Take Note!

Pictures and videos used on this site are all borrowed (well not all, some are actually mine) for everyone's viewing pleasure.  They are not being used in a malicious matter, it is all in good fun and most likely to promote the good stuff found.  Please don't threaten to sue, just ask me to take it down if it is a bother.  If not, thanks for the borrow!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Madness A Bit Late...Again...

"You spin me right round baby, right round like a record baby, right round, round, round..."  You Spin Me Round - Dead Or Alive

That is exactly how I feel right now, like I am going around in circles.  Everything I see on TV, hear on radio, witness people who do not hear, feel the consequences of their decisions - it's the same old thing.  Same shit different day.  I am trying my best to keep myself out of that equation, since I am the type who likes change and likes to keep things spicy.  I do not do too well with the status quo.  But hey, that is the way of the world and it is up to us, individually, to do what we were put here to do.  I try every day to do my part, do you?

Alright, enough of the psychobabble, here is Monday Madness - the things that made me cringe, cuss or just shake my head...

By the way, this installment goes out to my peoples at 90Degrees Design and Marketing ltd. in my hometown Montreal.  I was told that Alex is a fan of my rants.  So Alex, hope you enjoy my sarcastic bits today!  On with the show!

1) CNN's "Black In America":  I have no idea what CNN was trying to accomplish with their documentary "Black In America", I personally found it to be extremely depressing.  Again, for the mere fact that we already know what is going on across the border.  And those who are blind to what is going on, I really have no response for you.  However, for those of us who live in the here and now and the reality of it all, I am sure it was not an eye opener as CNN thought it was going to be.  If you want more information on the program and their information boards, check out CNN.com

2) All These Fake Ass Rappers: I give up, really I do.  Why are we so wrapped up in how long a rappers "wrap" sheet is?  And to make things worse, when they lie about it, we (well, not me...) get all twisted up and shocked when we hear they are fakers in the game.  For instance, there is word out regarding Rick Ross being a correctional officer in his past life.  However, Mr. William Leonard Roberts (god forbid I call him that) claims that he was a hardcore drug dealer blah blah blah and that he was never, NEVER a correctional officer.  But leave it to TheSmokingGun.com to do what they do and obtain refutable info.  I mean come on, that would ruin his reputation wouldn't it?  It would be HORRIBLE for him to actually be making a decent living like everyone else.  Dude went to college!!  Yes college!!  And to study what you may ask?  Get this - CRIMINAL LAW!  And you wouldn't be proud of that?  I don't understand, am I missing something?

3) Another lying Summa Mumma Ding Ding:  Rapper Piles is another one who proclaims that he is a "goon affiliated ex-drug dealer", but another site has found the contrary.  Apparently, his run ins with the law did not begin until he started his climb on the charts, what a co-in-qui-dink.  This one unfortunately just happens to be born the day before me.  Wonderful.  Don't these guys know that a little sense goes a long way?  With Lil' Wayne rapping about "I'm a young money millionaire, stronger than Nigerian hair"  Ummm, stronger than Nigerian hair?  Shit, I better call Diddy to produce my shit Q-U-I-C-K.  And this is why I don't listen to whatever it is they call "rap" nowadays.  Well, not the regurgitated crap you hear that is.  Is it just me or am I getting old?

4) Whitney's comeback, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!: I just listened to Whitney Houston's new song on one of my favorite sites Concrete Loop.  What a hot mess!  And to make things worse than they are, the song features the nasal-I-think-I-am-God's-gift-to-music Akon.  If this is what we have been all waiting for baited breath, then I better get my asthma pump ready.  Clive Davis himself said that Whitney would not be riding the "assimilation" and "bandwagon" wave, but will be delivering what her fans all know and love.  Well, I don't know about you, but this is a DISAPPOINTMENT and if this is any indication of what the album will bring, then guess who will be keeping her $9.99?  Check it out here. (concreteloop.com)

5) One more dumb ass rapper: What is wrong with Busta Rhymes?  Honestly, after his string of trouble, arrests and court dates, he has left a sour taste in my mouth.  And I was a hardcore fan of his since Leaders Of The New School.  I came across this on SOHH and I really couldn't stop laughing at his arrogance AND grammar.  This is Busta talking about himself and his "status" in the rap game.  Read this a few times for a good laugh: 

"I take to it [people remaining oblivious to his "greatest" status] optimistically.  Like it doesn't define my greatness, because I feel that greatness that supersedes what people categorize as great is hard to define..." (sohh.com)


My peoples, I just don't get it.

Flashback of the day: Well, I needed a little something to get me out of my funk.  Enjoy a little New Edition...

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday, Still Dealing With The Madness...

"Too much to see, the world keeps turnin'.  Oh what a day, what a day, what a day..."  On and On - Erykah Badu


It was not a good week all around, so I again defected to where love resides in abundance and Tha Connoisseur is embraced with loving arms.  Yes, I went back to Montreal this weekend for a "I need to clear my head" trip.  The mother of a once extremely close friend of mine passed and it brought to mind the difficult time I am having dealing with the passing of my father.  Does the situation get easier?  I am always told "in time" it will, but I do not know how to go about "the now".  Not to mention there are many variables in this whole situation regarding the friend and I, it brought about some negative vibes that I had to deal with.  In my state of being, of course nothing was dealt with, however being in the midst of my siblings, sis (in law), nephew and Mom was part of what I needed.  Jokes and love flowing in abundance.  Lord, a sista needs a break sometimes...I just wish it was longer.  Your girl needs a vacay y'all.

Anywho, enough about me.  I realized the other day that I have been neglectful beyond belief as mentioned above, so here I am.  I will get myself together and have Monday Madness (okay, just a tad late) for you on Tuesday.  In the mean and in between time, because you know music soothes my soul and then some, I have to leave you with a track for the day.

Flashback of the day:  Well since your girl is in a bit of a melancholy mood, the vibe calls for Mrs. Anita.

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Gladness!!!

"If you're gonna do it, do it right - right?  Do it with me..."  I'm Your Man - Wham


Alright my peoples, sorry no Monday Madness today because I had to get all this George Michael business off of my chest.

I had to start off with that slogan-a little Redd Foxx with a few of my own additives.  That is the only way I can express the joy I felt as I stood at the Air Canada Centre last Thursday night watching my man George Michael put on the show of a lifetime.  25 Live was the best show I have seen in the longest time.  No dodas, no background dancers, no fluff...just George, his band and 6 background singers.  It was an artist doing what he knows he is comfortable doing and it took him long enough damn it.  The man was born to do what he does and honestly, after that show, he made us George Michael fans who were part of the sold out crowd, forget about the 17 year concert drought he left us in.  He said it himself, "I am fully aware that I have not made it easy to be a George Michael fan.  I want to make sure that every single fan in this house forgives me for my absence."  So he was on a mission from the get go. 

My girl and I were ecstatic when we realized that our seats were at the side of the stage.  So all of the pics and videos (if Blogger is good to me) are all ME.  Even though the ticket was printed with a time of "8 o'clock PROMPT', we gather that Mr. Michael did not receive the memo.  Mr. Man kept us waiting for a good 40 minutes!  You know I was in my seat cussin' and carryin' on, because I, Tha Connoisseur, is not too good with the patience thing.  So 40 minutes later, George came on stage with his fine ass self and broke into "Fastlove".  From then on, it was sheer and utter madness.  Song after song, everyone was up out of their seats doing the damn thing.  You would swear it was a high impact aerobics class, I was sweating like a bank robber in a donut shop.  Here's a bit of my fav "Everything She Wants":

George and the crowd killing "Careless Whisper":

He was like the Energizer Bunny, hopping back and forth, to and fro on the stage.  And he can still shake his ass believe it or not.  Not to mention, he voice has not wavered a bit from his debut with Wham!.  For his 45 year young self, he really did his thing.  I was quite impressed to tell you the truth.  He ran through his up tempos-"Fastlove", "Too Funky", "I'm Your Man", "Faith" and "Everything She Wants".  Then slowed it down a bit with his jazzy rendition of "Roxanne", his remake of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Father Figure" "A Different Corner" and "One More Try" (and those are not all of the songs he performed).  In the first 15 minutes of the show, I was quite content and could have gone home with a smile on my face.  But from 8:40 pm to 11:40 pm, George Michael put on one hell of a show, with no opening act.  I think that is quite impressive.  No froo-froos, just George.  After 3 encores, he finally stated "Toronto, ok seriously, this is the last song for the night."  3 encores y'all.  And so, his last song for the night:

I have to add in, Toronto did pretty well to my surprise.  I say this because Toronto happens to be the first city I have been to, where I was asked to sit down at a concert.  Needless to say, I did not sit down for I bought a ticket to a CONCERT, if I wanted to sit down and listen to music I could have put on the CD at home.  Anyhow, after that experience I realized that Toronto is a more subdued type of crowd, where us Montrealers do the damn thing.  However, I must and will say that Toronto represented last Thursday-even George said so.  And lastly, seriously people-do the youngings of today know concert etiquette?  When the lights do not come on after a song, even when you think it is done-the show is not over.  When an artist goes off stage without introducing their band-the show is not over.  When the OLDER people in the crowd are keeping noise and hollerin' to get the artist to come back out-follow suit, because more than likely the show is not over.  I just laughed as the young ones started to leave the centre, when the lights were still off!  Ahhh so much more to learn.

So obviously I enjoyed myself immensely and had a ball.  My man did well and I was like a kid in a candy shop at the show.  I know he passed through Montreal last Friday night, but he still has yet to come through New York City.  If you saw him in Montreal, let me know what you thought.  And if you are a fan in New York City and have not purchased a ticket for the show as yet, GOOD LUCK in finding one!!  And if you are a fan anywhere else he plans to make a stop, run and get a ticket.  Trust me, you will not regret it.

Flashback of the day:  Hmmmm, something from George of course.  Let me know what your favorite George Michael/Wham! song is.  I previously posted "Everything She Wants" and that is one of my favorites, so this time around I will go with this one...

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Well Wouldn't You Know...

"You never came to save me, you let me stand alone.  Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold.  My story ends, as stories do-reality steps into view.  No longer living life in paradise....no fairytales...  Fairytales - Anita Baker

So the one time I finally decide to sit down and bring Monday Madness to you on time, my internet provider decides to go to the wayside.  How much more apologizing can I do?  I seem to be an apologetic fool lately.  Especially after I promised that the entry would be there-so sorry!  Montreal was wonderful on all accounts, there is nothing like bonding with family.  However, coming back to Toronto everything negative started to come out of the woodwork.  Dealing with trifling men, ex-boyfriends, trying to figure out what my next semester of school consists of (no concrete decisions have been made and time is approaching rapidly), trying to find time in my crazy schedule to see my friends who I have not touched base with as yet, fit in as many concerts as I can and oh right, deal with myself.  So as you can imagine, my plate is F-U-L-L.

It's funny, Toronto to me has always been a stepping stone in my succession of life steps.  When I initially moved here from Montreal, I figured that Toronto would be a place that I could lay my head in the future-if need be.  In other words, if it doesn't work out where I end up, then I know Toronto is a place that I can fall back on.  I took in Toronto or as my American partners call it-the cleaner version of New York, in all its glory.  Living in Mississauga and then moving to downtown Toronto and now residing out east, I can say I have been about.  I spent 8 years in Toronto-working, socializing, attending events, and most of all writing.  I am a person of change and love my nomadic ways.  So sooner than later, it only made sense that I finally decided to make my way to NYC and go back to school.  

I feel that there is never a bad time to go back to school, however it took me the whole first semester to wrap my brain around the fact that a) I may have been the oldest person in class next to my teacher and b) that I had to get used to doing homework and research again...a whole 10 years later!  Well everything worked out and I managed to squeeze out a 4.0 average, so I guess I am doing something right.  Regardless, reflecting on everything from Montreal, Toronto to New York, I have come to realize that I am on a natural progression (yes, just realized it).  It was both an epiphany and a feeling of euphoria when I realized, I am honestly doing something I love and overcoming a personal obstacle if you will.  I am loving every minute of my new adventures in New York City and attending NYU.  So Mrs. Anita Baker's quote above is not just pertaining to men, it rings true for everything.  Reality does step into view, no longer living life in paradise and it's up to you to grab it and ride it out to the best of your ability.  I plan to ride this rollercoaster like the mean ass Gemini I am, taking no prisoners.  Don't worry, you will hear the stories as I go along...

Today instead of the flashback of the day, I decided to do something a bit different.  I happened to catch a new video by one of my favs Divine Brown.  For y'all who do not know, Divine Brown (no, not the prostitute) is a Toronto gem with a 5 range octave, who it seems, Canada has lost to the big wigs over at Warner Music in the U.S. (not really a surprise though, seriously).  However, I will get more info on her here in the near future.  In the meantime, you can check out her MySpace page here.  For now, I would like to share her new single "Lay It On The Line" with you.  It's another wicked throwback to the amazing music of the past that we miss and love.

Let me know what you think...See y'all soon.  Oh and by the way, tomorrow is the day-IT'S GEORGE MICHAEL DAY!!!

Tha Connoisseur 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Slacker Has Returned...

So most of you must have been wondering where the album of the week was. Well I will be honest, I ran away from Toronto to finally come and see family and friends at home. Yes, being the nomad that I am, I have reached in Montreal. This is going to be a short stay, but I am most definitely making the best of it. I found a few minutes in my busy schedule to throw on a few words of apology for Friday's missing entry. However, Monday Madness will be here-you can bet on that.

Hope everyone is enjoying the heat...DON'T COMPLAIN! When that white stuff starts falling from the sky and the ice cold blast from the north starts to whip at your tails, I do not want to be the one to hear it. I WILL tell you about yourself.

Here's a little ditty for you to enjoy. I keep on mentioning Miss Jazmine Sullivan, so I thought-well why not? Here is her video for "I Need U Bad". Let me know what you think.

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Madness A Bit Late...

"You can have this or that, this or that..." The Choice is Yours - Black Sheep

Ladies and gentlemen, Toronto has been really and I mean REALLY busy.  I have no idea where the time is going to, but I came to the harsh realization the other day that time is flying by and I have not even seen HALF of my peoples as yet.  My dad used to always say "Time waits for no man - or woman for that matter."  And he is so right and of course being the stubborn woman that I am, I am well aware of that - but still do not take heed to the saying.  When will I learn.

Anyhow, I know that Monday Madness is late and I do apologize for that.  Being that the work schedule is a bit hectic, it is hard to get in front of lovely Ivory (my Mac) and beat out an entry.  However, better late than never.  Sorry if some of the items are a bit old, but you know me - I have to put in my two cents.

So without further adieu, here is Monday Madness - last weeks news (and perhaps way before that) that made me cringe, cuss or shake my head.

1) Chaka oh Chaka...: I LOVE me some Chaka Khan, really I do.  If you do not have her recent album Funk This, you need it in your soul collection.  It has been on heavy rotation lately on my iPod.  So really, I do have love for her.  But WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?  I nearly passed out when I saw this.  All that ran through my head was - I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!  I am sorry, but I live by the popular saying, "just because they make it in your size, does not mean that you should wear it." 

2) Please say it isn't so:  Did you know that Lil Wayne and T-Pain are coming together to form a supergroup?  Now I have no idea who came up with that idea (oh wait, I think I just threw up in my mouth), but they need to be taken out back and be dealt with.  To those of you who are T-Pain fans, I am sure that is music to your ears.  However, I can sure tell you that it is not to mine.  For the whole story check it out here with Necole Bitchie's take on it.

3) When will it end?: Enough with the racism, seriously now.  Two of my bookmarked reading sites - SOHH and AllHipHop.com were hit with slander and racial slurs on their sites and were forced to shut everything down.  There are no words that can explain how disgusted I was and still am.  The thing is, I am so tired of being disgusted.  From slander about Obama, beatings and shootings from cops and slurs on websites, when will it stop?  I just can't wrap my mind around it.  For more info about the websites, check it out here with MTV's take on it.  Update: SOHH has a temporary site up at the moment and AllHipHop is up and running again.

4) I am still vex, but...: I am still upset with Mr Cool James after the fiasco that went down at the Ice Cream Concert Tour.  However, here is a little something to put a smile on your faces - men and women if you will.  Give thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Todd Smith!  Or is it just really good photoshopping?

5) Oh gosh my people: I really hate to say it, but there are sometimes where I come across something that an ethnic person has done to make me say "I am embarrassed to be a person of color".  Please, let me give you a quick example.  I was reading one of my favorite sites Tha Feedback, only to find out that Christopher "Kid" Reid from Kid N' Play has a soul song out.  Yes, a soul song.  But that is not the problem.  The problem for me is the name of the man's music label.  You ready?  Kid from Kid N' Play named his music label MOOLATTOMAN MUSIC.  Enough said.

Flashback of the day:  Today I was feeling the reggae vibe, more ol' school reggae than anything after I listened to Jazmine Sullivan's "Need U Bad" for the umpteenth time (I LOVE that song).  So here's a little tune for your BBQ mix, some Beres Hammond!

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Little Something To Think About...

Hi y'all,

So as you can see by my lack of de informal daily scoop, work and the last dregs of this cold thingy has me in a vice.  Hopefully all will digress come Sunday, when I get some kind of R&R to bring Monday Madness to you in all its glory.  Until then, seeing that I will not have time to bring the album of the week to you (yes, Toronto has been that busy), I decided to take a different approach that you will see now and then in the future.  A little reminder of how songwriting used to be, a celebration of lyrics past if you will.  This song is one of my favorites lyrically from the day I heard it in 1985.  Check it out...

How can it be
That a love
Carved out of caring
Fashioned by fate
Could suffer so hard
From the games
Played once too often
But making mistakes
Is a part 
Of life's imperfections
Born of the years
Is it so wrong
To be human after all

Drawn into the stream
Of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams
They can't disguise the truth
(chorus) That there is something about you
Baby so right
I wouldn't be without you
Baby tonight

If ever our love
Was concealed
No one can say that 
We didn't feel
A million things
And a perfect dream of life
Fragile but free
We remain
Tender together
If not so in love
And it's not so wrong
Were only human after all

These changing years
They add to your confusion
Oh and you need to hear
The time that told the truth

They just don't make them like they used to (for the exception of a handful of course), thank you to Level 42 for that flashback in time and the jewel "Something About You".  Video to follow.  Also, check out Anthony David's version on his new release Acey Ducey, I just can't get enough of that dude and his album is on heavy rotation.  It has been for a long while now, so go get it - get on it!

See y'all on Monday with the madness, let me know your favorite song lyrics.  Have a great weekend...

Tha Connoisseur