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In which we introduce you to the eclectic and evocative nightly playlists by Daily Kos DJ and Black Kos Poetry editor, Justice Putnam, pictured below.

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In recent Welcome New Users diaries we've been getting caught up on the workings of the new DK4, featuring the uses of Hotlists,Mojo, Trusted Users, and other features.  As the site settles into its new digs I find myself going back to my first love, helping new users explore and discover communities where they can meet others around shared interests.

One of my favorite ways to kill time enjoy myself reading Daily Kos is to have a separate tab open where I browse music blogs looking for new music-- or music that's new to me. Now when I log on in the morning I open up the previous night's playlist by Justice Putnam as an appropriate backdrop to what's going on in the world.  Try it!

Interview with Daily Kos DJ and Poet, Justice Putnam

Beware-- regular participation in the nightly playlists can get costly as you'll be compelled to download songs, purchase CD's, and otherwise expand your musical library.  More simply, you can open a YouTube account and start collecting.  Ok, now that you've been warned, music videos embedded in this diary were chosen by Justice as background listening to this interview, and give you just a taste of the delicious nightly playlists he posts as background listening for your Daily Kos browsing experience. Say hello in the comments of his diaries, share music of your own, and get to know other audiophiles.

Black Kos Music: Late Night in The Justice Department is a free form, eclectic music program and posts Sunday through Thursday nights at 8pm West Coast time; and at 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Q: What is your musical background that leads to such depth and breadth in your nightly playlists?

justiceputnam: It all started with my mother being a jazz singer in the northwest when we were kids; oh, and I traveled with a catholic boy's choir around the states from first through third grades.  Mom has a beautiful voice; the earliest memories I have is of her singing to us, reading poetry and other books. We really listened to a lot of diverse music at home. My dad is now Professor Emeritus of History at Cal State Fullerton; and his home library had around 6,000 volumes, there was easily that many LP's, plus reel to reel tapes that were played at parties.

Hard to pin down any one genre of music, we listened to them all.

I thought I'd give you the boiler plate bio that goes to publishers, etc., to give you a little idea of my, ummmm, background...  :-)

First a road manager and back-up singer for the rock group, Cottonmouth in the mid-70's, Justice Putnam then re-emerged with the Laguna Beach Free Poets briefly, part of the Los Angeles Art/ Performance/ Poetry/ Dance/ Punk movement during the early 80's. He then performed solo shows, as a member of Meta-4 and later with Jimmy McAllister of Rabbit Choir and Chris Watkins of Hoi Poloi at such venues as Gorky's in Los Angeles, Beyond Baroque in Santa Monica, Cafe du Nord and Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco, Freight and Salvage and The Bison Brewing Company in Berkeley, The Sweetwater in Mill Valley; and also at music festivals in France, Belgium, Germany, California and Oregon. His poetry and prose has been published in Elektrum Magazine, Vol. No. Magazine, American Poetry Anthology, Literatus World Review, Berkeley Daily Planet and other academic, small press, print and online journals.

A scholar-athlete in his youth, Justice Putnam worked as an orderly, an emergency room technician, a Roustabout and a Production Operator at an oil refinery. He taught History and English in private schools briefly, while coaching football and track. He was a fruit and vegetable inspector for the California State Department of Agriculture and a stone mason building free standing moss stone walls in Marin and Sonoma Counties. He has been a theater light designer, an actor, a surfer, deep-sea fisherman and a Grinder on a racing yacht. He was the co-host with the chanson francaise impresario, Simon Dray, on his "Fm/French Connection Bistro Radio" broadcast from KUSF 90.3 in San Francisco for a number of years

Currently, Justice is on a hiatus from Richard Rants' live call-in show in San Francisco on Channel 76. His return will be announced.

He has also traveled around the world living for short times in France, Italy, Japan and Mexico.

Q: How do you go about building your nightly playlists?  I know nothing about how a DJ works and I'm fascinated by the process.  At times I think I detect a certain mood or frame of mind winding throughout the songs.

JP: I call what I do in Late Night in The Justice Department, tonal poems. I am indeed attempting to evoke a mood. I have an idea of a "message" or theme and build on that. I have a fairly good memory and hear songs in my head, so I'll make a list of potential songs and artists, either I have that song now in my ever increasing cache, or I'll find it and add. I'll stumble upon artists I may have vaguely heard of and research their music; if it doesn't fit that night's theme, I'll save it for later consideration. It's usually very similar to writing my prose and some poems, I have a great first line and great last stanza or paragraph; then I fill in the story to get where I want to go.

In the basic nuts and bolts part of what I do, I'm looking for songs that segue into each other, how one song ends and another begins. Then I hone it up some so that it makes sense to me. Takes a couple of hours or so...

Q: How do you manage to keep up with the daily music diaries?

JP: I do have a full time job at an english inn in San Francisco for the benefits; and I also am a professional chef, so I do private dinners and some catering. Looking to open my own restaurant in the next year again.

I'm a published poet and author, so I write everyday; so the music diaries are a bit of fun; once I commit to a project, it just becomes self-generating and I have to do it. One thing that has come from it is that I will soon have my own radio show on a new online radio station. The diaries will continue, though I might cut back a day or two. I intend to format my show on the same as the music diaries; truly world music.

Q: Do you ever find yourself limited by YouTube, or can you generally find the sound you've got in mind?

JP: YouTube is very helpful; and though I don't find everything, or everything to my liking, I find most everything I want. Of course one limitation is that once posted to the diary, each embed needs to be clicked to play, the embed being html. I thought I could find a player that would play each song successively, but haven't yet.

I will soon be part of an online radio station loosely affiliated with dKos; and we will launch soon, so stay tuned! My music diaries will remain of course! But I intend my radio show to be somewhat like my music diaries.

Q: How did you find Daily Kos, and how did you get involved in Black Kos?

JP: I'm friends with Kid Oakland in real life. He told me about dKos in 2004, I lurked until January of 2006 when I finally joined.

I come from a multi-cultural family and my grandkids are part black. I noticed a definite lack of "colorful" voices and when I saw Black Kos, I was intrigued. I commented and began posting, in the comments, poems by relatively obscure women of color that "punctuated" the diaries' themes and content. Deoliver and dopper asked me to be part of the team; and there you go!

How to Subscribe to Black Kos Music: Late Night in the Justice Department

Go to justiceputnam's home page, click the little heart next to his name, and his diaries will show up in your Stream.  (To find your Stream, just click on My Page at the menu bar at the top of any page)  Hope to see you there in the comments-- don't be shy about introducing yourself!

Black Kos Music: Late Night in The Justice Department is a free form, eclectic music program and posts Sunday through Thursday nights at 8pm West Coast time; and at 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Come on in and share your own favorite music videos-- I promise to listen to and enjoy every single one of them!

Originally posted to smileycreek's corner on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 09:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Pink Clubhouse, DKOMA, Progressive Hippie, and Welcome New Users.

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