(from today's guardian) "A toast to the journalist," he announces, looking me square in ... They insist there is nothing they wouldn't write about, that their music is their whole life. ... "
(from today's electronic infitada)
CB: In your most recent book of poetry ZAATAR DIVA there is a poem that I particularly love, "DADDY'S SONG," that takes me back to the time of Sam Cooke and his ballad "A CHANGE GONNA COME." Could you talk more about this poem and your relationship with your father and Sam's musical impact on your relationship with your dad?
SH: The poem is very literal. When we watched the film MALCOLM X at home, my father sat in his chair during the film and there was no sobbing, no theatrics. But I turned to look at him in the middle of this scene, where Sam Cooke's song played, and he was crying. Sam Cooke somehow got to the Third World, because he was so fine, and he had that voice. So, the developing world welcomed his vice into their homes. So when my father came to the US, a young father of three in 1979, with my mother who was pregnant with their fourth child, he was familiar with Sam Cooke. I would hear him talk about Sam Cooke, and he was coming with this idea of America; then he was put up against Disco music that was coming out of the stores and cars and then eventually rap music which followed not much later after that. So, for him, Sam Cooke represented his version of America. I think music in general has played a very healing part of my life. Sometimes it's human voices, which I guess it is as primal as it can be, and sometimes it's the vibration of the saxophone or the drum. And I wanted to make a connection between not just Sam Cooke's tragic life and my father's life and Malcolm X's life and my own life, but I wanted to make the connection to the generational pull of music. Sam Cooke, who came from absolutely nothing - like my father came from - and wrote all these other songs like CUPID, SHE WAS ONLY 16 and all these kinds of bop songs, and through all of it created an anthem for people all around the world. I wanted to remember everyone involved in the making of that moment in my life."
[the first an interview with a band
made up of boys in striped suits who make funny faces at the camera and worry about how critics regard them, coming as they do from a performance round in amsterdam porn palaces and the title of the piece pronounces the entrance of so much heckspawn, and present these much dimmer princelings of darkness for your reading and listening and contemplative pleasure)].
[the second an interview with a woman poet
who talks about a poem she wrote about a song and its personal and historic implication]
Who would you rather have in your brain today? (it's the randomness of search engine result display, one above the other and next to each other)