Sunday, April 30, 2006

I went to a Round Robin party at the CopyCat building tonight. The deal was, there were a few bands and they would each play a song, the lights would go out, go on again pointing at another band, and they would play a song. What was cool about it was there were different types of music there. This dude Dan Deacon who lives in the apartment played. I kinda dissed this dude when he opened for Grand Buffet at the Ottobar, but seeing him in his own element he wasn't as bad. Picture the class clown from Middle School if he got a drum machine for Christmas and went apeshit on it. His first couple songs were actually catchy but then he just scarting making a lot of screechy twirly-whirly noises and shit. It was annoying. There was also this rapper Height who I like a lot, he performed with his buddy Bow & Arrow who I work with. Pretty good, but they didn't do that many songs.
Shodekeh was there doing beatbox. He teamed up with a couple saxaphones for some songs. They played "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" and it was great. Some band was playing punk rock but they had a drum machine doing club beats, and it was actually real cool. I wish I knew their name. There were some other bands I had never heard of plus this MICA band Ponytail, which is just real twitchy noise music.
The audience was real supporting of everything, even when they shouldn't have been. Plus somebody drank our beers when we weren't looking. It was a pretty live crowd but I think the reason they liked all this stuff was cause it's okay to dance really badly to music that's undanceable. A couple times they had a little pit going, and this one dude wanted us to lift him up so he could crowd surf. With this crowd though, it was more like me and my roomate just picked him up and dropped him on the people next to us. It was all love at the Copycat tonight though, and I'm glad I had fun at this party so I have something else to remember aside from that place being a crappy place to live.

I copped the new Streets album. The shit is dope. More on that later.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm back in B-More now, and my shit is back in the paper. Oh, you didn't know? Yo' ass better call somebody!

I saw United 93 last night with my friend Jennings. No lie, that was maybe the most harrowing movie I've ever seen. When it was over, and the screen went black before the credits rolled, you could seriously hear everybody in the theater breathing. They could've easily made a movie about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11 into a cheese fest, with lots of back story and cuts to a phone ringing back at the homestead. This movie doesn't do that though, pretty much everything happens on the plane and air traffic control places and stuff like that. Like Jennings said, it's basically the first chapter of the 9/11 commission report put on film. People are attacking the movie and saying it's too soon and stuff, but it was five years ago and apparently all the families of the victims approved the movie. It's crazy to watch this and relive those events and then wonder how we ended up where we're at now. Seriously, this is a good movie.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I went to Screwed Up Records & Tapes yesterday, the store that sells DJ Screw's stuff here in Houston. I found it on Wikipedia. The place wasn't open cause someone forgot his key, but the dude who worked there who was waiting in the parking lot was cool, he sold me some stuff out of his backpack. I asked him if he had heard of Baltimore Club music, cause he had been asking where I was from and stuff, and he said no. I don't really recognize much of the music that's screwed and chopped on these CDs, but it's all pretty good. Getting stuck in a traffic jam with this stuff playing in your car keeps you from getting agitated. Just in general the music's real atmospheric. My buddy Jusin said it would be good for a cop movie during a stakeout or something. It's hard to believe this shit came out while I was in High School. If he had screwed and chopped Tom Waits I probably wouldn've known about it.

I went to the last Rockets game of the season last night, they lost to the Spurs. Yao and T-Mac were both injured and couldn't play but it was still a good game. The rockets were down by 10 for the whole third quarter but they fought back into the lead and ended up losing because of two blown freethrows and a missed shot from the paint at the buzzer.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

So yeah, I got my bike stolen but it's not the end of the world. It's happened before.

Since I got down here to Texas I've heard about this dude Kinky Friedman, who's running for govenor. He's this Jewish country singer from Texas who wears a cowboy hat and is always smoking a cigar. I saw something about him on CMT and it didn't talk much about his politics. The closest it came was when he says he's in favor of gay marriage because he believes they have the right to be as miserable as everyone else, which was stolen word-for-word from Chris Rock, but it's still all good. I don't know if the dude is gonna be the Jelo Biafra or Jesse Ventura, but I hope he wins. We saw the columnis Molly Ivans last night, and she endorsed him.
I rolled up on this Molly Ivans talk at this opera house or something where it was wall to wall middle aged/ old people dressed pretty nice wearing an oversized Ben Wallace Jersey and cutoff jeans and my buddy was wearing flip flops, so that was kind of embarrasing. She's this humorous politcal columnist for a bunch of newspapers. She was pretty funny I guess. She made fun of Bush-isms, which is pretty tired, but her heart is in the right place.

Today we visited a house here in Houston which is made out of beer cans. It's actually more like the beer cans have replace the aluminum siding but it still looks cool.

While I was here in Houston chilling in the pool, eating Mexican food, going to movies and all that shit, back in Baltimore some motherfucker stole my bike.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I'm down here in Texas now. Last night my friend's brother Adam put me on to some old Houston shit, some Fat Pat and DJ Screw stuff. Also picked up a copy of the source that has dude's cover story about Houston rap.
Yesterday we went to this Mexican place called Ninfa's. There's supposed to be a debate over whether the Mexican food is better in Cali or in Texas, but I'll tell you what, they really know what to do with melted cheese down here.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Saw Ghostface on tuesday at Sonar. Gotta say, it was a real dissapointing show. The opening acts were bullshit, there were too many people milling around onstage while Ghostface was up there, the sound was bad, and it was too short. Ghost didn't have his own DJ with him, just some guy from 92Q so they didn't really have any kind of chemistry together. The crowd didn't get into it much either. There was a real annoying contingent of white dudes who kept yelling "Wu-Tang" in between songs and wouldn't stop yelling "ghostface" when there was sposed to be a moment of silence for ODB.
M-1 from Dead Prez did a couple good songs, but he spent most of his time talking about how the crowd wasn't revolutionary enough and that he was gonna get high after the show. Big whoop. Ghostface had enough charisma and has enough great songs that he saved this show from being a disaster. Still, this could've been a lot better.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I don't have MTV and I don't listen to the radio much so I couldn't really say what are my top five singles of the year so far, but here go the albums:

1- Ghostface Killah - Fishscale - I have a review of this I sent to the City Paper that hasn't been published yet so I don't wanna give anything away, but I like it. There's a lot to digest about this album cause it's so dense but it's instantly accessible.

2 - T.I. - T.I. King - Dude has a really slick, tight flow but what he raps about isn't usually anything that interesting so it's easy to detach yourself and listen to T.I. like he's just another element of the beat. On "Urban Legend" that made for some boring shit, but it comes together here. My favorite song is "Bankhead," which sounds like it could be the beat to an epic soundtrack of some postapacolyptic war, 50 years after Mad Max or something.

3 - Juvenile - Reality Check - Never really was into Juvenile much before and this one doesn't totally jump out at me except for a couple songs. "Get Ya Hustle On" is great but so is "Holla Back," the beat totally all over the place and schizo, enough hooks for a whole EP, and my favorite call and response I think I've ever heard just going "Mmm Hmm Uh Huh" The rest of the CD isn't amazing but it's solid, good beats and Juvenile's sing-song flow only really getting annoying on "Animal" and "Addicted" which are at least right next to each other.

4 - Little Big Town - The Road to Here - I first heard "Boondocks" on some country station in New Jersey in the radio vacume that exists between New York and Philly, pushing the seek button like some lab rat in a morphiene study. I heard the second half of this and kept listening to country stations all the way back to Baltimore trying to hear the song again. I did, heard who it was by, and bought the CD. I guess you could call it overproduced bluegrass modern country, and it really hits its stride on "Boondocks," male and female singers overlapping each other and singing about country shit like going to church and playing poker. I like it cause it's not preachy and it's not nihlistic on some stupid Hank Williams III shit, it just sounds normal. The rest of the CD is good but not great, perfect to sing along with in the car or the kitchen while you think about other stuff.

5 - Run the Road Volume 2 - This doesn't sound Earth-shattering like the first Run The Road compilation, but it does sound like this shit might have some longevity to it. Beat wise it sounds like a cross between "Sounds for the Jilted Generation" and Wu-Tang. A lot of it is just kind of blah, but even then it's still pretty unique to a dude like me who doesn't know much about grime. "Sick to Def" by Plan B is crazy, a pissed off and paranoid story-rap over acoustic guitar. "Bare Faced Dynasty" by Dynasty Crew is a total headbanger.

I think it's been kinda slow so far. These are actually the only 5 albums I've bought this year that came out this year, except the Little Big Town, which might have actually come out last year. So this list wasn't too hard to make. Oh yeah, I bought Tortoise too, but that was butt. I think I lost it when I moved, and I don't care.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Man, new T.I. and Juvenile albums are growing on me. Especially "Bankhead," the last song on King. I might start putting up MP3 things cause I might be fixing my computer.

Going to Houston in a couple weeks. I gotta keep checking Houston So Real so I can find some cool shit to check out there. I like Houston, it's a weird place. Doesn't feel like a city at all, just a really really big suburb that surrounds a deserted downtown with giant buildings 80 stories high. They also have huge, epic, armaggedon-ready 8 lane in either direction highways.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I went to Style Warz on thursday with Al from Government Names. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. There was some kind of repetative shit and some of it was boring but most of those rappers got took out in the first round. A friend of mine asked me if I was the only white boy there, but there was a few. There was one white rapper, who kind of looked like Sean Fennessey . He was pretty bad in the first round, but the dude he challenged was totally ass, so he stayed on to get challenged later. People started calling him B Rabbit and stuff and he laughed about it and seemed to get comfortable and had a really good freestyle dropping big words like OxyCotin and stuff. He got took out a couple minutes later by this big guy who was real fun to watch at first, all dancing while he was rapping and hitting exxagerated facial expressions making fun of people and stuff, but his shit got tired by the end. My favorite guy lost cause he got too drunk and he was confused in the final round where he had to incorporate three words the audience chose (money, respect, and 50 thousand). Earlier than that though he totally outshined everybody rapping about how he had just got out of jail after five years, talking about standing at the bars of his cell waiting to see if anyone was sending him mail. There was one guy who was wearing a tie, his name was Alcatraz, only one I remember, he was pretty good too. Said he came from Lexington Projects and he was about to show us why they got torn down. Style Warz takes place in this Ethiopian Restaurant called the Five Seasons next to a Dunkin Donuts and it's all colorful inside. Dudes were rapping about killing each other and stuff but it was mostly all hugs and handshakes when the battles were over except for this former champion who was really pissed off that he got chewed up and spit out by some kid in the first round. Yeah, I'll definately go to that shit again, it was fun.

My friend Justin has a blog now. It's dynamite.