It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time

I saw this and it made me chuckle for about five minutes. It's a gem.

I saw this and it made me chuckle for about five minutes. It’s a gem.

Well, hello everyone! As you may be able to tell from the title, I realize that I have not posted in approximately 11 months. That is a travesty. I can’t pretend like there’s a valid excuse for this either, other than the old “life getting in the way” excuse. All I can really say is that I’m in college now and obviously busy doing various things, but a couple of very nice comments left recently on this blog reminded me just how much I really enjoy blogging. So, I’m back in action!

First, a couple of things that have happened recently in the Beatle-verse. I was ecstatic to go onto YouTube a while back and see that the Beatles YouTube channel has actually started uploading some old Beatles music videos, like Revolution and Hello Goodbye, in HD! I honestly forgot they even had a legitimate YouTube channel, but it should really be updated more frequently because there is a lot of quality Beatles footage that deserves the HD treatment. Seeing the Sgt. Pepper suits in all their high definition glory is enough to make this worthwhile.

While re-watching some old Beatles music video-prototypes, I am reminded yet again of how innovative and forward-thinking the Beatles really were. Their early “promotional videos” with songs like Help and I Feel Fine may seem archaic now, but they really were some of the first music videos in popular music. When I watch music videos today, like “Hello” by Adele for example, that get upwards of 500 million views, it makes me wonder how many views the Beatles’ videos would get if they were released on YouTube or Vevo today. With their immense fandom in the 1960s, I’d imagine that they might get a comparable amount of views to modern musicians like Adele. Funny to find connections between the Beatles and musicians today yet again.
Also can I just say that I am so happy Adele is back and better than ever! I’m in love with her new album and she is a breath of fresh air on the radio.

In other news, with all of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut and even the shooting that occurred today in California, I find myself wondering naively why people can’t just channel their anger into avenues other than killing people. There are so many Beatles songs that advocate for peace and understanding, like All You Need Is Love and Good Day Sunshine, and it makes me sad that these songs exist in a world with so much hatred. I suppose all I can do is continue sharing my favorite Beatles songs with others in the hopes that their inspiring messages can convince maybe one person not to do something terrible. Everyone reading this, do the same! It might make a difference.

Also, there’s a new ELO album! Jeff Lynne, famous for not only ELO but also for producing The Beatles Anthology project and a few albums with George Harrison, is back in the public eye! I saw his performance on The Tonight Show recently and I was so happy that he performed both a new song and a classic, Mr Blue Sky. If there’s musician out there today not named Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr whose music truly captures the spirit of the Beatles, it’s him. Someone needs to get him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ASAP, and I usually don’t care much about stuff like that, but it’s seriously about time Jeff Lynne was immortalized for his massive contributions to music.

Before I wrap this up, I’d just like to say that it is extremely weird to be blogging from my dorm room and not the attic in my house. College is certainly a new experience, but I am trying to appreciate every moment, take advantage of opportunities that come my way, and remember the things I love that make me feel better whenever I’m down. Spoiler alert, one of those things is the Beatles.

Random Beatles song I’ve been enjoying recently: You”re Gonna Lose That Girl

I almost forgot about this song until it came up on my phone the other day, but it truly is a gem from the Help! album and movie. Definitely yet another underrated Beatles song in their massive canon of musical creations.

I really believe that I will not wait 11 months to blog again. It won’t happen. I will actually try to blog more regularly for the foreseeable future. Enjoy the holiday season everyone!

More Beatlesque Songs

I saw this online a while ago. It's so true.

I saw this online a while ago. It’s so true.

So, I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged. With SATs, finals, APs, and whatnot, May will certainly be a crazy month. But I promise to keep blogging as often as possible! Today I’ve decided to do a part 2 to the post I did way back last year about Beatlesque songs, because while I love entertaining people about the Beatles, I also love showing just how much the Beatles have influenced music by posting songs by other artists. So, here we go!

Universally Speaking- Red Hot Chili Peppers

I’ve been listening to this band a lot recently, and one thing I love about them is their versatility. Their songs range from being funky and hip-hoppy to more mellow alt rock to… Well, this one, the opening to which could absolutely be part of a Beatles song. This song is really cheery and upbeat and makes me feel happy about life, which is definitely a sign of a Beatlesque song.

10538 Overture- Electric Light Orchestra

If you’ve seen the movie “American Hustle,” then you know this song. I firmly believe that had the Beatles continued making music through the 1970s, they would have morphed into something similar to ELO. This song contains a lot of clear nods to the Beatles, like the psychedelic vocals and the strings throughout, without ripping them off of any direct melodies. ELO is just brilliant. It’s a crime that they’re not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Addicted to You- The Smith Bros

I love this song, mostly because of this video. 🙂
But if you can get past the pictures, the song itself is actually pretty Beatle-like, especially the bridge part in the middle. It’s a great song that very accurately summarizes my love for all things Beatles.

God On My Side- World Party

I think this sounds more like an Oasis song than a Beatles song in actuality, but it has a lot of wonderful Beatley qualities and is just an all-around beautiful song that I had to post it here! This whole album, “Goodbye Jumbo,” is fantastic and has a very diverse collection of songs, but all of them are subtly Beatlesque in their own special ways. Definitely check out the rest of the album if you like this song.

Flesh Number One (Beatle Dennis)- Robyn Hitchcock

If you’ve never heard of Robyn Hitchcock, he’s a British musician whose entire catalog is practically an homage to the Beatles. All of his songs are lovely and relaxing, like this one. Also, this song has the world “Beatle” in the title, so there’s that. 🙂

Hopefully these songs will tide you over until I post again, which I promise will be soon. Until then, enjoy spring, enjoy the nice weather, and enjoy the Beatles!

Life after a Paul McCartney concert: Other artists I’d love to see live

The Beatles at Shea Stadium... Oh, how I wish I could have been there!

The Beatles at Shea Stadium… Oh, how I wish I could have been there!

So before I get to the actual content of this post, I’d like to wish Dhani Harrison a happy belated birthday! His actual birthday was August 1st, but since I didn’t get around to blogging then, I figured “better late than never”! Thinking about Dhani made me think about how awesome it would be to see thenewno2 live, just so I could see George’s son in the flesh! That gorgeous Harrison face must look great close up… 🙂
But anyway, I’ve now decided to make a list of all the artists I’d absolutely love to see in concert someday. I highly doubt that seeing any of them would be quite as amazing and magical as seeing Paul McCartney, but since Paul seems to have set the standard for putting on a fantastic rock show, that’s to be expected. Nonetheless, here we go!

1. thenewno2
I figured I’d start with them, since I already mentioned Dhani in this post. I really love this band and though they definitely fly under the radar in today’s music industry, they are extremely innovative and creative. They also have George’s son in the band, which definitely helps their overall sound, but even if Dhani wasn’t George’s son, I think that he’d still be making a name for himself in the music business. Still, he seems to have inherited quite a bit of talent from his dad, and if George was still around, I’m sure he’d be very proud of what Dhani has done.

2. Foster The People
I’ve been following this band for a while, but they haven’t come out with any new music in over 2 years! What happened??? Although apparently they’ve finished their 2nd album, and as much as I love Torches, hearing some new songs would be nice. From the videos I’ve watched, they seem like a great live band who truly enjoys what they’re doing, and hopefully they’ll come to the New York area in the future!

3. Elton John
This one’s a no-brainer for me. Elton has always been known as a great live performer and a fantastic entertainer, not to mention an extremely talented singer, pianist, and songwriter, and I’d absolutely love the chance to see him do what he does best live! I think seeing him in concert would probably be a similar atmosphere and comparable to seeing Paul live, but the difference for me is that seeing Paul, while he is awesome and amazing, is not exactly the same thing as seeing the Beatles. On the contrary, while there were four Beatles, there is only one Elton John, and seeing him today is essentially the same experience as seeing him 40 years ago. That to me is a really cool thing. Hopefully an Elton concert is in my future!

4. Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band
I mean, come on. It’s Ringo! Of course I want to see him in concert! I’m still mad that I missed him coming to Jones Beach last year, but I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll come back next year!

5. Jeff Lynne/ELO
I don’t know when the last time he toured was, but with all of the ELO reissues that have come out this year, maybe he’ll do some commemorative concerts??? This one seems like a long shot to ever happen, but since I love ELO, I’ll remain hopeful.

6. Eric Clapton
How cool would it be to see the Guitar God live and in person?!?!? I think my jaw would be open the entire time, just in awe of his awesomeness. He did come to Madison Square Garden in April as part of his Crossroads Guitar Festival, but I think it sold out in about 5 seconds. Maybe next time…

7. The Rolling Stones
They have long been hailed as the greatest live rock band, and since my mom has actually seen them live before, I’ve always thought it would be really cool to see them in concert. Sadly, their 50th Anniversary tour didn’t make a stop in NY this year, although they did come to the Barclays Center last December. How Mick Jagger, at 70, is still running around the stage with boundless energy for an entire show is beyond me. Once again, I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Still, even if I never see another concert, I think I’ll be happy for the rest of my life knowing that I’ve seen Paul McCartney, who I consider to be the greatest living musical artist, live. Seeing him is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I surely won’t ever forget, no matter how many more concerts I attend!

Artists I listen to when I’m in various moods

Here it is, my second post of the day! I realize that I haven’t been posting much lately, even on the weekends. I apologize, but since it’s near the end of the school year, things are very hectic. I find that listening to my favorite musical artists like the Beatles really helps me get through stressful times, and this post is all about what artists I listen to in different life situations. This is more of a way for me to keep track of what musicians I like, but it’s also a list of artists that I’d recommend anyone to listen to when they’re stressed, happy, excited, or in any other mood. These aren’t the only artists I like, but they’re the ones whose music I can most easily categorize according to my various moods. Remember, music really does heal the soul!

Artists I listen to when I’m stressed and need to relax: George Harrison
Okay, so I don’t ONLY listen to George Harrison music when I’m stressed, but I’ve noticed that during the most stressful weeks of the year, George Harrison’s music is playing nonstop on my iPod or on the computer. His music is so soothing and calming, it really helps me take a deep breath and remember why I’m doing whatever it is that I’m doing. Some of his songs like Isn’t It A Pity and Hear Me Lord help me fall asleep at night, and when I listen to his music, I can feel all of the stress and tension from the day just wash away. Sometimes, in the midst of a busy, hectic day, I need to take a breather and listen to George Harrison for 5 minutes, and it always helps.

Artists I listen to on the weekends or when it’s summer and I’m happy at not being at school: Eric Clapton, the Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney & Wings, The Rolling Stones, ELO, Queen, The Who
The music from these artists always puts me in a good mood, and generally, I listen to them when I just want to hear some good old fashioned classic rock. Eric Clapton’s music in particular is fantastic to listen to when you’re doing basically nothing on a Saturday afternoon and you just want to hear a good song with an awesome guitar part. In fact, I may do an entire Clapton-related post at some point, so be on the lookout for it! And the other artists I listed are also great for when you’re kicking back and enjoying life, like I try to do in between my endless weekend homework assignments. 🙂

Artists I listen to when I’m doing homework: Phillip Phillips, thenewno2, Paul McCartney, George Harrison
Yes, I’m differentiating Paul McCartney’s solo albums from his albums with Wings, and that’s because he has a few fairly mellow solo albums that are great to listen to while I’m doing something and want to listen to music. I also enjoy listening to Phillip Phillip’s debut album, The World From The Side Of The Moon, while I’m studying or working. It has a lot of great songs with some fantastic acoustic guitar work, and all in all, it’s a very impressive album. As I’ve said before on the blog, thenewno2 has some really amazing rock/alternative/electronica music that is inventive and cool to listen to, and a lot of it is very relaxing. And then there’s George Harrison… What more can I say about his music that I haven’t already said?

Artists I listen to when I’m feeling in an oddly great mood for a weeknight: Paul McCartney (with and without Wings), ELO, Foster The People, Talking Heads, Pearl Jam
This is a rather diverse group of artists, but before I go to sleep on a weeknight, I really enjoy all of their music, and somehow they all fit together into what I call my “weird weeknight” mood.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned Pearl Jam before on the blog, but let me just say that I LOVE Eddie Vedder’s voice! It is truly a gift from God, and I was blown away by his performance of Comfortably Numb with Roger Waters at the Concert for Sandy last December. Wow!
Also, Foster the People, while they only have 1 album out at the moment, has some truly outstanding songs that are extremely catchy and fun to dance to, while actually having an interesting meaning at the same time. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s an unusual combination for a 21st century musical artist!

Artists I listen to when I’m feeling down and need a boost of confidence: John Lennon
There are others, but I find that John Lennon’s music is so wonderfully empowering, especially songs like Imagine and Power to the People, that he’s all I need to feel better about life. His music really makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to if I try hard enough. Thanks John!

Artists I listen to when I realize I need to participate in the music from this generation: Maroon 5, Foster the People, Phillip Phillips, thenewno2, Adele
Not too much to say here that I didn’t already say in my post about the 50th anniversary of Please Please Me, but these are some of my favorite artists from this generation that I enjoy when I’m not in the mood for classic rock. Okay, so that never actually happens, but I still enjoy these artists nonetheless!

If you’ve read my blog before, then you may be wondering where the Beatles fit in on this list. Well, never fear, because I have a special category just for them…

Artists I listen to in any mood, at any time, anywhere: The Beatles
The Beatles are the one band that I can ALWAYS rely on to make me feel good. They’re there when I’m happy, sad, and everything in between. Beatles music soothes the soul in any situation, and that’s all there is to it. I gave them their own category because, well they’re the Beatles, and also because I realized that they fit into every single category I’ve mentioned above, except for maybe the one about music from this generation. Basically, in any situation, the Beatles rule!

That’s all for now. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

ELO, John Lennon, and American Idol

George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, buddies and pals.

George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, buddies and pals.

This title may seem rather random, but I had a few random thoughts I wanted to share on the blog today.
First, if you don’t know who ELO is, the letters stand for Electric Light Orchestra. It was a British band with Jeff Lynne at the helm that was popular during the 1970s and 1980s. Jeff Lynne is a well-known Beatlemaniac and a good friend of George Harrison (I feel like every other musician I listen to is either George, a different Beatle, a friend of George, or George’s son), and the music of ELO really reflects the Beatle influence with its many dramatic string arrangements and very catchy melodies. Their songs, at least the ones that I know, generally rock and are fun to listen to.
I was reminded of ELO the other night after not having listened to them in a while. I had just finished a LONG study session for my math midterm, and afterwards, I found myself having an impromptu dance marathon to some of ELO’s more upbeat songs. I’d forgotten jsut how great their songs are! Basically, if you like the Beatles, you’d like ELO, so if you like the Beatles but don’t know ELO, check them out!
Here are a few of my favorite songs by ELO:

Don’t Bring Me Down

This song flat-out rocks. I can’t stop myself from dancing whenever I hear it. A little embarrassing, but it’s true.

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

This is perhaps the second most beautiful song ever recorded, after The Beatles’ Something. It’s so beautiful that sometimes it makes me tear up a bit. To me, it sounds like a mix of Something, Let It Be, and The Long And Winding Road. Once I hear it, I can’t get it out of my head.

Evil Woman

I used to listen to this song in the car with my family, and not knowing who ELO was, I thought it was part of a Broadway soundtrack or something like that. I was mistaken, but I still love this song! Jeff Lynne sounds a little like John Lennon here, I think. To the rest of the world, maybe not.

Mr. Blue Sky

This is probably the most famous Beatlesque song by ELO. I absolutely love it, and the creative arrangement never fails to surprise me. I feel like this song could have fit right in on Sgt. Pepper as a John/Paul collaboration. Wishful thinking, I suppose, but really, Sgt. Pepper is just fine the way it is.

Do Ya

Amazing song. Great guitar. End of story.

To quote Monty Python, “And now for something completely different!”

Yesterday in the car, I had a random vision of John Lennon trying out for American Idol. I don’t know why this came to mind, but the thought was so funny that I burst out laughing. I can just picture him going in there with his guitar and Liverpudlian accent and singing Across the Universe as his audition. Then, Randy Jackson and the other judges would say stuff like, “We think you’re really special! We love your voice! Welcome to Hollywood!” John would probably say something like “Thank you very much,” run out of the audition room yelling “I MADE IT!” and give whoever was around a big hug.
Then, I pictured Paul auditioning, being his cute and charming self and singing Let It Be or Hey Jude. He and John would both make it for sure if they tried out today. Imagine a John Lennon/Paul McCartney finale of American Idol! That would be amazing!
George probably wouldn’t want the instant fame that comes with auditioning for a reality show like American Idol.
And honestly, I love Ringo, but I’m not sure if his singing skills alone would carry him though the competition. Still, he’d certainly be a fan favorite!

Thus concludes this random post on Beatle Me Do. I hope I passed the audition.