Tag Archives: music

Gem of the Week: P.M. Dawn

25 Sep

“Reality used to be a friend of mine ‘Cause complete control I don’t take too kind,” Prince Be.

These classic lyrics from the 1991 song by P.M. Dawn, Set ADrift on Memory Bliss, still inspires me today as it did during the 90s.
The group comprised of brothers Prince Be (lead vocals) and DJ Minute Mix; they had a cool image from the bizarre way they dressed to the deep thought-provoking lyrics in their songs.
According to the fan site www.pmdawnonline.com, Prince Be stated the meaning of the group name was an the idea that in the darkest hour comes the light.

I researched to find updated news about them and I found this online article posted September 28, 2011 from The Stranger.com.

The article basically stated that DJ Minute Mix is pursuing a solo career and the groups cousin Doc  G stepped in his place.  Also, Prince Be has suffered from health issues after having three strokes and is still trying to recover.

I wish Prince Be full recovery and I only have fond memories listening to P.M. Dawn on the radio during my preteen middle school days!

Their classic 1991 album, Of The Heart, Of The Soul and Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience, set it off with the hits: Set Adrift on Memory Bliss and my favorite Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine.

All I know is that when I listened to P.M. Dawn I heard mellow and smooth vocals with lyrics that I could comprehend unlike the hip-hop/r&b music that I hear playing on the radio today!

P.M. Dawn wrote the type of songs that you could relate too and I will not forget them.

I have linked the classic video from Djbuddyloverootsrap You Tube channel below.


Pop Culture Reflection: Rock on Andy Griffith

3 Jul

I bid massive tribute to the great Andy Griffith for being a gifted actor and musician! I’m a huge fan of his music and of course of The Andy Griffith Show. My heart sank reading the headline that he passed away this week at age 86.

This past year the music world lost Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees and Beastie Boy’s Adam “MCA” Yauch. There would be too much to say about each of these iconic artists in one post, but I feel that Andy Griffith deserves special recognition for bringing music and two hit shows (Andy Griffith and Matlock) to the entertainment world.

In regards to The Andy Griffith Show you had a cast of warm hearted characters that I enjoyed watching and I looked forward to the music performed on the show.

Most of the songs that I have heard on the show exposed me to a catchy side of bluegrass and gospel music that I didn’t appreciate before.

In an article from the Music Industry News Network website, Rodney Dillard, guest star as one of the Darling boys featured on Andy Griffith states:

“Andy Griffith became more than an icon. He represented American family values and has given comfort and hope in these uncertain times. He gave The Dillards (The Darlings) an opportunity to be part of this. Andy was kind, generous and patient with an inexperienced group of pickers from the Ozark Mountains. Andy Griffith’s impact on the world will last forever.” Read full article here

One song by the Darling family played during the Andy Griffith episode titled: “The Darling Baby” called There Is A Time  deserves praise for being the most beautifully written song by The Dillards.

As a hard rock fan, I rarely listen to country or bluegrass music but The Dillards carry that progressive mix of country and rock. The vocals for There is a Time are by Maggie Peterson and the song has so much meaning in few words.
My favorite line from the song is:
“There is a time for us to wonder when time is young and so are we.” 
Griffith remains an inspiring figure for me with his folk and gospel music style. I hope that in this day our culture will still appreciate an icon like him. He played a great warm-hearted character as Sheriff Andy Taylor and his show shared beautiful gospel hymns.
“TV Land, meanwhile will focus on Griffith’s small-screen career — specifically, his long-running “The Andy Griffith Show.” TV Land will air marathons of the series on Wednesday, July 4 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as July 7 and July 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” stated from an article on MSN. Read full article here

When I watch The Andy Griffith Show I value the moral lesson in each episode and I cannot say that about today’s sitcoms. Griffith’s rich singing voice paired with his light acoustic guitar strumming, and delivered by his humble character Andy Taylor is talent that will live on.

Check out the link from Bluegrass Preservation You Tube channel to watch the clip for There is a Time.

Pop Culture Reflection: Where Have All My Music Stores Gone?!

16 Dec

I’m reminiscent of my record store experiences, but local music shops are fading away while online stores like iTunes have stepped in.

Like the rest of the high tech world I also download and purchase new music from iTunes or Amazon.

I still want the hard copy cd when it comes to certain bands; R.E.M holds this priority. (note my previous two blogs dedicated to them)

I bought R.E.M’s definitive collection the day after its’ release date and realized that I had to go to either FYE or Best Buy just to find a store with a decent music selection.

The good independent music stores just aren’t surviving anymore at least not in metro Detroit.

My favorite local music store was Wherehouse Music (This was how the store really spelled their name it’s not a typo) unfortunately it closed several years ago but it was my go to place for music.

I would head straight to the used hard rock and punk sections at Wherehouse and search albums.

I loved this section because of course it was a way to build my collection cheap and you could listen before you buy.

I would pick out certain albums with cover artwork that interested me and I would check it out.

This method is how I stumbled into loving the band Pennywise.

I remember seeing their logo on the back of somebody’s shirt from an MxPx show and thought it looked cool so while I was skimming the used section at Wherehouse my eye caught that familiar Pennywise name again. The album I saw was About Time and the price was only $4.00.

The picture was of an alarm clock strapped to dynamite on a mustard yellow background.

I grabbed it up and instantly loved the fourth track “Every Single Day.”

From that album purchase I went on to watch Pennywise perform at the next Warped Tour and since then I have bought all of their other albums and I have went to a lot more of their shows.

Today stores like Target or Costco are not places I can go to and linger around the music section and they also do not supply the vast genre selection to allow me to discover underground and local bands in the way a music shop such as Wherehouse did.

I also upgraded most of my album collection from cassette tapes to cd from the used section at Wherehouse.

There were other local shops around that I less frequented like Flipside Records, Rock-A-Billy’s, Record Time and Hot Hits. Now all of those stores have closed except Flipside Records.

Buying my last official R.E.M album from Best Buy certainly was not the same experience of when I use to buy a new R.E.M release from a music store. Instead it felt like a quick errand of run in-grab the album-let the clerk ring it up-done.

I miss buying a new album from Wherehouse’s midnight sale special.

I am now left with memories of those early music store sales.

I remember when R.E.M released Reveal around 2001 you could get a special edition booklet but it was limited. I wanted to buy it early to ensure I got the booklet.

So right at midnight I stood outside of Wherehouse Music excited to pick up the new album. When I went inside the store there was a long line of people and at first I thought all that fuss was for R.E.M.

Wishful thinking on my part instead the big line of people where there to pick up Lateralus by Tool! Here I thought people were finally coming to their senses about R.E.M.

Turns out I was the only person who was there to pick up Reveal.

As I waited I overheard the guy in line behind me ripping on R.E.M’s performance from the Tibetan Freedom Concert and how lame Michael Stipe was for wearing eyeliner and a skirt.

The irony was that this guy had on a green t-shirt for the band Live, and the lead singer of Live is a major R.E.M fan and it was R.E.M.’s music that inspired this band.

Of course I didn’t say anything to the guy about his shirt but I did shoot him the look of death before I proudly requested my copy of Reveal.

I know It’s outdated to still want to buy cds but It’s the experience that is missed and my Wherehouse Music memories are golden to me .