Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Good Concert Week

Don't Forget: Musicians are Sexy Beasts, Too!

In honor of a lovely week of concerts, I can't help but nominate three sexy beasts of the music industry for today's batch of sexy animals.

Mary J
I will proudly confess that at the tender age of 10, I was the owner of a cassette tape of 'What's the 411?' It was the first time I heard the genius that was The Notorious BIG aka Biggie Smalls aka Christopher Wallace. Mary asked me to "Reminisce" on the love we had, and I thought back to my cabbage patch dolls, Corey Haim, and that kid I hugged in kindergarten. 'Real Love,' 'Sweet Thing,' 'You Remind Me.' That album alone reads like R&Bs Greatest Hits of the '90s. Her followup album, 'My Life' was the first CD I bought. She is undoubtedly the Queen of R&B. It was a pleasure to see her live last night in Oakland as part of her Heart of the City tour with Jay-Z. She did all her hits, along with some new ones. Though the picture is from afar, I would have rocked out just as hard if I was in the first row. That's what a professional musician does best. Gets you off your ass and clap your hands with a bunch of people you don't know. That's the power of music. Proud Mary keep on burning.

Jay-z, Hova, Jigga Man, 8th Wonder, Brooklyn's Finest

I am a New Yorker. My borough is the Bronx. It's definitely with a twinge of irony that I end up seeing two of New York's finest during my self-imposed exile in California. Jay-Z, Brooklyn's Finest. What can I say about Jay-Z? He was as common to my upbringing as taking trains, taking an elevator to my apartment door, and eating at pizzerias. My older brother is a music connoisseur so I grew up staring at posters of not only Kiss, Guns-N-Roses, and Poison, but Big Daddy Kane and Eric B and Rakim. By the time Jay-Z came around, I was well aware of his predecessors as well as his contemporaries. Fast forward almost 12 years and Jay remains to hold it down without having gotten killed or changing his image. AND he married one of the most successful woman in pop music. I don't know my highlight from the show. He has so many hits which he performed: Big Pimpin, Encore, Dirt Off Your Shoulders, 99 Problems, Hard Knock Life, Show Me What Ya Got, Can I Get A..., Excuse Me Miss, Change Clothes. Jeez, I could go on, but I have another Sexy Animal to discuss.

Richard Ashcroft

So many haters of this next artist. They can go piss off. (You know who you are!) Richard Ashcroft is the quintessential British artist. He remains the successful frontman of the wildly popular, The Verve, and has a well-established solo career. During the mid-90s I was lucky to take part of the Brit Pop revolution that occurred in England, if albeit from across the pond. I steadily read Q, NME, and MOJO. I was young and preferred Oasis to Blur. I wanted to see Pulp and the Doves and most of all, The Verve. My shithead high school boyfriend ruined that for me. By the time the Verve came round to Hammerstein ballroom, we'd broken up and he asserted he would be taking his new girlfriend to the concert. Sick after having been broken up with for the first time in my life on my 16th birthday and reeling from being played at such a tender age, I resolved not to attend the show. Oh how life repairs all ills when one is owed. Ten years later (yeah I realize I'm getting fucking old), I am going to see The Verve tomorrow with my bestest pal and roomie, V. Not gonna lie, I'll probably cry at least once during the show. The Verve, for me, isn't that one song everyone knows from the Cruel Intentions Soundtrack. It's about British music, the 90s, one of the best British albums of the '90s.
So tomorrow I will be, hearing some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah. Let the melody shine. Let it cleanse my mind. I feel free now.

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