Musical Notes

20 Sep

8 Monumental Moments from 1994

Let me set the stage for this one. Coveralls, layers, and scrunchies are in style. So are flannel shirts, sunflowers, and silk pajamas. Those are just a few of the choice wardrobe selections from the early 90s. I recently saw Weezer again (for the millionth time since my teen years), and it caused some nostalgia for the pop-culture of my youth. For me, those feelings coalesce in 1994, the year I started high school.  Here are 8 great moments of 1994 that are cemented in history forever.

Madonna Drops an F-Bomb (or 10)

David Letterman’s interview with Madonna in 1994 is one that he’s probably never forgotten.Long story short, Madonna did what Madonna did back then and drops 14 “f-bombs” while on set. Censors had a wild ride that night! #awkward

Woodstock ‘94

An epic return 25 years after the original, Woodstock ’94 brought 300,000 fans to upstate New York to jam with Green Day, Nine Inch, Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Bob Dylan. I still remember recording pieces of it on my VCR, including the notorious mud fight started by Green Day. Check out this NSFW link to a 35-minute live performance by Green Day.

Michael Jackson Married Lisa Marie Presley

“If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?” Jackson asked Presley during one of their phone calls.  Being such private celebs, the couple chose not to announce the marriage for several months. It lasted less than two years, but it was all anyone could talk about.

A Defining Film Year

October 1994 was one of the greatest months in move releases of all time. Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, The Lion King, and Jurassic Park were all in theaters at the same time. You will find subtle references in current television, film, and literature. 

The PlayStation

The original PlayStation wasn’t launched in the states until 1995 but had a wildly successful launch in Japan in December of 1994. The US, meanwhile, held its breath for it to arrive, but that didn’t stop EVERYONE from talking about it all year long.

Tonya Harding

Have you seen the 2017 movie I, Tonya? It follows the now-disgraced figure skater and her connection to the notorious attack on Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. Don’t worry, it’s full of contradicting stories by both Tonya and her associates. On June 30, 1994, Harding was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association. #scandalous

My So-Called Life

Jordan Catalano. Need I say more?

Kurt Cobain

The world will never forget the MTV Special Report where Kurt Loader announced that Kurt Cobain had ended his life in his Seattle home. Cobain was a long-term sufferer of depression and addiction. I found this quote from Lars Ulrich of Metallica on Cobain, just 10 years after his death, ‘”…And with Kurt Cobain you felt you were connecting to the real person, not to a perception of who he was — you were not connecting to an image or a manufactured cut-out. You felt that between you and him there was nothing — it was heart-to-heart. There are very few people who have that ability.”

There you have it. It was difficult to choose just 8, but no one wants to read a novel. (See what I did there?) So, all of you 90s kids, what are your favorite monumental moment memories?

19 Aug

Remembering Aretha Franklin 

Last week Aretha Franklin, ‘the Queen of Soul,’ passed away at the age of 76. Over the weekend I took time to read many remembrances of her songwriting, vocal prowess, and talent as a pianist. I dove deep into her discography and live performances. The moments that were the most vivid to me were most certainly ones that I can remember, moments from recent history.

Aretha Franklin

03 Aug

The Best Songs from Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again was just released in theaters a few weeks ago. I saw it (because why wouldn’t I?) and I have to say, to my surprise, I was bawling for a good portion of it. The storyline and the songs really just moved me. The two films feature some of the best soundtracks that I’ve heard to date. Plus, I’m just a huge sucker for musicals. For me, Mamma Mia stands above all else. Here’s my list of the top songs from the newly released sequel. In case you haven’t seen it already, spoilers ahead!

17 Jul

How to Rock a Road Trip Playlist

Summer is reaching its end and the thought of school lingering over like a big, gross cloud of adulthood is just… too much to think about right now. We all need a last minute impromptu escape from the mundane. What better way to get away than a road trip! Nothing beats having the windows down feeling the fresh air and bearing witness to all of Arizona’s grand beauty. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading North, South, East, or West. I’m sure no matter where you go in this beautiful state of ours, you are sure to have an adventure. Nothing beats taking a day trip. Every grand adventure needs the right soundtrack to accompany it.

Route 66 painted on street

14 Jul

Learn Guitar 101 at Mesa’s Introduction Workshop

Have you ever wanted to try something new but have been hesitant for any reason? Those reasons could be financial, the nervousness of the unknown trying something new. Maybe it’s just about breaking out of an everyday routine. Well, now is the time to take that first step forward.  Continuing through July and August, we invite you to try our next Guitar 101 Workshop on July 21st at 1 P.M. This is an introductory class where we will learn simple chords. It’s finally time to learn guitar, everyone!

28 Jun

The Case for Physical Music

There are so many ways to tune in to your favorite music! A lot of people stream music via web services, some channel into their favorite radio station, other sare even bring it back with the wax. Some still keep their case full of CDs in great condition. While convenience makes a good argument for buying an album online, I also loved being able to a have my own physical copy! Physical copy gives ownership. There’s never a chance that a purchased album will mysteriously disappear from your music library on your phone after an update. Which happens way more often than it should. It also allows fans to display their music. And have you ever tried to get a digital download autographed? Here are more reasons to love physical music. 

04 Jun

Facing the Music

Music all starts with a single vibration. These vibrations can be such a significant part of who we are, what we believe, how we feel, and the way we communicate it all. Music is essential, music is entertainment, music is culture, music is composure, music is pertinent, music is passion, music is relatable. And now more than ever, music is relevance. It’s 2018 and artist are seizing the industry, with music that is flying in the mug of deep-rooted social issues. Just look at the recent revival of Childish Gambino with “This is America” and Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize win. In an era of social chaos, these are the artists forcing you to face the music.

18 May

Freebie Friday: Michael Franti and Spearhead STAY HUMAN Tour at the Rialto!

***CONTEST CLOSED***

Michael Franti’s much-anticipated STAY HUMAN TOUR is making its way to Tucson on Friday, June 8th. Heads up, because tickets are selling out fast! We know that you’re excited to see Michael Franti and Spearhead hit the stage, and so are we! We even wrote a whole blog about why you should see this outstanding performer live. The Rialto Theatre has generously given Bookmans a pair of Michael Franti and Spearhead tickets to give to one very lucky customer for #FreebieFriday!

15 May

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Stay Human Tour 2018

Music with a message…  Music with substance is making a comeback with recent works like Childish Gambino’s music video “This is America”, Imagine Dragons’ strong lyrical compositions and even Hamilton taking the world by storm. The craving is real, and Tucson is getting a dose of some soul-groove with Michael Franti & Spear Head’s “Stay Human Tour” on  Friday, June 8, 2018.

10 May

A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl

Over the past few years, vinyl records have made a comeback in a big, big way. More and more music enthusiasts are heading to their local record stores to discover or collect music. There are a lot of reasons why vinyl has made a resurgence in recent years, and if you are just starting to create your own vinyl collection, you’ll want to know all about how to pick and choose records – and what else you need to make them play beautiful music.

Flagstaff Vinyl 2

04 May

Learning an Instrument is Good for the Soul

As summer approaches, you may be finding yourself with more free time on your hands. Yes, you can waste away the days on your smartphone scrolling through social media or mindlessly searching the web, but does that actually sound appealing? No, but most of us do it anyway, simply out of habit. Instead of having a summer not worth remembering, why not learn a new skill that you can carry with you and make it unforgettable? Learning how to play an instrument has TONS of hidden benefits that you might not know about and can contribute to your overall happiness.

Row of electric guitars hung on a wall at Bookmans

19 Apr

Record Store Day is Almost Here!

*Bookmans is NOT A PARTICIPATING RECORD STORE DAY STORE*

If you’ve ever been to Bookmans, you know that we LOVE our VINYL! Our stores across Arizona are proud to share our love of music with the world. Visit any Bookmans store and you’ll find row after row of shiny, supremely cool vinyl records, both new and used. it should be no surprise that we are so excited to celebrate vinyl in all its glory on Record Store Day 2018.

Bookmans Record Store Day sale and event flyer

09 Apr

I’m With the Banned: Banned Musicians

Bookmans knows the importance of fighting censorship. Taking a stand against censorship is what keeps this nation free. Got a favorite musician from the good old days? From political rallies to terribly staged photographs, you may be surprised about some of these famous banned musicians!

22 Mar

Your Uplifting Music Playlist by Female Artists

Music speaks to the soul. It has the power to make you feel different emotions depending on the lyrics, rhythms, and beats. Each song on this list is sung by an inspiring woman in the music industry and they send an empowering message too. Anytime you need to take a step back from the daily grind, add these more-than-uplifting female artist tracks to your playlist and you’ll feel a wave of funk-fighting relief.

Female Artist Playlist collage with Sia, Katy Perry, Shakira, and Rachel Platten

14 Mar

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part Two

No matter how many years after their release, these soundtracks have found their way onto playlist after playlist. Some are newer but hit all the right notes. Some are nearing 20 years old and still have so much life in them that I can’t bear to take them out of my rotation. And why would I? In my last blog, I covered just half of my go-to movie soundtracks. Here are the rest of the soundtracks that put a smile on my face every single time I hear them.

09 Mar

Black Panther Movie and Music Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? This isn’t a movie I’d wait to take a stroll to go see – I’d sprint if I were you. This movie has taken over not only the big screen, the internet, and, at least temporarily, pop culture! I don’t want to spoil my own review, but I have to say that the movie truly lives up to all the hype. There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, turn back now. If you have, read on because there is so much to talk about!

Black Panther movie poster collage

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

25 Feb

Songs You Won’t Mind Getting Trapped In Your Head

Ever get a certain beat or anthem stuck in your head for hours? It’s pretty much an everyday thing for me. Often times around Bookmans, you can spot me singing to the catchy piece of music trapped in my head at the moment. These new tunes have been playing on a loop in my brain, and though sharing them might not get them out anytime soon, I’m happy to have them playing on repeat in my head. You might find yourself singing along in a minute too.

Fetty, Kyle, and Drake Album Covers

19 Feb

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part One

Movies are true works of art. Most of us use our inner critics to take in a movie’s acting performances and the director’s storytelling abilities.  Those who study film (or are just passionate movie watchers) will also pay attention to the world of the story created by the writers and the cinematographer’s eye for space and light as well. There are costumes, sets, edits – a million little things that can make a movie great or merely average. My favorite “little thing” is the movie soundtrack.

For me, music can make or break a movie. These are just some of the most outstanding movie soundtracks that make my world go ’round.

Movie still image graphic: The Life Aquatic, Drive, and Purple Rain

03 Feb

The Greatest Showman

Loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman delivers something truly special to the big screen. Between the choreography, storyline, and music from the composers (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land), it’s no wonder that people are flooding into theaters to see this masterful movie. Here’s why I think you should see it too, even if you’re not a lover of spectacle.

27 Jan

Add These Tracks Your 2018 Playlist

One of the advantages of working for a company like Bookmans is the ability to digest music, movies, games, and books effortlessly. As new material makes its way in our stores we eat it up and spit it out – in the form of reviews so that you, our avid reader and listener, can decide just what goes on your shopping list for your next trip to Bookmans. And here we are back at it again.

Album covers surrounding the title Favorite Tracks of 2018 so far

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