The Future

Wow…the future, eh?  Now there’s something that I don’t really think about too much, but I do have a good idea of where I’ll be.  Hopefully, by the time I’m out of college, I have a job at Novo Nordisk in Princeton starting out in the design department or web managing.  I would love too work with my dad, who works there now as an IT manager.  This will start a father-son legacy and the company, and we’ll get work done as a team!  I think it’s possible to land a job there by the end of college if I get an internship next summer or fall, which I’m also very excited about.

Now, maybe I can figure out my home life plan!  Once I graduate college, I hopefully can buy an apartment, and move in with my lovely girlfriend. This would be ideal if I got a job right out of college, but I mean you never know what will happen!  Fast-forwarding to ten years later, I would love for us to be married and have a house in Crosswicks with a few kids.  Not too much to ask for, right?  It’ll be a simple home life with the ones I love, and that’s honestly all I really want after school.

Bring Back Cassettes

There’s nothing like the satisfying “click” of a cassette going into a cassette player.  There’s nothing like taking a tape recorder and making a horrible quality mix tape for the one you love.  There’s nothing like winding the innards of a cassette back into the case after it skips a few times and frustrates you beyond belief.  All of this is part of the nostalgia that I’m sure everyone has a soft spot for!  I may only be 20 years old and be slightly inexperienced with cassettes, but I do really love experiencing the nostalgia I didn’t know that I had!  I also really enjoy getting an entire album for less than three dollars.

This wouldn’t have started if it weren’t for the man known as Randy Ellis, or “Randy Now,” who used to be a booking agent for Trenton’s own punk-rock club, City Gardens.  Randy, a friendly and interesting fellow, asked if I could move things around and organize things in his shop in Bordentown, NJ.  I completed the task at hand, and I saw that he had a boom-box sitting on one of the shelves, and I was immediately interested.  I asked him if I could be paid with the boom-box, and I’m sure he was enthused about not having to give me actual money.  So I took the boom-box and four cassettes home with me, and started experiencing this nostalgia.  I bought Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Ozz, and Metallica’s No Life ‘Til Leather Demo (reissue).  The feeling of listening to these albums on one of their original formats was unreal for me.

So basically, the moral of this story is that the cassette should most definitely make a return.  The sound quality of a cassette may not be the best, but it was the music format of a generation for a long time, and I feel that it shouldn’t be outdated, but improved.  I hope you guys all agree!

Why You Should Play an Instrument

Let me tell you something that everyone should have in their arsenal of personal knowledge: musicianship.  I believe everyone should learn how to play at least one instrument.  The thing about learning how to play an instrument is that it opens up a world of opportunities for you.  You get the experience of having a blast with your friends by getting a band together, bonding, spending quality time honing your skills, and more.  Like Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters says, “Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy and old drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana.”  This is how you have the best time of your life.  As a musician, I can vouch for playing a show being the best experience of your entire life.  This is just the performance aspect of instrument learning.

Another amazing thing about learning how to play an instrument is that there are tons of studies being done that prove that being a musician will help your mind get more organized and creative.  This will make you a smarter person, as well as give you a new insight to look through at everyday things.  Once you involve yourself in music, there’s no way for you to get out.  It’s kind of funny to think of everything from a musical standpoint the second you start playing an instrument, but you’ll soon end up loving it.

The last thing is that playing an instrument also makes you seem like a more interesting and “cool” person.  Everyone loves people who are in bands and play instruments because you know that they’re having the time of their lives playing on that stage.  It’s really quite amazing to go from someone in the crowd to someone on the stage and get this feeling first hand.

What Is Music?

Many people ask the question, “What is music?”  The correct answer, however, is a multitude of concepts and thoughts put together.  I first learned what music was after a long pursuit for the answer.  After listening to Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “The Star Spangled Banner,” I learned that music is more than just a literal composition;  It’s a feeling that you get when you listen, play, or even read the music, paired with the piece itself.  It’s that feeling that makes you want to go out and spread the word about what you’re listening to.  Think about it like this: without emotions or feelings, there would more than likely be no music. Everyone’s mood would be one, constant drone of indifference in emotion.

Jimi Hendrix, the influence of millions and pioneer of his personalized bluesy playing style, once said, “Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”  He’s completely right in the sense of music influencing the minds of millions, especially during his own era (1960s).  Try to remember the Vietnam War era, and also all of the anti-war songs that paired along with it.  Artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and so many more influenced an entire culture of people to take a stand against the Vietnam War.  This was referred to as the counter-culture, or more familiarly, “hippies.”  Now, you’re probably asking, where’s my point?  Why did I bring this up?  Because this era’s music was in complete control of a generation, making people take stands for what they believe in, enforcing their purpose.  This, was true music.

Now the only thing getting in the way of this generation taking a stand against everything less than ideal that’s going on right now, is the lack of that feeling and meaning that makes up the second half of music.  When you take a look at artists like Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, or Iggy Azalea, what is the feeling or meaning behind their songs?  There’s not really anything digestible that will give people that “feeling” that I keep mentioning.  R&B artist Prince says, “what’s missing from pop music is danger.” What I think this means is that pop artists aren’t taking the initiative or risk to get into the listener’s mind, and make them take stands like they once did during the times of the 1960s.

In conclusion,  music is not just something you hear, it’s something you feel in your bones, your mind, and even your imagination.  It’s that extra push that causes people to make a difference in the world.  Folk-Rock singer/songwriter Paul Simon once said, “Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.”  This is very true today, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that music just hasn’t grown or matured quite yet in this day and age, which is why it lacks meaning.  The residual message in music has changed from, “make a stand,” to, “buy my album.”

Sources:
http://www.essential-music-practice.com/quotes-by-musicians.html
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/prince450411.html?src=t_pop_music
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jimihendri195416.html

Break It Down Now

Hello everyone!  The main purpose of this blog is to give you my personal reviews of many albums that I enjoy, as well as many different music recommendations that I feel everyone should know about.  I’m hoping to attract music lovers to this site, as they will (hopefully) be able to appreciate everything that I write about on this blog.  Whenever you want to know some of the best music out there, or just check up on current music, you can come here and read what I have to say.  Also if there are awesome collectable things, like vinyls, cassettes, or CDs out there, this will be one of the first places to look.  I hope that this blog will one day be like pitchfork.com, which is very much a quality music blog.  I hope this blog becomes popular and a large part of my life that I’m able to share will all of you!

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The one and only, me

Now, a little bit about me.  I’ve been connected with music since I was in the fourth grade, where I was given a bell kit and dove into the world of percussion.  It was so great, that I kept going through the different levels of experience.  Eventually, I picked up the drums, as well as many other percussion instruments.  This also wasn’t enough for my burning passion, so I ended up picked up guitar and bass as well.  I really feel the need to share my knowledge with others, and that is why I’m starting this blog.  That’s really my story, and you’ll learn more along the way! Thank you for reading!