Tuesday, June 26, 2007

BK Hip Hop Festival, etc

In DuMBO, right under the Brooklyn Bridge, they had no beer.

It was outdoors, right on the water, the stage framed on either side by the Brooklyn Bridge and the train-laden Manhattan Bridge, sun shining, old school hip hop blaring, and there was no beer.

I spent the first five minutes walking about the park like a lost kid in the mall, searching for a beer tent. I was stunned into disbelief that an outdoor event could exist without beer. All I could find was coolers full of some horrifying new diet Pepsi they were cross-promoting.

After finally accepting that I would not get a sun-buzz for this one, I relaxed in the grass and watched Dres from Black Sheep, of "Where are they now remix" fame. Not bad, he seems to have gained a pretty good outlook on music in his down time. He put out his own record on his own label, and from what I could tell, its decent. Naturally, the place went sort-of nuts when he broke out the classic "The Choice is Yours".

Consequence took the stage, The DT's took over my body, so Albert and I went down the fucked up ass streets of Dumbo for some wheat beer before Ghostface came on. I came back and to my horror, the entire Boot Camp Clik was on stage finishing their last song. Damned alcoholism.

Finally, after some odd discussion on stage about park closing times (why this needed to happen on the mic, I wasn't sure), the opening "sample" from "The Champ" started blaring across the park, dragging the sun down lower and lower. The beat hit, and Ghost was on stage with some key members of Theodore Unit.

Ghost killed it through basically all of the catalog shit you would want to hear from him, ("Cherchez LaGhost" was missing, but I think that wouldn't fit the 'outdoor concert' vibe, more suited for a 'robitussin party in a shitty basement' vibe) led everyone in a sing-a-long of ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya", brought Fat Joe out on stage to do his verse from that song with Ja Rule, did the beginning of some Wu-classics, did "Biscuits" by request and wrapped it up with some amazing stage banter.

All in all, he was probably on for about a half an hour, but it felt like I had hung out with the dude all day. Fantastic.

Brooklyn Bodega did a hell of a job with the festival, despite the lack of beer. Next year I am going to show up earlier and do my homework so I can recognize the random ass people that wander up on stage.

I left to go to my old boss' birthday party in the east village, creating a solid hangover to work off on the beach.

Ghost n em

Joe n em

OH YEAH. Getting girls to take naked pictures with Mac Photo Booth is my new favorite thing in the world. Next up: Video chat.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I just went to a Luncheon with Mandy Moore. In the rolling stone offices, they give you free food and about 30 people hang out and do a Q and A session with some random celebrity. These happen a lot, so I go as often as possible because the food is fuckin great and I am broke. I also try and get my picture taken with each. So far all I have is Ludacris and Lilly Allen. I'm pissed I didn't do it for this one.

Anyway, she's damn pretty, taller than you would think, and she had her "hi beams" on, which was awesome, it was chilly up in there, so its only natural. She's also pretty smart, used words like "amalgamation", "innate" and "catharsis". She also falls asleep at 10 like an old woman, gets drunk on two glasses of wine, and hates the music she was making when she was 15.

I sat and stared shamelessly. Thats the thing about people like that, they make a living being watched so you can sit there and stare at every inch of them and not even worry about it. So thats what I did.

Ok, thats basically it. Have a nice day, I'm hungover.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eradication - a pointless rant about the state of the music business.

A whole label just got liquidated. This is the second time I have seen this happen. The difference is that the first time, a small crew was kept around to keep the pilot light on. This time, no one is left, even the name of the label is now nothing but a ghost.

A smaller label, based solely on the internet. A great idea in theory, especially in these "modern" times when no one, besides your parents, is buying Cd's. Obviously, this poor internet label was not executed properly. Their roster was not strong, and it seems even fewer people are buying tracks online than they are buying Cd's. Especially from very obscure bands.

I always felt though, that an all-digital label like the now deceased, would flourish in some strange way if it held on long enough to adapt to this new environment as it chose to fall in place.

That's the thing, no one really knows where the fuck this is all going. Profits are waaaay down, 400 people in my company became "gone" one month ago, entire arms (retail) of label groups are being slashed and burned, and I just saw about 6 of my good work friends get laid off without warning.

I'm not whining, and I am not angry, maybe because I still have my job, maybe because I am barely considered "entry-level", but these were "label people". The types who heard all of the stories, saw the movies, loved the music, and busted every inch of ass to make it "in". Now, they get vomited out unceremoniously under the guise of "preserving" this business. Preservation is not being achieved, what is happening is an almost complete change.

The music business can not be the profit-beast that it once was, at least not now, and I hope label heads have realized that fact. There is no way in hell we can hand over fist over platinum the money like we used to. T.I.'s "Trap Muzik" just went platinum, and it came out something like 2 years ago.

OK, then where is this going? Corporate Communications departments will tell you that "digital" is the next step. It might be, but the "how" is still a bit nearsighted.

Much less myopic are these facts:
1) People want music, and they are willing to use any means necessary to do it. Whether it is just to hear it once, put it on a CD-R for the floor of their car, play it on their phone, own it, love it, hate it, review it, play it in the club, or put it on their SecondFaceSpace profile. The reasons and desires have not changed much, the means to possess music has. Paying for it has become a pretty lame move.

2) The labels own a lot of music, a shit load. Between the four major labels, the amount of music in their vaults is staggering. So what does that mean? Does it mean that the labels should form watch dog groups and run around saying "Mine!" to witch-hunt down every poor college student with "stolen" music on their computer? I don't think so. I don't think destroying the trust and scaring off our last garrison of consumers is a good idea. No one wants to buy music from a whiny tribunal, when they could get it easily from a benign, wide open fruit on the internet. We also cant pretend that once the music is out there, it won't be shared. That is bullshit, short sighted, unrealistic thinking. People will always find ways to get that shit for free, the technology is out there, and it is NOT going away. The music business has always had an element of elasticity, but these times call for a stretch that is near-superhuman (save your Fantastic 4 references for your aunt Tilly) and I don't know if the majors are ready to bend that far. I wouldn't be surprised if we started to see CEO's walking out with their hands up, exasperated, but still rich as fuck.

OK, smart guy, then what is it?

I'm not sure, I never ever pretended to have the answers, I am just learning. Some things I can say now though:

Yes, digital initiatives (ringtones, virtual worlds, social networking, ad-sponsored sites) are cool, but unless the labels can truly find a way to generate even half a visible stack of money (it's possible) from such ventures, there will be no staying power, and the artists will cease to see what the point of a major label even is.

Also, concerts, concerts, concerts. I feel that getting people all in one place to collectively sweat, rock out, and touch each other is always going to be attractive. The kids might not take as many drugs as they used to, but then again, people on drugs don't buy shit at the bar. The concert as of now is a bit under-utilized I feel. Concert goers are down for fucking anything, get them involved, have them video tape shit for free, use the unbelievably interconnected capacity of those little things they hold up now instead of lighters during ballads, provide a truly mind blowing experience, because "kids these days" are bored as fuck, but once you are done providing it, sell them the experience, sell them something, that is, if you want to continue as a "business".

Or, fuck it, just give it all away. Personally, all I want is for the music to stick around, and it will. What I am talking about here is the Music Business (emphasis on 'business') and whether or not it will survive. This and the rant above comes from the fact that there has been a lot of discussion on the fate of this particular institution lately, I hear a lot about it because...well shit, I am part of it. I suppose this is me "weighing in" (a slight quiver on the scale) on the issue or whatever the fuck.

I will probably rant more later. Thoughts?

Record Reviews

Here are some reviews I just wrote for Beautiful/Decay. I'm sorry for the lack of posting. Please, if you know my email address, email me and suggest some shit to write about. All I can think of is zombies and being a pervert in the city. It's been done.

Lodeck - Behold
Lodeck is a Russian import with one of the sickest voices I have ever heard. He talks about what its like to pour out booze for decayed crackhead friends, how fucked up the deep end of Brooklyn is for an immigrant youth, how foolish humanity is, how the world could get better with the slightest bit of imagination and hustle, and how awesome/terrible toothless blowjobs are. The beats are fantastic (Bad Touch: tell your friends), Breeze Evahflowin' shows up, Blockhead turns in two amazing remixes, Jedi throws in some cuts, the production is thick and sparse at the same time, he doesn’t ever say “overstand”, and the choruses do not suck. Why you do not own this yet is far beyond me. Use your head(phones): Support Lodeck.

Raheem Jamal - Boombox
Wait till it gets nice outside, hang your boombox out your window, and blast this album. If anyone yells at you to turn it down, get rid of them. If anyone compliments you on your choice of street music, invite them in, give them beer, and start this record from the beginning. Instant summer. Raydar Ellis’ beats are warm-weather-class with big soul jazz samples, fat drums, smooth guitar, string sections, and horn blasts. And Raheem, who doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, spits easily about girls, the city (Boston), the good times, the hard times, and all of the things we love about hip hop. Raheem and his Project Move buddies should have released this on tape. My boombox only plays tapes.

Dos Noun and Burns - The Fall of '98.
In the fall of 1998 I was pushing an ’86 Chevy Nova 4 door go-kart with a warped Rhymesayers tape stuck in the deck, and the only time I touched a booty was by accident on an escalator at the Mall of America. Hindsight can’t even make that shit look cool, but I do remember that “hip hop” was fuckin’ everywhere, and it was cool because it was a resistance to “rap”. Back then folks still made that distinction, because you could either pay 3 bucks to see 19 emcees in a hot basement, or you could turn on BET and bust Jadakiss in a shiny suit. I get the feeling that Dos Noun and Burns from Pittsburgh feel the same way. The Fall of ‘98 is that underground record, the one that some dude sold you for 5 bucks out of his backpack, the one that proudly ended up stuck in your deck.

Let me be honest,
"We family, we family, lemme talk to ya"
-Bernie Mac

Maaaybe you can tell they were written a little hastily, my schedule was kicking my ass at the time, yet I always wait till the last minute to do that shit. That last one, I had a problem, I really didn't like the record, I will be honest. It had a lot of the problems of an underground hip hop record, the choruses were too long and bad, the album itself was too long, and sometimes the lo-fi production got in the way of enjoying the record. Sorry to any B/D folks reading this, I wasn't feeling it, but since it was for the "Recommends" section, I tried to stay positive, or at least entertaining.

Anyway, the music is good, go check that shit out. And let me know what the fuck I need to be writing about on here. I'm too broke to go out and act like an ass...I will wait until I get paid, or maybe wait until Ogre comes to visit. That's going to be fuckin sweet.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Drew's typical Saturday night

You come to and your body looks like yours. Obscure metal t-shirt, check. 70's bellbottoms, check. Crippling rage issues, check. You are Drew, and you are in a bathroom now. You know deep in your heart that you can't handle your shit, but now you are astonished at how big of a blackout lightweight you are. The last thing you remember is shotgunning a Bartles and James Pear Passion Lime Estrogen Wine Cooler at 7 pm.

The bathroom is well lit, its almost morning, your pants are around your ankles and there is a 2 year old Penthouse crumpled at your feet. Most likely the product of a failed masturbation session. Now you are scared. You don't remember how you got into this bathroom.

At least you know who's bathroom it is. It belongs to your good friend Clitoris Rex, and he did this to you.

Your pre-existing anger problem starts bubbling and you instantly burst a blood vessel in your eye for no apparent reason. "No time to panic", you think, "I will simply grab this here door knob, twist, and pull, and I will be free of this bathroom, on my way to fall asleep on a couch, huzzah." You grab for the doorknob, and realize, THERE IS NO DOORKNOB!

Panic. What happened to the doorknob? Is this some kind of sick game? Is the doorknob surgically buried in some infant's chest and the only way I can survive is to chew the knob out of the screaming infant?

That would actually be sweet, you think, thankful for the moment of clarity.

You plunge back into panic mode again and your heart races to the point of almost popping. You think, "The door will not open, perhaps a few light raps upon the door will be enough to wake the bathroom owners, who could come let me out, yeah, that's the ticket."

"Ziggy says this doesn't look good Sam."

No one responds. What will you do? Will you improvise a comfortable way to sleep in the bathtub? You are so tired, your body hurts from too much headbanging, and you have the lyrics to Pantera's 'Becoming' cycling through your head on repeat.

Fuck the bathtub, you say. The panic has now completely taken over, sending all of your blood screaming through your head, so you scream back. The adrenaline takes your voice up a few pitches so now you sound like a pre-menstrual field hockey player. What a pussy.


The door opens, finally, somehow, its your friend/captor Patrick. You are sweating, close to tears, and fighting off a massive stroke/seizure/aneurysm/case of the runs.

"Dude, you are the worst alarm clock ever."


You scream, but its no use, everyone is already laughing. No one even notices your struggle because you have been upstaged. All of your stress and pain went unnoticed in the face of the aftermath of a vicious piss whirlwind that has swept through the entire apartment. Thanks to a non-housetrained drunk girl, no one cares that you just had an existential crisis in a bathroom in queens.

What a pussy.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I figured out how to write like a Predator.

The big font says, "Bear Fucker"
The little one says, "Your bitch don't really got no ass, she just pokes it out."

You care about this.
I rule.