I remember getting a really weird note from a girl when I was in Grade 12.
Ever write a love letter? Ever get one?
For me, the year was 1991. Of course, this was before Facebook or email existed, even before any of us had cell phones or even pagers with voicemail. Back in Grade 12, there was only one effective way to send someone a message was to write them a note. So, you either wrote it on paper and had a friend pass it to them, or shove it in their locker or leave it in a textbook.
By now you already know that Shotgun Wedding is a Musical and that features many of your favourite songs from the 90s. You may not know that Shotgun Wedding: The Musical features original music also. That music is by Kierscey Rand. And its about time you met him. Continue reading →
Wasn’t 90s r&b the best time for remakes? Usually when a remake of a song is done, we can all agree it’s probably a bad idea. Not the case in the 90s, when most r&b song remakes were either as good or better than the original.
Saturday March 12 was a *GREAT* day for Shotgun Wedding.
I got to hear the play for the first time since last summer. I’ve been plugging away ever since then, keeping true to my self-promise to never let this story go until I’ve told it. The winter has been cold and lonely, so I was *very* excited to see Edsel, Veronica, Kate, Jerome, John Paul and Noel again. Unfortunately for Ferben, it looks like he might get written out of the script. We’ll have to see.
In any case, this was also the first time that we got to hear the original music for the play, which is all being done by a young and talented musician, Kierscey Rand. Kierscey came to me via Nadine Villasin of Carlos Bulosan Theatre after I expressed the need to work with a musician for this play. What I didn’t know was the Kierscey and I had met before… Continue reading →
This is a Crosley Revolution portable turntable. I just picked it up at Urban Outfitters on sale for $50. Don’t ask my why I went in there in the first place but some faker-hipster’s loss is my gain, I guess. As I put some finishing touches on the private reading script for Shotgun Wedding: The Musical, I get to listen to some good music — 90s style! On vinyl!
You didn’t think this Top Ten list was only going to be slow jams and r&b, did you?
In 1993, things were changing. At least at my high school. Up to that point, if you were Filipino — you were a houser.
Houser: hair shaved on the sides, long and slicked back or spiked on the top, possibly dyed blonde with sun-in. Hoop earrings – both ears. Cigarette in the ear. BIG-ass belt buckle. “Bellbottom” pants and no, not in a hippie way — but in a houser way, big enough to cover the shoes and the more cuffs, the better. A strut. A smirk. A Dayrunner. (Yes, intimidating AND well-organized!)
In 1993, Toronto didn’t really have a radio station where you could listen to Ralph Tresvant, Hi-Five and Xscape whenever you wanted to. What’s a teenage boy from Mississauga to do when he gets a hankering to dedicate “With You” by Tony Terry to that girl from Mt. Carmel? (anonymously, of course *shakes head*)
Sure, we had Energy 108 and sometimes they played r&b… and you could get your Hip Hop fix with The Power Move on 88.1… and then Soul In The City, X-Tendamix, Electric Circus sometimes. The best was WBLK coming out of Buffalo but that was always scratchy and you had to spend some time adjusting the rabbit ears. If you were lucky enough to get reception, you could listen to “The Quiet Storm” late at night with all those slow jams…. ah.
Fast forward on to about 2000 or so and Toronto gets its own black radio station: FLOW 93.5 (hey, PERFECT for us Filipino kids!). The early days of Flow were the best because there was an old school show, a soca show and live to air right from the club. My personal favourite was from 10pm to midnight (I think):The Love Zone with Geena Lee Continue reading →
let me lick you up and down/til you say stop
let me play with yo body baby/make you real hot
let me do all the things/you want me to do
’cause tonight baby/
I wanna get FREAKY with you
I mean, who says that? Well, no one – out loud. Other than 1990s r&b singers, I guess. But I’m sure a lot of high school kids THOUGHT IT! ‘Freak Me’ by Silk was just one of the first songs to actually SAY IT. Which was a breath of fresh air (or rather, hot air?) amidst the squeaky clean All-4-Ones, Color Me Badds and Boyz II Men (admit it, neither Uhhh Ahh OR I Wanna Sex You Up got anyone any play). ‘Freak Me’ by Silk decoded in high school speak actually says, “LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY”. Which many of us did — at Erindale Park, Scarborough Bluffs or inside cars in mall parking lots across the GTA. Exciting? Yes. Naughty? Of course. Part of growing up? Most definitely. Continue reading →