Groove Line

Wed. July 30, 2008 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Whether you like the use of the word "fag" or not, Jonny McGovern's CD KEEP IT FAGGITY: THE GAY PIMP REMIX PROJECT is absolutely fantastic! It includes brand new remixes of his most popular gay hits: "Don't Fall In Love With A Homo," "Soccer Practice," and "Girl, I F#*ked Your Boyfriend." While there's a strong Junior Vasquez remix of "Run To The Dancefloor," (and I definitely loves me some Junior), my favorite track is the Booty House Mix of "Bossy Bottom." It's a straight up old-school Chicago house "tracky" track, a la Green Velvet, that brought back fond memories of many a night spent at long-since closed nightclubs Coconuts, Medusa's and Club LaRay. McGovern is so gay – and Faggity - and this album is so good.

The Darker Side Of The Kingdom
A part of the annual Gay Days gathering and celebration in Orlando every June is the circuit party subset that attends the One Mighty Weekend events and parties. The official CD, a 2-disc set called ONE MIGHTY WEEKEND 2008 , is being produced by Masterbeat and is set to be released on July 8. While label honcho DJ Brett Henrichsen delivers his typical solid effort on CD1, Miami-based DJ Alyson Calagna does a masterful job with CD2, a "cheese-less" textured progressive tribal mix that demonstrates ably why her DJing star is rising so rapidly here in the U.S. and internationally. Her mix is a spectacular effort that is sure to earn repeated plays on your CD player.

An Italian Import
Since the advent of MTV, television has been vital to the launching of musical careers. Back in the day, artists and record labels would do anything they could to get their video on MTV, VH1, BET and any other outlet they could find. However, in this increasingly microwavable world in which we live, where once a music video caused buzz at the office water cooler about an artist and their song, now just the mere sound clip on a drama or reality TV show will lead to chart-topper status within days. Some of this new found success by new artists is justified and some of it is, quite frankly, the result of successful marketing of mediocre talent and mediocre music.

Thankfully, the former applies to Elisa, an Italian singer who just recently released her album DANCING (Sugar Universal) here in the U.S. Already a multi-platinum award-winning superstar in her native country, Elisa has been riding a uniquely American wave of success ever since the title track of the album was featured on Fox-TV's "So You Think You Can Dance" reality show last summer. Immediately following Lacey Schwimmer and Kameron Bink's breathtaking routine, "Dancing" shot immediately into the Top 20 on iTunes and still sells briskly a whole year later. (The YouTube clip of their performance has been seen over 1 millions times.)

But Elisa is more than a one hit wonder, as evidenced by a career of significant achievements, including duet performances with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Tina Turner, and the creation of this spectacular new album, a genre-bending LP that showcases her emotion-filled pop-rock style. Compared at times to Leona Lewis and Corrine Bailey Rae, Elisa has a maturity and soulfulness that sets her apart from the field and that is sure to find favor with American audiences. Even those that don't watch reality TV.

Home Grown Favorite
I've been a HUGE fan of jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson for a long time and recall fondly of being blown away by her virtuoso performance at Ravinia several years ago. Thus, I was quite thrilled to hear her new album LOVERLY (Blue Note), a 10-track collection of rhythmically driven jazz standards. Backed by a tight 5-piece band, Wilson (a native of Jackson, Mississippi) produces a strong CD that shows off her maturity as a singer and artist, giving each track special attention and the unique Wilsonian interpretation. While many of you reading this are a long ways away from being jazz fans, I encourage you to get this CD and discover the beauty of a true American art form: jazz. Play it as background music for your next cocktail party and impress your friends with your sophisticated awareness and breadth of music.

Singles Life
Ok, I'm living for several dance singles right now that are in heavy rotation when I DJ and when I'm plugged into my iPod. First up is the Moto Blanco Club Mix of "Spotlight" by Jennifer Hudson, a superlative effort that's clicking on all cylinders. Next is the Muthafunkaz Remix of "Feel The Same" by Groove Armada with Angie Stone on vocals. This ultra-funky track rocks any and all environments: lounges, dance floors, and earphones.

On the energetic big room front, Deby Holiday's "Surrender Me" does the trick for me, especially the Wayne G & Andy Alider London Calling Club Mix. And sure to be a big hit the second half of the summer is "When I Grow Up" by Pussycat Dolls with the Dave Aude electro-ish mixes, including the progressively moody Bootleg Mix, being the best of the bunch so far.