Cobwebs everywhere! I am dusting, and I have soooo many links and sooo many books to talk about and, well, I will be trying to get to them. To start with is a viral music video that is one of those, “this is why it’s neat to have an Internet” things.
Dallas-based musician and songwriter Jesse Rya, who has played at the Dallas House of Blues and other clubs, was one particular afternoon busking outside a Kroeger’s Drugstore while working and riffing on his song, “Sometimes, I Just Don’t Know.” Jaime Tatos Maldonado, a new manager of the nearby dollar store and big music fan, liked the playing and started to film Rya with his phone camera. It just so happened that another Dallas singer musician, Howard Mullins, was also on that street and he also liked Rya’s song, so he started, with Rya’s encouragement, to come in on improvised accompaniment. That was cool enough, but this drugstore is clearly a popular one for musicians and rapper-singer Ron Lashley, who was headed into the drugstore, trilled a little with them and was encouraged by Mullins, Rya and Maldonado to chime in. He added a rap, whose first line I love: “I don’t really know what’s going on here.”
Maldonado got the whole improvised jam on his phone and he naturally put it up on his Facebook page. His friends started sharing it and the video quickly went up on YouTube and such and went viral, with Maldonado getting deluged and having to contact Rya and find the other two singers.
The news media also hunted them down and the story spread.
A lot of people thought it was a set-up, rather than a fortuitous accident, and some of them contacted Jimmy Kimmel, who has been known to do this sort of Internet hoax thing for his late night show. Kimmel had nothing to do with it, but he knows a good thing when he sees it. Before Ellen DeGenneres could snatch them up for her show, he brought all four men out to L.A., and the trio performed the song again on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, with added accompaniment from Kimmel’s house band and several guests, including my fave Aloe Blaac. It was a pleasant, if chaotic performance.
Here’s hoping that all the uproar does nice things for the three men’s careers. As for Maldonado, he seems to be a good guy having a lot of fun with helping them out and celebrating music with the world Internet. Maybe someone should hire him as a talent spotter.
It’s a reminder of how many great performers and creators are out there and it’s nice that the Internet gives us a chance to see some of them.