Notes for a song

Category: Music

Singing in the Train

I was riding the subway home today, listening to the new Nas album (it’s pretty good btw, much better than that Street’s Disciple mess he served up a while back. Bachelordom agrees with him) and the track “Loco-Motive” came on at the same time I reached Grand Central. The start of the song goes “Oooh oooh oooh Forty-second street terminal”. It was such perfect timing.

Then I had a thought. Why doesn’t the MTA hire back up singers to sing you into the station? Everyone would feel so much cooler rolling into a station with back up singers crooning in their ear. Plus it could be another source of income for subway musicians.


Cherry Pie*

There’s this guy who’s at the L train 7th Ave stop, late nights.
He’s a crooner. He carries a discman which is attached to a PA.
He plays Motown tunes and croons along for a handful of dollar dollar bills.
Did I mention he’s amazing?
If you haven’t seen him and you’re in NYC get down there for a listen.

One night he was singing along to “My Girl”. He finished up the song with a few
ad-lib lines about cherry pie. He turned to the guy sitting next to me and said,
“Mmmm mmm I just love that cherry pie. Don’t you just love cherry pie?”
The guy looked rather lost and replied in a French accent,
“I’m sorry but I don’t speak very well English.”
The singer pointed at me and said,
“Can you translate ‘cherry pie’ for me baby?”
I did my best – “Ummm… tarte aux cerises?”
The French guy looked very happy to be in on the joke finally
(although I don’t know if it has the same meaning in French).
The singer smiled back, and then fired up his next tune. I think it was Al Green.

* Incidentally, “Cherry Pie” is the name of Leila Adu’s first single, which still sounds as sweet to me as it did when it was released.

Festival fashion

Everyone looked real cool at the Afropunk festival yesterday.
There were lots of dudes dressed like Tupac.
There were lots of chicks in very short shorts.
There were winged sneakers, creepers and even beepers.
I saw a girl in blue suede platform shoes – I didn’t step on them.
There was a huge spikey green mohawk
that musta taken a dozen eggs to hold in place.

Wanton abandon

I have abandoned you wantonly in favour of flirtations with scriptwriting, thrift store shopping, unrestrained vacationing, and food consumption.

I offer a list of things I enjoyed today. I hope this makes amends for my reckless behaviour.

1. Sitting in a beige pouf

2. Thai green curry fit for a queen – zucchinis and eggplants and bamboo oh my!

3. The new WordPress login page

4. Attempting to navigate Twitter

5. XXYYXX. Not to be confused with Xx. Or xxx.

Trying to be discreet

I decided to start my career as a street style photographer.
There are several problems with this career move.
First of all, to be a street style photographer you kind of need some hi-tech equipment. Or you need one of those little point-and-shoots you can clutch whilst clutching your clutch.
I only have my crappy phone camera.
Second, you need to be able to be recognised so you don’t seem like a creep. Like Bill Cunningham. No one would be like, “Hey creep, quit taking photos of me” if Bill was taking photos of them.
Third, you need to be real social and friendly. You need to be able to go up to people and be like, “You look amazing. Can I please photograph you for my blog?” And then maybe have a business card or something.
I’m quite shy. And I don’t have a business card.

So I decided to just be a discreet creep. I saw this beautiful girl wearing a multi-coloured stripey 1930s hat perched on top of her glorious curly up-do. It was kind of like a pillbox or stiff beret. I held up my phone like I was going to make a call and pressed the button. The indiscreet click caught her attention. She turned to me. Not knowing what to do I just flashed her this big goofy smile. Luckily she smiled back.
“I love your hat!” I said.
“Thank you.” She mouthed over the street musicians.

I’m not sure if I will stick to my new career, but I’ll let you know.

Sucked into a hole

“I’m not always there when you call
but I’m always online
I’d give you my all
but I’m wasting my time”

I had a bit of a youtube party this weekend, it involved a lot of Ashanti, Mariah, Kelly, Ciara and all the other babes who sing the hooks on hip hop tracks.
What else did I do over the long weekend?
(Aside from raise my cup of tea in celebratory salute to the Queen)
(I didn’t actually do that, apart from her natty ability to match her umbrella to her outfit, the Queen is not a big part of my life).
I managed to get sucked into the deep dark hole that is Game of Thrones and the deep dark holes that are Khal Drogo’s eyes. I know he’s a bit gruff and monosyllabic, but you can’t tell me you haven’t imagined jumping on the back of his war horse and whispering, “Take me back to your tent, Sun and Stars, and I’ll dress those battle wounds for you”.
There’s other reasons to watch GOT of course, like female sword-fighters, dragons, white walkers (vampire thingees that scare the daylights out of me), Tyrion and medieval fashions for men (men in skirts, men with half up half down ponies, MC Hammer pants made of hessian, Fur collars)
I’ve only just finished season 1 – so please, spare me the spoilers.

Coffee stain

It’s pouring with rain and I really should just stay indoors but I’m getting cabin fever and I’m not really motivated to tidy my room so I decide to head out, grab a coffee from Cibi, take the tram somewhere. I have a lot of bags. I also have my hot takeaway coffee cup (sorry, environment). I also have my ipod (of course).

I’m sitting opposite a gorgeous Asian girl who looks unimpressed with the weather, the tram, my many bags. There’s also a skater guy who looks bored. They both have ipods. One of the skater dude’s fav songs comes on his ipod and he gets a bit animated. He starts to tap his foot. One of my fav songs comes on my ipod and I start to tap mine. He starts to drum his fingers against his bag. I tap a fingernail against my coffee cup. He starts to bob his head. I start to bob mine. Are we in some kind of competition? Girl opposite looks amused. Everyone else on the tram continues to ignore us. Skater dude starts mouthing the words to the song. I do it too. He bangs out a rhythm on his lap. I start to use my coffee cup as a bongo. The tram lurches. The last of my coffee spills out of the cup and flows all over my backpack and jeans.

Skater dude looks disgusted. Girl opposite flashes me the warmest smile you’ve ever seen and hands me a tissue. I beam back and mouth the words, “Thank you”.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours…?”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Getting ready v. going out

Getting ready is when you can play DJ, blast your choice of music (be it Prince, Beyonce, or Wu-Tang, unless you’re like me and then it’s all three) out of your speakers. There’s none of those “filler” tracks you have to put up with at the club.

Going out you might hear something you love but haven’t got round to putting on your itunes, or something completely new. You could hold your phone up and find out the name of the band, or ask a beguiling stranger you’ve had your eye on if they know.

Getting ready you are your own stylist, you can prance around in a million different outfits, imagine yourself gliding across the d-floor in your heels. Going out often ends with your heels slung over your shoulder, or the distinct feeling you would’ve been happier in your PJs.

Going out you get to perve on other people, people-watching is the new porn. Everyone is looking their absolute best (until the night turns and it’s their absolute worst). You get to make new friends in the bathrooms, sharing make up tips or lipstick.

Getting ready you can talk about anything you want, be as loud as you want, drink as much as you want (as long as you live close to a bottle shop). You are with a band of friends, you are invincible.

Going out you might have to raise your voice above the music, then lower it again to avoid looks from the table next to you. You might end up engaged in a political debate with a complete stranger and realize the alcohol’s causing you to lose. But you could also meet someone who says their favorite book is the same as yours and writes their number on the inside cover of another book they are recommending to you.

Getting ready holds all the promise, all the potential, which would all be wasted if we just stayed at home.

Tall mamí syndrome

So, the floral feud has escalated, and it’s got me thinking about chicks and our endless competition with each other. Why is it when two girls start doing well they are either pitted against each other (like January Jones and Christina Hendricks, who are both, let’s face it, smoking hot) or they end up creating unnecessary drama? The two flowers in question are winning at a mostly man’s game but instead of collaborating, supporting each other or at least putting up a semblance of mutual admiration, it’s turned into twitter war and fodder for a new range of tees (“Team Azealia” and “Team Azalea” anyone?)

Now this is all easier to say and a lot harder to do… us girls can be notorious for competing with each other as if we have to be the best out of our sex. But how much nicer would it be if we all felt like there was enough room at the top for each of us? What we need is to clear some space up there, and probably the best way to topple some of these dudes from their thrones is if we commit to giving each other a leg-up instead of cutting each other down.  A little more respect, a little less bitching, and if our fingernails are long, let it be for guitar playing and quick unpicking only.