Vince, the C.D. Cultural Attache to the Lake County Embassy, is catching The Kickdrums tonight at the B-Side. In celebration of both that event (which, if you're reading this on Monday, you can probably still make it to) and in recognition of our continuing commitment to post all available remixes of "Two Weeks," we bring you the following track. Word. Snag the rest of the excellent Kickdrums mixtapes here. (The track below segues into a slightly manipulated version of The Specials' "Ghost Town," so get on it.)
Tag Archive: Jay-Z
Sure we're a music blog, but today is LeBron's day and the rest of us are just waiting until 9 PM EDT. Though I generally concur with Brian's comments earlier and am well aware of the absurdity of this entire situation, I still can't pull myself away from hysteria. Collectively, we all have a vested interest in the outcome of tonight's shenanigans: three of us currently reside in Cleveland, I am a New Yorker via Chicago currently living in Brooklyn, and all four of us (I assume) hate Miami.
Say what you will about the Summer of LeBron, but at this point it's beyond anyone's control. The economy is still failing, there is more oil than water in the Gulf, the sun is melting most of the east coast, and all anyone can talk about is which professional basketball organization will be granted the honor of paying a 25-year-old egomaniac upwards of $120 million to play a game. Luckily this will all be over soon, but in the meantime I have compiled a playlist (with commentary) featuring all of the teams and cities involved in this spectacle. So at least we have something to listen to as we sit on the edges of our collective seats for the next nine hours…
Cleveland Cavaliers – Staying in Cleveland is the only option if LeBron wants to avoid being a complete villain. The problem is he would be coming back to the same team (minus Shaq) that hasn't been able to get it done the last three seasons. Clearly he wants to stay, as evidenced by his lobbying for Bosh, but if winning is the goal it will be hard for him to return. Signing on for another five to six years would require a leap of faith in the Cavs' ability to improve their roster in the very near future, but a big part of me wants to see it happen.
New Jersey (Brooklyn) Nets – Though I would love to see him stay in Cleveland, If LeBron is going to leave I would prefer to see him in a Nets uniform. I can't really back that up from a basketball perspective, and I highly doubt it will happen, but I am walking distance from the new arena being built for them in Brooklyn. It's unlikely that he would want to go to a rebuilding team, but the possibility of single-handedly putting sports back on the map in Brooklyn (and hanging with Jay-Z) could be appealing.
Miami Heat – As of press time, most experts are considering Miami the favorite. I happen to think that no matter how many rings James wins in South Beach, doing it on a glorified all-star team would tarnish his legacy. If we have learned anything about LeBron over the last month, it should be that he is far too selfish to share the spotlight with Wade and Bosh. For that reason alone, I think James in a Heat jersey is almost as ridiculous as this song.
New York Knicks – The Knicks are definitely still in the thick of things, despite having the weakest roster of the five teams in contention. If New York lands LeBron it will be based solely on the potential for off-court dollars and the allure of playing in the spotlight. They could be a contender a year or so down the road, especially if they land Carmelo Anthony or another big name next summer, but basing a decision on that could be a risky endeavor.
Chicago Bulls – At this point Chicago seems like a long shot, though it's likely that they would provide The King with his best shot at winning a title now and over the next few years. The shadow of Jordan could be plus or a minus depending on how you look at it, but the Bulls would be a legit title contender immediately and (maybe more importantly) James would be the unquestioned star on the team.
I am omitting Los Angeles from the list because the Clippers have absolutely no shot. I'd feel sorry for our Los Angeleno readers, but they already have Kobe and I'm pretty sure most of them aren't even aware that the Clippers play in the same town. As a consolation prize, I'm going to throw some Tupac at you anyway.
Feel free to get at us in the comments section you have any thoughts, rants, or rumors to share.
(Editor's note: I know that it is LeBron day. I don't care. I'm not even watching his masturbatory special on the television. Several Dicks and I will be taking in Small Black, Beach Fossils and Dreadful Yawns at the Grog Shop. I'll read about where the King of Douchiness and/or Douchebags decides to play basketball in tomorrow's paper. If he's back in Cleveland, I'll be happy, but will harbor resentment in my heart. If he's somewhere else, I'll throw D batteries at his head every single time he comes back here (I'll probably miss, as I throw like a sissy, but whatever.).)
I was mostly goofing when I called this summer the summer of remix, but our own Diamond Jim took me for serious and rolled on. I'll follow suit. We've got some doozies for that ass today, a couple of joints that you're going to want to blast when you're taking it down a notch, trying to slow your roll a tad to make time with the fillies, if you can dig it. The Prince of Ballard (whom you've probably heard of if you're wearing expensive jeans) describes his shit thusly: "my shit is ghetto and i'm in this stricktly [sic] for entertainment purposes." Sure, I can get down with that. We've got two tracks today, both of which mesh classic rap (Jay-Z in the former case, Easy-E in the latter) with neo-classic or legitimately classic funk (the Dap Kings and Dyke and the Blazers, respectively). Both work really well. I'm nodding my head as I type. Enjoy.
You could probably start a blog that exclusively posted Jay-Z mash-ups and get fifteen thousand hits a day. Jay-Z and Weezer on Monday. Jay-Z and Pavement on Tuesday. Jay-Z and The Verve on Wednesday. And so on. We’ve posted at least four Jay-Z remixes ourselves this year. Number five is a doozy, however. This genius put Mr. Carter’s rhymes in front of fat Radiohead beats, resulting in what is almost certainly the apex of this particular niche genre. I love more or less every song at the Jaydiohead website, but slamming one of the best tracks on American Gangsta’ into one of the best tracks from In Rainbows really makes me smile. If you’re heading out to engage in some commerce, pumping this through your headphones might make the line at Target a little more palatable. (Aside: I’m supposed to be writing a paper right now. I’ve got two behemoths due on December 17. Instead, I’m trolling the internet for bizarre remixes. I’m never going to graduate.)
Yesterday was quite a let down for most of us at Dick Headquarters. The Browns making it to overtime with the Bengals was more than we could ask for, but losing with a few seconds left was heartbreaking. One of us Dicks, a Bengals fan, was a happy camper though. Good for him, I guess. After the game I chose to drown my sorrows in lots and lots of bacon. It made me feel a little better. I recommend it to all of you carnivores whose favorite team can’t seem to manage a win. In honor of the black cloud over Cleveland today, I decided to post some random mixes of The Black Keys. The second song was mixed by Mr. Dibbs, a Cincinnati DJ. I bet he had a good Sunday.
wallscenery demos is another band that popped into our electronic mail unannounced. (We’re assuming they’ve got some sort of e.e. cummings thing going on, as all of the contact we’ve had with the band and their new record has been capital letter free. We’re going to accede to what we perceive as their wish and roll without caps when we refer to the band, even though we find it just a touch twee.) Frontman James Hicken passed along a link to the website and let us know that they had new material on the horizon. It’s one of those e-mails that I’m glad I responded to. The album, check this!, is a sprawling, mostly uninterrupted string of fifteen finely crafted vaguely lo-fi, genre-hopping indie rock songs with eight hard to describe bridges in between. The songs meld into one another, aided by the parenthetically titled space fillers. Sometimes the bridges are ill-defined white noise or guitar slices or snatches of dialogue; regardless of their form, they serve to help the record work as a whole. As a listener, it seems like you’re getting a single forty minute song, instead of an album composed of disparate pieces. A song like the delicate, dreamy “they’ve fallen down” is linked to the slightly more roughly edged, nearly surreal “riding with the tide” (and it’s wildly absurd spoken word bits) by the twenty seconds of funky distortion that is “(voxtub).” Both songs are killer, but when they’re connected as inextricably as they are on the record, they hit a bit harder. (For the record: the spoken word bits on “riding with the tide” are worth the price of admission on their own for fans of the voiceover trick. See: “Little Acorns.”) wallscenery demos cite Guided By Voices as an influence and the scattershot, quick hitting approach of something like Bee Thousand is clearly evident. This seems to be a bit more of a unified vision than Bob and the boys generally pumped out though; wallscenery demos are doing something that’s worth paying attention to. The two tracks below give a taste of what they’re about, but it’s well worth exploring further. My personal favorite track is the deeply fuzzed out “raw shit,” which is a song I’ll be hitting repeat on quite a bit for a while. On the other end of the spectrum, “my highest regards” sounds like the bastard child of “Here She Comes Now” from White Light/White Heat and “Fade into You.” The guitar line is one for the ages and it just keeps rolling out of the speakers. On a record where many of the tracks hover right around the two minute mark, its three minute length makes it feel like “Machine Gun.” Suffice it to say that I love it.
Live tracks from The Clash this week. I talked about them super briefly in last week’s post and haven’t been able to stop listening to the first record for the last five days as a result. London Calling is, obviously, the truth, but I often enjoy the snarl of The Clash as much or more. There’s, arguably, nothing as visceral as “Garageland” in the rest of the catalog, so I spend a lot of my Clash time with The Clash. The two tracks below don’t really need a lot of introduction or preface. Turn up the speakers though.
Last up this week is the Top 13 Albums Project, which is currently keeping me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The concept is simple and clean: tell these folks the 13 best records of the aughts (2000-2009). (I’m going with the aughts. If you think you have a better moniker for the past decade, suck it.) They’ll tally up the votes and offer a definitive list after the voting closes on October 2. For my money, number one’s got to be Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but I could certainly be wrong. (Is there a way to wager on this?) I’m not terribly interested in the lists that individuals might generate (I think Kevin’s touched on this in the past), but I think that, as a group, we can come up with a list that we’re all happy with. (Just as an aside, or maybe as a cautionary example: I love Pavement just as much as the next guy (maybe more), but did they so define the 1990s that they deserve two records in the top ten from that decade? Probably not. That’s why lists generated by individuals (or faceless corporate drones, a la P4k) are useless and mind crushing. That said, I have no doubt that we here at Citizen Dick will give you a ton of lists as the year concludes. That, friends, is cognitive dissonance. A group list, on the other hand, is something I can get behind. Democracy! Yeah!) I put The Black Album on my list, even though I really wanted to put on the Danger Mouse remix. Long story short, I thought that The Grey Album might be a re-issue and get disqualified or something. Whatever. I have buyer’s remorse. I stand by Jay-Z and the record however, even if all signs point to his new thing being a bit of a flop (“DOA” is awesome, the rest kind of elicits a “meh.”) If I had a time machine though, I’d punch in The Grey Album. “Public Service Announcement,” “What More Can I Say” and “Change Clothes,” amazing on the original release, are transcendent after the addition of Danger Mouse’s manipulated Beatles beats. (Lastly, I’m not going to divulge the rest of my list, as I don’t want to sway your votes.)
(Editor’s note: The two people above are analyzing the phenomenon of “remixes” and “mashups” and their relevance to the current “internet.” The graph the creepy fellow is pointing to represents the roller coaster like voyage of the “remix”in the American zeitgeist. Sideburns lady thinks it’s all cool as long as the acts involved are staples of popular culture. As such, Pavement and Jay-Z everybody. Of secondary interest are the baby seal on top of the monitor and the rotary telephone. Good times.)
I’ve written before about my use of rap music to get myself in the right frame of mind for any number of traditionally masculine activities. On my way to an adult league hockey game? “To Live and Die in LA” works for that. Heading to a professional sporting event wherein I’m invested in my team winning? “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me” fits the bill. Replacing a faucet in my bathroom? The Low End Theory, top to bottom. Happily, I’ve now got some rap music that I can listen to when I’ve got my feet up on the table in a fey coffee house, or when I’m preparing to do some laundry. Jay-Z’s Black Album with Slanted and Enchanted underneath it. This doesn’t make me want to punch somebody in the mouth, it makes me want to give them a hug. I was looking for something else and I stumbled across this and, since it’s been in the ether for forever, you might already have it. If not, you’re in for a treat. I’d slot this particular remix below The Grey Album, but ahead of the one that was smashed up with Weezer. In any event, enjoy, but don’t nod your head too hard.
We’re in Cleveland. It is the NBA playoffs. I’m writing this before game two, which pits our Cavaliers against the reprehensible and asinine Orlando Magic. (If there was any justice in the world, somebody would punch Dwight Howard in the mouth. I’m tired of that dude’s “charisma.”) My Pops and I are scalping tickets to get in the door tonight and I’m in full pre-sporting event tune mode. For me, to a large degree, that means old-school hardcore punk and rap music. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but Fugazi and Jay-Z get me in the mood for playoff hoop. I’m feeling good about this evening’s contest and am assuming that the home town club is going to pull out the victory; however, you’re going to read this on Saturday. If I’m wrong and my boys drop the ball, feel free to jeer me in the comments. If I’m right, and the James Gang rides hard through the opposition, take a deep breath and bask in the glow of roundball perfection.
I’m not going to get verbose today, I’m just going to pass along tunes. You get classic live Fugazi in the form of “Merchandise,” (Which gets me ready for the tip-off, but which very well may be wildly ironic, given that I’m going to a hugely corporate event.) remixed Biggie from the Ratatat fellows, remixed Jay-Z from the ubiquitous Danger Mouse and, just for shits and giggles, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers reminding us that the world is full of stupid people. (I’m looking right at you, Hedo.) Hopefully the sun rises tomorrow on a 1-1 Eastern Conference Finals. I’m feeling confident. If I was in charge of the P.A. at the Gund (I still call it the Gund; back up off of me.), these four tracks would damn near ensure a victory for the wine and gold.