“Brendan’s Death Song”

So I guess this is the week of epic music video releases…

RedHotChiliPeppers.com and RollingStone.com have debuted the official video for the Chili Pepper’s “Brendan’s Death Song” from their 2011 I’m With You album. This song was written for their long-time friend, Brendan Mullen, who passed away on the first day of production on the recent album.  Mullen, a well-known and respected Hollywood nightclub owner, met Anthony and Flea in the early 80’s, giving them one of their very first gigs at his Club Lingerie. He was immediately supportive of the band, and they remained good friends until his death in 2009.  He had also been co-authoring a biography on the Chili Peppers when he died. In the interview below, Anthony describes Brendan as, “[having] a love for music and art and life and freaks.”

I actually really love the music video. It’s simple, it’s respectful – while still clinging, somewhat, to the band’s bad ass roots- and, according to what information I know about Mullen, a traditional New Orleans funeral seems fitting.  When announcing the video release yesterday on Twitter, Flea even proclaimed it to be his favorite video thus far from the I’m With You era. I concur.

To get an exclusive first watch of the video now, visit the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Official Website, or Rolling Stone’s Website.

“National Anthem”

And just in time for the 4th of July!

Lana Del Rey debuted her brand new video for her song “National Anthem” this morning, and already the interwebs are ablaze, buzzing with both nods and criticisms of the somewhat historical/slightly “remixed” story of John F. Kennedy’s various loves, and assassination.  Reminiscent of her “Born to Die” video, which is jam-packed with romance and sex appeal, followed by a tragic and morbid conclusion, the “National Anthem” video follows a similar recipe.  I have to say, however, that although the lyrics to this song are limited – at least to me – I can’t help but love the video, as I love all of her videos. They are all so beautifully shot, their retro vibe probably being their initial appeal to me.  But I also just really love her ideas on portraying her realities.  She explains in the below interview: “I’ve been making videos since I was seventeen, collecting vintage footage from different archives, and setting moving pictures to classical music – clips that meant a lot to me… I had a vision of making my life a work of art.”

Below is the official “National Anthem” video, featuring rapper A$AP Rocky as a modern-day JFK.

Thoughts?

Rain Rain, Stay and Chill

Here’s a playlist I created for epically cozy, rainy days – when all you want to do is snuggle up and day dream. Enjoy!

Rainy Mix

Little Wing

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix wrote a song called “Little Wing”. Now, there are several different ideas on and interpretations of the song’s meaning.  When originally interviewed about it after the album Axis: Bold as Love was released, Jimi claimed the lyrics to “Little Wing” were a metaphor for the Monterey Pop Music Festival, summer of 1967 – which was The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first major show after returning to the states following two years, and a slew of success in the U.K. This show, and Jimi’s performance in particular, gained a ton of recognition (both positive and negative) among music journalists all over the country – spreading the word like wild fire (pun intended) about Jimi, his band, and his “pyrotechnics”.

“I got the idea like, when we was in Monterey, and I just happened to…just looking at everything around. So I figured that I take everything I see around and put it maybe in the form of a girl maybe, something like that, you know, and call it ‘Little Wing’, in other words, just fly away. Everybody really flying and they’s really in a nice mood, like the police and everybody was really great out there. So I just took all these things an put them in one very, very small little matchbox, you know, into a girl and then do it. It was very simple, you know. That’s one of the very few ones I like.”

To the contrary, however, Charles R. Cross’ biography “Room Full of Mirrors”, states that Jimi later told his brother Leon that the song was about their mother, Lucille, who had passed away when he was a teenager. Other songs about his mom include “Castles Made of Sand” and “Angel” (which, of course, are both amazing.) Some claim that Little Wing was Jimi’s guardian angel, while others claim Little Wing was Jimi’s personification of LSD.  Regardless of whatever the truth may be, the song is perfection.

I wish I could remember the first time I heard “Little Wing”.  I don’t. But what I do know is that it is, by far, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created.  And aside from the instrumentals (specifically Jimi’s guitar work – which is particularly extraordinary and other worldly, even for him), I love the fact that the lyrics leave so much room for interpretation.  Each individual listener can decide for themselves not only what Jimi meant, but what it means to them on a personal level… Because isn’t that what music is all about?

“When I’m sad, she comes to me

With a thousand smiles, she gives to me free.

It’s alright, she says, it’s alright

Take anything you want from me.

Anything.”

To me, she is music.

To me, music is one of, if not the most important thing in the world.  It changes everything, it affects everyone – whether they know it or not.  Jimi Hendrix is a legend because he influenced everything we now know about rock’n’roll and the blues.  He took an instrument, which was already technically mastered by many, but he made it talk. Literally. The guitar was Jimi’s voice in a very complex world.

For Jimi, for my Grandma (and guardian angel) Rosalind, for me, for letting go of the past, for looking fear in the eye, for going with the flow, and for rock ‘n’roll.

 fly on, little wing.

Bask in the Summer Music

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re laying on a beach. Think about the warmth of the sun on your skin; the smell of suntan lotion and ocean air. What do you hear? The waves. Maybe a few aquatic birds.  However, if you’re a music fanatic like myself, there isn’t a better occasion in the world to plug in those ear buds and drift away to a beautiful, magical, warm place in the back of your mind, and let all of your daily problems and concerns just drift away into the abyss.

You probably think I’m stoned out of my mind right now.  Well, I’m not.  I’m actually sitting under florescent lighting in my cubical on my lunch break, but preparing myself for a fabulous beach day tomorrow, and setting up a sweet soundtrack to go with it.  I like to think I’m pretty good at this kind of thing, and so I’d like to share with you, faithful readers, my very favorite summer jams.  Some are newish, while some are definite throwbacks, but all are extremely chill nonetheless.

Please feel free to list any of your favorite summer songs in the comments section, or by emailing or tweeting me.

Back to the newsic next week.

Click the link below. Enjoy!

My Summer Jams