Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Your Time at a Protest Nearby

Glenn Beck (remember him?) called Jon Stewart a moron for comparing the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Tea Party movement. I wouldn't go that far, but it is clear they are quite different. For example:
  1. The Tea Party was old, white, and rich  retired, distinguished, and rich.
  2. The Tea Party is not brainwashed like Herman Cain 98% of African-Americans.
  3. The Tea Party had the country's best interest in their own money on their mind. (Got my mind on the money and the money on my mind -- the only thing they have in common with anyone black except for Allen West, Herman Cain, Michael Steele, and Clarence Thomas)
  4. The Tea Party should have gotten have never gotten arrested.
  5. The Tea Party is a grass roots movement fully funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers and sponsored by FOX.
  6. The Tea Party protests were respectful and never angry.
Respecting the Office of the President

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rest in Peace Gil Scott Heron

It's not just Chris Bosh who is underrated

Look these up:

Must Be Something
A Lovely Day
Better Days Ahead
Song for Bobby Smith
Song of the Wind
Save the Children
Speed Kills
Home is Where the Hatred Is
Your Daddy Loves You
Back Home
Peace Go With You Brother
Rivers of My Father
We Almost Lost Detroit
The Prisoner
Lady Day and John Coltrane
Angel Dust
The Bottle

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Greatest Oscar of Them All

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is 103 and I'm following him on Twitter.

Space Intro: Steve Miller Band
Future Shock: Curtis Mayfield
Tomorrow Never Knows: Junior Parker
Steppin' Into Tomorrow: Donald Byrd
The Creator Has a Master Plan: Leon Thomas

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sit Back, Relax, and Listen To The 8 Track

Way back when, before the Walkman, CD players, mp3's, and the iPod, people listened to music on a post turntable creation called the 8 track. Life may have seemed simpler then, but listening to music wasn't. Having the in-dash 8 track in your Vega was a great way to listen to Henry Mancini, Bob Dylan, and the Spinners from 1965 until the end of the 70's.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter in Miami: Love to New York, Southern California, and the Cold

I woke up from a dream about this Tradewinds song last night. I saw myself thinking about Jan and Dean's Surf City and driving this:
or maybe this:
but it could have been this:
(Thank God it wasn't this:)
In any case, this is what we do in Miami in the winter.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When Ali Met Sally

It is clear that I am expected to be more fearful about the Muslim Brotherhood than I was as a child of the Jewish Sisterhood. And if I had only paid better attention in that Sisterhood Hall to the social contract which was expected of me – if only I had fallen into line and for a Jewish girl, then I am certain -- we wouldn’t be in this mess today.
There has been a lot of talk about how the social media has contributed to the uprising upheaval in the Middle East. In Egypt, a lot of blame credit must also go to the morally reprehensible, aberrant behavior exhibited by wayward young multicultural Egyptian adults like Sally Moore.
 According to the Arab-worshiping reliable New York Times, “I like the Brotherhood most, and they like me,” said Ms. Moore, a 32-year-old psychiatrist, a Coptic Christian and an avowed leftist and feminist of mixed Irish-Egyptian roots. “They always have a hidden agenda, we know, and you never know when power comes how they will behave. But they are very good with organizing, they are calling for a civil state just like everyone else, so let them have a political party just like everyone else — they will not win more than 10 percent, I think.”
My question is this: how could Sally Moore, whose parents clearly were not paying attention to the apocalyptic warnings they must have been issued as children before intermarrying jumping off the abyss into some funk, know more than our flawlessly informed, right-wing media?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tiptop Tiptoe

Not even excessive surgery could tarnish the beauty of the Miami City Ballet doing their Twyla Tharp thing to Nine Sinatra Songs at the Adrienne Arsht Center last night.

I got chills which multiplied during the second go-round of My Way. I look forward to the creation of the ballet which will feature Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind.

Friday, February 4, 2011

KRS-Two and a Righteous Teacher

KRS-One was an 80’s rapper from Brooklyn. KRS stood for Knowledge Reigns Supreme.
Poor Righteous Teachers, also known as PRT, released their first recordings in 1989.

I first read about Piero Scaruffi in the New York Times in 2005.  The headline read, “The Greatest Web Site Of All Time.”
Piero Scaruffi has the most amazing web site information I’ve ever seen. It seems the only thing he does not know is how to design a website.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Uprising: Dignity and Courage Before It Turns

I remember fuul -- fava bean stew and falafel at Felfela, an oasis of calm in Cairo. I drank Karkaday, flaming red hibiscus tea sometimes called Agua de Jamaica in Mexico, and bought some to take home. I went to the Valley of the Kings, Edfu, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan. I sat and savored peppermint tea, once in the blazing summer, once in spring, and once in winter. Three times I visited in a 15 years span. Egypt was no paradise; the touts and hustlers are as conspicuous as the tourist, I suppose. One can hardly meet any of the millions who do what they are supposed to every day, never asking for anything. Travel in Egypt was difficult. But I recall the haunting tears of a gentle guide expressing love at the Muhammad Ali Mosque, his eyes fighting to remain clear. I became touched. I felt something. I should have learned something, but I was unprepared.

It is not for me to claim to be an arbiter. Three times there, but I did not really care for Egypt. Yet now I mysteriously feel something of the great desperation that those on the street in Egypt harbor. It is not guilt or shame. Though nobody wants it, it is sympathy. This is all I am capable of.

A few pictures are worth a thousand words, and a few songs worth a moment’s thought.

Get Up Stand Up: Bob Marley and the Wailers
Risin’ to the Top: Keni Burke: Keni Burke- "Risin´ To The Top" With Lyrics
Stand Down Margaret: The Specials
Courage: The Whitest Boy Alive
Sweet Day: Tokimonsta: Tokimonsta - Sweet Day
Time To Get Ill: Beastie Boys
A Very Precious Time: Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
Time is Running Out: Doug Carn
Time For a Change: The Eight Minutes
When It’s Your Time to Go: Billy Paul
Never Can Say Goodbye: Isaac Hayes
If You’re Gonna Leave: Raul Midon
Before I Let you Go: Blackstreet
You Know I’m No Good: Amy Winehouse
Every Goodbye: Eddie Roberts: Play song from MySpace Music
Time to Say Goodbye: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brighton
Last Goodbye: Jeff Buckley
Get Gone: Ideal

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Brazilian Lullaby

All things converged after seeing Waste Land over the concept of American exceptionalism.

I lay in bed awash with the random blast of thoughts related, I suppose, to some sort of AADD -- the adult version of attention deficit. I thought of Pele and Rush Limbaugh, of Tim Maia and Wolf Blitzer, of Brazil and the United States.  I even thought of old musical friend Allyson Royster, Lucas Pagano, and Papichi, a South Miami restaurant recommended to me by the then 13 year-old Brazilian. It made perfect sense and none at all at the same time. It got better, or crazier.

The Sunday New York Times included an article about 24 hours in Lisbon while I listened to a mix called Alma Doce: Brasilian Sweet Soul followed by a hip-hop DJ Nuts/Arthur Verocai set.

Needing closure, this is where it lands: Vik Muniz who lives in Brooklyn and was born in Sao Paolo, is the subject of Waste Land; he showered massive love toward those working in the world’s largest landfill near Rio. City of God’s Fernando Meirelles is the Executive Producer of the documentary (whatever that entails). Somebody decided to use music by Moby. (good move) Lucy Walker directed one of the most uplifting experiences I have witnesed, the screening I saw ending with an audience ovation. (heartfelt) It’s about art, materialism, and dignity.

This is 21st century exceptionalism -- something borderless yet rooted within borders, proud of its ethnicity yet blurry because it has long since crossed boundaries.

Political discussions, political blogs, political TV, and political desperation will have one believe that there is something called American exceptionalism. They are speaking code about Ronald Reagan, trapped in something which knows little about anything but clever ploys to gain control. I am not mad at them; they are angry at something.

There is exceptionalism, and sometimes it is American. Vik Muniz is a Brazilian born, Brooklyn residing example, and the forerunner of what is to come if we are lucky. You could say that those who are exceptional represent a change, but you would be far too late or poorly traveled.

Here is a soundtrack before screening, during research, or while preparing Bobó de Camarão:

Brooklyn: Youngblood Brass Band
City Dump: Dyke and the Blazers
Junkyard Jewel: Maya Azucena
Let Love Rule: Lenny Kravitz
Harvest for the World: Isley Brothers
Everybody Loves the Sunshine: Seu Jorge and Almaz
A Better World (For Everyone): Ernie Hines
Song of the Wind: Gil Scott-Heron
Crying Every Night: Stranger Cole
Farewell to the Welfare: Wendell Harrison
Love in a Trashcan: The Raveonettes
Gostava Tanto de Voce: Tim Maia

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Out in the Streets There Is Violence

It is said that if one shakes the carbonated bottle, the top may blow. And so the theory goes, we had better not shake that bottle. We make sure the bottle does not move, so the top does not blow, so that we do not get wet.

But the world turns, the bottle moves, and the top has blown. Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Dictator/President has sat on top of an authoritarian bottle for 30 years while we have looked the other way, often at Fidel Castro, and never at Saudi Arabia. Now he may be about to get his.

Aside from this, when you watch any of the clips, there are no women on the streets. No Woman, No Cry? I don't think so! There is a lot to process here.

The top has blown in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Yemen, and in Algeria. What's next?

A Soulful Soundtrack for the Tragedy:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Gil Scott-Heron
The Breakdown Part 1 and Part 2: Rufus Thomas
Love Attack: The Persuaders
Everybody Gotta Learn Sometime: Beck
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death: The Salem Travelers
Killing Me Softly: Roberta Flack
Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards: Lou Bond
Psycho Killer: Talking Heads
Electric Avenue: Eddy Grant
War: Bob Marley
We've Got to Make a Change: Mickey & the Soul Generation
Thin Line Between Love and Hate: Persuasions
I Say a Little Prayer: Dionne Warwick
Freedom: Build an Ark
Stop the War, Now: Edwin Starr
What the World Needs Now is Love: Jackie De Shannon
Never Again: Remedy
Peace Go With You, Brother: Gil Scott-Heron

Friday, January 28, 2011

Early in the Morning, Before You Eat Your Breakfast, You Gotta Get Down

For some unknown reason, with this old song ringing mercilessly in my ears, a kind of funk renaissance has echoed in my head ever since I saw Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen. Unfortunately, I missed it at MDC's Tower Theater on Calle Ocho, but I did catch it at UM's Cosford. If you missed it on the big rectangle, I don't know if it will complete the suburban trinity and be screened in the future at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, but if not, you can select option four and watch it at home on Netflix. No matter how you feel about the film, the soundtrack is beautiful. That's where we need to go.

When I was little, I first heard Funky Broadway by Dyke and the Blazers. I remember friends doing the dance, and with a little prodding, encoragement, or lubrication, I could probable to the pre-AARP version today. Wilson Pickett covered it as well. Now I'm distracted by memories of Otis Redding singing Try a Little Tenderness. Good stuff!

Check out the soundtrack -- Dyke, Bogaloo Joe Jones, Kool and the Gang, Quincy Jones, and supercool Syl Johnson among others. Then, one day we'll talk about the music from 24 Hour Party People or This is England.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beauty and a Beast or Two

President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech last night, and I was impressed if not riveted. Certain suggestions are obvious -- we need to think ahead. All the transportation suggestions make perfect sense to anyone who has ever been out of the country; those who haven't cannot see how much better the European infrastructure is. All the solar stuff makes perfect sense. Seeing the reaction of the three Caucasian generals as the prez spoke of Don't Ask Don't Tell was hilarious -- old dinosaurs. Watching Jackass John McCain applaud the earmark veto threat was hilarious; what a phony chameleon. These suggestions are no-brainers, but the economics more complicated.

When I heard that Michele Bachmann would deliver the Tea Party Caucus response, I turned off the TV and went to bed. She is a lying fool.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Okay, so -- where should we begin?

I ate well this morning -- Organic O's, pepitas, sunflower seeds, plain Stonyfield Farm 2%, raw cashews, honey, and Organic Valley milk.

I played Gene West's In The Ghetto. He later became Barry White.

I thought about designing a new single speed.

I read about Herzog & de Meuron's new Miami Beach parking garage in the New York Times.

That's enough, isn't it?