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Archive for the ‘Kick-Ass Chicks’ Category

What a week, huh? Good grief!! I won’t even get into it. I need a jukebox for the weekend, and a little old skool “Urban Contemporary” is hitting the spot!

Y’all know I love 80s pop, but I also adore the R&B tracks from this era. Here are some of my favorite artists. So squirt some spray on that asymmetrical bob, brush that high top fade and come with me!

Klymaxx. O. M. G. I LOVE Klymaxx. Seriously. Love them! They actually played their own instruments, which was kinda unheard of at the time. And Bernadette Cooper is a ‘Kick Ass Chick’ if ever there was one.

Essential tracks: Meeting in the Ladies Room, I Miss You, I’d Still Say Yes, The Men All Pause.

The Time. Oh, the TIME! Morris Day! Jerome Benton! Why didn’t they last forever?!? (Bernadette Cooper is totally the female version of Morris Day, no?) I personally am partial to the pre-Purple Rain stuff, but the later tracks are awesome too.

Essential tracks: Jungle Love, 777-9311, Girl, Gigolos Get Lonely Too.

Atlantic Starr: I would have loved to see this band live, if only for the experience of hearing every audience member sing this every word of this first track, because the whole world knows this song! “Here we are, the two of us to-gethaaaah. Takin’ this crazy chance to be all alooooooooone….”

Essential tracks: Secret Lovers, If Your Heart Isn’t In It, Always

Cameo: Cameo, in my opinion, is second only to George Clinton and the P-Funk family as the greatest funk artist ever. I am partial pre-Word Up! stuff, but it’s all great. Larry Blackmon is genius.

Essential tracks: Alligator Woman, Shake Your Pants, Candy, She’s Strange

The Gap Band: Another band whose brilliance is underrated. But those outfits!

Esential tracks: Burn Rubber On Me, Early In the Morning, You Dropped A Bomb On Me

Teena Marie: Oh, Miss Blue Eyed Soul herself. I remember getting into an argument with my sister when I was little. My sister said she was white. I just knew that was impossible.

Esential tracks: Square Biz, Portuguese Love, Casanova Brown, Fire and Desire (Duet with Rick James)

Glaring omission. There is a glaring omission on this list. It’s a song I have been searching for in digital form for YEARS. But you cannot buy it – it’s not available as an MP3 or even on a CD that I can find. In fact, you can hardly find the song anywhere on the internet anymore – the artist who owns the rights (not the group who performs the song) is notorious for not allowing his music to appear on the internet at all. And it’s a shame too. Welcome to the digital age, Mr. Purple! Anyway, click here to see what the song is. I’m afraid to type the name here lest Mr. Purple’s web bots find it and ruin for the person who was able to actually post this video without getting slapped with a cease and desist order.

If anyone – ANYONE – has this track in digital form, would you please, please, PLEASE share with me?! Email me at lilmisselleen [at] gmail [dawt] com. I will love you forever.

Other key tracks on the playlist: In My House, Mary Jane Girls; Sweet November, The Deele; Let’s Wait Awhile, Janet Jackson; Never Knew Love Like This Before, Stephanie Mills; Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thang), Zapp; Don’t Disturb This Groove, The System;  Saturday Love, Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal

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I woke up this morning in need of some serious self empowerment. And the first song that popped into my head was the Erykah Badu track, Apple Tree. A little strange, because I haven’t heard this song in years. It wasn’t even on my iPod – I had to go find the CD and upload it. But when I played it, it hit the spot like a glass of lemonade in the August DC heat.

So I decided to make a self-empowerment playlist, complete with songs that are not only positive and inspiring, but that come with that extra kick of power from being performed by a Strong Black Woman. I have got to learn to tap my own SBW vibe, so this will help me on that road. You should listen to these tracks too to tap your own SBW vibe today (you don’t have to be black to have one!)

baduSBW: Erykah Badu. I love this woman. She does what she wants and she doesn’t give a got-dayum. (Not to mention the fact that she’s dated Common and Andre 3000. Yum!)

Tracks:

Apple Tree. “I picks my friends like I picks my fruit. My Ganny told me that when I was only a youth. I don’t walk around tryin’ to be what I’m not, I don’t waste my time tryin’ to get what you got. I work at pleasin’ me cuz I can’t please you. And that’s why I do what I do. My soul flies free like a willow tree. Doo wee, doo wee, do weeeeeeee!”

On and On. “Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned. If you knowledge is worth your wealth then it would be well earned.”

maryjSBW: Mary J. Blige. I can guarantee this: if you are ever feeling low and need a spring in your step, put on some Mary. It will be as if she stepped out of your iPod, grabbed you by the shoulders, and said: “Girl, you know you better get yourself together!” SBW!

Tracks:

My Life. “Life can be only what you make it. When you’re feeling down you should never fake it. Say what’s on your mind and you’ll find in time that all the negative energy, it would all cease.”

Be Happy. “Life is too short to be tryin’ to play some games.” A. Men. Sis. Tah.

Just Fine. “So I like what I see when I’m lookin’ at me when I’m walkin’ past the mirror. Don’t stress through the night, at a time in my life ain’t worried ‘bout if you feel it. Got my head on straight. I got my vibe right. I ain’t gonna let you kill it. See I won’t change my life, my life, just fine! (Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, hoooo!)”

jillsmileSBW: Jill Scott! OMG, I love this woman. I love her music, I love her HBO character Precious, love love LOVE!

Tracks:

The Real Thing. “Don’t play no games, that’ll ruin things, and make leave you on the street and you don’t want that. Don’t hesitate, I can make you great. Like Cleopatra Jones I can set you straight!”

Golden. “I’m taking my freedom, pullin’ it off the shelf. Putting it on my chain, wearin’ it ‘round my neck. I’m living my life like it’s golden, golden!”

tinaSBW: Tina Turner. She’s an original SBW. Definition of.

Track:

I Might Have Been Queen. “I look up to the stars till I find my destiny. I look up to my past, a spirit running free. I look down, I look down and I’m there in history. Well I’m a soul survivor!!” (Oh, you should hear me sing this sh!t. I AM Tina Turner!)

chakaSBW: Chaka Khan. This is the SBW theme song!

Track:

I’m Every Woman. “I ain’t braggin’ cuz I’m the one. Just ask me, and it shall be done.” Plus I love this video. She is too friggin’ cute!

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FLOTUS flowerThis picture just made me happy today, so I thought I’d share.

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I realized this week that my “Kick-Ass Chick” list was in dire need of an update. I mean, my favorite woman ON THE PLANET wasn’t on there! Sheesh! So I have added four names to the list. (Sorry, none if them is Beyoncé. Nope.)

mrso2Michelle Obama. HOW could she have spent a second NOT on this list, right? From now on, she is the KAC by which all other KACs are measured. I love, love, LOVE her, and I love that the whole friggin’ world loves, loves, LOVES her. She is a rock star, exemplifying how being a well-educated career woman, a devoted partner and mother, and a fashionista (budgetista even! J. Crew? Holla!) are not mutually exclusive propositions.  Behind Beside the great president is a great woman, indeed! Even the Queen of England hugged her! Cuz she kicks ASS!

katewinsletKate Winslet. From her Oscar-worthy performances, to her endearing emotional response to winning awards – even in the face of snobby criticism, I realized this year how big a fan I am of this lady. Oh, and her performance on Extras shows that she is a friggin’ riot to boot. Awesome.

tilda2Tilda Swinton. Aside from being one of my favorite character actors out there – I will see anything with her in it, even if I know nothing about the film – I love Tilda for being the most fearless fashion icon out there right now. Like I said before on this blog, she somehow manages to embrace the most avant guard side of fashion while simultaneously giving a loud “Eff you!” to it. And it works. Amazingly! I think she is stunning and awesome, and she is my fashion hero.

Bethenny Frankel. Reality television is a vehicle that bethennycan make even the most accomplished, normal, respectable person look like a lunatic. It’s all about the editing. Yet somehow, Bethenny looks like pillar of witty, well-reasoned grace on this season of the Real Housewives of New York City. Every episode leaves you wishing she were your friend and that you’d chat with her over cocktails this weekend. She’s the quintessential no-bullshitter New Yorker that everyone wishes they knew. And how she puts up with the loonies on that show, I will never know.

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OMG,  I meant to post this WEEKS ago. And for some reason I’m unusually weepy today (and I’m not a crier!) so I need to cheer myself up. And this is just the thing to do it!

So I talked about my ‘list’ already. You can read about it here.

Anyway, I have made a trade. Sting, who I love dearly, and who was an original list member until (11 years he was on it!) now, has to be let go. I’m sorry, but it’s unavoidable. Cuz I only get five, and I needed to make room.

A few weeks back I saw the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It was better than I thought it would be. (I’m not the biggest Woody Allen fan). I really enjoyed it. But what I really, REALLY enjoyed, was looking at this hot specimen of man:

I. Had. No. IDEA he was that HOT! I had only (to my knowledge) seen Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men in which he played a creepy looking sociopathic killer with an even creepier haircut. I had no idea that the hotness lay underneath!! I’m not saying he’s cute. “Cute” is not the right word. He’s HOT. Smoking. OMG, this picture doesn’t even capture it. It’s an intangible quality that still photography doesn’t grasp. Go see Vicky Cristina Barcelona and you will know what I’m talking about. If you saw the film, I would have totally been the Scarlett Johansson character during that scene in the restaurant, and said: “Yes. Yes. Now. Let’s go. Forget my friend – she can stay here. Let’s GO!” No doubt.

So to recap, my list now consists of, in order of seniority (on the list, not age):

George Clooney. The last original member of the list. My very first list in 1997 consisted of George Clooney, Sting, John F. Kennedy, Jr. (I know!! Heartbreaking!!), Lenny Kravitz and Nomar Garciaparra. Looking back, that was a pretty good list!! I had good taste.

Jason Varitek. O Captain, My Captain! Some of my friends contend that his hotness if fading, but I disagree. I think he’s a total cutie and his physique is a wonder of the world. And his devotion to my team moves me to tears (See?!?! What is wrong with me?!?! Stop crying!!!) Theo – sign him!!! I’m not even kidding…

Kiefer Sutherland. Oh, I can go on and on. My exemplar of “Late Onset Hotness.” The new season of 24 cannot get here fast enough! And OMG his dog is cute too!! *Swoon*

Gavin Rossdale. I feel a little dirty for having him on the list since Gwen is a Kick-Ass Chick. But he’s hot. It’s not my fault. Even if he named his kid Zuma. Still hot.

Javier Bardem. See above. Sigh. So, so hot.

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Dang, Cate! No sooner did I gush and brag all over you did you go and do something like this:

Sweetheart, I still luuuuuvs me some you, but not even you could pull this look off (which just means that this dress should just cease from being manufactured – NO ONE can wear it. If it looks bad on Cate, it’s a wrap).

I won’t bump you off the Kick-Ass Chick list for this. But you do get one fashion demerit.

By the way, my boyfriend is making me go see this movie with him this weekend. So against my will – even if it does have the fabulousness that is Cate in it. Ugh. I’m not making him see “Sex and the City!” But then again, he did take me to see Barry Manilow with me (although he complained the whole time) so I guess it’s a wash. Plus I get to complain.

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Ok, one last post before I turn off my laptop for a much-needed long weekend off from work (and alas, from blogging too).

I have added yet another woman to my “Kick-Ass Chick” list: Cate Blanchett.

As far as her acting, I love her. Love, love, love, luuuuuuuuv her. When I saw her in the first “Elizabeth” movie, I became a fan. After “Notes on a Scandal,” “Lord of the Rings,” “The Aviator,” “Babel,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “I’m Not There” (which I finally saw this past weekend), I became a superfan. She is brilliant. Brilliant!

But that is not the only reason I think she kicks ass. She is my fashion goddess.

Girlfriend rocks designer clothing like no other. Ok, the fact that she is tall, thin and gorgeous helps (even if I could get my hands on some of the haute couture duds she wears, it would not do the same wonders for my 5’3″, much-bigger-than-sample-size frame). But I see fashion as art anyway, so I get just as much joy from looking at it as I do from wearing it.

Here is the latest exhibit of Cate’s fashion prowess: this is her on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday:

Gor. Gee. Us! Really. How unbelievable is she in that Armani Privé?! Fierce!!

I also love how she takes fashion chances. On anyone else, some of these outfits would look really out there. On Cate, they are perfection:

 

I would look like a Star Trek reject in that. Cate looks like an intergalactic goddess.

Here is her take on classic Hollywood glamour:

Who would think to wear a yellow dress and a purple sash? Oh, Cate – that’s who! Hot!

Here is another glamour shot:

She got talked about for this dress – I think it’s stunning on her.

She got heat for this one too:

 

 I agree that no one in the world can wear this dress and look good – except for Cate Blanchett. She looks hip and fashion-forward. Love it!

And last, but certainly not least:

Looking absolutely flawless with the best accessory ever – Lauren Bacall.

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