Friday, June 29, 2007

minor update

havent blogged in a while. been rather lost in this country. lost in countless moments i know ill wish i took better advantage of in the future. i do feel like every day i'm living the nostalgia thatll distract me at my next job, wherever that is. but while im here, the story goes like this...

this guy, William Morales, plays just about every hand made indigenous instrument ever invented. this clip is only a fraction of his talent.

carlito sway, executive producer of a colombian hip hop documentary and compilation album.

mosko fly, fyah fox and dynomite (incredible reggae band)

DJ blanko, a passionate dj here in bogota, specializing in rare underground funk and quality hip hop..

dj okze´s mpc 60 vs my mpc 500 at chopshop studios

dj pho´s casa.

i've spent the past several weeks(months really), following the invisible current to wherever it happened to lead me. the stories ill organize later, the music i can barely keep up with, theres so much, and the views i catch when i can with this 2nd hand camera ive got.

but i also understand that every adventure has to come to an end. it only makes sense. it wouldnt be what it was if it lasted forever. the moments of clarity wouldnt be what they are if they werent surrounded by periods of confusion. you have to get lost in order to be found. and my computer had to break for some reason too...although i honestly havnt figured out the lesson there.

what i have realized is that i seem to be happiest in all the places i've traveled either just after i arrive, or right before i leave. cant figure out why im like that. as much as i love staying, and really getting to know a place, when your time is tend to value it more.

vacations are cool because its empowering and equally fun to drop in on foreign lands, knowing you wont be there tomorrow, no reputation to feel obliged to, and so naturally tend to have more fun, reinvent yourself, do bold things that you normally wouldnt do. try new things, talk to new people, dance, smile and laugh out loud. do whats innappropriate. whats not expected.

when you actually live somewhere...its different. yes, you can meet more people and build more meaningful contacts than the here today, gone tommorow type of traveling, but eventually all the buildings which were once so magnificent, all the sunsets you wanted to call home about, and the interesting characters you found everywhere simply become things you barely notice on your way to work.

strange thing about bogota is that its nearly 2,600 meters high in the sky. i dont know how many feet that is...but i can tell you that im at eye level with the clouds. i fall short of breath quickly when walking up hills and stairs, and again, the views are something that make me wish my good camera never broke.

6 months ago, this was a place i barely knew existed. Colombia went from being a random spot on the map i was as indifferent to as any other country really (with my shameful american sense of geography), to becoming a place filled with countless memories, images and stories. all of this could have easily been foods i never tasted, friends i never met, and stories i never took part in. whatever its worth, at least now i know.

saludes a todo

Thursday, June 7, 2007

published again

You can pick up WAxPoetics issue 23 in Borders, Barnes and Nobles, or I interviewed and wrote about soul group RAMP, who Tribe Called Quest sampled for the classic tune, ´Bonita Applebum´. Check it out, most of all enjoy (its an excellent magazine).

Monday, June 4, 2007

free music from Taganga, Colombia

my boy Stevie asked a question i should have asked myself a long time ago-- why not share some of music ive been picking up on the blog.

problem solved. if you click the link below, it should allow you to stream or download a song Rolando played for me live on the beach, in Taganga, on the northern coast of Colombia. a paradise in its own special way. enjoy.

Rolando Sanchez

PASTO-hip hop conference

I'm in Pasto, a city deep down on the southern coast of Colombia, just above Equador. I produced a few songs for a group here in Cali, Rimadores de Silencio, and therefore was invited to the event.

A weekend full of forums, concerts, parties and lots of events. but i'll admit the most of the valuable experiences occured in the time in between. The conversations, learning new slang, sharing music, joking around, wandering around the city.

up in the mountains.

Somehow I was convinced into participating in a panel discussion....

Although I barely speak Spanish, and i'm not one for public speaking, I accepted-not knowing that the event was going to be televised and that every hip hop fan in Pasto was going to be there that evening.
The form was your typical one-community leaders working with kids and artist to make a change, educate, discuss culture, discuss music.

from my "sometimes-i-work-sometimes-i-dont" camera.

Hip Hop.... matter how much it resemebles noise at times, is such a powerful culture. For me, at least, It's an excellent gateway to people's stories. These emcees are nothing but young poets. Some, I believe more talented than writers in ivy league schools. Others, not so much...but cut from the street and given no other outlets, so they use it as a tool to have their voices heard.

same thing with salsa, bossa nova, jazz, rock, reggae....history repeating itself.

AFter Parties.

when we first got to the afterparty, i walked to the bar to ask for some wine and a few cups, nothing more. the bartenders eyes lit up as he shook my hand and welcomed me to his club. He then told me that my money was no good there, and asked me to have a seat as though he were lucky to know me and not the other way around. Of course, I played along and got free drinks all night ..but i did feel guilty for a split second or two.

And then later on, during a conversation with one of the emcees in the group, I was interrupted by another kid, who timidly approached us and politely asked for autographs. I am, by no means famous, and at this point all the attention was becoming slightly rediculous to me. I wanted to be real with him and tell him I wasn't the one who should be signing his poster, but the excitement on his face, and the look of admiration from his brother who stood watching his sibling meet some 'artists' stopped me. I think i realized, at that moment, how much this stuff means to some people. So I shook his hand, asked his name, listened to his aspirations for a few minutes, and signed the autograph.

my 15 minutes are up, i enjoyed them.

and i just finished "100 years of solitude". so good, ive already started re-reading it.