I want to start by wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day, especially those who have fought and served our contry. Without you this country would not be what it is today. So for those that fight… and more importantly, those that have fallen… THANK YOU.
In scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today I couldn’t help but notice all of the patriotic posts… videos… songs…etc. That got me thinking about the songs that make me feel a sense of patriotism. So, I put together a list of my top 5 patriotic songs. These are just the 5 songs i chose… for my own personal reasons. You are all welcome to your own lists… and I’d love to hear them.
5. Sam Cooke- A Change is Gonna Come
4. Zac Brown Band- Free
3. Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA
2. Lee Greenwood- God Bless The USA
1. Star Spangled Banner
There you have it… now it’s your turn, weigh in and let me know your top 5. God Bless the USA!
Ron Artest… Metta World Peace… Scumbag. As of my writing of this article the NBA has not punished this piece of crap for his actions, but they have to come down heavy, right? What a blatant elbow that was, for no reason. Harden wasn’t approaching Mr. Piece… of S&*T. He was simply coming down to take an in bounds pass after his opponent scored. POS on the other hand, was flamboyantly beating his chest and yelling after scoring on a break away dunk… which brings me to another question. If you are a 6’9″ african american athlete, shouldn’t you be able to dunk? Why are you beating your chest? Have you just accomplished something that you weren’t supposed to be able to do? All the NBA needs is another chest beating, egotistical, self indulged athlete to bring down what used to be an enjoyable spectator sport. Anyway, that’s a whole other blog all in itself… back to the POS.
Back in 2004 Ron Artest became infamous for going into the crowd during a game against the Detroit Pistons and fighting fans. He was punished, but obviously the punishment didn’t teach him anything. After yesterday’s incident, I would expect a similar punishment, if not a full time ban. Crazy? Too much? I think not… in a day and age where the NBA needs to clean up their act and start promoting role models to children (that’s right Sir Charles, you are role models), the last thing they need are idiots like Metta Worl… screw it, i’m not calling him by that ridiculous name… The last thing the NBA needs are the Ron Artest’s of the league screwing it up for the rest of the guys that bust their ass on a nightly basis to make the league what it once was. Will the NBA do the right thing? Will they put a stiff punishment on Artest? Probably… because he’s not a “star”. But will it be worthy of the “crime” he committed? Crime, yes… I said Crime. Just because you are on a professional sports field/court doesn’t mean you can go around elbowing people for no reason. That is assault… no matter how you want to spin it. If Roger Goodell was the commissioner of the NBA what do you think he would do with Artest? I think David Stern has done a respectable job as the commissioner of the NBA… but he lets way too much slide. Hopefully he will do the right thing here and come down hard on Artest. What’s the worst that could happen, maybe if Artest gets banned from the league we can finally get that new album he promised us ALLURE was going to drop soon…
So I read an article tonight promoting the “20th Anniversary, one night only, re-release of The Bodyguard” and it got me thinking… Would they be doing this event if Whitney Houston had not just passed away? I have to think no… but was The Bodyguard worthy of a special re-release without the recent death of its star actress and soundtrack singer? After doing some research I found out that the movie did over $400 million dollars when it was originally released 20 years ago, and the soundtrack was the top selling soundtrack of all time selling 12 million albums in the United States alone. Pretty good numbers for that time… but, does that render it worthy of a “one night only re-release’?
I’ve seen The Bodyguard…. good story… predictable… but good story. Didn’t find it to be an overly amazing film that I needed to watch once a month just to get my fix (see Top Gun, Old School, and Remember the Titans). But is this just a money making ploy for the production company? Obviously you can’t help but be skeptical after what has transpired over the past few weeks with Whitney Houston’s death…. it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put those numbers together. And, along with the one night release in theaters, the 20 year anniversary DVD is set to be released as well… Why? Does something different happen 20 years later? I’m pretty sure its the same story… boy is hired to protect pop diva… pop diva is a pop diva… pop diva starts to get soft and fall for boy… boy saves life… boy and diva fall in love… i’ve seen it a million times.. true love, just like it happens every day. Unfortunately I can’t sing like the pop diva.. nor am I ready to jump in front of a bullet for anyone… so I guess my life story won’t be hitting the silver screen anytime soon. And yes I know they add extras… the music video, the alternate ending, the directors interview (always scintillating cinema). All of the aforementioned could have been part of the original DVD release… but then how would they make a profit 20 years later?
I know this is not the first superstar that has had the post death, nor will it be the last, but it sparked my interest in the topic. Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and now Whitney Houston… lives lost too soon but ones that made a lot of people a lot of money posthumously. Right or Wrong, it has become the norm unfortunately. And, as long as society keeps putting money into the “machine”, that industry will keep right on running… all the way to the bank.
As a long time music fantatic I am not shy about admitting my love for reality singing shows. There are so many that it is hard to name them all, so I’ll focus on the main ones and the ones that i watch(ed). I think at the time American Idol and The Voice are by far the most popular, with The X Factor coming on strong as well. I have never been a fan of America’s Got Talent, and don’t consider that a true singing contest as their are other “talents” that are displayed. So, here are my thoughts on the main 3.
American Idol is the “High School Upperclassman” of the group here. Idol has been around longer, and has established itself over the past decade. Though at times it seems watered down and saturated, the production has only gotten better since its inception. Remember the first season where it looked like they were singing in a high school auditorium? Man, have they come a long way. And good ol’ Seacrest, I hate to admit it, but Seacrest does one heck of a job on that show and by far blows away the “hosts” of the other two shows (i still don’t know the host of The X Factor’s name.. but more on that later). And speaking of hosts, is there any one person alive who has gotten more of a raw deal in life that Brian Dunkleman? Ryan Seacrest is on every TV show, radio station, and bar urinal cake and the only place I’ve seen Brian Dunkleman in the last decade is on an E! TV “Where Are They Now?” special. But, enough about that, lets move on to the contestants. There is something to be said for the Cinderella or the Underdog, and i think that is where AI thrives here. Their production and the way they bring into light the personal lives of contestants is second to none. The talent to me has dropped off over the past few years, yet they still make compelling television that is hard to turn off.
The X Factor
I was pleasantly surprised with the debut season of the X Factor this past season. Contestants like Chris Rene, Astro, and … well, those are the only two I can remember… but they made for good drama. I liked the “team” format of the show, however I think that also was one of the downfalls of the show. Every week each coach took turns bashing the other teams’ contestants to the point where it almost made you believe that they were inferior participants. A little constructive criticism is healthy, but when you are repeatedly subjected to negative feedback and sophomoric bickering between the “role models” of the show, it has a less than positive effect. I feel this show allowed for some contestants to get by more on their audition than the actual competition songs themselves (see Chris Rene), but i do like the fact that they are allowed to play instruments and show their true talents. And as I stated before, the “host” of the show… this guy is awful and I still after watching the first season in full, couldn’t tell you the guys name for a million dollars. Though his purpose on the show isn’t of utter importance, it still gives you an appreciation for Seacrest and the job he has done on American Idol. That being said, every show has its growing pains, and i am excited to see the changes made for season 2.
My personal opinion at this time is that The Voice is the most talented singing show on television. And i think the reason for that is the contestants and how seasoned they are. Last year’s winner Javier Colon and this year’s front runner Tony Lucca are extremely talented musicians, who have had years of touring and experience to help their case. These contestants already had a national following before being given access to millions of homes on a weekly basis. That being said, I think that may also serve as a setback for certain contestants on the show. Artists who already have a large fan base are off to a nice little head start before the show even begins. And the fact that The Voice promotes musicianship and not just singing really gives the show an edge. Artists playing an instrument gives them a certain appeal that solidifies them as a true musician, not just a karaoke all-star. The battle rounds are not my favorite, but I think they are a nice twist from the normal solo sing offs. The 4 judges/coaches also work well together and the banter between the 4 gives the show some spice. Carson Daly has done a adequate job as host, they use him just enough to make him stand out, but not be a drawback to the show. As with The X Factor I am extremely excited to see where the second season takes this show. And, being one of those pre-show fanbase fanatics of current contestant Tony Lucca, i have a completely biased, and vested interest.
There you have it folks, my two pennies and some exhausted rambling. Please, by all means, chime in and tell me what you think.