When someone tells you they live in East Williamsburg or Bushwick there’s a good chance you picture them livin’ it up in a loft. You may imagine big open windows, rustic wood floors or beds in da sky. Renee Ligtvoet and I scoped a bunch of different lofts and met the people behind them. Check out what this life means for them in this first installment of BUSHWICK CRIBZ.
It has been a week since Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. Thankfully at this stage power is back on in many of the affected areas, and I think we are all grateful to have the subway running back into the city. Improvements are happening quickly, which is wonderful.
Our coastal neighborhoods, however, will take a lot longer to repair. Flood-damaged homes are full of sand and sewage-contaminated mud. Power has been cut off until basements are free from water. The clean-up effort is huge, and, as always with lost possessions, very painful. But many hands make for light work… If you want to get involved, there are loads of options. I volunteered with Rockaway Emergency Plan on Sunday, and they were really awesome. Although, there are many areas where you are needed.
While many of the neighborhoods in the tri-state area have been devastated by the ravages of hurricane Sandy, Bushwick was “miraculously” spared any serious damage. A large number of Bushwick residents who regularly commute to Manhattan have been forced to stay in the neighborhood, and Bushwick business owners report more customers than ever. “It feels like Bushwick is in this protective bubble,” said Nyssa Frank, the owner of Living Gallery, which organizes art classes and exhibitions. “We were so lucky…”
Nyssa wasn’t the only one mentioning the “Bushwick bubble.” Gina Leone and Ben Warren, the owners of bars The Bodega and Heavy Woods mentioned it as well. They said that they see about 60% more customers than usual. “It’s really terrible what happened in other parts of the city,” said Ben sadly. Heavy Woods is planning a benefit night for the areas that suffered the most.
Every Monday at 5pm, jojoSOUL & RG broadcast LIVE, right here on Bushwick Daily from jojo’s studio in Bushwick. As you know the shows always range from hip-hop, freestyling, live jazz, pumping house music, to old analog tape and vinyl. Naturally there is a lot of talking, comedy, culture, and FUN FUN!
For the upcoming weeks we have invited a couple of really cool guests, which gives you even more reasons to tune in every Monday at 5pm. Oh and don’t forget to join the chat and tell us how you like the music, guests, jojo and RG!
Upcoming Special Guests include: (more…)
BushwickDaily.com presents “jojo‘s Mixtape- Sounds of Reggae: Past and Present”
Happy 420 folks!
These selections range from roots-reggae to dancehall to hip-hop, with a quick track from the 1940′s at the beginning. The upbeat-rocking fundamental to reggae music is a well-suited template for meditation and medication, sometimes driving, sometimes laid-back. The use of effects and fills in reggae is also very unique to the genre, as many tracks have “entrances” to cut-in when being DJed. Jamaica’s music is the seed for the bloom of hip-hop and many other genres. The concept of DJing popular today originated in Jamaica with the use of soundsystems and soundclashes between competing DJ’s. One DJ would set-up at the end of a block and boom, and another would compete down the block for the crowd to come dance at his end. Jamaican immigrants like DJ Kool Herc purveyed these customs upon arriving in NYC and birthed an entirely new way of playing, listening, and performing, leading to new styles of dance, art, and more. A tremendously important style to music’s ongoing growth, and a key history of significant influences.
Buck Washington- Save the Roach for Me
Triston Palma- Joker Smoker
Lee “Scratch” Perry- Soul Fire
The Techniques- You Don’t Care
Pinchers- I’m a Don
Suger Chick- Roach Killer
Althea & Donna- Uptown Top Ranking
Lady G- Legal Rights
Dennis Brown- Fire from the Observer Station
10 Ft. Ganja Plant- 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and Weed
Bob Marley & The Wailers- Is This Love
Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers- One Good Spliff
Black Uhuru- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Version- White Liva (Da Song)
Busy Signal- Missing You
Sizzla- Give Me a Try
Lady Saw- Hardcore (It’s Raining)
Tiger- Come Back to Me
Lady Saw- Good Wuk
El General- Te Ves Buena
Rasco- Chrome Skin
Vybz Kartel- Dancehall Hero Remix
Ranking Dread- Fattie Boom Boom
Vybz Kartel- Lyricist
By Jojo Soul
Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick has a beautiful layout with multiple playgrounds, grass areas, and wide brick walkways to a large, circular center. Benches and ledges line the perimeter of this area, and extend throughout the entire park. People relax, play chess, buy ices, fruits, and food from vendors. It is a wonderful place to be, and provided a welcome reception for the first of the weekly Sunday afternoon Bushwick Community Drum Circle!
We sat upon benches in the center of the park, and were joined by friends as we all built the sound. Djembes, bongos, cajon, tambourine, banjo, trumpet, cigar-box electric guitar, doumbek, and didgeridoo- a great list of instruments that were traded around and shared throughout the jam. The busy park made for a large audience and many walked over, grooved a bit, and joined right in. A gentleman working at the park asked to join, and had some skills on djembe! The highlight of the gathering was seeing the children give the instruments a try and play along. They were all so excited, and all said thank you, as they were thrilled to get to try the drums out. Really great vibes when jammin’ together, ya know? :)
Looking very forward to next week’s! A great first session, and a real privilege to get to play in the park with so many friends on such a beautiful day. Thanks to everyone, and spread the word!
Bushwick Community Drum Circle takes place every Sunday at 1pm at Maria Hernandez Park. Come and join us!
jojo‘s Mixtape- Drum Along!
This week’s mix contains African tracks, selected for their captivating groove and rhythm elements. I drum along to these tracks to practice djembe, sing along, and dance around. The key ingredient is the pulsing repetition that draws us to move or express, the patterns we hear that repeat and invite us to contribute our voices.
Communal drumming has always fascinated me, surely because I didn’t grow up in a place where it was a custom. I began drumming in school as a child, but I can remember specifically when I first experienced the magic of a drum circle. While in high school, I had a music teacher who brought in his djembe and began adding this element to our regular snare drum/concert percussion regimen. He and I planned to jam a bit during a lunch period, so we got a large music room, shut the door, and turned off the lights. We began tapping out rhythms and ideas, repeating each other, calling and responding, cueing different dynamics, and GOT LOST IN IT. Somewhere in this session, everything aligned and became an action being driven by a different part of the mind, if you will.
While drumming and listening, many parts of the brain work simultaneously and stimulate feelings and associations that become the result of this orchestra of brainwork. ”Grooving” describes this reaction by our minds, compelling us to drop certain activities in areas of the brain for a welcome use of the parts that can “harmonize”. Once there is this rhythmic harmony of brain activity, there is a dissociation from inhibitions and anxiety. This teacher and I were drumming and deeply in sync, but the bell rang after what felt like a few minutes, though it had been an entire 40 minute journey through a state of mind that is limited by the words we have to attempt to describe it.
This was one of the most important sessions I have had of any kind, and led me to study these elements further. When musicians find this element while playing, it breathes fresh motivation into our efforts because it reminds us of the key ingredient that compelled our efforts initially. This brainwork is familiar to all artists, performers, entertainers, thinkers, writers, etc., and exploring this harmony of thoughts, expressions, and emotions provides us with a common devotion and intention, making for a very catalytic mix of energy!
A drum circle is a concentrated study on this exact brain energy. Positive vibes, friendly exchanges, community expression, and the effort of a whole group to attain this rhythmic harmony makes it a recipe for magic.
Hope to see you all there! And if this Sunday doesn’t work for you, fear not! We’ll be out there every Sunday at 1pm, weather permitting.
Maria Hernandez Park, Brooklyn, NY
Babatunde Olatunji- What’s Your Number, Mama?
Bola Johnson & His Easy Life Top Beats- Ezuku Buzo
Tinariwen- Tenere Taqqim Tossam
Tom Diakite- Fala
Babatunde Olatunji- Love Drum Talk
Fela Kuti- Gentleman
Tinariwen- Amassakoul ‘N’ Tenere
Babatunde Olatunji- Sare Tete Wa
jojo‘s Mixtape- SPRING CLEANING MIX
Spring is a great time to reflect and feel motivated to move forward. This week’s mix of soulful house and love tracks will keep the Spring vibes flowing.
We got rid of lots of clothes too, which is like shedding skin. Dusted every inch of the place. Dogs are shedding their coats, too.
Sigh, I love cleaning. LOVE IT. Like a hamster loves his wheel.
Todd Terje- Inspector Norse
Tortured Soul- Fall In Love
Solu Music featuring Kimblee- Fade
Ananda Project- Falling For You
Kaskade- It’s You, It’s Me
Jamiroquai- Little L
Waldorf- You’re My Disco
Daft Punk- Digital Love
Crazy Penis- There’s a Better Place!
Ingredients: Brooklyn, a dash of Jersey, Yonkers, and Queens.
This week’s mix is a set of raw and dirty hip-hop from late 90′s to early 2000′s.
These tracks are anthems in and around New York, and are best served with the windows open and the volume UP. Some make me bounce, some make me sing, and some make me feel like I’m about to roll someone, or get rolled. And that’s why we love NY- explicit, raw, and alive, vice and virtue.
Now smash a bottle on the curb, punch your best friend in the face, and sing along!
jojoSOUL will be spinning Monday evening, 4/2 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Manhattan for Norte Maar’s Benefit Event- Information and tickets at Norte Maar.
Mos Def- Body Rock
Digable Planets- Nickel Bags
Notorious B.I.G.- Juicy
Mobb Deep- Shook Ones, Pt. II
Fugees- Fu-Gee-La (Sly & Robbie Mix)
Black Star- Definition
DMX- Ruff Ryders’ Anthem
Ol’ Dirty Bastard- Brooklyn Zoo
Mos Def- Brooklyn
Crooklyn Clan- Rap Club Mix
Notorious B.I.G.- Brooklyn’s Finest
Beastie Boys- No Sleep Till Brooklyn