To assist musicians as they express themselves on their chosen platform, is very purpose driven. Tip of the hat to your willingness to serve those you relate so well with. You will do exceptionally well, enjoy your journey as you without doubt will uplift others! wade-bergner.com. Namaste, Wade
Freedom For Musicians is well into changing the world of “Notes”.
Seems to be an affair of the heart where you are pouring in everything you have. And the results are coming through load and crystal clear.
Amazing how proud you should be the emotions behind which are like music to my ears.
Susan Patricia Connor Lewis
Director / email@example.com
What an amazing site!
I love the energy of it! I am not a musician myself, but I do love music. Your site is easy to navigate and it’s easy to find everything I was looking for. The best thing is I have found some new music that I really love – the artists are amazing and I’ll be keeping a close on the updates! I look forward to checking through more of some of your amazing music. Thankyou!
Karen and Jacky
Thanks for providing a fabulous platform
As a musician myself I really love what I’m seeing here. I don’t perform professionally any more but did so for many years with my partner. These days we still write, record and play and are in the process of creating an archive website for our back catalog to live on. We were slogging away way before Facebook, Youtube and all the other social platforms existed.
A Quiet Revolution
Freedom for Musicians seems like a really innovative concept for musicians to promote and distribute their digital music. I admire the work you are doing in this industry to solve the problem of exploitation by the big labels and distributors. I look forward to seeing the success of Freedom for Musicians.
It’s Friday night and we’ve been invited down to Electric in Brixton, to witness German Duo Tube & Berger, open up for tropical house favourite Bakermat.
Bakermat is essentially accessible deep house music for the masses, and what Tube & Berger manage to provide, (without alienating the otherwise commercial audience), is a more underground deep house and techno set, which goes down an absolute storm.
Ahead of their eagerly anticipated second album, ‘We Are All Stars’ which drops sometime in May, Tube & Berger include a live element to their show with vocal PA, Richard Judge. His soulful voice and energetic enthusiasm pump up the fans and connect Tube & Berger to the crowd on a whole other level. Richard sings along to their collaborative singles; ‘Ruckas’, ‘Set Free’ and ‘Disarray’. This makes it fairly clear to see who is in fact here to see Tube & Berger, with a number of sing-a-longs now erupting from the audience.
Source: Gemma Bell
Tube & Berger may not be the headlining act tonight, but their rare London appearance has brought out of the woodwork their own mega fans, as Kitball t-shirts and banners appear waving in the front row!
Amongst their own productions which span across deep house, and a darker more progressive house, they dropped classic tune Mylo’s; ‘Drop the Pressure’, Green Velvet, Pork & Fitch’s; ‘Sheeple’ and this years’ Ibiza dance anthem, Raffa FL; ‘How We Do’.
Also making a debut appearance was the new single, also named ‘We Are All Stars’. It was one of the more radio friendly tracks of their set, but in this setting, with this kind of audience, it was an absolute highlight! Signed to label Embassy One, which is also home to Booka Shade, Röyksopp, Robyn, Moby and Björk. You can hear it here first; We Are All Stars
I’m told there will be more live elements added to their already stellar performance, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest news and tour dates; Tube & Berger Facebook
For hard rock fans who are still mourning the untimely passing of the Motörhead legend, Lemmy, there’s hope yet, as the band’s legacy still lives on in all manner of weird and wonderful tributes from clothing to booze, as well as spin-off musical projects.
Long-time Motörhead members like Phil Campbell have wasted no time in getting down to business. The legendary guitarist was admittedly at a loss for what to do after Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, but with his new band Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, it seems that he’s in the mood for supplying us with plenty more classic rock.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
In addition to this, is the enticing prospect of plenty of archived musical material being released from the Motörhead vaults. Just a couple of months ago, the German band Skew Siskin, unveiled a video of Lemmy in the studio and stated that the star had spent zillions of hours recording, and so there’s surely a good chance that we’ll get a good boxset of unreleased material at some point.
Source: Official Promo Shot
Until then, there’s the fascinating news that the band are going to get their own ‘insane’ gaming release. This is because Motörhead: Through the Ages is an add-on for the role-playing game Victor Vran that will feature plenty of metal-inspired costumes and guitar-shaped weapons that pay homage to this iconic hard rock band.
Not that Motörhead were exactly strangers to the gaming realm. Lemmy had already done voiceover work for the PlayStation and Xbox game Brutal Legend, and with classic songs like Ace of Spades appearing in Rock Band 2, and even a Motörhead slots game showing up at the MrSmithCasino site, it seems that the band made every effort to cater to the gaming craze.
Such moves might be at odds with the band’s famous sex, drugs and rock’n’roll ethos. But when you consider that Motörhead have joined Iron Maiden and Slayer in creating some expensive branded socks from Stance, it’s clear that they were always willing to surprise their hardcore fanbase.
But just in case that sounds slightly too cosy for somebody as famously hard-living as Lemmy, then fear not, as the band have continued their quest to ensure that our livers are suitably challenged with their own licensed alcoholic drinks.
Source: Official Promo Shot
So that whether you’re toasting your slots win with a shot of Motörhead whisky, a glass of their Snaggletooth cider, or a pint of their Road Crew pale ale, you can be sure that Lemmy would approve!
Printworks London, surely now needing no introduction from us, played host to the pre-party for Junction 2 festival which is fast approaching, this coming June, where we were treated to a momentous 8-hour marathon set from Drumcode label boss, Adam Beyer.
Having never witnessed a bad set from Adam, I knew this was going to be something truly special. Adam didn’t only play an incredible set, he really took the crowd on a journey, ploughing through an impressive selection of the best house and techno, as you would come to expect, but also introducing some key classics; which was unexpected and not something I’ve seen him do before.
Dropping some absolute bombs such as Prodigy’s ‘Outer Space’, and Faithless’ ‘We Come One’, it was a welcome surprise and obviously went down an absolute storm. To see a techno heavy crowd sing the lyrics to Prodigy’s ‘Outer Space’ in a space like Printworks is something I don’t think I will ever witness again. This was definitely one of those ‘I Was There’ moments. Hearing the buzz amongst the crowd throughout the day, and as they filtered out of the exit, “One Of The Best Sets Ever” seemed to be a fairly accurate statement. Ending the day on an absolute high, he clocks out on The Stone Roses ‘Fools Gold’. We salute you Adam, you absolutely smashed it!
Source: Gemma Bell
Often with an extended set, it’s not uncommon for there to be that slow middle hour or two where you find yourself visiting the bar or smoking area. That certainly wasn’t the case here with the dance floor constantly packed out with no one wanting to miss a single moment.
Speaking to Adam directly after his performance, he said: “I Put A Lot Of Heart And Soul Into It”. Which was clearly obvious. He really gave everything he had and carried that room through an energetic and memorable ride.
If you did happen to miss out, thankfully Mixmag was on hand to record and live stream a select three hours. You can watch this back here; Mixmag Live
Source: Gemma Bell
Adam Beyer is not only a firm fan of the calibre of events that LWE orchestrate, but he is also an active partner within Junction 2 festival. And if this ‘pre-party’ set was anything to go by, then Junction 2 looks like it’s going to be another unmissable event. Again!
Adam will be playing alongside a long list of techno giants and emerging talent. Check out the full line up and the stage splits which have just been announced today!
Spanning across 5 separate stages and bespoke spaces, Junction 2 will keep the focus on quality music and unparalleled production and sound quality. Hosted at Boston Manor Park, under the M4 motorway, it will be transformed into a unique and industrial utopia. For anyone looking for that next level festival experience, this one is for you.
The stages will be hosted by, Drumcode, SONUS, The Hydra, LWE Warehouse (In Association With Relentless), and Into The Woods (In Association With Frontier). Each one designed to offer an exclusive and amazing experience.
The LWE team speak ahead of this much-anticipated event;
“When We First Found The Junction 2 Site Last Year, We Sensed We Were Onto Something Special. And Looking At That Extraordinary Space Under The M4 And The Parkland Surrounding It, We Just Knew That An Incredible Crowd And Heavyweight Sound Levels Could Create Something Truly Amazing.
The Only Thing Making Us Nervous About Junction 2 In 2017 Is Living Up To The Expectations Set By 2016. We’ve Been Thinking Hard About How To Replicate That Atmosphere, And The Overriding Conclusion We Came To Was That The Magic Ingredient Was The Crowd. Yes, You Lovely People Who Trusted Us, Had Faith And Came And Danced With Us At Junction 2.”
Easter weekend is fast approaching, and it’s widely known as one of the biggest party weekends of the year, which will undoubtedly offer an absolute plethora of amazing events, gigs and club nights.
To start the extended weekend’s festivities, we are going to focus on ANTS. Born out of Ibiza in 2013, ANTS is fast becoming one of the islands most essential parties. Known for their next level production, stand out marketing, and underground line-ups. They draw upon the islands clubbing cognoscenti and even the most discerning ravers worldwide.
Despite having hosted a number of nights across the country in the last couple of years, this will be their biggest party off of the island, to date. And this is all happening right here in London, on Thursday 13th April at Brixton Academy.
Heading up the bill is Bristol’s best, Eats Everything. Known for his light-hearted attitude, and energetic enthusiasm, that never fails to engage the crowd. Eats Everything is a firm favourite on the ANTS residents list, during the Ibiza residency at Ushuaia hotel.
Joining him will be dance music legends, Groove Armada. Being firm staples within electronic music’s seminal moments, Groove Armada will grace this iconic stage again, having last played here as a live act in 2010. This will obviously be a special event for the Groove Armada boys, and any fans that revelled in the crowd in those last live performances. I know we’re all itching for them to reform as a live act, but for now seeing them on this stage smashing out a fantastic DJ set will surely suffice!
Listen to a live stream of Groove Armada, playing from ANTS at Ushuaia last summer.
This headlining team will clearly make for a memorable evening, playing the best house and techno amidst the towering and prodigious production from ANTS.
If that’s not enough, Ibiza resident Andrea Oliva and Waze & Odyssey have just been added to this heavyweight bill. Proving that ANTS’ latest UK takeover will be their biggest yet – and paves the way for another huge season in Ibiza this summer.
Third tier tickets are still available and can be bought here ANTS Tickets.
40 years ago a legend died. That legend was the former ‘King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. He went on to sell more than 600 million records and score countless number one singles all around the world and even made some films too, but approach these with caution. Through his career Elvis tried different genres from obviously rock and roll, but also gospel and country and blues, thank God he never stayed around to try his hand at hip-hop.
If you happen to ask Google how many people have covered Elvis, it will throw up hundreds and hundreds of lists and YouTube clips. Let’s just say that the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ has created quite a legacy and over the last 60 years or so there have been so many artists from U2 to Motorhead covering his songs. If you don’t believe me and have just poured yourself a beverage, then click here for further reading.
After a long search through the internet and the dark web, we have come up with ten of the best Elvis covers. Not everyone will be happy, and not everyone will write a hate comment. Just enjoy the cool, the crazy and the beautiful ten best Elvis covers that exist on YouTube.
THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS – ‘SUSPICIOUS MINDS’
Their 1985 version became a top ten UK chart hit and featured the backing vocals of Jimmy Sommerville and a trumpet. A recent online poll rated it twice as good as Robbie Williams’ cover. Impressive stuff.
THE PET SHOP BOYS – ‘ALWAYS ON MY MIND’
Another 80’s successful cover. The PSB’s were asked to do a tribute to the King as part of a tenth anniversary and chose this track. It went on to be a chart topper worldwide and did even better than Elvis’ original. The music video footage is taken from the seldom seen film ‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’.
CHRIS ISAAK – ‘CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU’
For an artist who was constantly called an Elvis clone, it was a brave move to record this cover for the 2011 album Beyond the Sun (which featured a collection of songs recorded by Sun Records artists). The album has half a dozen Elvis tracks recorded by Isaak, but this is the standout track, which is sure to create lumps a plenty in throats across the world.
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS – ‘IN THE GHETTO’
The band’s debut single from 1984 did little in turning the former Birthday Party members into household names, but was a great introduction into the sound of a band who would become one of the most respected bands in the world.
DOLPH LUNDGREN -‘LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION’
What can’t this man do? Olympian, martial artist, director, producer, actor and now singer. Lundgren’s tribute to the king went down a storm in Sweden and when he hosted 2010’s Melodifestivalen and now we can all enjoy the finest version of a ‘Little Less Conversation’ of all time. Featuring drum solo’s, ice-block chopping and kung-fu. Elvis would be very impressed indeed.
JOHN LENNON – ‘BLUE SUEDE SHOES’
The Beatles may not have been Elvis’ favourite band, but they certainly respected what he did for rock and roll, and here Lennon goes back to his roots with this all-star version of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. Sadly the accompanying video was filmed by someone down a pit.
THE BLUES BROTHERS – ‘JAILHOUSE ROCK’
If you have not seen the film The Blues Brothers, please stop reading this article and get watching. Welcome back. The end track of one of the best musical-comedies of all time is the perfect swansong for the brothers Blues and includes all of the films musical legends, the film-crew and John Candy saluting.
LITTLE RICHARD – ‘HOUND DOG’
Some would say that Little Richard was the real King of Rock n Roll. This is a rare version of Richard leaving his piano behind and just performing a killer version of one of Elvis’ most well known songs.
THE CRAMPS- ‘HEARTBREAK HOTEL’
The legendary punks paid tribute to his tenth anniversary of his passing with this fantastically energetic cover of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Hopefully, someone out there will do The Cramps’ Lux Interior the honour of paying a similar tribute in 2019 ten years after his unexpected death.
NORAH JONES – ‘ARE YOU LONESOME’
Norah Jones’ smooth cover of one of Elvis’ biggest hits is a great way to end this list and what a wonderfully touching voice. Some may even say this eclipses the original.
It was so hard to choose a top ten and many people will be audible tutting to these choices, so just enjoy the music guys and if you hated the songs, just watch Dolph Lundgren doing a drum solo again.
It has been a couple of months since the tragic news broke about Delays’ front man Greg Gilbert’s diagnosis with stage 4 bowel cancer at the age of just 39. His wife Stacey Heale has set up a crowd-funding campaign to help raise funds to find a potential life saving treatment not found on the NHS. To date, with the help of fans, friends, family and other musicians, the campaign has already raised over £150,000 of the £250,000 target.
World famous bands such as Coldplay, The Maccabees and British Sea Power have donated signed merchandise and instruments for an online auction, as well as many fund-raising events like Cavalry featuring sets from Sam Duckworth, The Mystery Jets, Band of Skulls and Delays featuring Primal Screams’ Simone Marie an event that I was lucky enough to attend.
As a long-time fan of Delays, my attendance to this charity concert was a no-brainer. A chance to see some of the best bands on the circuit, including the reformation of Southampton’s own Thomas Tantrum and with all the funds going to a great cause.
Southampton trio Diamond Age bought their dream-like melodies to The 1865 and began a night that will be hard to forget. It took a while for the venue to fill up, and there was a sense of worry that the gig was not going to sell out. In between acts, a buoyant Eddie Temple Morris would bound on stage to MC the night -promoting the Greg Gilbert designed merchandise and of course, the infamous charity night raffle. The fantastic prize of a guitar worth £1000! Sam Duckworth played a short stripped down set that included ‘Wrong Way Round’ and ‘Glass Houses’ and spoke about how proud he was to be in a musical family that will always come together to support one another.
By the time Blaine Harrison and William Rees from The Mystery Jets had entered the stage, the crowd had ballooned in size and there wasn’t a doubt that the place was completely sold out. The guys from Eel Pie island played one of the best acoustic sets of the evening and declared themselves as Delays’ fanboys, beginning with ‘Bombay Blue’ and ‘Bubblegum’ from their latest album ‘Curve of the Earth’ through to crowd faves ‘Young Love’ and ‘Two Doors Down’. Though they left the best ’til last with a William Rees sung ‘The End Up’, that when stripped down to just the basic guitar and keys out-shone the album version into something quite breathtaking.
A reformed Thomas Tantrum were up next with their first live outing in several years, but wanted to pay tribute to their fellow Southampton residents with an electric best of set that featured ‘Shake it, Shake it’, ‘Why The English Are Rubbish’ and ‘Armchair’. It may have taken them a few songs to find their feet, but their fans found themselves throwing dangerous shapes down the front like it was 2008.
Another local band, Band of Skulls completed the third acoustic set of the evening. It was rather odd to see the act sat down and unplugged, but ‘Black Magic’, ‘Hoochie Coochie’ and ‘Devil Takes Care Of Their Own’ definitely worked without the need for amp feedback and pedal effects. Singer/guitarist Russell Marsden dedicated the set to Greg and declared the Delays as “Trailblazers For The Local Music Scene.”After Band of Skulls left their stools, Eddie Temple Morris returned to announce the winner of the raffle. Is there anything more British than a charity raffle? Then came time for the main event.
Just to see drummer Rowly and bassist Colin Fox setting up the stage for their headline set brought home the emotional excitement. It had been a few years since many had seen the band perform and there was a lot of talk about exactly what sort of set we were to expect from the band without their central figure. Could Simone Marie be able do the songs justice and how many songs were they going to play? Eddie made his final introduction and let us know that he had only cried four times at a live event Page & Plant, Placebo, The Verve and when Delays played a perfect set at Glastonbury and then made way for the homecoming band to take the stage.
As soon as the group (now a five piece with Simone on vocals and Steve Picken (Coast) on guitar) there were visible tears from the audience. Many thought they would never see the band play live and to be playing for such an occasion was too much for some people not to hide their emotions. Delays stayed professional throughout and kicked off with a storming version of fan-favourite ‘Panic Attacks’, and visually it was strange to not have Greg front of the stage holding his guitar above his head singing the harmonies. Musically, they sounded as tight as ever, and Aaron Gilbert deputised as the band’s frontman with aplomb. Aaron would perform as the main singer for half of their set including tracks like ‘Brilliant Sunshine’ and a heartfelt version of their unreleased track ‘Karman Line’. Eddie Temple Morris could be heard shouting from the balcony “That Was Amazing” as the song came to a close and who could not agree? Marie took the lead vocals for ‘Wanderlust’, and ‘Valentine’ which took some time to adjust to not hearing Greg’s trademark falsetto, but the audience helped out by singing back the words at the top of their voices. The special guests didn’t end with Simone and Steve, and Aaron introduced on to the stage his Dad to play lead guitar on ‘Lost In a Melody’ and the Gilbert brothers father played and looked the part in his skinny jeans and leather jacket. A great touch and an even greater touch was when Stacey came on stage to thank us all for attending and allowed Greg to see us all on Facebook live – the entire room cheered him on and shouted his name. It was hard not to get caught up in the experience, and it reminded me of why we were there and how we would love to see Greg on stage with his band and play to his friends and family; that’s exactly what we were tonight – all family. Everyone was there to salute the greatness of a band they cherish and for a father, a brother, a son and a hero to get well.
There was just one more song left to play before the night was over. Aaron took to the mic and thanked us all again “for a strange and fucking beautiful night” and what a tribute to his brother that it needed two people to fill his place on stage, before apologising that he may not be able to sing ‘Long Time Coming’ as well as we’re used to hearing. As soon as the opening keyboard notes of the song rang out the place went into meltdown. I have seen the band over a dozen times and have never seen a greater reaction to their biggest hit. As the song came to a close the audience repeated the chorus relentlessly. The band and Stacey looked visually taken aback and Aaron could barely say more than a simple thank you before running to hug the crowd. As the band left the stage, the promoter took the mic to thank and remind us that “we are not friends, we are all family”. It certainly felt that way and maybe Eddie will have to add this gig to his list of concerts that left him in tears. A great night and they raised £25,000!
The once underground genre, Grime, is now taking over the mainstream. Skepta’s release ‘That’s Not Me’ has opened the door to the masses who now feel safe to peer into this genre’s world and, to many people’s surprise, the suppressed talent has burst into the public eye.
By now, if you’re a Grime fan or not, you’ve probably heard of the “Problem” named Stormzy. Not only has he taken the culture forward in ways that no one ever thought possible, but he developed a recipe capturing the imagination and appreciation of original Grime fans and hooking in with the new mainstream audience. Simultaneously, Lady Leshurr did the same; an easy one line, sometimes one-word hook, complimented by an overall slower flow with a handful of metaphors and punch lines. Then, to compliment these words, they infuse the bassline and garage sound with a modern trap or southern hip-hop flare. These two artists in particular, have pushed forward and have become the first generation of this new era of Grime.
But just like anything in life, when you start moving forward, opportunities for other people begin to appear behind you. Please welcome West London recording artist, and a member of BBC Sound of 2017 long list, AJ Tracey.
Source: Beth Sheldrick
So with all this initial hype, is AJ Tracey the future of Grime? The only way to know for sure is to watch this guy in action.
Thanks to the team over at Freerange, we were able to see AJ live in the flesh at Bristol’s ‘Analog’. The basement feel of the club gave that atmosphere most modern-day Grime misses. Festivals, up and down the country, might offer you the opportunity to mosh like a barrel of sardines in a tent, but this was intimate, confined, and gave that claustrophobic tension that you saw in the original Lord Of The Mic videos.
Source: Beth Sheldrick
Along with AJ, 20 men take to the stage with the headline act and it soon became their very own Eskimo Dance; but with structure – let me explain. See, after watching AJ Tracey, it has become clear that his style pays homage to early 2000s Grime, but yet still pleases the new mainstream crowd. You can hear a perfect harmony of raw and relentless flows with punchlines that feel right when they’re interrupted with a pull-up, or when the crowd screams bar-to-bar back to him. Take his hit song, ‘Pasta’. The song is rich with lyricism which, in a live setting, pumps energy into the room, but has a very simple hook which people can easily sing back. ‘Pasta’ alone shows that AJ has learnt the mistakes of his peers and – speaking broadly – their lack of ability to produce a catchy, ear-worm hook. And it’s this structure that balances the energy throughout and delivers an impressive and high energy performance; regardless of the technical faults or security problems. It’s this structure that allows him to perform like he’s an originator while keeping this new crowd on track; merging two worlds into one.
Source: Beth Sheldrick
Aside from his tracks ‘Luke Cage’, ‘Pasta’ and ‘Buster Cannon’ sticking out, the remix of the Southern American Hip-Hop track ‘Knotty Hair’, by Denzel Curry and Rick Ross, spoke the loudest about the future of AJ’s career and in a very positive way. There’s always been a stigma around UK artists trying to please American ears and a UK artist jumping on a US beat was sometimes frowned upon. Due to Grime’s growing success in the states though, it seems this is wearing off. AJ doesn’t fear to jump on this style of a track but, in fact, he thrives off it. While spraying fire over a rugged Grime is probably his favourite hobby, this expansion over genres and cultures comes pretty close behind it. ‘Knotty Hair’ shows that AJ can hold his own with one of the biggest stars in the world. He also jumped on a ‘Cansino’ beat that saw A$AP Rocky and Lil B (THEBASEDGOD) come off second best. These type of remixes gain him respect in these foreign lands; backed up with his visual work, especially seen in the ‘Luke Cage’ video that was filmed in New York, and this push overseas has resulted in a North America Tour with fellow British artist, Dave.
While people from the new gen, like Stormzy or Lady Leshurr, take the lead, people like AJ are catching up. After seeing this artist in a close to natural habit, it’s clear AJ Tracey is a beast. AJ is the future of Grime.
Meatloaf’s ‘I Would Do Anything For Love’ is probably one of the most epic rock ballads of all time. From its rolling drums to its Beauty And The Beast theatrical video, it just oozes pure fist grabbing excellence. BUT, there has always been one Huge question that has plagued people’s minds about this song since it’s release back in 1993 – What Is The Thing He Won’t Do For Love Exactly? Got you thinking now haven’t I?
“I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t Do That”, has been the topic of many a pub conversation but, before I burst your bubble and tell you the real answer, which is actually stupidly obvious, it’s time for some survey results; because who doesn’t love a good survey!
I went out and interviewed 95 people, 47 men and 48 women, to ask what exactly they thought “That” was and to see who really knew there Loaf facts. The challenge was on!
We were off to a good start with only 1 person not knowing the song (where the hell have you been?!) but then disaster struck as a huge 86% of people genuinely had no idea what “That” was at all; only 12 people actually knew the real answer (well done you!) Being nice though, I allowed the uneducated the time to recap over the songs greatness, and they soon came to me with some solid answers.
Lending from the romance of the track, it appears a number of people thought the answer may be love related with answers such as he wouldn’t change who he is, or that he wouldn’t kill her or get bored with her. All sounds lovely, but unfortunately, all wrong; although not far off.
A huge 38% though went with the notion, and the one I bet most of you first thought of at first, that he wouldn’t partake in some sort of bizarre sexual act; with one such act rising above all else!
From not letting people shit on him, being involved in an all male threesome, screwing his own mother, and even having sex with a dwarf, it seems the majority are convinced that the Loaf is setting some sexual boundaries, but it seems his reluctance to take a penis in the ass is his biggest No, No with a whole 23% of people proclaiming that “That” is definitely anal!
Is the real Loaf not a fan of a bit of brown eye fun? We will never fully know. But I can tell you that, although it would be great if bum fun was the real “that”, the reality is unfortunately not as exciting; although you are just about to kick yourself when you actually find out.
The funny thing about this whole thing is that he quite clearly says what “That” is in the song; not just once but multiple times. In fact, there is even more than one thing he won’t do for love. MIND BLOWN?!
Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics…
“And I would do anything for love
I’d run right into hell and back
I would do anything for love
I’ll never lie to you and that’s a fact”
“But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now
And I would do anything for love
But I won’t do that,”
“But I’ll never forgive myself if we don’t go all the way
“But I’ll never do it better than I do it with you”
“But I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life
“After a while you’ll forget everything
Just a brief interlude, and a mid-summer night’s fling
Then you’ll see that it’s time to move on”
“I won’t do that
I won’t do that”
“I know the territory – I’ve been around
It’ll all turn to dust and we’ll all fall down
Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around”
“I won’t do that!
No I won’t do that!”
So as you can see it’s basically been right there in front of us the whole time. How on earth we haven’t noticed all this before is beyond me!
In the end, there is a valuable lesson to be learnt from all this. Always read the lyrics properly, it will save a shit load of people time in the future. That and it may not be best to ask Meatloaf for booty loving. He might not of mentioned it in the song but 23% of people can’t be wrong, can they?
As the story goes, Neil Young bought California’s Broken Arrow Ranch in 1970. While moving in, he took a jeep ride with the caretaker, Louis Avila, and the two got to talking. Perhaps overlooking some scenic valley, or bathed in a picturesque sunset, these dichotomous gentlemen — Young is 24 and rich beyond his dreams, Avila has been working his entire life — find some common ground.
And then Young went home and wrote “Old Man” for his new friend, and the rest is folk music history.
I’ve loved the song since I was younger than either of these fellas. There is a bond between men — people really — that Young highlights with such nuance and beauty. The desire to be loved, struggling with feelings of disconnect, and a need for home and truth; these are the threads that bind us. Toss in a little mournful banjo courtesy of James Taylor, and it’s the perfect music for a solemn walk through city streets or country back-roads.
Only, since I turned 31 a few months back, I’ve begun to hear the song in a whole new light. It’s not just those wants and needs bridging the gap between Young and Avila. With every subsequent listen, I feel as if Young is recognizing a more profound connection between himself and the elderly foreman. That the two exist at the same point in time, and have trudged through so much of life. There is a lingua franca between the pair, a tongue people only learn after years spent churning on this rock. Some people hear optimism, but when Young croons about being “24 and there’s still so much more,” I think he means the sheer emotional weight of his life. As if he has some Sisyphus-ian realization about the mound of existence he’s got to haul around.
It’s an intense sensation I’ve experienced either right as I awake or just before I lay my head down for the evening. It’s not some early midlife crisis, because I don’t feel desperate to reclaim something by way of a Corvette. Despite the minimal rings around my own tree of life, I can’t help but recognize those feelings of absolute heaviness. It starts in my brain and branches out slowly downward, shifting my shoulders into a perpetual slump. It moves down across my body and rests in my hips before sliding down my legs. And just when I feel like it’s going to leave me, it settles in my feet. And, yes, I’ve already checked, and it’s not some bone deficiency, either.
It’s everything I’ve done in my life to this point, sitting directly atop my not-so-meager frame. The fun times and the romance and the wonderful meals and fleeting smiles are all in the mix, but they’re so lightweight that it’s hard to recognize that they take up any space. What hangs the heaviest are those sad and depressing bits I’ve collected over the years like so many Pogs. My romantic shortcomings. Frustrations with my career path. Issues with friends and families. My feelings on isolation and ineptitude. The rage and fury I feel when I look out onto the world. It all just weighs so heavily on me that I fear I can’t sit up sometimes.
I suppose what I’ve described thus far might be some form of depression. But it feels different from anything else I’ve encountered in my own experiences with RBD. Those episodes feel wholly singular, almost pure in their scope. This heightened awareness of the world has never pulled away my entire focus. Instead, it’s been like death through a 1,000 little nicks. Every missed opportunity with a girl is another befuddling reminder of my issues with commitment or lack of romantic follow-through. The less my name isn’t on the byline in some important magazine, the more readily I recognize my own inability to put myself out there. It’s all the same ephemera I’ve dealt with for years, each little sentiment tugging away at me simultaneously. It’s like I can see every string from my head darting out into the world, latching on whatever object makes me mad or sentimental or frustrated.
What surprises me most is everyday life under this emo boulder. As a small child, I thought about what it might like to be older, and two images always came to mind: Me in a suit and me with a grizzled beard. The former meant life had turned out brilliantly, and I’d be dashing about town with a pep in my step, counting all my many successes. The latter, meanwhile, was a feeble-minded representation of being old and unaccomplished, the very definition of a sad sack who’d been chewed up and spit out by life. I’m closer to the beard example in more ways than one, but somehow this life doesn’t seem as depressive or grey-colored as once imagined. I wouldn’t say it’s a walk in the park, but I’m less afraid to be in this place than I ever thought I’d be.
The pounds and ounces of everyday life hold physical weight, but I’ve yet to succumb to the crushing granite of it all. Which leads me to a number of conclusions, each with varying levels of farfetched-ness:
I’ve grown numb to the endless deluge of disappointment that accompanies mere existence.
Things aren’t as bad as they seem, and there is a kind of joy to the work of simply living one’s life.
The worst, my dear boy, is yet to come.
Regardless of the answer, I can’t help but turn back to “Old Man” in discerning value to my predicament. When it comes to processing all of these feelings and finding a way toward something that resembles comfort, Mr. Young ain’t much help. When the last chord fades into the ether, he’s no closer to finding love, unearthing any meaning for his actions, or locating his own little paradise. Which I suppose is the point of the song: Life’s a trip, man, and it never ends until we get to the Great Farmhouse in the Sky. We’re all just on the road trying to carve out some meager little patch of happiness.
So, perhaps, all of this heaviness I’ve been experiencing, finding myself thinking about life as an older, more grizzled person, might be a most subtle sign. Not from the Universe or another mystic force, but a little voice in my head violently screaming one message ad infinitum:
Get it together.
If I have any disappointments — if I see myself as more beaten down than I might be — it’s because I’ve forgotten that powerful little message Young crooned about so brilliantly. Rather than put in the work of finding love and whatever else makes me happy, I’ve settled on the weight of this life. The burdens that hang over the heads of young and old — working to build up valuable relationships, make sacrifices and putting yourself out there, and realizing the smallest steps toward prosperity still hold value. You may be the foreman of a broken down ranch, or the millionaire rock god who owns it, but nobody gets to where they are without making certain decisions — or letting others decide for you. In that sense, Young’s got priorities in mind so that he finds what he’s looking for and doesn’t spend his days wandering aimlessly.
It might do me some good to talk a walk down a country mile and learn a thing or two from the Neilster. There’s this tendency I’ve seen across all parts of my life — from work to romance to building IKEA furniture — that if doesn’t work out the way I want right away, I give up. I let the forces of the Universe win and here I sit, to paraphrase Gilbert O’Sullivan, alone again in every sense of the word. But maybe it’s just enough to recognize those tendencies.
“Old Man” has several references to rolling home. Which, not to nitpick individual word choice, is an important distinction. Because it’s not travel or run or race or journey or sojourn; it’s roll, and that has a certain connotation of being slow-moving and mildly ungraceful. Yet even as the slightest force threatens to stymie that gentle movement, and at some point the world certainly will, Young and the song roll onward. It’s about keeping your head down while trying to push through the machinations of the Universe. It’s only when you stop that the forces of gravity push down on you with enough power to crumble your atoms. Young seemed to understand that, and “Old Man” is perhaps a mere observation. As if he meant to take a breather with Mr. Avila, take note o the connective energy bubbling between us all, and move on before it all become simply too much to bear.
The world will crush you with equal parts pain and beauty, power and helplessness; if you ever want to get to whatever home might be, you’ve got to tumble with everything you’ve got. In my case, I can’t quite see the rustic ranch just yet, but every step suddenly feels that much lighter.
I write some things, help some folks, speak publicly sometimes.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I pay homage to Black women who poured out their souls, told their personal stories, and shared their beautiful gifts with the world. There have been few spaces in which Black women have been able to freely express their complexity — our joy, pain, hope, sorrow, love, intensity, vulnerability, struggle, success, passion, and lust. For centuries, Black women’s labor has long been in high demand with low compensation. Still, we have not only found ways to leave our indelible marks on the world’s cultures, we have also reshaped the artistic landscape with trendsetting innovations others steal — err — borrow and mimic. And, as we use artistic creativity to challenge the status quo, we continue to offer different perspectives about what it means to be a woman as defined by us and for us.
I was raised by a queer Black feminist woman who exposed me to the best of the best Black women had to offer in music, from the inimitable soulful soprano of Chaka Khan and prodigal lamentatons of Aretha Franklin to the revolutionary rhymes of Salt-N-Pepa and melancholic melodies of Nina Simone. I am eternally grateful for this blessing and I want to take this time to honor a *few* of those who have passed on, but not before giving us the very best of themselves. These women are no longer with us, but their music, impact, and legacies will live on forever.
Bessie Smith (1894–1937)
“I’m Wild About That Thing” is everything a sex-positive Black feminist woman needs to hear to remember that Black women’s sexuality hasn’t always been simply for purchase and control. Smith’s iconic career paved the way for many to come and this song… THIS SONG… had people whispering, hollering, calling on the Lord, and repenting. Smith was no shy woman; she made clear what she wanted out of life and others and her music affirmed Black women’s right to exhibit their sexuality and sexual agency on their own terms.
Celia Cruz (1925–2003)
“La Negra Tiene Tumbao” makes you feel SO good to be a Black woman! “Tumbao” loosely translated means “Negritude” or “Africanness”, a certain essence of pure, unadulterated Blackness that no one can deny or contain. The young people today would call it “Swag”, but it is specifically BLACK, and as an Afro-Cubana, Cruz never shied away from embracing her Blackness. With 23 gold albums, Cruz, born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, will forever remain la reina de Latin music. All hail the queen!
Gwen Guthrie (1950–1999)
“Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent” affirmed sistas’ rights to ask for what they want and have standards. For too long, women have been told they should wait patiently for men to choose them and if they’re so lucky to be chosen, they should fawn over whatever crumbs that man doled out. Well, fly girl Guthrie changed the game in the 1980s with her hit song that told men, flat out, “You got to have a J-O-B if you want to be with me!”. While I believe the impact has been overlooked, this one song empowered so many women to not only go out and get their own, but to not settle for someone who would be a drain (and in a tumultuous economic era at that!). Bloop!
Natalie Cole (1950–2015)
Forgive me, as I’m still not sure I’ve accepted that Ms. Cole is no longer with us. Whew. Ok. “I’ve Got Love On My Mind” is one of my favorite songs about being able to fully embrace love and the effects it has on a woman. Daughter of legendary singer, Nat “King” Cole, Natalie established herself as a remarkable artist in her own right with a career that spanned four decades and garnered over 30 million record sales. Hers is a testament to the enduring legacy of musical talent through families and why it remains important to pass along our gifts to our children. The world needs their voices.
Nina Simone (1933–2003)
“I Wish I Knew How It Feels To Be Free” encapsulates so much of the melancholic hope Black women have felt for generations. Simone’s poignant, expansive career as a storytelling bandleader and soulful songstress spanned as many decades as it did genres. Whether she sang of bittersweet Black Love, demanded liberation from bondage, challenged the government, or praised the beauty and talent of Black people, Simone held little back even in the face of racist, sexist, colorist discrimination. She just wanted to do the things she could with the talents and tools she had and we can all agree, she nearly single-handedly shaped revolutionary soul music.
Whitney Houston (1963–2012)
“I Have Nothing” is, in my opinion, Houston’s best vocal performance of her career. From the 10x platinum(diamond), top-selling movie soundtrack of all time, The Bodyguard (which made Houston the first woman to have two diamond albums), Houston sang of vulnerability, passion, and undeniable love for herself and a lover. It was as much a passionate plea as it was an empowered declaration. Houston influenced so many singers today and she easily defined the sound of the 1980s crossing over from church girl joy to pop diva pizzazz. We lost “The Voice” entirely too early and there will never be another artist like her, so we must share “Nippy” for generations to come.
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (1971–2002)
One-third of the top-selling American girl group of all time (65M+ albums sold), TLC, Left Eye is one of the most important Hip-Hop emcees to ever bless the mic. The group’s debut album, Ooooooohhh… On The TLC Tip, should be considered part of any Black Feminist canon, as it advocated sexual agency and safe sexual exploration (“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”), promoted Black sisterhood, tackled domestic violence and sexual assault (“His Story”), and empowered girls and women to define their female identities for themselves (“Hat 2 Da Back”). Left Eye was open about her struggles growing up and her fierce determination to not only be successful, but to inspire other girls and women to be and love themselves. Her life ended entirely too soon and we’ll never know what more she could have done to be her, for her, and not what she was “supposed” to be.
Billie Holiday (1915–1959)
A survivor of attempted rape at age 11 and forced childhood prostitution at age 12, “Lady Day” knew pain. Abandoned by both of her parents, she knew loneliness. And as a Black woman in Jim Crow America, Holiday, like many others, was forced to partake of the bitter fruit of success for colored artists of her time. “Strange Fruit”, based on the poem written by a Jewish man from New York City, became one of the most haunting vocal legacies of Black American culture and, as sang by the irreplaceable Billie Holiday, remains a daring condemnation of the despicable American Racism that lives on today.
Minnie Riperton (1947–1979)
“Lovin’ You” is the quintessential lullaby of Black motherhood. Riperton sang this song to her precious daughter Maya, it is said, to distract and settle her down, but it went on to become her signature tune. A former back-up singer for the likes of Etta James and Muddy Waters, Riperton’s unique, well-trained voice and her song’s vocal arrangements are the most noteworthy element of her short-lived solo career. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Riperton became one of the first celebrities to speak publicly about cancer as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society (she may have been the first Black woman to be a national spokesperson for the Society).
Phyllis Hyman (1949–1995)
“Meet Me On The Moon” is an enduring contemporary jazz vocal performance that solidifies Hyman’s place among the stars. Hyman is the first celebrity I recall being known to have Bipolar Disorder and one could argue that the signs of her early departure were in the songs she wrote and sang. Those close to her say she often spoke about suicide in the sense that it was each person’s right to decide to live and decide to die. In her note, she stated, “I’m tired. I’m tired…”, a refrain too many Black women repeat almost daily as we try to navigate this world. We can only hope she achieved the rest she sought and we thank her for leaving us with the beautiful memories in her golden tones.
An incredible number of Black women have made history in the music industry yet too many have been denied not only their fair compensation but also their due accolades. Far too many have been forced into the background, reduced to fine prints in liner notes, while others have been thrust into blinding spotlights they didn’t seek. Several endured horrific abuses at the hands of men whose horrendous behavior is skipped over in favor of fawning adoration (remember when Jackie Wilson tried to rapePatti LaBelle?). Through success and failure, world-renown glory and personal pain, sistas have managed to set the standards by which all others conduct themselves and even when others get the awards (Hi Iggy!), we know where it all began.