Monthly Archives: January 2010


Grammy Day! The anticipation of the 52nd Grammy Awards show all cracks open this evening at 8pm on CBS. Unfortunately we won’t be in attendance this year as we have other obligations…excuse me as I grab a handful of Kleenex!….(sigh)

So here’s what’s happening for this entry, I’m making my predictions 9 hours early, so here gooooes it!!
Record of the Year goes to: Taylor Swift, beating out Beyonce and Gaga by  2 wig lengths.

Album of the Year goes to: BEP The E.N.D….Against my associates votes for Lady Gaga.

Song of the Year goes to: Single Ladies by Beyonce. * I really feel that I may go to Taylor, but I just can’t imagine Beyonce not getting a Grammy in 1 of the top 4 categories.

Best New Artist: MGMT Good Grief!! Keri Hilson? Ehh..not sure. The Ting Tings?..(sigh)…geesh!…This is tough. MGMT! I had to close my eyes, point and pick. I really think that one is up in the air.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Taylor Swift.  Between Beyonce, Adele, Taylor, Katy Perry and Pink…WHoooa!!!…I’ll have to go with Taylor. I think is gonna have a monster evening.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Maxwell. John Legend and Seal, even Stevie Wonder couldn’t touch a fiery comeback like Max’s.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: Jazmine Sullivan. As much as I’d like to see Melanie Fiona or more so Ledisi or Lalah walk away with this, I think Jaz killed this song, despite how corny the hook is, she STILL made it work.

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Maxwell. Many great contenders, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq, Charlie Wilson even…but.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: The Foreign Exchange. This one is wishful thinking, as I LOVED their album…but lets see.

Best Rap Solo Performance: Kid Cudi – Day N Nite. Why not! Drake is red hot right now. Hov is Hov. Eminem is ehhh…but send that Grammy to Ohio!

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group: Kid Cudi, Kanye, Common – Make Her Say The chemistry on the song was outstanding. period.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: T.I. – Dead and Gone.  Probably not the BEST of the BEST considering Run this Town, Knock You Down and Ego, but it was a sincere record from T.I. so we’ll see.

Best Rap Song: Best I Ever Had – Drake. No explanation needed, however, if we’re truly talking about Rap, I should be considering Jay-Z (D.O.A)

Best Rap Album: The Renaissance – Q-Tip. Why? Because he’s the guy who said “Black is Blaaack!”…LOL…Really though, I salute that album.

There are my 15 votes, although in a real situation I would only be allowed 8, but we’ll do it the right way next year. I’m cheering for the Indies tonight.



Day 30 of the Grammy Chase isn’t so Grammy related, which I guess it should be, considering the big event is tomorrow evening, but we must never lose focus of the things that are most important. Without the person in the picture above, there would be no blog, grammy chase, music, art, wonderful wife and kids…nothing. People often ask, “So, did you got to school for art? How’d you get so good at drawing and so interested in the arts?” What people need to understand is that I was raised in a house of artisans. My mother sewed our clothes, my dad made our furniture; a very self-reliant household where repairs were not outsourced; regular meals as opposed to eating out; pencils, paper and paints in easy access; music and other art forms of expression; involvement in the arts community etc. So, independence, knowledge of self, the arts were always a part of my upbringing.

So today, I salute my mother proudly in this picture, as she adorns her own handmade knitted hat. She’s been successfully delivering custom hat orders to for the past year to friends, family and colleagues. I’m happy that she is back to using her gifts and sharing her special talents again to enrich other  peoples lives through her craft. It’s said that “A child is a gift to a parent,” but I’m thankful for my mother being a gift to me.
Inquire for hat order @716.867.4377. While you’re ordering your hat, ask her about some homes for sale, she does real estate as well.


Day 29 of the Grammy Chase, now just 2 days away from the 52nd Annual Awards Ceremony, precisely why I’m acknowledging Two of the BADDEST musicians EVER! God Bless James Jamerson and Marvin Gaye, forever music Gods through their musical contribution. Marvin Gayes is my all-time favorite singer, writer, musician and performer for various reasons, but what made me look to him as an example of strength, courage and motivation is the story behind his album “What’s Goin’ On.” Motown and Berry Gordy had  a sound, a formula of which was to never be broken, tampered or challenged. Artists were to be artists, musicians were to play music and writers were to write with no co-mingling of either trade. Marvin basically gave Berry the finger and listened to his heart, the inner voice, while companions and associates claimed Marvin had lost him mind and went AWOL crazy. When Marvin delivered “What’s Goin’ On” the song, Berrry Gordy told him it was the worst song he had ever heard. Marvin protested to leave the label unless they released the song and with next to no support from Motown, the song found its way to #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, then causing Berry to shift gears and suddenly (just like a real-business man would do) believe in the possible success of more songs with the same feeling from Marvin. “What’s Goin’ On” is heralded as one of the best Top 100 records of all-time. I love Marvin for standing near, dear, sincere and ready to die for something he believed in. Music from the heart and soul. God’s gift.

James Jamerson played numerous Motown hit records that were nominated as well as awarded Grammy’s. If you are familiar with even a small percentage of the Motown catalogue, chances are highly likely that Jamerson was playing the bass on your favorite songs.


Day 28 of the Grammy Chase. After eating a pretty light breakfast, I’m already thinking ahead for what I may prepare for a more hearty lunch, all while enviously drooling over the spread that will apparently be offered to the Grammy guests and artists in 3 days. Whooooaa!!
At last years celebration, world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck was responsible for the task of cooking for more than 6000 guests, shipping in more than 1500 lbs of shrimp for starters. The official Grammy after-party is notoriously the largest post celebration in Los Angeles boasting 65 buffets, 70 bars and 97,000 sq. ft. of space with dance floors, tables and seating which is the equivalent of 3 professional football fields. Big players do it big in the big league. I’ll catch them next year, no big deal!


Day 27 of the Grammy Chase and today’s inspiration comes from an artist by the name of  Shepard Fairey, who has received a significant amount of press in the last 18 months or so. His artful interpretation that played a role in the popularization of the Obama Campaign brought him rockets-ship success and visibility while simultaneously landing him in hot water. Unless you were born say, yesterday, then you should be familiar with the image below. Well, lo and behold, guess who tapped Shepard to lend his artistic talents for their annual event? You guessed it, my good friends at the Recording Academy. Shepard designed the image above for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony.

Shep is responsible for this iconic image of Barack Obama,  which will probably be remembered as one of the most popular images of the 2000 decade. To read about the controversy, click here.


Day 26 of the Grammy Chase. Day TWENTY SIX of the Grammy Chase!! Hmmm…Nothing really on the side of developments or breakthroughs, but last night I got a call from my sister-in-law in Texas, an incredible opera singer by the way and she asked how the Grammy Chase was going. I responded with a sigh and a couple of unintelligible grunts and she completely comprehended. She also offered encouragement by commending me on having such an incredible goal. Humbly enough, she was involved with a nationally acclaimed ensemble called Conspirare which was nominated for a Grammy in 2008. She doesn’t talk about it much, so I’ll proudly share that with you. If you clicked the link above, you should be able to point out my Sis, Melissa, she’s the one with the all white smile.

During our brief conversation, first from brother to sister then from artist to artist, we shared one of those moments on the phone where we didn’t have to explain much to each other beyond grunts, sighs and pauses regarding the journey of a musician and artist. With that in mind, I drove out to E. Aurora this morning to the Roycroft to visit the Copper Shop. While in the shop browsing an amazing collection of artisans crafts, bowls, woodwork, paintings, jewelry etc, some as old as 100 years, I came across a fired and glazed ceramic square that read: “Never explain. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.” – Elbert Hubert
So for those of you that know me and support me, thanks for understanding what I do without me having to explain much.
Grunt. Moan. Sigh.



Day 25 of the Grammy Chase and I can’t recall doing anything for 25 days straight outside of marriage, parenting, fasting and breathing and oh yeah, “Being dope at everything” and maybe some other things in between.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading regarding marketing and what makes artists, companies and products remarkable and its boiling down to transparency. People have grown tired from the pre-fabricated, over practiced star quality personalities and such. People are beginning to associate, relate  and bond with what is “Real,” touchable, tangible and maybe even not as pretty, but touches an emotion and offers a bridge of true connection and understanding between artist and fan.

An example of this switch is how in a market filled with Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Madonna and Shakira etc. [name any artist that has huge marketing dollars behind them] a singer like Susan Boyle can win the hearts of people around the world to the tune of 36 million views on Youtube and over 3 million albums sold on her debut album. I would embed the video HERE if i could, but see my last post as to why I can’t and won’t. embedding problem

Nearly everyone in the audience of the show Britain’s Got Talent, including Simon Cowell laughed at Susan Boyle from her looks and quirky personality for a 47 year old woman, when she said she would like to be as popular as Elaine Paige.

Susan Boyle blew everyones head off and literally wet every eye in the crowd with the beauty and power of her voice. It was her transparency and grounding that was the set up for what SHOULD have been a failure, but it was those same characteristics along with her skill that has made her as nearly as famous as Elaine.

So, in documenting my Grammy Chase, enjoy the transparency-like inspired artwork. Peace.


Artist Mark Khaisman: Born in Russia, working in Philly. All works created with the use of only Masking Tape. Masking tape tediously layered and stacked to give the depth and darkness contrasted to lighter areas with lighter layers of tape. Lastly the canvases are lit from behind.