Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

::Superbizzee Invades East Village Radio...TONIGHT (11.17.09)::

Tune in to Jon Oliver's East Village Radio show The Main Ingredient...TONIGHT!! Featuring his guest of honor...ME!!! I'll be spinning a few tunes and discussing my music journalism career, including my contribution to Wax Poetics' Issue #37: The Michael Jackson issue! Tuesday, November 17th from 12-2am (crack of dawn)!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

::Upscale Magazine:: November 09 issue::

Check out the latest issue of Upscale Magazine and read what I REALLY think about the latest Whitney Houston comeback! Page 21! On newsstands NOW!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

::Dear Vestax & Numark, You Officially Suck::

Wouldn't life be sweet if vinyl records were 3 inches in diameter? Crate digging woes and storage issues for OCD vinyl audiophiles like me would vanish in a puff of smoke. I mean, think about it...this little jawn would fit right into your pocket:

(YouTube video embedded)

But alas, it would all be at the expense of maximum groove capacity. So much for wishful thinking. What prompted such a random thought, you ask? Well, I've finally come to the conclusion that the Numark PT-01 USB (and its less tech savvy predecessor, the PT-01) is a laughable piece of technology. I've had mine for a year now (upgraded from both the Vestax Handy Trax and the PT-01) and have had variable speed issues and general design gripes. It's far too bulky for easy travel and maximum portability (utilizing 6 D batteries with measurements like 12" X 12" X 4", this jawn is pretty heavy when fully loaded):

It's hard to conceive that this hulking monster was even designed and manufactured in the 21st century. It's almost as if Numark dusted off an old design from the mid nineties and decided to roll with it nearly 10 years later. Same thing with the Handy Trax. I mean, all the YouTube vids showing DJs mixing with a set of portable turntables are great for PR...

(YouTube video embedded)

(YouTube video embedded)

...but how many people who buy these things are buying them with the intention of actually juggling beats with them?! C'mon. Seriously. Most folks buy these things for crate digging. Period. So portability and streamlined design are paramount for most of the folks who intend to use it.

However...instead of writing scathing letters to Vestax and Numark...I just decided to upgrade. Well, kinda. It's actually a throwback upgrade. Say hi to my newest toy, the Audio Technica Mister Disc!

(YouTube video embedded)

Originally manufactured in 1983 by Audio Technica, the Mister Disc (model # AT-770) was sold exclusively in the U.S. market while its close cousin the Sound Burger (model # AT-727) was sold in Audio Technica's native Japan. The only distinguishing factor between the two, besides the name, was the fact that Mister Disc was only available in a metallic silver while the Sound Burger was made available in a variety of lively colors:

Its been praised both for its sound quality (attributed to its magnetic cartridge versus the more ubiquitous ceramic cartridges used by the Vestax and the Numark models) and portability (it utilizes 3 C batteries with the measurements 11.4" X 4" X 2.5"). That same year Sony (the OTHER Japanese electronics company) came out with a competitive, more innovative take on the Sound Burger/ Mister Disc:

The Flamingo was an upright version of the Audio Technica machine. Actually, they jacked the design. Straight up. But the main difference was that the Flamingo was a vertical loading design that utilized a tone arm with linear tracking. DAMN!!

(YouTube video embedded)

Flamingos are harder to find than the Sound Burger/ Mister Disc...and are hella expensive! But there have also been other "bites" of the Audio Technica design. Such as Dual's PRP 5:

...also jacked and manufactured by German electronics company Saba as the McDisc (McDisc = Burger...get it?):

(YouTube video embedded)

And the Twin Singer:

...which lived up to its name by also having a recessed cassette tape player:

But I digress...either way, the Mister Disc is a great solution to my problem. I managed to snag one recently (had to pay a small fortune, of course...but not as much as most) and can't wait to take it out with me on my next dig. Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

::Whitney Houston: "Million Dollar Bill" (snippet)::

Apparently, the 80s princess of pop is back in the saddle. Again. Unveiled to select celebrities and members of the press at lavish listening events in NYC, Los Angeles, and London, Whitney Houston's 6th studio album I Look To You is said to be her strongest full-length effort in years. And while I usually take PR buzz with a grain of salt, "Million Dollar Bill" has me intrigued to say the least. The throwback feel of this track leans heavily upon the sound of Philly female disco trio First Choice and the Patrick Adams underground dance funk empire. Helmed by Swizz Beats:

...and his romantic muse of the past few years, Alicia Keys:

...the track definitely has that "get-yo'-ass-out-yo'-seat" roller disco appeal. Unfortunately, the snippet is truncated just as the chorus begins to build. Not sure if this is a single or a buzz track, but if this is any indication of what Whitney's got up her sleeve (save for the sappy R. Kelly-penned title track)...I'm inclined to believe the PR hype. Stay tuned...

Download here.

I Look To You in stores & online August 31st!

Monday, August 3, 2009

::Ancestry In Progress::


Your legacy has left an indelible impression on the world-at-large.
Thank you for the precious gifts you bore.
May your journey be peaceful and radiant.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

::Ancestry In Progress::

03.74 – 07.31.09

Your legacy has left an indelible impression on the world-at-large.
Thank you for the precious gifts you bore.
May your journey be peaceful and radiant.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

::XLR8R Magazine::Issue 127::

Check my review of the latest album by Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Nuclear Evolution: The Age Of Love in XLR8R's issue 127 - page 76. On newsstands NOW!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

:: Stones Throw X Cold Chillin:::

You know the label. You know the history. What more needs to be said...except IT'S ABOUT F*CKIN' TIME!!!

Cop gear here.

::Mayer Hawthorne:: A Strange Arrangement - Deluxe Edition::

I ♥ Stones Throw. You can just feel their evolution, man. They're not some begrudged, crumbs-on-the-table, piecemeal, backpack rap label leftover from the 1990s golden era of underground hip-hop. They stay on the cusp, and not simply because they're in pursuit of the almighty dollar. They have become the barometer of what an indie Hip-Hop entity should strive to be: a quasi-full service company pushing the boundaries of the genre while simultaneously setting a standard. Not an easy feat. And brazenly weathering 13 years in the tempestuous waters of a stormy music industry, above or below terra firma, that has been in decline for the past decade deserves a f*ckin' federal proclaimation.

But enough ego stroking...this is merely one example of why I think these kats are dope. In the fall, they will finally issue Ann Arbor native Mayer Hawthorne's blue-eyed throwback soul long player A Strange Arrangement. "So the f*ck what," you say? Well, these dudes have chosen to package his album with a 4" vinyl disc containing two exclusive non-album cuts!! YUP!!! 4 f*ckin' inches!!!! Any 30+ folks who remember the vinyl discs that were manufactured on the back of cereal boxes...

(Jackson 5 disc cut from the back of a 1972 Frosted Rice Krinkles cereal box)

...or the short-lived Flexi Disc

...THIS ONE'S FOR YOU!! The 4" disc will be packaged with both the full-length 12" vinyl and CD releases.

I guess it's good news for all us obsessive compulsive collector nerds. Bad news for all you folks rockin' the old-school semi-automatic turntables.

More info here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

:::Michael Jackson Public Tribute @ Apollo Theater:: 6/30:::

Even though crowds have been gathering underneath the legendary Apollo Theater's marquee for the past 5 days since the news of Mike's death...

(Visit blog to view embedded YouTube video) the general public will be granted admission into the theater for a special tribute. Starting at 2PM, the theater will allow 600 fans at a time into the building to pay tribute to the King Of Pop. Details on exactly what the tribute entails have been foggy. Some sources state that fans will be able to view a compiled video tribute, others state that both the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Apollo Theater president & CEO Jonelle Procope will both deliver a eulogies and testimonies respectively. At any rate, the last group of 600 will be granted admission to the tribute at 8PM. So if you're planning to go...then GO! Word has it that folks were camped out in line in front of the Apollo since last night. More info here.

::Video: How To Moonwalk Video::

This is for all y'all bamas that "forgot." For all y'all sensitive thugs and haters that try to push that s'medium red leather zipper jacket and black studded belt to the back of your closet and act like you never donned the Emperor's new clothes.

(Visit blog to view embedded YouTube video)
...and this is for the unsung originator. Bump the French mime claim...let's give credit where credit is due. Respect to Jeffrey Daniel after 27 years of props in escrow.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

::Cornel West & Carl Dix @ Aaron Davis Hall - NYC 7/14::

Two radical Black men on one stage. Now that's top billin'. What more can I say? Being that the last Cornel West event at Cooper Union sold out almost instantaneously, I-WILL-NOT miss this one. Don't play yourself. Show up. More info here.

Revolution Books presents...
The Ascendancy of Obama-
And The Continued Need for Resistance & Liberation:
A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Carl Dix

Tickets: $20 ($10 with student ID)
Premium Tickets: $100. Group rates also available
To purchase tickets:
From Revolution Books: 212-691-3345
From Harlem Stage: 212-281-9240 ext.6, or online

For more information or to volunteer,
call Revolution Books at 212-691-3345

CORNEL WEST is one of America's most provocative public intellectuals and has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." Dr. West currently teaches at Princeton University.

CARL DIX is a longtime revolutionary activist and a spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6 - six GI's who refused orders to go to Vietnam in 1970. Carl served 2 years in Leavenworth Military Penitentiary for this stand.

:::WESC Alp Horn Headphones:::

Now I've never claimed to be a product whore or a gear junkie...

And I'm always preaching my anti-consumerism shtick from atop my soap box...

But when I saw these joints at the WESC store on Lafayette yesterday...

I fell in "like." Notice I didn't say "love."

Truth be told, the sound on these joints might be questionable. And I've always hated on the Skull Candy cans, being that they're shining examples of style over substance. I'm of the mind of going with reputable names. People who have been making quality audio products for years tend to know what they're doing...and have a good track record to show for it. As far as Skull Candy and One is a newbie, the other is a clothier. You make the call.

But aesthetically, the Alp Horn joints are funky as hell. On some retro sh*t. Like I should be listening to a portable 8-track player with them. But at $110 (even though the first design and colorways were introduced last summer), I'll wait it out. More info on the Alp Horn headphones here.

Also available in chocolate brown/ yellow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

::Black Girl Ugly @ WOW Cafe Theater::

Sh*t. I hate being the straggler who comes to the party after all the liquor is gone. Well, looks like I'm that dude tonight. At any rate, I feel compelled to let folk know about a little production at E. 4th Street's Wow Cafe Theater called Black Girl Ugly starring Ashley Brockington, Nicole Cain, and Lee Avant. When I first heard about it, I was a bit skeptical. After reading the synopsis, I thought it was going to come off like some pared down version of Ntozake Shange's groundbreaking 1976 stage play For Colored Girls...

But with the revival of Shange's play on Broadway recently thwarted due to loss of funding (despite a cast which included India.Arie), I guess Black Girl Ugly is as close as it's gonna get. But to its benefit, Black Girl Ugly may employ a bit more immediacy, being that it's a contemporary multimedia performance art piece verses simply a stage play. Hmm. Go out and see for yourself tomorrow night. Unfortunately, tomorrow night is also the last performance. So make the trip to the East Village and see these ladies tell their story about the imposition of angular standards of beauty from the other side of the looking glass. More info on the play here. Visit Black Girl Ugly at MySpace here.

Black Grrrlz R Dee-licious presents...
Black Girl Ugly
...a multimedia performance piece investigating Black Girl self esteem.

June 11th through June 27th , 2009
Weekends only: Thursday, Friday & Saturday @ 8pm

WOW Café Theater
59-61 East 4th St.
(between Bowery & 2nd Ave)
4th Floor
F train to 2nd Ave.
Tickets: $10 at the door
For Reservations: 718-419-1094

It ain't easy comin' up Black not to mention female, in these so-called United States. Have you ever considered how difficult it is to cultivate a healthy self-image growing up surrounded by the superficial din of white media? In Black Girl Ugly Ashley Brockington, Lee Avant & Nicole Cain take you into the collective subconscious of Black Girls trying to hold fast to their love of self. Through movement, poetry and song they contrast growing up surrounded by the "truth" of white girl beauty while living in the reality of Black Girl Ugly. True to their legacy these artists offer no clean endings in this story of black girl victory. The contra-fictions linger and always will.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

::Ancestry In Progress::


Your legacy has left an indelible impression on the world-at-large.
Thank you for the precious gifts you bore.
May your journey be peaceful and radiant

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

:::MLK FREE Summer Concert Series 2009 Line-Up @ Wingate Field::Brooklyn, NYC:::

We all know about both Central Park SummerStage and Prospect Park Celebrate Brooklyn's dope summer concert line ups. But if you ain't up on the Wingate Park Martin Luther King Summer Concert Series, you missin' out (Crown Heights, STAND UP!)! For those that like a bit more soul food on their plate (seasoned with a likkle bit curry), this is more your speed. Like clockwork, every Monday evening brings a new free show!

Here's this year's line up:

* July 13: Keyshia Cole & Lyfe Jennings
* July 20: The Ojays, Russell Thomkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, Jerry Butler, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes
* July 27: Anita Baker & Charlie Wilson
* August 3: Jazmine Sullivan & Robin Thicke
* August 10: Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, Ruben Studdard
* August 17: Yolanda Adams & Israel Houghton
* August 24: Sean Paul & Mighty Sparrow

Shows "start" at 7:30 PM, but if you learned anything from the Erykah Badu & Patti LaBelle shows last summer...GET THERE MAD EARLY!! THE LINE IS BANANAS!!

More info here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

:::DJ Spooky's Rebirth Of A Nation @ MoMa 6/22-6/28:::

DJ Spooky (a.k.a. Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. That Subliminal Kid) is an absolute beast. It has definitely been a pleasant experience seeing this kat evolve from just a quirky Black instrumental electronica artist hailing from D.C. into a progressive, well-versed music intellectual and multimedia artist. As a matter of fact, he's number four on my list of favorite Black music intellectuals (who also double as artists):

1. ?uestlove

2. Greg Tate

3. Branford Marsalis (his brother Wynton is pretty dope too)

But back to Spooky...I was kinda kicking myself in the arse for not being able to catch the premier of his Rebirth Of A Nation audio/ video performance at last year's Tribeca Film Festival. Good thing he brought it back. From June 22nd through the 28th, the Museum of Modern Art will be hosting Spooky's retooling of the controversial 1915 G.W. Griffith classic film The Birth Of A Nation. Ah, yes. When overt racism was king. For more info, go here.

- Clip from DJ Spooky's Rebirth Of A Nation.
(Visit blog to view YouTube video embedded)

In addition, as a part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM) 2009 Next Wave Festival, another one of DJ Spooky's A/V creations will be produced in December entitled Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica. This creation with a focus on the topic of climate change will not only include Spooky's own bleeps, blips, and sound bites from a recent trip to Antarctica, but also a two-piece string section and grand piano from the International Contemporary Ensemble. Muy interesante **strokes beard**. More info here.

- Clip from DJ Spooky's Rebirth Of A Nation.
(Visit blog to view YouTube video embedded)

:::Butt In Ass::NYC Video Art Exhibit 6/22-7/3:::

Everybody needs a lil' Butt...every now and then. In memory of the seedier NYC of yesteryear, Butt Magazine - in tandem with American Apparel - will unveil a new video art exhibit at Asia Song Society in TriBeCa next week. From June 22nd to July 3rd, roll though and view works from 19 artists shown in buddy booths. I'm guessing the subject matter will vary, but then again the adjective "arousing" says I just may be wrong. Just maybe. I wonder what these folks plan to do to deter sticky seats. The Asia Song Society website says that the exhibit opens this Saturday, June 20th...which slightly contradicts the above info. I'd call in advance if you're planing to visit tomorrow to make sure. At any rate, should be interesting. And although Butt is a gay mag, I've become increasingly intrigued by visual art these days and plan on making a few video pieces myself sometime soon. So I guess I can stand some inspiration. Even if the subject matter is not necessarily...up my alley. Pause. For more info, go here.

Butt In Ass
An Exhibition of Arousing Video Art Screened in Buddy Booths
June 22nd - July 3rd
Asia Song Society
45 Canal Street
Between Orchard and Ludlow

:::Lewis Forever @ New Museum::Thursdays in June Residency:::

The Lewis Family are...umm...unique. Yeah...that's it. Unique. Drawing on their half-Dominican, half-Jewish background, siblings Ligia, Sarah, George, and Isabel have birthed a brand of performance art that captivates, amuses, and perplexes all in one fell swoop.

(Visit the blog to see YouTube video embedded)

After presenting their first performance piece Freak The Room at P.S. 122 last year, Lewis Forever has become a collective on the cutting edge buzzing on the tongues of the press and the art world alike. At present, these folks are artists-in-residence at the New Museum in downtown Manhattan.

(Visit the blog to see YouTube video embedded)

I ventured down to see their performance yesterday evening:

And I must say...I was not anticipating any of the events to come. They integrated audience participation, coloring, cut out dolls on popsicle sticks, operatic swooning, and a quasi-disturbing ode to Barack Obama. Considering that the typical American audience is confined inside the convention of "I paid my money to see you perform," it was quite different for me to be involved in the performance instead of being objectively entertained. But, to my shook something inside me to life. Thanks, y'all!

(Visit the blog to see YouTube video embedded)

While their style of performance art may not be for everybody, I encourage you to do something out of the ordinary. Their New Museum residency ends next Thursday on June 25th. Find out more about The Lewis' here.