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Friday, February 27, 2004

One Man's Tank is Another Man's Aircraft Carrier | Defence of marriage? | Detox shelved | And who is Ewan Pearson? 

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau is offering $10,000 to anyone who can prove Bush fulfilled his duty at Dannelly Air National Guard base between May 1972 and November 1972. (Houston Chronicle)

Does the US government know something everyone else doesn't? There's been a lot of cocky talk in the last month or so about capturing Bin Laden before year end after two and a half of failing to do just that. I've gotta say, if Bush pulls that one out of his ass any time in the run-up to the election in November, and don't be surprised if he does, I think it'll pretty much be a wrap for any chance of the Dems. recapturing the White House. (Reuters)

But maybe stories like this mean it might not be so cut and dried: Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over. (New York Times)

I missed it, but it doesn't sound like either Edwards or Kerry scored a decisive knockout in the debate last night and, with Kerry way ahead, Edwards probably didn't do well enough to put himself in a more competitive position to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

"One Man's Tank is Another Man's Aircraft Carrier" from BAGnews's Our Commander-in-Chief line.

Defence of marriage? For the real deal exploring the history and sanctity of this so-called "hallowed institution" (hello, Britney, The Bachelorette, Average Joe et al.), read Barbara Kantrowitz's excellent primer "Couples: State of Our Unions" in Newsweek.
Related reading:
- Gay Marriage: Where's the Backlash? (Felix Salmon)
- Bush's nuanced thinking on why he doesn't support same-sex marriage revealed via 1115.org.

And the "culture wars," as Jay Smooth has termed it and I predicted (kind of), continue: Howard Stern suspended for indecency. (CNN.com)

Track lovers like me, prepare to have the entire integrity of your beloved sport destroyed over the next couple years: The THG scandal explained. (BBC Sport)
Related reading:
- European Track Champion Dwain Chambers banned for two years. (IAAF.org)
- Sports has already lost its war against drugs. (The International Herald Tribune)

Bill Lester: Berkeley-trained engineer and African-American NASCAR driver.

And repect to Maurice Malone, already a successful designer, for going back to school at F.I.T. to get his skills up as he makes the transition of his company from an "urban wear" line to a general market fashion brand.

More LeBron/Miles Thirst action:
- LeBron James inks deal with Bubbilicious gum. (The Arizona Republic)
- Miles Thirst official website.

All of a sudden I'm hearing about this kid Van Hunt everywhere. Can Capitol do right by him? Will being managed by American Idol judge Randy Walker be a help or hinderance?

I never really believed the old bogeyman argument about the music industry and record labels destroying hip hop until I saw parts of VH1's The Fabulous Life of.... episodes on Lil Kim and Hip Hop Superstars last night. Holy sh!t, that was a total embarassment to watch. I feel sorry for kids coming up today who see that garbage and think that's what hip hop is about.

Speaking of which:
"The first album was fire, but this one is real beautiful because we got more experiences now. Man, you just gotta hear it. You would think we live right next door to Satan, how fire this album is gonna be." -- Young City a.k.a. Chopper of Bad Boy's Da Band
from "Da Band, Da Boss Both Part Of Busy Bad Boy Release Schedule" (MTV News). Yeah right. Like I was saying....

Say it ain't so. Jay Smooth (again!) says Dr. Dre's forthcoming album Detox album has been postponed indefinitely. WTF? Better hold yourself down with his new joint "Smokin Weed 4 Hours" on the "Tha Hot Ish" list (#16) in the sidebar at left and the new Dre-produced artist Conway's single "Nutcracka" from Universal Records (mp3 link courtesy: westcoast2k.net).

Disco-punk mp3 love:
- The Rapture "I Need Yor Love (Ewan Pearson remix)" Now that remix is bananas, this kid is giving the DFA a real run for their money. (mp3 link courtesy: The Raputre official website)
Related:
- Ewan Pearson DJ-ing the Refuse! party tonight at APT, 419 West 13th Street, New York and it's FREE.

And finally Dead Prez w/ Jay Z "Hell Yeah (remix)" get on now, the bandwagon for this movement is leaving real soon. (mp3 link courtesy: hiphopgame.com)

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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Hip Hop goes Rock N Roll or Hip Hop Behind Bars? | Is Miles Thirst the new Lil Penny? | Mobb Deep gets "Blinded by Science"? 

Only the beginning. Trust me, even without Bush's assinine tax cuts, this would have still become a problem eventually: Greenspan Urges Social Security Benefit Cuts. (San Jose Mercrury News)

Blair won't directly address it but former UK cabinet minister Clare Short claims that Britain spied on UN Secretary-General Annan in the run-up to the Iraq war and that she had seen evidence of it. (Reuters UK)

Wyclef Jean Voices Support For the Haitian Rebels in the current unrest. (MTV News)

Dean Defeats Truman! Why Political Analysts Keep Getting It Wrong. (Washington Post)

Blogs have become part of media machine that shapes politics. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Paul Graham on "What You Can't Say." (via Anousheh)

Anna Quindlen waxes eloquent on the gay marriage issue. (Newsweek)

Columbia U. of the new millenium turns into the Dartmouth of the late 80's: Cartoon Offends Columbia University Students. (via Gothamist)

Pot. Calling. Kettle. Black (or something?). Broadcasters unveil plans to ensure decent shows: The most zealous of all, oddly, is that trailblazer in racy television programming, Fox Broadcasting. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Meanwhile Chappelle keeps killin' it. "A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon," ah man, that ish was stoopid.

Just deserts? Clear Channel, America's biggest radio group and owner of some of the largest music venues in the world, [tuesday] posted results below market expectations. (Guardian UK)

Black Music Congress Report: Are white artists like Eminem, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera appropriating black music? (EURWeb)

Never mind, brothers is already movin' on. Hiphopsite.com says hip hop-infused rock n roll, as dabbled in already by The Roots, Common and Outkast (not Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park etc.), is the next evolution in black music after hip hop. I happen to agree with them. Curious to see how current buzz mixtape producer DJ Vlad's comes with it on his collabo with DJ Muggs for the forthcoming Rock Phenomenon follow-up to his acclaimed Rap Phenomenon mixtape series. News of Everlast, Zack from Rage and B-Real's partcipation is a predictably unadventurous way to begin though.

Portable vinyl playing products from around the world. (via Audio Sports)


Images courtesy: Coca Cola co.

Speaking of vinyl products, I'm loving the new LeBron Sprite ad with vinyl action figure sidekick Miles Thirst.

Mobb Deep has a new joint called (I think) "Twist 'em Up" where they're spittin' over Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded me With Science" and it doesn't sound wack?

If all pop music sounded as good as Ce'Cile's "Rude Bwoy Thug Life" (sampling The Cure's "Close To Me"), I'd be a Teen Beat-reading, TRL-watching muh'f-cker for real. (spotted initially on Fluxblog, mp3 sample link courtesy: mp3raid.com)

While we're on the reggae tip though, I said I wouldn't do this but Dub Selector is too hot to pass up on posting. (spotted via Pop Life, O-Dub was on fire yesterday blog-wise, peep it)

It'll be interesting to see how The Source approaches their "Hip Hop Behind Bars" cover story that just hit news stands. I'm just glad they're off their Eminem vendetta (or are they?).

And I know they tagged it with the line "is this the end?" but Vibe putting Ja Rule on the cover: are they trying to not sell magazines? What possible reason could they have to make him the cover star over, say, the Neptunes, Lil Jon, Kanye or just about anybody else? Article writer Lola Ogunnaike was on Hot 97 this morning discussing the interview. Doesn't sound like this is gonna be too hard-hitting a feature but what's left to discuss: he battled 50 and lost and just about no-one is checkin' for him anymore (although, personally, I do still like that B-side cut I mentioned a few days back).

A hip hop album with lyricism, spirituality and a progressive soulful sound that's a breath of fresh air from everything else out: Kanye's The College Dropout? No, De La Soul's AOI: Bionix. Check it out with the benefit of a couple years hindsight because a lot of y'all missed this very selpt-on album the first time around it after coppping the "Oooh"-laced AOI: Mosaic Thump predecessor.

And Sony finally get a clue: Sony Urban Music/Columbia Records Set To Release Dead Prez's critically-acclaimed RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta on March 30th. (Music Industry News Network)

My guilty pleasure track for this week: Nick Cannon feat. Fatman Scoop "Get Crunk Shorty" has a bangin' beat produced by Just Blaze but, with a title like that, you know this track needs to be remixed by Lil Jon, obvs. (mp3 link courtesy: UBL/Artist Direct)

On the other hand...

Honey, you got lucky with your corny reality model show when it actually became a success. That doesn't mean people wanna hear you back in the recording studio doing your poor man's J. Lo-meets-Beyonce sthick (sp?), the debacle of you doing back-up vocals with K.O.B.E. Bryant back in the day was bad enough. Or do they? Tyra Banks "Shake Ya Body" (Real video | download the mp3 courtesy: UPN.com)

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"The FCC Won't Let Me Be," a Phony Jobs Debate and "Terrorists" in our Schools Already? 

Like father, like son: Bush II wanted to run in Nov. 2004 on the issues of National Security and the "War on Terror" but the key breakout election issues look like they might end up being Gay Marriage and the economy (again, stupid). (BBC News World Edition | Washington Post)

And Kerry keeps winning. This could all be over by next Tuesday unless something miraculous happens for Edwards. (Voices of America)

But so much for "The Governator" factor in the GOP's strategy to win back "Kaleeefornia": Bush's approval ratings hit new low in California. (Kansas City Star)

Economist Robert Samuelson says it's a "A Phony Jobs Debate." (Washington Post)

But the Center for American Progress disagrees.

Is Bush's Secretary of Education out of his mind?: Paige calls NEA 'terrorist organization.' (CNN.com)

MTV Under Attack by FCC: Commission, Congress mount campaign for stricter decency standards. (RollingStone.com via Nadine S.)
Related reading:
Family TV Goes Down the Tube: Yes, Janet Jackson was tacky, but then it's been years since some parents felt safe channel-surfing with their kids. Can hearings really help? (Newsweek)

Maybe we all need Jesus in our lives?

Haven't read it but Thulani Davis slays Debra Dickerson and her book The End of Blackness, described as a book "white folks will like," in "Blackness as Folly." (Village Voice)

If Cleveland can do it....: Black music museum planned for Newark. (Newsday)

And the "hip hop circus" goes mainstream. (Newsweek)

Yup, his ghetto pass revoked: Justin Timberlake Pulls Out Of Motown Special In Wake Of Protests. (MTV News)

With Fly or Die about to drop, it's time to revisit the pet project, N*E*R*D, of the phenom that is the Neptunes with this vintage interview. (Hyperdub via the Mish list)

Kanye West: Kanplicated. (MTV News)

CD Sales Rise, but Industry Is Still Wary: Five months of growth, capped by the sales success of Norah Jones's "Feels Like Home" has buoyed hopes in the beleaguered music industry. But some fear that, having been down so long, it only feels like up. (New York Times)

And tragedy for my T.dot hip hop peoples: Ghetto Concept Manager Murdered Outside Of Toronto Club.
(Chart Attack via pop (all nipple))



So Bad Boy's 10th Anniversary... The Hits CD/DVD album release is coming soon but apparently has no Faith Evans or Shyne (or Lox?) in the video or music tracklistings. What's the deal?

Details on The Streets new album A Grand Don't Come For Free, due May 10th (in the UK), via Pitchfork.

Starks on the mixtape hustle. (allhiphop.com)

Dr. Dre's "Smokin Weed 4 Hours" (mp3 courtesy: WestCoast2k.net NB: may take a while to download for streaming)


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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Grey Tuesday bootleg music edition 

New "The Hot Ish" list is up in the side bar at left (for those whose screen set-up means the sidebar is not, in fact, visible at the side, I'm sorry but I am not technically adept enough to fix the problem in my blog template). There's more indie stuff in this edtion as I've been slackin' on my mixtape purchases and the ones I did buy weren't really impressing me too much (see below). Still some good music on there though so mouse over listings for mp3 links or for more info on tracks.

Old music I was playing this weekend:

- Show and AG: Goodfellas
- The Roots: Organix.

O-Dub, not sure if these made it into your Classic Material book but, if not and there's ever a volume 2, these should both be included. Goodfellas was an album I kind of dismised on its release that has stood the test of time. This album is incredible underground, hardcore hip hop (do people even still use that term any more: it's all either backbapck or gangsta now, WTF?) that, production-wise, treads a middle ground between the jazzy artfulness of A Tribe Called Quest and the grimey, nihilism of early Mobb Deep.

Organix was the Roots' pre-major label debut album that basically served as their demo and was incredibly hard to find up until a couple years ago when it was officially re-released. It's an album that has the feel of being recorded as one long-jam session and sounds like a group having real fun. As compared to the Roots epicly over-produced later efforts, this is cheerfully low-budget in feel, although ironically, their new album is supposedly a return to this jam session aesthetic. Let's hope so.

Speaking of Tribe, I bumped into Q-tip while selling some old wax at Sound Library in the East Village this weekend. Duke is still diggin' but here's the weird thing: I told him that I was really diggin' the track he did the N*E*R*D album that I had heard on Trevor Nelson's Radio 1 show and had subsequently listed on my last "The Hot Ish" chart. He looked at me puzzled and said the track wasn' t even finished yet. When I described the song I had heard he looked even more confused and said he had no idea what track I was talking about. So now he's got me doubting what I had heard even though it's clearly listed on the archive playlist for the show I was listening to.

While at the store, I also heard a rumor about Sony trying to do an Illmatic 10th anniversary remix re-release similar to the Paid in Full one that came out a couple years ago and the Lord Finesse one coming out soon. The only problem, according to sometime Nas producer LES who told Sound Libray about this, is they are having trouble finding acapellas for many of the original tracks (what? nobody has the multitrack masters, which were still in common use back then, that they could pull them from any more?). The story is also confimed by SOHH (spotted via the I'm so Sincerr blog).

Copped a few mixtapes last weekend too:

You can safely skip DJ Whoo Kid's All*Star Superbowl Weekend 2004 mixtape (yes, I guess I'm reviewing this late). Completely uninspiring and nothing that's a must-hear even though my man, The Game reps it out yet again and the tape ends with a new Dr. Dre joint "Smokin Weed 4 Hrs." with the good Doctor rockin' over a replayed and flipped "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" loop. The mediocre quality of this tape is probably a function of Whoo Kid dropping three tapes at once. I copped the second one, D-Block The Mixtape, and passed the on All Eyes on Us G-Unit Radio jumpoff. Buying mixtapes on a semi-regular basis, I have more G-Unit/50 cent music than any one person could possibly want. While I guess the same could almost be said for The Lox & D-Block, they haven't quite flooded the market with crew mixtapes like G-unit plus I'm just more into their music. DJ Enuff & Kast One normally drop pretty good mixtapes but, while their It's Ya Birthday mixtape has a few cool freestyles by newcomer Cashmere and other bigger names, this is also not a must-buy. Finally, I was kind of disappointed by the Kon The Louis Vuitton Don Kanye West pre-album mixtape. I guess now that his College Dropout album is out, most of the stuff on this tape isn't so timely and there wasn't really anything else on here that made me feel like this was a classic tape. To be fair though, as a compilation of Kanye's production work it works plus there's a few tracks he's done for others where he adds his own new verses. Verdict: cop from your local $2 a disc street bootlegger if you missed this a couple months back.

Also, bought some non-hip hop wax this weekend too. For those open-minded enough to spin beat-oriented music beyond just hip hop, you really need to f-ck with John Tejada 3-track "Breakout" EP of "tech house" on Palette Recordings. "Tech House"? I see you skipping to the next blog you read already but hold on a minute before you do.... If you used to be into classic early Trax-era Chicago house like Marshall Jeferson, Steve "Silk" Hurley, Fingers Inc, Frankie Knuckles etc. or the first wave of Detroit techno (I'm talking pre-Inner City Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins and Derrik May), then you need to really check this EP out. Trust me I don't mess with this type of music at all normally but, thanks to my man Scottie B of Blunted Funk/Takeout Marketing for the heads up on this release at Halcyon last Saturday. That was one record I wasn't planning on buying that I'm really glad I did. (mp3 samples: real | mp3 courtesy: Satellite Records and DJ Nexus)

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Monday, February 23, 2004

A Very Special Weekend of Race on TV and Nader plays spoiler again? 

Somebody, please stop this man. 2000 was bad enough, but now Nader wants to play spolier again in one of the most important elections in this country's history as he announces his Independent candidacy for President?
Related reading:
- Nader rejects spoiler label in new presidential bid. (CNN.com)
- Nader Defends Candidacy as Democrats Criticize Decision to Run. (Washington Post)

I thought the Shiite majority was the problem in Iraq?! British Iraq mediator fears a powderkeg: an Anglican Christian clergyman mediating in Iraq says he fears civil war could erupt if the U.S.-led administration fails to win over the Sunni Muslim minority. (Reuters UK)

And Iraqi exiles [are] still getting paid, despite false intelligence. (Seattle Times)

So. How has our commander-in-chief, with his laser focus on "national security" and the "War on Terror" been doing on these issues recently? More on the Pakistan nuclear black market scandal:
"In pursuit of both profits and a kind of Islamic nuclear parity, [ Abdul Qadeer] Khan passed on equipment and know-how to Iran and Libya, and made offers to Iraq and most recently Syria, officials say. Khan also helped North Korea's covert program.

"One senior U.S. official [said] that Khan's role in destabilizing the 21st century will "loom up there" with Hitler's and Stalin's impact in the 20th.

Pakistan, not Iraq, is probably the world's most dangerous breeding ground for both WMD and terror [emphasis added]. But Pakistan is also a key U.S. ally. U.S. officials had to swallow hard while President Pervez Musharraf only mildly disciplined Khan, a national hero, dismissing him from his ceremonial role as adviser. Newsweek has learned that it was the IAEA, rather than the Bush administration, that first put pressure on Pakistan to force Khan to publicly reveal his central role in the network."
From "Black Market Nukes" in Newsweek.

Where did the jobs go? Is "offshoring," or something else, to blame? Daniel McGinn tries to answer the question in "Help Not Wanted." (Newsweek)

As Election 2004 picks up steam, John Gertner asks the question: are campaigning and voting just marketing and consumption in "The very, very personal is political." An excerpt:
"... should this election come down to a few battleground states, and should it come down in one or two of those places to a tiny, trembling, heart-stopping margin of victory, it is just as likely that one of the most crucial factors in November will not necessarily be what voters know about the candidates. It's what the candidates know about the voters."(New York Times, permalink via AllAboutGeorge.com)
The best in hip hop blog writing can now be found at The Blogship set up and run by Eric of The Stinkzone.

And the trainwreck is back on the rails: Diddy, Fonswroth, Chopper, Babs and the rest of the crew return in the third season of MTV's Making the Band 2 premiering March 4 @ 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

"Semi-blog wars," part 2: I had to bring it to some cornball who described me as " probably... a person who grew up listening to the Beetles [sic] and Elvis and thought Will Smith was our first gangsta rapper" on the Coolfer website last week in a comments thread about the efforts of Public Enemy's Chuck D to start a new hip hop music video channel. The "cornball" in question, Jason, was gracious enough to admit he was wrong in his response to my comments though. Still no response yet from Isabelle on gavinsblog however.

Now that I am slowly getting sucked into the Blogosphere beyond posting a few comments on news, politics and music on this site every day, here's a question I've become curious about: daily (or frequent) bloggers, how much time do you spend on your blog every day? A friend of mine who reads this site daily asked me that question the other day. I told him maybe an hour or so each day as I kind of add stories as I see them on sites I surf to anyway as matter of course. I then edit them all together when I feel I have enough stuff or don't want to spend any more time on it. Of course, since I work out of my home, and not in an office, I am able to go back and fix things throughout the day without raising the ire of a boss looking over my shoulder, so my time estimate might be (embarsassingly) low.

Movie fans: avoid Cabin Fever, this might be one of the worst movies I have ever seen, period. Absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever and that's even taken into account that it has nudity in it.

Dave Chapelle has had the race issue on lock in the comedy world with his show but Larry David took a stab at it in a pretty funny episode, called "The Surrogate," of his HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm last night. And I finally caught that surreal "Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Stories" episode of Chappelle's Show that has everyone talkin' last night as well as ego trip's race special TV's Illest Minority Moments. I think they're gonna need to do some follow up episodes 'cos there's way too much stuff to think it all got covered in just that one show. It was bugged out watching clips of the Patridge Family episode centered around Danny Bonaduce joining a quasi-Black Panthers organization and the discussion of COPS, Ponch (sp?) from CHiPS and the Sesame Street "What Race Am I?" quiz stuff was pretty funny too. F-ck it, the whole thing was pretty well done.

Finally, everyone else is doing it, so why not me too?:

Your Instructions:
Step 1: Open your MP3 [CD] player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: Write down the first 20 songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 4: Profit!

The list:

01. Queen Latifah - Just Another Day
02. Dave Hollister - Yo Baby's Daddy
03. Mary J. Blige - A Dream
04. Gravediggaz - Bang Your Head
05. Monie Love - Read Between the Lines
06. Wu-Tang Clan - Impossible
07. DJ Solo - Darkage
08. Brownstone - Searching (For Our Love)
09. MJG feat. Rodney Ellis - That Girl
10. Big Star - September Gurls
11. Chocolate Genius - Don't Look Down
12. Queens of the Stone Age - Do It Again
13. Wu-Tang Clan - Dog Sh!t
14. JJ72 - Snow
15. 2 Many DJ's - J'aime Regarder Les Mecs/Dance to the music/Oh Sheila (A capella)
16. Sheek - D Block freestyle
17. The Roots - Rock You
18. Royce da 5'9 - War (from unreleased "King of Detroit" Tommy Boy album)
19. The Breeders - Saints
20. Bad Brains - Banned in DC
21. Soul Coughing - Paint
22. Will Smith - Wild Wild West
23. Chocolate Genius - Safe and Sound
24. Domingo feat. Eminem and Feel-X (who he?) - Hustlers & Hardcore (from "Presents: Behind the Doors of 13th Floor")
25. Jai - Open

Ah man, my list wasn't even that embarassing after all that. Trust me, I have a lot of different music on my PC that I didn't really want to keep on CD anymore but that I still wanted a copy of to play that would probably be embarassing to admit in public to having. But it came up almost all hip hop and R&B when I loaded everything and hit the shuffle button. Made for a pretty interesting morning listen though. I got to track #81 out of about 6000 ("How We Roll" by Eigthball feat. Canibus & Panama P.I for the curious. WTF? Well that's what it said in my Musicmatch player at least).

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Saturday, February 21, 2004

Small weekend update: Site syndication is a go! (I think?) | New hip hop singles appraised  

OK, for those of you who skim through hundreds of sites & blogs using newsreaders or aggregators, I am finally making your life a little easier as I have set up some sort of syndication on this site using Feedster and Blogstreet. I figured out how to do it after reading some suggestions that I got from the Comments Section on the Lynne D. Johnson site. Thanks to Lynne and Gwen for the link refs.

Now the only problem is that I don't know if they actually work or not since I don't use or have a news reader/aggregator and won't know unless those of you with these tools tell me. I'm especially worried about the BlogStreet feed because after I set it up, all I got was this message on the last page (reproduced following just in case link does not work):
The RSS feed for this blog has been successfully generated.
You can copy and add the feed URL to your RSS Aggregator.

Blog: Notes from a Different Kitchen

RSS Feed URL: http://feeds.blogstreet.com/42681.rss
So I wasn't sure whether, when I tried to actually add the script to my template, it was done right or not. I then basically flipped the script (hey!) they gave me from the Feedster site to create a link on my site for the Blogstreet feed. Anyway, I would definitely appreciate comments below if there are problems (with insights on how to fix them if need be), thanks. Man, blogger is so wack. The sooner I switch to typepad/movable type, the better, but I've been slackin' on getting the research done to move on this.

Anyway on to some quick news & bits:

So unless there's some cataclysmic action in a state, circuit or even higher level court, it looks like the debate over whether gay marriages are legal or not is over before it really heats up as old boy in San Fran gets a pass from the courts to keep marrying same-sex couples. (New York Times)

Meanwhile Bush wiles out and flaunts good bipartsian politics again by bypassing Congress and appointing controversial Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which covers Alabama, Georgia and Florida using his second "Recess Appointment" (after using a first to appoint Charles Pickering earlier this year). (Seattle Times) Of course, conservatives are happy. (RushLimbaugh.com)

Between this, the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, the Florida 2000 election debacle and the SF gay marriage controversy, does it seem like rule of law is slowly losing its relevance in this country, or is this just business as usual and, now that I'm blogging and paying more attention to issues, I'm just noticing this stuff more?

So with all that's happening, who's optimistic for Iraq remaining as calm and stable as it is now (!), when news like this breaks: Iraq Elections May Be Over 15 Months Away (Washington Post). I'm sure Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the Shiite majority will take that one sitting down.

Not sure why, but here's how to barcode yourself? (via Mindspray)

Movieoke has arrived. (NEWS.com.au)

And on some non-hip hop ish:
OK, after kind of mocking them a little while back, I think I might actually be diggin those Franz Ferdinand cats. I just heard the "Matinee" joint off their album which I like (even though it sounds like "Have Nagila" [sp?] in parts). It's supposedly going to be the follow-up single to the excellent "Take Me Out". Any indie band messin' with disco and funk rhythms is gonna get checked for by the kid (who loves his disco-punk). Of course, I just missed their show in NYC last week which was also supposedly pretty good (not that I really had any ends for it, anyway). (mp3 courtesy: XFM UK)

And more disco-punk action for scenester victims like myself: "!!!, Out Hud Readying New Albums" according to a suddenly with-it Billboard.

But finally back to the real ish. I was spinning a little wax I had gotten from Def Jam recently (and not so recently) in the crib last night. While practicing my limited cutting and scratching skills (limited by my vanity in having bought the fancy silver Ortofon concorde catridges, which tend to skip a lot, instead of going with the standard, and supposedly better at tracking the vinyl but much plainer looking, Stanton hip hop jumpoffs), came up with a few thoughts on what I was playing:

- Young Gunz's "Friday Night", assisted by Just Blaze on the boards, from their new album is my new favorite party starter. (mp3 snippet courtesy: Hiphopsite.com)

- The A-side of the latest Ja Rule single, "Against Time" is more of what makes everyone hate him but, knuckle-headed title (and another Biggie/Bad Boy bite) aside, the B-sde "Ni**as & B**ches" is kind of hot. (mp3 snippets courtesy: Sandbox)

Falling into the "didn't like them when I first heard them, but sounded a whole lot better once I started cutting them up on the 1's and 2's" category were:

- Beezel feat. Bone Crusher & David Banner "See About Ya": another Southern crunk club anthem in the making. (sorry no mp3 linkage yet)

- First Draft "Too Many People in the Club": more of those St. Louis x-over party vibes. (again, sorry no mp3 linkage)

- And missed this one first time around, but "Now What" feat. T.I., the B-side of Juelz Santana's "Down" single, is crazy hot. Man, I'ma have to get T.I.'s album now because I pretty much like everything I've heard from son and the album did get good reviews too from what I remember. (mp3 snippets courtesy: Sandbox)

BTW, it's really amazing how much your local radio influences your perception of what's hot (or happening) or not in music. I've been a long-time booster of J-Kwon's "Tipsy" since well before the end of last year assuming it would be one of the first big records for 2004. After hearing it only sporadically on mixshows on Hot 97, I assumed I was just off my game and it wasn't to be. Last night though, my sister came in from some music industry party and passed me a copy of Billboard magazine's Airplay Monitor, a trade magazine that contains radio airplay charts with detailed info on the actual total spins records are getting at various formats. Turns out the J-Kwon is the number 3 most-played record with 6895 weekly spins on the "Rap Monitor" chart behind "Slow Jamz" and the new Chingy single.

So why did it seem like the record wasn't ringin' off in New York? Looking at the playlists for urban and "rhythmic top 40" (ie. pop stations that play hip hop) radio stations in the biggest markets around the country, "Tipsy" is a top 10 or 20 spun song on almost every station except in NYC where it's not on either Hot 97 or Power 105's playlists. I don't know if I should celebrate this as evidence of regional diversity still in play in an era of growing consolidation and homogenization in radio, or wilful ignorance and snobbery on the part of New York radio programmers. The music industry: I'll never understand it. (BTW: anyone curious as to how well their favorite current hip hop record is doing at radio, feel free to post comments and i'll look it up on the chart. Don't even bother asking about the new Aesop Rock or similar underground ish as it won't be on there. For those kinds of artists, you're gonna have to get directly at the Beatbox chart on CMJ. FYI: the #40 last track on the chart is "Here Comes Tecca Nine" by Tech N9ne [who he/they?] with 539 spins this week.)

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Friday, February 20, 2004

More remix album madness and Sex, lies, and Republicans: the Friday wrap-up 

"There is, frankly, no enthusiasm right now for sending in military or police forces to put down the violence that we are seeing" -- Colin Powell on the unrest situation in Haiti (CNN.com)
Help me out here, do Bush, Bremer, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz & co. even have an actual plan for Post-War Iraq or are they making it up as they go along?: The Bush administration, forced by rejection of the caucus system by a wide range of Iraqis, is abandoning the core idea of its plan to hold regional caucuses for an Iraqi provisional government and will instead hand over authority to a caretaker government. (Washington Post)

Sex, lies, and Republicans: Drudge shoots and misses. But Bush's allies are attacking Kerry with everything from a phony Jane Fonda photo to a sickening attack on triple amputee Max Cleland. (Boston Phoenix)

Somewhat late but still relevant (hey, it takes me a minute to read the papers which is why I only subscribe to the Sunday Times):

- Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David hilariously send up the Bush National Guard controversy as he breaks down serving in the National Gaurd in the early 70's in his op-ed "My War." (New York Times)

- Why am I not buying Jagdish Bhagwati's argument that outsourcing is not "taking away" jobs from Americans in "Why Your Job Isn't Moving to Bangalore" (New York Times) I studied economics so I'm fairly well-versed in the arguments for free trade and open markets and have never really thought of myself as either a populist or protectionist. 10-15 years ago though, politicians and economists argued that we shouldn't be worried because, as industrial jobs moved overseas, American workers would migrate into service and information-based jobs. Now even those jobs are moving overseas to countries in South East Asia etc. and there doesn't seem to be any new wave of jobs being created to replace them. Hey, here's an economic theory that you don't need a fancy BA to learn or understand: it's tough to get the economy started and growing if people don't have jobs to make money to buy all the cheap goods and services we're importing through these wonderful free trade pacts and open markets. One to grow on....

From The Progress Report:

CBS Caves Again: Once again bowing to pressure from conservatives, CBS has announced it will resume airing the Bush Administration's controversial television ad touting the new Medicare prescription drug law. The stunning decision comes just days after the network pulled the ad pending a General Accounting Office investigation into whether the ad constitutes improper expenditure of taxpayer money for political purposes. The ad was produced at taxpayer expense by Bush's campaign media firm - a firm that also does ads for the drug industry.

A short next step to the "Feelies"? Has our Brave New World future arrived? Scented emails. (Contractor UK)

Downloading is hurting what? In the UK: CD albums sales rise 5.6% in 2003, says BPI. (BPI News)

And evidence of how desperate the music industry has become to find executive talent, never mind new artists:

**CASTING CALL** Do you want to work in the music industry but just
don't have an "in"? Spike TV is looking for a few people who think they
have what it takes to become the next big industry player. Our new
reality show will send you on the adventure of a lifetime and the winner will
be awarded with a one year job at Lava/Atlantic Records and a brand new
car from KIA. This is your big opportunity to win your dream job in Los
Angles working for one of the Hottest labels around.
(via Craigslist, archive readers, this link will definitely be temporary)

Xzibit's announces a new group project Strong Arm Steady. (HipHopGame.com) One question though: what ever happened to the Golden State Project with Ras Kass and Saafir?? (Elements)


Images courtesy: Allmusic.com

I think the entire music internet community is already on this one: get ready for Grey Tuesday on 2/24. (allhiphop.com)
Related ironic info alert: Danger Mouse signed a publishing deal with Warp Records just as the Grey Album was starting to blow up. The irony is that Warp's publishing company has a joint venture with, guess who?.... EMI, The Beatles's label.

Speaking of which, the mash-up, bootleg Black Album remix action continues. Jay-Z meets Metallica: a preview of The Double Black Album (via Max N)

Quickly followed by Bazooka Joe presents The Silver Album (Jay-Z vs. RJD2) Truck Jewls via Sandbox. (BTW: I heard there are promos of RJD2's new album floating around already and word is that there's no MC's on it anywhere and it can only be described as hip hop in the loosest sense of the term. Anyone heard it and can confirm?)

And even more hip hop-meets-rock action: Cypress Hill rockin' over The Clash's classic "Guns of Brixton" for their new single "What's Your Number?" I can't be mad at that. (mp3 snippet courtesy XFM UK)

Are all these bootleg remix album evidence that cats aren't making albums right the first time around? If there were acapellas of The Chronic, It Takes A Nation of Millions... or Illmatic going around, would people be trying to remix the tracks on those albums or would they be saying,"I'm not even f-ckin' with it, there's no way I can top or equal the originals?"

Is this what the Wu meant when they talking about "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'"? From Youth Intelligence's trendcentral:

Bizarre spectator events are becoming more than just a fleeting trend. We recently told you about staring contests in bars (StareMaster TC) and rock, paper, scissors competitions at parties. Now, chess-boxing is the latest in novelty entertainment. A chess-boxing match consists of 11 rounds, each round consisting of four minutes of chess and two minutes of boxing. The combination of physical and mental challenge is the driving philosophy behind the sport. Chess-boxing has received so much attention in Berlin that a club devoted entirely to it is opening there this June.

"Kingpin, Big Dawg" New York DJ Funk-Fliggedy is celebrating his 10th anniversary DJ-ing on Hot 97 this month. Depending on your point of view, Flex is either the embodiment of hip hop's ascent toward's mainstream acceptance and success or part of the reason for the death of hip hop as a vibrant, diverse musical movement and culture. The debate starts (or continues) here.

Things to do this weekend:

- Eclipse DJ-ing tonight. Click here (and scroll down a little) for details.

- Already plugged on many sites you probably read and love, TV's Illest Minority Moments presented by ego trip on VH1 this Sunday (Feb. 22) at 10 PM EST. The fact that the show's name was changed from the original TV Race Riot! probably says more about race and TV than anything in the actual show will.

- Chris Annibell presents

afrokinetic

-- 1st & 3rd Saturdays -- in BROOKLYN ------>

Saturday, Feb 21
resident DJ Amanda Mulea, with special tag-team set by Nickodemus & Osiris, plus guest DJ Eddy Plenty. A night of afro-grooves, dubby-breaks, jazzy-joints, eastern vibes, house, classics, and more. Live drums and percussion by Nappy G.

at

The Royale
506 5th Ave between 12th & 13th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn

FREE
10pm - 4am

Subway: M, N, R to 9th St; F to 4th Ave
By car / from Manhattan: Manhattan Bridge > Flatbush Ave > right on 5th Ave> 2 miles up on the right
(718-840-0089)

Check the site the day of the event in case of last minute changes.

- SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21TH, 2004

DJ Chris Washington

Putting it down for a Sat night
@
Ellie Club
390 8th Ave
(Btwn 29th & 30th St)
New York City

Hosted by Kelvina & Chandra

Door by Nicole
10PM-4AM

NO COVER!!!

SEXY DRESS

21 & OVA

And finally, new blog alert: rockin' a very nice Fred Perry steez in his site design is Marc Marcello's Hella Hip Hop.

Next week y'all. Have a good weekend.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

Blogging While (Anti) Black and why Robert Rodriguez is a frickin' semi-genius 

Tax-and-Spend liberals?
"With intelligent fiscal management, such a choice would not present itself. But intelligent fiscal management is not what we have in Washington these days. Much has been written recently about the out-of-control federal budget. Congress is always irresponsible, but President Bush has not vetoed a single bill since he took office, the first president to show such laxity. He now beats all presidents but Lyndon Johnson at domestic spending [emphasis added]. Journalist Mickey Kaus recently spoke with a senior federal official who said, "I've never seen an administration spend money like this... The money's flying out the door. I can barely keep up with it... They give money away on phone calls. No documents. No budget. It's the worst I've ever seen...""
From "Guns, Butter And the Deficit" by Fareed Zakaria. (Newsweek)

November's election is starting to get competitive: Top Democrats lead Bush in poll — Democrat John Kerry holds his largest lead yet over President Bush in a head-to-head match-up among likely voters, a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll concludes, and rival John Edwards also holds a double-digit lead over the president. (USA Today)

Blogging While (Anti) Black: when websites attack! Media critic John Lee on why Gawker and Wonkette have a race problem. (Africana via hiphopmusic.com)

But Jay Smooth follows up by dissecting and examining Lee's charges in an even-handed, thorough way. (hiphopmusic.com)

Save America... Vote Democrat in 2004. (via Zentronix, I think. Bookmarked it as such but couldn't find the referring link on Jeff's site.)

Jazzbo gets to the bottom of the Eminem buys the Neverland Ranch rumors. (MTV News)

Get the story behind Outkast's new single "Roses." (MTV News)

This may be a slight overstatment but as Apocalypse Now was to Vietnam, so is Buffalo Soldiers to end-of-the-Cold War era Europe. It's a twisted, dark-humored vision of corrupt American soliders gettin' their hustle on in full view of the clueless, inept military bureaucrats running the German military base they're stationed on.

I don't really waste time watching the extras on most DVD's unless I really like the movie, but the featurettes on Once Upon A Time In Mexcio are a must-view, particularly for aspiring filmakers. Watch "10 Minute Flick School," "Film is Dead" and "Inside Troublemaker Studios" for how director Robert Rodriguez breaks down why filmakers, much like their musical counterparts, need to embrace technology in order to make their films cheaper, faster and more creatively and profitably. He gives a tour of his home-based, Pro Tools-powered virtual mixing studio, editing bay and music studio, all set up in his garage, making an incredible case that renders the film vs. digital argument almost irrelevant. Early digitally-filmed movies, like the sterile-looking new Star Wars movies shot by George Lucas' (who put Rodriguez up on HD digitial cameras) or the low-budget Tadpole, made a poor case for digital filmaking, but watch this beautifully-shot movie to see why this is the inevitable future of filmaking. Dude even composes all the music in his movies too and shows you how to prepare the slow-cooked Pork meal from the movie in the "10 Minute Cooking School" featurette. In short, he's bananas and yes, I'm kind of riding his jock.

Vinyl hounds, from Halcyon records:
Friends -

What you hear is true. After 5 fabulous years we have made the decision
to pack it in at the location in order to focus our attentions 100% on
opening a new, far larger and better equipped spot as soon as we can.
Yes, a dance floor, that elusive "right" is one part of the new plan,
and as you all know, that is not easy to get cleard in this town at the
moment. However, we've been at the forefront of that battle for a
while, so it's a challenge we fell ready to meet. We'll see...

There will be an official press release by the end of the week with
many more details, but for now I wanted you all to get the scoop
straight from the source. April 1 is our final date of business as
usual. Then for the first 2 weekends of April we are trying to line up
a series of cheap ($5) closing parties highlighting the best of the
best who have graced our decks and maybe some surprise guests making a
late debut. To that end, anyone who's got someone to book between now
and then should get in touch right away. We want March to go out
banging, for all our favorite peeps to get one last crack at playing,
etc...

Also, our current inventory is going to be sold off as best we can
through a huge sale that will start in a few weeks. Until then, anyone
who comes in with a copy of this e-mail (or who just says they heard)
can get first dibbs and a good healthy discount. Let the gluttony
begin!
For more information on how to get to Halcyon in Brooklyn, click here.

** SPECIAL OFFER **

I have 2 tickets for an all-inclusive package Weekend Ski/Snowboard Trip to Whiteface in Lake Placid this weekend (February 20-22) that, at the last minute due to unforseen circumstances, I have to sell.

Here are more details on the trip and click here for more details on this offer.

This is a great deal for beginners or experienced skiers/snowboarders alike. Email me at the addy above left at the top of the sidebar or in the listing if interested.

UPDATE: Offer is now closed, thanks to everyone who expressed interest.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Now things are getting really interesting 

Kerry wins and Dean drops out (CNN.com) but is Edwards back in play as a serious alternative for the Dem. nomination? His narrow, single-digit margin second place showing suggests perhaps, although Wisconsin's open voting might skew any inferences pundits try to make on that angle. Edwards says last night's results show he's the only viable candidate with appeal among key swing voters from the moderate Republican and independent ranks that will be needed to win in November. The Kerry camp argues that their man still has the support of the lionshare of the Democratic core. Does Kerry's relatively weak showing amongst independents and the 9% of registered Republicans who voted last night mean he's not as electable a candidate as the Dems. had hoped? Whichever way you look at last night's results though, now things are really getting interesting.

Housing cop cleared in rooftop shoot: after only 35 minutes of emotional deliberation, a grand jury declined yesterday to indict Richard Neri for fatally shooting unarmed teenager, Timothy Stansbury, on a Brooklyn roof last month. (New York Daily News) I think it says it all that the signing of A-Rod to the Yankees trumped this story for front page coverage in the Daily News and the the Post.

And, ironically, from the other side, Thulani Davis ponders what African Americans need in the 2004 presidential election in "We Need You: It's Time to Call for New Black Leadership." (Village Voice)

Norah Jones' 1st week? Holy smokes. (Billboard)

Kanye's 1st week wasn't too shabby either. Hua Hsu on The College Dropout in "The Benz or the Backpack?: Caught between underground should and overground can." (Village Voice)

Meg Ryan as a boxing manager in Against the Ropes, WTF?! This is either a cinematic and cultural milestone in women's struggle for equality in all fields or an early candidate for one of the worst movies of 2004. (Alright, I guess it could be somewhere in between those two extremes, but I'm trying to get a little more provocative for the new year.)

Urban Outfitters, original purveyors of Ghettopoly, keeping kids ignorant since 1970. (via Catchdubs.com)

A little too skewed toward britpop stuff, but check out XFM's Album Cover Quiz.

New blog permalinks to peep on the sidebar:

So Sayeth the Peabs: Obvs in '04™.

Jazzbo's Crunkster.

Jeff Chang's zentronix: dubwise & hiphopcentric

Some mp3 links finally up for "Salt Shaker" (like you haven't been hearing/seeing that track getting banged everywhere over the past few weeks) and the "Wake Up (It's Alright)" Missy remix featuring Raekwon on the Hot Ish list on the sidebar too.

And even more mp3 action (courtesy of Piccadilly Reords): Chicks on Speed's "Wordy Rappinghood (Playgroup remix)." This beat was originally intended for an eventually unreleased Common remix of "New Wave" by Trevor Jackson that I put on my year end "Best of" remixes list, but nice to see it finally put to good (commerical) use here.

And finally, Eclipse & crew re-launch Uncle Howie records with some Non-Phixion reissues. Here's the latest on what E and Non-Phixion are up to in the near future too:

every Friday night at Ponte's...

DJ Eclipse (of Non Phixion) spinning all the joints that get you open.
New & old hip hop, classics, reggae, rock, etc.
Free admission
Free brick oven pizza (until midnight, $5 after).
Free valet parking
10:00 PM - until
21 & over
Ponte's Restaurant
39 Desbrosses St. at the West Side HWY, 2 blocks south of Canal

A/C/E train to Canal or 1/9 train to Canal. (walk down Canal to Hudson, make left on Hudson, make right on
Desbrosses).
_________________________________________________________
NON PHIXION LIVE AT SOUTHPAW, THURSDAY MARCH 4TH!!!

Non Phixion will be headlining at Southpaw on Thursday March 4, 2004 for the kickoff of the new monthly event called "Good Word." Expect one of the craziest shows you've ever seen. You know how we do it in Brooklyn!
P.F. Cuttin on the wheels.
Doors at 8pm
$12 in advance $15 day of show
16 & over
Southpaw is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn at 125 Fifth Avenue between Sterling Pl. and St. John's Pl.

SUBWAY
Q Train to 7th Ave.
M/N/Q/R/W/4/5 to Atlantic-Pacific
M/N/R to Union Street
2/3 to Bergen St.
F to 4th Ave.


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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Why Iraq but not Haiti? | Neptunes secrets revealed and | Arthur Russell belatedly gets his shine 

From the February 11 "Crisis in Haiti" editorial in the Washington Post:

Haiti stood on the verge of revolution or anarchy last night. Armed gangs opposed to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide controlled a number of towns, and fighting was reported in the second-largest city, Cap Haitien. Scores have been killed since rebellion began last week, and the United Nations is warning of an imminent food crisis. Yet neither the United States nor Haiti's other neighbors appear prepared to come to its rescue [emphasis added]. They are standing by as a violent movement, made up at least in part of criminals and thugs with connections to Haiti's last dictatorship, overthrows a democratically elected president -- or is itself brutally put down.

So, the $64,000 question: why intervene and go to war (in part) to relieve the suffering of the Iraqi people but do nothing on behalf of the Haitians? (spotted on Haiti Pundit via American Black)

Jayson Blair wants to fund a scholarship for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at his alma mater, the University of Maryland, but Tom Kunkel, dean of the school, says they would "never take such ill-gotten money." (Washington Post scroll down to fourth item)


Image courtesy: All Music Guide

From my good friends at Audika records:

We are very happy to announce that after lots of hard work and plenty of love, we have our first release today, [cult left-field disco figure] Arthur Russell's Calling Out of Context, a collection of unreleased material compiled after sifting through hundreds of old tapes and masters (the album has been licensed to Rough Trade for Europe for those of you not in the States).

Look for upcoming coverage in the NY Times this Sunday as well as reviews in the current Rolling Stone, and upcoming issues of Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, SF weekly, Village Voice, Vice, Spin, New York magazine, Valley Advocate, and the New Yorker.

Audika also launching our website so please check it out for more information and/or to BUY a CD. Everyone's support is and will be very much appreciated so please spread the word and, most importantly, love and enjoy it.

I think I just did. For more info, click here.
Related listening: Soul Jazz's The World of Arthur Russell available via Insound.

And while I'm in plug-my-friends mode, looks like Robot Stories done good this past weekend:

Dear Friends,

Thank you, everyone! "Robot Stories" had a spectacular first weekend at the Cinema Village in New York City, selling out several shows and grossing $10,026 over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! That's a fantastic number for an indepedent film in New York -- and enough to convince the theater owner to give us a second week! So thanks to all your help in getting the word out, we're playing in New York through February 26 at the least. Click here for screening info and here's our latest review -- a three and a half star rave from Newsday!

Again, many, many thanks for supporting the film. See you at the movies!

Rumors swirling that OG hip hop progressivists De La Soul might be signing to the Sanctuary Music Group.

Secrets of the Neptunes' hit production sound revealed. (HipHopGame.com)

And finally, some mp3 madness: Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" as performed by the U. Mass. Front Percussion Ensemble. (The UMass Drumline)

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Monday, February 16, 2004

The Kitchen gets slightly more opinionated than usual Holiday Edition 

In a head-to-head matchup In a recent Washinton Post/ABC poll, Kerry beats Bush, 52 percent to 43, percent among registered voters. I've got to imagine that, at this point and definitely by the end of tomorrow after the Wisconsin Primary, the only issue left for the Dems to debate will be who'll nab the VP slot on the ticket. (Washington Post)

Call me radical but I never understood why he wasn't arrested on charges of high treason: Did Robert Novak willfully disregard warnings that his column would endanger Valerie Plame? Our sources say "yes" by Murray S. Waas (American Prospect)

"Updated news service" alert: I didn't realize it but The New York Times has had a political blog for while now called Times on the Trail except, in typical Times style, they can't just call it a blog like everyone else but instead describe it as an "updated news service." (via CyberJournalist.net)

And this is why John Ashcroft scares the sh!t out of me and many other people: Ashcroft defends abortion subpoenas. (Boston Globe)

Bush in 30 Seconds (Moveon.org via VH1 Best Week Ever)

So let me get this straight: American citizens suspected of terrorist activity are kept under lock and key with no access to counsel or any formal charges being laid under the Patriot Act but the real terrorists are set free? OK, got it: Terrorists freed from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay have rejoined Taliban and Al Qaeda cells in Afghanistan, sources tell the Daily News.

This doesn't exactly make you feel good about the power transfer in June or that spending all those billions of dollars and losing those American soldiers' lives to create a new free, safe and secure Iraq was worth it: Rebel assault routs Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, killing at least 20 and freeing prisoners. (Boston Globe)

"[Sydney] is jus lyke Compton"--DJ Quik: Race Riot In Sydney. (CBSNews.com)

Why is G-Unit winning with their "I'll Be Around" remake when Cee-Lo's original version didn't do (basically) anything? Sh!t like this gets me real frustrated with hip hop.

The anniversary of his passing was yesterday but a R.I.P. still goes out to Harlem's finest Big L. (Allhiphop.com) I'm a try and do a better job remembering Big Pun's passing (February 7, I believe) next year too.

At this point CBS needs to just give up or at least fire somebody: CBS Apologizes for Indian-Motif OutKast Number. (Reuters)

I'm not sure I'm supposed to take this story seriously: Eminem is reportedly interested in buying Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara. (Ananova via Gavin's Blog)

BTW, speaking of Gavin's Blog, I mentioned this excellent politics 'n' music blog a while back stating then that it's only weakness was a single-minded focus on all things Eminem as far as the music side of the site went. I never understood how single-minded until, as I kept reading the site in the weeks following, I realized that no other artists were ever mentioned other than those affiliated with Shady/Aftermath Records. On top of that, all the posts on Eminem, verged on the same almost-blind worship mainstream music critics have given Em since the release of his second album. (As an aside, I can't believe I'm about to say this but, before he turned it into a personal vendetta and basically destroyed what little integrity The Source still had over his pointless beef with Em & crew, I think Benzino actually had a point as it may have applied to the free ride and benefits Em's music and career have gotten due his being white [and yes, talented].)

I guess in the case of Isabelle (who is responsible for the Eminem posts on Gavin's Blog) the "Eminem fanatic" part in her bio applies more than the "mainly posts on hip hop and R&B music" part. Her postings led me to leave a few comments here and there on the site until, despite me thinking it's just about the corniest thing ever, I found myself in a semi-blog war (actually more like a minor blog beef to be honest) after leaving some comments in response to her "Many good reasons to appreciate Eminem" commentary. Haven't seen a response yet to my last comments posting at the time of writing this, but I'm curious to see where this goes next.

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Sunday, February 15, 2004

The Hot Ish (Feb-Mar 2004) 




1. Young Gunz w/ Just Blaze "Friday Night" (Rocafella)
2. Pete Rock & CL Smooth "Appreciate" (HHG Exclusive)
3. Graham Coxon "Freakin' Out" (Transcopic)
4. John Tejada Breakout EP (Palette Recordings)
5. Franz Ferdinand "Take Me Out" & "Matinee" (Domino)
6. Ghostface feat. Missy Elliott "Tush" from Pretty Toney (Def Jam)
7. Cypress Hill "What's Your Number?" (Columbia)
8. T.I. "Rubberband Man" (Atlantic)
9. Kanye West The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella)
10. Chicks On Speed "Wordy Rappinghood" (Mute)
11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Maps" (Interscope)
12. Dogs Die In Hot Cars "Man Bites Man" (V2)
13. Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green is the Soul Machine (Arista)
14. Dizzee Rascal "Fix Up, Look Sharp" (Matador)
15. Danger Mouse & Jay Z The Grey Album (White Label)
16. Dr. Dre "Smokin Weed 4 Hours" (Aftermath Promo)
17. Strange Fruit Project "All the Way" from Soul Travelin' (Black Son Entertainment)
18. Ce'cile "Rude Bwoy Thug Life (Riddim: Cure)" (Germaica)
19. The Rapture "I Need Yor Love (Ewan Pearson remix)" (Strummer/Universal)
20. Dead Prez feat. Jay-Z "Hell Yeah (remix)" (Sony/Columbia)
21. Keane "Somewhere Only We Know" (Fierce Panda)

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Friday, February 13, 2004

Special Valentine's Day Ladies First edition  


Image courtesy: Hiphopsite.com

What no Latifah and Monie Love? On sale this morning @ 9am: tickets for the Ladies First Tour featuring Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Missy Elliott on April 12 @ Madison Square Garden. Click here to purchase tickets (from $55.00 - $90.00.).

And from some very good friends of mine:

- Eisa Davis, musician/playwright/actress: ROBOT STORIES, is opening Friday, February 13th at the Cinema Village (12th between 5th Ave and University) in New York City. We need everyone to support it this weekend so that it doesn't close. Please come out and send everyone you know. It's a truly independent film, with a script that provokes all sorts of ruminations on humanity in the face of technology. I am in the last segment of the film (it's in four vignettes), playing opposite Tim Kang and Sab Shimono. I have several scenes, so I promise that you can blink all you want and not miss me. The film has won Best Screenplay at the Hamptons Film Festival and tons of other awards and I think it's worth your time. The film will soon be opening in LA (March 2) or DC or St Louis (April 2) or the Bay Area (April 16) (see dates or click links). Please come out this weekend and enjoy the film. Robot Stories blog.

and just in time for Valentine's Day:

- Taigi Smith, author/journalist: Celebrate an evening of African-American Love and Romance at the:

"SOMETIMES RHYTHM, SOMETIMES BLUES" BOOK PARTY

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13th, 2004,
6-8 pm


at

the Hue Man Bookstore & Cafe
2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
(at 125th Street and 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10027


For those who can't make it, you can also buy the book on Amazon.com here.

Please forward the info on both of these events to others it may be of interest too.

Guilty pleasure mp3 of the week: Kylie Minogue from her new Body Language album "Sweet Music" (courtesy: Giant Step)

And if you're not going out for Valentine's Day for budgetary reasons, this (or this?) might be a cheap way to get your romance on with your significant other.

Have a good one. Next week, y'all.

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Bush is scramblin' but is Kerry about give him a clear look at the goal line? 

Not a good look for Bush: U.N. Aide Backs Cleric on Elections; Offers No Timetable. (New York Times)

Should I take this as evidence that Kerry has the GOP kind of shook? (Reuters)

I would probably say yes when they see stuff like this: Majority of Americans Doubt Bush's WMD Claims;
Support for President Bush Drops to 50 Percent in Latest Post-ABC News Poll. (Washington Post)

Although with this story (Telegraph UK) breaking fast from The Drudge Report (via my man David James Group) last night, Kerry's campaign could possibly derail and things swing back in Bush's favor (or Edwards and Dean's favor?) again very quickly. Expect mega coverage on this one.

Now that the Kanye West album is out and being digested & debated, is Ghostface's Pretty Toney next up on the buzz radar? I'm not mad at the new Missy/Starks collabo "Tush" that I've started hearing around. (HipHopGame.com via Beats & Rants 2.2) "Face Off" feat. Ghost and Scarface from Kay Slay's upcoming Streetsweeper Vol. 2 is kind of crazy sounding too.

When I was out coppping that wack Courtney Love album earlier this week, I forget to pick up the Pitch Black album which is going for $6.99 in a lot of spots. Is it worth my while? The first single was ridiculous. I'm kind of semi on the follow-up but open to hearing some other opinions on this.

Another Black Album remix joint (scroll down a little to view)? Turntable Lab says this Paul Nice (who he?) one is, er, nice.

Finesse's classic Funky Technician to be released in a remastered form with instrumentals and remixes by Pete Rock, Mad Lib, DJ Spinna, Premo, Extra P and others. That gets a double "Oh Sh!t!" (Hiphopsite.com)

I missed the Showtime MC Battle show but the name of the winner, Spitfiya, is kind of hot. No idea whether he can, in fact, spit fire....

Has Justin Timberlake's "ghetto pass" been revoked? (New York Newsday)

On some non-hip hop ish though, I'm diggin' "Man Bites Man" by Dogs Die In Hot Cars, a quirky sounding indie jawn not a million miles in sound from Hot Hot Heat who released one of my favorite albums of last year. That's got to be the stupidest band name I've heard in while though (which probably means everyone else will think it's great). Also, kind of into the track "Freakin' Out" (mp3 snippet courtesy of XFM UK) by Graham Coxon (ex of Blur, right?).

And on a completely unrelated note: WTF is Bok Choi? I swear I'd never heard of it before yesterday then all of a sudden I was hearing or reading about everwhere including from a group of women at my gym talking about it like it was only food to eat if you're on a diet. I swear one of the women claimed she ate it at every meal. It sounded like the new Tofu from the way they were going on about it.

Blog update: I've added a "Permalink" function to the site which should make it easier to link to my posts unless I've screwed it up (which is quite possible). I'm thinking of jumping over to Typepad in the near future though as Blogger just can't seem to get their ish together and get their enhanced/Pro service back online again (it's been on hiatus for, it seems like, forever now). I have some issues I need cleared up before that happens for sure though (I reached out to Madison who's been real helpful and Taj, I might be hollerin' at you real soon too, playboy). For those who care about this though, stay tuned.

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Thursday, February 12, 2004

"We still can't find those 'W.M.D.'..." 



And more humor from today's edition of the amNewYork newspaper:

"We still can't find those 'W.M.D.'... "W's Military Documents'..."

Who is this ass-clown John Warner in the US Senate? OK that's not exactly a reasoned, well thought out assessment of him but he sure sounded like an ass-clown on Larry King Live last night (along with Condi Rice) still touting the possiblity of finding WMD in Iraq after even Dick Cheney has shut his mouth about that likelihood. As for Rice, I hope isn't really thinking of running for political office in the future as rumored because, based on her appearance last night and yesterday morning on the Today show, she is not built for this... at all.

Via Media Bistro:
Media knocked for Iraq War coverage: some experts say the U.S. media was far too sycophantic in their
coverage of the Bush administration's positions on Iraq and issues like WMD. (Christian Science Monitor)

What's the deal with this movie The Triplets of Belleville? Looks kind of interesting.

Reality TV British style. (This Is London)


Image courtesy: Agenda Inc.

Hip Hop goes Wall Street. (International Herald Tribune)

Snoop Dogg Inc.: The ultimate success story. (USA Today)

Reebok's ongoing experiment with the world of hip-hop and rap could show the industry the way back to growing sales. (CNN Money)

Top 10 Desert Island Discs from various bloggers inlcuding myself at Rashomon.

Deadpool, rock n roll style: AZcentral.com reports that the upcoming issue of Blender magazine enlists the help of gerontologist Dr. David Demko to project the death dates of musicians, based on their lifestyles.

Somebody's blowing up. Atmospehere's playing Irving Plaza tomorrow, last time duke was in town, it was at SOB's. But I'm really trying to catch this show at Irving next week.

Loved the single, but not the album. Courtney Love's America's Sweetheart is leaving me cold based on the listens I've given it so far this week.

Mp3 heat "Galang" by MIA (finally, a full length sample) courtesy of Fluxblog (note: link is temporary for archive readers).

People were feeling Sasha Frere-Jones's breakdown of the Virginia Beach sound created by The Neptunes and Timbaland in The New York Times Magazine from last weekend? Son has been doing this for years. Check out his piece on Timbaland in "Up Jumps Da Meme" from four years ago in the Village Voice. Bodes well for his rumored forthcoming book on music (or maybe just hip hop?) producers.

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