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

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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.

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.