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All Things Picardy 2017: A Look Back

By Paulo Camacho

The end of 2017 is upon us — for many of us, it is a time for remembrance, self-reflection, and celebration. For all of us at Picardy, it is no different: we have accomplished a lot this year, and hope to continue growing and prospering in the new year.

But, now, let us reflect back on the last 365 days, and revisit some of our favorite memories on the “All Things Picardy” blog:

Music, Sports, and “One Shining Moment”

March 20, 2017

Many songs in the cultural pantheon — especially as it pertains to sports — have a much more interesting history than one would think. This historical review for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament’s emblematic anthem, “One Shining Moment,” reflects the importance of the song in American sports, as well as its unexpected path to becoming the sappy-yet-inspirational ballad for college basketball, and all of the values it is meant to stand for.

Personally, it was interesting to look into the relatively unknown history of this famous sports tune — especially considering it was a question that I wanted answered at the time I wrote this, well into the March Madness Tournament. It’s pieces like this that reveal a whole new side of Americana that I never would have considered, if it weren’t for this blog.

John Tesh & The Greatest NBA Anthem Ever

April 27, 2017

The name “John Tesh” is likely most recognizable to an older generation of people familiar with “Entertainment Tonight.” But that was a mere glimpse of the real Renaissance Man — he was a broadcast journalist, college athlete, and a talented music composer/performer. It would be these influences that were likely his inspiration to writing what many consider the greatest sports anthem of all time: the NBA on NBC’s Roundball Rock.

Much like my “One Shining Moment” piece, I found Tesh’s background in entertainment, and in sports, unexpectedly fascinating. I remember how dumbfounded I was when I first discovered that it was he — co-anchor of “ET” — was the composer to so much of my 1990s sports nostalgia. Because of that, there were so many layers to Tesh’s repertoire that I was not fully aware of, that I discovered while writing this piece.

Why YOU Should Join A Choir: A Personal Take

May 25, 2017

This might have been the most enjoyable piece I wrote this year. Researching the benefits of joining a choir, while reflecting back on my former life in various choruses and chorales, put me in a nostalgic place. After all, I could personally attest to virtually all of the benefits I discussed in the article — because I lived it.

Personal indulgences aside, I believe it’s a good read for anyone who has ever thought about trying out for a choir. So, if you’re interested in joining a choir, I encourage you to read said article, and definitely consider the prospect. But read the article, first. Seriously, click the link and read it. Trust me.

“Rock Band” & Music Education: The Eternal Debate

June 9, 2017

Would you believe that the genesis for this article came out of a “South Park” episode? Because in Episode 4 of Season 8, “You Got Served” (as it is known in SFW environments), the kids round up a rag-tag group of “dancers” to battle a dance crew who just won’t leave them alone. One of the recruits was a kid who was really good at “Dance Dance Revolution” — the arcade game that simulated dance moves by hitting floor pads in various sequences. That got me thinking: How is dancing in an arcade game the same as dancing in real life? Naturally, as someone who writes a music blog, that led to the following question:

Is “doing music” in a video game the same as “doing music” in real life?

It’s a question that has been asked a surprising amount of times ever since the first “Guitar Hero” game came out. This piece delves into the question, and how much it does — and absolutely does not — help with musicianship and good ol’ fashioned music education.

Total Eclipse of The … Sun: Music & The Great American Eclipse 2017

August 28, 2017

It was all America was talking about for a solid two weeks before it happened: The first total solar eclipse to span the entire continental United States in 99 years. Where were the best places to see it? How does one view the eclipse without damaging one’s eyes? What was happening? What would it look like? What would it feel like to witness it firsthand?

Again, being a blogger that explores music in greater Americana, I naturally gravitated toward the instances in which the Great American Eclipse of 2017 and the world of music collided, and the answer to that query was so much more interesting than anything I could have imagined: from Solar Eclipse “sonification” to music festivals along the “path of totality,” music played a surprisingly large role in the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event.

The Music of “Rick And Morty”: A Content Analysis

October 6, 2017

At this point, I was already immersed in “musical analysis” pieces: taking various institutions from pop culture and exploring their use of music. From sports to television to movies, it was all I could focus on at this point in the year. So, naturally, as I was infatuated with the cult hit cartoon “Rick and Morty,” I couldn’t help myself.

For an irreverent spoof of the “Back To The Future” movies, “Rick and Morty” has a strong following, based on its nihilistic, absurdist overtones blended with a healthy dose of ridiculous toilet humor, as well as the surprising layers of each of the show’s characters. But it’s the music choices that “Rick and Morty” uses as a clever narrative device, I believe, is an underrated, overlooked, yet vital component to the show.

The “Avengers: Infinity War” Trailer: A Musical Analysis

December 1, 2017

As one of my latest pieces, I was especially proud of this, as I had been analyzing Marvel movie trailer music for the better part of the last two months. The World Premiere of the highly-anticipated trailer to “Avengers: Infinity War” had dropped just a couple days before, to a thunderous approval among the MCU fan communities around the internet.

Unlike my previous installments, however, this was an analysis of the music used in the trailer, relative to the action in the trailer, itself, irrelevant to the particular song used in the trailer. It was a different take on an established blog theme — not only to make the writing more interesting, but also to make the article have a different feel.

Those were some of my standout articles from 2017. But let me ask you: What were some of YOUR favorites from last year?

If you are inspired by any of the music featured in last year’s articles for All Things Picardy, maybe you could check out, and learn yourself some music.