April 26/12

Dionne Farris

Before we talk about Dionne, let's catch up a bit.

(Where to start?) Well, our roof got done a couple of weeks back. Right around then, spring finally came. I spread about four hundred pounds of lime over the lawn to combat the moss which has really pushed in hard. (Actually, my son Paul, who will be 10 in three months, did most of the liming. He's old and strong enough to do yard tasks now.) The lawn looks good from a distance, but it's full of invaders. I've spent about four hours weeding it over the past couple of weeks. We don't use chemicals.

Some robins are nesting in our big tree; the nest itself is about fifteen feet from the edge of our deck, pretty much at eye level. You can see the robins hopping around the lawn gathering dried grass, and long strands of grass and ivy hang prominently from the nest site.

We sand-bagged our barbecue. Since then, there've been a couple of strong wind storms, but no problems either time.

I've been researching the computer languages C#, Python, and C. It's been a labour of love. Having my own compiler and being able to code at my leisure - it's really different from my university days, when I had to use one of theirs in a big room.

James, my seven year old, has discovered Michael Jackson. He asked if, for Christmas, he could have a Michael Jackson album. Unbeknownst to him, I happened to have Michael's Number Ones CD, which I handed over. He plays it non-stop at home now, no matter what else he's doing. (You can see Michael here, in my galleries. Just click on him and he'll come up on the right.)

About half the time it's been sunny, half cloudy. We haven't had any real heat yet, but when I've been working in the yard, it's been comfortable to take my shirt off (I'm a sun lover).

Now: to Dionne Farris. Her single "I Know", from her Wild Seed, Wild Flower album (1995), is intoxicating. Written by Milton Davis and William Duvall, "I Know" reached number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and spent ten weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40. I think it's possibly the best song of the 90s.

"I Know" truly is a "mainstream" song. It came out at a time when "mainstream" wasn't very popular (in favour of dance). The song is fast, with a distinct stop-and-start rhythm and robust lyrics. Interestingly, some of the sentences occupy two or three lines, while others, just one. Somewhere in the middle is an exposition in which one syllable is sustained over many bars. In fact, so much happens in "I Know", it seems longer than its 3:47 duration. It's all good.

The video is minimal, but entertaining. It's framed well to the music, and shows Dionne singing. She's innocently smiley and flirty and a lot of fun to watch.

Looking good, Dionne. When's your next one?

Wikipedia was a source for this article.

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