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I wish ALL human beings could still enjoy the classic artists such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Shore, Dorothy Collins… (I could go on) …as much as I have been able to through the years. And not just the mainstream standards that have been played-out by nearly every blockbuster Rom-Com to-date (although that is in no means a slight against the artists’ talent). I am talking about the songs that don’t make the mainstream; the ones that don’t always make you feel like you are living in a fairy tale. The songs that make you think about your trespasses and those who have trespassed against you (This will not turn into a bible reading. I Promise). When the woman/man you loved is now a person you loathe. Or when life gives you lemons, and your juicer breaks mid-squeeze. These are the songs that have kept me sane in times of need; the hands that picked up my lemons and said “Try a Little Tenderness”.   

And do you know why this music has such an impact on those that take the time to listen? Because the artists who performed them are somehow capable of morphing their words into an audible specter that will possess all who allow their thoughts to run free instead of locking them in a cage like an untamed beast. With each note, comes a soothing euphoria. Yet at the same time, it brings back the memories that once found you immobilized in fear.

Take Frank Sinatra for instance. This man, whether you’d like to believe it or not, had a rough life living with himself on a daily basis. It has been said that through Frank’s career, he was clinically depressed. Always wanting to find that everlasting love, that feeling of universal acceptance, yet nothing could quite fill the void that presided within. And you hear that in all of his songs. Whether it be the up-beat “Summer Wind” or the heart-crushing “Bewitched”, his emotional state is reconstructed with each air.

Aside from that possibly poor attempt at justifying my diatribe, I guess I just think that people would be able to offer a love more tender, laughs more genuine and smiles much brighter if they let some true emotions bang on their ear drums for a few minutes. And I am not saying that Rap, Hip-Hop, Rock and the like are all bogus genres which do not deserve respect. I too love some good death metal from The Black Dahlia Murder, Rap from Biggie, Rock from The Deftones, and Country from Trace Adkins. But if you pay attention to the lyrics; the very meaning of these songs, has become so irrelevant, so vulgar, so repetitive, that it just voices pointless frustrations like scoring hoes and “talkin’ ‘bout that honky-tonk badonkadonk”. So few artists these days express true emotions in their songs, and so many gifted acts are left on the sidelines with little support. I don’t know, maybe I am just talking out of my ass. But people just don’t respect these old school legends like they should. After all If it wasn’t for them carving a path to expand the musical genres, the meat industry would have never received such a committed advocate in Lady Gaga. Not the best comparison, but In my mind I laughed my ass off after saying it. 

May the Rat Pack be with you.

-Chris Gonzalez