The marriage between spoken word and music has become a popular and instrumental way for poets to showcase their versification, and Tantra does this deftly on her new, unceremonious CD, Sacred.
Although her voice is genteel and polished, and her poetry is persuasively pure and sophisticated, there are many moments when this smooth voiced poetry-chanteuse comes off as a gutsy powerhouse who is unyielding to settling for anything less than what she deserves as the goddess she declares to be. Impressively, she manages to achieve this queendom without any quintessential hardcore sassiness or deviation from her femininity like most women do to make the point of their strength and independence. For instance, her head bopper, "Build Me A Man" is a soft-spoken, unbending imploration over an infectious beat that calls forth a constant urge to wine low to the floor, as Tantra stipulates what kind of man she prefers. She conveys her demands convincingly as a lyricist by harmonizing the chorus in between her uncompromising requisitions. It happens to be one of my favorite tracks. "Fallin" is a breathy ballad about the spirituality and infatuation of falling in love in which Tantra sensually recites as if she is at the crowning-point of having a climax with the experience. She graciously educates on her declaration "A Poem For Gordon" written as a dedication to Gordon Parks. "Gold" and "My Drum" written for Coretta Scott King--but also venerates other historical heroes--are fast, danceable ditties that could successfully become favorites in the deep house clubs where flower children and bohemian dance soldiers seek refuge. "One Love," Tantra's offering for New Orleans and the Hurricane Katrina devastation, comes off as if she is an activist standing at a podium before an audience of thousands, politically and powerfully unmasking the government's conspiracy and disturbing neglect of a community in distress. Delivered over a heavy baseline arrestingly calling one to stop and listen, Tantra throws her lyrics determined and firm, yet gracefully womanlike, and you hear her disdain for the mistreatment of this tragedy. Her encore "Dreams At Stake" is a mid-tempo consciousness poem that fades out the album with a last thought for the listener to consider how imperative change is needed if people want to really make their dreams come true.
I'd say in comparison to her previous albums, Tantra has managed to draw listeners closer to who she is on Sacred. There is a diverse dexterity shown in this production that merits an expanded credibility to her as a performance and spoken word artist, and she is unequivocally and believably goddess incarnate on this collection of music and prose.
Lucky Phillip Dube (pronounced doo-bay), the "African Maestro" - "world reknowned composer, singer, band leader, cultural activst, visionary and performer" was killed in a carjacking attempt in South Africa on October 18, 2007.
At the time, Dube was dropping off two of his 7 children who witnessed their Father's murder. In the process of getting away, Dube drove his car into an ongoing car before crashing into a tree.
Brother Dube was named Lucky at birth after prolonged illnesses that left him clinging to life. When he lived, his family labeled him "Lucky."
The International Herald Tribune reports Lucky Dubes work included a bevy of social commentary on issues ranging from overcoming alcoholism - "I am a Liquor Slave" - to social anthems such as "Prisoner," which highlighted the horrific nature of apartheid. "The Independent" reports "He eschewed the misogyny and homophobia that blights some contemporary Jamaican music . . . "
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them." -- George Bernard Shaw
Dancing With The Devil
by Taylor Siluwé
SHORT STORY FICTION / EROTICA TO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $11.99
More Than Mortar and Stone: The Meandering Mental Path of a Brokenhearted Woman
by Fisiwe MEMOIRS AND POEMSTO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $6.99
My Ancestors Traveled Them Home
by Chuma MEMOIRS AND POEMSTO PREVIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE AND/OR PURCHASE FOR $5.99
A SOCIO-ANTHROPOLOGICAL CROSS GENRE THESIS DEALING WITH RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER
COREY delivers a defly written post entitled Audacity of Change regarding his feelings about Obama becoming our president. Check it out at his blog, I'll Keep You Posted.
December 17, 2008
QIANA MARTIN, DREAM FULFILLER
One of the most thoughtful and spiritually grounded people I know, Qiana Martin took a risk and jumped on an opportunity to go to Brazil to fulfill a dream many would be fearful to try. In these profoundly dreary economic times, quitting a job at a prestigious law firm to pursue a passion is rare and courageous. Read her story here.
December 16, 2008
MARCOS LUIS, THE ART OF GIVING
My buddy, Marcos Luis, runs an Open Mic Showcase in Alphabet City, and he's being featured in an online blog called NewYorkNightsOnline.com. He's a really special person who wants nothing but to give back to the artistic community. Check out the article here.
December 8, 2008
CLEO MANAGO, LEADING MAN
Acitivist, Cleo Manago is honored as a 2008 Leading Man in Instinct Magazine.
Odetta, the singer whose deep voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and became an accompaniment to the black-and-white images of the freedom marchers who walked the roads of Alabama and Mississippi and the boulevards of Washington in quest of an end to racial discrimination, died on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 at the age of 77. Read more.