Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums : #500 Outkast – Aquemini

November 9, 1967 from this date forward Rolling Stone Magazine has been a cornerstone of Musical Trend and Culture. Along with Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone has become the epicenter of the musical world, outlining why and how people should be listening to the music that they listen to. It bothers me then, as I step into the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of all Time, that the first album on the list, #500 is Outkast – Aquemini.

  I have nothing against Andre’ “Andre’ 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton’s particular mix of funk, and south style rapping, however I do have a problem with Aquemini even being on this list. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik is certainly a more influential and cleaner record while Speakerboxx/The Love Below features the tight beats and smooth funk that fans have come to recognize/expect from the Band. While certainly being the most polished and commercial out of the Outkast Collection it is worth noting that Speakerboxx/The Lover Below was the first hip hop album ever to win Album of the Year.

  While the other entrance by Outkast on the 500 is Stankonia, which truly marks the bands entrance into the mainstream from their underground roots and is a great album, Aquemini is placed into this list due to what I feel is the editors distain for the formulated albums being brought out by the mainstream hip hop artists of the day resulting in the polling an album that, while great for using live musicians and it’s social commentary, was a scattered mess of passable hip hop and deep funk with no structure. It is this bloggers belief that when taking into account Outkast’s sizeable catalog there are better picks to be made for this spot than Aquemini.

S.D.

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Luke De – Sciscio : A voice to be reckoned with.

Luke De – Sciscio – At Black Lodge – 02 I Want To Hold You by Luke De-Sciscio #np on #SoundCloud

So…while it was never my intention to promote new and random music on this blog. This guy…just cannot be ignored. A soaring falsetto mixed with honest acoustic guitar makes for just the very best kind of music. Please…please…please…if you happen to pass by my blog. Check this guy out…and then immediately click favorite. This man deserves to be heard by absolutely everyone!!!!!

S.D.

Hello 2015

Like a winter snow, the New Year is upon us. Covering the landscape in fresh white powder, pure and unmarked, full of potential. It is with this in mind that I have decided 2015 is a year of change and improvement. Keeping in mind that while these sound like the same old hashed out “resolutions” that no one keeps, I am attempting to make permanent changes in mine, and my families lives, some of which will be updated and followed on this shiny new Blog. I hope that while I strive to improve both my lifestyle and my life outlook, someone out there will find the inspiration to make their own changes, or continue making more positive decisions. Life, after all, is a continuous learning experience.

After dealing with some pretty significant financial struggles last year, I have decided that I have waited long enough in providing myself and my family with a solid financial foundation. The development of an emergency savings plan is going into effect, I can no longer hide behind the excuse that we don’t have the money to put away. If we have enough money to go out and eat fast food then we have the money to put $20.00 a week into a savings plan. Twenty times Fifty Two is more than a Thousand a year saved and while Pinterest and Facebook share a plethora of money saving stratagem. I think that simply setting the bank up to deposit $20.00 from one account to another account automatically will simplify things.

Weight, while this is something that I continually struggle with, it is no longer optional for this change to be made. Coming into my Thirty Third year, I have begun to worry about whether I will still be around to see my son graduate, get married, and have children of his own. I do not want to leave the boy without a father to walk through life with him. While I have been the victim of quick diets and fads over the last few years, I am taking a new outlook on the whole situation. If I cut back on the unhealthy foods, increase healthy foods, and decrease the amount I create a small cavern on my couch, then by all rights I should begin to feel healthier. This is the point that I am trying to stress, I am not specifically going to be trying to LOSE WEIGHT. I will be trying to live a healthier lifestyle, if within that healthier lifestyle I lose weight…bonus…if not then at least I will be healthy and active.

One of the major issues that I am going to have here is eating fast food. It is easier for me to stop on the way to work and grab a snack, and then eat a burger at work, and then grab a pizza on the way home for dinner. It’s not working, it’s not healthy and it’s got to stop. So I will begin to pack a lunch, pull out produce and meat for supper, and make a filling breakfast before leaving for work. This will ensure that the chances of fast food even becoming a factor during the daily grind will be eliminated.

And now to the smaller stuff, this is the fun stuff, the fluff….

I used to be really big into reading, I had a decent collection of books and almost never spent time in front of the television, instead choosing to read or interact with friends. 2015 will be the beginning of my journey to return to this place. I will be visiting my favorite used bookstore on a regular basis searching out copies of 30 books that I have chosen to read this year. My 30 book list is a combination of newer must reads and classic literature that either I have read before and want a refresher on, or that I always wanted to read but never got around to. For the purposes of this Blog I will share when I have started a book and when I have finished it. Also, to ensure that I am not skimming the books, I will include a summary essay on each book. I feel that this is a necessary change, I find myself spending far too much time in front of the television set and less time challenging my imagination. So out of the expansive list of television shows I watch religiously, it will be cut down, to the following three; Game of Thrones, Vikings, and State of Affairs. Goodbye couch cavern…hello half empty bookshelf. As an afterthought here, if there are any readers who know of a “MUST READ” book that they would like to share please feel free to share. This is an open minded experience and who knows, I might find my new favorite book.

At work, more than once, I am referred to as a *shudder* Hipster due to my musical tastes. Which baffles me because while I do enjoy my fair share of Indie music, I have never considered the work “Independent” to cover a genre. Independent music is done by an Artist outside the restrictions and/or assistance of a record label. So I guess, while I don’t necessarily fit into the “Indie” subculture my particular love of live, unsigned, local talent can make me a “Hipster”. That being said my musical love is wide spread, I love everything from The Beatles to Katy Perry (more for the sense of humor, than the music *cough*) and from Otis Redding to Metallica. That being said I feel particularly ill with myself that I have not listened to every album on the “Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of all Time.” So…while I read my 30 books this year I will also be listening to the 500 Greatest Albums of all time from start to finish. As with the books I will be updating regularly when I finish an album as well as posting my own thoughts and feelings regarding these albums. My hope is that I will find a deeper respect for some the artists I love, as well as hopefully find some stuff that I’ve never heard before and will fall in love with. As before if anyone is actually reading this I am always open to new and exciting music from any Genre, so please feel free to suggest your favorite artists and albums. I will check every single one of them out.

So for now, this is it…this is 2015. I walk into this wide eyed and full of wonder, ready to make snow forts and snow angels out of the glistening potential I see before me.

S.D.