Thursday, May 31, 2012

Project in the Works: "Epic" film (Beyonce)

After an epic return to the stage this past weekend, it appears as though Beyonc√© has signed onto star in her first animated feature aptly entitled "Epic." The sixteen-time Grammy winner and three-time Golden Globe nominee is slated to lend her voice to the 3D CG-animated film "Epic," where she will play Queen Tara in the Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation flim. In addition to starring Beyonc√©, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, and Judah Friedlander are also set to star in the Chris Wedge (Ice Age) directed film. "Epic" is currently scheduled for release on May 24, 2013, and follows a battle in the forest between good and evil. As always, I'll keep you posted on the status of this project and others.

Live Video of the Day: "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" (Aretha Franklin)

There are only a few greats, and there is no denying the greatness of the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin. Below you will find a stirring rendition of the gospel hymn "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" from Ms. Franklin as she belts out yet another flawless live rendition, this time lifted from a 1984 performance. Watch her powerful rendition below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Heaven and Earth" (Al Jarreau)

"Heaven and Earth" - Al Jarreau
  • Writers: Louis and Linda Biancaniello
  • Producer: Narada Michael Walden
  • Record Label: Warner Brothers
  • Released in 1992 from "Heaven and Earth"
  • Won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

Second Listen: "You for Me (The Wedding Song)" (Johnny Gill)

Back in 2005, Johnny Gill was featured on the "Madea's Family Reunion" soundtrack and Gill crooned out a phenomenal song entitled "You For Me (The Wedding Song)." While people feel different ways about Tyler Perry's films, you can't deny that he does know how to create a solid soundtrack. With that said, take a first or second listen below to Gill's sublime "You For Me (The Wedding Song)" and Enjoy!

Playback: "Nothing's Real But Love" (Rebecca Ferguson)

Former X-Factor UK contestant Rebecca Ferguson released her debut album "Heaven," earlier this week here in the US and the lead single from the project "Nothing's Real But Love," has started to gain some momentum on the radio. With that said, I thought it would be appropriate to take a playback for her single "Nothing's Real But Love" as it is also a free download of the week on Itunes right now. Take a playback to "Nothing's Real But Love" and if you like what you hear, click here to get it for free.

Live Clip: "Harriett Jones" (Eric Benet)

Eric Benet's forthcoming album "The One" is due out for release next week on June 5th, and the set is preceded by Benet's singles "Real Love" and "Harriett Jones." With that said, Benet stopped by Marcus Samuelsson’s "Red Rooster" restaurant in Harlem recently to perform "Harriett Jones" and you can peep his performance below.

Live Audio: "Distant Lover" (Marvin Gaye)

Take a few minutes out of your day to sit back, relax, and enjoy this smooth joint from Marvin Gaye. As always, Marvin croons out an opus of perfection on this live joint. "Distant Lover" live is possibly better then the recorded version and that is saying a lot as the recorded version is on point. With that said, take a listen below to Gaye's crooning of "Distant Lover" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "High For This" (Ellie Goulding)

UK sensation Ellie Goulding hooked up with Chiddy Bang producer Xaphoon Jones for a great cover of  The Weeknd's joint "High For This." Though Ellie's perky vocals offer a different interpretation of "High For This," I like what she and Xaphoon Jones were crafting and you can take a listen to it below!

New Joint: "Sign My Name" (J. Holiday)

It's been a minute since J. Holiday's sophomore album, but it appears as though the crooner is back at work on his third album with the official release of "Sign My Name." While a few other joints from J. Holiday have hit the net within the past few years, this marks the first official joint from him since his sophomore release. Take a listen below to "Sign My Name" and Enjoy!

Album in the Works: "Jumping Trains" (JoJo)

While JoJo's long awaited third album "Jumping Trains" still seems to be in limbo, the vocal powerhouse recently took to twitter to update her fans on the state of her album. Though the lead single "Disaster" saw some steady promise on the charts, it appeared as though her label Blackground/ Interscope stopped promotion midway through the single's release. With that said, below you will find JoJo's tweet which informs fans of Blackground's mismanagement of "Jumping Trains."

Hopefully, the issues that JoJo has incurred will be resolved soon, though it appears that after a year, JoJo's 6-year hiatus might be stretched to seven or eight.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Live Video of the Day: "Charlene" (Anthony Hamilton)

Anthony Hamilton was on a promo tour to help support his latest studio album "Back To Love" and during a stop at Club Nokia here in Los Angeles, Hamilton busted out a sublime rendition of his classic joint "Charlene." With that said, watch his performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Never Gonna Break My Faith" (Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige)

"Never Gonna Break My Faith" - Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige
  • Writers: Bryan Adams
  • Record Label: Island
  • "Never Gonna Break My Faith" was nominated for a Golden Globe 2006

New Video: "Spectrum" (Florence + The Machine)

After a behind the scenes visual for Florence + The Machine's "Spectrum" hit the net yesterday, the group has released the official visual for their David LaChapelle and John Byrne directed video. While the behind the scenes feature gave an indication of what to expect from Florence's new video,  the LaChapelle and Byrne visual is a colorfully ballet filled piece that deserves a gander or two. Watch it below and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Strawberry Amazing" (Miguel)

Artist on the rise Jesse Boykins III caught up with Miguel during his soundcheck at BB Kings last year and during his time kicking it with Miguel, Jesse caught some great footage of Miguel crooning out "Strawberry Amazing," which was originally featured on his mixtape "Mischief Mixtape," though his label has now released it digitally.  Peep the black and white footage below of Miguel working it out during his soundcheck and if you don't have it, go cop "Strawberry Amazing."

Second Listen: "Three Times a Lady" (The Commodores)

Back in 1978, The Commodores released their Lionel Richie penned single "Three Times a Lady," from their album "Naturally High". The song would go onto become the Commodores' first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit and you can take a first or second listen below to the extended version of this classic!

Amazing Cover: "Fool For You" (Alice Smith)

Alice Smith recently covered the Cee-Lo Green and Melanie Fiona Grammy-winning duet. Though her duet dropped at the top of this year, I'm a little late on her amazing cover and you can peep it below if you missed it the first time, like I did. Watch below and Enjoy!

New Video: "Nobody" (John West)

Artist on the rise John West has been hard at work on his forthcoming Mercury/Island Def Jam debut album and while no release date has been set, another new joint from the set has hit the net. This time its the smooth "Nobody" and the accompanying visual is a solid effort to assit in the single's release. Peep the official video below for "Nobody" and lookout for West' debut album soon.

Album in the Works: "Better" (Chrisette Michele)

Chrisette Michele recently caught up with automobile company Audi and opened up about her forthcoming followup to 2010's "Let Freedom Reign." Entitled "Better," Michele stated that the album will feature between 10 and 12 tracks and though no release information was discussed, hopefully we can be jamming out to "Better" later this year! Peep the brief interview below and lookout for new music from Chrisette Michele soon!

Mashup: "Runaway (JayBeatz Mashup)" (Jhene Aiko, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean)

Famed remixer on the rise JayBeatz has just recently dropped a mashup of Jhene Aiko's "2 Seconds," The Weeknd's "Rolling Stone" and Frank Ocean's "Acura Integurl," to form a dope six minute mix entited "Runaway." Dude's definitely got some serious skills and you should take a listen below to this sublime mashup!

New Video: "Compliments" (Tank, T.I., Kris Stephens)

Tank's new album "This Is How I Feel" is in stores now and the crooner teamed up with T.I. and artist on the rise Kris Stephens on the remix to "Compliments." Peep the official visual for their collaboration for "Compliments" below and Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Live Video of the Day: "Try A Little Tenderness" (Otis Redding)

Tragedy struck the Soul music world when Otis Redding died in a plane crash back in 1967. With that said, below you will find his last known performance of Otis Redding, which occurred the night before his tragic accident that left a whole in Soul music. In this live video below, you will see a powerful performance of the Otis Redding performing his classic "Try A Little Tenderness." Check it out and Enjoy!

New Video: "No Church In The Wild" (Kanye West, Jay-Z & Frank Ocean)

Jay-Z and Kanye West collaborated with Frank Ocean on their latest single "No Church In The Wild," and now the powerful visual for the thought-provoking track has hit the net. Directed by Romain Gavras, the visual is a haunting remembrance of the London riots that went down last year. Peep the official video below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Just To See Her" (Smokey Robinson)

"Just To See Her" - Smokey Robinson
  • Writers: Jimmy George & Lou Pardini
  • Producers: Peter Bunetta & Rick Chudacoff
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1987 from "One Heartbeat"
  • Peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B charts

Project in the Works: "All Is by My Side" (Andre 3000)

Though the Hendrix estate is not endorsing the forthcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic "All Is by My Side," which stars Andre 3000, it appears as though filming is going down thanks to RapUp for grabbing several images from the set in Bray, Ireland. The shoot is expected to last six weeks and cover the span of Jimi's life in England between 1966 and 1967, while he was recording his monumental debut album ""Are You Experienced." Time will tell how the biopic will turn out, but this could possibly be Oscar bait for Andre 300. Peep the images and lookout for the film possibly come Oscar campaign season.

Set: "Live in Morocco 2012" (Mariah Carey)

While Mariah Carey is hard at work on her forthcoming LP, the famed singer/songwriter performed a solid set at the Malawine Festival in Morocco this past weekend. Featuring her #1 hits "Touch My Body," "Always Be My Baby," "Honey," "My All," and "We Belong Together," to just name a few, the Grammy winning songbird seemed to be in rare form and you can peep her entire performance below!

Behind the Scenes: "Spectrum" Video Shoot (Florence + The Machine)

 "Spectrum" is slated to be the latest single for Florence + The Machine and the behind the scenes feature for the David LaChapelle and John Byrne directed clip showcases off an extremely visually stimulating video. While no release date is set for the clip, the ballet infused clip is sure to turn heads when its released. Peep the behind the scenes feature below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Make You Feel Me Love" (Ed Sheeran)

UK's own Ed Sheeran has really made a name for himself in 2011 in his home country and to cap off a sublime year for this artist on the rise, Sheeran performed at Capital's Jingle Bell Ball 2011 in London. During his set, Ed launched into a phenomenal cover f the Bob Dylan classic that recently got a facelift of sorts when Adele covered it on her debut album "19". Peep his amazing cover of "Make You Feel My Love" below and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Love On Top" (Beyonce)

Beyonce was nothing short of a revelation during her extended weekend stay at The Revel in Atlantic City this past weekend and one of the numerous standout performance from Queen B was her energetic and powerhouse performance of her #1 hit "Love On Top." With that said, watch her groovy performance below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Freak Me" (Silk)

Back in 1992 Silk released their debut album "Lose Control," and soon released their second single "Freak Me" in February of 1993. "Freak Me" would go onto peak at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B Singles chart become the groups' most memorable hit. With that said, take a first or second listen below to "Freak Me" and Enjoy!

Playback: "Blown Away" (Carrie Underwood)

Five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood recently released her fourth studio LP "Blown Away" and while the country darling isn't known much in soul circles, there is no denying the sheer vocal power and soul in her voice. While she hasn't recorded any traditional soul songs, the title track and second single from her new album "Blown Away" is a testament to her tremendous vocal prowess. I would love to see Carrie Underwood involved in the planned Vh1 Divas tribute to Whitney Houston later this year as she has the vocal strength to offer up a solid rendition of a Houston classic. With that said, take a playback of her new single "Blown Away" below and Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Amazing Cover: "I Can't Make You Love Me" (Bon Iver)

Back in July of last year, Bon Iver released their take on the Bonnie Raitt classic "I Can't Make You Love Me." The group's cover of Raitt's classic is rather eerie yet brilliant at the same time and showcases off another side to the ballad. With that said, take a listen below to Bon Iver's amazing cover of Bonnie's "I Can't Make You Love Me" and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Black Gold" (Esperanza Spalding)

This past weekend Esperanza Spalding stopped by "Later… with Jools Holland" to perform the lead single from her new post-Grammy 'Best New Artist' fourth studio album "Radio Music Society." Though Algebra accompanies Esperanza on the studio track, a background vocalist for Spalding performed the empowering track with her. Peep the performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" (Stevie Wonder)

"You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" - Stevie Wonder
  • Writer and Producer: Stevie Wonder
  • Record Label: Tamla
  • Featured on 1972's "Talking Book"

Live Audio: "Back To Life" (Corneille)

It's been a minute since I've heard any new musical news from  Corneille. With that said, take a listen below to this smooth live audio of Corneille crooning out his song "Back To Life," which is lifted from his LP "The Birth Of Cornelius." Listen below and Enjoy!

New Video: "Sparkle" (Yuna)

Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna recently released the new official visuals for her new joint "Sparkle." Lifted from her forthcoming sophomore set "Terukir Di Bintang," following her US debut this past April, the video was amazingly shot entirely on the new Samsung Galaxy Note for their Sparkle Project. Peep the official video below and get to know Yuna a bit better!

Second Listen: "More Than A Woman" (Calvin Richardson)

Back in 2002, Calvin Richardson released a solo version of "More Than A Woman," which was originally a duet he recorded with Angie Stone back in 2001. Lifted as the first single from his sophomore album "2:35 Pm," "More Than A Woman" was a moderate hit on the charts, but is a nice smooth joint that is worthy of a second listen. Therefore take a first or second listen below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Live in Stuttgart 1999" (Whitney Houston)

During Whitney Houston's "My Love Is Your Love" international tour, the famed songstress performed in Stuttgart, Germany as a part of her last world tour. With that said, luckily for fans of the late Grammy winning singer, live audio of her entire concert in Stuttgart has hit the net and as always Houston is in fine form. Take a listen to classics and hits such as "Heartbreak Hotel," "Saving All My Love For You," "Step By Step," "My Love Is Your Love,"  "How Will I Know," "I Will Always Love You," and many more. Listen below and Enjoy!

New Video: "Don't Mind" (Mary J. Blige)

It appears as though a new Mary J. Blige visual has hit the net and this time for her forthcoming single "Don't Mind." While "Why" just received the official visual treatment, Mary has already recorded the official video for the followup single "Don't Mind" and you can peep it below!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

After Midnight: Minnie Riperton

Several years ago for Steven Lopez's "After Midnight" series, the famed artist painted a beautiful painting of Minnie Riperton.  Lopez had the following comment below the video of his sublime creation:
She is the queen of hearts. There is a certain caliber of singing that is held by few and wanted by many. Minne Riperton belongs in the top echelon. Her voice is a window sent from heaven. Her singing is an auditory spectacle into the world of unconditional love. I ask myself what is it about her that attracts me to her music? Its easy for me to say that her vocal range was second to none. But I challenge others to look beyond that and hear the spaces between her words. Her poetry is the effort of love pouring out of her soul. Songs like hers dont come around that often, if at all. I hope that other singers see her as a standard of what a love song should be. Its an era that she crowned with her voice. I know that this world was meant to catch a glimpse of her. She was put here to show the possibility of a life of love.
With that said, watch him paint his vision of the legendary Minnie Riperton below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Back to Black" (Amy Winehouse)

One of my all-time favorite songs from the late Amy Winehouse was her haunting title track "Back to Black." Though released as a single, it never gain the traction of "Rehab" here in the States. With that said, watch her performance of the poignant "Back to Black" from BBC One Sessions below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Spirit In The Dark" (Aretha Franklin)

Back in 1972, Aretha Franklin recorded her live album "Oh Me, Oh My: Aretha Live In Philly 1972" which featured several powerful performances, but in my opinion it is the closing track on the live album "Spirit In The Dark," that is the pinnacle of the live set. Take a listen below to the Queen letting loose on her spirited number and Enjoy!