September 2008


September 30, 2008

popolio selection of today’s New Releases.

Amerie Because I Love It
Ani DiFranco Red Letter Year
Enigma Seven Lives Many Faces
Ben Folds Way to Normal
Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson
Jack’s Mannequin The Glass Passenger
Kinky Barracuda (Digital Release)
Murs Murs for President
La Oreja de Van Gogh A Las Cinco en el Astoria
Kellie Pickler Kellie Pickler
T.I. Paper Trail
Robin Thicke Something Else
from Google.com search

So, I wanted to try to go to at least one day of the ACL Music Festival.  Today, actually.  Erykah Badu plays tonight and that’s who I really wanted to see.  I would have stuck around for Beck, too.  There were other artists that peaked my interest like N.E.R.D. , Gnarls Barkley, and Del tha Funky Homosapien.  I don’t follow these acts, but I’ve heard of them and I’m curious about them.  They were spread through out different  days, though.  I thought I could do one day ,watch 3 acts, and do a review on each of those acts for popolio.

Well when I looked up the price for a day pass, it was 80 bucks!  Now, I don’t know if I waited too long and the price goes up as time passes or if it’s a set price.  But, is that too expensive?  Part of me thinks, “Well, there are a lot of acts for one whole day and you could see close to, what, 10 shows in a day?  So, you’re getting the bang for your buck.”  Basically, that’s like paying up to $10, or less, for each act you watch.  And the other part of me thinks, “Well, that is hella’ expensive for one day!”  Shouldn’t one of the benefits of a music festival be that you’re paying less to see more?

On a side note, those of you have been following popolio know I’ve invested in Janet and Madonna shows this year.  I’m a life-long fan and have never seen either of them live and that has been a life-long dream as well.  So, that said, I am watching my wallet and being selective when it comes to shows this year ’cause those 2 are huge!

I’ve also heard that historically ACL has gotten away from more local and regional acts and has become more of a mainstream festival.   So, what do you all think, are ACL prices too expensive?  Or are the prices reasonable?  Has ACL gotten away from its roots?  If so, is that a good  or a bad thing? ACL Festival logo courtesy of Google.com Search

Arthur Yoria, from www.arthuryoria.com

Arthur Yoria, from http://www.arthuryoria.com

While I performed in Houston with a now-defunct band called Tru Sol,  I loved to hear the melacholy pop sounds of Arthur Yoria in all of its manifestations.  The guy’s won several awards from the Houston Press and recieved international attention as well.  Here’s a quick intro from his website.

Whether it’s with his seasoned 4-piece band or with his “solo-electro” act in which Arthur showcases his mastery of guitar, vocal and beat looping, the live shows have been known to captivate even the most jaded of venue patrons. He’s toured the U.S. and South America as well as the U.K. playing on stages such as the Knitting Factory in L.A., Sin-e’ and CBGBs in NYC and the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. In addition, Arthur has had songs placed on the hit Fox tv show, the OC, the Fellicity DVD collection, various MTV shows, the National Lampoon film, Adam & Eve and has had songs featured in both Arizona Jeans and Domino’s Pizza ad campaigns.

Now you can help him choose the songs for his next CD project.  Go to www.arthuryoria.com and download the songs for free then email Arthur letting him know how you liked the song.  It’s pop music in the making and you can help.  Hurry, because you have until October 5th, 2008, to access the songs and put your vote in.

Outroduction

Well, yesterday concluded the inauguaral MY TOP 10 on popolio.  Hope you enjoyed it.  It’s the first of many more to come.  The next one will kick-off in October.  Look for it. 

If you didn’t get a chance to post your  own MY TOP 10:  90s/00s Pop/R&B Diva Music Video Jump-Offs in the Comments Section, feel free to do so today on this entry.  If you have any general feedback or questions on MY TOP 10 feel free to Comment here as well.  We welcome your interaction.

Peace, Love, and all that Jazz

freddie beat
popolio editor

1. Lauryn Hill “Doo Wop (That Thing)”

I remember Lauryn was lauded as the “talented” member of the Fugees and was always being asked when she was going to work on a solo album by the media back in the day.  And then it came and, boy, did it come.  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released in 1998 (I wasn’t even consciously thinking of its ten  year anniversary when putting this list together or did I know Rolling Stone had recently commemorated it) and garnered her ten Grammy nominations and five wins.  This was the most nominations for a solo female artist at the time.  Number 1, “Doo Wop (That Thing),” kicked it all off.

This was one of those videos that I liked watching over and over and never got tired of.  Great sing-a-long lyrics with a positive message and make-you-think content that were added bonuses. The concept itself was original with the side-by-side screens comparing the old school with the new.  Lauryn looked impeccable.  And she showcased both her rapping and singing skills.

I remember reading, and I’m paraphrasing here, Foxy Brown commenting that everyone had a gimmick and that she and Lil’ Kim had their thing and Lauryn had the positive thing going, but that it was all still conscious image-making.  I don’t fully agree as there’s something that rang true about Ms. Hill’s work and, I think, it’s for that reason, that it touched so many people.

She had such potential and has already achieved so much of it.  It was refreshing, in a genre were women’s perspectives are limited, that this was an alternative point-of-view.  It’s not that the Foxy Browns and the Lil’ Kims shouldn’t be there, it’s that there should be more of a spectrum.  Seemed to be more of selection in the earlier days with Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Salt-n-Pepa, etc.  I’ll stop proselytizing now, but I think of Lauryn Hill as the great hip hop hope.  I know that’s a lot of pressure and maybe she’s already buckled under it, but I hope we get more glimpses of her greatness or at least some very close attempts in the not too distant future.

Phil Dutra

Phil Dutra

Our inaugural podcast interview (of an ongoing popolio series) features Austin-based singer/songwriter, Phil Dutra.  Freddie asks Phil about his songwriting accolades including having his music remixed by award-winning producer, Michael Lloyd, and why Phil’s giving his music away!  Featured tracks by Phil Dutra are “(Let Me Be Your) Superman” and “She Walks Away (Michael Lloyd Remix).”

Thanks for listening and leaving your comments.

2. Missy Elliott “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”

Formerly Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and currently only Missy Elliott to the masses, her first video, Number 2, “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” released in 1997, set a high standard for the rest of her video work.  Missy had been behind-the-scenes writing for other artists for years, when she finally introduced herself as a solo artist, with Supa Dupa Fly, she kicked the door down.  A few rap cameos along the way didn’t hurt. 

Sampling Ann Peebles’ 1973 hit, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” this video featured Missy’s simple yet clever, nonsensical, and fun rhymes.  There’s unintelligent lyricism and then there’s this.  I think Missy’s style is sometimes mistaken for the former.  With a stripped down, melodic, and well thought out flow, she definitely has influenced other artists since.   With rhymes more bulky and complex at the time, she brought an alternative style that harkened back to old school roots with a ‘90s update.

I’ll name-check Hype Williams once more, because the collaboration between him and Missy is really what made this video special.  His fish eye lens effect, at this point, was fresh and not overwrought.  Name-checking other hip hop/R&B artists and actually having them in the video was a fun treat for music fans.  And the black trash bag outfit was bananas.  

Though her latest release, Block Party, has had many delays and single changes, refreshingly, not a skinny thing, at the time, Missy was, and remains, a true multi-threat performer with stage presence and charisma that’s carried her through with trash bag, flawless makeup and ‘dos, tomboyish yet feminine style, and talents for rapping, singing, dancing, and producing.

September 23, 2008

A popolio selection of today’s New Releases.

Everlast Love, War, and the Ghost of Whitey Ford
Joe Joe Thomas, New Man
Kings of Leon Only By The Night
Jenny Lewis Acid Tongue
Demi Lovato Don’t Forget
Bette Midler Jackpot:  The Best Bette
Mogwai The Hawk Is Howling
Plain White T’s Big Bad World
Pussycat Dolls Doll Domination
Starfucker Starfucker
Thievery Corporation Radio Retaliation

3. P!nk “There You Go”

This video, Number 3, P!nk with “There You Go,” released in 2000, is personal.  I remember exactly where I was when I first saw this video.  I was an undergrad at UT pursuing a film degree to direct music videos, which I never did, and here I am commenting on them.  SIGH.  Anyway, I was living in Jester East (East Side!  M619 to be exact) talking to my brother in El Paso on the phone.  MTV was on in both places. 

On comes P!nk and I’m like, “Do you see this girl?”  “Who is this girl?”  She was a white girl singing black with punk pink hair.  I hadn’t seen anything like it.  I hadn’t had such a reaction to a video since I was a little kid (about 9 or 10) at my neighbor’s house sitting in an armchair right in front of their big-@$$ TV surrounded by the neighbor teens babysitting me and their friends.  Madonna’s “Dress You Up” video was on and I witnessed them have a spiritual experience over her.  I was hooked and I’ve been a Madonna fan ever since.

Back to P!nk, though, another obvious Madonna fan.   Her brand of R&B sounded very TLC, but like the formula had been kicked up a notch and new flavor added.  In the mix of Britney, Christina, Mandy, and Jessica, P!nk stood out as not just another blonde doing the pop thing.  Her pop had an urban edge that even Christina’s soul couldn’t match.  Not necessarily the leader of the pack, P!nk, with new single, “So What,” and upcoming album, Funhouse, was definitely, and still is, a rebel with her own cause.

4. Kelis “Caught Out There”

Kelis is a different kind of chick and she brought it with Number 4, “Caught Out There,” released in 1999.  Doing the cheating song with the shout out chorus before Beyoncé with “Ring the Alarm” in 2006, I wasn’t sure what she was.  Was she R&B?  Was she rock?  Electro?

As the Neptunes’ first muse, they experimented and created with Kelis without the pressures of world-wide success and renown.  The quality of their work with Kelis is the reason why others flocked to work with them and especially Pharrell.

I haven’t been name-checking directors, but Hype Williams deserves to be name-checked for this one.  He is known for creating video trends and then reinventing himself through new trends.  Then he becomes known for those trends, but this video was outside the box of what even he had done.  It stands out amongst his work.

With rainbow hair and an, arguably, feminist and anthemic first single, Kelis was on her way to being a video vanguard.  This video and especially her second, “Get Along With You,” which I prefer, are testament to this.  Though the ambition of these first two videos didn’t seem to translate to her future work, I wouldn’t count her out.

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