The Uprising

The revolt is set

The crowd is ready to rush in

Order will be torn apart

The onslaught of the inevitable sin

Grab your guns, grab your armor

It’s going to be a real dogfight

To defend our rights, uphold our honor

The uproarious hysteria filling the night

Anti-government, rise against the machine in full bloom

Not holding back, the tank turrets go BOOM!

At the end of it all, the battlefield lay strewn

Over a thousand souls exhausted, the painting of DOOM

And now the power rests in the hands of the victorious few

A wartorn flag is planted in the cold hard blue

The New Order has risen, salute and respect us now

Until the fallen have their revenge, for the kings and queens they bow

Inspired by listening to “Uprising” by Muse, which got me pumped up today, as all songs by Muse do. They are one my favorite bands of all time. I was going for a power walk today, listening to a set of my favorite songs through my headphones, when this great song came up, instantly having a powerful effect over me. I can instantly trust that I’ll like any of Muse’s songs that play on the radio or I play on YouTube, which I was doing today. The album The Resistance, which includes, “Uprising”,  won the Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2011 and I can’t argue with the selection. There’s a real sense of urgency with the these lyrics, the powerful motive to rise up and revolt against governmental control and other organizations such as Scientology.

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20 Years of Coldplay

Coldplay turns 20 this year. From 1996 to 2016 they have released seven albums and have won seven Grammy Awards. They weren’t always known by Coldplay but by the names Pectoralz and Starfish before settling on their official name in 1998.

Here is a song written for their debut album “Parachutes” released in March 2000. As you can see, the music video is very raw and unedited, filmed on what looks a small soundstage. It originally aired on MTV before being uploaded to YouTube in 2011.

Shiver

 

What Happened to FTP?

Image result for foster the people torches
Foster The People is an amazingly good band that found exposure late in 2011, with the release of their debut album Torches. The band is named after frontman Mark Foster and he says the name means “to nurture and take care of the people”, though it was originally named “Foster & the People” but was mispronounced. I’d say they did very with their first album because there are at least three singles that went viral and cracked the top 100 of various music charts in the U.S, U.K, Australia, and other places, and were nominated at the Grammys.

“Pumped Up Kicks” is a song that I remember very well, and was what sparked Foster’s success. It seemed to define my transition from high school into what they call the “real world” very well, a rebellious track describing one man’s sinister plans. Foster the People has yet to come out with anything that could match their successful Torches album (their 2012 second album Supermodel is one I haven’t heard much about) since it was one of the best from the beginning of the 2010s decade. The music videos accompanying it are spectacular. Unique, maybe a little over the top.

Now this song is absolutely perfect. It’s something you can easily dance to. It’s humorous. I must have listened to this insanely catchy hit about a 100 times after I first heard it on a Nissan Leaf commercial back in 2011. I’ll leave up to you to figure out what the meaning behind the song is.

And one last song I want to talk about doesn’t really have any real meaning behind it. You can call it what you want because that is what the music video clearly shows, an ambiguous mash-up of confusing scenes.

The band is still around and is touring like crazy, with a third album due sometime this or next year. Cubbie Fink, one of the original band members, left the band to pursue other opportunities, but the core group is still together. I admire this band’s hard work and drive to keep producing and not end up one hit wonders, which hey, is a lot better than I could have done.

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.

Rocky Balboa Forever

There once was an underdog boxer named Rocky Balboa. He lived on the streets of Philadelphia among shady individuals, poor as dirt, living in a rundown apartment. Even though he was a pretty good boxer at the local level and had won many fights, nobody took him seriously, calling him a bum and a loser. He even had his locker taken away from him and given to someone else, being ousted from the boxing club because he was no longer needed.

One night while in a pet shop, he met a shy young girl named Adrianna, or Adrian as Rocky preferred to call her (Yo, Adrian!). She was very reluctant of his advances at first and didn’t want to enter his apartment because she didn’t know him very well but they soon hit it off. She was a source of inspiration for Rocky, a hint of light for him to move ahead. Rocky made her more self-confident as well. They shared a long kiss and he no longer felt alone or like a creep anymore.

Then one day Rocky was given the once in a lifetime chance to go up against World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed, since he had no other challengers and was giving an unknown the opportunity to shine. This was to be the ultimate David and Goliath match, an upstart nobody against the best of the best. Rocky started training hard day after day for the fight, running through the streets of Philly and up the historic 72 steps, taking to punching huge cuts of raw meat in a freezer room, and working on his footwork with a trainer.

On the other side, the champ Creed was not taking the upcoming fight seriously, not even training himself. To him, this was a charity event for the fans and he doubted it would go on for more than 3 rounds. And when the night of the fight finally arrived, he showed up dressed like Uncle Sam, taking this matter as a joke, teasing and taunting Rocky. But that was not to be the case. After the Italian Stallion knocked Apollo to the ground to the audience’s surprise, the first time in the champ’s career, the fight became serious. It went the whole 15 rounds, Rocky falling down once and the fight looking like it may had been over. Cocky Apollo started waving his arms in the air, celebrating early. Rocky stumbled back to his feet, vowing to “go the distance”, to Apollo’s amazement. The fight continued, both men jabbing and beating each other up some more, Rocky too tired to defend himself with his fists, taking shots to the face. His nose was broken for the first time in his career, blood dripping. There was no way either of these competitors were going to just give up.

And finally the bell to end the fight rang. The judges called it a split decision. Adrian raced into the ring and embraced her lover in a hug, telling that she loved him. Could Rocky win the decision and become a national hero? Would the Cinderella story end happily?

Amidst the roar and cheering of the crowd, the deciding judge’s voice was barely audible:

“And the winner of the fight by a split decision is…Apollo Creed!”

Rocky was the bridesmaid again. He didn’t want a rematch, said he was tired of taking shots to the face. He went on to marry Adrian and had a son named Rocky Balboa, Jr. He gained the respect of his community and the boxing world.

And all was well with the world – his world.

I just watched this film tonight for the first time in a long while. I picked up on minor details and plot points that I missed the first time around. This movie is similar to Cinderella Man, I’ve come to realize, not that the 2005 film is a ripoff but is inspired by Rocky in a number of ways. The following movies in the Rocky series seem to follow a pattern: Rocky is on top on the world and then Rocky is fighting to get his “eye of the tiger” back.

Overall, I give the first installment in the Rocky Series an 8/10.

No Cliffhangers

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