Shuffled! is a new feature on BPRLive, in which we ask some of our favorite people on the scene to set their mp3 player of choice to random, and tell us about the first few songs that they hear. Follow this link to see past editions of Shuffled!
Today’s Shuffler: Jason Bayani
Born Scott Thompson on February 25, 1965 (though he has claimed in interviews to be born in 1967 and 1969) in Big Bear City, California is an American prop comedian famous for his red hair. According to his official site he spends fifteen weeks a year doing live performances in Las Vegas… I’m sorry that’s Carrot Top’s bio… Born in San Francisco in 1976, Jason Bayani is a Filipino poet/other stuff, known for his funktagious imagery and splendiferous use of metaphorical metaphors and line breaks and allegory and enjambment and a whole host of other literary terms that he uses in writing poems. He writes other stuff too and was once an actor, but it’s been such a long time since he’s attempted a play or a short story that he kinda feels that if he tries to claim all that, he’d just be frontin’.
Jason graduated from San Francisco State with a degree in English and Theatre Arts. Originally he went there to run Track and Field and after losing race after race he realized he was a whole lot better at the arts than he was at being an athlete. In college he began doing spoken word and also did shows with Filipino theatre troupes Teatro Ng Tanan and Tongue in a Mood.
After college, Jason started participating in Poetry Slams; he is a member of five National Poetry Slam teams and won a Bay Area Grand Slam championship in 2003. He has performed across the country and started a Filipino spoken word collective along with Mesej 1 and Jaylee Alde, called Proletariat Bronze. His work is emotionally gritty and makes constant references to drinking whiskey. Plus he hardly ever rhymes. He counts amongst his biggest influences; Charles Bukowski Paul Beatty, Audre Lorde, William Butler Yeats, Carlos Bulosan, Jose Garcia Villa, people who smile at me, and of course, Carrot Top.
Currently, Jason works as a Counselor for Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco. He continues to perform spoken word across the country whenever he has accrued enough vacation time, is a big Bay Area sports fan, even though all but one team sucks right now (Go Warriors!!), and loves watching MMA. Plus he likes to dance. And one day he’s going to have a website, and maybe a CD and possibly a book he didn’t make himself and print at Kinko’s. In the meantime you can check him out on his myspace and facebook pages.
On to the shuffle…
Demons on the Dance Floor
Although this is not his well known Internet hit, “Chocolate Rain” it’s a pretty toe tapping jam that takes me back to my days as a glowstick wielding champion of PLUR. That’s a raver acronym for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. Yes I was one of “those guys”; in big baggy pants and colorful shirts and big loud neon bucket hats. The kind of guy who would listen to the sound of cars driving by and start dancing because damn it, I could feel the music in everything. Anyway, I got a chance to meet this dude not too long ago when I featured in Minneapolis at the LOFT literary center. Real nice guy and he did a pretty dope poem at the event. Multi talented he is, in fact I read a few articles he has online. I recommend, “If I Get Shot by the Police”. It’s a great read.
One of the first movies my current part time cohabitator and I watched together was “Once”. The movie was made on the low low budget scale and it was a real charming romantic almost musical. It’s not quite a musical but driven forward plot-wise like one. I loved the music in the movie, some really hard driven, passionate work that rests mostly on the vocals of the lead singer Glen Hansard, who was also in the movie “The Commitments”. It was from way back in the day about a bunch of Scots trying to start a soul band. The womanfriend and I got a chance to see the two stars of the movie live in concert recently, because they tour together now. This song was from Glen Hansards rock band, “The Frames” and they did it during the show and this little girl, who must have been somebody’s daughter, came out on stage and it was so friggin’ cute. They also do a version of the imagination song from Charlie and the Chocolate factory (the Gene Wilder version) and I got to admit, that’s when I threw my underwear on stage.
Can You Stand the Rain
This is one of those kind of songs where if anyone would dare to say anything disparaging about the quality of this classic slow jam, I would honestly have to kill them. In fact it angers me right now to even entertain the possibility that someone could feel that way about this song. I don’t know about you but I listen to this song and it comes out of the speakers and all around me, in only a frequency I can hear, the sound waves morph, light bends and for a brief instant it is as if the rain truly is coming down upon me. And yes, I can stand it.
2 Find U
Now in the Bay Area in the 90’s, we had this thing called Freestyle music. The best way to describe freestyle music is to imagine a Casio keyboard, and that Casio keyboard suddenly began to develop humanistic traits, and then that Casio keyboard learned how to go to the bathroom. Freestyle music is what you would find in the toilet. I kid, I’ve just been very traumatized by freestyle music ever since I went to concert where Stevie B was the closing act and he thought it’d be a good idea to not a wear a shirt. That was just more grease than anyone should ever be subjected to. Anyway there were two Filipina freestyle divas at the time, Jocelyn Enriquez and Buffy. Jocelyn Enriquez got a little bit further and made it onto MTV, which is why I think I had a soft spot for Buffy, because she was the underdog. During college I got a chance to interview her for some magazine during the time I was a very crappy journalist. I mean, I really sucked. You want awkward, you should have seen me trying to interview Pinay and One Voice. It didn’t go so well. And man, some of the crap I wrote… Anyway, we talked and got to become friends, even hung out a few times. I don’t know whatever happened to her. Last time I saw her she came into Dave and Buster’s when I was working there and that was years ago. But anyway this song was kind of a new direction for her, delving a bit into the more popular mainstream dance sound while retaining some of her freestyle roots. And I don’t like freestyle, but I like this song.
Crush on You
When I was in elementary school, there was a group of girls during recess standing around a radio listening to this song. They were singing very loudly and as they sang they began to grow mighty in numbers. The song would end, they’d go quiet and after a few seconds of rewinding the thundering voices of young girls singing “Crush on You” would begin once again. Now on the other side of the quad the tough loner kid, Jake was carrying his own portable radio, only he was playing Ozzy Osbourne and as he began to walk across the quad the boys on the playground flocked to him screaming, “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy”. I walked over to this crowd and saw my friend and asked him what was happening. He said, “I don’t know, everyone’s yelling Ozzy.” So I joined in screaming, “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy.” As we were walking across the quad, the girls began to move towards us. We moved towards them. Girls: “How did you know If i never told/ You found out I’ve got a crush on you”. Guys: “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy.” We’re getting closer and we’re getting louder and we met in the middle. And Jake is standing with his radio, right in front of the girls, we’re yelling Ozzy behind him. The girls are getting in our faces practically screaming the song at us at the top of their lungs. This unholy tension, this precursor to the rituals of courtship few of us ever and will ever come close to understanding. All of this happened. I swear it.