ItsNotYouItsMe Blog

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Allow Us To Introduce You To Thee Hair Raising, Spell-Binding Group House Gospel Choir & Their Dancey Delectable Tune "Blind Faith"!

Allow us to introduce you to thee hair raising, spell-binding group, House Gospel Choir and their dancey delectable tune "Blind Faith". Catered to us via Universal-Island Records. Thee electronic/dance/gospel London-based group of artists was founded by creator Natalie Maddix back in 2014.

Thee funky bunch has seen an ever evolving lineup change of sangers and musicians throughout the years. Including over 150 members of various backgrounds and creeds. Its monthly public mass choir open rehearsal is held at Rich Mix in East London which like a moth to the flame, habitually garners new members.

Having recorded with the likes of fellow like minded music brains and ItsNotYouItsMe favorites including MNEK, Gregory Porter, Gorgon City, and Katy B. In 2019 they saw the release of their first official single, 'Salvation'. But now, House Gospel Choir have sent a heavenly brand new track to the public. A musique wonderland of spicy saucy intertwining of house and gospel sonics like only they know how too.

2020 has never looked so dance floor ready with ‘Blind Faith’. Produced by beat composer Toddla T. Thee lyrical thesis surrounds the topic of overcoming life's obstacles. The new single is quite a yummy soulful punch of house choir plush vocals.

Beatmaker Toddla T said the following about thee entrancing project: “Writing and producing for HGC was a natural vibes. A truly gifted set of people bringing upfulness in these wild times. 2-step to this one.”

Founder and all around groovy kitten Natalie Maddix added: “Our quest to create a future classic seemed to naturally bring us together. Toddla’s incredible sound made the writing process a dream. “If life is a song then we’ve got no choice but to catch the rhythm & keep on dancing. Even when the path is unclear and we can’t figure out what our next move should be, we have to have faith that better days are coming and just keep stepping. “Walk by Faith & not by sight”, 2 Corinthians 5:7.”

Let us tell you carebears. ‘Blind Faith’ is an ear pounding earworm that'll get you standing tall on your disco pedestal ready and equipped with your boogie boots strapped on.

This is a beautiful stellar example of what happens when you get authentic creatives making creative decisions unlike thee other way around. A melting pot of astounding singers, a house band, a DJ, and of course thee enchanting, House Gospel Choir themselves. Effortless, sleek and powerfully rich.

Intriguingly so, the group also attract new fans from their weekly brunch at The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch (pss! We looked up the addy for all you visiting or residing Londoners: 45 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3PT, United Kingdom)

Whether its remakes of your preferred club classics and/or future original songs, one thing's for sure. House Gospel Choir is something to keep your musical paws high up in the air for in anticipation.

Without further ado. Get into the House Gospel Choir groove with ItsNotYouItsMe latest hit parade. Thee fever pitch high, alluring track ‘Blind Faith’ featured right below!

ItsNotYouItsMe "Back To The Future" Edition Salutes Tunes Evoking The Civil Injustice Then Vs Now

ItsNotYouItsMe "Back To The Future" Edition salutes tunes evoking the civil injustice then vs now.

"I can smell tear gas.

It’s Saturday afternoon. My phone starts blowing up with texts from my lady. She’s a chef at an Italian joint on Fairfax Ave. One of those neo-retro-post-irony spots that people make reservations for months in advance. Recently the dining room’s been empty, but take-out and delivery business is booming. But there’s a different boom happening just outside. It’s cops vs. citizens; one of them came loaded for bear.

A cop car is on fire.

Three cop cars on fire. A live feed from some stranger’s account gives me a first-hand glimpse of the chaos. My neighborhood streets are lined with hundreds of American citizens holding signs demanding justice. Demanding equality under the law. Demanding we say his name.

George Floyd.

A man who should be alive today. Just like far too many casualties of racists abusing their power before him.

We’re closing now. It’s crazy outside. I’ll be home ASAP.

There’s a swirling bird above my apartment. A cruiser idling in my parking lot. The cops are on the ground. They’re in the air. If the protest moves to the middle of the Pacific I’m sure they’ll paddle out to make their presence known.

Dozens of cruisers haul ass down my street. Westbound towards Fairfax. A curfew has been set for the entire city. The mayor is asking for the National Guard to intervene. Things will get worse.

I am angry, sad, and disappointed. In moments like this, I find it best to simply listen. Listen to people whose breadth of knowledge and experience of injustice far exceed my own, including some of the artists who’ve produced the iconic protest songs below.

N.W.A., “Fuck Tha Police”
An obvious choice, but is there a more incendiary tune in the American Songbook? Written by Ice Cube, MC Ren, and the D.O.C., “Fuck Tha Police” puts the LAPD on trial for the years of incessant racial profiling and brutality they inflicted upon the African-American community of South L.A. The trial culminates with a guilty verdict for a police force that is “redneck, white bread, chickenshit motherfucker” ⁠— their words, not mine. Since its release in 1988, the song continues to stir strong emotions from all sides. In fact, driving down La Brea, a mere 12 hours after tear gas scattered the protesters away, I saw the slogan spray-painted on three different walls. For better or worse, the phrase isn’t going away anytime soon.

Dead Kennedys, “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”
An artist rarely can choose their audience. Art, and songs, in particular, can be interpreted in many different ways, some of which, sadly, are wrong. When Jello Biafra started spotting skinheads at Dead Kennedy shows, he decided to direct his frustration into writing a song that was as clear as the day is long. It doesn’t take a doctorate in Linguistics to decipher the chorus: “Nazi punks, Nazi punks, Nazi Punks, fuck off!”

Released as the lead single off their album In God We Trust, Inc., the vinyl included a sticker with a crossed-out swastika. Forty years later and, unfortunately, we’re still telling them to fuck off.

The Mice, “Not Proud of the USA”
Brothers Bill and Tommy Fox’s Cleveland-based power pop band only lasted a few years, but in their short time, they managed to influence numerous future indie stalwarts such as Guided By Voices and Superchunk. Off their EP For Almost Ever, “Not Proud of the USA” received considerable airplay during the first Bush Administration.

Power-pop is not a genre generally known for anger. So we get the unusual juxtaposition of ba-ba-bas in a song that takes aim at the previous generations for turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed in the name of spreading democracy. Fox is the anti-Lee Greenwood when he screams “We can’t raise the flag up everywhere!”

Subsequently, one of Bill’s solo songs, entitled “Men Who Are Guilty of Crimes,” went on to become an anthem for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Clearly we know what side this brilliant songwriter stands on.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Ohio”
Maybe it’s seeing the tanks of the National Guard drive down my street, or that I attended Kent State University for a few years, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include this Boomer classic about a government-inflicted wound that is as fresh today as it was when inflicted in 1970. Written by a fired-up Neil Young, after seeing the photos of dead students in Life magazine, “Ohio” was recorded live in two takes, on the same day as Stills’ ballad for the fallen soldiers of Vietnam, “Find the Cost of Freedom.” Both are direct pleas for an end to senseless bloodshed. An end that has yet to come.

Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”
New York City, 1939. Billie Holiday is standing on stage at CafΓ© Society, the nation’s first integrated nightclub, belting out this indictment of the racism found in the post-Jim Crow American South. The turn of the century saw lynchings in the U.S. reach a high not seen since the pre-Civil War. Singing the song made Holiday shake with fear, but she made it through nonetheless. So moving was her performance that service at the club stopped for those three minutes.

“Strange Fruit” might’ve gone unheard beyond those walls if it weren’t for yet another act of courage. Holiday’s label, Columbia, wanted nothing to do with the song. It took Milt Gabler hearing Holiday perform an a cappella version, which moved him to tears, to put it out on his small jazz label Commodore Records. In 2003, Congress selected the song to include in the National Recording Registry. " -

ItsNotYouItsMe "Come Thru Thursday Vocals" Features Saucy Electric Uptempo Sonics By Whethan Feat. STRFKR! Plus Stellar Artist, Eli Brown!

ItsNotYouItsMe "Come Thru Thursday Vocals" features saucy electric uptempo sonics by Whethan featuring STRFKR! Plus stellar artist, Eli Brown!

“Producer, Whethan is preparing to release his debut album, Fantasy. The latest single from the album is “Stay Forever.” Featuring STRFKR, the track has a 80s retro-future feel. With pulsating bass, reverb-drenched guitars, and a wall-of-synth sound, the song sounds straight out of Tron."-

Artist: ELi Brown
Title: NRG

The Number Ones: Joan Jett And The Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘N Roll”

According to one of our musical sources:

"Joan Jett And The Blackhearts – I Love Rock ‘N Roll”

HIT #1: March 20, 1982

STAYED AT #1: 7 weeks

A hard, deliberate snare roll. A sudden, thunderous power chord. A drum beat that sounds like a stadium full of football fans stomping in unison. And then a voice — strong, androgynous, raspy, distant. She’s got some kind of accent — “me” becomes “maaaay” — but you can’t really tell what accent it’s supposed to be. “Saw him dancing there by the record machine,” she sings. She sounds both bored and annoyed about this particular 17-year-old, but she takes him home anyway.

The level of swagger on “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” is out of control. The song is so thuddingly simple, so elemental, that it could easily turn hokey and ridiculous. Instead, the opposite happens. The song already sounds totemic by the time it hits the first chorus. Joan Jett uses the song to put the full force of her tough-kid charisma on display. She makes a simple statement of musical preference sound like a rallying cry, a statement of religious truth, a come-on. She makes rock ‘n’ roll sound like something worth loving.

Joan Jett is a couple of years younger than rock ‘n’ roll itself. (The #1 song on the day of her birth: the Elegants’ “Little Star.”) Joan Marie Larkin was born outside Philadelphia, and she grew up mostly in the Maryland suburbs of DC. She’s a big enough Baltimore Orioles fan that she dedicated her first solo album to the team. (I love this.) When she was a teenager, she and her family moved to California’s Inland Empire, and she haunted LA’s glam-rock clubs. She changed her name to Joan Jett when her parents divorced. And then she became a Runaway.

The Runaways, the fabled all-girl LA proto-punk band, came together in 1975 under the tutelage of manager and “Alley Oop” co-producer Kim Fowley. All the members of the band were teenagers, and all of them except Jett were blonde. When they released their self-titled debut album in 1976, Fowley printed all of the band members’ ages right next to their name, for emphasis. (Jett was billed as being 16, though she was really two years older.) Jett wasn’t the leader of the band, at least at first; Cherie Currie had that role. Eventually, though, Jett basically took over as frontwoman and, often, songwriter.

The Runaways inspired a whole lot of women, but they never really became much of a commercial success. Even “Cherry Bomb,” their now-immortal 1976 debut single, didn’t chart in the US. The Runaways fired Fowley in 1977 and then broke up in 1979. The members of the group went on to different levels of success. Guitarist Lita Ford peaked at #8 with the 1989 Ozzy Osbourne duet “Close My Eyes Forever.” (It’s a 4.) As a member of the Bangles, original bassist Micki Steele will eventually appear in this column.

After the Runaways broke up, Jett produced the Germs’ (GI) album and tried to figure out how to launch her solo career. Jett was contractually obligated to act in a Runaways movie called We’re All Crazee Now!, starring alongside three women who had not been in the Runaways. The movie never got finished, but while Jett was working on it, she met Kenny Laguna, a former bubblegum-pop writer and Tommy James And The Shondells keyboard player. Laguna became Jett’s manager and producer, and Jett moved in with Laguna and his wife in Long Beach, New York.

Jett and Laguna rounded up some boys from LA’s punk scene to form the Blackhearts, Jett’s new backing band, and they devised a whole new sound for Jett: Simple choruses, enormous gleaming guitar crunch, monster drums. That sound drew on both glam and bubblegum; bubble-glam star Suzi Quatro was a particular inspiration. But the sound also had a connection to the punk rock and new wave that Jett, with the Runaways, had helped to inspire. Jett and Laguna figured out that Jett was great at singing cover songs, especially covers of old rock ‘n’ roll songs that necessarily sounded different if a tough young woman was the one singing them.

After recording Jett’s self-titled solo debut in 1980, Jett and Laguna shopped the LP around to dozens of labels. None of them would release it. So Laguna put up his daughter’s college fund, and Jett and Laguna formed their own label, Blackheart Records, to release it. They pressed up their own records, selling them out of the trunk of Laguna’s car after shows. Eventually, the former Casablanca head Neil Bogart was impressed enough to sign Jett to his new label Boardwalk Records, and he re-released that self-titled debut as Bad Reputation. None of its singles charted, but Jett knew she had a hit on her hands.

While touring with the Runaways, Jett had seen a band called the Arrows play a song called “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” on British TV. The Arrows were, as far as I can tell, a sort of teenybopper glam group, and their UK success was short-lived. Two members of the Arrows, the American Alan Merrill and the British Jake Hooker, are the credited co-writers of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll,” and both later claimed that they’d written the song themselves. To hear them tell it, “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” was a reaction to the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)” — which, to Merrill and Hooker, was insufficiently dedicated to rock ‘n’ roll. Both Merrill and Hooker are dead now. Hooker died in 2014, at 61, and Merrill, 69, died of coronavirus earlier this year.

The Arrows first released “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” as a B-side to their 1975 single “Broken Down Heart.” Later, they made it an A-side. But neither “Broken Down Heart” nor “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” made the British charts. The song was officially a flop. So it’s lucky for everyone involved that Jett heard the song when she did. Jett tried to convince the Runaways to cover the song, but the rest of the band wasn’t into it. While working on her solo debut in 1979, Jett recorded a pretty sloppy version of the song with former Sex Pistols members Steve Jones and Paul Cook backing her up. She released that version as the B-side to her cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” Nobody much noticed.

But nobody could ignore the version of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” that Jett released at the beginning of 1982. In every form, “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” is a big, mean bastard of a song. But that final Joan Jett version cranks it up by stripping it down. There’s nothing extraneous or showy about the record. Drummer Lee Crystal almost never plays fills, leaving oceans of negative space. Guitarist Ricky Byrd plays a solo so short that you only barely have time to register the fact that there’s a guitar solo happening. The song doesn’t even have a bridge, and it ends with the title phrase repeated over and over, transformed into something like a soccer chant.

“I Love Rock ‘N Roll” has a hell of a hook, but the hook doesn’t sound right when anyone other than Joan Jett is singing it. The song is, at least on some level, about sex. Jett, flipping the genders of the Arrows’ original, struts up to a 17-year-old boy, picks him up, and takes him home. (On other covers of old songs, Jett refuses to switch genders. She’s always been private about her sexuality.) The boy seems to already be singing along to “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” Maybe he, like Jett, was into the Arrows version.

Jett doesn’t sound horny or desperate. She sounds confident. It’s a foregone conclusion that this kid is coming home with her. If anything, she sounds like she’s into herself, with justification. The owww! that she lets out after the chorus functions like a James Brown grunt. It’s Jett letting us know that she’s bad, that she knows she’s bad.

Jett has said that she wanted to let the labels and radio stations know that she wasn’t a punk rocker, that she was just a rocker. But coming right between the disco and synthpop revolutions, “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” works as a statement of nostalgic defiance. The Arrows used the word “dime” on their original song because it sounded more American. By 1982, jukeboxes didn’t even take dimes anymore, so the song implicitly refers back to rock ‘n’ roll’s mythic checkerboard-diner past. But rock ‘n’ roll had never had a figure like Joan Jett, a rock-star woman with a snarl and a strut that pronounced. It’s conservative and progressive at the same time.

In the video, which got heavy early-MTV airplay, Jett walks into a bar, chewing gum, looking vaguely pissed off. The boy she picks up looks pissed off, too. The crowd that gathers to sing the chorus looks pissed off. Nobody looks like they’re having fun. Maybe they’d already internalized all the old rock ‘n’ roll lessons on how to look cool. It works. They look cool as hell. (Jett didn’t like the way she looked in the video’s red leather jumpsuit, so the version that played on MTV was in black and white. For whatever reason, the version on YouTube now is the colorized version that was released years later.)

Jett didn’t make a whole lot of big hits after “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” Her follow-up single was an absolutely transcendent cover of “Crimson And Clover,” the 1969 chart-topper from Laguna’s old associates Tommy James And The Shondells. Jett’s take on “Crimson And Clover,” released later in 1982, peaked at #7. (It’s a 10.) After that, Jett and the Blackhearts only scored one more top-10 single: 1988’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” which peaked at #8. (It’s an 8.)

But Joan Jett has had a hell of a career anyway. She’s done cool things. Jett acted alongside Michael J. Fox in Paul Schrader’s 1987 film Light Of Day. She produced Bikini Kill’s “New Radio” b/w “Rebel Girl” single and Circus Lupus’ “Pop Man” b/w “Pressure Point” single. The first time I saw Fugazi, Jett was standing at the side of the stage, watching, and Guy Picciotto was wearing a Runaways shirt. Also, Jett led the surviving members of Nirvana when they played “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 2014, and she and the Blackhearts were themselves inducted a year later. (“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana’s highest-charting single, peaked at #6. It’s a 10.)

Jett remains an absolutely stomp-ass live act, a massive cross-generational inspiration, and a fun person to have around. She’s the best. It’s amazing, in retrospect, that she ever had such a long-running #1 single. But it also seems inevitable. After all, people love rock ‘n’ roll.

GRADE: 9/10

BONUS BEATS: Here’s “Weird Al” Yankovic’s video for “I Love Rocky Road,” his 1983 parody of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll”:

(“Weird Al” Yankovic’s highest-charting single is 2006’s “White & Nerdy,” a parody of a song that will end up in this column. “White & Nerdy” peaked at #9, and it’s a 7.)

BONUS BONUS BEATS: Here’s “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” soundtracking a horny, stylized workout montage in the 1983 blockbuster Flashdance:

(The Flashdance soundtrack will eventually have its impact on this column.)

BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: Here’s the scene from the 2003 movie Crossroads where Britney Spears sings her “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” cover at a way-too-packed karaoke bar:

(Britney Spears will eventually appear in this column.)

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: For 50 Cent’s 2005 Nate Dogg/Mobb Deep collab “Have A Party,” producer Fredwreck built the beat from a sample of the “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” drums. Here’s the video:

(“Have A Party” did not chart. Mobb Deep never had a top-10 hit as lead artists. Their highest-charting single, the 2002 112 collab “Hey Luv (Anything)” peaked at #58 — one spot higher than the foundational 1994 classic “Shook Ones (Part II).” Mobb Deep did, however, guest on 50 Cent’s 2005 single “Outta Control (Remix),” which peaked at #6. It’s a 6. Nate Dogg never had a top-10 single as a lead artist, either. His highest-charting single, the 1998 Warren G collab “Nobody Does It Better,” peaked at #18. But as a guest hook-singer, Nate Dogg will eventually appear in this column. 50 Cent will be in this column, too.)

BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS BEATS: In 2019, the British YouTuber who calls himself LadBaby had the Christmas #1 in the UK with “I Love Sausage Rolls,” a parody of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” Here’s the video:

THE NUMBER TWOS: The Go-Go’s’ dizzy new-wave sugar rush “We Got The Beat” peaked at #2 behind “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” (This must’ve felt like a truly golden era for new-wave women from the Los Angeles punk scene — right down to the Germs connections — making frothy, exciting pop songs.) “We Got The Beat.” does the watusi, it just gives us a chance, and it’s a 10:" -

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