jeudi, décembre 20, 2007

The Seed in The Bush


Paul Robeson Theater has got a crumbling rinky dink interior but excellent if EXTREMELY sporadic* and underpromoted programming. The attendance of the last show I hit up there included me, Laylah and friends of the band. The Paul Robeson concert series kicks off this evening. I'll probably check out the Cody Chestnutt/Emily King early show Sunday Saturday 'cause, I really like Emily, I've never heard Cody live, and this spot is beyond close to the residence.
Source: Green Brooklyn

*Makes sense since as their sandwiched between an apartment building and residential brownstones.

mercredi, décembre 19, 2007

mas x-mas


I really want to go caroling. I told L'Erin. She told me to post a MySpace bulletin but I don't MySpace. I mean I'm on there on gp but I don't really do it. And I don't think anyone would respond anyway or probably not anyone whose caroling company I would enjoy. Facebook neither. I don't think I have any friends who would carol, which is pretty wack. I need to make more friends (.) who want to do shit like carol through Brooklyn for fun. I've also long wanted to play freeze tag in Fort Greene Park. If you're down, let me know. Maybe when the weather warms up. Ideally, I'd like to play tag in the dark like we used to Christmases in L'Erin's basement or nightime on camping trips but I don't know if it would be safe. I mean I've never felt unsafe in BK (nota bene: I've never been to east new york) but per my Fort Greene Google alert, it seems folk are getting mugged on the semi regular. I'm an amateur racewalker and apparently look "so mean" if we are to rely on the opinion of the city's male loiterers so I imagine I'm not the ideal muggee. So I guess the plan for the news is to translate the wants no matter how minor into memories moments. Memories don't live like people do.

Also I'm looking into becoming a tambourine lady. Please advise.

mardi, décembre 18, 2007

música viva


So yesterday after Courtney and I met with Juan Flores and Miriam Jimenez Roman to discuss their groundbreaking and oh so necessary Afro Latin Forum, I L-trained it west to the Highline Ballroom for the Robert Glasper Experiment with special guest Q-Tip (only after stopping by Better Burger for some vege grub and hogging their sole bathroom while trying and failing to apply liquid eyeliner. Although I was once an expert, the skills have spectacularly devolved. But air kisses to the physically fit gay clientele for not evil-eyeing me when I finally emerged, liner smudges and all.) I interviewed show openers HEAVy Friday-the Q&A, featuring great photos by Rich, is up over at my VIBE blog -and they delivered a hyperkinetic, polished and confident performance that the Bad Plusish seated crowd didn't entirely seem to get. I enjoyed it though. I would have liked to get up and dance but the energy of the set up thwarted that impulse. Still, I rocked in my seat and thumped my arm rest from " Boy" to their cover of Pharoahe Monch's "Body Baby." Joshua Alston accompanied and likened Nicky, who contorted, posed, air cycled, and kicked off her shoes for a lap around the ballroom, to an aerobic instructor you cross your fingers that you don't get (I don't relay quotes well but it was fun-ny (that's a The-Dream dash btw). Anyway, whether the Highline bought it (and HEAVy were selling CD's), them two, as Joshua noted, sold it. After a good pause, Robert Glasper and his experiment-Casey from HEAVy on saxophone, keytar and vocoder, Derrick Hodge of Terence Blanchard's quintet among other groups on Bass and Chris Dave on drums-took the stage. Hodge kicked it off with some flamenco ish, the gang joined in and eventually transitioned into loose interpretation of "Canvas", if I'm not mistaken, and then birdcalls figured in, supplied by whom or what I don't know. Dave's crowd pleasing drumming and Benjamin's vocodering were prominent but both I could have done with less (Dave's musical voice is overpowering, to me at least). 'Tip, whose mohawk I like despite their overness 'cause it's loose and sort of napped and probably 'cause he's Q-Tip, joined the fray by spitting a lil' vintage ODB and tore through "Find A Way," "Electric Relaxation," "Higher" (choice ad lib: "They so pimped up and angry-no bush neither") and "Fever." Mos Def, for whom Glasper has served as sideman and maybe musical director, was beckoned to perform by 'Tip and briefly did his thing and came back and performed "Black Radio" lovely for the encore. He also dared Glasper to rap: "When you gonna kick a verse hardcore jazz style?" Glasper acquiesced and had Mos, who kept yelling "Give it to 'em Rob" in stitches. And the highlight would be Bilal and Mos performing "Reminisce"; I don't ever get tired of that bassline. Bilal popped out his booth and just MURDERED IT.

PS-I spotted Algebra in Bilal's booth. What the hell is going on with her project?
..."'burkas for boys', are the latest craze." Read more here.

mardi, décembre 11, 2007


VIBE blogs has relaunched and my blog url has changed to:

Here's a link. Do update your bookmarks/subscriptions.

vendredi, décembre 07, 2007


detour sign
Slow here. A bit busier over there. New stuff over at VIBE...

+Grammy gripes.

+So you want to be a soulsinger?! Be advised, increasingly negresses need not apply.

+Dave Chappelle and I sorta go back. BTW, I been meaning to somehow incorporate Chappelle into my Black middle class work. I knew his mom to be a cleric and scholar of note but was unaware of his maternal grandfather's accomplishments.

+For the first time since I left the nest, I'm not going home for Christmas. I'm a miss my mama 'n dem but I need the vacation time to chill and regroup, and the ticket money to get my finances straight (tix are sky high, I won't borrow take more money from my sis and mom for this and I'm saving my frequent flier miles for London). So I bought a tree, put up lights and made a little list of Christmas songs to keep me in the right frame of mind.

dimanche, décembre 02, 2007

The JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM which has just secured a permanent home in the to be redeveloped Victoria Theater, will inaugurate a new free series Jazz for Curious Readers featuring Harlem journalist Herb Boyd this Monday.

Boyd, a prolific Harlem-based author and frequent Downbeat contributor, will get the new series off to a swingin’ start.

Monday, December 3, 2007

6:00 pm | At the NY Public Library
203 West 115th Street
Guest: Author Herb Boyd

Herb Boyd is an award-winning author and journalist who has published sixteen books and countless articles for national magazines and newspapers. Brotherman—The Odyssey of Black Men in America —An Anthology (One World/Ballantine, 1995), co-edited with Robert Allen of the Black Scholar journal, won the American Book Award for nonfiction. In 1999, Boyd won three first place awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists for his articles published in the Amsterdam News. Among his most popular books are Black Panthers for Beginners (Writers & Readers, 1995); Autobiography of a People—Three Centuries of African American History Told By Those Who Lived It (Doubleday, 2000); and Pound for Pound—The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson (Amistad, 2005). Most recently he worked with world music composer and musician Yusef Lateef on his autobiography for Morton Books, The Gentle Giant, released in 2006.