Preserving our memories of classic music & film. Helping true vintage fans REDISCOVER oldies on digital!
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Like many old school fans, I still have quite a few old cassettes from back in the day, when I used to tape off the radio. Now that we have such amazing technology today, I’m glad I didn’t actually through away all my old cassettes YET. I’ve been shazaming a LOT of my tapes over the years, which allowed me to get rid of a significant amount of cassettes. Now, I’m not the type of person that would tell a stranger to throw anything away that has sentimental value to them (especially if it’s a vinyl album or something like that). However, I do recommend using Shazam to help you retire those old tapes to make more room for other things. Manly for three important reasons. First, finding a good cassette player has become hard to find. I’ve purchased a number of cassette players and they all sound like crap. In fact, a couple of them ruined a few of my tapes. And I’m not willing to spend upwards of $300 for a “good cassette deck,” when I know I’m only going to use it for the purpose of Shazam’n’.  Second good reason to Shazam your cassettes, you don’t have to hear the dj bable anymore.. LOL. I used to hate when they’d talk through the song I liked. But I knew they did it so that we can buy the album. Thirdly, Once you Shazam something, and or save it to your Spotify, it stays there forever! Even if the license on a song expires, it’s still listed! The nice thing about that is, if you can’t find it in any other album, you can just purchase it from Amazon or Google (DRM free). At this point I Spotify will ALWAYS have free accounts, so I really really doubt you have to worry about anything. Oh yeah! One more thing, you don’t have to run around asking friends if they know the name of a song!! 😳

Some of the songs I’ve Shazam’d lately are, “Touch Me (All Night Long) by Cathy Dennis,” “Sweet Love by Anita Baker,” “Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester,” “Don’t Turn Around by Owen Gray,” “Let It Whip by The Dazz Band,” “Jungle Love by The Time,” “What Is Love by Haddaway,” “Broken Wings by Mr. Mister,” “Suavecito by Malo,” and “I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman.” Those were just a few of several thousand Shazams, and tons of tapes 😫 😐; but it was all worth it. If I were to throw them all away, that would have been music I wouldn’t ever hear again. Mainstream radio doesn’t play music from my generation anymore period. One thing you’ll learn, even when it comes to streaming services, hand picked music is not the same as a computer generated playlist based on habits and algorithms. But, it’s good for the young kids who don’t yet have a musical perspective.

© VintageNewscast.com

While we are enjoying the new movie streaming era of commercial free binge watching, there exist a new issue arising that I haven’t heard anyone address yet. That is the need for a new rating system for TV Shows. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve noticed more and more TV shows (regardless of the subject matter) are showing more and more sex scenes. While many producers have always made the argument that “sex is a part of life, and it should be normalized… bla bla bla” something to that effect. However, my argument to you is, we’re no longer watching video at home anymore as the result of 4G. Half of Internet users spend just as much, or perhaps more time on their mobile devices than their TV, and many of these TV shows are not “mobile/public safe.” Particularly vampire and medieval TV shows appear to be concentrated with the most sex scenes (be it straight or gay now). Sex is being used to the point where in many cases it doesn’t even fit in to the movie, but they put it in there anyway. For instance, a woman is about to be viciously attack by a werewolf, and a guy breaks through a door with silver bullets and saves her. The next thing you know, before you’ve made your next eye blink, they’re already under the sheets. Now, if this was supposed to be “realistic,” this bitch was just attacked by a werewolf, having sex would be the LAST thing on a woman’s mind at that moment. That would be the “reality of it.”

Not only do many of the added sex scenes make absolutely no sense, I’ve noticed these sex scenes are getting longer and longer, and more realistic looking. In fact, some of the sex scenes are better than the rest of their acting ability. In my mind, it’s almost as though these producers are using sex in the event the movie turns out not to be that good. You know? Like if “Basic Instinct” was a bad movie, at least you’ll rent it to see Sharon Stone do her crazy sex thing. New producers must work harder to create better content with good actors, and not use special effects, CGI, and sex as a replacement for a decent script and acting. Is this what we’re reduced to? Regular movies appear to have the correct ratings on most of the movies I’ve rented. Although I do which they would expand rated “R” by adding “sex,” and “sex with violence,” so that I’m not surprised in public. TV shows are NOT marked properly. You can’t blame Netflix or any other streaming service, it’s the movie studios. Streaming companies only provide the content. I remember in the 80s-90s parents have made such a big stink over having TV ratings, so they can better manage their children. Now it seems that sex is soo normalized that no one is saying a word. Yet, these same people worry about who’s gay? Come the f*** on!

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It’s been about 4-5 years since the announcement of Shazam and Spotify partnership. This is a partnership that can only be best described in my opinion as “A marriage made in heaven.” Very rare do you find two products that come together, and work nearly flawlessly! As far as I’m concerned, Shazam is truly Spotify’s “companion application.” Also, not only did it make business sense, both companies made the integrated features fully functional to free users. One of the many things that make Spotify unique to Shazam than all the other partnered companies, is that you can actually save Shazam’d songs directly to any of your Spotify playlist. Shazam also allows you to play the full song using Spotify’s player, from within the Shazam application.

Visiting family can’t get any easier. You’re relaxing and all of a sudden, your relative decides to pop on some vinyl on the old spinner. Oh, oh! All of a sudden you hear that favorite song you haven’t heard in 15 years! You’re dancing and grooving…. You feel yourself about to ask that relative the dreaded “let me borrow that album.” Da 🎵 ta 🎵 ta 🎵 da 🎹 !!! LOLOL. Then you catch yourself! “Wait a minute! I got Shazam and Spotify!” Oh great! It found the song! Now I can easily add it on my Spotify playlist! And even better, you’ve just saved yourself from getting that “hell no!!” look from that relative that knows you’re not going to return their album the way they gave it to you (if at all). The world is back to normal. 😀

© VintageNewscast.com

You know, one of the things I’ve quickly noticed is that when it comes to music on social media; despite members of mixed races and cultures, discussions and music shared are often times almost exclusively American classic music (and even then, people tend to copy and paste the same music). Now, today many people would probably think that I am making too much out of this. However, someone like myself who is extremely eclectic when it comes to music (and movies for that matter), I couldn’t help but to wonder why that is? I mean, I can see a clear difference on the number of likes I get on Facebook with popular American classic music, as apposed to popular Spanish or reggae classics. I find this mind boggling, because as I grew up during the 80’s, reggae and Jamaican music was all the rage. People loved Jamaican music so much that it created a kind of stigma, where I’ve witnessed all kinds of American women trying to court men from the island, this happened a lot in my community. Growing up it was very common to hear Black American women say “my boyfriend is Jamaican, or West-Indian, etc.” Interesting I never heard too many American Black men say they’re dating, or have married a women from the island. Anyway,, it is my opinion that reggae became so popular as the result of the 80s explosion, but reggae quickly shifted from being a political sounding board for education and awareness, to what the call today “dancehall.” Soon reggae became all about finding a good club to dance to some “good reggae.” Now, it appears that people can’t remember half the artist they used to dance to. Am I wrong? I don’t think I am. One thing I know when it comes to the internet, offer a thumbs up/down button, people are going to use it. In this case people are not reacting to music of different cultures… Hardly… In comparison…… Could it be most people have an affinity to American music? ?? ?? I honestly don’t know. I hope not, because Americans need to learn traditional music from different parts of Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, etc as well. You can’t truly say you know about something if we’ve never experienced it. No matter what anybody thinks. The music industry has a huge part in other countries outside of America, wanting to be Americanized. The music industry doesn’t care about our culture, they just want to make money. The culture is OUR RESPONSIBILITY! The record labels don’t give a shit about the art of music. Only the $$$$$ Even if we lose everything.

I guess I’ve been a bit guilty about this myself. I responded towards the lack of enthusiasm for these great foreign music, by hardly posting them on social media (if any). I can’t help but to feel like I am wasting my time, when there is no emotional connection to those that see it. Which also means, it circles back around to the same subject I’ve been blowing up you guys ears off about. The lack of seasoned folks participating on social media. Not only can you really enjoy the plethora of classic music that you’d probably never have heard again otherwise, you can help share and expose the young kids to this too. Any music you want, Spanish, Reggae, African, Haiti, Asian, whatever, in full crisp stereo, free from pops and crackles. Now there is this wide spread trend of posting “birthdays” of celebs. Too many post these celebs/birthday not always because they remember and enjoy the nostalgia, but rather to have something to post to a group. It’s almost like some Black folk have to be cued or something…

I’m going to give it to you guys straight. Music has always been in the blood of almost all people of color since birth. Us seasoned folks are not dead yet, there is still plenty of life in us NOT to let the music we grew up with die. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Donald Trump wants to cut a billions of dollars from the education system. Which also means that music curriculum will be cut out totally. Music classes that was heavily fought to get by both leaders of the Black and the Latino community back in the day. But in general today’s Black and Latino community is clueless about that. If this happens the responsibility falls on you as a parent, not the teachers. Doesn’t this mean something to you? Damn! Without extra curricular activities, your kids will be roaming the streets doing I don’t know what! Music is one of the very few things that can give children structure. I’m just beside myself about people’s attitude towards music today, just seems that people are interested in very low, low, low quality of music. We’ve gone from writing and listening to music with powerful messages, to only listening to music with a “good beat.” And sometimes not even that. A lot of the music I hear today from the younger generation appears to have no consistent rhythm, just a bunch of chaos.

© VintageNewscast.com

 

I’ve done a lot of research on this new company called “Soundiiz.”It’s unfortunate that customer service/help desk of various streaming companies are not aware of this service. I’m not sure if it’s because it is evidence that they’re so large they don’t communicate with their employees? Or the result of just how fast internet technology is moving. I’d say a little bit of both. Well, I wanted to do some hard research, and made sure it is legit and legal before I actually post this to my blog. Soundiiz, is a service that allows you to extract and or import all your playlists from one streaming service to another. At first it was hard for me to believe, just on the fact of “why would any service do this?” Why would any company allow away for a customer to leave them? BUT, I also quickly realized that it is also an opportunity for these same streaming services to gain new ones.

Soundiiz has both free and paid service. I would think that most people would opt for the free. With the paid you do have some useful features such as, “splitting playlists,” “change song orders,” and “exporting playlists.” I DID NOT TRY THE PAY SERVICE! So I don’t know about the “exporting playlists.” If you’re interest, I think it would be worth it to find out whether or not the exported *.CSV file is comma delimited. It should be, but you never know. YOU CAN ONLY IMPORT PLAYLISTS NOT ALBUMS!!! However, you can get around this by painstakingly, creating a single playlist, and manually drop songs from those albums in to the new playlist. Now, just to let you know, their web service still needs work, it’s not the smoothest, and not the easiest to figure out. BUT, if you’re really tired of your old streaming service, or you just want to try out something new, without having too loose all your hard work curating all those playlist, use Soundiiz. It’s a wonderful way to try a service with as much of your music as possible. Hey guys, just a side note. Remember that not every streaming service will have the same library. Meaning, some songs may not exist in their library because of licensing. However, keep in mind that many (if not all) songs are linked to albums. So what I mean is, just because the service you’re migrating your playlist to doesn’t have a particular song from an album, doesn’t mean they don’t have the song. You’re more than likely would have to manually search again to see if they have the song you want under a different album.

© VintageNewscast.com

There’s an interesting article posted by Rolling Stones Magazine called “Napster, Spotify and the Fall of the ‘Middle-Class Musician’.” The article was written by Jonathan Taplin. He writes about his book called, ‘Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy’. It appears that a significant chunk of this book discuses (the claims of) how ever since the invention of music streaming, the internet giants who got in the the music business has made it impossible for the lesser known artists to make money. I don’t know, is it possible that this is a bigger issue than what I’m able to see?

 Taplin delivers a digestible account of just how the CEOs and venture capitalists who make the Internet run – many of them guided by the philosophical teachings of Ayn Rand – have created a monopoly, gained far too much power and also made it even more difficult for artists to survive.

I know what I’m about to say is probably a horrible example, but it’s the only one I can think of right now. But, I see this issue no different than when people thought new technologies back in the 80’s where taking jobs away. However, the fact was, new kinds of jobs were actually being created. The real issue as I saw it was, the insecurities of old employees learning something new, and the difficulties they had embracing change. You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d make the assumption that in a subtle way, Taplin is trying to say that lesser known artists was some how put on “minimum wage.” An unwilling salary cut.

I just think that there are soooo many other additional issues that people are not taking in to consideration. A LOT. I’m not going to make this article lengthy, so I’m just going to cut to the chase. We’ve seemed to forget that, the OLD P2P Napster was partly responsible for the massive digital overhaul, and the way we receive and experience media today. The whole reason why most people were illegally downloading in the first place, was because we literally could not afford the music. I think that I can speak for most TRUE music fans, that we prefer to purchase our favorite artists. However, if we don’t have the financial means to pay (cause there’s a 900% markup on CDs) it’s by human nature that we will find other means as to get the music that we want, especially if music is in our blood. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it is very human. That’s just my opinion. Streaming has allowed people who can’t afford to buy music, stream unlimited music for a reasonable AND affordable price; or YouTube or Spotify for FREE streaming; AND it’s totally legal. Anybody who still use Bittorrents when it comes to music at this point, is just coocoo out of their mind. Well, somebody else can explain it to ya, ’cause I’m done with that. The rates in which they have to charge is going to be different than selling CDs in units. You cannot expect to make not even close to the money you used to make, when you’re under not only a different price structure, but under an entirely different music culture. Not only that, young people between the ages of (I’d say) 14-30 are using more streaming than any other age group. Having said that, most of these age groups are very picky about what and who they listen to, in addition to the fact that, you’re not the only artist that people are exposed to. I liken this to photographers and Behance. Being a photographer and competing to be seen over literally millions of other photographers is no easy task. By any means. Or picture starting a twitter account, and trying to get REAL loyal followers? It’s not an easy task. It takes a very long time. This is where good family culture comes in. The fact of the matter is, unless you’re Beyonce, you’re not going to get those streaming numbers that’ll get you the dollars you feel you should have.

I understand the struggles of a musician, but the real issue is the record labels still taking 70% of the profits, leaving a streaming service very little to have a functional business. Do you know that music streaming services are charged a flat rate (every year I believe) just to have the right to stream their music, ON TOP paying royalties? To my understanding, they’re not even paying songwriters for newer music streamed anymore. Why do you think big names like Janet Jackson are all starting they’re on labels? Record labels want to not only take your money, they want to control every inch of your creativity, style, the way you look, and sometimes they even try to force you to change your name if they don’t like it. There’s nothing you can really do about the record labels greed and their crookery. So trust me, services like Spotify and other streaming services are NOT the enemy. Stop trying to blame them ’cause the record labels are too big to be controlled. Streaming services are just as much a victim as artists. Get it? Having said this tho, there is absolutely no excuse not to use Spotify (FREE $0) services, or any other streaming service you love (paid or not), ’cause your favorite artist will not receive anything if you don’t.. The flip side of this coin is that, it’s unfortunate that a new artist needs a record label, because they got the connections and promotional money to put you out there. Music was never a main source of income, it’s always the actual performance. So, use the music to promote yourself, and if you’re good, when contract renewals come around, make the decision if you’re good enough to venture out on you’re own without a label.

© VintageNewscast.com

Ok guys!! Rant time!! Haven’t done one in a long time. When it comes retailers and their high markups for their accessories, can kiss my @ss 😡. I’m specifically referring to Samsung’s OEM earbuds. Anybody that’s a die hard, true music lover knows that, no matter how much you pay for a pair of headphones, THEY NEVER LAST!! I know that a lot of my readers maybe brand-loyal, but trust me, ALL major brand headphones crap out within 2 years of consecutive use, 3 years if your lucky. Some may last longer, but they still don’t last long enough, when you weigh the amount of money we spend for them.

Every retailer I’ve ever purchased these Samsung headphones from were all $30. On average, I’d say I squeeze about 4-6 months of life out of them before buying a new one. So, 90 dollars a year is a lot of money to spend for an accessory, that’s not even sturdy, or child proof even! I know I probably sound like a spokes person for Amazon, but, I keep telling you guys, BUY FROM AMAZON! They sell almost everything up to 4 times cheaper in a store. Retailers get you because their convenient. You hear a little crackle in the left ear, just go to any electronic store or T-mobile store and pay for a $30 new one. Amazon has these same OEM buds for $7. You can buy 3 of them for and still come out cheaper. Sad part is, these are the ONLY in ear buds that fit comfortably in my ear. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so, cause I know a whole lot of you will still gonna spend full retail price anyway, after I told you not to. Shaking my head 😕

© VintageNewscast.com

You know, now that I’ve built up quite a bit of content, it’s kind of hard to remember whether or not I’ve discussed the same topic or not. But I guess it doesn’t really matter, because there will always be something someone hasn’t seen yet, or noticed. When it comes to classic content, I believe there is a sort of “Ying and Yang.” While more and more out of print *music* and film are being resurrected in the digital world, believe it or not there are still issues finding them. Some of my biggest concerns are:

  • Not enough seasoned people are using computer technology, and sharing their memories with us!  (biggest issue I feel).
  • We have a situation where the last several generations of children were not exposed to classic entertainment history, therefore there is absolutely no interest by young people (with the exception of an occasional Marvin Gaye song). So sad.. 😥
  • Because classic music is no longer played like it used to be, there is a severe decline in fandom. Yes more vinyl are being sold, but consider the biggest number appears to be from the UK (which is very telling about the decline of our own interest in American music and cinematic culture, foreigners appreciate our music more than we do as a whole). This is why seasoned folk are so important to the internet, especially when we talk about Black entertainment.
  • Especially in terms of Black entertainment, there just isn’t enough bloggers of color on the net, period. And I’m afraid it is a direct reflection on the fact that a significant amount of people of color don’t read. And if I remember correctly, the school statistics still show this. Click here.
  • I also think Facebook has made people lazy. People rather copy and paste, rather than actually take the time to write something of value using their own words.
  • Blogging takes a certain level of dedication. I’ve seen soo many blogs that haven’t had any posts since more than 8 years. Their blogs are just sitting in cyberspace dormant. Like space debris, it’s just there.
  • We don’t share other bloggers that are creating awesome new content about our classics! We’re working hard to keep both music and cinematic history alive! So few of us are doing it, please make the extra effort and share us. Show your appreciation. The Black community is notorious for not supporting each other. Hint, hint.
  • Many Facebook group owners don’t show love to bloggers as much as they should.
  • Many classic blogger’s sites themselves are sooo old, they’re not optimized for search engines. This is is just a matter of not being HTML and CSS savvy.
  • Last biggie is, many old school artists/studios still don’t fully understand today’s digital culture, and lock their gems away in license/copyright bullshit. If you charge too much for your license so that no one can see your historical work, who’s benefiting? Absolutely no one!! Not even the studio. Daaahhhh.

So, despite the difficulties in finding new/old written content on the net about many of the classics we grew up with, how can we rediscover our music so we can relive them? There are actually a few ways.

  • Search and find news letters where “classics” is the subject matter.
  • Subscribing to blogs is the same as receiving newsletters.
  • I’ve rediscovered classics from listening to podcasts on iTunes.
  • Cable TV has awesome music channels. You can Shazam as much as you like!
  • Old shows such as MTV are great to use with Shazam!
  • 70’s and 80’s parties are a great source too! Actually, this is something else we should do more often. However, try to find parties where the music is diverse.
  • I’ve said earlier, explore internet radio. There is an infinite wealth of music stations that play a range of oldies! All day and every day. Rare oldies, the kind of oldies that’ll make you say “Oh Shit! I haven’t heard that in ages!” There’s nothing more fun to hear a favorite song you’ve forgotten about!
  • Explore foreign internet radio! I’ve found quite a few of non-English radio stations that exclusively play American classic music.
  • 8Track is a wonderful legal website were users can upload their music (non-DRM). No computer generated playlist can take the place of hand picked music! They no longer offer unlimited listening, you get about an hour a month (if I remember correctly).
  • YouTube has almost every song on the planet. I guess this is one of the flip-side benefits of the illegal uploading. We get to enjoy the music we would not hear otherwise (if legal streaming doesn’t have it).
  • Old magazines! Yes, old magazines. Why? They will often have old celebrities you’ve forgotten about, that can open a flood of memories, and songs you loved.
  • Barbecues and cookouts!! You are bound to hear some oldies there.
  • Most churches (Black churches in particular) consistently have seventies themed parties, or play at least a sizable number of oldies.
  • Sift through your Twitter Accounts.
  • Sift through your Google Account. Google isn’t heavily active with classic content, but it is a decent source.
  • Don’t forget that the Shazam application itself has suggestions of music similar to what you’ve just Shazamed! A great way to discover even more music.
  • Facebook has a wealth of classic music groups. Sometimes they can get a bit repetitive, but occasionally you do find that goldmine, from a real classic fan. The only thing I should say is that, they do tend to have members of mixed age groups. So many things that are shared you’d never consider as classics, so sometimes some groups require a bit of sifting, but most times it is worth it.
  • Streaming services like Spotify, Napster, Beats, etc, all have suggestion features, based on similar songs. They’re not always super accurate (in fact most of them aren’t), but then again, maybe they shouldn’t look for music exactly the same. Why? ‘Cause this is an opportunity to expose true music lovers to the kinds of music they were not privileged to.
  • Gather with some old friends and discuss some of your memories of your favorite performers, and or movies.
  • We don’t think about it much, but Documentaries can also be a great source. Free video streaming such as TubiTV has music documentaries that may play music you really like.
  • I’ve came across a lot of videos on YouTube that contain “Top Ten Rock Music,” Or “Best Music From The 80s,” etc. Sometimes you’ll find a lot of gems there too.
  • For movies, I think going to a Matinee every once in a while is a great idea to find oldies film.
  • Of course, you know your Roku box is filled with hidden gems. All it takes is a little effort, and actually search. Stop being lazy.
  • IMDB great choice.
  • Sites that have rating systems.
  • Movie bloggers.
  • Sites that have articles on Sound Tracks.
  • Your local library.
  • Movie biographies.
  • Books of “Best Movies For 19xx.”
  • TCM and AMC
  • Netflix offers DVD/Blu-Ray suggestions for every movie you add to your list/inquire.
  • Vudu always offer “classic specials.” They also offer 99 cent rentals. They also now offer some FREE movies with commercials.
  • Friends almost ALWAYS have movie recommendations.
  • Visit and sign up for Blu-Ray.com, users add their movie and TV show collections to their profiles. Sift through their collections and discover mass treasures. You’d be surprised how many people are in to classic movies. Connect with other users, and strike up a conversation to locate rare, special edition, or obscure movies. It is basically a FREE movie fan site.
  • Order movie catalogues. You don’t have to necessarily buy anything from them. Just use them to find interesting movies, then simply add them to your Netflix account. Why would you buy anything now-a-days just to watch it only one time? Unless it is a collector’s item, and it has additional material that a true fan would want. If Netflix doesn’t have it, fill out an online request form. Your only other option is to see if Amazon or Vudu has it for low rental.
  • Don’t forget that you can use Shazam for a lot of movies and TV too.

Wow! I worn myself out remembering all these resources and ideas.. LOLOL.. I do hope tho, that the seasoned folks who are not exploring the internet like they should, understand what they’re missing in terms of not accessing classic music and film. Do you realize you no longer have to break your neck finding album stores (that will one day become extinct) that have that one rare album, or stores that will charge you an arm and a leg for an album you can most likely get from Spotify? Legally! And free! And the artist gets credit! Oh yeah, did I mention FREE on Spotify, that offers FREE accounts?!?! At no charge?!?! Hypothetically, if Spotify would get rid of their free accounts, $10 a month is still a steal!! $10 dollars to listen and or download anything you want! I’ve seen offers for On-Demand radio for $5 a month. Come on now guys!! A lot of visitors that may be reading my article spend more money than that on cancer sticks!! Yet a lot of you hypocrites talk about “supporting Black business,” and you refuse to invest $5 a month to listen to your favorite Black artist. I digress. So, for the last 10-15 years or so, all the albums I’ve really wanted bad enough, I’ve had  to order all of them via the internet (Amazon). I don’t even think these massive record stores exist in NYC anymore. Many of the ones I remembered closed down.

© VintageNewscast.com

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