Timothe Davis

Timothe Davis

Saturday, 30 November 2013 15:43

"Alright" - Bryan Popin ft. Tamela Mann

On "Alright," the latest single from Bryan Popin, he takes us to church. The big voice, the choir, the applause, the praise and worship all rolled into a song that beckons to the root of gospel; it's as inspirational as it is soulful. 

Lyrically the song is about getting through, about being alright, with the help of Jesus. And it's his guest vocalist, Tamela Mann, that provides the emotional center and soul-stirring inspiration that makes us believe it's gonna be alright.

This is one of those songs that calls for hand-waving in church or for the church clap. As a matter-of-fact, it made me want to get up and go to church tomorrow. And that's something I rarely do. This is a stellar performance from both Popin and Mann.

 

Friday, 29 November 2013 23:05

"Success" - Young Rado ft. L Hussle

Young Rado tweeted "Listen to my song." So I listened. I mean, that's what I do. I listen to music. 

I'm glad he tweeted me. "Success" featuring L. Hussle is a refreshing change from much of the rap that fills my mailbox. Rather than bragging about success; the artists are encouraging others to be successful.

"Stay focused, and get motivated. Hang around people that's gettin' elevated." I gotta say, that's some damn good advice.

Above and beyond the positive lyrics, the production is tight and the artists exchange lead smoothly. 

In a genre that rife with self-congratulatory songs, it's nice to hear an artist who's content to stay humble and uplift others.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 20:29

Heavy Rotation

I listen to a lot of music. If you've spent 5 seconds on this blog (and I hope you've spent longer), then you know that. And I like a little bit of everything. Rock, pop, hip hop, jazz, alternative ... I just don't like my country too twangy.

Sometimes I come across music becomes someone makes a suggestion and other times I'm searching the internet for it. Either way, when I really like a song - I mean really like it - I open my wallet, sift through the cobwebs, and I buy it.  I mean, that's how we show support right? So here is a list of songs that I purchased in the last five weeks (or would purchase if the song was available on iTunes or as a MP3).  Of course, there are always some songs I would purchae. But they aren't available. 

Just as a note: these are mostly indie/self-published songs (not major labels). These are the songs that shoud be getting played (or more play) on the radio. So in no particular order ...

1. BLVD - IAMNAYAH

2. Without My Love - Bang, Your Dead

3. Show Em What You Got - Bobby Electric

4. Alright - Bryan Poppin

5. Gettin' It - the Bodegas Brovaz

6. Love Me Right! - Swag Geeks

7. Right Mistake - Shawn Mayer

8. All You Girls - Vesta

9. Sun Is Shining - Bob Marley remixed

10. Hush - RC & The Gritz

 

(Full reviews are available on the site.)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:30

Stephen Bischoff - The Shameless Traveler

Where did the moniker "shameless traveler" come from?

It’s funny because everyone assumes it means I’m some sort of degenerate party monster scumbag that boozes it up all the time, which is only true on the weekends. What it actually means, for me, is we live in a society here in the US, maybe the whole world, that has put their life’s focus on a paycheck, on fitting in, on having what the next guy has, on profit and having a steady job and nice things. I came to a point in my life where I had those things - a steady job, an apartment. But something was missing. Like a big hole in my life, and it was happiness and fulfillment. With this pressure on us, especially from our parent’s generation, there are definitely some expectations we feel we have to live up to. But who gives a shit if you're not happy and the quality of your life experiences suck? So I became shameless, completely unashamed to life a lifestyle not driven by profit but driven by the quality of experiences that were worthwhile, that made me not only feel human, but also connected to the human race, which is exactly what happened when I began traveling.

How has traveling changed you?

I have two lives, one before traveling and one after. When people say traveling is the best education you can get, they are 100% right. When you escape the universe in your head, and the city you live in for the first time, and immerse yourself completely in another country, in another culture you feel very small, but a part of something bigger for the first time in your life. You see how other people live, and when you are far away from your own home the stupid-little-daily irritants that seemed overwhelming are put into perspective. Living with monks, sleeping in jungles, climbing mountains, the question is how can it not change you? If anything it frees you. That’s the real change. You realize borders are man made. You feel brotherly to people on the other side of the world. And I think maybe the world begins to make sense. I think it enlightened me just a little.

What have you learned about yourself?

I learned to breathe, to listen to my breath, to be quiet, to listen really intently to other people for the first time and not just hear their words, but hear what they meant, what they were trying to say. I learned what really matters, what is important, and what can be discarded. When you carry your whole world in a backpack you realize what you actually need. My master at the Shaolin Temple, Master Hu, would say, “Learn to eat bitter.” I pushed myself mentally, physically, and spiritually to my limits and went further than I ever thought I could. I think the main thing I learned was I, and everyone else, could do more than we ever imagined.

What have you learned about people?

People are inherently good everywhere. It is that simple. You will find kindness in any land. The media, TV, they try to scare the shit out of us constantly about other countries and other people we’ve never met. I can tell you it is simply not true. Kids want to get dirty and play, families love each other, and people want to make a stranger feel welcomed. Everywhere. People are amazing. The more you travel, the more you see it. Whether it is a warm meal, a place to lay your head for the night, or a simple smile, the human race has got it going on, man. We are truly amazing when we take the time to stop and appreciate each other.

How does a nomad find his soul mate?

Haha, this is a great question, and like any wise man I’ll just say that there is no formula to love. It happens when it is ready to happen, when and where does not matter and you have no ability to control it. I think if you are truly nomadic traveling might be the best way to find your soul mate. Where else are you going to find someone that shares the same passion for adventure as you, someone that can relate to your same life altering experiences? Just keep doing what your doing and they’ll find you.

What's been your favorite destination/exotic food this far?

Man, there are soooo many. I’ve had some weird stuff, but my favorite is probably when I ate a spitting cobra with my buddy Mark on the beach in Mui Ne, Vietnam. I mean they brought the thing out alive in a bag and threw it down at our feet, now that’s fresh! Dinner and a show, they killed, cooked, and served that bad boy in about six courses right in front of us and then we drank its blood with vodka. Over the top, yes, but also memorable as hell. You can watch a YouTube video of them bringing it out below.

What do you say to people who say they "can't afford" to travel?

Where there is a will there is a way. Honestly, a majority of the backpackers I meet on the road are mostly pretty poor 20-year-old kids. How can they afford to do it and not Joe Blow with a steady job?

With a small amount of work you can find a job in most countries, I think it is the commitment and the not knowing what is going to happen that scares people. Until they do it, they don’t realize how much it could change their life, they’d rather stay in and watch Netflix. Be shameless folks, you’re going to die someday and no amount of “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs is going to make it a worthwhile life. I learned how to make money on the road, develop a successful website ShamelessTraveler.com, and began freelance writing. I didn’t intend to do any of those things and they all happened. People that use money as an excuse not to travel don’t realize how rich traveling can make your life.

Is there a place you'd like to go but haven't been yet?

Everywhere. That is the thing about traveling, it is horribly addicting. You check one thing off your bucket list and add three more. The more travelers you meet, the more places they tell you about that you add to your list, and you're always thinking about the “next” place instead of “the” place. So for me, the “next” adventure I want to go on is to ride a Royal Enfield motorcycle north to south across India. I can’t stop thinking about it.

What's your life's motto/creed?

I’m going to quote somebody else here, John Irving:

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

Stephen Bischoff is a shameless traveler choosing to live life courageously! Follow him on his blog at ShamlessTraveler.com.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 14:58

RC & The Gritz

It isn’t often that artists experience success on their first commercial venture, and when they do, it’s even less often that they stay humble and accessible. But RC Williams, of RC and the Gritz, has managed to do both.

At the age of 19, RC was part of God’s Property, the backup band for Kirk Franklin, best known for their rousing hit “Stomp.” That song led to a “BET” video, a performance on Jay Leno, the Soul Train Awards, and meeting stars like Puff Daddy, Snoop, and Whitney Houston.

Fast forward almost 20 years, and RC has become an established artist of his own.

He and the Gritz are Erykah Badu’s backup band, and his work on her album, “Worldwide Underground,” resulted in a Grammy nomination.

He has toured with Snoop Lion, written for Raheem Devaughn, and worked with artists from Prince to Jill Scott. Each month his star power brings artists such as Bilal, Stokely, and Eric Roberson to the funky Deep Ellum joint on Elm Street called “The Prophet Bar.”

With those accomplishments and that influence under his belt, some might expect RC to be trippin’ over his own ego. Rest assured, he is not. For all his talent in writing, producing, and playing, for all his travels – Europe, Asia, and coast to coast – RC remains humble.

Perhaps it’s due to his beginnings. RC is a Dallas native. Born and raised. Like many musicians, his roots are in Gospel, and he will readily adds that, at one point, his mother’s spirituality was so strong that she didn’t want him playing secular music.

But as they both journeyed down the path he was destined to travel, they learned that music is music. And, more importantly, that music calls RC to play.

As you sit back and talk to RC, you can’t help but wonder how he has continued to maintain success in an industry where success can be fleeting. He credits it to “creating relationships.” RC believes that creating relationships and then building on them is fundamental to success.

“You don’t have to get out of Dallas to succeed. Relationships … making good relationships is the key.” Build good strong relationships and be willing to help each other out. Do “friendship trades.” Appreciate the talent that surrounds you.

Those relationships, that talent, and those friendship trades have all culminated in what’s next for RC and the Gritz: the release of their first album entitled “Pay Your Tab.”

The title is inspired by a Prophet Bar waiter requesting that RC tell the patrons to “close their tab,” and RC describes the album as “groovy, emotional, and catchy.” The funky disc features performances from Raheem, Snoop, and, of course, Erykah Badu.

Interestingly, the Gritz weren’t formed to create an album; they were formed to play some gigs around Dallas in their downtime. But somewhere along the way, something organic happened: People asked, the songs came, the writing began, and it was a natural process.

This isn’t to say the album came easy. RC admits that “doing it the first time was a real learning experience.” But when you love your work, it rarely seems like work at all. What’s clear is that RC loves his work.

So with Grammy nominations, TV performances, and worldwide tours under his belt, is there much left for RC and his Gritz?

According to RC, the answer is yes.

“I feel like this is a beginning. My plan is to build an empire down here and to take the initiative to build artists from the city of Dallas. I’m blessed to be where I am. But I’m not stopping here.”

RC and the Gritz are blessed to be here and Dallas is blessed to have him as a native son.

RC and the Gritz is composed of RC Williams, Braylon Lacy, Cleon Edwards, Claudia Melton, Jah Born, Taron Lockett, and Evan Knight.

“Pay Your Tab” by RC and The Gritz is available via iTunes, CDBaby, and other digital outlets. It should be available at retail stores the first week in December.

Monday, 25 November 2013 22:41

"Anyday" - Alexis Jones

As evidenced by Youtube, Alexis Jones is on her grind writing and singing songs. A song she recently uploaded but that hasn't got the number of views it deserves is her song called "Anyday."

"Anyday" is sleek and sexy, ripe for late night "Quiet Storms," and R&B adult-contemporary. She reminded me a bit of LeToya in this song as she vacillated between sensual and sexual.  I listened to the song again and again (which is kinda how I review songs). And every time I heard it, I liked it more and more.

Here's to hoping that Alexis Jones will find her fan base "any day." Good songs and good artists deserve to be heard. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013 22:40

"Cookies and Cream" - Noelle Bean

Noelle Bean's bio describes her as a cross between Taylor Swift, Lily Allen, and Colbie Caillat. While there is something about the tone of Noelle's voice that, at times, invokes Lily Allen. I've never heard Colbie quite as fun or as sassy (can I use that word?) as Noelle sounds here.

As for Taylor Swift, I typically turn off the radio when she comes on. So I can't weigh in on that comparison. 

So ... I was on reverbnation today - the home of the unsigned artist - searching for good music to review. About an hour into my search, I stumbled across Noelle's delicious "Cookie and Cream." In the song she sings, "Hot chocola-ta and butterscotch," it's 100% playful and 100% pop. 

By the time the song was over, and I had started to listen to her song "Cops and Robbers," not only had I heard Lily Allen, I had heard some Duffy, and maybe even a little Fiona. All three of those ladies share a brand of soulful pop, and Noelle well-deserves to be in their company. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013 00:25

"BLVD" - IAMNAYAH

Like Rihanna in a Calvin Harris song, IAMNAYAH owns the BLVD. In the song, she promises to "go hard," and that she does. The melody begins with her singing with a piano. But that belies  what the song will become - a throbbing dance song with a catchy hook and an ingratiating beat. Thirty seconds into the song, you'll be nodding your head. Sixty seconds into the song, you'll feel compelled to move.

IAMNAYAH is calliing 'all her rebels' to get in trouble with her on the boulevard. While I"m not a rebel, if she keeps dropping songs like this, I may need to go find this BLVD.

Well ... maybe I am a little rebellious ... 

Saturday, 23 November 2013 17:47

"Shadow of the Beast" - Perseus

"Shadow of the Beast" is disco-edited. It's Disco meets R&B meets Groovy. Or Donna Summer meets Ashanti meets down-tempo.

In the hands of someone less capable than Perseus, the track could have been overdone (or undone). In his hands, it's just right. The song starts subtly. But it never becomes frenetic. Rather it's elegant and ambient. 

Ashanti repeats "and over and over I try ..." I say "and over and over" I listened. The song well illustrates the diversity that comes with disco, house, and electronica. 

From what I've gathered on the internet - and we al know that EVERYTHING the internet says is true - this song is a bit of a comeback for Perseus. If that's the case, it's a worthy comeback indeed. 

 

Friday, 22 November 2013 16:49

"Parkway" - Gaelle Adisson

I've never been the victim of a stalking. But I know it ain't sexy. I'm no fool. Getting your tires slashed, being followed by a not-so-covert vehicle, someone peeping through your window-blinds ... it's ain't cool, and it ain't sexy.

Yet, while I realize this, I must admit that in the song "Parkway," Gaelle Adisson has crafted a sexy and serene melody about stalking. Is the chick crazy?? She is, and she owns it. She acknowledges with no shame, "I'm not your average bitch."

Ever hear a song and think, where was I when this song came out? That's what I wondered when I stumbled upon "Parkway" and the album"Transient." I was sorry that it took me so long to come across it. Check out her electronica love song "Falling" or the Pop-oriented "Give it Back" you'll know what I mean.

Beautiful women are most men's achilles heel, including the crazy beautiful ones. In "Parkway" Gaelle is both beautiful and crazy. And I have to admit, I'd still fuck with her. Maybe that makes me crazy too. 

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