welcome to camp lo-fi...
« August 2005 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
2002 reviews (Jul.-Sep.)
2003 reviews (Apr.-Jun.)
2004 reviews (jul.-sep.)
2004 reviews (oct.-dec.)
2005 reviews
2006 reviews
2008 reviews
2009 reviews
chloe's rants
event reports
music appreciation
my podcasts
other people's podcasts
OTV1999-01 (Jan,)
rants de macedonia
spinna steez
the Christian walk
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Sunday, 28 August 2005
keeping things in perspective...
Now Playing: Caural - "She's Everywhere I Look"

in a world that will go to great lengths to beat the living Christ out of me, it's vital that i continue to stay focused and remember what's really important. yesterday was a rare day, my wife and i sharing some quiet time together that pretty much lasted all day. a day to detox - that almost never happens as of late. the phone hardly rang. the only thing that mattered was being together with each other. with our sixth wedding anniversary soon approaching, yesterday made for a wonderful oasis, even though we stayed at home.

the night prior was a special event at 3rd Party Fridays featuring The Last Poets. it was my first time seeing them live. it was a powerful experience, the kind that shakes you out of your everyday doldrums and reminds you why it's so important to continue to fight for what's right and to speak out against the injustices of the world. so often i feel that my life is filled with enough drama in and of itself that i don't have the time or the energy to deal with whatever the news is handing me that night. but i must continue to read between the headlines, no matter how fatigued my eyes and my mind might be. a minimal setup including voices and congas, Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole, and Don Babatunde came with it, just like i knew they would. midway through their set, they performed a piece explaining how "america's a terrorist," which supposedly scared the hell outta Russell Simmons when they performed it on Def Poetry Jam (don't bother searching for the footage, i'm pretty sure it didn't make HBO). brother Oyewole gave love to the founding members of the group, and it really hit me when he mentioned Jalal Nuriddin, how his mind gave life to words that sound like the hip-hop ciphers of today (pretty deep when you consider that Nuriddin got into a serious confrontation over the name The Last Poets with Oyewole and Hassan, one which became physical with almost deadly results for Hassan). Oyewole used Nuriddin as an example of one who didn't learn from what he wrote, and shared with the audience to "go back over what you've written and learn from it." that stuck with me all weekend. i know that there are poems and blog entries that i need to go back to...and learn from them.

to escape the monotony and negativity of the work day, even if only for a hour, i head outside during my lunch break. i'm not sure what i'll do come winter, but i'll cross that bridge when i get to it. i spotted the latest edition of Fortune Magazine, featuring the stories of black men that beat the odds of succeeding in corporate america during the 1950s and '60s. i'm talkin' about cats who traveled a lot and had to be tipped off to black folks' houses in which to stay, because the signs on most hotels read: NO NEGROES. NO JEWS. NO DOGS. i'm talkin' about brothers getting interviewed by internal media companies only to hear the question: "so, how does it feel to be the head nigger in charge at company so and so?" cats that were put into those situations and wanted to snap necks, but knew they couldn't because they knew the whole world was waiting for them to lose it, counting on them to f**k up, so they kept their cool...because they knew they had to make it better for the black faces that came after them. i'm talkin' about brothers who fought for the title of vice president and their white counterparts raised hell at the idea of making less than a black man, so brother man received two checks: one at the office that was less than his pale-faced partners and another at home to make up the difference. all this to ease tensions in the workplace. these stories are real. and there still aren't that many of us in the positions of senior VP or CEO today. these are the people who make it possible for my black ass to sit at my job and complain about what i'm doing. granted, what i'm doing is bulls**t, but my situation could be a whole lot worse.

on the lighter side of life, two weeks ago my wife and i met up with her sister and brother-in-law. they took their daughter and a friend of hers to Rye Playland for the day. playing the roles of the adventurous aunt and uncle, we tagged along, rode the rides and stuff. it was fun watching them do the whole thrill-seeking thing, regretting it in the middle of the ride, but surviving it anyway. at the same time, i was watching little kids describe rides to their parents or guardians, all wide-eyed with big gestures, making sound effects and stuff. that's when i knew. there wasn't any question in my mind anymore.

i want children. i want to be a father. i had thought about it before. beth and i have been talking about starting a family. i had always looked at little kids and thought...a dad? me? yep, me. regardless of what idiocy this world continues to throw my way, regardless of the fact that it continually does its best to beat the living Christ out of me, despite any reluctance i have about bringing a child into a world as ugly as this, it doesn't mean that i don't want to try. particularly if it means i can forget about myself for the good of someone else.

who better than my child?

Posted by macedonia at 11:05 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 21 August 2005
people of the cloth who floss and gloss shouldn't throw stones...
Now Playing: the 11 o'clock news...
Topic: articles

...or so says Marc Lamont Hill in his latest article, which i'm sure will cause quite a stir in some circles. seeing as how i'm a born-again Christian that knows what it means to grow up as a post-Civil Rights generation child with hip-hop as a part of my daily soundtrack, this was for a very intriguing read for me. i can definitely see some of brother Hill's points. the pastor of my own church has been rather aggravated at a lot of the "prosperity preaching" that is currently pimped from pulpits nationwide, which i believe is largely the target of Hill's diatribe. he mentions Creflo Dollar, a popular TV evangelist, and my wife and i have our own issues with him. i can't blame this brother for wanting to protect generation hip-hop, seeing as how it's an easy target for so many groups to take potshots at. quite often, it's a chance for some to talk about the sins of the flesh so that you don't have to talk about the sins of the spirit that are eating away at you.

at the end of the day, one would hope that a believer would ask themselves: is a preacher saying "name it and claim it" or Creflo's trademark "MONEYYYYYYY COMIN'...TA ME....NOW!!!" really all that different from 50 Cent saying "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'"? quite honestly, if your message comes down to the paper chase (be it a 'hood tale or a holy sermon), not really...

Posted by macedonia at 11:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005 1:26 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, 17 August 2005
second installment of august webcast now online...
Now Playing: Coffee Break for Heroes & Villains w/Noah Zark (wfmu.org)
Topic: my podcasts

alright, y'all...part two of the August installment for Radio BSOTS is now online - available to stream in MP3 and RealAudio form. for headz on the go who wanna bump this in their personal players, feel free to download the MP3 and listen whenever you feel like. some hip-hop, some soul, some funk...it's a fun time. hope you like it.

playlists for shows should be up next month on the casa de macedonia audio page, so hold tight...

Posted by macedonia at 3:53 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, 12 August 2005
all hail the "human radio station..."
Now Playing: Advanced D&D with Donna Summer (wfmu.org)
Topic: music appreciation

okay...you really need to check this out RIGHT NOW.

just checked out the latest Aircheck show on WFMU. yesterday's show featured audio archives of a radio program featuring The Black Pope, a New Orleans on-air personality during the 1970s-1980s. hear the self-proclaimed "human radio station" in all his glory, singing over "Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters, shouting over "She's A Bad Mama Jama"...and being insanely braggadocious in general. IT'S BLOODY BRILLIANT. i wish i had this much juice back in my college radio days...

"so, PUH-LEEZE, what's 'n' ever you do...don't call me no disc jockey...I'M A HUMAN RADIO STATION, GOT IT?!?!?"

Posted by macedonia at 5:18 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005 11:26 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
welcome to camp lo-fi...
Now Playing: Advanced D&D with Donna Summer (wfmu.org)
Topic: my podcasts

i think this topic area will be a place to lead people to some interesting audio on the Web, as well as post a few audioblog entries of my own. at the same time, i can notify heads about my new bi-monthly radio program...RADIO BSOTS.

the premiere webcast occurred earlier this month. it's still available to stream in mp3 and RealAudio. or you can download the mp3 and listen to it whenever. some house, some hip-hop, some electro...fun stuff.

part two of the August webcast should be posted by next Wednesday. audioblog entries coming soon, too.

Posted by macedonia at 5:16 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005 10:43 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 9 August 2005
it's the truth and you know it...
Now Playing: Greasy Kid Stuff with Belinda and Hova (wfmu.org)
Topic: music appreciation

last Friday, Missy Elliott's "Lose Control" was number seven on BET's 106th and Park top ten video countdown. in the midst of songs from the likes of Yin Yang Twins, Mike Jones, and R. Kelly and The Game, techno got represented. don't front, people. regardless of the fact that Missy's rapping over it, Ciara sings over it, and Fatman Scoop screams over it, the backing track is straight outta Detroit and Berlin. sounds like something Juan Atkins would've done 15 years ago. it even samples the vocal line from "Music Makes You Lose Control," an uptempo electronic jam by Les Rhythmes Digitales from 1998 released on the Wall of Sound label in the UK. it was a relatively sizeable hit overseas.

yet black folk don't like techno? negroes kill me...

Posted by macedonia at 9:26 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 August 2005 1:29 PM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
further proof that it's hard to do the right thing...
Now Playing: Greasy Kid Stuff with Belinda and Hova (wfmu.org)
Topic: articles

both Big Daddy Kane and the new film Hustle and Flow have declared that "pimpin' ain't easy." neither is doing the right thing in the face of a media conglomerate blindsiding our youth with images suggesting to do otherwise. Kim Pearson breaks it down further in this article...

Posted by macedonia at 9:20 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 31 July 2005
for ma dukes...
Now Playing: the weather report (no, not the band, the actual weather report...)

"trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall make your paths straight."
- Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
- Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

those are easily the most important Bible scriptures my mother ever taught me. i remain thankful to God that she did.

this past Friday, my mom remarried my stepfather. it was real hush-hush, no big to do. they barely told anyone. they got married up at my old church in Wappingers Falls. Reverend Edward L. Hunt officiated the ceremony (the same pastor that oversaw my marriage to Beth). later that night, there was a big celebration in a social club around the way. not only did mom get married, but she's moving down to Norfolk, VA where Jaleel (my stepfather) already resides. he's living well, early leave from the post office on retirement. he worked there for a long time. it represents a new start for my mother, the closing of a chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one. a whole new book, really. all my life i've seen this woman do for others while denying her own needs. the cycle has been survival and sacrifice on constant repeat. now, the happy ending's in sight. no one's more deserving of one than her.

she initially was concerned about what i would think. she knows that i remember 1994 all too well. that was the year that our family fell apart. you could cut the tension in the house with a chainsaw. it would push on the walls and threaten to blow the place apart. i can remember coming home from college only to find a "FOR SALE" sign on the lawn and thinking to myself, what the hell is going on? Jaleel's a Muslim and my mom's a Christian. this is around the time that the more zealous of the Christian faith would quote the Bible and say, "be not unequally yoked." in other words, don't get down with someone that's not about the same thing as you are, who's not drawing their strength from the same power source. normally, i would agree, but honestly, they lasted longer the first time around than married couples of the same faith do nowadays. hell, they lasted longer than most married couples PERIOD. people get divorced like they're taking a time out nowadays, like it's a free summer meal at the Y or something.

i would also agree if i didn't notice the change in Jaleel. he's not the same man. mom's commented on it as well. he's more easy going and laid back than he was before, more open-minded, more patient. even more so than my mom. i can remember when he used to watch basketball games and throw balled-up socks at the television (while screaming, "what are you DOIN'?!?!?") when his team was behind. he doesn't even do that anymore. it's not the first time i noticed the change. a few years back, he came to visit my mom and surprised me when i came home from college on break. i walk in my mom's place and he's there with a big smile on his face. every time i went to shake his hand, he hugged me instead. every time. that in and of itself blew me away, because that wasn't in him when we were a family the first time around. and i think that's what won mom over recently. brother man let her know point blank that life was miserable without her. he even suggested that everything he learned about love he learned from her, as well as her family. that's pretty deep when i think about it. there really is a lot of love within my mom's side of the family, and it tends to overflow onto neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. it would explain why my aunt's still cool with most of the men she's dated. it would explain why my family still had love for Jaleel and treated him like family even when the divorce went through. my mom's side of the family's just like that.

they both look younger the second time around. there's something to be said for that. i am extremely happy for them both and i wish them a lifetime of the happiness that they feel right now and for it to increase in leaps and bounds. i'd be lying if i said that mom moving to Virginia didn't effect me. i'm closer to mom than i am to my father. we've always been close and we've been through a lot together. i know i'm gonna miss her because i gave her one of my mix CDs. i never do that. i'll say a gig went fine or something, but i never let her hear one of my mixes before. although i'm her youngest, i haven't gone straight brat on her and yelled out, "NO, YOU CAN'T LEAVE!!!" if anyone's gonna go straight brat, it would be my older sister. she's been okay up until this point, though. she could just be putting on a brave front, because to a certain extent, i know i am. there's a quiet sadness that comes with this kind of change, but asking her to stay would be really unfair. she's paid enough dues in her life. this is her time, hers to enjoy as she sees fit. and knowing that the move makes her happy is more than enough for me.

within the past year and a half, i came to the conclusion that i was raised by two hustlers. my father...he is hustler to the bone, a former pool shark who hasn't left the pool hall, even though the hall's been shut down for decades and reopened as a convenience store. he tried to teach me how to play pool on his 60th birthday, as if i was the heir apparent to Minnesota Fats. if you ever see me holding a cue stick, it means that i'm about to beat somebody with it or i'm about to break out into an air guitar solo. mom's hustle was different, though: it was about putting food on the table, clothes on my back, making sure i got a good education, doing better for her children than what she had. if she had to dig ditches, she would. her love ran that deep.

it's cool, though. at least now i've got a great excuse to head down south when i get sick of New York (which can more than likely happen within the next few hours, seeing as how tomorrow's Monday...).

Posted by macedonia at 11:18 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005 4:40 PM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
wave's philosophy
Now Playing: the 11 o'clock news
Topic: the Christian walk

Beth and i tried to get away earlier this month. the original plan was to head upstate for an extended weekend and camp out near Lake George, just the two of us. the car caught a flat the day before we were supposed to leave. plus the planning was stressing Beth out. so we chilled at home for the most part. when Monday came, we headed for Jones Beach.

although it was overcast, it was still quite warm and humid. just feeling sand between my toes was nice. then we got into the water and the five year-old in me came out. i had a lot of fun. however, i am seriously out of practice as a swimmer. back in day camp, it was nothing for me to swim. now it's a different story. plus i always swam in pools. swimming in the ocean always feels a bit foreign to me. the current was strong that day. sun was unexpectedly strong, too - Beth and i still show signs of peeling almost two weeks later from where we got sunburn.

it was wild to look out at the horizon and see nothing but ocean. no land in front of you, no buoys, no nothing - just water. after a while, i would jump over waves or let them push me around. skidding along the sand makes for a serious case of rug burn, but i survived. more often than not, i would let them crash into me just to see if i could stand my ground. sometimes i did, other times i didn't. i thought to myself...this is my life. watching the wave come, standing my ground, and preparing myself for the impact. the waves are gonna come whether i like it or not. may as well learn how to take the hit.

the best is when the wave catches you when your back's turned and you just get slammed. it's times like that when you have to give it up to the forces of nature, because it's clear that they're reminding you just how little control you have over what happens to you. and if it's like that during a day at the beach, you know it's gonna be that way on your job or in other areas of your daily existence. the waves are gonna come. some will hit you head on while others will sneak attack from behind. sometimes you can jump over the wave, sometimes you can swim under the wave, and sometimes you gotta ride the wave. make no mistake, though...

the waves are gonna come. so get ready.

Posted by macedonia at 11:17 PM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, 26 July 2005
essential reading
Now Playing: the sounds of the work day winding down in my office...
Topic: articles

first up, Bakari Kitwana contributed a brilliant article to the Village Voice last month regarding the predominantly white audience for black conscious hip-hop acts. rather sobering read.

and of course, my man Dr. Mark Anthony Neal is always puttin' in work. there's his latest NPR commentary for starters, plus he just finished up a fantastic four-part article on R&B's decline. here are the links to parts one, two, and three, as well as the epilogue, containing a short list of artists holdin' it down for the soul nation.

Posted by macedonia at 6:02 PM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older