Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

La Feria Lighting to Tio Pepe: Gitanas Edition

May 13, 2015

La Feria in Jerez is definitely worth a long form article.  But I think that I am going to have to try that article at a later date.  You see, right now, La Feria is in full swing.  I can’t miss too many of these moments because you never know when you are going to be able to live them.  The video above doesn’t due the production value of La Feria proper justice because there are so many things that go into this event besides the massive construction tour de force that took place to squeeze an entire city into a park.

Let’s start with the lighting ceremony, or rather two weeks before.  Some gitanas or gypsies basically took over the tree stump hangout behind the parking lot where I live.  I am not going to make some grand claim of understanding gypsy culture but these guys were basically drinking all day and playing backgammon.  They weren’t even loud with it.  Then on Sunday when La Feria kicked-off, they started working and shit got real.  You see normal Spaniards aren’t really for all that working crap during La Feria so it was a little suspicious when the folks known for never working started to work in overdrive.

(Only New Yorkers will appreciate these analogies: La Feria is like Saint Rocco’s Feast or San Gennaro’s Feast multiplied by Las Vegas.)  Incredibly gorgeous gypsy women came out of nowhere selling flowers or balloons.  Gypsy men were busying themselves with charging people to park in illegal parking spaces around La Feria.  Then the old gypsy ladies roved La Feria grounds like gangs pushing flowers and romero on anybody inexperienced enough to make eye contact with them.  The transformation was total, complete, and mind-altering.

I had to seek refuge in a caseta operated by the Jerez de la Frontera City Hall, and guess who was on the stage?  Gitanas with jobs, again.  Gypsies get their music on, and if you have ever heard sevillanas then you will understand what I am talking about.  Never mind how the City Hall partnered with one of the most well-known sherry makers in Spain.  That isn’t important right now.  After all, we are in Spain and we have to live somehow.  La Feria only comes once a year so forget your woes, get on a horse, and just watch this video.

Dance + Lessons: Samuel With Jay Electronica Edition

April 13, 2015

[Intro – Martin Luther King Jr.]
We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now
Because I’ve been to the mountaintop; I don’t mind
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.

And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight
I’m not worried about anything
I’m not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

[Verse One – Jay Electronica]
Boom bash dash
I had to break, I had to get away
Pack my bags, headed for Greyhound, it was a Monday

Time to start my mission
I felt that burning feeling in my soul, I had to listen

I had this re-ocurring dream from the stage in a suit with a fade
I had set the game ablaze and they threw me a parade
I stacked a little change and took my family out the caves
But I was trapped in a maze like a lab rat
And at the bottom of the barrel where they keep the crabs at

No Geico, no Aflac, nothing to fall back on
But the streets where niggas cussed out the police and sold they crack on
Better known as back home, where they treat the Arabs and the Spanish and the blacks wrong

There he go with that song
You may be tired but I spit what I’m inspired
From the Lord of the worlds cause the devil is a liar

[Hook – Tone Treasure]
Say, I’ve seen the lightning flashing (yes I did)
And I’ve seen the thunder roar
But you can’t (you can’t keep me down for long)
Because I’m getting stronger (Because I keep getting stronger)

[Verse Two – Jay Electronica]
My style is like a shot of Jack Daniels, a baby grand piano
Lightening Hopkin, smokin’ cigs, strummin’ on the banjo
The son of man’s the son of a gun with hella ammo
Sheriffs shootin’ Bob Marley, John J. Rambo
Six sextillion, 19 million, the holy pyramids say we all Allah’s children
Voodoo for the pilgrims who bring weapons and conceal ’em
They silence you with force
 and then indoctrinate the children
Yo Gabba Gabba
, Ahmadinejad will blow up your apartment if you don’t observe the Sabbath
I look the devil in his eye and say abracadabra
Then drown ‘im in the mighty light his brain couldn’t fathom
Scrappin’ every day, just like fight club
A thriller and a smooth criminal like Mike was

[Hook]

We stay on the primrose path.

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Party in the Street: Andalusia Edition

April 11, 2015

I am told that in all of Andalusia people like to party in the street.  Andalusian people are festive and they don’t need much reason to throw down at a moment’s notice.  Dancing in the streets is common and the Flamenco style is apparently in their blood.

My family and I were walking down the street, minding our own business, and this elderly gentleman just started playing the guitar.  Another stranger started to bang out a beat on a box that he found.  Two ladies that were having lunch nearby started dancing.  My wife joined in but I pretty much started filming like a tourist, even though the entire scene was reminiscent of African cultures.

People all over the world aren’t really that different, I suppose.  If you are ever travelling through Spain, you might want to take part.  The next big party in Andalusia is La Feria in Jerez and Seville in May.  The people have been warming up since March, when this video was taken.  The orange blossoms are filling the air with a sweet smell and the weather is already quite warm in the South.

We are going to get with you at a later date.  You have got to come to Spain!

My son, Samuel, and I.

We stay on the primrose path at Jardín Escénico, Jerez De La Frontera.

Paris St. Patrick’s Day Edition: Notre Dame

March 17, 2015

I hope you are out there being responsible and all that good stuff.  Just so you know, I’m wearing green.  Oh you already knew that it was St. Patrick’s Day just like you knew that the DeMatha Stags won the ACIT.  You probably also knew that the Notre Dame basketball team (in Indiana) won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship later on that night.  Did broadcasters mention that Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey graduated from DeMatha in 1971 1977?  Did they mention that Notre Dame has a Player of the Year candidate and ACC Tournament MVP winner by the name of Jerian Grant that graduated from DeMatha in 2010?

A very cute baby at Notre Dame.

My son Samuel outside the cue at Notre Dame in Paris.

There will be more on that stuff at a later date.  We should all spend more time in our lives talking about the saints that we actually met.  (Anyway, shout out to my Irish-DeMatha-Music homey Coleman Mellett who is no longer with us.)  My wife tells me that Semana Santa or Saints Week is about to pop-off in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain very soon, so I know at least one fat baby boy that has some traveling to do.  I’m wishing all of us out here safe travels and may God’s grace and the luck of Irish be with ye!

Black Out African-European-American Family Edition

March 6, 2015

Oh Tumblr is talking about it so it must be true.  I must admit that I have loved seeing all of the beautiful black people so far.   DC schools and offices are closed because of snow.  It is Friday.  I don’t have a job.  I ain’t got shit else to do.  So Black Out with me and my son -and then again with a musical interlude by D’Angelo because it is great music with a message.

Samuel & Daddy Black Out

My son and I like to play in the mornings. It’s our special hold it down time.

You already know that life can be a charade, right?  We wear the mask and we’re invisible and all that right?  Add “you feel it at the end of the day,” to the lexicon.  Well check out these happy actors, too.

Anyway, thanks for coming out.  I’m going to get with you at a later date.

Still Relevant in 2014: Home Skate

November 22, 2014

A movie by yours truly.  Enjoy your Saturday while I am counting down…

Oh, and I promise that I’m going to get with you at a later date.

Nothing to See Here

November 6, 2012

"Go Get It" by T.I.

[Hook]
I got a grind, won’t stop:
Hustle won’t quit;
Shine like no other, I be on some other shit.
I got a high price lifestyle, super bad bitch.
If I want it, then I got it;
If I don’t then all I gotta do is
Go, get it, stay about my business;
Ball till I fall, floss until I finish.

I just go get it, stay about my business
I’m living just to kill it, stacking millions to the ceiling

[Verse 1]
Everyday above ground, all I wanna do is ball
Put my money over bitches, put my hustle over all
Louie down to the drawers, Luis Vuitton kicks
Got a mad hatter swagger, bitch I’m stupid dumb sick
With a group of young bitches and they stupid dumb thick
I’m the marathon man, all I do is run shit
A sophisticated convict, superficial, still official
Multimillion dollar shit
Money is the object, hot shit
Bitch I got a sauna on my arm
Six figure with no diamond
Richard Mille and Vacheron
They just talk about they got it,
I’m the upper echelon
, though
Bitch I‘m bout that action, you could go on with that convo
I have done more than you dream bout
Get your dream bitch and your dream house
On lean passing them beans out
With a bad crew, the whole team high
Go on boy, get seen ‘bout, bruh you know me, you know I be
Stacking that dough, that’s all I see

I g.o.g.e.t.i.t.

[Hook]

[Verse 2]
I live life, up late night
Get shit faced when I take flight
I get paid, no sick days
My outfit’s so switch blade
Don’t sniff yay, but I blow dro
Bank roll on loco
Still ride with that 44
Don’t let my P-O know
Bad white bitch super thick
I’m Ice T, she Coco
She got another bitch, other bitches
Her ass fat, face so-so, no paper trail
No phone call, no emails, no photos
Just backshots, with that fat butt
And low blow headbutts in slow-mo
Purple label polo and Akoo that’s all I do
Man I strive and roll my denim in my new Margiella shoes
Man, we be cool if we just parle
On Margharita Molly and the strongest pack around
We menagin’ for a hobby
We kick it how we kick it
Know you envy how I’m living:
Just can’t resist the pimpin’.

Get the million ‘bout my business
Bruh you know me, you know I be
Stacking that dough that’s all I see
I g.o.g.e.t.i.t.

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Chunky or Die

September 1, 2011

Breakwater is Chunky

I have been in a quiet exile of my own choosing for quite some time now and I’m writing to you today from that secluded space in order to relate my thoughts to you. It is not my intention to give anything else away because I, quite frankly, can’t afford to anymore. It came to my attention a little over two years ago that what I was writing would probably be able to be used against me for a significant amount of time. I thought of trying to sensor myself and take it back, but truthfully there is no such thing in cyberspace.

I had a good run of solid posts and very little readership to console myself. I spent the last year or so reading other people’s confessionary blogs and I was even jealous of their popularity. It got me to ponder the double-edged sword of writing enough titillating blog features to increase the page hit counts and yet still be able to maintain an employable persona and the salary that comes with it.

Eventually the old blog petered out when I came back from Mexico. I was flush with new catch phrases that would never catch on and I had probably just ‘jumped the shark’ by showing my ass in Tulum. Really there was nothing left for me to do at that point. My usual topics all seemed boring: relationships, surfing, travel, flowers, culture, and the DeMatha Stags.

I had plenty of inspiration and I never stopped following my interests but I didn’t get the feeling that anybody cared to read about it anymore. Not much has changed since I got that feeling except for the fact that I realize now that the blog was more for me than it could ever be for a potential reader. The Chronicles of Six is my public record and without it, I have no tangible means of ridiculing myself.

So, I’m re-launching. Oh I’ll still write for the magazines that some of you have found me in and, travel permitting, I will still try and hold down my Stags. Although I must admit, I’m going to have to be a lot more cryptic this time around because I’m old and the good Lord knows that I shouldn’t be doing this sort of stuff.  The picture that Damien Baskette took is a reminder of such endeavors because the wave being surfed is Breakwater in Venice and if it is that chunky then you really don’t have much hope of surviving the close-out that will rapidly ensue.

I’m going to ride this blog for as many moments as it gives me and then I’m going to plow through the face and pray.

Check for me.

Introduction To Percy Aldridge Grainger

October 27, 2009

 

It took me a little while to get to this point, but here I am finally introducing you all to one of my favorite composer.  A lot of people ask me how it is even possible for me to like classical music as well as hip hop music.  Well the answer is that I never thought of the two as mutually exclusive, and I was involved in classical music when hip hop was getting started.  As far as classical music goes, Percy Aldridge Grainger was the gangster composer of his time, he was most productive around 1920 or so.  He started to perform publicly at the age of 12, in Australia, as a child prodigy and eventually began transcribing folk tunes into amazing classical works.  He travelled all over the far recesses of England and Ireland with a recording device strapped to his back to capture the sounds of the lore that became his obsession.  His skills on the piano were as legendary as his sexual deviance.  More on all that later, though.

http://cid-cc32818619d27f6b.skydrive.live.com/embedicon.aspx/Music/ClassicalFavoritesMP34s/10Maguire4sKick.mp3

I totally realize that the You Tube video is a teaser, and it doesn’t really give you enough to go on.  With that in mind, I hooked you up with some more music in the public files.  I hope to draw attention to Grainger’s extraordinary ability to capture the essence of folk music.  Grainger bucked the system while rejecting the sonata form of celebrated classical composers like Bach and introducing his own method of reproducing songs.  In many pieces he would introduce a theme and embellish them in a way that if you could put them all together then you could understand the whole of it.  In many cases Percy was able to even interpret complex ideas and words through orchestral arrangements and instruments as difficult as the piano.  Grainger not only paid homage to all things “blue eyed English” and Norse, he also pushed the envelope of modern classical music with his use of dissonance and unique annotations. 

Despite the fact that he was a notorious racist and sexual pervert, I’ve always admired him for his brazen and bold musical choices.  I hope you enjoy the full version as much as I do.

October 12, 2009: Touch March Edition

October 12, 2009

Today is the birthday of Ralph Vaughan Williams, one of my favorite composers.  One of his most famous pieces was written for military band in 1924, and it also happens to be one of my marches to listen to.  Translated from Italian, it literally means “touch march,” but I still prefer to call it Toccata Marziale.  What makes this march unusual is the fact that it was written in 3/4 meter.  (Most marches are written in 4/4 time.)  Ralph Vaughn Williams is able to compensate for the time not coming straight ahead by shifting the melody across measure bars and simply ignoring stressed syllables. In this regard Ralph Vaughn Williams was much like my other favorite, Percy Grainger, in that he just didn’t care enough about convention to give a damn what the critics would say.  I’m putting it down in MP3 format for you, so all you have to do is right click it and “save target as” to your own hard drive.   This MP3 plays with Windows Media Player.  It sounds best when you play it loudly and turn the bass up, so you can dance around your room naked to the tuba part.

http://cid-cc32818619d27f6b.skydrive.live.com/embedicon.aspx/Music/ClassicalFavoritesMP34s/ToccataMarziale.mp3