Archive for the ‘posts’ Category

The Only Cramps That Matter

February 5, 2009

a few hours ago i got an email telling me the 2good 2b 4gotten lux interior passed away. for any true punk rock fan lux’s death is not just tragic but yet another reminder of how original is hard to come by and how not giving up or selling out might not always pay the bills but may just assure you a plus one in the heaven vip.
for those of you late to the party lux interior, along with his wife poison ivy founded the cramps- the punk a billy gods(and goddesses) who for more than 25 years celebrated everything odd, creepy, sexy and cool. think boris pickett meets betty page meets elvis’ dead twin meets ec comics meets stilletos meets things that go bump in the night- when the cramps hit the stage you knew you were going to see a band that did it their way and for whom, every day was halloween. “human fly”. “garbage man”. “goo goo muck”: each 2 minutes plus of atmosphere with a steady beat- like the white stripes; the cramps did more with less but didn’t need hipsters and hype to let folks know. they rose out of the downtown nyc punk scene and while they never got the international recognition some of their peers might have, you just knew that lux was the kind of rock star any lead singer kinda wished he could be.lux was everyone’s dark side
they were the very first band i ever interviewed. berkeley, 1979, the original lineup. there was ivy(lux’s wife and the deadliest chick in R&R) bryan gregory- owner of cheekbones that could cut a man dead- and lux. 6 foot plus a shock of jet blue black hair, skin tight(like tight)leather pants and attitude to spare.he wasn’t so much as good looking as compelling. he reeked of nasty…the best kind, of course.
he prowled the stage, growling into the mic , rolling around on the floor screaming, speaking in tongues, licking his lips, shoved the mic down his pants- dangerous and dramatic and charismatic enough to make you sell your soul and be all the better for it. american gothic, mid west macabre. hot damn they were amazing .

i saw the cramps maybe 3-4 times; the last time at the old irving plaza with the ramones. i mean i was with the ramones, or standing next to them. or maybe it was the other way around. hadn’t paid them much mind over the past few years but was happy to know that the cramps kept on keeping on- no remixes for lux and ivy. the cramps forever. lux r.i.p

if i were to have an affair with a married 60 ish rock star

February 3, 2009

it would be bruce springsteen.
now i have always dug him. i even sat through the mopey folky records- wait. actually i liked those. i wasn’t mad for “magic” but a not as great bruce cd is still better than anything coldplay can or ever hope to record. i haven’t spent time with “working on a dream” but i hear it’s good and any man who can go from singing with pete seeger in front of the president to rocking out with silvio in front of fans with their faces painted cardinal red…. that’s the man for me. plus my pal marc anthony thompson aka the sublime chocolate genius was in the seeger sessions band, which means bruce has good taste and put $ in said pal’s pocket. plus bruce is married to patti scialfa who is hot, talented and married to bruce. yes. 3/4 of bruce’s fans, except for all the people that i know, are quasi meatheads who have misconstrued his lyrics of failed dreams and the slow death of the working class into flag waving sing alongs of american supremacy. yes max weinberg is annoying to look at and hear- no swing. no swing. yes clarence clemmons is also annoying , but but but. bruce springsteen. tight black jeans. got you where i want you grin on his face. sliding on his 60 ish knees on live tv. swinging a guitar around his neck with a precision a drill team would covet. come on. sometimes i don’t always love rock and roll and sometimes that’s because i’m not allowed to but hot damn. bruce springsteen. i salute you.. my man.

i will not be cynical

January 21, 2009

at least for the next few days but i know that i am really feeling it when just the sight of michelle and barack dancing makes me tear up.
oh; nice to see faith hill up on that neighborhood ball stage- i always liked that woman.
oh but please. GET RID of will.i.am.boring!!!!
but i will not be cynical.
i am still in shock and awe…yes i am.

1/20 pt 1

January 20, 2009

ok
it’s gonna be a teary, emotional few hours
i’m already welling up everytime they show the crowd on the mall or a shot of michelle and barack leaving church.

first order of bidness

January 18, 2009

obama must pardon us- from having to see, or listen to will.i.am. may be be live, on cd or hologram.
wyclef come back. all is forgiven.

verses from the abstract.

January 18, 2009

the other night, in between having a dream that i was sleeping on the steps covered in cheese, maybe melted. don’t ask, i thought about the story i’d read about beyonce performing at the inaugural ball.

several things came to my mind. one- let a nation a join in prayer that B isn’t styled by her mother.

two- michelle is some kinda woman to allow her husband to be that close to beyonce… i’m just saying, but again, michelle could kick young b’s ass and i will place money on that.

but my main , chief reflection was that when beyonce hits the very first note of “at last”(kinda cool choice of song, huh?) that the wife of a rapper was enjoying the honor of doing such. that the wife of a guy who was born in the marcy projects, sold drugs,alledgedly stabbed “un” rivera and in general lived a life that usually doesn’t make it to the white house: or at least not knowingly , was singing the first song at the first ball of the first black president that won the first election that my first(and only) son voted for and first president that his first and only mother, voted and worked for with passion … jigga whaat? that was a cultural change that was hard to deny. at 5 in the morning. while i was covered in cheese.
trust. jigga in the white house doesn’t come close to history in the true earth shattering we can change the world possibility of obama’s 8 years in office but, wow. ain’t that america.

now back to the hbo obama concert which already is cool. the boss? come’on! mary? bettye lavette, yeah they look like they’re lipsynching but even so. we’ve got a prez and a first lady who know the words to “lean on me”. come’on ?jamie foxx shouting out chicago , the “312” and michelle standing up? those obama kids who are too cute for words giggling and the older one(malia?) taking pictures of not only the crowd, but her dad? COME’ON, DAMN if for the music alone this is going to be the best 8 years of our lives!
sure, i’m getting a lil bit worn out from all the lincoln comparisons and could do with out the serious readings from tom hanks but one can not expect a hot 97 concert or springsteen show at such an important time.
oh. what’s up with marissa tomei’s hair?

the world is mine

January 17, 2009

i put a whole lotta effort into everyone else’s careers; especially the boy friends. i make calls, forward contacts, hustle and flow, back up,big up, rah rah rah until i’ve blah blah blahed. i should be a god damn manager and like most women, i have always poured it all into him but never had anyone pour into me and please, i don’t mean it that way…this can all be worked out in therapy or day time tv.
all of which is to say, my podcast “not for nothin'” is now up and running, either via face book or this blog or, drum roll.. i -tunes.
damn skippy. check it out, subscribe, do me proud and help me make some guy wanna help ME do my thing.
aiight?
1/20 is in sight.

set adrift

December 8, 2008

this is it’s going to take a minute. ask anyone who knows me. i’ve never met a tangent i didn’t like .

A few nights ago i was at small gathering intended to honor our late friend tom terrell. what with tom being, among other things, a former record company employee, the conversation turned to music; specifically the old days when the labels were concerned with music and the folks that worked there were into music. i mean really into music. i can remember hanging out at island records back in the early 90’s and all you would hear, from every desk, was music. all types.it was a circus of sound and it was just great. ok, at the time it was kind of chaotic but now, looking back, it was wonderful. these days when you go up to a label, the only time you really hear music is when someone is playing it for a writer.back “then” labels actually sent us writers actual tapes/cds to listen to in our homes. so we could let it breathe and we had the time to live with it, fall in love maybe instead of having to kick the artist to the curb after one night. now you have to sit in a room, sometimes with other writers or worse a label worker bee watching to make sure you nod your head at the right places or act like what you are hearing is just so dope your life has been altered. t’s like sonic speed dating and from that. you’re asked to write a review which might actually have the potential to impact on a career. not that anyone cares in the first place.or read or can write.

am i seriously off track here? my bad. back to p.m. dawn.

at some point during the party i was talking to a very nice man and his wife. she was a pediatric nurse. he an art director and had worked at gee street: an indie imprint during the 90’s that was a mecca for cool tunes and with cooler folks.a company by those who love music for those who love music, run by jon baker who, even with a billboard charting/platinum roster still kept a lil of that us against the world ethos.
gee street was a great office to hang out in, as well. along with hearing music, a struggling writer could get a nice snack or two on the label’s nickel. gee street’s crew included stereo m.c’s, gravediggaz and p.m.dawn. i hadn’t thought about p.m.dawn in years . back when they were big and they were, p.m.dawn were the shit. yeah, some rappers and rap fans didn’t dig them. prince be was too soft. too picking a fight with krs-one(another grade a eccentric)too out there, too anything a rapper was not meant to be to be, which is funny since most “real” rappers aren’t what exactly what the press release wants the public to believe they are, either. p.m. dawn was, as my pal michael shore was said, de la soul meets brian wilson and if you love things that go pop in the night your heart should be racing.

get true fans in a room, especially those of us who get to write about it and the passion starts flying. i can forgive somethings in people but bad taste in music is not one of them. my great true luv became ever truer when i found out what cool taste he had in music; come on you gotta dig any man(or woman if that’s how you roll)who can break down robbie williams and public enemy with the same ardor he’s giving you elsewhere.

all of this is to say that them memory bliss we were all floating on that night at the party was deep and had nothing to do with charts,product management, editors. it was the sheer joy of hearing “it” for the first time and being around and glad to be, blessed to be, around people who not only got “it” but longed for the days when record companies were filled with folks who got and lived for it, too.
do i sound like some “you kids just don’t understand” old school, old ass, chick? good.

here’s my p.m.dawn tale. it’s 1990-91 and i’m in berlin, brought over by some dude i’d met while on assignment in spain-this sounds very exotic but trust. it ain’t. so i’m in berlin and within 24 hours i figure out that this is a bad move on my part.
here i am. in berlin. i don’t speak german. the guy is slowly morphing from exciting to excruciating and so i hit the streets which while they do have names, are in german. i have an advance of p.m.dawn’s debut “of the heart, of the soul,and of the cross”- the one that contained the hit”set adrift on memory bliss”. you know. with the spandou(sp) ballet sample. so, i’m sad, confused, cold, more than likely a little drunk and i wander around, p.m, dawn coming through the headphones and i’m loving it like some people love mc donalds. i sit on a bench,rewind the tape over and over and while it doesn’t make my situation only better, it quickly becomes another one of those times when music is there for me when most certainly the man isn’t.

do i sound like one of those corny ass fools? good. we all need to do a lil floating sometimes.

questions

November 25, 2008

when ever i’m killing time and/or trying to avoid things i should be doing eg writing a term paper, reading a book for school, laundry i let my mind wander and wonder and ponder big cultural questions: like these.

why is david archuleta’s “crush” so cool and full on pop-a -licous but that kid kind of creepy  ?

why is someone as sublime as annie lennox reduced to the hot mess that is the ama’s?and how is it that each time she sings “why” it does it, each time. and her skin??! whaaat? amazing.

explain the whole promise ring thing. what does it say when3/4 of the top ten acts are promise ringers and can there be a middle ground between christian chastity and pole dancing..please. oh. even that ship has sailed (and then some) can i get a promise ring  to keeping it from hitting icebergs ?

isn’t one of the jonas brothers’ 20? so how can he be your boyfriend if there’s no sex? am i some twisted slut? it was the 80’s” it’s not my fault.

how is it that for the best several years  i am hard pressed to come up with an end of the year top 10?

and how come i don’t even care any more?

and.. all this 80’s- synth, 808(not k-west’s album)  flash dance cut off shoulders,mo-hawks crap. listen to me. No. No. No.the 80’s weren’t all it’s crack up to be: ask my liver.

i’m done. carry on.

award tour

November 18, 2008

like a mother who thinks that their child is a genius there are certain artists who in my eyes can do no wrong and even if they did, i’d never tell: because i just like them too much, as people. q-tip is one of those artists. he can be a handful and has had his moments  but i just flat out adore him and no, not like that although hey; who wouldn’t? . i just think he is a straight up hunny bunny(that sound you hear is any shred of tip’s street cred disappearing into thin air.) since meeting a tribe called quest when they were working on the low end theory ,i’ve had nothing but love and respect for phife(who is on the road to good health, thanks goodness) and ali shaheed, but it is kamaal with whom i have spent the most time. when my now almost 20 year old was in 2nd grade I wrangled tip into hosting a fundraiser at my kid’s elementary school. tip didn’t have to do it. he doesn’t even live in brooklyn or have a kid. but because i asked and he’d  met lucian(who, cue awwwws, used to called tip “uncle ear-wax”. ) and he knew that it mattered  tip took the stage at ps20 in front of a group of little kids who knew he was famous but not quite sure why. come’on! what’s not to love?oh. no press was involved or invited ,lest you think it was a publicity stunt.

on november 4th, in a rare amy sighting, i dragged my monkey ass outta my house and attended a party held to celebrate both the election and the release of tip’s new  cd The Renaissance. like shalamar sang “it was a night to remember”and while i he and i are far from bffs sharing that moment with a guy that, in some ways i’ve  watched grow up(yes. I am that old and so what if i am?  just made it even more change-tastic.plus, tip gives good hug.

the very qualities that make tip a good man are also what help make his new cd so good.  too many years in the making and shelving and tbd’ing, The Rennaisance is what a hip hop album sounds like when it’s made by a guy who doesn’t  see hip hop as a means to an end, marketing plan, concession to the public’s or label’s whims or something that needs to be dumbed down . the cd  swings. it’s playful. it’s smart and it’s musical because tip is a music head and like tribe did, recognizes that hip hop shouldn’t live in a vacuum of its own design. now, i don’t need rap music to always be conscious ,but i’d be lying if i didn’t yearn for  hip hop that made you move and articulated something  by someone you wanted to listen to .while I don’t know if tip is still speaking in native tongues you can hear that he understands the language. yet another reason q-tip will for once and forever be my celebrity rap friend. strike that. my friend, period.