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Thoughts on Music and Music Movie Recommendations

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Since I last blogged on here a month ago, I’ve discovered a lot of new music and have enjoyed many music films. Since I am happy and lazy (I’m on Spring Break), I’m going to talk about how much I love music in general and give several brief music movie recommendations.

When I say I love music, I mean music in general. In three years, I’ve gone from just listening to alt. rock and soundtracks to having an eclectic music taste. I have my likes and dislikes, but I understand that every genre is connected.

On a post similar to this one, I said that my discovery of indie-rock was me coming full-circle with my music taste. I was wrong. Afro-punk is the genre that has brought me full-circle, not only with my music taste but also with my own life.

If had I known about this genre when I was feeling like an outsider in high school, then I would have found the perfect genre to listen to. Then again, I might not have the eclectic music taste I have now.

Afro-punk is a music genre and contemporary movement filled with black punk bands and black alternative music acts. As much as I’ve enjoyed finding music in this genre, I’ve also found more classic blues and jazz music that I like.

For instance, Billie Holiday before the 1950s.  During those years, her voice wasn’t marred by drugs yet. I love it because it sounded youthful, sad, and sweet. I love her slower songs the most because the way she stretched out the words made you want to savor her voice. One of my favorite songs is “Am I Blue?”

Another voice I’ve found I enjoy a lot is Sarah Vaughan. Her voice is soothing and sweet and it warms you up like a fire. Like with Holiday, I like her slower songs that were done when she was young.  One of my favorite songs is “Autumn in New York”.

Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday are now my favorite classic female blues and jazz singers.  I wish more young people could appreciate old music in any genre.

Without blues and jazz, we wouldn’t have rock music. Without classical music, none of my favorite soundtracks would exist.  Without old music, we wouldn’t have new music.

One of the most enjoyable things about appreciating music is watching music films. Here are the films that I’ve watched this past month that I recommend:

The Billie Holiday Story (BBC Documentary)-  I loved Billie Holiday even more after I saw this. This film shows her not as a victim to drugs and a sad childhood, but as a talented woman who had strengths and weaknesses.  Watch it here.

New Orleans (1947)- This film features Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. The plot is corny, but the jazz music makes the film worth watching. It’s on DVD, but I also found it on YouTube here (ignore the Portuguese subtitles).

Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll! (1987)- Part rock concert and part biography, this film honored the life and 50th birthday of rock musician Chuck Berry. Features appearances from Little Richard, Etta James, Keith Richards, and more. Watch it on Hulu here.

A Band Called Death (2013)- This film tells the story and new-found popularity of Death, the first black punk band. It is available to watch on Netflix. If you enjoy the film, their 1976 album Death For The Whole World To See is worth listening to as well.

Yellow Submarine (1968)- I watched this for the first time in February in honor of The Beatles 50th anniversary. It stars The Beatles in an animated film where they go to Pepperland to free it from the evil Blue Meanies. The animation and the music are great. This is a good film to watch as a family. Watch it on DailyMotion here.

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