Listening To… (9/10)

…the funky stylings of soul music legend Roy Ayers, whose birthday is today! The “Jackie Brown” soundtrack first introduced me to his music, and his 70s jams remain some of my most often-played tracks.

And, of course, this timeless classic…

Music heads can bring up Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Stevie Wonder as icons of 70s soul, but to forget Roy Ayers on that list would be criminal!

What Time Is It? Jazz Festival Time!

(Note: I wrote most of this Monday afternoon, especially the first paragraph.)

I’m still kind of worn out from all the walking and dancing I did yesterday at the San Jose Jazz Festival, and I’m also coming out of a churro daze (I made churros for dessert and they were scrump-diddly-umptious). So if this post reads like someone coming off a hash bender wrote it, my lingering lethargy is the reason why. (“Oh, but isn’t that how you normally write?”–you) 

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Seen from the entrance of the festival.

Prior to getting there, I faced a few minor setbacks. I almost forgot my hand sanitizer at home. I made the very-Mensa move by buying my lawn chair the day of the festival. And only the expensive ones were in-stock at Target. (Oh, and I didn’t bother using the chair in the end. Easy return, I guess.) When I arrived in SJ, I couldn’t find the parking area where I made a parking reservation at. It was only until I settled for street parking that things started to look up. For one, street parking in downtown SJ is free on Sundays, and I parked just a block away from the main festivities!

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Some of the artwork spotted at the event. That’s supposed to be Kobe but he’s got his afro from his #8 jersey days and the face is giving me drunk Will Smith with corny B-movie villain eyebrows. 

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Views of the main stage while some event goers jam to the music. 

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Performer Tia Carroll with the Greaseland All-Stars on the Big Easy Stage. What a singer! 

The park at downtown SJ couldn’t hold all the stages in one spot (there are six stages and the park only accomodated two), and when I heard that there was a stage for Latin Jazz performances a block away, I made a beeline over there. 

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Not surprising, there were plenty of people getting their mambo on!

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Not pictured: me doing the same thing. Taking selfies while in motion is kind of tough. 

The main act and more is after the cut!

Continue reading “What Time Is It? Jazz Festival Time!”

Going To A Jazz Festival

I feel giddy and nervous over finally getting the opportunity to attend the San Jose Jazz Festival later today. Giddy because I’ve been wanting to go to this event for years. Nervous because hello–there’s still a bitch-ass pandemic happening. Don’t worry, I’ll be doing the one thing I’ve been doing at outdoor festivals pre-pandemic: staying away from the crowds. I’ll also be double-masking it and keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer with me. 

What’s driving me to go to this show? This legendary band, of course!

 

You may be wondering: what does Morris Day and The Time have to do with jazz? Um, everything! Maybe they’ll play a jazzy version of “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” complete with hot saxophone interlude. 

And when they perform “Jungle Love”, this will be me by my lawn chair. 

 

Listening To… (8/11)

Because I need some music while I work on creating an eBook, I shall play the finest Garbage for my ears!

I don’t know how I got the urge to listen to the bewitching voice of Shirley Manson after going without it for so long (how dare I!), but I’m riding the wave. Twenty-five years after these songs came out and they remain refreshing as rain after a drought. And if “Stupid Girls” spoke out against the try-hard bimbos of the 90s, the message can very much apply to the try-hards of social media and wannabe-A-listers from reality shows these days. The lyric “You pretend you’re anything just to be adored…” alone is enough to make the tragic eyebrows of a TikTok “influencer” fall off.

Also, Shirley’s red hair during that era is current redhead goals for me.

Summertime, Summertime

Summer actually started for us East Bay Area folks last week when we had temperatures that rivaled the inferno of Satan’s butthole. But it’s officially the First Day of Summer today, so how ’bout some R&B summer-themed songs to kick off the season!

If it wasn’t for my enduring love for those old-school Wild 94.9 mixes (which is where I first heard this song from), I would’ve never discovered this still-fresh track!

You remember dancing to this now 30-year-old song as a kid? Congrats–you’re an old like me!

Though “summer” is not mentioned anywhere in the song, this jam is forever part of my Summer 1996 soundtrack. What a time to be a pre-teen. Although I sometimes wish I was a young adult living it up then. (Ugh, those lucky Gen-Xers!)

His Name Is Prince And He Was Funky

In honor of what would’ve been Prince’s birthday today, here is my one and only Prince moment, from ten years ago!

It was May 2011. Then, I was working at Macy’s while in my last month of massage school. When I learned that His Purple Badness was having a show in San Jose, I just had to go! But when I also learned his show was on a Saturday, I actually worried a bit. I was scheduled to do Clinic hours that Saturday. (Clinic is pretty much work shifts for us massage therapists-in-training at school. A little Pro Tip: if you need a massage for cheap, visit a massage school that offers bodywork to the public. Remember to tip your student therapist after!) Luckily, there was a student who agree to swap clinic shifts with me, but to this day, I don’t why she wanted to. I mean, why you working when Prince is performing nearby?! Take the day off and get your butt to the show, too!

By the way, I was also surprised that tickets were cheap (at least for the section I selected), even with bitch-ass Ticketmaster fees added on. I’ve spent more in groceries than I did for Prince tix!

The arena formerly known as HP Pavilion was where the show was at. Place was PACKED. Even nicer was that there was a diverse group of people there–youngs, olds, and all the nationalities represented. Only a real legend would attract such a crowd to their show.

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This couple was princely pimped out for the party.

Now, the following pics aren’t the sharpest in quality. I forgot what camera I used, but I know the zoom and megapixels on it was dreadfully meager. (It wasn’t my Sony Cybershot that I would use in later events, as that model didn’t exist in 2011.) Crap camera aside, I still wanted to enjoy mahself. I wasn’t there to shoot captures for a newspaper; I was there to rave un2 the joy fantastic and get wild!

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Settin’ the stage, and what a stage! (Yep, that’s Prince on the big screens.)

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Look at dat crowd. None of us were thinking about some crippling pandemic then. Also, I still don’t know who those two stylish ladies were on his piano. Wendy and Lisa? Diamond and Pearl? Two SJ Sharks players in drag? It could the be the last one; it’s their arena, after all.

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You can’t tell from the potato quality pic here, but thee Sheila E was also in the house that night! She rocked those drums when they played “The Glamorous Life”.

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The best closeup I could get of him.

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At first I was thrilled to have seen him live then. After his unexpected passing five years after this concert, I don’t know if I could say I was also lucky. Maybe, but when one of my favorite artists are in town for a show, I do whatever I can to see them live. Not just to support them, but it’s also one of those “when’s the next time you’ll get that chance” deals. I thought I’d get to see another Prince show, but, sadly, it never happened. All the more reason why you gotta see your music faves when you can.

Happy Kylie Day!

It’s the start of a holiday weekend, and, more importantly, the born day of THE One And Only Kylie Minogue! In honor of the red-blooded woman raining glitter onto the world for the 53rd year, here are a few of my most-played songs of hers to date! Some of them may not be her most popular hits, but they’re still gems that deserve a listen. 

The beat to this track is everything. Also, her self-titled album from 1994 is shamefully slept on and needs to be heard! 

Three words: those hot pants. 

I’ve always preferred the longer version of this jam over its shortened original. But, oooh, its video…and that dress she’s wearing at the 2:51 mark! 

 

The original has always been one of my Kylie bops, but it has gotten less airplay ever since I discovered this slick remix, remade by 90s DJ legend David Morales (who also turned a few Mariah songs from the 90s into dance hits). 

Listening To…(4/17)

I realized that I haven’t done a “Listening To…” post in a while. (Over three effin’ months!) How ’bout some classic 90s freestyle dance tunes for your weekend? Those who remember jamming to those old Wild 107.7 mixes from the mid/late 90s would know these tracks! 

 

I always enjoy a good “I don’t need that man anymore” jam. 

There are other versions of this song, but it’s this version that pops up the most in those Wild 107.7 mixes, and it’s also my favorite mix. 

You many not know who Rhythmcentric is, and that’s OK because I also don’t really know them aside from this still-fresh track of theirs. It’s also a jam that has other mixes, but this version is the best of them all. 

OK, so I’ve listened to this song for many, many years, but never saw its video until now. So much 90s elegance in one video! I’d put “shiny jacket and pants” on my shopping list, but designers don’t make fun clothes like that anymore!

 

Just Bask In All The Glam

Happy 20th anniversary to this fantabulous masterpiece that was released in the spring of 2001. Sheeit, I remember the uproar from some of the pearl-clutchers back then who thought the video was too raunchy. Oh, if those prudes saw the gimcrackery you see and hear from, um, music these days. Meanwhile, teen me spent many afternoons on her own trying to nail down Xtina’s part, but all I did was startle my cat (RIP Snowball) and attack nearby eardrums when I attempted to do so. I was better off doing Missy’s part instead–all three seconds of it.

Also, look–no mumbling, no twerking, no mopey faces or overinflated asses! Just a fun and well-crafted pop song (yes, I’m aware it’s a remake) with confident women hitting all the right notes, and a memorable video to go with it. Now that’s how pop music should be done.