Thursday, November 11, 2010


I have long been in need (or want, whatever your perspective) of new music. While my friends zip by me with the latest albums, I've got Steely Dan's "My Old School", the Allman Brothers "Midnight Rider", or Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "See the Changes" (or anything by the Beatles for that matter) coming through my speakers. I often become embarrassed by the fact that I haven't heard a single song by some of the most famous current bands. I have some newer stuff that I've added (the obligatory Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, to name a few). However, my iTunes isn't hip by any means.

Despite my love for all things that came out of 1969 (Woodstock) to the late 70's, I find that my real love surfaces in Mo-town, Soul, and Jazz.
Blame it on my Dad, but nothing brings more joy than hearing "Mercy, Mercy Me" playing or Nina Simone's "Love Me or Leave Me" ... And I don't care how overplayed it might be, Aretha Franklin's "Respect" gives you chills every time. Even some of my favorite artists today like John Legend and the Roots say that they draw constant inspiration from towering figures such as Gaye, Simone, Wonder, Franklin, and the like.

I guess the reason I am so drawn to this type of music is because of its honesty. More than that, it has a sense of hope and activism laced throughout the lyrics. While I'll probably never understand the racial obstacles that many of these figures had to fight against, I find their stories to be fascinating and heroic. There's a story behind the progression of their musical genre. And I can't get enough.

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