Archive for December 2012

Trayvon Martin’s Death Flashbacked My Teen Years

December 31, 2012

Note: With my new iPhone, I traveled my old stomping ground to illustrate this story.

When I first heard the details of the Trayvon Martin killing, my mind flashed back to Fern Park, Florida.   There I lived in St. John’s Village Apartments.

St, John's Village/Magnolia Groves

St. John’s is now called Magnolia Groves.

For those who have been living on a deserted island, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead by 28 year-old George Zimmerman.  Trayvon Martin was coming from the store.  George Zimmerman claimed self-defense for killing an unarmed kid.  This happened in a gated community in Sanford.  Sanford exists a thirty minute drive from Fern Park, and is my hometown.   George Zimmerman is half-Latino and half-white.  Trayvon Martin was African-American.

Trayvon Martin being a 17 year-old African-American inspired my flashback.  Starting at 17, I liked to walk around at night.

Fern Park at Night

I rarely stayed out late.

Sometimes, I went to the store.

Store in Fern Park

 

As Trayvon possessed a taste for Skittles, my taste leaned towards Red Hots.

Red Hots

 

Of course, I had my run-in with cops.  I was a young black male, already assumed guilty before I received  a fair trial.  My most memorable incident happened at this spot, located near the store.

Spot where cops harrassed my ass.

 

Mind you, Fern Park isn’t the hood.  It’s the sub-urbs.

I was nineteen at the time.  Wasn’t doing a damned thing but taking a walk.

A cop car pulled up and stopped  in front of me.  Two white cops stepped out.  Both were middle-aged I think.  One held a huge flashlight, huge enough to knock me in the head.  In a friendly manner, they asked for ID.  Then, they called my driver’s license in.  I behaved because I kept visioning the flashlight knocking me in the head.

After learning I wasn’t a criminal, the cops  soon let me on my merry (and scared) way.

Months later, I just happen to run into a paralegal.  After telling him about my incident with the cops, the guy told me my civil rights had been violated.

This is why I flashback when I think about Trayvon Martin.  He reminds me of my own teenaged years.  As of this writing, I’m forty-three.  Thinking about my teen years, I sometimes wonder if what happened to Trayvon Martin could have happened to me.

 

Fern Park at night. Abstract.

 

 

 

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Central Florida Christmas

December 25, 2012

Wishing my readers Happy Holidays.

Photo by Marcus Adkins

Photo by Marcus Adkins

 

Here’s two videos of Christmas in Central Florida.  Both created by me.

 

Bad Santa and the Angry Elves Return

December 23, 2012

Last Saturday night, I witnessed another Bad Santa and the Angry Elves show.

Bad Santa and the Angry Elves Drum

This event happened at The Hideaway, a bar and grill located on Orlando’s Virginia Drive.

Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I blogged about Bad Santa last year.

Also, my DJ set at The Peacock Room was before them.  Due to personal matters, I couldn’t stay and watch.

At The Hideaway, I missed the first set, an event that happened outside.  Boy, was it cold too.   Too cold for Florida.   In fact, two outside heaters warmed patrons.

outside heater

 

A fund raiser and toy drive for kids with cancer took place too.

Kids Beating Cancer

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Bad Santa

 

The second set took place inside.

From left to right: Christian Kelty, Tom Castiglia and Debra Myers.

Christian Kelty, Tom Castiglia and Debra Myers

 

Matt Myers

Matt Myers

 

Stephanie Brabec

Stefanie Brabec

 

Some songs are profane.  Some are traditional mixed with rock.  Also, Bad Santa always mixed with the crowd.

Bad Santa 2

Bad Santa 3

Bad Santa 4

Bad Santa 5

Bad Santa 6

 

My hat even wound up in the act.

Bad Santa and My Hat

 

Matt took over the drums from Stephanie.

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Stephanie sung a number with Debra.

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I think this was their last performance of the year.

Bad Santa 7

Bad Santa 8

Bad Santa 9

 

For next year, I promise myself to witness and photograph the fun and entertaining event again.

Drinkin’ and Chillin’ Before Doomsday Arrives

December 22, 2012

Last Thursday, I drove to Orlando’s Mills Avenue.  I figured I rather drink and chill with friends as Doomsday arrives at 12 am.  I’m quite sure readers already heard of ancient Mayan’s predicting Doomsday’s arrival.

First spot I hit was Wally’s.  I was there to see Bad Santa and the Angry Elves.

Bad Santa at Wally's

It was too damned crowded to get decent photos.  Last year, I wrote a blog about them.

I did manage to get photos of other folks.

Clockwise from left to right: Michele Lane, Crystal Buchanon, Kaleigh Baker, Erin Nolan and Milka Ramos.

Milka Ramos, Michèle Lane, Crystal Buchanan, Erin Nolan and Kaleigh Baker.

With the exception of Crystal, these ladies are local musicians and singers.

Jeffee and Joesph Martins: Jeffee is a jungle/drum-n-bass DJ.  Joseph plays the guitar.

Jeffee and Joseph Martens

 

Jerry Johnson, Jessica Pawli and Jeffee: Jerry is a DJ and Jessica is one of Orlando’s best event promoters.

Jerry Johnson, Jessica Pawli and Jeffee Jungle.

 

Next, I crossed the street and walked to Lil’ Indies.  Every Thursday, DJs play 90s hip-hop and soul.

Mills Ave 12-20-2012 033

 

Crystal and Joshua: Crystal bar-tends at West End in Sanford, a forty-five minute drive from Orlando.  Joshua is a Sanford musician.

Crystal and beau

 

Next, I walked next door to Will’s Pub.

Masked Mannequin

 

Dude with the hat and beard is Will Walker, owner of both Lil’ Indies and Will’s Pub.

Will Walker and friends

 

Next I drove to Peacock Room.

DJ Will Roc and Jeffee

DJ Will Rock and Jeffee

 

Of course, Doomsday didn’t arrive.  The closest thing was rain.

Mills Ave 12-20-2012 045

 

When it comes to Orlando, I prefer Mills Avenue: cool people and free parking.

Vinyl Night VII

December 20, 2012

Last Tuesday, I hosted another vinyl night at Little Fish-Huge Pond.

Vinyl Night Seven

For new readers, Little Fish-Huge Pond is located in Sanford, Florida.  That’s a forty-five minute drive from Orlando.

Matt Cooper arrived again with some albums.  The upcoming albums are his.

Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend

Vinyl Night Seven 12-18-2012 001

Released in 1984, it is the second album released after Bob Marley’s death.  I’ll just list personal favorites: “Jamming'”, “Could You Be Loved” and “Get Up, Stand Up”.

As they smoked hookahs, a group of twenty-somethings sung along to “Three Little Birds”.

“Every white guy owns this album,” said Matt, a Caucasian male himself.

Bob Marley's Legend - Inside of album cover

A toy lion just happened to be in the bar.  I decided to experiment.  These are my two favorite pics.

Toy Lion and Bob Marley 1

Toy Lion and Bob Marley 2

Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing Off

Golden Throats

Released in 1988, the album will have you cracking up with laughter.  Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek) sings “Proud Mary”.  Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) sings Stevie Wonder’s “You Are The Sunshine of My Life”.  That one really had us laughing.  The one truly annoying was Mae West singing “Twist and Shout”.  Yet, this album was the evening’s gem.

Love and Rocket’s Earth, Sun, Moon

Love and Rocket's Earth, Sun, Moon

Released in 1987, it contains the hit single “No New Tale to Tell”, a song that reached number 18 on the US Mainstream Rock charts.

Boy, did this album change the bar’s vibe.  It’s not a bad album.  Yet, I would only play this for the black and white make-up crowd, the goths.  Party music this album isn’t.

Earth, Sun, Moon: Back Cover

Styx’s Paradise Theater

Styx's Paradise Theater

Released in 1981, it contains three hits: “Rockin’ the Paradise”, “The Best of Times” and “Too Much Time on My Hands”.

Styx's Paradise Theater: Back Cover

When “Too Much Time on My Hands” played, I immediately recognized it.

Styx's Paradise Theater record

The O’ Jays’ Ship Ahoy

The O' Jays' Ship Ahoy

Released in 1973, this mofo contains two easily recognizable songs: “For The Love of Money” and “Put Your Hands Together”.

Ship Ahoy: Inside of album

It also contains “Now That We’ve Found Love”, a song covered by reggae act Third World.  Then, rapper Heavy D used it for his hit song of the same name.

This album came from my stash.

Ship Ahoy: Back Cover

Diana Ross’ Diana Ross

Diana Ross's Diana Ross

Released in 1976, it contains two hits: “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and “Love Hangover”.

“Do you know where you’re going to?
Do you like the things that
life is showing you
Where are you going to?
Do you know…?”

When those lyrics from “Theme” hit the atmosphere people began laughing.  The romantic piano sound and those lyrics definitely changed the atmosphere.

This was from my personal stash also.

Diana Ross' Diana Ross: Back cover

I used to think vinyl was no better than MP3.  My mind has changed.  When you get past the crackling sounds, you notice how well the instruments stand out compared to MP3s.  You notice the subtlety of the songs on the albums.  Still, as far as carrying milk crates of records around, I’m not looking forward to that anytime soon.

The vinyl nights attracted a few more people.  Can’t wait for next time.

An Orlando Night During The Holidays

December 16, 2012

Last Friday involved another happy hour DJ gig at Peacock Room, located in Orlando.

Check out the new hat.

Photo by Anthony Bonilla

Photo by Anthony Bonilla

 

In the past, acoustic acts used to perform on these nights.  Usually, I would play for thirty to forty-five minutes.  Then, the acoustic act would perform about the same amount of time.  Not anymore.  They didn’t suck or anything.   It just became more and more evident people didn’t care for acoustic music on a Friday happy hour.  At least, in Peacock Room they didn’t.  I even heard some complaints about the acts myself.  Friday is the last day of the work week for many people.  They just got paid and want to let loose.  Acoustic music is the last thing they want to hear.

After my set, I photographed.

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 058

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 063

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 059

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 061

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 073

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 072

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 064

Photo by Marcus Adkins

Photo by Marcus Adkins

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 075

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 079

 

Soon, the automobile and I cruised to Wally’s.

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 080

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 088

 

Costumed folks entered the building.  They were raising money for charity.

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 096

Hump Day 12-12-2013 and Peacock, Wally's 12-14-2012 099

 

After two beers at Wally’s, the automobile and I cruised to a friend’s Christmas party.  There, a nine weeks-old puppy helped expose my sensitive side.

Photo by Amanda Millar

Photo by Amanda Millar

 

About a hour and a half later, I headed home.

Vinyl Night VI

December 12, 2012

Last Tuesday, Little Fish-Huge Pond hosted another vinyl night.

vinyl night 12-11-2012 026

Check out the new flier created by Liz Watkins, local artist and the bar owner’s sister.

Vinyl Night

Certified Gold by Various Artists

vinyl night 12-11-2012 006

Released in 1981 by K-tel.  From the late sixties to the late nineties, K-Tel sold compilation albums of current hits.   This particular double album contains “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins, “Whip It” by Devo, “All Out of Love” by Air Supply and “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince.

I played both records.  One young lady complained about a song, but I didn’t give a shit.  I let it play anyway.

When it started playing, I couldn’t help singing along to Benny Mardones’ “Into The Night”.  You may not recognize the name, but you may definitely know the song when you hear it.

She’s just sixteen years old
Leave her alone, they say,

Private Dancer by Tina Turner

vinyl night 12-11-2012 010

Released in 1984, the album contains the hits “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, “Better Be Good to Me” and my personal favorite “Private Dancer”.

vinyl night 12-11-2012 012

After going solo and divorcing the late Ike Turner, who she used to perform with, the album became Tina Turner’s breakthrough.

vinyl night 12-11-2012 016

Arena by Duran Duran

vinyl night 12-11-2012 020

A live album released in 1984, it contains the hits “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Is There Something I Should Know” and “Union of the Snakes”.

Also, it contains a new studio track “Wild Boys”.

Last week, a drunken idiot saw this album and went, “Duran Duran.  They’re a bunch of fags.”

Back in middle school, I remember the girls going crazy over “those fags”.

vinyl night 12-11-2012 022

(Oh yea, included in the album package is a booklet containing photos of each band member.  I attempted photographing the booklet. Yet, that proved unsuccessful.)

Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby by Terence Trent D’Arby

vinyl night 12-11-2012 028

Released in 1987, the debut album contains the hits “Wishing Well”, “If You Let Me Stay” and my personal favorite “Sign Your Name”.

Incidentally, being the bar’s location is Sanford, Mr. D’Arby once lived nearby in DeLand.  DeLand is about twenty minutes away from Sanford. He still has family there.

vinyl night 12-11-2012 029

By this time, the guitarist for musician Andrew W.K. was in the building.  A nice guy.  Yet, a big pain in the ass.

After showing him one of my albums, I had to cut Terence D’Arby short.  (By the way, his legal name is now Sananda Francesco Maitreya.)

Chicago 17 by Chicago

vinyl night 12-11-2012 033

Released in 1984, the album contains the hits “Stay the Night”, “Hard Habit to Break” , “You’re the Inspiration” and “Along Comes a Woman”.

As soon as “Stay the Night” came on, the guitarist and my friend Keith started singing out loud.

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vinyl night 12-11-2012 038

As usual, most of my information comes from Wikipedia.

More people showed up this week.  Because the music selections are usually from the seventies to the eighties, I suspect the night might become more popular with the over-thirty crowd.  As long as the night attracts people enjoying themselves, I don’t give a damn.