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Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Song (s) of the day…or more like the week!

In T. L.'s Theme Music on September 24, 2010 at 9:56 PM

What’s good?  What’s in your ear?  It’s been an incredibly long week for me.  And I’m sure that’s evident simply by the number of posts I’ve had since Sunday.  ABSOLUTELY NONE. 

There wasn’t a whole lot of music actually in my ear this week, but that certainly does not mean there weren’t a few songs running through my mind. (for various reasons, and the selections are all over the place.) 

Let me share:

(Just makes me feel good. Makes me wanna dance.)

(Reminds me of the simple days of childhood.)

(Because I was starting to lose my peace of mind for a while, but it’s starting to return.)

(I saw Doug and Jean Carn perform together for the 1st time in 30 years.)

Stay tuned fam.  I’ll be back at it…blogging that is…later this weekend.

Until next time


Samples vs. Originals…Round 2

In Samples vs. Originals... on September 19, 2010 at 9:33 PM

IT’S ABOUT THAT TIME!  Time for another round of Samples vs. Originals!  You know the premise…it really needs no introduction.  If you’re new to the game, I’m sure you’ll catch on quickly. In the last episode, we reviewed the works of the Notorious B.I.G. and Camp Lo.  But now were gonna dig a little deeper. 

This week we will BEGIN looking at a few hip-hop classics.  [Caveat: Because there is simply not enough room in this entry to cover all that I have to say about this time-period in the history of hip-hop, I guarantee there will be future discussions on this subject.  IN PARTICULAR, there will be posts dedicated solely to the legacy of J. Dilla and my favorite group of all time:  A Tribe Called Quest–yes, I just did a shout-out!]

Let’s not waste any more time.  Buckle up hip-hop heads!  Heeeeeeeeeeere we go!

The Sample: Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story”

The Original: Bob James’ “Nautilus”

(Did you know “Nautilus” was recorded in 1974 and has been sampled at least 13 times?)

The Sample: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum”

The Original: Rotary Connection’s “Memory Band”

(Trivia Question: Who was the songstress was a member of Rotary Connection?)

The Sample: Busta Rhymes’ “Whoo-Hah!!”

The Original: Galt McDermot’s “Space”

(I was recently “schooled” on this one. I still have lots to learn. Thanks KDub. )

The Sample: Run DMC’s “Peter Piper”

The Original: Bob James’ “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” (yes another Bob James classic…do your homework y’all!)


Ok, I think this should hold you for a while…or at least until the next installment of Samples vs. Originals.  I’ve had a lot of fun with these and hope you have too!

Until next time…


Music Knows No Boundaries and That’s the Way I Like It!

In The Daily "Thread" on September 15, 2010 at 12:02 AM

Generally speaking, most of us like it when things make sense logically or fit neatly into a box.   Typically there’s a level of comfort provided by routine and tradition.  But isn’t it good sometimes to shake things up a bit?  Don’t you appreciate the freedom of being able to color outside the lines…every now and then? 

This train of thought reminds me of the lyrics to a song that George Benson used to sing, ” Everything must change, Nothing stays the same.” “…There aren’t many things in life you can be sure of, except rain comes from the clouds, and sun lights up the sky and humming birds do fly.” (I bet that took you way back, didn’t it?)  

The same principle applies to music.  Music knows no boundaries and is forever changing.  For the most part, there’s usually a musical genre that appeals to even the most discriminating of tastes.  However, there are some artists that cross the lines.  They creatively mix their styles, their lyrics…their sound all in the name of true artistic expression.  You know you’ve stumbled across such an artist when you can’t easily identify what type of music they sing.  Perhaps they’re a “little bit country…a little bit rock-n-roll.”  

I admire artist who posses this quality.  In fact, over the years I’ve been known to deliberately seek them out.  I’m particularly excited about the uprising of  artist who craftily fuse gospel/inspirational messages with neo-soulish arrangements/instrumentation.  An acquired taste, yes I know.  But that’s the beauty of it all.  For me, it’s like the best of both worlds–combining two of my favorite types of music.  It validates that others are also hearing what I hear.

In this “quasi-genre” you’ll find a number of artists.  Probably more than you’d expect!  Not exactly sure of who may or may not fall into this unclassified group?  Well, let me help you out.  Here’s a homework assignment.  Do some research and spend some time exploring some of these: 

PJ Morton   *   Lisa McClendon   *   Dominique Howard   *   Adrianne Archie   *   Mali Music   *   J.R.

These are but a few of the ones I’ve been discovering lately.  And wow…I’m having difficulties grouping these artists, since there aren’t any definitive guidelines and each song varies…one to the next. Kinda-sorta.

Maybe this has expanded your horizons some, or opened you up even more to all of the possibilities that can be found in music.  C’mon ya’ll.  Challenge yourselves.  Step outside of your comfort zone and “try-on” new music.  Perhaps it might “fit” where you are right now in life or tuck it away and pull it out when needed.

Until next time…be the blessing that you wish to receive,


Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover. But Does That Apply to Albums (CDs) Too?

In The Daily "Thread" on September 10, 2010 at 12:42 PM

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But honestly, I don’t think that rule applies to LPs.  Some of my earliest memories of music are centered around the extraordinary imagery that often donned the front of an album’s cover.   Do you remember when album covers were more like original pieces of art rather than just an open-ended cardboard record-holder?  If you think about it…an album cover was the predecessor to the music video.  They provided the artist with an outlet; an additional source of creative expression.  Cover art was an invitation FROM the artist TO you.   In my mind, I think the artists were trying to provoke you with their covers.  They used them as one more compelling reason for us to purchase their records.  And if you’re anything like me, you probably remember an album for its cover just as much as you recall its lyrical content and instrumentation. 

As a youngster, I followed my Pop around…foot to foot.  In his spare time, he was a local dee-jay for neighborhood block parties, cabarets and other social gatherings.  I tagged along on his countless trips to the record store…in search of the perfect “cut” !  While there, I’d mimic him by rummaging through what seemed like millions of rows of albums bearing vivid colors, images, photos and creative lettering and typefaces.  It had become customary for me to select some vinyl of my very own on these visits.  And without knowing much about the artists or their style of music, I’d select the ones that were visually appealing. 

Between my smallish “pile” and my father’s enormous “collection”…here’s a look at the album covers that have forever been etched in my mind: (do you recognize any of these?)

Herbie Mann's Surprises Prince's 1999  


It’s amazing what you remember.  In writing this post, I had to call my Pop to ask him about one of the covers above. I won’t say which one.  I could “see” it clear as day, but for the life of me I couldn’t recall the name of the album.  I described what I remembered it looking like and within a matter of seconds he told me the artist and the name of the album. I guess you could say the bug bit him a long time ago and that I inherited this passion for music honestly. 

So with that, I will set you free.  Go ahead, launch into the deep to find and rediscover your old record collections.  I challenge you to blow the dust off your old LPs and take a closer look at their covers.  You’ll be amazed and reminded of things long forgotten.  But beware.  This may create a new hobby for you of visiting your local record shops in search of albums you once owned or ones that are rare to find. (Who knows you we may run into each other!)

Until next time…


Say What? House Music All Day Long!

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2010 at 11:27 AM

I don’t even know where to begin.  All I can say is “Wow!”  Yesterday, I experienced my first “House in the Park.”  And for the life of me, I can’t begin to fathom how is it, that I’ve managed to miss 5 previous years of such musical magnification!

Now some of you might be wondering what’s “House in the Park” (HITP)??  According to their website, HITP is described as  “…an annual music festival bringing together innovative musicians, DJs, and a diverse audience in a beautiful outdoor park.”  House in the Park has been described “…as the “MUST-attend-event” for avid fans of deep house-music, Afrobeat and soul classics.  And with that being said, let me attempt to describe all that I saw and learned and experienced yesterday. 

From noon until 8pm, there had to be no less than 1500-2000  people who descended upon Atlanta’s Perkerson Park.  Driving by the main entrance,  I could already hear the beat and bass pumpin’ loudly from what felt like 12 dozen speakers.  (That’s usually a VERY GOOD sign for an outdoor music setting/venue.) 

Now, I’ve never lived in the north very long or experienced the cultural/music scene there but…from everyone I talked to, originating from cities like Chicago, Detroit and New York–I’ve been told that HITP was a pretty good representation of  what it’s like livin’ “up-top” in the summertime. 

Walking up the hill, as I was looking for the group of friends I was meeting, I saw a sea of people!  97% of them I’d never seen before yet they were all setting up their “home bases” of tents, blankets and lawn chairs.  Everywhere I turned…everywhere I looked, there were folks smilin’ and vibin’.  Truly there were happy feelings in the air.

After finding and greeting my friends, the music began to call my name. I tried to ignore it, as I was still being cordial and sociable.   Hmmph! We know that lasted all of 30 seconds and I made my way over to the park’s pavilion to get a closer look at the action.  As I approached, I saw the masses…gettin’ it in!   Shedding the cares of the world and dancing like their lives depended on it.  I heard whistles blowing.  Saw arms swingin; fingers snapping; feet jumping; soul claps roaring; and even smelled aromas from “the grill  that sparked up nostalgia.”  And let’s not forget to shout-out the dee-jays!  Dee-jays Salah Ananse, Ramon Rawsoul, Kai Alce and Kemit tag-teamed the ones and twos,  filling the air with hypnotic house classics and clever r&b remixes. 

Whew! After more than 4 hours of house music and being outdoors, I knew it was time for me to make my way back home to the eastside.  I savored every ounce of the day and as I write this post–I’m reliving it all over again. 

HITP has officially been added to my list of annual Atlanta festivities to attend.  If you’ve never experienced it…next year–you should! It’s a must.  I can now say…been there, done that and yes…I gladly bought the t-shirt! (Literally…my friend and I bought HITP t-shirts and have vowed to collect one for each year we attend.)

Until next time…


What’s in my ear…?

In What's in My Ear... on September 1, 2010 at 9:11 PM

The other night I was at dinner with a former colleague and was asked the question…”What are you listening to these days?”

Instantly my eyes lit up!  I love it when folks ask me this, although I often feel like it would be easier/quicker to share what I’m I NOT listening to.  I welcome the opportunity to share recent musical finds be it my favorite, well-known artist(s) or an up-and-comin’ indie. I enjoy sharing a new song I’ve stumbled across or older ones that I’ve dug up and dusted off.

So after 6 minutes of swapping stories and creating “audio” liner notes of who and what’s been dominating our ear canals lately, I realized that for the last few weeks I’ve been gleaning inspiration from all sorts of stuff.  As of late, my playlist has included a mixed bag of gospel, jazz and non-commercial, neo-soulish R&B (a.k.a. the stuff that gets no airplay.  The b-side stuff if you will.)

 But among this medley, there are some things I’ve found particularly noteworthy:

New single on repeat…

Anthony David’s Let Me In”:

Okay, let me first say that I’m a huge fan of songs that actually speak to me.  Leave me with a message.  Give me something to think about.  Something to relate to.   And in a world where meaningful lyrics sometimes feel like they are nearing extinction, I’ve gotta give AD a thunderous round of applause. “Let Me In” does just that. 

Exploratory Artist of the moment…

During one of  the hottest nights of the summer, I woke up in the middle… thirsty.  So, I stumbled to the kitchen for a glass of water.  And as I gathered my faculties, I began hearing the sounds of someone who clearly knew what they were doing on the piano.  (In case you’re wondering, yes, there’s generally some type of music playing at times in my home. Gotta love TV Radio.) So, I made a pit-stop in the living room where I turned on the tv to see who could it be that was playing so masterfully.  To my surprise, it was Orrin Evans’ Love Remains.   The next day I began researching more about Orrin and exploring his repertoire.   And as they say, the rest was history.  If you’re like me, and a lover of the piano…do yourself a favor and check Orrin out.

Diggin From Start to Finish…

Zo!’s  Sunstorm and 4hero’s Extensions

Really, I could spend time here explaining, but why?  Just do yourself a favor and spend some quality time with both of these cds.  You won’t be sorry! 

Alright, now that I’ve given you a chance to “Hear What I Hear” musically, off you go…to explore!  I would love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to leave me comments to this post or any of the others.

Until next time…


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