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BLOG IDEAS
BLOG IDEAS (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

 

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Lana Del Rey Sings a Little Ditty

Lana Del Rey Absolutely Fascinates

With Blue Jeans and Video Games

Video Games

Blue Jeans

Lana Del Rey caused quite the commotion early this year, with a shake up of a semi-suspicious ‘debut’ album, ‘Born to Die’.  On January 31, 2012, the 26 year old singer-songwriter released a largely debated in dub, ‘debut’ album with Stranger Records. Upon its’ release, ‘Born To Die’ topped the iTunes chart in 14 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Germany, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Mexico, and Luxemburg.

Fans (and more plentiful, and ruthless, critics) were all a stir as news began to surface that this sultry pouted, blues lounge bombshell had released previous recordings under her birth name ‘Lizzy Grant‘, as well as ‘May Jailer‘ prior to signing with Stranger Records, and that much of her discography can be easily uncovered.  Prior to the 2012 release of ‘Born to Die’, the now ‘Lana Del Rey’ had previously released a three-track EP titled ‘Kill Kill’ in October 2008, and a full-length album in 2010, titled Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant with 5 Point Records. Critics haven’t taken it easy on the overnight sensation, who spent a great portion of her life working endlessly to get to the very bitter-sweet spotlight she currently stands in.

Unexpected and Sexy as Hell, Lana Del Rey seems to have been amped up by management to embody an unexpected, undiscovered model for Brigitte Bardot inspired ‘big and teased’ vintage hairstyles with an ever present element of hip-hop mod fashion, in a ‘Tokyo Rose of the Trailer Park’ appeal. Personally, I love the extra packaging done to help excel her into the mainstream acceptance she has so quickly found. Now, I can only hope they don’t eat her alive before a  few more epic albums are able to be enjoyed.

Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City on June 21, 1986, and grew up in Lake Placid. She was sent away to a boarding school in Connecticut at 14 for alcohol dependence, and began her music career while testing the waters of college in NYC. The Winner of 2011’s Q Awards ‘Next Big Thing’ title grabbed the attention of Stranger Records with the self-created, nostalgia soaked music video she had uploaded to her YouTube Channel as a single.

The outdoor captures and romantic scenes, full of vintage fashion and romantic imagery landed her a  joint deal with Interscope Records and Polydor, signed less than one month after the release of ‘Video Games’. Keep a look out for this one, she has that special something, and I highly advice watching the video for ‘Video Games’, as it is absolutely awesome in tragic Americana glory!

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Love Life

Sean Michael Daley of 'Atmosphere'

Atmosphere – ‘Love Life’

Now, how many times must you prove you’re an angel

How many more demons do you have to strangle

How much longer must you remain in this dream

Before I finally figure out if you’re insane or a genius

The signature sound of  Atmosphere is a momentarily paralyzing, in perfectly structured, ‘individually wrapped’ musical packages with potent lyrics expressed through a powerful mix of precise timing, commanding composition and discernible delivery.

Photo Copyright: John Brunner
Ant
‘Ant’ – Atmosphere
‘Slug’ and ‘Ant’ of Atmosphere
‘Slug’ of Amosphere
 
‘Love Life’ had me in tears within 40 seconds the first time I heard it.  The awe-inspiring rapidly ruthlesss and radically empowering lyrics of Atmosphere ignited a completely unexpected cry of contentment.  
There were no emotional extremes playing a catalyst in the background, though I do have a readily available daily assortment of choices in cheerful, phobic, panicked or lonely.
It was the strength in severity and sincerity within the lyrics and delivery of this impactful Little Ditty just hit that magic musical place, that I suspect lies within the solar plexus.  
An overwhelming appreciation was felt for this string of immaculately formed citings, simultaneously sewing the threads of life’s unavoidable tragedies through its unexpected joys.

Atmosphere on the Web:       http://rhymesayers.com/atmosphere/

Atmosphere on Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/Atmosphere

Atmosphere on Twitter:         https://twitter.com/atmosphere

—————————————————————————————————–

Wondering what the solar plexus really refers to? 

The solar plexus chakra, the energetic vortex of dynamism and willpower (its animal association is the ram), is charged with assisting one in comprehending his or her emotional life, accepting one’s unique place in the life stream, clarifying the dynamics of ego, self-esteem and self-love.

On a psycho-spiritual level, this chakra is deeply involved in the mechanics of: self-sufficiency, self-image, personal power, issues of responsibility, sense of security and safety. Dysfunction of the third chakra manifests, in part, as an inability to fully acquire and adequately sustain personal power.Only when it is open and balanced can one have a deeply fulfilling emotional life wherein one can be expansive, outgoing, and sociable, have a sense of belonging and fitting in and be able to experience the sweetness of being alive.

The solar plexus chakra is also a seat of intuitive functioning – the nucleus of our sense of subtle knowing, intent of being and gut instincts. Of course, having confidence in one’s gut instincts is largely dependent upon a sufficient level of self-esteem. Self-confidence underlies effective decision-making and crisis management and the ability to take reasonable risks and so healthy operations within this chakra are crucial for the elaboration of leadership qualities and adventurousness.

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When Life Hands You Angels: A Dedication to My Foxy and Fabulous Aunt Lisa

For My Awe-Inspiring Aunt Lisa,

A Lovely Lassie with a Selfless Spirit and Majestic Charm 

The Lovely Lassie Herself, with Moi!

The Lovely Lassie Herself, with Moi!

*My incredible Aunt Lisa has an impressive fan club of hopeful suitors, and the reasons for which are clear to see within the very moment you meet her… If life should grant you such delight! 

~~~——————————————————————————–~~~

I Put a Spell on You

Songwriter: HAWKINS, JAY  (1956)

Performer: Nina Simone

Nearly as epic and admirable as the angel in which this particular Little Ditty has been inspired by and dedicated to, “I Put a Spell on You” is a classic American song that has continued to impact generations of musical enthusiasts from the time it was first written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1956.

“I Put a Spell on You” was selected as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Nina Simone
Nina Simone

Jay Hawkins’ original version was ranked at #313 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Nina Simone‘s version reached # 23 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1965. Artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joss Stone and  Bryan Ferry have created cover versions of this American classic throughout the years, and it continues to pop up in creative distortions from various artists in different music genres.

Timeless and transfixing in nature, this historic piece of music seems the perfect fit for today’s Little Ditty Dedication Post.

For my Aunt Lisa, thank you for being one of my life’s most inspiring and lovely angels.

I am beyond grateful and so lucky to have you!

Angels have no philosophy but love.   ~Terri Guillemets

All God’s angels come to us disguised.   ~ James Russell Lowell, 19th Century American Poet

 It is in rugged crises, in unbearable endurance, and in aims which put sympathy out of the question, that the angel is shown. 

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philosopher and writer

 We are never so lost that our angels cannot find us. 

– Stefanie Powers, actress

Fallen for You

 

A Little Ditty

From our Memoirs of Movies that Shape the Soul

Sheila Nicholls ‘Fallen for You’

“Fallen for you
Did you ever see me,
Watching from periphery?
I was playing another game
I hoped you catch on all the same.

Fallen from view
Did you ever touch me,
Floating through your potpourri?
I thought I felt your fingers once
After waiting all these months

But I was wrong, so wrong
That was just another song you wrote, for another girl
And I hoped a day could be
When you’d write a song for me

But it never came,
I thank you all the same,
But I’ll go now, so you won’t know how much I’ve

Fallen for you,
Boy who’s trying to be a man
Boy, you don’t know if he can
I thought I knew you well enough
But your walls are still too tough

But I was wrong, so wrong
That was just another song you wrote, for another girl
And I hoped the day could be
When you’d write a song for me

But it never came,
I thank you all the same,
But I’ll go now, so you won’t know how much I

Thought about you all the time,
Walking round, the Guggenheim.
Like a rhyme, in my mind,
There you are, in my car,
But we don’t drive very far.
To the beach, out of reach
Next to me… my fantasy

Falling for you
Did you ever see me,
Watching from periphery?
I was playing another game
I hoped you catch on all the same.”

Album: Brief Strap (and Notably Featured on the High Fidelity Soundtrack)

Artist: Sheila Nicholls

 

7 of the Best Musical Movies That Stand the Test of Time

Musical movies aren’t for everyone, but every once in a while a great one comes along to grab a large audience. While they have evolved over the years, many of the basic elements remain the same. It all boils down to musical numbers and an awesome soundtrack. And if you happen to love the characters and you’re engaged in the story, then it makes it even more powerful. Hollywood doesn’t produce musical movies at the rate it once did, but they will forever be an important part of our culture. Not all of them are remembered and universally loved, but there are a few that stand the test of time. Let’s take a look at some of the best that feature musical numbers you can probably sing right now.

Moulin Rouge – not everyone “got” this movie, but those who did absolutely fell in love with it. While it didn’t feature original songs, they were presented in a way that was truly unique. This movie revitalized old songs and made them new again. Throw in an attractive cast, beautiful choreography, and elaborate sets, and you have a formula for success. This is definitely one movie that you can plop into your DVD right now and enjoy all over again.

High School Musical – this might be the most controversial item on the list, and some might argue that the series popularity has long since faded. But you have to remember what an extreme phenomenon the High School Musical craze was. You can see its influence in musical artists, and especially in a show like Glee. It made singing and dancing cool again when things were starting to get cynical. And if you happen to watch the original right now, you’ll notice that everyone was at the top of their game. It’s definitely a flick that teenagers will grow up and remember in the future.

The Muppets – Jim Henson’s beloved creations have always had musical numbers in their movies. But who knew that Jason Segal would do such a stellar job with his rendition? He wrote the scripts, and had a hand in all of the songs. The overall package is a beautiful blend of traditional and new Muppet music. Let’s not forget all the laughs and smart writing contained in the movie. This is the Muppet comeback we’ve all been waiting for, and some might say it’s better than the original movies.

Beauty and the Beast – you can pick almost any movie of the Disney cartoon era, and it would stand the test of time. But this one in particular has some of the best songs of any generation. They are highly hummable and they make you feel just like you did when you were watching the movie. Speaking of the film itself, it reminds us of an age before CGI. It’s impressive to see what actual human beings can do with traditional animation and even more important, when combined with a beautiful soundtrack.

The Wizard of Oz – there is no doubt this classic will be remembered forever. You probably already seen it once, but it’s definitely worth revisiting. If you want to make it more interesting, take a look at some of the history behind the movie. Learning about how it was made reveals how impressive the challenges were. Without the benefit of special effects or high-tech makeup, the filmmakers were still able to create a classic with some of the most memorable songs around.

Grease – when it comes to fund and cheesy musicals, there really is nothing better. At the heart of the story is a tale of love, and that’s why this movie endures. No matter how silly you might think it is, everyone can relate thanks to a steller love story. And even a few decades later, it’s hard to deny the catchiness of the tunes. The cast has definitely gotten older in the real world, but they’ll forever remain young in this movie.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – the next time you’re looking for something fun to do on Halloween, make sure to revisit this movie. The new generation enjoys it with irony, while old fans love it for what it is. You can dress up and sing along, and any major urban area will undoubtedly have gatherings of fans. This is definitely a movie where you let go of your inhibitions to watch. And singing along makes it even more fun, especially when you’re surrounded by people who love this crazy film.

One of the best ways to experience these films is with karaoke in the privacy of your own home. You can pick out your favorite tracks and sing them with your friends. This article comes from the Karaoke Machine Guide where you can check out a list here of the best equipment that can turn your living room into a party palace where you can relive some of these classic movies.

Sleep the Clock Around

“In the morning you come to the ladies salon
To get all fitted out for The Paperback Throne
But the people are living far away from the place
Where you wanted to help, it’s a bit of a waste
And the puzzle will last until somebody will say
“There’s a lot to be done while your head is still young”
If you put down your pen, leave your worries behind
Then the moment will come, and the memory will shine

Now the trouble is over, everybody got paid
Everybody is happy, they are glad that they came
Then you go to the place where you’ve finally found
You can look at yourself, sleep the clock around”

Feature-Image-Dec-14

I Was Scared

A Stereogum Little Ditty with Rivers Cuomo

‘I Was Scared’

I was scared,

I was terrified

I was lost

And so I shied away 

I promise

That ill never ever do

That thing i did that day when acted like a fool

I might get my ass beat

My throat slit and my fingers hacked

But ill never miss another chance to watch my brothers back

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Writing Your Own Music: Sound and Lyrics

Writing Your Own Music: A My Blog Guest Post on Composition in Sound, Lyric and Musical Endeavors

An Intriguing and Impressive Guest Post from rising star in creative writingNicola Winters 

Image

Writing Your Own Music by Nicola Winters

(on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students)

What happens to your musical skills when you leave school for university?  You may have spent years practising your scales on whichever instrument you chose to play when you first started secondary school.  Your parents probably forked out a small fortune in lessons and there have probably been hours spent arguing and nagging about not practising enough to warrant the expense and threats of sanctions unless more practise is done.

You’re probably glad to get away from it all, but, once you’ve got yourself established at university you may surprise yourself by missing the playing of an instrument.  It’s at times like these that you may find the urge to write some music of your own and this, in turn, leads to finding like-minded people, forming a band and dreaming of making it rich without the necessity to study and hand in that next assignment!

Whilst some people are quite self-contained, apparently needing no other collaboration and relying simply on their own creativity to write music; others benefit greatly from other people’s input and welcome constructive criticism from family and friends.

People often find it relaxing to write music simply because there’s no right or wrong way to do it.  Unless you’re a student studying music composition and are following a specific curriculum; you can never really make a mistake – a refreshing change!  Collaborating with others brings so much more to the completed product in terms of originality – no other band would have that same mix of minds so you could end up with a completely unique sound.

Involving a mix of people who have skills with different instruments can also help you create your own individual sound, and if you feel you’re not making progress or you’ve hit a rough spot, perhaps consider introducing a new instrument into the mix which will change the dynamics and may help you out of the rut.

If writing music is something you’d like to do but struggle to actually put into practice, then perhaps choosing specific music composition software would be the right option for you.  An example would be Sibelius 7 Academic Student Edition which is sophisticated enough for top composers but simple enough for beginners and students.  This software is described as being ‘the easiest way to write music’ – and if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to operate it you have the peace of mind knowing it comes with 90 days of complimentary assisted support.

Writing lyrics is a totally different skill – some artists prefer to start with the lyrics and compose the music around them while others work in reverse.  You may find that, whilst you have the talent to write a great melody, you lack the ability to actually put words to your music.  Working in collaboration with a wordsmith is a pretty good idea – famous collaborations like Elton John and Bernie Taupin who worked separately with little interaction still managed to write masterpieces which remain popular today.

Whatever you choose – remember to have fun – you’re doing this because you want to – not because you have to!

This is a guest post by Nicola Winters on behalf of Phoenix Software, a student store that provides software for students.

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Kids: An MGMT Little Ditty Double Dose

“A Baby is Born, Crying Out for Attention

MGMT‘s ‘Kids’ Sparks Inspiration for Last Minute USC Student Collaboration

Followed by The Kooks Acoustic Cover of ‘Kids’ Live on Triple J’s Like a Version

More on the Internet Sensation of a USC Student Collaboration here:

http://www.canyon-news.com/artman2/publish/Entertainment_1150/LOS_FELIZ_BAND_STUDENT_FILMMAKER_MAKE_MAGIC.php

Kids by MGMT

Want More from The Kooks?

Here Ya Go!  http://www.thekooks.com/

The Kooks

And The Inspiration for Today’s Little Ditty Double Dose… MGMT

MGMT will be playing Osheaga 2012 in Montreal, Canada (8/3) as well as Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA (8/5).

Get the full info here.

Guitars and the Science of Making Music

Behind The Music: A Gulkin Gazette My Blog Guest Exclusive

Profound Insights on the Science of Sound from Stephanie at My Blog Guest

From the delicate jangle of indie pop to the screaming sound of a heavy metal solo, what is it that turns the simple striking of strings into an amplifies sound like no other? While there are a lot of different things that make up the sound of a guitar, it is the instrument’s pickups that make that all important link between the strings and the electronics.

So how do guitar pickups work?

The basic principle behind electric and acoustic guitar pickups is the science of magnetism. Pickups are magnets that ‘pick up’ the vibration of the guitar strings and convert them into an electical signal that is fed through the guitar’s tone and volume controls. This signal is directed through to the audio output to a processor, effects pedals or directly to an amplifier.

A pickup is built around an actual magnet, which are now mostly made from ceramic or alnico. Each of these magnets have their own benefits; ceramic can give a greater punch to a guitar’s sound, which is ideal for hard rock and metal music. Alnico seems to offer a more delicate tone, making it ideal for jazz guitars and as acoustic guitar pickups. Alnico isn’t actually an element in its own right and the name is an acronym of aluminium, nickel and cobalt.

The Physics of Sound

The magnetic core is then wrapped in very thin copper wire. The wire is enamelled, giving it the magnetic properties it needs. The wire is wound around the magnet thousands of times. This means that when the guitar is played, the vibration affects the coil’s magnetic flux, and the coil of wire creates an alternating current. From here, the signal travel’s to the guitar’s output.

Some guitar pickups have their own preamplifiers. Preamplifiers, or preamps, provides sound processing, acting as a middleman for the raw signal of an instrument. In guitars, especially in acoustic guitar preamps, a preamp will require a battery to help process the sound. These are particularly handy to manage the frequencies and tones of the guitar, reducing interference from external signals and other noise.

There are different styles of pick up too, the basic of which are single coil pick ups and humbuckers. You’ll find variations on these styles, such as lipstick pickups and soap bars pickups, but these are the two main versions found in the majority of guitars. These different pickups were developed as the older single coils could also pick up lots of electromagnetic interference.

This was combated by adding a second single coil and putting the two together. Modern single coil pickups don’t suffer the same problems with interference. There’s a notable difference in tone between humbuckers and single coils, the former able to offer a ‘beefier’ sound.

GJs Guitars sell a great range of guitars and equipment such as acoustic guitar pickups

-Thank You to Stephanie at MyBlogGuest.com for this awesome ‘Behind The Music’ Entry.

Rock On, My Lady! 

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The White Stripes Double Little Ditties

The White Stripes – Friends and Forever for Her

A Double Little Ditty from The Gulkin Gazette

http://www.whitestripes.com/

The White Stripes
The White Stripes

Forever For Her (Is Over for Me)

“I blew it..

And if I knew what to do, then I’d do it
But the point that I have, I’ll get to it

And forever for her is over for me

Forever, just the word that she said that means never
To be with another together
And with the weight of a feather it tore into me

Then I knew it
All the work that it took to get through it
On the wings of a feather that flew it
Fell onto my shoe it cut up into me”

Get Behind Me Satan
Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)

Meg and Jack White

I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends


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Am I Wrong

Heaven (The Psychedelic Furs song)

In a stroll down memory lane earlier this week, the Editor over at The Sentinel and I watched a 1995 classic that he somehow missed when it was released over a decade ago. Watching ‘Angus‘ all these years later was a ferocious reminder that over a decade has passed since I first related to the good at science, fair at football” leading role of Angus Bethune. Face to face with the significant amount of time that has passed since those early, angst-fueled years of High School, it seems as if that the big 3-O is just around the corner, peaking out at me and counting down.

There’s too much
That I keep to myself
And I turn my back on my faith
It’s like glass
When we break
I wish no one in my place

Love Spit Love was an alternative rock band, founded by singer Richard Fortus following the initial disbanding of the Psychedelic Furs in 1992. Fortus formed Love Spit Love with Richard and Tim Butler.  The band laid low throughout the late 90’s, following a small acoustic tour in ’06, and announcing their undefined hiatus in 2000.

When The Psychedelic Furs reformed in 2000, Fortus joined the group as second guitarist and can be heard on the live album ‘Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live‘.

Now a member of Guns N’ Roses, Fortus plays both rhythm and lead guitar, replacing Axl Rose‘s childhood friend Paul Tobias.

So, as far as Love Spit Love is concerned… ‘Goodbye, Lay the Blame on Luck.’  I’m really glad we met in ’95.