Two’s Day: Two For The Mental

Greetings good people! As most of you know, we’re in the midst of a pretty intense election season. Both parties have resorted to below-the-belt political tactics, avoided key issues during the debates, and provided countless hours of overtime for fact-checkers. Caught in the middle of all of the mudslinging are the people. Us. Citizens in search of the truth, which for some reasons seems to get further away as we get closer to election day.

So today’s two represent a little food for thinkers. A little something to wipe some of the mud from over your vision and see things from a non-political perspective.

Oddisee – American Greed
(from the album People Hear What They See)

Lauryn Hill – Mystery of Iniquity
(Editor’s Note: I don’t care how you critics felt about the Unplugged project, she went bonkers on this! Never gets old.)

What would you add to the list?

The Cover Up: Kawehi

Let me start by saying I am no Brittany Spears fan and I’ve never heard the original version of this song. As far as I’m concerned, this song belongs to Kawehi. So, now to the business at hand. I was minding my own business and all of sudden I’m trapped in this staring contest with a Vimeo video. After the second watch I shook off the amazement long enough to write this. So watch it. And watch it again.

Kawehi – Criminal (Brittany Spears cover)

Criminal from Kawehi on Vimeo.

Shout out to the big homey @trucksandpearls for putting me on to this joint!

Find Kahewi on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kawehitom

Back to the Future

Great music tends to have chameleon-like qualities. At times we may mistake timely and for-the-time-being music with timeless music. And believe me, there is a difference. Every era has it’s musical trends. Every era also has it’s own distinctive social issues that impact both the sound and artists of that era. Even with the abundance of music produced during these different time periods, out from the cacophony emerges a few timeless pieces of art.

How do you spot timeless you music? What makes it different from timely and for-the-time-being music? Timely music (as defined by me) is just what it sounds like – music that happened to be right on time. That song that came out right as you were bored with everything else that existed at the time. The dance album that dropped at the exact moment that you felt like dancing. It serves no other purpose once that feeling passes, but it was the only thing you had in rotation while you had that particular feeling. For-the-time-being music (again, as defined in the mental dictionary in my head) is music that was/is relevant for the time-being. It’s the funk album during the funk era. The 25,000,004 Teddy Riley-sounding songs during the swing era. It’s the soul sample during the Just Blaze/Kanye West heyday.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great songs and albums in the midst of the sonic clutter. But there is a difference between “great” and “timeless”. Which brings me to the point of this post: what is timeless music? It’s music that can be taken from any era and placed in a different era and still be just as significant. It’s that song that was written before you were born that speaks directly to your current time and place. It’s Marvin Gaye‘s What’s Going On. It’s War‘s The World Is A Ghetto. It’s Sam Cooke‘s A Change I Gonna Come. This list, while not super extensive, could go on for quite a while. Check out a couple of my favorite joints below.

Common – Resurrection

Al Green – Simply Beautiful

Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

What are a few of your timeless favorites?

Hiatus Kaiyote

I don’t even know what to say other than “wow”. For all of the foolishness that can be attributed to social media, one of the reasons why I love it is because it connects you to the things you love that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. For me, that “thing” is music. And yesterday while scrolling through my Twitter timeline, I clicked on a video posted by Erykah Badu (@fatbellybella) and was blown away. Because of the awesomeness of social media, I was officially introduced to Hiatus Kaiyote, a soul band from Melbourne. Check out the video below and find the album on the band’s Bandcamp page (link below).

Nakamarra

Find the album here: http://hiatuskaiyote.bandcamp.com/

Follow them on Twitter: @HiatusKaiyote

Two’s Day: Two For Success

I’d like to propose a toast. A toast to all of your (and my) success – realized and yet-to-be-revealed. Today we celebrate every victory, every obstacle, every accomplishment, and every second spent chasing a dream. I raise my glass to all the people that have courage enough to step away from fear and step out on faith. I tip my hat to everyone unafraid to make mistakes and smart enough to learn from them. Following your heart isn’t easy, but it’s far from impossible. This two’s for you!

The Niceguys – Toast

Actual Proof ft. Raheem DeVaughn – All The Way

No Sunshine

The only thing I love better than music is new music. Over the weekend I found another gem – a gem by the name of Melody Gardot. As I was going through her catalog, the one word that came to mind was “amazing”. Her music. Her sound. Her voice. Her story. All amazing.

This cover of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” made my day, ironically, like sunshine does.

Follow her on Twitter: @mgardot