Monday, August 25, 2008

Encounter #106: T-Pain on drums.

Dude's got some skill, too. However, as with most live rap events, the sound is shit. So this video is at its best when Faheem solos over an instrumental. He's the boss, not Ross. --RWK [via the supervillian]

Songs #24: Swagger Like Us

The M.I.A. sample (already?!) is actually pretty dope, altho they ride it too much, and everybody's coming pretty hard to match that bassline. But Kanye's on some new autotune tip that I can quite endorse (it's no surprise that Wayne's version works a lot better) but I get the whole syntheti-chic thing their going for. And, is it really that shocking that T.I. does the best? He rides these cinematic beats better than most current rappers; plus, his bluster is micro compared to his track mates, which is appreciated. Understated mugging? Is that possible? It's something about his voice, and how he actually sounds angry. By contrast: Kanye sounds like he phoned that verse in from the mansion of insularity that his life is, that you can see on full display on his blog; Jay's funny, at least, with his opener about skinny jeans, but his singing is, well, hilarious for a different reason; Wayne is pretty gorgeous on most tracks, and this breezy "just playin" style is typical, great, slight. It boils down to this, though, for me: T.I. talks about his dad! --RWK [via Discobelle]

T.I. feat Kanye, Jay, Wayne - Swagger Like Us (zshare)

[Pix from a "hip-hop" movie that can probably stand in as some kind of "black all star" flick. But I probably shouldn't go and say things like that for obvious reasons, like, sweeping generalizations are dumb.]

Genius Marketing #31: CineMetal

fly the flag
The other day I realized I've successfully eliminated all band shirts from my wardrobe. Then I thought, well, I could see wearing a Rain Dogs shirt. Then cinetrix posted this, and I scoffed. Today she posted a follow up with links and I actually dug the look of this Béla Tarr T. Especially dig the tag line: "Long slow takes. Short fast songs." I can't say I ever, or ever will again, listen to Black Flag, but I probably won't watch Satantango again, either, when it comes down to it. However, I would quite possibly sport this shirt. See more at CineFile Video. Get ur nerd on. --RWK

What Community? #52: Little League MGMT

This is one of those things I wish I'd've posted before the post just below this because this is a trifle and that one is kinda serious. But, hey, this is just for fun. And the fact that whoever made this video likes little league baseball and MGMT is pretty great. Or, you could assume that person just has a crush on Karl Ravech from his earlier BBTN hall of fame personality. I do. Those were the days, when Harold and PG flanked Ravy, not lumberjack idiots like Kruk and this fool, Orestes Destrade. Altho, to be fair, Orestes can probably throw down hard in the club. All along the Western front... --RWK [via Tirico Suave]

What Community? #51: Paradise?

Bill sent along this link with this sentiment: "I want to change people's lives." It's a pretty awesome documentary about the roots of Larry Levan and Paradise Garage and the whole beginnings of dance culture. Yes, it began as a haven for (primarily black and Latino) gay dudes. But it was more about feeling free than anything. What's weird about the dance scene now, or at least the SF dance scene, is the emphasis away from that communal spirit towards supreme partying and fucking and money. Not that that didn't happen then. And maybe it's just a sign of the world's changes. But I get a way different vibe at joints like Blow Up or Lights Down Low. Everything's become packaged, a sign of cool, instead of just something cool. The cool kids are probably the biggest posers/actors, too. Bill and I were talking about that a bit, too, the other day: we don't dress hip, nor do we only dress like bums, nor do we take a simplicity stance towards hipness; we definitely exist in the middle ground, which works against you in a place like SF, and fits the East Bay a lot better. Something about a holdover punk ethos. And, you know, neither of us has a job. Although that will be changing quite significantly soon enough. Both of us need jobs now more than ever (in the past two years). The point of all this is that Larry Levan changed people. Dance music can change people. And with a little luck Bill and Carlton and Stevie Fresh will change the East Bay and its (mostly stupid) perception of dance music. Berkeley house parties were the first step. Look for the Husky Boys brand to expand to Oakland (and beyond, like Thailand) through the fall. We may not be able to start the next Garage but we can definitely start something. And we can always dance. I hope I can take some pictures. More later, soon. --RWK [To watch the full doc, just follow the links; I know you can do it.]