This week in class we continued the 70’s. I know of lot of 70’s songs because my mom had bought me a 70’s collection when I was very young. I think I first saw it on TV and begged someone to buy it for me. It’s kind of funny since they always advertised kid’s collections such as Kidz Bop but I decided I liked the 70’s hits. Sometimes just out of nowhere I’ll start singing one of the songs on the albums and my mom will just laugh at me because she can’t believe I remember so many. I think a good amount of those song are fun/funny songs. Songs such as “Car Wash” by Rose Royce, “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate, “Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, and “Macho Man” by the Village People. They’re dance songs! Disco! When you listen to these songs you can tell they are disco. It has a very distinct sound. Some people may think it’s kind of lame but I think it’s awesome that back then teens dressed up for dates and went out to a disco dance. It seems like it would be a fun thing to do once and a while. I thought it was interesting to see the examples of “Disco takes over everything”. I didn’t know that disco started in gay bars. Also I didn’t really know anything about the YMCA song. I had no idea what it meant. The class was definitely shocked and so was I! I’ve never heard of or seen the “Disco Sucks” controversy. Similar to the other student’s opinions, I think these people saw more and more people joining in and they thought…”I’m not going to get in trouble”, “everyone else is doing this”, “this could make the news or history”, “it’s time for new music”, or “this looks fun and I’ll just join just because!” They did seem kind of serious and felt very strongly about disco though. Just like with the smashing of instruments, when they were burning and blowing up the records, I was just thinking “Noo! You don’t need to do that! Just keep them, you don’t have to listen to them!”:) I did really like the comment about disco satisfying people’s dance needs and how rock music helps with emotional/relating needs. I think that is true. Disco was good for dance and just to have fun!
During this week’s discussion we talked about a lot of familiar bands and artists…David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell. Even though they were familiar from their names I actually never really listened to any of them too much. Since I like rock/hard rock I’m not sure why or how I never got into Black Sabbath. I know just a few songs and I believe they have some songs on either guitar hero or rock band (which I used to play a long time ago). We talked about their album cover. It’s very dark and gloomy. It’s black with a red tint. It has a house, tree, and a man or a woman standing in the middle. We talked about the thunder, rain, and bell at the beginning of their song and how many other songs begin that way. Their music really emphasizes the guitar, it stands out and the drums do too. I know that Jimi Hendrix is famous for his amazing guitar playing. I think it is really different from anyone else’s guitar playing. I know his songs “Purple Haze”, “Foxy Lady”, “Voodoo Child”, and probably more I just don’t know all the names of them. In his videos I saw that he has a very unique clothing style, he can play guitar with his teeth or behind his head, and he set his guitar on fire and smashed it. I think it is pretty difficult playing guitar with your hands let alone with your teeth! I have no idea how he did it! We also talked about how some artists smash their guitar/drums/instruments after a show. When I see or hear that I can’t even look because I would never be able to smash one of my guitars. Even if it wasn’t an expensive one. When I see bands smashing their instruments I just think “Nooooo, why are you doing that??” Anyway, we also talked about Joni Mitchell and her song “All I Want”. The class gave their opinions about what they thought the song meant. It seems simple and we think we know what she is talking about, but do we? The song sounds like she is in a complicated relationship. “How you hurt me baby so I hurt you too then we both get so blue.” It sounds like she wants to make the relationship better and keep trying. She sings about so many things she wants to do for him, “be the one that you want to see, knit you a sweater, write you a love letter, make you feel better, make you feel free.” I liked hearing what everyone thought about the song and what they thought the lyrics meant. That is what I love about music, finding a meaning from the lyrics or relating to the music. It is also why I mention in all my other blogs that now, music isn’t as meaningful or thoughtful. Lastly I just wanted to talk about the Ziggy Stardust video we watched. I think the makeup and outfit did make him look more feminine. It was interesting how we talked about how other artists wore makeup and about the messages they send. Once I thought about it I know so many bands that wear makeup, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, KISS, Ozzy, Ratt, Cinderella, Poison, etc.
I was really excited when we started talking about the Beatles. I listened to them a lot when I was younger and know many of their songs. After talking about them in class I learned so many things I didn’t know about them and realized things I’ve never noticed before. I am more familiar with the “old Beatles” and their older songs. Although all their songs are very different and unique, most of their old songs were more pop like, upbeat, songs you wanted to dance to and sing out loud with them. Some songs that pop in my head would be “Ticket To Ride”, “Day Tripper”, “Eight Days A Week” and “A Hard Day’s Night”. As time went on they “transformed”, as seen on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. I never noticed there were two pictures of them on that cover. Their look and sound were very different from before. I thought it was interesting about how in “A Hard Day’s Night” the first chord played is famous. I’ve heard some of “A Day In The Life” I guess just until the first “crazy noise jumble” because I’ve never heard that before. When we listened to it in class I was kind of just thinking “What is that?!” I believe it was the instruments being played backwards. I think along with the other students in class it kind of makes you feel uncomfortable listening to those parts. But the song starts out with a calm, sad feeling, changes to the fast backward music, all of a sudden happy and upbeat, back to the backward music, then ends with a big finish, the strong extended final note. I like how their music is so different. You really have to sit down and try to figure out what they are trying to say sometimes. I’ve been looking up more songs I have never listened to before. They have so many! I just came across “Across The Universe” and thought it was a beautiful song. I like everything about the song. His voice is so calm and steady, the peaceful guitar playing, the guitar whammy, the power in his voice when he repeats “nothing’s gonna change my world”, and the background quiet ah’s. Their music is real music, it is about real feeling and real meaning. You really don’t see that at all in today’s popular music. I still listen to the Beatles pretty often. I’ve seen two different bands live that look, dress like, and sound like the Beatles. The one was at my hometown a long time ago and the second one was here at IUP’s Kovalchick Center. They were called “Rain”. It was a great show. I would of loved to see the real Beatles live!