Sampling is NOT a Crime, its an art.

The title of Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod's documentary airing on PBS stations implies that sampledelia is a crime.
Copyright Criminals asks DJs, producers, label heads, lawyers and music critics, how sampling music and using it to make new music became a crime.

Sampling as we know it today began in the late 80's as early hip hop and house music producers used various samplers to take snippets of records, and combined them to make music which would eventually dominate music charts and dance floors around the world.

The doc does show a little about how musicians are 'influenced' by other musicians to the point of mimicking and how the Beatles (viciously anti sampling) sampled stuff for their White Album.

I've always championed electronic music artists and their sampling ways. I believe the main reasons record labels and artists took such a hard stance against this new form of music making was because of course money and good old discrimination. The majority of early sampledelia artists were black and brown and some were gay. Many had kept gay disco and their clubs open through the musical drought that preceded them where 'the best' at the top of the charts at that time were Bruce Springstein and Fleetwood Mac (sp?). When these new generation producers began making sounds out of other sounds, labels (their lawyers) and artists saw a way to make money and give some innovative, creative artists that were making sound scapes never heard before, a hard time.

I admit that some folks who sample and simply loop a part of a popular song over and over with out changing its pitch, or adding any of the various effects available, are lazy and not very creative. They are just using the sample for its popularity. See: MC Hammer "Can't Touch This" (samples Rick James' "Super Freak") and anything by Puffy who blatantly rips off Bowie and The Police.

The majority of artists that utilize samplers often spend days digging through music for the perfect beat or chromatic scales. They reverse, speed up or slow down, delay, reverb, pan, split, make stereo into mono, and many other tricks to change the sample to make it work in their piece.

Many often employ complicated mathematic algorithms to make sure they are not clashing frequencies and some to intentionally clash frequencies in order to produce never before heard frequencies. A lot of dedication and work goes into a lot of production, but many stuck in the 'musician with a traditional instrument can only make music- mindset, don't see (or hear) the revolution happening in their ears.

Check the website for future air dates. The doc is worth viewing much like Scratch and Maestro are essential in understanding music forms made from the margins.


Feliz Nu Decade

I'm back from a mental and physical break. Skipped December cuz it was just too much to spew here and didn't want to shoot out the energy I was holding at the time.

Now, what are we going to do this new year and decade?
Well I might slow down some on posting cuz I'm writing other stuff I want to make some feria on so I won't give so much free reads, sabes?
I'm also exploring the invisible world more with meditation using various techniques that just keep finding me.
I'm still going to post at LA Eastside.com as well, I know I need to do more there too. That blog is blowing up!!!
One blog that I recently read over there was about a Thai restaurant and it got me thinking about my experience with Thai food.

Growing up the only Asian food I had was Chinese and my folks weren't very experimental at that. It was always the dinner specials with the basics: egg flower soup, fried shrimp, sweet pork, fried rice, some veggies and noodles. Never did I hear of Thai or Vietnamese for that matter.

The first time I thought of even trying Thai was driving through K-Town on Vermont and seeing a line of people for a place with a red awning that said Thai Bar B Que in big bold letters. Later I would learn it was called Ocha. I remember driving by there all the time coming from Hollywood heading home in South Central at the time. One day rolling with mom, we were hungry but didn't know what to eat so I said let's stop there, "they always have a line so it must be good."

We parked right in front and got in line. It was a trip they had so many people working. One person sat you, another brought water, another took your order, others stood in between tables ready for you to ask for anything, the food came out quick and the customers were mostly Raza. WOW. Never seen anything like this. All the people working had headsets and they would rattle off your order or request for more water or tea and boom someone was there with what you asked. Efficient and fast. I learned about their 'caldo de siete mares,' pad thai, and garlic chicken. It was the only place I would go to for minute.

One day while attending CSUN my homie Hugo came to the apt. and was telling Oscar, Ernie, Manny and Me about this amazing soup in this cool restaurant that had Coronas for $2.50. So we piled into Oscar's ride and went to Aruni on Western. It was a lighter siete mares soup than what they had at Ocha, but very good. This place was also packed with Raza who were pounding beers with their soup. Everyone only came for the soup! Later I would try something else on their menu and realized I should stick with the soup there. That was my second Thai restaurant.

My next experience with Thai food came from Michelle D. who brought me some Bar-b-que chicken from Chao Praya (sp?). It was a much nicer Thai restaurant than Ocha and Aruni. They had table cloths! All their servers were super model looking Thai women that spoke in soft tones. Muy cool. I learned about coconut milk soup, and other dishes here. I would sometime just ask the super models what was good that day and trust them. It was that good all around. They were on Yucca near Vine, no longer there, but will always be remembered.

Since then I have gotten bolder and braver and now have a variety of Thai spots for the variety of peeps and tastes I or my peeps need.

My favorites these days are:

Palms in Hollywood for Thai Elvis and basic Thai.

Daisy Mint, thanks to Yanini, this is very special, very tasty, its French fusion brings squashes into dishes like I never knew could be done. They are for those ready for flavor bombs to go off.

Saladang is also muy flavorful and consistent with their quality. Its also in a very modern nice locale with a sweet patio.

Vics is in the Valley (omg) thanks to Fabi for this one too. This is Thai fast food style but very good. Its like the many burger joints in the Eastside but with Thai. They make everything by the order.

Now I also have Korean spots, Japanese houses and Vietnamese joints that I love.

The other day I was driving with my father going to eat in Chinatown and he took a phone call. His friend on the other end asked where are you? and pops said (in spanish) "We are in the barrio Chino for lunch." The friend probably asked "Oh you like THAT food?" and pops answered "Oh yes, I'm international like that."
I love that.

Happy Nu Year and Decade, eat well, treat yourself and yours well...