Sunday, April 23, 2006

Fun-tastic

Caught some good music this weekend - especially at the 5lowershop shindig - FUNISHMENT.

Was especially happy to see lowtech - the awesome duo from Los Angeles, throw down some punkity-rockity break core hollering fun (even if their gigs are posted on IDM lists, I can't bring myself to use that term. plus it really doesn't capture the delivery and the performance). Also the Stapler (bo! Sofat! soundsystem) and BONK, RType, Megabitch spinning some fine bmore club whatnots. As we left (sadly early, to catch the bridge before all the m-f-in' onramps close which makes it take an extra hour to get out of the city), we heard the sounds of wotyoucallit ghetto tech. I didn't know people still called it that. But I still kind of like the term. and the sounds too.

The first time I heard it was when I lived in London in 1999 and saw DJ Godfather at The Clinic upstairs in the little chinatown by Soho. I loved that bar - always some random weirdness, and the little room upstairs with the window on to chinatown, then farther upstairs a little dancefloor with brits and expat europeans doing their best to move hips independently of shoulders, or giving up and bouncing around with drunken joy.

The best time I heard it was when DJ Assault played in Cambridge. The whole story around that night is pretty awesome (and involved me sweet talking a cop into getting me and my friend into the club after the doorman wouldn't recognize his EU card), but was till topped
by the fact that Assault played one of the best dj sets ever, doing everything djs can do: beatmatching, scratching, cutting up between multiples, and super wacked-out track selection (including the secret weapon of classic dark dnb/jumpup on 33 - something I rock with dubstep). People went nuts. Sadly, a couple years later in NYC he also played the absolute worst dj set I've ever seen (culminating in him rapping over his new cd with the his own vocals on it already). But the cambridge one was mindblowing. Of course, he announced that he was NOT a ghetto tech dj, but was instead playing "accelerated funk" which I guess is less downwardly mobile a term than GT (probably why I like it, being sorta downwardly mobile stylistically myself), but still comes off kind of badly, and as far as I can tell never took off.

On an unrelated note - who is it in Anchorage Alaska who every month or so, loads my page 250 times in 3 days? I don't follow my logs much except to see what kind of funny searches get people here, or what country readers are finding me from.. but anyway it's kind of weird.. Then again, if you want to book me, I'll play Anchorage. But not in the winter..

Friday, April 21, 2006

holy crap

as the end of the semester approaches, I've got nothing much to say.. three papers of my own in the offing (one on fandom and creativity which is pretty fun to research) plus grading to do..

But I gotta step up- and announce I'm really feeling the Maga Bo mix (big up Blentwell, and Soot for the split mix with him and /rupture coming out)

and I'd never, ever think I'd link to this artist, but a nice little traditional singer-singwriter moment from Pink (! yeah I know, not since the 2step remix of you make me sick have I had much to say about her).. but it's because of the tune with these lyrics:

"how can you say no child is left behind
we're not dumb and we're not blind
they're all sitting in your cells while you pave the road to hell

what kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
what kind of father would hate his own daughter if she were gay?
...
let me tell you about hard work: minimum wage with a baby on the way
let me tell you about hard work: rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
let me tell you about hard work: building a bed out of a cardboard box
...
you don't know nothing about hard work!"

that was Pink, off her new album. cheers in concert, too. go, pop!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

big choooooons

so me and my gang of ass-shaking academics (of which you can congratulate Kid K as the latest entree into grad school!) just did a group mix - all six of us, mashing together some great tunes from all over the freakin place.

We did it as part of the esteemed Lemon-Red Mix Series, taking our place among the pantheon of terribly terribly good artists like Certified Banannas (big up their gig with Jason Forrest last weekend, which I heard was amazing), Dj Ayres (of the Rub), /rupture, and many many others.

So cheers to Chris Lemon-Red, of the well-respected site lemon-red.org.
erm. I wonder what the hiphop heads will make of it. I wonder what YOU will make of it!

it's pretty fun, there are lots of amusing tracks and suchlike. I bet those of you who know my steez can guess which section is mine. But it's way more cheerful and at a new tempo for me.. It sounds like the Method crew's musical conversation though.

check it out here

Sunday, April 02, 2006

sound flavor memory

Listening to Flack's Blue Beats For Longing mix on the plane.. One of the parts that brings up a smile and a sort of cozy feeling is when the pops of the record show up in the audio - I can hear a scratch on the record. Later, I notice the wavering of a piano sample on a warped slab of vinyl.

It's a lovely feeling, taking me to my folks' house and the Monk records I used to put on as a youngun, not knowing what jazz was. The scratches were integral to that experience, and caught at my ears in a pleasing way, like a comforting woolly sweater.

Some of that is purely sonic affect, but the associations are just as powerful. I guess those sounds won't have the same significance to people who grow up in postvinyl households.

For anyone who still deals with vinyl (the crate diggers out there), it may still bring up feelings: treasure, age, and secret - those amazing tracks you pull out, dusty and fingerprinted, from the moldy crates in some junk shop.

In a way the music is the hidden gem, but the scratches and pops are signals of the work you had to go through to get it, they signal hard use and love, like a patina of scratches on steel or signal its distance from the everyday, like the blackening of silver, or the depth of darkness in an etching.