Friday, February 29, 2008


You know, you can go years without mentioning Billy Ocean twice in the same day. It's only fitting that it's on a Friday. Because it's impossible to mention Billy Ocean twice on, say, a Tuesday. Above is revolutionary Gil Scott-Heron. Today, during Vinylly Friday, we spun some Charles Lloyd, Bob Marley, Jel, Hendrix (in honor of the late Buddy Miles), McCartney, Roland Kirk, Steely Dan, War--dayum, it was a good day. George brought from home some Gil Scott-Heron...a hits piece. If you're not familiar with Gil Scott-Heron, maybe "the revolution will not be televised" will ring a bell. It's only fitting that Black History Month would be one day longer this year and that day would be a Friday and that Friday we'd be listening to Gil Scott-Heron (pictured above). Gil went through a few looks.
I'm really a big fan of the hair-all-over look. If I could do it, believe me, I would without hesitation. Of course, it's hard to play sports with hair like that. I mean, you can be fit, slick and fast as hell, but that kinda hair will always make you look like you've never played a sport in your life. Duke looks like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. Now, in the above photo he's still a revolutionary, a poet, an activist. But then Arista happened and he turned into Lionel Richie.

This was the record that George brought in. I first thought, "Man, what Lionel record is this?" and then it dawned on me that it was no Lionel record, but rather the great Gil Scott-Heron. This is Lionel Richie.
That stare is piercing. Ferocious. Haunting. Arresting. Man, that's four fantastic adjectives, folks. I don't want you ever to complain that I'm falling off or I've lost my touch. At this point in the story, I made reference to both Lionel Richie and the great Billy Ocean (c'mon, "Carribean Queen" was ill and you know it). Here's Billy. Maybe you're noticing a disturbing pattern of pastels and indigos. I know, it pains me too.

I'm particularly fond of the technique: "Uh, Billy, just snap your fingers in your left hand when I count to three." This era was to Soul music as New Jack Swing was to Hip Hop. We're lucky we survived. Anyway, so I was preparing this post and I searched "Billy Ocean" for some visuals for you all and along with "Billy playing in the ocean," it brought back the new Billy Ocean--dreads and all.
Is it possible that not even dreads can cure a corny grin? Pretty sad that that's the best I can muster up on the 29th day of Black History Month, but that's all I got.
From baseball, Spank Steinbrenner (the mouth son of a old man who also can't manage to keep his mouth shut--hence the constant drooling) apparently denounces Red Sox Nation this week. Now, let's get this straight, he doesn't hate it and he doesn't loathe it's members. Dude's questioning its existence like Santa Clause. He says, "'Red Sox Nation?' What a bunch of sh*t that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order." It's only a territorial pissing to Spank. So remember, Oriole fans, this is a Yankee country. Remember, Dodger fans, this is a Yankee country. Remember, Cub fans, this is a Yankee country. Remember, Cardinal fans, this is a Yankee country. Remember, Tiger fans, this is a Yankee country.
I guess, if that's true, it's no wonder that we blow wars like the Yanks blow championships. All Hank wants to do is sell another hat. And he probably doesn't believe in Kiss Army either.
This day in Internalized Anger News, my lovely wife and I decided to go have mexican tonight at some local joint. The dinner was great until about eight kids and 12 parents came in and sat down at a series of merged tables right next to us. I'm a quiet guy publicly and I enjoy soft dining atmospheres. This place went from a volume level of about 2 to and 8 or 9 immediately. The piercing sounds of a bratty eight year old yelling at each one of his soccer buddies was enough to send me into a clinching moment of anger because the parents were sitting clear at the other end of the table deliberately ignoring their kids and the poor restaurant behavior. My lovely wife sees my agitation and is always quick to recognize it. I think she believes it's important to challenge these instances of rising internalized anger with logic and sensible thought. That way I can arm myself with different processes to diffuse any anger so that I don't brux all night (grind your teeth, homie). She begins talking to me about the situation and I listen, we converse, but the whole time I'm thinking, "Why don't those parents do anything? They're causing all sorts of havoc in this restaurant and the parents don't care." I, in my passive aggressive way, begin leering at the kids to suggest that if their parents aren't going to watch them, I'm going to do everything I can to harmlessly creep them out. It didn't work.
We're walking out and my lovely wife, knowing that I wasn't coping well, said sarcastically, "We'll walk out that way so you can glare at all the parents." I said, "Great!"
(It's worth mentioning that I just put Black Moon's Enta Da Stage on the record player and I'm enjoying it immensely.)
We walk out and, sure enough, I glare at each of the parents and almost make some comment like, "Hey, homie. You're kid is a prick." But, alas, I didn't. I never do. But, because I never do, my lovely wife contends that such anger is not helpful, but is rather hurtful to my everyday activities. I can see that.
Additionally (and this is where she always looses me), she says that I get upset because I set my expectations of others too high. Now, I can understand part of this logic except for the key element and that is that it's my fault that I get upset because I simply hold others to an unachieveable level of expectation. Like I expect people to not drive like idiots. And I expect parents to show a reasonable level of control over their kids. And I expect to be helped when I walk into a retail environment. And I expect that if I have a dispute with a line on my phone bill that the phone company will rectify the situation by reimbursing me what I am due. And, if someone drives like an asshole, my expectations were too high. And if someone's kid dents my car with a baseball after being told to play further away from my yard, my expectations for the parents were simply too high. Or if I'm paying a company enough to yield 40 points of margin to afford all those morons who walk around the sales floor acting like they're helping someone and I never get helped, my expectations for the company are too high. Or if the phone company tells me there's nothing they can do about reimbursing me for erraneous charges on my phone bill, I should say, "You know that's okay because it's clear to me that my expectations were set too high for you to achieve. I will instead lower my expectations so that you can adequately service me and I will not be able to say it's 'poor service' because I will lift all expectations." Better yet, I'll get busted doing 90 down the highway and when I get pulled over, I'll say, "Sir, 70 miles per hour is simply too high of an expectation for me. I will ask that you please not write me that ticket and, instead, lower your expectations and allow me to drive at a speed that I think is agreeable." My lovely wife hates it when I go into this sort of monologue, but then again, I'm not totally responsive to that type of assessment. She still suggests that I need to see a therapist. Maybe so. She also suggests that I'm not really an ideal candidate for therapy. Maybe her expectations are a little high.
That new Erykah Badu record is tight as hell. I'm not normally a fan of her because, well, I'm not a big fan of R&B records, but that thing is ill. In fact, there's a bunch of good releases either out now or coming out. April will bring us the new Black Keys (it's awesome), Portishead, the Sword, Gnarls Barkley, Atmosphere. I guess "losses well into the double digits" is finally starting to mean something to the labels and their P&L's.
Tucker chewed up a pair of New Balances (574's to be exact). He's on borrowed time. I'm taking out an ad in the paper today.
Everything's shaping up for my lovely wife's first time skiing next week in Taos. It's my birthday weekend. I'd say my wife taking up the mountain with me is a pretty decent gift. Also, I'll be able to drink carbonated drinks again (beer included)--lifting the self-imposed regulation on carbonated drinks from back at the beginning of November. Going into an endless ramble. My apologies. Enjoy your weekend. Go listen to some Buddy Miles.

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