Sunday, March 26, 2006

Postpartum Obsession

      Two weeks ago, my publisher confirmed the news: Because I’d turned in so much material and the manuscript had already been stripped of fat, my book Blood Beats Vol. 1: Demos, Remixes and Extended Versions (dropping the last week in April) is now going to be two books. (I’d always called it Blood Beats Vol. 1 simply because I liked the sound of that. Like the elders would say, be careful what you speak into the universe.) The news was akin to getting an ultrasound and being told there’s a second baby hiding behind the first. To say I’m happy would be a huge understatement. The second volume drops in the fall.
       Volume 1 covers the years 1996-2000. Here’s just some of what’s included:
  1. Interviews: Meshell NdegeOcello (one in 1996, another in 1999) / Bjork / Warren Beatty / Queen Latifah / Rachid / Les Nubian / Ambersunshower / a round-table session with Black women directors Kasi Lemmons (director-writer of Eve’s Bayou); Gina Prince-Bythewood (writer-director of Love & Basketball, director of HBO’s Disappearing Acts); Zeinabu Irene Davis, whose feature Compensation played Sundance; Cauleen Smith, whose feature Drylongso also played Sundance. (My friend and former editor, Manohla Dargis, now chief film critic for the New York Times, was part of that round-table discussion.)
  2. Music reviews/essays: Outkast, Tricky, Aretha/Chaka/Lauryn, PM Dawn, TLC, Mos Def, Armand Van Helden, Byron Stingily, D’Angelo, Tupac, Erykah Badu, Sade.
  3. Film reviews/essays: Love Jones, La Promesse, The Delta, Nenette et Boni, Family Name, the Keeper, Mother and Son, High Art, Hav Plenty, Velvet Goldmine, Following, Ghost Dog, Before Night Falls, Urbania, Human Resources.
      I’m already on an emotional roller coaster because of the book. The ride only becomes that much more intense with everyday that goes by. The anticipation of actually holding it in my hands, the excitement of having it finally go out into the world, is tempered by the anxiety of knowing that it will be as cursed with my flaws as it will be blessed with whatever gifts I might possess. I have visions of taking that first box of books – unholy, wicked spawn – into the bathroom and slowly immersing them in a tub of warm soapy water until the paper is mottled and the ink has bled from all the pages. Then I will retire to the kitchen to make Snickerdoodles with Jesus. When the authorities arrive and survey the horrific scene, I will brush a stray lock from my face, calmly look them in their LAPD-blue eyes and say, “A nigger did it.”
      Buy my book.

Future Oscar Nominees for Best Song:

  1. “My Neck, My Back” / Khia
  2. “Fuk U In the Ass” / The Outhere Brothers
  3. “Work This Pussy” / Sweet Pussy Pauline
  4. “Lick It” / 20 Fingers
  5. “Phuck U Symphony” / Millie Jackson

     It’s Hard Out Here for a Simp
                                       Some Hemp
     No, it is not hard out here for a pimp. Unfortunately.

Listening to:

  1. “Tell Her” / Kim Hill (Pharaoh’s Daughter sampler
  2. “Summer Breeze” / Larry Heard (Future Soul compilation)
  3. “Kiss, Kiss, Kiss” / Ananda Project (Morning Light CD)
  4. “I Can Understand It” / Bobby Womack (Bobby Womack’s Greatest Hits)
  5. “Honey Please, Can’t Ya See” / Barry White (Barry White’s Greatest Hits )
  6. “Do Me” / Teddy Pendergrass / (Teddy)
  7. “Back in My Life” / Miguel Migs / (Get Salted Vol. 1)
  8. “Soul Flower” / Brand New Heavies featuring the Pharcyde / (Trunk Funk Classics 1991-2000)
  9. “Clouds” & “Papillion” / Chaka Khan (Naughty)
  10. “And I Loved You” / Satoshi Tomiie & Frankie Knuckles with Robert Owens / 12” single
    Bonus Track: “Golden Lady” / Stevie Wonder (Innervisions )


“One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.” – Voltaire