Monthly Archives: September 2009

Love in Any Language

davidonthemic

Ever get that feeling of “Oh, wow, what a flow!” whenever you shuffle some songs together?  

Well, that’s what happened earlier this morning when I put on my “Love Songs” playlist on my ipod.  Without meaning to, I inadvertently touched “shuffle,” and the song that immediately followed David’s sublime CELD was a sweet, sentimental Hindi ballad from a Bollywood track called “Aaj Mausum Bada,” which I got from the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack.  Needless to say, it was a gorgeous blend of global romance.  

Way back when, I had suggested that David put together a World Pop album, uniting different tracks that fuse together different cultural sounds.  Now, with this accidental playlist, I’m thinking it would be way cooler if David put out a World Ballads album, recording different love songs from around the world.  Someone with his practiced ear, which has mastered both English and Spanish sounds, may be able to pull it off.  More than that, he would be able to communicate how love knows no cultural boundaries and transcends all languages.

Here are some lovely non-English ballads from around the world, which I’d love to get David’s take on, apart from Contigo en la Distancia of course! 🙂

El Dia Que Me Quieras – (thanks, Valbraz!) Here is another Spanish ballad, performed by Luis Miguel, which I’d love to hear David interpret.  Can’t you just imagine the vulnerability combined with passion on this one?

Leil Mbareh – This is a Lebanese ballad that I have in my music library. I don’t know the words, but I don’t care.  It melts my heart either way, and I can only imagine the different “Soul David” licks David could lay down on this track.

Aaj Mausam Bada – Ah!  This was the Indian ballad that got shuffled with Contigo, hence my imagining of David doing some sentimental wonders fit for the best of the sentimental Bollywood romances!

Je Pense a Toi – Sung in French but coming from the African country of Mali, this hauntingly simple yet touching ballad by the renowned blind duo, Amadou & Mariam, gets me every time.  It would be interesting to get David’s spin on a French-speaking song with African touches.

Con Te Partiro – I am not a fan of Andrea Bocelli (his rendition of “Nessun Dora” was woefully inferior to Pavorotti’s untouchable version), but I did fall in love with this Italian ballad, and at some point, David does need to sing in Italian once in his lifetime.  If he doesn’t do a classic opera, this tune is definitely worth a cover.  I can already hear new depths, layers, and colors spicing up this standard love song.  

Are there any other non-English ballads that come to mind? Would love to know what you’d love to hear David sing!

David with Some Old Friends

Check out this performance of “Proud Mary,” featuring David with Brooke and Michael Johns at the Murray concert last night:

Thanks for the heads up, Peter! (And I’m loving how the video is just focused on David! haha!)

🙂

This isn’t Personal, This is Business

davidseatedOne of the more intriguing articles I read over the summer about Michael Jackson’s rise to fame was in the Rolling Stone special issue, which gave a detailed account of how Michael Jackson struggled to extricate himself from his managerial father and the Jackson clan.  It wasn’t easy, as I’m sure anyone coming from a large family knows.  Michael wanted to pursue individual dreams but also felt enough family loyalty to continue engaging in commitments to the Jackson 5.  

Rolling Stone also revealed that, in the wake of Michael Jackson when he became Michael Jackson in the 1980s, every Jackson relative did what they could to capitalize on their relationship with Michael to further their own careers in the entertainment business.  No shame in that game, and  Michael – like David – no matter how ginormous his stardom grew, was too nice to tell anyone “No.”  Heck, what is Latoya Jackson doing in all his music videos in the 1980s?  I mean, you can’t blame the guy for helping out his own sisters and brothers, and aunties and uncles and in-laws.

Eventually, family, even when they know you as “just Michael,” or “just David,” have to let you go out to the world and soar high.  Even if that sometimes means, in the flying too high, you end up crash landing.  They have to acknowledge that some individuals are just too big to remain in their own sphere.  

In light of recent commentary over on TDC, concerning an article by Rascal, which I linked to in my previous post, it seems that we – David’s fans – continue to blur the boundaries between what’s “business” (and, hence, open to public criticism) and what’s “personal” (David’s family life, which is necessarily tricky considering that one of his relatives also presides as his manager).  Where do we draw the lines?  What are those boundaries that we see in what is permissible to analyze, criticize, or even openly mock?

I myself found the article amusing and funny, but I also understand why many more didn’t.  In fact, not only did they not find it amusing, they found it crass and tacky, even “bullying.”  

But here’s the thing. Agree or disagree with the tone or the form in which the criticism took.  And you move on!

What is becoming clear to me, however, is that this is not simply about “moving on.”  This has become “personal” for some, and that’s where I’ve been wondering about how those surrounding David might impact (or not) on his career.

See, I’ve been noticing (and this is not based on empirical evidence – I just go on observations and gut feelings) that, whenever we discuss David and his music, we’re all in agreement and dwell in a Nirvana state of peace and love and tranquility.  But, the moment we discuss David’s career – no, let me get to the point: the moment we discuss #manincap – all hell breaks loose.  Now, what is that about?

And that’s not even limited to the fanbase.  There is a prevailing assumption that, had a certain person not been making news during David’s run on American Idol, David might have actually won the whole shebang.  There’s a prevailing assumption that said person is in the way.  And while a number of fans opened up to said person during David’s various tours, there were still others who were bothered by said person hovering in the background (and sometimes not even, as he was also spotted on stage during some of David’s performances).  Of course, Reikigate changed everything.  

So now, we’re back to said person and his presence.  No, his noted and failure-to-stay-in-the-background presence, which rubs some fans the wrong way.  How does one address this discomfort without the mob shouting down anyone who raises objections by stating that any mention of this discomfort would be hurtful to David?

I don’t know what David thinks, but I do believe he is a smart man devoted to an enriching and fulfilling career as a music artist.  Like Michael Jackson, he too will eventually learn to politely extricate himself from certain management, if that is, indeed, what he wants.  But, if any of these “quiet rumblings” ever make it back to David’s ears, what I hope he is able to take away from all these debates is that, somehow, he will need to make an assessment of his public image as an independent artist (and not the “puppet” image that sites like Vote for the Worst and TMZ have depicted of him).  Some mean-spirited rhetoric are worth ignoring, others not so much.

But then, this is about the business side of his career.  It’s not personal, and sooner or later, we, David’s fans, will need to make those distinctions as well.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Xmasfromtheheart

So, apparently, if what FOD reports is true, Amazon.com has now limited pre-orders for David’s Christmas album to 3 CDs per customer (See Report).  Is that unusual?

Oh, and if you didn’t see the link I posted in the comments section of the previous post, definitely check out Rascal’s “Let’s Play a Game” (concerning our favorite topic).

Why a Christmas Album? Why Now?

greeneyes

So, now that I’m gradually coming down from my CELD high (wonderfully sustained by the comments spawned from my double post of “A Voice in the Musical Wilderness”), tiny bits of anxiety are starting to seep back in.  I don’t know. I can’t help it. I used to have a screen name highlighting how “anxious” I am.  

See, maybe it’s those little pieces of info referencing a certain person “executive producing” and sharing “writing” credits with David that’s just rubbing me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s that fascinating documentary on hulu, Before the Music Dies (thanks for the link, Desertrat), that’s got me worried that David’s superb and remarkable talent would go unnoticed in this new age of “assembly line” pop music.  He certainly wouldn’t be the first musical genius to get overlooked.

Then, there’s just the big old question mark tied to David’s future.  After “Contigo en la Distancia,” I can honestly say that, no way, no how, should David go back to generic pop fluff.  He needs better music. Period.

But, what are we to make of this Christmas album coming out?  I mean, from all accounts, it sounds quite “organic,” if I can use that word.  I mean, who knows?  Whatever we may think of #manincap, there’s no denying that 1) he understands David musically, 2) he is a Jazz musician through and through, and 3) he knows David’s talent better than anyone else.  Surely, he would be working for what is best for David musically, right?  

Where I get concerned is this seeming “freedom” that David’s Utah team seemed to have gotten in the production of this Christmas album.  Usually, record labels (notorious control-freak business men) don’t operate that way.  So, is it that the label has the utmost faith in this production, or is it that they don’t care because they have lazily assumed David’s Arch Angels will shore up the sales of this sophomore effort?  

Or, if we’re going to believe the cynics, is this Christmas album just a “rush job” to get through the label’s three-album contract with David, so that they can quickly drop him once they’re done with album #3?  

I suppose we’ve got less than a month for all my questions to be answered.  As you all know, I want David to have the best, which includes having the best possible Christmas album.  Is that what we’ll be getting?

Photo Credit: “Green Eyes” by Juan.