Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Bastille vs. TLC – Scrubs

13 Apr

Just like People Magazine’s “Who Wears It Better?” where they have photos of two celebrities in the same outfit and ask who pulls it off best, this week perhaps I’ll ask, “Who Sings It Better?“  In this case, it’s the U.K.’s Bastille vs. 90′s super-girl trio, TLC with Scrubs.

I do have a bit of a crush on Bastille’s lead singer Dan Smith because I think he has a beautiful voice.  Also, it seems easyto fall for the stripped down version of an R&B song, and for me, especially to hear the no-bull, in your face lyrics sung in Smith’s proper British accent, but alas, I’m a sucker for TLC’s  spunk and delivery, and their killer, futuristic video, so I stand by the classic, and vote for TLC’s version.  What about you?  Who Sings It Best?  Leave your comments below.  Thanks!

Bastille – Cover of TLC’s Scrubs


and now for the original:  TLC with Scrubs




SOURCE:  www.youtube.com, Scrubs Cover by Bastille, posted by SiriusXM

Scrubs by TLC, posted by TLCVeVO



Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Two Songs By Aloe Blacc (and an aside with Bruno Mars)

6 Apr

aloeblacc-vfno-rome-livincool.com-5-of-8I just bought Aloe Blacc’s new CD, Lift Your Spirit, and there are so many good songs it was hard to select just one, so for now I’m posting two.  Aloe’s collection of sounds range from Motown to R&B to inspirational anthems, every one of them worth a listen.

My first selection Can You Do This? is a super-fun retro dance tune in which Aloe has his eye on a gal he might like but first he wants to know if she can dance.

I love the song on it’s own, but I couldn’t help but think of how when  watching the most recent Billboard Music Awards, Bruno Mars came on and sang Treasure, and I said to myself, “my next man has got to be someone who I can dance with–he has to be able to do this–the Bruno Mars move my eye happened to catch at the moment I had that thought.

I’m not sure if I will honestly make my next potential mate pass the Bruno Mars Treasure dance test–do you think I should?

Here’s Aloe Blacc with his song test, Can You Do This?


Whoa!  I just found something out.  I’ve been listening to this next tune while driving and really like its groove, but then I watched the video, and was blown away by its message.  I don’t want to give it away, but it relates directly to my recent blog post, I Should Tell You About Everett Company, Stage & School’s The Freedom Project (Instead Of My MJ Magazine.)

Aloe Blacc says Love Is The Answer.  I say I can’t love Aloe Blacc enough.

(VEVO disabled the embed function for this video, but please click on the link below.  You won’t be sorry you did.)




SOURCE:  www.youtube.com, Bruno Mars, Treasure, Billboard Music Awards, posted by TheRegD

www.youtube.com, Aloe Blacc, Can You Do This, Love Is The Answer, VEVO

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds – Reader’s Choice Contest Winner: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

30 Mar

Thanks to all of you who nominated woman artists and songs for the final selection of WJSS Weekend Sounds honoring Women’s History Month.

The nominees were all listed and this morning, Darla’s sleepover friend, Sophia, the only one besides me awake at the time, selected the winner.

And, the winner is…… [Read more...]

Follow-Up On Everett’s The Freedom Project Or, How “White Ladies” and “Thugs” Must Work Together To Make Things Better

26 Mar

I received a note from Dorothy Jungels, co-founder and Artistic Director of Everett, after she read yesterday’s post, I Should Tell You About Everett Company, Stage & School’s The Freedom Project (Instead Of My MJ Magazine)

Dorothy generously thanked me and then she gave me her insights into the evenings’ performance and talk-back.  I had failed to mention in my post that when the young boy at the center of the A Boy Named Nothing performance meets up with dancer Sokeo Ros, who represents Scar Face, or the “bad guy,”  Scar Face convinces the boy that they need him to be the bad guy because it makes them look good.

Here’s an excerpt of Dorothy’s note, that gave me another perspective on how to frame what I witnessed at the Everett performance:

I Should Tell You About Everett Company, Stage & School and The Freedom Project (Instead Of My MJ Magazine)

25 Mar

I’ll admit it.  Sometimes I read something, or hear something related to race and race relations, and it’s serious and it’s important, and so I feel an obligation to blog about it here, but then I sometimes get that, “oh, geez, this feels too much like work–like I’ve got a big school paper to write, and I don’t feel like doing it.  So there.”  Some form of writers’ block I suppose.

See, because what I really want to do is write something “fun” like about [Read more...]

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Ladies First by Queen Latifah

23 Mar

queen-latifah-7 We are still honoring Women’s History Month with all women artists on WJSS Weekend Sounds in March.

Here’s Queen Latifah–I remember when I first heard and saw this  video on MTV way back when, I knew the Queen was going to be a force to be reckoned with.  Strong, bold, fresh, carrying herself with such confidence and dignity, she left me wanting more, and the desire to feel that I could be strong like her, and the women she rapped about.  Ladies First, indeed.





SOURCE:  www.youtube.com, posted by Kagkobuy


Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Aretha Franklin – Think

16 Mar

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

A friend of mine, Rodney Davis, posted a couple of Aretha gems–I Say A Little Prayer and Do Right Woman, Do Right Man on Facebook last night, which made me think back to how when Leni was a baby, I found out by accident that she would stop crying when I played the Queen of Soul’s Think.

Leni and me, just a lil' bigger than her Think days.

Leni and me, just a lil’ bigger than her Think days.












So, of course after that, anytime she started crying, I’d pick Leni up, put on Think and dance around with her held snugly to my chest.  Immediately, she calmed, and I calmed, as we circled around our tiny New York City apartment living room, enveloped in Aretha’s joy, in the beauty of her voice; her soul.


SOURCE:  www.youtube.com, Aretha Franklin, Think, Posted by DavDavDee


Photo Credit:  www.articles.chicagotribune.com

Wendy Jane’s Weekend Sounds: Fool Of Me by Me’Shell NdegeOcello

9 Mar

MeShell-NdegeOcello-m051In honor of Women’s History Month, I’ll feature all women artists for WJSS Weekend Sounds during the month of March.

Here’s Me’Shell NdegeOcello with Fool of Me from the Love & Basketball soundtrack.

SOURCE:  www.youtube.com


Repost from Humans Of New York: “Things Are Getting Better”

5 Mar

You probably know about Humans of New York–the photography project of street photographer Brandon Stanton who documents ordinary New Yorkers, and somehow manages them to share extraordinary stories.  If you don’t, you should check it out. Here’s one of Brandon’s subjects.

“The army stationed me down South when I was younger, and I couldn’t even use the same bathroom as white people. But things have changed so much. The younger generation isn’t nearly as racist. I’ve been sitting here for fifty years. So much has changed. This neighborhood used to be all black. A white person couldn’t even walk down this street. All the races kept to themselves. Now you’ve got Indians talking to Pakistanis, blacks talking to whites, everybody is here and learning from each other’s cultures. I’ve been sitting here for 50 years. Things are getting better.”

With so much going on in regards to race that is negative, I look to places where there is positivity, movement to make things better, to connect in positive ways.  This man gives me some hope.

Thanks, Brandon, for the amazing photos, and even more so for the stories that you get people from all walks of life to share with you, and in turn, with all of us.  They are little treasures, each one of them.

Visit Humans Of New York’s blog at www.humansofnewyork.com.  You can also “Like” HONY on Facebook, or follow on tumblr or twitter. And now, you can buy their New York Times Best Seller book of the same name.


SOURCE:  Blog re-post from Humans of New York, February 28, 2014

Photo Credit: Brandon Stanton


NewsFlash: 12 Year-Old Twins 2014 Oscar Predictions

2 Mar

Ethan and Dylan Itkin of Flick Flack Movie Talk

Ethan and Dylan Itkin, of Flick Flack Movie Talk blog


Remember these names:  Dylan and Ethan Itkin.  These two 12 year-old twin brothers are the voices behind the blog, flick flack movie talk, two boys talking about film.  I know the boys because they are in the same grade as my daughter, Darla.  Also, their mother, Anisa Raoof,  the new Executive Director of the Providence Children’s Film Festival, is one of the first people I met when I moved here, and as soon as we honed in on that creativity and the arts fuel us both, we became fast friends.

Dylan and Ethan are extraordinary in their love for film, and everything about film.  These boys are serious–they make films, write screen plays, and review films on their blog.  They do their homework, too.  I remember once seeing stacks and stacks of books on film and film criticism in their room, and I know they can’t wait for the New York Times Sunday paper so that they can pore over the movie reviews there.

Last night, at the boy’s annual family Pre-Oscar Party (I told you they were serious–they once held the party Oscar night, but the adults were too noisy and they couldn’t hear the show, so now the party is the night before) we were treated to great food, conversation, and movie screenings of two Academy Award nominated films, 20 Feet from Stardom, and Frozen.  And, a moment we all look forward to:  Dylan and Ethan’s Oscar winner predictions.  [Read more...]