Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Average White Band!

“It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions” - Robert Bly.

Name: Average White Band, Put It Where You Want It (RCA, 1975). AWB's debut album, it was originally was called Show Your Hand in a jacket bearing different artwork. I approve of the re-release because the newer album cover is something I can easily copy and try to get all cute with. Alas, skinny white girl torso on album cover will never be as terrific as foxy Nubian queen on album cover, as best exemplified by the catalogue of the mighty Ohio Players.

Is this title acceptable? Yes. That title, it speaks to me, because motherfucking putting it where I want it is what I do every day (Keith taught me how). I live according to album titles. There's always one that sums it up. Yesterday I was cranky so it was Ain't That a Bitch that spoke to me.

And the band name, yeah. It speaks to me. They have members named Alan Gorrie and Malcolm Duncan, and a Hamish, so, yes, of course they were Scottish. An Alastair or a Ewan would've been a bit much. When I was doing a little Internet research on these men I got fooled into thinking you can look up something called “Scottish funk,” but that was a Wikipedia smokescreen. What you can do is click on the word Scottish and the word funk, but you cannot click on the phrase Scottish funk because this genre of music does not exist. Like the members of this group, I am descended from people who excel in the sheepherding and bagpipe arts rather than the art of funk, and yet look at me and AWB! Overcoming our very DNA.

Produced by: AWB and Robin Turner (who only produced AWB).

Entered my life: June 2009. I know the date because I wrote about it in my record journal, a real thing that exists in apt. 15 under my mattress next to my copy of Foxy Indie Rappers who Find Thin, Sarcastic Girls Unbearably Hot. There's a big 4 on the cover sticker but I don't remember it being that cheap, especially since I got it at Rockaway and that place tends to overcharge in my very humble opinion. I think of Joey Crack every time I walk in the door, though. Do the Rock-a-way. That's the only time I think of Joey Crack, thankfully, because he's awful and I hate him. Boys in my life always try to convince me to give him a chance, like they do with Joe Budden (who has been strangely quiet lately, what gives), but this is an ineffective technique and nobody can move me when it comes to my opinions about individuals who are handed microphones and record contracts and then fail to create wonderful results with such opportunities. I’m mad at bad rappers like I was Kool Keith in ’99.

Difficulty of finding, vinyl-wise (1-10 scale): 6.8. All the record-digging boys in my part of the world love the '90s production work of DJ Pooh and they love early-'90s Ice Cube* so there's a lot of competition out there for breaks used during that era. It's hard, you guys, leading this life for which I was chosen. I found the dang record, though, and didn't have to resort to any gaffling to get it neither. Do you remember Kundera, how he wrote about the fleeting nature of our experiences given that we each have but one life, and that which occurs in life probably does so only once and never again. This perfectly describes my trips to the record store and my resulting internal debates about whether to purchase that record or to defer until later, risk it and just hope I see it again in the bins. Such is the unbearable lightness of digging.

Breaks contained:

a) Prince Paul - “Steady Slobbin',” BDP's “House N---as,” annnnnd *“Steady Mobbin”! Not the “Have you ever seen such a sight in your liiiiiii-iiiife” on the hook – that's from Parliament. AWB gave the song its bones, its whole frame upon which The Boogiemen hung a bunch of Doughboy one-liners. And if you didn't know Ice Cube got drama hoes! is the line that's fun to shout out, but that part where he describes how girls will always defer to the best sound system when it comes to a suitor is truly the highlight (Ice Cube had more amps; get in, bitch). The Boogiemen included DJ Pooh and Bobcat, 2 men with silly names who produced LL's Bigger and Deffer as part of the LA Posse. I'm here to remind the kids of this as the annoying person always bringing up past glories of Los Angeles luminaries. Anyway, I love Cube's old sing-song-y flow, him having fun, riding the beat. I also love that he and I have shared the same opinion of law enforcement officers for many years now. This blog is meant to be playtime, entertainmentville, dorkout fun, but once in a while real life has to be mentioned -

LAPD's main concern on Tuesday seemed to be driving by and “checking” on a too-skinny pale-skinned social worker to make sure she was “ok” talking to her client, a tall black man who clearly wanted to rob or rape her on the sidewalk in front of his apartment at 1 PM. “Just making sure everything was all right here.” These are the perils of dressing like a librarian at work and having highlights in your hair, I guess. Uniformed annoying types think they need to roll up and show out.

“It's fine just please fucking go away John Wayne. YOU DISGUST ME.” Then I threw “I got people who buy Tecs and weed from you” over my shoulder as I walked away.

(Didn't really say any of that. Wanted to. Story of my life.)

(Do a search for “Steady Mobbin” and that Weezy/Gucci song is the first 20 results. That's an OK song, despite Kane's usual tinny video-game-sounding production work, because of the rappers who make up for the beat (“Toni Braxton sniper rifle make you never breathe again" - Gucci; “I am the hip-hop Socialist” - Wayne) but I'm still disappointed. Why are my expectations are so high? I should know better, because remember what hating ass Google had to say when I did an innocent search for “curren$y audio dope lyrics”?

“Yea. Yea yea yea/Yea yea yea/Uhh/Yea yea yea/Yea yea yea
Yea yea yea
Yea yea yea

b) Boogie Down Productions - “Ya Know the Rules” (AWB was obviously being listened to during the production of Edutainment); The LOX - “The Heist (pt. 1).”

Reason for this post on today of all days: Who knows. Perhaps I saw Friday on TBS. Or I thought about funk-proficient persons of Scottish descent such as my mother.

Sartorial accompaniment: Bodysuit, tank, thigh-high socks, all from the color palette of a wheat field underneath a dreary sky on a cold day or that piece I saw by noted Neo-expressionist Joe Boudreau. My aesthetic is “Flashdance extra applies for Ohio Players record cover modeling job.” Messy hair to finish off the look, as a way of signifying to the world that I am so busy with nerdery I don't have time for basic grooming.

This outfit was hastily put together and is not my cutest, but I was not interested in looking cute today; I was interested in being soft to the touch and physically unconfined during my commitment to cold-day apt. 15 lounging today. I also wanted to remind myself that I don't care about clothes and that I just throw stuff on despite my recent foolish purchase of expensive stripper/librarian heels. I don't know what got into me for a minute there but I'm BACK, baby. Plus I think it's fair that you only hold me to the same fashion standard as Sean P, nothing higher (“Dress sloppy, but my rap is dapper/Watch Rosewood, go outside and slap a cracker”).

I will probably not ever stand just straight up and down. Something’s always sticking out on the side or in the front or the back. Oh and nobody can fuck with me and my Hilary Rhoda eyebrows.

Suitable activities while listening: Normally in this section I would describe some lovely activity involving a bookstore or record store. But I will not be wearing this outside!, IS YOU CRAZY. I do not have post titles called Today in Street Harassment and I'd like to keep it that way, although I certainly have lots to contribute here, a place that gives me hope despite the unfortunate fact that such a site must exist. So it's just clean the apartment today, make lunch, roll some new nerdery* around in my brain and enjoy how good it feels, then put in my daily contribution toward my Gladwellian 10,000 hours of underlining beautiful passages in McSweeneys (check back in with me in 2020 and I'll have mastered this and maybe even be able to perform it professionally!).

*Today's nerdery, important thoughts, topics for likely further discussion: Human beings are fearless without the amygdala. “Shoot in the direction of your heart” is true about injecting junk into your body as well as injecting music into your body. If you are going to put out your album in LA in 1992, have DJ Pooh be involved somehow, someway. He's the king. And if you are good at presenting yourself in a way that plays up the differences between your own woman's body and the bodies of men, go 'head and run with it. Play the hand you were dealt. In Texas the saying goes Dance with the one that brung ya, an old expression of loyalty usually applied to football and which is one of the few things Texas-related that I love (others: UGK, Rap-a-Lot everything, Screw, Joe Tex, the lyrical content of “Midnight Moonlight”).

Life lessons, important messages contained:

Nothing too coy or complicated here - just song titles tellin me to put it where I want it and to reach out for affection, and to let the funk guide me in all of these activities. Important messages, definitely, but nothing that I didn't already learn from Eddie Hazel on that first Funkadelic record. “Back in '67” stands out though, since that was a good year for driving around listening to pop music on your car radio, one of the great pleasures in life (“Daydream Believer,” “Tell It Like It Is,” “Cold Sweat,” and 2 Detroit-raised-minister's-daughter beauties in “Baby I Love You” and “I Never Loved a Man the Way that I Love You,” OH ARETHA GIRL I KNOW OF WHAT YOU SPEAK and those song titles are the simplest and most accurate statements in musicdom since the Skull Snaps' “My Hang-Up is You”).

My whole body relaxes when this starts. I adore the past. I adore Big Boi too ("Who gives a damn about the past?/I live for today, plan for the future, pack a lunch and haul ass"). So I convince myself Not now with the nostalgia, young lady; remember to stay busy with the future! Then I go back and listen to “Devil’s Pie” and I think to myself Aw damn, I love the past. That echo effect at “watch your back,” (02:23) oh lorrrrd.

Best YouTube comment:

There's nothing entertaining underneath the AWB video, so I looked at the comments for “Steady Mobbin” - a series of people posting LOLs re: outdated rap song references (PacTel vs. SkyPager, white Ewings, “U Can't Touch This”).

Other notable things about today:

- Owning a Buick Regal will not get you laid on a first date, according to highly delusional individuals who don't realize it's their non-car-related shortcomings that are preventing them from getting laid on a first date. Yes dear, it's your car. That's why she won't. I can poke holes in this theory with the simple mention of a rap song by ass connoisseurs Three 6 (Act like you know me, cause I'm super serious with this evil/Act like you know me, in my Regal, chrome desert eagle), Andre (I got the Peter Bong and plus that Mary Jane/I'm rolling reefer out of a Regal, how could I refrain), my side piece WAKA (Let me hop back on the set with this brand new single/Million dollar n---as still ridin in a Regal), and Curren$y, who happens to be a Grand National Regal speeder. (As a woman and therefore someone in the position of being able to either give or withhold ass, I can tell you that Curren$y gets a lot of ass. He looks like a little guy in his videos which you'd think would cut down on the quantity he is offered but he gets an adequate supply. He's comfortable.)

- There's a story here and I wish someone would tell it:

“Rome, Italy: A Somalian refugee trims his moustache on a terrace at the former Somali embassy. About 200 refugees live crammed eight, nine or 10 to a room in the building, which is still the property of the Somali government but which was abandoned as an embassy in the 1990s.” (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

Also ready to be delved into and expressed in beautiful narrative fashion: the whole calling card industry for people in LA with family far away - affordable rates for Guatemala, the Philippines, the signs out in front of liquor stores say. I know there's some joy and heartache inside every time I drive past those places. And people who've actually met in real life after one of them placed a Missed Connections ad - somebody get on that.

- “There's records that I hate (but) when I see a woman dancing I think, ‘It's not that bad.’” That NPR story about songs being tested in Atlanta strip clubs combines like 37 of my favorite things in one beautiful thing. Plus they mention my future employer Magic City!

- My heart, as usual, is bursting with love for Ronald.

- In the current world of testosterone-fueled things, there’s Blake Griffin dunks and Lex Luger’s beats. All straight dudes have opinions about these things. Griffin goes hard in the paint, they say, which is that thing that Waka did with Luger's assistance. Griffin's boss Donald Sterling goes hard in the areas of housing discrimination and being an awful human, which isn't as entertaining as going hard in shit-talking from courtside, but it's still something I feel the need to bring up from time to time because the world seems to forget even though everyone in LA knows what kind of person he is. Anyway, would someone care to listen to this Juicy J/Luger mixtape for me and let me know how it is. J's been on the radar recently and I like it. There's that song my beloved alluring noted Neo-expressionist or perhaps Impressionist Waka is on, and then there was that time I heard 50's “Mean Mug” and I got kind of indignant and reminded everybody that Three 6 already had a song by that name because I'm an annoying know-it-all, and now there's this mixtape. Tennessee rap is always a go-to, my brain's pleasure center really responds to its whole feeling and message. Tennessee music in general has pretty much been a go-to my whole life, and it all started with my dad playing a bunch of Nitty Gritty on road trips. Wish that I was on olllld Rocky Top, down in the Ten-A-Key hillllls.

- One Kanye West has a very thin, pale stylist named Cassius Clay (HIS NAME IS CASSIUS CLAY) who until recently worked at Opening Ceremony, a store known to you all as that place that sold me my beloved Alexander Wang bag during my brief Label Princess phase (winter 2010). People having the same name as certain other people who have reached iconic status makes me uncomfortable, like when parents yell at their kids in front of you at the store, when Marty tries to get all Chuck Berry steezy on stage at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, and when rappers who should stick to Alexander Wang and Lagerfeld raps try to brag about having sex with girls in their verses. CRINGE.

- Amnesty International's art installations (Making the Invisible Visible) highlight the cases of the wrongfully imprisoned. That's the face of Troy Davis below, a 42-year-old man who has been on death row for 19 years in Georgia. There are doubts about his conviction and no physical evidence links him to the crime (murder of a police officer), and most witnesses in the case have "changed or retracted their testimony, some citing police coercion." Shocking.

"The posters are displayed on fence railings. Front on, you see nothing but bars. Troy’s haunting face only becomes visible from an angle." Is it bad that I bypass the seriousness of this display and go straight to Ohshit is that Large Pro?



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wait a motherfucking minute, true facts presented.


5 facts:

1. Things I would die without: the snare drum, Sennheiser headphones, Doom’s lyrics, stripper/librarian heels. Or I could just say “Stimulation in various forms, stimulation all day and night, and yet somehow soothing at the same time” and you'd know what I mean, you'd clearly realize how that's a list comprised of snares and headphones plus ten thousand other things too. Stripper/librarian heels are the focus today, though. The ones above are called “Peep Show,” and I needed them so I bought them. (I would have died without them.)

Lately my life has been a whole lot of driving around town listening to Power 106 and old Kool Keith, dealing with grouchy people, and this frequent uneasiness, this strong feeling like I need more impractical footwear. As illustrated by the photos above, all those radio plays of “Throw it in the Bag” had their intended effect--THANKS, LOSO--except in my life's version I play the role of both the kept woman and the keeper of the woman since I buy my own heels, which is obviously what Steinem had in mind for me as a postpostpostfeminist human. Sorry, Gloria. I'm I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, though, do you know what that means? DO YOU? I cook, I clean, I never smell like onion rings. Somethingsomething, flat-screen TV, good credit, blah blah.

That ankle strap is what sold me, lookin like one of Saturn's rings. Just look at that ankle strap, darling. Phillip Lim, child of immigrants, Kanye-approved designer, yet somehow still Logan-approved designer, has crafted these for the discerning stripper/librarian in your life. They are 5-inch-heeled mary janes of Italian leather, a deep red shade that Barneys calls “bordeaux,” which recalls, I don't know, the grapes in my backyard vineyard that I lovingly tend before I go to the library in the morning and that I lovingly tend when I return from Magic City at night?

Phillip thinks he disappointed his parents, who came from Cambodia and wanted him to be a doctor. They don't understand fashion, because, really, what's to understand. Frivolity and sex and overspending. Grand folly. Lack of practicality (teetering around on 5-inch spindles shortens calf muscles), but good-looking and well-crafted things for the body. Kanye-approved shoes on Barbie doll label princesses who have master's degrees and nerdy blogs. “I'm shoppin right now, my ass off/You home writin some bullshit literature,” Kool Keith said. Dude I can do both, though. I can do both, Mr. Thornton. That ankle strap represents my life's constant duality--the Dewey Decimal System and Toomp beats, new glasses (finally) and a thousand bathing suits. Before setting my alarm to wake me up to some Waka in the morning, I read every night in bed. There are Chanel and Diane von Furstenberg ads among the poems and essays in the Paris Review. Also contained therein is a story about Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an art form that teaches that a small and weak person can suddenly turn into something like a big and strong person using proper technique and leverage. The pleasures of duality, that's the point I'm trying to make here. Oh and have I mentioned that ANKLE STRAP. Take another look and then tell me I shouldn't have bought em.

Things I don't believe in: shooting stars. Things I believe in: shoes, cars.

In daydreams my
American Gangster character is Eva, Miss Puerto Rico, who loves Frank at the beginning, and she especially loves her idea of who Frank is (classic Logan), and then 2 months into their marriage she finds herself on her knees, scrubbing blood out of the alpaca rug* and he’s screaming at her and she's thinking Fuck what did I get myself into. That's probably my fate, given my taste for masculinity topped off with smarts and a strong commitment to hustlenomics and an adeptness at charming my pants off (or my dress off, as the case may be, or even my black-shorts-and-Boy-Scout-belt-and-stripper/librarian-heels get-up).

In life I am the good girl.
Even in daydreams I am the good girl. But these make me feel like I’m Ginger in Casino. At the beginning, you know--pre-haircut, pre-tailspin. Throwing the chips in the air, moving in slow motion. She wanted to stay hustling her little heart but Ace insisted on bribing her into wifehood and momhood. Wives and moms are boring, though. Remember how Malice said I even went by the book at first/Until I realized 9 to 5 wouldn't quench my thirst. In response, I believe Ginger would say Sounds about right.

* “That's $25,000 alpaca!” Frank yells, “You blot that shit!”
Yeah yeah, club soda. Sorry, Frank.

2. The ignition switch in our bodies helps spot and treat cancer. Fine, lovely, good job science and scientists, but my ignition switch can spot (and only responds to) honey-voiced Chicago singers with possible latent homosexual tendencies who are always struggling with that ol' divine v. secular tug of war. The demands of the heavenly v. those of the flesh. (Fleshly delights usually win; I hope I didn't give that one away for you all.) There was this one time I met this dude, he was all up in my grill/tryna get me to a-ho a-tellll and I liked his honesty and especially the way he pronounced “hotel,” there was food everywhere; it was fantastic. My uh, engine revved. Except he wore Celtics gear, which was hard for me to wrap my head around.

3. Waka can really sometimes sound like an upper-register Rick Ross, voice-wise. By that I mean Rawwsss 15 years and 100 lbs ago, but they both have that raspy thing occurring in their vocal chords. "Knock Em Down" is this new song by something called Grafh featuring Waka but Grafh should know that when you put Waka on the hook all the girls are going to focus on Waka in their blog posts about that new Grafh song. Grafh's only noteworthy moment is at 01:19--“I’m a rock chopper, with a straight razor/And I’m the type to kick your daddy in the pacemaker.” Cardiac-regulation-equipment raps are good, and they're funny. But oh, Waka! He has power. He makes me claim FETTI GANG a couple times a day. Waka can end a verse by hollering his own name (03:48). And he's somebody who can claim the states of both Georgia and New York, which is the rap equivalent of being a dually-skilled athlete. Brag rights.

4. “Oh Word” was my cutesy etymology feature that I used to do all the time on here. Bikini enthusiasts didn't care for it, but I loved it. It's back today, and the word is SNARE.

“noose for catching animals,” c.1100, from O.N. snara “noose, snare,” related to soenri, “twisted rope,” from P.Gmc. snarkho (cf. M.Du. snare, Du. snaar, O.H.G. snare, Ger. Schnur “noose, cord”).

snare (2).
“string across a drum,” 1680s, probably from Du. snaar “string,” from same source as snare, above.

The appropriateness of this word's origin is startling and dope. Jabo Starks, Uriel Jones, Jimmy Diamond from the Ohio Players. Zigaboo from the Meters. They've caught me--ensnared me, really--in their respective drumkit nets.

5. I used to do my Lesbatronic Moment” feature a while ago too, which bikini enthusiasts really liked a lot. I should show you the emails. On a related note, fact #5 for today is: Claudia Cardinale. She exists. But is she the stripper or the librarian? Ginger or Eva? Or is she both, a perfect combination of the two, like the woman I hope to be one day? I like Claudia's features, and I have fondness for her based on the similarities I imagine we share. If you have big brown eyes people treat you like the good girl; once they see you have those hips they start to make a playlist for you of Drumma Boy's greatest hits so you can hand it to the DJ when you take Stage 2 at Magic City. Duality.

Bonus fact (6): “The only person who never got ejected from an NBA game was Jesus.” - Ronald W. Artest, Jr., who would know, obviously. Ron the lovable badass is everywhere except inside the perimeter these days. Still love him, though. I love kittens and “6'7”” too, because I'm only human after all.

What can I do at this point other than say They try to Ron Artest me/They gon have to arrest me, in Gucci's words (I had to quote him here due to my Brick Squad and Fetti Gang affiliations). I still keep it Berkeley too, though (I feel like Ron Artest/Championship swag).


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh Word, 12/12/10.

Language and boys and whiskers on kittens; these are a few of my favorite things, to paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein. It’s usually just a lyric snippet that makes me yell with pleasure (“‘Race cars and weed jars’! CURREN$Y YOU ARE A SUCCINCT GENIUS”), but sometimes the menfolk amaze me with fully-formed sentences too. Since all I wanna do is hang out with Paul Mooney and talk shit or just sit there and listen to him talk shit, and then listen to T.I. read the phone book in his Bankhead lilt, but I can't do either of those things, here's some word joy from the Internet/my record collection/my brain that I'm swooning over:

1.Zapp IV beneath the ashtray, woofers in the back
Water in the duals make loud glass packs.”

E-40 to start the list, obviously because he's my personal John Keating but also because he teaches me things about worlds I am not a part of. I require this of all the men in my life. Water in the duals make loud glass pack is just gibberish to me; 40 might as well have said Cupcake zebra Pirellis on an airplane fold-down tray and I would feel frustrated, like oh shit, new coke slang I don't know about yet. But then I found this. See, Curren$y, my dad, and UGK aren't the only men I listen to when it comes to car engine stuff.

2. In response to a story on Gawker about an attractive and successful female getting caught up with a not-very-attractive and rather bitchy-looking young man from a wealthy family, and then that female winding up dead, a commenter makes his plea:

Switch the genders around and this paragraph still works. Foxy gentlemen, date (lady) nerds! They are charming, old-fashioned, sex crazy and will treat you like gold.

Alas, this is unlikely. Life’s not fair. Nerds don't turn heads and everybody knows the head-turn is the first step toward getting involved in a love affair. Another good example of life not being fair is that that’s not my face on that shirt even though it clearly should be.

3. “He jumped out the Jeep like yo, what up chief
But I don't eat pork, so I guess he wanted beef.”

D-Nice, “25 Ta Life.” Got started thinking about this song because: a) the deathless ubiquity of Vampire Weekend means that they are showing up on Best Of 2010 lists and this picture accompanied one such list:

b) Well would you look at this here, I said. I do believe I have seen a similar photo before that preceded it by about 20 years:

c) Thought about D-Nice and his jeep raps and scrap raps and culinary restriction raps and how great it is to hear what up, chief in a song. I don't eat pork, so I guess he wanted beef. That's really all it takes, you guys, for me to fall in lust, or at least really really strong like. Word-whore English majors for life.

4. Alec Sulkin, Family Guy writer, whose Twitter feed is a series of YES.

5. "I'm sitting in the house now that was built with the Wu-Tang money," says Syl Johnson in the Voice. THE WU-TANG MONEY, he says, and then looks around at his granite countertops and crown moldings. Love Syl's forthcoming ways and unashamed raking in of vocal-snippet payments. Everybody wanted Arab money a few years ago, remember? Now it's Wu-Tang money, at least if you're a beloved '70s soulster. The real prize, though, is the pile of cash that the creator of all the Law & Orders is sitting on right at this moment. I need some of that Dick Wolf money, you guys.

“Different Strokes.” This UNNHHYYH! is only rivaled by the stupendous James Joseph Brown's guttural explosions into microphones during the years 1967-73. Other than that, this is it, having been stretched and looped and lovingly manipulated by dudes from regions including but not limited to Compton and a certain NYC borough.


6. Andrew Kuo, NY Times maker of graphs and sometime DJ at the Cha Cha (but who isn't in this goddamn city, really)

7. “Got a yellow bone bitch rollin’ weed, servin’ grits
You know curly head Amanda, ain’t she from Atlanta?
Condo on Peachtree, roommate named Pamela
In love with her body, girl don’t sweat them lil’ love handles
That’s where I put my hands at when I snatch you up to ram you.”

Curren$y - “Daze of Thunder.”


Chevys over Cadillacs. Body-confidence raps. Rust bucket; I spent fifteen huuuuunnid on that muhfucka. The Mac Dre reference (people from Louisiana listen to Mac Dre! I always thought he was a regional thing, but I'm happy his influence has spread--like how I freaked out when Paul Wall mentioned Nickatina). Ramming (sorry, Mom). Admiring the ass, I’ma smoke to that before I tell you get in the bed and arch your back (sorry, Mom). But most importantly: yellow bone girls, a group I proudly rep. I’m like a super super duuuper yellow bone. In summary, it’s still JET LIFE FOOL, and I’m still the #1 stewardess, as long stewardesses are employed by Pan Am circa '72* or Pacific Southwest Airlines whatever year this was:

I also just found out about something called skullcap tincture, which helps with anxiety and is the plant equivalent of Curren$y's voice. An anti-spasmodic, muscle relaxant, and pain killer, this substance will also provide inspiration when I name my next mixtape. Mannie Fresh x YellowBone Logan present: Skullcap Tincture.



Friday, December 3, 2010

It's you and me against the world, YouTube.

YouTube can't give me good back rubs or tell me I look pretty, but his recommendations make my heart beat faster and that's all I need (other than, you know, a good back rub. And an adoring glance in my direction 2-4 times a week).

Above, look at what YouTube says I like. YouTube knows me. I like Laboe oldies, Jimmy Smith, Bay rap, and various riddims. This seems obvious because you guys pay attention when I start running my yap about snares and wobbly basslines, but you'd be surprised at the lack of attention-paying out there. Sometimes people email me links to Portland drone-rock band websites and I'm like What the hell and Why did you do that; everyone knows I only listen to old stuff (mostly Stax and Rawkus), Full Clip, '93-'96 rap from the state of New York, a little Trick Daddy, and current rap from the states of Georgia, Louisiana, and California.

I could do without the Keith Emerson video where he shows off his backwards tricks, even though I can appreciate his use of Moog. Rick Wakeman is still the white-man-on-keys god, though. And that Santana one is kind of a lazy recommendation. Everything else in this group is pretty on point, however--Cellski, Heatwave, Jimmy Smith, that Simpleton song. Dancehall is good for your self-esteem if you are a hip-blessed woman; I mean they really do love those coke-bottle*, sweating-in-the-bashment body shapes. Dancehall is not good for your self-esteem if you're a gay man, however. This is a conflict for me. I wish both of these groups could be cherished and respected on the island. But then, Jamaicans also frown upon oral sex, so overall it kind of feels like they are a people that cannot be liked or trusted.



In a rare misstep, YouTube recommends an awful Cleveland gimmick rapper (no, not Krayzie Bone. Or Wish Bone. Or any Bone, actually). Apart from feeling hurt that YouTube doesn't realize I hate terrible rappers, I am confused--I'm not sure how you can make the leap from Cellski to Cudi. How ridiculous and dumb, this connection. Should've recommended Ray Cash, YouTube! He's my true Cleveland love based on that song (RICK ROCK) where he talks about what he's listening to and rapping along with while driving in his big-bodied 2-door.

Horace Silver, “Message from Kenya.” Nice save, YouTube. A successful redemption, and a logical next step when someone watches a Sonny Rollins video. I like that Whitefield Brothers push, too--because I watched that Blackrock video with the “Deadly Medley” break. SWOON, 00:28 - 01:28. Oh my goddddd, I said out loud to nobody else in apt. 15 when I first heard this. Oh my dear sweet Jesus. Then I said fuck about 10 times.

Whitefield Brothers. I am so fond of this recommendation that YouTube and I are now going from 2nd to 3rd base about a week sooner than I had predicted.

Sometimes I can't remember doing the thing YouTube said I did, just like in any romantic relationship.

“You said you liked Depp's performance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Really? I did? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I didn't. What I said was, “Depp was never hotter than in Donnie Brasco, holyfuckinghell, would you look at that, how did my panties just come off like that with no warning.” Then I turned to look at you in hopes that you would start dressing and swagging like that too.

“You watched P.A.” I did???? I mean, I appreciate the Outkast and Goodie Mob and 8Ball recommendations, but prove that I watched such a thing. Show me when and where, because honestly I think you're making it up. I like regional rap but I'm not cool enough to have sought out such a semi-obscure group from the greater Atlanta area.

I can remember watching that Whatnauts video, which I do almost weekly because of the way Doomsy used it and the way RZA bent and shaped it into some rap finery a few years back. Ha, just kidding! There was little bending/shaping. He was super lazy with it and basically just put on the record and let it play while he and Deck said what they had to say. No way to eat, so I dropped a half a G on a rented SP/1200 Sampler, and a Yamaha 4-Track/The bass from the lab used to blow the fuckin door back. I love raps about raps (meta-hop), raps about white girls in any form (narcotics, actual white human girls), and raps about struggles during the come-up and descriptions of the first equipment somebody's rap music was made on. By the way, RZA is in Due Date. Prepare yourself; otherwise you too will emit an excited loud cry in the theater and spill your popcorn and everyone will turn and look. We'll get into why I actually spent money to see Due Date in another post. His scene is at the beginning and he is charming and hilarious even though I wish he would always be in '70s garb like in American Gangster or like Depp in Brasco.


YES, I watched “I Luv It,” OKAY? I was having a moment. A 2006 moment. Then I felt corny so I cleansed my soul with some Wayne Shorter and then Jackie Moore's “Precious Precious,” which is what I hear in my head every time I see Depp in Brasco.

You been with every girl in this town/You been dealin in dirt (just wallowin in dirt, yes you have)/But I look at love as a 2-way street/You get the good with the bad, you take the bitter with the sweet. Kanye's loud boring ass, DJ Drama’s stupid cocked fitted like he’s a 15-year-old, Drake’s haircut (his whole hairline, actually. Anything Drake’s-head-related is bad), and grown people who use the word “naughty”: Jackie Moore makes all the things I hate disappear from my brain with her lovely vocals.

Fucking Galt MacDermot has arrived, YES. Bout time. And then YouTube says Here's more Whatnauts for you, Logan. I know you've been looking for this one on vinyl for years because of, you know, this. Enjoy, my precious darling smart beautiful girl. And more breaks (Buddy Baker's “Sign Song” = “Off the Books”). Applause the Lighthouse, yep. And BOSCOE, who I'd never heard of before but who are my new paramours.

(He doesn't really keep me down; don't worry. But he can make my dress come off if someone presses the little forward-direction arrow button down there.) (!)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm in love with my car radio, episode 34,000

I'm your Internet girlfriend and I don't ask a lot of you, other than daily shoulder rubs and you laughing at my jokes. And every once in a while I want you all to pay close attention when I start to go on and on about individual songs on popular radio. This is as close to egotism as I get.

(PS, I'd also like everything I do to be written about in Futura Bold Italic against a red background, like in a Barbara Kruger piece or a Supreme anything. Other than that, I am humble and lack egotism).

On the mighty 101 freeway this evening, I heard some fine pop music; 64 miles, 94 minutes, 10 radio stations, and 7 “Bottoms Up”s later (SEVENNNN, I swear to god, I counted), I have made my selections and here they are: the best “driving back to LA from Mom's after Thanksgiving” songs and what they mean to me. What they mean to all of us.

“This Christmas,” Donny Hathaway. And so it was decreed on this day that the only Christmas songs allowed in apt. 15 are this Donny H. classic, “Christmas in Hollis,” that Pogues one, Prince's “Another Lonely Christmas,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” with Darlene Love's crybaby vocals ripping up the insides of my heart (the effect it was supposed to have, probably because Spector was poking her with a hot wire hanger just outside the booth to get the best performance out of her).

When I’m between salon visits, my hair starts to turn reddish because my highlights are fading. It is during these times that several people have commented that I resemble noted American pornographic thespian Faye Reagan. I don’t see it, other than you can see my freckles when I don't wear makeup. But that’s ok, because she is pretty. I'll take it. Sometimes I also get Anne Hathaway with lighter hair, because we both have those too-large eyes (baby deer lost in the forest). “Anne with highlights,” my mom says. I'll take that too, because Anne Hathaway is pretty and because the comparison makes me feel close to Donny Hathaway. Anyway, Donny's version of this song is the gold standard, the beginning and the end, the only one, pure, uncut, straight from the fields of Afghanistan. This is the ONLY version of this song you’re allowed to listen to. I mean it. I will turn this car around. You can have Kanye and your other false prophets; I'll take Donny and his quiet suffering, his turtlenecks, and his doomed, beautiful voice.

“Bottoms Up,” Trey Songz. This was played 7 doggone times during my time on the freeway tonight, you guys. I guess the evil little playlist-compiling elves at ClearChannel were thinking that that this would be good to drink to at your uncle's house. I was mad at the frequency with which I heard it, and yet I have not lost any appreciation for the song’s woooahhh-oh-ohhh intro, with Trey doing his moaning Kels impression*, the drumroll at 00:47, the double-timed “up”s during the last part of the hook, or the way the whole song is put together. Nice job, KaneBeatz. I hate Nicki’s verse, though, where she does babytalk and starts off with a list of different kinds of booze. It’s like in “Monster,” when Jay just lists a bunch of scary things (demons, ghouls) and then asks what they have in common. UHHH THAT’S NOT RAPPING, SHAWN.

*I can sing this whole part, with no breaks or pitchiness. I also nail every single I know in “Ain't No Sunshine” whenever it comes on the radio. BREATH CONTROL.

Vince, who I swear I've seen around my neighborhood, getting his American Spirits at the store on my block.

“Linus and Lucy,” Vince Guaraldi. Of course this is burned into our childhood memories, the Peanuts kids dancing to it, but please disregard that and listen to the whole thing with fresh ears, as it is lovely and trance-inducing. My brother also informed me that this song powered a Pat Duffy skate part. The only other jazzy tune I know of in the history of skate parts was “Traneing In” in Video Days. And now, as always, I am thinking about how much fun being a boy must be. Girls don’t have that gene that makes you guys want to hurl yourselves off of things, and that’s fine. But every time I see a good skate video part, or hear anything from It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, I get jealous and think being a dude sure seems like it would be fun. Luckily, being a girl is fun enough for me 'cause we get to wear cuddly lounge-y cashmere underthings*. Also fun: this song's meter changes while battling traffic at the 101-405 interchange. That's some joy in my Japanese coupe right there, you blockhead.


want/need. Thank you in advance, based god.

“Sunny,” Bobby Hebb.
I never said a proper goodbye to Bobby and I should have. But hey, have you ever heard James Brown’s hot burning fire version of this song? You should.

(best YouTube comment:

Lady Gaga, you piece of crap. Watch God's incarnation of groove, bow down to Sir unbeatable electrifying unreachable Mr. James Brown and repent, you good for nothing illuminati bitch.

I’d say it were time for this person to attend anger management class, except I completely agree with him.)

“Shotgun,” Jr. Walker & the All-Stars. They say guns clap just like people do, right? I done been down this road before, all pleased with myself for realizing that Jr. Walker and Dilla both decided to call one of their songs “Shotgun.” Must be a Detroit thing. This one’s about high heels and shooting somebody, just like all the best Clipse songs, and of course it all makes wonderful and perfect sense.

“The Return of the D.ST,” De La. 1) Handclappy intros are the best. 2) If something’s, uh, coming, it’s always a nice touch to announce it. Just a couple times, though—if you start saying it too far in advance, and too often, the other person who's there stops believing you. HI MOM.


“No Hands,” Waka. Stripper songs, stripper songs, guess which one of your favorite nerdy lady bloggers loves stripper songs. All we ladies want in a man is 1) a combination of Wale in “No Hands,” 2) Obama, and 3) our dad/grandpa/nice uncle. That is, someone who sweats out weaves, has a powerful presence without resorting to shouting, and tells us Don't ever change, you're perfect and beautiful, but still calls us on our shit since someone always agreeing with you is boring. It took me a little while to give in to Waka and his lovely cheekbones, but here I am. (Thanks for saving me a seat, you guys; nice to see you all here!)

I have many questions about life. So many questions. How come nobody told me about the MF Based mixtape, for example. When will Nipsey and Wiz eat a cheeseburger (so skinny, those boys!). How come Jay-Z never did a verse in which he referred to himself as having x amount of JIGGA WATTS (Back to the Future on TV earlier today). Where is Jeezy. Why doesn't Plies go by Algernod Washington instead because that is a far superior name. Whyyy. And finally: how long will oddballs rule the rap game, bodying everything and everyone with their siren songs. Rap is only going to get weirder in the world in which we live, our own Theatre of the Absurd. I cannot wait.

“All I Want is You,” Miguel feat. J. Cole. All we ladies want when a dude is mean to us is for him to lose some sleep and be very very sorry. There should be some karmic payback for every cruel deed committed, just to make some sense of this crazy world. This song’ll get that estrogen flowing, like when Gaga comes on the playlist loop at H&M and me and all my sistren among the racks of $25 skirts have that tiny, private moment of joy and sing along in our heads.

I wonder sometimes/I wonder if I was wrong/Tryna do right by you got me here/Now all I am is alone. Ah yes. Of course. I recognize an “I cheated; I'm an idiot” lyric when I hear one. 'Cause her eyes, and those hips/And that ass don’t compare at all/And at best, all they do is distract me. Goddamn right; perhaps you should not have strayed from the hips and ass that were waiting for you at home, young man. Aw damn, I love it though. The pathos. That heavy bass drum and the sad echo applied to the vocals makes my progesterone level spike 50%. Salaam Remi produced this, along with “Fu-Gee-La,” and I therefore love him forever and ever amen.

“I Got 5 On It” (original), The Luniz. Much like how I become an honorary Latina every time “Suavecito” comes on, I am suddenly and without warning straight from Alameda County whenever I hear some Luniz. I believe it was my beloved OG rap crush El-P who once said Just because radio don't play you/Doesn't mean that you great. The inverse of this is also true, and has become the theme for this whole list--just 'cause you hear it on the radio don't mean it's not great. The remix of this one has Dru Down's entertaining You can bend her over the table/But be sure that you bring my stallion back to my stable, a callous reference to the trafficking of women's bodies, but unlike people at the Voice, I have the ability to separate my real life from my enjoyment of song lyrics (sorry, I can't let this Odd Future thing go). The remix also has Richie Rich's verse, and Shock G's. But the original has the superstylish Pass it 'cross the table like ping pong, I'm gone/Beat-ing my chest like King Kong. Only it sounds like gaowwwn, and Yuk rhymes it with King Kawwnnng. The line I got more growing pains than Maggie never has gotten enough love in this lady's opinion, either.

In 1996 Oakland, Ebonics was introduced, the concept spread throughout the country, and everybody in America either laughed or got upset. In 1995 Oakland, The Luniz put E-40 on their remix and he became a young Logan's after-hours language tutor--teaching me to think differently about English, like Robin Williams did for those kids in Dead Poets Society.