boy, am i! i don't even feel like i did all that much today to warrant being as pooped as i am.. but in reality, i DID have quite the day!
it started off at a radio station here in brooklyn. a friend of mine, Byron aka Fumaca, is a producer of a world music series (i should know the call #s of the station but i don't right now) and today they were recording three bands from Mali and another cat, Alex Cuba (who rocks the ill geeeeee-tar'con'AFRO, btw). anyway, Byron invited me to come document the session with my digital, and i happily obliged. little did I KNOW that i was gonna end up having the time of my life shooting the wonderful musicians from Mali, who had just come to town for a world music show at Lincoln Center (which I DID NOT know about) and is on their way back home to the Continent as i type. i seem to always know how to find kindred spirits, and today i found one in a sis who is my namesake of sorts, Aisha! meaning "life" like my own name. well let me tell you, once the band started playing, Aisha, who is the sister in law of the female vocalist/musician, started dancing around the studio-- the same way i was dancing around the engineers booth! my moves were feeding her moves and hers were feeding mine! and before i knew it, Aisha was going IN! arms, head, hair, everywhere!!! i couldn't be AS free because the engineers booth was already cramped enough, but there was just enough room for me to move my feet, hips, shoulders and arms! After the first two sessions she came out to hug me, "You dance GOOD!" :) "Merci, ma soeur!" I smiled back... (sidebar: I totally should be knowing a lot more french than that! all the bands came in and started talking to me in french, cause i got "that look", and i was standing there clueless like, "Uh... Oui?" hahahha i need to seriously step my language game UP!)
So the excitement continued later on when this familiar looking cat came into the station with his girl, and i'm thinkin he's just chillin with everyone else. So he's like "I'm Matthew...You look familiar...." and I'm like "Yeah, you too." but i think I know him from Byron or another mutual friend, Antonio. So then Byron comes in and is like "You probably know Matthew, he used to own Delights of the Garden on Georgia Ave." I'm like "YOOOOOOOOO DELIGHTS OF THE GARDEN!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS!!!!" Talk about BLASTING from the past into the present! Delights of the Garden is a chapter out of my Howard University days! One of those alternative places to eat when the Caf, Punch Out, or Howard China just wouldn't do. I spent many an afternoon getting some kind of pita sandwich or smoothie from Delights of the Garden! That was almost ten years ago now, and it's not even there anymore! so for someone out the blue to pull THAT out the memory bag, oh happy day!!! I totally was not expecting to run into Matthew from Delights of the Garden, like ever again, let alone this afternoon! So not only was he there chilling, turns out he's the freakin STATION MANAGER...! I was like "DAG, so he running thangs 'round here!" The world is sooo small! So yeah.. !! Good times!
So i stuck around the station til about a quater to 4, shooting pics of all the bands, rapping with Alex Cuba, finding out his whole vibe. Nice cat, got a real soulful look, and a pioneering sound in terms of latin/cuban music. Turns out he's already won two Canadian Grammys (which is where he lives.) I hated that I missed his show at the Apple store yesterday. I didn't even know about him yesterday... where I been???? (MEANWHILE, while doing a quick yet extensive search just now, come to find out Alex has a TWIN BROTHER who is just as talented as he is, Adonis Puentes!!!! I'm am OFFICIALLY on their tip! You can hear more of the brothers music HERE! Track #8 El Loco Bailarin, two mins and 26 secs into that joint is feeling REAL nice!) So, by the time Alex was getting ready to record his set, i realized it was really time for me to go EAT so i could get ready for my next engagement uptown. But as I left, Byron was so pleased that I was able to come sit and feel right at home vibing with everyone that he offered to keep hiring me on to their recording gigs to photo-document the sessions! Who knows, maybe this will turn into something more lucrative and life defining! Afterall, I want to continue working with musicians in the live music vein and programming and such, and get paid accordingly, so we shall see!
Meanwhile, in keeping with my jack of all trades tradition, when I got uptown I had to do my friend Charles' hair, as in twist and style his locks. As i did his hair, we listened to the Very Best of Willie Hutch, and that is officially my next cd on deck to buy (You ain't heard the Barbara Streisand classic, "The Way We Were" til you've heard Willie Hutch belt it out in all his funkdafied funkness!) It didn't take me long to do his hair, and so i went on down to Whole Foods for some seaweed salad, veggie dumplings and edamame! along with some Superfood Green Machine! MMmmmmm! (Don't I sound like a vegetarian??? funnily enough, i'm not!) I got it all together in a container, grabbed my chopstix and got my grub on while on the A train back to bk!
Now all of that may or may not sound like a lot, i don't know, but I do know that i'm TI-RED! i did exert a lot of energy, walking, up and down subway steps, dancing, up and down shooting, twisting and braiding locks... so i'm glad to be laying across this bed without any place to be tonight. Jamal called just as i was getting off the train to say he had touched down and would be here in NYC til Tuesday, so we made plans to get up tomorrow, and that'll work for me.
Meanwhile, Friday and Saturday were quite the energy quenchers as well. Friday night, me and Ro-ro met up in downtown Brooklyn and took a walking tour of Brooklyn Heights, High Street area, Dumbo (including the entrance to the Manhattan bridge where we sat for about an hour while i waved at on-lookers from the tour buses coming into Bk) then back to Dumbo, back to downtown, over to Flatbush Avenue where we were determined to continue on our foot tour til we reached Fort Greene, Havana Outpost to be exact. Once we got there, it was all i could do to scarf down a slice from Not Ray's Pizza and then two guava margaritas from Havana. So once we finally found some place to sit, me and Ro-ro spent the rest of the evening doing what we do best: talking and laughing and laughing and talking! Turns out he has on his Eyepod my favorite song from my favorite gospel artist EVER, John P. Kee! "We Walk By Faith..." Let me tell you about this song, if it were not for this song, I would not be who I am! I loved this song so much as a child, I think I was about ten or 11, maybe 12 when my dad first got the John P Kee and New Life Community Choir tape (yes, TAPE!) and i would stay listening, rewinding, listening, rewinding and listening to that song! "We walk by faith and not by sight, in thee i put my trust all my battles he will fight....!" John P's adlibs in the beginning of that track are SO gangsta, I can't even take it!!! It's been easily about 15 years since I've heard the song, and so when it came on i almost fell on the floor in tears! I probably listened to it 30 times that night!!!!!!
Then saturday we hooked back up and Ro-ro came with me to this picnic out in the Rockaways that I was invited to by a neighbor for Boys High Friends and something or other Family Day. It seemed like it took us for-ev-er to get there on public transpo (Ro-ro left his truck in DC this weekend) but once we got there, we ended up having a GRRReat time! My neighbor straight took two whole turkeys and deep friend them in peanut oil in this portable propane thing! one was marinated in terriyaki sauce and the other in garlic sauce! BOY oh BOY, FRIED TURKEY!!! And it's not even Thanxgiving! That was a treat! Unfortunately, I had a bit of a mishap towards the end of the outing. So there was this one chick there that looked just... a mess. a hot mess. a "when would it EVER be appropriate to wear that?????" hot mess! I'm not gonna even waste my typing energy to describe how much of a mess she was, but let's say it was offensive to all friends and family of Boys High, children, elders, clergy, gangstas, whoever was there at the picnic woulda been offended by this woman's outfit. PERIOD. BUT I couldn't tell right away what an offensive hot mess it was because she was sitting a good majority of the time while we were there. And even as she sat, you felt uncomfortable if you just happened to look in her direction. Well...... it was after I'd just scarfed down my first and second helping of terriyaki fried turkey and apple berry juice box that Ro-ro decided to point out that the chick was up walking around, and suggested with some kind of off the hook yet humorous remark that i should check her out in all her inappropriate glory... And lets just say that you should not try to laugh, breath and swallow apple berry juice at the same time, after just swallowing a mouth full of fried turkey, because there WILL BE A SYSTEMS OVERLOAD. At the risk of grossing out any of my readers, i wont go into details of what "systems overload" means, only to say between trying (or at least wanting to) laugh at what Ro had just said (and how it appropriately fit the inappropriateness of this woman's getup), and trying to swallow and breath, and breath and probably burp or something... everything I'd just ingested was suddenly/violently regurgitated into a fist full of napkins and onto the ground in front of me. YUCK, YUCK AND YUCK. (for the record, it was not a LOT but it was ENOUGH!) Thats what i get for laughing at people. I don't care how they look. She was wrong for how she looked and I was wrong for laughing at how she looked (even if it did warrant a laugh at the LEAST, at the sheer absurdity of it all-- hint, i do mean SHEER!) But THAT was crazy. And to make matters worse, one of my other neighbors was sitting there laughing at ME! Like, "Well, I didn't know if you were choking or not, but I figured if you fell on the ground then at least we'd know that you needed some real help..." Hardy har har. Black people always got jokes!
So, suffice it to say, i SHOULD be tired right now! Hahahhahahhahah I've had a full weekend! So, now I'm gonna relax and get my Cuba on with Alex y Adonis! BAILA!
Here's to a great week!!!!!!