Welcome to the Sound and Light Show

Sort of a diary for myself ... but you can read it too.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The difference a year makes ...

My backyard spring of 2007

My backyard today

Aren't there cartoons on to keep you busy?

Spring is here, the windows are open and my 13 year old neighbor has a new hobby ... 'skateboarding' at 8:30am on a Saturday morning ... and by 'skateboarding' I mean attempting numerous failed ollies then kicking his board around the street in frustration.

I usually don't sleep in too late but being woken up by this racket isn't the way to start off the weekend. I could have used another hour. And now that I am awake I am reminded of how much tequila (and wine and Jameson) I drank at the club where I promote and at 'MJ's' birthday party over at the 'Firehouse' last night ...

It makes me happy
Con Tequila it feels fine
Con Tequila when the doors are opened
And con Tequila when they're calling time
Con Tequila, Con Tequila, Con Tequila,
Con Tequila when they're calling time.

Ode to Jose the curse of Cuervo
So hard to say no though it gives one the fever
(Con Tequila) Oh con Tequila
(Con Tequila) Oh con Tequila
That's the curse of Sierra sunrise and Margarita
They'll break your heart in the desert heat
(Con Tequila) Oh con tequila
(Con Tequila) They make me feel ...

They'll tell you you're sober
(And tell you you're thirsty)
(They'll tell you you're fine)
That you're sober
(Pretends to be friendly)
Then the curse of Tequila

It makes me happy
Con Tequila it feels fine
Con Tequila when the doors are opened
And con Tequila when they're calling time
That's the curse of Tequila
It makes me happy
Con Tequila it feels fine
Con Tequila when the doors are opened
And con Tequila when they're calling time
That's the curse of Tequila

If there's a lot on your mind it's there to help you forget
To relax and rewind and leave behind the regret
First sip makes you well before you know it's time
And you're saying to hell with the salt, lemon and lime
Salt, lemon and lime, time

It makes me happy
Con Tequila it feels fine
Con Tequila when the doors are opened
And con Tequila when they're calling time
That's the curse of Tequila

Yeah, I just posted a song about tequila.
I used to play this song all of the time when I DJed back in the late 90's.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Roots

I just got in from seeing The Roots live, a free show that was a part of Carnegie Mellon University's Spring Carnival. I was practically the oldest one there but it didn't matter. This is the second time I've seen The Roots here in Pgh and the experience was just about the same as the last; THEY KILLED IT! rocking a 2 hour show that spanned Hip Hop, Jazz Fusion, Heavy Metal and even some Bob Dylan.

I don't own a single Roots album, yet I'll always go see them live because of the kind of show they put on. You can't top the energy, talent and skill these guys have. They are not just a hip hop band. Heck, they even have a tuba player in the line up this time.

Tonight, along with their usual set of Roots songs, they played their medley of old hip hop songs that I've heard them do before. But this time it started off with Iron Butterfly (In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida) that went into Incredible Bongo Band (Apache), then there was Talib Kwali (Get By) into Biz Markie (You got what I need) into Old Dirty Bastard (Shimmy Shimmy Ya) into Tribe Called Quest (Award Tour), some Snoop Dogg (Who Am I, What's my name) into Mims (This is Why I'm Hot), Afrika Bambaataa (Planet Rock) into Salt and Peppa (Push It) plus many more that I can't name but surely recognized.

The Roots also completely surprised and amazed me with a their own version of the Mars Volta 'Con Safro' which included them shouting Jame's Brown-like phrases back and forth like 'Get on up', 'Get in to it', 'Soul Power', etc.

Of course, their own songs were awesome too ... but what was most interesting was their 'break' between sets when Captain Kirk the guitarist, Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson the tuba player and ?uestlove, the drummer, performed an epic 10+ minute version of Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' that started off with the National Anthem and included some riffs from Led Zeppelin's 'Dazed and Confused', The Gap Band's 'You Dropped a Bomb on Me' and Jimi Hendrix's 'Machine Gun'.

Here it is performed at Bonnaroo in three parts:
Part 1 (Gap Band riff towards the end)
Part 2 (?uestlove drum solo with crazy effects)
Part 3 (Captain Kirk guitar solo with 'Machine Gun')

The Roots came back on and did a few more tunes, finishing with, of course, 'The Seed' but what made my night, and what threw the crowd into a frenzy was their short cover of Curtis Mayfield's 'Move on Up' at the end. Whooo!

A great night for a free concert (free parking too), beautiful weather and a decent crowd.

Note: BOOOO! to my friends 'The Jones'' and 'Clover' who bailed out on going with me at the last minute.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Last night was a movie night for me ...

but not in the sense that I watched movies. Well, I did actually start watching Sweeny Todd before I left the house but anyway ...

Last night around 9pm, as I was heading out for my usual Tuesday night rounds (bar crawling) in East Liberty, I ran into some filming of the new Julianne Moore thriller 'Shelter' outside of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. The whole street, and the front of the church, was lit up like it was daylight. There were a bunch of huge spotlights perched on top of the surrounding buildings lighting the area. To give an idea, this church is pretty big, taking up a whole block. I checked it out for a bit since there was no security blocking the area. The place was buzzing with crew doing various things but nothing exciting really happened. I assumed it was mostly second unit filming since no actors were present while I was there. After thinking about it for awhile, I also thought that maybe they were filming in the church and were using the spotlights to simulate daylight through the windows. Bah ... anyway ...

After that, I proceeded across the street to my hangout to meet a friend of mine who I haven't seen in awhile for a drink. I told her about the filming going on outside and she starts telling me that she is actually involved in another movie being filmed right now called 'She's Out of My League'. Weird coincidence. I had heard about this movie being filmed; it's been in the news and I know they did some filming with the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team down at the arena. Anyway, my friend ended up inviting me to a cast and crew party for the film next Wednesday down in the Strip District. Nice ... except after IMDB-ing the movie I noticed that I do not recognize any of the 'stars' in the film. Oh well ... free party.

I drove me friend home and then went back to the bar (it was only 10:45pm) only to run into another friend who just got done working on the film 'The Road' starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. We sat at the bar for a good time and chatted about it all. He mentioned he'll be a part of the crew for a new 3-d horror film 'My Bloody Valentine' that starts filming in May. This is getting good.

Very interesting how Pittsburgh has been all a buzz these last 6 months with all of the movies being filmed here ... celebrity sitings at local spots such as Whole Foods and dive bars.

In fact, I ran into another friend about a month ago while I was out shopping for shoes. I knew this woman was a local designer who owned her own boutique but I was confused when I saw her at the store shuffling through 4 or 5 boxes of shoes, clipboard in hand, looking like she was restocking and not shopping. After we said hello, I almost made the mistake of asking her if she was working there (you never know) but luckily she noticed my confusion and told me she was shopping for the production of Kevin Smith's new movie 'Zac and Miri make a Porno'.

It's awesome to see that many of my friends are getting involved in this movie action; local talent being employed to work on these big Hollywood films. Great opportunities for them and our city.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Straight and to the point ...

Found this unique advertisement crammed through the handle of my screen door when I got home from work yesterday. Awesome.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recent Parties of Mine Pt. 2

Last night was the fundraiser dance party for the non profit group Just Harvest that I helped coordinate. Just Harvest is a lcoal grass roots group that works to influence public policy and to educate, empower, and mobilize the citizens of the community toward the elimination of hunger and poverty. The evening was a success, the place was crowded, people were shakin' it and a good amount of money, and more importantly awareness, was raised for the organization.

Here are some pics:

All pics were taken by Brea Jay who donated her time and camera skills to the cause. The rest of the 197 pics she took that night can be seen in her album over at Picasa. I also need to thank the DJs 'Steve', 'Buscrates' and 'SMI' for donating their time and crates of records and also the Shadow Lounge and all of their staff for their donation of the venue and flyers.

Recent Parties of Mine Pt. 1

First, there was Anthony J's going away party held at Alto Lounge on Friday, March 28th. Anthony's a cool friend and fellow DJ in the club scene here in PGH. I first met Anthony when I snuck him into my then club night over at Club Havana back when he was still only 20 years old. My friends Jwan and Tom Cox told me about this new young kid they met hanging around the 720 Record Store who was really knowledgable about techno and house music. They wanted to bring him by the club but knew he wasn't 21. I told them to bring him by anyway (our bouncer would just have to look the other way). Eventually, Anthony became weekly fixture at the club (even celebrating his 21st birthday there) and he went on to spin for me on numerous occasions. Anyway, Anthony recently joined the Navy and asked if I could coordinate a last minute going away party for him before he was shipped off to boot camp March 30th. I moved the schedule around so that he and some of his (our) closest DJ friends could all have anight to themselves at the club I promote for now, Alto Lounge. The night was packed. All kinds of people came out of the woodwork to bid good wishes to Anthony. It was a great evening.

Here are a few pics:

Anthony playing to the crowd

Standing room only on the dance floor

View from behind the decks

Someone brought a trumpet

The rest fo the pics can be seen in my flickr album.