Archive for September, 2007

Closet Dancing Queen

We all like to get a little funky sometimes. Especially when no one is watching. You KNOW you dance around the house in your underwear à la Risky Business.

Of course, many a candid camera show has achieved success thanks to the unsuspecting victims who thought no one was watching. Not to mention the stuff caught on camera phones and posted on YouTube these days. Yikes.

But, really, when you’re feelin it you’re feelin it. And ain’t a damn thing gonna stop you. Kinda like this guy:


I’ve always admired do-it-yourselfers, builders, creators…mainly because I am so not one.

Since he was a kid, my brother was a natural at working with his hands. One time, he got in trouble for stealing the garage opener and taking it apart. My sister and I exchanged evil glances as we reveled in the thought of how yelled at he would get. But once our parents realized he had used the parts to build a miniature hand-held fan, they were like Oh. Damn. Nice job! Now he’s an engineer for Caltrans, go figure.

Unlike him, the extent of my talent for making stuff (other than, say, assembling IKEA furniture) starts and ends with shapeless lumps of play-doh. Thus, I prefer to step aside and let those who possess such talent work their magic.

Take the Wah-Wah Boots for example:

Not to mention the this guy and his DrumPants:

What’s next, the Maraca Bra? Harmonica Scarf? My friends and I often discuss the potential awesomeness of the Steering Wheel Drum Kit, but we think there might be a few legal hurdles in the way.

Rock + Arabic + Jazz = Razz

It’s all about evolving music. When you remove the shackles of big labels and constraints of mainstream media and give musicians and artists the freedom they deserve, real creativity begins to emerge, unlikely collaborations spring up, and people actually dare to be different. Hell, whole new genres begin to evolve! Take ‘Razz‘ for example. That is, Rock Arabic Jazz. Razz.

I was born into a family of old-school (think Dixieland and Big Band) jazz musicians, bombarded by rock and alternative (yay flannels) in junior high and high school, and then oddly enough spent most of my when-napster-was-free days in college downloading Arabic songs. I was kind of obsessed. But hey, for a white girl, I can sing (ok, hum) along to sooo many of the songs they play in hookah bars.

Hearing elements of Rock, Arabic, and Jazz music woven together with considerable artistry is delicious. Mix the haunting melodies and unique instrumentals of Arabic music, the beat and drive of rock, and the improvisational twists and turns and sweet harmonies of jazz and holy crap! You’ve got quite a match. Whether you dig this guy’s music or not, it’s hard not to appreciate the art.

Aziz Maraka is a shining example of how music in general – and genres specifically – will continue to evolve. As the world becomes increasingly more interconnected and culturally aware (with a few obvious exceptions in our current administration), the tech-savvy, fearless, and innovative pioneers of today’s young(ish) generations will continue to revolutionize the way music is made.

Web 2.0 will forever change the face of music and I, for one, plan to be sitting in the front row to watch it happen.

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