Peace For Ferguson, Change For The World (I Hope)


This post is a bit different than any other but I feel compelled to address the current situation in this country. I know, it’s Thanksgiving and all but I need to get some things of my chest as off character as it may seem for this blog. I don’t want to get too deep but I cannot stand by silently.

I’ve been sharing some short thoughts, song lyrics and links like THIS ONE about protest songs on social media but I need the room to get it all out. I feel like if we all stand up for peace and equality we can make a difference.

The verdict came through in Ferguson this week. The news hit and I cried. I cried because it’s 2014 and throughout this beautiful planet, we have an ugly plague of inequality.

I see all sides. My dad was a police officer in Lowell during the time it was known as Crack Town USA. I know the worry an officer’s family feels. I also know that deadly force should absolutely be a last resort. Perhaps Mike Brown wasn’t being an outstanding citizen, but you know what, there are many possible endings that don’t result in death.

My father was an amazing police officer from the stories I remember. I love looking at pictures of him on the force, he’s my hero and an amazing role model after all. He had some intense stories, like when they were chasing a suspect and the guy bit his partner. Not just teeth marks, a chunk was taken from his arm. I’d always ask “Did you shoot anyone?” because I had this dumb idea in my head as a little girl that a cop needed to shoot somebody to be a hero. He never did, not even at the end of those stories. He risked his life everyday on the job and never had to resort to deadly force.

I then look at my own family’s reactions and the members of my family. They’ve all made mistakes, I’ve made mistakes. What we have on our side is white privilege. I said it and I don’t care, it’s true. There are members with DUIs, restraining orders and federal drug charges. But yet, they’ve just made mistakes. Of course they’re not thugs but Mike Brown is?!? Some of these actions put civilians at risk, not just police officers that did, at the end of the day, sign up for a very risky job. By that reasoning, perhaps they should have been gunned down. That’d be equality right? I love them all, despite mistakes and know that people can change and learn from mistakes. Michael Brown was never given that chance. The system is what failed and is still failing if we all believe that people cannot change.

Perhaps my thoughts are wrong, misinterpreted but you know what? I’m willing and open to discussing the matter. I try to listen to all sides, but at the end of the day, I have my own opinion and I believe there was an injustice in the verdict. Excessive force was used. This is the damn USA and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We are the first to judge another culture for chopping a hand of for theft but yet, we execute people without trial.

I am not defending the riots going on but I understand the rage and passion behind them. They’re fighting for justice and their lives. They are not rioting because a hockey team won or pumpkins (looking at you Keene, NH), yet we look back at those instances with a sort of comedic fondness. It’s a double standard.

Please, let’s work together and find the peace and love we need to respect all people. I want all of my friends – white, brown, gay, straight, male, female, transgendered, WHATEVER to be treated equally because they are all amazing (and yes, I’m talking to everyone reading this – you’re my people!).

End Of The Month Wrap Up: October 2014


Halloweencandy

Happy Halloween everyone! Before we get into some of the best Halloween, spooktacular songs, I do want to kind of wrap up October. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as some summer months, but I’m definitely not a cold weather person. I need to move south, to an island, in the tropics with drinks in coconuts now.

Well, I guess I did do one pretty damn spectacular thing this month. I met Dutch ReBelle at the Lawn on D. You can check out the original post HERE. She is so inspiring, kind and talented, I could go one too but I’ll spare you since you should be checking out the original post! My roommate, I’ve mentioned his chronic diseases before, had been down in the dumps but now she’s inspired him to start “arting” again. It makes me happy to see him come around. I’m even going to show him off a little bit!
Brian's

Aside from cataloging while he creates, we’ve hit up record stores and added a ton of new albums to the mix. Mostly reggae, but a few international records for you guys outside the US. I check my stats, I see you visiting! I’ve posed the pictures on Instagram and have an album on Facebook so be sure you’re following along on social media too!

RecStore

I haven’t posted too many links in my last updates, but y’all should test your knowledge with THIS quiz on Buzzfeed. It takes little pieces of album covers and you need to try and identify the album off just that. It’s actually pretty tricky!

It’s Halloween and I’m definitely in the mood for some candy. I mean, I’m in the mood to pass out candy to all the neighborhood kids. Yeah, I’m totally giving them candy, right, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Not eat three bags yourself… Anyway, I wanted to create a little playlist to get in the mood. What do you think is the spookiest song?

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London

Marilyn Manson – This is Halloween

Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You OR Screamin’ Jay Hawkins version

Rob Zombie – Dragula

D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – A Nightmare on My Street

Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters

Sheb Wooley – The Purple People Eater

Dutch ReBelle: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


Previously, I tried to steer away from posting about concerts or local music, but that may have been because I didn’t want the pressure to keep up with it. I didn’t have the money, I was working two jobs (well, I still am, but less hours) so I didn’t have the time and truthfully, I didn’t have any artists that I was compelled to see. I was perfectly content with the vinyl, a coffee or beer and the cats.

Then The Urban Music Fest happened. I stumbled upon it in the Metro and figured it would be a great way to pep up the roommate. He has made progress with his CIDP, but it’s taken a toll on his moods. We saw some amazing acts but in particular, three acts stood out. Shea Rose, STL GLD and Dutch ReBelle. All of them brought something unique to the performance and we’ve both been hooked ever since. Luckily, most of the time, Dutch has been performing with STL GLD (if you reside in the Atlanta GA area, look it up! They’re both coming soon!) so we get to see both acts. We haven’t seen Shea Rose again, but I’ve been on the look out and am waiting for a show we can make it to.

DutchSOOT

I saw an advertisement for Sound Of Our Town and as soon as I realized Dutch ReBelle was performing again, I cleared the schedule. Oh, and it was free! We initially planned on staying for all acts but the rain dampened the mood slightly so we did end up only seeing Dutch perform. It was completely worth it! As expected, she slayed that stage. Her lyrics are so on point and to spit her vocabulary out at that speed is mind blowing.

Not only do I consider her a lyrical genius with an insane flow, she’s so kind. She recognized as us we walked up so she pointed and shouted out the fact we had on her ReBelle Army shirts. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang! Since it wasn’t packed at all because of the rain, we ended up standing right next to her mom and didn’t realize it!

DutchMeeting

After her set, she was there for the fans to sign shirts and CDs. That’s when we realized that it was her mom standing by us. Actually, a lot of her family was there to support her and it was really touching to see. Her mom had been getting down in the crowd! We even met her poetry teacher when he showed up afterwards. It was a really, really awesome experience. I used to meet a lot of artists in middle and high school with my nephew because bands thought it was funny that we were so young, but I have never met anybody as genuine and kind as Dutch and her family were.

Speaking of STL GLD, Moe Pope was there to support Dutch ReBelle. He’s pretty recognizable with his hats, even through a crowd. We got to chat with him and told him we picked up STL GLD on vinyl recently at Underground Hip Hop. I’ll be posting that sometime in the next week so be sure to look out for it! He and his wife were both incredibly nice too and their daughter is downright adorable.

We picked up some new shirts so now we each have a gray and black one. I bought my first CD in about eight years too. It’s been all vinyl since iPods came out but I had to do it! First off, if she signed my shirt, I’d need to frame it and second, I just want to support her. I mean, it’s so hard for any visual or musical artist to get a start and when that artist is as talent as Ms. ReBelle, than they definitely deserve that support. If you haven’t downloaded her album yet, do it and watch out for her to hit your town!

 

End of the Month Wrap Up: September 2014


September was a crazy month for music! A three day music festival, a concert, multiple trips to the record stores and oh so many posts!

First up, Boston Calling. It was so epic and I couldn’t wait so I posted about it at the beginning of the month. You can check out the post HERE to check out some pictures and how the Boston Calling three day experience was. Of course, there’s lots of videos of the acts like Lorde, Sky Ferreira, Nas, The Roots and more on Instagram and Facebook.

To close up the month, the roomie and I hit up Dutch ReBelle’s album release party. We’re both pretty obsessed with her after the Boston Urban Music Fest and it was great seeing some of the same acts from the festival last month and new local talent.

OpeningActs

Opening for Dutch was Big J, Nyce Franklin, STL GLD and Reks (in order from left to right, top to bottom in the picture above). We had seen STL GLD before but all of the other acts were new to us. Out of the new acts, I was probably into Big J the most. Toss up for second between Nyce Franklin and Reks. On one of his trips to Underground Hip Hip in Boston, the roommate found STL GLD on vinyl so we’ll be picking that up for the collection! It features Dutch too so that will hold me over until she hopefully presses.

Dutch

Dutch ReBelle killed it as expected. I mean, she SLAYED that stage. If she doesn’t blow up bigger than some of those silicon booty rappers in wigs, I will be pretty appalled with the music scene. Dutch’s flow, her lyrical content, her personality all equal up to one amazing performer. You can check out even more pictures of the show HERE. If you haven’t downloaded her album, do it. Do it NOW! If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on the next big thing! We’re planning on seeing her again on Saturday at the Lawn on D in Boston. It’s a free concert! If you’re not in Massachusetts, she’ll be coming to your town soon. She just announced a show in Atlanta!

On top of the shows, we managed to purchase some serious amounts of vinyl this month. So much vinyl!! The roomie and I hit up Garnick’s twice for a reggae bonanza. They had received a ton of albums in from a college radio station. I did post about the first trip which you can see HERE, but not the second trip. The second trip was more to pick up what we left behind and we didn’t spend too much time there. We still have a pile of about 30 to pick up!! Oh, and they’re expected to get about 1000 more albums from the same radio station by the time we get in there!

I didn’t get to tag along, but my roommate made some trips into the city and while I was a work, he hit up some record stores for me. He scored some goodies at Armageddon Records (like a Lorde single!) and Underground Hip Hip (Glue – look for the post next month!). He didn’t manage to take any pictures for me to show you what the stores are like, but I’ll be tagging along next time!

In exciting blog news, I hit a major milestone! I’ve entered 1000 albums. A Stevie Wonder post took the coveted post spot (you can check it out HERE). I’m pretty proud to have come this far. There were some months I had basically given up but a little over two laters later, here I am! Still going!

Crate Digging Adventures


Garnicks

I’ve been saving my record store trips for the monthly wrap ups, but OH MY GOSH, I cannot wait! The roommate and I decided to stop by Garnick’s after lunch and they had just received a large shipment in from a radio station. There was so much reggae in the mix, it was un-frickin-believable. I could’ve spent all day there but the wallet was feeling the pain with what we picked out. I grabbed a few along with jazz, comedy and even a kids’ album! We have a stack set aside for after I get paid again too! I’m bad, I know!

Garnicks2

We also hit up the dollar bins and I splurged on a few albums too! Be on the look out for some posts about all of the albums, but I wanted to rev y’all up too, so check out this little list of a sneak peak!

Dinah Washington

Count Basie

Boston Pops

Raffi (YES, RAFFI! Let’s take it back to when I was 5!)

New Kids On The Block

Joan Rivers

We also got a lot of international music, including some Kenyan pop music! I’m pumped to get all of them entered and share them with you so be sure to check back! I did also post more images of the trip to Garnick’s on Instagram and Facebook so if you’re interested in seeing the whole experience, hop on over there!

Boston Calling 2014


BosCallingLineUp

I was planning on saving the Boston Calling adventure for the End Of The Month Wrap Up, but so much ended up happening, I figured it might be deserving of it’s own post.

BosCalling1

The tickets to Boston Calling were a splurge but since the roomie was able to walk again, I figured he deserved something awesome. We got in a little late so we did miss most of Future Islands’ set but they did seem to set the tone off right for the night.

BosCalling2

City Hall Plaza is all steps so it was a bit rough for my roommate walking around, but we managed to get up close for Neutral Milk Hotel. At the request of the band, I didn’t take any images or video of the performance and just experienced it. A few people did film, but I mean, if an artist requests something, I usually honor that request. I guess it could be because of my own history in the arts and wanting my voice heard as I intended it through my art. The pre-performance screen letting you know the group was up next is all you’re getting outta this girl!

BosCalling3

Last up for Friday night was The National. We moved back to get the roomie some relief on his feet. The great part of the plaza is that they have waist high columns large enough for people to sit comfortably and still see the two stages. The National did get the crowd going, but the feedback from the cement buildings did affect them a bit. I noticed it with a few bands but being surrounded by a concrete jungle, you had to forgive them for it, it’s a bit unusual to be outside with skyscrapers!

BosCalling4

Saturday started off great! We made out way down on the train, caught lunch at Faneuil Hall while watching some amazing break dancers and headed in. Sky Ferreira delivered an amazing performance. I had some reservations about her, just knowing she had a drug bust and opened for Miley, but she brought back some rock chick moments from my teen years for me. Her keyboardist was great, controlling pretty much the whole show from his pedals and we even managed to bump into them on their way out while we headed to lunch across the street!

After lunch, we managed to get settled back in when the rain storm called off the late afternoon acts. I was actually picking up some smokes at 7-11 and heard it on the loud speaker. Knowing the roommate had issues walking and there was a horde of people leaving the venue, I panicked a bit. He managed to leave fine since he waited and there were multiple exits open. We hung around for an hour and the skies cleared up a bit so we made our way over to the entrance.

Social media was slow to update so we didn’t catch there was a longer delay in acts, so we waited for a bit before the cops announced the street was being closed. After that, we walked more. Back to North Station actually, since there were bathrooms and we could maybe catch a train if the show was cancelled. It was getting late after all and social media updates were vague.

They finally announced that the show was on and gates were opened. We walked back and realized a massive group of people was not moving and getting pretty anxious and upset. We sat on some stairs away from the crowd but eventually a few kids hopped the fences behind us. Not great, since if the fences fell or if there was a rush, we couldn’t move fast. We walked around the corner and tried to get in the exit we left from. Denied. We could hear music starting so we were anxious to get in. Girl Talk had already been cancelled and we knew Lorde would likely be a shortened set. We made our way all the way back around and the crowd was still anxious. They opened the gates up and people started rushing them, with and without tickets. The handicap ramp was overrun. We made it in after somebody was kind enough to flank my roommate’s right side. Staying back from the massive crowd, we still almost were trampled a few times as people kept rushing in. How they didn’t let people in a little sooner or through the same exits we all left from amazes me.

BosCalling5

Since it was so unsafe for people, especially handicap people, we ended up talking with a supervisor of the staff. The roommate was upset and rightfully so, the tickets said it was accessible and it certainly wasn’t. Due to the issues, we were upgraded to VIP for Lorde, Childish Gambino and all of Sunday, this way it would be more comfortable and safer.

BosCalling6

I must say, despite the amount of stress from the chaos after the rain, they really did make up for it. There were other handicap people there and how they got around is amazing and thankfully, Sunday, there seemed to be a lot more options and upgrades for people on crutches, wheelchairs and whatnot.

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Twenty-One Pilots was a group that surprised me on Sunday. Well, I guess that’s because I hadn’t heard of them and they put on a great stage show! They actually brought instruments that were secured to plywood into the crowd to play on top of. It was crazy! I’m planning on downloading some music from them, but we’ll see if I like them recorded enough to buy an album!

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Nas and the Roots were incredible. I did think that they would play more together instead of separately and blended between the two acts. They acted more of hype men for one or two songs of each other’s. I had never seen either perform and it was mind blowing. I can’t wrap my head around it!

There are tons of videos so please be sure to hop on over to my Instagram account to check them all out!! Enjoy!!!

BosCallingBuilding

End of the Month Wrap Up: August 2014


Beach

Outside of the office job, August was a pretty relaxing month. I started by blogging at the beach and ended it with a music festival and some crate digging adventures. With so much going on, I’m going to leave the link section out of this update, but you should be following on Facebook and Instagram too so you catch everything!!

For the first record store trip, I sent my roommate to Armageddon Records in Cambridge. The scene in there is a bit too hipster / gutter punk but if you’re willing to hunt, you can find a little bit of everything. Just be prepared for a judging eye if you’re without safety pin adornment. I gave the roomie $20.00 and said “Surprise me please!”. To prepare for Boston Calling next week, he picked me up Lorde and Nas singles along with a Modest Mouse single and various artists LP.

DutchR

Last weekend, I heard about Boston Urban Music Festival so the roommate and I decided to head on down to the Bean. It was a great mix of local rappers and hip hop performers! We got down a little late so the first act we caught is above, Dutch Rebelle. Her album drops next month so I’m thinking about hitting up her show. The roomie and I both fell in love with her! Kiss Kiss BANG BANG baby!

STLGLD

Up after Dutch Rebelle and also performing with her for the record release, was STL GLD. They had a little more rock infused into their style. They amped up the crowd a ton! It was such a nice mix of music since they did bring in that rock influence.

JDilla

Coming out of Berklee, was the J Dilla Ensemble. They were this great melting pot of musicians and incredibly talented. They performed an amazing variety and belted those songs out! I think I instantly fell in love with the keytar player!

SheaRose

After they performed, Shea Rose took the stage. Oh. My. Lord. I was blown away. She was the perfect mixture of hip hop, soul, rock and funk. On top of the amazing sound, she was intelligent, inspiring and downright stunning to watch.

Talib

Closing out the show was Talib Kweli. He was honestly, my motivation for going but I was so blown away with the local groups. I didn’t end up staying for his whole set as it was a Sunday and I’m like a grandma and need my bed by 9:00 on work nights but appreciated that I caught his speech on Ferguson and Michael Brown. Being white, I do have a certain level of privilege and to top it off, my dad was a police officer (he wasn’t the type to let his badge go to his head). I will never know what it’s like to be profiled but I do hope I’m another voice that can help to speak out against the inequality. We are all human and somebody’s child. Everyone deserves respect and to be treated with a level of dignity despite their color, gender or sexual orientation. We are all different in some little way and shouldn’t let the differences prevent us from getting along. My friends are black, white, yellow, shades of orange and tan, gay, straight, bi, confused, etc and I love every single one of them for their uniqueness, that’s what makes us all human.

Pitchfork

Yesterday, I hit up a record store in New Hampshire, Pitchfork Records, with a fellow vinyl lover I met through Instagram. She was hilarious and had great taste in music. We snagged a couple of albums out form each other, but hey, all’s fair in crate digging! Here’s to many more adventures in those crates!

I do have a little announcement about the blog that I’d like to close this post out with. My roommate, Mr. Richard, as he’ll be posting under will be putting some reviews up. I’ve asked him to do it for a little while now as my reviews are often “I like this”, “This annoys me” or “I sing along to this” and he can articulate his thoughts a little bit more than that. I hope you enjoy his reviews and thoughts on the collection!