Sunday, July 27, 2008


So, folks, how you like that humidity?

Awesome, huh?

No, it isn't awesome.

Not at all.

I went and saw Nina Simone's daughter perform a tribute to her mom at the Beachland, though, and that was most def awesome.

The show itself was short, felt like 50 minutes or so. It could've been longer, though, and it just seemed short, because her daughter, who goes by the stage name Simone, was wonderful and engaging. She played a selection of her favorite Nina songs, which was nice, though only two or three would've made any conventional Nina greatest hits albums. The best known were probably "Do I Move You" and "Feelin' Good." Still, her voice was out-of-this-world, far superior to her mother's, and given her mom's reputation for diva-ish anti-show performances, Second Generation is a superior stage performer, too.

Still, Nina Simone was a very special performer, a necessary artistic voice at a terribly stressful time, and you can't put that aside. Her live performance of "Sunday in Savannah/Why? (The King of Love is Dead)" medley three days after MLK was murdered is still one of the most touching recordings I've ever heard. If you aren't familiar, I strongly suggest you seek it out. Here are the lyrics for the former and the latter. Below are imbedded videos for both. Press play, lean back in your chair, and just listen for a few minutes.

Best Moment of the Day: When Simone starts doing an impromptu reimagining of one her mother's songs, cuing all but the bass and drum to quit, then just the bass. Afterwards, she seems visibly moved herself, coming back to the front of the stage, places the mic back in the stand, and then quietly asks the audience what they thought. They go nuts, of course, and she says, maybe just to herself, "I think mommy would have liked that, too." A more jaded person could probably chalk it up to a staged moment, but I'm pretty jaded already and it felt fully sincere and spontaneous to me. I got goose bumps.

Here's Simone doing one of her mother's biggest hits:

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