Saturday, March 5, 2011

Game Recognise Game: Blogger Award

Seriously, it always comes as a surprise whenever I receive any credit or praise for the work I do on my blog. I do take it seriously however I sometimes wonder if I’m making any kind of impact. It goes without saying, therefore, that I found it quite strange when fellow blogger Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi, author of      Mode Parade, nominated Perfect Gentleman SA for a Stylish blogger award. This is all part of a tagging cycle between style bloggers, those who like sharing their personalities and knowledge with us.

This is how we do it:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10 other bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award.

  1. There’s absolutely so much I can say about Mode Parade. From the writing style to Barima’s own personal style, he does it with so much flair and exuberance. For instance his musical taste runs the gamut from Bubba Sparxxx to Rachmaninoff. The former representing the type of hip-hop I don’t bother with. Uninspiring, bland, not creative, and even with Timbaland co-signing him. Rachmaninov on the other hand, I appreciated my introduction to his compositions through Mode Parade. I was even more chaffed when a Rachmaninoff composition was played on a local radio station, one night, while driving back from work, I couldn’t help but utter a muted “Thanks, Barima.” What I find with Mode Parade is that it straddles the pop culture and sartorial lanes really well, deftly. Furthermore, I have discovered that what is normal to Barima, is rather abstract to me. Simply Red and Janet Reno aside, Mode Parade is always a good read, brimming with insight from a modern day globetrotter with a baby-afro.
2. There’s very little about me out there, purposefully. And I can’t think of seven things to share however I will divulge a few.
- I am incredibly nostalgic and now that I am in my early thirties I don’t foresee an abate. And, music is the main driving force. There’s a song by Womack and Womack, from their Love Wars album (the title escapes me) that reminds me of the early 80s, specifically the period when my father was recovering in hospital after a stabbing. See, he was a music promoter and it so happened that the act he had booked for a gig didn’t show up. So, the angry masses took to him.
- I used to be a rapper, a very good one at that. When one of these burgeoning young guns refers to me as ‘sir’, even though I didn’t drop an album, I know I made an impact. I have opened for renowned underground MC Wordsworth at a show in 2006. I’ve ciphered with Jeru the Damaja, talked with Black Thought, and even rebuffed by Talib Kweli. One of my favourite lines by myself: I’ma survive of floods that’s why I swam against the mainstream/ my emergence is nocturnal so like bats I daydream. All for the love of the game.
- I am an ardent consumer of black films. Maybe it’s my love of ebonics and complementary theatrics but I wouldn’t mind watching black films everyday, all day. Menace to Society was on TV last night and I definitely watched.
- I have a strong desire to be on radio. I haven’t started working on it however, one day, I want to be there. Talking and engaging with the people, and bringing them good music. If Don Imus was doing his thing way past his sell by date, then it’ll never be too late for me to start.

- I’m an avid basketballer. Standing 6’1” I played the power forward position throughout my varsity career and fared fairly well, representing my province a number of times. I play basketball to stay in shape and engage with my peers about all things that interest us, notwithstanding the NBA.

Awarding the stylish blogger award to 10 of my peers is not as easy as it seems because not all of us believe in the same things. This list is also not relegated to sartorial style only; it encompasses those blogs that embody style in its totality.

Made to Measure NY – Whenever I think back to how I got started in this whole style blogging movement I always credit Dennis Cahlo with inspiring me. He’s definitely the man that started it all for me. What I found is that I was always a bargain hunter when it came to clothes, I hadn’t, though, turned the style corner.

The Gentlemen’s Standard – If you aren’t a reader yet then you’re definitely missing out. Glen Palmer is doing a splendid job with his blog so much so that it has started yielding recognition for him. His writing style is the epitome of waxing poetic. He writes in deep prose and his message is relevant, relative and resonates with his readers. A creative writer, he has a way of conveying his thoughts in a candid and poignant manner.

Le Vrai Winston – Winston Chesterfield works with colours the same way composers work with music. I’m always stumped at his colour schemes and combinations. What resonates with me, though, is that he always has a sound premise behind what he wears and how he wears it. In the absence of a written column just enjoy his play with colour and style.

Man of the Cloth – The differences between Durban and Cape Town can be evinced in the content of MOTC. Cape Town is far more stylish than Durban. MOTC is home grown with a lot of news on fashion and its sub-genres. Always a great read because in between the fashion news there is always some insight on style. The lay out is also something to see.

The Natural Aristocrat – David is a connoisseur of all the finer things in life, at a fraction of the cost though. I also appreciate how he lets the reader into his life and the things that interest him. Always affable, engaging and pro-active, he has put all these qualities into his online store as well. I sometimes miss his posts on politics and law, because that is where a lot of discourse took place. I alluded to him being a connoisseur of the finer things; He’ll restore a bike to working condition, knows the anatomy of a watch just as that of a shoe, and is a pro at the thrifting game. He writes about items of clothing and will delve into their history. I don’t smoke nor drink, however, I appreciate his reasoning behind why he indulges, from an understanding and enjoyment of the product and not just the taste.

Laid Back – There are purveyors of style, they wouldn’t exist, however, without music. If there is a blog I respect it has to be Laid Back. All the way from Belgium, these music enthusiasts are sages, not only in music but urban culture. Disco, funk, rap, hip-hop, soul, this is just a smidgen of what they do. They’ll throw in some Brazilian, Cuban and Eastern European music for good measure and a learning aspect. They epitomise diggin’ in the crates.

Kleidsam – Coming from out of Germany, this man writes from a very honest and open point of view. He also does a good job of acknowledging his peers; I therefore would be remiss if I didn’t nominate him for this award because he deserves it. I hear people all over the internet saying you don’t need lots of clothes to be stylish, he shows that you need lots of clothes to be diverse in your stylish expression.
These are blogs I am constantly checking for, I hope after reading this you will do the same as well. They are definitely worth more than a click.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lifetime Investment: Start A Music Collection

So, lately I have been lacking a lot of serious music in my collection. I seriously an missing a whole lot of music. The reasons I want to start a collection are manyfold. However the most pressing reason is the fact that my sister, who is part of an all girl jazz band called 'Heels Over Head', recently released their debut album titled 'Could It Be'. This occurence hit closer to home because I wish them nothing but the best. I was then forced to review my opinions and perceptions on the buying of music. The one thought that crossed my mind was that I wouldn't like it if I saw and knew of people who bootlegged their music. And with the internet age this has become unavoidable and pervasive.

I am a fan of the internet. Moreso the smorgasbord of music that is readily available, for free. The reason why I download music, for free, is the fact some music is just so rare. The only place to find and listen to it is on the internet. Searching online for a particular song can sometimes lead you straight to a free download. I am reminded of D'Angelo doing an acoustic version of his song 'Africa'. The first time I heard it, on Youtube, I was blown away. Besides the fact that it's my all time favourite song by D'Angelo, I never thought he could outdo the version on his 'Voodoo' album. My point is, where would I find this music? The rare stuff? Originals? Remixes? When in such a situation the only choice left is to download. Like Biggie said, though, things done changed. I am seriously committed to starting a collection by purchasing original music. Excuses of being short on cash, etc, just don't fly anymore. I wouldn't appreciate someone ripping the music of 'Heels Over Head' off, however I need to do my bit by not ripping off other artists.

It's strange, a few weeks ago, I was taking a walk in the complex I live in, on a Sunday afternoon. Nearby, from one of the apartments, I could hear 'I got caught' by Clarence Carter blaring in the background. After some introspective thought, I considered how dishonest I would appear if I happened to swap music with the indiviual who was playing Clarence Carter. "Oh, I have the live version but it's on mp3." It just doesn't sit right with me anymore. With music being the soundtrack to our lives, I'm sure you will agree that starting a music collection is definitely an investment anyman can invest in. Especially because you are doing it for posterity as well. Buying original music has its advantages, the most important of these being, you are directly supporting the artist and helping in the sustenance and preservation of their art.

Over the coming months I hope to expand on the few albums that I have because music is a great companion. I have also been meaning to search for and discover old new music. Music I have always heard but never really gave it a listen. Now's the time.

I have a long list of music and artists that I plan on 'discovering', and I was hoping to share the list with you: Tania Maria, Ivan Lins, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Diane Schuur, Mayer Hawthorne, Roy Ayers, Weldon Irvine, Geroge Duke, Bob James, Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin, George Duke, Abdullah Ibrahim, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, James Moody, Peven Everett, Brand New Heavies, Incognito, The Manhattans, Pete Rock, J-Dilla, J-Rawls, Maynard Ferguson, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Madlib, Marcus Miller, Katie Melua, Patrice Rushen, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Caldwell, Howard Hewett, Keith Washington, Chris Walker, Alexander O'Neal, D'Nell, Bill Withers, Pete Kuzma, Amel Lariuex, George Benson, Norman Brown, Wayman Tisdale, Abraham Laboriel, Jazz Liberatorz, Dennis Edwards, Womack and Womack, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti, Daryl Coley, Andrae Crouch, Phil Driscoll, Michael Franks, the list is endless.

Remember, where ever you are, buy and support local music, you'll be doing your bit in the preservation of art.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.