Tag Archives: Music

One Sentence Album Reviews by Terrence “Hot Foot” Lathan


“If Heaven and Eden were combined this would be the soundtrack.”

“So much soul in a little piece of plastic.”

“A unique vision painted over a canvas of eclectic samples.”

Stuff We Could’ve Shot


Francis + The Lights “Darling, It’s Alright”

A single take live performance, edited with light.

What I downloaded today:


Well really yesterday…but that wasn’t as captivating a title.
I guess this title is only as captivating as you value my taste in music…
Pfft whatever.

Just download this and thank me later.

JP.

And introducing…The Transparent


Welcome to The Transparent.
A brand new video series crafted by Omari Soulfinger.
We’re very excited to bring this to you. It’s been a long time in the making.
This particular clip is footage from the first volume of videos that will also be featured in the Our Image Film Festival this year.

Recently we caught up with Soulfinger (it wasn’t hard he can’t run that fast).
Here’s what he had to say about the forthcoming series.

Soulfinger: Kurt Vonnegut once said “Be careful what you pretend to be… because you are what you pretend to be.” Yeah so uh…”The Transparent” it’s like a big ol mixing bowl of sketches, reenactments, music videos, interviews, social experiments, and performance art that stir stir… I say stir up the questions, opinions and theories behind the lack of sincerity and candor of these times. Why do we feel obligated to people’s birthday parties that we don’t really know or like? Why are we forced to lie when our boss asks “So what do you think?”… What is the socially acceptable time limit for falling in love? … “Why do I wear clothes I hate 5 days a week, just to buy clothes I like to wear for only 2 days a week?… ‘Cos lets face it, we all have a minimum of 2 identities. The “who” we are and the “who” society has decided we should be. (He pauses to take a bite of a fish sandwich) Kna saying?…It’s delicious, ingredients feature a fresh cast of award winning friends and whoever responded back to me on Craigslist. A smorgesboard of local musical beings and madness. Real Righteous and all that…

Be sure to keep checking back for new content and updates.
For more info on Soulfinger check out

The Greatest Band You’ll Never Hear…Again. Part I


In a refurbished rowhouse in Houston’s Third Ward, I was privy to one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life, and this was just a rehearsal.

In September of 2008, a few days after Hurricane Ike had ripped through the Gulf Coast, I received a phone call from my friend Justin.
me: What’s up man?
Justin: I’m starting a band.
me: Huh?
Justin: I’m starting a band.
me: Oh cool. With who?
Justin: Fran, Carlos, Denis and his brother Abel.
me: …….yes!!

Justin is one of those frustratingly talented friends whose creations leave you both happy and tormented. Happy because of the quality, tormented because of the lapses in between. Since I met him I knew he was supposed to do something special, important.
I’d seen him through two production crews, Underground Station (with Carlos) & Neon Collars (with Denis) and some forays an MC. All of which I thought had amazing potential and promise. But something was always amiss. There were elements or a vibe that was not completely there. The band made sense. It felt like a natural progression, the evolution of his previous bodies of work.

And then there’s Fran. Her talent is undeniable. There’s so much passion and pain and confusion and hope and sorrow and yearning in that voice. It’s humanity, weaved and sewn into notes and melodies. And it escapes from her body with such an intense yearning. It’s as if her words are messages from another world sent to save you from some impending, steadily approaching doom; light amidst so much darkness. This is coupled with this uncanny, yet natural way of making you fall in love with her. Her presence instantly puts you at ease yet demands your attention, or better yet you eagerly offer it.

A collaboration between these two spirits potentially possessed a power that was truly world changing, if only individual worlds, if only one at a time. Just the thought of it had formed synapses in my brain that redefined possibility and reshaped my own potential. This is why I knew it would work. This is why I was excited about it.

Actually, I was more than just excited. I remember feeling a sense of relief. What they were committing to do was important; it were as if it proved something. That something was possible. That purposes and passions will align and seek others of their kind, a confirmation long awaited and much desired.

After what I was told was a very exciting meeting and introduction, Justin Lewis, Franchelle Lucas, Carlos Conway, Denis and Abel Cisneros formed Neon Collars, the band.

For the next 2 months I waited, painstakingly, to hear just a snippet of anything they had produced. I would drive by the rehearsal space, call random band members during rehearsal time, offer to cater, but to no avail. When I was finally invited to witness, it was much more than I ever knew to expect. In a refurbished rowhouse in Houston’s Third Ward, I was privy to one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life, and this was just a rehearsal.

At this point in time they were preparing for their first gig, The Project Row Houses Fall Festival. This is a community festival that often serves as a platform to showcase the art of Project Row Houses‘ friends and community partners, that happens in the Third Ward Community of Houston, TX.

The buzz about the band had circulated quickly throughout the community, as we were all familiar fans of the individual members’ solo efforts, so this was the majority of the audience. While we were all in ecstatic joy and excitement with the first notes, the experience became ethereal when these sounds became present in the eardrums and the spirits of unsuspecting people passing by in the neighborhood. It was as if the songs possessed a gravity that they couldn’t escape.
For the next 30 minutes we all were exposed to a world we had never experienced before.

It was rough, organic, unpolished and beautiful. It was the music of purposes aligned for a moment in time. I loved it because it was proof that diligence and passion and faith truly do produce sweet fruit.

Listen.

Lost In The Shuffle : Richie Havens


I first discovered Richie Havens when I rented the Woodstock Festival DVD and the first time I heard this song it tore through me. His honesty and passion spoke to the purest desire we all have, just to be free. This video basically says everything I want to say so just watch this!

Richie Havens – Freedom

Havens is still performing today with as much if not more passion than ever. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with him last year when he appeared at Dosey Doe’s Coffee House in the Woodlands, TX.
Richie Havens… eternally cool and another great artist lost in the shuffle…

Influences: Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, the Beatles
Similar Artists: Bill Withers, Joan Baez, Terry Callier
Key Tracks: Here Comes the Sun, Follow, Just Like A Woman

By Terrence Lathan aka IBelieveInMuzik

Lost In The Shuffle : Ruth Brown



Ruth Brown
“Little Miss Rhythm”
1928-2006

“This is the lady, take my word for it, who started it all. Wasn’t for Ruth Brown, there wouldn’t be no Aretha, wouldn’t be nobody. I’m here to tell you this lady is a true legend.” – Stevie Wonder

The Original Queen of R&B?

Little Richard, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder have all cited her as an influence, but have YOU ever heard of Ruth Brown? Unfortunately, I’d be surprised if you say you have! Before Beyonce, before Mary J. Blige and even before Etta James, the lovely and sassy, Ruth Brown (aka. Miss Rhythm) ruled America’s R&B and pop charts in the 50s. She was one of the first artists signed to Atlantic records and because of her multiple million-selling singles, such as “Teardrops from My Eyes”, “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” and “Lucky Lips”, the company was often referred to as, “the house that Ruth built!”

Brown’s career went into decline in the late 1960s, during which she left the industry to start a family and work as a domestic. Yes, you heard right, I said a domestic! She wasn’t receiving any royalties from the company she had helped to build and this lead to a battle between her and Atlantic for many years. Her career resurfaced in the 80s and she is probably best remembered by our generation for her role as “Motormouth Maybelle” in the original version of the John Waters directed cult classic, “Hairspray”. In 1993 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In researching some of my favorite artists such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Janis Joplin, there was one name that repeatedly came up, Ruth Brown. So I wanted to know more and I was left wondering how someone so influential could be so Unsung. Though her records still sell well globally, her name goes virtually unmentioned. Could it be because she chose to fight the company that abused her? Whatever the case, her story unfortunately isn’t unique in the industry. Another great artist lost in the shuffle…

Some follow up research so you’re sure to impress at your local indie music shop:
Tidbit: Ruth Brown is the aunt of Hip Hop Legend, Rakim.
Tracks you should hear: “I Don’t Know,” “5-10-15 hours” and
“Teardrops from My Eyes”
Contemporaries: Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Lavern Baker & Big Maybelle.

By Terrence Lathan aka IBelieveInMuzik