It started with JaySmooth and his Underground RailRoad. Before the program i had decided i wasn't going to talk; mainly because i was scheduled to be a guest on Habte's program later in the evening, and plus i knew i would probably be interacting with the Creative Unity Collective right after...
As it turned out, Heavy D passed earlier in the week at the tender age of 44. It was a real blow to the Hip Hop community. Wbai has recently altered its programming line up. As part of the realignment Chuck D's program AndYouDon'tStop! was added to the schedule and is featured before the Underground RailRoad. Since Chuck D did a good tribute to the departed Heavy D, Smooth did not continue in the same vein. In fact he stated the program with a Mos Def cut that was appropriate enough and follow with G-Man on the phone. The Mighty G-man and Ife had done program on Wednesday...R.I.P. Heavy D.
To start the musical sets on the Underground RailRoad, Jay Smooth always has an opening monologue part of which is punctuated by the throwing of keys on the console counter as a sound effect. I began the ritual years ago when i was Arts Director, and had shepherded the program to the airwaves of WBAI 20 years ago. As a participated this time i removed my ankle bracelet, which is made of Mangrove seed pods, and threw that sound on to the counter.
As we was leaving the studio, Smooth's Intern, who had brought her mother up to the program this week, asked me about the costum-made ankle bracelet. I explained they were made for me by a group of musical instrument makers in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. (http://www.auroville.org/environment/avag/svaram/svaram.htm)
It made such a unique sound that after the program Smooth and i agreed i would leave the bracelet to the program when i leave back for South Africa as the new/updated opening ('disclaimer') sound for the program. This means i will throw the hollow seed pods three more times before gifting it to the show.
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I take my title of both Executive Producer Emeritus of the Creative Unity Collective radio program and Arts Director Emeritus of WBAI, the Pacifica radio station in New York, to heart; which is why when i am in town i always try and contribute to both the Creative Unity Collective's program and the station itself. I always ask Creative Unity if they want me to participate; they always allow me to sit in on the program.
I am most happy, so very, very fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness and participate in this past CUC program as it was absolutely brilliant. It was both quintessential CUC and essential WBAI. The opening bit was thought up and discussed minutes before the program...and in true CUC style; was designed to be episodic throughout the two hour broadcast. The idea was to have a Herman Cain (as of this writing potential - Republican presidential candidate) voiced character do a 'books-on-tape' series; which would be punctuated at a point in the reading(s) by sexual suggestive musical offerings...absolutely brilliant.
(Don't believe me, check the archives_under -- http://archive.wbai.org/show1.php?showid=mravers -- you only have 12 days left to listen as the WBAI system is limited to that, i suppose owing to licencing agreements and all...plus they are listed under the Midnight Ravers for whatever reasons.)
There was some breaking news from the Occupy Wall Street situation not far from where we broadcast, so Stand by Sly and the Family Stone was played and we took an on-air phone call to find out what was what on that ever-evolving front pushing for economic and social justice.
Usually CUC does a feature called the CUC Pseudo News, but this was a time when the actual news was more fitting. After that live phone segment a cut from one of Dick Gregory's classic (political) comedy albums was played...it was appropriate; advanced the flow of the program.
(I should mention the Labelle Something In The Air / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised medley was played next...)
After the Labelle offering, they went to another H. Cain "Books on Tape": Driving the Hard Bargain...i'll say/write no more. But something so very typically WBAI and so very Creative Unity improve ended the skit...it as magnificent to witness. It seems the operations phone was left in the Main Control room earlier and the operations person on duty couldn't find it, so he activated the locator mechanism. The phone rang moments after the musically underscore for the bit was in effect. Yusuf in the Cain character ended the "scripted" portion of the bit, Darrell as the "Books on Tape" engineer character asked if he, Cain, was going to answer that phone. (The actual ringing phone had been removed from the studio) H. Cain continued with the call after ending the taping by...
(Quick check the archive...)
They next went to the Perry brain flux with Darrell playing the executing Texas Gov and Yusuf playing a waitress....
A final Books on Tape chapter was done before the three of us addressed the horrendous situation surrounding the events at Penn State.
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Labbrish was my last WBAI radio stop of the night. Habte had invited me up weeks ago. He wanted to get my take and views on the current state of affairs in South Africa. Habte has a feature every week featuring a nutritionist. Excellent segment. I was so impressed that i called him after the segment, got his email and later in the day wrote this email:
Habte gave me enough room in the, almost hour, interview to explain fully my perspective of the goings on in South Africa.
And at the conclusion wanted to know if there was a possibility for one more session before my return to the southern hemisphere.
I committed to the possibility. Hopefully the session will focus on more of a cultural / social aspect, than political. If everything is truly political i would rather enter that arena via culture.
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Last night i visited Jeannie Hopper and the Liquid Sound Lounge, and was officially given my Ho name.
About two weeks ago when i visited the show i was shocked to hear Steve address Jeannie as his co-Ho. This week i was somewhat taken aback when Jeannie addressed Steven as her Ho.
I just couldn't hold it in any longer... They then explained it wasn't a reference to being Hoes, but Ho-s.
Jeannie was a Ho because she was Jeannie HOpper
Steve was a HO because he was the co-HOst of the Liquid Sound Lounge
Reggie was a HO because he was for a long time one of New York's premier party PrOmoters.
They (Steve) then pronounce me as a HO, giving me the moniker of NO-HO because i am the progenitor of NOMMO Radio.
It all fits so very well. I accepted proudly. They also thanked me for being part of their fundraising efforts in October for the station, saying my presence infused the program with a very uplifting spirit. It make me feel so very wonderful, fills me with joy to hear that from them.
(Quick: Check the archive of the program)
Right now, as i write this, i am listening to another gift Steve gave me - The new CD/DVD package from The Original 7Ven (formally The Time) - Condensate. Currently i have the cut Toast to the Party Girl on repeat.
It has be a extraordinary radio broadcast weekend for me.
It is a most beautiful Sunday morning as i prepare to take my Silent Walk to Liberty Square from Sugar Hill in Harlem. When the program ended Jeannie gave me ideas on the marketing of the upcoming live modern AudioDrama. We then went to Liberty Square at Zuccotti Park; when with materials borrowed from Occupier Roy, i made a sign for todays trek. On one side it reads: Silent Walk to O Wall Street -- with a heart as the dot over the i and ccupy printed within the O. On the other side it reads: Follow ME and i sign it Anthony with the date written 13 Nov 2011. I also wrote on a hanging flap: Thanks to Roy for material.
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