Where Have All The Great RnB Bands Gone?
If you're a purveyor of smooth RnB from yesterday and today you're probably just as ecstatic as I am about our Soul Music Festival at the Hampton Coliseum next Saturday night. In addition to enjoying the grown-folk sounds of The Whispers, Stephanie Mills and Chrisettee Michelle , I'm especially looking forward to seeing Mint Condition. Mint Condition represents the last of the dazzling, highly energetic live bands. In the early 90's, they were the only high-profile R&B band with a major-label recording contract. They're seeped in the tradition of great bands from back in the day like Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, The Isley Brothers and most recently Tony! Toni! Tone! Sadly, there are no major high-profile R&B bands these days. Young people don't play in bands like they did when I was growing up. Back in my day, every high school had at least two or more group of kids who played instruments in a band. I don't think you can find that nowadays. I can only think of just a handful of tight local R&B bands. Ra Jazz comes to mine. So does Kustom Made (shout-out to my man Terry). The only place today where you can find young people developing their sound and their chops is in the church. But if you love smooth grooving music that'll get your head nodding and your hips swaying along with the music – be sure to be at our Soul Festival next weekend when the curtain goes up on Mint Condition.
For the like of me I can't fathom the popularity of TV reality shows. Particularly The Real Housewives of wherever variety. You know the type. I'm talking about the ones where they assemble upwardly mobile, attractive women who behave ugly. What's so entertaining about that? Reality TV is akin to WWF wrestling. No. I take that back. Participating in the WFF involves a degree of athleticism. To be in a reality show you pretty much have to be devoid of civility, easily provoked and lacking compassion. Glamorized vulgarity and a sense of materialism are also desirable. There's nothing "real" about reality TV. People change whenever there's a mike or camera around. They become self-conscience of how they look and speak. Reality TV shows may not be scripted but I'm sure the participants are given some sort of story line to follow, and are probably coached in what to say or how to behave. Even the term reality TV is bogus, a misnomer, a contradiction of terms. I watch TV to escape reality. If I wanted reality, I'd shut the TV off and talk with my sons about their goals in life.
On second thought – pass me the remote.
What Up! What Up! What Upppp!
I got a chance to catch comedian Earthquake at the Virginia Beach Comedy Club over the weekend. Big man blew up the spot! His biting satirical views on interracial dating, the military, parenting and relationships where hilarious and was expected from an A-list comedian. Bu what impressed me most about his performance – what was most unique was his stage persona? Watching his performance was like hanging out at the barbershop listening to that one dude who can have everyone in stiches the minute he walks into the shop Watching Earthquake perform reminded me of the late Miles Davis. Like Miles, Earthquake would often turn his back to the audiences or lean against the wall as if he was reflecting. He didn't necessarily tell jokes – like Miles – he riffs. In fact he would often say aside, "this ain't comedy…this is real life." His brand of humor while funny and oftentimes risqué was always thought-provoking and brutally honest.
Check him out the next time he comes to the Virginia Beach Funny Beach Comedy Club and be sure to check out my interview with Earthquake at Facebook.com/957rnbnatio.com.
I live in a two-story home. Every year transitioning from summer to winter means it's time for my delicate balancing act with our thermostat and vents. You know where the downstairs thermostat has to be at least five degrees lower than the one upstairs, or you have to close a bunch of vents downstairs so the heat is distributed evenly? (Or do we close the ones upstairs –???) Well this year there'll be no more dueling thermostats thanks to my friends at House Call. Last month Raymond and Scott from the House Call Company gave us a FREE home energy checkup at our place. They pointed out that I could really improve comfort and air quality by properly sealing and insulating my attic. They said during the summer months the cool air in the attic falls downstairs leaving space upstairs for attic air to penetrate into my home (maybe that's why I have to take a daily shot of nasal spray to ward off sinus attacks?) The reverse happens in the winter. Air from the crawlspace comes up into the living space. So a couple of days ago I had them air seal ALL the spaces where air could penetrate: Around HVAC and plumbing pipes/ducts, light fixture sockets and wiring & cable outlets. They added baffles over my attic's air vents to help force air up the roof line. They even insulated and put in weather strips over the attic access door and additional insulation to the entire attic space. I already notice a difference in comfort and I'm banking on a difference in my heating and cooling bill. You want to shrink that energy bill and improve the comfort and air quality of your home? Check the pros out at the House Call Company - 394-3403 to schedule a FREE Home Energy Check-Up. And let me know how it goes! Or check them out online at HouseCallCompany.com.
This is what my attic looked like with 3 inches of insulation required by home construction code)
The pros at House Call added over 3 times the amount of existing insulation to prevent me from breathing escaping attic air.
Here's what a properly sealed attic with 17 inches of insulation (R49) looks like. Who knew?
Trend alert! Bowties are making a comeback. Just ask Blaine Stewart, morning anchor at WTKR-News Channel 3. He sported one this morning. I wore my most recently purchased bowtie to church last Sunday and got tons of compliments and admiring glances. Back in the 70’s I wore one to a Jackson Five concert complete with a big apple cap and a pair of knickers (I hope no pictures are circulating). Everyone rock them back then. Remember the butterfly bowtie? I consider bowties and seersucker suits something of a southern tradition. Every country doctor and lawyer wore them. (Magicians, clowns and Pee Wee Herman wear them to but that’s beside the point). Now day’s bowties combine a sophisticated edge and Old World style. They seem hard to tie at first but with practice it’s actually quite easy – just think of tying a shoelace knot. Whatever you do, don’t wear a clip-on. They’re also a good look – if you’re a 12-year-old.
Awww the weekend. After the monsoon-like rain we had the past week I couldn’t wait to get out and tackle the yard. I take pride in my surroundings. My yard won’t win the yard of the month award but I keep it mowed and the edges nice and tight. My sons think I’m obsessed. It’s not an obsession - its pride in ownership. A home is the biggest purchase most of us will make in our lifetime. It just makes sense to me to maintain its curb appeal.
The rain increased the mosquito population. There were 5 reported cases of West Nile Mosiquotes bites Virginia Beach. (I heard it on the radio). Not sure how dangerous West Nile mosquito bites are but it doesn’t sound good.
More annoying than West Nile mosquitos are the squirrels in my backyard. I enjoy feeding songs birds. I have several bird feeders which I fill with a variety of birdseed to attract finches, blue birds, robins and hummingbirds. But the pesky squirrels devour seeds before the birds can get to them. I’ve tried everything to deter them – moving the feeders away from the fence and trees. I even pluck down $19.99 for a squirrel-proof feeder that the squirrels ate through. I can remember coloring cute pictures of squirrels and rabbits back in elementary school. When did they go from cute cuddly critters to backyard terrorists?
Jay Z, Beyonce Top Forbes’ List of Highest Earning Celeb Couples
Power couple Jay Z and Beyonce are the highest-earning celebrity couple of 2013. They earned a combined $95 million through album sales, touring and business ventures. Right behind is NFL star QB Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, with $80 million.
Shonda Rhimes welcomes third daughter
TV producer & creator of ABC's "Scandal" Shonda Rhimes announced via Twitter she is now the mother of three children. No other details about the baby, such as her name or birth date, were immediately available. She previously adopted daughters Harper and Emerson.
Taye Diggs Moving in on Fox's 'New Girl'
Taye Diggs is about to shake things up on Fox's "New Girl." He will guest-star on the sitcom as Artie, a smoothand confident ladies' man. His episode, the 7th of the season, shoots next week, "New Girl" airs Tuesdays at 9 on Fox.