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Friday, July 31, 2015

TOP 5 Song Hits July 31, 2015

Top 5 Hit Songs ending week of July 31, 2015
TOP 5 Song Hits
July 31, 2015

For the week ending Friday July 31, 2015
By Rob Lattin

Yes there were some glitches such as slow loading of Reverb songs. I am working on a way to make it faster so you can hear the Top 5 Songs that currently are not on the radio but well loved by music followers worldwide.

A would first like to note that ever since AM radio had Top 40 hits and Billboards Top 100 that everyone wanted to get on the list as it increased exposure and revenue, not just for the artists but also for the record companies, and ancilarily, to radio stations.

What I like about the old top 40 layout back in the day was that it was not limited to one single genre. What I hear on radio of "top hits" is generally all the same genre and aimed at girls between the ages of 14 and 24.

In olden tymes, AM top 40 had crossover music. For instance at Super CFL or old WLS in Chicago, you would have Billy Preston's "Outta Space" an instrumental fighting its way to the top with Emerson Lake and Palmer's "From the Beginning". Then you had Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" going up against such songs as Vicki Lawrence's "Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia", Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy", Deep Purples "Smoke on the Water", Grand Funk's "Rock N Roll Soul", "Motorcycle Mama" by Sailcat, "Rocket Man" by Elton John, Michael Jackson doing "I Wanna Be Where You Are", The Temptations epic song "Papa Was A Rollin Stone", and Rick Springfield's "Speak to the Sky".

Talk about variety!

So what's your point Robert?? Well, dear grasshopper, my Top  5 Hits (or aptly, should be hits) run the gamut of genres. I will include instrumentals, live tracks, alternate versions, metal, rock, blues, pop, folk. But being the man who edits this I will not allow anything objectionable.
By the way, I do not get paid for selecting any of these songs so if you find a song completely repulsive, let me know and I will handle it with utmost care.

Between my staff and others who rated last weeks five songs, as well as based on their fans comments the following song has become this weeks number 1:

TOP 5 Songs for Week 1 July 31, 2015 

#1 From London Suzanne Cooke’s “My Dream”



Here are the next four songs and a runner up.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Top 5 Hits July 24, 2015 by Rob Lattin

Top 5 Hit Songs ending week of July 24, 2015
TOP 5 Song Hits
July 24, 2015

For the week ending Friday July 24, 2015
By Rob Lattin

Every now and then I write about classic rock bands I love or share links about them such as Paul Revere, Robert Lamm, the Ides of March, etc. Then I also write a bit about talent on the rise such as Bat Eats Moth (upcoming article) and Noise Floor and others.

Well, I thought it high time to post a list of my TOP 5 songs from different musicians around the world. These are songs I feel worthy of radio and TV airplay and a lot better than junk like Lady Gaga, Megan Trainer, One Direction, and (yuck) Miley Cyrus.

I post these in no particular order but I need your input. Tell me just which one you like best and that will become the official number one. I will also be gathering tallies from people I run into at clubs downtown when given the chance as well as my staff. If no one gives a suggestion, I will select the official number 1 and add 5 new songs next week. There will then be 6 songs posted, with number 6 considered a runner up in the Top 5. We'll see how long this experiment, if you would, lasts.

Comment below on your favorite one below.

So without further ado, here are my

TOP 5 Songs for Week 1 July 24, 2015 

From the UK “One Last Time” by Feud
From London Suzanne Cooke’s “My Dream”
Standby from Danbury Ct with “Watch Your Step"
"Power" from the Memphis Rain Band of Bellingham WA
And finally a nice modern psychedelic ditty by Jeff the "Woodsman" of Dearborn Heights Michigan with lovely and tasty ‘Green Ice Cream”.

Let's see who survives to next week!


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Pioneer of Rap Music: Obscure Rap Song on a 1967 Christmas Record

Obscure Rap Song on a 1967 Christmas Album?
Wow, Rap Music Inspired by a White 60's Rock Band, or Rap Formula Created on a Christmas Album?

As many of my friends and family know, the four types of music I generally do not care for are Country Music, Pop (like Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus etc), Death Metal/Screamo, and of course rap music (most, not all.). We all have a disdain for various types of music, don't we?

Well, to my surprise, while searching for some old music to listen to, I came across a song on a Christmas album from 1967 from one of my favorite 60's bands. This was an obscure album I did not possess. 

I was an avid record collector for mucho years and have an extensive library of rock, blues and other music albums. This Christmas album was hard to find so I more or less gave up searching for it. After all, I had been too busy with my own msic and family life and had ceased collecting vinyl years ago.

When I first listened to this song: "Rain Sleet or Snow" from the album "A Christmas Present . . . and Past" I was expecting a Christmas message. Not so much. But I was absolutely floored when I heard this. Here we are in 2015 and the rap formula was being pioneered in 1967 by the legendary 60's rock group Paul Revere and the Raiders!

(Hear the song below)

Now, if you never heard of them, you need to go to Wikipedia. Here is the link: About Paul Revere and The Raiders, one of the few groups to have several TV shows and a boatload of "pop" hits in the 60's and 70's. Their number one hit "Indian Reservation" 1970 outsold any and every single release up to that time and that record was not broken until 1983 with Michael Jackson's "Beat It". Paul Revere and the Raiders were the one long-term band that always gave the Beatles and the Beach Boys a run for their money. But, somehow I digress.

Listen to "Rain Sleet or Snow" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, featuring Mark Lindsay. The rap formula we are so used to started here and fell into obscurity.

Note - as a recording artist and composer myself, I immediately knew the secret to Mark Lindsay's compressed vocals. (They did not use excessive compression back in the day, yo.) He sang with a mike pumped through a guitar amp. 

Because of this song, I my admiration increased for Paul Revere and the Raiders, and now, MAYBE, I will open up a little to listen to some good rap music - but it has to have a melody, be not angry, and be not vulgar.

Now if you have suggestions for rap songs I need to hear that I MAY like, please leave them in the comments box.

ROCK ON - RAPPERS!



Related Links:


Thanks to 60s70sVintageRock You Tube Channel for posting this awesome song.

RIP Paul Revere, 1938 - 2014. You were an inspiration!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Great Prog Rock for the New Millenium: Noise Floor

New Music Discovered

Being a musician, I come across many types and flavors of bands over the years. Well, folks, I just discovered Great Prog Rock for the New Millenium: Noise Floor.

Not screamers, not teeny bopper pop, or little girl fantasy-songs, here's real musicianship. Not sure who their influences are but I hear touches of Yes and Chilliwack.

The lead singer is Stewart Turcan who also plays lead guitar. Stewarts voice shows true emotion and sensitivity about what he sings. His voice is a pure blend for some of the guitar fingering with Dakota Allemang's jazz-tinged bass playing. And drummer Quincy Johnson, keeps a perfect beat without trying to ham it up like John Bonham (RIP). The first tune I heard was "Lilt". What a relief it is to hear this rare kind of music.




This is from their bio on Reverbnation:

. . . from Hamilton, ON. The trio that makes the band consists of three audio technicians who met during their time perusing higher learning. In the last year they have recorded and mixed their very own first full length album titled, "...And So It Begins".   . . .With dynamic tonal and structural writing styles, Noise Floor seeks to maintain the attention of the audience throughout each song. Their ability to seamlessly interchange between various time signatures while still providing the listener a rhythm they can tap their foot to. Their chemistry on stage gives the audience a sense of how close the three of truly area not only as musicians but the true roots of very close friends.
"Time signatures", how many new groups know what that even is? Shows how serious Noise Floor takes their music.

I then saw their video of a live performance and although the initial acoustics were of the club where they were performing a little irritating (it's live so what do you expect?) the music was clear and moving. The guitar had that retro sound of Emerson Lake and Palmer and other similar monumental bands of the prog rock era. Yet, this stuff is fresh.

I also noticed Dakota playing an eight string bass. Yeah! His playing is very clean and precise, on not overbearing.

Here's that live video of their song Sonar:



Hey it's good, isn't it?
Visit them online and show your support.
Peace.
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blogger VS WordPress Death Match

Building a Blog Should be Easier Than This
Building a blog should be a
little easier than this
Blogger VS WordPress 
Death Match


I spent most of my life doing artistic things, actually working as a professional cartoonist, doing design and layout and even drawing charcoal portraits of children. Like many visual artists, I also have a talent for composing music.

When music and art meet, a true marriage (artistically speaking, of course) occurs. Obviously not all artists are great musicians and not all musicians are great artists. But one does help the other, just like in a marriage.

Yes I've designed album covers before, for local bands as well as my own which shows a kind of conjugal union between art and music. However, I see that there is another medium that joins the two together, and that is blogging.

Many bands use blogs basically for disseminating information. MOST of the time it is dry and boring and many times unnoticed. This is especially from blogs posted on a service site such as Reverbnation (this is not to dis RN because their site and services are awesome), or blogs connected to band's website. (I'm not going to divulge any names here.)

Most musicians see blogs as info setting (like a text or email) or even perhaps as a marketing tool. That's fine and dandy but I want candy! I like to see, beyond information, eye appealing text, illustrations, photos, music players. I want to see color or for emphasis black and white or sepia. I want cake but don't give me stale cake.

I want to see original art, modified art, and borrowed art. I want to see and sense that some thought was put into DESIGNING the blog as well as each and every post.

Listen, how many times do you click on a link for some information and you're whisked away to either a landing page or a blog?

Landing pages are getting old. Most of the information blogs are dry and there's too much pastel. (I can't stand it!!). Boring design makes me bored and then I feel ho-hum about the information.
Nothing exciting there, folks. Off to the next site, or a nap.

So some add pod casts or a million pictures or way too many links and ad words and ads on top of ads. No concept of design, no experimentation, no real feeling for the reader (or listener).

Give me something that will make the cones and rods in my eyes stand up and take notice. I have done this with color on my Fantom Phactory cover (both versions) where the red or blue gyrates naturally in your eyes and even create a sense a 3 D. Don't stare too long or you may start to see things.

Let's Get Specific

Now I have to hone in more on blogs, not generally, but at the provider level. 

Although many bloggers use WordPress and provide some valuable information, the blogs are drab.
And many who use Blogger tend to seem either simplistic or non-professional.

So we know there is ugly on both sides, and there is without a doubt a lot of good information or things valuable on both as well. However, I am tired of getting bored. I am tired of getting hit with paragraphs of keywords. I am tired of ads interfering in the middle of an article I read.

And I hate pop-ups. These annoying little redheads show their freckled faces just when I was ready to get interested in the post. What a turn off.

Enough of my rant. You say that WordPress free does not have ads and that is true. But the dang thing is so boring, no matter what you do to it.

Blogger, you can have ads, and that is fine, and Blogger too, because of the writer/creator, can be boring as well. 

So let's get to the fight. A Death Match, if you will. In one corner is free WordPress and in the other corner is free Blogger.

Round 1. Which is easier?
for me, hands down, Blogger is easier. Although I have a degree in computer programming, I don't need to jump through hoops to make a well designed. WordPress was a pain in the neck, but Blogger jumps keeps making things easier for me.

Round 2. Which is more flexible?
again, WordPress seemed to restricted and restrictive. There's a lot of things you can do on Blogger that would frustrate me if I had to use WordPress. Blogger's connection to You Tube and integration for music is a big plus. Also, I can easily change the blog design, structure, and tone without hassle. I especially like that I can add tabs, modify them and make the blog look like a web page.

Round 3. Which offers more?
Since blogger is a part of Google, Blogger has more. Easily integrate charts and forms, and other blogs and gifs and videos and sound and special effects as well as cool apps. Again, maybe you can do that with a paid WordPress, but free WordPress is a times-consuming headache (I don't mean this to hurt anyone's feelings. If you can convince me otherwise, let me know and if true I will retract these words. Amen.)

Round 4. What about Art and Design?
Ah yes, that brings us full circle, the reason I wrote this. If I want to have a blue pastel site like everyone else, on Blogger I can. Then I can add blood dripping from the top. And I can add a woman's scream to play every 10 seconds. I can turn this drab blog into a slasher-film type blog to make your skin crawl. WordPress, sorry - I don't see that happening. Text, images, sounds, movement, and COLOR. This is what I enjoy using and Blogger makes it possible.

Blogger Wins the Design and Ease Death Match with Word Press
'Twas a tough battle
Ding Ding Ding

The Winner is . . .

Blogger.

When you do research on blogs take note of the best and most creative ones. Skip raw information for now (Remember there is a lot of good data out there and ugly blogs and websites). Make note of the cool ones. Comment to the owner that the art or design is excellent and ask them what platform they use. Most would be from Blogger.

Not all of you are artists, so if your blog looks like whatever, that's OK. I am also not saying that Blogger is perfect because there are areas that do need improvement, but right now when it comes down to choosing Blogger VS WordPress, I continue to choose Blogger.

To be fair, here are other reviews on Blogger versus WordPress. Remember, my opinion is that of an artist and musician, not a dispenser of dry information.

Related links:

This blog was an experimental blog and it changes frequently, but if you want to see my Super Blog then click Rob Lattin Music just to see a simple heading but some excellent use of color and design. Check out some of the tune as well. I used to have fireworks as well as snowflakes in the background just for fun. I decided that the fireworks made the blog TOO EXCITING, and settled on the snowflakes to give an interesting appeal to the overall blog.
If you are reading this a year from now past the original post, my Super Blog may have changed - check it out any way. (It's like I'm speaking in a time machine - Wow!)

I am not against simple, btw. My new site Songs About thrives on simplicity and the purpose is to drive the reader to become a listener to the tune. We must all keep our purposes in mind.

Other blogs to discover and get ideas*:


* If you want to know why I chose these samples, contact me.

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