notes from a journey through Chicago's cultural landscape...

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

...this is not about me, this is about my city - a living document of Chicago's art's scene, a memoir of concerts I've been to & performances I've seen, a jaded scribe's small sampling of the many offerings of this vibrant cosmopolitan city that I'm lucky enough to call home. I work the city as the city works me, all of us connected in varying degrees, here i pay tribute to our evolving soundtrack, I plug praiseworthy endeavors & try to give a little back... Together with my peers we paint this crossroads with every shade we can find, in your mediums & mine, i run with deep house deviants & wrinkled blues cats, youngun' b-boy crews & quirky circus brats, snobby eclectic DJs & electric painters laboring on projected displays, film makers armed with mini-DVs & picky chefs sculpting tricky masterpieces out of vegan grease... i kick it with slam poets & theater geeks, powerbook producers & fashionista freaks, photoshop fellowships & choreographer hips, while jazz cats blow digital epics through pursed bebop lips... i'm at the nexus of the next wave of Chicago sound - this is where i share the stories of all the beauty I've found...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ron Trent & Africa Hi-Fi @ Sonotheque

The monthly Afro-beat fix -
Fela flavors & plantain chips
refined nubian night crawlers
between stepping sisters & brazilian hips
another Friday night held in the sway of DJ Ron Trent
400-some folks funking to the Orishas descent
west village jams & Ghana grooves
Africa enters the room - see how the crowds move...
Sonia H. in a tangible state of flux
between the party & the people she's the pressured crux
stressed by seeking to share the most authentic feel:
a delivery system undergoes a taxing ordeal
the facts are these:
the scene grows at its own pace
it takes time to cultivate a community's tastes
the best music is always way ahead of the curve
those who bring it are burdened by the visions they serve
the mission evolves year by year
the faces of the cast slowly become clear
there's an imperative hidden in these mixes we hear:
this is a journey of reclamation, so much more than it appears...
reparations resonating through the room
raised hands & spirits each time the bass goes boom
Ron's birthday bash is a packed house of friends
a communal gathering of folks determined to ascend...

11 months of Africa Hi-Fi
all the fluctuations a year in the life implies
getting closer to the sources we seek to tap
giving the dark continent a House Party on the American map...

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