Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Music: Spot the difference

Two of my favourite artists will be the subject matter today. Both spiritual beings, who don't follow the norm, believe in individuality, are well versed and poignant, sometimes go against the grain to challenge mediocrity and well, are just such amazing musicians. 

I love their music and will forever be a fan, but what I’d like to talk about are their coincidentally (dare say otherwise) similar latest album covers.

Both with such deep stories illustrated on them, and in a way, a preview to the mindset and probably what to expect. Clearly got a lot on their mind. Check this:

 

Erykah Badu - The New Amerykah  

This album is part one of four of this series, and her fifth album to

 date. This album was almost titled 'Kahba' which is the middle part of her name and surname put together. We love her for her realness, her personal and political lyrical content, how she makes her sounds carry you to far off places in wonder, crash you against sharp cliffs and dive down to deepest darkness places in your soul, blending hip hop and a few soul genres in her quest to express. 

 

and then we have, South Africa's very own queen of roots.  

Thandiswa Mazwai - Ibokwe

Her second solo album; nine track offering composed and produced almost entirely by Miss Mazwai herself. Thandiswa, to me, is the sound of South Africa and speaks to me even more as a young black Xhosa woman. Ibokwe is a spiritual journey, her voice taking you with her, channeling ancient wisdom and opening her soul up to the world. Even without understanding isiXhosa you can feel in every cell in your body the reverberating passion and love and individuality. 

 

Both albums call you to invest time and explore the journey they take you, in no rush. Feel, they say, live they say, and let us show you the world!

One cover may have been inspired by the other or whatever, either way, on the illustrated cover front, this is my fav! Dudley& Georgia


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life: The Day I met Eve - Good long read

Got this idea from fellow blogger Miss N-tertainment, who was tagged by someone else to do this. (I'm guessing recalling a memorable celeb meeting)

New York  - October 2008 my girl Hypress and I were out and about on our last Friday night in the the most amazing city in the world. After checking out a cool party held at the Museum of Natural History - apparently where Night at the museum movie was shot - we decided we needed hip hop in our lives. The trance electro vibe with expensive drinks behind a long queue at the bar just would not cut it for us. Our prayers were answered and a tip came our way to experience legend that is Qtip on the decks was our saving grace.

The club was Santos Party House in downtown Manhattan. A place we had heard nothing about before that very night, but I'm so very glad we went anyway. So took the subway, got off somewhere, walked about ten minutes (without fear of anything untoward happening) and were met with a long ass muh fuhking line. 

We reluctantly stood at the back and waited, the weather turning a little nippy and sexy outfits not holding up very well. 

Next thing we see a gorgeous pearl white Bentley pull up further ahead towards the door, followed by a black town car. Gorgeous women with legs that only God created with passion walked out with I'm only guessing here a big shot of some sort. They went straight to the door and disappeared into this place we weren't even certain was happening. (Yes, we had our doubts)

Anywhoo, Hypress decides we need to do something about this, and we go ahead toward the entrance as if we own the city. To our surprise, the only way in is if the bouncers or whoever decides thinks you're good enough to get in. Not that you can't get in at all, just not immediately. Reminiscent of the high class bourgeois clubs of Moscow! In any case the hotness that is Hypress accompanied by little ol me are let in - we pay the $10 and navigate out way through the space. 

The first area was all things reggae - now there I have nothing against that, but that night I wasn't looking to get down and diiiiirty like that. Reggae / Ragga can get a little crazy. 

After looking around  for a bit and finding the right door, we stepped right into heaven!!

Hip Hop heaven that is - and as promised QTIP was on the decks. 

I'd love to go on about everything, but must keep the story moving. I'll skip meeting all the great DJ's of the 90's and 80's we met like Bobbito, taking a pic with Q himself, seeing Busta double my usual size Rhymes, us sneaking into the VIP section and having the time of our lives!

What I will say though is bathroom breaks are essential kids - not for the obvious reason though.

During one of the bathroom visits, things changed a bit; people were moved off the VIP area for a special VIP's arrival. We ofcourse had no idea this had happened, so returned to our cushy dancing area, barely noticing the change of faces around us. 

After 45 minutes of dancing with my back to the most gorgeous woman alive, I turned around and saw the claws. Yep, the infamous claw tats on her chest!! Eve!!!!!
Now whatever you, as a fan, imagine you would do when this moment happened, I did! Subtly though! We got our picture with her and she went on about how much she loved Cape Town, Joburg and Cape Town once we told her we were from South Africa, she gave us hugs and was very very nice. But I realise, even though I remember this day so well, she doesn't even know my name. It doesn't take away from the fact that  love Santos, love Eve and love New York for experiences such as that!





Saturday, March 21, 2009

BNN - Bringing back cool

Holding it down with an arrogant yet honest slogan, they are too cool for school!

We’re Black, We’re Nerds, We’re a Network 

I found BNN twitter profile and immediately fell in love with the idea. (Love Twitter)

According to their site they are inspired by the premise of African people being known to celebrate ‘a ghetto lifestyle’ therefore for BNN as a form of liberation decided to celebrate 'Nerddom', and even taking it as far asking people to question their understanding or perception of being black and being a nerd.  It really is one of the coolest ways yet - by throwing negative conceptions back at society without ‘adapting to the negative stereotypical behaviour’ themselves.

BNN grew their pride and created ‘nerd gear’ which can be found and purchased on their website. From Tees to Totebags, you too can join the movement.












And it all began with two guys who had an idea and followed through with it. Awesome stuff, fantastic concept and just ultra coolness.

What inspired me mostly is the fact that The BLACK NERDS NETWORK is ‘far more than just a political orator, it has a sense of humour that encapsulates everything it is to be a NERD irrespective of colour, with a keen sense of fashion, arts, music, style, current and future trends.’

This is definitely a brand to keep an eye out for.

Now, how do I get them into South Africa…. Hmmm…. Business partners??

You can also follow the Black Nerds Network blog; filled with fashion, music, art and all things creative.

 

Friday, March 20, 2009

SAMA - South African Music Awards 09


SAMA nomination event

Last night SAMA hosted the event to announce the official nominees for the 2009 MTN South African Music Awards to be held in May in Sun City.


Mind you, because I am only a socialite in my head for now, I didn’t crack an invite, but the Internet tells one a lot.

For example I find out that they didn’t announce all nominees – why I couldn’t tell you. My twitter friend didn’t know either. She did however disclose that Bad Boy is a smooth host and his presence was very well received. The food was delicious and the drinks were flowing, the venue comfortable and everthing very well coordinated – or so they tell me.

Now just imagine how much more I could have told you had I been cordially invited (an sms to come through would have done ha ha ha) 

Anywhoo....Today the full nominee list was released; a bit fluffy to say the least and not as comprehensive as I would imagine it should have been – but then again that would defeat the purpose of awarding the ‘crème de la crème’.

As with all awards though everyone and their cat has an opinion on how things should have been done, and who should have been chosen. On the MTN SA music awards facebook group there are mixed reactions plastered on the wall and discussion forums, mostly leaning toward the negative side on the nomination list. Call it jealousy, call it rubbish, or call it  ‘I know it all’ mentality. Whatever, it is what it is. Most people just like to hear themselves talk or read what they write (excl me ofcourse)

All I say is – This too shall pass. The awards will happen, Miss Fabuloso’s such as myself will write about it,  TV and radio stations will report on it, artists will gloat or bitch and life will go on. So here is to another reminder that time keeps moving! My award is in the shape of a martini glass!

Cheers!

Here is the phototstream from last night

MTN South African Music Awards will be held on 2 May 09 at Sun City

Broadcast Live on SABC 1 at 20:00

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rumour Mill: Siz 'n Scoop


Word on the street has it that industry hot boys, and best friends, Sizwe Dhlomo and Siya Ngwekazi will be hosting a radio show on youth radio station
Yfm 99.2 from 4 April

Pronounced 'Season Scoop' according to the Facebook group is the hottest new sound on Radio in SA... 

Sizwe (Siz),  of MTV Africa fame,  and Siya (Scoop), the fresh faced enigmatic presenter of local popular gossip programme Real Goboza (RGB), have so much international and national lifestyle experience under their belts - this is rumoured to be a show of note. 

Info is still under raps at the moment on content and time slot for now. 
I'm not particularly a fan of Y, but this might change my mind...

UPDATE (24 March):
So it seems that I along with a few people let the cat out of the bag too soon, but thankfully so, because more info has come to light. 
Time Slot on Yfm: Saturday and Sunday 9 - 12. From April 4
Lets see what the boys have for us. 

Mag: Shout out to CL magazine

Celebrate Life magazine is an innovative and touching installation brought to you by the creators of Studio83 creative lifestyle MAG. 



An initiative inspired by a one in a million angel; the late Lelethu Lumkwana. An amazing woman who in everything she did Loved and Celebrated Life. 

If you do nothing else; read this magazine. Be motivated to live your life to the fullest and fill your heart with everything that excites you. 

Live Now | Celebrate Life:
'You have one life to live and if you do it right, once is enough.
Never ever give up on what you believe and dream of
Demand to be remembered forever'

With contribution from greats such as Kabomo, Nokuthula Maseko, Vuyo Lutseke and Lelethu herself, you'll be hard pressed not to rethink Life and be enthused to Celebrate it/



Music: Jazz me up; CTIJF

It's that time of the year again when the worlds greatest pull into to South Africa and Jazz it up at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 09. 

Every year is an experience like no other, even included on the line up are artists that aren't traditionally Jazz musicians; so I guess you could call it a Great Music Experience weekend. A few years ago, I was blown away by South African hip hop artists HHP and International RnB songstress Leela James. (For Leela, had to leave a previous show early so I could run to her venue and stand right in front of the stage)

Here's the 09 Line Up:



This time I'm extremely excited to see, amongst many others these three:

Brooklyn born rapper, actor, poet extraodinaire Mos Def - eish the hotness that is this man. (Mos, I drip for you...BC we go hard!)

He'll be doing the last show on the last night at the aptly named Bassline hall at the International Convention Centre. 

340ml - Mozambiquan Afrodub Jazz foursome. They recently released their second album 'Sorry For The Delay' almost 4 years to the day after their first. They hook up freestyle dub, drumming, echo organs, guitar bass and of-course Pedro's drifting vocals. I've seen them before, but they way they bring it - disappointment is a state I won't know. 

Zap Mama believes through sound and beat, people discover culture and world unknown, which is something I think truly personifies what the festival is about. ZM performing in French and English, an explosion of Jazz, RnB, Cabaret, Soul and beatboxing with strong African influences all in one. 

This should be a weekend to remember - and it's so close to my birthday!! 

check the website for more information, artists profiles and costs. 

 














I know my girl Tumelo will be there in full force and hopefully give us a review when she gets back...
(I can't promise she won't run backstage and kidnap Mos Def and disappear into the sunset) tl tl tl 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Movies: Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, Cant you see?



We loved him for his storytelling abilites and just being himself... Introducing Christopher George Latore Wallace

In memory of B.I.G. passing on 9 March 1997 at 24 years old and the Notorious movie's recent release, MTV Base are throwing a Notorious Party tonight @ Moloko in lower Rosebank. 

Looking forward and not at the same time - for some reason tribute parties never quite hit the spot, but we'll see. Should be fun if not for the eye candy of tonight's MC's - The fun, energetic and absolutely gorgeous MTV VJ's Fikile and Sizwe.


The Film: I watched the movie and wasn't totally impressed - felt like there was so much not being said and a lot more swept under the rug, too many apologies and a million excuses. I'm not particularly a BIG fan (keep the pun), and I know just enough about his life but I thought the film would at the very least shed some more light than what we've heard in his music and what the media had to say. I mean, his best friend Puffy and mom Ms Wallace were producers; surely we should presume they knew a lot more than we did and share it. 

A while back I'd seen a documentary on Big's death, and what I remember was a few guys being interviewed in front of a store Big and his boys apparently used to spend most of their afternoons. These guys were telling their theory on why or how he was killed - which was that Puff had something to do with it. For a while that conspiracy was on everyone's lips. What surprised me though was that not a single person I was with mentioned this documentary after watching the movie. Had people already forgotten? Were Lil Kim's bouncing breasts while punishing and polishing Biggie that much of a distraction?  I wonder? I wish I could remember the title of this documentary. 

Lil Kim apparently isn't very happy with movie. The brooklyn born lyricist was upset that she wasn't invited to be more involved in the making of the film, even going as far saying the accuracy of the script is not quite right. An example being the nickname the late rapper gave her not being Big Momma, instead actually being Mookie. 

I'm not sure I have a lot of respect for Lil Kim personally: There's just something that aint right with the lady. 

Read this interview found on rapradar about her thoughts on the movie and who she would have cast to play her role. 

I personally loved ex 3LW singer, Naturi Naughton in the movie; she did a great job portraying the slick tongued sexy brooklyn hustla (or is it Diva?) 

But I'll forgive Kim for that little bitching session. 

The part that kills me though is where she says Notorious comes to her in visions and in her dreams - furthermore, she has on authority that he doesn't love the movie. 

Here's a bit:

 Switching gears, you’ve been publicly unsupportive of Notorious. If Biggie were alive, do you think he would’ve been pleased with the film?

I’m a very spiritual person and he’s come to me many of times in my dreams. But, I don’t think he’s happy at all, at all! Because Ms. Wallace doesn’t know Biggie at all and she barley knows Christopher, if you know what I mean. At all! And I was around. Even before he blew up so crazy, so I know how he felt about his mom. And Biggie was so much more than what they put him out to be in that movie. And to be honest with you, I know for a fact he’s not happy. He’s not satisfied at all. At all. And regardless of the fact, everybody who is involved in this movie, he has love for. Everybody. But at the end of the day, he knows who’s who and what’s what. Believe that. And let me tell you something, the way he’s feeling is going to come out. Like, trust me. Everything is going to come out later. You’re going to see who he really loved and the ones that’s standing up for him the right way is the ones representing him the right way.

Read more right here

Blog of the week: Snack and Ish



So while browsing interfact I bumped my head and fell into the true comedy central...

First let me remind of this Chris Rock joke where he talks about rap music and it's profanity (lewdness actually)
[I'm not a strong joke teller so forgive if this doesn't make a lot of sense]
Rap lines such as 'smack her with a dick, put it in her ear' and how some women will be up in the club singing these songs, their justification being 'he aint talkin about me'
Riiight.

Why the hell am I going to enjoy you saying these awful things about me or any other human??

So an L.A. based comedian and a writer came together to bring these rappers to book, in the funniest form ever.
(why didn't I think of that?)
They cleverly created this
blog: a collection of insane and almost inexplicable raps by famous and not so famous artists
Not only do you get the quote, but the teams witty and punchy opinion of the absolute ridiculousness.
(Turns out Jigga was the inspiration)

I dare you not to crack the bleep up
I dare you to keep a straight face

Here's a sneak peak:
click here for more

"But you ain't got the skills to eat a nigga's ass like me"
- Canibus, Second Round K.O.


Yeah you're right, I don't, and you know what? I guess I'm okay with that.

Filed under: straight-up homosexual, too public, are you kidding me?


Just in case, like me,  you can't get enough catch them on Twitter

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Move your body like a snake ma


I’ve realized we don’t dance.

When or where this particular realization happened, I can’t be sure. I can’t even explain why the thought crossed my mind,  but it was clear as day. We don’t dance.  Or do we?

Yes, I’ve seen the kwasa, twasa, twalatsa, and many other Arthur creations in clubs. I’ve seen arms raised in the air as Vinny, Fresh, Kenzhero or Blackcoffee bring it on the one’s and two’s.

 I know right after you put on that hot outfit you look at yourself in the mirror and test it out by doing a move or three, but ultimately when you get into the dance halls, be it back in the day and now defunct Electric Workshop and reggae famed Horror Café or nower day somewhat classy Moloko, trendy Capitol,  underground Berlin, Crazy 88 and Taboo etc = the majority of the crowd isn’t actually shakin what their momma gave em.

Once in a while someone will raise their hand to the roof and shout ‘yhooo, that’s my song yall’ and maybe sing a few lines, bounce here and there  - depending on the music ofcourse. But in essence, breaking out a sweat and having sore muscles the next day is not quite the norm in my experience. Why is that?

I know that many a time I have called myself one of those black women born without rhythm  - so by standing at the bar sipping it up, enjoying either a vodka and lime or my newly favoured creation made up of Double creamy Baileys drizzled over crushed ice and topped off with a single shot of Amaretto, my modus operandi would be to sway a little to the music, give the DJ a nod while gliding around the venue, chat to so and so, but most of the time is spent observing the self proclaimed dancing queens and kings, putting a show for their subjects.

I remember the days of vula circle, with fellow observers cheering on the brave ones who have entered the firy circle to have the rest of us in awe. I see some of the said fellow watchers growing with glee as their own confidence is being built up to the climax of entering and showing off their own skills, but I find that out of twenty people gyrating, only a handful will actually jump in there, no holds barred and perform that famous cliché about dancing like no one is watching.  (someone is watching though and it’s hard to forget their critical eyes playing a game on your body)  



Anytime I see someone sweating it out to the beat I am filled with so much joy (read envy) and I’m rendered speechless (read motionless) by their vigor. I’ve seen the break-dancers on the streets of New York, the half naked Brazilians doing the age-old Angolan muscle-toning passionate conversation of capoiera. I’ve seen the party animals pulling out their best in the dark smoky mall sized clubs of Ibiza, the retro kids bringing it back at Gogo Bar in downtown Jozi, the sweat covered Spaniards in open terrace clubs of Barcelona,  and the youngsters and golden oldies championing the art of the tango in the market places and abandoned warehouses of Argentina. That’s all good and well, but not what I’m getting at.

What I am talking about is just living the music through your body; the moves that cannot be named, moves that cannot be repeated by open-mouthed bystanders such as myself; the motions that belong only to the performer feeling the music. Why is there not enough of this?

Or am I missing something?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nocturnal Footprint: Sao Paulo, Brazil


Astronete

Vintage with a modern twist in one of the party capitals of the world

Astronete on Rua Matias Aires in Sao Paulo, Brazil brings the old skool to life, without too much effort. From the bouncer with hightop hair and coat, before you even enter a world of timetravel, intrigue hits you hard.

Going back in time, the intimate two roomed bar with exposed brick wall, which is adorned with old blockbuster and obscure movie posters Like Dawn of the dead,  The Miniskirt Mob and many B film advertisements. The long bar runs along one side of the smaller narrow room,  and the dance floor, seating and a small stage find their home in the larger room towards the back of the space.

Owner Claudio who fancies himself as movie aficionado and Thursday night DJ, says ‘simplicity with expression’ is the feel of the place. The quirky décor  and ornaments of clashing styles are interesting at best and great conversation starters at worst. Stand up hairdryers and Elvis posters help the less observant understand the  crazy 60’s and 70’s theme of Astronete.

They have party nights every day of the week, most popular being movie nights where the ‘drive in’ road sign leads to the likes of Mulholland drive on Wednesdays,  and Shakesville S.P.  the 50’s to 70’s rock and soul music night; everybody dresses up and Bianca the gogo dancer comes out to play; Bianca says   the relaxed and comfortable environment encourages socializing between the small crowd and creates a place to make new friends easily. Shakeville night allows people to be their crazy yet socially acceptable selves and weird and wonderful costumes.

On Saturday nights, Astronete is packed full of people  looking for the next big sound to come out of Sao Paulo, Band night draws the crowds amongst which are Talent scouts from around the world. Claudio claims that many a great bands have been discovered in his unassuming yet distinctive  bar.

For whatever you may be looking for, Astronete is a great alternative to the bigger and more popular bars and clubs in Sao Paulo. The city definitely has something for everyone; however, this little hidden gem is quite a treat for those in need of a little more entertainment in a kitsch yet cool environment.

Check out more photos here  - by Kassa



Long Street's best kept secret


As you follow this blog, and as I scratch up time and inspiration to update as much as I can, you will find I have a fascination with alcohol. Not just drinking the stuff but the places and people that are creative in serving it up and how it is enjoyed. 

There is one such place in Cape Town that has my full respect and I will sing their praises til they shut down (Universe forbid). It's a true gem in the heart of this very european african city on the southern most tip of Africa - Julep. Located just off the infamous party hub Long street, hard to explain the exact location though. (It used to be the Royal Kitchen, if that's any help)

Quaint little place with enough character to write a storybook, enough class not to check who's looking before stepping in and of course Conrad (manager / owner) is certainly a treat for sore eyes. And oh is he charming. If that doesn't tickle you, then staring at the art and photography on the walls should do you just fine. The most important part of this delectable tale though are the drinks. 

Julep offers up over thirty different liquid heavens in their delightfully creative cocktail menu including spin off's of the well known versions. For example, the cuban cocktail; Mojito has a few fruit variations like mango, strawberry  - which in itself isn't original - and there is a twist to the Moscow Mule and many more...  but if you're anything like me, you'll sip on that sexy glass of paradise and you'll know you're home. 

Making it even better is the happy (3) hour special they have - an opportunity to enjoy Julep's cocktails making craft at almost half the price. 

Julep is still a bit of a secret, and hopefully will stay that way,  so when you're there you almost feel like the cat the ate the canary. Even without the views of Table Mountain that other's boast about, Julep is number one. 

The music is mix of soulful lounge and upbeat jazz - nothing too uptempo but you'll be tapping your feet and letting the non invasive groove flow through you.

Even if it is just to see Conrad, Julep must be found!!
Eish, If only I lived in the mother city, or at the very least afford to be there every weekend. 

Pop them bottles










In Jozi, it seems, everyone has their crew and they throw parties. Every this day, every month, whatever and whenever, and rarely do I find a soiree that sounds entertaining even before I haul my ass off my couch, dolly myself up and cruise the streets for this experience. Not that there are that many to arouse my interest in the first place, I do try see what the promoters and creators have in store for me. I can be a little picky considering I am not a tourist and can miss out on a few potentially mediocre gigs.

Now, within the Hip Hop scene, there aren't that many of these get togethers of music/alcohol/eye candy lovers and so we tend to see the same party goers and more or less the same DJ's, but can be fun nonetheless. I think we are still living in a phase of 'who'll be there?' rather than what I will leave with - by that I don't mean another human, or just the possibility of a state of intoxication. 

So, on the last sunday of every month there is such a get together at a cool venue in Norwood called The Crazy 88 - (been around for about five years, with the usual name change, although 88 has always been present). 

Brought to you well known DJ Dimplez and his Showlove crew. (we'll get to showlove and their shenanigans in another post) in an aim to be Jozi's foremost Hip Hop music party hosts. 
The PopBottles sunday sessions is by far the best and probably largest ongoing daytime party in the city. Held on the last sunday of each month with a long list of the finest and almost refreshing DJ's there are. 

As of this month, Dimplez decided to add a twist by theming the day with not only the bubbly, but with Cigars and aptly named Pop Bottles cigar session. 

I got there around 4pm and it was comfortably crowded but there were still four more hours for the beats to go down, Jozi hip hop heads to swagger in fill up the dance floor and mingle. 
True to form, by 6pm it was packed and the party was ablaze. (It really is advisable to head there early) 

I had a great time, met up with some people, had drinks, danced a bit, but mostly enjoyed the outside canopy covered lounge type terrace where we have our drinks and watch the colour of the sky change through the slants of the covering over sometimes engaging conversations, taking peaks over at the dance floor. At some point there was a group of people doing the old skool 'bus stop' routine to some older skool tracks. 

I do keep asking myself though what makes this party so amazing
Is it the month end money in the bank lets be happy vibe?
Is it the genuinely good music from DJ's that each have a different take on the genre and know how to read the crowd?
Is it how unpretentious the whole thing is?
Is it the fact that 88 is roomy and you can move from hot sweaty bumping and grinding to a chilled leather covered couch?
Is it that the Hip Hop scene is so small that you feel like you're just going to see friends and share ideas? (fresh meat is spotted the second it walks in the door - errbody knows errbody)
Who knows, just got to go yourself and see what tickles your fancy. 

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