Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We was just practicin'...

- This Tweekend: Super fun weekend up at The Rub in Toronto. Me, my dude Bo, and my dudettes jerseyfresh and trigger hollered at some above-the-border action and got super faded on Friday night while being assaulted with lovely music provided by these dudes. Shit was an insanely good time. My man Bo knows how to get it in. Click here for the pictures (I look all fucked up in these pictures for some reason—like I’ve got a lazy eye or some shit) or just click here, here, and here to see my boy visibily-drunk-Bliz actin’ a fool and taking Petey Pablo literally when he said “Take your shirt off and spin it around your head like a helicopter.”

- Paul Shirley: My brother put me up on this dude Paul Shirley who has a blog on the Phoenix Suns webpage. He’s been a player in the NBA for something like 4 years and has played for 11 teams. Jesus. Anyway, his blog is pretty funny; chockfull of sarcasm and self-deprecation. Dude is killing it here, here, and here.

- Scott Matelic vs Radiohead: My producer-extraordinaire dude (and soon-to-be-roommate) Scott Matelic has a remix of Radiohead’s “I Will” on Coke Machine Glow for download. Like everything Scott does, it’s great: calculated, somewhat brooding and melancholy, powerful with it’s understated simplicity. Scott also doesn’t push the issue and force the song to be some epic that it’s not (he lets it clock in at under 3 minutes). Great stuff. Direct link here.

- Hov in the NYT: Linking stuff like this seems kinda useless because you probably already know about it, but uh, here it is anyway: somebody talking about Hov in the NYT.

- Fuck You Hurricane Katrina: If Hurricane Katrina did this to the Superdome, I can only imagine what it did to Magnolia housing projects and the like. Fuck.

- Mo’ ‘Ye: Pitchfork liked the Kanye record a whole lot, Rollie didn’t, having the gall to call a review “unacceptable.” The fuck? Anyway, I’m way more on Pitchfork’s side than Rollie’s (even though the Pitchfork review isn’t far from giving all of the credit to Jon Brion). Rollie’s criticism is this:
    kanye talks about smoking weed and getting head like any other commercial rapper but because he balances it with half-hearted talk about conflict diamonds and poorly constructed metaphors and those rhymes that don't actually rhyme (ie: that whole song 'celebration': "why you actin' all shy and all?/ why is y'all lyin' for?/...right now i need you to mute all the monologue/ all that talkin' is gone give me a tylenol"), he's the rapper du jour. this guy is fucking shitty at rapping and his beats are, for the most part, relatively uninspired. it doesn't take a fucking producer to hear that even if 'drive slow' is one of the only good songs, the chop is totally off and the sample was flipped 300 times better on 2pac's 'shorty wanna be a thug'.

Well, well, well, Mr. Big Shot, that’s just like, your opinion, man! To put it simply: Kanye does not just talk about “smoking weed and getting head like any other commercial rapper,” he does it in a much more candid and hilarious manner. When he’s bragging about these things, it’s completely different than someone like Fat Joe bragging about these things precisely because of the character that we know Kanye to be: an insecure goofball, rap nerd who doesn’t find it necessary to subscribe to the “I’m a conscious rapper” vs “I’m a gangsta rapper” dichotomy; who loves music at least as much as he loves himself; and who isn’t afraid to be cheesy and take some risks. In my humble opinion, it works spectacularly well on this album. By the way, I’m a producer and I think “Drive Slow” is perfectly produced. But, again, Rollie is a man who loves Necro and thinks “Santana’s Town” is the worst song of 2004. So, hey, I'm just bound to disagree with this guy, I think.

- Shaviro + BEE + Abel: Steven Shaviro speaks about Bret Easton Ellis’s new book Lunar Park right here and briefly here. An old professor of mine (probably the best teacher I ever had), Mr. Marco Abel posits some thoughts about the negative reviews that BEE almost always gets right here. Suffice it to say that I really wanna read this book now. If you haven’t read American Psycho, do so immediately.

- Speaking of Books: Did I mention that I recently finished Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization? It’s pretty cute. It takes specific soccer stories (often rivalries or depictions of the fanatical fans) as a microcosm that represents larger problems in the world. It’s certainly interesting to read some of the histories of certain teams and how it relates and/or parallels the politics of the country, but one gets the feeling that Mr. Foer is greatly over-simplifying for effect. I’m not a historian so I’ll spare you the specifics but suffice it to say that I find the ease with which Mr. Foer links soccer and a country’s larger political and/or economic problems to be a bit too smooth. I don’t doubt that there is a certain “political unconscious” embodied in the game of soccer that necessarily reflects the reality of any given situation, but I feel like Foer overstates the parallels without allowing for the contradictions to have any real space. Likewise, the conservative in Mr. Foer seems to get the better of him at times: he is so pro-globalization and pro-nationalism that, more often than not, he finds himself excusing the negative aspects of these concepts in a rather silly manner (saying things like, “Well, if it weren’t for globalization, I probably wouldn’t ever have been exposed to international soccer and grown to love it. So, globalization can’t be all bad!”). It is however a fun read and it is well-researched and equally well-written. Just don’t take it too seriously. I’m currently readingLife on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett by Jennifer Gonnerman. All I can say about it right now is this: Fuck the Rockefeller drug laws.

- Last But Not Least: Oh shit. Another White Ts and White Belts is ready for lift-off this weekend. This time it’s on Friday. So, go to First Fridays, look at some art, then drink away your pain with us. We will, we will, rock you… rock you. Seriously. I’ve got some bangers up my sleave. Shit’s gonna be stupid hot.



At 8:27 AM, Blogger Drew said...

I like that guy's website, but don't agree with him either. Kanye record is good.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger En P said...

i saw what you were saying today on the NON prophets forum about rap music and I really liked what you had to say and you made great points.

fuck those kids, they didnt know what the fuck they were talking about.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous illwafer said...

that shirley ish is so old dude. don't you read The Sports Guy?

At 5:36 PM, Blogger emynd said...


Rollie's website is the shit. He's always posting pretty cool random shit. I seem to like a lot of the indie rock type shit that he posts, but not so much of the undie rap shit. His mainstream rap tastes are a bit random, too. He's the shit, though. A hella good writer and I respect him immensely, but I have a tendency to disagree with his butt, too.

Paul, thanks.

Illwafer, stop hating you old crumudgouny muffin. Freedarko has convinced me that The Sports Guy is not as jockable as I once thought. I now see the light. Eff you.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Mr. Babylon said...

Sports Guy is great, you just have to keep in mind that he's a dude that thinks the Smashing Pumpkins were better than Nirvana... and thinks that matters.

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous kibby said...

Emil, that book "Life on the Outside..." is great. I read it a little while ago and have a lot of smart things to say about it but I am currently in the middle of trying to find legal representation for one of my kids who got arrested for selling crack! Its all coming full circle, i guess...

At 12:27 PM, Blogger emynd said...


I finished the book yesterday. I will say that I enjoyed most of it, but it was a bit long-winded and, to be honest, wasn’t really a book that I needed to read. I probably could’ve just read a few stories on Elaine Bartlett up in the Village Voice and come away with the same thoughts: (a) the Rockefeller Drug Laws are extremely unfair and (b) they’ve done a whole lot more harm than good. I didn’t need to read that book in order to know how difficult it is for poor families to survive in America and I didn’t need to read it to know how difficult it is to break the cycle(s) of drugs and violence for these families. Basically, the book was just an exercise in preaching to the converted and so, while it wasn’t badly written nor uninteresting per ce, I must admit that it was kind’ve a waste of time for me to read. That being said, what’s up with the last chapter? The author is all sympathetic for the whole book and then in the last chapter, she gets a bit judgmental. She doesn’t outright say anything overt, but you get the feeling that the author really disapproves of Elaine’s spending habits (i.e. Elaine has 30 pairs of shoes, a baby phat jacket, etc, etc, etc). The tone she adopts in that last chapter is on some "Look what this idiot is spending her money on" shit. Of course, it’s not hard to criticize someone for buying hella shoes and other pointless shit when they're making less than $20,000 a year, but I found her condescending tone a bit odd. After all, to me, it seems pretty got damn obvious that Elaine tried as hard as she could to get her footing and get her family-life in order. But, eventually, she just said "Fuck it, mommy wants some new shoes." I really can’t hate on that. Bill Cosby can, but I can’t. Anyway, it’s not a bad book. I’m surprised it’s been nominated for all these awards and shit, though. Who the fuck didn’t know that life was still gonna be hard after you spent 16 years in jail?

I wanna hear your "smart things" about the book.


At 1:05 PM, Anonymous kibby said...

Haha, a lot of my "smart things" were pretty much summed up in what you said. But I think that I liked this book a lot because while you're right that it definitely is preaching to the choir (but most of these sociological non-ficion case study types of books are), I still think that most people don't really consider how fucked up it is that once your time in prison is done, then you have to re-enter the world and essentially face worse shit than you did in prison. It's like life after prison is worse and more punishing than life in prison. No one will hire you, friends you used to have moved on, your family's ashamed of you....not to mention the fact that you have likely come from a low socioeconomic postion in the first place! I mean, all of this seems soooo obvious but I really don't think that people, like you and I who are privelaged enough to sit around and think about it, do so enough. I also don't think that people like Elaine Bartlett think about it enough. My student today, who was arrested for selling AND producing crack AND assaulting an officer AND fully fessed up to all of it, was strangely optimistic about his fate, saying "well it's only my first offense." as he was on his way to court. Now I'm no lawyer, but i'm pretty fuckin sure that he's gonna be in jail for a long time. And once he gets out, its gonna be even harder than it was for him before to get a job, which is why he was selling crack in the first place! AHHHH. So, this was the kinda stuff that this book made me think about, even though I already knew it all before.


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