Music Monday | Rick Rubin

Howdy!

Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.

The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.

The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyoncé, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!

Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!

Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.

So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?

snowflake

 

 

Nothing Lasts Forever

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If you’re currently sick and tired of hearing about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, this is not the post for you. For everybody else, let’s get right to it. It happened. It actually happened and why does it usually happen whenever I just get into the group or artist? That’s the one thing I’ve never been able to figure out. Zayn left One Direction, the news came after he left the tour because he was “stressed.” He left to be a normal 22 year old outside of the media. When I heard the news about this, I knew I’d have some thoughts about that and thought I’d share them on here too!

I remember watching their film This Is Us and was of course hooked to that after seeing it the first time, but my sister and I were both sad for the guys because they didn’t have much of a private life, they were kind of thrown into this during their time on The X Factor four years ago, they can’t be normal people going through their ups and downs without somebody saying something about it or taking their pictures while they’re out and about, so I feel for all five of them, not just Zayn. I understood his reason for leaving.

Now about the song that Naughty Boy released, I thought that was a little fast. Whether or not it was Zayn’s descision or not, it was still pretty quick! We all know that there’s a good chance all five members of One Direction will want to release solo music projects. Harry, Louis, and Liam have been writing and composing songs for themselves and other artists in the last few years. I don’t usually read music blogs or articles of that nature, but I did find one that got me, I don’t remember the website of where I saw it on but they “found out” that Zayn was working on his solo project with Naughty Boy, we’ve all known about that. We might not wanted to believe it at times, but you can’t expect them to drift away. Something that everybody keeps forgetting that these are FIVE individuals, they might want to go in different directions at one point in their lives and we are going to have to accept it and move on. Something that I’ve also kept in mind is that we can choose to see this in a bad or good way, maybe the guys need a break from each other for a little while. A quote I’ve recently found in the mess of all this.

“The bad news – nothing lasts forever. The good news – nothing lasts forever.”   

I’ve been thinking of the time where I had both of my childhood boy bands break up. I grew up in the 90’s so the break up of N’Sync burned me bad, but not as bad as the news of Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys leaving the group in 2004. Holy cow! I was sad but even back then I knew things couldn’t have lasted long. All members of BSB have had separate careers outside of the group, even N’Sync too! Despite Justin being the only one that I’ve seen have a successful solo music career, everybody was freaking excited about the reunion performance last year at the Billboard Awards. That’s another thing that fans keep forgetting about these groups and bands, that even though they might be leaving the group – that doesn’t mean that they’ll never get back together! Who knows maybe in a few more years if they are all on good terms with each other, maybe Zayn will join them for in 10 or 20 years. These guys have been through so much and clearly love all of their fans so much that they will never be gone.

Backstreet Boys have been together for 20 years! It’s been a long journey for them too! Kevin came back into the group early 2012 and they released their first album as five members again in the summer of 2013. Every group has had a break up of some kind, whether the original members leave and only one is left or they disband altogether. It’s still heartbreaking! When everybody heard about My Chemical Romance break up, my entire Facebook page exploded! Everybody was so sad. Classic rock band Guns ‘N’ Roses has had every original member leave the band except for Axl Rose. I can’t even tell you how many times they’ve had to replace a member. However, not every break up can be considered a bad thing. Singer Tarja was symphonic metal’s Nightwish first lead vocalist and after leaving the band, she has had a very successful career! Remember R&B group Destiny’s Child? You gotta remember that Beyonce was once in the group too! They even changed formation twice, before becoming a trio. I also feel like that both Kelly and Michelle have had excellent careers too!

We need to stop expecting that our favorites are perfect, they’re not. They may have dreamt of becoming what they are, but on certain scales I don’t think they all expected where they’d end up. They’re all human beings, so let them be just that! Musicians count on their fans so much to go to their shows, buy merchandise, etc so they can continue to live their dreams. It takes a lot out of one a person, imagine what it does to five people. It’s not easy. I love being a fan of music and I’ll support them in any way I can, that goes for good and bad.

Another Easter Weekend!

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I have to start this post off by saying that my dad finally took his bike out of his building early last week!! It was a very good day especially since he’s been feeling pretty awful lately. We’d been hearing the motorcycles out and about since the 25th, and I think he was kind of jealous that everybody has been out riding and he hadn’t, so while he was outside (working on the lawn mower, from what he told me!) I kept hearing a “vroom vroom” from the backyard and it was a LOT louder than the others that race down the road. After he moved it out of the shed, he came inside and into my room, opened the door and said to me “it’s alive! It’s alive!” in a very giddy voice! I couldn’t figure out which one of us was more excited that he got it out! Of course before leaving my room, he said he was going to take it around the block. An hour later, my mom came home from work. I was half tempted to text her beforehand with “you’re gonna happy” and not answer her if she texted me back. She was happy, it didn’t take her long to get changed from work clothes to a T-shirt, jeans and biker boots.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Tuesday night, while my dad was out playing pool. My mom brought Stormy into my room. He spent his time going back and forth between my bed, to the floor where his bowl of food was, and by the door. While he was napping though, I looked over at him and as he was tilting his head back, I thought he was going to tip back and land straight on his head. So I put my foot out in case, a few seconds later he did lose his balance but quickly got it back before hitting the floor. He used my foot as leverage to get back up, but before lying down again he came right up to my hands and I got to bend down and hug him. It was like his little “thank you” gesture! It was so sweet!

My Easter weekend didn’t start until Thursday night. I found two concerts on the Pollandia channel, Ellie Gouding at Wireless last year and a London Live show of Backstreet Boys. It was a BSB kind of weekend for me. I had that to tape and I also had it set to record their documentary film on VH1 Friday night. I had to rearrange my normal routine as my Mysteries At The Museum came back on the Travel Channel that night as well! I finally finished the movie Saturday morning while everybody was still asleep. Saturday was my nana’s birthday, I had a late night Friday night so I was still awake by midnight and I decided to make a big ole status for her than just posting something on her wall. She seemed to enjoy the message. I’m happy that I posted it when I did because I was asleep all morning long and my afternoon consisted of being around a hyper two-year old and a bunch of goofy adults!

It’s midnight that means it’s my nana’s birthday. I usually like hearing my phone go off around this time from certain family members and reading their cute little notes, but I’m pretty sure she would freak out if she got two or three text messages in the middle of the night to find out they’re not emergency texts, however she might be okay with the fact that Adam Lambert would be singing, but knowing that alone, she’d probably think he was singing to her in her dream instead! I hope you have a good and relaxing day! I love you

Before the fun stuff happened Saturday afternoon, my Uncle Shawn came over with his new car. It’s a 2009 Challenger in red and black. It’s gorgeous! My mom and I hadn’t seen it up close yet, I was outside visiting with the cats and enjoying the beautiful weather. When he pulled up, I hollered for my mom. Shawn showed it off to us and took my mom for a drive. I’ve already been told by my dad that the next time I get to go! You remember last year, we had a fun time over at the barn for Easter activities. We didn’t have a Pinata, but we did have a huge Easter egg hunt in our neighbor’s yard. Sammy and her boyfriend Alex hid all of the eggs around a vast space. Rusty and a neighbor kid Cody hid some of the eggs on top of the trees for the older kids. When it came time to go and find them, I think we had six kids in all and everybody just scattered! Chevy and I were going to share a basket of plastic eggs with candies inside of them! Each kid was to have 23 eggs in their baskets. I only wanted the Krabby Patties gummies. I’ve never been into the chocolate bunnies, eggs, or peeps! Yucky!

After it was over with, we went into the garage to eat. Chevy was more concerned about her eggs though! As soon as we were inside, I was the one who had ahold of her basket because she wanted to ride on the back of my wheelchair. So I was on candy duty. She was so cute! She started unwrapping the chocolates and I tried to stop her but it didn’t work. She did give me a mini chocolate egg after she had unwrapped it, I gave it back to her and she ate it. I think she felt bad that I hadn’t had one yet, so she opened another chocolate candy, this time it was a mini Reese’s cup and just stuffed it in my mouth. Sammy finally got her attention with her plate of food and I finally got a chance to eat mine. It was honestly a big feast, our normal Sunday dinner but on a Saturday. Once I was done eating, Chevy realized there was bubbles. My inner child was alive again! However, I had to push her aside and became a little helper. I’m extremely hands on with Chevy, and she is mature, but goofy after a while. She likes to help out with me as much as she can, but we were worried she’d spill the bottle of bubbles all over the floor and be sliding all over the place! So I put my feet around it to keep it steady, she put the wand by my mouth to let me blow a few times but I was so afraid the bubbles would go right in her eyes so I didn’t do it too much!

I woke up Sunday around noon I think. I know, that’s not good! I was up earlier than that but I managed to go back to sleep around 9:30am. I don’t know why I didn’t just stay up! Anyways, I knew what we were doing that day since all of our Easter stuff had been planned for a few weeks on my nana’s birthday my mom felt bad that we didn’t spend it with her. So as she was on lunch Sunday, yeah she had to work both days and still managed to do everything she did this past weekend! So my mom, Blondie, and I went over there so they could do her errands, only to find out that the stores were closed because of the holiday. The visit wasn’t a bust though because while my mom was at work–well technically on her lunch break! She felt bad that she hadn’t made her a cake so she got her a cute little cactus plant. She also got Blondie and I Easter baskets. You’d think we’d be too old for these things? I’m not, I’m still a kid at heart! So she and another nurse she works with got like four baskets (two for Chevy and Chey) and they helped decorate them. I got a little orange basket with a scented vanilla bunny (which had my room smelling like a latte and cupcakes all at the same time!), different chocolate candies and jellybeans, plus two different pairs of socks! I was pretty happy about that!

When we came home from my nana’s, my mom took a nap. I stayed in my room, editing what little pictures we managed to take this time. My mom just decided to take video of the egg hunt and I can’t put it on here, so that’s why I’m not including it in this post. Saturday night I found out that HBO was airing that Frank Sinatra documentary Sunday night and they had premiered Jersey Boys that night. So I recorded both of those and then later on that night I found two episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? that I hadn’t seen yet. Sunday night in the garage was a little boring, I’m pretty sure everybody was still exhausted from the day before! Sammy found four Chinese lanterns and we lit them up as it got darker outside. They were really pretty as they were floating up in the sky! I think we only stayed for an hour or two, before heading home to ChiChi and the cats.

Blondie and her baby Bear-Bear
Blondie and her baby Bear-Bear
My baby Stormy.
My baby Stormy.
Look how cute he is!
Look how cute he is!
My nana's catus that my mom got her Sunday, as a belated birthday present.
My nana’s cactus that my mom got her Sunday, as a belated birthday present.

Tune Tuesday: Backstreet’s Back!

Over the weekend, I joined in the ever popular #lbloggers chat. One of my favorites Jasmin Charlotte hosted it and the topic was about “favorite things” and I had opened with I was listening to Backstreet Boys and they were getting me in a good mood, I was hoping the chat would top me off! From pressing the “tweet” button, I got four favorites and my new friend fellow blogger Jadirah and I started to have our own little chat about our favorite BSB songs and music videos. I had to leave early because my mom came in with my lunch and I was worried I wouldn’t make back in time and everybody would stop chatting with one another. I got back just in time though and I got to finish the chat. The chat as a whole was great, but I made a new friend while we fangirled about Backstreet Boys.

We both had some agreements on what songs we definitely liked the most, but of course all of the old singles are the best. Over the years, I have actually tried to listen to the rest of the albums because I’ve never been one to like a whole album, especially a pop, boy band album. After the chat ended, a normal person would just stop listening to them. I’m not normal and I might as well not try to become one now. I ended up listening to both “Black & Blue” which just had a birthday I think last week and “Millenium.” I have the first two albums, I’m STILL surprised they play after all these years honestly! Especially that first album, it’s the oldest one in my big CD case. I take extra care in my BSB CDs. The day it breaks on me, I’ll probably cry all over myself. Before I got my new iPod last winter, I had “Black & Blue” on my old iPod because I borrowed CDs from the library and when I switched over I lost that album and the rest, but I have 2 albums that I know for sure. I’ve just haven’t been in a mood for them in months! I know, it’s so sad! Out of all the weeks for me to want to listen to them though, it’s the week I’m devoted for One Direction. It was just a boy band kind of week, because at the end of the whole week. Nick Jonas joined the party and I don’t regret a single thing.

We established that we both are addicted to “The Call” and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and you have to! They were the first songs that opened the albums. Once she put “The Call” I had to switch my freaking Spotify onto that album and I just lost it. I think I even squealed like a little girl. Our second favorites are “All I Have To Give” and “As Long As You Love Me” both songs are amazing! Both can definitely make me cry on a sad/bad day. My third favorite is “Bigger” though. I also love the music video for it too. Jadirah likes the “Everybody” video because of the Halloween theme. That video used to scare the crap out of me as a kid!  Our second favorites as far music videos go, we both agreed “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” and the fact I took a Facebook quiz a while back about what BSB song was written for you? Or something like that. That was my answer and they played the music video.

She hasn’t listened to the album that came out last year, but then again neither have I. I’ve been too distracted, but I gotta say I wasn’t too distracted to watch their music video for “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)” the day it came out. Brian Littrell is shirtless, how can you ignore that? I definitely couldn’t. I swear the man is a damn vampire, he never ages and I’m perfectly fine with that. What are your favorite Backstreet Boys songs and music video?

and just for fun…

Album Review: One Direction’s “FOUR”

I promise this is the last album review of the week! Before I even start this review, I’m going to say this. When I was little, I basically listened to anything that my parents and other family members listened to. I didn’t get my own feel of a favorite genre, artist/group until like 1997 and I’m just estimating it there. I would have been about six years old at that time and it sounds like that’s the same time that Backstreet Boys was just coming out with their first album. It was my first ever CD that I got and I cherish that memory everytime I hear a BSB song. As I grew up, my love for boy bands kind of went on the back burner. I would get back into them and try to listen to others, but nobody really had me wrapped around their finger like BSB. I would never compare BSB to One Direction, I just can’t do that out of respect for both groups. Since I started liking rock and metal music, I thought I wouldn’t find another pop boy band I’d like again. Well then I watched 1D’s film This Is Us over the summer, then everything I thought came to crushing halt. Now I consider myself a 1D fan and I feel like since I started out liking BSB that 1D makes everything feel like a full circle.

The new album came out this week. I literally couldn’t go back to sleep Monday morning, I kept seeing the advertisements on Facebook that it was out, I thought everybody in North America would have to wait that extra day because the UK always gets their new music out on a Monday. So when I saw the others advertising the same thing. I got on my Spotify and saw it was up there. I hard time containing my excitement. I started smiling uncontrollably and even did a little happy dance on my bed at seven o’clock in the morning. It’s kind of weird for me to do be doing a pop-rock album review, because I don’t like doing those because they honestly all sound the same to me. I’ve been looking forward to doing this album review since the beginning of October. So to start this off, since the first track is “Steal My Girl” I’m not going to do another review of it as I’ve already talked about it on its music video review. Click here to read about it. Onto the second track, “Ready To Run” I have a funny story to share. I was up in the middle of the night earlier last week, I had my TV on one of our pop Top 40 music channels, I think I was playing a game and I saw it on my TV and I paused my music through my headphones and rewind the station so I could hear it all the way through, I almost fell off the bed doing this too! I like this song.

The next track is “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and it’s got a slow tempo, but it’s dance-y too. It’s got a nice balance, when I found this on YouTube the other day, I didn’t really like it. I’m still indecisive about it still after the second listen. The song “18” is next and it’s another slow track. I read on Twitter that it was by Ed Sheeran and it sounds like an Ed Sheeran song. I like it don’t get me wrong but I’m expecting to hear Ed’s voice instead. The fifth track is a song called, “Girl Almighty” this is more upbeat and kind of fast lyric wise. You could definitely dance to this one! The next one sounds so beautiful at the beginning, it’s called “Fool’s Gold” and I really, really like this song! Everything about it is just amazing. If I get any of these songs (I may be asking it for Christmas as a whole) this one will definitely be going on my iPod. Another favorite of mine is the second single of the album, “Night Changes” and when I saw this on YouTube the day it was released, I HAD to listen to it! I don’t regret it either because it is so beautiful! I tried to watch the acoustic version of this song they did on their Hangout the other day and I couldn’t get through it. I literally felt my eyes weld up.

I love how you can easily hear the guitars on this song. It just makes me so happy! The song is called, “No Control” and it kind of describes my mood for this entire song. It’s not a very dance-y type of song even though it’s uptempo. You can jump and down to it so there’s a plus! I just love it! This next song is my FAVORITE song off the album. Another song I had to listen through YouTube, but once I heard it I had to replay it because it is addicting! “Fireproof” has the nice guitars starting it out and I just want to dance throughout it. I can already hum it. I am just in love with it. The choruses. Ugh! I could just go on and on about it I swear, but I can’t. After that one, is “Spaces” and it’s got this airy, kind of like you were floating out in space. Not mocking the song in any way, but it’s got that kind of vibe to it. It’s pretty slow but not that bad. It’s a good breakup song. The next is “Stockholm Syndrome” and I like the piano and guitar start of it. I don’t want to sound girly on a boy band review, but considering I’ve made a damn food out of myself I’m taking the risk, it sounds like an soulful song from the 1920’s, I mean it’s not jazzy but not full pop either. It’s a nice, elegant (I’m sorry!) tone to it! The last song is called, “Clouds” and I always love how the last songs are full on and aren’t slow to the point you’re sad it’s over! This is the type of song you can listen to in the kitchen while cleaning and just dance around crazy-like.

On the deluxe edition, there are four bonus tracks. The first one is called, “Change Your Ticket” and it’s got a nice pop-rock vibe to it. It’s nice and balanced. Kind of get a nice warm feeling about it. It’s the songs that make you think of summer that help you get through winter. This is one of those types of songs and I love it! The next one is “Illusion” and I’m not a big fan of it. I don’t like the lyrics nor the actual sound of it. I’m a bit surprised at myself because I was really excited to hear this one. The next is another beautiful track, again with the guitars. My goodness! “Once In A Lifetime” It’s so slow, but so good! You can’t help but smile to it. The guys sound really good on this one. So much emotion. I honestly didn’t want it to end! The last one of the bonus tracks is “Act My Age” and I was hoping for an upbeat song and that’s exactly what I got. It’s got that vibe of a camp fire ideal song. It’s a very pop-y song but not so cheesy. I just love of how it sounds, it doesn’t sound like a 1D song but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s the perfect ending of the whole album.