Friday, October 29, 2010


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

Depeche Mode is first on my contemporaries list.  Known early on for hits such as "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth" (both Violator), Depeche Mode has yet to stray from their trademark electronic 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.  And their 1990 album, Violator, helped get them noticed when it landed #7 in the Top 10 of Billboard 200 ( ).  Depeche Mode simply rocks.

Seal is an incredible singer and recording artist.  His lyrics are powerful, and at the right moment in such songs as "Bring It On" (Seal 1994) and "Crazy" (Seal: Best 1991-2004) a hit of musical intensity punches the listener, who will want more.

3 Doors Down is a surprise contemporary favorite.  Sorrowful lyrics in such songs as "When I'm Gone" (Away From the Sun) and "It's Not My Time," under the guise of rock sound and beat, provide interest and attraction.  The 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.  As the story goes, when the three original members began performing at the start of their career, they were in need of a name.  During a trip to one city in Alabama, the three noticed a building with falling letters reading "Doors Down."  There were the three initial members.  So we have "3 Doors Down."  Indeed, clever and successful - highly top-rated songs, multi-platinum albums, self-titles at #1 on Billboard 200 (

3 Doors Down is one to catch a listener's attention.

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

Rock in any style has appeal to all listeners in this genre giant.  And this genre giant only gets better with time, past and present.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Music is a rush to the head

A sample of my family's musical rush to the head -

The Very Best of Chris Botti


Very Best of Grateful Dead

All the Right Reasons

Helium article sample

A befitting article for a music blog. . .

Music is for everyone
By Lauren Hovis

Music has a history that dates back for centuries.  This history has consumed in some way every life that has appeared throughout.  Over the course of time, lives have been affected by music - through natural talent, through study, through critique, and through acute interest just by listening.  Every generation experiences its own style of music, that is passed on and evolves with time.  As I currently listen to my selection of iTunes, I reflect on personal interests in music and the interests that vary greatly within my own family.

My paternal grandmother (Grammy) is 85 years old.  She has witnessed American and global history.  She has defined opinions on every subject offered.  So, quite naturally, she has defined taste in music.  Grammy loves Hawaiian music.  We have family in Kauai, who she visits yearly.  When my father and aunt were little, they spent the better part of their childhood in Hawaii.  Grammy, therefore, became greatly aware of the Pacific style and has been exposed to this style for years.  She has many favorite Hawaiian artists, one of which I happen to like as well - HAPA.  This group is made up of two men, guitarist and singer.  Surely enough, every time I play the cd, I am taken on an escape to tropical paradise.  Living in Illinois, the cost of travel is difficult.  However, through HAPA and Grammy's acute interest, I am in my mind on the white sandy beaches often.  Grammy's defined taste is unique as Hawaiian music is so specific and regional.  Yet, at age 85, she loves music.  Music is for her.

My maternal grandmother (Grandma) is 81 years old.  She too has witnessed American and global history.  She too has defined opinions on every subject offered.  So, therefore, she has defined taste in music.  Grandma is far from Grammy.  Grandma loves classical music.  She adores the male singing group, El Divo.  Most often when I visit her, they are playing in the background beautifully.  She recently came into the discovery of jazz trumpeter, Chris Botti.  However, Grandma has always adored Simon & Garfunkel.  Surprisingly, her interests have sparked intrigue in me, especially where regarding Chris Botti and Paul Simon.  Grandma's defined taste is somewhat unique as classical music (which she prefers the most) is not widely popular in American society, especially among the younger generations.  Yet, at age 81, she loves music.  Music is for her.

My father is 54 years old.  He follows a long line of music lovers.  His taste, however, is in jazz.  Dad will never budge from smooth jazz and classic jazz.  As I listen to the smooth jazz band, The Rippingtons, I am reminded of his sincere interest and exposure to all varieties of jazz.  At age 54, he loves music.  Music is for him.

My mother is 47 years old.  She too follows a long line of music lovers.  Her taste is a far cry from Grammy, Grandma, and Dad.  Mom lives for music, especially classic and modern rock.  Her interests within this genre are off the board, however - from The Grateful Dead to Nickelback to anywhere in between.  I live with my mom.  Weekends and car trips are sure to be loud with pumping music.  At age 47, she loves music.  Music is for her.

My cousin, Paula, is 19 years old.  She loves various artists in modern rock.  Paula lives for music literally.  She is an accomplished drummer and attends live concerts at least one to two times a year.  We visit each other often and always find room for music as a topic of interest.  At age 19, she loves music.  Music is for her.

My cousin, Michaela, is 17 years old.  She loves rap music.  Michaela's interest is unique to her and is a far cry from everyone in the family.  When we talk over the phone, rap is often playing in the background.  At age 17, she loves music.  Music is for her.

I am 27 years old.  I descend from a long lineage of music enthusiasts.  My interests cannot be described as they extend into so many different branches.  I love jazz the way my father does.  I adore Miles Davis, Chris Botti, The Rippingtons, and a host of smooth jazz artists too many to be named here.  I love rock the way my mother does.  I adore Duran Duran, anything 1980s, and pure classic rock from the 1970s on.  My parents' interests inspire my taste in many ways.  My interests have as of late taken me beyond just listening.  I created a personal blog whose posts are solely on my interests in music, all genres, all, musicians, and personal experiences.  As my musical motto goes, my interest in music is a rush to the head - so many musicians, so many genres.

Music has a history that reflects on everyone.  At some point, every person around the globe has found a beat, a style, a lyric.  Music is found everywhere and discovered surely enough.  For these reasons, music is for everyone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is there something you should know?

As you can tell by posts below, I am quite fond of Duran Duran.  I collect, I listen, I write, I create, I am profoundly inspired.  So is there something you should know?

I am in love with Duran Duran for their appearance, humor, boyish goofiness, and intellect.

I am awe-struck by each member's natural talent - 

Simon's voice is unique to him and the band, as are the lyrics he drafts.  His creativity is incredbily deep and energetic.  His words keep the listener guessing as to where he will go next.  No two songs are exactly the same or same at all.  This notion keeps Duran Duran fresh over the years.

Nick Rhodes on the keyboard often leaves me to wonder if his talent could ever stretch to a piano. . .until I hear him on the synthesizer.  Anyone can make sounds on a synthesizer.  Only he, however, can make sounds that are coherent into a song.  And there are numerous songs that open with his solo.  The man is a genius in this respect.  He makes the instrument look easy to play. . .it is not.

John Taylor is smooth on his bass guitar.  Yet he also adds funk to many classics and contemporary hits.  He is so cool in sound that it would seem that he blends into the background.  I do not think the Duranie chant, "Play that fucking bass, John," will let him slip on by.

Roger Taylor is so quiet and shy in personality.  He has a sweet and kind demeanor.  He is a loveable person.  And then he steps on stage and puts sticks to drums.  His power is intense and defines the meaning of extroverted.  He leads the beat and he knows it.  The sound that is emitted from his section of the stage reflects an entirely different side to his quiet personality.

I am, quite simply, a fan.  Therefore, refer to this entry if ever you wonder why I write so often about Duran Duran.  Any doubts?  Is there something you should know?  Consider Play It Duran Duran Fan Page (see link in the post below).  There is something I should know.  Are you a Duran Duran fan yet?