On this day in music history: November 17, 1980 - “Double Fantasy” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono is released. Produced by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas, it is recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City from August 4 - September 22, 1980. It is the first new music from Lennon in over five years after his self imposed “retirement” to raise his and Ono’s son Sean. Lennon writes the majority of his songs after a sailing trip from Newport, RI to the island of Bermuda. Ono also composes a number of new songs during this same period that are included on the finished album. John and Yoko work with producer Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick) on the project, having initially worked as a recording engineer for Lennon on the “Imagine” album. The sessions (recorded in a very low key and secretive manner to avoid media attention) go very quickly and smoothly with the Lennon’s supported by a number of crack session musicians including Tony Levin (bass), Hugh McCracken (guitar), and Andy Newmark (drums). The sessions are so productive, that they produce enough material for not just one, but two full albums (the unused material is later released as “Milk And Honey” in January of 1984). It is recorded while Lennon is not under contract to a record label, with his solo contract with Capitol/EMI having expired in 1975. Once word gets around about the project, offers from numerous record labels come pouring in. Eventually they sign with Geffen Records, with David Geffen offering to release the album without hearing a note. It spins off three hit singles including “(Just Like) Starting Over)” (#1 Pop), “Woman” (#2 Pop) and “Watching The Wheels” (#10 Pop). The record is steadily climbing the charts when Lennon is murdered by a deranged fan on December 8, 1980. The album wins the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1982. “Fantasy” is reissued by Capitol/EMI in 1989 when the rights revert back to Yoko Ono, after she parts ways with Geffen Records several years earlier. The album is first remastered and reissued on CD with three additional bonus tracks, on John’s Birthday in 2000, also to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its original release. It is remastered and reissued again in 2010 as two CD set titled “Double Fantasy Stripped Down” with the second disc containing alternate mixes of the fourteen tracks. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in 2015. “Double Fantasy” spends eight weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
So three days ago I had this marvelous idea of starting watching “Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir” and up to now I have already finished all the episodes available, I have the sticker album with 100 stickers and I’ve watched any fanart and youtube video about it.
I’m headed into my 3rd year of uni, so I thought I’d make a post sharing my tips on how to do well in school, not burn out, and keep your mental health relatively stable.
1. Snacks - seriously, don’t leave home without at least 2 substantial snacks in your bag. If you’re go-go-going all day and suddenly your sitting in a lecture about to crash cause you haven’t eaten anything all day, you’re gonna want snacks. Some suggestions: Cashews (they’re not super loud/crunchy, so they’re perfect for lecture snackin’), a granola bar, an apple, cherry tomatoes, trail mix.
2. Don’t buy the textbook before you go to your first class - I’ve worked at a university bookstore for 2 years, and every year, people end up buying 700$ worth of first year text books, and then they don’t even use them. Wait. and then wait some more. If there are required readings, then get the textbook, if your prof says there will be questions from the textbook on the exam, then get the textbook, but trust me, for 90% of first year classes (and a lot of other ones) you don’t need the textbook. SAVE YOUR WALLETS
3. Take notes efficiently - honestly the best way to take notes, is type up the lecture notes that are provided, BEFOREHAND, and then during lecture, fill in the blanks/add information/take down any important things your prof is saying as you go through the lecture on your laptop in a different color. This way you’re much less likely to miss any important information, you won’t be confused about what to take down, and you won’t fall into the trap of taking down notes that are already being provided to you. After class, or while making study notes, copy these notes out by hand to remember what you learned.
4. Keep it simple - pretty notes are GREAT if you have the time, but once you get to upper level uni, and you have 100 slides of notes to turn into study notes, you will not have the time to make your notes look aesthetically pleasing. Just get the info down so you can focus on learning it.
5. Have a designated study space - i did all of my highschool homework and studying in my bed, and 90% of the time, I ended up falling asleep. My bed wasn’t going to cut it for uni, so I got a cheap ikea desk, and it’s made me so much more organized and productive.
6. Take as much ‘you time’ as possible - take a bath. light candles. binge watch a tv show. veg out with a book for 4 hours if you have the time. do your makeup super special one day. get yourself that venti pumpkin spice latte with extra whip whenever you feel like it. Uni is a shitty time I’m not gonna lie. It’s stressful as f*ck, and whenever you can spare a couple hours or a couple dollars to TREAT YO SELF, do it.
7. If you have anxiety, CUT THE COFFEE. caffeine is a huge trigger for anxiety. Caffeine takes away from your sleep, messes with your adrenalin systems, and can make you super paranoid and anxious all the time.
8. If you think your in the wrong major, change it - I started in geology, and I HATED IT. Now I’m in psych and I love it. It is never too late for a change of program. If you think you’re doing something you don’t wanna do, or your not enjoying it, don’t do it.
9. For mornings you have to be ready and out the door, or if you’re a person who always runs late, have a getting-ready routine and get it down pat. Have a mental list of things you need to do, and things you need to remember, and find out how much time it takes you. Get up at 8am, shower, wash face/brush teeth, get dressed, do makeup, pack bag, remember keys, wallet, laptop, notebook, pen and train pass, have breakfast, put on shoes, leave by 9am.
10. Utilize your time in transit. - finish a reading, go over flashcards, read study notes, listen to an album you’ve been meaning to listen to, read a book, read some fanfic, idk but don’t just sit there unless just sitting there is what you need.
11. Find a hobby or passion that is separate from your school/uni life. Whether its playing sports, or running, reading, collecting plants, making scrapbooks, curating a refined taste in tea, having baths, writing in a journal, find something that if you’re bored with watching shows or studying, you can go do it, and enjoy it, and get your mind off all the other shit that’s going on in your life for awhile.
she hath worked her way through a vile pack of cigarettes hard liquor did mix with a bite of wit and all the gents, they wast declaring they were into it such a quaint visage, on a quaint neck
the wench is driving me mad but i loveth it, but i loveth it i kind of loveth it t’is getting crazy, i bethink i’m losing it, i bethink i’m losing it ay, methinks she hath said, “i’m having thy babe, t’is none of thy business i’m having thy babe, t’is none of thy business (none of thy, none of thy i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy business i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy, t’is none of thy
t’is new york, darling, at each moment jacked up holland tunnel for a nose, t’is always backed up at which hour she art high-lone, she goeth home to a cactus in a black habit, she art such an actress
driving me mad but i loveth it, but i loveth it i kind of loveth it t’is getting crazy, i bethink i’m losing it, i bethink i’m losing it ay, methinks she hath said, “i’m having thy babe, t’is none of thy business i’m having thy babe, t’is none of thy business (none of thy, none of thy) i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy business i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy, t’is none of thy
the lady sits beside me as a silhouette hard marchpane dripping on me ‘til mine own feet art wet and anon she art all ov'r me, t'is as had i paid f'r it t'is as had i paid f'r it, i shall pay f'r this t’is none of thy, t’is none of thy i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy business i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy business (t’is none of thy, t’is none of thy) ‘i’m having thy babe (heigh-ho), t’is none of thy business” “i’m having thy babe, t’is none of thy business” (t’is none of thy, t’is none of thy)
Producer Jeff Bhasker faced a daunting task several months ago. After having worked with Kanye West and winning Grammy Awards for producing Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” and Fun.’s 2012 album “Some Nights,” he had to decide whether to take on a new project: the debut solo album of One Direction member Harry Styles.
“I’d just had a baby, and I was kind of like, ‘Eh, I don’t know if I’ll jump into this,‘” Bhasker tells Variety. He agreed to have Styles come over to “just talk,” and proceeded to put him through the Bhasker home sniff test. “My dog tends to bite people, and he was kind of scoping Harry out,” Bhasker explains. Styles “did this move — like a little shoot the gun with his finger, and my dog walked over and started licking his finger. That’s when I was, like, ‘This guy has something special.'”
Once music came into the mix, Bhasker was sold. “He started playing references of what he wanted to do, which sounded like a cool rock band. I got it, and could see where if we pulled this off, it would be one of the coolest things ever. But he needed a buddy who plays guitar like he’s Keith Richards.” The insinuation being: Styles is the Mick Jagger in this scenario.
Adds Bhasker: “I’m so proud of the album itself, and also of Harry for being so brave, and committing 100%, and writing the kind of vulnerable lyrics that he wrote, and not pandering to what people thought he would do. People have no idea that this is what Harry Styles is like. Just like I didn’t know. He’s obviously very famous and beloved, but people don’t know the depths of what an amazing personality and artist he is.”
Variety spoke with Bhasker about the recording of “Harry Styles” ahead of the album’s May 12 release:
You all need to promise me that you’re going to take the release day easy. When the album comes out just wrap yourself into a comfortable blanket, light up some candles, get yourself a good cup of coffee, close all your social media pages and put on the album. Just relax and listen to her story from beggining to end. No skipping. Don’t blog about it untill you’re finished. Listening to an album for the first time should be special. Believe me - Taylor’s gonna wait for our reactions, you’re going to have many opportunities to show her how much you love it. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want us to be stressed while listening to the thing she’s most proud of. I’m serious, take it easy!
Ahead of a Sept. 20 show at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, Harry Styles took the stage at downtown L.A.’s Grammy Museum on Friday night (Sept. 15) for a Q&A conducted by writer and filmmaker Cameron Crowe. Styles, who released his self-titled debut in May, was joined by producer Jeff Bhasker for a lively, often laugh-out-loud discussion of how the album came together, Styles’ experience filming “Dunkirk” (“I was in the water way more than the movie suggests,” Styles cracked), and his views on the music industry.
And while the Grammy Awards weren’t mentioned specifically, the venue — as well as the presence of longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich in the crowd — certainly brought to mind the possibility of a future nomination for what is arguably one of the strongest albums of the year. An understated post-interview performance of Styles’ gorgeous second single, “Two Ghosts,” featuring Bhasker on keyboards, drove the point home.
The story of how the music came together — written and recorded in a remote studio complex in Jamaica — has been told by this point, but Crowe dug deeper into the process, letting Styles and Bhasker expound on just how organic and, in the producer’s words, “authentic and viscerally honest” the project ended up being.
At the same time, said Styles, “it was the most fun I’ve ever had.” Partly because he started on the album without a label commitment (Styles would later sign to Columbia, home to One Direction), he felt unencumbered. “When we started the process, it didn’t feel like I was making any sort of commitment,” said Styles. “I didn’t feel any pressure.”
That freedom allowed songs like “Sign of the Times” to flow out of Styles, even as other tracks were still coming together. Bhasker described a moment in which Styles sat at the piano almost in a trance, coming up with the chord progression to what turned out to be his first single. “It was writing from this place of, ‘Let’s get an idea going, do something with it, and have fun,‘” said Bhasker. “And in 5 or 6 days, they had, like, 10 songs. … It was that immediate.”
Styles’ favorite track on the album is “From the Dining Table,” which he said is, “The one that makes me feel the most,” adding that, “it’s the most different than what I expected myself to write and it’s probably the most honest that I’ve been in a song as well.”
The album’s stylistic choices — what some deem as musical nods to classic rock acts like David Bowie and Pink Floyd — were also illuminated, with Styles explaining that his father listened to “a lot of Queen and Pink Floyd,” while his mother favored Norah Jones and Shania Twain. “I’m a huge Shania Twain fan,” said Styles (he later played a snippet of a Twain song on a kazoo, by request from an audience member).
Bhasker’s take is that if any “homage” is sensed, it was not intentional, though the record they ended up with was destined to sound the way it did. “We were not thinking about [influences] at all,” he said, noting that, in this era of ProTools and pop co-writes, “It couldn’t be more punk rock” to record an album the way those classic rock acts did.
Indeed, the sort of liberties Styles was afforded new artists rarely see, and for that, the singer credits the record company, run at the time of his signing by executive Rob Stringer, who has since ascended to CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. Said Styles: “We had signed with Columbia and I called Rob one day saying, ‘Hey, would you mind leaving me a alone for six months and I’ll call you when [the album is] finished?’ He said, ‘I want hear it when you’re excited to play it for me.’ … A lot of people get into this thing of, ‘It’s me versus the record label,’ and I feel so lucky to get to work with everyone at Columbia. The support from them allowed us to go do what we want, so I have to say thanks to them for letting it happen this way.”
Not to let the mood get too serious, though, Styles then encouraged all in attendance, which included journalists, television executives, and Grammy chapter members, to come to the Greek on Wednesday and experience these songs, the band, and the vibe, for themselves. “You’re all on the list,” Bhasker joked. Added Styles: “If anyone wants to come, Capitol Records said they would cover the cost.” Charge it to Niall Horan’s recoupable account?