Archive for May 2012

A Cover Band’s Lesson

May 22, 2012

Last Friday, The Peacock Room handed me a memorable experience. That night, I DJed in between band sets. Recently, my gigs happened in the bar area. There, at a table, I perform my mixes.

Tonight, a local DJ borrowed the PA system for a wedding gig, an incident forcing me to DJ behind the bar counter. If vinyl was my weapon of choice, I wouldn’t have been able to hook-up to the stereo system behind the bar.  Using two turntables and a mixer would have cost me a gig. Good thing I use a laptop.

The first band played 80s and 90s rock music.  One song was Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way”.

Lenny Kravitz

Outside the bar, I said this to my buddy Brett J. Bar, “If black people can’t perform your music, white people can’t perform Lenny Kravitz.”

Bret and a friend of his laughed.

The next band played original songs and cover songs.  One song I recognized as Jimi Hendrix’s.  I forgot which one.

Trans Am was the last and final band. A friend of mine was dating the guitarist. These dudes looked between ages 35 to 50. Also, I think I’ve seen the singer around Central Florida since the 90s.

Like the first band, they performed rock covers including Ratt’s “Round and Round”.   At the end of their set, they threw me for a loop. Catering to the women, they performed Prince’s “Purple Rain”. You read me right. After playing songs and songs of rock-n-roll, the played Prince.

Actually, Prince is rock. Yet, you can’t convince this to rock stations who won’t play the man. But they’ll play a white rock band who covers his music.

Trans Am reinforced a lesson I read before. When people expect you to lean one way, throw the loop on them.  Trans Am could’ve ended the night with a white group‘s hard rock song, which would have been expected. Yet, they closed their set with Prince, something the whole bar appreciated.

Tittie Scenes and Bad Brothas

May 20, 2012

Last Wednesday night was another DJ gig at Little Fish-Huge Pond. A blaxploitation movie filled the bar’s big screen television with nude titties of different ethnicities and some brotha getting revenge on Whitey.  I forgot the movie’s title. I think it was called One Bad Mother.

Can U dig it?

As we watched subtitles, I added soundtrack with 70s funk and soul.  The people in the bar loved the music. Some even made requests. Some dude tipped me.

When the movie ended, we attempted watching it again. Yet, because we couldn’t find the DVD controller, we watched the DVD’s trailers instead, trailers involving more titties of different ethnicities and more brothas getting revenge on Whitey.

As time passed, the trailers degenerated from risqué to down right nasty.  I’m talking the down right nasty a person would see on HBO after midnight. At first, the trailers were just seventies naked titties. Then, it turned into 80s naked girls eatin’ coochie. The 80s movies had the VHS home video look. Also, the coochie eatin’ wasn’t actually shown. What the viewer saw was the back of a girl’s head as she ate coochie, the same way HBO shows it.  And I still kept playing 70s funk and soul.

As the nastiness continued, the owner turned the DVD off.  Fear of Sanford police causing trouble inspired the shutdown.

My buddy Matt witnessed the whole thing with me.  Together we might ask for more tittie movies to be played, minus the HBO element.  Who knows, we could be on to something.

Two Lesbian Encounters

May 14, 2012

Some Wednesdays back,  two to five patrons were at my DJ gig at Little Fish-Huge Pond.  I was at the last half hour.

I noticed two women walking in, women I saw earlier in the bar.  With boyish short hair and dressed in jeans, I assumed these two young white ladies as lesbians. Hell, I didn’t care. I was just happy to see more people in the bar.

They talked to the owner.  Then, I noticed one of them kept looking at me, not in a kind way either.  Because I was playing cheesy seventies music, I thought she had a problem with my set. Earlier, my buddy Matt flicked me a bird for playing “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen …as he sung the lyrics word for word.

Later on, I learned the lesbian’s real problem. Her and her friend were musicians.  They wanted to perform that night. Yet, because I was DJing, they couldn’t.  Well, it was my fuckin’ night, not theirs.

Yet, Miss Attitude wanted to me leave the stage and let her and her buddy perform.

Whatever floats your boat.

Because my gig was already over for the night, I left the stage.

Miss Attitude then got onstage and attempted to set up guitar equipment and a mic.

“She’s a good singer,” Miss Attitude said. She was referring to her buddy.

“I told her open-mic was tomorrow,” Moire, the owner said. “I told them they can perform on that night instead.”

The other lesbian kept telling Miss Attitude to forget about it. Yet, Miss Attitude continued trying to set up.

After failing, she finally gave up.

Fast forward to last Saturday at Sip. Previous gigs, I played eighties music at the spot. Prior to the upcoming gig, I was told a party was taking place. The host had been told I was playing eighties music.  Things seemed to be all right at first.  Then, before the gig, I received a request to play current music and to show up earlier.  I saw the red flag, a suspicion my promising night may degrade to shit.

On the night itself, the birthday host approached me…right after the person who booked me stepped out for an hour or two.

“Are you going to mix it up?” the host asked.

At this time, I was playing 80s music like our flyer promised.

:Yea, I’ll do that,” I answered.

After playing another 80s song, the host approached me again.

“Can you play current music now?” she went. “This party is for my girlfriend.”

The host was a forty-something white woman. Her girlfriend was a twenty-something, Asian-American.  The partly was mostly women who prefer women.  As long as they were having a good time, I didn’t give a shit.
Some of the older women asked for seventies and eighties music.  Even the Asian woman asked for it . Yet, the host copped an attitude.

Some male perverts may see this as a haven to watch women kiss.  When I did see kissing, I looked the other way out of respect.  Besides, gawking may have inspired the wrath of thirty angry lesbians. I can see the headlines now: Angry Lesbians Beat Down DJ. One or two did looked like they can whup my ass.  And I’m a six foot African-American at 250 pounds.

Towards the end of the night, the host placed twenty dollars in my tip jar.

When Heidi showed up, I told her about it. Heidi is the one who books me for Sip.

“Is that enough?” Heidi asked me.

“I’m cool,” I answered.  By this time, I had four or five beers in me.  At this time, a lot of things are cool.

“You sure?” Heidi asked.

“Yea, I’m cool.”

After Heidi left, a bald black woman wearing glasses walked up to me, a woman reminding me of music artist Me’ Shell Ndegeocello. I nodded towards her earlier and she smiled back.

She complemented my mix and asked did I have change for a twenty. I pulled out the five to eight ones in my tip jar.

“I’ll take that and you keep the twenty.” she said.

Of all the stereotypes about black people not tipping, “Me’ Shell” was the second highest tipper.
Around twelve, the night ended.

Me’ Shell Ndegeocello

I found out the host pissed off the bartenders.  For a hundred and twenty dollar bar tab, she tipped ten dollars.

Looking back on the two lesbian encounters, a question comes to mind.  What would have happened if I had copped an attitude?

Understand, in the first incident, someone attempted pushing me off the stage during my gig. In the second, the host was fully aware of me playing 80s music.  Not only did I come in earlier for her girlfriend’s birthday party, I even changed the music for them.  (Now, that I’m sober, I realize that twenty dollars was bullshit. Especially after what I do for them.)

If I had copped an understandable attitude, would I have been called a sexist? A homophobe? Or even a racist?  As folks chastise minorities for playing victim, I can see the women from the two separate incidents pulling the same shit. Yet, my attitude wouldn’t have anything to do with gender, race or sexual preference. No, their fuckin’ behavior would.

Nasty behavior invites negativity. In the future, folks may avoid dealing with you. Also, news of your bad behavior may travel all over town and then some.  At the moment, I know a very talented DJ who has succeeded pissing off every bar he gigged at.  At the moment, only one bar would deal with him.  And even the event’s person at that place wanted to deck him.

Yet, I did learn a few things from the party. First, I know more of the music younger women want to hear. Yep, many lesbians listen to the same Top 40 music as heterosexual women. It was the older women who were asking for “gay anthems”.  Also, if the party didn’t happen, I may not have attracted as many people on my own. At the moment, I’m thinking about ditching the 80s theme at Sip and just play the fun stuff folks want to hear.

No, I’m not picking on lesbians.  Whatever a person chooses to suck or lick is their own business. I just thought the two incidents were blog worthy.

Tight-Assed English Teachers

May 9, 2012

Ol’ Tight Ass

For some reason, this vision always danced inside my mind. Some kid (probably black or Hispanic) doing a school report based  on my writings and life. With great enthusiasm, the kid talks to classmates about my life as a poet, filmmaker, photographer, DJ, etc. By this time, I am one of the most recognized American writers. Maybe even one of the most recognized American photographers and DJ.  From Africa to Europe to Asia and to Australia, people know about me. People even know my poems just like many know Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.”  Some even quote lines from my poetry, especially the booty poems.

As the kid gives the report on me, some classmates are probably pissed because they lost out on me as a subject.  Yet, they are enjoying the kid’s report. Some even laugh when the kid quotes some of my writings. Everyone is having a good time.

After the eloquent report, the kid receives a C minus.  Hell, a B plus could have been decent. But oh no, the tight-assed teacher hands the kid a fuckin’, goddamned, C minus!!!

Race and gender of teacher is irrelevant. True enough, a white teacher may possess racist thoughts against writers of African descent.  Also, a female teacher may find my writings sexist. Plus a conservative teacher may still be pissed over obscene words my writings aimed at his or her political party.

Still, I guess player hatin’ as the real culprit. Pissed because I achieved success and they didn’t.
Who knows why the kid’s teacher didn’t succeed.  Maybe, the teacher followed ridiculous writing rules. Maybe, the teacher just gave up. Or heaven forbid, the teacher could just  be a shitty writer.

Let me backtrack.  The real reason the teacher hates my ass may be what I achieved success for: poems about big butts, blogs badmouthing drunk white women who annoy black Djs and profanity! (The kid didn‘t curse during the report.)

For years, I’ve always had this vision.  I really don’t know if I would ever become a success.  My problem has always been focus. Instead of picking several things, it may be wise to pick the one thing I really want to succeed in, the one thing I know I’ll be doing until my last breath on earth.  I’m forty-three now.  Yet, I hear of writers and other artists achieving success after age fifty.

Still, if success walks my way and a kid decides a school report on me, I would advise against it. As I would be honored, the teacher just may give the kid a C minus.

The Final Club Queso at Peacock Room

May 2, 2012

After attending Orlando’s Soul Train tribute, I later cruised the automobile to Peacock Room. There Club Queso took place.  Back in the middle of the last decade, I photographed these house music events for my friend Tania Bernard, one of Peacock’s events people and bartender.

Tonight was Club Queso’s final night at Peacock Room.

Michael Donaldson AKA Q-Burns

In the middle is local photographer and friend of mine, Marcus Adkins.

Check out the tattoo. She’s a Pisces like me.

Yea, I know. Photographing women’s posteriors is sexist.  Yet, some habits are hard to kill.

Shelly Richards: On Thursdays I work with this bartender during Peacock Room’s Ladies’ Happy Hour.

On the right is local DJ, Atnarko Bear.

On the right is DJ Will Roc. He spins mostly new wave music.

The guy on the mic is Chuck Love.

Outside Peacock Room existed Hard Wok, a food truck owned by my buddies Chris Kettner AKA DJ Spank and Pete Langlois AKA Angry Asian.

The menu contained food named after rock musicians.  I had the delicious Axel Rose Calamari Taco.

I asked what the damage was. One of them gave me a look that ceased my talk about paying.

After one more pic, I headed home.