Sunday, December 14, 2008

What is the future of music?

Please respond!!! My future is making NY a city to believe in once again. Representing where i am from and where i am going. Can u feeeeelllll me?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MAGGIE KIM IS QUOTED I N THIS ARTICLE

Will You Look at Those!

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By SUSAN JOY
Published: December 3, 2008

STEP aside, serviceable black leggings. This season’s most covetable accents are party-ready lace tights. The fall runways were awash in giddy options: punky hand-knit tights at Rodarte, punctuated with holes; rose-printed hose at Chlo√©; and, at Emma Cook, fantastical webs of stars, lace and netting.
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Fine Points | Lacy TightsSlide Show
Fine Points | Lacy Tights

“I wanted to create something that felt ultramodern,” said Ms. Cook, who made her intricate tights by hand, piecing together bespoke lace. The whimsical London-based designer owned up to “a bit of a dislike” for the opaque black hose many women instinctively don as armor against the elements. “I hate the way they make you look like you work in an office,” she said.

The singer-songwriter Maggie Kim wears lacy tights as part of her signature style. “It’s a film noir, Paris-in-the-’40s kind of look,” she explained. “It’s sexy and feminine but not obvious.” What’s great about lace tights, she added, is that “it seems like you put a lot of thought into your outfit, but it couldn’t be easier.” Her current faves, from Topshop, are a spidery gift wrap of bows.

“Lace tights make a simple outfit feel more special,” said Jennifer Zuccarini, the design director for Victoria’s Secret and a founder of Kiki de Montparnasse. “I can wear lace tights to work all day with flats, then change into heels for evening and be ready for anything.” And, she noted, hosiery is recession-friendly. “It’s the least expensive way to update a look.”

Practicality aside, sheer patterned stockings can be ever so seductive. “They cover you up but instantly draw the eye to the curves of your leg,” Ms. Kim said. “Maybe because my husband’s French, he loves when I wear sexy hosiery. He goes crazy when I’m in lace tights and high heels.”

Are we ready to give up opaque black tights completely? Not likely, but luckily it is possible to have it both ways. Chanel’s fall tights are lace on the front and opaque in back. Thanks, Karl.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Philly Rappers Unite

By Roman Wolfe

Former Philadelphia Hip-Hop rivals Beanie Sigel and Gillie Da Kid have put their differences aside and will appear on stage during a free concert next week.



The free “Brotherly Love Concert,” which is being presented by Nike’s ACG brand, will also feature performances by Freeway, Reed Dollas, Joey Jahad and E-Ness.



The concert was the idea of Sigel himself, who is attempting to unify rappers in Philadelphia, some of whom are currently at odds with each other.



"I had an idea to put everyone together in one building and on one stage to start a movement here in Philly and promote unity,” Sigel told AllHipHop.com. “Plus I want to concentrate on the artist now, as I push my own label here in Philly. I want State Property Records to be the vehicle to put them on, so they don't have to go to New York."



At one point or another, Beanie Sigel, Gillie, E-Ness, Cassidy and most recently former Major Figgas member Dirty Rik and other rappers in the area have engaged in brutal and sometimes violent beefs.



Nike ACG hopes the concert is a watershed moment in Philadelphia Hip-Hop’s history that will help redefine the city’s rap landscape.



The concert will take place at the Filmore on South Street in Philadelphia, PA. Doors will open at 5:00 pm.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Age -

NO AGE Music Video GOAT HURT

This was in the Fader.com issue. Punk is punk and DIY is the way to go.

mika miko

Rock out with your socks out. But who is the one woman on stage just standing there. do something

Evidence

evidence

Busta Rhymes Arab Money Remix

Ok, so Busta decides to go back to his roots. Fresh beats, Dope Rhymes and oh yeah rebellious music that will get a few people pissed off. Hmmm. Already creating a new dance, appearing on Arab Tv and a video, he kills the remix in the only way he can. Busssa Buss is backkkkk...

Check the remix over on ONSMASH.com

Grandmom

Emma Willis is a fighter. A rock. The reason i live for what i am passionate about. The reason i move to the beat and make the beat. The reason i rhyme and speak what i speak. She means more to me than i can even describe. If it is peace that she needs, she will get it. Thank you for everything.

Evidence is a dope producer and he proves he can ride the beat as well

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Bush is an straight up Gangstarr

President George W. Bush has pardoned rapper John Forte, an affiliate of the Fugees, who has been serving prison time for smuggling drugs, sources told AllHipHop.com.

Forte was one of 14 persons that Bush has pardoned or granted commuted prison sentences.

This wave of White House pardons is Bush's latest, as he has less than two months in his presidency. A pardon cannot be overruled.


Forte was arrested at Newark International Airport in 2000 and charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute. Police caught him accepting a briefcase with about $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine in it.

Forte was hit with a 14-year sentence in a federal penitentiary under minimum sentencing laws even though it was his first offense and he was a non-violent offender. He began his bid in jail in 2001 and has fought the laws vehemently.

Through the ordeal, he maintained his innocence and turned down a plea deal.


John Forte has released two albums, Poly Sci and I, John.

John found an ally in legendary singer Carly Simon and her son Ben Taylor, both close friends. Forte lived at Simon's estate in Martha's Vineyard for about six weeks in 1999 and even spent the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with the family. Simon and Taylor have lobbied on Forte’s behalf since he was incarcerated.

Much speculation has been made of others Bush may opt to pardon. Most of these involved those that government employees that may have unjustly interrogated suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.


A pardon of these cases would severely impede president elect Barack Obama from investigating such crimes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Roots got in a bus crash

The Roots Recovering After Tour Bus Crash

Photo by Matt Ziegler

"Just wanna be the first celeb to twit... from an ambulance," reads an entry on the Twitter of Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of Philly's the Roots. From the sound of things, ?uestlove and his bandmates are pretty pleased to be alive and relatively well after their tour bus crashed en route to Paris last night (November 19).

The band emerged from the mess relatively unscathed, and ?uest was in fact able to extensively blog about the accident mere hours after it happened. Thompson writes, "in reality the crash was all of about 7 seconds....but to do a 360 on the highway and end up ramped up (the van that crashed into ours was UNDER our double decker bus) in the air....is....well... a frigging miracle." As he writes elsewhere, "dog we are soooo alive right now."

Though some suffered injuries leading to "cuts and neck braces," everyone on the bus is-- again-- okay, though the fate of the band's upcoming dates appears somewhat in limbo. ?uestlove notes something about the band's participation in Kanye West's Paris gig tonight (November 20) being highly unlikely but as of now no announcement has been made about any further cancellations. "That was divine intervention. we are so grateful for this outcome," he writes. Us too.

Of course, an incident like this might help along the widely circulated rumor going around this week that the band would retire from proper touring and, instead, serve as the house band when Jimmy Fallon takes over for Conan O'Brien on NBC's "Late Night" in 2009.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alton Ellis - Rocksteady

Alton Ellis - Cry Tough (Treasure Isle) Duke Reid

Alton Ellis - Big Bad Boy- Reggae

Bye Bye Love - Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis- I'm Still In Love With You. Reggae

RIP Thanks for the music. Rock Steady

Larry Gill is 30!!! Aint that a Bitch


My boy Larry Gill is 30 and is living it up in Washington DC. His wife is gorgeous and his baby is really cute. I drove down to DC over the weekend(thanks to Yitz Rentals who are around the corner from me and so coool for school). I stopped in Phila to see the parents and get a glimpse of the future president(cross fingers) Obama speaking in West Phila. After completing labor for my parents as usual, I drove the PT cruiser down to DC on Saturday to my cousins place who is had a baby shower that afternoon and is abt to burst. Nov 6th is the date but she is ready to release the hounds. After an hour of reimiencing and jokes with the fam, i made my way to the main event. Just getting there is my thang. I just made it under the gun and he walked in 5 minutes after i did. He was shocked,surprised and i even saw a little tear of joy in his eye.The Dj played old and new school jams. The food was ok. The service was two times terrible but Larry was happy and that is all that matters. As i listen to a remix of Radiohead song "Reckner" by Diplo, i think back to the party and joy it brought to me. Happy B-Day Larry.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reef The Lost Cauze Phila in the House


Reef The Lost Cauze - I Wonder from Luis Valbuena on Vimeo.

Scratching game in the works

By Roman Wolfe

QD3 Entertainment is developing a new rhythm game titled "Scratch: The Ultimate DJ," in partnership with Genius Products, Genco Interactive and 7 Studios.



Like Activision’s blockbuster release Guitar Hero, "Scratch" will combine free-form DJ tricks in addition to rhythm-based game play, set in distinctive urban environments.



Gamers will also choose a diverse array of DJ personalities in an attempt to break out of the garage and into the top nightclubs featured in the game.



Scratch players will use the Scratch Deck, a realistic turn-table created by Numark, to manipulate the scratch tracks in real time.



"With the recent success of music-driven videogames and the dominance of urban culture in the youth market, the potential for Scratch is endless," said Quincy Jones III, CEO and chief creative officer of QD3 Entertainment. "Having spent 20 years as a music producer for artists such as Tupac, LL, and Ice Cube, it is rewarding to work with 7 Studios, Genius and Genco to ensure that there is authenticity in every detail of this game. "



Jones added that Scratch will feature original recordings from the catalogs of the top urban artists and those songs will be able to be remixed on the fly.



"This feature sets it apart from other music rhythm games and makes it a dream come true for both casual music fans and serious DJs/producers," added Jones.



Scratch is due in stores next spring on multiple next generation game systems.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Moxie Jones Improv Debut

Moxie Jones, the worlds most dangerous improv group, is making our debut tomorrow night at the PIT! Please join us for a night of stand-up, improv, and special musical guest Mel&El will sing their award winning song Fagnet. Plus you could win some fun doorprizes!

And that’s not all! All proceeds go to Feeding America (formally America’s Second Harvest) The recent hurricanes have nearly depleted Feeding America’s Disaster Relief Fund and emptied the shelves of many of food banks! Every penny you give today will go directly to helping the men, women, and children left reeling in the wake of these recent disasters. Every $1 raised provides $30 worth of food and groceries for disaster victims.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Tickets are $15
October 5, 2008
9:30pm - 11:00pm
Peoples Improv Theater
154 West 29th (2nd Floor )

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gooing GA GA for Diddy

So i watched the last few episodes of Trying to work for Diddy And failing. As usual, it is the P.Diddy showcase with a few bad boy artists in between the mix. The potential assistants were struggling and it was pretty standard reality TV. It did not make Diddy look like an asshole but the show reminded me how much being an Assistant to Anyone sucks. Let me rephrase, being an assistant to a CEO sucks. However, the contacts are worth it if you want to be in the business. You will lose sleep, you will stress out and you will not be able to complain to anyone except your parents who will say trying raising a spoiled brat for 20 something years. Good Luck Interns. Oh, use common sense.

Travis Barker going back to Cali

By Tai Saint Louis

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker is making his way back to the West Coast this afternoon (September 29), following his release from the Augusta, Georgia burn unit, where he has been receiving care for the last nine days.



According to Joseph M. Still Burn Center spokesperson Beth Frits, Barker was released around 10am Monday morning.



He reportedly boarded a California-bound bus with ex-wife Shanna Moakler, who has been by his side for the last week.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Outrageous Fun

Look my chippie from the UK who gives me insight on all things good and mad decent. She told me she saw this group called the New Orleans Bingo Show. Google them and me of course. They rocked NYC at the beginning of the month. Sort of a variety show with a bingo contest in the middle of the show. Who does not love bingo!!!!!

Peep the Program

First and foremost, i have to say that i love my friends and family. Plus, i love the independent promoters in each city promoting all age shows in their respective cities. Much love to persistence and open mindness towards new music. Second, i have to express my satisfaction with Mr West Mr West. He said his album is finished and ready for the label to criticize. Hopefully, they will trust in West like we trust in Obama. So fresh so clean. In the next month, i am going to start to Vblog while i am at events of all kinds. Plus, a video for my single Bump N Sniff is coming soon. Bloggers,Industry Folks, and fans pay attention.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Skyzoo is my favorite new rapper. Besides me. he he

Being Called Out

What is the deal with being called out. Make good music and live. Day to day, i am digging in the crates, flipping thru papers or searching the numerous music blogs for new,fresh music. Something for the eargasm. In addition, i added my freshness, my sneaker and wardrobe fetishes, my ideas, my politics and the advancement of the hip hop movement. Well, after all that, i continue on my bath. Check out thefader.com and put in Bangladesh. Now that is fresh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Responses

So i received several emails in the last few days on my music from overseas contacts and djs. Thank for the excellent responses. Most excellent(bill and ted). A video is being processed through the mastermind of Ben Craig. A video genius by the way. I am vibing out to the recently released Kings Of Leon Cd. I am a dedicated fan since day one. I met a cousin of the singer in Texas and she put me on to their first cd. The new release is an evolution from their original sound but it sounds like they could be next big band in the next 5-10 years. That is saying alot for american bands. Lets keep it moving.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hot Dog Mistakes

So during my last day in Sao Paulo, Brasil, my friends and i tasted a little more vendor culture in the wee morning. Not new to us but new to the body. The vendor was right outside the club and we could not resist. Now the meat component was hot dog which i despise whether i was vegetarian or not. But the condiments really made the hot dogt obsolete. Be warned this may hurt your stomach. Hot dog buns, Hot dog, Potatoes, melted chedder cheese, mustard, mayo, ketchup, onions and relish and top it off with cheese wiz. The vendor lady may have snuck in a few hot peppers as well. Like whoa. lets just say that my buddy Fernando had a few too many hot dog sandwiches after a long night of drinking. or as he puts it-i pissed out of my ass. Sorry dog. stay up.

Tokio Hotel - Monsoon

They look different but sound like rock. hmmmmmmm. your thoughts?

How i do i Rage into the Knight

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

capoeira brasil (samba)

This is waht i experienced in Brasil.

Cannnooooooonnnnnnnn

By Alvin 'aqua' Blanco
“I’m not signed to Re-Up Gang Records anymore. I asked for release—make sure it says that—I asked for a release, nobody dropped me. So put free agent in there,” says Sandman, the baritone voiced MC you may have heard of.

And just like that, the Re-Up Gang, as we have known it, is no more. Well, while the Clipse (Malice, Pusha-T) and Ab-Liva press on, Sandman’s menacing mic antics will no longer be riding shotgun. After three critically acclaimed We Got It 4 Cheap mixtapes, the Philadelphia repping MC has decided to move on, citing uncertainty surrounding the team’s direction and too flexible release dates.

It was only in March 2008, that Sandman was telling AllHipHop, “I’m happy where I’m at as far as Re-Up Gang records,” shortly after Re-Up announced a joint venture with Columbia Records at the top of ’08. According to Sandman, the proper Re-Up Gang album was supposed to be released on June 9th.


“Obviously that date has been revoked and now the Clipse have a date for the top of ’09,” says Sandman. “There’s nothing else left in that pipeline there was no discussions to have, it was just like alright that’s that.”

“Re-Up Gang as a foursome had the biggest buzz since N.W.A.”





Then there is the case of the critically maligned Clipse Presents… Re-Up Gang album released on August 5, 2008 via Koch Records. According to Sandman the project was never supposed to be part of the group’s equation, as far as he knew. While the lyrics have never been a question from the four man squad, the album’s beats were lackluster, with a number of songs being “remixed” cuts from the We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 3 mixtape. Sandman notes that he was just as confused as the fans.

“I was told by Pusha that we was gon’ license the beats for We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 3 and simply put that in the stores, shoot a video for ‘20K [Money Making Brothers on a Corner]’ and ‘Show You How to Hustle,’” says Sandman. “We went around promoting “20K Brothers” as our first single. Out of no f***in’ where comes this ‘Fast Life’ record.”

For those keeping up, the Scott Storch produced “Fast Life” was the lead single for the Clipse Presents Re-Up Gang album, but the song only featured Pusha-T and Malice.

“I’m a hundred thousand percent for the Clipse building they song library,” stresses Sandman. “Music, that’s the platform so we all gotta keep doing it and I believe in that.” However, he continues, “I don’t think that a Clipse song should have been the lead for a Re-Up Gang album because it’s Re-Up Gang. Second of all, I think if they were gonna do a song, at least stay in the vein and the realm of Re-Up because ‘Fast Life’ is not Re-Up Gang music, [there] was no content of that nature on any of our We Got It 4 Cheaps.”

Sandman continues, “If the beats was licensed we would have had the beats we rapped to [on We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol 3], so I don’t know what the case was man, I can’t even answer that. I looked up in the Internet and saw what you guys got. Not only was the beats wack, but who the f**k was listening to it when it came down to mix and master this b***h because one of them songs are totally off beat, totally.”

The brother who said he was “coldhearted, I could freeze velour” on “What’s Up” from We Got It 4 Cheap, Vol. 2 asserts he holds no ill will towards Malice and Pusha. But he does lament the fact that Re-Up isn’t going to see the years of hard work put in come to proper fruition. “Re-Up Gang as a foursome had the biggest buzz since N.W.A.,” says Sandman matter-of-factly. “That was the last time four n***as got together and got what we got, critically acclaimed this that and the third, Rolling Stone interviews, come on. It has a cult like following, so now what happens to that?”

“If I come out and get a hook from T-Pain and a beat from whoever the f**k is poppin’ I just did what the last 20 people just did.”


Right now Sandman is re-focusing on his C.A.N.N.O.N.S. Inc., though thanks to his omnipresent “Yeah, Cannons!” ad lib it’s not like he ever let it slip to the wayside. The roster of artists is deep (HouseWife, Lil Spazz, Lo’ Pro, Kawshen, Wild Bill, Eddie Somerset, Teflon, Chris Bugz, Cheech Myers, Rush and Filthy Rich.) and after dropping a mixtape, Philadelphia Ego, a few months back, Sandman just released the resounding street album Gianormous.

More in line with the vibe of the We Got It 4 Cheap series, Gianormous is stacked with impeccable lyricism matched with thumping beats. “Gianormous is me picking up where I left off,” says Sandman. “When Pusha met me he had four of my CDs, they all read ‘Cannons Inc.’ This situation definitely tells me, ‘Hello, gotta get on your horse and gallop.’ That’s not hard ’cause motherf***ers like dope music and I got plenty of that.”



Sandman "Anchor" from IMC Productions on Vimeo.


The album’s tracks, including lead single “Anchor,” are crafted by up and coming beatmakers including Bionik (“Rockin & Rollin’”), School of Velocity (“Anchor”) and The Boogiemen. It was all to plan.

“That’s the only way you change the game,” explains Sandman. “If I come out and get a hook from T-Pain and a beat from whoever the f**k is poppin’ I just did what the last 20 people just did. If I come with five, six n****s you never heard of but they bringing that work, I got a whole new conversation in Hip-Hop started.”

A topic of discussion will inevitably be, What do the Clipse think? When asked for comment the VA brothers provided the following statement attributed to Re-Up Gang Records: “We wish him well and know his talents will be recognized by the masses just as we recognized them when we met...all the best!!!”

http://www.allhiphop.com/photos/blog_pictures/images/20503259/original.aspxSandman also made sure to note his relationship with Ab-Liva is still solid. “Ab-Liva been my n***a before we even knew the Clipse, so you know that ain’t gon’ never change.”

The hustle—moving the lyrics and beats like weight—isn’t changing either. Right now Sandman is looking for distribution [“I’m thinking about Allen Grunblatt. I’m waiting on a phone call from Steve Rifkind,”].

Sandman’s pitch sounds good. “I’m a free agent and I’m a boss, I shoot my own videos, I got my own Web site, I got my own crew, I made my own name, I got my own beatmen, like what the f**k do you want, what’s left? I’m self-contained.”

It’s hard to doubt Sandcannon won’t eventually get his own re-up.

RYe RYE

By Alex Thornton

At 17, Baltimore’s Rye Rye is in her final year of high-school, but she’s already a graduate of the place from where she got her real education: the club. Growing up in a city known worldwide for it’s home-grown brand of dance music, it’s only natural that Rye Rye would absorb the beats into her blood.

She’s not some encyclopedia of records that she memorized after digging in crates and surfing the net; the music is such a part of her that she can barely articulate what her favorite tracks are when pressed. She tentatively rattles off “Hands Up, Thumbs Down” and a few other classics, but gives up quickly.

“There’s so much old-school club music that I used to listen to that I don’t even know the names,” she explains, laughing to herself. Her knowledge doesn’t come from compilations she copied from a friend’s laptop. She was taught about music by DJs who provided an ever changing, hours long stream of music that skipped her mind and went straight into her soul. It’s no wonder then that practically overnight, she went from one of a hundred girls dancing in the club to the little sister of the Mad Decent crew, getting love from Perez Hilton and rhyming on tracks from Diplo and Blaqstarr.

Before even having an album, she was invited to join with M.I.A. while she traveled and got her BA in World Tours. During her apprenticeship with Dr. Arulpragasam, she observed the behavior of club kids the world over and now, Rye Rye prepares to get serious about finishing her as of yet untitled album.

Between her natural, care-free style and a group of producers at her disposal that most established artists would kill for, it’s only a matter of time before she’s got an hour of her own music to drive into the hearts of Baltimore’s youth. Then, the student can finally become the teacher.

AllHipHop.com Alternatives: How long have you been rapping and performing?

Rye Rye: Um… since I was 16, the summer of ’06.

AHHA: That wasn’t that long ago; what made you decide to start? Did you secretly want to rap the whole time or did it just happen accidentally?

Rye Rye: It was something that just popped up. I was a dancer and I used to write poetry, but one day I decided to try to write a verse. I ran into Blaqstarr and he asked me if I knew how to rap. I was being shy, so I took that verse I wrote and turned it into a song. I called him up and he wasn’t home so I just rapped the song on his answering machine.

When I was in the club one day, he came up to me like “my brother likes your song, spit the first verse for him right here.” After that, I started going into the studio to record.

AHHA: At your age, how are you getting exposed to the club music and meeting guys like Blaqstarr?

Rye Rye: Down here in B-more, clubs open for the teenagers that are 17 and older, but I used to go even when I was young. A lot of the club music gets played on the radio so even then I got exposed to it and it was something that I grew up on. I just took if from there.

"Down here in B-more, clubs open for the teenagers that are 17 and older, but I used to go even when I was young. A lot of the club music gets played on the radio so even then I got exposed to it and it was something that I grew up on. I just took if from there."


AHHA: Were you into the more straightforward Hip-Hop as well?

Rye Rye: I used to watch a lot of the traditional Hip-Hop on TV, but since I dance I was always more into club the scene. We used to do Hip-Hop and R&B too but I would always really listen to club.

AHHA: You recently came off a world tour with M.I.A. and went to a lot of places that you’d never been before. What did you see that was different from what you’d been encountering in the US?

Rye Rye: The music and the scene is a little different because it’s all kinds of music and a blend. If you come to a club down here [in Baltimore] people will dance if they know how, but when you go to different countries, everybody dances no matter what and they have a good time. Down here everybody’s competitive and they’re always battling but when I go out of town everybody’s partying.

AHHA: M.I.A. is a pretty popular artist around the world, so your first tour was bigger than what a lot of new artists get.

Rye Rye: Yeah, it was pretty big. Most of the venues weren’t club venue,s but it’s always that same vibe because if the music’s loud and the bass hits hard then the crowd is into it. It was a pretty good experience because I was with an artist bigger than myself and saw how she contains the crowd so it helped my performance as well. She interacts with the crowd a lot and that’s what she tells me to do. That’s one of my major problems because I’m shy.

AHHA: How did you manage to balance school with the tour? You were gone through most of the school year.

Rye Rye: When I was out on tour, they would just send me stuff with all kinds of work to do that I’d bring back with me and we’d communicate through the internet.

AHHA: What about your mother? How did she react when you told her about going?

Rye Rye: My mother was excited about it. She wanted me to do it but she was definitely worried about school.

AHHA: Now that you’re back and can spend more time in the studio, what are your plans for the album?

Rye Rye: I plan to do everything. My music is Baltimore club, but I can do all kinds; my music is unclassified. Hip-Hop, R&B, Baltimeore Club, House Music... I’m finishing working on it now, it’ll probably come out maybe the beginning of next year. [For producers] I’m working with Zakee from DC, I been working with Diplo, Blaqstarr, I look forward to working with the Cool Kids and Maya’s [M.I.A.] my executive producer.

AHHA: With all the time you spend in the club are we ever going to see you DJ?

Rye Rye: [laughs] Um… I’m thinking about learning to DJ. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea, but I tried it once but I messed up the party.

New Video from The Cool Kids

chi town stand up!!!The cool kids deliver

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd founding member Richard Wright dies

RIP: Pink Floyd's Richard Wright
By Eliot Van Buskirk EmailSeptember 15, 2008 | 2:24:12 PMCategories: R.I.P.

Picture_17 Pink Floyd founding member and keyboardist Richard Wright died on Monday following "a short struggle with cancer" at the age of 65, according to a note posted on the official Pink Floyd website.

"I really don't know what to say other than that he was such a lovely, gentle, genuine man and will be missed terribly by so many who loved him," wrote bandmate David Gilmour, who joined Pink Floyd in 1968, on his blog. "And that's a lot of people. Did he not get the loudest, longest round of applause at the end of every show (during the band's reunion tour) in 2006?"

The self-taught pianist and keyboardist will be missed. Listen below to four Pink Floyd songs featuring his work: "Astronomy Domine," with lead vocals by Wright; "Us and Them" and "The Great Gig in the Sky," both written by Wright; and the gorgeous "Fearless" from the album Meddle, believed to feature his compositional skills.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sao Paulo PART 101

Every single day, i have seen beautiful women. EVERY SINGLE DAY. ALL DIFFERENT. WHOA. I WILL BE BACK TO THE CITY AND CONTINENT SOON.

Sao Paulo part 100

Finally, i hear and heard the funk. A random costume party and a hip hop(they call it RNB AND MEAN IT) club brought the funk to the hills of the mind. Blasting some favorites that i have played on my ipod, and cd player as well as some new stuff. Favleas are popping off and the neighborhoods are wild every single day. There is a party in this city everyday. Thank god for unemployment.

Sao Paulo

So after a few days in Brazil, a great shower, an overpriced hotel and some good churrascas, a friend of a friend got in touch with Fernando. Fernando is the don juan of Sao Paulo. He knows, sees and lives all. A thrid eye if you will and yes, an inspiration to true marketers,brazilians and worldly travellers. Fernando welcomed us with open arms into his apartment which he shares with his sister(who is gorgeous). He introduced us to all of his friends, took us to the best clubs, got us lifted and drunk everyday and i almost had to say i was getting too old for this shit. But I goes hard. Even when it means sleeping in a club that pounds techno and house all night. ha.
Fernando owns 3 companies. A casting, publicity and promotional company. He lives near everything and everyone. We could come and go as we pleased. Seriously this is a thank you to Fernando for the hospitality and the good in all people.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BRAZILLLLLLLLLL

It took us 2 hrs to get to Sao Paulo and we hit the ground running. Already hit a few clubs which i referenced in my last few blogs. Yesterday, we traveled to Unique Hotel which is amazing. Spectacular is a better word. The hotel is shaped like a boat and the rooftop has a pool,restaurant,bar combination. You can see the entire city from the rooftop and the clientale is chic to get in where you fit in. Did i say that the women here are beautiful. Smoking.
We drank at the hotel for a few hours and challenged our stomach to new drinks and recipes. As we stumbled out, we taxied our asses to a club called Inferno. Not bad. Reminded me of a mid 90`s hip hop club but a little more thugged out. Djs are big into R&B rather than Hip Hop which we discovered thru a few connects. Mixing All types of R&B with some silky smooth rap verses and a little reggae made the night move in the right direction. Or at least an interesting sort of drunk stupor direction. We did not shut the club down but we bagged a few numbers, said hi to a few street walkers and jumped in a cab with a heavy set blue shirt,no hands on the wheel fun loving driver that insisted we should go to Club Vegas at that moment. I saaid i want some cold pizza and my bed. I won.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ok i am late but now i really get it

Baile Funk drives the people and vice versa. If you do not know, you better ask. I am now in Brazil on my second day, barely awake but loving every minute. We checked out a few music spots last night.(kilt club and lovestore to be exact). Bump N Sniff was played for a third time in a different country and city in South America. The remix is fire. The people love it especially the women. New Single called DO WORK coming soon. Djs hit me up for remixes.

Iguacu Falls

This is one of the seven natural wonders in the world. You have to see it to really appreciate nature. Stunning. Pics to follow

Buenos Aires Part 8

We all went to see Paraguay vs Argentina football for the world cup qualifying game. It was cold,it was raining and the game ended in a tie. But we got on the local news, we ate a few hot dogs,we meshed with the people and screammed till we lost our voices.

Buenos Aires Part 7

The apartment is aamazing. I mean REAL World, Road Rules, Puff Daddy, cant stop wont stop amazing. Pictures will follow in a week. FYI, it was in the city of Palmero which btw also has an amazaing steakhouse called LA CABERRA

Bueno Aires part 6

The bike tour is a great thing to do in any city. We met some new folks that were from the States but visiting and we saw all parts of the city within a few hours. Do i remember them all? Lets just say liquor is quicker. But the fact that parts of the city streets are named after countries in SOuth America and parts of the city streets of Buenos Aires are named after women who helped the city grow or changed the course of city or even designed a building is amazing. Shout to our cute tour guide and the girl from Portland, Oregon. We had a sunglass moment.

Happy Birthday to Kendal Black

Buenos Aire part 5

Lost is the spot on thurday in Bueno Aires. A dance contest begins the night at 10pm. At 1am, the night begins. trust me, 1am is when the party begins at every club. First off, hip hop is the shit and is not dying in other countries. People went bonkers on all floors. Nonstop till the club shut down Fo sure. bTW, reggaeton is not dead. trust. second, the ladies knew every single word and they did not know a lick of english. like whoa. The VIP was not really VIP. All for one and one for all. now, we may have been th

Bueno Aires Part 4A

Rumi is the spot where a few people were drunk. Pictures were taken. They lost out.

Bueno Aires part 4

Do not get drunk around me.

Buenos Aires Part 3

Tango is a beautiful,romantic dance. check out the history if you do not know. We took a Tango lesson in south bueno aires. The ladies were indesrible. Gorgeous. Lovely dancers. Even though we arrived late, they welcomed us with open arms. We learned the basic steps. Then we were told to let go and guide the moves with our hearts. The best advice they gave me. The steps became fluid with my body. I wanted to become one with my partner and that is also a goal in Tango. You have to become one. Communication with your partner is key. Even with basic steps, the Tango is 3 minutes of love. I fell in love with the dance, the class, and at least 3 women. I am tired.

Buenos Aires part 2

In Cro-Bar, i met this hot little mami that i swear looked like a girl i used to date in Germany. Being a limited spanish speaker, we had slight trouble communicating. We danced,we hugged, we kissed, we danced some more and then we kissed some more. she brought me into her world which made the night amazing. She was skinny build,long dirty blonde hair,a wife beater slight pulled up to show midrift and long legs covered in blk jeans. eyes were blues, lips were lucious and the timing was there.As she stroked my blonde tipped dreds, the Reggae music played into our heads all night. Now i have to apologize to her b/c i had to check on my friends and i told her to email me since i did not have a phone. I think we were lost in translation but still with one another in soul. I will bring a phone next time.

Buenos Aires

Ok. Another update from this beautiful land. Well, as much as cumbia is blowing off the rictor scale in the States as well as some spots overseas in Europe, i only heard cumbia in a few local lounges. Being gringos, we were let into every spot for free and ahead of long lines. The clubs are more packed down here and the kids are more passionate abt all types of music. In buenos aires, we hit up Musemo,Lost,Arroz,Cro-Bar,Pacha,Rumi and a few gentlemen spots. All spots were packed to door and at least two floors. Insanity but in a good way. The gringos were running the spots.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chile- Round 1

The crew and i are on the fourth day of Chile and loving it. We are in the Andes sking and snowboarding till it hurts. Second day(pictures and video to come). Bodies are hurting but i went down a red slope which is one step from the black(the most difficult)and scored a nice butt bruise. However, the run was successful and i snowboarded the same slope a few more times as well as attempted some jumps. Aint no thang but a chicken wing.
Regarding the music in Chile, it is abt the same as the states. The energy is lively and passionate which is expected. The folks are into hiphop,reggae,ragga,dancehall, house and reggaeton. We are superstars down here. ha. ha ha. First night in Chile, we hit a place called Jammin. Reggae\Dancehall all night. I have not seen that since the soundsystem battles in NYC. All night dancing,screaming,smoking,drinking and more. A huge warehouse turned into a credible night of sweat,sweat,new and old dancehall music from everywhere. I ended up with free shots of rum,a spliff,a 40 bottle of Escuda and a cipher which spilled to the outside. My apologies for not having a camera but those kids can spit. Boom.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trip to Chilie,Argentina and Brazil

I am going on a brief vacation but i am scoping out music spots. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

JAPANTHER - CHALLENGE

If you like the MF Death Set, check these guys out. A little different mix of punk,dance and bass in your face party time. yes sir.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Poll Reveals 430 New Demographics That Will Decide Election

THIS IS SOME FUNNY SHIT

Learning how to walk again!!!@

On both record and onstage, the Walkmen have always reached for the rafters-- often at the risk falling on their collective faces or completely overshadowing their moodier material. In the light of their previous powerful singles and go-for-broke performances, the New York band's latest album, You & Me, might seem like a step down. However, it's the first that fully commits to their seductive, eminently soused-sounding late night sulk. If there are people who still consider the Walkmen a singles act-- granted, that will happen when you write a couple of the best rock singles of the decade-- You & Me might finally convince them otherwise.

The album begins with a whimper-- the tentative patter of "Donde Esta la Playa" followed by instrumental "Flamingos (for Colbert)"-- but there's one striking, early difference between this record and all their previous work: You can make out what singer Hamilton Leithauser is saying. It's a good thing, too; among hazy tales of reckless vacations, the album's most vivid tracks are often its most lyrically straightforward: "Red Moon" is about missing a girl, "The Blue Route" is about missing better days.

Those are simple, well-worn topics, but nearly all of these songs are buoyed by some small, cautious detail that-- while it might sound slight on paper-- make for indelible musical moments: The woodsy whistling on "On the Water", the horns that make "Red Moon" gorgeously mopey, or the warm hum of organ and harp-like piano fills on "Long Time Ahead of Us". Elsewhere, the fantastic, clattering percussion on "Postcards From Tiny Islands", "Four Provinces", and more reaffirm drummer Matt Barrick is the band's MVP.

Moreover, these songs refine old ideas scattered throughout the Walkmen's catalog, mostly building them into stronger tracks than their predecessors: "Red Moon" takes the ostentatious horns from "Louisiana" (from 2006's A Hundred Miles Off) and use them as essential pieces of atmosphere and mood. The loping guitar and offbeat drumming of "Look Out the Window," from their 2002 split EP with Calla, are folded into the late-game clincher "The Blue Route". Here, all the band's wanderings coalesce with more focused lyrics and assured songwriting, neither racing nor shuffling towards its ambiguous climax. With all the elements of a Perfect Walkmen Song-- cavernous echo, stinging guitars and straining organ, vocals where you can hear the veins on Leithauser's temples bulge-- it would easily fit on the band's peak, Bows + Arrows.

You & Me isn't as hard or immediate as the band's earlier records, but that's not a complaint; its sound is coy, and invites you to spend time with it. Its lyrics are direct and its pleasures are simple-- as easy to notice as the mournful horns on "Red Moon", or hearing Leithauser hoping to get home to his loved one on the same song. While the Walkmen likely have more hits in them, if they keep making records as consistently engaging this, they won't sink for a lack of them. This is the sound they've reached for since the very beginning, and they've never played it as gracefully or confidently as they do here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Zizek/Tormenta Tropical Cumbia

open your minds and release your souls. South American Music scene is bumping.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pharrell Williams, On Chester French

The Jimmy Choo's - Chester French

Chester French

ok, so it is pop. But that first single is a banga.....

Girl Talk Crowd Surfing in Raft - Lollapalooza 2008

Isaac Hayes - Shaft

another great lost but not forgotten

Bernie Mac Def Comedy Jam

i posted this a few months back. chitown be proud. a real man, real funny man and outlandish all at once. He did not wasted his 50 years.

Lin-Manuel and Shockwave- Improv!

Don't panic, he is not markbrizzi. He is an innovator. Keep pushing the limits. See you at the top. BtW, big ups to the bartender at Pianos for the free whisky shots. It changed our night. My apologizes to Ben Affleck, we could cover your confession tonight.

Now i am van

Check this group out. Video over on Onsmash.com

TERMANOLOGY - WATCH HOW IT GO DOWN

underground madness. Working harder than the boston celtics in crunch time.

organized konfusion - stress-

this is the NY foundation

The Cool Kids - Stove Top

This is just some new shit i heard. check it. Also, Breeding Ground on Allhiphop.com profiles Mickey Factz and the hustle. Speak on it.

Juelz Santana ft. Cam'ron - Dipset (Santana's Town)

Cam'ron-357

Because he will gibe some niggas from d.c. but not harlem. Cause he will always be king of harlem. DIPSET

TALIB KWELI documentary - Nonstop Movie Works

The Who means you are not paying attention!!!!!

THIGHS HIGH TOMORROW










What's Up??? Please come by my party tomorrow... There will be free Patron shots at 4 PM and they are first come first serve, so get there early. Here's the description I've been posting around the web:

Yes, yes, y'all!!! It is time to do it again... Thighs High is going down again this Saturday August 16th at Huckleberry Bar with Fool's Gold maestro Nick Catchdubs & DJ around town Rezound. You already know what the deal is: Great music (we've got a speaker outside this time), great food & drinks, and great vibes. Huckleberry Bar is one of the newest and best bars in New York. It has a modern and classy decor inside, and a spacious and inviting deck with seating outside.

Chef Seth, formerly of 11 Madison, will be grilling up burgers, brats, hot dogs, etc.. on the grill out back, and feel free to ask around - the food is really, really good. If nothing else, come just to eat. The cocktails are something else here...

There is an open bar on Patron while it lasts - Get there early!!!

It is also my friend Devin's birthday, so come wish him a happy one!

So clear your calendars and come chill with us this Saturday at Huckleberry Bar.

Also, as a bonus, download the entire Jay-z discography HERE

Thursday, August 14, 2008

grab your titts??????

Baltimore club music broke out of Baltimore clubs a while ago, at least at the DJ and blog-nerd level. Defined by former Pitchfork writer Tom Breihan as "a cheap, hard, frantic, fiercely regional strain of black house music that exists only within Baltimore," the style has been cropping up for a few years now on releases by indie-oriented artists like Diplo, Spank Rock, and Ghislain Poirier, among others. Albums by hometown B-more heroes like Rod Lee have been getting reviews from national mags. And then there's HBO's "The Wire", which gave local musicians a national TV platform and eventually spawned a fine major-label compilation, Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks From The Wire.

A Washington, D.C.-based DJ/producer with a pronounced Baltimore club influence, Jesse Tittsworth uses the tinny breakbeats and raunchy subject matter of this once-local subgenre within a broader dance, pop, and hip-hop context. Last year, Tittsworth put out a couple of sample-driven EPs, Afterparty and EZ-T, both in the Baltimore club style, and he got together with the like-minded DJ Ayres for a Baltimore/Miami loops-and-grooves battle record called T&A Breaks. But Tittsworth also joined the electro-house hordes churning out "D.A.N.C.E." remixes for Justice. A free Tittsworth DJ mix posted online to promote his first proper album, 12 Steps, jumps from Baltimore's Blaqstarr to Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Soulja Boy Tell Em, Hard-Fi, and George Michael. Clearly, this could've been Baltimore club's pop moment.

Unfortunately, 12 Steps is too little, too late-- the free mix is worth more of your money. The sort of electro-rap synthesis this album achieves has been done before, and better, not just by West, but also by his associates like A-Trak, Kid Sister, Flosstradamus, and Cool Kids, or even by Alaska-based Curtis Vodka. Kid Sister, a charismatic young Chicago MC whose "Pro Nails" does for manicures what Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss" did for L'Oreal, appears on one of 12 Steps' catchiest tracks, "WTF". But the "whassup, whassup" hook, despite reportedly being sung by post-M.I.A. it-girl Santogold, is as dated as the old Budweiser TV campaign; Pase Rock's rhymes about "So Fresh, So Clean" and "Trapped in the Closet" fall as flat as day-old beer. On blippy first single "Broke Ass Nigga", with an orchestral melody similar to the "place in France" playground song, Tittsworth skirts the obvious issues inherent in a half-white, half-Asian guy throwing around the n-word by bringing on guests DJ Assault, Kenny B, Jinxx, and Frankie Baby. The result is mildly funny, particularly the deliciously absurd closing non sequitur: "Can I hold your fish, man? I need some company."

But 12 Steps is more interesting when it sounds less East Coast, more European. Tittsworth, whose background is also in hip-hop and drum'n'bass, gets the album off to an energetic start on "Haiku" by combining those distinctive Baltimore handclaps with robotic filter-disco buzzing and dramatically swooping synths. And on "4.21", he turns crackling distortion, hard-edged beats, and light, floaty electronics into what could've been one of Simian Mobile Disco's more contemplative tracks. By comparison, predictable fare like the gimmicky "Bumpin'", in which a DJ complains about a drunk guy bumping into his turntables, or the raucous Baltimore-club update "Drunk as Fuck", in which a knife sound accompanies rappers the Federation bragging about "cut[ting] up the pussy like the movie Hostel," sounds like (mere) childish imitation.

Tittsworth has produced, by and large, an album of potential novelty singles. That's fine-- you can argue that some of the best records are novelty records-- but the problem is that most of the tracks on 12 Steps are neither particularly novel nor memorable. The guitar-coated "Almond Joy" begs you to-- wait for it-- "play with my heart like a toy," and the soppy light R&B of "Here He Comes" nicks a melody from Hall and Oates' "Maneater", which Timbaland referenced with Nelly Furtado two years ago. As many words as the Clipse have for snow, Baltimore club and its cousin Miami bass have for sex, so letting guest rapper Pitbull settle for such Kindergarten Cop-level laziness here as "spread legs like a gynecologist" is an insult. Not to his Miami base, not to Baltimore clubbers, but to pop fans. We're fickle-- not stupid.

* MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/titts

- Marc Hogan, August 14, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

J*Davey is reaching the planets

By Felicia Barclay


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The thirst quencher needed to revitalize the current state of music has finally arrived in the form of J*DaVeY.

Combining New Wave, Jazz, Electronica, and R&B, J*DaVeY (female singer Jack Davey and male producer Brook D’Leau) presents funky beats combined with a dash of new school flavor.

Their double album release, The Beauty In Distortion / The Land Of The Lost (Interdependent Media) is the elixir that music has been lacking for quite some time. While J*DaVey has made music for over eight years, their double album “debut” reintroduces the group to the masses with a force to break the musical monotony.

The first disc, The Beauty In Distortion opens with “Division Of Joy,” takes you on a futuristic expedition of electric guitars and organs reminiscent of vintage No Doubt. “Mr. Mister” – the first release from the group – is a flirty club-ready tune about a girl chase boy pursuit. Tracks like “Everybody Touch It” and “Enterception” feature Brook’s production dexterity, guiding you in a trance-like labyrinth of organs and synthesizers.
The first disc closes with a future screw remix of “Mr. Mister” with Jack slithering through the slowed down track which transitions midway into a Dance mix.

The Land of the Lost opens with the lethargic flow of “Hi Sun.” However, the offbeat collaboration of the up-tempo “Slayers” featuring Pacific Division, Dia Gibram and Bleu Collar, throws the vibe of the album out of sync. Jack showcases her MC skills on tracks like the ?uestlove produced “Lil Big Heads” and “Rock the Dancehall” featuring Kardinal Offishall on the liquefied riddim. Additionally, “Just Because” features Phonte of Little Brother lending his smooth vocals to the track’s wavelength.

The Beauty In Distortion / The Land Of The Lost is most certainly a must grab and an introduction to a group that has been making music longer than many artists out today. There are a few misses that offset the overall flow, but nonetheless J*DaVeY manages to showcase their multiplicity and dares to be different. Any music lover can appreciate that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

RIP DJ K-SWIFT

By Nolan Strong

Popular female DJ K-Swift died this morning (July 21) in a swimming pool accident in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland AllHipHop.com has learned.



K-Swift, born Khia Edgerton, was just 28-years-old, at the time of her death, although she started DJ’ing at the age of 11, due to the influence of other pioneering DJ’s like Cocoa Channel and Jazzy Joyce.



K-Swift broke ground on Baltimore’s Radio One station 92Q Jams, where she rose to Female Mix Show Coordinator and was the only female in the country to hold the title.



She was also a member of the Violator-All Star DJ Coalition, as well as a member of the all female squad the Murda Mami’s.



"I'm at a loss for words right now,” Murda Mami founder 1st Lady El told AllHipHop.com. “K-Swift was not only one of my Murda Mami sisters, she was a great friend. She knocked down doors for women in this industry, so humble and hard working. Legendary in the club music scene and the number one DJ in Baltimore. She will be missed."



In addition to being the only female record pool director in Baltimore (Direct Drive Record Pool), K-Swift also owned Club Queen Entertainment, a graphics management and production company.



Details on her death will be released shortly.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saul Williams - Children of the Night

he just performed last night and blew the wind of the city that never sleeps and yet only a few were listening.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Diplo vs The Roots part 2

Diplo brings more of his style to the mix. As a result, he opens the ears for new music and a new journey in the mind of the listener. Of course to keep the partee going he will drop familiar party songs but his ear for new, exciting club oriented music has made a name for himself over the years and influenced what other djs are playing and listening and mixing. He has done this with amazing fervor, flavor and worldwide acceptance. Yet people still do not know who he is. On the other side, The Roots have experimented with their albums to my surprise and satisfaction, but their show has seem to diminish. Maybe they are getting lazy or unfamiliar with what a good hip hop band is or used to be. They pretty much created and heightened but now they are so jammy that it is scary. Yes i know the show should be consistent each time but maybe that is problem. Hip hop is about keeping it fresh and new. However, Black Thought says it best "I done lost my passion."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why Diplo is better than The Roots

Ok, look at me like i am crazy. But I attended The Roots Family Picnic in Philly on saturday in the sweltering heat. There was a main stage and an inside stage where the air conditioning was the highlight at first. A few small acts started the day off and the sponsors of the festival were begging for your attention all day. Forget them, the reall deal is Diplo. After watching a set by some unknown act from France that replaced Deerhoof and Gnarles Barkley, Diplo slammed the people with a ferocious thunder bass booming move your feet brilliance and to parapharse "this is my intro." Damnnnnnnnn. After that set, i was sweating like a madmen ready to kill. Punk mania from a DJ. Yes sir. Then a chillled out, watched a few people dance around to the sounds of Tec9ine and a flurry of mixtape djs from Philly. Then i smoked a little, met a few mates from DC and Jersey respectively, smoked a little more and vibed out to the sounds of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. The Cool Kids rocked the main stage before them. Did Chitown proud fo sure fo sure. Then The Roots stepped into the ring. Now i am from philly so i expect mass mania all night. Then started the night with some new joints that are hot from the album. They even broight P.O.R.N. and Hub just to really represent the past and the future. But then, Jam Hour began. I am not sure why. Some old stuff but more mixtape BS from a live band. Look, i know that is how they came up. They covered songs or partially covered songs in order to energize the crowd but this Philly. We are already fans. More disappointing than that was no guest appearances from Malik B, Peedi Crak, Jill Scott, Talib Kweli, Common, Mos Def and the list goes on. I was hot, I was sticky and i was pissed.

Friday, June 6, 2008

THE DEATH SET

Recordreviews-header
Worldwide The Death Set
Worldwide
[Counter/Ninja Tune; 2008]
Rating: 6.8
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The fusion of rap and heavy metal in the mid-1980s was as inevitable as it was initially novel, what with the premium both genres place on earthquaking drum beats and aggressive phallocentricism. But somewhere in the journey from "Rock Box" to Limp Bizkit, rap was effectively divorced from its true spiritual white-boy cousin-- punk rock, with which it shared roots in the underclass, modest, DIY means of production and a certain outspoken candor. It's a connection that wasn't lost on everybody-- most notably, the young Beastie Boys, but where the Beasties felt it was a prerequisite to drop their guitars in order to pass the mic, some 25 years later, the opening salvo from Baltimore's Death Set proffers another option for another rap-savvy punk-rockers: "Listen to This Collision".

For Death Set, the collision is not just musical-- hitching revved-up buzzsaw guitars to machine-gunned low-budget beats-- but demographic and, most notably, physical. Upon stumbling into their afternoon South by Southwest set last March, I was greeted with the sight of beardo indie-rock dudes and neon-hatted Spank Rock look-alikes bum-rushing the stage with equal gusto, while Death Setters Johnny Siera and Beau Velasco-- flanked by two drummers-- stood gleefully in the centre of the melee, as stage-diving bodies flew around them like storm debris. That the band are denizens of Dan Deacon's Wham City should come as no surprise, but a Death Set show presents a new utopia: Slam City.

Their debut disc, Worldwide, can't match that display for sheer visceral thrills-- its compact, lo-fi production inspires less of a pogo and more of a vigorous head-nod, and with 18 over-caffeinated tracks in 25 minutes, the album feels like a particularly sweet treat that passes through your system far too quickly. But as we approach the impending global oil crisis, the disc's unbridled enthusiasm presents itself as a viable alternative energy source. Worldwide adopts the ghetto-tech machination and chest-pumped posturing of early-80s rap, but-- in the words of a classic "Mr. Show" sketch-- without all that rap. Instead, the shout-it-out-loud exhortations of "Intermission" and "Impossible"-- Worldwide's surefire circle-pit instigators-- expose rapid-fire flows and punk-rock sloganeering as products of the same bratty insolence.

A great deal of Death Set's charm lies in how their toothsome double-guitar attack is deliberately undermined by their tinkertoy beats and new-waved keys; when the band try to overcompensate with the aggro, like on the robo-hardcore thrasher "Day in the Wife", they sound like they've arrived 10 years too late for the Atari Teenage Riot. But Siera and Velasco mostly know that, with their helium-high, munchkin voices, they're not going to fool anyone with a hardcore pose. Like Ween in their infancy, their band is really a vehicle to play out basement rock-star and gangsta fantasies-- Worldwide is littered with cheekily self-aware shout-outs to "the muthafuckin' Death Set"-- but in their hearts of hearts, they're just a couple of softies: with endearing blitzkrieg-pop confections like "Had a Bird" and "Selective Memories", Death Set appear no more threatening than a couple of kids on Christmas morning waiting to unwrap the new, all-Superchunk edition of "Guitar Hero".

-Stuart Berman, June 06, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chelsea Hotel Documented Viciously

New York's famed Hotel Chelsea is in the bright lights these days, which is weird considering how dark everyone says the boho hotspot is.

Abel Ferrara's new documentary Chelsea on the Rocks, which premiered at Cannes this weekend, as well the recently released photo essay Inside the Chelsea Hotel, characterize the legendary residence as an unending spiral of sex, drugs, rock and hell.

As actor Jamie Burke, who plays doomed Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious in Ferrara's doc, explained in the Associated Press on Sunday, Chelsea is a "vortex," an "artistic tornado of death and destruction and love and broken dreams."

Vicious infamously killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen while staying at the Chelsea in 1978, and musicians like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Tom Waits, Henri Chopin, Bob Dylan, Richard Hell and many more wrote some of their more memorable songs there. Leonard Cohen's tune "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" graphically chronicles his sexual union with Janis Joplin at the Chelsea. Other tracks about the hotel include Nico's "Chelsea Girls," Dylan's "Sara" and, most notably, Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning" which, remarkably enough, inspired the Clintons to name their daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Inside the Chelsea Hotel photographer Julia Calfee describes working at the residence as "living and working in the same place with a large extended, temperamental family full of artistic sensitivities and colossal egos, with long, exposed nerve ends."

The hotel is also where some of those nerve ends met their ends.

Along with Spungen, poet Dylan Thomas died of alchohol poisoning at St. Vincent's Hospital after binging at the Chelsea in 1953. Lost Weekend author Charles R. Jackson committed suicide at the Chelsea in 1968. On the other hand, Painter Alphaeus Cole died there at the record-setting age of 115.

Yet the Chelsea was also the birthplace of immortal creation: While under its roof, Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001, Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road, and Andy Warhol practically used it as ground zero for his Factory line of pop-art stars.

Much of that creation and destruction occurred under the watch of the Bard family, which managed the hotel for the last 60 years. In 2007, however, the Bard family was ousted (PDF) in a takeover and the fate of the Chelsea remains uncertain. But even if it succumbs to the kind of homogenization that has turned New York City into one huge shopping mall, it's bulletproof artistic legacy will remain intact.

Photo: Wikipedia

Weezer Leaks Pork and Beans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16cFXw5vkFg

Weezer hit the virtual jackpot with "Pork and Beans," the band's hot new music video that mashes together a decade of internet memes in less than four minutes.

Whether you think of the savvy short as the web celeb edition of "We Are the World" or a live-action version of "Internet People," the catchy geek anthem hits its mark.

From the Daft Dancers (who do a separate Weezer promo, right) to the dramatic chipmunk, the memetastic video pays tribute to some of the net's biggest mind viruses.

Since its Friday upload, "Pork and Beans" has amassed an impressive 3.5 million views on YouTube -- and that was even before its televised debut on MTV, which happened late Tuesday.

Wired.com talked to video director Mathew Cullen, co-founder of studio Motion Theory, who spilled the beans on making "Pork and Beans," embracing your inner geek and discovering what Chocolate Rain crooner Tay Zonday is like when the cameras aren't rolling.

Wired.com: OK, 'fess up. Who's the bigger geek -- Motion Theory or Weezer? I'm wondering whose idea it was to use web celebs for this ultimate geek anthem.
Mathew Cullen: Well, we'd been wanting to work with Weezer since their last album ... and five weeks ago Weezer sent us this song, and we immediately got the idea. ["Pork and Beans"] is this amazing song about being happy with who you are. That's exactly where it came from. There's never been a time like now, thanks to YouTube, where people can put themselves out there. So I embraced that concept.

Wired.com: Had you seen the South Park episode featuring Tay Zonday, that crazy-eyed hamster and the Numa Numa kid in a web celeb death match?
Cullen: I actually didn't even know about the South Park episode until after we came up with the concept, but that message is almost about ending the lives of internet memes or viral stars. The idea is "let's move on from this," and the "Pork and Beans" video embraces an opposite message.

Wired.com: Which is?
Cullen: I wanted the video to be a celebration of that creativity. I wanted it to be redemption for those who'd been unintentionally embarrassed by the power -- there is a sense of that for those who were shamed by it.

For example, take Mark Hicks, the Afro Ninja. He's a professional Hollywood stuntman who made one mistake at a casting session that is etched in [millions] of people's memories. It was leaked without his consent, it was him doing the opposite of what he does best -- and it was embarrassing professionally. He was very hard on himself for years because of that, but at a certain point embraced it. In this video, I wanted people to know he can kick some butt. There is an unintentional celebrity that happens on the internet. In the case of the Star Wars Kid, he wasn't able to get over it. Even though he's not in [the "Pork and "Beans" video], we wanted to put a nod [to him].

Wired.com: When did all of this go down?
Cullen: We shot it early May, in Los Angeles. Timing is everything ... it had to be relevant. For people who aren't on the internet, this is like a web CliffsNotes to getting into internet culture.

Wired.com: What happened when all those memes got into one room? Any fights over web celeb status break out?
Cullen: [laughs] No, sorry. It was very surreal. Everyone was talking about the effect that YouTube has had on their life and the differences between celebrity and web celebrity. I witnessed very intelligent conversations about what their place is in the fold, and pop culture entertainment, and what the rippling effects of what they've done and what their future holds.... They were all really fascinated with each other.

Wired.com: Anything happen off-screen that is viral-video worthy? Like a Chris Crocker, the Numa Numa kid and Miss South Carolina showdown?
Cullen: The shoot was a total whirlwind. But the group was all at the same hotel. They did hang out and party. That would have been good to get on tape. Over the next few weeks, there is going to be some really good bonus content -- interviews and some musical collaborations on the Weezer channel. So you'll see.

Wired.com: Who was your dream meme to meet in person?
Cullen: Tay Zonday. I just think his music is incredible and it was fascinating to see him do his thing in person. Also, Judson Laipply (The Evolution of Dance). It was amazing to hear him tell his story. It was learning more about who these people are and beyond what we know from the 15-second or two-minute effect on our lives.