Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 28: The End of the Beginning Part I

Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 28: The End of the Beginning Part I

It is Saturday, February 3, 2018, and welcome the Multifarious Man Podcast episode 28, The End is the Beginning – Part I.  As always I am your host J. Vincent. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MultifariousMan or follow the podcast blog at www.multifariousman.com. Send your show comments and recommendations to multifarious.man.podcast@gmail.com. On today’s show I️ am talking about what I consider some best of the fall and winter releases in music. Part II will cover film and television. Either way there is plenty of content to keep you busy for the foreseeable future. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

How to Listen

Today’s podcast it brought to you  by audible.com – get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/MultifariousMan 

180,000 titles to choose from for you iPhone, Android, Kindle or MP3 player.

For you, the listeners of the Multifarious Man podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trail to give you the opportunity to check out their service.

Right now I am enjoying the tantalizing thriller,  Sting by Sandra Brown and I just finished The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, the author of Cloud Atlas.

To download your free audiobook today go to audibletrial.com/MultifariousMan.  Again, that’s audibletrial.com/MultifariousMan for your free audiobook.

Music for the Soul

The fall and winter of 2017 brought us a veritable cornucopia of music from some of my all time favorite groups and solo artists. Some album drops were highly anticipated (I’m talking to you Taylor Swift) and some were long awaited surprises (welcome back Fergie), but overall my ears, headphones, and speakers were not disappointed.

Maroon 5 – Red Pill Blues

It’s been over 15 years since Maroon 5’s debut album, Songs About Jane and based on the time I have spent with their new album Red Pill Blues, they don’t show any signs of slowing down. Adam Levine’s silky vocals punctuated my an unfaltering falsetto are tailored made for the keys, percussion, groovy bass lines, and funky guitar riffs. Stand out songs are What Lovers Do featuring up and coming R&B songstress SZA (pronounced sizza), Whiskey featuring A$AP Rocky, Denim Jacket, and the 11 minute plus jam session, Closure. Most people only know the group due to the highly visible, charismatic, Mr. Levine, but in my opinion, this well seasoned band is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Come for the singles but stay for entire album.

Pink – Beautiful Trauma

Alecia Moore, known to the world as P!nk has been putting out hits since the hip-hop infused There You Go from her debut album Can’t Take Me Home in 2000. Whether you call her a pop star or a rock star there is no denying her vocal skill. Beautiful Trauma, her seventh studio album continues the trend she started with 2001’s Missundaztood – beautiful ballads, soaring anthems, and party jams. The surprising Revenge featuring Eminem, What About Us, and the title track Beautiful Trauma are just a few of the songs that will get extended listens on your playlists.

Fergie – Double Dutchess

I have been a fan of Stacy Ferguson since her days as a star on the 80’s television series Kids Incorporated. Years later I re-discovered her as a member of the 2001 girl group Wild Orchid. For most people, they know her simply as Fergie, who teamed up with The Black Eyed Peas and joined them for their meteoric rise. No matter where you saw her she always stood out. It was no surprise when she released the solo album, The Dutchess in September 2006. Now, eleven years later, she is back with a vengeance with the powerful, Double Dutchess. This is without doubt a modern hip hop album that can go toe-to-toe and blow for blow with each song on her debut album. Check out You Already Know featuring Nicki Minaj, M.I.L.F. $, Like It Ain’t Nuttin’, LA Love, and Save It Til Morning, song that feels like it is the big sister to Big Girls Don’t Cry. As a bonus check out the Lemonade inspired videos that Fergie released for nearly all of the songs.

Taylor Swift – Reputation

Taylor Swift first arrived on the scene 15 years ago she took the country music scene by storm with her debut album Taylor Swift. After dabbling in the pop music world with a few cuts on the underrated Red, she jumped head first with the smash hit 1989. Now after three year absence, Ms. Swift is back on the scene with the self referential Reputation. Stand outs are Gorgeous, End Game featuring Ed Sheeran and Future, Ready For It, Look What You Made Me Do, and New Year’s Day. Ignore the tabloid fodder and stick around for the lyrics, melodies, and pop production.

Eminem – Revival

Every time the industry writes off Marshall Mathers, known to the world as Eminem, he comes of his corners throwing lyrical jabs and uppercuts. We last heard from him on the new classic The Marshall Mathers LP 2 back in 2013. Now he is back with the powerful Revival. He starts off the album with the ego check, Walk On Water, an anti Rap God where Em admits to his constant fear of failure backed by the soulful voice of Beyonce’. It’s a family affair on Bad Husband where he addresses the ups and downs of his relationship with his ex wife, and Arose a letter to his daughter. Of course he also up to his raw and braggadocios best on Need Me and Heat. Either way, if you were a fan of Eminem before, this will not turn you away. If you were never a fan, there is nothing new here to dissuade you.

Parting Words

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention 4:44 and The Hamilton Mixtape. 4:44, by Jay Z was without a doubt one of the best rap albums in decade. It answered the question, what happens to rappers when they grow old? Shawn Carter removed the veil that is the Jay Z character and produced a layered, personal opus that put on full display the insecurities of a flawed man. In the opening track, he metaphorically kill’s Jay Z. A man in his late forties would sound insincere rapping about money, cash hoes. Instead Mr. Carter raps about wealth, the difficulties of marriage, race, and legacy, just to name a few. This was all done without sacrificing the brilliance of his art.

As for The Hamilton Mixtape, Lin Manuel-Miranda and took the brilliance that is Hamilton the Musical and further embraced its Hip Hop Roots (yes shot out again to the fabulous Roots crew). The mixtape remixes and remakes many of the musicals songs with various hip hop and R&B artists. Kelly Clarkson’s It’s Quiet Uptown will bring you to tears. Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) will have you trying to rap in Spanish.

This this where Part I comes to and end. Be on the look out for The End is the Beginning – Part II where I will cover the world of TV and Film. Was 2017 the year when original streaming content surpassed broadcast and theatrical release in quality?

Multifarious Man Podcast 25: Purple Reign (Show Notes)

On this episode, due to the unexpected passing of Prince Rogers Nelson, on April 21, at the young age of 57, I am going to take you through my personal journey with the music and movies from His Royal Badness.

How to Listen:

Watching, and Listening to:
• Batman Soundtrack- Prince
• Under the Cherry Moon – Prince

 

imageA Musical Revolution

I discovered Prince quite by accident. In the fall of 1984 I entered the 6th grade a PS 156 in Laurelton, Queens. I was listening to songs by Wham!, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and Tears For Fears. Songs from Beat Street soundtrack, Whoodini, and LL Cool J were in heavy rotation. Then, one day, the coolest kid in class, Rahsaan Stephens, came to school, probably on a Monday, and told the class about the amazing movie he had gone to see over the weekend. That movie was Purple Rain. First of all, the fact that he got to see a Rated R movie made us all want to not only hear about it, but find a way to get an older sibling, cousin, or cool uncle to take us to see it. He spoke of the musical and sexual exploits of Morris Day, Jerome, Prince aka “the Kid” and the Revolution in and around a night club in Minneapolis. He showed us Morris Day’s dance moves along with his antics with Jerome. Furthermore, he talked about the musical performances and gave us a detailed description of the beautiful Apollonia. After this peer introduction accompanied by Rahsaan’s seal of approval, I made it my mission to see the movie and hear the album. It would be a few years before I finally got to see the movie on home video, but I was able to get my hands on a Purple Rain cassette and my initiation into the musical world of Prince had begun.

Rather than recount the hit songs from the Prince lexicon, I am taking a different approach. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Purple Rain’s, the Little Red Corvette’s, the 1999’s, the Adore’s and the like. What made Prince and his music so personal for me, were all of the b-sides, album cuts, and soundtrack songs that didn’t get any radio airplay, but I still played them over and over on CD, Vinyl, cassette tape, and nowadays digitally. These are the song I like to hear, sing along to at the top of my lungs, and play along with on my guitar. Mind you the first two I manage (in my mind) with great aplomb, in reality, people don’t play Prince’s songs on guitar, and they attempt to play a pale facsimile.

Sometimes it Snows in April – Parade

I finally got to Purple rain on VHS right before seeing the movie Under the Cherry Moon. I am sure many people were disappointed that it wasn’t a sequel to Purple Rain. Personally, I loved the movie, a simple, black and white classic love story, Directed by and starring the Purple one. Prince is Christopher Tracy, a gigolo that falls in love with his mark. Whether you love our hate the movie, you cannot ignore the soundtrack album, Parade, and the tragically beautiful ballad, Sometimes It Snows In April.

The Cross– Sign O’ The Times

Including the title track and the timeless Adore, the Sign O’ the Times album has many songs that hold up to multiple spins. The Cross is one of my jams from this album. And if you haven’t had a chance to see the concert film, I highly recommend it.

Not so Sexy

I get creative license and artistic vision, but I still can’t forgive Prince for issuing the Lovesexy album on Vinyl as two side long tracks and on CD as one track. In other words, there was no way to skip ahead to a particular song. You had to listen to the entire album in sequence. Sure, once you wrote down the song lengths, you could fast forward to the spot you wanted on CD, but no such luck on LP. Regardless, When 2 R in Love is one of my favorite songs from this album.

The Dark Knight

Batman the Movie was an event of epic proportions. Who else was equally epic and capable of creating an entire album of new music specifically for the movie? Prince and Batman went great together like chocolate and peanut butter. The Arms of Orion (duet with Sheena Easton), Party Man, and Scandalous probably annoyed my neighbors because every day when I got home from school, I played those three songs on repeat at the loudest possible volume.

The Sequel

When word got out that Prince was finally working on a sequel to Purple Rain, I stood up and took notice. I rushed out to see the movie on its opening weekend. It was not the sequel we were looking for. But the music, oh yes the music, makes Graffiti Bridge the Prince album that I play in its entirety—in sequence—more than any other. The fact that there were multiple songs featuring The Time didn’t hurt it either. Release It, The Question of U, Elephants & Flowers, We Can Funk, Joy in Repetition, Love Machine, Tick, Tick, Bang, Melody Cool, and Still Would Stand All Time. As an added bonus, the world was introduced to Tevin Campbell on the song Round and Round. If you skipped over this album because of the movie reviews, you are making a mistake.

Precious Jewels

By the time Prince dropped Get Off, the first single from the Diamonds and Pearls album, I was ready for something new from the Funk master. The first time I heard the song was when I saw the video with a bunch of friends from high school at a party/barbecue. Strollin’, Willing and Able, Money Don’t Matter 2 Night, and Insatiable, are some of my favorite songs from the album. I still own the DVD collection of videos from the album starring the models portraying Diamond and Pearl. I may just queue it up this weekend for old times’ sake.

The Artist

One day, Prince decided to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and became known in the press as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince or simply “The Artist”. Then he release an album whose title was that same symbol. I fell in love with the album the first time I heard the opening horns from the single Sexy MF. The album played out like an opera and generated some of my favorite latter day Prince songs. Love 2 the 9’s, The Morning Papers, The Max, Blue Light, The Continental, Damn U are standouts on my list. The epic 3 Chains o’ Gold is a modern day Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Lost Years

After the Love Symbol album, I lost touch with Prince for a long period of time. I didn’t stop listening to the music that I already owned; it was just that Prince had changed the way he released and distributed music. I rediscovered him in 1999 when he released Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic through traditional brick and mortar stores. The Greatest Romance Ever Sold, So Far, So Pleased, and Man’ O War were added to my Prince Favorites list. 2004’s Musicology brought me Call My Name. In 2006 with 3121, I found Te Amo Corazon, Fury, The Word, Beautiful, Loved, and Blessed, and the Dance.

Is This the End?

Over the last five or so years I found new Prince music that I came to love as much as the old stuff. This list includes 4ever, Love Like Jazz, Wall of Berlin, U’re Gonna C Me, Here and Ol’ Skool Company from the Lotusflow#r / MPLSound double album. The Plectrum Electrum gave us Wow, Prezelbodylogic, Plectrumelectrum, Whitecaps, Fixurlifeup, AnotherLove, and Funknroll. Right on the heels of Plectrumelectrum, Prince and his all girl band 3rdeyeBlind released Art Official Age. Breakdown, U Know, and Breakfast Can Wait deserve attention.

Lastly, without preamble and within a few months of each other in 2015, Prince and his band released, HITNRUN Phase One and Phase Two. So far I am feeling This Could B Us, Fallinlove2nite, X’s Face, Hardrocklover, 1000 X’s & O’s from Phase One and RockNRoll LoveAffair, Stare, Groovy Potential, Screwdriver, and Black Muse from Phase Two. Of course with his newer music, it sometimes takes a while for the songs to marinate before I truly appreciate them.

Prince has so much music out there that it will still take me years to discover and truly appreciate the scope of his musical genius. He will be missed, but thanks to the volumes that he has shared with us, a part of him will always be with us.

Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 16: “Whatever Will Be, Will Be” – Show Notes

Last week’s show was a look back at 2015, so this week I am going to talk about all of the things I’m looking forward to in 2016. Movies, TV shows, books, music and more. There are a lot of things to be excited about.
Listen on Stitcher

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Spreaker

Reading, Watching, Listening To:

  • The Golden Sun (Red Rising #2) – Pierce Brown
  • The Shannara Chronicles (Based on Sword of Shannara Series) – MTV
  • Now That’s What I Call Music! 56- Various Artists –  Universal Music Group

A Look Ahead to 2016

  • Books
    • Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse #6) – James S. A. Corey -Release Date June 16, 2016
    • The Winds of Winter (A Song of Fire and Ice #6) – George R.R. Martin – Release Date TBD
    • Morning Star (Red Rising #3) – Pierce Brown – Release Date February 9, 2016
  • New TV Shows
    • Legends of Tomorrow -CW – Premiere Date January 21, 2016
    • Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments – Freeform – Premiere Date January 12, 2016
    • Colony – USA Network – Premiere Date January 14, 2016
  • Returning TV Shows
    • The 100 (Season 3) – CW – Premiere Date January 21, 2016
    • Person of Interest (Season 5) – CBS – Premiere Date TBD
    • Black Sails (Season 3) –  Starz – Premiere Date January 24, 2016
  • Movies
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Release Date March 25, 2016
    • Captain America:  Civil War – Release Date May 6, 2016
    • X-Men: Apocalypse – Release Date May 27, 2016
    • Ghostbusters – Release Date July 16, 2016
  • Music
    • Kanye West – Swish (Album) – Release Date February 11, 2016
    • Janet Jackson -Unbreakable Tour (Concert) – Rescheduled Dates TBD
    • Rihanna – Anti (Album) – Release Date TBD
    • Kieth Urban – RipCORD (Album) – Release Date Summer 2016
  • Tech World
    • iPhone 7
    • The Internet of Things

 

Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 13: “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”

It is now less than a week away from Christmas. On this week’s show I am going to share with you the music, TV specials, movies and literature that I love to enjoy during this holiday season.  Not every selection has to have a Christmas or holiday theme.  Some made the list simply because they came out during this time of year or they get shown all the time.  Either way, they have all given me a lifetime of enjoyment.

Stitcher

iTunes

Spreaker

Reading, Watching, Listening to

Favorite Holiday TV Shows, Movies, Music and Literature

Additional information on the items below can be found at iMDB, Amazon, iTunes, and Wikipedia.

  • The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
  • A Visit from St. Nicholos (‘T’was the Night Before Christmas)
  • A Christmas Story – Movie
  • Elf – Will Ferrell
  • Christmas Vacation – Chevy Chase
  • Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Die Harder
  • Christmas in Hollis – RUN DMC
  • Love Actually – Movie
  • All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
  • White Christmas – Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney
  • Santa Claus The Movie
  • Home Alone – Macaulay Culkin
  • Silent Night – The Temptations

On the next episode of the Multifarious Man Podcast (available December 26), I will bring you my interview with Author K.F. Johnson (http://www.kfjohnsonbooks.com)

Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 9: “It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right”

In this episode, I talk about my favorite music duets of all time. Any duets that were performed by singing groups that were famous duos are excluded from this list as I have only included those one off, lightning in a bottle songs. So sorry, no Hall and Oates or the Righteous Brothers.

Spreaker

Stitcher

iTunes

Reading, Watching, Listening To

Favorite Duets

  • Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  • Easy Lover – Phil Collins and Philip Bailey
  • Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
  • Endless Love – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  • Say, Say, Say – Phil McCartney and Michael Jackson
  • We Can’t Be Friends – R.L. (Next)  and Deborah Cox
  • Ebony and Ivory – Stevie Wonder and Phil McCartney
  • How High – Method Man and Redman
  • No Air – Chris Brown and Jordan Sparks
  • There’s Nothing Better Than Love – Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines
  • On My Own – Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
  • I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – Michael Jackson and Saida Garrett
  • Scream – Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
  • Fire and Desire – Teena Marie and Rick James