To give a rundown of things rockin' my world right now that you should check out, we'll play Six Degrees of Separation.Soul Murder in the First Degree
Gladys Knight and the Pips just kill me with how great they are.
Exhibit B: Take a listen
. "Neither One Of Us" is pure mellow gold. Bittersweet, lush orchestrations. Gladys at her heartfelt vocal best.
Exhibit C: Two words--Peter Pan.
Don't you just love the James Jamerson bass line on that? For better audio
and a similar bass line, check out "Make Me the Woman That You Come Home To".
Second base, want you to feel me too boy
Alicia Keys did a cover of "If I Was Your Woman."
Her version is ersatz compared to the Empress of Soul, but another song of hers that I like, "Teenage Love Affair"
, has a sorta cute video that's an homage to School Daze
Biggie Biggie Biggie, Can't you see sometimes your rhymes just like degree three...
Note that Alicia's video ho of choice, Derek Luke, also starred as Puffy in the recent Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious
, which I saw recently. So horrible it was awesome. And who knew Lil' Kim was so maligned? I love it when you call me Big Poppa.
Notorious was exec produced by Sean "[now] Diddy" Combs. That is why it is so biased and sadly portrays Tupac as a paranoid turncoat. Although I hate to admit it, a little tune called "Get Right"
by Diddy's former flame J. Lo, is makin' me shake my booty.
Pleading the Fifth
Did you know that before J.Lo made it big she was a backup dancer for Janet Jackson
? Yet another songstress getting rotation during my jogs in the park. For the most part, JJ's songs were never super brilliant, just groovin'...but the dancing
! That was what sold it. Just takes me back to my adolescent days in summer camp working out our counselor-choreographed moves for parents night to "New Agenda"
and digging all those tracks off Janet
Apparently, Tyra also works it out to Janet.
The Sixth Man
Of course, everyone remembers Justin Timberlake's unceremonious boobage exposure of Miss Janet
, forecast by his lyric 'Gonna have you naked by the end of this song." Incidentally enough, that brings us to the final piece in my pop culture puzzle: Blur's bassist, Alex James, who according to Wiki, "quipped that it was he who had invented Justin Timberlake's catchphrase ...James has subsequently mentioned this, most likely erroneous claim, in a number of later articles in the Idler." The Idler is--surprise--all about idle living and anti-work. As the magazine's website states: "The intention of the magazine is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject." So easy to subscribe to such a philospohy when you have millions of pounds and live on a vast tract in Oxfordshire like Mr. James.
Now I know I've mentioned Alex's exploits before, but I was reminded of his entertainment value watching some vids. We'll save the discussion about the Blur reunion
for later. I can't seem to muster the courage for it now.
Anyway, he did a series for the Guardian chronicling his love affair with the stinkiest comestible. Check out The Cheese Diaries
. Sorry babe, but I'm allergic to dairy. It doesn't matter how hilarious you are, I will still barf if I eat it. For more on his obsession with consumables, check out his food column.
Now that he's into the hipness of sustainable farming and going green
, he's also joining the white man-finding-himself-in-brief-visits-to-the-third-world trend.Here's
his experience learning about farming techniques in Burkina Faso.
For a more hard hitting report, check out his investigation of the cocaine trade in Colombia
He's also tried his hand at conducting an orchestra.
Did I forget to point out he is the indie incarnation of Simon Cowell
It's strange to me how Alex James has sort of developed this character of a man who is clearly very erudite and aware of things around him, but simultaneously sort of happily bumbles through everything, strumming a tune, sloppily dressed with permanent bedhead, and somehow always ending up hunky dory. Clearly a function of rockstar privilege. Don't get me wrong, I will never stop loving the music he made with Blur. His behavior is guffaw-inducing too. And while I am quite upset about the bumbling, it is also downright funny how much the glibness and indulgence makes him look like an total asshole. That in itself is highly amusing. And who doesn't love to hate the wit and sangfroid of a careless renaissance man? A. J. Sexmeal, oh how I loathe and adore you all at once.
Really, this video
says it best.
Labels: Alex James, Alicia Keys, Biggie, Derek Luke, Gladys Knight, J.Lo, Janet Jackson, P. Diddy