Saturday, June 3, 2017

A little Dutch porn...

Okay, not really.  But I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback when I saw this video by the 70s era Dutch pop group, Luv.

At first, it looked like these women were not wearing anything under their skimpy tops.

Upon closer examination, I see they're wearing nude body suits.  Listening to them, I hear them totally channeling ABBA, which was also big during that time period.

I tried another video, again with them looking all sexified...  And then I was suddenly reminded of a song I haven't heard in years!

Yes, I remember this was a hit.  No, I hadn't thought of it in years!

I had to share this with a few friends and my friend Joann found another video of Luv singing "You're the Greatest Lover".  

This band seems to be a mix of ABBA and Silver Convention, which was a girl group from Germany that was popular at about the same time.

It's funny, because when I was a kid in the 80s, I used to think girl bands were rare.  Now I know they weren't, but it does seem like a lot of them consisted of sexy women singing and dancing to vapid music.  This kind of stuff doesn't have a lot of staying power, even if it can be faddish or fun...  especially when the women get older and less fetching.

I can see why this was popular in Europe, though.  The music is festive and catchy and the girls are pretty.

The 70s was chock full of chicks like this, doing their thing...  I kind of miss it.  I guess it takes talent and beauty to pull off this particular act, but really, it's just entertaining for a different reason... perhaps because they seem to shock the audiences!

Friday, June 2, 2017

I just made a very sad discovery...

For months, maybe even years, I've been playing this woman named Anna C. on SongPop.  She had an attractive profile picture that she never changed and was supposedly from New York City.  When she first started playing me, she was not a particularly good player.  It was easy to beat her.  Then she got a lot better, even to the point of scoring impossibly high by picking the right songs almost instantly.

I also noticed that Anna never seemed to make any progress toward mastering a certain playlist.  I wondered how it was that she could play certain playlists over and over again and never make progress toward completing them.

Yesterday, I got a random challenge by some person in another country.  I usually get irritated by these requests because a lot of the time, the person's music tastes are not compatible with mine.  I end up having to guess on playlists from Brazil or horrible techno rap or something.  So I went looking to see if I could find a way to stop the random challenge requests.  I was unsuccessful in my search, but then I found a discussion going on about SongPop's computer generated "bots" that trick players into thinking they are real people.

When it comes to SongPop, a little goes a long way.  I like playing a couple of games a day, but I don't like it when someone constantly wants to play.  Besides that, I think it's creepy that there are random bots out there trying to start games with people.  Why not let me know you're a bot before we spend months or years challenging each other?  I guess if that were possible, Anna would be a human and not a bot, right?

I probably should have realized she was a bot when I saw that she had so many games going.  I have enough on my hands with less than ten games.  Some people have over 100 games at a time.  Who's got the time or the patience for that?

Ah yes... the things I do to keep from going crazy from boredom.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

How's The World Treating You...

Here's a new duet I did with my friend, George, who lives in Scotland and sings, plays guitar, and piano.  I think it turned out very well!

The pictures are from my backyard...

What a joy it is to be able to sing this song with a guy who can sing on key and harmonize!  I hope we can collaborate more.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spyro Gyra...

I am one of those people who gets music stuck on the brain for literally years and years.  It will haunt me until I figure out what the title of the piece is, who performed it, what year it came out, and any other trivia I can dig up.

For years...  seriously YEARS!  I have had this piece stuck on the brain.  The late 70s and early 80s were a time when you could hear almost anything on top 40 radio.  You could hear an Eagles song next to a song by Earth, Wind & Fire.  You could hear Led Zeppelin next to Chuck Mangione.  It was CRAZY.  That was also a time when jazz artists were playing instrumentals a lot.  In those days, we heard "Rise" by Herb Alpert or "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione.  They were kind of the two top acts...

For so many years, I thought this instrumental was done by either Herb or Chuck.  I was WRONG.

"Morning Dance"... 

For years, I've had this stuck in my head.  I haven't heard it before today in probably thirty years.  I wouldn't have heard it today had I not been messing around on YouTube.  Another piece by Spyro Gyra was playing and it sounded similar.  So I went Googling, found a greatest hits album, and sure enough FINALLY satisfied that itch.  I downloaded the album, too.  Another musical earworm mystery solved.

Here's another ringing endorsement for record companies not being so shitty about music on YouTube.  I would not have bought the album had I not identified the piece on YouTube.  That's something to think about, don't you agree?

One more musical mystery is finally solved!  How exciting!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J. Geils Band...

Okay, so I lied.  The death of guitarist John Geils of the J. Geils Band inspires me to post again.  Apparently, 71 year old Geils was found dead in his Massachusetts home.

If you were around in the 80s, as I was, you no doubt heard the band's most famous song, "Centerfold", followed by "Freeze Frame".  Lead singer, Peter Wolf, was famously married to Faye Dunaway and went on to have a solo career.

"I Do" is yet another well known hit...

"Centerfold" was their biggest hit.

I have to confess really liking "Freeze Frame" back in the day.

"Love Stinks" is the song people love to sing on Valentine's Day...

And the ever popular "Flamethrower"... another personal favorite.

And here's Peter Wolf's big hit, "Lights Out".  I haven't heard this in ages!

It's always sad to read about the passing of a much beloved musician.  The J. Geils Band sure provided me with some good sounds back in the day.  Rest in peace, John Geils.


Uploading like a fiend...

I see it's been awhile since my last post.  I've been pretty busy with stuff other than musical crap from the past.  Lately, I've been adding a lot of songs to SingSnap's community songbook.  I probably shouldn't be doing that, but I like having decent stuff to sing when the mood strikes.  

I was actually only planning to add a few songs, but unfortunately, I kind of got carried away.  The other day, I got a notification that I'd uploaded fifty songs.  I need to stop doing that and enjoy more of the ones uploaded by other people.

I haven't run across any old songs on SongPop that inspire me to post... so I'm sorry it's been awhile since I last wrote anything of substance on this blog.  Most people come here to read about The Carpenters, though, so I guess it's no big deal.

Maybe I'll be back later this month with some new stuff.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Unwanted duet partners...

At the risk of sounding like a primadonna bitch, I'm going to rant one more time about duets on SingSnap...  This time, it's about people who turn solo songs into duets and then expect me to be excited about their efforts.

Look, I'm going to be very honest.  I know what I'm about to write is going to sound petty and mean, but it's how I actually feel.  And while I do always value being kind, I also think that sometimes people need to know the truth.  Music is very important to me.  I know SingSnap is a karaoke site, but it's my one musical outlet.  To me, this stuff matters a lot more than it really should.

So here goes.  I don't like it when people turn my solos into duets.  No, scratch that.  I don't like it when they turn my solos into duets without asking me first.  Now, you may think this is because I'm "full of myself". Maybe, to some extent, that's true.  I would argue that if I were really full of myself and a snob about singing with people, I would never post open duets.  I have had many people join me on open duets.  Some are very good singers.  Some don't come within a mile of the proper pitch.  But if I post an open duet, I'm okay with all comers, regardless of their ability... as long as they don't play an instrument over my vocals.  ;-)

I don't feel the same way about solo songs.

Here's the thing.  A song recorded as a solo was intended to be a solo.  A duet typically has parts open for one singer to do their thing and other parts where they harmonize or otherwise collaborate.  Solo songs don't.  

Moreover, a lot of times, the songs people want to duet on are not really suitable as duets.  This morning, someone decided to duet with me on two Alison Krauss songs, neither of which were really intended to be collaborative efforts.  One song the guy did was "Baby Mine", which is a sweet lullaby a mother sings to her child.  The other was "A Living Prayer"... again, an intimate song for one person.  It's not a duet.  Or, at least I don't think it is.  

This guy left me comments with links to the duets.  I inwardly groaned.  Nine times out of ten, people who turn solos into duets can't actually sing.  I was just going to ignore the comments, but then decided to go listen.  In this case, it wasn't a bad thing that I listened.  To my surprise, the guy was a good singer.  He actually knew how to harmonize, which is a very welcome and apparently rare ability.

However, I was still irritated that he hijacked my solos and apparently expected me to be excited about what he did.  Actually... I think the expectation that I'm going to be excited is probably the biggest reason why this practice annoys me.  Because I really don't like being fake, but I also don't enjoy making other people feel bad.  There is a part of me that is a little blunt and, frankly, too honest.  I am this way especially when it comes to music.  I was the kid who used to put her fingers in her ears when her dad sang solos in the church choir.  I own it.  

On SingSnap, if you aren't unfailingly sweet, fawning, and polite, people relegate you into the total bitch pile.  So I feel compelled to be complimentary and nice even when people do things that annoy me and even if I think something sucks or am actually offended by it.  If I don't, I get accused of having a big head, being a diva, being full of myself, or not appreciating other people's talents (or lack thereof).

What I'd like to say to the people who duet on my solos is, "I'm flattered that you enjoyed my singing and decided to join me.  I wish you had sent me a message beforehand.  I would have liked to have worked with you to make this an actual duet.  Unfortunately, this song was not intended to be a duet.  Maybe we could have made it a duet.  Or we could have chosen a duet to do together.  I would have been happy to make an actual collaboration.  I hope if there is a next time you want to sing with me on a solo, you'll consider sending me a note first."

Unfortunately, I know that if I write a comment like this, the person will most likely take it as a total dis and word will get out that I'm a bitch.  I'm not really a bitch.  I just don't like it when people do this kind of stuff and I am expected to love it.  99% of the time, I don't love it... although I will admit there have been a couple of rare exceptions to that rule.  

Now... SingSnap does have a function that allows people to turn off the ability to duet with others.  Unfortunately, that function turns off duets for all future songs.  So, if I did want to post an open duet and forgot I'd hit the "no duets" switch, then I would get no takers on the songs I actually want people to duet on.  Moreover, if you turn off the ability to do duets, many people will still think you're "antisocial" or "big-headed".   Because apparently, some of them think they should have the right to improve on your efforts, as it were.  Frankly, I would rather the person not send me a link when they duet on one of my solos.  If you feel compelled to join me, be my guest.  But please don't expect me to like it.  If I want to listen to it, I'll find it on my page and go there on my own accord.  If it's good, I'll say so.

I'm sure there will come a day when I can no longer make recordings that I can stand to listen to.  My voice will probably change before too much longer.  I'm getting older.  For now... I suppose I just have to remember that some people have war in their country.  Ah... it's Monday and I've already spilled coffee.  I guess the tone has already been set for the rest of the day.