Tag Archives: Esperanza Spalding

The Friday Mixtape – 6.29.12 Edition

With Mexico’s presidential elections coming up this Sunday – under no shortage of shadiness, mind you – let’s kick off this week’s edition with Molotov’s “Gimme Tha Power,” (nsfw – language) which still resonates a decade after its original release:

Our next track is a find by our own Andrea Plaid: Esperanza Spalding, who we’ve featured before, teams up with jazz great Joe Lovano for a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Can’t Help It,” in a clip that winds its way thru NYC. And if you’re a fan of Wicked or Rent, keep an extra-close eye on her co-star …

Speaking of finds by friends, the dynamic duo at Disgrasian turned us on to this cross-continental collab between Japanese beatbox wiz Hikakin and Nonstop, a U.S.-based dancer:

Remember “Sh-t Men Say To Men Who Say Sh-t To Women On The Streets”? Check out this Egyptian counterpart, which was posted earlier this month. Directed by Anum Khan with help from HarassMap, “What Men Say to Men Who Harass Women on the Streets” packs an equally potent message.

One more track with a message to close us out: Jasiri X and Rhymefest went to the source when making the video for “Who’s Illegal?,” traveling to Alabama and Arizona and getting a view from the ground-level at the immigration fight in each respective state. The track is currently available as a free download on Jasiri’s Bandcamp site.

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.”

Afternoon Open Thread: The 2012 Oscars

By Arturo R. García

Academy Awards? More like Academy of Awkward.

But seriously, what kind of group spends nearly all of 210 minutes squeeing over love letters to movie houses from the 1910s and silent movies?

Oh. Never mind.

That study by the Los Angeles Times, which revealed (or confirmed) that the Oscars electorate is 77 percent male and nearly 100 percent white, gives us the only context in which Billy Crystal’s return as the show’s host could possibly be explained. Otherwise, he couldn’t have been more of a creative anachronist if he’d showed up cosplaying Tyrion Lannister.
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WTF Files: Justin Bieber Touches Esperanza Spalding’s Hair

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I think the question, “Who the **** Is Esperanza Spalding?” is getting a rather thorough answer since her Grammy win: incredible jazz instrumentalist/vocalist whose game is recognized by Prince, POTUS Obama, and the Portland Jazz Festival.

And, Best New Artist nominee/competitor Justin Bieber’s answer to the question is: “…and a mixed-race woman who has a pettable afro.”

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‘Who The **** Is Esperanza Spalding?’ (A.K.A. The Grammys Thread)

By Arturo R. García

The reactions to Esperanza Spalding’s win for Best New Artist seemed to range from the one above to, “Well, at least it wasn’t The Bieb.” But the win was as weird as it was surprising, as the 26-year-old isn’t a rookie.

Spalding was nominated following her third album, Chamber Music Society, which was released in July 2010, and was eligible because, in the eyes of the powers that be, Chamber was the first recording “which establishes the public identity of that artist.” Besides her own work, Spalding is the bassist in the US5 Quintet, led by jazz stalwart Joe Lovano, a Grammy-winner in his own right.
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