Wednesday, July 30, 2008

letting the random happen...

Volunteered/got paid overtime at Ingenuity Fest. Didn't have a whole lot of cash on me, but I got to walk around for free and people-watch. A lot of the exhibits weren't really my thing, but I did get a decent falafel sandwich, hang out time with a good friend, and the chance to watch the uncanny xela perform and Mifune kick out the jams with Poetic Republic.

Took my "Great Toledo Roadtrip" the past couple days for a work conference thing. ended up learning some good stuff, hanging out with my lovely coworkers and meeting new people and fellow Clevelanders.

Monday night, three of us drove up to Detroit to sight-see and see what would happen. I had never been there before so I was looking forward to seeing a new city and it's not every day that I get outside the borders of my fair state. We talked in passing about trying to find Motown, and ended up doing so almost completely by accident.

We drove through downtown, past the casinos, stadiums, and auto company headquarters, and then further out. It reminded me of Cleveland in the sense that you could see what it once was, and now wasn't.

But this is where it got interesting. We stopped at a Burger King to use the restroom, and while there were some interesting characters hanging out in front, the thing that really raised the red flag was that there wasn't really a counter, just a window covered in incredibly thick and tinted bulletproof glass. I have never seen that before in my life, and was more stunned than scared, and despite having some familiarity with some of the more dicey neighborhoods in Cleveland, definitely did not feel tough enough for Detroit.

Realizing that this wasn't a good thing, we got out of there as fast as we could, turned down a sidestreet and suddenly we're on Berry Gordy Jr Boulevard and we see the sign for Motown to our left. They were closing up for the night, but the guys there talked to us a little bit and told us about the golden years, and I took pictures of us before we continued on. I have to say, I got shivers actually seeing the place itself for the very first time.

We kept driving and further down we saw this building that was painted all over and covered with bits of mirror that made it glitter in the sun. When I stopped to take pictures, we saw two guys outside doing the same kind of art to an old house and stopped to see what the story was. The one building is home to an African bead shop and when the roof gets fixed, they'll be opening a museum of African art and such. The other is just a giant art installation taking a vacant building and making something amazing.

he was talking about how he wanted to bring back a sense of pride into the community and had started this by having classes on african history and festivals in the summer. there was one guy who did most of the art and this guy does a lot of this after he gets off of work for the postal service. when we were driving back toward downtown, we were talking about how it's too bad that no one isn't doing anything like this in cleveland.

The sidewalks in front were painted with the scripts of different african languages and then there was an area in the back with all these sculptures and found objects and a stage used for when they have festivals. I was just soaking in the experience of it all and shooting pictures of everything in sight... signage and soul food restaurants and graffiti and murals.

We got chicago-style pizza in Greektown, watched the Indians beat the Tigers, and drove back to Toledo. For some reason since that night, I've had crazy adrenaline and haven't been able to sleep since.

And I want to go back.

Friday, July 25, 2008

every year of my life: the 90s and today

so this one was pretty tough because anyone who knows me knows that i love 90s rock the way that certain relatives of mine still think that journey is the greatest thing to ever happen to music.

i know i'll be one of those geriatric types who gripes about how they just don't make 'em as good as pearl jam anymore. i'm already feeling that way, really. it's kind of embarrassing


1990 - fugazi - repeater

a friend of mine loaned me this in high school and i fell in love with the vocal interplay between ian and guy, the jazzy drumming, dub basslines, and squalling guitars. even though the band doesn't have merchandise, i have a bootleg sticker with their band name on the back of the Sexy Saturn that i found at a lakewood headshop a few years ago. i will always associate this record with driving aimlessly in parma and somehow getting stuck in the liberty ford parking lot looking for a shortcut and not being able to find our way out.

1991 - smashing pumpkins - gish

which one to pick from this year? it's hard to pick a favorite when you have gish, achtung baby, bloodsugarsexmagik, nevermind, loveless, spiderland? a friend of mine says he thinks the chili peppers were more the voice of a generation than kurt cobain and he might have a point. more people are into sex than angst and the chili peppers seem to have some kind of weird universal appeal across all sorts of lines. though i think i'll have to go with "gish" on this one for "rhinoceros" alone.

1992 - love battery - dayglo

my friend frank loaned this to me when we were at tri-c and for a long time i had it on a cassette tape that finally fell apart. love battery was one of those bands that should have done better because their psyched-out take on the seattle sound was just too good.

1993 - the breeders - last splash

i once made a diehard pixies fan very angry when i said that i liked kim deal better than frank black. cannonball is a great song, and the rest of the record is good and fizzy. this reminds me of hanging out with josh, carving pumpkins, and throwing smoke bombs into them.

1994 - soundgarden - superunknown

this is another tough one, but i'll have to go with superunknown here. i've always considered this one of those zeppelin-level albums where every song is fantastic and lots of sonic territory is covered without sacrificing a distinct sound and the band is just beyond good on every level. this was my favorite album when i was 15. found this on clear green vinyl at a record exchange in canton one night when cutting class.

runners up: alice in chains - jar of flies, meat puppets - too high to die, jawbox - for your own special sweetheart, kyuss - welcome to sky valley,

1995 - elastica

shamelessly ripping off their class of '77 heroes, elastica put together a solid and catchy punk record that sounds timeless and completely classic.

1996 - soul coughing - irresistible bliss
how this ever got played on the radio is beyond me. sweet upright bass action and quirky lyrics. m. doughty still writes good poetry and puts on a great live show.

1997 - the verve - urban hymns

bittersweet symphony was nice but the rest of the disc is even better. i tend to prefer the psychedelic side of the Verve to the more acoustic ballads that they're known for.

1998 - massive attack - mezzanine

fantastic stuff to paint to. in my noisier years, i loved the slow burn and buildup of 'angel,' but the rest of this has grown on me as well. i don't know why i don't actually own a hard copy of this. because i grew up in parma, this was about as close to hip-hop that i got in the first two decades of my life.

1999 - joe strummer and the mescaleros - rock art & x-ray style

joe strummer returns older and wiser and with an entirely different sound. it's more mellow and less angry than the clash but the lyrics are pure poetry and the social conscience is still there.

2000 - idlewild - 100 broken windows

noisy and literate melodic punk that disses gertrude stein and wasn't indie enough for the indie kids and too smart for the pop-punk kids when this came out. my favorite album when i was 17 and finally abandoning the pervasive nu-metal that permeated my existence. wore my copy of this cd and their next one out completely.

common's excellent "like water for chocolate" deserves props here too but that came later on.

2001 - john frusciante - to record only water for 10 days

beautiful 4-track recordings with a guitar, drum machine, and occasional synth from the guitarist in the chili peppers that are more listenable than the heroin albums he made in the 90s but still too weird for your average chili peppers fan. if this guy wasn't in the band he's in, he'd be one of those indie cult heroes like daniel johnston.

2002 - rival schools - united by fate

one of those one-off alt-rock albums that was all good solid songs from start to finish. another one of those senior-year summer soundtrack albums that evokes memories of ping-pong in the garage and hardcore youth crew jokes.

2003 - amadou & mariam - dimanche a bamako
african pop at its finest, beautiful exuberant guitar lines, sung in french, produced by manu chao. this is summer driving around music.

2004- diplo - florida

trippy and organic, big beats, guitar feedback, guest vocals from martina topley-bird, violins. also excellent late night music to paint to.

2005 - the dirtbombs - if you don't already, have a look

compiles two discs' worth of singles and covers by the amazing detroit band, including an ode to cedar point. mick collins' voice is just too good.

2006- art brut - bang bang rock and roll

eddie argos "can't stand the sound of the velvet underground" either and when my coworker tegan loaned me this cd her boyfriend mailed her from england and played it for me, i couldn't stop laughing and played it for everyone else. snarky punk tracks about modern art, robbing banks in italy, forming bands, and brand new girlfriends that were refreshingly unjaded.

2007 - soulsavers - it's not how far you fall, it's the way you land

my favorite record of last year. haunting and apocalyptic uk electronica that owes as much to nine inch nails as it does to johnny cash. once again, mark lanegan's voice does it for me all the time.

2008 - the gutter twins - saturnalia

i love greg dulli even if he doesn't seem to like himself, and i love pretty much anything mark lanegan shows up on. i've been playing this disc a lot on my show and haven't gotten tired of it. sounds like what you'd expect if you're familiar with the afghan whigs, twilight singers, and lanegan's solo material, but the way their voices go together is something special.

to be honest, i haven't really been listening to a whole lot of new stuff. and i'm ok with that.


drove out to the beautiful cain park for the annual inlet dance company's free show. i went last year and enjoyed it, but this year was even more special because i knew some of the people involved and saw some of the work in progress, between the music that paul had remixed, the completely beautiful dance that rebecca choreographed. seeing the finished product, the music pulsing through the soundsystem, everyone in unison doing the gestures she was working out the last time i saw her, it was really beautiful and i felt so proud of everyone involved when the stage went dark and the applause was deafening.

the roommate situation is working out wonderfully. jocelyn will be moving in mid-april and things will continue to shift and change...

every year of my life: the 80's

randal has it way easier having grown up in that polyester era known as the 70s as far as coming up with favorite albums from every year of his life. i found this slightly harder, considering that i don't listen to as much metal or new wave.

my dad once told me that the 80's were so bad he started listening to country and while my peers remember michael jackson in his heyday, i associate this era with bluegrass records and michael stipe.

1983 - U2 - war

U2 is one of those bands i got a lot of grief for liking in my younger days when the people i was hanging out with preferred black flag and crass. sure, henry rollins hates them, bono's talk about saving the whole world gets a little ridiculous, but these guys are one of the biggest bands in the world for a reason.
most political music from this era starts sounding a bit dated considering that ronald reagan is now deceased, but the first lp side of this album, with 'sunday bloody sunday,' 'seconds' and 'new year's day' does it for me every time.

1984 - minutemen - double nickels on the dime

short, jazzy, funny songs, and there's a lot of them. do you want new wave or do you want the truth?

1985 - camper van beethoven - telephone free landslide victory

because subcultural humor and taking the skinheads bowling never gets old. and driving around in the summer with this concoction of ska, eastern european folk instrumentals, stoner humor, and subcultural in-jokes. what it would sound like if the grateful dead and the dead milkmen had a baby. fantastic zappa-esque song titles too. as they would have said back then, "gnarly."

1986 - rem - life's rich pageant

my dad has been listening to REM for as long as i can remember, and this one gets the nod due to the inclusion of "fall on me" as one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

runner up - bad brains - i against i

1987 - U2 - joshua tree

a lot of this got overplayed, but this really is that good that U2 makes it on here twice. the overlooked second half with "in God's country" and the intense "exit" are just so good and i wish they'd play them live.

runner up: husker du - warehouse songs and stories,

1988 - jane's addiction - nothing's shocking

the album cover is tacky and perry/navarro are freaky, but this record is pretty darn epic. summertime rolls? beautiful.

1989 - de la soul 3 ft high and rising

de la soul just makes me smile, period. i probably would have started listening to hip-hop earlier if i was exposed to this instead of what the radio was churning out during my formative years.

the pixies - doolittle, the cure - disintegration

Thursday, July 24, 2008

holy toledo

thanks to my most excellent place of employment, i have a most-expenses paid trip to toledo this weekend with several of my very awesome coworkers. here's hoping for a dose of divine intervention that the Sexy Saturn gets there and back in one piece.

i don't remember much about toledo except that the art museum and the zoo looked cool and that the rest of it kind of looked like youngstown if it was on a lake. that's probably not completely fair.

the last time i was there was my first year of school when i was an art student and we were going to see this van gogh exhibition. between that and the handmade books by the likes of matisse, i was in heaven.

we were driving from there to cleveland to volunteer at this church when shawn's car broke down in huron and sprint roadside assistance wouldn't pick up me or the other girl with him. we somehow got the car going and on one sparkplug we somehow made it to the outskirts of cuyahoga county where a guy i knew replaced the plugs and the car promptly began to stall out at every single red light we hit as we got continually lost and ended up jumping a freeway median to get back on the side of the road we were supposed to be on. what was supposed to take an hour and a half ended up taking seven.

here's hoping that doesn't happen this time around...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


perfect summer night.

we both had some free time and it was too beautiful outside to go back to stuffy apartment buildings so we went to the funwall, got pizza at a drive-through on east 30th, drove down to the east 9th pier to sit by the lake, watch the sunset and heat lightning, talk randomness, and share a tall can of arizona tea.

i could have stayed out all night, but it started raining and i had to drop my car off to get fixed anyway and both of us have work in the early morning.

what i'm so grateful for was that this week could have been so crazy and stressful and it's interludes like these that have made it beautiful and chill.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

children of the grunge

the brake light is on in my car. i just got my brakes fixed, or so i thought. i'm supposed to be driving to toledo this weekend and have no clue when i'll find time to get these worked on. i feel like i'm in a bad position with all things car-related because i know next to nothing.

having access to the music library of a college radio station with a high-end cd burner is fantastic. i'm now in the possession of this out of print love battery album that i couldn't find anywhere.

and though i was all stressed out last night, spending the rest of the evening at edgewater with paul people-watching and sunset watching made up for a lot of that.

anyways, here's the morning setlist. somehow ended up being heavier on the fuzzed-out late 80's/early 90's sound this time.

digable planets - black ego
U2 - acrobat
echo and the bunnymen - rescue
squirrel bait - sun god
stone roses - begging you
jawbox - mirrorful
marvin gaye - inner city blues
ride - leave them all behind (live)
eleventh dream day - testify
meat puppets - things
eric b & rakim - paid in full (coldcut mix)
faithless - bluegrass
flunk - morning star
starflyer 59 - night music
funkadelic - i got a thing
the bellrays - everyday i think of you
love - a house is not a motel
herbie mann - cajun moon
wilson pickett - engine #9
neil young - i'm the ocean
twilight singers - underneath
screaming trees - gospel plow
the jam - that's entertainment

Monday, July 21, 2008

first times

the power went out on friday night on my side of the street. there isn't really much to do when there's no one around, you have no electricity and it's hot and sticky as anything outside. picked up my sister, hung out with her and drove her home, came back and everything was as it was.

saturday was a picnic with church people at edgewater, slacking around by the lake, hanging out with good people. it was jocelyn's birthday so we met up with some of her friends at kan zaman, which is the biggest ripoff (charging you for water that you thought was free, putting everyone's tab on the same bill so we all almost got stiffed, $10 cover on top of mediocre middle eastern food).

but, we had a good time hanging out. the music was great and we all ended up dancing because it was so energetic but unlike my high school prom, people actually respected your personal space and evidently it didn't matter that i was not dressed up at all. our car was also blocked in three-deep by mercedes benzes and other cars that cost more than a year of college. it felt good to unwind after this completely insane and bipolar week of really awful things and then really amazing things and just become immersed in an experience completely new to me.

this woman came to church this morning, walking from west 115th and lorain to west 45th and franklin to get out of an abusive relationship. she was shaking and terrified that this guy was going to come after her, and just seemed so overwhelmed and tired. me and jocelyn ended up giving her a ride to her daughter's place on the east side before grabbing a free birthday pizza from her old work and ending up in the west side little italy, which was criss-crossed with red, white, and green banners all the way down to the lake.

while we were looking for somewhere to park, we saw an art gallery on the street that had these colorful paintings from zimbabwe in the window. we stopped there while we were walking up the street and ended up hanging out with melissa, the gallery owner, whose studio reminded me of walking into a scene from a neil gaiman story. sculptures everywhere, circus creatures, insects, a tornado built out of scrap wire that spun when you turned a crank at the bottom... amazing. i loved that these were interactive.

the paintings from zimbabwe were done on linen with enamel paint of the kind that you'd use on your car, and the colors were completely beautiful. it was a completely random thing the way i love things to happen, and we spent the afternoon sitting on the doorstep of an old machine shop on west 69th drinking mountain dew, eating pizza, and wondering how everything can be so crazy all the time in every way.

Friday, July 18, 2008


it was too hot to hang out in the apartment, so me and the roommate went out to coventry to meet up with kent for the coventry street fair. i have a love/hate relationship with coventry depending on what's going on when i'm out that way, but in this case it was a good time. soft-serve ice cream, stiltwalkers, street magicians, breakdancers, karate demos, jazz combos, the obligatory jam band and bob marley's greatest hits pulsing down the street, and the always amusing spectacle of hippie women dancing as only hippie women can. not to mention my friend's little brothers attempting to emulate the karate in the back yard.

walked around, hung out, ate ice cream, people-watched, soaked in summer. it felt like my weekend began early.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


i prefer the english spelling of the word for that color between black and white. but gray's the way my morning ride on the rapid looked with all the colors blotted from the walls, decades of swirls and letters covered over. i'm sure that some will see this as a challenge and paint over it once more, but i'm going to miss that blur of color that always makes my mornings brighter.

last night i was walking down to el tango taqueria to meet up with a former roommate and some friends, when i get "hey white girl!" yelled in my direction by some guy running across the street to get pizza and wings. i look over as i'm on the phone and it's this one of those pudgy white guys who thinks he's all street with his ice and his gold chains and his jeep.

sorry man, it doesn't work so good coming from you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

i know i'm tired because...

i saw this CNN headline:

"Pope meets koala, texts pilgrims"

and found it incredibly amusing.


so last night it was beautiful and me and the roommates were feeling like doing something, so we drove downtown underneath the bridges where the amphitheater is and treated ourselves to a free half hour of robert plant, alison krauss, and t-bone burnett.

tickets for this event were too pricey for yours truly (who's still choking over that jacked-up gas bill we got this month) but by parking near the old machine shops and the power station and sitting on the ledge of an old bridge up there, we could hear everything just fine. it was us and this hippie couple who came prepared with food and citronella candles, and while the drums were somewhat muddy, everything else sounded good and the weather was perfect. we didn't have to deal with standing under a huge tarp with a whole lot of other people or any of the occasional lameness that comes from overenthusiastic and inebriated concertgoers in large groups.

chilled there for awhile and listened to the encore. didn't get any zeppelin but that's not too surprising. just hearing robert plant's voice for real though was surreal enough as it is, especially hearing that famous spinal tap line "Helloooo Cleveland!" at least three times in the half hour we were down there.

like the cleveland indians parking garage venture of last year, i've found another way to keep us inexpensively and immensely entertained.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2 hours of power

i had a completely insane day yesterday that i'm not gonna get into because there's no point.

radio show went decent though, even though i might have to institute a no O.A.R. policy from here on out. less hip-hop this time, more corporate rock. all three people who listen are still happy.

playlist for 7/15/08

the dirtbombs - do you see my love for you growing (junior walker cover)
martina topley-bird - need one
autolux - turnstile blues
swervedriver - rave down
robert plant and alison krauss - gone gone gone (everly brothers cover)
john frusciante - look on
fugazi - slow crostic
the clash - justice tonight/kick it over dub
guru - look to the sun
de la soul - stakes is high (jay dee remix)
mavis staples - true religion
the upsetters - popcorn
amagugu - morena boluka (south african gospel)
irma thomas - the same love...
love - my little red book
o.a.r - love and memories (request. i would NOT play this by choice)
the posies - dream all day
ollabelle - trouble of this world
amadou & mariam - coulibaly
girmi begene - ene negu bay mesh (from the ethiopiques compilation volume 8)
bob dylan - isis
andrew bird's bowl of fire - satisfied
rem - crush with eyeliner
jawbox - tongues
love battery - mr. soul (buffalo springfield cover)
mark lanegan & pj harvey - hit the city
afghan whigs - come see about me (supremes cover)
lamb - gorecki

Monday, July 14, 2008

dear RTA...

i've heard all about your funding problems, and how you need to hike up the fares, and that $23 million you spent on those stupid fare boxes that don't even work, and how the cost of gas is going up. the waterfront line still rolls on as empty as ever, and evidently you're spending a lot of your funds buffing some paint on the walls by your tracks because that's like totally important.

seriously, doesn't this send a more positive message about cleveland? this is free promotion that costs you and the cleveland visitors bureau absolutely nothing.

this is the thing i remember from when i was a kid riding downtown on the rapid with my dad to the cleveland public library or indians games. it's what i now enjoy about my morning ride into downtown. and now it's covered up with that ugly gray paint that looks nasty and doesn't even go with the wall itself.

thanks a lot.

some kid from cleveland who evidently doesn't have her priorities in the right place.

communication breakdown...

... it's always the same, isn't it?

seriously, i don't mean to diss anyone. that's just not how i do things. you know that. we all know that. and for that reason, i'm not going to say too much else.

what we do...


the artwalk ended up being really nice. jody and i went down there after we got off of work and we didn't check out everything, but walked around tremont taking in the sights and people-watching. asterisk had all this really good stuff that made me get all inspired to do new things and awed at the genius of others, looking at these beautiful charcoal drawings, stained-glass windows, paintings, and sculptures. also ran into my high school AP history teacher and his wife there, and it reminded me of what a great teacher and person he was.

the other exhibit that was very cool was the southside offensive show at doubting thomas, which was cleveland's finest graffiti writers covering entire walls and canvases of what looks like it could have once been a small apartment in a house. didn't get my shots off the camera but here's one courtesy of flickr's clevelandangel.

lindsey came up on saturday afternoon and we had a mini-roomie-reunion, got indian food and drove out to the east side listening to mixtapes, went to lakeview cemetery and walked around admiring the architecture of the family vaults and giggling at some of the names of people buried there (hubby! honey b. lee! DILLA!) which is kind of irreverent i guess, but i don't believe in ghosts anyway. but really, it is a beautiful place, and i feel like i need a whole day to explore it.

sunday, paul and jocelyn came over and i made us a lunch that was thrown together quickly (pasta, peppers, orange slices, tea), we met up for ice cream with her friend mousa, talked music. he plays piano and drums, got a crash course in middle eastern and indian music theory. we're all going to try and get together to play music sometime.

came back to the house, she got her viola out, we got out my guitars, called dave and he came over with his guitar and mandolin. jocelyn's viola sounded gorgeous, dave and paul are amazing at guitar, and i messed around dave's mandolin with the few chords i know (the only song i've taught myself is 'losing my religion'). played lots of irish reels and such for a few hours, crashed feeling all refreshed for the coming week.

jody said there were doves perched on our front porch listening to the music.

Friday, July 11, 2008

friday and my thoughts are scattered.

the jehovah witnesses have invaded. seriously. they're all over down here. they're busy going to a conference so they're not as interested in making me part of the 144,000 or whatever. thankful i don't drive down here because they've taken over all the parking lots and garages too.

back when i was a lowly undergrad at kent, i was a victim of a driveby evangelism campaign at 7am when i was walking up the summit street hill and this minivan pulls up and throws a couple watchtowers and that awake! magazine at me and drives off. i read the things just for kicks and marveled at the bad graphic design and the poorly written, uncredited articles. i wouldn't want my name on that either.

i am drinking coffee and attempting to wake up. trying to plan a weekend cleveland date of fun hanging out this weekend with the lindsey. not that i ever really make plans because the best plans tend to be those that randomly happen to you, but i do like to know what's going on.

somehow the eric b & rakim cd i ordered from the library got mixed up and i ended up with orchestral maneuvers in the dark instead.

when i was walking down mayfield yesterday i could tell there was a punk show going on because of the sudden influx of cars with loads of bumper stickers and kids with pink hair driving suv's with nofx painted on the back. reminds me why i didn't start listening to punk rock until my late teens when i got addicted to college radio. before that, i figured that if it all sounded like the sex pistols, mxpx, and the offspring, i wanted no part of it.

might check out the tremont art walk tonight after work. the last time i was down there on such a night i was driving around with val singing along to bad classic rock on the radio and somehow ended up exclaiming "die yuppie scum!" in the direction of a hapless well-dressed couple that came out of nowhere into the path of my car. not one of my finer moments especially considering that they heard me.

despite all that, st theodosius is having some display of byzantine art that looks fascinating (i have this weird thing for icons and iconography that i don't understand, no longer being catholic and having no orthodox background at all). i like seeing what other people are doing creatively and it gives me new ideas to try and also makes me realize why i've never wanted to break into the art world in the first place.

i think one of the things that i like about this style of work is the fact that it's hardly changed in about a thousand years and even though the portraits are stiff and not as lifelike as later renaissance religious art, at least jesus doesn't have blond hair, blue eyes, or european features. that's refreshing for some reason. this one below dates from something like the 6th century and resides in a monastery on mount sinai:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

social slacker.

things that don't really matter...

there are some people my age that i meet and i just assume they're at least four years older than me because they seem so much more "grown up," relatively speaking. it's not necessarily that they've gotten married, or bought a home, but there's this settled-down thing going on that disorients my somewhat freer-spirited self. and what i also find is that a lot of these people tend to hang out with other similarly grounded younger couples as well.

i remember tagging along with a friend to a party similar to this where everyone was drinking wine and smoking cigars in these big suburban homes where everyone knew who you were and no one would talk to you.

they seemed to have crossed that threshold where they start talking about career goals, networking, office gossip or what they bought at wherever or what was on tv last night or "how about those browns/indians/cavs/the weather/the stock market?

while this would be going on, i would wish i had a car so i could go early, retreat to my paints and my colored pencils and my records.

i can bluff my way through this small talk but i just feel disengaged, like we're just going through the motions. there's a linguistic term for this kind of conversational banter but i can't remember what it is to save my life. it probably maintains some sort of social stability.

me and the roommate met up with a friend of ours at a nearby coffeeshop last night and i was standing there watching all these interactions and how everyone plays up how unique and bohemian they all are. i've known some of these people or their backstories from my days of house shows and parties in tremont where you wouldn't even notice that the sun was coming up because you were having such a great time.

but in a way i'm glad that i've never tried to fit into all of that, even if i probably could pass with my musical tastes and my love of anything that involves creativity. when it comes down to it, it's just another exercise in the same kind of thing, that sense of self-importance and a need for advancement.

i just don't want to deal with all the drama and the talk about who's selling out, everyone's myspace pages and drunk text messages. where the scene points and what you're wearing and what cause you're into and who you're hanging with and what you listen to are what define you rather than who you actually are.

i'm to the point where i really don't care who people are or what they do or what political affiliation they have or what kind of music they like because that just matters less and less. i love it when i see the walls that people apart break down. i'm learning more and more not to make assumptions and to seek out others who don't make those judgments upon me based on where i come from or what i believe.

so yeah, i don't know what the point of all that is... but whatever.


...hosted by yours truly

setlist for 7/8/08

el-p - sunrise over brooklyn
stephen marley - you're gonna leave
digable planets - pacifics
jesus and mary chain - good for my soul
tricky - aftermath
soulsavers - revival
alice russell - someday
alvin youngblood hart & sharon jones - got two wings
funkadelic - i'll stay
calexico - alone again or
sierra leone refugee all-stars - seconds (U2 cover)
oumou sangare - yala
joe strummer and the mescaleros - tony adams
marcia griffiths - gypsy man (curtis mayfield cover)
bb seaton - summertime
ollabelle - soul of a man
morphine - scratch
gutter twins - who will lead us? / seven stories underground
t-bone burnett - every time i feel the shift
the verve - life's an ocean
lupe fiasco - intruder
diplo - sarah / into the sun

i still don't have a clear format i guess... this one went from hip-hop to african pop to gospel and reggae and alt-rock. sounded good to me. had the wrong microphone on and no one could hear me when i was talking but otherwise it went pretty good for my first time flying solo.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

guess i'll be taking classes this fall because the possibility of $2.25 each way on the RTA is intimidating.

i understand why everything is costing more. but that doesn't make it less frustrating. i know that a lot of people are getting screwed right now even more than i am.

but that extra quarter on top of the two dollars just feels like a suckerpunch for some reason.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

two sides to every story

i don't know how i always end up in the middle of things. but it always happens.

he said/she said.

i know who i tend to side with even as i can see both perspectives.

i just wish i wasn't in the middle of it.