Mary Lambert is an Incredible Artist who Must be Heard

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The HeistLast October a video hit YouTube and absolutely exploded. I intended to do a writeup about it back then but life was busy at the time and I just didn’t get around to it. The video was a single from the debute of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s first full-length album, The Heist. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a good while.

The video is titled, “Same Love,” and is about the experiences Macklemore, Ben Haggerty, encountered in his life in regards to homosexuality and how it has shaped his beliefs on equality. The song is amazing, giving me chills running across my arms as I remember back to scenes in the video.

Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop’s positions on homosexuality. “Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.” Wiki

In the song you hear an incredible female vocalist named Mary Lambert. She is to me the Adele of America. Not just because they have a similar look but because their lyrics and voice are magnificently emotive and powerful. They sing from the heart, from their real-life experiences. They are each beautiful in their own right but it’s their powerful storytelling that stole my attention.

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton.

Mary Lambert is a Seattle local, singer-songwriter and spoken-word artist. Her songs are known to tackle women’s issues and speak to a level of honesty and depth that few of her contemporaries have ever explored. Her songs remind me of those by Antony and the Johnsons without the orchestral flourishes. Go check them out as well. Continue reading

Jason Mraz on I Won’t Give Up

Jason Mraz Love is a Four Letter Word

I’ve been a huge fan of Jason Mraz for the last eleven or so years. His music has always spoken to me and his personality on stage, in interviews and in person is as authentic and kind as anyone could hope him to be.

Anyways, his new album came out yesterday (link to download in the image above) as did an interview with CNN. I Won’t Give Up was the first single off of the album and when asked what the song was about Jason explained:

Traditional marriage between a man and a woman, and trying to put that into a law or a rule, is basically saying that gay people aren’t real. Well, gay people are very real. It is treating our gay and lesbian citizens like second-class citizens. I think it is the final step in the civil rights movement.

So that’s pretty cool. I’ll leave you now with the video for I Won’t Give Up.

Now if only we can get the loud minority of this country to agree with him.

Show Me Where Ya Noms At

I found this video on a friend’s Google Plus stream this morning and made me actually laugh out loud. This is the sort of video I imagine my friend Amy DiFrancesco and I would make if we had the time. I am just about this corny.

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Gino Barletta covers Usher and Adele

One of my Twitter friends shared this video with me last week and it’s been on my mind ever since. I originally meant to share it here the following day but then we had the big Netflix news followed by the Facebook event and I just got bogged down. Plus I have all of those reviews to write.

So here goes. Gino Barletta (aka Gino Starr or gbstarr) performs his mashup of David Guetta and Ushers Without You with Adele‘s Someone Like You. I think it and his voice are absolutely brilliant. I hope to hear more from Gino. His is one of those voices just waiting to be discovered much like Jessie J.

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Hitler Covers the Jeffersons

This is absolutely, totally inappropriate. It’s wrong, I shouldn’t be posting it, it will offend people on all sides of the issues it brings up. However, I cannot help myself and I will defer all complaints to Ryan who first posted this hilarious video to his Facebook last night.

I was sitting upstairs when I heard the music playing from our bedroom downstairs. At first I thought Ryan was watching an old episode of The Jeffersons, which would have been weird enough on its own. It wasn’t until this afternoon that I visited his Facebook wall and saw what was really going on.

Happy I shared this? Wonder what Mr. Evil would think of this video were he alive today.

Miss Otis Regrets

For a good portion of my childhood I had a stay-at-home mom. Between careers in marketing, education and public relations, my mom stayed home to take care of my brother and me. I look back fondly to those days, bringing friends home knowing our house would always be “together” and the aroma of freshly baked brownies waiting to greet us as we entered.

A Young Justin on the Stairs
A Young Justin on the Stairs

Another memory that sticks out is the music my mother played as she worked around the house. This requirement of aural stimulation must be genetic because to this day I have trouble getting much of anything done without music or a podcast in the background.

In fact, as I write this I am listening to Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, Watch the Throne.

For my mother the music was Earth Wind and Fire, Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, Sade and Bette Midler. Of all those artists, it was the Divine Miss M that impacted me the most. You would think the love I had for her and Barbara Streisand would have tipped people off but I guess everyone somehow overlooked that… Continue reading