Monday, March 29, 2010

Ooowee, it's my birthday!

Left: "Me vs. Pants, Episode 863 (Advantage: Me)."
Middle & Right: "Pan Am Stewardess, Circa 1967."

A tennis court from Ghostface (finally), that new OJ Simpson (!!) from my brother, boots & a dress & another dress & shoes from my mom, and cake & ice cream at Reggie's house!

I'm open, RZA
hit me off lovely and I love him

with root beer thoughts,
here's a tennis court for your birthday,
the babyface of rap politic with Sade
avenging eagle crooks rock the W and Spiegel books.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

James | David | O'Shea | Boys | Vendys

1. When I'm in line at Coffee Bean and I see on the TV behind the cashier that Mexico's 'King of Heroin' has been caught and the first thing that comes into my head is "King Heroin" by James Joseph Brown, my father would say his job raising me has been a success.
(Other than the part about me buying corporate coffee. Sorry, Pop.)

Photo above selected due to the fact that the I'm financed in China, ran in Japan/I'm respected in Turkey and I'm legal in Siam part in this song is oddly exactly like something Ali would've said into a microphone in 1966!



9th Wonder producing David Banner sounds like something that came to me in a dream last night, or maybe while daydreaming in line at Coffee Bean, but my computer tells me IT'S TRUUUUE. I predict with great confidence that this will be my favorite album of 2010, and then my favorite of 2013 (I'll shelve it, then find it when I'm flipping through a record crate, and put it on the platter for another month straight). Like what happened with me and "Cadillac on 22s" in '03 and '07, remember?


"They can't make a name for themselves so they need help from the O.G.'s. I refuse to throw 'em a life line. Fuck 'em. It ain't my job to make nobody famous."

"I was sick of babysitting grown ass men and walking them through the industry. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein building uncontrollable monsters. How? If you DON'T make 'em a star, they blame you. If you DO make 'em a star, they leave you. I got sick of that ungrateful shit."

Ice Cube, for your information, is not a mentor or a helper or a babysitter or even a nice dude if you're an LA rapper on the come up. Sowwy. He feels no responsibility to help boost local MCs. I love this story because obviously I prefer my rappers baggy-pants-clad, distant, and pissed-off, thankyouverymuch, but also because it's Ice Cube. Ice Cube is untouchable. He likes the Raiders, he's friends with Hank Shocklee, he'll never ever pop up in a Justin Bieber video (LUDA!). I mean, outside of his film career, there are no credible jabs one can throw. I'm a nice girl and I want everyone to get along but everyone getting along reaches boring levels quite rapidly. There's just something so delicious and fun about a talented grumpy old dude yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, especially since I'm on the old dude's side in this case. Also, I just really, really like a classic, well-placed "Fuck 'em." More, please.

4. Men take more risks when pretty girls are around, says science. This is true, like when rappers talk about being the coolest shit and putting their Gretzky on; it's a risk-taking venture, because girls don't like dudes who brag about themselves and even fewer girls like hockey. Think it through next time, Lloyd. And yes, I am choosing to interpret this line as actual hockey gear since "Gretzky" is simply too stupid of a word for "diamonds" for me to acknowledge.

If your weakness is lady bloggers with hips and a slight case of social anxiety disorder, I suggest going NBA or maybe Division I? I like an old Carmelo Syracuse jersey myself, but if you're going more modern and you're near the greater LA area, Artest is always nice. I mean, really, anything but LeBron.

5. Something called the Vendy Awards are coming to LA in May to judge and honor the best street food. You'll be able to vote online, a final cook-off winner will be decided based on "flavor, portability and personality," and a big bash where you can taste wares from all the entrants will be held at MacArthur Park--where you can also get a Social Security number and something powdery from Asia that might be cut with Fentanyl (careful). I'm just saying, it's a good place to get one's various needs met.

Cue my eye-roll when I hear that this event costs $50 (!), except for the fact that "the Vendys are linked to the Asociacion de Loncheros, the grassroots organization that stands up for the rights of neighborhood taco trucks, rather than the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association, which reps trendy new trucks." Plus the Vendy Awards are the culminating event of the first national street vending conference, "Contesting the Streets: Vending, Open-Air Markets, and Public Space," that runs through the weekend at UCLA. That $50 gets you all-you-can-eat street food, with proceeds going to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and the UCLA Downtown Labor Center. I'll wear my yellow dress, you throw on that pretty orange Carmelo jersey. It's a date.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jim Marshall.

The "Greetings from Johnny Cash" photo and the "Jimi lights his sex weapon on fire" photo mean he would've gotten a tribute post on here eventually. There are other beauties, however. Look/swoon:

Richie opens Woodstock, no big deal, 1969.

Sly in Hat, San Jose, 1968.On Jim's page there's a story about Sly at Doris Day's house, white girls, and coke (back when it really meant something. Now everybody's got white girls and coke, you know? People used to ooh and ahh when they'd see me in the streets. Now the market's been flooded and it's sad for me.)

Led Zeppelin, knits, denim, and pendant necklaces, Los Angeles, 1970. (That's 40 years prior to you, Every Dude in My Neighborhood In A Band*.
[*That's Every Dude in My Neighborhood.])

Monk, Monk's smile, Monk's hat, Gillespsie, Wilson, Monterey, 1963.

Dr. John, San Francisco, 1983.

Allman Brothers, Live at Fillmore East color shot, 1971. Jim is the one who stenciled the band's name on those flight cases! NOW I KNOW! “I'll take Weed Rock Album Cover History for $800, Alex.”

“Muddy with Suspenders.” Chicago, 1970.

“Tom Cat.” I don't know why I love every song that sounds just like dirty sex. I JUST DO. I would appreciate you not over-analyzing that. PS, Muddy, call me.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bay vs. LA | the NBA | the subway

1. 89% of decisions made by Suge Knight in the last 15 years have been ill-timed and idiotic. That kind of consistency is admirable, and rarely found outside a basketball court featuring THE GOD Kobe Bean Bryant (only it's his shooting percentage that we're talking about, so that comparison wasn't my best). Alas, Suge’s latest stunt was sticking up Oakland rap god Yukmouth, and by "sticking up" I mean "ordering his boys to beat and rob Yukmouth." Idiotic and ill-timed. OH MARION.

The Luniz, you see, are friends with everyone north of Monterey County, like Mac Dre before his passing had his boys Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, Solano County, Sac and Yolo. That's a huge crew. Meanwhile, Suge basically has no friends. Obviously.

The comical nature of this story (the altercation occurred at a Ralph's! in the Valley!) is only outweighed by my curiosity regarding the fallout from this act. I believe something between "tons of mixtapes n' diss tracks featuring E-40's slang-fu" and "the Bay vs LA is the new NY vs LA in rap beef" will happen. Either way, I'm here and I'm ready so let's do this.

2. GQ's Most Stylish College Basketball Players of All Time is yet another gimmicky bracket flooding my precious Internet this time of year, but I spend so much time analyzing the style of '70s/'80s players anyway that it's been bookmarked in apt. 15. Carmelo and the Headband make an appearance, but it's Pistol Pete, Bill Walton, and Michigan's Fab Five and their swaggerrific '92-ness that make me especially happy. OhanddidImention there is so, SO MUCH Lakers representation? Magic, West, Rambis, Shaq, Worthy, Wilt…and of course, Adam Morrison and Mark Madsen. Obviously.

3. The "What are they listening to on the subway?" Tumblr is an entertaining urban anthropological study that combines some rather lovely and rather horrid music selections (scroll through) with smiling people who seem to have no self-conscious fear of looking goofy for listening to dumb stuff; I enjoy that. I also like how nobody decided to pull the cliche move and say they were listening to Berlin's "Metro." And I approve of Rory with the "Poppin Tags" action. I never realized how its BPM is probably perfect for the rhythmic movement and blurred visuals of a subway ride. And I approve of Tony, below. Obviously.


Monday, March 22, 2010

We done rocked shows abroad and slept on floors.

I couldn’t do what I do without the assistance of Nutella, Wild Pitch, Alpha Pup, Warren Zevon songs about LA and basically all Asylum records circa '71-'72 on which my parents raised me, cute underpants, cute bathing suits, and yummy corporate coffee (I'm a bad person) with tons of sugar, cream, and cinnamon. And evidently all that my buddy Jati Lindsay needs in order to do his respective thing is some sort of camera (I'm guessing a Leica?) and a ride to the 930 Club in DC in late December 2009 on what must've been 2 very cold and wintry nights.

Along with the sheer beauty of these black-and-whites comes a live hip-hop lesson, in which we finally understand, once and for all, that the index finger-middle finger-ring finger mic grip, with the pinky providing steadiness and control, is THE industry standard.

Thus far, my day has consisted only of gazing intensely at these and wishin and hopin that the Roots|Nappy Roots|Grass Roots Tour (Summer '10) passes through LA.

The Roots, “Water.”
Dumbin, just embracing the dope like it's a woman. Handclaps + bassline, circa '02. I would physically make love to this song if I physically could.



Sunday, March 21, 2010

There is simply no situation in life that cannot be described by an existing Ghostface song.

Health care is a right, not a privilege. I'd like to thank Bart Stupak from the great state of Michigan for rescinding his bitchy move at the last minute, and I'd like to remind John Boehner that he is an OG member of the Dudes Who Will Not Be Seeing Me Naked Club.

Peace to Nancy Pelosi.


I learned about hustles from Jay-Z but I learned about drum loops from these two.

It's quite the red-letter day in apartment 15, as we celebrate the births of 2 humans so epic (please refer to photo above) that my poor little body can't handle so much hip-hop and I think I might just pass out and die right here on the spot. I hope my spirit will live on. At my funeral, please play something from Daily Operation and a little “Live at the Barbeque.” (And “In My Life,” by the Beatles.)

Happy birthday, DJ Premier and Large Professor, born March 21, 1966 and 1972 respectively! I enjoy living in a universe that has made it so that you two luminous gentlemen were born on the same day. Incredible.

Premier. I don't care if they want a ounce. Tell em bounce.

Large Professor in the house. You know how we do. I skate on your crew, like Mario Lemieux.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media (“6-inch height was the bird” edition)

03/16/10. Jakarta, Indonesia: A boy trains a racing pigeon. [Beawiharta/Reuters]

Street merchant tucked in the cloud, stay splurgin. Apollo kids + eagle head. [Photographer unknown, date unknown, photo agency unknown]


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sundress music, with special guest Gary Grice

Songs for summertime clothes.

The one where Devendra walks around town with his boys and proves he has 1 black friend, but never once encounters a comb or a shower. Sigh.

Thanks, Pitchfork.

And this is the one where Devin the Dude, after years of convincing arguments, compels me to become a smoker. This guy is never in a bad mood. Plus he's done a lot of reparative work for Texas' reputation after the dark days of George W.

Why thank you, Kevin Nottingham.

Jorge Ben - “Take It Easy, My Brother Charles.” Meu irmão de cor.



Monday, March 15, 2010

Aretha. Andrew. Sly.

Jerry Wexler + Aretha, an epic coupling in the long, long history of Urban Judaic Man Signing Green Young Talent to Contract in Order to Lay Down Gorgeous Tracks Together.
Spector + Ronettes, Clive Davis + everybody, Rifkind + Wu. Etc.

1. News items about old singers whose influence cannot be quantified always gets me thinking What are we gonna do when ________ dies? (Prince, Stevie Wonder). Sorry to be so morbid. By contrast, I do believe that a recently-unearthed, Sydney Pollack-directed documentary of Aretha recording 1972's Amazing Grace will provide us with some life-affirming positive energy. Please remember that from here on out, any lack of appreciation shown for Aretha will result in me sitting you down and pulling out that dusty old Marianne Faithfull quote to show you. Again.

“One Step Ahead.” Columbia-years Aretha. I've posted it before, but I can't help myself because, you see, I know...I can't...afffoooorrrd to stop. (00:53).


“Rock Steady.” Perfection, due to its combination of jangly guitar, mention of the motion of hips, and sheer meta-ness because I LOVE a self-referential song. Let's call this song exactly what it is (what it is, what it is, what it iiiiis).


2. “Do not build fortresses to protect yourself; isolation is dangerous.” Andrew Bynum of my beloved Lakeshowww (he's the only one on the squad without a current hand injury) is getting all grown up now and has just discovered Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power [CNN]. Welcome to the year 2000, Andy! You heard Supreme Clientele yet?

The 49th Law is "Always heed the advice of Mr. Sky Hook."

I already posted this one before too, but it gets a second nod simply based on the line I know I talk a lot of shit but I can back it up, part of the vast collection of statements I love because they are things I could never get away with saying In Real Life. Also, it gets a second nod 'cause it's M.O.P. Duh.

3. Goddammit, Sly Stone, your music makes my brain hurt and my lady areas feel nice and even though you're a space alien we still celebrate the annual marker of your years here on Earth. You and Kool Keith have that in common. Happy birthday.

“Equinox symmetry and the balance is right/Smokin' and drinkin' on a Tuesday night.”


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guiltlust. “Electro Wars.” Tastes like fruit when you hit it/gotta have bread to get it.

1. When you feel sucker-ish and manipulated by buying into mainstream cultural notions of what physical beauty is, even though you know logically that it's all tied to capitalism and convincing women they should be happy with their second-class citizenship, but you still can't help but think Amanda Seyfried looks superfoxy in Esquire: that, my friends, is what we refer to as guiltlust.

Lee Fields - “Ladies”


See also:

Beyonce, who gets more inhumanly physically attractive with each passing minute, even with those bangs, yellow eyeliner, and a ridiculous cowboy hat while doing nothing to subvert the dominant paradigm and making Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., even more boatloads of money. But I tell you, all those Lady Gaga collabos look so good on her.

Related: feeling ashamed to find yourself attracted to a young, grizzled Phil Collins (!) when you come across a Genesis photo from the '70s. This is proof that even if you make awful fake-prog rock with your band, and even if you're a diminutive pasty Brit who wears a shearling coat, STYLE TRUMPS ALL. This is also proof that everything that was once fresh comes back 'round again, fashion-wise. If their pants were tighter I'd be almost positive I saw these dudes at the Cha Cha last night.

2. Electro Wars,” via my Cratekings boyfriends. It's true, Lil Jon--Muhfuckas don't even know what the fuck they're talkin about.

Listen, I love synth and 808 as much as the next stunningly beautiful girlnerd music fan, but I am growing increasingly tired and frustrated with dudes who are “tired and frustrated with the hip hop scene,” whatever that is. So here we have a video collection of things that make me want to throw stuff across the room, including but not limited to: a predictable appearance by fucking Will.i.Am's annoying ass, Pitbull's annoying culo, a wholly inexplicable appearance by the god Premier (??!), pasty white men culture-poaching and boosting the best music Juan Atkins already made in the '80s, and 1 of the LMFAO buffoons bragging that Kanye was unhappy when they covered “Love Lockdown.” (That's quite a feat, you know. Kanye rarely gets upset.) Ugh.

Your attention please: I would like to hereby announce that my transformation into “grouchy old-timer at the party in the back of the room clutching her Mantronix and Kraftwerk records to her chest” is now complete.

3. Cough-wheeze-cough! HI SPIKE.

The latest in ESPN's 30 for 30 series is Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks, premiering Sunday night at 9. In related news, please do not call me Sunday at 9 or during the 60 minutes directly following 9. Thanks.

Reggie Miller is annoying and gives off a real strong bitchy vibe. Also, he believes himself to be quite the comedian when he calls into Dan Patrick's radio show that I listen to on the way to work; this belief is erroneous (he's not amusing in the slightest). Dan always announces him as Reggie Aloysius Miller, though, which is funny, see, 'cause that's Pat Ewing's middle name.

Anyway, Reggie as a sports figure, it must be said, is pretty compelling--somewhat because of the fact that I like New York hiphop and every New York MC has mentioned the Knicks at some point in verse, but more so because of the fact that he's mentioned in various southern-rap-odes-to-weed because Reggie Miller can be smoked, just ask 8 Ball, and also because he can be approvingly mentioned in rhyme by a New York MC, just ask Biggie (the understated “Play hard like Reggie Miller/Rapper-slash-dope dealer,” which was clearly written just 'cause Big needed something to rhyme with dealer. Oh Christopher.)


Friday, March 12, 2010

Herbie Hancock scoring the Miles Davis biopic starring Don Cheadle is relevant to my life for several reasons.

I like it when superb things combine forces into one easily-consumed unit. This upcoming film is like music-nerd Voltron [Paste]. Plus Miles had a thing for thin blonde ladies with ambiguously ethnic features so I probably have a shot at a role.

1. “The choice (of composer) is apt considering Hancock, no small figure in the jazz world himself, played with Davis when he was living.” The choice is also apt because of the random Herbie factoids I will proudly wield when the film is in theaters, like how he scored Colors AND Blow-Up, which gives him a level of cinematic cache I don't think I've seen before or since. Blow-Up, by the way, is legendarily dope in the world of movie poster-dom:

2. ROCKIT”! Rockit, people. Rock-it. It's an instruction, a reminder of how you're supposed to navigate your way through daily life. It's also 1 of about 7 songs in the vinyl collection I have curated in apt. 15 that tirelessly and without fail KILLS IT no matter how often you hear it (“Sweet Child O'Mine,” “Know the Ledge,” “Crimson & Clover,” “Apache”), even though it has been disgustingly poached for commercial endeavors over the years and used every time there's a montage of goofy white guys breakdancing in a film.

This (a), which begat this (b). And this.

She love me and she drivin me crazy.

4.Cheadle, in addition to co-writing the screenplay, is set to direct and star in the film.” Don Cheadle, possessor of his fair share of valuable gifts (kind eyes, acting skills that display his intelligence without pretentiousness), being revealed as a writer is the stuff that every English major girldork daydreams about while stuck in traffic. I think we all remember his performance at the coffee place last week, too. Swoon, Don.

That Akinyele line! OBVIOUSLY. I'm sorry, no disrespect to the man's oeuvre but for the rest of my days every time I hear Herbie Hancock my brain's next logical step will be recalling that
I be like Herbie and Han you a c--- line (edited because I don't want my mom to see. Also, because I'm super classy). Herbie Han-cock. So clever/genius. Queens MCs are awfully clutch with that there wordplay.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I need a good “Cool Runnings” pun

Now that things have settled down in Saints-Land, I've returned from the French Quarter and put my top back on and my beads away. And it's not time to fill in my failure of a March Madness bracket yet. And the Lakers' inevitable domination over all who cross their path on the road to victory is still like a month I've been needing some sort of sports-related thing to happen that I could celebrate and/or complain about. And then, thank you, here comes CNN with this piece about a Jamaican manning a dogsled team in the Iditarod race. A Jamaican! So wacky. So, you know, Fire pon Babylon of course, but also fire pon animal abusers. (The Iditarod, by the way, started as a way for freight to be transported across Alaska, and even though technology has progressed and there are superior methods for moving things now, people still like to strap harnesses on these poor, sweet beasts with their friendly eyes and wagging tails, and then call the whole thing a feat of human endurance. Also, there's the fact that Palin exists. Goddammit, Alaska.)

Newton Marshall is the musher (real word? unclear) being profiled. “Hey, mon! ... I'm from Jamaica. I'm running the Iditarod!” is a quote they attribute to him but it's so cringe-worthy that I'm suspecting it comes from Jason, a CNN intern who listened to East of the River Nile a hundred times in high school. The fact that animal cruelty knows no geographic bounds is not lost on me, but for now can we just focus on the wonderful fact that Newton Marshall is the most Jamaican of Jamaican names I've heard in quite some time? Add a General, a Saw, or a Banton, a Ranks, and it's a proverbial wrap. Barrington, Aston, Alton, Horace, Augustus, Coxsone; they all have those fancy names that make them sound like they're members of the House of Commons.

Additionally, randomly and comically, the Jamaican dogsled team is “financially supported by Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville cafes.” Uh, hold up? Hold up! So even though the Jamaican dogsled team is made up of rescued strays, even though they make the dogs run for 9 hours straight while in training,
even though Sir Newton Marshall is content being a human novelty of color in a world of grizzled Caucasoid types and that makes me embarrassed for him, Jimmy Buffett being behind this somehow gets me on board, full-throttle. Jimmy Buffett, FYI you guys, sleeps on piles of cash and isn't a businessman; he's a business, man. Concerts, restaurants, a casino, tequila, the Miami Dolphins' field, a dogsled team--Jimmy is the Jay-Z of yacht rock.

I am legally required to post “Margaritaville” at this point in the post, since the rhythmic pattern was ingrained in me as a child born to Caucasians in suburban southern California, I know all the words forward and backward, I hear it and suddenly I am eating a mayo sandwich on my way to a tennis match in my Top-Siders. Join me please, white people, in celebrating one of our most beloved community anthems.



I'd also like to sneak this in, a Jamaica-related piece of photographic beauty. I just saw this pic of Jimmy Cliff today, as Time did a photo feature about 2010 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Just too dope not to share.

[John Van Hasselt / Sygma / Corbis]

Tom Browne - “Funkin' for Jamaica.”



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

National holiday (in apt. 15)!

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and Hold It Now, HIT IT everybody, because it's the date of birth of Frederick Jay Rubin!!, he of OG shamanic glory (sorry, RZA) and possessor of the single greatest rabbinical beard in hip-hop (aw, sorry Freeway). It's a pain in the ass that banks and post offices are closed for the occasion, I realize, but show Uncle Rick a little respect.

What more can I say, the dude leaves me speechless--other than if my record collection is my greatest muse,
Rick Rubin is Apollo. Now start the reign in blood and rock the fuckin bells, stat.