Cautiously optimistic about pka Cautious Clay

BLUf bottum line up front: Check out Josh pka Clay


Sometimes I travel to New York in my mind, or via the magic of these boxes, of the proliferation of computers and electronic pulses, especially odd or magic if you think that semiconductors only semi-conduct, versus resisters or supper-colliders. New York Times, natch, we get the New Yorker by mail — tho seldom finish it — back in the day I’d jump off the Jet Blue, check in to the Gramercy Park Hotel — on hip initially from Jim Romeo the super-agent for super-unknowns — and then walk around the corner to get the Village Voice, and sometimes pop in on the rodeo bar.

Also, I have Robert Christgau’s book. About how the rock thing got started. And here we are 50 years later, 25 for me, doing business as, dba Earthwise. (A smart lady who builds housing for the poor, but parties and does focus groups at Pace Gallery, caught the pun immediately, my name, or that of my father and my father’s father — but was probably Booglaboowinskystein or something prior to that, just yesterday, or so it seems).

So Cautious Clay caught my eye, in the Emersonian sense. I’m all eye-ball. The Earth is  giant eyeball.

Reminds me of the Shinola outlet here in Palo Alto. It’s the only place downtown with a clock, across City Hall, near the blue for now treees.

And there was a kid named John Cha I think who was feeling me back in the day and did a fanzine site for Earthwise Productions using Muhammed Ali. And I did an Archers of Loaf using Muhammed Ali. (They had an album Greatest of All Time).

This young man Cautious Clay or Jonathan Karpeh also plays the flute, like James Newton. Or John Axson Ellis of Carolina and Nola and Brooklyn my former client.

I hipped the Nigerian-American security guard of my mother’s building to Oakland’s and now NYC’s Ambrose Akinsmusire and “I am Oscar Grant” and told my anecdote about ringing him when I met a young Stanford undergrad on the basketball courts near the old trailer park (!) and his first question, or so I inferred from her response was “Yorba or Igbo?”

I’m the guy who brought Femi Kuti his wife and band and two other female dancers to Cubberley Center in Palo Alto (and they appreciated the fact that although the City itself or the facility manager was being a dick in that he refused to let us use a classroom as a green room — because the three ladies in the crew including Femi’s wife wanted privacy, I drove home or to my parents’ house — before they moved to the condo downtown, downsize and up-sky– to bring some sheets as partitions, like in It Happened One Night.

If Mr. Karpeh is Kenyan like our former president he will not feel this post as much but its’ understandable my confusion.

There’s also a Broadway or off-Broadway show from a couple years  back about the boxer meeting Stepin Fetchit. “Fetch Clay, Make Man” I had clipped from those same NYT pages. Before marrying wife recently and she made me burn 10,000 such clippings. You let something go and it makes room for something else, right?

I played a wee bit of Cautious Clay on the magic box before wifey said too early for such. Happy wife, happy life.

Good luck to young singer and as Marsalis say put all you got into each sweet note. It say he be out here in the fall in Oakland supporting bigger act. Oh yeah, last night my friends’s teen boys were watching Kanye West from Wyoming but didn’t want us peering over their shoulders. I described Daniel Glover to their dad. I said it had 100 million views. His manager is Ace Rothstein, like the dog.

All things are connected, as Chief Seattle said.

He’s playing Bowery Ballroom in July or Irving Plaza or Mercury Lounge.

It’s weird that I cannot find my Archers of Loaf / Ali poster online.Or was it just a dream?

Here’s a gallery of other afro-hipster visual-shoutouts, meanwhiles while I suss it out:


This is Savion ripped from NYT, for Greyboy Allstars featuring Karl Denson


This is a shoe ad from an old Esquire Magazine that I scribbled on, to so-so effect. The show rocked, or rockported.



This was a commission for Dianne Hartman who I met at Red Rocks but was never used by the City, who feared getting sued by the people who control the original image. The same city who wanted to sue Facebook for David Choe dripping paint on the sidewalk.


This was a comp meaning never actually used outside of a few kinkos copies for my Earthwise 10th anniversary show at Bottom of the Hill, more of that fake Howard Finster scribble effect, before WordPress.

here his joint


and1: Antibalas in Taos New Mexico is real but sounds like a strange daydream. When i read about Starbucks “anti bias” I thought of this Nigerian-influenced music group, which actually means bulletproof. as if.

andand: reminds of Doo Lister Blues which is fiction by Terry Abrahamson about what if there was the next Bob Dylan but he was black so they killed him.

Also, the scene where Jonathan Karpeh jumps up on his kitchen island to dance calls to mind I was just riffing in my mind about speaking at the Planning Commission public hearing about lack of parking spaces and I was gonna admit that I’m part of the problem because I sold cars one summer after freshman year in college and I sold a White Chevy S-10 Blazer with blue vinyl interior to Nolan Bushnell the founder of Atari and Chuckie Cheese for his teen daughter Alissa and I had driven it out to him in Sunnyvale at Catalyst Technologies on a hunch (that he was somebody –sort of like my hunch here with young Mr. Clay) and he jumped on the the reception counter and then jumped off of it to greet me or see the car. They were going to leave in the cheap factory issue Delco radio and put a fly stereo hidden in the compartment between the seats, so as to deter theft. It was literally an under-play, if it happened. None of my business. Accept I lived to tell the story, like Ishmael. Call me.

edit to add later that day while washing my white car:the times says there is a new opera about racism. By composer Henry Ruo about American soldier killed in hazing By Americans. Check that Huang Ruo ( I mist have been thinking about Henry Rono the Kenyan Olympic runner)

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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