A place where the weekend’s long

Jamaica House 2017 will once again showcase Jamaican artists old and new including the very awesome Ziggy Marley. “The motto for the Island of Jamaica is ‘Out of many, one people’ and this series of shows absolutely highlights the diversity and excitement of the island’s music scene.”

I found a place where the weekend’s long

The new ‘Weekend’s Long (Scaramouche Remix)’ is available today for airplay! Find it on all digital / streaming services including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora and Google Play.

The remix was just completed by the European DJ duo Scaramouche – for Ziggy’s final UK tour dates of the year!

Fun Fact: He also wrote the theme song for the children’s cartoon series Arthur.

New trailer released for Kingsman: The Golden Circle

In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman. These two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy…

Plus they have some pretty sweet movie posters for each character.

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Release: September 22, 2017
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons
Produced By: Matthew Vaughn, David Reid, Adam Bohling
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, with Sir Elton John, and Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges

SYNOPSIS
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” introduced the world to Kingsman – an independent, international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion, whose ultimate goal is to keep the world safe. In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy…

Who voted? WhoVille, the Grinch, Moving On #thefutureismymotivation

lincoln-680x365Now I know many of the readers of this blog are in the UK. Thank you for that :) And maybe you are not following what has happened in the US. Though I think the entire world has been watching. I don’t know how you feel but my brother called me this morning and he said something which resonated with me.

He said that in the Dr. Seuss story of the Grinch. The Grinch took everything from Whoville overnight and yet on Christmas morning the Whos all woke up and came together, they held hands, they sang around the tree. img_7010Their unity, their choice to come together and hold onto what they still had which was each other… That is what we need to do. Now, I’m not saying “he who shall not be named” is the Grinch. I’m not saying that, but maybe, just maybe, if we unite together in a profound way which shows America and the rest of the world that we cannot be broken and we will see good prevail, maybe “he who shall not be named” will see his heart grow three sizes. Who knows? #who

My best friend Natalie messaged me to help console and calm me. She shared “Dan (Rather) rather sums up my feelings: we have a system with built in checks and balances by the constitution and bill of rights. Presidents are powerful, but they are not ALL powerful.” This is true.be-courageous Though both the Senate and the House are now Republican leaning… But I need to have faith that everyone, EVERYONE, in a non-partisan effort, will have their eye on, “he who shall not be named” and he will not have an opportunity, no room for error, he will need to step up to the place and be a leader the rest of the popular vote can, if not get behind, at least say okay we can get through the next four years.

I voted for Hillary Clinton.

I’m 35 years old, but I have never in my life seen such a divide with regard to the presidency. Trending hashtags right now include things like #ImStillWithHer #NotMyPresident and trending news like “Immigration to Canada.” I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve also never seen someone like Vladimir Putin be one of the first people to congratulate a newly elected US President. He is not someone I want in the ear of an American leader. I think this speaks for itself in so many ways. But this cannot be what we do. Maybe let ourselves have a time of mourning so to speak, get the emotions out, and then we need to pull up our bloomers and get on with it.keep-moving-forward-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-sayings-pictures

Where do we go from here? Hopefully, since “he who shall not be named” is a business man he will be able to create a plan and take strides to help build our economy and create new jobs. And I think this needs to happen across all classes and skill sets. This man seems to know a thing or two about strategy. Sadly though I wish I could believe a word he says. Although those nicer than I have phrased it as such, “uniquely fact-challenged candidate.” Hopefully he will be able to bring on an administration who will be able to get the facts straight. Even when the truth hurts. We cannot allow racism, sexism, ageism, ablism, none of the -isms, we cannot allow those platforms to become a way of normalcy. That cannot happen. We cannot let that be our future. We need to continue to speak out for justice and for respect for all people. Notice I did not say tolerance. I don’t want people to “tolerate” each other, I want us to appreciate and respect each other.

It’s time to figure out who to improve our democracy. We need to continue to love, to give each other hope, to stare evil in the face and not back down. I know I sound like Care-A-Lot Care Bear and there should be a rainbow shooting out of my chest right now, but I have to find something, some glimmer of light to hold onto.

imagesI know I will need to say his name eventually but right now it is too raw, this is my day of mourning. Maybe tomorrow.

But I’m not going to say anything is rigged. I’m not going to be one of those people. There were record turnouts at the poll and that is a good thing. Voting is a right, but it is also a privilege not all people have and I am glad the people voted.

Moving forward. Not even the President of the United States can change who I am. They cannot change how I raise my children. They cannot change how I treat myself, my colleagues, my neighbors. Any sort of change still begins with each of us. Obviously, collectively, we hold way more power than we realize. We need to take this to heart and, for lack of a better phrase, use it for good. What can we do to repair and mend what has been damaged? What can we do to create new paths forward to improve the systemic issues we now see so clearly and how can we improve the policy making process? As my brother so often tells me, this is no time to be complacent.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand.”

 

Inspired by new Kings of Leon album #WALLS

Walls Album Cover
Walls Album Cover

Not much has made me say, “I have to write about this” lately, at least not much in music. But the Google Play gurus have been prompting me to listen to the new Kings of Leon album – WALLS. (People not using Google Play can also stream the album with Amazon Prime, just as an FYI.) And I finally listened this morning. So happy I did. And yes, I immediately felt prompted to both buy the vinyl AND write a post. Especially after I found out their tour tickets go on sale today for some venues and tomorrow for others.

Haters gonna hate. I have seen some terrible reviews of this album. Saying they sold their souls, they went for singalongs, blah blah blah. Terrible right? What band would want to release something people will sing a long to and dance around and bob their head, right? Awful… Idiots.

Okay so the new album released last week on October 14. And I wondered what they had been doing because it has been three years since their last album release. By the tracks on this album it’s clear that they have been enduring a lot and going through a lot, it’s definitely a bit somber, but it’s so well polished. I mean, I didn’t want to skip any of the songs, they are all so incredible. Even though many of the tracks are about addiction and loss.

In short, the songs do a lot of story telling which I really appreciate about their music. Caleb’s voice and the emotion you can hear is palpable.

The album title track “Walls” is beautiful. Might just be because of the place I am in life right now, but it really hit me. I think everyone has felt that way before though and so the lyrics, combined with the light beat, the finger slides over the guitar strings, piano (everyone knows I am a sucker for anything with piano in it). It’s a gorgeous song. I can totally imagine it being a soundtrack piece on a movie or tv drama, Grey’s Anatomy perhaps, who knows.

Let me tell you, I appreciate the entire album, track by track, but a few other favorites are “Over,” “Muchacho,” and “Wild” they are awesome.  Their first single off the album was released back in early September, that track name is “Waste A Moment.”

A snippet from Wild:

Wild, my breath of wonder
Child, running like thunder
Brace for the explosion
Wild is for the open

Swoon.

To stand, to kneel, to teach

teach

Many students and NFL players are following in the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick who has chosen to kneel during the national anthem before football games. This should speak loudly to the fact that people are in need of an outlet for their frustrations with our society and the areas of our country in which justice is lacking. Though frustrations isn’t even close to being a strong enough word.

william-wilberforceThere are so many injustices people are battling each and every day and racial injustice is most definitely a big one. People are being shot and killed and so much of this is coming from a place of fear. I do not fear that my two white sons will be shot and killed should they ever find themselves in close proximity to a police officer. I do not fear that my children will be frisked or searched or watched if they are standing with a group waiting for a bus. This IS happening with young black men. This is something their mothers fear.

I wish with all my heart and soul that all humans were treated equally. It hurts. It hurts to think about these things. Why does a black man have to consider the clothing they wear before they walk down the street? Racial profiling should not exist. Judges should not be saying they are doing a black person a favor by putting them in jail and white people should not be placed on probation for the very same crimes! It’s not just African Americans being profiles, Hispanics struggle, Native Americans, as well as Middle Eastern. No legislator should ever say the words “black parents need to teach their children to respect police.” And black parents shouldn’t have to have discussions with their babies on how to “survive police encounters” due to the excessive amounts of police violence happening.

Does any of this have anything to do with the national anthem? Are we not the land of the free and the home of the brave? Maybe. Maybe not.

be-openmindedFor me, when I hear the national anthem I think of the many battles heroic service men and women have fought in order to keep our country free and safe. To me standing for the national anthem is something which makes me feel good, I’m showing support for my country, I’m showing support for the many people who have fought for the freedoms we have. The injustices which exist in other parts of the world are so horrific every single day with countless people dying and no one ever knowing their name. People fleeing their country as bombs are falling and bullets are flying just outside their doors. When I stand to the national anthem those are the thoughts I have and those are the feelings I have, this is an emotional thing for me.

For Colin Kaepernick it means something different. When he chooses not to stand it makes me sad because I see him dividing himself from his team and I see him choosing not to stand in respect of those who have died to serve our country. But that is NOT why he has chosen to kneel. He isn’t purposefully deciding to be disrespectful at all, that was not the catalyst and when you think about it, the people who have fought and are fighting for our country are also fighting for our right to the very liberty of being able to choose to kneel, stand, sit, do the chicken dance, right? For Colin Kaepernick, I believe he is choosing to kneel because it has gotten attention and when people ask why he isn’t standing he gets an opportunity for dialogue. He gets a chance to speak about racial injustices and be a voice for an issues which is very real and very hard to talk about. Do I feel he could travel to colleges and schools and churches and talk about this via other platforms which might be more effective, yes? Why? Because the people he needs to reach with his message are not just the oppressed.

comfortzonesWhether he cares to or not, he needs to be able to reach the population of people who are furious with him for not standing during the anthem, because I believe it is likely that many of them “do not get it.” Often times they are the people who need to hear a different perspective, they need to see through different eyes. But as soon as you kneel during the anthem, they close their eyes, they close their ears and they close their hearts to your story. Should they be so narrow minded? No. But like I said, the national anthem is an emotional thing for millions of people, many who have lost family and friends who serve.

So see, there are so many multiple facets in this discussion. So many opportunities to teach, share, listen and come together in a new understanding of what is going on, but instead we have created yet another dividing line in our society. Those who stand and those who kneel. This has not fixed the problem. I wish we could find common, middle ground so we can work towards solutions together.

Hot Hot Heat’s self titled album just in time for Summer fun

hothotheatBabahbwow…Babahbwow…

Loving the new music from Hot Hot Heat. Their new album which releases this Friday is pretty stellar. They’ve been busy, they’ve been touring for something like 13 straight years, maybe longer.  Their debut album Make Up The Breakdown released via Seattle-based label Sub Pop Records back in 2002.  Thankfully, this self-titled album takes us back to their earlier stuff and it’s so much more fitting for them and thus also for their listeners. You might recognize their song, Middle of Nowhere which is a favorite of mine, although the video is odd to say the least. BUT I first heard that track watching my favorite show ever PSYCH!

Anywho. Their music is fun, super upbeat kind of like some of the good britpop from a decade ago even though they are Canada :) I like that it’s not too over done, it’s playful, it’s great summer music for sure. It’s a bubblier music than The Killers or Voxtrot.

The Vancouver-based rock band Hot Hot Heat (Steve Bays, Paul Hawley, Luke Paquin, Louis Hearn) are excited to present the full album stream of its farewell, self-titled album ahead of its Friday, June 24 release. Streaming now exclusively on Pandora, the album is classic Hot Hot Heat – one that is as pop hook-heavy as it is edgy and unpredictable – and serves as a fitting epitaph for one of Canada’s most influential bands of the 21st century. Hot Hot Heat (iTunes pre-order) can now be heard in its entirety via Pandora HERE.

“We wanted it to feel cohesive and representative of the aesthetic we were into at that point,” says Steve Bays, who co-produced the album with Dahle in their adjoining studios. “We wanted it to feel like it was all the same album even though it had been written over several years. The songs are the 10 songs we were the most excited about in the moment. The idea behind the album was: If you want to try and do something great, it can only be when the inspiration hits.”

Hot Hot Heat track listing:
01. Kid Who Stays In The Picture
02. Modern Mind
03. Pulling Levers
04. Bobby Joan Sex Tape
05. Magnitude
06. Mayor Of The City
07. Alaskan Midnight Sun
08. Comeback Of The Century
09. Sad Sad Situation
10. The Memory’s Here

Bring Me Up | by Christy Mannering