HoustonSoReal is not dead and will never die, but do not sleep on the fact that AustinSurreal.com IS THE NEW JUMP OFF! Come swim with me.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The boy Witnes up to the New York Town for Obama!
Gotham Obamans want you to Barack what your momma gave ya! Head to Sapphire Lounge on Wednesday, April 9 for the exclusive, first ever, muy caliente edition of Freedom Funk, a new Obama fundraiser that's sure to put the sheen in your fro and soul in your glow!
Fifteen dollars gets you past the bouncer and goes directly to Obama's campaign. DJ Morsy of Brooklyn's Nanachill will spin his signature blend of disco funk, while Witnes, back from his jaunt to Miami's Winter Music Conference, will get the dance floor nice with '60s soul grooves and stomping Motown beats.
We've also got drank—Bamakazee shots—that will sock it to ya all night long! Arrive early and we'll also treat you to two for one well drinks, 10-11pm.
Sound like a plan? Meet us there!
Can't make it? You can still help the Gotham Obamans reach their contribution goal.
Sitting down to watch Don’t Get Me Wrong, a beautiful, slice of life film set in a Romanian Neuropsychiatric Hospital in 2006, one might be easily confused by its premise. And that might just be the point.
Director Adina Pintilie has stated that she went into the facility for eight days, without much of a plan other than to document some of the things she had read in the papers about the people who live behind the stark gray walls that extend seemingly up to Heaven for the people who exist within them, day in, day out, for the bulk of their lives.
What she left with is a story of love.
Not a love story in the traditional sense, there is nothing traditional about Don’t Get Me Wrong, but a love story that mirrors the foibles of the pursuits of love and success in our high octane modern world, with the simpler pursuits of a group of human beings who seem to get by just fine with almost nothing.
Pintilie observes, rather than follows, five patients through their daily lives, one of whom, named Ignat, has spent everyday for the past 40 years in the same spot, moving stones from one side of a plank to the other. The only thing that stops or bothers him is the rain.
Cut to a seemingly never ending conversation between a schizophrenic, obsessive, stair sweeping philosopher with a deep connection to God, and a man who claims to be the only person on Earth who God has given the power to stop the rain, and you begin to realize that the lesson to be learned with this film is much deeper than what appears on the surface.
While the characters in this film are often looked upon as outcasts, without much social worth, the reality may be that these misunderstood eccentrics have a better grasp on what life is really about than 9/10ths of modern society. They know how their actions affect their microcosm of the big picture and in doing what they do, day in, day out, they keep a certain sort of peace for themselves and all who surround them. They find freedom in their confinement, while much of the “free” world works hard to confine themselves. (Matt Sonzala)
In the opening scene of this thoughtful documentary on one of reggae music’s earliest innovators and creators, a lone Jamaican Television presenter dressed in a sharp 3-piece suit, stares deeply into the camera and calmly says to his audience, “I’d like you to meet a genius.” He then goes on to laud the accomplishments of his upcoming mystery guest, dropping names of some of the artists he produced in his earliest days – the broadcast is from the late 60’s – and concludes with the statement, “He’s not only a record producer, he’s a songwriter, a poet, a musician, a video expert, and overall, a Rastaman.”
Quick cut to an example of his video/poetic work and you see a shirtless Perry, spinning around in circles outside his Jamaican home, in plaid short, shorts with oversized sunglasses covering his marijuana reddened eyes, and a kufi over his unkempt locks. He is chanting the praises of Jah Rastafari in a language only the deepest Rasta could possibly understand, while flailing his arms and gyrating manically, like a man possessed.
He seems crazy, but as the film progresses, you realize that Lee Perry was never possessed by any sort of devil, not in the traditional sense anyway. But his soul was obviously overtaken by the spirit of rhythm, as his every word, movement and nuance is punctuated by an irrational cadence, wholly unique to him.
A mystery to most of his fans for the bulk of his career, Perry brought reggae music to the masses by providing off kilter rhythms to such greats as Bob Marley, Junior Murvin and Max Romeo, to name but a few. His colorful and creative existence was the subject of many rumors and tales, both wholly true and oft-times understated. This film offers a tell-all explanation of one of music’s most colorful and genre splitting, pace setters, told mostly from his own mouth.
With the wisdom of an elder who saw a genre of music progress from birth to present times, his musical revelations are nothing short of revolutionary, and as the film comes to a close, if you still don’t quite understand the man behind the music, you’ll surely have gained a better understanding of the music that made the man. And helped shape a deep, cultural, renaissance. (Matt Sonzala)
And then of course there's this, which I had been waiting to see for some time. Don't miss out. You have not see this side of Iraq.
Given what we have seen on the news and been told for many years about Iraq and its neighbors in the Middle East, quite possibly the last thing one might think about coming out of the war torn, heavily religious region could be heavy metal music.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad not only follows the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda – Latin for “black scorpion” - from the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to the present day, it gives its viewers an inside look at the human side of modern Iraq. A place where average, everyday people live, work, and try to survive in their war torn world.
Acrassicauda is a four piece band, not unlike any four piece metal band from any town on this side of the world. They play the same riffs, wear the same clothes and want the same things as their worldwide contemporaries. But due to cultural differences and religious standards, they are not fully free to practice and produce their art. Even worse, chicks don’t come out to their gigs!
Bombs drop, gun shots ring out, Military Police question and detain the artists and film makers involved, but still they persist, and from a magnificent struggle comes a dynamic film that delivers a slice of life no other film has produced before it.
The film takes you from the bands peak, just after the toppling of Sadaam Hussein, to three years later when they are living in exile in Syria. The directors – better known as two of the main editors of Vice Magazine – take time out to examine the nuances of the city that produced their subjects, and give a truly well rounded vision of what life in Iraq is really like, through the eyes of its average citizens. It’s nothing like what you have seen on Fox News, but it sure ain’t the Sunset Strip. (Matt Sonzala)
Anyway, go see some films. Celebrate great art for the next couple weeks in Austin, TX. Cuz it's really goin' down...
P.S. I don't think that SXSW Selected this next clip but it is hands down my favorite short film of all time. It says so much in such little time. Sums up EVERYTHING!
Man seriously, if you're not in Austin in these next couple of weeks, you're missing out. We got more hip hop music, more hip hop press, more hip hop industry, more hip hop presence than ever this year. It's growing and growing and growing and growing and such... And I'm stoked. March 12th, we ready.
Anyway what follows is the schedule for hip hop and things that I may have had a hand in. I didn't book all the hip hop, some came in via agents and sponsors and my dudes up to the job reeled all that in, but this year, it's exponentially goin' down.
Wednesday March 12th
SESAC Day Stage Cafe Austin Convention Center - 500 E Cesar Chavez St. 5:30 p.m. - Saul Williams (Los Angeles, CA) 2:30 p.m. - Mala Rodriguez (Cadiz, Spain) 12:00 noon - Bisc 1 (Queens, NY)
Fuze – 505 Neches St. 1:15 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. - Bun B (Port Arthur, TX) 1:00 a.m. – 1:15 a.m. - MDDL FNGZ (Houston, TX) Cory Mo (Houston, TX) 12:45 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. – Vicious (Lake Charles, LA) 12:30 a.m. – 12:45 a.m. - Hezeleo & Big Bubb (Port Arthur, TX) 12:10 a.m. – 12:25 a.m. XVII (Pass Christian, MS) 11:50 p.m. – 12:05 a.m. - B Do & T.O.E. (Port Arthur, TX) 11:30 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. - Bankroll Jones (Houston, TX) ---------- 11:00 p.m. – 11:20 p.m. - Chalie Boy (Hearne/Calvert, TX) 10:30 p.m. – 10:50 p.m. - Gerald G (Austin, TX) 10:00 p.m. – 10:20 p.m. - Public Offenders (Austin, TX) 9:30 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. – Slykat (San Antonio, TX) 9:00 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. - Circle G’z (Houston, TX) 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – DJ Rapid Ric (Austin, TX)
Hip-Hop, Politics & The Politics of the Music Business
Chuck D once called Hip-Hop “Black people’s CNN.” Is it still today? Do today’s rap artists feel as though their hands are tied when it comes to speaking on social issues? Is it only about the party in 2008? Does the music business actively try to stifle the potential message? Are politics relevant in music? Do you care?
David Banner – (Jackson, MS) Salih Williams – (Austin, TX) Chingo Bling – (Houston, TX) Jean Grae – (Brooklyn, NY) Tech N9ne – (Kansas City, KC) M-1 of dead prez – (New York, NY) Davey D – (Oakland, CA) Soren Baker – Editor of Source Magazine – Moderator (Los Angeles, CA)