Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Into The Mystic

What is it about music that conjures up such strong emotions?

It ignites hearts and imaginations, inspiring joy and feelings of excitement. Music reanimates colorful memories of things long forgotten and instant transports you to places you've never been. Experiencing thoughts, feelings and pictures in one's mind could be thought of was the world's first video game. And still one of the best.

Listen to Sinatra and in your mind you're suddenly a tuxedo clad sophisticate sipping late night martinis with the jet set. Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" takes you skipping and hopping through sunlit meadows to reconnect with your first love. "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong warms your heart and renews your faith in the basic goodness of people.

In the span of three minutes your stress can be lessened considerably simply by listening and connecting to the right song. Science still hasn't explained how this happens. It is known that listening to music releases endorphins (opiate like substances) in your brain. Music can relax tension- even lessen migrains.

Centuries before newspapers, television or the internet, music was used to bond people together by sharing common ideas and feelings. Evidence of music dates back 3,400 years in the form of clay tablets with musical notation from the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit.

Music is a bringer of hope and a soother of pain. It commiserates with the downtrodden and lifts the spirits of the hopeless. It's mystical power may never be fully explained or understood.

In a world bombarded by a barrage of external messages fighting for your attention, music is the channel to reconnect with yourself and your place in the universe. It is a personal message sent from beyond that which we can consciously comprehend.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Black Eyed Peas Go Stale

B.E.P. singer Fergie

The popularity of The Black Eyed Peas 2006 smash hit "My Humps" was scary. A narcissistic ode to lead singer Fergies' own "lady lumps" and the reaction they get from pubescent young boys. As if getting horny young males to notice female body parts is a major accomplishment.

Using sexual salaciousness in place of actual talent is an age old formula that is about as challenging as shooting fish in a barrel. Whores of all types have been doing it for ages. They just don't try to pass it off as art.

Way to raise the bar, Black Eyed Peas.

Of course this was a huge hit with your average teenager and top 40 radio and MTV were quick to add it in heavy rotation. After a good run, it finally fizzled out as most pop songs do.

Just when you thought it was safe to listen again here comes "Fergalicious" from Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie's solo album. While not as sexually blatant as "My Humps", it is equally insipid.

The song uses the eighties club hit, "Give It All You Got" as a musical backdrop. Then defiles it with lyrics that sound like they were scribbled by a thirteen year old on the back of their school notebook during a quick recess:

Fergalicious definition make them boys go loco
They want my treasure so they get their pleasures from my photo
You could see you, you can't squeeze me
I ain't easy, I ain't sleazy
I got reasons why I tease 'em
Boys just come and go like seasons

A large part of the song is devoted to literally spelling out the words "tasty" and "delicious".

And then there's Fergie's lame attempt at rapping. No matter how hard she tries, ghetto she aint.

Naturally this is another huge hit, no doubt convincing rhyme challenged people everywhere that they too have talent.

Turn off your radio and maybe try again in the Spring...