Archives for posts with tag: music

random things happen here.  so many odd things smashed up against one another sometimes it’s hard to figure out a narrative.

i’ll break it down to you this way.

riding in the car.  my head bobs and dips as per usual as the car swerves in the dizzying ride they call traffic.    rihanna’s on “freedom radio” singing about calling her, rude boy. nah nah nah nah nah while my friend S tells me about his mother being beaten by the Talibs one day.  Now some lady on the “freedom radio” is talking something about a song called “These 5 Rednecks,” but I’m not really listening because S is explaining about how a few years ago, he’d be in the audience of soccer games and would have to make it through the halftime show beheadings.   Now some dude is singing about bales of hay and chicken bones and making love in the back of a pick up – and I’m hearing another story  about how even tho I’m complaining about the constant rolling blackouts that occur every hour… I should be thankful to have power at all.  The city only recently lit up the grid.  … and now I’m home.  Opening the gate to the compound in the freezing dusty wind.

or.  how about nudging my class of girls to write a comic book.  they have the problem: Girls Education.  They have the hero.  But, one girl stands up to explain, there is no solution for this problem.  The men will never want us to learn, why are we trying to pretend like things will ever change?  This is a stupid assignment because it’s making me think there is going to be something different to happen and I know realistically its not.  niki fights back tears.  no time to tell the story of the american slaves and their plight.  hmmm.  what’s practical?  what do you say?  i’ve got a translator staring at me with big brown eyes imploring me – yes niki – you westerners come over here with big bad bright ideas, but a the end of the day these girls all go home to fathersbrothersuncles… and mothers…. who would rather keep things the way they are. sigh.  i had so many speeches prepared on the flight here to kabul.  in the moment, on the spot.  after even having read 3 cups of tea.  i gots nothing.  i drum up a short, hopefully truly memorable, inspirational answer.  and tell her – to just dream.  it starts with a dream.  eventually, you, or your children will be so angry at having dreamt for so long, you will do whatever it takes to have the dream be a reality.  sigh.  what the heck am i doing here?

or.  …. maybe i won’t get into the privilege topic.  i’m caught between two worlds and its dizzying.  i’m western.  i’m black.  i’m the daughter of the results of somebody’s assumed superiority over my ancestry.  i’m so many things.  i see what’s also happening here, but it’s weird to say anything because i’m them too.  I’m sure this paragraph makes no sense to anybody but me.  it’s okay.  i can live with that.   i’ll leave it for when i speak to you personally.  it’s…. whoa.

or.  i’m mad because i want to do something simple like go to the bazaar.  but the hurdles to get there because i came equipped with a vagina get bigger every time we try to hash out the complicated details on how to get there.  the local who can show us around isn’t allowed to travel alone without a male relative.  they dont’ want to go.  WE can’t go pick her up because we can’t take the car because we can’t drive here and none of the boys who live here want to take us.  Nevermind this means that we pay a girl “tax” so to speak because we always have to take taxis on our day off if we want to go somewhere.  sigh.  so the 23 year old girl who could show us around has to ask permission if its okay for her to travel with two other women alone.  this is only the half of the story, but incredibly frustrating.  i suppose me and the other “westerner” will venture out alone guideless and make it do what it do.  meanwhile, apparently the boys all had a MARVELOUS time dining at a restaurant we couldn’t attend.  yes, and their ride was free because of course they can drive. sigh.

or.  thinking about the people closest to me who have made little or no attempt to call or write vs people i met right before i left who keep constant contact.  life’s strange that way.  there are so many people i miss dearly.  sometimes when i’m asleep i think i’m back in los angeles.  i think that i can just drive home or something.  a weird in-between state.  you don’t know how my heart sinks when i realize, nope.  still here.  still can’t see those people i love.  but i press on because above all of that, i know i’m needed where i am.

or.  listening to one person who has about a 75% mastery of english try to explain a concept to someone who has about a 65% mastery of english.  this person either grows frustrated, or disagrees with their conversation partner.  i giggle because the conversation starts getting heated i think it’s really because there’s no way for them to remotely understand one another.  they don’t dare ask me for help.  i just look down and keep poking around on the computer.

or. realizing that every local person who i work with has had to leave their own country for a period of time because of the talibs.  they have such a unique relationship with their nationality.  or hearing more stories about how they used to get their homes raided randomly.  or just.  being. sad. at. humans.

or. taking a shower in a bathroom used mainly by ….  not so clean men…. when the lights go out and i’m having to do most of my washing and dressing in the pitch pitch, there is not even a candle or lantern darkness.  soooo happy i’m the stereotypical black girl who wears shower shoes.  because otherwise i’d have had no idea where or what i was stepping on.

or. realizing that as much as i like wine, it’s not so deep i’ll pay $60 for the experience.  booze is super expensive here, so miraculously, i just don’t have a desire for it in the least.  i’ll stick to water and tea because apparently, that’s pretty much the only things to drink here.

or.  explaining that not ALL of america is comprised of fat asses.  in fact, when you work in hollywood, they have the opposite problem.  how about that at any company meal, i would typically be the only person who wasn’t eating just a salad.  or if i got one, the only one having the dressing that it comes with rather than just lemon juice or balsamic vinaigrette (sorry, but uh, a free company meal means you actually eat in my book.  guess i rep the fat asses after all).  then laughing to myself here for typically being too tired to eat or cook my “free” meal here in the guesthouse.  we’re supposed to work together on thursdays and fridays…. but miraculously, i’m just not hungry those nights.  go figure.

or. how nothing i brought here will be worthy of any thing when i return.  all my clothes are officially covered in dirt.  the washing machine doesn’t fully work because we don’t have full power.  things that are “clean” are still dingy.  too bad.  i got over that a long time ago.  now i’m happy just not to stink.  it is what it is.  it takes to much energy to fret over dingy things.  or dust.  in a way it frees my mind up to think of a better answer for the girls in my class.  how to not be overly revolutionary, be respectful and follow the “rules,” but still put fire in their hearts?   the answer isn’t telling them to move west.  i refuse to believe that that’s the answer for them.  sigh.  again.

ok i’m done.  so much swirling and colliding around me.  i think i need to sleep now.  or listen to the germans speak german.  or try to watch some afghan television soap operas.  or read a book.  or find a snack. or. or. or.  just think some more about a good answer.


The thing is – there is just certain music that makes me feel like I’m contributing to the downfall of society.   … I’m troubled / conflicted/ confused at times because some of it I love.  While I do believe there is a place in the world for all forms of self expression, some of it points to the worst values society has to offer.

After looking over my list – I think it’s more of commentary on where hip hop (music in general) is these days than anything.  Is it that I”m embarrassed to still love it as an artform?  I don’t know… still need to figure that part out.  Either way… here it goes…

1.  Teach Me How To Dougie (Aw lawd I’m old, is that what it’s called?)

Somehow, this song magically transports me to the way I used to feel in 1990 Gary, Indiana.  In my jellies or Converse outside in the middle of the street learning some new dance from the older neighborhood girls. … and then how super excited I’d be to test it out later at whatever school dance the nearby school was having.    At this point in the game, I’ll just have to remain happy testing this one out in the car with my steering wheel on the way to work.  I don’t know how I can keep my fabulous swag in the club with this one… wait… what’s that you say about that club down on 109th & what?  Hmmm.  Maybe I can get away with it down there.   I know Keisha will go with me….

2.  Imma Be

Yeah yeah yeah.  There used to be a time when Black Eyed Peas was hip hop with a little soulful flava.  Now, they’re just some auto-tuned white bread poppy something or other.  I hate to admit it, but I have been known to jump over folks and scale flights of stairs (even in my 5 inchers) in the club to run go dance to them.   Say whatcha want but that Will. I. Am. somehow finds that BEAT that gets me wanting to work it out.  … hmph I’m liable to forgive all the people who drive like fools on the way to work  if I’m engrossed in my daily morning my-own-personal-club ritual called Ms. Ac(ura) when this is on the radio.

3.  BedRock

Okay.  I can’t say that I’m necessarily embarrassed to love it… I think I hate that whenever I hear this song I see visions of rooms full 8th month pregnant-by-Lil’ Wayne-women standing next to chirren with tattoos all over their faces all speaking at once. … with VO from his interview on”Behind the Music” playing in the bg… too much? The truth is, I just feel icky.  But dammit if I don’t do a little extra left hand in the air “Oh that’s my jam!” when this one comes on…

4. Gangsta Love

I friggin love this song.  Please don’t ask me to explain myself and please #dontjudgeme.    These days, Snoop mostly makes me giggle with his personae, doing bollywood, singing the One Life To Live song, and is really the epitome of why that OG/pimp routine is coonery to the 100th degree (101st, 102nd, 103rd.. and on)…  but when he goes “She say my name loud, I say her name low.”  …. I don’t know…. I just wanna… 🙂 YEAH.

5. Brick By Boring Brick

Not hip hop – but.  Is it rock?  Pop?  What is this mess?  Sounds like a showtune. ………. aaaaaaaaaaand that’s why I love it!  I know they think they’re being all emo and serious and Avril on us.  I get it.  But really- I go up and down the streets of LA going Ba-da-da-Da-da da da daaaaaa.   🙂  I have no idea what the song is about.  A fairytale?  Castle?  what?  No idea.  Just Ba-da-da-Da-da da da daaaaaa  DA DA DA DA da-DA-DA-DaaAA!

Written by Niki

We have so much to look forward to musically in 2010.  Unfortch, I could only make it to the 1:08 mark before I had to turn it off wipe the blood from my ears.

Enjoyed this?  Never the one to disappoint, your G*Flydora recommends the following videos to fall in love with:


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Written by Niki

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