To Exist Is to Resist

January 9, 2009

To Exist Is to Resist

In my mind
I’ve freed Palestine
Envisioned a dream
That just needs to be seen
Olive trees and fields of figs
Orange groves
That lead to our roads
No blocks filled with cops
No ten-year-olds shot
Freedom
Is what I got

I understand my grandmother’s plan
To live on her bought and paid-for land
And though it isn’t in her hands
It remains in her heart
Every time another is killed
We go back to the start

1948: the date you make us remember
The star and scars of David
And we’re the ones who’ve hated?
We’ve been raped and berated
By bullets and forced “immigration”
Squatting and settling
Left wrestling with the best Zionism has to offer
While the US fills its coffers
We’re seen as monsters

Our people blow up in pain
Black-eyed and half-insane
Wouldn’t you be?
If an Israeli bullet penetrated your child’s brain?

I envision Palestine in my mind
With the “chosen” frozen in time
To realize their morality’s blind
To take back generations of crime
And put an end to Apartheid
How many kids sit and wish
They could be labeled other than a terrorist
To exist is to resist!
Reads the graffiti in their cities

Give them chalk instead of rocks
They’ll use the blackboards
If you let them go to school

Give them chalk instead of rocks
Instead you bulldoze the block
Destroy their homes
Palestine is what you call the “no building zone”

But you can’t bulldoze our minds
Every time we’ll rise through ashes
Like Cassius Clay
We’ll bob and weave for infinity
There is no divinity
In bombing our cities
Setting up committees to treat us differently
We’re from Falasteen
The land where dreams are made

So just remember one thing
One day the bells of freedom will ring
And you’ll see me smiling
Loving life in Palestine

– Remi Kanazi


Picture of the Day

January 9, 2009

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PARIS—South African singer Miriam Makeba, 1969.


Farewell Dubya

January 8, 2009

Leaving aside the political disaster that he’s been to the U.S. and all the death and destruction that he unleashed upon the world, there are some other highlights to add to the great legacy that he is leaving behind.

The endless idiocies, the diplomatic embarrasments, the constant mangling of the English language, and so on.

Here then, a fitting tribute to a living court jester whose crimes against humanity will be his eternal testimonial after all the laughter ends.

May a front row seat await him in Hell.


Village Voice 2008 Jazz Critics Poll

January 8, 2009

villagevoice.com

Sonny Rollins Rules the Third Annual Voice Jazz Critics Poll

2008 Voice Jazz Poll Winners
By Francis Davis

Jazz Album of the Year

1. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 1 (Doxy/Emarcy) 208.5 points (29 ballots)

2. Rudresh Mahanthappa Kinsmen (Pi) 118.5 (16)

3. Charles Lloyd Rabo de Nube (ECM) 115

4. Vijay Iyer Tragicomic (Sunnyside) 68 (11)

5. Wadada Leo Smith Tabligh (Cuneiform) 67 (13)

6. Cassandra Wilson Loverly (Blue Note) 64.5 (12)

7. Joe Lovano Symphonica (Blue Note) 63 (10)

8. Donny McCaslin Recommended Tools (Greenleaf) 59.5 (9)

9. Bill Frisell History, Mystery (Nonesuch) 57.5 (9)

10. Guillermo Klein Filtros (Sunnyside) 56 (10)

11. Martial Solal Longitude (Cam Jazz) 54 (10)

12. Lionel Loueke Karibu (Blue Note) 54 (9)

13. James Moody & Hank Jones Our Delight (IPO) 54

14. David Murray & Mal Waldron Silence (Justin Time) 52.5 (7)

15. Bennie Maupin Early Reflections (Cryptogramophone) 50 (7)

16. William Parker Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity) 49 (10)

17. Dave Holland Pass It On (Dare2/Emarcy) 49 (9)

18. James Carter Present Tense (Emarcy) 48 (9)

19. McCoy Tyner Guitars (Half Note/McCoy Tyner Music) 46.5 (10)

20. Brian Blade Season of Changes (Verve) 45

21. Mary Halvorson Dragon’s Head< (Firehouse 12) 44

22. Dafnis Prieto Taking the Soul for a Walk (Dafnison) 44 (7)

23. Anat Cohen Notes From the Village (Anzic) 43 (7)

24. Mario Pavone Trio Arc (Playscape) 37 (5)

25. Carla Bley Appearing Nightly (WATT/ECM) 36.5 (7)

26. Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard (Planet Arts) 36 (7)

27. William Parker Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM Fidelity) 36 (5)

28. Various Artists Miles From India (Four Quarters/Times Square) 35 (6)

29. Bill Dixon 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur (AUM Fidelity) 34 (5)

30. Miguel Zenon Awake (Marsalis Music) 33 (5)

31. Jenny Scheinman Crossing the Field (Koch) 33 (4)

32. Steven Bernstein Diaspora Suite (Tzadik) 32 (5)

33. Danilo Perez Across the Crystal Sea (EmArcy) 32 (4)

34. Mostly Other People Do the Killing This Is Our Moosic (Hot Cup) 30 (5)

35. Louis Moholo-Moholo & Marilyn Crispell Sibanye (We Are One) (Intakt) 29 (4)

36. Saxophone Summit Seraphic Light (Telarc) 28.5 (6)

37. Brad Mehldau Live (Nonesuch) 27 (6)

38. Pat Metheny Day Trip (Nonesuch) 26 (4)

38. Kurt Rosenwinkel The Remedy (ArtistShare) 26 (4)

38. Marcus Shelby Harriet Tubman (Noir) 26 (4)

41. Roberta Gambarini & Hank Jones You Are There (EmArcy) 24 (4)

41. Evan Parker Boustrophedon (ECM) 24 (4)

43. Bobby Previte Set the Alarm for Monday (Palmetto) 22.5 (4)

43. Scott Robinson Forever Lasting (Arbors) 22.5 (4)

45. Mike Reed Proliferation (482 Music) 22 (5)

46. JD Allen I Am I Am (Sunnyside) 22 (3)

46. Brotherhood of Breath Eclipse at Dawn (Cuneiform) 22 (3)

46. Ted Nash The Mancini Project (Palmetto) 22 (3)

49. Todd Sickafoose Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone) 21.5 (4)

50. Matana Roberts The Chicago Project (Central Control) 21 (4)*

*Totals for The Chicago Project include 7 (1) from 2007

Critics were asked to list 10 albums in descending order, with 10 points awarded for their #1, 9 for #2, etc. (On ballots where choices were listed alphabetically, each received 5.5 points.) The first number indicates total points; the number in parentheses is the tally of ballots on which a CD appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

Jazz Reissue of the Year

1. Anthony Braxton The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton (Mosaic) 87 (33)

2. Miles Davis Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition (Columbia/Legacy) 26 (10)

3. Art Tatum Piano Starts Here: Live at the Shrine/The Zenph Re-Performance (Sony Classical) 20 (10)

3. Lester Young Classic Columbia, Okeh and Vocalion with Count Basie (1936–1940) (Mosaic) 20 (10)

5. Nina Simone To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (BMG/Legacy) 13 (6)

6. Ornette Coleman Town Hall 1962 (ESP Disk) 13 (5)

7. Blue Notes The Ogun Collection (Ogun) 11 (4)

8. Charlie Parker Washington, D.C., May 23, 1948 (Uptown Jazz) 10 (4)

9. Dizzy Gillespie Showtime at the Spotlite: 52nd Street, New York City, June 1946 (Uptown) 9 (6)

10. Grachan Moncur III Evolution (Blue Note) 8 (5)

Critics were asked to list three reissues in descending order, with 3 points awarded for #1, 2 for #2, and 1 for #3.

The number tallies ballots on which a CD appeared, which was used as a tiebreaker.

Best Vocal

1. Cassandra Wilson Loverly (Blue Note) 14

2. Kate McGarry If Less Is More . . . Nothing Is Everything (Palmetto) 5

3. Patricia Barber The Cole Porter Mix (Blue Note) 4

3. Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis Two Men With the Blues (Blue Note) 4

5. Roberta Gambarini & Hank Jones You Are There (EmArcy) 3

Best Debut

1. Noah Preminger Dry Bridge Road (NOWT) 8

2. Ideal Bread The Ideal Bread KMB (Jazz) 5

3. Ambrose Akinmusire Prelude (Fresh Sound New Talent) 4

4. Mathias Eick The Door (ECM) 3

Best Latin

1. Bebo Valdés/Javier Colina Live at the Village Vanguard (Calle 54 Norté) 9

2. Conrad Herwig The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter (Half Note) 8

3. Arturo O’Farrill Song for Chico (Zoho) 4

4. Dafnis Prieto Taking the Soul for a Walk (Dafnison) 4

For Best Vocal, Debut, and Latin albums, critics were asked to name one album apiece, with no point system.


Voice of the Day

January 8, 2009

“A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning and violence breaks the chains – let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!”

– Leon Trotsky


Say Cheese

January 8, 2009

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The Anti-Empire Report – January 2

January 8, 2009

The Anti-Empire Report
January 3rd, 2009
by William Blum
www.killinghope.org

America’s other glorious war

The Pentagon pushes hard for a large increase in troops for Afghanistan. Barack Obama has been calling for the same since well before the November election. Listen to the drumbeats telling us that the security of the United States and the Free World necessitates increased action in this place called Afghanistan.

As urgent as Iraq 2003, it is. Why? What is there about this backward, reactionary, woman-hating, failed state that warrants hundreds of deaths of American and NATO soldiers? That justifies tens of thousands of Afghan deaths since the first US bombing attacks in October 2001?

In early December, reports the Washington Post, “standing at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the United States is making a ‘sustained commitment’ to that country, one that will last ‘some protracted period of time’.”

The story goes on to discuss $300 million in construction projects at this one base to house additional American forces, erecting guard stations and towers and perimeter fencing around the barracks area, putting in vehicle inspection areas, administration offices, cold-storage warehouse, a new power plant, electrical and water distribution systems, communications lines, housing for 1,500 personnel who sustain the systems, maintenance shops, warehouses1 … America’s wealth bleeds out endlessly.

Full Report