Friday, May 30, 2008

GET INVOLVED: a FORUM on the Sean Bell case

Check out this special forum that Fort Greene Peace of Brooklyn has organized regarding the Sean Bell case and police conduct in general. FGP hopes the forum will explore ways to reduce police profiling and the police use of deadly force.

Also, if you would like to stay involved in issues ranging from military recruitment in high schools, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or interested in supporting refugees in Sudan, check out BROOKLYN FOR PEACE, a network of Brooklyn residents — parents, neighbors, and educators — alarmed by the growing militarism of our society and its effect on our lives and our children's future. You can support one of BFP's projects by donating supplies to Sudanese refugees stranded in Chad:

Collect Supplies for Darfurian Refugees in Chad

Brooklyn For Peace is sending desperately needed supplies to the refugee camps on the Chadian border through the Darfur People Association of New York. Over 200,000 refugees fleeing the genocidal violence in Darfur have crossed the border into Chad, where they are living in refugee camps with scarce resources.The camps are in need of warm weather clothing, school supplies, and powdered milk.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

iRECOMMEND: Escort, The Herbaliser & Dego of 4 Hero

daymmm, how about some of London's best, The Herbaliser and Dego from 4Hero in the house....or to be precise, in the Brooklyn Masonic Temple!

If you love the bouncey nu-jazz, broken beat, future soul and any of its offshoots or dig the cinematic hip-hop that has become the trademark of The Herbaliser, come check out what's the buzz is all about.



Coincidentally, my friend Kon was showing me the brand new video of Brooklyn-based ESCORT right before the show, but I didn't connect the two until only after. It's hilarious! Video editor, Irvine Coffee did a dope job on this one.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

"WE ARE": Lichiban X Jelsen Jargon collab!!



Here is the follow up on my collaboration with my buddy and fellow artist in crime, Jelsen Jargon for THE WORLD AT LARGE // LOVE WITHOUT BORDERS SHOW that our friends, The Love Movement are curating in the Limbo Gallery in San Diego. The show's proceed will benefit The International Humanity Foundation, a San Diego-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides free education and community leadership development, as well as operates orphanages and famine feeds, for the poorest of the world’s poor in Indonesia, Thailand and Kenya. I have been involved in several benefit shows in the past and am always ready to contribute my art to the CAUSE. Read more about the show here.

Jelsen is bad! Here is his brilliant typography he just drew off the top of his head. It reads WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE FUTURE. We worked hard on this for 4 nights in a row.

step one...I did the portraits
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step done! coloring was real fun....[photo: Stephanie Land]
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I picked Jelsen's childhood portrait to draw. [photo: Stephanie Land]
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I wanted to see him communing with his childhood self. I love drawing kids and nothing boosts one's creativity more than getting reconnected with one's inner child...kids are constantly creating and their imagination is WITHOUT BORDERS. Imagine having rediscovering that kind of flow again!

I love collaborations..I always learn something new from my colleagues and get the creative juices flowing even more abundantly. Thanks, Jelsen!


Check Jelsen's post about our collab on his blog.

By the way, hit us up if you'd like to commission us (we can work with larger scale pieces too).








iRECOMMEND: Golden Ladies & HAPPY FEET

Check out the GOLDEN LADIES show featuring some of my beautiful friends, Sarah White (also my blog partner on WRONGLIPS), Caitlin Meissner and Fly Lady Di bringing the Venus vibe on Saturday, May 24th.

On the 25th, put on your favorite dancing shoes and get busy on the dancefloor. Tunes are provided by two of NYC's favorite deejays, Rich Medina and Bobbito Garcia, who are known to throw some of the best parties in the city.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MY HOMIES RULE TOO: Kon & Amir

My crown couldn't be more appropriate for this feature, as these two friends of mine have been proclaimed Kings of Digging by London-based BBE Records, one of the most respected independent music labels out there. Though they always add the disclaimer 'it was BBE's title, we don't call ourselves Kings of anything', these homies definitely rule. If you need to know anything about rare disco, soul, boogie, jazz, or afrobeat records, Kon & Amir are two of the peoples you should turn to.

KON

crate digger, producer, flow expert, disco! jockey, serious night owl///////////////////////////////////////////////

WHAT DO YOU DO? - professional ass mover
TRUE BEAUTY IS… effortless
BEATS… to the rhyme a the rhyme i get paiiid
TRUE SEXY IS…making me harrrrrrd
MUSIC IS MY… religion
ART DOES NOT… cost anything to make yet... its so luxurious
MY NIGHTS ARE…my days
THESE 3 TURN ME ON…class, taste, drive
SELF-KNOWLEDGE …is the key to clear perspective
ENOUGH OF …jive ass turkeys running shit
MY CREATIVITY IS…free
TRUE POWER IS…letting go
LIFE CAN BE THE...best friend you never knew
TO LOVE IS TO…not hold back
I'VE GOT FLOW BECAUSE….im good to GO GO GO go go go goooooooooooo
THE WOMAN OF THE FUTURE…never grows old
WHERE CAN WE REACH YOU? 1 800 WAX JUNKY
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2008? all the old shit you never heard..whats new is old

AMIR
crate digger, music expert, DJ, Waxpoetics label manager///////////////////////////////////////////////////

WHAT DO YOU DO? when I first get up every morning is make some coffee for the caffeine addict in me!
TRUE BEAUTY IS…like climbing the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado..truly beautiful and breath taking!
BEATS…dope beats give me goose bumps
TRUE SEXY IS…the confidence one has in oneself
MUSIC IS MY…stress reliever and escape from reality..hahaha
ART DOES NOT…have to be a Monet or Van Gogh, but true art is whatever the soul wants to express at any given moment!
MY NIGHTS ARE…are full of brainstorming of ways to make the Wax Poetics label pop and planning what Kon and I are going to do next!
THESE 3 TURN ME ON…a woman's beautiful smile, eyes, and hips!
SELF-KNOWLEDGE …is knowing that there is a higher power than all of us
ENOUGH OF …the medium tees and skinny girl jeans for men!!!!!
MY CREATIVITY IS…stems from the heartache and pains I have had in life as well the the blessed moments in my life.
TRUE POWER IS…knowing there is nothing to fear but GOD
LIFE CAN BE THE...cruelest joke sometimes
TO LOVE IS TO…experience heartache and pain as well ultimate in pleasure
I'VE GOT FLOW BECAUSE….I got it like that..hahaha
THE WOMAN OF THE FUTURE…is one that lets her inner beauty shine far and bright...oh yeah, and she can talk about any topic in life with confidence
WHERE CAN WE REACH YOU?amirontrack@gmail.com
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2008? Kon and I are planning to gig more together and I want the Wax Poetics label the most talked in 2009...oh yeah, would love to settle down as well...hahaha
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The story of Kon & Amir began back in 1996 when the two met at Biscuithead Records, while digging through crates of obscure gems from the 70s. They discovered that not only did they have the same passion for music and collecting vinyl, but they also had a particular passion for breaks and beats, so the two decided to put a CD together; thus, the first ONTRACK mixtape was born. Amir was working at Fatbeats at the time, and people slowly started to get hooked on the Kon & Amir mixtapes. The legendary J Dilla was one of the fans of the ON TRACK series.

I've been listening to Kon & Amir's ON TRACK series for years and been lucky to get educated in rare soul, disco and boogie grooves by my homie, Kon. I had ON TRACK 6 on heavy rotation for years...it is definitely one of the most treasured collections of rare breaks and beats.

"Since first putting it down together in 1997, the duo has released a total of ten albums; six On Track installments of critical acclaim, another album called The Cleaning, an album appropriately titled, The Kings of Diggin’ along with DJ Muro from Japan, and most recently, the first and second part of the Off Track series on BBE Records. Some of the most respected names in the game, including Shady Records, Diamond D, Dr. Dre, Capitol Records, Pete Rock, and Lord Finesse have sought their record knowledge and digging services.


Most recently, Kon & Amir accepted a five record deal with BBE/Rapster to begin the Off Track series, which builds off the successes of their highly respected On Track series. Unlike the On Track series, which featured short snippets of samples and breaks, the Off Track double disc series features full versions of some the best and rarest audible gems in their entirety. On one disc, Kon serves up extraordinary dance music (modern soul, boogie and disco) while Amir rounds out the sonic odyssey with rare, private press jazz and afrobeat selections from the 70's on the other disc."

After the highly acclaimed first OFF TRACK, finally the second installment of the series dropped last month. On Side One, Kon is still killing it with the disco and boogie tracks. My personal favorites are Angelo Tinsley's sexy "Get Down With Me", Wood Brass and Steel Band's complex "Long Live Music", Jay McGhee's groovy "Turn Me On", Phillip and Lloyd's tight dance track "Keep on Moving" and the Fabulous Conti Family's "You've Got Me Going Baby", which recalls memories of summer, youth and being in love .... definitely gets me going. Go to the BBE site to download or listen to the tracks. Kon has a blog where you can download several of his mixes for FREE! Check it.


On Side Two, Amir is sharing some serious heavy-hitters as well. The intro, Rastafarian preacher, Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus's "Boma Yeah" from Jamaica sets the mood with a pretty deep reggae tune, then follows a journey through some rare Latin rhythms and obscure afrobeat anthems. I loved Honore Avolonte et L'orchestre Black Santiago's "Assounon Dje Dokoli", the sexy "Hello There" by Theodora Ifudu, Track 8 by Bentho Gustave Titiou Poly Rhytma, an afrobeat gem with some super fresh breaks for bboys, Earl Rodney's Caribean heartwarmer, and William Onyeabor's dope track "Something You'll Never Forget" evoking 70s blaxploitation soundtracks. (Not surprisingly, since the Nigerian William Onyeabor studied cinematography for many years, and started his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio in the 70s.)

This record got that sexy vibe, you can keep around as the soundtrack for the summer. Serve it with dancing shoes.

[photo: TONE]
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[photo: TONE]
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Artists, Illustrators MOBILIZE!!!

A good friend of mine, amazing artist Sho Murase, forwarded this alarming info to me recently about the ORPHAN WORKS ACT, a new legislation that's about to get introduced to Congress.

This concerns all artists, copyright issues and Congress and seems
really important at this point in time.

Please read and pass it to any artist , friend of an artists. Every artist must hear about this legislation about to go before Congress.

Basically it states that if you do not pay a registration fee with an independent, for profit, registration service, for every work you create, you will lose the rights to that particular work. Imagine paying $5 for every work you create!

To clarify some of the issues involved from, here is an excerpt from the Q&A the ILLUSTRATION PARTNERSHIP ORGANIZATION page.

Q: What does it mean to say your copyright is an “exclusive right”?
A: Under existing law, “[a] copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, or license his work…Under current law, works are covered whether or not a copyright notice is attached and whether or not the work is registered (emphasis added).”
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Copyright#copyright:_an_overview

Q: Why does this exclusive right matter?
A: Two big reasons:
- Creative control and ownership: No one can use or change your work without your permission.
- Value: In the marketplace the ability to sell exclusive rights to a client triples the value of your work.

Q: So how would the Orphan Works proposals endanger that right?
A: It would allow anyone who can’t find you (or who removes your name from your work and says he can’t) to infringe your work. Since infringements can occur anytime, anywhere in the world, they could be countless but you might never find them.

Q: So?
A: So:
- Under this bill, you would never again be able to assure a client that your work hasn’t been – or won’t be – infringed. Therefore
- You would never again be able to guarantee a client an exclusive right to license your work. This means
- Your entire inventory of work would be devalued by at least 2/3 from the moment this bill is signed into law.

To get more info,, read up on these link. You'll find more in-depth info at IllustratorPartnership.org. Pass this along to your artist friends. Write or better yet call
your members of Congress.

"TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR:
Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to quickly find the phone number, address and e-mail of every U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor and state legislator. Forward this article to every creator you know and urge them to take a moment to protect their very livelihood. I am giving everyone the right to reprint this article in any form to help spread the word to protect our creative rights.

Letters to our government officials don't have to be long, but they should be heartfelt. A good story helps. Tell them who you are, how this legislation negatively affects you and that you want them to vote against the Orphan Works legislation. It's that easy! If you don't, you will have only yourself to blame when you see other people making money from your art and you don't see a dime."

Friday, May 9, 2008

CLOSE ENCOUNTER: DOLPHIN & the Airmath Show in BMORE

Here is a flyer I designed for Dolphin & the Airmath's performance. Check it if you're in BMORE! To get a taste of his music check his page. I've been listening to Machine Kiss since I rediscovered it while painting this collab piece with Jelsen (I'll post the result soon), who got totally hooked on Dolphin. To read my interview with him from last year, follow this link.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I heartBEATS: Brand Nubian & Sadat X with Eagle Nebula camo

i'm back with my weekly "IHEARTBEATS" post. these beats are bad!

..and then i just found this today. Sadat X from Brand Nubian video with my girl Eagle Nebula!! stay tuned for my interview with this dope MC, whose solo album is dropping this August.

AIO, The Future-Gazer

I was asked by my artist friends, Mayan Tamang and hRo to submit a MUNNY for the GIT THAT MUNNY! TOY Battle Show they are organizing this month in Boston. I work in 2D predominantly, and I have a few serious toy designer friends (like Marka 27, whose new piece I'm going to feature soon) who really know how to create some really phenomenal MUNNY creatures, so I was up for a challenge. I am very much of a beginner in the game, and I just decided to have fun with...so don't hate!

For me, this was more of an opportunity to relive some childhood memories of getting lost in role playing and story telling. Here it is, I constructed a little photo essay for the baby.

Her name is AIO. She is a Future-Gazer by lineage.


AIO's roots go way back. Her family tree can be traced back to the primordial union of a Schytian Stag and a Himalayan Snow Leopard. She likes her new incarnation, her current MUNNY shell...AIO loves badass music.

AIO likes to chill with his Native American companions, Badger & Horny Goat.
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AIO was born with a big heart. She was born to love.

AIO misses the Himalayas
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You can find AIO at the following locations below. Give some love to Mayan for putting this together!

Friday, May 2, 2008

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: SARAH WHITE, Brooklyn Ma

My story with Sarah White began with this portrait on the left. It was one of those myspace connections that led to a real life friendship and continued mutual inspiration.
After she reached out to me, I checked out her page again and was completely blown away. As a portrait painter, I think I've developed a fairly refined intuition about people by looking at their photos. When I looked at her pictures, I just knew I had to draw her face. Trusting my self-representation as a sane artist (as opposed to some freak stalker), I reached out to her and asked if I could draw her portrait. The outcome was this drawing that brought the two of us together. One of the fruits of our friendship is WRONGLIPS, our joint endevour/blog.

I continue to be amazed and at awe at Sarah's never ending creativity and talent. Her multilayered, honey-glazed voice can melt over a sultry flamenco melody just as smoothly as when she is rapping to a heavy-hitting broken beat or reggae tune. Yeah, she's got the whole package: she emcees, sings, writes and produces many of her songs (not to mention her other talents as stylist, writer, and photographer under the pen name Artistic Bling, to name a few). She has also collaborated with several international producers/musicians such as Arch_type, Papastomp, M.anifest, and last but not least, her partner in crime, Dj Don Cuco.

Something about Sarah's presence that always has an air of mystery makes me envision her as part of a royal tribe of wandering singers. Imagine a world without the voice of Nina Simone, Jill Scott, and countless other female songstresses who continue to heal, inspire, turn on, make us smile and relive experiences through the sheer power of their voice...knowing the heart-transforming power of this lady's vocal abilities, I can no longer imagine the world without the voice of Sarah White...Watch as her inner star leaves the galaxy within to shed her brilliance all over the globe. Stay tuned for her new solo LP coming out later this year.

Those who live in NYC, come check out the upcoming concert I'm organizing for Sarah and two other brilliant female performers, Yolanda Zama & Eagle Nebula in collaboration with WRONGLIPS and DOPE SWAN at SMOOCH on May 8, 2008. Peep the flyer below to get the details.


Lichiban:
You recently moved to Brooklyn from Minneapolis where you have been on the music scene for a while. You emceed in the hip-hop group, Traditional Methods, and were the lead singer of Black Blondie and had many collaborations under your belts. How has the move helped you grow as a musician?


Sarah White: My move to New York has been kind of a two steps forward, two steps back process in my world of music. Though I am positive it was/and is what my soul needed to get closer to the music I was put here to make, finding time to work on music and still work to pay the rent has been the struggle. No pain no gain. I have been growing everyday, and remembering more and more who I am and what music is to me.. I love BK and I feel more home than I have ever felt. I am so inspired...

L: What kind of venues (online and live) are available to musicians in your genre in NYC and beyond...where can one find you?

SW: It seems that venues are poppin' up around every corner. I think that music like mine can fit very well in the majority of the venues in BK, depending more on the crowd it pulls. Definitely Smooch (Fort Greene), Soloman's Porch (Bed Stuy) and the Stratosphere (Crown Heights). I will be playing at all 3 within the next 2 months. Online, the world is your venue. Easy access!! Myspace has opened many doors making a WORLD of difference for us independant types. Do it yourself marketing, right in your fingertips. You can find me on Virb, Myspace or Coopr8.
www.mysarahwhite.com

L: Do you think that the relative democratization of aspects of the media (youtube, blogs, internet radios,myspace, etc) helped independent, underground musicians like you to get yourself out-there and grow faster or did it make it harder because of the competition?
[photo by Skye]

SW: It definitely made it easier .. but maybe a little too damn easy. Every 14 year old high school kid has a band with a html'ed out myspace page that pops. I think its great that people can now market themselves, and really do the whole process independently, but I also think something was special about the way people used to have to work hard for their name.. tours, street hustle, face to face- hand to hand real life music... I want to go back to putting tape on cassettes to tape over old radio mixes...bringing it back…Did i even answer the question?

L: Beside making music, I know that you always have a lot of other creative projects going on… you do photography, art, design and styling for shoots, studied 5 languages, and do so much more!..Where do you get your creative energy? Were you doing this many things as a child too? How do you see yourself now in relation to what you dreamed to be as a child?
[DJ Don Cuco & Sarah White, photo by Artistic Bling]

SW: Ha! I just don't sleep. I dont know where the energy comes from, or where it goes when I need it most. I just have some craving I cant satisfy so I stay as creatively busy as I can so i can feel somewhat full. I have really been like this since I was a kid. My mom says I would never stop...talking, singing ,creating, dreaming.. kind of like an addiction since birth. I used to sing church songs in the stroller as a toddler, Broadway in middle school, freestylin with cyphers in high school, ..I cant see myself slowing down anytime soon. I wanted to be like Bill Cosby as a child ( Delivering babies, not acting) so .. I’m a little off of my first path, but right on track with my dreams. Birthing rhymes, baby! The gift of song. I am definitely learning to put focus in certain areas and trying to narrow down the wheels I am spinning. My man focus now is Music, Photography, Writing, and of course Motherhood..that's still too many wheels..

L: I heard that your single is coming out soon. What are you working on these days? Any new collaborations?
[photo by Protius]

SW: Yes, I will have a single out for this track, "C train" out soon. Working on getting it mixed and mastered as we speak. We will also begin shooting the video for it early summer. Im drooling...Collab wise, I just finished a track with Arch_type, Im working on one with Papastomp, an EP with M.anifest, and last but not least, my main project with Dj Don Cuco. The more the better...

L: If you had a wish for 2008, what would that be?

SW: 3 wishes:
That I could find a way to use my heart to heal, everyday...
That I can find a way to get PAID from doing what I love
To do a track with K-OS...I love his music lately…






check WRONGLIPS our new project, Sarah and I started a couple of months ago. Stay tuned for backstage photos of the shoot we've done for the upcoming show at SMOOCH, and read more about the other two amazing ladies of the show, Yolanda Zama and Eagle Nebula.
[design by Lichiban]

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FROM THE SOURCE: Yolanda Zama, Sarah White & Eagle Nebula

We are plotting a movement over here in Brooklyn. Yolanda Zama, Sarah White and Eagle Nebula are three of my favorite women who happened to be outrageously talented. In my attempt to support their creative journey, I helped to organize their joint show, FROM THE SOURCE, coming up next week. The ladies styled their own shoot, while beatmaker/photographer Protius, Sarah and myself were documenting the project, and I designed the flyer after the shoot. This is how we do...we support each other in ways we can.

Below are my behind the scenes photos from our shoot for the upcoming FROM THE SOURCE show. To read more about the performers, the whole concept behind us coming together and to see more photos by Protius and Sarah, go to WRONGLIPS, my other blog with Sarah W.

Wronglips & Dope Swan present:
FROM THE SOURCE

Thursday, May 8th 2008, Doors open: 8pm, Show starts at 8:30pm
Location: SMOOCH, Organic Cafe and Wine Bar, 264 Carlton Ave (off of Dekalb), BROOKLYN 11205 [Take C to Lafayette Ave, G to Fulton St + 5 mins walk]
FREE EVENT !!

Eagle Nebula, Sarah White & Yolanda Zama behind the scenes
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Sarah White aka Artistic Bling. She's got skillz
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The beautiful Eagle Nebula. I love this woman.
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Behind the scenes
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Directors of Mischief, Bella & Lichiban
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Sarah, Eagle, Yolanda & DJ Don Cuco (you might catch him spinning afrobeat & latin grooves on Sundays at Habana Outpost)
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