Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Lockdown: The Souled On Music Edition

Well children...this is it...the final episode in the Love Lockdown series. I've been savin' all my love for you, Whitney Houston style, to make sure that my friends could get their collective groove on first. I would hardly consider this a grand finale considering the caliber of what has already been brought to the (turn)table this past week...but as the host of this prolific love jam, I thought it only right for me to throw in my two cents.

As far as my selections are concerned...yes, I dug a handful of "what the fuck?" records from the crates from my tiny little heart to all of yours. If you're a regular visitor to this spot, you know that I tend to feature a love song in almost every post. However, I usually primarily focus on classic soul, funk, and hip hop music, so I wanted to branch out a bit for this exercise and roll with some joints that might not otherwise get any play around here.

I have to tell you that for the most part, romantic love is an exceptionally bitter pill for me to swallow, although I do believe that it's absolutely essential for the fortification of the soul. I'm quite sure that these song choices will reflect my overall ambivalence, and like many of my fellow audiophiles, I ended up having to get a bit random in terms of what I elected to post. I can't claim these tracks to be objectively superior in any way, and on another day this list may have easily consisted of something altogether different. I will stand firmly behind them on one account, some point in my life they have all profoundly resonated with me for some deeply personal reason.

Much gratitude to all of my friends for your outstanding input, and to the rest of the Souled On family for passing through to vibe with us during our countdown to Valentine's Day.

It's still all love, kids...


"Do I"---Alice Smith (LimeLinx)
"Do I"---Alice Smith (YSI)

This track doesn't deviate from the norm quite as much as some of the others, but with relatively few exceptions, I don't fuck with a whole lot of post-1974 mainstream R&B albums. Despite this informal and arguably snobbish rule of thumb, Alice Smith is quite a different story altogether. Simply put, I unabashedly adore her.

For Lovers, Dreamers and Me is a fully engaging front-to-back listen, but "Do I" still gives me chills every time I hear it. It's evidently in my DNA to complicate the living shit out of...everything...and this is perhaps especially true as it pertains to matters of the heart. If by chance I find myself overanalyzing, scrutinizing, and anticipating the ultimate failure of a relationship, this track sort of grabs me by the nape of my neck and pulls my stupid head out of my ass.

Loving someone can be so easy when you allow your convoluted thought processes to take a momentary rest. Believe me.

Qualifying lyrics:

I don't wanna
have to think about
The ways that we'll be bad
I don't wanna think about
The days that we'll be sad
Do I?

"Jism"---Tindersticks (LimeLinx)
"Jism"---Tindersticks (YSI)

Let me qualify this selection by stating up front that this is not your typical love song with a title that doubles as a slang word for sperm. "Jism" is at first a far more elegant affair than its connotations and implications might otherwise is however, one of the most beautifully troubling songs I've ever heard. The music somewhat deceptively lures you in by treading rather softly, but the song begins to bear a tremendous heaviness once the gravity of the lyrics finally settles into the imagination. Perhaps not the most suitable listening for the faint of heart, but a powerful depiction of love's morally reprehensible underside nonetheless.

Qualifying lyrics:

Need these paper cuts
Need those gravel grinds
Need those pinches to wake me
Give up the drugs
Take the power I offer
Oh the deeper I go
The further I fall
The more I know
The tighter your grip around me

"Move You Run"---Smith & Mighty w/ Tammy Payne (LimeLinx)
"Move You Run"---Smith & Mighty w/ Tammy Payne (YSI)

Without getting unnecessarily personal, suffice it to say that I often have an inclination to run like hell when love starts getting too close for comfort. Human nature rightly lends itself to a fight or flight reaction whenever one feels...ummm...threatened, and quiet as it's kept, I don't have a violent bone in my body. This song is intended as an apology for every time I've gone ghost like Swayze just as the intensity was beginning to build.

Qualifying lyrics:

I know you can see that I wanted to try

"Absolute Beginners"---David Bowie (LimeLinx)
"Absolute Beginners"---David Bowie (YSI)

When I pulled this song out the other day, it suddenly sounded somewhat dated. That said, it can never lose its personal relevance considering that it was one of the songs playing most loudly in the background the first time I fell in love. It serves as a painfully pleasant reminder that I will never be so fiercely innocent ever again. That's a miraculous blessing...and a wicked curse.

Qualifying lyrics:

I've nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Could laugh at the ocean
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

Nothing much could happen
Nothing we can't shake
Oh we're absolute beginners
With nothing much at stake
As long as you're still smiling
There's nothing more I need
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
But if my love is your love
We're certain to succeed

If our love song
Could fly over mountains
Sail over heartaches
Just like the films
There's no reason
To feel all the hard times
To lay down the hard lines
It's absolutely true

"Legs"---PJ Harvey (LimeLinx)
"Legs"---PJ Harvey (YSI)

There's an underlying pathology to this song that makes it as eeriely disturbing as it is undeniably compelling. PJ Harvey's first couple of albums (Dry and Rid Of Me) were especially riddled with crash-and-burn heartache and histrionics, which made her music an appropriate soundtrack to the classic unhealthy, angst-ridden, dizzyingly psychotic romance.

I was listening to Rid Of Me quite a bit when I first became involved with a very intense artist who stayed locked up in a bedroom for 3 days (on a strict diet of cigarettes and Dr. Pepper) in order to render a near-perfect portrait of Ms. Harvey as a gift to yours truly. It remains one of my most prized love artifacts to this very day.

Qualifying lyrics:

wail scream wail..."you were going to be my life/ damn it"

"Country Feedback"---R.E.M. (LimeLinx)
"Country Feedback"---R.E.M. (YSI)

Out Of Time is the album that sort of marked R.E.M.'s transition from indie darlings to a commercially viable mainstream act. A great deal of the LP's success can be attributed to its blockbuster international hits, "Losing My Religion" and "Shiny Happy People", but on my cassette, the tape was worn thinnest at the point of "Country Feedback".

Stipe sings the narrative so convincingly from a first-person perspective that the lyrics sound like a catharsis of his own inner demons. "Country Feedback" comes across as a tormented confessional, and it may be trite to say so, but you can literally feel his pain. The quiet chaos, desperation, and bumbling confusion Stipe exudes envelopes the listener in a whirlwind of contorted emotions, and the cyclone simply won't let your feet touch the ground until the very last chord is played.

Qualifying lyrics:

This flower is scorched
This film is on
On a maddening loop
These clothes
These clothes don't fit us right
I'm to blame
It's all the same
It's all the same

I was central
I had control
I lost my head
I need this
I need this

It's crazy what you could have had

"JC"---Sonic Youth (LimeLinx)
"JC"---Sonic Youth (YSI)

I've always been of the mindset that only pretentious assholes claim to understand the precise meaning behind your average Sonic Youth joint. My experience with their music is purely visceral...I think it's a grave error to overintellectualize just about anything from their canon of works. Their lyrics are confoundingly abstract, and it often sounds as if they tuned their guitars to the sounds of the subway, so it seems foolish to apply the usual standards for critical analysis to the majority of their output. For myself, I put on their records to simply lose myself in the throes of their emotive fuzziness.

Bearing that in mind, "JC" may not have actually been intended as a love song...or was it? For all the hell I know, they may have been enigmatically tipping their hat to Jesus Christ, or perhaps the whole affair was a blissful, psychedelic byproduct of a pleasantly drug-addled sunny day afternoon. Who knows...who cares? This is what love sounds like to me...bewitching, undefinable, and occasionally cacophonous.

Qualifying lyrics:

And air so thin it weighs a ton - you can see as far as fun
You're nothing but a history - a second here and then you're gone
Quicksand, quicksand all around - turn the corner just beyond
The shadows move and change the groove - and something tells me not to brood

You're walking through my heart once more
Don't forget to close the door - I'm not certain of what you found

"Leif Erikson"---Interpol (LimeLinx)
"Leif Erikson"---Interpol (YSI)

All forms of art are open to subjective interpretation, but I've always thought that the reference to Leif Erikson in this track's title is a metaphor for exploring uncharted emotional territory.

I found myself listening to this song a lot while a very long-term relationship was winding to a close. It seemed unlikely that anyone could understand what I was going through, let alone inspire a spontaneous regeneration of everything I'd lost, misplaced, or voluntarily severed during that period of my life. Emotional investment in the aftermath of a disastrous relationship is indeed analogous to learning a new language.

Qualifying lyrics: "she doesn't know that I left my urge in the icebox"

"Who Are You?"---Tom Waits (LimeLinx)
"Who Are You?"---Tom Waits (YSI)

Tom Waits' "Who Are You" is anything but everyday listening for fact, I hadn't pulled out my Bone Machine CD in quite some time. It's strange even to me that it made this list, but many years ago this was one of my favorite 3 a.m. songs. After a night of partying or socializing, I usually spend an hour or more chain-smoking and collecting my thoughts before I go to bed. The records I choose to meditate on usually bear a hint of melancholy...they at least tend to encourage reflective contemplation more so than something along the lines of NWA that I might listen to during the day.

It would be a struggle to explain my intensely personal relationship to this's complicated...but I will say that some of the lyrics are reminiscent of a particular love of my life, and all these years later, those same words continue to resonate.

Qualifying lyrics:

All the lies that you tell
I believed them so well. Take them back
Take them back to your red house
For that fearful leap into the dark
I did my time
In the jail of your arms
Now Ophelia wants to know
Where she should turn

Go on ahead and take this the wrong way
Time's not your friend
Do you cry? Do you pray?
Do you wish them away?
Do you still leave nothing
But bones in the way?
Did you bury the carnival
Lions and all?
Excuse me while I sharpen my nails
And just who are you this time?

How do your pistol and your Bible and your
Sleeping pills go?
Are you still jumping out of windows in expensive clothes?

Well I fell in love
With your sailor's mouth and your wounded eyes
You better get down on the floor
Don't you know this is war
Tell me who are you this time?

"Simple Twist Of Fate"---Bob Dylan (LimeLinx)
"Simple Twist Of Fate"---Bob Dylan (YSI)

Dylan's music has been dissected with the sharp-edged scalpel of some of the greatest writers of all time, so it would be complete foolishness for me to even attempt to analyze the composition of "Simple Twist Of Fate" from a critical standpoint. Rather than making objective assertions about its meaning, I only care to illustrate how I view the song through my personal lens.

I left home when I was a very young teenager, and as a result, I found myself living somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle in order to survive. It was typical for me to crash at people's houses for a few weeks and then move on to my next destination. No matter where I stayed, I always got around to asking if it was okay if I checked out the host's record collection. One of the places I stayed had a vinyl copy of Blood On The Tracks, and I remember listening to "Simple Twist Of Fate" throughout the tenure of my stay. I'm not sure that it was attached to anyone in particular...probably just some fleeting crush or something of that nature...but that song profoundly impacted my soul. It stayed in my head forever after that. I used to have to simply recall it in my mind until I was stabilized and able to afford my own copy. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Qualifying lyrics:

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark,
She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones.
twas then he felt alone and wished that he'd gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate.

They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burnin bright.
He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate.

A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walkin by the arcade.
As the light bust through a beat-up shade where he was wakin up,
She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate.

He woke up, the room was bare
He didnt see her anywhere.
He told himself he didnt care, pushed the window open wide,
Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate.

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks,
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailers all come in.
Maybe shell pick him out again, how long must he wait
Once more for a simple twist of fate.

People tell me its a sin
To know and feel too much within.
I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring.
She was born in spring, but I was born too late
Blame it on a simple twist of fate.

Fundamental Supplementals:

For those of you who miss my regular steez, here are a couple of my quintessential love jams from the soul side...

"You Are Everything"---The Stylistics (LimeLinx)
"You Are Everything"---The Stylistics (YSI)

"Give Me Your Love (DJ Danny Krivit's Extended Edit)"---The Sisters Love (LimeLinx)
"Give Me Your Love (DJ Danny Krivit's Extended Edit)"---The Sisters Love (YSI)

Word From Your Moms:

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hand
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.
Stephen Crane, “The Heart”

Love Lockdown: The This Is Tomorrow Edition

Curtis Mayfield - Give Me Your Love (Love Song) (YSI)
Curtis Mayfield - Give Me Your Love (Love Song) (Limelinx)

Freddie Scott - (You) Got What I Need (YSI)
Freddie Scott - (You) Got What I Need (Limelinx)

S.O.U.L.- My Cherie Amour (YSI)
S.O.U.L.- My Cherie Amour (Limelinx)

Lou Courtney - Come To Me (YSI)
Lou Courtney - Come To Me (Limelinx)

The Third Wave - Don't Ever Go (YSI)
The Third Wave - Don't Ever Go (Limelinx)

Steve Colt - Take Away (YSI)
Steve Colt - Take Away (Limelinx)

My man DJ Blueprint (aka Mike) from This Is Tomorrow and I have collaborated on a few joint ventures prior to this.

My very first mix to be posted on the internet debuted on his site. Check out my Got Soul? mix here.

Meanwhile, Blueprint's guest mixes for Souled On can be accessed here and here.

Word From Your Moms:

"It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all."---Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902)

"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness."---Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)

Love Lockdown: The Lavoe Revolt Edition

The Soul of Izayaa By Sunez

Soul, the natural essence of supremacy, that animating principle nameable yet unquantifiable, that actualizing reality of all, where creator and creation become one and the same. This Soul is Blackness, the biochemical nature of all my Original people ("High Yellow Gal…If your mind could really see you’d know your color the same as me" – Curtis Mayfield). This Soul is animated by the principle of mathematics where one knows self yet continues to wonderfully just understand. This Soul is the union of all that we are in all that we manifest in an ultimate expression of love. This love is the binding element of all creation and it fortifies the sublime word, the 180 martial moves of bian xing and the myriad notes of keys, bars and measures of song.

To honor the soul song is to honor the lady in my life, Izayaa Allat, that hand-in-hand we shall create the best part with. That we have been forged in the mist of song is all in this list of select tracks I distill of her love. That these songs are from five women, from an everlasting list of crates I exhaustively excavate, reflect my Earth’s rhythm of sentiment and rhythm of sharing offered to me sublimely.

The enlightenment of the self sparks many words. So much was unknown, so much was lived abnormally, so much attachment to falsity, all masked as contradiction, truisms and belief. Yet she had seen that I would only heal her, only be the champion of all she is and from that moment be the father of her family. And so there are many words but making a long story short…

Gladys KnightMake A Long Story Short (YSI)
Gladys Knight Make A Long Story Short (Limelinx)

"Words…I could use a thousand words to say/ what I’ve got on my mind/ What’s the use of beating round the bush/wasting words/wasting time/mmmm…boring you with talk ain’t what I want so I’ll try to get right to the point./ To make a long story short, oooo baby I love you"

In 1977, Gladys Knight shared this jewel on the Still Together album. It is the softness of the lyrics, that there is a way of immediacy in her soft hums and her refusals to do nothing but tell him "I love you." The soothing strings that will not roar but carry us carefully to her abruptness is what I was told. So Izayaa had just told me. Letting tears stream her eyes, her heart pounded with fulfillment. An endless story still must be told…

…On a night of beauty where intimacy is realized, we are lovers that have become one. All our children forthcoming shall be testament to the sincerity of our hearts. I remember the footsteps to her, seeing someone alike to me and letting my chivalry be more than plotted plays but a revealing of my nature. Able to understand her every insight whilst excited so effortlessly by her voluptuousness, I was as thrilled as she. So the mind I read was my own and I let her acknowledge the time of our enjoining in infinite space.

Angela BofillTonight I Give In (YSI)
Angela BofillTonight I Give In (Limelinx)

"Somebody walked into my life/And he's right on time/Somebody looked into my eyes/And he read my mind/And its true/I only need to tell you/that it's you/You're every thing/I ever dreamed would come to me/ Somebody walked into my heart
And to my surprise/ Somebody tearing me apart/ And it feels just fine/ And it's you
I've waited oh so long to say/it's you/You're every thing/I ever dreamed"

In 1983, Angela Bofill uttered my love’s words of submitting love on her Too Tough album. This too titillating track crescendos the realization of submission with soft piano keys offering the most luscious bed. A song of exquisite peaks and intense declaration, Angela’s command of flow is supreme lush. That a man may know his supremacy with many facts and figures, or lust the beauty of a woman with many pictures and videos is nothing. To understand himself and so her too. To see her become everything she has ever wanted to be, all that she knew she was deep inside and be that foundation of insight and ear with embrace and hand to hold. Sharing, listening, caressing and leading a realized intimacy.

And so, how is this love evermore? In all ways and actions is it rejuvenating? How must the loveliest woman I shall ever know have her mood? It is what the woman becomes with that man that shows the worth of that man. If he is just and true, her thoughts will flower a field of eternal possibilities. She may take her lover’s hand and learn of herself, see herself as supreme, with the evidence of her splendor as well as any and all science that chooses to document her. So it must be so. That when her Sun ez shining on her, dreams of grandeur become proposed propositions proven paradise.

Phyllis HymanIn A Sentimental Mood (YSI)
Phyllis HymanIn A Sentimental Mood (Limelinx)

"In a sentimental mood/I can see the sun come through my room/And your lovin' attitude/Is like a flame that comes and lights the gloom/On the wings of every kiss/Drifts a melody so strange and sweet/And the sentimental bliss is like a dream/My paradise complete/Rose petals seem to fall/It's all like a dream to call you mine/My heart's a lighter thing/Since you made this night a thing divine/In a sentimental mood/I'm within a world, so heavenly/And I never dreamt that you'd be lovin' me/My paradise complete"

In 1981, Phyllis Hyman sang Duke’s immaculate song for Broadway's Duke Ellington revue Sophisticated Ladies. All the women that sing Izayaa’s heart have voices that can soar, that punctuate as well timed as the most erudite composition and bring that special "ooooo" as the most profound elegance spontaneity can manifest. Phyllis was a master of pitch, flow and sang lyrics as if they were truly her understanding. And with Izayaa in paradise, she shall know that I am there with her. And when we stare at the world as warriors, she looks toward me and tells me that nothing will ever destroy our family, our Soul. And to what lengths does the strength of love reach?

There are tears that only the Soul can bring. Those special tears at the witness of a rarity. It is that our oppressed people have so much awe inspiring power and wonder locked in cages of assimilation and mind numbing content. That if and when it is let out we see glimpses of all our trials, all of our desires, all of our insights. That there may be a clue in the reckoning with art’s beauty as a testament that we all can create a culture that secures our freedom. And each and every moment, my Izayaa comes to know it when true love is in the context of all this hell, these unspeakable yet livable horrors. She stands firm and cries become advanced swordplay, crooning moves as the deadliest wing chun animal forms and each word a detailed exhale of iron lung breath. And only the fatality of that which cannot die can sever such.

Linda JonesThat’s when I’ll Stop Loving You (YSI)
Linda JonesThat’s when I’ll Stop Loving You (Limelinx)

"When the birds no longer use wings to fly, no-no/And the raindrops stop falling, yeah, /from the sky, oh yeah/When mathematicians find, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, that one plus one isn't two/Now don’t ya know that that's when,/ah don’t ya know that's when I'll stop lovin' you, Baby/ Oh-oh-oh-ooh, stop lovin' ya, Darlin', yeah/When there is no remedy for, oh-ooh, for aches an', for/aches and pains, yeah-yeah-yeah/And when the flowers, the flowers they no longer, no longer/grow from the rain, oh-ooh, yeah-yeah/And when old Broadway, Broadway changes to Fifth Avenue/Now don’t ya know that that's when, wooooh-whoooooh, that's when I'll stop lovin' you, aw Baby, no-ooh/The only way I'll stop lovin' ya, Darlin'/You've shown me the joy love can truly bring, yes ya did now/And you made my, my sad life like the first day,/ like the first day, woooooooooooh, the first day of Spring Oh-ooh-Oh, now when the rays of the Sun are gone/No longer, it no longer gives us heat/And this ol' heart of mine, don't y'all know, that one day it's gonna refuse to beat/ And one last thing I've got to say/And if I wake, if I awake and find there's no more, no more mornin' dew/Now don’t ya know that that's when, OOOOOOOOOOOOO........"

The martial way of Soul was the domain of Linda Jones’ unfortunately brief career. Her unique "Yeah" furthering the lines or her trademark "Oh-ooh-Oh" making the end of every lyric beautiful. Her climatic "wooooohh-ooooooo" were exclamations of a woman that will fight for love, that immerses herself in every morsel of a man’s offerings and knows the joy of loving that much greater. To capture Linda live, as on the live LP recorded in 1970 in Ohio (Never Mind the Quality), is to show and prove that her power, clarity and intensity must never be forgotten. Her voice lived, escaping the cages of contentment and becoming the definitive definition of Soul. Yes. My Izayaa is known. That she will cry out upon any injustice with inflating vicissitude from tame adorability of a bunny’s physique into vicious challenger as a towering tigress. Be it the defamation of any of the lovely attributes she loves of me or the questioning of any truism that challenges the prosperity of principle, she gallops as a heart that has built legs for itself to step in front of hate or armed to sift and gather the all the endearing vitals to victual as the right foods. Her soul nurtures mine and so she must be grand…as the Earth…

…The personification of the supreme Black woman in song is Anita Baker. That before I met my Izayaa it was Anita who reminded me of what true love ought to be, the emphasis of her passions, the details of her longing, the way she will live for you, with you. So many discourses beginning with those wavy "ooooohhhhss" and words that melt away annunciation’s restrictions into soft aural waters through gilded pastures of keys and drums. All telling the story of our love.

On that night, Izayaa would open that Harlem Café door and our memory became stained with love. A picture in our memory of the day when we first met when solo became duet. Now I was her Angel and with whatever it takes she just knew to love me to the letter. And giving me the best that she got was and will be done just because. It was more than I could ever know at the time and it is the blessedness of life to bring her joy.

Anita BakerYou Bring Me Joy (YSI)
Anita BakerYou Bring Me Joy (Limelinx)

"You bring me joy/When I'm down/Oh, so much joy/When I lose my way your love comes smiling on me/I saw your face/And then I knew/We would be friends/I was so afraid but your eyes they'd say "come to me"/So I'd say to you/"Can we talk for a while?" You'd say it's "alright"/When you love me, I smile/I feel your hands and you feel mine/You bring me joy/You bring me joy/Don't go too far away/If I can't see your face, I will remember your smile/But can this be right?/Oh and should we be friends?/I get lonely sometimes and I'm mixed up again/'Cause you're the finest thing I've seen in all my life/You bring me joy/My joy, my joy/Oh baby this is gonna be what you want it to be/I just love you, I love you, oh can`t you see/That you're the finest I've seen in all my life/You bring me joy/My joy . . . you are're my joy/My joy . . . my, my joy/ohhh Thank you baby, thank you baby/I just love you, baby...I just love you baby... I just love you/When I lose my way, your love comes smiling on me"

On the night of July 26, 2007, the perfected sound of Soul was in form at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The most luxurious woman on my arm listening to her vocal incarnation. It was when she sang "You Bring Me Joy," from her Rapture LP in 1986 where all one must do is embrace one’s lover and let Soul’s inflections freckle the path of attraction with light. Our attraction to our every reality melded with Anita’s ‘oooohhhss’ and the immense truth in her reverberating cadence is our story. Yes, Izayaa, has the eyes of joy. That the tempos our hearts have measured are the rhythm of intimacy, secret to all yet sung by us. That this alike supreme being is the forum for all life I shall impregnate my understanding through, how many songs may the God yet sing. Forever I commence to chant creation…

Izayaa is pure sweet Blackness, this tender yellow Queen of mine. She is the infinity that pairs with knowledge. Izayaa is my love. Izayaa is the Soul Allat. These are some of her songs.

Edward Sunez Rodriguez is a veritable scholar in every sense of the word. As an accomplished writer, editor, radio personality and lecturer, Sunez has published/presented 280+ articles in magazines such as XXL, Vibe, Stress, and The Source. In addition to all of his other awe-inspiring achievements, he's also lectured courses and seminars in history, ethnomusicology & Black/Latino culture.

You can catch up with Sunez via the blog and MySpace for Lavoe Revolt

Word From Your Moms:

"Among the different arts, the art of music has been especially considered divine, because it is the exact miniature of the law working within the whole universe. For instance if we study ourselves we shall find that in the beats of the pulse and the heart, in the inhaling and exhaling of the breath, all is the work of rhythm."---Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Lockdown: The 33 Jones Edition

For most people, the thought of Valentine's Day tends to elicit one of two reactions: either that of optimism, with the idea that true love is some sort of attainable goal, or that of cynicism, viewing the holiday as little more than an annual bailout of the chocolate, flower and greeting card industries. My own thoughts tend toward an even darker point of view than the latter, as the yearly tribute to Saint Valentine leaves me in a state not unlike that of the waking moments after a night of heavy drinking, struggling to simultaneously remember and forget the regrettable decisions made while under the intoxicating effects of Love. Like a real life reenactment of a poorly scripted romantic comedy starring Dane Cook, the postscripts to my long term relationships typically find my significant others heading on to far greener pastures after parting ways.

Of the three relationships in my adult life that might be categorized as "serious," the first ended with my girlfriend packing her bags and flying off to Europe after a chance encounter with a pro ball player who happened to be in the U.S. while serving as a goodwill ambassador for his European team (his mission was a success, I suppose). Shortly after the conclusion of the second relationship, ex number two married a third stringer from the NFL and went on to become what they refer to as a "TV personality," her nationally syndicated talk show serving as an inescapable reminder of what might have been. As for the third, well, let's just say that she and her new girlfriend seem to be quite happy together. I offer up the details of my love life not to garner any form of sympathy, but merely as an explanation to the reader for why the following track list came to mind when Scholar asked for my selection of songs about love. If your love life has been anything like mine, pop in the following songs and commiserate. If you're lucky enough to have found some success in this game called love, just listen and use the time as an opportunity to appreciate what you've got.

Mos Def - Ms. Fat Booty (YSI)
Mos Def - Ms. Fat Booty (Limelinx)

Pharcyde and Led Zeppelin - Passin' Me By (Fidelski Remix)(YSI)
Pharcyde and Led Zeppelin - Passin' Me By (Fidelski Remix)(Limelinx)

Jay-Z and J Dilla - Song Don't Cry (DJ Soul Remix) (YSI)
Jay-Z and J Dilla - Song Don't Cry (DJ Soul Remix) (Limelinx)

J Dilla - Two Can Win (YSI)
J Dilla - Two Can Win (Limelinx)

Bless 1 - The End (YSI)
Bless 1 - The End (Limelinx)

Lest you be left with the impression that I'm a completely heartbroken wretch, I should note that I do have one ongoing relationship in my life that has been a near endless source of satisfaction; namely, hip hop. We've had our ups and downs over the years - her latest fling with this guy Antares has, admittedly, caused me to question what it is I see in H.E.R. - but we always end up getting back together. The women in my life will continue to come and go, Cupid willing, but hip hop will always be there for me. So with that said, here is my final selection, dedicated to the true love of my life.

The Roots featuring Common - Act Too (Love of my Life) (YSI)
The Roots featuring Common - Act Too (Love of my Life) (Limelinx)

Fresh is my friend, homeskillet, amigo, compadre, partner in crime, etc. Stop by 33 Jones and show some overdue appreciation.

Word From Your Moms:

"That word love is a very serious thing and if you don't watch out, I tell you that love's gonna get'cha." - KRS-1

Love Lockdown: The Hip Hop Is Read Edition

At Last - Etta James (YSI)
At Last - Etta James (Limelinx)

Come As You Are - Nirvana (YSI)
Come As You Are - Nirvana (Limelinx)

Hey - The Pixies (YSI)
Hey - The Pixies (Limelinx)

Hold Me Tight - The Beatles (YSI)
Hold Me Tight - The Beatles (Limelinx)

My Girl - The Temptations (YSI)
My Girl - The Temptations (Limelinx)

Peep Ivan's everyday hustle via the highly exalted Hip Hop Is Read

Word From Your Moms:

don’t send

Andre Segui, “How the Bloom Leaves the Rose”

Love Lockdown: The Almighty Styler Edition

Well here is my humble selection of 'love jams', better late than never and a good deal harder to compile than one first thought, due to my being rather partial to the songs of lovelorn, heartbroken troubadours and down 'n' out bluesmen while I console myself with a good single malt.

Anyway, it must be said that I can still appreciate a nice happy song about happy people in love with each other and having a really swell old time of it, revelling in their new found love etc....the swines!

So without further ado here are my five :

"Turn On Some Music"---Marvin Gaye (LimeLinx)
"Turn On Some Music"---Marvin Gaye (YSI)

A love jam list isn't really complete without the sexy soulfulness of a far too good looking gent who goes by the name of Marvin Gaye. I'm quite sure I will not be the only one to include this legend and as such I will hopefully pick a less obvious joint from the vaults of Marvin's Room. The temptation to post the classic "Let's Get It On" or "I Want You" was always going to be there, so I have opted for a track from his final album, 1982's Midnight Love not "Sexual Healing", rather "Turn On Some Music" which has Marvin boasting about his sexual prowess and stamina....

"The time has passed, An hour and a half, I love you baby, I'm strong enough to last" etc. etc.......Get your Tantric help guide out guys, we've got a lot to live up to.

"I Wanna Be Where You Are"---Michael Jackson (LimeLinx)
"I Wanna Be Where You Are"---Michael Jackson (YSI)

This is a great wee number, which was also recorded by the aforementioned Mr Gaye on his I Want You album, however the version here is by the artist it was written for, the still young and barley pubescent dark-skinned kid with a groovy 'fro, who along with his brothers was the toast of Motown. I am of course talking about Michael ''What the fuck happened there?'' Jackson

"I Wanna Be Where You Are" was written by Leon Ware and Arthur "T-Boy" Ross (you might know his big sister Diana) for young Jacko's first solo album, Got To Be There (1972). The duo also wrote the Marvin Gaye hit "I Want You" amongst others.

"Caruso"---Andrea Bocelli (LimeLinx)
"Caruso"---Andrea Bocelli (YSI)

This is a beautiful and popular Italian love song written by Lucio Dalla in 1986 and dedicated to the great and iconic Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. The lyrics are open to interpretation as to whom the man is singing to, is it his beloved or his daughter? As my Italian is not at all good, I cannot give you and answer, however with a stirring chorus starting "Te voglio bene assaie Ma tanto, tanto bene sai..." ("I love you very much So much, so much you know..." ) It matters not.

This version is by far my favourite and was included on Andrea Bocelli's first international album release 1997's Romanza (his fourth studio album). It is a much more stripped down take on the oft-covered song, with Bocelli's beautiful voice and piano conveying all the emotion of Dalla's music.

"As Long As I Have You"---Garnet Mimms (LimeLinx)
"As Long As I Have You"---Garnet Mimms (YSI)

Any song that was good enough for the mighty Led Zeppelin to cover (in fact Robert Plant had been rockin' it pre Zep) and play on some of their early kick ass shows, you know has to be a good one. And this little baby is just that, a sure-fire hit if ever there was one, the only problem being it was never released as a single and that is probably why Garnet Mimms, a really great soul singer, is relatively unknown by the masses. He cut the hit "Cry Baby" in 1963 with The Enchanters, a song which was later popularised by Janis Joplin. After a couple of well-received singles, he split with The Enchanters in 1964 and released a number of solo records with United Artists, including the album As Long As I Have You in 1965. However, he was soon not seen as a priority to United Artists, being moved to their subsidiary label Veep in 1967, and as such was never promoted as much as he should have been.

Anyway, after hearing this track you'll want to put it back on again and be singing along with it, wishing you were still with your baby as you dance the night least that's what I do when the whisky's a-flowin'.

"So Much In Love With You"---John Martyn (LimeLinx)
"So Much In Love With You"---John Martyn (YSI)

My last choice is by one of the greatest songwriters my country has ever known and a true folk hero. Mr John Martyn, who sadly passed away on Jan 29th, was an all time favourite of mine and many others for his heartfelt and soulful music and guitar playing that put him head and shoulders above many contemporaries. As I mentioned in my last post for Souled On, if you have not heard enough of him, then do yourself a favour...the big man's a fuckin' legend and an absolute joy to listen to.

He wrote many a fine love songs and it was a hard task to try and narrow one down, so as I had posted a video for quite possibly one of the best love songs written, "Couldn't Love You More" in my last blog, I will have to choose another and go with the final track from his 1973 album Inside Out. RIP and much love from one Glasgow Walker to the other.

Many thanks and peace to you and yours people.

Fundamental Supplementals:

This video is a live take of "Great Expectations" from Elbow's third studio album Leaders Of The Free World (2005), and is nothing short of perfection. The song may be about the heartbreaking memory of ones first full blown love affair, which is now just that. Or indeed remembering when you first made a connection with the one that still holds your heart as you do theirs. There is a story that lead singer Guy Garvey, whilst on a bus, spotted an old couple, who appeared to have very little, but their love for one another was beautifully evident and he was inspired to compose yet another wonderful song:

A Note From Scholar: If you wanna hear more from my man Styler (and you'd be crazy not to), you need look no further than the pages of Souled On, where he's begun to amass his own cult-like following.

Word From Your Moms:

In celebration of Robert Burns' 250th birthday, which was on January 25th, and in keeping with the theme of the day, I have included one of The Bard's love poems for your reading pleasure.


Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo've best:
There's wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between;
But day and night my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green,
There's not a bonie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.

(airts = direction / points of the compass)

Love Lockdown: The Heavy Soul Brutha Edition

First off, let me thank Scholar for the generous invite to participate in this little tribute to LOVE! It's a privilege to be asked and make an appearance on, what I consider, one of the very best spots on the web.

When I think of Love Jams, I think of 1980 to about 1986/87 and my first introduction to that late night program, that was probably in every city in the US, called "The Quiet Storm." It actually originated in the mid-70's in Washington DC by a DJ named Melvin Lindsay. It usually started around 10pm and lasted four hours. I was between eleven and seventeen years old then and I used to fall asleep listening to our show here in Richmond VA, pretty much every night. Friday nights were the best as I could stay up and listen to the whole show and record it over a few Maxell Cassette Tapes to use for mix tapes. It always opened up with Smokey Robinson's, "Quiet Storm." In between you would have an almost constant mix of contemporary slow jams as well as gems from back in the day. And our local DJ would keep the groove going for extended periods with a rare commercial here and there and always fade the show out by revisiting Smokey's get down every night. CLASSIC!

So, here is a mix of what I would consider the quintessential representation of my perfect hour of a show if I was spinning the records. You'll no doubt recognize them all, but these are, as we used to say, "some of the best bone jams" you can ever put on the hi-fi if you are trying to get a little snuggle on with your loved one. I've no doubt I could easily come up with enough tunes for a full four hour show, but here's just a taste.

I really hope you enjoy be sure and follow TP's instructions. "Turn Off The Lights and Light A Candle."

HeavySoulBrutha's Quiet Storm Mix Extended Player! (LimeLinx)

01. Intro: Quiet Storm - Smokey Robinson
02. Turn Off The Lights - Teddy Pendergrass
03. Yearning For Your Love - The Gap Band
04. Adore - Prince
05. Reasons (Live) - Earth Wind and Fire
06. Sparkle - Cameo
07. Love Ballad - LTD
08. For The Love Of You - The Isley Brothers
09. Fire And Desire - Rick James & Teena Marie
10. Superstar/Until You Come Back To Me - Luther Vandross
11. Quiet Storm Outro...

Peace and SOUL,

Keep diggin' with HeavySoulBrutha via his phenomenal website, Put The Needle On The Record

Word From Your Moms:

"You know, as far as I'm concerned, it's about love. Y'know? You love someone...and how hard can the world be? I mean, people will come and go and so will problems, and ultimately, if you have love on your side and deep, deep down in your soul, what's a problem gonna be that takes your attention away from that?"

Spoken by the character of Jerome wooing porn star Becky Barnett. From the film Boogie Nights. Words written by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Lockdown: The Old Money Edition

Somehow in the warped Old Money universe, listing a top 5-or-so love jawns of all time became, well, something else.

That said, we present to you, in no particular order, our top 5-or-so Clips of Love, and top 2-or-so poems of the moment by a couple of friends of ours.

And for the record, Dwayne Wayne busting into Whitley Gilbert's wedding and making it his own (Episode 25, Season 5) would have certainly made the list, if the youtube clip didn't look like an old kung-fu flick:

1. Elizabeth Acevedo

To Be

He speaks saxophone
And I want to be his favorite Nina Simone song.
Maybe "Feeling Good" or "Wild is the Wind",
Want him to breathe me.

Let me be a memory,
He will tell grandchildren about,
As he becomes the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes,
Proof of smiles and sunlight

I want to be his un-chartered, un-finished city
But only if he'll be my architect
Kissing blueprints onto my spine
I want him to be a town I've never visited
And I refuse to be a tourist in,
One, that one day, I will call home

Let him be fire, I will be air
So together we will be fire-breathers
Sun eaters, holding stars in our mouths,
Smoke speakers, teachers of interlocking elements.

As he becomes the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes!! Proof of smiles and sunlight! Yea son, we're suckers for metaphor, and the vision in those two lines alone...This piece is just crazy. Actually, we were just gonna include this one, but she has another one that's buh-nanas, and was recently published in the Urban Word NYC Youth Anthology: Connect Politic Ditto


My feelings
are smooth cornrows
Neatly twisted, and perfectly presentable
Do not undo them,
because beneath that polished exterior
Is unbounded, spiraling energy.

Shivers dance electric slides across my spine
as your fingers pirouette on my temples,
I attempt to
French braid thoughts of French kisses
Curb the tongue of my body; speaking drumbeats
How I want to learn the pattern of your hands

Such painful silence lives in our polite contact
My fingertips cannot betray
The logical walls we have built
And lust does not have the right
to break so many bricks.
Because besides our burning blood
Not much else can we offer:
You refuse to provide more,
I refuse to accept less.

So nightly, I take these feelings and plait them tightly,
Knowing us, as "just friends", could not survive their unwinding. one form or another, we've probably all been there.

2. Aja Monet:

"Sitting the moon in your eyes like rocking chairs at night"

Excuse us, but that imagery is absolutely O/D!!!!!!

1. Martin

After a break up Martin wins Gina back w/ a soulful rendition of his own

2. Coming To America

An ode to all the Queens out there

3. The Cosby Show

Cliff plays some delicious Jazz

4. The Jamie Foxx Show

Jamie gets his jingle on in a jingle-off, sparking a competitive flame

5. Kings of Comedy

Steve Harvey lets us know about keepin' it old school

Old Money. We outta here mang!

Show Old Money some love via Attorney Street as well as their website and MySpace.

Word From Your Moms:

"There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another."---Frank Zappa

Love Lockdown: The Fufu Stew Edition

Hello, kiddies.

Always a pleasure to drop by and hang out with you all. When I got the email from Scholar, I just couldn't pass up the chance to actually play some records. Being chained to my computer learning Algebra has consumed my time, so I suppose the key word here is "therapy"...

Here is my contribution to the Valentine's Day spectacular. I dug into a pile of 45s, (most of which haven't seen the light of my turntable in a number of years) with songs about love as opposed to the traditional love song, even though there's a few of those thrown in too. After all, it is Valentine's Day, right? This all 45 rpm exercise was edited and assembled on the fly in about two hours tops. *I must send a big thank you to my man Rob for the loaners...Of course, much respect to Scholar... thanks for the invite :)

Please download and enjoy Souled On Love as a continuous mp3 mix, a zip file, or as individual tracks:

01 I Want To Do Everything For You-Joe Tex (Dial) (YSI)
01 I Want To Do Everything For You-Joe Tex (Dial) (Limelinx)

02 Like An Open Door-The Fuzz (Calla) (YSI)
02 Like An Open Door-The Fuzz (Calla) (Limelinx)

03 Piece Of My Heart-Erma Franklin (Shout) (YSI)
03 Piece Of My Heart-Erma Franklin (Shout) (Limelinx)

04 I Can't Live Without You-The Soul Brothers Six (Atlantic) (YSI)
04 I Can't Live Without You-The Soul Brothers Six (Atlantic) (Limelinx)

05 Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing-Etta James (Cadet)* (YSI)
05 Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing-Etta James (Cadet)* (Limelinx)

06 Eight Men Four Women-O.V. Wright (Back Beat) (YSI)
06 Eight Men Four Women-O.V. Wright (Back Beat) (Limelinx)

07 It's Better Not To Know-The Royalettes (MGM) (YSI)
07 It's Better Not To Know-The Royalettes (MGM) (Limelinx)

08 Oh Baby Don't You Weep Pts. 1&2-James Brown (King)* (YSI)
08 Oh Baby Don't You Weep Pts. 1&2-James Brown (King)* (Limelinx)

09 Because Of Love-The Sandpebbles (Calla) (YSI)
09 Because Of Love-The Sandpebbles (Calla) (Limelinx)

10 Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong-Whispers (Soul Clock) (YSI)
10 Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong-Whispers (Soul Clock) (Limelinx)

11 It's I Who Love You (Not Him Anymore)-Bobby Byrd (King) (YSI)
11 It's I Who Love You (Not Him Anymore)-Bobby Byrd (King) (Limelinx)

12 Why Don't You Lead Me To Love-Stevie Wonder (Tamla) (YSI)
12 Why Don't You Lead Me To Love-Stevie Wonder (Tamla) (Limelinx)

13 Handle With Care-King Floyd (Chimneyville) (YSI)
13 Handle With Care-King Floyd (Chimneyville) (Limelinx)

14 Spellbinder-The Rhythm Rebellion (Tangerine) (YSI)
14 Spellbinder-The Rhythm Rebellion (Tangerine) (Limelinx)

15 Mind Body And Soul-The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax) (YSI)
15 Mind Body And Soul-The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax) (Limelinx)

16 Where There's A Will There's A Way-Brenda & The Tabulations (Top And Bottom) (YSI)
16 Where There's A Will There's A Way-Brenda & The Tabulations (Top And Bottom) (Limelinx)

17 Let Me Keep On Walking-Prophecy (All Platinum)* (YSI)
17 Let Me Keep On Walking-Prophecy (All Platinum)* (Limelinx)

18 Remember The Rain-The Vibrations (Okeh)* (YSI)
18 Remember The Rain-The Vibrations (Okeh)* (Limelinx)

19 I Am Your Man-Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers (Gordy)* (YSI)
19 I Am Your Man-Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers (Gordy)* (Limelinx)

20 I Can't Do Enough-The Dells (Cadet) (YSI)
20 I Can't Do Enough-The Dells (Cadet) (Limelinx)

21 Put Our Love Together-Arthur Conley (Atco) (YSI)
21 Put Our Love Together-Arthur Conley (Atco) (Limelinx)

22 I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love-The Fantastic Four (Ric Tic)* (YSI)
22 I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love-The Fantastic Four (Ric Tic)* (Limelinx)

23 I Found A Love Part 2-Wilson Pickett (Atlantic)* (YSI)
23 I Found A Love Part 2-Wilson Pickett (Atlantic)* (Limelinx)

Go check out some more of the bold and zesty Soul Chef's delicious grooves at Fufu Stew.

Word From Your Moms:

I hold it true, whatever befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Love Lockdown: The Soul Psychadelicyde Edition

I think it goes without saying that I'm honored to be a part of this; Scholar is one of the best bloggers hands down and Souled On feels like a big happy family.

This task was really overwhelming, especially when I had the phrase 'of all time' in my head. It was much easier to think of favorites since that's just my opinion. There's no possible way I'm NOT leaving out whole genres of music. And my top five favorites do change from day to day. In fact, I'm writing this blurb on a different day than the day I sent my 5 songs, and today I'm ok with my choices but I also kinda want to say: "what love got to do with it? / ask SV it's all bullshit / you know what love is" ("Look of Love"- Slum Village)

Cassandra Wilson - Love is Blindness (YSI)
Cassandra Wilson - Love is Blindness (LimeLinx)

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - My One and Only Love (YSI)
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - My One and Only Love (LimeLinx)

Aretha Franklin - Baby I Love You (YSI)
Aretha Franklin - Baby I Love You (LimeLinx)

Erykah Badu - Green Eyes (YSI)
Erykah Badu - Green Eyes (LimeLinx)

Mos Def - The Beggar (YSI)
Mos Def - The Beggar (LimeLinx)

Get your groove on with my girl Lily Kane over @ Soul Psychadelicyde

Word From Your Moms:

"Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all."---Toni Morrison

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Lockdown: The Cheese Sandwich Edition

Very Yes---Bootsy Collins (YSI)
Very Yes---Bootsy Collins (Limelinx)

Beddie Biey - Steve Arrington (YSI)
Beddie Biey - Steve Arrington (Limelinx)

Sure Know How To Love Me - Darondo (YSI)
Sure Know How To Love Me - Darondo (Limelinx)

I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)- Parliament (YSI)
I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)- Parliament (Limelinx)

Sweet Sticky Thing - Ohio Players (YSI)
Sweet Sticky Thing - Ohio Players (Limelinx)

Enjoy life, music, and a bunch of other shit over a classy Cheese Sandwich

Word From Your Moms:

"I like big butts and I cannot lie."---Sir Mix-A-Lot

Love Lockdown: The AM, Then FM Edition

Love songs, eh? There are but three uses for love songs.

The love song as a guide to life:

When a 13-year-old kid in Wisconsin started listening to the radio in 1970, love songs spoke to him. They helped that kid – who had no older brothers and no sisters – navigate social situations for which there were no instructions. Some love songs coached him on what to say, how it say it and when to say it. Other love songs simply were eye-openers.

We've Got To Get It On Again - The Addrisi Brothers (YSI)
We've Got To Get It On Again - The Addrisi Brothers (Limelinx)

Lessons also learned from: “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, 1972; “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Billy Paul, 1972; “Show and Tell,” Al Wilson, 1973; and “Third Rate Romance,” the Amazing Rhythm Aces, 1975.

The love song as soundtrack:

The soundtrack to a certain time spent with a certain girl. The soundtrack to a six-week romance during that Wisconsin kid’s senior year in high school. These love songs weren’t for that certain girl. Rather, they were on the radio as that kid eagerly drove to her house and then floated home again. Hearing them today, those six weeks rush back.

Everlasting Love - Carl Carlton (YSI)
Everlasting Love - Carl Carlton (Limelinx)

You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White (YSI)
You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White (Limelinx)

Other soundtrack selections: “When Will I See You Again,” the Three Degrees, 1974; and “Laughter in the Rain,” Neil Sedaka, 1974.

The love song as mood music:

As the ‘70s ended, that Wisconsin kid was a senior in college, where he met another girl. He spent time at her house, too. They never made it much beyond her couch, except when it was time to flip the record. They’re still together all these years later. Yet to say they have a song that’s theirs is a bit of a stretch. Well, this was on in the background.

Affirmation - George Benson (YSI)
Affirmation - George Benson (Limelinx)

Other mood music: Uhhh, what? “This Masquerade,” George Benson, 1976. Oh, yeah, and Blondie’s “Parallel Lines” album (1978) and “Squeezing Out Sparks” by Graham Parker and the Rumour (1979). And some double album on which I cleaned the dope. It wasn't Isaac Hayes' Shaft, but that's some sweet mood music, too.

Cafe Regios - Isaac Hayes (YSI)
Cafe Regios - Isaac Hayes (Limelinx)

Check out more dope stuff courtesy of Jeff at the inimitable AM, Then FM

Word From Your Moms:

"Put a little love in your heart, and the world will be a better place ... for you and me, you just wait and see."---Jackie DeShannon, 1969

Love Lockdown: The Metal Lungies Edition

When Scholar invited me to choose my five favorite love joints for Valentine’s Day, I figured, rather than just put together a random grab-bag of mushiness, I would create a musical path through the formation of the perfect relationship – the five types of love that that special someone invokes in you. What do I know about “love” and the “perfect relationship”? Not too much from experience, other than that the only thing more difficult to find than the former is the latter. In fact, my lack of experience was probably what inspired my song choices. Some may call me (and a few people have called me) “naïve”, but, to them I ask… is there any holiday that encourages naivete more so than Valentine’s Day?

(Well, there is April Fool’s Day… OK, Christmas, too – it certainly requires some degree of naivete to imagine an old fat guy dressed in red sliding down your chimney with reindeer posted up on the roof… OK, you can argue for Columbus Day, seeing as it also requires some naivete to swallow the pill that Christopher Columbus discovered America, though that’s a debate for another day… and, yes, technically Valentine’s Day isn’t a “holiday”, but rather a creation by greeting card companies to make money… for heaven’s sake, man, it was a freaking rhetorical question! No wonder you’re alone on Valentine’s Day!)

Zapp – “I Wanna Be Your Man” (YSI)
Zapp - "I Wanna Be Your Man" (Limelinx)

This is that secret admirer, “I had my eyes on you for a while and just now worked up the nerve to approach you” type of love music.

D'Angelo – "Cruisin' (Dallas Austin Remix)” (YSI)
D'Angelo - "Cruisin' (Dallas Austin Remix)" (Limelinx)

This is that hanging out and doing nothing but looking each other in the eyes type of love music (… remixed by Dallas Austin).

Mos Def – "The Panties" (YSI)
Mos Def - "The Panties" (Limelinx)

This is that lit candles, bubble bath, gripping the bedsheets type of love music.

The Intruders – "Together” (YSI)
The Intruders - "Together" (Limelinx)

This is that saving up a couple of paychecks for a ring because this one right here might be a keeper (and a cubic zirconia just ain’t gonna cut it) type of love music.

The Isley Brothers – "Voyage To Atlantis" (YSI)
The Isley Brothers - "Voyage To Atlantis" (Limelinx)

This is that together forever, complete ignorance of the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, essentially ruining your life but still couldn’t be happier type of love music.

As for those of you who aren’t big fans of Valentine’s Day – which includes myself, now that I’ve stepped out of the fantasy world I was in while writing this post – head over to ML for five songs that may be more up your alley.

Word From Your Moms:

"If somebody says, 'I love you,' to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which the pistol-holder requires? 'I love you, too.' ---Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love Lockdown: The Go Nicole Yourself Edition

Hello Disciples of Scholar – Welcome to Go Nicole Yourself’s V-Day Post. A couple of years ago, Scholar and I bonded over a Roberta Flack song and now I’m lucky enough to call Scholar my friend. I might even say that my friendship with Scholar has been a journey – only he can truly know what that means, right bro? (Hahahahah) Anyway, Scholar asked me to participate in the V-Day posts and I was honored to be able to do so. I’m not a crazy crate digger like Mr X but I am a music fan, not unlike the rest of you. I chose songs that meant something to me. And in keeping with Souled On tradition of posting cover songs, here we go:

I grew up in a house where Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, Doo Wop and Salsa were played often. My dad could only listen to music LOUDLY, so it was inevitable that I’d learn to enjoy music, but particularly soul music.

My parents were married for 40 years on February 2nd of this year. Their wedding song was Stevie Wonder’s version of “For Once in My Life” The original was done by a woman named Jean DuShon but didn’t reach its full popularity until they gave it to Stevie. Here is the original, plus a few good covers of the song.

For Once In My Life: Jean DuShon (YSI)
For Once In My Life: Jean DuShon (Limelinx)

For Once In My Life: Stevie Wonder (YSI)
For Once In My Life: Stevie Wonder (Limelinx)

For Once In My Life
: Michael Buble (YSI)
For Once In My Life: Michael Buble (Limelinx)

If I ever get married, my wedding song will DEFINITELY be a Stevie Wonder song. My song? “As”. I can’t hear that song and NOT be happy, nor stay still. The only people to do a cover that I sort of like are George Michael and Mary J Blige. Don’t hate on me for loving Georgie. He’s scandalous but Wham was the SHIT.

As: Stevie Wonder (YSI)
As: Stevie Wonder (Limelinx)

As: George Michael w/Mary J Blige (YSI)
As: George Michael w/Mary J Blige (Limelinx)

Gladys Knight was another staple in my house. I love too many of her songs to pick just one, but this track was nicely covered by Alicia Keys and Bettye LaVette. No one can do unrequited love quite like Gladys

If I Were Your Woman: Gladys Knight & The Pips (YSI)
If I Were Your Woman: Gladys Knight & The Pips (Limelinx)

If I Were Your Woman/Walk On By: Alicia Keys (YSI)
If I Were Your Woman/Walk On By: Alicia Keys (Limelinx)

If I Were Your Woman: Bettye LaVette (YSI)
If I Were Your Woman: Bettye LaVette (Limelinx)

Another one of my favorite love songs is “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Originally written in 1957 by Ewan MacColl for his wife Peggy Seeger who recorded it as a folk tune. It was then covered most notably by Roberta Flack. My personal favorite cover is by The Stereophonics. The singer's voice does the song justice imho.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Peggy Seeger (YSI)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Peggy Seeger (Limelinx)

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Roberta Flack (YSI)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Roberta Flack (Limelinx)

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: The Stereophonics (YSI)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: The Stereophonics (Limelinx)

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Johnny Cash (YSI)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Johnny Cash (Limelinx)

Last – but hardly least – is a cover song by someone who isn’t considered a soul artist, but anyone who knows his stuff, knows that soul music doesn’t necessarily have to sound like everything else. My favorite artist ever - Peter Gabriel covered “The Book of Love” for the ‘Shall We Dance’ soundtrack, originally done by the Magnetic Fields on their 1999 triple album - 69 Love Songs.

The Book of Love: The Magnetic Fields (YSI)
The Book of Love: The Magnetic Fields (Limelinx)

The Book of Love: Peter Gabriel (YSI)
The Book of Love: Peter Gabriel (Limelinx)

The Book of Love: Mike Doughty (YSI)
The Book of Love: Mike Doughty (Limelinx)

Fundamental Supplementals:

Secret World - Peter Gabriel (YSI)

Whole Thing - Peter Gabriel & Friends (YSI)

Sky Blue - Peter Gabriel (YSI)

Washing of the Water - Peter Gabriel (YSI)

Summertime - Peter Gabriel (YSI)

A Note From Scholar: We obviously needed some estrogen in here, so I hope that you enjoyed Nicole's post. I have to say that without her, this V Day celebration wouldn't have been possible. She's been helping me organize, edit, upload, etc. Thanks to her, I'm still marginally maintaining my sanity. When you get done reading this, Go Nicole Yourself.

Word From Your Moms:

"We're looking at the same moon, though we're miles apart. We're wishing on the same star when you're deep in my heart. I don't know if you know, but when we miss each other so, look up. I'll meet you at the moon." - Imelda May

"You know how I know? Because I still love him and want to be with him, even when he's so stupid that I want to shove an umbrella up his ass and open it" - Go Mom Yourself (when asked how she knew she still loved Go Dad Yourself)