Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hello Wednesday!

For each of us alive today, we have a world within us, as well as a world without. One might define our interior world as being made up of our physiological self...organs and life systems that allow every living creature to be alive. In addition to this, humans, especially, reach another level of within, as our minds allow us to consciously think. Our conscience allows thoughts and ideas to bounce around "inside" of our heads. There are those who get so far lost inside of their heads that they lose touch with the outside world. There are times when I feel that way. I have had times throughout my life where my waking consciousness so influenced my "within", causing my dreams to manifest those thoughts in such a real way, that upon waking, I cannot tell if what "happened" was within me or without me. My paternal Grandparents were both born prior to 1920. My grandfather was born in 1905 and my grandmother in 1916. My grandmother is about to celebrate her 98th birthday! Unfortunately, over the last year, she suffered several strokes...but up until then, she continued to live by herself, in her own home, taking care of herself (with the help of my Aunt & parents, when needed). Once the strokes started, her mind started to slip. It seems that there are moments of complete clarity, mixed with moments of accusations based on "imagined" (but real to her) concerns. Firstly, I cannot imagine what it must be like to be near 100 years old. Second, I most certainly cannot imagine what it must be like for her to live in a world, by and large, that she cannot relate to. After all, she was born before computers and cell phones, before television sets were de rigueur for every household that could afford one, even before electricity and plumbing infrastructure was the norm. The world we live in today is so greatly different than the one she grew up in and yet, she exists in this place where her without cannot be more different than her within. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this juxtaposition and what it must be like to look for ways to relate. I suppose that is why, as we grow old, many of us look for the familiar and surround ourselves with that. I have also thought a lot about what it is like for those who suffer Alzheimer's or other degenerative brain disorders. It really calls to question how do we define reality? Is reality within us or without us or, maybe, somewhere in between? Should reality be defined for us if our brain has degenerated enough not to be able to "comprehend" what is without? Or perhaps, what is within is what really matters when you reach that point. There is a saying: "You can make your own reality". On the surface, this seems like a very simple comment and offers positive reinforcement, but when I think on it, there are a lot of doors that open onto questions that open onto other questions and I am off, spinning. What is reality? For that matter, and the ultimate question in my mind, why the need to define?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts

Something happened over the weekend that spawned a thought process in my mind. Saturday night, I, along with 4 friends and fellow DJ's, played records for our monthly party that we call WHERE IT'S AT! ( All of us had a great time playing records, dancing and enjoying the general good vibe of the venue and our friends who had come out to support. Unfortunately, someone decided to crack that good energy in half and slip us an anonymous note, basically commenting on our skillz in a negative way, as well as calling what we're doing "hipster B.S.". Instead of coming up and introducing themselves to us and then talking to us about what we do and then maybe offering up their constructive criticism, we got that note filled with negative commentary. I would like to be the first to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I do believe this to be 100% true. As many humans as there are on Earth is the same amount of different perceptions you will find. Of course, we all gravitate towards other humans who perceive things along the same lines as we do and that's how we are able to create friendships and bonds. We cannot expect to please each and every person who might show up to the bar where we are playing records, nor can we expect to please each and every person in all of the things we do on a day to day basis. My frustration lies in the negative approach to offering criticism and the need to "define" things based on personal perception & bias. But therein lies the ultimate problem in humanity...language. Language is a necessity in human functionality, but it is also limiting in the fact that each word in our vocabulary is a definition. Everything we see, feel, hear & touch is "defined". And there are those humans out there who choose to abuse the privilege of language and connect words in ways that produce negative feelings, energies and intentions. I feel that each human looks for ways to define themselves, but may not always be appreciative of the kinds of definitions others might put onto them. The moment our lives are conceived, the defining starts. Before we are even born, we are defined by our gender, our ethnicity and a variety of other societal preconceived perceptions. Once born, we are then defined by our weight, height, hair & eye color, spoken language and then the continuous details that will forever add on to the original basic list. Irony is found in this continuous defining. We want to "belong", yet we want to be "individuals". I do believe that no matter how we define ourselves, that those outside of us will define us in completely different ways. I also believe in the multifaceted make-up of each individual human, based on the idea: "there is the person who we think we are; the person others think we are; and the person who we really are". I believe that the person who we really are is hiding somewhere between the person we think we are and the person others think we are....but then again, the question arises, why the need to define?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm BACK! & part of the VAMP music*art*consignment team!

Hello Friends! WOW...that was a long hiatus. A lot has happened since April. Some crazy things, some stressful things, many fun things and some BIG things! Namely, I have joined the team at VAMP music*art*consignment in Oakland in a BIG WAY! If you haven't heard about VAMP, check out the Facebook page to see what we're all about: We are open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from noon until 6pm. We are a vintage vinyl record store made up of both consignment and shop owned offerings. We specialize in Black music from the 1940s-1980s, specifically Jazz, Soul, Gospel, R&B and Blues. We carry LPs, 45s, 12" singles, etc. We are always getting in new stuff, so be sure to check back often and keep an eye on our FB page for the best news!

We recently started making lists of new stock coming into the store. Check out the list below for tons of great titles that you will have the opportunity to buy starting this weekend! And as a matter of fact, VAMP is the location and setting for a play that is currently being put on the the All Terrain Theatre group ( Opening night is tonight! (Thursday night), with shows Friday and Saturday night, as well as Thur/Fri/Sat for the next 2 weekends. Shows start at 8pm with a couple ending at 10pm and a couple additional ones extended to midnight with a little after party! The storefront will be open during these times for your shopping pleasure, so come in for these special hours to get the first choices of the new stuff! Hope to see ya there!

Okay, here's the list of new stuff! **Breaking news!** Hitting the shop this weekend! Lots of excellent 70s and early 80s soul, funk & boogie records from this collection! Mostly all in excellent condition and priced to move! Check it here:

5 Stairsteps & Cubie Love's Happening
Al Hudson and The Soul Partners Spreading Love
B.T. Express Energy To Burn
B.T. Express Non-Stop
Bar-Kays Light Of Life
Bill Summers and Summers Heat Straight To The Bank
Bill Withers Menagerie
Bill Withers Still Bill
Bill Wolfer Wolf
Billy Paul War Of The Gods
Billy Paul Let 'Em In
Billy Paul 360 Degrees of
Billy Paul First Class
Billy Paul When Love Is New
Billy Paul Only The Strong Survive
Bloodstone Do You Wanna Do A Thing?
Bloodstone I Need Time Bloodstone I Need Time
Bloodstone Unreal
Bobby Caldwell Carry On
Bobby Womack Lookin' For A Love Again
Bobby Womack Understanding
Breakwater Self Titled
Brenda and The Tabulations I Keep Coming Back for More
Brother To Brother Let Your Mind Be Free
Casiopea Eyes of the mind Cheri Murphy's Law - 12" Single
Chic Self Titled
Chocolate Milk Blue Jeans
Chocolate Milk Self Titled
Chocolate Milk We're All In This Together City Limits Circles
Collage Get In Touch With Me/When You Smile - 12" Single
De La Soul Saturdays
Dee Dee Bridgewater Just Family
Deodato Happy Hour
Detroit Emeralds I'm in Love with You
Digital Underground Kiss You Back
Donald Byrd & 125th Street, NYC
Double Exposure I Got The Hots For Ya (Salsoul 12" Single)
Double Exposure Ten Percent
D-Train You're The One For Me
D-Train You're The One For Me - 12" Single Eddie Holman I Love you
Enchantment Journey To the Land Of…
Enchantment Once Upon A Dream
Enchantment Self Titled
Faith hope & Charity Self Titled
Faze-O Riding High
Floaters Self Titled
Flora Purim Nothing Will Be As It Was…Tomorrow
Freddie Hubbard Splash Funk Deluxe Self Titled (Salsoul)
Funkadelic One Nation Under A Groove
Gene Page LoveLock
Gene Page Love Starts After Dark
George Duke Dream On
Gregg Diamond Bionic Boogie
Heaven & Earth That's Love
High Energy Steppin' Out
House Party Soundtrack
House Party Why You Get Funky On Me - Soundtrack Single
Impact Self Titled
Invisible Man's Band Really Wanna See You Jackson Five Dancing Machine
James Brown The Original Disco man
Jean Carn Sweet & Wonderful
Jeffrey Osborne Don't Stop
Jerry Butler & Brenda Lee Eager The Love We Have
Lenny Williams Spark of Love
Lets Clean Up The Ghetto Comp
Lisa Stanfield All Around The World
Manchild Power and Love
Marlena Shaw Sweet Beginnings
MFSB Summertime
Mike & Brenda Sutton We'll Make It - 12" Single
Norman Connors You Are My Starship Norman Connors This Is Your Life O'Jays Meet The Moments Self Titled
Originals Green Grows the Lilacs
Parliament Mothership Connection
Parliament Funkentelechy
Patrice Rushen Anthology of…
Pharoah Sanders Love Will Find A Way
Phyllis Hyman Somewhere In My Lifetime
Phyllis Hyman Self Titled
Public Enemy Night Of The living Baseheads
Ramsey Lewis Routes
Raydio A Woman Needs Love
Richard Evans Self Titled
Rick James Stone City Band
Rick James Fire It Up
Ronnie Laws Friends & Strangers
Ronnie McNeir Love's Comin' Down
Rose Royce Fresh Cut
Roy Ayers I'm The One
Roy Ayers No Stranger To Love
Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan Self Titled
Seawind Self Titled
Silk Get On Up - 12" Single
Slave Showtime
Stanley Turrentine Pieces of Dreams
Starpoint Hot To The Touch Starpoint Say You Will 12" Single
Starpoint Have You Got What It Takes
Starpoint I Want You - You Want Me - 12" Single
Starpoint Sensational
Tavares Madam Butterfly
T-Connection Totally Connected
T-Connection Pure & Natural
The Blackbyrds Better Days
The Choice 4 On Top Of Clear
The Choice 4 Self Titled
The Delfonics LaLa Means I Love you
The Dramatics Joy Ride
The Jamaica Boys Spend Some Time With Me - 12" Single
The Miracles Do It Baby
The Miracles City Of Angels
The Moments Look At Me
The O'Jays In Philadelphia
The Originals Portrait of…
The Temptations House Party
The Trammps III
The Tymes Tymes Up
The Undisputed Truth Higher Than High
The Whatnauts Help Is On The Way - 12" Single
Third World Arise In Harmony
War Galaxy/Junkie To My Music - 12" Single
Wes Montgomery The Best Of Wes Montgomery Bumpin' Willie Hutch Fully Exposed
Your Arms Too Short To Box With God Soundtrack
Zapp Computer Love - 12" Single

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today's Inspirational Quote

...courtesy of Thelonius Monk:

“I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want — you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing — even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.”

COLOR. By Tom Sachs

Great video about color theory by artist Tom Sachs.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time for another VAMP SOUND OUT! - Young Birds Fly!

The friendly proprietors at VAMP music and art are opening up the doors and stage for another SOUND OUT! Coming up on March 10th, we will be welcoming 4 great bands/performers from the Seattle, WA area. The party starts at 7pm. As usual, BYOB/BYOFood. There will be plenty of time to shop for records, too (extended hours in the shop!)! We look forward to unveiling an improved performance space for this event! Hope to see you there!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012 7:00pm until 10:00pm
7:00: Bobby Jo Valentine (30 minute set)
7:40: Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount (40 minute set)
8:30: The Jesus Rehab (40 minute set)
9:20: Soul Mechanix (40-50 minute set)

The fun happens at:
VAMP art*music*consignment
547 Athol Ave.
Oakland, CA 94606

Facebook invite:!/events/190371244401791/