Friday, August 21, 2009

"Summer 2009 - Recap"

I've had quite a busy summer - so much so that I haven't gotten around to typing up a single blog post in over 2 months ... Friends got married, families reunited, concerts were attended, and heros passed away ... Please accept this modest multi-media recapitulation of some of the more interesting events that took place during my digital absence >>

Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009):

The very first concert I ever attended was Michael Jackson on his world-famous BAD tour ... My mom often recalls how I lit up our nose-bleed seats with dance fever - rocking a shiny silver jacket with my little Syrian fro - just trying to shine like Michael ...

The other two memories I have of that night: 

1) Charles Mann (Washington Redskins) sitting a few rows behind us with his family!

2) My brother Mo falling asleep during the loudest song of the night ... Dirty Diana!

Michael - may you rest in eternal peace knowing your music lives on forever ... 


Rock The Bells @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - July 12, 2009:

For the second year in a row, Mr.Tibbz & I attended the ROCK THE BELLS concert at the Merriweather Post Pavillion, one of the greatest outdoor venues in the United States - designed by the one & only Frank Gehry ... This was an unforgettable concert featuring some of the greatest hip-hop acts of our time - including Nas, The Roots, Common, Kweli + Hi Tek, Big Boi, M.O.P., & K'Naan ... Unfortunately, Damian Marley (one of my favorite live performers) was a no-show, but all the other acts certainly held it down - especially The Roots ... Besides, I eventually got my "outdoor reggae concert fix" later on in the summer ...

6-Year anniversary at OTJ Architects:

Since graduating from the UVA School of Architecure in '03, I have been working for the same DC-based firm - OTJ Architects ... When I first started 6 years ago, we were comprised of 18 design professionals split into two teams (Commercial / Government) in a small Georgetown townhouse ... Since then, we have grown to over 45 employees in four design studios, won several AIA & IIDA Awards, worked on several major LEED projects in Washington DC, & purchased our own office building Downtown - the only architecture firm in the area to have done so ... Needless to say I am proud of our firm & the work we do ...

Funny thing about our building - it used to be home to the legendary local hotspot "The Zei Club" ... I vaguely remember trying to sneak in there when I was younger & not getting in ... 

Northeast Road Trip - NYC / Bronx:

I accompanied my sister & her kids to NYC so that my niece could check out some universities as she is now a senior in high-school ... This is the part where one normally complains about how old they are getting ... Not me - I'm closer in age to my niece than I am to my sister & I take every opportunity I can to remind her of that ... isn't that right Rammoush ;)

During the trip I spent a night at my friends' place in the Bronx & woke up to the sound of a rooster's crow ... in the Bronx ... a rooster ... crowing ... ?

Nationals Game (we beat the Mets!):

Mr.Tibbz scored some tickets to a Nats game from his (motha-f*ckin) job ... My first time at Nationals Stadium - I was very impressed ... Not only could you get a great view from pretty much anywhere, but they serve the one & only Ben's Chilli Dogs there ... if you dont know, you better ask somebody ... and to top it all off, we actually won - the second game in a row!?

Nomadic Wax Photo Shoot:

My buddies over at Nomadic Wax (international fair-trade hip-hop label & production studio) asked me to model some of their new fits for a photo-shoot they were doing in Washington DC ... So me & Waterflow of Wageble (Senegalese Hip-Hop crew) roamed through Adams Morgan & U Street ... Visual aid >>

Photos from this shoot went on to serve as my first appearance in Billboard Magazine (Sep 12 2009) - thanks of course to the good people of Nomadic Wax!

Indian Christian Orthodox Wedding:

If you've never been to one, you don't know what you're missing ... After a 1.5 hour Orthodox Church service on our feet, the newlyweds walked into their wedding reception to the sounds of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" ... followed by some banging Bhangra beats all night long ... 

Congratulations to Genvieve & Reggie!!!

Mixing the SYRIANAMERICANA album:

My first solo album has been in the works for quite some time now (2 years?) - but trust me, all good things come to those who wait ... It is currently being mixed in two places - Montreal's UrbanLab Studio & Southern California's ADVENT MP studio ... with production by SandhILL, Oddisee, CessLess, & yours truly - this record is "what your mama would want" you to listen to ... so stay tuned!

Filmed a New Music Video:

Laith Majali - great friend & amazing street photographer/filmmaker/editor extraordinaire - spent the summer in Los Angeles ... We took some time out of our not-so-busy schedules to film a video for a track called "Destiny" ... Its one of a handful of bi-lingual cuts on the album & deals quite literally with the idea of being torn between the "East & West" ... check out some stills from the video shoot on Laith's blog!!!

Reggae Fest @ The Hollywood Bowl - August 9, 2009:

As I said earlier, I eventually got my "outdoor reggae concert fix" by going to see Toots & the Maytals at the Hollywood Bowl, another one of the greatest outdoor venues in the United States ... 

I've lived right next to this venue for years & never went to a show ... 

I've suffered through miles of traffic for years because of this venue & never went to a show ... 

I've found it nearly impossible to park at some of my friends' places for years because of this venue & never went to a show ...

Now I know exactly why ... It's incredible ... 17,000 people can sit comfortably in the middle of the Hollywood Hills & watch some of the most amazing performers from every musical genre' do their thing ... and you can bring a cooler filled with pretty much anything you want inside ... what better way to watch a concert - let alone the legendary Toots & the Maytals ... and "when the sun sets - the fun starts", as the gentleman sitting next to me so accurately pointed out when we first got there ... big ups to Matt for taking the initiative on this one!

Joshua Tree National Park - August 23, 2009:

The homey Ragtop & I took a little road-trip, per our buddy Fahad's request ... He was visiting from London & said the only thing he absolutely HAD TO DO while in Los Angeles for two weeks was visit Joshua Tree National Park ... So we did ... and what a magnificent place it is ...

For those of you who aren't familiar with this place - or still think I am talking about a U2 record - please educate yourselves ... It is absolutely breathtaking - from the trees it is named after (Yucca brevifolia aka Joshua Tree) to the canyons & sci-fi rock formations of the Hidden Valley ... there is an undeniable energy in that part of the Mojave Desert ... and I am thankful that I was able to experience it ...

3iiish (Joshua) Trees!!!

1 comment:

  1. damn, someone's been busy! rabbana yibaarik wa yizeedak inshaAllah.