mardi, décembre 20, 2005

To borrow from Roger Toussaint and the striking MTA workers: We are at an "impasse."

Back in 2006 barring any blog-necessitating-emergencies.

Angels We Have Heard High

"Probably the reason we all go so haywire at time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words."

~Harlan Miller

samedi, décembre 10, 2005

"I don't want to die and them say, 'The Black Lenny Bruce is dead.'"

Notes on a native son:

+Jill Nelson's prescient take from 1998:
"Richard Pryor is both the best and worst of a time gone but not forgotten, a reflection of our own passions, fears and self-destruction. He may not have died for our sins, but he lived many of them fully, publicly, with gusto."

+David Felton Interviews in 1974: (MP3)
"I think that people should say what they feel. I don't give a fuck if it's racism or whatever ism it is. Just to be yourself is such a nice thing and to have to jive all the time just to deal with people or to make money is the bad part about it. I like to be accepted. I want to be accepted but usually in order to be accepted by white people you have to compromise everything from your hello."

+ Greg Tate is a beast:
"With the fluidity of bebop and the cutthroat poetics of the blues, he made Blackness articulate and conceptual in ways that respected nuance and transcended mimicry and minstrelsy."

+It's just like a man--in the sense that it is imbued with a phallic audaciousness, and conversely audacious fallacy-- to say, in this excessively laudatory tribute to Richard Pryor:
"Rich was also the first male comedian, Black, white or otherwise, who gave a real voice to women in his comedy. In Pryor's routines, women gave every bit as good as they got. For all the rants about his self-indulgences, addictions and misogynistic leanings*, his humor was a shining example of equality in a society rife with inequities."
One thing I know for sure, is that he/He (edward rhymes/Men) does not on the lower, higher, or in-between frequencies speak for me/Me (jb/Women). It's a testament to thriving inequalities and unmitigated privilege that he/He still does.

*Excuse me while I light my tiff but what the fuck are "misogynistic leanings"? The slope of this bridge called my back?! A thankless mule's unmistakable ungangsta lean?! Let's talk truth. Either is is or it isn't and in this case, it is. It was cryptically woven into all that skill and all that talent.

This album is the truth

"The Truth" (MP3)= Delirium.

..true enough to get me to start writing again? Only time (which I'm damn good at wasting) will tell. Y'all pray for me.

+ on News & Notes with Ed Gordon. BTW: Y'all need to keep supporting comprehensive black news outlets, Jet included, that's a good ass weekly.

vendredi, décembre 09, 2005


Nan one grammy for Victory circa 1984

I don't believe in awards or "winning" (those are rock and roll quotes) for transcendental reasons but I glanced at the noms, mock hurled, thought of Denzel, and renewed plans to host an irreverent sequel to last year's voice immodulated grammy party (since it was the year of the southside--i'm doing the gulf coast wop as we speak-- we will fashion gangsta griZZllz from foil and bedazzling wrapping paper after which we will take sips of this brew like it were syrup.

"Crackish" (© Jamie Foxx) moves by the Recording Academy:
+Nominating Maroon's 5 ancient "This Love" (Sneakily nominating the version from the '05 live album although this track dates back to my SC days.)

+Nominating Van Hunt’s ancient “Dust” (I hope it wins though).

+Nominating 5 songs from the bland So Amazing: An All Star Tribute to Luther Vandross in a misguided attempt to honor the notoriously discriminating craftsman (Read Aretha’s bio. He audaciously critiqued the Queen when producing her in the eighties) and now deceased R&B lengend Luther Vandross.

+Nominating “Unbreakable”, a fun, catchy, ridiculous, song (me and M Dot are know to wail on I 75/85 coming from Hartsfield) dictated one day by Time Warner Cable’s programming (likely Black Starz and Nick at Nite) as Alicia Keys played hookie from her brutal responsibilities as an overhyped performer. (For the record I am not a hater. Check my glowing if undetailed take on her at Radio City earlier this year.)

+Nominating, Beyoncé, unparalleled songwriter of Billboard-Chart-Topping addictive artless drivel for her cover of "Wishing on a Star" from the Roll Bounce Soundtrack (I fully realize that having hurriedly hopped the 2 train to Magic Johnson Theatre-"We can do it in our own community"- to view this film the evening of its release, I am precluded from launching any criticisms. Full disclosure: I saw Good Burger on its release day as well.)

+Nominating pre women's lib throwback track "Cater 2 U" a postmodern unironic ode to female subservience by the aforementioned vapid pop icon. "Check Up On It" is barely a shade better. Why aren't women/feminists/sensible people boycotting Beyoncé? Cause she had a senseless song about "Independent Women?" When I was a kid even flighty pop songs demonstrated a little subjectivity and autonomy, (i.e., "90's Girl", "Mercedes Boy", etc...) One question for Beyoncé: is the reason your dad creeped on your Ma and sexually harassed your back up dancer because Tina didn't "keep it tight, keep [her] figure right?" Maybe if the plus size Tina had Matthew "Post-Modern Joe Jackson" Knowles "Check Up On It" more often he wouldn't have strayed. And what of the space between "a bitch and a B"? What if it were to close? What if in fact its an optical illusion caused by the impact of your status as a "wavy light-skinned girl" albeit weave enhanced?

+The entire rap solo performance category.

+Having separate categories for white and black church music: "Bluegrass Grospel" and "Soul Gospel."

+Nominating "Trapped in the Closet" (Chapters 1-5).

+Not nominating Rich Harrison as Producer of The Year.

+It pains me to say this as I am a proud soldier in Stevland Judkins Morris Hardaway's army but he's overnominated. I think he should win for Best R&B performance by a duo or group for his duet with daughter and muse for "Isn't She Lovely" Aisha Morris on "How Will I Know" and Best R&B album for A Time to Love but everything else is less out of deferential respect than indifferent ignorance of the current R&B/Soul scene.

+I almost forgot. Nominating U Got Served's (I swear I didn't see this movie in the theaters) brooding b-boy Omarion. Umm "Touch" was my shit but that's cuz of Pharrell and I thought Omarion could dance until I saw Chris Brown at the African American day parade. Dude's second only to the kinetic genius of Shakira.
In conclusion:

"I do not subscribe to their philosophy" © Amel Larrieux

mercredi, décembre 07, 2005

The Incredibles

If you were, or rather when you are, a supershero or superhero what is your theme song?

I am not anyone's superwoman but when plugged into the divine I, like all of us, exert superpowers for the good. When I'm in supershero mode my theme song vacillates between "Earth is the Place" by Nathan Haines feat. Verna Francis and "Cinderella" by The Cheetah Girls.

samedi, décembre 03, 2005

Shuffle & Flow

Black was an unwanted dog abandoned in the forest who finds its way home by fording flooded rivers and hitchhiking in the beds of pickup trucks and arrives at its destination only to be taken for a car ride to the desert. Black was hating fried chicken even before I knew I was supposed to like it. Black was being a nigger who didn't know any other niggers. The only black folks whose names I knew were musicians and athletes: Jimi Hendrix, Slash from Guns n' Roses, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the Beastie Boys, and melody the drummer from Josie and the Pussycats.

Black was trying to figure out "how black" Tony Grimes, the local skate pro, was. Tony, a freestyle hero with a signature model Dogtown board, was a hellacious skater and somehow disembodied from blackness, even though he was darker than a lunar eclipse in the Congo. The interviews in Shredder, Rollerbladers Suck, and Stoked magazines never mentioned his color.
Stoked: So, dude?
Tony: Yeah.
Stoked: Gnarly frontside ollie 180 fakie at the Laguna Pro-Am.
Tony: Nailed it, bro, want another hit?
Now and then we'd see Tony Grimes, our deracinated hero, in Coping 'n' Doping Skateshop on Ocean Street next to the Tommy Burger. "What's up Tony?" we'd all ask cooly, yet with genuine concern in our voices. We'd receive an over-the-shoulder "What's shakin', dude?" and fight over who he'd acknowledged. "He called me dude. Not you, you rimrod."

Tony Grimes strolled around the shop, a baseball cap magnetically attached at some crazy angle to his unkempt thick clumpy Afro. His lean muscular legs loped from clothes rack to clothes rack as he eyed the free shit he would take home after he got through rapping to the manager's girlfriend.

Black was a suffocating bully that tied my mind behind my back and shoved me into a walk-in closet. Black was my father on a weekend custody drunken binge, pushing me around as if I were a twelve-year-old, seventy-five-pound bell clapper clanging hard against the door, the wall, the shoe tree. Black is a repressed memory of a sandpapery hand rubbing abrasive circles in the small of my back, my face rising and falling in time with the hairy heaving chest. Black is the sound of metal hangers sliding away in fear, my shirt halfway off, hula-hooping around my neck.

Paul Beatty, The White Boy Shuffle
On the other hand, equally as black:
"We live from the head down and not the feet up."

vendredi, décembre 02, 2005

Safety Dance

"If you get simple beauty and naught else, You get about the best thing God invents." ~Robert Browning
on discarded oaths

I inexperience,
run with dull scissors ,
heave breath on my days
my braids
I like to balance empty buckets.

I endeavor,
and remember to forget.

I double dutch well
but those
beaded ropes
click welts
if not clacking in time.

I two step
heal toe
and kick,
ball into a ruddy changeling.

I throw ___ off track
the dogs.

I bathe for hours
and lukewarm hours.
When my dimpled limbs
are too heavy
to move
I weap
in remembrance of

Ain't This About Some Shit

By Kevin Turner

A MAN has been acquitted of sexual assault after medical evidence that he suffers from a condition called sexsomnia.

Jan Luedecke, 33, was asleep when he started having sex with the woman,and did not know what was happening.

He only suspected he had had sex when he went to the toilet and discovered he was wearing a condom.

Luedecke, a landscaper, met the woman at a party where they both drank a lot. She fell asleep on a sofa and woke up to find him having intercourse with her. Luedecke said he had fallen asleep on the same sofa.

Sleep expert Dr Colin Shapiro told a court in Toronto,Canada,that Luedecke suffers from sexsomnia - sexual behaviour during sleep brought on by alcohol, sleep deprivation and genetics.

The court heard that Luedecke, who admitted having sex during his sleep with four girlfriends, is cutting down on his drinking and taking medication.

The Crown has 30 days to present its appeal.

What's next? Lynchomnia?