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Thoughts from the man behind the dreadsite March 25th, 2006
Well on Thursday night I went to see the master of Reggae music Toots Hibbert. Toots and his band The Maytals played to a sold out house at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The crowd was charged with energy. There were people aged from young teens all the way up to gray beards and every age in between. When Toots hit the stage, it was clear that we were dealing with someone who had been performing for over 40 years. His movements and energy were deliberate and showed a conservation of movement, but his voice was strong and sure having lost very little to the years. While it was clear that toots has physically slowed down, as the evening unfolded we were shown that the energy was going to go into the music. This band and this king of music gave a stellar performance, the music was blessed with the the energy and intent of a true force of life. Song after song hit after hit all played with life and love. By the end of the night most of the crowd was exhausted, but then he came back and rocked us steady for another 30 minutes of encore. Clearly we were the ones who needed to conserve our energy. this man showed what a true showman he is. The music spoke to everyone, strong and true, and carried us out into the rainy night on the wings of musical angels.
If you get a chance to see him on this tour do so!!
Thoughts from the man behind the dreadsite July 25th, 2005
What a year.. all I can say is click back and read "Who Let the Dogma In"
There is plenty to tell, but, most of it is really just the same old song... a man living in the corporate world and holding fast to his artistic soul. I am not too much different from the average Joe, I think my life's struggles are the most severe, Ha! what a crock! Laugh. All it takes is one look at the global situation to see how far up the food chain I am. I live like a king of kings, but I am still not even middle class. I can taste just enough prosperity to be addicted, but not enough to be free. What have I been doing about it...?
Short Version: Work all year on a major film release, then watch as profits skyrocket, and people get downsized at the end of the project. Nothing new to the film crews and artists, who labor so hard on visual entertainment. Then add in a little out-sourcing to Asia. I am fighting for my job in a race to the bottom. When I am not reading indy media about the crime of the century being committed by the US Government, I am sustaining a fledgling attempt at being a musician and producer, through my own company. Ownership being the only way to get ahead, but I am bought in, and mortgaged up to my ass in this economy. What if I sell out of my house before the bubble breaks, quit my job and invest my 401k in my own life and become the master of my own destiny now before it disappears into the next pension scandal, I can payoff my debts and try to survive in the underground economy. Hmm, then my hands wouldn't be bloody from paying taxes to the war machine.
This is the kind of courageous act we are all going to have to start committing to, if we are going to turn this thing around... may I find the courage...
Thoughts from the man behind the dreadsite March 4th, 2005
I recently returned from New Orleans, where I was able to roam freely and enjoy the life of a tourist in the French Quarter. My brother-in-law ran in a marathon to raise funds for AIDS programs. We went to support him in this amazing feat. After a day at the races we had several days to take in the sights and sounds of New Orleans, a time I enjoyed very much. I'll post a slide show movie here in the days to come.
One of the things that struck me was the prevalance of music and booze on Bourbon street. I had heard quite a bit about it from others who had been there, and true to tale it was a lively scene of drunk people and music pouring from seemingly every doorway. The ony problem was, none of the music was New Orleans Jazz. As we walked past clubs at night we heard all kinds of local rock bands, covering all the classic rock covers. Loud obnoxious versions of AC/DC, Lynard Skynard, etc. There was also a hip-hop club, thumping and bumping with the latest bling hit, and ultimately was the closest thing to a vital music scene reflective of the musical legacy I was expecting to find. Honestly I was terribly disappointed by the obvious commercialization of the street and lack of traditional Jazz. However, it was clear from the whoops and hollers of the mostly white affluent 20-30 year olds, walking down the street with their alcoholic drinks in plastic cups, that the market was driving this musical focus.
One day during our walk in Jackson Square, we did run into a traditional Jazz band with a very talented young man leading it. They had a Tuba player, playing the bass notes and all manner of horns, percussion and energy. I was really happy to see them and put a healthy tip in their tip jar to celebrate. The singer was a truly gifted vocalist and performed without benefit of a sound system and could be heard over the volume of the other instruments quite well. After singing a great version of "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, they announced they would be performing at the Funky Butt, a local club not located on Bourbon street. Thus my friends and I resolved to go and see them in the club setting. That night, as we set out to find the Funky Butt we journeyed the edges of the French Quarter, to an area my cousin, who has lived in New Orleans for all her life, had warned would be considerably more dangerous at night. She gave explicit instructions on which streets to use to approach it, and which route to take back home after the show, warning us not to travel in anything less than a group of four people. When we arrived, I was shocked to find a small club which sat at most 20 people. The walls were covered with some great art and signed posters from Jazz luminaries alive and dead. The music was vital and the place bounced all night long, it was the most rewarding musical experience I had while in New Orleans.
What became clear to me as I looked into this more and more is that the true Jazz scene in New Orleans no longer lives on Bourbon Street, but in other more hidden districts and nooks of this city. I am definitely going back there in the years to come and will concentrate my efforts in the areas where jazz is likely to live, now that I have been to Bourbon Street and know what does not live there. In closing I have to say that the French Quarter is a lovely district, and the atmosphere and architecture was very beautiful. Further, the people I met from the area had a warmth and openess that made me feel at home away from home.
Thoughts from the man behind the dreadsite January 1st, 2005
So a new year begins, tragedy in asia and excess in the good old USA. Like most Americans I spent last night ringing in the new year with a little too much of everything. Too much food, too much drink, too much noise. However, I remained aware of how blessed and lucky I am, and while I work hard and so does my spouse, we have not forgotten that there are people who work even harder and have so much less. As I reflect on how I live life and how I would like to live in the future, I resolve to continue to treat people with compassion, generosity and honesty. That last one can be harder than it sounds. I removed some links on this page to make a fresh start, a new beginning. I am not sure how well I'll do posting here regularly, but I will say this...I have not recieved one e-mail indicating anyone reads this page, so send me some mail, and I'll write more often.
In the meantime if you want to hear sounds and find out about the music I am playing, then you can point your browser here stringtheories.com
(or here to Lumanation, Midday Dread's latest reggae band)
Thoughts from the man behind the dreadsite November 5th, 2004
Today's ambition is posting here much more regularly. The most important thing on my mind today is not politics, it is the influence of Brian Wilson, whom I saw perform last evening.
The angelic harmonies and heartfelt performances by him and his band have washed my soul clean of the tribulations of the politricksters and defilers of life, though their dark coldness emanates from the shadow of the still recent election in the U.S.
No, the sounds of harmony and happiness have melted that feeling with a bright warm .
Once again the power of music has done it's work, I can carry forth renewed inside and energized. So I look toward the coming thanksgiving, mindful of the harvest of creation and abundance, as well as the need to continue the important works of social justice, equal rights, and power to the peaceful.
It occurs to me that I do not have to give up my feeling of well being or be depressed by the media and the election, I carry a greater gift in my heart. One that triumps over babylonian babble; a gift of hearing, healing.
For what I and others recognize in Brian Wilson, or other artists in the world of music, is a reflection of what is good and pure in ourselves, in the human condition, the irrepressible capacity for joy in a song. Thus all the vampires and evil doers cannot cherish this gift, as they cannot see reflected, what is not there in them.
If you can feel the flight of angels in your heart from a song, a poem, or a painting, then you are awake to your happiness; you therefore have defeated the evil intentions. This is the great gift of creation. Let it carry you forward in your daily life. Do not let media propaganda chase away that feeling. Let the soothing music echo in your mind undisturbed and free of their babble. Nourish yourself several times a a day and use that energy to propel you , soon it will be catching, and people around you will begin to groove too. Carry on!
Below find some links to my songs, though humbled I may be about the limits of my own creative gifts, they are for sharing.
It should be noted that while times are ripe for revolution, midnightdread.com is an advocate of non violent resistance.
Listen to these great tunes written and performed by Midday Dread:
Why Do I Have To Die In Iraq
Contact Midnight Dread & Midday Dread (The former Webmaster): firstname.lastname@example.org