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Archive for the ‘Jewel’ Category

SOUNDTRACKDAVIDO-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #174 (February 24, 2021).

I thought I knew what Afrobeat was and that I was really starting to enjoy it, but Davido plays something other than what I was expecting.

Nigerian Afrobeats star Davido comes to us from his estate in Lagos with an intimate four-song performance that takes us on a mini-retrospective of his career.

He and his band create a sultry vibe with a unique rendition of “Gobe,” his smash 2013 single, to open the set.

“Gobe” doesn’t have the percussion and bounce that I thought it would, although drummer Stanley Unogu is pretty sharp.  The lyrics are pretty funny, though

Girl your behind is a killer
I can see you’re sensual
See gobe
Omo see gobe eh
When you wiggle and waver
You must be intentional

Bassey Kenneth and Sylvia Asuquo sing nice backing vocals.  Then he says that “Aye” is dedicated to his father.

Davido has long expressed pride in his father’s success. He titled his 2012 debut album Omo Baba Olowo, meaning “son of a rich man” in the Yoruba language. In his (home) concert, Davido cites his father as his inspiration in a sweet and tender moment: “A Nigerian American like myself that studied in the States…I went to an HBCU, you know… My dad went to one as well and my dad used to work at Burger King. … To become what he’s become today as a Black man starting off in America has been very, very inspiring to me.”

A cool bass slide and generally fun bouncy bass from Kenneth Ogueji make “Aye” a fun track.  The rest of the song is all keys from Gospel Obi and Orowo “Roy” Ubiene.

In collaboration with the Alternate Sound band, Davido strips back “Aye,” a hit from 2014, with an unfettered rendition showcasing his natural voice devoid of any vocal effects.

It’s followed by “Risky” which is a bit more poppy.

Rounding out this Tiny Desk (home) concert, he concludes with “Jowo,” a single from the album that of conjures hope for better times ahead.

“Jowo” is a sadder ballad.  I like the song, but I cant help but think that by the end the backing singers are off key.

[READ: March 24, 2021] This is Not the Jess Show

I subscribed to the Quirk books newsletter some time ago.  And that explains why I received so much promotion for this book which I’d never otherwise heard of.

I read the blurb and it sounded fun, so I checked it out of the library.  And I was hooked instantly.

The book set in 1998 and it rather revels in 90s culture.   I though this was a lot of fun (since I am quite fond of the 90s myself).  At times it seemed like the book was maybe overdoing it with the 90s love (how many reference points are there: Titanic, Jewel, Scott Wolf, Savage Garden, Chumbawamba, Tori Amos), but whatever, Jess is a teenage girl and pop culture is pretty important in a teenager’s life.

As are crushes.  Her oldest friend Tyler has suddenly become… more interesting to her.  When they were younger, Tyler had buckteeth and rust colored hair.  He was fun but dorky.  And yet suddenly, she couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Her two best girl friends Kristen and Amber just didn’t get it.  They still thought of Tyler as a dork and they really discouraged Jess form pursuing him.  They teased her that she was like the song “Lady in Red”

It’s like, really?  You’ve known her this whole time and you’re only into her now, after seeing her in a red dress?  Isn’t that a little …fickle?

In fact, they know that Patrick Kramer, the hunky soccer player (and local hero!) is going to ask Jess to the spring formal.  How could she pass this up?  (Because Jess thinks Patrick is dull as dirt). (more…)

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spokespokehcSOUNDTRACK: ISLANDS-Arm’s Way (2008).

islandsI enjoyed Islands’ first album (and, in a weirder way, their earlier band The Unicorns).  This album seems to have made a lot of 2008 Top Ten or at least Top Fifty lists. What’s so strange about the whole affair is that I absolutely love the first 8 songs on this disc, and based on those alone, I would put it on my top ten as well.

But after that….

Well, let’s put it this way, the eighth song “In the Rushes” is a wonderfully weird 7 minute song that ends with a direct quote/pseudo-parody of the Who’s “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”  The “tribute” comes in all of a sudden after five or so minutes, and ends with the lyrical change from The Who’s “You Are Forgiven” to their own “You Are Forgotten.”  But musically it’s spot on.  And I’ll tell you, that just feels like the end to me.  “A Quick One” ends The Who Sell Out, and so it should end this too.

And those last four songs, which actually totally about half an hour (!), I just can’t really enjoy for some reason.  Perhaps if they left them as a separate EP…?

But back to the rest of the disc.  The opening salvo of songs is just so fantastic. “The Arm” is catchy and weird with cool breaks and a bitchin’ chorus.  “Pieces of You,” not anything to do with Jewel, is another great catchy song.  The next three tracks are great little rockers with some thrashy parts and more off-kilter aspects.  “Kids Don’t Know Shit” starts mellow but has a cool string-filled chorus.  And then of course, you get to “In the Rushes.”  So these 8 tracks come in at 37 minutes, and I swear I’m just done with the disc.

Those next four songs are good (In fact, listening to samples of them right now, I do like the songs, and “To a Bond” is an especially good song, too). I guess I just feel like the album is done by then.  And when you think an album is done and there’s still 30 minutes to go, well, it’s just daunting.  Too bad, really, because it is a good disc.

[READ: March 17, 2009] English as She is Spoke

I bought the hardcover edition of this book many many years ago as soon as I heard of it…anything with a rave by Mark Twain must be worthwhile, right?  When I was looking for it again recently I couldn’t find it anywhere.  So, I saw that McSweeney’s were having another sale and I picked up the paperback edition.  The text is exactly the same; however, the introduction is slightly different and for that reason alone I’m glad I have the new copy too (I did find the hardcover a few days after I received the paperback, of course).

The paperback edition contains an update to the introduction.  The hardcover was rather popular and one of its readers–a UCLA linguist–wanted to absolve Fonesca of some of the blame for the book.  It appears that Fonesca had written a very good phrase book which Carolino basically used for his own purposes in creating this hilarious enterprise.  Rather than just plagiarizing Fonesca, Carolino gave him full credit, thereby giving him a lifetime of undeserved infamy.  So, thanks Paul Collins for setting the record straight.

As  to the book itself…. (more…)

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