It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me: Gary Clark, Jr. Resurrects Classic Rock Vibes

While most kids ran around the park, scrapping elbows and playing Pirates, I sprawled out on my bed and copied the lyrics of my favorite Petula Clark song. My name is Melanie, and I am the oldest 25-year old that ever lived.

I was born with the heart of a 1960s hippie, twenty years too late. I blame my folks for this. My parents spent their youth as bell-bottomed teens with a penchant for the classics, particularly music birthed from Great Britain. In turn, they passed their “peace and love, man” ideals to yours truly. In middle school, I was the musically misplaced ‘oldies fanatic’ during ‘NSYNC mania. I hummed doo-wop songs before I even knew what  ‘hip-hop’ was, and Justin Timberlake had nothing on a young Paul McCartney, bowl-cut and all. (To this day, I’m pretty sure I can belt out any Beatles tune if you ask nicely.)

What’s the point of this pretentious anecdote? To showcase the moment I nearly lost faith in contemporary music, upon stumbling across Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video on MTV. Once I had processed the mind-numbing chorus of: “Baby, baby, baby, oh // Like baby, baby, baby, no // Like baby, baby, baby, oh // I thought you’d always be mine, mine,” I could only sit on the sofa, absolutely dumbfounded. I felt as if I had just witnessed the decline of all human effort, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only person in the world who would actively campaign to get his songwriter fired.

To my relief, Bieber soon went bye-bye and a new video emerged like a musical Godsend. A solo artist named Gary Clark, Jr. swooped in to restore my optimism in the modern music industry. For the next five minutes, I was in guitar-riff heaven; captivated by this musician who shredded his way into my heart with a classic Gibson ES335.

Brazenly referred to as the modern-day Jimi Hendrix, Gary Clark, Jr. is the Texas-based crooner making waves with his commanding “cool cat” persona and fuzzy guitar rhythms. Though he has gained some notoriety on the indie-blues rock scene, Gary Clark, Jr. is relatively under wraps. For someone who has harnessed old-school influences to produce a modern blues vibe, this is one artist truly deserving of global recognition.

Listen to his first single, “Bright Lights,” a song chronicling his journey of self-exploration in the unforgiven metropolis of NYC. What’s your take on this up-and-coming artist? Is Gary Clark, Jr. the reincarnation of old-school rock?

Sportsbook Betting Strategies to Fatten Your Wallet

Placing bets on the Grammy Awards has not exactly caught on in recent years, making it quite a difficult task to wager big bucks on some renowned musicians. Luckily, sports have always been here to satisfy all of our gambling desires. Popular sports offer a chance to win loads of cash while having equal amounts of fun throughout the entire process. Before you go throw down all of your savings on the table, you will first need a solid strategy to better your chances of winning big.

Stick with What You Know

If you’ve never seen a hockey game before, it’s probably not the best sport to place your money on. Likewise, if you have no idea what the rules of tennis are, you may have better odds at the slot machines. A strong understanding of the rules and the teams involved gives you an advantage in sports betting. This is one of several reasons why college athletes aren’t allowed to make sports wagers. Bet on a sport that you enjoy and stay up-to-date on the latest standings.

Beware of Fan Loyalty

There’s nothing wrong with having a favorite team, but fan bias is a big win-breaker in sports betting. In most cases, your team won’t win every single game so always placing your money on your favorite isn’t the best strategy. Do your research and bet with the stats if your goal is to put some cash back into your pocket. Pittsburgh Pirates fan Gary Mercer bet $20 against his team on every game one season and enjoyed a 10% return.

Set Reasonable Limits

Any successful bettor knows that you can’t win them all. Always figure out the amount you can comfortably afford to lose before you log in to your sportsbook account and never spend more than that limit. Chasing losses or attempting to hang on to a winning streak will usually cost you tremendously in the end. It’s also best not to drink excessively during betting sessions and to do your best to keep emotions under control.

Take Advantage of Cash Bonuses

Online casinos and sportsbooks offer several types of bonuses to attract new players and to keep existing ones. Welcome or sign-up bonuses are the most common and usually the most profitable, but reload bonuses and other promotions can boost your winnings as well. Be sure to read the terms and conditions first. Most bonuses have stipulations on their usage and when a player can withdraw their winnings. A sign-up cash bonus at sportsbook sites is usually a percentage of the player’s first deposit.

An effective sports betting strategy requires a bit of dedication, but devoted sports fans usually have no problem keeping up with the game. Practice the advice above and you’ll be winning like a pro in no time!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees: When Hip-Hop Meets ‘Heart’

What a RUSH! The PUBLIC have finally voted on the Newman and women pending induction into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These artists have poured their Heart and souls into their musical craft, and will join ranks alongside fellow King and Queens of rock and roll. The induction ceremony is expected to broadcast on HBO one month before Summer, the 18th of May 2013.

(Have I dropped enough subtle hints yet?)

Clever word-play aside, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officials have announced the legendary musicians to be honored at the 2013 awards ceremony. If I could offer a drum roll to preface the results, it would be an eclectic mash-up of rhythms to reflect the musical diversities of these latest inductees. The vets joining ranks with fellow Rock and Rollers are: Albert King (posthumously), Donna Summer (posthumously), Heart, Randy Newman, Rush and Public Enemy.

For the first time in the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards, fans were able to vote online for their preferred artists. As a result, this interactive approach generated one hell of a musical lineup; offering six different genres spanning a period of fifty years.

The inductees are a refreshing reminder of the various musical influences that have shaped the tunes of my generation. The product of pro-hippie parents, I grew up listening to The Beatles’ “Greatest Hits” album on Saturday mornings. In one afternoon, I had traveled from 60′s Britain to 80′s Asia with the simple change of my mom’s record.

It’s great to see such artists like Albert King – whose musical influences date back to the 1950s – being honored in the year 2013. It just goes to show how the classic hits of our past are still acknowledged as the musical stepping stones of our future.

Brooklyn Couple Breaks Up in YouTube Video

If only every relationship could end in an amicable music video.

Brooklyn-based couple Jonathan and Ivory are making viral headlines with their YouTube sensation song that chronicles their relationship’s demise in light of opposing views.

According to the song’s lyrics, Ivory takes an adamant stance against having children, in contrast to her pro-kid partner Jonathan who makes clear that he “wants to have babies.” After five years of dating, the couple have concluded their conflicting desires leave no other choice but the inevitable break-up.

The song delves further with its lyrics, assuring mutual friends that they “don’t have to choose” sides, “though it will be awkward, yes.” The ex-couple additionally requests invitations to friends’ parties, assuring they will still remain cordial:  “No, don’t feel weird; we love all of you! After five whole years at each other’s sides, there’s just some things no relationship can survive.”

The YouTube video concludes with an eager Jonathan admitting he wants a couple of children, juxtaposed to a negating Ivory who simply shakes her head in disagreement.

What’s your take on this couple’s breakup rendition? Do you believe this civil break-up ballad ends on a musical note, or nonsensical approach?

2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees: From Doo-Wop to Disco and Everything in Between

The 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced on October 4, 2012, offering a list of 15 groundbreaking artists who have circulated the music scene for a minimum of 25 years, as required for the ballot.

This unprecedented event was further marked by first-time fan voting, which allowed music lovers to vote on their preferred inductees. Though voting was concluded on December 5th, fans don’t have much longer to wait; the total nominations will be revealed sometime in mid-December, serving as a pre-holiday surprise for the musicians who made the selective cut. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 18, 2013 at Los Angeles’s notable Nokia Theatre.

In anticipation of the event, check the list below to revel in the revolutionary talents of the past quarter century:

Albert King, Chic, Deep Purple, Kraftwerk, Donna Summer, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Marvelettes, The Meters, N.W.A., Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Procol Harum, Public Enemy, Randy Newman and Rush.

From doo-wop to prog-rock to gangster rap, the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees fulfill a wide-range of experimental genres that have surpassed the last two decades; culminating in triumph as musical legends, regardless of the ultimate victor.

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