Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gimme A Chance

I recently took a long car ride with my daughter & was able to unwind & perform a "Brain Drain." However, it didn't stop me from being inspired...
This week's lesson comes from my eclectic daughter, Abby. During the long ride, she proceeded to educate me on the curious popularity of Chicago musician, "Chance The Rapper."
Chance The Rapper - photos courtesy Abby
It is always exciting to introduce readers to something new and I encourage you to "open your mind"  & learn about something outside of your box.
Well, "Buckle Up Buttercup," because you have some pretty bumpy territory ahead.
While personally hip-hop & rap is not my gig (I have been known to say "rap is crap" on many occasions), I noticed that the musician is appealing to a LOT of ears. He has received critical acclaim throughout the music industry & while I do not understand downloading statistics, I've read that he's achieved overwhelming success therein. I've seen his name on lists of the acts to see in 2015 as well. Personally, I find him to be a unique storyteller with a jazzy, trippy sound.

Apparently the artist allows his music to be downloaded for free & that is how he has been able to measure his fame. 
I found the following quote on his website, with a link to donate to his cause,

"As an independent artist, Chance The Rapper has released two projects, Acid Rap and 10 Day, completely for free to make sure everyone has access to the music. If you feel inclined to provide further support, donations are accepted and truly appreciated."
 While Chance's music may not be my cup of tea, he has definitely hooked young people from all walks of life. The rapper is accumulating heightened respect for being true to his musical creativity and not "selling out" to the record companies, while continuing to be loyal to his fellow musicians.
I discovered the rapper is pursuing a more organic career that protects his creativity as opposed to bowing to record companies who promise to line his pockets, while steering his career like a three year-old on a big wheel. The philosophy seems more in line with John Lennon's deep-seeded wishes to pursue creating rather than conquering the world in a somewhat "puppet-like" musical career. 
Chance makes the music he wants to make & it appears to have depth and meaning, however hard it may be for mature ears. My respect goes out to this 21-year old who is focused on making his music and being true to his friends (band members "Social Experiment").
This song is a creative piece that I admit to enjoying -- it is a remake of a PBS theme song for "Arthur," which my children watched for years. The performance is pretty cool I must say:

OK--the following song is NOT for everyone & I don't need a mailbox full of listen in the vein of curiosity if you are brave (and don't listen to this at work ;)

My message is this:  This musician connects with young people. You and I may not like it. But I'm pretty sure a lot of adults did not approve of The Beatles or KISS...but their presence in society has sustained. It's likely that musicians/rappers such as Chance will be relevant for many years. So educate yourself and embrace the message. The messenger may be a little hard to embrace...but suspicious looking & sounding messengers have been appearing in the world for thousands of

I challenge you to impress the youngster that mows your lawn with his ear buds & raggedy clothes...tell him you think Chance the Rapper has a great message. 
You may get props for being hip. (or is that hops for being hip ...)

Want to learn more? Here's an article from his website:

Lanea's Short Movie Review:
While chillin' last week, I watched what I would describe as a "music movie," the 2014 film "Whiplash." An ambitious college student strives for acceptance as a drummer into a university's highly regarded jazz studio band. The jazz band instructor, Terence Fletcher, is played by J. K. Simmons (the Farmers Insurance guy) & he is exceptional as the abusive instructor. The intensity & strong undercurrent of the film made it difficult for me to relax afterward (much like the UK-Wisconsin game). 
Simmons deserved the Oscar he won for the role. The instructor's abusive method mirrored that of hot-tempered sport coaches (think Bobby Knight) wherein he relied on abuse to raise perfection from his players. The story was terrific & the acting impeccable.  I give it 5 drumsticks.

author of The John Lennon Series:

Hi My Friends,
April 1, 2015, was a sad day. The death of Cynthia Lennon has really knocked the wind out of me. I'm usually the "family rock," but this one has been extremely difficult. I've studied Cynthia's life constantly for 30 years...learning something new about her each day. I feel as if I've lost a best friend. 

Jude's tribute to Cynthia is here:

But if anyone can cheer us up, Dennis Ferrante can. He is, without a doubt, my favorite guest on The John Lennon Hour. If you don't know Dennis, I can only say he is pure joy...pure happiness. He was John's sound engineer at the Record Factory, and if you've never heard him tell the story of meeting John and Yoko for the first time, YOU MUST! It is hilarious!!!!!!  Dennis has worked with Cher, Hall and Oates, Alice Cooper, and so many others...and he won a Grammy for his faithful restoration of Duke Ellington's works. I promise you'll enjoy every second of this show. Dennis is one of life's great people. I feel so blessed to have him on the program for the 3rd time.


THIS SUNDAY - Lanea will be at Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (April 12)  - 1:30 p.m. - here's a link to the event: 

Thank you for this great review, Sara Schmidt, of the "Meet The Beatles For Real" blog ! 

Hippity Hop,

Lanea Stagg
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