This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This Challenge of 2019 will be the 10th! Since this is kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme will be a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Musical Mash Ups ( #AtoZChallenge ) (#BOTB)



           Music is often on my mind.  Often it's my own music.  When I'm seeking out music for my own listening pleasure I might scour the world looking for new sounds.  The language of music is a language we all can understand if we are willing to listen closely enough...




#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter M


         From my early memories of childhood I can recall my fascination with music.  Since my parents had somewhat eclectic musical tastes that trait was passed to me.  Growing up I had exposure to many kinds of music.  Later, after I had reached my teens and began buying records on my own, my listening went beyond the regular Top Forty radio stations as I sought out diverse types of music.  I would delight in any music that was new and strange to me. 

          In college I took several classes dealing with appreciation and understanding of music.  For me this turned out to be some of the best education in respect to knowledge gained and retained.  The classes I took in ethnomusicology were particularly eye-opening.  There is a world of music that most of us rarely take time to appreciate.

          The Battle to follow is somewhat of an introduction to world music with the added twist of a fusion between traditional styles and modern music.  It's a musical adventure of songs and performances that I enjoy.  I hope you will like them or at least give them a listen with an open mind...



Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


World Music Sampler

        For this Battle I'm going to change things up (as though the nature of the music isn't a big enough change).   Since it's a busy A to Z April post and I'm not a big fan of using more than two song versions, I'm going to provide an escape for the impatient, the intolerant, or anyone who feels the need to just rush through.

         Personally, I think you'll be missing some rewarding listening experience if you don't listen all the way through or at least most of the way through the three offered recordings, but I understand the various reasons some might have for doing so.

           All I ask is that you give each video at least 30 seconds before leaving.  If you can, continue on for as long as you can take it.  These might be alien sounds to some of you, but doesn't most music come across that way before you've become accustomed to it?

           So, let us begin...

Los Angeles Azules   "17 Años" (2014)

I've used Los Angeles Azules in a previous Battle where I used another song from their symphonic mash-up tour. The song version that I'm using for this current Battle is one of the ultimate mash-ups of the three I'm presenting. Let's see--we have a Mexican group which performs in the cumbia style of Colombia in concert with a symphonic orchestra which also includes a chorus of opera singers. As if that isn't enough to mix things up just add to the mix a renown Mexican rock singer/guitartist who breaks out into a Jimi Hendrix style solo toward the end of the song (@ the 3 minute mark) if you can hang in that long. This is one crazy mixed up live performance that works well for me. How about you? I hope you can stay for the whole song...







Han Han w/Datu  "World Gong Crazy"  (2014)

            Based in Toronto Canada, Datu is a collective of musicians, dancers, and other artists of Filipino origins or others who have an interest in the culture of the Philippines.  They will often dress in traditional garb using musical instruments of their culture fused with electronics to present music that combines rock and rap with sounds of a culture many of us know little to nothing about.

           "Datu" is a title given to kings, princes, and chiefs.  The group has taken the name to designate the role they would like to play as future leaders of their community and purveyors of their culture. If you are curious about the translation of the rap lyrics which are in Tagalog and Cebuano, you can find the English translation on their Bandcamp site. 

           Hopefully you will make it to the end of the song (the video is also kind of interesting to watch in my opinion).   Try it and see what you think...






Afro Celt Sound System  "Honey Bee"   (2016)

         I don't like to make predictions about the outcomes of the Battles I present on Tossing It Out or indicate how I will vote, but due the nature of the music this time around, I am going to predict that this song will win the most votes.  As much as I like this group and this performance, I will not be casting my vote for this song.   I think most voters will go for this one because I think it is musically the most accessible of the three choices.  I kind of hope  this selection doesn't win, but if this is the one you like the best then you should vote on it.

         Afro Celt Sound System was founded in 1995 as a bit of an experiment to combine some African musicians with some from Ireland and Britain.  The collaboration worked well enough for the group to be signed by Peter Gabriel's Real World Records label.  The band has been touring and recording since those origins, collaborating with many other artists as well.

        It's a fun sound and not too strange sounding--at least to my ears.  You'll just have to take a listen and see what your opinion is...








Time to Vote!

     This music might sound a bit alien to your ears, but can you connect to any of these?  I like all of these, but I'm going to pick one as a favorite.  What about you?   Have some fun with us.  What's your favorite between these two choices?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday April 22nd

         The world on this blog won't stop between then and now.  You know there's this A to Z thing happening all month so there will be plenty of action this week at Tossing It Out.   Hope you'll pop in now and then, but don't miss the winner announcement post next Monday!

           Do you tend to shut out most foreign styles of music when the songs are not in English?   Do you feel music of other cultures gets degraded by incorporating pop sounds primarily derived from Western cultures?   Would you consider yourself to be musically prejudiced against foreign music?







35 comments:

  1. OMG, first voting? I'm going with the first one, the Angeles Azules because not only to I really like the song, but it was super fun to watch this video. I really liked all of the choices to watch, and I did like the Afro Celtics a lot, but the AAs really caught me up in their mash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, muchas gracias!

      First vote goes to...

      L.A. Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. I like Los Angeles Azules too! But I prefer the clip by Datu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frederique, considering the use of the word "prefer" I'm going to cast your vote for...

      Datu

      Lee

      Delete
  3. These are all interesting, Lee! Living in Europe gave me the advantage of exposure to music from many different cultures in several languages and I love that. My vote goes to Angeles Azules and co. What a fabulous beat, not to mention the smokin' guitar riffs! ♥ Han Han's video was interesting, but musically, I found it a bit grating, especially the rap portion. Afro Celt System wasn't bad, but didn't capture my attention nearly as well as the first group. So far, it looks like your prediction won't come true. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, when you get used to a variety of music I think you probably appreciate it more.

      I probably shouldn't have said anything about a prediction.

      A vote for L.A. Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. OH MY GOSH. MY BRAIN...my poor brain.

    Angeles Azules...great music, but at the point where the guitar solo came in, my son said, "it's like Jack White invaded the video." I agree!

    The Afro Celt was okay but it didn't do anything for me.

    The Han Han/Datu clip gets my vote. #3 Son and I called it Han Han Rap Rap.

    You went above and beyond, Lee. Well played, sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, I did start the post with a sort of warning label. Good analysis of the songs.

      Another vote for Datu.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. The one that held my interest the longest, and thus receives my vote, is Los Angeles Azules (which translates to "The Blue Angels,' by the way.) I really didn't get a Hendrisx vibe off the solo, more like Carlos Santana. Anyway, they get my vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John H, I could hear some Santana in the playing. Most any rock guitar solo stuff in it too.

      Back to a vote for L.A. Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. When I returned to school in my 50s, I took a class on World Music. Loved it. Granted, some of the music was so strange to my ears it didn't, Initially, sound like music, but over time I gained an appreciations for most of what we studied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trudy, it's great to learn new stuff. We should keep learning until the day we day.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Afro Celts is my favorite. Being Irish and loving the Celtic heritage, I enjoyed it.

    We enjoy eclectic genres. I think we are prejudiced when we can't understand the lyrics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, check out some of the other stuff by the group--they do some good Irish music.

      Finally, Afro Celt is on the board.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Actually, I may have heard the Mexican one...

    I actually hung with all of them to or near the end. Have to say, I didn't bail on the Filipino one because the music was bad, but a genre I can't stand (rap) in a language I don't know is a bit much for even the guy who charted the Cambodian Space Project in his top ten.

    I guess I will go with #1, solely b/c after 15 years at Arden Co., I was more used to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, initially I was taken aback by Datu, but then I became fascinated, then obsessed to where now I like it a lot.

      A vote for L.A.Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. From my Cousin Tom is a vote for...

    L.A. Azules.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've got the Afro Celts on as I'm typing - i listened to the others but Afro Celts gets my vote. African music is amazing, vibrant, colourful ... thanks Arlee - great M post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, music that hits closer to home...

      Afro Celt.

      Lee

      Lee

      Delete
  11. You are in a strange mood lately, Lee. Well, maybe you have ALWAYS been in a strange mood. You've offered us some pretty weird shizzle all through the years, but especially lately.

    These are not what anyone would expect in a BOTB battle in the U.S.... at least in 2019. Maybe in 2025 when the country is TOTALLY overrun with foreigners we will hear this stuff be normal. Not now. I am not a fan of any of it.

    Of the three, I vote for the first band mostly because had the huevos to mash together all those styles in one song. The Blue Angels

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-gun, I have been in a strange mood lately, but I've always had a predominate weird side I think. I'm surprised that you're not more open to foreign music. I do like to keep things mixed up in my BOTB posts because I like introducing people to music they might not have heard before.

      A vote for L.A. Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. When I say "I'm not a fan of any of it," I mean that I wasn't particularly a fan of any of these. I have pretty broad tastes and do sometimes enjoy foreign music. Really, mostly I saw my comment as an opportunity to complain about immigration policy. None of these were terrible, including the one McCarthy hated.

      I've just noted that you have really been interested in lots of non-traditional music of late.

      Delete
    3. Okay--I did explain why I was doing this sometime back. It's mainly about A to Z, but also because I had been listening to the music a lot recently after I started getting curious about Filipino music (that's a whole nother story). But, yeah, you can blame some of this on A to Z which has a lot of participants from other countries. Actually, I think I've done the same in previous years.

      Lee

      Delete
    4. >>... None of these were terrible, including the one McCarthy hated

      [link> "_____!"

      May you have a "Green Day".

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

      Delete
    5. (sorry Lee for foisting this on your blog... McCarthy started it)

      StMcC - Oh yeah?, well:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgcTzOm9MBM

      Delete
    6. Well, Blink 182 really cracked me up. Talking about saying it with music on both McCarthy's account as well as Mr. Finger's.

      This is what I get for being eclectically minded.

      Wait til you see what I've got lined up for the next Battle! Actually I'm waiting to see as well, but now I've been challenged with musical temptation.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Lee,

    I like listening to mewsic from other countries. The exposure is a great education and sometime I make a new discovery of an artist/song that pleases my ears.

    I listened to each battle song in its entirity. Do I get extra points for that? :) I am able to easily narrow it down between the first and third artists. I'm a bit torn on which I like the most. The first one with its strong Latin flavor really called to me, loved the Jimi Hendrix-like guitar riff toward the end, but then the interesting African-Celt-Britian vibes really put the groove in my move this moring. I think I'll give my vote to Afro Celt Sound System only by a small margin. I really could've gone either way and be happy. That being said, I'm gonna to check out my top two picks in this round for more mewsic. Thanks for sharing these marvelous mewsical gems! Now, I want Mexician food. :D


    A2Z Little Mermaid art sketch 'Max'

    2019 Round 8 'Under the Sea' #BoTB Showdown

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, sure I'll give you extra points for your open-minded willingness to listen all the way through. Whatever that means.

      Another vote for Afro Celt.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. LEE ~
    I vote for the first one... three times. (Just pretend I'm an illegal alien or a dead Democrat in Chicago, and count my vote 3 times, just like Uncle Scam would do.)

    I genuinely liked the first one!

    The second one was seriously annoying and I turned it off at the 2:53 mark because life is hard enough without self-flagellation.

    The third one was... OK. Not good, not bad, and not something I'd be interested in hearing a second time within the next 10 years (when life as we know it will be changed for the better forever).

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      John was correct. That guitar bit at the end of the first one was Santana-esque. Not Hendrix-y. I thought the exact same thing even before I read John's comment.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

      Delete
    2. STMcC, one thing for certain it weren't no Mariachi guitar!

      The first time I heard the Datu video I was puzzled to annoyed. Then I started listening to other videos the collective had put out. Probably not music you'd accept, but I tend to like it.

      A vote for L.A. Azules.

      Lee

      Delete
    3. >>... "Probably not music you'd accept, but I tend to like it."

      I can agree with the first 3 words.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

      Delete
  14. Do you tend to shut out most foreign styles of music when the songs are not in English?

    Nope. I am not a native English speaker, so I guess the question is whether I shut out the music when the lyrics are in a language I don't follow, but there too the answer would be the same. India has 22 languages so most Indians are quite used to listening to music where the lyrics are in a language they don't necessarily speak/follow. Besides, I have always liked listening to Arabic, French, Spanish, nearly all of African, Hebrew...don't understand a word, but am still moved by the melodies, instruments and voices.

    Do you feel music of other cultures gets degraded by incorporating pop sounds primarily derived from Western cultures?

    This is not an easy question to answer. But my answer is no, again. Blind imitation of Western/any culture is what degrades imho, and this applies to more than music. Cultural exchange and selective incorporation of elements from other cultures always enriches - Bengali music has been influenced for centuries by its exposure to foreign music. Rabindranath Tagore in the 18-19th century infused melodies from old Scottish, Irish and English ballads into his very Bengali compositions. Our contemporary music has been influenced majorly by jazz, by individual musicians like Dylan and Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen. Bengalis have a richer, more varied, more meaningful listening choices because of this, so how can this be degrading?

    Would you consider yourself to be musically prejudiced against foreign music?

    No, I don't think so. For me, the response to any music is an instinct, a reflex, there is no control over it. You listen and you connect, or don't. It has nothing to do with nationalities or languages or borders.

    I really liked all three music videos up today. I found Datu's choreography very intriguing, especially I liked their work with the props - the fringed umbrellas and the fans.

    It was very difficult to decide! My vote goes to Honey Bee today. Thank you for the fantastic listening experience and the introduction to these bands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nilanjana, thank you for bringing my words to a broader world perspective. I like the hear the pure music so I can learn about it, but most of the time I probably prefer an update with some influences to which I am more accustomed.

      I consider music to be another language closer to being a language that everyone can understand better than words. Interpretation is still needed, but it is more of the feelings that come from within than the more precise wording of explanation that language provides. Sadness, elation, or other common feelings can be more broadly conveyed with rhythmic aural cues or visual cues that tapped into memory or evoke a certain wonderment.

      Maybe they should mostly play music at the United Nations sessions and international summits. Musicians might be better to represent all of the world rather than politicians.

      I was also attracted to Datu's visuals. Those costumes and props are very cool.

      A vote for Afro Celt.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. L. A. Azules gets my vote all the way. The second one, although original got on my nerves and the last one was a nice fusion but nothing amazing to me. I always loved music and grew up with music in the house.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee