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

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Special "F-ck the Grammys" edition 

Pro basketball doesn't have a drug problem or a thug problem. It has a basketball problem.

Spotted at Kim's Video & Music where I went to cop a new (Region-Free) DVD player this afternoon after checking out The Gates installation in Central Park:

- Import DVD copies (from Taiwan, I believe) of the fly-looking sci-fi movie Casshern that Catchdubs mentioned last week for sale at $32 even though I think it's about to be theatrically released in the US soon. This one might be best viewed in a movie theater first though unless you've got a 50+ inch LCD flat screen or hollywood film exec-style home theater in your crib.

- M.I.A./Diplo Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtapes for $8.99. They had tons of them front-racked like it was the new U2 album or something.

The Torontoist site is a go (since when?) but my folkers up there, how on point is it?

The Onion interview with Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz. I'm hearing that the show might be on the verge of being cancelled (although Fox is denying it) which would be a damn shame as it's one of the funnier shows on TV right now. HBO, are you paying attention?

I saw The Wu-Tang Manual mentioned on someone's site (I forget which one and unfortunately didn't bookmark it) GrandGood a couple weeks back and thought I'd love to cop that if I had any paper. Then, blessings upon them, I went to my PO Box and discovered Riverhead Books had sent me a promo review copy. I guess they were happy with how I'd plugged their last music book. I don't have as much to say about this one though. The concept is great. In the words of the foreword: neither a biography nor statement of principle, the manual, "overseen" (if not actually written by) RZA, is an an introduction to some of the "basic principles of Wu-Tang thought and artistry" and is to be treated as an accompaniment to the classic Enter the Wu-Tang album.

But, while I would give the book a passing grade, it really only scratches the surface of what it promises particularly falling short in the exploration of RZA's production philosphy and technique and the lyrical styles of the Wu crew which is particularly disappointing given his personal input on the book. I await a better and more in-depth treatment by someone like Jon, O-deezy, Jeff or Cheo in the future.

Grammy night is the the time when the mainstream music industry takes the time to pat itself on the back with awards for all the generic sounds they've managed to shove down our collective throats during the previous year but f-ck joining in on the circle jerk. The rest of today's post is all about supporting independent music (even if it looks like the major labels have already killed any shot of indie labels and artists being able, as was the hope of many, to compete on a level playing field with them in the still-nascent digital music marketplace):

Wordsmiths - Hashim's hip hop group. Still active, fam?

Shout to my man Carlos Mena (formerly of Bay Area jazz-rap act 10 Bass T) whose solo album hip-hop meditations, a sweet blend of mellow, jazzy hip hop and coffee-house spoken word & poetry, is on sale now from Bomb Hip Hop records (this has to be run by dude who did the classic early 90's Bay area hip hop 'zine of the same name, right?). Featuring Speech from Arrested Development, this might be a little too heavy on the dorm room, bong hits 'n' bongos vibe for some but is recommended for any folks into the "Umi Says" side of Mos Def or those monologues that homeboy, whose name I forget, from Society of Soul used to to do on the early Outkast and Goodie Mob albums.

And while you're mellowing out, throw on the Necks Move album by the Deep Thinkers on Datura Records when that drops early next month (the 8th I believe). Jazzy hip hop in a mid-90's, post-Native Tongues mold (think the hip hop on the Seven Heads label) that can also be compared to current hip hop and electronica acts like Dead Prez, Zion I, Shadow Huntaz, Anti Pop Consortium, Prefuse 73, Amon Tobin, Diplo and, Dabrye with it's use of drum n bass-style production, the breaks and samples instrumental track "Kiss the Sky" was one of my favorites on the album. Worth investigating.

I've started seeing ads for major label releases using the technology recently but producer Josh One's Narrow Path album was one of the first independent albums released (last December) in the DualDisc format where one side is a traditional CD and the other side is a DVD-Audio disc complete with 5.1 surround sound mixes of the entire album along with other multimedia content.

You can also put the disc in your computer's DVD-ROM drive and, using the DVDLauncher (accessible at, access even more bonus features including portable music files of the entire album in surround sound that you can upload to your iPod or other mp3 players as well as other renewable bonus content like photos, bonus tracks, lyrics, web links, artist & album info and new release schedules, all of which will apparently be continuously updated. The album itself is a nice mix of dubby and soulful downtempo type tracks with some hip hop thrown in the mix including a collab with Mikah 9 (of Freestyle Fellowship).

Listen to tracks from Narrow Path:
- "Miss Me" real | windows
- "Midnight Samba" real | windows
- "Endless" real | windows

Buy Narrow Path

itunes users (of which I am not one since I don't own an iPod or have a new enough OS on my PC to support the software), cop the first four volumes of the Another Cup compilation series from my man Greg Z's Stickman Records electronica music label.

Heavyelectromagneticsoularpoeticjunglehop is not only the name of Jennifer John's album but a reasonably apt description of its contents without stretching the title to a two line long one-word title to acknowledge all the styles she incorporates into her music. Homegirl's been compared to Jill Scott and Goapele but she's got her own flavor although, if I was her, I would have stayed away from trying to cover Sade's "Cherish the Day" rather than include the tepid remake she has on the album. For more details though, click here and also download the exclusive promo-only track "Ghetto Stories" (flippin' the East Flatbush Project's classic "Tried By 12" beat to good effect) for a preview of her steez. She should have put that one on the album instead of the Sade cover though.

And finally, please don't forget my man Bathgate whose single is out and on sale now (BTW: thanks, EJ).

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