Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Greece(Cariocas)

Greece
Jul 8th 8:40am
Yesterday and today was stressful, I'm surprised that I even made it to the airport on time. I have a lot going on these days, and still no money to make it all happen. Funny thing is, if it "all" happens, there still won't be any real money involved! LOL!! I'm supposed to shoot this video when I get back. The make up artist, and hair stylist are still not set in stone, and Dawn won't be able to make the shoot!! She sings background on the song. Her and I both wanted her to be in this video. But time is money and I can't shift everybodies time. I'm very uneasy about this.
Until last night, my flight schedule was completely different! I was supposed to be on an evening flight! I had plans to go to the dry cleaners in the morning. Now my flight leaves at 11:30am as opposed to the evening. With a 4 hour layover in Philly!! Who screwed up?? So now I have to leave home at 6AM so that I can be sure to get an exit row seat! Does Dave Morales go through this?? I cant get my clothes from the dry cleaners now! Sheesh!!
On another note...
I borrowed money from a friend a long time ago and recently he emailed me to ask for his money back. Now that's all good. He was well within his rights to ask. After all, its been well over a year! But to ask me for the money with interest?? The loan was extremely generous and he came through when I needed it. And I took a very long time to pay him back. I get that part. But to ask for interest on a personal loan is definitely letting me know that the relationship is over. A strong statement was made! So I sent the money gladly. But some men are grown boys. They throw grown tantrums. I wish I'd never taken the money. So now I'm a little financially pressed and annoyed. When I woke up at 5am this morning, I took a shower and then got on my computer to do some last minute business. My lovely dear wife chooses that moment to discuss some real family stuff with me. And because I'm already a little busy and pressed for time, I wasn't treating the conversation with the respect it deserved. So now shes slightly upset. Well at least it seemed as though I upset her. I have stop and apologize! Ugggggghhhhhhh! On top of that, I get a note from a friend that I did a song with almost a year ago, telling me that they're ready to release it finally. They have a release date and everything. But they want me to add more vocals to the chorus to make it "more exciting." And it's "urgent"...... Why didn't these guys say something earlier!!!!! They've had this record for almost a year! Now as soon as I get back from my trip I have to rush and make myself create something that I already finished. I won't even tell you that this is the second time I'm adding to what I already finished! I won't even bring that up. This is the reason why I only sing for 2 producers outside of myself. If I write and produce vocals for someone, i'll deliver what I think is best for your track. And that should be the end of it! But in this case, the label head and the producer want to
produce my contribution as if what I already did wasn't good enough!!!!! LOL!!!
I'm no Luther Vandross or Stevie, but I have experience to know when something is good. If they would be as critical of the production of the music as they are my vocals it would be appreciated. But hey... What do I know?? LOL!! I'm only doing this because I really like this guy. I told him he owes me a drink and dinner. I'm ordering a double of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Steak with Lobster Tails!!! He's got to pay for my pain and suffering. I'll bet you wanna know who it is. LOL. I'll give you a hint. It's a song that I'm singing and it's not coming out on Honeycomb. LOL. But I won't be singing for anymore labels unless it absolutely makes a financial difference for my family.

9:31am
Well I'm here in the terminal. Sitting here talking to you. LOL.
Random thought, have you ever heard of Andy Narell? Google him. I'm always fascinated with a lot of musical instruments. The steel pans was never one of them until I heard Andy Narell play when I was 12 or 13 years old. Usually you hear the steel pans in Calypso and island music. But this man improvises over jazz!! I mean he goes Modal. Utilizing all of the scales like a pianist. He agreed to perform on my solo project!!! I'm so amped!!!
Also, I met a beautiful individual recently that has agreed to play the Cello for me. Imagine the Cello in Soulful House music!!!!! Whew!!! She's my new little sister.

4:55pm
I'm still here in the states. I had a layover in Philly. A long layover....
Random thought, i really need to start going back to church. It's not good to let folks turn you off so much till they control what you do. I allowed some miserable people to turn me so way off that I haven't been to church since who knows when? Maybe 6 months!

July 9th 11:21am
I've landed in Greece. There is some sort of uprising going on but so far everything is calm. It's 82 degrees. Beautiful weather. Anna, the promoter, and her friend Marianna met me and drove me to the hotel. Anna explained to me that the government stole money, as governments seem to do, and it caused the country to go into financial failure. So to fix the problem they want to tax the people. And that's obviously unfair. So the people are fighting back.

8:44pm
I've been in my room this whole time sleeping my life away but Athens is beautiful. The water, the sunset, there's absolutely nothing like it. As we were driving here I saw posters of the event posted everywhere. I'll never get used to that. Pictures of me on random utility poles, walls, phone booths, everything. Wow!

9:40pm
I'm going to dinner tonight with Anna(promotor) and I think Petros the owner will be there.

July 10th 4:14am
The food was amazing. I had an octopus leg!! I mean the tentacles and all. Anna was gracious enough to order the entire meal. We had a typical Greek dinner according to her. We ate at a place that's across the street from where my gig is going to be on tomorrow. The outside dining area is the beach, literally. The beaches in the states are usually sandy beaches. But here there was pebbles and sand. Mostly pebbles. The water was so nice that I wanted to put my feet in. After we ate and drank Greek beer we went to the club to hang for a bit. The guy that owns the place(Petros) was a laid back, true soul brother. So seriously laid back and cool. The sound here is so amazing that I can hardly believe it. The DJ(Panos, Petros' brother) was great. I think it's disco night and he kept the disco records coming. This is a great night. This guy is playing WHAM, A-Ha, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and a bunch of great 80's songs. Man his energy was perfect. He didn't blend one record. But it was so good that no one cared. I'm ready to order a drink and Anna is not letting me buy. The feeling of love and appreciation is beautiful. I'm feeling respected and appreciated.
On another note.....
Ummmmm.. Did I just read my facebook page right?? Is DJ Camacho dead? Another pioneer gone?? Man. I'm really sorry he's gone. Camacho was a NJ pioneer. before Blaze, CC Rogers, Adeva, Mentalinstrum, The Burrell Brothers, Bas Noir, Roland Clark, Backroom Productions, Jomanda, Charvoni, Serious Intention, Hunter Hayes, KWyze, Sabrina Pope, Eddie Stockley, Kenny Bobien, April Dawn, Kimara Lovelace, Jerry Edwards, all Movin Records artist, Smack Productions, Dee Holloway, Saheerah Johnson, Vicky Martin, Cookie Abrams, D'lacy, Sybil, Jovann Armstrong or Cassio Ware, there was DJ David Camacho playing the jams when we didn't even know the first thing about doing music. I only named a small few but the list can go on of people that Camacho watched come into this business and supported them. So here's to you brother Camacho! Rest In Peace.

6:38am
I really couldn't sleep. I have anxiety attacks a lot of the times. Usually if it's humid or if I'm having sinus issues I'll have attacks. The attacks occur in my sleep causing me to wake up violently. It feels like my air supply is cut off. As if I'm struggling to breathe. I'm obviously breathing, but my brain is not receiving that info. So I panic. My heart races and there is absolutely nothing that can be done. It's a horrible thing. As soon as I calm down and go to sleep again, usually 45 minutes to an hour later, I'll have another attack. So much so that in the past I had a fear of going to sleep. Am I sharing too much?? LOL. Sorry, but hey... I'm the one having the attack here!! This blogging that I'm doing is helping me to calm down.
Random thought, I saw a guy who was my height(6'3) maybe even taller. His feet looked like they were a size 7. Does it make me gay because I equated his shoe size to his penis size in the moment I saw his feet? I felt bad for him, but am I gay for that? LOL!!!

6:55am
My room has an amazing ocean view. So I thought that I'd sit on the terrace and blog as the sun rose. It's beautiful and the air is fresh and cool. Well, what I didn't mention is that Greece has triple the amount of crickets that America has. And they're loud and constant day and night. I'm sure there are insects and flying things here that I'm not accustomed to as well. So, I go outside and I'm hearing the sound of crickets get even louder, when suddenly I heard an animal!!! It was kinda like an "Eeeahhh" sound! So loud that it scared me! And it was in the tree right next to my terrace. I thought, maybe a monkey or a wild bird! This all happened as I was easing my butt in the chair. I didn't even make it in the chair! When I heard that sound I froze in the position of (almost)sitting down. My butt poked out in the air! But it wasn't till I heard it the second time that I broke my neck trying to get back in the room. Keep in mind, I'm talking 2 whole minutes of action! I wish you could have seen me in that frozen position, butt sticking out, eyebrows raised so high they felt like they were on top of my head. When the sound happened again, I moved so quick that I slipped a little and dropped my phone. I almost hurt myself. I scraped my ankle on something. It was so funny. "Eeeahhhhh!!!"

7:11am
I'm still awake. Greek TV doesn't give many options. I can't even get CNN!!

2:00pm
I'm headed to soundcheck. I'm kinda feeling like skipping the soundcheck. But I don't want to seem ungrateful but I really didn't get any sleep. But whatever, I'm up. The power was on and off all day. This caused some major problems for the entire day. I learned that the electris company is on some sort of strike. So they shut the power off to make a statement.
Anna is very intent on making sure I'm happy. All I need is sleep!!!!!! I'm getting old. My back, and knees are aching. LOL

2:10pm
The Sun!!!!!! Oh My Lord!!!!!! The sun is a few miles away from the earth here.

2:15pm
We're pulling up and the cars are piled on top of one another. Unlike anything I've ever seen. There's no way to get in or out!!!

2:35pm
OK. Picture this. The club is on the beach. You can walk from the dance floor to the ocean in 30 steps. There's a huge bar between the Dance floor and the ocean. The thing that really caught my attention is that they have 5 high powered air conditioners on the dance floor. There are no doors seperating the dance floor from the beach. But I suppose the roof of the dance floor keeps it cool. Not sure, but this is amazing. And still very intimate!!! The sound is incredible here. But they're really not set up for a vocalist. There was no monitor for me to hear myself and I had to rely on the speakers in the house. But I've done that before and now there's nothing that can be done so why complain? I'm going back to my room to get more rest.

4:54pm
I'm getting ready for showtime. I'm not nearly as nervous as I should be. It's nice to be relaxed but you never want to be so relaxed that you misjudge the energy of the crowd. I rested pretty well. My clothes are nice and wrinkled but hey..........

5:30pm
You know, appreciation is an amazing thing. When I walked in I was greeted with a million smiles. One guy got a picture of me printed out and asked me to sign it. He was just someone who loved the music. That's really what this whole soulful house music thing is about. It brings people together in the spirit of Love which encompasses happiness, laughter, healing, and all good emotions. The music is nice. The crowd is decent. It's not jammed packed in here. I'd say it's 70-75% full. Maybe another 50-100 people would have packed it out. I'm not complaining though. I've played to an empty dance floor before. LOL!!!!!!!

5:46pm
Ahhhhhhhhh. The nervousness is kicking in. In some weird way it's very comforting. Never be too comfortable until after you've hit the stage. I'm about to pray to God for his blessings. See you after the show.

6:18pm
I was supposed to start 18 minutes ago. I'm feeling a little anxious to go on but Anna is asking me to wait 20 more minutes. Apparently there are people on the beach and they want them to come into the club area. Now I'm ok with this but I could have very much taken my time coming here. LOL!!!! I'm sitting here in front of the crowd waiting to go on. I shouldn't be here. It's kinda awkward. But such is life.
Why couldn't things just go as planned? Oh well.....

6:23pm
I'm losing energy as each record is playing. This is dangerous.

6:30pm
I'm still waiting. I understand how things go, but it doesn't help that I'm still waiting. I'm not angry or anything. But I'm waiting!! My excitement level is plumetting.

6:37pm
And still waiting. What I don't think is being understood is that the more I'm around these cigarettes the less likely my voice will hold up.

6:45pm
And still waiting. Realistically, I've been waiting for 45 minutes. Is this ok? Maybe I'm too impatient. I'll just chill and wait. Anna is doing everything she can to make sure I'm good. And it's not like they're making me wait with bad intentions. Right??

6:51pm
Anna just asked me for my show track but the DJ is looping records and looking through his collection for another record to play!!!!!! LOL!! Do you realize how much extra sleep I could gave gotten??? This DJ is using Traktor. I have to check it out. I'm not sure if it's for me, but David Morales told me to check it out, and I respect his opinion. I like Petros' music. He's playing all vinyl. Nice touch. He's passionate.

6:58pm
OK. Maybe the plan was to have me wait an hour. But why not just tell me that. My energy is so low right now that I have to pray again! It looks like I'm about to perform in just a minute. My energy is super low, and I have to pee.

7:55pm
I did a good show. I was happy that Amna seemed happy. And she's the type to keep it real. If I sucked she would have told me. You know, there is something very family oriented about this place. As I was singing this woman grabbed on to me and held me close. She said "I love this song" and that made my day. You see that hug wasn't about coochie. She was someone who was moved entirely by the music. I later learned that her name is Agapi which means Love.
It's time for me to DJ. I'm feeling like playing some old CHICAGO house music. Let's see.

11:40pm
OK. So I did an alright set. But in the middle of my set, Anna comes and ask me if I'm doing more singing!!! Now usually when a singer comes to a club they do 3-5 songs. I did 6. Now I appreciate the love, and the people wanting to hear more, but I think 6 is enough. I talked with the owner and he said "only if you like." Which was a blessing because I surely did not feel up to doing more. I thought I was doing more than required!! LOL. I guess not.
Anyway I'm tired and very much in pain. I am very clear that I'm not as young as I used to be. My feet and legs are very much crying out loud.

July 11th 12:01am
I'm sooo looking forward to going to bed. I really need to work out. I say this everytime I go away.

2:19am
Well here I am again. About to go to sleep. Maybe this will be a good night. Maybe I'll sleep through till early morning at least. We'll see. Let me talk to God first and thank him for a great night.

7:42am
Finally!! One nights sleep without waking up! It's going to be a good day. Usually when I do these dates, I go home the day after the performance. But the promoter was very generous and gave me a day to relax and do nothing. So today I'm going to get in the ocean and enjoy Gods creation. Maybe I'll have some olives. I'm feeling very blessed at this moment. I often think of my brother Jerry Gant during these times. He's the brother who told me to start blogging. Anyway, I'm still going to do my other label. I thought Wine Gold or Honey Peach would have been the name, but nahhh. It has to be right. I'm way too soulful in everything I do. All of the names I think of sounds urban or soulful. I like Dark Skin Music, and Brooklyn Space records. What about Red Hot Candy Music? When I get home I'm going to ask everyone on the "We Love Josh Milan" page to vote. That'll make it easy to choose. That's a cool idea. I can't wait to start doing the new sound. No matter what I do, there'll be a soulful element to it. It's just who I am. The trick is to find an artist that can sing the harder sounding stuff and not necessarily soulful singers. I think Natasha Watts can easily do both. But I need 3 more singers like that. Where are the male vocalist these days?

1:27pm
I slept ALL day long. I mean really slept this entire time and wanted more! But I'm getting up to catch some Sun and Ocean.

2:55pm
It's beautiful here. We're chillin at Cariocas. The Sun seems to be smiling. It's just a few friends hanging and the owner Petros is hosting this little gathering. I brought my CDs and the drinks are being poured. Such fun!! Moses(my brother) would love this.

3:08pm
Check this out. I'm in Greece and the DJ's are asking me about Camacho's death. I'll bet he didn't know how much people respected him all over the world.

3:42pm
This kid, he must have been 10 years old, very much like a gentleman introduced himself to me. He didn't speak English well but he wanted to say hello. It was the sweetest thing ever. I know I'm getting soft in my 40's. His name is Antonio. LOL. Now when's the last time a 10 year old walked up to you and introduced him or herself to you. Here's the kicker, he was at the performance and enjoyed it!!! We're so ignorant in the states. The worse crime that we're guilty of is not introducing this music to our children. BIG MISTAKE!!
Anyway... Anna takes a look through my cd book, and treats us to a set of jams. She played songs that I didn't even know I had. She's good!

6:11pm
I'm at a restaurant with Anna, and their crew of about 10 people and I hear a rooster crow! I don't recall ever hearing that before in my life. This restaurant looks like someone's Grandmothers house. I turn and I notice that the chef was 1000 years old. I'll bet this food is going to be amazing.
This is special. I'm sitting around some of Greeks finest DJ's and promoters.

6:20pm
I learned that the woman cooks what she cooks and we are to order from those options. Today is Baby Goat, Rooster, and Meatballs. You gotta love this. It seems as though we are the only customers of the day. We were moving the tables together and the old lady was trying to move a table by herself. That was almost kinda funny. She's really old but I can tell she runs this place.

6:35pm
Homemade wine is being poured! Petros and his friend JP(a brilliant Spanish/French man) walk in he sits at the head of the table. Very much the king of his castle. I'm impressed. JP jokingly test the chair for Petros before Petros could sit down. This man had everyone laughing all day. He joked with the girls as if he could read their palms. Funny thing... He really did have a gift to read into a persons life. I detected something in him immediately. Im no HOLY MAN, but I am spiritual. And when kindred brothers and sisters are around, you just know.
Anyway....
When the Baby Goat came out, the lady served it with Pasta and Parmesan cheese with a red sauce. But not a lot of sauce. The herbs are grown right there in the yard. The meat was full of flavor and the tenderness was unlike anything I've ever experienced. If food could be orgasmic, this was surely it! Even the salad was delightful. They brought out some beets. To add to that was a garlic based spread that one could either dip the beets in or spread it on the homemade bread. Holy Zeus!!!!!!! This was truly a treat that I will never forget! I want to kiss this old lady. Who, by the way, is finished all of the cooking and talking with her friends in a circle while she knits something!! You gotta see this.

8:23pm
We go back to Cariocas for cocktails. (And you thought the night was over after dinner.) The mood is festive yet a little lower because the end is nearing. Everyone is going home tomorrow. This kinda makes me miss my family. They LOVE a good random gathering. Especially if food is part of the deal. My brother inlaw will come have a little bite, find a chair and sleep!! LOL!
Random thought, one of the DJ's mentioned how Camacho would turn him on to new jams via Cyberjams. He said that every time he said something, Camacho would respond. He was hurt that Camacho is gone. And that's the very reason I answer every note on facebook. You never know who you're touching or helping by simply responding to someone.

8:30pm
Petros insisted that I sit and watch the sunset. Man. You have to love people that can appreciate Gods creation. Strawberry slushs were made for everyone!! And we're on the beach watching the sunset listening to Shannon sing "Let The Music Play." And that's another little treat. I haven't had a slush since I was 10 years old. Man I'm feeling like I'm in a small heaven on earth.

8:56pm
After the sunset, we're all just sitting here with no shoes on. Reggae music is playing. The wine and cocktails have been poured. Petros says, in his Greek accent, "Josh! You have to look at the colors!" The reflections of the sun is giving the sky many different colors now. God is really showing off. There were yellows, burnt oranges, some violet and other colors bouncing off of the mountains!! Whew. All I could do is praise God in my heart. I almost got emotional! Being born and raised in Brooklyn, I never saw this kind of beauty. And honestly, I never thought I would. I know it's sounds a little corny and cliché but it's true.
The water is calm and still blue. Even at dusk you can see the blue in the water! Paradise.

July 12th 12:10am
We're still just chillin in Greece!! I'm playing records now and the vibe is just whatever. On the beach. At night!!!! There's nobody here but us. I was thinking about a note I got from Gloria. And the only thing that keeps ringing in my head is "Greece is my dream trip." That made me feel bad. I have to take her.

1:22am
OK. There's nothing like having an entire club that has the hottest sound system in the country to yourself. Chillin with the owner who's making drinks for everyone after an absolutely insane meal. That meal..... Ohhh heyahboshandoh...
This turned out to be the best trip of my life. Did I just say "my life?"
I say that sensitively toward other places I've visited. There's just too much goodness about the land to compare to anywhere else that I've been. After you've read this, start planning to go to Greece. It's just beautiful to see. It's something every person should experience! I feel elevated, as if I've arrived at another level of life.

7:33am
Headed home. I'm glad to be going home as I miss my family. But I will certainly miss Greece! Anna and Marianna are taking me back to the airport. Marianna fell asleep and Anna is very quiet. I get the sense that none of us wanted this weekend of friends and fun to end.. Isn't it something how before I came here I didn't know anyone, and now I have good friends in Greece. God is good and merciful. I don't deserve the very least of his blessings. Thank you Father.