Saturday, June 27, 2009

The King is Dead, Long Live the KING!

I feel truly sad.

Not a "holding back tears' sad, but more like finding out a childhood friend you haven't seen in years has died. I'm having a quiet sadness. The sadness that come from the familiarity of him being around me my entire life.

I watched The Jacksons cartoon when I was little.

I grew up with the Rock With You Michael Jackson in middle school.

Jammed to the Thriller Michael Jackson in high school.

I stayed up hoping to God Beat It or Billie Jean came on Friday Night Videos (this was way before we had MTV or cable. Old heads know about those dark Ages!)

This happened too fucking fast!!!!

There is no other way of saying it. He was supposed to age gracefully like James Brown, maybe even pop up a few more times on award shows or give some interviews for all the young people who imitate, are influenced by, and wanna-bees some advice like Quincy Jones.

Instead he's gone, just like that.

It doesn't help that I haven't seen him recently, except when something crazy happens, or that he hasn't put on any new music in some years. I would think that being out of the spotlight, you would just say "Oh damn, he died. Thats a shame" and keep on eating your corn flakes, but Michael Jackson is bigger than that. Too big to be completely forgotten or erased. Despite all the good/bad media coverage and all of the crazy stunts he's pulled (or had pulled on him) it never effected the way I felt when I heard his songs. And I hear his music all the time; because of the great DJ's I listen to, Mike is NEVER out of the rotation, never too far away.

I guess we always take the ones we love for granted. Only now after his death, after listening to all the songs I hear when I go party do I realize

1. how long he has been making the music I love
2. How many hits he has!!
3. How his music still makes me feel, whether it was 1983, 1993, or 2003
4. We will never hear anything new or influenced by him.

What I mean by that is, what kind of music would you make if you could spend time with Michael in the studio? Imagine what you would learn. Imagine being able to call up Michael Jackson and say "Hey, listen to this song, track, or beat I made" and Michael saying "Its good, but change this/that. Add this, add that" imagine the final product of your collaboration

Todays producers, singers, songwriters have really lost out. They had a chance to learn from the Master, like Kobe learned from Jordan before he retired. I'm sure we'll hear some of I's produced tracks from the unfinished album, but thats all folks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 25th, 2009

I had just heard about the death of Farrah Fawcett today, and I thought about watching Charlie's Angels as a kid and loving Blondes back in those not-that-many-Blacks-on-tv days. I remembered her excellent performance in the 1986 movie Extremities and the 1st time I took her seriously as an actress (along with a young Alfrie Woodard).

I knew she had cancer and I felt sorry for her struggles, but I was glad that her suffering and pain were over. RIP.

I laid down to take a nap after work at 4pm and when I awoke at 6:30pm I found that things were much worse.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Almost Didn't Happen: Odunde 2009

I really look forward to Odunde, the 1st major summer gathering event where I can see Afrocentric people, items, food and artwork, but this year it was almost cancelled dude to the recession. I was worried until they came through with a deal at the end and made it happen.

They had obtained more corporate sponsorship this year. It was unusual seeing Sunny Delight and TNT tents there, but I was willing to deal with it so I could have the event I can't live without.

I was glad that THT was not only promoting their new show (with rarely seen on tv Jada Pinkett-Smith) HawthoRNe, but they also provided free health screenings. Black people tend not to visit the doctor as often as they should and ignore health problems till the very end, so I welcomed any chance for people to check their weight, sugar level and body mass index.

Not surprisingly I was overweight.

They had a Wii for little kids to play, and activities like line dancing in the other tents. It took all my strength not to go over there and play that Jedi Knight game.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Creative Like Us: Stace "Flygirl" Wilson

Its been a while since I featured someone, so lets jump back in with Stacey Wilson, whose Tastytreats flyers I have admired for years.

How long have you been a Designer etc?
Since 1995 when i went to college for graphic design.

Where did you go to school?
Hussian School of Art. it has relocated a few times, I went when it was on 11th & market.

How did you get started?
I was out alot and knew alot of people, specifically people in the nightlife industry. I was working for the Bynum brothers at Zanzibar Blue. They asked me to manage their new nightclub, Brave New World. From there I planned events, as well as did the graphic design for the venue. Over time, a lot of the main promoters of the time became my clients. From there I met ?uestlove & the rest is history.

I have been throwing parties, designing pieces & creating art for 12 years now.

What are your influences?

Where do you find your inspiration?
Other people's work, life, people, research of those who did it before me and who do it now, nature and of course, music.

What was your 1st job like?
I don't even remember it lol. if I remembered it, I'd tell you.

Who (or, what) do you believe helped you on your journey?
Networking, good work & word of mouth. all of the above...I don't really believe you can be successful without exercising all of those elements...I just stayed in the mix for years. staying relevant, social, maintaining good relationships with people.

What was your biggest success? Your biggest failure? what did you do afterward either one?
My biggest success? I don't know, I know what projects I have felt a personal sense of accomplishment that was more exciting than others.

One design project I was so excited to do was a series of old time posters for each one of the roots album covers. Ahmir wanted them for a certain concert. I am proud of those. As for a failure, I'm not really sure. Can't say I've experienced too many failures, maybe some bumps during a project, but in the end I learned from it. That's most important; to not view your mistakes as failures, but as lessons learned.

What are 2 things that someone must do to get where you are now?

Networking & maintaining your relationships and to somehow love the struggle of such a random work life.

Where do you go from here?
Above and beyond.

What's the funniest thing about you?
I'm petrified to speak in public. I find it funny because I'm a social person, but I have a huge fear of it.

What else do you to for fun?
Travel ( when I can ), paint, dance, cook, play Wii, search for music, spend time with family & friends and of course, surfing the web :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sundae at the Piazza

I am so glad that Andrea sent me an invite to this event. I've seen the new apartment complex and I wish I could live there. Northern Liberties seems to be where many artistic things are developing; galleries, studios, and the type of people who create them

This was just what I needed:

A sunny day
Free Parking
?uestlove on the turntables playing amazing old and new house music
Pretty ladies.

The vibe was cool, friends, family and children of all races playing and partying together. Hula Hoops abound.

Yahmean and ?uest

You always know you're in the right place when the Noize Tripp Fellas show up...

...and meeting Geneka from BK and Andrea.

I met writer, producer, and photographer Summer Lott

...And then watched Game 3 of the Finals on the big screen!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

So a friend sends me a video...

I thought at first it would be the usual bull-crap everyone thinks is funny but me, but this is hilarious. The lyrics that really sell it. It is a perfect spoof of the mid 90's gangsta rap period where everyone is extra hard for no reason.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The End of Black Shows?

Andrea sent me this article from Clutch website.

This pretty much sums up what I've been seeing for years, the lack of development, the changing time slots, and the eventual cancellation of Black Tv shows (Although I don't like to call them "black" shows, more like shows with predominately Black characters) Quality shows like Living Single, Eve, and The Game have come and gone without replacement, and virtually all the other networks are apparently unwilling to produce them.