Can’t Stop The Feeling-J.T.

I first wrote about Justin Timberlake’s  new feel-good dance hit when it came out last May, connected to the kids’ animated feature Trolls. It was another immediate can’t-miss, radio-ready, much-loved JT signature winner. Infectious. Simple. The kind of song that makes you want to dance. In your living room, and especially at weddings. The video is phenomenal, featuring the cast, with Anna Kendrick singing into her hairbrush and James Corden dancing on the beach, among many others, and JT, himself, totally adorable.  Months later, when we play “Can’t Stop The Feeling” at weddings, the dance floor is packed to its edges, from the first note. The song is just that good. I think Justin Timberlake personifies everything that’s right about pop music.  His instincts are perfect. At 36, he’s won ten Grammy Awards with four Primetime Emmy Awards, won for hosting and singing on “Saturday Night Live.”

What JT does best is that he possesses an inherent joy in everything he chooses to do.  And he lets it show. Justin Timberlake was the lead singer of the 90s boy band NSYNC, which sold over 50 million records from 1995-2002. In that seven year period he sold more than 20 million albums from only three studio albums. Pretty incredible.  Then he showed up in half a dozen movies including “The Social Network” and “Friends With Benefits.” In 2002, he started recording as a solo artist. And then things really got exciting.

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” is JT’s first single in three years which would be a lifetime in most artists’ careers. But not Justin’s. It’s just great to have you back, JT, doing what you do best. The lyrics seem straight from the pen of his sometime producer Pharrell Williams.

I got this feeling inside my bones
It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flying up, no ceiling when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good song in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops, ooh
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
You gon’ like the way we rock it, so don’t stop

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Love it. Welcome back JT.

 

Strip That Down – Liam Payne ft. Quavo

 

One of the many  things I love about having a twenty-two year old son in law school is that he’s got absolutely impeccable taste in dance music. Around a month ago, he sent me this song, which I listened to for 20 seconds, and immediately sent it to rest of the band. We played it that Saturday night, and have played it at every party since.

What immediately caught my attention was how Strip That Down manages to be instantly danceable, without the use of any actual…drums. What did they do? 
From the first beat, they seamlessly integrated synthesized “snaps,” a touch of snare drum, and the word “hey” repeated in the background…all comprising the only elements of percussion. The distinctive plucked (“pizzicato”) bass line is what gives the song its drive. Very cool.

Strip That Down doesn’t feel like it’ll have tremendous longevity, but for now…..it definitely keeps people on the dance floor. Liam sounds a bit like a young Justin Timberlake.         

Definitely a career worth watching.

Move On Up-Curtis Mayfield


Just a quick Friday afternoon blog for the perfect introduction song. Whether you’re having 20 bridesmaids and groomsmen being introduced, or just the two of you, I fell upon this great song by the late great R ‘n B singer, Curtis Mayfield.

The drums and percussion keep a constant upbeat groove from the first note, and the horns add a wonderful “pronouncement” for each person being introduced, without any “pomp & circumstance.”

Have a terrific weekend, and let me know what you think about this 1970 rousing classic.

Keep smiling.

Uptown Funk-Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s collaboration of “Uptown Funk” won the “Album of the Year Award” for the 2016 Grammys last night even though it feels like it’s been around for two or three years. The very first time I heard it, near the end of 2014, I was dazzled by its unabashed homage to 80s and 90s R & B giants Earth Wind & Fire and Morris Day & The Time. The prominent staccato Earth Wind & Fire horn line is as memorable as any of the lyrics. The groove, as well as the all-male dance line, is a loving tribute to Morris Day & The Time’s 1990’s “Jungle Love.”

However, Mars wasn’t finished in his loving tribute to the great funk music of the 80s & 90s. His performance at last month’s Super Bowl keeps all the elements of his original recording but adds a musical and visual homage to MC Hammer “U Can’t Touch This” and James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.”  The dance moves and baggy pants are a direct, loving nod to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” The new bass line provided a more subtle nod to the undeniably identifiable James Brown classics. To Marc Ronson’s credit, he humbly thanked to great George Clinton, and his group Parliament-Funkadelic, as well as the late, great Earth Wind & Fire’s Maurice White during last night’s GRAMMY AWARD acceptance speech.

Bruno-Just The Way You Are

Bruno Mars is clearly emerging as the ultimate Pop Music Maestro of the 21st century. The man is a hit-making machine, and will hopefully keep churning them out, and performing them with his charismatic charm and astonishing dance moves. The best thing about Bruno Mars, missing in so many young Pop performers, is that he clearly LOVES what he’s doing. No matter how enjoyable it is to watch this remarkable sensation, he always seems to be having a better time than us.

Keep going Bruno. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
-Doug

Wake Me Up-Avici

There’s something catchy about this song that’s hard to quantify. It starts out with a lazy guitar riff, and sounds like the beginning of a country song. But it gains momentum and by the time you hit the chorus, “So wake me up when it’s all over….”, the dance floor’s packed. The song just works. As with just about every other great dance song it’s easily “sing-alongable.” If that’s not a word…it is now. Check it out.

Rather Be-Clean Bandit/Jess Glynne

‘Rather Be” by the British band Clean Bandit, featuring the omnipresent Jess Glynne,  is a terrific dance song. Following the rather unique violins opening the song, an electric piano takes over the rhythm, along with the drums and bass. However, throughout the whole song there are many truly interesting orchestration choices, which is very rare today when entire songs are done on synthesizers. Even the harmonies on the chorus really fatten up the sound of this really great dance tune.

“Rather Be” gets people dancing, right from the violin introduction. Give Clean Bandit’s hit a shot at your next party. It’s a guaranteed dance floor hit.

Here are some of the lyrics:
We’re a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea
But as long as you are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be
I would wait forever, exalted in the scene
As long as I am with you, my heart continues to beat
With every step we take, Kyoto to The Bay, strolling so casually
We’re different and the same, gave you another name, switch up the batteries

If you gave me a chance I would take it
It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can’t shame me
When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be
N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I’d rather be

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This one is a clear winner. A terrific crowd pleasing dance hit at any party.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

 

 

Everlasting Love-Carl Carlton

Carl Carlton’s version of “Everlasting Love” is my companion piece to “Bad Mama Jama.” The lyrics are far more interesting, as is the melody. The song has been recorded many times, but Carlton’s version will always be my favorite.

Open up your eyes then you’ll realize, here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl, to be my pride, never be denied, everlasting love
Hearts gone astray deep in her, when they go
I went away just when you needed me so
You won’t regret, I’ll come back begging you
Won’t you forget? Welcome love we once knew
Open up your eyes then you’ll realize, here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl, to be my pride, never be denied, everlasting love
From very start open up your heart, feel that you’re falling, everlasting love

His music may not be groundbreaking, but it certainly does hold up for over 40 years.

Leave a message letting me know what you think.

Vivir Mi Vida-Marc Anthony

I have always loved Salsa music. There is so much soul invested in the unique percussion rhythms, the powerful horns, and the stylistic joy that makes “Salsa” almost impossible not to dance to. Even though the only two Spanish words I know are “hola,” and coño, which is a source of embarrassment since I found out what “coño” actually means, although having a good curse word or two can be pretty handy.

I had my band learn the song in its original Spanish and have played it at four weddings so far. I’m pretty sure none of the guests knew the song, but the dance floor was packed within seconds of hearing this incredible beat.

I promise you don’t have to understand a world of Spanish to love Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.” If this is the first time you’re hearing Salsa,,,Bienvenidos Amigos!

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Vivir Mi Vida
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
 
A veces llega la lluvia
para limpiar las heridas
A veces sólo una gota
puede vencer la sequía
 
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si así es la vida, hay que vivirla
 
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
 
Voy a vivir el momento
para entender el destino
Voy a escuchar en silencio
para encontrar el camino
 
Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
 
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Leave a comment, or a request for me to review.
-Doug

Glasgow Love Theme-Love Actually

“Love Actually” is one of the last great romantic comedies of our time, Many factors went into the success of “Love Actually.” The extraordinary international, mostly British, cast, the interweaving plot lines, and of course the delicate, sentimental, lush romantic score by British composer Curtis Armstrong.
One of the most memorable parts of the score is called “Glasgow Love Theme.”
There are other decidedly unromantically titled tunes such as “Portugese Love Theme” and “Prime Minister’s Love Theme”.  However, each melody is more lush and romantic as the one before.”Glasgow Love Theme ” is featured in this rather poorly edited montage. But it’s really one of the more touching plot lines in the movie, in which Andrew Lincoln’s (“Walking Dead”)  character serves as the best man for his friend, Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) who is  marrying the love of his life, played by a spectacularly gorgeous (20-year-old)  Keira Knightley.

It’s not as depressing as it sounds, basically because Andrew Lincoln acts the shit out of the scene. It’s a distinctly, lovely tear jerker.

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Standing on its own, “Glasgow Love Theme” is a simple, elegant melody, perfect for use as a Wedding Processional. I have to give thanks to Allison and Kyle who requested I play it for their wedding processional on May 21, 2016.
I was going to add this to my list of Processionals on my Wedding Wisdom Blog, on my own, but they beat me to it.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.