May 13, 2008

Musically Minded

First period today was not good. For unnamed reasons, I was pissed. So, what did I do? I put on some music.

The song I played is It’s Gonna Rain, by the Four Shadow. It is timeless. It’s an a cappella piece, and it’s on my IC ning playlist. I really can’t describe what it does, so just go listen to it. Please.

There are myriad genres of music, all with different moods. My two favorite types are complete opposites: folk and electronic.

Electronic and dance music makes me happy. I like the sounds that these songs make; the synth sounds soft and comforting. Discotech, by Young Love, has a pulsating beat that matches the blood in my veins. Solta o Frango, by Bonde do Role, is another electronic song I like. Why, I’m not sure. Those two songs don’t have stories attached. I just plain like ‘em.

The a cappella music in my iTunes library has a story attached, yes. The three notable songs in this category are It’s Gonna Rain (the Four Shadow), Zamru (Pizmon), and Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (Binghamton Crosbys version).

Like so many stories, it has to do with a guy. The short version is that we’re family friends, and I downloaded all of the songs on his iPod onto my computer. Those three are some of his favorites, for good reason. The harmonies are perfection. However, he lives in Boston, which is a full day’s drive from Philadelphia, so I don’t ever see him. When I listen to the music I got from him, it brings back good memories.

I pride myself on my open-mindedness, especially when it comes to music. Many people brand folk as soft and drug-induced before they ever listen to it, so I try to listen to music before dismissing it. Besides rap, pretty much the only genre I don’t like is reggae, or what I classify as reggae-like. I listen to music for the music itself, and while I can appreciate a resonating lyric, it’s not what I really pay attention to. So, Mr. Raisdana, while I’m sure Ben Harper’s lyrics speak volumes, I don’t like his music. I listened to some songs, and they’re tolerable, but the music bores me.

Then, I listened to a clip of the song you first mentioned, Walk Away. It reminded me of Amos Lee, an artist I heard at the Folk Festival a few years ago. The same slow guitar-picking, and unassuming singing. And I changed my mind. No, I don’t like Ben Harper’s music as whole. But, every so often you find a genre-jumping song that makes you smile.

[[Response to the Intrepid Classroom]]


mrsdurff said...

I too had a challenging day. I hope tomorrow is better for both of us. I listened to the first music clip on your ning and realised you have excellent taste in music. I was a member of an a cappella group in college. I liked the 2nd one although they don't quite work as hard at blending their voices.

Intrepid Teacher said...


First of all thank you for taking the time to at least examine the new music, many people don't even do that. I am listening to Gonna Rain as I wrote this, and it is making me smile. Sometimes that is all we want from music. That is enough.

I have not listened to much a cappella, but I love African vocal harmonies very much, bands like LadySmith Mombassa.

As for Ben Harper, perhaps I painted to "downer" a picture. he actually blends many genres of music. Maybe sometime in the future you can explore a bit more and find something you like. He does have some more energetic songs as well. Check out Gold To Me and Steal My Kisses. For the full experience however one really must listen to Live From Mars, his lice show CD. Keep me updated!

Finally, that is too bad about Reggae and Rap, because I have a few artist that I will share soon that are Reggae, Rap and one that blends Reggae and Rap. :)

Fannah Heldman said...

@mrsdurff Makes sense. The first group is professional, while the second is a college group.
The third song (?), Seven Bridges Road, is the same professional group.
My high school doesn't have any singing groups :( I'm looking forward to college so I can join one!

@intrepid teacher
Okay, I'll go back and listen more. I'll tweet back!

Ladysmith Black Mambazo and African harmonies are a form of a cappella. I wish I had more African music, because I really like those harmonies.

Nicole said...

Thanks for the comment! Interestingly enough, I also had an off morning. The only unfortunate thing is that I cannot listen to music. I mean, we're not allowed to, it's "against school policy." I haven't yet listened to 'It's Gonna Rain', or even Ben Harper's music at all. But I'm planning to.
I kind of like your taste in music. 'Discotech' IS an awesome song. Have you heard 'Find A New Way' also by Young Love?
I appreciate the comment you left for me; it is disappointing when you pour your heart onto a computer monitor and no one seems to notice.