vendredi, juin 29, 2007

I used to snack on these. Be advised...

Veggie Booty snack food recalled

Thu Jun 28, 6:27 PM ET

A popular snack food sold nationwide is being recalled because of concerns about contamination. All lots and sizes of Veggie Booty Snack Food are being recalled, the company said, following a report of 51 cases of salmonella poisoning that may be associated with the product.

Georgine Hertzwig of Robert's American Gourmet in Sea Cliff, N.Y., said the company acted after the Food and Drug Administration contacted them about the illnesses in 17 states.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Hertzwig said none of the products has tested positive for salmonella, but the company acted as a precaution after the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that many of the infected people has eaten the product.

Veggie Booty Snack Food is sold in supermarkets, health food stores, vending machines and online in the United States and Canada. It is sold in flexible plastic foil bags in 4 ounce, 1 ounce and half-ounce portions. The brand name is Robert's American Gourmet, and all codes and expiration dates of Veggie Booty are being recalled.

The company said consumers who purchased Veggie Booty and still have the product in their homes should discard the contents and contact the company at 1-800-626-7557 for reimbursement.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

A Bay Bay

+So despite the reports of Lauryn's downfall, I plan on taking off work August 6th as to secure a prime position at Wingate Field. When I informed fam' this weekend at a friend's tea party, they snipped, "no need," as they foresaw I would be "the only one out there." And still I rise. For more on my devotion to Ms. Hill see Hello, Babar.

+Oh and the best part of the BET awards was when Beyoncé did the butterfly in response to her own old school dance entreaty. It is my favorite dance, possibly of all time (and I don't much like dancehall). Hopefully, her efforts will hasten its inevitable (I can hope, can't I) resurgence. For more on Beyoncé and the body politicized, once again, see Hello, Babar.

+Last but not least, last night, while setting up my spanking new MacBook (Yeah!!!), I flipped through the channels and caught a bit of the All-American Presidential Forum hosted by Tavis "Heady Hearthrob" Smiley, held at Howard University, and backgrounded by a collage of colored faces. My enthusiasm grew when I saw my mom's absolute favorite and fellow Spelman alumnae Marian Wright Edelman as well as spoken word poet/philosopher Cornel West in the audience. How cool was that? Unfortunately but predictably, it has been thus far under covered. Stream audio or video or download the podcast of the debate it in its entirety online at PBS.

And with regards to anyone who would foolishly challenge the All-Americanness of this debate, I'm reminded of the thinker (anyone remember the exact citation?) who basically said that Black people are quintessential Americans with regard to our unwavering belief in the American dream despite our tortured history here in America.

Jack and Jill Politics has a rundown as does blogher's Laurie Writes.

lundi, juin 25, 2007

Today Martin Luther will be performing a free show at the Soho Apple store at 6PM. I was gonna go and take some flix but I forgot my digi cam at home and probably won't have enough time to go home and get it after work and still make the show. Also Martin Luther plays SOB's tomorrow night with Jennifer Johns and Emily King.


Martin Luther killed at the Apple store yesterday. Cool as can be in Crocs, he opened with an acoustic set and then brought out drummer Nikki Glaspie and bassist Aaron Bellamy. If I got it right, he did a bakers dozen songs total, the most memorable being a medley of "Gang.Sta" from 2000's Calling with Bob Marley classics "So Much Trouble" and "Exodus", "Daily Bread", and "Home." He also previewed a ballad he's been working on titled "Dreaming Without Brakes" and a song he sang at his cousin's recent wedding (held at the Apollo no less) titled "Undefeated Love." I had only intended to stop by and snap a few pics and although photography was proscribed, M.L. was so composed and compelling I had to stay. Dude's voice is sweet and ascends from alto to falsetto with ease. His songs are neither too weighty nor too frivolous and he rocks. I've know about him for forever but there are so many soul singers with underground buzz that I just don't have the time to listen to them all. And with regard to his case in particular, I'm not all that fond of the Atlien rocker with whom he gets lumped, Cody Chestnut. Tangentially, I saw M.L. at the taping of the Dave Chappelle Block Party and if memory serves correct, outside the Be release party, and he look(s) good in leather. (BTW he's also featured in a new film starring Evan Rachael Wood, Across the Universe.

And my lovely discovery of the day is Herbie Hancock's cover of Stevie's "You've Got it Bad Girl" from The New Standard (1996).

vendredi, juin 22, 2007


Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky

(CNN) -- A girl's feet were cut off Thursday when a free-fall thrill ride malfunctioned at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Amusement Park in Louisville, Kentucky, police said.

A cord wrapped around the 16-year-old's feet and severed them at her ankles while she was on the "Superman Tower of Power," a police dispatcher said. The girl was taken to a local hospital.

An unidentified witness told CNN affiliate WLKY she saw a cable on the ride snap.

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

"That could have been all of us -- riding that ride," witness Whitney Sandfer told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO.

The incident took place shortly before 5 p.m. ET, according to Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg. The park remained open, but the ride in question was shut down and will remain so until the full investigation is complete, Goldberg said.

During the ride, passengers are lifted to 177 feet, suspended momentarily and then dropped, according to the park's Web site.

Passengers drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," it adds.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

The ride was introduced in 1995.

I scare easily and I get terrible motion sickness; still, I been know to wait in three hour lines for nausea and panic attack inducing thrill rides. What's crazy is that even after reading this story, I still won't swear them off.

via Boing Boing

jeudi, juin 21, 2007

Here & There

+There is a nice interview with Betty Davis at TSOYA. (Definitely left me wanting more. Wondering if any subjects were off limits.)

+ Quote of the day courtesy of Pharoahe Monch over at Hello, Babar.

+Ferentz Lafargue, author of the wonderful musical memoir Songs in the Key of My Life, will be at Fort Greene's Smooch this Friday at 7 for a listening party. I'm co-hosting.

+Cindy Blackman will be at Blue Note for their late nite series this Saturday.

+I'm very very tired.

mercredi, juin 20, 2007

Terry Gross interviews Booker T. Jones at NPR who recounts how he started with Stax in high school but continued with his education--high school and college--while balancing session and production work at Stax (in some cases Isaac Hayes would fill in for him when he was at school) which prompted oh-so-grating Terry to condescend:
"Had I just been listening to your records, I wouldn't have guessed that you were into classical music and I might not have known that you were as studious and as serious sounding as you are."
Gross (who's worked my nerves before) is this close to telling him, "You speak so well." She stays on this suspect line of questioning by basically positing that all soul aficionados think classical forms inauthentic and begging Jones for comment. For Gross soul/funk/gospel is slackness and classical music, studiousness and reserve, which she tries to attribute to some unspecified people. Jones existence, of course, explodes this false assumption (derived from ideas about how Black people are and by extension what their cultural production is) and this audibly unsettles Gross to no end.

This is why I have a love/hate relationship with NPR. That which masquerades as liberal and progressive is insidiously problematic and audaciously oblivious to its own prejudice. The first can be conquered with education but not with the latter condition.

I am compelled to elaborate. The things that Gross might have thought are solely her responsibility for unpacking. They have absolutely nothing to do with Jones. And the inclination to rely on one's own baggage-racked compass to blindly manufacture someone else's persona (we're talking no personal interaction or biographical information) is straight up foolish. I am opposed to this lazy interview style where the interviewer tells the interviewee all the things they think they are. This runs counter to the true purpose of that sort of engagement, which is to ask an individual all the things that they are. One should never be surprised because surprises are hinged on assumptions from which one should always steer clear. Full disclosure: I have done this. I interviewed Leela James a few years ago and said something stupid about the soulfulness of her sound I'd more associate with the south than LA. Stupid, stupid, I know and she sternly set me straight. I actually got my best quotes then but so inadvertently.

lundi, juin 18, 2007

New York City Opera presents excerpts of Margaret Garner
by Toni Morrison & Richard Danielpour Tuesday, June 19th

An Apollo audience advance viewing of excerpts from New York City’s forthcoming opera based on the events which inspired writer Toni Morrison’s acclaimed Beloved. Performances by New York City Opera cast members & commentary by composer Richard Danielpour, director Tazwell Thompson, & historian Dr. Delores M. Walters illuminate this powerful work & timeless message.

This is sold out but tickets might be made available tomorrow at 3pm.

Doing Fine/Doing Time

I don't like to watch the MSM but I when I flipped on the TV this morn I caught a little of a big three morning show before I could flip it to a Cosby show rerun and I heard Mike Nifong was disbarred. Really? Interesting how quickly some segments of society are able to exact revenge while Gary Tyler still languishes in Angola. I haven't heard of anyone being disbarred over that case. Since we're disbarring people, let's disbar the folk who prosecuted cases overturned on DNA evidence and other prosecutors involved in the miscarriage of justice. Let's demonstrate that everybody's life is important. Also all this collective pity for the Duke players is for the birds. Overeager DA's are an unfortunate part of life, disproportionately for the poor and the colored, which the MSM didn't have a problem with until they affected some troubled white wealthy lacrosse players with disturbing racist and sexist violent fantasy lives ( i.e., the e-mail the MSM conveniently forgets to remember).

Also probably gonna get an Apple notebook this week. Any advice?

vendredi, juin 15, 2007

Remember Me

Chaka Khan last night opening for Jill Scott at Radio City Music Hall

At show's end last night, Jill Scott flexed her muscles and imparted a new motto that begins, "Black girl...", but I didn't catch the rest. Anyone know what she said? Please let a sister know. Sounded empowering. Anyway I review her, ma cherie Chaka, and white boy extraordinaire Robin Thicke at Radio City last night at Hello, Babar.

PS-I know it might rain tonight but I'm still fin' to be at Summerstage. Nothing will keep me away from Cassandra.

jeudi, juin 14, 2007


I'm sick again and my mom's convinced it's the result of not taking my vitamins and some vegetarian-induced nutritional deficiency despite the fact that I'm 11 years into this. I have been sick a lot lately, twice its been a co-worker's fault, but on the other occasions I think the culprit is scant sleep and cheese. I've never done veganism for more than 6 months and it's because there is no decent vegan substitute for cheese and it's a texture and flavor that I quite enjoy particularly in my unrivaled baked mac & cheese on holidays. So despite having never been a really consistent vegan over the years, I had avoided cheese as well as eggs and milk but for the past few months me and the homemade Quesadilla have gotten close. Too close. I think he's the source of all this congestion. And I think I'm going to have to swear him off for good. I mean as a negress, I can't digest it anyway but pizza's gonna be hard to give up (I've been to Viva Cafe: their vegan slices are good but pizza without cheese just isn't really pizza excluding the raw vegan faux sausage pizza at Quintessence. That's extraordinary!) Anyway, I think cheese has made me fatter too. Switched back to mesclun salads and tofu dishes without even exercising and I've slimmed down. I was getting portly.

Anyway a couple of other things...
+New posts up at VIBE: One on Black film, one on sex & violence and one of song favorites. Leave a comment.
+Also my jazz listening group convenes this Friday for the Cassandra Wilson Summerstage show. As always e-mail me if your coming through. I'll be in line by 5:30 but I'd appreciate back cuts from anyone I know who makes it their first.
Cassandra Wilson
From the Summerstage Web site:

Cassandra Wilson & Olu Dara
Friday, June 15, 2007
From 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Central Park SummerStage

The fine line between jazz, blues and world music is explored through the art of two master performers.

The 2007 SummerStage season will open with the return of one of our favorite performers, vocalist Cassandra Wilson. While she's widely acknowledged as one of America's best jazz singers, Wilson's artistic vision defies categorization, incorporating as it does deep blues, folk, soul, rock and world music. Her 2006 album Thunderbird is her most rhythmically adventurous, replete with drum loops and sampling. As always, Wilson's choice of material reflects her wide-ranging tastes, and on Thunderbird she mixes stirring originals with mesmerizing covers of songs by everyone from Jakob Dylan to Blind Lemon Jefferson.

A fixture of NYC's jazz scene for over thirty years, Olu Dara has worked with David Murray, Henry Threadgill, James "Blood" Ulmer, hip-hop superstar Nas (who happens to be his son) and Cassandra Wilson. His trumpet playing earned him comparisons to Roy Eldridge, but when he released his solo debut, In The World: From Natchez to New York, in 1998, he had metamorphosized into a country blues guitarist and singer. His success at moving so effortlessly between different worlds of music is just one indication of Olu Dara's creative prowess.

52 is a Jazz listening group that aims to cultivate a friendly community of open-minded Jazz fans. Each month 52 coordinates outings to free or low cost venues in New York City.

vendredi, juin 08, 2007

Oh Lawd

About a week ago I decided I would input a lot of upcoming to do's in Google Calendar instead of Outlook but Wednesday after only taking a peak at my Outlook, I scheduled Rock Creek Park Redux--my belated b-day/grad thing--for this Saturday, the same time as the opening of the URB Alt fest. Damn Damn Damn Sergey. Whatever, we'll have fun in the park and Res will come back to the city soon.

mercredi, juin 06, 2007


Jazz & Roses
This past Sunday I caught two extraordinary musicians who I've followed for the past year or so, vocalist Gretchen Parlato and guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke, at Brooklyn's Botanic Garden. Deft in multiple genres (jazz, bossa nova, west African, rock), the two inventively covered Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, performed some compelling songs by songwriter Josh Mease, some Loueke originals and a few tunes from Parlato's stellar self-titled debut (which you should buy immediately). Co-sponsor WBGO recorded the performance and is airing their Sunday set this evening at 6:30 PM (You can stream the radio broadcast online). I highly recommend it.

Set list:
"I Can't Help It" (Wonder)
"Akwe" (Loueke)
"Landslide" (Mease)
"Butterfly" (Hancock)
"Doralice" (Getz)
"Juju" (Shorter)
"Me & You" (Mease)
"Nonvignon" (Loueke)

mardi, juin 05, 2007

"Big booty hoes hump wit' it." The retort.

Finally something new from me at KING: a critique of Ben Westhoff VV piece on Black male lifestyle magazines here.

vendredi, juin 01, 2007

Summer Madness

At some point I will sketch out the gloriousness that is summer in the 5 boros: free music, dance, theatre, etcetera, but I will now call collective attention to Res' inclusion in the URB ALT Festival kick off, June 9th at Marcus Garvey Park. Tix (only $5) are supposed to be available at Ticket Alternative. Anyway, some musings on Res and Rihanna over at "Hello, Babar"