The evening of Sunday November 4, 2001 was memorable because it was a seasonably cool autumn evening in Los Angeles, and my beloved Yankees were playing the Arizona Diamonbacks in the seventh game of that year’s World Series.
The air was crisp with optimism and promise. This would soon turn into disappointment, as Arizona’s Luis Gonzales stopped The Bombers bid for their fourth world championship in a row. He laced a 2 out, bases loaded, single into short right, off of,Yankee closer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth.
YANKEE CLOSER MARIANO RIVERA
The October classic ran into November that year when air travel and baseball were disrupted due to the tragic events of 9/11. The Yankees, and their playoff run had begun to symbolize the grit and wll of an indomiantable New York. With the exception of 2003 it has been the orginization’s last appearance in the series to date. The Yankees have not quite gotten back on track yet.
That evening was memorable for another reason. I had dinner with future, punk, ska, new wave recording artist and provocateur Santi White the government name of, Santogold.
Joining us was then Virgin Records US, Black Music chief, Jayson Jackson, her current manager. Along with Suzette Williams, Jackson comprised the managerial duo that navigated the career of, L Boogie during, The Miseducation of…. period. Dinner was his idea.
I’d met Santi earlier that weekend at Russell Simmons’ west coast book launching party for his memoir, Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God. As the then head of Urban A & R for ARTISTdirect Records, I was the type of guy who was introduced to developing artists at parties and dinners regularly.
AUTHOR RUSSELL SIMMONS
After we’d watch the Yankee heartbreak together, Santi, Jackson, and I were all due to meet, Hidden Beach Recordings founder, Steve McKeever, and his wife, Candi at Nobu in Malibu. Car trouble kept us from getting no further than Beverly Hills’ Ivy.
At the time, I wasn’t familiar with Santi’s entire history. I knew that she’d written, and co-produced, Res’ debut for MCA, How I Do. I loved the two charting singles, that she’d written for the project, Golden Boys, and, They Say Vision. I didn’t know that she’d fronted a punk band called, Stiffed. I didn’t know that she’d previously worked within the a & r department of, Epic.
Santi proved to be a rather challenging dinner companion. Opinionated, intelligent, and slightly insecure. I didn’t have the best time. In retrospect, I realize that these are some of the peronality traits of many serious artists. Santi is definitely one of those.
MY DINNER COMPANIONS
Last week, Downtown Records released, Santogold’s eponymously named solo project. It is a combination of new wave, electronica, and pop influences. The Santogold cd, recalls a time in New York when places like, Danceteria, Milk Bar, Amazon, Mars, Area, and others broke hot new wave, records by acts like, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, The Waitresses, The Specials, Madness, and The Pixies. L.E.S. Artistes, Creator, Unstoppable are all well crafted pop songs. Lights Out is a show stopper and may be a smash.
She’s been picked by Rolling Stone as an artist to watch for 2008. She’s been featured in online interviews on The Fader’s site and Vibe.com. She scored the cover of The Fader as well. She’s opened for Bjork at The Garden. She’s performed with Mark Ronson on Jimmy Kimmel. Kanye is trying to get her on the, Glow In The Dark tour. Diddy wants her to take Jonelle Monae out on tour with her. Pharell is trying to get her on a new joint with Common. The Beasties are trying to get her on a joint with them. The Buzz is deafening. I’m glad that I had the good sense to pick up the check.
Shouts to, the Ronsons, Jeff Sledge, Tina Perry, and DL The Closer