IT'S THE MONEY SHOT!!

working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

viernes, junio 30, 2006

june playlist: who invented the remix?

THE REMIX-- P. Diddy once released an album on Bad Boy Records called We Invented the Remix. I think it's quite obvious that Mr. Combs and friends did not invent the remix. Which leads me to wonder...who did?

I wasn't wondering very long until I came to a conclusion of...um...who cares? I'm just glad they invented it. Sort of. Remixes, like most things, can be used for both good and evil. They come in many forms-- mash-ups, reinterpretations with a similar theme, changed instrumentation, the same song with an additional verse, etc. They can be everywhere from disasterous (see Mariah Carey's "Say Somethin" remix f/ Dem Franchize Boys) or glorious. The pace of the song can be slowed down or sped up depending on the goal of the remixer. An artist puts their work into another's hands to be reinterpreted, redefined, and reworked.

This June, I pay tribute to those behind the artists with the second official playlist from IT'S THE MONEYSHOT!! Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: zip file, or individually (maybe)
  1. TWEET- Turn Da Lights Off (RJD2 remix): I mentioned Tweet and the disappointing sales of this record a few posts back. RJD2 brings us a flawless, dancier mix with this one. I wonder if this single would have done better if this version was released?
  2. MISSY ELLIOTT f/ LUDACRIS- Gossip Folks (siik remix): Siik doesn't like the word mash-up, but he can make one like no one's business. He caused a bit of a stir in the blogosphere a while back with his remix of Amerie's "One Thing" (MP3) and has continued making us some hot mixes ever since. Have a listen to this Missy/Some Daz mash-up, and then check him out on the space. I'm a big fan of the Next/Outkast mash-up.
  3. TIGARAH- Japanese Queen (Mr. D's crunk remix): Mr. D is one of the few producers on this list who had the advantage of crafting the original song. In this remix, he brings in a crunk ass beat that would make Lil Jon jealous.
  4. CASSIE- Me & U (mc DJ remix): A lot of my friends don't understand my draw to mc DJ, but I really like some of his work. Here, he remixes "Me & U" with a touch that even makes Cassie sound talented. No offense to her, "Me & U" is a great song...but it doesn't necessarily make her sound like she's got the voice of our generation.
  5. MARY J. BLIGE- Be Without You (A Brucker & Sinden remix): I found this remix on Diplo's site. Mary J. Blige is awesome.
  6. DESTINY'S CHILD- Say My Name (Haldan's opportune mash-up): Haldan of Palms Out Sounds switches up this number one jam by Destiny's Child by mashing it up with an instrumental by DMX Krew. The result is much smoother than the original.
  7. SADE- By Your Side (Neptunes remix): What? The Neptunes remixed Sade? Yup! Also, The Rolling Stones. They're all over the place, and I'm glad for it. I used to hate this song because the original would always be playing on the radio station at the bagel shop I used to work at. Once I heard The Neptunes remix, I realized that it's actually a really cute song. And you know me. It just needs to be cute to get me sold on it.
  8. JAY-Z- December 4th (EK remix): I couldn't find out much about EK for obvious reasons (impossible to google). This is one of the many remixes of "December 4th" floating around the net, and it's certainly one of the best.
  9. SHARON PHILLIPS- Want 2 Need 2 (Trentemoller remix): Trentemoller has a resume which includes remixes for The Knife and Röyksopp, so this is some good stuff. I didn't know anything about Sharon Phillips before hearing this, but now I'd like to know a little bit more.
  10. JENNY WILSON- Let My Shoes Lead Me Forward (The Knife remix): Jenny Lewis is a former child actress, Jenny Wilson is Swedish. That's the only difference you really need to know. OH, also...Jenny Lewis does not have a remix done for her by The Knife. In that respect, Jenny Wilson wins.
  11. ROBYN- Be Mine (Meatboys remix): I swear the theme from Jeopardy is sampled in this song. You don't want to know what came up when I googled "meat boys". Okay, so it wasn't that bad. But just imagine!
  12. ANNIE- The Crush (Richard X version): Richard X really fixed this song. I have to agree with fluxblog on that one.
  13. MARIAH CAREY- It's Like That (McSleazy remix): Mimi's emancipation just got gayer, as McSleazy takes this jam to the club.
  14. BUSTA RHYMES- Touch It (Diplo remix): Diplo fleshes this remix out with a sample of the Daft Punk song that was used for the original. You know how I feel about Busta Rhymes, so let's not even talk about him.
  15. THE CLIPSE- Drop It (Les Biches remix): Blogs have been pissing themselves over how good this mixtape is...but it's, you know, okay.
  16. RICK ROSS- Hustlin' (DJ Benzi refix): This is by far my favorite remix on this entire playlist. Here, the man responsible for The Clipse mixtape, mashes Rick Ross with the instrumental from Nelly Furtado's "Maneater". It doesn't sound like it'd work, but it actually makes both songs better. Truly, a successful mash-up. Truly, a reFIX.
BONUS TRACK: CHAM f/ AKON- Ghetto Story (remix): Honestly, I just forgot to upload this one on the zip file. It's a prime example of a song that instrumentally remains the same, but brings in the voice of another artist. In this case, that artist is Akon. I often wonder if the world will grow tired of Akon...his voice is EVERYWHERE-- remixes, hooks, and his own songs. It's either going to solidify his career or ruin it.

BLOGWATCH: Perez Hilton is streaming Fergie's new single "London Bridge (Oh Shit!)"...and oh shit! I actually kind of like it. If you tell anyone, I will cut you.

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jueves, junio 29, 2006

alice smith vs. corinne bailey rae: soul-ebrity deathmatch.

ALICE SMITH is one of those musical artists that I just couldn't resist blogging about. Like Corinne Bailey Rae, she is one of those rare modern soul songstresses who really shines...except after hearing Alice Smith, I'd throw Ms. Bailey Rae into a trash can in a second.

It's nothing personal. Both ladies write exquisite soul songs, except Smith actually delivers the soul. Where Corinne sugarcoats her songs in a simple, happy acoustic sound, Alice revels in the darkness with her complex arrangements. Alice makes the type of music that...leaves you breathless, wanting more. It's invigorating. It's true, cathartic at times. Compared to Alice, Corinne's tunes are nothing but background music.

However, Corinne is still on top in the end when it comes to sales. While Alice is performing show after show in NYC, Corinne's album is being sold in every Starbucks in the city. She's touring the world, popping up everywhere from iTunes to VH1. She's playing the majors...BUT she's playing it safe. It seems as if Corinne draws too much from her formerly successful influences, while Alice isn't afraid to take risks and go where her heart takes her. And while she may be stuck updating her own myspace page (GASP!), this only increases her genuine appeal. Top that off with a four octave range, and I think we have a winner.

DOWNLOAD: ALICE SMITH- Dream
DOWNLOAD: ALICE SMITH- Fake is the New Real
(mp3s courtesy of soul shower)

BUY For Lovers, Dreamers, & Me <-- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

DOWNLOAD: CORINNE BAILEY RAE- Trouble Sleeping (KRCW session)

BUY Corinne Bailey Rae

BLOGWATCH: Analog Giant has a great remix by Freeform Five of Alice Smith's song "Love Endeavor". Stars are blind has that new JoJo which I know you've been...um...dying to hear?

BLOGGER NOTE: I'll be away until next week with no internet, so hopefully you will be able to survive. Leave me some love!

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girl talk: girls talk about the booty too

GIRL TALK isn't just a mediocre single by TLC released after Lefteye's tragic death. It's also not just a board game you ladies (and some fellas) used to play at sleepovers. Hell, if you bring this kind of Girl Talk to your sleepovers, this better be the kind of sleepover that involves booty-drops and doing the running man. Maybe even a stripper named Candy.

Girl Talk (aka Greg Gilllis) is beyond samples. He's not just a guy who does mash-ups...he turns mash-ups into art. On his new album Night Ripper, Mr. Gillis crafts 164 "pop culturally relevant samples" into 45 minutes of ass shaking fun. One minute you're pimping all over the world with Ludacris, and the next the Ying Yang Twins are whispering in your ear over the instrumental of The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony". This is an album where Bow Wow does not stop believing, where Missy Elliott and Neutral Milk hotel meet face to face, where the phrases "Hey we want some pussy" and "I love you" overlap. It's the only time you'll hear Phil Collins and Junior Mafia on the same disc.

It's like those old Jock Jams mixes, but better. The hits of today meet the hits of yesterday flawlessly. One genre meets the other with no problems. You never know what to expect. It's as much of a joy recognizing every sample as it is dancing to the mix.

Honestly, the more I listen to it, the more I love it. I'm not alone...Girl Talk is blowing up all over the blogosphere. Peeps are saying that DJ Dangermouse (of The Grey Album, Gnarls Barkley) don't have shit next to him. I wasn't even going to post about him until I listened to the album in full. It's a necessity for any party you have this summer. It'll keep the hipsters and hip-hop heads dancing at the same time. Just downloading separate tracks won't do the trick. Each one flows into the other and you need them all for the full effect. COP THAT SHIT IMMEDIATELY.

DOWNLOAD: GIRL TALK- Once Again
DOWNLOAD: GIRL TALK- Minute By Minute

BUY Night Ripper, Friend on the space.

BLOGWATCH: Brooklyn Vegan has the lovely and taltented Regina Spektor doing a beautiful cover of "Chelsea Hotel". Music is art has a rarity by The Knife and that Lily Allen song that everyone is shitting themselves over.

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martes, junio 27, 2006

oh, it was latavia!

ANJEL was an R&B girl-group formed by LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson after they got kicked to the curb by Destiny's Child in February 2000.

Before being thrown out, they had threatened to split with manager Matthew Knowles because he kept too much of their cash, was a controlling little bitch, and favored his daughter like whoa. Soon after this, they were surprised to see two new faces replacing them. And they did what any two revenge-seeking divas would do. Filed a lawsuit...OH, and they started a rival group. It's like gangs, but it involves more singing. Kind of like West Side Story, but sassier.

The girls teamed up to record 22 songs in Atlanta with Tiffany Beaudoin and Naty Quinones. Unfortunately, Naty and Tiffany didn't even have a chance to fade into obscurity. The production company that planned to release the album fell through. By 2003, the group parted and went their separate ways.

LaTavia moved back to H-Town to pursue a career in acting. She was offered a slot as the lead singer of girl-group XScape after Kandi Burruss left, but declined. Apparently, she recorded a solo track with Jermaine Dupri called "Rock With Me", but I don't even know how I can rock with her if I've never even heard it...

LeToya isn't doing too bad these days. After Anjel split in 2003, she opened a fashion boutique in Houston called Lady Elle. You can rest at night knowing that there's no beef, because SURPRISE!...LeToya is proudly selling Beyonce's clothing line House of Dereon. In 2004 LeToya was signed to Capitol Records, and she will soon be releasing her debut album. Her single "Torn" is all over the radio and reached the top spot on BET's 106 & Park. (Blogger note: I saw the episode when it reached number one. YEAH, I watch BET bitches.) She will be touring this summer with Mary J. Blige.

DOWNLOAD: ANJEL
- Best of All Time (unreleased)
DOWNLOAD: LeTOYA f/ SLIM THUG- Torn (remix)

BLOGWATCH: Bigstereo has got a remix that Spank Rock did of Test Icicles. Adult Swim is offering up a new free EP featuring Lady Sovereign, Mos Def, MF Doom, and more. Get it here, and download individual tracks at gorilla vs. bear or i guess i'm floating.

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blogger probs

Since I need sleep, I am going to have to break my promise of having the June playlist up tonight. Apologies!

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domingo, junio 25, 2006

that's gay. literally.

Homosexuality is really gay. No seriously. It literally is.

I'm not sure how I feel about "pride" and what is interpreted as "gay culture". You wouldn't have seen me marching around in NYC today, but don't get me wrong...My people can do some okay things. However, gay men often misinterpret the meaning of "pride". Before we celebrate and dance around in man-thongs, I think we need to solve a few problems and tensions within the community, ok? Before we make others repect us, I think we need to respect one another. That's all I'm saying.

With that off my chest, let me continue with some music. In honor of gay pride, I will be bringing you some music from gay/lesbian/queer artists. They span across genres from hip-hop to country. Each song isn't necessarily about being gay. Does it really need to be?
  • MATTHEW HEATH-FITZGERALD- Whiskey Lullaby: Mr. Heath-Fitzgerald is a family-lovin' man from Oklahoma who sings country music for a group of adoring fans. Only he's gay-married. It's like Brokeback Mountain only less depressing, less idealized, a lot cuter, a lot realer, and obviously more musical. Seriously though, if you don't believe it's cute, check out the photo of the married couple on his husband Jason Heath-Fitzgerald's page. CUTE. For country lovers, check out more of his music on the space. If you like what you hear, support the artist!!
  • JONTE'- Make Up (video): Jonte' is essentially the polar opposite of Matthew Heath-Fitzgerald. He's campy. He's flexible. He's electro. He's...um, FABULOUS! Also, he's a gay black male semi-drag queen from New York. That's what I call opposites. Check him out on the space.
  • GOD-DES & SHE- Mr. President: Everyone from Pink to Tupac Shakur to Bright Eyes have done songs for the president, but that's not the point. I found a copy of "Lick It" (available on iTunes), but I respect these ladies too much to post it. God-des is an out lesbian, and She just recently ventured into bisexuality. Honestly, I don't care what their orientations are. These ladies are talented. Unfortunately, "She" does not appear on this track, so I encourage you to head to the space and watch their video for the infectiously catchy "Love You Better" (which reached #1 on LOGO's Click List). She has an amazing voice.
  • MIRROR BOIYZ vs. LEIF- I.R.L. (Leif remix): This is a brand new remix by the insanely gifted Leif. Leif is still in high school, and once I discovered this fact...I was floored. He is applying to my school, and if they don't accept him they are idiots. You may remember Leif from the first mixtape on this blog. If you liked what you heard back then, you should check out the full Arular Gone Glam project here. You should also friend him on the space before he gets more famous than your mom. OH, also The Mirror Boiyz are pretty good too, but I guess I'm biased. You can friend us here.
  • NELLIE McKAY f/ K.D. LANG- We Had It Right: Nellie McKay is not a lesbian, but she's a gay-friendly vegetarian. That counts for something, right? Her album Pretty Little Head was presumably great. I say "presumably" because fucking Sony never released it! Sixteen of the 23 tracks have leaked including a duet with out lesbian performer K.D. Lang. The album also featured an amazing duet with Cyndi Lauper, her co-star in The Threepenny Opera. You should go see that if you're the kind of person who is into musicals. It also has Alan Cumming, who is gay and once hit on my friend. Since I can't recommend that you buy the album, either go see the play...or check out this live version of the gay marriage themed "Cupcake" (MP3). It includes a dedication to New Jersey's ex-governor Jim McGreevey. Word on the street is that Nellie is incredible live.
  • JANIS IAN- My Tennessee Hills: Why does that name look familiar? That's right. Janis Ian = DYKE. (Mean Girls) The joke that most watchers of Tina Fey's theatrical masterpiece don't get is that the actual Janis Ian IS a dyke. If you listen hard enough, you can even hear Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" (MP3) playing in the background at some point in the movie. In other news, Ms. Ian was happily married to her domestic partner Patricia Snyder in 2003.
Honorable Mention:
  • New Jersey rocker Josh Zuckerman
  • "Bear pride" midwest rapper Bigg Nugg
  • Internet superstar Jonny McGovern
  • Overly raunchy Hirsute Pursuit
  • American Idol contestant Jim Verarros
  • Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, RuPaul, The Village People, Lesley Gore, Sinead O'Connor, Boy George, George Michael, Tegan & Sara, Michael Stipe, Liberace, Rufus Wainwright, and all the other obvious ones...
BLOGWATCH: Get the new Jessica Simpson "A Public Affair" at stars are blind. Check out some live tracks of new Radiohead material at i guess i'm floating, as well as a rare Modest Mouse track. Speaking of gays, ANTM's Kim Stolz is now a VJ on MTVU and has her own blog (link thanks to shitparade). Listen to acoustic tunes by We Are Scientists over at You Ain't No Picasso. Cop a b-side of The Go! Team covering Sonic Youth at i was there. Note that there's a remix of The Knife over at indiechristoph.

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viernes, junio 23, 2006

yo majesty: get yo ass on the flo'.

YO MAJESTY wasn't discovered by me...They found me. I don't know how these ladies knew I'd dig their hott booty-bass ol' skool sound, but I'm glad they did.

The ladies' motto is "smashing against the sonic perimeter" and I can't stop letting their voices smash against my ears. How can you resist a group that spits, "Courvoisier, Courvoisier where art thou?" and hums the beat to Salt 'N' Pepa in the background? It's simplicity. It's genuine. It's skills. It's hip-hop at it's best. Yo Majesty is to ol' skool hip-hop what The Pipettes are to Phil Spector's girl-groups. They take it back, they update the sound...and they blow my mind.

Yo Majesty consists of three ladies--- "Shon.B knocking down rhymes like toy soldiers, Shunda-K haunting us with supersonic raps, and Jwel B the songstress of the group ripping track after track." Their flow and chemistry is impeccable. Can they be my best friends? Please?

DOWNLOAD: YO MAJESTY- Club Action
DOWNLOAD: YO MAJESTY- Kryptonite Pussy

Make sure to check out two more songs, "Monkey" and "Hustle Mode", on the space. BUY their EP here.

BLOGWATCH: Living in Stereo has a great track by my favorite soul ladies' man Swamp Dogg, along with an interesting read on gay marriage and polyamory. Head over to Timedoor for Dert's Jose Gonzalez hip-hop mash-up if you haven't heard that yet. 2 Many Scenes has a tune from a great J-pop artist that is reminiscent of Kelly Clarkson power-pop. Speaking of Ms. Clarkson, ONTD has her new song "Go" which you may have heard in Ford commercials.

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jueves, junio 22, 2006

lauryn hill: can't take my ears off of you.

LAURYN HILL may have been hiding from the spotlight these past years, but she hasn't been a stranger to my iTunes.

Today, my two favorite things collided as Louie of i guess i'm floating honored Ms. Hill with a post-Sister Act II post. It inspired me to make this post featuring some b-sides, remixes, rarities, collaborations, and unreleased songs.

Considering Lauryn has been keeping it on the hush for the most part, no one is really sure when her sophomore studio album will be released. Apparently a great quantity of music has been recorded, including a collaboration with The Wailers. On top of this, The Fugees have reunited to record some new songs, two of which you can hear below. However, I have to echo the sentiments of The Village Voice in saying, "Turns out that a Fugees reunion wasn't really what anyone was waiting for; we just wanted Lauryn to start rapping again." Wyclef and Pras really aren't great rappers. Do I need to even mention "It Doesn't Matter"?

DOWNLOAD: zip file of b-sides, remixes, etc., or download individually

TRACKLIST:
  1. Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blout- His Eye Is On The Sparrow (Sister Act 2)
  2. Lauryn Hill- The Sweetest Thing (Love Jones)
  3. Lauryn Hill vs. Junior Senior- Doo Wop Move Your Feet (Mash-up)
  4. Lauryn Hill- Ex-Factor (A Simple Breakdown Remix) --(single)
  5. Lauryn Hill- Lost Ones (Remix)
  6. Bob Marley & Lauryn Hill- Turn Your Lights Down Low (Chant Down Babylon)
  7. Lauryn Hill- Rebel (Studio Version)
  8. Lauryn Hill- Selah (The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
  9. The Fugees- A Change Gonna Come (The Fugees Greatest Hits)
  10. The Fugees- Take It Easy (single)
  11. The Fugees- Wanna Be (leaked)
  12. Nas f/ Lauryn Hill- If I Ruled the World (It Was Written)
  13. Common f/ Lauryn Hill- Retrospect for Life (One Day It'll All Make Sense)
  14. Carlos Santana f/ Lauryn Hill & Cee-Lo- Do You Like the Way (Supernatural)
  15. Kanye West f/ Lauryn Hill (sampled)- All Falls Down (College Dropout demo)
  16. John Legend f/ Lauryn Hill- So High Cloud 9 Remix (single)
  17. Method Man f/ Lauryn Hill- Say (4:21: The Day After)
  18. Talib Kweli- Ms. Hill (Right About Now)
  19. Ted Leo- Ex Factor (cover)
BUY The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
BUY Lauryn Hill MTV UNplugged 2.0

BLOGWATCH: Arjan Writes points us in the direction of a great Tigarah remix. Download many free remixes by Mr. D at Tigarah's website. Stereogum urges us to get our hype on while we still can.

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martes, junio 20, 2006

kelis: i don't just like this, i like this like this

Kelis is a fascinating individual. I once deemed her the "American R&B equivalent of Bjork" due to her eclectic repertoire, and I didn't just come up with that title because of her collaboration with Bjork. She's all over the place. One minute she's falling apart and floating in a creepy, gothic wasteland, and moments later she's a pop culture phenomenom. She's an R&B sensation, yet she's a rockstar. She's a commercial failure, and a dance music superstar. She's a child! She's a minimalist! She's the first girl to scream on a track.

Now, she's back with an 808...and a new haircut. And, oh yeah, a new album. Her new single "Bossy" has been met with mixed reviews by fans, and it isn't quite causing a storm on the charts. Despite this, there is much hype among fans about Kelis Was Here, which is full of collaborations with today's hottest producers-- Scott Storch, Cee-Lo,
will.i.am, Linda Perry, Swizz Beatz, and more.

Speaking of those hot producers, let's talk about a recently leaked track done by Swizz Beatz (Beyonce's "Check Up On It", Busta Rhymes' "Touch It"). The song is called "Like You", and though it's been met by mixed reviews on the net...it's amazing. Sampling the opera diva song from The Fifth Element, "Like You" is a combination of fifth grade vernacular ("I don't just like you, I like you like you") and sleaziness ("He's making me hot...or is it his cock?"). This is something only Kelis can get away with.

Something about this track creeps me out though...A month ago, my friend Anna and I decided we were going to record a mini-movie called "KELIS: THE OPERA". The plot involved two milkshake stands, both alike in dignity...well, actually one of them was operated by an evil guy. Also, our main number "Milkshake" involved a synchronized swim routine.

After having developed this idea, I can't help but think that Kelis has stolen our thoughts, using them as inspiration for this song. I guess I'll be able to confirm this theory for sure when her next music video has aquatic choreography.

DOWNLOAD: KELIS- Like You (shoutout to Plavalaguna for this one)

PRE-ORDER Kelis Was Here, to be released August 8th

BONUS TRACK: KELIS- Get Along With You (Fake ID Remix)

BLOGWATCH: Check out The Gossip covering Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" over at the space (link courtesy of mammoth press). Your Standard Life has Bright Eyes at Bonnaroo, and You Ain't No Picasso has it as a zip file. If that doesn't float your boat, maybe one of the 50 SONGS over at i guess i'm floating will...featuring Sufjan Stevens, Destroyer, Oh No! Oh My!, Beirut, Phoenix, and more.

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lunes, junio 19, 2006

ms. jade-- whatever happened to...?: funky fresh dressed edition.

Timbaland's Beat Club Records was created ca. 1999/2000, but around 2004 the label dissolved. This forced most of the artists to venture alone into the music industry for a new home. You may remember some of these artists. Hell, some of them may still be playing on your radio. Some of them.

Bubba Sparxxx ("Ugly"): Despite a mediocre debut and his critically acclaimed, commercially ignored sophomore slump, Mr. Sparxxx is getting some radio play with "Ms. New Booty" and "Heat It Up" thanks to Big Boi of Outkast's Purple Ribbon Label.

Petey Pablo ("Raise Up"): Petey was last heard on Ciara's song "Goodies". He also had a minor hit with the Lil-Jon produced single "Freek-a-Leek". Currently, Mr. Pablo is signed to Death Row Records and will be releasing his third album Same Eyez on Me in late 2006 or early 2007.

Tweet ("Oops, Oh My"): Due to mismanagement and promotional problems over at Atlantic Records, Tweet's second album It's Me Again did not do as well as it should have. Tweet has been working on collaborations with Monica, Jessica Betts, Fantasia Barrino, and possibly
Chili of TLC. Her new album will feature a duet with Whitney Houston and production by Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Dre & Vidal (Usher's "Caught Up"), Kanye West, and possibly Rich Harrison (Beyonce's "Crazy in Love").

Sebastian (featured on "All Yall"): Sebastian is actually Timbaland's little brother Garland Mosley. In his early career, Garland was a ghostwriter for Timbaland. He has never released an album, but was featured on several songs. You can actually find him over at the space.

Ms. Jade ("Feel This Girl", "Big Head"): Hailing from Philadelphia, Ms. Jade struggled to enter the rap game because of comparisons to fellow Philly native Eve. By sheer luck and hard work, she was signed to Beat Club Records. Once she got there, she built herself upon respect for her skills (not her body) stating, "I’ve never been the type of person to fit in. I’m not into the sexual bandwagon. I want somebody to listen to my music because they like it, not because they think I’ve got nice breasts and a big butt. I want them to like my music because I’m nice. It’s as simple as that. I’m not a copycat. There’s not another female rapper like me. I’m nice, so respect it.” She hoped to land movie roles, support her family, and become a fashion mogul...but apparently her "niceness" was not enough. Though her album produced three singles, included a collaboration with Jay-Z, and led to a tour with Nelly Furtado & Ludacris...Ms. Chevon Young essentially fell off the planet around 2002.

Google her. Wikipedia her. There is no information about where Ms. Jade went off to. Did she decide to make use of her beauty school diploma or is she back in Philly peddling fake Gucci bags? Though Ms. Jade never produced a Top 40 single, her flow was critically acclaimed by both the industry and the streets. If she was so determined to make it in the game, why isn't she still making music with or without Timbaland? On that note, if Timbaland once said, "You don't understand, I didn't like no female rappers until I heard you"...then why hasn't he picked her back up for his new label, The Mosley Music Group? Is she still alive? Is she still rapping? Did she ever exist?

Call home Chevon. We're worried about you!

LAST HEARD: MISSY ELLIOTT f/ MS. JADE- Funky Fresh Dressed
LAST SEEN: Video for "Gossip Folks" with "Funky Fresh Dressed" interlude

NOSTALGIA: MS. JADE- Feel This Girl
NOSTALGIA: MS. JADE- She's a Gangsta
NOSTALGIA: Watch music video for "Ching Ching" featuring Nelly Furtado & Timbaland

BUY Girl Interrupted, BUY Under Construction

BLOGWATCH: This is a looooong overdue shoutout to shitparade for Max's awesome June DANCEPARTYSCENESTER MIX.

CORRECTIONS: "Big White Spaceship" by Pharrell Williams is not actually from his upcoming album, but is an early track produced by a collaboration between Timbaland, Pharrell, Magoo, and another individual. The name of their production group was Surrounded By Idiots. In fact, several of the tracks on the leaked copy of In My Mind (on some file-sharing networks) are NOT new. "Maybe" is actually a song by Pharrell's group N*E*R*D off of their album Fly or Die.

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domingo, junio 18, 2006

emo lane: heaven is not here for me anymore.

Dashboard Confessional's new album? I will admit that I didn't have high hopes for it. I didn't expect it to change my life. I didn't expect it to be the Mona Lisa of rock music...

Before I go on, I will also admit that I used to be a huge fan back in my high school years. "So long, so long" ago, Dashboard Confessional was the soundtrack to my life-- detailing my fears, desires, and insecurities. I was obsessive, snatching up every unreleased song I could find online. At a concert, Chris Carrabba (see left) brushed past me and I didn't notice immediately . When my friends told me, I then proceeded to chase after him with a sharpie and the liner notes for The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. I had carefully placed them in my pocket for an emergency situation such as this. Alas, I was unable to catch up to him...letting him slip away.

I approached this review with hesitation, simply because I was a fan. This led me to ask, "Did something change in me or did something change in the music?"

The answer: a little bit of both. The NY Times recently wrote an article about how young country singers are hurrying to grow old, singing songs worthy of people twice their age. On the opposite side of the ring, "Emo" frontmen sing songs made for people half their age. The whole sub-genre fosters a hesitance to grow up and confront problems, hence it's appeal to tweens and adolescents.

With that said, dear ol' Mr. Carabba hasn't grown up with his fans on Dusk and Summer. But does it even matter? As his old fans grow, a new generation of fans enter. On top of that, some old fans refuse to let go of the voice that helped them survive their first real break-up, unrequited crush, etc.

Even I hesitated to let go. After listening several times to the last album A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, I felt absolutely nothing. I questioned whether I was becoming some sort of musical elitist...I questioned whether I had become emotionless. I pretended to like it for awhile. I tried to find it's strengths. And in the end of this struggle, the music was the loser. I went back to listen to older recordings and felt nothing aside from a soft touch of nostalgia.

Of course, it's not just me...it's him. He's changed. The obvious change is the move from acoustic guitar to full band. Some would call that selling out, but I think it's the general trend with solo acts. They get big enough...and then they get bands. Unfortunately for Chris, it seems all the sincerity went out the window as the drummer and bass player climbed in.

Lyrically, Carrabba has become less blunt, requiring listeners to dissect the lyrics to find a surprisingly unprofound message. Gone are the days of "I tried on my blue shirt, she told me she liked it, once" and in comes "And I will leave under the cover of summer's kiss upon the sky like the stone face of your lover just before she says goodbye".
This is a shame, as the mindlessness of his earlier songs is what gave him the charm to stand out among other emo acts. Now all he has is his signature wail, a wail becoming less original as others try to imitate it.

I suppose this is a review though. And now that it's taken me as long as one of those signature wails to create a dialogue about Mr. Carrabba and his musical integrity, I don't know if I can give you that. It will just be very negative and tainted with the jaded opinions of a former fan. This is no longer my music. So long, so long.


DOWNLOAD: DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL- So Long, So Long
DOWNLOAD: DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL- The Secret's In The Telling

PRE-ORDER Dusk and Summer, to be released June 27th

BLOGWATCH: As promised, Stars are Blind delivered the new Janet Jackson single. Check out a show by The Decemberists over at B(oot)log or catch a stunning set by Jose Gonzalez on KCRW over at rbally.

...And don't forget to sign the petition to save network neutrality, blogging, and the internet.

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viernes, junio 16, 2006

passion boys: their music is make excite chicken dance feeling.

PASSION BOYS "make some music very much like name Passion Boys. They like make music about sexy ladie and nice music also." No, you haven't suddenly come down with a rare reading disorder. That is how they type.

Whether or not these boys from Bataszek, Hungary are punking the world a la Silvia Night is yet to be determined...but one thing is certain. I will gladly ride in a satellite (of love) with Gyorgy and Laszlo. Their major hit "Passion Boys are Firemans" is a delicious piece of European techno with a pure cheesiness that would make Le Sport jealous.

Even better than the actual song is a mash-up with Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot". In the past, I have encountered many mash-ups including the acappella from "Drop It Like It's Hot", but none of them can even come close to touching this one. None of them. NONE.

For those of you who have fallen in love and are prepared to ride on a satellite (of love)...head over to the "Passion Boys Appreciation Society". If that's not enough for you, I suggest that you friend them on the space and send them a nice message.

DOWNLOAD: PASSION BOYS- Passion Boys are Firemans
DOWNLOAD: PASSION BOYS vs. SNOOP DOGG- Firemans Drop It Hot

BLOGWATCH: You Ain't No Picasso has a link to the adorable music video for I'm From Barcelona's "We're From Barcelona". Over at stereogum, get a preview of what Lady Sovereign has to offer on her upcoming Def Jam release. Head over to fluxblog for the Richard X remix to Annie's new song "The Crush". Lastly, check out the new single "Show Stopper" from Making the Band 3's Danity Kane at Stars Are Blind...and proceed to wonder why Diddy insists on continuing this series.

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jueves, junio 15, 2006

i'm sorry ms. jackson! no really, i am.

Janet Jackson is in desperate need of some emancipation a la Mimi. Since her career peaked with 1993's janet. (selling 19 million copies worldwide), her album sales have been steadily declining. Some blame the superbowl incident for her downward spiral...but apparently things started to slide around the time of 1997's The Velvet Rope, which sold less than half what janet. sold-- 8 million worldwide. The 2001 follow-up, All For You, sold only a million less...and then the real disaster occurred with 2004's Damita Jo, selling only 3 million worldwide despite churning out two #1 single on the US Dance charts.

RANDOM INTERRUPTION: Did you know that Janet Jackson is HUGE in Japan? Over there she has 19 number one singles, which is 9 more than she has in the US. Japan is also the only place where two singles from Damita Jo managed to break into the Top 5 on the charts. In the US, the highest charting single from the album, "Just a Little While", only managed to reach the #45 spot. Damita Jo was the first album by Janet since 1984's Dream Street to not produce at least one number one single in the US.

So Janet is thirsty for success...especially after her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri has recently aided in skyrocketing rival Mariah Carey's career to a level it hasn't seen since 1997's Butterfly. Dupri, along with Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, are among a long list of individuals called upon to perform much-needed surgery on Janet's career with the album 20 Years Old (named for the 2oth anniversary of 1996's Control and the age Janet claims to feel). The first man on our team of surgeons is Johnta Austin, the man who co-wrote Mary J. Blige's big comeback single "Be Without You" and the first four US singles released from The Emancipation of Mimi. Next we have LRoc, who co-wrote and co-produced Nelly's "Grillz" and Usher's "Yeah". The list doesn't end there-- Nelly, Khia, Kanye West, and a rumored duet with Ms. Mimi herself. All of this sounds like an equation for success, but can Janet deliver?

If the canned first single "Weekend" is any indication of things to come, the answer is a big fat (just like Janet a few months ago!) "NO". The song was streamed on Janet's official website on May 1, 2006. The next day, Janet left a message on her site to let fans know that the song is not the first single and will not even appear on the album. And it won't appear on the album for good reasons...it's atrocious. Seriously. It makes Damita Jo look like The Beatles' White Album. "Weekend" samples Debbie Deb's 1983 single "When I Hear Music", which still receives plays on dance music radio stations to this day. Unfortunately, Janet can't even save this trainwreck.

Janet's actual first single "Call On Me" f/ Nelly will be released to radio this coming Monday. It samples S.O.S.'s "Tell Me If You Still Care", a song obscure enough for it's target audience that it shouldn't cause too much of a problem. Word on the street is that starsareblind.com will have this song the moment it leaks. Hopefully, it will prove to the world that Janet can still be cool at her actual age...40 years old.

WATCH: A super-gay (literally) collection of clips from Brokeback Mountain set to Damita Jo's "Just a Little While". Because it's the only time you'll get to see Jake Gyllenhaal taking it from behind to the sounds of Janet Jackson...unless there's something you're not telling me.

DOWNLOAD: JANET JACKSON- Weekend
DOWNLOAD: DEBBIE DEB- When I Hear Music

PRE-ORDER 20 Years Old

BLOGWATCH: Shake your booty to DJ Mehdi's "I Am Somebody" f/ Chromeo over at bigstereo. Listen to some new songs by Zero 7 at Culturebully.

CORRECTION: The song in my first post called "F as in Knife" is NOT by The Knife...It is actually by another Swedish group called Zeigeist. The song is called "Tar Heart".

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miércoles, junio 14, 2006

blast from the past: cleopatra comin' atcha.

Cleopatra's single for "Cleopatra's Theme" (1998) was the first CD that I tried to play off as being purchased ironically. My sister and I thought the music video was hilarious, so I bought this single for $1.99 in order to hop on my bed and make fun of the three braid-headed sisters. I wouldn't admit it back then, but deep inside...I loved this song. And I still love it to this day.

You see, Ms. Cleopatra Madonna Higgins actually had a huge voice for a 16 year old. Even if it was incredibly screechy and she wasn't singing about anything important, the sista had SOUL. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought this...as Madonna signed them to her record label, Maverick, and brought their music from the UK to the US. While Cleopatra scored four top five hits in a row and had their own sit-com overseas, their music failed to perform as well in the states. They weren't a complete failure though. They toured with the likes of Jessica Simpson, Next, and Brian McKnight. Later they became spokeswomen for Covergirl, as well as staples of the Disney Channel's music video line-up.

But enough about history...What really makes me love this song? Obviously, I am a sucker for self-referential songs. (This is evident in the fact that I love Kelis' mediocre single "Bossy" simply because she states, "That's right, I brought all the boys to the yard".) In "Cleopatra's Theme", the confident statement that their own group is "gonna blow the roof" is a main selling point for me. I mean, the fact that their first single is a theme song about themselves?...That's sheer brilliance! Subliminal self-promotion was clearly the future of music, and Cleopatra must have just been way ahead of the times. America wasn't ready for that until we heard Mike Jones.

WATCH: Their 2005 performance on ITV's Hit Me Baby One More Time

DOWNLOAD: CLEOPATRA- Cleopatra's Theme

NOTE: I no longer own the single. It was destroyed when I used it as a frisbee after my friend made fun of me for owning it. I was 13 at the time, so peer pressure was at an all-time high.

BUY Comin' Atcha!

BLOGWATCH: Head over to Republicum for a rarity by The Knife. Check out Beyonce's new single "Deja Vu" at Stars are Blind. Lastly, get a great remix of Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" at childish gambino.

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martes, junio 13, 2006

emo lane: aspirins and alcohol.

Inspired by my trip down memory lane caused by Andy Greenwald's book Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and Emo, this begins a new series of posts embracing the days when I would wear a Taking Back Sunday t-shirt without embarassment or shame. The days when I would blast songs that included repeated choruses of "Spoon Out My Heart". The days when I was "emo".

These are the songs that I hate to still love...which I suppose is sort of emo for me to say.

My first post of this series starts off with "Aspirins and Alcohol" by Stockholm rockers Last Days of April. After discovering this song on the Emo is Awesome, Emo is Evil compilation that I shamelessly bought from Hot Topic (tell no one) in 2003, it became an anthem of mine for whenever I felt moody. This was awfully strange because I was much too smart to involve myself in such self-destructive behaviors as downing aspirins and alcohol to deal with my problems. I suppose what made the song so appealing was the sense of longing as frontman Karl Larsson utters "What I'd give to...be the one. Have my name linger...on your tongue". This is paired with apathy as he repeatedly states, "That's nice" as if he doesn't actually care that the antagonist is going to break another man's heart. Add a few violins to that, and I'm sold.

Emo Qualifications: Touring with The Promise Ring, being on a compilation with the word "emo" in the title, self-deprecation, and other factors

DOWNLOAD: LAST DAYS OF APRIL- Aspirins and Alcohol

Check out more songs at their website, or BUY Angel Youth

BLOGWATCH: Download an entire live show by Fiona Apple over at Looking At Them. Catch The Boy Least Likely To's doing George Michael (his music, not HIM) over at I Guess I'm Floating or You Ain't No Picasso.

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