Friday, September 30, 2005

All Payments Accountable

Something tells me the editor isn't going to run my piece...

Sadat X - "What Did I Do?" (mp3)
(puchase here)

Watching Bamboozled again last night, a couple themes that resonated came back to me : 1) our (meaning: consumers of pop culture) (sub?)conscious consumption of African-American people and culture as objects; and 2) our subsequent accountability towards racism. Familiar point, but I found it especially timely in light of Dan Charnas' response to Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond's Voice piece on the "white artist/black puppeteer" phenomenon, and the Kill Whitey piece in the Washington Post a few weeks back (here's my take). Charnas reminds us how black artists today have a degree of autonomy in hip hop that previous generations of black artists were stripped of in rhythm & blues/rock & roll; i.e., there has not been an Elvis to "whitenize" hip hop (Eminem was the last candidate for that post, but look at the shades on the top of the charts: Paul Wall is like a drop of creamer). However, the message of the Mantan Show seems not to be beware of centuries-old repros being revisted, but rather Artists of Color: don't play yourself.

I bring up Kill Whitey again because it directed our attention to a less discussed sphere: the consumers. Just as celebrities/icons can come to stand for painful generalizations, an audience can help perpetuate them. This topic of culture consumption is worth several collections of essays, so I'll just leave with one thought: how can we keep ourselves accountable for delineating between consumption and communication/engagement? I'ma pass the mic to the Little B:

"To me, ‘THE MINSTREL SHOW’ is ultimately about responsibility. As rappers, we have to take responsibility for what we say, and for the images we portray to our people. If not, we’re doing essentially what minstrel shows did: perpetuating negative images and reinforcing those negative stereotypes." - Phonte (listen to chunks of the new Little Brother album here)

New 'dat X to wrap the package. "What Did I Do?" feels like a throwback to young adult confusion; my fault, your fault, who's to blame? He moves past that on Education and Experience, which is pure grown man talk. Literally. Like, real normal topics. He even reads a newspaper on one cut ("The Daily News"). He's laced by peers (Diamond D, Spinna) and contempos (Mathematics, Ge-ology) with beats that are generally sample-heavy and on-point. But the album has the feel of a nightjob: it's that passion that's been pushed to the side. It's all love though for another hard working man in show biz. Funny, on one end headz prep for Jay's next takeover, while on the other end there's a father coaching his kid's basketball team. What do we relate to more? And, yet, what do we purchase in the end?

News Flash!
Accountablility is a Sniatch!

Pat Tillman: Pac-10 defensive player of the year, Cardinals safety, Army Ranger, victim of friendly fire. But his family still can't get a straight answer about what happened. The Pentagon is re-re-reopening the case . The SF Chron breaks down several sure points of contention in the coming investigation:

    Legal liability. In testimony on Nov. 14, the officer who conducted the first investigation said that he thought some Rangers could have been charged with "criminal intent,” and that some Rangers committed “gross negligence.” The legal difference between the two terms is roughly similar to the distinction between murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Who's gonna take the weight? Only if it's not too heavy. Please note, some of the implicated have allergies against prolonged soap-on-a-rope exposure.

And yet another tale from KIYP (Keep It In Your Pants): To pee or not to pee? According to the Michigan Pee Pants Patrol, if you cannot piss, you must acquit!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Holy Thursday

Big Pimpin'.

Shequida - "Milkshake" (mpeg)

Finally saw the VH1 Hip Hop Honors last night. I suppose I was personally relieved because I could finally allow myself to read about it. Poplicks and Cocaine covered most of my bases:

  • Hosting was terrible: Run has charm, Russell should stick to the biz.
  • LL/Nelly was surprisingly good.
  • Colors? Man.
  • Melle Mel's muscles were frightening.
  • Salt'n Pepa v. En Vogue was just tokenism.
  • Boyz? Boyz II Men next year?.
  • VH1 golddug in Kanye's pockets.
  • BDK was a raw reminder of what it means to perform. Bring back fast rap!
  • And a constipated gasface to the ending.

And there were some other points, mostly on the music nerd tip:

  • Sub'g TI, Black Thought and Common for Percee P (I mean, really), Edan, etc. How about Lord Finesse?
  • I actually liked Snoop on "6 in the Morning." His blend of staccato consonants and legato flow from word to word made it sound fresh and new.
  • Snoop c-walking on a nationally broadcast awards show... Kids, please do not do this at home... and moreso outside of your home.
  • And forget Com's verse on "Raw," it was his return of the b-boy move that got me. I was happy to see at least one of the new jacks actually enact what Kane is about. I wonder if that was scripted, b/c the producer cut away mid-windmill to some reaction shot of Pepa or whomever.
  • Oh, and LL's non-performance performance of every song that night? Just give him a beat! I'll keep the lick lips barbs to myself for a bit (did you see Nelly do that move at the end?)

No new revelations tho, the awards show format is designed to be self-congratulatory and reductive. In other words, it's cool to be invited (remember DJ Hollywood last year?), but is by design exclusive (enter list of MIA VIPs). I did a piece last year on VH1's increasing coverage and, dare I say, documentation of hip hop. It was pretty embarassing for the errors I made: hip hop was not born of nothing, it came from a place of poverty, yes, but of creative, cultural and intellectual wealth; and, I don't know why I put that Edan-Geto Boys thing in, it made no sense. Still, it summarized most of my reasons for why the approach does not work; VH1's take is like "Def Jam's Greatest Hits of Hip Hop." Not in the sense that only Def Jam artists get daps, but rather those who are down with the fam get acknowledged.

So, I'll focus on another aspect: Kehinde Wiley. Anyone else notice the honoree paintings in Old Master style? Wiley did some work for Rush Arts a while back, so I suppose the hook-up wasn't surprising. However, more power to his latest venture. I felt he was an appropriate visual thread because of his mixture of West European traditions and Blackness; which is certainly what "VH1" "Hip Hop" "Honors" embodies. None of the honoree paintings really blew me away like the ceiling pieces I saw at his Brooklyn Museum show last year, but I wonder how other viewers felt. What I like about his work is that you can wax intellectual about it, or just enjoy it; if you're an art history nut, you can talk about the recontextualization of the power pose and the blah blah blah, but, really, anybody who lives in the city or has access to television can engage a florid painting of a young buck in a throwback jersey. I mean, anyone who can get kids to realize, "Damn, Louis Vitton on some baroque isht?" gets their propers from me. And, quite frankly, Wiley adds a welcome splash of color to many Old World-style institutions.

So, in another move of bringing the culture back full circle, please enjoy Shequida's performance at the Passing/Posing opening night reception. I got to work with her on another night and she was divine, in spite of it being unbearably hot up in that room. Nor did she have on her full Versailles attire that eve, but that didn't slow her roll. She packed a 40'*50' art gallery to the gills. Word to her string players, too, her lead violinist was hella cool. She's Juilliard trained, so she ain't half-steppin' to those "No no, no, no, no~ / The boys are waiting" lines.

PS - Found a great BDK interview. I heard a lot of people ask where Scrap at; seems even Kane doesn't know. Hope all is well.

UPDATE (2/24/15): h/t to Anthony for a) digging deep into the archives, and b) passing along Artsy's Kehinde Wiley page. Great overview and resource for the artist's work.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

In the Middle

Vintage Thomas showing promise.

Maceo & the Macks - "Cross the Tracks (We Better Go Back)" (mp3)
(purchase here)

At this past weekend's rally in DC, Washington Wizards power forward Etan Thomas penned with the power of Malcolm Little -- the next X though? Dave Zirin suggests he may be approaching Ali status. Zirin also reminds us of Howard Cosell's take, "Rule Number One of the 'Jockocracy' is that pro-athletes and politics should never mix." Think that statement was coming from the same place as his "That little monkey gets loose, doesn't he?" comment about Alvin Garrett? For anyone that heard Thomas' speech, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

The transcript contains slashes of sharp prose and impassioned indictments. A "field trip" across the tracks? Even Maceo gets nervous at the idea...

Let's indulge in this fantasy for a moment: the soundtrack to this federally mandated study abroad course.

The sirens from "Cross the Tracks" are an emergency warning -- clear the way for the GOP parade! Maceo lets out a caterwaul to catch Bush's attention; the rest is just a lesson on how a true pimp signifies. Heckuva job, Brownie? Slap that taste out! Please let your imagination (or your iPods?) fill in the blanks for the middle of the trip.

Broadcast's Tender Buttons is my pick for the long road home. Writing automatique, words being given "their own life". So, in this context, let the analog confusion and declarations of disconnect wash over. "America's Boy" is the obvious choice, but I'll second Trish's pick, "Black Cat." "Shadowing masonic verve / Follows the pharaoh and the worm." Skull and bones, Stonecutters, isn't it all treehouse funtime? Their mutual pursuit of the high and mighty overshadows the salt below. Everyone's gotta come down sometime and just "let go." "Awkwardness happening to someone you love..." Suppose 'swhy times are so hard right now.

Correction: Photo fixed. Goes to show you where my sports knowledge is at, eh BG?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Runnin' at the Mouth

And It's Like That...

  • Run-DMC - "Here We Go" (mp3)
  • DMC on Fresh Air, 30 August 2005 (follow the link to the WMP link)
  • Pete Rock's Run-DMC mix (via Run-DMC website)
    (purchase the reissues here, here, here and here)

    Still trying to find a balance between music y el mundo, so T-days are for droppin' joints... so we can get twice as nice per week?

    DMC on Gross? You must be illin'...

    Times done changed, dun, and fortunately Mr. McDaniels tells quite a story. And he's just one contributor to NPR's the History of Hip Hop series. Nice for the new jacks, but wonderful trips down the lane for all.

    The Run-DMC site has a couple new mixes of the reissues -- greatest snippet-type collages -- so I linked up the Chocolate Boy Wonder's. Complete with drops'n all! This truly NY phenomenon never ceases to amuse me.

    "Here We Go" to give you a sense of where I keep my Adidas. Just tagteam rhymin' over a Big Beat. Jay fouls up, Run's a lil' hard to understand at times, but it's no wonder why J5 kicked off their career by cribbing this joint.

    I just finished a piece on the Run-DMC reissues for Popmatters. I used storytelling as the theme, but my initial idea was to compile first impression-type stories. I was unable to use the responses I culled, so I reprinted portions of them below. Now, I'd like to open the comments section to all y'all:

    1) Which Run-DMC album/song is your favorite and why? (I'm not asking which you think is the best; I'm asking which album do you LIKE BEST)

    2) Where were you when you first heard that album/song and what was your initial impression?

    • Michael, Engineer/Producer, Sound Advice
      "Raising Hell... I have a lot of memories of listening to it everyday on the drive to summer camp in the van with the other 15 kids. Initial impression was that it was very fun and easily accesible. Didn't understand why my dad hated it."

    • Alon, Musician
      "Raising Hell... Live instrumentation mixed with good sequencing and Rick Rubin is still in his pre-fat weird rabbi mug days [Ed. he's kidding]... Rock and rap are directly related, because they are both rooted in African-American cultural soundscapes. This album took the highest common denominator of both genres [Ed. !!], and the rough rugged raw hybrid is greater than the sum of all it's parts. Their records before RH were good, but this one has direction, a clearer voice, and blazed a path. Unfortunately, that path has led to utter shit in the modern rock/hip-hop popular music world, but that is probably George Bush's fault [Ed. kidding. again.]. This record to me is like any great old-school Afro-Cuban album: you can tell what's African vs. what's Cuban, but none of that matters. You get the best of both worlds for the price of one!"

    • Oscar, Teacher/Musician
      "Run-DMC... i believe i was in elementry school when i first heard [it]. i remember the cool kids talking about them and the beastie boys and me not being cool enough to talk about it or hear it. Rap was still dangerous back then like kids couldn't really or weren't supposed to listen to it."

    I'll link up to my article when it goes up. In the meantime, what do you say?

    Update: Popmatters posted the piece here.
  • Monday, September 26, 2005

    Monday, Bloody, Monday

    Steady Gardenin'

    DJ Trident - "Topknot Whisper"

    Constant Gardener, part social conscience fyah stahta, part romance-redemption drama. Cidade de Deus Meirelles managed to walk the line without giving into the didactic divisiveness of the former, nor the melodramatic sap of the latter. In fact, the transition from criticizing pharm testing on civilians to the protagonist's journey for absolution and closure felt subtle, considering the maker once put guns in the hands of pre-tweens to make a point. Dude also throws in Hitch suspense and Bergman omphaloskepsis for the cinematic smackdown.

    Nevertheless, the parallel between a group of pale-faced antagonists (contrast to Fiennes' dirty tan-face??) and the Anglo neo-colonial corporate presence in Africa remains an explicit image. Was this the 'big idea?' Meirelles seconds Le Carré's dedication by giving it up to the volunteers, but his Riowood ending gives an explicit gasface to pharma-cartels.

    So, going back to yesterday's avian mention, let's ask the US to open up and say, 'Ahhh...' Frist's diagnosis was that stakes is high, so he called for a Manhattan Project-scaled defense effort against -- not just avian but -- any epidemic or act of bioterrorism. However, companies are concerned about the bottom line, so "Frist and Lieberman are backing rival bills that offer tax, liability and other incentives to now-reluctant biotech companies to begin producing vaccines, diagnostics and therapies and to guarantee a market if they produce them." To paraphrase Rachel Weisz' Tessa Quayle, "There is no such thing as a free ride with pharmas."

    Unfortunately, the NY Times assesses that we're late in the game. And reading Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Michael T. Osterholm's how-to-prepare proposal makes clear that coordination and communication remain key areas of improvement for the DHS.

    Which brings us back to Slate's upending of the CDC sex survey (via Oli at Poplicks). A million and one bad hip hop quotables come to mind ("Yeah baby I like it raw..."; "Ain't no way to put it subtle when I want the butthole!"; "d**k in the a*s"), along with a darker context for David Banner's "Play" ("make a n***a wanna f**k your a*s on the couch"). With the backdoor becoming as commonplace as the front, is health ed keeping step?

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Sundays in the Park

    Food Fights, Five Blondes and The Flu

    Gilberto Gil - "Domingo no Parque"
    (purchase here)

    This week I will try to introduce some structure to the daily postings. The first is "Sundays in the Park," a late merienda meant to ease us into the week.

    • E-40 is bringing Fatburger to the Bay. Ok, former Raider Chester McGlockton shares top billing in the venture. But I'm abliss imagining the ad campaign potential: Fonzarelli in a red and white tracksuit -- Kingburger in one hand, snifter of Carlo Rossi in the other -- strolling over to the juke to give it a firm knock, leading to the music cue, "Rapper's Ball"; or, a series of radio spots, not unlike St Ides'. The Last Great Hamburger Stand, fa'shiggadale.

    • ...and a beverage to complement that order? Kentucky's finest for G Dub! Please, Miss Laura, keep him away from the red button while he's gettin' his redface on.

    • Madonna's new single "Hung Up" (from her upcoming album, Confessions On a Dancefloor), samples ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (Man After Midnight)." This is actually only the second time the 4 Über Blondes have given sample clearance; blue ribbon goes to the Fugees' "Rumble in the Jungle" for doing in "The Name of the Game." (nod to Michelle)

    • Jin The Emcee got took at Fight Klub. And over some silly racist isht?. New champ Serius Jones brought some heat, "You've been wack your whole career / Ain't there two billion people in China, you can't even go platinum over there" (although I can only imagine "-reer" and "there" rhyming in Kanyese). However, other lines like, "You ain't a Ruff Ryder, you on the back like one of them broads / DMX tried to kill him for trying to cook one of his dogs," are, in the words of Miss Info, only reaching out to the lowest common denominator. Let's put it in perspective: equivalent lines from Jin could be: "Silly booch, givin' dilz to your kids / 'swhy 30 million in Africa got AIDS, not your discs"; or, "You're at Fight Klub, not the Chicken Shack / Here's some watermelon; now hit the road, jack." Jin spoke about the battle on Shade45, and had an interesting take (fast forward about a quarter of the way through); regarding racist barbs, he said, "as a battle MC, I don't let that be my weakness." True; but, that does not exempt an audience that "erupted" after that first Jones line, let alone an MC who chose to spit that thought. That Serius seriously insinuates key lines were prewritten only makes the case more disappointing.

      Bonus: Not in the industry? That's what the internet's for! Clips from Jin's previous Fight Klub win in 2004. Note the homo dis, too.

      Double Super Bonus: peep Jin's site for his "Top 5 (Dead or Alive)" video/single. Fat Beats and Kool Herc make cameos, as do the streets of New York (well, Times Square... ick).

    • And, when keepin' it real goes real wrong... While the debate on global warming and super-hurricanes continues, the avian flu is poised for AIDS-like pandemic status. According to a Mike Davis piece, "The new US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt told the Associated Press in early August that an influenza pandemic was now an 'absolute certainty', echoing repeated warnings from the WHO that it was 'inevitable.' Likewise, Science magazine observed that expert opinion held the odds of a global outbreak as '100%.'" More on this and The Constant Gardener in a moment...

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Lick My Funky Eardrum

    Blackalicious - "Lotus Flower (f/ George Clinton)"
    (purchase here)

    My head is awhirl with wah sounds akin to Pryor on acid in 2001. Does the name "Rita" truly capture the essence of a 175 mph phenomenon? If arbitrary is the word of the day, why not Dr. Weird? Well, I suppose we shouldn't further tarnish the reputation of South Jersey…

    So, let's take a trip down the dank like Locke and get lost with the man who brought up both fans and Diddy as one nation under the P. Whew. I'm really feelin' the new Blackalicious record. It's both so nasty and so clean. Think the Game unites MLK and NWA? Have it another way. My current 9th wonder is actually "Black Diamonds and Pearls," because of its balance of stunning frankness with a melody born in Crooklyn. "Lotus" is up because it may catch more of your ears, mysterious murker that it may be.

    Peace to the South... and get them lighters up, Los An.

    Update: Fixed the "Lotus" link.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Welcome to the Terr... er, doh!

    Anthony Hamilton - "Can't Let Go"

    A week in and I'm still raiding the kitchen. Sorry, dude, but Tony's grown man sexy ode to commitment, sacrifice and -- what else? -- love just spoke today.

    "Why must they try to tear down our house when they know it's made from love...?"

    On one hand, to all the Vietnamese-American brothers and sisters struggling to cope with the second, and in some cases third, major displacement of their lives. "God made no mistakes when He sheltered me with your heart / There's no safer place than to be in love / And there I will stand." Big Hearts, both domestic and international have stepped up. And quite necessary considering the continuing stories of neglect. "No one has the right to tear my love down..."

    On the other, to the reports of the Red Cross' ineffectiveness. "...the organization has collected the bulk of public contributions, money that will be spent on emergency rescue and relief, not long-term assistance, and may never get to the coastal areas... [T]ime and again in past disasters, the Red Cross has raised more money than it has needed for relief. It has also been less than clear in the past about where its money goes, and it has rarely shared its money with other organizations that tackle long-term needs of victims." Granted, the Red Cross' function is immediate, to "provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies," but couldn't its visibility and influence be used in a constructive manner?

    Oh, "to give you all of me / And it don't matter how long it might take..." Is it a thought only for the dreamers?

    More NOLA/Katrina organizing and relief efforts, courtesy of Jeff Chang.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    It's Celebration, B*****s

    Arctic Monkeys - "Scummy" (via Bigstereo)

    "They say he changes when the sun goes down." So, where are the Fearless Vampire Killers when you need 'em? Really, folks, how was the French Quarter speech any different from past pleas? Certainly, the Iron Eagle Chef reheated Tuesday's leftovers (or, the Assuming-You-Think-I-Need-To-Apologize Apology). But going easy on the empathy and substituting it with heaps o' promises gave diners the gasface.

    At a time when a national audience sought sympathy, reaassurance and leadership, Bush recited his laundry list of "homies I asked for help from... but we'll see what they say." Nice. One highlight was the "Gulf Opportunity Zone," an area of social and economic revitalization across LA-MS-AL sure to surpass even Disney's wildest, planned community dreams. I knew that backdrop looked familiar; it's Celebration, Round 2!

    "Let us rise above the legacy of inequality," Bush said. Yes, and leave behind the Ninth Ward and non-legal citizens. Apparently, getting new credit/debit cards is pretty easy. Although a chilly marsupial once warned: "What a scummy man / Just give him a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can / Can see it in his eyes, yeah, that he's got a nasty plan / I hope you're not too involved at all."

    But that's the problem: we are all involved.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Diggin' for Fiyah

    K-Otix - "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" (mp3 via K-Otix site)

    Race, what me worry? At least a third of the nation's population begs to differ. "He woulda been up in Connecticut twice as fast." Let's hope there isn't an opportunity to test this theory, though 43's past performance during times of crises has proven, uh, questionable.

    No wonder then that the artist community... no, the hip hop generation has responded with such visceral clarity. Even more so than post-9/11? "If you ain't about the ghetto then fuck you, too." The disparity, the exceptionalism, the privilege in high definition. These are not peace offerings, platitudes, even critiques. Just raw, exposed nerves. "After all we been through, ain't nothin' changed." After all we been through, are we finally headed toward the big change?

    Postscript to Monday's posting. A friend reminded me of the precedent of "refugee"'s use; based on that, she argued for an equality of its use. If we are to be fair, she said, can we agree that displaced lower Manhattanites were "refugees?" This is a moot point because the moment's peak point in the public consciousness has passed. How about in Connecticut?

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    No Heart 4 Fugee?

    Davey D's untitled Hurricane Katrina mix (via Spine)

    The debate over the appropriateness and offensiveness of the word "refugee" is hardly just an exercise in rhetoric. As Don Wycliff (Chicago Tribune) alludes, the US has been called out on its exceptionalism, its projected sense of privilege. So when the US distances itself from Third World-linked terminology (in light of Tsunami comparisons), it is a deliberate, political statement: We're in the shit, but we are not shit. Like Them.

    Nor is it a complete surprise. It was in defense that Kanye said, "I hate the way they portray us in the media... You see a black family, it says they're looting. You see a white family, it says they're looking for food... George Bush doesn't care about..." Master P tried the diplomatic route, "I think a lot of those people just panicking. Can't judge the city by the people that are panicking." And although Jackson's blunt assertion, "It is racist to call American citizens refugees," was not backed by any further explanation, the resulting debate over "refugee"'s usage can be seen as an assertion of dignity. But at what and whose cost?

    Reuters places the comparison in perspective by pointing out the practical differences between the recent tsunami in SE Asia and Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, one was a tragedy for its largely unavoidable swiftness; the other borders on a national disgrace for its lack of a proper response. However, is the US truly in a place to distance itself from the global community? When the UN recently warned of increasing inequality across the globe, the States were listed up there with the UK, Canada, China and India.

    Hence, the myriad of emotions and thoughts covered in Davey D's collage piece seems appropriate. Frustration, anger and fear; but we still have plenty of people in need of help. Big ups to Jeff Chang for posting a couple relief groups at Ground Zero that could also use our help.

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    Police (and Press) in Helicopters we could watch; help came later.

    David Banner proved to be more than a Kanye postscript when he spoke with Davey D on Breakdown FM. In this 1/2 hour interview, Banner set the bar for hip hop activism by responding both passionately and responsibly. Certainly, there is self-congratulation involved (busing in water on his own dime), but, like he says, Banner responded twice before the federal government did anything. And all this from a "gangsta rapper."

    What's truly gully? Heal the Hood.

    PS: David Banner performing my favorite, "Cadillacs on 22s," for ReactNow. Turntablelab talked about Banner being draped in a spotlight, propped up on a lonely stool. The drama is so sincere tho...

    It's Just Begun

    Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Watts Rhythm Band
    - "Express Yourself" (Real)

    Four years ago this day, I woke up like so many others in the U.S. dub coast to utter shock.

    Today, I woke up like so many others in the beast of the States to utter shock.

    What's the same? It's all in the difference. A profound indifference. One I had laid to rest as adolescent angst generalizing American views as "eff it" extremes. But when it once seemed to be jolted, it now seems so recurrent.

    Notes From A Different Kitchen also caught wind of it. Appropriately, my mother is abroad watching Japan take similarly regressive steps. Is it an isolationist's mentality, yet one where we don't keep such a close eye out for home? My elders respond with constant reassurance -- "We've made it through tough times" -- but everyone concedes that times are exceptionally hard these days.

    In this sense, another blog that muses on music seems a bit absurd. But please do not call it an outlet, nor an escape. This is a public forum for thoughts, after all. Rather, I hope to use this as a medium to look at art in its place. After all, I find it difficult to look at any art completely removed from context. Say what you will about objective observations -- "What do you see that makes you say that?" -- we experience through filters. So, I will be discussing ideas and actions with as much consideration for said filters. And, whoo, what a time to look at it all.

    Peace and Blessings.