Category Archives: Music

After Hours – Crystal Method Featuring Afrobeta w/Lyrics

Lyrics to After Hours (feat. Afrobeta)

Ooh, ah aw. (4x)
It’s too early in L.A.

What you gonna see?
(laughs)
It’s on my ace, gon’ down.
What you gon’ & seen’?
I can’t go down…
Oh, oh,
Down…
Down…
Oh, oh, oh, oh,

Ooh, ah aw.

We can go home tonight.(2x)

It’s got the pants, put me in a trance.

Ooh, ah aw.
We must go home tonight.
Even though it’s wrong.

(laughs)

What you gonna see?

Up in ya, take your time.
We couldn’t make it if you’re blind.

Up in now, take your time. We couldn’t make it, if your mind. (2x)
Up in now. (3x)

Up in now, take your time.

This is my crack at deciphering lyrics on this track. Find out more about it and the rest of the new album here. Find out more about Afrobeta here and The Crystal Method here.

UPDATE: Afrobeta weighs in!

Very cool! Thanks for checking this out, Afrobeta!

The Crystal Method are one of my all-time favorite musical acts. I literally own all their records, and that’s not something I can say about many bands or musicians, except maybe for Led Zeppelin and a few others. I’m so glad they’re still making awesome music and keeping the creativity alive this many years in.

What do you think? Have you ever tried to decipher lyrics from a mysterious song? Are there musical acts you discovered in the ’90s that you’re still enjoying? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Rob Zombie – The National – Richmond, VA

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a performance by Mr. Rob Zombie and band at The National in Richmond, Virginia. I would describe it as a solid metal show: much headbanging, heavy grooves and loudness. Here are some photos and a crude video I shot about three rows back from the stage.

Online Video and Image Editing Tools In Action

I compiled the video from separate clips using the YouTube Video Editor, and found it a very handy, intuitive tool. In the case of the photos, the top and bottom pics have been cropped, bordered and given effects with Flickr’s photo editor (powered by Aviary). I found it a handy way to add some fun dimension to my shots.

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Couldn’t resist a quick selfie with the crowd. These goofballs behind me got in on the fun and we had a good laugh. I did the same thing moments earlier when the fellow in front of me snapped his own shot.

What do you think? Have you attended any good concerts lately? Are there any music acts you’ve been into for years but only seen recently? Let us hear from you in the comments.

The Dark Horse Project: Music Lives On

Here’s a band/artist I came to know by seeing them perform at The Garage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina a few years ago:

TheDarkHorseProjectThe Dark Horse Project

The gig was part of a record label showcase, and the band gave an very solid performance. The show was so good, I picked up the group’s debut CD, and I listen to it to this day, especially here lately. 

The music is perfectly balanced with the vocals, and the production is top-notch. Songs are emotional, yet understated. The lyrics hint at longing and romance, and have a expensive, atmospheric feeling while still being straight ahead rock. The band released a second album after touring in support of the first, featuring the following track:

Although the band was busy for a couple of years, they eventually parted ways. Singer and creative force Liv Mueller is still active and has since released a solo record. Here’s a video from a recent performance by Mueller, and I think you’ll agree it is excellent:

What do you think? Do you still listen to music that you were interested in 8 to 10 years ago? Are there any underground or independent acts that have made a lasting impression on you? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours: Recent Musical Obsession

Creativity’s Spirit Romanticized via Street Art

This track has been haunting me the past several months. Like most people, I first heard it behind the closing credits of Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Academy Award-nominated documentary of sorts by British artist Banksy.

Not only do I love the wall of sound timber of production; I’m just as struck by the yearning, rich tone of Richard Hawley‘s voice conveying the lyrics, which, in the context of this film (as I prefer to interpret them), celebrate individuality, creativity, vision, and belief in oneself – particularly from an outsiders’ perspective. Though the third verse suggests a romantic theme, hearing the track at the end of a film about renegade expression adds a powerful new dimension for interpretation.

Do you know why you’ve got feelings in your heart
Don’t let fear of feeling fool you
What you see sets you apart
And there’s nothing here to bind you,
It’s no way for life to start

But do you know that
Tonight – the streets are ours
Tonight – the streets are ours
And these lights in our hearts they tell no lies

Those people, they got nothing in their souls
And they make our TVs blind us
From our vision and our goals
Oh the trigger of time it tricks you
So you have no way to grow

But do you know that
Tonight – the streets are ours
Tonight – the streets are ours
These lights in our hearts, they tell no lies

And no one else can haunt me
The way that you can haunt me
I need to know you want me
I couldn’t be without you
And the light that shines around you
No, nothing ever mattered more than not doubting
But tonight the streets are ours

Do you know how to kill loneliness at last
Oh there’s so much there to heal dear
And make tears things of the past
But do you know that
Tonight – the streets are ours

Full version here:

Bonus: Impressive Film Accolades:

From Exit Through The Gift Shop’s official website:

Best Picture of Leaves On a Poster
What do you think? What’s a recent music obsession you’ve had on repeat lately? Did you see this film? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Recent Musical Obsessions

Here are some songs I have been obsessed with lately. For one reason or another these tunes have been on repeat in my brain and in my iPod consistently the last several weeks.

“Baby Blue” by Badfinger

Ever since the final episode of Breaking Bad, like millions of other folks, I’ve been obsessed with this catchy tune by ’70s power pop rockers Badfinger. This track was the perfect music for the final moments of one of the best shows on television.

“Headache” by Frank Black

I first heard this song in the ’90s after Black’s band, The Pixies, broke up (now back together and touring), and I enjoyed the retro look of the video of the time. Little did I know, for some reason, I would want to hear the song over and over a decade later. I borrowed some of the lyrics for one of my recent photomontages.

Wrinkle In Time

“Wrinkle In Time” – Click to see full size

“In the Garage” by Weezer

I like the simple sing-song melody and declarations of what’s important: a 12-sided die, posters of KISS, and the safety a space like a garage can offer a creative spirit, something no doubt familiar to the members of Weezer, one of my favorite bands.

What do you think? What are some songs that have been in your head lately? Where do you go to discover new music? Let us hear from you in the comments.

KISS in M.I.A. Sample

Matangi & KISS’ Heaven’s On Fire on New Album

Listen to the first 5 seconds of both of these songs…

“Matangi” by M.I.A., 2013

“Heaven’s On Fire” by KISS, 1984

Cool, huh? Share this on Twitter!

What do you think? Ever recognized a sample? Are you a KISS or M.I.A. fan? Let us hear from you in the comments.

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin: A Review

Note: The folks from Grammarly graciously offered to sponsor this post. I use Grammarly for proofreading online because it can free up more brain power for enjoying music.

Music is everywhere, especially when it has to do with our emotions. Music has the power to move us, physically and spiritually. It is familiarity and exploration simultaneously drawing from experience, atmosphere and energy… spatial points of reference blending in sound.

This is Your Brain on MusicI discovered this book while browsing Audible randomly for something interesting a few weeks back, and I’m glad I did. I found it to be entertaining, well-articulated and just technical enough to make solid points but not so much that I became lost in scientific mumbo jumbo. The author, Daniel J. Levitin states:

“This book is about the science of music from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience – the field that is at the intersection of psychology and neurology.”

Levitin is an experienced producer and studio engineer, who came by his musical appreciation honestly – his father offered to finance a set of headphones as long as the young author promised to use them whenever his dad was home. Sounds like good parenting to me.

Levitin later went on to become a bona-fide brain researcher and Ph.D., incorporating his musical background. This qualifies him to explore what’s happening with the brain in relation to music.

Consider how something as instinctive as “groove” works. Levitin notes: “when we talk about a ‘great groove’ in music… we’re talking about the way in which beat divisions create a strong momentum. ‘Groove’ is that quality that moves the song forward. When the song has a good groove, it invites us into a sonic world we don’t want to leave.”

That’s a pretty darned good description of groove, right there.

Beats and melodies, grooves and lyrics, disconnected ideas forging a shared energy… what happens with music is happening in our brains. So many areas of our consciousness activate together in a musical experience – like performance and interpretation happening at once. I’ve long believed music is the most powerful art form.

The book explores some of the author’s own, and other recent studies conducted on music, musical meaning, and musical pleasure, along with what’s happening in the brain in relation to music, from many perspectives – biological, physical, anthropological, and others.

“Music listening, performance and composition engage nearly every area of the brain that we have identified, and involve nearly every neural subsystem.”

This makes a ton of sense to me, since so many, many hours of my youth were spent listening intently to music closely, over and over, concentrating on untangling its secrets into something I could tap into and impart to others through a shared experience. It’s a beautiful thing, and this book illustrates some of the biological mechanisms that enable such magic. As a self-taught musician, I found it fascinating to consider all this from a physiological and evolutionary point of view.

Above: interview w/ Daniel Levitin on The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Levitin notes that “music is unusual among all human activities, for both its ubiquity and its antiquity.” I agree that there’s something primal about music, something as elemental as the air we breathe, as visceral as any vibration. Like the rhythms of a wind rustling leaves, hoofbeats on a plain, or a brook cascading among the echoes of a forest. It makes sense of the world through organization of energy, with the power to send us elsewhere and take us back home in our minds, something that has been happening since humans first started drumming on logs around a fire, continuing to this day in new and exciting forms.

“As our brains have evolved, so has the music we make with them, and the music we want to hear.”

Just think of a song you know, one that makes you tap your foot to the beat or sing along – maybe just the first melody that pops into your mind, maybe something you heard on the radio on the way to work… in a commercial… in college… last weekend at a friend’s house… years ago when you were just beginning to understand the world, or maybe love — what is that sound? It’s living in your brain right now and likely will be for a long time to come. This book can offer a new appreciation for that kind of art.

Update: author comments & recommendation!

What do you think? Have you ever considered how music affects the brain? What do you consider an example of a song that takes you to a certain place? Let us hear from you in the comments.