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Preserving our memories of classic music & film. Helping true vintage fans REDISCOVER oldies on digital!

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I was thinking, when was it the last time I actually purchased an album, or a CD? Wow! I really couldn’t remember! The best estimate I can make is some time about the beginning of the 1990s, which is still a pretty long time. Now, this goes to show you how technology has effected all of us, especially me. When I think about the kind of person I am, in terms of being a heavy fan of the classics, I almost never gone a month without buying something, even if it was a single or a remix of something. The 80’s were huge for me, because I used to buy a lot of both records & CDs of disco, club, and acid-house music. Now because of digital technology, I can only remember making 2 physical CD purchases since the 1990s, and that was only because they were a replacement to music I used to have. I must say technology has also changed the way I think of memorabilia too. Now, I just prefer to purchase all my entertainment on digital where it can be stored. Cassettes and CDs really do appear to be a hassle now (in terms of traveling). Wow, I just laugh when I think back on how I used to bring cases of CDs with me everywhere I went, because I never knew what musical mood I was going to be for that day. However, I don’t miss my cassettes being tangled up though. LOL 😀

You know, the one thing I am extremely happy about (at least when it comes to music), because of music streaming and how the music business is now setup, it’s pretty hard to do anything illegal. I mean although I complain about YouTube a lot, the reality is there are many factors as to why YouTube is one of the very few entities that are allowed to getaway with a lot of things. However at this stage, it doesn’t really matter what those factors are, the end result is that people can listen to music free, and as a listener you have absolutely no outwardly known legal obligations, or bound to any contract (other than not illegally RIPping the song straight off YouTube, but if it’s free already, why would you even bother doing that? It’s more work than it’s worth). Just listen and share on social media and the artists (and sometimes songwriters) get paid and marketed at the same time, though the power of fandom. I know I’ve said this a number of times before, but it’s so true, “if you still use torrents to download music illegally, you’re pretty much out dated and doing it because of habit and not necessity.” While the streaming world isn’t going to have every classic music (and for obvious reasons they will never have), to be able to go on Amazon and find that one song you want for download, and only pay just $1.29 at the most for that song (I’ve seen some classic songs for as low as .69¢), that is a steal! Then enjoy everything else  on Spotify or YouTube. The music industry has made a complete 360° turn around, sad to say though, it was done not because they wanted to do right by fans, it was to save the industry. Finally, music is for ALL fans of music, and not only for the elite who can afford it. Now, we just need to work on the movie industry.

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Well, it looks like we’re finally here! Wow, looking back, I remember a time (during the old Napster days), when both the music and movie industry were totally against the internet. Look at how times has changed! Before, the only way you were allowed to download a movie, was unless you paid per-download for it. Now, they’re available with our monthly streaming service! Yes, I know we were able to do this for quite some time now. However, the difference is, companies like Netflix now has much better movies (although the had to raise their prices to do it, but I think it’s worth it). With this economy, subscription services are becoming more and more important (I dare to say even vital), and I think that both the music, movies, AND now software industry is starting to finally acknowledge that now. With more and more people spending just as much time (if not even more time) on their cellphones as with their computers, this is a no-brainer! One of the many things I am most happy about, is that they offer FULL HD downloads! Instead of spending 2-3 hours ripping one blu-ray disc (sometimes much longer), you can take from about 5 up to 15 minutes (depending on your data speeds) to download a high quality movie, and call it a day 😀 It’s important to note that Netflix did not change anything on their mobile application (well, let me speak for only Android). You still have the same familiar aesthetics, with a few extra download features. Now, of course all movies are not available for download, but a lot are. They have even added a “downloadable” section for you to browse. Although I have a feeling they have more available, so I think it’s a good idea to search for what you want anyway.

Not sure if my readers are aware, Amazon Prime subscribers allows you to download too. The quality is very good, although I downloaded one or two episodes of a TV show and the sound was a little out of sync. But for the most part it works very well. To be honest though, Netflix has the better movies! Although in the TV show department, I think they are about the same (they just offer different content). The only thing that kind of annoys me about amazon, is that it takes them a LONG time to get licensing for newer movies and TV shows. Personally, I think this is because they are also retail, and they make more money by selling than streaming (plus, I guess there’s that whole physical inventory thing… LOL).  The next biggest competitor is Hulu, I don’t suppose Hulu is going to offer downloads for a while. If they do, my guess it’s going to be all the “B” movies that the average person doesn’t care for. Titles like “The Killer Bunny,” or “Santa Clause Meets One Arm Karate Grandma From Outer Space.” I do hope though that more old school copyright holders offer their licenses to streaming; because those classic gems isn’t doing anything for anybody locked up away were nobody can see them again! This to me is so selfish, you’re literally keeping history away! The reality is, it is my opinion that TV stations will probably cease to exist at some point. You can literally create a show in your own home. And if you want to find proof, do some research on how newspapers are now struggling because of online blogs (and I guess you can add YouTube to that equation a well). Which begs the serious question about the validity of information being offered on the web. If you’re not well read from valid sources, you’re up shits creek. Just look at what’s going on in the last few weeks concerning Donald Trump.

So if copyright holders want to make money, they better start offering up their licenses to streaming services at a decent cost, so that customers can afford it. They’ll be no more pitching to TV stations/networks and “see if they will pickup a season, or buy a show.” Everything will pretty much be home grown. I guess you can say the streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon will replace television stations, and television networks might be paying Netflix and Amazon to feature their content on their service.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE me some Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The string of hits they produced back in the day was just astounding. The had a distinct sound (which in my opinion was more like a doo-wop and pop mix), and I can’t recall anyone at the moment that duplicated their distinct sound and harmony in that era. The only group that kind of came close were the “Beach Boys,” but they sang surfer music, and appealed to a specific kind of audience. The Four Seasons have been performing since the 60’s, and they have been so successful, that a Broadway play was produced about their life called “Jersey Boys.”  I really hope to see “Jersey Boys” live one day (big named tickets are so very expensive here in NYC (unless you’re going for off, off, Broadway)).

Throughout The Four Season’s career, it appears they have switched/replaced more members than the Spanish group Menudo. However, the most recent names have been, Frankie Valli (lead singer, and at age 82 I hear he still has a strong falsetto), Todd Fournier, Brian Brigham, Brandon Brigham, Landon Beard, Gary Melvin, Keith Hubacher, Robbie Robinson. Now that I think about it, it’s a testament to the magic of this group, to have so many hits despite member turnarounds. If you’re a 4 Seasons fan, I’m pretty sure that many of the songs I love you’re also familiar with. On the top of my list is “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Stay,” “Let’s Hang On,” “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore),” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Swearin’ To God,” “Who Loves You,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night),” and lastly from the motion picture “Grease (1978),” “Grease.” Listen to this group legend on Napster.

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lipps

Lipps Inc. was a very popular dance musical group during the early 80s. They were a hit all over the world including Hong Kong and Australia. You may remember them by one of their biggest hit of their career called “Funkytown (1979).” The song “Funkytown” catapulted their carer in the same way that “Rapper’s Delight” did for “The Sugar Hill Gang.” The beautiful thing about those two songs is that, both are remembered, and both are likely to drive guests crazy at any old school party! And unfortunately, both songs were so popular that they overshadowed any other work they have done. It’s so sad, this was yet another group I would have loved to see where their career would have gone. Culturally mixed groups that played disco music was so difficult back in the day on so many levels; not that it’s not difficult now, but the landscape has changed.

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The song I would like you to draw your attention to, is a song called “All Night Dancing (1979),” it was on the “B” side (45) of “Funkytown.” This is sch a nice song, and it did not get nearly as much attention as “Funkytown.” It has a great beat, danceable pace, and a great melody. It kind of reminds me of the ethnic dance movie themes that exploded all over the 80s. You know, movies such as “Flash Dance,” “Beat Street,” and “Breakin’.” When you listen to the lyrics, it’s about having a good time on the dance floor, however, the whole feel of the song still reminds me of a young innocent girl who has positive dreams of stardom in the industry. Definitely an 80s period song, pointing to a specific era. This is the 12 inch version, I think it’s a little bit too long in my opinion for this type of song, but it’s still a really nice one. Take a listen with Napster.

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Although my blog is still dedicated to the classics, I think it’s so important that we support Creative Commons. I discovered this group about a couple of months ago. They play jazz and mostly reggae music. They make a lot of good albums, however, this is my favorite so far. It is all instrumental reggae, in the style of old ska. It is very rare that you find really good instrumental reggae music. I highly recommend that you give a listen. They’ve released it under Creative Commons license, and it’s free to download for personal use. I encourage you to look for their other albums as well. You can find the album on Jamendo here.

manners

Wow. I don’t think they do this anymore in schools. I can’t believe I found this. I don’t remember receiving any kind of training like this (other than for a fire drill). “The rude, clumsy puppet Mr. Bungle shows kids how to behave in the school cafeteria – the assumption being that kids actually want to behave during lunch. This film has a cult following since it appeared on a Pee Wee Herman HBO special.” The clip is in the public domain. You can watch it on YouTube here.

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gloria

I absolutely LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEEEEE Gloria Estefan! I just HAD to share this photo of her.  She is on the front page of Spry Living’s magazine, which was in this past Sunday’s “Daily News.” This bitch is GORGEOUS!! She hasn’t aged one day, not ONE!!!! I am so happy for her, I mean for real! I’m really happy for her. Not only do I love her music, she is truly an inspiration; and anybody who is old enough to remember her during her peak career (in the 80s) understands exactly what I’m talking about. From the boating accident that not not only almost killed her and almost left her paralyzed for life; but also the issues she faced not being able to go back to her beloved country, Cuba. Just imagine, dancing is a huge part of your culture and career; laying in a hospital bed and the doctor tells you you may never dance again, ’cause your spine suffered major damage? Just sit down and think about that! Shit just not being able to walk would make me crawl over the tallest building. Honey, this woman went through a lot, and she still looks fucking good! You would never know she was under such incredible stress like that. And before you say “I don’t believe,” you better use google and search it, before you get on Facebook, cause I know a lot of your parents won’t tell you to. Thank you Gloria for your music and your positive energy. Huge love to you sistah… 🙂

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