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Sunday, January 28, 2007
2007 week 04, in review
11:59 PM
the toast!

he arrived thursday, and once he and heather exited the cab, we went to jimmy john's to grab some sandwiches. i guess there's no jimmy john's out in dc.

i had to head out to boca to play records, so i dropped them off at the golden lions for their karaoke with january fairy (as part of her birthday weekend). i played records and we cut early (business on the pizza nights have been slow). i made it back to the lions too late to sing, but we all hung out for a while more. i go some sweet pics (click here for the set):





friday i went to work as usual, but i escaped a bit early and grabbed the toast and heather for some more karaoke action, this a happy hour one at whiskey dick's. more pics as usual. (set)


we also saw this guy with a sweet looney toons jacket on.

sweet looney toons jacket

the happy hour karaoke was before some gritball show, and this guy was one of them.

when the gritball show was starting (featuring a band with a bass player that looked like the bastard child of david crosby and ron jeremy) we took off for january fairy's apartment for some dvd trivia.


it was pretty fun, but after a while, we realized they were using the same 20-30 movies over and over, and it got a bit old. of course, it was like 3am by this point, so we left to crash.

saturday was good, we hit shake it and then to amol for some indian food.


after that, off to baba budan's for Bang!, the techno dj night that used to be at cooper's. toast and heather didn't last long, but they were there for quite a while. i got mad pictures here (and at the afterparty at celeste's, where i spun until like 5am), but i haven't uploaded them yet.

sunday we caught a film, epic movie. it wasn't great, but it was worth it for crispin glover and fred willard's parts.

i think that's about everything. i'm sure toast will pipe in if i've forgotten anything.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007
the return of the toast
6:32 PM
at this moment, mcdeviltoast and heather are in the air somewhere between DC and cincinnati. though i'm busy tonight, they'll be at the golden lions lounge rocking the mic in some karaoke.

so, if you want to find them tonight, that's where they'll be.

the tentative schedule for the rest of the week:

friday - happy hour karaoke fantastic at whiskey dick's, then (maybe) a drum and bass night at some bar, the name of which i cant remember offhand.

saturday - 1000 arms at junker's, then to baba budan's for the dj night (Bang!), then an afterparty, where i'll be spinning.

sunday, dunno.

mcdeviltoast & heather may or may not be along for some or all of those things.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007
2007 week 02 & 03, in review
11:59 PM
my weekly review is already behind! boo!

recent events:

(a) my return to Boca for the first time in a couple weeks. things are all ironed out, and though i didn't get all the payment i'd hoped for, i do feel as though things are all cool now. i'm actually feeling quite comfortable there now. i need to bring in some newer radio stuff, but yeah, it's fun.

(b) the advent of Sean's new Karaoke Fantastic schedule. i attended the first monday and friday, which were last week. they're at whiskey dick's, and despite the terrible name, the room sounds great, and it was a good time. monday's are the new sundays, in my book.

oh yeah, i've heard now that there is DEFINITELY no more cooper's, due to some other stuff that i won't repeat here. so yeah, suck. Bang!, the biweekly techno/electro night will be moving to Baba Budan's, very near my house. the first installment there is this coming saturday. i may not catch all of it, but there's an afterparty, which i'm looking forward to attending, as the last afterparty happened when i was far too ill to stay or spin.

DSC_0097i caught a bonus dj night at mac's pizza by djdq and digitalkate. i took some photos too, but i've only uploaded the one you see here. they were spinning 80s, and invited me to have a go. i drove the few blocks home and returned with records, throwing on a few to finish out the last 45 minutes or so of the night.

i've been uploading loads of photos lately, too. i caught some good ones at the poison room for sean's last happy hour karaoke there. i also got a few from a night of adult beverages at the northside tavern, including a couple where i was taking a flashless, long exposure pic but another camera's flash went off. the results are odd. see here and here.

so yeah. mcdeviltoast is coming in for a visit (he moved to DC in august), so i need to make sure the apartment is presentably clean. i don't need to scour, just clear up the clutter a bit...

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a little music education
10:41 PM
looking for that kool moe dee video, i found a little segment on an mc battle that changed the way hip-hop mcs view battling and lyricism.

and while i'm at it, earlier this week i watched a couple documentaries by a guy named Nate Harrison. the first, "can i get an amen", is about the legendary "amen break", the 6 second sample from the winstons' "amen brother". the other is "bassline baseline", about the roland 303. both are on youtube, but the quality from his site is much better, so watch them through there.

and last, but not least, here's a bit about the state of music today:

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kool moe dee
10:03 PM
so, i was talking to my friend celeste today about kool moe dee and his feud with ll cool j, including the fact that there was a diss track on one of kool moe dee's albums where a good chunk of the lyrics were insults directed at ll that all started with the letter "l". she wanted to hear it, and so i dug it out. it was on his album "funke funke wisdom", and it's called "death blow":

kool moe dee "death blow"

a nice touch is that underneath this section, the dj (who's uncredited; maybe it's kool moe dee himself?) is scratching the "ll" quote from the beginning of "rock the bells".

i've been a fan of kool moe dee for quite a long time -- almost as long as i've been buying my own music. even though i think his albums are hit and miss, as an mc he's among the tops, in my opinion. who else could pull off a book rating the top 50 mc's with any credibility? for serious, he's great. in fact, check this out:

and yes, and one of the comments states, "crappy video for a great song".

incidentally, i'd almost bought that book so many times that celeste bought it for me today.


update: i also found this very cool interview with kool moe dee on arsenio's show. where are the kool moe dees of today?

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Sunday, January 07, 2007
2007 week 01, in review
11:59 PM
(i started this post sunday evening and then saved it as a draft. i'm just now getting around to finishing it!)

well, the first week of 2007 has gone by... without much going on. i rang in the new year at midnight last sunday, consuming loads of Grey Goose and singing at Cooper's, my favorite place to do karaoke.

i was actually supposed to be dj-ing at Boca, where i do the thursday night Boca Block Party. in fact, i bought a new mixer on saturday, based on the extra money i was going to be getting. (a vestax pmc-05 pro iii vca, the standard "good" mixer the hip-hop djs all seem to have.) i got a text from the maitre d' at about 6am sunday morning (12/31), saying they have too many dinner reservations for me to play. you see, when i play there, i have to wait for all the dinner patrons to leave before setting up, as it *is* primarily a fancy restaurant, and when a party of however many has spent 4 or 5 bills on a high class swanky time dinner, they don't want some dj ruining it. too many reservations means i won't set up before midnight, which is kind of the focus of new year's eve.

whatev. i figured i'd straighten that out later, and went to karaoke. marie and rob were there, karaoke buddies from other bars who were making their inaugural appearance at Cooper's. much singing all around, and much drinking on my part. i came back here in the wee hours of the new year, ate cereal, and played Bully until 5 or 6 am.

the rest of the week was fairly uneventful. hanging out and watching dvds, downloading tunes and trying to get ahold of Boca.

oh yeah, i almost forgot. thursday, i got home from work, and i was thinking about one of the texts the maitre d' had sent me. i'd already deleted it, but it made some vague reference to him having more time this week due to being off work. something about that really stuck with me, and on a whim, about an hour before i usually leave to go spin, i called Boca.

guess what... i got the machine. the oh-so-familiar voice of the maitre d', saying how the restaurant was closed for the first week of the new year, to reopen on tuesday, the 9th. dammit! why hadn't he mentioned it the previous week when i'd played? for that matter, i'd stopped in there on the way to karaoke sunday night, why hadn't he mentioned it then, when i said, "i can see you're busy, i'll just talk to you thursday." ugh.

on friday i meant to head to the comet and catch 1000 arms, but instead i got sidetracked drinking shots at baba budan's, the coffeeshop near my house. my friend sarah was celebrating her last shift ever there, so i stuck around. i don't see her too much since they moved her off of sundays a few months ago, and now to see her i'll have to actually make time instead of just stopping by when she's working.

on saturday i didn't have much going on, so i went down to the poison room to catch DV80's, the long-running 80s night that used to be at Alchemize until Nick Spencer ran it into the ground. there weren't a whole lot of people there, but i took some photos to pass the time. i saw a few of the breakdancers i remember from the hip-hop nights at top cats and got a few snaps of them too. the music was pretty much the same thing they've been playing forever, but i was enjoying it just fine.

brian asked me whether i knew about cooper's closing. WHAT?! he didn't know the details, and the couple people i called didn't either. i put out my feelers (mainly a myspace bulletin) and waited.

i played some more Bully with megan sunday evening. it was clear that Cooper's wasn't going to open, so instead of karaoke Gabe and i followed a tipoff that Salt n Pepa were at Clique, over in covington. i knew there was about a 1% or less chance that it was true, and i was right -- the place was dead and devoid of the "push it" stars. we came back here
and... yes, played more bully.

[update: i've heard various rumors, some very plausible, about Cooper's. some say it's done, others have hope. i'm just waiting to see.]

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Saturday, January 06, 2007
An Undiscovered Jewel
4:40 PM
At some point in late 1999 or early 2000, I am shopping at Record Exchange, and I notice a new cd by Godflesh, Us and Them. Immediately I think of the seminal Pink Floyd song, and quickly examine the track list. There is indeed a track of that title, in position two, behind another entitled "I, Me, Mine". And hey, this is weird -- another song with the title of a classic song, this one by the Beatles.

Perhaps it's a covers record, I think, but a cursory examination of the rest of the disc reveals no other familiar titles. This doesn't mean much, as I can definitely imagine Godflesh doing a disc of covers of songs I've never heard before, much like Metallica did years earlier with Garage Days Re-Revisited. I add the disc to my stack of purchases, eager to check it out.

When I get home, I take it out of the shrink-wrap and pop it in. "I, Me, Mine" starts up as I open the liner notes for more information. The simple foldout has, overlaid on a red swirl reminiscent of a David Lynch drapery, the lyrics in one large paragraph, punctuated by the bold-print song titles. By the time I skim through and realize this isn't what I thought it might be, it is also obvious from the music itself.

What I knew of Godflesh at that time came mainly from their 1994 effort Selfless, and what I heard of Us and Them so far is weird -- the mid-tempo chugging is replaced by up-tempo drum and bass beats. It's clearly the same band, but in a very different style. The second track though, the "Us and Them" that initially caught my eye, is back to form, with great heavy riffing and vocals drenched in delay (which is, incidentally, about the only thing tying this to the Floyd song).

Though I like it, I really rather hoped for covers, and so I stop the disc and put in the other stuff I bought. Somehow, I'm not sure how, I never really went back to it.

Fast-forward to today, as I grab a cd to put in while I take a shower. At this point, since I've been buying mainly vinyl for the past few years, when I look at my cds I feel a bit like the television show stereotype of a girl in front of her closet -- tons of clothes but nothing to wear. As such, I'm looking for stuff I haven't heard in a while. When my eyes pass over Us and Them, as they have countless times before, they stop.

Here I am, six or seven years later, but with a much broader taste in music, and boy, am I surprised -- this disc is amazing me. All thoughts of cover songs are gone, replaced by heavy, heavy riffs. The influence on other bands by Godflesh is apparent, but has also come full circle. The drum and bass and hip-hop elements here clearly are evidence of a band reflecting their own broad tastes. "Witchhunt", for example, has a drum riff based around a sample from Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance"! The rest of the disc follows suit, with the well-defined Godflesh sound, but leaning a bit away from the guitars and more toward the outside influences.

So, in review: Godflesh's Us and Them: great. Preconceived notions of how a disc might sound: stupid. Don't be like I was.


mp3s: Godflesh, "I, Me, Mine" and "Witchhunt"

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007
JME: another contender for top of 2006
2:29 PM
yep, i haven't finished my list yet, so i'm going through stuff. here's another track for youse guys.

JME: "A Little Insight", from Boy Better Know, Edition 3: Derkhead

Derkhead (along with edition 4, Tropical) is the latest release from grime badman JME, who, along with his brother Skepta (another great grime guy) runs the Boy Better Know label, current home for Wiley and his zillions of 2006 releases (he's at 4 or 5 releases for 2006, i think).

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interesting from 2006: lullaby renditions of tool
11:46 AM
so, not in my top ten overall, but definitely among the top ten interesting releases of 2006 was Lullaby Renditions of Tool, part of a series of such renditions. This was the one that interested me most, and it's not bad, really. I don't know about "lullaby", but then again, i don't know exactly what to call it. Weird, deifinitely. I can't deal with the album all at once (too samey-samey), but shuffled in among the rest of my library, it's not bad.

I think "Opiate" is the one that works best as a lullaby, but it's still too creepy to really use as a lullaby on an actual kid. Check it out:

Michael Armstrong: "Opiate"

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007
a couple tracks to pimp for folks' best of 2006 lists...
3:25 PM
yeah, by now most of you have already done your top-2006 list if you're going to do one. if not, please allow me some pimpin'.


Bugz in the Attic: "No More", from Bugz in the Attic. This record has it all: electronic / r&b / soul / humor / attitude... eat it up, yum. Hints of Parliament/Funkadelic as well, i think.


Hot Chip: "The Warning", the title track from their 2006 effort. This record will own you. You won't mind.

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