Music

Good Mood Music: Got It Good

Usually it’s the singer that initially draws me towards a piece of music. However, in the case of “Got It Good” it was the producer.

During one of my periods of exploration, I came across the Haitian-born Canadian DJ by the name of Kaytranada and got hooked on the stylings of his mixes.

“Got It Good” is a cut from his debut studio album 99.9% that came out in 2016. It contains a sample from “Olho de Vidro” performed by Jaime E. Nair, and features the vocals of Craig David, whose music I’ve also enjoyed over the years.

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Music

Good Mood Music: You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else

“…’Cause if you ain’t loving me
I wanna know who in the world you lovin’
Tell me if you don’t want me around…”

Fed up. Those two words sum up the Jones Girls 1979 release “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else.” The Jones Girls were a group of 3 sisters from Detroit, who got their start in the music business singing backup for acts like Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, and more.

“You Gonna Make…” was featured on the sisters’ self-titled debut album. Although the song only peaked at #38 on the Top 40 chart, it did make it to the top 5 on the R&B chart. The song has been covered and sampled countless times over the years. The catchiness of the percussion and synth used in the underlying track no doubt play a part in its ability to endure within different time periods and genres of music. Despite the subject matter, it’s a pretty upbeat tune.

You may also know of another song from The Jones Girls debut album: “Who Can I Run To.” That song was the B-side of the single release for “You Gonna Make…” and was covered by the group Xscape in 1995. The Xscape version reached #1 on the R&B charts, along with being a top 10 pop hit.

Gymnastics

Results for the Caribbean Gymnasts Who Competed at Montreal Worlds

Like at the Rio Olympics, Manrique Larduet (Cuba) achieved the best results of the Caribbean gymnasts at the Montreal Worlds. He led the men’s all-around after the qualification rounds, but ended up 5th in the final after too many bounces and steps on landings. He also fell just short of the podium in his individual event finals with results of 7th on floor and 4th on parallel bars.

Manrique’s teammate Randy Leru had medal potential in the high bar final, but unfortunately sat his dismount after an otherwise fantastic routine. He finished the final in 7th. But not getting a medal in Montreal didn’t seem to dampen either of their spirits any…

Audrys Nin Reyes of the Dominican Republic was also expected to contend for a final, specifically the vault final. However, he was a casualty of the injury-laden third subdivision and withdrew after missing his first vault. He opted against doing his second which was scheduled to be a new vault he submitted to the FIG to be named after him, if successfully completed.

Continue reading “Results for the Caribbean Gymnasts Who Competed at Montreal Worlds”

Gymnastics

2017 Montreal Worlds Qualification Notebook

Which gym deity, or deities, did we not provide proper offerings to before Worlds? I’m not sure of the last time I was so emotionally effected by the qualification rounds.

DAY 1

The first day will be remembered for an almost apocalyptic third subdivision that saw Japan’s Kohei Uchimura‘s all around win streak come to an end via injury (later found to be a partial tear of the anterior ligament in his ankle).

It was one of at least 7 significant injuries within that sub alone, including the scariest moment when Andrei Groza of Romania had to be stretchered off the podium after a high bar fall. Thankfully, it appeared to be a precautionary move as he was released from the hospital with no injuries after a night of observation. And you can see what happened to Ruben Lopez of Spain following his high bar mishap…

But good things happened too, like… Continue reading “2017 Montreal Worlds Qualification Notebook”

Gymnastics

16 Caribbean Gymnasts Scheduled to Compete at Montreal Worlds

Updated Below 

16 Caribbean gymnasts are expected to compete at the 2017 World Championships to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada per the nominative registration list. (Note: nominative registrations can change.)

Team Jamaica makes up half of the gymnasts from the island nations (3 women and 5 men). One quarter of the gymnasts competed in last year’s Rio Olympics: Manrique Larduet, Randy Leru, Marcia Vidiaux, and Toni-Ann Williams.

One of the biggest storylines of Worlds will be to see how Manrique fares in his first major competition since Rio, where he was severely hampered by an ankle injury sustained shortly before the meet. Speaking of comebacks from injury, Worlds is also scheduled to be the first meet for Toni-Ann since she tore her Achilles during the NCAA season.

However, the biggest story of the group might be the return of Yesenia Ferrera.

Yesenia is back following a couple years filled with injury and a reported impasse with the Cuban gymnastics federation. The disagreement between the two parties left her exempt from competition even after healing from her knee injury. Prior to her apparent suspension from the team, Yesenia was the lead female gymnast for the squad.

The most notable absence is Yamilet Peña of the Dominican Republic, whose university studies reportedly conflict with the time period of Worlds.

The World Championships begin on October 2 and conclude on October 8.

FULL CARIBBEAN GYMNAST ROSTER

Cuba:
Yesenia Ferrera
Manrique Larduet
Randy Leru
Marcia Vidiaux

Dominican Republic:
Audrys Nin Reyes

Jamaica:
Reiss Beckford
Caleb Faulk
Stephen Lewis
Mackenzie Robinson
Nicholas Tai
Daniel Williams
Maya Williams
Toni-Ann Williams

Puerto Rico:
Bianca Leon
Paula Mejias

Trinidad and Tobago:
Joseph Fox

Music

Good Mood Music: Expression

You know life
Is all about expression
You only live once, and you’re not coming back
So express yourself, yeah…

Salt-N-Pepa exhibited “Girl Power” years before the Spice Girls hit the music scene. “Expression” off the Blacks’ Magic album is my favorite Salt-N-Pepa track. It was the first song Salt (Cheryl James) wrote and produced herself — and it happened to go Platinum. Not a bad debut.

Recently, the group (which also includes Sandra Denton as Pepa and DeeDee Roper as Spinderella) highlighted 15 songs from their over 3 decade long career and told Rolling Stone why they tell the tale of their career. “Expression” was one of them. Of the song, Salt said:

Personally, it was me trying to see if what I witnessed and learned was something I could actually implement. And liberation from being Hurby’s girlfriend. I wanted to start taking over the voice of Salt-N-Pepa more in the studio – more in control of what we wanted to say. And that might have been because of “Twist and Shout.” That might have been a backlash. [Laughs.] I don’t know. I just know I had it in me.

For background, “Twist and Shout” is a cover of the Beatles tune. Hurby Azor, a producer and songwriter who up until that point was very involved in the creative direction of the group, suggested the song. Salt-N-Pepa basically recorded the song under protest, feeling it wasn’t right for them. They hardly ever performed it in the U.S. because of a lackluster response. The response was a little better in Europe, but eventually they’d stop performing it all together.

A factoid about the video is Pepa was pregnant and wasn’t quite feeling her normal, expressive self on set. But what are friends for?

I remember having a hard time doing the video and I remember Salt having a little “pep” talk with me – literally – like, “Pull it together girl, you could do this.” You know, I’m feeling all big and fat and just crazy. I’m usually being sexy or something in the video, and now I know even being pregnant is sexy, but back then, I’m thinking, like, “What?” I didn’t feel it at the moment. … She had the little talk with me, and then something just came over me and I just took charge and I owned it, and I killed the video.

Music

Good Mood Music: Do Your Thing

Issac Hayes was a master of mood music. Most well-known for the blaxploitation movie soundtrack Shaft, Hayes was a fixture of the 1960s and 1970s music scene — particularly as one of the primary songwriters for Stax Records.

Hayes’ catalog can only be described as soulful. “Do Your Thing” has an almost laissez-faire vibe as it encourages listeners to follow their intuition and do what moves them.

If the music makes you move, cause you can dig the groove
Then groove on, groove on
If you feel like you wanna make love under the stars above
Love on, love on
If there’s something you wanna say, and talkin’ is the only way
Rap on, oh, rap on
Cause whatever you do, oh, you’ve got to do your thing…

An edit of the nearly 20 minute song, of which only around 2 minutes has vocals, was one of two Top 40 hits spawned by the Shaft soundtrack in 1971 (the Shaft theme was the other).

Of special note, Hayes was recently honored in his hometown of Covington, Tennessee with his own celebratory day.