Category: A Cool Bachelor's Diary


[I’m breaking format here to post a music review on this blog because you are getting a 2-for-1, as I posted the companion to this album on my musik-ONLY blog a couple of days ago]

April 21, 2019, Richmond, Virginia – I just met the star singer of “Mississippi Hippie Blues” and her husband in an Airbnb Inn kitchen! By the time we parted company a few days later, she gave me her CDs to check out. While still trying to figure this new area out; (will I stay? but I must chsange something…) I decide to write about her Rochelle Harper Band, “We’re Stayin’, Ya Hear!!” (2007) that I listened to while traveling up and down I-95, house-hunting.

I leave the room after hitting “play” every time because I know she’s gonna yell, “MISS-ISSIPPEEEEE!!!” at the top of her ample lungs,(and it really irks me) beginning (the Shed Song) of this album. It shocked me the first time, as I like to listen to musik loud. Maybe it is her native area rallying cry; I either skip it or turn it down for a second.

Track two, “The Blugill”, reminds me of the 1970s band, Tower of Power with Lenny Williams, in many ways! I hear a lovely baritone sax in this collection! Any band featuring a baritone is #1 with me! The brass and woodwinds reminds me of the legendary Memphis Horns. The drummer, I am guessing, the same one from her solo album, Blair Shotts, is crisp and Motown-accurate! They cover Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia” on cut four, doing their just respect to the classic.

“Spare Set Of Keys”, song number seven , features Ricky Chancy on that Nashville honk-tonk harmonica from the outset. It must be the sea-air flava of one of those Gulf Coast “boogie-woogie” party events that Rochelle described to me when we met at the Airbnb Inn.

Slowly, easily, I heart cut 10, “Your Woman”, one of my favorites of the two CDs they gave me. Understand that the guitar hook partially makes it happen. “I’ve got to be/If I’m not your wo-mon…” [organ out]

Then, if you wanted to hit “repeat”, don’t! The next song, “I dun Caught dem Blues” does it one better – or at least stays in the same pocket. Catching you with a time-tested guitar solo over soulful blues strut, it comes back-to-back with the guitars highlighting Rochelle’s musical mouthfuls in the midst of a big-time bluesy organ fantasy foundation for their solos. This one is, as a straight long-distance drive in the interstate, a groove that could go on forever.

Curiously, track twelve….”Amazing Grace” is not what its title suggests, and sounds very much like a cover of The Animals’ “House Of The Rising Sun” with different words. Indeed, the inner cover jacket (shown in the video below) denotes that its about a Rising SON. Whose?

The Rochelle Harper Band has pure potential for live performances, for sure. She says “the daddy [she] hardly knew inspired” her to shoot for the highest of heights and also that, sadly, one of the members died recently. A succinct aggregation of sounds that transcend musical moods and categories, with her as catalyst, is an intergalactic formula. One minute they are funky and the next rockin’ soulful country blues, with the energy of a Marvel action movie!

All-in-all, you will hear entertaining music with crisp and clear studio production (until she yells again, lol). How about some new stuff, y’all?
“One Mississippi…two Mississippi…Three Mississippi” peace signs, out of five.

***PickHit: check out Rochelle’s solo album right now over at my satellite, musik-ONLY blog, “achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe” (link in the side bar to the right)

Dear Diary, THIS may be my shortest blog post ever, because “a picture is worth a thousand words” really applies here.

One reason I like to bar hop is because it is my kind of socialization communication which enables me to meet a variety of people while blowing their minds with my “non-stereotypedness” (I might have created that word, lol).

Sadly, I am still a lonely, “Choosey Lover” [Isley Brothers song] bachelor and mostly by myself when I go out – but that is a whole other post. On the plus side however, my hideous lifestyle allows me to observe couples like an Allen Funt candid camera, on-location when I am out and about briefly.

Relocating to a new city, one of the best ways to find a home is to cruise some pubs and bars, where you can network with the locals.

So, I am at an historic pub, named after one of my American Revolutionary war heroes, when a couple snuggles in behind me. I offer to “move-over” so they can have more space, but they said, “that’s aright” and went to the cozy-corner….so I stayed put. Casual convo ensues and then we mind our own.

The photo below photo says it all about how the “smart” telephone device has changed the way humans connect with each other nowadays – and not for the better! Eye contact between a man and a woman on a romantic date is like the “beam me up Scotty” of the dating game. It is what makes your “nature” rise.

Minutes later I glance over at them, in the corner of the famous, cozy bar to see them doing this:

Are they texting each-other from inches away? If not, who are they talking to? Their "exes in Texas"?

A month or so ago, while returning some DVDS to my local library around 3pm, I noticed a circle of five young people, backpacks firmly shouldered; boys and girls, of maybe ninth-grade level. They were huddled; none looking at nor talking much to each-other, necks craned slightly forward/downward (you’ve seen it) and all looking at their “smart” phones.

This is sad, not "awesome" and needs to be corrected by education. Do these people not have parents from the pre-internet era? Probably not, but can change anyway, with effort and less selfishness.
We now must reinforce a culture of non-divorce, for the sake of raising offspring who, while “cable-ready” also embrace Social Studies class to grow with more personally in-tune with other human traditional communication methods.

**Pickkhitt: Nope, not my shortest post; guess it pissed me off into a rant. Cheers.

Why does this keep happening to me?
Twice in two years in South Carolina? Coincidence? I think NOT.

Minding my own business and trying to leverage my newfound senior citizen status by writing letters, asking for interstate relocation assistance since the begging of this year, I am suddenly blindsided by the heretofore friendly apartment Manager/Landlord, three weeks ago, who apparently wants to kick me out! No reason given and apparently, they can DO this here in South Carolina?? My rent is up-to-date and never late; I’ve been a concerned citizen tenant and the guy spoke to liking me to give him a “heads-up” on anything that needed to be addressed (and boy, there were many in the past 22 months, including a deranged young man who tried to Bogart himself into my crib one Sunday night back in July of 2017!). It is a dysfunctional “community”, to my worldly, educated eyes and I will not miss it. However, to be given the bum’s rush before I have a security deposit in hand and a place to land?…

Hmmm, to me, a black American man, it seems like a remnant from the Jim Crow era is afoot; one that needs to be updated by eradication in South Carolina!
Some slow state; resistant to eradicate,
while latent lost labor legacy percolates
To this very day.
Therefore, I can’t delay

Any longer, when the current landlord is unreasonable and done a “180” on me. My GoFundMe #crowdfunding campaign is now “live”!
Please check out my need and spread the word. I did nothing wrong to invite this. Time is of the essence with kick-out deadline looming on April 1, 2019. Too old, seasoned and good of a man to have to go out like this. Too bad I always seem to never have received the compensation my talents deserved, because if I had, nobody would be able to try and “handle” me like this now. No amount is too small.
Thank you.

Charleston – January 20, 2019 – Wanting to watch the New England Patriots vs Kansas City Chiefs game without the luxury of a television (I cut that cable a decade ago), I researched and dialed-up a group of live streams I could watch from my laptop, and clicked upon one that lead me to a feed of the CBS Sports call from Canada. It was a CTV channel I’d never heard of before, and boy am/was I glad for the experience!

I, who usually hate commercials, found myself loving them on CTV! Their production was so refreshing and real! CTV does not try to avoid “sensitive” realness with sponsors. They even had one with the word “uterus” and “menstruation” mentioned. Another spot for insurance (I think), featured an interracial couple, with a middle-aged, bald black guy and his Caucasian female wife character! You never see that on American/USA television because Madison Avenue is still afraid of the truth and “offending” the rich, angry white men of our current day. It is truly sad that here in 2019, American advertisers still are not bold enough to depict what is increasingly normal – diversity. Maybe if they would show spots like these, people would get used to them as humans often adapt to what, at first, seems revolting.

I’d move to Canada in a heartbeat, except for the climate, in order to enjoy this open-minded media, where a surprising number of familiar American voices and actors are working, I see!

They even had PSAs [Public Service Announcements] like we had when I was a boy, decades ago, here in America! This approach is very necessary, and something I have championed for the past score. PSAs are a great way to caution and educate our youth and those adults who “missed the memo” about common sense living! Take, for example, drinking alcohol: they aired twice during commercial breaks, this amusingly accurate, cartoon spot with two strolling turkeys who cautioned against overdoing it, and reminded us to “drink in moderation”. Maybe their announcements are hip, and will achieve a better result with the populace because their version of the FCC isn’t a political “football” (pun intended).

CTV’s “news-break” during halftime, was local and much less contentious than those on American network channels during a game. In total, it was a refreshing experience to have CTV host my NFL AFC Championship experience instead of the hokey American feed whose commercial breaks have me reaching for the “mute” function every time.

To find video examples of the commercials I’ve written about, you’ll have to use your ever-lovin’ imagination. Yet, Hope you find the CTV stream and enjoy the Super Bowl!Then you’ll see what I mean.

Happy New Year, 2019!

When Author David Hunter found my ACX.com narrator profile and contacted me to read his book as an audio-book eighteen months ago, honestly, I thought it was another random scam attempt comin’ at me.

However, when I ginned-up my skeptical courage and contacted him via email, his enthusiasm for my chops (radio DJ talk for “voice”) was infectious! Suddenly I remembered the 1970s LIFE cereal commercial tag line, “Hey Mikey! He likes it!”

I invite you to join in our growing experience early in this clean year. Here I am, a (currently) former music radio personality, aka “Disc Jockey” with much left in my tank, trying to remain viable among changing media seas, in-concert with an Author who has written importantly, educationally and sociologically to help a specific ethnicity of mankind, exploring uncharted waters. You can listen to and purchase with a special discount promotion via itunes by right-clicking on this reference to open in a new tab or window:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/i-flunked-sambo-university-10-invisible-schools-by/id1375877725

Also available on Amazom and Audible.com (an Amazon company), complete with link under the cover art to hear a sample of my reading. I couldn’t believe how patient and positive Mr. Hunter was throughout the months-long process of recording/producing each chapter and attending credits, because that kind of adulation is what I got used to in radio and which is suddenly sorely absent in the current corporate landscape of my earlier fun broadcasting on-mic career, sadly.

As for the book itself, I could not have written such a persuasively enlightening masterpiece that is so possibly controversially precise, because I avoid or am weary of the whole “race thing” in America. That is for others to cause. My eyes glaze-over when I hear and see the so-called current “President” of the United States of America waffle on violent race rallies and cavort/encourage with the radical fringe of insecure and mentally challenged anachronisms who attach a hue to the word “supremacists”. It is so passe`.
In my world, and as I hope in yours and most of today’s earthly humans, as the mid-1980s classic song by Jimmy Cliff says, “We All Are One”.

So now…to lighten things back up, for those of you who don’t know about the “Mikey” I mentioned above, I cannot resist plopping-in the video of that classic TV commercial of my youth below.

Enjoy and please travel with a good audio-book,(hopefully this one) soon!

flout
verb [ T ]
“to intentionally disobey a rule or law, or to intentionally avoid behavior that is usual or expected.”

[They think they can flout the law and get away with it.]
[He conducted business in his pajamas to flout convention.]

As we honor Veterans Day, 2018 and The Holidays begin again in earnest, I especially honor those of World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam this year. They fought for what the “Father of Our Country” lead his men into war over: Freedom and our Declaration of Independence, which led to our American Constitution.

When I was raised, not so long ago, we were taught that there are three things you do not talk about in polite company: your religion, your salary and who you vote for. If more people followed these traditional tenets instead of flouting them, there would be less contentiousness these days. It is the main reason I mostly refrain from writing about politics here.

I am of the opinion that ever since we noticed it – I say “we” meaning my good buddies and I who used to look out over and settle our world from a high-terraced apartment in the north Bronx – the “GOP” planned to dumb-down a significant portion of our nation, specifically those not in traditional big cities and urban areas, so that they could capture the less-educated, disenfranchised and less questioning gun-owners, often in the wilds, and turn them into supporters of whatever pablum they fed them. It hasn’t worked as well as they hoped.

This toilet paper to his shoe photo typifies FLOUTUS45’s term and character:

Attacking public education and family unity by encouraging single parenting, they almost have achieved this with a trumped-up Oval Office. We who know better can take it back – and we better before we have a DICTATOR on our hands in the “good ole USA”. I won’t dignify him by mentioning his name in my blog, but this fake “President” speaks to flouting all of the norms we have become accustomed to as a nation, including our Constitution, whether you agree with all he says or not, on a daily basis! This needs to end soonest. IMO, he is a third-party candidate that got in because both major parties laid-down and especially the “Donkeys” ran a weak horse in the race who didn’t challenge @FLOUTUS45 when she had opportunities to be a bitch. The “Elephants” were no better; remember Jeb Bush cowering and almost kneeling without a come-back when Casino Man played the dozens on him during a televised debate? It was shameful!

Someone please give FLOUTUS45 some lukewarm milk with a double-shot of his favorite bourbon whiskey – I recommend 114-proof “Old Granddad”, because it befits his style and is concocted in Kentucky, the state of his fellow good old boy Senator – maybe adding some Fruit Loops to it in a bowl, as homage to the many zanie things he “tweets” all the time would be good. Then put him on ice and to bed for a long winter’s nap in a cave somewhere, before he listens more to his closet advisor, Russia’s Putin (who wants our land by any means), and flouts us into World War III.

Where are our collective manners, common sense, etiquette, patience and respect? Not that far away, but we need smart leadership which teaches the masses to embrace “The Golden Rule”. Wake up, “to play a trump on (a card or trick) when another suit was led”! House wins…you LOSE.

Sincerely,

Tired of the Embarrassing Current Foot-in-Tweet Daily Scandal Circus

PickHitt: Ignore the Tweets from @POTUS45/FLOUTUS45 and #unfollow him. No other President has ever spoken to the nation less on TV. I think that we should check Trump’s BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Maybe he was born in Russia! It increasingly looks like a possibility. He should produce the real one!

I have a friend…well, it has been a while since we hung-out, so maybe I should write, “I know a guy…” who I first saw telling jokes during my DJ time-outs at a bar, formerly located in Uniondale, Long Island, called The Dolphins Cove. He grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island, around the block from the only woman lucky enough to marry me right out of college when we both were too young to do so. He used to come over to my ex’s in-laws house to court her younger sister while I was still in the mix. His name is Eddie Murphy, and I just found a movie in which he starred, that was not one of his typically funny ones, called “Mr. Church”, in my local library’s DVD section!

Actually, it was previewed on another movie’s disc; I didn’t even know that he was still working or that it existed! Mr. Murphy used to leave my name at the door when he was performing his stand-up at the hottest New York City comedy clubs (at the time I was a pretty warm local radio DJ).

This is the first movie write-up I have ever penned on this blog I think, and I do it because “Mr. Church” moved me so much! How much? Well lets just say that I sat there like an old lady with a moist handkerchief, constantly dabbing at my teary eyes throughout the film. I guess I forgot about my sentimental side, calloused by many failed love affairs and poverty through the years. Watching it a second time did not deviate from the previous reactions.

Maybe it is because I knew/know Eddie as a comedian, and remember those at the Dolphin’s Cove “booing” when he was trying-out his material and chanting, “Bring back the Dee Jay, Bring back the Dee Jay!” lol OR…somehow I relate to the story-line of a bachelor who likes to cook and does it well, while slightly self-abusing his talents with whatever medicine while fighting past disrespectful persons in his life. We all “grow up” sooner or later in our creativity – as silly as we used to be and I can testify (but I still like to be “silly” and laugh as much as I can- just seems to be fewer people with a sense of humor now) to the metamorphosis! That clarinet theme song doesn’t dispel my melancholy either – it only encourages this movie’s spiteful therapy at me.

Cannot find the name of that clarinet-led theme song during the ending credits, however. Anybody?

I now will return the “Mr.Church” DVD to my local library, so if someone reads this, they can share my experience – or not – and learn more about ourselves. “Mr Church” is emotional dynamite for Mr. Murphy and the cast! As someone who reviews music and other media, I rate this move with four of five sentimental stars.

Major Props, Eddie on your beautiful wife and new family.

Depending upon who you are ethnically, how old you are, your gender, politics (if any), what country you are from, how long you have been in the USA or how old you are (again), we probably have different views on the recent sentencing of long-time comedian and actor Bill Cosby, who is eighty- one (81) years old, to prison for an alleged sexual transgression decades ago.

Bill Cosby is not my favorite comedian, but he was part of their ilk when I was growing up in the sixties and seventies. I laughed harder at Flip Wilson, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx’s bits. Yet, I even have a couple of his record albums included within my vinyl! Most notably, “To Russell, My Brother Whom I Slept With”, which has a few hilarious, timeless and memorable bits on it. He really was pretty “clean” with his humor…

That was maybe a different “Coz” than now and one who I prefer to remember, along with “Mr. Huxtable” and acting along side Sidney Poitier in “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974).

I also fondly remember Bill Cosby as one of the first black American actors to be on a weekly show on NBC network TV during the sixties, “I Spy” with his partner, the late Robert Culp! It was an Oreo cookie espionage hit show not to be missed, if my parents allowed me to stay up past homework and curfew bed time. I bet Mr. Culp would be very distressed by this turn of events.

On the album, “Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…RIGHT” the bit “Noah, Me And You Lord” is one of his best classics! “A Nut In Every Car”, from the same album, is still relevant on our roads today! It is still a great album for congruent laughs.

My understanding of being incarcerated is that it is supposed to rehabilitate the offender of laws. What is Bill Cosby supposed to do in a cell at eighty-one? Jack-off (if he still can)? Contemplate his wrongs and come out a better man? Have contrition, remorse and beg forgiveness? He should have taken the stand to defend himself verbally! Shoot, the man may have dementia and not even understand why he is there! This is like…elder abuse! Surely “house arrest” with electronic monitoring was an alternative, right? No matter what you think of him or his accusers, to put him in a sterile state prison at this point in his life does not seem to rise to the level of punishment fitting the crime and I doubt he survives it for long if appeals fail.
How come the current occupant of the Oval Office, who has tens of similar accusers, isn’t in prison or on trial, by the way?

His accuser? To me looking at it or “her” (looks like a guy to me! lol), I see emotionally disturbance issues (drama) right off the bat and I hate that “Russell’s Brother” felt he had to even waste time on that. What was he thinking? Was his game so lame that he had to resort to slipping a ‘mickey’ to a chick in order to get some ‘strange” – all while having a wife and family back home? I don’t watch television anymore, but I read a headlines clip from USA Today on my android, where this individual seemed to externalize everything wrong in their life to Mr. Cosby! Duh? I believe they had diffidence issues long before the two met and maybe also should spend time in a small locked room reading a self-help book called, “Your Erroneous Zones” [Dyer].

Another part of me remember’s Bill Cosby as a militant during the civil rights protest era when we had to “overcome” segregation and racial prejudice in the USA. I’m not one to always blame things on race, however part of me thinks maybe ‘the man’ had it in for him all this time, and proves that no matter how elderly, “wealthy” or infirm you are in America, if you are a black man accused sexually by a Caucasian woman, you are likely to get no justice – still in 2018 – just a modern day lynching. And that… may be the most telling and saddest, unkind cut of all.

I wanted to do this revu earlier , but got busy helping a new Author get her book out there. Please forgive the lapse as this book is definitely part of my 2018 “Summer of Reading”, like never in recent memory! (smile)
By the time I returned “Hitmen” to my local library, I was already curious about Kurson’s previous book, “Shadow Divers”, which was mentioned in every promotional note I read for his latest work. I know this book has been reviewed – it isn’t on the “new” list and it was published in 2004 – I just want to share it with you, a fan or one of the curious about my blog because it became part of my summer 2018 reading list.
At first, I dismissed it as another boring “fish story” about scuba diving, but boy was I wrong! This book is a great historical narrative of non-fiction which is SO to the point that I had to let you know about the story as this milestone summer wanes.

This volume has elements of suspense, drama, mystery, education and science.
Its about men who dive deepest sunken shipwrecks like the Andrea Doria for sport, coming across an object very near to New York harbor, which they identify as a German U-boat submarine, and their quest to precisely identify it because previous history had no record of such a vessel in those waters so close to our east coast!

As with “Hitmen”, Kurson lays the groundwork of the story, then biographies each character, alternating between perspective, action, more history and biographical perspective which includes their love lives. He teaches us while describing this unique saga of connecting personalities and wartime “dots” to identify this object at the bottom of the sea, not far from the New Jersey coast and New York City. He names the book during chapter 2 at the bottom of page 33.

“Shadow Divers” is a most amazing story that I thought I would never read. These men dive for “sport” so much deeper than Lloyd Brides ever did on one of my boyhood favorite television shows, “Sea Hunt”, which is the first place I ever heard about “the bends”, an affliction caused by the chemistry of nitrogen and oxygen in our blood and returning to the surface of the ocean too fast. You will read and experience the profound, dangerous excitement of the mix of air they breathe underwater and the discovery by these sportsmen to the point that it is so scary, that it catapults you to read-on!

One of the most moving parts of the book is his recounting of the father and son divers, the Rouses, who joined many other divers on Bill Nagel’s Seeker to attempt to recover artifacts and identify the “U-Who”.
“The Seeker rose and fell with nature’s onrushing tantrum, each explosion against the ocean threatening to catapult the divers overboard and crush Chrissy under the stern.” (pg. 218)

In my schooling, the Pacific theater of WWII was taught as a more important battleground than the Atlantic resistance. Yet, throughout this book and feeling the investigative bravery, persistence and fortitude of these divers, I learned that Hitler launched many of these demon submarines and was upon our biggest east coat city’s doorstep. Oh wow! This is true and these few men men saw it through! If a book can be describes as a “nail-biter”, then this is one of them – right until the chapter where Chatterton and Kohler’s rehearsals bear fruit. Even our recently departed and beloved United States Senator and war veteran, John McCain contributed to the back cover liner note endorsements of “Shadow Divers”!

Reading this book brought another one of my favorite underwater dive movies to mind, 1977’s “The Deep” with the great dance beat soundtrack theme by the late Donna Summer and sexy underwater underwear scene with Jacqueline Bisset. Whoa! That shipwreck was only in 70 feet of water, however. Let’s listen to that theme, which I appropriately apply (and it was a great dance music hit during the those days!) below.

If I were you, I would quickly add this book to my library. I actually read it twice and my rating is still five-out-of-five depth charges!

WhipCrashed

Mild mid-January day,
Gift wrapping papered;
Clothed in Tweed birthday suit.
To shop for a treat;
Two new neighbors to meet,
Nearby a new watering hole to celebrate;
This one is a milestone!

Early evening now on the way.
A familiar route,
Around the corner from where I stay.
I cruise the usual way under the limit
When I spy small SUV begin to encroach,
From triangular gas station on my right.
I beeped as he entered the road;
It kept coming unbelievably fast!
Oh shit, oncoming headlights,
I tried to swerve to avoid it,
Then an explosive mid-ship crash!
Popping leather buttons on tweed jacket!
Like two laser robot eyes, they penetrate metal.

I couldn’t dodge it,
Now smoke, airbags and broken glass,
Windshield cracks like spider web.
More fumes permeate me,
Locked together in road suicide lane;
Oh My God! Then silence…will I die tonight?
Would flames be next? I pondered.
Panic attacks my chill,
Ignition won’t let key come out!
My sedan sad and totally demolished;
As was my left pollex wrenched trying to avoid him.

Days later neck pain persists;
Back out of wack.
I have had enough of this!
Weeks later, finding the gold side-view mirror,
In a pile of debris from my machine at roadside,
On the tri-point station property.
Months later I can still see
His oncoming headlights in my sleep,
And hear his bogus apology.

He claims it was me he could not see.
How about glasses and a pillow,
Little mister “failed to yield right-of-way”?
That is what his police summons say.
Now pray insurance, doctors and lawyers,
Awaiting his financial reparation sanction day.

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