Groove Line

Wed. July 22, 2009 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Believe it or not, I do more than just listen to music and DJ at parties and clubs. I also like to do a little reading during my alone time in order to get some mental stimulation. So before I get to some music you can use, here are a few titles that you might want to check out the next time you're walking by Unabridged Bookstore or surfing by

First off, a fun summer read for 2009 is the engaging Drama Queer by Frank Anthony Polito. This coming of age novel is a wonderfully sweet and funny tale about Brad Dayton, a charming gay high school kid who is fairly comfortable about who he is and just trying to live his life while pursuing love and his dream of graduating from school plays to Julliard. This was a true treat to read as was What We Remember by Michael Thomas Ford. This suspenseful story involves family secrets, lies, and a murder mystery that will have you anxiously anticipating what turns up on the next page. This well-written, well-paced novel has lots of interesting twists and turns and is worthy of your attention.

For those of you with a political science bent The Breakthrough: Politics In The Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill is a must read. It's an insightful book that speaks to black candidates and candidacies on the local, state, and national levels over the past 50 years and talks about the developments that led to Obama's "breakthrough" victory last November. Additionally, Ifill reports on a "new generation" of black leaders that have made breakthroughs on state and local levels and what the future holds.

Music For The Summer
More than just a popular local club and party host, Cyon Flare is a talented dance artist who is back bigger and better with the new single "Rise." The follow-up to last year's hit "Everybody Everybody," this latest Flare-up, which is getting support from DJ worldwide, features remixes by Georgie Porgie, Peter Barona & Rafael, Tod Miner, and the G Cavelle Project. Produced by Chicago's Music Plant Records, "Rise" is available on iTunes.

Erika Jayne had a huge dance hit last year called "Stars" and she's poised to reach the top of the charts again with "Give You Everything, which comes in remixed forms from the likes of Dave Aude, DJ Escape & Johnny Vicious, Moto Blanco, and Mike Rizzo. This new single comes in advance of her debut album Pretty Mess (coming in August), a fusion of dance, grooveable pop, and electronic ballads that should further cement her rising star status.

LaKisha Jones was a Top 4 finalist on American Idol a couple of years ago and now she is out to prove that she should have won the competition with her new album So Glad I'm Me . The Flint, Michigan native's long-player surely proves that she has range and depth with a voice that is comfortable in a variety of genres: from the Broadway stage (she's starred in the Color Purple) to the concert stage; from radio to the dance floor. Speaking of dance floor, her first single "Let's Go Celebrate" has been superbly remixed by Friscia & Lamboy, Jody den Broeder, and One Cool Cuban.

A CD that is sure to jump start your work-outs and well as your summer house party is Just Dance , a new mixed compilation album by Ultra Records and Island Def Jam. The non-stop party mix includes hits such as "Disturbia" by Rihanna, "Touch My Body" by Mariah Carey, "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" by Pitbull, and "Mercy" by Duffy. Other strong inclusions on the CD include tracks by Ne-Yo, Anastascia, Basshunter, and Alina.

She may play the ultimate diva on TV's Ugly Betty, but Vanessa Williams is considered one of the most versatile entertainers around and she proves yet again that her singing talent is top-notch with the release of The Real Thing (Concord Records). The 11-track album is her thirteenth and the collection not only features the sophisticated pop and R&B that have been the hallmark of her career, but also marks a return to her love for the rhythms of jazz and Latin music. The CD includes tracks by Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, and Babel Gilberto as well as two new songs written by Babyface. Simply a fantastic record!

The Top 6 tracks getting the most play on my MP3 player:
"That's Not My Name" (Soul Seekerz Dirty Vox) by The Ting Tings. The radio version is fantastic and this dirty electro funk mix is off the hook.
"Whateva" (Peter Rauhofer Remix) by Ralph Falcom featuring Alex K & Alan T. This track is simply just a fierce piece of tribal prog fantastic-ness that throws dance floors into a frenzy.
"Drop A House" (Quentin Harris Mix) by DJ DeMarko! featuring Heather Leigh West . The Razor N' Guido remix has been getting most of the hype, but this deep and minimal tech house version is funky, deliberate, and sexy.
"I Wish I Wasn't" (Nick Harvey 2008 Remix) by Heather Headley. Yes, this remix came out last year, but I just got it and what Harvey does with this 2003 classic track is simply masterful.
"When Love Takes Over" (Laidback Luke Remix) by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland. One-upping her Destiny Child bandmates, Rowland tops the charts with an actual original dance track, not a remixed hit.
"Boom Boom Pow" (LMFAO Party Rock Mix) by Black Eyed Peas. Forget the big room dance remixes, it's all about the original album version and mixes such as this one that stay true to the ultra funk-i-fied nature of the song.