Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis -The Soundtrack of My Childhood - Parte Deux

So, let us continue our look at my favorite producers of all time. I've already sung the praises of their work with Alex, but what about his partner in crime, Cherrelle? She was featured on some super memorable duets with him. "Innocent" and "Never Knew Love Like This" were both featured in the first Jimmy and Terry post, but there was also "Saturday Love," a song I've spent so many evenings and weekends singing in my room I can't even tell you. This song also became my and Monica's signature karaoke song during the JFY years. We'd switch roles every performance; first I was Alex, then Cherrelle, and so on.

This tiny little thing had a big voice, orange hair, and hella bangers. Her first album, Fragile (fruh-GIL-lay [just kidding]) featured the title track (a jam) and "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" (which should not have ever been remade). High Priority, the second album, contained the classic "Saturday Love" and "You Look Good To Me." Affair, which is super out of print, had "Everything I Miss at Home." All very perfunctorily listed, I know, but the point is, she had hits and I'm not sure everyone knows that. If you don't, get schooled.

Just like Alex, Cherrelle is still doing her thing, so do support. If she happens to come to the Star Plaza, make that move. Old school concerts are always the best.


"I Didn't Mean To Turn You On"
The Video

"Saturday Love"

"You Look Good To Me"

"Everything I Miss at Home"

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis -The Soundtrack of My Childhood

I've always loved them. I just didn't know, til recently, just how much.

See, I have this weird way of remembering things. The only truly important happenings in my life are always accompanied by music. If there is no song attached to you, I will not remember you, despite the amount or intensity of time we've spent together. I remember absolutely nothing before the age of six. I can't tell you anything about the schools I went to, or about the majority of people I went to school with. People stop me on the street and I have to struggle to figure out if I've ever laid eyes on them.

On the other weird hand, there are people I've met for a split second but because there was a certain song playing they will forever be embedded in my mind. Likewise, there are ridiculously minuscule moments that have no bearing on truly major developments in my life or personality, but I recall them with absolute fondness because there was music playing.

Case in point:

A long time ago, back when there were still Woolworth's stores downtown, my mommy and I went downtown to shop. I vividly remember eating a BBQ chicken dinner (baked not fried) at the counter and haggling with some forty-ish white women over my change (a difference of 11 cents). Further, I remember going downstairs to browse the irregular underwear. Did anything particularly amazing happen that day? No. But what was important was the fact that Alexander O'Neal (in all his conked and cuddly glory) was wailing away in my headphones. (I had the fly Walkman, one of those joints that automatically flipped the tape to the other side --BALLIN'!!!!) By the way, "All True Man" was playing.

The summer before senior year (or maybe the summer after senior year, who knows), I had this boyfriend, this "manor" boy (and I had sworn that I would never date a manor boy, but there it was). Everyday, he came over with his little sister who would go outside and play with my little brother; and we would make out like crazy on various surfaces of the house. I cannot and will not ever recall his name, or his face, how he sounded or what he was like. For an entire summer, I risked catching mononucleosis from this guy and wouldn't recognize him if he tripped over me. Conversely, I can tell you everything you'd ever want to know about some guy who I never ever had physical contact with simply because he always had a copy of Do You Want More?!!!??! playing in his Walkman. Strange, I know.

So, yes. I have quite the musical memory and very little else. What does this have to do with Jimmy and Terry? Everything. My childhood is filled with memories that they are directly responsible for. Other than the many Alex O'Neal memories, there are ones coupled with the S.O.S. band, Cherrelle, Janet Jackson, and random others. These are the songs I recall dancing around in my room to. (There are tapes, but they will never see the light of day.)

Last week, I decided to download Alex's first album since I had the vinyl but no CD. I had kinda played Hearsay to death and needed some "new" material. Dude! I had forgotten how excellent and ubiquitous this album was. Immediately I was transported back to the times I'd sit clutching my small silver radio in my mother's room, watching the neighborhood kids play outside and shit while she took a nap. I wasn't allowed outside to play so I was always in some room or another listening to WBMX and jamming. Bittersweet memories I guess, but my isolation made me who I am today, a cantankerous hermit with very little patience for people and GREAT TASTE IN MUSIC! Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were responsible for those hits and remembering those days next to my mom's window, I was moved to research just how much of my early life they had colored. Turns out they were almost single handedly responsible for my life from 8 through 13, so I thought I'd pay my respects here, in the blogoverse, my own special way of saying Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, you are appreciated.

Today, I bring you the greatest hits of Alexander O'Neal, a man with whom I will always be in love. His peanut buttery vocals and sharkskin suits will forever be tied to my awkward and lonely adolescence. He should've been bigger, but life is life. Either way, thank you, Alex.


"What's Missing"


"A Broken Heart Can Mend"


"What Can I Say (To Make You Love Me)"

"Never Knew Love Like This" (With the fabulous Cherrelle)




"All True Man"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Raheem "dervaughn" DeVaughn

Yeah, okay so I haven't blogged since whenever. So what? Get off mine.

Anyway, I have inspiration today. I finally got around to getting Raheem's new album (Love Behind the Melody for the slow and google-less) and cutesy witty shit aside, this is it. It's my album pick for 2008. Can't nuthin' top this. (Double negatives are needed to express my pleasure.)

Now never mind that I have this ... thing, for him. (I'm carefully avoiding being nasty here.) That falsetto is no punk but barring my perversions, this shit knocks. Fellas? You will have no problems with ladies, not no mo'. Ladies? Turn this shit on and go for delf (as Meth would say). It's that good.

I've completely lost my need to ramble and do written flips and shit. This is all I got. Buy the damn album. Eleven tracks deep and not one dud, not a one. Me? I bought it on iTunes and I'm getting a "real" copy.

A few teasers for the people.


In other news, I've hella papers to grade for grade entry and CPS is treating me like I gave her mama a pearl necklace on film. I live to serve. So what's new?