Friday, March 27, 2015

Women's History Month: Ida Cox Sings Sexual Liberation in 'Wild Women'

To celebrate Women's History month, throughout March check out a series of features on women who have impacted history as it relates to music.

Ida Cox, known as "The Uncrowned Queen of the Blues" was a singer and vaudeville performer.  Born Ida Prather in 1896 in Toccoa, GA; she lived on a plantation with her parents who were sharecroppers.  Ida took an interest in gospel music when she started singing in the church choir.  At age 14, she left home to start a career in vaudeville.

In 1920, she left vaudeville to began a successful blues music career.  During that time, Cox was considered one of the best solo acts of that period, also called the female blues era.  She was one of the few female blues singers to write their own songs.  On stage, Ida was all about glamor, sophistication, and confidence while performing in stylish outfits which included a tiara, cape, and rhinestone wand.  She symbolized the liberated black woman.

You could say Cox was the Lil Kim of the 20s.  Her lyrical delivery was blunt, raw, and sharp.  She sang about the social and political struggle faced by the black working class but her main focus was the oppression of black woman, female independence, and sexual liberation.  Her songs brought to light these subjects through a strong black woman's eyes.  Before Lil Kim's No Time, you had Cox's famous song Wild Women (also called Wild Women Don't Have The Blues or Wild Women Don't Get the Blues), known to be one of the earliest feminist anthems. 



I hear these women raving 'bout their monkey men
About their trifling husbands and their no good friends
These poor women sit around all day and moan
Wondering why their wandering papa's don't come home
But wild women don't worry, wild women don't have no blues

Now when you've got a man, don't never be on the square
'Cause if you do he'll have a woman everywhere
I never was known to treat no one man right
I keep 'em working hard both day and night
'Cause wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues

I've got a disposition and a way of my own
When my man starts kicking I let him find another home
I get full of good liquor, walk the streets all night
Go home and put my man out if he don't act right
Wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues

You never get nothing by being an angel child
You better change your ways and get real wild
I wanna tell you something, I wouldn't tell you a lie
Wild women are the only kind that really get by
'Cause wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues

  • One of the few black females to own, managed,  and produced her own traveling vaudeville troupe Raisin' Cain, during the 20s and 30s
  • Recorded 78 songs in 7 years (between 1923 - 1929)
  • Performed in John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC to sold-out, integrated crowd (1939)

Ida retired from music in the late 40s, moving to Knoxville, TN.  In 1967, Ida Cox died of cancer at the age of 71.

The Recap Report: 3/27/15

The Recap Report:  A feature post that highlights interesting music news collected from the music streets you might have missed

'Drizzy' app lets users communicate their feelings -- by letting rapper Drake do the talking - New app let's you reply to texts with lyrics from Drake songs.

Jay Z’s Music Streaming Service “Tidal” Is Available For Free 7 Day Trial - Find out about Jay's new venture in music streaming.

Music streaming is now officially bigger than CDs - Get a look at streaming's rise in power in the music industry.

Apple to Relaunch Beats Music Service With Trent Reznor - Founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine partner w/ Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor team up to create streaming service to compete with Spotify.

How Kendrick Lamar Transformed Into 'The John Coltrane of Hip-Hop' on 'To Pimp a Butterfly' - Inside look at the making of this album and its jazz elements.

Carole King Musical Heading to the Big Screen - Sony Pictures has announced plans to turn King's stage show into a film.

T.I. Talks 'Blurred Lines': 'I Don't Steal From Anybody' - T.I. gives his side of the story.

Tianna and her talented little daughter Heaven return to the Ellen Show to perform choreo to Beyonce's 711.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Annual Capital Jazz Fest Schedule Announced


Annual DMV (DC, MD, VA) Capital Jazz Fest announces line-up of acts:

6:30pm Gates

PAVILION STAGE - hosted by Tony Richards
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

10am Gates

PAVILION STAGE - hosted by Tony Richards
Boney James • Roy Ayers • Patti Austin • Earl Klugh • Najee • Harvey Mason • "Catch A Rising Star" showcase featuring Carol Riddick

SYMPHONY WOODS STAGE - hosted by Cayman Kelly
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic • Chrisette Michele • Ruben Studdard  • Deborah Cox • Rahsaan Patterson

10am Gates

PAVILION STAGE - hosted by Tony Richards
Kenny G • Jonathan Butler • Michael McDonald • Naturally 7 • Nick Colionne • José James • "Catch A Rising Star" showcase featuring James Lloyd

SYMPHONY WOODS STAGE - hosted by Cayman Kelly
Eric Benét • Meshell Ndegeocello • Morris Day & The Time • Johnny Gill • Amel Larrieux • Atlantic Starr

Tickets on sale March 28 at 11am.  Click here to get tickets.

Summer Spirit Festival Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

The annual Summer Spirit Festival returns to celebrate its 10th anniversary on August 8 at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD with a great line-up that delivers its familiar musical mix of R&B, soul, funk, and go-go.

This year's musical acts are:

Erykah Badu - Anthony Hamilton - Floetry - Estelle - Junkyard Band - Avery*Sunshine - Phony PPL

Plus more special guests to be announced!

Click here for ticket info

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nellie's Drag Brunch Serves Up Incredible Entertainment Experience in DC

Last Saturday, my girls and I had the pleasure of attending Nellie's Sports Bar Drag Brunch in DC.  It one of the BEST FREAKIN BRUNCHES EVER!!!  I've been to a drag show before but never as a brunch where the performers impersonated famous singers and lip- synced their songs.  The icing on the cake was being able to finally support my cousin and seeing him in action as Delila B Lee.

We went to the 12:30pm show which was sold out.  The brunch took place on the main level of the bar, creating an intimate environment, and it was a very diverse crowd.  We were greeted by Shi-Queeta Lee who had us cracking up as she coordinated the parties of people.  The performers were also our waiters who served our drinks.  After we sat down to enjoy our delicious food (my favorites were the mini belgian waffles and eggs and the mini tres leche for dessert), it was showtime!

Let me talk about these INCREDIBLE performances.  Riley Knoxx started the show performing Crazy in Love as Beyonce. . . and she KILLED IT!!!  She was so good I totally forgot it was an impersonation.  Later on, she did Drunk in Love with another performer Marcus Smith who played Jay Z.  Capri Bloomingdale came out as Whitney Houston and did a great performance of hits like I Wanna Dance With Somebody which had me dancingPorcelain St. Clair performed as Liza Minnelli and dazzled the crowd as she spun around with her flowly yellow scarf.  She also did Square Biz by Teena Marie, which had me up on my feet singing at the top of my lungs. 

Two of the many highlights were when my cousin came out as Missy Elliott performing to The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) and replicated the inflatable black outfit Missy wore in the video. . .freakin epic!!  I was such the proud cousin.  The second was when Shi-Queeta Lee sang I Will Survive as Gloria Gaynor and opened the doors of the room that faced the street and walked out into the street, like Beyonce did in the Crazy in Love video.  I was literally standing on my chair in shock at what I was witnessing before my eyes!!

The entire experience was an unforgettable one.  For those 2 hours, it felt like everybody in the room was family.  I can't say enough about all the performers who did a great job engaging with audience.   They even did something special for people celebrating birthdays and bachelorette parties.  If I had to describe the brunch, I would say it was part strip show (in terms of giving the performers dollars. . . get your head out the gutter), house party, comedy show, and music concert all wrapped up into one.

Before the show began, Shi-Queeta Lee also highlighted the work that she's done in the community, especially for the LGBT community.  You were left realizing it was more than just a show but part of a greater mission.   Portion of the proceeds are donated to Casa Ruby, which is about to open an LGBT Shelter in DC.

If you're in the DMV area and looking for a good time, this brunch is a MUST!!.  You will NOT be disappointed!!!  Get your tickets here.  And please, don't play yourself and wait until the last minute to get your ticket because they do sell out.  You can't beat a brunch for about $35 where you get an experience of a lifetime.

Huge S/O to the hard working performers Shi-Queeta-Lee, Capri Bloomingdale, Riley Knoxx,  Porcelain St. Clair, Marcus Smith, and of course Delila B Lee who put 110% in that show to make sure everybody had an amazing time!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Voice Season 8: Battle Round Recap

Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/9c on NBC

For the past 2 weeks, The Voice continued the competition with the Battles.  Two teammates were paired against each other to sing 1 song chosen by their coach.  This season, the musical advisers to help the coaches were:  Meghan Trainor (Team Blake), Ellie Goulding (Team Adam), Nick Jonas (Team Christina), and Lionel Richie (Team Pharrell).  After the performances, the couches had to make the difficult decision to saved only 1, leaving the other to either go home or be stolen by the other judges.  Once again, Team Pharrell dominated in creating some great battles!!

Check out the MusicLife's fav performance from each battle round . . .

Battle Part 1:  Ashley Morgan vs. Mia Z.
Team:  Pharrell
Song: Put the Gun Down by ZZ Ward
Results:  Their vocals meshed well together which made this battle a great but difficult one.  In the end, Pharrell chose Mia with Adam stealing Ashley.

Battle Part 2: Hannah Kirby vs. Sarah Potenza
Song:  Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones
Team:  Blake
Results:  As Adam said, it was like seeing Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks #enoughsaid.  In the end, Blake chose Sara with Adam and Pharrell going for the steal.  Hannah chose Pharrell.

Battle Part 3:  India Carney vs. Clinton Washington
Song:  Stay by Rihanna
Team:  Christina
Results:  The was the BEST battle of the season!!!  It was so freakin captivating.  I agree with Adam, Clinton was the male counterpart of India.  As Christina said, it was executed perfectly to the point I forgot it was a battle and not just a regular performance.  Christina chose India for the win with Adam taking Clinton for the steal.

Battle Part 4:  Sawyer Fredericks vs. Noelle Bybee
Song:  Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Team:  Pharrell
Results:  As Adam said, there was so much artistry in that performance.  Pharrell chose Sawyer but I was shocked Blake didn't steal Noelle after the praise he gave her.

Tonight, the Knockouts begin as the contestants will pick their own songs to vie for a spot in the playoffs.  And to heat up things 3 from Team Pharrell will go head to head with 2 advancing.  Nate Ruess, lead singer for the band fun., serves as guest adviser.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Recap Report: 3/20/15

The Recap Report:  A feature post that highlights interesting music news collected from the music streets you might have missed

Janelle Monáe Is Building a Music Empire That Will Spark 'a Revolution in Your Head' - A more indepth look the development of Monae's new label and how it's become a movement.

Marvin Gaye's Family Is Now Going After T.I., UMG, and Interscope - The saga continues with the family going after those who contributed to the hit song.

Pharrell: 'Blurred Lines' Ruling 'Is About Protecting the Intellectual Rights of People Who Have Ideas' - Williams says verdict hurts those who create something that was inspired by something else.

Russell Simmons Working on Hip-Hop Musical 'The Scenario' - Slayed for 2016, musical will celebrate 3 generations of hip-hop, from Run-DMC to Kanye West.

Top 10 Musicians We'd Like to See Get Comedy Central Roasts - See who made the list.

Sam Cooke's Family Approves Biopic Focusing on Singer's Murder - Biopic will shed light on Cooke's death in a murder mystery format.

Adam Levine & 'The Voice' EP To Produce NBC Songwriting Competition Show - New show gives people opportunity to pitch original songs to music industry's biggest producers and artists.

Check out this sick choreo to Nicki Minaj's Trini Dem Girls.  Make sure you especially pay attention to the young dancers that appear at 5:05!!


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