So next week Wednesday, July 6, 2011 I grace the Apollo stage to compete against a bunch of other great performers. I had already written a blog about this on my blogspot blog, but I had to do it again.
Growing up as a child and deadin’ wid laugh watching the Sandman dance people off the stage, I never imagined my name and picture would be associated with the Apollo. It’s a huge deal. I may as well just go on stage and rub the log and walk off. I’d be good. And to be honest, I don’t plan to get booed, but if it were to happen, I probably would find it hilarious, and just relish in the moment of being there. So many greats have been on that stage. This definitely means now is the right time for me to do this. I’m really excited. Now time to find something to wear. Lemme know if you have any ideas, and come support. I move on based on audience applause, so I’ll sing my little but off, but the rest is all you :D Blessed love.
So Saturday night (June 25, 2011) I was back at The Sugar Bar a 3rd time, courtesy of TE Music. They have been great to me, having me open twice and feature once, but every time is a unique experience. This time I got the pleasure of playing with the amazing Serghio Jansen on guitar. A friend/Berklee graduate/man of Aruba and now a new New Yorker - This boy here can play some mean guitar, and it was fun to have him support me.
M.E. with some of the TE Music crew.
Saturday past I had the pleasure of bearing my Reggae Soul once again, as I shared 4 songs - 2 covers and 2 originals. I sang Bob Marley’s 'Turn Your Lights Down Low' (my staple, which I may consider burying soon, but I’ll always love it), 'Redemption Song' (another song I love) and got to debut my newest original song, 'Soul Tek' and my staple original, 'Love In Di Mawnin' (Never to be buried, lol).
It was really a good night. The audience was nice and the other singers were just blazin’. Starlett Brown opened and set the bar high for the night, then I had to follow her (thank God I survived after she set the bar so high), then the awesomeness continued with Faruq (@RuqYsan), Ashton Martin (@_AshtonMartin), Robert Ball (who had keys, drums and background singers - pretty dope), DeJaVoux and Adrienne Mack-Davis closed. It was just a really good night, not to mention I saw some friends I haven’t seen in a while ( @OrlandoDixon @Kriswak @ViktorANDRolf @projectkpaz @Smaxmusic ), and made some new supporters as well. Genie from the Sugar bar made my night, never making me want to give up on the journey, when she said,
"You touched my soul!", "If I could sign you now I would".
Genie and I.
Not to mention Ms. Ashley Buster who said,
“I sing myself so I’ve heard and been exposed to a lot of musicians but your reggae soul is really something. That acoustic you did of ‘Love in Di Mawnin’ was fire…loved it!”
Singer/Songwriter/Friend from college, Maritza Lord, and I.
UK Producer/Artist/Manager/DJ, Syze-Up, Maritza and I.
I really have no more to say. That pretty much sums it up. Another great night at the Sugar Bar. Was great meeting all these talented musicians, and expanding my network here in NYC. Massive thanks to Tracy Smith, who always so ably assists me on all my NY performances. To her I am extremely grateful for her time and efforts.
Looking forward to touch the Apollo stage next week. I’ll keep you posted on that, as it’s really gonna be an opportunity of a lifetime.
At a time when many a Jamaican is concerned about the death of traditional art forms, the Braata Folk Singers reminded us that we can relax, as that will not be happening anytime soon. The New York based group presented ‘Wheel an Come Again’, which could not have been a more appropriate name for only their second concert season. The twelve member group delivered folk song after folk song with such poise and passion that it is obvious why they got their name, as they left the audience wanting more…Jus a lickle braata.
Led by the talented Andrew Clarke, who performed as a chorus member, the group walked us through classics such as “Liza”, “Sammy Dead”, “Banyan Tree” and “Love is a funny likkle ting”. Songs such as “Betta Woman Dan Yu” and “Why Woman Grumble” had the audience in laughter.
Andrew Clarke (Director), getting into the spirit.
The stage was cleverly designed to incorporate many typical elements of Jamaican culture, such as the coal stove with the dutch pot on it, the coconut stand, and various simulations of market stalls. The use of colour was adequate and the costuming very appropriate.
The twelve singers delivered a balanced sound, and neatly executed the choreography with great expression. Outside of a few missed entries, the blend of voices was exceptional. Soprano, Dianne Dixon, seemed to have the crowd in the palm of her hand with every antic and expression she shared. Andrew Clarke featured many times with his clean tenor voice. This was supported by an ensemble cast of church goers, and shoppers in the market, not to mention the cute Matthews sisters, Courtnae and Joelle.
The singers could not have done so well without the support of the amazing and competent band, comprising of keyboardist, Garnet Mowatt (who contributed to some of the arrangements created by Andrew Clarke), Matthew Silpot (Keyboard), Marcus Williams (Percussion), Palomin Hassad (Percussion) and the legendary, Carrot Jarrett (Percussion).
Overall I give the Braata Folk Singers an ‘A’ for a concert well done. I definitely got my money’s worth, not to mention the complimentary food provided in the intermission, and the souvenir program provided on entry to the theatre. I would encourage you to support this talented group as they move forward, ensuring the maintenance of our heritage in the New York/Tri-state area, and I’m certain soon to the rest of the world. The group also has CDs and t-shirts available at a minimal cost. Mi definitely waan braata of the Braata Folk Singers.
I have a few single female friends around the age of 35 years or older, who on separate and isolated occasions have propositioned me to give them a ‘sample’, if you know what I mean. Really if I drop my sample quickly, and there is a handy turkey baster, then wallah!!…Magic could happen. I’m from the old school, so I definitely am more of a ‘direct deposit’ kinda guy (which is on page 3 of my contract).
My question to you ladies is…At what point do you just want to 'Self-breed'? (these terms will all go into the directory of M.E., of course along with Frelationship - Coming Soon)
Once talks of turkey basters and impregnation deadlines come into play, it indicates one or a combination of a few things:
1. A good man is clearly hard for a woman to find nowadays.
2. A child is a blessing from God that I feel most women want to enjoy (men too).
3. Women are so inclined to enjoy a child (or children) that they will brave single-parenthood.
4. That I hope turkey basters come in a variety of sizes, cuz I remember them being kinda big and long…ouch…unless daz ur thing. I’m just saying.
5. The biological clock really ticks hard in the mid-30s, then I guess deafeningly harder thereafter. It must have been this way by design, so I don’t feel sorry for anyone, but we men got the swimmers that swim almost forever, and the ladies get cases of precious eggs, that have an expiration date. Seems unfair, but I’m sure it was done for a good reason.
6. Adoption? Definitely an option.
7. In vitro fertilization - Could be interesting and some screening can go on pre-implantation, and you could get sextuplets. Want one?…How about six!
8. That I actually don’t have an 8th point to make, but I like even numbers, and I feel like posting this today.
So to all you ladies out there, I’m cool with you ‘Self-breeding’. I’m sure there are many healthy fatherless children, who gain knowledge from other men around them that act as fathers. Nothing is absolute. I don’t believe that kids of gay parents become gay. I don’t believe all single parents struggle. I don’t believe that fatherless children all have complexes or that kids who are adopted all have issues. Most importantly, not every woman age 35 and older has a child with a birth defect, or Down’s Syndrome (even though the chances are greater).
Nothing in this world is absolute, and I’m sure there is a wonderful child that needs a mother, whether he or she is created by direct deposit or the turkey baster method.
“Babies and dogs can smell fear before the average person does. They have senses that can penetrate the souls of the weak and insecure. My heart is like that of a baby and my sense of smell is like that of a mongrel dog.”—M.E.
M.E. on Jamaica: Male Fashion Cliches (the old school)
Growing up on ‘the rock’ there are many things you take for granted, until you leave the rock and realize that many other people don’t do things the same way. Today I bring to you ‘old school Jamaican male fashion cliches’.
I am gathering they are influenced by our British colonization, predominantly African ancestry and all the other people and cultures that passed through JA, like the Spanish etc. Welcome to JA in di ole school (and the new school too because many of these traditions will never die).
1. Corduroy Pants
Not that dainty thin GAP corduroy. I’m talking about the thick heavy corduroy, dat look like if it get wet in river it probably woulda drown yu. Often the standard uniform of many a taxi man in JA.
So when I Googled this word I saw nothing resembling an undershirt, but instead the baseball team, and the person who helps navigate a ship. Growing up all my life a mariner (ma-ree-nah) was that ‘holey holey’ undershirt, usually just worn as a shirt, or with a open button-up shirt over it. Probably this word was derived from merino. In Jamaica you just never know. All standard colours exist, but if you don’t have a red, yellow or green one, yu nah say nuttn.
3. Rayon Shirts
This was also a phenomenon of the early 90s, but existed long before, and still do for some Jamaican men, many of whom wear them over their mariners/merinos. They have to be long-sleeved and I’m thinking that Versace print or an interesting paisley always works…ha.
4. Kangol Hats
Kangols definitely were a Jamaican staple, especially those furry ones, lol. Yu know yu have a Jamaican Uncle in England who wear these all di time.
These would be your dress shoes. Some Jamaicans have a way of wearing ‘gentlemans’ with the most uncharacteristic of outfits, like jeans, corduroy pants, or even linen pants. This is definitely a case for the fashion police. These fancy ones seen below are perfect because dem have di pointy toe, and the snake skin pattern. I mean your ‘gentlemans’ have to stand out, whether they are Gucci or that other brand.
This word means ‘bracelet’ in Jamaican culture, but in Spanish culture means ‘small woman’. This is definitely one of those words you learn no one else says in many other countries, until you say it and people are like “What??”.
7. Gold Jewelry (Fake or Real)
Some Jamaican men must wear a plethora of Gold or faux gold. Multiple chains of various sizes (a Lion pendant sometimes standard), a gold cap and filling, a chaparrita or two, and many rings. Real bad man gangsta ting we a talk bout.
"Everybady haffi ask weh mi get mi Clarks". Kartel was sure right, because people been wearing and swearing by the strength and comfort of Clarks from before I knew myself. That’s a strong brand image there, which is why the Kartel song made so much sense to us Jamaicans, as well as many others around the world.
9. Gabardine pants
Gabardine definitely was another fabric I commonly encountered in JA. Grew up all my life thinking it was ‘GAR-BA-DINE’, but you live and you learn. Thankfully I can’t say I had any gabardine anything, but many a Jamaican man insisted and still insist on wearing some good ole gabardine pants.
10. The Rag/Face Towel
There was a heavy rag fad once, but rags are never ever really not fashionable in Jamaica. Basically it is hot all year, and people need to wipe their sweat. What better way than with a rag. Front pocket, back pocket, in your bag, in your bust. The rag is alive and well.
Share with M.E. some of the ole male Jamaican fashion cliches you remember.
More Jamaican cliches and cultural isms to come, right here on M.E. Exposed ; )
This particular post is purely my expression of shock, and more importantly proof that everyone deserves a second chance. Weeks into watching ‘The Voice’, and blown away by the voice of this dude named Javier Colon, it was just tonight that it all connected. There was a familiarity to his tone and an expanse of range that I felt I had heard somewhere before. Then I stared hard at him and I realized…'Javier Colon' is actually 'Javier'.
I thought it was some sick twisted joke because I knew I had seen this guy on BET and I definitely had one of his albums. Matter a fact one of my all time favourite songs, “In Your Hands” is by Javier.
In summary he was signed to Capitol Records and released 2 full-length albums. The deal went sour, and I guess life happened, and he is now married with kids, and has released an EP on his own label. The new Javier is re-branded. The skullies now replaced by baseball hats and slightly baggy clothes. Maybe this is a fresh new Javier, or just the new indie artist, a few years later…Outside of a record deal. Well whatever he is now, I’m just glad he is back, and I wish the brother all the success, because he is an amazing talent, and I’m a huge fan.