Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2006

Post Jack

I just read the following post on a Myspacer's blog (Miss Numa), and it so reminded me of someone that I jacked it to bring it over here. Here's her entire post (just the way she wrote it), with the pertinent part being the book she's talking about:

it's not fucking funny.

i have not left my house in three days.

i believe it was a combination of a chronic contact high and the flu bug that brought me down.

times like this are good for sleep introversion and won ton soup which is about all i could tolerate.

in between head aches i read a great book published in 1969 by theodore isaac rubin. "the angry book" deciphers the many codes of behavior that are actually masked anger.

the chapters are two pages long for easy mental digestion.

an excerpt: joking and boring

"many books have been written about humor and much time and space have been devoted to the relationship between humor and hostility. a sense of humor is most certainly a very valuable asset. to be able to laugh at one's self and at one's troubles, without contempt, can even be life saving. but i'm talking here about another kind of joking. i'm talking about a very severe poison that is comprised almost entirely by perverted anger. i'm talking about compulsive joking, a chronic form of joking that never stops. it frustrates, it bores, and it keeps people at a distance. indeed the compulsive joker cannot get serious even when someone else's life depends on it.

many of the compulsive jokers jokes are anything but funny. some are thinly veiled statements conveying extreme hostility. for the most part they are blatantly personal bigoted, vicious, vulgar, often disgusting, and always destructive. they are designed to sneak in and dissipate enormous rage under the guise of entertainment and good fellowship. they are always the antithesis of either warm healthy humor or warm healthy anger. more often than not they are a crashing bore, and the boredom itself is a very effective form of vindictive hostility. indeed the joker who is running out of jokes may turn to the poison brother-boring. i feel that chronic bores-people who insist on telling you personal details of their lives or things that you already know and they know you know-are actually engaging in a form of torture."

remind you of anyone? this is a great book... you can find it on amazon though i got my copy at a used book shop in venice. i identified alot of hidden anger in myself and understand better now the ways in which it has been directed towards me.
here's to mental health!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cut & Paste

Before I had a book to sell, I shrugged off Myspace as little more than a refuge for horny teens and the grown-ass men who Mark Foley them. And it definitely is that. Being on the site for a minute has broadened my perspective considerably, however. I long ago Betty Forded myself past the addiction phase that kicks in almost immediately upon setting up an account, but I continue to marvel at the myriad agendas and communities that criss-cross the place. It’s far too dynamic and multi-tiered to be summarily dismissed. I have to admit, it’s a sugar-pill ego boost to check in and see new friend requests, even if a lot of folks are clearly just trying to up their “friend” count. Still, I love looking at my friends list and seeing militant black nationalists next to gay porn stars next to hornily hetero gangsta rappers next to wholesome, fledgling pop singers next to struggling filmmakers next to some ordinary Joe businessman who’s just along for the communal ride. Shameless self-promotion and product hawking (Blood Beats Vol. 1: Demos Remixes & Extended Versions… available now) exist alongside folks just trying to make a connection with people they once knew, or beyond those they already know. I’ve corresponded with folks in London, Milan, Toronto, Berlin and all across the U.S. of A. A few even claim to have bought my book as a result of my Myspace page. This particular blog entry was inspired by a Myspacer who sent me a message asking what I’m currently listening to. And because I am lazy but really needed to update this blog, I decided I’d reprint my answer here:

1) A burned CD of unmastered new music from Kim Hill, formerly “the (black) girl” in the Black Eyed Peas, as research for a piece I’m doing on her for the LA Weekly. I like her and her music a lot and am really digging her songs “Barbie” and the jazz-inflected, autobiographical “Disney.” Sample lyrics from the latter:

“Look at my hands they’re shaking and my heart is pacing / Executives at the table, now I feel unstable / My manager is on my right, but I am not sure on whose side / Wanna be cool and show respect, but today might be my test / They say I talk too much / They say I put up a fuss / Why do you love hip-hop? / Kim Hill, you should do pop… / I should have known they wouldn’t understand / They thought I was like my former band / At any cost sell your soul / Just go for the gold, truth be told / They say my nose too big, they say I got little tits / Pocahontas on a horse ride / Best thing since the electric slide / Careful, don’t be too black…”

2) I pulled up Angie Stone’s first two CDs and have been listening to select tracks from them all week. They’re both solid r&b efforts that, combined and then pruned, would make an amazing single disc: “Bone 2 Pick With U,” “Everyday,” “No More Rain (In This Cloud),” “Easier Said Than Done,” “Snowflakes,” “Wish I Didn’t Miss You So Much,” “Makings of You (Interlude).” When I saw Angie perform a short while ago at the Hollywood Bowl, opening for James Brown (weak, disappointing shows from both of them) I marveled anew at the fact that she’s the rare female musical artist whose unvarnished sexual quirks and unsanctioned fetishes are put so squarely, if unconsciously, on the table. And no, Madonna’s mirthless exploitation of her sexuality doesn’t count. Men walk around with their shit hanging out all the time; women, even those with ‘ho images, don’t really let their subterranean come to light. Stone is different. Her rumor-mill mythology circles back to her being D’Angelo’s baby-mama, to her reportedly being shunted aside by the singer (who apparently actually likes thick women) at the behest of handlers who thought her too old and too well fed to be appropriate arm candy, even as her influence (to put it mildly) is all over Brown Sugar. But what really makes Stone fascinating is that she’s a female hawk with love for the young thugs, and she makes no bones about it. There’s D’Angelo; her ill-fated professional (according to him) and more personal (according to her) relationship with the fine but thoroughly useless Calvin Richardson; that young dude she was engaged to for a minute, post-Calvin. She likes the young ‘uns with six-packs and hoodlum outlines. You cannot be mad at her. For her show at the Bowl, she had three male back-up singers, two of whom fit her “type” to a T(hug) but none of whom seemed like they’d have even the faintest interest in a woman. Yeah, giggles.
Angie Stone

3) Jeff Buckley’s “Grace.” I always liked this album a great deal but didn’t genuflect before it like a lot of my fellow music critics. Then last year I saw a Norwegian film in which Buckley’s sublime, career-making (and anthem-stealing) version of “Hallelujah” was used to underscore the emotional anguish of a young, brown Muslim immigrant living unhappily in Norway. (I think it was Norway: White people and ice…That’s all I got on recall.) The boy’s story ends tragically, and “Hallelujah” was so masterfully deployed on the soundtrack to accompany emotionally wrenching scenes that I teared up hoyrd when viewing the film.

4) Some old Prince... Dirty Mind / Soft & Wet / Controversy. For all the accolades and gushing acclaim he’s received, I still don’t think he’s gotten props as deep as he deserves for that era of his career. The image, the fusion of rock, New Wave, soul... the image. Black-boy gender fuck and flirting with sexual ambiguity. That shit could not happen now – at least not with any Negro male wanting to be a pop star. (Thank you, hip-hop!) And for all his calculated eccentricities and oddness, Prince wanted to be a pop star. He had arena aspirations and wasn’t avanting his shit just to rent space on the margins. For all the clones he spawned (“Oh, Sheila”) that narrow space he crow-barred open – a space for black men to be hugely and unapologetically sexual but not idiotic or menacing Mandingos, to be powerful but defiantly and revolutionarily fey (we see you, Little Richard), to be both dandy and hardcore, fluid yet unwaveringly hetero (Okay... bye, Little Richard), brilliant aesthete and peerless craftsman – has been crazy-glued shut, though his influence is paradoxically everywhere. Seriously, nobody is fucking with that era Prince. Nobody.

5) I used to really love Sophie B. Hawkins’ single, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover.” Stumbled across it in my collection the other day and smiled. Put it on. The smile quickly faded on a, “What the hell was I thinking?” tip.

My Myspace page is right cheah

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Evil Lucy Radio

Look to your right and click the link for Evil Lucy Radio. Give a listen to all the different sets they have up. (You can check out the playlists before you actually listen to the shows.) And leave them some comments...


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Video of the Week

Kinda speaks for itself...

Yeah, lyrically / thematically / conceptually it's flawed as fuck; there are some fire-ringed loopholes in logic (his own use of the word "nigga" when lashing out at the ways in which black folk have embraced terms and modes of degradation; the low-flame misogyny that girds his critique of women-who-ho-themselves in hip-hop and beyond; his casual use of the term "gay" as the ultimate slur when talking about trifling, um... "niggas." And his intentionally hyberbolic use -- and depiction -- of the word "lynching" is gonna cause many folks to scream foul and miss the point altogether.)

And yet... You can't deny the validity of his larger points. This is what it sounds like when exasperated Negroes cry. Sometimes emotion overwhelms smarter cultural and political discourse, but there is truth there. Namely, that the pimps, thugs and hustlas swarming through rap are the true modern day Uncle Toms, doing massa's bidding.
And props to him for giving props to Oprah. I'm not even a fan of hers, but the ways that so-called hard rappers have whined and stamped their thuggy little feet because she won't have them on her show... In a word: bitch-made.