It’s about that time to revamp my crib. Cool Kid wants her room done “living room mod”, you have seen that style, if you have watched any of the Austin Powers movies. I have been working on my music studio; it’s is coming along nicely. Both of us are artists and our surroundings effect our productivity. If you have ever felt that way, you know exactly what I mean and why I am adamant about getting it handled before I leave for the road again! After it’s done, I will go room by room, subtracting what zaps my flow, what pulls from my creativity than I will be adding what inspires me. I see as many items throughout the crib that I need for inspiration, as items I have to give away, donate to charity, maybe, even sell. Valuables that just do nothing to add to my energy, they make me feel stagnant. My crib or shall I say pad, has become a landing pad, more or less, for too much of everything. I want it to be a launching pad for my passion, for creativity, for invention. While, it has been referred to as the Metroplex ( Dallas Metroplex) Museum of Art, I have decided to redefine it. I figured maybe I might think about doing this whole revamp on the “shoestring” , after all we are in a recession. On the one hand I figure, there have to be other people living in museums that want to downsize their collections or others who are having to downsize because of the recession. The task of decorating can be difficult, if you don’t have the knowledge and the resources, but quite fun, if you do and even a high when you can do it and not spend a bank. For those of you who are living on your own with your first pad away from Mom and Dad, I know you remember how hard it was to get your crib, super cool. As a matter of fact, you might still be trying to do it and for those of you who have been able to buy that first home, furnishing your new starter home can be a nightmare, if you spent all your money just trying to get that downpayment! Honestly, I went back and forth trying to choose a style. I wanted something timeless which spelled antique. However, most of the antiques spelled bulky and not so hip, though beautiful and timeless. Those antique pieces that were from the art deco period were cool, but becoming harder and harder to find, I have a few. There is also that Danish look, the sleek beech wood, you find that look in many magazines, it is not new, it was made popular as early back as the40′s. You can find some of the vintage pieces around. They definitely spell hip and chic. I had visited many upscale furniture stores and even Ikea and many of them had one other scheme aside from the Danish influence, in common, for what represented hip and cool, that ” Austin Powers ” chic. This style, more easily than alot of other styles when done right, can not only be affordable, but can shout what is HIP! I began to notice that this Mod look was in stores everywhere. Many stores like Target, Walmart, Ikea have adopted the style of their staple offerings from this period. They have made a fortune offering inspired reproductions, at a fraction of the cost. If you are visiting D.C., stop by the Helix hotel to see style, this style in particular, at its best. Not wanting to spend a load and just to get an idea of what was out there “in the streets”, I decided to take a look on Craigslist, what did I have to lose ? What I found was unbelievable, listing after listing of designer high end furnishings, listing after listing of remarkable modern contemporary brands. I found funky leather authenic Knoll Studio PollocK chairs in perfect condition for $150.00.
A few days later, I found a nice in pristine condition, black leather Knoll Studio Pollock sling chair for $90.00 just like the one at the far right bottom. Chairs like these retail for upward $1200.00. By the time my search was over, I had found a collection of Knoll Studio chairs, two twin sets of orange and avocado Eame’s chairs like the white one pictured below, all four started at $225.00, but the seller ended up listing them for $175.00..
By the time I was done I had fond, ten authentic “period” chairs , two Italian Natuzzi leather sectionals, one tan Simon Li leather sofa, all in perfect condition for about $2800.00. Had they been new, I woulod have been out of a grip, about 28,000.00. I was grateful to find a great companion for my new endeavor, a wonderful website www.refurbmadness.net. This website is awesome because it lists all the chic items, anyone would want in their home. When you visit the site, there are jpgs listed one after the other of chic furniture by the original designer. As a matter of fact, you will see a chair like one of those Kanye used in his video and a similar one that was used in one of Michael Jackson’s videos. Just clik through the site, find items you like, trust me, all of the items are dope. Take down that name of the item and/or the name of the designer then visit the Craigslists site for your area or any area where you can and/or are willing to load up the UHauil, reference the names of the items and/ or the names of the designer. You will be suprised to find that you will be able to locate authentic pieces in near perfect condition or wonderful reproductions.If you want to take your game to the collector level, that next level that spells SUPRA HIP (super hip) than check the bottom of the chairs, many times etched in the base will be tag indicators that tell you who made the piece and where it was made. A seller may not know that they are selling an authentic designer piece, many do not know and many just plain do not care, cold hard cash is their motivati0n for selling. Look up tag words as well; words like: retro, mod, modern contemporary. Sometimes, you will find an inspired piece that is cool looking and priced just right, buy it! If it is well made and screams style, hollaback and buy it!. I am now as much a fan of Craigslist as I am of eBay, maybe more so and as with all good things know your game and beware of scammers!!!! Keep me posted on what you find, if you decide to decorate and/or redecorate that room, that dorm, that apartment, that new house. Send pictures, let us know what you find!!! I might get a little jealouos or be willing to buy it from you at the right price!!!!!
In the wake of the recent tragic death of the legendary Michael Jackson, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking of how to pay tribute to him. I’ve been thinking of how impactful “The King” was in my life and to the music world, as a whole. I’ve been thinking about what exactly it takes to launch an artist into an icon- the lofty status known as the “greatest of all time” ( because, though I am an artist myself, I’ve simply never thought about it). I can’t think of another career path that I could have chosen that would have been more fulfilling to me personally, but I simply want to spend my days creating music that makes people feel good. I want to make music that is appreciated and that society can use as an example or standard for what really “good” music is all about- oh yeah, and look really good while doing it (in my cousins voice). That’s all. It wasn’t enough that he came into this world a prodigy, (which already left him head and shoulders above his peers) but he wanted to take that to the next level… and then that to the next level, and then that to the next level and so on, and so on.
I remember as a young kid going to my very first concert. It was at the Fair Grounds Arena in Oklahoma City. I went to see none other than the Jackson 5. It was evident, although he couldn’t have been much older than 12, that he was of a rare breed. Writers of “Pop” music history as well as “Pop Culture” in general always say that it was “Off the Wall” that put Mike into the status of “Greatness”. BIAAATCH!! did YOU listen to “Never Can Say Goodbye”? What they mean to say is that this marked the moment that “white” people openly admitted that “Okay, okay, this guy is kinda good”. FUCK THAT SHIT!!! We didn’t then and still don’t need white folks to determine for us that we’re GREAT!! Those of us that came up on “I Want You Back”, “Ben”, “The Love You Save”, etc., etc., should be offended, extremely. Michael Jackson was as much a part of our growing up as proteins and carbohydrates. How dare MTV drag they’re feet and then grudgingly air Michael’s videos (or videos from black artist period). But they had to. Why? Because he was “Bad”!
Michael Jackson was “Bad” and worthy of the title “The Greatest Artist of All Time” simply because when he performed you just couldn’t take your eyes off him. The guy was mesmerizing. I remember playing Jackson 5 45′s (singles) on our family record player in our den and imagining that the whole group was in the room with me, only I was Mike. He was a huge influence on me. He was “Bad” because of the sincerity that was present in his voice that made you listen to what he was saying. Michael Jackson was “Bad” because of how he impacted people of all ages, races, cultures all over the world. He was probably the most recognized figure in the world, second only to Jesus Christ. You never saw Mike wear a jacket that you had in your own closet, which only added to the “you cain’t touch this” factor. Michael Jackson was “Bad” because although his unique style was a blend of artist that he was inspired by and had studied, there was not one single artist to come along after him that didn’t have an inkling of Michael Jackson in them.
On the evening of June 25th a little after 5 :00 e.s.t. I was walking west on 125th in Harlem with my daughter, while we were standing at the intersection of Adam Clayton Powell, my daughter overheard a cell phone conversation that got her attention, “what did you say?”, she asked. The news of his (at that time, possible) death had begun to circulate and over the next two blocks , we would hear his music blarring out of the store fronts, as well as, several more cell phone conversations and then we reached the Apollo Theater. While standing there and taking a brief photo op, we would hear a nearby street vendor whose radio was tuned to Michael Baisden’s show officially confirm for us that the Legend might no longer be with us. Within minutes everyone of the thousands of people that we passed in the blocks between Lenox Ave. and the Apollo Theater in Harlem was preoccupied and affected by the possible loss of Michael Jackson. It was surreal.
In the days immediately following his death, we spent our days rehearsing at Center Stage rehearsal studios in Burbank, as we prepared for the European run of music festivals that we just finished. There where, also, several other bands on the lot. Some were preparing for tours, others for the B.E.T. Awards. There were artist like Lionel Ritchie, Lil Wayne, as well as, others and I can’t help but remember the one thing that was typical of every band there; the beginning of their rehearsal was marked by a medley of Michael Jackson songs. And each time you’d hear this blasting from one of the rehearasal sites, a chill would come over the entire lot. Michael Jackson affected us all. He was “Bad!” He was simply, “The Greatest Artist of All Time!”
The thought of paying homage to this great artist provoked me to put together a list of my top 5 artist of all time.
1. MICHAEL JACKSON
2. BOB MARLEY Born Nesta Robert Marley, Marley’s posthumous release “Legend”, a compilation album that was released in 1984, three years after his death has been the most successful selling raggae album, 10 times platinum in the U.S. and selling over 20 million copies worldwide. Marley is known for having popularized Jamaican Music and spreading the Rastafarian movement.
3. RAY CHARLES The winner of 17 Grammy Awards, Ray Charles Robinson recorded albums in several genres from blues to country and pop. Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called his rendition of “America The Beautiful” the definitive version of the song, an American anthem – a classic, just as the man who sang it.” Frank Sinatra called him “the only true genius in the business”. It was noted that as his own business man Charles was able to negotiate a record deal with terms that “even Sinatra didn’t have.” His 1962 classic ballas “You Don’t Know Me” is my personal favorite.
4. STEVIE WONDER Born Steveland Hardaway Judkins, May 13, 1950, signed with Motown at age 11 and continues to record and perform for the label. He has had ten number one hits on the Pop charts and twenty on the R&B charts and a total of 100 million record sales. His unique vocal style has influenced all R&B singers such as Joe, Justin Timberlake, Charlie Wilson. Further, he is one of the few artists who played all of instruments on his recordings.
5. PRINCE Born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958, aside from the legend himself remains one of the most misunderstood, but highly revered artists. While many have wondered, if Michael was “black or white”, many have questioned whether he is “straight or gay”. He has written several hundred songs under his own name and along with many others. His music has crossed as well influenced artists from every musical genre.
Aretha Franklin She is the Queen of Soul, but “Greatest of All Time” means walking through some tall cotton.
The Beatles Their catalogue is so crazy that the “King” had to cop. Top 5? I don’t think so.
Elvis Pressley Hell naw! Let Little Richard tell it, he stole his swag from him.
Maddona ranked as the best selling female as the best female rock artist of the 20th century, and the second top selling female artist in the U.S. But top 5? Naaaa!!!!
Marvin Gaye Talk about make em throw their panties on the stage.
R. Kelly Simply put, “dude got hits!” A little bit too sexually overt for my taste, however.
Kanye West He once told me “I think I can be all things to all people” and judging by the sphere of his musical influence seems to be doing a good job of it. But I also heard him say how cool it was to ” take music and make it better (by sampling).” Note to Kanye: There’s no such thing as “better” Marvin Gaye.
U2 They’ve sold over 145 million albums worldwide and has won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band. But my heraring them doesn’t necessarily make my head bob.
The Rolling Stones 200 million albums sold worldwide, Damn!!! but uhhh… just not top 5, though.
Okay, I promise that I wont start off with a bunch of excuses, except that our recent European tour proved to be a little overwhelming for me; I mean, flying around from country to country on a private plane and performing at wild European summer festivals in front of thousands and thousands of CRAZY fans night after night and such. So let me just get right down to recapping the last few weeks since I’ve been out of blogger mode with a pictorial.
We started out in L.A. learning the new show. This is the band at Center Stage Sound Studios getting ready. Also in the other studios where all the acts preparing for the B.E.T. Awards and it was so crazy to here everybody playing Michael Jackson songs and just killin 'em.... R.I.P. Mike!!!
after a week of rehearsals we headed for Europe and had to change in London.. "Damn that was a long flight, huh Pau?"
First stop Copenhagen, Denmark. Check out this view from my hotel window.
I just love a nice hotel room with a view...
You gotta check out this guy I found singing in the street. This is funny stuff, Fo Real!!!
(Submitted by Tyomi The Glamazon)Alexander McQueen is a British designer known for his Over-the-Top designs and his theatrical runway shows. For the Fall 2009 season, McQueen delivered nothing less than his expected brilliance by surrounding his ultra-haute collection around a highly stylized Junk heap. His collection centered around couture dresses, bold textures, whimsical shapes, geometric prints and ensembles created by a mixture of patterns. His looks were completely COUTURE right down to the shoes on the models’ feet. He designed Platform shoes over 8 inches high that had models worried about each step they took down the runway, and embellished these sky scrappers with everything from over sized sequence to crinkled lame. Check out the pictures above to view his latest works of art, and for more information about Alexander McQueen, visit WWW.ALEXANDERMCQUEEN.COM
(submitted by Tyomi the Glamazon) Beyonce, Keshia Cole, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. What do all of these ladies have in common besides being beautiful, chart-topping singers? MINX NAILS!!!!! Minx Nail Coverings are made from a thin film foil with an adhesive underside that is applied using a heat source. Because the coverings are made of a film foil, picture perfect images can be printed on the coverings to create bold and eye catching designs. The materials used are Eco friendly, safe on the nails, and because there is no polish or chemicals used, there is no drying time and no chipping! Just stick, heat, trim and your nails are fashion forward and ready to wear! Removal is just as easy as the application. Just set a blow dryer on high heat, place the heat over the fingernails and peel off the foil; it’s as simple as that! The MINX trend has been around for awhile and worn by countless celebrities, and now that the trend has made its way to local nail shops and spas, I’m sure women of all ages will be rocking houndstooth printed nails in no time. For more information on MINX nail coverings and a shop in your area that provides this service, visit http://www.minxnails.com
(submitted by Tyomi the Glamazon) When Rihanna transformed from a good little island girl into a bad girl with edgy style, women of all ages jumped on the bandwagon to replicate her bob hairstyle and purchase a pair of shield sunglasses. It’s no secret that Celebrities lead the general public into new style eras, and now that RiRi’s style has been mastered, there is a new Style icon on the rise: Keri Hilson. Ever since she came to the fore front with her debuting single “Energy”, Keri has shown that she is a lover of fashion and style. She is a fan of prints, textures, leather denim and liquid latex. In most of her outfits, Keri sports a leather jacket and some type of geometric or plaid print paired with a pair of liquid latex leggings or denim pants. Her accessories are always big, bold and loud and her hair is always in a short style with blond highlights as an under layer. Keri is comfortable in her own skin, confident in who she is and it shows through the way she dresses. She is driven by what moves her heart and spirit, and this is what makes Keri Hilson a rising fashion Icon. Mizz Keri is RATED G for GLAMAZONIOUS because she ROCKS!!!!!