May it be as joyous and unexpected as Angry Ram‘s bleatings.
May it be as joyous and unexpected as Angry Ram‘s bleatings.
Hakk-Saul sat down on the bench to tie his shoes. His throat was sore from a fit of screaming that took place on the drive down to the stadium. Ordinarily, he went to home games by himself because he liked to clear his head while driving (and listen to music he wasn’t ready to let anyone know he liked). Today was different; Hakk-Saul did a favor for the defensive coach and gave the team photographer a ride. There were car troubles and the photographer was on the way.
Hakk-Saul took the usual route of surface streets, an access road, and more surface streets. Afternoon traffic was beginning to bulge but he was used to it and wasn’t bothered by waiting. He wasn’t bothered at all until the pine green bread cart of a car sped in front of him and into the turning lane where he was already queuing. The head coach had been urging Hakk-Saul for half the season to let the anger flow, to let all the rage gush out like lava from an erupted volcano, and to burn everything in its path — he had to protect the quarterback. Hakk-Saul didn’t like summoning that kind of energy because it seemed insincere. Besides, he’d forgotten how it felt to be angry.
Seeing that green car behaving in such a ludicrous manner bit into Hakk-Saul’s psyche, though. There was no room for him to follow the four cars who’d turned before him and yet here was this idiot zipping by as if it was going to make traffic move any faster. Hakk-Saul waited twenty seconds before turning onto the on-ramp, occupying the space to the right of the green car. At that point, he’d forgotten the photographer was in the back seat. Hakk-Saul’s attention was focused solely on that idiot car. He turned and stared into the childish, grinning face of its passenger and merged into the ramp behind it.
Creeping down the on-ramp half a car-length every couple of minutes, Hakk-Saul changed the music from progressive house to melodies with vocal screeching, heavy percussion, and shrieking guitars. With dark brown sunglasses resting on his sweaty face, Hakk-Saul glared into the green car’s side mirrors. He dropped his lower jaw like a draw bridge, bared his teeth, and growled. In a matter of seconds, his raspy exhalations became a crescendo of an unholy, guttural orchestra.
His hands shook, his face trembled, his heart rate spiked and for the next quarter of a mile, Hakk-Saul thought of nothing but ramming into that car, its occupants tossed around like fish by giants, heads crashing into stone, faces lacerated by cenobites, and limbs torn asunder by enormous spider crabs. All the while, the photographer was sitting in the back as still and quiet as paint drying on a wall, neither seen nor heard…just barely smelled.
Hakk-Saul’s fury passed on through a few minutes later and he felt calm. He was still sweaty and annoyed, but all the destructive imagery in his mind’s eye had faded. He changed lanes as quickly as he could and shot past that green fool at the first opportunity. And then he shifted his mind onto the team he’d be playing against as well as whether or not he’d be able to tap into that slide-show of physiological combustion when it mattered.
Today’s post was inspired by true events.
I took this self-portrait in front of a projection of his Empire State building film.
If you’re not familiar with the Stendhal Syndrome, it’s basically the experience of being overwhelmed by a work of art such that you may faint. I didn’t faint but when I was looking at the general collection and came across this sculpture, I froze in my steps and my eyes started to water. I looked at the man depicted and saw myself in his place. Existence encapsulated.
Later on I saw this sculpture but didn’t feel compelled to photograph the description.
I’ve written about the Kinjaz but I haven’t yet about ALiEN Dance Studio. In my many YouTube travels, I came across this choreography video of Tinashe‘s song “2 On” and was entranced. I’ve seen several male-only and mixed-gender dance crew videos on YT with much admiration and excitement, but ALiEN Dance Studio brings a bold and sensually precise dimension to the dance moves.
Their videos of Bruno Mars and Britney Spears songs leave me speechless.
While we’re on the subject of grooving tunes, I watched All Eyez on Me (Benny Boom, 2017) over the weekend. While I enjoyed the film and loved the music, I agree with many of the criticisms of the film discussed here on Reddit. When Tupac Shakur was successfully navigating the rap scene in the 1990s, I was listening to The Cranberries, Cake, Dishwalla, Live, Bjork, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, En Vogue — basically lots of alternative rock and top 40s pop/rock and r&b. While I knew who Tupac was and had come across his music by virtue of being a teenager of the 90s and immersed in pop-cultural media, it wasn’t until I saw the music video for “Gangsta Party” (aka “2 of Amerikaz’s Most Wanted”) featuring Snoop Dogg that I paid (more) attention to his voice and presence. I liked the rhythm of the song.
During the late 90s through the mid-2000s, I listened primarily to Asian pop music (Japanese, Korean and Chinese (Mandarin). Given the way Korean pop, hip-hop, and hip-pop have evolved in the last few years, I feel as though I owe my taste for Tupac’s music to Korean hip-pop. * Specifically, these kinds of tunes:
There is no soundtrack for All Eyez on Me, but Tupac’s albums are available to own. After YouTubing a few of the songs on his album of the same name, I went to Best Buy and got it. Let me tell you, driving while listening to “All About You” has been so much fun. Snoop Dogg’s narration at the end is hilarious. It’s also interesting to realize that “Recipe” by Kpop girl group Brown Eyed Girls lyrically samples “How Do You Want It.”
So why would I watch a movie about a rapper whom I didn’t really listen to when he was still alive? I saw Notorious (George Tillman Jr., 2009) in theatres out of curiosity and not too long ago watched Straight Outta Compton (F. Gary Gray, 2015). I figured I’d have to watch the Tupac biopic for symmetry.
* I am aware that American hip-hop heavily influenced Korean hip-pop.
I know I’ve been quiet. Here’s a song to break the silence. It’s beautiful, especially the guitar solo.
Lyrics are in the description box.