Archive for July, 2008

Interracial marriages-How times change or do they?

Posted in Controversy, life, Living, Politics, Racism, Romance, Science with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

The article from Wikipedia, edited by myself…this is a long read and needs more information but for the average person this is detailed enough..

Term

Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing racial groups marry. This is a form of exogamy (marrying outside of one’s social group) and can be seen in the broader context of miscegenation (mixing of different racial groups in marriage, cohabitation, or sexual relations).

Now in the 21st Century it is more common for interracial marriages but at the same time their is a higher number of divorces then before.

Are the two linked? Could be? but perhaps not, however due to stats,these might not be highly accurate but interesting nevertheless.

I would like comments to this blog as I believe their is many unified comments on this subject aswell as against it…

Legality of Interracial Marriages

Now legal in most countries certain jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting interracial marriage in the past.

These included South Africa under apartheid; Germany in the Nazi period; and many states of the United States, particularly in the South. In both Nazi Germany and certain American states, such laws have been closely linked to eugenics programs.

The US has some interesting results and compared to the UK shows a uprise of these marriages..

In Social Trends in America and Strategic Approaches to the Negro Problem (1948), Gunnar Myrdal ranked the social areas where restrictions were imposed by Southern whites on the freedom of African-Americans through racial segregation from the least to the most important: jobs, courts and police, politics, basic public facilities, “social equality” including dancing, handshaking, and most important, marriage. This ranking scheme seems to explain the way in which the barriers against desegregation fell.

Of less importance was the segregation in basic public facilities, which was abolished with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most tenacious form of legal segregation, the banning of interracial marriage, was not fully lifted until the last anti-miscegenation laws were struck down in 1967 by the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia.

Statistics

The number of interracial marriages in the United States has been on the rise: from 310,000 in 1970, to 651,000 in 1980, and 1,161,000 in 1992, according to the US Census of 1993.

Interracial marriages represented 0.7% of all marriages in 1970, rising to 1.3% in 1980 and 2.2% in 1992. With the introduction of the mixed-race category, the 2000 census revealed interracial marriage to be somewhat more widespread, with 2,669,558 interracial marriages recorded, or 4.9% of all marriages.

It should be noted that these statistics do not take into account ethnic groups within the same broad categories – for example a marriage involving a person of Japanese origin and a person of Indian origin would not be considered ‘mixed’. Nor is hispanic(why is this term used? the polite word for SPIC!) status taken into account according to the “Census 2000 PHC-T-19. Hispanic Origin and Race of Coupled Households: 2000”. U. S. Census Bureau.

Married Couples in the United States in 2006

White Husband married a White Wife 50,224,000
Black Husband married a White Wife 286,000
Asian Husband married a White Wife 174,000
Other Husband married a White Wife 535,000

White Husband married a Black Wife 117,000
Black Husband married a Black Wife 3,965,000
Asian Husband married a Black Wife 6,000
Other Husband married a Black Wife 23,000

White Husband married an Asian Wife 530,000
Black Husband married an Asian Wife 34,000
Asian Husband married an Asian Wife 2,493,000
Other Husband married an Asian Wife 41,000

White Husband married an Other Wife 489,000
Black Husband married an Other Wife 45,000
Asian Husband married an Other Wife 13,000
Other Husband married an Other Wife 558,000

Some things I noticed which the articel elaborates on is the following

Now what interests me is the rate of Other Husband marrying a White Wife is higher then the two previous results of Black Husband married a White Wife, Asian Husband married a White Wife put together

Also double the amount of Black Males marry White Women then White Males marrying Black Women.

But even though interracial marriages are more accepted. White Males are 4 times likely to marry an Asian women then a Black women, the link between this I will read up on more. I have a theory but i would like to back it up

Based on these statistics:

Whites are the least likely to marry interracially, although in absolute terms whites are involved in interracial marriages more than any other racial group. 1.9% of married white women and 2.2% of married white men have a non-white spouse. 1.0% of married white men are married to an Asian woman, and 1.0% of married white women are married to a man classified as “other”.
3.7% of married black women and 8.4% of married black men have a non-black spouse. 6.6% of married black men, and 2.8% of married black women, have a white spouse. Only 0.1% of married black women are married to an Asian man, representing the least represented marital combination.

19.5% of married Asian women and 7.2% of married Asian men have a non-Asian spouse. 17.1% of married Asian women are married to a white spouse, and 3.5% of married Asian men have a spouse woman classified as “other”.

There is a notable disparity in the rates of exogamy by Asian males and females. Only 25% of Asian/white marriages involve an Asian male and white female, and only 15% Asian/black marriages involve an Asian male and a black female

Benefits of interracial marriage to the United States

All these quotes from After 40 Years, Interracial Marriage Flourishing”, Race & Ethnicity, MSNBC (2007-04-15). Retrieved on 2008-07-15.

“The racial divide in the U.S. is a fundamental divide. … but when you have the ‘other’ in your own family, it’s hard to think of them as ‘other’ anymore. We see a blurring of the old lines, and that has to be a good thing.” Michael Rosenfeld, Stanford University Sociologist

“I think the children of [interracial] families like ours will be able to make a difference in the world, and do things we weren’t able to do. It’s really important to put all their cultures together, to be aware of their roots, so they grow up not just as Swedish or Haitian or American, but as global citizens.” Michelle Cadeau

“[A]gainst the tragic backdrop of American history, the flowering of multiracial intimacy is a profoundly moving and encouraging development.” Kelley Kenney, Kutztown University Professor

Interracial marriage by pairing

Native American and Asian

Filipino Americans have frequently married Native American and Alaskan Native people. In the 17th century, when Filipinos were under Spanish rule, the Spanish colonists ensured a Filipino trade between the Philippines and the Americas. When the Mexicans revolted against the Spanish, the Filipinos first escaped into Mexico, then traveled to Louisiana, where the exclusively male Filipinos married Native American women. In the 1920s, Filipino American communities grew in Alaska, and Filipino American men married Alaskan Native women. On the west coast, Filipino Americans married Native American women in Bainbridge Island Washington.

There was a frequency of racial intermarriage between Japanese Americans and Cherokee Indians in California during the 1930s, since these ethnic groups were introduced or hired as farm laborers and they had been in high contact with each other.[citation needed] “[W]hile in the 1920s Japanese men married Eskimo women throughout western Alaska

Asian and White

Marriages between whites and Asians are becoming increasingly common for both genders (Lange, 2005). In 1990, about 69 percent of married 18-30 year-old Asian women were married to Asian men, while 25 percent of married Asian women had white husbands. In 2006, 50 percent of American-bred Asian women were married to Asian men, while 41 percent of American-bred Asian women had white husbands. 60 percent of American-bred Asian men were married to Asian women, while 30 percent of American-bred Asian men had white wives (2006 U.S. Census Bureau). C.N. Le estimated that the gender gap is smaller among the American-born or 1.5 generation Asian Americans.

Asian Americans of both genders who are U.S.-raised are much more likely to be married with whites than their non-U.S.-raised counterparts. Not all Asian ethnicities have similar intermarriage patterns, for instance, South Asian Americans were overwhelmingly endogamous, with a small amount of outmarriage to other ethnic groups.

The interracial marriage disparity for South Asian Americans was low with outmarriage to whites slightly higher for Indian American males whereas all other major Asian groups had more outmarriage for women. A 2001 U.S. national survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League indicated that 24% of the respondents disapprove of marriage with an Asian American.

Black and White

Although mixed-race partnering has increased, the United States still shows disparities between African American male and African American female endogamy statistics. The 1990 census reports that 17.6% of African American marriages occur with White Americans. Yet, African American men are 2.6 times more likely to be married to White American women than African American women to White American men.

In the 2000 census, 239,477 African American male to White American female and 95,831 White American male to African American female marriages were recorded, again showing the 2.5-1 ratio. In 2007, 4.6% of married African Americans were married to a white partner, and 0.4% of married White Americans were married to an African American.

Asian and Black

With African Americans and Asian Americans, the ratios are even further imbalanced, with 59.8% more Asian female/Black male marriages than Asian male/Black female marriages. However, C.N. Le estimated that Asian Americans of the 1.5 generation and of the five largest Asian American ethnic groups had black male/Asian female marriages 27.2% more than Asian male/black female relationships. Even though the disparity between Black and Asian interracial marriages by gender is high according to the 2000 US Census, the total numbers of Asian/Black interracial marriages are low, numbering only 0.22% percent for Asian male marriages and 1.30% percent of Asian female marriages, partially contributed by the recent flux of Asian immigrants.

Historically, Chinese American men married African American women in high proportions to their total marriage numbers due to few Chinese American women being in the United States.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, many Chinese people immigrated to the American South, particularly Arkansas, to work on plantations. The tenth US Census of Louisiana counted 57% of interracial marriages between these Chinese Americans to be with African Americans and 43% to be with White American women. After the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American men had fewer potential Chinese American wives, so they increasingly married African American women on the West Coast[13]. In Jamaica and other Caribbean nations as well many Chinese males over past generations took up Black female wives gradually assimilating or absorbing many Chinese descendants into the black community or the overall mixed-race community.

Native American and White

The interracial disparity for Native Americans is low. According to the 1990 US Census (which only counts indigenous people with US-government-recognized tribal affiliation), Native American women intermarried white Americans 2% more than Native American men married White women.

Historically, in Latin America, and to a lesser degree in Anglo America, these groups have intermarried at very high rates. Many countries in Latin America have large Mestizo populations and in many cases mestizos are the largest ethnic group in their respective countries.

Marriage squeeze

A new term has arisen to describe the social phenomenon of the so-called “marriage squeeze” for African American females.

The marriage squeeze refers to the belief that the most eligible and desirable African American men are marrying non-African American women, leaving those African American women who wish to marry African American men with fewer partnering options. According to Newsweek, 43% of black women between the ages of 30-34 have never been married. Several explanations of this phenomenon have been advanced.

It may be due to the lingering effects of social ostracism to which white American men who married African American women were subjected in the past. A 2006 survey found that the number of white Americans would consider marrying across the colour line is one in five.

It may also be the result of a desire among African American women to marry African American men due to concepts such as racial loyalty, and the internalized stereotypical belief that non-African American men would not find them attractive. There is also the lingering belief that negative social stereotypes preclude them being viewed as anything but sexual objects by non-African American men.

Lastly, there is a desire among educated women of all races to “marry up” or at least within their social and economic class. Some claim that black women often face either “marrying down” or not marrying at all, when they choose to restrict their marriage prospects to African American men. Also, rates of incarceration for marriage age African American males are far higher than rates for females, further contributing to the male/female gap. As of 2002, 10.4% of all black males between the ages of 25 and 29 were sentenced and in prison.

The African American male-female disparity is highest between the ages of 25 – 29, when for every two African American men there are nearly three African American women.

Immigrants and interracial marriage

Racial endogamy is much stronger for immigrants as compared to natives. Immigrants of African descent are 4.9 times more likely than African Americans to marry interracially.[citation needed] Additionally, immigrants of African descent have the highest rates of endogamy of immigrants.

Also, African immigrants are much more likely to marry other same-race immigrants and African Americans, than to out-marry racially. Native-born white Americans are also 1.6 times more likely to marry a native-born black American than an immigrant of African descent. Female immigrants of African descent are generally more likely to marry native-born whites than their male counterparts.

Interracial marriage versus cohabitation

Rates of interracial cohabitation are significantly higher than those of marriage. Although only 7 percent of married black men have white wives, 13 percent of cohabitating black men have white partners. 25 percent of married Asian women have white spouses, but 45 percent of cohabitating Asian women are with white men—higher than the percentage cohabitating with Asian men (44 percent).

These numbers suggest that the prevalence of intimate interracial contact is greatly underestimated when one focuses only on marriage data.

Now for other countries apart from the US and some interesting factors occur..New Zealand for example doesn’t even record inter-racial marriage data..

Canada

“Canadians do appear more accepting of interracial relations than Americans. According to a poll in the mid-1990s, 87% of Canadians approved of marriages between whites and minorities. While this survey didn’t specify the respondents’ race, another conducted ten years earlier with French Canadian whites showed 88% to be in favor of black-white marriages” Emily Monroy-Race and Interracial Marriage, Canadian Style”. Urban Mozaik (2002). Retrieved on 2008-07-15.

Africa

Indian men have married many African women in Africa. Indians have long been traders in East Africa. The British Empire brought workers into East Africa to build the Uganda Railway. Indians eventually populated South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Rhodesia and Zaire in small numbers. These interracial unions were mostly unilateral marriages between Indian men and East African women

Australia

In 2005 there were slightly more marriages by Australian resident women (13,079) to foreign born partners than Australian resident men (12,714). Australian born males and female residents who married that year were most likely to have married an Australian-born partner (84.1% of marriages involving Australian men; 83.7% of marriages involving Australian females). Male Australian residents who were born in China and were married in 2005 were least likely to have married an Australian-born resident (only 3.1% of marriages involving a Chinese born groom were to an Australian-born bride).

Female Australian residents who were born in Vietnam and were married in 2005 were least likely to have married an Australian-born resident (only 15.7% of marriages involving a Vietnamese born bride were to an Australian-born groom). Only 8.8% of males, and 11% of females, who were American born, Australian resident and married in 2005, married another person from the United States.

In terms of variance between brides and grooms from particular countries in marrying native Australians, 36.7% of brides but only 7.9% of grooms born in countries defined as ‘North Asia’ (Japan and Korea) who married in 2005 did so to an Australian-born partner. Conversely, 64.1% of grooms but only 43.8% of brides born in Lebanon who married in 2005 did so to an Australian-born partner[24].

Japan

In 2003 there were 36,039 international marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese in Japan – about one out of twenty marriages. About 80% of these interracial marriages involved a Japanese male marrying a foreign female (predominantly Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Thai and Brazilian), and 20% involve marriage to a foreign husband (predominantly Korean, American, Chinese, British and Brazilian).

South Korea

International marriages now make up 13 percent of all marriages in Korea. Most of these marriages are unions between a Korean male and a foreign female (mostly from Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and China) [26].

New Zealand

Interracial marriage has been common in New Zealand since the first full-scale contact between Maori and Europeans in the early 1840s. Racial mingling has been so extensive that most Maori are now of mixed blood. Statistics are not available, because the government does not keep statistics on interraccial marriage or the “percentage” of a person’s ethnic makeup.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Census 2001

As of 2001, 2% of all UK marriages are interethnic. Despite having a much lower non-white population (9%), mixed marriages are as common as in the United States[27]. New Studies are being conducted by London South Bank University called Parenting ‘Mixed’ Children: Negotiating Difference and Belonging. Two sources this information comes from

Smith, Laura (2007-09-26). “Mixed Matches”, Society, The Guardian. Retrieved on 2008-07-15.

Caballero, Chamion; Edwards, Rosalind. “Cultures of Mixing: Parents from Different Racial, Ethnic and/or Faith Backgrounds”. London South Bank University. Retrieved on 2008-07-15.

Interracial marriage disparities for certain groups

According to the UK 2001 census

Black British males were around 50% more likely than black females to marry outside their race, whereas British Chinese women (30%) were twice as likely as their male counterparts (15%) to marry someone from a different ethnic group. Among British Asians, males were twice as likely to have an inter-ethnic marriage than their female counterparts.

World’s Most Expensive Cities

Posted in Accomadation, life, Living, Politics, Vacations with tags , , , , on July 30, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

I read this article this morning, and thought I’d share it with you…

However it is interesting when this study was done as i believe expenses would be higher then when this study was first conducted.

Enjoy the read

by Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Prices show no sign of dropping in Moscow, this year’s most expensive place to live.

In 1998, Moscow was in crisis. More than 100,000 Russians took to the streets as a slew of banks–and the life savings of millions of citizens–went bust.

But just a decade later, the global commodities boom has made Russia flush with cash, and Moscow has become a pricey place to live.

That’s the finding in Mercer’s 2008 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. Moscow tops the list with a score of 142.4, up 6% from last year–and 42% higher than New York, the most expensive city in the U.S. The Russian capital is followed by Tokyo; London; Oslo, Norway; and Seoul, South Korea.

New York fell from No. 15 to No. 22, thanks to the dollar’s protracted woes. Los Angeles is the second-priciest city in the U.S., but Hollywood’s denizens can’t cry poverty just yet: At No. 55, Los Angeles is cheaper than the best neighborhoods of Lagos, Nigeria (No. 30); Almaty, Kazakhstan (No. 44); and Zagreb, Croatia (No. 49).

“The decline in the ranking of all U.S. cities is due to the weakening value of the U.S. dollar against most major world currencies,” says Mercer’s Mitch Barnes, a principal at the firm. “The dollar has been declining steadily for the past several years, which has resulted in an overall decrease in the cost of living in 19 U.S. cities, relative to other major global cities studied.”

Behind the Numbers

The survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the relative cost of over 200 items in each place, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The survey is used to help American government agencies and multinational companies determine living costs for their expatriate employees, who usually demand a relatively high quality of life.

“Companies may assign high priority to expansion in these economies, but may have to deal with inflationary pressures due to competition for expatriate-level housing,” says Yvonne Traber, a research manager at Mercer.

In the wake of the Federal Reserve’s bailout of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the dollar has continued its slide, falling to a record low against the euro earlier this week. While that’s bad news for Americans traveling abroad, it could mean that more international businesses will set up shop in the U.S., where posh cities are suddenly becoming much more affordable.

“The U.S. dollar’s loss of value may serve to attract globally mobile executives to business centers such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles,” says Barnes. “The difference in cost of living can be significant, particularly for those executives with families.”

Most Expensive Meccas

As for Moscow, prices in the Russian capital show no signs of dropping. The global commodity boom continues to fatten the pockets of local tycoons, and the ruble has appreciated 8% against the dollar since January.

Moscow is home to 74 billionaires, the most of any city in the world. Its three wealthiest citizens (Oleg Deripaska, Vladimir Lisin and Roman Abramovich) each possess fortunes in excess of $25 billion. And Russia’s super-wealthy are just getting started: 13 of the country’s billionaires are under the age of 40.

Founded by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, No. 3 London is an ancient stalwart when it comes to pricey cities. Though it slipped from last year’s No. 2 spot, it remains extremely expensive–even a ride on one of the city’s vaunted double-decker buses costs $5.89.

And while Japan’s economy is stagnating, Tokyo is as expensive as ever. For American travelers, the city’s real estate prices are the highest in the world–a two-bedroom luxury apartment costs over $5,100 per month, about $600 more than a comparable pad in Moscow or New York.

Copyrighted, Forbes.com. All rights reserved.

Favourite Albums of 2007

Posted in life, Music, Politics, Romance with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

Best Albums Of 2007 (in my opinion)

If anyone gets upset by these reviews, sorry but we are all allowed an opinion in this world so these are mine. I respect musicians from all genres but one thing I disrespect is when people come up with garbage and it is bought by people who are

1 Lazy to discover music
2. Read awful magazines NME (no musical ears), which recommend music to jump on the band wagon whereas I love music from the heart.

So if you wish to argue at my list I don’t mind but be warned you better have a good argument otherwise I will shoot you down in flames.

I have no bias and all these have links to the relevant acts for you to discover.

Now some albums were only released in the UK this year which is not great for people who know any of these albums in the US so I apologize. Some are not easy to obtain either so this takes effort but you will be thoroughly rewarded when purchased.

Included in this list are albums which have not impressed me and they will have comments written about them on a later date.

1. Keite Young-The Rise and fall of

I first heard tracks from this artist back in March 2007 and was impressed on the tracks I heard but in the back of my mind I was wondering if this would be another good musician who can’t come up with a decent soul album…Dwele anyone? And so on.

Now since listening to the album since September release date I have been proven wrong at last and we now have an album which I can listen to alongside D’Angelo and Maxwell albums. Within the genre of “Neo-Soul” or Soul/R &B the last few albums from artists have been as a whole quite poor, with maybe only two decent songs on the album at best and a lot of filler pretty much matching the R & B genre for a hit single but formulaic album structure. Keite defies this with an album of quality tracks with ranging subjects and a lot of musical influences Soul, Rock, Gospel and even some catchy melodies (something the neo –soul genre has seem to passed up on along time ago).

What I love about this album is not just his voice but the contrast between songs, Shine for example sits well with If We Were Alone (a exceptional slow –jam ballad with N’Dambi) and Masks (A introspective song about peoples lives-Imagine something from Sign of the Times period by Prince or Stevie wonder in fact!) and E.N.S(Gospel influenced ballad) and U Got It ( A Clintonesque weird joint) but all these tracks are contrasting in character, texture and genre in some cases but all have one thing in common the talent projecting them. At last an album worth buying within this genre.

As Keite can play all his own instruments he reminds me of Prince then the critics shortcomings, he sounds like Bilal crossed with Al Green which to me is weak as a compliment, as Bilal hasn’t written songs as good or on the same level as Keite anyway. But his voice against the rock element really reminds me of early Prince (oh when he did write decent albums anything before the 90’s, but especially the albums prior to Purple Rain) trying to crossover and since Terence Trent D’Arby/Lenny Kravitz there isn’t many Black artists who have tried to do this accept one comes to mind Cody Chesnutt who failed with a long-lo-fi album and at least The Roots improved his track The Seed.

So if any album I wish you to buy from this list would be this one, I believe you would be shocked how this talent has been missed by Broadsheets and the like, only problem if you live in the UK you can only buy it from Amazon.co.uk as it hasn’t been officially released here until February (still hasn’t happened, I wrote this last year originally)

If you live in the US you have no excuse….simply as…Keite obviously has a myspace and here is the link http://www.myspace.com/keiteyoung

2.. Alicia Keys-As I Am

Another outstanding album from Ms Keys-in fact I think her best overall album yet, and I wasn’t looking forward to it as I particularly didn’t like the song “No-One” and thought “Stop over-singing”.

However this album has a quality and a surprise one at that, it is so steeped in old-school values (when I heard this album I thought of Roberta Flack, Patti Labelle and other legends within the Soul genre) compared to other releases by R&B starlets, for a start it’s a good album throughout apart from some slip-ups (but we will ignore them tracks and stop doing the pissing intros-they are annoying and unnecessary), its not too long either so it keeps the listener interested-any longer and it would have lost it’s appeal.

After hearing the outstanding Unplugged album I was always looking forward to the third major album release from Alicia Keys, and in fact I don’t think her potential has even been reached yet. On this album the songs are original for once and are not trying to sound like an old rectro song, i.e. Fallin (uses the “It’s a man mans world” theme musically), A Woman’s Worth( Isley Brothers Jam) You don’t even know my name (the main ingredient sample) and so on.

Nothing is wrong with that and sampling an old song is great but re-using it to make it fresher and more interesting is better. Alicia here on this album has come with an emotional diary which you feel is about her life and her thoughts and feelings, not her influences so much, “the diary of” was supposed to reflect this but didn’t to my ears anyway.

Some of the songs here are not as assessable as her previous efforts and some critics say the album is flat, but I think that is an unfair judgment as the album has more going for it musically then say the commercial R & B out this year. I don’t mind this but the average listener might who is used to her previous efforts. But Alicia doesn’t even use a really big R &B producer (for me gladly) apart from some collaborations lyrically and songwriting wise by Linda Perry and Marsha Ambrosius respectively and a great song written and performed with John Mayer-one of the highlights on the album. It is mainly an in-house affair (like previously but more so here),

The tracks I particularly like on the album are Lesson Learned (the track with John Mayer), Superwoman, and Like You’ll Never See Me Again, Wreckless Love, I Need You (The Last two you could imagine from the last album the Diary of)

http://www.myspace.com/aliciakeys

3. Dee Dee Bridgewater-Red Earth Malian Journey

Dee Dee Bridgewater has always been an exceptional vocalist ever since her days in the late 70’s, her solo albums Bad for Me and Just Family for example has great quality songs. But in later years covers of jazz songs have not interested me to purchasing her albums as much.

This album has in fact changed my mind… Dee Dee Bridgewater is first and foremost a groundbreaker, her interpretation on traditional jazz is Unafraid and uninhibited, these attributes make her very interesting.

Dee Dee Bridgewater’s 2007 project, Red Earth-A Malian Journey, is a journey both forward and back.
A combination of mixing Malian voicing, music and traditional instruments with American Jazz and penning many of the lyrics, Bridgewater has crafted one of her most important jazz and especially musical statements to date. The rhythms throughout are stunning. With a percussion section of 5 or 6 African instruments throughout played by native Malians, and with jagged contrapuntal rhythms over 9/8, 7/8 and 8/8 meters.

Before this album was initiated Dee Dee made a decision to find her African roots back in Mali. As a listener of this album I am glad she did. As this album is of exceptional quality, and for once a jazz album which is original and not trying to be a formulaic covers album…In fact on first listen it is an album I could imagine Oumou Sangaré doing.

The songs on here are amazingly in depth and compelling highlights include “Afro Blue” which is more percussive version than her 70’s classic, Mama Digna Sara Ye” (Mama Don’t Ever Go Away), a track co written with Malian diva Ramata Diakité, and the covers of Nina Simone’s “Four Women” and Eugene McDaniel’s “Compared to What” come across as great testaments to this album about the human condition.

If you buy the DVD edition (which I would highly recommend) the DVD along side this release explains her journey and solidified her resolve to further investigate African music after her Grammy nominated and winning projects including the first of all double Grammy® Award-winning tribute Dear Ella after the death of Ella in 1996 and the later albums of Live at Yoshi’s, This is New, and J’ai Deux Amours, incorporated more global sounds and influences.

If you loved the albums by Paul Simon-Graceland and Youssou N’Dour’s solo albums especially Guide (the Wommat) and Egypt then I would highly recommend this, it won’t be to every ones taste but if you love African music and jazz this CD by Dee Dee Bridgewater is the best of its kind in a long time…
http://www.myspace.com/deedeebridgewater

4. Mayra Andrade-Navenga

Well I first heard about this talent through a friend, and usually my friends are not good at recommending music, they try but the usually fail.

However I was glad to be put onto this album, though it is hard to obtain.

Still in her early 20s, Mayra Andrade has an outstanding vocal talent and the album is just musically amazing. Her sound has a cool confidence and languid with a sad-edged charm. Mayra originates from the Cape Verde islands, off the coast of Senegal, and Andrade has also traveled with her parents from Cuba to West Africa, and is currently based in Paris. You can hear this within the influences of the music.
The mixtures of Brazilian music then added to her musical mix as well (does help her percussionist and guitarists are Brazilian), her use of varied rhythms, including traditional rhythms from Cape Verde i.e. funana and batuku, is matched against lyrics in Cape Verdean Creole and French-I actually researched a lot of this after buying the album.

I am not going to lie, I don’t even understand the French language, but her voice and melodies are simply too beautiful to ignore-and I hadn’t even seen her yet in the flesh when she performed in London I saw in late September/Early October with Angelique Kidjo

She eclipsed Angelique Kidjo….That is how good she is…

So I especially was in awe. Theirs is plenty of variety here, thanks both to her exploration of these different styles and settings but the overall mood remains both thoughtful and relaxed.

If you love the Buena Vista Social Club then I would highly recommend this and this is a future star in world music

The key-cuts to me are the following Dimokransa, Comme S’il En Pleuvait, Navenga, and Lua

http://www.myspace.com/mayraandrade

5. Radiohead-In Rainbows

This album is probably the best since Ok Computer (not my favourite album but I respect it) where the band have struck a happy balance between innovation and accessibility, between rock and electronica.

Although the main fuss surrounding Radiohead’s seventh album was prompted mostly by the way in which it was delivered download only, “pay as much as you like”

I will admit I didn’t pay anything, not to being a tight “MF” but because Radiohead albums can be patchy, however I will be buying this on physical CD within the New Year, so there LOL!

Lyrically, this album is more in tune with Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser, which are sketches of suburban paranoia, and the eerie sense of things not being quite right.

Thom Yorke’s voice also has a new-found tenderness, in fact beautiful (I forgot how great of a singer he is) and not so much rage as before (Paranoid Android), ‘All I Need’ and the luxurious ‘Faust Arp’, are examples where he sounds like a man emerging from a lifetime of despair.

The opener “15 Step” has an all skittering drum patterns and dub-style bass which makes you reminisce of the electronica of Kid A, the sound soon gives way to a more guitar-based sound. This album is not as musically heavy as previous albums, but for me and I think generally the tunes are far more focused and passionate

“Bodysnatchers” is based around a hypnotic, distorted bass riff, and another song I enjoyed and reminded me to listen to Radiohead is the beautiful string-drenched “Nude” a true Radiohead classic which could sit on any previous album.

I would recommend this to anyone, who loves Radiohead but wants to explore the cross between Electronica and Rock…

http://www.myspace.com/radiohead

6. Joy Denalane-Born and Raised

A talent which seems to have not been that successful this year and surprisingly I don’t know why, this album is as good or even better then any of Mary J Bliges later albums.

Anyway, this album in the US came out in mid 2006 originally but it was only officially released here in the UK during Spring to no fanfare a tall, I can’t understand why Sony did not promote this a tall and I didn’t hear these songs in clubs, which to me is poor, especially when you consider what junk their has been released this year in the genre and to me this album is so much better then many other R&B albums out this year.

Joy Denalane has gotten barely a fraction of the attention that singer Joss Stone has received in the U.S., and after Joss Stone latest dud album, Denalane is arguably far more talented, polished and emotional interesting.

But the main reason I like Joy Denalane, unlike some modern vocalists, she doesn’t over sing her songs, nor do her vocals lack genuine emotion.

This album has some great quality R&B songs with really strong melodies and great simple arrangements i.e. Let Go, One In A Million and the collaborations really standout i.e. Heaven And Hell feat Raekwon and Change feat Lupe Fiasco is a buoyant, upbeat number that talks about something many people can relate to: rising up, overcoming adversity and making the world a better place

If anyone who likes Mary J Blige or grew up on the party music of the last decade might not like or not understand Born & Raised. But anyone who’s a fan of Amel Larrieux or Alicia Keys would probably enjoy this CD.

http://www.myspace.com/joydenalanemusic

7. Burial-Untrue

Burial’s acclaimed 2006 debut got a lot of excellent press.

So interest in his second album was high already, Burial returns with a more complete and haunting soundtrack to the urban inner-city landscape, imagine a soundtrack which is coming home from a night out more then music out in a club, it has a direction of loss (in some cases an average music listener wouldn’t get into it) and the album could speak of Britain today especially London, with all its gritty, dirty, messy, impersonality.

This is mainly done through music- but the sensual feeling is one trying to articulate the lifestyle of the majority of people living in this country – their hopes, fears, faults and virtues.

Very similar to My Demons-DJ Distance in some respects but a lot lighter in texture, the album reflects and restructures the disparate styles of dance music’s past decade especially 2step/Garage, he is an elusive hyper dub pioneer which is slightly different to Dub step and more towards 2step.

The album’s sound is mournful, epic, and magnificent and underpinned by eerie, growling bass lines and overlaid with spectral female vocals.

The highlights are Archangel, Near Dark, Untrue and Endorphin

This is an album, which grows with every listen, and should win the future 2008 Mercury Music prize.
http://www.myspace.com/burialuk

8. Boxcutter-Glyphic

Dub step (“hyper-dub” it has so many names but you get the drift!) is a new sound from London to the world’s ears but it has been developing for the last 5-6 years under the music world’s noses.

Most artists have great tracks in their genre but this musically is the best album from a dub-step artist, purchase the album or by other means-it isn’t easy to download so buying it would be best and it is to support an artist with his own label.

The sounds used (samples) and textures are beautiful and musical yet haunting (this is darker then some dub-step out there but it is not so light as Burial’s –Untrue album). The use of real –drum sounds also makes this album very punchy.

I acquired this album back in July

If you want an electronic and love dub this album would be a best bet, not too chilled out I would highly recommend this, you won’t be disappointed.

http://www.myspace.com/boxcutter

9, Raul Midón-A World Within A World

State Of Mind-being my favourite album of last year; I was expecting a developing second album and hoping this album would be my favourite of 2007. This album doesn’t disappoint me musically in a lot of ways but in one way it does, it is not as “Intimate” as State Of Mind, and that is its key disappointment, if I heard this album first my opinion would be different.

In some cases this album has been made too radio friendly in places, but I understand why?

As to sell albums you have to have songs that can promote the album to the average listener, Supermarket Mums being one example.

On the live circuit Raul is very successful but sales on the album has been disappointing I can gather (I think due to EMI/Blue Notes lack of promotion and accessibility to obtain the album, in the UK it has been very minimal/non-existent in some cases, but everyone I know who I recommend to the first album buys it, so why can’t a big company do the same) and it is shocking in fact because of the talent this man possesses and the quality of his songs, when Raul first was on Jools Holland “Later” back in late 2006 he shock the audience so much with his performance of State Of Mind (he basically made the other musicians on the show open mouthed in awe-I was told by a BBC employee).

The tracks are as strong melodically as before on the previous album and has examples of these are “Pick Somebody Up”, “All The Answers” and we have some acoustic intimate feel on tracks such as “Ain’t happened yet” (an amazing accapella track), Tembererana ( A native-argentine folk song-which Raul wrote himself), Song for Sandra (about the death of his Mother when young).

Overall though this an album that is still very strong and I would recommend anyone who bought the first to obtain this album as Raul songs are still outstanding, however I can’t wait for the next one to see where he develops.

http://www.myspace.com/raulmidon

10. Talib Kwelli-Eardrum

Unlike 50 Cent and Kanye West, a Hip-Hop album which is not selling out to the pop market.

Eardrum has some very interesting lyrical and musical tracks on this album, mixing old school sounds with new perspectives in Hip-Hop.

Though the album is way too long though I believe that to be it’s biggest flaw and I think this would have been better at only 13 tracks not 17 or more if you have the US version and in some cases it is more like a mix tape (which I like but to the average listener into commercial Hip-Hop this would not be interesting enough)

However the highlights to me are the following Hostile Gospel Pt 1 which is a powerful song with Talib spitting his trademark honest, hard-hitting lyrics including about the state of the music industry and especially Hip-Hop as a genre. Give Em Hell is talking about religion and how it is portrayed especially in the form of hatreds, especially the US version of trying to frighten the nation with a bad portrayal of the Muslim religion.

In The Mood featuring Kanye West (the downside as his rap is lazy) but as a production by Kanye West -probably his best produced track this year, is a subtle song over a jazzy beat and is another highlight of the album, with Roy Ayers featured on vibes.

Soon the New Day follows this pattern with a beautiful chorus featuring Norah Jones and has a great message of introspect about the life of prostitution, and women acting like this in a less blatant way plus how people react in that world, each verse tell a story of the girls and the culprits.

Anybody who likes The Roots or Mos Def I would recommend this album to them, as commercial Hip-Hop generally has had some very poor releases this year and for me I would recommend people to this or the underground sound.

http://www.myspace.com/talibkweli

Other recommendations

Bjork-Volta

Jill Scott-The Real Thing

Shape of Broad Minds-Shape of Broad Minds

4 Hero-Play With The Changes

Baby Shambles-Shotter’s Nation

Tinariwen-Aman Iman

Britney Spears-Blackout

Wu Tang Clan-8 Diagrams

Nosiettes-Whats The Time Mr Wolf?

Block Party-A Weekend In The City

Feist-The Reminder

Re-Issues

Marvin Gaye-Here My Dear (Deluxe)
Marvin Gaye-In Our Lifetime
Eddie Kendricks-The Thin Man Solo album Vol 1 & 2
Betty Davies-They Say I’m Different
Sly and The family Stone albums
Roni Matlock-Love City
Ramp-Come Into Knowledge

Albums which disappointed me-these will be explained on later date

Rosin Murphy-Overpowered
Kayne West-Graduation
50 Cent-Curtis
Jay Z-American Gangster
Common-Finding Forever
Dizzee Rascal-Maths and English
Kano-London Town
Macy Gray-Big
Jamie T-Panic Prevention
M.I.A.-Kala
Klaxons-Myths of the Near Future Klaxons
Kate Nash-Made Of Bricks

The debut of DMSR night @ The Grill Room-London-Friday 1st August

Posted in Fashion, life, Music, Nights Out, Romance with tags , , on July 30, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

I am so excited about this night and I have been finding some tunes which will make you dream for romance want to have XXX and kill your dancing feet, and if you don’t mainly dance then I feel sorry as you will look a fool..

But anyway enjoy the music

So anyway if you are interested in attending Check the flyer, and contact facebook DMSR or krakmusik@gmail.com

So here again is the flyer for your eyes…

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While we wait for D’Angelos new album

Posted in life, Music, Romance with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

Why we wait for D’angelo’s new album (8 years now), this is a mini documentary on the Voodoo album

The fate of the Black Rocker…

Posted in Controversy, life, Music, Politics with tags , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

I will be doing an interview with the director Raymond Gayle of his documentary ‘Electric Purgatory;The Fate Of The Black Rocker’ film soon, but here is one clip, others are on youtube

Hey Ya! I got an idea from D’angelo dreamin

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Richard James Clark II

D’angelo showing all the instruments he can play and does on the original track this pre-dated Hey Yeah by 7 years..