Tag Archives: James Brown

Motivation Monday Playlist 2

Looking for a way to amp up your Mondays and get motivated? Check out this Motivation Monday Playlist! We’ve got all the tunes to get you going for the rest of the week and help you hit all the things on your “To Do” list and all of your goals.

 

“It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons

 

“Knock You Out” – Bingo Players

 

“Girl On Fire” – Alicia Keys

 

“How Far We’ve Come” – Matchbox Twenty

 

“Fighter” – Christina Aguilera

 

“The Fighter” – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder

 

“I Got You (I Feel Good)” – James Brown

 

“Good Feeling” – Flo Rida

 

“Numb/Encore” – Jay Z & Linkin Park

 

“Run” – The Maine

 

For more, click onto the Motivational Monday page!

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Thirty-Two

INTENDED FOR POSTING ON May 21st, 2014. DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, IT WAS NOT.

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Wednesday. Hump day. No matter what name you give it, the middle of the week can be a pain to get through. But hopefully, there will be some songs on this playlist to amp me back up for the weekend.

1. Into The Mystic – Van Morrison

As previously stated, I love Van Morrison. That man could play guitar and sing the phonebook, and I’d be pretty happy. “Into The Mystic” is such a charming little song, and the music has this gorgeous, slow, summertime feel to it. I find myself swaying and daydreaming about driving along the coast. It’s the perfect song. Can we have more of this for the rest of the challenge please?

2. Get Up (I Like Being a) Sex Machine – James Brown

This is such a bold, in-your-face song, with a definite style. James Brown is outgoing, and his unique ability to get the crowd involved makes this song fun to listen to. I feel like this should be a song people should listen to before they go out or when they wake up in the morning, just for an energetic jolt.

3. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Instrumentally, I found this track pretty enjoyable. The harmonies are also really impressive, although it does feel a bit much occasionally throughout the song’s timing. It’s still an interesting listen, but after James Browns’s fantastic jolt, it falls a bit flat.

4. The Only Living Boy In New York – Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel were seriously talented, and here’s a song that showcases that talent beautifully. I love the acoustic vibe, and the  storytelling aspect of the lyrics. Seriously, give it a listen, and tell me you don’t fall in love.

5. In a Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson

Rod Stewart is a guest vocalist on this track, the band’s most famous song. There is a definite power to his voice, especially when paired with the moody instrumental, with its raging guitar solo. I must admit, I found myself in awe, wanting to listen again and again.

6. Oh Lonesome Me – Neil Young

Just as the title would suggest, this is a definite sad song for the ages. If you’re looking to throw yourself a bit of a pity party, this is the anthem for you, my friend. While I love it for the emotion that is brilliantly conveyed, it’s a bit of a downer, even with its great beats.

7. 54-46 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals

A prison/protest anthem for the ages, there is something so soulful and rebellious in this song’s spirit. It’s the awakening of the punk era slowly coming into life. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this, but I found myself enamored with it.

8. Working Class Hero – John Lennon

The third Beatle whose solo work is featured over the last two days. Half-spoken, half-sung, the vocals on this track aren’t incredible by any means, but I think it’s more of the lyrical narrative that people fall in love with when hearing this song. There is a power to his commentary on how the world will beat you down and then tell you to get up and make a decision, no matter its effect. It’s a fantastic social commentary that wakes people up by shattering the illusion they have been spoon fed since birth.

9. Box of Rain – The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead always reminds me of high school journalism class. My love for this band was something my teacher and I initially bonded over, as she had a Grateful Dead poster by the board. If you don’t listen to this track and fall in love, there is something terribly the matter. The vocals aren’t perfect, but they’re wonderful because they’re flawed.

10. Life On Mars? – David Bowie

Once again, who doesn’t love David Bowie? There is a dream-like quality to this song that is entrancing. It seems so ambiguous, in a sense that almost anyone could find something to latch onto in regards to meaning.

 

Today’s playlist was interesting, to say the least. There was an eclectic mix of tunes to enjoy, which kept me intrigued from track one onwards. At least I survived the middle of the week, that sneaky bump in the road.

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day 26

 

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Feeling a little revitalized, I’m happy to jump into Day 26, especially as I see some tracks I love. It’s this time period (the late-60s) that I’m really hearing a departure from the music of the 50s, moving progressively, and evolving into the sound of the 70s.

 

1. Oh Happy Day – The Edwin Hawkins Singers

A classic song in its own right. I think we all know that beautiful choral arrangement that echoes the lead vocals, like a delicious after-taste of a yummy treat. I might not be religious, but even I can appreciate the stunning vocal arrangements of this song, and I love the soulful feeling it has.

2. Israelites – Desmond Dekker and The Aces

What a fantastic track. I didn’t understand how the book could say people didn’t understand a lot of what Desmnd Dekker was singing about and/or that the accent was difficult to understand. What’s not to get? Plus, how can you misunderstand a man who can control his vocals as well as Dekker.

3. Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell, the Rhinestone Cowboy, is someone I could listen to all day. I grew up with his music being played just as often as Julio Iglasias’s. “Wichita Lineman” has such a beautiful melody to it, and the instrumentation is perfection. It’s a perfect love song.

4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

The vocals on this track, the attitude, the personality, is unbelievable. This is the type of song you can’t help but adore. It is pure perfection.

5. America – Simon and Garfunkel

The thing I love most about this song? The humming harmonies. I also have to admit that it is just a beautiful track in general. It seems to document the happy beginning to the sad ending.

6. Ain’t Got No; I Got Life – Nina Simone

I don’t really know how to explain why I love this song, but I do. It’s so beautiful in how melancholy it appears and how optimistic it really is. Nina Simone’s vocals and piano playing are stunning and really round out the track, making it as memorable as it is.

7. Piece of My Heart – Big Brother & The Holding Company

Oh, take another little piece of my heart now baby! Oh! Take another little piece of my heart!…You know you’ve got it, if it makes you feel good.” This track is one that a good amount of people have grown up singing along to, even as children. It’s catchy as hell, and it is a true classic and really solidified Janis Joplin as a great singer.

8. Say It Loud–I’m Black and I’m Proud – James Brown

So brilliant, especially when you consider the political infusion and meaning behind the lyrics. As said before, anything to do with James Brown seems to be magic.

9. Hard To Handle – Otis Redding

I love Otis Redding. He is brilliant. This song is no exception. Once again, artists approached topics we are so familiar with in media now, but they approached it with what I consider to be a bit more class. Granted, at the time, I’m sure people looked at them the same as we might look at modern artists, but this song is sexy without being explicit.

10. A minha menina – Os Mutantes

This is not a favorite of mine, but I love the instrumentals too much to even think about shutting it off; the hand-clapping, the vocal harmonies, and the beats are gorgeous. I just wish that the lead vocals sounded a bit stronger.

 

So that’s all for Day 26. Overall, I liked this group of songs…I may have even gone a bit mad on iTunes and bought a few of them.

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1001 Song Challenge: Day 25

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Woo! Officially one-fourth of the way through. I suppose it’s also time I make a video. Hmm…

 

1. Alone Again Or – Love

You want to talk about a psychedelic song? This is it, especially when you add in the mariachi band. One thing I really love about this song is the approach to talking about  a long-distance relationship. There was something that expressed the emotion of, “Man, this sucks, the person I love is forever away,” without sounding like Love was throwing themselves a pity party. Respectable, in my opinion.

2. Tin Soldier – The Small Faces

I find that it’s impossible not to love this song. There’s a fantastic beat, with a crashing introduction into rock and roll as we know it. When Steve Marriot starts to sing the hook, it’s a definite hint at the rock and roll that would take over in the 80s. Seriously. Listen to this song, and be amazed.

3. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd

I’m not a big Pink Floyd fan. At all. I have to be truthful. Before I get attacked in the comment section, let me say that I have heard a lot of their music. I recognized the guitar riff for this song immediately, and I respect the fact that the band was resourceful in how they produced their psychedelic-special effects.  I should also add that I am a bigger fan of Bowie’s cover of this song.

4. A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

One thing people always say about this song is that they don’t get what the lyrics mean. I don’t think it means anything. It seems to be quite literally a collection of observations from the party that the song was originally inspired by. I could say that it was a pensive, metaphorical way to speak about fame, and its effects, but who knows? Anyway, I think it’s quite soulful and has a beautiful melody, so why not give it a listen?

5. The Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

I knew this song from sound, but not by name…and let me tell you, I’ll own up to making judgements based on the name. I was so confused as to why a song would have such a strange name. Then, when the track came on, the lightbulb went off; hello old radio I listened to as a kid. Lyrically, this song is pure gold, and musically, it’s just as well-done.

6. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream

This riff from Eric Clapton is iconic. The track itself is iconic, if I’m honest. The raw need and desire of this song is almost tangible, illustrating the talents of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Pete Brown. This is the type of song more young rock musicians should try to aspire to, of course, with their own style and originality painting the canvas.

7. Cold Sweat – James Brown and The Famous Flames

It seems that anything involving James Brown turned out to be a success, and this song is no accept ion. It’s brilliantly upbeat, with a personality all its own that makes it stand out amongst the rest. A great seven minutes of your life.

8. The First Cut Is The Deepest – PP Arnold

This song has been covered by basically everyone. But, with all due respect, there’s a reason this song is a classic. PP Arnold sings a tale of heartbreak and learning to not let the past sting you so badly as to make you hesitate in moving on; each line is sang with pin-point emotion that will inspire goosebumps.

9. I Say a Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin

Yes, our minds may automatically flicker to the version of this song from My Best Friend’s Wedding, as Rupert Everett led a fantastic group sing-along in a restaurant, but let’s discuss Ms. Aretha Franklin’s version for a moment. Despite the song originally being performed by Dionne Warwick, Franklin made it her own. There’s no imitation in her voice. It leaves many listeners wondering which came first: Warwick or Franklin?

10. The Snake – Al Wilson

This is such a theatrical song, and it’s wonderful. It’s also a great cautionary tale for people: A kind woman takes a cold snake into her care, taking care of him, etc. So then he bites/poisons her, and she obviously is hurt. However, the snake points out, “Now you knew darn well I was a snake before you brought me in.” I cannot say enough about this song; lyrically, I adore it, and musically, I am awe-inspired.

 

Yes, I am exhausted. Yes, I want to go to bed. But even if I have to admit something about this playlist: it’s a good enough listen to make you fight your eyes desperately trying to close. Getting closer and closer to the 70s, and you know what that means: references to That 70s Show!

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1001 Songs Challenge: Day Seventeen

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The 1960s had some amazing tunes. It’s when rock and roll really started to take shape, and funk slowly started to come about. In retrospect, it was an inspired time for music. During Day Seventeen’s playlist, I continually found myself listening with more and more enjoyment than ever.

 

1. You Really Got Me – The Kinks

This is the song that seemed to launch 1000 ships, with its legendary power chord and gritty style, it was a sleeper hit; no one could have seen it coming. I love how there is a blues-influence, along with a totally original, distorted sound via the guitar.

2. The House of The Rising Sun – The Animals

An old American folk song, The Animals took this song and made it their own, putting themselves and the song on the map. Personally, this is a favorite of mine, because it’s such a haunting track. It’s the type of song and slow, drawling melody and tone that you cannot get it out of your head. Incorporated with such a smooth blues style, and everything about it screams, “NUMBER ONE HIT.”

3. Go ‘Way From My Window – John Jacob Niles

Vocally, John Jacob Niles is impressive. The fact that he can go from haunting, deep, dark vocals to high, energetic falsetto is a feat all on its own. However, I will own up to the fact that this song freaks me out and is not my cup of tea. Whether or not it just reminds me of something from a horror film, I don’t know. All I know is that when John Jacob Niles popped up on my screen, and his voice filled my speakers, I admit to being a little spooked.

4. Amsterdam – Jacques Brel

Here’s another dark, brooding type of song. Something about it is very eery, and if you watch the performance, it’s easy to feel a little terrified, especially as the song’s pace picks up, accompanied by the frighteningly aggressive accordion. What’s more, the artist disappears at the end of the song, in a wave of theatrics that both delights and terrifies.

5. La paloma – Caterina Valente

Beautifully expansive, embracing all sorts of instrumentals to form a melody that will send shivers up your spine. Caterina Valente’s vocals shine, flowing beautifully without a hitch. Perfection like this is hard to come across unless it’s been doctored by today’s typical studio software.

6. Sinnerman – Nina Simone

An opus of sorts (it’s just over ten minutes long), Nina Simone gives this song a life all of its own, making it strong, but maintaining it’s spiritual beginnings. She was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and performed this at the end of her shows, which is easy to understand; the emotion she puts behind each “Power!” she cries is more than heard; it is felt. Musically, this song stands alone as a triumph, instrumentals accompanied by rapid clapping, breathing pure character into the track as it builds.

7. The Irish Rover – The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

I’ll own up: this song made me giggle. As someone who has grown up hearing folk songs from all over, including Ireland, this was so familiar and wonderful, and each line was filled with humor, I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s such a great, early comedy song. I recommend this if you’re having a downer of a day.

8. Needle of Death- Bert Jansch

Of course, every playlist must contain a sad song or two, and this is by far the saddest. A beautiful expression of loss, Bert Jansch’s voice shines on this track, accompanied by the light strumming/plucking of an acoustic guitar, there is something so powerful and moving about this simple song.

9. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – James Brown

It’s impossible to dislike this song. I love how catchy it is; it so original and just a purely funk song. I will always remember the first time I heard this song: I was five years old and watching Mrs. Doubtfire for the first time (the scene where Robin Williams, as Mrs. Doubtfire, walks across the San Fran streets, on his way to work for Sally Field’s Mrs. Hillard).

10. La Boheme – Charles Aznavour

Now this man had a gorgeous, classical voice. From the opening notes, he delivers each word with every bit of feeling he seems to be able to muster, and it’s striking. Everything about this song is memorable.

 

…And so concludes Day Seventeen. I found today to be a perfect collection of songs; a great mix of tracks I knew and loved to sing along to, and songs that were entirely new to me. If today is any indication of how the next few are going to flow, I am more than excited to listen!

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