy & Lewis Review on Late Night W/ Fallon

Very great show.

The band is featured as a duo-lead singing piece ( I am guessing Kitty and Daisy ) anchored by a pianist ( I am guessing Lewis ), a guitarist and bassist.

The two lead women are on stage wearing beautiful ruffle dresses ( strapped, with one green and one blue ), along with Lewis, formally dressed in a nice tuxedo. The whole motif is pretty much a homage to the 50’s swing-like atmosphere, and their musical talent pulled it off.

They played this song for Jimmy Fallon’s audience:

I have heard this song in the past, but was very unfamiliar when they had played it. But the emotion, the vocals, and the affect of the combination of all the acoustic instruments made it worthwhile to listen.

The song was very hard and had a head-bopping appeal, especially considering the only rhythm was created by the initial clapping of the band supplemented with one the of the girls performing on a single snare while singing in tandem with the other.

My only qualm ( and it might be because of my affinity to Burt Bacharach ) might be that towards the end of the song there wasn’t much they did to enhance their combined vocals. They didn’t really get louder, nor did they harmonize any chords with each other. It might have been the way the audio was rendered to television, but it didn’t sound as loud as it should’ve been for three voices to belt out the chorus simultaneously.

But the talent is there, the ferocity is there. Hopefully the fans will follow. I happen to have the unlucky luck to write about them without having a chance to expand upon my knowledge of them live, since they won’t be touring in my area. I will try to check them out though.
Here is their Myspace page:


Top Ten Rihanna Umbrella Covers


It has been a sad week for the talented Rihanna. I wanted to write something positive about her away from her current situation. Going through some of the news and links, I stumbled upon an acoustic version of her song umbrella. I heard this version a few months back, and it is really catchy.

I never really liked the song, or any of her music, but in the acoustic format I had a greater appreciation for the songwriting put into it.

During this trek, I also was bombarded with an assortment of covers of the song. This song seems to be liked by a lot of people, seeing that everyone and their mothers are creating their own versions of it. I feel this might be the most covered pop song of the 21st century ( or maybe My Immortal? )

Some people were really good, with very sweet voices, cool arrangements, or serene minimalism. Others were cursed with off-key vocals, bad recording, or saturated with mundanity.

So, here’s the top 10 list of the best Rihanna Umbrella covers gathered from the internet. If you have others, audio or video, that can beat these, email me, and I will make a revision in the future.

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Tool’s Intension Riff Similar To Eon Blue Apocalypse. Correlation?

Eon Blue Apocalypse from Tool’s Lateralus

Intension From 10,000 Days

The guitar riff from the 1st track sounds very alike to their Intension melody from 10,000 Days. The motion, the timing, and the note structure are almost identical ( although Intension has a higher pitch ).

A lot of their riffs are re-immersed in their albums, but as such with Tool, you wonder how intentional it was to place the riff in the song, and if there is any relation to the two tracks.

Any thoughts?

The Killers: We’re Taking Over U2’s spot. Jesus… You’re Next

I am having a very tough time trying to understand what it is with The Killers, although I enjoy listening to them, getting themselves muddled in all this controversy every year. If it isn’t a tussle with bands in his own label, lead singer Brandon Flowers has made an effort to stir up some anger with bands that have garnered a heaping amount of success.

A couple of years back, Flowers had criticized Green Day for exploiting Anti-Americanism by playing “American Idiot” outside of the US. He felt that, the DVD taping of the song was a stunt because the recordings were all in England and Germany. Flowers felt that the meaning may not be felt the same way to non-Americans the way Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day had written it.

Last week, The Killers’ Brandon Flowers was interviewed and had called out U2, saying that they were “getting old”, and that Flowers “feels like its time” for the Killers become as popular as Bono’s band.
The interview isn’t as bad as people made it out to be. It comes off as controversial, but the quote about U2 seems to come from more of an admiration for the band than anything else.

The Killers’ new album, Day & Age, will be out in stores November 25th.

The Neptunes: Best Track Of 2008 – “I Know” By Jay-z

This is the type of song that you need time alone to yourself, put on headphones, and focus on the fine production created by the Neptunes.

The Neptunes in terms of creating top hits and mainstream booty-shakers have fallen off over the last 2-4 years ( depending on how you are counting the booty-shaking hits ). But the song  I Know by Jay-z on his American Gangster album showcases that there are rabbits in their magic hat that haven’t left the fold, and hopefully we will see some more fluffy energized classics such as this one to come in the near future.

The percussion on this track runs so smoothly and creatively that it carries the song throughout. Nothing against Jay-Z; he is amazingly lyrical, but this song’s vibe is buoyed by the heavy knick-knacks & the hand drumming along with the heavy synthesizer vibe more than Jay-Z’s flow.

The song crafts a continued ambiance that continually jolts the ear into listening to more. The Neptunes, although they don’t try this often, always seem to perfect the heavy bass sided with the ethereal cloudy melodies for the makeup of their songs. This is seen with Excuse Me Miss & Love U Better by LL Cool J, but is an evolution they seem to have overlooked the past few years.

This is an incredible song, and an incredible track. I know it is mainstream, but this only proves that the Neptunes production group is amazing and I hope they have enough juice left to be considered in the top tier of composing great beats such as this one. This can be enjoyed by anyone so take a listen.

Tired of The BubbleGum Crap? Well, Anna Yvette Answers her Own Question with BubbleGum Music!

I have received enough response from this article that I am going to cross out what I have written. I spoke to the artist herself and she was very upset that I had blasted her band and her music. I think her band is good, but I think I didn’t make my point with this article. I am not taking it down, but I am showing goodwill by admitting I may have pushed the button onto someone’s feelings who didn’t deserve it. Nonetheless, I will continue to write as I have done in the past. I got work so there won’t be too much going on for a lil’ bit.

Titties. Tame Music. You want a better Review? Give me better Music.

Never. Ever. Ever. Never. Please. No. Fucking. Way. You would call yourself the anti-thesis to bubblegum pop music and then show me this type of music. It is this type of hyping, to reason that somehow this band stands above the rest on the edge, only to fall into a pit of monotony & soft-core guitar work & vocals that has now run rampant in every Americana/ Hipster bar in the Northeast. Also, she showcases a great deal of “bosom” exposure in her fan introductory page on Facebook. She has an amazing body, but I think both the advertising and the photo permits an aura that her music may only be catchy enough only with a supplement of boobies to stand alongside her musical talents.

Things Bands Should Not Do Case #37: Do not pose as something against the mainstream marketing & production of music ( “Tired of the Bubblegum Crap”, was the gracious 1st line of the advertising to introduce this band), and then unveil yourself with partially covered bosoms and a Myspace introduction song with these intense once-in-a-lifetime lyrics:

“Maybe I should change the way I look… Maybe I should feel like everyone else”

Really bad lyrics. How many songs have started off with “Maybe” or “What if” or something about a woman following the crowd but with the essence that the singer is somehow independent and against the crowd. I am not trying to shoot down her talent, but this is the pure example of bands who are trying to stem the tide of the mainstream sweetness that gets bombarded from my drive home from work ( when I ever get a car) and replaces it with the underground tastes that is familiar with the same type of pop music they strive disassociate from their “vibe”.

Leslie Gore: I put this in because she says maybe; and its a good song:)

Her sound and production is really good. It does remind me of Dave Matthews a little bit. But it is so tame that if mainstream music needed more members for its Casey Kasem Club, Yvette will probably get a handwritten letter and a lunch date with Avril Levine.

The song “Promise” sounds like a compromise between Kansas and Jewel. When I listened to Zombie Party, I thought it was pretty good, but at points it could’ve hit me in the face, the song promptly stands rigid as a decent bar song. But if I had a dime for every song I heard from a live bar band I thought was decent, my bank would close my account because I would then be an asshole for depositing so much change.

This music is good, but how is this isn’t better than bubblegum music I have no clue. Acoustic instruments, piano interludes, Americana vocals and violins CAN a mediocre song make!

I really don’t see her music as bad. But this is NOT better than bubblegum music. It might have an edge here or there, but like a papercut, it’ll get you riled up for a minute, then you remember bands who are actually playing something different:

Esthero in 1998, when she was probably only 17-18

If anything, it only justifies that most genres, regardless of their appeal, talent pool, and marketing, presents a great deal of people who pose themselves against other genres claiming to be superior. The sad fact is a lot bands are hitting the neo-Americana and hipster music scenes to produce music that is different from mainstream. Yet these new sonic pioneers have failed to witness the deterioration of music in GENERAL is the essence that both mainstream and non-mainstream music have a lot of horrible music. A lot: I’ll go on to say that my band sucks ( but I will weep in my pillow once the post is written).

But in addendum and conclusion to all of this, my hypothesis to the bad music that has risen and permeated throughout the industry is due to too many people pretend to bend the envelope into a territory of greatness by comparing themselves to the simplicity and cookie-cutter designs of corporate music structures. For every band that goes against the grain of the 50 Cents, or invokes disdain of Jack Johnson in their ballads, or re-invents sexuality in contrast to the submissiveness of MTV Video vixens, fails to compare themselves to their own limits, their own styles, and their visions of what they can offer to music. When they pay more attention to how different they are, in some fucked up ironic way, they end up becoming just a tame & and unrecognizable as the other millions of bands that now exist in the new Myspace arena. And as I finish writing this post, I am slowly forgetting the band I was even reviewing. Whether they become famous, they are just another blip on the radar of bands trying to make a name for themselves, falling short of even writing the first letter on the wall, falling short of doing something better than what has already been done.