Mel D. Cole photo.
My boyfriends Barnes & Noble and I have a lovely relationship in which I visit them and use their stuff and they don't ask me for anything in return (not even to take my top off!; I'm pretty sure they're gay). So I go to their place and read things for free without buying them - lady magazines that try to teach me how to hide my hips with the magic of clothing, only I do the opposite of what the mags say because why would I want to hide the source of all my power in life? That would be foolish. I always get Harper's and Mother Jones and The Nation too, so that my brain does not stop working from too much dumb overload from the content of lady magazines. Urb is OK; I'll read it if I have to, but ever since Ray Roker stopped being so hands-on my heart's just not in it. And just today, my eyeballs got assaulted by Kid Cudi on the cover. He was making a funny, sort of squinty face and doing a hand gesture that he couldn't even think up on his own (it's called "The DeBeers," and it was appropriated from Shawn Carter and/or Diamond Dallas Page).
The related feature inside is about all of the retail stores he worked at while pursuing a music career, with associated pictures (Amer Apparel, Dean & DeLuca, BAPE). It's a cute idea but its one tragic flaw is that it stars Kid Cudi. It has been therefore been filed under "Nobody Cares" in my life. (In the upcoming issue that I edit, we'll find out where Pete Rock, Brian Eno, Hi-Tek, and Brian Wilson worked in their youth; it will win awards).
The issue gets saved by that picture of ?uestlove above (there's a feature on the photographer who snapped it). My day has been excellent ever since I saw it, and it's been making me think of musical pleasures from Philadelphia all afternoon because, how many times do I have to tell you, this is me and this is just how my brain is. Love me, love my nerdery.
I've never been to Philly but it probably can't compete with apt. 302 anyway - I already have all the sons of the city, Gamble & Huff and Hall & Oates and like 50 of my favorite rappers and the Delfonics and the Stylistics, right here with me in my record collection (plus I got Nutella and Red Stripe here, as much as you want until you pass out from satisfaction). And I've never met Ahmir Thompson but that doesn't mean we're not meant to be special friends, the kind that record shop together while trying to calm all the sexual tension between us. I steal glances when we go get a cheesesteak and visit the Rocky steps together.
Some damn tightly-woven metaphors for love have come from the Philly music scene over the years, and 2 of the greats are right here - boxing and traffic - speaking right to me about my feelings: the Soul Survivors talkin bout my love car getting caught amongst all the other cars on the way to ?uestlove's heart, and Teddy P describing that punched-in-the-face feeling that being in love with a large-haired percussionist will give you. It really does look like another love TKO; Teddy's right. Plus I wanted to use the song and I'm never gonna do a "Back in the Day" post, so it worked out perfectly.
Teddy Pendergrass - "Love TKO"
Look at these dudes. Now go get 1/10 of that level of style. Then come see me when you're ready.