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House of Pain: “Jump Around”

The Daily Music Break is re-posting items from earlier in the site’s history. The first line below makes it clear that this post — a classic — originally was put up on March 17. The year was 2012. (Homepage Photo: Regime Management

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I don’t agree with many of the sentiments expressed in this video, but it’s a great piece of film making. Unlike many other types of artists, rappers conflate their artistic and real lives. That’s a fancy way of saying that rappers try to look the part. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne didn’t ride horses to the Oscars. If Al Pacino was nominated for Scarface, I hope he didn’t show up in character.

But rappers do it, and for the most part it’s okay. Of course, no sensible person approves of the most violent and misogynist of the lyrics. However, there is a gray area into which a lot of rap–including Jump Around–falls. Like it or not, many of these folks are very talented.

Here is Rappers Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, which many folks say is the first recorded rap.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.