04 September 2006

just had kind of an amazing train ride;;;;
after great meeting with cast of current show, where everyone talked open and out there and sincere and no animosity just this love of the work, and we all drinking manhattans and martinis in a fancy hotel bar in the outer tenderloin, and a few cereal boxes stolen from the kitchen and then pipes were lit, and a security guard came but we worked it out, ah the actors we are, we flattered and redirected, ah beautiful........

after all this, on the train, was thinking about the mixtape of all music ever that ends the show...and yes its got a western slant, but thats the fucking audience, and my own personal experiments have shown that my western ear gravitates toward the western; if you listen with nonwestern ear you hear strange strings and drums constant, the piece is just dripping with nonwestern. here:


i like it! but sure, its slanted, but thats fine with me, i am my audience.

but the point is not that: the point is, in tribute, one sample on the mixtape is from dj dangermouse/jay-z/the beatles the grey album ("99 problems", of course, so the best song on the album. hit me!)

it came on dj random on bart tonight, and listening to it, i realized something really obvious about the album that i just hadnt gotten...its the beatles WHITE album and jay-z's BLACK album. and the corresponding artists are racially WHITE and BLACK. so okay, right?> and how perfect? the beatles being just sooooo white, really the kings of white pop, this is what all white music aspires too...and to my small white mind jay-z being equivalently super-black hiphop, at the polar end of how black music can be; hiphop, and slightly gangsta underground at that...how BLACK...

and at the root of dangermouses genius is fusing these two, and finding fundamental this basic ground; they are both good music, so so good, and they interact, they are the same. they are the same in their goodness...and what a gift for me, an "enlightened" whitepop man with no black hiphop friends, walking in that liberal racial shadow zone of theoretically open yet practically nonexistent. like i just dont interact with black hiphop people at all, theres just none in my whitepop circles. my fundamental racial fear, is, as im sure a million pieces of literature have gone on about (and i dont know this literature, its outside my scope) is in the difference, the apparently overwhelming surface differences between my whitepopself and hiphopblack. basic, nothing new, we know this. and intellectually i understand the surface and the deep, that were all human and we feel the same things in spite of radiclaly different social mannerisms, a way of talking and seeing and interacting just so amazing different to me, as i watch dave chappelles block party in my cozy white berkeley living room and wonder, god why doesnt my culture listen like that, talk like that, dance like that? all that extroverted joy. but i have that joy, im the same, somehow, right? sure, sure, i guess, but im unconvinced...and in my whiteness feel like i cant even really talk about this, right? god its so fucked, i just stay away...(in fact ive had this post written for 3 months and havent published it yet, hm).

but then to hear that sameness, through music, not explained, but expressed through music.
yeah, that joy, that fundamental joy, i can hear it in jay-z's voice and in george harrisons guitar, i can, i can i can.
okay okay, thanks again music, thanks.