Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Now that it’s 2019, and New Year resolutions are on the rise, here’s a guide on how to curate the ultimate workout soundtrack.

1. Go Techno

Whether it’s classic DJ beats, techno, drum ‘n bass, or newer age Calvin Harris-infused tracks, pick your poison. They’re all designed to make work out harder, faster and better.

2. Feel Nostalgic

Pick a song that takes you back, that you know all the words to, that makes you feel good, confident, and like you have a friend alongside with you. Then, run with it (no pun intended.)

3. Guilty Pleasures

When you’re working out, it’s you and your headphones, so be free, have fun, and laugh at yourself a little. You can go Bieber, Britney, Backstreet, or even this gem here (don’t judge.)

4. Choose Reggaeton

Reggaeton is a combination of hip-hop, Latin beats, and dance. It’s impossible to stay still while listening to the sensual Spanish lyrics and hypnotic rhythms.

5. Be Bhangra

Bhangra is high energy, drum heavy, feel-good music from northern India. Even if you don’t understand what they’re saying, you will undoubtedly keep you moving forward.

6. Michael Jackson

Every workout playlist MUST include a Michael Jackson track. Period.

7. Seek Therapy

At the end of a long, difficult, frustrating, craptastic day, sometimes you just want to get mad. Take that energy, and sweat it all out (while listening to these guys scream of course.)

8. Flavour of the Week

Add the song that you’ve had on repeat most recently, that you just can’t get enough of, because it’s catchy and sure to motivate you.

9. Podcasts

For those lighter, stretching kind of work outs (or whatever suits you,) try a podcast. It’s like listening to a couple of friends shoot the shit, and definitely helps the time fly by.

10. Beyoncé

Every workout playlist MUST include a Beyoncé track. Period.

11. Reggae

I’m talking anything from Bob Marley, to Beenie Man, to Sean Paul (but mostly Sean Paul.) You’ll have trouble keeping still, and will be forced to move faster.

12. 90s Hip-Hop

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 90s hip-hop is the ultimate hip-hop of of all time, and the perfect workout music.

13. Get Lost

If you like to disappear in your head, try indie music. It’ll entrance you with your deepest emotions, and innermost thoughts; all the while letting you continue your workout.

 

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In this part of the Live Series, I take a look at the concerts that got away. Those shows that somehow eluded me, and now I’ll always be left in the world of what could’ve, should’ve, and would’ve been.

Michael Jackson

This is obvious. I always assumed I would see him, but alas.

Oasis

There is something so comforting about these guys. I have many memories attached to their music, and their classic sound is filled with nostalgia, making them feel like lifelong friends. The familiarity in their music never fails to warm me up inside. Yet, between 1994 and 2008, they played 12 live shows in Toronto, and I couldn’t find the time in my busy, self-absorbed life, to go see them live. They broke up in 2009, and I will never forgive myself for missing out on something that should’ve happened.

Coldplay

I’ll start right away with admitting that I have seen Coldplay live. Once in either 2006 or 2008 for either the X&Y or Viva La Vida tour; once accidentally in 2011 at Lollapalooza. Here’s the thing: everything Coldplay did post- X&Y isn’t worth listening to. That’s when they sold out, changed their sound to appeal to the masses, and lost what truly made them unique, truly made them Coldplay. I didn’t really fall for them until their sophomore album A Rush of Blood to the Head, released August 2002. In September 2002, they breezed through Toronto, and I was offered a free ticket. I could’ve seen them at their peak, but like an idiot, I declined. By October 2002, I was obsessed with them, and I haven’t stopped kicking myself since.

Nirvana

Also, an obvious one. They played such a huge role in my musical upbringing, my childhood/adolescence, my pre-teen angst. Since their career was short-lived due to Kurt Cobain’s untimely death, I always wonder how amazing it would’ve been to witness them live. They only came to Toronto 3 times between 1990 and 1993; the Nevermind tour happened at the Opera House. Can you even imagine how historic that would’ve been?

Queen

Queen played a total of 7 live shows in Toronto from 1977-1982, making it impossible for me to have ever attended. But man, it would’ve been a dream. Their music alone would be reason enough to go, but with Freddie Mercury on the mic, his showmanship on display, and the band’s music live, all amongst a giant crowd: that would’ve been music at its best.

On April 21st, 2016, legendary artist Prince passed away. That hit a little too close to home. I won’t say I grew up with Prince’s music, but I never knew a time when Prince’s music wasn’t there making waves. Although I haven’t seen Purple Rain, the title track is etched in my memory because it’s that good. Prince’s music spanned generations, crossed decades and influenced all ages along the way (case in point: the one and only time I saw him live, my mom came with me.)

It’s hard to imagine a musical world without Prince. Not just because he’s been around for so many years, but because he never stopped creating. Whether it was changing his name to a symbol, writing lyrics, making music, playing guitar/piano – he was always in the zone. That dedication, that love for music itself is such a rarity these days. In this day and age, there aren’t many artists whose eccentricity, originality and intrigue come even close to Prince’s. Very few have it all: the writing, the producing, the voice, the ability to play instruments.

A lot of the artists blowing up the charts these days are basically kids who have all grown up in the industry, and just keep reinventing their image to stay relevant. But their music is all interchangeable. Everyone’s a one-trick pony, told to dance for the crowds, singing songs written by other people. They come and go in the blink of an eye, maximize the limelight while they can, then disappear. Is this all the music industry has going for it?

Don’t get me wrong: there are obviously musicians out there keeping true to the essence of the music itself, but a lot of them remain unheard. That’s because times have changed, technology has changed, and the music industry has also changed. It’s less and less about quality and more and more about numbers. How many records sold, how many downloads, how many hits, how much money made; how many social network platforms are being used, how to stay in the spotlight at any cost. After all, any kind of fame is good fame.

I mean, someone please tell me what Taylor Swift is doing that’s so revolutionary. She’s constantly praised and acknowledged, but isn’t doing anything remarkable. The majority of mainstream artists are only mediocre when you focus on talent alone. But since it’s slim pickings out there, music fans are forced to go with the flow, roll with the punches. They don’t have any  Prince to look upto, be inspired by; no Bowie to show them how it’s done, no Michael Jackson to take things to the next level.

For future generations, I urge you; I plea with you to make better decisions. Don’t choose what’s in your face because you’re just too lazy to dig a little deeper. Don’t fall for the Twitter feuds, Snapchat faux pas, and leaked albums. Don’t believe the fabricated hype, because as an older more mature music fan I can tell you right now: none of it’s real.