Andresmusictalk began in January 2014 as a joint venture between myself and Henrique Hopkins. He came up with the notion of re-purposing my Amazon reviews about funk/soul/jazz albums I’d listened to. As well as a weekly song feature. Eventually, this moved into blogging everyday-as musicians from Michael Henderson to Gary Bartz were kind enough to support my work. That work was supplemented by professional writer Ron Wynn and blogger Zach Hoskins-both of whom contributed wonderful things to this blog. As of today however, I am officially stopping future posts on Andresmusictalk.
This decision is something I’ve been mulling over for well over a year. The first (and most vital) reason for suspending work on this blog has to do with too many Facebook jail sentences. A combination of apparent reports from group administrators and site algorithms itself made it impossible for me to share content from this blog on multiple occasions. As my online ventures expanded beyond Andresmusictalk, I decided to limit and curtail the amount of content on the blog itself for 2018. Even still, the Facebook jail sentences from groups continued to occur.
The other reason for suspending my work on this blog relates to difficulties with maintaining partnerships here. One of my partners on this blog disappeared from the internet abruptly. In that case, a combination of seeking a monetized blog for financial gain and family obligations seemed to be a causal factor. Because of the nature of Andresmusictalk, I found myself less and less able to keep up with the demands of writing about songs and albums completely on my own. This led to less and less diverse content here on Andresmusictalk in the past five months.
Have loved music all my life. And this blog reflected those interests in very concrete ways. Am still interesedt in finding a place online that will support a similar venture (perhaps even a revival of Andresmusictalk) in the future. But due to my own and more worldly problems with social media culture today? Have to admit, with a heavy heart, that I no longer possess the resources to sustain Andresmusictalk. . For those such as Henrique Hopkins and Ron Wynn who did the most to help me here? I would like to thank you both (and the artists themselves who supported this blog) for your service.
Happy 2018 to everyone! This is not per say something I needed to write. Just saw it as appropriate at this point to update the loyal readers/followers of Andremusictalk on some new developments for the year. As of later 2017, I made the decision to roll back on blogging for five days in succession every week. And to concentrate on artists birthdays, special events, album and song releases instead. And of course if any of you readers follow me on Facebook, your always welcome to tell me about any new funk/soul/jazz /disco things for me to hear. And possibly review here as well.
Andresmusictalk is also seeking to reach out for new ways of sharing its content to those who enjoy it. Ever since the summer of 2017, found myself consistently in “Facebook jail” in terms of sharing in groups. Apparently in some circles, my content is perceived as spam. And am unfortunately beginning 2018 in that same situation. So if any of you know of an online group/community/page/forum on or off Facebook? One on which I could more effectively and safely share Andresmusictalk’s content with those interested? Would be very happy and gracious to know such information.
Wanted to personally thank the musicians in 2017, including sax player Gary Bartz, for taking the time to message me (again via Facebook) in regard to articles I’ve written about their albums and songs. One of the aims of Andresmusictalk was to reach out to musicians who create the music. Just as much as much as to the admirers who make that music so beloved and inspiring. In the truest sense, its moments like that which makes the bumps and bruises of doing Andresmusictalk worthwhile. Thank you all so much! And a very happy new year to THE PEOPLE!!!!!!
Filed under 2018, Blogging
Its been three years since Henrique Hopkins and I began Andresmusictalk as a blogging partnership. Its grown in many different directions since then. There have been many stops and starts. And especially in the previous year,sometimes more tributes to music icons than articles on new music itself. On the other hand,2016 was also Andresmusictalk’s most successful year in terms of content,viewership and above all interactivity. So for today,my first article of the year,wanted to thank everyone who participated in its most successful year.
Henrique of course has continued to be a strong jelly maker-consulting me on ideas in the back round whenever he has the chance. Often times,my own family are inspiration. And this year,my new boyfriend Scott. Of course,Andresmusictalk took on two new content creators this year. One is veteran All Music Guide columnist,currently sports writer Ron Wynn. He has contributed album and band reviews regarding genres not normally covered by this blog-such as American roots,blues and world musics. Zach Hoskins came by way of his own blog Dystopian Dance Party following the tragic death of Prince.
Zach has contributed many tributes regarding the Minneapolis sound as well as recent funk/soul music,as well as acting in a similar consulting position as Henrique has. This year,some events occurred that changed my perception of the blog forever. Beforehand,it was more than tempting to view the success of Andresmusictalk in terms of stats,and the numbers of people viewing it. Generally I tried to share my content with the artists I was writing about whenever it was possible. It wasn’t until this year that I actually started receiving some feedback in this regard on Facebook.
Many of the artists whom I share this blogs content with on Facebook is session musicians. One ongoing conversation Henrique and I have had is that session players generally get unheralded or even unnoticed for their contributions. Though I’d never call hum particularly unsung,Brazil’s Paulinho Da Costa is one such artist I shared related content with. A percussionist whose played on thousands of sessions in the pop and jazz world,he sent me a message of best wishes for my acknowledgement this past summer. Wanted to show him my sincere appreciation for that here today.
Lisa Coleman of Prince’s Revolution wrote me back on stating that she was interested in looking at a review I did for Prince’s “DMSR”-the indirect beginning of my “Prince Summer” concept. Narada Michael Walden also expressed similar interest in an Amazon.com archived review of his latest album. But most important was a message from Junior Giscombe of “Mama Used To Say” fame. My re-post of the review of his debut album Ji moved him to tell me that my support helped him move forward and that love of music made him want to do more even better. That email was moving beyond words to me.
Over the last 366 days,Andresmusictalk has become a lot more than it set out to be. It started out as the work of a disabled man who couldn’t work in the traditional way. And deeply wanted to share his newfound musical/social understandings with the world in some way-with the help of a close friend. Now,the content is actually making a difference to some of the people I write about. And with the addition of new commentators on it (and perhaps more to come),Andresmusictalk is growing into a family of its own kind. So wanted to thank this family for everything,and hope for even more in the year to come!
All eight of the late 1950’s to mid 60’s album covers have two things in common. All of them feature white people’s faces on the cover. And all of them are by black artists. This topic first came to my attention when my father purchased a coffee table book called 1000 Record Covers by former DJ/record company exec Michael Ochs. One section of the book specifically featured a series of album covers by black artists with the faces of white people on them. It even pointed out how,in general in the case of Motown,other albums by black artists featured cartoons on the covers.
Mister Ochs book brought up the reason for this-one I’ve generally accepted as the most prominent truth. During the late 50’s and halfway into the 60’s,the civil rights movement in American was making it clear for the 20th century that black lives did matter. Yet the American South in particular were concerned that albums by black artists would sell better to the area’s more heavily racist population if the artists faces weren’t pictured. This was done in many different ways. The reason why putting white faces on covers stood out so much for me is because it went along with a similar matter of the day: cover songs.
In the 1999 PBS documentary Record Row: The Cradle Of Rhythm & Blues,the topic of white artists covering songs from black artists was brought up. In that docu,the late Jerry Butler and Dick Clark gave counterpoints on the matter. Clark pointed out that most radio stations in the early civil rights era wouldn’t play original versions of songs by black artists. So,for example it was more common to hear Pat Boone’s infamous cover of “Tutti Fruiti” than Little Richard’s original. Clark contended that this was a big deal over nothing as the original artists eventually got their due.
Jerry Butler’s comment on that issue was that it was easier to feel a personal injury was less severe is one wasn’t experiencing it themselves. He cited the higher levels of sales by white cover versions of R&B/soul songs by black artists. And the economic/racial schisms behind it. So taking all this together,the elimination of a black presence on 50’s and some 60’s R&B/soul/jazz/doo-wop songs and album covers comes across as yet another method by which white Americans subsidize black Americans,their accomplishments and creative innovations.
Is any of this shocking today? In doing research for this article,it would seem this matter is rarely discussed online. Even as part of America’s musical history. There are some personal observations I have about the matter though. Seeing a white infant on the cover of a James Brown album was particularly eyebrow raising. Especially in light of JB asserting he was black and proud eight years after said album was released. As far as the Isley Brothers’ This Old Heart Of Mine? That album came out in 1966,the same year as the founding of Oakland California’s Black Panther Party.
Miles Davis is especially interesting in this case. His autobiography with Quincy Troupe made it clear many times that he resented,as he stated “white people always trying to take credit for what black people did”. I know some who cite Miles as being a reverse racist for saying such things,in fact. He was known to have vocally objected to having a blonde white woman on the original cover for his 1957 release Miles Ahead. This lead him to fight Columbia records for his wife Francis to appear on the cover of his 1960’s album Someday My Prince Will Come. In the end,Miles’ point was entirely reality based.
One topic Henrique Hopkins and I often discuss is the rap segment of Michael Jackson’s song “Black Or White”-where the rapped bridge states “its not about races,its’ about faces/places”-even saying “I’d rather hear both sides of the tale”. As of this writing and the presence of president elect Donald Trump and a strong resistance to the idea that racism is still a problem has me thinking a lot. Sure there are many people who feel blackness in America can stand up for itself on its own terms. At the same time,people should understand history so it doesn’t repeat itself (in some form) in the future.
I would like to welcome everyone to Andresmusictalk,my newest blog here on WordPress. This blog is going to serve as a collaborative effort between myself and Henrique Hopkins-a main inspiration for creating my first blog here The Rhythmic Nucleus. For those of you who familiar with that blog,it was primarily focused on funk music and its many tributaries. Since of course my own personal musical pallet of interests is very eclectic,the topics on that blog began to drift into different musical territories.
The purpose of this blog is to expand the level of dialog regarding the full spectrum of music. Regarding its history,creation,generational potency and anything else of interest in that regard. Just about every musical form on Earth bleeds into each other over time. The “rhythmic nucleus” of it all likely began in Africa. But it has spread across the world over millennium after millennium in a symphonic gumbo-with each subculture of humanity making wonderful new contributions as it goes. If that sounds like a big deal,it is. And music grows into even more of a big deal as time progresses.
The levels of experience and perceptions of music between Henrique and myself have many similarities. Yet our environments have shaped them in very different ways between us. This will be an important element in our two literary styles that will be presented here. And to paraphrase one of Henrique’s own quotations,this will also serve as a possible springboard for broader articles that might one day find they’re way into the realm of professional publication. So as the two of us continue to grow as human beings,so will go the breadth and scope of our writing here.
On some occasions,I would like to see the two of us engage in call and response type writing-wherein myself or Henrique create a blog post here in direct response to the others. Not only would that reflect the spirit of the soul/funk music we love,but help us grow as writers and continue that educational experience. In this age where the “less is more” adage has perhaps been too readily applied to human conversation,it is actually in our dialog that we learn most from. And the best forum to give and receive our knowledge. So enjoy what is to come! Many exciting things to read,see and hear await you!
Filed under Africa, Blogging, Dialog, Earth, Funk, Humanity, Literacy, Music, Rhythm, Soul, Time