Brooklyn NY… AFROPUNK.. Was the place to be this past weekend… The lineup included a legend who set the standard and is to this day still very much imitated… Grace Jones…I wanna say her set was amazing… But the word seems to have lost value as people throw it out so cavalierly..But it actually was just that.. Amazing.. I haven’t been that entertained in a while.. Grace Jones is no “singer” so she has to give you show.. And ghat dammit she did just that… From the time she appeared on that mounted platform baring full tiddy and tail.. In body paint.. Till the time she ended introducing her band… She gave show!!
I was/am a surface Grace Jones fan.. I enjoyed her music when she was out in the 80’s.. And I loved her “Imma do me” personality which was quite bold for the time period.. But I was a kid.. I didn’t really grasp the full conecept of what/who Grace Jones was… Up until Saturday I was only familiar with her radio hits but was delightfully introduced to a catalog of her music that is quite timeless and still pumps… The audience was captivated as Grace performed selections that included “Love is the Drug”, “My Jamaican Guy”, “Private Life”, “I’m not Perfect, But I’m Perfect For You”…“Pull up to my Bumper “ (I’m sure I’m not the only one who had no idea what they was sangin bout back in the 80’s) …And I rather enjoyed “Williams Blood”…I’m not sure who William is.. But it shol made Grace dance.. And dance bad.. Darning a big floppy Easter Sunday hat looking head covering and tulle skirt… Mother shouted like she was in the congregation of her brother Noel’s church… Who she mentioned more than a couple times during her set.. Umm hunh…
I was simply astonished how a 67 year old woman could perform music that is over 30 years old…In 5 inch pumps and keep the audience in the palm of her hand the entire time… Grace Jones is a true entertainer.. The multiple outfit changes.. The witty banter between songs…. The crowd walking… All made for an evening of music I shall never forget.. And then to end the show performing the very recognizable hit “Slave to the Rhythm”. Whilst hula hooping?!?!… Are you kidding me?! I totally forgot how much that song cranks.. Talk about “more cowbell?!?!”… I wanna say that this was a collaboration with EU and one of their firsts as they forayed into popular music… That joint goes awf!!… Simply amazing.. After 10 years… AFROPUNK did the damn thing with this year’s line up!
We’re all very much aware of what went down a few weeks ago when Beyoncé was perceived to have stolen a moment from R&B’s latest it girl Ledisi… The outrage it caused is actually now laughable to me… I mean… Can you really steal an opportunity if said opportunity was never offered to you? But I digress..
Of course like everyone else I had an opinion.. I like Ledisi enough.. She has a more than pleasant voice and I think her talent definitely should be shared on a larger scale…I didn’t particularly care for Beyoncé’s offering of Precious Lord.. I knew that would be the case as soon as I heard that announcement she was set to perform…. Beyoncé can sing..But the song requires more than just a singer and I knew she wouldn’t be able to deliver. And I was right…On the other hand..If you want some Precious Lord..I’d definitely put my $ on Ledisi.. She has the chops.. The soul.. And given this opportunity which no doubt would have changed the trajectory of her career… She would surely knock it out of the park..
Now we will never know what might have happened on Grammy night 2015..But a recent clip of Ledisi singing Precious Lord has me ready to put in my vote…I’m not impressed.. The vocal is technically fine..But I tired quickly of her self indulgent over singing… I love a run and a riff as much as the next guy..But damn!!… Can you just sing the song?.. And the audience who was too easily impressed annoyed the hell out of me with all of the uncalled for adulation…*Yawn*
Take a look for yourself…Wha chu thank?
Imma jes leave this here for now..
Chris Martin, Janelle Monáe, Ed Sheeran To Salute Stevie Wonder
Willie Nelson and Usher also among first performers announced for “Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life — An All-Star GRAMMY Salute,” airing Feb. 16 on CBS.
Lauryn Hill continues her “comeback” with the announcement of tour dates of an acoustic set in DC & NYC… All the world rejoiced!!… And some have finally accepted reality and will not even hit the link. I can actually get with either reaction…I had the opportunity to check out Lauryn at what I believe was her first “comeback” show in DC and it was beyond disappointing… Gone was her strong beautiful voice..It was just a raspy whisper… Still great tone however.. And she had remixed her songs to the point of being unrecognizable.. (There are several schools of thought as to why that has been done)..I left the show early..You can do that when you are gifted a suite and have nothing to lose. Just last year I saw her at Spirit Fest… My expectations where so low..If she showed up before they had to turn the lights up we’d be doing good… Songs were still unrecognizable but the voice was much stronger…Actually wasn’t bad at all…
I think an acoustic set will serve her well…She won’t have the opportunity to hide behind loud music…She’ll have to sit on a stool and just give voice.. And that’s all we really want.. But can she do that before the houselights have to come up?.. Ioono.. Which is why I’ll have to pass…I don’t have time for entertainer shinanigangs…I’ll be content with the various reviews and youtube clips..Unless a gifted ticket comes along…
This is bout the longest comeback ever..I hope she records something soon so she can say she has finally got to where she is goin.. And sat down!!
Lauryn Hill: 2015 Acoustic Tour Dates
2/13 Howard Theatre – Washington, DC
2/20 Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
2/14 Howard Theatre – Washington, DC
2/17 Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
2/23 Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
2/25 Blue Note – New York, NY
On NYE I was very reflective like most of you.. The ups and downs of the year.. What went wrong.. What went right.. What could have been done differently..A song came up on shuffle and just about took me outta here.. “Through it all..”.. The title alone.. Even without hearing a note says everything…I put the song on repeat and really began to think about that thang.. My mind eventually went to the songwriter…Andrae Crouch..Not necessarily one of my favorites.. But I’ve enjoyed his music just fine over the years… More than anything.. Andrae Crouch was quite pivotal in the Contemporary Gospel movement in the 70’s… And I’m not sure he gets the credit he deserves like his contemporaries.. Specifically Walter & Edwin Hawkins.. I’m not sure of the exact time line..But I recall all of them making contributions to the genre of music that would eventually become legendary.. We are not ashamed, Take me back, I’ll be thinking of you and more recently Let the church say amen.
The report went out this morning that Andrea is having some serious health concerns..My thoughts.. Well wishes and prayers are with him and his family…As well as a big ole thank you..
*WARNING*.. Do not…I repeat.. Do not think “Through it all” and really think about it unless you are in an appropriate area/environment and prepared to deal with the consequences… Don’t believe me?.. Try it.. I dare you..