Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Track A Day: "Carry On" by Dylan Drazen

The early 2000s were a heck of a time. I was working for MTV, I had met the woman I'd marry (and later divorce, an outcome almost everyone I knew saw coming except for me), and I'd kicked off the decade with friends in South Beach for 10 days, where we got our first taste of Deep House.

A challenge facing any genre is that the name itself can bring to mind very different bands and sounds. "Rock" meant Grateful Dead, sitting in a darkened room with a glowing Steal Your Face poster to my middle school friend Jamie. "Rock" meant something boring to my Harlem born, Pantera loving, speed guitar loving friend Jayson. "Rock" to my piano teacher Dennis was The Boss, full stop.

Deep House, after having a run during the 2000s, fell out of favor while other forms of electronic music came into being (or washed upon our shores). Psytrance, Glitch and of course Dubstep, the giant elephant sized modulator of a genre in the room. It came back into effect, but many of the kids who enjoy this EDM-flavored Deep House of the 2010s (what is the correct term for this, anyway?) may not connect with this mix...and that's okay.

This was the first full length non Hip-Hop mixtape I listen to on repeat. My homie Jayabose had found it around the net. A smooth mix of tunes which still took you on a journey, and the audio sample backdrops...priceless.

Dylan Drazen, based at the time in Brooklyn, had a Jekyll/Hyde thing going with Deep House & Hard Techno. I've never listened to many of his Techno tracks, but his Deep House mixes played through many long nights throughout the late 2000s when House started going through its minimal phase, playing with the spaces in between the sounds.

As luck would have it, I actually got to meet the man himself before he moved down to Florida.  There was a party that sought to unite ravers, Burners, and assorted other types of club kids. I went there with another music head. We were both much older than many people there, but we went because he was spinning. We enjoyed his set, and caught up to him on a roofdeck outside while he was smoking a cigarette. I got to thank him in person for his work.

Give this mix a spin and let a brother know your thoughts.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Excerpt: Trixie 2

"CUT THE SHIT, MOM! WE HAVE THREE MINUTES! Help me with this."

A second Trixie walked out of the basement and moved to pick up the legs. She preferred that to holding the head. That always squicked her out, looking into their eyes like that.

"At least I'm a woman now" , Trixie thought as she carried her proto-corpse to the disposal chute. "All that testosterone was a serious distraction that I didn't need. Now I'll hopefully have enough time to make some things happen before my next body comes to me. And then I can-"

- STOP THAT- 

- 60 SECOND PREPARATION SEQUENCE ENGAGED -

- GOOD LUCK, TRIXIE -

Trix 2's body surrendered to the Update prep routine and followed her mother through an open door leading down to the Update chamber. Her eyes wandered over the cozy couches and around the room in the way that eyes do when the rest of her body's stuck in pre-flight Update.

- 30 SECONDS, TRIXIE. HOPE YOU GOT YOUR ACT-RITE -

"As soon as I can use my teeth again, I'm gritting my teeth for several minutes straight. Damn program, combing through my memories. I've almost got a mind to-"

- 15 SECONDS UNTIL -

Trixie sat down on her spot in the Update chamber. Her arms sunk into the armrests and  the viscous restraining fluid spread over her wrists and ankles. The chair reclined and lowered an almost horizontal position and lowered to the ground, which activated a glowing blue bioluminescent field that enveloped both Trixie and her mom.

"Blue in the face, blue in the thighs, blue in the eyes...bye bye!"

The lights went out.

Trixie remembered playing with these museum artifacts called plasma balls, from when our people didn't know any better, and invited cancer to their bodies. People could touch the ball, and the charge from the ball would make their hair raise. The Update did her hair dirty in a similar fashion, her black curly ringlets suspended in mid air, surprised and swaying slowly. The chair made sure her hair stayed out of the way. That was one UU (Upgrade Upgrade) she was glad to own. "I mean, think of all the people who don't have their own Chambers, and have no UUs so sometimes they end up with vom in the-"



Chocolate & Peanut Butter: An Overview

Name all the peanut butter candies here.
There are a few favored flavors that I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember, and will stay with me until the end of time. Lemon Pepper goes on top of rice, eggs and almost any combination of veggies. Ginger goes greatly with many things. Sriracha has got me covered anytime I want some heat on my plate.

Two foods that always tasted great together are Peanut Butter & Chocolate. The first candy I remember sliding down my throat were Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Back then, you could have the two pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces, or the mini Reese's Cups. I used to pick up one every week when I picked up my weekly Marvel Comics (60 cents each). 

I remember running into Nutty Buddy (pka Nutty Bars), Peanut Butter Twix, PB Max throughout the 90s and 2000s. There were a few choices, but not a plethora of options. I mean, the local candy shops like Krause's Candy Shop held me down with custom chocolate peanut butter candies, but that was just during my time spent upstate (in high school).

At some point in the past decade, the number of Peanut Butter candies has expanded. There are several brands of Organic Peanut Butter Cups out there, as well as peanut butter versions of Snickers, M&Ms, Butterfingers, and almost anything else you can imagine. There's even a Peanut Butter Burger in a bar in NYC.

While my Chocolate Peanut Butter intake has slowed down and likely will (shout out to Type-2 Diabietes in the family), I do want to spend some time reflecting upon different Peanut Butter Chocolate candies over the years. A full rundown of Reese's History, the short lived PB Max and more esoteric Peanut Butter Chocolate candies out there.

I'll have more to say about this as time gores on, but for now, watch this space...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Excerpt: Trixie

This is an excerpt from a short story I was working on awhile back. There's more in this world that is definitely worth exploring in the future:

Trixie's forehead tingled with the five minute warning before the broadcast. Luckily, the effects of the pama juice lingered long enough to both numb the warning and prepare him for the coming announcement.

"Thursdays. They always come on a Thursday" he thought. It was a poignant reminder of the day that changed the world; when B.C.E. and A.D. became B.S. (before split) and A.S. (after split).

Feeling restless as he always did before The Update, he walked over to the front of the house and counted the number of augmented eggs thrown against the front of it. House Bot recorded seventeen eggs, fifteen of them registered with the local Protest Authorities, one a slightly illegal hack which required more than one wipe, and one which House Bot quarantined, but would not touch.

House Bot was so distressed about it that agents (the umbrella term social media used for humans, aliens, bots, ai and mutants that week) on the House Bot feeds were sending calming and affirming memes on its public and private channels.

"Oh great", thought Trixie "another one. If only dad hadn't registered itoldyouso.bitches..."

Trixie's body stiffened and slumped to the ground just inside the front door. Out of the kitchen ran Trixie's mom. She leapt over the couch, betraying her hurdler's heritage and shouted

"Fuuuuuuuck!"

She lay her head to Trixie's still chest to listen for a beat that was not forthcoming. Her lips trembled and tears welled up in her eyes. Then the noise started

"Nononono....nonono. Why? She was my only-"

"CUT THE SHIT, MOM! WE HAVE THREE MINUTES! Help me with this."

A second Trixie walked out of the basement and moved to pick up the legs. She preferred that to holding the head. That always squicked her out, looking into their eyes like that.