Seen Dancing: My Week in Music

By Odessa Oda

This a series about music as I live it. I hope you enjoy my perspective and find some cool music at the same time.This is a conversation not a speech so please send me your thoughts and music you find interesting. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

This week:

  • Miles Davis " Sketches of Spain
  • Nas: New Album and "Time is Illmatic"
  • Wolf Alice " Heavenly Creatures"
  • Yesterdays New Quintet "Solar Waves"
  • Binaural Beats
  • Spider-Man Theme Song

My Dad has always been on that next ish. From fashion to food and beyond; what you see in fly America today was my dad in the 80's. I know he would never take credit for being such a visionary but truth be told there is no other way of saying it except, he was ahead of his time.

When I was growing up I heard a lot of music I loved. My Mother had one of the biggest vinyl collections I've seen from a non DJ in my life. There wasn't too much she didn't have or know about in soul and rock music. And those genres are where my heart lies to this day. My Father was different, he was an old soul and his taste in music reflected that.

My Dad loved jazz and revolutionary music. Anything that went against the grain or was subversive my Father would give a chance. He loves to play with ideas and see where artist are taking them. Even though I share his penchant for loving the experimental I wasn't feeling Jazz.

The music never captured my imagination at all. Jazz gave me nightmares of being stuck in an elevator  while on hold with the phone company; not my idea of a good time at all. But then there was Miles Davis.

And Miles Davis created “Sketches in Spain" my mind was blown. This was one of my father albums I could not get enough of it was dope. Every song made me feel like I was watching a movie. And just like that without words or a plane ticket I made my first trip to Spain. And just like anytime you travel and see something different my life was never the same. Thank You Pops

It's natural to get excited when one of your favorite artist is about to release a new album. But with Nas for me this time is different. I've been reminded how dope he could be and I hope he lives up to that classic form that made him a legend.

This will be his last album on the legendary Def Jam record label and to top it all off I’ve just seen “Time is Illmatic.” All signs of the stars aligning for something really big from Nasir Jones. I hope I'm right, if not no worries he has given us already more than most rappers have in their careers. So even if his new album doesn't strengthen his legacy it for sure won’t weaken it.

If you haven't seen “Time is Illmatic” watch it as soon as you can. It never hurts to get a glimpse of the mind of a master of his craft at the top of his game.

I was supposed to make a quick stop at the grocery story. My list included Whole Milk, Apple Juice and Tortillas; and then I heard "Heavenly Creatures." About 40 minutes later I'm home with Whole milk, apple juice (if forgot the tortillas), and the name of the band and song I had just heard on the radio. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I've been hollering the virtues of Madlib's side project Yesterdays New Quintet for years. I love how he fuses sounds to honor and respect our musical past filtered through the ears of who we are today. Sometimes though we take for granted the things we like the most. I've too often, more than I care to admit, have used Yesterdays New as background music to my grind. 

So I was sitting at home typing away in my zone when all of a sudden I just stopped.  The Yesterdays New Quintet song ‘Solar Waves’ was playing on my computer and I just had to sit back for a minute and really appreciate what Madlib has blessed us with. Thank You.

I was talking to my business partner and creative inspiration Spurgeon Thomas about work processes. Just to give you a little background I attempt to balance a lot of things at the same time. Between family, work, business and creative and community endeavors my time is in all sorts of weird yoga positions. To be even the least bit competent at living my crazy life I strive for precision focused attention on whatever I'm doing at that moment. It keeps me for the most part stress free and makes the most of the time I have for any one thing I may find myself doing in a day.

So I was sharing with Spurgeon what I listen to when I'm working and he suggested I try Binaural Beats. After giving me a brief description of what they are and how they help him to concentrate when he writes I decided to try it. The experience was different. I'm not sure if it gave me more than my normal level of focus and concentration but I'm still experimenting. And I'm enjoying the process. 

My son loves anything to do with spiders. So it really no surprise his favorite super hero is Spider-Man. What surprised me is how he fell in love with the theme song from the 60's animated series. It is not unusual to have him and my daughter run around our house singing the Spidey theme as if it was the latest top 40 hit. I guess it goes to show music that resonates with you is ageless.