My Son Won't Accept My New Man. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

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Photo by Mario Jaramillo
I FATHERED A CHILD OUTSIDE OF MY MARRIAGE

Dear Willie D:

I messed up big time, man. I'm involved in a three-year relationship outside of my marriage that has unintentionally produced a child. What's worse is that my wife has wanted to get pregnant for some time now, but I told her we should wait.

I feel guilty for not being able to announce to the world that I'm a father and who my son is. Moreover, I really feel bad about betraying my wife's trust. Knowing that I cheated is one thing, but if she found out that I also share a child with my mistress it would hurt her to no end. I have been struggling with the notion of revealing my deception intensely over the past several days.

I don't want to lose my wife. At the same time she needs to know the truth. Should I reveal my secret and if so, how do I explain my infidelity in a way that she will forgive me, and accept my son who is innocent in all of this?


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2015 FPSF Lineup Brings On Mixed Emotions

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Photo by Marco Torres
To say opinion is split over FSPF 2015 headliner R. Kelly (shown at a 2011 Toyota Center date) is the understatment of the year.
Scanning this year's FPSF lineup, my first thought was "I see they're not going out of their way to quiet those people who keep calling it a sausagefest," followed closely by, "R. Kelly...seriously?" I was thrilled to see the likes of Gary Clark Jr., St. Vincent, Charles Bradley and Riverboat Gamblers, and impressed by the names that can only help FPSF's mission to be taken seriously as a front-rank music fest: Decemberists, Mastodon, Belle & Sebastian, Skrillex, etc.

Could not care less about most of the rest, but I think the organizers chose well with this year's first-time local acts (Catch Fever, George West, Moji, Geo Chamba...) -- unless said acts happen to play hip-hop; the admittedly bonkers "Welcome to Houston" reprise notwithstanding. (Also, Lecrae!) Personally, all that doesn't quite add up to $200 worth of entertainment to me, so that's what media passes are for, I suppose. But throw a sucker-punch like Tears For Fears and it's like, well, maybe... CHRIS GRAY


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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kanye

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Screengrab/NBC's #SNL40
Kanye's prone...to unfair criticism.
Not to go full Giuliani here, but I too must admit something I feel horrible for saying. I've possibly been judging Kanye West's recent art by one of the worst criteria of all, namely the company he keeps.

Specifically, Kim and the Kardashian fold. As hard as West has worked to float to the top, I've somehow deemed his in-laws a dense weight that threatens to pull him down to not-very-deep depths.

This is a terrible confession to have to make, primarily because any artist deserves better but also because if one is able to regularly share thoughts about music, it's best to focus on the music. This task becomes trickier if the musicians we follow are also celebrities whose exploits are documented and can be polarizing; see Kanye as Jesus on a magazine cover or his "Bush doesn't care about black people" comments.


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The FPSF 2015 Lineup Is Right Here

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As promised, above you should see the lineup card for this year's Free Press Summer Fest, scheduled for June 6 and 7 at Eleanor Tinsley Park near downtown. If some of the names are a little difficult to read, we'll be glad to oblige below.


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Jordan Donald Comes to "Lay the Funk on Heavy"

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Photo by Ron Coleman, Jr.
They don't call Jordan Donald "Chili Sauce" for no reason
Two years ago, Jordan "Chili Sauce" Donald came to our attention via TSU faculty member Dr. Horace Alexander Young and the great jazz pianist Joe Sample of Crusaders fame. Donald was one of the soloists in Sample's select orchestra, and even college president John Rudley, an avid jazz fan, mentioned Donald when I spoke with him about outstanding students in the TSU jazz program.

A few days later I witnessed Donald sit in with some of Houston's best players, seasoned veterans like pianist Darrell Lavigne and Horace Alexander Young, at Café 4212. He grabbed the crowd by the ears if not the throat with long, blistering, sexy sax solos. Chili sauce, indeed. I was sold.


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A Place to Bury Strangers Brings the Noise

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Photos by Dusdin Condrin/Courtesy of Dead Oceans
A Place to Bury Strangers' new LP Transfixiation approximates their visceral live assault.
A Place to Bury Strangers is not your father's shoegaze band.

Moreover, labeling them as revivalist shoegazers takes for granted the ingenuity and showmanship of the Brooklyn-based trio's driving force, Oliver Ackermann. During live performances, he tosses his guitar around like an unwanted toy, generating sounds that disturb and compliment the songs.

More Who than Slowdive, more Ramones than Ride, no one in the band stands idly staring at the rarely washed stage floors as feedback pitches scream throughout the room. Beneath the Jesus and Mary Chain firmament of feedback lies 21st-century textures constructed around Ackermann's sonic vision.

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James McMurtry's Different Kind of Fiction

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Photos by Shane McCauley/Courtesy of Conqueroo Publicity
James McMurtry, perhaps looking toward the future (or perhaps not)
Sitting at the back of a darkened Austin club watching the duo onstage, one listener is a bit restless, clapping briefly but emphatically after every song. He's also proud as hell.

Watching his 24-year-old son Curtis perform isn't anything new for James McMurtry. But seeing his flesh-and-blood coming into his own alongside his cello-playing girlfriend Diana Burgess -- while they nail their harmonies and phrasing -- leaves the Texas-born singer-songwriter still shaking his head when he sits down for an interview after the show.

"I used to sing to him at night when he was real little; maybe that helped," the elder McMurtry says. "But I never taught him how to write a song. He figured that out on his own. I'm basically doing the 1-4-5 with a relative minor [when I write] but he's got a degree in music composition.

"It's this iTunes generation," he continues. "He can access all of music history but I didn't have that, all I had was vinyl. So if you've got the curiosity, it's the perfect time to be a musician. He's teaching me the value of curiosity, and rehearsing. I've never been that particular, and it probably shows."


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Upcoming: Ankit Tiwari, Gregg Allman, Kid Rock, J. Cole, Sam Smith, Slash, Testament, etc.

Categories: This Just In

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Photo by Marco Torres
Drake visits Arena Theatre on May 17.
8 ½ Souvenirs: With The Jitterbug Vipers., Thu., May 28, 6:30 p.m., Free. Discovery Green Conservancy, 1500 McKinney, Houston, 713-400-7336.

ABBA the Concert -- A Tribute to ABBA: Fri., May 15, 8:30 p.m., $25 to $45. Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy., Houston, 713-988-1020.

Allegaeon: With Product of Hate. Sat., April 11, 8 p.m., $10. Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, Houston, 713-225-5483.

Ankit Tiwari: With Akriti Kakkar, Shilpa Rao. Sat., April 11, 8:30 p.m., TBA. Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy., Houston, 713-988-1020.


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The Single Life: Doeman Elevates; Lyric Michelle Gets Personal

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Photo by Marco Torres
Doeman performs at Fitzgerald's during the recent "Republic of Texas" tour.
What the hell is a mixtape?

Before this column goes any further, we need to have a heart-to-heart discussion on what counts as an EP, a mixtape and an album. I've long tried to justify getting a full swath of music by length and cost. For example, Drake just gifted the world with a 17-track new tape that sold more than 500,000 copies in four days. You can pay $12.99 for it. Drake also asked up rather sheepishly, "How do you like my mixtape?"

Mixtape? Mixtape? Look, the last time I legitimately paid for a mixtape was on the back of a school bus in tenth grade, and it was an old Swishahouse compilation. That was before the Internet really took ahold of things and the idea of a mixtape was more that of a free sampler of music before the album came out. It was free promotion. Hell, a free mixtape started the phrase "the mixtape was better," and we hastily lobbed that title at Jadakiss, Big Sean and others.


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Jorma Kaukonen Ain't in No Hurry Anymore

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Photo by Barry Berenson
Jorma Kaukonen's relaxing new record reflect where he's at now in his life.
As the quintessential American troubadour, Woody Guthrie recorded hundreds of original songs in addition to his adaptation of traditionals. He performed even more than he recorded, and wrote more than he performed. And that's still not the end of his musical fountain. Which is how Jorma Kaukonen recently ended up co-writing a song with a man who died nearly 50 years ago.

"Woody's legacy is carefully guarded. And I'm sort of buddies with his daughter, Nora," Kaukonen says from Fur Peace Ranch, his home/concert venue/guitar camp/recording studio in Pomeroy, Ohio. "He apparently wrote thousands of poems that nobody has ever seen!"

So when Kaukonen was putting together material for his new record, Ain't No Hurry (Red House Records), he included covers of Depression-era standards like "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and the Carter Family's "Sweet Fern." He also penned a few like-minded originals, such as "In My Dreams," "Seasons in the Field and "The Other Side of the Mountain".

But the chance to do a posthumous collaboration with Guthrie? Yes, please.


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