Thanks for stopping by... and welcome to my first ever blog... or is it my first ever post on my first ever blog?
I'm going to share with you a little bit about a song called "Games We Play" by L.A. based indie artist David Geftakys, but first, a little background into my new found obsession with indie music. About a year or so ago, I made a conscious decision to ditch traditional mainstream radio almost completely. I was becoming increasingly disenchanted with what the record companies and station managers were feeding the general public and what their definition of "Today's Hit Music" (yes Q97.9 in Portland, Maine, this is a direct dig at you!) is. I was born in the 70's and essentially grew up a child of the 80's. My wife would argue that I'm actually stuck in the 80's... but save for some bad choices in clothing and whatnot, why wouldn't I want to be? It seems like the last really great decade of music that we had. That generation spawned hair metal, the King of Pop, gangsta rap, some of the most influential hip-hop artists ever, George Strait (yes, I will forever be a fan of country music thanks to the King of Country Music and his song The Chair!) and the era of the One-Hit wonders! But I also grew up listening to my dad's old 45's of Mowtown, which in my mind is the greatest era of music EVER. Period.
Now I consider myself a fan of music, but not all forms of music. Classical? Not gonna do it. Jazz? Never understood its appeal, never will. I'm not going to sit here and pretend to be some critic from Rolling Stone and start rambling off names of obscure artists that us regular everyday folk have never heard of and will probably never buy a single song from. That's what they get paid to do (which if you ask me is to just blow a bunch of smoke up our asses to make us think they are all-worldly and all-knowing when it comes to music... because what is it that a critic does? They give us THEIR opinion on a topic, which 9 times out of 10 doesn't agree with what my opinion on the same topic is!) What's on my iPod? Well, I can go from Metallica to Kenny Chesney faster than you can say Ryan Star, Prince or Katy Perry (yes, I went there... the Russell Brand incident aside, she is smoking hot and can sing her ass off!). More than anything else on there these days though is indie music. David Gielan, Nobody Gets Killed/In Air, Lit On the Flash, David Geftakys, Oh Crap! Ninjas, Naked On Roller Skates, When Particles Collide, Mother Leopard, Sleeperstar, Broken Romeo, Euphoria Audio, Zoey'z Fallacy, Mike Peralta, Mariana Bell, Dallin Applebaum... THAT list goes on and on and on. Suffice it to say, I like music that moves me. Not in the sense that I'll dissect the lyrics to every song I listen to and try to relate it to some time, place and some something that happened to me in my life. But to the point that the artist makes me believe that THEY believe what they're singing. It's all fine and dandy to be Abercrombie gorgeous (male or female) and have a pretty voice, but make me believe you when you sing. Make me feel the passion that you have for the song you're singing. Simple Days by David Gielan is a perfect example of this. "Can we go back to simple days? Our lives were perfect in every way." I feel his passion for the belief that he has when he sings that. Revolution Time by Lit On the Flash... I can see Jake Roche leading an anti-war protest in the 60's while singing that one. From Another Day Late by In Air, "Pure is the love affair. The cure is no longer there. Just another day late..." I believe that Mo Nabulsi believes that himself or he wouldn't lend his voice to that lyric.
So exactly what is it that I have against today's "popular" music? I can sum that up VERY easily for you... what relevance is someone like Justin Beiber or LMFAO or Pit Bull of Jennifer Lopez (who might I add is NOWHERE near worth the 10's of millions of dollars she gets paid to critique those poor folks on American Idol when my pinky has more talent that she does) going to have in the music industry in 20 years? I thought so.
So let's go back a little bit to where my exact fondness for indie music started. I seem to go thru cycles with bouts of insomnia. What better cure is there usually than informercials and overnight newscasts? Well, that's what I thought until CBS News hired a particular anchor named Michelle Gielan. I'm going to be a total guy here and admit that the only reason I ever watched the overnight newscasts on CBS was because of her... WOWZERS! (Editors note: I would like to formally apologize to Ms. Gielan. She has proven herself to be one of the most underrated journalists of her generation. I make it a point to follow her self improvement blog and you should to.) So like any typical guy, I found her fan page on Facebook. Then one day, she sends out this random request to her fans to follow the muscal career of some guy named David Gielan. Hook, line and sinker, she asked and I followed. And what a surprise I got in return... hope for the music industry! I think I started to follow his career right around the time that he released his album The Imperfect Tense. To this day, he's one of those artists that I sit back and listen to and constantly compare him to what's on our local Top 40 station and just scratch my head and wonder WHY he hasn't caught his break yet! If you're reading this and haven't already discovered his music, don't take my word or even his sister's word. Just go and find out for yourself why I consider him the BEST indie artist around today!
Now before I start to sound like I'm rambling, let me take a moment to give credit to Wise Radio. Where would I be without this station? I discovered them about the time that David Gielan released his single Miracles. I found out that they supported indie music and accepted requests to add music to their play list. Well, I jumped all over that because I had just about every song David Gielan had recorded and released at that point. The rest, as they say, has been blissful music listening history in my book! The support that they give to indie artists is nearly unmatched, even by similarly formatted internet radio stations.
Now let's get back to the music and social networking, Twitter in general. I signed up for a Twitter account right around the time that Ryan Star decided to try his luck on reality TV on RockStar: Supernova. He was such a polarizing talent on that show that I wanted to make sure I knew when and if he would ever release a solo album (11:59 is one of my all-time favorite albums by the way!) As Twitter goes, I slowly started to receive random follows from indie artists all over the world (not that I have millions of followers or anything, just an eclectic list of indie acts that somehow (luckily for me) found me and hit the follow button). Indie artists today are more than gracious to their fans and are unbelievably interactive thru social networking sites with their fans. From setting up their websites to their Reverbnation pages to most of them offering us their music for free to Tweeting back and forth and building a friendship with their fans. They're more than musicians. They're like your next door neighbor who stops by the day you move in to introduce themselves and bring you a housewarming gift. More than anything, they're approachable, which in my mind is their greatest asset aside from their talent.
So on to Games We Play. This is where I will officially take credit for getting this song onto the play list on Wise Radio... with an assist of course to the guys from Nobody Gets Killed/In Air (for those who don't know, they recently changed the name of their band from Nobody Gets Killed to In Air). I'm not certain on the timing of this, but a random Tweet from the band one night to discover the music of a fellow SoCal indie artist (and friend) David Geftakys, who had just released his song Games We Play (as well as the video) is what got the ball rolling. Being as they were fast becoming one of my favorite indie bands (I think they may have actually become my favorite by that time), I checked out Mr Geftakys and his new song... halfway thru watching the video for Games We Play, I ran off to iTunes to buy the single (along with a couple of others) and proceeded to send the MP3 to Wise Radio, who in turn added it that same evening. A quick Tweet to David to let his fans know that Wise had added his song to their play list and the rest I will chalk up to the talent of David as well as his relentless #TeamDG_Airplay team... led by a certain Russian Tail whom I absolutely love and adore (I wish every indie artist today could find 5 fans like her... the music biz would be fixed REALLY quick!). As I've stated, I'm not a music critic and I will not attempt to break the song down and sound like I know what elements (in a technical sense) make a good song. What I will do though is tell you that this is just a good old fashion pop song in every sense that a pop song should be.. with the exception being that he makes me believe what he is singing. "Is it any wonder why I'm at your door, and is it any wonder what I'm begging for? We've got nothing in common, but oh say you'll never go. She's got something uncommon... I'll stay for more than the games we play." I challenge you to listen to this song, to connect to the passion that he sings those lines with, then find ANY song on mainstream radio that you can connect to the same way. And to save you the trouble, I'll just tell you that you can't, because a song like this doesn't exist on mainstream radio... yet.