Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Rappers can read and maybe some of them need to be profiled. Hmmmmm.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist T.I. is this week's big chart winner, as his eagerly anticipated new album, "T.I. vs T.I.P.," makes a triumphant #1 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart. With Nielsen SoundScan first-week sales of 468,000 copies, "T.I. vs T.I.P." scores as the biggest urban music premiere of the year, ranking second only to Linkin Park's "Minutes To Midnight" as the biggest debut thus far in '07. "T.I. vs T.I.P" also debuts at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #1 on the SoundScan Rap Albums and Digital Albums charts.
"T.I. vs T.I.P." marks T.I.'s second consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard 200, following last year's breakthrough smash, "KING." Spurred by the success of "T.I. vs T.I.P.," Atlantic ranks as the #1 label in the music industry this week, according to SoundScan, garnering 12.38% of the current marketshare, nearly double that of the #2-ranked label.
The #1 success of "T.I. vs T.I.P." follows his win as Best Hip-Hop Artist at the "BET Awards 2007," held June 26th at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles - where T.I. performed his current top ten smash single, "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)." Coming up, T.I. will be a presenter at the ESPN's "2007 ESPY Awards," airing this Sunday, July 15th. (Press Release)
- Remy Ma Arrested For Attempted Murder
- Over the weekend a bit of startling news popped up. Former Terror Squad member, Remy Ma, turned herself in to police on attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon charges. What happened you ask? On Saturday morning a shooting occurred in New York where a female was found with a gunshot wound in the lower torso. Word originally pinned Remy Ma and the victim (later identified as Makeda Barnes-Joseph) having a dispute over money at a spot called The Pizza Bar. After an argument took place shortly after, Remy Ma was said to have left the scene in her dark blue Escalade, which she crashed a few blocks later, and escaped on foot. More details surfaced as witnesses stated that Remy and Barnes-Joseph continued their argument outside of The Pizza Bar and Remy subsequently opened the door to Barnes-Joseph's Nissan Maxima and shot her in the torso. Remy has since turned herself in and submitted a "not guilty" plea which will have her held at Riker's Island with $250k bail. She should released by the time your eyes get a chance to read this. We'll have more details as they come along. - Andreas Hale
Live: Feist / Jason Collett
Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC: 6 February 2006
Live Review by Brian Howe | Digg this article | Add to del.icio.us
I'm of a mind that unless you're Springsteen or Bono, you really can't get away with the "triumphant fist raise" maneuver. And the infamous "double fist raise", wrists touching, hands shaking in supplication? Don't even think about it. But apparently this is where Jason Collett and I diverge, because he deployed not only these, but an entire digest of arena-rock boilerplate ill-suited to a dingy indie rock club. Unfortunately, this overbearing presentation only distracted from the otherwise totally decent music, and I couldn't help but feel as if I were watching a Spinal Tap version of The Band-- this was, after all, a bunch of Canadians playing down-home, feel-good rock. Collett channeled Dylan in a natty three-piece suit; his bass player bobbed like Rick Danko in a porkpie hat; the guitarist's duck-walk, pursed lips, bobbing head, and O-faces came off more Bill Cosby than Robbie Robertson.
Leslie Feist, on the other hand, suffered from no such presentational problems. Pretty and fit in an off-white blouse with a high ponytail, she fully inhabited herself, relying on her confident personality and skilled performance to captivate the audience. In the live setting, Feist's songs retain the immaculate precision and structural elegance of their recorded counterparts while becoming more dynamic, with more negative space and ornate embroideries of guitar. Among a spacious and drum-roll-driven version of "When I Was a Young Girl", a finger-snapping "Gatekeeper" laced with a beautifully expressive trumpet line, and a spiky rock version of the tripping "Mushaboom", she performed startling a cappella harmonies over loops of her voice, tendons straining as she leapt around her broad register, emoting with her hands like an r&b singer. Her and her band's banter was casual and charming. "You are my Canadian princess," shouted an overwrought fanboy (this would be a common occurrence throughout the evening), to which Feist's bass player replied, "I'm a prince, but thanks."
Feist's star has been steadily rising, to the point where it threatens to eclipse that of her sometime-collaborators Broken Social Scene, and she's not only aware of it, she relishes it. She related an anecdote (more like a victory speech) about how the last time she played in Carrboro, opening for British Sea Power, she could barely compete with the crowd's chatter. Looking out over the packed, devotedly cat-calling house, she trailed off before she actually crowed over her vindication, but we all got the message. And it's true, the audience was rapt, even during a Cat Power-ish encore ("One Evening") where she forgot the lyrics and stopped the song so many times it started to get bizarre. But the fans didn't mind, loving the humanity of it all, the chance to encourage and show solidarity with their "Canadian princess." Finally Feist brought out Jason Collett's bass player to do an "interpretive dance" with a cute red-headed fan in a peasant dress, a move she claimed has saved her many a time, and with the tension broken, "One Evening" went ping-ponging into the night without further incident, all the more sublime for having emerged from such fractured beginnings.
Photo from F33 by Theo Rigby
Every morning we wake up longing for the new Freeway album, and every day we are disappointed and empty hearted, searching for new material. We're still searching, but the actual release of the album seems that much more realistic now that we have Freeway's new website—with actual content! Maybe if we all check it at once, Free's sophomore album will magically arrive in our mailbag, glowing white-hot and full of State Prop style bangers.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Jason Isbell is just getting going
By Will Welch
The Drive-By Truckers aren’t for everyone. What they do is really specific, and raw, and some listeners find even the ragtag way the albums are recorded too off-putting. Yet it’s no mistake that the Truckers have, on many occasions (and not just in their own press releases), been called The Best Rock & Roll Band in America. It bears mentioning, too, that many who don’t love the Truckers have admitted to falling for one or two of the band’s songs, and in nearly every case those songs were written by the band’s youngest member: a cocksure guitar player, singer and songwriter named Jason Isbell.
For better or worse, the era of non-DBT fans with a soft spot for Isbell tunes like the immaculate blues lament “Goddam Lonely Love” or the redneck War of the Roses “Decoration Day” are suddenly over. This April, Isbell and the band “parted ways.” Conveniently, however, Isbell had spent some four years of spare time working on a solo record called Sirens of the Ditch, and it’s finally in stores this July.
If the Drive-By Truckers made their name on Patterson Hood’s songs that punkishly snatched listeners up, dropped them into Alabama and dragged them through teen-aged travesties, messy morality plays and gnarly relationships, Isbell’s songs stood out not only because of their pop framework, but also because he sang about what was going on around him without giving a guided tour. It was the difference between listening to a stranger with a great story and eavesdropping on someone updating his best friend on an ongoing saga. On Sirens of the Ditch, it takes a while before we realize that we’re a kid learning how to dance—and lust—in a neighbor girl’s bedroom. Or that we’re talking directly to the hometown kid who joined the Marines, but fell one nightmare tour short of living to see the birth of his first child. The emotional heft of each song is plain from the chords, tempos and peculiarities of Isbell’s unique pop-soul-country phrasings (it’s like old-fashioned rhythm & blues in that way); the stories, however, take some piecing together.
Isbell can tell you the personal events behind each tune, but what makes him a transcendent songwriter is that, as good as his performances of them are, the songs themselves are bigger than he is. You wonder if he couldn’t get rich by quitting the road and shopping them in Nashville, but immediately after his departure from the Truckers, he had a band together and was right back out on tour. Suddenly it’s apparent that he’s played on three Truckers albums, but is just now getting started, with something already to fall back on. Suddenly it’s apparent that the songs are so good, their context will never really matter.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Food Places to check out in Phila:
4th Street Cookies-best cookies on earth
Lorenzo's aka crack pizza
South Street Diner
Sections of Phila to check out include Queens Village, Old City, Penn's Landing, and Northern Liberties. Peace out.