A First Stroke of Passenger Peru

Uncommon to commonplace trends, Passenger Peru‘s self titled album subtly dismantles the norm, and engages with teases, licking  a familiarity only when necessary. You are a passenger on their quest. For sound that will rearrange thought processes for listening to and discovering devotion and discipline, I learned so much from this record.

I remember the night I first was introduced to these guys. They were Pet Ghost Project then, and I was so enthralled by their attempt to create something exceptionally special, that I bought all of their cds. The delicate attention to detail that I was waiting for back when they were Pet Ghost Project is now fully expressed in this new direction, where it’s just the two core members of Pet Ghost Project: Justin Stivers, and Justin Gonzalez.

With just Justin Stivers on bass, and Justin Gonzalez on guitar, they eliminated the need for a live drummer/percussionist with great success. You’ll understand what I mean, if you ever go to one of their shows.

Anyway, I’ll be playing Passenger Peru to its entirety on the next Broad Strokes hour with Calypso Sally, Wednesday, August 29 at 8:00pm on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR). The band will be present to answer any questions I, or you may have.

Balloon Man

Photo by Tiffany Paul

While waiting for the train
a hopeless demeanor draped
a dismay so dread
that I begged for atonement.

And relief came to be placed
inside bubbles, my childhood
was reflected in magenta rays.

A horizon that included all of us
It was no longer a blister
a globule of air anymore

But real.

Broad Strokes, Wednesday, June 27 with special guest Fables

The next Broad Strokes episode on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR) is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 27 at 8:00pm with special guest Fables. The electric duo Fables will be playing a live acoustic set in WHFR’s studio.


Also, last month’s Broad Strokes was a blast. Listen HERE, see below for the playlist.


Intro by Gary Clark Jr.
Fitta Happier by Quakers
Dark Horse by Other Lives
Rise to the Sun by Alabama Shakes
Outro by Gary Clark Jr.
Blood by The Middle East
Hustle Bones by Death Grips
Black Fractal by The Netherlands
Alternative Power to the People by The Dandy Warhols
Other People by Beach House
Disparate Youth by Santigold
The Night by School of Seven Bells
Deeper by THEESatisfaction
No Hands by Mirel Wagner
Steamship Authority by Father Figures

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at info@whfr.org.  DIY forever baby!

Broad Strokes on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR)

Last month, I was on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR) for my monthly radio show Broad Strokes. I was flying solo as Calypso Sally, no live bands, just me and the tunes! Anyway, I played some new tunes that may be new to you. So check it out HERE.


Astronomic Club by Air
Cowboy by Bel Air
Prove It On Me by Bell’s Roar
Tracks (Tall Bodies) by Chelsea Wolfe
Nothing is News by Damien Jurado
Good Day Today by David Lynch
New Year’s Eve by First Aid Kit
White Picket Fence by Gonjasufi
Nikels and Dimes by Gonjasufi
Rainbow Kraut by The John Steel Singers
ShapeShifters by Invincible
For Those Things That Are Past by Let Fall The Sparrow
Morning Feedback by Magnetic Island
One Time by The Roots
Mike McDermott by Sharon Van Etten

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at info@whfr.org.  DIY forever baby!

My next show is on Wednesday, April 25 at 8:00pm, and I may have a very special surprise, so tune in. Also, thanks to everyone who voted for me on the drumming competition for women, Hit Like Girl. If you haven’t voted, you still can by going HERE.

The Meaning Of Life and I.

I haven’t been posting as regularly as I use too… Things change, again and again, but anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Broad Strokes 2012

It has been awhile since the last Broad Strokes broadcast… Broad Strokes is still alive and kicking it! In fact, there’s a show this Wednesday, February 29 at 8:00pm on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR). The first show for the year! And what better way to start your Broad Strokes listening off with a First Listen of new music.

This first show of Broad Strokes will test the waters of 2012, featuring new music by the band The Catskills. Presently, a nomad Americana band that you may have known as Object. Nomad, because after the release of Object’s EP, Tomorrowland, band members Eric Kramer and Maria Schettino decided to flee the out of control high stress, and accelerating rent of New York.

They freed themselves of their Brooklyn home, equipped with a practice and recording space, for the open air and more room to truly reflect. A reflection that translates a simplistic longing, that doesn’t beg for approval. Their music now, as Catskills, expresses the generosity that you’d find gripping you at night. Love exists between them, that a lone wolf wanders, and hopes to find in a howl.

Calypso Sally will be your conductor, as we travel and ask hard questions about putting out a record outside the Mecca of record making New York.

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at info@whfr.org.  DIY forever baby!

Back at It Again

Catch me on the air next Wednesday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. as dj Calypso Sally for my one hour show, Broad Strokes, of soulful tunes on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR). I’ll be doing my thang, digging deep from my mixed bag of music, playing new discoveries and perhaps some well known artists. Learn how to listen HERE.

Also, I’ll be reading from my manuscript, Cancelled Without Prejudice, on Saturday, May 7th for Fractious Press‘s May Fair event:

When: Saturday, May 7th
Where: Ding Dong Lounge, 929 Columbus Avenue between 105 & 106 Streets
Time: 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

In the meantime, here’s what you missed last month: LISTEN HERE.


Life PartnerTeams vs. Star Slinger
The SpaceMagnetic Island
Come My SunshineThe Comas
From the Grass DubSly & Robbie
Holy HolyWye Oak
Tonite is De NiteBrother Resistance
Strings of LifeThe Dirtbombs
Backyard BettySpank Rock
Whop Cocoyea – Shadow
Back to BackWolfgang
Puzzled by PeopleThe Streets
Love MoreSharon Van Etten

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at info@whfr.org.  DIY forever baby!

Also, if you’re in a band or know someone who is, and would like to be on the show, please email me at roarplanet@gmail.com.

Fever To Touch

Listen HERE to a song I wrote on the steelpan for a very special woman I met recently. The song is called FEVER TO TOUCH and there’s a poem that goes with it as well that I wrote awhile back called Everyone Should Know This. I’m hoping to turn the poem into lyrics for the song.

As you can tell, this woman had a huge impact on my senses, enough so that I’m still grieving over the loss of not getting to know her in the way I envisioned. 

I’m still thankful to have shared those moments that were gifts of kindness, an awakening… I felt like I could love, and be loved again. Maybe that was the point of our encounter, who knows. But I’ll keep the joy I felt close at hand as I walk these streets of uncertainty.

Art Exhibit and Broad Strokes

So, I put together a night of art with two amazing visual artists, Renee Valenti and Esther Hidalgo. It’s a mixed media exhibit with provocative post-modern paintings and avant-garde photography. We see through the eyes of these two women, as their work deals with the convergence of people, relationships, past and present.
Opening Night: April 1st
Time: 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Musical Guest: Libel
Where: Fort Useless, 36 Ditmars Street in Brooklyn, one block from the Myrtle Avenue/Broadway stop on the JMZ trains.
Esther Hidalgo likes to use antique and vintage processes to create contemporary works.  She received her B.F.A. in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art & Design.  Her photographs have been displayed throughout the East Coast and in private collections across the country. She lives and works in Washington, DC.
Artist statement: “You Were Here” is an on-going project documenting scenes of development and urban decay primarily throughout Washington DC. These compositions, taken between 2004 – Present, are meditations on urban life and the intersection between that which is known and forgotten. www.estherhidalgo.com.

Renee Valenti is currently working toward her B.F.A. at Pratt Institute and is looking forward to graduating in December 2011. Previously, she had been pursuing a career in acting, and has enjoyed the cross-over of performing to visual arts, but also seeing ways how they can influence each other. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC.
Artist statement: I have been working with recurring topics like relationships and sexuality, day to day human experiences and connections, or disconnect, with others. In some of these works the personal experience of life in the crowded urban environment, particularly New York, has definitely come into play. The squishiness and fluidity of oil paint on canvas, paired with classical techniques has been what I enjoy working with most; however I also explore other mediums such as paper and photography. www.reneevalenti.com


In other news, I will be on the radio, Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR), this coming Wednesday, March 30 at 8:00 p.m.

I’ve been in a downloading craze lately, mostly Soca and Calypso, but there’s also some Dub, and Indie Music, maybe even metal. Lol, we’ll see on Wednesday.

In the meantime, you can listen to the interview with Mindy Abovitz, Editor-in-Chief, and founder of TOM TOM Magazine, a magazine about female drummers, HERE scroll down to listen.

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at info@whfr.org.  DIY forever baby!

Also, if you’re in a band or know someone who is, and would like to be on the show, please email me at roarplanet@gmail.com.


Dust storm in NSW
Image by DabaYu via Flickr

In the mist of mistakes lies trimuph.
When optimism is all I have left to risk
giving way to hopes of a juniper night:
Holding you again. Wanting something
I can’t have whole. I struggle in pieces…

I started drinking my desires away around 4:00 p.m.
It didn’t help the crying, as my shoulders, drunken 
they weigh the hours and the minutes of this drought
silently anticipates seeing your golden eyes again
expectation wants nothing more than your kisses now.

Vulnerable to prays when I might be an atheist.
Prays for things out of my control, I meditate a howl
that is so quiet, but roars your name. Underneath bellows
relinquishing all the burdens of my travel through the fire.

Broad Strokes Wednesday, February 23 @ 8:00 p.m.

 Live Wednesday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR)‘s Broad Strokes, Calypso Sally will have special guest, Mindy Abovitz, Editor-in-Chief, and founder of TOM TOM Magazine, a magazine about female drummers.


Broad Strokes streams live off the web every last Wednesday of the month at 8:00pm. I, Calypso Sally, that’s me, try to play a broad range of genres, stretching from indie rock, pop, alternative, noise rock, hip hop, reggae, dance hall, metal, calypso, funk etc.  It’s sort of a mixed bag.  I also have live acoustic performances. But this month I have media extraordinaire Mindy Abovitz in the house.

She’s going to talk to me about TOM TOM Magazine, women taking over the drum world, the music scene in NYC versus abroad, and how open the media has been with a woman taking on a  predominantly male environment.  Full throttle, however, she is wiping out the old school mentality!

Mindy Abovitz is a musician and media maker from South Florida currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Masters in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research. She has been playing drums for 11 years and has taught at Rock Camp for Girls and Vibe Songmakers. Before starting Tom Tom Magazine, Mindy was an engineer at East Village Radio, worked at Main Drag Music, threw music shows at her loft The Woodser, and played drums for Taigaa, More Teeth, The Good Good, and other Brooklyn bands. In 2009 she started Tom Tom Magazine: A Magazine About Female Drummers because there wasn’t one and media representation of female drummers was poor. She has since put out 5 issues of Tom Tom and plans on putting women musicians in the front and center of the media because that is where they belong. She currently drums for Chica Vas.

A week of radness.

This week started off, well, great. I went and saw a show at the Knitting Factory, on the mother of all school nights, Monday.  But, it was an opportunity to listen to Object‘s new works live, catch-up with friends, and then as a cherry on top, reaquaint myself with The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a power trio out of Brooklyn, NYC.  I saw them maybe about two years ago, when the line-up included a female bass player, now changed to a dude on keys. 

They were on my 2008 list of bands I totally dug.    And I’ve been meaning to see them perform ever since that one show when they had blew my mind, so much so I bought all their cds. 

With their own sort of pyshedelic, punk, soulful grunge rock, you might suffer a head or neck injury from head thrashing to their music.  

Here’s the video I made of the Netherlands using my Flip:

I took a few shots:

Magnetic Island


On Wednesday, I had my radio show, Broad Strokes, on WHFR

 This month, I invited Magnetic Island, another fave of mine, to play a live acoustic set and they were freaking awesome. 

So gifted, just this week Magnetic Island dropped a demo that you can check out at Cash Music, and you can listen to the Broad Strokes broadcast here

And ah 1, 2, 3, 4…

play that guitar, hit that drum
grab your partner, pass de rum
forget de cost of living hike
forget how money tight.

grab your partner, spin her around
clap your hands, sing me a song
sing me something not too sweet
sing me something that feels my heat.

play that guitar, hit that drum
grab your partner, but pass me de rum
clap your hands, sing a song
nothing too sweet, but feels de heat.

forget de cost of living hike
forget how money so tight
lets dance to de moon light
lets dance til the morning light.


Note:  This is the second installment for what I think is a short story or something…  Not quite sure what it is.  Previous post: Seeker: Compos Mentis?


I’m not sure which trigger ignited the sparks that lead to the explosion. Maybe it’s the weather. I heard on Good Morning World that for most, the change in spells and the after the holidays time causes the dysphoric Black Bile affliction. Or maybe it’s the recurring nightmare  I’ve been having, where I’m being chased by vampires. Or maybe it’s of all these things: Weather, Black Bile, Vampires.

All I remember was my heart and my mind were in a race, which can go faster than my motions in real time. And he was there, louder and angrier than ever before.

“Well of-course.  You were feeding me elixirs all night.”
“That’s because you wouldn’t stop talking.”
“It’s what I do best hon. You wouldn’t clip a bird’s wings, or lock him up in a cage when flying is the best thing he can do? Or would you?”

It was 8:00am and Paramour was already dressed and trying to ignore the pace I was going at. I was rambling something with conviction, and she casually agreed. I felt her kissing my cheek, as I lay on the sleep levitator with my eyes closed, head hot with thoughts. I then heard the front door open and closed. I wanted to tell her not to leave me alone with him. But I didn’t want her to worry. I told myself to suck it up.

He was rummaging through all of the possible outcomes. Like a monkey, he swung on each thought, “First, you’d be relieved from your position and replaced.  After a month or so of no work, Paramour will leave you for Alex, the Information Scientist. LOL!. You’d have to move out, but where to? You’d probably end up like the homeless woman you see everyday at the teleport.  Hair all in a mess like it never ever saw a comb.  Dirty with duck tape wrapping around your infected leg.  And yes, you’d scream, dance, and do whatever for a sip. You know she’s probably around your age.  LMAO, destitution really sucks. Eventually, you’d lose it and assault a pedestrian. Then finally, you’d be banished. Now if you listen to me, things won’t have to go this far, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200 won’t even have to apply to you ever again.”

Knowing what his solution was, I decided to wave the analyst, “Hello, hello…,” and then my sonic Bluetooth chip lost the signal. I waved again, nothing. And again, until finally the analyst waved me back.

“Hello, Nicodemus?” Here is where everything becomes a blur. All I remember is my head overheating. And the door rang, and I was letting in five Robo-commandos.

I offered them coffee, and waved, “Do you like micro-organic eggs, scrambled micro-eggs?”  They were indifferent. But really, was it me, him, or the elixir that was offering Robo-commandos coffee, waving if they liked micro scrambled eggs?

“What does it matter now who offered them coffee? That future is dead.”

Getting down to the lobby area, the building’s super was waving with five more Robo-commandos. I wasn’t embarrassed then. No, in a strange way I was excited, but I wasn’t sure what I was excited about.

We were getting close to the door, and I was trying not to trigger my flight simulation program, where I run up the block as fast as Neo from the Matrix. So, I created a simple pop-up code in my mainframe, a cute funny distraction that waved, “I feel like one of our luminary deities needing protection from the Web-Paps with their web-cam eyes waiting to take ‘The Picture’.” One of the Robo-commandos however, read my mind and overrode the code I was using to distract them. He demanded that we wait in the lobby for the airbus’s arrival.

“Ha, like anyone ever outran a Robo-commando, at least not all 10 of them in a hail storm.”

On the airbus, I was incredibly chatty with the Robo-Emergency Action Figures (R-EAF). I was hoping to overload their inboxes with instant messages. I’ve never been that chatty even in a chat room with close friends.

“That’s because you could have never thought that up by yourself.  Using your tabs as an evasion tacit, to open up chat windows instead of going into a sleep mode that you thought could stop them…ROFL. Don’t fret I’m not going to tell. We’ve went through this before.”
“And did that really help? Like we could stop their advanced cookies from tracking those thought waves, as they run a diagnostic on my cerebral cortex.”

Even with all the pop-ups, they read those thought waves and they made their assessment, and gave no reply to my invitation for coffee that day. At some point one of them asked if I had anyone they should contact. I sonic waved Paramour of course. She was in high court when I interrupted with my inappropriate euphoria. She panicked as I laughed nonsensically.

Once I arrived at the Panopticon, I waited for my preliminary interview.  Robo-takers (RTs) did the interview. RTs never make eye-contact. The first RT ran a diagnostic on my mainframe. Questions, that I rudely re-routed to the RT’s inbox. Useless. I was becoming more anxious, looking for ways to escape.

Once the preliminary interview was over, I was whisked away to my second, where I was asked the same questions again. I gave them shit for the obvious lack of communication between their servers. I was becoming less charming and entertaining, and more irritable and a nuisance. I kept pushing their buttons while the RT scanned my body for any irregularities. They wanted to make sure I was healthy enough for the experiments that the Scientists were to perform. They discovered that my heart rate was unusually high. I joked that my unusual heart rate was due to probing overload. They asked if I used any accelerant RAM. “Never, only elixirs. Accels would completely overload my mainframe, and I’d crash,” I giggled. It was becoming difficult to sit still and to hold back the laughter.

They took my Earth shoes and gave me their socks with traction at the base. Then, they escorted me to the day room where the others were. The Panopticon was exactly what you’d think a Panopticon to be: with us, there were RTs locked inside the circular space of the Panopticon, and even though the watch tower wasn’t high above in the clouds, the eye was still capable of seeing everything. Somewhat like the eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings.

I was introduced to the head RT on shift. His face was emotionless and cold. I timidly walked into the day room where everyone was watching the news. There was a woman waving loudly in a thick Brooklyn accent, “I’m not going to stand this sort of treatment anymore. For 20 years they’ve been probing me. I know the Governor, wait until he hears about this.” Then this kid, who couldn’t be more than 18 yells back, “Shut up already!”
“All these probing, and experiments. For 20 years… I refuse this non-sense.”
“Well then go, no one wants to hear about it. Damn, yo!”
“Do you want an apple?” A guy with a huge scar across his face waved me. I didn’t dare look him in the eye when I waved no. “Hahaha, that’s because you were afraid. And he was completely harmless.”

Even though internally I was leaping out of my skin, I maintained all of the impulsive neurons signaling that I should start singing a song, like the one my mother sang everyday, “Oh what a friend we have in Jesus.” The giggling was insatiable, the worst to subdue. But I was still in control. I wasn’t going to give up. I remember the old woman at the CCRC. I started to giggle a little. I took a deep breath and mumbled. “I’m not going to give up on my mainframe.” 

“Maybe your mainframe will give up on you.  What then?  My solution is your best bet.”
“Just shut-up, alright.”

Knowing was terrifying. Knowing that anything can happen to me in the Panopticon. I had to get out and before sleep mode sets in. My head was throbbing badly. Like the walls of my skull were closing in on my brain. I waved to the nurse, “How long are they going to keep me?”
“If you do exactly what we say and take your control supplements, you will be out of here in no time.” I got the feeling that it was a hologram I was speaking to not a real nurse.

In the Panopticon you’re allowed 15 minutes on a regular payphone. I called the analyst, “You have to get me out of here. I don’t belong here, my mainframe is salvageable, but if I stay here it will die.”
“Nicodemus, do you remember our agreement. Do you remember the contract you signed? Well do you?”
“I do, I do, but this isn’t the time for contracts and who waved what. I can’t stay here.”
“I’ll see what I can do, but I’m not hopeful. The things the R-EAF discovered on your mainframe were disturbing.”
“Just try!”

I heard my entire title being waved, “Nicodemus of South America,” I turned, and it was the head RT.

“You have a visitor,” and he escorted me to the visitor room that was covered with spy-ware. It was Paramour. We embraced. She looked like she was about to break down. I held her firmly.
“Are you ok?”
“Yes, I just need to get out of here.”
“I spoke to the analyst… She doesn’t think they will let you go. The things on your mainframe makes it less likely. Do you remember what you waved?”
“No. I lost all the footage for some weird reason. It’s there but as soon as I try accessing those scenes, my memory starts skipping or freezes up.”
“Your mainframe is getting worse.”
“I know,” I snapped, and then quickly held her hand apologizing. She started to cry.
“Para, please don’t… Not here… I’m sorry you have to see me like this.”

Sneaker Lover

Saucony BlueIt’s no secret that I’m a sneaker and t-shirt enthusiast.  For me, outside of being in the nude, t-shirts, sneakers and jeans-wearing seems like the most practical and comfortable way of being.  But of-course it depends on what color, the humor, and the softness of the t-shirt; the cut and snugability of the jeans; and the subtle but yet fashionable walkability of the sneaker. 

So I bought two pairs of Original Saucony Jazz sneakers this week: a blue and grey/red.   Two, because of my phobia of a garment I like  being discontinued.  What kind of phobia is this?  I really would like to know. 

I love original Saucony Jazz sneakers. And for some reason I can’t play the drums in any other shoe.  This maybe because, by Saucony standards, the Original Jazz is “the most technical performance running shoe of its time.”  They’re just that comfortable.  I feel like my feet are cocooned in a firm but feathered cushion.  And it’s affordable, just $50 a pair. 

The Saucony Jazz collection came out in 1981, and soon became the company’s most popular shoe, and the cornerstone for the Saucony Original Collection.  I remember when I got my first pair.  I was a freshman living in a punk house in Maryland.  They were black and I wore the shit out of them: from class to stomping in a mush pit to my graduation.  I remember when they were on they’re last legs and I had to duck tape the sole.  Back then, $50 could of bought me a month’s supply of groceries: rice and beans, noodles, yogurt, fruit, coffee, beer, toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper.  Ahh, the good ole days.

This time I decided to stray from my safe colors of  black or blue, and I got a pair of these:

 Saucony Reds








I’m feeling the Army, too:

Saucony Army








Saucony Black/Oatmeal Vegan


And oh, these black/oatmeal (yes they’re called oatmeal) vegan!  Yum!Reminiscent of my vegan years, which wasn’t political or for health reasons.  I just didn’t care for meat, and since I’m not into cheese or milk, it was pretty easy.  Now, I’m just an omnivore.

Recession Chardonnay

Photo taken by me 🙂

Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards more of the “heavy” music, like metal, punk, and noise rock. I blame it all on a backlash behavior: rejecting the current trend of bubble-gum lo-fi recycled 80s pop music, that music reviewers and the dying dinosaur that is the music industry, are labeling as “rock”. They obviously don’t know the difference between heavy rock and some tame quasi folk/electronic dance song.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a space in my heart for folk songs and electronic music, especially the ones that dare to take some risks. Risk?  Because that’s all you got: guts and a blurring-the-line sense of humor.

Another reason I’ve been going heavy is that I feel like there’s so much to scream and be angry about.  We’ve been in a sort of zombie complacency, lackadaisical mummification, “I don’t care” state. A glaring example is the 8 years of having an idiot be a representative-leader for one of the most influential countries in the world (obviously, even in America fleeing monarchy and fascism is incredibly difficult).

One can argue that heavy doesn’t go with the current times that are affecting this incredible difficulty.   From the way we wear our hair to the very way we walk, this economic crisis was foreshadowed by the  however the cause was ignored. Maybe life should be concerned in a shift of what and when we want to recognize the fuckery? in the American way of being : a big, loud, bully is now passe.  Well maybe. We’re going green, even though going green doesn’t change the Manichean paradigm.

This world divided into compartments, this world cut in two is inhabited by two different species. The originality of the colonial context is that economic reality, inequality, and the immense difference of ways of life never come to mask human realities. When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident that what parcels out the world is to begin with the fact of belonging to or not belonging to a given race, a given species. The colonial world is a Manichean world. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 40, 41.

If what “parcels out the world is to “belong to a given race,” then in the same way that we are divided by color, we are as well divided by gender, sexual orientation, immigration… and whatever anew division we choose to distract ourselves with and call the enemy. And consequently, we’ll never understand ourselves.

Human social development will never be the foreground and continue we go on this path to perpetuate a Manichean pulse in contemporary live thought/living, never as a History left behind, never as a backward thinking.

Thus, I feel a great affinity towards yelling and fucking shit up! It’s very therapeutic. I recommend it completely; that and going up to a tree in the forest and screaming loudly. It’s good for you, try it.

Anyway, in no particular order, here’s a couple of bands helping me along the healing process. I thank them with all my heart for their insanity.

Life... The Best Game In Town
Life… The Best Game In Town

Harvey Milk‘s Life… The Best Game In Town. I was pleasantly surprised while searching for a review on the movie  Milk.  I discovered the metal band from Athens, Georgia. with the same name. Intrigued, I looked them up and was immediately hooked by their sound: a fusion of experimental, psychedelic, noise rock and sludge metal. Granted, I have never been one to find growling vocals appealing, but it’s different with Harvey Milk, maybe it’s the timber of purposefulness in the growl. Faves: Death Goes to the Winner, Decades, After All I’ve Done For You,…, We Destory the Family, Motown, Barnburner.




WizardryWizardry is a five piece NYC metal band, I saw for the first time at Trash Bar, and they were very entertaining. I highly recommend seeing them live, because they know how to put on a show. With their glam rock look and theatrics, and actual smoke machine, I was really impressed with their effort to make the stage their own. But they’re not just about theatrics and stage presence, these guys can play.  With intricate drumming, insane guitars, and strong vocals, Wizardry will definitely dazzle you with their magic.  I can’t wait for their upcoming album.



SpylacopaSpylacopa. Another NYC band, that a friend of mine turned me onto and to whom I’m now forever indebted. Spylacopa was just what I needed. When I played their debut EP on my ipod, I immediately knew that it was right, because they made meh pores raise (a saying from Trinidad, meaning, I got goose-bumps). With their skilled transitions and ample ability to switch genres in a fleeting second, a testament to their progressive sound, they’re at times noise rock delivered purpose and direction. An example would be when switching from the heavy, noise with a purpose tracks to the ambient piano/keyboard instrumental track, Together We Become Forever, and the very moody Sigur Rós sounding, I Should Have Known You Would. Faves: Bloodletting, I Should Have Known You Would.


Goes Cube Goes Cube. A noise rock power trio from you guessed it, NYC. My band actually had the great pleasure of playing on a bill with these guys, and they are awesome. They are a punishing combo of rock, punk and metal. Goodness! I remember the first time I saw them live, they made my ears bleed. I don’t think I ever regained the hearing I lost.


The Bedlam In GoliathMars Volta‘s The Bedlam in Goliath because it’s just brilliant. Mars is the epitome of progressive rock, they fuse latin/african, jazz, funkadelic beats with punk experimental rock. With orchestral musical arrangements, they take prog to a heightened level that when listening, you can’t help but think this is the electric version of classical music. It’s that multi-layered and expansive. I must admit I was a bit disappointed with their previous album, Amputechture.  I felt like it was way too abstract and I couldn’t grasp anything. Even though this may have been the point of the album, as an avid fan I couldn’t bear it. A buddy of mine shared the same feeling, up until he listened to Amputechture under the influence. Apparently, the album is less abstract while on drugs: everything makes more sense. It’s almost like what people said about some rock music back in the day, that it was evil and if you played the record backwards you’d hear the devil. Spooky. Anyway, The Bedlam in Goliath is a complete 360, my only criticism is that at times the repetition was a bit too much. Faves: Ilyena, Wax Simulacra, Goliath, Cavalettas, Askepios, Ouroborous, Memories.


Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern‘s This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. Probably one of the longest titles ever. I feel like I’m embarking on a study.  I’m listening to a dissertation for a sociological/cultural studies thesis, that sounds like a mixture of AC/DC, Erase Errata, and Stern’s very own powerful voice as a songwriter.  And what I’ve learn in the center is that I am it and my future is it!  Faves: Prime, Transformer, Shea Stadium, The Crippled Jazzer, Simon Says, Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.





Helms Alee
Helms Alee


Helm Alee‘s Night Terror. Helms Alee is an experimental, sludge metal, rock trio from Seattle Washington whose sound reminds me of the Twin Peaks soundtrack.  With their pensive moodiness, great melodies, and  hard wailing beats, mixed with at times delicate vocals, and then at others yelling,  Helm Alee makes me feel like they’re preaching (in a good way). I feel like obeying them as I shake my head yes, yes, YEAH!  I really hope they can visit NYC sometime soon.  Faves:Honestly all of them.   They capture most of the moments in my day to day.






Rock You! The Quest Continues

Here’s a few more bands/artists that rocked it in 2008 (previous post: This Time of Year):

The Roots
The Roots

The Roots‘s Rising Down. The Roots is my favorite hip hop band. Album after album, they’ve never lost themselves due to fame, however realized.  They kept true to their identity and have taken the hiphop art form to a whole new level, that no one in the genre has been capable of catching up too. The mere fact that they are an actual band makes them shine even brighter in my eyes.

Reminiscient of a Fela album cover, just by looking at Rising’s album art you’re given a feeling of rebellion.  A rebellion against the now status quo standing of a rap/hip hop album: the complacent cool of living it large.

I hear and feel the revival: the rush of wanting something other than what has been dealt, or what we make ourselves believe in. This feeling is ever so present in the song Singing Man. Singing Man evokes the traditional Sinnerman running but with no where to run to once the well has been sucked dry. This album brings us closer to that essence, of where and how Rap/Hip Hop began, before it’s quantification.  Once Sinnerman realized the profit in his asethetic: discounted as an individual, as a peoples stripped of everything, why turn back now when the reasons for looking back means reliving an ugly truth that everyone is petrified by and there’s no profit in that, well maybe. And the future that you dream is just as horrific, if you follow what is being displayed in contemporary media who devel in the fluff. We all ignore the backlash, just waiting to bloom with it’s brooding revenge. It’s already begun.

Rising Down is the renissance of Rap/Hip Hop. It looks back and embraces the struggles and fight of a peoples… Not only is Rising Down a rebellion against…. it is a celebration of this unapologetic freedom to reject….

Faves: Lost Desire, I Will Not Apologize, Rising Down, Singing Man, Criminal.

The Magnetic Fields
The Magnetic Fields


The Magnetic Fields‘s Distortion. This album reminds me so much of Jorge Borges‘s poem Mutations. Maybe it’s because I was reading the poem while listening to Distortion. Or maybe it’s because the album sounds like a mutated Joy Division, that’s been distorted into a noise pop pulp fiction soundscape that’s centered on well written, humorous ballads that I secretly snicker about in a dark corner.  I really enjoyed Distortion. So much so, that Please Stop Dancing is responsible for this poem: WordsFaves: Three-Way, Old Fools, Xavier Says, Please Stop Dancing, Too Drunk to Dream.



The Kills
The Kills


The Kills‘s Midnight Boom. The Kills is a electronic, rock, indie, pop duo, that I’ve been following  for sometime now.  With their lo-fi sound: danceable drum machine beats, dirty guitars, mixed with bluesy vocals and very catchy cynical lyrics, Midnight Boom is, maybe, my favorite of theirs.  Faves: U.R.A. Fever,  Last Day of Magic, M.E.X.I.C.O, What New York Used to Be, Night Train.





RockferryDuffy‘s Rockferry.  Like Adele, I consciously resisted Duffy when I first heard Rockferry at a Starbucks.  Fortunately for me, I got over my hypocritical snobbery, because this girl can sing some Motown soul.  Rockferry‘s sound maintains this back in the day lost love gospel with success, as you begin to grieve along with Duffy’s sorrowful vocal range.  You feel like crying too.  Faves: Rockferry, Warwick Avenue, Stepping Stone, Syrup & Honey, Hanging on Too Long, Distant Dreamer.




TV On The Radio
TV On The Radio


TV On The Radio, Dear Science.  Honestly, I don’t know what’s the big deal about this album.  Yes it’s good, but it doesn’t make meh pores raise (a saying from Trinidad, meaning, I got goose-bumps) as everyone is going on and on about it.   And when I say good, I mean this is a really well made and produced album, but there isn’t anything radically great as music reviewers ranting and cheers would have you believe.  It doesn’t change my hearing perspective or awareness, and maybe it’s because that wasn’t the album’s intent or maybe it’s just because there’s nothing new here.  If they’re not sounding like Seal or Eddy Grant, they’re playing Afrobeat and or Calypso music, like for instance the songs Crying, Dancing Choose, Stork & Owl, Golden Age, Red Dress all sound like a track from one of my favorite calypsoians, David Rudder or even Andre Tanker.   I did however appreciate the care and effort that these guys took into making this album.  I also appreciated their conscious lyricism that was critical of our current social and economic state, another aspect that makes me cling to the idea that Dear Science is a hybrid of a calypso album, because the very purpose of a calypsoian/calypso music is to critique and deconstruct the current events of society.  As much as I dig the fact that they’re mixing calypso and afrobeat into their sound, I still don’t get the hype, but then again music is so subjective.  Faves: Halfway Home, Golden Age, Family Tree, Red Dress, Love Dog.


The ComasThe Comas‘s Spells will cast a spell on you, as they combine great progessive 90s indie rock with dreamy, imaginative songwriting.  Even though this album came out in 2007, my bandmate, Maggie, and I can’t help but refer to this album on a rainy everything sucks and I’m bored day.  Unfortunately, the band is on an indefinite hiatus.  Faves: Red Microphones, I Am A Spider, Come My Sunshine, Stoneded, Sarah T., New Wolf.

New Song for the New Year

Telenovela Star
Telenovela Star

A couple of months ago, I met up with the other members of my band, just to hang-out and play some songs. We’ve been on a hiatus from playing out and practicing, since we’re practically broke and looking for employment and better lives (the real, on-going telenovela).  This has been a really difficult year for so many, not just us.  So good riddance 2008.

Anyway, we’ve been needing some sort of release for some time now, and meeting up just to play, not our set or unfinished songs, just to play loudly like we didn’t give a shit anymore, and feel the frustrations, the beast, bleed out.  This release felt like the best sort of cure for the thwart that’s been illing, suffocating us for some time now.

Of course I was late on the day, which sucked, because it takes forever to set a kit that’s not your own up, especially when it’s a piece of shit kit.  If anything this is a good metaphor for life:  never set-up or play anybody else’s piece of shit kit. 

Anyway, Maggie was fooling around on the keyboards, and Hanna on her bass. I quickly tried to set the mouse trap of a kit up. It was my worst set-up time ever: half an hour! After doing a three week residency at the Delancey earlier this year, I could set-up in like 5 minutes, 10 tops. Well, that was mostly nervous adrenaline, mixed with shots of Red Bull.

We were just messing around, spur of the moment playing, and then we started talking about this metal band that shared the studio space next door to our old studio, and how awesome we thought their musical arrangements were (lately we’ve been getting into metal). Maggie started talking about how she wanted to write a grave song, and of course that just started it all. Hanna started jokingly singing about loving a lover from the grave, while Maggie was playing on the keys, a blues progression to match Hanna’s bass and vocals. I came in with a slow blues beat, and it went straight to hell after that. We were so excited.  We had to play it again, and this time record it. We were hooked on what we had made, it felt so good. It honestly felt like a drug rushing through my veins.

We couldn’t get the melody out of our heads, even after our session at the studio ended. We kept humming this sketch, it was like a nursery rhyme. We just kept singing it over and over again, all through the streets of Manhattan’s Port Authority, laughing when one of us added a scandalous line to the lyrics.

I raced home hoping Hanna had emailed us the short recording of the song. I remember I couldn’t sleep that night, and for once it was for a positive reason. I kept giggling like a kid about our night, and the song. Ha! my poor lover, she puts up with so much. Luckily, she didn’t kick me out the bed that night. 

Anyway, we never had a chance to meet again before the holidays to flesh the song out, but Hanna did this incredible just keyboard version of it at home.

The name of the song is Carcass of Pleasure, our attempt at a metal song, well the lyrics are metal, but the melody is more blues, pop maybe? You decide.

After listening to Carcass, I suggest listening to Something In the Middle (see previous post) right away (on loud speakers, and dance around in front of a mirror, I do it all the time in just my underwear, and a broom as my microphone), since they sound so good together.

Enjoy, and as Yo! Majesty says, Never be afraid… Let the music set you free!

Listen to here: Carcass of Pleasure

This Time of Year

Yup, it’s that time of year for list making and the best ofs…

But during this time of worry, wondering if my job is going to be there tomorrow, I’ve found this activity to be quasi healthy, as it perpetuates hopefulness. A promise. Something that I’m terrible at.

“Any tiny positive thing is good,” so says my lover, the Buddha. So, in an attempt to be hopeful about the future, I’ve created my list of favorite songs, and albums for 2008. Because as much as I make fun of her Buddha remarks, my lover is semi right. Reflecting on your favorite things, what makes you laugh, smile a little, that brings you joy is worth making a list of and keeping in your empty pocket, or maybe on your ipod.

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite songs and albums, that kept me alive in 2008:

OBJECTObject’s Black Swan, because these kids reek awesomeness, especially live. I saw their last show for the year this past Friday night, and they did all new stuff, with the inclusion of their unrecorded and my favorite, Disappear. Most of their new stuff is instrumental metal, a new direction (maybe?), which began as a Halloween side project. These kids are sickly talented, and I can’t wait to hear what they bring in 2009. See previous post here: Object. Listen: OFF THE RECORD

THE NETHERLANDSThe Netherlands‘s BDF-German Hardcore, because they’re effin crazy, and their songs remind me of James Brown: some soul meets rock, meets noise possibly? My faves: Teenage Sun, BDF-German Hardcore, Warleola!, The Gogo Dancer, and The Cocain Knightz. This is a great band. I can’t wait for their insanity to explode. Listen: BDF GERMAN HARDCORE

YO! MAJESTYYo! Majesty‘s Kryptonite P***y EP and Futuristically Speaking… Never Be Afraid. Some of the words, and phrases I associate with Yo!: Risk Takers, Unapologetic, Dynamism, Hott, Scandalous, Blasphemous… Scandalous and Blasphemous because isn’t that what makes 2008 especially special? When we think about all our leaders being caught in the act, and all these words become attached to their behavior. Like “phenomena”, as if they’ve created a new trend. I wonder sometimes what exactly is phenomenal about what they’re doing, especially when they can get away with it. These guys, however, Yo! Majesty, push the queer in funkadelic, rap, hiphop. Added to this mix and their in your face lyrics Yo! fuses Soca and Club music, making their sound completely sick. Faves: Break Bread, Kryptonite P***y, Night Riders, Hott, Grindin’ And Shakin’, Never Be Afraid.

SWATI Swati‘s Big Bang. This is probably one of the most uplifting songs I’ve listened to in awhile. It makes me feel electric from my finger-tips to my toes. I walk to work imagining that I could play guitar like it was my sword, singing the lyrics like they were a spell, ready for whatever awaits me…

RENIMINBIRenminbi‘s The Phoenix. Renminbi, pronounced REN-MIN-BEE, is an experimental three piece, that kept changing drummers on me. My band had the opportunity to play with these guys, and they’re amazing: both as musicians and human beings. For me that’s all it takes. My faves: Lachine, Fight Song, Siren, The Shore. Listen: SIREN

pianowire1 Pianowire‘s The Throws, still gives me goose bumps, or as we say in Trinidad, make meh pause raise. So good. They’re a mixture of Elton John, Billy Joel and Queen. I also love Contact. These guys are coming out with an album soon. Listen: THE THROWS

Holy FuckHoly Fuck‘s Royal Gregory, because you couldn’t be in a much better mood after listening. It’s a great mixture of electronic, experimental and rock music. See, it’s very possible to like electronic music, once it’s done well and it’s not repetitive. Another band that I appreciate a lot, that does the same (bridging the gaps between electronic, experimental and rock) are the Battles.

The CoolLupe Fiasco‘s The Cool is supposedly an antithesis to Miles Davis’s Birth of Cool and if I may the Cool Jazz movement, as it critiques and decontructs the current “cool” state of hip hop (a derivative of bebop jazz) which no longer challenges the status quo, discusses social issues, but again and again chooses to be distracted by the bling and pussy.  Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem We Real Cool also comes to mind when listening to this album:

We Real Cool


We real cool. We
Left School. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.