Spice Is Quite Nice

July 8, 1996 – the world is introduced to an all girl power group with catchy nicknames. With one crazy good song, “Spice Girl Fever” spread to the United States and beyond in instant fashion. “Wannabe” reached number one in the UK on July 27, staying there for seven weeks. The song hit number in 37 countries during its peak.

You know it’s “what you want, what you really, really want”, at least for people born in the ’90s – a reunion that is. Today, the song celebrates its 20th anniversary. Without looking them up, I believe the nicknames of the five were Scary Spice, Sugar Spice, Posh Spice, and…I forget the rest.They last performed at the London Olympics in 2012, which I barely got to see because the TV went out during the opening ceremony. Melanie, Melanie, Emma, Geri, and Victoria. The all girl equivalent of the Beatles – just as successful and endearing, but for all they’re worth, I only know the one hit song from them:

Update: their nicknames are Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh. The editor of Top of the Pops magazine in 1996 came up with these names as a way to make the girls more marketable. They were only supposed to be used humorously in the magazine and not globally but of course that didn’t happen. All of their graves someday will bear these names..

In my own mind though, I don’t really care for a Spice reunion because they are a trend of the past and music has evolved so much since the “girl power” phenomenon of the ’90s. Yes, people are going to be ecstatic, but I’ll be more subdued as always whenever the hype mobile comes into town. By the time I could even comprehend what music or television was, this group’s popularity had already waned, so I wouldn’t have known how they started out, wouldn’t have grown up with them. And I’m not crazy about girl bands, even less than boy bands. Too much hype, not enough pure talent. This group is a one hit wonder but makes every bit of it worthwhile.

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SoundCloud Saturday

In my inbox every couple days, I get a email about different people featured on the About.me website. Today I discovered a SoundCloud user named Matt FX Feldman who is a music supervisor for the Comedy Central sitcom Broad City. His job is putting music to different scenes for the show. He is also a Guest DJ and curator. There are many others like him that produce or at least put playlists of music together on SoundCloud, the home of my future podcast if I ever decide to make one.

I decided to check out the site today and put together my own playlist of some tracks I really digged.

This is likely going to be a recurring feature where I feature some cool tracks and artists, but like all of the other things I tried to do every week, it will likely only be two or three times.

One of the songs featured on SC Saturday #1 is about Donald Trump making people’s lives better. Smh. We’ll have to see about that. Another is a Sean Paul song from 2005 that was somehow featured on the site today.

Purple Rain in Heaven

The one and only Prince has died today. One of the true legends of rock. A testament to everything that music was meant to be. A very misunderstood character who rarely ever made appearances in public or did interviews. Much like I do on multiple occasions in the online world, he changed his stage name a couple of times including be known by “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” and some weird unpronounceable symbol below:

Prince logo.svg
Looks like the combination of a french horn, cross, spear, and chameleon tail. I see a penguin in there as well

But I’m just being a hypocrite here. I never cared a lick about Prince or his music. I barely know anything about him. I’m too young to say I know everything about him. I’m only just watched the film “Purple Rain” and it was the final 20 minutes or so.

I was never a huge fan of his (the music was way too deep and ambiguous for me) but grew up hearing some of his big hits on oldies radio , such as “When Doves Cry” and that way outdated song “1999” that actually came out in 1982 unbeknownst to me, because it was an apocalyptic song relating to *strange events* that would take place in 2000 – nothing really happened except some f’ed up computer clock displays. Thank you dad for stocking up on hundreds of boxes of mac n’ cheese that just cluttered up our brand new Lazy Susan cabinet. Why are those things called “Lazy Susans”? Are similarly, why are those other things called “dumbwaiters”? What if we added some technological advancement like Wi-Fi to the devices usually only seen in expensive houses? Could we call them smartwaiters then?

Anyway, back on topic.

A #GoogleDoodle 4 Prince (1958-2016)

Sadly, Prince Rogers Nelson’s music can’t be heard on YouTube because he removed it (or muted the audio on some videos) because of being a copyright jerk but can be heard on Apple Music or Spotify, which is the meaning behind the word one word prompt “Locked” today. I seriously don’t see why Prince’s music can’t be released to YouTube now under some monetizing deal for the publisher. He’s passed away now so the owner of his music should be able to do whatever they want now. Prince isn’t getting paid anymore for his music. Let it be free and wild on the Internet like it should be.

Oh, but look, I found a song on YouTube that has the original audio. This was just uploaded today:

The music to this awesome song will likely be muted eventually, but for now enjoy a lasting tribute to a guy probably best known as the other half of Michael Jackson.

Update: Yup, it’s gone.

A to Z Challenge 2016

Locked

Music = Rejuvenation

Music has always been the best way for me to cool down and be happy. Good music that is. It has the power to refresh your mind, to put things back into perspective. Many a times I’ve felt like the world was moving too damn fast and I just needed to slow down and listen to something relaxing, something to shut out all of the craziness and chaos. Yes, it’s not possible to shut out that chaos forever because that is how the world works, but I definitely need time to myself to reflect and think.

This particular piece I picked out has the right amount of ambiance and soothingness to calm anyone down, including the angriest people ever. Whenever I am to sit down and write, I need something to get me into a mode and this is definitely it. Just close your eyes, like I did, and let the music take you wherever you want to go.

The title of this post is a reference to a similar post I did a long time ago called Exercise = Rejuvenation (which accidentally got overwritten with a post about the 2015 State of the Union, unfortunately).

Refresh

Planet Earth Is Blue

David Bowie’s signature song, and the one he takes to his resting place, is “Space Oddity”, and somewhere deep in space, the soundwaves that long ago emitted from a radio station on Earth will reach a distant world. Will there be anyone on that world to hear the ballad of Major Tom and how he surrendered to the unpredictable and unknown nature of outer space? Will they send back a response song to Earth that may or may not still be there thousands of years from now?

That of course is one of my top favorite songs of all time because it was written just before the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. Houston control decided not to play the song over the speakers until the mission was proven successful, which of course it was. David Bowie wrote the lyrics to the song predicting what would happen when men flew to the moon. It was predicted as ending in tragedy. Before it was released, critics of Bowie worried that the song would be seen as a promotional stunt for the mission.

I find it a bit ironic (or maybe it’s a just a coincidence) that Bowie died at the age of 69, a number obviously symbolic with space travel as if the universe knew all along.

Chris Hadfield’s cover of it aboard the ISS is simply beautiful. It was recorded in 2013 and was the very first music video shot in space. The shots of the Earth and the space station outside are unbelievable. The lyrics were updated to change the ending from the astronaut dying to a heroic mission.

I see Earth! It is so beautiful!
I could have gone on flying through space forever.
– quote by Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space

If I were stuck in space and had nowhere to go and my ending was inevitable, I’d think of Earth and so much that I’d miss. All the animals and plants, the air that I freely breath, the joy of seeing the sun rise over the trees every morning, the comfort of the moonlight. Of course, there are things I’d not miss like all of the greedy people and violence happening all the time.

If it were a trip to Mars, and there was no return to the home planet, I would feel a disconnect and vulnerability but after living on the Red Planet for a while and getting used to the environment, the homesick feeling wouldn’t be so bad. Seeing the blue marble disappear slowly into the background would have a way of making me feel how small we all are in general. For there is so much more to see beyond our shallow borders of ignorance.

This is My Fight Song

Without a doubt, this is my fight song. It roars at me like a lion, but then gently comforts me like a lamb.

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten is so powerful. I believe it connects with me very deeply, relates to my dreams of landing my dream job, of going places and always climbing a new mountain. The chorus of the song is so intoxicating and just makes me want to move and groove. It grips my heartstrings, motivates me, fuels my happiness and determination to win. There is no more whimpering. It is time to make a move. It is time to live my life.

“I may only have one match, but I can make an explosion”.

I love that line. It means that even if you have virtually nothing to your name, no money, no fame, or power, you can make a difference. By standing up for what you believe in. That was true for African-Americans during the slavery days and during the Civil War, and revolts against the order. The LGBTQ+ movement would have loved to use that line.

The little things you do in life are what matter in the end. You have the power to move boulders through what you say or do. Fighting for a change begins with a lot of small steps and the littlest of people with their one match can make a big surprise.

I can see why this song received so much attention (even a performance before the Pro Bowl). It’s all about having a second chance at life and never giving up. Following your dreams, your passions, taking hold of one more step on the ladder.

I feel like I want to listen to this song at least 50 or 100 more times. It is insanely good. The message within is brilliant. I think I’ll download this song to my phone and go on a run with it (or walk, because running would make me exhausted quickly).

There’s no telling is Rachel Platten will come up with another song to match this or if she will quickly become a one-hit-wonder, but all I can is she went from a complete unknown to making an explosion with this song.


Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

Carpe Diem

 photo drone_zpslh5zknez.jpg

I’ve always wanted a drone quadricopter like this that can shoot beautiful HD video, ever since it became a must have thing during the past year. It would be neat to fly it over a vast landscape and capture stunning cinematic shots of the countryside. In stores, it is a little out of my price range but I had to take a picture of the one under a plexiglass case just to admire it everyday. This picture reminds me of one of those scenes in movies where a kid peers in a shop window and sees the newest and latest piece of technology that all the kids in school are buzzing about. He dreams of all the fun he can have with it and how he will be the envy of his peers but then sees the price tag and his heart sinks. The eagerness to get his hands on this product fuels his motivation to find a way to save up money for it. He asks his parents if they would get it for him and they obviously say it’s too expensive. Through odd jobs, the boy eventually saves up enough money for the contraption and is obviously very excited. In the end though, the opportunities to use the drone are limited because of privacy concerns and the neighbor’s dog having a fit over it. It becomes more of a novelty item than anything useful where the boy stands.

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

That’s a famous quote from “Dead Poets Society”, said by Robin Williams who plays an English teacher named John Keating (an intentional reference to John Keats, the famous poet?) It basically means to stop holding back and just go for it. Make your dreams come true anyway you can. Don’t always take the worn out path traveled by many. It’s a quote that I admire because of its simplicity and strength. Like the drone that can fly high into the sky and capture the environment without the limitations of human support, a person’s dreams can reach their full heights if they put the limitations and fears out of their minds and just go for it. “Carpe diem, seize the day” is the tagline of my Instagram account.

The chorus of the song “Heartbeat Song” by Kelly Clarkson has been stuck in my head for the past couple of days, ever so faintly, so the inspired haiku below:

This heartbeat I hear

Negativity is outweighed

A song that wakes me


Daily Prompt: Earworm

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.