East Of Eden
Merry Christmas Eve's Eve! If you're still doing last minute holiday shopping/ cooking/ cleaning/ running ragged, I understand! I spent the hours before my mom-in-law flew in from Trinidad on Friday literally scrubbing tiles, walls (look, I'm not sure how or why, but walls by doorways collect an ungodly amount of dirt over time), and sinks. I had on the thick yellow gloves and all, Friends.
Even more telling, I didn't even put up the Christmas tree until Wednesday, less than a week before Christmas, making this year the latest I've ever done so. I'm not quite sure what happened. Thanksgiving came around, and for some reason after making a pine cone turkey and hanging artificial autumn leaves on the piano and flatscreen, I just...
Jordon Knight gave it to us back in '99- the baggy cargos, the long sleeve turtle kneck sweater, the racially-mixed back up dancers.
Seriously, besides a love of belly shirts, glittery eye shadow, and overly large (but super comfy) pants, 90s singers loved them some amusement park backdrops (or at least the music video directors hired to make it appear that way).
Mariah Carey rollerbladed in daisy dukes, serenading us about her "Fantasy" of rollercoaster rides and on BET and urban radio, rapper O.D.B.
Mya snuck out of her overprotective father's house to canoodle with her bad boy... on a giant ferris wheel....
...was so angry in the 1988 video for his hit song, "Nite and Day". Like Dude snarled through the whole thing... and he probably growled, too, but the track drowned it out.
The video opens with the sun rising over the NYC skyline, and we see Al atop a roof watching... and looking unusually angry. Then a trio of video girls pass by and we see Al again, winking... with something like aggression. He tilts his head so hard when he does that wink, I feel my neck starting to spasm. It's reminiscent of that Michael Jackson "Thriller" zombie-neck move, actually.
His dance moves are jerks and whips of his limbs. His nostrils flare. He stares down the camera, all while mouthing lyrics like, "Believe me when I say that I do care, I can tell you"
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Dick Gregory. (Image Source: Yoko Ono's Twitter account)
Dick Gregory, comedian, entertainer, and civil rights activist, died last Saturday, August 19th, at the age of 84. There are many, many, many... MANY stories to be told about Gregory. His barrier breaking success as a Black comedian popular with White audiences over fifty years ago; his friendships with Civil Rights Leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; his vegetarian and nutritional lifestyle that helped him beat cancer. But today, I just wanted to highlight his contribution to John Lennon's "Imagine", one of the most famous songs in Pop Music History.
From The Beetles Bible:
Widely regarded as John Lennon's signature song, Imagine...
Well, at least some Indians are... a few weeks ago, I confessed up to thinking as a kid that Indians were Black. And a few of my Indian/Bangladeshi friends gave me e-props for it (what up?!). One of them, Wafi, passed on this HuffPo article by Rita Banerji from 2015 that goes into fascinating detail about how there is indeed a strong genetic link between Indians and Africa:
(Image Source: Vice)
Last week in the Anton La Vey post, I mentioned how Sammy Davis Jr. became a member of The Church of Satan for a while. This struck me as... well, pretty weird. I could see why the publicity-loving Jayne Mansfield would sign up to be Team Lucifer, but Sammy "Member of Sinatra's Rat Pack" Davis Jr.? He was so... laid-back and... cool. And Jewish. He most definitely had converted to Judaism. So what the what? Let's go to Helen O' Hara at The Telegraph for more:
Sammy Davis Jr, the singer, actor and Rat Pack member whose own philosophy of life drove him to try just about everything that presented itself - women, men, religion, drugs - became involved in 1968. He had noticed a gang of lively young...
Bespectacled Buddy. (Image Source)
Before his shocking death at only 22 in 1959, Buddy Holly managed to make major moves. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Holly began playing the guitar as a kid, and counted a number of Country Music singers as influences. As a teen he began listening to Rhythm & Blues over the radio late at night, and it wasn't long before he combined Country and R&B and began playing the hot new sound of the 1950s: Rock & Roll.
Amazingly, Holly's professional career really only took off when he signed with Decca Records in 1956, meaning he hit the top of the charts, toured the country (and even internationally), and packed theatres in 3 short years (along with his band The Crickets for part of that...
Basically my face everytime I actually try to sing the lyrics to this song over the past fifteen years. (Image via Vevo)
Welcome to the first in my new series, "Come Clean", where I'll admit something. Or some things. Today, I'll admit that despite bumping Glenn Lewis' "Don't You Forget It" on the regular during the Early Aughts epoch of Neo-Soul, I didn't actually have a clue what he was talking about. Sure, I heard the chorus admonishing "Don't forget your way home for that little girl", but I wasn't sure who that little girl is. The unknown protagonist, looking back at her younger self? Then who is he to her? And what the heck do these words have to do with the video, which was pretty much one long "Whoops, just missed you!" If...
(Image Source: Youtube Lyric Video)
Over the past week, death has been a frequent topic on this blog, so today, I'll just switch up the vibe with Tenth Avenue North's "I have this Hope". Have a great-rest-of-Sunday.
(Image Source: Dancehall Hiphop)
We're a few weeks into Lent 2017, and things have gotten real for me. Making a blogpost EVERY day after an extremely lax non-writing schedule over the past year has been a real challenge.
I miss sugar, too. I gave up sweets (well, most sweets, because I'm still eating fruit), and I miss peanut M&Ms a whole lot. And brownies from Starbucks or those triple chocolate cupcakes from Barnes & Noble that even K loves and he's not a big chocolate-fan.
Skee-lo, I wish I were taller, too. (Image Source: Genius)
While sipping my morning coffee, I caught this past Sunday's episode of "The Simpsons" entitled "22 for 30" (Incidentally, I'm a fan of ESPN's "30 for 30", which this spoofed. I'm a huge documentary nerd). In the opening minutes, we see a montage of Bart, stuck in detention, shooing crumpled wads of paper into a trash can, quickly gaining major shooting skills. Over the scene, Skee-lo's 1995 hit "I Wish" played. If you need a refresher, here you go:
(Image Source: Genius)
"If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson"
I lost three followers from this blog's Facebook page over the past week and a half- you know, since I started these daily Lenten posts. Ha....
Christopher Wallace, A.K.A., Biggie Smalls (Image Source)
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of rapper Biggie Smalls, the Notorious B.I.G. It's bizarre to me that it's been two decades already. Perhaps even more jarring is the fact I've outlived him by over a decade since he was only 24 when killed. His murder remains unsolved, and continues to generate controversy. From Complex:
The identity of the person who murdered Notorious B.I.G. is one of hip-hop’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Christopher Wallace was gunned down in a Los Angeles drive-by March 9, 1997 while sitting in a Chevy Suburban. He had performed earlier that night at the Soul Train Awards....
Photo taken by K.
Psalm 19 is an utter masterpiece. C.S. Lewis said "I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world." It was part of my devotional reading this morning, and in a month of arctic temps, icy sleet and far too many gray skies, it was like a lovely bit of Spring.
The first few verses popped out at me (despite the fact I've read this chapter I don't know how many times in the past):...
Last week, as Kanye West's post-Grammy rant went viral, my brother Joe sent me a simple text:...
It is in no way hyperbole to call me a superfan of "The Wire". I've watched all sixty episodes twice. I've sat and had long discussions with friends and associates alike on the way the show depicts governmental politics, inner city schools, drugs, unions/ blue collar jobs, Baltimore, and homosexuality. I got a copy of show creator David Simon's "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" and watched the entire 1990s NBC "Homicide" series it inspired. "The Wire" also got me on to "Treme", and has led me to becoming a fangirl of its actors. Michael K. Williams as Omar is a revelation; so is his turn as Chalky White in "Boardwalk Empire". I followed Wendell Pierce from Baltimore, down to NOLA and even on up to New York City for
We woke up to snow this morning here in Jersey, and we may get some more early next week. Or not, since some meteorologists said we would this past Wednesday and there wasn't even a dusting. So we'll see.
Snow is plain depressing to me. Actually, most of winter is. Not enough daylight or sunshine makes for one sad Alisha....
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