Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stormy Monday Funk and Sandra Cisneros

I don't just love Jack Sprat cuz they're my homies and amazing beings. I love Jack Sprat cuz they make dope music. Each individual making up the Collective has a unique musical background, education, and interest, yet when it comes to music they speak the same language of love, and you can hear it when they play. It's hard to say what they sound like, cuz nothing and no one quite comes close... some blend of rock n jazz n funk n soul n reggae n hip hop, a "fusion" like the multicultural melting pot of the Bay Area from whence we all came, they describe their influences as, "Quality music of all shapes and sizes. Sly Stone. The Roots. Outkast. The Beatles. P-Funk. Prince. Jimi. Mos Def. Bob Marley. Chili Peppers. Tribe. Cream. Everything in between." They've put on a show in late December over the past few years and they continue to please n perform - The Jack Sprat Collective will be playing at The Oakland Metro on December 28. Listen to them here and be sure to check them out in a week!

And so, yesterday I was flyering for the show with Sachs5thAvenue. Nearly-solstice mid-afternoon sun both bright and dim, already fading, tight as if stretching across the horizon and over the low buildingtops. The copy store was big n wide like University the street it's on and smelled like a headache, like beneath the kitchen sink. It smelled like the need to run outside and gasp for air, like if you spent too much time in there you might begin to go crazy, but copies are cheap, ten cents per for a big poster. So backpacks on like turtle shells, or maybe like camel humps filled with water bottles and flyering supplies, prepared, yippeeeeee we biked all over Berkeley. wind in hair and eyes and ears so that you sniffle a little and your face feels fresh and you just hear something like whirrrr as you glide, float, fly down the street and the roar of the rest of the world begins to dull. and in between the CRALUNKKK of the staplegun and the scratchpeeling of stuck, jagged tape edges peace just lingered, easy conversation flowed just like that smooth feeling of bike-riding. and so it goes with you, friend - "you have a calmness that is balancing and a gentleness that is soothing and strengthening." And as the sky began to slide into pink and almost-lavender the clouds agreed with this sense of beauty and calm and peace - playful and deliberate, soft wispy ribbons pirouetted here and fields of rows n rows of puffy-patterned shapes lay there. In honor of those clouds, of that sky, of those moments, here is a vignette from Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street:

"Darius & the Clouds"

You can never have too much sky. You can fall asleep and wake up drunk on sky, and sky can keep you safe when you are sad. Here there is too much sadness and not enough sky. Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it.

Darius, who doesn't like school, who is sometimes stupid and mostly a fool, said something wise today, though most days he says nothing. Darius, who chases girls with firecrackers or a stick that touched a rat and thinks he's tough, today pointed up because the world was full of clouds, the kind like pillows.

You all see that cloud, that fat one there? Darius said. See that? Where? That one next to the one that looks like popcorn. That one there. See that. That's God, Darius said. God? somebody little asked. God, he said, and made it simple.

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