Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sing A New Song; A Happy Song

If you are like me, the genuine emotion found in the musical performances of Whitney Houston has stuck with you all these years and the love for her sound and beauty has never left your spirit. Her contribution to music was both unique and awesome.

Watching the women with the golden voice’s homegoing service was so sad. I feel like I lost a family member. I can only consider how she crept into my heart when I was only a kid but like T.D. Jakes said, “love is stronger than death.” I know that because I love Whitney Houston.

If you are like me, you knew almost all the words to each and every one of her songs because you were so influenced by her that you wanted to be as artistically brave as her. And so, you borrowed her melodies and had a ball singing them whenever your heart felt it, trying to imitate her grace and her sound. 

If you are like me, you watched most of the homegoing service for Whitney Houston. It was sad but beautiful.  The thoughts from friends and loved ones touched my heart.  Hearing Donnie Mclurkin, Alicia Keys, Ce Ce Winans, among the many who performed moved my spirit. Whitney Houston deserved a homegoing service that showed how much she was truly loved when she was alive, even after her death; and it was.  But if you are like me, it was when they lifted her coffin and played her song I Will Always Love You that made you the saddest of all. I thought I could handle watching it but at that moment, I lost it. I lost my biggest musical inspiration.

If you are like me, Whitney Houston is still a big musical inspiration to you.  She may be gone but is not forgotten. She may be out of sight but never out of mind. She may not be here among the living but she is up in heaven in the safety of the arms of Jesus. And like Kevin Costner, she may never again sing her songs live, but young aspiring artists will sing them, trying to match her brilliance and perfection. Yet in truth, she will always be the best of all times.

Thinking About Tomorrow

With all the uncertainties of tomorrow, her death really made me think. Life is short.  Our next breath is not guaranteed. The lives that we lead deserve to be more than just the same old sad love song all the time. We ought to own the joy that God gives because that is the joy that no one can take away if you acknowledge that it is there on the inside. It is more than the things that we own, the people around us or our status and occupation.

If you are like me, you feel like dedicating the rest of your days to a new song; a happy song. We must eliminate all our doubts and fears and replace them with joy and gladness for even the littlest things we have been blessed with.  I have a suggestion. Let’s meet up at an open mic. Go to an open mic near you and set your heart free.

If you have never done one before, don’t worry, it’s easy and fun. It is a little different than karaoke because the lyrics are not provided and instead of singing with tracks, you sing with a live band. 

We all know all of Whitney Houston’s lyrics. Come on, I know you used to sing all her songs like they were our own songs when our ears were graced with a song played on the radio stations or when watching her videos. And who doesn’t remember some of the fabulous songs that Michael Jackson used to sing. Most of us know these songs word-for-word. So let’s go sing those and celebrate the artistry of these wonderful artist as well as our own lives which are worth celebrating everyday.

There are open mics all over New York. But if you are looking for one to go to, how about Café Oasis. Café Oasis is located at 799 Brooklyn Avenue in Baldwin, NY. You simply take the Southern State Parkway to Exit 20S and it is right down the block. You can also take the LIRR train to Baldwin station and the venue is right outside the station. It’s easy to get to and once you get there, the music that pours out from the hearts of music lovers is incredible.

Their open mic is held on Sunday nights and is hosted by Guitarist Debbie Knapper and the Knappertime Band.  Every Sunday from about 9:30 to 1:30, aspiring artists from all over band together and serenade each other. I go often and I always a great times.   

In times like these when we see people like Whitney Houston, who has been a part of our entire lives, even if it was only through her music and artistry. Seeing her passing is a reality that our days are numbers. It is time to enjoy the lives we have with the good times and memories, while also sharing it with our loved ones. It is time to truly live.

I know it is short notice being that tonight is the next open mic at Oasis. But it is a long weekend.  Monday is a holiday. Come out. But I understand if you can't. There are so many others around New York. You can go to the Village Underground located on West 3rd Street between McDougal and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, on Monday night where Cheryl Pepsi Riley and band host their open mic from 9PM to 1AM. Or maybe you can go to Mickey Moe's located in Lynbrook, Long Island on Wednesday night and participate in their jazz open mic. No matter where you go, sing that new song and let your heart free.  


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