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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

 

Today, something for Obama supporters

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I’ve been taking a fair amount of heat lately because I can’t find it in my heart to support Our Dear Leader…I mean, The Greatest President Ever®… I mean Barack H. Obama as he runs for reelection.

Apparently, all I ever do is lie about him and make up stuff and be mean and disrespectful. I’ve even had the racist card played on me a couple of times.

I will freely admit to being disrespectful, primarily because I’m one of those curmudgeonly folks who believe respect should be earned and not come automatically with being elected to something. The rest of the charges, well, I imagine they come from folks who live by sound bites and pretty much want to believe that “Yes, we can” move “Forward” and build castles in the sky but really don’t like it when folks point out things like gravity, so they lash out.  But that’s okay. I have a pretty thick skin.

Still, I do feel a little bit bad that I made them feel bad. So today, I’m not going to say anything bad about Barack H. Obama. I’m not even going to point out any uncomfortable truths. I’m just going to offer this short music video by two folks who apparently were card-carrying Obots hopeful, thoughtful supporters in 2008.

I’ll leave it to you, kind readers, to comment on the video.

Enjoy.

 

A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll in 100 Guitar Riffs

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

If you ever listened to Rock n’ Roll, you might enjoy this twelve-minute performance by Alex from the Chicago Music Exchange.

He plays 100 well-known  guitar riffs and does it all in one take. The names of the songs from whence the riffs came are displayed at the bottom right.

First off, the guys is pretty darn good to do it all in one take. Second, he necessarily had to leave out riffs from many more songs than he included.

He doesn’t say what his criteria was for selecting the riffs, but I can think of some that should have been there, including almost anything from The Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper album, Springsteen’s Born to Run, something from The Who’s Tommy, and riffs to represent rock musicals like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Have a listen and then leave a comment with some songs you think should be included if he ever does a remake with 200 guitar riffs.

A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll in 100 Guitar Riffs

 

“God Bless the USA” is offensive but Justin Bieber’s “Baby” is okay for kindergarteners

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

According to a story in the New York Post, a Coney Island principal,  Greta Hawkins, ordered that Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” be pulled from the program because “we don’t want to offend other cultures.” The youngsters had been practicing for months in preparation for their “moving up” ceremony, and the song had been sung by students in prior years.

Principal Greta Hawkins

Parents and students, many of them from the “other cultures” Hawkins purports to be worried about, were upset by her decision, but the New York Department of Education closed ranks and supported the principal’s absurd decision, saying, “The lyrics are not age-appropriate.”

What is “age appropriate” for kindergarteners, other than a medley of Sesame Street songs? Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which students will be expected sing at the ceremony.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t figure out how a moving, patriotic song that is embraced by millions of people who moved here from “other cultures” is less appropriate than one by a pop culture icon about his girlfriend. One has to wonder just how many of the kids in that kindergarten are already hooking up with each other that Hawkins and the DOE think Bieber’s song is more appropriate.

Here are the lyrics to both. Please, you tell me which you think is more appropriate for youngsters to sing, in school or out.

Baby
By Justin Bieber, Christopher Bria Bridges, Christina Milian, Terius Youngdell Nash, Christopher A. Stewart

Featuring: Ludacris

Justin Bieber

You know you love me, I know you care. Just shout whenever, and I’ll be there
You are my love, you are my heart. And we will never, ever, ever be apart

Are we an item? Girl, quit playin’. “We’re just friends,” what are you sayin’?
Said “there’s another,” and looked right in my eyes. My first love broke my heart for the first time

And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby, oh/. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

For you, I would have done whatever. And I just can’t believe we’re here together
And I wanna play it cool, but I’m losin’ you. I’ll buy you anything, I’ll buy you any ring

And I’m in pieces, baby fix me. And just shake me ’til you wake me from this bad dream
I’m goin’ down, down, down, down. And I just can’t believe my first love won’t be around

And I’m like baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

When I was 13, I had my first love. There was nobody that compared to my baby
And nobody came between us who could ever come above
She had me going crazy, oh I was starstruck. She woke me up daily, don’t need no Starbucks

She made my heart pound. I skip a beat when I see her in the street
And at school on the playground. But I really wanna see her on a weekend
She know she got me dazin’ ’cause she was so amazin’. And now my heart is breakin’ but I just keep on sayin’

Baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

Baby, baby, baby, oh. Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh. I thought you’d always be mine, mine

I’m all gone. (Yeah, yeah, yeah)(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Now I’m all gone. (Yeah, yeah, yeah) (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Now I’m all gone. (Yeah, yeah, yeah) (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Now I’m all gone, gone, gone, gone. I’m gone

Wow! Pretty deep and moving, eh? Can you believe it only took five people to write that song? Amazing!

Now compare that to this.

God Bless The USA
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.

Lee Greenwood

I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas, From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston, and New York to L.A.
Well there’s pride in every American heart, and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

Yes, I see it now. Something like being proud of where you live and being free is so much more confusingly complex than understanding all the emotions and feelings that come into play when you break up with your first love.

You see that, too, right?

[Sarcasm off]

Am I just too old to understand the issues Principal Hawkins and the NY DOE see?

Or is this just another example of liberal idiocy and bias in a public school system?

 

It’s not a coincidence that rap rhymes with crap

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Tawnya.

***

The back page of the local newspaper section that contains local and business news features photos and short items about people in the news. It also features a daily quote. Today, it was this one:

“I think that the board is a lot older and they’re conservative, so some of the content in the music is offensive on some level.” – 50 Cent, on how rap artists rarely win the major awards at the Grammys.

Is he joking? It was a good thing I had not just taken a sip of coffee because I’d have spewed it as I broke into laughter.

When my children were young, they, like so many of their generation, were attracted to “rap.” So, as a dutiful parent, I listened to a few “songs.” The very first thing that came to mind was “It’s not a coincidence that rap rhymes with crap” and I’ve not had reason to change that opinion these past twenty or so years.

I then made clear to both of my children, in no uncertain terms, that while I could not control what they listened to when they were elsewhere, such garbage would never be played in our house and if I found any such CDs laying around, they’d be quickly filed in the trash bin.

To be fair, many of the lyrics to songs old and new are not exactly dripping with profundity. But the one big difference between them and rap is that if you take away the lyrics, you’re generally left with music worth listening to. Take away the lyrics from rap and try to sell what’s left and you’ll go broke.

Because I’ve not since heard much rap other than what generally indecipherable pieces may have assaulted my ears via movie soundtracks, and so was unfamiliar with Curtis James Jackson III’s body of work, I googled “50 cent song lyrics,” clicked on the first return, then on the first title listed. I’ve reproduced it, below.

After you read the lyrics, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to briefly decipher them for me in the comments section.

I would also like to know what you think of rap.

Do you listen to it? Do your kids listen? If so, who are your, and/or their, favorite purveyors?

Am I missing whatever it is in the genre that attracts so many young people? If so, what is it?

And given the widespread misogyny rapper spew forth in their lyrics, why in the world would any girl or woman listen to it or its creator?

Here are the lyrics mentioned above. I did not bother reading any more of his…whatever you want to call it.

***

“The Hit”

Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh

[Chorus]
I change places, to prevent catchin’ the cases
Races, in the faces, hall at you laces
This is a hit, let’s see if homicide trace this

[Verse 1]
The only thing hotter than my flow is the block (inhale and exhale)
That’s why I left this snow biz, and got into show biz
Let’s get this clear, it ain’t on ’til I say it’s on, (pause), it’s on
I’m eatin’, ya’ll niggas fastin’ like it’s Rimadon
Bowlish way in Lebanon, know 50 the bomb
I be at the edge of the bar, sippin’ a Don
I keep the bottle just in case, you never know when it’s on
This worries bump, I can’t go wrong, my team’s too strong
You want war? I take you to war, now that my money long
Why you broke? cat’s buy the by lines and fantasize
The way I’m spittin’, put TV’s in everything I’m sittin’
While I’m hot to death, I’m gonna say this to all you playa haters
Ya’ll should hate the game, not the playas (c’mon)

[Chorus: repeat 2X]
I change places, to prevent catchin’ the cases
Races, in the faces, hall at you laces
This is a hit, let’s see if homicide trace this
(50 Cent, let’s see if homicide trace this)

[Verse 2]
Everyday is bugged, niggas’ll come to a club
To try to show you they a thug, instead of showing some love
Now, what you think you chump me, If I let you bump me
When I’m about to make a mill, faster than you make a G (haha)
I know I lie, it’s a habit, I vow to clean the city like the mayor
And in the crack game, I’m a franchise player
Niggas be thinkin’ I be out to lunch with mines
Then in crunch time, I start hittin’ ‘em hard with punch lines
You cats got to be sick, to think 50 can’t spit
Better check my batting average, I always make hits
My flows leave these rap cats ketro (ketro), all across the metro (metro)
Plus I pack a cannon, up under my marple cannon
They fake, they look like money, but ain’t worth half the cake
Have me runnin’ from Jake, in a GS with bad brakes
They want to knock me take, for Christ sakes

[Chorus]
(50 Cent, let’s see if homicide trace this)
I change places, to prevent catchin’ the cases
Races, in the faces, hall at you laces
This is a hit, let’s see if homicide trace this
(50 Cent, let’s see if homicide trace this)

I change places, to prevent catchin’ the cases
Races, in the faces, hall at you laces
This is a hit, let’s see if homicide trace this
(50 Cent, let’s see if homicide trace this)

[Verse 3]
Yo, son remember them fake playas
Who try to play us at The Shark Club in Vegas
Had them tight linen blazers, and beat up gators
Lookin’ like last year’s playas, (pause)
Yeah, I could tell they dough was low
When we came through the do’
I copped a case of Cristal, and copped one bottle of Mo
From the looking through face, and the bulge in his waist, he holdin’
(Yeah he’s packin’, I can see his rack
The one in the middle, he a big man, I dealt with him son)
Yeah, so I expect look like they ain’t had a run, since ‘ 81
They ain’t here on a hunt for food,
So they could catch you, some cash, and expensive jewels
I’m gonna crash ‘em with this bottle if he move
I ain’t the one son, my shit ain’t come easy
It won’t go easy, believe me

[Chorus: repeat 3X]
I change places, to prevent catchin’ the cases
Races, in the faces, hall at you laces
This is a hit, let’s see if homicide trace this
(50 Cent, let’s see if homicide trace this)

 

 

 

Rip off some music, get financially raped as punishment

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

I remember a time here in the USA when we did not punish people for the sins of others. We punished people for their own sins, or crimes, and that is as it should be. And part of that punishment was to “make whole” the victim; that is, to compensate them for the loss you caused. Thus, if, in fit of drunken rage, you tore out and chopped down your neighbor’s shrubbery, you’d be replacing it or paying the cost to replace it. If you stole stuff from a store, you’d  be made to pay for the things you took.

But get caught illegally downloading a song worth ninety-nine cents over the Internet, and somehow, through some legal prestidigitation, that song suddenly becomes worth $2,250 or even $22,500 to the music company that was denied the sale. Apparently, you’re being held accountable for all the other downloaders they can’t catch. Or maybe they’re just making an example of you.

Ridiculous, you say? Absurd to the extreme? Not at all.

Appeals court in Boston reinstates $675,000 damages in college student’s music-download case

BOSTON — An appeals court reinstated a $675,000 verdict against a Boston University student who illegally downloaded 30 songs and shared them on the Internet, but left the door open for the trial judge to reduce the award again.

Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, representing four record labels, for illegally sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each of songs he illegally downloaded and shared.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner later reduced the award to $67,500, finding the original penalty “unconstitutionally excessive.”

In his appeal, Tenenbaum sought to overturn the penalty. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Brothers Records Inc. and the other record labels represented by the RIAA asked that the full award be reinstated.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Please understand that I am not saying those who steal music should not be punished. They should be.  And part of that punishment should be to make whole those who suffered a loss.

Here in The People’s Republic, if someone is deliberately defrauded by a company, the person can sue for triple damages. If a broker misrepresents stock and you lose $10,000, you can sue for $30,000. But you can’t sue and expect to get $10,000,000.

If some kid downloads a thousand songs, a reasonable punishment is $3,000 – triple the cost of what was stolen – not $22,500,000.  It has to make you wonder just how much money was donated to the re-election war chests of the congresscritters who legalized this kind of extortion.

What do you folks think?

Would triple-damages be fair? More? Less?

And I’d be especially interested to hear from any musicians.

 

Sunday Videos

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Okay, so you’re on the bus going to work in the morning. You’re hoping for a few minutes to relax in peace before the rat race starts in the office.

No such luck…

If you enjoy illusions, you might like the Incredible Shade Illusion!

Note: I thought it was a trick rather than a true illusion so I did a screen capture and checked the color values in Photoshop. They were not identical, but but close enough.

Try it for yourself!

And finally, I thought this video was pretty cool. But please don’t try it at home.

 

Are you a Wal-Maritan?

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I’m on vacation this week, so this post was prepared in advance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

***

Are you a Wal-Martian?

 

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Monday, February 7th, 2011

My cousin sent me a link to a video that features images to match the words of Billy Joel’s 1980s hit We Didn’t Start the Fire. Apparently, it was his homage to the history between his birth in 1949 and his 40th birthday. When I checked on YouTube, there were several versions. I thought both of these had merit so watch either or both.

The videos have been around for awhile, but for those of us in Joel’s age group who’ve not seen them, there are a lot of memories. For those younger, there are a lot of interesting events and people to Google.

By the way, if you do watch both, please leave a comment and let everyone know which you prefer.

Posted on YouTube by crlax22:

Posted on YouTube by Linl8:

 

Music to drink beer by

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Yes, Christmas is over, but for those large groups of beer drinkers who are still partying, here’s a great way to explain what you’re really up to…

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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