Friday, September 29, 2006

Donna Nada Mucho

I know I got home from a few moments ago. And that I crept around the house so that I didn’t wake anybody. I know that I grabbed a beer from the fridge. I know that I lit a Camel Light cigarette. I know where I was tonight. And I know where I'll wake up tomorrow morning. I know I'm here right now. But I don’t know much else.

When a close friend called earlier this week, and told me his mom had just died, and I could feel the words sinking into him like a sickness as he said it, I didn’t really know what to say. I couldn’t be reassuring, because there was nothing there to reassure. I couldn’t tell him I understood, because my mom didn’t die, she just slowly disappeared. I couldn’t tell him he shouldn’t worry, because there was nothing really to worry about. And I couldn’t tell him it was going to be ok, because it wasn’t. So I just sat on the phone and listened as he tried to keep it together, I just sat on the phone and breathed into the receiver. I said I was sorry once or twice; I gasped and tried to sit still. It is a profound loss, but I couldn’t say anything that would make things better. And I wanted to cry but it wasn’t my turn. It was his.

I got assigned some writing and I didn’t know what to write. The lesson was vague and tedious, it was an exercise with no weight. I did it anyway though, and I wasn’t pleased. They were plain dumb character sketches of people I didn’t like. Assholes with no reason but to muck up my imagination. They were flawed, as was my prose, and I felt stupid when I read it later. I figured its because I'm too hard on myself though, and eventually let it go.

And Thursday came and went but I didn’t put up a post. I can’t keep a promise, but I warned you of that from the get go. I wanted to tell you about the surprise party I got for my birthday. I wanted to tell you about this great song I heard. I wanted to tell you about this post I read. I wanted to tell you about Donna. I wanted to tell you about the house I was in where they always had the TV on and it was always playing porno, even if no one was watching. I wanted to tell you about Brooklyn, about New York. I wanted to tell you about the world. But I don’t know. I don’t know what to post on this blog and I don’t know what to write on a paper and I don’t know what to say on the phone shit I just don’t know anything these days.

Except that I was in a bar and they were playing hip hop classics, and afterward I went to a friends house and some unsigned rappers started a freestyle session. One of them was pretty good. I hope he goes far in life.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kids these days

I was in my local café this morning, getting myself a redeye to wash down the aches of sleep, when I picked up a flyer on the counter. The image on the front is what grabbed me, an animated baby in sunglasses and a chain link bracelet, but it was the words beneath this image, BABY LOVES DISCO, which made me pick it up and read more. On the back was this text:

Once a month Baby Loves Disco transforms New York’s hottest club into a child proof disco as children (6 months to 7 years) and parents looking for a break from the routine playground circuit let loose for an afternoon dance party featuring real music spun by real DJ’s blending classic disco. Plus bubble machines, a chill-out area, diaper changing stations, a full spread of healthy snacks AND optional cocktails for non-driving parents. Saturday afternoon is the new Saturday night. Come join us.

Ok, so fill me in here? What exactly is the “routine playground circuit,” and when did kids of 8 months old need “a break” from it? Is it because not enough of the playgrounds have wifi and these busy little New York infants just can’t be disconnected too long from their social network? Are sand and slides and no worries in the world just getting too tedious for today’s power hungry toddler? It’s lucky these hip new baby discos have diaper-changing rooms, the dance floor would just be a mess if there weren’t.

I just don’t know about infants these days? Have you seen them, in their fancy little strollers wearing Sex Pistols and Public Enemy t-shirts? It’s as if they already have an agenda and they aren’t even 3 years old yet! How the hell can a baby know who the Ramones are? Most of them don’t even recognize their grandparents yet, but they seem to understand the anti-establishmentarian philosophies of early punk music. Well bully for them!

But we all know why the kids are wearing these t-shirts and going to these “clubs.” It’s the parents. The parents are bored with the dreaded ‘playground circuit,” so they hired out a well known club space and some DJ’s, made sure the bar was stocked and there was enough food to keep the kids from getting cranky [and only healthy snacks, heaven forbid a child eat the same unhealthy crap we did as kids]. And how else will all your friends know how cool you were before you had children unless you adorn your baby in expensive hipster t-shirts with the band names of people YOU like? Never mind that the baby will outgrow his sleeveless Sonic Youth tee in a matter of months and you will be left with nothing less than a formula stained washrag with indie rock credibility.

I guess this is just the new way to raise kids. At least for the first 12 years or so, until whatever music that will define them is created. It's not exclusive to New York either, I guess they do it all around the world. Seems expensive though, $12 t-shirts, and Saturday afternoon cocktail budgets. I don’t even know if kids are worth it. Not to say I don’t like babies, but you gotta admit, they can be pretty hit or miss. They definitely aren’t all cute or well behaved. Some are, but there are a lot that aren’t, and those are usually the ones in the coolest t-shirts too, going to all the hip clubs, at the front of the line, on the guest list and shit. Fucking hipster infant douche bags.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Now I'm Old and Bored

It was my birthday yesterday. I didn’t make a big deal of it though. I had a lot of work to do and it just reminded me that I had less time to do it, so I sort of brushed it off as a non-event. L-dimples got us a nice bottle of wine though, and ordered in a fancy dinner, and bought me three different cupcakes and put a candle in the middle and sung me the happy birthday song. It was actually a stick, because she couldn’t find the candles. I thought that was a crafty substitution and it worked just the same. I made a wish and blew out the flame. Happy birthday to me. Yay.

It’s not to say I don’t celebrate my birthday, because there is documentation that proves I do [in the form of stains and scars and embarrassing memories], but I couldn’t get into it this year. It just wasn’t in me. Instead I worked. I worked hard. I worked as if nothing else could satisfy me. I answered my phone and said thanks when some one sent well wishes, but to a large degree I just stayed in a cocoon of duties, making myself too busy for any lengthy exchange. It was very anti-social, I’ll admit, but I like I said, I just wasn’t up for it.

Besides, I celebrate just about everything. Hell, I’ll celebrate nothing at all. I’ll celebrate celebrating, just for the sake of celebration. I don’t have to have much reason. It’s all the same anyway. Another raised drink. Another late morning. Another puddle of blood and vomit to clean up.

Just kidding. There usually isn’t any blood, unless, of course, there’s whores and shit involved. If there is shit anywhere, you can bet there is probably some blood around too, but if there are whores coupled with shit? Forget about it, just grab the mop. Hey, don’t get grossed out by me, its the nature of the party. I don’t make the rules I just follow and then clean up after them.

Anyway, so i'm a year older now. One more down. I told this girl in class yesterday [yeah, I had to go to school on my birthday, this is how the year begins], that I was now 31 years old and flat broke. She said back to me, 'well, I'm 36 years old and flat broke,' and I told her that wasn’t reassuring.

If you can guess what song the lyric that titles this post is from then you win a prize. Bonus points if you can complete it.*

*disclaimer: you do not actually get anything for guessing. though if you really want, i guess you can pat yourself on the back.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

on the grid

I was on the grid in the morning, hardly hiding, doing my part. checking my email and answering my phone. ready to respond to whatever action came my way. this even though I was hungover and dehydrated and woke up 5 times the night before to drink tall glasses of warm tap water that didn't quell the headache nor the bad dreams nor the sweats. an hour into my day I was already on the train and heading to the city for a meeting I was unprepared for. the sun was high too. it was mad hot.

so here I am fighting traffic downtown and weaving through bootleggers on canal. they'll bootleg anything in new york. scarves movies music bags eyeglasses tshirts books. anything. you want it, we got the bootleg of it. for a fraction of the price we'll sort you out. but thats not what im concerned about.

I got cats blowing up my cellphone and I got spreadsheets I need to make and im taking flyers from solicitors hands and thinking about artwork that needs to be approved. in my head im building next year and im hoping for success and im getting lost on the side streets of the west village. my stomach is bitter that I missed breakfast. I got demos to listen to and meetings to make and rappers to call and house djs to hound. I have to get publicity updates and I have to sign documents and I have to hit a show tonight and remember to bring the labels promos because they need them for press. im outta weed and outta cash and outta time to make excuses. the city's beating hard on me and ive got no defense.

and im on 7th avenue and im envious of middle america. not because its slower there or because the apartments are bigger but because it seems they have faith in god and I lost that a long time ago. and I wish I was more spiritual and I wish I didn't feel so alone. like there is nothing but me and my fear and some bugs and some trees and dirt. and I want to have faith and I want to have meaning and I want it to be more than something another person said to me, I want to feel like when im lost the universe is watching.

but I make it through to the night as im always wont to do, and im at a show in tribeca being social and aware. the crowd was sparse but excited and I had one to many drinks so had to step outside for a cigarette. when I got back in Greg Nice was on the stage and when he said hey everyone else said ho. it was like yesteryear except right now and sort of ironic.

im so happy my friends are back. to the right you'll see new links for samFM, one of my best friends "in real life." He's back in disco keeping in sleazy. and then you'll see the homegirl Snooze with new digs and a new template and a new name and everything, even though its the same old wit and charm. one day i'll know her "in real life" but for now were only BFF's on the internet. check em out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rainy Day Linkfest

It is raining here in new york city and anyone with any sense is huddles inside. I planned on writing a post but when I got half way through it my firefox crashed, losing all my unsaved data. I don’t think I have it in me to write another one. So I’m going to provide you with a series of links that would be infinitely more entertaining anyway.

Stylus Magazine has posted what they believe to be the top 100 music videos of all time, I do think that a good many of them are amazing, but im sure some of you will find a few glaring omissions [Where is ‘So Whatcha Want’?]. What is you’re favorite music video?

A friend sent this video over, a short but somewhat powerful anti-America piece. That’s all fine and dandy, but it annoys me that people seem to be jumping on this whole “America is so corrupt” bandwagon only after 9/11. This is not news folks. Remember Reagan sold arms to Iran? Remember the Tuskegee Experiments? Remember "Coloreds Only" signs? Remember Oliver North? Remember Nixon? Remember Katrina? It's been in motion for a while.

And on a similar note, Snooze wrote a very brave, sensitive, and insightful post about the personal experiences we go through during a tragedy of any magnitude, and how some are affected more than others, depending on just where they are in life. I found it thoughtful and intelligent. What is your 9/11?

I don’t know what to make of this video. There are so many things wrong with it, yet I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. There was just something about it… oh wait… is that my dad?

Here is a pretty popular online novel my friend turned me onto. After reading a little of it I imagine ill be hooked soon. check it out, you may get hooked too.

Knowing that im a huge radiohead geek [as a friend said to me the other day, what person that truly loves music isnt?], and seeing as i turned you all onto those Radiohead crunk covers a while back, here is a new offering, this time from a collection of well known and legendary raggae and dub stars entitiled "Radiodread," that, from the first song, "Airbag," is done equally well, if not a wee bit better.

A list of the 50 greatest independent films of all time. I love list.

Dork Magazine was nice enough to link the new TV on the Radio album [which, if you remember, I was raving about like 2 months ago] listen to it. buy the record. They also have a feature on Sadat X, which you should also check out [because im involved with the album and its good].

That’s all for now, I’ll make a real post soon. I’ve just been busy with work and started back at scool and blah blah bladdy blah. Have a good weekend peoples. Keep me on the radar, im not going anywhere.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

These are her hands

Souliquacious was supposed to be the name of her father’s band, but before it formed it had already broken up. This even though Tuggs, the drummer, finally got clean, and Jackson, the bass player and keyboardist, had gotten out of jail, plus all the rough practices had gone pretty well and everyone had agreed they sounded good together. It was actually Souliquacious herself that put the pinch on their plans, for any aspirations the group may have had, her birth was the death, the coffin, and the nail that shut it closed. Her father, as a gesture to what could have been, gave his only daughter the name his band would never have.

And there she is, parading down the street, broadcasting with every twist of her hips that she doesn’t know you and would rather keep things that way. She’s with her friends, there are two of them, always, and they growl like bulldogs when you get too close.

When they talk to each other they speak as if they are alone, and when Souliquacious says something its always amped in volume, not that anyone would dare speak over her. They have long, loud discussion on the bus or subway, and if you give them a look that says could you keep it down please I’m trying to read, they roll their eyes and one of them, usually Souliquacious herself, will say, even louder this time, ANYWAYS, and go on with their discussion.

She likes to hold her hand up to you when you’re talking, as if she’s telling you to pause for something more important to hear, but she never says anything, she just walks away. Her nails are long and fake, ornate, and colored in a violent hue. Sometimes, if she has the money for it, she gets them decorated, maybe with a Chinese dragon draped in diamonds in attack position on her index finger, or maybe her full name, Souliquacious, in gold calligraphy down her pinkie. Her nails are always very impressive; they also break when she has to “whoop some bitches ass,” but not before they do some serious damage to the skank whores face.

Her hair is long and straightened, presumably, from the smell of it, with a hot comb, so that it falls down to her shoulder, or is very easily put into a bun. For a while she had long braided extensions, but they would get frizzy and nappy after a few nights sleep, so she undid them and went back to her somewhat natural style of a burned and processed ‘do. It’s a shame, because when she would toss that mane of horse hair over her shoulder after giving your outfit, look, or mere presence a brutal ice burn with her eyes, there was nothing on this great innocent earth that could match the sass she exuded.

Despite what people think, she doesn’t really dislike you, she actually doesn’t care much about your existence at all. She has a simple plan, a set agenda, and if everyone would just allow her to proceed with it, there would be no problems. She will be a brilliant wife, as long as her man knows where his place is, and a wonderful mother, providing her kids know how to take care of themselves. She is really quite a nice girl, if you just try to get to know her, just don’t call her So-quay-quay, she doesn’t like that.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Punk Bully

The neighborhood I grew up in had its good and its bad. It was very typical of most San Francisco districts. It had its own history. Its own legends. Just like all the others. It was at the tip of Haight Ashbury and on the edge of downtown, right smack dab in the middle of the city. Back then it was called the Fillmore but now its called the Western Edition, either way its where I'm from.

But an ode to my old neighborhood is not why I’m typing, nor why you are reading. What I want to paint for you today is another sketch from my childhood. A scene that may help you, and most importantly me, understand who is behind the ones and zeroes that make up this cold black internet page. Here we have a brief glimpse into my past, and who are we really, without the stories that make us up?

It was a Saturday, I believe. Or it could have been a weekday, and just during the summer. I can’t really remember by season, as San Francisco’s seasons never change [a perpetual autumn is upon us, why is Oakland so sunny?], but I remember it was warm, the sky was a clear blue, and the day was a lazy free for all. It could have been any day, now that I think about it.

I was about nine years old. It was me, Dion, his cousin Dominick, and this kid named Shawn. Dion was my neighbor; we were road dogs for real. We did everything together. Everything. In fact, if I may take the liberty of assuming that we are still friends, even though I haven’t seen him in about 6 years, I would say that I have known Dion longer than I have known anyone else [not including my biological mother, whom I haven’t seen since I was 15]. I met him when I was seven or eight. He was singing Michael Jackson songs in our shared backyard and I corrected him on the lyrics. Then we had a Michael Jackson dance off, which I believe ended in a tie. Then we became BFF’s. The rest is just stories on the internet.

His cousin was younger than us, but we still let him hang. He would come and stay the weekend at Dion's every now and again. One time he stole a video from the return basket at a video rental place and it turned out to be the first porno I’d ever seen, Debbie Does Dallas part 3, but that’s another post altogether.

Shawn tried to steal a toy from me at a birthday party, but that was way later, at this point he was considered a pretty cool kid. His ninja style was called The Bull. I never witnessed it, but according to him he had wiped out armies of lesser skilled ninjas by the time we were eight and a half. His form was that deadly.

So we are all at this park, which is around the corner from my house, on the same block as some pretty run down projects. It’s a small playground, just a patch of sand with some swings and a spare jungle gym. If I remember correctly, Dion was trying to do back flips off of an elevated tunnel and onto the sand. Shawn was spinning on a tire hung from a bar. Dominick was doing something totally immature, I’m sure, and I was hanging back at the top of the slide. Not really going anywhere, just checking things out.

That’s when Andre showed up. Andre was a few years older than us and he was mean and ugly and didn’t really give a shit what you thought about him. His hair was nappy and uncombed and his clothes were dirty and torn. He was doomed and he knew it and he hated if you didn’t share in his misery. He was with two girls, sisters or cousins or friends or someone, and he was laughing when I first saw him.

He walked up to Shawn and said something. I couldn’t hear, but when I looked at Dion his eyes were wide and he was frozen, balanced on a coupe bars high up on the jungle gym. Dominick had moved up and behind the small web of tunnels that made up the higher plateau of the playground. I stayed my position at the top of the slide.

I could tell the words said weren’t friendly, even though Andre smiled the entire time. Shawn had that shy and surrendered look of a kid being bullied, I knew the score so I waited to see how it played out. When Andre pushed Shawn from the tire, and the girls cackled and pointed, I immediately realized two things, that Shawn had lied about his Bull style of ninjitsu, and that things were not going to end up good as a result of it.

Dion had other ideas, and jumped down from the bar to stop things from going further. It was a simple move, but it didn’t work out so well. The moment his feet touched the sand Andre had his fist sliding across his cheek. Andres white teeth shone in the nice sunny day and when he swung a second time, his smile wider than ever, he said the one thing I ever heard him say, ‘Why would you want to hurt yourself?’ then his fist connected squarely on the jaw of my road dog. I doubt it caused much pain but the scream that left Dions mouth struck me to the bone and I couldn’t wait any longer.

I jumped from the slide and ran.

I didn’t run away really, but I went to find some sort of weapon… that didn’t happen to be on the same playground as Andre. I hardly went around the block, but I left the scene for a moment. The plague of cowardice had moved through me like an anesthesia, and I searched quickly for a tool. A bottle. A blade. A bat. Anything. Finally I found a large stick and went back to the crime, somewhat prepared, shivering and short of breath.

When I got there it was empty.

I’m not sure where every one went but there was no one there when I got back. It wasn’t like I was gone long either. Still, no one was there. Just me and a stick and my own fear and cowardice. I flung the stick over a fence and sat down in the sand for a second, I was about to cry but didn’t want anyone to come see me so got up and left. It was still clear outside but I just wanted to go home. It was the first time I recognized how soft I was. A born pussy. Yellow. I realized I’d have to live with it, no matter how many fights I got into, no matter how many times I got my ass kicked. Id have to accept, I was kind of a punk.

I don’t know what happened to Andre, I saw him a few more times, on the streets, on the corners, in my nightmares, but never had another exchange with him. Dion and me stayed pretty close, Dominick became a hip hop raving weed dealer, and Shawn tried to steal a toy from me. I became me, a product of this here story.


that was pretty rushed but i promised id post on thrusday and im already late. oh well, guess thats how i roll. anyay, you should check out the contributing post from Kool Kim of UMC's fame over at Unkut. its some pretty iteresting insider knowledge of the hip hop world. i liked the UMCs back in the day. Never Never land was my joint.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


im in no state to argue my point, nor am i capable of developing proper sentences, but im here and im queer, get used to it.

long pause...

i plan to write whatever i can in 15 minutes. only because im drunk. only because im stoned. only because ive seen this episode a million times before.

christ, i dont know why i started this post, but im already involved with it, so i'll play along.

we dragged ourselves out tonight, me and L-sidekick, after a mess of a monday with a crew of misfits. there were pitchers of beer that were left half empty and we were all drowning in suds by that time. this was at Soda, a bar on Vanderbilt, smack dab in the middle of the heights. we had a Belgium white with lemon slices and a bitter IPA i sipped and winced at. we had old staples like sierra nevada in double pitchers that people sipped from like mugs. doug had a mozzarella sandwich and jen showed up with a friend. everyone was grinning and by the time we reached the palace wine bottles had been corked and Nicolay was setting up a practice performance in the kitchen.

we got home at 11 but it felt like 3. L-sidekick puked and then passed out, i fell asleep watching tv.

but we dragged ourselves out tonight. and it was good. you shoulda been there.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tonight in New York City

Nicolay is having his album release party tonight @ The Canal Room. Its going to be a good show, and im not just saying that because we are distributing his record overseas, though we wouldnt be distributing it if it wasnt a good album, but honestly believe Nicolay is a talented cat. Not only that but hes one of the nicest dudes in the western hemisphere. Special guest will include Black Spade and Phonte of Little Brother among others. Come down, have a drink, nod your head, say whats up if you see me [i'll be the black guy in the jeans and the tshirt]. Canal Room is at W. broadway and Canal. find it.


on a more bloggy note, i think im gonna take this site to a weekly basis, and will be updating every thursday. i imagine i'll probably update more often than once a week, seeing as how inspiration has no set schedule, but have made a commitment to myself to ensure at least one new post by thursday of every week. we'll see how that plays out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Sky Is Not Crying

make healthy food cheaper, and make unhealthy food more expensive. its that simple.
-some guy on charlie rose explaining how the structure of society needs to be changed, and how to achieve this. i forget his name, but remember he wore a red tie and had a rather thin face.


her plane was delayed and she called me to pass the time. i was bothered by it, annoyed that i had to hold the phone to my ear for so long, but only because i wanted to wait for her in my way, which was alone and quiet and anxious, instead of in her way, which was alone and quiet and anxious on the phone. so we sort of faught, because i wanted to get off the phone and she wanted someone to talk to while she waited for the plane. she got sad and hurt and asked if i'd rather she never come home. then i got sad and hurt because she was sad and hurt and tried to explain to her that she being home was everything i wanted in the world. then we faught again. then we said i love you. and her plane arrived and she said i guess ill see you soon.


my friend adam goldstone died a couple days ago. he slipped in a shower and hit his head. there are other details but thats not whats important. he was slowly becoming a downtown legend. a mystery in ascots and pointy shoes, quick witted and kind and with a rich source of sleazy. i met him in san francisco and hooked him up with a gig at this club i played at a lot (he completely killed the dancefloor that night with a mix of classic house, modern disco, and next years electro). he was cool, one of those guys i'd see at the club and not wince when they made eye contact, even if i was bored and tired and to sober to make a scene. he made good music and will be sorely missed. i dont know what more sad, the fact that hes gone or the fact that could i only write one paragraph about it on my blog.

my laptop battery is fucked up. it only last about an hour these days. one hour, thats not shit. it takes me longer sometimes to write one sentence. i called apple to see if my warranty was still good, and it was, but the technician on the other end tried to convince me that it was because of heavy usage that my battery was failing. then he tried tell me my warranty didnt cover heavy usage and that id probably have to buy a new battery. i told him that maybe his face had too much heavy usage and maybe he was the one that needed a new battery. he said that didnt make any sense and asked if i wanted to pay the $50 to have him walk me through a hardware clean up. i said fuck that shit i got better things to spend money on. he said that was fine and i didnt need to curse so much. then i hung up the phone. my laptop battery is still fucked up.


check out these clever adverts. thats right, i said "adverts." i dont have the time for a bunch of stupid syllables.
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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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