Friday, July 31, 2009
“You got wealthy artists spendin money loosely
You ask about the culture, they talk 'bout Gucci.” - KRS
“He knows the time, with the fresh Gucci watch
He's even more over than my mayor Ed Koch.” - Beastie Boys
We must meet for coffee and discuss our power rankings below (spoiler alert: my third-ranked is the icy one).
Fetishizing the old-timey school of mic-wielders is so tired, so tragic and dull, but so easy. Thanks, Radric*!
Gucci Crew II - "Sally"
President Dreamboat announced on July 30 the 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom,"America’s highest civilian honor" (next to 5 mics in The Source, that is).
There's a science nerd on the list (Hawking),
an anti-apartheid archbishop (Tutu),
Mr. Tibbs (Poitier),
and, posthumously, Harvey "Political Badass" Milk!
In praising the recipients, the Prez had a mouthful of distinguished, President-y things to say like,
“These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds. Their tremendous accomplishments span fields from science to sports, from fine arts to foreign affairs. Yet they share one overarching trait: Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way.”
The moral of this post is this: Dear Barry, I want you to want me. I need you to need me. Also, I'll shine up my old brown shoes, put on a brand new shirt, AND get home early from work/If you say...that you love me.
Additionally, even though that coke-y nepotism beneficiary from Texas (the W is for "weasel") gave the very same honor to other people that play for our team (the good guys) a few years ago--Nelson Mandela, Hank Aaron, Wilma Mankiller, Roberto Clemente--go ahead and ask me if I give even a little bit of a fuck, whydon'tyou (sorry to ruin the surprise: I don't). The bonkers phony cowboy (dude basically grew up in Massachusetts) doesn't get a pass from me just because he gave shiny round medal thingies to individuals I hold in high regard. My lawsuit against him for such crimes as making the entire world hate us, attempting to hijack my ladyparts because Jesus told him to, and murdering the English language, is still pending.
Pharcyde - "If I Were President"
don't mean he don't tote the glock,
B) E-40 is pushin more weight than Atlas
and got a partner by the name of 2Pacalypse,
C) One million dollars in one-hundred dollar bills weighs twenty-two pounds (thanks, Frank Lucas!),
D) Goonies never say die,
E) Nobody cares about steroids except Congress, Dan Patrick, Stuart Scott, Jim Lampley, Bob Costas, and Jim Rome, and I wish with all my heart that this topic were not on every time I get in my car and turn the radio to sports talk,
F) I shoulda been here--AYO for fucking YAYO! ladies and gentlemen, it's the Roots & Nickatina!
G) I need to be here.
"As deep as any ocean/As sweet as any harmony" - Thomas Dolby, who understands the allure of a lady science nerd.
Once again, I force upon my darling readership a post about how the human body is pretty scientifically amazing and how I never tire of learning new things about it. (Bag me up 'cause I'm wifey material, sonnn.)
In today's episode of Let Me Blind You With My Science, I share with you all how closing your eyes when you're listening to scary music makes the the music even scarier, thanks to the most primal responses in your brain. Your brain waves are altered when you hear it, which translates to you runnin scurrred.
In a recent study about music and the brain that I was for some inexplicable reason NOT a part of, researchers had volunteers listen to scary music ("Hitchcock-like, frightening themes," because Asleep in the Caucasoid Bread Aisle was all sold out at Wal-Mart), and found that
“closing one's eyes enhanced the responses the volunteers felt toward the more emotionally charged scary music. Brain scans revealed that activity ramped up in the amygdala, a primary center for emotion in the brain. In turn, the amygdala fired up brain regions linked with vigilance to the environment and regulation of emotion.
These findings were not seen when volunteers were placed in complete darkness with their eyes open. This suggests these effects are not related to vision alone. ("That is so interesting!!," me and a bunch of scientists said. "Nobody cares," said everybody else.)
'It seems when you close your eyes, your brain has this reflexive response to go into a different state of mind that results in the amplification of certain information,' (an author of the study) said.”
I'm afraid of little, other than wack rappers and Republican administrations.
However, the fright instilled in me by a creepazoid 10/8 meter is truly beyond epic--and that is why I picked this instead of something by Gravediggaz, or Meth's classic "torture, motherfucker" descriptions from when were all so innocent back in '93. Aww.
mp3. - "Halloween Theme"
PS, did you guys know John Carpenter composed this? Is this common knowledge and I was out of the loop? I just found out and my whole life has changed. Next time I pick "Horror Film Writers/Directors Who Also Wrote the Theme Song to The Horror Films They Wrote/Directed" for $400 on Jeopardy!, I will straight murder it.
PS again, the science nerds found similar effects (though to a lesser degree) with positive music in the study--closing your eyes, they say, increases the degree to which you find it pleasurable.
“In the future, a better understanding of how music can affect the brain could help lead to it enhancing therapies for mood disorders and other ailments. 'And if you want to use music for therapy, or just want to be more immersed in it, it seems you should close your eyes,' (an author of the study) said.”
"No fucking way," I replied, while lying on my floor and listening to Black Caesar in my headphones with my eyes closed.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
*Picture it - me, here:
August 10 | The Highline Ballroom | New York, NY (w/ The Roots)
It's a stunning image, no?
2. OMG, I just realized me and The Wrecking Crew have the same taste in music. Oh my dear, sweet 1992, I miss you somethin awful.
Fencin, no half-steppin, straight up and down
I gets mine, so you should cool and lounge
when EPMD is in town
Side note: you people in the booth holding microphones in 2009 need to bring back "crab MC" as a derogatory term in addressing your less-talented mic-holding brethren.
Side side note: Parrish, please explain this picture. Thanks.
3. Dred Scott, please report to the principal's office immediately with your doctor's note.
Oh my precious 1994, I MISS YOUUUUU.
And even if I'm in the third quarter, down by 40
I got nuttin ta lose.
so the little got more and more.”
You're mad 'cause my style you're admirin!
Keitel* speaks on Sedgwick & Cedar, expresses gratitude for da art of storytellin'.
“Unfortunately I didn't work with Andre much. But rap is a strong presence in the culture and anyone is going to grateful for its appearance, grateful for any kind of music that has the kind of effect that rap has had on us all.”
Big Boi speaks on Logan's feelings about Ash Roth.
*Older Man of the Judaic Persuasion OG Crush!
(Please refer also to Ira Glass, Michael Rapaport, Rahm Emanuel)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
She had great hair, was a superfox, and was adored by a funny, tortured/brilliant dude with a substance abuse problem (Peter Sellers). She stole my life, basically. If I weren't such a heathen and really believed in invisible deities who live in the sky, I might pray to one that I were this fetching. I have a slight case of the "face of baby" and my thick long black eyelash game is rather tight, so I guess I could be the broke-down, bassline-obsessed, K-town version of Britt; HOWEVER,
like my man Trip said in Juice,
"Just 'cause you pour syrup on something doesn't make it pancakes."
"Pretty girls make graves." - Jack Kerouac.
"And pretty girls make graves." - Morrissey.
"You know, it makes one feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch. It’s sort of what we have instead of God."
Ernest Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises
2. People, there's a reason why I have an entire category on this web log called "A Lesbatronic Moment." Why hello there, ladies...
3. Os Mutantes are touring and I'm in. Also, Kurt Cobain wanted them to reunite in the '90s so they could tour with Nirvana. Had this event actually occurred, I would have shouted Next levels! from the rooftop and thanked the music gods/goddesses.
I see my future, and I am at the Echoplex, and it's August 28, and I look really cute in my jeans/heels uniform and I've gained 10 lbs, and when a dude comes up to me who I don't want to talk to, I pretend I only speak Portuguese! Yay.
"A Minha Menina"
A lua prateada se escondeu
E o sol dourado apareceu
Amanheceu um lindo dia
Cheirando a alegria
Pois eu sonhei
E acordei pensando nela
Pois ela é minha menina
E eu sou o menino dela
Ela é o meu amor
E eu sou o amor todinho dela
(The silver moon, the golden sun, the beautiful morning, waking up to your lovely girl; she's your love, and you love her. You don't really need the translation though, right? Just press play and it's all so clear. Swoon.)
The Internets have revealed to me another piece of information about him that will serve me well when I got on Rock Jeopardy!: he's a huge baseball fan and donated 200 verrry valuable autographed baseballs to the Negro Leagues Museum in '08 (they call him a "Canadian punk rocker" in the article; El Oh El, super-clueless MLB.com!). Aww, I love a big-hearted Canadian.
So next time you raise your Tecate at the bar when "Tom Sawyer" comes on and it makes you feel all triumphant when you hear that synth come in, you can start sharing with your boys this bit about Geddy Lee and the Negro Leagues and they will no doubt think you're obnoxious but if there's a skinny music girl-nerd within earshot, she'll be super impressed.
Enjoy the greatest and most awful lyrical masterpiece disaster* of 1981 (I mean, Jesus, do you ever listen to the words? Bonkers), and the best song based on a Mark Twain novel EV-ERRRR, below. And where's my Tecate??
*The world is, the world is,
Love and life are deep,
Maybe as his eyes are wide.
Today's Tom Sawyer,
He gets high on you,
And the space he invades
He gets by on you.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Listen, everybody knows I do not care for physical activity that extends beyond walking up and down record store aisles, shaking my hips to rhythmic sounds, and certain things that we all do with fellow humans without our clothes on (email me if you need an explanation). Therefore, I mos def do not skateboard. Del does, and Murs does, and even Chappelle does, and normally I try to model my life after them, but I just can't get into it. Plus I'm always wearing heels and that just don't work when you're tryna balance on a plank of wood and 4 wheels.
However, as a connoisseur of a) music and b) law-breaking dudes, I heart skateboarding and skate videos nonetheless, as it combines both of these things into one. This has translated into me being a super duper skate lurker for many moons--like, this one time I saw Rick Howard and Spike Jonze at Goldfinger's (Rest in Power, babycakes; miss you), and I basically fanned out all over Rick and didn't even notice Spike even though this was right when Being John Malkovich came out. This just in: I'm a dork.
Mouse came out in '96, and thanks to my beloved baby brother, I was exposed to its musical jewels (please see Zoo York's Mixtape, Video Days, all the old H-Street videos, and all the recent Lakai ones for other examples of videos that fall into this category. I wuv you, Jackson).
Look at the list below, just look at it! The hotness!, and next time you see my little brother, thank him for putting me up on the dopest of games and for inadvertently improving my future record collection.
Also, remember always that Sean Sheffey is the BAWSS.
Intro: Bob Dorough - "Three Is the Magic Number"
Jeron Wilson: Eric Burdon & War - "Magic Mountain"
Sean Sheffey: James Brown - "Doing It to Death"
Jovante Turner, Tim Gavin, Rudy Johnson: Booker T and The MG's - "Time is Tight"
Mike York: some Yay stuff (Nickatina, I think)
Chico Brenes: Joe Cuba - "El Pito"
Daniel Castillo, Shamil Randle & Gabriel Rodriguez: Cymande - "Brothers on the Slide"
Friends: Curtis Mayfield - "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going To Go"
Ben Sanchez: Earth Wind & Fire - "Shining Star"
Richard Mulder: Bob James - "Nautilus"
Keenan and Gino: Royal Flush - "World Wide"
Tony Ferguson: Gwen McCrae - "90% of Me Is You"
Rick Howard and Mike Carroll: War - "Slipping Into Darkness"
Eric Koston: Joe Bataan - "Aftershower Funk"
Guy Mariano: Herbie Hancock - "Watermelon Man"
Credits: John Cougar Mellencamp - "Jack and Diane"
You watch the video and you think, Fresh! They got all these old soul tracks!
Then they decide to bug you out by putting some John freaking Mellencamp at the end, and it's so perfect. Also, there's a skit with Keenan that's greatly helped along by LL's "Radio"; I would be remiss if I did not mention this.
Severe teaspoons, scary money on the moon/Lampin wit a big goon, keep shit tight like a kid's room! You guys, in ONLY the greatest Afro-Judaic collab since basically every soul record produced in the '60s (oh and Yauch, Horovitz and Diamond linking up with Simmons starting in '84), Rae and Rosenberg are gonna sit down and chop it up in front of an audience and I, as the darling of the hip-hop community, need to be there or I will feel very sad inside.
Rosenberg lives my real life; I'm just letting him borrow it from me for a while. Also, I'm far less annoying and my rack is nicer.
Anyway, tomorrow night (07/29), the 92Y in New York City, 8 pm, 15 bucks; Rae will discuss with Rosenberg, in front of a live audience, his life in hip-hop and the stories behind his songs (like this dude did, 'member?). The only troubling thing about this story is that I live in Los Angeles, which is in California and far far away from New York, and that is why I need some sort of flying device or piece of machinery to transport me to the Isle of Man-hah-enn by 8 tomorrow night. Please place your idea in the Suggestions Box before you leave HeightFiveSeven; thank you.
And in case you didn't hear me the first time: Throw Rick and Rae on!
Ah luuuuuv this song. Lookie, in the video the teams are the Chefs vs. the Rulers!
And thanks, uh, Thomas Rusiak? (Swedish record producer who worked with The Ruler and has not been heard from since crafting this in '99. I hope all is well with you, sir).
No Fucking Way: code red!
"Money Relieves Pain." - science nerds
"I gotta have it, so plus, just to visualize is like a coke rush/Vivid enough to make living this a must, plus this is real." - AZ
(we also would have accepted "Fuck who's the baddest, a person's status depends on salary," but he said that in a Nas song and I really wanted to post "Sugar Hill")
AZ requests that his comrades put the $50 bills in the safe, as they are quite valuable; the bills worth $20 are allowed to be spent. And the ladies in their lives will be rewarded with $1 bills.
Money dulls physical pain and eases the sting of social rejection, new research shows; it acts as a social lubricant, since it convinces people you're pretty dope if you have it.
(Results are still pending on whether the sky is blue, whether record company people are shady, and if meth is bad for you or not.)
Really though, it turns out you don't even have to have money to enjoy its soothing effects, according to the study below, because just thinking about money you could possibly have will make you happier and less distressed. I shall go ahead and file this under "Things AZ Has Been Trying to Tell Us for Years."
"Through six experiments, psychologists and a marketing professor probed the power of money as a proxy for social acceptance. Among their results, they found that merely touching bills or thinking about expenses paid affected the participants both physically and emotionally.
To test money’s effect on physical pain, 96 recruits were split into two groups and counted either money or paper. Then an assistant strapped down their left hands and dipped their fingers in hot water with a temperature of 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). On average, those who counted money rated their pain lower than those who counted paper.
'These effects speak to the power of money, even as a symbol, to change perceptions of very real feelings,' like pain, said Kathleen Vohs, a co-author of the study.
The results prop up earlier studies showing that money's effect on our emotions stems from its symbolic power in social interactions, the researchers wrote. It stands in for acceptance and popularity, and allows those who have it to get what they want from the vast social network on which we depend — regardless of whether they are well liked or not."
Thanks, LiveScience, but I have already been apprised of this situation thanks to a hundred thousand million songs by rappers, and David Gilmour too ("Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash/New car, caviar, four star daydream, think Ill buy me a football team").
Your little study is cute, though.
It's so love-layy, sippin bub-layy.
PS: Juicy - "Sugar Free"
Monday, July 27, 2009
I'm not a bona fide human being.”
Phil's such a sad little man but he embodies the tortured/brilliant archetype; I know you're with me on this one, dear blogosphere.
John & Phil, in between bumps, layin it the fuck down in the studio and trying to work out John's mommy issues on wax.
This brings us to what is my only point, really.
And that is that basslines are, in case you forgot, the sex.
Press play below, and be inspired, and try with all your might to refrain from jockin your own fresh, brushing the dirt off your shoulder, and reporting to all those around you I'm a hustler, baby/I just want you to know.
(It's impossible, but you can try anyway.)
(super ear-pleasing bass courtesy of Klaus Voormann, who also designed the Beatles' Revolver cover)
The kids around the way used to think that I was buggin
But they don't understand how I feel about the funk
I walk with the funk, I talk with the funk
I eat with the funk, I sleep with the funk
I live for the funk, I'll die for the funk
So now what do they say, when I'm walkin up the block?
nicely putting into words my feelings about the song by
the glasses-wearing British white man chief rocka above.
PS - In an incident I like to call "Crazy Recognize Crazy, July 2009," your dude Charlie Manson would like Spector to produce his music since, you know, they're both kickin it in the pen and have all that free time on their hands. Helter fucking Skelter.
"A guard brought Philip a note from Manson... He said he considers Philip the greatest producer who ever lived," Spector's wife Rachelle told the New York Post. I too consider Philip one of the greatest producers who ever lived, so Charlie and I are similar in this regard.
"Ice Cube in effect, and I'm the posse leader
Love my woofer and hate my tweeter."
I saw Deebo in the elevator at work last week (he was nice, and guess what?, very large), and that made me think about Friday, then about the Friday soundtrack, then about '90s Ice Cube movies and so then of course I thought about the Boyz in the Hood soundtrack because that's how my brain works and I'm a nerd. So then my thoughts were consumed by Rose Royce and Funkdoobiest and Kam (who has still not come back to save the situation despite my requests) and "How to Survive in South Central" (complete with Ice Cube warning us all to trust nobody/especially a BITCH with a hooker's body; a certain verrrry young lady blogger listened to lines like that, which is kinda cringe-worthy now but hell, I got my master's degree and I turned out just fine. No harm, no foul.). Anyway, music nerdery related to '90s movies will lead to my demise, but I love it. My key points are as follows:
1. Your next BBQ in LA will explode with the delight of any and all 25-35-year-olds in attendance if you play some Funkdoobiest ("Superhoes" on the Friday soundtrack), I can say this with all kinds of authority.
Son Doobie was and still is the only Boricua in LA County so of course Muggs had to produce, duh. He had the market cornered on nasal-y voiced and bucket-hat wearing Caribbean Latino rappers circa '91, let's not forget.
2. THE MOST comical moment in cinema during the year 1991.
Look at chain-snatchin dude's face! Die. I die laughing every time.
3. I do not care for the odd placement of a west coast rap jam on an east coast soundtrack, and the other way around. It makes me uncomfortable.
Cypress Hill and Too $hort were on the Juice soundtrack and that was weird, and Main Source* were on the Boyz soundtrack and that was weird. I'm still recovering. And please do not get me started on the worst offender of them all--the Colors soundtrack, which after the first song, was replete with everybody but a west coast-er.
Kane, Kool G, MC Shan, Rakim.
I enjoy these gentlemen as MCs but they know nothing about the C.R.A.S.H. unit so they should stay off LA-based gang film soundtracks, thankyouverymuch.
* Main Source - "Just a Friendly Game of Baseball" remix
(YouTube, you're triflin and I am angry with you for offering only an un-embeddable version of this song.)
The remix is heavily superior to the Breaking Atoms version, according to this writer who is the authority on such matters; however, the Breaking Atoms version is still so lovely because it flips and bounces the song below and for that I am eternally grateful.
Is it weird for somebody to name her firstborn Large Pro? I need your unbiased opinion.
("Latin Lingo" too, and Pete Rock/CL)
Songs from 1971 will make you want to remove yourself from your clothing, or is that just me?
I am building my life around the musical moment at 02:59 and everything that follows thereafter. Hey, how did my dress come off? That's weird.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
— Henderson, after being traded to New York, on what he thought about Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
"Smaller than Hitler's heart."
— Jim Murray, LA Times columnist, on Rickey's strike zone
— Rickey, calling San Diego GM Kevin Towers about a job
"And Logan don't even like baseball." - Logan
PS, Rickey's dream was to play for the Raiders because they rule all things and always will and Rickey knows this.