The Point of Music

Do you ever wonder what the point of music is? You cannot see, taste, smell, or touch music. It cannot provide nourishment, strength, shelter, light, warmth, protection, or any other fundamental necessity. So why is this intangible arrangement of sounds to a rhythm so loved by people on this earth?

In all continents, countries, and cultures music is there. Throughout the past music had its place: the ballads of medieval minstrels, sea shanties of pirates, fight songs of warriors, psalms of biblical times even! About every event in a person’s life has music: birthdays, funerals, sleepovers, prom nights, ballet recitals, road trips, all these things would have far less meaning without music. In most all religions and religious services music has its place there as well.

Clearly in human society music is important, but why is that? What is the point of this arrangement of sound?

I did some research to find out scientifically why music is so enjoyed. To summarize, I came to this: Music, when enjoyed, causes dopamine (the “happy hormone”) to be released into a part of our brain that deals with stimulation called the striatum. So basically music makes us happy because it stimulates part of our brain. Why does it stimulate? There must be more of an answer to the point of music than stimulation. I’ve never heard a musician say there main goal as an artist is to stimulate their fans brains, (honestly that sounds a really creepy). So what is the point of music? What is music’s purpose?

Music is

The point of music is connection. It is emotion. It is relationship. Music is a tool used by all peoples to simply communicate their feelings. Music is a universal language. If you played a minor and a major chord to a complete foreigner I can guarantee they could tell the difference in mood. Though every Gaelic lament I hear I know none of the words, but I still know it’s sad.

Music can express the deepest feelings and the most complicated emotions. Music can show the fiercest rage, the most blissful love, the harshest sorrow. Music is a thing of relating. If one cannot find the right words, odds are there’s a song that can help you express your meaning.

Music connects our mind with thoughts, our body with rhythm, and our souls with emotion. Music can join multiple souls together. Perhaps music is the sound our soul makes, but to know that I’d have to be God…(I’m not, in case you were wondering 😛 )

So that is the point of music, in my eyes. Do you see music differently? What are some songs that connect to you most?

I hope you all enjoyed this post. Have a happy and musical Thursday! -Gems of Genres

Advertisements

Top 5 Songs I Never Get Tired Of

GG TOP 5

Do you have a song that you never get tired of? That you unashamedly “play to death”. And do you ever get happy when that song gets stuck in your head? Well I know I do. Here is a list of my Top 5 Songs I Never Get Tired Of:

 

#5: “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley

Every time I hear this song I immediately feel cool, (And unashamedly do the twist to). This is by far my favorite song the The King did. Written in 1957 by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Jailhouse Rock” was written for Presley’s third motion picture by the same name. “Jailhouse Rock” reached #1 on U.S. Billboard charts and stayed there for seven weeks! And in early ’58 it stayed at #1 for three weeks in UK charts. But this song’s popularity is no wonder considering its rocking beat and catchy tune, and of course its illustrative lyrics.

 

#4: “If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down” by Skinny Lister

This hit by English Punk-Folk band Skinny Lister always makes me smile! It’s so happy! “If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down” tells a beautiful story about sailing to one’s love. (This song is guaranteed to make every gal wish her lad had half this much class 😉 ) I love the happy melody and the great beat this song has. “If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down” is from Skinny Lister’s awesome debut album “Forge and Flagon” check it out.

 

#3: “Love Me Or Leave Me” cover by Regina Spektor

This cover of “Love Me Or Leave Me” is from the Boardwalk Empire Vol. 3 Soundtrack. I can’t get over this song it’s so good! Spektor’s voice flawlessly portrays the frustration and desparity that waiting on someone to choose you can have. She perfects the 20’s Blues sound with her gentle yet pained voice. *Sighs* This woman should get some sort of award for this song!

“Love Me Or Leave Me” was originally written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Khan for the Broadway production of “Whoopee”, and sung by Ruth Etting. It has been recorded by over fifty artists in its years of existence, however (in my opinion), Regina Spektor’s cover is by far the best.

 

#4 “Precious” by JD McPherson

This song, it gets me every time. I would easily compare this song to a religious experience. Honestly if someone told me this was a hymn I wouldn’t doubt them. McPherson has done it again with this gorgeous piece from his latest album “Let The Good Times Roll“. If you can’t get through this song without at least chills, then you aren’t even human! Every time I hear this line:

“What does it mean when your blood vibrates? I thought it was a bad sign. There was a word I never tried to speak, now it’s a battle cry! It’s so precious, precious to me,…”

*Wipes tears away from eyes* For the first time I am rendered speechless. (And that doesn’t happen! One of my biggest problems in school was that I couldn’t summarize!) All I can say is listen to this song. It’s so beautiful!

 

#1 “Wild Woman” by Imelda May

My jam! From her latest album “Tribal“, Imelda May’s “Wild Woman” is the best song to rock out to. I mean full on rocking out: blaring the speakers, running through room, hair down, shouting at the top of your lungs, and air-guitar, complete with a dance routine. (Oh you think that’s the video? Haha, no that’s me while listening to this song! 😛 ) May wrote the song about how no matter how much you try in life to conform to society’s rules and responsibilities there is still that Wild Woman inside you, ready to burst out at any time! I think the reason I like this song so much is because I’m not a wild person, but this song provides the perfect opportunity to act as crazy as you like, (With curtains drawn of course!)

 

Even though these songs are in order, I still can’t say that one is better than the other. There all so good!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Do you have any songs that you never get tired of? Are any of these songs new favorites for you? If so please comment and let me know! Also drop a comment if there are any bands or musicians you’d like a review on.

 

Keep on Rockin’, Rollin’ and Jivin’!

Gems of Genres 😀

 

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis: A Rockin’ Rhythm and Blues Trio

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis

Kentish Town trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have a vintage groove of Rhythm & Blues, Hawaiian, and Rock ‘n’ Roll that make you want to dance ’till the nights end. What started out as three siblings playing music in their front room has now turned into world-wide phenomenon, as KD&L have gained a fan base in America, most all of Europe, Australia, and even parts of Asia. But that’s no wonder considering their infectious sound of sleazy trumpet, muted slide guitar licks, grooving base vibes, and that enticing snare drum that convinces all to put on their dancing shoes.

Between the three of them Kitty, Daisy & Lewis play a variety of instruments including Guitar, Piano, Drums, Harmonica, Lap Steel, Ukulele, Banjo, Xylophone, Trombone, and Accordion. On top of that Lewis has an extensive collection of vintage recording equipment which he uses in their home studio. All of KD&L’s music is recorded analogue on 8-track tape machines; No computers or digital recording equipment is ever used, giving KD&L a rawer, more natural sound, almost like they’re playing right there in the room.

In addition to the three siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are joined by parents Ingrid Weiss on Bass and Daddy Grazz on Acoustic Guitar, and legendary Jamaican Trumpet player Eddie “Tan Tan” Thornton.

KD&L are signed to BBC Radio DJ, Rob Da Bank’s record label Sunday Best. Sunday Best has signed artists such as Ben Ottewell, Skinny Lister, and even David Lynch.

KD&L The Third

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have recently released their third studio album “Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third”. Long-time fan Mick Jones (The Clash) has co-produced the new album.

“With Mick on board, it was the first time we have worked with a producer,” says Lewis, “Just having someone else in the room meant we could start bouncing ideas off other people and that was great.”

Take a listen to their hit single “Baby Bye Bye”, which has gained high acclaim as BBC Radio 1’s Record of the Week.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are some of the most talented young artists I can think of. Their music brings all the good of the past, and makes it fit the 21 century.

You can order “Kitty, Daisy and Lewis The Third” here on Amazon and ITunes as well as their other awesome music. You can find KD&L on Facebook, Twitter, and at kittydaisyandlewis.com

Keep on Rockin’

Gems of Genres

I Am Still Alive

Why hello my readers, do you still remember me? Much apologies for the lack of writing over the past months, but Thanksgiving, Christmas, friends visiting, New Years, and a move have kept me busy since we last chatted. Well, I am still alive. I have not fallen off a cliff, or anything tragic like that, I just have a life. Haha!

Good news though, things have settled down for me and I shall soon begin posting! Hooray! Perhaps by next week I shall have a post up!

Keep a look out for future artist features on: Rebecca Harkin, The O’s, The Subways, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, and so many more.

To quench your musical thirst for the time being, here is a song that I have been absolutely obsessed with from JD McPherson’s much anticipated second album “Let The Good Times Roll”. The albums release date is February, 10, 2015. You can pre-order Let The Good Times Roll here.

JD McPherson: Bossy

You can find JD McPherson on Facebook, Twitter, and at jdmcpherson.com

Thank you all for your support. Best wishes and a MerryThankfulNew Holiday thing, and any other red letter days I’ve missed.

Keep on Rockin’,

Gems of Genres

Imelda May’s new album Tribal: Rebellious, Moving and full of Adrenaline

tribal cover

Imelda May has just released her fourth studio album “Tribal”. I cannot begin to explain the excellence of this album. Named after the first song on the album, Tribal has every element that you would want in a CD: Punk, Rockabilly, Blues, Jazz, Ballads. (Yes she can do it all.) The Dubliner has certainly captured the meaning of her style of Rockin’ music. The rebellion, the community, the heartbreak, the joy, and the all around fun that music brings.

The first song “Tribal” tells of how, “It’s great to be different but have something to belong”.

“I wanted to write this song for a while ’cause I noticed how we all think we’re so clever and advanced, with our social media and all, but were all basically, pretty much the same as we have been, and we’re tribal. We’re drawn to each other, and we’re drawn to different gangs if you like…” “So that’s what I wrote about, we’re all in different tribes. So that’s that song. It’s all about my gang and yours,” says May.

This album certainly has “The Right Amount of Wrong” with songs like “Wild Woman”, “Hellfire Club”, and “Wicked Way” that pull you into the rebellion of May’s style. But that’s not the only aspect Tribal has. Songs like “It’s Good to be Alive” and “Little Pixie” show you that life is good and worth living for, regardless of the bad things. I think we oftentimes forget that.

“I just had my baby. I was up all night, I was so tired. Everybody else was asleep, and it was a long night. I was very happy with my baby of course, but anybody who’s had a new baby knows the sleep deprivation drives you insane. I remember lookin’ out the window and it was really really dark and there was a little chink of light, and bit by bit I just watched- I mean it sounds so typical, but just to watch the dawn comin’ up it really is amazing. It’s just one of those things that happens every day, but it was just so beautiful. I just watched the light comin’ up slowly and the sky filled with pink, and the boards came up and I thought ‘God it’s great to be alive. It’s really good to be alive!’ ” says May about her song.

Tribal, unlike her previous albums, May has co-produced with Mike Crossey, a well renowned producer/mix engineer. Crossey has done work for the likes of The Kooks, The Arctic Monkeys, and Jake Bugg, to name a few.

imelda may

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with May’s album is that it ends too soon. It’s so good I want it to last forever. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate May’s voice. Going from rich, sultry, blues in her song “Gypsy in Me”, to a haunting punk-rock ballad like “Hellfire Club”, that almost intimidates with the power and energy of her voice as she belts out her clever lyrics.

Then combine this with killer guitar licks that May’s husband, Darrel Higham, can create with his bare hands. Along with the rockin’ bass tones, all the emotional nuances made on trumpet, and a beat you can’t help but tap your feet to.

May puts every drop of emotion in her music. If it’s a sad heartbreaking blues, you feel it like you just got dumped. If it’s a joyful, uplifting ballad it makes your day bright. Either way you feel it, that’s what music should be. You should be able to relate to a song.

May has a way of making you part of the song, her music draws you in with the emotion, it moves you with the rhythm, and it makes you wonder what will happen next in the story.

Tribal is an excellent album. Good job May, and keep on rockin’.

 

You can find Imelda May on Facebook, Twitter and at http://imeldamay.co.uk/ You can purchase Tribal on ITunes and Amazon.

Let’s Get Stevie Ray Vaughan in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan is qualified to be inducted the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This year the Hall is letting fans vote for their favorite artist via online election. You can vote here.

Now out of all the candidates Vaughan is at the top of my list, because he’s too awesome not to be in the world-renown Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Vaughan’s style is a grooving mix of Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll, drawing inspiration from artists such as Albert King, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. His music is passionate and soul-stirring. It makes you anticipate each note, each chord, each stellar lick; making you eager to hear more, (It may also make you un-unashamedly play air guitar).

Take a listen:

Pride and Joy”  “Texas Flood

Vaughan grew up in Oak Cliff, Texas, a rather sketchy side of Dallas. He started music even though many did not support him. At a young age Vaughan got into alcohol and then drug use.

In 1979 he formed the band “Double Trouble”. The bandstevie and guitar consisted of  Vaughan, bassist Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton on drums, and Reese Wynans on keys. On September, 28, 1986, while on a European tour with his band, Vaughan fell sick with near-death dehydration, caused by his drug and alcohol use. He was put into medical care that night. One doctor told him that he wouldn’t live a month, after that he put himself in rehabilitation for four weeks, and achieved sobriety.

“Left to my own devices, I would have killed myself. But now I know that I want to stay alive and I want to stay as healthy as possible, and grow in that way,” said Vaughan about his addiction.

srvVaughan went on to play with artists such as, B.B. King, David Bowie, Jackson Browne, ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck, among many others. He released five albums, two of which, “Couldn’t Stand the Weather”(1984) and “Soul to Soul” (1985), made it onto the Billboard 200 list.

After twenty-five years of amazing music, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash August, 27, 1990.

In the words of Reverend Barry Bailey, Vaughan’s AA sponsor, “We’re here to thank God for this man’s life. He was a genius, a superstar, a musician’s musician. He captured the hearts of thousands and thousands of people. I am thankful for the impact of this man’s influence on thousands of people in getting his own life together in the name of God.”

His music has, and is continuing to inspire numerous musicians. He was a great man and a great musician, and I think he deserves to be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. So if you would please vote for Stevie. You do not need an email to vote, and can vote daily. The election ends December 9th so get ’em in while you can.

For more information on Stevie Ray Vaughan, you can go to his website or Facebook page. You can purchase his music at Amazon and ITunes.

Keep on Rockin’ and have happy Saturday!  ♪

JD McPherson: A Soulful and Energetic, 50’s Style, Americana Rocker.

Jd and band

JD McPherson is a phenomenal musician. His style is a mix of a 50’s swing, with good bit of Oklahoma country, and a streak of Rockabilly. His Rhythm and Blues is that to be compared to the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. While his Southern folksy flair reminds me of a mid-fifties Cochran Brothers. It is truly the essence of American Rock ‘n’ Roll.

When McPherson performs, his show is like that of none other. A clear toned guitar intro interrupts the murmur of the crowd as he begins his hit “Dimes for Nickels”. Immediately the room is filled with twirling skirts and jiving couples, as the catchy beat grasps hold of your hands and feet. Adrenaline consumes you, while both young and old bop to his anthems of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

McPherson sings with such power and soul, you can’t help but wonder if the Scottish man in front of you is lip-syncing and a black gospel singer is in the back belting out the lyrics for him. But no no, McPherson is just that good. His voice captivates the audience with a daring shout, as he rocks out electric chords on his blond Fender Stratocaster.

Although McPherson’s sound is influenced by “old school” music, it’s certainly not a time-machine record. Subtle streaks of Punk and Hip Hop weave into his style, making his music a modernized Rock ‘n’ Roll. (Without making it sound like a toddler finger painted with genres.) One of McPherson’s greatest talents is he doesn’t just have a sound, he molds it to what he wants.

McPherson has performed on numerous late night shows including: Conan, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and David Letterman to name a few. In 2012 Rolling Stone Magazine called McPherson an “artist to watch”. His album “Signs & Signifiers”, was awarded Best Rock/Hard Rock album by the Independent Music Awards.

His band consists of bassist Jimmy Sutton, drummer Jason Smay, Ray Jacildo on keys and synthesizer, and Sax/multi-instrumentalist, Doug Corcoran. These men are great musicians and even better people.

McPherson’s album “Signs & Signifiers” is truly amazing. His music is perfect at any given time, whether it’s being played at a swing hall or while you’re washing the dishes. His is the kind of music that’s appropriate enough to play around your brothers kid, but the great thing about McPherson is, you actually enjoy his songs. (No! No more wheels ’round the bus! Please!)

All in all, if you don’t already know who JD McPherson is, go check him out. If he is ever performing near you go and see him. The boys put on a show that will not disappoint.

McPherson’s new album “Let The Good Times Roll” will be released February, 10, 2015. Click here to pre-order the album, both in CD and LP Record. Currently the first 100 orders get a free “Let The Good Times Roll” patch.

 

You can find JD McPherson on Facebook, Twitter, and at http://jdmcpherson.com  You can purchase Signs and Signifiers on Amazon and ITunes.