working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

jueves, febrero 28, 2008

dgenetics: destiny's child remix.

dl: DESTINY'S CHILD - Lose My Breath (DGENETICS remix) (YSI)
The first portion of today's post, entitled "Destiny's (Step)Child", was guest-written by a good friend of mine-- Sojourner "You Can't Handle The" Truth, a woman of color and a writer. If you enjoy the hilarity below, I suggest rubbing her blog Diary Of A Mad Blacktress all over your Google Reader.
I have a confession: I was once a Teen People Trendspotter. Yes, I was.

This involved attending focus groups, filling out surveys, trying products for Teen People magazine. On rare occasions, I got to attend events hosted by the magazine, which was always great. The funniest thing about "trendspotting" is that, throughout high school, I had as much style as a old-tyme mammy. I wore baggy, ill-fitting clothes—including Mickey Mouse sweatshirts—and refused to wear contact lenses. And I often wore a ponytail, much like Rachel Leigh Cook in "She's All That"…only I wasn't.

Anyway, I was wearing my jazziest polo sweater when I attend the Teen People "What's Next!" concert at the Apollo Theater. Being a Harlem girl (I am a blacktress, after all), I got to stay out way past my bedtime and see such performers as Lil' Bow Wow (who I like to just call "The Wow") and Destiny's Child.

This was by far the highlight of the evening. DC performed last, and by then, half of the underage audience had gone home. I was able to sneak down to the floor level and watch the magical quartet in all of its glory. I saw them when the group consisted of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams. They entered to their hit, wearing purple rhinestoned ensembles that had to have been made by Tina Knowles. As they took to the stage I noticed something was off. Then Beyoncé filled us in: "Hey y'all. Kelly hurt her ankle tonight, so she can't dance, but she's here—we ain't gon' quit on ya!"

We applauded as Kelly took a seat on a stool on the far left of the stage (stage right, if you're a theater nerd) and sang her parts. The other three girls did the choreography as directed, but there was another dancer in Kelly's place, just to keep the symmetry. She didn't get a microphone, but she fit in seamlessly, also dressed in purple rhinestones. She looked familiar, and I realized who it was—SOLANGE KNOWLES!!!

Yes, y'all!! Before she went on to start her own career on the Proud Family, Solange made her own family proud by acting as a black-up dancer for Destiny's Child. She was a perfect understudy, with her moves on point and her mouth silent like the puppet she was supposed to be. To the left, Kelly belted out the tunes, in costume. As she swayed, I was temporarily blinded. Why? Well, Kelly's cast was bedazzled with rhinestones, to match their wardrobe.

I KID YOU NOT. A BEDAZZLED CAST!!! If that's not the sign of a true diva, I don't know what is!!!!

I was mesmerized. Kelly made ankle injuries the new hotness in my mind, and I reached out to touch one of them for just a moment in time. I was then rudely knocked sideways by a larger girl, who gave Beyoncé a high five as I nursed by bruised shoulder…and looked at Kelly in awe.

At that moment, I knew that Kelly Rowland would always be my boo—and Solange would always be a silent dancer.

This story was recently recounted to me over a "Chicken Thumb Platter" at Uno's, resulting in me nearly falling off my chair at the mention of Kelly's bedazzled cast. Prior to this, I had a conversation with my gay bestie about why everyone always hates on Michelle. We agreed that her voice had the most interesting timbre of the group's membership. And *yes*...we used the word "timbre". It troubles me that these weren't the only times that I've had extensive discussions about Destiny's Child in the past months. I think I have a problem.

But you know what's not a problem? My love of Old Gold, DGENETICS, and their squad. I first heard of Old Gold through Leif and PdL. (Along with Old Gold, these two form the wondrous DJ trio Hell Yup.) After becoming obsessed with "D.O.G." (Drugged Out Girls), I was glad to see it on BIGSTEREO in May 2007. Reading this post was my introduction to DGENETICS, and "Skate With Me" slowly became an iPod favorite of mine. Listening to it often added an extra spring to my step. During the days when I thought VIRB was going to give the Space a run for their money, I came across this remix of DC's "Lose My Breath" and fell even more in love with DGENETICS.

I've actually been meaning to share some photos of Old Gold performing at DGENETICS Musics' pre-CMJ showcase, and now seems like an appropriate time to do so. And oh...It should also be noted that DGENETICS has a remix of Old Gold's "D.O.G." available on iTunes.


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miércoles, febrero 27, 2008

sam amant: ding ding down.

The first sixteen seconds of "Ding Ding Down" give off a bit of that '80s Nintendo/Atari energy that can be heard on myspace quite often, but as soon as things really kicks's so much more than that. With nothing but a sampler and her Stratocaster guitar, Amant busts out a beat that's evocative of The Neptunes' earlier work (tracks like N.E.R.D.'s "Lapdance" come to mind) yet entirely original and decidedly less poppy. The lyrics are rather dark for a song with such a cheery title as "Ding Ding Down", including mention of either having your brain "washed" or "watched". Maybe I'm not listening closely, but both options are equally creepy.

Sam makes it clear on the space that she's "so solo she doesn't need a backing band", but it hasn't always been that way. She's a former member of the trip-hoppy pop group My Favorite Dentist Is Dead, who opened for The Cure's 2001 show in Grenoble, France. Clearly she's no stranger to performing, and I can only hope I can witness her "freaking all over the stage"
some day.

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martes, febrero 26, 2008

common & just blaze: the light '08.

While it may seem lame to blog about corporate MP3 offerings, Smirnoff's latest inclusion in the Smirnoff Signature Mix Series is quite divine. This week, producer Just Blaze (Jay-Z - "Show Me What You Got", Diddy - "Tell Me", Kanye West - "Touch the Sky") teams up with rapper Common and Marsha Ambrosius (formerly of Floetry) for a recreation of Common's 2000 single "The Light". The original version of this song is arguably Common's most commercially successful single, falling short of Top 40 status at #44 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Some regard it as one of hip-hop's classic love songs, an open letter for the whole world to read declaring Common's love for then-girlfriend Erykah Badu.

Eight years later with a new beat and vibe, "The Light" is just as charming. While the feelings for Erykah might not be there anymore, this song still makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Admittedly, part of that warm-fuzzy feeling may rise from the rather emotional piano line paired with the "shoutout to J. Dilla" from Common. Is it bad that I get a little teary every time someone mentions his name?

This is the second offering from Smirnoff's Signature Mix Series, preceded by DJ Premier and KRS-One teaming up to rethink Boogie Down Productions' "Criminal Minded". Next week promises a collaboration between Q-Tip and Cool & Dre, putting a spin on A Tribe Called Quest's "Midnight".


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viernes, febrero 22, 2008

the terrordactyls: long live the party cover.

Upon first hearing The Terrordactyls, I felt guilty that my first thought was, "Hello, Juno soundtrack!" My guilt was decreased by a recent promo e-mail I received, which included the heading, "If you loved Juno, you'll love The Terrordactyls." I then slapped myself in the face for my stupidity and failure to realize what was right in front of my nose. "Devices" features Kimya Dawson, and the majority of the songs on the Juno soundtrack are either Dawson's or based around her music. This would be why I got such a Juno/Moldy Peaches vibe.

While my sole problem with Juno was it's lack of shame for whoring it's soundtrack (a la Garden State), I must admit with no hint of irony that it's a superb soundtrack. Some found it annoying musically, some found it annoying because it made songs they love or previously loved "uncool". These individuals are entitled to these opinions (despite the latter being supremely lame and predictable), but I have a soft spot for it all. Shit is mad cute!

I suppose I had to get that off my chest for one simple reason-- My comparison of The Terrordactyls to the Juno soundtrack is in NO WAY an insult. In fact, I can't even fathom why I ever felt guilty for my initial thought/comparison. Their self-titled album is so impeccably heartwarming. Few of the songs are over three minutes in length, catering to my ADD nature. And there are kazoos!

If that isn't enough to convince you, how about a cover of Andrew WK? The Terrordactyls party so hard that the man himself has chimed in-- "I'm honored that you decided to cover my 'Long Live The Party' song and I enjoyed your version very much. I could've never imagined the arrangement you recorder, and I was delighted at the effect. Again, thank you...No matter what, let's all continue to make music and enjoy every moment of this process that is life. Never let down and long live the party." Is anyone else inspired? Who wants to funnel beers together and enjoy every moment of this process that is life?


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miércoles, febrero 20, 2008

khia: be yo lady.

I'm disappointed in you Thug Misses. Your "Queen of the South" crown is about to get revoked.

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viernes, febrero 15, 2008

it's the money shot!!'s not-quite-guide to sxsw.

I have to thank Donewaiting for alerting Gorilla Vs. Bear (and subsequently alerting myself via Google Reader) that the SXSW website is offering bios and select mp3s of the artists who are hauling their asses down to Austin, TX for the sole purpose of getting their performance on. A year ago, I made it a personal goal to haul my own ass to SXSW to watch said performances, but unfortunately I've placed paying my rent at higher priority than paying for a plane ticket to Texas. C'est la vie, I suppose.

Bumping up my disappointment level is a list of performers which includes a few bands/artists that I've been down with since the days of writing for pop-culture blog Totesumbrellas, as well as some new favorites who have been sneaking their way into my ears...and my heart. So without further ado, I present "IT'S THE MONEY SHOT!!'s not-quite-guide to SXSW". Sure, this is a list of songs you've probably seen on other blogs. But it's also a list of people who I think are "totally fucking brilliant".

PINK NASTY - Away Message (YSI) : Back in the day, I asked Ms. Nasty in an interview how her performance at SXSW 2006 went. She replied, "It was ok. I hear the sound was over amplified, and that makes me pretty pissed cuz that was my big shot. Haha. I hear Elijah Wood was there and he's the one person on the planet I wanna make out with." Given her absurdity and sense of humor, I fell even more in love with her after that interview. It's funny to think that my love started with a cover of Usher's "Burn", appearing on the rather incredible Indie Translations of Usher project. In fact, without Pink Nasty I wouldn't know that Usher drinks 2 gallons of water every day (and therefore must piss a lot). And without Pink Nasty the world wouldn't have such a grand "Neo neurotic female pop rock" album such as Mold the Gold. (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
TELEPATHE - Chrome's On It (YSI) : Word is that a certain member of the ITMS!! clubhouse is remixing Telepathe, which excites me beyond belief. This should have been preceded by the fact that Telepathe's alone excites me beyond belief. A combination of hip-hop, dance, experimental, and electro elements, I can only define Telepathe's sound as delightfully odd, unpredictable, and surprisingly relaxing. While the group resides in Brooklyn, they'll be touring throughout America with The Kills starting in late April. So if you're missing them at SXSW, don't fret my pet! Telepathe may be appearing on a stage near you. (- BUY IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
GEORGIE JAMES - Need Your Needs (YSI) : I swear I'm not biased because my friend Shervin took the photo for their album art. I really like Georgie James. No, really. The combination of former Q and Not U drummer John Davis and singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn is quite lovely, particularly when they harmonize together (ex: "Henry and Hanzy"). "Need Your Needs" and "Comfortable Headphones" are just so catchy that I can't take it. (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
JENS LEKMAN - The Opposite of Hallelujah (YSI) : Do I really need to justify the awesomeness of Jens Lekman? You know I'm all about the Swedes when it comes to music, and this particular Swede holds a special place in my heart. (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
BASIA BULAT - In The Night (YSI) : While I was purchasing a DVD of The Dark Crystal at Kim's on Broadway, I was anticipating the eye-roll from the obnoxious cashier. Then I noticed something sitting on a shelf near the register. It was a copy of Basia Bulat's Oh My Darling, and I quickly wondered why the fuck I didn't own it. Slapping myself for not keeping up with Basia's career after her incredible sweetness during our interview, I quickly grabbed the album and placed it on the counter next to my DVD. I think respect for my supreme taste in music must have prevented the notorious eye-roll from my Kim's cashier, so I should thank Basia for that. The following day, my eyes were directed to the video for "In The Night". Initially I was thrown off by it's similar "boner-fodder for furries" vibe to Bat for Lashes' "What's A Girl To Do?" video, but by the time the choreographed skeleton dance moves came in around 0:50...I was ready to pack my bags and head to the party of weirdos thrown by Basia in the forest. You know? So I could sing along! (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
OH NO! OH MY! - Walk In The Park (YSI) : This is yet more evidence of my lack of ability to keep up with any band or artist's career. I interviewed them back in the day when they were "just a couple of guys sending out CD-R’s." Yet how did I miss Oh No! Oh My!'s Daytrotter session? The session featured three previously unreleased songs, but none of those quite surpass the sing-along value and simplicity of "Walk In The Park", the tune that made me fall in love with the band in the first place. But of course it's ALL great. In my own words, "They could sing about kittens falling to their death, and the sound would still make me happy." (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
PIGEON JOHN - Weight of the World (YSI) : My introduction to Pigeon John came through a promo mp3 of "Higher?!" off of his latest release on Quannum, Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party. Given how often his iTunes album review mentions the word "corny" you can probably get a sense of how much credibility he has as a rapper. However, the review seems to imply that it's refreshing for John to be self-aware of his lack of cred, unlike someone such as from the Black Eyed Peas. Along with his lack of cred comes a complete lack of the redundancy that's making today's hip-hop so stale. (- BUY IT - SITE IT - SPACE IT - HYPE IT -)
Don't forget to check out more of the artists that will be performing at SXSW on their site!

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miércoles, febrero 13, 2008

private party: man i'm a man machine, check out my style cos' i'm going real wild...

Private scored themselves a platinum hit in Denmark with "My Secret Lover", and the song even managed to gain attention from quite a few American blogs (from Perez Hilton to BIGSTEREO). Whether you favor the original blue-eyed soul mix (dl) or the Downsyndrome Mixxx for the clubs (dl), you may recognize the line, "Man I'm a man machine, check out my style cos' I'm going real wild, I'm plugging in keyboards one at the time and then I gotta song gotta song in no time."

In fact, these very same words are both the title and sole lyrics of the only song made available by the so-called Private Party. Is that really the title of the song? Skeptics may doubt it, but the man (Thomas Troelsen) himself has given me his word-- "yes, that is the actual song title :-)" Dude must be serious if smiley emoticons are involved. And I'm for serious when I say that this version will totally have you shaking your ass, you know? ;)

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martes, febrero 12, 2008

big bang tv: send/receive.

dl: BIG BANG TV - send/receive (YSI)

"Big Bang TV is what happens when four people who can't agree on anything try to make music. Matt is a singer/songwriter, Scott is a hip/hop DJ and producer, Joe was metal drummer turned electronic musician, Andrea's last gig was playing accordion for a female folk trio."

At least that's what they say. Someone else might say, "Big Bang TV is a four person band hailing from Brooklyn." Then some asshole like you might say, "Oh, another one of those?" And then I'd get all up in your face (kind of like that one time some kid in my class "Primate Behavior: The Real Monkey Business" did when I expressed uncertainty about Spank Rock). I'd say, "No, they're actually GOOD"...Because they are. You'd listen to their music and realize that I was right...Because I was. Got it?

There's this band called Radiohead. You may have heard of them once or twice. Big Bang TV lists them as an influence on facebook. I hear a lot of kids have been listening to this album called In Rainbows, and I have this vague feeling that those same kids would enjoy BBTV's send/receive EP. They might even love it so much that they become fans of Big Bang TV on facebook, but let's not jump to any conclusions. Don't you hate when bloggers (even vaguely) compare bands to Radiohead? I know I do.

With the combined sounds of guitar, turntable, electric and acoustic drum, bass, laptop, and a few mouths, Big Bang TV creates a sound that can only be (self-)defined as "experimental-electro-post-indie-rock-hop". If you are living anywhere near Brooklyn, you can experience such sounds live on February 21st (10PM @ Europa) or March 7th (8PM @ Don Pedro's). For those of us who aren't lucky enough to have such an experience, I offer a consolation prize-- a free download of "Send/Receive", the title song off of the send/receive EP. It should be noted that this EP is only $3 and equipped with a nifty hand-painted cover. I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'...
- buy it - site it - space it - face it -

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