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Archive for the ‘Masego’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: MELANIE FAYE-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #60 (August 5, 2020).

Melanie Faye was the impressive guitarist during the Masego Tiny Desk Concert.

She opens her set with an impressive instrumental–the introduction to Jimi Hendrix’ “Little Wing.”  Her fingerwork is fast and clear and really fluid.

Then she starts properly with the first of her three originals, “Super Sad Always.”

The song has some clever complex lyrics:

In a sense, you’re innocent
But your inner sense is fading

I can’t decide if I like her voice or not–I want it to be a bit more substantial, I guess.  Of course, her muted guitar works quite well with her mute singing.  She puts an interesting extra muted effect on her (excellent) guitar solo

“It’s A Moot Point” is slower with some more amazing guitar work in the instrumental middle section of the song.

“Eternally 12” has another fantastic guitar introduction. It’s fantastic how great her guitar playing is–so delicious without being show-offy.  This song has a lot of prerecorded backing vocals which sound very nice and kind of flesh out the voclas in a way that her songs seem to need.

Lyrically this song is interesting but the repetition of the word “eternal” is a bit tiresome.

[READ: August 1, 2020] “In the Bed Department”

This story is about Kitty, a divorced woman who works in a department store–in the bed department.

The big news is that the store has just installed an escalator.  Kitty is suspicious of the escalator–she doesn’t know how it works and she doesn’t like it.  She also didn’t like the workers–men covered in a dirty-looking tan, often adjusting their zip on the way back from the loo.

Kitty recently seduced a man from the local Drama Society.  He was twenty years older than she was.  Tom did set and Kitty had s mall walk on role.  He had been courting her, slowly for a couple of months while they worked together on Johnny Belinda.

He drove her home most nights and one night she invited him in.  Her boys were home, but they were in their own rooms, so she initiated right there.  “It was awkward all the way through and quite satisfying.”

She didn’t tell him that had gotten pregnant.

She wasn’t actually sure she was pregnant, mind you.  It could have been “the change,” but she trusted her body.  What would it be like having a wee baby around the house.

Her life was full of ups and downs like an escalator.

This story felt like it needed more….something.

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SOUNDTRACK: MASEGO-Tiny Desk Concert #870 (July 24, 2019).

Naturally when I saw this guy’s name, I assumed Massive Ego.  And he does seem to have a massive ego.  But he totally earns it.  And I’ll agree with this allusion:

Imagine for a moment if Cab Calloway, the Cotton Club’s exuberant bandleader, was reincarnated in the 21st Century. Now imagine if he was dropped in the middle of the music world of today. He’d no doubt be a tall and slender, silky-wearing goof ball with a moisturized braid-out, instruments inscribed as knuckle tattoos and a penchant for genre-blending. Yes, the spirit of Cab lives on in Masego, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who surprised NPR’s Tiny Desk audience with a zany sense of showmanship and a demonstration of his own genre, TrapHouseJazz.

Masego gets five songs (and over 20 minutes…come on!), but the whole set is fun and flows really nicely with Masego acting as the great frontman he is.

First, before opening with the jazzy “Tadow,” Sego pulled off a quick, mini-prank by sending his friend, comedian Lorenzo Cromwell, up to the mic before stepping forth himself.

Cromwell wears a Michael Jackson glove and plays a fake saxophone (the credits state: comedic saxophone).  But Masego plays a proper saxophone, smooth and jazzy.  Then he starts singing and he has a nice smooth voice too.  Lex Nelson adds some nice call and response backing vocals.

Throughout the song, Maxwell Hunter plays some excellent grooving sliding five string bass.

This next song, “Nayhoo” he says “white people love it.”  It opens with some fantastic guitar work from Melanie Faye–she plays amazing guitar licks throughout the show.

Next, Sego tossed up 100 dollar bills with his face on it and beckoned the crowd into a call-and-response of “hi-di-hi-di-hi-di-ho.”  (There’s the Cab Calloway).

Up next, is “Queen Tings.”  He points to Jon Curry and says “You.  Show me that junk you showed me yesterday.”  Curry stars playing a nice beat.  Masego says, “Now gimme that shoulder” and Curry starts swaying his shoulder into it.

Midway through the song Masego plays a saxophone solo.  Then keyboardist Dan Foster picks up a saxophone and plays a solo as well.  Then the two play together and it sounds fantastic.

Before the fourth song he says, “there’s black people here, I got a song called ‘Black Love.'” Then he points to the keyboards.  “You.  Play some keys for me.  This is Dan Foster.  He has a flower tattoo.”  The melody of this sounds a lot like the melody for “Careless Whisper.”

All these instruments you see here are tattoos on my knuckles because I can play them all.  That’s why he wrote this song, “I Do Everything.”  This song is pretty good but the best part is when he introduces Melanie Fay and she plays a ripping guitar solo.  I wonder what else she’s been in.

Finally, to have a few more moments of fun after “I Do Everything” — and to prove he really does do everything — Sego juggled water bottles to the rhythm of the luscious music his band providing.

Masego is a lot of fun and I enjoyed his set a lot more than I expected to.

[READ: July 31, 2019] “Three Days”

I enjoyed the way this story started but hated the way it ended.  I hope it’s an excerpt, because there’s so much more that could be done with all of this and yet so much was wasted on a dead horse.

Beatrice is walking to her mother’s house from the bus station.  The house is actually a farm, but not a working farm. It is the only remaining farm in the area, since all the other farms sold out to to the box stores.

The farm is in disrepair.  I like this detail:

There are some withered Duane Reade Easter decorations–a hip-high bunny rabbit and a bright-green egg–wired to the front porch.  It is Thanksgiving.

Her parents weren’t farmers and as soon as they both agreed they didn’t want to farm, they gave up and got proper jobs.  Beatrice’s mother loved her work.  She was employed by “Mythologic Development, which turned myths and sometimes history into marketable packages used for making new products and ideas more digestible to the consumer public.”

I love this idea and want to learn more about it. Although the examples her mother gives about Atlantis and Montezuma are disappointing. (more…)

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