Category Archives: Popular Culture

Who’s Next?

By Jess Samson


August 14th, 1971 marked the release of the fifth studio album of The Who.  The English rock band claimed their fame during the British invasion of the 1960s. While most of these bands eventually broke up or just died out, The Who have prevailed with their signature strong guitar riffs and remarkable drum beats that have made the band legendary.

“Who’s Next” was brilliantly performed and produced to a tee. One of the greatest guitarists of all time, Pete Townsend, intended the album to be a sequel to the group’s rock opera Tommy.   The failed rock opera ended up as an exciting piece of rock and roll music that changed the way we listen to rock today.

Originally holding only nine tracks, every song on Who’s Next is a masterpiece itself.  Two of the most beloved classic Who tracks open  and close the record. “Baba O’Riley”, opens the album with the band’s first use of synthesizers.  “Teenage Wasteland“, refers to the drugged out teenagers that defiled Woodstock. The Who decided to end the album with a call-to-action with “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.  It was a statement that we are ready and we will fight when the time comes to preserve our freedom, and the song became  almost a theme for the people at home during the Vietnam War. These two songs are considered the songs that shaped all of rock and roll.

The song that sticks out the most from the Who’s Next album is the song that starts the B-Side, titled”Getting In Tune”. Beautiful piano chords begins the song with the heavy passion of Roger Daltrey’s voice singing, “I’m singing this note ’cause it fits in well with the chords I’m playing/I can’t pretend there’s any meaning here or in the things I’m saying/But I’m in tune“.  This song is about the rocky balance of being a rock star and dealing with the absence of spirituality. The dynamics of the song is where it gets the most praise. The song alternates between passionate heart-felt emotions with power rock that takes you on a roller-coaster ride.

Every song on this album is genius. It’s one of the most important pieces of rock and roll, even by today’s standard. If someone were to ask “what albums would you take if you were on a desert island?” Fan or no fan, Who’s Next should and would have to be one of them.

 

Catch Rebel Rock Radio with Jess Samson every Thursday 7-9pm only on WCRX 88.1 FM.

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Netflix is Taking Over the World

 

netflix-logoBy Jessica Samson

For the past couple months, my life has been consumed with great television, all thanks to Netflix.   I know I’m not the only one spoiled by on-demand streaming. Netflix has changed the way we watch television. It has created binge-watching.  a marathon of endless programming.  With instant streaming, you can catch the plot in the middle of a show or start new shows, anytime you want.

Personally, Netflix has changed my life. Not just in viewing habits or lack of social interactions, but it has started a new habit in my daily life. I find myself becoming more of a homebody, spending more time watching and discussing their high quality programming.

Just recently, I was with my family and without hesitation our conversation gravitated to the topic of television. Instantly, Netflix’s programming became the most important piece of our conversation. Comments like…”did you catch this show?”…to… “what do you think about “House of Cards” or “Orange is the New Black?” made up the conversation.

Netflix is changing our world. It’s instant gratification, no longer do we have to wait for the next installment of our favorite shows. It’s easy to come home from a long day and plop right down and turn on Mad Men.

Netflix’s programming provides a sense of fantasy that one can escape to whenever you want. It’s easy access to entertainment. Netflix updates new content about every month, in with the new and out with the old.  http://whats-on-netflix.com/ allows viewers to see the new additions to Netflix. It’s all just another way to add to the binge watching experience.

By the way here the ultimate dream job at Netflix:   http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-netflix-hiring-serial-watcher-20140709,0,394390.story

Tune into Jessica Samson WCRX 88.1 FM, Tuesday Midday 11a-3p.

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I wrote down my goals down and you should too

They say it’s important to write your goals down.  I don’t know goals-list-286x300exactly who they are, but I’m going to take their advice especially since graduation is right around the corner. Writing down your goals is the first step towards achieving them so here is my wish list.

1)        Morning Radio Show Host: When I was a little kid, my dad would listen to B96 every morning while he drove me to school. Eddie and Jobo were the morning jocks on 96.3FM and they always knew how to make me laugh. Whether it was the wacky games and pranks they’d play or the silly voices they’d do, listening to B96 in the morning became my favorite part of the day. I found that the days where I didn’t get to listen in, were also the days where I wasn’t a positive person. I pretty much knew since then that eventually I was going to grow up and do the same for some other little kid.

2)       Stand-up Comedian: Again, this has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy. I’m almost positive that the first comedy special I ever saw was Eddie Murphy’s Raw. I must have been 8 or 9 when my older sisters turned it on, but it didn’t take long to see that this form of entertainment was the most honest and visceral. It was indeed raw. Flash forward to 6th grade. I was one of those lucky kids (or unlucky kids depending on how you look at it) that had a TV with a cable connection in their bedroom. On one particular school night, at around 2am, I saw George Carlin for the first time. Obviously, most of his subject matter flew right over my head, but I definitely understood more of the jokes than when I saw Raw. Since then I’ve seen EVERY one of Carlin’s HBO specials. In my opinion, he is the greatest of all time and I’d be satisfied with 1/1,000,000th of his success.

3)      Voice Actor: Like most kids, I loved to watch animated television shows. Parents of the 90’s loved to get a break from their little ones by plopping them down in front of some Looney Tunes or Animaniac episode for a few minutes of peace.  My mother who wasn’t born in this country, didn’t know that The Simpsons was really a show for mature audiences. Similarly with stand-up, a lot of the jokes aren’t crafted for viewers of my age group, but still, I fell in love with the characters. When I was 18, I checked out every season of the Simpsons that was available at the library and I binge watched every single episode. I fell in love with the program all over again. I wanted to learn more about the show and about the  characters which ultimately led me to the voice actors that brought the animated characters to life. I was shocked when I saw that most of my favorite characters were voiced by one man. Hank Azaria is responsible for the voices of Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and so many more, including HUNDREDS of non-reoccurring characters. I couldn’t believe that one man could have so much range with his voice. This inspired me to start playing around with my voice and I haven’t stopped since.

 

Feel free to use this list against me in a few years to make sure I’m on track. Actually, I think I’d prefer it  if you did just that. I’ll be more than happy to do the same for you after you compile your own list.   For those of you who are graduating…Congratulations.