Yellow And White, by Third Option
This was one of my slam poems that I used a lot. I ended up retiring it from slam as I got better in slam, because it actually doesn’t fit the form well enough to consistently get great scores. It doesn’t have the right rise and fall of energy pattern for slam.
But my ‘ol buddy Spec always really liked it. 🙂 We did it as a three voice poem at the National Poetry Slam in Providence, RI in 2000. It was me and Tamara Nicholl and Esther Griego. It worked alright but wasn’t great. It’s just not “slammy” enough.
I actually wrote the poem to this music, which is rare on this album. I had basically the whole track minus any vocals already done, and me and Tamara were travelling from Albuquerque to Houston in the middle of the night (maybe we left Albuquerque at 1AM or so). We were also going for some visiting I guess, but what I remember is that we were going to go to the Bluebonnet Poetry Slam in Conroe, TX. That was in the year 2000, I guess.
Tamara was sleeping and I kept playing the track over and over and over and over for about 5 hours while I “wrote” this poem by saying lines, memorizing, rearranging, memorizing. I had to just keep doing it over and over because there was no other way to write it down. And Tamara really would wake up barely enough every once in a while to randomly tell me to slow down and watch out for cops. For some reason she was really worried about getting stopped.
I considered trying to do the poem in the slam, but I wisely opted against using a new untested shaky piece. I actually blew up the spot with what I did do (not sure what it was in the first round – probably this year 2000 poem called No Apocalypse) and was the “flash point” poet. The first poet to get a really high score and blow up the room, but then everybody after that gets higher scores.
I remember they had it in this honky tonk bar type thing, with all these golden Christmas lights strewn about, which really gave the place a down home, cozy, yet glamorous, “i’m a superstar out in the world” type feel.
At that slam is where we met Amalia Ortiz and Shaggy, who were then married and the leaderz of the slam in San Antonio. They invited us to feature in the San Antonio slam, which we did. Later that summer, they brought the first team to come from San Antonio to Nationals, and they got 2nd place! It was amazing!
I was always proud of how tight the drum and bass mix in this song sounded. There’s also a spot in the middle where I had a distorted vocal that didn’t quite sound right, but I figured fuck it, I need to get done, and I cut that corner and left it. Well of COURSE Tamara noticed that VERY thing when she listened, which at that time was a VERY frustrating thing, because it meant going back for another 8 hour mix session, since we were using analog equipment – you can’t just recall a mix on an analog board. You try, by having photos of the knobs and notes galore, but it just doesn’t work that way.
Anyway, this is the song Yellow And White, available, of course, on the CD Cult Of Nice 🙂 – and obviously – there is still always free stuff available at www.thirdoption.com/free-music
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