I am concerned about the survival of our species, but more importantly about the longevity of our host planet. The more time passes, the less easy it is for her to ward off colds (melting glaciers), viruses (toxic injections) and general fatigue (constant fossil resource tapping).
I am saddened when I hear about people who are concerned with a TV show being canceled because “some horses died on the set”. Can you believe this is truly something, someone got pissed off about? It makes me feel deeply empathetic with all that is around me and how the general feeling sometimes ends up being a final giving up because the world knows it is not going to last forever.
People “need” their electronics. They are concerned with what is going on outside of the present moment and sometimes even in their own life. Take today for example, where I saw a mother, father and son eating breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast spots. The mother and father were both on their mobile devices doing whatever they were doing, while the child sat there, although seemingly happy and content, he just sat their smiling while his parents were deep in an email, text or facebook post. I told my wife, if I had a kid, the only thing I would be paying attention to is that child. This is my theory on why our kids today are so disconnected with people, nature and themselves. Not only are parents both working full-time plus, the time they do spend with their children is being trumped by external stimulation. These are things distracting them that are not even real. They are things they see as more important than having a connection with their own flesh and blood. This just one of many things I see that makes me sad.
Although I know the forces against nature are strong and that her illness will likely get worse, I am still optimistic that these kids (millenials) and even some in my generation will strive to make a difference and change the current trajectory we are on. I read an article today in where they talked about the desire for more and more people do be doing more meaningful work in their lives. Taking less money for something that impacts an individual, a community or even your own passionate desire. It’s a great time to be part of something. It’s even better to include others on what it is you are so passionate about. We have been losing to the old ways of living, thinking that we need to with how our parents lived. This is no longer true and it is no longer sustainable. We need to come together for a solution to what is happening before the solution is chosen for us.
I just found this station on iTunes radio tonight. It’s called radio Classic Hip-Hop – The sounds of hip-hop, roots and it’s evolution from the streets of the Bronx in the 70′s to the pre-gangsta rap of the early 90′s.
Do any of you remember “Roxanne’s Revenge”by Roxanne Shante? Damn!! 96 bars of pure dissin’. Battle rhymin’. Man, I remember listening to this when I was kid. All I could ever remember is the little hook at the end “Roxanne’s Revenge” uh boom boom bap… boom boomboom bap… uh uh “Roxanne’s Revenge”. I seriously never knew she busted out that many bars at once. It’s truly inspiring.
That’s the thing about old school hip-hop though. Remember when Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five (“The Message”) would bust rhymes or the old King of Rock (“You Talk Too Much”) album from Run DMC? It was the funniest (still is) to listen to, because they go on and on talking about this guy who “talks too much”. Yet, they go on and on themselves, with these never-ending verses. I love it!! Those guys would just flow for how ever many bars it took to get their ideas out. There was never a set number like you hear in a lot of the mainstream rap music today. True classics. It was almost like they were freestylin’ in the studio about something they just had to get off their chest and it made it to the final mix of the album. Think of those songs like the Newcleus classic “Jam On It”. These days a rap song clocking seven minutes would never last, but back then it did.
I think the reason long verses, long songs, repetitive beats and DJ’s scratching a simple phrase endlessly, worked so well back then was because of the whole hip-hop culture and what was going on around the music. You had poppers and lockers, break-dancers, graffiti artists, block parties… things that begged for the night not to end. I speak a lot of what I know about this from the movie Beat Street and the little bit I got to learn and partake in during the early 80′s growing up in Los Angeles, CA. I was a breaker and loved tagging (with markers not paint) wherever I could. I long for the fun and intimacy the culture brought with it during that time.
For me, the stuff coming out of the west coast underground is kind of bringing it all back. I want to leave you with one of my favorite artists of the last couple years. They call him The Grouch. He dropped this video from his latest album on my birthday. To me that’s a sign about what my life is all about and who I am today. The song has a real message, not like the shit you hear on the mainstream radio. Bringing back the fun and the intelligent content is what it’s all about. Check this out now!!
So, back in 2003 an old friend of mine who used to live in Tempe, AZ named Tre moved away for a while. He came back to live in Mesa, AZ around April of 2008. While he was away he wrote 12-15 songs on an acoustic guitar, complete with lyrics and solid ideas for bass and drums. He wanted to start a rock band.
Not long after his arrival we formed a band in June of 2008, with me on drums, Ryan Kennedy on keyboards, Jhon Quinitos on bass and Tre on guitar/vocals. Unfortunately in December 2008, Ryan left the band to pursue other opportunities in Missouri with his soon to be wife. We sincerely missed him and his mad music skills and were not sure how we would replace him, but we later decided that finding another musician of his caliber was too difficult and that we should focus on solidifying the foundation of the band as a three-piece and worry about a new member later.
Fast forward a few months and you have the demo video for ‘Shine’, recorded at a little studio in Chandler, AZ on February 14, 2009 by Matthew Townsend.