Posted by JSYL on Thursday, February 28, 2008 in
"It's Musiq...Soulchild..it feels good right here. It feels good right here."
- 'Future', Musiq

[Update: 3 March, 3am-ish]

Wow I really should be in bed right now. Caleb and Chris arrived in London today, and I went to see them all the way in Hammersmith, forgoing the first Smoke Radio hosted Happy Monday at the Undercroft this year...but that sentence means nothing to most of you, so I'll stop right there with the account of the day.

Excuse me if barely any of this post makes sense, I'm pretty damn tired right now. But for my loyal readers- all two of you- I would do anything! The fact that I haven't updated this thing properly in a really long time, must surely prove how much of a good time I'm having here. I haven't had much time to pause for thought in the last couple of weeks, let alone languish my hours away on the Internet.

A major highlight of the last week, of which there were many, was my first visit to London's iconic Jazz Cafe. for a reputedly over-priced Musiq Soulchild concert. A little background, friends. The first Musiq song I ever got into was "Just friends" from his second album "Aijuswanaseing". I played it over and over for the weeks, and possibly months leading up to my birthday. I never got sick of it, not once. It just got better every time I played it, took on a new meaning, fitted my every mood increasingly with each day. My brother got me his third album, "Juslisen" for my birthday. It could've been because he's awesome at picking out thoughtful gifts, and wanted to help me develop my Musiq Soulchild education. It could also have been because he was so sick of hearing the same song played 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that this was the only way he could get me to play something different. But I like to think it was for the first reason.

And so, I was touched. Lucky for me, that album was also a classic. Every song on Juslisen is catchy, meaningful, mellow and just plain old wonderful. Over the years I've gotten obsessed with and overplayed many albums. But this is one of the few that I would listen to regularly well after the first-purchase euphoria has worn off, without needing to put it on my shelf for a few weeks to take a break from the all too familiar intros and interludes. His simple lyrics have taken on new meaning for me over time, as I relate more and more to the situations he describes. I can remember so many times when I've flung my room door open angrily, or stressed out, or just defeated from a really bad day, a helpless situation. Without fail, Musiq's soulful voice would slowly ebb through the room unintrusively while I read, studied, or just lay on my bed staring at the ceiling thinking about the hopelessness of it all.

Sometimes the lyrics would play on my mind, sometimes they'd make it all make a little more sense somehow. Sometimes I'd just nod to the beat, or fall asleep to the harmonies. Sometimes I'd just listen to him crooning that it'll be okay. And in some weird way, it was. Maybe it was certain songs on there that for one reason or another, had special meaning to me. Maybe it was just the fact my brother, who I wasn't very close to at the time, thought enough of me to realise that I liked Musiq- something no one else had noticed. But for whatever reason, let's just say that album is one of my favourites, and I've respected Musiq Soulchild for his refusal to buy into the cheesy-gimmick-dependant-RnB/too-smooth-sell-out commercial/try-too-hard-over-sexed industry so sadly infiltrating that genre today, ever since.

So you can imagine what seeing him live must've been like for me. I waited in line with a friend half an hour before the doors opened, and a few hours before Musiq was actually due to go on stage. It's a small intimate venue, and I made sure we marked out territory right on the edge of the stage in the front row from the get go. It sounds bad, but to illustrate how close I was, I was about eye-level with his crotch the whole night, and the wire from the microphone stand was in grave danger of whipping me in the face every time he tilted it downward for extra effect.

Unlike a lot of gigs I've been to, it never once got boring, or made me wonder what time it was. It took me with it, and just as soon as it had started it was over. The whole room moved with the music, strangers turning to smile at each other and sing the lyrics each knew just as well as the other. The backup singers thrusted and twisted to the beat, their faces in raptures despite it being their fourth show of the week.

The only criticism I'd have of the gig is the way he'd only ad lib, rather than sing out word for word, favourites such as "Just friends", "Halfcrazy" and "Previouscats", instead preferring to smile and hold the microphone out for us fans who knew every single word and trill. Unfortunately he was also too tired to come out for a previously rehearsed and officially scheduled 15 minute encore. The MC was surprised, and embarrasingly had to say "Oh...looks like he's not coming out again! I'll just play some records, folks" after making us chant traditional cheers to pump up the atmosphere and welcome him back on stage till our throats were sore and we were no longer in the mood to pretend that yelling louder would actually make Musiq come out again. You know stuff like: "When I say Musiq you say Soulchild, Musiq!" "Soulchild!" "Musiq!" "Soulchild!" etc....

There were the typical Jane-esque embarassing moments interspersed throughout the night (what great story /blogpost wouldn't have at least one, right?) But those will be described in a more coherent way, at a less ungodly hour. Stay reading!



miss you JANE :)

Let me describe you SYD life in a few words ...

work eat sleep work eat sleep work eat sleep work eat sleep work eat sleep work eat sleep work eat sleep and friday is when the hair comes down and saturday and sunday go by too fast for me to even remember

i guess it doesn't matter where you are, time will escape us whether we are willing to let it or not. if only i could overcome feelings of weekend-where-did-you-go-remorse and pangs of endless work days that i'm so over lol .... maybe i could make use of my time!

What are the plans for this coming week? I still can't believe you are somewhere half way across the "world"... I always knew I was slow ;) hahaha

love you and hope whatever you are doing in your quiet moments or crazy drunken splendor :P you are having a great time and just enjoying life as it simply is

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