Gem of the Week: “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)”-Billy Ocean

Song: “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)” Artist: Billy Ocean Album: Suddenly (1984) Deep in the subconscious of most radio-hip ’80s teens-now-moms (specifically, mine) likely still lingers the vintage, isle-disco sounds of Trinidadian-British singer Billy Ocean and his peppy dance legacy. The R&B slash pop figure upheld a catchy status, yet remained a step above…

Gem of the Week: “You Never Change”-The Doobie Brothers

Song: “You Never Change” Artist: The Doobie Brothers Album: Minute By Minute (1978) Between the time of the Cali-birthed blues-rock band’s formation in 1970 and its hiatus 12 years later, The Doobie Brothers’ lineup experienced a lot of alterations–but all of which usually seemed for the better. The early years of Tom Johnston’s vocal leadership and Patrick…

Gem of the Week: “Four On Six”-Wes Montgomery

Song: “Four On Six” Artist: Wes Montgomery Album: Impressions (1965) Wes Montgomery is just as much ‘Jazz God’ as Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and all the genre’s other ’50s/’60s essentials…though perhaps less often credited as so. By 1965, jazz’ turn to spicier, South American-flavored sounds and fidgety tempos had diminished the popularity of slow, softer…

Gem of the Week: “Waterfall”-Carly Simon

Song: “Waterfall” Artist: Carly Simon Album: Playing Possum (1975) Carly Simon’s music has always come from a moody, sentient place. Though her voice still isn’t the smoothest of the ’70s female pop collective, its throaty warmth grows on you–as does Simon’s intimate tone. Whether it’s the ex-trashing acerbity of the classic “You’re So Vain”–a biting, anti-narcissism…

Throwback Thursday: 10 Abandoned R&B Cuts From ’91-’01

10 R&B tracks from the genre’s prime, most of them neglected and all of them fit for elementary-school revival… 1. “Bring It All to Me (Feat. *NSYNC)”-Blaque, Blaque (1999)   2. “Seven Days”-Craig David, Born to Do It (2001)   3. “Almost Doesn’t Count”-Brandy, Never Say Never (1998)   4. “Playas Gon’ Play”-3LW, 3LW (2000)   5. “No Doubt”-702, No…

Underrated Drake: 10 OVO Gems (Still) in Hiding

Though Drake’s spent his past birthday weekend cranking out a trio of new material, [“How About Now”, “6 God”, “Heat of the Moment”–all of which you can find here], there’s nothing like taking a moment to dig back into pre-OVO Drizzy and observe the transformation. The iconic So Far Gone, AKA the 2009 ‘start-all’ mixtape, still…

Diamonds in the Rough: 90s R&B Edition

  A brief but essential, 10-track collection of understated numbers and ‘non-hits’ from R&B’s best decade, designed & assembled by yours truly… 1) “Whatcha Need”-SWV, New Beginning (1990) 2) “Can I Get With You”-Jagged Edge, J.E. Heartbreak (1999) 3) “Candy Rain”-Soul For Real, Candy Rain (1995) 4) “Only You”-112, 112 (1996) 5) “No Doubt”-702, No Doubt (1996) 6) “U Know What’s…

Gem of the Week: “The Boxer”-Simon & Garfunkel

Song: “The Boxer” Artist: Simon & Garfunkel Album: Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970 Somewhere in the hazy, forgotten realm of Woodstock-eclipsed vinyl antiquity reside the uncrowned kings of hippie-folk: Simon & Garfunkel. After their 1965 takeoff with the renowned, loner-celebratory track, “The Sound of Silence”, (which could easily be the prequel for the self-minded “I Am…

Trek in Retrospect: The Best and Worst of the Film Series

While the two newer additions to the series Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness (2013) have been met with acclaim, nothing screams “classic” (and sometimes “corny”) like the Original and Next Generation films of the 1980 and 90s. A longtime out-of-closet Trekkie, I find nerdish pleasure in all chapters of the sci-fi series; yet, there…

The Alt. Rock “Pure-Gloom” Playlist

A recipe for drowning in music-induced depression (At least for 1:12:04)… 1.  “Lullaby” – The Cure (Disintegration) 2. “Something in the Way” – Nirvana (Nevermind) 3. “Pale Blue Eyes” – The Velvet Underground (Gold) 4. “Creep” – Radiohead (Pablo Honey) 5. “Disappointment” – The Cranberries (No Need to Argue) 6. “Fix and Destroy” – The…