Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Right now in my ride I've got on heavy rotation these incredible CD's. All of which you probably wont readily hear on the radio, at least not in LA. Radio out here be stuck on a certain undefineable stupidness that makes you constantly wonder "why do they play that shit all the time!?!?" There are some that standout like the only true free form show on radio right now; Julio G. of Westside Radio on KDAY. Then you got the always cool Garth Trinidad on KCRW, the incredible seditious beats and knowledge of Fidel on KPFK, and I always like to listen to Sway & Tech when their weekly show comes on. Other than that, as I said..stupidness is put out over the local airwaves. But in a way that's a blessing because it makes you think and search harder for something more...something real...something special... That brings me to the reasons for this post... The music that I'm currently bumpin. My six discs in my ride...
1. Tennessee Slim Is The Bomb- Joi
This CD will blow you away and the lady is super cool and fabulous live... Raw..incredible.. Checkout the power of her song That's The Truth and you'll instantly fall in love with her song called I'm So Famous. Once you hear it, you wont stop playing it over and over and over....
2. Breath From Another- Esthero
Standout track on this CD for me is called Superheroes. I first heard it and discovered this artist recently on Honeysoul.com. Esthero is hella creative with her lyrics, production and style.. I'm feeling her whole vibe.
3. 3121- Prince
What can you say...Prince is forever the bomb and never ceases to be a part of my soundtrack. Standout cuts on this CD for me are The Dance, 3121, Incense & Candles, and Satisfied. I just wish he would've cranked up the guitars and made the song called Fury completely raw.. Just drums, bass and guitar was all that song needed...
4. Confidential- M:1
Dead Prez has always been a personal favorite of mine so as soon as I saw that M:1 had a solo CD out, I picked it up. The songs, the production, the lyrics are all standout.. I love the title track Confidential.. This CD is on heavy rotation..
5. Wikked Lil' Grrrls- Esthero
Once again this lady comes through with some incredible creativity.. The production is too cool and my favorite song right now is Beautiful Lie. Thanks again to Honeysoul for pointing me in the direction of this true artist.
6. Corrine Bailey Rae (self-titled)
This is another discovery I made on Honeysoul.com. This lady has an amazingly beautiful voice... Very different and yet similar in a way to Norah Jones. I heard this song(Young and Foolish) by a group called The Stixx that features Corrine Bailey Rae and I instantly fell in love with her voice. I checked out her CD and whoa... here's another beautiful artist with an incredible style... standout track for me is Like A Star.... beautiful...
Monday, March 27, 2006
I sat dressed in green and grey. She wore gold. I sipped from the bottle. She chose a paper cup that was old. She couldn't fill it to the top. I kept telling her to stop. She never looked into my eyes. I started to think if I told her I was sick she wouldn't know I was making it up; she wouldn't care. I ordered grilled salmon and salad. She ordered steak and fries. It seemed like the air between us could be cut with a knife. We disguised our thoughts with fake interest. "Oh really?" comments were thrown around like napkins removed from our chest. Stained by the substance of something more than either of us chose to reveal. What happened to the non-stop laughter of yesteryear? The yesterdays that were celebrated like a gift punctuated by tears. She beat me to the punch as we sat in silence. A left hook revelation of a lack of innocence. I became obssessed with seeing her eyes. I freestyled my desire as if to say I still had the gift to romanticize. The destination of my words took a long time to get there. Nothing seemed to work, at least nothing that made me aware. I used to thank heaven for her; even God knew this. We'd never allow love to disappear because each moment was bonded with a kiss. I wished. She said no. I took my words back. She told me it was too late. I was blindfolded by the energy between us. She said nothing more needed to be said. Not just over my eyes but my mouth was that imaginary cloth placed. And when she walked away that was it...I was out like a foul taste..
Regardless of light, images reflect themselves... Regardless of sound, words I can hear as they come... With touch I see through darkness and with love, blurred images become so real. Memories are like shoulders to lean against for comfort. Struggles represent cornerstones full of lessons. The good times are like clouds as soft as cotton lifting me in full view of heaven. Friends are like monuments, some made of stone while others blow away like leaves. Women are dreams with smiles as captivating as a front row seat in the promise land. Some are not. Like the ones who only stick around as long as you stroke that spot which leads them to believe they gettin what they came for... A man can be a hero blessed with love that breeds a heart's reflection of truth. Unless he's a man whose darkness echoes the sentiment of shadows running from the scene of a crime... I lose myself sometimes in destiny's hands as nothing planned comes too easy. But a good day is a beautiful thing like the gift of a song that lifts your spirits when you least expect it. Imagine one word taking you higher, lifted by the voice of an angel with the kind of rhythm that reflects your entire life... The pulse of which only you can speak on... Let's dance right now.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Ahhhh...today was a lovely Saturday. When you wish upon a star and perhaps say a prayer or two in the wind, beautiful things happen... I visited a couple of black-owned bookstores in LA; Zahras and Eso Won. Both had my new book, My Life Is All I Have. The young lady behind the counter at Zahras was speaking with other customers about the book and I overheard her saying it was "flying off the shelves and had been asked about weeks before the book was released." I was pleased to hear that and then I stepped in and introduced myself. I was proud but pride dont come close to stepping inside heaven aka the arms of someone I've missed and was hoping to see. Someone who means the world to me and again I want to wish her a happy belated birthday(just in case she's watching).. She still remains so very special to me. My own personal early birthday gift was seeing her smile and hugging her tight. I thank all powers that be for making today the way it was... beautiful like her... And her last words to me were "you smell like fabric softener." Yeah, that's my favorite cologne...Downey.. Ha! WarmBlessings *
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
March 21st was a pretty cool day mostly because two real cool creative masterpieces made their debuts in the world and thus, it was on! *smile* I'm speaking of 3121 by Prince and ummm... My Life Is All I Have by V. Anthony Rivers who just so happens to be me! Ha!
I walked into a Borders Bookstore and saw three fabulous copies of my book. I was proud. The books looked lovely and even better once I turned them around so that the beautiful cover could be seen by all eyes approaching... I'm about to hit up some of these walls on street corners with my posters so if you see one locally......smile....I hope the beautiful lady on the cover is smiling somewhere and feeling proud because that was always my intention to have her feel good about herself and others who might see the cover and say "that's me and she is beautiful..." I haven't been blessed to speak with that gorgeous lady in a minute... She's not allowed to talk to me because I'm too sweet for words and mortal hearts or something like that... Ain't no thang... Life is good...
I went to Tower Records and picked up my main inspiration... My soundtrack creator for so many years. The one and only genius himself... Prince... 3121 is the bomb CD. The title track reminds me of the old days when Prince would open up a show with some mysterious sounding beat, warning the crowd that it's about to get funky and you're in for a show you'll never forget... This CD got some incredible songs on there that make you shake your head and say "how does he do it? And he's playing all the damn instruments too?" Radio needs to jump on this tune he has called Incense & Candles. And the ladies better get out a tissue when they listen to the song The Dance. And who else could make a song called "Love" one of the funkiest tracks ever.. That song is a good workout tune for the headset crowd. Incredible CD, Incredible musician... Blessed all around and I can't help but smile knowing that my thang was released on the same day! Is that cool or what? It's like heaven on a popsicle stick... Nah, someone else used to feel like that... WarmBlessings *
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
This is my friend, my homegirl, my super sistah, running buddy extraordinaire.. She's like Jada is to Tupac when he said he'd give her his left kidney if she needed it. That's what Kim means to me. She reigns supreme in my heart. I can't even remember how many years we been knowing each other but it's been fabulous every step of the way... We go back... memories..life... She's a brilliant photographer and we've painted this town called LA with a rainbow brush cruising every inch of it... I just wanted to send a special shoutout to her.. Beautiful Kim Roseberry...what up! *smile*
Sunday, March 19, 2006
A special "Kolohe" wink to a good friend of mine who put me up to this creative self-promotion.. The experiment will be in affect soon, Jody.. Ha! *smile* You'll have to give me the true definition of "Kolohe" one day but I imagine it's all about that spark, that flava, that vibe, that spirit... with a little bit of laugh at yourself intuitive-ness because you can't take life too serious. Ya gotta have fun and live...
I found myself in a situation lastnight, standing outside of a club taking in the show. I say show in a sarcastic way because it was a sad situation to see. Fellas allowing egos and negative mentalities to take a hold of them and not let go. I wondered, why... why does it have to be like that? These were all young men who looked just alike. They called each other out using angry words and spoke about killing each other. I dont know what caused this to happen as I was on the outside of the club. All the security guards had closed all doors in order to prevent anyone from entering and then all the drama spilled outside. And these young men pleaded with one of the bouncers to come outside so they could basically kill him. There was so much anger flowing when it could've easily not existed but that mentality took over. Something fueled all of this and I watched.
Watching this drama, I wasn't scared; I was amazed. I stood under the outdoor heater that they had along with other folks waiting to enter the club. Funny thing, we all developed an instant connection. Everyone was shivering so we all stood together and moved in close to each other to stay warm underneath this one heater. It was a direct contrast to the out of control drama going on just steps away from us.
Moments later that familiar sound of sirens approached. Police cars and officers surrounded the parking lot and the fellas creating the drama were pointed out immediately. These young men acted as if they were justified in creating the disturbance. They even tried to turn it into a social cry for justice when the fact of the matter was that they showed ignorance and were trying to beat on another man who was probably just doing his job.
It was a sad situation to watch but interesting at the same time. That uncontrollable mentality gripped those young men and wouldn't let go. One was arrested and because he was so intoxicated, he dropped to his knees and passed out with handcuffs on. The others just kept on talking. Eventually the more sober young men convinced the others that it was time to go but the mentality continued as they yelled at the top of their lungs "we'll be back to beat that muhfukka's ass. We gonna tear this club up next time!"
Friday, March 17, 2006
True friends sign their names on the dotted line of life. There's no special clause or unnecessary stipulation claiming that because of this-we can't be...
I'd like to give special mention, respect and admiration to a cool friend that makes me smile. She deserves constantly to be celebrated in ways that I dont believe she experiences often. I mean, digging her for her and not the hot fantasy that one might cloud their minds with when they see her. Yeah, she could start a fire just from her looks alone but listen to her spirit, the reflection in her voice. Look at her eyes when she shares them with you in conversation. Watch her smile develop slowly. The glow in her when she walks and the head tilted back when she talks... She's got the mother instinct and sexiness combined adding a special depth to her soul that's there even if you blink.. She's real cool people. A true friend that makes you feel as such...
I'm a little too big now for mom's to hold me like this and I ain't got no hair no mo' either but she still got her's... Ha! I celebrate mother's day everyday, especially today as I say prayers and lend a strong hand, body, soul, and spirit of support to my mother. She's pulling through and hanging tough. She'll be just fine 'cause I got a few more things to show her that'll make her proud. It's amazing how time has taken us to where we are now. I dont even remember how I felt as a baby like in this picture above but I do remember my mother's hands. She wave's them at me most of the time now as she says her infamous words "I tell you, Anthony Rivers... you worry your poor old mother..." And I say to her, she gonna always worry even if it's way too obvious that I'm doing just fine. Life is to be lived but it sure would be nice if time slowed down a bit...well, sometimes anyway.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
This is in observance of the uh-ra, silly women saga... Today I had to take my car in to get it serviced. I was pretty much accepting the fact that I'd have to pay a grip of money to get it taken care of. I wasn't wrong either. I mean, when I heard my brakes screaching and grinding? Oh noooo...I knew it.. new brakes needed.... Can you say, ouch? Throw in your favorite curse word to emphasize the point.... Yeah, like that... *smile*
Anyway, I accepted the loss and did as I normally do when I take my car in for a major service, I took a long ass walk! It usually helps me clear my head, it's great exercise and being the observant fella that I am, it gives me plenty of opportunity to checkout the world around me. LA and the surrounding areas aren't always walker-friendly, but you can definitely see a lot when you do take a stroll.
I observed a lot of traffic, a couple of accidents, people jogging, workers high a top this huge billboard making me wonder how in the heck do they do that! I saw tons of people waiting for the bus, people giving each other the finger, and lots of Starbucks and other donut shops filled to capacity. Then low and behold, something familiar crossed my path. It was an angry woman looking at me like she dared me to even hint at trying to talk to her... ouch! The angry glare, the smirk, the tightening lips and finally she looked away in order to avoid any sort of substantial eye contact. God forbid she would see that a nice simple hello in passing is all I was hoping for. I had no intentions of trying to start a conversation, ask for her number and rip her clothes off. It just wasn't on my agenda today. But I tell you! I really wanted to shout to the world that I am a man who loves women with a passion but in the most respectful non-playa-playa sort of way. When I see a woman and especially when I'm by myself or with other fellas, I'm gonna look because THAT'S WHAT I'M SUPPOSE TO DO!!! Remember????
So, I dusted my ego off because it only stung for a moment... I mean, I say hello to pretty much everyone in passing and no disrespect out there but I especially feel a sense of pride when the hello comes from a black man or woman. It makes my day and had that woman today said hello, she would've passed along a positive vibe that I would've transferred to the next person and so on and so on and so on, again... That's life, I guess and hey, it gave me something to vent about, huh? *smile* I look forward to tomorrow because I'm by no means defeated. Looking forward to the next opportunity to say hello...
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
"Sometimes even the best laid out plans can't get laid..."
Nah, I'm not talking about a sex thang... I'm talking good intentions and wanting to surprise someone very special with a sincere effort to make her smile. I had plans to spoil a real cool friend tonight. Hugs, conversation, midnight stroll through special memories and all that good stuff. My horoscope said something cool. I typically dont read those things unless by accident but even after I had mentally made my plans for the latenight evening surprise, I smiled at the prediction or perhaps suggestion on the page. It read, reconnect with those that bring you joy. Thus, I was planning to do just that; reconnect with AAD, a special lady that's been a friend for more than five years. What prevented this from happening tonight? That situation that comes out of nowhere but always happens when you gotta be somewhere! CAR TROUBLE.... aaaaaarrrrrrggghh!!! A little bump in the road but I'll just make next time even better.. sweeter... beautiful and deserving like her...
Peep out the new website and see what it do! (www.vanthonyrivers.com) I have to thank the incredible Lis of Anewlis On Design for really hooking me up with exactly what I wanted in a website focusing on the new book coming out officially on March 21st. I hope all eyes viewing this checkout the book. I believe you'll find yourself on quite a little journey through the minds of these characters who became like family to me. Leesha Tyler, Scottie "Blaze" Franklin, Treyvon Williams, and a host of others that add to the experience of this young woman becoming who she becomes; good and bad...
I was also blessed with my very first contest so I wanna send warm thank you's to Cashana in Montgomery, Alabama, Kisha in Wayside, NJ, and Ms. Toni in St. Louis, Missouri. Special prizes/gifts are on the way...
Checkout my website designer too.. Lis is the bomb for real!(www.anewlis.com/ondesign/)
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Pre-defined like a shirt size, only coming in one fit. No spontaneity. Just a lot of wants, needs, no in betweens. All you meant to me was this...that.. we cant be....because? Typically the answer is what drives me insane because if you search real hard any reason given is like a stranger in a new town without a sense of direction and no map. where to go? Do like everybody else... Take the easy route...pull away, go somewhere else, say goodbye, disappear, move on, forget about the value of life and what each moment mean't. Forget about the shared smiles.... similar thoughts...different perspectives that result in learning something new... Forget about all those dots we connected as friends..The tiny little minutes that cemented time in the form of memories... If I died tomorrow would you care? Then why does that feeling hold less value while I'm breathing the same air? The touch that drives you insane is like a whisper that stays with you... From time to time you hear something in your heart and you wonder why. If they dont care then why should you? And if you do care, that puts you one step above most muhfukka's who claimed to be in love....
First half of my weekend was a musical one... It rained hard this morning... The rain came down for most of the day but I found my joy right here inside, on the computer. I cruised on the internet highway to checkout one of my favorite spots.. Honeysoul.com. They have this Soul2Soul podcast that is the bomb. I listened to that and discovered some cool tracks by N'Dambi and Kaskade that made me pop open a blank CD and do some serious downloading. I did just that but then I got the brilliant idea to go over to the NPG music website aka Prince and see what kind of music he had going on. I discovered some incredible stuff that I had never heard before. Some unreleased music that I'm sure other folks belonging to his music club knew about before but today I took a moment to download some. The standout for me today were three songs that I couldn't stop playing over and over again. They sounded so good that after a while the rain stopped and I could hear birds chirping outside. I figured the rain would come back but it didn't. That was my cue to hit the streets... I went to a local hand carwash and spent my time shining up the ride while listening to the Prince music that I downloaded... Other folks turned their music off and listened too...
"I dont want to give you my love because if I do, I'll lose my mind... I dont want to hold your hand because if I do, I'll just want to follow you everywhere."
Underneath The Cream
"Somewhere in between.. can't stop thinking about your thighs.."
When I Lay My Hands On You
"The message you're about to hear is not meant for transmission... There should only be access to the privacy of your mind."
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
"Words never hit home until they're discovered by the intended target..."
There's a woman I know that physically is a combination Rosario Dawson and Sanaa Lathan all rolled into one but on the inside she possesses so much self-doubt that she'd probably be intimidated if she sat at a table with those ladies. I can see her now, doing as she does with me, fending off compliments and always checking to see if any part of her skin is showing. She'd apologize a lot and continue with the tragedy of a beautiful woman holding her head down. She'd try to change the subject constantly and take away all attempts to reveal the reasons for the sadness in her eyes. She knows how to smile and give answers to camouflage the lack of spark in her soul but it always fades when she looks down before she finishes a sentence. She's beautiful but even on a good day you'll never witness her saying "yes, I am..." I pray she finds that spark which will allow her to embrace and celebrate herself because she would be unstoppable if she ever does. Peace to you.....B.
Monday, March 06, 2006
I met this lady while standing in line at Ralph's grocery store in the Ladera Center. This was my second time being blessed with an unexpected cool moment there. This store is like a magnet for beautiful sistahs! First I saw this lady walking. She caught my eye. She smiled in passing. It was nice. Like seeing paradise in the distance... I had to stop and follow her with my eyes for a moment without being too obvious. After I got my items, low and behold there she was standing in line. It wasn't no coincidence that I would be standing behind her because I skipped at least two other lines that were shorter in order to stand in the longer line with her. She knew. She picked up on my vibe. I said "hey" and she greeted me with a "how are you?" We talked and she told me her name. I'll call her Monique for this piece in order to protect the guilty and innocent. I helped her put some of her items on the conveyor belt. Monique had done some serious shopping. I figured all that stuff wasn't just for her. She suggested that I go in front of her as I only had four items but I quietly declined. An offer like that would've cut short the conversation that we'd eventually have.
Monique was cool. She smiled when she spoke though sometimes her thoughts would end with a hint of sarcasm, letting me know something was up. I asked her if she had a big family because of all the food she was buying. when she responded there was no smile. She answered by saying "No, I have a husband at home that eats a lot."
"Oh, my condolences..."
Monique laughed. She told me she didn't mean it like that but something about her answer and the look on her face told me that she and her husband were probably going through one of those not so good moments. She turned the question on me and asked "you married?"
"Don't lie. I find that hard to believe..."
I explained to Monique that if I wasn't single, I wouldn't be standing in the same line as her, hoping she'd feel the attraction and possibly bond with me through conversation. She responded by saying "that dont stop these other married men and guys with girlfriends!"
Monique smiled and handed the cashier her Ralph's Club Card. After they bagged up her stuff, she waited for me. I was surprised. I started to smile.
"What's that look?" she asked.
"You waiting for me?"
She didn't answer. She turned her attention to the t-shirt I was wearing which showed the cover of my novel coming out. She told me she noticed it the first time she saw me. We talked about it on our way out the store. I told her she should also checkout my blog and that I would "creatively mention our moment in passing." She promised to look me up. I told her "cool and if you wasn't married I would look you up too!" She gave me one last glimpse of her beautiful smile before waving me off.
"Whatever..." she said.
I hope her husband does the unexpected like put all the groceries away and tell her that tonight he's gonna do all the cooking... Allow her to take the load off her feet and feel appreciated so that when she mentions she's gotta a husband the next time, she'll say it with pride rather than regret. Because having a woman recognize you as her everything has got to be the most beautiful gift a man could ever experience... That's for you, Monique...*wink* Thanks for the moment..