Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
I love this footage I shot at Kevin and Barbara's wedding last weekend. Here's a couple dancing at the shindig who are just 100 percent in sync. Take note couples and soon-to-be couples. This is how you stay in tune with and follow your partner, on and off the dance floor!
One of my favorite couples got married last weekend and I was lucky enough to celebrate their lovely union with a host of family and friends. Here they are, Mr. and Mrs. Little (my cousin and my new cousin!). God bless their union with an abundance of love, compassion, and friendship.
|Kevin and Barbara Little|
Thursday, September 25, 2014
If you love Latin jazz, hip hop, and spoken word, then you're going to love this. Paying homage to las boricuas in history who came and changed the world, is spoken word artist Chilo and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with the song, "They Came." As Chilo calls out some Puerto Ricans who have rocked this culture, from Rita Moreno and Tito Puente to Big Pun and Basquiat, this high energy, soulful, hip hop, and Latin jazz-infused number shows love for those artists and warms up the blood. Chilo, a licensed history teacher from Long Island who started the spoken word group, El Grito De Poetas, reminds you that "they came" and "they ain't goin' nowhere." This magnificent band, Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, is nominated for "The Offense Of The Drum" in the Best Latin Jazz Album category this year. "They Came" appears on that album.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Newark is about to be filled with love, peace, and happiness thanks to British artist Killy Kilford who is working with The Newark Anti-Violence Campaign and Mayor Ras Baraka to spread good vibes all over the city with street signs.
Messages that say things like: "Love Up Guns Down," "Less Drugs, More Hugs," and "Make God Big Homie" are about to pepper the streets of Newark, starting October 15.
Next stop -- Charlotte. I hope.
Monday, September 15, 2014
“Hardin (Adrian Peterson's attorney) said Peterson used a switch because that was the way he was brought up by his parents in Palestine, Texas, and the NFL star agreed. ‘I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen,’ Peterson said. ‘I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.’The part I like is: "I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate." Let me just say that I am against corporal punishment (spanking -- at home or at school). But I sympathize with Peterson. So many of us have been beaten or “spanked" as a disciplinary measure. Many times -- excessively. I've seen many instances of this up close that have made me cringe and turn away. I know these issues have caused a great debate. But that's what it's worth -- a great debate.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
As I listened to one of my favorite singers this morning on the way to work, I was reminded how dysfunctional many of her songs are. The singer, Billie Holiday, often sang of love that hurt, both emotionally and sometimes physically. Listen to one of her iconic hits, “My Man,” and you’re reminded of how this culture not only romanticizes love, but how it tends to romanticize the pain and torture that goes along with dysfunctional, abusive relationships. “It cost me a lot, but there's one thing that I've got. It's my man …” OK, everyone knows that love costs and takes a lot of work. Nothing wrong there. “Two or three girls has he. That he likes as well as me. But I love him.” Hmmm….. hold on a minute. Why are you staying with this guy who’s blatantly stepping out on you? And you say, you love him? OK….. “Oh, my man, I love him so. He'll never know. All my life is just despair. But I don't care. When he takes me in his arms, the world is bright. All right.” No, no, sister. It’s not alright. If all of your life seems like despair when you’re with this dude, then I don’t think he’s for you. Go on….I’m listening. “I don't know why I should. He isn't true. He beats me, too. What can I do?” You don’t know why you should, because you shouldn’t. And did you say he beats you? What you can do is call the freakin’ police! “What's the difference if I say, ‘I'll go away’ When I know I'll come back in my knees someday. For whatever my man is, I’m his … forevermore.” My advice to you is that you go far far away from him. I don’t care if he’s sobbing, on his hands and knees, with flowers in his hands — begging you to come back. You don’t have to be his. Just learn how to love yourself. Even if it means being alone, by yourself for a while.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I love Marvin Gaye's music -- from the "What's Goin' On" album, to the music he made before he died. I do like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "You're All I Need," but I'm not so crazy about the other music he made before his prophetic "What's Goin' On" project. Gigi doesn't care much for Marvin's music, except for this one song, "Got to Give it Up." This is a masterpice too, just in a more fun, carefree way. The rhythms and soul of this song have been sampled and copied to death. It's just that good. People can't seem to get enough of it. Check out Marvin from a Soul Train performance, where he's having such a good time with the song that he abandons trying to lip sync the tune at one point and jumps down with the crowd to dance. What musician can you think of who has had this much fun performing one of their own songs? He loses himself here with the joy and energy of the Soul Train dancers. They are loving it. Imagine, actually dancing with the incomparable Marvin Gaye! Now Gigi loves just about everything that Al Green sings. Of course, I love him too -- which is where she gets the appreciation of his music. Gigi couldn't get enough of this acoustic performance of "Simply Beautiful" by Al Green on VH1: Here's the studio version of "Simply Beautiful" -- it's simply gorgeous.