Wednesday, June 30, 2004
As if appearing in a recent Coke commercial featuring actor Adrien Brody wasn't enough for Quannum Projects embassador of showmanship Lyrics Born now he's offering up a fresh remix of "Callin' Out" featuring E-40 and Casual
on guest vocals for a nice update of one of last summer's feel-good anthems. Feel free to right click and "save as" folks.
If the news blurb on the Quannum site is to be believed it looks like this is a pre-cursor to a forthcoming Lyrics Born remix project.
DJ Danger Mouse would like you to download his remix of Zero 7's "Somersault" featuring M.F. Doom
free of charge or fear of music industry retribution.
So do it dammit!
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
You might've noticed that posting's been a little spotty the last week or two. That's because I've been unusually busy and that business has resulted in me being exceptionally sleepy which means I've been missing out on the late night hours which usually prove to be my most prolific. But yesterday saw the culmination of the last of my big plans for the foreseeable future, so that should all change, at least for a while.
That being the case I figure that now is a better time than any to update yall on some of the stuff I've been getting into lately.
The craxy business really got into full swing last week when M.I.C., Lila May, The Empress and myself rolled up to Northampton's Iron Horse Music Hall to check out British songstress Jem on Thursday night. We arrived fashionably late so as to avoid opening act The So And So's who were unfortunately still on stage when we walked in the door. There was a decent sized crowd in the place but we were told we could find a seat in the balcony by a helpful waitress. We wound up sitting in our usual spot towards the end of the balcony just overlooking the stage. I was a little surprised to see Jem taking the stage with a backing band as I had for some reason expected to see her backed only by a DJ and someone on keys/samples as her music is largely sample based. The surprise turned into satisfaction as the band was warming up though when I heard the drummer testing the skins and sounding sufficiently close to the thick programmed drums Jem's producers laced her with. The band wound up doing a nice job of translating the album's production into a fresh live set. Jem herself sounded sweet & young and looked even younger as though she were an average English school-girl who's a tad marveled by the fact that she's touring the US in support of her debut album. We've been loving her album for the last few months and supporting it on the radio pretty tough so it was definitely a treat to see her in person.
Friday afternoon saw me and M.I.C. checking out the heavily anticipated 'Farenheit 9/11
I actually managed to post some thoughts on that already though so let me just reiterate that you need to support this flick. It's packed with important information, powerful images, a number of deeply emotional scenes and some side-splittingly funny moments. Just go see it!
That night we hit up a poorly attended art opening at Flywheel up in Easthampton where M.I.C. spun some tunes alongside a bunch of female DJs.
Then the "Imageyenation Summer Concert Series" continued last night with M.I.C., 12XU, Cereffusion and me all heading to Boston's Avalon Nightclub to see British garage acts Dizzee Rascal and The Streets. We made sure we got to the venue early hoping to get the same booth we had for the Quannum World show a couple months back. But when we walked up to the spot there was already a pretty impressive line which I figured deaded our chances of getting a booth. 12XU refused to believe that the line in question was in fact for the show we were there to attend. As he went to investigate M.I.C. asked the folks at the end of the line if it was the right line to which they replied that they weren't sure but they assumed so. M.I.C. started joking that the line was actually for Hoobastank which seemed to anger the two white girls in front of us who immediately interrupted saying "Why? Because there's so many of us white people here?" Just then the bouncer who was going through the line checking i.d. came up to us. 12XU was the first to produce his i.d. and when the bouncer reached for it he said "Damn dude, you got some hairy-ass arms. You a hairy motherfucker." This, understandably, put a damper on 12XU's jolly mood. If you've ever wondered why nightclub bouncers always seem to be the ones who got shot and stabbed the fuck up you now have your answer. A few minutes later the line started moving and as we were entering the venue another bouncer was checking to see that folks actually had tickets, asking everyone to hold their tickets up. This guy had just as much personality as the other bouncer apparently as he decided to thank Cereffusion and myself for our facial hair. Yes, as we passed the guy he actually said "Hey, thanks for wearing a beard! Oh, and you too!" Since the man had a beard himself Cereffusion and I are going to have to go with the thought that he was paying us a compliment. Once inside the club we made a b-line for the lounge area and happily found the booth we wanted free of occupants. The show was slow to get started though and the opening DJs were a tad uninspired until they started spinning some decent garage shit. Dizzee Rascal and his hype-man finally took the stage. Their set was decent, but other than the opener "I Luv You," a couple of his acapella rhymes, an uptempo joint not on his album, a song over T.I.'s "Rubber Band Man" instrumental and the closer "Fix Up Look Sharp" nothing really stood out. They basically put on the cliche two guys in white t-shirts and backwards hats, cupping the mic, walking back & forth on stage and standing still while they rhymed rookie hip-hop artist kind of show. I put on that kind of show the few times I've actually performed so I know it well. The Streets on the other hand came more than correct. Once again I was surprised by the band that that accompanied Mike Skinner and his back-up singer cum hypeman, but the guys rocked. They whipped through a whole shitload of cuts from their new one 'A Grand Don't Come For Free'
and their debut 'Original Pirate Material'
and in fact did so many songs that M.I.C. was shocked they touched certain selections from their catalog. The only track absent from their set-list I had hoped to hear was "It Was Supposed To Be So Easy", but everything else was right there on stage. Mr. Skinner and company put on quite the show, bringing crazy energy to the stage along with a whole lot of personality and humor. These guys are showmen that know how to please a crowd, which was surprising coming from what really ammounts to a bedroom-based laptop act. But they rocked the shit out the spot and left everybody wanting more. So if you get the chance definitely go see The Streets when they come to your town.
This weekend looks pretty quiet despite the holiday. We might get a convoy going down to the city for a trip to The Shelter, but maybe not. We'll see.
"Micheal Moore arrested"
The body of the message was about increasing sperm.
Monday, June 28, 2004
Thanks to folks like M.I.C., Cereffusion and myself Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was number one at the box office
I guess that really means that a lot more folks not like me, Chris and Mike shelled out money to see it though, doesn't it?
Of course it does! The Friday afternoon screening M.I.C. and I hit up was in fact packed. The theatre was full to the gills with senior citizens, teenagers, families with children, couples, and even a guy representin' in his "US ARMY" tee-shirt. And I didn't hear one person groan during the film or complain afterwards. Contempt for the Bush administration felt downright universal. And this didn't even seem like a crowd full of rabid anti-Bush Michael Moore fans either, as a majority of the facts the movie presents which were widly circulated elsewhere ( including Moore's books ) drew audible gasps and distressed whisperings from many in attendence.
In lieu of an in-depth review let me just say go see this film. It's important this this flick continues getting blockbuster type support, stays in the theatres and get's in front of as many people as possible. Because if you didn't know it already this film will confront you with incontrovertible proofs that, in the words of one older gentleman ( we're talking WWII era ) who saw the same showing as us, "Bush sucks!"
Friday, June 18, 2004
It's true, contrary to what most "keep it real" underground hip-hop purists and "from the streets" commercial rap fanatics would have you believe hip-hop is an art-form that's just as connected to the dancefloor as techno, house and disco. If you don't like that idea, well... fuck you. But don't try to disagree, because you will get clowned.
Despite the truth of this statement, and in diametric opposition to the domination on the part of what passes for hip-hop music today of nightclub dancefloors everywhere, the sad fact of the matter is that hip-hop has all but abandoned it's roots as a distinctly urban American dance music. The advent of the jittery "club banger" and the deceptively uptempo sounding yet often slug-paced "crunk" phenomenon, not to mention the more downtempo and often melancholy fare favored by underground beatsmiths, have played no small part in hammering the nail into the coffin of the true-school hip-hop dance song. But all that may be on the verge of changing.
Backpack friendly producers such as Edan, Madlib and RJD2 have started to slowly reaccquaint their fans with the more funky and dancefloor oriented but still decidedly rugged "fast-rap" style of production that was so popular back in hip-hop's "golden age" of the late '80s and early '90s. Meanwhile other more commercially minded artists, the likes of Missy Elliot and Ghostface Killah for example, have been more than willing to lend their voices to disco and electronic-dance-music infused productions that seem tailor made for dancers to sweat to. Even underground maestro El-P laced Def Jukies S.A. Smash with a club-friendly, almost EPMD flavored remix to their single "Illy" earlier this year.
This is a trend I really hope to see continue, as it makes perfect sense for the "keep it real" underground heads to accept hip-hop in it's realest, most original form -- that of an urban-based arts culture focused on the DJ and dancing -- and it can only be healthy for hip-hoppers of every stripe to embrace their place in the world of dance music and finally make a real foray into more respectable, less rowdy dancefloor fare. I mean really, shouldn't a club song be crafted to make you sweat bullets from dancing your cares away rather than sweat because you're running away from flying bullets?
Well I don't know about you, but K-OS and former Organized Konfusion member Prince Po sure seem to think so ...
I first heard of Canada's K-OS through his single "Heaven Only Knows," a mellow sort of Lauryn Hill reminiscent blend of singing, emceeing and acoustic guitar. I really dug that jam and gave it a little burn on the radio and a lot of time in my headphones. It wasn't until a year or so after that though that he finally broke into the wider consciousness of American listeners with last summer's uptempo dancefloor filler "Superstar Pt. 0," an unabashed ode to real hip-hop backed by a wholesale jacking of Soho's house classic "Hot Music" that was bolstered by a fresh video featuring a number of skilled b-boys flexing their moves.
Now another year has passed and K-OS is picking up right where "Superstar Pt. 0" left off musically and visually as he blesses us with the first single off his next full length, "B-Boy Stance," another track bound to make summertime dancefloors hot & sweaty. Once again he's dipped into waters long ago tested and based the track around a loop of an old b-boy favorite, this time the James Brown classic "Funky Drummer." He spices things up though with liberal doses of 808's, bleepy synths, atmospheric samples and even a breakdown featuring his trademark guitar pickin' & crooning vocals. Lyrically he stays true to form, delivering another joint made in the mold of classic era KRS-One, dropping rhymes about the metaphysical qualities of real hip-hop while shouting out the practitioners of all the artform's elements and pledging to keep it real.
And real the metaphorical "it" is kept, because this track fuckin' rocks. Yeah, it's cliche as hell, but cliches become such because they're so widely accepted. And a track like this is real hip-hop at it's most acceptable. It's authentic breakbeats and rhymes at their b-boy friendly best. And if it doesn't get your head noddin', your body rockin' and your dancefloor movin' then you're just not hip-hop my friend.
And nope, I'm not done either. If you're looking for the finish to this post you're just gonna have to "Hold Dat" ...
"Hold Dat feat. Jemini & Rell" b/w "Hold Dat ( Remix ) feat. Jemini & Rell"
Prince Poetry first found the spotlight as one half of the groundbreaking hip-hop crew Organized Konfusion. OK was known for their creative sampling, gritty beats, bugged storytelling & concepts and largely abstract, insanely creative lyrics & flows. So who would've thought that both memebers would aim their first real expeditions into solo territory ( see other group member Pharoahe Monch's "Simon Says" ) squarely at the clubs? This came as surprise even to me, but when one considers the fact that Organized always remained rooted in the spirit of real authentic hip-hop, and there's nothing more authentically hip-hop than rocking your body, it really shouldn't be that much of a surprise at all. And it definitely shouldn't suprise anyone that the result of Prince Po's nightclub geared experimentation is a certified banger.
Word up, the brotha's hit the town for a night out at the club and he's done it in style. "Hold Dat" finds noted house producer Richard X lacing Prince Po with a track that bangs hard with thumpin' kicks, handclaps and deep 808 bombs aplenty topped off with a dope reworking of the signature synth line from Newcleus' b-boy classic "Jam On It" and a bunch of crazy electronic growls, sqeals, zaps and lazer sounds that make the whole affair infectiously danceable. On the mic Prince Po is joined by the funk-soul sensation Jemini ( disguised as his most jiggy persona yet manifested ) and female newcomer Rell in a straightforward celebration of getting shit hot in the club. The result is something somewhat startling in the world of modern hip-hop though, a track tailor made for getting one's sweat on out on the dancefloor, not just a generic commercial joint that "sounds good in the club." And what's more, it comes courtesy of one of the darlings of the '90s underground hip-hop movement!
Flip the wax over and you'll be confronted by the remix, a grimy slice of electro-funk that sounds like Chad Hugo and Pharell Williams of the Neptunes got together with New York's dance-punk mavens James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy of The DFA in a dank Williamsburg basement for a night of heroin, dirty sex and beatmaking. The 808's are still there, but the a-side's "boom-clap" beat is replaced with a dirty shuffling drum-track comprised of muffled kicks and scraping snares, and in place of the bubbling synthesizers is a more aggressive acidic soundscape perfect for darkened rooms and flashing lights.
Both mixes of this track are sure-shot hits for the dancefloor this summer, versatile enough to slip into a hip-hop, traditional club music or electro/dance-punk/nu-wave set with ease, and most important, hot enough to set any room where it's played loud enough on fire like Great White did at The Station. In "Hold Dat" Prince Po has delivered a bravely convention-shattering first single from his forthcoming debut solo full-length, and it's liable to surprise a lot of folks, even his longtime fans, with it's flamboyant club style and genre-blurring sound, but surely not for it's undeniable dopeness.
So don't front yall. You know you wanna put on your old sneakers, headband, half-shirt and legwarmers & bust a move. And now, thanks to a couple artists brave enough to buck the system and go against the grain of the current scene, you can do it to some real hip-hop.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Yet and still, his "Tip Drill" video had a hypnotic effect on me every time I was lucky enough to catch it on BET Uncut.
If you haven't seen it you're missing out.
And if you have seen it, well, just watch it again
in new and improved uncensored form!
Feel free to turn the sound down.
But whatever you do make sure you enjoy the jiggle.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Philip K. Dick's daughters Laura and Isa offer up an early glimpse of director Richard Linklater's forthcoming cinematic adaptation of 'A Scanner Darkly,'
their father's celebrated tale of paranoia, conspiracy and addiction.
The images and casting news they share should be enough in and of themselves to allay any fears that this was going to be another less-than-faithful big-screen adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story.
But it's the enthusiasm with which they're endorsing Linklater's film version of this, one of their father's most important works, that should help build feelings of genuine anticipation in the hearts of Philip K. Dick fans everywhere.
Monday, June 14, 2004
What exactly is this fuckin' guy
hiding in there?
Could it be... this thing
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Finally! It's some news that will make the homie Bum Ra happy!
One of the folks over at AICN is reporting that director Chris Noonen ( of 'Babe' fame ) is set to helm a big-screen version of the Russell Banks book 'Rule Of The Bone'
for Barry Mendel, the producer of Wes Anderson's upcoming 'The Life Aquatic'
and Joss Whedon's currently-in-production 'Serenity
So put that in your chalice and smoke it Mr. Grimm!
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Don't forget to check me and M.I.C. out as we bring you another episode of Urban Alternatives
tonight, late night Wednesday into early morning Thursday, from 12 midnight to 3 a.m. eastern time, on 90.7 FM WTCC
, broadcasting live from the campus of Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield Massachusetts.
This week we're hip-hop heavy with new music from Prince Po ( of Organized Konfusion ), The Understudies, Cunninlynguists, The Strange Fruit Project, Ill Bill ( of Non-Phixion ), Gift Of Gab ( of Blackalicious ), Brother Ali, some Def Jux ish, and a whole lot more.
Plus you'll be treated to our usual craziness, weather reports, bugged out PSA's and bitching about how hot it is in the on-air studio.
So tune in, or listen online via Real Audio or Windows Media.
And feel free to reach out ...
Phone: (413) 736-2781
AOL Instant Messenger: urbaltshow
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
...hip-hop business moguls Dame Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke have revealed that Roc-A-Fella now owns the Pro-Keds
Skinheads and Black Hebrews.
Punk-rockers and hip-hoppers.
Rappers wearing hundred thousand dollar wrist-watches.
Little kids starvin', the police killed his father.
Fightin' over God's land.
American History X.
Represent the future.
Rebel Music |
Ill Bill 'What's Wrong With Bill?'
“He, who never should have been born, has died,”
says Havana Cuba's Radio Reloj upon announcing the death of former President Ronald Reagan.
...at a Morrissey show in Dublin Ireland over the weekend. Even more cheered when Morrissey wished it had been current president George W Bush who had died instead
, live on stage.
So we got some unusually good news for a change when we did our radio show tonight. It turns out our station's listener capcity for online Real Audio streaming is now unlimited - restricted only by the college's network capacity. This sounds like an improvement to us as the listener capacity had recently dropped down to 10, which sucked big time. So listen in, and tell a friend. There should be a lot fewer incidents of folks getting locked out from now on.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Muammar Gaddafi regrets that former U.S. president Ronald Reagan died... without facing trial for 1986 air strikes that killed dozens of people...
including the Libyan leader's adopted daughter.
So you thought Non-Phixion were the only gully ass Jews out there huh?
Well apparently you ain't heard of the Kahane Chai
Fuck Ill Bill lyrics. I'm gonna start reciting random lines from these fools pamphlets.
"If a citizen sees a soldier evacuating, he may beat him, and he who beats the soldier is like a messenger of a court of law."
Yeah, them's some dope-ass rhymes right there.
Sunday, June 06, 2004
You might remember that one of the selling points for the Bush administration's war in Iraq was the prediction that by invading the country and ousting Saddam Hussein America would benefit from increased exports of oil that would translate into cheaper gas prices.
And it has.
For the Iraqis.
You see, while fuel has reached record prices here in the U.S. Iraqis are only paying about 5 cents a gallon for gasoline
thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies bankrolled by American taxpayers.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
That is, they could
... if an unidentified FAA quality assurance manager hadn't destroyed the tapes...
when he purposefully crushed the cassette case in his hand, cut the tape into small pieces and threw them away in multiple trash cans.
...The City of Brotherly Love is kicking off a gay ad campaign
featuring the slogan "Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay."
Philadelphia means "brotherly love" in Greek.
This one obviously comes from our "believe it, the information are true" file.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
...Australian scientists believe that rotting bananas, bacteria and the methane they produce could provide enough energy to power your home
and many more.
"It's not a hoax" said Tony Heidrich, chief executive of the Australian Banana Growers' Council.
I guess that means that the information are true.
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Our Urban Alternatives radio program is now 100% digital, 100% portable, and 100% uncensored! Due to radio station politics the long-running—formerly terrestrially broadcast—radio show is now being made available solely as a downloadable PODCast here on the internet. Look for a new episode here on the blog every week—sometime after midnight Wednesday night—or subscribe to the URB ALTcast RSS Feed and get up-to-date episodes downloaded automatically. You can't stop the bumrush!
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15 Minutes To Live
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Beats Per Minutez
Best Week Ever
Birthday Cake Nation
Blame It On Steinski
Chances With Wolves
Dreamy Rantings of a Bourgeoisie Revolutionaire
Fluffy Lychees (NSFW)
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This is Process
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