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, July 15, 2005

Africa Hi-Fi @ Sonotheque

Welcomed Ms.Sonia Hassan back from a three-nation trip to Africa. She brought me a badass Daishiki from Kenya that I'm pysched to rock at next month's party... Ya gotta love to work with folks who think about you when they're halfway across the world and bring you back presents from distant lands..
Ron Trent was actually in Madrid this month, so our feature DJs were Kennedy Octane & Jeremy Sole, who both dropped hot sets laced with some very funky Afro-House. We were featuring a compilation from Om Records entitled ReBoot, the proceeds of which go towards building a community center in South Africa for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. It's quite a disk, with unreleased tracks from the Thievery Corporation, Miguel Migs, Kaskade, Jeremy Sole, Ron Trent, and a whole lot more. It's truly encouraging to know that the DJs & producers in the House music community are willing to support conscious endeavors that give back to the world at large, and aren't just focused on serving up sounds for the hedonistic club scene that they cater to. I guess I don't give these cats enough credit...

Spent the night behind a table selling wristbands for NextAid, talking about recent campaigns for Amnesty International to the few random folks who cared enough to listen, and meeting a handful of delightful people. A representative for Uhuru360 swung through and dropped off a "Free Assata" flyer publicizing the long-running plight of Assata Shakur. Again, it's a beautiful thing to meet people who've been long committed to the struggle for equal justice & equal opportunity, and even though I get discouraged sometimes by the tepid response to my solicitations on behalf of groups like Amnesty, every now and then you meet like-minded individuals who recognize themselves in you, which joins us together in a profoundly powerful way. Those people tend to congregate around the music that supports the quest for self-determination, which is why Africa Hi-Fi is such a vital breeding ground for conscious visionary artists & people tapped in to the infinite funk rooted in the drums and music of the African diaspora...

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