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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Set List - Always There

There are a select few who withstand all categories of time - classic, decade, contemporary.  These few are always there, always a must in my music collection.  The following are some of my always there favorites.

U2.

There truly is nothing to say here.  More songs and favorites than I know where to begin.  U2's following is as incredible as that of The Police and Duran Duran.  These three are awe-inspiring.  U2 is timeless.  U2 is always there.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

All-American. . .that is all I need to say.  "Refugee" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" (the latter just Tom Petty) are just a few with positively influential lyrics and upbeat tone.  I am not sure if any other American band can come close to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. . .

Paul Simon.

. . .On his own, Paul Simon could.  Case in point: Graceland the album and namely the song "You Can Call Me Al."  An addictive song for its time with a goofy music video that left positive memories then and now.  This span of time makes Paul Simon timeless.  He is always there.

Robert Palmer.

"Addicted to Love" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" just to name a few.  And then there is The Power Station.  Robert Palmer is incredible.  He offered so much to the music world in his time.  I honor him in this Set List entry.

I honor all of these musicians and so many more as timeless and always there.  They definitely know how to play it. 

Surprises on Amazon

If you think my taste in musicians and songs are surprising in shocking variety, be prepared for this Amazon post. . .promotions will bounce in all different directions.

(Link Notes: Let It Rock is a single by Kevin Rudolf.  Minutes to Midnight is a Linkin Park album.)

Let It Rock

Minutes to Midnight

Chris Botti in Boston (CD/DVD)


Set List - I'm always surprised

I am often speechless by some of my iTunes selections and ultimate purchases.  These buys spark an interest far removed from my preferences - style and artist alike.

David Bowie is not a surprise in its literal sense.  However, to some Duran Duran fans, following David Bowie is a requisite to being a loyal Duranie.  So with the purchases of "Let's Dance" and "Golden Years," I have officially entered into Duranie-hood, and I cannot turn back.  Yet I love both songs, especially "Golden Years."  This song is a crack up as every time I listen, all I can imagine is a line dance moving to the funky groove.  In fact, I purchased "Let's Dance" after hearing clips on Season 10 of Dancing With the Stars!  Perhaps liking David Bowie is a surprise.

John Mayer leans on the pop culture side.  However, I must admit that his voice isn't that bad.  He guest performed with Chris Botti (trumpeter) in Boston some time back and I am lucky to have dvd footage.  John Mayer's rendition of "Glad To Be Unhappy" is sweet.  So too is "Say."  This song inspires me to write out my thoughts constantly, hoping often to intrigue others.  John Mayer is no longer a surprise.

Linkin Park is a personal surprise.  Their lyrics in such songs as "Shadow of the Day" and "What I've Done" are powerful and loud.  This style is normally one I am not interested in.  However, the lyrics tell stories, which go a long way in music.  I thoroughly appreciate these songs and the band, thereby making Linkin Park a surprise.

I discovered The Fray on a MySpace friend's list of favorite songs.  "You Found Me" is soothing and sorrowful at the same time.  It is unique and intriguing in this way.  I am attracted to the unusual mix of gentle & sorrow and simply like the song.  The Fray is a pleasant surprise.

Justin Timberlake is an incredibly crack-up surprise.  I am greatly removed in interest from my generation's boy bands.  Their songs feed purely into modern pop culture.  However, I saw Justin Timberlake perform at an awards show some years ago and discovered that he can play the piano!  Anyone can play such popular instruments as the guitar, but the piano takes distinct interest and devotion.  I was impressed.  I, then, fell for his song "What Goes Around...Comes Around."  This song is sweet and so true in its message.  Justin Timberlake is a complete surprise and one to be recognized.

As can be seen, my musical interests come with surprises.  My tastes prove to be a guessing game.  No surprise, then, that I say always play it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Special Post : Question for viewers

My life's passion is to write - write online articles, write blogs, write stories on my Word database.  I do indeed live to write.  My hope is to gain recognition and perhaps income from my passion.

So I recently came upon the concept of electronic books - eBooks.  I have never read such an advanced concept and I do not know what goes into writing and publishing 21st century versions of "the great American novel."  I am capable of writing well.  I publish online daily with blogs and weekly with professional sources.  ...  Why not?  I will look into it.

My question to viewers, then, is in your opinion, would Set List. . . publish well as an eBook?  My passion for writing and for music is clear.  And if you do truly think an eBook based on this blog would fare well in publishing, would it sell?  Please do not hold back.  I am eager for all comments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Contemporary Intrigue

Classics are timeless.  Decades have stand-outs.  Yet contemporaries are new - respectively - and fight often for a home in cd and iTunes collections.  Contemporaries are musical cheerleaders trying to gain attention away from well-established bands and musicians.  Such contemporaries as Depeche Mode, Seal, 3 Doors Down, and Nickelback - to name but a few - are musicians worth noting for their incredible talent and well-deserved popularity amongst many listeners.

All the Right Reasons



Set List - Contemporaries

Contemporary musicians have found a place in my collection, alongside rock & jazz giants and 1980s must-haves.

Depeche Mode is first on my contemporaries list.  Known early on for hits such as "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth," Depeche Mode has yet to stray from their trademark sound and tone.  Their recently released song, "Precious," reflects this trademark - deep vocals, defined use of the synthesizer, dark yet hopeful lyrics.  Depeche Mode is one to be noticed.

Seal is an incredible singer and recording artist.  His lyrics are powerful and at the right moment in all songs, such as "Bring It On" and "Crazy," a hit of musical intensity punches the listener, who will want more.

3 Doors Down is a surprise contemporary favorite.  Sorrowful lyrics under the guise of rock sound and beat provide interest and attraction.  This mix is unique and can only be pulled off in the contemporary era of music.  The band's name is likewise clever and one to be caught by a listener's eyes and ears.

Nickelback is the ultimate in sensitive and tough lyrics and sound.  Nickelback can be thoughtful and lyrically inspiring in such a song as "If Everyone Cared."  Nickelback can be elitist in such a song as "Rockstar."  Nickelback can be tough and intimidating in such a song as "Burn It to the Ground."  These back-and-forth emotions pulled off with ease make Nickelback a contemporary favorite.

Rock in any style - classic, '80s, contemporary - has appeal to all listeners in this genre giant.  Therefore, these styles truly know how to last and play it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

1980s Hits


The 1980s rock on Amazon.com.  The Police.  Phil Collins.  Madonna.  Where does the list end?



Set List - 1980s Hits

I am an '80s girl.  I am an '80s music geek.  There are many to name, so let's hit the play button.

Duran Duran.

Prior posts show clear reasoning.  Future posts to come justify my thoughts.  And to be sure, my adoration and acute interest are professed in the post "Simply Duran Duran" in my blog, http://lah1983.blogspot.com/.  ...  What can I say?  It's Duran Duran!

The Police.

An '80s classic.  Honestly, I don't know where to begin.  I own three Police albums and have yet to find a song I don't like.  "Driven to Tears" is at the top.  "Roxanne" is a must.  And then there is "Walking On the Moon."  "Message in a Bottle" is always popular.  "Don't Stand So Close to Me" is a time-honored Police classic.  As can be seen, I don't even know where to end.  I, then, love The Police.

Simple Minds.

Without The Breakfast Club, there would be no "Don't You Forget About Me."  Without my giddy love for this song, I would not own Simple Minds' Greatest Hits.  Without this cd, I would not equally like "Alive and Kicking" and "Waterfront."  Without the '80s, there would be no Simple Minds.

Genesis.

Under the wing of two separate and equally talented frontmen, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, I admit I prefer Phil Collins.  (I do like "Red Rain," though!)  "Land of Confusion" is powerful in lyrics.  "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" is just intense.  Genesis under both wings clearly made its mark on the 1980s.

Phil Collins.

As did the drums in "In the Air Tonight."  The lyrics are powerful and anxiously lead up to thee most incredible drum solo that will never be matched.  As loud as I blast my iPod when this song comes into play, I always wonder what the drums sound like live.  If Roger Taylor's drums are blaring alongside the others of Duran Duran, perhaps I don't want to know about "In the Air Tonight."

Madonna.

I would be in strong error if I did not include this '80s female icon.  "Vogue," of course, is at the top of a long list that simply cannot be written here.  Madonna defined female independence and unique feminism.  Madonna was an instant classic in the '80s and has remained at the top since.

Journey.

A personal favorite worth mentioning.  Known for such American classics as "Don't Stop Believin' " with a powerful guitar solo near the beginning and therefore setting the tone, my preference always is "Lights."  America is indeed lucky to have this San Francisco, California-based band with  produced hits straight out of the 1980s.

Wang Chung.

A must on my list of 1980s favorites for the sole reason that they are just too much fun!  "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" defined a decade of glam and fun.  I love Wang Chung.

I love the 1980s.  I love all classics, listed here and far beyond, with strong ties to my decade.  The year 1983 was a good one.  The entire decade was a phenomenal one.  The 1980s produced musicians who truly knew - know - how to play it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Classics

The classics are on Amazon.com.  The Rolling Stones.  Van Halen.  Aerosmith.  Just to name a few. 




Set List - Classics

There are timeless classics in all genres of music.  In rock, a music giant, classics abound, but only a few throughout the decades remain timeless.  The following are my favorite rock musicians.

The Rolling Stones.

I would be sorely remiss if the Rolling Stones did not make this list.  One of the best rock songs by this ageless band is "Rock and a Hard Place."  The beat is standard rock style.  The electric and bass guitars and drums provide fun instrumentals.  The lyrics are catchy.  Nothing really stands out.  Yet when this song was originally released, rock as a music genre was coming into its own, finding its definitive place in a long line.  Therefore, every aspect of "Rock and a Hard Place" stood out and appealed to many.  These many passed their interest down to the next generation, who passed down the same interest to the next generation, and so on.  The Rolling Stones, then, is a classic.

Rush.

Rush is an acquired taste upon realized difference from vocal similarity to Supertramp.  Rush's style is incredibly unique.  Such songs as "Tom Sawyer" cannot stay in the same beat and tone.  Next to the band's edge, this inability to stay focused in a traditional sense allows Rush to stand out.  Rush, then, is a classic.

Van Halen.

Oh yes.  A must, even according to Andy Taylor (Duran Duran's former electric guitarist).  One word to sum up Van Halen in my eyes - "Eruption."  The guitarist's ability to move his fingers that fast and precisely alone makes Van Halen an instant classic in my blog books.

Aerosmith.

An American ageless band.  My all-time Aerosmith favorite is "Back In the Saddle."  The instrumental anticipation at the beginning of the song leads to classic Steven Tyler vocals that do not let down the listener.  This song likewise provides the definition of rock edge.  My mom's generation knows Aerosmith through "Dream On" and others.  Two generations of fans make Aerosmith a classic definitely.

The Eagles.

I chose this band to add to my list because like Aerosmith, The Eagles strike a chord in multiple generations.  My mom and I share an interest in one of the band's most well-known songs, "Life in  the Fastlane."  I am the ultimate prude and yet I like this song and its powerful, grown-up lyrics!  Indeed, to have this effect, The Eagles must be a classic.

This list is brief and does not touch on the many other timeless classics around the globe.  So I put my favorites to you.  Who do you  like from my selection?  Who makes it to your personal list?

You know certainly that the classics play it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get Your Funk On, Rock Style

Let me hear you  play it!  Get your funk on, rock style.

James Brown is the definition of soul and funk.  All  other rock musicians follow suit.  I need not say more.

21 Essential Funk and Soul Classics

Duran Duran - Live From London (2pc) (W/CD) (Dlx)


Set List - Rockin' Funk

Rock and funk go, quite naturally, hand in hand.  Rock defines beat, intense or groove.  Funk provides edge, like icing on cake.  I could easily create a laundry list of rock musicians who "funkify" their songs and even their live performances.  However, there are but two that truly stand out in my mind.

Duran Duran's "Notorious" (live) -

"Come on let's shake it.  Play something, it's gonna be funky!" - Simon Le Bon, Live from London

Oh how it was!  Sparkling disco ball and screen backdrop.  Electrified crowd off of an electrified Duran Duran.  Humming electric guitar, deep bass guitar, energized lead and back-up singers, beat of the drums, keyboard synthesizer doing its thing.  Everyone - everyone - having fun.

What makes this song stand out, especially as heard live, is not so much as the guys performing as it is the palpable energy in every individual in the stadium.  This intense energy, the music, and Simon declaring something to be funky makes "Notorious" a true funkified song.

James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" -

"So funky." - James Brown, Greatest Hits

So right he is.  The lyrics are repetitive but the funky beat is incredible and fun.  The soulful energy is addictive, with lyrics, clapping, instruments, and the constant sense that James Brown and others aren't taking the recording session seriously because they "feel good."

James Brown is the epitomy of soul and funk.  (He was honorably mentioned by Simon Le Bon before "Notorious" in the Live from London cd version.)

In this entry, James Brown and Duran Duran will have the last word.

"Come on let's shake it. . .So funky."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Get Your Funk On, Jazz Style
















Let me hear you play it!  Get your funk on, jazz style.

First up - Paul Brown's album, The City, featuring the smooth jazz classic, "Cosmic Monkey."  This song truly is funkified, with  intense beat, sexy guitar, and soothing vocals.  I love "Cosmic Monkey" and hope you will too.

Just behind Paul Brown - The Rippingtons' album, Weekend In Monaco, featuring the rockin' smooth jazz classic, "Highroller."  This song is made funkified with the solo bass guitar performance, reaching every string and note in a variety of ways.  I love "Highroller" and hope you will too.

Set List - Funky Jazz

As I write this entry, I am grooving to "Fort Knox" by Goldfish.  This tune, as made famous by clever advertisers and their rockin' animated hampsters driving a Kia car, is an incredible mix of music styles.  I, personally, get the sense of Italian mafia tough goes country western saloon in the beginning and rocks their way to the end.  This tune truly is funkified.

However!  There are two jazz (yes, jazz) artists that can easily claim the role of funk: Paul Brown and The Rippingtons.

Paul Brown's "Cosmic Monkey" truly says it all.  The beat is palpable.  The guitar has a slow jazz feel.  There are soothing "da na na" vocals every so often.  This song is definitely jazz-oriented.  Yet, the mix of the strong, constant beat, the slow, sexy guitar, and the soothing, rhythmic vocals make "Cosmic Monkey" a funky style with a jazz funk ending leaving the listener wanting more.

The Rippingtons' well-known album, Weekend In Monaco, is classic smooth jazz.  However, there is one song so funky in guitar work that it often reminds me of the musical tone to the television show, "Seinfeld."  "Highroller" has a solo bass performance in the middle of the song that is fast, brief, and funky.  This funk is a foot-tapper.

Jazz comes in all forms - rainy day Miles Davis, emotional Chris Botti, swingin' classics from the 40s, the beat of smooth jazz, and so many more.  Jazz is versatile.  Little do listeners know that jazz can be as funky as such music genre giants as rock.  Indeed, jazz in all forms, comes with surprise.

No surprise, however, when I say always play it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Movie night at Amazon

















In my earlier post, Rockin' Movies, I detailed my interests in soundtracks to favorite movies.  I spent a great deal of time blogging about the soundtracks and less about the movies.  So pop some popcorn, sip on a cool beverage, and enjoy movie night at Amazon.

The Breakfast Club - classic 1980s teen film

Beverly Hills Cop - although this is one of a trio, the best out of the three is the first, proving classic Eddie Murphy acting and humor

Ghostbusters II - the spooky ghosts and laughs that go along with catching them say it all

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - the backdrop of Savannah, Georgia allows one to appreciate the drama of all characters

A Beautiful Mind - phenomenal acting by all involved, leaving the viewer to better understand the realized hell that comes with mental illness

Blue Streak - humor, action, and serious script scenes. . .perfect mix 

The Breakfast Club

Ghostbusters Double Feature Gift Set (Ghostbusters/ Ghostbusters 2 and Commemorative Book)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Music Backlog : Amazon

In my earlier posts, I detailed my interests in such artists as Rush, Simple Minds, and Michael Jackson (specifically Thriller).  At the time, all I could was provide a written image of some of my favorite musicians.  Now, after teaming up with Amazon on Blogger, I can provide a visual.

One of the most iconic Rush songs, "Tom Sawyer," can now be enjoyed as an MP3 Download.  The song can likewise be enjoyed alongside others on the original album, Moving Pictures.  Simple Minds by far is known for its Hollywood anthem to the 1980s classic teen film, "The Breakfast Club," in the song, "Don't You Forget About Me."  "Don't You. . ." is now available for MP3 Download as well as on the great album, The Best of Simple Minds.  (Other personal favorites, such as "Alive and Kicking," are on this cd.)  Lastly, there is Michael Jackson's Thriller - album and song.  Both defined music at the time and for future generations.  Michael Jackson truly was an inspiration in more ways than he knew.  Thriller as the album and the song is textbook definition of rock and shall forever remain in music and pop culture history.  And so in this post, I will offer, through Amazon.com, Michael Jackson's 25th Anniversary of Thriller as cd-dvd and Makng Michael Jackson's Thriller on VHS.

I hope these visuals to the amazing songs and artists I once could only describe in print spark further interest in you and leave you wanting more.  On Amazon, I say play it!

Making Michael Jackson's Thriller (Including "Michael Jackson's Thriller") [VHS]


Don't You (Forget About Me) (2001 Digital Remaster)






Tom Sawyer

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blues night at Amazon

It's Blues night at Amazon!  In my most recent music blog post, Set List - ...of Blues, I detailed my interest in Kenny Wayne Shepherd, whose songs such as "Was" and "Blue On Black" are controversial in labeling.  "Was" is considered Rock on iTunes and "Blue On Black" is considered Pop on iTunes.  I, however, am convinced that his deep, unique style is more along the lines of Blues, but alas this is my opinion.  If I struck a chord with you and you want to learn more, check out snapshots of these songs and others by him on iTunes.  If you like what you hear and wish to purchase an album or two, go to Amazon.com, as they will have a great (and reasonably priced) selection.

The album Trouble Is. . . (home to "Blue On Black") can be found on CD and MP3 download.  The album Live ON (home to "Was") can be found on CD as well.  Know, however, that there are many more albums and songs by Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  So don't limit yourself to these suggestions, as if you like what has been mentioned in this post and my Set List - ...of Blues post, do go for more.

(Note:  The $12.99 Trouble Is. . . price is for the CD.  The $9.99 price is for MP3 Download.)





Set List - . . .of Blues

Kenny Wayne Shepherd's music is classifed as rock.  His guitar work, however, claims otherwise.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd's deep vocals, story-like lyrics, and intense electric guitar notes against a background reminiscent of Deep South swampland is anything but rock as music enthusiasts know it. . .it is the blues.

I have two favorites: Was and Blue On Black.

Off of the album Live On, "Was" starts with a distant echo and simple vocals with instrumental. . .until the drums make their presence known.  At this point, the song takes off.  The lyrics are unique, slightly country western style.  The guitar and drums provide a rock-like beat.  The standout instrument not found in rock music is what I believe is a banjo, the essential sound to "Was" being blues-like.  This song provides a stop and start motion, allowing individual spotlight on all elements - vocals, banjo (yes?), guitar, and drums.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd is highly creative in this regard.  "Was" may have a rock beat and label, but in fact is blues-inspired with its lyrics, unusual instruments, and Southern tone.

Off of the album Trouble Is..., "Blue On Black" is deep and sexy in its lyrics and instrumental, especially the guitar work.  The song is labeled Pop on iTunes, but I personally do not see this.  The beat is slow and defined.  The tone is dark, deep, and mysterious.  The lyrics catch on to the listener easily.  The mood set by "Blue On Black" is very much blues-like.

Is Kenny Wayne Shepherd's style within the House of Blues?  Check him out yourself.  Decide for yourself whether his story-like lyrics, deep vocals, and intense instrumentals fit under Pop, Rock, or Blues.

No matter what, always remember to play it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Your Groove On : Amazon

Duran Duran inspires me everyday, from creating this blog site you are viewing now to testing my musical ability.

Nick Rhodes (keyboardist) fascinates me always.  His role in the band seems to be the most complicated - playing the keyboard is one aspect and creating unique sounds on the synthesizer to enhance every song, live and recorded, is an aspect all on its own.  Balancing the two into one blended sound is true music to the ears.  Two years ago, with driven inspiration by Nick, I purchased a keyboard through Amazon.com.  My instrument is the most basic compared to his more than professional set.  However, I had a blast making playful sounds and eventually actually learning how to play.  My honor, then, is to help promote his instrument - the keyboard synthesizer.  On Amazon.com, one top-of-the-line set is the Korg at the cost of $399.99.  Pure synthesizers go for a higher market, but the Korg is one of the best combined sets.  If you have the drive (and the money) to play like Nick Rhodes (or like your own ability), the Korg as marketed by Amazon.com is a worthwhile investment.

The drums - long before I knew who Roger Taylor was - is without a doubt my favorite instrument.  I did in fact take a few lessons as a teenager and was honored with the comment that I kept the best beat in the class and had potential.  Of course, Roger Taylor and Duran Duran came along and I fell in love immediately.  If I had room in my apartment for a professional kit, Roger Taylor's custom kit may not fit, but a design by Percussion Plus might do just as well.  On Amazon.com, two great selections by this manufacturer come in Wine Red or Black.  These selections, as well as others if you find another to your liking, come in full - set plus 5 piece kit.  The cost is decent if you have a serious interest in the drums.  And know that you can visit Amazon.com for more choices at a cost that fits your budget.

Then there is the string section.  I studied the viola for six years, from elementary school to junior year in high school.  I disgraced the music industry - yes I was that poor at playing a musical instrument.  Yet I still love strings, including the guitar.  A selection in guitar style - acoustic, electric, bass - is unique to the sound one wants.  If I were to pursue the electric guitar, for instance, I would never become the next Andy Taylor, but I could only hope to begin with such products as Electric Guitar Pack for Dummies.

And as for Simon Le Bon's instrument - his vocal talent - I will have to suffice with pretending I can sing.  I can match a pitch, but on my own, my "ability" is laughable.

So, I hope you are able to get your groove on with any of these selections or one of your own through Amazon.com.  And always remember to play it!





Set List - House. . .

In the post, "Catchy Jingles," I described the song, "Days Go By," made a smash hit on the radio waves when released in advertising for Mitsubishi.  This song, as performed by Dirty Vegas, has a distinct nightclub beat and sound - normally a tone I personally shy away from.  House music is loud, intense, and in my opinion without originality - no lyrics, just beat.  However, as of late, I find surprise interest in myself.

During my iTunes search for the song, "Shakedown" (see the post "Rockin' Movies"), I came across an incredible number of song and album titles named Shakedown.  Overwhelmed, I reviewed all - I was not sure what to look for to begin with.  I played every Shakedown title and eventually narrowed my search down to two - the song "Shakedown" and the song "Nothing But a Heartache" on the album Shakedown.

"Nothing But a Heartache," as performed by The Freemasons, is a dance-labeled song.  Shockingly, I downloaded it. . .I like house music!  So what makes this song special and worth purchasing>?  It is fun and fast.  It has a melodic beat.  It features more than just scratching on a turntable, including a brass section.  It is not oppressively intense.  "Nothing But a Heartache" is a song with attraction, house-style with substance.

My love for  Duran Duran recently zeroed in on individual side projects created by the members.  Roger Taylor (drummer) is a professional d.j. when not performing or recording.  His style is dance, house.  I love the drums and I adore Roger Taylor, so I took a massive chance and listened to his work online, through his official Facebook page.  The first link - http://www.thekagency.com/ - provides a biography and background of his work as a d.j.  The second link - http://www.subtronicdj.com/ - provides an audio sample of Roger's work, called "Ready For This."  When I first visited this site, I myself thought, "No!  I'm not ready for this!"  Yet with repeated visits, I found myself in a house groove.  The words are repetitive, but the beat is powerful.  Roger has a way of bringing together random sounds into one coherent tone.  ...  The man is unbelievable in his talents as a drummer and as a career disc jockey.

So, Roger Taylor, this blog entry is for you.  Thank you for opening my eyes to a new world in music.  A once-dreaded notion of house has now become an intriguing fun house (odd play on words, sorry).  Play it, Rog!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Support Amazon Music

I have a thought to pose to all Duran Duran enthusiasts.  If you need more memorabilia to add to your collection, Amazon.com is the place to go.  I, myself, have purchased many DD items from Amazon and am always left more than pleased.  At amazon.com/music, you can buy cds, dvds, books, downloads, and much more.  Most of my Duran Duran cd collection hails from Amazon.

One item I would like to promote here is Duran Duran : Greatest Hits DVD - music videos to some of the band's best-known songs.  The videos are classics, such as Rio, and the songs of course have gone down in music history. 

Duran Duran : Greatest Hits DVD on Amazon costs $28.99.  As one that is part of my extensive collection, I highly recommend this purchase.  Picture the guys in their early years. . .

Enjoy!

Just so you know. . .

As you can see, I have posted numerous album covers to my Set List. . .page. They are beautiful in color and graphic design. I maintain an extensive collection on the musicians you see, including Miles Davis, Duran Duran, Chris Botti, and many others. In the event that you find keen interest in these album covers and wish to purchase a copy, please visit the following link:
Just so you know, my copies of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue and The Essential Miles Davis (Best of, if you will) were purchased through Amazon. My copy of Duran Duran's Rio as a documentary dvd as well as The Wedding Album were likewise purchased through Amazon.

Just so you know, Amazon.com is an excellent source for music collections in any genre, any musician, and any medium (album or dvd). Check it out if you are interested. And always remember to play it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quick Note

Quick note to followers and visitors of my blog, Set List. . . (http://playit08.blogspot.com) -

I recently added graphics to my site. These graphics include album covers by various musicians and YouTube videos about various musicians. Some of the album covers are interactive - when clicking on the image, the viewer will be taken to a relevant website for further enjoyment. Some of the YouTube videos are random and nowhere near related to the musician specified in the title. (Many apologies. . .I am still new at this!) I do encourage comments to let me know if there is anything I can do better technology-wise.
I thoroughly enjoy adding graphics as I feel they greatly enhance the quality of my site. I hope beyond hope my followers and visitors feel the same. So enjoy. And as always, play it!

Set List - Rockin' Movies

Question - Have you ever been entirely consumed in a movie just for its soundtrack? Have you ever left a movie theater or turned off the dvd player knowing you must find that irresistable song or cd? My answer - Yes. Welcome to my world.

I admit that I have a passion for music. My taste in music varies greatly. My taste in music from movies is even more eclectic. . .

The Breakfast Club -
Am I allowed to say OMG? Simple Minds and "Don't You Forget About Me" is a personal anthem. If I could return to the 1980s, this song would play every day. Simple Minds defined an era in teenage years that will never be matched by today's generation. While there is nothing different between the 80s and today - silly, awkward Friday night dances in the school gym, defined layers in the student body, and so forth - the feeling is distinct. "The Breakfast Club" set the tone to what high school will be like for those that watched and watch today. Simple Minds made the transition to the "joy" of high school easier. Although I would never wish to turn back the years to my days in high school, "Don't You Forget About Me" would be my only inspiration to at least go to a reunion.
Beverly Hills Cop -
What is it about the 1980s? "Beverly Hills Cop" is the ultimate classic for Eddie Murphy films, in my opinion anyway. And there is one song throughout the trio that stands out every time I watch - "Shakedown," a tribute to Bob Seger. This song is fast, fun, and a tongue-twister if you don't keep up. I spent my very early years in Southern California. If I were to return to Los Angeles in the 80s, this song would play, as my first image of Southern California in this decade is painted by "Shakedown."
Ghostbusters II -
OMG, I swear this is the last 80s film. The cast and ghosts are back again in this movie, with the addition of little Oscar. And with any sequel comes climactic theme songs. In "Ghostbusters II," Bobby Brown sang his heart out to the soundtrack in the song, "On Our Own." Lost in a cold, wintery day in New York City, surrounded by spooky things that go bump in the night. . .saved by none other than the Ghostbusters! Perfect for a chilly Halloween night or, when last I watched, sick in bed at the holiday season. . .either way, both the movie and the song make for happiness and enjoyment.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -
Complete change of pace with this movie that, finally, came out in the 1990s. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" paints a haunting description of Savannah, Georgia - a picture that I have always wanted to see come to life in person. However, if you like gentle, loving jazz, Johnny Mercer would be the man for you. His classics shall forever remain beyond his years. The soundtrack to "Midnight. . ." is romantic and can best be enjoyed on a cool, rainy night in the fall, in my opinion anyway. Both the movie and the soundtrack are captivating and draw a person in, much the way I imagine the South would.
A Beautiful Mind -
For anyone who suffers from a mental illness, "A Beautiful Mind" is a story to relate to. Although I am not schizophrenic, I can very personally relate to this true story and the pain John Nash nearly succombed to. The soundtrack to "A Beautiful Mind" is haunting and nearly sorrowful, yet inspiring and hopeful. James Horner, the composer, concludes musically the story told by John Nash, as portrayed by the phenomenal actor Russell Crowe.
Blue Streak -
Let's lighten thinbgs up a bit with the "Blue Streak" soundtrack, namely the song "Criminal Mind." Far cry from the others I would say. To be honest, I am not much in the way of this genre of music. However, "Criminal Mind" does not shove hip-hop down one's throat. "Criminal Mind" is simply a fun, catchy song that I love.
In retrospect, my taste in movie soundtracks must sound insane as the genres bounce from wall to wall. Ironically, my taste in movies is quite secure - comedy and drama. So what can we conclude from these words? I definitely have a passion for music in all ways - from songs heard on the radio to songs discovered on iTunes to songs played briefly on television to songs heard in random clips in favorite movies.
Hollywood says, "Take One. Play it!"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Set List - Catchy Jingles

Have you ever been glued to the television set in the hopes of seeing a particular commercial that plays a catchy jingle? Have you become so addicted to that jingle that you hit the Internet and iTunes hard to find the name and musician? If you answered yes to both, then you truly are a music enthusiast.
Some years ago, Mitsubishi presented its newest car model to the world. However, what the Japanese company was not counting on with the automobile success it may have gained was the trick advertisers cleverly came up with. Music. For months, viewers became listeners. "Days Go By" as performed by Dirty Vegas became an overnight smash. This jingle - err, song - has a nightclub beat to it without being on the oppressive house side. At the time of its release, "Days Go By" was an immediate addiction to many, who got their fix over the radio. I, myself, could not get enough. And this past week, I downloaded the song to my iTunes collection.
Kia Motors recently presented to the world two new car models. However, Kia inadvertently presented two new songs that have left much wonder to listeners. Both are cleverly presented and more than catchy.
"Fort Knox," by Goldfish, has a sound that can only be described as the Italian Mafia goes country western with a large hint of rock. I admit that I am addicted. I must "get my groove on" every time I listen. This song has soul and funk. And it is best acted out by animated hampsters (oh that one).
"How You Like Me Now?", by The Heavy, is comical as acted out by animated stuffed dolls and is just too much fun to listen to. I imagine this song being reminiscent of James Brown, had he created and performed well into the 21st Century - groove, funk, and fun.
Readers may think that I watch too much television to find these songs. I find myself to be passionate, finding great and unique tunes anywhere.
Rev up your engines and play it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Set List - Duran Duran Article

My love for Duran Duran and my love for writing collided on March 25, 2010.
My first assignment in a newly created account with the online writing source, AssociatedContent.com, was on the topic, Top 10 Songs By ___. When Duran Duran naturally filled the gap, I claimed the article immediately.
My article, entitled "Duran Duran: Is There Something I Should Know?", covers personal favorites and ones that must be included for fear of being remiss:
Ordinary World - The Wedding Album
Reach Up For the Sunrise - Astronaut
What Happens Tomorrow - Astronaut
Save a Prayer - Rio
Rio - Rio
The Reflex - Greatest Hits (orignially, Seven and the Ragged Tiger)
Wild Boys - Greatest Hits (apologies as I do not know the original album)
Girls On Film - Duran Duran self
Planet Earth - Duran Duran self
Falling Down - Red Carpet Massacre
These songs do not reflect my ultimates. However, I nonetheless like and enjoy them a great deal. Follow the link for my reasoning:
www.associatedcontent.com/article/2826130/duranduranistheresomethingishould.html
I put this entry, this article to every Duran Duran fan reading this post. What are your favorites? Top 5? Top 10? What are your thoughts on my selection? I am eager to communicate with all die-hard Duranies.
Let me hear you play it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Set List - Duran Duran Online

In the Duran Duran music world, I am merely a faceless figure - one of hundreds of thousands of supporting fans. I buy albums, concert dvds, documentary dvds, collector's memorabilia, and so on. However, in the Duran Duran online community, I am Lauren - an eager participant in the sharing of interests and experience as well as the ever-growing bond affectionately termed "Duranie."

In their earlier years, Duran Duran conquered much of the globe. In the 21st Century, DD has set up establishment on the World Wide Web.
Duran Duran has an official page on Facebook and MySpace. (Drummer, Roger Taylor, has an official page on Facebook, where he keeps fans informed of his d.j. gigs often.)
The guys post blog entries on WordPress often.
The official website, www.duranduran.com, is the place to be for all news, updates, and photos (and archives) Duran Duran. Fans can view individual writings, questions submitted to AskKaty for DD members (yes, thee men) to personally answer, timeline of past and upcoming events, and so much more.
The band's official fan website, www.duranduranmusic.com, is the place to be for all Duranies. There is a yearly fee, but the benefits offered are priceless. Forums on any topic in relation to DD bring an outstanding number of fans together, and threads often last for pages. Contests abound and prizes of all kind make lucky winners smile with joy (and are personally announced on the site). When a tour commences, members attain status for presale tickets and VIP packages (tickets, travel accommodations). Indeed, excitement awaits with ddm.
Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and even Andy Taylor (albeit no longer with the band) have conquered this Planet Earth, the online world, and the hearts of too many to count. ... Play it, boys!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Set List - It's a Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day - blue, sunny skies complimented by long-awaited warm, mild temperatures or refreshing rain showers that remind a person of one word: spring. The doldrums of winter have worn themselves out and now it is relieving to take a deep breath in and inhale newness. Spring is here, but music never went away.

Every season comes with a musical sense. Spring is vibrant with colors, wet and dry. I love the softness of jazz to match the pitter-patter of rain. Relaxin' with Miles Davis or Chris Botti in Boston tend to suit the atmosphere of "April showers." On the other hand, when windows are wide open and the sun shines strong for the first time in a long time, I am inspired by the music that blasts from cars on the street, passing my apartment at all times throughout the day. I do not know what is being played and at times I do not like the song. Yet my opinion is irrelevant. On warm, bright spring days, the best music is music that permeates the outdoors.

It's a beautiful day. Spring demands you play it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Set List - It's Just One of Those Days

Everyone has issues that can burn them up with anger and frustration or tear them down with sadness and exhaustion. When I let my emotions get the best of me, it becomes just one of those days. And when such a day occurs, I need music, especially loud.
When I am angry, I love loud music with an edge - whether it be live from a concert cd or listening to a mean guitar such as Van Halen's "Eruption" or blasting to the beat of drums such as Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." Any of these would certainly drown out my screams of frustration.
When I am depressed, I desire softer tones. Chris Botti's trumpet is an exceptional recommendation. His cd, Italia and especially the song "Ave Maria," center my emotions and slowly lift my spirits. However, I find Chris Botti to be a deep, emotional musician that can easily tap into solemness rather than excitement.
Now when I need to escape from all emotion, I love songs that I enjoyed before life just got complicated. My pick would definitely be "On Our Own" by Bobby Brown - theme to "Ghostbusters II." I love the movie and the song greatly. Both always allow me to escape to a content place where nothing bothers me and the crazy aspects that have found a home in my life simply don't exist.
In short, when it's just one of those days, the best medicine is loud or soft or escape. Indeed, continue to play it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Set List - Birthday Edition

On April 29, 1983, my mom went into labor. As my parents raced to the hospital, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" played on the car radio. Somehow, this solidified my interest in Michael Jackson's iconic music.
Thriller, in song and video, is pure classic in American rock history. Thriller is spooky any day of the year, and sparks a dance groove everyday of the year. Thriller is fun. The song and video remain, 27 years later, unique in concept that inspires generations of musicians and fans.
Michael Jackson's passing was greatly unexpected and most sorrowful. He will be remembered forever. I will remember him forever. April 29th will groove forever.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Set List - And All That Jazz

Rush, Duran Duran, and jazz. . .I said my taste in music is eclectic (and this will continue to be evident in future entries).

My father has a way of making hot, miserable summer days cool, enjoyable ones when coming home to light, background jazz filling his apartment. This is pure tranquility - constant everyday motions and routine slow to a stop with a piano keystroke, brush of the drums, gentle trumpet, pluck of a bass.

On a rainy day, with a few chocolate-covered espresso beans in hand, Miles Davis assures me that it is okay to be Kind of Blue. His trumpet and the pitter-patter rain drops place me in a state of calm, peace. I forget any pressing needs and just relax.
There is a mystery to jazz - whether you are swingin' to swing or groovin' to smooth, or catchin' a much-needed breath to the style of Miles Davis. Jazz is appealing in any way and, like all other musical genres, brings a person to wherever they want to be.
I love jazz, I need jazz, for its mystery and tranquility. So I definitely say play it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Set List - Duran Duran

I earlier declared that Duran Duran will forever remain in my heart. As I listen to "Reach Up For the Sunrise" (live) while writing this entry, Duran Duran indeed fills my heart and life. So why?
I discovered Duran Duran at age eight, when I heard "Ordinary World" off of the record, The Wedding Album. "Ordinary World" is my first and foremost with DD - first song I memorized all of the lyrics to, first song that attracted me to the band, first song I fell in love with. The words, the instruments. . .the song is perfect. I have heard "Ordinary World" recorded and live. I will always prefer the recorded version, because if you listen closely to the ending - the instrumental over Simon Le Bon's vocals - there inlies the haunting yet soothing elements of a song that says so much. "Ordinary World" sends a message, and the ending is just a peaceful reminder.
I have since followed The Wedding Album with a Greatest Hits cd, Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, Rio, a self-titled, and numerous concert/documentary dvds. My interest has grown into a passion, and collection. Every song, every album is different and unique, reinventing the band each time. I think this is why Duran Duran can maintain their status and popularity. Astronaut is classic in sound and lyrics while RCM has an edge that appeals to new generations, as an example.
Clearly, I can go on for some time about this band that fills my heart and life so. I will in fact devote more entries to DD, covering such topics as my favorite live songs, my interest in each member of the "original lineup" as Nick Rhodes once said, my first concert experience, and perhaps more.
And so with that I say, play it Duran Duran!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Set List - Rush

For die-hard music enthusiasts, you will know the name of this entry - the band Rush. I have three of their songs on my iTunes collection, with the ultimate being "Tom Sawyer." This song, like the band, has an edge and is unique in sound and beat.

For Disney fanatics, you will know the name of this entry - the song "Rush." This song was the theme to a recent Disney Channel movie. I am a grown adult and do admit that I liked that movie and love the song as performed by its creators, Aly and A.J. "Rush" is haunting in its fast pace and young beat that clearly attracts any age.

So what can you tell by these words? One word - eclectic. My taste in music truly is a rush of the head. I love anything 1980s, such as Tears for Fears, Talking Heads, The Police, Simple Minds. . .the list goes on. I love rock in nearly any decade - James Brown to U2 to Nickelback. My heart will always lie with Duran Duran. Yet when I need to catch my breath, The Rippingtons, Miles Davis, and Chris Botti - all jazz artists - place me in a tranquil zone. Of course, I sometimes snap out of that zone with alternative sounds, such as Puddle of Mudd or Coldplay.

Indeed my interests in music are a rush to the head. And I always surprise myself with iTunes and cd purchases. ... So, play it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Set List - Music

My heart's passion is with music and with writing. An article I submitted to the online writing source, AssociatedContent.com, was in fact published and the topic was, quite naturally, on music. (See link below) I am likewise currently in the process of creating a music-themed personal website with the implementation of blogs...What can I say?

Why music? I am intrigued by all genres (with the exception of country and hip-hop). Every musician or band I listen to offers unique sound that cannot be matched by any other artist. The 1980s provided funky styles, but every artist from that decade nonetheless was different from each other. Jazz provides a sliding scale. Miles Davis and Chris Botti (trumpets) are similar and different at the same time. Alternative music stands on its own, but such bands as Coldplay and Puddle of Mudd are distinctly different from each other. For these reasons and many more, music is equally unique and universal. For these reasons and many more, I am drawn to music.

I love music, and do indeed live by it. I hope that visitors to my site are intrigued by the blog entries. I do encourage comments, as everyone has opinions on the world of music. ... So, play it!

AssociatedContent article link: www.associatedcontent.com/article/2826130/duranduranistheresomethingishould.html
"Top 10 Songs By Duran Duran"
*The chosen songs do not necessarily reflect my ultimate choices, but many are near the top for given reasons.