Saturday, July 30, 2011
Amy Winehouse has been dead for about a week...And while I can never ever forget that soulful voice... There are at least seven soul acts from across the pond that people may have been sleeping on...Or maybe just me...
She had the same buzz as Amy Winehouse had about five years ago...and With two chart-topping albums to her credit -- 2008's 19 and the recently released 21, which was number one on Billboard for two weeks -- Adele is riding high while "Rolling in the Deep." Born and raised in a working-class, single-parent household in North London, Adele grew up on a healthy diet of Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. This vocal powerhouse won best new artist at the 2009 Grammy Awards. I used to say that whenever somebody won best new artist (as Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse before her) that that was the kiss of death to their career...Let's Hope Adele Breaks the spell.
2. Corrine Bailey Rae-
Ahhh yes...Everybody was talking about her two years ago...Well..She hasn't gone anywhere... Fresh from the January release of The Love EP and with two albums to her credit (2006's Corinne Bailey Rae and 2010's The Sea), Corinne Bailey Rae continues to gain listeners with her sweet, folksy brand of soul singing and guitar playing.
Fan favorites from the multiracial singer-songwriter-guitarist from Leeds, England, include "Put Your Records On" and "Closer."Corrine Bailey Rae made headlines in 2008 when her husband, Jason Rae, died from an accidental drug-and-alcohol overdose.
Not a household name in the states just yet...but I listen to a lot of Sattelite radio now...It's the only way I truly hear new music and get away from stations that rotate the same 30 or 40 songs every hour.
Fans of Bassment Jaxx and Reel People may recognize the name of vocalist Sharlene Hector, who has sung with both groups in addition to being featured on a British Coca-Cola commercial singing Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." She's the U.K.'s answer to Ledisi -- Check out her song "Are You Listening?" for proof -- Hector independently released her debut EP, Expressions, in March of this year.
These guys are not new jacks...In fact, they've been around for years...Just under appreciated in the States..They had one hit that everybody should remember..."Deep Waters" .
In fact has been going strong for more than 30 years. Founded in 1979 by Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, Incognito released their first album in 1981 and have remained one of the foremost bands on the British soul, funk and acid-jazz scenes, with a steady rotation of vocalists in the mix, including Maysa, Jocelyn Brown and Tony Momrelle.
They've released their 14th studio album, Transatlantic RPM, in 2010 and are still a hot ticket to catch live.
Here is another British Soul Act that is not new.. Led by charismatic and energetic frontman Jay Kay, Jamiroquai is nearing their 20th anniversary in the music industry.
The wildly popular acid-jazz and funk outfit, which also dabbles in pop, rock, electronica and house, has released seven albums in that span of time, most recently 2010's Rock Dust Light Star. Although the album has yet to get a proper U.S. release, fans of Jamiroquai who are willing to travel can catch them on their European tour this spring and summer.
6. Tony Momrelle
This guy, you probably have not heard of...but you may and soon...I was in a tony soul food cafe in Mt. Airy..
and they had a sattelite radio feed from San-Francisco playing through the loud speaker when I first heard this guy blow....I thought he was from California...I was told that he was from London. It's so rare to talk to anybody who follows the music scene the way I did when I was younger...and who knows what they are talking about...While you wait for your food.
With a sound reminiscent of both Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway,(If you can imagine that!) Tony Momrelle is one of the busiest men on the U.K. soul scene. He is one-half of the soulful house group Reel People, who just released their third album, Reel People Present Golden Lady; is the lead singer for the acid-jazz band Incognito; and is also a background vocalist for Sade -- another British R&B superstar. He can be heard on her song "Babyfather" from Soldier of Love. Catch Momrelle on tour with Sade this summer, and look out for a new solo release in the future.
Last but not least....Don't sleep on this guy...Old Hip Hop heads from the 90's know who I'm talking about-
Described as the "Father of British neo-soul," Omar has enjoyed international success since his debut album, There's Nothing Like This, was released in 1990. Twenty-one years and five additional albums later, he is still a popular figure and much-sought-after live performer. Omar's last record, Sing (if you want it) was released in 2006, and he recently lent his voice to the single "Special "produced by fellow Brit Maddslinky in 2010.
I'm still a yank and I still think that we do R& B , Soul and Funk a little better over here on this side of the pond..but these Brits are giving us a run for our money.....It's a good thing they aren't widely played on mainstream radio over here...They might just win the second revolution!
Friday, July 29, 2011
A man asked his wife what she'd like for her birthday. "I'd love to be eight again." she replied.
On the morning of her birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Coco Pops, and then took her off to the local theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, every thing there was.
Five hours later she staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down. Right away, they journeyed to a McDonald's where her loving husband ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a refreshing chocolate shake. Then it was off to the movies: the latest Star Wars epic, a hot dog, popcorn, all the Coke she could drink, and her favorite M&M's.
What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his precious wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, Well, Dear, what was it like being eight again?" Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. "I meant my dress size!!!!!!!
The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he may still get it wrong.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
It's Thursday and the Republican controlled house and it's bastard children, the Tea Party are still playing "chicken with my future.... There is still no deal, no compromise as far as this Debt Ceiling Thing is going...I'm still pissed.
A default, an inability to pay bills, a bad credit rating, the collapse of some world markets and the rising of interest rates doesn't seem to matter to any of them. I haven't heard one, not one of these jerks come up with an alternative that could stave off any of this...
No..They keep repeating the same crap that they have been repeating...Cut entiltlements
(Social Security,Medicare and medicaid) , but keep those tax breaks for the wealthy and the multi-national corporations...after all..If they are allowed to pocket more money, they'll create jobs...
Oh come on..They've been saying the same thing since Ronald Reagon was president...Has anybody actually seen a lot of new jobs created? No..Of course not..
What they've done is moved their operations overseas....paid some Mexican, some Indian, Some African way less than they would pay you and I and not had to pay them benefits..Thus increasing their profits and giving them more money to stuff in their bulging pockets...
Meanwhile...you and I remain unemployed and broke...They championed de-regulation right? But they proved that you can't trust these corporations on their own...Which is what led to the near collapse in 2008.
We are in debt because of two wars (started during a Republican administration) and de-regulation......Why are any of you still voting Republican???? Huh???Why is anyone even listening to them?? They aren't saying anything new , They aren't offering any new suggestions or solutions...All they are doing is bashing the President and refusing to compromise with him...How much further down the toilet does the nation have to go?
Yesterday,things took a dramatic turn in the fight over whether we'll default on our debt.
Progressives across the country organized over 800 rallies nationwide that generated a flood of pressure on these Republicans. President Obama's speech led to so many people contacting Congress yesterday that the switchboard jammed.
Now Speaker John Boehner is struggling to get enough votes to pass his terrible proposal through the Republican House.
But suddenly, there's a path to a deal that doesn't simply cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid to pay for tax breaks for the rich.
These next 3 days are crucial, and progressives and the left need to turn up the heat even further.
I have heard that some folks are planning an emergency rally on the Capitol steps Friday and are recording new ads targeting swing Republicans, and keeping the pressure on Democrats so they stand strong.
Somebody needs to do something...We no longer have time to sit back and do nothing while these idiots from the Tea Party influence the House to play with people's futures.
The President needs all of the help like minded people can give him...He can't do it by himself!
And yeah, in case yall missed it..This is a partisan as a mug public service announcemant from the Maverick of All Bloggers!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
1.Why is anyone who is making less than 100K voting Republican?
3.So called "Christian "fundamentalists who blow up buildings and shoot people are called "disturbed young men, but Islamic "fundamentalists" who do the same thing are called terrorists...What's wrong with this picture?
4. People are the most intolerant of those they are afraid of.
7.Is it me or does anybody else notice that rehab doesn't really seem to help celebs?
8. I am soooo sick of the Tea Party right now.
9. Peace of Mind.......Priceless!
10. Love, truly is a losing game.....................Rest in Peace Amy!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Seems like a lot has happened this past weekend...A killer heatwave hit the East Coast United States where I live....British Soul Singer, Amy Winehouse was found dead in London and in Norway...a horrific act of violence occurred.
Wait a minute, This is Norway!! Norway!!!!!! Norway???? Not London, Not Paris, Not Stockholm even, Norway!!! Things like this just don't happen in Norway. This past Friday...It did!
The recent violence this past weekend were twin terrorist attacks against the civilian population,the government and a political summer camp in Norway on Friday, July 22, 2011.
The first attack was a bomb explosion in Regjeringskvartalet, the executive government quarter of Oslo,Norway at 3:22 pm (our time), outside the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and other government buildings.
The explosion killed seven people and injured several others. The second attack occurred less than two hours later at a youth camp organized by the youth organization (AUF) of the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) on the island of Utøya in Tyrifjorden, Buskerud.
At least one armed gunman disguised as a policeman opened fire at the campers, killing at least 86 attendees, including personal friends of Prime Minster Jens Stoltenberg.
The Norwegian Police Service arrested Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian man, for the shootings on Utøya and subsequently charged him with both attacks. Breivik has been described as a Christian fundamentalist, a far-right Zionist and an extreme Islamophobe.Also as a "very disturbed young man." but not what he really is...A Terrorist! Is this just reserved for Arabic and Islamic fundamentalists??? I'm just asking.
The European Union, NATO and several countries around the world expressed their support for Norway and condemned the attacks.
The blond killer of at least 93 people in Norway sees himself as a "righteous crusader on a mission to save European "Christendom" from a tide of Islam."Now I ask you..Don't all terrorist see themselves as such?
..In a rambling, plaugiaristic manifesto posted just before his killing spree began, Andres Behring Breivik says the Knights Templar, a medieval order of crusading warriors, lent modern renown by Dan Brown's best-sellers, had been re-formed in London in 2002.
Two of the founding members were British while one each came from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Russia, Norway and Serbia, Breivik writes, without naming them.
"The order is to serve as an armed Indigenous Rights Organization and as a Crusader Movement (anti-Jihad movement)," writes Breivik, 32, now in police custody on terrorism charges.
"Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike," he writes, outlining deadly tactics that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden might have endorsed.
"Do not apologize, make excuses or express regret for you are acting in self-defense in a pre-emptive manner," he adds.
Breivik's lawyer says his client admits his actions, but feels that "what he has done does not deserve punishment." Glad he doesn't...
What is sad is that there is no death penalty in Norway nor even life imprisonment....The most this creep can get is 21 years without parole..Which means he'll be 53 when he gets out of prison..If he can't get a needle in his arm, he should at least never walk in the daylight as a free man again.
I know that when this first happened, the first thing I thought was...Al Queda is on the move again...I was actually (as most of you were) surprised that this time,it was someone claiming to be a Christian that was responsible for the violence.
Truth be told....He is no more Christian than Bin Laden and his ilk are Muslims...Terrorists on both sides of the equation have just one thing in common...They are evil. They take religion and bend it and twist it to their own political and or personal purposes and they have no value for human lives...which sometimes can mean even their own lives....They give true and sincere followers of the faith a bad name...
This man is a terrorist..He committed a crime against humanity and he should be treated as such!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Borders Bookstore chain is going out of business...They are closing up all of their stores and selling off everything... I feel especially bad because I have a history with their stores..
Whenever I had a day off from work...I would shower and shave, get dressed and head to Borders...There I would byt a couple of Newspapers and magazines and head upstairs to their lounge where I could buy Coffee,Orange Juice and a danish and sit and listen to my walkman at one time and later discman and just read at peace for hours...That was my spot.
I eventually began buying CD's and DVD's from there as well... I borrowed a Laptop computer and wrote many posts for this blog and "Escapades" right there in Borders...And at one location in particular, there was a friendly clerk who always alerted me when there was a new Walter Mosley novel or a new Zane or something that I might be interested in...
Now that era has ended...They want me to buy a Kindle and download the books now..I guess. I already have that option on my android...I've already done that...It's not the same as holding a book in your hands and reading it from cover to cover...It will never be...I've even downloaded a book on my computer at home..Still not the same.
Some people say that huge chains like Borders and Barnes & Nobles put a lot of the smaller and independent bookstores out of business. They probably did....but Borders kind of tried to make up for that by creating a somewhat simular though larger like enviroment and experience for it's customers...At least the two that I frequented did....
As the sign says in their windows now of days...''Everything must go." I wonder what is next?
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
Seems like I've been writing so many of these this year.... Phoebe Snow, Clarence Clemons....and now Amy Winehouse..
Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.
"Everyone who was involved with Amy is shocked and devastated. Our thoughts are with her family and friends," said Chris Goodman, a spokesman for her publicity representatives. He said her family will issue a statement when they are ready.
The British singer's record label, Universal, confirmed her death earlier today.
"We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer," the statement read. "Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans at this difficult time."
Her father, Mitch Winehouse, himself a musician now, had just flown to New York to perform two shows at the Blue Note jazz club, but learned the news upon arrival and immediately flew back to the U.K.
Singer and actress Kelly Osbourne, who helped Winehouse check into a drug addiction treatment facility in 2008, was one of many who grieved for the singer on Twitter.
"I cant even breath right now im crying so hard i just lost 1 of my best friends. i love you forever Amy and will never forget the real you!" she tweeted.
I remember in 2008, right around the time I started writing this blog...People were telling me that "You gotta hear this white girl from the U.K. she's got one of the hottest CD's out." I bought her CD after only hearing her signature song...'Rehab" , Which sounds so ironic now...I immediately loved her...She had the right stuff.
Backed by Harlem based soul/funk band, The Fabulous Dap Kings...She unleashed an album of retro -Motown inspired soul...It was great...I was hungrily awaiting a follow up...
Despite her talent...all I seemed to hear from her after she won five Grammys was stories about her and her now ex-husband fighting fans, fighting police, fighting each other, getting drunk, getting high off coke, marijuana, getting busted and performing so drunk and high on stage that fans were booing her...
I can't say that I didn't honestly see a day like today coming....I thought she might somehow beat the odds...but, I don't want to crap on her memory anymore...She's gone now and perhaps her troubled soul is at last at peace...
She did leave us some great music though...Didn't she?
Friday, July 22, 2011
A lady goes to her pastor one day and tells him, ''Bishop, I have a problem."
"Oh and what is that?" He asked
"I have two female parrots, but they only know to say one thing.'' she said
''What do they say?' the pastor asked.
"They say, 'Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?' " she said.
''What?That's obscene!' the pastor exclaimed,
Then he thought for a moment.....
''You know," he said, ''I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible... just bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Frankie and Pete." he said.
"My parrots can teach your parrots to pray and worship, And your parrots are sure to stop saying... That phrase... In no time."
''Oh Thank you, Bishop'' the woman responded, ''This may very well be the solution.''
The next day, she brought her female parrots to the priest's house....
As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying...
Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them...
After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison:
"Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?"
There was stunned silence...Shocked, One male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and says,
''Put the beads away, Frankie,Our prayers have been answered!"
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I can't believe that the people we elected and expected to have sound judgemant have allowed this thing to get to this point...
Yesterday,I thought I'd give everyone a break from talking about the debt ceiling, but I see that the politicians and powers that be have not given me a break from worrying.
Reports emerged last night that the Federal Reserve is actively preparing for a government debt default. With negotiations over the debt ceiling still going nowhere, it's clear that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his fellow central bankers don't want to be caught without a plan.
There are just 12 days to go until the Aug. 2nd deadline set by the Treasury Department, when the government will run out of money and stop paying some bills. And, barring a last-minute compromise, the U.S. will face at least a credit downgrade and at worst the label of outright default on its debts.Serious business kiddies.
Yeah, Things have gotten this bad. And the Fed is preparing for the worst.
But I ask myself and you should be asking yourself ,just
how did we get from the idea or threat of default to the point where the Fed is actually expecting such a disaster to occur?
There are a few reasons, but let's cover the most pernicious: The political brinksmanship in Washington, D.C., has reached a new low. Yes, fiscal conservatives are correct when they say our massive government debts must change.I spoke on this two days ago. And, yes, social-minded liberals are also right to protect the poorest and the oldest Americans who need government assistance most. We should all agree on that much.
The hard part is finding a reasonable place to meet in the middle, where those competing interests can be balanced. But as we so often see in Congress, many spineless politicians have decided to take the easy way out by being stubborn and acting like it's the other guy who's being unreasonable -- all so they can please their bases and hopefully get re-elected in 2012.
So the Fed, not surprisingly, is making contingency plans. Some are just logistics -- for example, how to communicate with the Treasury and federal departments on which checks will bounce and which ones won't if the debt debate isn't resolved.
The Treasury, after all, is just a department itself. The Federal Reserve actually clears the millions of Social Security payouts and government employee paychecks that get written each month.
But some Fed plans are downright scary if they become necessary. For instance, the Federal Reserve plays a crucial role in short-term lending to massive financial institutions.
Fed "discount window" loans are offered to banks that hold Treasury bills as collateral. But in the event of a default or credit downgrade, those U.S. Treasury securities won't have as much weight as a guarantee that the borrower is good for the loan. Imagine if this wasn't the government we were talking about , but an individual...What do you think would happen to this person?
President Barack Obama has tried to express the importance of shared sacrifice and compromise in negotiations. It's a noble idea and one that our politicians should embrace.
But frankly, with each passing day, the most realistic outcome of the current politicking in D.C. seems to be a downgrade or default for federal debt. Be Afraid...Be very damn afraid...I'm not joking.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Why do these old rich guys always wind up with young sexy trophy wives? Simple, because they are rich....I would like to feel sorry for old Rupert Murdoch( who owns FOX NEWS, one of this blogs favorite targets)but you know of course that I don't.
You know I'm enjoying this...He's in the hot seat now because one of the tabloid papers, The News of the World was forced to shut it's doors because of a phone hacking scandal....Mr. Murdoch has been called to the carpet because of it... Yesterday someone tried to throw a pie at him....No...I can't make this stuff up!.
Like the volleyball player she used to be ,The spouse of media mogul Rupert Murdoch is no pushover. Murdoch's 42-year-old wife, Wendi Deng, who had been sitting right behind her husband during an inquisition with the House of Commons Select Committee on Tuesday, leaped forward to stop a protester from smashing a pie into her husband's face.
The protester, covered in white foam, was hauled away and the session was suspended.
No sooner had Deng straightened her pink couture jacket, Twitter and Facebook messages buzzed worldwide, ranging from “Go Wendi go” to “Wendi Deng. Tiger Wife!”
The chairman of the parliamentary committee even commented on her defense skill: "Mr. Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook," The Hollywood Reporter reported.
The old man and his son, James Murdoch, had spent the day repeatedly telling (or rather lying to)British lawmakers that they were not responsible for a phone hacking scandal that has rocked the Murdoch empire.
Starting in 2006, there were allegations that certain individuals working for the News of the World, a British Sunday-only tabloid newspaper published by News International—a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation—had engaged in phone hacking.
The scandal came to prominence in the midst of an attempted takeover of British Sky Broadcasting by News Corporation, which was forced to abandon the acquisition. While the original allegations were limited to the hacking of celebrities, politicians and members of the British Royal Family, further allegations that victims of the phone hacking included murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the July7th London bombings generated widespread public outrage in the United Kingdom. The News of the World published its final edition on 10 July 2011 after 168 years of publication.
On 6 July 2011, British prime minister David Cameron declared that a public government inquiry would convene to investigate the affair, once police inquiries had been completed.
On 13 July, David Cameron named Lord Justice Leveson as chairman of the inquiry, with a remit to look into the specific claims about phone hacking and police bribery by the News of the World, while a separate inquiry would consider the culture and ethics of the British media. He also said the Press Complaints Commission would be replaced "entirely".
The scandal attracted attention in the United States, where News Corporation is headquartered and operates a multitude of media outlets. On 15 July, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the Department of Justice was following up calls for an investigation into the company.
III-Just Who is Wendy Deng?
Old man Murdoch might be asked to step down.....I understand he could lose a pile in this deal, if he's not already losing a pile...Good....His FOX NEWS has been responsible for so much mis-information that any part of his huge media dynasty that falls is good news to me. I guess you can tell that I don't like the man, can't you?
But for some reason...I like his wife, Wendi Deng....Born in Jinan, Shandong some 42 years ago, she was originally named Wenge Deng. She is the third of four children (three daughters, one son) born to engineers. Wendi Deng attended the local Xuzhou First Secondary School and Xuzhou No. 1 Middle School.
She developed a strong interest in playing volleyball. While Deng was in high school, her father relocated to Hangzhou, where he was employed at the People's Machinery Works; she and her family remained behind for a short while. In 1985, when she was 16 years old, Deng enrolled in Guangzhou Medical College.
In 1987,Wendi Deng met an American businessman and his wife, Jake and Joyce Cherry who had temporarily relocated to China to help build a refrigerator factory.Wendi Deng asked the couple for tutoring lessons in English, which Joyce eventually provided. A decision that would prove to be bad...For Mrs.Cherry as you will see.
In 1988, she abandoned her medical studies and traveled to the United States to study, with the Cherrys sponsoring Wendy's student visa. Deng enrolled at California State University, Northridge, where she studied economics and was among the top 1% of students.
After studying at Cal State Northridge, Wendy Deng attended business school at Yale University.
Fast forward a few years and we find that after she entered the United States, Wendy
lived with the Cherry family for a while when attending university. Mrs. Cherry suspected her husband was having an affair with Deng (30 years his junior) and demanded she leave the house. Mr. Cherry soon followed and moved in with her. See, I can't make this stuff up...It's just too easy.
Mr. Cherry and Wendy got married in 1990. Didn't you see that coming? Wendy Deng and Josh Cherry's marriage lasted just 2 years and 7 months before they were legally divorced, and he would later explain they only stayed together for 4 or 5 months, after which he learned of the extramarital relationship Deng had with David Wolf.
As James Brown once said- ''A woman's got to use what she's got to get just what she wants...Hot Pants!" Indeed!
Nonetheless, she was now able to secure a green card through being legally married to Mr. Cherry.( I'll bet he felt so used! )In 1997, Wendy Deng then met Rupert Murdoch at a company party in Hong Kong. Wendy and Rupert married in 1999, less than three weeks after his divorce from ex-wife Anna Maria Torv Murdoch Mann was finalized.
They live in Manhattan with their two daughters: Grace Helen Murdoch (born 2001) and Chloe Murdoch (born 2005). Wendy Deng is pro-vegan and Rupert is too rich and powerful for her to leave...Especially since , although she is still somewhat hot, she's over forty now and has two kids and you know how that goes.
That's what I call pulling yourself up by your ...uh bra straps!