SB Tunes: Nina Simone
February 21st is the late, great Nina Simone’s birthday, so in honor of the High Priestess of Soul, some Nina on SB Tunes. Aside from having a hypnotically husky voice that slowly wraps you up like a sinuous boa constrictor and squeezes you breathless, she was an accomplished pianist, song writer, arranger and civil rights activist.
She also fired a gun at two different people in her lifetime, according to Wikipedia. A complicated woman, indeed. Diva-ness and medicated conditions aside, I love watching live footage of her because she really doesn’t try to dissimulate her feelings – for anyone. The disapproving arch of her eyebrows, the ornery set of her shoulders, it’s all right out there. But her music and her story and her talent are so staggering that they push through and shine. She is amazing, in spite of herself.
I love that about her. Check out Four Women. Powerful.
SB Tunes: Solange Knowles
I know, I know. It’s downright crazy to feature sister Solange before I feature sister Beyoncé on SB Tunes. Lordie knows I love myself a little Beyoncé, and I will get to her, my friends, trust me.
There is just something really cool, cute and compelling to me about Solange. She seems graciously impervious to Beyoncé’s superstardom and content to go forth and do her own thing, in her own time, on her own juice, with her own style. And she always has great hair.
I read this article in the NY Times a few months ago and was kind of surprised to learn of her DJing, her indie vibe, her ample musical influences and her nonchalant eye towards celebrity. In short, I just kind of dig her.
And I dig this video. So stylish. And a pretty good jam too.
Breaking News: Prince Sports a Baby Fro
The internet was aflame today with news of Prince’s new do. Apparently, this SB (who happens to have a penoose) appeared on The View today sporting a baby fro.
Me? I like it, but then again I never met an afro I didn’t like.
What I can’t understand is why on earth he’d go on The View when we haven’t been able to get him to perform in his native Minnesota in eons. I’d say the Purple Yoda needs to reassess his priorities.
SB Tunes: Michael Jackson
In honor of MJ’s birthday this week, I offer you the one and only for this week’s SB Tunes.
I must confess that I drank a bit of vino blanco in his memory while I shimmied and shmooved around my living room to the entire Off the Wall album. OK, maybe I didn’t exactly do that (I exactly did), but I DO love me some Michael. It’s like dancing catnip.
I love this picture because it captures Michael at the hight of his Thriller-era Spectacular Bitchdom, before he went off the rails, poor dear.
And I love this video because it captures Michael before he even got near the rails. I don’t think a tuxedo has had that much fun in the history of tuxedos. That boy had some moves.
Don’t stop till you get enough.
SB Tunes: Betty Davis
Not that Bette Davis. This is Betty Davis, one of the early female pioneers of funk and r&b. She was married to Miles Davis and was a funky, freaky and fierce SB who knew errybody. She introduced Davis to Jimi Hendrix thereby leading him down the electrified, psychedelic rock path that resulted in Bitches Brew. Apparently Miles Davis was going to name the album Witches Brew and she convinced him that Bitches Brew was better. It so is.
Rumor has it that her marriage ended because she had an affair with Hendrix, but all parties involved deny it and in his autobiography, Miles Davis describes her as “too young and too wild” for him. I’m going with that story.
Davis was no mere social butterfly of the funk world, no mere woman-behind-the-man, no mere Greenwich Village alley kitten. She wrote all her songs and produced all her albums after the first one. She even wrote the songs that got The Commodores signed with Motown Records. She was fiercely committed to doing things herself and her way.
She has a feral purr of a voice and was one of the first of the soul sisters to bring an overt sexuality to her music and performances. She used her thigh high silver boots to kick those bouffant hairdos and prim dresses back into the 60′s and sashayed into the 70′s with a mile high afro and sexy futuristic Ziggy Stardust-esque body suits. Young and wild, indeed!
I love that what she strutted was all her doing, all her idea. She had no handlers – she couldn’t be handled.
Enjoy Game is My Middle Name. Best song title ever. And my new motto.
The spectacular bitch's RSS feed. Grab it.