The Friday MiniTape – 3.9.12 Edition

Welcome, everyone, to the next part of our Friday Cooldown plan here at The R: the MiniTape. Just a few tracks to, hopefully, start your weekend off on the right foot.

And to usher the feature in, we figured we’d check in with Esperanza Spalding – who, unfortunately, was better known to many Academy Awards viewers as “Who?” Even after she won a damn Grammy over Justin Bieber (who, of course, couldn’t help himself from acting a fool later. But why digress?)

Anyway, Spalding resurfaced on the national airwaves with a pitch-perfect rendition of “What A Wonderful World” during the Oscars ceremony. But why not show her doing her thing in concert? Here she is in a clip from a couple of years back with “Midnight Sun.”

Meanwhile, more recently, there’s been some buzz building around an American Idol performance by 16-year-old Filipina-Mexican American Jessica Sanchez, who wowed both the crowd and the judges with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” It will be interesting to see how her bid for the title plays out; you would think that, at 16, she would be in prime position to be marketed toward the Taylor Swift demographic, for starters. In the meantime, here’s her take on Whitney’s classic.

Finally, as a shout-out to our esteemed editor and resident anime geek Latoya, who will be representing us at SXSW this coming week, an underrated track from the great Yoko Kanno’s typically excellent soundtrack for the Cowboy Bebop movie, Knockin’ At Heaven’s Door. Even if you never watched the show, you’ll likely get a lift out of “Gotta Knock A Little Harder.”

  • Digital Coyote

    Can Yoko Kanno be a Racialicious music crush? PLEASE?!?!?!?

  • Aqua_dulcis

    Knock a little harder is one of her best songs. Mai Yamane has some of the most beautiful vocals to boot, gorgeous and smokey. Nice to see her getting some love!

  • Bryce

    Esperanza’s performance at the oscars was a-mazing. But in the sea of whiteness that was the funeral for US cinema, the mentality still stood that African american and/or black women can perform for us, but they beat not be expecting recognition.

  • Anonymous

    And here I was making do with Pandora – thanks for the MiniTapes Art!

  • Nivej

    Just have to express my love for Yoko’s productions <3. I hope SXSW goes well!