Category Archives: Music / Lyrics

Music’s success goes through the fans

I have this habit of promoting music that I’ve crossed from one indie station or another. “Promoting” means sharing songs on one form of social media or another. Sometimes I post the act here on my blog (Tomas Fornstedt is who I’ll cite) and there are also the write-ups I have done for local indie acts such as the Pretty Voices and Gypsy Star. Someone will see what I’ve posted – those reviews or individual song posts – and take it as simply blog content: I’m a blogger and I content is king. Writing about an act you may or may not have heard of. It’s nothing more than just content for a blog, right?

There’s actually a specific reason I do it, and it’s not just for content: If someone doesn’t do it, if someone doesn’t try sharing a tune they’ve crossed or talk about a band they have interest in, how does that song/act go any further?   Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics

Something familiar and Fab lurks with Blac Rabbit

Two gentlemen singing in harmony to create a fantastic melody in a song titled “Eight Days a Week”. That was John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and it happened on many songs for a decade. Yet I’m not talking about John and Paul in this case. I’m talking about a duo who can be seen in the act at subway stations in the New York area.

It was by chance I crossed a friend who posted a video of Blac Rabbit performing on Facebook. It’s pretty common to cross gentlemen from all over doing covers of Beatles work and sounding pretty good. This was different. This was John and Paul…at least in this writer’s opinion as well as others who cross them in the New York subway stations.

The Blac Rabbit website doesn’t seem to feature an “About” page to give up facts about these guys. Their Facebook page isn’t much more informative on the “about” section there, either. It was through a news article by a New York TV station that I found out that they are twin brothers, Amiri and Rahiem Taylor.

They began busking to make some pocket money, and found a receptive audience on the subway with their Beatles covers. The brothers say they’re continuing to perform on the subway while performing original music at venues across the city.

I also found out that they do have an about page on their website (yeah, slight me for that because I couldn’t find the damn thing myself):

Born and raised in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, identical twin brothers Amiri and Rahiem Taylor do not make the type of music that their borough of origin is usually associated with.  Growing up surrounded by hip hop culture and all it’s glory, the Taylor brothers had more exposure in their house to pop, funk and soul music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  So naturally when they began writing songs in high school, they decided “why not learn from arguably the greatest song writing duo of all time?” and proceeded to teach themselves how to play guitar and write songs based off of the Beatles.  After high school they formed Blac Rabbit, bringing in former metal and church drummer Patrick Jones, followed by resident shredder Josh Lugo on bass (and sometimes guitar) to play their original psychedelic rock tunes.

They do their own music? Oh, yeah… Their own stuff can be found on SoundCloud while YouTube can show you more o their performances as well as their original stuff. Here’s one of their songs, just to whet your appetite:

With their harmony and abilities, it piques my curiosity where the group can go with their stuff. As someone who was drenched in the music of the same era as the Taylor duo, I know that can inspire rather grandly. It’s what their creativity brings that remains to be seen.

I also hope they go beyond New York. Let that be a memo to the Tampa Bay club scene in St. Pete, Ybor City and beyond in the Tampa Bay area: Lure these guys here.  Could you imagine what that’d lure to your establishments? Just where in the area they’d end up performing in a busker spot remains to be seen but it’s not like we’re totally lacking on such locations. Ybor City, Pier 60, the West Plaza before a Lightning game. That’s just a shred of potential spots.

There is a question that remains though: Hass Sir Paul McCartney had someone tell him about this pair yet? Cover acts are not uncommon, but this is different. The Taylor duo and Blac Rabbit seem to have something “Fab” going on.

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Filed under Music / Lyrics

Tomas Fornstedt — Outer Space

Back in January, I posted a song by Tomas Fornstedt here because I had been listening to it for a year after crossing it on Lonely Oak Radio…and discovered that was on YouTube but never had been accessed by a listener up until I found it.

In fact, Tomas’ YouTuve page shows (as of this writing) most of his songs from his last album have never been listened to through YouTube. Oh, sure, Tomas has a SoundCloud account and that is a better music-first community than the expected-video YouTube, but YouTue has general wider popularity and Google will show a pretty nice bias in search results and list YouTube songs in search results… if those songs (or videos) actually see the light-of-day publicly.

To cut to the chase, Fornstedt released a new single in January called “Outer Space”. Like “Be My Friend”, I discovered I was the first person to ever listen to the song via YouTube. When Tomas promoted the song on Twitter, he pointed to Spotify.

Yeah, well, I’ll embed it here — the accessible YouTube listing :

The one thing I will say about “Outer Space” and this presentation — I don’t know if it does this in other formats on other sites and the MP3 purchase, but I was taken aback about how abruptly it ends. It’s not a fade out, there’s no final instrumental strum, it just sounds as if a recording device was shut down abruptly. That sort of mars the overall flow of the music. That’s just one man’s opinion though. I’ll let you be the judge for yourself.

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by | March 1, 2018 · 1:52 PM

Random order and custom order of an iTunes music playlist

I listen to music almost nightly on my iPod Nano Touch. I’ve been doing that for a while now and one thing bugs me. Not from the songs, but from the sorting options and the shuffle on the iPod. The former has resulted too often in repeat order and the latter is never random enough. In fact, despite shaking options to randomize the shuffle, too often the same songs end up in the first-plays of a shuffle, just with a few different ones around them, and in a different order than the last play. Talk about annoying.

I wanted to jumble a playlist order by a static means – do it before I start using the iPod. Call it a static shuffle that randomly arranged things. The results I kept finding on Google search results were pointing to Apple forums with people asking the same question and the answer being a proverbial shrug with directions simply to employ shuffle to do the job. That’s frustrating.

Last night, though, I did something random on iTunes, just a shot in the dark attempt. Maybe I already have crossed this option in the past and done the deed and I had just forgotten. Maybe it’s already widely known as well as posted online on another instruction-attempt article/blog post (or several dozens of them), but there is indeed a means to randomize a playlist (with the program doing the first bit of work and you gaining the liberty to do the rest).

Note: This was done with iTunes version 12.7.14. If it works with later versions, grand. I’m certain it works with earlier versions of the software too.

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Select a playlist that you want to jumble/randomly arrange.
  3. Look at the list sorting options at the top of the list (things like name, play count, last played – they are fields that you have had the ability to randomly set).
  4. On the far left side, there will be no option above the numeric ordering column. Click on that sort area.

What should happen is there will be a re-sort – call it a jumble – of the playlist order. The most important thing is here that you now have the ability to randomly sort the song list order; highlight a song on the list and drag it up or down to the position you want it in the order.

You won’t get a jumble-sort again by clicking the number-sort field over and over again. It’d be a plus if users did get that. There’s no guarantee a static, visible playlist order shuffle is going to be truly random (just as I complained the Nano shuffle was not random enough), but having the manual ordering ability is a plus that will likely be more beneficial to short playlists than the long ones. The latter would take a lot more time to get just right, with no guarantee you ever make it through the entire list.

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Filed under Electronics & Software, Music / Lyrics

Pint Size Hero — Spin the Wheel

Again, this is an act I caught on Lonely Oak Radio. I wanted to revisit a song and was surprised to discover I’m the first person to cross the music on YouTUbe.

The difference here compared to Tomas Fornstedt and “Be My Friend” is that “Spin the Wheel” by Pint Size Hero has been available on YouTube since May 2015.

Listen and judge it as you will:

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by | February 13, 2018 · 10:07 PM

Unconfirmed Memory from Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There” performance on MTV Unplugged

I’ve been participating on Reddit’s /r/softrock, a community that posts a wide variety of toned down songs from rock’n’roll to pop music. It introduces people to tunes from days-gone-by more so than current music. I’ve had a habit of trying to mix in songs that I cross that are from more recent days (and they tend to e from unknown or little-known artists) as well as things from the 1960’s through the 2000’s. Others are doing the same over there and it’s worth looking into if you’re into soft rock.

The subreddit seemed like the proper place to inquire about something from music history that I can’t verify. Something I was exposed to so often but can’t visibly or audibly be re-introduced to… Unless I’m wrong on what I thought I saw (over and over again)?

I liked MTV Unplugged, especially when artists went out of character and went to limited instead of electric and intense. Mariah Carey is intense with her vocals no matter what, so the setting was fine for her. What wasn’t fine, I think, was an unaware audience hearing the vocal range of Trey Lorenz. Continue reading

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Music / Lyrics

A musical throwback: Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 of 2008

I’ve posted two of Music Tampa Bay radio’s “Top 100” lists. Let’s be honest to start here: It’s an unknown station for the most part and the acts being highlighted are mostly enigmas. The question that could be asked about these blog posts is: Why do it? Why post them in text format when they’re already available online, albeit in image form?

The answer is pretty simple to me but it remains to be seen if I have actually accomplished it or anything near it with these previous posts.  That answer is exposure. While these songs have aired on the online stream for MTB over the years, that’s a niche audience. While the songs have likely seen air-time with MTB’s broadcasts on the FM dial in St. Petersburg, Florida, that’s a limited potential audience in Tampa Bay or beyond.

While not all musicians dream of going big, there are those who want lightning to strike,Four Star Riot accomplished that with thanks to their inclusion on the Deadpool soundtrack in 2016. But others remain out there but no one has heard them beyond the niche in live performances and how far they’ve pushed their own exposure to the masses.

What’s posted below is the original Music Tampa Bay Top 100 representing 2008- The nine year old list (released in 2009) features some songs that got somewhere – the “views” count on their music videos/audio streams show it.  Others didn’t go anywhere beyond finally seeing time online in 2015 with thanks to CD Baby’s publication program. Still others are a mystery – the fact they’re on this list in name-only shows that. They may be out there and I may have missed them in my web search but there’s also the high chance they aren’t.

How good these songs are don’t stand in their order, so listen to what music is available and be the judge yourself. Don’t look for performers you know because unless you know the music scene in the Tampa Bay region you likely won’t know anyone. Consider this post your opportunity at music discovery. If not this post, then the more recent Music Tampa Bay Top 100 lists from 2016 or 2017. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Tomas Fornstedt — Be My Friend

Just a tune by an indie artist on his debut album, Thoughts, that I discovered on Lonely Oak Radio last year. While his SoundCloud post of the song has been widely discovered, I was the first to cross it on YouTube this evening.  Enjoy.

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by | January 16, 2018 · 8:40 PM

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: Top 25

This is where the proverbial countdown of 100 acts from the Music Tampa Bay 2017 list comes to its pinnacle with the top-voted songs from their web site. These are the folks who’s songs represented here were most often voted to remain in the weekly Top 40 voting chart displaying on the site each week.

Fan support bolstered these numbers; Gypsy star is known for being among the high-rankings annually with thanks to their fans. Yet for popularity of all the songs, some can’t be found on the common media-embed sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, BandCamp, MySpace,  or others. In fact, the entire reason for this series has been to grant direct exposure to the songs for the general public (well… you the person who clicked to see this. Yeah, you. Hi.).

I encourage you to sample the songs if not here then on Part 1, Part 2 and/or Part 3. For the performing artists, it’s got to be nice to have a song that airs on the radio or an audio stream, but it’s even better when someone chooses to listen to it optionally and see what the artists or group sounds like.

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: #50-26

We’re now in the top 50 of Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 from 2017 with today’s post. You can find 100 through 76 and 76 through 51 by clicking on those links.

Let me stress here that the Top 100 list was compiled by way of voting on the Music Tampa Bay web site. With that said, the order of the songs does not truly show rank or popularity of the songs as-so-much support that the artists gained on the Music Tampa Bay Top 40 vote each week. This also isn’t a listing of top current acts as-so-much recordings by local (Tampa Bay area)  performers that may have been made at any time. While putting together this post I found two songs were from the 1990s. Others I could not find online coverage for and that seems to suggest they could come from any time (though I would not suggest the music is older than 20 years).

In the end, take this as a music and artist discovery opportunity as well as direct exposure for the performing artists and the songs that cracked the list.

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay