the music of my life

Seems like music is everywhere, all the time in my life.  I’ve been singing since I was 2, and there’s always a song in my head.  This has become a wondrous gift in the last 6 months or so, when things at work were so incredibly bad…Songs of encouragement, and strength, and songs that mirrored my pain flew into my mind at turns.  Comforting, reassuring, inspiring me.

Often, though, I sing what I’m doing.  And I don’t realize it until someone else hears me.  This makes for some awkward conversations, sometimes.  My favorite inconsistency about my personal musical soundtrack is the fact that I always sing a song when I get my spoon in the lunchroom at work.  I do not sing one when I only get a fork.  My spoon song is not lyrically intensive – as evidenced here:

Spoon – eh, spoon – eh, spoooon.  Spoon – eh, spoon – eh, Spoon.

But it’s very fun to sing.  I find that the word fork is just not quite so musical.

So, today on CNN I saw this on the crawl: music a ‘mega-vitamin’ for the brain.  And reading the article, I see

[music is] capable of influencing and improving motor function, communication and even cognition.

That’s pretty cool.

I totally know it’s great for memory, because I’ve memorized an awful lot of songs in my life.  From commercials to tv theme songs to pop songs, folk songs, and hymns.  And putting history facts to music [a la SchoolHouse Rock], is how I’ll never forget that women got the right to vote in 1920 – via the 19th amendment to the Constitution.  And, of course, that’s how I learned the Preamble. Continue reading

bye bye

Though it was against Mia’s wishes, Thayne has left SYTYCD. [yay!]

It was time for Comfort as well, though I was a bit more sad for her, considering how much I liked her.  She needs time to heal, though.  And maybe work on expanding her repertoire.

Tonight, Will looked like he should’ve been on the floor with the guys from Ailey.  [Love those guys.  Got to see Ailey II a couple times and it was awesome – if you have the chance: GO.]

So next week is the beginning of the top ten.  This season’s just not as captivating for me as last year.  I love the guys, but I just don’t think the breadth of talent is involved this year the way it’s been in previous years. [Namely, the last two.]

Following the pattern, America’s Best Dance Crew is also not hitting it like the 1st season [a whopping 3 or 4 months ago].  I find myself itching for The Closer to finally come back.

Anyway, as a tribute to our fallen comrades in the many dance shows of the summer, I give you MC.  Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “bye bye“, posted with vodpod

don’t drink the haterade (an ode to MC)

pre-diva, pre corporate-machineMariah seems to be one of those celebs that folks love to hate.

I don’t doubt that at least a twinge of it is straight up jealous-hate: she’s got what others want.

Some is genre-related: she’s stuck to the pop charts since day one, and some folks are stubbornly against anything that the “mainstream” likes.

Some folks hate on the drama: we all remember the “meltdown”/exhaustion fiasco.

But I’m not sure why people get SO venomous about MC. Unless it’s the same thing that makes her fans some of the most dedicated in the world.

I can’t properly explain how devoted her fans are, but if you are one – you know. I’m a fan, albeit one that can see her flaws, and I still take it personally when people talk out of their necks about her. My sister is much closer to superfan status (though she too still has her feet on the ground and is not rallying for MC sainthood).

There are a lot of misconceptions about Mariah, and then there’s diva stuff that she’s actually done, and I think some folks get it twisted. One thing folks love to lay at her door is the claim that she’s been ambiguous about her racial background, or that she’s sometimey when claiming black heritage.

I remember when ‘Vision of Love‘ came out. It was my favorite song, and I knew I loved whoever sang it. I remember the first time I saw her on tv and I thought – she’s white??? And I remember reading an article not too long after that where she described her background: a white (Irish) mother and a black (Afro-Venezuelan) father.

‘Just like me’, I thought. Only, my dad’s African-American, my parents were together at the time, and she could totally pass and I never could. But I sing. She sings. It was official. She was my role-model.

Then she had that fairy-tale wedding…to an old dude. I wasn’t into that, but her music was still awesome, and so I rolled with it.

With Butterfly (still my fave album), she made her break with Mottola. Hip-hop wangled its way further into her music, and I could see what was happening.

That’s when the great chasm started. (Here’s where I go into full conspiracy-theory mode. Half tongue-in-cheek, half things-that-make-you-go-hmm. Take it or leave it, I just blog.)

Casual listeners weren’t really aware of Carey’s background. We all know she is light-skinned(ed). [you know you know somebody who says that] But some folks just thought she was white. They heard her ballads, and her fun songs and loved her. And then some guy named ODB was featured on MC’s hit – ‘Fantasy‘.

Me ‘n’ Mariah – go back like babies n pacifiers – old dirt dog no liar – keep your fantasy hot like fire…

Who was that black man? None other than a founding member of the Wu Tang Clan. A rapper? Oh NO! White people were very uncomfortable with this. This was during a time when rap was ONLY played on black radio stations. In my town, TLC was played on the top40 station, when ‘Waterfalls’ (1994) became a hit. But Left-Eye’s rap was edited out. In fact, it wasn’t until somewhere around 2000 that they would play the complete song. 6 years later. So you know they weren’t gonna play a rap by a man called “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” in 1995.

That was just one song, tho. Until Butterfly. The questions flew. Just what was ‘Honey’ a euphemism for? Why two remixes with all those rappers? Why was she leaving that old white dude?

By Rainbow, she was wearing a lot less clothing and hanging out with a lot more rappers. Her adult-contemporary/easy-listening/hip-hop-averse fans were severing ties. And still she gained popularity, and fans.

Fans knew who she was and where she was coming from, from day one. Those who got on board a little later figured out what she was talking about in songs like ‘Outside’ and ‘Looking In’. Not to mention, folks continually acting like they don’t know, so she keeps on telling them.

Sandra Bernhard decided to call out MC for only being black when it was ‘convenient’. (Perhaps I should try polling some folks to find out just when being black is convenient.) But it turned out she was one of those people who didn’t have their facts straight. Oh. And she was racist. (scroll down to comment #9 to see what she actually said)

Theories abound about how TM was tailoring Mariah’s look and sound to make her the great white hope of the music industry. Even album covers minimized the slight brown-ness she can get with a tan. (Exceptions: Mariah Carey and MTV Unplugged). And none of us can deny that the initial mass-market appeal helped push her success to the heights that she’s achieved. (That and the songs ‘Hero’ and ‘One Sweet Day’ – which I no longer listen to.)

So. I know I’m not changing anybody’s mind about MC. And I know she’s divalicious when it comes to her ‘good side’, and her humidifier. I know she does weird stuff like calling fans ‘lambs’ and making a ‘Hello Kitty’ room.

But I don’t know if she’s really married to Nick Cannon. I hope not. I don’t want her to be (no hate for NC, just not into the decision). But it seems that she’s canceled her appearance on The View next week, so I’m not sure.

What I know is that I’ve got E=MC(squared) and I am all ready for ‘Migrate‘ to drop.

Vote Syesha NOW!

MC on Idol.  I was dreading this night.  The most mediocre hopefuls doing Mariah?  Does it even sound like a good idea?

I love Mariah – I know all her songs – I’m by no means a superfan…but I’ve loved her since her first cd.  ‘Vanishing’ was my favorite song on that one.  And Syesha did indeed do it justice.  Please vote for her, y’all.

Everybody else has been blah.

David A – “When You Believe” – boring.  not great vocally.

Carly – “Without You” – terrible.  over sung with no personality.

Brooke – “Hero” – I always said that the last time I heard this song was the last time I wanted to hear it.  So this time was almost an affront.  She tried.  And I suppose she realized that it wasn’t going so well, so she decided to speed it up and get it over with.  Not good.

Kristy Lee – “Forever” – better than I ever expected.  she really could do this on her own record and her fan base would love it.  As I am not a member of her fan base, I do NOT love it.

David C – “Always Be My Baby” – good concept, but it fell apart near the end.  then it got ugly – fast.  the end was only good because it was ending.

Jason C – “I Don’t Wanna Cry” – ok concept, but he didn’t really deliver.

But Syesha – she chose a great song, sang it well, and took a few moments to change it up a little.  I think [hope] the Mariah fans will be out in force to vote for Syesha.  Please?  Cuz I love her.

gotta go vote.  [and then I’ll go get the new cd.]