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Archive for the ‘Shirazee’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: STING-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #183 (March 22, 2021).

Sting starts this Tiny Desk Concert with a duet on “Englishman/African in New York” which is exactly how he started his previous Tiny desk Concert back in 2019.  In fact, since this is a duet, I wondered if I had accidentally cliked on the wrong concert.

But the previous Concert was a duet with shaggy and this one is a duet with Shirazee.

During the pandemic, Beninese pop star Shirazee adapted his own rendition of Sting’s classic “Englishman in New York” into “African in New York.” His version made its way to Sting, who loved it so much that he asked Shirazee to lend his voice to his Tiny Desk (home) concert and record for his new Duets album.

I never loved this song, but I’ve always liked it.  But I really like the way it has taken on a life of its own with these new duets.  And the “African in New York” parts shine a new light on the song and show its universality.

Shot in a lounge in NYC where Sting’s presently recording another album, these two gentlemen share a touching moment between songs, expressing their mutual admiration and discussing the sheer joy about a simple concept – performing in a room together after 12 long months of isolation and virtual collaborations.

Sting comments about how the song has had multiple lives: a Jamaican in New York, a Somalian in New York and now a Benin man.  Shirazee says, “Benin man in New York, I should have said that why didn’t I say that?”  When Shirazee thanks Sting, he replies, I’m always delighted when artists take the template I’ve written and make it better made it different.  Shirazee thanks him again and then says, and now I can’t wait to get a free Sting concert.

Sting jumps into a stunning acoustic performance of “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” another one of his many classics. The timbre of his voice conjures a sense of carefree familiarity, reminiscent of times with more levity and peace.

He sounds really good and definitely has fun vamping at the end of the song.

His finale, “Sister Moon,” is a gem from his 1987 solo album, Nothing Like the Sun, that rarely gets performed live.

I don’t know this song, but it sounds really good, just his voice and his resonating guitar.

[READ: March 31, 2021] “Tasteless”

The September 3, 2007 issue of the New Yorker contained several essays by their writers about the subject “Family Dinner.”

This is one of David Sedaris’ really funny essays.  There’s so many great lines.

He starts by saying that he was promised that when he quit smoking his sense of taste would remarkably improve–like putting on a pair of glasses that are your prescription.

But after six months he’s having no luck.  However, he was never an attentive eater.  He’d thank his mom for the fried fish and she’d say it was chicken or even veal.

She might as well have done away with names and identified our meals by color: “Golden brown.” “Red.” “Beige with some pink in it.”

In addition to not tasting things, he says he is a shoveller.  As if he were a prisoner, encircling his plate to fend off the others. (more…)

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