SONGS/VIDEOS TO MAKE YOU FEEL PROUD – IN CELEBRATION OF PRIDE and LOVE EVERYWHERE!

In celebration of Gay Pride, Love and Positive Energy – I decided to share some music videos that have thought provoking messages, are relevant in terms of the songs message or simply make you feel like you want to dance.  Whether you identify as gay, straight, bisexual or transgender – let your true colours fly and do it without judging someone else’s authenticity.  Now let’s celebrate PRIDE by spreading love and positive energy into the world:

NOTHING REALLY MATTERS (REMIX) – Madonna

YOU DON’T KNOW – Cyndi Lauper

FEEL WHAT YOU WANT – Kristine W

FREE – Ultra Nate

POWER OF LOVE – Deee-Lite

PROUD – Heather Small

MODERN LOVE – Rupaul

A LITTLE RESPECT (HMI Redux) – Erasure

AFTER ALL – Billie Ray Martin

GLASS & PATRON – FKA Twigs

BRING THE NOIZE – M.I.A.

LIGHT IN PLACES – Peaches

LIVING FOR LOVE (Remix) – Madonna

Let music move you towards creating positive change in the world.  Allow LOVE into your heart and live with positive energy within your heart.

HAPPY PRIDE to everyone!!!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

TAKE ME TO CHURCH

I am a big fan of music in its various formats and genres; some pop, rock, alternative, country, reggae, dance, house and electronica.  Some of my favourite artists come from the house music/electronica genre like; Depeche Mode, Erasure, Kristine W, Ultra Nate, Madonna, The Human League, OMD, Billie Ray Martin, Massive Attack and Tricky – just to name a few. 

The artists I named above have been instrumental in providing the ‘soundtrack to my life’ some more than others but one artist that has been consisted in providing music that has deeply resonated with me and the events of my life has been Sinead O’Connor.  Ever since I heard her captivating voice as it softly sang the first verse of her underground alternative hit “Troy” form the ground-breaking album The Lion and the Cobra:

“I’ll remember it
And Dublin in a rainstorm
And sitting in the long grass in summer
Keeping warm
I’ll remember it
Every restless night
We were so young then
We thought that everything
We could possibly do was right
Then we moved”

I was hooked right from the beginning – her voice was soft gentle and passionate at the start of the song but strong, defiant by the end.  Since then, Sinead O’Connor has released albums that transcend all music genres from pop to reggae and topics ranging from love, religion and spirituality. 

Due to Sinead’s outspoken nature and personal issues stemming from a troubled home-life and abuse endured by the hands of her mother, Sinead’s music career went from over-night success via her Prince-penned hit single, “Nothing Compares 2 U”, to becoming ostracized for making a very courageous statement about the Catholic church and their sexual abuse scandals.  

Sinead’s latest effort is entitled;  I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss.  Her latest single, “Take Me To Church” is a rebirth of sorts.  Sinead sings about not having regrets in being the woman she used to be and living authentically as  the woman she is today.   Here are the lyrics, followed by the video:

TAKE ME TO CHURCH

I don’t wanna love the way I loved before,
I don’t wanna love that way no more
What if I’ve been right and lost some storm?
I don’t want to write them anymore
I don’t wanna sing them the way I sang before
I don’t wanna sing that way no more,
What if I’ve been singing love songs before?
I don’t wanna sing them anymore,
I don’t wanna be that girl no more
I don’t wanna cry no more
I don’t wanna die no more
So get me down from this old tree,
Cut the rope and all from me
Sat me on the floor,
I’m the only one I should adore!

Take me to the church,
I’ve done so many bad things that hurts
Take me to the church,
but not the ones that hurt
‘Cause that ain’t the truth
And that’s not what it’s worth
Yeah, take me to church
Yeah, take me to church
I’ve done so many bad things that hurts
Yeah, get me to church,
but not the ones that hurt
‘Cause that ain’t the truth
And that’s not what it’s worth

I’m gonna say souls of love and unforgiven ??
Sons of living, sons of calling in the night
It’s time to rise above the light
And love the only one you shouldn’t bite
??
So get me down from this old tree,
Cut the rope and all from me
Sat me on the floor,
I’m the only one I should adore!

Take me to the church,
I’ve done so many bad things that hurts
Yeah take me to the church,
but not the ones that hurt
‘Cause that ain’t the truth
And that’s not what it’s worth
Yeah, take me to church
Yeah, take me to church
I’ve done so many bad things that hurts
Yeah, get me to church,
but not the ones that hurt
‘Cause that ain’t the truth
And that’s not what it’s worth

(O’Connor/Reynolds/Kearns)

Many critics are saying that Sinead is back in top form and that the album is a great ‘come-back’.  For me, it isn’t a come-back album because I have enjoyed much of her under-rated work such as the amazing works of Universal Mother, Gospel Oak EP, the glorious Faith and Courage and the fantastic How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?  If you haven’t been honoured in listening to any of her music after her so-called ‘break-down’, I would recommend opening your mind and your heart and taking the musical and emotional journey of what Sinead’s music and lyrics can provide you.

For more Sinead’s discography, tour and other information, please visit her official website at:  www.sineadoconnor.com or like her Facebook page.  You can purchase Sinead on the iTunes store via:   http://www.apple.com/itunes

I am grateful for her music and wish her much peace, love and health because that is all her music has given me. 

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SONGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

There is nothing like music to change your mood.  Music makes you scream, shout and dance!  Music is inspiring and can change your mood thereby changing your health.  Moving and dancing to music gets the blood flowing and helps to reduce fat – possibly creating a physical change.  It can also be calming and thought-provoking providing bringing balance to your emotional state.

Here is a list of songs that make I love singing  aloud to and make me really happy (in no particular order):

MADONNA – Holiday

www.madonna.com

From the self-titled album:  MADONNA, released July 27, 1983.

SADE – Kiss of Life

www.sade.com

From the album:  LOVE DELUXE, released November 1, 1992.

ERASURE – A Little Respect

http://www.erasureinfo.com

From the album:  THE INNOCENTS, released April 18, 1988

GLORIA GAYNOR – I Will Survive

www.gloriagaynor.com

From the album:  LOVE TRACKS, released November 27, 1978

ELTON JOHN/THE ELTON JOHN BAND – Philadelphia Freedom

www.eltonjohn.com

Released as a single on February 24, 1975

FLEETWOOD MAC – Dreams

www.fleetwoodmac.com

From the album:  RUMOURS, released February 4, 1977

ULTRA NATE – Free

www.ultranate.com

From the album:  SITUATION CRITICAL, released April 27, 1998

DEPECHE MODE – It’s No Good

www.depechemode.com

From the album:  ULTRA, released April 14, 1997

DONNA SUMMER – On The Radio

www.donnasummer.com

Released as a single on November 23, 1979

KRISTINE W – I’ll Be Your Light

www.kristinew.com

From the album:  FLY AGAIN, released in 2003

DEEE-LITE – Power of Love

www.ladykier.com

From the album:  WORLD CLIQUE, released August 7, 1990

LADY GAGA – Fashion

www.ladygaga.com

From the album:  ARTPOP, released November 6, 2013

CYNDI LAUPER – Shine

www.cyndilauper.com

From the album:  SHINE, released only in Japan May 3, 2004 (EP and remixes) released in USA May 2002

For more information about each of these artists (link included below each video/audo post – please visit their respective websites.  To purchase any of these songs or album, please visit their websites or iTunes.

Let music move you emotionally and physically…..but most of all….HAVE FUN!!!!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

MUSIC INSPIRES ME….SOME OF MY FAVOURITES

Do you remember what song played during your first kiss or your first break-up?  Do you remember your the first song played at your wedding reception?  (Mine was “Hung Up” by Madonna).  Music was pivotal to the soundtrack of my life.  My tastes crossed all genres but I preffered to listen to Electronic/Dance.  Thinking about your life, what music was pivotal in helping you during the tough and not so tough moments in your life?

Here are 25 cds/albums that I would definitely need or have with me should I be stranded on island:

25:  THE HUMAN LEAGUE – Hysteria (1984)

24:  NEW ORDER – Substance (1987)

23:  GEORGE MICHAEL – Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1 (1990)

22:  ULTRA NATE – Grime, Silk, & Thunder (2007)

21:  UB40 – Labour of Love (1983)

20:  DIDO – No Angel (1999)

19:  TRICKY – Maxinquaye (1995)

18:  JAMES BLAKE – James Blake (2011)

17:  BILLIE RAY MARTIN – Deadline For My Memories (1995)

16:  FLAVORS OF ENTANGLEMENT – ALANIS MORISSETTE (2008)

15:  DAVE GAHAN – Hourglass (2007)

14:  EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL – Temperamental (1999)

13:  MASSIVE ATTACK – Protection (1994)

12:  PEACHES – I Feel Cream (2009)

11:  MISTRESS BARBARA – I’m No Human (2009)

10:  DEEE-LITE – Dewdrops In The Garden (1994)

9:  ERASURE – Erasure (1995)

8:  DEPECHE MODE – Black Celebration (1986) and Violator (1990)

7:  FAITHLESS – Outrospective (2001)

6:  BJORK – Vespertine (2001)

5:  SINEAD O’CONNOR – Faith & Courage (2000)

4:  ERASURE – I Say, I Say, I Say (1994)

3:  KRISTINE W – Land of the Living (1996)

2:  MADONNA – American Life (2003)

1:  MADONNA – Ray of Light (1998)

As Madonna once sang:  “Music makes the people come together, yeah”

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

HAPPY GAY PRIDE – MUSIC VIDEO

As we continue to celebrate the ruling SCOTUS made yesterday in deeming Prop 8 unconstitutional – I want to look back into the past, 1984 to be exact.  I was in High School and was living a life as a closeted teenager.  I didn’t know where to go for support – I knew how my friends and family felt about homosexuals (especially males) and wasn’t about to ‘come out’ to any of them.  The only release I managed to receive was in pop music. 

There were a lot of ambiguous music groups and artists that were just reaching peak stardom levels, groups such as; Duran Duran, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, New Order, Yaz, etc….What I really connected with were bands that had openly/known gay singers and band mates like; Culture Club, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and especially Bronski Beat.  (I learned of Andy Bell of Erasure a few years later).  

Music transcended the closet for me and I guess, for many others.  These bands had massive hit records and albums during that time.  I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t come out especially when Bronski Beat had a hit on the charts about a young boy’s struggle and coming out with his homosexuality.  The song was called “Smalltown Boy”.  This song resonated with me – it was about me, it was my story and it was on the radio everywhere.  The irony is that the song didn’t give me the courage to come out and live my authentic life – for me, it reinforced why I should stay closeted.  I didn’t want to be bullied, I didn’t want to lose my friends and most of all – I didn’t want to be ostracized by my family.  What that song did was allow me to begin the dialogue with myself in accepting who I was because it was confirmation that there were many others out there like me.

I think the LGBTQ community should acknowledge the importance of pop music and artists such as Divine, Sylvester, Culture Club, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Madonna, Elton John, Erasure and Bronski Beat – some for being openly gay and not apologizing for it and some for embracing the community without fear of what could happen to their careers.  These artists, through their music and videos, have provided an escape of a harsh reality that so many today (and yesterday) couldn’t live through.  So thank you and Happy Pride.

Here are the lyrics to “Smalltown Boy” :

You leave in the morning
With everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform
The wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Mother will never understand
Why you had to leave
But the answers you seek
Will never be found at home
The love that you need
Will never be found at home

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Pushed around and kicked around
Always a lonely boy
You were the one
That they’d talk about around town
As they put you down

And as hard as they would try
They’d hurt to make you cry
But you never cried to them
Just to your soul
No, you never cried to them
Just to your soul

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Cry, boy, cry…

You leave in the morning
With everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform
The wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Here is the video that gave me inspiration to begin to live my true and authentic self….enjoy!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

IN CELEBRATION OF PRIDE – MUSIC VIDEOS

I thought I would share some of my favorite videos to get you pumped and ready for Gay Pride celebrations around the world……ENJOY!!!!   HAPPY PRIDE!!!

MADONNA – Human Nature

KRISTINE W – Land of the Living

ERASURE – A Little Respect (HMI Redux)

DEEE-LITE – Power Of Love

ULTRA NATE – Free

CYNDI LAUPER – You Don’t Know

RUPAUL – Free To Be

SIR ARI GOLD – Love Will Take Over

GOSSIP – Heavy Cross

EN VOGUE – Free Your Mind

GEORGE MICHAEL – Outside

LADY GAGA – Born This Way

JANET JACKSON – Together Again

MACKELMORE & RYAN LEWIS – Same Love

You can find all these songs on iTunes or by visiting the artists official website.

Have a safe and HAPPY PRIDE!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SONG OF THE WEEK

My song of the week is by a band I have been listening to for over 20 years.  They are ERASURE.  My first ever cd purchase was the cd entitled ‘The Innocents’ (prior to that I was buying vinyl and cassettes) which included the North American hits ‘Chains of Love’ and ‘A Little Respect’.  I look forward to anything they release and always with great anticipation.  I have all their full-length cd releases and countless cd singles/maxis/remixes. 

I Say I Say I Say – was released in late spring of 1994 and easily became my favourite Erasure album.  I love the album artwork – cartoon versions of Andy Bell and Vince Clark in what seems to be a fairy tale world.  The songs seemed to reflect the album artwork of escaping to a world of fantasy were only love exists.  I won tickets (including backstage passes to meet the band) from NOW magazine on their  ‘Tomorrow’s World’ tour – I brought a limited edition cd of this album which I had Andy Bell and Vince Clark sign.  I was in awe in meeting Erasure because their music has been such a huge part of my life.  The one song that really stands out is ‘Because You’re So Sweet’ – as I mentioned, this album came out just as met Jason (who I am now married to).   I become very emotional each time I hear this song – as the mood, lyrics and music of the song capture exactly how I feel about Jason.  This was ‘unofficially’ our wedding song and I always fantazied that when Jason and I did get married, I would somehow manage to have Erasure – Andy Bell and Vince Clark,  come out and perform the song live for us. 

Erasure has released some of the most brilliant pop/dance/electronic music of the 20th century – Classic albums such as; Wonderland, The Circus, The Innocents, Wild, Chorus, I Say I Say I Say, Erasure, Cowboy, Loveboat, Other People’s Songs, Nightbird, Union Street, Light At The End of the World and their latest – Tomorrow’s World.   Their singles/hits are to numerous to mention but I absolutely love the songs – My Heart So Blue, Cry So Easy, The Circus, Spiralling, A Little Respect, Heart of Stone, You Surround Me, Piano Song, 2,000 Miles, Love To Hate You, Siren Song, Perfect Stranger, Because You’re So Sweet, Blues Away, Take Me Back, Rock Me Gently, Sono Luminous, Fingers and Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day), Worlds On Fire, Save Me Darling, Where In The World, Alien, Catch 22, No Doubt, Breathe, Sweet Surrender, I Could Fall In Love With You, Be With You, Fill Us With Fire, A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot (whew) – those are just some of my favorites (not to mention all of the hits).

BECAUSE YOU’RE SO SWEET

Because you’re so sweet
You lift my heart and I fall back again
But I don’t know quite which way to turn

The light in your eyes
Touches the sky and I’m your man again
And you hold me as close as close can be

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
Now I want you back
Here in my lovin’ arms for eternity

Your look and you smile
Warm me inside ’cause you’re so good to me
A beauty filled with the joys of spring

No love is too pure
To give to the world in her naivety
Or too tender to caress with a simple kiss

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
Now I want you back
Here in my lovin’ arms for eternity

And many’s the time
That you’ve enchanted me
I want you back
Back in my lovin’ arms for eternity

To my wonderful and beautiful Jason!

For information about Erasure releases, tours, news etc – please visit http://www.erasureinfo.com/

SOME OF MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE PHOTOS

How many times have we said:  “I wish I had that on video or in a photo”?  I know that I have personally made a statement like that many times throughout my life.  My blog today is a photo blog of photo memories that bring me joy, happiness and laughter each time I look at them or remember the actual moments.  Enjoy!

1.  Freddy – this was our (Jason – my spouse and I ) first pet.  This picture is special to me because it captures all the love for life that Freddy had.  He loved being outdoors and loved sharing that time with Jason and I.  Freddy passed on in November of 2010.

2.  Cedars Campground – The first trip there.  On our first trip to Cedars Campground in Ontario Canada (over 10 years ago) we set up our tent and met with 2 guys who had a trailer across from our site.  We became fast friends and they played a practical joke on us while we went into town for some supplies.  Upon our return we found women’s panties, panty hose, wigs, dresses and other items scurried around our campsite and in our tent!!!  It was a very funny moment we will never forget especially when the practical joke came from 2 guys we hardly knew – We loved them and are grateful for the memories and great times we shared together!

3.  Relaxing at my favourite Ontario beach – Sandbanks.  Moments that I treasure most are spending time with nature – I feel connected with the universe when I spend time with nature.  I am in awe of the beauty our world and environment has to offer.  I am so grateful for moments such as these in the picture below.

4.  Fashion Cares Toronto 2004.  Being able to connect with one of my favourite singers (the amazing Kristine W) was an amazing memory for me, and to share this moment with my spouse Jason and good friend Lestat – was icing on the cake.

5.  My mother. I find this picture wonderful and magical because it captures my mother’s warmth on such a chilly winter’s day.

6.  Jason kayaking on Georgian Bay, Ontario Canada.  This picture captured the joy and happiness Jason had kayaking on the shores of Georgian Bay.  The weather was beautiful and hot, the water crystal clear and the day was filled with joy and laughter.  A memory of happiness I will always hang on to.

7.  On the way to Sandbanks Provincial Park – Jason and I stopped in Bloomfield to grab a bite to eat.  While I was in the cafe – Jason discovered that a local woman was having a garage sale.  He immediately fell in love with the original art print in the picture below, so we purchased it.  The artist a local woman from Bloomfield indicated that she wanted to sell many of her items as she was joining her daughter in Indonesia.  The last time the woman was Indonesia was when she was pregnant with the daughter she was going to meet – who was now pregnant with her own child.  The painting now hangs in my house and every time I come down the stairs I look at the picture and remember this trip, the artists story and how we were all connected through her art.

8.  Meeting Andy Bell and Vince Clark of ERASURE!  It was brief but I got to ask a few questions and talk to one of my favourite electronic bands ever!  I put my intention into the universe that I wanted to see them during their 2011 tour.  A few days later – I saw a contest in a gay and lesbian newspaper to enter to win a meet and greet.  The universe responded and I won tickets to the show and the chance to meet with Andy Bell and Vince Clark!  It was awesome and I got to share the moment with the most important person in my life – my husband Jason.

9.  Montreal trips…..I love the energy of Montreal.  We visit a few times a year and are always pleasantly surprised how we enjoy it more and more every time we go.  Some great vegetarian restaurants and so many wonderful, happy memories!

10.  Finally getting married after almost 15 years together!!!

Maybe we should all take a photo trip down memory lane and reconnect with friends and family.  Share the laughter and joy of days gone and start creating new, wonderful and happy memories.  The time we have is short – make the best of it and spread love, joy and laughter by sharing old memories and creating new ones!

What personal photos have you taken that invoke positive energy, love, laughter and joy?

Together, we can make this world a more positive one!

MUSIC AND LYRICS THAT HAVE BEEN PROFOUND TO ME and others THAT HAVE JUST BEEN POSITIVE AND FUN! (Part I)

Music touches our lives in so many ways….we remember certain songs during pivotal moments in our lives.  I have many memories that I can specifically attach a song to.  Song or music and lyrics touch us in different ways and may draw various and different emotions in each one of us – there are songs that I hear that may make me feel happy, joy, sadness, anger and that will also make me laugh, those same songs could effect so many others in different ways.  Here is an additional list of songs that have moved me in a positive manner and that I can certainly include as part of a ‘soundtrack to my life’, what songs are soundtracks to your life?

A Little Respect – ERASURE

Unison – BJORK

Marble House – THE KNIFE

Inside Of Me – MADONNA

Eye Can See U – SUZANNE PALMER

Little Bird – ANNIE LENNOX

Free – ULTRA NATE

Shine – CYNDI LAUPER

Pandora’s Box (It’s A Long Long Way) – OMD

How Soon Is Now – THE SMITHS

The Promise – WHEN IN ROME

Man In The Mirror – MICHAEL JACKSON

Freedom 90 – GEORGE MICHAEL

The Wonder Of It All – KRISTINE W