Thursday, July 19, 2007

Corporeal Punishment

I know I've left you stranded before, left you wallowing in deep swampy pools of the dimmest water without a wooden plank to helplessly grasp. or even half of a bright orange life-vest. I was off gallivanting with prostitutes and steamy wads of cash ejected from offshore slot machines on open-water steamboats, I apologize. I do indeed enjoy writing for you my crew, or maybe this is just writing for me.

Some days when I wake up to consume my black morning sludgewater I think of you and I think of me and I think of the sea-green waters that have yet to be traversed by us and I get excited at the prospect. Other days I wake up with crustacean eyes and a barnacled demeanor, I stare up at the timber ceiling in my room. Suddenly I bust in to my own cabin with a group of sweaty, grimacing, tattooed strongarms clutching thick coils of thick rope with their sweaty, meaty paws. I've come to keelhaul myself.

I can't tell you how difficult it is to play the role of punisher and punished simultaneously, to be the one standing shipside of the plank with a scimitar:

"Ye broke the cardinal rule of music blogging: not hosting yer own MP3's. Whats worse, ye been using Badongo, putfile and (Spits on the deck) RAPIDSHARE?" and then quickly jump to the oceanside of the plank to play the tattered me in tattered sackcloth, hands tied with shaggy, cutting searope:

"No no... I swear! I'm getting to it... I'll start hosting as soon as I can, I swear"

I jump back boatside and eye myself squinteyed for a second, my posse of gnarled sailors behind me, reething their muscles and waiting for me to try and escape so they can exact their flogs against my sallow back.

"so ye been sayin' for a fornight now and I haven't seen anything. And ye been slackin on the posting m'boy, you know what that calls fer!"

"I know I know, please, please don't do this! not again!"

I readjust my captain's tricorner, sheath my curved blade, saunter out to the end of the plank next to bearded me and stare darkly into my eyes and then pinch my cheeks and say:

"too late ye scurvy dog, say 'ello to Davy Jones!"


Under the boat it's quite peaceful. Everytime I plunge, Buddy Holly plays for some inexplicable reason.

Buddy Holly - True Love Ways

The ropes cut deep into my hands as the bottomside of the boat, splintered and be-barnacled, rasps along my face and stomach and legs drawing blood that in turn draws the sharp toothed harps and pianos. These sea creatures live for chum like me, they pluck along behind me and lick their lips. They are slow moving creatures though, often being drawn astray by schools of violins, bottom feeders, following boats for scraps of resin: dropped overboard. The strings converge and scatter as I skitter along the sharp base of the boat.

I ignore these hyenas, mere scavengers, it is the blood-thirsty saxophone I worry about. Traveling alone, these creatures can swim faster than seven deckhands can pull, and typically, I'm pulling myself alone so any sign of the sax could be certain death. I've heard stories of keelhauling ropes suddenly going slack and waters turning chunky and crimson. Everyone present at those fishy feasts said they heard the faint glimmerings of Paul Desmond, of Take Five. I shudder to think even now of the jaw gnashing fates of those men and women.

So far I've come up on the other side, blue cheeked, lacerated and bloody, coughing up saltwater, but I've survived. I welcome myself back to the boat, slap myself (painfully) on the back and hand myself a hot cup of joe.

"ye lived through it again meboy, now hurry up and get that MP3 hosting"


Check out my new roomie's blog: Battle of The Midwestern Housewives

Check out Sufjan doing a performance at BAM about the BQE. Apparently he will be playing old stuff and new stuff. I'd like to see it considering the live version of Majesty Snowbird is one of my new favorite musics. Are you going?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just another creepy video

I think that, perhaps, Neil Sedaka could be one of the most brilliant men in existence in our time. Let us begin a short journey through this half-assed post wherein I try to pass off clicking around on a bunch of youtube videos and embedding them as an actually well thought out musical analysis (which I suppose you don't come here for anyway [if you're a moocher here for the mp3's just skip to the bottom!])

here we go:

I've known gaydars that could pierce through thick iron walls wrought from the deepest forges at the molten center of Detroit, alas my gaydar glands withered at birth and never went through the same growth spurt as my peers. but I can still see that Sedaka is as gay as two canarys in an appletini birdbath.

here's the classic Breaking Up (with your boyfriend) is Hard to Do

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen:

watch how uncomfortable he is in this one:

Neil Sedaka with Fountains of Wayne at Joe's Pub (I was at this show, it was quite splendid).

His genius is possibly second only to mine. The funny thing is he has been famous for so long that he has the same demeanor of a dictator who will kill one for the slightest infraction, an index finger bend, a poorly placed butt-scratch, but does it with a sadistic sense of humor as well, like instead of putting one in front of a shooting squad he confines one into a room where only reality TV is playing. I love him. Here's some downloads for those who want them:

Neil Sedaka - Calendar Girl

Neil Sedaka - O, Carol

Neil Sedaka - Come Back Jo

Neil Sedaka - Lets Go Steady Again


Monday, July 16, 2007


I can't believe there was ever a world, the geetar-exclusive world of my parents, where disco was lambasted for the color of it's skin. for it's keyboards. for the colorful-chessboard floors where knights and rooks tested their boogie-mettle, kings and queens of every color did coke off the pawns, bishops swung their index-fingered fist the only way they knew how: diagonally. Travolta-ly.


Well, our friends The Cansecos are making sure that disco is not merely en passant (ok, I recognize that my meticulous, self-parodying, metaphoric stilting has just now slipped and gutted itself on the knife blade that it walks daily, please forgive) and if you haven't already listened to the Juiced Remix sessions via P-fork or GVB then it's your serendipitous disco-day! for The Cansecos have remixed their September bound album and posted the resulting crotch-heat on their website. If the album is as good as this remix I smell a possible successor to The Avalanches classic "Since I Left You" in my party rotation. or at least an accomplice.

check it oot

The Cansecos - Side A

Side A is a jaunty frolic through some sampled Donna Summer and cascading strings.

The Cansecos - Side B

this 'uns a manly, synthy, bass bumpin side that likes to take it slow in bed but still has that hot disco man-musk emanating from the black curly bush on it's chest. damn, I just turned myself on.

Check out that fucking bassline at 15 minutes in and you'll sprout an extra pair of testicles by accident.

check out their older stuff on myspace and maybe buy their self titled album from 2002.

check mate.
(ugh, let the self flagellation commence.)

Friday, July 13, 2007


These days, the Zeitgeist moves faster than anyone cares to remember. I remember only several years ago when the moons and stars were still aligned. Back when the curvature of spacetime had not been warped sticky, like four dimensional honey, dripping with the sheer weight of useless information; Blogs: millions upon millions of satellites orbiting that blazing ball of gas, Google.

Sean Bell was shot and killed by undercover police at his bachelor party. Papoose is a rapper from Bedford Stuy in Brooklyn who wrote a song called "50 shots" about the incident. The incident was important and terrifying, but much of media has performed it's obligatory outcry and the story has fallen back back back through the pages of the newspapers. The Zeitgeist has moved on. So will I.

The thing that fascinates me about Papoose is his penchant for disseminating information, as if his raps were political pamphlets thrown, billowing down from a rooftop. He's New York's new wiz kid, produced, with ballyhoo, like the school braniac at a spelling bee.

Clearly NAS is no longer New York's answer, if you were prithee to the red-light, green-light middling sounds of "Hip-Hop Is Dead." Jay-Z is merely keeping house: making sure the floo is closed in the chimbly when he leaves for a month, getting creative with the leftover Ramen noodles and spices, stealing the neighbor's wi-fi.

Truth be told Papoose isn't really that great, listening to him is kind of like squinting your eyes and pretending the face you drew on the paper bag is Jay-Z. He doesn't have much charisma, his voice is like a younger Jay-Z, his rhymes lose footing very quickly by backpedaling over meaning. Why is he so lucrative? Well, I suppose you could ask that same question about Kanye. Why is Kanye so lucrative? Kanye's lyrics are frequently god-awful (have you heard the new one? we won't talk about the identity politics of "You could be my black Kate Moss tonight" or the even stranger identity politics implicit in positioning himself as the post-apocalypse God-child Tetsuo in 'Akira') but he's a fantastic composer of beats.

What is appealing about Papoose to Jive that he would be worth 1.5 mil? well, aside from the fact that he already has major draw (see his mix tapes: Busta, Nas, Mary J Blige, Swizz Beats, Just Blaze) in the NYC area, he has garnered much acclaim more because of his ideas than his words, very much like Kanye (and R Kelly's wily ego). 50 Shots was pretty widely accepted as being a return to the New Yorkpolitcal consciousness form that Ghostface said was dead after Amadou Diallo was shot in 1999. ("I knew New York was wack when they shot my man Amadou Diallo forty-one fucking times and ain't nobody stand up. But if that shit happen in L.A. somewhere, they would have went to bat for Amadou Diallo. It would have been hell. Stores getting burnt the fuck up. New York don't stand for nothing.") Its a return to "The Message" that Grandmaster Flash made popular so many years ago during Hip-Hop's honeymoon period at the Roxy in NYC.

case in point:

Recently I read an interview in Vibe about Papoose's signing to Jive records for 1.5 million. He spoke about his upcoming release in Sept. 07, "The Nacirema Dream" (see what he did there?), but what fascinated me most in the interview revolved around his work on the copious mixtapes emblazoned with his name. Specifically the stuff about his Law Library series.

(I have combined all three tracks into one for easier listening and easier access and heres some lyrics one, two, three but rest assured, I don't care for you, my readers, that much.)

Papoose - Law Library 1,2 & 3

Papoose's Law Library series trampolines upon a simple concept and it is this: people don't know the law without lawyers to explain it to them. If they can't afford lawyers why not eloquently (quite for papoose) describe a person's rights to him over a beat?

I'm not a big fan of the beats on the songs themselves: muzakky dimly lit tunes with green lampshades and spectacles. It fits the mood of the song and doesn't detract from the words, which is the idea.

These songs are what I'm talking about when I say his ideas are superior to his flow. There's nothing that special about the songs but they are riveting simply because of the sheer amount of useful information one is receiving in such a short period. He's no Aesop Rock, but then again, Aesop wouldn't be able to deliver these lines with such clarity, we'd be plodding through a swamp of metaphors and assonance before any sort of meaning could be arrived at.

Anyhoo, enjoy yourself with this one and we'll look out for Papoose's debut in Sept. it ought to be stupid big when it drops.

here's Ye with his stupid new expensive video (Scream anyone?)

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I woke up early this morning. I've been trying to go to sleep at a more reasonable hour. I've spent far too many a night in the past year closing my eyes and slowing my breath at the so-called witching hour, that hour in the night where the shapes and sizes of normal things like pillows and tables are transmogrified into horrible creatures, pint glasses and cigarettes, who beg me to sap them of their ambrosial broth.

The leaf, my friends, will be turned over.

I woke up early this morning and remembered that my morning ritual of coffee had been disrupted by a lack of it. I drew my pantaloons to my waist and proceeded towards the grocery store down the block to retrieve the seeds that would germinate into the brown liquid I do so dearly enjoy.

and I felt the deliquescent heat seep from the windowsills, the orange rust on iron bars, the chalk white stoops, the leftover gravel. It rained very hard yesterday, meaning something about the weather is changing, the scorching heat being shunted further east, over the sea, by cool sprays up in the stratosphere.

When I returned to my apartment and composed my breakfast and coffee into a satisfactory symphony of flavors, my computer greeted me with a sonic recap of my brisk footed circuit.

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

I don't usually use promos (last time I used one, a contrary reader called me the N word. Inappropriate.) but my canvas morning imbibed this music, plim: To swell, as grain or wood with water.

Story goes that Justin Vernon holed himself up in his father's cabin after the breakup of his old band (these guys) like so many Ed Drostes or Springsteens. He stayed there the three months of Winter and emerged, be-bearded and bedraggled, with this album.

Some of the music sounds like it could be buried beneath the scratch-n-sniff surface of Grey's Anatomy in some sort of papery montage treacly tripe, it does fall short at that. But other moments of the album work on so very simple a level that it burrows beneath the brick wall holding my nose up in the snooting position and my fingers hit repeat unhindered by my listening brain.

Bon Iver - For Emma

If Jana Hunter had an alter-ego of the opposite sex it would be Justin Vernon, I swear.

Here is a place to read more about the album: Amble Down

Here is a moospace

Here is a place to listen to the entire album: Bon Iver

oh, yes, and before I forget, Kitsch Me Gorgeous, that handsome devil, has a link to a recap of the 77Boadrum show in Brooklyn last Saturday that yours truly went to, as well as a link to a Boooootleg. check out this LIIIINK

and now for something completely different:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

smokin that shit?

As I proclaimed yesterday, fanfare accompanied, white stallions parading the promenade of my blog castle, hip-hop is my newest passion. There was once a time where I would falter and crumble to my knees as soon as a wanderlusting beat of the PHAT variety slipped brashly into the curvaceous folds of an ear or two. I lived in fear of the everyday gambol down any main thoroughfare, in fear of those humming, buzzing trunks.

Perhaps it was the whiteness that my parents had imbued into my skin and bones by refusing to listen to anything without guitars and screeching vocals, nay, refusing to listen to anything that wasn't, gulp, BLACK. I attempted to remedy this as a young fledgling listener, but my surveys of the landscape of hip-hop music was misinformed and, eventually, kidnapped. The temptation: sweet succulent rock-and-roll-sample candy by diddys and Will Smiths.

Wu-tang descended from the sky with Enter The 36 Chambers, light emanating from around her strange dark cover. I understood. I wanted more.

What is the purpose of this foolish narrative that I spin for you as an eight legged she-devil might for her lover, and later, her prey?

It is merely to prepare you for the weeks to come, for I have been consuming Ice Cubes and Ice-T's and Public Enemy's and Pharcydes with the fervor of a man once starved of certain culture. It's as if I were neglected in my childhood and prohibited from drinking anything but coke, caffeine-free diet coke. The kind that comes in the languid brass colored label so you know that its contents are merely the base, rewardless skeletal structure of the potentially delicious liquid confection.

Anyway, I've been listening to KMD's Black Bastards, their notorious album that was scheduled in 1994 but was unreleased by Elektra because of the hanging Sambo character pictured above. It was later released in 2001 by Sub Verse Records.

MF DOOM, before he was MF DOOM, was Zev Luv X in KMD. His brother, DJ Subroc was the group's DJ and was struck by a car in 1993 and killed spinning his brother into a deep depression and causing him to go into hiding only to reemerge in 1998 when he began performing in the newyorican poets cafe with his trademark mask.

what a weirdo:

On the menu today is two songs that describe the connection between MF DOOM's current style and the similarities between that and one of my favorite tracks on KMD's black Bastards album.

KMD - Sweet Premium Wine

Notice the pseudo-dialogue that takes place in this track. "You're drinking too much of that wine of yours!" If you're at all a MF Doom fan, or even any of the tracks on Madvillan which was only a little bit produced by Doom but mostly produced by Madlib, you'll recognize the style. Thats not to say that no one else has done this before, but it's definitely one of DOOM's little idiosyncrasies to crate up a dialog from old television and radio samples.

MF Doom - Beef Rapp

granted I could use a better example of Doom's pastiche work, but I like this first song from 2004's MM...Food.

And here's another of my favorite track on KMD's black bastards:

KMD - Smokin' That Shit

that bass is fucking phat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

oh, hello again

Well, that was a fun weekend wasn't it? I had a couple of delicious encounters with some great music.

I'll take a moment at a later date to describe to you the Boredoms show I went to on Saturday with the 77 drums and the giant spiral of them. Absolutely incredible.

Anyhoo, the rest of my ears have been taken up by a lot of hip-hop. I recently finished Jeff Chang's "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" a book that I believe everyone with even a peripheral, tiny shadows and squiggles in the corners of perception, interest in hip-hop should read. There is nothing I'd rather do these days than hear the raspy, undertoe vocals of Doom or the curvaceous, bubble lettering of Busta. I appreciate, as much as a middle-class white male can appreciate, the words and the individual personas and the tiny projectile roots jutting from the thick rooty gnarls below the platinum glow of today's Lil' Waynes.

Anyhow, lets get on with it. I'd heard a few times about "The Cool Kids" from Austin's SXSW, where they performed. But I hadn't really given them a listen until Gorilla Vs. Bear posted a song called I Rock (formerly Mikey Rocks)

Cool Kids - I Rock

They're from Chicago Ill. and they slap some slow vocals over some thin beats and call it a song. And songs they is: I Rock is a thin concept with a thick, trunk buzzing note over a slow beat. Now, this tactic has been used by everyone from Ulysses S. Grant to Kevin Sorbo, songs based entirely upon thick bass beats are like cheap made for TV hallmark mini-series for the current Atlanta leaning hip-hop crowd.

It is sometimes hard to remember why those thick beats are so popular anymore, until someone does it right again like The Cool Kids in this song or Lil Momma's minimalistic beat heavy jumping Lip Gloss that everyone has heard but it needs a little reiteration.

Be, Poppin:

The Cool Kids new album "The Bake Sale" is scheduled for release later this year

check out their myspace page for more music.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Get a Brain Morans

It is America's birthday again. I'm going to see a lil band called Pterodactyl tonight with some other hot acts in Willyburg. I hope to see you there.

I am, at this moment, trying to decipher from the mist raging about my head, what the best song would be to give you on this most glorious of holidays.

My first instinct is to find something with fireworks worked into its fabric like a bejeweled American flag on the back of a denim jacket. Bros, of course, comes to mind, but I've inundated you with Panda Bear far too much.

How about some Ice Cube? Everyone needs a little Ice Cube.

blast this shit at the members of your family holding paper plates of hot dogs and potato salad.

Ice Cube - Amerikkkas Most Wanted

have some loch nessie monster:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Does your Dog Bi-yai-yai-yaiiiite?

It is Summer.

Perhaps there is a certain musk that is released when the air is heated to a certain temperature. As boiling a kettle of water releases a whistling steam to attract one's attention so does the very marrow of the summer air whistle an imperceptible tone that attracts memory. I remember straw colored straw on brown chalky hills behind my house in San Diego when I was but a lad of six; my parents scrubbing the dirt from my knees and scolding me for vanishing from their panoptic windows overlooking our cul-de-sac. Yellow and blue beaches, bare brown feet of girls, dry grass clippings, surreal poolside games. Somehow all of these coagulated during the early ninties all in one place.

Television is not now, nor ever really was, a final destination for overtly creative minds with a penchant for the surreal. In the early Ninties that destination was (and still is) more likely found behind the mask of a foamy headed punching bag dressed to the nines in Mickey Mouse accoutrement or perhaps, if you will allow me to stretch-armstrong a bit, the emerging surrealist pseudo-realities of Gangsta rap ("you are now about to witness [more or less] the strength of street knowledge"). At that time, though, children's programming was entering a surrealist renaissance on a little channel known as Nickelodeon with programs like Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life and, of course my favorite, Pete and Pete.

Whats all this masturbatory faux-academia got to do with music? Well, if you've never seen Pete and Pete, FOR SHAME!! **stage direction for guthrie: accusatory finger pointed skyward atop a clenched fist of epic proportions**, you wouldn't know the R.E.M. sound-a-bit-like band Polaris who magnificently performed the opening credits and various songs throughout the show. Occasionally the writers of the show would warp episodes above and around and through Polaris' music like a klein Bottle, indecipherable.

Polaris - Summerbaby

Exhibit A: an episode of Pete and Pete season one called "Hard Day's Pete" wherein young Pete must search for his favorite song that he hears Polaris, conveniently and splendidly practicing in a garage on the way to school, playing one day. He hears the song only once and attempts to remember the song by snapping together various chords. A fantastic premise, for how many of us have heard amazing songs only once that escape to the darkest dregs of the cortex, drip down our spines and disperse through our nerves as a milky blue dissipating substance. I would not let Pete's song escape me, for it is an amazing example of the show's finger on the pulse of pop-media in its day.

Polaris' frontman, Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion (of whom I will speak in a moment), wrote an incredible gem of a summer song for this exact episode called 'Summerbaby' that I feel is necessary to broadcast across this internets. Unfortunately the music recorded for the show (featuring Mulcahy stuttering the around into an incredibly catchy Arou-hou-hou-hou-hou-nd) was only released on a Cassingle in Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal (I'd give my larynx and my left butt for that thing). However! The re-recorded versions are true-to-form and that form is the catchy, fuzzy side of velcro.

Miracle Legion was Mulcahy's band from the mid-eighties that, yes, also sounded like the jangle-echo of early R.E.M. And whats wrong with that?
The answer is this: nothing.

Their first EP, called The Backyard, is five songs of summery pop-perfection. Would you like it? Yes?

Miracle Legion - The Backyard EP

Now that you have the whole thing you should really really go buy some of their later albums that are more on sale than The Backyard EP.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A grrrrail?

If my writing seems to slug across your screen rather than the usual zip-line quick wit Blogalism you're used to, its because I have just now returned from a week long vacation. It involved me sitting in the dark recesses of a beach house, occasionally removing to the beach to darken my snowy complexion beaneath the golden strands descending from Apollo's airy chariot. Alas, my traipsing through these intertubes has left my skin beyond repairidly white and I found myself more often gazing upwards towards Apollo's twin sister, Diana. Her milky white crescent illuminating enough to display my epidermal shortcomings, but not reflecting her brother's rays enough to bronze them. Where shall I begin with the music today... where to begin...

Have I a platter of rad for you today, my friends! Well some may think it crass to call this rad but I think it, my friends, is not crass. For when was the last time you heard four hundred damn guitars playing at once? Never!

It is A Crimson Grail by Rhys Chatham a student of punk rock and a mentor/friend to members of Sonic Youth and Band of Susans. He began his career as a piano tuner for minimalist La Monte Young. and it sounds like this:

If vines growing up thick brick had a sound it would be this. If heat's fish-eye sine waves above a sweltering road could be plucked it would be this. If cumulo-nimbus could be compressed into a jar and slowly let out at the bottom of a swimming pool, retaining their shape, it would be this. If a lover's form could be effectively holstered into a hip flask, a quick, concealed dram beneath mahogany stairs would fill your body with these vibrations. Then there are two more movements, whose dimensions surpass description.

she's a doosie, hope you don't mind 20 minutes.

Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail

I've been reading Nabokov, can you tell?

buy A Crimson Grail