Saturday, October 29, 2011

ms james

i love music.

i enjoy all different types of music....yet, it should surprise no one that reads this blog that the types of music i am the most drawn to...is that of soul music, old school jazz, some r&b, and hip hop. from my perspective, music....like any kind of art form....it is about the connection between the artist and the audience....not everyone is going to like the same thing.....not everyone is going to connect with the same type of music or song...and they shouldn't have too.

i was rather thrilled when i was on muni a few weeks ago and saw that leela james was going to be at yoshi's. i've been listening to her music for years. i love her rendition of sam cooke's "a change is gonna come"....and i'm pretty certain that i've linked to her songs such as "mistreating me" and "my joy" before in this blog. i pretty much re-arranged my schedule so that i'd be able to attend her performance at yoshi's. there was a chance that a couple of friends of mine were also going to attend...but because i wanted so much to see her perform...i wasn't going to put it to "chance" and bought myself an assigned seat ticket.

what can is say? when i want to do something....i just do it. i don't wait for anyone. i make it happen for myself.

i later found out that friends went to a later performance...and while i love these friends....i wouldn't have been a happy camper about arriving to the show after ms. james sang two songs. i'm very glad that i decided upon purchasing my ticket separately as me and my anal self was early to the first show of the evening.

i was very excited to be there. i took a couple of pictures....but only before the show began.




from my perspective, it is a bit disrespectful to take pictures when the house indicates that there are no pictures and audio recording. also, folks that take pictures with a flash are a special sort of assholes in my opinion. what do you think happens to the performer when they do that? i'm rather amazed how folks forget that performers and artists are actually human beings.

anyway, i enjoyed the performance. when leela james came out on stage, i had read that she was a petite person...but didn't realize just how petite until is saw her. such a petite person....and such a booming lovely voice. since i was so close to the stage, i was also able to see that she was wearing sparkly heels that were a size or two....too big for her. this made me smile and just shake my head a bit. it then became no surprise to me that she eventually just took those shoes off while she was dancing on stage. she has a rather adorable and sassy stage presence.

while i had no expectations about the songs that she was going to sing, i felt my heart leap to my throat when i heard the familiar tunes to "my joy" being played.....




this is one of my favorite songs from her. she sang it so beautifully. i could feel myself swaying....listening to her very powerful voice....and whispering the words along.

for me, it was a rather perfect moment.

a moment when i could literally just feel the music, the mood, the emotions, and the seductive presence of the moment. there are few times in my life when everything else just fades....and i am just utterly and completely present in that moment. it felt like i was given this amazing gift.

i haven't been out to see music in ages and ages. i had forgotten how seductive it can be....to just put yourself in the music....forgetting everything else...willingly....as you let the melodies wrap around you....and embrace you....whispering stories about life....and letting you know that your experiences, anger, or heartbreak were understood, shared, and part of what it means to be human..

there was a time when i was younger and a hella lot angrier....when i used to go quite often to venues to listen and dance. i'm pretty certain there is a direct correlation to my level of anger and my attachment to rap and hiphop during that time. quite candidly, that is the case now....to a lesser extent. i'm no where near as angry as i was when i was a young-un. thank the gawds.

yet, if folk hear me streaming the likes of AMG, NWA, Easy-E, Public Enemy, Too Short, Dre, and the like ....it is probably best to leave me alone.

i suppose i stopped going to venues to listen and dance because i've never been interested in the "scene"...or the seen and be seen.....that comes with it. i was only interested in the music and the opportunity to dance with the music....just so not interested in the games that people play......not interested in "catch + release" or the many variations of it. methinks the last time i went to a venue and just felt myself give myself over to the music was at donna's in new orleans.

that was a long time ago.

yet, after listening to leela james on friday, it was lovely to have a reminder of what it can feel like....to just give yourself over to music that you really and truly enjoy.

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