Just How Good Could Beyoncé Be? The Still-Unfolding Saga of Michael Jackson’s Secret Daughter

When Beyoncé took the stage at Superbowl 47, I found myself thinking one thing: Kill Them Beyoncé. Kill them all. Beyoncé doesn’t make the best music of all time, nor does she have the best voice. But she is one of the greatest performers of her generation–of this there can be no question. In case you missed it, the entire performance is below.

And this came after her live performance of the National Anthem in the press conference. She might has well have held the mic out at arms length, dropped it, threw her hands up, said “can I live?,” and then George Jefferson walked off the stage.

When someone realizes Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter’s level of achievement, we must begin to consider their contributions in a context. The result of such rumination is often to compare Beyoncé to Tina Turner. It’s an easy parallel to draw: incredible stage shows, sheer spectacle, performances that are more energy and power than virtuosic vocal demonstrations, big blondish hair, great legs, and of course, this:

While that is an easy and apt comparison, it is by no means the best. I tend to think of music in family trees. The parallels drawn between Beyoncé and Tina Turner, if accurate, would make Tina Bey’s musical mom. But it only tells half the story–and in my view, less than half. If Tina is Bey’s mom (and I personally think she’s really her wild and crazy aunt), who is Beyoncé’s dad? (Don’t worry, Matthew Knowles–I’m speaking musically. You don’t have another paternity question on your hands.) Continue reading

The Soulful White Guy Tour Would Undoubtedly Be One of the Greatest Concerts of All Time

I like Hall and Oates off GP, but recently I decided to play their music  because I saw this guy in a Hall and Oates costume:

 HallandOates

And I suddenly realized that I really wanted Hall and Oates to go on tour. I mean–really wanted them to go on tour, right now. Not just because they have great songs, but they sound fantastic live. For the longest time, I thought “Sara Smile” was done by a Black guy, mainly because it’s on Black radio stations all the time. But then I heard this:

And these guys killed it. And then I thought about all the other White bands–blue eyed soul, if you will–who get airplay on predominantly R&B stations. And I also thought about guys who get sampled by really soulful hip hop music. The output of all that rumination is the Soulful White Guy Tour. Now, you might notice that John Mayer is conspicuously missing (or inconspicuously, if you’ve never seen him live. Mayer’s down like four flat tires.) But I really am looking at guys who legitimately can come on the radio after Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, Babyface, R. Kelly’s “Can’t Sleep” or “Down Low”, or Tevin Cambell’s “Can We Talk” and fit right in. Also, I’m only including guys whose music is forward looking–meaning that it stands on its own, and rather than paying homage to a culture, it’s part of the culture. That means no Mayer Hawthorne. You’re cool, and I like your music Mayer Hawthorne, but I’m sorry.  (For what it’s worth, I think Mayer maybe can be on the tour one day soon. I don’t know. You be the judge.) In addition to the awesome Hall and Oates, the other acts include: Continue reading