R&R: Hope for the Future

Editor’s Note:  Zonisphere Media Group, home of the e-zine, Zubterrain, where my weekly music column, Urb’l (Urban Cool) Remedy lives, is undergoing a site overhaul that will take some weeks to complete. So, my column is currently halted.  I plan to finish out my June posts here at THE REAL popolio.

My articles normally went live on Tuesdays.  This is the last edition of R&R for awhile.

Cause of the Month:  It Gets Better Project

Not only will this be my last edition of R&R (Rant and Rave), but it will also be my last post at Urb’l (Urban Cool) Remedy for awhile as the Zonisphere website is revamped for about a month or so; maybe less.   I don’t know what’s in store, but I’m excited to find out and to see what the new website will look like.  Stay tuned for that!

As I thought about what I would write about I can’t help but just echo what I’m feeling to be true to myself in the moment.  As a blogger, I write on the side of a day job that has nothing to do with my true interests or even what I went to school for.  Though not an artist perse, I’ve always considered myself a creative.  I feel frustrated and boxed in.  Like that hamster on the wheel who goes nowhere.  I have a destination in mind, but don’t know how to get there.

I guess this got me thinking if an artist came to me for advice and was feeling the same way as I am now what would I say to that artist. I don’t know what I would say, but some common phrases came to mind.  “Cream rises to the top.”  So, if you’re good and have talent, eventually it will happen for you.  Now, you can make it happen yourself.  Invest in yourself, release your own product, create your own label, your own company, etc.  But, what if you don’t have those resources or like me don’t really feel business-minded and feel like you’d be better off teaming with someone who could better handle that part, but that person hasn’t really materialized?

So, then you’re like if it hasn’t happened, yet, then maybe I ‘m not good at it and I should give it up, because surely I would have “made it” by now.  “Takes 10 years to become an overnight success.”  Then there’s that.  But, how long is too long?   When should you throw in the towel and decide you’re just meant to have a “normal” life?  Even though every fiber in your being wants it to be otherwise. If you’re cool with the starving artist bit, I say have at it, but I need some security, to pay bills, and insurance.  Hence, the day job.  Yet, I would rather make a living at what I am passionate about and something related to the degrees I earned.

Then you hear the stories about those who give up and decide this is there last project.  An actress in a film, for example.  That if this doesn’t work then they will go live that “normal life” and BAM! it works out for them.  Jodie Foster, anyone?

Is it about the right person seeing what you can do and providing an opportunity?  Is it about you getting in front of that right person to see what you can do so you can create an opportunity for yourself?  You’ve got fire and passion and follow-through, but you get burned out and tired, too.  You’ve given it your all time and time again, but still it’s not enough.  So, what do you do? The other option, I suppose, is taking breaks when you feel burnt out and then just going back to it full force once you feel it again.  This, in stead of, stopping all together.

I guess I would say to that artist to follow your heart and pay attention to your instincts.  I think there are opportunities that come along that we miss sometimes.  You don’t have to do everything, just what feels right to you.  I think once the right thing comes along and you start working in that direction the pieces start to fall in to place. I hope that’s what is in my future and I hope that for all of yours.

peace, love, and all that jazz

freddie beat

Tuesday Tease

June 28, 2011

A REAL popolio selection of Today’s New Releases.

Beyoncé 4
Big Sean Finally Famous
David Cook This Loud Morning
Curren$y Weekend at Burnie’s
Billy Ray Cyrus I’m American
Selena Gomez & The Scene When The Sun Goes Down
Eilen Jewell Queen of the Minor Key
Limp Bizkit Gold Cobra
Luis Fonsi Tierra Firme
Dolly Parton Better Day
Redlight King Something For The Pain
Strawbs Hero & Heroine In Ascencia
Taking Back Sunday Taking Back Sunday
Thievery Corporation Culture of Fear
Various Artists Red Hot + Rio 2
Gillian Welch The Harrow & The Harvest
Ben Williams State of Art
Wu-Tang Legendary Weapons

Music Video: Malcom Gibbs “Mysteries” – ATX

This young man submitted his video via email. The recent high school graduate stated that his senior bucket list included starting his pop/R&B career and creating his first music video.  Well, he’s done both.

The reason I’m posting it is because he took the initiative.   I also know what it’s like to feel like if someone would just give me a chance I could show them what I can do.  And, more often than not, no one’ s trying to help open that door for you.   You have to bust it open.  I think that’s what Malcom Gibbs is trying to do.  I appreciate his hustle and grind.  So, if I can provide a little bit of an outlet, I’m happy to.

Is there potential?  Yes.  Room for growth.  Of course! Judge for yourself and enjoy the video.

Elephant Sky pop quiz interview

June 24, 2011

Name:  Elephant Sky
Genre:  Folk/Pop
Debut Release: Run, Run EP (Self-Released)
Release Date:   September 1, 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)??? Maintain Artistic Integrity, but be able to relate to lots of people.
3. Studio OR Stage? Ooh, both are completely different and beautiful settings.  I’d say Studio if I had to cause it’s where I can disappear for hours/days.
4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? Both.  It depends on the day and my current mood.  I’m awful at this section, it’s not so clear cut to me.  Haha!
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? BOTH! I think I’d rather have Making Love if I HAD to choose, although with the right person you could be doing both at the same time, right?

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my safety blanket.
7. I’m musically inspired by nature.
8. If I could have made any music video it would have been “Temazcal” by Monsters of Folk.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Raven.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to   _________________, ________________, and __________________. (OR Not) Stay how it is!  🙂

Short Answer
11.  I make music because:  I need it.  Everyone needs to find that one thing or place where they can drain the world from their pores and just be still.  Music is mine.
12. I want my fans to:  Love the life they’re living. The music I aspire to create is music that isn’t just notes or chords, but emotions and stories.  I want that to translate.
13. If I could only share one thing about myself it would be:  I’m most comfortable on a huge southern porch with a few of my closest friends making music than in an overcrowded house show somewhere in the city.
14. Wild Card!  I kind of have an obsession with Taylor Swift that I hate admitting, but when no one’s home, I definitely dance around to her in my undies like I’m 13 again. 🙂
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  That throughout the years my music is a constant journey that fans travel with me on.

The video Elephant Sky wishes she would have made!

Listen to “Good Lie” from Elephant Sky’s debut EP, Run, Run.  Click the cover to go to her official site.

Not So Random Videos: Homohop

Editor’s Note:  Zonisphere Media Group, home of the e-zine, Zubterrain, where my weekly music column, Urb’l (Urban Cool) Remedy lives, is undergoing a site overhaul that will take some weeks to complete. So, my column is currently halted.  I plan to finish out my June posts here at THE REAL popolio.

My articles normally went live on Tuesdays.  This edition of Not So Random Videos (NSRV) is what would have posted yesterday, June 21, 2011.  Look  for next week’s edition of R&R (Rant and Rave) as regularly scheduled on Tuesday, June 28, 2011.

Cause of the Month:  It Gets Better Project

With it being Pride Month  across the country, June’s Cause of the Month interview highlighting the It Gets Better Project, and my declaration that it is also Pride Month at Urb’l (Urban Cool) Remedy, I wanted to feature something that packed a punch for this edition of Not So Random Videos (NSRV).

So, this time around I’m featuring homohop (or LGBTQ or queer hip hop) at NSRV.   I wouldn’t call myself a hip hop-head, but certainly I am of the hip hop generation and have been influenced and touched by it.  Who hasn’t it at this point?  It permeates the culture.  I will say that I do take issue with the sexism, homophobia, and materialism that often runs rampant through the musical form.  For those reasons, it’s interesting to me that LGBTQ people would want to emulate it.  For those very same reasons, I think it’s important.  Something about it, I think, helps deconstruct it or bridge the gap or something like that.

But, to be fair, there is a whole spectrum of points-of-view, topics, sub-genres, styles, sounds, etc. in hip hop and it’s not a black and white subject.   Homohop is no different.  Neither are people.   We all come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and we can each be ambivalent or ambiguous or contradictory as human beings at times.  We’re all the same, but different.  I think that’s the point, really.  It’s a concept that’s kind of simple and complicated at the same time.

These artists were all featured in the 2006 documentary film about homohop, Pick Up The Mic.  I first heard about it a few years back and I have always wanted to check it out, but have yet to do so.  I tried to pick songs from these artists that ran the gamut of the spectrum I mention above.   Collectively they show, but are not limited to, humor, religious faith, spirituality, hope, love, desire, covetousness, sexuality, intelligence, silliness, and lewdness.  I hope no one will be offended by the fact that I included a religious video with a highly sexual one.  But, like I said, I wanted to show the range of these artists and this genre.

I’d like to close with a wise statement, but I can’t think of anything that won’t come off corny.  The famous quote, “To thine own self be true,” by William Shakespeare is all that comes to mind.  Hope you enjoy the videos!

peace, love & all that jazz

freddie beat

Soce, The Elemental Wizard “Not Ready”

Miss Money “The Worship Song” freestyle to Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” from the Dreamweaver Mixtape

Tim’m West “fly-brotha” from independent film, heart breaks open

God-Des and She “Love You Better”

Cazwell “Ice Cream Truck” NSFW!  Mature Audiences Only!

Music Video: Lady Gaga “The Edge Of Glory”

Featuring the late, great, Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band, who just recently passed.

Tuesday Tease

June 21, 2011

A REAL popolio selection of Today’s New Releases.

Bon Iver Bon Iver
Ruthie Foster Live at Antone’s (Dual Disc)
Gomez Whatever’s On Your Mind
Grieves Together/Apart
Guano Apes Bel Air
Jagged Edge Remedy
Jencarlos Un Nuevo Dia
Natalia Jiménez Natalia Jiménez
LMFAO Sorry for Party Rocking
Matt Nathanson Modern Love
OK Go 180/365
Pitbull Planet Pit
The Red Button As Far As Yesterday Goes
Jill Scott The Light of the Sun
“Weird Al” Yankovic Alpocalypse

Happy Juneteenth 2011

Courtesy of Google.

Happy Juneteenth from THE REAL popolio!


Happy Father’s Day 2011

Courtesy of Google

This goes out to all you fly fathers out there.

Happy Father’s Day from THE REAL popolio.

Music Video: Katy Perry “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”

NSFW!  Guest starring Rebecca Black, a couple of Glee Kids, Kenny G, and more!!!

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