Category Archives: Uncategorized

Get Familiar! Jenny Saville

Just a little video interview of my favorite modern painter Jenny Saville.

Love Ty

 

 

 

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3 Word Review: Beyonce’

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Greetings beautiful people

I know I swore off reviews for all art forms, but that’s mostly because I was busy and didn’t have time to dedicate to an in depth critique of any artist material.  Yet I found myself having strong opinions about the music and art world as a whole, but just didn’t have the time to dedicate to any in depth written interrogation of these works, since I was busy being an artist myself.

So since so many of my Detroit visual arts peers are abstract artist, I’ve decided to abstract my review writing.  Let’s say, that I am simplifying it.  With that I give you Mr. Sawyer’s” Three Word Review” !  It’s straight to the point, sometimes confusing, but always truthful.

So with that said…Here is my Three Word Review” on Beyonce’s new self titled album “Beyonce’

1.You

2.Betta

3.Work

Until next time beautiful people

Yo brotha

Ty

 

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2013 MTV Video Music Awards quick review

MTV-Logo

Greetings beautiful people

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits.  I wanted to write some blogs about superficial things, that I dig or detest.  Yet in these artistically watered down terribly uninteresting times I live in, where does one draw inspiration?  Praise sweet baby Dejesus!  The answer arrived via divine intervention, or as a perk provided by my over price cable provider.

Thanks to the good people at Clear channel, I now have the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards as the muse for such unimportant commentary.

After years of cheesy colorful over the top and underwhelming productions, MTV finally delivered a great show.   I thought it was one of the best entertainment events in recent years.  The performers all delivered (good or bad)!  They committed to the moments and I loved it.

I found the show to be very heavy on the hip hop/R & B influenced side and that didn’t bother me,,,at least not as much that guy from “One Direction’s” skinny jeans did.  The 2013 MTV Music Awards actually read as a great concert interrupted by giving horribly untalented people awards (Selena Gomez and One Direction).

So here are my little tidbits on the performances and other showings that I can remember.  If I forget something, I’ll just consider it a happy side effect of the mescaline.

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Laday GaGa:

 I didn’t like this song before this performance, but now I’m all about it!  I just can’t resist a woman who wears a Kazimir Malevich “White Square” one minute and then a seashell bra with plankton panties the next.

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Miley Cirus, Robin Thicke,……(long pause) and 2 Chainz:

2 Chainz with choreography was a good idea, because I could always use a good distraction from that guy.

Robin Thicke…hmmm.  He looked like his dad, Alan Thicke, with the same suite Wiz Khalifa wore to the grammy’s.   and by the “same suite” I mean the same size too.  Dude!  You’re too grown to look like a Batman villain.

Miley Cirus.  I’ve heard all the hate about her performance, but I think it was great.

She can actually sing, and her commitment to being ratchet is admirable.  So what she has the body of a 15-year-old boy, whose testicles haven’t descended.  So what she thinks it’s cool to have thick sistas, and dancing teddy bears on stage.  I draw “Tittie Bears”, so who am I to judge?  Yet when she randomly twerked for all the world to see, I imagined all the little white teenage girls in suburban America twerking for the first time, and I said to myself, “God is good!”   I hear crickets from Bill O’Riley’s people.

Oh yeah, and sure like everyone, I saw her ass hanging out of the flesh colored bathing suite, and threw up a little on my mouth, but did I really need to keep that food down?  My trainer and hungry super models would say “no”.   No I didn’t.

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Justin Timberlake: 

My favorite performance of the night.  Simply epic!  Great body of work, great dancing.  The reunion of N’Sync (or Justin and those old guys).

I agree with Kevin Heart, they did looked weathered and that one guy did fart.  Not cool.

Drake performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York

Drake: 

Nice idea, but it was Snoozeville USA for me.  I think he needed to twerk.  Oh yeah, I also feel he has no jaw line.  I just can’t fully connect with someone’s performance when they don’t have a jaw line.

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Kanye West: 

Great Kara Walker-esque performance piece.

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: 

A most absurd name for a group, but loved the performance.  He always comes with energy and it was good to hear his words clearly for such an important song.  It was also the first time I’ve seen Jennifer Hudson show restraint.  I bet it’s because she didn’t want to blow the flesh off that other singers bones with her loud harsh notes….and she could do it!

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Bruno Mars: 

Consistently one of the best male singers in the industry.  His performance was extremely good.  I mean, if your not gonna jump around and dance, then damn it! Sing the hell out of the song! Have the band do 6 changes.  Make the background singers do vocal dynamics.  Have the lighting set up of the gods!  Good job Bruno.

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Katy Perry: 

Finally we get to her.  I’ve often though Katy Perry akin to the Ebola virus.  Highly contagious, dangerous, and liquefies organs.  I really like the song “Roar”, but I hate her visuals!

She is beyond corny and serves as an example of what happens when you give non-visual artists a budget and a microphone.  Yet for all her vaunted bullsh*t, Kerry Perry does it big.  It’s never small.  I’ll never say she did too little.  Like when I’m done watching Kerry Perry, I’m glad I don’t own a firearm to put 1 in my head.  I am overwhelmed with her foolishness, which is always better than being underwhelmed!

Ok  beautiful people, that’s my 75 cents.  Thanks and take care

Yo brotha

Ty

P.S.

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I forgot something!  While I usually love the public persona of the Smith family….but last night!? These kids where fucking annoying watch.  See the faces they’re making…that happened all night!

The Non Wedding Crasher

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Greetings beautiful people

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was getting married and I felt that our relationship warranted me a place in her wedding.  This story is longer, but for the purpose of this blog, I’ll get to the point.  Where was I?  Oh yeah!  So, I felt because of where I saw our relationship(my friend and myself), that I should have some place in her wedding. Being someone who typically speaks his mind, I expressed this to her, in a very calm and respectful way.  We discussed it, and she put situation in a perspective that made me snap out of it and see the light.  All was good. …nope!

She was pissed.  She didn’t speak to me for a few weeks, wrote a blog about our conversation, and discussed it with our close friends.

Hmmmm…. being of sound mind and body, I simply wanted to rectify the situation, which though a heartfelt discussion, happened.  But, that situation taught me a few things about expectations in no particular order.

1.  Never feel privy to be involved in any aspect of someone’s life.  I mean who the fuck was I to say that to her?  The only person’s whose life I should be involved in every aspect of, is my own.

2.  Honestly isn’t always the best policy.  Sometimes a smile and lie, can keep the peace.

3.  While I feel marriage is a great thing, I just don’t like weddings.  I actually see them just a taxing as funerals and constipation.  I don’t like the ceremony, the speeches, the church, and on average the attire of the wedding party.

4.  Getting married and having kid’s changes things.  Now mind you, I am not married and have yet to spawn a single child!  Yet everyone I know who has either partaken in one or both of the previously mentioned activities must change.

I see the change in most cases for the best.  If you haven’t changed and you have children, I’d probably give you the side if I saw you at the bar all the time.  Also if you’re a newlywed, why the fuck are you always hanging around me? Lol….kidding.  No, I know people should balance out their lives, but note that these things take precedence and it’s important for married couples, parents, and friends to acknowledge this.

Everyone I know who has gotten married, either becomes isolationists, typically hangs out with only other married couples, or maybe large groups (which usually is made up of other married couples).  There might be enough non married people present for the married couples to not feel too domesticated.  Oh yeah, and people with children only talk about their children, and constantly post pictures and word comments of/for their children.

I know there are exceptions to every rule, but I seldom meet them.  This blog isn’t to hate on the institution of marriage or having children.  I actually support these endeavors and wish the best for everyone.  Yet this blog is for the non married people who may feel some kind of way about that life.  If you weren’t invited to someone’s wedding….fuck it!  That’s money you’ve saved on a gift and hours that you can use doing something productive towards your own life.  If you’re not in someone’s wedding, fuck it!  That’s money you’ve saved on a dress or tux.

I now look at other folks marriages as their marriages, not mine!  I wish them all the best.  Good luck, be happy etc etc.  I will continue to live my non co-dependent, grown up life, with my significant other, just as happy!

Yo brotha

 

Ty

A Short List of Great Musicians who are Terrible Singers

Greetings beautiful people

As many of you know I am an admirer of a wide range of music, as well as art.  Music and art are those universal forces that cross the lines of all social doctrine.  I’m sure even members of the KKK sneak and listen to M.J. and Prince when they aren’t busy burning crosses and avoiding dental work.  I love music and art so much, because it’s where I find diversity in its purest form.  In order to remain creative, I seek that which I haven’t heard or seen.  Also this diversity is a great counter to the level of criticism I have for most art forms.  I love when something is so out of the box, I have trouble critiquing it.

With that said…there are some disturbingly creative and brilliant musicians who suck at singing.  By singing, I mean the little things like staying on key, doing clean runs, or mastering tone.  I mean some of my favorite artists really know to butcher my ear drums and I thought I’d give them props.  So here is a short list of great musicians who suck at singing, but we love them anyway.  I know there are others who should make this list, but in no particular order, here are some of top picks.

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ANDRE 3000

One of the most creative individuals in music and definitely in the top 10 MC’s of all time.  We all loved “Hey Ya”  BUT…come one now!  It’s his style, wit, and facility as a rapper we love, not his signing.  He reminded me of this when he assisted Beyonce’ with butchering Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Back”.  Even though it’s always funky, sometimes his voice reminds me of all the joys of food poisoning and prostate check ups.

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BOB DYLAN

Bob is a living legend and one of the most prolific singer songwriters in the history of modern music.  His songs have been covered by countless artists, and serve as some insight into a brilliant mind & soul.  To contrast the utter opulence of his mind, his voice is the voice of death.  By death, I mean I’d cast Bob Dylan to play Death in a musical called “Death”.  His elderly voice is a combination of gravel, broken glass, and duct tape on a cars exhaust pipe.  In his youth, his voice was high and made me think I was listening to down syndrome soprano.  Praise God for covers.

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Rihanna 

Who gives a  shit if she can’t sing….LOOK AT HER!  Fucking love this woman.  Every time I hear the nasally,  cut jugular,  blood dripping, timbre of her voice, I use my Generation X mutant ability to deny the harsh reality of the situation.  I think I’m listening to angels.  I think I’m listening to the sirens at sea, right before I crash into the rocks and drown.  But as my lungs fill with water and I meet my end, I smile because I know it’s Rihanna who did this to me.  She looks good enough to be a religion!

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Billy Corgon

The Smashing Pumpkins front man is one of my personal favorites.  He’s written songs that would be found on the soundtrack of my life, especially in my teen years.  “Bullets with Butterfly Wings” was an anthem of college years and kind of still is in a way, yet when it comes to his singing?  Oh man!  I wondered was he the voice of the Crypt Keeper.  I thought maybe he was the son of the wicked witch.  No, no, no!  Corgan is a rocker not a singer!  In this case I can appreciate the rock over the singing.

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Alicia Keys

If Alicia Keys could sing as well as she looked, then Whitney Houston’s voice would have faded into the past.  Keys writes some of the most melodic music, and honestly should teach songwriting classes to some of these up and coming wanna be singer/song writers.  Yet for all her talent and looks, her voice is abysmal.  “Girl on Fire” was apparently her attempt to show us what someone who had indeed been set on fire would sound like while trying to sing a song.  The screaming, sloppy runs, and husky tone are the perfect bad singing cocktail.

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TOM WAITS

Oh man, much like Bob Dylan, Tom is the man when it comes to lyrics!  His songs are well crafted and worthy to be part of the Great American Song Book, but his voice is a weapon of mass destruction.  Actually he sounds more like a dying transformer.  Think Optimus Prime after the battle with Megatron from the original “Transformers the Movie” trying to sing.  Yeah….that’s time.

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PHARRELL

He’s got the songs, the look, the style, and the smarts.  Does he have the voice?…No.

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T-PAIN

The king of Autotune!  How can you hate on someone who wrote a song titled, “I’m in Love with a Stripper?”  I mean, talk about true love!  They just don’t make songs like that anymore….wait, they totally do!  Despite his inability to sing with cybernetic augmentation, I find it very innovative that he took a tool used to correct minor pitch problems and used it to craft whole songs many collaborations.

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MICK JAGGER

The classic rock god himself.  With songs like Satisfaction, Sympathy for the Devil, and Paint it Black, Jagger is a proven musical powerhouse!  He’s like a million years old, but still tears the house down, but honestly…..the man has ALWAYS been a terrible singer!  He sings with confidence of the heavens, but with a voice that was crafted in the fires of hell.  I love the Rolling Stones, but only in small quantities.  Otherwise, I might walk into traffic, just to hear the sound of scretching tires as opposed to his voice.

Ty’s Four Steps to Being the Best Christian Ever!…and I mean EVER!!!

The Vatican Pieta by Michael Angelo 1498-1499

Greetings beautiful people

One of my favorite pass times is to study religious beliefs in addition to my own.  It’s not a secret that I am what humans call a “Christian”.  I believe in Christ, the holy trinity, he died for our sins etc.  Yet I realize how crazy my belief system sounds.  I mean, the thought that a woman gave birth to a child without sex is nuts!  A little boy threw a pebble at a giant and killed him.  A bush set on fire spoke.  The Red Sea split and blind Saul became all seeing Paul.

Yes I know.

Yet more than these things it bothers me more all the doctrine that comes with being a Christian.  There are too many denominations and the rules are almost impossible to follow and remain a free think hip member of contemporary society.

It is for this reason that I have looked at my belief system, and I’ve decided that it’s both too easy and too difficult to become and remain a good Christian.   I have looked  over our processes as a spiritual people and set forth a plan of correction.  The following suggestions are my recommendations for what it should/would take to become a Christian in…..Ty-land.

I believe that my suggestions are the most efficient  spiritually sound benchmarks to weed out the real Christians from the fake.  These 4 steps to being the best Christian ever are standardized test, baring your own cross, an exorcism, and finally a one time initiation fee

Standardized test:

Anyone seeking to be saved from the eternal fires of hell will have to take the (ACAT)” Authentic Christian Assessment Test”.  It is my belief that the world is filled with those who quote scripture in the name of judgment, but seldom follow the example they expect to see.  It has been my observation that some people simply need  say they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and personal savior, in order to be considered a born again Christian.  The ACAT makes it a bit more difficult to be seen as one of God’s chosen people.

Much like the SAT’s; the ACAT is standardized test all wannabe Christians must take and complete with a 80% or better.  The ACAT is a 170 question multiple choice and essay exam on bible knowledge, moral philosophy, and common sense.

On the ACAT, there will be 1 essay question, bible knowledge writing questions, 54 moral questions, and 67 critical reasoning questions that count towards your score. So, there is a total of 170 ACAT test questions.

Bare your own cross:

Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to carry his very own cross on which he was eventually crucified, so to shall you (in a manner of speaking). You won’t have to be crucified in order to become one of God’s chosen people, but you will have to carry a cross.

All applicants will carry a cross equal to their own body weight for a 3 mile stretch (Holy Trinity) annually.  The reason for this is so that you will (symbolically) walk the walk that Jesus did.

The cross is equal to your body weight  because, your burdens are yours to bare.  Now while Christianity teaches you to lay those burdens on the lord, this will be the one time yearly in which you will be responsible for carrying them all on your own.

This process will take place yearly, preferably on “Good Friday”.

It will begin at 7am (The God hour). It can be completed no later than 3pm (3 for the Holy Trinity).  If someone fails to carry their cross the entire 3 miles in the time allotted then they will have to apply for an application to become a Christian next year.

FAQ

What will the cross be made of?

The cross will be made of hollowed wood with adjustable cylindrical weights that can be added or removed.  This is to calibrate the weight of your cross to your body.

What if my weight is on the large size?  Do I still have to carry a cross that is my body weight and for 3 miles?

The answer is yes.  There are no exceptions.  No matter how large, thin, tall, short, age , etc.  Think of it as we need soldiers for God.  If the United States military looks for the best of the best physical specimens to defend our freedom, then imagine the standard of specimen God looks for to defend his grace.

Who watches you to make sure you carried the cross all the way?

God watches you!  Also a government appointment observer, who is paid to watch and report rather you accomplished your goal of not.

What will happen if I am disabled and unable to carry a cross that heavy 3 miles?

Never doubt the power of God.  As we said before there are no exceptions.  If you were meant to be a Christian and go to heaven, then the power of Christ would compel you to bear your own cross, which will be your weight, for 3 miles.  Have faith, for all things are possible though Christ

Exorcism:

Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek ἐξορκισμός, exorkismos – binding by oath) is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist, this may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power. The term became prominent in early Christianity from the early 2nd century onward as the casting out of demons.[1] Nevertheless, the practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.

Everyone has past demons they have to deal with.  Therefore everyone looking to be born through the body of Christ must have an exorcism performed on them.

Wikipedia describes a Christian exorcism as: rituals ostensibly performed in the name of Jesus Christ or through prayer.

In Christian practice the person performing the exorcism, known as an exorcist, is often a member of the church, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills. The exorcist may use prayers, and religious material, such as set formulas, gestures, symbols, icons, amulets, etc. The exorcist often invokes God, Jesus and/or several different angels and archangels to intervene with the exorcism.

In general, possessed persons are not regarded as evil in themselves, nor wholly responsible for their actions. Therefore, practitioners regard exorcism as more of a cure than a punishment. The mainstream rituals usually take this into account, making sure that there is no violence to the possessed, only that they be tied down if there is potential for violence.

Details about the exorcism are few and far between and this is because each ceremony varies from person to person.  Applicants are encouraged to be prepared to be isolated from the world for at least 2 weeks.  Sometimes people return with limbs missing, other times people return with lobotomy’s. More often than not, people would return clear and demon free.  Sure there might be some bruises, but would you want to walk with Jesus with a big fat demon on your back?  I think not.

One time initiation fee:

Plain and simple, it cost $7,000 to become a Christian!  You might think this is steep, but how much is your soul worth?  Seven grand verses eternal damnation….you make the choice.  Why seven grand you say?  Well, you have to pay for the government appointed observer to watch you bare your cross.  You have to pay for repentance (salvation isn’t cheap!)!  A portion of your fee goes towards the production of the “American Idol” style show to choose your spiritual leader. Etc.

Well beautiful people these are the basics to Christianity according to Ty.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns… Please feel free to comment here and I’ll answer or respond.

Until next time

Yo brotha

Ty

A Woman UnCaged

La Shaun phoenix Moore

What an interesting first quarter I’ve had!  Since I last spoke to you guys in October, so much has happened.  La Shaun phoenix Moore presents The Autumn Soundtrack was a huge success.  We packed out the 317 seater at the Charles H. Wright Museum.  The City of Detroit also filmed the series and ran it on their local station for an unprecedented four months!  Because of the exposure, I was able to secure performances through July 2013!  Another awesome development:  I started off the New Year with L’Renee as her background vocalist.  We opened for Motown recording artist KEM on the Fox Theater Stage!  Crazy, right?  It gets better!  L’Renee has invited me back to sing for her on the Fox Theater Stage AGAIN to open for…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…Gladys Knight and Ledisi!!!!

I shook off a lot of hurt from last year and did a lot…

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“Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.” – Stacey Dash

Greetings beautiful people

I saw Stacey Dash on Pierce Morgan last night defending her stance to support Mitt Romney in the upcoming election.   While stating her political opinion and giving an explanation for her choice, a great deal of her dialogue centered on the Twitter backlash that ensued after she made her stance public.  Minorities appeared to be in a rage and as Dash so eloquently stated, “I just don’t understand the rage!”

Really Stacey Dash?  You don’t understand the rage?  You don’t get it? You don’t get why the blacks and other minorities would be in a rage?  Well allow me to add clarity to your otherwise blurry existence. 

There is rage because despite the civil rights movement, blacks are still disenfranchised in this country.  A white male still has a 90% chance of making something of himself in life even if he commits a crime.  There is a rage because people are poor and the last person they can relate to is some rich dude who is clearly out of touch with at least…. let’s throw out a number…hmmmm I don’t know, 47% of Americans.  There is a rage because the current incarnation of the Republican Party wants to control women’s’ bodies.  There is a rage because the LGBT population is the new “black” circa 1955-68.  There is a rage because of the pun that you Stacey Dash are the “Clueless” actress…..you really are the fucking “Clueless” actress!

If you don’t’ know why your ex fan base is angry, then I would like to put a new law on the ballot. This law allows a lesbian, black, pregnant woman who is considering abortion because she is poor and her job doesn’t offer her health insurance to be allowed to beat some sense into you and the ignorance out of you!  Stop acting brand new!  Your entitled to your opinion, but don’t break rank and act like the people weren’t going to react.

Till next time. 

Yo brotha

 

Ty 

The Last Review” Metamorphosis by Vensus Sky

 

Artist: Venus Sky

Album: Metamorphosis

Style:  Urban Alternative, Neo-Soul, new wave, house

This artist could go on tour with:  The Internet, J-Davey, THEE Satisfaction, Neco Redd

 

Greetings beautiful people

This will be the last album review I write.  I want to take my blog more into the direction of social, personal, and visual artistic critiques.  I will occasionally post videos, or brief comments about music, but no more in-depth interrogation of people’s albums.   So it is my pleasure to present this write-up as my farewell album review blog.   I hope you enjoy it.

“Metamorphosis”; the debut EP from Detroit native Venus Sky is a space age, soul, psychedelic suite crafted for the urban avant-garde.   While listening to the project as a whole, I found myself nestling into some tracks more than others, but overall felt at peace and pleased that I could breathe the air on planet Venus.   The sound scape is rich with bassy hip hop drums.  There are futuristic chord progressions, space aged synthesizers, and clever breaks infusing traces of George Clinton-esque DNA into the mix.  The vocals are lovely, textured, and each song has a catchy melody, I find missing all to often in the work of contemporaries, who choose to take on the responsibility of being a soul singer.

Venus Sky laces every track with a deep sultry and rich alto moving like honey through the subconscious.  As opposed to a lot of other singers I hear these days, her voice blends in perfect with the sonic landscape crafted by producers “Black Bethoven” and “14 kt”(they are beast on the beats!).

The opening song “Sunrise” is the perfect thesis statement/groove, to set the tone for the entire EP.  “Space Shuttle” is an upbeat opus with great party chants in the background, “…get on board that space shuttle!”  It is the kind of song where one feels just as comfortable getting krump by oneself as they would grinding on a dance partner.

“Cosmic Stars” is a swagged out tune sung with the type of bravado usually saved for hip hop songs.  It’s sexy and feminine without being soft or vulnerable.   I feel it would be played in some other worldly club where only the elite cosmic cats could enter.

The EP moves from 90’s influenced house tunes on “Be Free” to neo soul on “How you love me”

The only song on the project I am not moved by is “The Bitch Anthem”.  It’s a song with a host of female MC’s all rocking the mic about their man troubles.  Epic fail.  I feel this is over the top and comes off more like a female complaint panel rather than a dope cipher of serious MC’s. Also with such beautiful vocals and well thought out mantras of love laced though out “Metamorphasis”, I feel this song is very discordant with the flow of the project.

Yet in stark contrast to the latter; the album’s highlight is the bonus track “Sweetie”!  Hands the best vocal production and shows Venus Sky’s range in the most eloquent of settings.  With the harp creating an ethereal atmosphere, Sky crescendos to and holds notes equally ethereal.  Then there are points where she modulates back down in a lower register that shows the mark of a seasoned singer.  I love these kinds of subtle displays of range as opposed to the “bull in a china shop” technique often displayed by many vocalist.

Overall, Venus Sky’s “Metamorphosis”  is yet another amazing project to come from Detroit’s creative class.  It’s well crafted, well thought out, sonically pleasing, and hip.  It’s the kind of music I paint to, and Mr.Sawyer definitely recommends this project.

Take a listen and purchase at venussky.bandcamp.com/album/metamorphosis

Till next time

Yo brotha

 

Ty

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“Black Is the Color of my True Loves Hair…but not her skin. Critics against Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone

Greetings beautiful people

If you are a pop culture junkie, like myself then you’ve heard the news that Zoe Saldana has been chosen to play the role of Nina Simone, in the upcoming biopic about the singers life.  The internets  (I meant to say that) are abuzz with critiques and even Nina Simone’s daughter “Simone Kelly”  all pleading for the movie makers to cast someone else in the role.  The general consensus seems to be that Saldana is too fair skinned, and currently culturally too pretty to play Simone.  I haven’t read anyone say that she doesn’t have the acting chops to pull this off, but rather every critique I’ve read falls down to aesthetics rather that what we judge actors on; that being their ability to act.

Now I find myself in the position of critic all too often with my very rigid ideas of beauty constructs as they align with modern societies.   I love my pop stars thin.  I like my stars waifish, airbrushed, and devoid of any emotion until the director says action.  I like women to wear high heels and men to wear nice fitting suits and to shave.  Blah, blah, blah….all that to say I agree with the commercial idea of beauty, even though I make exceptions every now and then.

With that said, we all know Nina Simone did not fit our society’s idea of beauty.   She wasn’t thin, she wasn’t light skinned, she wasn’t airbrushed, she didn’t have straight hair etc.  What she did have was talent!  She had a facility with singing, piano playing, writing, and interpreting a song that I feel only Lauryn Hill has come close to matching (pre unplugged, breakdowns, tax problems, and crazy illuminati letters).   It was with her facility that Simone was able to shine when she was called ugly, too militant, and not good enough.

So when I read all the negative press that Zoe Saldana is getting, it makes me think, “Oh, you guys want the film’s producers to find someone who, by society’s standards, is unattractive?”   How insulting is that to whoever plays the role?  You want someone darker?  Well Viola Davis already seems like a dark-skinned diva, so playing Nina Simone fierce diva ass doesn’t really test her acting chops.

I’m sure they’ll do their best to downplay Saldana’s beauty.  Yet in the end it’ll come down to rather she can convincingly play the part. The people want her to have a big nose?  They have prosthetics for that.   These people need her to have darker skin?  Light it right and get her a tan.

The thing that gets me is that the intelligent blacks on the front lines of this argument fail to see that they are falling into the historic debate amongst our people about complexion.  Flashback 2 weeks ago, while hanging with a couple of my white friends, we had a discussion similar this one.  One friend mentioned how he loved how African Americans where so unified as a people, because of our race and common struggle.  My only response was confusion and asked him what African-Americans had he been looking at?  I had to inform him about this internal war among-st my people in terms of skin complexion, class, education, sexual orientation etc (Crabs in the bucket Theory/Willie Lynch protocol).  He had no idea…..and he shouldn’t have.  If a family does have those kinds of skeletons in their closet, then it’s best to not make them public.  And by not making it public, I mean the way the African American community is all up in arms about a light skin woman playing Nina Simone.

It’s sh*t like this that reminds us how much these superficial things matter and continue to pull us down.  I’m annoyed by the gambit of head wrap wearing, incent burning,  Miseducation of the Negro reading, vegan in public, but pork chewing at home hypocrites who preach unity, but instantly does that which is contrary to that message.   Zoe can f*cking act!  She’s popular, and easy on the eyes.  The most important aesthetic issue when it comes to the role of Nina Simone was addressed…..they used someone of color.   Unlike Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, or Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, this makes sense, on both an ethnic and commercial level.

So to close in the most vapid way possible, I would like blacks to stop bitching about this and making us look like clowns who can’t get alone.  If blacks continue to complain, if Simone Kelly doesn’t stop, if Demeriese Valier continues to petition, then I would like the film makers to fire Zoe Saldana from the role of Nina Simone and replace her immediately with “Meryl Streep”!

Yes I know Meryl Streep is white, but every race agrees this woman can play anyone.  So if anyone can unify the black community; I’m convinced it’s Meryl Streep.

Yo brotha

Ty

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