Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kelly Price, SWV, New Edition, Heat Up Balboa Music Festival

"Some like it hot!" And "hot" is great way to describe the first annual Balboa Music Festival this past weekend. Hot talent, hot venue, and of course hot weather! But despite the extreme heat and lack of shade, hundreds lined up early to get their seat or ideal spot on the grass at Lake Balboa's recreational park last Saturday in California's San Fernando Valley.

The line-up was a good mix of old school and new school R&B, Hip Hop, and funk, featuring award-winning talents of Kelly Price, SWV, Cameo, Robin Thicke, New Edition, Kyesha Cole, and Gladys Knight. As an #R&BJunkie (one of my fav twitter hashtags) THIS was the music I grew up to and still keep in heavy rotation in the iPod.

Kelly Price kicked off the first annual Balboa Music festival with a medley of hits including "You Should've Told Me", her throwback to Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay," and "Secret Love." But Kelly reminded us she wrote songs for lots of famous artists and sang the hooks on some of the popular radio and club jams before her solo career. Then she shared how Whitney Houston and her fans inspired her music and performances.

Keeping us in the 90s groove, Sisters With Voices aka SWV hit us with that CLASSIC remix of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" and "Right Here." To this day I don't know who is responsible for combining those two songs, but God bless 'em! The sisters then took us back to the days of Coko's dangerously long finger nails, watching music videos, and sporting big hoop earrings with "I Get So Weak" and "I'm So Into You."

Before leaving the stage, SWV sang their NEWEST release, "Co-Sign," on their new album, "I Missed Us". It was my first time hearing it and I liked it.  From the first note, it reminded me why we as #R&BJunkies fell in love with SWV in the first place. It's just a feel good, sound good, head-bobbing single that makes you want to sing along. Yeah, I missed "us" or them too on radio.

Then from the CD era we stepped further back in time to when cassettes were enjoyed on boom boxes. Cameo took over the stage and lead singer, Larry Blackmon, brought the eye catching costuming with him.

Still sporting that bright red cock piece-slash-jock strap, Blackmon sounded great, but his costume needed a 2012 update--see the pics below. Starting with "She's Strange" (a personal anthem), they made us appreciate the era when instruments were actually played, not just plugged in--imagine that! "Sparkle", "Word Up", and of course the family reunion fav, "Candy," had folks grooving in their chairs and afternoon sun. And yes, I spotted people doing the electric slide.

Smoothing things out just a bit, sexual white chocolate Robin Thicke came on stage and crooned to the ladies. Obviously, this man knows his audience, WELL! So well, I believe I HEARD him take a departure from his usual mellow-groove self and bust a few bars of a Jay-Z rap tune. Unfortunately, I was behind the stage when I heard this, so if anybody's got a link to video of this, PLEASE share.

Then at long last the ones I had been waiting for...Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, and of course, Johnny.  I've never seen New Edition live so let me tell you, these dudes ain't lost a step. With the first beat of "If It Isn't Love" the crowd screamed as the group seemed to step right out the popular music video. Some choreography never needs to change and the moves from that video are now etched in our minds forever.

Admittedly, Bobby didn't dance as much but his vocal was still strong. It was and always has been his prerogative as he took us back, waaaay back to when there was jealous girl in their town, and Mr. Telephone Man was called to come check their phone line.

Then still dressed in their cool white outfits,  individual members showcased their hits.  Johnny showcased his mult-range voice with "My, My, My" followed by Bobby getting the crowd dancing again with "My Perogative."

Then putting on a little street swagger with simple baseball caps and a change in posture, Ronnie, Ricky, and Mike took us straight to the club to "smack it, flip it, rub it down, oh noooooo!" Despite the heat, we--and I do mean we--gave just as much energy back to them as they gave us. Great show, guys! Now I really gotta see them in concert.

And with New Edition, the First Annual Balboa Music Festival, came to end for me. Overall it was a good festival MUSICALLY.   Every act I saw or heard was really good and kept the crowd enthused, despite the sweltering heat.  That ain't easy to do! You know how some of us can be, especially when it's hot and we don't get what we expect.

That said hopefully next year issues concerning logistics, dissemination of information, and other festival related hiccups will be taken care of.  Yes, there were some problems, which were to be expected for a festival first, but overall I see POTENTIAL to turn the Balboa Music Festival into one of the best events of the year for the San Fernando Valley.

Enjoy the Flickr pics!

Shanice Wilson Talks To Press"The Voice", Jesse PowellSWV PerformingSWV PerformingBalboa Music Festival 2012Balboa Music Festival 2012
Balboa Music Festival 2012Balboa Music Festival 2012Cameo's Larry Blackmon PerformingCameo's Larry Blackmon PerformingRobin Thicke PerformingRobin Thicke Performing
Robin Thicke PerformingRalph Tresvant, New EditionRalph Tresvant, New EditionNew Edition PerformingNew Edition Performing

Via Flickr:
Held September 15, 2012, in California's San Fernando Valley, the First Annual Balboa Music Festival featured R&B favorites SWV, Kelly Price, Cameo, Robin Thicke, New Edition, and more.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hollywood Pub, Wyllisa Bennett, Spills The Tea On DNC 2012

Charlotte, North Carolina, was the place to be this week. The queen city of the Tarheel state hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention and some of Hollywood's notables left California Pizza Kitchen behind for Carolina BBQ. Check out this twitter pic from actress Eva Longoria with Alfre Woodard and Ashley Judd:

Another showbiz notable that left Hollywood and flew east was celebrity publicist, Wyllisa Bennett. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Wyllisa traveled back home to be a part of the celebratory Democratic National Convention. I say celebratory cause after Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton's powerful speeches, the crowd seemed ready to dance in the streets at the thought of another four years with Barak Obama as President of the United States.

And let me be clear IN WRITING. I'll be dancing right along with them when the time comes. I'm eager to run on and see what the end will be with President Obama and equally awesome wife, Michelle. I digress...now back to Ms. Wyllisa!

Wyllisa has been at the convention sharing her personal experience through social media all week and I've been living vicariously threw her. Now you can too cause I'm sharing some of her tweets and pics with you.

This homegirl was EVERYWHERE at the DNC reporting and documenting the haps--from food to events to meetings to the behind-the-scene media rooms. She did all that and still served as publicists for her clients there.

Check out this excerpt from her Facebook blog on the food at the DNC. Lawd, what I would give to have some good hushpuppies right now and hometown barbecue!

There’s probably not a living pig in a 25-mile radius of the Democratic National Convention. Why? Because North Carolina is one of the states famously known for it’s barbeque, and as a Tarheel native now living in Los Angeles, it’s by far my Number 1 menu item that I miss the most. And everywhere you go at the convention, they’re serving up some barbeque sandwiches with all the fixings!

Note in NC, BBQ is what we EAT at the COOKOUT, not what we DO as its commonly said here in La La land!

Anywaaaaay! Nevermind the semantics for now! Read Wyllisa's tweets below thanks to online tool, Storify! When I said she was EVERYWHERE there was to be at the DNC, her tweets and video bare the proof. Forget MTV Awards, the DNC is where the best parties were this week!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants for single moms