Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oldie of the Day: Distant Lover

Ahhh Marvin of the few artists to win artistic control from Motown's Berry Gordy. R&B was never the same. And yet, a tortured man with great talent is still, at the end, a tortured man. Although I was a very young child when he was killed, the story of his life has made an impression on me.  I still remember seeing my dad's Marvin Gaye vinyls around the house.

It doesn't matter where I am, when I hear this live recording of "Distant Lover" I stop in my tracks, frozen until the last chord dies away.  Maybe the dramatic side of me responds to the lyrics -- "Heaven knows that I long for you every night and thru the day....when you left you took all of me with you".  Perfect torch song lyrics.  Maybe it's the fact that Gaye could SING a song, without being an overbearing powerhouse, but just using this light tone, a beautiful tenor/falsetto voice to cut through the lush accompaniment.  What I learned as a singer from this - you don't have to yell, or do a bunch of crazy runs to communicate the essence of a song. Sometimes backing off will draw the audience in to listen to you. Make sure you have something to say when that happens.

*Do you have a song that makes you freeze in your tracks?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes You Gotta Rock...

So, if Thursday is baby Friday, then Tuesday is Grandpa Monday and this is my Grandpa Monday entry. :)

Heard Fading by Decyfer Down today - thanks Air1 for reminding me how much I love this song. "But now, by letting go somehow, unshackled and unbound, I'm calling out Your Name I'm fading"....interesting choice of lyrics. It's really in the letting go, losing all perceived reins on my life that I can truly call His Name, call for help. Nobody really has their life "together". You gotta have help.

On the music nerd end, any rock song that starts with a nice low cello holding down the low end within the first 2 bars is awesome.  And the lead vocal making that octave jump at the end of the phrase "wait, it's all that I can take and every single DAY" at the same time that the whole band starts wailing always grabs me right in the pit of my stomach.  What a way to build excitement in a song. I could talk about the switches between four on the floor and the slow 2 and then back, but that would cross me over into MUSICIAN-nerd land, and this isn't the forum.

Another point - I am so glad to see more GOOD Christian rock bands coming out. For a minute there, I was concerned.

OK, that's all my ramblings for the day. Tomorrow, Oldie of the Day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hush, Hush Darlin'

So, growing up in suburbia I listened to a lot more than just R&B and gospel; I think I mentioned that in a previous entry. One group I distinctly remember from my "anguished" teenage-hood (is that a word?) is No Doubt. I had much respect for the pipes on Gwen Stefani even before she went solo. And how  "Don't Speak" seemed to hit me square in the face the first time I heard it. 

Ahhhhhh, the hours spent 'performing' this song in the mirror, a legend in my daydream, declaring this to the latest heartbreak.  "I know ya real good". Classic!!

I was intrigued by the jazzed up, stripped down approach Chrisette Michele took with this song. Here they both are, for your enjoyment. Let me know what you think.

No Doubt

Chrisette Michele

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oldie of the Day: Shake Your Groove Thing

Last month I wrote about certain songs that make me move.  This is another one I've loved a long time. I seem to remember being in a department store at the local mall and busting a move when this song came on overhead....much to my friends' chagrin, lol. Who cares? Which would you rather do - be all mean and stressed out shopping for clothes, or groovin' out as you pick up some slacks for work? I choose to follow the Groove Theory (let's see how many of you pick up on that reference!).

And I will probably listen to this on the drive home to wash away the silly lunacy of the day. Maybe a little chair dancing too.  Yep, sounds good.

*Do you remember Groove Theory?
*What song can ALWAYS make you move?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gimme A Break!

I just finished reading the email from Netflix about the further changes coming...give me a break. I mean really...don't act like you're so broken up over splitting the company Mr. CEO. "Oh no - I have to split the company so I'll have TWO companies making money, not just one." #Backofthehandtotheforehead!

In honor of this sentiment, here's my Monday Top 5 Things From Which I Need A Break -

  1. Netflix-related news
  2. All conversation about taxing the rich. As if new tax shelters won't be used. Please.
  3. Tickets for speeding and/or using the cell phone issued by the same police that I see flying past me like a bat just freed from satan's cloven hooves or chatting like the high school cheerleading captain. Again, puh-leeze.
  4. 98.7% of all reality TV shows. #gagging&retching
  5. Complaints about the weather growing cool. Dude, did we not just live through a hell-orchestrated summer? SIT. DOWN.
And yes, my rant is accompanied by a quick little ditty...enjoy! (Don't lie, you know you used to watch this show!) 

*What would you add to my Top 5 list?

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Moment

Another lesson learned while on vacation....being thankful. I thought I had it down by now.....but it is SOOO easy to be a total CRABmonster the minute the least amount of discomfort is experienced.

I was, um..., "powdering my nose", one afternoon while in VA, and thought "Man! I wish I was home already. I'm tired, I think my feet hurt, I haven't exercised the whole time i was here" blah, blah, blah. And I didn't stop there: "Ain't no Wii here, No Netflix, what the heck. I'm ready to take a nap, ughhhhh". You know, just flat out crabbing...that pathetic pity party that ultimately leads down the road of self-imposed martyrdom. [Self-crucifixion because of no Wii? Hi my name is Miss Dramatic, and I'm ready for my close-up. *SMH*]

And then that oh-so-familiar, still, quiet voice: "Cheray --- enjoy THIS moment. You're here with friends you haven't seen in a while. You got to enjoy your family, which you haven't been able to do in almost TWO long, hard years. What a way to celebrate coming out of the difficult time you've faced. Really, what do you have to complain about?"

I had no answer to that question.

'Enjoy this moment'....hearing that got my attitude right again right then. 

And now, forgive how my mind works, but this is literally what I thought of: A comedian did this joke about seeing a woman gulf breakfast biscuits one after the other "like a pelican" and after all were consumed, she rubbed her face in the wrapper.  She ENJOYED what she had. And then it was so good to her that she had to have one last smell. Ok, she was slightly mentally off....but that's how I approached the rest of vacation. And THAT is the picture of 'enjoying the moment' that I have now.  Folgers to the last drop....McD's to the last smell.

For some reason, Santana says "WEEKEND!" to me right now, so I've been pumping him for the last hour. Here's a pretty good recording of Europa.

Enjoy your weekend...every moment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oldie of the Day: Let The Good Times Roll!

I'm back!!

As you noticed I haven't written in a few days - I took a real vacation for the first time in over 2 years.  I made a concerted effort to not be a phone/technology addict and lay off the email/facebook/blog/phone during that time.  I had a WONDERFUL time - the family & friends were great, and I gotta admit I didn't want to leave.  However, I'm glad that when I returned, the weather in the Midwest was definitely not set on hell anymore.

I got to spend a few hours alone driving and listening to music, (which I love to do) and "Let The Good Times Roll" came up as I scanned the stations. I've always loved this song, it's just plain out & out fun. Even if you don't like the blues, you can't help moving to this and smiling. Imagine, the blues making you smile. It definitely made a perfect 80 degree sunny drive even "perfect-er" for me. I picked this version because I think the arrangement's pretty hot...and a lot of you may know of B.B. King but not Bobby "Blue" Bland, a great artist in his own right.

Hmmm, I wonder if this signals the beginning of a trend since this makes the 2nd or 3rd blues song for an Oldie of the Day entry.  Keep in mind that as I type this, an documentary about the music of New Orleans is playing in the background.  OH, they're talking about Zydeco now, gotta run! :)

Enjoy! And I promise to get back on schedule now...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ship Ahoy!

It seems like many of the people around me are going through changes or some type of transition.  Everything from having babies, to shifts in relationships, to new can be stressful.  But it also seems to me that these changes are not the kind that happen because of dumb decisions - we've all been there, right? Dumb decisions that we knew would not lead to good: "ohh I shouldn't have eaten 30 hot wings" or "ohh I wish I'd never met him/her".

No, these changes I'm seeing are like we're all being lined up for the next good thing in our lives. It's exciting...and scary. I know I'm learning how to use my energy to pursue my goals instead of always being someone else's right hand. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy being the supportive person. But there comes a point where it's time to head up your own pursue those God-given dreams.  And stop. discounting. yourself.  What is that one quote from Coach Carter - most people aren't really afraid of failure, they're afraid of success and greatness.

I hope that this weekend you'll spend a bit of time taking inventory. What dream keeps making its rounds in your heart? What idea just won't leave you alone.  Refuse to let fear short-circuit the changes that are leading to your place in life.