Last Night a DJ Saved My Dissertation

The entire room felt like one massive, united tribe of thousands of people, and the DJ was the tribal leader of the group. People weren’t dancing to the music so much as the music seemed like it was simply moving through everyone. The steady wordless electronic beats were the unifying heartbeats that synchronized the crowd. It was as if the existence of individual consciousness had disappeared and been replaced by a single unifying group consciousness, the same way a flock of birds might seem like a single entity instead of a collection of individual birds. Everyone in the warehouse had a shared purpose. We were all contributors to the collective rave experience.
~Tony Hsieh “Delivering Happiness” 

I’d read these words sometime last year and highlighted them to remind myself to share them with my Work Wife. I knew she attended raves, and I wanted to know if this experience that Tony described was what she felt, too.  When I asked her, she confirmed and ever since then I’ve wanted to attend a rave. Last night I did.

A short remark before I continue, people are often surprised at the things that I get into.  My thought now, and for most of my life has been to just have fun and never be afraid to try new things.  Of course there are things that I do not like or that do not sound appealing to me (sky diving), but more often than not I believe in the fun of the adventure and a life free of what-ifs.

So, last night Work Wife (WW), her husband and friends and I went to see Armin Van Buuren here in San Diego.  I was dressed like a highlighter in bright neon workout clothes because she told me to dress bright and light–as in light fabrics because with so many people dancing it can get hot.  We arrived at the concert at about 8, and for the next five hours were treated to lights, smoke, acrobatics, singing, dancing, live musicians, confetti, and of course, really really good music.  I’ve told WW previously about my ability to see people’s auras and colors in music.  There was a moment last night when I sat down and just closed my eyes. She asked me if I was too hot or needed anything and I told her no I was fine but I could see better with my eyes closed. I tried to describe to her the way all the colors looked to me but nothing I said could quite paint the picture. It was amazing, and the words Tony used, or that I would use to describe the experience fall daftly short to even begin to explain.

I texted a friend of mine who has been to raves and told him that it was easily one of the best things I’ve ever experienced in my life, and asked him why he never told me about them before.  He messaged me back and simply said, “Its a total different experience, right?” It is.  When I woke up this morning I was still so curious about what I’d experienced the night before. What was that? It was beautiful, whatever it was, but what was it?  It was then that I went back to my copy of Delivering Happiness and looked for Tony’s words to see if I could find my own truth hidden in them. It was exactly it.  It’s a shame that raves get this stigma of drugs and out of control behavior, because it was so much more than that. It was, I thought, exactly what I’ve been trying to describe in my dissertation.

Connection…drafting…murmuration…movement…one purpose…deference to the collective…this was it. It was the experience of being at a rave but in a classroom.  How do we get that? How can we foster that? What do we call that so we can ask for it specifically?  My synapses were firing all over the place lighting up connections between this theory and that study. It was like a laser light show of thought.   I went straight to my computer and began typing. I didn’t stop for two hours.

 

Lovers Love Jazz

I’ve loved Chicago since Darius and Nina.
Never smoked a cigarette, but I would if love and poetry called for it. Crisp white shirt and a soft worn leather jacket, dressed in twists and intrigue. Spill my soul on a mic to perfect strangers, tell them about him and us.

I haven’t craved a man since the last time I listened to jazz music. The unfamiliar pattern of comfort and knowing, jazz and love just fit. So tonight when I heard Cassandra Wilson and the nostalgia took over me, and like Sanchez I remembered love…I gave in. I smelled the smoke, heard the strum of the bass, and white words sticky with red surfaced. Chicago.

Carrie liked a melody. But Big…Big liked jazz. Its a warm hand on the small of your back. Its merlot and wine glasses with lipstick stains. Its old oak tables you made love on that once. Its a twelve minute song with six words and a chorus. Its pocket squares and high heels, kisses on your neck and hands in hair. Lovers know.

And in the recollection I allowed myself to solicit the universe. Send me, I asked, a lover of jazz. Of love. Of smoke and sanctuary. Of bass lines and scat riffs. Of dancing. Of crisp collard shirts and public displays. Of rainy nights and urgent kisses. Of natural light and endless talks. Of Nancy Wilson and Charlie Parker. Send him to me and I will love him and we will love jazz.

Worry not!

no not THAT one!

I know you guys have missed me :-) Fret not, here I am…with some certified ISH I like.  Horray! No more half-assed typed-on-my-BB-in-the-middle-of-the-night posts lol, its a real whole blog post.  Get excited!!!

Ok so…The following songs I’m digging:

Alice Russell “Crazy” Yes its a cover..and I randomly heard it at work…I bbm Deeds and say baby look up this cover and he says, oh I have the whole cd. (He beats me on knowing every song ever)

Drake “My Darling Baby” Plain and simple I’m not a Drake jocker..but I dl’d this mixtape and it had this song and I gotta say I loooove it :-) the club is overrated baby lets not go,/lets stay home and burn a couple calories/f-ck the house up and make the maid earn her salary…*giggles*

Big Boi “For Your Sorrows” yall know I’m so atlanta at least in my head. Anyway I always kinda go hard for Sir Lucius because everybody tries to play him to the left like he doesn’t come hard…I mean yes Dre3K is a unique and wonderful musical talent but yall not just gone side step past Patton…I’m just sayin…

Random…the other day I was watching some p.orn and the girl featured had on cute boots…this is the second day that I’ve seen somebody random with cute boots on. I couldn’t do a screen capture because…well…her legs were in the air and the boots were then upside down. Yall may be laughing at me BUT these boots were cute and if I had a picture of them I’d post them and not tell yall where I first saw em. *hmph* Ahh what the hell…HERE are my porn boots :-)  (doNOTjudgemeIamGROWNlol)

So myself and the fabulous Miss CleoSunshine were discussing the non-sales on Net-A-Porter…but check out this fabulousness that they started called TheOutnet.Com where EVERYTHING is on sale!! Whooooooooooohoooooo I can’t even begin to tell you how many days this website has gotten me through work lol…my next thing to try out is KimK’s Shoedazzle…I’ll report back on that.

Me and You…

Go on this adventure in love with me…

Don’t you hate when you love a guy so much but he irritates the S outta you? You have offers from others but you can’t let go and move on, *sigh* Jazmine Sullivan “In love with another man” you try to give him the benefit of the doubt but keeps effin up…you gotta go listen toBeyonce “Resentment” if you don’t feel something singing that song then you’re dead lol and it’ll get you just amped enough to LEAVE. Conversely once the tension settles and you’re thinking back then its gotta be Lauryn Hill “Ex-Factor” .  Then when you get the fool back and you tryna be nice lol make him forget all the crazy stuff you did you put on something like Tyrese “Straight F*ckin errr um I mean Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” yeah that’s more appropriate LOL…MAN and then when u get back together and you’re ready to start new and make it work but your boo comes to you and says…Musiq “Teach Me” now you like a fool back in love LOL…and the only thing that feels right at this point is Tamia “You put a move on my heart” .  He feels the same way, bliss :-) All the turmoil seemed worth it and now you can’t wait to be the Mrs. Him and he can’t wait either cue Usher “Here I stand” happily ever after kids! See…can’t even remember why you were mad now can you? LOL *credits music* The story of us! Amel Larrieux “Makes me Whole”

Bible Music

So, as if we didn’t know music brings people together. Some songs unite us in joy, some in pain.  Lauryn Hill’s Ex-Factor is the song that unites us in pain. I seriously can’t think of a.n.y.b.o.d.y who after going through a serious break up doesn’t think every single word in this song was about them and their Ex.  I’m not going to front, my ex has a whole “cd” worth of songs that I took out of rotation on my WMP because they remind me of him. Ex-Factor is 1 of them, but today it came on the radio and man it was like the wound was fresh.  Then I came home and just put on The Miseducation one of THE greatest albums ever recorded. I so wish L-boog hadn’t gone batshit crazy.  Potent Lyrics are as follows:

  • I keep letting you back in
    How can I explain myself
    As painful as this thing has been
    I just can’t be with no one else
    See I know what we got to do
    You let go and I’ll let go too
    ‘Cause no one’s hurt me more than you
    And no one ever will
    ~Ex-Factor (click toPLAY)
  • And if you ever been in love
    then you’d understand
    That what you want might make you cry
    What you need might pass you by
    If you don’t catch it (if you don’t catch it)
    (if you don’t catch it)
    And what you need ironically
    will turn out what you want to be
    If you just let it
    ~When it hurts so bad
  • I chose a road of passion and pain
    Sacrificed too much and waited in vain
    Gave up my power ceased being queen
    Addicted to love like the drug of a fiend
    Torn and confused wasted and used
    Reached the crossroad which path would I choose
    Stuck and frustrated I waited, debated
    For something to happen that just wasn’t fated
    Thought what I wanted was something I needed
    When momma said no I just should have heeded
    Misled I bled till the poison was gone
    And out of the darkness arrived the sweet dawn
    I used to love him but now I don’t
    ~I Used To Love Him
  • It took me a little while to discover
    Wolves in sheep coats who pretend to be lovers
    Men who lack conscience will even lie to themselves, to themselves
    A friend once said, and I found to be true
    that everyday people, they lie to God too
    So what makes you think, that they won’t lie to you?
    ~Forgive them Father
  • I look at my environment
    And wonder where the fire went
    What happened to everything we used to be
    I hear so many cry for help
    Searching outside of themselves
    Now I know his strength is within me
    And deep in my heart, the answer it was in me
    And I made up my mind to define my own destiny
    ~The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

I mean do yall feel me?  THIS HERE IS BIBLE! Like…just straight church. I feel like this right here is her heart on wax. You don’t get that anymore. You get 808s and autotuners and some nonesense and even the slow jams aren’t about love, just effin and its not even good effin just garb.  Raheem went from tellin me every word in the song was gonna be about me to sending a got damn sex message?  really?!?!  Somebody PLEASE revitalize good music.

moi

Press|PLAY|Read

I decided to make this post a tribute to all the things I’m a little bit obsessed with.  I’m sure they’re common obsessions but the culmination makes me, ME! btw I was never really fond of my nick name J.Dubb it came in college…stuck really and so I’ve made it my rapper name. You know if I ever actually was a rapper.

  • Harry Potter…I seriously don’t understand how ANY person could read these books and not become obsessed. Its not a casual fan kind of thing. Either you secretly dream of one day getting owl post or you don’t. Yup I have all the books, hardbacks, purchased on midnight of the release date.  Yup I own all the movies, to date, and will be at somebody’s IMAX theater to see the HBP July 17th.           OBSESSION LEVEL: 7
  • Sex and the City

    Sex and the City

    I still maintain that this is the best show ever to air on television and it really is life. I can think of so many examples of how life has run parallel with the show. Not to mention the writing. OMG. It is just the perfect tribute to the phenomenon that is womanhood and relationships-platonic & otherwise. I don’t understand people who aren’t fans of this either.  Perhaps its narrow of me and somewhere subconsciously I think that people should just agree with me, but I don’t think so. I just think that this is one of those shows that mirrors sooooo much of what goes on in the world today.  OBSESSION LEVEL: 9.75

  • Shoes…it can be argued that many women are addicted or obsessed with shoes, but I think I may just take it to the next level my obsession is only limited by my finances because I’ll buy shoes to wear once or I have categories like “dinner shoes” which means that they are probably too high or too beautiful to be everyday shoes and they are meant to be admired only when coming going and sitting.  I’m not keen on shoe borrowing or trading, I moved to my college apartment with 35 pair and two boxes at home. I only own 3 pairs of tennis shoes all the rest are heels/boots.  Its a sickness…my dream pair is a pair of putty colored Jimmy Choo pumps.  *sigh* OBSESSION LEVEL: 6
  • Music…its the love of my life and I listen to everything, seriously. Amos Lee, Ben Harper, John Mayer, Amel Larrieux, Nickelback, Fiona Apple, Kenny Chesney, Bjork,  Alejandro Sanz, Mariah Carey, Jay-z, Carrie Underwood, The Temptations, Sam Cooke, Janelle Monae, Kindred the Family Soul, etc…Kelsey (my desktop) has 11,287 songs( at ave.15 songs/album thats 753 albums) and she’s bursting at the seems for lack of memory. I find new stuff everyday too and can’t erase the old stuff because one day I might be in a mood to hear it. I mean I love live music too so living in Music City was fantastical. This is probably my one true love Shout out to Brown Sugar lol.  OBSESSION LEVEL: 10+

Other minor obsessions include: Quotes, Amazon.com (I literally buy random things like DVD players, & dresses, from them), Monograms seriously I love my own so much that I don’t want to change my name when I get married…I mean its so symmetrical and I love the W. I can’t all of a sudden be Jessica Parker…or Jessica Lanolin, or Jessica Richardson. Who are those people?  I’m j.Dubb and forever I shall be, Photography (esp. b|w & colorless photog), Christian Dior-my fav designer and the maker of the most fabulous perfume Miss Dior Cherie, Texting-I send roughly 8,000 text a month so says my billing statement :-/, road-trips-I freaking love everything about travelling, book tours shall but my life’s joy.

monogram

Jammy’s

Since the grammy people have gone ass-backwards I’ve taken liberties with their 2009 nominee’s…And the winners are:

The nominees for the 2009 Grammy Awards are:

RECORD OF THE YEAR

“Chasing Pavements,” Adele

“Viva La Vida,” Coldplay

“Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis

“Paper Planes,”  M.I.A

“Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

**Ok…*sigh* this might be the only somewhat respectable list of nominee’s because all of these songs were pretty good, but record of the year, I’d love to give it to Coldplay because they’re great but it might just go to Adele, depending on how much of a shock they’re trying to add to the show.**

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

“Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” Coldplay

“Tha Carter III,” Lil Wayne

“Year of the Gentleman,” Ne-Yo

“Raising Sand,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

“In Rainbows,” Radiohead

**This is just a damn joke…CarterIII was garbage! YES I SAID IT and I’m generally a lil wayne fan but I think he’s too cracked out for his own good. I’m going to write in Paper Trail by T.I. because this album was SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!**

*~*~*Let me just say that it was a good year for music but this list doesn’t depict it.  Maybe next year they will ‘discover’ some new artist and freshen things up a bit*~*~*

BEST NEW ARTIST

Adele

Duffy

Jonas Brothers

Lady Antebellum

Jazmine Sullivan

**OK now maybe I’ll catch some flack…but I’m going to say Jonas Brothers. Here’s why, the others are known primarily for one maybe two songs. The Jonas Brothers are bonafide Diet Rock Stars. Just sayin…**

SONG OF THE YEAR

“American Boy,” (Estelle Featuring Kanye West) William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West, songwriters

“Chasing Pavements” (Adele) Adele Adkins & Eg White, songwriters

“I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz) Jason Mraz, songwriter

“Love Song” (Sara Bareilles) Sara Bareilles, songwriter

“Viva La Vida” (Coldplay) Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters

**I refuse to give Kanye West anything…not that he would deserve it in this category. I think its between Sara Bareilles and Adele. I’m going to go for Love Song, it was literally everywhere and her writing skills on her other songs are top-notch!**

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

“Chasing Pavements,” Adele

“Love Song,” Sara Bareilles

“Mercy,” Duffy

“Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis

“I Kissed A Girl,” Katy Perry

“So What,” Pink

**I’ma give it to Duffy, Mercy is great and such a unique sounding song, and it really isn’t pop…it fits in a group by itself really which is why it stands out among the rest of the nominee’s**

BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

“All Summer Long,” Kid Rock

“Say,” John Mayer

“That Was Me,” Paul McCartney

“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz

“Closer,” Ne-Yo

“Wichita Lineman,” James Taylor

**Normally I’d say that Mayer, one of my all-time favorite artist, should get it but up against these lackluster noms I’ma go for Ne-yo or maybe even Kid Rock depending on how cooky things get.**

POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS

“Lesson Learned,” Alicia Keys and John Mayer

“4 Minutes,” Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland

“Rich Woman,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

“If I Never See Your Face Again,” Rihanna and Maroon 5

“No Air,” Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown

**Hands down Lesson Learned neither of the other nominated songs even come CLOSE to that song. if it was Billboard it’d go to JS|CB but its not…thank God**

BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS

“Viva La Vida,” Coldplay

“Waiting In The Weeds,” Eagles

“Going On,” Gnarls Barkley

“Won’t Go Home Without You,” Maroon 5

“Apologize,” OneRepublic

**Ohh fun one…Coldplay lol are you guys familiar? because they’re pretty amazing…just sayin**

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

“Detours,” Sheryl Crow

“Rockferry,” Duffy

“Long Road Out Of Eden,” Eagles

“Spirit,” Leona Lewis

“Covers,” James Taylor

**Um none?!?  These were the best pop vocal albums?  *sigh* um lets give it to James Taylor, keep the spirt of good American Music alive… *yawn*

COUNTRY GROUP OR DUO

Brooks & Dunn, “God Must Be Busy”

Lady Antebellum, “Love Don’t Live Here”

Rascal Flatts, “Every Day”

The SteelDrivers, “Blue Side of the Mountain”

Sugarland, “Stay”

**Man, Rascal Flatt’s can do no wrong, and please do not test my country music gangsta. Now Brooks & Dunn are heavy hitters in this category but its time to realize just how fantastic the Flatts are, even people who don’t know country music know I’m already there and What Hurts the Most and the infectious Life is a Highway from Cars!!!**

RAP DUO OR GROUP PERFORMANCE

Big Boi featuring Raekwon and Andre 3000, “Royal Flush”

Jay-Z and T.I. featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne, “Swagga Like Us”

Lil Wayne featuring Jay-Z, “Mr. Carter”

Ludacris featuring T.I., “Wish You Would”

Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West, “Put On”

**Now…I’d super love to give it to T.I. here simply because I freaking love him, but I think Put On was magnificently done and while I wish it was featuring anybody but Kanye, his verse is the cherry on top**

(clearly I copied these from two diff sites)

Best Rock Album
Coldplay, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Kid Rock, Rock N Roll Jesus
Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
Metallica, Death Magnetic
The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely

**They, deservingly so, will be the biggest winners of the evening**

Best Rap Album
Jay-Z, American Gangster
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Lupe Fiasco, The Cool
Nas, Nas
T.I. Paper Trail

** Man…and I loved Lupe’s cd too, but I’m just so elated that T.I. produced sucha good cd after years of mediocrity that it deserves an award! **

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Danger Mouse
Nigel Godrich
Johnny Karkazis
Rick Rubin
Will.I.Am

** Did I miss something here?**

Best Dance Recording
Daft Punk, “Harder Better Faster Stronger”
Hot Chip, “Ready for The Floor”
Lady Gaga and Colby O’Donis, “Just Dance”
Madonna, “Give It 2 Me”
Rihanna, “Disturbia”
Sam Sparro,”Black & Gold”

**If this song didn’t have the typical techno beat and just an 808 and treble track it could be on the radio and be a top 40 hit. Sometimes ppl sleep on ‘dance’ tracks…sometimes**

Best Electronic/Dance Album
Brazilian Girls, New York City,
Daft Punk, Alive 2007,
Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya to The Brink
Kylie Minogue, X
Moby, Last Night
Robyn, Robyn

**Dude she beat Breast Cancer and is still bopping to the beat, that spells winner**

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
AC/DC, “Rock N Roll Train”
Coldplay, “Violet Hill”
The Eagles, “Long Road Out of Eden”
Kings of Leon, “Sex on Fire”
Radiohead, “House of Cards”

** OkI’m being biased b/c House of Cards was good too…but Violet Hill is kind of my jam.**

Best Alternative Music Album
Beck, Modern Guilt
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
Radiohead, In Rainbows

**Normally I’m a Death Cab fan, but Gnarls Barkley is just so freakin unique…music before its time really. Then again Radiohead was a good album too…I’ll throw it to Radiohead”

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
Beyoncé, “Me, Myself and I”
Keyshia Cole, “Heaven Sent”
Jennifer Hudson, “Spotlight”
Alicia Keys, “Superwoman”
Jazmine Sullivan, “Need U Bad”

**I thought this was a joke because why is freakin Beyonce nominated?!?  I’m overloaded with Beyonce right now. Um so I’m going to say that Alicia Keys is gonna take this.**

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
Eric Benét, “You’re the Only One”
Chris Brown, “Take You Down”
Ne-Yo, “Miss Independent”
Trey Songz, “Can’t Help But Wait”
Usher, “Here I Stand”

**This makes me laugh because seriously I can think of so many better deserving songs…but whatever Uh I did like Ush’s song but I think it’ll probably go to Ne-yo.  Had it been with you rather than take you down, I would’ve gone for C.breezy”

Best Rap Solo Performance
Jay-Z, “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is … )”
Lil Wayne, “A Milli”
Lupe Fiasco, “Paris, Tokyo”
Nas, “N.i.*.*.e.r. (The Slave and the Master)”
Snoop Dogg, “Sexual Eruption”

**Greatest newest oldest song of the year**

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”
Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), “Low”
John Legend & Andre 3000, “Green Light”
Lil Wayne featuring T-Pain, “Got Money”
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), “Superstar”

**I didn’t even know this was a category? I have to say I like Mr. Legend and 3000 best**

Best Rap Song
Lil Wayne, “Lollipop”
Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), “Low”
Snoop Dogg, “Sexual Eruption”
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos), “Superstar”
Jay-Z & T.I. (featuring Kanye West & Lil Wayne), “Swagger Like Us”

**Sometimes the grammy people like to pretend like they’re up on things, you know the under the radar things that true music fans understand. Sometimes they do the right thing.”