Friday, October 30, 2009

An ode to...sweet tea?

Already posted this on my Facebook page, had to bless the blog. The sheer musical talent and improvisational genius of Black folks never ceases to astound me. Granted, as a fan of healthy eating and a staunch opponent of violent, hypercapitalist exploitation I sorta wish the men and women in this video had chosen a different subject matter to so beautifully elocute in 4-part harmony. Oh well. Gotta take what you can get sometimes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hammer Time!

Today, I'm going to take a break from the introspective prose and break ya'll off with some pure video goodness. Between a History midterm and coming down with some sort of Mediterranean stomach virus over the past day or so, its been a rough little period for yours truly. This YouTube clip helped brighten the day a bit. Oh, how I wish I was around to witness things like this and jump in. If anyone reading knows where and how these events get organized, be sure to let the kid know. I am sooo down for participation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Metaphors like missiles

Absolutely genius. To replace bombs with stanzas of poetry is the sort of historical reenactment/revisionist that every scholar-artist dreams of. Potential pollution aside (for all you justly critical environmental activists out there) this project is one of those few works of art that seems to me a nuanced meeting of the political and the poetic, an exemplar moment that fills the lacuna between the arts and activism in a manner without appearing paradoxical. Here, political and personal history take center-stage and neither is privileged above the other; stanzas become figurative bandages over old wounds and a city of people get the shock of a lifetime. What a day...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nerd swag on deck

I wouldn't say that I'm a Brett Domino fan, per se. I would say, however, that this man is an incredibly talented musician who seems to almost effortlessly capture the essence of nerdhood with every stroke of his keyboard, guitar hybrid-thingy. Dude is uber-creative, and has honestly inspired me to consider buttoning up my shirts all the way in the near future. Honestly think it might be a good look. Shirts would have to be really colorful of course. With some skinny jeans and Blazers? We may have a new stylistic direction in the works. Oh boy...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Todos tenemos problemas que tienen solucion"

Ok, so I'll admit it. I had never heard of Hector Lavoe until I saw the mediocre (yet still underrated) film "El Cantante." Occasional lapses into the realm of poor acting aside, Marc Anthony did a great job of presenting Hector's incredible music and riveting back story to a score of folks who had never before matched a face to the mind-blowing salsa music cascading from ventanas de carros y restaurantes.

Here is just a brief snippet of the master at work. This joint in particular inspired me to sign up for salsa classes. I'm telling you, my dance repertoire is about to be so on-point...

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm laying down a beat. For you. Keep going!

Both wildly popular and thoroughly hilarious. Shout out to my boy Dennie for the link. Whenever I watch this video, it makes my day. I hope it does the same for you.

Big gig with Sunni and Shihan at Howard University today. Should be dope. Come show love if you can!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back on my poetry ish

First, gotta send a shout-out to Amy Everhart. Being the first woman to win the Individual World Poetry Slam is a huge deal and a long overdue moment for the slam art form. From my brief history with Amy's work, I know that taking home the world title was a hard-fought, much-deserved victory. My hat is off to you, Miss Everhart. Well done.

Secondly, I have to take a moment to talk about just how much I love the Denver poetry slam scene as a whole. I was first introduced to their youth slam team in 2007 and have simply been floored by every poet I have seen come out of the greater Denver area since. Ken Arkind, Ayinde Russell, Andrea Gibson, Lucifury, the list goes on and on. All, from my experience, both singular performers and incredibly down-to-Earth people. Their poetry is a crafted mix of social consciousness and a love for the abstract, a prime example of what can happen when exquisite writers see fit to step onstage and let their spirit fly free.

As a young writer/performer, Denver poets have truly set the standard for me, and I can't say enough how grateful I am that there are still so many folks in spoken word dedicated to putting out quality work (particularly when they are all concentrated in one area like that; it just isn't fair). Check out "Flowers of Hiroshima." Vicious.

Monday, October 12, 2009

For those who can pull an all-nighter for the first time

This video quite literally propelled me through my excruciating paper last night. Shout out to the homie Thiahera for the link. This kid is supremely talented, be sure to check out his other stuff. Sorry for the brevity, gotta go to class. Can't wait until these applications are done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All of the Doom will stop soon, I promise. Understand that I'm in a phase.

One of the illest tracks ever, in spite of having its name mispronounced by Carson Daly and being thoroughly unappreciated by a rather lethargic audience. The way Doom and De La's obscure lines and non-traditional flows meld together on this song is supernatural. The beat is less an instrumental and more a conductor, using its various moves to bring their supremely odd individual voices into harmony. Rock.Co.Kane Flow is certainly one of the tracks that ushered me into the realm of the hip-hop head. Haven't left since. Listen to The Grind Date to fully grasp the lyrical barrage going on here. If you don't feel like it, that's cool too; more fun for me. Also, peep the DJ doing The Robot in the background. Absolutely hilarious.

On an a slightly unrelated note, this week is ultra-hectic.Back and forth to NY twice in two days. I need to apply for some sort of BoltBus frequent rider pass at this point...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stevie's sweater is super fresh

I taught this video in a workshop I gave at NYU yesterday (which was also hands-down one of the illest extended moments of my life) and received rather dope feedback from the folks in the room. We all, in our own way, described what takes place in this video as one of those rare instances of utopia in performance. No ego, no barrier between genre, vocal styling, race or gender, no ploy to bombard Americans with subliminal advertisements for products they don't really need.

Here, it was only Quincy Jones and his magic hands. A river of shimmering voices doubling its strength to dilute the power of a global epidemic. Seeing Springsteen and Stevie in the same screenshot still gives me chills to this day. In the workshop, we discussed whether or not "We Are The World" could happen in 2009. Who would be there? What would the song sound like? Who would take Quincy and Michael's place in not only organizing the event, but bringing all of the disparate voices into a triumphant harmony? In a sense, these are not solely logistical questions, but theoretical ones as well. What such an event would require is the type of selflessness and departure from divahood that few major figures in music seem ready to embody. To do so would fly in the face of the very "swag" that has helped fuel their careers to the astronomical heights they have reached. Sometimes humility and love are simply bad business. But, who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.

I hope I'm wrong.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Whatchall know about this?

I kid you not, I used to have a Take 6 videocassette that I would play on a semi-weekly basis as a young'n. Wasn't really allowed to listen to anything but gospel during my childhood, so these folks were my Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, and 112 before I'd even heard of any of those other cats. When I came across this video (quite accidentally I might add) the other day, a slew of memories rushed back like a moon-drunk tide. Feels good to remember. With all the craziness that's been going on around me, the opportunity to reflect on my childhood is one that I don't take lightly. It's my senior year, and the reality that I won't be returning to Penn next fall is one that is slowly but surely sinking in. Guess I'll just have to brace myself, become a kite without a string to guide it. No more strings attached. Time to fly.