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Of Note: ‘Low’ by Toddrick Hall

Of Note: ‘Low’ by Toddrick Hall

How does one become this talented?  This savvy?  This confident?  This accomplished?

Fierce?  Oh, child, that word does not even begin to convey the artistic force that is Toddrick Hall.

Since I mentioned Mr. Hall earlier in the week when shining a beacon on Shamir’s latest effort, ‘Call It Off’, I think it only fair to call attention to the over the top, uber sharp ‘Low’.  An original song, Toddrick is in total command here and, perhaps, one of the most talented performers/visual artists to come along in years. 

The frenetically funky ‘Low’ pops, snaps and reverberates in a manner that threatens to run off the rails at any turn.  This is visionary stuff – razor sharp and honed to a high, metallic sheen.

Toddrick takes risks without batting an eye to consequences – because in his world of art, there are none.  His confidence as an artist infuses his work with a daring unseen.  Unfettered by the machinations and manipulations of a corporate overlord, Toddrick does as Toddrick envisions.

His work is political, sexual, cultural and without boundaries.  The man doesn’t blend genders – he decimates them, rendering them immaterial. Race?  What’s that?  Corporate bullshit?  Take on Disney with a glee that borders on the maniacal.

His cultural obsessions are many (Disney, Nicki Minaj, The Wizard of Oz, to name a few) and I foresee a day when museums host career retrospectives of this man’s work because of its quality, quantity, his powers of observation and singular voice.

Hailing from that bedrock of stubborn misunderstandings, the fail state of Texas, Toddrick first made waves on the 9th Season of American Idol.  He made the semi-finals before being cut, but  it was clear even back then that his was an original, unique, one-of-a-kind talent.

Whether or not he ever breaks through to a mass audience, Mr. Hall has secured his place in the history of art by capturing this moment in time in a bottle, shaking it thoroughly, and unleashing it in a torrent of torrid effervescence.



Of Note: Lean On by Major Lazer (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)

Of Note: Lean On by Major Lazer 
(feat. MØ & DJ Snake)

Continuing on in a fresh, modern funk kind of vibe, today’s ‘Of Note’ entry brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.

Diplo’s group, Major Lazer, just may have a mainstream hit on their hands.

Effervescently funky, with a warm steel-drum like sound anchoring it, ‘Lean On’ is the perfect summer toe-tapper.  With stellar vocals by Danish sensation MØ (whose ‘One More’ with Elliphant remains in high rotation on my iPod) and assistance from France’s DJ Snake pushing this effort toward the limelight, the song is guaranteed to worm its way into the ‘souls’ of your feet.  


Of Note: ‘Call It Off’ by Shamir

Of Note: ‘Call It Off’ by Shamir

There’s so much going on in Shamir’s new single, ‘Call It Off’, that is would be difficult to call attention to it all.

Let’s start with that voice!  What an amazing instrument.  What a jaw-dropping range.

I’ll be honest… I thought this was being sung by a woman.  It is not. 

Shamir seems to be a part of a new, Nicki Minaj-inspired, male singer surge (find Toddrik Hall on YouTube).  Shamir is what Jermaine Stewart hath wrought, but even edgier and much more off the beaten path.

Next – check out that Teddy Riley / Michael Jackson thing he’s got going in the background.  It is dead on.  Damn thing percolates, gets under your skin and finds a place to live in your head.

Rather fascinated by this young man. 

Twenty-year old Shamir is from Las Vegas and soon to belong to the world.


A Brand New Day

A Brand New Day

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." 

 - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy