Our dumbed down culture

I don’t listen to a whole lot of contemporary music these days.

The songs aren’t well-written. They frequently present values at odds with mine. And they’re over-produced, perhaps to mask the fact that they’re not well-written.

Gordon Goodwin weighed in on the subject on his Facebook page following the recent Grammy Awards. I don’t know much about Mr. Goodwin, other than he is himself an accomplished musician who has won Grammy and Emmy Awards.

Here is his take:

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Mass murder in the United States

Some men simply snap.

Some feel that the world, the system, their boss, or whatever, have been unjust to them, and they’re filled with rage and desire revenge.

Some are mentally ill.

Some are terrorists bent on advancing a cause.

And some are just plain evil.

Sometimes it’s all of the above.

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A fresh take on ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is considered one of Elton John’s greatest hits.

Released in 1973, the song was an international sensation, hitting #1 on the Cashbox 100 and #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The song continues its robust sales with prolific online downloads as each new generation discovers the appeal of this pop hit.

I’ve heard Elton sing it in concert as well as Bill Joel. However, the best cover yet is a haunting rendition by Sara Bareilles. Ms. Bareilles has a wonderful, expressive voice which she accompanies with her own piano playing.

She took Elton’s song and transformed it into something fresh and new. You’re going to love it!

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is one of Elton John’s iconic songs.

Although he had songs rank higher on the charts (this one ‘only’ reached #2 on Billboard’s charts), it seems to have really struck a chord with the public, no pun intended.

It is not my personal favorite, that honor going to Bennie & the Jets, but it features a great melody and exceptional lyrics from Bernie Taupin.

Because of its range, it is a brutal song to sing. I just heard a wonderful, totally unique take on the song by singer Sara Bareilles. Watch the video above.

It is a treat.

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Elton John and the gay chic

“Any melodic songwriter owes a debt to Elton John, the supreme melodist. I don’t know sh*t about new bands, but anybody who plays the keyboard and likes melody must give a nod to Elton. Like Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Carole King and the Beatles, he carries on the rich tradition of writing beautiful melodies.”

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Elton John and the celebration of gayness

“Elton kicks my ass on piano.”
These are the words of another legendary rock and roll piano player, Billy Joel. That’s quite a compliment coming from someone with the chops of a Billy Joel. Billy literally gushes talking about his buddy, Elton …

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