My Dad Will Listen

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while. Oh life! I’d like to tell you a grand story of why I haven’t kept up my blog for over a year, but I’m not. Life happened, that’s it. I struggled with the idea of doing a podcast and I was really set on doing it in 2013 but it just didn’t seem like the right time or maybe I didn’t have the confidence that I could do it. If I’m being honest I didn’t want to do it for nothing. I didn’t want to put all this work into something that I was really proud of and then no one cared and no one listened. It’ kinda of weird struggling with that because most likely hardly anyone would listen, that is the truth. Not even my best friend read my blog when I was writing consistently but I still wrote and besides the spelling and grammar errors, I think I was OK at it, wordy at times but OK.  So what makes the podcast different? I don’t know. I have some ideas but really I think I just needed to get out of my own way. So no one listens, so no one cares, so what. I know my Dad will listen, and that’s enough for me.

Below is a blog entry form July of 2011 about my podcast idea. Give it a read, and stay tuned.

July 18, 2011

If you have been reading through my blog I have hinted at having some kind of a podcast that I would like to do in the near future. At first I was thinking of having it be like a basic format radio show, like I did in school. To me this seemed like many hours of work, because I wasn’t in the studio so all the great improve moments would be a product of my crafty editing. I have to say I love being in the studio, it helps me get to that space I need to be in my head to deliver. I didn’t want to prep, record and edit every week a mostly music show. It just didn’t seem authentic. I wasn’t giving anything new or interesting just me and my music selections. If I’m not in the studio than to me it’s boring, and even then.

So what do I do? I’m at a loss. Liz suggested I do something about a life of unemployed radio DJ, who actually was never employed. Liz said that I could make it hilarious. Yeah it could be funny, but I’m not doing that. I thought about random skits, like really well produced sound designed, half narration, half acting with an incredible soundtrack.  Then I thought about this melodrama, I have written two episodes for called for a drama called Desdamona. It’s a Latin soap opera of sorts, it was supposed to be funny in the beginning, but then ish got real, now it’s more serious. Also I would need a significant amount of male voices, and I don’t have the access to all the voices I would need to do that consistently.   I also have this audio sitcom idea called retail it a comedic look at the life a retail clerk. I have first had experience, and it would be dope. Then I think I could do band interviews which I’m totally down for, but  I don’t know if I’m that excited enough to do it consistently. Thinking, thinking, thinking….

Then …

I’m reading through people’s facebook updates mostly junk. I would totally quit facebook, if it wasn’t so key in how some people communicate and I wouldn’t get invited to anything. I wouldn’t be able to let people know about my blog or other musical endeavors. So, yes I’m reading facebook updates, when an acquaintance of mine posts something about how they love a lot of music, but also mentions that they hate genres a, b, c, and d. Hate, really and it was like four genres too. That is a super pet peeve of mine when people say they hate a genre of music, right under mean people for no reason. It’s pretty much one of the most closed minded statements you can make. When someone says they hate a genre of music it’s because they don’t understand it. Scream-o is not my favorite genre of music, but I don’t hate it. So ignorant!

Anyways that got me thinking, ignorance is a choice and so is hate, but theses can both be resolved with knowledge. People hate what they don’t know. I don’t know a lot, but I love music and it would be my pleasure to learn more about something I love

Eureka!

I found a podcast idea where I can play music, be informative, and give you something only I can give. Heather’s take on music, the show is called Music Appreciation (working title). The concept is that we would take a genre of music and for about an hour dive in head first. I’ll  give you some history, specific conventions, what is popular about it today, teach you and myself how to appreciate a genre by delivering you some knowledge of music with Heather-isms, sometimes interviews, and music examples. Kinda like the best college music class ever. I may even call myself professor Hollingsworth, that may be a little corny, but I am corny, but also I’m pretty cool. Like I said it’s a work in progress. The idea is Genius!  Well I think so, but what do you think? Would you listen? Am I missing something? Let me know what you think.

-This is Hollingsworth

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The Soundtrack of the wounded (late)

Hi Friends!

This is a review that I did about a year ago, but I never posted it! I think it’s a pretty good review so I thought I’d share.

please excuse my negative words against Christian music, I mean well.

Happy Reading 🙂

 

Wounded Healer

As you may know I have given up on Christian music so much so that I usually don’t even give it a chance, it’s like I can’t be objective, my cynicism is at it’s peek. Worship albums are like at the top of the list of things that will not touch my ears. Ahhh so terrible!  Alright now that’s out of the way I’m ready for some objectivity! Wait one more… why christian music, why must you plague our ears with stale contemporary rock and whiny thin males with deep deep v-necks. Ok now I’m done, stereotypes over.

Recently an album came across my path by the Followers, a worship team from a local Church, titled Wounded Healer. The album art is can be described as psychedelic hipster, who happens to love the Lord but might be native of  Mexico and catholic. My first impression is… hmmm that’s interesting.

At first listen of the album, I liked it. It grooved. I think a good description is a folk country alt-rock album with subtle soul undertones.

The vocals are good both lead and background. Sometimes I felt the treatment of the vocals in production was over done or done too harshly. 

Let’s talk lyrics… This album is about Jesus plain and simple and as Christian I like the fact that I can tell what the songs are about. There is no, can this play on the radio ambiguity.There is a sense of realism/humanity in lyrics without falling into the humanistic self loathing mentality. A listener can have their feelings without feeling guilty for being human and strive for hope.

The Soundtrack of the wounded.

Overall the album stands on it own. It’s good, period. I think some moments are over produced and I think the song should should speak for itself in raw form and then soften it a little with some extras. Personally I’d like to hear less twang and bring out the soul undertone maybe with an awesome base line or richer treatment to the organ – more depth musically.

I know most ears that hear will dig this album… it’s got legs on it and it runs pretty well lyrically and musically. Weather you are a Christian or not I think this album will speak to you on personal level and excite your ears.

 

Get it here:http://thefollowers.bandcamp.com/, http://noisetrade.com/thefollowers

It’s always better live: http://www.doorofhopepdx.org/media/soul-sessions.html

Open Your Ears. Sound is Everywhere

 

This is Hollingsworth

 

This is Chirstmas, Music

It’s that time of year!
Ba Hum-Bug!

I am not one for the holiday season. I have worked in some form of retail or customer service for the past 10 years and the holiday season is just the worst. I have seen the ugliest humans during this time of year. I also have some not so great memories of the Christmas season through the years and I just want to forget it all. Then to top it all off everything is accentuated with some of most annoying music known to man! well, it’s not that bad but it can be. A mother telling you off in the kids jean section of Macy’s about why specific items are not on sale while a whiny kid sings some Santa trash on the loudspeaker is not the reason for the season. – so I call the whole thing off!
Now I have had some good memories, like getting a bike on Christmas when I was child, my mom’s Christmas Breakfast, and caroling or even just singing with my friends. Overall though I have bad vibes about the holiday season.
I think a lot of people have trouble this time of year with cheer and happiness and consumerism pressed so heavily on the population that if we don’t have family with us or we are working and don’t have the time for cheer, or which I assume is more common we are broke. Not to say that holiday is about gift giving which it isn’t. It’s about celebrating the birth of Christ.
It’s just a hard time of year.  What makes it worse is that is has it’s own music!

Christmas music….
Well this is the light at the end of the tunnel for me. There is a lot of terrible Christmas music but for some reason it’s so bad and corny that it is awesome,some of it. The rest is just not great. There is something to be said about music based positive things like family togetherness and world peace. You kinda have to be soulless to blow it off  Holiday music altogether. I’m making a conscience decision to open my bitter ears to Christmas music.

What’s your favorite part of Christmas music?
There is the Christmas music that is so beautiful you have to wipe away the single tear streaming down your face. My favorite is the smooth jazzy Christmas I mean it’s just classy stuff. Then there is just fun time holiday!

Here are some suggestions for Christmas music that will help you through the season.

All time favorite Christmas song!
http://youtu.be/TmaKSpTIJzI

 

Boys II Men Christmas


http://youtu.be/gCbFpprZYKE

 

Temptations!


http://youtu.be/vFc7STuQF0U

Anything Motown Ya’ll


http://youtu.be/IK8BkuvI39E

 

You know Lou Rawls is my favorite so..

.
http://youtu.be/_7YlKfn_sTo

 

Funky Christmas


http://youtu.be/cz48PR__uSo

 

Miss Mariah


http://youtu.be/yXQViqx6GMY

 
Essential Christmas Album of Twenty Twelve


http://youtu.be/Tt6zwuV8Go8

 

For My Hipsters 🙂


http://youtu.be/dEoiM-ZQC2I

 

Guilty


http://youtu.be/IHOTA4ySBSk

 

Collection is not complete is you don’t have


http://youtu.be/Hajwg6kxpQ4

 

Despite how you feel about the Holiday season I know that it only takes one song and you will melt right into the mood. There is a lot of music out there and I have only touched the surface but I know that at the least this music will put a some on your face and if that’s all it’s been worth it.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Open your Ears. Sound is Everywhere

This is Hollingsworth

Short Attention Span

In my last post which was a while back I’m going through drought season. Which is OK but I’ve been realizing it’s not like I don’t want new and exciting music in my life. I just don’t have the patience. I think I’m developing a short attention span when it comes to music. I either like or I don’t and that is the end of it. I recently sampled the the new Joss Stone album and by sampled I mean listening to each song no more than two minutes but most about 45 sec. After doing that I came to the conclusion that this was a good quality album and that was the extent of it. I had no desire to go any further and invest even though I’m sure that I would be delighted at the joy to my ears. Sampled the new Brandy album it’s better than I thought not as good as other stuff. I hardly heard a thing. Walk The Moon Album, good songs quality lyrics, I don’t think I’ve heard the whole album once. New Mumford and Sons, pretty much a continuation of the first album, herd a couple songs. I could go on forever. In every quick observation I feel like I’m being completely objective and my opinion is valid. Music lovers do you experience this? Am I losing something?

Maybe this is product of living in a world of various singles. I thought I was exempt from this I’m the kinda person, or I used to be the kind person who had to have the whole album. Having a single is like having just a piece of a painting. An album is a complete piece of art and is usually expressing a story. If you just have one “single” piece of the painting  you are not getting the whole story. You wouldn’t buy the corner of a painting?

I feel been nostalgic lately,  even listening to the Fish – what is wrong with me? I think I’m experiencing a music aesthetic shift. My music brain still works I guess it’s just tired or only can take so much at a time. Maybe I overloaded my head and it’s in this cooling of period. Who knows I still love it and can’t live without it.

-This is Hollingsworth

Drought Quenched

I’ve been going through a music drought lately. I haven’t really been listening to anything and everything I hear is terrible even though I’m sure its not. I really enjoy R&B but it seems to be dying, which is tragic. If you go to itunes R&B section it’s like never updated while other genres are thriving. It makes me sad and little mad. I think, is it dying or are they choosing to ignore this audience cuz there has to be stuff out there? Any whoo, my ears are in a wasteland and I have a feeling my drought season will be sticking around for a little bit longer….
Despite my lack of excitement I have heard some interesting things along the way. I had a chance to sample Norah Jones’ latest album, Little Broken Hearts and it’s good.

A lot of the time when an artist steps out of their genre it’s not a good move. Norah’s drift to an alternative sound is well done. Her voice has a haunting effect and keeps the element of Jazz in an indie kind of way. I haven’t listened to the album real in depth way but her approach is a little darker, you will see this in the lyrics. Obviously this album has to do with things that are wrong with relationships. It’s still has that lounge(y) Norah sound but with a twist. check these tracks out, http://youtu.be/vIWYxyXkW2Mhttp://youtu.be/MZgkClKE6hQ
I sampled this Jazz album the other day by ERIMAJ, the album is called Conflict of Man. It reminded me of Robert Glasper latest collaboration project, Black Radio: Robert Glasper Experiment, which is super delish!

Although I was reminded of Black Radio,Conflict has a smoother feel and less experiment, although there wasn’t really a traditional Jazz element in there which I did hear in Robert’s piano solo’s in Black Radio.Conflict of Man still has a something new and different vibe I would say, soul alternative Jazz.  Check out both!

Check these tracks from Conflict of Man: http://vimeo.com/27198584, Choosing Sides is a great track but I can’t find a good whole recording… so check this instead, http://youtu.be/Cfrren_WHZI

Oh, and these from Black Radio: http://youtu.be/Yc0TmmmMlZshttp://youtu.be/oN0tFgLcp4g

Since we’re talking a little Jazz, which was not planned by the way, Esperanza Spalding latest project , Radio Music Society is good too. Now hear these: http://youtu.be/Nppb01xhfe0http://youtu.be/6mn94vuS58E
If you’re going to listen to that then you need, need, need to put your ears on Gregory Porter! Snap! I fell in love with his album, Be Good. I think this album is a great representation of what modern soul Jazz sounds like, and ya’ll it sounds good. Have to heard these: http://youtu.be/Bx4liWd1sYwhttp://youtu.be/ktPrN4600wQhttp://youtu.be/9HvpIgHBSdo

Well I guess I’ll end with a little old school goodness. I know you will love Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.- classic. Here is a taste: http://youtu.be/ym5R67fH7Dc

I guess when you’re in a drought a little Jazz will quench.

Open your Ears. Sound is Everywhere

This is Hollingsworth

Bring In The Choir


Three of my favorite things that make a song  just top-tier is orchestration, choirs and awesome flute solos. Coming into work this morning  I was listening to the album Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka which is something you definitely need to check out and I’m driving into downtown strings come in over the folk guitar sound and my whole body relaxed into and I softly uttered…. yes! It’s satisfying. The orchestration is so fresh in those classic soul songs, I mean when the string come in on “It’s Man’s world” by James Brown, snap it just shut up in my bones! I’m telling go listen to some Lou Rawls is like best combination of classic american pop, but definitely Soul – My favorite, such class.
The flute solos thing it a total fluke it’s like a 70’s thing, it’s almost always unexpected and once you hear it you’re always like, that just happened and it’s was awesome. This is greatest instrumental solo I’ve ever heard it has that cool ironic quality. It’s a light sounds that just floats over the music. I love a jazzy flavoured flute solo. A “soft” instrument taking on the “edginess” of improvisation it’s a listening paradox  – which kind of blows my mind.
Now the choir thing is why we have gathered here today.  I know I’ve talked briefly about how feel about a choirs in popular music – meaning not classical. If you didn’t know I love it! Choirs are awesome for so many great reasons, the camaraderie, the harmony the wall of sound, The message it conveys and I going talk about it all. Since I know you’re excited I will also leave you with some selections.
If you’re reading this and are like umm… Heather no one listens to choral music. First I would say I’m not only talking about choral music I’m also talking about choral section in song. Also I think my love of the choir stems from me being in a choir pretty much since 4th grade. I know what it takes so get 20 or more people to sound like one voice and it’s not easy. You have to be a great listener as well as pretty good with using those vocal cords.  It’s kind like a team approach to a piece of music. If you’ve been to a choir practice it‘s an intense exercise of the voice and ear, very much like an athletic team in training for the big game, just in this case it is the winter concert. Unless you’re a member of a competition choir, then even more so as intensity and training goes. Blood sweat and tears and pencil markings stain a choir members sheet music. There is a sense of camaraderie that if done right definitely will show in performance. Also like an athlete a choir setting gives the individual the ability to lean on another so we all become stronger singers.
When I got to sing second soprano while at PSU on a pretty difficult piece it was a personal triumph that I would hope helped out the team, My win is a team win. The togetherness of a good choir in something that you can definitely feel as a listener it is a power thing to have more than one person at the same time reflect the same emotion of the music, it’s personal times 20.

In most music we hear coming out of our ear buds if there is harmony it‘s usually two-part and the occasional 4 part. When you have a choir we are talking 7 part harmony ya’ll! Not all the time we start with the basic in four-part and then things can stem from there. Harmony is wonderful way to color music. The soprano could be conveying a different emotion just with color of her voice, while a bass singing the same words could be convey something different in his harmony. Now we have competing emotions or emotions living in harmony -I know it was flowery but applicable what a complex beautiful lifelike thing. Harmony is a powerful tool that helps a listener feel/understand the sensation the performer/writer is trying to convey.
Now lets talk about what 20 or more voices can do!

The sound that you can get out of Choir is a wonderful thing. 7 part harmony at FFF- the loudest you can get is a goose bump, ear explosion kind of thing. This can easily be compared to a symphony several voices each section that can stand on it’s own but together produce an amazing wall of sound. I mean You can fill that wall you just run into it.
I love it when huge choirs get real quiet – ppp, it is a testament to their craft the quality of skill. since it ‘s a valley of voices you don’t lose that quality. It comparable to an edge of your seat moment in a good film. You can see and hear everything all your senses are activated, single tear stuff guys. Talk about goose bumps! That choral quiet will take your breath away or at least have you at a gasp.

My best friend, bless her heart does not see my love choirs as clear as she should, hehe. One of her arguments in that there is a disconnect with the audience. It’s not as personal and I could definitely see that, but I feel this argument which is a common is a surface reaction. Music is an art form that you experience in relation time meaning it has a beginning and end. In a painting or photograph the emotion of the art is there and although you can always discover something new about it there is not time frame of performance, it just is. When you listen to a piece of music in this case including a choir one doesn’t have the time to contemplate every emotion conveyed it’s more more of an experience in time. With all the knowledge that I just dropped hopefully when you hear a choir you really understand that it’s not a disconnection but solidifier of the connection. It symbol of agreement and it gives you the go ahead to join in the conversation this isn’t a individual condition but human condition that binds us.

Boom! that was awesome I know… check out some examples of some great songs that feature a choirs or a modern twist on choral music. I’d love to know what you think.

Adele One and Only
http://youtu.be/8glDy7OsHNs
This song already has gospel undertones, with and women anthem soul chorus a choir is inevitable. look at this too… http://youtu.be/0h9y1RCylNY

Madonna, Like a Prayer
http://youtu.be/79fzeNUqQbQ
classic

Grizzly Bear, Foreground
http://youtu.be/T300xcall_U
Moody

Most likely will bring tears to your eyes!Subscribe!
http://youtu.be/u_tcE4rWovI

There is so much, you have a favorite?

-This is Hollingsworth  

Where am I

 

 

so… I know have not been writing and I have so much I want to write about! BUT…. I am a little on the busy side if you didn’t know I got a radio job, you know the one I have talked about getting numerous times. Well this radio job is part-time which is cool, but it’s 3hr away from Portland so I commute on the weekends and because of my current work schedule in p-town and the weekend thing, on Saturday and Sunday up for like 24hrs or more. So in my spare time I sleep and pack my apartment. I’m still have plenty more to say about music like BoyIIMen’s new album, how awesome the Fall has been for music releases, have heard of girl named Kimbra-she’s good, BTW Oregon coast radio more musically progressive than Portland? As you can see I have much to say just no time to do it. I thought about doing an audio blog but there’s the whole editing thing so for right now I’m going to take a blog break and transition into a new town and way of life, and I will blog about that too…

For those who read my words, I am so thankful and appreciative it means a lot that someone is interested, to me that means music is still very relevant and the relationship that exists between our ears and music is very real and meaningful.

I won’t leave totally soundless

You have to give theses a listen:
Mutemath: Odd Soul – good, just good
Mayor Hawthorne: How Do You do – better that his former album Strange Arrangement
Feist: Metals – super balledy but great climaxes, emotive for sure
James Morrison: The Awakening – popy at times, but oh so good most of the time
Kimbra: Vows – uniquely soulful, unique in the approach to R&B soul genre

Alright that should keep you busy….

Open Your Ears. Sound is Everywhere

-This is Hollingsworth

The Purpose

 

 

Well friends something crazy exciting has happened. Looks like I’m moving to Newport, OR for what you may ask a radio job! I feel so blessed I can’t even explain it.  If you are a reader of my words you know it’s been a long time coming. I’ve already started working. As I write this I have finished my first day of my second weekend. For lack of a better word today was a bumpy ride. I questioned whether this was the game for me multiple times, but I got over so quick because although I was messing up all over the place, I was having a great time.  It was like I belonged and was a stranger at the some time.

I have to be at the station pretty early tomorrow, but for some reason my eyes won’t shut and my brain won’t stop working.  I did have energy drink today, which is something Heather doesn’t do. I feel this may be a factor in my insomnia.

As I’m pleading to God, Let me sleep! I’m thinking about my new opportunity among other things.  I’m going back and forth, what have I got myself into then I’m all like this is crazy I’m doing it and in about 3-6 months I’ll get used to the routine. For about 2 minutes I calm down then I’m all like oh I need to move ‘cuz the commuting on the weekends is not cool. I need another job to pay the bills, down here in Newport like yesterday. So I think about that for about 20 min.  Then I remember or the Lord gives me a word, it’s not about me at all it about the listeners the audience and creating an environment where music can be heard and enjoyed. I think in the midst of all the new info and being super tired I forgot my purpose to serve the audience and bring the goods – music.

Music is why I’m hear

The story has begun my friends…

Open Your Ears. Sound is Everywhere.

-This is Hollingsworth

YouTube

 

I have been putting this off for a while, but with the recent price increase to my Netflix I feel it’s time. The great void that is YouTube is a great source for new music although it can be hard to find because of the sheer amount of junk in between.

In the past year I have been more and more an advocate for YouTube. First because I can find instrumentals to popular songs, also the whole K-pop thing and my favorite the YouTube artists.

The YouTube artist is a  musician who is actually makes a living on YouTube either by advertisers paying them, or promoting themselves and getting people out to shows and buying albums. Most of the time these people are unsigned or are signed to a very small time label. Some have used YouTube as a jumping off point and is now  super famous like Justin Bieber.  There are some crazy talented people on YouTube and I think the form allows for all to participate. The plethora of YouTube artists is very diverse main stream has nothing that, nothing! On YouTube it doesn’t matter if you look the part what matters is how good you sound, how well you put the video together, the views, and the subscribers. It’s about being a novelty or just good at what you do, being genuine. The guy next door kind of thing with raw talent. Most YouTube artists get traffic by clever re-arranged covers. I think this is a genius idea.

I have heard critics say that doing this is really riding off the success of other artists. The more popular the song the more covers there are so one has to stand out. I think it’s clever because we the viewers are already familiar with a particular song and if the YouTube artist does a good job on the cover we may stick around and click on a couple of originals and in some cases download a track or to even get an album. You may like the person so much that you subscribe to their page and now it’s like guaranteed viewership. That’s how you get the advertisers to hand over the dollar bills

The You Tube cover is really a marketing tool, it’s the bait that reels you in and I gets you hooked. Also sometimes the cover is so much better than the original. I hadn’t actually heard Bruno Mars sing his chart toppers till months after they hit radio. I first head them from YouTube R&B sensation Ahmir. So I was naturally disappointed when I heard Bruno sing them. To be fair I love the arrangements and the words to his songs, I just feel someone else should sing them.

YouTube is like the new MTV. Since MTV has Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Wolf, ABDC, and other reality programing that is terrible, except for ABDC. There is no room for the music video so YouTube has picked up the slack or all the slack. As far as music is concerned YouTube is the place to go, but it can be hard to navigate through because of the sheer vastness of videos. Although I love a good cover, when I want to hear Moody’s Mood For Love, than that’s what I want not the 100+ covers.

Using YouTube will require you to use your search skills, but when you find that Boy II Men instrumental it’s all worth it.

Here are a few YouTube artists that I like there are so many and I have just scratched the surface, but I think this will get you started on discovering new artists and maybe even new music.
Ahmir: http://www.youtube.com/user/ahmirTV
David Chi: http://www.youtube.com/user/davidchoimusic
Bruce: http://www.youtube.com/user/DCfan4life
Drew Chambers: http://www.youtube.com/user/dchamberd
D-Pryde: http://www.youtube.com/user/DprydeMusic
AJ: http://www.youtube.com/user/ilajil
JRA: http://www.youtube.com/user/JRAquinomusic
Karmin: http://www.youtube.com/user/karmincovers
Lisa Lavie: http://www.youtube.com/user/lisalavie1
Lucas Teague: http://www.youtube.com/user/LucasTeague
Jane Lui: http://www.youtube.com/user/LuieLand

 

Open Your Ears.  Sound is Everywhere.