The coolest sister she has calls her sissafran, so for short we’ll call her Fran. Far from the family, but always aspiring to be, her immediate lineage resembles somewhat the surface of the Camdens (ref: 7th Heaven). With that said, this woman is Fran Camden. True grit, crazy like a fox, smarter than everything above-average, and has a glare that could give a non-smoker cardiac arrest. Let’s leave her alone for now, and get back to it later.
The night is somewhat young, and you can hear his voice is a lil’ bit younger. Not the fact that it’s young age-wise or high pitch, but in the vein of enthusiasm. This kid has the f----kin fire. He’s waited this moment for years, perhaps his life even. Sweat, dreams, cash: all spent in the name of an art form that suits an outlet for his mental livelihood and day-to-day miscues. When you look Mike Lipset in the eyes, he looks like he will cut you. His eyes have the frow of a bull dog, truly not giving a f--- and the one who will finish the fight rather than start it. I’ve seen this before and it strikes no fear in any fiber of me, but what sends chills down my spine is the history in his pupils. I don’t know Mike’s background, but aside from his stare staking action, the stare also parlays he has cut someone before. People that aren’t afraid to do shit… are nothing to be afraid of. It’s the m-----f-----ers that’ve done it before and have absolutely no problem taking to you with fist, blade, or bullet at any moments notice.
Getting to know Mike, you’d quickly conclude he’s not the type. His stare however communicates different. The dichotomy is still beleaguering, but I do my best to stay on the same page with him, and this is it. His night has come. The 18+ crowd of escapists, impulse, and live fast instinct raises their hands in sync with his call and response. The Minnesota girls either gyrate to the beat as if Burning Man had just been kicked off, or stand and give him the same killer stare back. It’s moving. Mike’s moving. The moment is moving, and he’s brought us along for the ride. You gotta be thankful for gritty-ass artists like Mike. His ambition is just getting started and you can’t help but respect the fire he has to offer. Mike Lipset’s Levelheads Mixtape release party at Hell’s Kitchen… yeah, I was there.
Quickly had to bounce to 1st ave for Get Cryphy. Anu’s always spoken about it, but I never took her word for it. Met up with Ryan K, Riley, and a few other national caliber poets outside the joint. Tried to get in, couldn’t. Door man says they’re at capacity. C’moooooon, I have money, don’t you want it.
Na. 1st Ave’rs could give a shit less if you had the cure for cancer at the door. The building shuts it down like Fort Knox. Years ago, I use to be a bouncer at 1st Ave. You take a code of the samurai for that place. Soul before cash. Defend the establishment at all costs… even if that cost is you. Jea, if any door men were to take a bullet for their club, they’d be the door men I’m staring down right now. Quick, he’s not looking. I raise my wrist as if I already have a wristband, and pass by like a ghost.
Boom, I’m in. Bodies clashing, bass blowing through the wet air, ganja blowing through the wet air, and there she was… at the bar. Arch-nemesis, the devil herself, “Ms. Shin” we’ll call her for now. Backstory: Ms. Shin and myself collided like a bitter old loveless marriage in high school. Never took the time to get to know each other, just hated each other. Senior year we tried to make a treuce, she asked me to Sadies. It was on, but later we called it off. Possibly we could look each other in the eye and mean it when we say "even if you were the last person on earth...". Or not. Last we spoke, we were out for coffee, walking with her 3 year old daughter around Medal Park. Again, somehow the hatred lives on. “Don’t you have a bar and a kid to tend to?”. She quickly cuts back, “Don’t you have a show to do in Wisconsin?”. Wasn’t a dig, but the way Ms. Shin says it… you can just tell she’s going for the throat everytime. The way she said it would make any musician feel ashamed for ever setting foot near Wisconsin. I don’t know how she does it, but she does. She could spite volunteer work in Africa, and make people feel guilty for even thinking about joining the Peace Core. Mutant power, cold queen… or both. We’ll never know, but when she aims, hot damn she always hits. I grin. She grins. I ghost away to the entrance to catch Ryan K and co. still outside not trying to find the cure for cancer. Get Cryphy, more than my scene, and I’d stay for the party, but not tonight. Promised a friend I’d meet her somewhere, sometime in the city. Meh, can’t quite call it “friend”, more a friendly acquaintance.
The text is in, she’s at The Nomad… and I know where this is going. Coolest sister Fran has, we called her La Mark. I always liked LaMurk better, so we’ll go with Murk on this one. Murk texts she’s at The Nomad. Seeing she’s never in Minneapolis, I book it down to the West Bank. Step out the taxi with my bright orange Michael Kors sweatshirt I bought in Brooklyn for $20, and a tie that’d make me gay in Mpls, but fresh to death in Brooklyn. Meh, I’d rather dress Brooklyn in Mpls, than dress Mpls in Brooklyn, right? Door man/Bartender Shad greets me at the door. “You’re in for it tonight”, he cryptically murmurs. “I know”, I think back to him. Shad, quite possibly the bartender with the most swag in Minneapolis… partially ‘cos he’s from New Orleans. (Sidenote: If you’re ever at The Nomad, ask Shad to make you a Hurricane. Only cat in Mpls that can do it like New Orleans. Hot fire.)
“Meh, her sister told me to meet her here.” Shad opens the door, I step in. Dark as the bat cave, Dracula dark, organized noise sweeping through the room, couldn’t be a better way to end the night… why? We’ve already said it once before, but collectively let’s say it again all together now “And there she was”. Back turned at the bar, facing the side door, her head swiveled to the right to glance over her shoulder… Fran. Similar to the snake woman in The Golden Child, starring Eddie Murphy, her head swiveled over that shoulder like a damn serpent. Christ, the woman’s got Spider-Sense all of a sudden. Maybe she’s seen this coming as well. Did Murk tell her I was droppin’ by? Is that a question you idiot, they’re sisters? Wish I cared enough to listen to the questions fire off in my brain like Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room, for this I could careless.
Mind you, Fran is as important to me as I am to her. Nil. However, what is important is the last time Fran and I were face-to-face, volume raised past high and into the realms of “somebody better call the po’s, a domestic’s about to go down like the bonus round”. Last time Fran and I were face-to-face she looked the sight of unrecognizable, a familiar face gone more ways than straight, eyes empty, anger full as a dirty sink , and holding on to the final tangible piece you could record from our discorded past. Call it heated, trespassing, crazy, or me just trying to get my shit back, but the last time Fran and I were face-to-face, Clash of the Titans didn’t have shit on us, the beginning fight scene between Justice and Afro’s father of Afro Samurai was fluorescent pale in comparison, and clearly everything prologued to the moment, strangely, made it an appropriate explosion. Meh, but I didn’t come here to see her, came here to see Murk. And Murk totally knew we'd run into each other. Christ, when was the last time Murk wanted to hang out without Fran involved? Maybe Murk's as entertained with our interactions as any blood lusting UFC audience... can't blame her.
Always had an idea of how this’d go down… but was never in the cards ‘til tonight. If anything, it’ll be entertaining just to see if she breaks a glass and lunges at me right then and there, or acts stand off-ish and plays it safe. Fran and I could be apathetic, engaged, or absolutely unaware of each others presence in the same room, and we’d somehow still wind up at each others throats, be it attraction or spite. For more than a year, love’s been long gone, and I’m too apathetic at this point to give the woman spite… however, the last time we spoke is about to become microscopic compared to the next moments we spend in the same building together… (to be continued... when I have more energy tomorrow to type again.)