High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What You Hear is Not a Test: Keeping it Real with Israel Carrasco!


You're tuned to SDM&M, the 

blog that celebrates diversity 

and where everybody is a star. 

We are joined today by our good friend 
Israel Carrasco.  Israel responded to 
my invitation to send in a song list and 
become my guest blogger.  

Israel lives in Anaheim, California and hosts the always entertaining
Israel Carrasco Monologue Jokes .
 Old schoolers like those of us who matriculated at the Shady Dell School of Hard Knocks in the 1950s and 60s are in for a real education and, I might add, a real treat, as Israel introduces us to his favorite songs.

With that I'll step aside and 
say my guest! 

Although I lived in a 
different era and the 
music I listened to is 
different than what is 
normally played here,
I thought that I would 

include a list as well 
and the stories behind 
them. I'll begin in 
chronological order 
from earliest to latest. Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do. 

#1- "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head" 
- B.J. Thomas (January 1970, written by 
Hal David and Burt Bacharach, theme song 
from the 1969 motion picture Butch Cassidy 
and the Sundance Kid) 

This song was very popular in the 70's when my family came 
to the U.S from Mexico and it was a song that I associated 
with the simpler and fun times in America. 

#2- "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" 
- Freddy Fender (1974) 

This used to be my grandmother's favorite song. My grand- 
mother died and I almost got choked up writing this as I'm 
listening to the song now but it's a beautiful song. She 
would do her chores and feed me the same thing every 
Saturday. "Chillaquilles, beans, and French bread with 
butter." Afterwards, I would play with all the kids in the 
Pico/Union area of Los Angeles. 

#3- "What a Fool Believes" 
- Doobie Brothers (March 1979) 

This song takes me back to East Los Angeles. At that time 
East. L.A was filled with "cholos" and they would park their 
low riders and play this song on their cars while smoking 
weed and drinking beer. 

#4- "Rapper's Delight" 
- The Sugarhill Gang (1979) 

This was the song that made me love rap music. The first 
time I heard this baseline, I fell in love with the rhythm and 
the sound they called "rap". This song is not only a classic 
but has stood the test of time and it put the world on 
notice that rap has reached the mainstream. 

#5- "Holiday in Cambodia" 
- Dead Kennedys (1980) 

This was song about the massacre that occured in 
Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This 
song was significant because it came at a time when 
the political climate in America was tense especially 
since it came at the height of the cold War. Punk 
Rock music during the late 70's and early 80's also 
created alot of great songs that were influenced by 
the politics of that era. 

#6- "Shake the Disease" 
- Depeche Mode (1985) 

I used to have a casette tape and I would play Depeche 
Mode's tape over and over again especially in my drama 
class where I met some good friends. They took electronic 
music to new heights. 

#7- "Big Mouth Strikes Again" 
- The Smiths (July 1986) 

The Smiths are one of the most underrated bands in the 
world. Not only did they make great music but Morissey 
was a freaking poet. All you have to do to support this 
contention is to look up the lyrics to ANY Smith's song 
and you will find wit, intelligence, and a wicked sense of 
humor disguised as songs. 

#8- "Rock Box" - Run-D.M.C. (1984) 

Without a doubt this song forever changed rap music. This 
was one of the first instances in which rock music and rap 
was used. At that time it was revolutionary. Run DMC was 
the first rap group to debut in MTV and the first to be 
endorsed by a major company (Adidas). Run D.M.C also 
brought in an aggressive style and realism at a time when 
most were just rhyming for the sake of creating party 
rhymes. They were talking about poverty and crime as 
they experienced it in Queens NY. I remember listening 
to this music in awe because it was so powerful and 
refreshing. In a sad side note, the beloved DJ Jam Maste
Jay was murdered a few years ago. R. I. P. 

#9- "Fight the Power" 
- Public Enemy (April 1990) 

This group, though political in nature, schooled the world 
on the great divide that exists between Blacks and Whites. 
I would listen to PE and feel like I just left a seminar on 
black history. They are prob. one of the most influential 
groups in hip hop. Sadly, the trend in rap music has gone 
away from politics and towards gimmicks. 

#10- "Debaser" - The Pixies (1989) 

This is my favorite rock group ever. I can talk for hours 
why this band is amazing. Suffice to say that they created 
the blue print for what was later to be called "grunge" 
music. The Pixies played that type of music before it even 
had a label. They are pure energy. They always get me in 
a good mood. Their sound is unique and they create 
perfect melodies. What makes them even more attractive 
is that they down play their greatness and even write 
songs about silly stuff and yet they pull it off because their 
music is that good. 

Israel, that was 
quite a journey! 

These songs of yours cut through the crap and get to the point. Intense message music like this can be jarring. It's not for the faint of heart; but it is essential listening for those who are serious about expanding their horizons and increasing their awareness of what's happening in the real world. These songs give us an understanding of where you're coming from, Israel. They, along with your outstanding blog, reveal that you have seen, heard and experienced a great deal in your life.

I can perhaps best relate to the Sugar Hill Gang because
I was heavily into the club scene during the 70s and 80s.
I remember dancing to "Rapper's Delight" (1979) and the group's other 12-inch hits "Apache" (1981) and "8th Wonder" (1981) along with "The Message" (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" (1983) the anti-drug opus by Grandmaster Melle Mel.

A street kid gets arrested, 
gonna do some time 
He got out three years from now 
just to commit more crime 
A businessman is CAUGHT  
He’s out on bail and out of jail 
And that’s the way it goes 

"White Lines" was co-written by music industry veteran and Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson, remembered by boomers as one half of the Mickey and Sylvia act that had a big hit in 1957 with "Love is Strange" and another hit as a solo artist in 1973 with "Pillow Talk."

Thank you good friend 
Israel Carrasco for sharing with us 
the music that shaped your life! 

Who's next?

If you have a Top Tunes list I'd love to see it.  It would be fascinating to discover which songs meant the most to you in your youth or which ones resonate now in the present. Why not do what Israel and others have done? Make a list, submit it in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted. It can be a list of your favorite songs, the most exciting songs, best songs from a particular time period similar to my mid 60s Dell survey...anything you like!




Have a Shady day!


  1. Rappers Delight and The Pixies, that is quite the play list. My husband actually got me into The Pixies and I can see why he considers them the best band ever. They really are a gem. Great tunes!

  2. Israel & Shady, Thanks for broadening my knowledge of music. I have to admit that I never heard of some of the groups and while it may not be my choice to listen to daily it was fun listening to types of music that is new to me. I am old and don't get out of the box too often. Thanks again.

  3. Isn't it amazing how a song can take you RIGHT back to a specific place, to a specific moment in time? I love that Israel has such great memories attached to these songs!

    I also have a memory of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." My grandmother loved that song, too. Together, we bought Andy Williams' version of it, and played it over and over! To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the song, but I cherish it because it makes me think of her! Thanks, Israel (and Shady!)!

  4. Amber Blue Bird - You are the early bird again today and I thank you for checking out Israel's playlist. For decades the only Pixies I knew about were the Pixies Three. It is with great pleasure that I embrace the modern band The Pixies. As you have proven to me many times on your blog, there is a wealth of exciting and relevant music being produced by young people today. Have a splendid day, dear friend!

    Odie - You're never too old to learn something new and Israel's music affords us that opportunity. When we were kids we shouted "don't knock the rock" when our parents dismissed the music that we loved. There are surprising numbers of young people out there today who are celebrating the music, fashion and culture of the early and mid 20th century. It works both ways. Boomers need to open their eyes, ears and hearts to what's happening now. Have a great one, Odie!

    Joan - The linkage of music and memories is what this blog is all about. Songs help us remember the people, places and things that were most important to us. Thank you very much for coming over for a visit, Joanie, and have a fine day up Nashville way!

  5. Israel! The Freddy Fender song almost made me cry when I heard it again. My grandmother who passed away almost 10 years ago would sing that song ALL THE TIME! She didn't speak a lick of English, but she knew the words to that song! And the food she made for you is what I used to eat as well! Are you sure we're not related? :) Great song choices! -Shady - Where have you been??? Thanks for sharing this! :)

  6. Yvonne - It was very kind of you to come by and lend your support to our friend Israel. I had a feeling that you'd relate to much of what he wrote about as well as his song selections. Where have I been? I suppose I could ask the same of you, my friend. The truth is that we all have a growing circle of friends and followers but the same limited amount of time. A few weeks ago I reached the tipping point. In order to maintain a high standard of blog writing and commenting I had to make the tough decision to stop reading some of the blogs that I very much enjoyed. The only fair way to go about it was to eliminate first the blogs of people who chose for one reason or another not to follow mine. I wish you well, Yvonne!

  7. This is such a great series of guest posts, it's so interesting to see different people's tastes in music! I'm a huge Pixies and Smiths fan so Israel has won me over. I'm not as familiar with the other stuff, but I will take a listen!

    Hope you're enjoying the guests music!


  8. Emma - It doesn't surprise me that you like a few of Israel's song picks. I have seen the Pixies and the Smiths named as favorites on quite a few blogs. I am having a ball hosting this blog and having guests over to share their songs. It's a learning experience for all of us. I am particularly delighted whenever you visit, Emma, and I wish you a very good night and a safe and happy holiday weekend in Dublin!

  9. Shady, this post is very meaningful to me because this morning I was debating if I should give up my blog since I haven't been updating it on a regular basis. I was starting to question what vortue if any, my blog had. Then you posted this and hearing the feedback from you and other fellow bloggers gave me that extra push that lit my creatibe juices enough to keep the spark alive. I have been very bisy and tired and have fely guilty about producing sub par postings. But I read what you said about re-dedicating yourself to the blog at the expense of being less active on other blogs and that sparked something. I think that I will find away to make my blog relevant again. Thank you for that.

  10. Shady I love your guest post's, and I love Israel's list. The pixies and The smiths are two of my favourite bands and its lovely to hear the significance they hold to Israel. I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend and that the sun is shining in Florida for you too x

  11. Israel - I assure you that your blog has value. You offer enlightening tutorials on the elements of stand-up comedy. You introduce us to cutting edge practitioners of the craft and salute the great ones of the past. You display your own talent for comedy writing. The stories that you tell about your life past and present are always a pleasure to read. Please don't feel guilty about sub par posts. I read a couple dozen blogs a day and I can tell you that every blogger hits the wall occasionally. We run out of material and ideas. We put ourselves under pressure and stress. We experience blog envy when we notice that other people have more followers or receive more comments and compliments. We wonder if we should even continue blogging. Blogging is not a contest nor is it a daily obligation. It is a catharsis - an opportunity to express something, to connect with people who appreciate what you're doing and to build quality friendships. Thank you again, Israel, for responding to my open invitation and for sharing with us a wealth of music and memories!

  12. Kelly-marie - Your comments will mean all the more to Israel when he learns that you are uniquely qualified to weigh in on his song list. I would like Israel and my other readers to know that Kelly-marie and her friends are at the epicenter of London's highly stimulating art, music and cultural scene and hers is an exceptional blog that will dazzle you with images captured around the town. Thank you very much, Kelly-marie for reading about Israel's life and experiencing his music. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, my dear friend!

  13. (Shady, please excuse my 'thread breakin', have no internet service at home, writing from noisy McDonald's and can't concentrate on Israel's selections right now. You probably know me enough by now that I have to study the music and take notes before I comment! ;~D)

    Thank you and Israel!

  14. Cindy - I know you well enough to know that you are a sweetheart and a trouper for even attempting to do any blogging when you're right in the midst of a move. I deeply appreciate your effort. It's great hearing from you no matter what you write, my dear friend!

  15. Thanks for your comment Shady, I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend too!


  16. Emma - Ditto, kiddo! Thanks for the poke!

  17. ♥Nice post.) Love your blog.))♥

  18. First of all - Israel, please do not give up on your Blog. I really enjoyed listening to your song choices, and the description of each song that you gave. I also used to love Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, and I was very touched with the story about your grandma, and I really enjoyed "Before the next teardrop Falls" by Freddy Fender. Shady - you come up with some amazing people and this list of song choices was really different, but just as special as all the others. Hope you are well dear friend. You will know why I am a little late commenting on this post, but I should be getting back to normal service now!

  19. Mary - Hello and welcome to SDM&M! It's a wonderful Easter surprise to have you visit and I hope it won't be a one time thing. You have a very attractive blog yourself, Mary! Thank you very much for your comment and compliment and please come back soon!

    Thisisme - It means a lot to me that you made time to drop in. I know you must be weary but happy after your family's long visit. I am delighted that you found value in Israel's song selections and I know that he will appreciate your comments. Happy Easter, dear Thisisme!

  20. Shady, I wanted to comment on the fine collaboration Israel and you did. I especially liked the inclusion of Israel's blog. Israel, keep up the good work. Just don't make your blog an obligation (easier said than done) and let your inspiration guide you. I like it. I also liked the diversity of songs I wouldn't have otherwise heard, along with the points of view of someone from a different generation that I usually don't hear from. Very nice, very interesting. Freddy Fender's song always warms my heart, and the Doobie Brothers gave me goosebumps, the other songs I probably wouldn't have gotten to appreciate without your contribution. Now I'm hungry for chilaquiles.

    Your friend,

  21. Ron - These song lists are exciting and rewarding. It started at the beginning of the year with the list of favorites sent in by Wanilianna in Poland. It continued with lists from Canada, England and across the U.S.A. Contributors have ranged from 20-somethings to 60-somethings. We are learning from each other and forming a network of friends around the globe. Thank you for contributing more than your share as well, good buddy!


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