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September 2004 Archives

September 1, 2004

PHOTOS: Anti Fox News "Shut-Up-A-Thon"

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Thanks to Julianne for hipping me to the Shut-Up-A-Thon held today outside the Fox News studios on 47th and 6th. Very entertaining event, brought 1000+ highly creative protestors, observed with a sort of bashful bemusement by a few dozen Fox staffers on the other side of the barricades. Rarely have so few been flipped the bird so much by so many.

It got kinda hectic though, a very heavy police presence was crowding everyone into a big pen, but the overflow still kept the whole block completely packed. At one point they started shoving Amy Goodman down the street as she tried to conduct an interview.

There were also numerous cops standing on the side videotaping everyone, one of whom seemed none too happy that I was taking his picture. And down the block was another group of officers with these weird paint-gun thingies, does anyone know the purpose of these? I spoke with them briefly but they didn't seem too keen on discussing it.

The Bush Twins Get an F

Feedback from right-wingers on the speech by Dubya's daughters:

Arnold's a tough guy to follow. But they didn't follow him very well.

Fox News:
Bill Kristol: "The last half hour did not help, as far as I can tell, Bush's campaign for reelection."

Mort Kondracke: "Those two girls were ditzes. I'm surprised they were allowed on the program."

Fred Barnes: "I think she [Laura] had no place up there or the daughters either....Their mother said they'll be pursuing their own careers. I would advise them to look in some field other than comedy."

(via talkleft)

National Review Online (The Corner):
Kathryn Jean Lopez: "The girls must go. The girls must go. I can't take it. Bring back Arnold!!!"

Jonah Goldberg: "WHERE ARE THE REAL BUSH TWINS!?!?! These women are definitely impersonators because this the scariest, weirdest, strangest thing I've ever heard at a convention. Did anyone vet this?"

Kathryn Jean Lopez:THE LOOK OF DISAPPROVAL! Did you see Cheney after the Bush girls?

NRO Reader: Wow, I'm shocked, appalled, embarrassed, and just want to look away or hit the mute button... and oddly sort of turned on.

I missed this, but apparently they made some lame jokes about Outkast in their speech? Anybody got audio/video?

Odds and Ends

He always lets me know about his kickass posts and I always forget to link them, but this time I won't be left out from praising Peter Scholtes' rundown of Twin Cities hiphop history.


For there record, it turns out there was a reason for Chaka Khan's terrible VMA performance. Okay, now what was Alicia Keys' excuse?


As usual Democracy Now is on the case, with the inside story of the shutupathon, and the protestor who infiltrated the convention last night.


I can't find the right photos to illustrate this, but has anyone noticed that 2004's Pedro Martinez, with those jheri curls flowing out from under his cap, is the spitting image of MC Eiht circa 1992?

F*** Friendster

Firing people for blogging? You gotta be kidding me.

More here and here.

September 2, 2004

Slam Bush Event in NY Tonight

Those Slam Bush folks are anti-Bush slam/battle tonight at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, btwn Houston & Bleeker. The show starts at 8:30, but if you want to get on the mic come down at 6:30 to sign up. More info here.

Sage Francis on Buck 65's Comments

Someone posted my Buck 65 post on the Non Prophets message board, and some were expecting Sage Francis would come to Buck's defense in the thread. But (to his credit) Sage's comments turn out to be, umm, less than supportive:

...Buck has had his head up his arse for many years now.

I'm surprised he's going public with it.


...Buck knows his hiphop. Yes, even Jeru. heh.

He has been into it since the early 80's, which is why I kinda cringe when I hear new jacks criticize him. He KNOWS his shit.

he just...is.....f**king up, man.

It's very difficult for me to comment on this shit knowing all the I know, so I should have just kept to myself....but those comments rubbed me so wrong. Just like him canceling the show in NYC without notifying me. And other shit too....

Hey Buckaroo....I know your manager or current hand-holder will read this to you:

get your head out of your pretentious asshole.


...I understand what he is getting at, but he is taking the wrong steps.

It's insulting to think that he doesn't understand some people have and ARE doing what he says doesn't exist in hiphop.

before he learns and instrument he should relearn rhythm.

rappers are doing shit that can't even be transcribed in musical notation.

hiphop producers are breaking traditions and creating sub-cultures with innovation and ingenious technology.

He needs friends who aren't revolving door girlfriends. that's all.

My post has also sparked lively discussions on soulstrut.com, ILM, and the Restiform bodies message board, where the author of the Kerrang! article even popped in with his 2 cents.

Buck 65 Apologizes

Last post on this topic, I promise (maybe). Buck 65 posted today on the Exclaim message board with an explanation of the comments I posted here yesterday:

Hello. This is Buck 65 writing in a pre-emptive attempt to address the little controversy brewing over my recent Kerrang! interview. If you haven't heard about it yet, you might soon. Basically, in the interview I said that hip hop people are ignorant, have no appreciation for other genres of music and that I'd be surprised if anyone could show me an example of a rapper that could read music. I'm apologizing for all that. I lost my cool on tape which is never good. The journalist was provoking me, calling me a sell-out and a whore. I was trying to make a point by playing devil's advocate, but I went way overboard. No hint of irony or roll-playing or intelligence came across in the story. Now I just look like an idiot. I take it back. I don't really believe any of that. I don't think being able to read music is a concern. Most of my favorite music was made by non-educated musicians. It doesn't matter. I still have heavy criticisms of most hip hop, but I really didn't make them well on this particular day. I put my foot in my mouth and I'm apologizing for that.

It's been a trip watching this little drama play out online, and having a minor role in it. The internet is a strange and powerful thing.

September 4, 2004

Join Us On the Radio Tonight

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

Also make sure to keep listening after we're done, when Soul Central Station is doing a special from 2 to 5 AM on one of the unsung heroes of Black music, the great Charles Stepney.

September 6, 2004

Message to New Yorkers from DJ Monkone

Can't post right now, gotta finish working on this thing im working on that is mad late. But here's a memo from Monk One:

hey folks

a quick reminder to come by Pianos tonite for a dose of derelict descargas and beats bonito

i'll be upstairs Mondays playing the good good from 10 til 2, no cover, no purchase necessary, bonus round for anyone from iceland or if your name is ismael.

Pianos is at 158 Ludlow just below Stanton on the LES.

in the bag: por que no me dices - linda leida, afro burger - akwaaba, atlantic avenue - average white band, niger mambo - randy weston, rumberia - roberto roena, can you move - modern romance, don't stop - analog roots, word - dj dez, unnamed new joe bataan, e=mc2 - colon & toro, we are known as emcees - crash crew, two timin lady - brass construction, j.j.d. - fela anikulapo kuti, now you know - lateens, quicksand - quantic

September 7, 2004

Condolences and Swift Recovery to Twista

Chicago Rapper Twista Hurt Van Crash

Chicago rapper Twista, known for hits such as "Slow Jamz" and "So Sexy," was hurt in a van crash that killed a member of his security staff, state police said.

Twista, whose real name is Carl Mitchell, was treated and released from a hospital in Erie after the van in which he was riding veered off Interstate 90 just after 4 a.m. Monday and rolled over in the median, police said.

Another man in the van, Arthur Dixon of Chicago, died after he was taken to a hospital, authorities said. Five other men in the van were hurt, none seriously, police and hospital officials said...

September 8, 2004

Fun With Real Video

If only there was a way to combine this Bush video with that Diplomats in London clip that Catchdubs posted, then throw this guy in for good measure, we could create the holy grail of buffoonery. (no disrespect to those lovable Dip Set kufi-smackers, since I'm pretty sure they're doing it on purpose)

This thing, on the other hand, just gives me the willies. I have no idea if any of that is credible, but as a rule I never discount any conspiracy theory that has such creepy music behind it.

And speaking of outlandish theories, I am loving the rumor that this dude is actually Dr. Laura's son, but that's just too good to be true.

Iranian Bowtie Rapper

From Al Jazeera:

Dapper rapper stirs Iran

Shahkar Binesh-Pajouh, Iran's bow-tie wearing dapper rapper would look somewhat out of place in the Bronx borough of New York.

Targeting unemployment, poverty and Westernised Iranian girls in his new album, Binesh-Pajouh is a lecturer with a doctorate in urban planning whose poetry translations will hit the shelves soon.

"I chose rap because I can say many things with it, not because I live like a rapper," said Binesh-Pajouh in his affluent north Tehran apartment.

He said it took four years for the Culture Ministry to approve a rap album and it did so only after he deleted six songs from his original 10.

"Iran's officials were reluctant to give permission to rap music because of its critical language," he said...

New Court Ruling on Sampling

This seems like something that should get turned over in a higher court? I probably have too much faith in the system.

Note that the copyright owners are taking this action against the will of of the artist who made the music.. it's like ten thousand spoons.

Ruling On Sampling Could Have An Effect On Hip-Hop

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio ruled yesterday (Sept. 7) that artists should pay for every sample included in their work, a ruling that could have an effect on Hip-Hop music, which often utilizes pieces of other copyrighted works. A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said that federal laws passed to curb piracy of digital recordings applies to digital sampling.

“If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you ‘lift’ or ‘sample’ something less than the whole? Our answer to that question is in the negative,” the court said in a statement. It has been legal to use short musical snippets as long as the work sampled was not identifiable.

“Get a license or do not sample,” the court continued. “We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way.”

The case is one of 800 lawsuits filed by Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records in 2001. Bridgeport and Westbound own the rights to many recordings, including those of George Clinton and the influential groups Funkadelic and Parliament. A two second sample of a Funkadelic record in NWA's "100 Miles and Runnin" is at the heart of the ruling made by the judges Tuesday.

Clinton himself was not opposed to sampling. He produced two albums, Sample Some of Dis and Sample Some of Dat, which allowed artists to use Clinton’s music without legal scrutiny.

Well, first of all, I suspect that the industry again is trying to do to rap what they tried to do to funk, and that's kill it because it's got to much information, and spreading of information,” Clinton told the Houston Press in 1992. “So what we've done to keep them from all this stupidity, like trying to sue, or saying that I'm suing people, is to put out a record called "Sample Some of Disc and Sample Some of Dat" - just samples from alot of the old songs, because I have some of the demos of those songs, which is not what the record company owns, so I can license those to be sampled. We have a pay schedule that's really easy to deal with - if they sell records, they pay, if they don't they can try again. We got to make sure that rap survives, because it's our only means of communication that gets past the gatekeepers.”

Keyes to Obama: Jesus Hates You

Actually if Jesus came back he probably wouldn't be allowed to vote, being a convicted criminal and all.

Keyes: Jesus Wouldn't Vote For Obama

In the latest in a series of controversial remarks, Illinois GOP Senate candidate Alan Keyes said Jesus Christ would not vote for his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, because of Obama's position on abortion.

"Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved," Keyes said. He referred to Obama's votes against anti-abortion legislation...

What I love about Alan Keyes is he understands that the key to comedy is delivering your punchline as if you're dead serious about it.

Can we get Jim Jones to be Alan's sidekick for the rest of the campaign. "Yo Jesus don't even love you dog! Barack, you maaad, doggie!"

September 9, 2004

Pro Tools is for Gangstas

I've been trying to break the habit of posting an article just so I can say "This guy doesn't understand hip-hop at all!"

But seriously.. THIS GUY DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HIP-HOP AT ALL!!! Look at this opening paragraph:

There’s gangsta rap — music cobbled together with ProTools and rhymes about poppin’ caps, slingin’ sacks, and pimpin’ ho’s. Then there’s underground rap. A whole ‘nother ball of wiggity-wiggity wax, this style forces itself in the opposite direction by employing real musicians and instruments and revolving around rhymes with a little more substance than what you’d find in last night’s police log.

mmmmrrfrrr..grrgrrrrgr....what does pro tools or live instruments have to do witheroijgergAAARRGHH!!!!!!!!!!

I've got to stop making posts like this. Where did I put my heart pills?

Are Protest Marches Useless?

Matt Taibbi of the NY Press didn't think much of the Anti-RNC protests. I won't say I totally agree, but he does offer a more compelling argument than Jeff Jarvis did.

Well, That Was Fun

...marching, as we have seen in the last few years, has been rendered basically useless. Before the war, Washington and New York saw the largest protests this country has seen since the 60s—and this not only did not stop the war, it didn't even motivate the opposition political party to nominate an antiwar candidate.

There was a time when mass protests were enough to cause Johnson to give up the Oval Office and cause Richard Nixon to spend his nights staring out his window in panic. No more. We have a different media now, different and more sophisticated law-enforcement techniques and, most importantly, a different brand of protestor.

Protests can now be ignored because our media has learned how to dismiss them, because our police know how to contain them, and because our leaders now know that once a protest is peacefully held and concluded, the protestors simply go home and sit on their asses until the next protest or the next election. They are not going to go home and bomb draft offices, take over campuses, riot in the streets. Instead, although there are many earnest, involved political activists among them, the majority will simply go back to their lives, surf the net and wait for the ballot. Which to our leaders means that, in most cases, if you allow a protest to happen… Nothing happens.

The people who run this country are not afraid of much when it comes to the population, but there are a few things that do worry them. They are afraid we will stop working, afraid we will stop buying, and afraid we will break things. Interruption of commerce and any rattling of the cage of profit—that is where this system is vulnerable. That means boycotts and strikes at the very least, and these things require vision, discipline and organization.

Interview with Fired Friendster Blogger

Here's an interview in Red Herring with Joyce Park, whose plight caused a stir in blogville when Friendster abruptly fired her for blogging about the company.

Sure, sure, people get fired for ridiculous reasons all the time, and she'll have no trouble finding a new gig. But I always follow up on a chance to stick it to that Jon Abrams dude, he just rubs me the wrong way.

New Audio: DJ Monkone 9/4/04

Another set from the Monkologist is up on our Soundclick page. Partial playlist below. Monk would want me to assure you he was playing strictly originals, no breakbeat compilations allowed.

  • Lennie Hibbert
  • Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby (remixed by Mario Caldato Jr.
  • KRS One
  • Lord Finesse and Mike Smooth
  • Marley Marl and MC Shan
  • Schooly D
  • Heavy D
  • James Brown
  • James Brown
  • Mysterme
  • James Brown
  • The Dap Kings
  • The Politicans
  • Bad Bascomb
  • ll cool j
  • Brass Construction
  • grandmaster caz
  • jackie robinson
  • marvin gaye
  • bob james
  • jazzy jeff and the fresh prince
  • edwin birdsong
  • steady b
  • blackbyrds
  • blackbyrds
  • Lennie Hibbert
  • Little Royal and the Swingmasters (featuring Andrew Simms)

As you should know there is much more where this came from, here and here.

Source Award Nominee Fun Time!

There are three things you can count on in life. The earth will keep turning, the sun will keep rising, and the Source Awards will always have a totally preposterous nomination for Benzino.

And their list of 2004 nominees is out, time to see where Zino pops up this year!

This is my favorite time of year, I think of it as a annual ritual kinda like Groundhog's Day. If Benzino appears in one category, summer will only last two more weeks, but if he shows up in 2 or more, that means another 6 weeks of warm weather.

Ok, so let's see... hmm... wow... I'm almost at the end of the list, could it be that he's not on here at all, and The Source finally decided to stop embarrassing themselves like that??

Oh, wait.. :

Fat tape song of the year:

  • "Run," Ghostface Killah featuring Jadakiss and Sheek, produced by Rza;

  • "Snitch N s," Scarface featuring Z-Ro, produced by Mike Dean;

  • "Clap Back," Ja Rule produced by Scott Storch;

  • "Untouchable," Untouchables featuring Benzino, produced by Hangmen 3;

  • "Certified Gangstas," Jim Jones featuring Cam'ron and The Game, produced by Bang.

Whew! There he goes. For a minute I thought the apocalypse was at hand or something.

September 10, 2004

Farewell, Aaron Hawkins

This is stunning news.

Uppity-negro.com was one of the first blogs I ever read, and probably the very first "Black blog" I discovered, back when I was still wondering if there were any. Aaron was a pioneer in this corner of blogville that we inhabit, arguably paved the way for this site and at least half the others that on my blogroll. He represented his views and principles with a passion and a wry humor that we could all strive to emulate, and I'd say to some extent that's what I've always done here.

I hope he knew how respected and valued he was by this community that he helped to build, and how many lives he touched with his words. I wish I was lucky enough to say that I truly knew him, and my heart goes out to all of you who did.

September 13, 2004


we still

remember     you     all.

September 15, 2004

The Guys Behind The "F*** New York" Video


Remember that "F*** New York" quicktime video (actually named "Mission Accomplished") that was making the rounds during the Republican convention, imagining Bush and his GOP crew as a posse of rich white prep school kids who think they're gangsta?

That video cracked me up, but I was also iffy about how liberally these white kids were tossing "niggas" around.. I found it off-putting, but on the other hand you could argue it's supposed to be off-putting cuz the clip is inviting us to hate these little twerps, and it's true to character for the Teenage Punk GOP to play themselves like that..

So I wasn't quite sure what to think about it, and wished I could find whoever made the video and pick their brains a little. Luckily I happened to mention this to our ace reporter Irina, and within minutes she had tracked them down and gotten them on the phone.

Turns out the video was put together by a couple of young filmmakers named Sam Marks (writer) and Max Rockatansky a.k.a. Matt Lenski (director), who just couldn't stand to see these mark ass Republican bustas rolling into their city. Here's what they had to say:


IRINA: How did you come up with the idea to do this?

MAX: We're both native New Yorkers - I was born in Manhattan and lived on Eldridge and Houston when I was little - and of course we were all outraged that Republicans were coming here to use the 911 incident and twist it in their favor. They're coming to our home town and we felt like we did when we were sixteen years old and some bully was steppin to you on your block, talking shit. These Republicans are the ultimate punks. I'm a director and Sam Marks is a writer and a playwright so we said let's come up with something.

IRINA: And...

MAX: So one thing led to another and Sam and I collaborated for a couple of days and because of the nature of the project there were a lot of people who wanted to help us out so we got a really good crew together and did a nice casting, shot it in a week. It was edited and mixed and right away we knew we had something that was dope and it was gonna touch a nerve.

IRINA: The kids in the spot, where did you get them?

MAX: In casting this, we did street casting - go to different school yards, places and slowly amassed this group of kids. That's exactly the way that kid (Bush, portrayed by Alex Lerner) talks. He's from Queens. That talk - that speech with the tongue way back in the throat - it's him.

IRINA: Where did you film it?

SAM: On a corner in downtown Manhattan (49th and 1st), so when you saw it, it was clearly NYC.

SAM: The original concept was that Bush is the biggest gangsta of them all so how can we express that? We wanted to make him a white teenage punk. It was an easy thing to visualize cuz we all know those kinds of kids

IRINA: The idea that they're gonna take New York -- where did it come from?

SAM: The general anger on my part that Republicans were coming to New York and they were disrespecting New York and they were taking our whole city, and saying "WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, HUH?" So it was like when you're little and these neighborhood bullies, these bullies would just take my hat! And be like, what are you gonna do about it? There's this humorous aspect of Bush being a G and not caring and pushing his will on the general public. It worked so much better with them in uniforms since Republicans are so easily identifiable in the New York landscape.

IRINA: Did you know it was gonna get really big?

MAX: We didn't realize it was gonna get as big as it is! (laughing) There has been a great response by other directors and all sorts of people. Which is great, but most importantly we wanted to do something to make protesting fun, not make it kind of serious.

IRINA: What do you mean?

MAX: If we saw one more poster with a fist on it, in stark black/white contrast, telling me to go fight whatever, I was gonna puke. We feel like protesting needs to be fun and have some sex appeal. We want to get younger people involved. In the 1960s, a lot of people were getting laid for protesting - not that we're getting laid cuz of this movie - (laughs) But protesting is a way to align like minded individuals.

IRINA: Did you have any misgivings about whether it was cool to use the N word?

MAX: We thought it was appropriate for a couple of reasons. These kids are punk-ass young republican prep school kids. We wanted to have a next generation of Republicans shown as the antithesis of the people we want to reach. The antithesis of the people who we want to be involved and who we think this message is for.

Throwing in the fact that the kids are these thugged out individuals is showing that the whole Bush family is the most thugged-out crew in the world. We wanted to write it the way kids talk on the street. we weren't doing it for any company or organization, so we decided not to pull any punches. Not to mention it certainly gets the attention of many people and we have to get as much attention on this election as possible.

White people use the N word. I don't even know if it's a white or a black thing. Any kids who hang out on the street pretty much say nigga this nigga that. You can draw all sorts of things, but a certain lifestyle, a very thugged out mentality - if you can imagine a wigger mixed with a young republican - we wanted that to be our speaker for the RNC. There's no big secret there. and it's kind of hilarious

SAM: I didn't consciously work it out philosophically. To me it's sort of how these characters speak. I think a 16-year-old white guy would use that word. These characters would use that word, they are white "gangstas," and they would use that word. I'm not making a judgment call - it's not right or wrong. It's just how I see the characters speaking, no opinion.

IRINA: Did you ever go to a school where you wore a uniform?

MAX: I'm 26 and I went to Washington Market Nursery School, P.S. 41. I got kicked out of so many schools! I graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2000, but I'm much prouder of P.S. 41 and the nursery school, I had the best time. P.S. 41 is where I first learned how to curse. I attended Dwight academy for one semester where I had to wear a uniform. I got kicked INTO Dwight (laughing). I had never worn a suit ever before and my mom took me to get the clothes and I GOT ALL THE WRONG STUFF. All the other kids were hooked up and I had pants with pleats.

SAM: I'm 28 and I was born in Manhattan and lived in West Village East village - my parents were divorced. I never wore a uniform. I taught an SAT class at Fieldston last summer. I went to Stuyvesant, Stanford, NYU and now I'm at Brown. I got a fellowship to study playwriting.

IRINA: Do you think it's been around the world?

SAM: I've had a lot of people call me or email me throughout America - that says it's out there

MAX: If you Google f**knewyork all together, it gets a huge number of hits. When you start going down, you see who posted it on what blog and what website has it and the comments people have on the blogs, etc. That's huge. The response we've gotten from people shows it struck a nerve. Whether it's because it's about the GOP or if it's five white kids talking slang ..aside from this being fun, it's for a greater purpose.

SAM: What can we do to stop this man from getting re-elected? I really wanted New Yorkers to take to the streets. I'm still so outraged that Republicans came to the city and it was on lockdown - the whole thing is just horrific to me.

IRINA: Are you gonna do a part 2?

MAX: We plan to do another piece right around the elections -- driving people to get out and vote.

IRINA: Have you been recognized formally?

MAX: It showed at rooftop film festival we're thinking of putting it in at (shift.com) they do a digital film festival. But we didn't do this to make money or to get notoriety. We just did it cuz we felt like it needed to be done. And most importantly the mission isn't accomplished.

SAM: It's just getting started.

September 16, 2004

Party in Brooklyn Tonight

Tonight my DJs Monkone and Emskee are celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of their Thursday night gig at Black Betty in Brooklyn, with some pretty cool guests lined up including Neil Sugarman from the Dap Kings.. here are the details from Monk:

THURSDAY 9/16 The Greenhouse @ Black Betty 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY

366 Metropolitan Ave (corner of Havemeyer) W’burg, bklyn
party artists: monk, emskee + the Greenhouse Orchestra Live! w/special guest Neal Sugarman.
no cover. 10-4, $1 beer before midnight

Thursday September 16th – it’s our Anniversary!!! Live: Orchestra Casaverde feat. Bruce “El Guapo” Martin on Percussion and Cotton on bass, with special Sugary sax vibrations from a downlow Dap-King on tenor. $1 Miller… CD Giveaways… Sexy Dancers… Flashing Lights… Disco Balls… Kazoos… and you!

Some Greenhouse Classics to get you in the mood: mi ritmo te llama – ray barretto, can you move – modern romance, modern girl – courtney melody, every way but loose – oneness of juju, 100% - chemise, MPLA dub – tappa zukie, granpa – kerri chandler, no nos pararan – charanga 76, everybody loves a good thing – phreek, brujeria – el gran combo, love it dub it – iz&diz, serious – da lata, chop & quench – fela, blacker – eccentric afros, o mi shango – mongo santamaria, bonafide love – wayne wonder & buju, one to grow on – umc’s, toro mata – celia cruz, can’t you see me – roy ayers, cold got to be – 45 king, rapperz r n danger – krs-one, burning hot – pepe braddock, mr. cee freestyle – biggie, spank – jimmy bo horne, gunshot - kenny dope, space funk unreleased dub – manzel, better must come – delroy wilson

September 18, 2004

Join Us On The Radio Tonight

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

September 24, 2004

Prince Radio Marathon, Saturday Night

Pardon the silence around here, I am currently in an undisclosed location working feverishly on an undisclosed project. But I must take a moment to let you know we're doing another Prince special on Saturday Night from 12-6 AM, on WBAI 99.5 FM, and online here. I'm not at liberty to discuss the playlist, but chances are you've never heard any of this stuff on the radio..

September 29, 2004

Ruh Roh

Damn, when only one entry is showing on the main page I guess it's time for me to come out of my hobbit-hole. Gimme a minute.

September 30, 2004

So Anyway Yeah

What's been going on in the world while I've been busy with my undisclosed project? (Actually there are two undisclosed projects, one of which involves an addiction to online poker) Let's take a look around:

For the first time since I can't even remember the last time, Prince has actually made a good video, for "Cinnamon Girl." The first time his video has made me like the song instead of vice versa. In recent years P developed a rep for religious intolerance, so it's especially pleasing to see this show of solidarity with victims of anti-muslim/anti-arab prejudice. And though it may be a little syrupy, this is also the strongest anti-war statement pop music has produced yet. (Looks like it's only up on his member site, so I can't link to it.)


Also surprisingly good, this reworking of 99 problems as a commentary on Iraq, sent in by a reader.


Looks like I missed some drama on Air America yesterday, when Randi Rhodes got to interview her childhood idol Patti Smith, but it devolved into a knockdown-dragout fight over Ralph Nader's candidacy. Randi's listeners are castigating her for "pulling a Bill O'Reilly" on Patti, and Randi was so affected by it a day later she just broke down and started crying on the air, a few minutes ago.

The show is archived on her site but I haven't had a chance to listen yet. I will say that although I think Randi understands how to do good radio better than most Air America hosts, sometimes her bulldog schtick leaves no room for any honest, meaningful dialogue.. sounds like this might have been one of those times.


I meant to post more than this but the Sackville-Bagginses keep knocking on my door, gotta go hide out again.

Insta-pop Debate Analysis

Initial comments, thinking out loud.. I'll probably update a few times as I sort out what I thought.

Funny, I just got an email yesterday about "Bush's daughters on a leash," I guess the folks at porn-pic-palace.com had been reading Bush's debate notes?

How weird was that line? I half expected him to follow up with "Yeah we wanted to give them some chastity belts too, but dadgummit I guess they don't make those no more.."

Barring any momentous gaffes, this type of hyper-regulated "debate" is destined to be a draw, and that's pretty what we got here. Bush was doofy and inarticulate throughout, especially at the beginning, but I suppose Joe Public will continue to find this endearing.. Kerry looked strong and decisive, and not so much like the haughty patrician intellectual we've been trained to expect.

I thought Kerry started off very well, coming straight at Bush on his apparent bout of amnesia regarding Osama and Al Qaeda, which led to this side-trip into Iraq that has nothing to do with any "war on terror." Bush was so blatant about ducking the issue, surely the American public had to notice this? Several questions in a row he totally ignored that Kerry had focused on Osama and Al Qaeda, and jumped right into his Saddam rap, as if trying to prove Kerry's point. Then a little later, seemingly in a fit of frustration, Bush blurts out "Of course I know Osama Bin Laden attacked us!" ..and then proceeds to jump right into his Saddam rap again, as if that first sentence was never uttered! That moment was downright surreal, and Kerry should have pounced on that and kept hitting him on it.

I thought as the debate went on he wasn't clear and consistent enough in sticking to that point.. He should have been much stronger and clearer, from the get-go, in addressing Bush's snipes about his switched vote on the war etc, how Kerry also said there was a grave threat, etc..

Whenever Bush hit those points, Kerry kept nodding and taking notes as if he had a knockout answer ready for it.. which was damn sure a better look than that thing Bush kept doing with his lips while Kerry talked.. What was that?? Looked like he was imitating a toad or something (my mom called it a "cricket face")

But whatever knockout answer Kerry was nodding about never fully materialized.. he should have pounced on that stuff right away and said "Yes President Bush is right, I was not misleading when I said there was a grave threat, I was misled, I made that judgement based on the false claims and faulty intelligence his administration provided."

Bush's biggest advantage was how he basically stuck to one painfully simplistic point the whole time, that "I am steadfast and resolute about Iraq, while Kerry is sending mixed messages to and flip-flopping." Meanwhile Kerry was criticizing Bush's record in Iraq from numerous different angles at different points in the debate. This was a situation where Bush's simplemindedness worked to his advantage.

Any pop songwriter can tell you that the way to get into people's heads and stay there is to take one simple catchy phrase and pound into their heads over and over. Bush did that a little more effectively here, while Kerry was singing a song that had 3 or 4 different choruses.. that is a more intellectually honest approach, and provides a more substantive analysis, but it's just not as effective as a debating tactic in this setting, especially for the post-MTV attention span.

But I suppose it's a waste of time analyzing the actual ideas expressed tonight, because honestly I think most American voters make their choice (to whatever extent they choose based on watching stuff like this) because of the "vibe" they get from a candidate, whether they like the cut of his jib as Mr. Burns would say. They try to get a feel for which one "seems like a standup guy" or "seems like the one I can trust." And in the battle of the vibes, where expectations for Kerry were pretty low, I think he did pretty well.

But I also thought Kevy Kev and Ak B's "Listen to the Man" was a way better song than Rob Base and EZ Rock's "It Takes Two," so maybe I'm not the best judge of America's tastes..

About September 2004

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