Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I'm now about ten hours from departure for the baseball mecca of Boston, Mass. It would only be fitting that tonight Roger Clemens pitched a beauty in the Bronx against my beloved Bosox. I fell in love with the Red Sox when Clemens was the premier flame-thrower for the league for the Red Sox and Boggs (who also went on to win a championship for the Spanks) was my hero. Of course, there was Kirby, but the Red Sox were my team and still are. We replaced Boggs with Mueller, then with Youkilis, then with Lowell. It's been a long road, geez. I'm listening to Jeru's The Sun Rises in the East and I'm feeling nostalgic. This was long before the days of Rory texting me after every play (Yeah, I'm getting your texts, man. I gotta pay for mine, homie. Sorry I didn't reply.) This was long before Eric Smith would give me hell over every series. This was when I was a little tike who knew as much about baseball as I did love. But I knew one thing: I loved the Red Sox. Well, this weekend, I guess you could say I'm going to the prom with my dream date. That dream date is my lovely wife and prom will be a Sunday afternoon affair against the Horriboles--Angry Tim's team when he gets over his hate for the designated hitter and actually pulls for an American League team. I'll be at Fenway--the last great ballpark in all of the land. I mean, there's Wrigley (which my brother would contend is tops) and Yankee Stadium (which is soon to be obliterated and made into a parking lot...thank God) and then there's Fenway.
(goes to the record player to turn over to the Side B of The Sun Rises in the East)
This is it. Boston. Fenway. September. Best record in the league, but definitely reachable. Yankees are playing good ball. Damn good ball. And I'm going to be in the heat of it in the afternoon shadow of Pesky Pole. Should be a good time. Don't worry, I (b)log everything so there'll be plenty of pictures and commentary, as one would expect. It'll be the only time you'll ever catch me spending $7.00 for beer and, quite possibly, doing it multiple times. My prediction is that Dice-K will give up five runs, but the Sox will end up winning the game in the late innings by the score of 7-5. That'd be Sunday's game for those scoring at home. Lowell will go deep and so will Eric Hinske. Papelbon will close it out. That's my read on it. Kevin Millar will be welcomed with cheers, but will go 0-4. Melvin Mora will go 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
Leaving the hounds in the trusty hands of Angry Tim (good dog-sitter) and Mr. David (equally sturdy). I paid Tim in Fat Tire and David in Tito's Vodka. Jax still thinks that Trot Nixon plays for the Sox and Tucker has tabbed Dustin Pedroia as his favorite player. He identifies with the young-spirited, scrappy ball player.
I'm out, folks. I'll be back in on Labor Day and will hope to throw something up that night, but I imagine my ass is going to be whooped so don't hold me to it. Keep rockin'.


Sorry, folks. In the interest of only providing the very best that modern blogging has to offer, I have made the executive editorial decision to suspend the first in a series of posts regarding the "Parody Age of Hip Hop" because, well, I'm not happy with it in its current state. It's garbage and desperately needs cleaning up. Hey, I'm not going to throw crap out there. That's not what I do.

Have already packed up about 25% of my collection with a remaining 40-45% to go. Altogether, I estimate that I'll pack up about 2,500 CDs. It's already having an impact on me. I feel better. It's just weird. I panicked the other day. Decided I couldn't take it anymore. My life had become overrun by CDs. It's a lifestyle change, if you will. No doubt, one day, I'll be looking for those ol' High and Mighty records or Step in the Arena, but it's unnecessary to have it accessible year-round. Put it on the iPod and be done. No vinyl was harmed or displaced in this process. All vinyl stays.

Yanks beat the Sox last night. Oh well. Dice-Pay gave up one to Johnny Damon. Guess he's actually getting playing time again there in New York. That's good. Beckett against Clemens tonight. Another name from the past. Boy, this Yankees squad is a walking baseball musuem. Throw Joe Torre, Mike Mussina and Andy Birthinghips and it's a full-blown history lesson. It'd make a great autograph signing.
Lance Briggs wrecked his Lamborghini and then left the scene of the accident and reported it stolen--which begs the question--people still drive Lamborghinis?
Michael Vick...uh...wait. No, DMX is now being questioned about dog carcasses that were found on his property. Now, we buried our dear Trinka in the backyard as a kid. Oh wait, these dogs were charred too. Nevermind. Guess I'm not hawd.
You can tune out for a few days because, well, I ain't gonna be around. I'll be in Beantown enjoying tall beers, humongoid plates of lobster and whale watching. Oh yeah, on Sunday I'll be at Fenway and you'll be lucky if I ever come back.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Remember, there's always help available.
Only three days left before I leave for the Holy Land (Boston). Preparing at work and at home, I swear, will most likely kill me before I even make it on a plane, but we're hoping for the best.

In preparation for my arrival, the real Sox swept the other Sox in four games on the road by outscoring them 47-6. Now we got three with the Spanks in the Bronx. Could be a contest, maybe not. Depends on what Spanks team they send to the field.

Had my brother-in-laws in this weekend. Jacko and I went out to shoot yesterday and came back with these beauties. He's gotta real talent.

I'm downsizing my "visible" CD collection. I just can't take it anymore. I'm packing up close to 80% of my collection and storing it...somewhere. Not sure where, but it's gotta happen. I have too many I won't listen to for another three or four years. There's probably no reason to have them out and around at all times. Already started the process and have CDs laying everywhere. Better hurry through it or I'm gonna lose my mind looking at all of them.

Angry Tim moved into a house this weekend. Good for Angry Tim. At least he won't have soaring rent to be angry about anymore. Now he'll be angry about mowing his lawn.

Tux crapped on the kitchen floor this morning and I stepped in it. You know you're day is only going to get proportionately better from there. I mean, it gets better every minute after that happens. Right now, I'm on top of the world as I drink the first cup of coffee of the day. Thanks, Tucker.To follow up on a story from a few days ago, yesterday when Jacko and I were downtown shooting, we walked by the Santa Fe building and got a better shot of the tag to give everyone a good idea of how high up this piece is. Check it out.
Cowboy Troy is going to be in town this week to host the Hick Chick USA Semi-Finals at Graham's Central Station. I mention this only to point out how stupid this competition sounds and how much I absolutely despise Cowboy Troy. I'm glad his career's bombing. I'm glad his second record tanked (Black in the Saddle sold only 5,000 first week compared to ten times that much first week on his last record). Maybe we can finally move by this bastardization of music and get onto artists who deserve record deals.

Speaking of reputable artists, Atmosphere's new EP is dope as hell. If it's any indication of the upcoming Atmosphere record, this thing's gonna be a monster. Five cuts to tide you over until the formal release of the new record. Now that's how you release product into the marketplace. I'm telling you, the independent game has it down. Don't make 'em hold out until you finally come off the road and hop in the studio. Give them something to chew on while you're out doing your thing. Good move. Good material. You can pick it up for six or seven dollars. Don't be a cheap-ass.
Alright, time to go get looking good for the workday. The beard has only one week left. Some days I can't wait until it's gone and other days I want to grow it out like I'm Billy Gibbons. I mean, I'm already passed the irritable itching stage. I could grow it out to my beltline now. But I gotta lovely wife who hates it. And a job that probably hates it too.
I'm working on finishing off probably one of my most irritated and passionate rants ever. I'm trying to tone it down a little, but am having issues in the editing process. I'll probably throw it up before I leave and give you something to chew on. Holla.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


For those scoring at home, this is a 20% chance of rain for northern counties only. Someone find me a new nincompoop to pick on. This kid's done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Aight, so I wake up this morning, a fine Wednesday morning if I may say so myse'f, and they fire over to the news desk during the half hour break on the Today Show to deliver us our top story for the day. So apparently last night someone col' tagged up the historical Santa Fe building here in the Yellow. And, not only did they tag it, they did it about two stories from the top. Now, I'm no graffiti artists and I certainly don't believe in breaking the law, but then again, I don't call graffiti simply unlawful. It's the proverbial "grey" area to me. Man, I'm gonna make an awesome father someday. Ha.

I'll put it this way. Trespassing. Yes. Vandalism? Perhaps. Unlawful? Eh. I mean, if a guy basejumped off the same building, we'd celebrate them. Plus, check out this tag. I mean, if you had to work for a tag, this was doin' work.

I mean, he scaled that entire building, hit it by only the light of the moon and then came back down to safety and, ultimately, his escape into the night. No, Santa Fe didn't ask for it, but man, you gotta think something's up if a dude can make his way all the way up there, do it and split without being noticed. Sleepy lil' cowtown.

I've heard of cops in this town sweethearting drunk drivers. There's more meth to detonate half of Oklahoma moving through this town daily and they couldn't find body that went with a head discovered in a dumpster some two years ago, but this they're gonna take a hard stance on. If I was in law enforcement around here, I'd shake this kid's hand. At least he's not the prick that spray paints a picture of a crudely drawn erection on an exit door in the alley. This took some talent. And while local law enforcement would like to believe that there are three main motivations of a graffiti artist: "It's used for three reasons: to mark territory, to identify membership and to threaten each other." The fourth and, most likely the reason here, is to make the news and brag to his buddies. It's not to threaten, to identify membership or to mark the territory as his own. He's did it because...well...because. I can tell you this, that ain't the work of the local gangs and to infer it is laughable. It's that old school, ya'll.

Hey, he made the news. In fact, until the world's smallest horse made it town, he was the biggest story. It doesn't take much. The next biggest headline this morning was the nursing home added donuts back to their menu. Officer Powers (no kidding) adds, "Tagger crews - sometimes spelled 'krews' - are usually more artistic, and they tend to use big pillow-type letters and colors." Spoken like a dude that's really on top of his street art. Good work. Let me know when you catch him so I can finally sleep at night. In fact, let me know when you also bust the meth house on the corner of Crockett and I-40.

Meanwhile, the new pipsqueak that does the weather around here managed to forecast this morning a sunny, hot and dry day and made no mention of this.
That's quite a lightning storm there, chip. You'd think if a storm was going to blow through and probably end up dropping rain to every town in the panhandle of the largest state in the continental United States, it might be important to work that into the day's forecast. Chump.

Rangers hung 30 runs on the Orioles tonight. Oh well. Still suck. Still in last place by almost nine games. Might wanna save some of those runs for your "run at the pennant." Or not.

Alright...I'm done for the night. Watch CNN. Check Read USA Today. Stay up for Sportscenter. You don't need the local guys.

Speaking of the local guys, Lubbock Little League tomorrow at 2PM against the Maryland squad. Kill 'em. I mean, uh, beat them.


Saw the trailers for the new MTV/VH1 reality show "Celebrity Rap Superstar" last night. In the spot, Perez Hilton (above) and Tone Loc are in the studio and Perez, as one would expect, is playfully and gleefully "rapping" or, moreover, "imitating" what he knows to be hip hop and trying his hardest to make it funny. "Parody" is what it's also known as, my friend.

I'm fairly confident at this point, in an artform that has been shook by a number of years of stifled creativity, cultural pimping and taking itself way to seriously, the Parody Age of hip hop has officially begun. It hasn't begun because I said so, but really, because it just has. Look, I probably could've typed this about two years ago, but I strongly felt that, even back then, there were reputable artists out there that, at least on a critical tip, still were recognized for their achievements and that, for me, at least gave the artform credibility. Maybe the title of this post is a little deceptive because, I still feel that hip hop as an artform and culture is alive, but it's not healthy. I mean, musical forms never die. Jazz doesn't die. Metal doesn't die. New age drivel doesn't die. Classical music doesn't die. Hip hop won't die.

I never want to take myself too seriously as I make comments on the culture, but as a fan, I have to say that I'm a little frustrated by the "Celebrity Rap Superstar" trailer I saw. Then again, they're only doing what everyone else is doing--forcefully reflecting on the masses what they've been fed for almost the last ten years of popular culture. Eventually, you had to see it coming. I've spent many conversations over the last decade or so trying to explain many cultural complexities of hip hop to people (yeah, like I'm an "authority"). Like the "guns and the cars are a mere reflection of the heroism portrayed in movies and in the projects and, as kids from broken or fractured homes, they look to the outside for influence" or, my favorite, "the jewelry represents the victory or arrival, if you will, after years of slavery and imprisonment." Whatever. Most of the time, I don't even believe what I'm saying.

The truth might be that, yes, hip hop is as shallow as many believe it is. There is no underlying meaning or symbolism to the gear, the jewelry, the cars. There is no deeper meaning to the lyrics. And, because there's nothing to it and it is a shallow artform, it's just as easy to parody. In fact, people feel no guilt in doing so. It's like we're getting Spinal Tapped. And, the hip hop community has no one to blame but themself. From writers to fans, from artists to executives. We made our bed and now we gotta lay in it.

Probably need to visit this more because I've already left a lot of things open-ended and need to make quite a few notes for later, but I gotta day job, y'know? Speaking of Spinal Tap and mockeries of a culture, here's our boy Richard Marx with everyone's favorite Robert Plant impersonator, David Coverdale.

It's almost like Richard's hanging out with David Coverdale because Robert Plant wouldn't return his calls. Like, "Yeah, David will do. In photos, they might mistaken him for Bobby." I particularly like the towel around Richard's neck like his performances are that draining. Awesome stuff.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Bought Groove B Chill's Starting from Zero from a bargain bin about a year ago and finally opened it up and listened to it in its entirety yesterday. This thing is a col' relic of hip hop's yesteryears. Anchored by production from Prince Pawl and Pete Rock, you'd be hard-pressed to call Starting from Zero a fluke. It's actually pretty slammin'. But Zero, unfortunately, didn't age very well. The delivery and production is really dated so beware, but whatever, you'll probably find it for $.99 so, for the sake of your health, skip on the Milk Duds, buy Groove B Chill and shake your ass off. Geez, just checked SoundScan for Groove B scans and it looks like only 309 CDs since its release in 1990 have been registered at Soundscan. 950 cassettes. That'd make total scans since 1990 have reached only 1,259 units. Find it, buy it. It's one of those rare hip hop records (like KMD's Mr. Hood) that just col' rocks the bells.

Lubbock's Little League team rolled again on Sunday against Chandler, AZ, 6-1. Yeah, those boys play some bawl. Ancell struck out 11 and hit a towering home run while Arredondo hit two homers as the Lubbockians (or Lubbockites) pounded a team that hung 16 runs just the day before in a victory over one of those other teams. Betta believe it. These dudes are on fiyah.

Tropical Depression Erin really whooped up on Oklahoma. Once she became depressed, I really thought that she would just hang around and bum everyone out, but not do much damage, but girl took a hard right in Abilene and bee-lined toward Oklahoma and put it down.

The Boston Beard is getting thick. It's thicker than a Dr. J afro at this point. It's like wearing a sweater on my face. The thicker it gets, the more evident my greying becomes. I'm not necessarily scared to go grey, but if it would go grey with some sort of symmetry, it'd be nice. It looks like I missed my mouth with a fork-full of egg, but just on the left hand side. I think it looks like the Virgin Mary, but I'm keeping my mouth shut. I don't want to alarm the papparazzi. Boston trip happens in t-minus 11 days. Oh yeah.

The coolest kids in band belonged to the drum line. They got all the honeys.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Well, it's a proud day to be a Lubbock boy. The Lubbock Little League squad is playing on ESPN as I type this and they're killin' this team from Minnesota. Wait, they're just younguns...they're beating 'em pretty good. Not "killin'" them. Normally, I show moderate interest in the Little League World Series, but this is the first team that Lubbock has ever sent so I have a bit more interest this time around. The beef between the Yellow and Lubbock is evident now more than ever because I haven't heard a peep about it on local news around here.

Earlier, I heard a good ol' West Texas "attaboy!" on ESPN and, at the risk of sounding mad corny, I got goosebumps. Dude, Garrett Williams, the Lubbock pitcher has struck out ten straight batters. Insanity. Damn, there's a hit. Broham Williams is a man amongst mere boys.

The other day, I found myself watching "speed stacking" or "sport stacking" during my brief lunch break. This phenomenon is when kids stack cups in different configurations as fast as they can. Just as an example, check out this cat and think about how many dates he just forfeited in high school. Poor guy.

6-0, Lubbock still rollin'.

The great Max Roach passed away this week. Dukes was a killer drummer. I remember the first time I hear him was on a Thad Jones record and later discovered his remarkable drum skills on Money Jungle--the legendary meeting of Max, Mingus and the great Ellington. It's a fantastic record that I would recommend to anyone who has ears that work.

Williams notches his 14th strikeout. Man, this really ain't fair.

(Explorer errors out. j3 logs in about thirty minutes later.)

Williams ended up striking out 17 batters and they had to pull him before he faced the last hitter because of a pitch limit imposed on lil' leaguers. Every out that was recorded while Williams was pitching was a strikeout. That's how West Texas rolls. Nothing against the friendly land that brought us Prince and Bob Dylan. You know, it's just how gangstas do it.

Tropical Depression Erin brought us nothing but a tad rainfall and blue skies. Whoever said my lovely wife was depressed tropically ain't knowing nothing. Go listen to Katie Couric.

You kids ain't ready for the Percee P record dropping on Stones Throw this month. It's fire.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Yeah, mixed league softball laid one on my lovely wife last night. Playing second with the grace and skill of a young Ryne Sandberg, she shifted to her right on a screaming ground ball, caught a short hop, blew under the glove and tagged her on the shin. Yeah, this ain't her above. And that ain't me. I just searched "bruise" on Google. Man, doing an image search for "bruise" on Google is no way to start off a morning. She'll be slowed down for a bit and, probably a good thing because Gulf Coast probably couldn't handle much more rain. I mean, Erin's a tropical storm, but she ain't no hurricane. Says Matt Sandlin of Amarillo, "It's not a hurricane. I ain't worried. If they say don't evacuate, I'm not going to worry about it. Unless I see a shark or whale go flying by, I'm good." I'm not kidding, he said that.

I really hope this dude gets flattened by a great whale that just took miraculous flight and landed in a mall parking lot ten miles in. He just sounds like a dude begging to have nature put him in his place.

You know, Tropical Storm Erin brings up an interesting point because it works for her because she's a lover and not a fighter, but if you have a hurricane sharing your name, you want some damage. Some destruction. Now, I'm not talking Katrina destruction, but maybe down a bridge or wipe a row of expensive beach houses off the coast like, "Wassup, now?" The last thing you want is to be named Hurricane j3 about 500 miles off the coast and then, when you make landfall, you're a good surfing day. That's like talking mad trash and then coming to the fight with a toothpick and a rolled up copy of Highlights magazine. You want hit the coast like a proclamation, like "blad-dow!"

The pain of hearing Al Roker say, "...reduced to a tropical storm," is enough to justify laying low for a few days while the jokes die down. Tropical Storm Erin, though, looks good on her. She just ain't having it. That's fine. Friday's near. Go blast some Camp Lo today and thank me tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Look, I'm gonna be blunt. I can't take it anymore.

Hip hop shows.

Yeah, maybe I'm just on a bad run right now. Maybe it's just Texas and New Mexico (and Oklahoma and Kansas). I mean, it's not like we're the mecca of hip hop down here. Maybe I'm getting old...too old for this ish. But I'm about to lose my mind up in here. I realize it's how artists make the cash (merch, door, etc.). I understand it's how artists develop careers, but I'm sick of it. Maybe, and just maybe, artists need to step their game up and bring it, f'real.

Either way, this ain't about the artists. This about the attendents. And this is, furthermore, about how much I hate these cats that crowd these shows anymore. And to be fair, yes, I fall into one of these categories. Let's be real: hip hop heads can be seriously annoying. I mean, it's like hating my own kind, but we get hung up on some really stupid ish sometimes. Listen to some old head talk about how they don't do it like they used to. Listen to some young buck talk about Aesop Rock like he's the second coming of Rakim. Listen to these college kids talk about Wu Tang like they was there! Shaddup, homie. You ain't even knowing. Go comb ya beard. Here's my watch...go pawn it and buy a new Jansport.

But I digress.

I believe I was talking hip hop shows. Let's get to the nitty gritty, shall we?

Let's break it into six different categories. First we have the...

I'd say that, no matter how many people clap when the act asks, "How many of ya'll smoke weed?!" only about 25% of them would fall in this category. The other half of the crowd clap because they're afraid their buddy will throw him under the bus in front of the boys. The pothead at the shows, by my definition, are recognizable by their unnecessary exuberance. They don't just bob their heads, they do the cool hand tricks too. They do the hand snares and finger high hats. They're first to put their hands in the air when commanded (unless it's a lawman). They're very reactive to the entire concert experience. The white variety don't really go off until a black guy comes out and then they col' wild out because they suffer some acute white guilt. White emcees, overall, bore them and, more importantly, remind them that they too are white and playing a black sport. They yearn for acceptance from the black audience members, yet, are still scared to engage in conversation with them because, let's be real, there's very little connection. Instead, they validate their attendence by taking on the really tough hip hop topics on the concourse like the ever-heated, "rap vs. hip hop" discussion and they usually liked the "earlier stuff better." Their favorite artist is Eminem, but when you ask them, they'll say Kool Keith. Yeah right, homie.
Normally, they fall right behind the pothead in annoyance factor. They show the same signs of racial bewilderment. They yearn for acceptance and, furthermore, an understanding of this hip hop thang, but let's be real, too much Ani Difranco has ruined her ability to fully understand the culture. She smells like incense and/or patuli oil and because she identifies so much closer to the alt-rock festivals of the mid-90s, she shows less rap hands and more the "rock" signs like the horns or even, yikes, the occassional peace sign. And then there's the rain dance. What the...? Normally, she came with a boyfriend or a close friend and, from the moment she walks in the door, she turns on "impress" mode and everything she does is a desperate move to increase her cred. Hanging out too close to her will kill your cool. The artists usually toy with these girls throughout the show because they know there's very little chance that they will know a lick of the lyrics or, even simply, who the hell the performers are. Hear me out. This, by no means, is meant to imply that women can't genuinely enjoy hip hop shows. Just those of this variety.
A rapidly growing population in the hip hop scene (accounting for approximately 15% of the current hip hop audience--but growing up to 20-23%), the introvert typically falls into the upper echelon of fandom. They buy the merch, the burned CDs, they memorize every lyric, they pick up every side project and they usually named Kevin, have horrible acne, drink four to six sodas a day and have a weakness for beef jerky and chocolate. They enjoy the show with their hands at their sides and, even though they know the albums from beginning to end, they'll keep it at lipping the lyrics and the hands will remain in the pockets for the duration. Take Aesop Rock's number one fan here.
Yeah, trust me, this Aesop shirt has seen better days, but the dude wears it anyway...every other day. You pin him for a techie, however, he holds a steady job at the local photo lab where he listens to Def Jux all day in his knock-off MP3 player. You wanna talk hip hop with them, but the damn geeks don't ever say anything except for nondescript mumbling between each other. Here's homegrown's buddy who watched the entire performance through the view-finder on his phone.

This is fairly typical of this breed. This fella is perfect intent on simply filming the performance and enjoying it later instead of gettin down with his bad self and living in the moment. Nope, one hand holding the camera, the other in his pocket nervously rubbing his thigh. They are like tourists at the zoo who are mere observers. And a simple freestyle or adlib during the show completely throws their universe in an imbalance. "But that's not how it goes!"


The tough guy plays a very important role in the concert experience. Alot of heads completely misunderstand this breed. I'll put it this way. In every show, some dude's gonna act a fool and you'll think to yourself, "I wish someone would put them in their place," and if your show's like any show I've been to recently, the security is sparse at best. Well, tough guy here is your man. And if you're not a total prick (more than them--which is downright impossible), you're on their side. So long as you don't do something that bums everyone out. Just look at them like "security who paid at the door." 10% of the audience is a healthy amount, but it's a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Anymore than 10% and you're likely to have either one a riot or, two, a massacre on your hands. Their usually quite disconnected from the artists (unless it's a Non Phixion show, of course) and only show up because, well, they like to flex. They're hoping someone will bust a free over the beat from "Deep Cover" so they can bob their head, but that bob is purely for their enjoyment and no one elses. They could care less what you think. They're much more prominent at rock shows, but that's because there's more pricks acting a fool at a rock show. More opportunity. If you gotta problem with these dudes, you might be a humanitarian or, more likely, you've done something stupid at some point that warranted some correctional measures. The tough guy is not to be confused with...


The fly guy is a cross breed, normally. For that reason, he makes up the largest portion of the audience--somewhere between 30-40%. The have both a short history of legal problems (usually misdemeanor) and a short history in hip hop. They're always a fan of the "something new"--something that was played at a house party or strip club and they roll with that. It could be an Atmosphere record or even Mims. Either way, their hand-to-mouth fandom is fairly representative of the majority of listeners out there today. He usually is wearing lots of white. That includes, but not limited to white Yankee caps (tilted of course) and maybe even the white doo rag, white undershirt, white sneakers. Their history would suggest a potential for violence at the show, but it usually is personally served unlike the tough guy who will just beat the snot out of someone because he doesn't like 'em. He's usually quite participative--he "throws his hands in the air" and says, "ho!" He doesn't want to be the life of the party, but he also doesn't want to be the party poops. He genuinely wants to have a good time, but Slim Shady here, at the end of the night, doesn't know a good show from a bad show because if the beat's loud enough, it's dope. I guess I don't really have a problem with these cats, except that generally, they ain't gotta clue about hip hop from more than five years ago.


The head is normally bored by the entire experience of the show. He wants, with everything in him, to enjoy it, but it's "just not like it used to be." This cat normally makes up about 5-7% of the audience but the percentage could change based on your metro. They usually show up with a Cold Chillin' shirt or something as a flag of their righteousness, but no one really cares. They might even get mistaken for someone's pops or, worse, a narc. Rarely will you find them up front, but rather about two thirds of the way back with their arms folded and only slightly bobbing their head and, more often, looking around the crowd for things that will ultimately piss them off. Their jaded, upset, full of discontent and they're usually only taking notes for a blog post where they'll blast the whole scene because they lack the ability to enjoy anything. As pissed off as they normally are, they'll buy some merch on the way out. They enjoy the DJ breaks and hope that someone will mix some "South Bronx" so they can bust their hands in the air and be noticed by the younger concert goers as a real head.

D'ere it is. Happy Wednesday.


What a great day for Richard Marx. What a horrible day for Paul Newman. Look at the expression on Paul's face. It's like, "Yeah, youngblood, get'cho picture and get outta here." And poor Richard is the victim of the ol' K-Mart bunny ears foolery. Already neck deep in another busy week. Woke up at 5:00AM this morning. Got my coffee on.

Finished the new beat and sent over to Duke for review. I'm calling it "Scotch Man." I'm not that good at making beats, but when you listen to hip hop long enough, you tend to get the idea. Start beat here, stop beat there. Insert sample here and here. Fade here. No longer than three and a half minutes. Yadda yadda. It's more of a continued exercise in creativity for me. Another avenue of expression. Whatever.

Got the trip coming together for Boston and, conveniently, the pennant race is finally starting to take shape. The Spanks are 46-22 since the end of May and putting that twurk. I can't really act surprised. This is fairly typical except we're normally five games back and slipping off into oblivion. The difference is we actually have a lead--four games to be exact. At least when I go to town, I won't be watching a Pawtucket game. All the starters should be in action. Rory and the gang have been relatively quiet during the Yankee march. Probably just holding their breath until the bottom falls out. My not-so professional opinion would suggest, at this point, the bottom won't fall out and we're gonna battle to the bitter end.

Back to Boston, though. We got a slew of things lined up. Going whale watching, pick up some vinyl at, take the lovely wife antique shopping in Cambridge, check out some galleries on Newbury Street, drop some cash at Newbury Comics, go check out Harvard, tour Fenway, eat lobster, so on and so on. That doesn't even get us to the intermission.

Lovely wife's alarm is firing off. That means the start of the day. Hollatcha boy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


(inserts Method Man's Tical...servin' 'em up, word 'em up)

Travelling like mad these days. Or at least it seems. Despite all of my travels, I've yet to get that one summer tour under my belt and my chance would arise this weekend in the form of the Paid Dues Tour in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Check out this bill. Just nod your head like you recognize some of the names. Not mentioned, but also included in the price of admission is Blueprint. Dope.
After Danny saw the set, he was an automatic. Which I had no doubt he would be. That's why I invite him. He's a trooper, understand. It came down to Paid Dues or Rock the Bells (Wu Tang and friends) in Dallas. Smirnoff. Hot as hell. Miserable. Although to see Wu Tang, Nas, Talib, Pharoahe and more could have been worth it, but I've never left Smirnoff saying, "Wow, I had such a great time. And I don't want my money back" I mean, it has to be one of the very worst venues to see a show. So Paid Dues in Santa Fe, it is.

Left the Yellow for the Land of Disenchantment around noon on Thursday. Enough time (with the gained hour) to make it to Santa Fe, grub and have a couple of beers before the show. Important to have your beers before you go because they don't serve at the venue. It's some sort of indian school/school for the deaf ampitheater or something. So it's basically school grounds. Of course, while you couldn't drink, apparently security would have very little problem with the recreational marijuana use. Whatever. Pretty typical of shows.

We make our way to Tucumcari. Tucumcari is probably as close as you can get to hell without eternal damnation. Drive through the town and look at the expressions of its townspeople. It's one of desperation, loneliness, long-suffered sadness.*

*Dropping knowledge: "Tucumcari" is derived from the Comanche word "tukanukaru" which means to wait for something. Perhaps the grim reaper. And, about Tucumcari Mountain (molehill), from Wikipedia: "Legend has it that Apache Chief Wautonomah was nearing the end of his time on earth and was troubled by the question of who would succeed him as ruler of the tribe. In a classic portrait of love and competition, his two finest braves, Tonopah and Tocom, were not only rivals and sworn enemies of one another, but were both vying for the hand of Kari, Chief Wantonomah's daughter. Kari knew her heart belonged to Tocom. Chief Wautonomah beckened Tonopah and Tocom to his side and announced, "Soon I must die and one of you must succeed me as chief. Tonight you must take your long knives and meet in combat to settle the matter between you. He who survives shall be the Chief and have for his squaw, Kari, my daughter." As ordered, the two braves met, with knives outstretched, in mortal combat. Unknown to either brave was the fact that Kari was hiding nearby. When Tonopah's knife found the heart of Tocom, the young squaw rushed from her hiding place and used a knife to take Tonopah's life, as well as her own. When Chief Wautonomah was shown this tragic scene, heartbreak enveloped him and he buried his daughter's knife deep into his own heart, crying out in agony, "Tocom-Kari"! A slight variation of the Chief's dying words live on today as "Tucumcari," and the mountain which bares this name stands as a stark reminder of unfulfilled love." Awesome. Waiting. Unfulfilled love. This must be the utopia I've been searching for. I'm going to plant a trailer in the pasture and die there.

We bust a stop at the local Sonic after driving through the harshest representation of a "metropolis" I've ever seen. Now I know why I never pull off in Tucumcari. The town is best seen at about 80 miles an the left...just over hell, I mean, the hill. My burger, though, was tight. Proceed to Clines Corner and then turn northward to Santa Fe.

Pretty uneventful trip into Santa Fe except for some much-welcomed rain. We get to the Sage Inn just off of St. Francis Avenue. No relation to Sage Francis who would be performing that night.

Danny and I decide to drive up the way to get our grub on at Taco Bell. Perfect road food. A man with Arturo with an afro of chest hair flowing from his open collar insisted that Danny get a drink with his meal. "J'you not wanna drink?" Nah, dukes. Get an undershirt, homie. I suggested to Danny that the make chest hair nets for cats like that. Glad he was taking the orders and not making them.

Three soft tacos and a seven layer burrito. For those scoring at home, that's a total of 16 layers.

It's about 6:30 when I finish eating and I told Danny that we should be leaving at about 7:45 for the show. Set orders that I had viewed online had most of the acts we wanted to see going on fourth or fifth. We chill, watch "Lobstermen," and take pictures of ourselves because we're narcissists. I was looking illy in my "Crunk Ain't Dead!" shirt that I received from TVT about a year and a half ago around the new Lil Jon release. A year and a half later, still no Lil Jon album. Oh, the irony!
7:45 arrives and Danny and I head down to the venue. After dropping $5 to park my car (ripoff), we walk through this overgrown, run-down school ground to the nearing thud of bass just off in the distance. Word from David is De La once rocked this place. We keep walking.

As we grow closer, Danny and I can clearly recognize the voice of Sage Francis performing "Sea Lion." Danny looks at me in incredible anger and frustration. Obviously, my time estimates were a little off. We rush inside to see a wide hole dug into the ground brimmed with humans--all with their hands in the air while Sage performed and ran from stage right to stage left to stage right. We find a place to chill on stage right. Sage then says, "Good night, Santa Fe." Danny whips around to me again. At this point, I have nothing to say. Apologies are not well received by Danny. And he's taking jiu-jitsu again. This could get ugly.

I lean back to assess where we are, exactly, in the order of the program. "Who has gone on already?" Dude says, "Uh, Cage, Blueprint, Brother Ali, Mr. Lif, Akrobatik. Pretty much everyone except for Felt and Living Legends." That'd be pretty much everyone that Danny and I wanted to see. I mean, Felt (Slug and Murs), we knew, would be an entertaining set, but neither of us really had any interest in Living Legends. It was 8:00.

"What time did it start?"

"They started at 5:00."

Awesome. I mean, I've always been the first dude at the show. I'm never late. I'll end up watching a dude mic test and play old Boogie Down Production records for three hours before anything happens. And, the one night I decide to show up on time really (three hours late for hip hop), they start at 5:00. I explain to Danny that, considering our history with always being the first ones there, this was an easy mistake to make. He agrees. I buy him a tour shirt to make up for it. We were on the guest list so, up to this point, the concert experience had only cost us $5 for parking.

Felt comes on. Slug and Murs were entertaining as always. Danny met Ant from Atmosphere somewhere in the crowd. Living Legends went on. I guess there's now something like 15 dudes in Living Legends. It rained near the end of their set. Blueprint, Slug and Brother Ali came out for a cipher at the end. It would be little concilation for missing their entire respective sets, but whatever, I'll take it on my shoulders. My fault.

I'm walking through the crowd and some dude walking towards me thumps me on the shirt and says, "Crunk is dead, dude!" Ah, elitist underground heads. They're just too good for some varieties of rap. These are the dudes that still have the "rap versus hip hop" discussions late into the evening just to hear themselves talk. Young bucks need to grow up and recognize. I should've sonned him in front of his friends--just slap him on the back of the head and walk away.

Uncerimoniously, we retreat like N2Deep. Have a few more Sammies and then go to bed.

Felt awesome the next morning, maybe because we were back at the hotel at about 11:30. Found out later that the school has a restriction on shows that you have to be out by midnight. That doesn't mean done with your show, it means done, cleaned up and loaded out. That's why they started at 5:00. Might be helpful for them to put on their website so people will know that shows start during rush hour. Got about a gallon of coffee in my belly and watched the tourists in the lobby of the hotel. There's a lot of tourists in Santa Fe and I've always known this to be true, but going to the town, I can't really see why it's the destination most say it is. Anyhow, lots of socks being worn with sandals in the tourist groups. Oh, and tons of fanny packs in the front.

We venture down to Albuquerque that next day to visit the heads at LA Underground. Maybe pick up some vinyl. We arrive and I find Ken working on the computer in the corner and they've done some major work on the place to expand into the back portion. They've added quite a number of shirts, graffiti goods and such to their offering. The place looked nice and knew they'd need the financials to keep it up. Danny paid for his room by picking me up some Madlib, Joey Beats and Peanut Butter Wolf.

In a conversation with Ken, he asked me if I was going to the Santa Fe Muzik Festival. I asked who was playing. He said that today (Friday) was all the hip hop and it included Wu Tang, Public Enemy, Hieroglyphics and others.

What the...

How am I going to be anywhere within 500 miles of a Public Enemy show and not know about it? And Wu Tang? This was my perfect opportunity to make up for the botched concert experience the night before. Unfortunately, I'm not a hippie and I have responsibilities. Danny as well. We committed to getting back to the Yellow on Friday. It just sucks. How are you going to have that kinda line up and not let anyone know. I explained to Ken that I can't imagine how I heard nothing of that at all. Other performers during the weekend included George Clinton and War. Dope. Not dope enough though to sweat for three straight days. Ken told me too that Sole from Anticon moved from Oakland to Spain and is now an organic farmer in Flagstaff. And Sage is on Epitaph and touring the world. Interesting.

On the way back, Danny and I thumbed through the iPod for samples to be set aside for the new City Fence record. We're thinking about two separate EPs. One called "Love" and the other "Hate." Notable recordings we tabbed for sampling: Robert Jay's "Alcohol," Threshold's "Oats and Barley," Mighty Imperials' "Jody's Walk" and LAPD's "LAPD." Yeah, already started work on the first track. Looking to put together about four or five beats for the November studio session down at Duke's in Austin.

We arrived back in the Yellow at 7:30. Called up some pizza. Apparently, there are cats in the Yellow that haven't seen a H2 Hummer before. We drive up to Hungry Howie's Pizza on the corner and the girls line up at the window and twirl their hair like we're Motley Crue in 1982. Then this young bloke walks up to the window and asks, "What kinda gas mileage does that get?" I smartly reply, "About two miles to the gallon."

Last night, we had a get-together for some friends and my lovely wife served up a batch of Sangria that's been fermenting for about six weeks. Apparently, I was misquoted somewhere saying that it had been fermenting for four years. Don't know if you wanna drink that batch. A whole gang of kiddies came over. Had a good time. Finished the evening drinking a Dos Equis on the back porch listening to MC Shan. Today was a good day.

So where in the world is Richard Marx now? Well, he's hanging with Prince William, of course. Oh wait, that's actually hockey great Wayne Gretsky. Boy, these cats are chummy, ain't they?
Well, that about does it for me. Gotta get to some other business today before heading back to the mill tomorrow. Working on a breakdown of the seven known species left at the typical independent hip hop experience. Hopefully have that up by tomorrow evening.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


You know the drill, folks. If you're like millions and millions of Americans, you work in an office. In that office is a number of people who, despite being all individuals in their own right (this is actually not true in corporate America, however, they'd like you to believe it), after maybe more intensive study, you'll notice these characters breaking down into much smaller and more specific species or groups. I have noted below the most common of these species. Based on my field studies, I've also added a "damage rating" which is a simple metric that rates, on a scale of 1 to 10, the amount of distractive damage the specific is capable of. Additionally, I explain some of their peculiar behavior and, more importantly, suggested defenses against their attack. Some species have no defenses. They will overcome you and ruin you. Be careful.

Some people are actually mixed species--the jackalopes of the office. By adding together their damage ratings, you'll see that while alone as a overattentive custodial figure, they might have very little damage potential, if they told jokes, their damage rating would drastically increase. If they have a loud laugh, even higher. If they're a combination of all twenty (which I fail to believe is actually possible simply because there are dynamic differences between the species that would prevent it), they have no place in the office and should become a horse and run out in the sunny meadow. And now, without further delay, I present to you to my findings. While not purely scientific, it might be the surface of further research.

THE JOKE TELLER (humorous stupidanus)
Damage Rating: 8.5
The Joke Teller is a fairly common office breed. His interruptive nature is something that should not be taken lightly. His ability to simply walk up and begin a joke with no introduction or setup is his biggest danger. The Joke Teller also strikes electronically in the form of forwarded emails. If you open one of these emails, you've committed to a minimum of three minutes as you scroll through the multiple recipients and ">" marks. Your best defense against an attack is to not laugh. I usually go the extra mile and tell them, "That was really stupid." Also effective is the sigh with, "Wow, too funny."

Damage Rating: 2.1
Not especially distractive. My run-ins are normally in the form of a canister at the coffee station that is absolutely jammed full of creamers and sugars that it's difficult to even retrieve one without sending about 200 packets flying onto the counter. Other times, it's the feather duster moving by the cubicle for the third or fourth time. Sometimes I mistaken it for a rare bird that has nested somewhere in our office.

THE FORWARDER (emailus gulliblea)
Damage Rating: 4.6 - 7.9
Like the Joke Teller, the Forwarder cannot resist forwarding emails. They might have even taken steps to making the process more efficient by creating different distribution lists titled: "work from home," "warnings" and "humor" for the different classifications of emails. Their damage rating depends almost solely on the content of the forward. If it's another email about the greenhouse effect, they might range from 3-5, whereas, if the email is one of those stupid forwards with different colors, moving objects, a rooster jumping on a trampoline or a gorilla hailing a cab, it might range more from 6-8. You will end up making changes to your email security to prevent getting emails from this person. Additionally, when you see this person in the hallway, sometimes they'll just laugh like you got and read the email. So you're almost obligated to reading the emails so you know what the hell their laughing about.

THE UTOPIAN (realitus disconnectus)
Damage Rating: 3.2
Look for the jungles of succulant plants and countless pictures of family members. They might even spend the day listening to horrible new age music to help them relax within the hectic office environ. Oddly, these are the people who are least effected by the panicked office pace, but it still feels so jarring and alienating for them so, to cope, they surround themselves with a jungle...just without the dangerous predatorial animals and with nearby bathroom facilities.

THE SPORTS FACT GUY (sportus factolea)
Damage Rating: 8.1
This guy's like a walking almanac. And, being that sports occur year round, you can always rely for a drive-by from this guy. This knowledge is wide even including transactions within the farm systems and salaries. He'll be waiting by your desk when you arrive to ask, "Did you know the guy that caught Barry's 755th homer was a plumber from Oakland named Mike Wiggins?" Tell them you're gay and they probably will never try it again.

THE MINUTE MAN (salarus slackea)
Damage Rating: 5.6
This dude shaves as much off the work day that he possibly can. He shows up at 8:05 and leaves at 4:57. He does not enjoy being confronted on such and, sometimes, might even take offense and become vocal with a host of specific excuses which normally channel right back to some lame "I'm just that busy in the evening," or "I got things in the evening." Like work is their inconvenience. It's not extremely damaging unless you need something at, say, 5:02 and they're already on their way home to a 5:30 dinner date. Have you ever been to a restaurant at 5:30? Yeah right.

THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK LUNCHER (appetitus overdrivius)
Damage Rating: 5.7
Like above, they simply refuse to work on a calendar that's sensible. Believe it or not, there are steps that can be taken to diffuse early hunger like, say, a good diet consisting of breakfast and mid-morning snack like, say, a granola bar. The leave every day at 11:00 like they haven't eaten in nearly two weeks. Slightly more damaging simply because it's more likely to happen when you have a pressing project that needs completion at mid-day.

THE HORDER (propertus scavengus)
Damage Rating: 1.5
Every office has that guy who will not pass up an opportunity at free goods. Whether it's paper clips, rubber bands, box cutters, keyboards, hard candy, magazines, staplers, staples, ball point pens, replacement lead for mechanical pencils. They're desk area is more like a supply store than an actual desk. Their damage rating is low because you know, eventually, you'll employ their services. I, most commonly, for the hard candy.

THE CRIER (unexplainedus somberus)
Damage Rating: 8.3
Wow, is there anything more distractive than a crier? Well, of course. When it happens every week. There's a rare breed that lives on the edge of crying 7 days a week. Chances are, when you see them even when smiling, they are deathly close to absolutely losing it and balling. It could be depression. It could be bad upbringing. It could be stress or it could be, simply, they like the attention. Even more spectacular is they will sometimes go home after crying like it's a reasonable excuse for taking the day off. I've always had the hardest time understanding this phenomenon because I rarely cry. It's because my heart is blackened and I've become emotionally detached.

THE LAUGHER (the white-tailed High Plains paint stripper)
Damage Rating: 9.6
The office space is a low murmur of papers being shuffled, muted conversations on the phone and then, k'boom! A laugh that matches the decibel level of a passing train. If you're like me, even at a distance, it makes you tear up in sheer pain. It envokes a physical pain comparable to that of an indian sunburn. It's damage rating is unmatched because it interrupts brain activity required to work your vitals like breathing, pumping blood and movement. I experience a period of suspended animation and then have to spend a moment remembering where I was. You just hope that, wherever this guy is, there's no aftershocks. But, unfortunately, it rarely happens just once. It is usually followed with longer, sustained laughter. Even worse, when a crowd gathers around the Laugher and the recruits begin laughing in unison. Some offices will take 15 minutes to recover from these sessions.

Damage Rating: 7.1
His attacks are rare, unannounced and sometimes even inappropriate. In a world that has drawn so many lines on what's appropriate or what's out of line, the backslap has unfairly become an oddity in modern office life. Thus making an instance where a back is slapped very distractive. If done correctly, you lose your breath for a moment or even something you were eating last night becomes dislodged and magically appears in your mouth. Simply say to them that you would prefer a less violating and harmful form of reward like, say, a pay raise or additional vacation days. Butt slapping was outlawed back in the days of Lonnie Anderson and WKRP in Cincinnati.

THE MANDATORY 15-MINUTE BREAKER (class-actionus potentialea)
Damage Rating: 3.7
Apparently in this day and age of record profits, increased efficiency and doing whatever a company can to be number one, people still believe in labor laws. In fact, some people have them memorized. I'm talking of the "child labor law" variety, but rather the mandatory 15-minute break for all four hours worked. I probably don't even have that right. That's because I don't believe in them. They're stupid. Look, if you're looking for a reason not to work, perhaps influenza or maybe a broken hip. I can give you both. Ironically, these are the people that work at 3/4 speed, so essentially, they take a 15 minute break every hour.

THE COMPLIANCE CRUSHER (regulationus adherea)
Damage Rating: 4.8
Not necessarily a supervisor, this species talent is noticing details. More importantly, the details that could get your happy ass fired. Look, don't ignore them because if they're not your supervisor, they know the quickest route to his/her desk. Sometimes its not recycling your paper goods or parking in Visitor Parking or using the wrong color of highlighter used to correct documents. This one will do damage if you don't look out. They're necessary to keeping the office in order, but sometimes takes the job unnecessarily serious. Don't take it lightly.

THE YOU'RE ACTUALLY WORKING?-ER (constantus slackerus)

Damage Rating: 9.3
This splendidly awesome species exudes a confidence in their protection that, not only are they reluctant to actually do work, but they make a point to glare as to be confused why you show any ambition, concern and/or urgency. Here's how it goes: "Hey, ya'll. Did you get the email that just came across?" Reply: "Uh, dude, we're talking." They're defense tactics are remarkable and very sly. Because, in packs, they can convince you that you really shouldn't be working. They're deadly in packs. They might even cost you your job. Keep working is your best action.

Damage Rating: 9.1
Tuesday, it was an aunt with an infection on her foot that might require removal. Wednesday, it was a 20-minute monologue about a botched oil change. Thursday, it was the color of their vomit after eating at the Mexican buffet. Friday's news might ruin your weekend. There's no crafty getaway from these sorts of situations. I usually just black out and nod my head. Others employ the really awkward just-turn-your-back-to-'em move. I've never been a fan of this technique because then it makes you the asshole. I like to come out pretty clean, but maybe that's why I give it a damage rating of 9.1--because I can't help but listen. It's one of my more endearing qualities.

Damage Rating: 7.3
This species believes firmly that, despite it taking up valuable time during the workday, it's their "right to the know the be informed." Perhaps, but it's your obligation to work. Nonetheless, this cat's not above just flying over to your desk and hitting you with about five to seven news stories all at once transitioned only with, "And then, did you hear..." It's almost indicative of mild retardation. I'm somewhat insulted with this cat because, over the last fifteen years or so, I've crafted myself to be as close to the news as possible. Yet, despite that, I get this cat always barking on some new bull. Yeah, Katrina. Yeah, NASA. Yeah, food poisoning. I get it. Every night. Sometimes three times a night. I'm talking about the news. Go away. I don't put my head down and think, "Man, I wonder what incredible news story Teddy's gonna tell me tomorrow! He's always full of such great news! And it's always so relevant!"

THE CRAZY WARDROBE GUY/GAL (clothea flamboyitica)
Damage Rating: 6.5
More likely going to be a "gal," but not altogether uncommon to spot a male in this species. It's usually florescents or even Don Johnson white pants. You never know. Normally, things are worn not for their comfort, but so these lil' pips can finally own their space in the world as something to someone. "If I have to be the moron who dresses like I'm Swedish and dons an accent, so be it!" It could be a printed shirt that reads, "I hate black people." Oh, that crazy Bobby! Always up to something!" Now I know why they make dress codes. It's to avoid collisions with this freakish species.

THE WEATHERMAN (meterologica aspirus)
Damage Rating: 7.8
If it's hailing, they'll let you know. Not like you can do anything about the beating your car might be taking, but they're gonna say, "Hey, it's hailing." Or they might report a tornado that touched down three hundred miles away. They're understanding of the weather, apparently, doesn't also include nature like, "Hey, tornados will eventually strike somewhere. Relax." I only want to know when the wall cloud has appeared and it's about two miles away. Nah, make that two and a half. I might need to drop by the store for Q-tips or milk. Again, they're just trying to carve out their niche. Unfortunately, already took care of that. Like Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weatherman to blah blah blah." I can walk out and tell you it's hot. I don't need to know the record or even the current temperature. It's hot enough to cause chaffing. That's all I need to know. Not that I have to worry about that, but I look over my neighbors. Again, an endearing quality.

THE ANTIBACTERIALIST (Lysolus constantus)
Damage Rating: 4.2
You'll hear them coming by the sound of a Lysol can being deployed. Hopefully, you'll never get the treatment I received at a former job where the receptionist actually sprayed me at close range like I was the bacteria. The damage rating would double if that was the case. It's Lysol or it's a box of Kleenex to make sure you're blowing your nose into something and not into the floor. You can also spot this species by the cannon of antibacterial hand gel at their desk. It can get annoying (especially because I'm a germaphobe, but still might not wash my hands before dining--I ride the fence), but these people are, again, very vital in the office space.

THE ALWAYS-SOMETHINGIST (vacationis maximus)
Damage Rating: 8.7
It's always something. This species is quite efficient at making themselves look uber-important because it's always something. It's a concert, it's a death in someone else's family (like they're the President or something), it's a charity event, it's a dinner, it's a gala. Whatever. This person always has a reason to take off work. You'd think they don't really need a job except to pay for their numerous excursions. You know the one, though. You go by their desk for maybe an entire week and you don't see anyone and then someone lets you know that they went for a month long kayaking trip in Canada. Obvious man says, "And they're able to keep their job?!" There's always something. My something is dinner and I usually make a point to leave by then.

Off to Santa Fe for Slug, Murs, Cage, Sage Francis, Brother Ali, Living Legends and City Fence from Lubbock, TX (da original Fiddy Cent). Check out my brotha below. Don't fake the funk on broham's mangled teeths and mulletude hair-due. I pick him for a fan of Neil Schon of Journey. When I say "brotha," I mean "brotha" not "brother."

Have a rad Thursday and Friday. Keep rockin, Cru Jones.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


With the Spanks gaining on the Sox in the standings and, consequently, moving in on the wild card, I had to break out the Sox bandana that Jax was always reluctant to wear with pride (hey, we can barely get duke to wear a collar). Wouldn't you know, the lil' sonuvabitch took to it like a fish to water. And he looks quite well in it. I think you would agree. I mean, what canine doesn't look good in navy with red sock-like shapes?Tux is actually starting to really grow. He stands just about four inches shorter than Jax which, with Jax being of the Super Beagle lineage, Tux will never be the exact same stature. But like Jax, he enjoys reclusively lying under objects and also likes the smell of his own butthole. Where my dogs at?
A huge post on the marvels of office life forthcoming--most likely tomorrow morning. Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


That's right, I can't stand the dude. I've known this for a long time and I apologize to anyone that is shocked by this revelation, but I'm not going to hide my hate any longer. My lovely wife would correct me with, "You don't hate him. You hate his music." I'm not really sure about that. I think I really hate him. As unfair as that might seem because, well, I don't even really know much about him personally, I hate his music that much that it has resulted in the uninhibited hate of the man himself.

The dude is a total cornball. That balding-adult-contemporary-just-a-man-with-a-guitar-and-a-song thing just makes my nerves completely unravel. It's annoying. I don't care how nice he is in person. I don't care if he's considered by most one of the greatest humanitarians of our time. I don't care if he has a number of charities he supports. There's nothing that can help his music not suck. Dude is straight hokey. I have no intention of going to hell, but I'm hoping someone can tell me whether or not they play his music in the cafeteria down there. I'm pretty sure they do. If someone can research that for me, that'd be great. His cheer-up-Charlie-things'll-turn-out-fine music is a poison that corrodes my ear canal and has been linked to spotting on my heart and a brittleness and weakening of my spinal cord.
My life will be no less because I have chosen to ban James Taylor from my life. What Jimmy can't do, Bob Dylan can so go save a whale or something. Go do something James Taylor would approve of. Put on his music and sway from side to side clapping your hands.
While I'm at it, let's just come clean. I don't like anything Prince has done since, uh, Sign the Times back in 1987. For those counting at home, that's 20 years ago. This man has got some serious people fooled. I like when he was like some asexual alien who sang about berets and doves. Alphabet Street, wherever the hell that is. Purple Rain. That's the Prince that I like, but when duke started singing about "Diamonds and Pearls," he kinda lost me.
This is the Prince I like.
The "not-quite-right" Prince. I mean, I even like "Batdance." But think of all those crap records: Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, Musicology, New Power Soul, Old Friends 4 Sale, Chaos and Disorder, 3121, Crystal Ball, The Rainbow Children--these are really bad records. I don't really care if you disagree. If you had ears that properly received sounds, you'd know what I'm talking about. It's kinda like Stevie Wonder. The dude doesn't get a free pass just because he recorded Talking Book and Innervisions. He used to be able to crap classic records. Now, not all the talent in the world, could help him piece together a good recording. He can't even give you a good minute of music. If you heard A Time to Love, then you know what I'm talking about.
While I'm at it, I hate the Eagles. I hate everything about them. I hate Don Henley. I hate Joe Walsh. I hate those other two guys. People absolutely worship these cats and I just can't make sense of it at all. A really decent country act, but a horrible rock outfit. The fact that these dudes get classic rock rotation alongside Bob Dylan, the Who and the Rolling Stones has led to many sleepless nights staring at the ceiling plotting horrible crimes against humanity. The Eagles are like the white trash's Led Zeppelin. It's for people who just don't really wanna rock. They just want to tap their foot. There's no danger. There's no soul. There's nothing interesting about their music at all. The breakfast equivalent of the Eagles' music is oatmeal. Just plain oatmeal, though, without any sugar or cinnamon. Just a greyish, tasteless mushy bowl of grains.
Wow, that felt really good. I have a whole list of artists who I ruthlessly hate. So if you're ever wondering, just make a request.
Don't ask how I came across the following picture, but to kick off your weekend, I thought it was important to post it. There's more to come. It's the great Richard Marx hanging out with a young-er Randy Jackson and Tommy Lee. How do these meetings happen? I mean, am I just completely out in the cold about Richard Marx? Is he at the helm of some secret society? I mean, Randy Jackson and Tommy Lee are just the beginning of a score of fantastic celebritie that Richard Marx has been linked to. But check out my boy second from the left. Dude just screams "dateless studio musician." In fact, maybe a woman. Not sure.
Looks like my Boston Celtics have gone from the second-worst (really, if you're saying second worst, you're just in denial of how bad the team really is) from favored to make the finals with the addition of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (Who has game, let me tell you. Ask Denzel). Eric Gagne called Boston the "best sports city in the nation" the other day. Wha? Boston?! Well, I'll tell you this, Opie has put together a better team than all recent Celt teams all the way back to Parish, Bird, McHale and DJ. I haven't really been this stoked about a Celtic season since, uh, since Reggie Lewis was rockin' it. One thing for sure, this ain't the Celtics team you're gonna see next year.
I gotta drop a serious mention to one of the better sites I've been to in a very long time. My man D-Nice (yeah, "Call me D-Nice") has a killa site. Seems like between the picture below and now, dude developed some hardcore photo skills and, with that as the foundation, has over the last three years or so put together a superdope site--especially for cats like me and Wil.
Wil, peep it. D-Nice doesn't disappoint. You'll be reading for days.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Another million-dollar start. This time, ace Roger Clemens goes 1.2 innings and gives up eight runs on nine hits. Fortunately for his bloated ERA, only three were earned. No decision for the 3-5 Clemens. Yankees lose. Sawx win. Back to an eight game division lead. And Clemens goes back to his castle in the mountains until his next million-dollar start where he'll smoke expensive cigars and drink vodka drawn from the tusks of a wooly mammoth discovered 500 feet beneath the earth's surface in Siberia muttering, "Sucka," at a picture of Brian Cashman on the wall.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Yep, my lovely wife was out of town this week and, unlike most 30-ish men who walk around in their boxers drinking cases of beer and inviting buddies over to high-five each other and say things like, "You da man!" when their wives are out, I revert to total nerdism and rent documentaries, cook burgers for myself and watch the radar for approaching storms. Yeah, I'm a col' gangsta, b'lee dat. The "documentaries" thingy I really can't explain except that, well, my lovely wife doesn't watch documentaries. It's not that she's not edumacated or enlightened, she just doesn't do it. So, when she's out, I grab a stack of them, lock myself in the house sometimes with beer and other times cola and watch stupid documentaries. I know my lovely wife doesn't believe me, but it's true. I'm a total dweeb and I've been hiding it from her all these years. On Tuesday, I could hardly wait to get home and watch Flag Wars. Yep, I'm coming clean. Make note, however, I have found a new beer this week that I'm quite fond of. It's an ale called "Avalanche." Does that help with my man-cred?

Tonight, I finished Jesus Camp and now am on Bonds Watch. So, with all of my four movies viewed, I'm going to review them for you. These four films run the gammut of topics. One about international travel, another about theological warfare, one about the gentrification and homosexuality and one about a short-lived volitile musical movement. We'll start with the gem about tourism.

This typical "wrong turn" (see older post on The Root Down) movie finds a group of idiot reckless Americans (and an Aussie and a couple of Brits) heading down to Rio to drink alot of beer and sleep with the native women. See also Hostel. When their tour bus flies off the road, the fun really begins. The natives end up removing the kidnies of our friendly international zone coasters in a really fake surgery replication. Unfortunately, it was a twelve year-old that wrote and directed this piece of crap as it dissolves into one really long and boring chase sequence. I want blood and I want carnage. This didn't have that. Oh, and this isn't really a documentary although, if it was staged in documentary form, it would've been much more interesting. Don't buy, don't rent it. In fact, never speak of it again.

A touching story about the budding gay population of Columbus, Ohio, moving into a run down, predominantly black neighborhood and trying to run out all of the native inhabitants with stupid zoning, building and "historical district" codes. What results is a battle for the neighborhood and childish a childish flag war--on one side the common rainbow flag and on the other, a sign a man hangs on his front porch with his name and address on it. In the meantime, the gays have infuriated some redneck "pastor" who wears a shirt that reads "Got AIDS yet?" and the black community gets a jarring visit from the Klan. Man, Columbus is harder than I thought it was. Overall rating on this film is "good." It was 84 minutes long. By documentary standards, that's right on the mark.

I prefer music documentaries because, well, I can relate much more easily. The context is not alienating as, say, a documentary on the holocaust. Dumbing out with documentaries is almost impossible, but if it was possible, it'd be with this film. No knock on the quality of the film, but you can cut "hardcore" anyway you like, it still wasn't very complex music. Very primitive. The message usually the same. And most songs were about :45 to 1:30 in length. Ain't much going over your head. Much like listening to a James Taylor record.
By the way, for the record, I hate James Taylor's music. As a man, I'm sure he's a nice guy. But his music sucks. There. I just went public with some other really big news.
Good interviews with Ian McKaye and Henry Rollins among others. Great retrospective. For fans of the Sex Pistols' documentary The Filth and the Fury. Of course, "hardcore" cats would denounce such a comment because the Sex Pistols were not technically "hardcore." Whatever. I'm telling you, it's just like hip hop idiocy.

This documentary follows a handful of kids as they make their way to a camp in one of the Dakotas where a exuberant and, largely, inaccurate pastor teaches them to become militants for Christianity. What we find is a somewhat disturbing account of the modern adaptation of scripture and turning it against every wrong in society. It's a challenging film for those who have spent most of their lives in the church because you instantly see where most people develop their generalizations about church in general. It's this lady, her children speaking in tongues and the guy from Flag Wars who waves a banner at gay parades that suggests that God created AIDS to kills gays. Wow. Pretty heady stuff. Youngsters might wanna stay clear.
So there you have it. Four films reviewed. I'm, by no means, an expert on films, but I know if you call them "films" instead of "movies," "picture films" or "motion pictures," your street cred triples. They're films. Please enjoy renting and viewing the films I have mentioned here on The Root Down. If you would like to discuss these films, please do so below.
So the headline on reads "Imus Backlash has Rappers Cleaning Up Acts." The article continues to describe how Master P and Chamillionaire are cleaning up their material and dropping the typical degrading phrases or names for minorities and women. There's a few things about this that piss me off. Firstly, it's sad that Imus is now having such an impact with his stupid on-air comments that artists are changing their content and compromising their art because some stupid redneck said "nappy-headed hos" on the air." Whatever. It sure seems silly to me, but then again, check out the names cited. Master P is completely irrelevant these days that clean or explicit, you have to actually sell the album before people would complain or applaud. Chamillionaire's working for Clear Channel anyway so he's closer to Will Smith than to Young Jeezy anyway. Let him adopt it because he's already compromised his whole steez anway. Clearly written by someone who believes a rapper's a rapper and checked Soundscan from nearly nine years ago and one year ago to see who the hottest rappers are. A wider poll would prove that no one plans on cleaning up their acts because of Don Imus. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong, it's just reality.
Chamillionaire insists that it's a morality issue and not an Imus issue. If you have to insist that, it's an Imus issue.
Next thing you know, Talib Kweli is quoted as saying that Chamillionaire is "talented enough to pull it off." Let that seep in. Why in the hell is Talib calling Chamillionaire "talented" in any context? Then, they bring up Akon (technically not a rapper) simulating a sexual act with a 14-year old on stage saying he didn't know she was 14. What the? They mention J-Kwon getting "tipsy" at 17. And then there's one of those big quotes from 50 Cent like, when he speaks it's like the pope is in town. C'mon. Mindless journalism.
I'll put it this way. If you want nicely packaged, family-approved language from a rapper, listen to Will Smith. He's all you got, but this ain't a game for the kiddies. Rap and hip hop has explicit lyrics, content and the rappers and emcees are not always positive role models for your kiddies. Either way, everything must be considered with context. Movies are the same way, but rarely do you see such heated discussions on how violent 300 is. In fact, you ain't gonna hear nothing of it. You don't see people toning down the movie violent because some kid ran into his high school armed to the teeth. I would suggest that if you're going to blame anything for the degradation of society, start with the parents, then the media, then the movie industry and then maybe hip hop. Just remember, there's as much violence and alarming messages in most metal records as their is hip hop. And, if you think that no one's listening to metal these days, think again. Do yo' research. I hope Chamillionaire releases that record and then it completely bombs so that the industry, labels and management will be forced to compromise their own stance on the Imus ish just to sell a record. Then you can see the industry in which I work in in all of its infinite wisdom.
Dude, it's 20 minutes from turning over into Friday. You can't tell me that don't feel good. Especially me, because I'm lonely as hell.
All blog and no play makes j3 a dull boy.

Have a super-fresh weekend, everyone.