Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z Music Challenge - B is for The Beatles, The Bee Gees, The Beastie Boys, Mary J.Blige, Toni Braxton, Blondie and The Black Keys

B.  There's a lot of music going on in this letter.  As I was starting to form lists alphabetically last night, I realized that some letters have a bajillion possibilities, other letters only a few.

The Beatles
I've written about them before in my Summer School of Rock, where I also confessed that I don't love, love,  love The Beatles, at least not in any socially expected way.  I tend to gravitate more to their later, drug induced stuff and independent releases more than the early iconic material.  Regardless of the fact that songs like Love Me Do make my brain hurt a little, I appreciate them wholly for the role they played in the history of music.

No discussion of serious music can ever take place without them, if we're being honest.  I have a friend, in a band, touring Europe right now.  They took a picture crossing at Abbey Road.  Of course they did.

The Bee Gees
I'm pretty sure it's impossible to have been a child of the late 70's or 80's and not hold a piece of nostalgia in your heart for the Brothers Gibb.  Were they ridiculous?  Of course.  But that's also part of why they were awesome.

I'm not sure anyone will ever do a nasally falsetto harmony better.  I can't hear this song without thinking of my childhood, watching my dad and my aunt dancing to it.

The Beastie Boys
They were the first band I recognized as the music of rebellion when I was a kid.  The cassette tape that we'd sneak around with like it was illegal and mysterious, the one that we'd play too way too loud.  I love me some Beasties, and was a little heartbroken when the world lost MCA last year.

I wrote about them last summer too, though most people might not consider them a rock band.  About how much they connected with my generation.  About how they've never fit into any tiny little boxes.  About how they are funny as hell and musically gifted.  About how they challenge what we know about music and push boundaries.  Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage.

Mary J. Blige
Oh, this woman.  I adore her. She's strong and proud and powerful. She is beautiful and has a way of communicating raw emotion with her voice.

She's been at this music stuff a good long while now, and I'd give anything to see her perform live someday.

Toni Braxton
Another strong, powerful vocal talent, Toni emits a raw sensuality that draws people to her. She makes you want to get up and dance until you can pull off a white unitard the way only she can.

Debbie Harry is a badass. She was a pioneer in rock music, paving the way for women to lead bands and do it up right. The band incorporated many different styles of music, then shared them with the world.  Infighting tore the band apart, and they even fought on stage at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Even still, they are the brains behind some of the rock anthems I know you always turn up in the car and sing along to.  Admit it.

The Black Keys
Easily one of my current favorite bands, these two somewhat awkward looking dudes have way too much talent in them to just be a duo.  It seems impossible to me that the music they generate comes only from two people.  It's raw, it's gritty, it's unexpected.  It's just damn.good.stuff.

I may have listened to this song six times in a row just now.

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