May 11, 1995.
The girl was bouncing on her grandmother’s four-poster bed as she listened to the radio, she loved jumping on the bed and having the bed throw her further in the air than with the other boring beds everywhere else. The radio was on, Bob Marley’s songs were on rotation and she bounced in rhythm to them even though she wished it were Lucky Dube instead. She preferred Lucky Dube’s songs to Bob Marley’s because at her mother’s birthday party when she was four, Lucky Dube’s music was the backdrop and that was one of the most exciting moments of her young life.
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You cannot listen to Good or Bad by J-Martins without thinking about your brother, the one who had bought speakers when he was in secondary school. Like you, he could obsess over a song and play it relentlessly until you suck it dry. Unlike you, he would not use headphones or earphones to keep the music within your head, if he liked a song, the house had to vibrate with the strains and strums of his new favourite song. But it wasn’t Good or Bad you were looking to listen to on an afternoon that was ultimately destined to be boring. You had just finished listening to Let’s Get Serious by Jermaine Jackson and your music player segued into the Timaya and P-Square flavoured buffet of a song. Continue reading →
I was trying to rush down my breakfast because I nearly late for work, when my brother came to stand beside me with a song I couldn’t make out, playing on his phone.
“Do you know I’m listening to the original version of Easy,” he said. “Lionel Richie wasn’t the original singer.” Continue reading →
Yesterday, Carlos Santana turned seventy. I didn’t even know it was his birthday when I finally listened to Wild thoughts. I was a little afraid that DJ Khaled would destroy the sublime beauty of the epic “Maria Maria” in the name of sampling/homage. Bros was wise enough to know you don’t mess with perfect, you respectfully work around it and you get Rihanna to sing about crazy, untamed things- as she was born to do. Continue reading →
I’ve spent a great chunk of this week perched on a chair, arranging ‘stock’ on shelves with headphones blocking out aggravation or just letting music from my fill the room as I work. Today, I chose to listen to Dave Koz and Kenny G- card carrying smooth jazz fan in da building, I was listening to Kenny G’s ‘even if my heart would break’ when I realised I wasn’t alone, I had been joined by the young man who installed the shelves days before. Continue reading →
Nuttin No Go So was my favourite song when I was 15, I would listen to it several times daily on my brother’s discman. It held me through the twists and turns of teenage angst and uncertainty about impending adulthood and choices.
Then I forgot about it. Continue reading →
Yesterday morning I headed to my brother’s room in search of my headphones, he likes to ‘borrow’ them and keep them in his room until I go on a retrieval mission. He was trying to cling to the last wisps of sleep but I snatched them out of his grip by shaking his feet and hitting his ankles.
“you’re awake” he mused Continue reading →