Many people in and out of the music industry would argue that rap music is becoming the most popular genre of music. It is prevalent throughout movies, video games, TV shows and contains a whole culture, filled with subcultures within itself. People seem to either hate or love rap music, with some people calling it the music of “this generation.” But since the beginning, the roots of rap music have been cemented in something that is still prevalent today: giving a voice to those unheard.
When I was a six-year-old boy, I had a neighbor who had a lot of musical gear that his dad protected like it was part of his body. One day, we got into an argument and he told me he would shoot me with his dad's shotgun. I ran home screaming and crying for my mom and she spoke with his Mom and our friendship was ruined forever.
The scene is this: two teenagers driving two hours from Amherst Massachusetts to Cambridge. A two hour drive all to see our favorite band at the time, Motion City Soundtrack. We were hopped up on Monster and Twizzlers, blasting all our favorite compositions that we had crammed onto an 80 minute disc. Windows were down. A riveting game of Marry, Sex, Kill was the entertainment. We go to the venue and excitedly waited in line to get in. Our hands were promptly stamped upon entering, and we didn't care. We were there to let live music intoxicate us, and we didn't need anything else.
Music, it’s not a strange word or concept. I mean we all listen to music while we go about our daily lives. The question is, do we ever really pay attention to music itself? To what the lyrics say or the beat of the music? Better yet, do we pay attention to ourselves while listening to music? We all know music has the power heal and it’s the universal language in this distorted world of ours. But have you ever really sat down and listened to yourself while you listened to music? Like really paid attention to your mood? Your heart beat? Just being completely in one with your inner self?
I have spent several years comparing my voice to professionals, my peers, even children in plays who are years younger than me. It seems we all have this bad habit of making our voices a competition. But why? For me, it is usually because of how touching the voices of those who are successful are. I become jealous, in a way. The ability to move someone through a song is like a hidden super power. In the better half of the past year, my voice and technique has grown immensely due to one change I made. I have accepted that although my voice will always sound imperfect to me, that doesn't decrease its value.
When I first heard the music, I was five years old. My mother was singing some karaoke and hearing how beautiful she sings inspired me to sing. I tried to sing in front of people, but because of my shyness, it didn't work out as much as I hoped for. During elementary days, I sang at a concert with my class almost every year. It was fun, actually, but as I grew older, I didn't enjoy singing with the class anymore because I lost my passion for music.
Hello, my name is Ciara Brooke. I'm writing this post to let my family, friends, followers, and anyone else who reads this know what's been happening in my life and music career and what's to come in the new year.
Life isn't just about living, it's also about enjoying it. Music makes life fun, full, and entertaining. Music differs so much that no song is like another. Just like how everybody is different. Music is so important to me because it makes me happy when I need to be happy, sad when I want to be sad, and boosts every emotion that I can possibly have. When I hear a melody, it makes me ponder about my life in the past, present, and future. I've had many years to listen to music and have just recently seen the what music means to me. Music makes me think about all the parts of my life because it has made such an influence in my heart.
Scott flips through the vinyls sitting on a shelf in his room, dusty old Chuck Berry albums mixed with a new Stones record and everything in between. There’s a few odd ones, like the Beach Boys and Shirelles, more of his mom’s music than his own, but they act as a nice break sometimes from the regular Hendrix riffs or gruff vocals of Black Sabbath. His parents are gone for the next few hours, giving him the perfect amount of time to blast his music uninterrupted for a while. He pulls off a 7” “Stairway to Heaven” single he found back when he was probably ten or so with his dad. The album art is relatively bland, but the song definitely made up for it. He also picks off "Road to Ruin" to listen to as well, especially considering his dad’s hatred for the Ramones meant he couldn’t listen to them when he was at home. He finds them dirty, ill-mannered, and unkempt with their matching shaggy hair and ill-fitting jeans.
On Saturday, May 27th, I sat in a Portland coffeeshop and read that Gregg Allman had passed away. Then I read that two men had been stabbed to death on a Portland train the night before. One of them was Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche. I didn't know him personally, but I saw that I had over a dozen mutual friends with his mother, Asha Deliverance. As I drove the three hour drive back to Bend over the mountain pass, I thought about Gregg, and of Taliesin and Rick, the two victims who had been stabbed by Jeremy Christian for standing up to the hate and bigotry he was directing towards two teenaged girls, one wearing a hijab.
Manchester Arena opened its doors in 1995. It's been through a number of incarnations and to my knowledge had four different names as sponsors have come and gone. In the twenty plus years since its launch, the arena has been host to thousands of the superstar names in the entertainment industry.
In 2016, I was scheduled to open up for Leon Russell at the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon in May. When a tour bus broke down, that show was postponed to December 7. When I realized this was the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I felt compelled to write a song to commemorate this auspicious day, a "day that will live forever in infamy." Only since it happened 28 years before I was born, I knew next to nothing about it.