Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lil Wayne wants to be james brown

For someone who made ubiquity his art form, Lil Wayne has done a stupendous job of disappearing this year. Sure, he was on tour and at the Grammys, but the stream of mixtapes and freestyles on which he built his reputation slowed to a drip. While he was taking a breather, others — in particular, Gucci Mane, and Lil Wayne’s protégé Drake — took his template and ran with it.
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Lil Wayne (in glasses) at a New York City court in December. On Feb. 9 he will be sentenced in connection with a 2007 arrest for gun possession.

On Feb. 9 Lil Wayne will appear in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to be sentenced in connection with a 2007 charge for gun possession. He is expected to begin serving his sentence that same day: an enforced absence instead of the voluntary break he has been taking.

But as the days count down, Lil Wayne is re-emerging. On Tuesday his extended crew Young Money released its debut album, “We Are Young Money” (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown). And this month his rock album, “Rebirth” (Cash Money/Universal Motown), leaked to the Internet after accidentally shipped some 500 copies to customers who had preordered it. Just like that, Lil Wayne is omnipresent again.

In a character-softening appearance last week on “The Mo’Nique Show” on BET, Mo’Nique asked him what he looks for in the artists he signs. “First of all, work ethic,” he replied. It was a reminder that behind Lil Wayne’s seeming effortlessness is a huge machine of carefully calibrated moving parts, and that this deluge of new material is no accident.

Lil Wayne has been piecing together Young Money for a couple of years. The crew features Drake, the former child actor from Toronto who stands on his own as a rap star; Nicki Minaj, the most invigorating female rapper currently working; and a host of lesser characters, from thugs (Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda) to semi-hipsters (Tyga) to kids (Lil Chuckee, Lil Twist).

Collecting a competent crew has been all but impossible in hip-hop in recent years; since 50 Cent spawned G-Unit, no one has been famous enough to try. And though “We Are Young Money” is spotty, especially on the part of Lil Wayne, there are strong indications that he’s a keen observer of talent. (And not just of rappers: this album is a showcase for the up-and-coming producers Kane Beatz and Chase N. Cashe.)

So far, “We Are Young Money” has produced two hits: “Every Girl in the World,” which was dominant this summer, and “Bedrock,” a current smash. It’s no coincidence that both feature Drake, as assured as any rapper when it comes to the topic of seduction.

The album’s unexpected star is Nicki Minaj, who raps with a comically nasal chirp that half the time sounds like the accent of a privileged, gum-snapping teenager from Long Island. (She is from Queens, after all.) More than anyone here, even Lil Wayne, she fights against the strictures of the beat, her flow pattern varying from stutter to fusillade, spitting out bizarre, color-theme rhymes (“Roger That,” “Finale”) and oddball metaphors (“About to get a mani-ped/I’m the big bad wolf, and your granny dead”).

On many songs Lil Wayne is present primarily in the form of an Auto-Tuned hook, leaving room for his squad but also implicitly removing himself from direct competition. It’s a benevolent form of arrogance.

Neither the crew album nor the experimental passion project has a proud commercial legacy in hip-hop. But for “Rebirth,” at least, Lil Wayne’s label had sizable expectations. According to Billboard, around one million copies were printed, one-third of which were distributed to retailers. (Lil Wayne’s last album, “Tha Carter III,” has been certified triple platinum, meaning three million copies were shipped.) After months of delays, “Rebirth” had been scheduled for release on Feb. 1, seemingly pegged to Lil Wayne’s impending incarceration.

That release has now been canceled, but what an odd note to depart on it would have been. By Lil Wayne standards, “Rebirth,” clunky and confusing, approaches catastrophe. By the standards of rappers reaching outside their comfort zones, it’s admirable but not effective, lacking the tonal consistency and emotional ambition of its most obvious predecessor, Kanye West’s “808s & Heartbreak.” By the standards of contemporary radio rock, it’s passable, possibly even good.

At minimum, it shows a sense of adventure. Mostly, Lil Wayne hews close to power ballads and classic rock, a predictable entry point for a guy who sent out tie-dye promotional T-shirts for “Tha Carter III.” Those kinds of songs here (“Prom Queen,” “Paradise”) are among the most ponderous. Lil Wayne’s lyrics on “Paradise” — “Sometimes we try to find a road to the riches, need roadside assistance/Blisters on my knees, from begging for forgiveness” — could just as easily come out of the mouth of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.

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BTW Mad Decent should sign Brik Mason

Video: Major Lazer,

Video: Major Lazer, “Hold the Line (Frikstailers Cumbia RMX)”

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Sunday, December 20, 2009


At Cargo, London, 2009
Background information
Birth name Nneka Egbuna
Also known as Nneka
Born December 24, 1981 (1981-12-24) (age 27)
Origin Warri, Nigeria
Genres Soul, Hip hop, R&B, Afrobeat, Reggae
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2004-present
Labels Yo Mama's Recording Co./Sony Music Entertainment

Nneka Egbuna (born 24 December 1981) is a Nigerian-German hip hop/soul singer and songwriter. She sings in English and her traditional language of Igbo.

* 1 Biography
* 2 Music career
* 3 Musical style
* 4 Discography
o 4.1 Albums
o 4.2 EPs
o 4.3 Singles
* 5 References
* 6 External links

[edit] Biography

Nneka is the daughter of an Igbo Nigerian father and a German mother[1]. Nneka is an Igbo name taken from the language of the Igbo people who live in the Eastern part of Nigeria and means “Mother is supreme, mother is the best”. The singer was born and grew up in Warri, in the Delta region of Nigeria. Here she went to primary school of the Delta Steel Company and later to secondary school at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Nneka relished the experience of singing from an early age in her school and in the church choir. After relocating to Hamburg, Germany, at the age of 18, she pursued a career in singing alongside a degree in Anthropology[2]. She divides her time between Nigeria and the German city of Hamburg[3].
[edit] Music career

Since 2003 Nneka has been working closely with the hip hop beatmaker DJ Farhot, a producer living in Hamburg. As a young singer she first gained public attention in 2004 while performing as an opening act for dancehall reggae star Sean Paul at Hamburg Stadtpark.

After releasing her debut EP 'The Uncomfortable Truth' with the music label Yo Mama's Recording Company, she performed on her first tour with Patrice Bart-Williams in April 2005, playing shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

She finished recording her first album in the autumn of 2005. Entitled 'Victim of Truth', it was released not only in Germany but also in England, France, Netherlands, Nigeria and Japan. Garnering rave reviews from the media, the UK's Sunday Times later declared it “the year’s most criminally overlooked album”, comparing it favourably to 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'[4].

Following the release of the album, Nneka enjoyed a sustained and successful period of touring, performing at festivals such as Chiemsee Reggae Summer, Haarlem (BevrijdingsPop), Den Haag (Park Pop) and Saint-Brieuc (Art Rock Festival) as well as in respected venues like La Maroquinerie and New Morning in Paris, Tivoli in Utrecht, Paradiso in Amsterdam and Cargo and ULU in London. She has also supported artists such as Femi Kuti, Bilal, Seeed, and Gnarls Barkley.

In February 2008 she released her second album, 'No Longer at Ease'. The title of the album is taken from a novel of the same name by Chinua Achebe and reflects lyrical the content of the record. Most of the songs are political, talking about the plight of the Niger Delta and the corruption in Nneka’s homeland. “No Longer at Ease” combines the political and the personal in “a winning mix of soul, hip-hop an reggae”[5]. The lead single from it, 'Heartbeat', became her first song to break into the German Top 50[6]. In September 2009, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number twenty.[7]

The following months saw tours in France, Italy and Portugal, while she also supported Lenny Kravitz on his French tour in April 2009.

Nneka has been nominated in three categories for the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards[8], and won an award for Best African Act at the 2009 MOBO Awards.

In November of 2009, Nneka staged her first concert tour of the United States where she performed shows in New York City, Vienna (Washington DC), Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furthermore she was a special guest on The Roots Jam session. Her first US release Concrete Jungle is set for February 2, 2010.
[edit] Musical style

Even though Nneka sings more than raps, she names hip hop as her primary musical root and most important source of inspiration, while citing artists such as Fela Kuti and Bob Marley as well as contemporary rappers Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep and Lauryn Hill as key influences in her own pursuit of musical recognition[2].

Her lyrics reflect much of her history and life in Nigeria as well as her time spent in Western Europe. Her songs stress the issues of capitalism, poverty and war and are often loaded with moral and biblical messages and references, with some music commentators comparing her to Erykah Badu, Neneh Cherry[9] and Floetry[10].

Monday, December 7, 2009

Number 2 club in the world according to DJ MAG

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Top 100 Clubs 2009 - No 2 - Fabric

2: Fabric

Words: djmag

If you could study the art of club programming like any other science, then there would be no better masterclass than Fabric. Never once sacrificing even the smallest shred of musical integrity, their line-ups are a perfect alchemy with just about every single boundary-breaker from almost every genre imaginable represented.
Whether it be Martyn or 2562's Detroit-gleaned dubstep, Johnny D's darkly seductive techno, Alex Metric's cut-up machine madness or the deviant disco pop of The Black Ghosts, if a new sound rises then Fabric is the first major club to stick their neck out and give it that vital platform.
But that's precisely because it's music rather than money that has always driven the unstoppable force that this converted meat-packing factory has become.
"It's an institution built on acquired taste and honest passion rather than commercial business," believes erstwhile resident and Fabric music director Craig Richards. "Nearly 10 years on there's still no real plan apart from to continue as we are. Most people behind it have worked from the beginning and their energy never diminishes. There's no ethos, no spreadsheets, no corporate bullshit and very little branding."
"You would think that after all these years the people running it would take the night off but they're all there every week in the thick of it 'til 8am," confirms Claude Von Stroke. "They really do live and breathe it and that's what makes the difference. And not only that, they take a lot of risks with their bookings."

But all this would mean nothing if it weren't for three ingredients. The overawing industrial setting, the main room's warm engulfing soundsystem and a crowd that have come to trust Fabric implicitly as a forum for the sounds of tomorrow.
Ever surrendered to one of Richie Hawtin or Ricardo Villalobos's epic techno vortexes here? Ever been caught up in the thrashing crowd-surfing mayhem that has whipped up at live shows from Pendulum or Digitalism? Or maybe you've been in the thick of it when Skream has road-tested tracks like his recent 'La Roux' remix? If so, then you'll surely agree - when it goes off, there is still no club in the UK quite like it.
"As a DJ you can basically do what the fuck you want, which is pretty rare," explains one of Fabric's current favourites Toddla T. "Part of the reason is the soundsystem. Records sound so good that people can get their heads round the weirdest sonics on it. Last week, I closed the main room and got away with playing loads of old Manchester acid house, some funky and my usual heavy Sheffield sound."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

mr. 59

59. Dirty South
Style: House
Best known for: 'Better Day' or 'Let It Go'.
Gig of 2009: Ultra Music Festival, Miami.
Tune of 2009: The Temper Trap 'Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix)' (White)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Avicii
The track that changed your life: Shakedown 'At Night (Kid Crème Mix)'
What makes a good DJ great: Reading the crowd and always trying to be as fresh as possible.
Most underrated DJ: I don't know, I don't really get time to watch other DJs play.
Biggest challenge this year: Being away from home for so long.
Top tech toy: My MacBook laptop. It does everything!

"Amazing gigs, lots of production," says Dragan Roganović, aka Dirty South, in surmising 2009. The Macedonian-born, Australia-dwelling DJ and producer has certainly been keeping the right company, producing tracks with his muckers Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, while stopping off on his three-month European tour early this year. Both, he hopes, will also feature on his debut album, which, once he's finished building his studio, he hopes to get cracking on before the end of the year.

Arguably the biggest house music talent to emerge from the Australian electronic music scene, his remix CV from this year alone reads impressively, having (ahem) touched up the likes of The Pussycat Dolls, Snoop Dogg and U2, alongside John Dahlbäck and countrymen Pnau. He also gave a rub to Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello and Laidback Luke's sprawling summer anthem 'Leave The World Behind'. And that's without mentioning his star turns with Erick Morillo and the Swedish House Mafia at Pacha Ibiza this season.

Currently doing the rounds too is his (and Axwell's) mix of Australian band The Temper Trap's 'Sweet Disposition'. Though unavailable right now, he reckons it won't be long before the band release it, thanks to the massive buzz surrounding the mix online.

Surely good advice.

btw, mad decent should sign Brik mason

Gucci Mane f. Lil Wayne

Gucci Mane f. Lil Wayne & Cam’ron, “Stupid Wild” MP3

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Monday, November 30, 2009

mr 18.

Carl Cox
Moved Down
18. Carl Cox
Style: Funky, pumping and emotional.
Best known for: I hope it's good music, a big smile and great times.
Gig of 2009: Exit Festival in Serbia. I did a double team with Green Velvet in front of 30,000 people, that was pretty amazing.
Tune of 2009: Cirez D 'On Off' (Mouseville)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Alan Fitzpatrick
The track that changed your life: Chip E 'Time To Jack', an acid-house record that sounded alien when it was released.
What makes a good DJ great: Having a good attitude to the position that you're in. That has to remain the same throughout your career.
Most underrated DJ: Nicole Moudaber. I've been following her career for the last three years - her productions and DJing. She's amazing.
Biggest challenge this year: Getting to all the parties on time, based on my schedule. And I managed to do that!
Top tech toy: Native Instruments' Maschine. It's changed the face of my DJing.

When it comes to rocking down the house, few do so with the panache of party techno supremo Carl Cox. One of the architects of dance music, this DJ's DJ has continued to blaze a trail through the years, innovating and pushing the movement forward, without sacrificing one iota of his passionate beliefs.

The latest example is his new concept, Join Our Revolution - a club night that saw Coxy corral Space Ibiza throughout the 2009 summer season, with a smorgasbord of the world's freshest DJs invited along for the ride. Carl's happy to report that it's been a roaring success, and that it's only just the beginning of his new musical revolution.

"The closing was just phenomenal, with Danny Tenaglia playing in one area, and me playing from beginning to end in one room. The job was done, we got the point across and we're looking forward to more Join Our Revolution nights in the future," Cox smiles.

Presently in Australia finishing his third artist album with super producer Josh Abrahams, Cox also has another ace up his sleeve - his first ever mix for Global Underground, inspired by his times at insane desert festival Burning Man. It's bound to be another defining moment for the techno titan.

Download Chip Tha Ripper feat Curren Big Sean Fat Raps prod Chuck Inglish mp3

Download Chip Tha Ripper feat Curren Big Sean Fat Raps prod Chuck Inglish mp3

Video: Maluca,

Video: Maluca, “El Tigeraso”

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mr. 28

28. Richie Hawtin
Style: Techno and house and everything in between.
Best known for: Who knows, I think that's always changing and depends. Twitter DJ? Falling off the stage in Tokyo in January? The list goes on!
Gig of 2009: Metamorphose Mount Fuji, Japan. Maybe the sake had something to do with it?
Tune of 2009: Marco Carola 'Party People' (Plus 8)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Acumen (Producer) Barem (DJ)
The track that changed your life: Still the one that Derrick May played at the Bankle building, that I've been trying to recreate ever since!
What makes a good DJ great: Patience, timing, communication, dedication, humility and self-confidence!
Most underrated DJ: Zip.
Biggest challenge this year: To get the rest of those really talented DJs off turntables and into the digital world, where their creativity can open up further!"
Top tech toy: "Paul van Dyk virtual iPhone glow-stick."

Richie Hawtin is probably the most popular DJ in techno, and the one name certain to polarise opinion. Some see him as a digital innovator, while others think he has sold out his underground roots to become a techno pop star. No matter what side you belong to, there's no doubt that Hawtin is a fascinating character, as his answer to DJmag's question about how the recession affected him shows.

"I think the recession has actually helped my gigs this year," Richie reckons. "We've put more effort into each gig than before, spending extra energy and ideas on lighting, visuals and the entire experience," he explains.

This approach means that Hawtin has plenty of fond memories of gigs in 2009, from "smoothly transitioning between house, techno, tribal and back again," with Dubfire and Luciano at La Dune in Toulouse, France, to his favourite gig of the year, "at a warehouse in St. Louis, with huge speakers, one lightbulb and a bunch of kids freaking out."

Technology continued to loom large in his performances. He integrated Native Instruments' Maschine into his set up, alongside his usual four digital decks.

"We also introduced our Twitter DJ application, giving a real time insight into the way a DJ builds and creates his or her individual dynamics within a set."

btw Mad Decent should sign brik mason. Trust. I need a remix toooo

Friday, November 20, 2009


46. Dubfire
Style: House and techno
Best known for: Being one half of Deep Dish.
Gig of 2009: Back-to-back with Richie Hawtin at Exit Festival.
Tune of 2009: Fergie, Reset Robot & Alan Fitzpatrick 'Gas Mask' (8 Sided Dice)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Reset Robot
The track that changed your life: Royal House 'Can You Party Idlers'
What makes a good DJ great: Humility, originality and drive.
Most underrated DJ: Davide Squillace
Biggest challenge this year: Sneaking all my heavy gear onto flights as carry-on luggage!
Top tech toy: Native Instruments\' Maschine

There can be no doubt that Dubfire has become one of the biggest names in techno. A regular at all of the world's major clubs and festivals, Dubfire says, "I usually gauge my top clubs on how much fun I've had playing, so with that in mind, my best dates were Flex in Vienna, F12 Terrassen in Stockholm, Cocoon at Amnesia in Ibiza, Kiesgrube in Neuss, The Warehouse Project in Manchester, La Huaka in Lima, and Shindig in Newcastle."

A vociferous champion of digital DJing, Dubfire says that new technology, as much as changing trends, has impacted on the music he plays.

"Since incorporating Native Instruments' Maschine, I've been able to add a new layer and dimension to my sets," he says.

He also believes that technology will keep progressing. "This excites me no end. I think the next phase will usher in touch-screen laptops, smaller hardware and better controllers, DJ software enhancements and more cross-platform hardware/software compatibility."

Monday, November 16, 2009 Daily News - : Pioneering UK Rapper Derek B. Dead Daily News - : Pioneering UK Rapper Derek B. Dead

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The Clipse have a realll videeo with reall chicken

I am a vegetarian but the chickens in this video look tasty. Clipse always seem to balance it out with their music. I still wish Rick Rubin would have blessed them with some music. Please rick bless me with some music. Hi bron bron.
btw MAd decent needs to sign Brik MAson.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

mr 68 is a worker..

68. Boys Noize
Style: Techno and house.
Best known for: Boys Noize Records, tracks on Gigolo and Turbo.
Gig of 2009: Rockwerchter Festival in Belgium.
Tune of 2009: Erol Alkan & Boys Noize 'Waves' (Boys Noize Records).
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Djedjotronic
The track that changed your life: Thomas Bangalter's 'Trax On The Rocks Pt.1'
What makes a good DJ great: Teaching people and surprising them is so important.
Most underrated DJ: Housemeister
Biggest challenge this year: It's always a challenge to surprise myself with new tracks and do something innovative.
Top tech toy: Roland TR 727

Such is the diligence Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, puts into his work, he decided this year was the year to give up the remix.

"I put so much energy inside, and so much music, I end up changing the track, and writing a lot, and then sometimes the remix gets bigger than the original," says Ridha.

So while we lament his re-rubs of Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, Tiga and Justice, we can be heartened by the fact that now he's freed up a bit of time, he can spend it more wisely.

"Already I've been working in the studio producing for Black Eyed Peas, Kelis, Kano. Erol Alkan too, we wrote a lot of tracks. But the most beautiful thing happening right now in my music for me is producing the Gonzales album. It's like black and white coming together."

Not that this should detract from his own album, his second 'Power', out last month. Now among the most feted of the DJs and producers to emerge from the fusion of the techno, electro and house music scenes, Alex Ridha is in seriously hot demand. Just don't ask him for a remix.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rubi Dan

Rubi Dan & Juxci, “Bashment Funky” MP3

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M.I.A. Working on "Gucci Mane Meets Animal Collective" Album

M.I.A. Working on "Gucci Mane Meets Animal Collective" Album

Mr 62 and those big glasses

62. Wally Lopez
Style: House
Best known for: 'Those' big glasses.
Gig of 2009: Opening party at Space, Ibiza.
Tune of 2009: Jeff Mills 'The Bells (Ori Undo Remix)'
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Ramon Tapia
The track that changed your life: Music changed my life! It's very unfair to say just one name.
What makes a good DJ great: Passion in the music, work and effort.
Most underrated DJ: Ismael Rivas
Biggest challenge this year: I really wanna go back to the studio and release on top labels with originals and remixes.
Top tech toy: My Pioneer 2000 headphones. And a Faderfox Midi controller.

You can pretty much say that you've hit the big time when you're supporting Madonna. Wally Lopez warmed up the vast crowd for Madge when she stopped in Seville on her Sticky & Sweet tour. He's been all over Space in Ibiza too, playing both the opening and closing parties.

"I've just finished the Space Ibiza closing fiesta, playing the big outdoor car park arena," he tells DJmag. "There was a crazy buzz in there. Over 5000 people in front of me. It didn't even matter that it rained, people still party in Ibiza.

"But this year I have also had a few health problems due to a heavy schedule, I think," reveals Wally. "Doing five gigs a week sometimes is a lot but I'm happy with this. And hope to keep growing it more."

This year has also been all about the festivals. Like The Extrema Festival in Eindhoven, Tomorrowland in Belgium and Wakestock in the UK, with Moby, N*E*R*D and Dizzee Rascal.

"I'm up for even more in 2010," he says, clearly smitten with the big stages, big crowds and the even bigger soundsystems.

Lopez is set to drop a digital album later this year, featuring remixes of some of his classic tracks, like 'Patricia Never Left The House', 'Voila' and 'Ca C'est Paris'. That heavy schedule looks like it's showing no signs of letting up, then.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

mr.85....this list changes every week

86. Tiga
Style: Techno, house, electro, clash.
Best known for: Being a techno God and poster boy of the electroclash generation.
Gig of 2009: Melt! festival in Berlin. It was just one of those gigs where everything came together.
Tune of 2009: Mr Oizo's remix of 'Shoes'. A remix of my track, by one of my all-time heroes.
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Seth Troxler. He's an excellent DJ and a real personality.
The track that changed your life: Altern-8 '202' - that actually changed my life.
What makes a good DJ great: Confidence. It's about not listening to convention -being your own person.
Most underrated DJ: I used to like this Swiss DJ called Crowdpleaser, he's underrated.
Biggest challenge this year: Staying sane while playing what seemed like a never-ending run of festivals.
Top tech toy: There were no technological advances in my life this year. I want that put on record.

Tiga is one of those DJs and producers who simply can't stand still. Forever searching for that next musical thrill, Tiga views 2009 as the start of something big for this unwieldy beast we know and love as dance music.

"Last year I felt as though I was at the tail-end of something," he explains. "But this year has been exciting."

Not only did one of the coolest characters in dance music release his second album, the excellent 'Ciao!' in 2009, but as a keen student of music's ever-changing trends he felt he recognized something new this year.

"I've always felt that things go in four or five-year cycles and I think we're at ground zero again. I feel free to go in any direction and that, as an artist, is very liberating and the ideal state of affairs. I feel excited by dance music. I think 2010 will be a big year."

To that end, the Montreal-based hipster is looking to release another solo album and lots of club tracks, as well as continue to unleash the best in techno and electro from his Turbo imprint.

"I'm happy that dance music is still my first love," he pleasingly concludes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

mr 91 says

91. Myon & Shane 54
Style: A bit of everything with a pop edge.
Best known for: Mash-ups with parts and stems of other people's tracks.
Gig of 2009: A State Of Trance 400, Germany, we got voted for by radio listeners to open the festival and it was amazing.
Tune of 2009: Andy Moor & Ashley Wallbridge 'Faces' (AVA Records)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Ashley Wallbridge
The track that changed your life: 'Out Of The Blue' Ferry Corsten
What makes a good DJ great: Taste and selection, more than mixing.
Most underrated DJ: Sander Van Dien
Biggest challenge this year: Being consistent.
Top tech toy: An old Roland SH09 synth and the Wii.

Hungarian duo Myon & Shane 54 haven't been together long.

"We played at Kerbcrawler in Leeds recently, and it was our first international gig together. Someone came all the way from Poland to see us - we couldn't believe it!" says Shane who, as well as Myon, has had previous solo success with remixes for the likes of Above & Beyond and Oakenfold but who, unlike his studio partner, was also in a mid '90s Hungarian boy band.

"I always liked electronic music, but there is no scene in Hungary. As soon as I heard Ferry Corsten's music, though, I knew I wanted to make trance," says Shane, who having worked with Myon once or twice in the studio, realised he had found someone with whom he "has this incredible musical bond."

The tracks the pair went on to make have been 'Record Of The Week' on Above & Beyond's Trance Around The World radio show, Beatport chart-toppers, and included on Armin Van Buuren's 'A State Of Trance 2008' compilation, whilst they've also recently completed a tour of the US. Building on that success, Shane lays out the pair's plans going forward.

"We will focus more on our own productions instead of remixing the work of others, and we are working on a new album with Aruna - our favourite vocalist - as well as a new mix CD."

Words: Kristan Caryl
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Benny B says

What's Up?

Tonight I am DJing at Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg for the "First Fridays" party. I DJ at this spot every Wednesday so I look forward to this monthly party when it's a little more packed and more of a party atmosphere. If you haven't been to Huckleberry Bar yet, they opened over a year ago, and earned the "Best New Bar" award by Timeout NY magazine. And that was for all five boroughs including Manhattan. They are well known for their finely crafted cocktails, gourmet small plates and spacious outdoor patio. It's also a nice escape from a lot of the other bars in Williamsburg. It's a little more mature and classy than the rest so come party with me tonight.

Tomorrow night (Saturday) I am DJing at Firefly in Soho. This place is not as busy as it once was and may be spiraling into oblivion. It was dead on Halloween and I was feeling low.. The good news is I've been playing good quality music there for a couple weeks now. If the room isn't at least half full, I am taking over...

On Saturday the 21st I'll be DJing with Eleven at Savalas so I'm looking forward to that. I also have a new weekly in the works and that is looking lovely as well. It's AG (All Good)!!!

Congratulations Yankees!!!!!!!

If anyone wants to collaborate or knows of a place looking for a DJ, let me know (The first rule of salesmanship is ask for the job)

Benny B

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turbostation DJs | Music | Philadelphia Weekly

Turbostation DJs | Music | Philadelphia Weekly

I like MR. 92

92. John B
Style: Electro and trance influenced d&b
Best known for: Wearing make-up and playing weird electro d&b.
Gig of 2009: Pirate Station in St Petersburg, Russia. I played to 25,000 people in one arena.
Tune of 2009: John B 'Robot Lover' (Beta)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Camo & Crooked
The track that changed your life: The soundtrack to Clockwork Orange.
What makes a good DJ great: Reacting to the crowd and giving a proper performance.
Most underrated DJ: My dad.
Biggest challenge this year: Finding time to get in the studio amongst all the travelling and recovery time.
Top tech toy: My army of Macs.

He's obsessed with the '80s, he goes on 10-mile jogs with trance pumping out of his iPod, he hates MCs, loves make-up and spins drum & bass sets that see-saw from the most evil neuro-funk jungle to the brilliantly kitsch sounds that made up his last LP 'Electrostep'.

John B might be the neon pink sheep of the drum & bass scene, but he's definitely one of the most popular artists to emerge from it.

"This year we launched my own artist website, my podcast is going through the roof, the last one was downloaded 100,000 times in the first month, and I've been playing out a lot all over the world," he tells us, when asked what might have pushed him into to this year's poll.

He's also been spinning more full-on electro and techno sets in Czech Republic, while one of his recent podcasts showcases Lifelife's summery cosmic vibe, Boys Noize's mutant party techno and Paul Woolford's 'Pandemonium'. For now though the priority is rounding off his sixth artist album 'Trn Me On', which will again focus on stretching the drum & bass boundaries to the limits of his mad scientist visions.

"It just need to polish off tracks and get the right remixes done," relays John. "It's drum & bass that doesn't sound like drum & bass. It's drum & bass that sounds like progressive, trance and electro. I'm stepping back from the kitsch tongue-in-cheek side of my last album 'Electrostep' and going for a more mature sound, though."

Words: Allan McGrath

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mr. 93

Simon Posford
Moved Down
93. Simon Posford
Style: Eclectic, genre-defying, everything goes in the pot.
Best known for: Playing my own music.
Gig of 2009: Shpongle live at the Roundhouse, London on Halloween.
Tune of 2009: The new Shpongle track 'Ineffable Mysteries' (Twisted Records) seems to be going down well.
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Benji Vaughan
The track that changed your life: Jam & Spoon 'The Age Of Love'
What makes a good DJ great: One who is a pioneer rather than a follower, lighting the way down new paths.
Most underrated DJ: Everybody! There are many extremely creative people, brilliant at what they do, who never make it into the press.
Biggest challenge this year: Playing at a festival in Brazil after a huge storm, and everything on the stage made of metal was 'live', including the decks!
Top tech toy: I have a USB oil-burner, but I couldn't live without my Macbook Pro, running Logic.

Psy-ambient crowd pleaser and multi-named enigma Simon Posford knows exactly the right kind of bouncy, psychedelic techno to inflict on a dancefloor intent on getting well and truly Shpongled!

"A sympathy and empathy with the crowd, combined with the ability to create a journey with twists and turns, magic and surprises," is what is required, he explains. In fact, there is quite a lot of explaining to do with the Twisted Records artist; Simon Posford, aka Sphongle, aka Younger Brother, aka Hallucinogen, is the man responsible for some of the genre's finest bendy moments, with this year being no exception.

"I toured the USA quite hard, playing New York, San Francisco and LA, but it was good to get out into the huge bit in the middle," Simon continues, "and I finished the new Shpongle album, 'Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland'."

By the time you read this, it will be out, and he will have also nearly finished a new Younger Brother album, a project alongside Benji Vaughan aka Promentheus.

"It's been an extremely productive year for my various projects," Simon confesses. "I've been transforming the music I made with Raja Ram as Shpongle into a live band with 12 musicians, and performing it in front of very enthusiastic crowds."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mr 94

Fatboy Slim
Moved Down
94. Fatboy Slim
Style: Acid house party
Best known for: Bad Hawaiian shirts.
Gig of 2009: Big Beach Festival, Yokohama. We didn't do the Brighton one so to do it in Japan was amazing.
Tune of 2009: Mpho 'Box N Locks (Armand Van Helden Remix)' (Wall of Sound)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Crookers
The track that changed your life: Easy! Grandmaster Flash 'Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel'.
What makes a good DJ great: One that communicates with the audience and dances while they DJ.
Most underrated DJ: Dave Clarke
Biggest challenge this year: DJing sober.
Top tech toy: Serato Video-SL

"I don't play that many clubs, I mainly do big parties abroad, which I much prefer to being in the studio," says Norman Cook, a man as known for his Big Beach Boutique festivals as his production prowess. From decade defining albums as Fatboy Slim to politically charged indie pop as part of The Housemartins, Cook is a man who has managed to balanced commercial success with real innovation.

Whilst 2009 saw Cook release a debut album under his 'Brighton Port Authority' moniker, which he admits "didn't set the world alight, but it was fun to do", it has been successful in other ways. It was the year he got sober.

"I'm most happy about it because I still enjoy DJing, I really didn't think I'd fucking enjoy myself without it, but it's great when you're straight!"

Next year will see the release of a new Fatboy Slim album, as well as some new singles in collaboration with, arguably the Fatboy of 2009, Joshua Harvey, aka Hervé. The newly sober, but equally animated Fatboy Slim is also due to play a rare UK gig at Manchester's Warehouse Project in November.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BET Cypher-LIke Whoa

Go over to and watch this.....

I am going to watch it again and again. BTW Mad Decent/Def Jux should sign Brik Mason

Monday, October 26, 2009


98. Tocadisco
Style: House and techno
Known for: My versatility
Tune of 2008: Tocadisco 'Morumbi (Original and Popof Remix)' (Superstar Recordings)
Producer of 2008: Popof - he really did a great job this year.
First record you ever bought?Mano Negra 'Putas Fever' Weirdest thing you've seen all year? Being verbally and physically attacked by the audience at Creamfields Festival for not playing hits. Top gadget of 2008? iPhone 3G Most important thing you've learned this year? Take your time.
Music from Tocadisco

With remixes for everyone from Slam to Booka Shade to his credit, German DJ/producer Roman Boer, aka Tocadisco, obviously felt that the time was right to focus on his own productions again.

At the start of 2008, he released his long-awaited debut album, 'Solo', on Superstar Recordings, which won acclaim across the board.

However, Boer didn't intend to lose sight of the dancefloor: he originally made his name as a house DJ during the '90s and this year saw him release the 'Black Series' records, raw underground house tracks that re-connected to his roots.

Boer was also in action every weekend, playing clubs and festivals across Europe. He's been a regular guest at David Guetta's Fuck Me I'm Famous parties and at Sven Vath's Cocoon club.

"It's been a great year and the summer season was the craziest ever," he remarks.

He also feels that technology is driving changes in his music production - but that his low attention span also plays a factor.

"I'm still learn something new in the studio every day, but I'm always changing because I get bored very easily," he says.

True to form, Tocadisco is assuming a different role over the coming months: he has remixed the new Moby single, has a version of 'Sunglasses at Night' on the re-issue of Tiga's take on the '80s classic and is doing a version of Bob Sinclar's 'Ich Rocke'.

"After that I will take a nice, relaxing holiday and then I will start work on my next album," he says.

CMJ has ended, Hallows eve is starting

To Be Seen and Heard All Around the Town

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Published: October 25, 2009

Surfer Blood, from West Palm Beach, Fla., was an emblematic band for the 29th annual CMJ Music Marathon, the five-day convention, showcase and stampede of bands that ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Determined to be heard by every potential dealmaker, tastemaker, blogger and music fan, Surfer Blood played about a dozen brief sets during the conference at clubs on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, and has another gig for good measure on Monday night in Brooklyn at Death by Audio.
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Joseph D'Agostino of Cymbals Eat Guitars. More Photos »
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Photographs by Josh Haner/The New York Times

Hercules and Love Affair, a project of the disc jockey Andy Butler, at Fillmore on Friday. More Photos >

Surfer Blood is self-starting and hardworking in the ways that fledgling bands have had to learn in order to survive. And its songs encompassed a broad stretch of CMJ’s 2009 musical spectrum: Velvet Underground and punk riffs, reverberating textures, African-style guitar filigrees, grunge crescendos, power-pop choruses headed for anthems and, yes, some surf-rock twang. All those sounds have been encouraged by college radio, Internet radio and indie-music blogs, and Surfer Blood strings them all together, skillfully and likeably. (All that’s missing is programmed dance beats and rapping.) The band’s CMJ blitz guarantees added recognition as Surfer Blood stays on the road for the next month and beyond.

The lure of CMJ, for virtually all of the 1,300 bands that played showcases this year, is simply the chance to be seen and heard. This year’s daytime program started with a bluntly titled panel discussion — “But How Will I Get Paid?” — that couldn’t fully answer the question. Attention may be all a musician can hope for in an era when recording companies are disintegrating, competition clogs MySpace, and the kinds of businesses that pay upfront for music — advertising and film and television licensing — are interested in isolated songs, not musicians’ careers. (At New York University, where panels were held, and in CMJ-mobbed places like Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side, musicians and managers were eagerly talking about those deals anyway.)

The competition clogs CMJ, too, so like Surfer Blood, many bands multiplied their chances to be seen, playing day parties and late-night shows that were unaffiliated with the conference but wouldn’t take place without it.

CMJ rightly claims to have offered early glimpses of best-selling, paradigm-shifting bands, from R.E.M. to Arcade Fire. But this year’s marathon didn’t yield an obvious contender. (With so many bands, however, the odds are good that hindsight will eventually change that.) Visa problems prevented appearances by the Very Best, a collaboration between a singer from Malawi and a European electronic production team, and Speech Debelle, the rapper who won the Mercury Music Prize this year. With the economic downturn limiting travel budgets, bands from New York and environs were as prominent as out-of-towners, although there were still visitors from Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Britain, Denmark and Iceland, the home of Mum, whose songs evolved with charming unpredictability from plinking Minimalism to upbeat rock.

Luckily, New York is still incubating magnificent, dramatically dynamic bands like Cymbals Eat Guitars — whose stately songs erupt in outbursts of strumming and screaming — and the Antlers, who envelop their ballads of wounded introspection in majestic swells of guitars and effects. Theophilus London, a promising rapper-singer who favors electro tracks, lives in New York. So does Sharon Van Etten, who sang stark, riveting songs about loneliness and yearning in a lustrous voice.

New York can also claim Hercules and Love Affair, the project of the disc jockey Andy Butler, who mustered a glittering stageful of singers (in silver lamé) and dancers — one of the marathon’s few events with production values — to perform blipping, percolating songs that took heartbreak to the digital disco.

College and Web radio, for all their delight in new and obscure music, are also havens of cultishness and a kind of musical conservatism, praising new bands that revive some cherished sound that the pop mainstream ignored. So a good part of CMJ looks backward or delves into niches.

That’s not always bad. The scruffy, punky new wave of bands like Answering Machine, Pete and the Pirates, and Parlovr (a Montreal band pronounced like “parlor”) was endearing; so was the straightforward but supercharged punk of Lovvers. These United States, a band from Washington, fully fit the definition of an alt-country band, complete with pedal-steel guitar, but it’s a superb one, equally at home with quiet, morose tales and galloping punky-tonk adventures.

Fool’s Gold, from Los Angeles, fused grooves and vocal styles from across Africa, one of the rare worldbeat bands that doesn’t shallowly imitate its sources. There was also an African apparition: Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone, wearing a straw skirt and singing and dancing to recorded tracks of what he said was a 500-year-old tradition called bubu music. The tracks were modern, and the beat, fast and skeletal and driven by bell taps, was unstoppable, demanding wider dissemination.

Yet hearing all the revivalists and category-fillers at CMJ — shoegazers, synth-poppers, heavy-metal bands — can also make a listener wonder if, as Simon Balthazar of Fanfarlo sang, “The great ideas are wearing thin.” (Fanfarlo itself got many of its ideas from Arcade Fire and Beirut.)

Two highly touted bands — the XX from England and Cold Cave from Philadelphia — are dedicated, and largely derivative, throwbacks to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when punk met synthesizers. The XX was decidedly understated, matching its austere, quietly morose songs, while Cold Cave deadpanned its way through glum songs with a dissonant wallop, singing, “I’ve seen the future and it’s no place for me.” But the Montreal band Duchess Says, whose songs also rode big drumbeats and repetitive synthesizer riffs — fat ones from a Moog — was a lot more fun. Its singer, Annie-Claude, had herky-jerk stage moves that she carried into the audience, even climbing onto a fan or two.

Live shows, unlike recording studios, encourage musicians to let their music crest. The Temper Trap, from Australia, plunged into anthems of self-discovery with the martial drive of U2, vocals heading for falsetto and instrumental buildups that were clearly aiming for arenas. More pensive groups let the music surge from within, among them Choir of Young Believers, a brooding Danish rock band, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel, a band from Denver that looks folky — with acoustic guitar and bass fiddle — but sings about regrets and insecurities in choruses that turned rousing.

Musicians’ oldest livelihood, performing and touring, is still their most dependable one, and the CMJ gantlet — playing half-hour sets to distracted audiences in low-fi clubs — lets bookers, agents and potential tour mates see what YouTube still can’t deliver. Stage presence makes a difference, even if the stage is the size of a wading pool and half the audience is checking e-mail. While CMJ had no guaranteed next big thing in 2009, and the current music business might not know how to nurture one if it did, there were enough worthwhile next small things to deserve their moment of hard-won attention.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Think 2wice Records

For its sixth release, Think 2wice label heads Tactic (Ben Fuller & Brent Lippincott) are up to bat.
With remixes out on labels like Mad Decent, Dress 2 Sweat (one of Fader’s Labels to Watch for
2009) and Seclusiasis, this is their first EP of original production. Their previous releases have
recieved support by the likes of Diplo, Sinden, Nick Catchdubs (Fools Gold) and Starkey.

Kicking off the release, ‘Valhalla’ begins with a sublime early 90’s club vibe that leads into a
growling breakdown, where a wild rolling synth line and Baltimore club drums take over and push
the track over the top. For the remix of ‘Valhalla’ we have San Francisco producer Ghosts on Tape.
With a forthcoming EP on Glasgow’s super hot Wireblock Records, Ghosts on Tape gets crazy with
swinging percussion, rolling subbass and swirling synths.

Next up is ‘Bump N Sniff VIP’, Tactic’s collaboration with New York City based MC Brik Mason.
Its a druggy banger with pizzicatto strings, chopped club drums and heavy synth programming.
Rounding out the release is the title track, ‘Tell Me’. Marching drums dance around the ethereal
synths and female vocal sample. Its lands somewhere between dubstep and breakbeat ‘ardcore circa

The Tell Me EP will be available 10/20/09 at all fine digital retailers including Beatport, Itunes,
Junodownload and Amazon.

Song of the day-Dj Mouse

You’ll recognize this song as being the weird ass Unknown Artist – Unknown Song track from the Toadz Scion Mix. They were hesitant after some coaxing i got dos funny frogs to cough it up for all of us to share. Its a dope change from the more regular but still WTF tribal guarachero stuff which can be found on my mixtape tape from and i think its an homage to the Fruity Loops Synth of similar name, Sytrus. DJ Mouse, keep it coming!!!!

go over to Mad decent blog to check it out.

Dj number 99

Top 100 DJs / 99. Booka Shade
Booka Shade
Moved Down
99. Booka Shade
Style: Science-fiction house
Known for: 'Body Language', 'In White Rooms' and 'Charlotte'.
Tune of 2008: Nôze 'Danse Avec Moi' (Get Physical)
Producer of 2008: Dance: Claude VonStroke; non-dance: David Andrew Sitek from TV on the Radio.
First record you ever bought?'Le Freak' by Chic, bought secondhand outside a supermarket. Weirdest thing you've seen all year? Thousands of hardcore rock fans in Metallica T-shirts happily singing the 'Body Language' bassline at Lollapalooza festival. Top gadget of 2008? Yoga mat. Most important thing you've learned this year? How to do a headstand. It gives you energy and makes you see things from a different angle (in the truest sense).
Music from Booka Shade

While they released an installment of K7's 'DJ Kicks' mix series in 2007, German house duo Booka Shade, aka Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, aren't DJs per se. All the same, 2008 was still an important year for them and they put out their third album, 'The Sun and the Neon Light'.

It saw them represent a more mature take on the evocative melodies and subtle, twitchy grooves that dominated the debut, 'Memento', and allowed them to hone the songwriting skills they'd explored on second album 'Movements'.

One of the most exhilarating live acts in electronic music, they promoted the new album with one of their infamously gruelling world tours.

"The current world tour is shorter in the number of months but is more intense, because we sometimes play five concerts in one week," explains Arno. "We also played some of the biggest and nicest festivals in the world, including Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Exit and Benicassim," he adds.

Arno also feels that touring the world has inspired the Booka Shade sound.

"You get around, see places and meet people, it inspires you, you turn it into music, it's a constant development that creates our own universe," he says.

It's no surprise then that they're touring South America and Australia over the coming months, and in 2009 will start working on their fourth album.

The Boondock Saints PArt 2: Let me be Black Irish

The Irish Rican Takes On BOONDOCK SAINTS 2!!

Ryan 'Irish Rican' McLelland here -

I found BOONDOCK SAINTS a couple years after it had hit on video. When I was serving in the military the pilots who flew at night used to watch it incessantly before going off to fly in the helicopters and for some reason I always would walk in during Willam Dafoe's drag scene. This scene never made me want to actually sit down and watch the film. But something stuck with the pilots and the film, even calling themselves 'The Bastardos' after a throwaway line in the movie. One night they forced me to sit down and watch it and I was instantly hooked. Since then I've watched the movie once a month for the next six years.

There seems to be two very different camps for BOONDOCK SAINTS: the ones who hate the movie with pure disgust vs. the ones who love the movie and scream about it to the heavens. Sure there are some who think the movie to be 'okay' but those are the people who are few and far between.

Then there's director/writer Troy Duffy himself who has had his share of controversy over the years. Duffy landed the infamous movie deal with Harvey Weinstein and Miramax only to see everything he worked for get pissed away. He never got the bar bought for him, he never made the movie with Miramax, even after BOONDOCK got made it never found its way to theaters, and his group The Brood (renamed The Boondock Saints) saw their CD flop - even though it was a damn good debut album.

THE BOONDOCK SAINTS has been dying for a sequel. Any fan of the film, like myself, knows that the end of the film sets up the McManus brothers to become the vengeful eye of Boston. As cult classics go the original film is a monster success - especially when you think in terms of the sequel actually being made AND released in theaters nationwide. Troy will now have his day with Boondock up on the big screen - finally have the time to sink or swim with his creation. Will his sequel hold up ten years after the first film was made?

For those who aren't aware of the plot the Saints (Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus) are living the quiet life with their father (uber-killer and ultimate kickass artist Billy Connolly) in Ireland. When a copycat killer strikes a priest down in the same manner the Saints had done in their crime spree years earlier, it draws the duo right back into action. The city of Boston is left to wonder whether it is a copycat or the real thing - much to the chagrin of the three police officers who helped the Saints kill a mob boss in a court room.
If you want the full plot go see the fucking movie. If you want to know does the sequel hold up or disappoint - I'm glad to say the sequel does not disappoint. The sequel improves on everything that made the first film great. It's one hell of a non-stop thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last frame (which is a great last frame at that). You don't even need to see the first film to enjoy this movie which is fantastic. It can make fans of the first film happy while being coherent enough for anyone who has yet to see Boodock 1.

The Good? Clifton Collins Jr. has been in about seventy-six films this year and he's been great in every single one. There's no change here. Playing the new saint, a Mexican named Romeo, Collins brings the needed comic relief but also owns this new role. He fits so perfectly into this world that it kind of pisses me off that he wasn't in the first film. Julie Benz (the hottie from Dexter) plays hottie FBI agent Eunice Bloom - who is delicious eye-candy throughout the film. Benz replaces Willam Dafoe's character and unfortunately she is given a bit less to do in this film. When she is on-screen she surely is fun to watch. Nearly everyone comes back from the first film - even Rocco (David Della Rocco) appears in a flashback.

The Indifferent? Judd Nelson and Peter Fonda. They are in the film but are really just secondary characters. You don't care about them and simply hope the Saints come in to kill them.

The bad? There is A LOT of plot in this film. How can that be 'bad'? While not technically bad, the add-on of stuff that could have been kept until a third movie was added in. Of course there might not be a third movie so Troy Duffy probably felt he needed to pack it all in now. This causes the film to slow down at times but luckily it picks right up soon.

The fact that this film got made is amazing in itself. The fact that this film then looks amazing, sounds even better, with impeccable acting, and a phenomenal story is sort of like bringing a Playboy model as your date to the prom then getting laid afterwards with her and her twin sister. The film just doesn't satisfy fans but will certainly be a welcome start for a whole new film career for Duffy. It certainly is the action movie of the year and I'm hard-pressed to think of anything that comes close to All Saints Day. Fans of the first film will love All Saints Day and the haters may finally like the franchise for the first time. Now all we can hope for is a trilogy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Over at DJ Magazine, the labeled the top 100 djs in the world. Here is 100...

100. Alex Morph & Woody Van Eyden
Style: Trance and Double E² (Energetic Electronic)
Known for: A: Wearing mesh trucker caps. W: Nose scratching!
Tune of 2008: Oceanlab 'Miracle' (Anjunabeats)
Producer of 2008: Benno de Goeij
First record you ever bought?A: Westbam 'And Party' W: Diana Ross presents The Jackson 5 'ABC' Weirdest thing you've seen all year? We went to a fish-spa in Malaysia where you put your feet in a water basin and fish softly eat your skin. The bigger the fish the more scary it got! Top gadget of 2008? Some underwater-like blue lights in the studio. It gives an amazing effect! Most important thing you've learned this year? Do not travel on an intercontinental flight after you've had Indonesian rijstafel!
Music from Alex Morph & Woody Van Eyden

As separate DJs, Alex & Woody have been hovering in sight of the Top 100 for several years now. But it's their 'combined forces' approach over the last 12 months that has finally tipped the scales, pushing the pair inside the all-important countdown.

"We've been mates for over 16 years now and we've worked together on productions for 13 years," says Woody. "The DJing partnership started one night at The Honeyclub where we did an unplanned back-to-back set. It worked out great so we decided to push forward with our back-to-back format after that… and here we are!"

Their collective endeavors have clearly made a large impact with fans and promoters alike. It's a pairing that's seen them rock an impressive amount of festivals over the last12 months.

"We've done Gatecrasher's Summer Sound System, Coloursfest, Planet Love, Nature One, Intuition Summer Festival and over 50 club gigs, including Judgement Sundays," says Alex.

"Don't forget Love Parade," chips in Woody, "with 1.6 million people… that got a little bit stressful!"

Elsewhere the pair have found the time to notch up ten collaborative productions this year, while staying on top of their weekly Heaven's Gate radio show.

I just think this dude is like a hiphop dude. But punk

Followers of Twitter and some of the more popular rock blogs probably read recently that bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Billy Hayes had left Jay Reatard’s touring band ; while said move required the cancellation of some dates on the West Coast, we’re happy to announce Jay will be back on the road shortly, hitting Europe next week and the U.S. in late November, with the newly ensconced rhythm section of Anders Thode (bass) and Jacob Elving (drums), both from Danish punk titans the Cola Freaks, along for the ride.

You’ll note from the dates below that Jay is opening for The Pixies in Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington D.C. There’s also a New Year’s Eve date supporting Spoon in Miwaukee.

Wed Oct 28 Paris,Maroquinerie
Fri Oct 30 Munich, 59 to 1
Sat Oct 31 Berlin, Lido
Sun Nov 1 Copenhagen, Loppen
Mon Nov 2 Oslo, Parkteatret
Tue Nov 3 Malmo, Mejeriet
Thu Nov 5 Prague, Matrix
Fri Nov 6 Vienna, B72
Sat Nov 7 Bologna, Covo
Sun Nov 8 Clermont Ferrand, Coop de Mai
Mon Nov 9 Brussels, Botanique Rotonde
Tue Nov 10 Birmingham, Bar Academy
Wed Nov 11 Glasgow, King Tuts
Thu Nov 12 Manchester, Roadhouse
Fri Nov 13 London, Underworld
Sat Nov 14 Bristol, Croft
Sun Nov 15 Liverpool, Masque
Mon Nov 16 Dublin, Whelans

Sat Nov 21 Chicago Aragon (with The Pixies)
Sun Nov 22 Columbus The Summit
Mon Nov 23 Pittsburgh Brillobox
Tue Nov 24 New York Hammerstein Ballroom (with The Pixies)
Wed Nov 25 Northampton Iron Horse
Fri Nov 27 Boston Wang Center (with The Pixies)
Sat Nov 28 Philadelphia Johnny Brenda’s
Mon Nov 30 Wash DC Constitution Hall (with The Pixies)
Tue Dec 1 Chapel Hill Local 506
Wed Dec 2 Athens 40 Watt Club
Thur Dec 3 Atlanta The Earl
Fri Dec 4 Orlando Backbooth
Sat Dec 5 Tampa Crowbar
Mon Dec 7 New Orleans One Eyed Jacks
Tue Dec 8 Houston Walters on Washington
Wed Dec 9 Austin Emo’s (Outside)
Thu Dec 10 Dallas Granada Theater
Sat Dec 31 Milwaukee Riverside Theatre (with Spoon)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I like Dave Grohl. There, I said it.


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Published: October 16, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures had already been bashing away for about an hour at the Roseland Ballroom on Thursday night when Josh Homme, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, finally issued a disclaimer. “It’s a lot of new music,” he said, mock apologetically. Then he added, mock hopefully: “It’s not often you get to hear a bunch of music and you have no idea what’s happeni

Right? Well, sure, sort of. An ensuing roar signaled complicity more than consensus: since playing its first show this summer, this hard-rock supergroup has spawned a cottage industry of video bootlegs online, giving fans time to get acquainted, even before a lick of music is released.

As Mr. Homme must have expected, lusty cheers arose in response to some of the titles he announced, like “Mind Eraser” and “Dead End Friends.” This crowd was hardly fumbling through the dark, even if that would have fit the menacing bluster of the tunes.

Beyond that, what sort of surprise could this have been? Them Crooked Vultures is unswervingly faithful to its pedigree: along with Mr. Homme, best known as the frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, it features Dave Grohl, the former drummer in Nirvana, and John Paul Jones, the former bassist in Led Zeppelin. That their output delivers a punch to the gut can only be seen as the fulfillment of a promise. The band doesn’t feel like naked derivation, but its parentage is hammered home with every fat and bruising riff.

Dozens of those cropped up in Thursday’s show, which was all the better for it. “Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I” amounted to a Zeppelinesque bombshell of heavy-gauge blues-rock; “Scumbag Blues” dropped some head-wagging funk, punctuated by a thumb-slapped bass interlude.

“New Fang,” one of the more buoyant tunes, hinted at Southern boogie rock, with slide work by the band’s rhythm guitarist, Alain Johannes. In roughly every song there was a heavy emphasis on chromatic tension, offbeat syncopation and tyrannical propulsion; Mr. Homme’s guitar solos were mostly brief and to the point.

His singing was just as brusque, even when he flipped into his sturdy falsetto. He’s a no-nonsense frontman, allergic to spectacle and averse to extraneous gestures. At times this made him seem dwarfed by his backing, as when he mumbled through a minor-key stomper called “Caligulove.” But then melody isn’t the core strength of this band anyway. That would be rhythm, which in the hands of Mr. Grohl — more often seen lately on guitar and at the microphone with his band the Foo Fighters — becomes a thunderous force.

What was missing on the whole was a semblance of vital messiness: the band had been too efficient, too terse, maybe even too tight. But a shuffle called “Warsaw” ended the show on the right sprawling note. Unraveling in the middle and racing to a feverish end, it caught the volatility that a band like Them Crooked Vultures tempers at its own peril. How it will sound on the band’s self-titled studio debut, due out soon, is anyone’s guess.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Solitary Man

Michael Douglas’ Sexy Surprise Oscar Buzz

By: Roger Friedman

It’s been nine years since Michael Douglas has made a really good movie. Nine years — yup — it was in 2000 that “Wonder Boys” and “Traffic” were released. And then, well, it wasn’t such a good decade, except that he married Catherine Zeta-Jones and she won an Oscar for “Chicago.”

But all it takes is a good script, as it turns out, and people who are paying attention, to breathe life into a great movie star’s career. Brian Koppelman wrote “Solitary Man” and directed it with his partner David Levien. They’re the same duo who resurrected “Ocean’s 13″ after “12″ was an unlucky number, and have lots of other good credits. After seeing “Solitary Man” open last night in Toronto, I think Douglas should be sending them a case of Champagne.

“Solitary Man” is no easy film with easy answers. It’s funny and it’s tragic, but it’s beautifully written, directed and acted. Douglas’ Ben is an irredeemable womanizer who had it all: a Harvard education, millions of dollars, and a thriving BMW business, a wonderful family and friends. And then a mid-life crisis causes him to throw it all away, operatically, sensationally and ferociously. It’s a wonder anyone’s talking to him. Actually, few are.

Ben is surrounded by potential support from a doting daughter (Jenna Fischer, from “The Office,” is a total revelation — not the monotone Pam we’ve come to know), ex-wife (Susan Sarandon — splendid as always), best friend (a philosphical Danny DeVito), protege (Jesse Eisenberg), Mary-Louise Parker (ex-girlfriend). But it doesn’t matter. He’s determind to trash everyone’s lives.

“Solitary Man” has echoes of “Shoot the Moon,” “The Heartbreak Kid,” a little “Roger Dodger” and “Californication” — just to name a few influences. But it’s also its own success, with lovely, textured dialogue and a determination never to let Ben off the hook. Michael Douglas hasn’t looked or sounded this good since “Wonder Boys” (a personal favorite of mine). Indeed, in some angles he’s really starting to look a lot like his dad, Kirk Douglas. And you know he’s bringing a lot of himself to the role of Ben. At the Q&A after the screening, Koppelman said, “Most people who read the script thought this was the story of Gordon Gecko, or Michael Douglas. They were the only two people who could play the part.”

There’s a lot of buzz about Douglas reprising his Gecko role in “Wall Street 2″ this fall. This is tricky, because it could turn out to be self-parody. We’ll see. But “Solitary Man” is fresh and original, a total surprise from left field. It’s an indie release, so it needs a distributor. But there’s a best actor nomination in there for Douglas and an original screenplay nomination for Koppelman, at the very least. And it was nice to hear Johnny Cash singing Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”

PS: The film is produced by Steven Soderbergh, who came to cheer Douglas on, as did Matt Damon and wife Lucia.

America's Best DJ - 2009

America's Best DJ - 2009

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I need to get on this list in the next 10 years. Btw, Mad Decent sign Brik Mason

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Visit to Carol Young

A Visit to Carol Young’s Undesigned Boutique in Los Angeles

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Daytrotter says

Still A Mystery Machine Full Of Lumps And Fire
Oct 11, 2009

tell your friends about Clues:%20Still%20A%20Mystery%20Machine%20Full%20Of%20Lumps%20And%20Fire%20recorded%20Oct%2011,%202009 tell your friends…

Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Shawn Biggs

Alden Penner is a normal dude and an utterly strange dude as well. When the Canadian was playing in Unicorns, the band shot publicity photos of themselves in a bathtub full of hair and in a massacre scene featuring horrific splatterings of blood on everything in sight. You can guess which one ran in most newspapers. After a break-up of that band and a silent hiatus - that was accompanied by murmurs and odd hints of new projects and music - he brought Clues to the world earlier this year, playing one of its first ever live shows at the Noise Pop festival in San Francisco later one February evening, following the taping of this one-song "session." They'd made a long drive in from close to 10 hours away, all through the night to get to where we were and over an hour and a half in the studio, they played a version of "Let's Get Strong," from their as-yet-to-have-been-released at the time self-titled album. It's a pretty song that sounds spiritual, in a way, remarking on the failings of destiny and all those people involved with their false destinies, struggling to get close to them because of some inner and outer weaknesses. It's empowering when he ends the song with a couple winking piano notes and sings, "I've got wings, but they're not meant for viewing," suggesting a privacy that should be held by the energies within, whatever gets us through our days without crumbling into heaps of lumps and elbows. It's a touching song and those come randomly on "Clues," a record that goes for oddball and goofiness in the same way that Unicorns did, but always finding a way to bring it back to center and countering with real human sentiments as well. Penner and crew were wild in San Francisco, sometimes clunky but always interesting, asking the recurring question of, " Who here wants to sleep in the dragon's mouth? Who here wants to feel?" making it feel as if it were a question like, "Who here wants more soup?" It's in making the strangeness enlightening that Clues give us the pieces of themselves that they're willing to divulge.

Constellation Records

Man Up!! There's An EXPENDABLES Trailer To Watch!! -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

Man Up!! There's An EXPENDABLES Trailer To Watch!! -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

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Live: Amanda Blank and Devlin

Live: Amanda Blank and Devlin & Darko at One Step Beyond

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Live: Amanda Blank and Devlin

Live: Amanda Blank and Devlin & Darko at One Step Beyond

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

btw Mad Decent sign Brik Mason

A movie a day

A Movie A Day: ROAD GAMES (1981) + DUEL (1971)
”Tomorrow’s Bacon”

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the newest October special horror run of A Movie A Day!

[For the entirety of October I will be showcasing one horror film each day. Every film is pulled from my DVD shelf, recorded on the home DVR or streamed via Instant Netflix and will be one I haven’t seen. Unlike my usual A Movie A Day or A Movie A Week columns there won’t necessarily be connectors between each film, but you’ll more than likely see patterns emerge day to day.]

ROAD GAMES mixes a few of my favorite things. These are Australian genre films of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, be it MAD MAX or BMX BANDITS, young ‘n hot Jamie Lee Curtis, road-set thrillers and prime-of-his-life Stacy Keach.

I’m also a fan of director Richard Franklin. His PSYCHO II is a very underrated sequel which never really gets its due because it has to follow up Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant original.

Hitchcock is an obvious influence on ROAD GAMES with Keach being the wrong man this time instead of Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant. Keach plays an American ex-pat working as a Truck Driver in Australia. In the first 20 minutes we essentially just get Keach talking to himself to a voice on the CB or his dingo, Boswell.

If it wasn’t for seeing a naked girl getting strangled by a gloved man we wouldn’t know we’re in a thriller. Keach’s stuff plays out almost like a comedy, but that’s smart. Keach is a likable guy and his character, Quid, is allowed time to curry the audience’s favor.

Franklin also uses this time to introduce us to the road travelers. Anybody who has ever been on a long road trip will recognize the familiar characteristics Keach points out… the miserable family, the too-careful driver hauling a ridiculous load, etc. You’ll also recognize the weird familiarity you feel on these long drives when you’re leap-frogging the same dozen or so vehicles over the course of a few hundred miles.

Whether Keach ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time or if the killer has had him in his sights before we start the movie I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Keach is drawn into this killer’s world and we’re along for the ride.

One of the interesting things to me about this film is that Quid isn’t the typical lead, especially for this type of film. He’s not trying to prove his innocence (right away at least), he’s not trying to stop the killer so much as he’s using his theories about the man in the green van and what the fuck was he burying out in the desert?!? to keep himself occupied as he hauls a freezer full of pork from one side of Australia to the other.

Quid’s decisions struck pretty true to me. I’m sure his actions in the movie, especially in the first half, are how I’d react if it were me. Talk is easy, speculation is easy, but there are a million reasons why this one guy isn’t the dude they’re talking about on the radio, the new Jack the Ripper.

Jamie Lee Curtis comes into the picture rather late, over 40 minutes into the film, as a hitchhiker that is intrigued by Keach’s theories.

I quite liked the romance that develops between the two of them. It’s nothing overt, just a common bond that sparks a bit more than it probably sure given the age difference.

If I had a bone to pick with the movie it would be in a decision to take this film into a happy-ending territory. Maybe I had HITCHER on the brain and was anticipating a bleak ending, but it seemed to me that Franklin and screenwriter Everett De Roche was setting up a darker conclusion.

I could be very wrong, especially when you consider the Hitchcock influence, but it seemed like all indicators were pointing to Keach getting the shit end of the stick. He doesn’t get off scott free, but it’s certainly not the fucked up downer I was expecting.

Final Thoughts: This flick is very entertaining and the chemistry between Curtis and Keach is awesome. It’s a great turn for Keach and with all the landscapes we see it’s almost like Outback-pornography. Also, fans of the cultastic STUNT ROCK keep your eyes out for the killer’s face. You’ll recognize him as noneother than Aussie stuntman and star of STUNT ROCK Grant Page!

Now, in thinking up my recommendation title the obvious choice was THE HITCHER. It’s a very similar story, but trade out Stacy Keach in a hero role for Rutger Hauer in a villain role, Jamie Lee Curtis for Jennifer Jason Leigh and add in C. Thomas Howell for good measure.

Daytrotter says

On Shaky Legs, But Not Jumping
Oct 13, 2009

tell your friends about An%20Horse:%20On%20Shaky%20Legs,%20But%20Not%20Jumping%20recorded%20Oct%2013,%202009 tell your friends…

Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Mike Gentry

It's the fragile moments that give the harshest shivers, the violent ones that could make you worry that you're losing it, that things will get worse before they ever get better. Kate Cooper and Damon Cox of the Australian band An Horse bow at the alter of these kinds of fragile moments, finding them to be the intoxicating ones that will eventually make you strong if they don't wipe you out before then. Cooper sings about the aspects in life after they've come to a boil. We don't really get too much of the back story in the songs on the band's EP "Not Really Scared," but she swoops us into the middle of the firestorm, at the place where she's out on the ledge and looking for company up there. She wants to share the experience of the elevated winds rushing across wet cheeks and the pulling at clothes, pulling at hair and losing it up there where the pigeons are perching and cooing, where the window washers get frightened. The scenes that she and Cox reveal are scary situations that may never return to a satisfying normal. It makes a lot of sense that Canadian band Tegan & Sara have taken such a liking to this guitar and drums two-piece as there is the same immediacy and the same hectic urge to wonder and an even more hectic need to know why all of this shitty shit is happening and keeps happening. It never seems to subside and then suddenly, the room stops spinning, the faces stop blurring and a calm tries to happen, just momentarily, where things don't seem to be all that bad and it's when you hear Cooper considering her new line, "I believe in horizons now." It feels as if there might be a little flower poking out of the snow, but whether it will survive is still questionable. An Horse music is a sunny day in dead cold of winter, as if there is potential in the snow drifts and there's a light at the end of the bleakness. It all feels warm if you don't stand too close to the windowpanes and you don't look straight down. As Tegan & Sara sings on a song from "So Jealous," "I feel like I wouldn't like me if I met me," Cooper strikes a similar sentiment on "Scared As Fuck," offering, "I got scared that you might be a better me than me." It's such a personality conflict that could only come from a self-planted seed of doubt and apprehension. It's about a self-love and confidence that is lacking and yet is an adorable bit of humbleness and humility. It's not a give up on me feeling, but one that is just going to keep getting battled through and worked with as Cooper sings, "I'm trying to get you over it…I'm trying to be brave."

An Horse Official Site

New Music

Multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear releases his debut solo 7" single under the CANT moniker today on his own Terrible Records imprint, backed with an unreleased Arthur Russell track. Take a listen to Taylor's gorgeous and haunting (and aptly titled) contribution below; fans of his other band will no doubt be extremely pleased:

CANT :: ghosts

The CANT/Arthur Russell split 7" is limited to 1000 copies, and was recorded/produced by Taylor in his church/studio in Brooklyn. Get it here before they're gone.

Goodwill Buy of the week

Goodwill Good Buy of the Week

This week, as it just begins to turn chilly in the DMV, we have 3 gorgeous vintage coats. All three are in outstanding condition and up-to-the-minute trendy. Jackie-O styling, swing coats, fur collars, cute buttons…

1. Chocolate brown suede ¾ length coat with fox fur (?) collar. We are pretty sure the collar is fox, although we could not find a tag saying specifically what it is. This coat is as soft as any suede I have ever touched. It is in perfect condition except that the bottom button is missing. However, there is an extra button attached to the sleeve, so it just needs to be sewn on, and the coat is ready to go. This beautiful coat has tags from Montgomery Ward from the 1960’s! I can’t stress enough how gorgeous this coat is in real life. Fabulous!

N.E.R.D. f. Santigold,

N.E.R.D. f. Santigold, “Soldier” MP3

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At Home With Kyp Malone of Rain Machine

At Home With Kyp Malone of Rain Machine

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Bobiito says

Well known sneaker fanatic Bobbito Garcia has pair up with Pro-Keds to produce four limited colorways in the classic Royal Flash Mid silhouette. The collaboration was done to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the shoe. The Spanish Tile red / white colorway recently surfaced thanks to graffiti legend Scotch 79 otherwise known as KEO. Look for the Pro-Keds El Barrio collection to hit retailers soon. Via KEO.

Oversized Clutches

I am so glad the oversized clutch is still going strong for Fall 2009. I was afraid this trend would die off quickly, but there were tons and tons of them in the Fall fashion shows. I love them because regular-sized clutches are not nearly big enough for me, so the oversized ones are perfect. And I really dig how Seventies they look. As far as I’m concerned, anything Seventies is okay with me.


Look i kinda wish i was at this show.
Here is an insert from Brooklyn Vegan Blog.

"Beth Ditto started singing from somewhere in the ether, and when she finally set foot on stage, the crowd went berserk...but quickly reigned themselves in so as not to miss a single second of Bethtastic vocal goodness. The band's universally loved frontwoman sported a new shorter 'do in Kool-Aid red or Sunkist orange (depending on the lighting), She wore form-fitting black, knee-length dress covered in silvery glitter sparkles that shimmered as she shimmied around the stage to the beat, giving the impression that Beth Ditto is not the centre of the universe, but the universe itself...and we mere mortals are all just playing at her game." [I Was at the Show]

Black Dynamite explodes into Festivals and Theatres

Capone trades blows with BLACK DYNAMITE star Michael Jai White and director Scott Sanders!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. BLACK DYANMITE has been kicking around at festivals since its official premiere at Sundance in January, and it's finally making its way into theaters this coming weekend. The critical reaction, even just among people that I know who have seen in over the last nine months, has differed about as much as you can imagine. Some people say it's a masterpiece that isn't so much a parody as it is a full-blown tribute with a few jokes thrown in to acknowledge some of the ridiculousness of the blaxploitation genre. Others seem to hold it against the movie that it takes itself seriously, but I honestly don't get that at all.

As I mention to star and co-writer Michael Jai White (best known for playing SPAWN in the film version of the Todd McFarlane comic book, and appearances in THE DARK KNIGHT and a fantastic cut scene from KILL BILL) and director Scott Sanders in our interview conducted last week, the film could have gotten away with just being a kick-ass action movie, without any jokes, and I would have thrilled. But it's the humor that informs us that its creators are well versed in so many of the great films that they are honoring with BLACK DYNAMITE. I don't think too much more is required in terms of introduction; most of what you need to know is covered right here in our conversation. I'll have a full review of the film on Friday, but know that I really was impressed with the attention to detail and the creation of a fully realized character rather than simply a caricature. And Michael Jai White's skills as a martial artist really sell the whole package. I had a fantastic time watching this movie. Enjoy Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders…

Bryan & Emily Wedding

First, I just want to say congrats to the couple. Both of you have been a shining light in eachother's lives since they day you met. The music was great as always. It was nice seeing people i have not seen in such a long time and just having fun. I drove from Phila that morning, watched the redskins lose...The Eagles and the Phillies won.. and then the event of the year so far. My apologies for not having my dj equipment ready to roll for the groom but the night went on without a hitch. Peace.

BTW Mad Decent/Def Jux sign Brik Mason..

Friday, October 9, 2009

Canal Room

so I played this gig in NYC at the Canal Room a few days ago from 7pm-10pm. The setup was smooth(that never happens) and i used the turntables for the first time in a year or so(mostly using serato with cds). The crowd was cool calm and collect. I released the utmost jams of 80's and into 2009 which the crowd seem to like but it was a charity gig at happy hour. So mostly drinks and talking commenced throughout. I loved it. I sweated like a pig just to get the juices flowing and remind myself that i can rock if i want to. The night was capped with an hour of dancing and running through 90's hip hop and R&B. Go figure. I loved it and will keep rocking to the wee hours. Oh, check out future bashment mixes, Hip Hop Mixes and more. On my grind. BTW. Mad Decent sign Brik Mason.

Ivan Reitman Back For GHOSTBUSTERS 3!! But In What Capacity?? + A Plot Snippet... -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

Ivan Reitman Back For GHOSTBUSTERS 3!! But In What Capacity?? + A Plot Snippet... -- Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.

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Fashion Wire Daily says

Valentino’s Subtle Revolution
Godfrey Deeny
October 06th, 2009 @ 3:27 PM - Paris

Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli ushered in a new era for the Roman house Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Paris with their first ready-to-wear hit collection. Theirs is a surreal and mysterious Valentino, not a bad metaphor for these uncertain times where fashion really needs emotion to stimulate desire and consumer demand.

Despite being decade-long staffers at Valentino, they are intent in radically remodeling the brand’s oeuvre. Where their first couture collection in January was very much the restoration of the old guard, their latest runway outing was an insurrectionary moment.

Valentino once stood for class and an opulent display of wealth, but this new Valentino was all about sensitive chic with a mysterious spin.

Rather than ripping up the Valentino DNA, however, they have reinvented it. This was clear from their first four looks, which were short, volume cocktail dresses in faille with huge bows that managed to stay just on the right side of extravagant.

Chiuri and Piccioli have been at Valentino for too long not to respect the house’s canons, but they took some bold risks when using sheer fabrics, a famed Valentino signature. They went with bolder, more visible fabrics and then threw on a lot of erratically placed crystals, mesh or metal touches, making the look very evocative. The pair hit their stride with a series gilded frocks, in a broken grid pattern that had a charming ghostly quality.

There was also just the right dose of commercial product, in particular dresses with multiple ruffles and suits, the standout being a mauve leather suit with miniskirt and bomber jacket that was a real eye opener.

“We wanted to inject emotion into fashion and into Valentino. Images that move you,” explained Piccioli in the backstage post-show.

The staging was well-executed, too, consisting of a silver wooden runway and huge, pale gray walls on which were projected beautiful images of orchids, the same flower that figured prominently in prints throughout this show. A custom-made soundtrack featuring the plaintiff tones of cult band Anthony and the Johnsons was suitably atmospheric.

If there were any doubt that this was a quiet rebellion, then note that there was not one drop of Valentino’s signature color – red. It was an evocative revolution at Valentino, but not a red one.

Bloomberg and how he made it? or did he?

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Published: October 8, 2009

When Michael R. Bloomberg became mayor of New York City on Jan. 1, 2002, there was every reason to expect him to fail. A cosseted tycoon with no political experience, he had essentially purchased the office with a $74 million check. He had no place in the city’s ethnic stew, no gift for relating to ordinary people, and little news media presence. His clumsy, often arrogant comments were shot through with the Ross Perot fallacy that political problems are easy compared with the really tough ones businessmen have to deal with.
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Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Joyce Purnick


Money, Power, Politics

By Joyce Purnick

Illustrated. 252 pages. PublicAffairs. $26.95.
Excerpt: ‘Mike Bloomberg’ (October 9, 2009)
Times Topics: Michael Bloomberg
The Sunday Book Review on ‘Mike Bloomberg’ (October 11, 2009)

How the former chief executive overcame these liabilities to become a popular and effective mayor has the makings of a wonderful metropolitan fable, a reverse Cinderella tale in which the princess throws away her glass slippers and gets serious about sweeping the floor. Part of his success would seem to derive from a well-concealed modesty. Mr. Bloomberg knew what he didn’t know and learned from his mistakes, even if he seldom acknowledged them.

He brought in high-quality people, listened to them and looked after them. Another aspect of Mr. Bloomberg’s success, surely, has been the substantive core of his amateurism — his naïve view that politics is a problem on the way to policy and not the other way around. Because he wasn’t trying to get anywhere else, he didn’t shrink from making sound, unpopular decisions like raising property taxes or banning smoking in bars. Nor did he avoid clashes with entrenched constituencies like the teachers’ unions, transportation workers or the antediluvian overlords in Albany.

Joyce Purnick, a former columnist and metropolitan editor for The New York Times, gives us the basics of this story in a straightforward, biographical chronicle, “Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics.”

Her account begins with Mr. Bloomberg’s unexceptional middle-class childhood in Medford, Mass., glances over his formative years as a salesman at Salomon Brothers, charts the rise of his eponymous company after he was cut loose from Salomon with a $10 million parachute, and offers a few mildly salacious tidbits from his years as a divorced man about town in the 1990s.

Her narrative grows more animated when she arrives at the 2001 and 2005 mayoral campaigns, which she covered as a reporter and columnist. It becomes more excited still when she tries to establish, not very convincingly, that Mr. Bloomberg nearly ran for president as a third-party candidate in 2008 and, more persuasively, that he held off declaring his decision to run for a third term until it was too late to put New York’s term-limits law to a public referendum, which he probably would have lost.

While Ms. Purnick’s recounting of Mr. Bloomberg’s early gaffes and fumbles may interest political trivia buffs, she underplays the far more interesting issues his mayoralty raises about New York City and about urban governing in general. How did Mayor Bloomberg achieve further reductions in crime, which many people assumed couldn’t happen after the large gains of the Giuliani years? Has he improved the city’s fundamental fiscal position or just postponed crisis for a few years? On such policy questions, she has little to say.

To a large extent, this is a book undermined by the principle of journalistic neutrality. Because she is not willing to grant the premise that Mr. Bloomberg has done a good job as mayor — or to challenge it either — Ms. Purnick pre-empts any deeper inquiry into the reasons for his successes and failures. Too often, she resorts to the “critics complain” formulation or takes the reporter’s dodge of casting decisions in terms of political perceptions.

Too often as well, Ms. Purnick levels pallid accusations of personal hypocrisy. “His stubborn insistence on banning the use of cellphones in public schools mystified and angered New Yorkers, more convinced than ever that the mayor, personally BlackBerry-addicted, was out of touch with day-to-day concerns of students,” she writes. This hardly counts as a critique of the policy. When it comes to Mr. Bloomberg’s most important education initiative — mayoral control of the schools — she falls back on the conclusion that he and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have exaggerated their successes. Well, who in politics hasn’t?

Lukewarm about her subject, she faults him for being dull. The result is a lifeless portrait. “He is not warm, beloved, or glib in a profession that demands all three,” she concludes, adding, “And that is okay with him.” We finish knowing a bit more about Mr. Bloomberg, but not knowing him any better.

I suspect that an author who managed to penetrate deeper inside the mayor’s head would find it a far more interesting place. So too would a writer more attuned to the social comedy of a city ruled by its richest resident.

Like most liberal billionaires, Mr. Bloomberg is a hypocrite for pushing social equality while using his cash to buy extraordinary power and privilege. If bottomless wealth frees him from the conventional temptations of politics, it inclines him to buy his way out of tight corners, as in negotiations with the big municipal unions, where he has overpaid relative to what the city can afford. Living so long in a coddled bubble has left Mr. Bloomberg philanthropically minded but less engaged by the specific problems of the city’s poor than by livability issues like traffic, transportation, public safety and clean air.

New York’s billionaire mayor may be, as Ms. Purnick says, sui generis, but as a rich man seeking fulfillment in public life, he represents a growing trend. Despite the recent catastrophe of American finance, heroes of capitalism, who have presumably graduated from the motive of economic self-interest, hold a priestly allure. Being ordered about by a self-made Bloomberg or Jon Corzine doesn’t have the same class implications as being scolded by a Rockefeller or a Bush — which may be why ungovernable New Yorkers have come to tolerate the mayor’s paternalism. He may whine about our diets, our manners, our carbon emissions. But after eight years, many New Yorkers seem to agree that it’s nice having a sugar daddy to take care of you.