Lynne d Johnson



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09.09.02 11:35 PM

whut the deal?

It seems that since 911 is so close that I have become somewhat melancholy. The summer is ending, though the weather in New York is sticky humid. Weekends have been wonderful, though I have often forgotten the digital camera to document some of the happenings. For instance, went to watch DJ spooky play at the close of PS1's summer events called Warmup. Sorry I missed the rest of these this summer, it was a wonderful affair with an interesting multi-culti crowd. Don't know whose bright idea it was to have juggling balls on the dancefloor though, because a terrible ball throwing fight ensued. Folks had fun anyway, laughing, talking, dancing to electro funk, throwing balls, and surveying the museum's artworks.

That was last weekend, the same weekend that a new Kenwood stereo system and speakers were put into the car. The same weekend I bought the 12-year-old niece a cell phone. Yeah, everyone else thinks it was a crazy idea too. But she will be doing a lot of traveling alone, and times have changed. I feel safer that she can contact the fam when she is going to and from school. That weekend I also went to a friend's late night BBQ on a rainy night. Ended up playing DJ on his disc changer. I seemed to be the only one interested in keeping the affair moving on the musical tip. We reminicised to De La and ATCQ, and even got into a dance circle and pulled out our old school dances. Funny when folks ain't afraid to show their age. One partygoer even remarked that we reminded her of her aunts and uncles when they say, "Hey, remember this step? We used to get down."

Although a rainy weekend, it didn't stop the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day. Yeah, I caught the tail end of that one. Without camera. Not being able to run into the street behind a float and jump up kind of got me down, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

The past week, I had a terrible cold so this past weekend was light. A few sips of vodka cleared me up enough to believe I could go out dancing. So I did. Presently, I am feeling lethargic though. The cold still being in my system. And then, with 911 two days away, I don't know, I just feel kind of out of it.

Waiting for the new site design, and about to work on moving—at least the newer pages— of the diary over to MT. Otherwise I am just chilling and waiting for the next thing to happen. I don't really feel I have much to talk about or share nowadays. Sure, I'll be teachng two courses this semester, one on race and ethnicity, and another—a study skills course that makes use of technology. And someone contacted me saying they wanted to obtain the rights to "Independent Black Filmmakers Take on Hollywood: The Distribution of Black Films" for publication in the next edition of Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture.

I guess I just haven't wanted to talk much lately. That is why I missed out on talking about my phone interview with Meshell last month, or my dinner interview with Toure a couple of weeks ago, or even my recent drinks with Amneh, a lovely Palestinian/Egyptian woman I met on my favorite listserv that I have been posting to for about a year. And I haven't even mentioned what I thought about xXx, Signs, or Undisputed. Maybe I just have a case of burn out. Or...

Not in a funk, but simply thinking that a lot of things are better left unsaid. Or maybe even that someone else can say them better. At least that is how I feel right now. So instead, I choose to share information and act as a media disseminator.
musicians as sharecroppers
Khary Kimani Turner has an on-point analysis of the relationship of music artist to the recording industry at the Detroit Metro Times. He says:
"Music may be the only major industry in America without organized representation for skilled laborers - artists."

and then:
"When you think independent, think ownership. As in, masters, mine. Publishing, mine. Think Tha Row. Think Prince. Makes you wonder who's really shinin', doesn't it?"

"The lesson here is, if you want to be an artist, don't be Toni Braxton or Tevin Campbell, performers who could sing their asses off, but didn't write or produce. Don't be Aaron Hall, who sang likewise, but for some ungodly reason, trusted someone to be custodian to his property. Unless these talented artists invested their tour money wisely, they're nine-to-fivin' it again."

the solution:
In his words, artists need to unionize themselves to really make any money from a recording career. Makes you wonder, as he said, whether all that bling really blings? I mean, at the end of the day, who owns the bling?

And since I have been praising Timbaland here, I might as well big up "Ching Ching Ching," featuring Ms. Jade and Nelly Furtado. Pure banging. Some honorable mentions coming soon.

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