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by Raleigh Barrett
Monday, 13 February 2012 04:30

Happy Valentine’s Day my lovers and readers!

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So it’s happened again. I super-fanned out this past Monday night at The Witzend in Venice. It was a lovely evening of acoustic music. Candles were lit, friends and lovers were piled up on cushions and others were dining but still attentive. It was a mellow night of quiet guitars and sweet melodies. But come the end of the night, a man jumped onstage to shake up the room…he was a last minute special guest and within 30 seconds I was waving my arms and hollering like I was in church. I couldn't help but think , “oh this is what I needed to hear tonight.” I love watching a performer that pulls your sense memory to that moment you were inspired by music for the first time. This was and is the captivating, Ultralove (“Mike Ultralove Wagner).

I feel a little guilty because I have met this man numerous times…at my own shows. He was always came off really supportive, charismatic and confident…but I never made it out to a show…well I’m the idiot that’s been missing out on someone who’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Mike “Ultralove” Wagner is all soul. He carries is tall stature with the swagger of a man who’s just laid out the winning cards at a high stakes table. With a background in theatre his delivery adds another dimension to his poetry. In that, you’re not just listening to music, you’re having an experience in the world he’s created. He is more than a target for women’s under-garments, he uses his music as a platform for his stance on politics and changing the world for the better. With a voice like his, I believe he could achieve some of that change…he’s pretty hard to ignore.

You’d have to be dummy to not hear that he’s heavily influenced by the likes of Prince, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. He blends hip-hop and neo-soul with the poetry of a troubadour. No one is doing what he’s doing and that refreshing. His phrasing is impeccable and he doesn’t over use his vocal capabilities. Sometimes an R&B singer can get to my last nerve when the melody is lost in showy riffs.

Ultralove is an appropriate alias because his intention is to motivate everyone to use their love of what their passionate about to create a better world. These days, art is so secondary and we wonder why kids can’t unplug and people are on a constant search for fulfillment. He uses music to dictate that and it comes from genuine, authentic place.

So on this Valentine’s Day give yourself the gift of Ultralove. Next Monday (the day before V-day) he is ready to love you up with his golden voice at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica. If you’re single, those are your plans…it will help you not feel sorry for yourself. If you’re a couple, it’s the perfect aphrodisiac for your bedroom after party (wink wink). You can thank me later.

February 13th
1432 4th Street
Santa Monica, Ca


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