Monday, June 15, 2009

Ryan Leslie - Gibberish

*Press play on the 'Gibberish' widget to hear a snippet of this song*
When we hear gibberish, i imagine that most people think of words, conversations that dont make any sense.
I think in life though, that gibberish can be words that one understands but one chooses not to listen to. When we say people are 'talking' nonsense, a lot of the time, we either dont agree with another's words or we believe they arent making any sense.
But how many time does it hit that sometimes gibberish makes sense. It usually the case after something has happened or some time has gone by. Then we look back and realise that sense was being made then. It one of the reasons that i try to really listen to people's words....there just might be gems of wisdom amongst the 'gibberish'.
On to this fab fab song.
Ryan Leslie is one uber talented dude. A lot of of people will have heard of him via his speculated relationship with Cassie and his appearance on her 'Me & U' track. However, this man is way more than that. First of all, he graduated from Harvard at 19. To explain his looks - His dad is from Barbados and his mom is of Carribean Dutch, Chinese and African heritage. Ryan had been producing music for years and finally decided to sing in 2004. His debut cd from which this song comes from finally comes after a few failed attempts in 2003 and 2006. This cd is a gem and this is my favorite song of the cd. 'Valentine', 'Diamond Girl' and 'Addiction' are some other standout tracks.
Now, this song is genius. The first time you hear the song - its like - what is he saying thanks to the vodacorder...but you know he is making sense, its just not really clear. Layer that over a killer beat, and this song is ice cream for my ears.
I managed to dig up the lyrics of this song and it actually makes some sense but i am worried about putting it up here in case it just gibberish....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Elisabeth Withers - Simple Things

How do you explain this funny feeling deep inside
Makes me smile when I'm lonely - comforts me when I'm sad
(How do you) explain this sweet sweet smile on my face
That just keeps (getting better) with each passing day
For so (long) I didn't (know) I was searching in all the wrong places
(Thinking if I) spent more money than I could
(If I) worked harder than I should
Always having friends to feel good (I'd be happier)
Losing my breath in the hustle
Just stressin' over nuthin'
Forgetting the real joys that lie - in the simple things
How do you explain when there’s more month @ the end (ofthe money)
Your situation tells (you to worry) but you see the flowers in bloom
(How do you) explain THE soft caress on your face
That tells you it’ll get better with each passing day
For so (long) I did not know I was looking in all the wrong places
The sun shining on my face - your strong embrace
Mama calling - Daddy calling to see if I'm ok
The fresh air I breathe - enough food to eat
A warm place to sleep at night - are the simple things
This song is from Elisabeth Withers' debut album 'It can happen to you'.
I went on a search for her album after i heard 'Be with you'. A lot of people may not have heard her name but i am sure a a lot of people are familiar with her work as she used to sing backup for Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. She is best known for her Tony Award nominated potrayal of Shug Avery in the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple. She used to release dance singles under the alias Elle Patrice and had 2 singles reach the charts.
Like Heather Headley who has also worked on Broadway in productions including Aida, Elisabeth has a very very rich voice that reminds me of Anita Baker and Toni Braxton because of how deep it is.
There are number of standout tracks on her album for me, but i really like this song for a few reasons - sure it has a catchy beat but the message of the song is what gets me. In this world of pursuit of material things, we sometimes forget to appreciate the simple things.
There are so so many things that dont have a price tag that are guaranteed to make my day: I love watching rain, seeing babies and their fathers, my husband's smile, hearing a new song that speaks to me....the list is endless. But the bottom line is that i make a conscious effort to appreciate the simple things around me - the things that make me so so glad to be alive.....
What 'simple things' do it for you?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back! Sort Of

For anyone that followed by Betty Boop blog, my love for music is a huge part of my life and i come across songs that i just want to share, artists i want to talk about....

So i give up - i have to share some of my music thoughts with anyone other than my family - who already think i am obsessed at this point.

So going forward, there will be random posts on music stuff.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I come out of retirement

To recognise this historic day...

I never thought i would see this in my lifetime.....Congratulations Barack Obama

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is the world turning to?

Ah Ah...I have no words...Ah Ah
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A little girl and her song captivated millions of viewers during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. But what they saw was not what they heard.

Lin Miaoke was the darling of the Olympic opening ceremony, but it turns out she was lip-syncing.

Games organizers confirm that Lin Miaoke, who performed "Ode to the Motherland" as China's flag was paraded Friday into Beijing's National Stadium, was not singing at all. Lin was lip-syncing to the sound of another girl, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was heard but not seen, apparently because she was deemed not cute enough.

"The reason was for the national interest," said Chen Qigang, the ceremony's musical director, in a state radio interview. "The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. ... Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects."
The decision was made at the highest levels, Chen said.
"We had to do it," he said. "We'd been through several inspections. They're all very strict. When we rehearsed at the spot, there were several spectators from various divisions, especially leaders from the Politburo, who gave the opinion it must change." Few who watched the Olympic ceremony realized the deception. "Tiny singer wins heart of nation," read the headline in Tuesday's China Daily newspaper.
"Lin Miaoke might be only 9 years old but she is well on her way to becoming a star, thanks to her heartwarming performance," the article gushed -- without mentioning she never sang a note. But as word has gotten out on the Internet, some Chinese bloggers are outraged.
"If you're not good-looking, no matter how well you sing, you'll not be onstage. Do you know you're twisting a whole generation?" read one comment. Another said, "If foreigners found out, they'd think we can't even find a girl who is good at both."

As for Yang Peiyi, she's been quoted as saying she was honored to have had a role in the opening ceremony, even though few realized just how big her part really was

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another Goodbye...

The Big Soul Brother who made it so so cool to hear this'' he's a bad mother - shut your mouth'from Shaft, the voice of Chef in South Park and just all round coooool cat...Another goodbye

Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film "Shaft," has died, sheriff's officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.

Singer Issac Hayes seen performing in the U.K. last year. Hayes was found dead Sunday at age 65. Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff's department said. No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement. Hayes was a longtime songwriter and arranger for Stax Records in Memphis, playing in the studio's backup band and crafting tunes for artists such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave in the 1960s.

He released his first solo album in 1967, and his 1969 follow-up, "Hot Buttered Soul," became a platinum hit. In 1971, the theme from "Shaft" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks and won an Academy Award for best original theme song. The song and the movie score also won Grammy awards for best original score and movie theme. Hayes won a third Grammy for pop instrumental performance with the title track to his 1972 "Black Moses" album.

From the late 1990s through 2006, Hayes provided the voice of "Chef" for Comedy Central's raunchy animated series "South Park," as well as numerous songs. The role introduced him to a new generation of fans, but he left after the show lampooned his own religion, the Church of Scientology. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. In a CNN interview at the time, Hayes credited his success to "adjusting and constantly evolving, expanding and trying to stay as young as I can."

The new generation of popular musicians, he said, "could use a little more substance like we had in the day." "They're standing on our shoulders. Some of them don't realize [it] because they sample me so much," he said. Hayes credited his role on "South Park" with expanding his fan base, and said that he had almost passed on the job. "I started to walk out. I thought it was a Disney thing. I [had] never heard of this thing," he said. But his agent persuaded him to tape some episodes.

"Toward the opening I started having trepidations -- 'Oh my god, what have I done? I've ruined my career.' But when it aired, the ratings went through the roof," he said.
A 1992 visit to the royal family in Ghana was a life-changing experience for Hayes, he said.
"I went back on speaking engagements and encouraged African-Americans to go to Africa [to] interact socially, culturally and/or economically," he said

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I am devastated..

I love to laugh. I love being happy and one person that could just bring out my laugh no matter what kind of day i have, - Bernie Mac. This man just epitomized cool to me. So so funny. His smile, the ultra white teeth, his realness, his devotion to his family...Him hanging with the cast of Ocean, him in Transformers, on the Oprah Winfrey Show...I just dug this man. The Bernie Mac show - truly a gem. When i read on CNN that he was recovering from pneumonia in hospital, i wondered how he caught pneumonia and wished him well. Driving home this afternoon, my sister Nneka sent me a text - one line only - Bernie Mac is dead. I screamed and called her back. I cried. I am still crying. At 50. Goodnight Bernie.....

CHICAGO - Bernie Mac, the actor and comedian who teamed up in the casino heist caper "Ocean's Eleven" and gained a prestigious Peabody Award for his sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," died Saturday at age 50.

"Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles.
She said no other details were available and asked that his family's privacy be respected.
The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

Recently, Mac's brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine, Mac joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language. The performance earned him a rebuke from Obama's campaign.

But despite controversy or difficulties, in his words, Mac was always a performer. "Wherever I am, I have to play," he said in 2002. "I have to put on a good show."Mac worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago's South Side. He began doing standup as a child, and his film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans comedy "Mo' Money" in 1992. In 1996, he appeared in the Spike Lee drama "Get on the Bus."

He was one of "The Original Kings of Comedy" in the 2000 documentary of that title that brought a new generation of black standup comedy stars to a wider audience.
Mac went on to star in the hugely popular "Ocean's Eleven" franchise with Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

His turn with Ashton Kutcher in 2005's "Guess Who" topped the box office. It was a comedy remake of the classic Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn drama "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" — with Mac as the black dad who's shocked that his daughter is marrying a white man.
Mac also had starring roles in "Bad Santa," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Transformers."
In the late 1990s, he had a recurring role in "Moesha," the UPN network comedy starring pop star Brandy.

The comedian drew critical and popular acclaim with his Fox television series "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired more than 100 episodes from 2001 to 2006. The series about a man's adventures raising his sister's three children, won a Peabody Award in 2002. At the time, judges wrote they chose the sitcom for transcending "race and class while lifting viewers with laughter, compassion — and cool."

The show garnered Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for Mac.

"But television handcuffs you, man," he said in a 2001 Associated Press interview. "Now everyone telling me what I CAN'T do, what I CAN say, what I SHOULD do, and asking, `Are blacks gonna be mad at you? Are whites gonna accept you?'"

He also was nominated for a Grammy award for best comedy album in 2001 along with his "The Original Kings of Comedy" co-stars, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer.
In 2007, Mac told David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" that he planned to retire soon.
"I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977."

Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the city's South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church.

In his 2004 memoir, "Maybe You Never Cry Again," Mac wrote about having a poor childhood — eating bologna for dinner — and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing.
"I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy," Mac told the AP in 2001. "I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn't a lot of things to laugh about."
Mac's mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up.

"Woman believed in me," he wrote. "She believed in me long before I believed."