Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Nature vs. Perfect

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

This American Life episode #483, “Self-Improvement Kick” aired on Public Radio on January 4th, 2013.  The opening sequence of the episode follows a young woman, Julia Lurie, who is teaching English at an all-girls high school in South Korea.  Through Julia’s interview with Ira Glass and from recordings in her classroom, we learn that South Korea is one of the world leaders in cosmetic surgery and that her South Korean students face significant social pressure to alter their appearance towards a Korean ideal of physical features.  Eyelids, cheekbones, breasts, skin color; all are fair game for alterations in Korean culture.  Julia’s discussion with her class turned towards the debate over whether beauty lies in the natural or in conforming to an ideal. 

In our well-developed societies, we feel an inevitable pull towards nature despite our constant progress (sea-spray scented shampoo, yule log TV program, organic food).  But do we also have an obligation as a species to push ourselves to the absolute brink of progress?  It was thought that the four minute mile was a milestone that would never be crossed.  Athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs for years, trying to gain an edge on their competition, but weren’t they also pushing the envelope of what we could accomplish as humans?  We have schools because we are not content to wander this world in a state of perfect discovery.  We have division of labor so that we can dedicate ourselves most efficiently to a job in our best skillset.  There is no rest to be found in progress, because progress is kinetic, it’s momentum, it’s evolving.  So much as we are pulled into this world of constant achievement, many of us hold back and lean towards a life that strives to commune with and be a part of nature.  The question that inevitably follows this line of thinking is, aren’t we natural?  This debate doesn’t come to a division of whether one way of life is natural or not.  This is a question of values.  Can we be satisfied with anything less than the best?  Can we appreciate the satisfaction we find in accepting less than an ideal?  This is the great question.  For me, I’ll take my progress in steps and look for satisfaction in the pauses.

(that’s Henry David Thoreau…I never read Walden, but there he is nontheless)

XFactor Upheaval and Surprise

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

In XFactor USA‘s first off-season, Simon Cowell may be showing signs of a significant lack of confidence…it could also just be another sign of his genius.

Being second best is never good enough for Mr. Cowell and he’s officially turned XFactor USA upside down in order to close the gap with the king of sing, the number one rated, American Idol.  Some of these changes were expected, but there was one very big surprise in store as well.

Viewers had hoped for revenge on former judge Nicole Scherzinger for the frustration she caused and the tears she brought from favorite contestants, Rachel Crow and Drew Ryniewicz.  Nicole could have saved either of these popular girls, but her immaturity and cowardice forced early exits for these contestants, even against Simon Cowell’s wishes.  It seems that it was only a matter of time before Simon returned the favor.  Namaste, Nicole.

Not as impactful, despite his seemingly important role as the host of the show, Steve Jones will also be leaving XFactor.  This handsome and friendly guy didn’t add much to the production and certainly had very little X-Factor himself, but he did a competent job.  When you trail your competition by six million viewers, the theory is that if you don’t add something, you’re subtracting.  With this in mind, Steve got the axe.  This also makes Cowell the only Brit on the show with an authoritative accent to match.

Now the  big surprise.  Paula Abdul has just announced that she is also leaving XFactor behind.  She has given the impression that it was an amicable breakup, but a breakup nonetheless.  It will be sad to see Paula go as she really did make a good match for Simon.  They had some very warm and funny moments in between their usual squabbles and their old charm worked well to break up some very dry moments on the panel.  On paper, losing Paula looks to be Cowell’s riskiest move yet, but it shows that Simon understands something fundamental about the success of his show: He’s got to have the X-Factor on the panel if he’s ever going to make one on the stage.

American Idol is Back and Lee DeWyze Eats Breakfast

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

American Idol Season 9 winner, Lee DeWyze graciously accepted a round of applause at legendary Chicago restaurant Lou Mitchell’s this morning.  This was a perfect reminder that with the new year comes a new season of TV’s biggest show.  American Idol is back!

2011 saw some stiff competition for Idol with The Voice and the top-talent filled, Simon Cowell hosted, XFactor USA.  Between these new singing competitions and another season of a Randy Jackson led judges panel, American Idol could find its ratings take a big slip.  While American Idol has produced some top-selling talent, it was XFactor which actually discovered and developed the best singing voice since the American Idol era with the incredibly talented Melanie Amaro.  From the very first audition, millions of viewers knew who would win that show.  XFactor was built on its huge production value and the diverse talent of its performers.  Huge stages with pyrotechnics and crews of dancers and backup singers filled the small screen every week. 

American Idol‘s huge value comes from being first.  They were the first big show of its kind since Star Search and it hasn’t looked back since its first season.  This isn’t to say that American Idol doesn’t have something to learn from XFactor and The Voice (probably not so much from The Voice though).  Idol can find itself being repetitive and very, very long.  It can take a long time to sift through the large group of competitors and Idol producers have clearly made the choice to trade off some amount of quality for a huge increase in the quantity of episodes they produce.  Now that the alternatives to American Idol are growing, people may start to fall off.  The only way to see for sure would be a head to head competition, but XFactor has just finished its run and American Idol doesn’t debut again until later this month.  Guess we don’t have to choose just yet…unless you choose not to watch at all.  We’ll find out soon enough, American Idol is back with a two-night debut January 18th and 19th.

David Gray in Detroit – A Prelude to the Oscars

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

When I got an e-mail from announcing the dates for David Gray’s Lost and Found Tour, I was upset. David Gray was coming to Chicago, but he was coming on Sunday February 27th, the night of the Academy Awards, a night I can’t miss, even for my favorite musician. So the choice was clear, I was going to drive up to Detroit to see David Gray the night before and rush back to get my house ready for the biggest turnout yet for my annual Oscar party.

It was surprisingly easy to find a driving partner and partner in crime for my one day mission to Detroit. My friend and ex-roommate Kevin is a huge D Gray fan, so the desire was there.  As far as the logistics, it helped that Kevin is a professional poker player on a crazy-late sleep schedule so the idea of making the five hour drive back to Chicago at 11 o’clock at night was nothing for him.  The drive to the event is always easy because of the anticipation and we made it even easier by listening to a bunch of David Gray and then finishing off the drive with two hours of The Ricky Gervais Podcast with me chiming in with a bunch of Karl Pilkington stories from his show An Idiot Abroad.

I keep hearing that Detroit doesn’t have a real downtown area, but whoever said that is dead wrong.  We parked our car next to Comerica Park where the Tigers play and near the Fox Theatre where Ke$ha was performing that night, too.  That must have been a real Sophie’s Choice moment for Detroit…David Gray or Ke$ha…hm.  Our show was at the Detroit Opera House which was a beautiful venue, much smaller than the Chicago Theatre (where I’ve seen David Gray before), but with a similar ornate-movie-theater decor.  I got screwed out of the pre-sale so Kevin and I bought 4th row broker tickets for well over face value, but they were definitely worth it.  This was the closest I’d ever been to David Gray and it made for a really great show because in Detroit, he was especially expressive and interacted with the audience throughout the whole performance.

This was one of the best shows I’ve seen Gray put on and after we clapped our hands off and the lights went up in the Opera House, I told Kevin, “Let’s follow his bus to Chicago.”

He looked at me like I was nuts, “No way, he’s going to stay the night here and drive to Chicago tomorrow.”

“He can sleep on the bus.  Let’s go.”  I worked him and worked him and eventually Kevin broke down and we parked the car about thirty yards from the tour bus and waited and waited for them to leave.  As we watched out the windows we saw a small group of teenage girls and middle aged men and women pool around outside the gates of the tourbuses and I started to realize that even better than following the bus, we might actually be able to get his autograph.

“Let’s go,” Kevin said, after another twenty minutes of waiting.

“No, wait, five more minutes.”

“Fine,” he said.

“Seven?” I asked.

Kevin shook his head and I knew I could only hold him for five more minutes.  We nearly spent these five minutes when I saw the group of teenagers jump up and down and scream and I knew he was there.  I grabbed a McDonald’s napkin and flew out the door.  A few seconds later I was standing in front of David Gray when I had a total Ralphie-in-front-of-Santa-Claus moment from A Christmas Story.  I totally froze.

“Who’s it to?” David asked me in his raspy voice.  Um.  Um.  All I could hear was Kevin shouting the name of one of my favorite songs in my ear, ‘The LightThe Light!’  He repeated himself, “Who’s it to?”

I finally got it out, “Jordan,” I told him.  Then I asked him about the song Kevin was yelling about (‘Football?  Football?  What’s a football?’ – Ralphie) “Do you ever play The Light in concert?”

He kept his head down writing and said, “Sometimes…sometimes.  Occassionally.”

“I’ll just have to keep seeing you then,” I said.  And then, “Not that I wasn’t happy with what you played tonight.  Great set.”  He just nodded and went on to sign the next autograph and the next and he stayed outside until everybody had a picture or signature.  As he finished up he grabbed his bottle of Heinekin back from his manager and turned back to his bus.  Right before he disappeared behind the gate I shouted out, “Thanks, David!  Great show.  Just great.  Thanks!”  He turned back and met my eye, and nodded with a small smile on his face.

Kevin and I got back in the car and we flew through Detroit to the outskirts, riding high on meeting our favorite musician, trying to find the safest place for our autographs in the road-trip-trashed front seats of his Corolla.  As good as I knew David Gray would be in concert, I never expected to meet my absolute favorite musician of all time that night.  My awesome girlfriend already framed the autograph (there’s nothing more dangerous than an autograph on a McDonald’s napkin, especially with my spring allergies on the way) and I just need to find the perfect spot for it in my house.  It’s definitely not going up until after my Oscar party Sunday, I’m not taking any chances with this one.  And here’s some advice if you ever meet your hero: Don’t pull a Ralphie.  Have something ready to say, just in case.  And check out The Light, it’s a great song.  Here is a link for a David Gray concert review I wrote for back in 2005:

Christina Aguilera and the National…at the…Bowl

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Yesterday I was watching the Super Bowl with my family and we all bet on whether or not Christina Aguilera’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner would be longer or shorter than one minute and fifty-four seconds.  According to my younger brother’s stop watch, she finished at one minute and fifty-three and a half seconds…I lost.  Oh, and she forgot to sing a whole line.  Don’t take me to the casino any time soon.  But I’m not mad at her, not really anyway.

It was clear from her rendition and her style that Christina brought her soul to the song, she put as much passion into it as she could (it wouldn’t take two minutes to sing the song without a little heart) so it doesn’t kill me that she made a mistake with the lyrics.  It happens.  The only thing that would really bother me is if she didn’t prepare for it.  If she was too busy doing…I have no idea what Christina Aguilera does, but if she was too busy doing that instead of practicing, then I’d be upset, but missing a lyric is less disrespectful in my mind than lip-synching is.

Everyone deserves one pass, even at the Super Bowl.  If she blows the lyrics again down the road, now you’re talking about a problem, especially since the opportunity to sing the National Anthem is a promotional opportunity that only benefits her so don’t try to convince me that she’s just trying to honor the country when she’s really honoring her record contract.  Anyway, she cost me a dollar and I’m willing to forgive her, even if the Packers won and I’m not in the best mood about that as a Bears fan, so can’t we put this behind us?

Can’t Miss

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Everybody has some can’t miss artists.  People that when they come out with a new album, new book, or new movie, you will be there to experience it as soon as you can.  Here are just a few of mine:

Leonardo DiCaprio – Movies

This is the one guy in Hollywood that hasn’t disappointed in a long time.  Since DiCaprio did Catch Me If You Can he’s been great in everything and everything he’s done has been good.  He’s pretty choosy about his movies which makes it easier, it’s not like he’s pulling a Nicholas Cage and showing up every three months at the bottom of the box office with new hair.  Now this is my one category that has seen the most upheaval in can’t miss status.  First it was Tom Hanks and then I don’t see Tom Hanks anywhere (I only heard him as Woody in Toy Story 3) and at one point it was Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.  I will probably see those guys in just about anything, but I’m not giving them the status, DiCaprio has the status and I don’t think he’s going to be losing it any time soon.  According to IMDB he’s going to be in J. Edgar and Devil in the White City, based off the great book.  Well done, great choices.

David Gray – Music

If you know David Gray at all, most likely it’s because of his 1998 album White Ladder and the hit songs Babylon, Please Forgive Me, This Year’s Love, or Sail Away.  He’s my favorite musician and I’ll see him any time he comes to Chicago and I’ve bought every album and will buy every future release as well.  His sound has become richer over the years and he is always trying to learn something new in his sound but always he has been a lyrical poet as well.  If you think you know David Gray or you know you don’t know him, the absolute best way to experience this artist is to see him live.  He’s on tour again this February and March.  Hint, hint.

Bill Bryson – Books

When I was in seventh grade I got it into my head to find the biggest books in my school library and just start reading.  I’m talking about novels, too, I’m not talking about the Reference Section here.  The first huge book I picked up was The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (fantasy and as it turns out a total ripoff of The Lord of the Rings, but how could I know that, I wouldn’t read the Rings trilogy for another seven years), then Shogun by James Clavell and Roots by Alex Haley.  I was huge into reading novels, I started reading espionage novels for a long stretch and eventually, I got to the point where I will read anything.  Yesterday I picked up the new book by Bill Bryson titled At Home.  I can tell already that this is going to be a great book.  In At Home, Bryson literally finds objects around his house an delves into the history of these things that we completely take for granted.  In a lesser writer the information Bryson conveys in his non-fiction books would be overwhelming.  If these writers could ever sift through the words in the first place, readers would be completely lost and overwhelmed or bored out of their minds, but Bill Bryson is a brilliant organizer and he enlightens his readers from truly unlikely subjects.  Most of the books Bryson used to write were travel books, through Europe or Australia, North America and they make for the best audio books out there (make sure to get the ones read by the author otherwise I will not endorse them).  I can’t miss Bill Bryson and I’ll keep filling my mind and my book shelves with his work as long as he keeps writing.

Modern Family – TV

If you’re not watching Modern Family do not start now.  We’re in the middle of the second season and there’s nothing I disapprove of more than when people think to themselves, “Well, a show is a show.  It’s not a big deal if I don’t know who any of these characters are or how the previous story lines may affect tonight’s episode.  I’ll just start watching right now.”  It’s about the journey as much as the destination so please rent or buy, you won’t regret it, season one of Modern Family and catch up.  This is the best show on TV right now, for sure the best sitcom.  With a great mix of characters, clever dialogue that plays to the height of the show’s intellect this show should go on forever.  Or until the kids are all grown up and things get awkward.

So, if I’m missing something, tell me.  If you’re missing these…boy…Get on it.

Are You U2? You Don’t Have a 2 in Your Name.

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Last night I went to see David Gray and Ray LaMontagne at Millenium Park in Chicago.  That is the best venue I’ve ever been to.  The best venue where you can’t actually see the performers anyway.  The music pavillion is nestled in among the skyscrapers of Chicago, lit by the ambient light and washed over by the warm accoustics.  A friend of mine was telling me about another band we like, The Frames, and telling me that they’re coming to Chicago soon.  While I was looking for tickets to The Frames, I came across tickets for the comedian Mike Birbiglia.

Mike Birbiglia is hilarious and he’s what I’d aspire to if I aspired to be a stand up comedian.  He follows the Bill Cosby philosophy that simply telling funny stories can be stand up comedy.  You don’t need jokes in quotes.  “Jokes.”  I’ve actually seen him live once already, but only for a few minutes.  He’s performed on This American Life on the radio and I saw a live taping of that show, so I was lucky enough to see Mike Birbiglia.  I had no idea he was coming to town, so I felt lucky again that I found his tickets before he left town or before they sold out.

No worries there!  This guy is selling tickets to his comedy show for over $65 a ticket.  That’s general admission, $65.  Is this guy U2?  I don’t think so.  I don’t see a 2 in his name.  Is there a 2 in Birbiglia?  There’s not even a two in the price of his tickets!  I paid $100 for U2 last summer.  U2!  Is Mike Birbiglia 2/3 of U2?  Mike Birbiglia isn’t even two thirds of U2 without Bono.  Mike Birbiglia isn’t even 2/3 of Adam Clayton or Larry Reynolds Jr.  I’d love to see Mike Birbiglia, he’s great.  But he’s an idiot if he thinks I’m going to pay $65 for him.  You know who I did pay $65 for?  Ricky Gervais.  Mike Birbiglia isn’t Ricky Gervais.  He might not even be 2/3 of Ricky Gervais, no offense to Ricky.

Short List for Worst List Ever

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I’m way behind on my Entertainment weekly’s.  All I’m seeing are covers and I’ve been too busy to open them up.  Iron Man 2. Katherine Heigl.   Sex and the City 2.  Then, I saw a cover with a bunch of characters on it.  Homer Simpson, Harry Potter, John Locke, Rachel from Friends, Ron Burgundy…and then Miranda something or something from The Devil Wears Prada…I started to think the list might be in trouble.

It was.

“The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years!”  That’s a title with confidence.  They just come out and say these are the best characters of the last 20 years.  EW is not saying, “Maybe these are the best and maybe we really blew it, maybe we’ll be totally devalued in the industry and the world after this list.”   They just said, “This is the list.  Come and get it.”  Well, let’s just come and get it then.  And they have the audacity to underline The and put an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, like I’m supposed to respect this list and get excited.

I’m going to name the characters that show this list to be an embarrasment, either because of their order or simply their presence.

#3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer – what in the world?  I know the show was clever and well written, more so than you would assume, but they’ve got Buffy at 3 on the left page and on the right page, Tony Soprano at #4.  Now that takes something indescribable to look at those two pages next to each other and think you made the right decision.

#7 Edward Scissorhands – Don’t tell me you like this movie or this character as much as number 7.  It’s not possible.  We’re talking about 20 years of books, TV, movies and plays.

#12 Mulder and Scully – I’ve got no problems with them being on the list or being this high on the list, what I don’t get is why they’re on the list TOGETHER.  Just above them is Kramer and one page over is Carrie from Sex in the City. Later on in the list Woody from “Toy Story” is on his own.  No rhyme or reason with these idiots who made the list.  So stupid.

#16 Bridget Jones – Did these people forget that she made one movie and one terrible sequel.  I know there was a book as well, maybe that’s what they’re thinking, but how about a little clarification (Even if they were including the impact of the book, #16 is high).

#25 Woody – Maybe they didn’t include Buzz because they’d have to move these guys into the top ten and they wanted to make sure Scissorhands stayed up there so they could raise their artsy flag.

#29 Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield – These guys and their movie “Pulp Fiction” defined cool.  “Oh, Trevor, don’t forget about those guys from “Pulp Fiction”.”  Trevor: “Oh yeah.  Kobi, Google. those guys from Pulp Fiction, we’ve got to put them on here for everyone that’s in their 30’s or they’ll be pissed…OMG.”

#30 Steven Colbert – Why the hell is this guy a character?  He’s not a character.  He is a person.  An ironic personality or something, but not a character.  If he’s a character we’re all characters some time.  You think Paula Zahn acts like she does on TV at home.  I hope not.  Anyway, if this dude is a character, by their definition, Marilyn Manson doesn’t count as a character because he wears makeup EVERY DAY?  Lady Gaga isn’t a character?!  How about Madonna guys? Man they’re awful.

#33 Sarah Conner – If anyone from these movies makes this list it’s Schwarzenagger.  Give me a break.

#34 Cher from Clueless – Weak sauce.

#42 Sydney Bristow – from Alias is two spots ahead of Jack Bauer.  Evidently there are no editors working at EW anymore.  Budget cuts, you know the economy and everything.  So now, they just throw whatever they can at the page and hope we eat it up based on the headline.

#45 Stewie Griffin – Could have easily been ranked higher.  If you take a pulse of people today, right or wrong, they are all about The Family Guy and Stewie, sometimes at the expense of the The Simpsons even.

#49 Vivian Ward – You may not know her as anything other than “Pretty Woman”, but this Julia Roberts character is not #49 on the list.  She is much much higher (lower number), she has to be.

#55 Tracy Jordan – From 30 Rock.  This is the first entry that made me really question whether or not the list was even legitimate.  There is nothing aside from advertising dollars or somebody’s agent greasing the wheels that would have Tracy Jordan ahead of Alec Baldwin from the same cast or Tina Fey.  They didn’t even make the list.  This is INSANE!!!  Tracy Jordan is hilarious, but he’s just a side character, the goofball device they use to keep certain plotlines rolling and to throw in jokes.

#62 Jimmy Corrigan – Some dude from a graphic novel nomebody read.  Of the last 20 years, this is a big stretch.  They’ve got a lady from a play on here as well.  Nobody saw that, so they could have had a side window where they included the best characters of the last 20 years that nobody really cares about.  I’m all for putting some underappreciated characters out there for us to learn about, but this list is so jacked, I don’t want to hear their garb about who they think I need to see.

#63 John Locke – Sure, this makes sense.  One character from one of the greatest ensembles of all time (my favorite show ever) should be on his own on the list.  Oh, and  at number 63 instead of somewhere in the top fifteen (at the very least).  He’s two spots ahead of  THE GILMORE GIRLS!!! which is nice.

#67 Borat – 84% of America was speaking with a Borat accent for two full months around his movie and he’s been around for longer than that with the Ali G show, this is low for that kind of impact.

#70 Mary Katherine Gallagher – All right, this is for sure not the best SNL character of the last twenty years, but at least they’re thinking out of the box a little bit here.

#71 – Detective Alonzo Harris – This is the character Denzel Washington played in Training Day.  Totally undeserved Oscar and even though it was a cool character we’re talking about the last TWENTY years.

#75 – David Brent – We’re not very smart in America.  I’m going to see Ricky Gervais on September 30th at the Chicago Theatre.  He’s a genius.  Sure he’s not as good or influential as Annie Wilkes (#52) or Pearl the Landlord (#50) or Kavalier & Clay (#26).  Just forget about his groundbreaking television show The Office which won him two Golden Globes and worldwide recognition, spawning a second highly successful series (Extras), a string of movies and television appearances, a dominating standup tour, the world’s number one podcast and he was allowed to write an episode of The Simpsons.  Pretty good resume, and where did it all start?  #75.

#78 Patty Hewes – Glen Close from Damages.  Cool, I love putting someone on the list who nobody’s ever seen.  It’s fun that way.

#80 Gorillaz – Clearly, clearly the GREATEST musical act of the last twenty years.  Because they’re CARTOONS, too.  Wait, what?  You don’t get it.  Hm.

#82 Tracy Flick – This is Reese Witherspoon from Election.  What the what? Why in the world would she make the list?  I would have been all for the cast of American Pie, but Tracy Flick means these list guys are trying waaaaaaay too hard to impress somebody.  Who’s that somebody?  Themselves.

#87 Tony Stark – Iron Man, sweet.  This movie was great, surprisingly great, which was awesome.  But this character wasn’t written in the last twenty years.  Where do they draw the line?

#91 Hancock – This is when I knew that there was something going on in this list that wasn’t on the up and up.  There is no way this crap character from this downright awful crap movie made this list without a little Hollywood pushing.  Money pushing. Totally de-legitimized.

#93 Game Boys – They threw three videogame characters together into one slot (the ninety-third) despite the popularity and…whatever.  This is stupid, we all know it.  And I don’t play the videogames, I’m just trying to keep things fair.

#97 Violet Weston – Character from the stage drama August: Osage County.  Probably amazing.  We’re really lucky the person that went to this play also happened to be writing this list.

Worst List Ever. Ever…So far.

GAGA Reflex

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Lady Gaga is great.  I don’t mean to say Gaga Reflex like gag reflex, but to say that she is totally uninhibited.  What she wants to do she does, like a reflex.  She’ll dress on the edge, sing taboo, and sound new, which would all be hard things for most of us to do, but she just throws it out there and she’s so talented and timely that it all works.  An artist ahead of her time, and driving fashions in many mediums.  I’m jealous.

If not jealous, I’m at least envious of the way that she can express herself so completely and it just seems to work.  As I get older and learn more about myself I realize that when we’re at our most honest, our most individual, we’re at our best and always, somehow, still relatable.  No matter how we try to be unique, there are so many commonalities among people that you never have to fear for being alone.  If you’re an artist and you’re creating something new or a philosopher trying to articulate a thought, or anyone at all expressing themself, you can have confidence that people will understand you.  Society gets in the way so much of the time, but propriety aside, there’s not much anymore that I couldn’t say on some level, “I know what you mean.”

Don’t Forget Me

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Jay Sean is a British singer-songwriter/rapper record producer.  He’s the first in a lot of ways, but without even getting into his heritage, he’s had a #1 hit in America with “Down” featuring Lil Wayne.  It seems like he’s just shown up out of nowhere, a one-hit wonder on the way, but a look at Wikipedia shows that he’s been on the radar in the UK for 6 years or so already.  So, no disappearing act with Jay Sean, he’s got a good second single out now called “Do You Remember” with both Lil Jon and Sean Paul.

It’s funny that someone could be so popular in another culture for so long and in the States we think we’ve just discovered someone because we finally caught up to the act.  That’s not really funny, I guess, but it’s something.  What is funny is the intro to “Do You Remember”.  It’s starts off by introducing everyone on the track, and the way they intro Sean Paul kills me.  It totally sounds like an afterthought.  Like Jay Sean and Lil Jon didn’t want to hang out with Sean Paul so they tried to keep him busy outside the studio, but he hears the song starting so he pokes his head in the door just to say his name so we don’t forget about him.  Hilarious.  Good for him, though, he puts up a great rap.  He actually raps with melody so it adds something to the song.

I’m putting the addresses for both songs here at the bottom so you can listen for Sean Paul’s intro.  And when you hear that, listen to Lil Jon’s part.  What a job.  If someone wants to pay me way, way, less to say a lot more, I’m down if you are.


Do You Remember