Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Happy" Video

I can't lie. I normally hate video shoots. A lot of standing around and waiting. They're tedious too. Restlessness sets in, and I just want to go home. Shooting the video for "Happy" was a little different. It was my first time as director and I was surrounded with some beautiful people. Of course my brother Def was on board, and once again, the project could not have been possible without the help of Terrance Wilmore of as an incredible DP and all around positive force that helped carry out the vision all the way through. My sister Shane provided the set, my homegirl AJ provided the glam and Mom and Pops even came through to show love. Peace to guerilla filmmakers, musicians and artists worldwide that make it happen with creativity, resourcefulness and NO MONEY!! You are indeed the spooks that sit by the door...


And with no further ado... "Happy"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pretty Damn Ugly

So Daniel Joseph's album release was glorious. The summary: I sang a little. Def danced and wore a cool jacket. Elete cracked me up. Alden held me down. I missed Brokn Englsh on stage. Dang. Black 45 gave us a dope intro. Ment cut. Girl had a Bad Brains t-shirt on. Nice! Ant told me about hot Jamaican spices. Sheena's so little. Like a Polly Pocket. Rewmec did what he does. Omar and Les, I see y'all! St. Joe Louis killed. Bullymouth killed. Poet reminded me of the singing lessons he gave me. Nekeya and Haiku are the sweetest things ever. A-Sharp's stomach recovered. EMAPhotography brought light to the dark. Love to the bridge that unites hip hop and soul music. If you missed it...well then you just missed it. Here's a piece:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Daniel Joseph's Album Release Party Performance

Yes, Pardon the Stranger shall be on that stage in full character, as will our Garden State bredren. Come show love for that good Jersey movement.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Big Shouts to Levar Burton, Shirley and the Rob's Place Staff.

You still read right? Hope so. The written word is dope. For musicians everywhere there are a few books that should be scattered among your shelves amidst the What's Happenin!' DVD box set and the incense holder. Some are industry standard, and some remind us of why we do what we do, how to do it and how to maintain our sanity while we get it done:

Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod
Creativity comes from all angles and seems to have a few guidelines.

Ziglar on Selling by Zig Ziglar
Now that you have your sound down. Learn how to peddle that ish.

On the Record by Guy Oseary
Ahmet Ertegun (RIP), Rick Rubin and a gang of other names you should know have pretty interesting things to say on the biz and how they learned to rape it.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Stop waiting for the inspiration to hit. Get up off that thing and work.

The Bedford Handbook for Writers by Diana Hacker
You can't freestyle everything. At least learn the rules before you blatantly violate them.

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin
Art and science for real. Freaky.

Get your library card out or sit on the floor at Barnes and Nobles and get to knowing!!!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brand New Me and You

"I don't say 'I love you' 'cause the way I feel is greater."
-Black Thought

A few weeks ago, Def, director Terrance Wilmore and I were discussing music, shooting a video and watching little Aidan revel in the wonder that is a matchbox car lightning loop track. The subject came up of music and the love for it all...
Here's the bottom line: Music is work. Even if it's the type you don't mind, it's still not as easy as making an impression on the couch. Video shoots are tedious, song writing and producing can be frustrating, promo is a constant, nervous balance between career advancement and integrity preservation, and rehearsals and recording take much time and patience. None of it is easy, but we press on not because we love it. We passed love years ago. We press on because we couldn't imagine NOT pressing on. It's not a choice. We're shackled to it for life. Talking about success or failure is a waste of time. It simply must be done.

Bless Up,

"Brand New Me" Video by Pardon the Stranger from kendal good on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buy the Damn Thing


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Livest Ones

People continue to put out records that sound great in the living room, the car and the headphones. Seriously, it's quality music from reputable artists. But then something happens- the live show. Attending live shows is an increasingly risky enterprise for a couple of reasons:

1) They're expensive (relatively speaking)
2) They require a lot of time (travel time, ticket line time, waiting time)
3) They require a lot of faith ("I really hope this cat group/band/act doesn't have an off night on my dime.")
4) Most are extremely uncomfortable to sit through (i.e. long periods of standing in crowded, cramped spots)

With all this on the table, why even bother going? It's simple. We hope to see our favorite group deliver that same explosion that came through on wax x 2. We want to see what can't be captured digitally- the crowd going nuts, the energy, the lights, the mood, the power that only a live experience can deliver. So, when our expectations aren't met, the disappointment goes waaaaay beyond what we would have endured with a wack CD. The whole damn night is shot. We're broke, tired, pissed and our faith in the artist dies just a little more.

Artists can't seem to figure this out. Standing in front of a mic isn't enough. Long drawn out speeches and unrehearsed rants aren't going to get it. Your song selection and sequence is important. How many artists do you think truly put a strong effort into their shows? I mean, really. How much rehearsing and planning do you think goes into them? Especially, hip hop acts. Please don't overestimate the entertainment value of you standing in one place and spitting monotone, mumbled verses Mr. Emcee. Where's the showmanship? Where's the ENTERTAINMENT!!!!!??? I'm through wasting my dough and energy. Until you all get it together, you're on time-out.


Peep some heads that knew how to get it started. God bless 'em.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moments with Def Dom

As we prepare to release our second project, we felt it only right to share some behind the scenes stupidity, give you a quick peek at our latest track and let you in on some of Def's innermost feelings about life. Enjoy the nonsense.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Know the Difference

I have to say that on behalf of my belly's hunger for the glow of creativity that truly moves and stirs, I've looked into some intensely hailed artists (of various disciplines) during my short tenure on this here little stone only to discover a blaze of mediocrity and banality. Then the search becomes exhausting and we get lazy. We look so hard for something to inspire us that we settle for damn near anything that comes close to standing out. When we're dying of thirst in the desert and there's no water, do we drink the sand because we're thirsty or because we don't know the difference? ( "The American President" Michael Douglas. Go watch it.) I honestly wonder.

But when the ocean is presented, there is no question.

Crystal Clarity is one of the most stunning visual artists that I've ever come across. She sees in a way that I (and most people for that matter) can't. I met Crystal the summer of 2002 while working in a little shop on 8th St. across the way from Electric Lady Studios. I got a chance to peep glances of her sketch book here and there and was impressed, but as the artist in her has grown over the years, she has reached mind bending status (at least for me). The connective tissue between her visual work and her obvious love of the soul/hip hop/jazz/house music that has given us all reason to breathe is probably what continues to pull me in. The speakers sang, and she drew us the city...


See more of Crystal's work

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Music of Withdrawal

So, I'm cleansing. Fasting. Hurting. Fighting through the headaches, weakness, light-headedness and all the colors that I see everytime I close my eyes. There's been no energy to do much except lay on my back and sweat it out. Even staring at any type of screen for too long makes the kid slightly woozy. This has to be good right? The detox. The rest. Every once in a while you have to slow it it down, I guess. Stop runnin'. Start floatin'.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Small Saviors

It doesn't just sound good. It's not just catchy.

It has pulled you in from the ledge.

We search for that new music to revisit the feeling. The high that lasts for however long the tune maintains. It's a necessity for the audio junkie. We're willing to pay for the fix ($21 for a Betty Davis UK import in 2002. What was I thinking?) It's the temporary panacea that will mitigate the blow of a life curve ball. Will it cure cancer? Depression? Not sure. But it will save you. Every sound addict has a few- the tracks that rescue. I've come across the following that have offered a paddle when needed. Please share your remedies.




Monday, June 22, 2009

The Vinyl Dilemma

Records. Pops used to play them. My sister had a fierce Menudo/New Edition obsession, so I was forced to look at greasy pop stars on 12" x 12 " covers by the boatload everytime I snuck my nose into her collection. I don't remember Ma dukes dabbling in them too much. She was a Lite FM loyalist. The radio was her thing. She couldn't be bothered with the steady handed skill it took to put the needle on wax and the continuous movement associated with flipping the sides. But pretty soon, all that was over. No one wanted to be bothered with it.

Tapes. Smaller. Dub-able. Clearly the logical choice for consuming audio treats. They had a good run. Vanessa Williams' The Right Stuff was my first, with many to follow.

CD's. The ultimate. Shiny. No rewinding. Wait. I can go right to the song I like? Nice.

MP3's. Impersonal but fortified with convenience and speed. Slowly but surely the music became faceless with these jammies and ended up fueling the A.D.D. and diminishing the music experience. So what? I can have my entire music collection on a fun little box with a screen. I'll get over it.

Back to Records. I have a problem...

My parents aren't collectors anymore so they gave all of their vinyl to moi a few years back. 300+ pieces. The quintessential blessing/curse. More classic music than I know what to do with, but also the burden of lugging and storing literally hundreds of pounds of material through 3 states and 7 moves over the last 8 years- not to mention my own additions to the collection. They're heavy, big and impractical in this new day, yet "real music heads" all over the world still collect. Cool for them, but why am I still holding on.

On occasion I'll take Herbie Hancock and CJ and Co. out for a much needed spin. And let's not overlook the warmth of the dust crackle as the horn blows on Kind of Blue. Or the sheer friggin' coolness of the photography on DJ Roger's It's Good to Be Alive album liner notes. No substitute for having these gems in your hands and I won't give them up. The truth is though, a lot of these records never see the light of day. I'm sure I could live a life worth saving without having 60% of them. Saying good-bye has become an obvious issue.

Unfortunately, at a time when I'm doing everything I can to simplify, these things are taking up valuable real estate in my diminutive living quarters. I actually contemplated signing another year long lease at my former apartment simply because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of bagging these joints up. Now that's real.

Am I being a pack rat? Am I just attached to the aesthetic aspect of having them displayed on a shelf and what they symbolize: a supposed true love and dedication to the authentic? Do I really need to validate my hugs and kisses for the classics? What's a man to do? Won't be able to sleep if I give them away. Not willing to go through the logistics of selling them on any real formal level. They're so beautiful though....



No More Alcohol Before Interviews

We actually kept it together relatively well. This was done right after our show at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in NYC in November of 08. Watch it and be hypnotized. Much love to for the shine.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Def Dom's Honorable Bumps Mixtape Free Download

Def turns into CSI, New Jersey when it comes to finding out where the new music is being held captive. I'm sure he spends a good chunk of the week doing it too. Here's the best part; you don't have to do jack. Just sit on your lazy ass and download his latest collection. It'll make you damp like the morning lawn.

One of the last...

Brokn Englsh may be one of the last hip hop groups I believe in. They have superb chemistry, they write with insight and wit, and they perform like they believe in the idea of showmanship. I know I speak for Def as well when I say that it has been great working with these cats and trading guest appearances. Their album, "The Drawing Board" is set for release soon. Be on the lookout. They had a shot to sway the crowd at this year's Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and ripped the seams. Peep for yourself. Bless up fellas.


Day 1

We are indeed Pardon the Stranger. Kendal Good and Def Dom. Def is the illest producer and graf artist that has ever come through a vaginal canal. Kendal Good sings and writes like he should be paid for it. Together we make electro/soul music that changes lives and gives your ears a boner. We are audio junkies. Keep up.