Shero of the Week: Grace Jones

Grace

As with Carmen last week, do I even need to explain why???

The ORIGINAL weird, DGAF black woman!!

Rihanna, Gaga and all others can bow down to Ms. Grace.

 If you really need proof of her enduring bad-assery, check out the video below and tell me if you could perform that feat.

Shero of the Week: Annie Lennox

Annie

For her powerful voice.

For her bold lyrics and bold imagery.

For being a voice for the voiceless.

For this quote:

“There’s this youth culture […] it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting – women, especially – when they reach my age. We’ve got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we’ve got wrinkles, or whether we’ve put on weight or lost weight, or whether we’ve changed our hairstyle. I just find that so shallow.” ~Annie Lennox, turning 60.

Oodles and Oodles of De La Soul

My FAVORITE group, ever.

LIKE EVER

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.38.33 PM

Gave their fans an amazing Valentine, gems from their catalog

FOR FREE!!

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.38.01 PM  Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.08.07 PMI have been taken back.

Way, way, WAY BACK.

Way back, to a time in my life where rap music (particularly the amazing, socially conscious rap music that dominated the era) was all that tethered me to this Earth. Every time I listen to De La or Tribe or Mos Def or Common, I can remember, with perfect clarity, where I was when I first heard the songs. Remember the journey to the record store (remember those!?!) to buy a cassette tape (!!) or CD. I can remember listening to some songs on my Walkman and Discman (!!!) until the batteries died. And reading the liner notes for thank yous, trying to spot familiar names. And rendering my favorite CDs to scratched, horrible messes from carrying them around everywhere. I remember running out to buy the latest Source Magazine after spotting someone reading it on the train.

I remember long lines to get into venues. Feeling all of my awkward older-teen-on-the-cusp-of-womanhood feelings surrounded by the beautiful women who frequent rap shows. I can remember jumping with those packed crowds, taking elbows to the head. I remember shyly asking for autographs and photos. I even remember spotting Posdnuos in SOHO and being too bashful to say hi…then immediately regretting it and spending 15 minutes trying to figure out where he’d gone, LOL!

I remember choosing, from all of my music collection, the songs of these men to take with me abroad. I remember the sense of home they gave me when I was so far from mine. I can remember falling asleep to I Be Blowin’. I can remember weeping when I heard that Tribe was breaking up. I remember their last concert and the finality of that era of my life ending when we left the venue.

It’s shocking to think that some of these things happened twenty+ years ago. My life is so many light years better than it was at that time. But, there are days when I’d give anything to relive those moments. To hear those songs for the first time, again. To go to a show and be so damn glad to be in the same space as those I so admired.

I feel glimmers of it when I listen. And it feels real good.

Thanks, De La Soul.

Music & Style :: Coco O. of Quadron

Danish duo Quadron, which consists of the lovely Coco O. and Robin Hannibal, are my current music obsession!

4082bc80aee7530b1fc75b69a0d7008aI listen to Simili Life at least 5 times a day and this new album (link to preview, below) is AMAZING!! I cannot WAIT to see them live! I mean, follow that link, listen and tell me you don’t want to feel that power in person?!?!

For my money, their new album, Avalanche, might be the best sophomore effort since D’Angelo’s Voodoo. I hope Coco and Robin continue to make absolutely beautiful, soulful, soul stirring music together!

As much as I appreciate Coco’s voice, her vintage inspired style is pretty fucking awesome, too!!

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Coco-O

Click below to hear a preview of Quadron’s latest masterpiece, Avalanche
via NY Times :: Press PlayAvalanche by Quadron via NY Times, Press Play

Music & Style :: The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa

This absolutely gorgeous, fashionable and fierce woman below is lead singer and resident singing-upside-down badass Shingai Shoniwa of the British band, The Noisettes. I can’t even stand how amazing her personal style is. In editorials she is regal and often evocative of Grace Jones. And on the red carpet she is fearless and fun in a way that most can’t pull off.

On top of her beauty, style, outstanding natural hair and killer physique she has the most amazing singing voice I’ve heard in a very long time. She can rock out on guitar with the best of them and has legendary live performance status for her manic stage presence and, as I stated above, ability to sing (better than most stars standing still) while dangling upside down. They’re set to release a new album and I HOPE they tour the US and come to NYC. Check her out and please click the vids to hear a sampling of her talent.