Saturday, March 2, 2013

I really wasn't going to post this. However.....

Marques Wyatt's 14th Anniversary Deep party was absolutely beautiful.


Deep 14th Anniversary in LA

Feb. 17th 7:19am 

Gloria and I both wake up at 6. She's headed to church and I have a plane to 
catch. Gloria left and I was maybe 10 minutes behind her. I did my usual, last 
minute run through. "Now lets see. Wallet, passport, phone.... Yep I'm good"
I know Louie has the show tracks. So I'm straight. I get in the car and 
......... NO KEYS!!!! 
I left my keys in the house! OH NOOOO!!!!!
 Now usually I do my best to abstain from using profane language, but at this 
moment, I'll just go ahead and say it. DAMN!!!
It wasn't that big of a deal. Gloria wasn't that far away, but I hated that she 
had to turn around. And now she's late. Not a good start. 

8:50 am

I'm at the airport and I think I'm getting old and less tolerant of ignorance. I 
seem to be the only one getting annoyed at the conversation the airport security 
workers are having. And they're talking loud enough for all of us to hear.  "Nah 
son. How you gon disrespect me like dat. I'm saying yo. You just gawn walk in 
here and not speak to nobody. Nah dat ain't even right yo. Nah ma. You trippin. 
I ain't even see you doe." OK. Most of you reading this have 15-23 year olds in 
your life. If ever you get a chance, listen to them while they're on the phone, 
or talking to their friends. 
If they sound anything like the airport security officers I described, there is 
a problem. And you have a responsibility to say something. I have some nephews 
that talk this way, but they know when to turn it off and on.  When they're with 
their friends, the conversation may sound like the aforementioned. I get that 
there is a culture that today's generation are into. We all had our time when 
the slang sounded like a bunch of craziness to our elders.
Lets be very clear about something, there are some people that finish college 
and are still stupid. Please don't misunderstand my point. All I'm trying to say 
is that young people stand a better chance in life when there is an older person 
around being vocal about the important things. Things like how to speak 
publicly, and how men and women should carry themselves. But anyway..... I'm 
headed to LA, yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DJ legend Marques Wyatt has been doing his "Deep" party for 14 years. He's one 
of the few that really represent our Soulful House genre in the West Coast. 
I'm looking forward to it. Louie Vega, Rich Medina and a slew of killer DJ's are 
going to be there to rock the night. I'm going to sing a few jams. Besides all 
of that, it'll be good to see my California house music family, Carolyn Lotus, 
Rob McDaniel, Will "WillSoul" Rodriguez, Jerry Flores, Aysa Shein, Tammy and ya 
know. The crew. This should be hot. 
Parenthetically speaking, I love "The Crew". We have a house music "crew" in 
every city that plays house music. Sometimes in our scene "The Crew" can get all 
this confused and start thinking more along the lines of "The Clique". And that 
I'm allergic to. Here we are 35 and up, all of us have secular jobs, and we 
wanna have a non-inclusive attitude toward our scene. I have some news for some 
of you soulful house "Crews". We need each other! 
That's right. Every club in a particular city needs for the other club to be 
doing well. Our scene needs different venues. We need unity. Can you imagine if 
DJ's became that way as though they can't coexist?
Or artist? I, as an artist, need Pevenn Everett, Kenny Bobien, Monique Bingham, 
Diviniti, Tortured Soul all to do well. It makes for a better variety. I liked 
the days when The Temptations and The Supremes put out a record together. 
Barbara Streisand and Donna Summer did an album together. Phil Collins and 
Phillip Bailey did "Easy Lover". We're stronger together. Corny? Maybe, but I 
believe in that concept. 

1:31pm

We're about to land. I was going to tell you all about the screeching baby who 
loved her own voice, and the two year old twins that were allowed to run up and 
down the plane. But this time I'm going to try to stay positive.... OK? Let me 
breathe...... At the very mentioning of those children I almost slapped this 
elderly gentleman sitting next to me. And he's been sleep this whole time.
 I'm starving. I'm going to request we go straight to Roscoes Chicken & Waffles. 
Yay!!!!! Some of you are thinking "What's Roscoes Chicken & Waffles?". It's an 
Los Angeles thing. If you search for it on the web, you'll find it. Some of the 
best fried chicken and waffles you'll ever eat. 
Man.. That reminds me of "Brothers BBQ" in Newark NJ. Remember that? Now that 
was some good eating folks. 
Anyway, Marques has a mutual friend come to pick me up from the airport. Chris 
is an eclectic dude. Really cool laid back cat. He's a surgical assistant. Very 
interesting cat. He's got 1 inch(maybe 2 inches) ear plugs in his lobes. That 
takes great patience. This guy travels around the country assisting surgeons. 
Deep right?

7:30pm

I got a nice tour of Hollywood/Beverly Hills. Clearly these people have money. 
Phantoms, Lamborghini and Ferrari's everywhere. I even saw an all chrome Benz. 
But what hurt me was the first woman we saw pushing a cart. She was a black 
girl. She could have been in her late 20's. Homeless. Pretty girl. Dark 
chocolate. Chris waved hello to her because she was staring at us as she crossed 
the street with her cart. After that happened, I noticed that for every Phantom 
or fancy car I saw, I saw at least 3 push carts filled with shopping bags that 
had the homeless persons belongings in them. I later found out that California 
has one of the highest amount of homeless people in this country. So while I was 
enjoying seeing all of the beautiful homes and fanciness of Beverly Hills, I 
couldn't totally enjoy it because there's brothers and sisters out there 
sleeping in the streets while $400,000 cars ride by them. It's heartbreaking. 
Truth is, I certainly wouldn't mind having a Bentley or a Rolls. There's 
absolutely nothing wrong with that. But before I get my car Chromed or before I 
have 3 of them. I'd much rather invest in a place that would provide jobs and 
housing for these people. 
We went to Roscoes Chicken & Waffles and the line was around the building! So we 
moved on. Next time. 

When I got to the venue for a sound check, the sound man was playing Techno House 
and the sound was so big and loud that my bones trembled. This place had sound 
for a small stadium. It was so big that I was starting to feel anxious or even 
nervous. I'm thinking "will the ceiling fall? Or will the balcony fall down?"
I don't think I've ever heard anything so big. The sound guy was professional. 
Everybody is working to make this event happen. Reminds me of old NY clubs. The 
anxiety we felt before going in. And hearing the music from outside. The 
rush!!!! Ahhhhhhhh God. It was sick!
Remember Willie Ninja at the Sound Factory Bar? He would do that double jointed 
arm thing. Oh man. But that was then.... Sigh.....

8:29pm

Sound check is over and Louie is going to play the new EOL album, "Eclipse". A 
sort of listening party is about to happen. But right now he's just playing some 
obscure George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire and such. There's no one here. These 
are the moments when I love Louie the most. No mixing(even though he's a 
seamless blender). Just good music. He knows how to pick em. 

Feb 18th 12:58am

So after going back to my hotel and getting my half hour rest I made it back to 
the club and it's jumping. People are in this place. It's definitely packed. 
Louie is doing his thing. The crowd is feeling him. It's almost 1am. I'm 
supposed to go on at 1am. But what can I do?  Can't break the vibe. So they will 
let me know when they're ready for me. But in the meantime I'll just chill. 
Can I be honest? I'm tired. The plane ride was 6 hours. I've been going non stop 
since 6am. My body thinks it's 4:07am. 
And the people that support my music are here and want to talk to me. My voice 
is very sensitive and I shouldn't be talking, in a club, before the show. But I 
can't ignore the folks. I have to speak. So now I'm drinking water and lime. 
Trying to do anything to heal my throat. There's no tea available. My throat 
feels rough. 

3:49am

I had so much fun on stage tonight. The crowd was into it. I was into it. For 
some reason it all came together really nicely. I was doing vocal stuff that I 
liked. There was even a moment that I was experimenting with some notes. LOL. 
Really good fun. Marques seemed like he was happy. 
MasterKev was in the building!
And that's always nice. When a DJ who is NOT playing that day comes out just to 
hang, always feels good. And Kev is a working cat. He travels and has his own 
following. So him being there felt awesome. 
There was this man who was definitely in his 70's that got on stage with me and 
stole the show!!
Now that was a moment!
I turn around to see what Louie is doing and just like I thought, he thought it 
was hilarious. Good times. 

12:30pm

About to get on the plane. Headed on back. If I were to sum this trip up, it 
wouldn't be about the fun times we had at Marques 14th anniversary party. Or the 
fact that Louie's DJ'ing is just super good. I would mention anything about the 
beautiful house music people of LA. I wouldn't mention the chills I felt when 
passing by the exact location of Biggie's death and the hotel in which Whitney 
died. 
I'd talk about the homeless population in contrast to the wealthy population. 
How could they coexist? How is this really happening? Maybe because I'm not 
wealthy I don't get it. But I counted 7 Phantoms($500,000 cars), at least 6 
Lamborghini's, high end Audi's and foreign cars that I can't even pronounce and 
at the same time, twice as many pushcarts. I saw a Phantom parked right next to 
a push cart. 
This is a town that has more than it's share of millionaires. Some are even 
billionaires. BILLIONAIRES!!! And nobody can raise 10 million for a facility to 
house some of these people? The people can work there at the facility. Security 
could be put in place around the clock. The behavior and participation of the 
tenant would determine their tenure there. But the idea is to have the tenants 
keep the place up. The landscaping, the bathrooms, the reception desk, 
maintenance, all done by the tenants. This allows one to feel as though they're 
earning their keep. A sense of dignity. And programs could be put in place to 
train people for jobs and life lessons. For instance, people need to know how to 
look, talk, and behave when job searching. Detox programs, and AA group meetings 
could be in the same facility. 
I just watched the news and there is a billionaire that recently commissioned a 
cruise ship company to build a working replica of the Titanic. People are 
spending thousands of dollars to be on that ship when it's done. 
Is it me? Right here in America people are starving to death. Literally dying 
from hunger! In Beverly Hills alone the homeless people seemed to saturate the 
streets at every turn. People sleeping on the grass which was on the divider in 
the street. Is this cruelty, greed, neglect, ignorance, callousness, or all of 
the above? Sure, this is just a blog. I don't have millions of dollars. And 
maybe I should mind my business, but I couldn't blog about the wonders of LA and 
not mention the wonders of LA's willingness to ignore its own wounds. And we all 
know what happens to wounds that go untreated. They worsen.