The Story Behind The Song

Metro Times: Meet guitarist and bassist Nadir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METRO TIMES: HEY! I’M IN THREE BANDS

This guy plays with his own eponymous funk band, Steffanie Christi’an, Michael Turner, and more

By NADIR
PUBLISHED: JUNE 24, 2014

For the first time in a very long time, I’m in multiple bands, and I’m actually performing with five different groups at the moment. Besides my own funk band (billed as Nadir), which has been my main gig for the past decade or so, I’m the rhythm guitarist and musical director for rock phenomenon Steffanie Christi’an, MD and bassist for rock-R&B singer Michael Turner, and bassist for blues Americana singer-songwriter Joe Jaber.

Read More at MetroTimes.com

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The Story Behind The Song: Rockets and Dreams (for Jeff Turk)

“We can deal with rockets and dreams, but reality? What does it mean?” – Curtis Mayfield

Track number 9 on The Book of Jonah is the instrumental “Rockets and Dreams”. Like the album’s opening track, “A Hustler (In Spite of Myself)“, this song was originally part of the score I composed for Detroit native Lee Martin’s independent film, Top Ten Things I Love/Hate About The Hood. And like “A Hustler”, the title is adapted from one of my favorite Curtis Mayfield Superfly lyrics.

The recording always reminds me of my cousin, Jeff Turk, who passed away in 2006, so I dedicate it to his memory. I imagine Jeff leaned back in his wheelchair, vibing to the music. He exhales through his nostrils to clear the smoke from his lungs, and nods in agreement… “Yeah.”

Jeff’s birthday would have been on November 8th.  The blog I wrote five days after his funeral (reposted below with the poem my brother James K. McFarland, wrote and read at the service) tells some of Jeff’s story, but fails to capture his humor, his charisma, his intelligent, and complex nature. “Rockets and Dreams” does that a little better.

Happy Birthday, man. I miss you a lot.

~ ~ Nadir

My cousin John Frederick (Jeff) Turk passed away on Good Friday, April 14, 2006. He was 37 years old.

Jeff was 12 hours younger than me. I was born November 7 at 8:27pm and he followed at about 8:20 the morning of the 8th. Our mothers are sisters, and the family called us “the twins”.

Losing a loved one so close to you is always a difficult thing, but Jeff was a very special person, and those of us who knew him are all deeply affected by his transition.

When we were 19 years old Jeff had a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. For the past 18 years, he suffered from bed sores, kidney problems and several other maladies. He had no control over his bladder functions and could not walk or feel his legs. [Read more…]

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The Making of “Go It Alone” the Music Video

Nadir and director Drew Parfitt talk about the treatment and technology behind the making of the “Go It Alone” music video.  Media mogul in training, Chariti Joi Ntuk, directed and edited this peek behind the scenes.

What? You haven’t seen the video for “Go It Alone”? Click HERE to watch it. Wait… What?? You haven’t purchased your copy of “Go It Alone” and “Love Thang” on vinyl?? Really? Where have you been?
Click HERE to buy the 7-inch, 45rpm vinyl single or to Download the tracks from iTunes RIGHT NOW!!!

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Behind the Scenes at the Go It Alone Video Shoot

Text Message from my intern, Joi. Friday, February 3, 2012, 3:39pm: “The feds raided the Russell.”

“For real?” I replied. She forwarded the Detroit Free Press link reporting a drug bust in Detroit’s sprawling Russell Industrial Center arts complex.

“Hmm… Maybe we should postpone tomorrow’s video shoot,” I thought.

Yeah. It might have seemed a bit insensitive to film a music video that depicts two agents chasing a dreadlocked black dude around the halls just one day after the DEA scared the tenants half to death. While the artists and creatives who work at the Russell would be sympathetic to our cause, their lives had been invaded quite enough for one weekend.

The following week, our generous host, Olin Ezra of TapDetroit.com, gave us the go ahead, and the results were inspired. Chris Spooner and Martin Engelking channeled their inner FBI. Director Drew Parfitt of DetroitMusic.TV and SudoTV got the goods.

Thanks to Martin for capturing the moment, and thanks to Olin and the other tenants at the Russell who so graciously walked around us and waited patiently before crossing in front of the camera.

covert-beat-thang

Picture 1 of 9

Music video shoot for "Go It Alone" from "The Book of Jonah". Russell Industrial Center, Detroit, Michigan, February 11, 2012. Photos by Martin Engelking; video directed by Drew Parfitt.

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New Blaxploitation: Nadir Records Strings for His Upcoming Album

Nadir’s upcoming album, The Book of Jonah is in the home stretch. In early January, Nadir recorded a string section in the Metroplex Room at Submerge for the track “A Hustler (In Spite of Myself)” as one of the final pieces of the puzzle.

An earlier version of this composition appeared in the score for the Detroit indie film Top Ten Things I Love/Hate About the Hood by CornerBoy Films, but Nadir is going straight “Superfly” on this updated version of the track.

“It’s blaxploitation chase music, so it had to have the real strings to feel right. This is the way I always heard this composition, so I’m thrilled with how it’s all coming together now,” Nadir says.

Michelle May, violinist and leader of Detroit world jazz combo Musique Noire, assembled a fine trio featuring Leah Celebi on viola, and Cecelia Sharpe on cello. John Celebi charted the string arrangement.

Special thanks to videographer Chariti Joi Ntuk, and video editor The War Time Journalist for pulling together the behind the scenes footage.

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