February 6, 2017 - B.A. to Montevideo, Uruguay

“I’m praying for all of you.” - Phenella Duplessis Perez

February 6th, 1926 + December 2nd, 2011

“Wake up and live!” - Robert Nesta Marley

February 6th, 1945 + May 11th, 1981

Peace to you and yours, Dear Reader and… Happy Tuesday. Here’s some thoughts to connect us for a few moments on whatever day or night that you receive this. I hope that you are well and trust that you, as I, we all get what we need through all of this circumstance of history. America, as a nation, is just reaping what it has sown; as every manifestation and being on earth must. Healing to all who are dealing with serious illness. Mercy and oneness for us all. And before we go any further, may I say for the record: The United States of America is, “bathed in racism,” and dressed in hypocrisy. And now has a significant - epic battle on its main stage. To yours truly, it appears that there is a fight for civilization on earth just getting started - again. I don’t like it. Nevertheless… The handwriting is on the wall. [Pregunta: es la ultima?]

Doom is a conman. I shall not listen to him. I’m not crying for pain… Hearing all of the voices crying out, I send: safety, protection and healing to the people. Healing to the land. I am commencing this round on a the last day of January, 2017 - exactly one month from Mardi Gras - yes, this year falling on the last day, of February. I have checked into Maria’s Casita here in the, Palermo SoHo district and am getting the quiet that I need. The Verano Porteño sol, thru the french doors, over my right shoulder, descending to its evening glory; having had a cloud shrouded rest all day. I myself have had to move around as well so to find a calm. I have already spent several nights on, Avenido Corrientes which could aptly be described as the, Broadway of Buenos Aires, save for the apparent fact that it also constitutes as the nation’s, Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And yes, El Gran Compositor, Astor Piazzolla is the star that guides me here. It is quite a, Libertango indeed. Nevertheless, I am thankful that I have made it to this big, great city. I have been reminded in many ways of the power of great metropoles as I am humbled by the degree of strength that it takes to take on a city such as this one. I have also spent a couple of nights on Calle Talcahuano - which I can only describe as the, “48th Street” of B.A. (You musicians with any bit of knowledge of NYC will get my drift.) Only a few blocks from Corrientes, and Obelisco, Talcahuano #35 still proved to be too much a thoroughfare for yours truly. I did my best to enjoy the french provincial balcony yet, can now only hold a grudging respect for the municipal bus lines that run rather swiftly and frequently, sometimes in caravan eastwardly down the street.

Already, I have seen two Tango shows; both impressive while obviously being served up to touristas… Teatro Tango Porteño presents an artful historical revue, in a retro super club environment when, WHAMO! A smiling, python-like aerialist appears and performs a gracefully agitated rise and fall and rise routine from two draping ropes of red fabric, while a silverdaddy cantante delivers Piazzolla’s, “Balada Para Un Loco.”  I characterize it as a good show of death defiance, hand in hand, also terrifically erotic. The second show, Raices de Tango told a more personal history of the nation’s emblem. With stunning yet uncomplicated visuals the production was satisfyingly more evocative than the revue. So unfortunate though was the audio that I had to move from my seventh row isle seat. There was also something very strange in the apparently directed intonation differences among the instruments of the nine piece band. At first I thought, Ok… this is to evoke a vintage quality. But then it didn’t let up - not even for the orchestral interludes which obviously exhibited virtuosity. As the show went on I bargained, Tango is about tensions and this is an… exploration. By the closing scenes I was rearing in my mid-house seat. The small upright keyboard which may or may not have been electronic seemed to be in an other tempered scale.  

Palermo, SoHo is somewhere between… Greenwich Village and, Bywater… Silverlake and, Treme. (By the way, it has been stated: by others… Bywater doesn’t need a preposition.) I myself like the sound, ‘da bywater’ - and I am sending this message in a bottle on a Monday, first one of February. It begins with the respective universal declarations of two distinct enlightened beings, Aquarians. Both of whom mightily overcame a significant amount of childhood poverty and paternal abandonment and, I will add at this time, both could claim Syrian ancestry. In the epic case of icon, Bob Marley, his paternal Great-grandfather - a Jew. In the remarkable story of my mother, her maternal Grandfather, a Christian. (Syria… a very holy land.)

And as always, I say: Peace to the people, peace to the land. Paz. Salaam. I have been asked by a close friend as to what is it that I do on these “jumps…” I suppose the heart of the matter is: I think freely. And pray a lot. It’s a feeling I get when I enter another country or shall I say, the feeling of not being within the borders of the U.S. There’s a clarity. A lighter grace, or darker truth, that is revealed. A willingness to ascend… And a greater perspective looking down on everything. In this my first trip in the so called, Southern Hemisphere, things have been turned up-side down. The amount and quality of the Sun’s radiance is significant and potent here. And these sharper shadows which I cast upon your wall are dispatch… An uploading of consciousness. (WARNING - Not for mobile device consumption!) What do I call it? The name of this blog is… Code Purple. Print me and place on your shrine.

New Orleans has to its mantel, an official grieving period. One year and one day was the span of time that the legendary above ground graves had to remain sealed, after any corpse was placed inside. In the 19th Century version of, “the beautiful crescent” this was a necessary concern during either of the two legendary epidemics which swarmed the town with death. (There had to be “holding tombs” for any other family member who succumbed within the 366 days.) In my previous post, I allowed for a documentation of my memorializing of Prince. It would come of no surprise that it was just some of my thought. There is much that I think about Prince which I cannot leave here on these walls. The tomb is sealed although the silence cries from within. I shall begin to utilize the, Comments section to capture the moments between publishing and further desire.

In a mood indigo sky, the moon begins her, “February Fandango” - once again, mocking all of this madness on earth. And doing what’s necessary to keep human beings under the love spell…  I have a breathtakingly marvelous vantage point to experience her. This is, of course, the first time we’ve met below the Equator…

“Precious is a baby with a mother.”

This is a penultimate line in Prince’s, The Love We Make. There’s a biting irony to the double imperative represented. In latter performances, the Artist had taken to delivering the line as, “…without a mother.” And thus, yours truly cannot turn away from the collision. As, El Seacat Buquebus gently rocks towards Uruguay, and I eagerly anticipate arrival into South America’s most progressive nation; I thank you for reading. I invite you to share via the various net-casting methods which escape yours truly. I am grateful to have, TJNW (this corner of the room.)

There is also much more I can say about, Buenos Aires - which would characterize the Autonomous City as, Aries - The Ram… I am. My generalized opinion, Porteños are an intense people, and thus belies the power of Tango. “Everything that can happen between a man and a woman.” Astor Piazzolla’s own summation of the music which he transformed from a popular style that heralds its origins in the early 20th Century bordellos of the city, into the virtuosic, Nuevo Tango which is rendered in concert halls in Argentina and all over the world. My farewell evening of the art form was contextualized with, sabor de Jazz. A reworking of Piazzolla’s Verano Porteño, the show featured a potent cantanta who possessed impeccable vowels and marvelous stage presence. And over the course of the week-end, I have also heard Jazz i.e. Monk, Miles etc. impressively played by, two guitar trios and a trumpet/guitar quartet all evocatively rendered at a small spot down the road from Maria’s.

It is still a curiosity which I follow: Both musical forms are ultimately centered around the feeling manifested by the players, and their audience of listeners/dancers. And yet, Jazz - now with its own various performance halls and academies - still has not achieved the level of national respect held by Tango in Argentina. By now, I have already said, Adios Porteños… I don’t know if I will meet you again. Nevertheless, you can call me for a gig! 

From Casa Sandra in lovely, Playa de Pocitos, Montevideo (much akin to Playa Redondo, California) - I cast this into the “Sea of Ki” and bid you: love, gratitude, and wellness.

Peace and impeachment,

E.

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Comment by Darlene Jones on February 15, 2017 at 10:06pm
Hey u!! FINALLY, after many attempts, I'm able to read your blog! As I JUST finished, my houseguests walked in from their all day FRENCH QUARTER adventures! So...can't write much, BUT...your writing is AMAZING! Also, your Prince analogies are spot on! It touched me that of ALL the songs u could have picked, u spotlighted "THE BEAUTIFUL ONES!" It's my FAVOURITE!! Glad to hear your doin well, & getting the much needed "REGROUP/RECOUP" time spirits like us so DESPERATELY need & CRAVE! Take care, & kno that I love u with all my heart, & am praying for u...

ALWAYS IN ALL WAYS,
Candy
BIGHUG
Comment by Esquizito on February 7, 2017 at 4:34am

And as an added bonus, Maria’s Casita is catty-corner to a small cafe, called, casa muamor. I have attempted to convey just how the name appears painted on the large transom window over the front door. (Google wouldn’t translate it for us but, after I while, I catch on.) A curious environment, a breakfast/lunch/cafe that caters to young parents - mostly mothers - and their pre-school offspring. The establishment features a spacious playroom with large plate glass viewing on one side and great big versions of, “The Wild Ones” painted on the encompassing three others. As athletic toddlers discover some of the basics of natural law: a ball falls down a tube and comes out the other end… a rocking crocodile moves and stays in place at the same time, a screaming match ego-lessly commences! It is truly amazing how much sound can freely come out of a human organism when it is just two or three feet high; and before said organism encounters its, “I.”

Among his numerous virtuosic achievements, I would like to uphold Prince’s mastery of, the scream. Case in point, the 24 rocking ballad measures in the penultimate moments of, “The Beautiful Ones.” It’s not an easy thing to do. Any degree of articulated scream is considerably challenging for most human beings; one has to be in a particular state to execute the unique effect, and Prince understood the power in attaining it. Not since, Little Richard, and James Brown, and perhaps never had radio listeners heard a black man cry out to the nth power until, “When Doves Cry” exhibited Prince’s soul. Seems only right to note at this point: Everything comes at a cost.

 

Comment by Esquizito on February 7, 2017 at 4:31am

By the way, did you go see, “Get On Up.” The heralded JB biopic did not achieve the accolades that yours truly though it should. (As more than a few of you know: Esquizito is not easily impressed.) Nevertheless, if you missed it, go and do whatever you need to do in this day and age to view it in its down prime. If for nothing else, the opening sequence is a cinematic milestone! I have no doubt that you will be furthered compelled to sit and come upon another very interesting scene which depicts a meeting of, Richard Pennington and James Brown.

Brandon Mychal Smith, the actor playing Little Richard chassés away with the scene when he fixes his gaze directly at James and asks, “What happened to you?!” You, the viewer could answer, having seen it depicted earlier in the story: maternal betrayal. I don’t know about Richard… but let’s be clear here: It is the one distinct aspect that, Prince and the Godfather both endured.

By the age of 14 years, Prince Rodgers Nelson was one of America’s statistical homeless youths - having been abandoned from both of his parents’ domiciles. If not for friend and bassman, Andre Cymore and his mother, the iconic story of Prince might never have occurred. Prince was provided a refuge in the family’s basement which allowed him to continue and excel at Central High and, jam a great deal with Cymore and others. I have heard tapes of this period (mic in the middle of the room… no effects, no studio tech…) and quite frankly, these documents proved to me just how talented and driven Prince was.

Comment by Esquizito on February 7, 2017 at 4:15am

He was a proclaimer, an ancient archetype, Man With A Guitar; Prince obviously was gratified by being a badass musician. He freely acknowledged his competitive fixation. He felt blessed to be able to have some of the best badass musicians at his command. His shows were, a funky-grooving love church with everyone in existential bliss. The Beautiful One…  and as all does, all this had its price.

“He’s the most arrogant individual I’ve ever meet.” - MJ re: Prince. “I am music.” Said he, in an latter day interview. And yes, it could be said, as most accounts reveal, Prince was in a state of music most of the time. And did he not declare…? “…I’ll dance my life away!” Here’s a little story that’s worth documenting here. Susan Malvoin, sister to Wendy & Lisa, recounted the time when, Prince was sent a pre-release master copy of MJ’s “B.A.D.” This came from Quincy Jones, no less, with an invitation to appear in the subsequent video. Prince not only declined but also replied by sending his own recorded version of the song adding, “…and this is how it should sound.” (This can be backed up, go ahead if you must.)

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

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