The David Guetta video above — which I saw while eating breakfast in Salamanca, Spain, a few days ago — has a great beat and a lot of terrifically strange images. I had only vaguely heard of Guetta. Here is the start of AllMusic’s profile of the French DJ:
France’s David Guetta belongs to the sparkling wave of DJs who combine Daft Punk’s sleek house music with a pinch of electroclash’s punch. Guetta had been DJ’ing around France playing popular tunes, but his brain was particularly rewired in 1987 when he heard a Farley Jackmaster Funk track on French radio. He taped the track, brought a copy to a gig, and promptly cleared the floor with it during one of his own sets. Things loosened up a year later when acid house came to France and Guetta successfully promoted his own club nights. It was during one of those nights in 1992 that he met Robert Owens, a Chicago-based house legend who was touring across Europe at the time. Guetta played Owens some of his own tracks, and Owens picked one he liked enough to sing over. The result was “Up and Away,” a minor hit that lurked in garage DJ crates for the next four years.
Above is “Play Hard” (featuring Ne-Yo and Akon) and below is “Titanium” (featuring Sia).
One of the biggest differences between music now and when I was a kid — and certainly prior to that — is the ability to add a variety of other forms of art to the music itself. It started with MTV and grew.
Gorillaz, the brainchild of Brits Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, takes the concept much further. Wikipedia describes what the band — if it even is proper to call it that — is all about:
Gorillaz are a British musical and visual project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The project consists of Gorillaz itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a “virtual band” of cartoon characters. This band has four animated members: 2D (lead vocalist, keyboard, and melodica), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar and drum machine), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and occasional vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). Their fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is a composition of multiple musical genres, with a large number of influences including alternative, rock, hip hop, electronica, dub and pop. (Continue Reading…)
Above is Clint Eastwood, which features Snoop Dogg/Dragon. Feel Good Inc., featuring Da La Soul, is below.
Acoustic Guitar Masters
R&B, Soul and Funk
It’s a long time until Election Day in New York City, but clearly the best candidate is Jimmy McMillan of The Rent is Too Damn High Party.
McMillan ran in the Democratic primaries for governor in 2010 but failed, despite strong debate performances, to win the nomination. The problem was that beyond lowering the rent, his major position was to allow people to marry their shoes. It’s an interesting policy innovation, but somehow didn’t seem to directly address the serious problems facing the state.
He’s back, and his video — which seems to be loosely modeled on the training montage in Rocky — does not disappoint. It’s especially impressive considering the fact that McMillan seems to have almost no musical ability.
Beyond the comedy, McMillan is talking about the serious issue of middle class and the working poor surviving in New York City. There is a method — and a reason — to the madness.
Below is Connie Francis’ Nixon’s the One, a well done song from the 1968 campaign. It sound sums up 1960s establishment America perfectly, and the images are very interesting — though they were not compiled by a fan. Elvis and Johnny Cash make cameos.
I became aware of Estelle through the hit American Boy (above) simply because my daughter had the radio tuned to stations that played it. Her part is great, but the pop/hip hop response format — Estelle and Kayne West in this case — always seems forced.
Another of the YouTube clips is Wonderful Life (below), which I like just as much. It’s a completely different, which demonstrates her talent.
This is what Wikipedia says about Estelle:
Estelle Fanta Swaray (born 18 January 1980) commonly known as Estelle, and formerly as Est’elle, is an English R&Bsinger-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.
In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day, which peaked with in the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles “1980″, “Free”, and “Go Gone” which all charted with in the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single “Wait A Minute” failed to chart anywhere. The second single “American Boy” peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle’s first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me. The lead single “Break My Heart” featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single “Thankyou” peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the US R&B chart and the third single “Back to Love” was released. (Continue Reading…)
Here is the start of Estelle’s AllMusic profile:
Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legendto Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London’s renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12″ on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when “1980″ was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. (Continue Reading…)
Here is Estelle’s website.
A modern classic from Run DMC.
Actually, it’s not a hard question if you look closely at their faces.
Rapper Shawnna — above performing Gettin’ Some — is Guy’s daughter. Below, Guy plays Long Way From Home at a memorial for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Since we are talking family here, note that Vaughan’s brother, Jimmie–a great guitarist himself–is playing rhythm.
Talent runs in families, and such connections are common.