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Friday, March 16, 2012

Visitors to my apartment always seem surprised that I have an extensive collection of city, state and country refrigerator magnets. What?! It’s the touch of elegance that every kitchen needs.

A few of my 150+ magnets.

Family members often bring me magnets from their travels, but I’ve purchased quite a few myself. I sure wish I could pick up an Austin, Texas, magnet personally by being at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival/conference going on there right now. SXSW started out as a music festival in 1987. In the mid-90s, it expanded to the movie and interactive industries. I’m only interested in the music. Big people are playing there. Lil Wayne was one of them. My fellow New Jersey-ite, Bruce Springsteen, performed and brought out the ’60s rocker who has one of my all-time favorite male voices — Eric Burdon of the Animals. The Los Angeles Times wrote of Springsteen:

“He spoke in warm tones of hearing the message of [Burdon’s] Animals — ‘We gotta get out of this place if it’s the last thing we ever do’ — before declaring that those lyrics embody every song Springsteen has ever written.”

“We gotta get out of this place,” was how I felt during my entire childhood in New Jersey (I was born on Long Island, N.Y., but my parents moved when I was very young.) I never listened to Springsteen then because he kept singing about New Jersey! Why — if I’m depressed because I’m living in New Jersey — do I want to listen to songs about being depressed in New Jersey? (Springsteen mentions my hometown of Mahwah in the opening lines of “Johnny 99“: “Well they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late that month/ Ralph went out lookin’ for a job but he couldn’t find none.”) I never had that, “I want to hear what I live” mentality. I listened to Adam Ant and Duran Duran so I could imagine I was English.

I belatedly lived out my Adam Ant fantasies for Halloween 2010. Click for original post.

I left Mahwah in 1985 and only went back to visit my parents. Still, the first dance at my wedding in 2001 was to Bruce’s family-friendly cover of the Tom Waits song, “Jersey Girl.” The lyrics include, “But nothing matters in this whole wide world/when you’re in love with a Jersey girl.” I found it amusing. It’s not like I ever denied I grew up in New Jersey. Plus, I figured “Jersey Girl” wasn’t as expected as “At Last” — at least not at a wedding in Manhattan.

Anyway, who cares about Weezy and the Boss. I want to be in Austin to see my friend, gorgeous rapper Gangsta Boo, perform. So bummed I’m missing it! If you’re there, you need to check her out. At least I’ve gotten to see pictures of her flaunting my jewelry all around town, thanks to Twitter. Here is Boo showing off her custom-made WENDYB by Wendy Brandes YEA HOE rings.

In that photo, she’s with WillPower, who  produced “Throw It Up,” the Yelawolf song featuring Eminem and Boo that brought Boo to my attention. Do you see how she threw my hashtag ring on her pinky finger in front of the YEA HOE set? If you tweet #YEAHOE, Boo will see your tweet for sure. And if you’re a Boo or Yela fan, you can get your own YEA HOE rings here. They are currently in production overseas — just a few more weeks and they should be good to go.

Boo has some new music out. Here’s her (not safe for work) song “Gun Sprung.”

You can find “Bananas” and “Heels & Jeans” here and on Boo’s YouTube channel.

Boo is also featured on gorgeous DJ Speakerfoxxx’s new mixtape, Dopegirl Anthems. (Click here to listen and download.)

Speakerfoxxx was one of my Valentines this year. Click her photo to read that post.

This mixtape is a follow-up to Speakerfoxxx’s debut, Dope Boy Anthems. That mixtape featured songs that Foxxx says “defined an era for me growing up in Atlanta that not only pushed me to pursue DJing but also largely influenced me to be who I am today.” I always appreciate getting a little history with my entertainment.  Dopegirl has more female voices, as you might have guessed, including Boo’s song “Pretty Pussy Lips,” featuring Coco Brown. That song title reminds me that I really, really need to get Boo to New York so I can invite some of my most conservative friends to dinner with us. It will be fun to expand their musical horizons. I just mean conversation-wise; I’m not going to make Boo literally sing for her supper. But I’ve sat through classical performances that aren’t exactly my “cup of fur,” as the character of Diane on Cheers once said of surrealist humor. Turnabout is fair play.

Finally, a new name for you to know is Dillon Cooper. He’s about to blow up big and as soon as he does, you’re going to want to say to people in a jaded way, “Oh, yeah, I’ve been following him since Day One.” He’s the 19-year-old son of my friend Debra — she of the crazy-jacket purchase and Jay-Z/Kanye West concert. Dillon is slightly younger than my stepson. In 2005, Debra and I took the boys to their first concert: Velvet Revolver at Jones Beach. I got great seats thanks to a silent auction fundraiser for Dillon’s school. Both boys were amazed by the volume and somewhat alarmed by the ringing in their ears after the show, but they must have liked it because both are studying guitar in college. My stepson is at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and Dillon is at Berklee College of Music in Boston. (Money from Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation helped pay for Dillon’s books at Berklee College.)

Dillon is also a rapper. As of this writing, the video for his songs “Shadows” has been viewed more than 16,000 times on YouTube, helped by a tweet from well-known rapper Jadakiss. The Fresh Heir blog compared that to 2011, when Kanye West tweeted about young Tyler, the Creator, who went on to win Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards. Dillon calls himself and his crew R.A.D. — Ridiculous and Driven. I believe it and expect great things from him.

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18 Responses to “New Music: Gangsta Boo, Speakerfoxxx, Dillon Cooper”

  1. Be Inspired! says:

    Wendy-feisty-gangsta… love it, man!

  2. Marti says:

    It’s so nice to know someone else likes to listen to a wide genre of music, I was also an Adam Ant fan as well as The Beastie Boys, The Romantics and so many others my ultimate fave late 80’s early 90’s was The Cure and Depeche Mode. Today it’s Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Drake and of course Eminem. I could go on and on. Will have to listen and download your recommendations. Have a fab weekend.

    • WendyB says:

      Oh, we have such similar tastes! Did you listen to the Stranglers back in the day? I was just listening to them at the gym.

      • Marti says:

        No, their name doesn’t sound familiar I’ll have to look for them online tonight will probably recognize once I hear them. I have one for you did you ever listen to the Sisters of Mercy – corrosion? Used to love that song.

      • WendyB says:

        Yep! Now I need to listen again.

  3. sulky kitten says:

    I feel like I’ve had a great night out after reading this! Your homage to Adam & the Ants -love it. Springsteen, Tom Waits AND Fridge magnets ? – we could be twins! Going to run upstairs now and sing Mr SK the first couple of lines of Boo’s “Gun Sprung”. I’m just an old Romantic!

  4. Eli says:

    Love the fridge magnet idea, I spy San Francisco 🙂

    Gosh Wendy, I’ve been dreaming about going to Austin, one day I’ll go, and maybe even catch SXSW, I can feel it! Gonna try to visit Austin this year, maybe SXSW next year.

  5. Faux Fuchsia says:

    Dear W
    Love you as Adam Ant. I’ve seen Duran Duran live and they’re touring Oz again in about 2 seconds. Mentioned you on my blog today in relation to the NYT lipstick article.
    In My World Bright Lipstick is KEY.

  6. stacy says:

    Your fridge is like no other. It’s amazing. If I traveled anywhere interesting anymore, I’d have so much fun buying you magnets. Wouldn’t it be great to have one from Kiev or some small town in the middle of nowhere China. Of course, they probably don’t sell touristy magnets!

    Your Adam Ant was AWESOME. I (Siouxsie Sioux) didn’t stand a chance that Halloween!

  7. - Tessa says:

    Um, don’t google “Pretty Pussy Lips”…THAT was an eye opener (snickers)

  8. Fell in love with a Jersey boy myself. (And am singing “Born to Run” in concert this spring. Working on my gravelly delivery :-).)

  9. I’ve been to Jersey quite a few times to visit my (ex-) extended family and it’s very similar to where I grew up in the north of England, so I can totally relate to you wanting to get out of the place. Went to a fancy dress when I was about 18 as Adam Ant – my outfit was a bit make-do-and-mend, I didn’t look as good as you.

  10. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear!! Boo is rocking those Yea Hoe rings and you look totally awesome in your Adam Ant outfit, soo cute!!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Thankgawd you wrote this post, I am positively archaic with my musical taste. I need to get hep to what those young kids are listening to.