Monday, July 27, 2015

The Recap Report: 7/27/15

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

Taylor Swift's Tweets To Nicki Minaj Are Peak 'White Feminism' - The latest twitter beef/misunderstanding could have race and gender undertones.

How your music taste reflects the way your brain thinks - Being strong on empathy or on systems can be a better predictor of what music you like than your personality.

Questlove Signs On As Executive Music Producer For Upcoming ‘Roots’ Reboot - Questlove will create the authentic African sound and themes for the characters as well as produce the overall sound.

Does Drake Have a Ghost Writer? If So, Does it Matter? - The blurred lines between “collaborating” and “ghostwriting.”

In case you missed it, James Corden remakes Opposites Attract w/ Paula Abdul. . .

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jill Scott Shows Baltimore She's the R&B Boss in Incredible Performance

July 18, 2015 - Pier Six Pavilion - Baltimore, MD

It was a hot and humid evening in Baltimore as people came in droves to see Ms. Scott who hasn't toured since 2012.  I went with my cousin and past guest blogger Steph.  We got down there at 7pm and there was already a line of cars trying to get into the lots near the Pavilion which were all full. I finally found a garage a few blocks away.  I ended up paying $4 to park when the lots near the Pavilion were like $20+, which further proves that everything happens for a reason.

At 8pm, opening act BJ The Chicago Kid, who actually sang background for Jill at one time, took the stage by storm!  His energy was just what the crowd needed to get warmed up for Jill.  BJ gave us a fusion of hip-hop and R&B, delivering the high pitch vocal of Stokley Williams, lead singer of Mint Condition, with a bit of Raheem DeVaughn.  He was backed by a live band who had that R&b flavor of Mint Condition and hip-hip funkiness of The Roots.  BJ's 30-min set included covers of When a Woman'e Fed Up by R. Kelly and an R&B twist to Electric Feel by MGMT and original music.  BJ has been on my list to check out for a while now and I'm glad I got the opportunity to see him live.

A little after 9pm, Jill's band began to play and then the backdrop illuminated as Jill emerged. The crowd gave her a roaring welcome and she got things started with Give Me.  The entire night, Jill was giving me major diva vibe between giving me the funkiness of Chaka Khan with her band to periods of looking like Diana Ross as her curly fro gently flowed with the harbor wind. I've seen Jill many times and I always enjoy how she talks with her audience like we're just chillin having girl talk.  Performing mostly audience favorites along with cuts off her new album, it all flowed like chapters in a book, giving footnotes in between songs of lessons learned from love and drama.

There were many memorable moments of the show.  As she finished performing Closure, off her upcoming album, Jill told the crowd she wanted to make sure we could hear the words she was singing.  So the band stopped playing and Jill recited the lyrics with a rap delivery in a cappella, sort of like Erykah Badu's delivery on Tyrone.  During Cross My Mind, the drummer played this loop on the hi-hat that provided a sexy musical backdrop to the song.  I loved the way Jill was so comfortable in her skin.  Her entire performance was filled with sexual and sensual undertones but in a sophisticated, grown woman way.  It was great to see Jill continue to prove that you don't have to fit a certain body stereotype to embrace your sexuality.

Jill's band was amazing and entertaining.  You could tell they were having fun and enjoying themselves on the stage.  Her backround singers, aka "The Pipes" were up there dancing and having a good ol time.  Rashid Williams, the drummer and musical director, did a wonderful job with the setlist arrangement.  Usually I don't care for different arrangement of songs but this time it was refreshing and gave a different flavor that I welcomed.


1.  Gimme
2.  The Real Thing
3.  Whatever
4.  Prepared
5.  The Way
6.  Crown Royal
7.  Closure
8.  Cross My Mind

9.  Long Walk
10. It's Love
11. Hate On Me
12. You Don't Know
12. Fool's Gold
13. Slowly, Surely
14. Golden
14. He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)

Jill gave an AMAZING 1 and 1/2 hr show.  She continues to impress me by her vocal manipulations that leaves you speechless with goosebumps.  I felt a bit cheated because Jill told us she had to finish by 10:30pm.  Isn't the noise ordinance in Baltimore start at 11pm?  We had another 30 mins, we were just getting started.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SYTYCD Season 12: Top 20 & Judges' Votes Revealed

So You Think You Can Dance? (SYTYCD)

Last night, we saw the Top 10 Street and Top 10 Stage contestants begin performing in different genres and the eliminations started.  Here are my favs. . .

Contestants: Top 20
Style: Hip-Hop
Song: Baila Como Yo by District 78
Choreographer: Pharside & Phoenix

This routine was SICK!  I loved the mixture of latin sexiness with the grit of hip-hop. . .and the upside down wacking. . .YASSSSSSSSS!

Contestants: Derek (Stage) & Ariana (Street)
Style:  Jazz
Song: Cry Me a River by Michael Buble
Choreographer:  Ray Leeper

I thought this was a great interpretation of the emotion in the song, especially at the end when Michael sings "cry me a river" when Derek drags Ariana away.  She definitely was the one that impressed and shined.

Contestants: Alexia (Stage), Megz (Street), & Virgil (Street)
Style: Ballet
Song: Until We Go Down by Ruelle
Choreographer: Dee Caspery

Great job by this threesome.  I was shocked that Megz, as a street dancer, knocked it out of the park.  Virgil is one of my guy favs.

Contestants: Kate (Stage), Asaf (Street), & Neptune (Street)
Style: Broadway
Song: All About That Bass by Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox ft. Kate Davis
Choreographer: Spencer Liff

Kate as the bass was a brilliant and sexy idea.  Loved when they were doing side by side choreo w/ the w/ the spotlight on each of them.  Neptune shined, nailing the choreo.  Despite Asaf's whining, he did a great job as well.

Contestants: Jim (Stage), Jaja (Street)
Style: Hip-Hop
Song: No Woman, No Cry (Live Version) by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Choreographer: Christoper Scott

Best performance of the night!  I agree w/ Nigel, it was a great testimony to show how street and stage can come together and produce such amazing art of dance!  Jim shocked the hell out of me.  I loved the instances of slow animation and the tutting.  Reminded me of the YouTube vid of  those dancers performing Is This Love by Bob Marley.  

With the introduction of the Twitter Save along with the Judges' votes, Darion and Lily were eliminated.  I'm still not feeling Jason has a judge. . he adds NADA!!!  All he does is echo what Paula says or if not continues to say things that doesn't make sense.

Next week, another 2 gets cut.  Who will it be?  Also, tonight don't forget to check out the 10th season anniversary STYCYD special at 8pm ET.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Recap Report: 7/20/15

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

The 100 Biggest Summer Songs of All Time - See what songs made the cut.

A Fair Music Streaming Model is Possible - Why artists and indie labels must emancipate themselves from big music.

Is Transparency The Music Industry's Next Battle? - Finding ways for streaming companies to form better working relationships with artists.

In case you missed it, Brandy sings Home on the NYC subway.  Find out what happens. . .

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Brandy Rocks as Roxy in Chicago on Broadway

July 11, 2015 - Ambassador Theatre - New York, NY

For months, I've seen Brandy on the promo circuit on TV and social media promoting her debut role as Roxy in the Broadway production of Chicago.  Then a month ago, she announced her contract was extended.  At the same time, my dad was asking me what I wanted for my birthday and going to see Brandy seemed right. . . like the stars were aligned.  I lucked out and got a great deal securing front row orchestra seats!

The musical is based on a play of actual accounts by playwright Maurine Dallas Watkins.  Watkins worked for the Chicago Tribune and was assigned to cover the 1924 trials of accused murderers Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.  During this time, the media was obsessed with women who killed their lovers or husbands and sensationalized their stories.  Roxy Hart, one of the main characters in the musical, is based on Beulah Annan, who was on trial for murdering her lover.  As the musical progresses, it follows Roxy and other accused women as they share the "truth" about their cases and the what transpires leading up to facing the music (no pun intended) in court.

Let me tell you, when Brandy said that she felt she was meant to do Broadway, she ain't NEVER lied!  She did an OUTSTANDING job!  In the Playbill, Brandy stated that when performing on Broadway, she feels the audience is rooting for her and not looking for her to mess up.  She's right because the entire audience was in her corner cheering her on.  I don't think I ever smiled that hard during a Broadway production in my life.  She was sassy, conniving, witty, vulnerable, and funny! Brandy owned that Roxy role.  The show had me laughing the whole time.  The entire ensemble was amazingly talented and entertaining from the sexy and in sync choreo, to the songs, the band on stage, to the dialog. . everything was pure perfection!

In the closing scene, Roxy receives a big bouquet of flowers and Brandy proceeded to throw some out into the audience.  She went to my side as we made eye contact and she threw one directly to me which I caught, of course!  Afterwards, I waited on line to meet her.  Brandy gave me a big hug as I continued to tell her I was proud.  She had this infectious glow about her as if she was surrounded by an invisible bubble of happiness.  You could definitely tell that her storm had passed and she was in a great place.  Watch out, Broadway. . . this is just the beginning!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Raheem DeVaughn & Leela James Team Up for Soulful Fall Tour

This fall is going to get a bit more soulful with Raheem DeVaughn and Leela James teaming up for The Love 'N Soul Experience tour.  Their special guest will be V. Bozeman, who made her musical debut singing What is Love on the premiere of FOX's show Empire.

Tour Schedule

Oct. 7 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm
Oct. 8 – Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
Oct. 9 – Atlanta, GA – Symphony Hall
Oct. 10 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall
Oct. 11 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
Oct. 14 – St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room
Oct. 15 – Chicago, IL – Portage Theater
Oct. 16 – Detroit, MI – The Garden Theater
Oct. 17 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Oct. 18 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
Oct. 21 – Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre
Oct. 22 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA
Oct. 23 – New York, NY – Apollo Theater
Oct. 24 – Washington, DC – Warner Theater
Oct. 25 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
Oct. 27 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Oct. 29 – Norfolk, VA -The Norva
Oct. 30 – Winston Salem, NC – Lawrence Joel Vet. Memorial Coliseum
Nov. 1 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Nov. 4 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
Nov. 5 – New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues
Nov. 6 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
Nov. 7 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues
Nov. 12 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Nov. 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia

Click here for ticket info


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