A couple gifts as we approach the end of the year...In this blog: a unique sort of year in review with the Critical Darlings Podcast and 'Dandelions', a new song about people of color, immigrants, and "the other" in the United States.
I hardly have the patience to sit through someone's year end blog, detailing the exploits of another year gone by, and I certainly don't expect you to read my self indulgent reminders to myself that my work is indeed going somewhere. Mostly, you'll just have to take my word for it. You can jump down to the new audio below, but I will take a quick second to bullet a few of the year's highlights, because, well, I work hard and should at least acknowledge my own small victories.
This year, I:
- Joined the faculty of West Bank School of Music and had an excellent six-week class before the summer.
- Was welcomed to the COMPAS Arts artist roster and look forward to lots of good work with them this coming year.
- Had a smashing year working with youth again over the summer, teaching on the meaning of art, hip hop, and social justice with students from all over the world.
- Shattered a personal record of albums sold with my latest work, 'The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes'
- Created so much new and vital work that I can hardly stand not releasing it this very instant, but I must wait. I must do it right. But fear not, the new full length album, 'JAWS OF LIFE' really is coming (as is so much more new and exciting work).
- Collaborated tirelessly on so many new songs, side projects, and the like that it'll take some time to organize their release around the next big solo album.
- Dropped a lovely little ep with collaborator Dameun Strange as "Strange Perspective", a four song suite we call 'Nobody Sleeps Tonight'
- Enjoyed my first year conceptualizing, recording and producing an new Podcast with friend Mark Mikula and had a lot of fun doing it.
- Really wrote some of my best work ever. I still feel like I'm finding my voice, searching for that certain something in my work, and I know that as we approach the end of another year, I am that much closer to attaining that.
While I enjoy time with my beloved abroad, I think of the families that had their sons stolen from them all too soon. The families that had love ripped out of their life. Peace torn from the pages of their family holidays. My heart and thoughts are with them. I simply can not imagine what it's like. To have a family member stolen by the people who proclaim to serve and protect. By the human beings who take offense to our protests of unlawful, irresponsible and spineless murder of our brothers, sons, fathers, uncles and friends.
In these times, it is thoughtless to not acknowledge that pain. It is irresponsible as a person to live and love without living and loving for those that we have lost.
"We are passing news of death in the streets/told to keep our dignity, accept our defeat/
keep our voices down, stay off the air/
but we ar dandelions and we are every where"
This episode doesn't present your typical end of year list, rather offers our thoughts on the past year. We look at the things that we experienced and impacted us the most through a free-form conversation for 20 minutes and present a list of 14 statuses from our Facebook timelines over the last year that made us feel something. It's fun, thoughtful and with current events the way they are, also thought provoking. We talk about everything from Prince to Ferguson to artistic and professional development to having conversations about white privilege to awkward laundry room moments and so much more.
Happy New Year, may all of your hopes and aspirations be that much closer to fulfillment in the months to come.
As always, thanks for reading, listening and thinking,
For more, please visit www.seemoreperspective.com