Aaahh Culture Club! One of my truly favorite bands of the 80s. I really love these nostalgic photos, they really do bring back a lot of memories. It is said that all of the Jacksons where huge fans of Culture Club. In fact, one of the Jacksons was thrilled to meet this awesome musical group at a benefit gathering Circa 1980. Pictured in this portrait from left to right, LaToya Jackson, Boy George, and his then very handsome boy friend John Moss. They’ve made so many great hits throughout their career. Check them out when you get a chance.
I found this photo of a popular Spanish group called Menudo. They were kind of like, the English equivalent of “New Kids On the Block.” All teen heart throbs back then. I don’t know I wasn’t ever really into their music. Listening to them was almost like watching Romper Room. The only song throughout their entire career I ever really liked was a song called “If You’re Not here.” That one song transformed them from young kiddies, to “I love you girl” over night! 😄😄 That song put them on the map for a very, very long time, to the point people got sick of hearing it! LOL. If I remember correctly, once the age of 15 (or something like that), that member had to leave the group, and a new kid was replaced. I was watching an interview, where the group was supposed to come together for a reunion. I don’t remember if that was supposed to be last year, or this year. Sorry… Do you know where Ricky Martin got his start? Take a guess!!!!! From left to right: Ricky, Ray, Charlie, Roy, and Robby.
I don’t know why this song popped in to my head yesterday. I remember playing this song a lot, you couldn’t play this and not dance. I’m not sure the year this song came out; their greatest hits album with this song in it was released in 2008, but I think “Sopa De Caracol” came out in early 1990? I’m having a hard time pinpointing a date, because it seemed like EVERY single Spanish group had a version of this song out. I’m not even sure who recorded it first. However, this is one of the best versions I remember hearing back in the day. You know, I love this song because it reminded me of an era when music was actually fun. Actually, it was also a fun time when both Spanish and people from the island were really connected to their culture. This was evident in the music, because Americans normally don’t write songs about food, unless they are making fun of themselves or someone else, ie, “Weird Al Yankolvic.” The band “Los Fabulosos Cadillacs” is from Argentina, and has a lot of great danceable hits.
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.
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.
Bob Marley and The Wailers’s album called “Catch A Fire (1973),” the deluxe edition, is packed with many of his most remembered classic songs that know and love. Songs like “Stir It Up,” “Stop That Train,” and “400 years.” This album also has studio reboots along with the original recordings. Very nice album. We don’t seem to be listening to Bob as we used to anymore. Use your Spotify software to scan barcode to get this wonderful album. What? You don’t have a Spotify account? Well, you should, because they offer FREE ($0) accounts (with minimum ads).
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.