On May 19th, my friend Gary and I are participating in the AIDS Walk New York. The benefit raises funds for GMHC, which provides crucial health and wellness services to close to 15,000 men, women and children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS - the vast majority of whom live at or below the poverty line. The degree of direct services and outreach provided on a daily basis by GMHC is unparalleled, and I donít want to imagine a world without organizations like GMHC, where tens of thousands of people would have no one to care for them.
John Wooden was UCLA's basketball coach from the late '40s to the mid '70s. During this time, UCLA's basketball team won numerous championships. His coaching record is 664-172 (.804), and he's been inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He's gone to coach players that would become successful professional players, as well as successful businessmen, teachers, and other professions.
In 2001, he did a Ted talk on the topic of success, his own view of it, and how he led his team to it. It's pretty interesting.
For those of you who remember my blog, I gave all of my dancers access to it. I'm sure they have a lot to say (mostly about how they all want to kill me while I sleep). Keep a look out! www.giuseppecampanella.tumblr.com
When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it's too late, she's gone.
Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene.
I've known Amy Winehouse for years. When I first met her around Camden she was just some twit in a pink satin jacket shuffling round bars with mutual friends, most of whom were in cool indie bands or peripheral Camden figures Withnail-ing their way through life on impotent charisma.
Carl Bar‚t told me that Winehouse (which I usually called her and got a kick out of cos it's kind of funny to call a girl by her surname) was a jazz singer, which struck me as a bizarrely anomalous in that crowd. To me with my limited musical knowledge this information placed Amy beyond an invisible boundary of relevance: "Jazz singer? She must be some kind of eccentric," I thought. I chatted to her anyway though, she was after all, a girl, and she was sweet and peculiar but most of all vulnerable.
I was myself at that time barely out of rehab and was thirstily seeking less complicated women so I barely reflected on the now glaringly obvious fact that Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they're not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but unignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his speedboat, there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they're looking through you to somewhere else they'd rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.
From time to time I'd bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh, she was a character but that world was riddled with half-cut, doped-up chancers, I was one of them, even in early recovery I was kept afloat only by clinging to the bodies of strangers so Winehouse, but for her gentle quirks didn't especially register.
Then she became massively famous and I was pleased to see her acknowledged but mostly baffled because I'd not experienced her work. This not being the 1950s, I wondered how a jazz singer had achieved such cultural prominence. I wasn't curious enough to do anything so extreme as listen to her music or go to one of her gigs, I was becoming famous myself at the time and that was an all consuming experience. It was only by chance that I attended a Paul Weller gig at the Roundhouse that I ever saw her live.
I arrived late and as I made my way to the audience through the plastic smiles and plastic cups I heard the rolling, wondrous resonance of a female vocal. Entering the space I saw Amy on stage with Weller and his band; and then the awe. The awe that envelops when witnessing a genius. From her oddly dainty presence that voice, a voice that seemed not to come from her but from somewhere beyond even Billie and Ella, from the font of all greatness. A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine. My ears, my mouth, my heart and mind all instantly opened. Winehouse. Winehouse? Winehouse! That twerp, all eyeliner and lager dithering up Chalk Farm Road under a back-combed barnet, the lips that I'd only seen clenching a fishwife fag and dribbling curses now a portal for this holy sound.
So now I knew. She wasn't just some hapless wannabe, yet another pissed-up nit who was never gonna make it, nor was she even a ten-a-penny-chanteuse enjoying her fifteen minutes. She was a fucking genius.
Shallow fool that I am, I now regarded her in a different light, the light that blazed down from heaven when she sang. That lit her up now and a new phase in our friendship began. She came on a few of my TV and radio shows, I still saw her about but now attended to her with a little more interest. Publicly though, Amy increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood-soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition.
Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death. I was 27 years old when through the friendship and help of Chip Somers of the treatment centre Focus 12 I found recovery. Through Focus I was introduced to support fellowships for alcoholics and drug addicts that are very easy to find and open to anybody with a desire to stop drinking and without which I would not be alive.
Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy's incredible talent. Or Kurt's or Jimi's or Janis's. Some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.
We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn't even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call. -------------
5th Avenue Bhangra, a new co-ed bhangra team from New York City, is having tryouts next Saturday. Anyone and everyone is invited to come and try out. No experience necessary, and we're willing to train those who want to learn and have the right attitude.
Where: Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Located at: 420 W. 118th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, 15th floor lounge Closest Trains: 1 train to W. 116th Street. Walk through Columbia campus and make a left on Amsterdam Avenue, walk two blocks, and make a right on 118th. Columbia SIPA will be on the right side. When: Saturday, June 4th Time: 12PM
This is a blog about a white boy making the transition from bhangra dancer to bhangra team captain. You'll see the good, the bad, the frustrating, and the VERY ugly. You'll also get to meet my two co-captains, Joey Zuniga and Mowsuf Uddin-both of whom are also Non-Punjabi dancers/captains, and the rest of my team.
We're a new team, so you'll get to see everything from our humble beginning stages.
I'll try not to use too much profanity, but I can't guarantee anything.
One of my AEG teammates and very close friends, Scott Schultheis, needs our help. He's submitted his work to Artists Wanted: A Year In Review, but needs votes immediately. Voting closes tomorrow, and it will only take 3.5 seconds of your time.
A little bit about Artists Wanted: A Year in Review A Year In Review is an international, all-medium-encompassing open call for art. This is your moment to share your work with the world and have a chance at $10,000 in grants, international publicity and a feature exhibition in Scope Art Show during Armory Week in New York City. You did the hard part, making great work. This is your call to be discovered.
You could see his portfolio on the website, and learn more about the organization and what is up for grabs.
So for the longest time, I've been wanting to start up a coed team in New York. At one point, I've asked friends if they were interested, and at another I've almost had a full team together. But nothing happened. It was just a bad time (between work, AEG, family issues)... that and I was scared to put myself out there.
Well, that's all changed. So I want to raise interest and, finally, start this team. I'm looking for experienced dancers who have Saturdays free and live in or around the NYC area. Anyone not from the area but still interested, send me a PM and maybe we can work something out (also depending on dance experience). Try outs will be after New Years, and the location will be disclosed at a later date.
For those who don't know me, my name's Joe. I've been dancing bhangra for 5 and a half years now. I've spent 4 years with BX Bhangra and 2 and a half years with Anakh-E-Gabroo. I do have captain experience, and I know what I'm looking for with the routine and with my dancers. I also have experience with hip-hop, salsa, and other dance styles.
I'm looking for experienced and dedicated dancers willing to try something new and fun.
Please send me a PM if you're interested. I will updated this thread with try-out location, time, and date. I look forward to meeting those interested.
It's a list of slang words used by Italian-Americans with each's probable Italian root. I just found it interesting, and I tried seeing just how many of these words I use (around 50%)
My friends find it funny, because when I'm pissed off I'll throw out like 10 of them in a row for no reason. Either that or start calling people "putana" left and right. Maybe now they'll understand what I'm saying (as I'm trying to understand what they're saying when they speak Punjabi... Make an even language exchange).
Hey everyone!! Anakh-E-Gabroo will be having try outs on June 6th at 12PM. Location will disclosed at a later date.
For those of you that do not know who we are, Anakh-E-Gabroo (AEG) is an all-male independent team centered around Queens/NYC. In the past three years we have competed at Bhangra Fever I and II, Bhangra Masti II and II, Bhangra Royale, and Elite 8 (just to name a few), with placings at Bhangra Fever and Bhangra Masti.
We're seeking talented, experienced male dancers in the area. If this is you, please send me a personal message so I can update you on location and answer any other questions you have.
Recently, Anakh-E-Gabroo took part in a new show called Destination Bollywood: Dance Edition, which is basically the Desi version of "So You Think You Can Dance?" We are the only bhangra team to compete in this show, and we'd really appreciate everyone's support.
Episodes will air at 9am EST (eastern standard time) on Star TV, 12pm EST and 9am PST (pacific standard time) on Sony ET, and at 1pm EST on hulu.com on the Saavn page http://www.hulu.com/search?query=Saavn&st=1). Our episode airs on March 20th, and then you can vote for us by texting DBD9 to 47201, but only 48 hours after the episode airs.
For those interested in the show, you can visit their website destinationbollywood.tv or take a look at their facebook fanpage @ http://bit.ly/dbJyAe.
Texting is unlimited, so you can text as much as you want.
Ok, so I know this kinda music is FARRRRR from bhangra, but anyone have the new Wisin y Yandel "La Revolucion" album, or know where I can download it? My friend sent me the album, and I lost all of my data transferring info to the new computer.
Bailen, Yales Muevan, Suden Sientan el poder del reggaeton latino -Don Omar is the man!!!!