WHALE-Yellow Ostrich

9 May

American Indie Rock band Yellow Ostrich, based in Brooklyn, New York, is a relatively unknown band. Formed in 2009, the band consists of lead singer and guitarist Alex Schaaf, drums Michael Tapper, and on bass, horns, lapsteel, keyboard, and electronics, Jon Natchez. No member is in any way “superior” to another, as you can see. The band started as a solo career by Schaaf, and after meeting Tapper at Lawrence University. Natchez joined the band after he helped them make their first album, The Mistress. From this album came the song you may be currently listening to, have just listened to, or will listen to.

The music video features lead singer Alex Schaaf running away from something or other, and going to great extent to do so. I don’t know where this whale is that he keeps talking about, but he is obviously not doing his job and helping this guy out, because in the end, after finally escaping his chasers, he sees more nearing towards him, and the chase lives on.

Thriller-Michael Jackson

9 May

This video is a total of 13 minutes and 43 seconds.  The mini – tv show depicts Michael with his girlfriend (not actual girlfriend), watching a scary movie that he stars in. She ends up leaving frightened, and to cheer her up, Jackson does what he does best, he sings and dances for her. Obviously this makes everything better, but finally, he changes into his zombie form. His fellow zombie background dancers arise from the ground to back him up, surround his girlfriend and creeping out young 6 year old me who is watching horrified at the jelly oozing out of their mouths. In the end, the girl is relieved by normal human Michael, and ends on a cliff hanger as you stare into his eyes.

Filmed in different parts of Los Angeles, this video won two Grammys: Best Video, Long Form and Best Video Album and four MTV awards: 100 Greatest Videos of All Time, Best Overall Performance in a Video, Best Choreography, and Viewer’s Choice. The choreography is often imitated by all people, whether they know the origin or not. A Jackson classic, I’m sure this song will be appreciated for years to come.

Piano Man-Billy Joel

9 May

William Martin Joel, more commonly known as Billy Joel, was born in 1973. Born into the music industry that is. His first hit, Piano Man, is Joel’s #1 song on iTunes as of July 2011. After falling short of the top ten, Piano Man was not a hit until 1977, when Joel’s album “The Stranger” was released.  His quick rise to stardom made the song a huge radio hit.

The song is a fictionalized retelling of Joel’s experience as a piano-lounge singer in Los Angeles. It has been stated by Joel that all characters depicted in the song were based on real people.  It is from the point of view of a bar piano player who focuses on an old man, John the bartender, the waitress, businessmen, and bar regulars. The majority of these characters have unfulfilled dreams, and the job of the pianist is to help them forget about life for a while. It is very popular, and has been resung time and time again by aspiring artists and piano players, who hope to one day impact the music industry like Billy Joel did.

Waterfalls-TLC

9 May

For Michael Jackson fans, TLC is an anagram for tender, love, and care. For others, TLC refers to the American girl group, whose letters stood for T-Boz, Left-Eye Lopes, and Chili. In 1994, their album CrazySexyCool was released, selling over 11 million copies in the United States. From this album came “Waterfalls,” their most successful single staying at the number one for seven weeks. This was their second number one hit after “Creep.” Often considered the group’s signature song, Waterfall was nominated for two Grammys, Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1996.

The music video was filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood, directed by F. Gary Gray. The video addresses drug dealing and HIV. The group is shown on top of an ocean, their bodies liquidated, singing the song in front of a real waterfall.  This video won the Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best R&B Video, and the Viewer’s Choice Award. Live performances of this song were given at many awards shows. MTV’s 20th Anniversary on August 1st, 2001, marked Left Eye’s last performance with the group before her death in Panama, due to a car crash. Left Eye was commemorated at the 2008 BET Awards when T-Boz, Chili, and Alicia Keys performed the song.

Crazy-Gnarls Barkley

8 May

Gnarls Barkley is an American duo, made up of Thomas DeCarlo Callaway (aka Cee Lo Green) and Brian Joseph Burton (Danger Mouse). Now why this mouse is of danger, or how you get Cee Lo from DeCarlo is unknown. Maybe they’re crazy. This would explain their number one single released in 2006, “Crazy,” from the album St. Elsewhere. It was the first single to become number one on the UK Top Ten Charts solely by downloads.

Gnarls Barkley was chosen as the band’s name from fictional characters such as “Prince Gnarls and Bob Gnarley,” (Prince Charles and Bob Marley parodies.) Gnarls Barkley is a parody off of basketball player Charles Barkley, but the founding of their name is long lost in their fame. After their initial album released in 2006, Odd Couple was released in 2008. In 2011 it was announced by Cee Lo that another album would be released in 2012 by Gnarls Barkley. Alas, it is 2013, and no album has been released. We await the reuniting of the band to complete this album. Until then, we might all go crazy.

Superstition-Stevie Wonder

14 Apr

Born on May 13th, 1950, Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known as stage name, Stevie Wonder, has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and has received twenty two Grammy awards. Blinded shortly after death, the child prodigy signed with Motown Records at age 11. He was recognized after being particularly active in his church’s choir and his ability to play multiple instruments like the harmonica, piano, drums, and bass. His first single, “I Call It Pretty Music, But The Old People Call It Blues,” brought little success, but much more was to come of this new “eighth wonder of the world.”

“Superstition” is a popular song written, produced, arranged, and performed by Stevie Wonder in 1972, when Wonder was 22. The song is the lead single for the Talking Book album by Motown Records. It was number one in the soul singles chart and in the USA. Internationally it was also very successful. In 2004, by Rolling Stone, it was ranked #74 in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Jeff Beck had produced the original drum beat with Stevie. Because of this, Wonder offered him the song, but after being told otherwise, he performed the song himself. Beck played guitar on the Talking Book album and later would record his own version of Superstition.

Stevie’s impact on the music industry is that of great enormity, and one that can not be repeated. He still performs today, at the age of 62, and hopefully will for a long time.

Hot Cheetos & Takis-Y.N. Rich Kids

3 Apr

At the top, you will read the comment that says, “Music Videos….the good and the bad.” This video represents possibly one of the greatest videos of all time. It is a bunch kids we all wish we were as cool as, rapping about what they snack on. I can only hope to one day reach their level of sophistication. Filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, these kids are hanging around Wally’s Foods, just in case you are wondering. Luckily, hot cheetos and takis are also available at your local market, for example, Fiesta. The video had a high success rate, as foreseen because of its greatness. Within a week, the video had a million views and counting. “Hot Cheetos and Takis” was even mentioned in the Huffington Post and Rolling Stone. Prefix dared to call it the “song of the summer,” challenging Carley Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” With it’s defining bass and catchy tune, this song is a sure-fire for all dance party needs or when you feel like snacking.