Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Inquiring minds want to KNOW...!


The answer is yes. Apparently, it got hot and she passed out.  At least, that's what it looks like from here. Everybody can't take this heat.  Especially Snow White.

Now that summer is in full effect, everything feels like its coming together and falling apart at the same time.  All I can do is pray, work through rewrites, practice my guitar and stay out of the sun. At any given moment, I am glistening with the sweat that happens when you walk or ride your bike everywhere. (Not a good look.) A beauty day is a weekly requirement, an absolute must. My moments of relative calm happen in day spas -- the place where I do all this necessary stuff that used to be for everyone else, like getting manicures.  I feel some small slight shame in saying this but it's true: I leave my favorite hotspot and I think, If I can keep my hands and feet clean and pretty in this filthy little town, I can do anything

Here's my Random Top Five of Whatever that's getting me through this summer. (You're welcome.)
  1. Amp and Guitar Wellness Center 
    I seriously love this place.  The name sounds like a spa and it kind of is. They do way more than sell and fix guitars. The atmosphere is super relaxed -- probably the only guitar spot I've ever wandered into where I felt like I could hang out, ask stupid questions and chill out -- and they know way too much about sound equipment and all kinds of gear.  I can even put stuff on layaway...!  And strangely, it's kind of a bonus that they're not in Manhattan.  I left there with a new Art and Lutherie acoustic guitar, feeling like I had my guitar guy -- the one who would fix my junk and set aside a cool amp for me and all that stuff people do when they look out for you. And what could be more special than that?
  2. Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream
    Seriously, this is the best flavor on the planet: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate covered almonds, pecans and walnuts in a surprisingly rich chocolatey ice cream. When I first came to the city, I couldn't open a pint without eating the whole thing, so I gave it up cold turkey when I started blowing out of my clothes sideways.  I've come crawling back as of this summer -- and now that portion control is my friend, I'll never leave again.
  3. Marc Cary's Harlem Sessions 
    Simply put, this is a beautiful hang that has turned into a happening.  Unlike other jam sessions, there's a list of songs to perform. Every week, Marc gives everyone the creative space and freedom to do whatever they want. 

  4.  Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
    Newsflash: Sun exposure causes wrinkles. Yes, so does alcohol and smoking cigarettes/pot -- but the sun does more damage than any of them.  (For more on that from me, click here.) I figured this out as a teenager and have been double dunking myself in a gigantic vat of sunscreen religiously every day before I leave the house. Even in the dead of winter. Even when it rains.  I have no intentions of damaging this good brown skin. The scrapes I got from being a kid were enough.

  5. The Raines Law Room at The William Hotel
    This place is named after an 1896 law that was meant to keep New Yorkers from drinking.  (Fat chance.) It has all the things I love about speakeasies: a quiet, beautiful setting that's dark and rich; semi-private nooks; strong, well-crafted drinks; and -- last but not least -- food.  Not surprisingly, one of the bartenders is my friend and thankfully, he knows exactly what I like.
    This is a cocktail culture. Everyone should have a bartender.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Vintage Black Pin-Ups, Shake Dancers, Black Burlesque -- and more!



FYI: I've got a Pinterest page that delves into the secret history of black pin-ups and burlesque -- not to be confused with my other Pinterest page that flatly states My Black Is Beautiful.

Actually, I've got a lot of Pinterest pages...!

That is all!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Two for Tuesday: Dionne Farris!

I can't be the only one that was left wondering as to what happened to Dionne Farris after she blew up in 1993 with Wild Seed, Wild Flower.  As it turns out, it was the usual major label hi-jinks.  She didn't release a follow-up until 2011.  Thanks to the worldwide exposure that her major label debut gave her, she'll have a fine career with her own label. So there's that.

Here's the first single from the album -- and a bonus live shot: a Dionne Warwick duet with guitarist Charlie Hunter.



I know what you're doing yeah yeah
I know why you dialed my number
I know what you're doing yeah yeah
I know why you care

I know what you're doing yeah yeah
I know why you say you love me
I know what you're doing yeah yeah
And I don't think it's fair

I know why you dialed my number
I know why you say you're mine
I know what you're doing,

And it's not, gonna work, this time (2)

I know what you're doing yeah yeah
I can never sing in that key
I know what you're doing yeah yeah
And you're the one to blame

I know what you're doing yeah yeah
I know why you can't forgive me
I know why you're singing lost love
The lyrics haven't changed

1-I can recognize the symptoms
You should know I've changed my mind
I know what you're doing
And it's not, gonna work this time
Hey hey hey, said it's not gonna work this time...

I know what you're doing, baby
I know why you call my name
I know why you say you love me
but I can't say the same
(repeat 1)