The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

2012: What a Year!

Happy Holidays friends!

its been awhile I know, no need to dwell on that. I’ve been around…

I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about how great this year was for me. One thing I MAY love just as much as cooked food, is live music. And in 2012, I absolutely set a record in my life for live music.  Outdoor festivals, intimate dinner shows, club performances, and concert arenas!!! I did it all. Warning this post is kinda long–there is a lot to cover.

Since my birthday is in the fall, I spent the majority of 2012 commemorating the changing of the guard: I turned 30. and while it didn’t seem that major to me at the time, upon reflecting on this year I can say I’ve had wayyyyy more good times, great times even than bad and I’m gonna just go ahead and make the correlation there–the 30s have been good to me thus far. Now 31 years old, I’ve continued to learn more about myself, and I just really have to look back and reflect on all the awesome moments. Epic memories that will be treasured. I’m not totally where I want to be but I’m on my way! and I’ve had a great time on the journey thus far.  This blog is my way of capturing some of it, the musical moments at least.

I started off 2012, January 1st to be specific at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD to see Wale. Now there was a time that this dude was my FAVORITE new rapper–somewhere around 2009. In 2011 I saw him at Merriweather Post Pavilion as an act for Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS tour. I dug his show so I was curious to see him solo. I was surprised to see all the hipsters and teens in the crowd but I guess I shouldn’t have, huh? The Ambition album had been out awhile and he did a good mix of songs from that, his studio debut as well as his mixtapes (read: his better material). The events that took place at this show with my girl and I cannot be exposed (lol) but just know it was a wild, humorous day, that lended to a great concert going experience and we had a ball.

This blog would be incomplete if I did not include the numerous performances of DC’s own Black Alley. I moved to this area late 2010 and got put on to them in 2011. Going to see Black Alley perform is one of my regular highlights in 2012 whether it be Stadium on Wednesdays, Bar 7 on Thursdays, or Indulj on Fridays we were in the place jamming to this soul garage band. I really was pressed to buy their CD Soul Swagger Rock Sneakers. It was sold out at EVERY show I went to. I eventually copped it on iTunes and it did NOT disappoint. In addition to their weekly club gigs, I saw Black Alley perform at the NY Ave Beach Bar and on the Navy Pier for an All White Party in the summer among other local bands. great times. One of my absolute favorite songs that Black Alley covers is Katy Perry’s “ET.”  In my opinion its better than the original. I also like their cover of FUN’s “We Are Young”.

The spring was pretty ho hum but ooooh we turned it up in May at Drake’s Club Paradise tour at the Verizon Center. This show had a full cast of all the hot rappers and while we didn’t get there in time to see 2Chainz, we saw performances by Meek Mill, Waka Flocka Flame, J. Cole, and “Mr. Marvin’s Room” himself, Aubrey Graham aka Drake. He did not disappoint. He also brought out these artists during his set to do various collabos such as “Amen”  “Round of Applause” and “No Lie”. I was totally miffed that J. Cole and Drake did NOT perform “In the Morning” together, that made no sense to me. Cole had a pretty high energy set (I was surprised) and he did that song solo. errr. why?  I am not a  Waka fan so while he has party jams they didn’t really translate well live to me. So yea, that was my cue to sit down and rest my feet before the party really got live. All in all people seem to really love or hate Drake and I lean on the love side. He did a great job of making it feel like “a club” and I mean dude has party anthems–how can you NOT party? I danced and totally felt the vibe. great show.

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In August I attended the annual Summer Spirit Festival that takes place at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. I missed this show last year because they cancelled it for some reason so I was excited to go this year. A plus was that it fell on my boo TT’s birthday so this wrapped up her bday festivities. its a outdoor lawn concert in the heart of summer so… it was HOT!! scorching even. And I decided to wear a black tshirt–what was I thinking?? smh. I had fun though. Acts included Eric Roberson (I had seen better sets of his); Estelle– a REALLY good set! and she sounded SUPERB LIVE. I was impressed; Chuck Brown Tribute Band (they were soooo dope! and you know the dc area crowd favorites); Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings — LISTEN. my first time seeing them live and jeez! that Sharon Jones ROCKED. ROCKED I SAY! she was having a full on party on that stage by herself. The Dap Kings provided great musicianship that really epitomized what I love about live music. Common performed also and he was his usual fahn self.

The headliner was no other than my boo thang Erykah Badu. *sigh* she hurt my heart yall. She performed like what 5, 6 songs? changed the melody up on too many of them and just didn’t seem into it. and didn’t even perform her best hits. I went home and immediately played Mama’s Gun to keep her in good standing in my life cuz I wanted to quit her that day. I’ve seen her do much better before so I’ma just let this go…

Labor Day weekend we redeemed ourselves missing 2Chainz at Club Paradise when we caught his show at the 9:30 Club in DC. Now, I admit I was not the biggest Tity Boi fan until he put out “Spend It” and got on a few features this year but hey. This was definitely his year and his show was high energy from beginning to end. It was also my first time in the 9:30 Club. His album hadn’t even been out a solid week I don’t think and he performed ALL THE SONGS, and the crowd knew them all (including me, lol). He definitely turned up and I had a great time. I think this had a lot to do with the timing of me seeing this show. He’s not the kind of artist with timeless music that you’d want to hear live over and over but I enjoyed myself in that moment.

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Later in September I visited the Howard Theatre in DC to see Miguel. Howard Theatre was recently renovated and reopened earlier this year I believe, and they  have some great shows!!! If I was rich I’d just post up there daily. I mean, they ALWAYS have someone good coming there, and the prices are pretty reasonable–anywhere from $20-50 bucks. If you are in the area I definitely recommend you peruse their website and attend a show or two, or three. lol. I thought the theater was beautiful and while this show was standing room like many of the others, its visually gorgeous not a hole in the wall.

Now, I can admit that am an official Miguel stan. I wasn’t before this show–ok yes I was. His first album was R&B perfection to me.  I also saw him for the first time during the LASERS show and I knew he could rock. But THIS SHOW??  This show was about a week or so before his sophormore album came out and I am not lying I ran to the stores to buy it after seeing him live. He WOWED ME. I had previously heard most of the tracks due to the preview EPs he put out but yea, hearing them performed live sold it for me. His voice sounds just like the cd’s, his guitarist was dope sauce and just! AMAZING SHOW. lots of fun. Miguel is like a young Prince–he blends genres, he’s kinda androgynous, he’s sexy in a weird way… I dig him. A LOT. I’ve anticipated and enjoyed every single thing he’s put out and I can only hope for more greatness in him.

In October just a couple days after my bday, I met friends at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA to see the Robert Glasper Experiment. If you haven’t heard their latest album Black Radio please check it out! It was a tad disappointing they didn’t have any special guests to sing their songs (they are a eclectic jazz band that incorporates all genres; Glasper is a pianist) but it was quite an enjoyable show. The music is just so intoxicating. He recently released a Black Radio Remix EP but I haven’t yet checked it out.

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In November I got the opportunity to go see MR. STEVIE WONDER at the Norfolk Scope for an Obama campaign rally. Listen. I drove from Maryland that same afternoon and went back the next day, it was that serious to go see that living legend Stevie. We rocked out too! Even though Stevie likes to remix his songs (to my chagrin) changing the lyrics to make them relevant to the situation, I enjoyed myself. and it was free! gotta love free.

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3 days later I went with a girlfriend to The Hamilton to see Alice Smith. I wrote a blog about her not a couple years ago wondering where she had been so of COURSE I had to go see her. It was my first time seeing her live and SHE DID NOT DISAPPOINT. That woman can SANG! Now I am not gay but I was so close to the stage and she was so gorgeous and awesome and I’m not lying I kinda fell in love with her there. yea. She said she has a new album coming out in February and I sincerely hope so because I need more of her in my life. After that show I listened to her 2006 debut daily for about a week afterwards. Yes, she did that. I love when an artist moves you like that. She and Miguel are my top shows this year.

So after that great show we immediately found out Emily King was also coming to The Hamilton. What a coinkydink she was also in that same blog post!!! Her 2007 debut East Side Story was one I played TO DEATH. She also put out an EP last year, and a single here and there so I was curious to see her live. She played the guitar along with many of the songs, and it was just a very mellow show. She did a couple covers but mostly performed songs from the Seven EP. Good times! The Hamilton has become my fave venue in the DC area so far and I look forward to more shows in such a visually pleasing, intimate setting.  I also have enjoyed experiencing up and coming artists that open in these smaller venues. I haven’t spent much time discovering new artists but as a soul music lover its good to know so many people are still out here grinding and dedicated to sharing great music with the world!

So that’s my year. as it wraps up, I look forward to ending it in true music lover fashion: on December 31st I will be back at the Fillmore to see THE LEGENDARY ROOTS CREW. I saw them in December last year and they never disappoint so this is the perfect way for me, to end such an awesome year. I now know where all my money has been going. lol. And on shoes, can’t forget the shoes. 🙂

This post was long, but it was overdue! Happy holidays music lovers. Maybe this post will inspire you to check out more live music in your area, discover some new artists, or revisit some old favorites. Here’s to more great times in 2013. Maybe I’ll be inspired to blog about them, or not. But don’t give up on ya girl!!   🙂

Did you attend any awesome concerts this year? discover any new artists? let me know!! 

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Just say you’re scared, if you’re scared…

but if you through frontin’ we can do somethin’!


thats #mypart. reminds me of someone in particular too. hmm. lol

..And you know just what Im talking about, tomorrow you’ll be calling out

Cause tonight we getting right into the wee morn’…

yep.

New J. cole and Drake vid. “In the Morning” I’m a huge J cole fan so I’ve been on this song since before the version with Drake, but I must say, I do like his addition to the track. EXCEPT for the “equestrian” line. but dope song nonetheless.

and just because, my other absolute fave from Friday Night Lights. I listen to this song every single day. I call it “get my mind right/feeling myself” music. A recent additon to my theme song playlist. so of course by now its the most played J. Cole song on my iPod. It samples my favorite song from Janelle Monae’s latest, which I blogged about here. So of course I loved it on immediate listen.

*clap for her*

I mean, Cole’s entire first verse!!!!!! its something for the b!tches, sure but I’m digging it. However, for real my old boo Wale’s verse is what set me right:

…you know I spit that sick shit and there’s still no cure
hold up, low packs like I got cancer
choking on them white boys make a black panther
love my women with high heels and high standards
and only cheat on my broad if I run out of answers
I got that vicious flow, Moncler winter coat
I aint superstitious I make all these broads flip my pole
you dig it, this shit aint for beginners
I’m something like a fetus, im not quite kidd’n
and theres something you aint seeing like I block your vision
like my Remy with no juice, you a lot like Bishop
hundred k in 22 hours
see money talks, you muthaf-ckers is Boomhower
no check back, in debt yep
loud in my J, I smoking Gallaudet
higher than I need to be
flyer cause I need to be
love our conversation but it’s late right now, I need a beat
one time for the Ville that Cole rep
another time for the city of slow death
I dont understand why these n-ggas so vexed
I dont need no chains with no cross to know that I’m blessed

“…high heels and high standards” <—-has been my bbm status, ohhh 100 times. lol

I just played the song about 3 times just to write the post. just a lil random Tuesday inspiration.

ladies, you STILL got it. 😉

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What’s in my earbuds: summer edition

2010 has been a great year musically. waaaay better than 2009. like by LEAPS AND BOUNDS, in my opinion.

This summer has been a scorcher–literally and musically. And the fall hopes to bring even more awesomeness our way as the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED next album by The Foreign Exchange Authenticity is coming out right after my birthday. I think I may actually go cop a hard copy of this one. If not, definitely an iTunes purchase like I did for LIAB.

as the summer ends– though not quite yet really for us in the Sunshine State 🙂 allow me to share with you some of the music that has been my summer’s soundtrack:

Thank Me Later. I know, I know. But I really did bump this. It still would be in my car but I gave my CD to someone just for him to tell me he hated it–LMAO. Twitter made a mockery with #OhYouFancyHuh but anybody that knows me knows that “even when I used to rock Polo, I was fancy” so…yeah, nothing new to a G! lol. People pretty much either loved or hated TML. In addition to “Fancy” which is pretty much played out from oversaturation aka folks running stuff in the ground–I enjoy “Unforgettable”  “Up All Night”—and while I am not a Nicki Minaj fan, when she said “I look like yes and you look like no” I laughed.  Been saying it ever since. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THAT? That verse was missing her usual antics–what I’ve seen many refer to as the ODB flow homage–I’m not calling it that though, because I like ODB, lol.  “Light Up” was a dope track as well and the surprise banger favorite for me is “Miss Me.” I’m not the biggest Weezy fan either–I either prefer Hot Boyz simple rapping of the early 2000s or mixtape Weezy but he spit on this one.

Teflon Don. I mean who wasn’t bumping this when it first dropped? I just removed it from the car CD player maybe last week. Seriously. The only other Rick Ross joint I have ever acquired was Deeper than Rap, and I thought it was pretty decent too. I still wouldnt’ consider myself a serious fan, more like a casual listener. I didn’t care who he was outside of radio/club singles until I moved to FL.  I moved at the height of “I’m So hood” and all things Khaled and T-Pain so of course I became more involved with Rozay–not necessarily by choice either, lol. Teflon Don sounds like a movie to me! I visualize music, and this album definitely makes it easy. Crisp instrumentation, soulful melodies. Just dope–I can’t front on it. I think “Tears of Joy” with Cee-Lo may be my favorite. As well as “Maybach Music III. ” Of course Hov goes off on “Free Mason” and Ye gets it in “Live Fast, Die Young.” Super High was a fave from the earlier mixtape that talks about all that flashy ish that and of course I love Ne-Yo’s voice, even though Ross definitely overdid it with the bitches. No comment on BMF and MC Hammer aka the same song with different lyrics. I’on wanna be none of them n*ggas. Yeah I said it. Consider me contrary. lol

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More About Nothing. People that talked music with me before I started the blog know how much of a Wale fan I am. Was? Am. Yeah. I’m still a fan. I loved all his mixtape music and this one is no exception. Part 2 to the acclaimed Mixtape about Nothing, this one is even better, I believe. As soon as the beat drops on “The Problem”–sampling the OG pretty boy El Debarge, I knew I was in for a treat. All the ladies that love a good sexy joint have been keeping “The Trip (Downtown)” on repeat. Others I love are  “The Soup” “The Breeze” “The MC” and “The War.”

Summertime: The Mixtape. I was late to this one, like summer is pretty much over! but better late than never. I had heard buzz here and there but just got lazy with downloading–you ever been overwhelmed with new music? not knowing what to cop? thats me. Plus my laptop’s hard drive is diminishing by the seconds and I have to always remember to hook up the external HD just to get my music fix. Anywho, I have quite a few Jazzy Jeff joints in my collection and I knew I wouldnt’ be disappointed by this collab with Mick Boogie (have a few joints by him as well). Also, if you ever have the chance to go to a DJ Jazzy Jeff party–please go! OMG I went during CIAA in 09 and we danced nonstop. With bangers by Kool and the Gang, The Commodores, Michael Jackson, Nas, LL Cool J, ATCQ, Jodeci, Dilla…I mean the list goes on and on, and its a niiiice blend. check it out here.

Sunstorm.After vibin to the classics featured on the Summertime Mixtape, I had to round it out and end this with some soulful R&B. Hip hop typically dominates my summers for some reason–something about having your windows down blasting it, but I did enjoy this Zo! project as well. Its like when I’m tired of the hard hitting, I need this to calm me down, mellow things out. The Foreign Exchange affiliate teams up with the usual Phonte, Yazarah, Darien Brockington, Carlitta Durand and other features as well such as Jesse Boykins III, Eric Roberson, and more. It really is just beautiful music and it makes me happy. Which is what music is supposed to do! “This Could Be The Night” is two step official, and “Make Luv 2 Me” is #freakyfriday official. Sooo sensual. Its hard to choose favorites because this knocks from beginning to end. If by some crazy chance you’ve never heard of Zo! check out more about him here.

There are a lot more selections I have peeped this season–such as the new Roots, and I’ve been rocking out to MJ too since the good folks at Soulbounce dropped a few nice compilation mixes as they declared this The Summer of Michael Jackson. So I’ve been indulging in a few aural delights, however the music featured above is what has/had been in the heaviest rotation.

So tell me, what were your favorite summer jams? Are you looking forward to more good music coming out in the fall? In addition to The Foreign Exchange project, I’m looking forward to Ne-Yo and Jazmine Sullivan’s projects. Let me know in the comments.

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More Disappointments…

two of my favorite artists: Amerie and Wale.

Granted, I’ve only heard the Wale once thru, but its definitely not as good as his previous mixtapes, or even the very last Back to the Feature, and that one didn’t even get a lot of love. I can’t imagine anyone that hated that, that loves Attention Deficit. if they do…then well I’ll just chalk it up to questionable ears? I dunno, we all like what we like.

now that Love &  War? eh. I have no more words, despite I had high hopes. I have all her other CDs but I won’t be purchasing this. sorry Am.

I spoke on my last disappointment post on BP3 and Ready. I can say now that BP3 grew on me but I still don’t really like Ready. I prefer I Gotta Make it, Trey Day and Anticipation.

now BP3?! my faves are:

Already Home (which I did NOT like immediately), A Star is Born (love J. Cole), Thank You, Empire State of Mind, So Ambitious, Real As it Gets, and On to the Next One. Still hate Hater and iffy about What We Talkin About. **edited for correction, this song isn’t terrible, just not my favorite kinda Hov**

maybe I’ll be able to say the same about the Wale and Amerie projects in a few weeks.

if someone can suggest their faves on both of these thus far, please let me know and maybe I’ll have to do an “intense listen” to feel them.

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in my earbuds pt. 3…favorite songs this week

so, I was reminded yesterday that one of my favorite songs right now is of course by one of the men I love….

“they say it aint trickin if you got it, they lyin. I say it aint trickin if you got HER, she mine…”

Loso! one of my facebook friends mentioned that the Throw it in the bag remix shouldve been on the CD. I agree. I actually planned to revisit the CD this week because I haven’t listened to it since I bought it…and that’s not a good sign, I’ve already forgotten whats on it. hmmmm.

so what else have I been listening to?

I’m Good -Clipse ft. Pharrell: I mean…its Clipse and Pharrell!!!  you know I rep two up two down even though they from tidewater

Mario- Break Up: this one isn’t new anymore, but its sooooo infectious. and I love Mario too.

Rather Be With You -Wale ft. J. Cole & Currensy: one of my faves from the Back to the Feature mixtape. when I first heard it I played it over and over…the production is sick. J Cole rips it in the beginning. gosh I love this nasty song! LOL. They do nasty so much better than say a Plies with his wack crass ass bust it baby/becky shit….

Where I’m From- Jay-Z: one of my favorite songs by him, and because I watch MTB, I’m always hearing the beat because Diddy decided he wanted to use it! ugh! that frustrates me more than anything…. “where we argue all day about whose the best emcees Biggie, Jay Z and Nas..”

Muah -Electrik Red: not sure how I feel about them, I mean I’ve had their joint for awhile and its aight. however I love this one song right here! I don’t care what people say about girls erroneously assigning “theme” songs… “I’m the shit, with this shit…mmm muah!”

Yo Side of the Bed -Trey Songz: so Ready is finally about to be released, and I uhm have already acquired it. I’m gonna buy it, but I’m not quite done sampling it yet. This song I’ve liked since I heard it on the mixtape…so far listening to Ready I’ll just say, I don’t like it better than Trey Day…or even Anticipation

Can’t tell me nothing- Kanye: this was a hot ass song. I remember the first time I heard it like….ooohhh! me likes. “man its so hard not to act reckless….”

For Real -Amel Larrieux: I heard this song yesterday and thought “awww!” I used to LOVE THIS. still do. great love song. and Bravebird was a great cd! check the video below:

a random mix yes…but it works for me! if you haven’t heard these ever, or its just been awhile click the links are ride out!!!

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That New New…

“they call me New New, because I rock the new, NEW shit….”

I haven’t been in a mood to write really, but I have been in a mood for music! its an iffy mood though. I’m a hip hop head, lots of hip hop out, but I want to be in a more soul mood. just hard for me to get into something really really good right now.

one NEW cd I am digging is Laura Izibor’s Let the Truth Be Told. I looooove her voice. I actually heard her first on the Steve Harvey Morning Show.  See, black radio ain’t so bad (*insert side eye*) They often play her song “From My Heart To Yours” and it took me a while to realize the artist. so I found a lil buzz on her and I actually paid for her bonus track CD from iTunes. now, Reece is kinda like a pirate (shhh! don’t tell nobody…else) so me buying this is kinda like a big deal. I may go in the store and buy a copy too. That’s how much I like it, and her. Her voice and sound reminds me of Emily King–but they don’t sing the same, if that makes sense. little inflections vary, I’m not a vocal coach or a singer so I don’t know what its called exactly, pitch maybe? tone? either way its not the same, but the SOUND is similar. yeah, the sound. If you like EK, you might dig LI.

Speaking of dope females, there’s this chick Melania Fiona, that has a hot single out I like. (you might want to click that link to see the video–I’m just saying).  She’s supposed to be making a mixtape with ?uestlove–and I looooooooooves dude so I’m checking for that and its not even out yet. I’m on the lookout for it though.

I just recently  heard of Chester Gregory from two favorite blogs I read regularly: Stuff Fly People Like and Soulbounce, so I’m checking out his new mixtape  called Breakbeat Karoake.  Heard a couple of the tracks so far and its nice.  he’s covering classic beats, so definitely check it out. He already has a name for himself on Broadway, and a lot of big names are holding him down. If I really really dig this mixtape I may purchase his current CD out too, on iTunes called  In Search of High Love.

I also have this Raheem Devaughn mixtape in rotation, came out last week or so? The Art Of Noise.  yeah, well ya’ll know Raheem is my man….so I was all over it. I’m looking forward to his double disc coming out later this year.

Of course I’m waiting for the new Maxwell. I will be getting me a HARD COPY cd of BLACKsummer’snight. yes indeedy, I will. gonna put the cover and whatnot in that big old cd book I have that ‘s collecting dust in my spare bedroom.

I have not heard all of the new Wale Mixtape yet, but I looove Wale, and love 9th Wonder, so I’m on it. I’m previewing it as I type this…..so far heard the joints with Curren$y, K’Naan, and Bleek….shout to my homie Streetz for hooking me up with the link!

Also, some gems for my fam. I’m checking for group called Allmanact. My homeboy from waaaay back in the day is an emcee in this group and bought the CD to support my fam. I’m waiting on it snail mail–I know I couldve got a digital download, but eh, I wanted a real copy. check my folk out, because well, they are nice, and I asked nicely too.  check the link and see for yourself!

that’s the new new, that I’m checking for right now! anybody else you think I should be on, please let me know. If you know  me you know what I’m into and what I’m not–so dont’ send me no Soulja Boy, Gucci, or OJ. I’m just saying! kthanx. I’d love some more soul music, and less hip hop, but if its rap and not those three people just mentioned I MIGHT give it a whirl…..

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