Thursday, August 13, 2009
world music wednesday: marsha ambrosius
there was a big, fat hairy, black and golden brown spider living in my bedroom at my parents' house. i met him on my first night back in new york, thankfully, just before, completely jet-lagged, i climbed into bed. the intricate silky string mansion he'd weaved between the ceiling fan and my pillow was a telltale sign that he'd been there awhile. i know that spiders are good luck. allow me to extrapolate from there to say that the bigger and hairier, the better luck it represents.
i stared at my freaky little rabbit's foot for a time. his long two toned legs. the way he spun that silk into structure, calm, sure, zen, ghandi-like. i talked to him. like, 'look here, i know you don't mean me any harm. i know you're good luck. but i have to kill you.' i killed him--flushed him actually-- and chanted something about kali dhurga and about how destruction and burning it all down can be a good thing as he circled the bowl and water chased him down the commode.
i thought about him briefly last night, watching marsha ambrosius, formerly one-half of british soul duo, floetry, take to the stage at sob's to run through some floetry classics, some i-wrote-this-for (insert r&b chart-topper here) hits, and some new shit, from a soon-come solo effort backed by the legendary roots crew. the pairing packed sob's with ambrosius's devotees, singing her lyrics word for word, threatening to drown her out and kill her show, a bullet she dodged by replacing the first verse of 'it's getting late' with the first verse of 'thriller', bringing the kind of panting, moaning and vocal thrusting to the lines it's close to midnight/and something evil's lurking in the dark, that ushers subtext to surface in a flash--dude! he was talking about sex thrills!
it's the kind of deft twist that can unlock a treasure box, which in ambrosius's case, holds the hearts of near zealous fans. the key, then, is that marsha knows who she is, and what she's good at delivering (no pun intended): baby-making music. her creations feature curves of somber, sexy blues chords (imagine the kind of lovemaking that reduces you to tears in its aftermath, in a sound) round sunny pop melodies, so that michael jackson's 'can't help it' strolls seamelssly into 'butterflies', the hit she contributed to mj's '02 album, invincible. before it was all sang and done, we were all high on some good stuff, endorphins or estrogen or whatever kinds of hormones make you feel like, well, making something. it's easy to forget that the girl is from brixton.
marsha's, in a word, brilliant. full-bodied. operatic. life-affirming. and i realize the difference between me and marsha (outside of the pipes) is that she never would've killed that spider.