Music Video: Beyoncé “Run the World (Girls)”

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Tuesday Tease

May 31, 2011

A REAL popolio selection of Today’s New Releases.

Blue Stone Pandora’s Box
BT These Re-Imagined Machines
Kate Bush Director’s Cut
Deathcab for Cutie Codes and Keys
Flogging Molly Speed of Darkness
Jordan Knight Unfinished
Dave Matthews Band Live at Wrigley Field
My Morning Jacket Circuital
Son Lux We Are Rising
David Sylvian Died in the Wool
Tedashii Black Light
James Tormé Love For Sale
Trin-i-tee 5:7 Angel & Chanelle
The Vaccines What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?
Eddie Vedder Ukulele Songs

Music Video: Tidelands “Holy Grail”

Happy Memorial Day 2011

Happy Memorial Day from THE REAL popolio.

Courtesy of Google

 

EXCLUSIVE: 15Q for BoyMeetsGirl Music Part 3

Boy Meets Girl is George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam.  Now they are BoyMeetsGirl Music (BMGM) because, according to their website, the original name now brings up so-called dating sites and two other bands on internet searches.  They will always be Boy Meets Girl to me.  They started as an ‘80s singer-songwriter pop duo.  They are most known for writing two of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” singing back-up on Deniece Williams biggest, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy,” and their own, “Waiting For A Star To Fall.”  Just two weeks ago “WFASTF” was included in a list on the MTV Buzzworthy Blog regarding standout sax solos in reference to Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”

They were lovers, spouses, and divorcees.  Through all of it they were and still remain friends and will forever be creative collaborators.  Every emotion of every era came out in their music.  Simply put, they are darn good pop writers.  I fell in love with their ode to love, their breakthrough sophomore release, Reel Life.  I saw “WFASTF” on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on TV in middle school, asked my parents to get me the full release, and wore that tape out.  I still have it and have listened to it from time-to-time as the years have passed and I’m listening to it now as I write this. 

There was just something about how sweet their pop sound was and how that combined with the intertwining of the feminine and the masculine voice, their melodies and harmony, and the purity of their love that came through their music.  ‘Nuff said. 

BMGM were gracious enough to provide me a song (plus one) to stream with each part of this interview.  So, today you get two songs and one of them is very special.

First, listen to “Don’t Remind Me” also from their last release, 2003’s The Wonderground, like yesterday’s selection.  George shared via email that it’s “the second to last song” that “gets overlooked” and that it is “one of [his] faves.”  He also thinks that “Shannon sings a great vocal on this one.”

Now, the one I’ve been most excited about sharing with you.  Here’s the demo version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves) Me” as sung by Shannon.  If you didn’t know, now you know that BMGM wrote it for Whitney Houston and it became one of her biggest, and now classic, hits.  Enjoy!

Click the first pic to go to their official site and second, at the end of Part 3 of the interview, to get to their Twitter Account.

Part 1
Part 2

***

1980

11. What artist was the greatest to work with?   What artist would you like to work with? Individually and as BoyMeetsGirl Music?

Shannon:  We haven’t personally worked with many artists.  Our songs for other artists have been produced by other people.  One of my favorite experiences was co-writing a song with Henry Mancini, writer of “Moon River” and a number of other classic songs from a ways back.  His guest bathroom walls were plastered, literally, with the sheet music from his umpteen hit songs.  And, he was a very kind and humble person, to boot.  As far as who I’d like to work with, all I can say is it’s a shame that John Lennon is dead. For many reasons!

George:  Yipes, a massive question!  Well, there are so many interesting bands and writers – Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Rihanna, the Script, just to name a few.  Never met any of ‘em except for Maroon 5, but I’m a big fan of their great music and I’m certain that working with them would be creatively exciting.  Good songwriting is one aspect I appreciate plus I’m learning new ways to record and create sounds to make the best use of the myriad new studio tools available.

12. After working so closely together, being married, and divorcing, how can you still be friends and ocassionally write together?  How do you make it work?

Shannon:  George and I have always been friends and are committed to maintaining our high regard for one another.  It’s just a choice we made.  I love writing songs with George – his music inspires me and we still have fun writing and recording.  Magic still happens.

George:  As it was for us from the beginning, we wrote.  Wrote our way through best times and worst; and so, we still do.  It’s an important part of life, is how I see it.

13. Okay, I’m going to ask the un-PC question, I would say Whitney Houston probably has one of the most soulful voices out there.  And Deniece Williams is pretty soulful, too.  How did two white folks get so much soul?

Shannon:  Here’s my un-PC answer.  Once, at one of the very first music business functions George and I ever attended I was in the ladies room and was somehow introduced to the wife of one of the A&M Records honchos.  She’d apparently heard some of our music and exclaimed in shock, “Oh my God, I thought you were black!”  It actually surprised me, but made me laugh, too.  I grew up listening to the Four Tops, the Spinners, Aretha Franklin, and attended the Alma Mater of Jimi Hendrix.  Not that I sound anything like any of them, but maybe just a little soul soaked in. Plus…nobody has a lock on soul, we all have soul! 

When I was in high school my family went to an Episcopalian church on occasion and when the organ played or the choir sang I couldn’t help moving my whole body in time to the music.  Invariably, my stepmother would reach over and tap my legs and tell me to stand still.  An impossible request.

George:  Ahem, Deniece is incredibly soulful!  When Russell Thompkins of the Stylistics sang “You Are Everything,” I figured out what to do with my scrawny little voice – sing high like he did.  Between that and playing piano at church growing up…it’s a funny blend of influenzas…

14.  What’s next?  Individually and as BoyMeetsGirl Music?

George:  Shannon is writing something outside the realm of pop songs; watch for Ian Hopkinson, Larry Kenneth Potts, Shades of Day, and Heather Ballentine – all new artists with cool new records on which I did various things.

15. What do you want the Boy Meets Girl legacy to be?  What do you think it actually is?

Shannon:  I think we’re known for melodic pop music with great harmonies.   Some might add that our music is a bit saccharine, but I don’t worry about that.  I would love for the Boy Meets Girl legacy to be that our music resonated with those unspoken desires of the heart.  I’m a mushy cornball.

George:  I would add that the intro to “Waiting For A Star To Fall” with John Goux’s bubbly guitar, my synth riff, and Andy Snitzer’s soaring sax line…might be a classic pop moment.  Oh, and the key change (Arif Mardin’s idea) and the vocal break with Susan Boyd singing BVs [background vocals] with us…THAT moment!  We’ll see – too early to tell.

***BONUS***Any advice for up-and-coming songwriters, singers, artists and performers?

Shannon:  Be wildly individualistic and exercise the courage of your convictions.  Pay attention to the business of music.  Have fun!

George:  Work harder than you ever thought possible at something you can’t possibly get enough of.

Thanks for inviting us, Freddie!

2004

THE END.


FunkAttack pop quiz interview

Tea Time is one-fourth of FunkAttack and his pop quiz kicked things off for us in May.  Now, we finish things out with the other three-fourths of his group.

May 27, 2011

Name:   FunkAttack
Genre:  Hip Hop/Funk/Soul
Debut Release: El Ritmo (www.bordersessions.com)
Release Date:  June 10, 2010

This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (OR Both)??? Artistic Integrity
3. Studio OR Stage? Stage
4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? Spirituality
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*! Make Love

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my Life.
7. I’m musically inspired by Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Brown, George Clinton.
8. If I could have made any music video it would have been “Dani California” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Batman.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Music, Love, and Roll.

Short Answer
11. I make music because:  Music is everything.
12. I want my fans to:  Feel the love through music.
13. If I could only share one thing about myself it would be:  Pass the peace…
14. Wild Card!  Happy music for happy people…
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  Unite the people through music.

The video FunkAttack wishes they would have made!

Listen to “Get Up” from FunkAttack’s debut release, El Ritmo.  Click on the cover to go to their Facebook Page.


EXCLUSIVE: 15Q for BoyMeetsGirl Music Part 2

Boy Meets Girl is George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam.  Now they are BoyMeetsGirl Music (BMGM) because, according to their website, the original name now brings up so-called dating sites and two other bands on internet searches.  They will always be Boy Meets Girl to me.  They started as an ‘80s singer-songwriter pop duo.  They are most known for writing two of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” singing back-up on Deniece Williams biggest, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy,” and their own, “Waiting For A Star To Fall.”  Just two weeks ago “WFASTF” was included in a list on the MTV Buzzworthy Blog regarding standout sax solos in reference to Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”

They were lovers, spouses, and divorcees.  Through all of it they were and still remain friends and will forever be creative collaborators.  Every emotion of every era came out in their music.  Simply put, they are darn good pop writers.  I fell in love with their ode to love, their breakthrough sophomore release, Reel Life.  I saw “WFASTF” on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on TV in middle school, asked my parents to get me the full release, and wore that tape out.  I still have it and have listened to it from time-to-time as the years have passed and I’m listening to it now as I write this. 

There was just something about how sweet their pop sound was and how that combined with the intertwining of the feminine and the masculine voice, their melodies and harmony, and the purity of their love that came through their music.  ‘Nuff said. 

BMGM were gracious enough to provide me a song (plus one) to stream with each part of this interview.  So, Part 3 will contain two songs and one of them is very special.  Stay tuned for that.

For now, listen to “This Chronic Pain” from their last release, 2003’s The Wonderground.  George intimated via email that he “loves the guitars on this one.”

Click the first pic to go to their official site and second, at the end of Part 2 of the interview, to get to their Twitter Account.

Part 1
Part 3

***

Breakthrough

6. Tell me about the unreleased RCA album, New Dream, which you released via your website in 2004.  What happened with RCA?  Why did you decide to release it yourselves and why did it take 13 years?

Shannon:  Just before we were to release New Dream, RCA/BMG went through an upper-tier management shake-up in which our champions at the company were let go and, unfortunately, we and about seventy other bands were abruptly cut from the roster in a matter of just a few days.  They called it “getting the axe” and that’s exactly what it felt like to us.  At the time, we were not free to release the album ourselves unless we bought the masters, which we couldn’t afford.  There was no internet to speak of, no digital presence, or independent marketing opportunities like exist today, so New Dream sat in a vault for a very long time.  When the internet began to flourish and we were up and running with our own website, George and I requested that RCA/BMG reissue the album.  They agreed to our request, so we then bought a batch of the reissued CDs to sell from our site.

7. Talk about your last release, 2003’s The Wonderground.  As such a big fan of Reel Life, why should I check it out?

Shannon:  I like this question.  The Wonderground is quite different in tone and tempo than Reel Life and I’ve even read a few Amazon reviews from disgruntled Reel Life fans who didn’t much care for The Wonderground.  I understand that they were hoping for more music in a vein similar to Reel Life and were disappointed with our change in musical direction.  However, The Wonderground represents what we were personally experiencing at the time – divorce – and there is simply no way to put a happy face on such a wrenching life event.  We expressed musically what was closest to our hearts and trusted that the songs would find resonance somewhere, which I think they have. The songs are, for the most part, quieter, more introspective, tender…so, if you’re curious about that aspect of BoyMeetsGirl Music, then by all means, we encourage a listen.

George:  Check it out, just because we are most proud of this album.  We recorded it at my house, invited other musicians in, and I think it was a great experience for us all.   There is a tender and raw quality that I like.

Shannon:  George did a beautiful job of recording and mixing.  I love the sonic qualities he created on The Wonderground.

8. Will there ever be another BoyMeetsGirl Music release?

George:  I really love as yet unrecorded songs that we have compiled in the years since The Wonderground.  Why record?  Because there are some gems that would be so much fun to share with everyone!  Why not record?  Can’t think of a good reason.

9. Career highlight?  Individually and as BoyMeetsGirl Music?

George:  I’ll pick one, but I’m flooded with wonderful pictures.  Ha!  Grocery shopping in Idyllwild, California in 1986 and hearing the New Christy Minstrels sing “How Will I Know” on the overhead sound system, very exciting; oh, singing “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” with Deniece Williams (in way over my head!) at the Greek Theatre Los Angeles.  And, as Boy Meets Girl, I’d say meeting Dick Clark on American Bandstand.

Shannon:  One warm summer day when the windows were open, a car went by outside and as it passed I heard “How Will I Know” with a Doppler effect.  Such a small moment in time, but I felt it happened just for me to celebrate.

10. One thing you’d change or do differently?

Shannon:  I always wish I had been a more savvy marketer of our music.  I see some young artists today who are very much a part of the decision-making process and take a very knowledgeable, active hand in their careers.  This is admirable, even necessary to longevity and success.  Kudos to them and that’s my only real regret.  Other than that, my life has been an interesting ride so far and I’m a wiser person for the many mistakes I’ve made.

George:  Well put, Shannon – much to admire in the all-around talent that’s evident now at the top of the charts.

Latest

To be concluded TOMORROW…

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