More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks

…y’know, because he used to write a Thursday music column.

*I* say “goodness”. That’s my thing I say. – Aaron Cameron, doing his best Milhouse Van Houten impression.

I have to admit, it’s kind of crazy having an actual deadline for this column. I always swore that I’d never be like Aaron and Jeff. To me those guys were the epitome of the daily grind. These poor men, who were once free, were now shackled to a day of the week. Oh, sure they could occasionally pop up other places, but every Friday and Saturday, you knew where to find those two.

I, on the other hand had the freedom to come and go as I pleased. “Maybe I’ll do a Monday column this week, followed up by a Saturday column.” Man, I was living the life. I wasn’t bound to any day of the week. “No day’ll ever get me to settle down” I used to think. Boy, was I wrong.

Now look at me, I’m completely dedicated to a day, one day. How the mighty have fallen.

Come to think of it, I think Aaron, Jeff and I are on consecutive days as a sort of skim Minority Report. Which is cool, except I’m not really reporting anything, and I’m at least fifty percent white (does that make more of a minority or less?) But enough rambling let’s get to music stuff. By the way Tony Yayo looks like”¦um Les Nessman?

Awhile back my computer crashed, and I had to pay to get it fixed. It was a catastrophic event, especially since I pretend to be a writer. What really sucked is that a couple of weeks before that happened the CD player in my room had started acting up. I put some money aside to get it fixed, but that loot went to fixing Puter. Then I went on vacation. Needless to say I can no longer listen to albums in my room, and am listening solely to the mixes that I put on minidisc. I’m struggling.

But it’s times like this that I have to rely on my musical memory. See I, as I’m sure you do as well, have moments in the past and memories that are cued by certain songs. Every time I hear those songs I flashback to those moments. Here are some of the songs and the memories that they trigger.

Shai – “If I Ever Fall In Love”

Geez, I can’t believe that I’m actually sharing this story. Anyway, I was in high school and on student council. Now my best friend at the time had been entertaining the idea that he could sing, with three other guys in a group. I had heard their attempts at harmonizing, and it wasn’t too bad, but that’s mostly because there was no one else around.

So the Monday before the Friday of the big rally, I hear, from another student council member that a group wants to sing at said rally. Instantly I begin to pray that it’s not my friend’s group. Obviously, my prayers weren’t answered.

I go to my friend and his group, and try to be diplomatic. I suggest that they reconsider their decision, politely so not to offend. Of course they think that they can really sing and have nothing to be ashamed of. I pull my friend aside and tell him that this isn’t the best plan. But he won’t listen.

Friday comes, and I head to the rally. They step up to the mikes, and despite the fact that they are singing at their high school, in front of people they sit next to in class, and in some cases went to Junior High with, they use their “stage names.” When my friend said “I’m D-Smooth” I knew that no good could possibly come from this.

But fellow students were supportive. For some reason, unbeknownst to me they attempt to perform Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love” a cappella. Four high school kids, in a packed gym, singing a popular song, a cappella. Now unlike the Apollo crown, that has sympathy for the foolishness of youth, my peers began hurtling “boos” at the foursome.

I just sat there holding my head in my hands. My big Bucky the Badger head, because I was the mascot for Tucson High.

What you didn’t think I’d just sell out my homeboy’s most embarrassing moment, and leave out the dirt on me, did you?

112 – “Cupid”

Aiight, I’ve got to set this up. Now based on what I know about white college life (from coworkers, cousins, and the media) the nightlife and social activities revolve around drinking. Well at Black universities and colleges, the nightlife and social activities revolve around music. So when you talk about “going out” it isn’t to a bar it’s to a club.

At Morgan State, there is nothing happening on campus, so if someone is throwing a party they rent a “cheese bus” (aka school bus) and transport students from campus to the location and back.

Anyway there was one such party at Soca Palace. Now Soca Palace was the smallest venue ever. It was also probably the worst. There was minimal lighting, got extremely hot extremely fast. Everyone called it the Sweatbox, because the walls started to sweat quickly.

So the bus to the party is crazy packed. Everyone is doing their own thing. Then all of a sudden “Cupid” comes on the radio. It was like a commercial or something because everyone was on the same page. Everyone knew the words, and everyone was singing. It was a strange feeling, of complete unity. One of the beat vibes I’ve ever felt in my life.

It was like the “Tiny Dancer” scene from Almost Famous. Except the bus was packed. And everyone was Black.

Soca Palace was wack, but that moment made the night worthwhile.

Prince “Adore”

This is another club moment. Some friends and I were at The Five Season, on Charles in Baltimore. It was like the place for the more mature Morgan students and alumni to gather.

The night was winding down, and the place was about to close. It was a cool night. The ladies were looking nice, and the guys were in check. It was cool “grown folks” type vibe.

While everyone is gathering their things, this guy grabs the mic, and begins talking about how he had a great time with everyone and that he wants to share a special song with them.

So then dude begins a pitch perfect a cappella rendition of “Adore.” Now I love Prince and “Adore” and dude did it justice. He hit all the notes. In fact he hit all the pauses and everything. My man was feeling the song, and he let it all out.

It was an amazing sight. Everyone there was in awe. I’m just glad that I was there to witness it.

Eric Clapton – Layla

Now this is just a song that I heard on the radio. Tucson had finally gotten a radio station that played hits from the 70’s. I had gotten tired of the regular oldies station and wanted to expand my horizons.

So my mom and I were coming back from an errand and “Layla” came on. We were pulling into the driveway when the piano exit came on. It was then that I remarked;

“Man, that’s crazy they always play those two songs together.”

My mom gave me a look that was half “are you serious” and half “how cute” and replied.

“It’s the same song.”

Suddenly the entire world made sense to me.

Now I don’t think that I should be blamed for not knowing that the two parts were the same song. Honestly, they sound completely different. How was I supposed to know? Plus in “Goodfellas” Scorsese only uses the piano exit, causing me to further believe that it was it’s own separate entity.

The really sad part is that the last story took place way too recently.

Now I know you’re thinking “no the really sad part is that I read this column.” But never fear there is plenty of other stuff to read that‘s actually worthwhile.

Aaron’s last piece is full of Goodness Quality. Psst Aaron, you get your CD’s yet?

Jeff has Joe on the Jukebox, and Joe digs “Shadowboxer.” Jeff, Quas has been getting heavy rotation this week.

Botter supports legal downloading. Hooray! And I agree Sea Change was phenomenal.

Gloomchen has an amazing column. I’ve been on both sides of that debate. And “Mr. Roboto” has a kick ass video.

Blottie and Tom argue. Geez, isn’t there enough hostility without an intrasite beef?

MSD gives De La some love, Joe answers questions and Rayo hits the big time.

Five Albums You Should Avoid At All Cost

1. State Property – The Chain Gang Vol. II
2. Young Gunz – Tough Luv
3. The Pharcyde – Humboldt Beginnings
4 & 5. Nelly’s New Albums

Five Songs That Just Missed The Cut For “Jalen’s Mix”

1. “I Love Trash”
2. “Interplanet Janet”
3. “Electricity, Electricity”
4. “Fight The Power”
5. “Welcome To The Terrordome”