Archive for August, 2010

It is like a never-ending dirge; or some opportunistic occasion for every pundit, news director, ratings-starved TV news outlet, musician or spoken word artist to once again, weigh-in on an occasionally occurring natural phenomenon and resulting human tragedy.  Why don’t you really try to depress the masses! Between the oil story and “Katrina” ( again), a foreigner might think that the only “news’ in the U.S.A. comes from that area!

Ever since 2005 this time, we are now browbeaten with this Katrina stuff.  Enough already.  I actually think NBC anchor man Brian Williams must BE from there because he is  always  talking about New Orleans and “Katrina” as if it was the first-ever hurricane to decimate a part of this country – which it is not by the way.  Mr. William’s delivery is one of the most monotoned and depressing as a regular anchor man that I have ever heard by the way, and most of the time I ignore this and think of him as a News Jockey, just some glue in-between stories. Today I turned-off the nightly TV news early in the half-hour and every radio program that mentioned “Katrina” again…”Geez”  Enuff already!!

I remember hurricane Donna tracking up the east coast from waay out in the Atlantic and touching us all ashore back in 1960 when I was just a boy in New York City. Now  that  was a classic storm!  Our Queens neighborhood flooded big-time.  The avenues and side streets became rivers; basements deep water pools and garages awash.  The kids around the corner used the opportunity to take a swim and launch their parent’s boat that had only recently been taken in from the fishing docks near the Whitestone Bridge.  Good thing the news and perpetual repetition media was not so frenzied or afflicted with suspicious tunnel visioned reliving of the past like they are these days; there would have been no simplicity of people just cleaning-up and getting back to normal after the storm – but it would have been hilarious to see the reporters swimming down the street on black and white TV!   It is similar to people who cannot live without a phone to their ears for even a minute!

There will always be natural disasters.  Every September, are we constantly reminded of the Earthquake in San Francisco that occurred during the Giants/Oakland World Series?  No, and I actually remember that more than “Katrina”! Nashville just had an historic flood three months ago.  Is that event still all over the network nightly “world” news broadcasts? No.  So why do we constantly have to have “Katrina” rubbing our noses in misery of the past that only ONE state out of the whole fifty experienced dramatically?

 There are enough tragedies in every state to make up a news cast daily, I am sure.  A friend of mine suggested there is a  political  agenda afoot with all of this “Gulf of Louisiana” news now – they are a political “football”; I suggested there is also a racial scapegoating component, and am sure that there was enough loss, heartache and getting stranded on rooftops to go around, no matter what your ethnicity.  The news just chose to hype the Black American story for their ratings and race-baiting appetites.  By the way the Saints finally won in football, what more do they want?? LOL

As I seek to reinvent myself and chase the elusive amended career income and financial stability that I know I deserve, I do not want to hear, nor can I empathize with “Katrina” anymore; her day has come and gone, and I have more personal “fish” to fry ( maybe Cajun-style, even! LOL).

Since it seems that I am good at sharing my musical cranium with you herein, I ask you to try this one on for size:

I have had what is, in these times, a rare “good day”!  Yay!  I’ll tell you about it some other time – after I raise the funds to pay the reduced bill – suffice for now to celebrate with one of the best opening numbers for a live album that I’ve ever heard, from the master composer of my popular music era, Stevie Wonder. 

Pickhit:  My international love digs Stevie too, and thus we have another”check-mark” of compatability sparked by her limited exposure to him overseas.   The orchestra background, and the drummer especially,  is ever-so “tight” too!! Check out the strings interlude in the middle! Golden.

Here are the lyrics:

Lonely, my life used to be lonely
Lonely like the lonely single number one
Lonely like a lonely sun
Without a single iota to shine upon

Crying, deep inside I was crying
Like the muddy Mississippi, my tears flowed
Carrying with it my lonely soul
Leaving no clue of who,
where or what I would become

Oh, how I longed to be possessed by one somebody
To hold me, control me, show me what I should do with my broken life
But oh, was I lifted when I let your light shine in my body
Then I shed my sorrows for joy, love and
you in my, my, my li-li-life
I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Singing sweet melodies of your sweet, sweet love
Forever grateful for your love

Money, oh how did I have money
Enough to last me from start til the end of time
With some more to leave behind
And yet I was a cent-less pauper in distress
I can, feel the very presence of your love here
Though I’ve never seen the pleasure of your smile
No, I’ve never touched your hand
And yet you’ve given me eternal happiness

Oh, how I longed to be possessed by one somebody
To hold me, control me, show me what I should do with my broken life
But oh, was I lifted when I let your light shine in my body
Then I shed my sorrows for joy, love and
you in my, my, my li-li-life
I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Singing sweet melodies of your sweet, sweet love
Forever grateful for your sweet, sweet love

I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Singing sweet melodies of your sweet, sweet love
Forever grateful for your sweet,sweet, love

I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Forever grateful for your love

Oh, how I longed to be possessed by one somebody
To hold me, control me, show me what I should do with my broken life
Oh, was I lifted when I let God’s light shine in my body
Then I shed my sorrows for joy, love and you
in my, my, my li-li-life

I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Singing sweet melodies of your sweet, sweet love
Giving all praises for your sweet, sweet love

I’m dancing to the rhythms of your love
Forever grateful for your love

Here is the video: 

I can play this cut over-and over…again, and again, and a-gainnnnn….LOL As usual…Love.


Do you remember the TV game show, “Name That Tune”? Well, Saturday night, just as I am about to go to sleep early for a change like  a “good boy”, a Wes Montgomery jazz number’s last notes sparked an idea for an update on that show’s theme.  The notes were suddenly dancing in my head earlier that afternoon, which is how it is to be me.  I think my mind is better than any radio station’s automation at selecting random and timely music of the past forty years to torment me with.

So I just HAD to play this song in order to get it out of my mental front row seats and maintain what I know as sanity.  I had to find it first in my library, which, incredibly I  did, almost immediately!  Wow and Holy Cow!  I hadn’t been to my “jazz crates” in a while, but went right to it!  This is one reason I call my vinyls my “children”, I always know where to find them through my own unique memory catalogue system.  The only knowledge I had going-in was, “vibes, jazz, last eight notes” and I thought it might be  the late Milt Jackson playing them.

As a DJ and player of many notes in songs, I have never before conjured-up a song that I just HAD to play from its last eight notes!  How Fun! OMG!  Then to grab it at 3:30 AM on my first try?  I knew at that moment that bedtime was now postponed for at least another hour, so I re-charged my inner night owl, poured another glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and proceeded to find the cut on “Wes and Friends” , a  February 1973 Milestone Records “specially priced two-record set”  addition to my library featuring Wes, Milt Jackson and George Shearing.   

 Fortunately I made good notes amongst the centerfold liner notes and track listing, and remembered that this song had two versions, If I wasn’t mistaken.  Sure enough, after briefly going to “Stairway To The Stars” on side one, where I wrote in red “Oh Yes!”, I saw “Blue Roz” [Take 3 and Take 4] and next to them via a connected arrow the word “serius” underlined twice by me all those years ago.  I knew I had my selection!  I thought, “I bet they don’t have  this one on You Tube, and I was right – to an extent – they do have it on another album, “Bags Meets Wes”.  Jackson really swings on this composition, portraying the introduction,  body and conclusion with Philly Joe Jones on drums laying-down the solid foundation;  “Bags” was Milt’s  nickname by the way.  

 The one time I interviewed Milt Jackson was at Grant’s Tomb in New York City during a summertime Jazzmobile outdoor concert in the late 1980s.  He was still cool and up there in age by then, and I have him on tape not wanting to reveal why they called him “Bags” saying jovially, “Well we’re not going to get into that right now…” LOL  A great moment. Play it again, and listen for those last eight notes!  Wouldn’t this be a great idea for a game show?  “ba-bong, ba-bong, ba-ba bong-bonggg….”

Sometimes I think that I probably spend more time writing this blog than I should, since I am under/unemployed, vulnerable to eviction and not making any $$ with it so far (any suggestions for improving the latter are healthily welcomed). Mainly, it is a nice writing exercise.

I also spend more time than I should, here as my fifties creep along, in waiting rooms with people with one-third my education, one-fifth of my verbal and communicative skills, babies crying or un-policed playing all over the dirty floors, tousled as I am filling-out forms. White boyz talking “Ebonics”, which I thought was waay out-of-style, all as I’m in search of social assistance that will keep me from being evicted from the house I have rented for the past nine years, and to help paying the utility bills. 

What also jumps-out is how many of these people are seriously overweight and how they do not dress to impress the interviewer.  Even if you have no money, you can still try to look good, right?  One lady comes out of the office praising “God” saying, “Thank you Jesus!” repeatedly.  Obviously she received the good news of approval, that I didn’t when it was my turn – I just got a “referral” to  another agency.  “Arrrgh!!”

This is  not what they sold me on becoming when I was recruited by thee University, and the many other colleges at “college fairs” when I was a senior in high school back in Queens, New York City the early 1970s.  “I must have fucked-up real bad by going into radio broadcasting” , I think to myself nowadays.  Not trying to be “bourgeois” but I didn’t  go to the University to become this person here and now!  Why is this? Because our country has dumbed-down the masses via wretched media bullshit and “reality” TV and created so many obstacles ( like unnecessary “background checks” and getting fingerprinted before accused of a crime) in order to even  become a “tutor” and help those disaffected,  that we “good and honest” people [like me] are dissuaded from going the “distance” on principle, as we were rightfully taught not to sell our souls to “Big Brother” without being charged with a crime up-front!  “Background checking, for what??”  The moderator says, “So if any of you have any red flags out there, you can excuse yourselves now, and if you have any questions about what might a red flag be, you can talk to us off-line.”  Off-line?  We are sitting in a meeting room!  “Arrghh – the future!!”  I write in my notebook.  Since when do we need an FBI-style security clearance in order to be an English Tutor?  “There has to be something else I can do and get paid enough $$ to cover my expenses…”

What is it about President Obama and the mosque near “ground zero’ in lower Manhattan??  Do these guys [Presidents] get into “the White House” and suddenly become stupid??  I ask this because I want to know WHY President Obama just validated what every person who thinks he is a “closet terrorist”‘ or a Muslim sympathizer’s thinking by weighing-in, in-favor of an Islamic “mosque” near where the World Trade Center towers once stood, but collapsed  at the hand of their wayward “brothers” in a perverted form of Islam?  I see that he has the “eggs disease” of thinking that what he has to say is SO important, whatever it is, that even against his better cerebral judgment, he will say it anyway given a lectern, microphone and captive audience.  Only the late President John F. Kennedy resisted this temptation, IMHO. Dumb. If he doesn’t watch -out, he will be hanging-out with Jimmy Carter in the one-term waiting room, I am afraid; “Maybe it is what he wants“, my fiancee` says.  I say, hey folks, like him or not, please WRITE to him PAPER letters en masse! I am told he reads at least fifty per day!  Write letters! Coach the brotha up, and please keep it respectful! My motto: be part of the solution not the problem.

I am the kind who, if you give me directions to your house party once – or if I MAPQUEST it via your request – will never forget how to get back there again (although I might get lost getting OUT of there that first time via people’s ridiculous, libations-laced “distructions” LOL)

So now I encounter all of this advice for me going forward in the post-terrestrial radio DJ era on how to do what I used to do better on the internet. Okay, but nobody is here to take my lame-old middle-aged ass by the hand and show me how to accomplish this!  I would never know how to even surf the i-net except that the kind folks like my ever-loving friend, Sweet D-Nyce at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, et al, were all too willing to help me back in the late 1990s, when I couldn’t even  dream  of owning a PC in my home!

Now that I do have it like that, and write to your eyes right-now, I still wonder, “Where are the home-visits from the PC tutor?”  Like my old Brooklyn homie, Sal Monella used to say about this time of the year, “Time to catch a wave before the summer is over, I guess…rideshare anybody?”

Pickhitt: Cousin Brucie, Dan Ingram, are you still doing “radio”?  And my main Man, Chuck Leonard, of Music Radio 77 WABC of my youth…miss you BIG time.  The above song reminds me of you guys..  You are on my “Wall of Fame” in my home studio.

There is not much to say about this except for the fact that this song came to me today as I try to “hold on” against the storm, realizing that I have more loyalty and companionship thousands of miles away from my current location in Nina, than I have from some people who I THOUGHT were my loyalists.

Little known fact about this record is that it has this cornbread feel to it back in the day, and it is truly amazing that it made the top of the charts.  There is this “pickin and strumming” aspect of the guitar and yes a banjo licks of this extended version that was just incredibly unusual at the time this record came out – like Kelloggs Corn Flakes theme or somethin’…the beauty of the “disco era” was that it embodied many aspects of society, musically all at once.

It is sad that when you reach your mid-fifties, or whatever age it sets in, that some people, even “family” will betray a  good person like me [or you] as Brutus did Julius Caesar; it is happy however when you have forever loyalists who continue to have your “back” as well, and therefore I shall accentuate the positive as much as possible herein.  Some try to insinuate that I “forgive” the Benedict Arnolds of my life…I say no, “forgiveness'” has been a trait of a thousand years of random societies, and the downfall of empires.  If I would have lived back in the ages of Caesar, I would have been the most benevolent, King of the  Bruce, yet the most harshest of …  Be that as it may…

This is a classic record from my collection, and it is truly amazing that all of this music  that is on You Tube is available at the click of a mouse!  Holy COW!!  How did this happen to be found, and how can I get in on the sharing part of  it, because I am sure that my collection has some titles that even You Tube does not have. LOL  Cha-Chingg!!

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