Saturday, August 6, 2011

They Moved Generations

File Under: Seeing is Believing

Copyright (c) 2011

This installment has a large amount of content, so I will try to keep my comments brief. After reading Rolling Stone's article on the top 10 Dancing Musicians, I am appalled by how terrible there list is or rather the limited musical exposure of those whom responded to the survey. True to form for any tyrant that has been around too long, outlived its relevance, or become to fat, dumb, and happy to care about its own hackery the magazine overlooked so much raw ability, flavor, and pure electrifying entertainment. Either many of the people who read Rolling Stone do not know what dancing is or they were born after 1991. Enough about that, let us get to the music. Without much further pomp and circumstance, I present "Bane's List of the Top 20 Singers and Shakers." Yes, I know Rolling Stone's list was "Top 10," but what; just enjoy it.

Honorable Mention:

Britney Spears
Unfortunately, the last minute realization of an unforgivable omission bumped Britney off the list. However, what Britney lacked in quality she tried to make up for in shaking her tail-feathers. Even I have to admit before she went co-co-nuts she was very, very good at doing that.

20) Justin Timberlake

Hate 'em or love 'em Justin Timberlake survived his roots, he survived the end of the boy-band era, he has stayed in our collective faces. Sure he is derivative and a bootleg version of those he emulates, but the man has put in work.

19) Kylie Minogue
Even after 40+ years on this Earth, Kylie is hotter and more entertaining that just about any pop princess at the moment. She was hot in the 80s, she was hot in the 90s, and she is still hot in the new millennium. I'd like to see the teens and tweens of today put in 30+ years and still look good, those that do not fizzle, burnout, and crash.

18) Usher
Usher knows how to reinvent himself, diversify, keep his target audience satisfied, and the man can move.

17) Ciara
Ciara certainly paid attention in "Hip-Gyrating 101," and I for one am glad she did. Musically and professionally she is a pale shadow of those she borrows her style from, but thankfully she borrowed from the best.

16) TLC
No musical discussion of the 90s is complete without talking of certain iconic singers like: Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and Celine Dion among others. Of all the iconic singers and writers of this glorious decade one in particular worked funky dance moves and socially conscious lyrics into their repertoire. That would be Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, better know as TLC.

15) Ginuwine
Ginuwine comes from a camp of musical talent that produced some of the most memorable Hip-Hop and R&B of the 90's. There are few modern men who can surpass or even match Ginuwin'es ability to do mind-blowingly amazing things with his physical form.

14) Missy Elliot
Let me just say this is mostly the video to "Lose Control," of which the last few moments of the actual official video feature the song, "On and On," that plays over the entire clip. "Lose Control" is some of Missy's most energetic dance steps, however I much prefer "On and On" which showcases Missy's sick lyrical ability.

13) Chris Brown
With the exception of his domestic indiscretions, Chris Brown has summarily modeled his musical career after his idol and called upon the spirit of Michael Jackson to inspire his moves. This has worked well and I take no umbrage with Chris; he is a truly talented individual whom I hope continues to mature and develop.

12) Mya
Though Mya or someone who makes decisions for her and hates her has chosen to spend most of her career in the company of writers and producers who I can only surmise want to squander her immense talent, I cannot say this beauty cannot move her body quite well.

11) Sammy Davis Jr
Mr. Davis does what few others on this list can do, and even fewer can do as well. Comedian, actor, singer, dancer - he is the consummate entertainer, and one of the greatest entertainers in the history of entertainment. This clip shows a style no-one can touch.

10) Janet Jackson
I am pretty sure I would receive some fairly credible death threats for not including Janet Jackson on this list, and in the top 10 no less. I much prefer Janet Jackson's edginess, bold pioneering, soulful songwriting, and energy, but the lady can move as well.

9) Aaliyah
 The great thing about Popular music is that it is popular. In all likelihood a pop song was playing or being played during a pivotal moment in your life. Popular music defines a generation.  Aaliyah was the musician of my "time," and her passing on August 25, 2001 was the end of innocence for many in my generation. It was her music that was playing during this year that would go on to forever live in infamy.

8) Beyonce Knowles
Beyonce is savvy and knows how to stay in the public ear. She has a definite hit-machine behind her and she is entertaining to watch as evinced by what is, to this writer's mind, her signature video single, "Single Ladies."

7) Jennifer Lopez
Some people do not care for Jennifer Lopez. Colloquially such individuals are known as "haters." Her debut album, "On the Six," was heart-felt, soulful, and well-produced. Since then she has chosen to disappoint her true believers with sub-par professional efforts, but she will always be the #1 Fly Girl in my heart.

6) Tina Turner
Nothing about Tina Turner's life could ever be described as "nice and easy;" and while she is not your classical dancer, she can move like no other.

5) Paula Abdul
Say what you will about her, Paula Abdul earned her piece of the pie and when she held down the spotlight she backed up her looks with talent. Don't judge her by her American Idol years - unfortunately, we cannot stay on top forever. I still love her anyway.

4) Selena
Shamefully, I almost forgot to include this beautiful, beautiful woman.  Everyone who heard Selena's voice knew she was a light. Everyone who saw her perform witnessed something truly amazing. Vocal chops, effortless grace, and jaw-dropping beauty - she was a rare angel.

3) James Brown
James Brown is hands-down the most influential individual on modern music. The music of his bands, his soulful songs, and of course his awe-inspiring dance moves reflected in the artful footwork of every male singer/dancer who followed after him.

2) Shakira
One of the most mechanically gifted females performers of all time, Shakira has doctorate degrees in rhythm, sultriness, and soul. All you wannabe pop-stars, sit down and take notes, class is in session.

1) Michael Jackson
No matter how much I wanted to, I could not justify anyone else deserving to inhabit the number one spot. Michael was, is, and always will be the most creative and innovative performer of all time. This video showcases Michael's visionary film-making and some of his most wow-inducing and technical dances moves, including his signature "Moonwalk."

That's it folks.  What do you think? Let me know below or on the Facebook group page. I will dedicate today's blog to those who have passed on, but while they were alive defined the lives and generations with their music and dance.  Thank you: Aaliyah, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson, Selena, and James Brown. RIP.  I leave you with a lil more Sammy Davis Jr. to brighten your lives.


  1. I have to say that this is one of the rare areas in which we differ by very little.
    As latina i am proud and thankful that you have 3 great representatives of my blood, acknowledging latinamerican talent and beauty.
    I do think you missed some great performers that come to my mind when i think of great showmanship: Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Madonna. I dont think Ciara, Mya o Chris Brown o Usher measure up in merit to those i miss in your list. In any case, great selection!!! thumbs up

  2. Awesome list! I don't know what the hell Rolling Stone is talking about. Their list is horribly incomplete and just plain WRONG!