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Did you know that the Bee populations in this Region has been under attack? Not just in the Mahoning Valley but in many parts in the Country? Actually the world wide populations of “pollinators” has been spurring a resurgence in looking at ways that we as a community and a world can begin to preserve the natural benefits of pollination. A linchpin of the natural world.
According to GreenPeace, Since the late 1990s, beekeepers around the world have observed the mysterious and sudden disappearance of bees, and report unusually high rates of decline in honeybee colonies.
Bees make more than honey – they are key to food production because they pollinate crops. Bumblebees, other wild bees, and insects like butterflies, wasps, and flies all provide valuable pollination services. A third of the food that we eat depends on pollinating insects: vegetables like zucchini, fruits like apricot, nuts like almonds, spices like coriander, edible oils like canola, and many more… In Europe alone, the growth of over 4,000 vegetables depends on the essential work of pollinators. But currently, more and more bees are dying. The bee decline affects mankind too. Our lives depend on theirs.
Here in the Mahoning Valley, we have an Organization who is doing something about it this weekend. American Food Forest is going to be planting flowers in one of their Urban Farms on the Southside. Click the link to find out more and plan on going over there on Sunday afternoon from 12-3PM. It is on Idelwild Avenue in the 3400 Block. You can’t miss it.
Rock and Roll will be used as a weapon against Cancer this weekend. Head on over to the The Embassy Banquet Centre on 5030 Youngstown Poland Rd in Boardman, Ohio 44514 on Saturday from 6:30 PM to 11PM for Generation Rock and The Acoustic Jones show that will benefit in part the American Cancer Society here in the Mahoning Valley. Make sure to bring 35 Dollarinos for your admission. And prepare to be rocked by some of the Veterans of the Rock and Roll Scene here in the Valley.
Saturday during the day, The Ohio Young Democrats hold their first meeting of 2017 to regroup after a rather staggering and surprising loss in the Presidential Election. Help them regroup at their first meeting.
Good agenda with local leaders. We’ll be meeting at the YWCA in Youngstown (25 W Rayen Ave, Youngstown OH 44503) on Saturday, February 25th at 11am.
11:00am: Welcome, Introductions, Overview of the Agenda
11:30am: Remarks from Mahoning County Democrats Chairman David Betras
11:35am: Remarks from Ohio Senate Minority Leader Senator Joe Schiavoni
11:45am: Q&A session with Leader Schiavoni
12:00pm: Issue Advocacy Presentation – How Things Work at the Statehouse (Ohio Senate Democrats staffers Bethany Sanders and Rachel Coyle)
1:00pm: Lunch (during lunch we will hear from YD candidates and office holders).
1:45pm: OYD Business / Local Chapter Updates
– OYD Convention update
– Issue advocacy survey results
– Chapter building update
– Campaigns update
– YDA Convention in August
– Board member and local chapter updates
2:30pm: Presentation Revitalizing a Rust Belt City – how young democrats can promote revitalization efforts, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation Executive Director Ian Beniston
2:50pm: Closing Remarks
This meeting is open to all Young Democrats, you do not have to be a member of a chartered OYD Chapter to attend. Time to get involved in local politics? Here is your chance to get your feet wet.
Meals on Wheels of Mahoning County PSA Get out and meet some people who need your help!
St Vincent de Paul is holding their Annual Fund-raising Banquet on Saturday as well. The proceeds will go to helping people here in the Valley who sincerely need the help and with your fifty dollars, you will be highly entertained.
This wonderful event will be held on the evening of February 25, 2017 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall in Youngstown, Ohio. This annual event is a major fundraiser to support the Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other various charitable works completed for those in need throughout the year.
This year’s event evening will begin at 6:00pm with Hors d’ourves and cocktails (Cash Bar is available) followed by Dinner at 7:00pm. Our Buffet Dinner will include Chicken Marsala, Pasta, Beef Tips, Italian Roasted Sausage, Salad and Dessert. Your ticket entitles you to the chance to win over $3,000 in cash prizes. The Grand Prize Winner (Need not be present) will take home $1,000.00. Additional winners of Bottles of Wine and Cash will be drawn randomly throughout the evening. A Chinese auction featuring Gift Baskets, Tickets, Sports Memorabilia, Art and many other exciting items will be available for your enjoyment. A 50/50 Raffle will also take place, along with other exciting events throughout the night. Live entertainment will be provided for musical entertainment throughout the entire evening. Tickets for this wonderful event are only $50.00 per person and will sell out fast, so order yours today!
Tickets can be ordered by calling our office at: (330) 333-3601
Maybe you don’t want to meet the Young Democrats of Ohio on Saturday. You can still get out there and do some good for our Valley at the Youngstown CityScape Cleanup Work Day.
Join us this Saturday, February 25th from 10am-12pm for this month’s Downtown Youngstown Volunteer Workday. Volunteers will do a clean up of the Mahoning Commons area and finish installing fence line mural pieces at WRTA. This is a family-friendly event. All materials plus refreshments provided. Volunteers are asked to meet at the WRTA mural (604 Mahoning Ave) at 10am.
Please click the link above and let them know you are going to be there so they can plan on sufficient refreshments.
Interested in some history and learning in a phenomenal setting? Head on over to the Ward Beecher Planetarium on Saturday between 8-9PM. Natural Selection will be showing.
We will join Darwin on his voyage with the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands where he was inspired to develop his later theory of transmutation by natural selection.
From the comfort of Down House in Kent, Darwin himself will explain the mechanism of natural selection to the audience, and support it by showing many beautiful examples in nature. The thrill of a scientific discovery, the adventure of science and the beauty of nature are central in this show. This program is a joint presentation of YSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Biology. For more information on how to get here, or other programs throughout the year, please visit http://wbplanetarium.org We look forward to your visit! For a preview of this show, check this link on Youtube.
Want to know more about Art? Well the Butler Institute of American Art wants to teach you. Sunday from 2-3PM
Join Butler Art Director Dr. Louis Zona for the second in a series of five lectures in A Butler Director’s Art Lecture Series-Winter 2017
MY FAVORITE THINGS
These free lectures are presented at 2:00 pm Sundays in Zona Auditorium on the first floor of the Butler’s Beecher Center. Seating is limited.
In this lecture series, Dr. Zona discusses a wide range of works of art including:
Leonardo’s Mona Lisa
Rembrandt’s Night Watch
Cezanne’s Mont Sainte Victoire and The Large Bathers
Van Gogh’s Sun Flowers
Gauguin’s Vision After The Sermon and The Yellow Christ
Monet’s Impressions Sunrise
Matisse’s The Dance
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon and Guernica
Wassily Kandinsky’s Painting (Autumn)
Marcel Duchamp’s The Fountain
Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Daughters of Revolution
Edward Hopper’s Early Summer Morning
Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles
Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie
Giorgio DeChirico’s The Soothsayers Recompense
Salvador Dali’s Temptations of Saint Anthony
Willem de Kooning’s Woman 1
William Baziotes’ Dusk
Pierre Soulages’ Ceramic Wall
Jean Dubuffet The Gypsy
Helen Frankenthaler’s Interior Landscape
Robert Rauschenberg’s Retroactive II
Jasper Johns’ Flag and Target with Four Faces
The rest of the lectures in the series are scheduled for March 5, March 12 and April 9
Did you know that podcasts present an incredible opportunity for you to raise awareness about your organization and cause? About your personal brand? They do. Take for instance this Public Service Announcement that I created with conjunction with the Wild Earth Guardians.
Our national forests are a treasure. A place of serenity and peacefulness that is restoring to the mind, soul and body. Our children deserve to have the opportunity to enjoy these pristine places in all their glory.
But the sounds of nature are under threat. If we don’t act today, the only sounds that we and our children may be able to hear are the sounds of 4 wheel drive trucks and diesel engines. The peace of the forest will turn into a nightmarish rush hour of loud motorcycles and dump trucks.
You have the power to preserve the peace. With just a few moments of your time, you can let the Forest Management Personnel know that you value the sounds of nature. And how important it is for all of us to have places where we can relax and enjoy nature’s wonderful symphony.
At the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest, the future of these forests are under scrutiny. Currently the National Forest Service is accepting Public Comments on how this national gem will be managed going into the future. These public comments will be taken into consideration when any of our Public Land Management Plans are up for revision.
Your voice can make all the difference in how our Public Lands sound. Please take a few minutes to let our Official know that you value the sounds of nature.
To make your voice heard via fax, send your comments to 406-449-5436.
To make your voice heard via email, please visit https://goo.gl/ugoyve
Get involved with Wild Earth Guardians at www.wildearthguardians.org
Let’s keep the sounds of nature for future generations. Get started right now.
Now that they have an Audio PSA, they can request that it be played on any number of podcasts with just a little research and some requests. Here at the Mahoning Valley Podcast, I help organizations, brands and individuals do the same thing. Contact me and we will get started today.
Performing Arts Edition. Wellness Wednesdays beginning at Salem Public Library. Valentines music with the Boardman Public Library. Artists of the Rust Belt Winter Market this Weekend.
Wednesdays at the Public Library in Salem can be the beginning of a healthier you. Starting tomorrow, The Wellness Wednesday monthly program series will feature a variety of topics related to better health and wellness.
Beginning at 6:30pm in the Quaker Meeting Room, the focus will be on “How to Build Your Healthiest Heart”. Included in the informal program to be presented by registered, licensed dietician/nutritionist Bridget Lackey, will be healthy tips, recipes and latest trends in heart health.
Online registration is required on the Library Website at www.salem.lib.oh.us , by calling the library at 330-332-0042, by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping in at 821 E. State St., Salem, Ohio.
Ms. Lackey is Community Health Educator at Mercy Health in Youngstown, Ohio where she focuses on increasing the intake and availability of fresh, local fruits and vegetables especially within the food deserts of Youngstown and Warren. She is a Youngstown State University graduate.
Join the library for this Wellness Wednesday program that is open to the public and free of cost to attend. Include the programming, materials and services available at Salem Public Library to help you lead a healthier life.
Today we talk about many of the Performing Arts Organizations in the Mahoning Valley. Although I am not sure if such a thing exists, we are probably coming up on what may be called the Theater Season here in the Valley and these Organizations put in a lot of work to keep the Art of Performing live in front of an audience alive here in the valley.
We will talk about some that have been around for a while and who have a large following here in the Valley and shine the spotlight on some that you may not have heard of. I am guessing that the YSU College of Communications and the Creative Arts has a moderate following. Click on this link in the show notes to find out more.
I see from their site that starting on February 24th, they will be putting on a musical play by Ernst Toller called “No More Peace”. Briefly, it is a play about a bet between St Francis of Assisi and Napoleon that humans on Earth are so enamored with the drama and tragedy of war, that when the people of earth have no war, they will believe anything to start one. Apparently this is a comic satire that includes music and speaks to larger truths such as people will follow the loudest voice and the dangerous ways in which people define their enemies. Although it was written in 1935, it seems to be still relevant considering current events.
I am also thinking that there are some Opera buffs here in the Mahoning Valley as well. As we do actually have our own Opera Company. Opera Western Reserve. According to their website, Encouraged by the success of Madama Butterfly at Youngstown State University and a dinner theater production of La Traviata presented by the Youngstown Opera Guild in Stambaugh Auditorium’s Grand Ballroom, a dedicated group of opera lovers decided to create Youngstown’s own opera company. Invited by Stambaugh Auditorium to present their productions on the main stage, Opera Western Reserve made its debut with a fully-staged production of I Pagliacci on November 12, 2004. The fledgling company was fortunate enough to attract the talents of Susan Davenny Wyner, conductor of the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra and with a background that included singing with the Metropolitan Opera Company, to become its musical director. David Vosburgh, whose credits included both opera and Broadway musicals and was directing the spring operas at Youngstown State University, came on board as Production Director.
The mission of Opera Western Reserve was to create a professional company that was truly regional in its outreach. Singers residing in the Western Reserve area, which included Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, were to be given priority in casting. Collaborations with other arts organizations such as Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, The Youngstown Connection, The Girard City Schools Youth Chorus, The Stambaugh Chorus, Ballet Western Reserve, and Salem Youth Chorus have been fostered. The artistic and support staff continues to be drawn from local theater artists and craftsmen. Most recently, we were delighted to have Youngstown native, Lawrence Brownlee, of the Metropolitan Opera as our guest artist for 2012’s production of The Barber of Seville. The cast included Randa Rouweyha, also a Youngstown native, and local singers Brian Keith Johnson, Jason Budd, Timothy Bruno, and former Young Artists Diana Farrell and Robert Pierce.
As Opera Western Reserve considers itself primarily an educational institution, the creation of a Young Artists Company has been very important. This troupe of six to eight singers and accompanists take their educational outreach program, Fun with Opera, to schools in the Tri-county area. This program has been completely underwritten and is offered at no charge. These singers also appear in concert for various local organizations and play supporting roles in our Main Stage productions.
If you figure you have the chops to sing Opera, Opera Western Reserve will be holding auditions for their 2017 production of Lucia di Lammermoor and their 2018 productions of Porgy & Bess and Madam Butterfly. Auditions will be held May 1st – 2nd, 2017 on the stage at Stambaugh Auditorium by appointment only.
Please send a headshot, cover letter, and resumé via U.S. Mail to: Opera Western Reserve, 1000 Fifth Ave. Youngstown, OH 44504. Once selected to audition you must submit a nonrefundable $15 accompanist fee as well as a list of your audition selections. Please prepare three arias in French, Italian, and English. The deadline to apply for an audition slot is April 17, 2017. For further information you may contact Marisa Zamary by calling (330)480-0693 or emailing email@example.com.
I can tell you that I will not be auditioning this year. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Heck you may well be able to get a part.
If you are looking to get your romance on for Valentines Day, head on over to the Boardman Pulbic Library on February 9 at 7PM. There will be a Chamber Music performed free for your listening pleasure.
I have mentioned this on previous episodes, but it stands to mention again. Our Library here in Mahoning County is a fantastic resource that is constantly putting on events and offering classes and activities for all ages. And many of them are free. Click here and check out their calendar so you can find some things to do with your family or by yourself.
Lets get back to some performing arts organizations here in the Valley. Did you know that we have a world class Dance Academy that also puts on performances right here in the Mahoning Valley? Well we do. The Stage Left Theater Arts Academy. According to their website, Because they are a Performance Company and not just a comp team, dancers will be asked to perform at a variety of local events throughout the season as well as attend 4-5 regional/local dance competitions. They will be attending a National event in the summer of 2017.
Dancers are required to attend a weekly ballet class, a weekly jazz or lyrical class as well as a weekly technique/flexibility class. In addition, classes are then scheduled based on the routines they are selected to dance. Weekends are family times at SDLA, but we may have occasional rehearsals on a Saturday morning or Sunday evening, especially if your dancer wants to do a solo, duet, or trio for comp. We are ideally looking to have a 2-3 days per week dance schedule…depending on the number of routines you dancer dances. The minimum dance days per week is 2. (Wednesday night is a huge company rehearsal night with many classes). The minimum dance classes for performance company is 4. There is a cap for tuition and families get huge discounts for multiple dancers.
As part of a traditional comp team, dancers train for months before ever hitting the stage, and when they do lots of tricks they tend to score higher to win a trophy. As part of the Stage Left Performance Company, they are artists first. All of their choreographers have professional dance experience. Their mission is to serve our community through dance and prepare our dancers for life and a professional career in dance, should they want that. They are the only pre professional dance company in Trumbull and Mahoning County!
The dancers perform nearly every month of the calendar year! They receive an unmatched resume in this community to use on their college applications and future auditions. A performance company GIVES pre-professional EXPERIENCE and the dancers are expected to be of the highest level of self respect and maturity to handle the pressures of performing, not just for a competition win, but for people counting on you to entertain at their event. Dancers learn how to be professional.
They also compete 4-5 times locally at dance competitions and have won Most Entertaining of the Day and Highest Scores of the day, year after year. They are not perfect or better, do not have critical spirits or COMPETITION toward one another, anger outbursts, arguments, or gossip on our teams or with our parents. If and when pockets of this behavior arises, it is dealt with respectfully and in love, with the hope that the dance relationships are more important than our needs to be right. We get past things quickly. Our girls can say they are sorry, our moms do not hold grudges, no one bad mouths anyone else when angered or afterward. This is strictly enforced, and unfortunately people have learned this the hard way at Stage Left. We are NOT a reality show.
Another Dance Studio located in downtown Youngstown is the Ballet Western Reserve. Offering many different styles as well, they are in the business of preparing students for professional experience.
You can click the link above or follow them on facebook here.
Our area also offers a number of Community Theaters who bring live theater to the masses. In Columbiana County, the Salem Community Theatre has been putting on productions for an entire season that started last autumn. Coming up in February and March are 2 productions that are sure to bring some pleasure to your life. If you want to see a show, make sure to follow them on Facebook with the link above. Here is a little on what you can expect when you see a show there.
If you are planning to see your first show at SCT, welcome! Salem Community Theatre is a proud supporter of the arts located in the center of historic downtown Salem, Ohio. They put on six main stage productions each season (Fall to Summer) as well as special events, revues, and receptions
Performances generally include a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday as well as a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early in order to pick up tickets and find their seats. Volunteer ushers will be present to guide you to your seat as well as answer any questions you may have. There is no dress code for the shows, so whether you’re coming from work, school, or play, they encourage you to come on in!
Don’t forget to stop by the concession stand. They offer concessions at each show including candy, popcorn, and drinks at reasonable prices. They are available for purchase before the show begins as well as during intermission.
They would be glad you have interest in seeing an SCT production, and would like to extend the invitation to support Salem’s one and only live theatre organization. No matter your background, the arts can be an enriching experience, and we hope you will become part of our theatre family.
The Salem Community Theatre is among the efforts of the Salem Community Foundation. According to their website, the foundation is a public non-profit charitable trust with a mission to improve the quality of life in Salem, Ohio, and the immediate area. The Foundation, through special grants, supports charitable, educational, scientific, literary, artistic, and civic efforts, as well as public safety, welfare, and recreational programs in Salem. The mission of the Community Foundation is to assess and meet changing community needs and interests through financial awards, and to assist donors to build and preserve enduring assets for charitable purposes.
Trumbull County has the Trumbull New Theatre. According to their website, TNT originally was organized in January 1948 as an offshoot of a YWCA study group supervised by Mrs. Stephen (Dorothy) Gmucs. As the desire grew for a theatre group, Mrs. Thorn (Frances) Pendleton was contacted for assistance. She agreed but, unsure of the chances for survival of such a group in Warren, strict standards were established including the principle of being self-supporting. TNT is not and has never been subsidized, it has always been self-supporting.
Those early meetings and rehearsals required everyone to put a quarter in a kitty until enough was collected to finance an evening of one acts. In May 1948, with $60 TNT was underway with the first production – in the Pendleton living room! During the first 9 years the group wandered from private living room to church auditorium, to a Main Street loft, to school auditoriums. Then, in 1955, the land on Youngstown Road was purchased for $3,750.
Designed by member-architect Tom Schroth, construction of the Playhouse began in the fall of 1956, built by the members—a labor of love! It included the auditorium, stage, light bridge, inner lobby and restrooms, with an initial cost of a little over $25,000. Since the formal opening in the spring of 1957, additions and improvements have cost in excess of $250,000. These include retirement of the original mortgage, purchase of additional land, outer lobby, landscaping, new seats, the workshop (dressing room, bathrooms, wardrobe, prop storage, office and set construction area), a new auditorium roof and annual permanent set, lighting and sound equipment upgrades.
In the early 90’s the parking lot was paved and air conditioning was added, allowing the theatre to be used year-round. In November 2005 the wheelchair accessibility project was completed, at a cost of $35,000.
Income from ticket sales and contributions by patrons, members, friends and area businesses provide for all expenses incurred by the productions, general maintenance and improvement programs as they become necessary. Since 1975 TNT has annually provided scholarships to Trumbull County students.
The organization is run primarily on volunteerism. Only the cleaning staff is paid, along with stipends for the volunteer directors and musicians. Many of the directors and actors have received their training within TNT. The Women’s Committee lends major support to the patron drive and fund-raising activities.
TNT is a COMMUNITY Theatre that is open to everyone! Ever thought you would like to act, sing, direct, pound a nail, paint a set, sew a hem, usher or participate in any way? Contact them on facebook for more information.
To receive the company newsletter, Curtain Call, just leave your name and address at the Box Office. This publication keeps you informed of “what’s happening” with the group and when auditions and help are needed.
Of course, this area offers a tremendous variety of live music jut about every night of the week. One of our local resident maintain an exceptional website for more information about local musicians, venues and gigs here in the Mahoning Valley.
I have had a chance to peruse this site and it is comprehensive. Although I am not sure how long Steve Mahoning has been running this thing, it is an incredible compendium of local live music information that dates back to 2007. According to their website, In January of 2007 Steve searched for any websites listing shows by local bands.
He was surprised to find that none were online, and that the only existing sources were the limited schedules in the local newspapers. He decided to fill the void himself, and created an internet site he named Mahoning Valley Live Music and posted the pages to his personal Road Runner internet space.
Mahoning Valley Live Music was transferred to its current domain, http://mvlivemusic.com (and the web URL http://www.mvlivemusic.com) in early February 2007. His original intent was to create a site consolidating information on all musicians/bands in the Mahoning Valley, and all their scheduled performances. This primary purpose has not changed. Mahoning Valley Live Music supports local musicians performing live music. MVLiveMusic is the oldest existing site of its kind in the Valley, with the most complete and accurate listing of local nightclub musicians and their shows.
Reach out to Steve Mahoning on facebook if you like. To be fair, I am not sure if that is his real name, but if it is; then it must have been meant to be. And by all means, check out the website and find some live music to go out and support.
This small sampling of the Performing Arts Organizations here in the Mahoning Valley is not meant to be comprehensive. That is why we have Google. I do encourage you to check out the vibrant variety of Performing Arts that we have here in the Mahoning Valley and get out and support them. The Arts are what gives a community breath and life. So get out there and have some fun and be entertained.
And while you are at it, support some of our local artists this weekend at the Winter Market at B&O Station in downtown Youngstown on Saturday, February 11th 11-5pm. A great place to pick up some handmade gifts from your local artists right before Valentine’s Day. Art, food and beer…what more could you need for an excellent Saturday afternoon! Don’t miss it, support your local artists in 2017!
Click the link above for more information.
Image courtesy of appdevelopermagazine.com
Criminals are on my list today. Why would I discriminate against criminal activity? Because it discriminates against me and mine. Because criminals of all sorts are out there preying on people like you and me who are just trying to get through and find some peace. But modern American society glamorizes these piece of crap gangstas. People who sell your children drugs and rob your homes. People who would just as soon kill you as look at you if you get in their way.
So we get alleged criminals like Donald Trump running for president and a whole bunch of lost souls supporting him. We get alleged criminals like Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre teaching generations of children that it is good or even beneficial to flaunt the law to get ahead. We get tons of modern entertainment options in the movies and tv that glamorizes crime and make it seem as if it is somehow ok to break the law to survive.
Sure a lot of these entertainment options usually have some morality component, like it is ok to become a criminal if you or yours have been wronged somehow, but that doesn’t change the fact that vigilantism is illegal. It is illegal to take the law into your own hands. For any reason. But criminals and the criminally minded make it seem like it is OK. So then, we get white collar criminals who somehow justify to themselves that it is ok to take people’s money for themselves to take care of their families or somehow pay back an unjust society.
And the most appalling of criminals, the so called terrorists. The religious fanatics who can somehow justify the terrorizing of people just cause they hold a different belief system. The lunatics who believe that the only way to change society is to destroy it. These criminals come with various self rationalizations, but the end result is all the same.
Today then all you criminals be put on notice, that just cause people emulate you and you get paid well in all cases, there is also justice. You will pay it all back. You will end up in jail. You will end up dead. Universal Jurisdiction is a real thing and you are courting yourselves to a sorrowful end. My advice, if you are not interested in having the universe rule against you, then consider allowing people to hold their own believes and opinions, and you hold yours. Then go out and get a real job and pay your taxes like everyone else does.
Image Courtesy of haveyouheard.it
Popular Music. The term popular music belongs to a number of musical genres “having wide appeal and typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry.” These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.
I am guessing at this point, you are expecting me to go off on how popular music suffers from a lack of musicianship and whatnot; but that is NOT where I am going today. Fact is, I like the fact that popular music requires little to no understanding of music theory or practice to be successful. That gives me a chance just like any other non trained person to win a grammy too.
The reason that I discriminate against popular music is because it is generally contains lyrics that are either careless or self destructive and because some slick producer is able to put a hook on it and some reasonably prosperous and misguided record label can then get it into the ears of people who are gullible enough to sing along.
I have myself fallen prey to this insidious and painfully obvious ruse. I used to think that Rock and Roll was the bees knees. I even entertained at a time the idea of being a rock and roll musician. Primarily due to the mistaken notion that it would be easy to get laid and get high all the while earning a huge income for doing something that barely required any work.
As it turns out, most popular musicians who actually do enjoy any success financially make hard choices at times and sometimes have to suffer tremendous adversity to find their groove. As it turns out as well, it requires a fierce devotion to the craft and uncountable hours of practice and disappointment in order to actually gain any traction in the music industry.
So what is my problem with popular music right now you ask yourself? It is in many cases moronic and childish in terms of messaging. Let me give you some examples of lyrics that if you have any sense you will never sing along too, even if you do like the hook.
From the most popular song this week:
So, baby, pull me closer
In the back seat of your Rover
That I know you can’t afford
Bite that tattoo on your shoulder
Pull the sheets right off the corner
Of that mattress that you stole
From your roommate back in Boulder
We ain’t ever getting older
So, according these idiots who by the way call themselves the Chainsmokers, their idea of a good time is to drive around in car that is going to be repossessed, sleeping on stolen property and dying young. Let’s look at #2 on the billboard chart this week.
You’ll never know the psychopath sitting next to you
You’ll never know the murderer sitting next to you
You’ll think, “How’d I get here, sitting next to you?”
But after all I’ve said
Please don’t forget
Wow, so these 21 pilots like to party with psychos and murderers. And can’t remember how they got to the party. Sounds like a great frickin time. If you are suffering from some sort of emotional disorder.
Number 3 on the charts this week. This may seem like it is less ridiculous because it demonstrates some misplaced altruism. But it really indicates first off that it is OK to get high and it is OK to jump into cold water to prove a point. But is it really?
Everybody gets high sometimes, you know
What else can we do when we’re feeling low?
So take a deep breath and let it go
You shouldn’t be drowning on your own
And if you feel you’re sinking,
I will jump right over into cold, cold water for you
And although time may take us into different places
I will still be patient with you
And I hope you know
I won’t let go
I’ll be your lifeline tonight
I won’t let go
I’ll be your lifeline tonight
I don’t want to belabor the point because this has been going on for a long time. So one last example from 60 years ago to prove my point: this is from Pat Boone singing “I Almost Lost My Mind”. Among the Number 1 Songs from 1956.
I went to see the gypsy
And had my fortune read
I went to see the gypsy
And had my fortune read
I hung my head in sorrow when she said what she said
Well duh, for one thing, why would anyone visit a gypsy for anything? And then why would they expect it go well? And who on earth is foolish enough to have their fortune read? OK. Plenty of people are that lost and lonely that they need someone to tell them some general lies about how their future may turn out.
And I feel sorry for them, but my point was that I discriminate against popular music because if you actually sing along with most popular songs, you are setting yourself up for problems. And if you relate to many popular lyrics, you probably already have problems.
And reinforcing them by singing about them ain’t ever going to help you solve them.