Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Some (very) un-American ideas on the subject of work and leisure in industrial societies by one of my heroes, Bertrand Russell.
"I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work."
All work and no play.
Oasis: "The Importance Of Being Idle"
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The Trashcan Sinatras have always been one of my favorite groups. Their fantastic debut Cake was released 17 years ago and I can say, truthfully, that I never get tired of it. There's nothing revolutionary or spectacular about the group. Their discography of 4 official album releases is pretty thin compared to industry standards of pumping out at least an album a year (Their 3rd album Happy Pocket was not even released here in the states). Despite the long hiatus' between albums TCS has been able to hold on to a pretty strong fanbase and have released "unofficial" albums over the years through their website. These albums contain live performances and demos with some unreleased and new material sprinkled in the mix just for the fans. They've also been a band that tours regularly, mostly around their native Scotland with some rare performances here in the states.
I've included two mellow TCS tracks here where they're at their best.
"Leave Me Alone (Acoustic Demo)" is from a compilation CD I found on their website. The revamped studio version that later surfaced on the Weighlifting LP is nice but I prefer this stripped down recording.
"Trouble Sleeping" is my favorite track on 2004's Weightlifing. You don't typically hear a TCS tune driven by such heavy drums. And like most of their other songs, I'm still trying to figure out what they're talking about.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
*(The EP was actually released for download only late December of 2006 and will see an official release late this month.)
I'm looking forward to another full length album this year and (hopefully) a live show in these parts.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Alas, S. Dot continues to diversify his brand. You heard him the first time - "Can't knock the hustle".
This track (with a little lyrical reworking) would've fit perfect for the Kingdom Come intro. It seems more fitting for his re-introduction because cascading horns will make anything sound monumental (see "Go Crazy Remix").
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Idle gun chatter in Hip-Hop really began to take shape in the early nineties, after all the partying and afrocenticity began to fade (or was phased out, take your pick). I didn't really hear much gun talk until NWA's Straight Outta Compton hit the streets when the word "gat" was introduced to my vocabulary. I don't promote the use of fire arms by any means although I do respect the constitutional right to bear arms. (I mean, if rogue cops can pack heat and use them indiscriminately against innocent and unarmed people, I don't see why the public shouldn't be able to protect life and property if need be. Like KRS once said, "Who protects us from you?" Exactly.)
My point is that Hip-Hop is the only musical genre that openly describes the use of guns with such fervor - metaphorically, figuratively and literally. I'm fascinated at how much gun talk is used by rappers as means of lyrical intimidation and egotistical manhood considering how much gun violence has devastated their communities. The phenomenon can most likely be attributed to the beginnings of the crack epidemic. You can probably check the statistics on the correlation between drug-related crimes and gun violence and find that gun related deaths began to show a sharp increase when crack started to make it's way into the more vulnerable inner cities. During this period, Hip-Hop's music began to take on a more grave and violent tone where gang violence (see NWA) and crack dealer tales and imagery (see Wu-Tang) really started transforming the content of the music and the message.
Monday, January 08, 2007
See it here.
Find out more (or less) here.
This band is on some other shit.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
1. Phoenix: "Long Distance Call"
2. Vast Aire feat. MF Doom: "Super Friendz (Edan Remix)"
3. John Legend: "Again"
4. The Strokes: "Razorblade"
5. Termanology: "Watch How It Go Down"
6. The Roots: "Long Time"
7. Ghostface: "The Champ"
8. The Clipse: "Mr. Me Too"
9. TV On The Radio: "Province"
10. Darondo: "Didn't I"
11. Beirut: "Postcards From Italy"
12. Nas feat. Papoose: "Across The Tracks"
13. Phoenix: "Lost And Found"
14. Band Of Horses: "The First Song"
15. Jack Johnson: "Upside Down"
16. Jay-Z: "Lost One"
17. DJ Shadow feat. Chris James: "You Made It"
18. Cat Power: "The Greatest"
19. The Killers: "When You Were Young"
20. Swan Lake: "All Fires"
21. Lupe Fiasco: "I Gotcha"
22. Masta Killa: "Ringing Bells"
23. Keane: "Nothing In My Way"
24. Band Of Horses: "The Funeral"
25. Pharrell: "Raspy Shit"
Thursday, January 04, 2007
"Today ... the fastest-growing population of drug abusers is white, middle-aged Americans. This is a powerful mainstream constituency, and unlike with teenagers or urban minorities, it is hard for the government or the news media to present these drug users as a grave threat to the nation.
Equally surprising, graying baby boomers have become America’s fastest-growing crime scourge. The F.B.I. reports that last year the number of Americans over the age of 40 arrested for violent and property felonies rose to 420,000, up from 170,000 in 1980. Arrests for drug offenses among those over 40 rose to 360,000 last year, up from 22,000 in 1980. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 440,000 Americans ages 40 and older were incarcerated in 2005, triple the number in 1990."
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The top songs of 2006 is a little more tedious than ranking the top albums of last year so I'm laying this list out first. It was much easier considering it hasn't been a banner year for music in general but less sometimes means more. These albums were godsent in a year when the market was watered down and redundant with filler material from some of your more favorite artists.
- DJ O-Dub: Soul Sides Vol. 1
- The Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury
- John Legend: Once Again
- Ghostface: Fishscale
- Phoenix: Never Been Like That
- Band Of Horses: Everything All The Time
- TV On The Radio: Return To Cookie Mountain
- The Roots: Game Theory
- J-Dilla: The Shining
- John Mayer: Continuum
Although I'm lagging on my "Best of 2006" lists, I've managed to compile my least favorite events in music this past year. Here are my top ten disappointments of 06'.
1. J-Dilla, R.I.P.
4. Jay-Z: Kingdom Come
5. No Nas/DJ Premier Collabo
6. Nas: Hip-Hop Is Dead
7. CL Smooth: American Me
8. Pharrell: In My Mind
10. Mos Def: True Magic
Monday, January 01, 2007
2007 is here. Going into the seventh year of two thousand and I already feel like it's moving too fast. Michelle and I spent New Year's Eve with good company and great music. With the mix of traditional live mariachi's and a DJ who laid down some sounds of satisfaction from The Mary Jane Girls' "Candyman" to Expose's "Point Of No Return", the nights soundscape was so rich in diversity that it made the evening's festivities that much more of an occasion to remember.
Most memorable moment of 06'? Michelle and I were married. It was an intimate ceremony with family and close friends. Just as it was meant to be.
What to look forward to in 07'? An addition to the Sung Family Tree... And of course, more great music.