Columbus Rocks!

Today, I was at a conference and got a sense that those in HR at some pretty large organizations don’t realize how much of an easy sell Columbus, Ohio is.

We rock.  Seriously, here is my Thursday of which I’ll only to be able make it to those things starred.

*8am-4pm Ohio Hispanic Leaders Conference (where Mayor of Columbus, Mike Coleman, showed up and blasted Arizona’s racist laws—love him!)       Left the conference on bike and rode through the Short North Arts District to my house and passed Mayor Coleman on High Street where he was in a pedicab.

330pm Triathlon Run Practice

445pm-12am Triathlon Hay Ride, Pumpkin picking, Bonfire etc.

*6pm-9pm Columbus Underground Happy Hour at Z Cucina.

*7pm-930pm  Bad Movie Night at Junctionview.

9pm-11pm  Joke Jams (Stand-up comedy) at Kafe Kerouac.

*9pm-2am Pierced Arrows/Sandwich/The Ferals (Indie Punk Rock Music) at The Summit.

*10pm-1130pm Radical Movie Night presents, Female Trouble at the Sporeprint Infoshop.

Of course there are lots of other venues with music and art tonight, but the list above are solely the things I’m interested in attending today that I didn’t have to research.  I know for example if I looked at the Wexner Center’s page, they are almost assuredly showing an international indie film that I’d enjoy seeing, but for me it is better to not know what I am missing, and enjoy what I can.

I take it to heart when people bad mouth Columbus, we have a lot to enjoy in this city…my problem is never finding what to do, but time to fit in everything I want to do.

I woke up White Today

Let’s say you are a Mirish Xicana, wanna be hip blogger and you are dating a man, a black man (which may or may not be relevant) who sends you a text message that he just heard a song that reminded him of you.  The lyrics he selects to send you in the text are as follows:

“I woke up white today and everything went right today.  I woke up white today and everything was A-ok.  I woke up Caucasian had a realization…”

How exactly do you take this hypothetical text message as the cool Ohio Pseudo-White-Latina that you are?

Below is a link to the song…it is actually a really good poppy punk song.

Woke Up White – Imani Coppola

Migrant Farm Working in the Midwest

I went looking for some music by Chuy Negrete who I first saw preform in 1997 at the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) convention. That lead me to watching a lot of you tube videos. It was through FLOC that I first became active in mobile medical clinics, it was through FLOC that I began to learn about community organizing, it was FLOC that I began to understand the importance of actively fighting for labor rights. It was also through FLOC that I learned of and admired the work by the National Farm Workers Ministry who always seemed able to get volunteers to wherever they were most needed.
My difficulties here in Ohio is that people tend to think that migrant farm working is something isolated to California. And, I am not sure how many understand the working and living conditions of migrant farm workers. The National Farm Workers Ministry put together a two part youtube video called Harvest of Justice (I and II), I think it is well done and offers a good summary of activism, labor and living conditions and organizing within migrant farm working communities.

I leave you with an emo and not very infromational, but yet touching,  NFWM video of FLOC organizing in 2007 in North Carolina…for you non-emos it gets good at about 1minute 20 seconds into it…

Atmosphere – Judge not lest ye be judged

I no longer will judge you, Bukowski, by the tiny clip of you kicking the shit out of your girlfriend (I’d seen the whole documentary not just the clip and it had disturbed me). Nor will I judge you Slug, by your womanizing.

I’ve had issues with Slug (of Atmosphere fame) because of the widespread gossip of his womanizing. An ex of mine (and friend of Slug’s), who is as I see it also a womanizer, would even occasionally mention some of Slug’s behavior as womanizing. I like Slug’s music, love his music but wouldn’t allow myself to admit it. How could I like someone who occasionally behaved in ways I was totally against?

El Oso and I even discussed it a few years back when I mentioned I was going to an Atmosphere show:


I’m jealous. Although, last night I was talking to the person who first introduced me to Atmosphere on a mix tape (ah the lost art of the mix tape) which had The Woman With The Tattooed Hands on it. She said she forever lost her faith in Slug when she saw him live. He was bringing up random girls on stage, making out with them, then talking shit and kicking them off. It’s a second hand account and rappers don’t have to be heroes, but I certainly expected something more from someone as thoughtful (ie. full of thought) as Slug.”

The ex who would mention Slug’s treatment of women, is also a decently well known musician, and he spoke more about his admiration for Slug then he did of the womanizing. He would speak of Slug’s dedication to his music, to his work. He’d tell me about Slug always working while on tour, always working to get his name out there. Slug, himself, has rhymed about that struggle and the sacrifices that he has made because of his self-promotion. My ex stated that he would never be as well known as Slug, for many reasons but for one, because he would never be willing to work at it as hard as Slug had or give-up time with his own children.

It was today that I realized how hard Slug, Atmosphere, have worked at their music. Today I turned on my car radio and their song “You” was playing. Later I heard the same song coming out of a parked car in the parking lot of the welfare office. As I drove home from work today an SUV pulled up along side next to me with the same song playing. At happy hour with my girlfriend, she mentioned hearing an interview on BBC with Slug today and how she was shocked the BBC was interviewing him.

I’ve got to admit it Slug has worked hard and deserves all he can get. He shouldn’t be judged by a small part of his life, but as a whole person, and like all of us, he isn’t perfect.

It is unfair for El Oso, my ex, or myself to judge Slug on rumors or even small parts of his life. We can in fact, and do, still admire Slug, as El Oso put it a few years ago: “Slug could very well be my favorite poet of his generation.
And I think El Oso is right. Atmosphere’s new album is one of my favorite albums of all time. Respect given where respect is deserved; Slug is an amazing poet and a hard worker. Keep up the good work Slug, and if you come to Columbus, I’ll make you a home cooked meal.

You can listen to some Atmosphere here, some Slug here, or listen to the You song (as well as some other new songs) here.

Tim Easton at Rumba Café

I had a wonderful night at Rumba Café just a few blocks from my home where I got to see Tim Easton preform. I first heard about Tim Easton almost a decade ago when my friend Chris Burney told me he was dropping out of The Ohio State University, leaving the student radio station and heading to California to make music with Tim Easton. Chris asked me if I wanted his position as Promotions director for the radio station. I thought that Chris was the coolest person ever!

The show provided me with great music and good old friends from the radio station days; Zak Moses (Flotation Walls), Jeff Fernengel (Tree of Snakes), Miles Curtiss (Marvin the Robot), and Chris Burney (The Sun). It was odd in that I had so many of my music friends around me; I of course have always been the person who didn’t know the new bands. I am still the person who rifles through the CMJ lists not recognizing most of the names but that doesn’t mean I don’t love going to the shows.

Tim Easton has never failed in moving me. He played for four hours last night and consistently pleased with only one exception. My favorite song of his, Dear Old Song and Dance (downloadable for free), started wonderfully and beautifully but it was cut short. It was terrible, like saving your favorite dessert for last and then just before you get to it finding that your roommate ate it.

I wish I’d had some money on me, for if I had I would’ve bought some of his CD’s. So if you are like me and enjoy good music but never seem to be the one that discovers it, I encourage you to go discover Tim Easton and of course Rumba Café.   Rumba Café has a great laid back lay out, good beers, and awesome music…and I just might be there tomorrow night to see The Flotation Walls.