The Blues

Eddie Hazel turned me onto guitar. He and Ernie Isley shredded that raw dog angularity that got my 6 year old self to convince my mother to take me to loud venues decibels above her nerve’s endurance. By the time we returned to Los Angeles, Parliament was still in command but my love for Lucille and B.B.’s conjoined efforts stayed with me and propelled me forward. Bootsy, Drac, Hendrix, Fulson, Hooker, Hopkins, etc. had that swamp throb… a gait that pushed transcendence with loping menace. Riley’s guitar vamped you in and laid the entire history of the blues on your forehead. An entire bag of notes couldn’t match the one note King would play at the precise moment. He held it and stretched it out. He was the blues and the gateway to the blues. He led me to a deeper appreciation of music.

I remember buying his “Six Silver Strings” album and not liking it much. I remember disliking the hyper clean production and the saccharine arrangements. A lot of people through the years tried to dismiss him because he didn’t immediately seem to represent the cotton picking image that some other blues people emanated. It was like considering someone not having street knowledge because they weren’t banging.

He was fluid and sophisticated. He was the son of sharecroppers and born on a Mississippi plantation. Around the point of that album, being a young musician, I felt that he and his contemporaries were abandoning themselves by jumping on trends and modern practices. I still don’t like the album but I understand now. You have to change and try new things. Do you really want to do the same thing everyday until you die? Some people do. B.B. King changed his diet to vegetarian, opened clubs in his name and lived 89 years in a society hostile to his existence. In my first band’s gig, despite all the Hazel influence imbued in me, a dude in the audience yelled during the first few bars of my solo, “Go ahead, B.B.”! …I didn’t know but I’ll remember.

Baby Talk 1984.0

I’m not stoking the misty-eyed sentiment of the “The Good Ole’ Days”. There will be no refrains of wishing I was back in the land of cotton… look away Dixieland! I am providing a simple showcase for contrast and smearing my long standing, general disdain of certain pop-related tropes. Hence I dust off the thump-o-meter and arm it with two conversion modules (Niggometronic and Bitchagraphic sensors) to it so that it can switch up with the times. It’s a valuable piece of steamfunk.

As I believe I mentioned in a prior post, I shot an event in July where the college educated hostess managed to buck dance her posterior through an 11 hour gauntlet of nigga-riddled expletives with the absolute nadir being a song whose chorus was comprised of reciting the single term of endearment repeatedly until The Department of Water and Power shut off the power grid so to not be accused of being an L.A. Clipper sponsor. Literally (ok, figuratively) every song was an homage Thomas Jefferson eating corn and boning Sally Hemings while watching the darkies sangum theys work songs to whip cracking rhythm.

Funky Beat, Fugitive, One Love, I’m a Ho

With the recent death of Larry Smith who produced Run-D.M.C., Whodini, and many others, I got to thinking that I didn’t recall a single utterance of Nigglelectics in any of RDMCs 1st three albums nor any of Whodini’s. Upon bringing that up, I was reminded that when there was a shooting in Long Beach Arena at a performance, Run-D.M.C. was called a “gangsta rap group” by the all knowing peckerheads of the local media. Pop music is kids music. I was a teen in 1984 and Whodini’s “Escape” meant a lot to me. D.M.C. barking “I will not stop, I will not quit! Some are at the top but I’m on the tip and that’s as high on the top as you can get. And you best believe Ill be on it” (Run-D.M.C. “Darryl and Joe [Krush-Groove 3] from memory, mind you) helped push me through games where I was fighting yet another injury. Here we are 30 years later with 30 years of technology and 30 years of mainstreaming and fusion and the flood of materials and the dominate verbiage generated for these now kids are “nigga”, “bitch”, “weed”, “money”. All hail the Ni**er God where the one-word chorus is king!

Legend: N is for nigger and all variants. B is for bitches (exclusively). Maybe the sensor will be re-tuned for more diverse data response. W is for marijuana references.


Rock Box, Sucker M.C.s, It’s Like That

Run-D.M.C. “Run-D.M.C.” (1984) versus Random Popular Mainstream Rap Album* (2014)

Run-D.M.C. > 9 songs = 0 N’s. 0 B’s 0 W’s

Unnamed Top 100 single listened to today > 4 N’s …PER QUATRAIN

*I had intended on counting an entire album but time gets in my way from that level of being thorough. Subsequently, the random rap song that I picked from the Billboard Hot 100 didn’t have an album attached so I rather than waste my time, anyone can do their own research or make suggestions to modern popular rap that might trick the Thump-o-meter of its content vintage.

Coming soon: The 1st Annual Coonies

Coming soon: The 1st Annual Coonies

Hell, you can be common. You can rap about you want to in whatever mundane or base way you want. I don’t have to listen except when you bobble heads play your shit too loud. Get off my lawn! I’m not a kid anymore. Apparently, neither are the kids.

Uncle Rapper

Moses – Love Addiction

I’m just getting around to posting this video. Moses is a smart young cat who was very cool. I’ve had supply of clients who have taken advantage of their personal history with me who have been royal pains. Moses was laid back but also provided copious notes when he had an opinion or questions. This is the polar opposite of the text messaging, contradictory blathering that I’ve gotten from most people who are close to me (e.g. family, “friends”).

Clients need the appropriate communication that let them know where things stand so they can feel comfortable with their decision to trust you as the professional you are. You need them to tell you what they need in the best language possible. I did a series of logos this Summer. After a billion meetings with my friend/client I presented 10 choices based on the gaggle of verbiage exchanged. The short version of this story is that the end product did not reflect anything close to the original order nor did I receive much cogent directive as to how to proceed. It was nearly flying blind. The job got done but I honestly have no interest in going through any similar scenario like that again.

I’ll take more information over less anytime when it comes to work.

So… Moses’s “Love Addiction” was slated to be a narrative music video but for the sake of simplicity we switched to performance style. Maybe I’ll use the treatment for something else, but I doubt it as it was specific to this song. We shot 1 hour total footage over two separate days from Compton to Chinatown. It was run & gun HDV and the quick and dirty vfx posted over 4 days or so. I’m possibly not including prepping the files eg. capture, pull downs, transcoding, etc. (I’m estimating. Computer hell made things nearly impossible to accurately log time). The post processed more than convinced me to upgrade to solid state and retire tape. Anyway, there it is. My son likes the song and was asking me why I was playing the song so many times. “This is how you edit a video, little monster.”