Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BGLU Featured on Sista, You've Been on My Mind Blog


BGLU recently got to gush about our awesome BFF'ness for the blog Sista, You've Been on My Mind.  The blog features articles on sisters (biological) and sistas (best friends) and celebrates what is right about relationships amongst women for a change. No frenemies on this blog thank God. We are proud to have been asked to be a part of it. Click here to read the article.  If you are interested in you and your bestie, you and your sister or you and your sister who is your bestie being featured on the blog, be sure to contact them at shay.words@gmail.com. It's great to see a blog like this out there proving that great friendships among women do exist.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Confessions of a pop music lover - Tia




I have no idea what is going on here. How did this even happen? I was minding my own business and then...

See here's the thing: On several occasions I have made it known that I'm not the biggest Katy Perry fan. It's not that I DISLIKE her, it's just most of the time I like her songs better when other people sing them. Glee's version of "Teenage Dream" takes me through changes every time I hear it. And Bruno Mars' rendition of "California Gurls" is LOVE in my book. Again, I didn't dislike her, she just brought out the "Meh" in me. That is until I saw her perform "Wide Awake" live.

I was watching the Billboard awards and prior to her performance they ran down the list of Katy's #1 hits. It was like something clicked. I realized that I really did like KP songs. Maybe it was just that the brainwashing that the record labels use finally kicked in...whatever it was, I suddenly felt the need to give Katy Perry's catalog another shot.

And since "Wide Awake" was the most recent song, I started with that. Now, I'd like to say that the Billboard performance of "Wide Awake" was not the greatest. P!nk slays at the simultaneous aerial and vocal acrobatics. But everyone can't do that. No shade to KP, but I think the vocals suffered a bit and it may have had to do with the level of concentration she had to give to not falling 30 feet to the ground. Whatever the case, the MuchMusic performance was considerably better. But even with the less than spectacular vocals, I could immediately tell that I would like "Wide Awake." It had a liberating feel about it and something about the bridge assured me that this song was going to resonate in the pop section of my heart.

What I DID NOT expect is how much I would fall in head over heels, sick with it LOVE with this song. I'm talking "made it into my top 25 playlist IN ONE DAY" LOVE!!!! O-M-bloody-G!!! I bought the song the morning of a fairly long commute day for me. The site I was headed to was a good hour's drive from my hotel. I pushed play as I hit the road and listened to the song, on repeat, for an hour. Hooked isn't even a strong enough word. I. WENT. IN!!! I'm certain that anyone who drove past me got a good chuckle because I car karaoked the mess out of "Wide Awake." I mean Mariah Hand, singing the high parts, low parts AND the harmonies KARAOKE!! I couldn't care less who saw me. Katy Perry's breakup liberation song had won my heart.  These are my confessions and I'm not ashamed.

If I can ever pull myself away from "Wide Awake" (seriously, I'm listening to it on repeat as I type this) I'm going to hit up Katy on Spotify. It's clear I may have a been a little too hasty in my judgment of KP songs. And who knows, there may be another "Wide Awake" type song in her repertoire that will take me all the way. Hey...at this point I'm open to anything.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fun Music Fridays: Yo Yo "You Can't Play with My Yo Yo"



The game is missing this.

I just put this on at my desk and I swear I went in like it was 1990. In fact, I'm digging up my denim overalls and getting someone to spray paint them tomorrow. Who wants to braid my hair? I'm bringing the 90's back all by myself, daggone it! Happy Friday y'all!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday Paul McCartney!


Even at 70 years old, Paul McCartney continues to steal my heart. Artists like him and Marvin Gaye remind me that there is no way that I could have been an adult in the sixties because y'all would've heard about me. I would've been a groupie of legendary proportions.

Yes Paul! I live!
I was a fan of Paul McCartney's long before I got into The Beatles and it was because of this song right here:



I am IN LOVE with that song. And of course my love for this one goes without saying:


Why am I just now noticing how weird it was that Michael Jackson was flirting with his sister LaToya in this video?  Was this around the same time that Luke and Princess Leia discovered they were siblings in Return of the Jedi? I don't remember. Let's just block that out, shall we?

Happy birthday Sir Paul!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekend Roundup

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!


Close to 7 million people watched the new Dallas reboot. Now were we watching because it was that good or because we were mesmerized by J.R.'s magnificent eyebrows. - The Hollywood Reporter
The eyebrows have their own Facebook page!!

ADAM!!! is going to be in a movie. Excuse me while I look up showtimes on Fandango..(and secretly pray there will be a need for him to take his shirt off at some point during the movie.) - Idolator

Hermoine vs Bella. You don't even have to read this to know who comes out on top. - BuzzFeed

Rappers and their kids. Can't be mad at that. - Complex

Ne-Yo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It's about time. - Black America Web

I don't really care too much about Pinterest. But a FLOTUS Pinterest might make me pay attention. - Style Blazer

This is all well and good. But WHO is going to play Finnick Odair? - Entertainment Weekly

People wonder why I don't have my name, birthday, high school, parent's name, etc on Facebook (My DAD couldn't even find me.) Things like this are why I keep my FB locked down the way I do. - Time

Apparently Oprah asked Kim and the Gang what they're actually famous for. I may just watch the interview to see what they say. Hilarity is sure to ensue. - ABC News

He cheated on his wife AT his wedding reception...and her father didn't kill him?!?! - HuffPo


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yeah Man! Usher Covers Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks"


I have a confession (see what I did there?): As much as this attraction has been my downfall in the past, I like boys with guitars. It's a fact.  And sometimes a guitar can do for a man the same thing a suit can do. You know how you may not really look twice at someone until you see them in a suit?  That's kind of how I felt when I saw Usher cover the hit "Pumped Up Kicks" with him on guitar during his Live Lounge special for the UK's Radio 1.

Don't get me wrong. Usher has always been a cutie. But now he's a cutie that can rock out (well, I think he's in the beginning stages of rocking out) on a guitar.  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey Usheeeeeeeeerr...

I think he did an alright job!  Check out this cover out and let us know what you think.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pharrell + Awkward Black Girl= YES!



Yesterday Pharrell dropped this hilarious video of his weekly State of the Union address through his new Youtube channel, I AM Other (such a fly concept) to announce the season premiere of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Thoughts:

1.How many of us will be rockin' back and forth twitchin' on Thursday waiting for it? *Raises hand awkwardly*
2. I have said this at least 10 times.  Issa Rae is adorably awkward.  However, I kind of needed her to use that awkwardness as an excuse to "accidentally" lick Pharrell's face and then go "I'm awkward." *Shrug*  You know, like that time I met El Debarge and tried to lay my head on his chest as we took a picture together? I MEAN, that time I thought about laying my head on his chest as we took a picture together? Never mind.
3. Anyone else have a feeling that something is going to go awry with White Jay? I have a feeling.  I don't think we've seen the end of their being a possibility of Fred and J getting together. And can CeCe get some love too this season? That's what I want to see! Can't wait until Thursday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Evening Eye Candy - Tia



I have a television in my office. It's one of the perks of working from home. 99% of the time I have entirely too much work to watch it. But I leave it on with the volume muted so that I can feel like I have SOME interaction with human beings. One of the down sides of working from home is that some days I don't see/talk to/interact with a soul for hours and in extreme cases at all. So the people in the talking box are often my company.

Moving on...I was trying to start this report and just happened to look up. Thank God I did. Two of my crushes sauntered across the screen and I couldn't find the remote fast enough to unmute the volume.

You all know how I feel about Robin Thicke AND Paula Patton. I have crushes on them both and I'm not ashamed to say it. That is one fine couple. It's actually not fair. No two people should be that good looking AND be together.

Anyway, I don't even know what kind of liquor Remy Martin is. But I'm pretty sure I will be drinking it going forward. Yes, I am a sucker for marketing. So what?

Stuff Black Girls Do: Hot Yoga -Tia

(RDJ could holler if he didn't have a wife. Since I couldn't find any pictures of Hot Yoga that I liked, I felt this one would be fitting because he's DOING yoga and he's hot.)

I'm fairly certain that at some point in their lives many of our readers have heard some variation of the following, "(Insert activity here)!!! Black people don't do that!!!" For me it was swimming. I've been tall my whole life. I wanted to be 6 ft, but have had to settle for just south of 5'10". My father and uncles played basketball and as I was tallest and one of the oldest girls in the family, and as there were no boys yet, I was expected to play basketball.

I didn't really care about the sport so I never really applied myself. But I ALWAYS loved to swim. I remember going to a swimming summer camp when I was five and getting bumped up to "big kids" group (8 and up) because I was such a strong swimmer. So when high school came along, I made a half-hearted attempt to play basketball before completely abandoning it to swim. My father was just happy I was staying out of trouble and doing something competitive. So he didn't give me too much grief about turning my back on being a star forward.

But from practically the first day, I remember some of my black associates (those broads WEREN'T friends) telling me that I should find another sport because black people didn't swim. As someone who'd spent their life being "not black enough" their tired reasoning for turning my back on something that I loved and was good at fell on deaf ears. I saw no logic in their statements. Just because YOU don't know how to swim doesn't mean I don't. And just because you have a relaxer and as such CAN'T swim doesn't mean I can't. Yeah...my braids are looking like the way now, aren't they suckas?!?!?!?!

So being a BGLU, I've found that there are always going to be things that we do that may not be considered the "norm" for black girls, be it because of lack of opportunity or general disinterest. But as a self appointed arbiter of the anti-establishment, I feel it is my responsibility to inform all of my fellow BGLUs and anyone else who will listen of the merits of things that "Black people don't do." First up: Hot Yoga.

I'm currently nursing tendonitis, bursitis and a micro fracture in my knee. I had a bad collision with a male competitor from another team during a kickball game. Yes, I play in an adult kickball league. Yes, it is all kinds of fun...until you get hurt. As I am nursing so many ailments, my ortho doctor has informed me that until I fully heal, I'm to do nothing weight bearing. No running, biking, Stairmaster, elliptical, rowing...NOTHING! I have basically been relegated to the activities of senior citizens. And I'm teetering on the verge of going crazy from inactivity.

During a follow up visit, he gave me the okay to do Yoga as long as I did it with modifications. As I am always in need of doing sports to the absolute extreme, I immediately knew that if I was going to do Yoga it was going to be Hot Yoga.

My first class was nothing short of an experience. I was still in my knee brace and informed the teacher that I would need modifications so as not to put any undue strain on my knee. I had no clue that the modifications were the LEAST of my worries.

As someone who has NEVER done Yoga before, I was certain that the positions the instructor was calling out were complete gibberish. No way these were words. My 10-month-old niece makes the exact same noises. But apparently, my virgin ear was simply unaccustomed to the sounds of...seriously...what language is that?

I did my best to keep up and watched the other attendees attentively. (At this particular studio the teachers don't actually do the poses so as not to wear themselves out because they have several classes to teach per day.) I like to be great at things the first time I do them. (It's an illness...I know.) I was NOT great at Yoga. In my mind, "Sir, how is there supposed to be no space between my arms and my ears?!?" Also in my mind, "You want me to put what WHERE?!?" For all of the times I've ever clowned someone about Yoga being nothing but breathing and stretching, I humbly extend my apologies. That mess IS. NOT. A. GAME.

I continued to try to follow the instructor's commands while watching the other people in the class for guidance. Watching proved to be difficult as I was sweating BUCKETS of perspiration. It's hard to see when your eyes are stinging from sweat, hair products and skin moisturizers. Sweet LORD!!! They are not kidding when they say hot. It was easily 100 degrees in that tiny little room. And so help me, the instructor kept adjusting the heat. During garudasana (see the picture to the right) two things became clear: 1. My body doesn't bend that way...yet. 2. Even if it did, how would I be expected to keep that pose as my body was basically an oil slick from the combination of sweat and lotion? And sir, if you touch that thermostat again, I'm going to Namaste you in the ankle.

Right about the time I was seeing spots and certain that I was going to pass out from the heat, dehydration, exposure and anything else you could think of, the instructor told us that we were wrapping up and to assume the...whatever the position is where you lie flat on your back. It has a name I'm sure, but at that moment all I could think was, "YESSSS!!! I WON'T be remembered as the black girl who passed out in Yoga."

Even though it was my first time doing it, I knew none of the positions, I was CERTAIN at some point I was going to eat floor because I lost consciousness, I genuinely loved the experience. I woke up the next day sore in places I hadn't been sore in for some time. And in my mind the more pain I'm in the following day, the better the previous day's workout was.

I must admit it was a little intimidating walking into a new situation with no frame of reference as to how it would go AND being the only person of color (I always want to be awesome and represent for coloured girls in situations like that.) But once the class was over I had a sense of liberation. I only know one other black girl who consistently does Yoga and I think it's a shame. More of us should branch out into things we're not typically known for. I enjoy running and basketball...now(something about getting older and not being obligated to play made me embrace the sport more.) But those are the activities that people expect black girls to do. Let's be different. Let's be "abnormal." Life is far too short to skip activities because you're the "wrong" shade. It's time to break out of the box and try something different. Even if you have to do it alone or do it afraid. Trust me, you'll never regret trying.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Call Me Maybe" Carly Jepsen w/ Jimmy Fallon and The Roots



Tia and I LOVE this song. She cusses me out about every other day for introducing this ditty about adolescent desperation into her life. It is so daggone catchy! What I like about it is that if you sing it in your car, you can't just sing it. You have to PERFORM it. And perform it I do, in my car, every single time it comes on. Even with the knowledge that everybody and their mom has a cameraphone right now.

Check out Carly Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots crew singing the song a lot of us hate to love, "Call Me Maybe".Oh and I was *DEAD* at 2:13.

Fun Music Friday: "Ladies First" Queen Latifah ft. Monie Love




A long time ago, in a land far far away, I thought I was a rapper.  Well, only during lunch period. My girl Gina and I would take turns rappin' this song in the cafeteria (we'd switch off who would do Latifah and Monie's parts) while somebody would keep the beat.  Good times!

Can we just bring attention to all the clothing that all of these ladies are wearing in this video? I won't start with the contentious reminiscing. Let's just enjoy the video shall we? Get into those dance moves!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

That! Just! Happened! or You Need To Get Into BRKN RBTZ - Tia




*beep beep*
I knew the sound. I was more than familiar with it. My cell phone was dying. While normally it would be merely an annoyance, this time was different. I was on the road for work. That meant my phone was also my email, my GPS, my lifeline. A dead phone could be problematic. But I didn't care. I was lost. Lost in an unabashed, unadulterated state of music induced bliss. I was listening to the new BRKN RBTZ album and at that moment nothing else mattered. I could have plugged my phone into the USB port in the armrest of the car. But that would mean I would have to unplug my iPod. Yeah...I don't need a phone.

BGLU have been fans of BRKN RBTZ for a while. And since we have pretty much every song of theirs that we could get our hands on, I wasn't expecting anything different from the tracks on the new album that I already had. But once again, my assumptions slapped me in the face and B.R. prove that they're musicians who deserve every bit of fame, recognition and popularity that is inevitably coming their way.

The album, The Set List/The B Sides, is just that. It's the songs you may have heard them play live (and my jealousy is unending if you've been fortunate enough to do so) and a few of the songs that for whatever reason didn't make the set list.  It's musicianship on display. It's songwriting perfected. It is the best kind of music. The kind that moves you and defies you not to sing/scream along.

It's not unheard of for artists to put out previously released songs on a new album. But lest the old fans feel a bit cheated, it takes savvy to tweak the favorites just enough to make the songs feel brand new while still remaining true to the original essence.

I have listened to "Tonight" some 200+ times (as evidenced by its number 2 placement in my top 25 playlist.)

Though I've heard the song so many times, I still went nuts when I heard the new album version. The Strings!! THE STRINGS!! The harp. The added vocals. It was the song I loved only better. I didn't think it was possible. And such is the case with a lot of the "familiar" tracks on the album. Subtle changes in vocals/instruments/timing make the songs that we've grown to love brand new. BRKN RBTZ proves that if it ain't broke don't fix it, but there's not a thing wrong with polishing it up. They added excellence to greatness. Not a bad deal from where I'm standing.

Try as I might, I have not been able to stop listening to this album. But one song stood out so much that after only 36 hours in my possession it's already in my top 25.


"No Hard Feelings" caught me so off guard that I literally YELLED "YEAH!!!!" at the speakers. Music that induces that kind of emotion needs to be heard. The song could have easily devolved into a whining lament of petulant children overlooked by A&R reps. (And could you have blamed them? They're freaking R&B legacies. They should be able to make whatever album they want.) Instead, "NHF"becomes a liberated power anthem by young men who used rejection to find their true place in the music game. 

And the bridge...MY GOD...the bridge. Their perfect harmonies singing: 
We vow to never give up or sell out for anybody
We're BRKN RBTZ/This is our chant 
Let me hear it/Now GO!!
over that steady rock riff. UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE!!! Not that I could ever fall out of love with them, but "No Hard Feelings" made me fall even more head over heels in love with these rocker boys. And I have no doubts that the labels who tried to pigeonhole or flat out ignored these guys will one day soon rue the day they overlooked BRKN RBTZ. 

With so much crap on the radio and the internet, it's easy to embrace anything different if for no other reason than it's not the same Justin Bieber/Pitbull/Rihanna song that's ALWAYS playing somewhere. So it's refreshing and encouraging when bands like BRKN RBTZ come along. They remind you that an artist doesn't have to sacrifice lyrical content, musical artistry or integrity to make music people want to hear. These guys prove that it is possible to step outside of what's expected of you as an artist and be GREAT. BRKN RBTZ have my heart. And I promise, after one listen to The Set List/The B Sides they'll have yours too.

P.S. Who doesn't love a Ricky Bobby quote at the end of a song?