So, I left the headliners for last. They are known as The Executive Life. Lead by Eduardo Fajardo, they’re an indie post-punk rock outfit. I could tell they were genre-based but there were 2 to 3 stand-outs songs. That is, I’ve heard what they were doing before, but they do it well and had a couple of more-than-just-good/quality songs.
What was interesting was that the 3 acts were of different genres. What was the connection? A Latin connection – believe it or not. Jeder is what I like to call American-Columbian. Not really a concept in the world; just my own. American girl raised in Latin country. Inverse of me being Panamanian-American. Her Spanish is beautiful. Arthur Yoria isColumbian. And, so is Eduardo Fajardo.
Jeder and Arthur threw in some Spanish; The Executive Life did not. But, it was still a Latin show to me by all rights because Fajardo is Latin. It was nice to attend a music show by Latin folks that was genre-busting. A nice turn on its ear of what Latin music can be.
Don’t get me wrong. I like salsa and merengue like the next person; I grew up with my dad playing those records (literally, records) in my house. Loudly. My point is that I’m not less proud to be Latino because I prefer pop/hip-hop/R&B. We’re multidimensional and come in different shades as clichéd as it sounds. But, I digress.
You’d think it’d be jarring — the different styles. But, it wasn’t at all. It flowed quite nicely. Arthur’s funky vocal-guitar audio experiment was a nice connect between Jeder’s soulful Spanglish folk and The Executive Life’s melodic indie rock. Jeder set it off right, Yoria kept it going, and The Executive Life brought it down. I like all 3 styles of music and all 3 acts were good performers with good music, so it didn’t bother me.
I heard some complaints about the sound not being the best; but the talent outshone the technical difficulities for me. Besides, it wasn’t their fault. And, it wasn’t so bad you wanted to get up, leave, and ask for your money back. If I had to use my scale for reviewing singles, I’d give this show a “featured soloist” rating of 4 musical notes.
So, the second act of The Executive Life show was special guest, Arthur Yoria. Actually, Jeder got to play a little longer as we awaited his arrival. And we, in the audience, didn’t mind as we were enjoying her sweet melodies.
I saw him make his entrance and didn’t realize who he was. Don’t get me wrong he made his presence known with his shaved head and clean-shaven face and what seemed to be a maroon vinyl trench jacket. I definitely noticed him and I dug his coat. I just didn’t know that he was THE Arthur Yoria.
I knew of him because co-editor JW Richard had posted about him before. But, he looked different than the pic J. Dub used on that post. And, yes, J. Dub was doing his R&B thing back in the day in Houston as part of a duo known as Tru Sol and, apparently, shared some stages with Arthur. You can check out Tru Sol’s stuff and, perhaps, buy thier CD here. Not sure we have any popolio completists out there…yet…but, there you go.
Anyway, I liked Arthur’s set, too. I didn’t know he did the audio thing. Not sure how to explain it. You kind of have to see it. It’s like pre-recording in the moment and playing it back and then intertwining live performance with the recorded vocals and/or sounds. Interacting with yourself. The host asked us if we’d ever seen something like that. Jeder said she had. I hadn’t. Still, Arthur was doing his thing. Jeder gave him props, too.
Kind of hard to pin down a genre for Arthur Yoria. I’m not sure what I would call what he did and sounded like. I can say I liked what I saw and heard. His MySpace Page describes him as Ghettotech/Southern Rock/Melodramatic Popular Song. Check out his Official Site, too, while you’re at it.
The show goes on.
Doin' his techno-daddy thing!
Using La Jeder's acoustic guitar; he couldn't find his.
Exit Close-Up (as the photographer please forgive me the red eye).
Two of today’s songs were released last year but have had some recent related releases. The videos for the Pleasure P and Calle 13 songs premiered on MySpace yesterday and today, respectively. Though, according to Wikipedia it doesn’t seem that Pleasure P’s song has had a radio or download release as of yet. Bruce Springsteen’s album debuted this Tuesday, so I review the title track which some will remember was sung along the Obama Campaign trail.
Calle 13 “Electro Movimiento” Released: September 23, 2008 From Latest Release: Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo♫♪
Reggaeton gets an 80s makeover with this song that harkens back to the past. The back-and-forth call out with the English-speaking female rapper is cute. Silly lines (good ones), a female English hook, and a likeable electro beat make this a fun track.
Bruce Springsteen “Working on a Dream” Released: November 21, 2008 From Latest Release: Working on a Dream ♫♪
As dexterous a handling as any. For someone who has achieved great songs, you’re automatically going to compare any of their new stuff to those. Makes it a challenge. That said, this is as good as anything he’s done before.
Pleasure P “Boyfriend #2″ Released: January 27, 2009 From Forthcoming Release: The Introduction of Marcus Cooper♫♪ Pleasure P from Pretty Ricky has proven he can sing and continues to do so. This, is a lane others have driven in and he can handle himself. That is, the same theme has been explored too often in hip-hop and R&B from Naughty By Nature’s “O.P.P.” to TLC’s “Creep.” Not bad. Now, he just has to find his own lane.
Remember that show at The Hideout Theatre that I posted a few weeks ago? Well, I went to it. It was a night of many firsts. It was The Executive Life’s first official show. It was Jeder’s first time opening a show like this. And it was my first time taking pictures of a show for popolio. The show also featured the more established Arthur Yoria who seems to be friends with The Executive Life. The Morakestra were on the bill, too, but never showed.
Drum roll, please because, though it took me a little while, this kicks off a new feature. Introducing: pic-olio. Title speaks for itself, I think. I took pictures of all 3 of the acts, so I’m going to divide this into 3 parts.
Part 1 features Jeder the artist also known as La Jeder and Heather Coleman. Folk is going hip hop with all these aliases. Seriously, though, she kicked things off nicely. She set it off with her beautiful voice and her mix of English and Spanish folk stylings.
I especially liked her between-song banter and audience interaction. She seemed like she’d been doing this for a little while at least. Imagine my surprise when she intimated this was her first time. Definitely, an up-and-coming-one-to-be-watched kind of artist. You heard it here first at popolio. Check out the pic-olio and Jeder’s MySpace Page, too.
So, today’s the day. Eye Legacy is out and my tribute countdown is complete. I did a MY TOP 10: TLC Videos once on my MySpace Page, which is a little silly because they only really have about 1o videos. This was a little different because it was about Left Eye.
I hope the CD does well, but there’s some stiff competition from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and others. As a fan I was happy to celebrate Lisa’s memory in the form of this MY TOP 10. I’ve ordered my copy of Eye Legacy online, so I should be getting it in the mail in the next few days.
It’s about more than the CD and the music to me as a TLC and Left Eye fan. It is really just nice to have another artifact to remember and celebrate her life and memory. It does make it extra special that it is a CD, though, because a solo career seemed be her next aspiration after conquering the world as part of the world’s biggest girl group.
I hope you enjoyed the videos. For those close to my age, I hope it was a nice trip down memory lane. And, for those not my age or not familiar with TLC’s work , I hope you were exposed to something you hadn’t seen before and that you ended up liking it. Everything cycles, so I’m still waiting for that TLC-like funkiness to come back to music. I’m ready to get my groove back.
1. Various Artists including Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
“Freedom (Theme from Panther)” FromPanther: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Released: 1995
If you listened to my podcast interview with Ron Lopes, brother of the late, great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, you know I asked him what his favorite all-time Left Eye rap was. Well, he didn’t just give me one; he gave me a few. This was one of them. And his mention of “Freedom” tickled me in a way the others didn’t.
Originally written and performed by Joi for her debut album, The Pendulum Vibe, someone had the genius idea to include it on this soundtrack and make it an ensemble piece. It’s a great song and I think it still stands the test of time. Really an anthemic song. I know I called “No Scrubs” anthemic, but this is a truly anthemic song. “No Scrubs” is fun, but “Freedom” is anthemic in a whole ‘nother way. I think it speaks for itself.
I think this is a nice song to end the countdown with (though I’ll post my OUTRODUCTION tomorrow) especially in the wake of our new president’s inauguration last week and our continued celebration of MLK’s legacy.
I wish everyone freedom. Freedom of expression. Freedom to love whom you want to love. Freedom to love them how you want to love them. Freedom to learn, explore, and grow. And, mostly, freedom to be yourself fearlessly, fiercely, and unabashedly without fear of judgement, rejection, or regret, which is how I think Lisa lived.
I remember I posted a poem I wrote on a TLC fansite message board once. Lisa opined on it right away. She had nice things to say. I’ll never forget that.
By th way – you get the rap version and the original R&B version as a BONUS! (T-Boz and Chilli representin’, too!)
2. TLC “Waterfalls” FromCrazySexyCool Released: May 29, 1995
So, I said it had to be “No Scrubs” for Number 4, but really “Waterfalls” had to be the top TLC song of the countdown. It is one of my favorites, but it’s so obvious that I would have chosen another, but I don’t think that would have been true to Left Eye’s memory. This is the song the put TLC over the top and turned them from an R&B/hip-pop girl group to a super-pop megastar girl group.
Ms. Lopes’ rap in this song is the one that she will most be remembered for. It’s even engraved on her tombstone. This video was one of the most expensive videos ever made and one of the few that actually visually interpreted the story/lyrics of the song. Very cinematic, it won a ton of awards, and director F. Gary Gray went on to direct hit films such as Set It Off, The Negotiator, and The Italian Job.
I remember that each TLC album came out at a significant time in my life. I was a freshman in high school when Ooooooohhh…On The TLC Tip was released. CrazySexyCool marked my senior year of high school. I was about to graduate college with my Bachelors when FanMail came out. (3D not so much, but I don’t really count that one because Lisa had already passed. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of it, but that release became a different kind of thing just because of how things happened to go down.)
3. Donell Jones featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
“U Know What’s Up” FromWhere I Wanna Be Released: September 14, 1999
So, this came out the same year that TLC came back with FanMail and “No Scrubs” was such a huge hit. This is Donell Jones’ biggest hit. And I think it goes without saying that that’s due in part to the Left Eye factor. A lot of the songs by other artists that featured her climbed to Number 1 on various charts.
I think Ms. Lopes is underrated and doesn’t get enough credit for her individual contributions to modern pop, hip hop, and R&B music. No, she never got to establish a solo career, but if her life hadn’t been cut short she more than likely would have. She’ll always be most known as one-third of TLC and she’ll always get props for that, but she worked with a lot of other artists and to be able to enhance another artist’s song while still allowing them their individuality and maintaining yours takes some talent.
I remember when Number 4, “No Scrubs,” came out I was in my last year of undergrad at UT. I lived in the Jester Center dorms. East Side! When the video premiered on MTV I ran back to my dorm from one of my classes just to catch it. I was blown away by that video.
Name: Tim’m West
Genre: Hip Hop/Soul/House
Latest Release: In Security: The Golden Error (Independent Label)
Release Date: January 17, 2009
This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Underground 2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)??? Lots of money without selling out. Maintain artistic vision and make enough to support it. 3. Studio or Stage? Stage 4. Spirituality OR Hedonism? Spirituality 5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Both
Fill in the Blank 6. Music is mypoetry. 7. I’m musically inspired byOmar, Will Downing, Erykah. 8. My favorite old school joint is“You Get The Best From Me (Say, Say, Say)”by Alicia Meyers. 9. If I was a super hero I’d be Aquaman. 10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change toSex, God, and House.
11. I make music because: Sometimes the poems come as songs… 12. I want my fans to: Listen beyond the beats. 13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be: God loves what I’m doing… 14. Wild Card! Why does the best shit (e.g., music, poetry) happen when you’re hurting? 15. I want my musical legacy to be: That people listen to my work far beyond my immediate presence…That it remains social commentary reflective of our (post)Modernity.
Enjoy the track, “The F Word (feat. William Scott)” from Tim’m West’s latest CD, In Security: The Golden Error.