the ghost robot -

Monday, April 24, 2006
  video game advacement metaphor

This the sort of song that makes you say "Holy... duh?" It's so close to being 100 per cent mind-blowing, and then it goes and does something mind-numblingly generic.

First the bad news: Young Leek is swagger-jacking Juelz Santana, or at least the numerically average club rapper. I like girls, clubs are pretty fun, I have many expensive possesions. Wow, I'm really rapping it up over here! Now shake that thang! To his credit, I think he's 17.

The Very Good News: It's not about the rap at all. It sounds like Blaqstar sampled the drums from Big Badd Voodoo Daddy. It's about time that the 90s swing revival became retro. Plus perfect handclaps, great bass stabs and Bmore club style chopped vocal samples. Apparently this has been blowing up on DC radio for a while, but I only heard it today.

Young Leek- Jiggle It (Prod. by Blaqstar)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
  for you

Kevin Saunderson, Derrik May and Juan Atkins invented Detroit techno in the early 1980s, adapting the sounds of electro to fit their desolate, mechanic hometown. Kids in Paris and London seem to be doing the same thing right now.

Sebastian Tellier- La Ritournelle (Metronomy Mix)

You send it has changed its rules, so I'll be finding a new way to share files.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
  the king fish and the fisher king
The most important two albums on the shelves right now (and last week more than ever) are Fishcale and King. My grandfather penned an unreleased novel called The Fisher King. Coincidence? YES!

Ghostface is a poet, plain and simple. He labors over his words, and straight spits pearls into the mike, like a toothless Iron Mike after the fight. Like his cartoon alter-ego, Ironman has a tough exterior and a weak heart, a hero who's grasp of science keeps him alive. Ghostface cares about his hip hop deeply- he sees "Laffy Taffy" like a war veteran sees flag burning (you're disrespecting the holy of holies that i am/was ready to die for, and for what, WHAT, what you morons?!).

Yesterday, I revisited the 36 chambers, the Wu-Tang Clan's breakthrough. As the Clan slowly over-extended and crumbled over the last thirteen years, Ghost could have pulled a semi-retirement and rested on the laurels of his bulletproof solos or the peerless Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. While other rappers his age are either content, suits, tired, self-satisfied, dead or worse, LL Cool J, Ghost actually sounds hungier than he did on his debut Clan spots. Expect more on ghost in the coming weeks.

Ghostface [Killah]- Columbus Exchange/ Crack Spot

Jay Dee- One For Ghost

Tip Harris also has a way with words, but he's much more Periciles than Plato. I've listened to King over and over again for a while now, and I've got to say a lot about it. I think I'm going to spread it over a couple of posts, so be content with this video of T.I. on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Live hip-hop performances often run into trouble- records aren't as exciting as live bands, and live bands aren't as familiar as records. The rhyme-sayer seems to be forced to choose between breathless solos without the magic of studio ad-libs or incoherent shouts from supporting hype me. As often as not, Tip splits the difference and offers something everything for everyone: DJ Drama spins the record +live band w/ Travis Barker X vocals on record+ real live rappin= the biggest song of the year, but sorta doubled up. He doesn't call his record label 'Grand Hustle' for nothing.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Two nights ago, I dreamt of my friend Robinson's ashes. Detriot rapper Proof, member of Eminem's group D12 and the inspiration for Mekhi Phifer's character in 8 Mile, was shot and killed sometime this morning. This Friday, it will have been two years since a friend of mine was killed in a helicopter accident in Iraq. Another death has occured in my community, one which I have no place talking about on the internet. Other passings are coming to mind, but I will stop there. I send my condolences and prayers to all the families.
  you can crush us, you can bruise us

Recently, I've had an unsettling feeling that I have more to express than could be possibily appropriate. I have the urge to respond to everything- to summarize my impressions, consider a position or form an opinion. Small things happen every day, and I want to turn all of them, every one, into a story with a beginning, middle, and end. My morning art class yielded two such neat narrative packages- each with a bow parable on top. Walking out of class, I thought about how silly that storytelling was- who really wants to know the Tale of The Water and Ink Drawing On Tuesday? I guess I've been thinking about expression too much. What to do with a blog that tells itself to shut up?

psst- if you read about the following band on a blog last May, indulge me and read my review anyway. it's not new, but it's cute.

Nouvelle Vague means New Wave and Bossa Nova. Last year, a couple of French producers translated that pun it into a full album. Unfamiliar with the source material, young French women sing the songs of eighties disaffected British youth to gentle, faithful covers in the sixities Brazillian style. If you think its sounds like dinner party lounge music, you're only partially right. Each song is a delightful little accident, with none of the square-peg-in-round-hole sonics you might expect. The record's concept is certainly novel, but it's more than a novelty. Nouvelle Vague is moving and touching in quiet ways, perfect for mixtapes or a spring afternoon determined to unfold at its own pace. "Teenage Kicks," "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and the Modern English cover are particularly good. Buy at Amazon.

Nouvelle Vague- Guns of Brixton

Wow. I forgot how much I liked that record. I didn't mean to write such a postive review. Maybe that's the trick of expression- the act of story-telling changes the story. Aw shit. I sound like a high school english teacher.
  first, read the post before this
Update: Here's a picture of Paris Hilton holding a copy of the song 'Paris Hilton,' standing in front of a cardboard cut out of Paris Hilton.

The record cover in question is shown in the post below. The song is also down there. There are also some words that may or may not make things make sense.
  write a letter, read a wrong

I read this, then wrote the following.

Let's make a pact. Seriously, hands in. This isn't a joke. It's like the 80s: Hands-In America! Okay, now listen up.

Very Important Fact One: They are figments of our collective imagination. Nothing more, nothing less.

Very Important Fact Two: If we all agree to stop caring-if we just don't pay attention to them- they will go away.

Imagine the possibilities. Today, Melissa browsed right past the racks of magazines at the entrance to Barnes and Noble and bought that dirty French novel she'd been meaning to read; Nicole Ritchie went missing. John thought about getting InTouch WithYourMuscles, but he took his dog for a walk instead; Nick Lachey went back to college. Ted decided that he would just sleep on the flight; Kevin Federline imploded, and his atoms were quickly re-distributed across the galaxy. Karen called her mother and wrote an email to a friend from college; Star Jones sighed and simply ceased to be.

It could happen. We could make it happen. We could get interested in our own lives- find out what the hell happened to your cousin, ask the name of the friendly old guy at the end of the block, or even read that article on immigration reform. I'm not demanding a responsible civic public at all once. One small step away from ubiquitous Celebreality would be a giant step for selfhood. If we stopped obsessing about their lives, what toothpaste they prefer, their taste in grocery bags, if we stopped looking to the famous to tell us who to be, we might find ourselves more interested in who we were. Think about it. If we let the cast of the Real World fade into obscurity and go back to junior college, you might be more interested in what happened when you started getting real. We would examine our lives more closely, find them livings worth living. Then Paris, the dark queen of them all, would fall back onto her bed of untold riches, in her nameless hotel, and all without making a sound.

Mu-Paris Hilton

Warning: This song is loud, abrasive electro featuring a Japanese woman screaming about a certain famous personal and repeatedly culcking like a chicken.

Thanks to T. Sincere for the link.
Monday, April 10, 2006
  swm seeks mp3. no fatties.

Daniel Johnston is a talented songwriter struggling with sevre mental illness. Sony pictures is making a movie about him. 2004's Discovered Covered is a good introduction to the man- it's one disc of covers by mostly famous indie rockers and a disc of his originals. Beck's version of "True Love Will Find You in the End" is very, very good. If you like love, music and life, this song could make you cry on a lonely night. It's right up there with Love's "Everybody's Got To Live." Currently, it's for me to have and you to download.

Here's another song from that album- it's an inflection point. Tuck it away for the bottom of parabola- the part where it feels like its just going to be flat, but unbeknowst to you, it 's going to get pretty good.

Teenage Fanclub with Jad Fair- My life is starting over again

As of today, I don't like Dom Passawhatever on Stylus. He wrote some inappropriately snarky things on some Proof's passing on an ilm thread, and I really don't like his current Stylus feature on all the British Songs That Went To Number One. Granted, I enjoy very few of those songs. Critically, he roots for BritboybandPop over regular BritPop and extols the virtues of EurodancePop lite. He doesn't like Art Brut or the Streets. I'm not really a huge RJD2 fan, but its just unfair to call him "the rapechild born from the unholy union" of DJ Shadow and 90s indie hip-hop culture. "Exotic Talk" is actually pretty catchy. Dom might be right about the Decemberists, but he's not getting any bonus points from me. Music criticism doesn't have to be formal or boring, but it doesn't have to be all about mean spirited humor and cheap one-liners that say more about your taste than the music. This isn't a very well reasoned criticism of a music critic, but I think Dom would be okay with that. In a parallel universe, if we were co-workers and had adjacent cubicles, I think we would feel a strong sense of workplace solidarity despite our differences.
  third riff around

Nick Slyvester is back. The recent Harvard graduate fabricated the circumstances of the final paragraph of Village Voice cover story about a convtroversial dating guide. Consequently, his editor was fired, was fired, and Mr. Slyvester also lost his job at Pitchfork, fine purveyors of meaningful, experimental music reviews. His new blog seems to just offer straight features reports and concert reviews, probably left overs from his old (paying) gigs. It conspicuously avoids any of the satirical interviews or technicolor nuclear fireworks that made his writing read like unadulterated adderal; sugared-up lit crit kids are post-everything and the world revolves around Tony Yayo's bucket hat, duuuude! This is his third blog (by my count), following Riff Raff and Riff Central. The above picture comes from BrooklynVegan, and shows Nick reading a Malcolm Gladwell article instead of presenting at the Plug Awards, while a bored TV on the Radio take pictures of the Waldo lookalike. More on them later.

Mos Def- Umi Says

I'll leave you with some scary words: Monthly rent, food bill, health insurance, car insurance
  [I had a good post with informative, thought-provoking links, but yeah, that went down the drain... so

LOOK at this capital I insane track list. Seriously. This is Erol Alkan at Glastonbury in 2003, and you can download it here. I try to stay away from European DJs, and I've been skeptic of the latest crop of indie dance rock remixers, but holy shit LOOK at THIS. I'll admit, it's 4 in the morning, and I don't know if these's are really his ideas or just a picture of the whole London bootleg scene three years ago, but this pretty amazing right now.

Start around 36 minutes in...
Beach Boys - God Only Knows (Acapella)
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Instrumental)
Nine Inch Nails - Closer (instrumental)
50 Cent - In Da Club (Acapella) (White Label)
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You (Instrumental)
LCD Soundsystem - Losing my edge
New Order - Blue Monday
Benny Benassi - Satisfaction
The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

Now that I'm actually done listening to this, its a tad less mindblowing than I thought, but it's still good. It kinda screams "Summer of 2003" which is pretty funny. I didn't know anybody was allowed to say that yet.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
  april is the cruelest month
"Desperation does not leave a good impression, and malaise is unfocused." May could be looking better.

The Pharcyde- She Said (Jay Dee Remix)

People in the know rank Jay Dee aka Jay Dilla right up there on the Rap Producer Mount Olypmus with DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Madlib and Kanye. As the Pharcyde pour their hearts out, this song shows exactly why Dilla deserves that lofty rep. I'm a little lost in contemporary underground/ backpack rap scene, so I was unfortunately unawares of Mr. Dilla before his untimely death earlier this year and the accompanying outpouring of grief and praise. This talented artist suffered from a chronic liver disease, and his mother may be stuck with the bill. If you like what you hear, cop the product and support the fam.
Friday, April 07, 2006
  i know you heard of that

Hey Kids! Do you enjoy 20-minute monotone museum exhibitions on flexible copyright, musical innovation, the intertextual aesthetic of sampling, and cultural appropriation?

If so, here's Nate Harrison on the 'Amen Break,' a six second drum loop that serves as the foundation not only for many hip-hop tracks, but also entire genres of music.
  i have a strange urge to type in all caps

Guy From White Collar Comedy Tour: "Here's Your Signifier!"
[Uncontrollable sophisitcated laughter]

It's hard out here for a hipster trying to get this money for rare German psych LPs on eBay auctions ending soon

Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector Of Building Codes the Friendly Ghost and Friends

The Gospel Of Judas, According to Jesus
heroin tied to the tracks

Shit, I Thought I Had Another One of These, Possibily Another Drug Pun

Oh Yeah I Was Going To Post A Song, Quickly Describe It and Then Say Something Either Smart Or Insightful
The Harlem Shakes- Sickos
The Harlem Shakes are an emerging nyc garage rock band named after a hip-hop trend dance. Go to their website, where you can download all of the songs they have recorded (so far).
  i wish i was on a triumph

1-4am is usually the worst part of my day. I'm either studying or not sleeping. Gross.

Oh, and while you're busy jamming out to Animal Collective or re-reading any of the rave reviews for Feels, I suggest you check out (or reconsider) Black Dice. Seriously. How can the band that had the New York Times Single of the Year 2003 be so slept on?

black dice- motorcycle

I can't fucking believe I've only had three posts this month. Oh wait, yes I can, and yes I do.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
  sad thoughts out of the blue

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone- Bobby Malone Moves Home

He recorded his first album 1) on his answering machine 2) with his kiddie keyboard. Then he started using real live instruments. Hi-fi sound can kill lo-fi song-writers, but that's not the case here.

If this song doesn't make you real sad, may the Lord bless your heart.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
  i saw her on the cover of a magazine
If you're going to do the whole robot thing, make sure you're soulful. That whole essential paradox thing really makes it work.

pen to paper, fingers to keys, mind at work, never at ease.

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