Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Just Have So Many Questions: Jordan Knight's Old Navy Ad

First of all, let me just say that one of the reasons I love this blog is that even in 2012 we will still chop it up about all things New Kids related.  I love y'all for that.  I don't really know why we all still care so, so very much but I guess the saying is true: once a Blockhead, always a Blockhead.

I was on always...when I noticed that our girl Andrea *waves at Andrea* posted that she had just seen Jordan Knight in an Old Navy commercial.

*Insert Scooby Doo inquisitive response here*

I then hightailed it to YouTube where lo and behold I discovered this:

Yup! That's happening. And I think it's great. I love it.  I just have some questions:

1. Am I the only one that got hyped hoping that once Jordan came out that they were going to go into "Give It to You", choreography and all? I mean the carnival set up was right there!  It was right there!

2. What is going on with the Knight brothers and their flawless skin in 2012? No he did not just roll out on that piano looking like he is fresh off the Magic Summer Tour!

I'm calling it right now: People are going to rediscover Jordan Knight and him being this fine and before you know it he's going to be doing commercials for cocoa butter, Noxzema, Ambi... Yes. I just said Ambi. Which brings me to my next point...

3. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times: black don't crack. With that being said, can I please resubmit my claim that Jordan Knight is half DeBarge?

4. I pray the Lord's resurrecting power every time I get to "Taurus".  HAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  I was *DEAD*! I haven't heard anyone mention their zodiac sign like that since, well...

"By you babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"

Was I the only one that quickly thought of this? Apparently I wasn't because as mentioned (this just keeps getting more and more random) "all New Kids fans know this one from the boy band's first ever album, the self-titled, New Kids on the Block. Fans also know his favorite color was blue, he's left-handed and he loved ketchup."   I am not mad at Rebecca Villaneda for that throwback reference. Like I said, once a Blockhead, always a Blockhead (especially if it also reminded you of when they did commercials for Boston's Bay Bank in the 80's.)

What did you all think about the commercial?  I know some of you were NOT ready.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ask Myself- Toya


That's the sound of me exhaling.  That noise came rushing out after I made myself lie on the floor and ask myself what exactly was wrong with me. I've made a ton of excuses; some legitimate, some just legitimate sounding. And perhaps I've convinced some people and at times have even convinced myself that I just didn't have time to commit to things or why I have been having writer's block. Is it a lie if you believe it? I have never quite been able to own up to that figure that out.

What I'm talking about is being creative. Right now in this moment I feel better about writing than I have in months which is why I'm not even going to edit this. After writing things out in my journal, I discovered some things that I didn't know about myself until just a few minutes ago. For one,deadlines freak me out. I don't think I am that wild of a free spirit to be so freaked out but some where along the way I started to let things freak me out. What was once for the love became...a huge responsibility. One of my downfalls is that I can be a fight or flight type person. What I have found is that a lot of times procrastination is not about laziness. Procrastination is often about overwhelming fear. Why am I so scared?

Most of my friends are creative people. A good number of them are musicians. One talk I have had with them repeatedly is that when they get to the point where they don't enjoy their own art and it becomes a chore, they need to fall back and discover what the problem is. I have a friend named Mike who has so much joy on his face when he plays his music that I often think to myself while watching him that if one does not have that much satisfaction when they perform their music, they may want to rethink why they are even a musician in the first place. Artistic expression is not always joyful but I believe it should lead to satisfaction. Even if what you are expressing is difficult. I fully believe that it should be a release for the creator first. And right now I feel that. I mean, I have been frightened to write and how did I even start to come to these conclusions? By writing. Some musicians are the same way. They'll write a song to figure out why they can't write a song. I truly believe that your gifts are for you to use for yourself first.

This is not the only blog I write for but it is the first. If I can't be real here then I just shouldn't write at all.  I just don't feel like I have been real about the fears I am having in wanting to create things. I have mentioned it but I admit that even the way I mentioned it was entirely too calculated. I am so freaked out that if I have to commit to one more thing, even it's just mentally,  I'm not going anywhere but to work. I have shows I want to create. I have books and programs that I want to create.  Up until now I didn't realize that a lot of my apprehension has had to do with the fact that I have been holding myself back in fear of being up front and not fitting a mold. It used to be if I created something and a few people saw it, then cool. It didn't matter if it was one or one hundred. But somewhere along the way I started becoming freaked out by people's expectations. I may be the only person that is freaked out by compliments sometimes and I know that is because of my fear of success which I always felt boils down to a fear of failure.  A lot of times that is because I feel like it will be entirely up to me and me alone to keep things afloat and to keep everybody smiling. What I am learning is that it's not entirely on my shoulders and I'm not alone.

Case and point, I was really struggling with something Friday. I prayed all day about it. I screamed at the top of my lungs in my car out of total irreverence only to come upstairs to my room and lay on the floor in complete reverence. And as I went through the motions of it all a revelation came to my mind that I am very prideful.  I have been guilty of praying AT God versus praying to God. See when you pray AT God, you think that the way you pray is going to get results. Not because God is going to give you what you need but because of how you prayed for it.  That's treating God like a magic lamp; as if to say "If I try two rubs to the right and then one to the left, maybe I can get results." Then you could say that it was your technique that got things done.  I was completely on the edge until I simply said, "I need you. I can't do this." I slept for 13 hours after that. 13 hours!

So what do I do to resolve this freaking out? I am going to create and I am going to enjoy it. If people dig it, they dig it. We rob ourselves of expression because we fear it doesn't fit a mold sometimes. Believe it or not I am a big fan of interior designer Christopher Lowell. Not because of his talent for designing but because of how he sees creativity. I heard him say once "Where there is fear, there is no creativity."  He also says that in our society we often confuse creativity with talent. Every single person, left-brained or right-brained, is creative.  How many of us don't express our creativity because we feel that we are not good enough? Like if it isn't good enough to be sold or marketable, we shouldn't even try. Your creativity is an expression of yourself. It is for you first. Not every creative person needs to or even should make money on how they choose to express themselves. Creativity is not about that and we rob ourselves greatly when we don't express that gift. 

I'm not saying to not have structure but by all means don't lose yourself. I've been struggling with shooting this web series, or practicing for it rather because I feel like I really don't know what to do. I am constantly looking for more videos and reading articles to get better. I'm not saying don't study your craft. That's important. But if you want to do it because it's your creative outlet then just do it. Don't worry about the mold.   Express yourself whether it's through music or mathematics. Be the best you can be at it but more importantly be the best YOU that you can be at it.  Leave the comparisons behind. You'll never know how great you can be if you don't try.  Scratch that. It's not even about being "great". It's about being fulfilled and satisfied. If others love it, then great- but do it for you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekend Roundup

It has become painfully evident that I need to see Robin Thicke live. I had no idea that he PERFORMS like that. I guess I just assumed because his biggest hits are ballads that he just kind of...sang...and that's all. My fault for assuming. And if Robin didn't have a wife (whom I have a girl crush on), I would indeed let him entertain me. (Lord forgive me.)

Don't get me wrong, I like Robert Pattison. But I DO NOT want to see him playing Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. I REALLY need this to be a rumor. - Oh No They Didn't

AARP compiled a list of the sexiest men over 50. (Of course Sexy George is on the list) and real talk, I would date about 60% of the list. - AARP

Phillip Phillips won Idol. I liked him from the beginning but didn't think he'd beat Jessica. Good for him though. - ABC News

Okay....This is the CUTEST thing I've seen all week. - BuzzFeed

Dear Lord, PLEASE let this be real movie. It looks like 2 full hours of pure comedy...AND Joey Fatone is in it. Amen.

D'Angelo talks to GQ and the world waits with bated breath for his new album. - GQ

I don't watch any of the Black Ensemble "reality" shows because they mostly make me want to denounce my blackness and be Puerto Rican or something. But I LOVED Living Single. - Clutch

Janet Jackson was pre-diabetic. People take care of your bodies. - Just Jared

And right after a post about diabetes I post something about cupcakes. But they're STAR WARS cupcakes. My inner geek couldn't help it. - GeekSugar

Best. Proposal. EVER

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I KNOW Glee did not just make me weep - Tia

As you may or may not know, I'm a Gleek. Two Halloweens ago I dressed as a Cheerio. (And since it's been two I have no probably recycling costumes so I may once again be a Cheerio this Halloween.) While some of the storylines give me pause (either because I'm a bit too far removed from the American teenage experience or because it really is just cringe worthy) I've stuck by the show.

I have to admit, though, the last few episodes have been kind of dull. I was extremely let down by the Prom episode. (Really?!?! A dinosaur theme.) But I did love that they FINALLY gave my girl Tina some shine in the last episode. Last night's episode, however, made me remember why I started watching Glee in the first place.

For the most part it started off slow. And then it felt like they gave the episode 3 Red Bulls and a shot of speed. (Is speed still a drug? And do you shoot it? Can you tell I don't know a lot about drugs?) I suppose they did what they could with the time that they had, so I will refrain from throwing too much shade. But if I see Ryan Murphy in the streets I'm going to push him directly down on the sidewalk for what he did to Rachel and Finn.


How in the world are you going to break up Rachel and Finn? After we've been through each and every change with them, THEY DON'T END UP TOGETHER????? SERIOUSLY?!?! Now, I usually shade Finn like a giant oak tree. He's not the best dancer. (I swear I can HEAR him trying to keep time when he dances.) And he is by NO means the best male vocalist. Basically, for three years I've been giving him the, "Meh" face. But last night he did the most courageous thing I could imagine and let Rachel go so that she can be great. I'm sorry, but that's love...for fictional characters. Knowing that the person you love may not live to their full potential because they want to be with you is painful. But not being selfish and letting them go is nothing short of amazing. 

I will not even front, I cried like a little girl as they were breaking up and she was leaving. And then Rachel turned around and SLAYED "Roots Before Branches" and I was DONE!!! I cried all over my laptop (I was pretending to work.) I sniffled all in my shirt. That girl wailed!! And as she walked down 42nd street, I couldn't help but be overly happy for someone who doesn't even exist. 

I have been listening to "Roots" all day. I have been feeling some kind of "what's really going on in my life/I need a change" way lately. I have a big birthday coming up and I am not doing well. I'm about 3 seconds from buying a one way ticket to London and seeing what becomes of the experience. So you know, this song has been taking me through it ALL today. It's been on repeat since 8:30 AM.'s like that. 

If you missed it...SHAME ON YOU!!...the video is below. I also posted the original. I don't know who Room for Two are but they wrote one heck of a song. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Story About Us: Support Black Girl in Suburbia

One of the things that we hear the most in regards to our blog is that it is a reflection of the experiences and tastes of, well, black girls like us. I don't doubt that this is also why Awkward Black Girl has done so well. There aren't a lot of things that speak to our experience out there. This is why when I came across Black Girl in Suburbia, I was moved to tears. This here is real life. At least it was for me growing up.

During my high school years, my mother started going to a church in West Philly. And by West Philly I mean  Will Smith, West Philadelphia born and raised, West Philly. This was the biggest culture shock to me as I was raised in Somerdale, NJ. Somerdale is exactly what it sounds like. The most suburban place you could possibly grow up. I remember Tia came up for my mom's 60th birthday party and got to drive around my white picket fenced hometown. "Woooow" she said. "This explains SO much." Anyway, the culture shock of going to a church in the inner city was an experience I wouldn't trade for the world but I definitely would trade those tears I shed due to being so different and teased for the proper way I spoke and the way I dressed. There are only a handful of people in this world that understand the stress of being a black teenager who acts too black for some people (namely white classmates) and too white according to some members of their own race. It can be heartbreaking and that is why I can identify all too well with the tears at 1:57 of that video.

I am happy to say that I am now in a place where I love, understand and appreciate all those things about me that make me "different".  It's been so evident time and time again how being a little outside the box as far as people's expectations of what's "black", has been a part of God's grand design. However, there are plenty of girls and women out there that haven't gotten to that place of self acceptance. I really hope this film gives them the affirmation they need to love and accept themselves. 

 I don't know the director of this film,Melissa Lowery, but I am so proud of her having the guts to put this subject matter to film. I urge everyone who reads this blog who has shared this experience to please support her to get this film completed. See the video below to find out how you can become a backer of the documentary on Kickstarter.

Weekend Roundup

I love that EVERYONE knows the words to the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

River Phoenix's last movie, before his untimely death 18 years ago, is scheduled to be released sometime this year. While I LOVED LOVED LOVED me some River, I find this information a bit creepy - Pink Is The New Blog

In totally unexpected news Transformers At Sea Battleship sunk at the box office. I won't lie, I was going to go see it. But went and saw The Avengers again instead. Jeremy Renner is my boo!! - Yahoo! Movies

For the Harry Potter Fans (myself wholeheartedly included): There's a new fan made web series coming out revolving around Aurors set in NYC. It actually looks good. - Mashable

And speaking of fan made videos, this one for The Hunger Games second quarter quell (Haymitch's year)  is AH-MAZING. (Spoiler Alert - If you haven't read the second Hunger Games book be warned there are some huge plot reveals in this video.)

Behind Sean Connery, I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond. - Just Jared 

Seriously...WHO jacks MARVIN WINANS?!?!? I'm honestly surprised they weren't smite..smitted???...smote??? on the spot. - Black America Web

I'm not sure how I feel about this Colbie Caillat/Common song. I like both of them as artists, but I'm not sure if their styles go together. Jury's still out on this one. - Idolator

I don't really consider Nashville home. I don't really love it. But I will say I'm proud that it gets to host the memorial for the great Donna Summer. - TMZ

Apparently, Think Like A Man is too ethnic for France. Le Sigh. - Clutch

Seriously, why aren't you watching Sherlock? If you like Downton Abbey you will LOVE Sherlock. - PBS

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Music Friday - Donna Summer: "This Time I Know It's For Real"

Today's FMF video is bittersweet. Yesterday we lost an iconic BGLU: Donna Summer. Toya and I are huge fans of Mrs. Sudano (google it if you have to) and we are keeping her family in our prayers.

I was living with my dad the year "This Time I Know It's For Real" came out. I'd taken a "time-out" from my mom and gone to stay with my father. It had very little to do with the fact that my dad had full cable and more to do with him being far more lenient than my mom.

I used to watch VH1 every day. My dad used to joke that they were going to have to do an episode of Pop-Up Video about my life if I kept watching it so often. (That would be a boring episode as all I did was go to school, play basketball and watch music videos.)

While I don't remember the exact day, I remember the lead-in from then VJ Rosie O'Donnell (remember VJs) introducing the new video from Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. Of course I was more than familiar with Donna Summer. I remember listening to "On The Radio" while riding around with my mom in her brown Fiat with leather seats in the hot Texas sun. (Seriously...Texas + Leather Seats = NOT THE BUSINESS.) But in 1989 my frame of reference for Donna Summer pretty much revolved exclusively around disco. So I really had no idea what to expect from TTIKIFR.

When I tell you I loved that song IMMEDIATELY, I do not exaggerate. It was so happy and bouncy. Plus, the dancing they were doing in it were so easy. If you could do the running man you could do these dances. I used to anxiously wait for this and anything from Breathe to come on VH1.

My childhood has taken a beating in the last several months. The death of Donna Summer is not one that I  or Toya will get over quickly. But I'm ever so grateful for the legacy of music that she left and for the love she showed to those around her. She will be missed in a way that I can't quite articulate.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Donna Summer (December 31,1948-May 17, 2012)

Our prayers go out to the family, friends and fans of Donna Summer who passed away this morning from cancer. You may remember us featuring the group JohnnySwim on our blog. Amanda Sudano is her daughter and also someone we know and love. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

On a more personal note, one of my earliest memories of Donna Summer's music was making up dances in my living room to "Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" as a child. I have always been terribly enamored with Donna Summer's voice. It just had so much body to it and I have always taken to sultry altos. Far from fragile and light, to me her voice always personified feminine strength to the tenth degree. For lack of a better description (because I really am struggling to put forth words right now) Donna Summer was to me what I thought a real woman is: So beautiful, so strong, and just regal. She was a queen. Not just a disco queen but an absolute real queen. You want to talk BGLU icons? She was the epitome.

 The first time I saw Donna Summer in person was in church. I was sitting in the pew and she came and sat directly in front of me. I lost all concentration. I couldn't say one word for fear that "MacArthur Park" that was playing repeatedly in my head at the time would make its way out and I would start mumbling something about someone's cake being left out in the rain. I finally confessed to her daughter Amanda a few years back that since that day, I had been around her a few more times at church and I just could not bring myself to talk to her. I completely avoided her. I even sat next to her once and I just couldn't do it. I had too much to say. Now that she's gone, you think I'd regret that. Somehow I don't. I really don't. Maybe because had I gotten to know her, this would hurt worse than this does right now. Maybe because of the fact that I was perfectly fine with the image I have always had of her in my mind. From what I know about her from friends that have known her and toured with her, my image of her was not far fetched at all. She was indeed royalty.

Well done Miss Summer. We love you.- Toya

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Economy of Mercy - Tia

I'm not sure how I want to begin this. So I'll start by saying, if you're interested, John Mayer's new album Born and Raised is streaming in its entirety on iTunes. I have no idea for how long, so if you want to listen to it I would suggest heading over ASAP.

But this post isn't about John's new album (which by the way, I have grossly indifferent feelings about. I don't hate it. I don't love it. And I continue to believe that Continuum is his opus.) No, this post is about my feelings toward John and how despite it all, yes, I'm still a fan of his music.

A couple of weeks ago I posted the video for "Shadow Days" and one of our readers wondered how we could still be fans of John. I have been mulling that comment over in my head ever since. (By the way, Tiffany, if you're reading, thank you for your candor. This post is in NO WAY a slam against you or your willingness to be honest. We actually appreciate readers who are willing to speak their minds in an intelligent way.)

After the whole Playboy debacle, it came as a surprise to absolutely NO ONE that Mr. Mayer came under fire from a lot of people (black, white and other) for his offensive, racist, and just down right TACKY comments about his exes, his sexual preference, and his Black fan base. As I repeatedly read the article, I was appalled and a bit confused. Was this the same man I'd seen on the cruise interacting with his Black female fans in a...ummm...extra way? This couldn't be the guy who sang the mess out "Lesson Learned" with Alicia Keys. Aside: I still love this picture.
And no way could the guy who so articulately expressed MY feelings on each and every one of HIS albums have devolved into this idiot spewing nonsense for the world to read.

But it was. One of my favorite singer songwriters proved to the world the he was kind of a d-bag.

The night after the proverbial poop hit the fan, John was in concert in Nashville. I wasn't there but Toya was. Per her account, and those of several other people, John appeared contrite and broken. Again, I wasn't there but from the footage I've seen and the comments I've heard from those there, his apology was not one of a man who'd been caught doing something naughty. Rather, it was the apology of a man who'd been slapped in the face with his own ignorance and shameful behavior. It was an apology brought on by compunction and not by necessity.

CLEARY, he made MANY mistakes. While I'm not so naive to say, "Oh, his comments were just taken out of context" I do believe that he genuinely meant no real malice or offense. In an effort to be accepted or as he sings in "My Stupid Mouth", "I just want to be liked, I just want to be funny" the joke was truly on him. But the difference between John and the rest of us is that his mistakes don't just quietly go away.  Mistakes on a public stage are far reaching and long lasting. The public may forgive but thanks to technology we never have to forget.

The difference between those who are famous and the rest of us, is that we when screw up the entire world doesn't know about it 6 minutes later. If I say something ignorant, 20 billion people don't hear about it. I have time to consider what I've said and make the necessary amends without the world watching. I'm not inundated with the opinions of complete strangers and I have more than a mere moment to learn from my mistake and grow as a person. But when everyone knows your name, sings your songs, recognizes your face, when you screw up it becomes headlines. And the larger the offensive, the bigger the fallout.

I'm not famous and know very few people who are. But I have had a small glimpse behind the curtain and I've seen some things that aren't pretty. And while I will in no way condone what John said, I've personally seen enough to know that his words, though of his own mind, weren't solely of his own making. What I mean is this: John didn't became a d-bag overnight. He paid his dues singing at Eddie's Attic in Decatur (one of my favorite small venues in Atlanta.) He worked and hustled and got famous. And with fame comes "people." As in, "I'll have my people call your people." And a lot of times, those people are merely "yes men." They're the ones who geek you up and tell you you're awesome even when you're not being awesome. They co-sign on any and all behavior. You want to do drugs and drink at 6am? Yes, that's fine as long as you make it to the studio. You want to wear clothes 4 sizes too small for your frame. Yes, that's fine as long as it increases page views. You want to be 4 sheets to the wind drunk and give an interview that will damage your persona and alienate part of your fan base? Yes, that's fine as long as it sells more magazines and keeps people talking about you so that you can continue to tour and make more money for the machine. Yes, all that you do is fine. Until you crash and burn and realize it's not.

I think John became a victim of himself. I think he drank his own Kool-Aid and got caught out there. He forgot to be the guy with the guitar and decided to be the clever guy, the funny guy, the guy who says things to get attention. And I'm certain that every step of the way, there were people cheering him on, laughing at his bad jokes, and not truly giving a damn about the d-bag person he was becoming. So because he'd been lifted up so high, his fall was far and painful.

There's a line in "Lesson Learned" that kills me every time. "Falling down ain't falling down if you don't cry when you hit the floor." I wouldn't feel any kind of way about deleting every JM song I had and never listening to his music again, if he'd persisted in d-bag ways. If I truly thought he was a racist twit, I'd have no qualms about leaving him behind and never looking back. But from what I've gathered the fallout from the Playboy thing rocked his paradigm in such a way that he was forced to take a good long look at the man he was becoming. And apparently, he didn't like what he saw. So rather than just trying to be better at the social media game, he deleted his Twitter account, got off the blogsphere and decided to work on John Mayer, the grown up. And while I will never give a pass to the awful things that he said, I can easily extend grace and mercy to a man who's trying to be just that: A Man.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Throwback - Tia

Mondays are always a challenge for me. Somewhere between Friday night and Monday morning, my brain forgets that I am not independently wealthy. It seems to think that I have a money tree out back or that I am some sort of trufundy. (Trust fund baby...shout out to anyone who caught that Felicity reference.) My mind forgets about my 9-5 and tricks me into thinking that all of the money in my account arrived there by some sort of magic and that I can sleep until noon EVERYDAY like I usually do on the weekends.

So when Monday rolls around and I remember that I have to get up and work it's always a shock for me. The first thing I think when I wake up is, "Wait...what..really...I have to work???" And heaven help me if it's a rainy Monday. It takes me a good 2 hours and a strong cup of coffee to even pretend to get moving.

This rainy Monday is no exception. I have been up for almost 3 hours and it's still not quite registering. But I know two things will help: 1. The warm delicious french press coffee I'm about to consume (Side note: If you drink coffee french press is THE WAY!!) 2. Music.

I decided to start today as a throwback. All 80s all morning. I was torn between two songs but "Oh Sheila" ultimately won out. So I bid you all a happy Monday. And may the music and the jheri curls bless your morning as they have blessed mine.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Roundup

Buzzfeed always makes me so happy. - Buzzfeed

CSI:Miami has been cancelled. Adam, I'm here for you if you need comforting. - NY Times

She's 3 years old. She's a genius. And she needs to go poop. - MSNBC

This might be the new iPhone. I might have to change carriers to get one. - Mashable

Ahhh..David Beckham...People think you're just a pretty face. But I know better. - Yahoo! Sports

Parks and Rec has been renewed. Thank Goodness!!! Because I don't know what I would do without Ron Swanson in my life. - Just Jared

Sexy George raised MILLIONS for President Obama. I'm saying....can George do a carwash or a bake sale or something and help me pay off my student loans? - CNN

Tamron Hall's middle name must be "Not The One" - HuffPo

After the whole uproar over GCB, it's been cancelled. But Scandal is still well it should be. Keri Washington is slaying each and every soul on the show. I LURVE HER. - BuzzSugar

Have you seen The Avengers yet? (My boyfriend Jeremy Renner is in it.) If you haven't you're one of only about 10 people who hasn't because it's made a katrillion dollars. - MSNBC

The "Have Several Seats" Award for the week goes to Popchips and Ashton Kutcher. Just like blackface is not okay, brownface is NOT OKAY either. *Warning - There is some language in the video. But, can't even lie, 2:15 made me scream with laughter.* - E! Online

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Favorite Beastie Boy is Gone :(- Toya

"I want to say a little something that's long overdue/ The disrespect to women has got to be through/ To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends/ I want to offer my love and respect to the end"- MCA of Beastie Boys "Sure Shot"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My shameless love of pop music - Tia

I love pop music. Always have. I will sing into a hairbrush whilst dancing in my underwear on any given Saturday morning and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

However, in the last few years I feel like pop (along with every other genre) has taken a hit in quality. It seems like they will give ANYONE a record deal these days. So I very much like that there seems to be resurgence in good, regular, car karaoke, fun to sing along with pop music.

The following are a list of my current top 5 favorite pop songs in no particular order.

Karmin - Brokenhearted
So here's the thing: I liked Karmin from the jump. I thought their covers were super cute and really fun. But I was a little apprehensive about original material. I guess in the back of my mind I figured that the reason that they only did covers was because they either couldn't write original stuff or the stuff they wrote was pretty bad.  (Oh wait...that's me who can't write songs.)

Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Brokenhearted. Like listen to it everyday, sing it hard in the car, don't care how crazy I look to the driver in the car next to me, LOVE IT!! Plus I totally dig that Nick and Amy are a couple in real life.

The Cab - La La
Confession: I'd never heard of The Cab until a few weeks ago. My rental car had satellite radio and I was listening to the Top 20 station. This song came on and I had to pull over so that I could SoundHound it. (In case you're wondering, I pulled over to use Soundhound because even though satellite tells you the artist and song title, I wanted to make sure I had a record of the song so that I could download it immediately upon arriving at my hotel...moving on.) 

I kind of hate how catchy this song is because if I'm interpreting the lyrics correctly, he saying he'll lie to get in the girl's pants. (16 and Pregnant is real. Careful, children) But I sing this song with reckless abandon. I can't help it.

Gotye/Glee - Somebody That I Used To Know
No one can argue that "Somebody That I Used To Know" isn't a great song. So it's no surprise that I loved the song INSTANTLY upon hearing it. However, I have to be honest, I think I prefer the Glee version. (SACRILEGE, I know.) I don't dislike the original. It's not like it's a Katy Perry song (Aside: I like all of Glee's versions of Katy Perry's songs better than when Katy does them herself. I don't like her version of "Teenage Dream" AT ALL. But I LOVE (top 25 in iTunes LOVE) the Glee version.) But for some reason I like Darren Criss' vocals better. I'm be awaiting the onslaught of hate mail. Our email address is just to the right side there. 

(The Glee version is in the last Weekend Roundup.) 

The Wanted/Glee - Glad You Came
A few weeks ago I asked a friend of mine, "What is a 'One Direction'? Are they the same as a 'The Wanted'?" Yes, that is exactly how I phrased those questions. While I do love some pop music, I won't lie and say that I have my finger on the pulse of the genre. I don't usually listen to the radio unless I have satellite in my rental car. And since I'm many years removed from the target demographic of MTV Hits, I'm getting a lot of these new pop artists late. 

A friend of mine told me about The Wanted back in February when Glee covered "Glad You Came." He said my inner 14 year old would love them. But my inner tween has been on vacation for some time now. So I made a mental note, that I quickly forgot, to look up The Wanted. I mean, I had every intention of looking them up because I thoroughly enjoyed Glee's cover of their song. (That Sebastian is dancing his CW haircut off isn't he?) I honestly just never got around to it. 

But "Glad You Came" is everywhere. So eventually I did look the children up. They are precious. I would have a crush on the one who opens the song if I weren't old enough to be his mother. Bless their hearts. And while I don't understand why it takes FIVE of them to sing that one song, I'll let it go and continue to sing the mess out of the song every time it's on. (I have not yet received a One Direction, though.) 

Turn Up The Music - Chris Brown
*sigh* I always say that film is forever. You will never find a sex tape/promiscuous picture/salacious "Draw Something" photo from me. Why...because nowadays that stuff NEVER goes away. That being said, one of the reasons some people will NEVER forgive Chris Brown is because of those pictures we've all seen of Rihanna's face. It's been YEARS since I've seen those pictures but I can vividly remember what her beat up face looked like. That's not something you just forgive and forget. 

I want to believe that Chris Brown has paid his dues to society and is a better man. (I believe the former has occurred, no? He's not on probation any longer is he? I'm too lazy to Google.) But his Twitter antics, random photo posts and questionable remix partners *coughRihannacough* lead me to believe that he's still got PLENTY of growing up to do. I hope at some point he sees the error of his ways. I really do. Like him or not, you can't argue with Chris Brown's talent. "Turn Up The Music" is easily at the top of my workout mix. You can't help but get moving when this song comes on. I want and NEED Breezy to do better. I need him to man up a man. I need him to make better choices, ignore the haters and be the best Breezy that he can be. Because frankly, people are missing out on his talent and he sometimes seems to be trying his best to squander it away. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You Should Know...Luke James

The only reason and I mean the ONLY reason I have not let Brian McKnight have it in these internet streets about that whole "adult mixtape" farce is because of my respect for his sons and my new favorite band BRKN RBTZ.  You know BGLU absolutely adores them.  I will say this however: one thing I do agree with Mr. McKnight about is that music is absolutely terrible and thoughtless nowadays, particularly R&B Music.  It is a mess.  Ironically posting (and eventually releasing) a song about a woman's genitalia and its umm...function...however is not the best way to draw attention to that but I get his point.  I guess.

So if you see a problem and complain about it, you'd probably do best to offer a solution, right?  If you've been following BGLU long enough, you know we try to hip you guys to new music.  I think it's time to step that up a bit on my end.  With that being said, let this be the first of many more frequent posts where I draw attention to what's right with today's music. Let's start with Luke James. 

Luke James- "I Want You"

Yes this song has been out for a while and unfortunately, I haven't posted it until now.  I've been swaying to it on my own and have admittedly fallen behind on my posting so please forgive me and indulge me like this is fairly new.  When I heard this song for the first time...well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few thousand:

Hold up now...
Well sang fool!
He's awesome!

 That man is SANGIN'! By the way, you need this live acoustic version in your life too so here you go.

Luke James hails from New Orleans and has been a songwriter in the industry for quite some time, writing for Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, and Chris Brown.  He was also signed to J Records as one half of the group Luke and Q. No release date for his upcoming EP "#Luke" but it looks like it's set to be out soon..  For more on Luke James, check out his website