Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Word On The Street - Alice, D'Angelo, Gary Harris & Every Girl A Different Night

Even though it's Hades hot, I'm hangin. Went to the SummerStage show this past Saturday to catch Goapele, Alice Smith & The Ubiquita Grrrl dj's. Ironically it seemed like most folks were there to see Alice even though she was the opener. Cute as always rocking a pair of cream and green hotpants (this must be the hip ish to wear if you are going to be performing in front of mad people (think J*Davey at Radio City, Beyonce @BET Awards & Amerie at damn near all of her live shows), Alice belted out her joints and showed-off what I hope is her brand new permanent band. As my girl Karen noted, they were straight holding her down! Still as good as I thought she was, it seemed as if her performance just evaporated into the sultry hot atmosphere. She didn't really take a hold of the crowd and rock us they way I'm just fiending for her too. Maybe it's nerves. It does take skill to create this type of electricity that just knocks out your audience. Just ask Prince, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Sade, Tamarkali, Beyonce, Maxwell... yeah Maxwell is my favorite for knowing how to do this. Because he gets very little radio play, it's great seeing how he knows how to maneuver the stage to usually give his audience theHotness resulting in his always sold out tours. Alice can definitely be that next star and so I hope she gets some help with her stage performance so she can move the crowd as well. Actually I hear Cope has taken her under his wing and is working with her so there is hope yet! Goapele was nice too, beautiful even but again she lacked that wow factor. Granted it was 95 degrees outside and folks were tired and lacked that over the top energy that performers crave, but I was expecting to feel the fire. I mean if I'm gonna sweat, let me at least feel the burn.

On Monday night I went to this old school jam at the Adidas store in Soho. Kool Herc and Jazzy Jay were spinning, Chuck D was hosting and white boys were doing windmills and backflips. I felt like I was in a cinematic mash-up of Wild Style and that new flick Step Up. As long as I've been in the game it still leaves me shook to see nothing but white and Asian boys breaking and pop locking and bigging-up the old school heads. I spoke to Chuck D for a minute and really enjoyed his vibe and he, like Herc, seemed used to the mostly white audience that had gathered in the tony boutique store. As I was leaving I bumped into Gary Harris which totally affirmed this night as a cold classic old school moment. If you don't know Gary's been around for awhile--Sugarhill Records and Def Jam's first days. I met him in '94 when he was working with Michael Archer (nee D'Angelo). So much has happened since then between those two collectively and as individuals. But I was actually very happy to hear that Gary is back managing D'Angelo. There is something about their connection that was electric. Back then it had a negative charge and I think both of them had to get their respective behinds together. Now D is out of rehab-- clear and ready to make music and so we shall see. Gary has also been through the storm and back again. Having witnessed, first hand, their partnership as they put his first album together, I'm so anxious to see what kinda magic these two will create. From the folks they met with (Irving Azoff & Jermaine Dupri) while in NYC, it's definitely going down BIG!

Word on the street is that MeShell's new band A Different Girl Every Night is one of her best collaborations ever. Supposedly her guitarist is the illest and her new material is fiya. For me the name of the band alone is a sure shot winner.

On the other hand, Danity Kane (pronounced like Vanity)-- Puff's new girl group (aka the Making of the Band Girls) has the worst name in music history. I mean I thought 3 Little Women was bad (and they hurried and changed that crap to 3LW), but this ish cannot even be pronounced correctly and it is totally forgettable. Hopefully the music will be better. Yeah I know, don't hold my breath!


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