Today there’s been a reprieve in the weather so I prep for a ride down to the e-bloc Cineplex to see Notorious because my life has gone in the gutter so naturally I look for escape. The snow is melting a little and the dirt and grime of a world gone mad gives it the look of the pain and agony of a gray Guernica.
I mount up and ride rolling north toward downtown Minneapolis. As I ride the memories flood back uncontrollably. Yes, I see you from beyond and for a moment time stands still. I remember your young body and how it felt when I touched you and the world fell to its knees.
The album’s first cut Intro starts with a sound byte that is the declaration of corruption. When Buggin says, “cuz we’re lost in a world of corruption/the movement flows through my pen and my productions” he’s talking to us about how art and music will carry the struggle for resistance from here on now. I love the current event historical references, broken down like a pro.
Say Goodnight 2 Da Bad Guy opens with some excruciatingly beautiful romantic classical guitar. Spanish in tone, this song is autobiographical poetry that paints a picture of life on the urban rez in Milwaukee and how Buggin got his start.
Say Goodnight slips smoothly into some heavy melodramatic acoustic piano chords that set the tone for Ain’t No Love Loss. Buggin is runnin' down the flow to tell people not only where he’s comin’ from but also where’s he standin’ now and where he’s headed. He’s sayin’ that when you love someone even when they’re gone, you don’t lose the feelings you’ve got for them. With emphasis, Buggin states, “and yes I’ll keep it hot like a sweat lodge rock” which is very clever and very Indiannish.
This leads to an electric guitar acapella segue into Lord Have Mercy, an amazing step in the evolution of this man’s music. And better be listened to by those brothers out there that don’t understand that change comes from inside, not externally. It’s about fulfillment. “I can rap about 24s and 26s/I can be a gangsta and call the ladies bitches/I can write about all my diamonds and my gold/bein’ up in the club but that shit’s gettin’ old.”
My favorite song I Am Universoul starts with a hot electronica intro that moves to something of a beautiful funk groove with poetry over top. This is my favorite trac because of its relationship to the R-n-B genre and because if you can’t dance, you ain’t shit. “Live for today like it’s your last because you never know when it’s your time to blast.” Buggin breaks it down to a smooth easy male vocal.
The beautiful piano intro to That Road features female vocals over top. Reminds me of the Beatles ending Sgt. Pepper’s with A Day in the Life. “There’s gotta be a better way/I’m thinkin’ as I meditate/behind every dark cloud/there’s gotta be a better day/so I keep my faith in myself and my soul /this is the life I chose as I walk that road.” A lot of these songs are not just about Buggin but about the results that come of collaboration.
People that don’t understand that anapestic free verse with internal rhyme simplifies poetry so that all of us can understand, are doomed to not understand the significance of that. This is no effete snob Robert Creeley poet laureate boring coppin’ a nod in the front row. No this is way ahead of that. Do you have to play it so loud? Well, yeah.
We lost Biggie and Tupac over some stupid internecine inner tribal conflict that made no sense. It is the tragedy of the music business. The biz is a meat grinder and I should know because I used to be steak but now I’m just a meatball. I’ll say this to you Mr. Malone. Biggie and Tupac are proud. I’m proud. I love intelligent music. This is intelligent music.
It begins to snow big huge fluffy ivory flakes like the creator heard my pain and answered by turning this dirty filthy Midwestern city into a below zero paradise. After a quick shower I sit down by a window to watch in amazed wonderment at the beauty of it all.
For more info on Buggin Melone, see: www.Myspace.com/bugginmalone.
Jamison Mahto: Reporter/Indigenous In The News, Indigenous In Music CD Review
I recently joined “E-SNAG” dot com. I found it on the website of News From Indian Country, a paper that just happens to pick up my column, “It ain’t easy being Indian.... etcetera”. Well, they don’t need my plug, however I can honestly attest that the organization has excellent taste in content and writers, not to mention talent and reliability.
Okay, so there I was, totally bored – it’s late and I adamantly refuse to do anything like housework if I can possibly help it. So I signed up, my first time doing such a thing, and I answered the questions openly, blatantly and truthfully, cuz after all, what have I got to lose?
Right then. A day or so later, I get an email from E-SNAG letting me know I had some possible matches, like 7 out of a 72,436.001 Indian guys registered. Hmm. I think that says more about them than it does about me! ( And you call yourselves Braves, huh?) Well, of all them hot frybreaders I got one ‘wink’ so far! I didn’t open the email until I had my face on and my hair did. You know how most menz are, so sweet and shallow at the same time! Anyhow....
Written by Dr. Lydia Caros/Native American Community Clinic,
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Your child’s health - so much more than just shots
Is your child healthy? If your child has not had a full “well child” exam recently, then you don’t really know. Getting your child examined is much more than weighing in and getting shots. When your child sees a medical provider, it should be for an evaluation of all the things that affect your child’s health.
The health of a child is affected by their physical, emotional, and spiritual surroundings. Health is impacted by the affection and love they receive from caregivers, stresses in the family, their ability to make friends, and sense of self esteem. The foods they eat, amount of sleep they get, and amount of regular exercise they have makes a big difference in their overall physical and mental health.
Children that are not healthy have trouble learning, and often have trouble in school. A healthy child learns better, acts better, and is happier with life. A healthy child can connect better with cultural and spiritual traditions.
Have your child checked regularly at your medical provider’s clinic. If your child is getting sick, go to the clinic as soon as you can so you can avoid a more complicated illness. Do not use the emergency room for your clinic. Call your clinic or insurance on-call number during the night and find out if you need to have your child seen immediately or if it can wait until morning.
Your clinic should have some way to fit in sick children within a day. Talk to your doctor about this. The ER is a waste of your time if the problem can be handled in the clinic. Don’t let lack of insurance keep you from getting health care. The local community clinics are happy to see your child whether you have insurance or not.
I was contacted in January about a physical attack on imprisoned American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier. According to various accounts, Peltier was transferred from the Lewisburg federal prison to another prison in Canaan, Pennsylanvia. Shortly after arriving at the Canaan facility, Peltier was jumped and beaten by some younger inmates on Jan. 13.
Peltier may have suffered a concussion, and injuries to his hand, ribs and knee, according to his lawyer, Michael Kuzma.
“It is clear that Mr. Peltier is in grave danger at USP Canaan,” Kuzma wrote in a letter to Harley G. Lappin, director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Following the attack, Peltier was placed in solitary confinement and meals were restricted, despite his having diabetes and other medical conditions, according to the newly formed Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee.
In letters sent to the Bureau of Prisons in November and December 2008, Kuzma requested that Peltier be transferred to the Turtle Mountain reservation (No. Dakota), or as an alternative, to either the federal prison in Sandstone, Minn., or the prison in Oxford, Wisc.
Peltier was arrested in 1976, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canada’s version of the FBI), and later extradited to the U.S. He was convicted of the murder of two FBI agents in a June, 26, 1975 shootout near Oglala, on the Pine Ridge reservation (So. Dakota), and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. The firefight at the Jumping Bull ranch (in which an Indian man, Joe Stuntz, also was killed), erupted during a period of heightened tension between AIM and traditional Indians and a tribal administration backed by the U.S. government. In fact, Pine Ridge, after the 1973 AIM-led occupation of Wounded Knee, became a kind of laboratory for domestic counter-insurgency warfare by the FBI and other police agencies.
Power ofFour: Leadership Lessons of
by Joseph Marshall III
Publication date: January, 2009
Book reading event: February 20 at
Joseph M. Marshall III (Sicangu Lakota
Sioux), Lakota historian, educator, and author reminds us in his latest book,
The Power ofFour:
Leadership Lessons of Crazy Horse,
that true leadership is only possible
when character is more important than authority. Corporate executives know how
to turn a profit, legislators and presidents hold positions of power but does
that qualify them as leaders? Is anyone vested with authority automatically
considered a leader?
Marshall says no.
In his book, the author puts forth that
we need to redefine our idea ofleadership altogether. What makes a good and effective leader? Marshall
draws inspiration from Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull to develop his
concept of leadership.
He also draws his belief from a time when the Lakota
people of the northern plains had the best deterrent to bad leaders; they
simply refused to follow them. While Crazy Horse is best known for his skills
as a military warrior, Marshall focuses on Crazy Horse’s achievements off the
battlefield, where his leadership skills were most clearly built and
Copyright 2008 The Circle News. All rights reserved. The Circle New is dedicated to presenting news from a Native American perspective, while granting an equal opportunity to community voices. Editorials and articles are the sole responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion, attitude, or philosophy of The Circle or the corporation. The Circle does not endorse any product or service accepted as advertising. The Circle reserves the right to reject any advertising, material, or letters submitted for publication. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PUBLISHER. West7th**