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Monday, December 19, 2011

Pitch for Grooveshark

I have to start off by saying that music has had a deep and profound effect on my life for as long as I can remember. My mother once told me that she listened to a lot of R&B and soul music when she was pregnant with me, which certainly explains my adoration for Marvin Gaye and the Stylistics, in particular. As it turns out though, that was only the beginning.

I know that a lot of people claim to listen to a lot of different music. I often hear people say to me, “I listen to everything”, which may very well be true for them. Indeed, I too claim to listen to “a lot” of music as well. (For the list of what that means to me, please see my list of favorite music blog entry.) My mental music database, as anyone can see, is certainly not as expansive as many others out there, but I still like to think that I listen to a lot of music. I suppose it’s a lot like being a fish in the ocean; there’s always a bigger fish out there.

Anyhow, I bring this all up because I want to express my gratitude to the Grooveshark application. Since I’ve been on Grooveshark, I have listened to and bought more music than ever before. I did Pandora for awhile, We Are Hunted, and countless other “streaming” music types of sites, and I suppose that it’s a case of “to each his own”, but I have to say that Grooveshark is by far my favorite and has stood the test of time. I attribute my deep appreciation to its simplicity and accessibility. I can think of a song and literally pull it and add it to a playlist. I do this same thing with my music at home or on my iPods. I build playlists and then constantly delete or add to them. In the case of Grooveshark, whenever I find new music, I pull it, check it out, and then invariably, I buy the CD on Amazon. This has worked most recently with Widowspeak. I heard a song from them on a TV show one night (American Horror Stories), and then I ran to Grooveshark and listened to their latest. They had me at hello.

I love buying music, supporting artists, and holding a real CD in my hands, but that is a topic for another blog. If you love music too, I recommend Grooveshark, and no, I don’t work for them. I simply throw props and shout-outs to companies that still have good service and do good business. Does my music list stack up? Let me know what you think.

Favorite Music

Favorite Music: (Note: this list is comprised of groups/artists that I listen to frequently, and is subject to change, as it pretty much came off the top of my head. It does not even come close to being all of the music that I listen to either.)

Classic Soul/RnB:

Stylistics; Marvin Gaye; Delfonics; Persuaders; Bloodstone; Miracles (with Smokey Robinson); El Chicano; James Brown; Chi Lites; Earth Wind and Fire; Brenton Woods; WAR; James Brown; Etta James; the Supremes; Isley Brothers;

Modern Soul/RnB:

Jodeci; Guy; BellBivDevoe; Keith Sweat; Shai; New Edition; Jill Scott; Eryka Badhu; Prince; Al B Sure; Babyface; Silk; Tevin Campbell; R.Kelly; Atlantic Starr; the Jets; Klymaxx; Taylor Dayne; Cover Girls; Jody Watley; Sweet Sensation; Toni Braxton; Michael Jackson; Janet Jackson; Bob Marley; Hall n Oats; Sade

Classic Rock:

Led Zeppelin; Pink Floyd; Santana; Deep Purple; Eric Clapton; Beatles; Jimi Hendrix; Lynyrd Skynyrd; CCR; Eagles; Doors; Steve Miller Band; Aerosmith; Queen

Modern Rock:

Poison; Ratt; Motley Crue; Guns and Roses; Def Leppard; Skid Row; Black Sabbath; Metallica; Megadeth; Deftones; Tool; Blink182; Metric; Creed; Heart; Sex Pistols; Lenny Kravitz; Ozomatli; Bon Jovi; Loverboy; Journey; Pearl Jam; the Killers; Kings of Leon;

Alternative: New Order; the Cure; the Smiths; Depeche Mode; Echo and the Bunnymen; Nirvana; Audioslave; Soundgarden; Smashing Pumpkins; Interpol; Boxer Rebellion; RadioHead; Widowspeak; My Morning Jacket; Temper Trap; Pinback; Editors; Silversun Pickups; Zero7; Doves; the Sundays; Death Cab for Cutie; Band of Horses; Bush; Sneaker Pimps; Weezer; Coldplay; Cranberries; Snow Patrol; the Strokes; Yeah Yeah Yeahs;

Chick Music: Gwen Stefani; Beyonce; Madonna; Carrie Underwood; Katy Perry; Cindy Lauper; Roxette; Debbie Gibson; Britney Spears; Anita Baker; Alanis Morissette; Cheryl Crow; Adele; Katie Tunstall; Amy Winehouse; BeeGees; James Blunt; Rihanna;

Eighties: Tears for Fears; Flock of Seagulls; Bananarama; Bangles; Go-Gos; Ah Ha; Psychedelic Furs; Wham; Duran Duran; Eurhythmics; Human League; Gloria Estefan; Thompson Twins; Thomas Dolby; INXS; Phil Collins; Missing Persons; Billy Idol

Uncategorized: David Bowie; Elton John; Sia; Portishead; Bjork; Amy Mann; Carey Brothers; Bon Iver; Cocteau Twins; Tom McCrae; Alan Parson Project; Fleetwood Mac; U2; Mazzy Star; Shabba Ranks; Beenie Man; Barrington Levy;

Electronica/House/Dance: DFA; David Guetta; Crystal Waters; Frankie Knuckles; Benny Benassi; Stephen Bodzin; Chemical Brothers; Daft Punk; Flight Facilities; Calvin Harris; Solid Groove; MSTRKRFT; Miike Snow; Moby; Juan McLean; Orbital; 808 State; Vitalic; Richard Vission; Blue6; Fischerspooner;

Hip Hop: Biz Markie; Tupac; Da King and I; RunDMC; Mobb Deep; Biggie Smalls; Wu Tang Clan; Snoop Dog; NWA; Above the Law; Bone; Kausion; E40; Master Ace; Lords of the Underground; L.O.N.S; Pete Rock and CL Smooth; 3xDope; Too Short; Souls of Mischeif; Pharcyde; the Roots; Mos Def; Talib Kweli; Alkaholiks, Cypress Hill; Drake; T.I.; Rick Ross; Fugees; Common; 50Cent; Kanye West; Gang Starr; Grand Puba; Tribe Called Quest; Craig Mack; Keith Murray; Group Home;

Classical: Tchaikovsky; Beethoven; Bach; Claude Debussy; Riri Shimada; Frank Liszt; Vivaldi; Mozart; Bela Bartok; Pavarotti; Puccini; Maria Callas; Brahms;

Jazz: Art Blakey; Miles Davis; John Coltrane; Bilie Holiday; Ella Fitzgerald;

Latin: Celia Cruz; Tito Puente; Marc Anthony; Linda Ronstadt; Ana Gabriel; Vicente Fernandez; Los Tigres del Norte; Banda El Recodo; Oscar D Leon; Ismael Rivera; Shakira; Daddy Yankee; Zion; Johnny Pacheco

Country: (NEW ONLY!): Rascal Flatts; Zac Brown Band; Lady Antebellum; Darius Rucker; Jason Aldean; Billy Currington; Walker Hayes; Keith Urban; Kenny Chesney

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Words to My Baby

After writing my “baby classes” post, I thought it necessary to mention something about becoming a father, as this life event will without doubt be the most significant thing to ever happen to me.

I am having a daughter soon, and she was planned and purposely tried for. Still, even with such planning, the realism as you can imagine, or maybe already know, is sobering and life changing. I could not be happier with the fact that we will be adding a human life, made up from both myself, and my amazing partner in life. Like everyone else, I have so many lofty hopes and dreams for her, but when it comes down to it, I just want her to be happy, and live life to the fullest. I want her to try her best at whatever she does in life, even if those things are not what I planned for her, like being a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut. If she wants to be a truck driver, then she better be the best truck driver this world has ever seen. If she wants to work on an oil rig, then she better be the best damn rigger the oil platforms have ever seen! Of course, I will hope that she will choose something sensible like becoming a nun or America’s top female heart surgeon, but she will find out that I will support her in anything. If she chooses something that is truly harmful or evil, then it will by my failure as a father.

Anyways, this is a letter that I wrote in her journal a few months ago, before I knew that she would be a “she”:

Peanut, my dearest baby, hello. I am your father. I write this to you, so that you may know, just how you came to be. By God’s will, and the magical force of cosmic destiny, your mother and I have come together to form the deepest love and passion that I have ever known and felt in this world. It is born from this love and passion that we share, and with all of our hopes and dreams, that we bring you into this world.

I don’t know you yet, and if you are a boy or girl does not matter because you were made out of love, and you will always be my baby, our baby. I promise to take care of you, and teach you to be strong. I promise to love you, and teach you everything that I know. I ask nothing of you, but to always try hard to be the best that you can be. If you do this, then I know you will be happy, and it will be ok, because your happiness already means the world to me.

You will share in our passion for all that is life, the good and bad, to work and to create, and to help make the world a better place. You may be like your mother, the greatest woman that I have ever known, and have great compassion for animals and want to save them. You may have her fierce temper, boisterous laugh, and artistic and creative ability. You may be like me, calm and collected, deep, thoughtful, and intelligent. You may be all of these things, none, or some.

My baby, Peanut, I want you to know that you can be anything in this world, and this I truly believe. I’ve seen the beauty in this world, and the amazing human spirit, where creativity, imagination, work, and perseverance melt into one. You shall never be afraid, because you are part of us, and we will never let you be alone, and together we will always be. Together, we will sing and dance, laugh and play, work and think, and always be one family wherever life takes us. I love you so much already. I can’t wait to meet you. – Love, Daddy.

PS. I hope you like dogs ☺