Friday, 14 October 2011

GIVING US ALL 'SOMETHING WE CAN FEEL'





So much talk is going around about whether or not Beyonce has or hasn't once again copied works for her newest video COUNTDOWN.  






My thing is why are we upset either way. The fact is that artists take inspiration from one another. It has been that way for as far back as we can remember. And is there anything really wrong with that. Madonna copied from movies for her videos. Rappers use 'rifs' constantly in there music. Even the latest Jay-Z and Kanye song is a huge re-incarnation of music originally done by OTIS READING


There is nothing new under the sun and if an artiste pays homage 'with respect' where is the dishonour. Copying is one of the greatest forms of approval there is. It is testimony that someone thinks sooo much of what you do that they are willing to copy or re-express it in their own way. In many ways this is what life is about, and it is not copying as much as it is exposing a newer, younger group to the works of the past.


Perhaps, what needs to be done is to acknowledge the legends of the past more actively when their works are used, and in that way not only do we continue their greatness, but we excel in ensuring that our own does ot look as if it has been built on the unappreciated bones of others. So perhaps the question is not if she were inspired but rather whether she acknowledges the inspiration.


Even now as you read this WHITNEY HOUSTAN and JORDIN SPARKS have been touted to be in the remake of the classic movie SPARKLE. Yes, yet another movie based loosely on the life of Diana Ross and the Supremes and while not as well known as DREAMGIRLS it does feature the iconic song


"GIVING HIM SOMETHING HE CAN FEEL"


(jordan is expected to play the lead role of sparkle, while whitney is down to the the role of her mother)


See the original version after the jump or my own personal favourite as redone by En Vogue in their heyday.


Artistes inspire each other. It has always been the way. Get over it people.


en vogue


from the movie 'sparkle'

Thursday, 6 October 2011

RIHANNA @ O2 - so much to say.....




Photograph: Neil Lupin/Redferns


The first thing that struck me about Rihanna's show at the O2, was the 'demographic'.
The stands were almost entirely filled with 16 - 18 year old blonde, white girls. Even up here in the VIP BOX that was owned/catered to for STANDARD CHARTERED saw my industry film friend and I together with some 8-10 hugely anticipating teenagers most of whom were of the aforementioned demographic.





Rihanna slinks on stage having replaced her now almost signature red tresses for the bouncy curls of the younger Ri-Ri that bounded onto the scene and into our lives many years ago. Perhaps it was the channelling of this younger version of self that left us 
'excited but not moved' throughout almost 2/3 of the show. Maybe, it had to do with what was a obviously mucked up sound system that left us wanting more but not in a good way. It wasn't till her rendition of SO HARD followed by the remaking of 'prince' pieces like 'glamourous life' which found her not just Banging away on drums but almost banging some life back into the performances.  
Photograph: unknown






Either way the earlier part of the show saw quite a few people leaving early to avoid the rush and crush of exiting the 02 later or making rather frequent trips to the bar.  



BUT BOY DID THEY MISS OUT....


Up till then - I love you Ri-Ri - but I was steadfastly unswayed. Both emotionally and physically. Like so many fans loving the music, but not quite getting the energy that we could see flowing off  her and eight '8' energetic dancers. It flowed..., but just didn't reach over to us.

By the time she started crooning 'I don't want do this anymore' one of my own personal favourites I was actually glad that fans on the tarmac had taken to singing loudly along.  The sound system was lacking enough for me to sit and almost write this entire blog throughout her performance. 



But the seated in a flowing yellow dress at stage right 'hate how much I love u' was easily the best rendition delivered. Followed later by 'California King Bed' and the stands EXPLODED and by the time the show was winding down on and the song 'Take a Bow' started to play..... well let's just say fans sang the entire first verse instead of her while the cameras panned a close up on her face, blushing and mouthing the words WOW over and over. She explained that we were all part of history that night, she had just scored a number 1 hit in the UK and as the Golden thunderstorm of 'Umbrella' closed the show it was easy to feel like you truly were part of history.


Still I have to say for myself, Like so many of the fans that left a little bit early, I felt a tiny bit let down. The show was GREAT!! But it was not spectacular. Blame it on the sound system or on it being the first show of the gig. But on the way home talk was not about what a 'WOW' show people had been too, but centred firmly on let's not miss that tube to get home people. 








Photograph: unknown



check out RiHANNA in ARMANI ad after the jump below



Monday, 3 October 2011

THIS IS BLACK HISTORY

There is a movement that is becoming more apparent daily. Despite the attempts to label youth and black youth in particular as anything other than forward thinking; in music, in film, in art and in fashion more and more what has been defined as alternative, other or underground is bubbling to the surface with a force that cannot be denied as 


CREATIVE
DEFINITIVE
WHOLESOME

This video stands as a testament to this movement of positive thinking and creative youth. Speaking in a language of their own, in the lingo of their time; it stands as what has often been the trademark of  artists over time that have been revered and remembered. Often mis-understood in their own time by their peers but a force to be reckoned with none-the-less. 

This legion of lyrical 'super-heroes' deliver raw and unedited the thoughts of a generation
and the consciousness of their peers.

But don't take my word for it. visit the video after the jump..., see and judge for yourselves.


Uploaded by  on Oct 2, 2011
Produced by Last Resort Ft. Jody McIntyre, Logic, Big Ben, Jaja Soze, bigCAKES, Genesis Elijah, MC D, Cerose, Big Frizzle, Wordplay, Haze, USG, Rodney P, Akala.

Overstand Music & Culture
Riddim Killa
Illastate Records
P.D.C.
U.S.G.
CodeRed
London Ent.



Sunday, 2 October 2011

PHANTOM - 25 YEARS ON....

When I was invited to see the rather exclusive full dress rehearsal of the the Phantom of the Opera yesterday, I had in mind, "another musical". Now don't get me wrong I loooove musicals, more than most. But there are some productions that I somehow think, well you've run your time. 


WELL THE PHANTOM HAS SHUT ME UP!!!


The costuming is incredible in that I think the detail work on those dresses can be seen even up in the nose bleed seats.
The staging unparalleled in that you are 'effortlessly' carried from location to location with the actors as they wend their way through, tunnels, along rooftops and of course within the Phantom's theatre itself.
And the performances.....


BREATHTAKING, from the very first notes, the performers tug at your heartstrings literally reminding you why this is one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's  greatest accomplishments.


you leave the performance 'weak'


....and what about the chandelier.....


uh-uh  GO SEE FOR YOURSELF




PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - celebrating 25 years


NCM Fathom and Omniverse Vision are partnering to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's history-making The Phantom of the Opera with a fully staged musical celebration broadcast LIVE from London's Royal Albert Hall. Broadway's longest running show , seen by over 100 million people worldwide, comes to life on the big screen for a special event featuring over 200 cast members, orchestra musicians and luminaries involved with The Phantom of the Opera over the past 25 years. The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for viewers to experience one of the most beloved musicals of all time from their local movie theater.










Celebrating 25 years - PHANTOM of the OPERA

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

MICHAEL KIWANUKA in CONCERT






With just two E.P.s to his name, it’s pleasant to see that Kiwanuka 
has already captured enough hearts to sell out the charming BUSH HALL
 - CLASHMUSIC (Words by Sam Walker-Smart)



Michael Kiwanuka is a young acoustic troubadour from London.


"Lead-track ‘I’m Getting Ready’ possesses the rare sonic tranquillity of mournful acoustic guitar and strings that do sound genuinely like a Nike Drake moment.  Kiwanuka is a picture of restraint, as he prepares to surrender and accept the control of a higher power; Strings and voices in the background stir up portentous atmosphere, and a spine-tinglingly melodic bridge walks the song back into its gentle stride, then somehow reaches calm, acceptance and conclusion in an astoundingly beautiful, and emotional 2 minutes and 25 seconds. ‘I Need You By My Side’ utilises similar alluring ingredients, though makes more of the genuine soul cadences in Kiwanuka’s vocal style which have traces of Bill Withers about them."


quote taken from AMERICANAUK


Look for more from this amazing new talent.










VIDEO/ PHOTOGRAPHY © 2011 RasCONRAD PHOTOGRAPHY



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