I'm headed out!! About to leave America. LOL!!! Sounds funny. But in a way I almost want to leave for real. The way things are going in the states really makes me contemplate that thought. I think America is one of the best places for a black American to live in terms of opportunities. However, is it worth the injustices committed on people because they are of color? All nationalities have been mistreated, but I've never seen so many unaccounted for injustices and crimes committed against one people, black people, like I have in this country. And I've traveled the world! America is a blessed country. We're all blessed to live here. But in 2014 racism is alive and well. Anyway..... Japan!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why do they make these seats so little? Sure I'm a 310 pound, 6'3 tall giant, but these ticket prices are too high for me to be uncomfortable! Shouldn't they make seating a little more roomy? These seats are for very small people. The seat belt is hugging me so tight that I feel light headed! LOL!! And then the bird feed and free soda that you get is unacceptable!! Y'all can see that I'm a big dude!! Let's make with the deep fried chicken wings. smothered in bacon gravy!
C'moooooooooon!!!!!! And God forbid if I ask for the seat belt extension thingy. They have to make a big deal about it when you ask for that. They can't just discreetly get the thing and give it to you. No, they have to announce it over the PA system. "Brad. Can you please bring the seat belt extension to 34B." And then they repeat it in case someone didn't hear where the fat dude is sitting. "BRAD. PLEASE BRING THE SEAT BELT EXTENSION TO 34B. THAT'S 34B."
Right before take off, this child kept asking her father "are we flying yet daddy?". It was the cutest thing. She had to be 6 or 7. Soooooo excited to be on a plane with her dad.
OK. If I had some boiling water or battery acid, I'd pour it on this kid. LOL!!!!!!!!! Just kidding folks. But enough already. Daddy this and daddy that. Shut up already!! Yes we're flying!! Don't you see the clouds in the window?!?!? Somebody put a shot of Jack Daniels in her sippy cup. Jeez!!!
So now I'm freezing and hungry. And the little TV's aren't working. I'm annoyed.
So I go to the bathroom and there's this little Japanese kid waiting. But because there were two bathrooms, it was unclear who would take the next available bathroom. When the bathroom became free I nodded my head giving the child the ok to go. And the most respectful thing happened. Before he went in, he put his arms at each side and bowed down to me in almost a perfect right angle. Wow!! Where I'm from, some kids will show no gratitude for my acknowledging them. Some will disrespect and curse me, thinking that I'm trying to jump in front of them. This child was willing to sacrifice his place so that I may go. It's beautiful to witness that kind of courtesy and respect from a child. Yeah yeah. I'm soft hearted. Whatever.
Last airplane thing, I swear.
So everybody is chillin. Watching TV or sleep. And this child is running up and down the aisle. I get it. Kids need fun activities. Sure. But am I wrong for thinking of tripping this kid? I actually imagined it! I could see him getting up off the floor with a knot on his forehead, and blood trickling from banging his head on the edge of the metal part of the seat. Sweet! The thought of it gave me joy. Am I wrong for that imaginative bliss?
August 29 5:08pm
I'm in the train station about to go to Nagoya. This trip is going to take an hour and 45 to get there. So we grab some food to go. In the states there's sandwiches or even fast food, like McDonalds and such. Here they had a store with these small boxes. No sign of food on them. Just Japanese fonts. The boxes are all so neatly stacked together. People seemed to know what they were getting. So I asked my Japanese road manager to just get whatever.
Well. When we got on the train and I opened my little box, it was like a small cold dinner. There was rice, shredded beef with sesame seeds, sautéed Japanese vegetables, ginger, pickles, a small chunk of egg.
This was a small piece of heaven!! And the flavor!!!! My goodness. What's in this?!?!?!? And it wasn't greasy or anything remotely close to that. This is what we need at home.
We're here in Nagoya. While we're driving to the hotel I see a Yamaha store. I immediately became a 9 year old. Yamaha!! In Japan!!!! I must go.
If I could have stayed there for hours I would have.
August 30 3:04am
Just got off stage. God blessed me.
The people were totally with me. Some didn't speak English but knew the music. That's always a great feeling. But the real test comes in a few minutes. I have to DJ!!
Here's the thing. I played well. People danced all night. Even when I played my disco and James Brown stuff. But when I played a small Blaze set, the crowd really amped up. It was as though they were waiting for that. Funny thing, I never never ever never play Blaze. No reason in particular. Just not what I want to hear and play. When the 5:00am hour approached, a Japanese man came to the booth and said "DO YOU HAVE A BLAZUH". I figured he was trying to ask me to play Blaze. I don't go by Blaze. But this Promotor didn't get the memo and the flyer says Josh Milan(Blaze). It's always going to follow me. And I get that. But it's not something I hold on to. I feel like there's some things in life that have seasons. And that season of my life is over. But the Blaze stuff was the high point of my set. Who knew? I was signing autographs on old albums and what not. LOL. Good times. After the lights turned on and I played my last record, Rolling Stones "Miss You", I went out into the daylight. And there it was. Two dudes drunk in the street. They were both standing in a box and the box was pulled up to they're waist. The box served like a skirt on them. One of the guys starts to take his clothes off!!!! Yea! He got naked. Of course we couldn't see his private parts for the box. But I saw his underwear hit the ground. His junk was out!!! And his friend started taking his clothes off. The first guy was kissing and licking his friends back!!!!! Here's the kicker. The people were telling me that one of them has a girlfriend that was there laughing with them. Now sure, I enjoy a good laugh like everyone else. But if me and my brother Moses are in a box clowning around and he pulls his junk out...... The laughing would immediately stop. Anyway I'm going to have some breakfast and sleep. In a few hours it's back to Tokyo to perform with Chieko Kinbara renowned Japanese violinist.
This whole time I'm thanking God because he's blessing me with these kinds of opportunities. And parenthetically speaking, if you're reading this and you're an artist that hasn't really blossomed like you want, let me say this. There's levels to this music game. The ultimate level for me is to work on my terms and not because I have to. Like Sting or Paul McCartney. I believe in being consistent. That is the only way you will see your growth. As you grow in life so will your music. On the other hand, if you do the same things you'll get the same results. I say this on my Internet show every week. "Every Man Must Die, But Not Every Man Truly Lives."
There's no way you're really living repeating the same steps in anything you're doing. ANYTHING. Switch it up. Preachers you don't have to hoop every sermon. Singers stop riffing on every song and try singing it straight sometime. Order something different from the menu. Challenge your own ability. LIVE people.
Random thought. I need arch supports.
Doing sound check and I really must speak to Lisa Fisher about vocal control. I have good days but sometimes I lose it and I can't tell if I'm pushing too hard or if I'm in bad voice. Anyway, this gig is sort of a Japanese conference. I'm the headliner along with Chieko Kinbara. The thing that I love about these people is that they're celebrating a violin player in a club setting!!! You all know how we are. We have no time or attention span for anything other than a Quarter note kick or a chick half naked on stage. I know everyone is not like this. But it would be difficult to sell out a venue with a violinist headlining.
My favorite part of this trip is about to happen. I'm so excited, I almost want to run to the place. We're eating at a Korean BBQ place.
They have ox tongue, sirloin, beef intestines!!! Delicious! If you don't hear anything else I've said in this blog, listen to what I'm about to say to you. There was a time when I would have turned my nose up and made faces at the mention of Ox Tongue and such. But I've learned how to live. Trust me folks, I'm from Brooklyn. THE PROJECTS! I'm down with the get down. But there's more to life than chicken wings and fries from the Chinese store. Try different things. Open your world a little. I'm about to have an amazing dinner!
Aug 31 12:43am
I think I need to repent. I had some of the best tasting food I'm going to have in this life time. The flavors, spices, herbs, and seasonings were all over my palate dancing in harmony. It was almost sexual. I almost feel emotional. Man I feel good right now. The meat comes to the table raw and marinated. We cook our own meat at our table. The give us all of these little dips and things for the meat. We had Japanese veggies and salad. They told me that David Morales and Louie Vega love this place also. I'm really feeling high. Ecstasy. True happiness at this moment. They gave us a Korean cold soup with noodles, meat, and melon it and finished us off with green tea ice cream. I'm supposed to perform at 2am. About an hour from now. Can I do this???
August 31 1:36pm
I did the show last night. It was awesome. We had such a good time.
I was in good voice and Chieko was awesome. The crowd was wide open. I couldn't go wrong. God is good. Today I'm chillin. Just enjoying Japan. I'm going to shut my phone off now and enjoy the Japanese culture. Thanks for reading.
Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM - Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM (EDT) New York, NY
"This is the 5th year that we're doing this." Josh says. "We've enjoyed every party so far. It feels more like a celebration of life for everyone. It's everybody's birthday. And Joe Claussell will make you believe that it is your birthday with the music he feeds us. I've been doing this for a little while now and I'm still not tired of it. I love it!"
You heard him correctly. Joe Claussell will be on deck again this year. "We're making sure that we cover all grounds in terms of sound and entertainment" Josh continues. "I want these boat rides to be a part of everyones memory. Dawn Tallman will be performing songs from her long anticipated, unreleased solo album!!! There will be surprises for everyone."
Remember, Circle Line Cruise's don't allow patrons to bring beverages or food on board. Violators will be escorted off the boat or placed in holding until we dock. There will be security.
Every year we watch people running up to the boat as we pull off. Please come early. There are absolutely NO REFUNDS. You are responsible for coming on time.
Exclusively available at honeycombmusicstore.com EARLY, Tracy Brathwaite's long awaited unreleased mixes of the smash hit "Smile" drop just in time for the Spring weather! Forthcoming from her EP release, Tracy brings a fantastic splash of soul, disco and dance with this endearing and touching vocal! "Smile" is a perfect fit with Honeycomb's Happy releases and it couldn't have arrived at a better time and we love Tracy!
Already championed by hugely talented producers and DJs such as Joe Claussell, Anna B. and Grammy award winner Louie Vega (Roots NYC, WBLS Radio New York,) "Smile" is produced by Honeycomb Music's own Josh Milan and written by Tracy and Josh. Collaboration = Masterpiece!
Soulful songstress, Tracy Brathwaite born and raised in New York, her powerhouse vocals have been heard across the globe. Captivating audiences from Amsterdam, Germany, Italy and Japan. Tracy sights Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five as the initial source of inspiration. With a broomstick in hand, the living room was transformed into center stage where her singing talent was discovered by friends and family. She made her stage debut at the age of 13 in an off broadway production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
Having worked both sides of the industry simultaneously, Tracy had the honor of working with great men of music, Nesuhi Ertegun and Bruce Lundvall most notably. In the late nineties, she gained notoriety in the dance music scene with the house remake of "Oh Happy Day", which garnered her a much sought after performance at The Red Zone Night Club - Perugia, Italy.
Written by Tracy Brathwaite and Josh Milan. Produced by Josh Milan. Vocals by Tracy Brathwaite.
Recorded and mixed by Josh Milan at Honeycomb Music Studios in East Stroudsburg, PA.
Mastered by Adam Cruz at EbbnFlow Studios in Bloomfield, NJ.
Published by Josh Milan Songs (BMI).
Executive Produced by Josh Milan and Adam Cruz.
Cover Photography by Tinnetta Bell Photography.
Cover Art Design by Adam Cruz.
Special thanks to Joaquin Claussell.