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!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Old School Friday: Fight The Power...

I am down and out with a serious cold, sitting here trying to count how many times I used the delete button in the last minute.  

Alright y'all, I'm trying something new.

I have decided to turn my Friday posts into a grand ol' fete.  I have joined some illustrious bloggers in Old School Friday.  Friday is a new day for me, where a host of us go diggin' in the crates according to a given theme.  Today's theme is Fight Song For Your Candidate.  Now as you all know, I am Canadian.  However, if I had the opportunity, I would surely vote in the upcoming U.S. elections.  Nonetheless, just being here and being able to witness a change - a shift if you will - a historic moment (yes I am forecasting) in the making, gives me goosebumps.

So with that said, obviously my candidate is Mr Barack Obama himself (so handsome!).

My song pick may raise a few eyebrows, but I wanted to keep it light and fun this week.  Especially since Mc what's his name is trying everything to force feed you his antipathetic views to change.  People loosing their houses because of the economy, parents loosing their children to this disturbing war being fought, an upcoming recession and everyone feeling helpless regarding the state of affairs in the country - it really can't get any worse.  However, it is almost like the person needed was sent to guide everyone down that yellow brick road.  He is hell bent on falling off the beaten path and bringing y'all back to where you once were and need to be.  It's time to let go of the heavy load and regain that confidence - like Dorothy, everyone needs to find their way back home again to what they know.  Take his hand and follow, he's your Wizard if you will.  It looks like it is going to be an interesting ride to say the least.

Such easy words to live by:

Have a great weekend, I'm going back to bed. 

Tha Connoisseur 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OooooWeeee Where Do I Start?

"My cherie amour, lovely as a summer's day.  My cherie amour, distant as the Milky Way..."  My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder 

I had to take a borrow from Ms. Grapevine.  This is just so beautiful and sexy, it emanates so many things.  Intimacy, devotion, adoration, tenderness, warmth, and so much more.

I want a love like that.

So many tidbits - but first I have to state that Jennifer Hudson and her family will stay in my prayers for a time to come.  That is all I will say on the matter because quite frankly, I just do not understand it and I am very angry about the whole situation.  It should not have come to this...

Last Saturday I attended a listening party for Yahzarah, Angela Johnson and Tre Williams and The Revelations at Frank's Cocktail in Brooklyn.  Let me tell you that was a soulful soiree and a half.  There was an overflow of funk n' soul in the house that night, I know the foundation of Frank's was jolted to the core.  I will not say too much about the show, because you should be able to read my review on 4dasoul.com sometime soon.  However, I will say that each artist is fierce in their own right and should not be slept on.  I know there are a lot of links to click, but if you are interested in serious soul music to add to your collection, you should check out the aforementioned artists.  All the links included are to their MySpace page.  You will also get full tracks of their work on their page too, so no excuses!  Yahzarah has a new album on the horizon entitled "The Ballad of Purple St. James" that will be sure to get your juices going.  She's quite a funky chocolate sista who can saaaang her ass off.  Angela Johnson is one 'bad shut your mouth' if you ask me.  That woman plays the hell out of her keyboards and is no joke vocally and lyrically either.  Her release "A Woman's Touch" is a compilation of tracks with some of today's amazing indie soul artists.  And lastly, this was the first time I heard and saw Tre Williams and The Revelations and they are The Truth.  Talk about a sprinkle of Al Green, Anthony Hamilton and some nasty, gritty, dirty FUNK!  Just check it out, because nothing I say will come remotely close to what you will hear.

I also finally made it though the gates (FINALLY) at the Chanel Contemporary Art Container, after I witnessed a bird fly right into the orb and go down for the count.  It wasn't a pretty sight y'all - poor thing.  It was a visual candy store up in there.  Colors, textures, containers and videos all in abundance, with the mundane sounds of creaks and daunting phrases being catapulted at you from hidden speakers.  Interesting indeed.  

Not to give anything away to all of you who will actually attend, but I had two special pieces in there that made me eyes grow big and make me smile.  I will say that one of them is the Wish Tree.  A place where you are to take a minute and think of that one thing that you would like to come true at the point and time you stand in the exhibition.  You write it down on the ticket they provide and place it on the branch of a tree.  Think of it as a birthday cake with roots, roots to grow and expand up and outward.  I twisted my little ticket of hope on a lower branch and headed out of the orb quite content, thinking about how I would intertwine this exhibit with the love of music that I have.  Well, nothing came to mind.  However, always plugged into my orange iPod - Tangie, I had Raphael Saadiq bumping that Motown groove in my head and with that, I headed up to 72nd to get some Dim Sum.  After all, a woman has to eat. :)

Flashback of the day: I am feeling a bit blaxploitation-ish today. 

See y'all soon...

Tha Conoisseur 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Madness - I Think...

"Let me be patient, let me be kind, make me unselfish without being blind.  Though I may suffer, I'll envy it not.  And endure all what comes, cause he's all that I got..."  Tell Him - Lauryn Hill

Love's in need of love today y'all.

From so many highs to a thundering low.  It has been an extremely heart wrenching weekend for our girl next door Jennifer Hudson.  As my family only has my Mother left walking with us, there is no way I could fathom loosing my mother at all, and in such a horrific manner.  Not to mention my brother or any other family member.  There is no reasoning at all for the actions that came to in that house in Chicago on Friday - none.  Well none that should have resorted to such heights of violence.  I don't even know what to say, because even though the situation is not remotely close to what I have been through, I do know that truth be said, nothing anyone says will comfort the matter at hand.  My prayers and positive thoughts go out to Jennifer Hudson and her family for the safe return of her nephew Julian King and for solace and comfort during this trying time. 

This installment of Monday Madness seems to be filled with videos.  So without adieu, here is Monday Madness - the news that made me cuss, cringe or shake my head.

1) Is this really a surprise?: A female who happens to be the star witness in a battery charge against Suge Knight has gone missing.  SURPRISE SURPRISE.   She has been AWOL since an altercation they had in Las Vegas.  I say altercation, however having your girlfriend nude in the street and still beating on her in your car while the cops roll up is NOT an altercation.  Thank God she is not needed in court for the judge to do what he/she has to do.  Yet on the other hand, I do hope nothing has happened to her at the hands of Suge.  I guess I should shut my mouth now, because hey, you just never know who reads what.  

2)  SAY IT AIN'T SO!!: You know something, the big man upstairs (regardless of who you pray to) does not always give out his 'second chance' card to everyone.  Lyfe Jennings was blessed enough to be handed the card in question, along with a lucrative singing and songwriting career.  And what does he do with it?  He throws it all away.  Dude was already incarcerated on arson charges and when released, was fortunate to land a record deal and was graced with accolades from critics and his peers.  And what does he do with it?  Lyfe was arrested last Sunday and charged with attempting to elude and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  And he also faces charges of criminal trespass, discharging a firearm near a public highway and refusal to take a sobriety test.  Why you ask?  Because he could not find the mother of his children.  Just looking at his mugshot makes me upset at what he has completely thrown away without any regard for what this could cost him.  Oh and there's more...looks like the lady in question, his ex, has a restraining order out on him.  Oh it's getting hard y'all.  Read the update here. (ajc.com)

3) I am still on the fence: Ok, I have two vids here that are giving me a serious complex.  I do not know if I am a hater for specific reasons of course, or if I just do not get it.  First up is Keri Hilson.  I fell upon her new video for "Return The Favor" and I do not like it.  I don't like the song or the video for that matter.  Every single time I see something from her, I ask myself  'What is the big deal with this young lady?' because I just don't get it.  I think she is stunning and she can sing, however her song choices have been bland and mind-numbing.  I think she can lace a track, but not a whole song.  I don't know...Here take a look for yourself:

Secondly, I love Kardinal Offishall I really do.  Nonetheless, I have spoken about my disdain for him signing to Acorn's label.  When hustling you have to do what is best for yourself as an artist and if that is what was good for him then, well then I hope all works out.  But I will say this, I will not promote anything with Acorn in it whether it be a duet or video.  So in this case, I know I am just hating, but here is Kardi's new single for "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" with none other than Keri Hilson.  Yes she went there and touched Blondie (am I hating yet again?).  Toronto stand up!!

4) Ol' School revisited: This was just perfect and well needed.  In this time of uncertainty, laughter really is the best medicine.  If you have not seen this yet, you are in for a treat:

I will keep it to 4 posts today since there was a lot to view.  During the week, expect write ups on the Chanel Contemporary Art Container and a little write up on the shindig at Frank's Cocktail last week.

Flashback of the day: I had no idea what to go with today, so here is a random pick.  Enjoy!

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

And I Walked A Hundred Miles...

"And she walk a mile and a half in she tay lay lay..."  Tay Lay Lay - Machel Montano

Did I do some walking today!  So much walking, that the nail on my sexy ass kitten heel shoes has started to break through.  And I just purchased them a month ago, I am so not happy about that.  Therefore, I need to pay a trip to my friendly neighborhood shoe maker.  Not to mention my lower back can certainly use a steamroller approach along with the rest of my body.

In class last week, our instructor was passing around a copy of Women's Wear Daily to show us great writing examples, as she was once a fashion writer.  On the cover, there was a picture of an orb looking spaceship and all I grasped from the headline was - CHANEL, EXHIBITION, TRAVELING.  And that was it.  So, sheer curiosity had me searching the net and I found out what the spaceship was about.  I headed up to Central Park to check out the Chanel Contemporary Art Container, which happens to be the spaceship in question.  If you are not aware, Chanel asked 20 contemporary artists to exhibit work that is based on the elements of their popular quilted purse.  The orb, which is designed by Zaha Hadid, who is an amazing architect,  is awe inspiring in itself.  It is designed in a way where deconstruction is easy and the whole orb is transportable.

Of course I head up there today only to find out that it was not open to the public.  It was open, just not for me.  I was on the website yesterday and nothing of the matter was mentioned!  Now here's the stickler - the tickets to the exhibition are free.  However, you have to get to the box office at 8 am (which is on the premises), when the tickets will be distributed.  The tickets will tell you what your allotted time will be to see the exhibition.  If you do not receive tickets, then you are more than welcome to stand in the waiting line.  That line, I am sure, will be pretty long.  That is the line you can stand in until you are let in once the crowd starts to dissipate in the orb.  Now as much as I wanted to see this exhibition, I do not think that I will be able to as I am working and will not be able to get my hands on tickets.  Perhaps I will try on Friday and see if my luck can get me anywhere.  That is if MOMA or the Gugggenheim does not suck me in first.  Maybe it's my disappointment talking...  

All in all, the day was not a waste.  I was able to get some great shots in the park with my little sis, take a nice walk down 5th Avenue, do some SERIOUS eye shopping and walk, walk, walk.

Flashback of the day: One of my favorite Michael Jackson songs.  I LOVED his outfit (and actually had one, but we will not go there...)

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday Madness...

"It's just another manic Monday.  I wish it was Sunday, cause that's my funday.  My I don't have to runday..." Manic Monday - The Bangles

Yes I am now in that frame of mind, because I start work again full strength.  My days of splendor, galavanting and being lax are now over.  I am a freelancer after all, therefore I can make my own schedule. Nonetheless, I do have a lot of work to get started on, still have school and homework AND I also cover various shows in the city.  When I finish this entry, I am off to write a review on the show mentioned below.  I am going to be a busy woman indeed.  But you know me, life is too short not to have FUN and that is what I am all about.

I did go to the Angela Johnson, Yahzarah and Tre Williams and The Revelations show on Saturday night and paint me green and call me Kermit - there was some saaangin' going on at Frank's Cocktail that night!  More to come about the soiree during the week.

For now, here is your installment of Monday Madness: news that made me cuss, cringe or shake my head:

1) Oh CiCi...: I saw the video the other day for Ciara's new song "Go Girl" and I was semi impressed.  I will break it down.  I have seen Ciara in concert and it was painful to hear, yet a joy to watch.  If she could lip sing and dance her ass off throughout the whole show, then we have a winner. But this woman here would NOT be purchasing a ticket to that, so Houston we have a problem.  In the video CiCi did her thing with her Janet Jackson-esque choreography (as usual), but this outfit here looked...well...like it was haphazardly thrown on her.  To me, the whole Xanadoo thing doesn't work for her.  It looks, well - painful.  What do you think?

2) False Start, bad finish: I was thoroughly disappointed when I read about all of the scandals that rocked the track world when Tim Montgemery and of all people Marion Jones went down for the count.  My mantra is this: Karma is a bitch and what goes around, comes back around ten fold.  My parents always taught me that those who don't hear must feel, and evidently that is what happened here.  Even though Marion has served her time, she has to carry the shame of everything that she has taken part in.  Now, Tim is heading to jail for 5 years on a cocaine possession charge.  Looks good on ya.  Here's the whole story. (Time.com)

3) In this economy?!!: Obviously there are some people out there who are not affected by the economy and what is going on around them.  Now I loved Dallas along with Falcon Crest, Dynasty and Knots Landing to name a few.  But to dish out almost $1000 just to spend a day with Sue Ellen, Bobby, J.R. and the crew on the ranch is INSANE.  I was trying to understand this, by comparing it to my love for concerts and purchasing tickets.  Yet, I realized that my sense kicks in when a ticket is more than a certain price that I cannot afford.  And that is NO WHERE NEAR A GRAND.  Anyhow, I hope the participants have fun on the Ranch and then some.  Then they can look me up for adoption purposes.  Madness.  Here you go. (CNN.com)

4) PRICELESS!!: I thought this was just precious. 

5) I have no idea what to say and YOU know that's a rarity: I think the story says it all.  Here is the pic:

I'm sure that you already have something to say.  Here's the story. First cows, and now ninjas. Wow...(Bossip.com)

Flashback of the day: Now this is an album that I have on vinyl and played it ouuuuut.  I am surprised there are still grooves on the disc!  It is still in good condition too!  Have to love some Shannon, the woman was fierce!

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saturday...I Mean Thursday In The Park...

"Saturday in the park, I think it was the 4th of July.  People talking, really smiling, a man playing guitar.."  Saturday In The Park - Chicago

I have always loved Peter Cetera's voice.  Chilly, yet nasal, very recognizable and somehow soothing.  Chicago is a group I would love to see in concert.  I have already seen The Police and I missed The Eagles, but Chicago is a group that is right up there on my old school super rock group must see list.  I guess my time will come.

I have digressed, back to the lecture at hand.  On my way home from class tonight, I walked through Washington Square park as usual.  However, tonight there were melodies in the air that were hard to turn a deaf ear to.  I had my iPod on kicking Brian McKnight, yet the strumming of the guitars were calling me.  Next to a heavy bass line, kick ass drum solo and serious brass - I love the sound of an acoustic guitar being strummed.  In the park tonight, were two contingencies.  On the left was a guitarist surrounded by a group of people listening attentively to his rendition of Santana's "Maria Maria."  I thought to myself, "Now that's a song I have not heard in a while" and Mr. Guitar Man had a powerful voice that floated right through the park.  And on the right, we had a group of men surrounding two guitarists who were just strumming away to the melodies in their mind.  It was not a familiar melody, yet it was a beautiful one that I hummed all the way home.  It was quite picturesque really.  A light breeze in the air with the scent of fall, everyone walking around the NYU campus coming from class, orange and green leaves blowing in swirling counterclockwise circles and a man with a pageboy hat and skinny jeans even passed by with a big bunch of yellow helium filled balloons - it was like a scene out of a movie with it's own soundtrack.  A beautiful night in New York City. 

As I reached the subway, I realized that I had to write an entry for my blog and was not sure as yet what the topic of choice was going to be.  I am still stuck on deciding a new direction for my Friday entries.  I promise I will get it together by next week.  Of course, the reoccurring theme here is always music, fashion or the arts in some interconnecting way, however tonight I was thrust into another musical dimension and it was well appreciated.  As much as I enjoy the loud cheers of the concert arena, I do enjoy a quiet intimate acoustic set.  Perhaps that will be my next venture, to find an acoustic set that is swoon and blog worthy.  I will be over at Frank's Lounge on Saturday night covering the Angela Johnson and Yahzarah show.  Now that will most definitely be swoon worthy I am sure.  I will keep you posted...

Flashback of the day: Well since I am on the Peter Cetera vibe, I was thinking some vintage Chicago would definitely do it up.  Besides the soul of yesteryear, this is also what I was raised on.  I am so glad that I was exposed and taught to appreciate amazing music on the whole.  And no I am not in a sentimental mood, just love the song.  What is your favorite Chicago song?

Have a great weekend...

Tha Connoisseur 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fashion Will Make Me Go BROKE...

"I wanna be rich, oh I wanna be rich.  For a little love, peace and happiness..."  I Wanna Be Rich - Calloway

Is that really what it takes?  Well a little of yay and a little nay.  But for me to get my fashion F-I-X, I think I am going to have to start growing my money tree on my aunt's windowsill.  

This is my fashion rundown, short and sweet.  I just watched the last show of Project Runway (I was on team Korto all the way - LOVE her color palettes) and Leanne won.  She had a serious line though, very intricate.  I will not take that away from her, it looked simple but with a lot of underlying work.  I wanted either her or Korto to take it and do away with Ken what's her name, with the nasty attitude (even though she is talented, she just needs to learn to shut the hell up!).  Congrats to Leanne, well deserved!

I went to Roosevelt Field Mall on Saturday and I was looking for the same oxygen tank that I was in need of at Maxwell last Thursday.  I did not know what to do with myself being surrounded by Michael Kors, Coach, Nine West outlet store, Cole Haan and the gem - Nordstrom Rack.  I thought I was going to pass out.  If you fashionistas out there do not know about Nordstrom Rack, do yourself a favor and sign up for their newsletter.  I also finally visited Steve & Barry's store.  I have been curious to check out Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line, Venus Willams' Eleven line and Stephon Marbury's Starbury line.  All of the listed lines are well done and light on your pocket.  Stylish, yet on a budget.  With so much of a selection, this woman is already in the planning stages of her next trip to Long Island for the upcoming shopping extravaganza. :)

I heart Cole Haan!

And I have to mention a couple of my favorite online fashion sites, even though I am sure a host of you do the do on Bluefly.  LOVE IT!  And on the fashion democracy Top Button.  There is also Lou Lou magazine online, they always have a few "must haves" on their page to gawk at.  If you have not visited lately, get on it.

The one thing that I truly love about NYC, is that you can be a serious fashionista even on a budget.  Everyone is on point whether they are rocking the quintessential black Christian Louboutin suede pumps, skinny jeans and Tracy Reese blouse or their $20 boots with skinny jeans and Obama T-shirt.  Everyone is in style and unquestionably working it.

Flashback of the day: I had to go with the ever changing fashionista Miss Janet Jackson, yet again.  It was either her or Madonna and I am not in a Madge mood.  Hope those migraines give her a break long enough to finish her concerts, because that situation is a hot mess.  Rumors and all.  This is one of my fav Janet tracks and vid, with Tip spittin' on the track. Enjoy!

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Madness...

"Fortunate to have you girl, I'm so glad you're in my world.  Just as sure as the sky is blue, I bless the day that I found you..." Fortunate - Maxwell

Ohhhh Maxie!!!  You blew my mind the other night!  Alright, I promise that will be the last of Maxwell you will hear out of me - FOR NOW.  I feel sorry for you all when his album drops.  There will be no apologies then, I will not be abashed about talking his name all damn day either.  Well, it's not like I am now...

Ladies and gents, it's Monday Madness time. :)

Sorry, I couldn't help it - I heart Borat!

Here's Monday Madness, the news that made me cuss, cringe or shake my head:

1) One thing that was on my mind: When the hell did it become part of 20/20's programming to debut Britney Spears' new video?  I mean, I used to be an avid watcher of 20/20 with my Dad every Friday evening.  However lately, it seems to be more of a nightly magazine a la Current Affairs or better yet - Friday Night Videos, rather than the informative show it used to be.  When I saw this ad during the week, I was like "Did I miss something? WTF?" 

2) And another thing on my mind: I have noticed the new fad with the young ones down here, is wearing a rosary as an accessory. Now being a christian myself (ex alter server believe it or not), I know what the rosary represents and what it is actually used for.  I am not trying to be facetious in anyway, but some of these young ones today only know God when they are accepting an award of some sort and find it appropriate and of the status quo to shout out the big one upstairs.  Knowing full well, that they cannot remember the last time they said a Hail Mary.  Anyhow, I am not too keen on wearing the rosary as a chain, necklace or accessory piece.  What do you think?  Let me know if it's just me.

3) And the bullshit continues: Seriously, I think Vivrant Thang said it best when she said - this can't end soon enough.  A whole lot of trickery seems to be taking place surrounding the ballots and any other extension where the voting process is concerned.  I just read over the weekend that a New York County printed "Barack Osama" on absentee ballots and now we have anonymous bogus letters being sent out to Black Voters.  Everyone please be on your guard and do NOT let the devil's work go rewarded.  You can read about the bogus flyers here. (essence.com)

4) What is wrong with our Divas?: It seems like there is not enough room for Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin in Divadom.  This all started when our girl B called Tina The Queen at the Grammys (heaven forbid) and it has snowballed out of control from there.  Well Tina shot back with a little comment of her own, only to have Ms. Franklin come back with one of hers too.  This is going to go on for a bit, I am sure - there is too much ego at stake to just let it go.  I have $20 on Tina, she can kick Aretha's ass AND run in them high ass heels of hers.  Read about their little tiff here. (usatoday.com)

5) Enough Star, enough!: I thought this was all done and over with.  Why is Star Jones still harping on the ladies of The View?  And why is Essence magazine even taking this story on?  Well because it is smut and everyone will read it, that's why.  I am personally fed up about hearing how evil the ladies were and how Al Reynolds (her now ex) is evil and blah blah blah.  I am sorry to hear about her depression, but as of now, I say - GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON.  Star is a strong woman and will get back on her feet before we know it.  If only she would stop investing her time in smear campaigns and direct her energy where it is needed.  If you are interested, here you go. 

Flashback of the day:  You know I am SO tempted to bring some Maxwell your way, but I will save it for another day.  I am actually still in hip hop mode.  A ways back, I found out that one of my favorite MC's will be making his way to BB King's in November.  Check him out:

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Midsummer Night's Dream In October...

"Time will bring a well end of our trial, one day there'll be no remnants no trace.  No residual feelings for me, one day you won't remember me..."  Pretty Wings - Maxwell

***Note*** - There may be some cusseration and sexual connotations in this entry.  Don't say a sista didn't warn you.


Now mind you, I could just leave it at that and done.  But I am not that stupid, because I know some of you have been looking forward to this entry.  Not to mention, my ass is still up at 3:26 am writing this.  Well, ladies and gents let me tell you - you are in for a serious treat.  I mean, god knows I go to a lot of shows, but this right here...THIS...was the best show I have been to ever.  So good, it even trumps George Michael and his show was serious!  I mean besides George, I do not know of any other artist who can go on tour after being incognito for next to 6 years and SELL OUT Radio City Music Hall (and other venues), and not even have a new album out as yet!  Come on man...perhaps D'Angelo can do it, but this post is not about him.  He will have his own if his ass ever gets around to blessing us with some new tunes!

Well I guess I have to mention Jazmine Sullivan.  To be honest, I was quite disappointed.  My gals and I arrived about ten minutes late, so we unfortunately missed some of her set.  By the time I made it to my seat, she was at the end of "Lions, Tigers and Bears."  She sang, "In Love With Another Man," "Dream Big," "Hurricane" and of course "Need U Bad."  She worked the hell out of "In Love..." but she over did it with the ongoing riffs, forever elongating the song.  Jazmine's voice is so beautiful, personally I do not think she needs to do all the showboating.  But hey, that's just me.  What I really had problems with, is that she was boring.  She did not command the stage or work it for that matter.  I could have basically stayed my ass home, put the CD on and listen to her and that is not what I expected.  Hope it's better for you when she comes around your town.

Now, Mr. Maxwell started the evening with "The Urban Theme" with horns a blazing.  I have NEVER heard a crowd go insane like that for any artist I have ever seen.  I had goosebumps when I heard the brass...all I kept on thinking was I AM FINALLY GOING TO SEE MAXWELL.  And when this man graced the stage, it was mass hysteria.  All donned in a sliver metallic suit, undone tie and white shirt, he was a picture of perfection.  Debonaire and scrumptious, ladies, I am talking lick your fingers after a half rack of BBQ ribs - good.  He went straight into "I Wanna Get To Know Ya" and came out the gate with a bang, all of a sudden the party began.  He had the whole place on their feet and in hysterics with "Noone."  So of course after the party, he decided to slow it down a bit with "Lifetime," "A Woman's Work" and a slow intro to "Everwanting: To Want You To Want."  Ladies, the things this man can do with a floor and mic stand!!!  I will let your imagination run with that one. :)

I was already in my happy place because he sang songs I loved, but when he sang my favorites?  I thought I was going to loose my mind!  As soon as I heard the guitar and first line to "W/As My Girl," I was beside myself.  Lord that song is sexy.  He still kept it on the slow front and continued with his new track - the full track may I add - of "Pretty Wings."  So beautiful.  No pun intended, but he then killed it segueing into Al Green's "Simply Beautiful."  When Maxwell tells you that he is singing to the "cornbread, cornfed girls" booooy, I know them skinny bitches were running out to BBQ's for a truck load of cornbread.  No y'all, this man can do me no wrong.  You would think at this point he would be done with the slow tracks and want to get the party going again, but noooo.  Dude decides to whip us yet again, with "Fortunate."  I was not sure if I could take anymore of the torture being spoon fed to me tonight.  I was in a state of euphoria and enjoying every single minute of it.  We were blessed with another new track, which he was kind of hesitant (not really) to perform.  He understood the fact that he was there to deliver the old goods.  "I know what you came here for, you are like - stick to what I know, I don't want any new stuff.  Wait for the album and then you can sing it..."  You know he's right, but we of course obliged and were treated to "Bad Habits."  Sensual, tantalizing...to sum it up - Maxwell.  His response to us after he was done, "Thank you for dealing with that." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!???...lol

The next song, was the ultimate for me.  He went through, my two favorite tracks mentioned above and sealed it with "Til The Cops Come Knocking," mentioning how that is one of his bad habits.  That is SUCH an easy opening, but I will leave it alone!!!  I happened to get a little snippet, sorry it looks horrible, but hey it sounds good!  I tried damn it...

Would you believe the man stopped during his performance to announce there were not enough panties on stage?  I nearly fell off my seat.  As a matter of fact, I was waiting for some heffa to pitch her nasties on stage.  I will not say what went down after that mention of the panties, just in case he decides to use the scenario at your venue.  I do not want to reveal everything, hell I already gave you the whole show blow by blow!  Of course "Ascension" was on the menu and then a "Thank you New York - Goodnight."  Y'all know we were NOT having that.  So for his encore he decided to break it down, so it can forever and consistently be broken:

And as soon as I pressed stop on my video, he said the damn line in SPANISH.  Have mercy on my soul!!!  We still did not want him to leave, so he and his killer ass band went into a lil' Atlanta, southern tinged ditty that had everyone shakin' their ass.  And that was all she wrote folks.  It was an evening of real, solid entertainment.  Not only can Maxwell sing like a muthafukka, but he can entertain.  He commanded Radio City and had everyone right where he wanted them.  It was all or nothing, and Maxwell came out with all guns blazing.  After the show, my girl Sistalocs said that the return of real music is back.  I agree wholeheartedly.  That show gave me so much inspiration for great music to be exposed to the masses again.  Maxwell's sound and talent are far from being "commercial" yet he does his thing commercially.  I think and hope that he is the beginning of the resurgence of amazing quality music on the forefront again.  I know, it is nice to dream.  Hey, I gotta dream big as Jazmine Sullivan says.  I was told that he is coming around yet again for another performance on this side.  I think I just might have to check that out!   I will let you know what comes across my end, of course you know I will share!

Flashback of the day: I was going to give it up to Kate Bush for writing such a lovely song for Maxwell to have his way with, but it has blessed my page already.  So I will give it up for another one of Maxwell's influences.  The phenomenal Al Green.

If he was to cover an Al Green song, which one would you choose?  
Have a great weekend y'all...

Tha Connoisseur 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Eric Benet & Dwele, A Precursor To Bliss...

"It happened the moment, that you were revealed.  'Cause you were a dream that you should not have been, a fantasy...real."  Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) - Maxwell

You know something Maxwell, that is exactly how I feel about you.  This is the man we were all introduced to by the classic gem The Urban Hang Suite.  IF you think that I made a big deal about George Michael - HA!!  Folks you have NO IDEA what this event means to me.  Two more days and counting...

Your girl has been kind of down over a few issues, so I decided to treat myself to a concert.  The toss up was between Raphael Saadiq at SOB's or Eric Benet and Dwele at B.B. Kings.  The latter won out, since I figured that Raphael will be back and you best believe I will be there.  I ended up at B.B. Kings and as I stated in my Facebook status: If last night was any indication of what is to come on Thursday with Maxwell, I just may need an oxygen mask at my disposal.  It will be too much and I just cannot and will not be able to take it.  Last night made me inhale deeply, exhale deeply, shake my head in awe of the talent bestowed upon us, rub my eyes in disbelief and make me want to go home and accost my significant other. Hmm Hmm HMMM it was a night.

Dwele took the stage first, looking all dapper in his white suit jacket and open Miami Vice style shirt.  Fro all done up to a tee and and a wicked pair of, "damn I am sexy and slick" shades.  And I did not get that close, but I am sure he smelled hella good.  Dwele oozed sensual power through his demeanor, aura, lyrics and voice.  Dwels sailed effortlessly through quite a few tunes from Sketches of A Man.  "Travelin' Girl,"  "Body Rock," "Spiritual" and "Vain" with precision, ease and enough sex appeal to squeeze into the whole room.  Everyone was in their glee when Dwele sang "I'm Cheatin'," but when the first note of "Find A Way" was played, he shut it down.  I have to admit, I was pretty much just singin', grinin' and vibin' and did not whip out the video that much.  However, I did have to get a few seconds of him crooning "A Few Reasons" and of his drummer.  The dude, was S-I-C-K.  And UNFORTUNATELY Blogger is so damn temperamental, it is not allowing me to upload my video.  And honestly, I am not in the mood to fight with it tonight, so I will deliver them another day.

As for Eric Benet, I don't even know what to say about the man.  He is absolutely phenomenal and I have no idea why he is slept on.  It's a damn shame, it really is.  The man has talent oozing out every single pore of his body.  He can sing a chinese food menu for pete's sake.  And sexy!!  Oh mother of satan I rebuke thee, he is SEXY.  He started the show with one of my favorite tracks "Femininity" and then followed with "A Spiritual Thang" and then had the nerve to hit me with another favorite, "When You Think Of Me." Let me tell you, at that point I was already done for the night.  One after the other he was hitting us non stop.  When he finally reached to "Chocolate Legs," I thought I was going to forget to breathe.  And I swear, this was all in the first 20 minutes of the show!!  It happens to be my favorite song on his new album Love & Life.  The lyrics are well crafted to portray the safety of home, love and security in the strong limbs of his chocolate love.  He even sang one of the ultimate wedding songs, "Spend My Life With You."  A Grammy nominated duet originally done with Tamia, yet it came to life with the help of Kim Johnson (yes, from the Isley Brothers and Johnson Sisters fame).  The crowd was in sync with Eric throughout the entire show, especially towards the end when he had the crowd moving to and fro simultaneously to his command.  There was no way he could have left the venue and not sing "Georgy Porgy" there would have been mayhem.  So he ran back on for his encore and had B.B. Kings shook up!  Eric basically took up from where Dwele left off and ran with it.  Think Usain Bolt with the ultimate pass off in the relay - that was Dwele and Eric Monday night.  It was THAT serious.  I am still looking for a word to describe the night, when I do find one, you will be the first to know. 

Flashback of the day:  Ohhhh I had to go here.  This song has been on my mind for the past few days.  I have to request it on my friend EJ's podcast!  You can't front, she did the damn thing on this song!!!

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Monday Madness...

"Turn the lights down low, something you gotta see.  Gotta let you know, all that's here in me..."  W/As My Girl - Maxwell

4 more days until divine happiness.

My American peoples, please do not forget to register to vote.  Your day - November 4th,  is coming right around the corner.  Here is an extra little helping hand if you have not registered as yet.  For my Canadian peoples, our election is any day now - October 14th and I ask the same of you.  Please make sure you are registered to vote.  Even though I am here in NYC, I still made sure that my vote counts.  Here is your helping hand.  My peoples, let's get to it.

Without further adieu, here is Monday Madness - the news that made me cuss, cringe or shake my head.  And oh dear lord, there was soooo much to choose from!:

1) The slaughter-ation of the James Bond Theme: Another case of "if you have nothing good to say, don't say it at all."  I relay that message to Noel Gallagher from Oasis.  He called Miss Alicia Keys and her partner Jack White just another and I quote "bunch of fucking americans" in relation to their song "Another Way To Die" for the James Bond soundtrack.  Jealousy is certainly a sin.  Now, Noel can shut it as far as I am concerned, however the song is, as my man Darius Lovehall said  - a masterpiece of minimalism.  Check it out for yourself.

2) Ohhh Joe: I was so disheartened when I read this on Soulbounce, I had to mention it here. Would you believe that Joe Thomas aka R&B crooner Joe, is that daft?  Joe's reasoning for not voting come November 4th was that, "...Obama will win hands down..."therefore he does not need to vote.  WTF?  Well this is a message to all of you who feel the same way, if you do not vote, do not complain when your country is sent into a spiraling abyss by the help of Bushinator 2 and his sidekick MC Palin with mic in hand giving SHOUT OUTS everywhere.  You can listen to the whole interview on the Tom Joyner show here. (blackandmarriedwithkids.com)

3) Song regurgitation: I have not taken a listen to JHud's album as yet, and I can't honestly say what I am waiting for.  I have read reviews, however I always like to have my own opinion.  Reading through a few blogs, I happened to fall on this one and yes, it made me shake my head.  I know that songs are passed around in the industry, that is just how it is.  Even so, I believe that Jennifer Hudson, being the diva that she has the potential to be, could have nixed this song all together and come up with something else.  I mean going to Alicia Keys for advice is WAY different than going to, let's say,  Patti Labelle.  And I say this especially because T-Pain in de arse is concerned.  Apparently, he just laid his tracks and sent it out with no thought in mind.  So the toss up is between Sara Stokes and Jennifer Hudson, both ex-American Idol alums.  Ohhh the fickle music industry and it's pets...I mean artists. Read and listen here. (milk-mag.com)

4) Now the farm animals are going nuts: I just couldn't believe this when I read it.  It is very serious, yet at the same time I cannot stop hyperventilating from my snorking.  What is wrong with people?  A 32 year old woman was sentenced to a month in jail for blocking traffic, screaming at police and chasing kids - while wearing...are you ready?  A cow costume.  Yes, a cow costume.  Apparently she had alcohol on her breath and was slurring.  I hope she gets the help she needs, perhaps with AA.  I don't even know what else to say, because I am still shaking my head.  PRECIOUS.

5) I think I saved the best for last: Now I am not the biggest Puff Daddy fan, but you have to respect what he has done with himself over the years.  Dids has a youtube channel and he posted the most hilarious video about his thoughts on Sarah Palin and her stuttering interview with Katie Couric.  Seriously, Sarah can't even name The New York Times, The Boston Herald or The Los Angeles Times?  Hell and those are right off the top of my head!  And I am Canadian!!  Maybe it's the Alaskan air...Any who, check out Diddy's 2 cents, I thought it was wicked.

Flashback of the day: I am still in a hip hop mood, I have been killing vintage tunes in Tangie all week.  You know, I think I already played this track, but who cares!   I absolutely loved this track back in the day, and I still do.  Feel it and listen to it...

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

Friday, October 03, 2008

All About Teedra Moses...

"Confusing as this is, I hope my kiss can rectify - The lack of part time bliss, a weightlessness inside."  Drowndeep:Hula - Maxwell

Ahhh such exquisite writing.  The bliss that encompasses my heart and soul is not even describable right now.  I am going to see every song on all of this man's albums come to L-I-F-E.  Alright, perhaps not every song, but a lot of my favorites.  Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, I am going to see Maxwell next Thursday at Radio City Music Hall.  And because my people are slow to responding to text messages and emails, I will be sitting in Radio City by myself taking in the show of a lifetime with a huge Kool Aid grin on my face.  More to report next week after the show, however the countdown begins NOW.

I realized that I never shared my Teedra Moses experience with y'all, been kind of slow on the draw with that one.  As I noted before, you can find my review on Soultracks.com  Here is my short version:

So obviously this is not the flyer from the show I went to, but I like THIS one. ;)  Any who....

Teedra was late and I mean...late.  To the point where my feet were killing me, standing in my funky purple slouch boots waiting for a couple of hours.  Nonetheless, it was not her fault.  She was coming from out west and the elements were not on her side.  I am sure fighting with the remanent storm clusters was not expected.  Winds, rain and cold were on the agenda and it was not a good look.  But her fans showed up and stuck around knowing that Teedra would give a show worth the wait.  Her band The Symphony, assisted by Jay Black (that would be the chocolate, loced, hatted dude with the silky vocals in the vids next to Teedra), entertained for a bit, killing us with a few fierce instrumentals, but it did nothing to fill in the void.  Teedra Moses is NOT and I repeat not a diva in any sense of the word.  Spending a day with her and interviewing her previously, I know that she is a real, down to earth woman with a gifted talent in both songwriting and singing.  Not to mention being an ex stylist, she can dress you up or down to a T.  Anyhow, almost close to 3 hours later, she flew onstage and basically told the airline what to do with their service (add expletive *here*) and the show was on...

Girlfriend went though it hard, starting off with "If I Was Your Girl":

The highlight of the show was when Teedra went into an impressive medley, hitting everything from Sista Nancy to Mtume.  It was crazy!   I was vibing a bit too much (as usual), but I ended up catching a snippet of "What A Bam Bam" by Sista Nancy:

Her medley made everyone go nuts and not to say the show was in need of that "moment", but it did help everyone take their mind off of the late factor and the nastiness that had to be dealt with outside, after the show.  Teedra also debuted two new songs - "So Cool" and "I Remember."  Now I am going to be honest, I heard "So Cool" a while back and I was not a fan of the song.  Perhaps it has to be on repeat for a few, before it settles in.  Not too sure with that one, and y'all, I am a huge Teedra Moses fan.  But it just wasn't doing it for me.  However "I Remember"?  Now that right there is a summer track that is making me itch with excitement, especially if that was a glimpse into what to expect from the album "The Young Lioness."  After Teedra ran through her songs, we received the - Thank you so much for supporting me line...which a lot of us were not expecting.  Considering the show felt like a 30 minute stint (she performed for 70 minutes), we figured we would have received a little more.  Well, I figured - although I am sure I am not the only one.  She did return to the stage, to send us off with one of my favorite tracks, "Backstroke."  

We were still all in awe of the short show, regardless of how amazing, real and professional she was.  Personally, I wish it was longer but then again I understand that sometimes, that's the way it goes.  If miss Teedra Moses comes through your town, be sure to check her out.  I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Flashback of the day:  Just chillin with Cherelle...

Cherrelle- I Didn't Mean To Turn You On

Have a great weekend...

Tha Connoisseur