Friday, October 29, 2010

Still California dreaming!

A nice and warm thursday night in Los Angeles and there could be nothing better to see then a soulful concert from the view of my hotel room located on the sixth floor. A Jazz concert, featuring many great musicians from the area. One in particular, Michelle' performing "Something In my Heart".
Yes that's right, as I sat there getting ready for a concert of my owns with Bilal, they were jamming outside my window, and it sounded as though i had front row seats. There was jazz music playing and it sounded great, and then there's this soft squeaking voice talking Introducing herself, and they started to sing, backgrounds going.. Something in my heart, something in my heart, and what really made this funny was, before I put it together that it was Michelle', I figured it was some lady singing it with the track, like just some regular gig and she picked a random song. My buddy tony insisted that it was her, but I was sure there was no way that it would actually be her singing. Wow, she hit every note verbatim! As the song went on, I'm thinking to myself, wow she's really hitting all the original notes to this song, and tony is in the back ground  saying man, thats her. I'm still skeptical, after all, this is a random jazz gig in my hotel. We are in La though, so anything can happen right. Behold once she finished her extra long version of something in my heart Produced by Dr.Dre. I said, ok, if that's really her,then we'll definitely know because they are gonna give her a grand introduction. Behold, they said, MICHELLE'''' everyone. I was on the floor, cracking up. That was too good to be true. Sometimes you see things that you often think you wouldn't get the chance too, I guess I can say I've been blessed because you figure that's a one in a million chance to see things like that, and for me, it's been several occasions that have had me and my friends on the floor.
Really quick, one cosy warm night in miami, and we're getting back in from hanging and partying, and there is a piano in the lobby, open to the public, well, at least to us, and if your having rob glasper sit there and play jodeci songs with bilal singing along oooh yeah, the signature jodeci ad libs, then it's not problem. Finally after all the joking around, they begin to play Lately I've had a strange feeling. A classic stevie wonder song. Quickly after that, who other then Jodeci come strolling in the lobby, loudly screaming, oooh yeah, oooh yeah, and starts to join in.
Man, that was too funny, to see them come in, first off, drunk, and high as ever. There's really no words for my face that i had. I was more shocked from the fact that we all were sitting there making jokes and laughing, then these guys come strolling in the hotel. Classic moment that was, they sat there and played songs all night, while i left, still amazed, but they wouldn't leave. He kept telling rob, one more song. I was gone, it was already Five in the morning at that point.
California, a beautiful place, I've spent a few weeks so far and I have to say that I've enjoyed my time here, and the sights. I've gotten to see some nice views of all of Oakland, San Francisco( even though they stole a world series dreams away) San Jose, The Orange County, and La.
They all have totally different vibes from one another and I got to soak up all of it. Even the rain in San Francisco!
One of my many times of being in La, the weather was on point, sunny, sunny, and sunny in the forecast. After all the rain and grey skies, La brought the sun and we enjoyed every minute of it.
I even got to check the dope scenery of baldwin hills. You can almost see everything standing up there.
Our shows were good, I think we reached to audiences that does not regularly get a chance to see a show like ours with Bilal leading the way. Playing in Orange county says enough, and they where pretty crunked. I couldn't believe it.
Makes you wonder, I guess the album is being pushed and promoted here in California right?
This time around, Cali was good, most of you will enjoy yourselves here, I'd advise you to rent a car, and get ready for the wonder traffic, its everywhere, but the city is beautiful. I see why lots of folks relocate here. Its the place to be. I've gotten some nice photo's for my next blog on a record shop popular in California, Amoeba Music Mega record shop. Only three locations, La, San Fran, and Berkley California.
I hope you guys had a nice and quick laugh, I did listening to Michelle' from my room, she was really killing it, now that I think about it.
Anyway, enjoy my mixture of pictures from San Francisco, Oakland and La, its all for you guys!  Now if you'll excuse me, the crew and I are gonna raid famous roscoe's and watch the magic spank the heat!

While taking a break washing clothes, I took the time to get the whole manicure/pedicure thing
The most refreshing part was the foot massage.
Attention Fellas, it's totally cool to get this done.
Why is that girl next to me so up tight looking, La man, is funny!
Backstage area that caught my eye
Beautiful La
More La
Driving to La
While in San Francisco, Graffiti is the hot stuff! All over
Still in San Fran, Told you the Graffiti game is hot!
The view of my second hotel in Oakland California, Which was right up the street from the Venue Yoshi's
The Architecture and Atmospere of San Francisco had my attention alot!
Coffee all over the place in San Fran
One of the many bridges that I've crossed, this one was the Bay bridge!
More scenery from San Fran
While riding from Sacramento to La, this was all the scenery I saw!
Tony is in all of my pictures it seems like, nice day outside, that laundry place was off the chain, very clean, and the dryers were quick!
What can I say, La is nice
There you go, A photo of me while sound checking at Yoshi's In Oakland

later folks!!!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oakland, California Pt I

Good evening everyone. I hope your day was productive and you've got a lot accomplished.
I wish I could say the same about my past few days. I've been here in Oakland,California.
Just chilling around, with pretty much nothing to do but hang. Talk about days off huh.
I would rather be working and relaxing in a nice area. 
This airport area is  pretty crunk, industrial in the day, and very hood at night.
What can I say about Oakland? It's a beautiful town, and thanks to Chris Turner, our background singer, he was born and raised here, so he was able to grab his parents car and show us around a little. It was cool roaming the streets of Oakland, I got to see some cool things while of course taking some shots with my camera and to top it off, Chris's dad cooked us a meal. This guy was so passionate about his cooking that he even showed us his kitchen with the decked out stove. He told us to leave for a few hours and he would have some food cooked up. By the time we got back, that food was so amazing, everybody forgot how long we were staying at this suck hotel and just sitting there doing nothing. That food was off the chain, ok, right, you wanna know what he cooked right. He cooked fried chicken in a way I never had it before, it was well cooked, spices that would amaze you in a way maybe you never had it before. Greens, I ate them all, and this fried corn was something to die for! Fried corn folks, it went down. Not to worry, I ran six miles to make up for it!

Everyone was all smiles after that meal, by far the highlight of our trip. Special thanks to Chris and his Father and Mother The Turner's, beautiful family! 
Mike Severson the guitar player in our group, celebrated a birthday with that meal, and some drinks and more drinks back at the hotel. I took this free time to brush up on my ps3 skills playing nba2k11. I'm getting pretty good. Hopefully when I get back home, my ps3 is there waiting with my game to dust somebody down!
The first night we got into town, it was a sight to see, sad moment, from just watching the scenery as we drove to our hotel. It was one of those moments where you get in town and you look around like, ok, what exactly am I gonna do to keep myself from going insane.

All I have to do is tell you that we had dinner at "Denny's" and that will sum up the evening folks. Nothing  to see here folks. Road stop! The very next day before Chris picked us out, we did locate a supermarket, and a walmart, and an In and Out burger spot. Killing.

The Awful Oakland Raiders play here, and right across the road, the San Francisco 49ers play. 
The rest of my trip is pretty much in California, and most of these cities are somewhat similar, and then again, they all  have their own swing. Pictures wise, it's not gonna be too different.
I'll continue to take them though, and hopefully you will like what you see.
Also since we are here in Oakland for a week, This is gonna be my Part one series blog. We've still got so much more to see and talk about. So for now, I'm gonna get going.
Later folks.
Oakland"s Freeway entrance
Homes In Oakland
Corey Bernhard and Mike Severson Keyboard player and Guitar of Bilal's Band, Mike celebrated his Birthday to that amazing meal cooked By Mr Turner.
More homes on the streets of Oakland
For some reason, this little pre school caught my eye.
Look what we find here, the ever so famous Pixar studio.
All those toy story movies were made here!
Right here in Oakland.
palm trees right next  to someone house! nice
While walking the streets in Berkley, The University of Cal, We spotted this right on the ground, me and Corey Bernhard, I then showed Bilal, and he ask, why didnt you pick it up, lol
thats too funny
On Telegraph Street, in Berkley, This T shirt store was off the chain, had a collection out your mind!
Oakland Library, just felt motivated to capture it.
This place kinda reminded me of South street in philly, Telegraph Street in Berkley, is  seconds away from Cal University. Kinda cool

Thats all i have folks, check back for part two Tommorow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seattle Washington...Did You Know?

The Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Washington, Birthplace of the late great Jimi Hendrix and home of the famous rock groups Nirvana and Pearl jam.
I enjoyed my third time here, while I normally just breeze in and out of town, this time around I was able to see some sights, run a few miles through some amazing sights and even caught up with some great friends in concert. Ten years later and my good friend Robert glasper is a marquee name in the Jazz music scene. He played at a famous jazz club in Seattle called The Triple Doors. It was a very sheek type of venue for jazz music. It almost felt like I was at an Opera concert. Watching Rob's performance made me feel really proud, He's been through so much in his life and quest to greatness, and now, he's doing his thing, while being highly respected. It was a pleasure to see him perform, accompanied by more good friends, Mark Colenburg on drums and Derrick Hodge on Bass.

Our Seattle show was pretty cool, we played at a venue called Nectar lounge. The opening act was interesting, all I'm gonna say is that once I walked in to the venue, they were onstage and it felt like, wow is someone performing on stage right now?
While your in a city for more then a day, you get to find out about it. You explore it a little only because you don't wanna sit in your hotel room bored out your mind, and you have to eat, forget horrible room service. So with that said, in every city, there's always gonna be a great Thai restaurant. We've found yet another one, with great service so much that our second time in, the waiter remembered us. The food was good, we ate at a place called Citrus Thai. It was better then the place me and tony found in Portland.
This time around I got the classic pad thai dish on level 3 hots.  Pretty darn good.
I also found out while I was here through talking to a few people in the lobby, that Seattle has a reputation for heavy Coffee consumption. You don't have to look far to get a cup. A bunch of coffee companies are founded and based here in this town, right along with your most favored coffee spot "Star bucks" I know someone who's reading this will find that insightful.

Another cool thing about Seattle was the gigantic hills! To start my run, The guitar player Mike Severson and I had to run right up one of them to get going on our run. It sucked a lot of out me, but that was only the start. These hills are all over the place, I tried to take a few pictures of it, but being as though I'm not a pro with the camera, I couldn't get the exact view as I saw it from my own eyes. 
Excuse me if I type like I speak, I'm working on this now, so it can be a smooth reading experience, I  went over a few of my blogs and said to myself, wow, maybe I need to Proofread some more before I post. I shall work on it though.
Being a musician has some very cool perks, one in which is seeing the beautiful land marks of the cities and countries.
One in particular I was fascinated with was The  Space Needle. During my run, and due to the city's altitude, I was able to get some amazing looking shots with my good old cannon G10 camera.
The Space needle is featured in many movies and television shows, one of my favorites in Particular "Greys Anatomy" If you read my blogs are followed me on Face book, then you know I've talked about it quite a few times. Even The Twilight Saga posted up here In Seattle for a few shots in their movie. Did you know?
I was quite impressed with Seattle as I was with Portland. Sometimes my job feels like a paid vacation, and then sometimes is feels like hard work. But Seattle has lots of activities here, and  if you're an outdoor kind of person and like to workout with nature, this is your place to be, I've witnessed it and even The men's fitness magazine tagged this place as one of the fittest cities in the entire united states. Did you know? I'm sure you didn't, and i'm glad to have provided you so.
Enjoy your afternoon folks, I'm Headed to Oakland,California and San Francisco!
Here's Downtown Seattle. My hotel is right in this shot as well
A view from the bridge I was standing on.
And another
Rob Playing at The Triple Door In Seattle
The stage in The Triple Doors
A bridge I ran past that had a cool bike park right under it!
Another view of the trail park
Running through the city, I came across this bridge, and yes, i took my camera along with me.
One of those steep hills, i made it!
Seattle Houses
More Houses!
nice side view of the city
i ran across this bridge so high up, you can see it yourself
More of the city
The space Needle again
The first steep hill that I had to climb starting my run!

Thats all I have for Seattle,Washington folks
Hope you enjoyed


Saturday, October 16, 2010


A day off in Portland,Oregon wasn't so bad today. Its started with a good breakfast and walking around touring the city. It had a few very cool moments that I was able to capture on camera as well. I planned on running today but I managed to walk around the city and play bootleg camera man, and hunt for some thai food, found a good place too! Me and Tony were walking around in circles as we decided to use Yelp on our phones to help locate the place.
We walked and walked until our legs were done, and we finally found the spot, only to see that it was a truck stop full of vendors that included a thai truck. Interesting, so we yelped again and found a sit down place. Funny thing is, we asked this couple if they knew where the street of the thai place called typhoon was located and their response was, man, thats pretty far, while it only ended up being three minutes away. We found ourselves in the Pearl district area. I liked it there alot. It was very camera friendly.
I found myself enjoying the sights, as I took plenty of pictures, and yes, I brought my charger along. I've got to show you guys what you haven't seen yet. Portland is actually kinda cool, could i live here no.
Everywhere I looked, the city seemed pretty wealthy though, I'm sure there are hoods around here, But if you see the homeless people on the ground bundled up in sleeping bags, good ones at that, with bags with clothes, what are you gonna think.
I remember blogging before and if I remember correctly, I did a post on Portland. I often repeated my self saying how much it reminds me of being in Europe, Germany in particular.
The trains are the same, Portland Have cool little details about the city, not like your average city, not one mall in sight. Just stores all over the place. Everything has its own character, even the star bucks locations were an intimate setting.
The show was pretty cool, considering we haven't played in weeks. Good turn out! Thank you Portland for your support.
We were supposed to get up early this morning and travel to  Seattle , but heads up to our road manager for making the call and electing to stay one extra night in Portland, while it allowed me to get out and explore the city a little. We often never get the chance to walk around and check things out. The third time is always the charm! Plus I get to enjoy this amazing bed with sheets of 1000 thread count! Thats right, I'm a man and I have a thing for sheets with high thread count. They feel amazing and comfortable on the skin. It makes sleeping that much better. Laugh if you may. Their great.
It felt like I was here for more then two days, while I even got the chance to play some basketball with the band. ( And they say musicians can't ball) What! Please.
As I walked through the streets I came across the drummers on the buckets, it reminded me of those times in my parents basement where I did almost the same thing!
Only difference was, I use one of the pipes for my hi hat grooves. Everything else was the same, buckets with different sounds, and a few pots, that my mom would let me bang on of course. One guy really had a groove going, and it had me to believe this cat was a real drummer and just was sitting there for the fun of it, having fun enjoying the music within himself. With the many shows I've played so far, I challenge myself to face the biggest performance I've ever done. Play outside in front of thousands of stranger who didn't come to see me play, just walked past a guy beating on buckets and pans, while on their lunch break. Tuff one, maybe one day soon I'll get the courage to do it.
Well, I'm off  for now, update you tomorrow in Seattle, Washington. Maybe i'll get to take a few pictures there, and show you guys what you haven't seen.
Later folks- MCKIEBEATS
At home, when we spot a yellow car, we yell out popcorn because its yellow, its a fun kids game, Im in the lead and i wanted to say Popcorn to the kids! Shey, She',Marr Popcorn!!!!
The Venue we played at Called Someday
The Streets of Portland
I got hit right in my Groin area, Ouch! from a misguided past from Chris Turner
Popcorn Again She' too funny!
And then I got up and hit some jumpers in their face!
Chris Turner...Our new background Singer
Our Tour manger Mark And Myself
Condo's In Portland, Nice!
Look at the art, have to appreciate it folks! Cool right
I thought this shot had something!
My camera is pretty cool, i did this right on the spot with the effects
Warehouse in the pearl district
This Cat was killing, i enjoyed him a lilttle better then this guy down here, just look down they both were cool though, 
So yeah, he still played cool!
Tell me this train don't remind you of europe!
The Thai spot Typhoon!
Interesting shot, they walk around in the day, and at night, just roll out on the street with their sleeping bags.
Downtown Portland 
Thats the actuak color of the cab, no tricks
Randomly a marching band came and posted up!
Sassy's Cab, the actual color
Look there's Starbucks located at the top of the hill where the pit was, where the maching band was
Look, there's Starbucks with the band!
Ok, i know, i know, these are alot of photo's but i kept spoting these cool shots
look at those cars, after i did my little photo shop to it
See, its real!
Another cool Lobby atmosphere!
Thats all folks enjoy!