Monday, October 31, 2011

Reggae Week - Part 2

I liked some of the comments received last week, so I'm gonna continue the reggae theme this week. 

I went on a quest for videos by female reggae or dancehall artists that aren't just totally "nekked" some time I finally found this song by Alaine, No Ordinary Love. Of course I thought of Sade's song, and that this was probably a cover. Not so, this is a different song - although it's not so new (maybe 4 or 5 years old). Check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oldie of the Day: Roots Rock Reggae

Alright, here's part 2 of Reggae week, and as I preminitioned, I had to include Bob Marley. Easily the most recognized reggae artist, I think he easily fits into the Oldie Wednesday format today.  A few years ago a compilation cd was done of some of Marley's hits and featured various artists, including Rakim (where are you man?!), Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.  I started to post Hill's track - Turn Your Lights Down Low - but probably most of have heard this or some snippet therof.

Instead let's go with a song featuring, of ALL people, Steven Tyler: Roots, Rock, Reggae. No video today folks, apparently because this is so old.  Note the energy Tyler brought to this; the more I look at this guy's body of work, the more I am impressed by him.

Click Here to listen and let me know what you think.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reggae Week -

I just realized I haven't featured any reggae yet - how horrible! I think this week will be all reggae, so stretch yourselves and try something different.  Bob Marley will be posted at some point, but I didn't want to start with the obvious. How mundane, right? 

So how about some Christafari? Here's Boomshots. I wish I'd listened to this earlier this morning, I really needed a pick-me-up to get going.  I hope I don't start singing out loud "NOOO-OOO, no compro-mise!"  I remember back in the day people looked at me and my bff (shout out Hope!) like we had an extra butt or something for listening to reggae, and to Christafari. Glad to say times have changed some.

*What song do you love that causes people to look at you like you're crazy?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday with Mary J

I just looked at some of my playlists and also some of my previous blog entries.  Evidently to me, the perfect Friday soundtrack includes music from the 90s. So let's continue with this old one that got seriously worn out at my my the shower....anywhere with the right acoustics to make me sound absolutely stellar.  Love No Limit, a serious Mary J. Blige oldie, is one of my favorites because you hear a little more jazz/Anita Baker influence than in some of her other hits.  Plus, who doesn't want to be in a club singing to some gorgeous creature that just happened to stop by?  But I also wonder if this couldn't also be an ode to music? Kinda like that song "What I Did For Love" from Gypsy. It's not just about the opposite sex, but about the dedication to the craft of good, effective music-making. Just a deep thought on a Friday is allowed.

Here goes - enjoy! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oldie of The Day: Hold On - Lisa Bevill

Flashback to the 90s again, but this time Christian pop. Now, a lot of Christian pop is...umm...nauseating, sad to say.  It's like there's this mindset that subpar music and lyrics are ok for "lil baby Jesus". But there are some real gems out there, and in my opinion this is one.  It did my heart good when this song, Hold On, came out. I finally had something to thump in my Oldsmobile along with "My Boo".  And anything with Tommy Sims (the other vocalist/bass player) is gonna be good. 

Ironically this song very accurately describes where I am in my life right now - holding on for the next change to come in my life.  I began making some steps recently to pursue too-long dormant dreams, and today marked another good step in the right direction.  I'm learning that even if things don't go the way I had them so perfectly planned, it's ok.  God has a way of working it out to be way better than I ever could've concocted in the first place.  So it's time-out for "sideways movement" and no true progress, and for all the excuse-making. It is time to act, to move, to change, to let be and do all that was destined for me.  I'll never forget a statement I heard about destiny - that everyone comes to this earth with a destiny or purpose ready for them. Not following it only leads to frustration, apathy, and unhappiness.  The reason why? Because Purpose is always calling you. So you land at a job or a relationship or whatever, and you just can't get comfortable, because that Purpose is out there pulling on your heart, drawing you to it.  It's your choice to answer and follow.  And since I've decided I will NOT be in the same place in my life 10 years from now, I'm answering.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jazzy Monday

It's now Monday nite, and I'm taking a break from watching The Sing-off. Those that know me have heard how I - ABSOLUTELY - cannot stand reality shows. First, they're not reality. Second, in the case of reality shows involving competition or evaluation of talent, it's more a popularity contest than giving an opportunity to someone with a real gift.  But The Sing-off so far has been different. There are some folks out there with golden vocal chords absolutely letting loose this season.

I found myself applauding and yelling at the TV more than once tonight - I bet my neighbors think I'm crazy.  I really liked what Afro Blue did with "I Wanna Dance W/Somebody"...especially the samba breakdown in the middle. Something about it made my mind jump to the song "Mas Que Nada" - not the cover with Sergio Mendes and Black Eye Peas, but the original tune.  So here it is...this particular recording is by Dizzy Gillespie.  Nice, mellow, rhythmic, happy...a nice soundtrack for a Monday nite.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Weekend!

This week has been interesting....up and down, lots of laughter, and unfortunately a little crying. I think all these emotions are apropos, considering this weekend is my bday. I plan to arrive at work Monday tired from celebrating. I actually think bdays should be celebrated a minimum of 2 weeks, preferably the entire month.

Anyways, shout out to Alison the best work buddy every for making 2 AWESOME mixes for me to enjoy. I'm sure I'll share some of these trax  on the blog at some point.  For now, here's a major throwback - Groove Theory's "Tell Me".  I'm also sure at some point I'll have to discuss the disappointment of everyone overlooking Amel Larrieux. 

It's amazing, sounds and smells have a way of conjuring up old memories; this song literally takes me back to college, riding the highway to class (I was a commuter) in my old gas guzzler Oldsmobile.  I still miss that car! :)

Enjoy your weekend! 

Groove Theory-Tell me by SirDroopy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oldie of the Day: Two from Lou

Featured today is the silky voice of Lou Rawls.  Yes, that guy, the "youuuuu'll never find (duunnn dun dun dun-dun dunn) another love like're goonnna MISS my luvin'" man. The UNCF emcee from back in the day. Mr. Rawls was a respected blues & soul singer long before the disco days. Remember he sang with Sam Cooke (thank you sir for the great harmony on "Bring It On Home to Me").

I don't know what made me think of his music today, but I'm glad I stumbled onto some great gems.  Check out the live concert version of "The Street Corn Hustlers Blues" - complete entertainment.

Today I included 2 songs, since the main one I wanted to share is pretty short. Below are Nobody But Me and Groovy People, which is just a plain old fun song. Hope you enjoy!

Nobody But Me

Groovy People

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Tired of MiMi

MiMi...aka Mariah...aka Mariah Carey...going back "like baby and a pacifier"...

I've been a little done with her for some time now. I loved her debut - don't know a lot of people that didn't. But in the years since.....The flailing hands, random dog whistle siren sounds and non-existent stage presence has been quite irksome to me since her 2nd album. Can someone please tell her she doesn't have to remake all of her fave ballads from back in the day? 

The song up for discussion today - "I Still Believe", originally by Brenda K. Starr.  Mariah released this about 10 years ago I think, but for some reason it's having a bit of resurgence in airplay lately...maybe because she's a mom now? One of the summaries I read stated that Mariah did well with the song, keeping the basic nature of the song while still able to add her ad libs. And that's my problem I think...I don't always enjoy her runs and ad libs. So I put it to you - listen to both versions, and cast your vote - original or MC's cover?

Brenda K. Starr

Mariah Carey

Friday, October 7, 2011

Check It Out: Grandad Turner

I heard a while ago that Fred Hammond was returning to performing bass with a jazz ensemble  he formed. For those of you unfamiliar, Hammond is a contemporary/urban gospel music icon, with the ability to write some of the best groove-ilicious songs as well as  fall-on-your-face-tender songs known in worship.  But folks have forgotten, or maybe never knew, he started out as a tremendous bass player. 

This cd, Grandad Turner: My Friends My Fam, marks his return to the bass and also shows his smooth jazz side.  I encourage you to check out this cd; I'd start with the song below, "Marcus My Dude," (recognize Fred's vocal @ 5:16) and then go to Wayman My Friend, a song in memory of the late Wayman Tisdale. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oldie of the Day: On My Own

This classic song qualifies as the Oldie of the Day as well as the “Songs I Sang the CRAP Out of in the Shower”. I’ll have to do a series of those entries soon.  This song just matches the fall day we’re having too….makes me feel like going for another drive with the windows down, and the wind blowing around all the crap left in my back seat.  I really need to do something about that.

I love the fire of Ms. Labelle and the cool groove of McDonald; whoever came up with the idea of pairing them back in the day deserves double whatever money he/she made from this hit.  At the beginning of this performance it feels a little like Patti makes the orchestra slow down their tempo slightly…in other words, y’all follow me and NOT the other way around. I’m glad – it was going along at a pretty good clip as they walked out.  This is a ballad after all.  I also love McDonald’s smile at the end to Ms. Patti, like “dang girl”.  Poor man…just get in and hang on bro and let Patti do her thang.

I also can’t help but chuckle whenever I hear a McDonald song…I have a musician friend that absolutely, positively cannot STAND McD….prolly cuz, bless his heart, he IS McD. LOL.  Happy Wednesday.

*What’s your fave Michael McDonald song?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Maybe it’s only in the South that a grown woman will (and is expected to) still refer to her father as Daddy, often with the same affection that she had for him as a child.  My dad’s birthday is coming up, and while I’m glad I got to see him and the rest of the family last month, I’m sad that I’m missing yet another birthday.  It’s hard to live away from family at these times. 

I am an unashamed Daddy’s girl…probably to the point of nauseating others at times.  That doesn’t mean we haven’t had our misunderstandings, arguments and times of separation. There were a number of years where things were really bumpy between us. But at the end of the day, I know that Daddy has always loved me and wanted the best for me and my sister.  I know he worked hard for his family.  I know he loved/loves being a teacher.  There came a time when – if I wanted to be mature, and be whole – I had to forgive people for real and perceived shortcomings, the offenses I suffered, and accept that person as he/she is.  This is just as true when dealing with family.  It's only then that I could work on building any kind of relationship in the present, as we are now as people.  

Both sides of my family love music and have very talented, creative people. But I think I got my music nerdiness from Daddy.  Even now, he’ll play a song and then have to share the story behind it. The general formula goes something like this: “See, this song came out in 19__.  Me, Brit (or another bff) and xxxx were [insert some action - walking, dancing, driving, whatever] and DJ xxx played this song".  Which is usually followed by some sort of little-known family, Virginia and/or Black History fact. :) And of course, there’s the occasional statement “Cheray, I need you to find this song….”  Hmmm, apparently this is what music nerdiness looks like 30 years from now - good to know. 

Anyways, even though I’ll have to read this to him long distance, or send him the link and ask Jesus to help me figure out how to help him pull it up on his computer (lol), I'm dedicating today's entry to him.  There are a few great father-child or father-daughter songs out there, I just chose 2. The other ones made me too weepy. There's one song in my arsenal that I hope to send him soon; if it goes well, maybe I'll post it here later.
*Is there a song that reminds you of a parent or loved one?