Archive for December, 2011


One last post,

Prior to year-end toasts,

I want to write something about 2011.

Nicknamed, “Agent 011”

And now the year gone by;

Want to review it,

I do not know why.

I tire of the usual “top ten” this,

Or “top (pick a number) lists” that many subscribe to.

There I go again,

Wanting to bring a new angle to you!

“Progressive personally” is the description #1;

Then “ridding old demons” follows as number two.

Surprisingly I found myself,

Wanting to get married finally!

Annoyingly I still had pangs of the gravity,

Still pulled by past negativity,

Which I have longed to break free of.

Friends of the new kind helped,

As did one whose ally is “ole”.

Many in a major monetary way,

Factored in my progress to this new day!

Difficult to retain,

We all need those regularly.

Last year was an international secret agent, ‘Man!

Finally freeing me from long-term misery;

My James Bond in the Aston Martin,

Disguised as a Ukrainian beauty one moment;

A Brooklyn attorney the next.

Angels, lights, action and camera from a friend,

Introduced as a “filmmaker” for the first time in public,

I felt the need to shop at the nearest Publix!

Like a prisoner pardoned,

This agent allowed me to rebuild my life,

To where it should have been –

Or much past amends,

For what I would have yen,

Is a much larger leader of men.

Many paper letters penned;

Frustration, disappointment, videos, Bravo!

Almost gone now and my mission is still incomplete.

I went back to worship regularly;

Praying to move forward in-earnest and further,

“Giving-back” more frequently.

Rewarded for living as an adult non-judgmentally,

I stow my past baggage reverently.

Closeted travel bag packed to meet her agonizingly.

A year reaping rewards empirical,

Falling one last time to a true love so natural!

Yet still as I write this,

I need one more act,

The greatest seal-of-the-deal;

Miracle.

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My Five Worlds

As I carried-out assigned Handyman tasks today I realized another of my blessings to be thankful for and acknowledge here as 2011 rapidly heads into our collective and personal histories. I am like the planet Jupiter with its many moons, even though my birth planet is Saturn, because I have five worlds that orbit me as satellites. Maybe you can relate to my universe or not; “whateva” please comment below if my description moves you to! My worlds are: 

1 – Bachelor World: Where I’ve lived daily when not around other people and which is progressively irritating between my ears as an increasingly lonely, middle-aged man. I know how much “talent” I have, still do not “look [my] age and remember many things others do not, which makes them “amazed” at me. Right. This is the place of my principles; the jokes I tell myself which only I “get”; it is deciding to sleep-in or get up and go to the church on Sunday and cooking great meals that I wish I could share with one special person. It is where my frustrations, independence, insecurities, poetry and secret anger lives. It is the humidor of my greatest wealth to-date: the music of my life – the music in my mind that plays randomly, daily depending upon which curve ball life-in-general is throwing to me at the moment, from Classical to Solid Gold Oldies.

2 -Diverse World: This could also be called “the world in which many Black American people live in” because by-nature and because we were born in the mostly Caucasian USA, we were once (if you were born before let’s say the year 2000) considered largely marginal to the American society as a whole. However, my Diverse World is better than many because I have intelligence, education and was raised kind-of “middle class” by my parents. Yes, I am proudly one of the Baby Boomers! I had the dual blessing of learning to use correct English and learning to break-it-off Ebonics-style when necessary! In other words, in this world, “white” Americans are largely as comfortable around me as I am around them (once some of them they get over their pre-programmed initial ‘upon site’ stereotypes and hear me speak) in most instances. The ones who do not, are not part of “Diverse World”, obviously, yet I am fully aware of them and their presence if they get within earshot. It is the world I get to experience when I do handyman work at better-to-do-than myself clients’ homes; they trust me. If you are a Mexican maid or worker for “white” Americans, you might understand my “Diverse World”. In this world, the music is all over the place and “Dance” music, the descendant of “Disco” is accepted. All of my “Gay” friends live here as well.

3 -Intercultural World: My favorite place to be and largely because my fiancee, Inna, responded to my repeated attempts to gain access to it in recent years and found me! Intercultural World is my future of travel, married life with Inna and happy, loving discovery of what I should have explored many years ago. We Black Americans of my ilk, who were not forced to travel overseas because of wars were not actively encouraged to escape our nation’s borders, and that is the current sadness and frustration of Intercultural World for me. It took an inordinate amount of time to get my first U.S.A. Passport precisely and partly because I had a past without international travel and some of the wrong kind of socio-government “baggage” a$$ociated with it. Intercultural World is the world ofCheetah”, Inna’s loving nickname for me. I like it! Other inhabitants of Intercultural World are Inna’s elderly parents, her grown-up son from her previous marriage and other non-English speakers here in the States who I interact with even though I know just a few words of their languages! Once I finally go to see Inna in Ukraine and return, I hope you will benefit from my new experiences and broadened mind in this space. 

african-american-flag 4.Black World: This is the place that I believe many of the people who look like me, many of whom I have known for the longest period of time in my life inhabit. Many of my high school and college friends/acquaintances live here. They still mostly listen to Rhythm & Blues music which I really cannot fathom much anymore unless I’m in the mood for some “O’Jays” or sharing with Nina some stuff on You Tube. I visit there when I go to work at the Black newspaper I work for, and now this dynamic is quite the contrast-yet-similar to the “old days”. This satellite has its roots back when we protested for equal civil rights in-order to have equal access to American society. Way back it was “colored World”, then “Negro World”… Sadly, in Black World, I see many of my “Brothas & Sistas” missed the boat either intentionally or by dint of “da Man”. On this moon is where I hear some of the wost spoken English an English Major can ever experience! The political correctness posse tries to rename Black World as “African American World”, but I can’t go there because I’ve never been to Africa – I was born here in the USA. Similar beings try to also disguise it as “Multicultural World”; another non-starter with me. My Mum and Dad always cautioned me about some of those in Black World” because they picked-up the worst traits from the slave masters who founded the the USA and are often act like “crabs in a barrel”. I heard a coworker say it recently (butchering the phrase, by-the-way) and smiled/frowned simultaneously to myself. 

5 -Family World: Speaking of my Mum,part Cherokee Indian, who I love to hear laugh at my jokes on the telephone, is my best friend and one of two women whose advice I will take without question – amazing for me – the other one being my fiancee`, and my late Dad “the Major” who once around this time in 1962 won everything in sight one night on the original TV game show, “The Price Is Right” with Bill Cullen as the host, my Family World is ever-shrinking from the vast body that is was when I was a boy. Maybe you can most-relate to this World if you are of a certain age. Maybe that is part of the reason I am finally ready to take a wife and not go into the “good night” alone if that be the Creator’s will – that and finally finding the true soul-mate; all timetables differ on that desire. If you have a parent over seventy years of age and/or siblings older or younger than you, you can relate to Family World. Outside of the occasional greeting card or even rarer birthday card from a remaining Aunt or my “Godfather”/Uncle, the only inhabitants of Family World are me and my Mum. We comb this world with a combination of past recollections of happy times, updates from her on who recently passed-away and me reminding her that she “just told “ me something she just said five minutes ago! I love how she takes those reminders with good humor and I take her cue to not let it “get” to me like it did a few years ago when she first began showing those symptoms. I still can happily mine her former school teacher mind when need be, garner sage advice and know I am surely blessed to still enjoy her company her in the physical Family World.

Please describe your world(s) in the comment section below.

Lady GaGa reminds me of when I was a DJ on WRKS, 98.7 KISS FM, New York City and Madonna first appeared on our musical sonar in the early 1980s.  The fashions, the hair, the quirkiness and the self-deprecating  independence and the future (or present) movie deals.

I think she really CAN sing too! And without the electronic enhancements so many of today’s Pop acts employ. So if you loved the album and are an electronica fan, you will surely dig these remixed versions.

On “Marry The Night” –  remixed by The Weekend & Illangelo – her voice hits  Donna Summer-ish notes at about 2:33 into it after a lull, and that in and of itself is  a huge compliment to any singer of popular party music.  Every time I listen to it I wonder if it isn’t really Donna guest-dubbing amidst the drum and bass beats!   Lady G doesn’t need hype from me, she is already an intergalactic superstar who is probably heard on that new ‘Earth-like planet’ that Astronomers recently discovered!  So I will comment from the perspective of a veteran disc jockey who loves to see people move their feet to-the-beat.  

With chucks from the time you press “play”,  “the Remix” captures you like walking by a lively pub happy hour after a hard day at the office.   I really dig cut eight, “Scheibe” (Guéna LG Club), because it can jump-start the party, has a  soulful mix-into bridge-break complete with background “ah-huh“s to play with and a solid beat-to-cold ending.  “Americano” simply is intercultural flava, the way international techno playboys like it!

Track twelve, another reworking of  the lame single “Judas” that I received last summer, is a favorite standout  attention-getter via the Hurts remix!  Upon continuous listen, it will always mark your mind, yet is not exactly dance fare.  “Born This Way”, the title track which plays-out on cuts one and thirteen, has LGBT anthem written all over your face. “Don’t be a drag just be a Queen/don’t be a drag just be a Queen” is a hilariously well-timed subtitle lyric!

When I receive “remixes” in the mail, I always file them in a separate CD bag with an ear towards the “drop-in” during a night’s work.  This CD is already in that category.  There is much music to work with among these fourteen GaGa tracks for the casual and professional selector.

I’d like to hear your comments about Lady Gaga and her meteoric rise on the charts!  Is she a worthy songstress?  How does she compare to the late Amy Winehouse, who is often spoken about within the same sentence?

Here is one my former Editor at About.com chose to have me write but didn’t publish after he got cold feet after six years.  It has hung-out on my machine since early 2011.  Nina recently asked me to write about more “new” music, so here is something newER than my “My Vinyl” series (that she’ll soon see the value of first-hand, I pray) :- j

Detroit Grand Pubahs

The DGPs don’t take themselves too seriously and the fact that they could be perceived as a novelty act doesn’t bother them either. Any hint of that kind of caring wore-off three full-length albums ago and they keep on creating. Therefore, “Madd Circus” [Delete Funk – DETELE 016CD] comes to us as not your father’s Detroit sound, but more a gregarious, sometime campy on-purpose collection of electronica, funk, rock and R&B.

Tongue-in-cheek verses or no verses at all can only be described in self-deprecatingly honest terms, and much of this reminds me of the results of my own middle-of-the-night screwing around in my home studio, just freaking-off on the microphone making up my own dirty lyrics to standard fare or any random instrumental track.  Witness cut seven, “Much Better” which is over seven minutes of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah/Whatz up, Whatz up, Whatz up…” over an anonymous electronic outer space noise that begins with an irksome sound akin to when you plug the wrong RCA plug into the right jack on your component system. “Autotragik”, cut two, conjures Kraftwerk gone “madd”.

No Hoes In My Studio” is another funny one that makes you go, “Who are these guys?” It isn’t much of song, but a chant/rant.. I love the satire of “Breakfast In Bed” because it takes me back to the era when cats like Johnny Bristol (“Hang On In There, Baby” 1974) and Barry White were crooning about sexual situations, and meaning it. “There’s No Need to get Out of Bed, cause the buffet is right here (my dear)”, they charm.

Down the stretch from cuts thirteen to eighteen, the fare becomes an annoying Madd Circus of sound and randomness, although I really do like the energy of the title track and of “Clone Mobile (1Gets in 9 Get Out)” which reminds me of Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio” in overdrive.

Messrs Paris The Black Fu and “O” are all over the place on this album and exhibit eccentricities far beyond those of mortal entertainers, and the frankness of their verses or rhymes – if you will – might take some aback as heard on track twelve, “If its gonna be that kind of party, then I’m gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!” which features Domgue` & Mitch Marcus – whoever they are, I couldn’t find out anything about them.

I love that video.  The DPGs have a wide, opinionated, varied, scandalous and humorous collection of ideas in their own inimitable Pubah style. I have the feeling that this will sell given the attraction to over-the-top weirdness that our times are experiencing, so how about this, a pay-it-safe three lofty, haughty motor city stars. Do you like it? Tell us in “comments” section below! Thanks.

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