Archive for December 2011

Shine Salon at Sip

December 29, 2011

Last Friday, I headed to Sip, an Orlando bar located in The ViMi district.  Shine Salon invited me to a Christmas party held there.  For ten years, I photographed Shine Salon events.  Because of schedule conflicts, I hadn’t been able to photograph their events as much as I used.

Tony Woodley, Me and Shane Valentine:

Tony, a British import, owns Shine Salon.  Shane is one of the main hair dressers.  Prior to my photographing their events, Shane used to attend my poetry readings.

Father and son:

Rob Slac and Ken Sherry:

I also photographed other folks.

No, they ain’t gay.  Shine Salon just like to have fun, especially Tony.

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Influential Jazz Legend Sam Rivers Passed Away

December 27, 2011

On Monday, December 26,  jazz legend Sam Rivers passed away due to pneumonia.   Known mostly as a saxophone player, he also played clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano.

On September 25, 1923, Samuel Carthone Rivers was born in Enid, Oklahoma.  In 1947, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts and studied at the Boston Conservatory.

In 1964, Rivers briefly played with the legendary Miles Davis.  In a quintet, the group recorded Miles in Tokyo.  In his autobiography, Miles Davis mentions Sam Rivers.

After the Miles’ album, Sam Rivers was signed to Blue Note, in which he recorded four albums.  Also at Blue Note, he was sideman for Bobby Hutcherson, Jason Moran and Tony Williams.

In the seventies with his wife Bea, Rivers ran a loft called Studio Rivbea, a jazz performance spot located in New York City’s NoHo district.

During his later years, Sam Rivers lived and worked in Orlando, Florida.  Truth be known, I only saw him perform once.  At Will’s Pub, he used to rehearse his RivBea All-Star Orchestra, my only time witnessing his greatness.

Most of the times, I would see him at parties and local bars.  Always he was friendly.

I heard of his death at The Peacock Room.  To honor him, the bar played his music.

An influential musician who died at 88, Sam Rivers will be missed.

(Most of my info, I got from Wikipedia.)

The following are my personal pics of Sam in Orlando.

Sam Rivers and me.

No More Rock Stations…and I don’t give a shit!

December 23, 2011

I’ll be honest with you.  I’m a DJ who doesn’t own a car stereo.  To keep update with music, I check the charts.  Also, when someone asks for a latest hot hit, I promise to have the song for them next time…if I like the person.  Sometimes I go to others bars and see what other DJs are playing.

Today, I listened to my portable radio.  Out of curiosity, I flipped through the channels.  What I read in a Rolling Stone article was true, rock radio is dead.  One station (96.5) turned into a right-wing talk station.  Another station (105.9) turned into…Well, I don’t know what the fuck that was.  I heard Supertramp and Donna Summer.  I think 105.9 changed that way back in 2007, a time I did own a car stereo.   The urban and pop stations remained the same.

On rock radio’s demise, some folks blame record companies focusing on older rock acts versus newer acts.  Some blame and include record company’s constantly focusing on pop stars like Justin Bieber.

In years past, some companies expected an artist’s first album to flop.  As the artists matured and grew, companies instead betted on the second or third album to hit pay dirt.  Not so today, many companies are now in for the quick buck.  The sooner, the better.

Another thing, some blame rock radio‘s demise on hip-hop‘s increasing popularity.

If hip-hop helped cause rock radio’s demise, good for hip-hop.  I remember a time rock radio played Prince.  Yet, for some reason, stopped doing it.  Only an idiot would say “Let’s Go Crazy” isn’t a rock song.  Stupidity like that is why I could give two shits about rock radio. Especially when Prince has been labeled a rock star for years.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love rock music.  Some nights, rock dominates my playlist.   Also, it’s a shame new rock artists aren’t being discovered.   In my area (Central Florida), a thriving rock music scene exists.  Some artists I think are worthy of  a record deal.  Still, in today’s musical climate, they probably won’t land one with the majors.

I really don’t know what killed rock radio.  I’m just a man that plays recorded music in small bars.  My only guess is this: Because of the bad economy, people maybe preferring music they can dance and party to. Yes, I am aware of danceable rock music.  Still, they don’t call these folks INDIE for nothing.  Whatever caused the demise, due to its past behavior, rock radio was probably asking for it.

Wobbling Bass: Playing Shitty Dubstep

December 19, 2011

I didn’t hear dubstep until Spring of 2010, and I wasn’t impressed with it.  After hearing a huge build-up, I expected huge slamming beats.  Instead, I heard music slowly drifting along.  I say slowly as most dubstep actually moves around 140 beats per minutes.

First, some background. In the late nineties, dubstep originated in south London.  The “dub”  in the name originates from Jamaican dub, a reggae genre centering around the drum and bass of a song.  Most Jamaican dub rarely use vocals.  The “step” refers to 2-step garage, an England dance genre.  Around 1998, dub remixes of 2-step began appearing.  Out of this, became a new genre of music, music now known as dubstep.

Skrillex: Spin magazine's poster boy

Because folks requested it during my gigs, I began listening to more dubstep music.  The more I listened, the more I appreciated it.  Actually, I appreciate the huge wobbling bass.

One night during my set, one of the kids told me I wasn’t playing  the good dubstep.

After some recent reading, I think I know what some Americans consider “good” dubstep.  In its September 2011 issue, Spin magazine contained an article about dubstep’s huge American following.  Apparently, the article pissed off some dubstep followers.  Being that the music originated in England, Spin used Skrillex (an American) as dubstep‘s poster boy.  Secondly, Skrillex incorporates rock riffs in his music, an irritant to many UK dubsteppers.  I guess some Americans prefer the Skrillex sound, the rock riffs.   Then again, that’s just a guess.

I might play Skrillex if folks request him.  Still, if Skrillex is the “good” dubstep, I prefer playing the shitty variety, the original UK sound.

Bad Santa and The Angry Elves

December 11, 2011

Last Thursday, I DJed Christmas music during Sanford’s Unofficial Alive After Five. Why unofficial? During official monthly events, streets are closed down. Streets weren’t closed down this night. From what I heard, due to last December’s low attendance, city officials canceled this month’s event. Yet, local merchants decided hosting the night anyway.

My spot existed in front of Little Fish-Huge Pond, right along with Bad Santa and The Angry Elves, a band performing twisted versions of Christmas songs.

Here’s some photos.

Later on, with more band members, the group performed inside Little Fish-Huge Pond.  Inside, bad words flew from Bad Santa’s mouth all night, even with kids present.

In the following pic, Debra Myers performs a wonderful version of  “Santa Baby”.   So wonderful, it aroused my candy cane.

Troy Garfield Goins sung a funny version of “Twelve Days of Christmas”.

The crew even performed Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”.

Sometimes,  a live act beats having a DJ.  Many DJs don’t interact with the crowd or at least, pay attention to them.  With their enjoying themselves and involving audience members, Bad Santa and The Angry Elves prove themselves professional performers.

Offensive Scribbling

December 5, 2011

Before heading to last Friday’s DJ gig at Little Fish, I read poetry at Twelve21 Gallery, an Orlando spot.  The reading was for The Scribble Party, an event hosted by Elton Bracey.  Here’s what I wrote.

1997: Reading an offensive scribbling at a Barnie’s in Orlando. Not only did folks complain to staff, someone also called the police on me

Sometimes I scribble in bars
especially when I’m boozing.
Pen and paper all I need.
Sometimes have to borrow a pen.
As for paper?
A napkin is fine.

Created some of my finest masterpieces.
People still talk about them.

I even scribble in fast food restaurants.
The muse don’t discriminate.

Rarely do I scribble in coffee houses.
People want to talk all the time.
Mostly about themselves
and how my scribbling offends them.
(Like I really care.)

Going to the bar tonight.
Might bring a pen with me.
You never know.
My scribbling might piss-off
another pretentious asshole.