Ostensibly, the raison d’etre for this blog is to document the production of Too Much Beautiful Woman, the heart-stopping, garment-rending, ass-grabbing soon-to-be cinematic classic that I will be shooting on microscopic budget in a certain macrocosmic metropolis in West Africa.
My brother in arms (and charms), Bongo – 33.33% of the triad involved in realizing this project – is already preparing to go forth like a line-producing John the Baptist and prepare the way for me. But it’s still a little bit away before we actually get started and I have anything to report here, so in the meantime I gotta figure out something to blog about in this damn space.
I’ll admit that there’s something about this blogging business that still doesn’t completely sit well with me. I guess it’s because when I was growing up, my journal was such sacred territory and I was mortified and enraged whenever some sneaky no-goodnik read it. So the idea of putting a journal up online for any and everybody to read is a little bit off-putting to me, to say the least.
(Not that I’ve ever deluded myself that my journal would be anything you’d consider hot reading, anyway. Frankly, I have the misfortune of being both dreadfully boring and private to the point of neurosis. I never even completely trusted my own journal to keep my secrets, so I often threw it off the scent not only through blatant omission but by feeding it misleading information.)
So what does one talk about in a blog if not oneself? My favorite blogs are those that present some sort of news or expert commentary on some specific subject like politics or pop culture. Those of you who know me from the Okayplayer.com boards are probably aware that I have no shortage of wacky opinions on various subjects, but I suppose that I’m a bit more comfortable expressing them something at least resembling a conversation rather than sitting on a blog declaiming them into the cyber-ether and hoping that someone’s listening. I reckon it’s a bit too much like standing on a soapbox on the street corner, or hosting a public access cable show.
(I swear… That shit never gets old)
Anyway, the blogs that I check on a daily basis are usually those that offer some sort of door prize as an incentive to visitors, like an mp3 of the day. I’m not above such gimmickry, so I’ll endeavor to post a song or two here every day… Just different stuff that I’m digging and I kinda hope you might dig, too. I might start posting rare/out-of-print albums in their entirety once I’ve figured out how to digitize analog signals (and sufficiently schooled myself on the legal issues pertaining to publishing the albums in this way… I do not need to be sued right now!).
So without further ado, the mp3 of the day is
Don’t Let Me Down by Charlotte Dada
This record is probably quite familiar to West African pop music aficionados, and it’s been a favorite of mine since it was included on the compilation Money No Be Sand: 1960s Afro-Lypso, Pidgin Highlife, Afro-Soul and Afro-Rock released by Original Music in 1995.
Not too much is known about the singer Charlotte Dada, except that she was one of the wave of popular “copyright singers” that flourished in the 1960s in Ghana and Nigeria. As the name implies, these were basically cover artists who cranked out versions of foreign rock and soul hits, usually injecting them with a pinch of local flavor. In my opinion, Dada’s rendition of the Beatles classic – with its wall of otherworldly metallic percussion and Cuban-accented bass and guitar – manages to outshine the original.
Unfortunately, as far as anybody can tell, this is Ms. Dada’s lone recording as a soloist (She did however also record as part of Stan Plange’s Professional Uhuru orchestra).
The reason I selected this particular song for today is because it was actually the thing that inspired me to write Too Much Beautiful Woman in the first place (well… one of the things, anyway). Depending on how much money we have left for music rights, I’m probably gonna include it on the soundtrack. Or if that’s not possible, I will shamelessly record a new song that closely resembles this old song (If you’re a female vocalist and you think you can pull off singing in this style, holla at me!)
Okay… That was relatively painless. I’ll be back tomorrow.