Randy Rainbow Skewers Kevin McCarthy in “Speaker of the House”

I don’t usually write political posts, but perilous times call for extraordinary measures. I loathe the American GOP – a party that’s now gone full MAGA and Fascist – with a burning passion. It needs to be destroyed, so that it may one day be reborn again as a rational party. If I offend any of my readers’ sensibilities, so be it.

Comedian Randy Rainbow is a national treasure, frequently skewering the blatant hypocrisy of politicians and others in hilarious videos. His latest target is the obsequious Kevin McCarthy, who endured 14 humiliating losses before finally winning the Speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives on the 15th vote.

In this video, Rainbow calls out McCarthy and a number of other crazy Republican House members like Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and George Santos (N.Y), in “Speaker of the House” a brilliant spoof of the show stopper “Master of the House” from the legendary musical Les Misérables. A great example of his altered lyrics: “Speaker of the House/cunning little chap/covetous, conservative and full of crap. Thirsty as a fish/Quick to compromise/Only took the motherfucker 15 tries.” I love it!

Spotlight on Documentary Film “The Wrecking Crew”

Growing up in the 1960s, and hearing so much great music by such diverse artists and groups as the Beach Boys, the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers, the Mamas & Papas, Sonny & Cher, the Monkees, Frank Sinatra and Glen Campbell, I never really gave much thought to who created their music. Until the arrival of bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Kinks, who played most or all of their own music, it was common for the music on nearly all songs being recorded to be played by session musicians who worked behind the scenes.

Many of those musicians played for particular studios or music labels; Motown had the Funk Brothers, Muscle Shoals had the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Stax Records had their own in-house musicians, and so on. Another important group of session musicians, who were based in Los Angeles, came to be known as “The Wrecking Crew”. They played the music for such iconic hits as “Be My Baby”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, “California Dreamin’”, “Good Vibrations”, “The Beat Goes On”, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and “Wichita Lineman”, as well as the Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds, to name but a few.

Wanting to honor his father – the noted guitarist Tommy Tedesco, who along with other musicians was a key member of The Wrecking Crew – Denny Tedesco produced and directed a documentary film about these renowned session musicians. Production on the film began in June 1996, and took nearly 12 years to complete. The film premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, and closed out the Nashville Film Festival in April 2008, however, it was not released theatrically until March 2015, which is when I saw it.

Anyone and everyone who loves the songs from that golden age of music – or anyone interested in the history of American pop music for that matter – would enjoy this documentary. Scores of producers, sound engineers, session musicians and artists recall fond memories – along with a sprinkling of fraught moments as well – of sessions where they all came together to record songs that made history. In addition to Tommy Tedesco, some of the other notable session musicians included drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye and a young Glen Campbell, who started his career as a session guitarist before making it big as a solo act.

It’s fun to hear them discuss working with some of the talented and eccentric artists and producers of the day like Brian Wilson and Phil Spector. Conversely, it’s also great hearing artists like Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra and Leon Russell discuss the brilliance of those musicians and producers, and how their skills and creative ideas made certain songs sound so much better. Carol Kaye’s subtle yet monumental bass riffs at the beginning of “Wichita Lineman” and “The Beat Goes On” are two examples that stand out. Two more are the beautiful opening guitar licks on the Mamas and Papas hit “California Dreamin’ and the Frank & Nancy Sinatra duet “Somethin’ Stupid”.

Here’s a snippet from the film focusing on Phil Spector’s legendary Wall of Sound:

And here’s one focusing on the Beach Boys:

The entire film can be streamed for a small fee on YouTube.

Just a Photo of My Cat

A lot of work goes into writing a music review, even for a single song. Not only must I listen to the song a number of times to get a good feel for the various elements of the music, melody, instruments, arrangement and vocals, among other things, I must also try to interpret what the song is about in cases where the artist has not provided any clues (which is a lot of the time). And if the artist or band has not provided their lyrics anywhere, I must listen carefully and repeatedly to try to decipher them, which can be a real challenge if the singer screams or shouts them, or sings in a manner that makes them unclear. I suppose this is my own problem, as most music blogs I read rarely, if ever, mention song lyrics.

On top of all that, I must also search all their social media sites to learn at least enough about the artist or band so that I might sound halfway intelligent when writing about them. This can also be a challenge when the artist has not given me any info about themselves, or when they don’t provide much bio info on any of their social media sites or their website. I must also search all the various music platforms their music may be included on, so that I can include those links to help readers listen to more of their music should they care to. I do all these things as a service to the artists, in the hope of giving them some badly-needed press and support.

I do my best to try to read as many posts as possible from blogs I follow, often spending one or two hours at a time several days a week, in the hope that at least a few will read some of mine in return. Needless to say, it’s very discouraging and disappointing when a good percentage of my reviews fail to get much attention, especially from fellow bloggers who follow my blog, now numbering more than 800! Even when I’ve featured classic songs of the past, thinking that perhaps more would find those posts more appealing, I’ve often been disappointed by the low level of engagement. This sense of frustration is compounded when I see some blog posts consisting of only a photo, a video or a two-sentence-long poem get scores of likes.

So, with that in mind, I’m posting a photo of my cat Panda to see what the response will be. If this proves to be popular, I may stop wasting my time writing music reviews, and just post more cat or travel pics.



EclecticMusicLover is Three Years Old Today!

I got a notification this evening from WordPress that my blog turned three years old today, so Happy Birthday EclecticMusicLover! Time passes so quickly at my age, and it’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for three years already! I think my blog’s come a long way since those early days, when I knew I wanted to talk about music, but hadn’t a clue as to what to write about that I thought people would want to read. My earliest posts were either very brief, lame, or both, and I actually started out posting stuff from others (including some music reviews from youtube critics that I’ve since removed), before I had the confidence to write about music myself. I never could have predicted that I would establish a reputation as a music blogger, and become “in demand” by so many wanting me to review their music!

I’ve published 532 posts over the past three years, which is also hard to believe! It’s not easy churning out an average of 3-5 posts a week, most of them music reviews, but I receive so many requests for reviews from artists and bands that follow me on social media that I’ve got a steady stream of subjects to write about. Sometimes it almost feels like when I was back in college and had papers to write, but I do enjoy writing about music and supporting indie artists, which is very gratifying for me.

Blog Stats

I have 343 followers, though fewer than 10% ever read my posts. Thus far, my posts have received a collective total of 70,873 views. My most-viewed posts by a wide margin are my review of the Coldplay Head Full of Dreams Concert  I attended in 2016, which as of this writing has received 6,599 views, and my 100 Best Songs of the 2000s, with 5,612 views. At a distant third is my review of the twenty one pilots emotional road show tour concert, with 1,400 views. Most of my music reviews receive anywhere from 40-150 views, however, quite a few have garnered well over 200. A few went almost viral, including those of MUTEMATH’s beautiful song “Changes”, Tears For Fears’ “I Love You But I’m Lost”, and Chris Watkin’s superb album “Lights All Askew.” My year-end Top 100 lists for the years 2015-2017 have also received many hundreds of views.

My blog has been viewed by people from nearly every country on earth, with the exception of a few in equatorial Africa. As to be expected, the vast majority of my visitors are from English-speaking countries, with the United States accounting for over half of all views. Second is United Kingdom, followed by Canada, Australia and India. Rounding out the top ten are Germany, New Zealand, Philippines, Netherlands and Italy. And it’s cool knowing that people from such exotic countries as Malta, Macedonia, Maldives and Madagascar looked at my blog!

Also interesting is seeing the various search terms that drove people to my blog. The most frequently used term is musiclover.com, followed by music lover.com, song lover.com, and coldplay. Some of the most unusual ones are for songs that people cannot recall the titles of:

premipongidalu hodaleere asavathu thutiregai private lovers death song
songs with the word bite
banjo techno from 2000
five men from england who sing eclectic
card games played boys style photos
songs that were popular that had high pitched screaming from 2000s
songs from this generation
alternative song with piano crescendo
90s song with violin and piano intro with no words
synthesizer song
pop song with violin
sad love kaktas band 2017 song.in
i would do anything for you 00s song
female singer artist 2000 playing with a guitar with the lyrics with numbers in it?
bands that sing about being yourself
ill stand over your body and make sure you are dead staples singers

A lot of people were really concerned about the length of the Coldplay concerts:

do coldplay concert start on time
how long until coldplay takes the stage
coldplay goes on at what time?
coldplay a head full of dreams tour what time do they go on stage
how long is a coldplay ahfod concert
how long is coldplay concert 2017
running time coldplay 2017 concert
coldplay tour show duration
how long does coldplay concert last 2017
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coldplay concert length 2017 average
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how long is opening act for coldplay
how long do coldplays openings acts play?
how long do the opening act last for coldplay concert
how much does coldpaly play really live in the concerts?
list of famous bands in coldplay concert

A little rivalry is always good:

are 21 pilots concerts better than coldplay?

And I love this one:

what kind of songs will they play at the head full of dreams tour (uh, Coldplay songs)

I think most bloggers will agree that blogging about our respective interests can be a lot of work, but also very rewarding and fun. I plan to continue blogging for the foreseeable future, as long as I still enjoy writing about music. And a big thanks to all of you who support my blog!

German band Atlanta Arrival Launches Charity Fundraiser Tribute Single “Colliding Stars”

Atlanta Arrival CollidingStars

German alt-rock band Atlanta Arrival has launched a charity fundraiser for their drummer Björn Mertz, who passed away after a long battle with cancer on May 17, 2018. They’ve released a new single “Colliding Stars” in his honor. Here is their statement regarding his passing and the fundraiser:

On 17th May, we had to say goodbye to our dear son, brother, uncle, friend and drummer Björn Mertz. He was a fighter and an optimist, always determined to support his beloved ones instead of burdening them with his own stroke of fate. After months of battling cancer, it seemed like a miracle when he left the hospital cancer-free at the beginning of this year – still full of enthusiasm and joy of living. He enjoyed the time with friends and family and poured all his energy into his music, his one true passion. So, after our former band The Satellite Year split up, we composed an album that was supposed to be our next project.

Björn was about to go to a health resort, so we wanted to record the songs afterwards – but as if he had had a vision, he insisted on finishing the recording of the drums before his leave. And so he did: 9 songs in only 8 hours! At this time there was no way that anybody could have known that he was already developing a number of new tumors. While his friends believed that Björn was at the health resort as planned, really he was staying at the Uniklinik Homburg, a hospital, again fighting a battle against cancer with only his family by his side – and he did fight to the last. There is no rational explanation for what had happened during the last few weeks of his life or why this even had to happen. Similarly, there are no words for the pain and grief we feel. But should pain, emptiness and misery be the only things left? He himself would not have wanted this.

Therefore, it’s the deepest wish of his family and friends that Björn’s music and with it his unique spirit live on. We finished Björn’s favourite song of the album as well as a music video and kindly ask you to donate whatever you want and can afford to give, in order to support the German Cancer Foundation.”

Here are the poignant lyrics to “Colliding Stars”:

Yesterday when you woke up
Welcomed with the kiss of night
All your pain was gently stopped
You left soundless with the light

Every day when we wake up
Not aware of what will come
Your memory will stay the same
You told us to seize the day

Every day we think of you
wondering what you’re up to
You had to go, no one to blame
You will never fade away

In the night sky there’s no light
Stars are born just to collide
We’re listening to your symphony
But in our own melody

Goodbye old friend
We’re by your side
And in the end
We’ll meet again

You can download a digital version of the song on their Bandcamp page and also have the possibility to order the single CD version of the song (limited, only 200 CDs) for 5 € (or more if you like to donate more). All profits will be fully donated.

Donation via paypal:

If you don’t like to use paypal, you can also donate via bank transfer, immediately to the bank account of the German Cancer Foundation. Please use AK49006741 as a reference.
Bank account:
Kreissparkasse Köln
IBAN DE65 3705 0299 0000 9191 91

Björn’s family, friends and band would like to thank you from the bottom of their hearts for each cent they are able to donate to the German Cancer Foundation in Björn’s name.

Bandcamp Sales Grow While Other Music Streaming Platforms and Industry Sales Continue to Decline

Music platform Bandcamp appears to be the best bet for indie artists, as the site experienced double-digit growth in 2017 in every aspect of their business – digital album and individual track sales, merchandise, and physical sales of vinyl, CDs and even cassettes – while most stand alone music streaming platforms and industry-wide record sales continued to decline.

They also note that “allowing the distribution of an entire art form to be controlled by so few has troubling implications. The streaming giants exert tremendous influence over what music gets heard, and must primarily serve their most important supplier, the major labels. The result is that independent labels, and especially independent artists, are far less likely to be discovered on those platforms.”

To read more of this informative article, click on this link:

The Bandcamp 2017 Year in Review

Drake gives away nearly $1 million in his new video for “God’s Plan”

Hip hop superstar Drake released a new video today for his latest single “God’s Plan,” which is currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and numerous R&B, Hip-Hop and Rap charts. At the beginning of the video, a caption states “The budget for this video was $996,631.90. We gave it all away. Don’t tell the label.” The video goes on to show Drake buying groceries for everyone in a supermarket, surprising random people on the street to whom he gives money, buying toys for kids at a mall, surprising a family with a new car, making donations to the Miami Fire Department, a women’s shelter, and more.  Within hours, multiple videos were made by others showing people’s reactions to the video.

While one could argue that it’s all for publicity, it was still a nice thing for Drake to do. It’s certainly money well-spent, generating more good will than simply a million-dollar’s worth of ads.

Here’s the official music video:

One More Light: Living Without Chester Bennington

One of the most eloquent and heartfelt posts I’ve read about Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, from the blog Saint Audio.

Saint Audio

Content Warning: sexual assault, suicide, death

One week has passed since news of Chester Bennington‘s untimely death sent shockwaves through the internet, devastating fans all over the world. I’d say that what’s stunned us most is the manner in which he left this world—all too familiar, but never expected, and always jarring.  As Linkin Park‘s frontman since 1996, Chester’s voice became a voice for many who may not have been able to express or convey their own inner turmoil through words, or who felt too ashamed to do so.

I first learned of Chester’s suicide via Twitter, and instantly panicked. I cried for a good hour, then on-and-off throughout the rest of the day. And a few times more this week. I initially didn’t realize how many people felt the same way I did—I almost felt embarrassed over how upset I was, how hard it was hitting…

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