Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sat in with Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin...

...last night at Sweet Caroline's. Not only was it my dream come true, I held my own against three of the best blues musicians in the country. Bob has been extremely encouraging from the start. Last time I saw him at State Theatre, he already invited me to Sweet Caroline's and told me to "bring some harps." Well, I ended up playing an entire set with Mr. Margolin, Handy nominated bassist Mookie Brill, and drummer Mark Stutso from Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers. It wasn't my best playing due to the fact I wasn't used to the house vocal mic, but it was enough to impress many of the audience and have people start dancing. If anything, I still have the crowd-pleasing power in me.

Bob said he deliberatedly saved all the "deep stuff" for me because he knew I was capable. We did some shuffles, slow blues, 24-bar blues, Muddy Waters covers (Bob's specialty now). It was a nice set. And Sweet Caroline's is a nice place. It draws two kinds of people: college kids and blues aficionados. And they've been doing quite well at it for years.

The important thing was, I played with my idols and I showed my chops. Bob kept saying to me on stage, "That harp sounds good." We were chatting at the end and he said, "Please keep me updated with any progress." I sure will. Special thanks to Kevin and Lucille Ball for taking photos of me when I was on stage. Photos will be up soon.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Solstice has passed, it only gets better from here

Someone just wrote this and I believe it's true.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The abstinence of words

Or perhaps it's constipation of words. Don't really feel like I have anything to share lately. When the lack of creativity attacks, I'm going to leave DC for a little bit and come back and hope some new ideas will emerge.

Speaking of leaving DC, I haven't done that in awhile. I've been working hard, both day and night. I've also been distant at my blog, talking about mundane stuff. I've been trying to churn something more meat-and-potatoes, it seems that every time I do that I kick the art of blogsphere vagueness up a notch. Not that there's anything wrong with that. With all my blogger pals either taking a temporary or permanent hiatus on blogging, maybe there's little left to say.

Which brings me back to the streets, watching people and walking aimlessly in the cold. But DC has really nothing to see. The winter in DC is not very breathtaking either, not that it should be.

NYC is my next destination. I'm going to garner back my romantic roots, my Woody Allen mood, CBM, and in search of great jazz and Christmas carols. I once wrote, Christmas is supposed to be jazzy. It's true. DC doesn't really swing in the winter, but I try to stay hip and cool.

Come to think of it, this may be my first ever Christmas in NYC. Maybe so.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

You gotta love Woody!

Check out this excellent interview with Woody on NY Observer.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

RIP: Richard Pryor

Don't even know where to begin. All I have to say is, Quincy Jones totally stole my line. The moment I heard Richard Pryor passed, I said out loud, "He was the Charlie Parker of comedy." At least two of my friend heard me. Then, the next day in the newspaper, they quoted Quincy plagarizing me exactly. Next time I say something momentous, I'm going to get it trademarked.

Anyway, that was my precise description of Pryor. He revolutionized comedy and served as an immense inspiration to black (Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle) and white comics (Steve Martin) alike. On top of that, he played straight dramatic roles with gutso. For example, Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar." He was a genius in every sense of the word. The last film I saw him in was David Lynch's "Lost Highway" playing a small role.

In closing, let me share some of the finest Pryor quotes:

"It's been a struggle for me because I had a chance to be white and refused."

"When you ain't got no money, you gotta get an attitude."

"I went to Zimbabwe...I know how white people feel in America now, relaxed! Cause when I heard the police car I knew they weren't coming after me!"

"I went through every phone book in Africa, and I didn't find one goddamned Pryor!"

"I'd like to die like my father died... My father died fucking. My father was 57 when he died. The woman was 18. My father came and went at the same time."

"I live in racist America and I'm uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can't do much better than that."

"I'm not addicted to cocaine... I just like the way it smells."


He-Man & She-Ra

This is just great.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Something real

I reviewed some of the old posts I wrote this time of the year last year, and I wrote some pretty great stuff. I feel this year's Christmas has already passed me by, for our office already had our Christmas party last week. But I still haven't watched my annual Charlie Brown Christmas yet. Gotta love life.

My friend Kelvin has a good blog. He writes random thoughts in Chinese and is three times better a writer than I am. Ooohh, I need some hot apple cider.

This has been a musical year for me. Pam's death still hasn't registered and in addition to Pam, another Henley Park singer Sam Smith also passed. Henley Park said farewell to its jazz program. Cafe Toulouse closed again. The Majestic (old Ledbetter) re-opened. I got to hang out with the big boys, including Bob Margolin. 80+ solid gigs. All of these happened in the past 360 days! Just unbelievable. I told Mr. Margolin, everything about the industry is just hustling and surviving amidst nasty rumors, the truly great feeling comes from the moments you're on stage when everybody digs what you do and when you're enjoying yourself. And I have been highly successful in avoiding going to blues jams. I might've just been to one this year.

2006 is going to be a better year, I can sense it. I'm going to put more time in searching for my roots, not just music, but the law (I do love the law, you dig!), my writings, my desire to teach, and my sarcasm (need to refine it and bring it to a more profound level). For the record, I'm still the hippest cat in town. You just haven't seen nothing yet.

Some great movies are coming out: Brokeback, King Kong (the trailer looked awesome), Match Point, Geisha, etc. The bad movies just won't go away. I've gotta keep myself warm.

I'm still fascinated with Frederick's of Hollywood's Christmas catalog, KFC, Charles Schultz, Larry David, Ali G, Latte from Starbucks, Elvis's Christmas songs, Perry Como when I'm in the mood, I'm Rick James, bia-tch!

Bush is cornier than ethanol.

Frederick's of Hollywood. I adore you.

P.S. Joan posted this about DC. I think it's dead on.


This made my day!

What a dumbass!


Monday, December 05, 2005

New Destiny's Child song

Well, not quite. But it's bloody hilarious!

It's entitled "I Need Some Soldiers."


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Coolest day ever!

Today was the coolest day ever! I got to hang out with Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Margolin and Mookie Brill backstage at State Theatre. These are all my heroes and I got to talk to each of them in depth. My sincere thanks to Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin for going out of his way to do this for me. He really is a great guy, watching out for young players and making sure they're being taken care of. Now this is someone who is a huge star but is down to earth and does not have an ego about this business.

It all came about when I sent Bob an e-mail and told him about my story. Somehow he was fascinated with it and decided I was gutsy. Then we started exchanging e-mails pretty frequently. Usually he would reply within minutes, if he wasn't gigging. I found out he was playing with Pinetop at State Theatre today but the I couldn't come because I had a gig. Luckily the gig was cancelled. So when I e-mailed Bob back, he said he'd put me on the guest list. This is something extra that he did for me, and I am forever grateful for it. I owe him one, and hopefully I can repay him, or transfer the same energy to the younger players.

The show was very cool. It was something I needed to see. For one thing, they're the surviving members of the Muddy Waters band. Since I never had the chance to see Muddy live, these guys are the closest to it. Moreover, Pinetop and Willie are living legends themselves. It was good to be in their presence. And every one of them was so humble and nice and was just very easy to talk to.

I'm also very happy that I got an e-mail from a good friend in Hong Kong that he likes the new compilation CD I made. He says the title "Cool as Hell" is accurate because I'm cool as hell and the songs are too.

But the really cool cats are Bob Margolin, Pinetop, Willie, and Mookie. They're truly very cool.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lost in Translation

In China, dry goods are translated as "fuck goods," and stir fry beef flat noodles is translated as "fuck fry beef river."

If you don't know Chinese, this is hilarious. If you know Chinese, this is even more hysterical.


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