fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘music’

Let the crowd say…

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm

“All Right!”

Just as instructed, we did… we responded with a robust affirmation of “all riiiiiiiiight!”  And that’s how it went down.  The when?  Valentines … or as some folk say, ValentiMes night.  The where?  Ben’s Next Door on U Street in Washington, DC.  The who?  My boy… the soulful and dynamic Russell Taylor!

Miles away from his New York stomping grounds, Russell Taylor – aka “Rt!” – was the featured artist for “Live” @ Ben’s Next Door – a Tuesday night showcase for independent artists.

Incredibly dapper, donning a tux jacket… crisp white dress shirt with just enough sequins to catch the light… a limited-edition Marc Jacobs cap highlighting the word “PARIS” above the brim and some “oh sooooo sharp” pink suede sneakers… my college friend was in his element!

He engaged the crowd and charmed us with his talent.  Comfortable.  Confident.  A natural with the mic.  The FREE admissions for entry had no bearing on his performance — Russell’s dedication to his music was evident.  Don’t you just love an artist that dives completely into a song… you know, they get lost in the music as they sing – you feel their passion – and through them, you are able to lose yourself as well.  All about energy, eh?

I am not a music critic – just a lover of a great vibe.  My 2 musical weaknesses that stop me in my tracks – a raspy voice and an artist that effortlessly lures you in.  Haha – can I get an “all right” – because Russell fits the bill!  For his Tuesday night set, he kept the performance and his accompaniment intimate – 2 background singers, a bass player, a guitarist and a bongo player.

Perched on a bar stool, Russell opened with a Stevie Wonder cover and sprinkled his own original creations in between.  He worked the room and DAMN… that boy can sing!

Entertained by his lyrics and candid storytelling, I easily got lost in the moment.  The front row seating, combined with an old favorite – my J.LOHR Cabernet Sauvignon – and the company of my husband… surely getting lost in the moment was inevitable!

Good times… no doubt!

I was even witness to Russell’s quick wit as he threw out a humorous, yet stern notice to an audience member whose conversation during song was obnoxiously loud.  Poor poor lady in the red shirt – betcha won’t do that again!

On a night reserved and designed for love, Russell shared with us his talent… his gift… his love of music.  What a phenomenal treat — and all for FREE?


So, for my friend “Rt!”… I am telling you that I am definitely a fan!  I♥Rt!  Haha — all that I need now is my Rt! tee-shirt, eh?  Ummmm… size medium!

I encourage you all to check him out.  If you know like I know, you are merely a click away from becoming a fan!!/rsoulstar

Russell Taylor… he is fly and nothing short of a superstar!  This independent artist – he is on the move and working hard to make big things happen…

one performance at a time!  




…marsha, Marsha, MARSHA!

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

No sir!

Not even making reference to The Brady Bunch… I am talking about my girl.  The one with the intoxicatingly melodic voice.  The one who releases her notes with sheer ease and perfection.  The one whose song writing skills captured the eye of Mr. Remarkable himself – Michael Jackson.  Yessssssss.  That’s her… The one.  The only.  Miss Marsha Ambrosius!

Pleeeeeeeeeeease tell me that you have knowledge of this captivating English songstress?!  You know – chick from the duo Floetry who is now doing her solo thing.  I do declare… when I hear her voice – THAT VOICE – it literally makes me want to utter the exact sentiment that your boy in Coming To America exclaimed when he extended his arm and touched King Jaffe Joffer’s pelt — “What is that?  Velvet!!”  Haha!  If you are unfamiliar, allow me to make the introduction and let you know that Marsha is a beast and has it going on… indubitably!

With that said, imagine how I felt when her facebook page that I “like” posted her upcoming tour schedule and DC was on the list… not only on the list, but the selected venue – the historic Warner Theatre – is perfect!  The completely renovated golden fortress is majestic… equally alluring as my beloved Marsha, especially since it provides its audience with a more than memorable experience… absolutely the ideal host for an intimate Marsha experience.  Betcha already figured this one out — I got tickets!!

Had to!  For far too long the attraction to this chick has been brewing.  Obviously, I have never met her… and I only know of her spirit via her facebook videos, youtube videos and her numerous television appearances –  but “something”… this distinct quality that she possess, feels like raw energy… like she is this down to earth, keeping it real, drop an expletive if need be, share a drink with you… you know – a REAL kind of girl — my kind of girl!   Nope… I am not a stalker.  Nor am I  secretly searching ebay for her discarded coffee cups and napkins for an eerie collection.  I am an admirer of her craft.  I am awed by her effortless delivery.  A lover of music… especially those that do it well and can sang!!!!  (Ummm… yes, I intentionally omitted the “i” and inserted an “a”… trust me, Marsha is worthy of the literary emphasis)


8th row orchestra seats, here I come.  Feeling like a child about to open a present, I am spewing with excitement and about to start putting “x” marks on my calendar as I count down the remaining 43 days!  Naturally, the process of selecting an ensemble worthy the night has begun.  What to wear… what to wear?  Fellas, this is such a girl thing, eh?!  Am I determined to shop my closet and create a striking outfit – or – perhaps a trip to a retail establishment in the near future?  Haha… not even worried about the clothing – I got this!  But, let it be known that with red lips intact, clutch in hand while strutting in a pair of mouth-watering heels… I plan on making an entrance!  (wink wink!)

I will say this… the only thing that could possibly make the night better would be a meet and greet… backstage passes… VIP status.  Yep.  I am dreaming.  BIG dreams!  Hmmmmm…. here’s a thought.  Maybe… just maybe I could post this somewhere and Marsha just might stumble upon my words and…

Naaaaaaaaah!  As much as I do love her… remember, I am not a stalker!

But check her out for yourself  at — Miss Marsha could be that new addition to your musical collection!



ipod battles… you too?!

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2011 at 4:34 am

For those who participate in this amusing game, an explanation is far from necessary.  This impromptu competition amongst family, friends and guests – that usually occurs during parties, grilling or simply just hanging out – promotes much more than a love for music… it generates laughter, memories and offers insight into the artists that your crowd regards as magnetic!

So what is it… these ipod battles?!  Hmmmm,  probably easiest explained as such:  a duel.  One that begins as a friendly sharing of your “most loved” picks from your ipod, but then, spontaneously erupts into this full fledged battle.  A battle with the competitors acting as if they were gladiators in ancient Rome, preparing for the big kill – thrusting down their ipod on the docking station as if it were a sword, hoping that the song released trumps the previous person’s selection… yielding them feeble and unable to proceed!

Did I lose you?  A bit dramatic?  Nah…not in the least.  I would respond by saying that these battles, accompanied with that delightful fruit-filled drink, have been the catalyst for a multitude of friendships and countless musical discoveries.  Me, being extremely gregarious, I always welcome the opportunity for entertaining.  Aside from the time spent with my family, nothing provides more pleasure than opening up the doors to my modest abode to guests.  Pair that with wine and music… whew, blushing as I admit this, but sometimes THAT is just a pleasurable as a vigorous romp in the sack!  Shocked?  Did I go too far?  See… now those that know me wouldn’t flinch at that statement… but it is all good.  My blog is new and you, at this state, might only consider yourself an acquaintance  – no worries thou – soon, haha, very soon, a BFF status is imminent!

Getting back on track and back to the ipod battles.   Genres… diverse.  Tempos… varied.  Ultimately scanning your audience to see who gets the best “head nods”.  With the aggressiveness in jest and all competition aside, the goal is unmistakable.  It all boils down to fun… a healthy exchange of interests… companionship… even camaraderie.  Bottom line, the music is unity.

Now my husband and a few friends would emphatically proclaim that I am an unfair competitor.  Well, if I were to be honest, I would have to admit that there could be an ounce of truth to that statement!  If you were to listen, they would recount something about me… singing the words of my selected tunes… trying to get everyone to “feel” what I am feeling.  Blame it on me being caught up in the moment… or, my undeniable love of music… or, my competitive nature; wanting to always be the one to pull out that show stopper!  Regardless of the label given to me, I say this to you:  don’t knock the ipod battles til’ you try them!  I know how it happens in my circle – more good times than you can imagine and before you know it, you (yes you) will be secretly preparing playlists before social gatherings with the hopes of reigning victorious with your compilations!

Haha – don’t think that I am telling tales, for I know many who have created such playlists.  Playlists that are still in rotation on their ipod and yep, you guessed it… perhaps I or one of my lil’ social events IS now a part of their memory!  As with anything that I write, the intent is merely to share.  During these ipod games, I tend to find myself observing the crowd for reaction.  Continuously, I find it amazing as to how music can immediately stimulate a connection… often fostering  bonds between those that hours prior where easily considers strangers.  Like with wine, I look to my surroundings for inspiration – heavily relying on recommendations of others to broaden my musical scope.  At times, I find it absolutely indescribable the manner in which a song can overtake my body… hmmmm,  yes, I know… perhaps the topic for another blog, eh?!

After a quick scan of my iopd, it is obvious that the battles have definitely supplied me with new additions to my musical arsenal.  Curious thou:  Do you too ipod battle?  If so, share with me.  If not – what could you possibly be waiting for?!