Monday, August 24, 2009

Electric Relaxation Vol. 2 (Maxwell, Rise Against, Jimi Hendrix)

Week Three in the hotel ends and I'm getting ready for Week Four. I think I've eaten at nearly every major fast food spot at least once while getting better acquainted with Subway and El Pollo Loco. We still don't know when we're leaving but I can't let that slow down the life forever. I gots a birthday to plan next month after all.

Anyways, I'm continuing my music journey discovering a lot in the past 2 months. First up, BLACKsummers'night by the forgotten R&B genius.

Maxwell has been gone for a minute and when I saw/heard "Pretty Wings" at the BET Awards this year, I was blown away. Such grace, such was a beautiful song like U2's "One" where the beauty overshadows lyrics that mean something else. Then I bought the album and it was some of the best R&B I've heard in a while.

The-Dream was the leading candidate for R&B album of the year until this came out. Listen to "Cold" or "Bad Habits" and tell me that's not some royal goodness. This is supposed to be the first of a trilogy and I can't wait for Part 2. Go buy this album because the only problem with it is that it's too short. Short and sweet.

I've been a huge Rise Against fan since I heard "Ready to Fall." Just the raw energy gave me a feeling punk hadn't given me in a few years - most new bands were either too emo or inconsistent for me. I like music that's hard and has some edge to it and these dudes from Chicago had that. Soon as I found out that "Prayer of the Refugee" was their song, I was a fan.

Like Silversun Pickups, I had been dying to hear an album so when I heard "The Sufferer and The Witness," it was awesome. Just good, hard punk rock with an occasional message. I like it because they change tempos so fast - slow, then speed it up out of nowhere. Plus hearing a strong voice in rock like Tim McIlrath is a change of pace from some of these guys.

Their current album "Appeal to Reason" is just as good. I hate to say I first heard "Re-Education (Through Labor)" on Guitar Hero but it let me know that the fury was still there and they had an anthem on their hands. I love both of these albums and it's good to hear rock that still has an edge on the radio.

Alright this was a long time coming. I got schooled on Jimi in college - I just wanted to know why he was the man and some friends hooked me up with some singles. A roomate in 2004 gave me Jimi's greatest hits and I loved it but I knew at some point, I needed to hear the albums. I bought "Are You Experienced" and "Electric Ladyland"

WHOA! (c) Joey Lawrence on "Blossom"

I can't wait for a second listen of both. What can I say about Hendrix that we don't know - legend, icon, flash of white light, genius. Matter of fact, I think I'll relisten to "Are You Experienced" tomorrow.

By the way, favorite Hendrix songs. 1) All Along the Watchtower, 2) The Wind Cries Mary, 3) Machine Gun (Band of Gypsys I know but still), 4) Foxy Lady, 5) Purple Haze. Star-Spangled Banner is required play around my ears.

That's all for now. It's Music Monday on Twitter so I had to drop this for goodness' sake. And thanks to some tweeps, I realized tomorrow is the 8-year anniversary of Aaliyah's tragic death. Geeez. Has it been that long?

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