Saturday, December 31, 2016

Feels Just Like Starting Over ... Goodbye 2016

And here we are again at the crossroads of another year. And what a strange, crazy, year we have had. It's been full of those really awesomely great moments, but also a lot of really sad, tragic, and questioning moments. So how do we move on from 2016 - in a time of turmoil and uncertainty.

I am going to  proselytize here for a bit, but I'm not looking for you to convert. You will also not hear U2's New Year's Day as that is a song about Polish Solidarity. (See, I always ruin songs for you.) I think that with even with all of the suck that was 2016, we are more alive than ever. We're involved, be it through social media, but people give a damn. We're passionately standing up for our causes and concerns. But please, I beg you, check your facts. Pretend whatever you post is going to that teacher in high school you feared. Also, remember that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. Both may not be wrong or right. Kind of like how I can't stand Rush. I am neither right nor wrong.

But most of all, can we just be kind to one another? You don't know what that guy with a scowl on his face sitting across from you on the subway has gone through today - maybe he lost his job, his boyfriend, girlfriend, or can't shake those bombs from Fallujah anymore.  I even have to remind myself not to check the morons walking up the subway stairs slower than Belt Parkway Traffic on a Sunday, their smart phones in their hands, that glow on their face. Maybe they are waiting for important news - or just have a Pinterest obsession. Give everyone at least one chance.

Also, don't waste energy over something you cannot change. However , exhaust yourself to the limit over something that you can! 2017 is a chance to start over and feel relieved that some things are left behind. There are many things in my brain that I am tossing out with the Prosecco bottles Sunday morning, leaving room for the good moments to grow and make some space for new memories.

We've all lost something or someone this year be it a family member, friend, idol, or stranger. It's never too late to get up and start again. While pain or memories may linger, you've got to live for you and those who love you. We come into and leave this world on our own - and those are two pretty big damn things to do by yourself. So getting in shape, setting a goal, or trying something crazy is pretty doable when you look at it that way.

And don't give up on music. It is still out there very alive. More importantly, go see your favorite bands. Go see new artists. Most artists today are making their money through touring...thanks internet. Create memories through music. 

Finally, I want to thank you for reading this blog. Your support means the world. It was just an idea and you've helped to foster it into something greater than I ever imagined. While this year has been more a constant in memoriam to so many of our favorite artists, there have be many new bands to talk about and album anniversaries to celebrate. 
Please continue to send your ideas, new bands, and comments. Happy New Year to you all! Now, let's go chase those dreams, shall we?

All in all, '16 was the most trying year of my life but I prefer the roller coaster to the carousel ~ a Boston Jake 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Heaven Knows We Sure Had Some Fun Boy ~ In Memoriam George Michael

It was the beginning of July in West Belfast 2001. My fellow interns had set me up on a surprise date with a local waiter - who turned out to be going to law school. That night had been particularly violent in North Belfast getting a ride out of West Belfast wasn't going to happen until early in the morning. It was over homemade spaghetti carbonara that he asked if I had heard George Michael's song with Mary J Blige, As. There I was on a date, in a stranger's house listening to this beautiful song and outside there was pandemonium. George always had his way of leaving an impression on my life.

George Michael was introduced to me, of course as for many, through Wham. Who didn't love the catchy beats of  Wake Me Up (and those shorts in the video) or the infamous saxophone on Careless Whisper. It would be Faith of course that impacted me forever. While at 10, I didn't know what any of those songs were about, George was cute and those songs were like nothing I had heard before. The grooves on that album are worn more than any other I have. 

I went through some typical identity issues growing up and Listen Without Prejudice and Older became my therapists. Notwithstanding, the video for Freedom combined my love of supermodels and George. Songs like They Won't Go When I Go and Cowboys and Angels were nothing compared to the songs on Faith. I was growing as his songs were. His career was marred by loss, poor decisions, and health issues.While his celebrity did fade, no one can take away what talent he gave to an entire MTV generation. And as days passed, the genuine, giving, and selfless George Michael is rrevealed. The man lived to love and give.

The summer of 1992 is marked by the video for Too Funky. More models but with the line from The Graduate: Would you like me to seduce you? It became my line for the summer. And again, I was the quirky one quoting things way outside of my age group.

George Michael's loss at only 53 extinguishes a voice that so many recognize as a part of their youth. Faith remains one of my favorite albums, at the ready for the turntable when stress strikes or I want to reminisce of days of young. 

You put your tears behind you
Better get yourself where you wanna be
I think of all the days and nights I spent crying
Before my angel set me free