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Friday, May 28, 2004

The Hot Ish (June 2004) 

Some links are active: click to hear tracks, buy music, books or for more info. Old lists can be accessed by clikcing the link at left in the sidebar.

1. Terror Squad "Lean Back" (Atlantic)
2. Snoop & Soopa-Fly "Then She's Got It" (White Label)
3. Numark PT-01 Portable Turntable
4. Slum Village Detroit Deli: A Taste of Detroit
5. Jadakiss feat. Anthony Hamilton "Why" (Ruff Ryders/Interscope)
6. Brandy feat. Kanye West "Talk About Our Love" (Atlantic)
7. Petey Pablo Still Writing in my Diary: 2nd Entry (Jive)
8. Yung Wun feat. David Banner & DMX "Tear It Up"
9. Fahrenheit 911
10. Joseph Wilson The Politics of Truth (Carroll & Graf)
11. Wiley "Wot Do U Call It?" (XL UK)
12. Jay-Z "99 Problems (Mark Ronson remix)" (Rocafella)
13. Young Buck feat. 50 cent "Let Me In" (G-Unit/Interscope)
14. The I Hate George W. Bush Reader: Why Dubya Is Wrong About Absolutely Everything Edited by Clint Willis (Thunder's Mouth Press)
15. Ma$e "Welcome Back"
16. Cut/Copy "Future (Chromeo remix)" (Modular)

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The June "Hot Ish" list is a go | Is Pound magazine the new ego trip? | Slum Village come with heat but Pete Rock falls short?  

The new "Hot Ish" list for June is up in the sidebar at left. It's a few days early this time around since I'ma be out of town for a while starting later today. Comments positive and negative appreciated as always.

Pound magazine: Canada's answer to the legendary, mighty ego trip. Get up on it (and check my man Roozbeh aka DJ Islamabad's 12" review column). Also worth reading in their current May issue (#23, not up on their website yet which seems to be a little out of date): an interview with Murs on his feelings about having a mostly-white fanbase, Tim Goldsworthy of DFA interviewed, a Jay Smooth-esque examination of Ghostface's lyricism as well as a whole lot more stuff you need to f-cks with.

BTW, I finally copped a pair of these Dunks I mentioned a while back. They have 'em up here in Toronto (at the Athlete's World chain) which means they'll probably be in the US by time I get back to NYC.

I've been hearing middling things about Soul Survivor II and how the beats were not that on-point considering Pete Rock's claim-to-fame as one of the best to ever do it behind the boards. I finally heard the whole thing (beyond just the two pre-release singles) recently and the advance buzz was kind of right: sh!t is aight, but considering Pete's track record, my mind was not blown by the production.

On the other hand, I just got up on the new Slum Village jawn called Detroit Deli and, on a first listen, it's retarded (a slight dip in the middle of the album notwithstanding). And contrary to the conventional wisdom, these dudes even sound pretty nice on the lyrics this time around although, I think the group line-up is different for this album (?).

This one is little off the beaten path for me but, for those into gospel hip hop, peep the new album from Corey Red & Precise just released by the peoples of my good friend Shuggie Gray:

And finally, congrats to my man Jaroslaw Petruniw, reppin' Indianapolis, on winning the contest for a copy of the Blue Note Revisited album on CD.

The correct answers to the questions:

1. What is the name of Madlib's jazz group incarnation?


2. What is the name of the A Tribe Called Quest song that sampled Brother Jack McDuff's "Oblighetto" remixed by J Dilla on Blue Note Revisted?


1. Yesterday’s New Quintet

2. "Scenario"

Don't forget the Dilated Peoples contest still jumpin' off right now. This prize pack (courtesy of Cornerstone Digital) is crazy: a T-shirt, three different autographed pieces of vinyl, a promo poster and promo patch. Click here for details.

So I'm outta here for real, for real now. Next posts probably not until June 4 or after when I get back from the UK.

Pound magazine the new ego trip? | Slum Village come with heat but Pete Rock falls short? " title="Bookmark using any bookmark manager!" target="_blank">AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, May 27, 2004

"I wouldn't call it dedicated, I would call it a problem...." 

These shots are kind of funny even though, truth be told, outside of maybe the Saudis, Americans still pay the least by far in the world for their gas.

I'm a little out of it news-wise though so I'ma just throw you whatever links I've come across while doing my thing here in the

Al Gorezeerah, the new liberal TV news network? (LA Weekly)

On the other hand: American Forces Radio fires a daily barrage of Rush Limbaugh at its million uniformed listeners. So why are liberals kept off the military's airwaves? From "Rush's forced conscripts." (, temp. site reg required)

And you daily bloggers, don't front, you know first hand the addiction Katie Hafner is talking about in "For Some, the Blogging Never Stops." (New York Times)

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Michael Moore's Cannes-did Camera | The Real Rock and Other Riddims | Move on up! in the | Diddy Gets Political? 

The late, great Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. Photo courtesy: New York Times/David Curio

Frank Rich on Fahrenheit 9/11. (New York Times)

Rob Kenner on Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's classic reggae track, "Real Rock." (New York Times)
Related reading:
- Kelefa Sanneh on today's Reggae Riddims and Crews. (New York Times)

And in semi-related news, heads up readers, I'll be in town spinning rare groove soul and classic reggae and ska selections direct from my pop's dusty collection of LP's and 45's at the following party June 5:
move on up!

Sizzling Soul and Top Ranking Reggae
from the 1960's & 1970's

Special Guest DJ I-Queue (from Brookyln)
making his hometown DJ debut
alongside resident DJ Anousheh

Saturday, June 5 - 10 PM
The Cloak & Dagger - 394 College Street

c'est free
c'est chic

(NB: Cloak is on the North side of College, about a block and a half east of Bathurst)
And on an end note, I've long since passed the pont where I'm shocked about the new ish Puffy gets into, but I'm not sure whether to be happy or dismayed about this one: P. Diddy Gets Political on MTV. (Washington Post)

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Ahmad Chalabi: Get Iraq or Lie Tryin'.... 

I'm diggin the Get Rich or Die Tryin' steez of this week's Newsweek cover....

So I completely missed Bush's speech Monday night but (no surprise) I heard he said nothing new despite promising to outline a plan and clear strategy for where the US goes from here in Iraq. (White House Press Release)
Related reading:
- It's not surprising the networks didn't air the president's speech on Monday. At last week's previews of the upcoming TV season, the big three revealed that they would cut back on summer reruns. (Washington Post)

Newsweek on The Rise and Fall of Chalabi: Bush's Mr. Wrong.
Related reading:
- Ahmad Chalabi: Iran's weapon of mass destruction for destroying Iraq? (Newsday)

Only a small number of die-hards still buy the bogus line that the prison torture was perpetrated by just a few errant MP's, but in case they read this site in between their daily doses of Newsmax and World Net Daily, maybe they need to read this: Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey. (New York Times)

While Newsday asks: was it Torture or Abuse?

Duke has had a ridiculous run considering the atrocious record of his administration to date, but something had to give eventually and now even many former Bush supporters are starting to question his leadership while Eleanor Clift also examines the rumblings from the right about Bush. I smell blood, people. Kerry, please step your campaign game up. (New York Times | Newsweek)

In a response to recent acts of extreme violence against Americans in Iraq and mounting criticism of U.S. military policy at home, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the government's new strategy of fighting terror with terror Monday:
"Look, in order to catch a rat, you gotta think like one. We've been pussy-footing around the war on terrorism for years. All that time, the answer was right in front of us: In order to wipe out terror around the globe, once and for all, we've gotta beat them at their own game.

It's vital to remember that these terrorists hate freedom. Well, guess what? From now on, we're going to hate it even more. Do you think terrorists care about due process and fair treatment of prisoners? Of course not. Why should we give them the upper hand? You fight fire with fire."
from "U.S. To Fight Terror With Terror." OK, so those quotes are fakes from yet another Onion satire, but once again they seem closer to the spirit of what's really going on right now than much of what gets covered by the mainstream media.

Fog of War: an excellent documentary about Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense under JFK and LBJ for 7 years of the Vietnam War. Worth watching especially for the scary parallels between what's happening now in Iraq and the thinking during Vietnam. Lesson 8 of 11 to be learned from Vietnam acoording to McNamara:
Be Prepared to Reexamine Your Reasoning: What makes us omniscient? We are the strongest nation in the world today. I do not believe we should ever apply that economic, political or miliatry power unilaterally.

If we had followed that rule in Vietnam we would have never had been there. None of our allies supported us: not Japan, not Germany, not Britian, not France. If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the mertis of our cause, we better reexamine our reasoning....
Unfortunately, it looks like Bush & co. took Lesson 9 more to heart in the planning for post-war Iraq: "In Order to do Good, You May Have to Engage in Evil." D'oh!

Also, learn about the compelling case for putting famed dipolmat Henry Kissinger on trial for war crimes for his alleged involvement in unnecessarily prolonging the Vietnam war for personal political gain, orchestrating illegal and indiscriminate bombing campaigns in Cambodia, supervising the 1973 coup against democratically elected Chilean president Salvador Allende and playing a role in U.S.-backed atrocities in East Timor in the highly recommended DVD The Trials of Henry Kissinger. Based on the book of the (nearly) same name by British journalist Christopher Hitchens.

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Get Clean | Go Out | Lean Back.... 

Spotted via Catchdubs

Also, gotta co-sign my man Nick's (May 12) endorsement of Young Wun's marching band-flavored crunk banger "Tear It Up" (Swizz Beats, gotdamn, you're a genius, you did it again. Haters, fall back, stop frontin' on SB and recognize). I've actually had this joint for well over a month now but slept on talking about or even charting it. Look for it on the June "Hot Ish" list though (which will probably be posted a few days early since I'll be out of town for real, for real starting Friday). (Thx Tyesh and Sean Boogs for the wax hook-up | mp3 via Sandbox) a brand new site for downloads and hip hop news.

Which is where I finally got an mp3 of "Lean Back" by Terror Squad. (via Sean TT5. Good lookin', fam.)

Help me out here though: do my ears (or mind) deceive me or does this version have a replayed version of the main sample in the track? This mp3 sounds a little different than what I remember first hearing but I can't be sure since I'm not in NYC to compare it to the version bangin' on the radio. I think the original version sounded better though. BTW, not sure about that site name, but it's worth peeping anyway.

And via Flavorpill for those looking for stuff to do in NYC:

- Jemini & DM at Bowery Ballroom.

- Dead Prez at SOB's.

And for those who want to look "grown n sexy" when they go out, here's another spot to hit if you're ready for the advanced course on how to get clean: custom shirts and suits by seize sur vingt in Little Italy.(via Anousheh)

While finally, support my man Trouble's new single from his Trub-Life label, which I've mentioned a few times before already: Ruste Juxx feat. Tre Munroe "Short'ee" (mp3 via Sandbox)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

DILATED PEOPLES Promo Contest extended.... 

Like the classic Staple Singers joint goes, let's do it again....

OK, I guess the questions were a little too tough for heads first time around because I didn't receive even one correct answer to either question in the Dilated Peoples contest. So now I'm extending the contest with two new and (hopefully) easier questions.

Thanks once again to Cornerstone Digital, one winner will get a Dilated Peoples prize pack featuring a T-shirt, three different autographed pieces of vinyl, a promo poster and promo patch. This is a hot ass prize that somebody needs to win.

As ususal entrants need to email me complete with your name and address and the answers to the following questions:

1. What is the name of the turntablist DJ crew that Dilated Peoples DJ-Producer Babu is a member of?


2. What is the name of the indie record label that released the first singles by Dilated Peoples?

Note: this contest will end at 11:59:59pm on Sunday June 6 and a winner will be randomly selected from all correct entries received by that date.

Oh, and for those who care, the answers to the first set of questions:

1. What was the name of the first hip hop group Evidence was a member of?


2. What is the name of the first song he appeared on?


1. The Fatliners
2. "All Across the Map," a track that was produced by DJ Lethal from House of Pain for an unreleased album by the Whooliganz, a group that featured Alan Maman (then known as Mudfoot, now better known as the super-producer The Alchemist) and Scott Caan, son of actor James Caan and an actor in his own right now.

Dilated Peoples' brand new Neighborhood Watch album is in stores now.

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Dennis Morris exhibit at the Shift Gallery (May 2 - 29) 

The frequency of new posts might be kind of spotty while I'm out of town from now until about June 7 or 8. Right now I'm in Toronto so, for my T.Dot peoples, check this out if you haven't already (note: some info is out of date already):

In a career spanning more than twenty years, Dennis Morris has photographed many leading musicians of our time. He was born in Jamaica, but moved with his mother to England at age 5. He picked up a camera when he was a choirboy in church, and soon joined its photography club. At only 12 years of age, he got his first picture published in the London Daily Mirror; and by 15, he captured some of the most remarkable portraits ever taken of Bob Marley. Soon after, he got caught up in the punk maelstrom, eventually becoming the official photographer of the Sex Pistols. He fronted bands in the 1970’s, and even had a stint as art director for Jamaican label Island Records, before returning to the photography that was his first love.

Over the years, Dennis has documented various communities of inner city London, exposing them to an international audience. But Growing Up Black, his series of photos mostly from his childhood neighborhood in East London, is special: It is a unique and personal collection. This body of work is comprehensive in the details of the community it captures - at home, church, on the street, and in the dance hall.

Dennis' photographs have been published extensively in books and magazines including Rolling Stone, Time, People and the Sunday Times and exhibited in the UK, Japan, Australia and now, finally in Canada.

On Saturday May 1st at 10am Eastern Time, tune in to "GO" - CBC Radio One's weekly arts program on 99.1FM - to hear an interview with Dennis Morris on the topic of "underground culture".

Wedge continues its exploration of black culture with these unique images of the West Indian community of East London (UK) in the 1970's. This exhibition takes place at SHIFT GALLERY (formerly SOF), in the same space where last year we presented Jamel Shabazz: Back In The Days. Curated by Robert Osbourne and Kenneth Montague.

OPENING: Sunday May 2nd, 2-6pm at Shift Gallery / 688 Richmond St W, Ground Fl, Toronto M6J 1C5 / TEL: 416 576 5562 / The artist will be in attendance. Exhibition continues to May 29th, 2004 / Hours: Thurs - Sat 12 - 5pm, Sun 2 - 5pm

ARTIST'S LECTURE: Monday May 10th, 2004 at 7:00pm; Jackman Hall, AGO

FOR MORE INFORMATION / IMAGES: Please contact Kenneth Montague at 416-504-9641 or or visit

This presentation is part of CONTACT 04, Toronto's Annual Photography Festival. For more information, please visit

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Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sports perfection: the Gunners and Randy Johnson... 

Image courtesy

Sometimes events occur in sports that make you realize how great they can be:

England's Arsenal Football Club completes the first perfect Premiere League championship-winning season since 1889. ( | San Fransisco Chronicle)

Arizona Diamondback's Randy Johnson pitches a perfect game. (New York Times)

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Friday, May 21, 2004

Scratch magazine examined | Worse than BEP? | Zero 7 reviewed  

It's been on stands at select spots throughout NYC for about a week now, but I just picked it up yesterday: the new Scratch magazine aimed at hip hop DJ's and producers. This idea, a fully-fledged magazine on hip hop DJ-ing and music production, is one that is long past due and which other magazines have only been partially focused on (like Remix) or have been too narrowly focused to cover (like beat diggers' quarterly Wax Poetics or battle DJ 'zine Tablist).

I haven't really gone through it in any real depth yet but my intial thoughts are that they may have blown their load (somewhat) by having Dr. Dre as the feature cover story in the premiere issue. Where do you got from there? It also seems like they need to get a bit more in depth in their discussion of productiuon techniques but I'm not surprised producers they interviewed might not have wanted to really give up their secrets even though knowing how something is done and actually doing it yourself can be a huge divide to cross, epsecially if you are lacking the magic "X" ingredient (aka "talent")
Related reading:
- An article on Scratch magazine.

The Zero 7 show last night was great. True to the joke photo tagline I used in the post just linked, the crowd was virtually all white mid-twenty to mid-thirtysomething hipster professional types swaying blissfully to the chilled out soultronica grooves as their X5 keys jingled in their pockets (maybe). If there was one complaint, it was that the sound mix occassionally drowned out singers Sophie Barker and Tina Dico. But it didn't seem to faze incredible vocalist Sia Furler who commanded the stage and the audience's attention every time she even stepped close to the mic, while sole (and soulful) male vocalist Mozez sounded fine too.

The show ended with a four song encore including an instrumental version of their remix of N*E*R*D's "Provider" and a cover of Donovan's beat digger fave "Get Thy Bearings" sung by Mozez. How great would it have been if Pharrell had come out and done the vocal version with them or if Mos Def had been around to do the, incredible but impossible-to-find on wax, remix verison of "Umi Says"? Maybe next time? (Yeah, right!) (mp3 link via

I thought nothing could be worse than the Black Eyed Peas/Darkness collabo story I posted the other day (which seemed to generate some heated reaction from various bloggers). Then came this: Ice-T to produce Hasselhoff rap album. (Ananova via Patrick T | Broken Language)

Brooklyn Fight Club. (New York Daily News)

Extreme Ironing. (New York Times)

But to end, for those who haven't already seen this: The Shining in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies. (via Angry Alien Productions)

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

A short Thursday Iraq Reader 

spotted via Sarsparilla Vanilla.

Just a couple quick non-music links for today (see below for part of the reason why):

Who commands the private soldiers? Allegations of abuse have raised wider questions about the role - and accountability - of civilian contractors (Guardian UK).

More on the civilian contractor involvement in the prison torture scandal from the New York Times.

But if the abuse/torture was isolated and done solely at the hands of just six or seven people, why is this the case? (New York Times)

And as if things aren't getting loopy enough already in Iraq: U.S. Soldiers Raid Chalabi's Home in Iraq (Washington Post).

Back to the regular madness tomorrow (hopefully).

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Zero 7 tonight at Irving Plaza 

Zero 7: making yuppie dinner parties around the world cool.

Keeping it kind of short today. If you wanna hear what's on my mind, catch me (with my good friend Shuggie Gray) tonight at Irving Plaza for X-TYPE PRESENTS ZERO 7.

In stores now:

Zero 7: Simple Things | When It Falls | Another Late Night

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Legends play SOB's | Meth vs. Vibe | Is Ja Rule back? | Jay Smooth, the Don Gorgon™ 

Holy Smokes, how did I miss knowing about this?:

I know this show was strictly on the "Dad Rap" tip but anybody trying to front on that line-up of straight-up legends is an asshole. Did anyone make it to this? I need to know what was really good with this jumpoff at SOB's.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what's up with that suspect flyer design biting De la Soul's AOI: Bionix steez (Kev W, holla).

Rawj of the indie hip hop act The Feenom Circle (that I mentioned a couple months back) has his own personal music 'n' politics blog called the Aye train.

A great blog name that I should have thought of: Notoroius B.L.O.G.

Thug banger mp3 of the week (at least until I can get a link for Fat Joe/Terror Squad's "Lean Back") Young Buck feat. 50 cent "Let Me In" (via

Is Ja Rule back? Hot 97's morning show thinks so based on this collabo "Wonder" w/ Kells. If this is him coming back I don't why he was ousted in the first place because, to my ears, this is just more of the same urban hip-pop that blew him up in the first place. (via

Props to Jay Smooth, the Don Gorgon™ of this hip hop blog ish, yet again for getting cited in the current issue of Spin magazine (Yeah Yeah Yeahs' cover, p.38) in an article about his hilarious and now infamous "Ghostface or Spam?" post.

BTW, anyone else think it's funny how Johnny Blaze has been disparging Spin's sister rag Vibe calling it the "metrosexual magazine" after they panned his new album Tical 0: The Prequel with a 2½ star review in their current issue. My view on the album? It's aight, a few jawns here and there, but it's uneven and lacks cohesion overall. Plus it can't f-ck with Pretty Toney. Of course, one of the best cuts on it is "Afterparty" which features, who else, Ghostface. (mp3 via the blog search engine.

Finally, good lookin' to Nick Catchdubs for putting me up on PhotoBucket which is a great way to host images that you can't link to on your site for Blogger-platform users like me. Blogger has their own service also called BloggerBot but I haven't tried it out yet.

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"The future of employment is bright for the families that work here...." | Kanagaroo Court justice at Abu Ghraib? | The scandal spreads to Brooklyn 

Image courtesy: White House website

From The Center for American Progress' Progress Report:
On 4/23/03 President Bush visited the Timken Company in Canton, OH, and touted the company as a demonstration of the success of his economic policies. Bush said "the future of employment is bright for the families that work here, that work to put food on the table for their children." Yesterday Timken announced it is slashing 1300 jobs from its work force, a quarter of its employees in Canton. Bush said that Timken would be successful because "high productivity that comes from steady innovation and skilled workers gives our economy a tremendous edge." But, announcing the layoffs Timken revealed that "production at the Canton bearing plants has declined 27 percent over the last five years." (White House Press Release | Cleveland-Akron News Channel 5 website | Timken Official Press Release)

Timken said that it is paring back operations in the Canton plant because it believes wages there are too high and health care benefits too generous. The Union president, Stan Jasionowski, said that Timken "never ever gave us any formal proposals" to reduce costs at the plant. Jasionowski said that he believed the layoffs were "a ploy to destroy the union in the bearing factories." (Akron Beacon Journal site reg' req'd)

As Timken fires workers in Ohio it has expanded operation abroad, especially in China. On 1/31/03 Timken announced it "established a distribution center in Shanghai, China." In 2002, "The Timken Company and NSK Ltd. formed a joint venture to build a plant near Shanghai...production is expected to begin first quarter 2004." (Timken Official Press Release)

Meanwhile, W.R. Timken, the company's chairman of the board, is a Ranger – meaning he has raised at least $200,000 for the Bush campaign. Timken's political action committee has donated $10,000 directly to Bush and $235,000 to his political allies. Other executives have chipped in $12,500 since 2000. Timken was a member of the Employers' Coalition on Medicare, a group of heavy Bush contributors who lobbied for the new Medicare law which rewards companies with a tax subsidy even if they reduce retirees' existing drug coverage. ( | | Center for American Progress)
With economic policies like these.... (Subscribe to the daily Progress Report here)

And do these super-swift Abu Ghraib prison scandal court martial cases look and smell like kanagaroo court justice? How can they have convicted one soldier already when this story just broke a couple weeks ago and there are still ongoing investigations as to what happened there. But the US is bringing freedom, justice and democracy to Iraq? C'mon. (Ananova)

Meanwhile, just to show you how far-reaching this scandal goes, now there are allegations of prisoner abuse at the Metropolitan Detention Center right here in Brooklyn, NY not even two miles from where I live. (Newsweek)

And finally, WTF is going on Gaza? I haven't made much comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because 1) I don't have a strong sense of the historical context and roots of the conflict and 2) I haven't followed the ongoing minutiae of it but these latest developments look like absolute madness to me. Who can step up and end this? (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I Hate George Bush, the book | More illegal actions by Team Bush™ | Chalabi finally shut down 

I haven't even read this, but it might be my new favorite book: The I Hate George W. Bush Reader: Why Dubya Is Wrong About Absolutely Everything.

Iraq continues to go down in flames: Suicide Bomber Kills President of Iraqi Council. (New York Times)

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Bush may be trying to fix the troop shortage problem using (surprise, surprise) possibly illegal means: IRS May Help DOD Find Reservists. (

And does this seem strategically irresponsible to you as well? U.S. to move troops from S. Korea. (

But, finally: U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite. (New York Times)

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Gangsta bears | The Streets is Back | Bobbito interviewed | Eminem: instrument of torture? | Petey Pablo's still writing  

While I loved Original Pirate Material, I'm not so sure about his new single "Fit But You Know It" but The Streets is back. ( | Newsweek | New York Times | Village Voice)

Sacrilege and my worst nightmare all rolled into one? Black Eyed Peas To Make Their Own 'Walk This Way' — With The Darkness. (VH1 News)

More Bobbito: interviewed by Benji B on Radio 1 Xtra in the UK talking about his Earthtones compilation album, his Monday night party at Apt. (which I checked out again last night) and his legendary hip hop radio show with Stretch Armstrong.

Eminem: instrument of torture? (

F-ck a Vermont Teddy Bear, it'a all about gangsta bears. If you thought Ghettopoly was racist, check out the really embarssing ebonics on the home page of this website ("Gangsta Bear be the perfect gift fo' all yo' homies and scrubs. Wit a 8" tall Gangsta Bear you can tell yo' honey she's the bomb or yo' baby mamma dat' she a nasty lyin' ho...."). I'm >95% sure that that copy was not written by a black person.

More coonery? Have you seen the current Boost Mobile TV spot running on BET with Fabolous and a bunch of old women talking like chickenheads, WTF?

Disco-punk heads, new !!!. To my ears not quite as good as "Me & Giuliani..." based on the mp3 snippet here though. (via

But based on what I heard on his website, the Petey Pablo album Still Writing in my Diary: 2nd Entry is gonna be a banger (assuming you're not the type who's been most excited recently by the Madvillain album or the prospect of the new Roots album dropping soon). Thanks to my man DJ Omar for putting me up on game about checking out the next single "Vibrate." I wonder if they're gonna hire the "Freek-a-Leek" girl again to be in the video? With that album title though, doing some kind of blog-based promo campaign seems like a natural to me.

Attn: NYC bloggers aspiring to become full-on music journalists, peep this.

Also, in BK tomorrow, another John Kerry music fundraiser at Southpaw: Concerts for Kerry. Probably more appealing to most cats who read this site though is the June 1 fundraiser show with Jean Grae, Mr. Len and DJ Blockhead on the bill.

2 Funky: the UK's number one urban music store?

And finally, grafiti fans in NYC, check out the Autograf exhibition of works by NYC Grafiti writers presented by the PowerHouse Gallery. (via Max N.)

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A Blue Note Revisited remix album contest 

Thanks to the good people at Elemental Consulting, we are able to offer yet another contest for all the Different Kitchen readers out there. I've written about it before but now, one winner can win a copy of the excellent new Blue Note Revisted remix collection just released by the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records.

Here's more details on the album:
1939 marked the birth of Blue Note Records and the birth of a new era in music. The label created by German immigrant, Alfred Lion, would soon evolve into a home for the finest in jazz music for ages to come. Looking back in 1969, label partner and photographer Francis Wolff wrote "By 1939, jazz had gathered enough momentum so that an experiment like Blue Note could be tried” and 65 years later Blue Note Records is still going strong as the preeminent jazz label in the world.

Now, in the Spring of 2004, Blue Note releases Blue Note Revisited, an album containing remixes, remakes, and reworks by some of the world’s most talented DJs and producers including Bugz in the Attic, Kenny “Dope” Gonzales, Madlib, JayDee aka J Dilla, Jazzanova, Kyoto Jazz Massive, and DJ Spinna to name a few.
Click here for the full album tracklisting and here to hear audio snippets from the album.

For a shot at winning a CD copy of the album, entrants should email me, complete with their name and address, and the answers to the following questions:
1. What is the name of Madlib's jazz group incarnation?


2. What is the name of the A Tribe Called Quest song that sampled Brother Jack McDuff's "Oblighetto" remixed by J Dilla on Blue Note Revisted?
These questions are little easier than the Dilated contest questions which seem to be giving heads a real problem so far. Click here for more details on that contest.

The Blue Note Revisted contest will end at 11:59:59pm on Tuesday May 25. A winner will be randomly selected from all correct entries received.

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Monday, May 17, 2004

The White House's fear of the Geneva Convention | Rumsfeld Should Resign | More by Hersh on Abu Ghraib | The Tyranny of the Weedman 

The White House ditched the conventions and protections of the Geneva Convention for "unlawful combatants" who fought with Taliban and Al-Qaeda held captive at Gitmo in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Then they decided to do the same with lawful military combatants captured on the battefields of Iraq according to the Newsweek investigation "The Roots of Torture."

Seymour Hersh alleges that the roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his latest article "The Gray Zone" in the current issue of The New Yorker.

Even the New York Post says Rumsfeld should resign.

This is only an Onion satire, but how true do most of those "man-on-the-street" quotes about the Iraqi Prison abuse scandal ring?

With news from Iraq becoming ever bleaker, the president’s numbers are way down according to the latest Newsweek poll, but he still hasn’t lost ground to John Kerry.

Most people only seem to check for me on my music posts so I was impressed to get cited as a source on the Newberry For Congress :: Official Blog.

But to end on a lighter note, read about the tyranny of the Weedman. (

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A (really brief) Spring gear guide | Hov and Diddy regenerate hip hop?! | Kanye collabs with Maroon 5  

"And I don't wear jerseys, I'm thirty plus" -- Jay-Z from "What More Can I Say"
Since Hov shut down the whole throwback jersey game, even galoomps like Twista and bohos like Slum Village have been trying to look clean in their latest videos. So here's a guide to some designers that can get you looking "grown 'n sexy" (I told y'all I'd start using that cornball phrase. Give it a few weeks, it'll wear off... probably):

- Roar Clothing.

- 7 Diamonds.

- Robert Graham.

Also, search out Allen B (by Allen Schwarz), Poggianti, Richard Yoo and e=mc² (from Damselle) for more gear that can help you beat the doorman at clubs with "no athletic gear and workboots" dress codes in effect.

While we're on the tpoic of gear, anyone know when these Dunks in "Mid Navy/Varsity Maize-Magnet" are dropping in the US? I've been looking for these since I saw a link to them on DJ Mel's site.

I say no, but Armond White asks, "Can Jay-Z and P. Diddy regenerate hiphop culture with a video and a play?" in his New York Press article "The Wall Came Tumbling Down." White gets into a really improbable and prententious deconstraction of why Hov's new video is so important and I know a lot of bloggers wrote about it when it premiered but seriously, what's the big deal about the "99 Problems" video? While I liked the scenes set in Beat Street, my local record shop for coppping hip hop and R&B wax, frankly, I still prefer the "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" video by far.

Kanye to remix Maroon 5? Interesting development. Back to talking more about music tomorrow.

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Friday, May 14, 2004

The Dilated Peoples and Nike/Recon Operation 6453 contests are a go... 

*NEW* DILATED PEOPLES promo contest
Thanks to the kind folks at Cornerstone Digital, we have yet another contest for dat azz and this is a hot one. One winner will get a Dilated Peoples prize pack featuring a T-shirt, three different autographed pieces of vinyl, a promo poster and promo patch. Sounds like something I would want if I wasn't running this contest on the site.

Entrants, email me, complete with your name and address and the answers to the following questions:

1) What was the name of the first hip hop group Evidence was a member of?


2) What is the name of the first song he appeared on? (And by that I don't just mean the first commerically released or promotionally serviced song, I mean literally the first songs he rapped on. This is a pretty good prize pack so I wanna make sure a real fan, who knows their ish, wins it by making the questions semi-tough.)

The contest will end at 11:59:59pm on Friday May 21. A winner will be randomly selected from all correct entries received.

Dilated Peoples' Neighborhood Watch album is in stores now.

The Nike Air Force-X Mid

Nike AF1 Shoe Campaign

OK, I'm not really sure I understand this one honestly, but I said I would pass it on:

You have a chance to qualify for the pre-buy of the new Nike Air
Force-X MID before it hits stores by participating in Nikes’ scavenger
hunt to promote their AF1 shoe campaign. Check
out the rules listed below for more info on the actual game.

Find as many posters as fast as possible over a 4 day period in NYC

The top players will be eligible for prizes (think stickers, t shirts,
bags, shoes) and hundreds of players will qualify for the pre-buy of
the Nike Air Force-X MID

How To Play:

1. Sign up to participate on the site. Click the SIGN-UP button and
send them your cell phone number and carrier.
2. You will receive a confirmation PIN number via your cell phone.
3. Click on CONFIRM and input your PIN number.
4. You will be prompted to input your player name and personal info.
You will not be eligible for any prizes unless the form is completed.
5. Hit the streets of NY and wait for your fist SMS alert. The alert
will tell you the cross streets of the latest posting. Get there as
fast as you can.
6. When you see a poster on the street dial 6453 and enter the code on
the poster. You will receive a message telling you how many points
your target was worth and how many overall points you have.
7. Check back at the site to see where you rank. The top players will
qualify for prizes, but hundreds will qualify for the pre-buy. Don’t
give up.
8. Continue searching for posters until you receive an alert that the
game has ended.

Each day a total of 4 posters each with unique codes will be placed in
different parts of the city: 1 every 3 hours. Every time one is
posted, you will get an SMS alert indicating that a posting just
happened and of its general location.

Posters are HOT (worth more points) as soon as they are posted and COOL
down (lose value) as time passes. For this purpose, the point system
will be on a sliding scale as illustrated in the following table:

User typed poster code Points received
W/in the 1st hour of posting 64
W/in the 2nd hour 32
W/in the 3rd hour 16
W/in the 4th hour 8
W/in the 5th hour & after 4

Collecting Rewards:
At the end of the mission, you will receive an SMS that tells you if
you are qualified for a pre-buy or not. If not, you can still buy the
Nike Air Force-X MID when it goes on sale to the public. If you do
qualify you will be told a time and place to go where you will be
guaranteed a pre-buy of this exclusive shoe.

Click here for more details.

Also though, here's a few things not mentioned on the site:

• You don’t have to participate in all 16 events to win. You need to
be a high scorer. If you are the fastest to 5 of the locations then
you will win.
• Each event will be cool – imagine 16 micro-parties. DJ’s at some.
Stash at some. Giveaways at all of them.
• The grand prizes are an autographed Staash poster, exclusive Recon
Epic Bag, Recon Nike Apparel, and the Recon AF1’s.

The best of the best will also qualify for more prizes. You will be
notified if you are a winner and told where and how to collect your

Always check back at the site for performance and mission updates.

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Bobbito's new sneaker | JD bites again | Welcome Back, Ma$e? | Fat Joe leans back | ESG live  

Bobbito's new K1X sneaker by Chiefglider (see below).

A few random bits and pieces to end the week:

First off thanks to everyone who came through to Low last night. The turnout was a bit lame which was too bad because heads missed me killin' the nu-electro, 2-step, disco-punk and new wave over two crackin' sets that surprised even me. Thanks also to my man Niraj for dropping some really tasty deep house grooves. Somebody hire this dude for some gigs cos he's that nice. The next date for Different Kitchen, the party is June 10 with Taj, Ceasar Gomez and Tom Ryan scheduled to be on the decks.

3 Vodka: JD's new "healthy" zero-carb, soy-distilled vodka. Jermaine, seriously, get off Hov's nuts. (

Speaking of which: the [Damon] Dash for cash in the UK. (The Observer magazine by The Guardian)

Ma$e "Welcome Back" I dunno about this one although (surprisngly) it's good to hear that Harlem World slur again and the "Welcome Back, Kotter" sample is a nice touch too. (via

Hot 97's morning show premiered a new Hov/Lenny Kravitz jumpoff today called (I believe) "Storm" from Kravitz's new album Baptism. It sounded OK but, as they described it, this is really one for the "grown and sexy" (which might actually apply to me but man, I hate that term which means you'll probably see me flog it to death on this site over the next few months).

The beat on Fat Joe's "Lean Back" is sick, does anyone have an mp3 link on that?

NYC's legendary punk-funk, no-wavers ESG live Sunday May 30th at the Motherf-cker 4th Year Anniversary party at SPIRIT (530 W. 27th St btn 10th & 11th aves 212 268 9477). Advance tickets ($15) from ticketweb and Other Music (15 E. 4th Street btn Bway & Lafayette 212 477 8150). $15 w/flyer/email/web printout/voice ad and $20 w/out at the door. 18 to enter, 21 to booze, ID A MUST! Dress code (ed note: this is where they lose me): We are expecting EVERYONE to work a look since it IS our anniversary and we'll be in a brand new space. Some suggestions: Extreme Glamour (30's Hollywood/70's Studio 54), Ultra Sexy (Silk, Satin, Saran Wrap), & Beyond Decadence Realness (Caligula or Fellini-era Rome or Weimar Germany Looks)!

I never really got or was even that up on the Lindsay Lohan phenomenon until I saw this picture at Mo Ca$h.

And finally from Bobbito:
-Check out the launch event for the K1X Basketball Shoe, designed by Bobbito this Sunday (May 16) at Training Camp (41st and 6th Ave) 2pm. Beat Bobbito at H.O.R.S.E. and win a free pair! Full info at

- "Where'd You Get Those?" Bobbito's world of Sneakers, Basketball and Hip Hop Exhibit. Opening Night, Wednesday, May 26 at the Carribean Cultural Center (408 W 58 St off 9th), 7pm-10pm with DJ Eli on the mix. Opens to the public June 2 and runs until July 30th. Film screenings to be announced. For full info, call Cynthia Carrion at (212) 307-7420 x3008.

- Project Playground Basketball launches: check out streaming video highlights of our live halftime shows including Dallas Mavericks, NBA XL TV, and U Conn!

- Bounce: from the Playground Magazine launches and the summer issue will hit newstands in June. To purchase mags visit or select NYC newstands (including W 3rd St/6th Ave, 125th St/Adam Clayton Powell).
For more info on all this stuff, click here.

BTW, Bobbito (and DJ Spinna's) legendary "Wonderfull" Stevie Wonder tribute party jumps off tonight at Shelter (37th off 5th Ave) from 10pm-until. For full info click here.

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The $50 billion boogie for a losing war. 

Paul Wolfowitz says "Show me the money!" (probably) | Image courtesy: Seattle Times

Re: the tragic beheading of Nick Berg, even Lebanon-based guerrilla/terrorist group Hizbollah condemns it. (Reuters)

Er, scratch that $25 billion Iraq occupation/war request, it's actually gonna be $50 billion. (Seattle Times)

And on top of that, Rumsfeld admits publicly that he thinks the US might lose in Iraq. (New York Daily News)

Now we're giving medals and commendations to non-soldiers? Can we finally just admit that these "private military contractors" make up the second largest contingent within the so-called international "coalition of the willing" which in truth is, outside of the US and Britain, largely comprised of mercenaries, not armed forces from legitimate countries or sovereign states. (Washington Post |

Image courtesy:

And with respect given to (I'm sure), Neal Pollack says, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Joe Liberman, just shut up. (

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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Cooking up some marvelous ish: TONIGHT! 

It's going down once again at Low Bar tonight.

For more details, click here.

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"On almost every issue involving postwar Iraq, Washington's assumptions and policies have been wrong...." 

The Abu Ghraib abuses are part of a deeper crisis:
One by one, the reasons for sending America to war in Iraq seem to have crumbled. Investigators found no weapons of mass destruction and no proof of claims that Saddam Hussein was plotting with Al Qaeda's terrorists. A year after liberation, Washington's last, best justification for the war seemed to be the promise to transform Iraq into a model of liberty and justice. Now many Iraqis have begun to disbelieve that. Instead of the rule of law, they see not only American misdeeds but an explosion among their fellow Iraqis of lynchings, private militias and kangaroo courts. Iraqis are supposed to resume control of the country's civil institutions on July 1, and no one seems remotely ready for the job—although the latest polls say most Iraqis are passionately eager to be rid of the Americans.

Even before the Abu Ghraib scandal erupted, people were complaining of American arrogance and hypocrisy. One particularly sore topic, especially among Shiites and Kurds, was the Coalition's recent decision to rehabilitate former Baathists to help lead the armed forces of liberated Iraq. The Americans didn't make the gesture of consulting the Iraqi Governing Council before the Marines abruptly cut a deal with several Saddam-era Iraqi generals to police the strife-torn city of Fallujah.
from "Questions of Justice" by Melinda Liu and Babak Dehghanpisheh. (Newsweek)

Meanwhile Fareed Zakaria examines what Bush means by "taking full responsiblity" which I'm gonna quote extenively from because heads need to read this:
"I take full responsibility," said Donald Rumsfeld in his congressional testimony last week. But what does this mean? Secretary Rumsfeld hastened to add that he did not plan to resign and was not going to ask anyone else who might have been "responsible" to resign. As far as I can tell, taking responsibility these days means nothing more than saying the magic words "I take responsibility."

After the greatest terrorist attack against America, no one was asked to resign, and the White House didn't even want to launch a serious investigation into it. The 9/11 Commission was created after months of refusals because some of the victims' families pursued it aggressively and simply didn't give up. After the fiasco over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, not one person was even reassigned. The only people who have been fired or cashiered in this administration are men like Gen. Eric Shinseki, Paul O'Neill and Larry Lindsey, who spoke inconvenient truths.

Since 9/11, a handful of officials at the top of the Defense Department and the vice president's office have commandeered American foreign and defense policy. In the name of fighting terror they have systematically weakened the traditional restraints that have made this country respected around the world. Alliances, international institutions, norms and ethical conventions have all been deemed expensive indulgences at a time of crisis.

Within weeks after September 11, senior officials at the Pentagon and the White House began the drive to maximize American freedom of action. They attacked specifically the Geneva Conventions, which govern behavior during wartime. Donald Rumsfeld explained that the conventions did not apply to today's "set of facts." He and his top aides have tried persistently to keep prisoners out of the reach of either American courts or international law, presumably so that they can be handled without those pettifogging rules as barriers.

... Last week he said again that the Geneva Conventions did not "precisely apply" and were simply basic rules.

The conventions are not exactly optional. They are the law of the land, signed by the president and ratified by Congress. Rumsfeld's concern—that Al Qaeda members do not wear uniforms and are thus "unlawful combatants"—is understandable, but that is a determination that a military court would have to make. In a war that could go on for decades, you cannot simply arrest and detain people indefinitely on the say-so of the secretary of Defense.

Leave process aside: the results are plain. On almost every issue involving postwar Iraq—troop strength, international support, the credibility of exiles, de-Baathification, handling Ayatollah Ali Sistani—Washington's assumptions and policies have been wrong. By now most have been reversed, often too late to have much effect. This strange combination of arrogance and incompetence has not only destroyed the hopes for a new Iraq. It has had the much broader effect of turning the United States into an international outlaw in the eyes of much of the world.
from "The Price of Arrogance." (Newsweek)

And finally, for a real laugh: didn't you know that hip hop is "The Sound Of Terrorism?" The Foundation For A Patriotic America says: Ban Rap For The Sake Of Our Children--And America. I know this article is a joke and bascially the work of etxremist right wing kooks, but I was probably the most disturbed when I got to the part where they described Ja Rule as "The world's most popular and likely "best" rapper." (spotted via Mindspray)
Related reading:
- Hip Hoppers Hate Freedom: Rap's blatant anti-Americanism is cause for concern--and terror. (The Foundation For A Patriotic America)

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"Outraged by the outrage"?!! 

Sen. Inhofe with Oklahoma soldiers in Mosul, Iraq (courtesy muslim wakeup!)
"These prisoners,they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands. And here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals." -- Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe
Jackass of the month, hand down: James Inhofe, no doubt, who completely misses the big picture with his idiotic comments on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. (USA Today)

The tragic story of Nick Berg would have probably generated far more sympathy for the US and their position in Iraq if it weren't for this scandal. (San Francisco Chronicle)

I love it: Faced with a scarcity of letters praising the president, a newspaper in a Republican-leaning district appealed for pro-Bush letters, then backed off the request Tuesday amid complaints of blatant politics. Full story (ABC 7 WJLA)
Related reading:
- Wisconsin Daily Asks Readers to Send Pro-Bush Letters (Editor & Publisher)

Finally, blog alert for those who may not have been up on this well-regarded politics site (like me): Eschaton (aka Atrios)

Also: The Randi Rhodes Show, the site for probably the best personality on Air America Radio so far.

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"Take Back the White House" | A new Jadakiss/Anthony Hamilton heater | Records I bought last night 

New wax I copped last night that you might be able to hear at the Different Kitchen party tomorrow:

- Electro vibes courtesy of Cut/Copy featuring remixes by Chromeo, !!! and Zongamin.

- A used copy of the True Colors album by Tim Finn's ex-group Split Enz. This is an amazing-looking piece of wax (it's black vinyl but with crazy design images and lettering in the wax) including a sleeper no-wave cut called "The Choral Sea" that, I ain't gonna lie, I just got put up on by man Todd (aka DJ Mixed Greens) who played this as part of a killer set of rare disco, vintage techno, house and no-wave he did at Bar Below on Monday.

- "Then She's Got It" by Snoop & Soopa-Fly, B-side to "The Watcher Part III" from something called the Dre Theory album which is due out in August this year. Anyone know what's the deal on this?

- Get your Eski/Grime on with Wiley's "Wot Do U Call It?" (mp3 via Picadilly Records)

- And slightly old but I had to cop it: the Basement Jaxx remix of Missy's "4 My People."

- Plus I was glad to be able to finally get Dead Prez's slept-on classic debut single "It's Bigger Than Hip Hop" on wax without having to pay premium Ebay prices. I guess hearing it every week at the beginnning of Chappelle's Show finally got to me.

- The Grey Album on wax. Yeah I know what I said the other day, it's for a friend (Anousheh, I got you, you're good).

I'm also suddenly hearing about "Why" by Jadakiss & Anthony Hamilton from everyone. Is it the hottest jawn on the street as Hot 97 described it this morning?

And I can't front, I had to cop that Numark joint I mentioned yesterday while I was at the Lab last night: for $30 less than the Vestax jumpoff, I couldn't pass up on it. Diggin', incuding upcoming trips to the and the UK, will never be the same.

Just found out that Milo of Mo Ca$h is part of an online hip hop magazine called, appropriately enough,

Blog alert: the underground post..., "rap and rap-related. politics of the business. spoonbills and other birds."

Looking for something to do tonight? There's a "Take Back the White House" Anti-Bush benefit in Brooklyn at Northsix: 66 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 599-5103. 8 p.m. On the bill: Nada Surf, Long Island "hip hop" PR darlings Northern State as well as a slideshow by the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and a live auctions where you can bid for guitar lessons, tattoos and a "hipster" sailing trip (I kid you not, that's exactly how the email I was sent described that last item). Cost: $20.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"I continue to believe that the Diebold voting machines represent a huge threat to our democracy." 

Even the Army is now calling for Rumsfeld's resignation. (Army Times)

The Pentagon shuts down its own newspaper after it publishes a survey about low troop morale in Iraq. (Washington Monthly)

David Brock of Media Matters talks about why the media seems embarrassed to report on Bush's failures and why TV pundit shows are stacked to the right in "Busting big fat liars" by Eric Boehlert. ( subscription req'd or watch an online ad for a Day Pass)
Related reading:
- Thirty years ago, conservatives embarked on a plan to subvert journalism and skew America to the right. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Read the full article "The mighty windbags" by David Brock here. ( subscription req'd or watch an online ad for a Day Pass)

And finally, a Johns Hopkins professor breaks down why the Diebold e-voting machines are basically f-cking useless. (New York Times)

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Hov keeps on biting? | The latest in turntables | Cool'eh magazine | Black Eyed Peas and the NBA 

Jay-Z vs. Mark & Samantha Ronson "99 Problems" (mp3 via Turntable Lab)

BTW, did you know Hov ripped off the hook line "I got 99 Problems, but a b-tch ain't one" from a verse in 2 Live Crew 's "Table Dance"? From Biggie to 2 Live Crew to find lyrics to bite, damn! I only discovered this 'cos I copped the "Table Dance" wax from Frog last night at Open Turntables at Bar Below. The playlist for this week's promised DJ set of all-Frog purchased wax was as follows:
Three 6 Mafia -- 2 Way Freak
Drag-On & Petey Pablo -- Dirrty
Bathgate -- Let's Go
Rell feat. Jay-Z -- It's Obvious
Dunegon Family -- 6 Minutes (Dungeon Family It's On)
Donnell Jones feat. Styles P & Lady May -- Put Me Dowmn
Freeway feat. Snoop Dogg -- We Get Around
Kurupt feat. Nate Dogg -- Girls All PAuse
Mystic -- The Life
Xzibit feat. Mobb Deep -- Eyes All Shine (Remix)
Beanie Sigel -- In the Club
Brandy and Kanye West "Talk About Our Love" (mp3 via

Pre-orders are a go at Turntable Lab for the new Technics SL-DZ1200. But $1149, ouch!

And beat diggers, this Numark PT-01 Portable Turntable (above) might be giving the Vestax Handitrax a run for it's money. This player is 12 x 12 in size so it can fit in your record bag. Clever.

Do people care about the upcoming Lloyd Banks album at all 'cos I'm feeling like zero buzz so far?

The most talented executive in the music industry has got to be the Black Eyed Peas' manager. To my complete and ongoing amazement, these cats have gotten mad endorsement deals over the years from way before they even had hit records. The latest trimuph: appearing in and performing the theme song for the current NBA playoffs TV commercial which even has a chiron (that's the little title/credit tag you see on music videos) plugging their song. How have they pulled this off?

Speaking of which: Blog Squad, the NBA blog.

Finally, this might be old news to most but I just saw a copy of this music, pop culture and politics magazine for the first time last night: is Cool'eh magazine the heir to Vice's crown as the must-read for the hipster set?

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Monday, May 10, 2004

"We're in a war we don't understand...." 

Image courtesy: Newsweek

"Major Combat Operations" are over? Now some US brass are saying that the US is actually losing the war in Iraq:
Deep divisions are emerging at the top of the US military over the occupation of Iraq, with some senior officers saying the United States is facing the prospect of casualties for years without achieving its stated goal of establishing a free, democratic Iraq.

Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr., the commander of the 82d Airborne Division who spent much of the year in western Iraq, said he thinks that at the tactical level at which fighting occurs, the US military is winning. But when asked whether he thinks the United States is losing, he said, ''I think strategically, we are." [emphasis added]
from "US military divided on Iraq occupation" by Thomas E. Ricks. (Washington Post via The Boston Globe)
Related reading:
- Respected hawk John Murtha (D-Pa.) told his Democratic colleagues Tuesday that he feared the war in Iraq is unwinnable if the US military does not dramatically increase troop levels, provide more ground support and seek significant international involvement. (The Hill)

The Bush administration says the U.S. atrocities at Saddam's old jail were the work of a few. But prisoner abuse is more widespread, and lots of people are passing the buck from "Abu Ghraib and Beyond." (Newsweek)

More on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal from the man who broke the story, Seymour Hersh, in this week's New Yorker: Chain of Command -- How the Department of Defense mishandled the disaster at Abu Ghraib.

Torture, false confessions, the US is at it yet again? Nope, this time it's our "partners" in the "war on terror," Saudi Arabia. Read how they really get down again in "Saudi Justice?" which aired last night on 60 Minutes.

This is how many Democrats feel about Kerry's lackluster campaign so far:

Image courtesy: The Journal News

Mock the Vote: how college students are discouraged from voting by local election boards. (Rolling Stone via Catchdubs)

Almost 50 years too late, the Justice Department reopens the Emmitt Till murder case. (Newsweek)

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Special Monday indie/punk rock edition | Different Kitchen jumps off again this Thursday 

Not much hip hop content today. Hopefully back to the regular hotness by tomorrow.

In the meantime though, listen to Up At The Lake, the latest album by OG Britpop act The Charlatans in full by clicking here. (link via The Charlatans website spotted on the Skrufff newsletter)

More on Moore vs. Disney. (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting via Anousheh)

Respect the (disco-punk) architects: The Clash -- "Magnificent Dance" (mp3 link via Azuli Records' website, track available on Choice -- A Collection of Classics compilation produced by Louis Vega)

Speaking of which, the latest edition of "Different Kitchen," the party, goes down at Low Bar this Thursday:

Come through to hear an eclectic mix of music ranging from hip hop and house to electro-disco-punk, new wave and more spun by the Different Kitchen staff DJ’s.

Plus LOW has f-ckin’ fantastic (and cheap) food at the bar via the kitchen at Rice Restaurant upstairs, so don’t miss this (and please help spread the word too).

See you Thursday.



F train to York St.: walk 3 blocks on York (past Pearl and Adams Streets) to Washington.

A/C train to High St./Brooklyn Bridge:
exit from rear of the train (coming from Manhattan), walk down Cadman Plaza West, make right at first light on to Prospect, pass under the overpass then first left on Washington.

BY CAR from Manhattan:

Over the Brooklyn Bridge - Take Cadman Plaza West Exit (stay in right lane). Right at light at end of exit ramp, bear right on to Prospect Street, drive under the bridge. Take first left on Washington Street.

Over the Manhattan Bridge - Take right on to Tillary Street. Take to end. Make right on to Cadman Plaza West, make right on to Prospect Street, drive under the bridge. Take first left on Washington Street.

For more details, email me or click here.
BTW, I saw this ad over the weekend while I was in CT for, unfortunately, tragic family reasons. I'm not sure if it's running in NYC as well or not, but has anyone seen a TV ad for Ore-Ida's Extra Crispy Fries using The Stranglers' classic, crossover pop hit "Golden Brown"? How bugged out is that if you know (which apparently Ore-Ida doesn't) that the "Golden Brown" referred to in the song is not tasty, well-cooked fries, but heroin....

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Thursday, May 06, 2004

Bush finally apologizes and "The entire detainee system ... is broken" 

Image courtesy: Associated Press

Bush finally apologizes for the Iraqi Prison Torture scandal during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan today. (Associated Press)

More from Newsweek on the Iraqi Prison Torture scandal. This article is older (by a couple days) than the Liu one cited yesterday but essential reading nonetheless.

$25 billion more for Iraq, folks. Please believe this is not the end of it either. This is a money Team Bush didn't even wanna ask for until after the election but sh!t is so dire over there right now, they couldn't hold off any longer. (New York Times)

Plus the current troop levels are guaranteed in Iraq until at least 2005 the administration has finally admitted. Please believe that's gonna be a serious under estimate too. (New York Times)

And finally, just a little taste of why you need to f-ck with new new conservative media watchdog site Media Matters: Rush Limbaugh on the torture of Iraqis: U.S. guards were "having a good time" and "blow[ing] some steam off." (full article)

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A legend passes | They really love me: the email that made my week | The Roots 12" contest winner revealed 

A legend passes. If you don't know what Studio One is (was), get up on it because it's one of the pillars of modern pop music along with Motown, Stax, The Beatles, James Brown, the Blues, hip hop etc. and Sir Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, who died yesterday from heart complications, was the man behind it. (Jamaica Gleaner via Anousheh)

Many of you may not know it but the name of this site is inspired by the album Another Music from a Different Kitchen by the Buzzcocks who are one of my all-time favorite groups. So, after the great message from ex-Brooklynite Donnell the other day giving me props for the site, I received the following email which pretty much made my week:
Just wanted to say hi- love your site, and your views. I work on a lot of rap thing/pop cult crap as an art director/ prop master etc and stumbled across your site doing a search for something i worked on.....anyhoo, i passed your site onto my boyfriend, Tony Barber (bassist and producer for the Buzzcocks), who resides between London and Brooklyn. your site is strangely speaking about my world in so many areas!! fyi- Tony helped me construct the model boats in the new beastie boys video "ch check it out"- note the action figures-designed by nigo(bape). funny

keep it up-
I'm such a nerd I forwarded the email to all my friends who would even have any notion of who the Buzzcocks were and sent Andrea a gushy fanboy response saying she blew my mind with her email. Again, I have to say thanks to her and all my regular readers for supporting the site and giving feedback good or bad via the Comments section (or by email for those of you who are too shy to reveal yourself in public).

And finally, congrats to Dina Vathis on winning the Roots 12" contest. If you can believe it, she was the only one who got the right answer to the question "What is the name of the label that first released The Roots' debut indie album Organix?" The correct answer is Remedy Records. FYI: for those who entered but got it wrong, Cargo/Uni were responsible for the re-release of Organix. Stay tuned for more contests coming soon.

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The Abu Ghurayb scandal continues | Chalabi cons the neocons | Disney's b-tch move | The impending trainwreck of Athens 2004 

At the most basic level of justice, people are no longer disappearing into political prisons, torture chambers, and mass graves -- because the former dictator is in prison, himself. -- George W. Bush, Presidential Radio Address. (May 1, 2004)

Because we acted, torture chambers are closed. -- George W. Bush, Remarks at a Pancake Breakfast, Lucas County, Ohio Recreation Center, Maumee, Ohio (May 4th, 2004)
Meanwhile, the scandals around Abu Ghurayb scandal are piling up so fast, I can't even keep up to date but hit Google news to learn more about how:

- The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers and Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld haven't yet read the 53 page Taguba report detailing the military prison abuse originally published back in February! (New York Times | MSNBC)

- How perhaps as many as twenty-five prisoners have died while being held by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan with at least two suspected of having been murdered. (Reuters)

- Civilian contractors may have been responsible for much of the abuse under the direction of US military intelligence.

- Iraqi detainees are telling of other abuses at American-run centers besides just Abu Ghurayb. (Newsweek)

- CBS News delayed reporting for two weeks about U.S. soldiers' alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners, following a personal request from Gen. Myers. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Forgive me for not providing links for every point or if I've missed anything major, but I think you get the idea. As bad as the Iraq occupation (I can't even continue calling it a war at this point) has gone so far, it's only going to get worse from here on out. The Abu Ghurayb scandal has just about assured that Bush's neocon-inspired Iraq foreign policy strategy now has virtually zero chance of succeeding and the US is probably more at risk for attacks by anti-US Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists than at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, Bush went on Arab TV yesterday to answer questions about the scandal but declined to offer any apologies. On top of that, he only granted interviews to Al Hurra, a United States government-sponsored satellite network based in Virgina that sends its signal throughout the Middle East, and Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai and viewed as the most sympathetic to America of all the Arabic news networks, but not with Al-Jazeera, probably the widest-viewed network in the Arab world or with Al-Iraqia the most-watched network in Iraq. WTF? Hasn't Team Bush figured out that the time to try and manipulate the media here or in Iraq and beyond has long since passed? (Washington Post)

I guess not:
The head of a US-funded Iraqi newspaper quit and said yesterday he was taking almost his entire staff with him because of American interference in the publication.

In a front-page editorial of the Al-Sabah newspaper, editor-in-chief Ismail Zayer said he and his staff were "celebrating the end of a nightmare we have suffered from for months. . . . We want independence. They [the Americans] refuse."
from "Head of US-funded Newspaper Quits." (The Boston Globe)

And speaking of manipulating the media, or more accurately, corporate censorship, Disney pulls a serious b-tch move on Michael Moore:
The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday.

The film, "Fahrenheit 911," links Mr. Bush and prominent Saudis — including the family of Osama bin Laden — and criticizes Mr. Bush's actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Disney came under heavy criticism from conservatives last May after the disclosure that Miramax had agreed to finance the film when Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company, backed out.

Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor.

"Michael Eisner asked me not to sell this movie to Harvey Weinstein; that doesn't mean I listened to him," Mr. Emanuel said. "He definitely indicated there were tax incentives he was getting for the Disney corporation and that's why he didn't want me to sell it to Miramax. He didn't want a Disney company involved."
from "Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush." (New York Times)

But here's a media source that looks like it can be trusted and might be worth blogrolling, bookmarking or reading regularly though: Media Matters for America.
- New Internet Site Turns Critical Eyes and Ears to the Conservative Media. (New York Times)

Iran's President Mohammad Khatami, left, greets Ahmad Chalabi in Tehran in December 2003.

Dippin' back to Iraq for a hot minute though, here's more on the man who is largely responsible for talking Bush and the neocons into what is quickly shaping up to be the biggest foreign policy disaster in modern American history:
The hawks who launched the Iraq war believed the deal-making exile when he promised to build a secular democracy with close ties to Israel. Now the Israel deal is dead, he's cozying up to Iran -- and his patrons look like they're on the way out. Click for full story. (site reg req'd)
from "How Ahmed Chalabi conned the neocons." ( If the jail torture story isn't enough, maybe this Chalabi story might be the tipping point leading to Bush's downfall in November (since impeachment is out of the question from a strictly numbers point of view).

But Bush is like Alfred E. Neuman as he seems to say: "What, me worry?" So Iraq's a mess and half the country hates you. Just keep praying: Rick Perlstein on "The Divine Calm of George W. Bush." (Village Voice)

And not to make light of an extremely serious and tragic situation, but I don't know what's worse: these Iraq-related scandals or the fact that, with just about 100 days to go until the Summer Olympics begin, Athens is nowhere close to being ready? They're still building the frickin' main stadium and now getting bombed as well, WTF? (Chicago Sun-Times | Guardian UK)

And finally, getting off Iraq completely, what's going in Cuba? Sh!t seems real sexy there right now and I don't mean that in a good way either.... (San Francisco Chronicle)

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