“Anoche Me Enamoré”

This song came on while I was listening on Apple Music, and I thought, “Hey, this sounds similar to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ by The Tokens!” I eventually realized (through research) this makes perfect sense, because it’s “Tonight I Fell in Love”—a song by The Tokens! So below, find the 2020 musica mexicana version, an older version by Los Apson, The Tokens’ 1961 version, AND the original Zulu version, “Mbube” by Solomon Linda.

Anoche Me Enamoré by Christian Nodal, 2021 (Apple Music / Spotify):

Anoche me enamoré by Los Apson, probably late 1960s (Apple Music / Spotify):

Tonight I Fell in Love by The Tokens, 1961 (Apple Music / Spotify):

And finally, the song that started it all, Mbube by Solomon Linda, 1939 (Apple Music / Spotify):

WLS by AJR shot in TWA at JFK in NYC

https://youtu.be/VlVhUbGa2pg

New music video “Way Less Sad” by AJR (who always has fun videos) shot in the restored Trans World Airlines terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. But I couldn’t resist an acronym filled title.

Cuphead game and soundtrack

The visual and audio art of this game is amazing, a tribute not just to the style of 1930s animation, but the method of it, too.

The soundtrack is available on Apple Music and Spotify. Super cool that the band music is available for sale, too!

Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury perform “State of Shock”

How did this performance come about? Apparently MJ was a fan of Queen; he was the one to suggest they release “Another One Bites the Dust” as a single. From an April 1996 interview with Queen’s bassist, John Deacon:

“I listened to a lot of soul music when I was in school,” John recalls, “and I’ve always been interested in that sort of music. I’d been wanting to do a track like Another One Bites The Dust for a while, but originally all I had was the line and the bass riff. Gradually I filled it in and the band added ideas. I could hear it as a song for dancing but had no idea it would become as big as it did. The song got picked up off our album and some of the black radio stations in the US started playing it, which we’ve never had before.” In the end it was a famous fan who swayed the vote: Michael Jackson actually suggested we release it as a single. He was a fan of ours and used to come to our shows.”

Another story about the duo, from Vanity Fair:

In 1983, Mercury and Michael Jackson, hot off the release of Thriller, were plotting to record an album of duets. It was a perfect idea, this potential union of Queen and the nascent King of Pop. Three tracks had already been written and demoed, but the studio sessions ultimately faltered. Why? Because Jackson brought his llama to the studio. Mercury was apparently not into it!

According to Mercury’s former manager, Jim Beach, the rocker called him and asked, “Can you get over here? You’ve got to get me out of here, I’m recording with a llama.”

However, Jackson had his complaints, too. The pop star wasn’t fond of the singer’s alleged cocaine habit and they eventually had a falling out over Mercury’s use of the drug in Jackson’s living room.

The singer’s apparent drug use has since become part of his lore. Elton John, who’s spoken candidly about his own drug use and addiction, once said this of the singer: “Freddie Mercury could out-party me, which is saying something. We’d be up for nights, sitting there at 11 in the morning, still flying high.”

On the face, I admire Michael’s use of llama as an eccentric trick to deal with Freddie’s cocaine-in-the-studio problem. But they still had a falling out, so maybe the lesson is to deal with differences head on and early.

(via Reddit)

The Goth vs. The Stoner

After declaring Spotify the gold standard, David Segal says:

If the system has a weakness, it is a less-than-lovely user interface, which is black and a Halloweenish shade of green — a little too goth for the Haggler’s tastes. Far more important, it isn’t great at introducing you to new albums and acts. It has features and algorithms designed to help you find undiscovered music, but they aren’t compelling or visually appealing enough to be much help. The Haggler winds up listening to the same stuff over and over.

This is why the Haggler has been rooting for Apple Music since an Android version of it was unveiled in November. The user interface is gorgeous — bright, airy and dominated by album art — and it is the finest new music introduction system ever created. It’s like a professional matchmaker who never sleeps. It is always trying to find you something to love.

When it comes to interface and discovery, I couldn’t have more polar opposite opinions from Segal. I much prefer Spotify’s dark interface with conservative use of green to Apple’s stark white and hot pink. I’m almost always disappointed with Apple’s music recommendations, but Spotify generally has something interesting to offer, and seems to refresh its recommendations more frequently.

But he’s right that Apple Music takes longer to find and start songs than Spotify, and I’d add that Spotify has the benefit of Connect which is far and away better than AirPlay. It just doesn’t have that Explicit Filter I (and others) so dearly want.

Back to Apple Music

After switching between Apple Music and Spotify several times, I realize I can’t forgo an Explicit filter; however, I want two more things from Apple.

  1. Something to match Spotify Connect. I love that I can remote control what Spotify’s playing from any device (especially since Spotify Connect is on my AV receiver).
  2. Dark mode – I strongly dislike the white and pink, while I love Spotify’s dark interface. In fact, I’d love a system-wide dark mode.

If Spotify would bring an Explicit filter and Siri integration, I’d just as soon move back. I want one service that offers all these things.

Fitz and the Tantrums, by Fitz and the Tantrums

Apple Music didn’t tell me about this new self-titled album from the people who put on a great show. I had to learn about it through a co-worker who watches Good Morning America. Shame on you, Apple Music. Step up your game.

Anyway, back to the album. Though some songs are catchy, it’s disappointing. The sound I loved so much in concert and on their first two albums has been whitewashed with average pop. Somewhere underneath is their original sound, but it’s pretty well covered up at this point. Apparently Rolling Stone feels even more strongly about it.

Listen to Fitz and the Tantrums on Apple Music.

Pentatonix and Us the Duo

Last Thursday, 5 May 2016, I went to the Pentatonix concert at the NMSU Pan-Am Center. Us the Duo and Pentatonix both put on fantastic performances; I readily recommend that you see them if possible.

Us the Duo

Us the Duo

I hadn’t heard of this group before. It’s a husband and wife, and I might classify them as indie pop. I don’t usually enjoy indie music, but I really enjoyed these two. Their music is overall very positive, and it’s evident they enjoy what they do. They made this large arena feel like an intimate music bar.

Pentatonix

I wanted to see these guys because I find it absolutely fascinating that they are doing covers and original music with only their voices, hands, and feet.

They did 3 medleys I think: 2015 hits, Michael Jackson, and Daft Punk. I was especially happy to see that last one—their arrangement, as well as the light show, was spot on.

Pentatonix during their Daft Punk medley

When the end of the show came, I was disappointed that one of my favorite originals by them, Sing, wasn’t performed. So, good thing we managed to get an encore out of them! Before this song, they did something I found just amazing.

Amazing encore performance

‘We love to sing, so we want to do something special. But we need you to be very, very quiet. We’re going to do this next song without any sound equipment.’ Then all the lights went out except for one “Edison bulb” at center stage. Gathered around it, they performed Light in the Hallway. It was an emotional experience that I really didn’t expect going in.

These two groups were really fantastic, and together, made for a very enjoyable concert experience. I’m so happy we get so many good acts in Las Cruces, thanks to the efforts of the Pan-Am staff.