<i>Other Music from a...</i> Different Kitchen <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Joey, Dee Dee, Tommy, Johnny, C.J., Marky and... Diddy?  

An award well-deserved: The corner of Second and Bowery in the Lower East Side of Manhattan is set to officially become the most punk rock address on the planet tomorrow in a ceremony to honor the late Joey Ramone: "Joey Ramone Gets Street Cred." (Source:
Related reading:
The official Ramones website
Ramones World

And an award a little more questionable in merit: "Award placates 'P. Diddy'." (Source: Calgary Herald) Looks like it didn't take long for Puff to piss away all the media goodwill he'd generated from his recent NYC Marathon charity run.
Related reading:
The VH1 Big in '03 Awards (possibly the most pointless awards show created to date) airs tomorrow (November 30) at 9pm. Additional details here.

More ballin'-on-a-budget: the new BMW X3 is looking crazy nice. Of course in this case, "on a budget" is a very relative concept. This should give the Cadillac SRX and Volkswagen Touareg a run for their money though.

Finally, congrats to Ludacris making it to #1 on the Hot 100 pop singles chart: "'Stand Up' Ends 'Baby Boy' Reign." (Source: Billboard)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, November 28, 2003


"Rasta poet publicly rejects his OBE": The leading poet Benjamin Zephaniah has publicly rejected an OBE from the Queen in protest at British government policies, including the decision to go to war in Iraq. (Source: Guardian via Anousheh).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Musicians: how to (and how not to) age with dignity  

Fans of the Buzzcocks, punk-new wave legends and the group behind the album which inspired the name of this blog, will be happy to hear that they kick off a North American tour tonight in Chicago. The group is touring in support of its self-titled Merge Records album and new single, "Sick City Sometimes" in stores next Monday via Damaged Goods. (Source: Billboard) Old bands who reform and head back out on the cash-in/nostalgia circuit can often be terrible, but trust me on this, I saw them 5 years ago at Irving Plaza in New York with Pete Shelley fronting a semi-original line-up and they were fantastic. If you missed the Buzzcocks during their late seventies heyday, do yourself a favor and don't miss this 'cos it should be worth it.

"DJ Quik wanted by authorities: He's charged with assault and burglary.": What, the royalty checks from producing Jay-Z's "Justify My Thug" haven't arrived quick enough for Quik? (Source: EURweb)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

But where's the cranberry sauce? 

Why did my girlfriend, her mother and I bother preparing thanksgiving dinner all yesterday when we could have just drunk Turkey and Gravy Flavoured Jones Soda instead? Thanks airing dirty laundry for the heads up.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A Baghdad Thanksgiving and is DJ Vlad the new DJ Clue? 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. As a Brooklyn resident living on the border of the infamous Red Hook projects, here's one of many things I had to be thankful for: "The Killing Stops--Red Hook, once like a war zone, now homicide-free." (Source: Newsday)

Bush pulls off a daring PR move for Thanksgving but only ends up proving to me that how insecure Iraq really is with his top secret 2 hour visit to US troops in Baghdad yesterday: "Bush back from surprise Iraq trip" (Source: BBC News)
Related reading:
"Baghdad trip causes wonder" U.S. troops, Iraqis equally shocked. Wary citizens suspicious of trip. (Source: Toronto Star)
"Rice downplays security 'problem' in Iraq" (Source: Sify News)
"U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Hours After Bush Visit" (Source: Reuters)
"Attacks on G.I.'s in Mosul Rise as Good Will Fades" (Source: New York Times)
"U.S. Plan in Iraq to Shift Control Hits Major Snag" (Source: New York Times)
New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is visiting Iraq today, along with fellow Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island. (Source: via AP)

So what's the real story?: "Military Blames AP for Disputed Iraq 'Mutilation' Story" UPDATE: AP Says Officials Refused to Provide Details (Source: Editor & Publisher)

Wanna buy an officially authenticated moon rock? (Source: Lelands)

Now this is what I call being real lucky twice over: "Lottery winners saved by garbage strike" (Source:

Will the real Beautyshop please stand up: "BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE FILMMAKER -- Jeff Clanagan of Urban Works tells us why every beauty ain't a beauty." (Source: EURweb)

The reason why kids have no problem downloading? (Source:

Rookie California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrates how to be tough on crime: "Gov. Paroles Second Killer" (Source: LA Times)

More hotness for your stereo:

- DJ Vlad Vlad The Butcher: the man behind Rap Phenomenon I and II is back with more exclusves and remixes from Biggie, Tupac, 50 Cent, G-Unit, Dr. Dre, Diplomats and my favorite new MC The Game. Trust me, if you're into tapes by cats like Green Lantern and DJ Whoo Kid, you need this in your life.

- Cee-Lo feat. Timbaland "I'll Be Around": his last album Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections was fantastic but probably went over most people's heads. This midtempo Timbaland banger should do better.

- Mya "Fallen" wasn't really feeling the first single "My Love is Like... Whoa" from her latest album Moodring, which I haven't heard yet, but this second single flips an old Pharcyde/Jaydee beat to huge effect.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Random thoughts and rants before the Thanksgiving break 

I'm hating it: what's up with that unbelievably annoying new jingle "I'm Loving It" in the current McDonalds ad campaign? There's seemingly a million different versions of it and none of them are any good. Apparently they're all based on a new collabo by Justin Timberlake-Neptunes by the same title that's actually not bad.

Surprisingly this film is actually really good as well for a summer movie sequel. Vin Diesel might be the stupidest actor in Hollywood (and that's gotta be pretty stupid) for passing up on being in it as well as the XXX sequel to do masterpieces like A Man Apart. Actually, I never saw that last one so I can't dis it too hard although its limp BO showing suggests I didn't miss much.

Damn, my mailing from Def Jam arrived cracked yesterday. Of course it had to be the new Tony Starks/Jadakiss jumpoff "Run" that was damaged. It couldn't have been the package with new Memph Bleek single which arrived safely intact the same day. Bleek seems like good peoples but he's dropped about three singles in a row that have flopped and they've pushed his album back more times than I can remember cos none of them have popped off yet. If he doesn't pick it up soon his M.A.D.E. album will arrive on its currently scheduled 12/16 release date D.O.A. That new kid Comp featured on "Run" sounds eerily like an early Notorious BIG though, much more so than Shyne ever did.

How hot is that bootleg remix of "Rain On Me" by Black Moon currently getting banged on Hot 97? Not to go on a nostalgia trip but it takes me back to 93-94 when Duck Down was the Roc-a-fella of the era running hip hop in NYC with tracks like "I Gotcha Open" and "Who Got the Props?"

Speaking of Hot 97, why has this company been advertising now on the station for at least the last month yet their website (beyond the splash page) is still under construction? WTF? I'm no MBA but I think I can see the main roadblock to future profitability for them.

More hot music:
UNKLE "In A State" (DFA Remix)
Missy Elliott feat. Jay-Z "Wake Up" from her new This is Not A Test album. Haven't heard it (or the new Timbaland & Magoo album Under Construction II) yet.

Finally, a happy Thanksgiving to everyone, but for all you hosts scrambling last-minute to get ready for the big meal, here's a little 411 on turkeys :

"Turkey Derby--Which bird is the best?" Butterball or Organic? The battle is on. (Source: Slate/MSN)

"About A Turkey" (Source: New York Times)

And here's some stuff to do over the weekend:

Studio Distribution & Adidas
Original Selectors - Thanksgiving Weekend Special
Nov 29, 2003

at Adidas Originals:
136 Wooster St (btw W. Houston & Prince St.)

Peter Hook of New Order
Hybrid- Distinctive Records
Peter Anthony- Ol Skool Bastids
The Roughstars- Homestyle Cookin
Trouble Punks- PCM
Lamajj- the Fader
James Friedman- Refuse! 1515

Click here for more details

Also, airing Thanksgiving Day on CNBC at 10 am EST/7 am PST and 6 pm EST/3 pm PST: The Edge with Carlos Watson. Carlos will be interviewing Florida governor Jeb Bush, comedienne Jenna Elfman, fashion designer Vera Wang and the first-ever in-depth joint interview with Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

And before I forget, thanks to Nick at for the love on his blog the other day. Now that's a hot-ass site covering hip hop, sneakers and other cool elements of pop-culture ephemera.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Media news, get your media news  

"Here Comes the Ax": Edgar Bronfman Jr. and the group that helped him acquire Warner Music are getting out the ax, looking to make deep cost cuts - possibly by as much as $200 million to $300 million by merging smaller Warner's smaller label, Elektra, into Atlantic Records. It's not looking good for Elektra prexy Sylvia Rhone if this rumor's true. (Source: New York Post)

Sorry to see it go down like this but I was surprised that they went as long as they did, frankly: "AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAGAZINE PUBLISHER FOLDS--Vanguarde's 'Savoy,' 'Heart & Soul,' and 'Honey' Close; 70 Staffers Affected." Wonder what Keith Clinkscale's next move will be? (Source: AdAge)

A little too real? "Woman Says She Was Drugged, Raped at San Diego House for MTV's 'Real World'" (Source: Los Angeles Times)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The price of free speech and a free press is how much? 

Q: Mr. President, if I could ask you, with thousands marching on the streets today here in London, a free nation, what is your conclusion as to why apparently so many free citizens fear you and even hate you?

MR. BUSH: I'd say freedom is beautiful. It's a fantastic thing to come to a country where people are able to express their views.

Excerpts from a November 20th news conference in London by Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and President Bush (Source: New York Times as recorded by the Federal News Service Inc.)
"F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies" (Source: New York Times)

"The Poignant Press": As long as there's bad news in Iraq, we can count on this White House to remind us there's good news, too, and to regret -- bitterly, bitterly -- that it just ain't gettin' out. (Source: National Journal)

Learning from their occupiers? "Iraq's Governing Council Cracking Down on Media." (Source: GOPUSA)

Another nuanced and articulate Op-ed by conservative commentator Fareed Zakaria with thoughful commentary by Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew on where Bush needs to go next in Iraq in "We Need to Get The Queen Bees." (Source: Newsweek)

"Show Me the Money--Patriot Act helps the Feds in cases with no tie to terror." The Patriot Act: making the homeland safe from money-laundering strip club operators nationwide. (Source: Newsweek)

"U.S. takes hard line on Greenpeace--Bush critics say use of obscure law smacks of retribution." (Source : MSNBC)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bobbing for Apple 

Apple's been getting it from all corners in the last couple of days. First their itunes site get hacked according to this article: "DVD Jon Breaks ITunes Security" (Source: PC World). Then a couple renegade web-based movie-makers try to defame their popular ipod player with the movie Ipod's Dirty Secret (Apple Quicktime plug-in required). Maybe the Neistat Brothers should have checked this site (and their spell check) before going public with their film.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, November 24, 2003

When will it all end? More on the Iraq/Afghanistan situation. 

When and where will it all end? Things look like they are quickly destabilizing in the Middle East. As the sitaution spirals out of control, we seem to be passing the point where events can be used solely as ammunition to take potshots at the Bush administration with (pardon the pun). A look at the past week's events paints a frightening picture of a rapidly-increasing number of terrorist actions committed by Al-Qaeda (and related sympathetic groups) targeting both western interests and the muslims working with them:

"Istanbul Rocked by Car Bombs": At Least 20 Killed, 303 Wounded in Explosions Outside 2 Synagogues. (Source: Washington Post)

"Twin Truck Bombings in Turkey Kill 27": Suspected al-Qaida suicide bombers blew up trucks packed with explosives at the British consulate and a London-based bank Thursday, killing at least 27 people and wounding nearly 450. The blasts, just minutes apart, were the worst terrorist bombings in this Muslim nation's history, and marked the second attacks in Turkey to be blamed on al-Qaida this week. (Source: Guardian UK)

"Ministry, Hotels in Baghdad Attacked--Rockets Were Fired From Donkey Carts": Insurgents fired at least a dozen rockets from donkey carts at Iraq's Oil Ministry and two large hotels here Friday in a symbolic strike on two well-fortified targets just after a top U.S. commander proclaimed progress in the military's aggressive new counterinsurgency operation. (Source: Washington Post)

"Suicide Attacks Target Iraqi Police": A pair of suicide car bombers attacked police stations in two towns northeast of Baghdad on Saturday, killing 11 policemen and five civilians in an escalating campaign against Iraqis cooperating with the U.S.-led occupation. (Source: Washington Post)

"Rocket explodes outside major Kabul hotel--No casualties reported" The attack has raised concerns about security in Kabul, where rocket and mortar attacks have been fairly rare since the fall of the Taliban regime two years ago, ahead of next month's loya jirga, or grand council, where the new constitution is to be ratified(Source: Toronto Star and MSNBC)

"Plane hit by missile over Iraq" (Source: Reuters UK)

"Attack in N. Iraq Kills 2 Americans--Crowds Reportedly Mutilate Soldiers' Bodies" (Source: Washington Post)

"Five U.S. Soldiers Killed in Copter Crash Near Kabul" (Source: Washington Post)

"Violence Shadows Kandahar's Revival -- Afghan Extremists Force Out Aid Workers": Despite nightly broadcasts urging citizens to run in the December constitutional assembly election, officials said that far fewer people than expected had registered as candidates. They were simply too afraid. "People have been threatened by the Taliban and al Qaeda," said an official at the election office. "We put announcements on the radio, but people are just not ready to come." (Source: Washington Post)

"Al Qaeda's terror style spreading--Analysts see a form of franchising at work around globe": Leaders of the al Qaeda terrorist network have franchised their organization's brand of synchronized, devastating violence to homegrown terrorist groups across the world, posing a formidable new challenge to counterterrorism forces, according to intelligence analysts and experts in the United States, Europe and the Arab world. (Source: Washington Post)

In light of this series of events, the following response by the US seems to almost miss the point:

"'Shock and awe' reprised as U.S. tries to regain upper hand--Counterinsurgency campaign replaces search-seize raids": In a reprise of last spring's "shock and awe" strategy, nighttime explosions rock Baghdad and surrounding cities that have been hotbeds of a determined underground Iraqi resistance. It's part of a strategy to regain the initiative in Iraq. (Source: National Post)

"U.S. Military Returns to War Tactics--Resumed Use of Heavy Munitions Part of Intensified Counterinsurgency": The U.S. military is using 2,000-pound bombs and precision-guided missiles in Iraq for the first time since April as part of a tactical shift designed in part to intimidate resistance fighters. (Source: Washington Post)

It seems obvious that the pre-emptive and uniliateral "Shock N Awe" invasion of Iraq
served as a catalyst for increasing, not reducing, terrorist activity in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. More of the same hardly seems like the right solution moving forward.

At least it seems as though some in the Bush administration understand the reality of what lays ahead without feeling the need to serve up more empty rhetoric and bravado:

"Iraq War Will Be Long and Costly, Admits Rumsfeld" (Source: Voice of America)

"Pentagon Considers Creating Postwar Peacekeeping Forces": The Pentagon has begun to look seriously at creating military forces that would be dedicated to peacekeeping and reconstruction after future conflicts. The move marks a reversal for the Bush administration, which came into office strongly resistant to peacekeeping missions and intent on trying to get Europeans and other allies to shoulder more of that burden. (Source: Washington Post)

You also no longer hear the administration make pronouncements regarding Iraq of a quick success and early exit by US occupying forces:

"Army Is Planning for 100,000 G.I.'s in Iraq Till 2006": Army planning for Iraq currently assumes keeping about 100,000 United States troops there through early 2006, a senior Army officer said Friday. The plans reflect the concerns of some Army officials that stabilizing Iraq could be more difficult than originally planned. (Source: New York Times)

Although Bush himself, or at least parties acting on his behalf, continues to politicize the Iraq/Afghani war issue rather than level with the US public about mismanaging foreign policy in this area if this video (Real One Player plug-in required), sponsored by the RNC and scheduled to start airing this past weekend, is any example.
Related reading: "Democrats Demand Bush Pull TV Ad Attacking Critics of Iraq Policy" (Source: Washington Post)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

More Michael Jackson, Eminem and 50 vs. Ja: does anyone still care? 

Ethan Brown explores the well-publicized beef between Ja Rule and 50 Cent a good 6 months after everyone in hip hop has stopped caring about it in any meaningful way in "Got Beef?": "The hip-hop world is at war. Vicious rhymes are flying between 50 Cent and Ja Rule, both products of the mean streets of southeast Queens. Bullets are flying, too—50 was famously shot nine times—though no one can prove who’s shooting. All this violence has helped to sell records. But when is the price too high?" (Source: New York Magazine)

Michael Jackson defends himself against child molestation charges through a new website called the Michael Jackson Official Press Room.

Regarding the Eminem vs. The Source controversy, here's another perspective offered by SOHH's Rich Rock in "Eminem: Elvis Or Larry Bird?" (Source: SOHH)

Meanwhile, Time Warner sell their music division to Edgar Bronfman and partners for $2.6B. (Source: Hits Daily Double)

And finally, better late than never: Tony Thompson (famed Chic drummer), RIP. (Source: Tony Thompson Fund)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Who's on The Edge with Carlos Watson this week? 

Check out the newest episode of my good friend's TV magazine news show The Edge with Carlos Watson, airing Thanksgiving Day on CNBC --10 am EST/7 am PST and 6 pm EST/3 pm PST. Carlos will be interviewing Florida governor Jeb Bush, comedienne Jenna Elfman, fashion designer Vera Wang and the first-ever in-depth joint interview with the two of the greatest baseball players of all time, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of JFK Jr's assassination but what if Kennedy had lived? A speculative alternative historical timeline by Nigel Hamilton, author of JFK: Reckless Youth (NB: Click on the timline graphic in the link to reveal the enlarge text button if unreadable.). (Source: New York Times via Daily Kos)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, November 21, 2003

Stuff to do if you're bored tonight and the fall of an icon? 

Say it ain't so, Mike: "[Michael] Jackson Arrested on Child Molestation Charges -- Pop Superstar Arrives at Santa Barbara Jail in Handcuffs." (Source: Washington Post)
Related reading:
Michael Jackson's 11/20/03 mugshot (Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department)
"Why Is The DA In The Michael Jackson Case Smiling?" (Source: MTV News)

You know the music business is in bad shape when people are actually fighting over the right to buy the long success-free Warner Music Group (Source: Hits Daily Double)


Tonight on UPN at 8pm: the first annual Vibe Awards hosted by Queen Latifah. Not sure why we need this when we just had the Source Awards but anything that gets urban artists more TV exposure is a good thing, I guess. The awards were taped last night and word is that Joe Budden won the New Artist award, no argument here and congrats to Joe. I won't play spoiler by including any more results here in case you're planning on tuning in tonight.

Still bored?
Renegade Entertainment Presents

Sara Devine

performing live
Tonight: Friday Nov. 21st.
at SOB's
204 Varick St. @ W. Houston

with Selan
plus Special Guest DJ

Doors Open 6:30, showtime 8:00

18 & over

Also at SOB's this Sunday: 90's hip hop legends Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Details here.

Why? "SCARFACE REVISITED: USA takes crack at a remake": USA Network confirmed that it's planning a small-screen miniseries based on director Brian De Palma's knockout 1983 gangster flick Scarface, starring Al Pacino. (Source: EURWeb)

Blogging about blogs, part II: Rob Young examines the shift in music journalism from magazines to blogs in "Like falling off a blog" (Source: The Guardian)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Source vs. Eminem: hear the track and judge for yourself and CBS is at it again 

Eminem "Foolish Pride": foolish youthful folly or evidence that Em's a racist like The Source magazine claims? Judge for yourself by clicking here (Source: Soundclick) although the link may be down by time you read this. I'm not sure either way but do know that if someone had played me this track back in '93 when it was recorded, there's no way I would have predicted this kid would go on to become one of the top MC's in the game and, possibly, the biggest artist on the planet.
Related reading:
"Unguarded Lyrics Embarrass Eminem" (Source: New York Times)
"Magazine: Eminem's Low Note--Plays '93 recording of rapper disparaging black women" (Source: New York Newsday)
Eminem makes the cover of the Christmas issue of The Source magazine (Source: Hip Hop Game)
Double standard?: White MC the Bawston Strangla, a former affiliate of Source co-owner Benzino, used the term "Ni--az" in his track "Shamrocks & Glocks" at the behest of Benzino. (Source: IUMA via SOHH and )

And one more time:

Tonight (November 20) the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an award-winning non-profit, volunteer tutoring program in New York City offering young people individual tutoring in reading, writing, math, science, computers/technology etc., is having a fundraiser to celebrate the launch of their Junior Board. Details as follow:

Date: Thursday November 20th
Time: 9:00 pm - 1:00 am
Place: Sage (331 Park Ave S. at 24th Street)
Cost: $20 in advance / $25 at the door
Drink Specials, DJ spinning Hip-Hop/Rock/'80s
Click here to purchase online via Ticketweb.

Feel free to forward this info to friends and email board co-chair Don Cornwell with any questions.

The MTV MC Battle is back again airing live this Saturday (November 22) at 2:00 p.m. What happened to that kid Reignman who won last year's battle, wasn't he supposed to be signed to Def Jam as part of his victory prize?
Related reading:
"Reignman Crowned Champion Of MTV/Def Jam MC Battle" (Source: VH1)
"Diddy & Da Band Dissed By Former Contestant, Reignman" (Source: SOHH)

FTC Responds to Formal Complaint of Deceptive Advertising" (Source: Advertising Age)

And finally, who didn't see this one coming?: "There They Go Again: CBS Pulls Another 'Reagan,' Pulls The Gloved One" (Source: MediaPost)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Lebron's Air Force One's revealed, DFA does hip hop and Freddy Adu makes a career-killing mistake at 14? 

Here's some of the first shots of Nike's brand new Lebron James Air Force One's in the Cleveland Cavs' colors with the Lebron logo stitched in the heel. They're scheduled to drop for thanksgiving. Sneaker freaks, how can you not cop these? This is extra-buttery hotness.
Side view: here
Heel view: here. (Source : Hip Hop Game)

The DFA crew is producing hip hop now? (Source: Automato's first 12" "Walk into the Light," released by Dim Mak Records, is produced by James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy of DFA and described as sounding "somewhere between Cannibal Ox, Andre 3000, Jay Z, and Ghostface [Killah], while the beats recall a mid-nineties Pete Rock remix of Talking Heads covering Kraftwerk". Agree? Check it out for yourself here. To my ears, not quite the paradigm shift in hip hop music I would have expected given what these cats did for house music with The Rapture, but not embarassing either.

Soccer phenom Freddy Adu, widely considered one of the best young players in the world, signs to DC United in the US MLS league instead of going to Europe where he was courted by powerhouse teams like Manchester United. This is both good and bad news for US's future in soccer: good because him playing in the MLS could help attract new fans to the sport here but bad in that this kid needs to be playing with the best-of-the-best to develop into the kind of player who can help US become real contenders for soccer's biggest crown. (Source: Sports Illustrated/CNN)
Related reading:
- "Freddy Adu, 14-Year Old Soccer Phenom, Signs Multi-Year Deal with MLS" (Source: DCUnited website)
- "Freddy Adu: A Strong Kick for American Soccer" (Source: Newsweek)

Finalists in the search for a memorial for the WTC site were unveiled today. Have to say that they are a lot better in quality than were the finalists for the building competition. See them here (Source: LMDC website) and vote for your pick here (Source: Newsweek)

And for those who read this kind of thing, here's your horoscope for today.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Source vs. Eminem continues, Diddy's Valet Cashes In and will music CD's become shorter? 

More on the Eminem/Source controversy following yesterday's press conference: "The Source Digs Up Tape Of Eminem Using Racial Slurs" (Source: MTV News)

Would you buy an umbrella from this man?: "Diddy's Valet Cashes In: P. Diddy's ever-present umbrella holder, Farnsworth Bentley (which is apparently short for Derek), has built an exceedingly successful career around playing Jeeves to Diddy's Wooster. And now he's launching his own designer-umbrella line, which will include one painted by Sean Lennon an unholy alliance, to be sure. The umbrellas are to be displayed at Incubator as part of an exhibit curated by Bentley's 17-year-old friend Vito Schnabel, son of Julian, a St. Ann's student. Bentley clearly understands the importance of building a strong brand: With P. Diddy, you think of diamonds; with KISS, you think of face makeup; and for me, it's the umbrella, he says. Bentley, who also designs suits, idolizes another designer who acquired a Waspier name: Ralph Lauren started with the scarf tie they were wider and more beautiful. The umbrella will be my scarf tie." (Source: New York Magazine)

Record companies finally start to get it? I've always said that artists should cut down on the filler tracks and make their albums shorter and, thus, a more manageable (and enjoyable) listening experience: "Fewer Songs May Improve Labels' Track Record--Executives are prodding acts for shorter albums to boost value of music in fans' minds. Effect on prices, royalties unclear." (Source: Los Angeles Times)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

A Trade War We Don't Need, The Source drops some bombs, Mos Def big dogs it and new releases to buy 

Respected economist Robert J. Samuelson on Bush's steel tariff trade policy: "If Bush decides to keep steel tariffs, the tough stance could backfire. It won't help the economy, and may actually hurt his re-election prospects." Full article "A Trade War We Don't Need" here (Source: Newsweek).

Conservative columnist Fareed Zakaria on speeding up the transfer of power back to the Iraqis: "If the U.S. footprint is reduced, guerrillas will not stop fighting. They will probably step up their attacks on the Iraqi Army and politicians." Full article "Iraqification--A Losing Strategy" here (Source: Newsweek).

Is Eminem a closet racist? Source magazine owners Dave Mays and Ray Benzino, who have a long-running feud with Em, will claim so in a press conference scheduled for this afternoon according to a report in the EURweb.
Related story: "The Source Magazine To Expose Hot97 Payola" (Source: SOHH)

In a slight diversion from the moratorium i declared on Jay-Z news last week, what happened to the two rumored bonus cuts by Dr. Dre and Mel-Man that were supposed to be on The Black Album because they're not on my version of the CD and no, I didn't cop a bootleg version.
Related story: A Wake Up Show Jay-Z fan expresses his disatisfaction with Hov's new album here (Source:

What's with Mos Def all of a sudden big-doggin' it with a lead role in Alicia Keys new video and a cameo in the "Change Clothes and Go" video as well?

Preview Missy Elliott's new album here (Source: BBC Radio One).

And finally, in stores today:

Biz Markie Weekend Warrior: old school hip hop jokester MC turned DJ-to-the-stars takes one more ride as an artist for a surprisingly listenable album recalling the feel-good party hip hop of the late 80's.

Timbaland & Magoo Under Construction, Pt. II: Can Tim's superlative beat-craft and production make up for his and Magoo's oft-times attrocious lyricism?
Related reading: "THOUGHTS ON T1M AND MAG00'S "UND3R C0NSTRUCTI0N II" (Source: S/FJ)

Chingy Jackpot [Bonus DVD edition]: one of rap's youngest-in-charge from this year's class returns with a new tricked-out version of the debut album he released months ago thereby thumbing his nose at early fans who now have to pay twice for the same record if they want the bonus materials while rewarding those who weren't covinced enough to buy it up until now even after hearing "Right Thurr" a million times this past summer and fall.

Immortal Technique Revolutionary, Vol. 2: this cat is starting to make some noise in the hip hop underground.

Domingo Para Mi Gente: Estamos Unidos: reissue of an album by longtime KRS-One production collaborator.

Britney Spears In the Zone: everyone else is pumping it up so why shouldn't I succumb and jump on the bandwagon too? Seriously though, I can't front on that Rishi Rich remix of her single "Me Against the Music." It's almost reaches blazing-status but ultimately falls short of the standard set by Punjabi MC's urban/east asian home-run smash "Beware of the Boys (Jay-Z Remix )." Damn, that's another Jay-Z mention, I can't escape this dude.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, November 17, 2003

An old movie weekend and sleeping on T.I.? 

This is my new favorite music video: "Be Easy" by T.I. The first single "24's" from his Trap Muzik album was a monster to me too but it kind of got lost in the southern hurricane that was Lil Jon and his crunk production style that dominated the clubs this year. Am I sleeping on this cat? I don't want to spend money on his album and be disappointed.

Just watched this movie this weekend to see if it was really as bad everyone claimed. It was. Here's the best press pull-quote they could come up with to promote the movie:
"...great scene transitions and some of the better special effects of the year...the film was fast, furious and just a good ol' time at theaters." --Joblo's Movie Emporium
Wow, who the hell is Joblo? He sounds like a movie critic made up by Waner Bros. because they couldn't find anyone to give this dog a good review but he actually does exist.

Also watched this one which was kind of like The Fast and the Furious but on two wheels. They must have had almost every major black actor of note (who doesn't rap) in this film but it still couldn't make those pedestrian-shot drag races scenes look any more exciting.

Drugstore Cowboy was probably the best of the three movies I caught over the weekend but it wasn't quite as good as I thought it was going to be especially with Gus Van Sant behind the cameras and the great word of mouth I'd heard about it over the years. There's a great cameo by William S. Burroughs and Matt Dillon is still a highly-underrated actor though.

Great article ("Building a Web Media Empire on a Daily Dose of Fresh Links") on the William Randolph Heart of the blog media world, Nick Denton, here. (Source: New York Times)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Iraq & Bush: the last week (or so) 

First, let's recap:

"President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended " (Source: Official White House website).
Now, fast forward to the past week and the news that:
"U.S. Intensifies Strikes at Guerrillas in Iraq":
Operation Iron Hammer, the name of the campaign in its second day Thursday, marked another change in U.S. tactics to put down resistance in central Iraq.
"This is the same force that came out of Kuwait and won the war...," said Lt. Col. George Krivo, a spokesman for occupation forces.
One military official said the aim of Operation Iron Hammer was not so much battlefield advantage as creating a perception that the United States has taken the initiative. Managing perceptions is considered critical among top commanders, the official said.
Some American observers here are skeptical [though]. "I don't know that this will impress anyone very much," said a senior civilian official in the Coalition Provisional Authority. "Maybe it will be good for the troops' morale." (Source: Washington Post)

"CIA report: Iraqis losing faith in U.S.":
Lack of confidence in coalition may be helping resistance. (Source: MSNBC)

"Bomb at Italian Base in Iraq Kills at Least 26":
18 Italians Among Dead (Source: Washington Post)

"Iraq Policy in Crisis":
The abrupt recall of America's top administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer III, for two days of urgent White House consultations signals a new level of alarm among American policy makers. (Source: New York Times)

"CIA: No evidence of WMD transfer":
Agency has no proof that Saddam gave weapons to terrorists (Source: Washington Post)

"At Least 17 Dead as 2 U.S. Copters Collide Over Iraq":
American officials said the collision occurred when one of the helicopters came under hostile fire from the ground and swerved upward to avoid it, driving its rotor into the second helicopter. (Source: New York Times)

"America's Gamble: A Quick Exit Plan for Iraq":
The announcement of a firm date to create an interim Iraqi government and end the formal American occupation - though not the American military presence - promises the Iraqis the sovereignty they have clamored for, and offers President Bush the political symbol he needed: the beginnings of an exit strategy that he can explain to American voters.
But the price of a speedy transfer of power, Mr. Bush's own top aides worry, may be a rapid loss of control - control over the drafting of a constitution, and over the effort to make democracy flower in a land where it had never been cultivated.
"It's a gamble, a huge gamble," one of the most senior architects of Mr. Bush's campaign to oust Saddam Hussein conceded this week, after two days of meetings with L. Paul Bremer III, the head of the American-led occupation authority. "But it's easy to overestimate the degree of control we have over events now," the official said, "and to underestimate how much we will retain." (Source: New York Times)

"U.N. Officials Are Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop":
The Bush administration's decision this week to speed up the transfer of power to the Iraqis won evenhanded, public praise from Secretary General Kofi Annan, who had long championed a quicker restoration of Iraqi sovereignty.
But officials and diplomats here, while welcoming the policy change, warned privately against a rapid reduction of American military forces and said they feared that the United States would dump Iraq into the hands of the United Nations. (Source: New York Times)

"Hussein, on Tape Sent to Arab TV, Said to Urge War":
An Arab television station broadcast a new audiotape on Sunday that it said had been made by Saddam Hussein in which the speaker mixed invective against Israel, calls for holy war and curses on American and other foreign occupation troops in Iraq. (Source: New York Times)

"Plan for Guerrilla Action May Have Predated War":
American intelligence agencies have found increasing evidence that the broad outlines of the guerrilla campaign being waged against American forces in Iraq were laid down before the war by the Iraqi Intelligence Service, government officials said Friday. (Source: New York Times)

"Iraq Goes Sour":
A great editorial summing up all the mismanagment gaffes by the Bush administration of the situation in Iraq. (Source: New York Times)
Maybe, Bush's war-prep team should have consulted Toby Dodge before they started this ill-conceived war. Read a short interveiw with Dodge, whose new book "Inventing Iraq" argues that the United States is repeating many of the mistakes that Britain made in the 1920s when it tried to build a democratic state in Iraq, here. ("The Same Mistakes?" Source: Newsweek) Learn more about Dodge's book "Inventing Iraq" here.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were 

Music nerds, stand up because this website ("The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were") is for you:
Conceived by music archivist Michael Ochs and graphic designer Craig Butler, this project takes album cover art to a whole new level. One hundred established graphic and fine artists were approached to create the definitive album cover of their favorite recording artist.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK is at it again with their latest best-of list "The world's 40 best directors." What, no Farrelly Brothers or (more seriously) Sam Mendes or Spike Lee? Let the debate begin.
Related reading: "The 40 greatest British bands today" and "The 40 greatest US bands today" (Source: Guardian UK)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Do good and how to avoid being a victim of "Playlistism" 

Is Halloween the new Thanksgiving because the Christmas advertising blitz has been going heavy since at least that date? What happened to waiting until the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to start the bombardment?

Wanna do good (and, in some cases, get a tax deduction before the end of the year)? Here's some options:

1. A reminder that the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an award-winning non-profit, volunteer tutoring program in New York City offering over 500 young people individual tutoring in reading, writing, math, science, computers/technology etc., is having a fundraiser this Thurday (November 20) to celebrate the launch of their Junior Board. Details as follow:

Date: Thursday November 20th
Time: 9:00 pm - 1:00 am
Place: Sage (331 Park Ave S. at 24th Street)
Cost: $20 in advance / $25 at the door
Drink Specials, DJ spinning Hip-Hop/Rock/'80s
Click here to purchase online via Ticketweb.

Feel free to forward to friends. Email board co-chair Don Cornwell with any questions.

2. Make the long-proposed memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a reality by logging onto the National Memorial Project Foundation site here. (Shortcut to the "make a contribution" link here). Help build the dream.

3. Finally, support a new organization called Declare Yourself. Anything that gets young voters out to the polls (especially for next year's Presidential election which is Declare Yourself's focus) and more aware about political issues affecting them and their community is something worth supporting. Related reading: "TV Producer Starts Campaign to Register Young Voters for '04" (Source: New York Times)

Don't become a victim of playlistism, the newest form of social bigotry and discrimination: "ITunes Undermines Social Security" (Source: Wired News). Avoid revealing your embarassing or appalling taste in music by referring to sites like Turntablelab, Rough Trade Records,, DustyGrooves (see links at left in the "Check these sites out" section) or also Pitchfork Media and BurnitBlue for a guide to good new music in a variety of genres worth downloading that'll save you getting clowned by your fellow itune network members. Related reading: "Adventures in Higher Education iPod Envy" (Source: The Wesleyan Argus)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Where to get great Thai food in Brooklyn and "Welcome to the Hood"?!  

Am I getting too old or is this not a good thing even with the anti-gun messages, the "Forbidden" sign through the image and the wish-for-peace-in-the-hood homily? (Source: ARMEclothing website)

I know I'm way late on this but I finally caved in and bought a set of these today. Hey DJ-ing is hard work, I don't want to look sweaty while I do my thing! (Source: TheMarley BTW, catch me tonight at Joya spinning the cool-out grooves to go with the great Thai food you'll be eating if you come through. From 8pm on. (Source: Citysearch)

Here's a good place for brunch if you're ever in the LES in NYC. Thanks to Clare for treating this morning. (Source: Citysearch)

New hot mixtape jumpoff's:
- DJ Clue Where Ya Hood At?? Vol. 4

- Eddie Black The Incredible: this kid, out of DC, is gonna be a problem. Stylistically, he's in the meeting ground between Chingy, Mystikal and Ludacris. (Email Game Official for details on how to order this tape.)
More ballin'-on-a-budget tips: Adidas is doing some nice throwbacks in their new line for slightly better prices than Stall & Dean and Mitchell & Ness especially on the football jerseys. (Source: East Bay)

Finally peep this new video from the Chemical Brothers for their latest single "Get Yourself High" featuring K-os, my man from Canada, it's fantastic (Requires Real Player plug-in).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, November 14, 2003

More stuff to do in NYC this week 

TONIGHT (November 14)

The Legendary Chris Washington
(217 Bowery & Rivington)


GUEST LIST - $5 for ladies, $10 for guys b4 11, $10 and $15 after (the list closes when the spot gets packed, so get there early)
DJ JoZeN on the decks upstairs 10-4 spinning music that you wanna hear
dress code is trendy, chic, no holes in your shirts near the arm pits, jeans and sneakers are ice cold!!!! just make it funky!

MUST RSVP to Jozen or Chris Washington

November 15

Looking for somewhere to eat/meet tomorrow evening (11/15)?

DJ I-Queue (BTW, that's me) spinning a blend of downtempo and club beats


215 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201-6544
Phone: (718) 222-3484

8pm-12 midnight

Joya is a great AND cheap Thai restaurant in Boerum Hill (nr. Brooklyn Heights). Click here for addtional restaurant details.

November 20

Celebrate the launch of the East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) Junior Board.
Date: Thursday November 20th
Time: 9:00 pm - 1:00 am
Place: Sage (331 Park Ave S. at 24th Street)
Cost: $20 in advance / $25 at the door
Drink Specials, DJ spinning Hip-Hop/Rock/'80s
The East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) is an award-winning non-profit organization which offers over 500 young people individual tutoring in reading, writing, math, science, computers/technology and much more. The EHTP's Junior Board's objective is to raise the awareness of young New Yorkers about EHTP and to increase contributions to the organization.
Click here to purchase online via Ticketweb

Feel free to forward to friends. Email board co-chair Don Cornwell with any questions.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Black Friday is here (& so is A Bathing Ape) and the hip hop don't stop. 

In stores tomorrow: Jay-Z The Black Album. Not quite classic-status like The Blueprint or Reasonable Doubt but this is a quality album overall nonetheless. For you luddites who miss hip hop that sounds like early (Rick Rubin-produced) Run DMC, LL Cool J or Licensed to Ill, you need to peep Rick's work on "99 Questions" because this is some classic sh!t. Rick needs to get back into the hip hop game more frequently 'cos son still got it and the game needs him.

If you can believe this, word is that, after producing all those classic mid-80's Def Jam albums and dropping out of the hip hop scene completely, Rubin missed hearing albums by BDP and Eric B & Rakim and (I think) Dr. Dre until spoken-word artist Saul Williams, whose album he produced last year, played them for him.

Also available soon: "Reebok and Jay-Z Debut the "S. Carter by RBK" Black Shoe." Check out the S.Carter Black Shoe here (Source: EURweb) or on the Reebok website here (click the "Rbk" link). (Plans for a simultaneous release date for the album and sneaker were screwed up when rampant bootlegging of The Black Album forced the label to move up the release date for the album by two weeks.)

Also in stores tomorrow : G-Unit Beg For Mercy. This is not a bad album actually, just not a particularly groundbreaking one. But expect thugs, both suburban and urban, to bump this for weeks to come.

And the G-Unit invasion continues. Available this week too: 50 Cent's sneaker, the G6 from the G-Unit collection, debuted in stores Tuesday ("Hip-Hop's Hottest MC and Reebok Embark on an Integrated Marketing Campaign to Build a Buzz Around New "G-Unit Collection by Rbk"). Click the "Rbk" link on the Reebok website here for more details or order a pair here through Eastbay.

Premiering tomorrow on TV as well: Interscope Presents "The Next Episode" on Showtime. "Loosely described as a reality version of the rap contests in the movie 8 Mile, ‘The Next Episode’ follows the trials and triumphs of undiscovered rappers from across America struggling to become the country’s top MC." I'm mildly curious to watch this but skeptical as to how good this will be. Why aren't Anthony Marshall and Danny Castro from the "Lyrcists' Lounge" involved in this? They pioneered the industry MC battles (New Music Seminar's earlier contributions notwithstanding). I guess not selling 20+ million albums in the past 5 years probably has something to do with it.

Still not enough hip hop stuff for you to do this Friday? Again, remember that Tupac: Resurrection opens tomorrow as well.

OK, that's way too much shine for Interscope's Jimmy Iovine, Goliath Artists' Paul Rosenberg (manager/label VP for 50, Em, G-Unit etc.) & co. I'm now declaring a moratorium on any more Jay-Z or G-Unit news unless something monumental happens. Here's an advance sneak-peak at what will likely be next Wedneday's post now so I don't have to bother writing it then: G-Unit and Jay Z enter the Billboard Top 200 chart 1 and 2 selling a sh!tload of albums even though they've only been in stores a half-week. Who'll be #1 is a toss-up although I'm giving the nod to Jay based on all the hype surrounding this being his final album before allegedly retiring. Done, next.

If you're looking for a break from the corporate thug-rap dominating the charts and tomorrow's record release slate, consider giving emerging undeground hip hop crew Atmosphere and their Minnesota-based Rhymesayers record label and crew some love. Not really my bag but I saw them, and openers Brother Ali , the Micranots and Oddjobs, put on a solid show last night at SOB's in New York for a crowd that looked like they'd be more at home at a kegger during Head of the Charles than at a hip hop event. Related reading: See Slug from Atmosphere on the cover of this month's Urb magazine with Aesop Rock and featured in an article titled "The New Face of Indie Hip Hop."

Yes, it's truly become a "hip hop world" (Source: It's everywhere. Next thing you know, hip hop will be influencing Middle East politics (Source: USA Today).

Follow-up from yesterday's commentary on styles at the Source Awards. Dickies workwear may be becoming trendy but this is a company that knows how to stay focused and maintain, in marketing parlance, the integrity and core values of their brand: "Stodgy Dickies becomes trendy by appearing untrendy" (Source: Miami Herald). Maybe Burberry, who've taken a big leap into the youth fashion market over the past couple of years, could learn a lesson from Dickies because those moves seem to have backfired on them: "Burberry shown door as bars ban thugs’ uniform" (Source: The Herald).

And then there's BAPE (A Bathing Ape) clothing, run by Japanese artist Nigo and endorsed by James Lavelle (of UNKLE and Mo' Wax) and the Beastie Boys. BAPE has been one of the coolest streetwear brands on the planet due to the fact that, for years, it was frickin' impossible to find it unless you travelled to Japan. Now thanks, in part, to Neptunes super-producer and NERD vocalist Pharrell Williams wearing the gear, American stores like Alife Rivington Club and Premium Goods have begun carrying it and hip hop heads are starting to check for it.

This is similar to when Jay-Z started wearing Evisu jeans instead of his own Roc-a-wear brand. When the hip hop world crosses over to the "hipster" world covered by magazines like Fader, Dazed and Confused and Trace instead of (the more usual) vice-versa, it's some weird ish. It's unclear how all this new attention will affect BAPE's cool quotient but collaborating with Pepsi on a limited-edition can (huh?) seems like an odd next move (Source: We'll know it's probably over when Macy's is finally carrying BAPE gear although that doesn't seem to have hurt Diesel and Ben Sherman too much.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

(Probably more) midweek hip hop updates (than) you need 

Man Arrested In Connection With Murder Of P. Diddy's Former Bodyguard (Source: Related reading: The Perils of Hanging With Puffy in "The 'Bad Boy Curse'" and Anthony Jones Upholds the Legend of Puff Daddy's Bodyguard in "Big Bad Wolf" (Sources: Village Voice)

It's best if you don't think too hard about how many people actually answered "yes" to the Hot poll question: "Do you think Tupac is really alive, and in hiding?" See the answer here. (Source: Tupac: Resurrection opens this Friday.

Everyone claims to own or ride in the new high end luxury Mercedes, the Maybach, but no-one seems to be able to pronounce its name right. It's "My-bock" not "May-back." Main offenders: Jay Z "Change Clothes and Go" from the upcoming Black Album, Fabolous "Let's Ride" from More Street Dreams 2: the mixtape, Young Buck in "Poppin them Thangs" and 50 Cent from "How to Stunt" (aka "Stunt 101") both from the G-Unit's Beg For Mercy album. If you stunt like you got one, at least act like you know and pronounce it correctly. Related reading: "Red-carpet treatment for shoppers of $360,000 car" (Source: Miami Herald/AP) (BTW Fab, isn't saying More Street Dreams 2 redundant? Shouldn't it be More Street Dreams or Street Dreams 2 or was there actually a More Street Dreams 1 album that I don't know about?)

Speaking of the G-Unit album though, if you can't be bothered (or are too ethical) to download it, you can check it out in its entirety on's "The Leak" here. (The Black album is also available on "The Leak" here.) Listening to it, I think Ja Rule and Irv Gotti had a point that dissing Ja for his sellout "hip-pop" seems disingenuous when 50 was basically doing the same on his Get Rich... album ("PIMP", "21 Questions" etc.) and now also on Beg for Mercy ("Wanna Get 2 Know U," "Smile" and "Groupie Love").

So, how does the album sound? Judge for yourself but if you've heard the most recent albums by Eminem, 50 Cent and Obie Trice, you pretty much know what to expect: corporate thugged out hip hop at it's most finely-crafted with the best beats money can buy courtesy of Dre, Em & co. Possibly the least challenging album of the year, I haven't even bought it yet and I'm already bored by it. By the way, anyone else think Young Buck sounds like Eightball (of pioneering Southern hip hop label Suave House fame)?

Speaking of corporate hip hop, last night BET aired the Source Awards. Mixed feelings on this one. Like many award shows, it was fairly predictable and rarely exciting (although with the Source Awards' history, you never know what might jump off). Least surprising event of the night: 50 (in a long-running feud with the magazine alongside Eminem) wasn't there to collect his award. Luckily the show seems to have gone OK. My girlfriend gave up watching after about 30 seconds dismissing it as a minstrel show. Unfortunately she tuned in during the Diplomats performance using a stage set based on a Harlem street corner complete with a simulated crack dealer, doh! I think that might have been keeping it a little too real.

It's too bad she didn't stick around because some of the more positive highlights included air time for The Source Youth Foundation award and an eloquent speech by Jam Master Jay's widow Teri Mizell (Jay RIP) thanking the audience for their support of Run DMC and her husband and announcing the launch of the Jam Master Jay Music Foundation. Also props due for the (multiple) nominations of underground acts like Slum Village, Jurassic 5 and Common even if they were just token nods.

Notable performances included D-Block in a jailyard set (faux pas no. 2 after the Diplomats performance?) and, unbelievably, Bad Boy's Da Band. That kid Fred might make a believer out of me yet with his on-stage energy. Fabolous and Tamia both looked catatonic during their performance of "Into You" which would have been a wash-out were it not for the fact that she looked fabulous (pun intended) and the letter-shirted back-up dancers who kept it interesting on-stage. They were all knocked out the box though by the Dirty South All-stars featuring, group of the night and multiple-award winners, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz doing a medley of all the crunk bangers that have been running the clubs this year.

Style-wise, throwbacks and authentics were still in effect but I'm starting to see a return to jail and Dickies-style workwear suits. Finally, "urban street" fashion I can actually afford. Dickies or jerseys, I wish Bonecrusher and his boy from their former group the LG'z had kept something (anything) on their backs when they hit the stage.

The cross-promotions were heavy during the show including announcing the winners via T-Mobile's Sidekick (clever) but the highlight ad during the show had to be the one for the True Crime--Streets of LA videogame. Looks like Activision took a page right out of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto playbook and ran with it. I'm no videogame expert but that ish looks hot.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Special Veteran's Day war news edition 

Very little good news coming out of Iraq on a Veteran's Day that's infused with even deeper meaning than usual due to the ongoing unrest there:

"US admits troops shot Iraqi mayor" (Source: BBC World News)

"Bremer Returns to Washington Amid Frustration in Iraq" (Source: Washington Post)

"Rockets Hit Baghdad as U.S. Vows to Get Tough " Full story here. (Source: Reuters)

Most people are aware of the fact that the adminstration tried to paint Jessica Lynch as war hero (Source: Guardian UK) with facts that turned out to be largely bogus according to Lynch herself (Source: Washington Post/Reuters). Read an Op-ed piece here on why Pfc Lynch might end turning out to be an even greater hero than Bush & co. initially thought (Source: Buzzflash).

Maybe all the Iraq/Bush-related posts on this blog are the result of what New York magazine calls the "New Liberal Guilt" but somehow I don't think so. The continued mishandling of the Iraq post-war only reinforces the need for major changes both there and in the US.

Now this is encouraging news for making that change here a viable goal: "Billionaire Bankrolls Bush Bashers" Billionaire George Soros has pledged $15.5 million to efforts to unseat President Bush in an election that he sees as a "life and death" struggle to defeat the administration's "supremacist ideology," a newspaper reports. Full story here (Source: CBS News)

In an attempt at "fair and balanced" coverage though, here's a piece on why the reported last-minute overture by Iraq to avert the war was bogus (Source: Slate/MSN).

Happy Veteran's Day and a thank you to all those who have ever served or given their lives fighting to defend good and just causes everywhere.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Stuff to Do in NYC this week 

TONIGHT (11/11):

Portishead's DJ Andy Smith
(and the mind behind The Document series)
performing a special set at
the Turntable Lab Store
120 east 7th st.
New York, NY 10009
ph: 212.677.0675
TONIGHT (November 11) 6PM

or, if you miss him there:

DJ Andy Smith

when: Tue 11.11 (10pm)
where: APT (419 W 13th St, 212.414.4245)
price: $6 advance / $8

TOMORROW (11/12):

Atmosphere live show

when: Wed 11.12 (8pm)
where: S.O.B.'s (204 Varick St, 212.243.4940)
price: $18

Atmosphere's main-man MC, Slug, is so self-aware, self-deprecating, and self-revealing that he's practically a folk singer in rapper's clothes. His ability to spin colorful, sometimes painful tales through his rhymes, without once veering off to brag about his lyrical prowess, is unparalleled. Atmosphere shouldn't be too serious tonight, though, since Slug, beatmaker Ant, and DJ Mr. Dibbs are touring in support of the new LP Seven's Travels� their most upbeat release yet. Slug refers to Travels as their "De La record," setting the stakes for good vibes high indeed. (RJ)

Note: Odd Jobs and Micranots open. This lineup also plays tonight (sold out). (Source: Flavorpill)

I'll be checking that one out.

and also, finally:


Wed November 12th, 9pm

Special Screening and Release Party For:
Steve-O DVD Out on Bail

Presented by J&N Media & Electric Artists
Void : 16 Mercer Street (right above Canal)

Music by:
(Spinning Baltimore Club and DC Go-Go)

Complimentary ales provided by:
Sam Adams Light from 9-11p

Wish I could catch this one just to see what lunacy might occur.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

More CBS/Reagans fallout, the return of Alicia Keys, Asian hip hop gets gully, Dizzee Rascal hits the US & the Source Awards are back 

More fallout from the CBS/Reagans controversy as network head Les Moonves defends their actions in shifting broadcast of the docudrama to sister cable network Showtime ("CBS denies folding over Reagans" Source: BBC News World Edition).

Alicia Keys's long-awaited follow-up to her multiple Grammy-award winning debut Songs in A Minor titled Diary of Alicia Keys is scheduled to drop on December 2. You can preview tracks from it here. I never was fully-convinced of Keys's talent the way I was by Lauryn Hill and the songs I've heard so far from the new album haven't changed my mind. It's gonna be interesting to see how many of the 5 million Songs in A Minor buyers come back for a second helping.

Looking for info on hip hop on TV this week? Click here (Source: Of special note: the annual hip hop celebration, the Source Awards are airing tonight on BET. Click here for additional details.

I thought Jin Tha MC was strictly a punchline, battle rapper but I guess he's taking the motto of his adopted clique the Ruff Ryders ("Ride or Die") to heart and battling off-stage as well as on ("ASIAN RAP SHOOTING IN CHINATOWN" Source: NY Post). Guess we should just be glad the Mountain Brothers weren't there as well.

This might be as good a statement as any about the state of progressive urban music (or the music industry overall) in the US that no label specializing in urban music here picked up the biggest urban artist in the UK (possibly the 2nd biggest urban market after the US): "Dizzee Rascal, the 18-year-old British rapper who won the most recent prestigious Mercury Music Prize, just signed with indie powerhouse Matador Records. The label will be releasing the album Boy in Da Corner in January." (Source: Youth Intelligence/TrendCentral)

Finally: is this more Strokes bashing here courtesy of my man Sahsa Frere-Jones? (Source: Slate/MSN)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, November 10, 2003

Hip Hop enters the chocolate factory 

Hip Hop's being going all Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory recently. Obie Trice ran a "Golden Ticket" contest when his album Cheers dropped a few weeks back (details here). Now comes this from the G-Unit website:

As a bonus, four “Golden Tickets” will be inserted into four random pressings of the first 1 Million copies of Beg For Mercy. Each winner will receive a chain with a diamond studded spinning G Unit medallion valued at $12,500. (No purchase necessary, See Official Rules Here.)"
Wonder how much you'd actually get for one of those medallions if you tried to sell it at Harry Winston or Tiffany's (that is, if they'd take it)?

G-Unit's Beg for Mercy is in stores Nov. 14th.

And from the Roc-a-fella website:
Jay-Z is offering you a chance to "Change Cars" when you pick up a copy of THE BLACK ALBUM!! That's right! Three fans who purchase the official album will win a Black CLK 320 sport sedan Mercedes Benz. Ten runner-ups will win limited edition books featuring lyrics and original artwork.
What no 600 as a grand prize? Now that's not big pimpin'.

Jay-Z's The Black Album is in stores Nov. 14th.

Let the duel begin (although I'm predicting a handy win by Jay Guevera in this one).

Now to some actually useful news: "FCC Approves Home-To-Cell Number Rule" (Source: Washington Post/AP).

And also, don't forget this ("On Nov. 24, a new federal regulation goes into effect that will force wireless carriers to allow consumers to keep their cell phone numbers when they switch service providers." Source: NY Post).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

How to market a blockbuster film (and props for Fox again!), KFC is healthy for you now, play the new Mob board game & the CIA "leakgate" story redux 

Fried Chicken is now good for you? This is truly evidence that Atkins Diet-mania has gone awry ("KFC Ad Campaign Draws Fire From CSPI" Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest).

Note to Time Warner (formerly known as AOL-Time Warner): this is how to make corporate synergy really work at a modern media conglomerate. Today's New York Post newspaper includes a free promo DVD for the new Russell Crowe blockbuster movie Master and Commander, co-produced by sister company 20th Century Fox Films (in conjunction with Miramax).

I generally have little love for the right-leaning Fox Corp. but I have to applaud their clever use of non-traditional advertising and cross-marketing between divisions here. Obviously this huge a promotion for just one (albeit major) market shows either Fox's faith in how big a movie this will be or, at least, the level of their commitment behind it. It's tough to guage how much effect this "lifestyle" marketing effort will have on M&C's opening weekend box office (a topic, conincidentally, I happened to discuss with a friend today in relation to music marketing). But with exploding consumer-DVD sales growth one of few bright spots in the entertainment industry currently, I'm sure this will have some sort of impact least of which should be a nice one-day bump in the Post's circulation today.

Ghettopoly wasn't enough ethnic stereotyping in board games for you? Then try Godfathers and Goodfellas, "the Organized Crime Trivia Game." Click here for details and to order online or call 800-927-6644.

The results are in: "Elizabeth Smart Wins the TV Movie Duel" (Source: ABC News/AP).

And finally, in case you missed this news item on the CIA leak scandal:
Outed CIA agent "Valerie Plame" was under cover for three decades and was not a "CIA analyst" as columnist Bob Novak has suggested.

"I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been under cover for three decades. She is not as Bob Novak suggested a "CIA analyst." Given that, i was a CIA analyst for 4 years. I was under cover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the CIA until I left the Intelligence Agency on Sept. 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it. The fact that she was under cover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous. She was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she works with overseas could be compromised...

"For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal... and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that, well, this was just an analyst. Fine. Let them go undercover. Let's put them go overseas. Let's out them and see how they like it...

"I say this as a registered Republican. I am on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear, of an individual who had no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it because the entire intent was, correctly as Amb. Wilson noted, to intimidate, to suggest taht there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision-making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy, and frankly what was a false policy of suggesting that there was nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend it was something else, to get into this parsing of words.

"I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this." --Larry Johnson, former counter-terrorism official at the CIA & State Department from PBS's NEWSHOUR. (Source: The Drudge Report)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Newsweek asks: "Are the Strokes A Fraud?" 

I'm diggin' their new album Room on Fire (even though the same-ness of all the tracks doesn't seem to diminish the more you listen to it) but with word circulating that tour dates are not selling out or being moved to smaller venues, are seeds of a Strokes backlash already starting to sprout? This Newsweek article ("The Catchy Meaninglessness of the Strokes") doesn't seem auger well for the East Village's most sylish sons. (For details on the Strokes' November residency on Late Night With Conan O'Brien show, click here.)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button