It's been 2 months now, and it's still difficult to believe that Chris is gone. After Chris passed away, I was honored when my Aunt Kathy & Uncle Bob asked me to help my cousin Rob put together the music for Chris's "Celebration of Life" service. I knew how important a solid playlist would have been to Chris. During and following the service, I had many people ask me to share the playlist and promised I would do so. I've sat down many times over the past 2 months to write this, but I've found myself hit with the dreaded "writer's block".
You see, Rob, Chris, and I always had a special bond with music. Some of my favorite memories with my cousin Chris were times we spent at concerts. Our taste in music is eclectic to say the least, we enjoyed everything from hip hop to rock to metal, from Staind to Korn to Linkin Park to 2 Pac to Coldplay. The louder and the liver the better, and it's a bonus if you can listen to it loud and outside with a cold beer in your hand. While I had shared tastes in music with my brothers and sister, my cousin Chris shared my love for nuMetal and hard rock. I remember when Chris came to visit us in Cape Coral before they had moved down from New Jersey. That was the summer he introduced me to the band Korn. This would also be the summer that my brother Don would constantly clown on us (clowning on each other, our family passtime lol) and would grab cans or ears of corn, hold it up to his ear and say "Oh rad, these are gnarly sounds bro. This corn is so rock n roll!. Oddly enough, the night that Mike passed away I was at a Korn concert. Just the thought of the sound of Jonathan Davis's bagpipe encore gives me chills down my spine.
When Rob and I sat down to put together the playlist for the service we knew one thing, it had to be Chris-approved. All of the songs we picked embodied everything we all love most about music, heavy or just downright loud tracks with meaningful, powerful lyrics. Chris and I shared a belief in the power of healing with music. After Chris and Rob's younger brother/my cousin Mikey passed away I spent a lot of time behind my headphones or driving and listening to music. Music has this power to hit you emotionally that even words or conversations alone can't, "where words fail music speaks". Over the past 2 months I've listened to this playlist nearly on repeat. I like to thank that if Chris were listening along several times throughout he'd probably jump up and say "Yo turn this shit up, this song is friggin raw.....listen what he says at this part, shits deep right?!". I always loved his excitement for a good song. I remember when we'd be playing pool we'd always throw a bunch of money on the jukebox. Whenever his song came on, he'd sneak up behind you jumping or headbanging and singing along (or humming and pretending to sing along) because he couldn't contain his excitement.
We all knew Chris in different ways, as we all mourn his loss differently. We see that same beautiful quality in music: the music or lyrics may have a different meaning to you than they do to me, but that doesn't make them any less powerful. To me, Chris was the protective older cousin that always looked out for me and always had a big goofy grin on his face, who shared my wild crazy curly hair and love for music. Whatever he may have meant to you, I hope that you can listen along to this playlist and think of Chris aka Smitty aka Q.
Below is the extended playlist (some of these songs were cut for time at the service), both in lyric video format or audio playlist. Some of these songs may seem like odd choices of songs for a memorial service, but when you know the lyrics or the memories behind them you'll understand why Smitty would have loved hearing all these songs. If you're not familiar with the songs (or it's not your typical genre of choice and it's difficult to follow along listening) please check out either the lyric videos or see the links below for the song lyrics. Whether good/bad/happy/sad, be grateful for the memories we have with him. Love and miss you cousin, Rock In Paradise.
1. Staind - Everything changes
2. Three Days Grace - World So Cold
3. Seether - Broken (ft. Amy Lee)
4. Linkin Park - Waiting For The End
5. Chevelle - Well Enough Alone
6. Avenged Sevenfold - Afterlife
7. Papa Roach - Forever
8. Linkin Park - In The End
9. Three Days Grace - Riot
10. Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong
11. Avenged Sevenfold - So Far Away
12. Korn - Falling Away From Me
13. Linkin Park - Leave All The Rest
14. Staind - Zoe Jane
15. Sum 41 - So Long Goodbye
16. Staind - Something To Remind You
17. Coldplay - Fix You
18. Shinedown - The Crow & The Butterfly
19. Coldplay - The Scientist
20. Cyndi Lauper - True Color
21. 2 Pac - Changes
22. Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror
Chris Smith Memorial Lyric Video Playlist - Healing With Music:
Chris Smith Memorial Audio Playlist - Healing With Music
Healing With Music - a playlist to remember Smitty
It's hard to believe it's already been 2 months since my cousin passed. No matter the capacity that you knew Chris Smith, you probably know of the love he had for music. I've promised many of you that I would send out copies of the memorial playlist, and thanks to some good music and a look through old pictures, I found some motivation to get out of my "writer's block". Take a look/listen and enjoy memories of Chris, you are deeply loved and missed cousin. Forever Young...
LoDo's Women & Hip Hop Series: Part 5 - Creating Solutions
We've finally reached part 5 of LoDo's "Women and Hip Hop" series! In part 5, LoDo chats with Nadia Piet, owner and founder of The TIKA, and Mark Patton of Amplifiher Media and #TheListening. There's enough complaining in the world, it's time to be a solution. We discuss creating solutions to problems that female artists and fans have faced in the hip hop world and ways we can continue to expand on the positivity and empowerment that is embodied in hip hop!
In light of the rape accusation against Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston that has become public knowledge (details of the case which are still unclear) we've seen another wave of "victim blaming". With the various recent public rape cases including the Steubenville Ohio incident in 2012, we are missing an opportunity to have a serious about rape, victims, and our justice system.
LoDo returns with part 4 of her "Women and Hip Hop" series. LoDo chats with pHoenix Pagliacci and discusses the fallout of the crew, and how the lack of family bond has negatively impacted female artists. pHoenix shares some recent collaborations as well as who she's listening to and which dope females are keeping her on her toes.
30 Days of Thanks: [Day 3] It's November, and that means 30 days of giving thanks. On day 3, LoDo shares what she is thankful for: her amazing parents, Susan and Walter Donnelly
30 Days of Thanks [Day 2]: It's November and 30 days of giving thanks. LoDo shares her daily piece of thanks, and on Day 2 she's thankful for all her "sisters". Through good and bad, they know the meaning of sisterhood and always remain "Ride or Die"!
It's November, so it's time for 30 days of reflection and giving thanks! No matter the situation there's always something to be thankful for! Follow LoDo over the next 30 days as she shares what she's thankful for #SpreadJoy #BeThankful #30DaysOfThanks
There is a war for your mind…
If you aren’t aware, might be time to take a look.
Music has many abilities, but it's best power is that of "time travel". LoDo reviews some tracks that bring her back in specific moments in time......where we're going, we don't need roads.
Part 3, Major Labels/Major Control, of LoDo's series on Women and Hip Hop. LoDo shares a continuation of her chat with Lex Leosis, along with an interview from mc/author/educator Charity Clay.
#TBT Check out LoDo's look back on the concert held at her parent's house in November of this past year. E-Turn & SPS, Mad Illz, & Workin Class put on an amazing concert on the Cape Coral stop of the Extended Fam Tour.
Check out LoDo's latest interview for her artist exclusives series, this time checking back in with Toronto mc & hip hop artist (December Gang) Lex Leosis. Lex chats about her current project "The Snowstorm" and makes a special announcement....you heard it here first!
Album of the Day: Mute Speaker Take Yourself Apart
Check out the hip hop album of the day from UK producer Mute Speaker, which features Chris Clarke, J-Thorn, Gajah, Express Fresh, BeOND, Capsize, Gel Roc & Pause.
[Hip Hop] Song of the day: Dow Timo's "Motion Picture"
Check out the song of the day from NY emcee Dow Timo "Motion Picture", on the cinematic beat from Beatbusta.
[Hip Hop] Song of the Day: KVBeats "You Know The Rules"
Today's #SOTD comes from Ill Adrenaline Records' artist KVBeats and features Rashad (of Rashad & Confidence) & DJ Rob Swift. Check the link here to listen to "You Know The Rules".
[Listen] MiKHAL - Live at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (12/21/13 Downtempo Mix)
Check out the mix of the day from MiKHAL. This Downtempo mix was performed live on 12/21/13, aka the Winter Solstice, at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Check the link here to listen to MiKHAL's dope mix (headphones on/subs up)!
Today's Mix of the Day brought to you c/o our new Electronica contributor Brian Baer, follow him at soundcloud.com/brian-baer!
[Electronica] Track of the Day: YYou x Grizzly Bear "Calls of Ricardo (Diplo remix)"
Check out the track of the day from New York EDM artist YYou.
[Hip Hop] Album of the Day: Orrin "Nocturnal"
Listen to the album of the day from New York hip hop artist Orrin, where he steps away from his boom bap roots to his suburb influenced album "Nocturnal".
[Hip Hop] Video of the Day: Jabee "Dreams"
Watch the video of the day "Dreams" from Oklamhoma hip hop artist Jabee.
Hip Hop Video of the Day:
The Spacesuit Junkies x Roark Bailey "Sleep Alone"
Check out the Video of the Day featuring the homie SJayy aka Stevie Zenith and Plex Boogie of the Spacesuit Junkies.