Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The More I Make Revolutions, The More I Want To Make Love...

*Artwork by Rodrigo Izolag

What's really good, soul babies? Peace and infinite blessings to all the good people in the place to be...

'Tis the season when most of you are tryin' to ho ho ho and pull your merry shit together, so it's probably not the best time to trouble you with an abundance of scholarly discourse...

Recently, I've been contemplating whether or not all the writing I've done has ultimately been to my detriment anyway. I mean, let's be real~ the blogs that attract millions of readers seem to have the whole economy of expression principle down to a disturbingly exact science. If only I'd had the foresight to draw cocaine sprinkles falling out of
Lindsay Lohan's nose instead of...yawn...talking about music, maybe Will.I.Am and his manager would deem me worthy of an allegedly brutal assault. Sadly, I have yet to be given a simple nosebleed...and the implications of how utterly irrelevant this makes my life can occasionally be somewhat disconcerting. Like...yo...can I puhleez get my ass kicked up in here? Alas, the world evidently doesn't recognize that I should be strutting down the red carpet in a pimp suit instead of being the poor bastard who installs it...

The truth is, I'm well past suffering any delusions about becoming a blogger superstar. I'm cursed by these half-witted ideas about occasionally delivering meaningful content...and if you must know, I'm a colossal failure as it pertains to doodling. My revolution will not be televised or even broadcasted over the internet, but it will continue to spin steadily at 33 1/3. Through digging deeper, I've managed to find my own internal rhythm...and had the good fortune to synchronize with people all over the world who are tuned into the same frequency. We may be a quiet storm, children...but know this...together we comprise an entire symphony of beautiful noise.

Here's to vibing with each other well into the next decade. I'll be around if you still want to roll with me...

Sending out the very best to you and yours...

make revolution/make love...


"Lil' Girl"---Shafiq Husayn ft. Fatima & Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner (LimeLinx)
"Lil' Girl"---Shafiq Husayn ft. Fatima & Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner (YSI)

Husayn's Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka LP was nothing if not triumphant, and this track easily falls into my top 5 singles of the year. Erykah Badu and Jay Electronica are in the video, too~ whaaaaaaaat???

Dig deeper...

"Four Walls"---Blockhead (LimeLinx)
"Four Walls"---Blockhead (YSI)

*Blockhead is a one of the most ingenious producers alive...period. Discovering that he reads Souled On is still one of the highlights of The Music Scene is another ill front-to-back listen in his canon of works...but I've come to expect nothing less than consistency from this prodigious beatsmith. Even though I think you should buy this instead of Taylor Swift's record, I'm going to resist all urges to storm the stage. I think it's a far better look for me if I keep my ass seated...

Dig deeper...

"All Of Your Things"---The RAah Project (LimeLinx)
"All Of Your Things"---The RAah Project (YSI)

No matter what kind of what music you dig, I hope you'll be adventurous and give this joint a listen. It's a cross-section of so many styles that it would be problematic to faithfully paint a picture with words...just an insanely beautiful piece of music.

Dig deeper...

"Walking"---J. Period/Nneka ft. Jay Electronica (LimeLinx)
"Walking"---J. Period/Nneka ft. Jay Electronica (YSI)

Nigerian born singer/songwriter Nneka still hasn't garnered a significant following in the United States, but hopefully this oversight is on the verge of being corrected. A week ago, Nneka and J.Period dropped The Madness (Onye-Ala), a free mixtape aimed at generating some hype for the talented artist prior to the February 2010 release of her Concrete Jungle LP. "Walking" is the project's phenomenal second single, and I'm certain it'll inspire you to head over to J.'s site to secure the mixtape in it's entirety...

Dig deeper...

"Southern Fried Chicken Pts. 1 & 2"---Bill Thomas & The Fendells (LimeLinx)
"Southern Fried Chicken Pts. 1 & 2"---Bill Thomas & The Fendells (YSI)

This may seem like a bold statement, but I usually don't fuck with songs about chicken. That said, this song is so damn funky, even your grandmother will be like shit! goddamn! get off your ass and jam. With this joint on the turntable (or in your iPod), it should be all too easy to get...uhhhhh...greazy. Cheap!

Dig deeper...

"I'll Hate Myself Tomorrow"--O.V. Wright (LimeLinx)
"I'll Hate Myself Tomorrow"--O.V. Wright (YSI)

If you find yourself in a financial position to afford a pricey imported box set at any time in the near future, seriously consider copping O.V. Box- The Complete Backbeat and ABC Recordings. Wright is arguably one of the most passionate and ruggedly individual soul artists to have ever walked the earth, but his tragic life story reads something like a Donald Goines novel. This emotive collection fully illustrates the ways in which the music was an extension of the man~ a must-have for any soul fans who've been touched by his work.

Dig deeper...

"I Owe You Love"---Brighter Side Of Darkness (LimeLinx)
"I Owe You Love"---Brighter Side Of Darkness (YSI)

If I didn't know anything about the smooth soul harmonies rendered by Brighter Side Of Darkness, I ain't gonna lie...this silly ass cover would probably have stopped me dead in my tracks. I can't imagine the circumstances under which these outfits were fly, although I do believe that Moms owns a pajama set from Victoria's Secret that's along these same lines. She didn't get the hat, though...I have to tell her she got ripped.

Anyway, the Chicago-based BSOD was essentially a one-hit wonder. "Love Jones" earned the four young men a gold record, peaking at an impressive #3 on the R&B charts in 1972. "I Owe You Love" was their second single, but after it barely managed to crack the Top 50, the group disbanded in 1974. I truly dig this track, and I've never understood why listening audiences weren't more receptive. Their demise may have been due in part to the Jackson 5 effect; their lead singer Darryl Lamont was only 12 at the height of their popularity. Perhaps people weren't down because they saw the group as a less talented imitation of their rivals on Motown...or maybe it really was about those shiny ass pink suits...Notwithstanding their outfits, these guys were crazy dope.

BSOD performing "Love Jones" on Soul Train:

Dig deeper...

"Ambition"---K. Sparks & Pajozo (LimeLinx)
"Ambition"---K. Sparks & Pajozo (YSI)

K. Sparks is an MC hailing from Queens, while his compadre Pajozo is an ill Swedish beatsmith~ together they are the almighty duo known as Definition. "Ambition" is a jawn from their first proper release, a self-titled LP that sparked some noise in the underground sector last year and earned them comparisons to hip hop heavyweights such as Gang Starr and Pete Rock /CL Smooth. Recently, Definition dropped their sophomore full-length effort, Soul Food, which is now available for download via iTunes.

In the current climate of confusion, these guys obviously won't move units like Gucci Mane~ I mean Sparks is peddling rhymes about serious business like politics and abortion. The most insurmountable barrier to their success is that people wanna hear more fictitious realities about life in strip clubs and the trap house...right? Hmmmmm. I guess we'll never be certain until the silent majority starts demanding justice for quality hip hop. People are erroneously reporting that the genre's dying, and you can't blame them...things look pretty fuckin' bleak on the surface.

We can complain about the downward spiral continuously, but if we intend to flip the status quo, we have to start putting our money on artists who are doing their creative thing without airplay or major label support. Definition's stated intention is to globalize hip hop...steal it back for the people who understand this music as the collective voice of the disenfranchised, and an invaluable resource in building unity. If you share this vision, then be about it, kids. Definition did approximately 30,000 let's be twice as engaged this time around and try to at least double those numbers.

P.S. It's true that there are MCs comin' even harder than rants are mad spontaneous and can lead to random what the fuck? moments...Don't. mind. me.

Dig deeper... (K.Sparks' MySpace page, complete with links to free mixtapes and singles. Show some love...)

I truly wanted to fall in love with Pac Div's album, but I... didn't. No worries, though~ as I said a second ago, it's probably me who's crazy. I dig "Whiplash" because it takes me back to the stark landscape of early Mobb Deep...but then I ultimately cast the album aside for bearing too many reruns and cliches. Doesn't really make sense, I you can love and hate something for being a throwback, but it happens. No matter...."Whiplash" still took a turn rattlin' the windows on my Toyota...errr...Bentley.

Bonus mp3 (LimeLinx only): "Whiplash"---Pac Div

Dig deeper...


This video showcases an amazing collection of Chicago graffiti shot over the course of a decade by Mike Keas. This is the first in a three part series, focusing on expressions of life, community, and protest:

More revolutionary artwork by Rodrigo Izolag:

View an online gallery of Izolag 's phenomenal creations here.


Project Censored presents the Top 25 censored news stories for 2009/2010...lots of key information that is currently being suppressed, and is likely to escape public awareness in the future.


*Miles Davis redux by Chris Gallani

This is still on the music/art tip, but that's what life's about as far as I'm concerned~ Paint My Album is a website featuring album covers redone using Microsoft Paint. The collection comes from ambitious upstarts all over the world, and the results range from jaw dropping to the completely absurd. There's also a Facebook group if you really get into it (or are just really bored).

Word From Your Moms:

After loss of Identity, the most potent modern terror, is loss of sexuality, or, as Descartes didn’t say, "I fuck therefore I am".

The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love.

The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated. God has had a great deal written about Him; nothing has been written about me. God is bigger, like my mother, easier to find, even in the dark. I could be anywhere, and since I can't describe myself I can't ask for help.

*Above quotes by Jeanette Winterson

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Souled On Samples: The Word Is Bond Edition...

What's good, soul babies? I hope you're ready for me...cuz I. am. back.

I've been wanting to do a Souled On Samples post for quite a while now, but it's always somewhat of a painstaking process for me. I give mad props to the dudes who put together entire sample sets 3 weeks before a hip hop album officially drops, but for better or worse, that's really not my style.

I started this series years ago in the hopes of illustrating how much the hip hop generation owes to its musical predecessors and vice versa. At the time, I was mad frustrated by the lack of respect I saw on both sides of the fence...a lot of hip hop heads don't give proper acknowledgement to the genre's foundation, while many soul/funk/jazz/classic rock enthusiasts dismiss rap music as throwaway, low brow entertainment.

In order to cultivate an environment where we all can get along, I try to put a degree of forethought into the selections I make. Taste in music is always subjective, but if I share anything that you're really not feelin', you can trust that I did so with the best intentions. I'm doing my (unpaid) job when you leave here with not only an appreciation for some classic records, but also for the reincarnated afterlife that talented producers can afford them.

Consider this the anti-Babylon, kids~ we congregate here because on some level we speak the same language. Music has the power to transcend any differences we might identify, so let's hug it out and do this damn thing...

"Cross My Heart"---Billy Stewart (LimeLinx)
"Cross My Heart"---Billy Stewart (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"Exhibit C"---Jay Electronica (Limelinx)
"Exhibit C"---Jay Electronica (YSI)

*Produced by Just Blaze

*This joint has had the internets goin' bananas for the past couple of weeks, but unlike most phenomena that incite a panoply of exaggerated exclamations, the hype and high praise in this particular instance is actually somewhat warranted.

While those of us who get all religious about Jay Electronica have known about his collabo with Just Blaze for quite a while, it seemed likely that the end result would be lesser than the sum of its parts. As a devoted hip hop enthusiast, I increasingly deem it necessary to employ a defensive stance in the interests of safeguarding myself from disappointment.

Call it a lesson learned, but I shoulda worn a helmet with Viking horns, a diaper and a bulletproof vest the day I first listened to Blueprint 3~ then I could have protected my ass, cerebral cortex, and cardiovascular system from the disillusionment and false hope that understandably ensued. Not only would I have been more fully prepared for the wackness, but the aforementioned attire tends to make for a sexy look in general...

Not long after one Jay fumbled, another one swiftly caught the mic~ a quick save that explains why we can't help but love "Exhibit C" for exceeding our rapidly diminishing expectations. When Blaze aired this track on Tony Touch’s Shade45 show, the response wasn't just overwhelmingly positive~it was...a relief.

Electronica's "God hop" may tend to be a little too pretentious and/or abstract for some, but "Exhibit C" goes a long way towards silencing the man's critics. Lyrically it's more accessible than many of his other tracks, but the rhymes are still clever and insightful enough to keep the thinkers, backpackers, and weirdos like me solidly in his camp. The ability to build a crossover audience is perhaps the most important distinction between the gods and the forgettables, and for the first time I have faith that Electronica possesses the wisdom and foresight to bridge the divide between the streets and the elites.

As for the beat, Just Blaze killed it~ sampling and chopping soul songs is undoubtedly his forte, and this joint is no exception. The Billy Stewart song he mined is definitely dope and his technique is admirable~ but if I can be honest, I think Exile put this record to bed on "It's Coming Down". J Cole recently flipped this Stewart joint too, which is either mad coincidental or further evidence that originality and self-styling are endangered concepts in the current hip hop aesthetic.

You can decide for yourselves if the glass is half full or half empty~ all three producers put a fairly unique spin on the source material, but is this epidemic really necessary in light of the infinite sonic possibilities the universe has to offer? As a very wise man once quipped, "I dunno"...


"It's Coming Down"---Exile (LimeLinx)
"It's Coming Down"---Exile (YSI)

"Get Away"---J Cole (LimeLinx)
"Get Away"---J Cole (YSI)

"Stay"---Yvonne Fair (LimeLinx)
"Stay"---Yvonne Fair (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"Stay"---Ghostface Killah (LimeLinx)
"Stay"---Ghostface Killah (YSI)

*Produced by Skymark

*Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City is quite possibly my least favorite offering from the veteran MC, but I can't help it~ I still kinda dig when Tony Starks throws down his signature ad libbing over a classic soul track. The playground of unrestrained pleasure and immorality that only Ghost can cultivate is still a uniquely entertaining place to be.

"Love On A Two Way Street"---The Moments (LimeLinx)
"Love On A Two Way Street"---The Moments (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

*Produced by Al Shux

But does anyone remember this, because...ahem...

"Supa Dynamite"---Asamov w/ Mr. Lif (LimeLinx)
"Supa Dynamite"---Asamov w/ Mr. Lif (YSI)

*Produced by Willie Evans Jr.

...the similarities are undeniable. "Supa Dynamite" was supposed to be Asamov's golden ticket to fame, but instead...they got fucked. Don't gasp at me, know I'm right.

Interestingly, Kanye sampled the same Moments track for a Consequence joint a few years ago. The source material is more difficult to detect in this case, but's definitely "Love On A Two Way Street" as well.

"So Soulful"---Consequence/Kanye West/Khayree/John Legend
"So Soulful"---Consequence/Kanye West/Khayree/John Legend

More Souled On Samples:

"Didn't We"---Thelma Houston (LimeLinx)
"Didn't We"---Thelma Houston (YSI)

Sampled On:

"Comeback (Instrumental)"---Skyzoo/9th Wonder (LimeLinx)
"Comeback (Instrumental)"---Skyzoo/9th Wonder (YSI)

*This is one of my favorite 9th Wonder beats of all time~ check the last 30 seconds of the Thelma Houston song for the sampled portion.

"Deliver the Word"---War (LimeLinx)
"Deliver the Word"---War (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"Betrayal"---Gang Starr w/ Scarface (LimeLinx)
"Betrayal"---Gang Starr w/ Scarface (YSI)

*Produced by DJ Premier/Guru

"I Can't See Nobody"---Nina Simone (LimeLinx)
"I Can't See Nobody"---Nina Simone (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"The Ecology"---Fashawn (LimeLinx)
"The Ecology"---Fashawn (YSI)

*Produced by Exile

"Baby! You Oughta Think It Over"---Bobby Womack (LimeLinx)
"Baby! You Oughta Think It Over"---Bobby Womack (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled/Interpolated On:

"Think It Over"---Dynas (LimeLinx)
"Think It Over"---Dynas (YSI)

*Produced by Illastrate

"Olé"---John Coltrane (LimeLinx)
"Olé"---John Coltrane (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"The Hunt"---Aceyalone (LimeLinx)
"The Hunt"---Aceyalone (YSI)

*Produced by Mumbles

"Got To Be There"---Michael Jackson (LimeLinx)
"Got To Be There"---Michael Jackson (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Hello"---14KT (LimeLinx)
"Hello"---14KT (YSI)

"I've Changed"---The Magictones (LimeLinx)
"I've Changed"---The Magictones (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

*Produced by RZA

In many ways "New Wu" was a return to form for the clansmen, but as for the visual element...uhhhhhhh...this video is dumber than dog piss, children.

"All Because Of You"---Leroy Hutson (LimeLinx)
"All Because Of You"---Leroy Hutson (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Sampled On:

"The F Word (RJD2 Mix)"---Cannibal Ox (LimeLinx)
"The F Word (RJD2 Mix)"---Cannibal Ox (YSI)

Word From Your Moms:

“To be a musician is really something. It goes very, very deep. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am - my faith, my knowledge, my being.”

“I never even thought about whether or not they understand what I'm doing . . . the emotional reaction is all that matters as long as there's some feeling of communication, it isn't necessary that it be understood.”

“Change is inevitable in music - things change.”

“All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.”

“I’ve found you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light.”

---John Coltrane

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

...As If The Heart Were Not Enough...

Wassup, soul kids? How we feeling out there?

I know that I've probably been left for dead, or maybe plastered on the side of the milk carton you use to float your Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but there's no need to call Nancy Grace just yet. Despite all reports to the contrary, yours truly is alive and back to raise some long-awaited hell.

It's cold and rainy today, which reminds me that before long, I'll be spending the majority of my time in hibernation. That likely means trouble for all of you, since I'll have plenty of time to dream up stream-of-consciousness absurdities and any other nonsensical shit that happens to send an impulse across my synapses.

In the meantime, kindly enjoy these triple phat jams for your boomboxes.

Rock with me, snitches...

"Black and White"---Brittany Bosco (LimeLinx)
"Black and White"---Brittany Bosco (YSI)

If you haven't heard Brittany Bosco yet, you're going to be pissed for being late to the party, sun...

It's been well-documented in these pages that I'm relatively unforgiving about most contemporary R&B, and even neo-soul has morphed into a bastardized term to describe an ill-defined industry concept. However, this isn't a rant against the music biz, so much as a prelude to bestowing praise on Bosco for being such a bold exception to the laws of being average. Not only are her solo efforts beyond phenomenal, but Bosco can also claim partial credit for making Tanya Morgan's Brooklynati one of the nicest albums to drop so far this year.

It was challenging to decide which song of hers to post~ the fare on her Spectrum 2.0 EP ranges from the plaintive honesty of this particular track, to cleverly innovative homages to her musical predecessors, to fuzzy space funk and beyond. Bosco counts her influences as everyone from Sarah Vaughn to Radiohead, but credits life itself as her primary source of inspiration. The fusion of these multifarious elements yields an explosively refreshing sound, courtesy of an artist who's adventurous enough to cultivate her style from a garden variety of musical roots. Those who seek comfort with artists easily confined to a particular genre will likely find that there isn't a suitable box to accommodate the magnitude of Bosco's brilliance. Thank you, God.

You can download Spectrum 2.0 for free here. Also, check Bosco's MySpace page for upcoming shows, videos, interviews, etc.

"Oh Yeah"---Floyd Da Locsmif (LimeLinx)
"Oh Yeah"---Floyd Da Locsmif (YSI)

As a lifelong fan of both soul and hip hop, I'm never more satisfied than when a producer deftly marries the two genres to create some ill noise. On the other hand, I have a tendency to get pissy when they're blended haphazardly...just because I can. Seriously, though...if you can't flip interesting source material OR lace it properly, I'm falling asleep two or three tracks into your CD. Maybe sooner.

Enter Floyd Da Locsmif, who caught my ear a long while back with the dope beats he dropped for a few of my favorite MCs, as well as his killer mixtape, Outskirts: The Unofficial Lost Outkast Remixes. It's unfortunate, but since I'm constantly being bombarded with new music, I accidentally lost sight of Da Locsmif until he came back on my radar again just recently with Divine Dezignz #2. Suffice it to say that I fell so deep into this album that I'm now calling Floyd one of my favorite producers, while checkin' for every last jawn I may have missed.

People have asked me to pimp everything from Avon to astroturf, and I always refuse because I want Souled On to remain ad-free~ but really, should buy this. Get out your credit card and melt some plastic, ask your daddy to take you to the mall, whatever...just do it (no promo).

"This Is The Lost Generation"---Lost Generation (LimeLinx)
"This Is The Lost Generation"---Lost Generation (YSI)

The Love Generation is best known for their song "The Sly, Slick and the Wicked", a successful single that reportedly earned Brunswick Records enough loot to afford a divorce from their parent company, Decca. Unfortunately, that was the only time that the Chicago-based group made a dent on the pop charts, although they did crank out several tracks that landed them a spot on the US Black Singles chart. Despite being blessed with songwriting assistance from Eugene Record of The Chi-Lites, the group hit a dead end and disbanded in 1974 after releasing only two albums. .

While their first album, The Sly, Slick and the Wicked (Brunswick, 1970), obviously sold more units, I've always liked Young, Tough and Terrible (Brunswick 1972) at least as well. First and foremost, it's hard not to love the fact that the album has this incredibly menacing title, but the cover depicts four unassuming dudes in vests and dress shirts hanging out on a hill. Definitely a what-the-fuck moment, but I'm sure these guys thought they were badasses, so whatever...

If you look past the irony and actually delve into their material, you'll find that there are a fair amount of good tracks on this record. I can dig their vibe even though I'm more of a southern soul fan, but "This Is The Lost Generation" gets played with much greater frequency than the rest of the album. Something about the harmonious politicking bears elements of the gods and the greats, like Bill Withers or even "What's Goin' On"-era Marvin Gaye. Beautiful stuff, kids~ listen up...

"Twice The First Time"---Saul Williams (LimeLinx)
"Twice The First Time"---Saul Williams (YSI)

I don't have too many heroes who are dead, and I'll be damned if I'm going to idolize someone who's still alive and has time to fuck up my good opinion. My friends and I joke about what a Jay-Z stan I am, but really...Saul Williams is the only man walking who is on some personal Jesus bizness in my world.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who lets their favorite music cool off for a while before picking it back up to enjoy that initial rush all over again. Lately I've been re-listening to Saul's Amethyst Rock Star LP, as well as a bunch of miscellaneous B-sides and compilation joints I've collected over the years...and the whole experience has been getting me hyped. I've always loved "Twice the First Time", but if it spoke to me before, now it's screaming. If this is your first time hearing this, hold your hand over your heart, sun.

"Living Thing"---Freebass 808 & Christian Rich (LimeLinx)
"Living Thing"---Freebass 808 & Christian Rich (YSI)

Mick Boogie has been in his zone for quite some time now, so I find myself checkin' his website frequently to see what the man's coming with next. Boogie currently holds the title of mixtape curator~ which means that he expertly warehouses...or Andy Warhols, if you will... some of the nicest producers and rhymesayers he can manage to assemble. His latest venture is Re-Living Thing, a collection of Peter Bjorn & John remixes, and it's certainly no exception. Resident beatsmiths 6th Sense, Remot, Cookin' Soul and a host of other talented producers keep the project tight musically, while lyricists such as Talib Kweli and GZA spit fire on the lyrical front. This is Boogie's most star-studded affair to date (Bun B, Black Milk, 88 Keys, Buckshot, Marco Polo, Wale...what???), so it'll be interesting to see how he approaches outdoing himself on future projects.

I've only managed to listen to this 2 or 3 times all the way through, so it's way too early to call an absolute favorite. I've been fuckin' with "Living Thing" since the first time around though, so posting it was sort of a given. In case you don't know, Freebass 808 is Geechi Suede from Camp Lo + producer The Apple Juice Kid, while Christian Rich is a twin Chicago duo who are just now getting some shine after years of producing hits for other A-list artists. Both of these acts are a little bit out of left field...which is all the more reason to turn the volume up, kid.

Dig deeper... (Download Re-Living Thing in its entirety)

"White Elephant Coat"---School Of Seven Bells (LimeLinx)
"White Elephant Coat"---School Of Seven Bells (YSI)

Bitchfork describes School Of Seven Bells' Alpinisms LP thusly:

Despite the band's modernist approach to emotions and sensations, their abstruse lyrics and spiritual overtones most directly recall John Lennon's late-1960s, post-India assimilation of the mundane with the mystical.

Children, I've been called pretentious and generally full of myself since the day after my mama's immaculate conception transpired, but if I ever start pretending to write record reviews or use phrases like "modernist approach to emotions", please seek out my government name and come shoot me in my fat head. Ugh.

True to form, I digress...

Alpinisms came out last year, but I am forever sleeping on good music because I spend 99% of my life listening to stupid shit that marketing fucks want me to hear (oops...some of you are very nice, and the bands you represent are actually quite good, etc.). As it turns out, this was a near fatal miss because I like most of this album quite a bit. However, I'm not going to attempt the fool's errand of trying to approximate their sound with words, and not only because I can't do so as haughtily as Bitchfork.

Opinions about music are always subjective, but especially so as it pertains to a group like this. Much like The Cocteau Twins and a bevy of others who loosely fall into the same category, I can't understand what the fuck Alejandra and/or Claudia Deheza are singing about most of the time. No matter~ I swore that Liz Fraser was saying "peanut butter, peanut butter" on one of my favorite Cocteau songs, and only retracted my position after no less than ten of my friends told me I was batshit crazy. Albums like this are best interpreted as a tapestry of textures and sounds, as opposed to being dissected by some half-witted jackass with a dizzyingly circular approach to language and reasoning. On that confounded note, your self-proclaimed scholar is shutting up now...

"Warning (Dave Wrangler Remix)"---Notorious B.I.G. (LimeLinx)
"Warning (Dave Wrangler Remix)"---Notorious B.I.G. (YSI)

Dave Wrangler regularly drops remixes in my inbox, but due to the aforementioned bulk of material I'm asked to listen to, I usually don't have an opportunity to play them more than once or twice. I happened to put this Biggie redux on my iPod though, and lo and behold...I fooled around and fell in love. It's more clubby than most of the music I gravitate towards...and I still ain't gonna rock no bright colors or skinny jeans...but honestly kids, this mix is downright ill.

*The lyric that just won't leave your head: Damn/ N words wanna stick me for my paper...haha...political correctness can be so silly sometimes...

Since Biggie should require no introduction (or are you in the wrong place again?), I'd implore you to dig deeper, and gain some knowledge on the homie Dave Wrangler.


"Protest 2"---The ARE (LimeLinx)
"Protest 2"---The ARE (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Ololufe Mi (Messengers Remix)"---Fela Kuti/J.Period & K'NAAN (LimeLinx)
"Ololufe Mi (Messengers Remix)"---Fela Kuti/J.Period & K'NAAN (YSI)

"My Country / Small Axe (Messengers Remix)"---Bob Marley/J.Period & K'NAAN (LimeLinx)
"My Country / Small Axe (Messengers Remix)"---Bob Marley/J.Period & K'NAAN (YSI)

"Don't Think Twice"---Bob Dylan/J.Period & K'NAAN (LimeLinx)
"Don't Think Twice"---Bob Dylan/J.Period & K'NAAN (YSI)

"It's Alright, Ma"---Bob Dylan/J.Period & K'NAAN (LimeLinx)
"It's Alright, Ma"---Bob Dylan/J.Period & K'NAAN (YSI)

*All of the above from J.Period's unparalleled Messengers trilogy. Collect all three..

"Dear Daisy"---Alex Goose (LimeLinx)
"Dear Daisy"---Alex Goose (YSI)

*From the Blueprint 3 Outtakes: a collection of tracks submitted to Hova for BP3

Dig deeper...

"Road To Somewhere"---Ghost (LimeLinx)
"Road To Somewhere"---Ghost (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Five String Serenade"---Mazzy Star (LimeLinx)
"Five String Serenade"---Mazzy Star (YSI)

*A dedication to my love, who has given me more than my fair share of papercuts. Ti amo.

Word From Your Moms:

"I'll tell you, my friends: it's all in the nerves. The nerves that tense and relax as you approach the edges of companionship and love. The razor-sharp edges of companionship and love."~Roberto Bolaño

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earth Sounds And Other Stories From The Granite Planet...

*Smoke Whisper by David Choe

What's good, family? Hope that all the people who make my world go 'round have been fat and happy since last we met...

All apologies (word to the homie Kurt Cobain)~ I haven't had much time or inclination to kick around verbs and nouns these past few weeks. Even so, I thought it necessary to spread some love by way of these infectious grooves~ several joints you might hear rattling the windows at the ill-reputed house of Scholar.

Enjoy the muzak...and be easy, kids...


"You've Got Me"---King Floyd (LimeLinx)
"You've Got Me"---King Floyd (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"The Name Game"---14KT
"The Name Game"---14 KT (yousendit)

*Before you bust my chops because this track cuts off, please be advised that it hails from a mixtape, sun~ accordingly, the joints overlap. This is all the more reason to cop Nowalataz in its entirety...a free and legal download is available via illRoots. I have the utmost confidence that you won't be sorry~ the Dilla-inspired beatsmith is one of the most promising producers on the horizon...period.

Dig deeper...

"Bananas Foster"---The Misled Children/Odean Pope (LimeLinx)
"Bananas Foster"---The Misled Children/Odean Pope (YSI)

Dig deeper... (Misled Children aka Clutchy Hopkins)

Dig deeper... (Odean Pope)

"Under My Sensi"---Boozoo Bajou (LimeLinx)
"Under My Sensi"---Boozoo Bajou (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Oh Happy Gabe"---Charles Wright & the 103rd St. Rhythm Band (LimeLinx)
"Oh Happy Gabe"---Charles Wright & the 103rd St. Rhythm Band (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Manana"---Souleance (LimeLinx)
"Manana"---Souleance (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"Lord Don't Let It"---Bilal (LimeLinx)
"Lord Don't Let It"---Bilal (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"The Blues"---Mojoe (LimeLinx)
"The Blues"---Mojoe (YSI)

*Anyone who namechecks Nikki Giovanni can't be all bad...

Dig deeper...

*My favorite piece by artist David Choe

"Little Wing"---Jimi Hendrix (LimeLinx)
"Little Wing"---Jimi Hendrix (YSI)

Dig deeper...

"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"---Bob Dylan (LimeLinx)
"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"---Bob Dylan (YSI)

*Lyrically, one of the illest songs of all time~ any genre, any time, any place...

Dig deeper...

"Tangle In Your Lifeline"---Esther Phillips (LimeLinx)
"Tangle In Your Lifeline"---Esther Phillips (YSI)

Dig deeper...

Word From Your Moms:

"she had eyes
like two turntables
in between
my dreams and reality
blend in ancient themes
the bas(e)is of isis
cross-faded to ankh
the beat drops
like a cliff
over looking my heart"

~Saul Williams