Before we continue Part Two of my Punk Rock years, here's a short but fun Glossary of terms (for our overseas chums not familiar with British/London slang)
which I forgot to put in the first chapter ...
I briefly mentioned in my last piece my labor of love with the Dvorak pieces – but what was life like when he wrote them and what might his ideas be a reflection of? To get to the possibilities of it we need to look at what was going on at the time.
This is the story of a symphony which sang of hope and humanity across the decades. Leningrad, Dmitri Shostakovich’s seventh symphony, embodied the spirit of resistance from its very conception, but it is the individuals embroiled in its history who are the true inspiration behind this message.
Forward...by a disillusioned guy who has never understood society or
people in general
There are three specific things in life you are definitely guaranteed in your
lifetime. Hypocrisy, people who cheap talk and ignorance. It surrounds us all.
The Age of Enlightenment was the period of intellectualism, civil rights, and a tremendously fruitful period of music. This revolutionary age – evolving out of the Baroque period – focused mainly upon civil human rights, reason over faith, and philosophy; such principles were examined in the ancient history of Greeks and Romans, inherently deeming the name “Classical” upon the eighteenth century. These aspects inevitably were assimilated into the various music genres, namely the genre of symphony, and the multi-layered idealisms coincided closely its formal and stylistic characteristics; thus, this genre of Western art ultimately revealed how “enlightened” the fundamental music paradigm came to be.
I admit that I was and still effectively am a Deadheaded individual.
(Conjuring an image of "deadheading" dead roses on the bush so that their rotting petal flesh fragments can feed the soil that feeds the plant.)
Return to Art: The Paper
Imagine two turntables and a microphone. Alone, they seem inanimate, lifeless, and immaterial. Yet, they would come to represent the heart---the very core from which true hip-hop came into being. The average hip-hop listener today would less likely identify with them, as young kids and newcomers to hip-hop alike are saturated with a maelstrom of ubiquitous pop. You know the ones. The ones with those catchy "get the job done" hooks and dumbed-down lyrics. This type of music did not always represent the hip-hop culture; Hip-hop used to be about positivity, teaching others, and having fun. Now it isn't about anything--no one clear objective to reach, just an ongoing audio bad acid-trip that leaves many wanting more. It is akin to a drug, no, a virus that has spread exponentially in the past 30 years. There is, fortunately, a cure for this virus, and it lies in recognizing the link between what is known as old school hip-hop, and new-school hip-hop, and why the old school is the best representation of where hip-hop should go from here on out.
I was recently watching the 10 episode show Texas Rising and was intrigued with the character, Emily West, a woman of mixed racial heritage. At the end of the final episode, clips were shown of the actors who portrayed the characters, images of the real people, and a brief history. I was surprised to find that Emily, also known as Emily Morgan was the inspiration for the popular song, The Yellow Rose of Texas. I had never associated the color of the rose with the hue of the woman's skin but suddenly it all made sense.
Heartbreak Hotel was Elvis Presley's first million-selling record in and in 1956 it topped the Billboard charts for seven weeks and the Country and Western chart for seventeen, "The King" had arrived.
I'll always believe that the 1920's was the birth of flexible musical creation. Artists began to strip away rules and take inspiration from all sources to form new, exciting sounds that, perhaps for the first time, made people feel so elated that had no choice but to get up and dance!
"You have to know someone."
"It's not open to the public, you have to be invited."
"They send a car, they won't let you drive there."
"They are more Covid careful than the CDC."
It's 2009. You French kiss your middle school crush Alex for the first time while Usher's "Love in This Club" blasts from his family desktop's crappy speakers. On your walk home, you play "Fergalicious" on your hot pink iPod Shuffle. Later that night, you watch the music video for this song called "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga with your best friend. Honestly, it's pretty weird, but you like the song anyway.