Friday, October 31, 2008

ain't no party like the holy ghost party...

We throw a big Halloween party at my church every year which my friend Paul started almost by accident 4 years ago and it's just grown from there to the point that "The Holy Ghost Party" is something that's become an annual event for the neighborhood. A few hundred kids make their way through to hang out or as a stop on the trick-or-treat route known for having really good candy and lots of it, and this time, there's pizza and live music and all other good things.

This is my first time being a part of it and I've been down there almost every night this week making signs, bagging candy, stringing up Christmas lights and streamers, setting up games. I'll be serving food and taking pictures.

I've been so tired this week, living on sleep when I can catch it and sustained cups of coffee and cans of Arizona green tea, but it's something I'm looking forward to so much that it really doesn't matter.

We're having friends and family in from out of town this weekend, I'm trying to come up with the perfect mix cd for my sister's 21st birthday tomorrow, take care of last minute things that seem to come up, even with the chaos life is good.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

what the?

So evidently, I went into the wrong line of work, or just don't know how to sell the skill of making the perfect mix into something profitable. Or maybe even with the economic downturn, there are still people who have way too much time and cash on their hands to hire people to create the perfect mood music for their living space...

Though they consider clients’ musical preferences, stylists said they are paid to be the final arbiters of what songs work in a space. “When clients hire me, they are buying into the Coleman brand of taste,” Mr. Feltes said. Stylists typically charge between $50 and $250 per hour of music, which they usually download onto iPods but which can also be delivered on CDs.

So, pretty much personalized, much hipper muzak. Or something. This would be a fun job if it wasn't so crassly unnecessary. Guess it's good work for the otherwise unemployed types whose obscure tastes compensate for a lack of originality and social skills.

What sounds good in your living space?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

playlist 10/28/08

damian marley w/ nas - road to zion
femi kuti - sorry sorry
red hot chili peppers - come on girl
the roots - seed 2.0
mexican institute of sound - el microfono
astrud gilberto - gentle rain (rjd2 remix)
groundation - ruling dub
tony allen - ariya
king chango - what politicians say
novalima -
ceu - roda
erykah badu - cleva
oumou sangare
african head charge - heading to glory
mark lanegan - black river
blockhead - triptych
augustus pablo - rockers meet king tubby in fire house
soul messengers - our lord and savior / junky baby
digable planets - pacifics
afghan whigs - come see about me

Thursday, October 23, 2008

awesome meme

Go to flickr and type in "halloween" and the year you were born...

In this case, it's 1983.


I guess no one wants to look like a schlub when they're on tv all the time and such, but $150,000 for hair and makeup and new clothes? I made fun of John Edwards' $400 haircut but this is just so far beyond that, I just don't even know what to say. I can't conceive that amount of money.

And this just gets me.

This reminds me of the time a couple years ago when one of my elderly relatives offered my parents a pretty decent chunk of change to take me and my sisters out on a "shopping spree" because we've helped him out with a lot of things. We're talking a couple thousand for each of us, chump change evidently for those of us who are running for office.

We turned him down on it, however, because it just didn't feel RIGHT. It seemed like an overwhelming amount of cash to spend on yourself when there were so many people who need it more. Besides, I wondered what the heck I would spend it on anyway, considering that most of my clothes come from either the thrift store racks or the cheaper stores.

But back to the $150k. That's about 5 times what I make in a year. That's more than what my parents' house is worth. That could send how many kids to college? Feed how many hungry people? Provide micro-loans to how many entrepreneurs in a third world country?

I think of people who are really down and out, not just in dire straits around the world, but here in our own country, like the father of some of the kids I help teach English to on Saturdays who fled civil war in Burundi to come here only to get paralyzed from the waist down after being hit by a car. Not only is he unable to start a new life for himself the way he'd want to, unable to support his wife and kids on his own, but he's also got huge hospital bills that they can't pay. We've helped them out as much as we can, but there's just so much.

And that's just one situation. There are so many.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

playlist 10/21/08

Wasn't really prepared this morning, hence a few double-plays but that's ok.

diplo - into the sun
cheikh lo - lady (fela kuti cover)
jurassic 5 - thin line
dengue fever - sleepwalk through the mekong
blockhead - jet sun / cavelight
digable planets - blowin' down
lupe fiasco - he say she say
erykah badu - penitentiary philosophy
ani difranco - shy
novalima - alcajazz
tango crash - desde lejos
mission of burma - trem two
love battery - dayglo
t-bone burnett - blinded by the darkness
black crowes - remedy
ollabelle - john the revelator
bellrays - used to be
meat puppets - we don't exist
john frusciante - second walk / water
throwing muses - limbo
the clash - pressure drop / 1-2 crush on you
camper van beethoven - we're a bad trip

Monday, October 20, 2008

it came from detroit

My sister had a birthday party for her boyfriend this weekend so I stopped by to hang out and be her designated photographer since most of her friends are friends of mine also. Got the inside info on local people to vote for and caught up with people I haven't seen in awhile.

Had to leave early to go out and meet up with my good friend and fellow grunge enthusiast Frank to catch the Dirtbombs at the Beachland. The crowd was pretty cool and we ended up hanging around outside talking to random people.

They sounded fantastic and it was one of those shows where it goes faster than it should because the sound is so tight and it's just so good with its combination of punked out garage rock and covers by the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Phil Lynott and Sly Stone.

It can sound sloppy on the records sometimes in that good way, but live, it works so well with the two drummers and two bassists, and there's lots of those deep almost tribal drums and fuzzed out guitar tones that call to mind the Rolling Stones back before Keith Richards started falling out of palm trees.
I tried taking some photos but we weren't that close so instead here's some Youtube footage from previous shows to give the general vibe.

The buzz got killed a little in the encore by the drummer's overly long drunken rant about politics and dirty jokes which culminated in some heckling and the drummer suckerpunching a guy standing next to me. Or something. I didn't totally catch what happened but people were getting testy. I hate election season because if this was any other time, people would be way more chilled out.

I assume that most musicians are more political and such but if I wanted that, I'd go see Tom Morello instead of a garage band playing awesome party music from Detroit. But hey, I got free tickets, so I can't complain too much. And Mick Collins might currently be the coolest living guy in the music world.

Friday, October 17, 2008

every time I feel the shift...

Now that it's getting colder and the days are getting numbered when I can sit on my balcony and read or drive around with the windows down comfortably, playing bouncing summer music and feeling like I have a whole day ahead of me when I leave work.

I'm preparing for the inevitable chill, feeling ready for hoodies and layers, crunchy leaves and curling up with good books, working on art projects that got neglected during the year.

Time to dig out my fall and winter music... all my Seattle sounds and melancholy folkness and trip-hop, everything that makes me think of places where it rains all the time and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Looking forward to seeing old friends tonight, catching the Dirtbombs at the Beachland, and then sign-painting for the Halloween night party that we're throwing for the neighborhood kids and the Burundi kids tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

playlist 10/14/08

playlist 10/14/08

massive attack - angel
the roots - water
bomb the bass, feat. mark lanegan - black river (borracho remix)
the pharcyde - passin' me by
erykah badu - didntcha know
m'shell ndegeocello + yerba buena - gentlemen
de la soul - plug tunin'
jurassic 5- break
primitive radio gods - ghost of a chance
porno for pyros - pets
les nubians - tabou (roots remix)
john frusciante - invisible movement

the dirtbombs -
they hate us in scandinavia
do you see my love for you growing
sharpest claws

gutter twins - seven stories underground
mountain goats - jaipur
morphine - in spite of me
alice coltrane - gospel trane
jawbox - i've got you under my skin
red hot chili peppers - emit remmus
lush - runaway
afghan whigs - citi soleil
the clash - armagideon time
king tubby - ethiopian dub
neil young - down by the river

rock and/or roll

So when someone asked me what I did this weekend, I had to think a second, because I'm sleepy as anything and that extra day makes everything blurry.

We ended up going to the Tremont art walk to see his friend's stuff, which was pretty cool, fashioning a living room on a footbridge over I-90 was something I never thought of but was completely amazing.

Watched some African kids dance and some capoeira guys do their thing, walked from Tremont downtown across the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, got there just in time for Joe Satriani.

While some of it was a smidge too 80's for me, I really enjoyed it, and realized I had never heard anything by him, ever, probably got him mixed up with Steve Vai. The guy is crazy gifted, and kept it interesting style-wise, with elements of blues, jazz, flamenco. He looked like he was having a great time too, didn't seem pretentious at all. And it was free.

It took me back when I was 15 and spent my lonely summers attempting to learn every Led Zeppelin riff in my parents' basement and digging through old copies of Guitar World, back before I discovered punk rock and decided I didn't care about Lydian modes anymore.

Otherwise this weekend... hung out with the little kids who were being all crazy, spent some time with the sisters, went on an early morning take-pictures-of-weird-stuff venture, which was very successful.

the weirdest backyard pet grave ever besides this one:

Creepy zombie plaster couple.

Ice Cream truck parking lot

King Kong shakes his fist at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo:

Giant Inflatable Fish!

Friday, October 10, 2008


So my friend Paul calls me up and evidently he's got free tickets to Joe Satriani. Confessing serious musical ignorance here, but I think I've only heard one Joe Satriani song in my life, but hey, what the heck. Guy's a good guitar player, right?

And those one-hit-wonders of 70's rock, Mountain, are opening.

This is going to be completely hilarious and amazing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

muy importante

So, people.

I'm not going to tell you who to vote for but whoever you are, I strongly recommend that you vote "yes" on Issue 5, which will cap the interest rate at 28% (which isn't great) instead of 391%.

It just kills me to see these kinds of places all over my neighborhood and my city knowing that they're ripping people off and continuing the cycle of poverty. It's just so wrong on so many levels and it's gone on far too long because the owners of these enterprises contribute a whole lot in campaign contributions to the powers that have been in Columbus who let these relaxed laws happen in the first place.

Here's some more info

On a related note, I came across this via Ta-Nehisi Coates. This is a must-read as well.

bob dylan wrote propaganda songs

I've posted this before, and I'm doing it again. Not so much for the music, but these were my favorite Dylan lyrics as an angsty teen. What's interesting, however, is how much more relevant it's become as I've gotten older and you start seeing who people really are.

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it

When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

playlist 10/7/08

So yeah, I tried doing a ticket giveaway this morning but evidently no one wants to see the Dirtbombs. Seriously, Cleveland. What is up?

tricky - aftermath
twilight singers - papillon
the roots with cody chesnutt - the seed 2.0
martina topley-bird - need one
bomb the bass, feat. mark lanegan - black river
lupe fiasco - kick, push
jurassic 5 - freedom
the verve - come on
ride - leave them all behind
sub swana - backwater dub
madlib - pyramids
burial - ghost hardware

the dirtbombs - if you can want (smokey robinson cover)
sun is shining
earthquake heart
brand new game

violent femmes - waiting for the bus
calexico - crumble
disposable heroes of hiphopcrisy - television
tango crash - milonga para alberto
gil scott-heron - the revolution will not be televised (request)
the dirtbombs - stop
ollabelle - see line woman (nina simone cover)
brightblack morning light - summer hoof
jeff beck - nadia
stephen marley - you're gonna leave
soulsavers - no expectations (rolling stones cover)

Monday, October 6, 2008

social adrenaline

Got to paint this weekend, realized my need for some acrylic paint because the guache isn't cutting it for what I'm doing now. Also took some random Cleveland shots in the hour or so before sunset when the light is just beautiful.

A friend of mine was in town this weekend before heading back to Jordan so a group of us ended up going bowling Saturday night at Twin Lanes which is probably my new favorite spot in Cleveland for such things because it's cheap fun and stellar people-watching. I'm notoriously bad at bowling (my lifetime average hovers around 50) but it was good just hanging out.

My friends who just got married had us over for dinner last night. It's been awhile since I laughed as hard as I did at their table, hearing wild stories that really should be in a book somewhere because they're just so good. They're amazing people and I'm glad that they're just around the corner from me.

From there, I ended up driving over to the east side to hang out with the guys because I haven't seen them in forever and it's always such a good thing. Every time we hang out, he always has some Youtube goodness for me. The last time it was Balls of Steel and the Ice-T/Soulja Boy feud, this time it was late 1950's R&B and SHAKER HEIGHTS!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This link is dedicated to the great visionary genius that is Randal Graves. Enjoy.

Aboriginal Headbanging