Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anti-Semite Watch #2

When anti-Semitism strikes, the world usually reacts with disgust. There are cries of "in this day and age" and "that can't possibly happen in this day and age," and so on and so forth. And while I do take comfort in the collective disapproval of hatred, there is another far more disturbing reality to the way the world reacts: they forget. It seems for all the disgust and shock the world expresses when anti-Semitism strikes, it is constantly looked at as an isolated innocent, to be deplored, and then sadly, ignored. And this is truly disgusting, for if it were not for the short term memory of the world at large, perhaps we could wipe out this scourge once and for all.

And so, it is both disturbing and hurtful I must enter another post in this series. I long hoped Anti-Semite Watch would be another one of my many dropped series, such as Biggie Week and America Week which never lasted a full week. This series of posts I would only write when confronted with the ugliness head on, and I prayed the incident at the Comet Cafe would be the last time this sickness of the mind reared its ugly head around me. I was wrong. But again, I should have known. 2000 years of hatred does not stop after you rally the world over the wrongs of a comment in a coffee shop.

Date: Feb 20, 2010 4:55 AM
Location: Travis Kiewel's Apartment Greepoint, Brooklyn

After attending a surprise birthday party for an old friend, I went across town to meet up with some other friends at a different party. On the way in, I spotted a few friends leaving. I stopped them, and Travis told me they were headed to a bar and I should meet them after leaving the party. I thought nothing of one of the girls in his group. She was in a group of my friends, her morality was never called into question.

My girlfriend and I spent a short time at the party and then headed to the bar to meet our friends. As it was close to closing time and they wouldn't let us in, Travis suggested we all have a beer at his apartment before calling it a night. Again, not knowing of the horrendous incident that would shortly occur, I immediately agreed. Travis' apartment was only a few short blocks away, and we stopped at a bodega to buy a few beers. We all pitched in a few dollars, but as these things usually are, some people wind up throwing down a dollar or two more. It is the way it is. The girl whose name shall not be mentioned did not contribute any money, but did at one point, while I handed over a five, shoot me a look. I did not know this at the time, but the look contained a judgement, a judgementt of the Jew and his frugality. I find this unacceptable for someone to call me cheap for paying for something they are going to consume when they have not paid anything for it. Perhaps I was mistaken by this look, or perhaps the look was an anti-Semitic trick, a trick to get me mad and make me think she's mad at me for paying so little when she's not paying anything thus only bringing the Jew and his cheapness to the surface. I never said anti-Semites were not intelligent. They have tricked the public and they can trick the Jews.

After arriving at Travis' apartment, we all had a very good time. Friends talking with friends. We enjoyed camaraderie and had meaningful, heartfelt conversations with one another. The girl whose name will not be mentioned was from Germany, and told us stories of Berlin. I for one love Berlin, and listened intently. When she left, she asked where she could find a cab, and I said we should call her one so she would not have to wait outside, or walk alone, as a woman, in a so so area. Again, I showed nothing but kindness to this woman.

She called the cab, and when she left, she grabbed her bag, put on her coat, and walked to the door, only one more second and this would have never happened, but she turned around. I still was not expecting it. But the anti-Semite can not resist! They must always spew their evil poison.

"You know who you look like?"
"No, who?" And at this point, I, the fool, am still not expecting filth from her mouth!
"Like the Jew we have on tv in Germany. A Rabbi Shmuley."
"You know this man?"
"Yes I know this man."

And she was out the fucking door. For one, I don't look like Rabbi Shmuley. We both have beards and eyes, but the similarities end there.
And I find it hard to believe, any person hailing from Berlin, a city with the fastest growing Jewish population anywhere in Europe, would see me as the second Jew they've ever seen, after Rabbi Shmuley.

Some interesting facts:
1. There was a laptop computer on the premise that was in use. While others were talking, Jeff and I showed each other both new Internet clips new rap songs, cause that's what we do. We are dorks for sure, and let a person make fun of us for that, for who we are, not what we are. But the point being, with a computer, Rabbi Shmuley's likeness can be looked up immediately, yet she choose to make this comment on the way out the door! If I were to tell someone they looked like someone questionable, and there was a computer on premise, I would point out the ease of looking up the person's face to see for yourself.
2. I mentioned I liked Berlin. Perhaps this was a motivating factor. In Berlin, many residents are concerned with the influx of Turkish immigrants, but their hostilities have also been focused on recent Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. In fact, one could argue, their new found, xenophobic hatred of the Jews SHOWS A VERY SHORT TERM MEMORY ON THEIR PART. Hearing my love for Berlin, she decided to let me know I was not welcome there.
I have other theories on what inspired this terrible outburst, perhaps she was upset my girlfriend is not Jewish and feared race mixing on our part, or perhaps she had read so much Nazi propaganda on the sexual deviance of the Jewish male and on seeing I had a girlfriend, especially one far more beautiful than her, realized she would only read about these things.

The theories are countless but of course, none of them justify the action. There are many reasons why people do unreasonable things, but there are no excuses.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Allan Dershowitz Vs Pino Pallendino: Who is better?

1. Interesting Ethnic Background

Alan Dershowitz was born to Orthodox Jewish parents in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Pino Palladino was born to Italian parents living in Wales. While Dershowitz can knock back a few at the Greenpoint Tavern and chide sincerely about how shitty the neighborhood has become since the kids moved in, Pino Palladino's confusing ethnic origin, along with his height (something like 7 feet) makes his ethnicity more interesting than a Jew from New York.
Winner: Pino Palladino

2. Amazing Early Accomplishments
After passing the bar, Dershowitz clerked for the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, moving on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, then joining Harvard Law School as a full professor when he was only 28.
Pino picked up the bass at 17 and by 26 was playing with David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Phil Collins and Don Henley.
Winner: Alan Dershowitz

3. Ongoing Philosophy:
Dershowitz has always believed the American legal system needs to work for everyone, and if it fails for one person, the whole system itself is in jeopardy.
As a session musician, Pino has played across the musical spectrum, but no matter what style of music, his own leanings are firmly rooted in the R&B tradition.
Winner: Tie

4. Big Name Associations:
Regardless of his hard fought cases and dedication to preserving the first amendment, Dershowitz will most likely always be remembered for his role in the O.J. Simpson trial.
Palladino's strong R&B leanings made him an unlikely recruit in the neo-soul movement where he became a strong proponent of a behind the beat sound and went on to play on Voodoo and Mama's Gun.
Winner: Pino Palladino

5. Questionable Actions:
Dershowitz has long been a highly vocal advocate for Israel believing many attacks on the country are misguided and unjust. While his stance is noble both for his refusal to call his opponents anti-Semites and defending Israel from a more logical, legal perspective instead of purely emotional arguments, sometimes his tactics are not.
When a group of professors from Harvard and MIT signed a petition to divest from Israel and American companies that support Israel, Dershowitz challenged the authors to a debate. When they refused, he stages his own debate in front of 200 students, taping the petition to a chair and "debating" it. He called everyone who authored it "ignoramuses with PhD's." Even though many in the audience agreed with Dershowitz's arguments, his publicity stunt had questioned whether or not his emotions had prevailed and taken control of his arguments.
At some point around 2005, Pino joined John Mayer and Steve Jordan to form the John Mayer trio causing some to question many things about Pino Palladino.
Winner: I think regardless of how we feel about Zionism, we can agree Israel is better than John Mayer. Dershowitz wins this one.

Overall winner: A tie. Pino Palladino and Alan Dershowitz are of the same quality.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pino Palladino

Played bass for The Who last night. Pino Palladino was mentioned in my last blog entry, something to the effect of laying it down on one of D'angelo's songs. Pino Palladino, twice in one week no homo.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rare D'Angelo

Being a real big into the best of the decade lists, I've scoured the internets, reading nearly every best albums of the 2000's I could find. I was shocked, flabbergasted to discover most of these lists completely left out Voodoo. The fuck out of here. Leaving that off a list, and I'm not just talking lists of ten, but sometimes lists of fifty, is so shocking and offensive, it calls into question humanity of the writer.

Voodoo came out in January of 2000, just making it into this decade. And perhaps, a poor recollection of release dates could explain it's absence. However, we do have fucking wikipedia. And Kid A is at the top of almost every list and that shit came our around the same time. And I know because my roommates and I would fight about which one to listen to while playing Mario Kart.

D'Angelo's Voodoo is a masterpiece. It's a subject I've explored both frequently on this blog and to anyone that will listen to me pontificate on it nearly anywhere. I feel very strongly it's greatest album of the decade, if not one of the finer works of art made in my lifetime.

I'm not gonna get into it, I am (and here is the point of this post) going to share a few unreleased D'Angelo tracks I hope will make everyone happy and joyful no homo.

Let's get on to the main event.

Sardines - Live
This is crazy to hear a Go Go cover performed outside of DC.
Here's the original. I know it's not a go-go post but any chance I get.

It goes right into Left and Right
Left and Right p. I
Left and Right P. II

And on to the other, the gem of it all I can't find. I've tried to download numerous versions but can only find it on youtube and various websites. D'Angelo covering Roy Ayers' Everybody Loves the Sunshine, which has got to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. What is it about songs with the sun, this, Waterloo Sunset that makes them so damn great.

The next two clips are in the link at the bottom.
These joints have D'angelo and crew warming up and fucking around in the studio. This joint, Joe Texan has bassist Pino Palladino going off.

Covering Gang Starr's Ex to the Next

Also on the zip file for your downloading pleasure are:
Another Gang Starr cover
Two more joints from the Voodoo studio sessions. (cover of funky drummer and an instrumental.)
A cover of Earth Wind And Fire's Fair But So Uncool
A song off the Baby Boy soundtrack "Talk Shit 2 Ya" which is fucking bananas.