Posts tagged jamiesoncox

jamiesoncox replied to your post: jamiesoncox replied to your post: I COULD SAY THE…

Not my family specifically, but Timmins is nearly 50/50 French/English and there’s certainly cultural spillover, which led to my über-English family eating hot chicken sandwiches.

Really? Oh man. That’s so exciting. If end up articling with LAO and have to move every two years to another part of small-town Ontario for the first decade, I could totally deal with Timmins, then. Part of why Toronto makes me feel so out of place is the total lack of French.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: I COULD SAY THE SAME TO YOU, SIR. Ahem. Pick one/do all: Non-poutine Quebec foods, overlooked/underhyped Canadian bands/beers

Hot chicken was a staple at my dinner table growing up. Franco-Ontarian communities!

Your family is Franco-Ontarien? I did not know this!

Again, I repeat, HOW have you not come to eat good food and party with me in Montréal. I have a couch.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: Attn NYC Friends:

given the tone of the previous paragraphs, shouldn’t that be “I love y’all the most”?

My five summers of midwest were showing. And then they weren’t.

Perhaps y’all just felt too casual to stress how much I love them all.

Deal with it.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: Surfing through the MuchMusic Top 30 Charts…

Reading these reminded me that the one I’m most excited for is definitely Sugar Jones. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN DAYS WERE LIKE THAT?

Oh, yes. Both of their singles will indeed be covered. Never fear.

'Days Like That' was a cover of a British girl group from 1999, where it was called 'Dayz Like That'. True fact.

The real debate is how much of the mediocre Canadian alt-rock can I good faith ignore? There was a lot of it.

jamiesoncox replied to your video: There was a Heartbreaker remix? With Missy and Da…

Aren’t all of Mariah’s music videos basically Mariah’s breasts? (from Rainbow on, at least)

Only until Glitter. Then there are sporadically other things!

Emancipation of Mimi had that whole random multi-part storyline thing where she marries Wentworth Miller, or leaves Wentworth Miller or something.

jamiesoncox replied to your audio post: I cannot explain what this song does to me. Most…

Yeah, this one towers over the entire album, although I also really enjoy “Ghost Tonight” and the “Frigid Spring”/”Turning” duo.

Is it just me or is there something kind of ‘Ageless Beauty’ about it? I’m not sure why I’m thinking this because they have very little in common so far as I can tell.

jamiesoncox replied to your link: Perfume Genius: Track by Track Explanation of ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’

Me too.

I know you are. This is like the Album Made For Jamieson Cox and His Notions of Big Gay Romance.

(But the last album is really good too. Even if it’s super sad.)

jamiesoncox replied to your post: imathers replied to your post: jamiesoncox replied…

Strangely enough, I didn’t eat any burritos while in NYC. I did, however, have a burrito bowl… at Chipotle. But yes, you need to come to Waterloo and head to Burrito Boyz with us. I know it’s a little out of the way, but it’s worth it!

You just need to both come to Montreal and we’ll find quality burritos somewhere here. We’re more fun.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: Sorry for lack of posting. Pre-first day of school…

I’m also existing, just not on the Internet. Apparently I have no time for the Internet.

That’s a good thing, sometimes! Tell us about your irl adventures when you return.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: At least they have Da Capo 2011. Now I can read…

That’s a nice haul, I’m jealous.

I’m excited! But having the last half of Annotated Sondheim and not the first half is distressing and confusing.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: jamiesoncox replied to your post: theremixbaby…

Oh, I’ve heard the Braids record - not sure how I forgot that one. I’ll check out the Young Galaxy, though.

My favourite Canadians of 2011 were only releasing singles, I think.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: theremixbaby replied to your post: What on earth…

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve listened to only seven Canadian albums this year: Destroyer, Drake, Fucked Up, Feist, Sam Roberts, Sandro Perri, the Weeknd. (I think that’s it.)

There are a hell of a lot of things we are probably both missing, but before the year’s out (and before I write my 2011 What’s What, because exams will be drowning me until the 19th) you need to listen to Young Galaxy’s Shapeshifting. And also Braids’ Native Speaker which is the most beautiful thing that happened this year.

jamiesoncox replied to your post: What on earth is wrong with me?

This is the best thing I’ve read all day. Welcome to the cult.

I mean. First listen through, so don’t get all smug yet, Mister.

It’s still not going to beat Patrick. (I think.)

Do you have a favourite bar in Montreal?

jamiesoncox replied to your post: Demandez-moi qqch. / Ask me smthn.

I can’t find your ask box anywhere! I’m glad you’re doing this, it’s fun. So, a question: do you have a favourite bar in Montreal? If so, what/where is it?

I’m not sure where my ask box is either, now that you mention it. Is it something that’s supposed to happen automatically?

Anyway, favourite bar in MTL? Depends for what. So I’ll dodge the question and provide a list.

Favourite hipster dive bar/favourite bar: Casa del Popolo. Awesome grilled tofu/pesto sandwiches. Best nachos in town. 3$ beers all night Tuesdays. On St. Laurent, but has a patio behind the bar. Plus, the back room is one of the best small-bands music venues (Grimes, How to Dress Well, etc.) and they throw the best Labour Day/Hallowe’en/New Year’s Eve/etc. parties in town.

Favourite Gay Bar: The best gay nights in town actually take place in not-specifically-gay-bars that have queer dance nights a couple times a month to fundraise for various causes/organizations, but Royal Phoenix opened over the summer and it’s the first one outside the Village. More or less a neighbourhood bar that just happens to have a mostly queer clientele and slightly glittery countertops. They project Habs games on the walls a couple times a week, and have really good po’boys.

Favourite Karaoke Bar: Taverne La Remise. This is a sketchy Quebecois dive that exists at the end of an alley behind an elementary school. It’s filled with gambling machines and five or six nights a week they have bilingual karaoke that my friends and I go to for birthdays. Drunk 40-somethings mangling Charles Aznavour and lyrics that are mistranslated twice over.

Favourite micro-brewery: Dieu de ciel. Amazing cherry beer. Amazing every beer.

Micro-brewery with the best weekly pub quiz: Brutopia. They also have an awesome chocolate stout.

Jamieson Cox: Ciara and the magic of "Promise"


“Promise” was released in 2006, and it’s safe to declare that it stands as both the high water mark of Ciara’s career thus far and as one of the top singles of the 2000s. I’m going to use my usual list-a-bunch-of-thoughts tactic, because it’s been working well for me lately:

1) “Promise” is unique in that it doesn’t resort to an all-out aural assault like other memorable mid-2000s R&B singles. Two that come to mind immediately are Amerie’s “1 Thing” and Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”. I love both of these songs, but they would never be described as subtle; they hit the listener over the head with horns/percussion/attitude. Compared to this duo, “Promise” is serpentine. It even uncoils at the beginning in a snake-like fashion, and Ciara slithers around the minimal beat and synths for the song’s entirety. (Even the video possessed “snake-like” (?) dancing, especially compared to Bey+Amerie’s stomping and thunderous ass-shaking.)

2) Another way “Promise” deviates from the dominant trends in 2000s R&B, especially in the female realm, is its lyrical content. The “independent women” theme was prevalent as early as 2000, when Destiny’s Child absolutely exploded with The Writing’s on the Wall. (Which, by the way, I freaked out over upon finding it in my stocking Christmas 2000. I think there’s video.) Even Ciara herself had used the “independent women” angle on her first single as the “princess of crunk”, “Goodies”. “Goodies” was an expression of female independence and showed Ciara exerting control over her man in a sexual manner by withholding the very act. “Promise”, however, is all about co-dependence and vulnerability. Ciara doesn’t want a muscle-bound trophy or a “soldier”, she wants an equal to talk to and protect her. That type of expression was, and still is, rare in the female R&B world.

3) I truly believe that Ciara nails this song in a way that none of her contemporaries could’ve. She straddles a fine line between girlish vulnerability and excitement and womanly maturity. It’s difficult to sound both young enough to deliver lines about man-as-teacher and homework, and old enough to pull off the more serious fare about long-term commitment. Beyoncé would have sounded too brassy and authoritative. Alicia Keys may not have been able to sell the more youthful segments, and Ashanti wasn’t in the same league as the two ladies I just mentioned. Ciara is airy without sounding breathless, doesn’t overwhelm the slight arrangement, and avoids embarrassment during the spoken section. It’s her finest performance.

4) I really like the fade-out at the end.

Alright, there’s 400 more words on “Promise” than you needed to read tonight! No one’s on Tumblr this late on Friday night anyways. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Also, I’ll take this space to offer my congratulations to the state of New York. It’s moments like this that all of us Twitterati/Tumblrati/etc. can strip away our ever-present cynicism and show off some sincere happiness, as well as celebrate the newly-enabled happiness of others.

1) Got pointed in Jamieson’s direction by perpetua for solid and intelligent pop criticism, and he’s absolutely right, so if you’re the kind of person to whom this is important, follow him immediately

2) Ciara’s ‘Promise’ is fucking awesome and the above post lists some very good reasons why, but there are a few more:

3) ‘Promise’ has TWO separate intros that don’t crop up again in the song, melodically or otherwise. The first one is the lovely ‘I just wanna vibe with you’ bit, which is quite nice, but the second is a spoken interlude that ranks right up there with All Saints’ ‘Never Ever’ in the Spoken Intro as Shining Pop Moment list.

4) What sounds at first like a synth line underneath the spoken bit is actually a vocal counterpoint sung through a vocoder, before switching back and forth from synth to vocals throughout the rest of the song.

5) The DRUMS! I’m sure someone will correct me, but I’m fairly certain that Polow da Don’s production on ‘Promise’ heralded the revival of Prince-ish drums that would pop up again in J. Holiday’s ‘Bed’ courtesy of The-Dream and LOS, who would then use them in every ballad they produced for the next four years or so. (Including on Electrik Red’s Devotion, which is a total jam, but that’s beside the point)

6) As reverend dollars recently pointed out to me, the Cory Bold Remix is equally amazing, in its own way.