this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis

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Mildly Amusing Booking -- the moderately different (?) pitchfork rant


This is sorta rich, I think...

Pitchfork just released their SXSW party schedule. I don't know every single band they booked, but I'd like to take a stab at some of the logic behind this booking, and do what will probably only take 5 minutes worth of "myspace research" in order to throw an educated guess at the rest. This is to be a sort of "why am I not surprised" in the tradition of attempting to guess to the spot their year end best-of list, which I recall a few of us did to a somewhat hysterical degree of accuracy, the proof of which likes somewhere in this blogs archives. ("But anyone could've!" exactly.)

But first, my historical emotions on a website so beloved in these hallow halls that Noggin wrote a simple crack to automatically change its spelling in order we not refer them traffic via search engines algorithms (nerd alert!!)

The complaints about pitchfork in my mind have always been the same (and at this point you really have to start with the complaints). -- 1. They don't really ever go out on a limb, 2. while they explore what's going on in other cultures, going as far as to employ boots on the ground aka 3rd party bloggers, they often turn a blind eye to what is going on in the American underground, opting to cover what's going on in what I'll call "the American-underground-music-industry" instead, 3. they periodically write unfair reviews, both overly positive and negative, as a speculative and Machiavellian practice to create a buzz loop which will in turn "prove" their own relevance, as well as help maintain their ad revenues, often to the detriment of bands,(which like the American worker we will call "hard-working" for the sake of rhetorical flourish) and finally, 4. that, even though they have to be aware of everything mentioned above, they still manage to believe their own shit, which in turn causes them to "miss the point" more often than probably should be strictly necessary.

And that strikes me as just so crass, and frankly, unnecessary. It's as if they don't recognize real rock and roll exists, and so they organize themselves around some bizarre Warholian reproduction of it, to fill a void that doesn't exist. And while you can't just ignore what was going on in Britian in the 60s (as the classical narrative would tell it) as central to any historical retelling you would find in a History of Rock and Roll class at a mediocre 4 year university, the hierarchical promotion of the Beatlemania hero-aspect of it is counter productive to a concept of rock-and-roll-as-living-art (its been said a million times, but why rate albums from 0.0-10.0 in the first place?) It's like overturning Roe v just can't ignore precedent, and the laughability factor comes in when you consider the level of canonization Pitchfork affords to 80s alternative.

But rock and roll is alive and well, and its not going anywhere, so i should probably unwad my panties and shut up about this particular matter, because its such a straw man to profess the DIY ethic and waste time attack the music industry on any level. But I think it can still be understood as a more proper Yin to the DIY circuits Yang than say, Capitol Records. The proverbial darkness without which light can't exist.

I am somewhat remiss at this point to have neglected to mention that especially during 2003-4 when I was first in college, pitchfork turned me on to a hell of a lot of music I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise, including from college radio. Their best tool for me (in conjunction with was their searchable database of reviews from the past few years, which by the way is no longer easily accessible, and which has inexplicably in my view seen deletions. The stuff they were covering at the time was also really exciting, and the majority of what made their year end list was good shit (note: The Rapture-Echoes was still head-scratchingly their 2003 pick for best album, speculatively because they were trying to push that [*cough* New York] record in order to appear as ultra hip as possible. Oops, called that one wrong.}

But I don't think they really know what's going on anymore. I mean, they don't cover the DIY circuit at all south of Baltimore/D.C, except some West Coast stuff. If you were them, trying to do what they do, wouldn't you actively pursue this? Fuckin Yankees! And they can pay lip service in the reviews but to me these SXSW shows they book (and to a lesser extent their festival) is the damning evidence that its as much them not knowing what they are doing as anything else.

Which is to say you can pay lip service in the reviews, but that's not even really where their focus lies these day, and booking is really the ultimate test, because you have to take sides.

The full Pitchfork SXSW schedule:

12:00 - Girls (Emo's Jr.)
12:30 - The Mae Shi (Emo's)
1:00 - Little Boots (Emo's Jr.)
1:30 - Max Tundra (Emo's)
2:00 - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Emo's Jr.)
2:30 - Woods (Emo's)
3:00 - School of Seven Bells (Emo's Jr.)
3:30 - Wavves (Emo's)
4:00 - Dirty Projectors (Emo's Jr.)
4:30 - King Khan & the Shrines (Emo's)
5:00 - A-Trak/Major Lazer [ft. Diplo] (Emo's Jr.)
5:30 - Department of Eagles (Emo's)

Keep in mind, pitchfork could have gotten WHOEVER THEY WANTED and run this show HOWEVER THEY WANTED at ANY VENUE THEY WANTED, and yet they make THE SAFEST PICKS POSSIBLE WITH A CLEAR REGIONAL BIAS. OK, so who'd they get for their big "were the best, come to our party" rock show (and it goes without saying, I wonder which of these bands is getting paid and which aren't).

The things that stick out about this show to me: 1. Where are all these bands from, oh yeah, New York, LA and San Fransisco. 2. The inclusion of Woods and Wavves. I don't know much about these bands other than to tell you they have already for all intensive purposes "blown up." They were on Todd P (influential NYC promoters) email list in Capital letters for like months for about 4 different shows, which is highly unusual for his mailing list. I also bought a Vivian Girls 7" that is on Woodsist, which, as I was putting 2 and 2 together, is a hip NYCcentric label run by the band Woods. Cool! They are probably cool dudes, and these are bands I would like to see over SXSW if I get a chance...its not the bands, its the regionalism and conservativeness masquerading as edginess that bothers me.

School of Seven Bells is a Brooklyn band soon to open for Black Moth Super Rainbow. I for some reason thought this band was from San Fransisco and related to Deerhoof. Even without the BMSR dates, I would have bet this band has a booking agent, being as though the other shows they are playing over SXSW are at Mohawk (Rhapsody daytime party), Transmission's new Radio Room (Mojo party), this pithfork show at Emos, and, hey, throw in a show at the Urban Outfitters, why not, Bloc Party (remember them?) played there.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (NYC) to me are an interestingly obvious pick (couldn't get Vivian Girls?) Pitchfork has been pushing this storyline like this whole sound is in a revival right now, because they found a band in England that sounds the same (as if there is any creative England --> USA musical interaction right now), but what they say it's a revival of is like Cherry Red 80s indie pop. One band they bring up is The Shop Assistants, and while I only know of, have listened to and enjoyed that band specifically because of press related to these "revival" bands, its sort of ignoring the fact that Cherry Red was the no-respect bastard little brother to Rough Trade in its own time, and while The Shop Assistants wrote some cool songs, Cherry Red got no respect at least partially BECAUSE THEIR ROSTER WASN'T THAT GREAT. So it stands to reason that the non-top dog doing this sound may also be NOT THAT GREAT. But I haven't seen em

Hard to ever complain about the Dirty Projectors (NYC) on a bill, regardless of whether or not its a "safe" pick, but if you're giving this tastemaker/regionalism arguement of mine weight, don't forget this is the same band that at one time used as a press quote (I think from 2005ish) "'The best band in NYC right now' -Todd P"

Then follow that with, shockingly obviously in 2008, a big garage band. Couldn't get the Black Lips? Oh no shit? King Khan, really going out on a limb there. Follow that with big name party DJs (which you stick at Emo's inside???)....and then follow that with Dept. of Eagles (NYC), guys known for their use of texture on a completely unsuitable sound system (less suitable than Emo's Inside even.)

So, pah, I laugh at you Pitchfork!!!! I'd rather go see those bands at the Todd P Mrs. Bea's shows anyways, DUH.

Oh and assuming no bad shit goes dow, our shows are gonna be the shit this year. Like, next level the shit for real. Still getting the slots in...

I love you all

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weird Reggae

That beat has got to have a specific name...anyone know what it is??

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

versatile style

dj screw: do g's get to go to heaven? - richie rich
(1) dj screw: reason for rhyme - mjg & eightball
(2) same song, different version

original mjg track on yt
original richie rich track on yt

i posted the richie rich song because the first version of reason for rhyme uses the richie rich beat and it makes the song so different from not only it's original version, but the second chopped/screwed version as well. you can enjoy both songs on totally different levels. another thing i love about dj screw's mixes. for a particularly great song, he will use it mulitple ways so you can really just trip out on them both and experience all their facets. like when he rewinds a certain lyric and plays it again and again and then just chops it up so the words are barely distinguishable. this happens on the second version. i like the first one a lot though because it lends this slow and sad character to the song once you've come from listening to the richie rich track, they follow each other on dj screw's mix. you can really focus on the lyrics in this one although the climax of the song sounds and feels totally different in each version. the second version is really epic because dj screw takes that climax to a whole nother level and it's so fucking amazing. he really goes wild on the turntables and picks out the craziest rhymes to play over and over again. i love when you can tell that dj screw had a lot of fun screwing the song and how much he just enjoys the song for itself. just the way he treats the best parts of this song can inform you about that i think. he makes you feel it just like it should be felt, in the club, all those bass vibrations, rhymes giving you goosebumps.

ps; new mix soon

Verse 1, MJG, Eightball:
I'm MJG, the nigga with the versatile style
Check your calendar realize that I been here for awhile
When I was young I took the soul up out of rhythm and blues
When hip hop originated slowly paid my dues
And take my shoes, and try to walk a mile in my past
Without them salt shaker sheisters tryin to get in that ass
It's been too long, you motherfuckers fittin to feel the south
Shut your mouth, shut your do you little freak ass hoe
I'm bout tired of all this damn east and west coast shit
Especially when other niggaz tryin to work in this bitch
I paid my dues to the fullest, worked to god damn hard
For you too kill the industry and leave me out of a job
You niggaz strain yourself, to maintain yourself
And now you playin with enough rope to actually hang yourself
But you don't care, hell, you constantly fallin deep in the plot
Mesmerized from all the bitches and the money you got
You must of forgot they said that rap would never last ten years
And if your selfish to the fact, I'm tryin to have a career
Now listen here, what do we have, we got probable cause
To keep the pen on the paper and the glock in your drawers, nigga

Remember back when we used to do this shit for fun
Bein the dopest on my block made me ranked number one
No gun, just a pen and notebook paper by the sheet
In the crib, gettin funky off the next nigga beat
No electronics to make the shit that I wrote the chronic
Shit sick enough to bring vomit from your stomach
Quick as a comet, shield your eyes from the UV
Groovey, like a nigga from a Batman movie
Real about the shit that I express over dope beats
You can't say it was fake unless you grew up on my street
Concrete head niggaz, runnin from FED niggaz,
Po' ass scared niggaz, that came out dead niggaz
And all I ever wanted to be was an emcee
Did a little dirt and found it wasn't for me
Poetry flowin through my bloodstream like a drug
I'm addicted to rhyme because I love the buzz, nigga

My reason for rhyme
Because I'm true to this rap
My reason for rhyme
Because I'm real with this rap
My reason for rhyme
It ain't all about the cheese
Even though fat lp's can make a nigga g's

Verse 2, MJG:
My reason for rhymin, while I'm in, a position to be tellin
It's not about the fame and them bitches who be yellin
At my concerts, one verse, dicks up, quick fuck
Lies start spreadin now you tangled in a mix up
I gits up, do sits up, and squeeze my mental mindrame back in order
And use my hand as a tape recorder
Jottin down all the information placed in front of me
The good time, the bad time, the way I think it oughta be
Now follow G, can you comprehend?
If you can then drink a shot of Hen
Hit this hand on your silver end
Friends don't be friends and foes don't be foes
However the way you bring it, that's how you want it, I suppose
I can stay up out the game keep my aim on my paper
And I'll be sure to keep my pimpin real with Tony Draper
And I'll potray the man that I'm known to be
Dim the lights (Hip-tie) for the MJG

Verse 3, Eightball:
Give me a crowd of wild niggaz who love real hip hop
And watched smoke get soaked up, like water in a mop
Drop presidents among me and my own folk
And let that bullshit walk among the past with ghosts
Ain't no hope of bein takin seriously
When limited avenues are given to me
So, naturally I take shit and make shit mine
Jackin only for position in this thing called rhyme
Freestyle, not great, but if you wait for a second
I could write some shit down that could get a gold record
Thought about not the first thing that I think about
MJG and Eightball and hard is how we comin out
Runnin out, niggaz who can't hold on like En Vogue
Even though I moved out the mound I'm still ten toed
Down for the shit I do, the Suave House crew
True to this shit, because this shit is so true

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So I made some playlists for you and your other.

Also, check out this audio blog. Kieran from Ecstatic Sunshine has been posting some great records. And by great, I mean, great records that I would post.

Random question: Does your subjective reality aesthetically correlate with mine? Prove.

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Favorite Song Special Edition

So, I was at a party this weekend and a friend of mine used the phrase "it ain't hard to tell". Naturally, I busted out the first few lines of the Nas song, and surprisingly I was met with confusion from the two females I was talking with. They'll remain nameless, but both of their names start with the letter C, one of them had a short-lived stint as a contributor to this blog, and the other DJs a country night at Spiderhaus on Sundays.

Anyway, I think both would consider themselves hip-hop fans, but didn't know this definition-of-a-classic. So I thought, HEY, TIME FOR A SPECIAL EDITION

I feel like It Was Written is a really overlooked album, but let's be honest, Illmatic is clearly the reason anybody still pays Nas any attention.

I once read a really apt quote that nailed Illmatic's importance. It asserted that if the genre of hip-hop was wiped clean and disappeared from history, you could reconstruct everything from Illmatic. There aren't many albums you can say that about.

Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell (divshare)

This remix was released on an EP of Danger Mouse's early mash-up material. He puts Nas over a sinister Portishead sample and it sounds great.

Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell (Danger Mouse Remix) (divshare)

A nice little remix of One Love, goes over well in loungey hip-hop sets.

Nas - One Love (Dimension Ball Remix) (divshare)


Recommended reading- the lyrics to Ain't Hard to Tell are after the jump.

So, I was at a party this weekend and a friend of mine used the phrase "it ain't hard to tell". Naturally, I busted out the first few lines of the Nas song, but was met with confusion from the two females I was talking with. They'll remain nameless, but both of their names start with the letter C, one of them had a short-lived stint as a contributor to this blog, and the other DJs a country night at Spiderhaus on Sundays.

Anyway, I think both would consider themselves hip-hop fans, but didn't know this definition-of-a-classic. So I thought, HEY, TIME FOR A SPECIAL EDITION

I feel like It Was Written is a really overlooked album, but let's be honest, Illmatic is clearly the reason anybody still pays Nas any attention.

I once read a really apt quote that nailed Illmatic's importance. It asserted that if all of hip-hop disappeared, if the genre was wiped clean, you could reconstruct everything from Illmatic. There aren't many albums you can say that about.

Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell


Nas - It Ain't Hard to Tell (Danger Mouse Remix)


This remix was released on an EP of Danger Mouse's early mash-up material. He puts Nas over that sinister Portishead sample and it sounds great.

A nice little remix of One Love, goes over well in loungey hip-hop sets.

Nas - One Love (Dimension Ball Remix)


"It Ain't Hard To Tell"

It ain't hard to tell, I excel, then prevail
The mic is contacted, I attract clientele
My mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper's breath
I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps
Deep like The Shinin', sparkle like a diamond
Sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket linin
Hit the Earth like a comet, invasion
Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazin
Cause in my physical, I can express through song
Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong
I drank Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell
From the spliff that I lift and inhale, it ain't hard to tell

The buddha monk's in your trunk, turn the bass up
Not stories by Aesop, place your loot up, parties I shoot up
Nas, I analyze, drop a jew-el, inhale from the L
School a fool well, you feel it like braille
It ain't hard to tell, I kick a skill like Shaquille holds a pill
Vocabulary spills I'm +Ill+
plus +Matic+, I freak beats slam it like Iron Shiek
Jam like a tech with correct techniques
So analyze me, surprise me, but can't magmatize me
Scannin while you're plannin ways to sabotage me
I leave em froze like her-on in your nose
Nas'll rock well, it ain't hard to tell

This rhythmatic explosion, is what your frame of mind has chosen
I'll leave your brain stimulated, niggaz is frozen
Speak with criminal slang, begin like a violin
End like Leviathan, it's deep well let me try again
Wisdom be leakin out my grapefruit troop
I dominate break loops, givin mics men-e-straul cycles
Street's disciple, I rock beats that's mega trifle
And groovy but smoother than moves by Villanova
You're still a soldier, I'm like Sly Stone in Cobra
Packin like a rasta in the weed spot
Vocals'll squeeze glocks, MC's eavesdrop
Though they need not to sneak
My poetry's deep, I never fell
Nas's raps should be locked in a cell
It ain't hard to tell

I love you all

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

taking the flyer game to the next level, son

The next level after this one is high resolution. From there, who knows where we can go.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Yosuke Yamashita Trio 1972

from "ecstacy of the angels" by koji wakamatsu

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

nuggets: original artyfacts from the first psychedelic era 1965-1968

wiki page
fantastic collection of insane psychedelic tracks. some of my favorite songs are linked separately. i can't believe there's no dukes of stratosphear on here, coulda sworn there was...

vol 1 part 1
vol 1 part 2
1- The Electric Prunes: "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)"
2- The Standells: "Dirty Water"
3- The Strangeloves: "Night Time"
4- The Knickerbockers: "Lies"
5- The Vagrants: "Respect"
6- Mouse: "A Public Execution"
7- The Blues Project: "No Time Like the Right Time"
8- The Shadows of Knight: "Oh Yeah"
9- The Seeds: "Pushin' Too Hard" // (youtube vid from a tv appearance in 1967)
10- The Barbarians: "Moulty" 11- The Remains: "Don't Look Back"
12- The Magicians: "An Invitation to Cry"
13- The Castaways: "Liar, Liar"
14- The 13th Floor Elevators: "You're Gonna Miss Me"
15- Count Five: "Psychotic Reaction"
16- The Leaves: "Hey Joe"
17- Michael and the Messengers: "Romeo & Juliet"
18- The Cryan' Shames: "Sugar and Spice"
19- The Amboy Dukes: "Baby Please Don't Go"
20- Blues Magoos: "Tobacco Road"
21- The Chocolate Watchband: "Let's Talk About Girls"
22- The Mojo Men: "Sit Down, I Think I Love You"
23- The Third Rail: "Run, Run, Run"
24- Sagittarius: "My World Fell Down"
25- Nazz: "Open My Eyes"
26- The Premiers: "Farmer John"
27- The Magic Mushrooms: "It's-a-Happening"

vol 2 part 1
vol 2 part 2
1- The Music Machine: "Talk Talk"
2- The Del-Vetts: "Last Time Around"
3- The Human Beinz: "Nobody But Me"
4- Kenny & the Kasuals: "Journey to Tyme"
5- The Sparkles: "No Friend of Mine"
6- The Turtles: "Outside Chance"
7- The Litter: "Action Woman"
8- The Elastik Band: "Spazz"
9- The Chocolate Watchband: "Sweet Young Thing"
10- Strawberry Alarm Clock: "Incense and Peppermints"
11- The Brogues: "I Ain't No Miracle Worker"
12- Love: "7 and 7 Is"
13- The Outsiders: "Time Won't Let Me"
14- The Squires: "Going All the Way"
15- The Shadows of Knight: "I'm Gonna Make You Mine"
16- Kim Fowley: "The Trip"
17- The Seeds: "Can't Seem to Make You Mine"
18- The Remains: "Why Do I Cry"
19- The Beau Brummels: "Laugh, Laugh"
20- The Nightcrawlers: "The Little Black Egg"
21- The Gants: "I Wonder"
22- The Five Americans: "I See the Light"
23- The Woolies: "Who Do You Love"
24- Swingin' Medallions: "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)"
25- The Merry-Go-Round: "Live"
26- Paul Revere & the Raiders: "Steppin' Out"
27- Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: "Diddy Wah Diddy"
28- The Sonics: "Strychnine"
29- Syndicate of Sound: "Little Girl"
30- Blues Magoos: "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet"
31- Max Frost and the Troopers: "Shape of Things to Come"

vol 3 part 1
vol 3 part 2
1- The Hombres: "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)"
2- The Golliwogs: "Fight Fire"
3- New Colony Six: "At the River's Edge"
4- The Daily Flash: "Jack of Diamonds"
5- Lyme & Cybelle: "Follow Me"
6- The Choir: "It's Cold Outside"
7- The Rare Breed: "Beg, Borrow and Steal"
8- Sir Douglas Quintet: "She's About a Mover"
9- The Music Explosion: "Little Bit o' Soul"
10- The "E" Types: "Put the Clock Back on the Wall"
11- The Palace Guard: "Falling Sugar"
12- The Gestures: "Run, Run, Run"
13- The Rationals: "I Need You"
14- The Humane Society: "Knock, Knock"
15- The Groupies: "Primitive"
16- The Sonics: "Psycho"
17- The Lyrics: "So What!!"
18- The Lollipop Shoppe: "You Must Be a Witch"
19- The Balloon Farm: "A Question of Temperature"
20- Mouse and the Traps: "Maid of Sugar - Maid of Spice"
21- The Uniques: "You Ain't Tuff"
22- The Standells: "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White"
23- The Mojo Men: "She's My Baby"
24- Unrelated Segments: "Story of My Life"
25- The Third Bardo: "I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time"
26- We the People: "Mirror of Your Mind"
27- The Shadows of Knight: "Bad Little Woman"
28- The Music Machine: "Double Yellow Line"
29- The Human Expression: "Optical Sound"
30- The Amboy Dukes: "Journey to the Center of the Mind"

vol 4 part 1
vol 4 part 2
1- The Chocolate Watchband: "Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)"
2- The Leaves: "Too Many People"
3- The Brigands: "(Would I Still Be) Her Big Man"
4- The Barbarians: "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl"
5- Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs: "Wooly Bully"
6- The Strangeloves: "I Want Candy"
7- The Kingsmen: "Louie Louie"
8- The Knickerbockers: "One Track Mind"
9- The Wailers: "Out of Our Tree"
10- Harbinger Complex: "I Think I'm Down"
11- The Dovers: "What Am I Going to Do"
12- The Charlatans: "Codine"
13- The Mystery Trend: "Johnny Was a Good Boy"
14- Clefs of Lavender Hill: "Stop - Get a Ticket"
15- The Monks: "Complication"
16- The Sonics: "The Witch"
17- The Electric Prunes: "Get Me to the World on Time"
18- The Other Half: "Mr. Pharmacist"
19- Richard and the Young Lions: "Open Up Your Door"
20- Paul Revere & the Raiders: "Just Like Me"
21- We the People: "You Burn Me Up and Down"
22- The Lemon Drops: "I Live in the Springtime"
23- Fenwyck: "Mindrocker"
24- The Rumors: "Hold Me Now"
25- The Underdogs: "Love's Gone Bad"
26- The Standells: "Why Pick on Me"
27- The Zakary Thaks: "Bad Girl"
28- GONN: "Blackout of Gretely"
29- The Bees: "Voices Green and Purple"
30- Davie Allan & the Arrows: "Blues' Theme"

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LazySong Wednesday

I realized a minute ago that HEY, IT'S WEDNESDAY.

I was jolted to this realization as I was picking out some songs for this queer night at Airport Bar tonight and I stumbled upon my favorite song. It's the dance version of December 63!

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - December 63 (Dance Version)

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Hercules & Love Affair Video

Hercules and Love Affair do a pretty righteous version of Daniel Wang's "Like Some Dream", which I posted here a few months ago, before transitioning into their own song "True False / Fake Real". Props to the trombone player, he's pulling off some nice trills even though he's puffing out his cheeks which is like the first thing they teach you not to do in middle school band class.

If you were wondering, that black guy dancing around doesn't play an instrument or sing in any of the other videos, he just dances around.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Rancho Fearless SXSW 2k9 Prediction # 2

Day 3

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Dark Chocolate Love

I don't know how you spent your Valentine's day, but I spent it in the beat factory cranking out this smash-hit. Vocals courtesy of my co-worker Lil' Troj.

Lil' Troj - Dark Chocolate Love

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ensoniq Esq-1: First Impressions

picked up one of these and this is the first 20 or so minutes ive spent with it.

the sounds are mainly presets (one exception), and are, in order of appearance:
KICK (doing all the drums actually)
wobbly bass courtesy noggin

whoever put the idea in my head that these things lack in the low end can kiss mine also...i really hope you have a sub or some good speakers.
this basically makes me feel like im in the second world of sonic the hedgehog.

The Ensoniq ESQ-1 is a hybrid synthesizer / sequencer. Hybrid in this case being defined as using digital sources for the oscillator waveforms, then run through tried and true analog filters. This provides for a pretty unique synth: without the drift and detuning that could be found in a VCO, many more base waveform possibilities, but all run through an analog signal path for really 'warm' 'phat' 'authentic' sound coloration.

Not to mention the modulation possibilities are really intense...3 independent (and equal) LFOs, FOUR envelope generators (which are not your standard ADSR type, but instead the Time/Level style), velocity + keyboard + modwheel.

The editing is beautiful...dedicated buttons for each function (filter, DCAs 1-4, LFOs, ENVs, etc) and then a slider that has actually held up surprisingly well. The screen is a gorgeous green/turquoise on black alphanumeric display (think old alarm clock).

There is a damn near flawless free vsti emulation of the bigger brother, the SQ80 over at

and finally, the king of all youtubes:

I love you all

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

John Wesley Coleman // I wrote a poem

Hey I wrote a poem I'd like to share with you. This is not strictly "blog material" per se, but maybe it is, and it is related to music, so heres my story.

My poem was really fucking directly inspired by a poetry book called "American Trashcan" by John Wesley Coleman, that came with a CD release (I believe) on Monofonus Press.

That may be untrue, but what is definitely true is that JWC aka Wes is a guitarist in the Golden Boys, and when my friend Chris bought the new Golden Boys vinyl, he was given this book as an added gift. I read some of it at his house, really liked it, and he let me borrow it and I read the rest of it at home. It was also good because I was "freaking out" and there was some words in the poetry which said "its OK to freak out once in a while" so that took "freaking out" off the list of things i was freaking out about, which in turn really helped me untangle some things in my brain. Also his poetry is really funny.

Here's two of my favorite of Wes's poems from the book and then my own. His poetry is reprinted without permission, but I'm assuming its OK, and also, if you are smart and have some change lyin around you will go buy the book, or if you are even slightly more savvy, go to a Golden Boys show, get the record, and ask for the book of poetry free of charge. Also, these aren't strictly speaking "representative" of the book, they are just ones I really like.

I HAVE a Girlfriend
Don't FORGET why?
You pee your pants

My Dog's Butt stinks.
I feed her bananas,
tortillas, bratwursts
turkey franks, Ramen
noodle, beer, cheese,
egos, syrup, shrimp fried rice,
cheeseburger, french fries, tea,
light bulbs, boots, shoes,
eyeglasses, cell phones, toilet paper,
toothbrushes, underwear, socks,
cassette tapes, compact discs,
Records, artwork, lyric sheets,
twenty dollar bills, DVDs, videocassette,
dishes, mattresses, pillows,
objects, dog food - Puppy Chow,
my soul. She drinks my tears
too, I am 29 years old and
my dog was born on Christmas
and is one year old or seven
in dog years.

There is also an awesome picture on the next page that goes with this one.

This one here is my poem. Its called "63, 81, 63, 81, 63, 81". If my bandmates let me, I will start doing some variation during this new Reverse X-Rays song, and maybe we will come out with a new record sometime and I will get to put it in poem form in the liners somewhere, since otherwise it will never see "release" given the fact that I will never write enough poems to even make my own DIY book of poems. And I tend to hate zines with poems in it. Also, I dont care if this is "good" or not, but i do hope you like it!

"63, 81, 63, 81, 63, 81"

63, 81, 63, 81, 63, 81

Take refuge in the imaginary
Don't limit your communications to words,
but communicate with words,
imaginary words,
and also
imaginary numbers

It is fascist to start every line, of
With a capitol letter,
But people used to do that
The king liked it.

They had to Fight For Their Right To Party
and also to start lines of poetry with lower case words.
and numbers.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

First Impressions: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

I'm on The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's myspace page as I write. In my nice pair of Sennheiser headphones the sound is really cavernous. Essentially we've got new-wave tempo and feel in a twee pop giddyness level underneath a typical but not heavy shoegaze sheen. It must be nice to be a shoegazer band today -- production levels have risen to the point that massive sheets of effects don't blur into a tinny ring of distortion. If anything, this is making me really excited to hear a remastered "Loveless." On its own though, this band is giving out a completely missable set of pop songs. Take it or leave it.

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Magic Vision

this is how things actually looked in 1978.

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One thing I hate about CDs...I used to have an Oscar Peterson CD, but I lost it. I wish I had it right now to listen to. Here's some Oscar Peterson in youtube audio quality. The video starts like 10 seconds into the song. Look at those hands on those keys, man.

Japan 1983

Right, so yeah, I quit listening to jazz. I far from exhausted it, I just quit wanting to listen to it at any given moment really. It became distant in my thoughts. E. Saucepot told me that he had gotten away from hip-hop and was recently excited because he felt like he was getting back into it. I think it may be a similar thing. Maybe more hip-hop and more more jazz in '09. Or maybe I'll want to listen to a whole bunch of rappers not rapping on autotune (j/k. that joke is soooo '08.)

Anyways, yeah Oscar Peterson is one of the best. All the guys at UT Music School liked Bill Evans the best but I think that is fucking bullshit. BTW, thats a knock on the way they taught music at the UT Music school, not a knock on Bill Evans. Bill Evans is great, but he shouldn't have been everybody's favorite, just because people have different personalities. There was no one at music school I felt like I could trust to give me jazz or classical music that I specifically would like. That's why if you go to grad school for music, you need to go for one specific professor, or maybe for the faculty. If I went to school for music again I would get so much more out of it.

Bill Evans, "I Loves You Porgy" Solo - NYC 1969

Ok, but here's Nina Simone doing the same song, and tell me, doesnt that just MOVE YOU IN YOUR SOUL

I mean, its fundamentally an unfair comparison, because shes fucking Nina Simone, and its not like people can sing that song like that just because they want to and have a pretty good voice. She fucking owns that song, no one can ever touch it. But I don't believe that side is taught as readily in school, and that's why your average mediocre jazz university student sounds like an idiot wanker.

Wise old lady Nina Simone (still got it) tells you whats important in life and makes you wish she was your grandma:

I think I figured out what this whole Lil' Wayne rock and roll thing is all about....

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boogie Classics: Mighty 7 and Mtume

So there's this great blog called Beat Electric that I frequent on the regular. I found this Mighty 7 track on there, it is killer. Check out an interview with the producer, Gee Bello, on Discoclassics.

Mighty 7 - Call Me - 1984

Another great track that Beatelectric posted recently is Mtume's Juicy Fruit. You'll immediately recognize this as the sample from Biggie's Juicy. It's amazing how little they did with the source material, they even used the hook. To my credit, I found this record at a yard sale a few months ago and picked it out based on the cover.

I asked the owner about it and his response was, "Man, you don't know Juicy Fruit? That was the jam." 2 dollars. Count it.

Mtume - Juicy Fruit - 1983

Also on that Juicy Fruit LP is the sample source for the dance track "Move You Hips" by Tek Box.

Tek Box - Move Your Hips - 2007

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life is flashing before your eyes

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MPP Lyrics

these seem pretty legit to me. I know you've been singin it wrong.

here ya go

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So, a few weeks ago, I received an email from a guy named Rob from Boston who wanted to restart the anonymous answering machine. He seemed to get the idea, and seeing as how I'd lost my steam on it, I awarded him the ever-coveted admin privileges and VOILA ... the anonymous answering machine lives once more!

Call the number and leave your confession, noise, secret recording, experiment, dialogue, whatever.


Here's the website for the answering machine (all of the old recordings are still up for your perusal).

Also, here is Rob's record label/distro.

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Favorite Song Wednesday: The Return of Sam Cooke

I had been giving Sam Cooke a little rest for a few months, but it's hard to put down the man's records.

The live recording from the Copa is an interesting counterpoint to the more popular Harlem Square Live recording. While that one is like a great ball of fire chasing you down a narrow corridor, the Copa performance is a cozy fireplace in your living room.

The story goes that the Copa Cabana in New York was the venue that Sam Cooke most wanted to succeed at. Early in his career he played there, and self-admittedly bombed. This recording is from his second try, where he undeniably knocks'em dead.

I've posted three tracks from the performance. The first is a medley of For Sentimental Reasons, You Send Me, and Otis Redding's Try a Little Tenderness. The second is a beautiful ballad that I hadn't heard before. Lastly, I've included the Bob Dylan cover Blowin in the Wind, a song that Sam apparently admired and wished he had written.

Sam Cooke - Medley (Live at the Copa)

Sam Cooke - When I Fall in Love (Live at the Copa)

Sam Cooke - Blowin in the Wind (Live at the Copa)

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Lonely Island- I'm On A Boat (ft. T-Pain) - Album Version

I'm on a boat bitch.
Don't you ever forget.

I love you all

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i own one of these

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Boogie Corporation

Boogie Corporation is a UK based production group, or maybe just one guy, who has put out a few records on historic Machester electro-funk DJ Greg Wilson's 2020 Visions label.

Boogie Corporation - Junk

The drums on this track are just about perfect. The kick is there but not obnoxious, the hand-clap is big, the hi-hats shuffle like they're alive, and that cow-bell keeps the whole thing moving. And don't forget about that tambourine.

The synth bass stabs give way to a funky wah guitar with a lo-fi drive to it that adds great dynamics. Bonus points for the weird-ass saw-wave clav in stereo and ambient synth blurps that come around just when you need them.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

In Search of the Lost Perfect Rager

2009 is starting off on the right foot. I think we were wandering in the wilderness for 2008. Maybe this will be "the year the indie kids started dancing again, again".

I believe it was J.T.T. aka someclouds who last night said "2009 is starting off a lot like my 2006, and 2006 was a great year for me." While I couldn't tell you personally what I was doing in 2006, I shared the sentiment, that somehow this calendar year was set to be a good one.

I don't know if people are getting back to the basics, more aware of the good vibes that lead to different sorts of creativities, or if there is a good moon that I am unknowingly taking for granted. It is certain however that Austin Texas scenic renaissances are far from unique, unless you are considering their frequency of reoccurrence, it which case, from a geographical perspective, it's incredibly unique. If you are interested in a better point of view than my own on this issue, you should read what the Lorax aka O had to say about it on the RXR myspace blog.

But anyways, while maybe only tangently related, last night at Schwaushberry Farms, Matt Schwaush's 24th birthday party took shape (no pun intended) as one of my favorite forms of this creativity---the monster perfect rager. I have not seen the likes of one in quite some time, and though they seemingly effortlessly existed in frequency for the early part of my college career, they tailed off, and I'd say the last one that approached this one was probably, oh, maybe the Talking Heads In Space party which was now almost a full 2 years ago. What follows is a chronicle of my evening...I have made this factual to the best of my ability, but due to the state of inebriation I was in for a large part of the evening, is probably not 100% accurate.


Rolling up circa 10:40 to find a healthily unstarted party, I joked to biking partner F. Rocketjockey that maybe the police had already come and shut the thing down. This was sort of an oblique reference to Matt's first party there, which had bands starting at 9 and was already pretty full blown by 10:40. Beer was in the fridge. I always prefer parties where the beer is in the fridge and the guests are just invited to go in the fridge like it's their house. BYOB was suggested, but due to the fridge policy, all BYOB ended up being for the party, as opposed to personal consumption. I find this to be a plus...sort of a semi-mandatory sharing thing on the beer, but if you want to pack yourself a flask, that's in the party guidelines as well.

And there was plenty of liquor and mixers. I'm not a liquor human myself, but the consideration to those that are always goes appreciated in a way that disperses good vibes across the party. Mailable as we are, ultimately people like to party the way they like to party, and drink selection goes a major way towards helping them accomplish that.

I arrived to essentially a hangout consisting of the hosts, the guests who would choose to come early, and friends from out of town. I find that hanging out with friends from out of town is a perfect early party experience. The most common alternative in my experience is 8-20 dudes standing around the keg, and to me there is always an air of oppression about that, like you are just waiting for the ladies to show up, and this is what the party is all about, as opposed to pure celebratory raging. Be they dudes or ladies, friends from out of town are always a superior alternative, and better yet, the out of towners came as a crew. Also it means the party doesn't really start with "the first people who show up to the party," but rather with people who are basically just hanging out. It was a situational organic pre-party conveniently at the location of the actual party.

It was apparent early party points must be awarded for a truly amazing theme and excellent interactive decor. The entire floor was covered in geometric cutouts, some in 3D, and the whole living room was rigged with flashing X-mas lights, eliminating the need for an excess of harsh white lighting. Markers were provided, and a sheet of paper was hung over the commode for people to draw shapes on. There were little sticky shapes that you could enhance your costuming with, and become a part of the theme even if you didn't bring anything. There was a guest book where you could sign your name, address, and what shape you were. There were even magnetic shapes all over the fridge.

I should also mention that I checked my watch when I went to grab my second beer and was surprised to find that it was already 11:45. I was so caught up in excellent relaxed conversation, that I managed to drink that first beer over the course of an entire hour, and didn't even notice. That is highly unusual for me. But there was no rush.

One more thing--it was obvious from the very start that when the time was right there would be an awesome dance party.

~Friends from out of town, pre-party at party location
~lateish start
~beer in fridge, variety of alcohol choices
~excellent, original theme, decor, and lighting
~confidence that the party would at some point become a dance party


Something about Schwaushberry Farms---this was the second major party there. As you may or may not know, the first party was something of a grand unveiling. A giant temple was erected, a badass mural whipped up, a path created through a bamboo forest, a shed set up as a chill zone, and that first party was everyone's first interaction with it. It was great, but IMO like a fine wine, this setup has really come into its own with age (and I imagine will continue to do so.) No longer was Schwaushberry Farms to be marveled was simply there to be enjoyed.

The best thing about all the shit that is back there and comprises the complex, is the disparate environments created that you naturally travel between at the same party, and the variety of social interactions you find yourself in due to these environments. There is only so much space for people in the bamboo forest, so if you are looking for a conversation with one or two people and less random traffic, your best bet is to go there. (Also, you are in a fucking bamboo forest. That's awesome.) The shed is an excellent place to go if you want to sit around in a circle with 6-12 people. The pyramid is a nice place to enjoy an eagle eye on the party, and if you desire an interaction with some random foot traffic. Then there is a dance party inside for when you are ready for it (or when people are collectively ready for it). All these environments also have the effect of supporting an extremely large number of party goers without the party ever seeming crowded.

Which, if you are having as much fun as you are probably having, is not something you will really think about or even notice. It's just a testament to the space during the middle of the party.

I barely noticed the time flying by, but can still recall specific conversations I had based on where I was physically at the party. I talked to friends and strangers alike with equal ease (highly unusual) and the level of conversation was noticeably very high. For hours I just wandered from one conversation I wanted to be in to to the next.

I also think that in this middle stage of the party beer from the fridge again manifests its advantages over a keg. Its possible to offer to grab people beers when it doesn't involve the hassle and unassured hygiene of carrying 3-4 plastic cups across a party (quicker, too). The net gain out of this is that if you are having a good conversation with at least a few people, but are out of beer, you can go run and get beers without having to end your can just offer to grab everyone a beer. By not having a keg you also minimize the threat of the certain randomly occurring conflicts that arise with negative keg-sniffing elements, namely, tap-stealer kid and there-is-a-15%-chance-I-might-be-an-aggro-tagger dude. On a separate note, I also find the keg is a place where you become trapped in awkwardly abbreviated or overly small talk oriented conversations most often, which, over the course of a night, can lead to a bad vibes association with the act of getting a beer, which as we all know should be an experience of pure unadulterated joy.

In addition to out of town friends, there were also 2 dudes from out of town who arrived in this middle portion not knowing anyone but were easily integrated into the party. To me this is a serious indicator of overall party mood and one of the prime signs that great partying may be approaching. One of the guys was a couch surfer, just passing through on his bike ride to San Fran, the other an art school grad friend-of-a-friend who had just moved to Austin. I noticed both having a great time and well integrated into the party throughout the night.

After my initial hour in which i went through one beer, my drinking sort of let loose here and I would care to guess that I consuming between 2-4 beers an hour, until the booze ran out (I got the last beer.) Wastedness gradually sunk in. To draw an aside, thinking about this reminds me of one of my strikingly finer moments as a human being. I was like 21 or maybe 22 and somehow in this argument with a high schooler who was trying to tell me how he could drink me under the table, or how drunk he got last night or something macho like that. I was like "oh yeah, how much did you drink?" and he was like "6 beers" and I was like "6 beers?" and he then said "and 2 glasses of wine" and I said, "oh yeah? 6 beers and 2 glasses of wine?" and he said "yeah, and 4 shots." and then somewhat aggravatedly asked "Why what do you drink?" and I said "I don't know, I don't count my drinks." It was somewhat of a strange booyah moment, but ultimately completely absurd and immature that I was egging him on in the first place.

But the point stands. I started drinking a lot. Martin threw in a shot of whiskey for me somewhere in there, (thx Martin!) That guy travels prepared.

~different partying locations / spacial orientations / lighting effects
~lots of people, but nowhere was crowded
~high level of conversation
~no shoratge of beer or liquor
~got the last beer
~no negative elements crashing the party
~getting wasted but never noticing it
~strangers welcome and having a good time


Great parties IMO are always a balance between detail oriented consideration for personal choice and the necessary fascism of an itinerary/theme. The itinerary/theme is what makes a party feel unique and creates a new environment for party goers to interact in, but if its too overbearing then it becomes the activity, rather than the backdrop. This is one thing I love about Halloween...because everyone participates to the extreme in costuming (the theme), but due to the nature of the holiday, that is still the backdrop and not the focus of the night.

At some point, all the conversations to be had got at least their fair shot at fruition, and it was time to get down to business. The cops had come, leading the host to shoo people inside the house, where the music was still cranking out the jams, albeit down at a volume that suggested "wait til the cops leave". To me, if it happens with a certain amount of serendipity, (which it did) that can be a really special part of the party, especially if people have been instructed to go inside or leave (which they were). It builds the anticipation while simultaneously transferring the serious dancers to where they can do some serious damage. It's like having a gas leak concentrating in your house. That dance party was about to explode.

E. Saucepot was manning the wheels of steel when he got the all-clear and recranked the volume. The groove built across a few songs and he quickly through the switch into overdrive with "Lovetrain" and then a double shot, "Let's Groove Tonight," and "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire back to back. The power went out during "Let's Groove Tonight" and the crowd kept it going by clapping and singing how the chorus goes. There were soul train conga lines formed on 2 separate occasions, during that span and it was the highlight of the dance party for me. I also finally bore witness to Saucepot using the headphones as a microphone with his best Magic EL-J impersonation, "how about it for some Earth, Wind, and Fiaaaaaaahhhh," or something like that. It eventually got too hot inside that room, ending the dance party, but it was long enough that people got out of it what they needed. And I think that it was the kind of dance party that hints at greater dance parties to come.

~started all at once, ended all at once
~ultimate dance party
~conga lines (twice)
~double shot of Earth Wind and Fire
~E. Saucepot finally screaming into his headphones like a microphone


At this point in the party I was fucking wasted. Usually, at some point over such a long night I will run into some bad vibes and think "that situation would have been better had I not been wasted" and it will slow down my drinking, but that never happened. After the dance party ended, there was some randomish wandering around outside. It became semi-apparent that the party had gotten out of control, the neighbors were pissed, and everyone was being told to get the fuck out. There was another party, of KVRXers down the block that I had been meaning to get to all night, but I had just been having too much fun, and there was a semi-exodus in that direction. I felt like I was gonna puke. We hung out at that party for a bit. There were definitely some ultimate bros I shot the shit with for a while, and while there was some dude that went aggro on me for wearing a tie (wtf?) with "these aren't the droids you're looking for"-like deftness I managed to avoid an altercation I was in no state to deal with. I think everyone was getting kicked out of that party too, and I took the opportunity to go back and bang on a locked door to Schwaushberry Farms where I was mercifully greeted and let back in to pass out on the couch. Saucepot ended up passing out there too and there was some ex-roommate post-rager ultimate bro time as I was sobering up enough to be able to get to sleep. The next morning we went to Aranda's, for coffee and cheap Mexican food: the perfect ending. And that is why I will always love Burnet Road, although I fucked up and ordered the Flautas instead of the Enchiladas which I realized is what I really wanted after the Flautas came.

~party ends at one time---everyone kicked out
~after the party ended, we went to another party
~pass out without transporting myself home
~varying ultimate bro-times
~Cheap Mexican food hangover brunch at Arandas #3.

Yeah, that was fucking a perfect monster rager. Put it up there with the "is the AC record the best of 2009?" questions, but I'm excited for the next 11 months.

I love you all

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Preview Super Roots 10

So it's old news that Boredoms are rolling out Super Roots 10 sometime, or maybe they have already, I'm kinda unclear on that part... But if you're like me this is pretty exciting stuff. As I was just reading a few blogs this morning I got pointed toward one that features the Lindstrom remix of Ant 10, a track from Super Roots 10. I don't know how to re-imbed the track from where it is so I'll just put the link here... scroll down about halfway and hit play. I'm impressed. Lindstrom is really great. This blog doesn't seem too bad either.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

boringest news story ever

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

dj screw : tupac - it ain't easy

tupac - it ain't easy by dj screw
--and an alternative version

it takes me a while to get through a mixtape, usually i'll listen to each one all the way through at work and add the songs with beats and lyrics that catch my ear to a playlist and then i go home and figure out track names and rearrange the tracks into other playlists for my personal purposes. so i noticed this tupac song but i didn't pay that much attention to it until i was driving khrystean home late one night and i turned the stereo up because i could tell the song was about to get good. i love this song because it has this beautiful, sunny, happy-go-lucky beat to it that makes me think of driving around in the summer sunshine, "getting high, watchin the cops roll by", "late night hangin out til the sunrise". it's just so great. and then tupac is rapping about prison, having nightmares about getting killed, dreaming of being a rap star, his cousins dying...really dark stuff. i really like the contrast of light and dark in the music and lyrics.

Keepin it real
I take a shot of Henessey now I'm strong enough to face the madness
Nickel bag full of sess weed laced with hash
Phone calls from my niggaz on the, other side
Two childhood friends just died, I couldn't cry
A damn shame, when will we ever change
And what remains from a twelve gauge to the brain
Arguments with my Boo is true
I spend mo' time with my niggaz than I do with you
But everywhere it's the same thang, that's the game
I'll be damned if a thang changed, fuck the fame
I'll be hustling to make a mill-ion, lord knows
Ain't no love for us ghetto children, so we cold
Rag top slowin down, time to stop for gas
Beep my horn for a hoochie with a proper ass, uhh
It ain't easy, that's my motto
Drinkin Tanqueray straight out the bottle
Everybody wanna know if I'm insane
My baby mama gotta mind full of silly games
And all the drama got me stressin like I'm hopeless, I can't cope
Me and the homies smokin roaches, cause we broke
Late night hangin out til the sunrise gettin high
Watchin the cops roll by
It ain't easy... that's right

It ain't easy, being me
Will I see the penitentiary, or will I stay free

I can't sleep niggaz plottin on to kill me while I'm dreamin
Wake up sweaty and screamin, cause I can hear them suckers schemin
Probably paranoid, problem is, them punks be fantasizin
A brother bite the bullet, open fire and I died
I wonder why this the way it is, even now
Lookin out for these killer kids, cause they wild
Bill Clinton can you recognize a nigga representin
Doin twenty to life in San Quentin
Gettin calls from my nigga Mike Tyson, ain't nuttin nice
Yo 'Pac, do something righteous witcha life
And even thou you innocent you still a nigga, so they figure
Rather have you behind bars than triggers
But I'm hold ya down and holla Thug Life, lickin shots
Til I see my niggaz free on the block
But no it ain't easy, hahahah
Til I see my niggaz free, on the block, oh
It ain't easy

Lately been reminiscin
bout Peppermint Schnapps in Junior High hit the block
Keep an eye on the cops while D-Boys slang rocks
It's the project kid without a conscience, I'm havin dreams
of hearin screams at my concerts, me all my childhood peers
through the years tryin to stack a little green
I was only seventeen, when I started servin fiends
And I wish there was another way to stack a dollar
So my apoli', casue these hard times make me wanna holler
Will I live to see tommorrow, am I fallin off?
I hit the weed and then proceed to say fuck all of y'all
Ain't nobody down with me I'm thuggin, I can't go home
Cause muh-fuckers think I'm buggin, so now I'm in
this high powered cell at the county jail
Punk judge got a grudge, can't post no bail, what
do I do in these county blues
Gettin battered and bruised by the you know who
And these fakes get to shakin when they face me
Snakes ain't got enough nuts to replace me
Sittin in this, livin hell, listenin to niggaz yell
Tryin to torture em to tell, I'm gettin mail
But ain't nobody sayin much, the same old nuts
is makin bucks while these sluts is gettin fucked
They violated my probation, and it seems
I'll be goin on a long vacation, meanwhile
It ain't easy
No it ain't easy

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Favorite Song Wednesday Late Edition

Love Unlimited Orchestra - Baby Blues

I played this out for the first time at Airport Bar last night and it drove the ladies crazy. And by ladies I mean lesbians because the place was half lesbians, one fourth middle-aged black people, and the last fourth was comprised of people who write for this blog.

But seriously, that place is like my new favorite bar. It's on the east side of Airport Road between Manor and MLK behind an automotive repair shop that specializes in fixing taco trucks. There is no sign.

The DJ booth is elevated and plastered with a giant Budweiser ad that shows what it meant to be sexy in 1991. There a few pool tables in a room off of the main bar, a great patio, and a spacious square dance floor surrounded with mirrors. The sign on the door that says "No one allowed under 30" is just a joke, but the sign at the bar that reads "Pickles - $1, Pig's Feet - $2, Egg - $1" is not a joke. Shane couldn't handle one bite of the egg, but Alexandra gobbled down the whole thing! Shout out to the dude that was singing Marvin Gaye with me in the bathroom.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scott Walker

Around Halloween last year, I suddenly found myself wanting to listen to perhaps the most anomalous record I own, "The Drift." Perhaps it was the scary vibe of the season driving me to it, but the urge surprised me anyway because I didn't expect to ever feel that way about that album. I only knew of it as the freaky set of tracks that my ipod occasionally got to when I was doing a random playlist (when it came on at a party once... hilarious results). I thought it was just a hyper-pretentious mess of avant garde-isms served thrown at a wall style. You can't really say much about the sound of "The Drift" other than it has to be heard to be believed, but I used to say that hearing it was the equivalent of being ripped to shreds by gargoyles. I guess that was before I really sank into the flow of the album, and it has revealed its power to me over time like some records tend to do.

I had heard that Scott Walker's discography approached the outer limits of experimental music over the years before he reached the point he's at now. I think this is definitely true. I went back and checked out "Tilt" not too long ago which was released in the nineties -- having only heard The Drift before this, a strange thing happened... I heard actual melodic cadences and a recognizable, rhythmic meter. He wasn't howling like a ghost outside any recognizable, tuneful phrases. I laughed at hearing that! So, if you ever read that The Drift and Tilt are kindred albums, that isn't true sonically. I guess Tilt goes for the whole blacker than black evil vibe but it doesn't have the freaky sounds that The Drift does.

The Drift is a real test of endurance. It won't be a memorable listen in terms of the melodies you'll remember or the lyrics that stood out. It'll just be a vibe thing. Apparently Walker said that he was working with "blocks of sound" instead of thematic statements, like a traditional composer might do. I think that's a great way of looking at The Drift, actually. Different sections and movements in songs aren't introduced by way of the usual signifiers... leading chord changes and the like. He'll go from an odd, quiet section where he's quietly trembling with his voice (a weird, vampiric opera sounding thing) against what sounds like a spoon striking an empty bottle, to a full on screeching attack with his voice distorted and the strings wailing like they are choreographing bombs falling onto a city. Nothing is settling about the album in the slightest. It's the aural equivalent of watching a movie like "The Grey Zone": constantly startling, all tension with no release. The only real catharsis is.. Damn, wow, it's finally over.

In terms of The Drift's absolutely singular uniqueness, I am beginning to respect and agree with people who really liked the album. In this so-called postmodern age, you don't often come across something that feels like it doesn't borrow from anything before it. If you have to make noise to get to originality, that's one thing... It's a whole different thing, something I consider to be genius actually, to sculpt seemingly noisy formlessness into a complete/coherent statement or work of art.

I'm really interested in digging into Walker's discography further. A few options are there: I could buy that "Five Easy Pieces" disc set, there's a documentary about him I think... I kinda wanted to know if any authors or readers here were fans of his work and could make recommendations.

The funny thing is, like I've already said, I started from The Drift. Going back to hearing his apparently "pop" beginnings is probably going to be really, really interesting.

Another side note: the scariest sound in the world occurs at the very end of the last song, " The Escape." Listen to it late at night, by yourself, loud, and on headphones. You will pee.

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you cannot beat us

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Monday, February 2, 2009

"It was 4th and hopeless...or so it appeared."

The Immaculate Reception:

Michael Jordan teaches you to drive off the fake:

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