Sunday, August 31, 2008


It wouldn't be so bad if, I don't know, she wasn't smiling. Or maybe if they rapped. Wait...what in the hell am I saying...there is nothing at all that would make this remotely acceptable. This is probably the very worst thing that could happen to hip hop. While the Olympics were on, I found myself absolutely hypnotized by the coverage. Even by the Today Show coverage. My grandfather was gravely ill one week of the Olympics and I was at home after 8AM which, I have found, is always a horrible mistake. Because at about 7:50AM or so, the Today Show shifts from pertinent (or at least interesting) news stories to horrible, purposefully-marketed drivel. It happens instantaneously. I was sitting there at 7:51 and the Hip Hop Grannies come on and I thought to myself, "This is why I go to work everyday is to avoid crap like this." Then, I was thinking, there are millions of zombies out there watching this and I felt great embarassment. I felt embarassment for hip hop, its artists, its legacy. There are probably grandparents out there that thought the Hip Hop Grannies were awesome. I'd rather hip hop be represented by naked women and semi-automatic weapons if the alternative is the Hip Hop Grannies. I want the head of whoever booked this act on the Today Show.

Pedroia bat cleanup last night against the White Sox. We go from Manny batting cleanup to Pedroia, a 5'8"-180-pound second baseman, taking up cleanup duties. I'd be concerned if he wasn't batting .320+ and going 4-4 two nights in a row. The dude makes contact and that's what makes him ideal for the cleanup spot. You don't have to hit it out every time up--especially in Fenway where you have a 37-foot left field wall. Here we see Pedroia after the Sox secured a spot in the postseason last year--a year they'd go on to Championship glory once again.

Nice shirt, Pedroia. Since trading the biggest player of the last two decades and Yankee-killer, Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers, the Sox are 18-8. The Dodgers are 12-16. It's still early, but in a move that basically was supposed to get us to the end of the year, it appears we're shaping up decently. We're not out in the clear yet. Oh yeah, and Rory, I got your message. I'd love to talk Yankees and Sox especially since the Sox took the last series in that old toilet bowl called Yankee Stadium. We'll see you when you're in town.

I'm watching A&E Biography on Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. This is incredible stuff. In my age, I've grown to be a huge fan of the Smile project which is recognized as the one album that marked the Beach Boys descension from world-wide acclaim into oblivion and also shows a mad Brian Wilson only becoming madder. At first, he called it "a teenage symphony to God," but later called it "inappropriate music" and refused to discuss it. It took 36 years for Brian to record and release Smile properly after most of the material appeared on the the record Smiley Smile/Wild Honey.

It's both depressive and hopeful, ugly and beautiful, political and blissful. Behind it, however, was a man who was so depressed and manic that he would lay in bed for weeks in drug-induced states, overeating and, because of a mounting fear of water, refusing to even shower. He had lost his mind, but in that loss, his musical genius came forth.

I'd say that Smile hits me still in the way that Abbey Road blew me away after knowing the Beatles as "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" for years. First time I heard Abbey Road, I thought, "Now that's crazy." Put "I Want You" off of Abbey next to "She Loves You" and there's an incredible level of musicianship and creativeness being achieved on the later stuff. If it were anyone other than the Beatles, you might find it difficult that they were the same group. The Beach Boys are the same way with me. I don't care about "Surfin' Safari"--I'd rather jam "Heroes and Villains" off of Smile. The dimensions of the music and the definitively bizarre sound of the music is more haunting and moving than anything the Beach Boys did prior and I don't really mind saying so.

Find a copy of Smile and purchase it. I was a little skeptical of the re-record aspect to the project, but it's killer. Trust me. Here's to Brian Wilson, America, Labor Day and the Red Sox. To hell with the Hip Hop Grannies.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


What can I say, I'm in a speech mood thanks to the DNC.

I know this is gonna come off as some seriously elitist prickery, but I'm tired of this ish. It's just garbage. Let me set the mood.

(puts on Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing...on vinyl, bitches)

Heads are sleeping like crazy these days. It's been that way for about, uh, let's say about ten years. Kiddies don't even know anything about hip hop anymore. They're quick to shake their asses to it, but they don't know. Listen to this garbage on the radio. Geez, just listen to LL's new record. It ain't nothing but keyboards and beat machines. We've moved from the gooshy, organic, elemental art form of hip hop to the stripped down beat-hook-chant formula that, let me tell you, just ain't working. You can start by blaming the labels, A&Rs and the artists. I mean, let's face it, we're just moving from what hot hook to another and, if there ain't nothing going, there ain't nothing selling. Labels are sniffing like hound dogs for the next quick buck because, honestly, in a day when the economy's in the comode and there's no relief in sight, labels are looking to more with less. They really just want a hit single. Record? Like full length? Only if. But give them a single first...then we'll see. There are no artists anymore because the labels have preached this short-term, hand-to-mouth bull-ish for years now. And to some cat coming from the block with visions of luxury and riches, he ain't about to shoot for artistry, he just wants to give what the label wants. If the label said they wanted two minutes of a dude rhyming while vomiting through his nose, dudes would run to the store for a cases of ipecac. They're just stupid. But then again, they don't have any reverance because the industry they serve don't have any either. Sampling laws ended that. Greedy muddahs decided that they didn't like these hip hop cats making money off of their recordings so they protected them by strict sampling laws which reduced hip hop heads to, well, generating from nothing.

The nature of hip hop is to loot. I mean, let's be real, it was born on James Brown records that were sampled with no clearance and no penalty. Heads would just sample the crap out of "Funky President" and "Funky Drummer" because those were the best breaks. Do the knowledge, kid. It's all there. Take "Sing a Simple Song" from Sly and Family Stone. That drum break was the framework for hundreds of hip hop classics. That's CLASSICS. Undisputed. You think any of these cats care about those old hip hop songs? Hell naw. Moreover, you think any of them know who the hell Sly and Family Stone is? Shheeeeeeeesh. Aight.

Hip hop was born on the notion that "borrowing for the greater good" is where it's at. I'm not stealing...I'm turning water into wine. Listen again to "Take Me to Mardi Gras" by Bob James and then "Peter Piper" by Run DMC. Jam Master Jay did Bob James better than Bob James himself did Bob James. It's alright to admit it. No one even knew who Bob James was until Run DMC sampled "Nautilus." Bob was one of the few saavy enough to recognize what Run DMC was doing, but then the Turtles sued De La, Biz got busted and almost lost everything and then labels got scared.

(Tucker leaves to the backyard on the intro of "Similak Child")

Twenty years later, hip hop has been reduced to almost nothing. Don't get me wrong, I like some Clipse, some Lil Wayne, but because I'm an elitist, I'll say this, "It's only because I understand where it came from." Watching kids bob their heads mindlessly to hip hop these days makes me think what these punk asses were listening to before they heard the new Soulja Boy. Probably the old Soulja Boy. More likely, probably whatever the urban radio station played before the new Soulja Boy. That's a dangerous trend for hip hop.

In my age, as dorky as it might sound, I've become obsessed (absolutely obsessed) with sampling. With the origin of a sound, a beat, a bass line, a trumpet, a vocal shout. I think about records like Black Moon's Enta da Stage or Black Sheep's aforementioned Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Beastie's Paul's Boutique. De La Soul Three Feet. Take Public Enemy's second and third record. They were sampling James Brown and Slayer on the same side. Sonically, nothing can touch that. These days, not only can nothing touch, ain't no one even hearing it. It might as well not even exist because it doesn't mean anything in 2008.

It's almost a ritual my hunt for the breaks and the original samples. The second I hear something dope from 1991, I'm looking for the samples. I'm looking for the original breaks. I wanna know where it came from, how it was altered, how it was changed to fit a need. I'm come across some incredible recordings that, at times, I end up enjoying much more than the records that sampled them. Do you think that Root Down shirt was an original? C'mon now.

I had it too good coming up. I'm thankful for it. I had records that would end entire careers of these nincompoops these days.

(flip over to Side C of Black Sheep)

I encourage these kids coming up to dig back into hip hop's history. Let's be real, here. Hip hop lives in the origin. You're only as good as what you sample. And listeners, remember this: you don't know jack if you don't know where it came from. Someone said that knowledge of the samples is like learning the language. Hip hop speaks through sampling. If you don't speak sampling or beakbeats, you don't speak the language. And if you don't speak the language, then what are you really doing, pupil? And no offense to the emcees out there, but muddahs like to nod their head. You take away the beat, you can't nod that head. Go to a poetry reading and count the nodding heads. I like beats. I like samples. I like the elements. An emcee is an accessory. I know that sounds a little harsh, but I'm a beat kid. Scarface is dope. Pos is hella nice. I like me some KRS One, but I ain't about to listen to an acapella. I'm into the days when the emcee was really the ribbon on a good beat. Shotcalling. Hyping the crowd up. Good when you can find a nice one, but I'm just as good without one if you're sampling the Tom Tom Club. I have very few favorite emcees, but I gotta long list of favorite producers. The Shocklees. El-P. Prince Paul. RZA. Marley Marl. Premier. Ant. Madlib. On and on and on. Emcees? Uh, Del. Pos. Jeru. I'm stretching at that point. Jeru ain't squat without Primo. Pos ain't half the emcee I think he is without Pawl. You put a dude out there that emcees and produces and they're potentially my favorite ever. That's why I like dudes like El-P, MF Doom, RZA, the Beatnuts.

But it's all about the beat. The backbone. Without it, you're just listening to clever poetry. Take the Experience away from Jimi Hendrix, you still have a bad ass. Unplug Bob Dylan, it's still Bob Dylan and ain't no one touching Freewheelin'. Take Prince Paul out of De La Soul is Dead and De La ain't playing Rock the Bells last weekend--some fifteen to twenty years later. That's the absolute truth.

The other day, George brought a collection of dub-reggae over and I was captured by the Dillinger track, "Kokane On My Brain" because I was hypnotized by the bass line. I've heard this ish before. It's on the tip of my tongue. I sit there humming the bass line after it's over thinking, "Who sampled that?!" Ol' Dirty Bastard. Nah, Mobb Deep. Wait, was it Pharcyde? I thought for three hours about that, humming it over and over again. I never landed on it, but I know, given my collection, I'm soon to come across it.

I'm lucky in that way. I never take it for granted.

My mother is an accomplished pianist and organist (among many other things). While working on her doctorate, she studied this phrasing in organ music from the 1600's. That phrasing, in traditional religious compositions would be the bed rock for everything that would come later. My mother found some insane number of compositions that borrowed this sequence of notes. It originally began as a chant and then, over centuries, morphed and changed and transformed. Hip hop's the same way. You hear "Funky Drummer" in everything these days. It might not be the original sample, but it's sequences of drum hits that sounds exactly like the break in "Funky Drummer." Those eight bars or so lit the world on fire...back in 1987.

Sadly, I guess, what's wrong with hip hop is that no one knows what the hell I'm talking about. I might as well be Bob James crying, "Run DMC sampled me!" The obvious question follows: "Who in the hell is Run DMC?"


You might remember Sam, the guitarist who shares my last name. There was some discussion with family in town that we might, in fact, be connected, but I ain't feeling the suggestion. I mean, c'mon, check this dude out. Loving the pocket watch. It's brings that class to an all-denim outfit. I gotta give it to Sam: homie can accessorize like Fonzworth Bentley.Sam's played some incredible gigs in his career. Here Sam and the guys of Badly Bent raise the roof at the Elk's Lodge in Bristow, OK. Watch out for that ceiling fan, Sam. I think this is one of my favorite "action" shots of the band. Check out Mike getting down on the far right. He's just shredding on that guitar (I believe, in Oklahoma, they call it a GEET-tar). Sam must be banking to buy Peavey speakers larger than his guitarist. Scared money don't make none.
Here, we find Sam and one of his fans deep in discussion. Sam can always take time to talk to his fans. He likes to give back like that and he just can't stand stuffy rock stars. Approachability is key in this business. And, especially, if you're a country star (established or aspiring). There's only room for one Kenny Chesney. Everyone else has to shake some clammy hands and listen to some boring-ass stories about sick relatives and someone's new double-wide. Sam's lucking out with this lady because she wanted to talk Nascar and there's nothing Sam loves more than talking race cars!
Here, our favorite Oklahoman axeman, dives into the acapella sing-along portion of "Friends in Low Places" by Oklahoma's favorite son, Garth Brooks. Can I get a "hell yeah!"

In fact, Garth Brooks is only a mere slice of their reportoire. Check out this diverse set list. The band asks that you please stick to the songs they know. Sam doesn't take requests off-list. Personally, I'm a fan of the "Wonderful Tonight"/"Wipeout"/"Knocking on Heaven's Door" medley. It's knocks me out every time. Another fan favorite is another Oklahoman's megahit, Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar" which has been reversioned to "I Love This Garage" and "I Love this Yard" so Sam can make it work for some of his birthday gigs. And you can't play a country bar without a rock and roll banger so Sam protects himself with the always-popular and infinitely sax-y "Turn the Page." Aw yeah. Ladies always dance sexy to that one. I digress. Here's the list.

"Smoke Rings in the Dark"
"I Love This Bar"
"Wonderful Tonight"
"An Ugly Girl Told Me No"
"Wave on Wave"
"Amarillo By Morning"
"Much To Young"
"Change In My Pocket"
"Blues Man"
"Wayfaring Stranger"
"Silver Wings"
"Fast As You"
"But For the Grace of God"
"Lacy’s Song"
"Farwell Party"
"Don’t Close Your Eyes"
"Midnight in Montgomery"
"The Fireman"
"Honk If You Honkytonk"
"Knocking on Heaven's Door"
"Stars On The Water"
"Boot Scootin’ Boogie"
"Sweet Home Alabama"
"Give Me Three Steps"
"Help Me Make It Through The Night"
"Trashy Women"
"Walkin’ After Midnight"
"Folsom Prison Blues"
"Tulsa Time"
"Pride and Joy"
"Who’s Been Talking"
"Her Goodbye"
"Your Cheatin Heart"
"Nothing On But The Radio"
"Seminole Wind"
"Don't Be Cruel"
"Ramblin' Man"
"Turn the Page"
"Drinkin' Dark Whiskey"
"Some Beach"

The following picture slipped into the pile, but it's worth the viewing. Here, one of Badly Bent's faithful and more militant fans takes a hard stance with a public protest against questionable reproduction in Oklahoma by attaching profylactics to her headgear and screaming "stop unsafe Oklahoman inbreeding!" around the bar. Unfortunately, her cries fell on deaf ears and inbreeding continues in Oklahoma. Sox and Yanks tonight on ESPN. Sox took the first game of the last series between the two in Yankee Stadium, 7-3. That's three consecutive prepositions. Gangsta! Gangsta!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Well, it should come as no surprise that Vegas' own Super Cr3w took "America's Best Dance Crew" title last night. Yeah, I don't care what you think. I watch it. They're dope. It certainly beats watching the world kick America's ass in track and field. I don't know what's with the gold motif except that it's probably something stupid that Mario Lopez made them do. Tons of respect for these dudes, though. And I ain't gonna hate Super Cr3w even though they're biting the number 3 as a "e." They can do windmills and sweeps until the cows come home. In fact they can do 'em until the cows dry up and squirt powdered milk. And their freezes were sick.

I'm not sure if their winning it all is much of a shock. There's nothing more entertaining than watching b-boys col' get down. These dudes represented to the fullest. Even when they had to hoedown to a "Footloose Megamix" they still rocked it. I resent the judges saying things like, "Ya'll are bringing it back" and "Ya'll are representing for b-boys everywhere!" Firstly, there ain't nothing to "bring back" because it never left. It's just that heads are sleeping. And no b-boy or b-girl needs Super Cr3w to represent them because they just rep themselves. It's not like we're talking about ballet. B-boying as an artform, in its very nature, represents.

Let's talk other notable crews in history. You got 2 Live Crew.
They didn't do much dancing, but they got people to dance. Specifically people who danced with their clothes off. Man, I miss these days. Look at the University of Miami gear! The jackets, the ballcaps. Dudes had mad flava.

Another crew that had flava was my man, Bill Allen better known as (or only known as) Cru Jones. If there's any cat that knows that pimpin' ain't easy, it's Cru Jones. Dude grew up in the sticks, was raised by Rocky Balboa's wife, was slinging papers to make a living and dodged five-0 as he hustled his game harder than anyone out there. It was really stacked against him. Then (if this ain't a rapper story, I don't know what is), without a sponsor, dude just sponsored himself, raised the money to enter Helltrack and took at all the money. Scared money don't make none, fool. He took on Tomax and Xamot, the dynamic dancing twins, as well as gymnast Bart Conner and still managed to come away with the girl from "Full House."

So good in his portrayal of Cru, he hasn't found steady work since. If anyone out there has a product they want him to halk, put the dude in a commerical. He still has popular appeal. Dude just needs work.

It's been a rough week. My grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 88. Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

It's finally Friday...give yourself a high-five.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I'm pressing up some shirts for you kiddies. Time to get my billboards up and going. Here's the deal, I'm giving you, my beloved Root Down readers, a chance to pick the two designs I go with on my first round of shirts. You have to pick a "white" design (one where the image is white and will be printed on a dark shirt) and a "black" design (one where the image is black and will be printed on a light shirt). I tried not to make this a white and black thing, but it's hard these days to avoid it. I got a fairly good deal on shirts, so they should be really cheap. I'm shooting for $5, but need to find out how much printing will be.

I got weird colors in great sizes and great colors in weird sizes, but I got kiddy tees and some long-sleeve 2Xs as well as a few larges and some XLs that you can dry the crap out of and get them to a large. Don't worry, I picked colors with potential. There's no turquoise shirts in there. Problem is: I can't pick a design. Here's what you have to pick from this round:


In my tireless searches to find individuals sharing my last name either representing hardcore or disgracing the name, I found this man. His name is Sam and, yes, we share the same last name. He lives in Oklahoma and plays guitar in a band, Badly Bent.

We're not related, however, I almost felt related. He's a musician. He likes to have a good time. People appear to enjoy being around him. And he's from Oklahoma. I'm not from Oklahoma, but it's nearby. We have a panhandle. They have a swizzlestick. And, in the Texas panhandle, that hard westerly wind is because Oklahoma sucks so much. Oh, we also both live within earshot of I-40.

Sam was born in Henryetta some 53 years ago. He started picking eleven years back and claims that George Strait and Allen Jackson are his two favorite artists (hard to be a big fan if you can't even spell "Alan" correctly). He got paid $200 for his first gig which was at the Henryetta VFW and enjoys "riding his bike" in his free time. I assume he means a motorcycle. But maybe not.

And dude can col' get down. This is Mike. He plays/played in the band. I can't tell if he's an active member, but he looks like that type of cat that gets kicked out of the band on some bull-ish. My bet is dude pinched the hind quarter of someone in a bar and then Sam pulled him aside and said, "Mike, I like to get down like everyone else, but objectification is our number one no-no. You know that."
More on Mike later. Dude's kinda creepy. I hope he's not still in the band because he's gotta be bad for their public image. You can tell the ladies above are unsettled by his appearance by covering their face in the presence of a camera. And he uses a blue lighter.

Sam, however, never misses a photo op (as you'll see). Here, he displays his towering physique. His grand frame has cemented him in Oklahoma folklore as a Paul Bunyan figure. Except his axe is tobacco sunburst Telecaster and he doesn't have a big blue ox, he's got his drummer, James, who listens to Queensryche (I believe it) and Rush (that too). His favorite food is salmon patties with a cheese sauce. You can barf now. Here's James.

Odd that they couldn't find a better photo of James for a closeup. I mean, it's a digital camera. You can just delete the bad photos and take them again. He's either sleeping or in between sneezes. Loving the Rush shirt. Man, dude's a superfan. And, just so everyone knows, Rush sucks ass. Popular opinion will disagree, but I walked to the top of a mountain in Colorado and met a mysterious figure in a dark black cloak and he told me that Rush sucks and Geddy Lee was "born of the devil." He then told me to tell everyone I know. Rush's sound is that of four monkeys in an octagon bludgeoning each other to death with plumbing tools.

Unless my eyes deceive me, that's former Badly Bent bassist objectifying some woman doing a clothed pole dance at a New Year's Eve bash at Prarie Bell Roadhouse! Jeff, you've fallen so far. He's too drunk to even know what he's looking at, poor sonuvabitch.

I don't know. It might not be him, but if it's not, it still doesn't make it right. That picture just gives me chills and not the good kind. Something very "Too Catch a Predator" about it. And that girl barely fits in that outfit, but in Oklahoma, something tells me that's the look you shoot for.

I got some research to do on Badly Bent. I'll make them my new fascination now that Wolfmother has broken up. The rain continues outside. This is four days in a row with rain.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Apparently, the league forgot that Manny wasn't the only Red Sock that could swing a bat. The logic that by taking Manny out of the Sox lineup made it easier to pitch around Papi, put his slow ass on first in a hack-a-Shaq tail-tucking has apparently proved a little more challenging once the Sox moved Youkilis into the cleanup spot. Yeah, don't forget, Youkilis is batting .322 with 22 homers and 82 RBIs. We ain't no suckas. Sox are 10-2 without Manny. Dodgers, I believe, are 8-5. I guess it worked out for both teams except Torre's playing babysitter and made Manny cut his dreads. Welcome to Mannyland, Joey. Manny's already talking, "if I come back next year" talk after a week of "I love L.A., man. This is where I want to be" banter. Dodgers will learn something very quickly: the only thing to trust with Manny is his bat. Everything else is spotty at best.

Friday, baby. Roundhouse got rained out like crazy last night. Mayhem's busting at the seams for some softball action.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This week has been an absolute terror. And it doesn't help that I was up at 3:45 this morning. Sleep just doesn't seem to be something my body is too interested in. It doesn't help that I wake up thinking about the price of crude oil. What the hell?

Something happened over the last six months...Texas Tech is a ranked #11 in the preseason football polls. This could be the very worst thing for Texas Tech as any time they think they're good, they're not. Keep the expectations low. But when you pull off two of the greatest comebacks in bowl history in consecutive years, you tend to gain a bit of attention. Danny and I are catching the first home game of the season when the Red Raiders go up against the University of Massachusetts. Geez, thanks Danny. I didn't even know that UMass had a football team. I'll bring a pillow.

I think that "Intervention" has officially become my favorite reality television show after this week's episode that chronicles a pre-med flunkie that becomes addicted to huffing compressed air and pays for her habit by sleeping with a 46-year old married family man. You just can't write this kind of stuff. This girl huffed 10 cans a day. Kinda makes my daily four cups of coffee look like tee-ball.

The Russians invaded Georgia? Man, I need to call a few friends in Atlanta and make sure everything's alright.

The new Nas album sucks. I've listened to it five times now and I can't hear it. Of course, I'll be the first to admit that I've never considered him half the lyricist he's reverred as being.

I hate Home Depot. I hate everything about that place. It's the Wal-Mart of home improvement. Walking in there gives me an empty and lonely feeling. It's like the Nothing in The Neverending Story. Bad enough that I hate being there so much, but even worse that no trip is a short trip. It takes five minutes just to find an employee and, once you do, it takes five more minutes for them to help you. Then, because they're in such dire financial troubles, they hardly staff anyone on the front end and you spend an additional five to seven minutes behind some moron Nascar fan trying to operate the self-checkout. The other day, I went there to exchange out my propane tank because the local guy was cleaned out of full tanks. It took seventeen minutes to complete the transaction. Home Depot can kiss my ass.

Where was I going with that? Hmm...oh yeah. Despite my hate for Home Depot, the bathroom project is coming along quite well. It should be done by mid-September. We'll plan a formal unveiling that will include beer and beef products.

Ice Cube's doing an in-store in Albuquerque the first of September. Looks like a few of us will be in attendance for the event. Angry Tim's teasing with the thought of having him autograph a used copy of Are We There Yet? I'll be taking my vinyl copy of Amerikkka's Most Wanted.

Apparently, within the next ten years, whites will be the minority in this country. Republicans are scared. I say who cares. Just make sure that "America's Best Dance Crew" doesn't get cancelled and everything's gonna be alright.

Roundhouse goes for deuce tonight. Rockin' it...r'rockin' it.

Monday, August 11, 2008


My man Isaac Hayes died yesterday. Ugh. That really sucks. I had the privelege to see maybe his last performance about a year ago in Memphis when he killed it at the Stax Revue. Dude looked very frail, but still put on the performance of the night. I kinda resent the fact that his legacy in the eyes of the younger generation has been reduced down to the voice of the Chef on "South Park." That's really lame. This man was probably one of the greatest soul men in history, but most of these cats don't even know that. His contributions in the world of hip hop are just as impressive--providing the breaks that would birth a generation. It was Isaac Hayes, Sly and Family Stone and, of course, James Brown. Do this history lesson and see if you can find the following two records. You'll thank me in the way I thanked my homie Clint.

Continuing with the Bummer Monday, Wolfmother disbanded. Whatta kick to the groin. With only one damn record to their name, they break up over "longstanding frictions." Geez, as tight as they were on stage, they couldn't overcome "friction"? Dude, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Guns N Roses, Van Halen...these groups had friction. Even Oasis released some five or six records. How much friction could you really be experiencing?
Whatever. I know Sarah's sharing my sadness today. And Matt. They come in threes--Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes and Wolfmother.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I've been so bad to you. I really have. I've left you alone, frightened, confused. So, to make up for my shortcomings in my service to you, I'm going to attempt to make your visit worth it. It might be difficult because I really have nothing prepared, but whatever, let's do this. Above you'll see Wes "Donkey Lips" Wyrick. We're not related, but dude looks like a kegstanding king kong. First time I've seen a frat boy in my search of the last name. Homie has forsaken his heritage. C'mon, dude, we don't even drink that watered down piss. We're ale drinkers. Whatta punk. Those parties probably have something to do with your massive frame. Get some 574's and start walking that keg home, Assmouth, oops, I mean "Donkey Lips."

Been working intensively on the first of the Owen/j3 collaborations. Below is the tentative cover although I've already changed it. I've been doing most of the work up to this point (about 2 hours is already done) because Owen and I can't ever seem to meet up. So I just started working the mix through in Audacity and, well, it's about 75% done at this point.

The mix brings together both rap, rock, film, funk and Tom Brokaw in celebration of the genre that blew the whole game up: Gangsta Rap. I've always been reluctant to use such a term only because I always found it as a horrible stereotype and oversight because, over time, media channels were just lumping any rapper with a parental advisory sticker on the front a "gangsta rapper" when you could put on any rock record back then and hear worse (i.e. Appetite for Destruction). But I wanted the mix to, firstly, be dope and listenable and, secondly, either parody the mass misconceptions of the genre or simply exploit them. As to say, "You thought "Cop Killer" was bad? Try this." This ain't your little brother's mix. This is for the adults. This is for the aging hip hop head. This is for the dude that complains about nothing being dope anymore. This is for that cat that fell out of love with hip hop. This is for you if you haven't heard "New Jack Hustler" in ages.
It probably will time near two and a half hours after it's completed. At that length, I had thought that it would be dope to have my own Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon thing goin' except I would sync up mine with American Me. Oh, and it's not called Gangsta Gangsta, but rather Gangsta Boogie. Here's the tracklisting up to the point I'm at:

Isaac Hayes "Hung Up on My Baby," Chicago Gangsters "Gangsta Boogie," Geto Boys "Gangsta of Love," Steve Miller "The Joker," Ice Cube "Endangered Species," NWA "100 Miles and Runnin'," Ice T "Original Gangsta," Cream "Sunshine of Your Love," MC Twist "Dope Story," MC Twist "S-M-O-K-I-N-G-C-O-K-E," Chuck Cornish "Ali Funky Thing," Cypress Hill "Pigs," Royal Flush "Call the Cops," Compton's Most Wanted "They Still Gafflin'," MC Twist "Bad Influence Intro," MC Twist "A Step Beyond," Geto Boys "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta," Pink Floyd "Money," Geto Boys "Let a Ho Be a Ho," Above the Law "Murder Rap," Gene Chandler "Duke of Earl," Cypress Hill "Hand on the Pump," Scarface "Your Ass Got Took," Eazy E "Boyz-n-da-Hood," Gary Numan "Films," Royal Flush "Watch Out for the Plants," Ice Cube "Steady Mobbin'," Face Down "Medellin Cartel," Convicts "Free World," Ice T "New Jack Hustler" and Above the Law "Livin' Like a Hustler."

Yeah, I go deep. And it's one continuous mix. Thinking of maybe posting it as a podcast or something so that you can just download it right into your iPod. Maybe I'll just bust it up on zshare or something. Be patient. Owen and I are gonna listen to what we have so far over a six pack this afternoon. I have a feeling he's going to happy with it.

I swear I'm gonna get those jerseys out to you peeps soon. Maybe this next week. Jerseys are $15. I'll give you some options on payment in the package. I didn't forget about you. Kris, I'll just send yours in the mailbag. Be on the lookout.

Paul McCartney was in town this week. He's travelling cross-country on Route 66 in the Bronco that he first kissed his now-girlfriend in. I wonder what he thought once he got out west of the Yellow where there's absolutely nothing for about four hours. My guess is something like, "Geez, this blows." There was a spotting at our store just a few blocks down the road from the house. Crazy. You'd think if he'd already travelled half of Route 66, someone would've caught onto it by now and we could've gotten some warning. I wouldn't had mind meeting him. I would've asked him why he's always talking in photos. The above photo was taken from a Circle K in Springfield, IL on the same trip.

On "America's Best Dance Crew" this week, Super Cr3w knocked out Fanny Pak. Thank goodness. There is something right in the universe at this time. I really had a feeling that they might get bounced, but they killed it (or as Lil' Mama would say, "Kill't it.")

Geez, I just read that Bernie Mac died. That sucks. Must watch Kings of Comedy today in his memory. Dude was killer. Two big comedians this year.

Clay Aiken's a dad?! Uh. Hmm. Aight, whatever. John Edwards had an affair with a woman?! Geez, the earth's rocked off its axis.

Do people really think Bennagin's is an authentic Irish experience?

I always try to care about the Olympics, but I really don't. I mean, c'mon, baseball's still on. Speaking of, I never made it on my Red Sox diet. Once I heard that Manny got traded, I had to watch baseball. He's been succeeding in LA quite well. Guess that long plane ride had a therapeutic effect on his MRI-negative knee. Dope that he's playing for Joe Torre now. Check out this telling photo.
I know LA's enjoying him out there. I still got him on my fantasy team so I certainly don't mind because he's hitting home runs like free throws. That strong National League pitching! Cubbies are winning it this year anyway. You heard it here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


When I reminisce over you, Patio Burrito. F'real.

I was in college at Texas Tech when I feel in love with the Patio. And I fell hard for it. I think my first Patio was a chicken with the light sour cream-ish sauce in the middle. I doused it in salsa and packed it down. I was hooked. I even remember: two minutes on high for one, 3:30 for two. I always ate two at a time. Never just one.

It took a while to get that timing down. Sometimes I'd burn myself on the first bite and spit out a huge, half-chewed chunk of burrito onto the plate. Other times, I'd find myself with a bean ice cube. That was more unpleasant than getting a second degree burn. Trust me. Once I got it down, though, I could've prepared that meal while sleepwalking.

My favorite combo was chicken and the beef and bean. I'd lather 'em both up in salsa and then crush potato chips on top. Yeah, I know it's sick, but college kids eat some disgusting stuff. I'm serious when I say that I probably ate Patio burritos for four out of my seven lunches a week. Easily.

And I managed to hold my weight at 200 pounds. Steady. How does that happen?

I gave up the Patio when, well, I started dating my now lovely wife. I mean, I juggled both for a while, but it would be too difficult to hold on to both. The Patio had to go. Something very juvenile about packing back microwavable burritos everyday. Patio, I never fell out of love with you. There just wasn't room in my life for you and happiness. Or you and health for that matter. Honestly, I see you at the store and I get a little vomitous. I'm just a new man now. I hope you don't hold it against me.