Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alphabetically stuck on that English.

Language moments that pleased me this week.

Since it's not Aug.-Oct. '09 I'm not really listening to OB4CL2 anymore. Girls are finicky and not very loyal, so what do you expect. We move on. Rae doesn't care; he's making a video for Ason Jones” and the coverage of it allows me to revisit this:

“Five foot seven, a legend was born, Russell ‘Ason’ Jones/I know him for his braids and lessons.” Plus he could dance slow and had knowledge 120 and would be killing things on Twitter if he were here.

Apart from my excitement in knowing ODB and I were the same physical size (!) thanks to this couplet here, the braids/lessons line is a restrained and lovely statement. He looked like this, and he talked like this, Rae says, but in far fewer words than I'd need and in a much gentler tone of voice than I'd use when describing ODB, a man for whom I have so much affection. Always calm, that Rae. Steadfast.
Additionally, a Dilla beat is probably the only kind that could accurately carry the pathos of a tribute song.

Bun B & T-Pain, Trillionaire.” Terrible song despite the presence of Bun's voice and the line where he says “tubular” then adds “uvula” as a colorful descriptive in that part about getting oral, but I'm including this one based on the feelings of disbelief it has stirred up within me. Nobody who raps and is from the state of Texas thought to make a song called “Trillionaire before?

Also not yet used and that I'm offering everyone with a mixtape and a Port Arthur ZIP code: Dressed to trill. Mentally trill. An uptrill battle. It's all downtrill from here. Where there's a trill there's a way. Saul Trilliams. And of course, the least-respected member of the Geto Boys, Trillie D.
Limited time offer. Everything must go.

Taking place in Brooklyn as of this very moment, the Afro-Punk Festival is a redundantly-named gathering (it's rather like putting Afro- in front of R&B or blues or rock). Nonetheless, I fully support it because Mos Def, J*Davey, POS, and the Bad fucking Brains (hello) are playing. So it's redundant but still nice. What, no Race Music Festival?

“We want to expose kids to the idea that there’s a different option, a different way to be,” said Matthew Morgan, a London native who helped start the festival partly in the spirit of uplift for minority children. “If everyone wears baggy trousers, and we all look the same, how rebellious is that?”

HIGH FIVE and EXACTLY, said the girl in her tiny apartment who has the appearance and carriage of a schoolteacher but the heart of a 17-year-old boy from Queens in '95, Dah Shinin' playing in his Civic.

Finally, someone calls out individuals who use the truncated simile too often on the microphone. Unfortunately, that someone was the annoying, monotone-voiced Canadian. I never thought we'd agree on anything, he and I, and now I need a shower. Thanks, Aub.

Man fuck it I’m out,
Black owned and I’m bout it fool
I got a studio in my house

Along with some of the perks that come with my work

Pretty twentysomething sleeping in my Diamond Supply shirt

New Curren$y feat. Mos & Jay Electronica, “The Day” (it keeps getting taken down, but it's worth the search). Even though the word "featuring" is inappropriately used here since Mos is just on the chorus and we all remember what a hard time we gave a certain bomb-dropping individual when he tried to get away with that, this song is excellent and notable for the following reasons:

- Wack n---as with that sleep rappin and woke up in trou-ble
You was cool 10 years ago, you fuckin Lex bubbles!

(My exclamation point for emphasis.) a) Curren$y sounds like he's about to fall asleep on account of the THC impeding his psychomotor coordination, and I commend the way he still manages to keep up with the rhythm of things. b)“Lex bubbles," welcome to my vocabulary as the newest and freshest in derogatory terms. I'll be incorporating it repeatedly into conversation for the next 2 weeks.

- the last line about the sleeping half-naked girl paints a very clear picture. I can practically see her lying over there. I hope you brought a hairbrush, sweetie. (Also, Nicky Diamonds--I continue to be jealous of your high-quality rap associations.)

- Bout it is still showing up in verses by Louisiana MCs. That's un-ironically great. In recent years we've been bout this, of course, and sometimes bout that, but nothing really makes an impact as much as the original declaration.

- Not really English-language-related, but the song is produced by Ski, who's been committed to blacksploiting every beat he comes into contact with since '97. He did some stuff on Reasonable Doubt II, but that was not as appealing to me as his Camp Lo stuff. It'll always be uptown Saturday night in apt. 15. Love you, Ski.

Of Montreal, “Coquet Coquette.” [Stereogum] See, sometimes I like music from Georgia that's not Grand Hustle or Dungeon Family or the Allman Brothers or that got its start on the chitlin circuit.


Coquet Coquette
You know I won't forget
How you kissed me strange to prove you were mythical
Oh my Coquet you use my voice as your earthly vehicle

Coquet Coquet
You know I won't forget
How you hurt me twice to prove you were cynical
Oh my Coquet, you are the death, you are the pinnacle

With you I can only see my black light constellations
And other shit I don't think I have the language to say
I don't want to catch you with some other guy's face under your eyelids
Something must be wrong, you give me emotional artifacts
That can find no purchase...

Coquet Coquette
You know I won't forget
How you made me cry to prove I was dutiful
Oh my Coquet, my teenage lust for you is so pitiful

This feature on the making of Aquemini is the latest forum for Andre to reveal himself as Sun Ra with a Geouhgia accent. My teenage lust for him is so pitiful.

- “You find some of the fakest people with dreads pouring oils on you.”

- “I'm so not in the world that I didn't know Vincent Price had passed. I was going to have him on there.” I love it when he proudly trumpets his disconnect from earthly things. I'm so not in the world. Swoon.

- “I always wonder, what's the last song recorded in the world going to sound like?”

- “Iceberg Slim used to put out albums talking on beats and I was like, ‘This is cool.’ I think I laid down my verse first and Big just came in. But instead of spoken word, Big likes to call it ‘smokin’ word.’ That was his smokin’ word.”

- “I remember reading about human beings and how if everybody is in the same place, humanity can go to another dimension. And when I'm saying that and recording that - ‘You are now entering the fifth dimension of ascension/Our only mission is to take you high’ - that's what I'm thinking. I was just trying to make the impossible out of music, make people rise in some kind of way.” Andre's got the hippie spirit of my dad, but he's not my dad, which is a grand thing because it means we can have relations without it being incestuous. That was a close one.

Adorable punctuation silkscreen in which characters assume voices and personalities and describe their functions in a pun-filled group scene. This, along with this, is the perfect snapshot of my sense of humor. Deal with it.

Thanks. I picked it up in Paris. Ha.

She got jumper cable lips.

- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, “40 Day Dream,” a song about wanting to die because she's so wonderful. Oh, you could just die because of her gold doorknobs for eyes. If I were this girl, I'd be flattered, but because I don't require metaphor in flattery, I'd also enjoy hearing You have a lovely grasp of grammar and Do you want to wear my Diamond Supply shirt and sleep in my bed.

“All I Do Is Win” is constantly on the radio in my Civic and I don't mind so much, shockingly. (I don't need to link to it; just turn on your radio).

It’s incredible that Rawss is still lyrically committed to presenting himself as a kingpin, like we’re all gonna forget what we saw on The Smoking Gun. The best part of having this song in my life is when I'm driving around and it comes on the radio, I find myself getting excited just before Snoop's verse comes in. His cadence is pulled straight from an R&B song. The lyrics aren't telling me anything new but if you think of the words as being written and spoken by E-40, they'll mysteriously just have more meaning. S'just the way it is, Snoop.

Heat in the kitchen, pot on the stove
Water getting boiled, dope being sold
Snoopy in the hoopty, system overload
I've been running this rap game since I was 20 years old
I hung with the worst of them
Bust till I burst on 'em
Floss 'em up, toss 'em up, Hardaway, boss 'em up
Pardon me I bossing the pressure up, bless ya bruh
Don't wanna mess with us
We like the U in the 80's
Back to back set a trap
Hit the lick, hit it back
Hit the trick, jump the track
Bitch I want my money back
Time and time again while I'm sipping on this gin
Al Davis said it best, just win baby win.

Alcindor graduates, 1969.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and other things of that nature. John Wooden gave us all those bite-sized aphorisms that Bill Walton is compiling for Chicken Soup for the Basketball Player's Soul. You just wanna take these sayings and carve 'em into something wooden and hang it in front of your house. Right up there with fireworks to signify some sort of climax or declaring you're going to Disneyland or Compton when you've won a televised athletic competition, Wooden's cliches are unparalleled. I mean, never in a million years did I think I'd be doing a post about him.

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team,” John Wooden said, and I believe it was the Main Ingredient who said “Everybody plays the fool, sometimes.” There's no exception to this. And hey, since we're talking about the Main Ingredient, let's revisit this thing of sonic cheerful sunshiny beauty whose drum break was borrowed and gently placed inside “Things Done Changed.”

Ronald Artest The Ever-Quotable is just too great, too wonderful of a human. He can't be real. This interview with him has achieved classic status in apt. 15; I look at the photo above--my new desktop background--and read the exchange aloud, alternating between my own voice when I play the interviewer, and a scratchy voice with a Queens lilt when I do Ron's parts.

Do you think the Lakers would be the champs today if Ariza, and not you, was their swingman?

Yeah, I think so. I think they still would've beaten Boston with Trevor. I really believe that.

You know, thanks to you, your psychiatrist, Dr. Santhi, is the most famous name in her profession since Sigmund Freud.

I just love her. She helped me relax in the storm -- in a huge storm. I was in the eye of the storm, and I was able to control the storm, and it was beautiful. So un-self-conscious.

(Until) now, the only humans to hear “Champions" were your musical collaborators and the boys in your locker room. You started floating the song around the team midseason. It has since become the team's unofficial anthem. What inspired you to record it?

“Well, when I decided I was going to be in L.A., a guy I was working with said, ‘You're going to be a champion.' So I wrote a song called 'Champions.' But it's a song for everybody. It's not just about basketball. It's not about sports. It's for anyone who wants to be a champion -- a champion father, a champion mother. Anybody can be a champion.” TICAAAAAL.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

“Just as the habit does not make the monk, the sceptre does not make the king” and other news (Sara, Manute, Fender, Shider, Lakeshow, the Sipp)

Quote above courtesy of writer, communist, and champion of the people Jose Saramago, who died this week. Once you go Marxist, your name is forever dirt among the small-minded; what more is there to say. And I loved Blindness; what more can I say.

The masses get excited for Drake and his cringe-inducing lyrical non-prowess (“What am I doing? What am I doing?/Oh yeah, that's right: I'm doing me”), when it's Saramago, a real man of letters, who should be celebrated--and not just in his native Portugal.
Behold the beauty below.
Obrigado, senhor.

Beautiful-facial-featured Spanish WAG Sara Carbonero is my new girlfriend with whom I'll be running away to a land where we can marry and lounge around nakedly and read Neruda poems to each other all day long. With that skin tone and those Arab eyes--her face is like the illustrated history of the Moors fornicating their way through Europe--she rules my heart, yes, but is still only my second-favorite Spaniard, behind this gorgeous specimen:

Quantic - “Juanita Bonita.”


God bless the freaks, went one of the more prominent bumper stickers I'd see at Dead shows when I was little. Amen, brother.

Manute Bol, my brother in unnatural-body-type-ism (his unnaturalness was height and lank; mine is scrawny legs and fat hips), was a good guy. He was able to withstand the vast difficulties and rude stares incurred as a result of being 7'7" (that's like
a head taller than Garnett, yikes) and used his fame and money to the benefit of causes in his home country, the Sudan. He was also so smart that he really was somewhat a nerd, which makes me love him even more.

When he played for Philadelphia, Bol became friends with Charles Barkley, who shares this:

You know, a lot of people feel sorry for him, because he's so tall and awkward, but I'll tell you this -- if everyone in the world was a Manute Bol, it's a world I'd want to live in. He's smart. He reads The New York Times. He knows what's going on in a lot of subjects. He's not one of these just-basketball guys. Basketball's just one percent of it. You know what he was talking about the other day? Milk. He was saying that he grew up on milk straight from the cow. Squeezed it himself. Milk. He says, ‘Charlie, what's this lo-fat milk, this two percent milk, all of this other milk? Cows don't give lo-fat milk, two percent milk. We shouldn't drink it.’ I don't know. Maybe he's got something. Ain't no maybe about it, Charles. Except maybe he'd tell you to stop doing those T-Mobile commercials because they're not funny, and do you really need the money at this point, unless you're giving it to charitable causes in the Sudan? Good lord.

Please get me this book, out later in June: Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970. Guitars are perfect because the sounds they emit fill our lives with joy, and because they are shaped like women. Ain't no maybe about that, neither.

Gary Shider, Diaperman, Starchild, has left this place and joined the big cosmic slop up there above the clouds. He was proficient in gospel and goddammit if that's not what this music is, below.

Coke & headphones are necessary here, after you press play. C'mon, a little won't kill you.

In the role-playing game of Funk Gods If They Were Clan Gods,

Bernie Worrell is RZA (song constructor),
Eddie Hazel is GZA (space cowboy in tune with the cycles of the moon; not of this earth),
George is Mef (charisma, voice),
Bigfoot Brailey is Rae (the anchor, consistent, unflashy),
Bootsy is Ghosty (often high-pitched voice),
and Shider, of course, is ODB. Because he wore a diaper on stage, people.

Lakeshow necessities:

- “Drake Brings Out Kobe at Powerhouse" is a headline which could also just as accurately say “2 Wack Rappers on Stage at Powerhouse.” My strong sense of integrity means that I simply cannot overlook bad music, which explains my snark here, but #24 is still the greatest. And hey, what happened to all those people who were making fun of the LA Times magazine spread? So weird, how they're not really running their yaps right now. You oughta be ashamed, e-thugs. It's like the liquor store owner in Menace said: I feel sorry for your mother.

- Ron-Ron has a song called “Champion” that is, let's be honest, not very good, but the best part about following this link is that you'll see various commenters on Rap Radar correctly ascertaining that it's far superior to anything on Drake's album. I find comfort in this, being understood by my brothers in hip-hop, even though I dislike the fact that Ron had to do it over that goddamn Beamer Benz beat. WHYYYY in the name of Long Island City his verses were not done over “The Bridge” instrumental is beyond me, but I love Ronald always and forever. If things don't work out with Sara C. and me, he's definitely my next conquest.

- Most of the team (sorry, Luke) and a spectacular pair of Harlequin pants were guests on Jimmy Kimmel. Update: even if things do work out between Sara and me, I'm setting my sights on Ron. He's my density.

Haley Barbour is the Republican governor of Mississippi, deflector of criticism aimed at BP, and brand-new Dude Who Will Not Be Seeing Me Naked. Welcome, Haley! Pull up a seat next to Sean Hannity, just behind all the dudes in that goddamn Grown-Ups movie who bored me to death with their courtside appearances and half-assed takes on NBA rivalries during the finals (even you, Chris Rock, who disappointed me most of all because you should know better).

Barbour is going to be trouble, I can feel it already. “A self-described ‘fat redneck,’ he speaks in a marble-mouthed Mississippi drawl, loves Maker’s Mark bourbon, resembles an adult version of Spanky from the Little Rascals and fits no one’s ideal of a sleek new political model: squat, big-bellied and pink-jowled, he looks as if he should have a cigar in his mouth at all times (and occasionally does),” and makes it clear he'd be none too pleased if his daughter were to bring home a young man of color. Oops, I may have added that last part.

“A bunch of liberal elites were hoping this would be the Three Mile Island of offshore drilling,” said Mr. Barbour, who earns over $120,000 annually but is in no way a dreaded elite. This was in response to the BP spill, which Barbour insists was not very consequential--I mean, oil won't affect the ecosystem just offshore from his state, which he knows for a fact based on his scientific research that consists of walking along the Mississippi coastline and seeing that very few tar balls have washed up. Offshore drilling employs a lot of people in Mississippi, and it's nice that he's defending that; however, I believe he has an even stronger sense of obligation to defend the oil companies that gave him $1.8 billion toward his gubernatorial campaign.

“I appreciate him promoting tourism,” said Diane Peranich, a Democratic state representative from the coast in response to Barbour's public statements of delusion, “but not to the detriment of reality.”

Home to this guy and birthplace of Elvis, plus that whole Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner unpleasantness, Mississippi needs a miraculous turnaround if it hopes to redeem itself after all these years. David Banner and Bo Diddley can't carry the whole state, you guys.

America is broke/its backbone was built off of dope, oil and false hope.
David Banner - “When You Hear What I Got to Say.” I sure do love this song, especially right around the second minute. Like me, David's got a dirty mouth but a pristine soul.



Thursday, June 17, 2010

I said hey hey hey/What you got to say


Hollywood swingin'!


I LAUGHED, I CRIED. Ron-Ron thanked his psychiatrist. Adam Morrison bragged that he now has twice as many rings as one K. Garnett. Bow Wow and Jesus Shuttlesworth underestimated the power of Queensbridge which is just so foolish. Really, that's like trying to win a championship series with jumpshots instead of consistently scoring down low. I mean, how dumb can you be.


Monday, June 14, 2010

D. Fish's Isaac Hayes beard disappoints. USC. Rap underperformers. Drake's stranglehold on the hearts of journalists. Goo.

That beard, my favorite beard on a human this side of Frederick Jay Rubin, could not out-play Shrek and Donkey. Sigh. That's not how we practiced it, gentlemen. And now I'm going crazy, I'm sitting alone in my 4-cornered room, starin at candles. My mother's always stressin I ain't livin right. It's fuckin messed up, you guys, this mind of mine.

Isaac Hayes - “Hung Up On My Baby.” (my baby = the Lakeshowww)


(It was either this or Sam & Dave's “Hold On, I'm Comin,” produced by Mr. Hayes but I would have failed you if I did not mention the sexual fervor that is Steve Cropper's guitar, which you really should listen to like it's the first time and take in that title, that chorus, like the promise that it is. Sweet Jesus, what a song. Makes my heart skip a beat, I tell you.)

Presenting, for one night only, in all its glory - Thank you, Barry Switzer: the story of a girl, her blog, and a pasty old football coach turned TV analyst who stood up for a scrappy LA team.

Everybody hates the popular/beautiful girl, even if she's really nice. They dislike her success. Nobody could be blessed that much. No fair. Let's be mean to her. Haters to the left, and then form an orderly line out the door and around the block. Such is the tale of the football squadron at the mighty University of Southern California, clearly the only school in NCAA history to have the thick, murky waters of cashmoney sin lapping up on the shores of pure and true academia/rah-rah sportsmanship. For shame, Mike Garrett and Pete Carroll! Reggie Bush was allowed to drive a car and live in a house?

OH WAIT. That's only what we're supposed to believe. I'm far from a Reggie Bush fan (he's got a bitchy and Napoleonic air), but the shoulders of Reggie Bush are currently being burdened with blame and it's not fair. If you see something, say something, right? Barry Switzer notes that Reggie Bush getting cars and cash is the norm rather than the anomaly, it's been that way for years, and it'll just keep happening when you have 19-year-olds padded up on TV, making cash registers sing for athletic departments across the land. Switzer's comments are my most recent addition to the long, long list of things that people should just say out loud and stop omitting. Feel the power of truth. Rihanna's voice is not good. Glen Davis' eyes are too close together. Fucked-up Eminem was better than the sober version. Stop the charade already.

I have no reason to like Barry Switzer, since I'm ambivalent about the Sooners and I wish the Cowboys nothing but malice and a fiery end off a tall cliff, but credit has to be given here because it's due.
He is exactly right here. Agents and Escalades aren't the problem but a symptom of a larger problem/issue and I wouldn't even really call that issue a problem. The kids in uniforms play for free and they yield millions of dollars for their schools, millions of merch units sold, millions of viewers on TV, and make working-class girls like me want to go to those schools and walk in their halls. Although there are Division I coaches with better names (1. Izzo; 2. Stoops), Switzer’s on-point distillation of this issue renders him Today’s Winner. Nice one, Switzy.

O'Jays - "For the Love of Money." Lookie, it's a pun! Orenthal's name! I RULE.

Gamble plus Huff plus bass plus wah-wah. Pretend it's your first time hearing this; demand the DJ put this on when you come into the club, and I'll see you from across the room and swear you're Nino Brown. I mean, the resemblance is really uncanny.

Things I wish were better, rap-wise:

Minaj—love her and the way she p-pushes it real good, and the ludicrous amount of fun she seems to be having on the microphone is only rivaled by Chris Bridges, but I thought she was above the “Look At My Ass” hustle (which is a hustle I strongly wish I had thought of, as it is highly successful). The debate of why we hold the "Look at my ass; I'm classy" girl (Beyonce, Rihanna) and the "Look at my ass because it's Warholian" girl
in higher regard than girls like Nicki shall be deferred at this time.

Why is everyone acting like those Big Boi songs are good? (These ones). They're too busy, the beats are too crowded, the choruses are dumb. More Organized Noize, please. More playin tennis with Don Cornelius, please. We playin on the moon, bitch. PACE.
“General Patton” and “Shutterbugg” aside, I demand better. His record's still .500 at this point. I swear, sometimes I think you guys only like stuff because your friends do.

Q-Tip is annoying me steadily. The 16-year-old me deep inside is pouting.

CNN's "Let's Get Money." Let's leave the throwaway tracks thrown away, Nore, mi querido. It's called manners.

That J.Cole, not fantastic. It's called “Higher” and while I admire its aspiration, it does not take me there. I mean, that title is simply not a reality. Are all biracial MCs on some sort of wackness kick? (please see next bullet point, below)

I know way too many Drake songs right now/That I didn’t know last year. I blame bloggers, the entire province of Ontario, and Jimmy Iovine. Drake is only useful as a plot device (heroine vs. antagonist whom she hates and would never sleep with, but what's this? Sometimes she finds herself humming that pretty part in his hit song "Find Your Love" [the third find your heart in the chorus, with the key change], though this has less to do with Drake than it does with the production power of melodic princes No ID and K. West).

Caramanica’s piece about him was wonderful, of course, but did not succeed in what I believe was an attempt to make Drake a sympathetic character in the saga that is Pop Music. There's talk of his emo mastery, of course, except that I'd like to mention that everyone signed to Rhymesayers is superior in this regard. His alleged handsomeness is cited, of course, but he just can't compete with T.I., the true beauty queen of popular rap (those perfect white teeth!). The most memorable things I took away from the article are that Drake’s worldview is that Girls Are Mean (Rihanna) and he once leased a Phantom and parked it in front of the damn house even though his mom couldn’t pay the bills. OMG, you can’t handle it. The realness. It’s too real for you. There's some foolishness of youth that we've all gone through, yes, but that's just offensive. He sure was gauche for a rich kid.

And ha!, look at this, the end of this salacious story (last few lines)! Even Drake’s fans are the worst, lamest kind of criminals--Van Der Sloot, failed pro poker player and alleged girl-killer, loves Drizzy's rhymes, his realness.
Everybody knows having your music incite the killing of a Texas state trooper is true hiphop. I'm getting tired of spelling it out for you every time.

Goo is 20 this month, and Kim and Kim's husband and Lee and Steve are still ten times more hiphop than everybody except Scott-Heron, Crazy Legs, the melodic backbone that holds up “Trans-Europe Express,” and Rick Rubin's NYU dorm room. I don't have any cool older cousins who introduced me to this record. I had to learn the shit all on my own. (I'm kind of bitter, but hey. It built character. Made me the woman I am today. Etc.)

“Dirty Boots.” I left this one out of my Best Opening Track rant of twentyten.



Monday, June 7, 2010

Yeah but at least my team's guard doesn't look like Bow Wow, and other news.

All Khaled does is win; my darling Lakers, unfortunately, do not live by this same credo. If you are an NBA official, you woke up this morning to a whole city--my city--hating you. Congrats. The metaphor here is something like this, if you're a whistle-happy man in zebra stripes:
LA is the rest of the world, or maybe just the UN, and you're Israel, just fucking up all over and not bothering to even pretend to be bothered or ashamed 'cause you know you've got America bankrolling you. And there's a Dick Bavetta in there somewhere.

Anyway, everyone needs a credo. They are easy to live by and help organize your daily activities. All Channel Live did, remember, was spark mad izm. All Stevie does is think about you. All me & Kellsies do is break up to make up. And all I do is try to fill up the emptiness after a home-court loss with videos of foxy beatmakers, a DJ Premier story that makes me weepy, and Fauvism as a platform for me to bemoan the existence of Drake.

Oh No loves his big brother, grew up about 5 minutes from me, and is a proud purveyor of that “raw, nasty, gangrene, go jump off a bridge, toilet bowl music. Disgusting, nasty.” That’s what he's about.

Usually my credo is “If you have to say it, it's probably not true.” But in this case, it's true: he makes disgusting, nasty, old-lady-next-to-you-on-a-bus-bench-about-to-drop-dead, flesh-eating bacteria, dirty, oozing, nasty instrumental shit. Sorry, Mom. OX CITAAAYYY.

Reef the Lost Cauze, featuring OH MY GOD, Kool G Rap and RA!! - “Three Greats.”
First Prize, Most Accurate and Succinct Song Title, June 2010.

Courtesy of Robert H. Unkut. (or whatever his middle initial is)

Just before Guru died, Premier visited him in the hospital and performed some kind of last rites that I'm ill-equipped to comment on. So here's a description of the event, handled with classy restraint, from XXL:

(Premier) stayed a short time (in the hospital room). Five, seven minutes, he says, before a nurse came in and he left. “I just wanted to tell (Guru) how much I loved him, period,” he says. “Whether he could hear me or not, I know somewhere he heard me. It was ill. His eyes were almost half open, and it was like he almost was awake, but he wasn’t… I took my Gang Starr shirt off, and I took it and rubbed it against his body, so he can feel the logo. I knew how much Gang Starr meant to him. Even if he moved on to another chapter in his life, I know how much Gang Starr was important to him. We did way too much to just completely block it out and act like it doesn’t exist.”

As a gentle segue,

Today in Melody and Beautiful Things:

Joy of Cooking - “Closer to the Ground.” I'm always looking for this in a round black circular format; I'm never finding it. This includes yesterday. (I got an old, ollllld, possibly-original copy of Prison Oval Rock, though. It is beautiful and it sounds like the Roots Radics are playing right there in my tiny apartment when I put it on. First Place, Album of the Month, June 1985. And June 2010.)

Keith Richards is releasing an album of Rastafarian spirituals, and I can't even make fun of the fact that it's him doing it because it's really quite a nice thing.

Richards became friends with rocksteady deity Justin Hinds when he visited Jamaica in the '70s. Lots of jamming ensued, plus spiritual awakening on Richards' part--less like the Beatles in India (kid stuff), and more like if MC Serch became a Five Percenter. And then a few years later Peter Tosh got underused in a Stones video, but overall there's been surprisingly little reggae-poaching in the Stones' catalog. The band, I'm guessing, gave up any Jamaican style they had attempted due their inability to compete with something called The Clash.

Hinds and lesser-known local musicians comprised the group, called Wingless Angels. The sessions took place organically, says Richards. There was no planning when they began to play, and the Nyabinghi angels lifted everybody up on a glorious, fluffy cloud of week smoke.

The last batch of recordings are from 2004; Hinds died in 2005, and proceeds from the sales of the albums go to his family. “[Wingless Angels play deliberately at just slightly under heart rate. The drumming goes deeper than your bones. It's marrow music,” Richards adds. This is a beautiful phrase that will for sure show up in a future blog post. If he came up with it, I'm shocked and pleased that someone with a morphine-addled brain could be so damn descriptive.

Next up, Ras Keith takes on daggering, translated for white American baby boomers like my mom, original bashment gyal.

“He has no wish to offer other people anything other than calm.” - Socialist politician Marcel Sembat, on Matisse.

Henri Matisse said some pretty amazing things in his day and volunteered to go to war. His gaunt face and steezy beard-and-stripes combo also set the standard for personal appearance that every dude in my neighborhood is trying to emulate circa 2010.

A relentless self-critic with overly anxious tendencies whom I have clearly based my entire persona on, Matisse said, “Black is not only a color but also a light.” Matisse also said, “You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete” (which I'll thank you to keep in mind every time I point out how surprised I am that the beauty of Ruffin's voice could be ravaged by cocaine years later), and my personal favorite, “My curves are not crazy.” OUI, HENRI! C'est si bon!

Matisse was worried about the possible outcome of WWI and felt bad about not serving. He signed up, but failed the medical exam. He appealed; he was denied. Terrible, heavy guilt ensued. His mother was trapped in northeast part of France, as the Germans had occupied it; painter friends were in the trenches. “Contributing prints to fundraising efforts for civilian prisoners of war did something to assuage his feelings of guilt, (as he was) ‘sickened by all the upheaval to which I am not contributing.’” This makes me think of current artists—not painters, but the ones wielding microphones who live in the various ventricles of my warm, loving heart, as well as the ones I despise. It's comical to imagine Drake holding a firearm, right? Panting and elbowing his way through muddy trenches. My imagination won't allow it. Did you know he did Wal-Mart the favor of appearing in one of their videos, thereby increasing their quarterly profit? SO GULLY. The masculine-lite appeal that Drake exhibits is common among most current musicians, though. They are all so skinny and spoiled. Except those M.O.P. boys and Sean P--I think they'd be very good at war.

Heltah Skeltah feat. Smif-n-Wessun - “W.M.D.” Song of the summer, 1996! PS, a rap song with a good Sean Bell line will always get posted here, just always.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Obviously my squad won but more importantly

HOW do I get my soft and dainty hands on that Andre version of “All Together Now”? I need it, and then I need to assemble a group of individuals to come to my apartment and listen to the song with me and enjoy it without irony. (This should all happen without the expressed written consent of Nike, Inc., so get me an illegal copy. Xoxo.)

5, 6, 7-8-9-10, Andre, I love you 'cause you're a habitual line-stepper. Also, Baby, baby. You're in my system. (I know it's the other one; it just fits here.)


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

À bout de souffle.

A few things that make me choke up a little
(for reasons that I explain in probably too much detail):

Bon anniversaire, “Breathless”!

ump cuts, natural lighting, and improvised plotting; the French New Wave, I see now, has clearly provided the template for me as I blog my way through life and attempt to tell stories in an entertaining fashion.

Truffaut vs. Godard is yet another battle within the heads of nerds that seems terribly important if it's your head or the head of someone in your nerd crew, but it's a battle that most outsiders yawn at. This-thing-vs-that-thing, clash-of-the-titans bickering by members of each titan's respective fans is too emotion-laden to ever be a grown-up debate. I've seen this before, many times. Innervisions or Talking Book? Hathaway or Cooke? Champion or Polo (in '93)? Shut up, yawn, and nobody cares—unless of course you want to discuss these things with me, in which case please be at apt. 15 by 6 pm sharp for drinks & bickering.

Jean Seberg is adorable, bien sûr. I could never pull off that haircut, which requires finely textured, pin-straight hair like that of a tomboyish French girl, since I have the thick, unruly hair of my Celtic forepeople. My kind of hair looks great if you're a Kennedy on a yacht, the sun bleaching it at the tips and the saltwater boosting its natural curl. But if you live in present-day Los Angeles and don't make it to Cape Cod much because you're just blogging and daydreaming all the time, it's just a high-maintenance thing in your life that takes an hour to blow dry and looks best at about 2 1/2 feet in length. Why so much talk about hair? Oh my. I appear to have lost control of this post.

Alas, I’m not now nor will I ever be classified as “gamine,” and you people will just have to deal with that.
You probably wife up Seberg; she just looks like the type--skinny pants, ballet flats, Camus novels and dainty facial features. Your mom would approve. You kick it, however, with the full-lipped, long-haired girl in the fur hat*. She's more fun. Cherchez les hips. (I see you, Belmondo).


Fuck a Mixtape, says T.I.

OK, pumpkin.
Easy now.

If he'll just keep giving me that bouncy, playful flow in that Geougiah accent, T.I. can say fuck this and fuck everything, fuck the NBA salary cap, fuck BP and fuck Rand Paul, fuck fuck all day long. What do I care. He's adorable and diminutive and has a wonderful smile (sometimes my estrogen gets in the way of true music fandom).

The mixtape is not worth all that download time so don't bother with it--the song below is the only one of quality, and since I can’t tolerate an entire DJ Drama
anything (including mixtapes), I left the rest of the thing alone. Skip right to the part where my ex-boyfriend Killer Mike comes in, snappin and trappin and takin my breath away.

The song with Lil Wayne (“Yeah”) is noteworthy only because of its intro. “For those of you who care,” T.I. says--except
in Atlantan, it's Cyeah. Cyeaugh. (I’ll get it eventually). I gave it a couple listens just because it's been a while since I've had any Wayne fodder. My new thing is wishing hard that Wayne takes a meeting with BP execs upon his release from jail to yell at them, or that he at least calls his next mixtape Top Kill. This is because I am not very reality-based. (I also hope that Nicki Minaj writes her own stuff and that Blu and Redman will do a mixtape with Green Lantern, but those things are probably not happening either.)

T.I. feat. Killer Mike, who will never be successful in getting me to refer to him as Mike Bigga - “Ready Set Go.” (produced by No I.D.!)


I'm breathless when I think of all the things an LA-Boston series means to me (which is mostly misty childhood memories of really good televised matches of sport), and when I consider the beauty of this photograph.

That's right, Green Jacket. You fucking get Mr. Worthy a beverage.

The Celtics and the people who love them clearly need an uplifting series of moments, an injection of mirth and energy, to make up for all the Guru melancholy weighing their city down. I believe a championship would provide this. However, to paraphrase my good friend T.I.: fuck a Boston team. Also, they do know it's not pronounced “selltics,” right? I've been whining about this since I was a know-it-all 10-year-old. I'm assuming people have just been too polite to inform them all these years.

Dosh & Andrew Bird - “Number 41.” Because it's only 1 digit away from Big Game James, and because they haven't made a “Number 24” yet. YET.


This one's a holdover from Sunday, and it's so good that I still haven't been able to catch my breath. NYC, fresh from begging and whimpering for LeBron, makes a strong comeback with this story in the Times about the origins of the metal rims in all the public basketball courts. They're made by blacksmiths--referred to as a team in the article, since there are 6 of them, of course--who cut, weld, and paint each one, by hand, from a hand-drawn blueprint, “using a century-old method that has long since vanished elsewhere.” Woody Guthrie should do a song about these guys and the related difficulties of the perimeter shot.

The finished product is a remnant of an earlier era of the sport, somewhere on the evolutionary chain between the original wooden peach baskets and the modern spring-loaded breakaway rims used by the National Basketball Association...

Other cities, including those with their own share of contributions to basketball lore like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Newark, buy modern, factory-made rims. New York is among the few places, and possibly the only one, where municipal rims used at more than 700 public parks are still made by hand.

And the opener! That first paragraph is so inspiring, I may have to copy it and hope the writer never notices:

The old steel rim that presides over this public basketball court absorbs missed shots with an angry clank, sending the ball careening upward and the wood and metal backboard into a rickety seizure. Sending the backboard into a rickety seizure is the particularly nice language moment for me.

Gasp! Look how stunning!

Lightleafs are illuminated OLED bookmarks that are as thin as a book's page and provide just enough light for reading in the dark. I'd like one of these, and maybe several more, as only then will I be sufficiently pleased and distracted enough to overlook the incorrect use of language on display here (light leaves) the likes of which I have not seen since the travesty that was the 2010 Rock the Bells poster.

The bookmark runs wirelessly, and the light is rechargeable with brightness controls to turn it down so that it won’t bother others nearby. Courtesy of DesignBoom.

Are the rims big? Do it ride good? Lean back, right hand on the pinewood.

The god Craig Sager and I agree that the most flattering colors on one's person are those adopted from the Dreyer's* palette. The playoffs arrived right around the time my mother announced to me that all of my clothing is pastel, “which makes sense because you like ice cream so much.” Why yes, Mom. It does make sense. And yes, I am ignoring the subtext of your observation (that I'm a big girl now, too old to be wearing chocolate- and lavender-hued things).

I'm resisting the urge to say French vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate deluxe at this time, and will instead just give you all a Cream on the inside/Clean on the outside. Yeah buddy.

6 12's in the trunk, 4 screens in the deck. And yes, the outside frame in the trunk is wide.

* Edy's, for my NY cohort.