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

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Neoconservatism has been replaced by neorealism within the Bush White House...."  

"Checkpoint" Author Nicholson Baker. Image courtesy: Washington Post

More than a year into an aid effort that American officials likened to the Marshall Plan, occupation authorities acknowledge that fewer than 140 of 2,300 promised construction projects are under way. (full story at The New York Times)

The Pentgaon continues to admit indirectly that they didn't put enough boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan with this devious tactic for recruiting more troops. Who needs to get into a messy, politically problematic situation by reintroducing the draft when you can conscript soldiers who've already honorably served their country? (Washington Post)

The occupation of Iraq has increasingly undermined, and in some cases discredited, the core tenets of President Bush's foreign policy, according to a wide range of Republican and Democratic analysts and U.S. officials. (full story Washington Post)

An August 2002 memo by the Justice Department that concluded interrogators could use extreme techniques on detainees in the war on terror helped provide an after-the-fact legal basis for harsh procedures used by the C.I.A. on high-level leaders of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials. (full story The New York Times)

The Center for American Progress says Talk Isn't Enough in the Sudan and throws a light on more of the woes surrounding the new e-voting systems scheduled to be in place for use in this November's election.

While in F-9/11 news:

Disney vs. Michael Moore, part 2. (San Francisco Chronicle)

And The Carlyle Group, one company that is the subject of intense scrutiny in Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" is one of three investment firms that now own movie theater chain Loews Cineplex Entertainment, one of the few theater chains that resisted pressure to not show Moore's controversial award winning documentary. (full story

And Kill Bush, the novel. (The Independent | related: Washington Post)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The BET Awards examined | More M.I.A. | Lloyd Banks leaves a "Hunger for More" | Masta Killa: the sleeper CD of 2004?  

Masta Killa's No Said Date: a slept-on Wu classic?

Not sure how others feel but what I saw of the BET Awards show, between frying up some chicken last night, actually seemed really good. My only issue was the questionable sequencing of how the acts were scheduled to perform. Hov, who killed "PSA" and "99 Problems" with Sheila E and ?uestlove on dual drum sets, Rick Rubin on keys and Dave Navarro & Kid Rock on guitars (Rock, learn your lines next time) as his backup band, should have been the show closer, period. And having Janet Jackson come on shortly after that and well before the halfway mark seemed like a bad call too. Even if her album has pretty much bricked so far and we are well beyond the period of post-Superbowl hype, her performing live, especially without a tape delay, is still an anticipated event that should have been scheduled near the end as well. (Royal Magazine)

Props for the "25 years of Hip hop on Wax" segment featuring The Furious 5, Sugarhill Gang, Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick, MC Lyte, Public Enemy etc. with Premo holding down the 1's and 2's. Seeing all of today's hip hop sueprstars singing along to "Rappers Delight" raised a smile while the Isleys lifetime achievement award performance was fire too. And on a Vibe-style useless 20 Questions steez: was the crowd booing Pharrell's name during the the announcement of the nominees for Best New Artist? And could Babyface pass for Kanye West's dad or am I just buggin'?
- Speaking of Kanye, I just can't figure out that dude. He comes off real humble and personal in his music and oftentimes in person, like while accepting his award last night, and then at other times his ego and arrogance are out of control. What's the deal with this cat?

- Do 50's new G-Unit GXT sneakers (dropping 7/2/04) look really wack or am I just out of it as far as the new flavors in sneakers for Summer 2004?

Fly music I've bought recently:

- Roscoe P. Coldchain "Delinquent" a track I heard a while back and never knew what it was other than it was (obviously) produed by The Neptunes. An underrated Chad 'n Pharrell banger. (Video links via Realplayer 300 | 56 Windows Media Player 300 | 56 )

- Pete Rock & CL Smooth "Shine On Me" b/w "Climax" 12" I'm sure PR & CL purists probably hate the B-side of this joint that came out a while ago I believe but I'm diggin' both sides and decided to pick it up.

- Lloyd Banks The Hunger For More (Limited Edition CD + DVD). One day I'll fully learn my lesson and stop falling for the hype and buying all the increasingly generic-sounding albums from Shady/G-Unit/Aftermath Records that don't have Dr. Dre's name listed as the artist. Admittedly I've only given this a passing listen since yesterday but so far I'm like "how's this different from the last albums from this crew I brought?" which, mercifully, doesn't include the D12 album. Plus am I on crack or is the paper they used for the CD booklet just a regular paper stock or is it the official US currency paper stock like they claimed it would be. (

More cool music (and other stuff) I heard/spotted online:

- M.I.A. "Fire, Fire" (via Telephone Thing). Why are more heads in the music press not raving about this artist like they do The Streets or Dizzee Rascal. In a just world, M.I.A. would be right up there with Beyonce and Missy Elliott as a global superstar. Seriously.

- De La Soul: De La Mixtape CD featuring non-album rarities, b-sides, remixes, slept-on album cuts and a couple excerpts from a Live At Tramps NYC '96 CD that's floating around too (!).

- Qualo: the midwest Goodie Mob? Check out their rap remake/mash-up of The White Stripes "7 Nation Army."

- Basement Jaxx: "Right Here's The Spot (Switch Mix)" nice techy/glitchy-house remix action from the "Good Luck / Cish Cash" Remix 12" (mp3 via Piccadilly Records)

- New mp3 blog: nevercamehome.

- And a fly KMD t-shirt.

- I can't front like I own it and gave it a thorough listen but I did finally skim through the whole Masta Killa album at Sound Library yesterday and it's f-ckin' ridiculous. Other bloggers have talked about how slept-on this album is and I have to agree. Vintage Wu and not in the boring "back-in-the-day hip hop was better than the sh!t today" way that old school heads go on about. This ish is heatrock status by 2004 standards. It might be better than Starks's joint but I'll reserve that call until I cop it and give it a proper listen because this is my next CD purchase, no doubt (and should have been my last one before that Banks' jumpoff).

- Good lookin' to my sister Nadine for coppin' the out of print Disco (Not Disco) Vol. 2 CD from the now defunct, but respected Strut Records for me while in the UK. I've been meaning to pick this and Vol. 1 up on wax forever and now might not be able to without paying premium eBay prices. Damn! (related to the related: read the blog and website for excellent music, film and literary commentary and reviews)

I'm probably gonna miss it unfortunately, but Trevor Jackson of Playgroup and Output Recordings DJ-ing with Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf at Warm Up at PS1 for $8 this Saturday sounds like a good look to me. (via Flavorpill)

XXL continues to prove why it's the best mainstream hip hop mag in the game right now with a great feature on the top summer jams of the past 15 years in their current (Lloyd Banks/Young Buck cover) issue.

Slightly UK-centric but check out The Independent's 100 most influential people in the music industry anyway.

Ball Park frank's vaguely-gay new TV ad ("no homo" does not seem to apply here). (Slate)

The New Yorker on "street bible" Don Diva magazine. Why?

And even though I get decent traffic on this site (enough to make me feel like I'm not wasting my time posting every day at least), seeing my trading value on Blogshares as compared to other blogsites on there is a humbling experience even if this is a completely artificial measure of a site's value (or is it?).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The continuing tragedy in Sudan | A simple plan to save the world | US: sovereign puppet-masters? 

Image courtesy: Newsweek

How bad does a crisis have to get? Relief groups have tried for months to avert a disaster in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, but hardly anyone has listened. Most aid donors don't do much until they're shocked into it by graphic images of hollow-eyed infants—and by then, the victims whose pictures they're seeing may be permanently damaged, if not dead. (full story at Newsweek)

I mentioned this a while ago, but it's still worth reading if you didn't pick up the Esquire magazine it was first published in: Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs' "A Simple Plan to Save the World."

Bono from U2's commencement address at U Penn.

Bush and the Neocon's case for the war in Iraq continues to fall apart. (Newsweek)

The real deal on Iraq's "sovereignty." (Washington Post)

And finally, the Supreme Court actually gets one right. (New York Times via Les C.)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Visit the Detroit Deli | The James Dean for a new generation | Bloomberg vs. Rocksteady | The Sound Providers' throwback flavor 

Slum Village Detroit Deli: in stores today (I think). This is one of the best hip hop albums this year so check it out:
"Zoom" (feat. Phat Kat)
"Do You" (feat. MC Breed)
"Dirty" (feat ODB aka Dirt McGirt)
"Selfish" (feat. Kanye West and Tony Legend)
"It's On" (feat. MC Breed)
"Count Da Ways" (feat. Dwele)
"Reunion" (feat. Jay Dee)
(mp3 links via

Akin Ojumu examines how Tupac Shakur became a James Dean figure for a new generation. (Guardian via Coolfer)

Mayor Bloomberg gets the gasface. (

While in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they really don't like hip hop. (

Like Petestrumentals, J-Live, Unspoken Heard/Asheru and Blue Black, Jurassic 5 etc.? You may dig Sound Providers' early 90's throwback flavor on their new album An Evening with the Sound Providers. Features guest shots from Asheru, the Procussions, Maspyke and the underground darlings of 2003 Little Brother. Available from ABB/Quarternote Records.

A little cynical but, can't front, this is another reissue worth checking, especially for younger hip hop fans who may not already have this classic album: the Notorious BIG Ready to Die remastered reissue with bonus tracks and a DVD of music videos and archival footage. Including some of those classic Bad Boy remixes from back then would have made this the ultimate fan package, but this is still not bad as is.

And tonight: BET Awards allegedly featuring "retired" rapper Jay-Z performing live.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 28, 2004

"We want a free and democratic Iraq, that is a source of peace and stability for the whole world." 

Al-Jazeera video of Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, US Marine missing since June 21. Courtesy: Seattle Times

So the sovereignty power transfer is a go, two days early even. Credit is due I guess for making it happen although, surprise surprise, this seemingly impossible deadline was only met with the assistance of the UN. Hey George, what's the lesson to learn from that? But back to reality: is it really true sovereignty when the US armed forces, all 135,000 of them, are still in country but not under the jurisdiction of the of the new Iraqi government? Meanwhile more international hostages including an American Marine mean Iraq and the US are far from being out of the woods yet with the mess over there. ( | New York Times | Chicago Sun-Times)

Meanwhile, if I was Dick Cheney, I'd be getting a little testy too. Bringing back honor to the white house indeed. (Washington Post via Pricelicious)

David Sanger says Failure is an Option in Iraq. (New York Times)

While this pretty much sums up what the Bush administration is about: A series of public service announcements from the E.P.A. lampoon the notion that cars can be made more energy efficient. (New York Times spotted via Daily Kos)

Hey Ralph, let's think out loud for a minute: why would Conservatives try to get you on the ballot? Son, please get out of this race now before you consign this country to four more years of G.W.(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
- Nader gets dissed by the Green Party. (Boston Globe)

And finally, in the wake of the recent release of his biography My Life, a fair and balanced look back at former "liberal" president Bill Clinton by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge? (The New York Times)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Michael Moore is running this film ish | Q & The Cos: Obvs in '69 | One more reason why Von Dutch is wack 

Michael Moore: respect his gangsta. (USA Today)
- How the FEC could rule in response to right wing partisan complaints that they might have a basis for banning ads for Fahrenheit 9/11 when the film does not mention John Kerry by name or otherwise even once is beyond me. Favorite bit in the movie: watching all the clips of Bush, Rice, Powell et al. emphatically arguing over the course of 2001 how Saddam did not have WMD. But surprised to hear Richard Clarke blasting off on Moore for his treatment in the film of the US government's efforts to fly Bin Laden relatives out of the country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. (Los Angeles Times |

Also very gangsta: The Isley Brothers remix project. (

And speaking of remix projects: Wax Poetics/Soul Strut types, peep The Original Jam Sessions 1969 a newly-reissued album of music that resulted from a collabo sessions between Quincy Jones and Peabs running mate Bill Cosby plus an album of brand new remixes of the original source music. The Original Jam Sessions 1969 features Jimmy Smith, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, Milt Jackson, Herb Ellis, Joe Sample and just about every other prominent jazz and funk artist of the era while The New Mixes, Vol. I features remixes by producers and artists including Mix Master Mike, Mario Caldato, Jr., Herbert, Cornershop, Ursula 1000, Soulive and Los Amigos Invisibles. (For more info click here.)

Battlestar America: part hip hop, part country, all good?

I knew there was more to why I hated Von Dutch clothing than just the fact that regulars in US magazine wore it. (OC Weekly via the underground post)

I'm probably crazy late on this since I'm not a regular connoisseur, but for those who dig crossover indie rock a la The Strokes, check out an mp3 snippet of The Walkmen's "Little House of Savages" (via XFM UK | related: official website)

And finally, props to Jenny F. for her cool-hunting acumen by being way ahead of the curve on the mini bike craze covered almost a month later in this past weekend's Sunday Times.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 25, 2004

London Calling reissued | The one good thing about DJ Shadow's new DVD | Spiderman 2 loves bloggers | Trio uses the "N-Word"  

Image Hosted by
The Clash, possibly the greatest rock band of the last 25 years

London Calling, maybe my second favorite album ever, is being reissued with previously unreleased demos, non-album cuts and a new DVD documentary. This is one reissue I will happily cop, paying for the same album twice be damned. (Billboard)

I don't really mess with this style of hip hop too much, but those who dig artists like El-p/Company Flow, High & Mighty and Murs would probably dig Vast Aire's new album Look Mom No Hands. I don't really have any specific tracks you need to check, but it features guest shots from MF Doom, Sadat X, Aesop Rock, Juggaknots and beats by Da Beatminerz, Madlib, Jake One, RJD2 and Ayatollah. Surely there's room in your backpack for his joint if you feel this steez?

And I don't know if there's a legit buzz on this show or not but Caroline, or Change has got to be one of the worst (of the few) Broadway shows I have ever seen. Literally setting conversation to music does not make for great songs or an engaging musical experience, some strong performances and a few decent sequences notwithstanding.

Watching DJ Shadow pretty much just play tracks from his albums and productions "live" on a mix of vinyl and CD turntables and an MPC drum machine with random video images playing behind him didn't make for that interesting a home viewing experience when I checked out his "live tour" DVD In Tune and On Time last night either, but there's one bonus feature that is a must-see on it. Click on "Pushin' Buttons" to watch an incredible live performance of the "MPC Routine" which is Shadow, Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark rockin' together live on three MPC samplers. This has to be seen to do it proper justice. Real hip hop for, er, real.

This also looks like it might be interesting: The N-Word.

While finally, respect to Sony for actively creating blog tools and using blogs as part of their marketing campaign for Spiderman 2, but would any self-respecting blogger actually use a Spiderman 2 template for their site?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

It's the weekend, have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11 yet? 

Image Hosted by
Image courtesy

Is there any chance that, with all hype, Fahrenheit 9/11 will top this weekend's box office even though it's only opening on around 500 screens? More on this controversial documentary if you aren't already sick of reading about it on this site:

USA Today on whether Fahrenheit 9/11 Will it change any voters' minds.


The right wing is going all out to stop Fahrenheit 9/11 -- but it's not working. Salon looks at how Michael Moore terrorizes the Bushies! (Subscription or day pass req'd)

and also:

Analyzing Fahrenheit 9/11 with the Center for American Progress.

Whether you agree with his politics or not, I think it's worth everyone going to see Moore's film for themselves. First, to be properly informed (unlike many right wing critics) before taking part in the dialog about it's merits and also to see another view of Bush administration and its record which has been severely underrepresented in the mainstream media (the rantings of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter etc. about a "Liberal media bias" notwithstanding).

Speaking of which:

As Rush Limbaugh cries foul, the Senate moves toward loosening the right-wing propagandist's stranglehold on the military's airwaves. Salon on Making American Forces Radio fair and balanced. (Subscription or day pass req'd)

While from Iraq (where's there's too much stuff for me to cover in the blog. Click the usual suspects in the "Media & Politics" section of the sidebar at left for more coverage) comes this story in The Christian Science Monitor:

Old Iraqi council clings to key roles. Ahmed Chalabi, now out of favor with US, helps shape the new assembly.
When the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council dissolved itself on June 1 - a month ahead of schedule - it seemed it was all over for a body that Iraqis widely viewed as too close to the United States. But even as the council members gave up their seats, they were writing themselves a leading role in the interim government that takes power next week. (full story)
Does this come as a surprise to anyone out there?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, June 24, 2004

"Special considerations applicable to the president and the vice president suggest that the courts should be sensitive to requests by the government" 

Image Hosted by

Chaos in Turkey. Osman, be safe over there next week. (Globe & Mail)

Beyond chaos in Iraq. This is not just about getting Bush out of office right now: somebody really needs to come up with a plan to secure this country before events there de-stablize the entire region. Sovereignty power transfer on June 30? Be very, very afraid. Sorry y'all for the slightly hysterical tone on the site today but recent events here and abroad are freakin' me out a bit right now. (Voice of America | ABC News Australia)

The Supreme Court pulls a b-tch move, part 2. (New York Times)

So what are we going to do about America?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Fahrenheit 9/11 madness continues 

Image Hosted by

Michael Moore strikes back against Michael Isikoff's hatchet job in Newsweek.
- Now the government is trying to shut down Fahrenheit 9/11. Yo, sh!t is getting really scary here. Do people not see that? (

And also in semi-related news, was Lollapalooza cancelled for political reasons? (thedigitalmusicweblog)

May "Hot Ish" chart entry "Short'ee" by Ruste Juxx now has a video. (via the Trub-Life website)

Via The Game "200 Bars & Runnin'"

BTW also spotted on not my thing really but I think Lil Flip is gonna sell a whole lot more units of his Ya Gotta Feel Me album with the new single "Sunshine" (WM LO | WM HI) featuring Beyonce-soundalike Lea. That is Nelly/Kelly "Dilemma"-sized radio candy right there, for real.

Brooklyn Noir: Brook'nam in book form from the folks who brought you The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq which I reviewed a couple months back.

And also Brooklyn-related: Allioli, amazing tapas in Williamsburg. Check it out.

Plus don't forget my man Ian Smith's book reading tonight.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The draft story no one wants to mention | The real 2003 terrorist attack numbers | Rumsfeld OK'd torture? | Destroying Fahrenheit 9/11 

A couple weeks old now but still worth reading, Newsweek's "The Wars Through Arab Eyes"
Last year's invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein were supposed to bring prosperity and stability to the Middle East. "The road to Jerusalem," the mantra went, led through Baghdad. Neoconservatives and other hawks within the Bush administration expected that the United States would win respect in the Arab world through a massive show of force, and that Israel would be more comfortable making peace with the Palestinians once Saddam was gone. Instead, the region now seems to be growing more violent—and America's image in the Arab world has been badly tarnished. "Not only have we validated and emboldened our enemies, but we have shamed our friends," says an embittered U.S. State Department official. "Arab moderates who trusted our ideals feel betrayed and abandoned."

Many U.S. officials fear that the Iraqi and Israeli conflicts will spiral downward together. "I'm just watching as this administration spins off into some alternative reality where Sharon is a man of peace, where rising insurgency [in Iraq] is a sign we are winning, where we bring back Saddam's generals to quell the anger of people we liberated from Saddam," says one veteran diplomat. "The true casualty of this war of choice is American credibility—not just the credibility of our intelligence... but the credibility of our values, our principles."
Full story here.

"The U.S. government restated its 2003 accounting of terrorist attacks Tuesday, reporting a sharp increase in the number of significant attacks and more than doubling its initial count of those killed. 'Significant attacks' at 21-year high, revised data shows...." from "U.S. raises figures for 2003 terrorist attacks." (

Inspired by this O-Dub post, I did some googling and came up with only one credible news source covering the story about new military draft legislation currently going though Congress right now... in England: Draft dilemma -- They are going to reintroduce the draft in the US. But it's such a vote loser, no one wants to mention it. (Guardian UK)

Steven Levy on The Trouble With E-Ballots. Pay attention to this story because Presidential Election 2004 could be stolen just as easily as the 2000 one was with these machines. (Newsweek)

Is Rumsfeld about to take the fall on the Prison Torture scandal? (Chicago Tribune, subscription req'd)

And I guess I can give Paul Wolfowitz some credit for kind of admitting that the Bush administration had made some mistakes in Iraq which is more than Bush himself seems able to do. (New York Times)

Would Bush have been able to convince Congress and the US public of his case for going to war in Iraq if the media had been half as aggressive in questioning it as they have been in trying to tear apart Michael Moore's new movie Fahrenheit 9/11 opening (limited) today?
- Christopher Hitchens on The lies of Michael Moore in "Unfairenheit 9/11." (Slate)
- Moore's movie will make waves. But it's a fine line between fact and fanaticism. Deconstructing 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' (Newsweek)
- For all its clever slickness, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" does not stack up to such brilliant but evil art as Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda films for Hitler. But it is art in the sense that any piece of effective political propaganda can be taken as art. WTF?! (New York Post)

Don't believe me? Then would you believe 48 Nobel Prize winners that Bush is bad news and needs to be voted out in November? (Chicago Tribune, subscription req'd)

Finally, hear Bush's soaring eloquence as performed by The George W Bush singers.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Summer Jam on Fuse | Lloyd Banks: hip hop's new superstar? | The Blackbird Papers 

Image Hosted by

Missed 50 dissing R. Kelly, Murder Inc. and playing lawn chair tennis against an apparently unreceptive Giant Stadium audience a couple weeks back? Maybe Fuse will carry some of those higlights in their broadcast of HOT 97’s Summer Jam ‘04 which also features Alicia Keys, Big Boi, Luda, Chingy, Jadakiss, Twista, Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins, Kayne West and premieres Friday, June 25 at 7:00 PM & 11:00 PM EST (with encores on Saturday, June 26 at 5:00 PM & 12 Midnight and Sunday, June 27 at 9:00 PM & 2:00 AM).

Newsweek's Allison Samuels on Lloyd Banks.

And from a very good friend of mine:

Come hear Ian Smith read from his new novel, The Blackbird Papers, this summer's hottest thriller. Get your copy personally signed, then join him at the after-party and dance the night away. Special guests include NY Giant Michael Strahan, NBC anchor David Ushery, and CBS anchor Cindy Hsu, NBC's Dan Abrams.

Thursday June 24, 2004
7:30 PM
Barnes & Noble Bookstore
82nd and Broadway
New York City
Party to Follow

The reviews are in:

"This tale of murder and intrigue by NBC medical correspondent Smith could be the sleeper hit of the summer. Smith wastes no time gathering momentum and pushes the book's plot forward on page one." -- USA Today

"Smith keeps the pot boiling with a quick pace and some head-snapping plot twists. The result? A cool summer page-turner." -- Entertainment Weekly

Read the first chapter at:

Now available in stores everywhere!

Then go inside the machine that creates the high school ballers-turned-NBA superstars like Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony. (Newsweek)

So I may have dogged the new Streets album the other day but apparently in the UK it's getting crazy press love, has already sold 500,000 units and is actually doing way better than the last album. Shows you how much I know....

Finally, congrats to Shauna Callendar on winning the Puma 5x12 vinyl box set contest. Shauna, I need your address to get the set sent out to you. BTW, the correct answers to the contest questions were: Output Records is run by Trevor Jackson and DFA Records is run by James Murphy & Tim Goldsworthy.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"I'm really embarrassed to live in this country...."  

Man I haven't had that much to talk about recently, but if you're out buying Clinton's book, you may as well go cop Jadakiss' new album Kiss of Death which is also released today. I dunno: "Kiss of Death," "Time's Up," "Why" and "The Champ is Here" (maybe not this last one though, actually?), all on one album? Seems like an obvious must-buy to me. (mp3 links courtesy:

The new Erick Sermon is also in stores today. I'm a huge fan of EPMD, one of hip hop's all time great duo's, and I even liked E-Dub's last album but I'm not sure about this new one. What's really good for those who've heard it?

Finally, I didn't note the passing of John Coltrane's drummer Elvin Jones a few weeks back as, while I am a 'Trane fan, I never really knew that much about the people who helped him create his sublime musical masterworks, so I guess I'm one of the guilty parties that Carlos Santana recently put on blast. (EURWeb)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"Harry Potter mania for adults...." 

Like father, like son (I hope). (ABC News)

Fareed Zakaria explores the contradictions of Saudi Arabia's relationship with terrorism in this week's issue of Newsweek.

And Iran really seems to be taking last week's IAEA censure badly. (BBC News)

Finally, in stores today: My Life by Bill Clinton. The New York Times however is not impressed even though it's a guaranteed best-seller. (New York Times |
Related reading:
- Read Chapter 1 of My Life (New York Times)
- Clinton Harlem book signing today. (New York Times)

Harry Potter mania for adults...."" title="Bookmark using any bookmark manager!" target="_blank">AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 21, 2004

"Strength and calm?" 

Is this the face of "strength and calm"? Image courtesy: ABC News

Bush tried to project calm on morning of [the 9/11] attacks. (Chicago Sun-Times)

I really can't figure out why the terrorists think these despicable beheadings help advance their cause, but Steven A. Cook, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on Arab politics and political reform in the Middle East, has some insights on it. (New York Times | Newsweek)
- Once again I have to ask, "are we even in the right country fighting this so-called 'War on Terror'?": Al Qaeda militants say they were helped by Saudi forces. (

Now some officials are saying that most of the detainees being held by the US at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are not dangerous or in possession of vital intelligence about Al Qaeda.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Is Larry Bird right about the NBA? | The Right tries to shut down "Fahrenheit 9/11" | Gangsta Lit 

Image Hosted by Lloyd Banks vs. Image Hosted by Cormega?

Just back from a little weekend jumpoff to Long Island. Heads who use the word "Summer" as a verb, were too late to jump on the bandwagon when hip hop took over The Hamptons five years ago or just like to be ahead of the game need to get up on North Fork and the towns of Greenport, East Marion and Orient. Check out the The Greenporter Hotel and spa for food and drinks while you're out there.

Brandy samples Coldplay on her new album Afrodisiac?!! Curious to hear how "Should I Go," based on "Clocks," sounds. (MTV News)

Newsweek's Mark Starr argues that Larry Bird was not out of bounds when he insisted the NBA needs more white stars.

And Michael Moore says "Some People Still Don't Want You To See My Movie." The story behind the right wing's attempt to harass and intimidate theater owners into not showing "Fahrenheit 9/11."

But my peoples say that "Control Room" is worth checking out.

Available for weddings? (via Action Potential)

And is this a shot from the new "Batman" movie starring Christian Bale? (the Greater Nomadic Council)

Finally, Newsweek on drug dealer-turned-publisher Vickie Stringer's "Gangsta Lit."

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 18, 2004

Weekend workshop 

Can't make it to Atlantic City but looking for something to do this weekend?

Check out Sisterfire NYC being held today and tomorrow (Saturday, June 19th) to raise awareness and build unity to end violence against women of color!

Click here for more details.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Ma$e's comeback | New M.I.A. | The Streets are made of bricks? | Twista impresses 

Image Hosted by
Mike Skinner aka The Streets loses the plot?

The story behind the Ma$e comeback from

New jumpoff via the mighty Fluxblog mp3 blog from the UK-based, Tamil-descended MC-ing dynamo responsible for last year's heater "Galang": M.I.A.'s (Dr. Buzzards' Original Savannah Band by-way-of Ghostface-sampling) "Sun Shawa."
- Peep her website for more info on this promising artist.

Speaking of UK MC's, I was a big fan of The Streets' Original Pirate Material album (in spite of the gushy critical hype erroneously labeling him the "British Eminem" over on this side of the world) but his new album A Grand Don't Come For Free is just not good. Beside a couple of tracks, none of which would have made it onto his first album from a quality standpoint IMHO, the album is a non-musical, amateur-sounding mess: track after track of minimal, stripped down beats but not in the cool RZA/Dizzee Raskal/Ced Gee way, more in the "I've run out of ideas or can't be bothered to spend more than 15 minutes on this" way. This has got to be one the biggest disappointments of the year music-wise.

Have you heard this Razor "Where do we Go From Here?" R&B jawn that's getting some love on Hot 97 here in NYC? It's kind of crazy, I need a link on that.

Lil Jon and... Paris Hilton, WTF? (

And a Christian "American Idol"?! I'm not that religious but isn't there a commandment against worshipping false idols? (

Never been that much of a Twista fan but he sounds crazy on that "Got It Twisted" remix. (mp3 link courtesy:

Skaters in Toronto, check out the grand opening TOMORROW (Saturday, June 19) of my man Dave's:

Hammer Skateboard shop
2225 Queen Street East
(downstairs, entrance through the tattoo shop)

featuring give-aways. Click for more details.

Finally, what's really hood: Bored this weekend in NYC (or the Tri-State area)? You can hood it out for real at Flex's Annual Celebrity Car Show in Atlantic City, NJ. I mean seriously, where else are you gonna see those Piranha skin 28" nuclear-powered rims for your hooptie (maybe) or a set of Tyson Beckford rims (really)?
Related reading:
- Chrysler's 'Poor Man's Bentley.' Man, didn't I mention this months ago? (Newsweek)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda...." 

Image Hosted by
Bush doesn't even look like he believes his own bullsh!t

Now Bush is just embarassing himself. (Washington Post)

While rejecting claims that Al Qaeda had collaborated with Saddam Hussein’s regime on strikes against the United States, the federal panel investigating the September 11 attacks today disclosed intriguing new evidence that Osama bin Laden’s organization may have cooperated with Iraq’s volatile next door neighbor: Iran. (from "Friends of Al Qaeda" in Newsweek)

The torture at Abu Gharib and Gitmo: the actions of a few "errant MP's" or the result of specific US military training? Ask Kentucky National Guardsman Sean Baker what he thinks. (LA Times)

And did NORAD stand down during the 9/11 attacks? (Sooner Thought)
- Panel Investigating 9/11 Attacks Cites Confusion in Air Defense (Sooner Thought via NY Times?)
- Report: Confusion Prevented 9/11 Response. (LA Times)

Meanwhile, is Bloomberg trying to shut down any dissent during the GOP convention this summer in NYC? (New York Times)

Sign the petition to Remove Rush Limbaugh from American Forces Radio (or at least make it more balanced).

Finally, this should be in the other post today really but don't forget Airborne Audio tonight at Piano's.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The new Beastie Boys album examined | More Movie Math | Diverse's One A.M. | Pulp hip hop fiction 

Image Hosted by
Beastie Boys back in the day. Ask your Dad....

Seems like there's mixed response so far from many heads (including some of their normally diehard fans that I know personally) on the Beastie Boys new To the 5 Boroughs album. I checked it out last night: first off, it's a hip hop album top to bottom which is a welcome thing. It's bit same-y overall (especially rhyme-wise but that's nothing new for these cats), but I was diggin' the beats which are classic, tradtional hip hop (and by that I don't just mean drab retreads of the Extra P/Pete Rock/Ummah-style jazz-rap sound that has started to make a resurgence in the underground). There's also a cool Just Blaze remix of the "Ch-Check It Out" single going around but I don't think it's on the album. Also ch-check out "Triple Trouble" which samples "Rapper's Delight." (mp3 link courtesy

Diverse's new album One A.M. on Chocolate Inudstries (great label name) is recommended if you're into artists like Talib Kweli, J-Live, Unspoken Heard, Jigmastas and the Juggaknots. I'm diggin "Just Biz" (produced by Prefuse-73) and "747 (flyin')" off the album but it's a pretty solid listen top to bottom. Also features production by RJD2 and Madlib.

DJ Shadow's current playlist. (New York Times)

Seems like Josh likes The Roots album. The first single "Don't Say Nothin'" got pretty mixed reviews (I liked it) but the video, directed by The Saline Project, is crazy hot though.

"I read this article about Condoleezza Rice, and I said: `This is exactly who I'm talking about. A person who has such a single-minded pursuit of success that they are willing to give up anything.'" Playwright Lynn Nottage on the inspiration for her new play "Fabulation" about upper-middle class African-Americans who ignore their roots in "Lynn Nottage Enters Her Flippant Period." (New York Times)

Heathers + Clueless = Mean Girls? Even if the math doesn't add up this movie, which I caught last weekend, is as funny and witty as the buzz suggests.

Is Will Ferrell gonna kill 'em with Anchorman?

And, for those who've seen it, is Napoleon Dynamite as good as the buzz around it I've been hearing?

Bling: former Vibe writer Erica Kennedy turns into the hip hop Jackie Collins with her pulp fictional (or not) look at the rap music industry. (Newsweek)

Ed Welburn, GM's new black design studio boss. (Newsweek)

And finally, it's probably gonna come out real soon that Olympic track & field star Marion Jones is a cheater. (Reuters UK)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Revisionist History: the canonization of Saint Ronald 

Image Hosted by
Cover from the March 9, 1987 issue of Newsweek

"Today history is what we say it is." television executive speaking to the Washington Post's Jim Hoagland

Watching last week's coverage of the Reagan state funeral was probably one of the most disheartening things I've ever experienced in the media. Actually after the first couple of days I had to give up as I just couldn't take any more of the media overdosing on coverage of every trivial aspect of the state funeral preparations or pundits trying to top each other's efforts to canonize Reagan and rebrand him as one of the best presidents America has ever had. Even ESPN got in on the act as they interviewed NBA (I think) officials about whether they had considered postponing playoff games when Reagan was shot.

WTF? Did I miss the memo or something? I was old enough to remember the Reagan era and, as I recall, it covered one of the lower points in modern American history. This is a man who basically ended his term in near-disgrace over the Iran-Contra scandal after his administration, in violation of the law, secretly sold weapons to Iran, even though they were on the State Department's list of terrorist states at the time, and then illegally diverted the funds to the Nicuaraguan Conatras to fund their insurgency against the Marxist (but democratically elected) Sandinista government. (Newsweek)

Here's some other highlights from his two terms as president for those who either missed it or don't remember:

- Reagan infamously thought trees created the greenhouse gases that caused global warming thereby wasting valuable time and diverting funds and resources away from research efforts that could have helped head off this problem years earlier.

- he spent billions on his Strategic Defense Initiative (aka the "Star Wars" missile defense system), which was never completed (or even proven to work), based on the premise of not only defending the US from Soviet missile attacks but also on his sincere belief that it would protect the US from alien attack (I am not making this up).

- he took about six years to acknowledge that AIDS was a serious public health problem that needed to be addressed and researched and not just an issue to pander to the "moral majority" conservatives with by baiting gays and denouncing the homosexual "lifestyle choice."

And, as reported in Newsweek:

- he failed to shrink big government, contrary to one of his supposed claims to fame. The number of federal employees actually grew by 7 percent during his two terms.

- federal spending also increased as a proportion of national output.


- while, committed to balancing the budget, he ran the largest peacetime deficits in American history and tripled the national debt.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in a pre-taped video eulogy, celebrated Reagan as being responsible for ending the Cold War "without firing a shot." Well, maybe the US themselves never actually fired any shots but there were plenty of proxy battles between the two Cold War superpowers in Central America (Nicuragaua, El Salvador etc.), Africa and most notably, Afghanistan where the CIA armed and trained the anti-Soviet freedom fighters like Osama Bin-Laden who would later morph into the Taliban and groups that would form the basis for the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.

The re-casting of Reagan as the reason for the end of the Cold War, the major point being advanced in the media's revision of Reagan's legacy, is either outright false or, at best, an arguably incomplete analysis. Soley crediting Reagan without acknowledging the contribution of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ignores key facts such as:

- the economically weak Soviet communist empire would have likely collapsed anyway without the effect of them trying to keep up with the US military build-up under Reagan (although, admittedly, it might have taken a little longer than it actually did).

- the Soviets themselves realized economic collapse was inevitable without serious reform and brought in Gorbachev knowing that they needed a leader strong enough to stand up to the Politburo and make the institutional reforms necessary to save the Soviet empire.

Contrary to the picture painted last week of Reagan being a benign and warm president eternally optimistic about the future of America, I remember Reagan as being painfully disconnected from much of America and antagonistic to the poor, minorities and gays either because of policies he supported or through his public addresses which were often infused with loaded codewords like the infamous "welfare queen" which helped stir up anti-poor and black sentiment.

Much of the Reagan legacy remains with us today: the fiscal policy of using tax cuts as economic stimulus on the basis of the "trickle down theory," now known as "Reaganomics," was widely-discredited (and consided a failure) after his presidency until Bush reintroduced them to little or not effect. The Bush senior administration is littered with old Reagan era staffers and Bush is still actively advocating the SDI missile defense system even though, in a post-9/11, post-Iraq world, it seems pretty obvious that the paradigm for future armed conflict has probably shifted away from the dueling superpower model. Even his choice for National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice a Sovietologist and expert cold war theoretician, is a throwback to the Reagan era of thinking about the world around us.

The stark polarization between the two major points of view in current political discourse also has its roots in the Reagan era when he moved the GOP to the right turning the Republican party into the party of "starve the beast," pro business/small government advocates and Christan right evangelicals and away from the party that had long been dominated by more moderate "Rockefeller Republicans."

Probably the scariest part of all about last week though was coming to the realization about how easily the US public is duped when the mass media kicks into gear and acts as a single machine trying to sell a unified message (no matter how baseless it may be). After Bush gamed the Congress and the public with his bogus case for going to war in Iraq, I thought that, at the very least, the best thing that might come out of it in the future would be increased accountability demanded by the media as it stepped up its vigilance of the government's actions.

Now, barely a year later, after watching the media wilfully rewrite the history of Reagan's presidency and seeing how imbalanced their coverage and opinion of his record has been, it's clear that it's far from the impartial and balanced body it should be. It's also clear that without without the media taking a more active role in questioning governmental actions or policy, it's impossible for the public to make informed decisions as to whether to supprt the actions of their government or not. Seeing the thousands of people who lined up to pay their last respects at Reagan's coffin, there seemed to be a severe case of collective amnesia brought on within the public aided by the media's one-sided and incomplete/inaccurate coverage of the Reagan presidency.

If, God forbid, Bush is re-elected and decides to go to war somewhere else under a similarly bogus pretext as the one used for the Iraq war (and don't think Iran or Syria wouldn't be next if Team Bush™ thought they could pull it off), I have little faith and haven't seen anything to persuade me that the media wouldn't basically act as a tool complicit in aiding the government's agenda once again rather than questioning and rigorously analyzing the decision. The media should be more than just an echo chamber for whatever pitch the government uses to sell its policy, particularly the questionable ones, and it's really sad to realize that that's not the case.

And to top it all off, shutting down the federal government, closing all federal public offices and giving federal employees the day off last Friday for Reagan's funeral (why?) cost the US taxpayers about $423 million according to a news report on Air America Radio. With all the deficits Bush has already run up, ain't that a muh'f-cker?

Despite my obvious disagreements with Reagan and the media's coverage of him, I am sorry Reagan had to suffer through Alzheimer's for the last decade or so and my sympathies still go out to Nancy Reagan and hs family and friends for their loss. Maybe now Bush might re-think his ridiculous position on restricting the stem cell research that may help cure diseases like Alzheimer's, but so far it doesn't look like it. (New York Times)

Some related reading to get your mind right:
- Alternet's 66 (Unflattering) Things About Ronald Reagan.

- The man who taught Republicans to be irresponsible. Timothy Noah on "Ronald Reagan, Party Animal" on Slate.

- What's that? Ronnie was America's greatest President? (Hi. I'm Black!!!)

-'s Matt on the media's transformation into ReaganVision™.

- Rome's take. (Real Talk)

(note: this piece may get edited and further revised as I look back at it over the next couple of days but I wanted to get it up before it became irrelevant.)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"Long-established ties" to failed foreign policy.... 

Image Hosted by
Cheney telling an audience "we'll find those WMD in Iraq soon, you'll see..." (or something)

Reagan-style Ketchup-is-a-vegetable redux: Team Bush™ says frozen battered french fries = fresh vegetables. (USA Today)

Vice President Dick Cheney is out of his mind. And was also probably responsible for lining his old company's pockets in a serious conflict of interest action. ( | Guardian UK)

Meanwhile, 9/11 Panel Finds No Collaboration Between Iraq, Al Qaeda. (Washington Post)

And Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change a group comprised of former high-level diplomatic and senior military officials, many of whom were appointed or served in Republican administrations, are expected to condemn the Bush administration's foreign policy and to assert that it has harmed national security in a statement to be released today. Like D'uh! (

But Bush Touts Afghanistan as Model for Iraq. Is that a model as in when only the capital is under central government control (and then only with the assistance of US marines and even then under pretty tenuous terms) while the rest of the country is under the control of heroin growing and dealing warlords or reconstituting factions of the Taliban? (Reuters | | BBC World News)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

All eyez on him still? 

Image Hosted by

Happy birthday, 2Pac. (Some insight into his enduring appeal from this online fan poll in which over 50% of respondents say they miss his personality the most as opposed to either his music or movies.)
Related reading from
- Papa’z Song: interview with Tupac's father Mutulu Shakur.
- Memories of Tupac from his cousin Jamilah Barnes.


Could be coonery but it might also be funny if they can capture the humor of their best music videos over 30 minutes: "Method & Red" (premiering tonight on Fox).

Amp Fiddler live w/ Floetry and DJ Rich Medina in Central Park this Saturday.

Why it might have been better if hip hop had just stayed in the hood: Beverly Hills Pimps and Ho's.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Who's the greatest MC ever? 

Image Hosted by
Grandmaster Melle Mel: the greatest MC ever according to Kool Moe Dee

Not too much poppin' today for me. I'm really trying to finish my promised Ronald Reagan post because, even though the media orgy has finally subsided, I'm still pissed off about the all-Reagan, all-the-time madness we had to go through last week and also have some thoughts on the revisionist history about Reagan's record that's being shoved down our throats too. Stay tuned, hopfully it'll be up by today. In the meantime, here's some stuff to peep:

The Supreme Court pulls a b-tch move. (Indianapolis Star)

League of Independent Voters (spotted by Patrick T)

The New York Times excellent series of editorials on the problems with e-voting.

A DVD I've gotta check out before November: Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election

My man Douglas Wolk's music blog Lacunae: "links, clips, notes etc." and now audioblogging too. a new blog that's feeling Brick Lane as well.

Loved "The Apprentice", not as impressed with "The Casino" (from the same creative team) which premiered last night on Fox.

New 100 Meg jumpoff at Yahoo! Mail as they try to fight off the growth of Gmail. Man, I went from 82% memory used to 4% so I'm not complaining. (New York Times)

Moe Dee's There's a God on the Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs book is generating a lil' controversy on Hot 97 based on his appearance on the morning show yesterday. I might not necessarily agree with his list (or Top 5) but the criteria and methodology that he described for creating it seemed solid enough. Young un's, believe it or not, there was hip hop before Hov and 2Pac.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, June 14, 2004

Airborn Audio live | Grand Theft Brooklyn | Real hip hop from Masta Killa | Get ya Fish 'N' Grits 

Check out my man Justin's act Airborn Audio featuring Sayyid and High Priest (formerly of Anti Pop Consortium) playing live this Thursday @ Pianos with Diplo (of Hollertronix) and My Best Fiend:

Grand Theft Brooklyn: I guess not everyone is happy Hov is about to become a sports mogul and trying to bring the NBA to Medina.

The video for "Why" by Jada and Anthony Hamilton is ridiculous.

I've mentioned it before but now that I found an mp3 link, I have to reiterate that this is real hip hop: "Do the Dance" by Masta Killa feat. Raekwon & Ghostface from No Said Date (mp3 link courtesy

Get up on the movement that's already verging on huge without anyone noticing. Listeners to DJ Camilo's Friday afternoon mixshow on Hot 97 are already knowing but DJ's, after the Puerto-Rican Day Parade yesterday, act like you know by copping the "Reggaeton Traxx Vol. One" white label 12". This EP with 8 cuts is the official cheat sheet for those unfamiliar with this new sound that blends hip hop, reggae, merenegue and soca and includes "Dile" by Don Omar and two joints by the Jay-Z of Reggaeton, Tego Calderone. (Sorry no links which in this case is not a good look, but the wax is available at Beat Street and Music Factory in Brooklyn.)

Good lookin' to my man Shane in Toronto for the props email on the site last week. Check out his crew's new blogsite

The Afflicted Yard (via Anousheh)

Fish 'N' Grits: the meeting point for hip hop and the adult entertainment industry in the magazine world.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

More Monday Iraq Madness  

Image Hosted by
Image courtesy

The latest scorecard for our War (on terror) President/Commander-in-Chief:
The State Department acknowledged last Thursday it was wrong in reporting terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding used to boost one of President Bush's chief foreign policy claims -- success in countering terror.
from "Terror attacks [actually] increased in 2003." ( International)

Tony Blair's Labour party takes a drubbing in elections last week over his Iraq War stance. Will Bush be next this November? (BBC News)

Iraq is still a mess as the insurgents' wave of assassinations and bombings continue to demonstrate how little control the CPA has over security with the "sovereignty power" transfer to an untested, unproven interim Iraqi government set to happen less than three weeks from now. (| New York Times |

Sooner Thought: political insights from one of the so-called "Red States."

And worth checking out:

The Corporation: a new Canadian documentary that analyzes the nature of the corporate institution, its impacts on our planet, and what people are doing in response. Based on the Joel Bakan book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.

The Hunting of the President: a new documentary about how the right wing machine conspired to bring the Clinton administration down.

as well as:

Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America into a One-Party State.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Image Hosted by

Thanks to the kind folks down at Puma we are able to give away one copy of the highly-coveted Puma 5X12 vinyl box sets here at Different Kitchen. For those of you who haven't heard about this incredible promo set, peep the details below:

- Only 1000 sets were made.
- The vinyl is packaged in a transparent Acrylic box with contributions from different labels on each side of the 12".
- A portion of these 1000 sets were given away at this years Winter Music Fest/M3 Summit in Miami.
- The set features contributions from 10 labels: DFA, Stones Throw, Money Studies, Vice, BBE, Output, Now & Again, Playgroup, Ghostly International, and Dialogue Group.

Here's the track-listing:

Side One

1. Roy Ayers - "Baby Doll" (instrumental)
2. Pete Rock feat. Rob-O - "So Many Rappers"

Side Two
Dialogue Group

1. Andreus - "Hey Young World" (The Twilite Tone remix)
2. Andreus - "Hey Young World" (The Twilite Tone remix-Instrumental)

Side Three

1. The Juan Mclean -"Dance Hall Modulator"

Side Four

1. Chromeo - "Me & My Man" (Pee Thugg Clubb Mixx)
2. Chromeo - "Desitnation: Overdrive" (DFA remix instrumental)

Side Five
Stones Throw

1. Jaylib feat. Frank & Dank -"McNasty Filth"
2. Madvillain -"Fancy Clown"
3. DJ Rels -"Song for My Lady"

Side Six

1. The Luther Davis Group -"You Can Be A Star"
2. Mr. Magic feat. Cuzz Band -"Potential 1980"(edit)

Side Seven
Spectral Sound/Ghostly International

1. Matthew Dear -"Good Girl"
2. Matthew Dear -"Good Girl" (Instrumental)

Side Eight
Money Studies

1. Diplo -"Thingamajawn" (Baltimore Version)
2. Diplo -"Thingamajawn" (Birney Elementary Version)

Side Nine

1. Black Strobe -"Pins & Needles"

Side Ten
Playgroup Recordings

1. Pink Lunch -"Brown Love" (Original Mix)

We're gonna keep this contest relatively simple: email me the name of the two guys behind DFA records or the man behind Output Records and I'll select a winner for the box set from all the correct respondents. Contest will end June 20 at 11:59:59pm.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, June 11, 2004

America loses a National Treasure 

Image Hosted by

So today is a National Day of Mourning for...

Ray Charles who passed away yesterday.

If you don't know why this man is a legend and, like Sir Coxsone, a pillar in the history of modern popular music culture, you need, as Ghostface says, to stay in school, son. This man played an essential role in the creation of soul music and recorded some of the most seminal music in R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Blues and even Country music. If you're not knowing, here a couple links for you to begin with:

- Music genius was father of soul: Charles overcame drugs, poverty, blindness to become a legend and one of the most important artists of the last century. (Toronto Star)

- Chris Heard on the "Lasting influence of legend Charles": Charles belonged to a pioneering generation of artists that had a huge influence on the course of rock and pop music. (BBC News)

- More Ray Charles links courtesy of Aaron's pop (all love) blog.

While on almost the complete opposite side of the music spectrum, what's really good with this new MOP album featuring rock versions of their old material? Looking at the track sequence, how does this album not feature "Ante Up", probably their most rock n roll track ever?

I always liked Kurupt and thought this album was pretty slept on, but it must be a slow month in hip hop if he's on the cover of The Source this month.

But on the other hand, how hot is the current cover of Vibe featuring Brandy?

Speaking of Vibe, spotted on their website: the Terror Squad "Lean Back" video.

Thanks to everyone who came through to Different Kitchen last night including my man Patrick who was also at "move on up!" in Toronto on Saturday. Now that's a real fan. Despite some serious technical difficulties, all the guest DJs did a great job including Taj who showed the same impeccable taste in hip hop and soul music during his DJ set as on his Ascensions website. Virtu's Tom Ryan and Caesar Gomez both spun some quality house to keep things eclectic throughout the evening. The next DK party is tentatively scheduled for July 8.

And finally, I can't make it, but I hope all all my Boricuas and everyone else who'll be on Fifth Ave. on Sunday have a good time.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Different Kitchen at Low Bar TONIGHT | The latest Def Jam jumpoffs | The Source vs. Eminem (again) | New Mos Def 

The newest chapter in The Source vs. Eminem. (New York Times)

Dame Dash buys Pro-Keds and wants to create a digital music service? If he's as successful distributing this sneaker company as he's been with Armadale vodka company, that means they'll probably disappear from any store you can buy them in right now. Seriously, I've never seen that vodka in any bar or club I've been to since he bought the company like two or three years ago now. The only place I ever see it is in Rocafella music videos. (

Now that LA's runnning the show, what's Def Jam got up its sleeve?:

- New Shyne and Fox Brown (Win Hi | Lo | Real: Hi courtesy Def Jam)

- Anyone feeling the new LL single "Headsprung" (b/w "Feel the Beat")? ( Win: Hi | Lo | Real: Hi courtesy Def Jam)

- Or how about Beanie Mac's Bon Jovi-sampling "Wanted (on the Run)"? (Real: hi | lo | Win: hi courtesy Rocafella)

Not on Def Jam but I'm definitely loving Mos Def's "The Edge" though. (mp3 link via Sandbox)

And congrats to Phylicia Rashad on becoming the first black woman to win the best actress prize at the Tony awards for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun." (

Finally, Different Kitchen, the party tonight at Low Bar. See the flyer above or click here for more details. Come through and represent because talking about music and life on blogs is not (all of) real life.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

This guy is the country's highest government legal advocate?! 

Image Hosted by
Images courtesy New York Times

Appearing before a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Attorney General John Ashcroft said President Bush "made no order that would require or direct the violation" of either international treaties or domestic laws prohibiting torture but refused to provide several of the memos arguing they amounted to confidential legal advice given to the president and did not have to be shared with Congress. WTF? (New York Times)

Meanwhile, Jose Padilla still can't get his day in court even though scientists say the 'dirty bomb' he's been accused of wanting to detonate would have been harmless. (Chicago Sun-Times)

So now, despite government and agency denials for almost three years, it's finally been confirmed by Tampa International Airport officials that Saudis were flying out of the country right after 9/11 when Americans and others couldn't. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Yvonne Bynoe on Hip Hop as a Political Tool. (Alternet)

Coming tomorrow soon: an examination of the Hagiography of Ronald Reagan.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button