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SNAPSHOTS | PART 3 — TANGLE 

“The beginning of things is necessarily vague, 
tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. 
How few of us ever emerge from such beginning!” 

—Kate Chopin 

 

By summer’s end I’ve discovered much to love about living in Arizona. 

The regional art, music and food are outstanding. The laidback lifestyle suits my temperament. The arid landscape is as vast and peaceful as the ocean. I like the way hawks wheel and keen overhead as the majestic saguaro watch silently like sentries. And most of all, I love the glorious sunsets. 

Some part of me knows my future lies elsewhere. If books and movies have taught me anything, it’s that one day the call to adventure will require me to leave this desert. In the meantime, this seems like a good place to begin the next chapter of life’s journey. 

 If books and movies have taught me anything, it’s that one day 
the call to adventure will require me to leave this desert. 


Today is the first day of school. Daddy Bill and I are up early for our commute to the town of Marana, just northwest of Tucson. The drive is pleasant. The sky is overcast so it’s a little cooler than usual. The university jazz station is spinning some classic Miles, always a good omen, and our little Toyota still has its new car smell. 

My spirits are high. I’m excited to begin seventh grade, although I’m not entirely sure what to expect. None of the kids in our 22nd & Craycroft neighborhood go to school out there. I only know what Dad has told me, that it’s a public school in a rural area which takes its name from the Spanish word “maraña,” meaning tangle. And last week I overheard Dad on the phone saying something about “teaching basic English to the children of migrant farmworkers.” 

This morning as we travel the long frontage road past dusty acres of alfalfa and cotton, I begin to understand. “Things are going to be a little different here than they were at Brookstone, son,” Daddy Bill says. “Just be patient and keep an open mind.” It sounds rehearsed, like a prepared speech. I have the feeling he’s talking to himself as much as to me. 

 As we travel the long frontage road past dusty acres
of alfalfa and cotton, I begin to understand. 


Dad was an important man at Brookstone School, and because of his position, I pretty much had my run of the place. I literally grew up there, kindergarten through sixth grade. I knew everybody, even the high school kids, and always felt safe and supported. Saying goodbye to Brookstone was the most difficult part of leaving Georgia. 

My favorite class at Brookstone was a sixth grade social studies elective called MACOS: Man A Course of Study, in which we compared innate and learned behavior in humans with that of other primates, then presented our findings to a panel of university graduate students. Our instructor James Stockdale, son of the homonymous war hero, was my favorite teacher. He taught us to be curious, question all assumptions, and believe in ourselves. 

Brookstone School cast a long shadow over my life. I thrived there, but since it was the only school I’d ever known, I took its brilliant faculty and innovative curriculum for granted. I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to attend such an elite private school. I wasn’t aware that we were poor, that my classmates were rich, or that my tuition had been waived as part of Dad’s teaching salary. And I certainly couldn’t have known, at the time, the degree to which being part of that nurturing scholastic community had shaped my nascent love of learning, positive self-image and sense of entitlement. 

Brookstone School cast a long shadow over my life.


I only knew that I enjoyed school. Or so I thought. 

For Dad to describe Marana as “a little different” would prove to be the understatement of the century. Far from the stately red brick lecture halls and leafy woodlands of Brookstone, the Marana campus is little more than a few cement buildings and mobile classroom trailers surrounded by dirt, asphalt and gravel.

Based on the school’s exterior, I’m prepared to be underwhelmed by whatever awaits inside. But nothing could prepare me for the physical and emotional trauma I’m about to endure at Marana Junior High School.

I show up guileless and confident, ready to hit the books and eager to make friends. But for the first time in my young life, I simply don’t fit in. Back home I was a popular kid who excelled in music, art and academics, but my study skills and work ethic are meaningless here. The only things that seem to matter at Marana are football and fighting. 

There are fist fights every single day at Marana. Clashes erupt spontaneously, for no reason and without warning.

For the first week I’m able to keep my distance. I watch with detached curiosity as the other students beat each other’s brains in. I wonder what Mr. Stockdale would think of all this violence. Is it innate or learned? And why don’t any of the teachers try to put a stop to it? 

 There are fist fights every single day at Marana. 


Later I would learn that Dad had actually tried to separate two kids who were fighting, only to receive a dressing down from his boss. “Never, ever lay your hand on a student for any reason,” Principal Dewey cautioned, “or we could be sued.” Dad was flummoxed. “Even if they’re about to kill one another?” 

I’m mystified by all the aggression, but naively not afraid for my own safety. I’m new here. I’ve made no enemies. Plus my dad is on the faculty. No one would dare. But the main reason I feel secure is because I’m a good boy. I don’t get into fights. I get along with everybody … right? 

Wrong. A skinny little southern boy with no friends who doesn’t play football? A teacher's kid, who struts around with his nose in the air, talking funny, using big words, acting all cocky and superior? At Marana Junior High this is a kid who needs a beatdown. 

 At Marana Junior High this is a kid who needs a beatdown. 


I’m walking to my locker after gym when out of nowhere someone shoves me against the wall. “What the hell?” I react, more startled than afraid. But before I can even get a look at my assailant he's knocked me to the ground. 

The jackals encircle us, laughing and cheering. By the time I realize we're fighting it’s too late. The kid's knees are already pressed against my upper arms, pinning me to the concrete floor. I can't move. I'm practically immobile as he punches me repeatedly in the face. 

Nobody stops the fight. Neither of us are punished. I’m literally saved by the bell as everyone goes to class, leaving me alone and vanquished. I never even learn the kid’s name or what motivated him to attack me in the first place. 

After my nose stops bleeding I wash up and change my shirt. No cuts, just a few bruises. My head hurts and my ears are ringing, but I don’t look so bad.

On the drive home Dad doesn’t even notice that I’m hurt. This is a tremendous relief. I don’t want to get in trouble for fighting, and besides, I’m ashamed. My father was a champion boxer. If he finds out I can't defend myself I’ll be humiliated. 

But I have bigger problems. Word gets around: the new kid doesn't know how to fight. It’s open season on Georgia Boy. I now have a target on my back. 

Every few days somebody jumps me. It’s not like I’m being bullied, not like on TV. It’s never the same person and there’s rarely any preamble. Nobody threatens me or tries to take my lunch money. They just start shit. I never know when the next sucker punch is coming, or from which direction. And it’s this, the sheer senseless randomness of it, that terrifies me so and makes Marana my personal living hell. Never safe. Nowhere to hide. 

I hate this school. I’m learning nothing here except how vulnerable I am. Some of these big, mean-looking boys with facial hair are obviously older kids who’ve been held back. One of them is so strong that he comes up behind me, picks me up, and throws me against the lockers. 

But it isn’t only the big kids who pick fights. One day after school I’m walking to Dad’s janky classroom/trailer to practice my trumpet. I notice a group of athletes in my peripheral vision, but they’re all walking in the opposite direction so I pay them no mind. Suddenly a short freckle-faced kid with red hair breaks from the pack and runs straight at me. I flinch but stand my ground. I’m bigger than this one. He doesn’t scare me. 

“I’m gonna kick your ass,” he says.

“I don’t even know you,” I say. “What’s your problem?” 

“I think you’re a wet bag and a pussy” he snarls. 

So I’m standing there looking at this little ginger lunatic, wondering what in the hell a wet bag could be, when he knocks the horn case out of my hand and tackles me. By now I know the drill. There’s no reasoning with these idiots. I land a few solid punches, but the impact does more damage to my fists than his face. The kid is small but he’s fast and knows how to grapple. He gets the better of me again and again. I can’t believe it: I’m losing this fight, too. 

That evening the drive home is tense. Daddy Bill is silent and agitated. I look over from the passenger seat and notice he’s gripping the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles are white. He's pissed. Did he see the fight? Am I in trouble? 

Suddenly Dad pulls over, gets out of the car, and says “come here, dammit.” And right there, in the twilight, on the shoulder of the highway, my Golden Gloves-gone-pacifist father gives me the first of several lessons in self-defense. He shows me the boxer’s stance, some footwork, how to block and parry, how to throw a jab. 

 Right there, in the twilight on the shoulder of the highway, 
my Golden Gloves-gone-pacifist father gives me 
the first of several lessons in self-defense. 


“Don’t hit ’em in the head,” Dad says. “The head is hard. Hit ’em in the kidneys!” 

The old man is full of surprises. I should have gone to him from the beginning. 

Maybe I will survive this place after all.

Now all I need is a few friends. 

Next: 
SNAPSHOTS | PART 4 — CHUBASCO

SAVE OUR STAGES 

All the world’s a stage, 
and all the men and women merely players. 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
and one man in his time plays many parts.
 
—William Shakespeare 


Don’t it always seem to go 
that you don’t know what 
you got ’til it’s gone? 

—Joni Mitchell
 

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about stages recently. Concert stages, stages of life, and all the stages on which we perform, both literally and figuratively. 

Social media is itself a kind of performance space, where people gather for creative expression and the exchange of ideas. Depending on the user, social media may offer an elevated platform for high-minded art and ideals, an open forum for lively discussion and debate, or a cynical echo chamber of fear mongering, conspiracy peddling, virtue signaling and performative activism. (Or you can just post puppy photos!)

The virtual stage provided by live-streaming technology has been a godsend for performers during the shutdown, enabling us to stay active and remain in touch with friends and fans. When all the nightclubs and concert halls went dark, musicians from every genre took to the internet almost immediately, becoming virtual “buskers” overnight. I used a platform called “StageIt” to produce my Quarantunes series of live-streaming solo shows.

I used a platform called “StageIt” to produce my Quarantunes series of live-streaming solo shows

Don’t get me wrong. Live-streaming is no substitute for the real deal. But it can be thrilling to play for an international audience without ever having to leave the house. Food for thought as we consider the post-pandemic commute. 

Of course, real life also offers myriad opportunities to perform. Willy Shakes was really onto something when he penned his famous “All The World’s A Stage” monologue. Like actors in a play, we inhabit various roles at different stages of life: the good son, the good spouse, the good worker, the good friend, the good man. 

As I look back over my own life and career, I can identify seven stages of development. Starting from juvenescent beginner’s luck, I survived adolescent optimism bias and the Dunning-Kruger effect, then as an adult, progressed through confirmation bias and plenty of denial before arriving at my current position, somewhere between middle aged rationalization and senior citizen rosy retrospection. (Shout out to Wikipedia for the psychobabble refresher!)

Through it all, my refuge and sanctuary has been the concert stage, a sacred space where artists and audiences meet in search of a shared transcendent experience. As the immortal Bobby Hutcherson once told me, “Think of the bandstand as an altar. Music is a spiritual calling, and the stage is our church.” 

The Immortal Bobby Hutcherson 

Mr. Hutcherson’s wise words carry extra resonance today, as the pandemic threatens to permanently shutter many of our most beloved venues. Ours is a precious and precarious ecosystem which we must never take for granted.  

The relationship between artist and venue is a symbiotic one. Simply put, we need each other. Too often, however, relations between performers and those who hire them are perceived as adversarial. If you don’t believe me, ask your musician friends whether they happen to know any jokes about club owners.

Those jokes don’t seem so funny now. After fifteen solitary months of playing my horn to an unseen audience over the internet, I’m jonesing hard for a real gig with a real band in a real venue. I miss the creative collaboration, intimacy and immediacy of live performance. Most of all, I miss seeing the faces of people in the audience as we experience the miracle of music together.

Small venues have been hit especially hard by the pandemic shutdown. Many went out of business almost immediately. Of those remaining, ninety percent report that they are at risk of closing without additional financial assistance. 

Enter Save our Stages, a bipartisan bill to provide billions of dollars in relief grants for venues. Recently signed into law as part of President Biden’s economic recovery plan, the Save Our Stages act is not perfect, but it’s a start. As Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar points out, “Independent venues were some of the first establishments to close down and will likely be some of the last to open. I refuse to sit by and let the music die.”

Save Our Stages is an emergency relief fund for live event venues and promoters 

She's 100% correct, and we all must do whatever we can to help. #saveourstages

Presently, as we anticipate turning the corner on COVID-19, there is reason for hope. My buddy Ed, a jazz guitarist and concert promoter in Ashland, Oregon, optimistically predicts a post-pandemic gold rush for events. He believes that audiences, having been deprived of live music for so long, will return in record numbers, more motivated than ever to buy tickets and support the arts.

Makes sense to me. The global health crisis provided us all with a chance to pause and reevaluate which things in life matter and which things don’t. I, for one, have learned that live music matters immensely, and stages are absolutely essential.

Joni Mitchell said it best: you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.

DIMAPEDIA UPDATE 

A new entry to my personal lexicon:

brass price, to pay the: to purchase by gigging, as distinguished from paying the "gold price" (paying cash, like a chump) or the "iron price" (taking by force, at the point of a sword). Example: When it comes to hotel accommodations on the road, it is always best to pay the brass price.

WHY I LOVE WIKIPEDIA 

"Starchild’s nemesis is Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk ('Sir Nose Devoid of Funk' from Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome, 1977). Inspired by the single 'The Pinocchio Theory' by Bootsy's Rubber Band, Sir Nose attempts to end the Funk because he is too cool to dance. He is the master of the Placebo Syndrome, which causes unFunkiness (a combination of stupidity and no dancing). His goal is to place the minds of all humanity into a state called the Zone of Zero Funkativity. Starchild, on the other hand, uses his Bop Gun ('Bop Gun (Endangered Species)', from Funkentelechy Vs the Placebo Syndrome) to achieve 'Funkentelechy' for all humanity. With the Funky powers of the Bop Gun (which are augmented by the Flash Light....Shine the light on them suckas!!!), Starchild causes Sir Nose to reach Funkentelechy, and find his Funky soul. He then dances away the night."

DIMAPEDIA 

My personal lexicon. Updated September 5, 2012.

ace boon coon: best friend

a crapella: singing aloud with headphones on

affluential: affluent and influential

agnorant: arrogant and ignorant

ain't no thang: no big deal

all-a-y'all: every one of you

all your base: a declaration of victory. See also "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"

amsterdamaged: hung over

AMW: actress, model, whatever

Anglozona: the 48th state, formerly northern Mexico

antigoglin: askew. See also "cattywampus"

antisocial media: technology that limits real human contact

assimilation paradox: the better educated, the less authentic

atavistic nostalgia: a sentimental feeling toward past people and events with which one has had no actual experience

audi: farewell. See also "lederhosen," "Dostoyevsky," "gator," "deuce," "Mozambique," and "Ornette" (for those who believe he's the final word)

audiolize: to imagine what something would sound like

avocados: sparse, tasty riffs played to accompany a melody, especially behind a singer

awholenother: another

backstage pass: an invitation to the inner sanctum

bagel logic: circular reasoning with a hole in the middle

balls out: vivace

bamf: an admired person

barney fifedom: the realm of crickets and banjos

bashment: a happening scene

bat signal: a gig request

bawa: bottled water

belligerati: the jazz community

big ups: kudos

bioengineering: the strategic use of hyperbole, selective specificity and spin in the crafting of one's artist profile

bippety-bop: a greeting used to answer the telephone, similar to "Joe's Pizza" or "moshi-moshi"

Bipolar Express: the fast train to Crazytown; see also "Charlie Sheen Trampoline"

bisocial: able to hang out with both/either men and/or women

bitter shame: you're welcome; the customary response to "donkey shame"

bixellent: pretty good for a white guy

bixploitation: the shameless marketing of white artists playing black music for white audiences

blogflogging: obvious promotion of one's own blog

blow baggin': lying

bobblehead: a particular type of skinny, superficial Scottsdale girl

bohica: bend over, here it comes again

Buckshot: Chris "Buckshot" Strik, so named because he hits everything

canterbury tale: an elaborate story told with the intent of obfuscation. See also "shaggy dog story"

cakey: affection, as in "dat girl wun gimme no cakey"

catspraddle: to knock across the room, as in "stop chupsen', before I catspraddle yuh"

chonk: to lob. See also "fling" and "thow"

chops: technique, skill, or embouchure

chune: a song

chupse: to make a sucking sound through the teeth in exclamation

code-switching: changing the set list after you take a look at the audience

comeback: a resurgence of media interest in an artist who never left

competitive exhibitionism: a jamf session, the lowest form of entertainment

Confirmation Bias Bingo: the "trust but verify" game for people who are always right

copascetic: a portmanteau of "cope" and "ascetic," describing a person who rationalizes poverty as an austere lifestyle choice

cornpone: countryfied

crash pad: a copascetic crib

devil music: jazz

Dick Wolf Cash Register: the Shockadoola Hey gavel sound

dime: a beautiful woman

director's cut: the uncensored truth

dixie stroll: the perfect tempo

donkey shame: thank you

eagle has landed: we've been paid

easter egg: a secret hidden message for those in-the-know

educated: driven to distraction by trivia

één minuutje, als u blieft: hold your horses; see also "momentito, por favor," and "choto mate kudasai"

effing: durn

ego surf: to Google one's self

electric boogaloo: any lame follow-up to a celebrated original; see also "Havana Nights"

endearing attributes: big buppies; see also "significant redeeming virtues"

favor: to resemble, as in "do we favor?"

fighting words: easily misinterpreted words; for example: ruminate, rectify, fallacy, masticate

flippity-flopetty-floo: cultural appropriation

fling: to lob; see also "chonk" and "thow"

Foghorn Leghorn: anyone who talks with an exaggerated, phony-sounding southern accent; see also "Harry Connick Junior" and "Remy McSwain"

foofooloo: lovesick

footballs: whole notes

gate rape: routine molestation by airport security

get the butter: the proper response to a challenge; see also "it's on"

get up: let's dance; see also "get on up," "get down," "shake your groove thang," and "shake your money maker"

gezellig: cozy

gigmata: the red marks on the palms after carrying sound equipment

got eyes: to want, as in "Who's got eyes to greaze?"

greaze: to eat

greeback: to reconcile and speak on friendly terms once more

hat: girlfriend; see also "rib"

highfalutin: pretentious; see also "uppity" and "broughtupsy"

highjackin' the oxybus: an ill-advised, hair-brained, get-rich-quick scheme

hillbilly homeschool: a xenophobia indoctrination organization

hit girl: a precocious underage female

hokum: hooey + bunkum

hy-ref-pomo: hyper-referencial postmodern. Peppered with obscure cultural references and insider humor. Quentin Tarentino films, Dennis Miller rants, Family Guy cutaways, Reggie Watts loops, J-Mo solos and Dimapedia are all examples of hy-ref-pomo.

ignoble gentleman: the equally offensive corollary to the noble savage

I'm a vegetarian: let's not fight, as in "I'm a vegetarian. I don't want any beef."

ironic virtuosity: an uncanny skill at communicating the opposite of what one intends

jamf session: a gathering of poseurs

jazz camp: any temporary "grin and bear it" period

jazz famous: respected by one's peers and ignored by the general public

jazz heaven: (archaic) the upper balcony in a southern theater

jazz police: the self-appointed gatekeepers, quality control inspectors and arbiters of taste in the jazz community. See also "bebop border patrol," and "hard bop mall cops."

jiggety-jig: a greeting, meaning "hi, honey, I'm home." See also "hey-hey."

Jimmy Giuffre: any person whose name is unknown, temporarily forgotten, or deliberately overlooked; a whatshisname, as in "Did you catch Jimmy Giuffre's let set at the Show Me Shango?"

jive: the pretense to authenticity; the affectation of keeping it real

J-Mo: Jason Moran, hippest of the hip

J-Ro: Judy Roberts, jazz czarina of Chicago and Phoenix

kafuffle: a commotion

key of love:  "F" concert

kimboes: hips

kiss the ring: to pay respects, as in "J-Ro's back from Chicago. Let's go over to Remington's and kiss the ring."

kobayashi maru: a no-win scenario, the only solution to which requires breaking the rules. See also "Catch 22" and "Delfeayo's Dilemma."

lagniappe: a little something extra

lazy man's load: an unmanageably large load carried to avoid making more than one trip

litch: to procure by incessant pestering, as in "I had to call the guy 20 times to litch that gig." Named for an infamous vocalist who excelled at the technique.

ma'amnesia: inability to rightly recall when in the presence of a lady

malinky: piddly or dinky

Maggie's Farm: any gig or obligation that makes unreasonable demands on one's personal time; see also "VBS"

Matheny Way: the preferred method of eating biscuits and gravy, that is, split in half with the soft side facing up.

meanderthal: self-indulgent and rambling, as in "too much tenosterone leads to meanderthal improv"

mickey mousing: punctuating the movements of a character with on-the-nose musical accompaniment

Mitch Connor: a poseur; see also "jamf," "all hat and no cattle," and "Chet Faker"

morning person: someone who suffers from Annoyingly Cheerful Personality Disorder (ACPD); see also "complicated person"

mozambique: farewell; see also "lederhosen," "Dog Spit on Ya," and "Dostoyevsky"

(a real) nice guy: the worst thing a musician can call another musician

nickel!: an exclamation, meaning "if I had a nickel for every time I heard that..."

nuff: a lot of, as in "da girl got nuff badonk"

obeah: sorcery

Omar's coming!: a warning, meaning both "heads up" and "you'll get yours"

overnight success: a longtime practitioner

oversouling: draining a melody of its meaning through extreme gratuitous melisma

paycheck player: a blue collar musician who only cares how much the gig pays

people's key: the key of "C" concert

perp walk: a public spectacle of humiliation, auto-da-fé, or walk of shame

playing for house: resorting to crowd-pleasing trickery on the bandstand

pre-function: a refreshing beverage before the gig

prelude to a gliss: the solo which immediately precedes Terence Blanchard's

prime directive: the guiding principle of discretion. See also "first rule of fight club"

proppin' sorrow: staring into space with chin cupped in hand

Q-Tips: Tipitina's in the Quarter

R: Thursday. R means Thursday.

ramen-profitable: just profitable enough to cover one's minimum living expenses

rebel tell: the southerner's tendency, even after he's lost his accent, to stress the first syllable of certain words, such as police, cement, Detroit, Thanksgiving, insurance, behind, display, TV, and guitar

redneck rehab: prison

refreshing beverage: cocktail

reprape: to discredit through libel or slander

the SOAP: Nicholas Payton, the savior of archaic pop

stone: absolute or absolutely; as in "a stone groove," or "stone in love with you"

sugar foot: someone who drives, walks, plays or otherwise moves too fast; see also "yankee"

sad-libbing: improvising poorly

sagebrush rebellion: organized resistance to mediocrity; subversion of the dominant paradigm

samf: a sub-par musician; see also "nice guy"

scooby snacks: treats, especially as a reward for hard work

shockadoola hey: the tv show Law & Order, or its theme song

Show Me Shango: a venue the name of which is unknown, temporarily forgotten, or deliberately overlooked

skin job: a pop culture media droid; a replicant

so fetch: the shizzle; see also "sweet-fuh-days"

soul handshake: payment; see also "taste"

squat-n-gobble: a diner

streets ahead: innovative

sup: greetings

surf-n-turf: latin on the "A" sections, swing on the bridge

tape!: an expression of frustration, meaning "shut up, you sound like a broken record"

that dog won't hunt: that idea won't work

too nuff: a lot of

transcribe some Kenny G: to visit the restroom

tweetbonics: Twitter lingo

twizzy: the Twittersphere

two-five-one: voila; bob's your uncle

unfortunate-looking: drop dead gorgeous

vex: to make angry

vibekido: the art of psyching out an opponent

walking around money: the cash in your pocket

weaving spiders: people with covert agendas, a.k.a. everyone

well-spoken: a racist backhanded compliment, see also "articulate" and "courteous"

whax-palax-bruggadown-brax: a hard hit and fall

your druthers is my ruthers: we agree

yurp: Europe

yute: youth

DIMAPEDIA: THE LAST AIRBENDER 

(another random sampling from my personal lexicon)

ignoble gentleman: the equally offensive corollary to the noble savage

I'm a vegetarian: let's not fight, as in "I'm a vegetarian -- I don't want any beef."

ironic virtuosity:
the uncanny skill of communicating the opposite of what one intends

IT'S A DIMAPEDIA THANG 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

favor: to resemble, as in "do we favor?"

fighting words: easily misinterpreted words; for example: ruminate, rectify, fallacy, masticate

flippity-flopetty-floo:
cultural appropriation

fling: to lob; see also "chonk" and "thow"

Foghorn Leghorn:
anyone who talks with an exaggerated, phony-sounding southern accent; see also "Harry Connick Junior" and "Remy McSwain"

foofooloo:
lovesick

footballs:
whole notes

DIMAPEDIA AFTER DARK 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

nickel!: an exclamation, meaning "if I had a nickel for every time I heard that..."

nuff:
a lot of, as in "da girl got nuff badonk"

obeah: sorcery

Omar's coming!: a warning, meaning both "heads up" and "you'll get yours"

overnight success: a longtime practitioner

oversouling: draining a melody of its meaning through extreme gratuitous melisma

DIMAPEDIA IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE 

(another random selection from the pages of my personal lexicon)

unfortunate-looking: drop dead gorgeous

vex: to make angry

vibekido: the art of psyching out an opponent

walking around money: the cash in your pocket

weaving spiders:
people with covert agendas, a.k.a. everyone

well-spoken: a racist backhanded compliment, see also "articulate" and "courteous"

whax-palax-bruggadown-brax: a hard hit and fall

your druthers is my ruthers: we agree

yurp: Europe

yute: youth

DIMAPEDIA SCHMEDIA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

ramen-profitable:
just profitable enough to cover the minimum expenses

rebel tell: the southerner's tendency to stress the first syllable of certain words, such as police, cement, Detroit, Thanksgiving, insurance, behind, display, TV, guitar

redneck rehab:
prison

refreshing beverage:
a cocktail

reprape:
to discredit through libel or slander

DIMAPEDIA 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

devil music: jazz

Dick Wolf Cash Register: the Shockadoola Hey gavel sound

dime: a beautiful woman

director's cut: the uncensored truth

dixie stroll: the perfect tempo

donkey shame:
thank you

DIMAPEDIA RISES 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

soul handshake: payment; see also "taste"

squat-n-gobble:
a diner

streets ahead: innovative

sup: greetings

surf-n-turf:
latin on the "A" sections, swing on the bridge

ESCAPE FROM DIMAPEDIA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

kafuffle:
a commotion

key of love:  "F" concert

kimboes: hips

kiss the ring: to pay respects, as in "J-Ro's back from Chicago. Let's go over to Remington's and kiss the ring."

kobayashi maru: a no-win scenario, the only solution to which requires breaking the rules. See also "Catch 22" and "Delfeayo's Dilemma"

BRIDE OF DIMAPEDIA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

tape!: an expression of frustration, meaning "shut up, you sound like a broken record"

that dog won't hunt:
that idea won't work

too nuff: a lot of

transcribe some Kenny G: to visit the restroom

tweetbonics: Twitter lingo

two-five-one:
voila; bob's your uncle

DIMAPEDIA REVISITED 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

backstage pass: an invitation to the inner sanctum.

bagel logic: circular reasoning with a hole in the middle.

balls out: vivace.

bamf:
an admired person.

barney fifedom: the realm of crickets and banjos.

bashment: a happening scene.

bat signal: a gig request.

bawa: bottled water.

belligerati: the jazz community.

big ups: kudos.

A DIMAPEDIA TREASURE TROVE 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

stone: absolute or absolutely; as in "a stone groove," or "stone in love with you"

sugar foot: someone who drives, walks, plays or otherwise moves too fast; see also "yankee"

sad-libbing: improvising poorly

sagebrush rebellion: organized resistance to mediocrity; subversion of the dominant paradigm

samf: a sub-par musician; see also "real nice guy"

scooby snacks: treats, especially as a reward for hard work

shockadoola hey: the tv show Law & Order, or its theme song

Show Me Shango: a venue the name of which is unknown, temporarily forgotten, or deliberately overlooked

skin job: a pop culture media droid; a replicant

so fetch: the shizzle; see also "sweet-fuh-days"

A DIMAPEDIA SNIPPET 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

antigoglin:
askew. See also "cattywampus."

antisocial media: technology that limits real human contact.

assimilation paradox:
the better educated, the less authentic.

atavistic nostalgia:
a sentimental feeling toward past people and events with which one has had no actual experience.

audiolize: to imagine what something would sound like.

DIMAPEDIA TEDIUM 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

paycheck player: a blue collar musician who only cares how much the gig pays.

people's key: the key of "C" concert.

perp walk: a public spectacle of humiliation, auto-da-fé, or walk of shame.

playing for house: resorting to crowd-pleasing trickery on the bandstand.

pre-function: a refreshing beverage before the gig.

prelude to a gliss: the solo which immediately precedes Terence's.

prime directive: the guiding principle of discretion. See also "first rule of fight club."

proppin' sorrow: staring into space with chin cupped in hand.

A SLENDER SLICE OF DIMAPEDIA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

jamf session: any gathering of poseurs.

jazz camp: any temporary "grin and bear it" period.

jazz heaven: (archaic) the upper balcony in a southern theater.

jazz police: the self-appointed gatekeepers, quality control inspectors and arbiters of taste in the jazz community. See also "bebop border patrol," and "hard bop mall cops."

Jimmy Giuffre:
any person whose name is unknown, temporarily forgotten, or deliberately overlooked; a whatshisname, as in "Did you catch Jimmy Giuffre's late set at the Show Me Shango?"

jive: the pretense to authenticity; the affectation of keeping it real.

J-Mo: Jason Moran, hippest of the hip.

A TASTE OF DIMAPEDIA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal lexicon)

hat: girlfriend. See also "rib."

highfalutin: pretentious. See also "uppity" and "broughtupsy."

highjackin' the oxybus: an ill-advised, hair-brained, get-rich-quick scheme.

hillbilly homeschool: a xenophobia indoctrination organization.

hit girl: a precocious underage female.

hokum: hooey + bunkum.

hy-ref-pomo: hyper-referencial postmodern. Peppered with obscure cultural references and clever inside jokes. Quentin Tarentino films, Dennis Miller rants, Family Guy cutaways, Reggie Watts loops, J-Mo solos and Dimapedia are all examples of hy-ref-pomo.

A LITTLE MORE DIMAPEDIA 

(another random sampling from my personal glossary)

gate rape: unwelcome handling of one's person by airport security.
 
get the butter: the proper response to a challenge. See also "oh, it's on."

get up: let's dance. See also "get on up," "get down," "shake your groove thang," and "shake your money maker."

gezellig: cozy.

gigmata: the red marks on the palms after carrying sound equipment.

got eyes: to want, as in "Who's got eyes to greaze?"

greaze: to eat, especially on the road, after the gig and/or late at night.

greeback: to reconcile and speak on friendly terms once more.

DIMAPEDIA TOO 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal glossary)

canterbury tale:
an elaborate story told with the intent of obfuscation. See also "shaggy dog story."

cakey: affection, as in "dat girl wun gimme no cakey."

catspraddle: to knock across the room, as in "stop chupsen before I catspraddle yuh."

chonk:
to lob. See also "fling" and "thow."

chops: embouchure, technique or skill.

chune: a song.

chupse:
to make a sucking sound through the teeth in exclamation.

code-switching: changing the set list after you take a look at the audience.

comeback: a resurgence of interest in an artist who never left.

competitive exhibitionism: a "jamf session," the lowest form of entertainment.

Confirmation Bias Bingo:
the "trust but verify" game for people who are always right.

copascetic: a portmanteau of "cope" and "ascetic," describing a person who rationalizes poverty as an austere lifestyle choice.

cornpone: countryfied.

crash pad:
a copascetic crib.

DIMAPEDIA AD NAUSEA 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal glossary)

ace boon coon: best friend.

a crapella: singing aloud with headphones on.

affluential: affluent + influential.

agnorant:
arrogant + ignorant.

ain't no thang: no big deal.

all-a-y'all: every one of you.

all your base:
a declaration of victory. See also "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra."

amsterdamaged: hung over.

AMW: actress, model, whatever.

Anglozona: the 48th state, formerly northern Mexico, although some residents seem to forget that pesky detail.

DIMAPEDIA REDUX 

(another random sampling from the pages of my personal glossary)

ma'amnesia: inability to rightly recall when in the presence of a lady.

malinky: piddly or dinky.

Maggie's Farm: any gig or obligation that makes unreasonable demands on one's personal time. See also "VBS."

meanderthal: self-indulgent and rambling, as in "too much tenosterone leads to meanderthal jazz."

mickey mousing: punctuating the movements of a character with on-the-nose musical accompaniment.

Mitch Connor: a poseur. See also "jamf," "all hat and no cattle," and "Chet Faker."

morning person: someone who suffers from Annoyingly Cheerful Personality Disorder (ACPD). See also "complicated person."

mozambique: farewell (from "mosey"). See also "lederhosen," "Dog Spit on Ya," and "Dostoyevsky."