Rock

Nothing fills up my soul quite like some good rock songs. This goes for just about any sub-genre, too. Alternative rock, mathrock, soft rock, just flood my ears without mercy. While I’m going for more general rock with this list, don’t think I won’t have plenty more to satiate your rich, grinding tastes. Indie rock, pop-rock, psychedelic rock — you’ll have plenty to love over the coming Sharing The Goodness posts.

If rock isn’t quite your thing, check out my past Sharing The Goodness post where I looked at some alternative R&B and soul!

tv on the radio

1. “Wolf Like Me” by TV On The Radio

I once had a Zune (remember those?) and it came with some songs pre-downloaded. I listened to each one out of curiosity, deleting and saving as I went, and ended up pretty damn stunned when I hit play on TV On The Radio‘s single, ‘Wolf Like Me’. Not only was it rock, one of my favorite genres of all time, but it was downright bombastic. Every single damn thing about this production simmers and you’re incredibly right that I’m going to gush about it.

I mean, where do you even go wrong with an incredible rock showcase revolving around the mythology of werewolves? The lyrics are right colorful with their almost unsettling depiction of the classic curse and how it can be both an invigorating and terrifying experience for both parties. Now, you could interpret the lyrics as a metaphor for something else…but fuck it. I finally get a song about werewolves (well, a good one) and I’m going to celebrate!

With utterly shredding backing vocals and one whirlwind of an outro that builds and builds and builds to a screaming crescendo, this song all but snatches you by the hand and leads you on a journey. You won’t regret this ride.

When the moon is round and full

Gotta bust that box, gotta gut that fish

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What separates a great song lyric from a forgettable one?

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Ever since starting my Sharing The Goodness series I’ve been getting more and more into the art of songwriting and the impact it has on me. When a lyric sticks with me through more than just the melody, and sometimes exactly because of it, it causes me to look inward and analyze myself from head-to-toe. Why did this particular line bring me to tears? What makes this lyric echo in my head more than, say, this one?

Some might cite songwriting’s relevance to whatever they’re currently going through in their life, while others might prefer something more on the poetic side. You can glean a million different interpretations from a single line and below I’m going to take a look at some stand-outs I’ve been thinking about lately.

If you’re interested in some good music from primarily lesser-known artists and bands, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at disco and funk as well as soul, folk and lounge.

smoke and mirrors patrice

1. “Is my head in the clouds or are the clouds in my head?”

from “Smoke And Mirrors” by PATRÌCE

I’m going to start this off with the song that inspired this Sharing The Goodness spin-off in the first place. I picked out the S.G. Lewis remix in my Youtube recommendations line-up a little while back, originally finding it a touch stale…yet I came back to it again and again. There was just something about the echoing, mysterious hook that stuck with me. The best part? Thanks to the stylistically filtered vocals, I actually had no clue what they were originally saying the first few listens! When I looked up the lyrics later, I was alarmed that my favorite part was actually my favorite part.

Too often I wonder just how many of my anxieties are valid and how many are not. What’s actually an outside force trying to rob me of stability or an inside one tearing me to pieces. While there are plenty of amazing lyrics to be explored yet, it’s validating to hear a common inner question put to musical form. I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.

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Just When You Thought Sitcoms Were Washed Up: A Deaf And Interracial View

Better late than never, I say, and nowhere is that more clear than The Two Essences, a sitcom seeking funds over on Indigogo that I stumbled upon through Twitter!

What makes this one special? Let’s just say there aren’t enough television shows out there featuring deaf and interracial families simply living their life. In fact…I don’t think there are any. Consider checking this project out for Deaf Awareness Week if you’ve found yourself wondering how you can help increase deaf visibility, combat stereotypes and help creators get their work out there.

Or, hell, when you’re just plain ol’ tired of being spoonfed the same tropes time and time again.

mom and me
Pictured: me and my mother.

I’m hearing and biracial. My mother is deaf and white. My younger brother is hearing, multiracial and white-passing. I have and had many deaf and hard-of-hearing family members, acquaintances and classmates throughout my life. Our normal is unlike the normal pushed in your average mainstream romantic comedy or long-lasting ‘all-American’ sitcom — at best we’re a token somewhere in the background to create atmosphere and, at worst, not there at all. This ongoing message is more than just disappointment. It’s a downright bizarre, even harmful, way of viewing the world at large. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the myth of normalcy and it sure as hell won’t be the last.

Director and deaf content creator Jade Bryan is eager to showcase the world of deaf people of color where they have previously, over and over and over again, been shunned in favor of the same basic narrative. The story revolves around middle-aged mother Essence Chamberlain-Dubois going back to school and attempting to balance her social life, family life and freelance career. Being a twenty-something caught in the crossroads of progress and regression myself, I can already find plenty to relate to. Unfortunately, I don’t have a million bucks to my name and the shiny title of ‘television agent’.

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A little update!

No update this weekend, but that doesn’t mean I’m low on content. If anything, I’m full up and trying to get it all down in a buffer to share with the world on a regular basis.

I’ve got plenty more music to share and character studies to post on top of independent projects, reviews and fun lists. I had big plans for this blog ever since getting my domain name and I don’t plan on letting the dream of having it become an artistic and cultural go-to die any time soon.

First things first: organizing all this goodness, snagging myself an advertising slot and polishing up the site. The rest will come later. I hope you’re all enjoying your Sunday!

Disco, House And Funk

Why the hell haven’t I posted any songs in these genres yet? I love the hell out of disco. I grew up listening to Earth, Wind & Fire and The O’Jays, for fuck’s sake. …On the other hand, I can be a touch picky when it comes to house and dance. I love a catchy beat, absolutely, but a redundant bassline and hook that lasts for eight entire minutes with little to shake it up? God, no.

A song starting out with untz untz untz is often the fastest way to turn me, as well as the video, off. When I find the right one, though? I’m a happy camper. Because of that some of the examples on the list may have a bit more of a pop or alternative flavor, but fear not. You’ll get all your classic vibes in good fashion.

Check out my previous post where I rounded up five songs in R&B, hip-hop and soul!

viceroy gavin turek fade out

1. “Fade Out” by Viceroy ft. Gavin Turek

You might have seen Gavin Turek here and there. She’s been gaining notable traction in the pop world as a throwback to an older time, mixing disco and house with a slightly more modern bent. Here she combines her signature sound with Viceroy, giving us the confident and upbeat ‘Fade Out’.

The guitar is sumptuously groovy and contrasts well with sharp, clashing drums and a high, crooning chorus. Dance clubs and radio stations alike would gladly make this piece at home. Standard party lyrics abound, but the best part of this song is not the subject matter but the fact it makes you want to go out and do said subject matter. That being partying, chilling and not stressing overmuch about taxes or a deplorable healthcare system. Give in to that self-care and soak in these pre-summer vibes.

You don’t need my pity, fade out with me

Let’s get lost, the symphony awaits

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R&B, Hip-Hop & Soul

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I’ve got some great stuff this week. Some are catchy, some are brilliant and some are a blend of both. What connects all these artists together outside their genre(s) is the fact they deserve way more attention than what they’re getting. Let’s share some of this goodness around!

Check out my last Sharing The Goodness where I reviewed folk, soul and lounge!

some say darci

1. “Some Say” by Darci

Sometimes (often, always, every single time) a song has me conjuring up a mental music video. There’s something about it, something that digs right into my brain and starts tugging at all the little creative strings like fingers on a harp. If you’re an artist of any stripe you can likely relate to this (and if you can’t, well, it’s a hobby I highly recommend).

Darci‘s flow is fantastic. It’s almost stream-of-consciousness, with his vocals ricocheting back and forth as much as the instrumentation does. It’s addictive and a little surreal, filled with mood even as the lyrics are nothing I’d write home about. They go about exploring the standard gossip that comes with a party lifestyle. Been there, done that. The echoing backbeat, though, transforms the mundane subject matter into something almost mysterious.

People say this, people say that. What does the singer actually do? Probably something far more interesting than whatever lies gossips spin up to keep themselves entertained. This song makes me wish I knew how to play piano, because an instrumental would sound incredible. For now, I’ll press repeat.

Some say that we run these nights

Some say that we went too high

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Soul, Folk & Lounge

Feeling tired lately? So are these songs. I rounded up some stuff that’s perfect for leaning back and filtering through whatever has you stressed, the audio equivalent of a back massage or epsom salt soak. Let’s skip the pleasantries (they’re too tiring, anyway) and get straight to the good stuff.

Check out my last list where I rounded up some of my alternative rock favorites!

september superior elevation

1. “September” by Foner (sample of ‘(It Was) September’ by Superior Elevation)

It may not be autumn anymore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t relish in music that makes our soul crave chilly evenings and turning leaves. Foner‘s ‘September’ is a lovely little piece that should be a staple at most cafes, because it’s a song I want to curl up with a mug of tea every single time I press play.

Almost groovy in its sound, ‘September’ hearkens to its signature season and oozes nostalgia out of every pore — considering it samples and mixes up 1981’s single ‘(It Was) September’ by Superior Elevation, it’s small wonder it feels a little timeless. A little shorter and more focused, the guitar is still lovely and flows throughout the entire piece with a strong bassline, the lead singer rounding out an already full package with great vocals. The subject matter is only touched on briefly, adding an air of mystery that soon dissolves into a wonderful horn outro. I’ve been a fan of this song for a few years and I don’t see this love fading anytime soon. Give ‘September’ a try, or even check out the original, when you’re feeling nostalgia’s itch and need something to scratch it out.

Oh, September, it’s when she went away

She said she’s gonna stay

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Alternative Rock

I’m behind. I’m so, so, so behind. Forgive me, goddess of rock, for I have sinned.

I am astronomical levels of overdue for getting some good rock songs on Sharing The Goodness. This is the genre that all but defined my childhood (besides non-stop disco and bad europop) and I’ve got a proverbial pick-up truck to unload over the next few posts. Let’s get this show on the road!

Check out my last post where I looked at alternative R&B and soul if rock doesn’t do it for you!

valerie june shakedown

1. “Shakedown” by Valerie June

A new reoccurring favorite on Sharing The Goodness, Valerie June continues to impress with her iconic pipes and musical flair. ‘Shakedown’ is a song I’d love to hear at an outdoor porch party and, come to think of it, I really should throw one of those once I actually get a porch. It’s lively, charming and just a little on the short side — perfect for constant repeats while enjoying an evening drink. At least, I think.

A bit of bluegrass, a bit of classic rock, there’s a little bit for everyone to love here. The lyrics are simple, more for shuffling your feet than contemplating your navel, and I’m totally fine with that. …Have I also mentioned I love her fashion sense? Because I really do. Valerie June somehow strikes this tender balance between old-fashioned and modern with one of the most incredible hairstyles around. Short and sweet, you need to get this woman on your playlists pronto. It’s the least you can do!

Feel it when you sing it

That shakedown breakdown showdown

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If you could change your fate…would you? That’s the question posed by Merida in Brave, a movie that probably didn’t want the fate of being considered the runt of the recent Disney line-up of CGI animated princess films.

Disney princesses are practically their own genre. They’re role models for kids of varying ages. Their films combine a mixture of adventure, romance and just enough drama without getting too heavy. They’re often musicals, though not always. The formula is pretty tightly woven into Disney’s commercial fabric, so it’s really the smaller changes that separate them from one another. Merida is interesting because she’s neither the least popular (sorry, Pocahontas) nor the most iconic (hello, Ariel). She exists in this weird limbo between ‘oh, yeah, the one with the huge curly hair’ and ‘…who?’. Merida is a princess I find myself liking and not because I view her as some shining beacon of independence in a female character.

In fact, this is one of the most baffling interpretations I see made about her on the regular and one I want to take a deeper look at. Let’s start off with the checklist. She’s ‘tough’ (usually a shorthand for being physically active and/or able to throw a punch), is ‘independent’ (another shorthand for doing whatever one wants) and is basically a girl who’s got a brain and always speaks her mind. Basically, a stockpile of traits we’ve seen before. What makes Merida stand out is how she seems to be a critical eye on all of the above while remaining a flawed and dynamic character in her own right. In layman’s terms, a rich white kid whose rich white kid mannerisms aren’t cute or funny — they suck!

You see, Merida’s ‘tough and independent’ personality is what gets the kingdom in trouble and her mom turned into Baloo.

merida 6

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