[Lianne La Havas]

 

Maybe I should start by saying that despite having been somewhat disappointed in her two previous releases with her album “Forget” and EP “Lost & Found”, (both of which I thought were over priced and lacking in production quality and arrangement quality) Lianne La Havas is most certainly talented and is amazing when performing live and I thank La Blogotheque and Black Cab Sessions for showcasing this.

Watching her and her band perform live is truly mesmerizing, however, I don’t seem to get that same feeling when listening to the studio recorded versions of her songs. I much prefer the live acoustic performances hands down and certainly think that this is where she is at her best. The way she melodically translates each song live is something special. If she were to ever release a purely acoustic album with either some of her previously recorded tracks, or possibly a set of new songs, I would definitely be intrigued to give it a full listen and own a copy.

The following videos should give some deeper insight on what I mean when I say that she is amazing when performing live acoustic versions of her songs. She performed an acoustic version of “Forget” for a La Blogotheque Take Away Show, “Age” during a Black Cab Sessions show, and “Empty” with two band members whilst in her tour bus.

Lianne La Havas released her debut album titled, “Is Your Love Big Enough?” earlier this year in August, and I would say that even though it features songs that were previously released on “Forget” and “Lost & Found” the production quality is much better by far and the title track is one of my favorite songs on the album overall. I’m just hoping that an acoustic album will soon be in the works.

 

[Esperanza Spalding]

Maybe I should start by saying that two nights ago I was extremely privileged to have been able to attend an Esperanza Spalding concert at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts, kicking off her Radio Music Society Tour. It was an exhilarating performance and I loved every moment of it. There were moments during her performance where I realized I had slipped into a trance of emotion evoked by the music.

Nevertheless, Esperanza is universally a true goddess in her own right, based on her talent, beauty and character. Even though I was unable to find anyone to take with me (as hard as that might be to believe) I really enjoyed myself. I was able to take a couple snapshots as well as some video footage of some her song performances (thanks to my new 32gb memory card). And to top the night off I was able to briefly meet and talk to Esperanza after the show as well as get her to autograph my copy of her Radio Music Society Album. as cheesy at it may sound, that experience filled my spirit with enough joy to last a couple weeks and help me to finish off my last stressful semester of college.

The only other female artist that I truly adore to an extremely high extent would be Sade, so being able to add another female artist to my short list of musical icons feels really good. I now place this experience into my Top 3 of Best Concerts that I have ever been to along side a Childish Gambino Concert and a Lauryn Hill concert that I attended (which obviously brings to light that I was never able to attend a Michael Jackson Concert *sad face*).

I read tons of reviews saying that Esperanza’s live performances were an extraordinary experience and watched dozens of videos online, but being able to truly get a first hand taste of her art was breath taking. At the concerts closing I felt completely satisfied with what had transpired and left that concert hall a little better of a person. Whilst waiting behind the venue after the concert was over, I had the chance to chat with other fans of Esperanza and share stories, experiences and opinions. The entire thing was overall a very pleasant, soulful, and enlightening experiences from the show opening to me making my way back home carefully holding my autographed album copy.

[Childish Gambino x Donald Glover]

Maybe I should start by saying that I have a pretty eclectic taste of music, however, I almost never listen to rap and/or hip-hop (or much of mainstream pop and other music), but one artist/rapper who contradicts my oath of never listening to rap would be Childish Gambino (Donald Glover). I randomly came across one of this songs which was posted on another blog site that I follow. After listening to the song I thought to myself, “Hmm…Interesting…this guy seems different from most rappers, especially those of whom are mainstream…”

So I hopped over to YouTube and searched for more of his songs. I found myself going from one to the next being more and more impressed as I listened further. The next few hours of that night were spent scouring the internet to find and download any music of his that I could possibly find. Later that weekend I watched the entire first season of the show Community (which Donald co-stars in) and a Derrick Comedy film Mystery Team which he also co-stars in. It is safe to say that this combination of events gave birth to a new fan of Donald Glover and his alias Childish Gambino.

To prevent this post from becoming a rant on how he possibly changed my life or perspective on music, rap, and what it means to be yourself, I will keep things simple by saying that he is now one of my favorite artists. After having followed almost every aspect of his life, from his acting and writing career to his fashion sense and music, and after having met him in person at the end of one of his concerts, I can honestly say without shame that I would consider him someone who I look up to in life. His expressions and ideas on what it means to be a Black Nerd, him bridging the gaps and socially constructed confines of hipster, hood, and classy society, his addressing of issues on black and white cultural stereotypes and experiences, and a host of other things have helped me to strip away any fear I may have had on true and free expression of one’s self.

Some of his experiences touched on in his music seemed to paint a picture of my life and the ones that I couldn’t relate to still provided a sense of meaningfulness and understanding. I’ve changed the way that I look at my past, who I see myself as now, and want I want to achieve in the future, and I owe much of that to Donald Glover and his music and acting.

[Childish Gambino – CAMP – In-Studio]

I always love seeing behind the scenes footage of musicians, actors, and artists as it gives a more appreciated and deeper sense of meaning to their work (whilst giving you a one-up on fun facts). Ever since Michael Jackson’s The Making of Thriller, I have forever cherished behind the scenes footage.

Being the true fan that I am, I bought both a hard and digital copy of his album CAMP on the day of release and have been bumping to it for weeks. His word play, wide array of references, and articulate story telling had me shaking my head in awe at how good the album was. Listening to an artist sing or rap about things that you can directly relate to always brings about a greater connection to the music and that artist themselves, and I always get that feeling when rotating through a playlist of Gambino’s songs on my iPod.

[CAMP - Childish Gambino]

References to Black girls with natural hair on Tumblr, Hipsters in Brooklyn, and childhood summer camp crushes paint a vivid picture of his life and the lives of those who can relate to things as such through similar experiences. And when stopping to think about the whole idea of connecting with an audiences, it makes me wonder how artists who rap or sing about things that people cannot relate to gain so much stardom. Never the less, I look forward to seeing him grow as an artist and also seeing how I grow as an individual from what I have taken from him.

[BONFIRE]

Donald has over the past few years begun to build a buzz and huge fan base following whilst also getting critics rolling with less then stellar reviews on his work. He was featured in a Mostly Junkfood Article, took part in the Gap Want Ad Campaign, did a 4 part video interview with Hardknock TV and hosted the 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards.

[Best of Hard Knock TV: Childish Gambino]

If interested, you can check out more stuff related to Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) on his website IAMDONALD.com.

[Michael Jackson Beatboxing: Master at Work]

Maybe I should start by saying that Michael Jackson is not only the King of Pop and the Greatest Music Legend of All Time, but has always also been a great innovator in how he created his music through passion, feeling and inspiration from above. Check out the following clip containing a compilation of rare footage of Michael Jackson Beat Boxing on a few occasions…His talent was truly amazing…

[Michael Jackson Beatboxing]

“I think I fall in love with at least 3 strangers everyday…” – Kev

[Michael Jackson: Gone Too Soon]

Maybe I should start by saying that I wish I could see you Moonwalk one more time…Music will never be the same again…RIP Michael Jackson…The Great Music Legend of All Time…You will forever be missed, mourned and loved; and your the legacy that you have built will live on inside the hearts of each of us all……

A Legend, Icon, & Blessing…

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No One Moves Like Michael Jackson…

“The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation……If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with…” – Michael Jackson

“RIP Michael Jackson…” – Kev

[2 Year Old Pool Shark…]

Maybe I should start with a video of an amazing 2 year old pool player. As talented as he already is at the age of 2 imagine him playing pool in the future at around age 20 or so. He is going to be a monster…smh……Don’t things like this make you wish that your parents had forced you into some craft or sport right out of the womb…??? LoL…

2 Year Old Pool Shark

“I think I fall in love with at least 3 strangers everyday…” – Kev