Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love & Happiness.

The Albums: 2009.



4/Black Lips/200 Million Thousand

“We rollin’?”

I want that old time Rock and Roll. I want it to hit me like a freight train, make my toes tap, and my fingers snap, half hug a body to my left or right, and sing along to the feel good affair. I want it raw, lo-fi. Basement tested, Dive Bar approved, drenched in 200 Million Thousand beads of sweat. 200 Million Thousand beats of energy per second, unabashed, loud, kinetic. Rollicking, all ramshackle like, with a touch of Rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Short, PUNGENT, rambling. Long, drawn out, meandering. I want that sludge, that frenzy of fuzz, feedback and vocals yelp-sing-shouting. Rip-Roaring Keys, rhythm sections that bleed, surf guitar shakedowns abundant. Let it grow, start over, SEE GOD, take my heart…wash, rinse, repeat. I wanna look back while steeped in the present. I got a short fuse, but for this I’ll stay attentive, 200 Million Thousand beats per second.
KEY TRACKS: Starting Over/Short Fuse/I'll Be With You

  • 5/Bat for Lashes/Two Suns


  • 6/Passion Pit/Manners


  • 7/Ryan Leslie/Ryan Leslie


  • 8/Amerie/In Love & War


  • 9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic


  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • A Horse with No Name.


    "Best Wishes".

    Words.

    "Certain decades shape the country's political life for generations by leaving behind an era to embrace or, at least as often, to scorn.

    The 1960s were definitely such a decade. The 1930s qualify, as do the 1980s. But as important as all these periods have been, their significance may be dwarfed by the reckless and squandered decade that is, mercifully, ending.

    I'm afraid that the past 10 years will be seen as a time when the United States badly lost its way by using our military power carelessly, misunderstanding the real challenges to our long-term security and pursuing domestic policies that constrained our options for the future while needlessly threatening our prosperity.

    ...Americans instinctively recoil at living too much in the past. Yet we have no choice but to reach a settlement about the meaning of the last 10 years. It is the only way we will successfully turn the next 10 into a decade of renewal.

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: The decade when the U.S. lost its way


  • EARLIER:

  • Pastime Paradise.


  • Promise of a New Day.
  • "Talk, and talk, and talk, and talk!"



    Words.

    "It is never a good idea to let widely disseminated lies and distortions go unchallenged. And the shrill screed that Cheney unloosed Wednesday is so full of outright mendacity that, well, my resolution will have to wait.

    In a statement to Politico, Cheney seemed to be trying to provide talking points for opponents of the Obama administration who -- incredibly -- would exploit the Christmas Day terrorist attack for political gain.

    ...I can find reasons to criticize the administration's response to the Christmas Day attack. Obama and his team were slow off the mark. Their initial statements were weak. Obama shouldn't have waited three days to speak publicly, and when he did he should have shown some emotion.

    But using a terrorist attack to seek political gain? I have a New Year's resolution to suggest for Cheney: Ahead of your quest for personal vindication, put country first."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Dick Cheney's lies about President Obama
  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    4/Kanye West feat. Mr. Hudson/Paranoid

    Another day, another night, another phone convo, another car ride, another night you wanna kill the vibe with another fight, oh here we go! –Sigh- Some people just don’t know when to leave well enough alone. On this wonderfully electro-like jam of a single, Martin Louis the King Jr., allows us to be a fly on the wall as he sorts out his frustrations with a girl who worries bout the wrong thangs, starting fights, trippin off of cold looks, and checking through his cell phone. Baby, come on, NO! What about you? What about me? What about us? It’s a common theme that runs throughout the track, cause though we may only hear the girl on the other side’s scathing thoughts, comments, and actions through the mouth of Mr. West, painting her as some sort of Paranoid worrywart, we also hear lines from Mr. West which lead us to believe that she still may be a girl worth holding on to if they talk it out, and don’t worry about it. Let em give you cold looks baby, cause we look cold. Yeah you heard about the word of mouth, don’t worry bout what we can’t control. You wanna check into the Heartbreak Hotel? Sorry, it’s closed. Bringing it all home is the conversational style and tone in which Kanye recites his lyrics, as if at the top of track when he asks his partners in the stuido to play the track, his phone just rang and he wanted a soundtrack to his conversation with “this chick” on the other line. And the vocal stylings on the hook by Mr. Hudson, stretched to nth degree, pleading, yearning, “anyway, they don’t know you like I do, they’ll never know you” help cement the confusion and back and forth running through Mr. West’s mind when off she goes again with the “talk and talk and talk and talk”. Baby, it’s just you and I. We can work it out. “I can make it good, I can make it hood, I can make you come, I can make you go”, says Mr. West, “I can make it high, I can make it fly, make you touch the sky, hey maybe so…” if you let me, and don’t worry bout it.



  • 5/Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain/Blame It


  • 6/Drake/Best I Ever Had


  • 7/Phoenix/Lisztomania


  • 8/Grizzly Bear/Two Weeks


  • 9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll


  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say


  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You


  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    This heart's on fire...

    5/Bat for Lashes/Two Suns

    “I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broadways I will seek him, whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye whom my soul loveth?” -Song of Solomon, Chapter 3, Verses 2-3.

    Alone in the silence stands Natasha Khan, known more commonly to me, you, and everyone we know as Bat For Lashes,at the top of track one, the open, bare, and percussive opener that is Glass, uttering those first few words from the Song of Solomon, Chapter 3, Verses 2-3 , “I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets”, beginning the narrative and the journey for the flame that sets one heart afire that is Two Suns. For every high, she sings, there must be a low, but for every sun ascending, a lonesome moon must grow, her moon, her companion, a King to accompany and sit beside this Queen of Hearts atop her throne, making the dream of love not too hard to dream, a hard and concrete reality. For the duration of this album, Natasha traverses through each track’s bittersweet symphony, in search of Kingdom Come, in search of that flame in which she seeks refuge and calls home; a place in which he, her King, is family, aligns his planet with hers, and allows her to show him that she can be all that he wants and more and more…

    It’s a delicate and vulnerable, yet grandiose narrative strengthened by Natasha’s faith in a love that knows no bounds, and riveting, dramatic compositions awash in swelling strings, penetrating keys, stirring percussion, and occasional gospel like harmonies. Igniting the sparks of hope and grounded in the foundation of love, Two Suns, shining a light in the dark.
    KEY TRACKS: Daniel/Peace of Mind/Siren Song

  • 6/Passion Pit/Manners


  • 7/Ryan Leslie/Ryan Leslie


  • 8/Amerie/In Love & War


  • 9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic


  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • Promise of a New Day.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Shout Hallelujah! Come on get happy!

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Ought Lang Syne


  • EARLIER:

  • Pastime Paradise.
  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    5/Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain/Blame It

    In theory, the narrative of this song right here ain’t supposed to work when the music is subtracted and it’s applied to real life. Think about it, a guy and a group of his homeboys hit the club for a night out. And the leader of the pack is OUTRAGEOUS, living it up, having a good time, and rolling hard off that Liquid Courage. And this fool can’t be contained, ask his homies, who have let him wander off, and “turn his swag on”, talking to any fly young thing that catches his eye. What can he say? Blame it on the goose, got him feeling loose. Blame it on the ‘tron, got him in the zone. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-al-co-hol!

    So, where were we?…

    Ah yes, so Mr. OUTRAGEOUS is feeling good, feeling great, and here he comes to ask how are you with a slight slur (that autotuned singing of Jamie’s is supposed to mimic loose off that drank talk, right?), full of confidence, and that aforementioned Liquid Courage. “I know you saying what you won’t do,” he says, “But you know we probably gone do, what you been feelin’ deep inside”. Next thing you know he’s refilling your drink, feelin’ on ya butt (WHAT?!), you gettin’ tipsy, and he’s showing you what you been missing in your life. This can’t be life, right? That’ll never go down in such a smooth manner up in da club right? Not in this case. Not when the beat is as silky smooth and darkly lit as the club in which this all takes place, and hummable autotuned hooks and lyrics abound. Not to mention King Autotune himself, T-Pain, popping up at the end quoting The Dream and tossing out that “Tallahassee Love”. “Courting” in the club, with this stance, is never supposed to be this easy or commendable, but boy do Jamie Foxx and T-Pain make it seem believable/possible. Blame it on the vodka. Blame it on the Henny. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-al-co-hol!



  • 6/Drake/Best I Ever Had


  • 7/Phoenix/Lisztomania


  • 8/Grizzly Bear/Two Weeks


  • 9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll


  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say


  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You


  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    06/Passion Pit/Manners

    Love is a battlefield. Love Stinks. Love…it’s a losing game. And, best of all, love hurts, hurts like a goddamn T.K.O.! Ask the men of Passion Pit, who over the course of this album’s 11 tracks fight hard for love, yearn hard for love, and will stop at nothing til that love is attained or returned. Like a wolf howlin’ at the moon, lead singer Michael Angelakos and his fellow lovesick comrades in the band let it all hang out, demanding to be heard, and they’ll try, and they’ll scream, and they’ll beg til they can get what they want and make sense of it all. Along for the ride is the music, dizzyingly hypnotic and wonderfully spastic, ready to burst at the seams, just like Michael’s heart, but doesn’t, never venturing too far off the deep end, keeping the “chaos” (and emotion) under control. Emotionally defiant, yet joyously cathartic, the notes and melodies echo the lyrics’ sentiments and Michael’s yelps, hollers, and pleas, often standing in for his heart when words fail him/escape him/are not needed. The trembling violins at the top of “Swimming in the Flood”; the heavy, plodding keyboard and foggy horn breakdown on The Reeling; The “Sha-la-las” and “Na-Na-Nas” that run throughout the synth-tastic shakedown of Eyes as Candles. Not to mention the bells, whistles, hand claps, and wallowing echoing harmonies that present themselves every so often over the course of the album’s run. Yes there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. A little “Ra-Ra-Siss-Boom-Bah!”/cacophony of sound set in place to soften love’s blow as you try to make sense of it all, hope for the best and keep on climbing higher. Let it, like the love one holds for another, overtake you.
    KEY TRACKS: Moth’s Wings/The Reeling/Sleepyhead

  • 7/Ryan Leslie/Ryan Leslie


  • 8/Amerie/In Love & War


  • 9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic


  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • Pastime Paradise.

    A Look Back.



    For the years 2000-2009.

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Big Zero
  • Failed State.


    The Friendly Skies?

    Words.

    "Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano's initial assessment of the Christmas Day airliner attack -- that "the system worked" -- doesn't quite match the absurdity of "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." But only because she quickly took it back.

    A system that allows a man identified to U.S. officials as a potential threat -- by his own concerned father -- to board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with powerful explosives sewn into his underwear? That lets this man detonate his bomb as the plane prepares to land, igniting a potentially catastrophic fire? That depends on a young, athletic passenger to be seated nearby? That counts on this accidental hero to react quickly enough to thwart the terrorist's plans?

    If that's how the system works, we need a new system.

    Don't misunderstand. I'm not blaming the Obama administration for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged terrorist attack, and it would be reprehensible for anyone to try to use the incident to score political points. The White House is guilty only of defensiveness in not immediately recognizing the obvious: We have a problem. Actually, we have two problems.

    The first is that the incident reveals serious deficiencies in the "system" that Napolitano and others were so quick to defend.

    ...The second problem we face is much bigger, and there is no real solution in sight.

    According to reports of Abdulmutallab's statements to authorities after his arrest, he claims to have gotten the bomb -- and instruction on how and when to use it -- from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. As noted previously in this space, and illustrated by a sobering report Monday in The Post, Yemen features prominently in al-Qaeda's expansion plans. Abdulmutallab's story suggests that an infrastructure for indoctrination, training and bomb-making is already in place, and that this ambitious young branch of al-Qaeda is confident enough to launch an attack on what the George W. Bush administration infelicitously called the "homeland.""

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Air terrorism attempt reveals bigger 'system' failure
  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    6/Drake/Best I Ever Had

    This past summer, Drake made all you so called macks, pimps, playas, and young Romeos look bad, for you see, Summer 2009 was the summer in which “Wheelchair Jimmy” stood up out that chair and breezed his way into your girl’s heart, iPod, and ringtone. Yes this Charming Man wormed his way into your girl’s heart with promises of livin right when he come up on that dough and get his money right, telling her how good she look in “sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on”, talking bout that’s when she the prettiest, “I hope that you don’t take it wrong”, and of course how, well, simply, she the best. And not only did he rap a few bars in her ear to proclaim how much he cares, but he also sang to her dawg, SANG to her that “she the best” man, damn. Now, I know, I know, Drake ain’t/wasn’t talking to your girl directly, but try telling her that. Shit, you probably downloaded or purchased this single too and claimed you got it for your girl or your sister. That’s the way the cookie crumbles when dealing with a humorous (tongue in cheek?), top of the line, head bobbing rap single, right? Don’t be mad that Drake beat you to the punch on the “let me show you how much I love you” tip, just accept it, take notes, and show a brotha some love for reminding you that you need to showcase your affection every now and then to the one you love, especially if “she the best you ever had”.



  • 7/Phoenix/Lisztomania


  • 8/Grizzly Bear/Two Weeks


  • 9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll


  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say


  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You


  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • Wheelz of Steel.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The Cool Kids feat. Boldy James.

    Tires.

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    [I be saying] NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

    While you be saying YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!



  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: Ke$ha - Changing the Face (And Sound) of Rap

  • Beat Beat Heartbeat.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The Drums.

    I Felt Stupid.

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    Sensual Seduction.

    7/Ryan Leslie/Ryan Leslie

    Sex sells. Boy you know, and girl you know it’s true. Girl YOU know I! I! I! wanna sex you up and put it on ya, cause I, yes I, invented sex. Yes, sex sells. But, we’re quick to forget that there’s a beauty that lies in this thing they call subtlety, a sex appeal that comes from just being straight up genuine and spouting words from the heart, letting that person on the other end know how you feel without resorting to relying solely on your sexual prowess in the bedroom. Yes sex sells, because the stance and the subject matter are easy. On his debut LP, Ryan Leslie takes the road less traveled, leaving the all sex all the time talk to his contemporaries, speaking on and offering up words on and to the women that rock his world, jilt him, and often confuse him by writing from his heart, not beneath his waist. On I-R-I-N-A, Ryan utters, “I wanna get to know you/To see what makes you laugh/I wanna be your future/Forget about your past/I wanna make you happy/By just being myself/Cause I can’t be nobody else”. This is who he is, this is the only way in which he operates, by talking to you person to person, adult to adult, on an unabashedly honest and human level. “I’m emotional, I admit/Cause these feelings that I feel for you, just won’t quit”; “Can’t explain just how much you shine/Give me your heart, I’ll give you mine/I’m putting my future on the line/Baby it’s just you and I”; Even thru all the ups and downs, you can't stop the way I feel now/ Even thru the storm, joy & pain, I won't change, still feel the same/Anytime you call I don't care, no matter the reason I’ll be there/Constantly on my mind, and that's why I’m hoping you will be my Valentine...” Real, genuine, relatable on all levels, this is grown folks music, grounded in beats and soundscapes of a smoother, early neo-soul sound in which the grooves are light and on point, and smooth vamping runs rampant. Yes sex sells, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s the little things, the courting, the romance, the talk about us, where we stand, what we want, how we feel, that leaves out the sex, that truly gets the job done, as it does here.
    KEY TRACKS: Valentine/Out of the Blue/Gibberish

  • 8/Amerie/In Love & War


  • 9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic


  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    7/Phoenix/Lisztomania

    So sentimental. Make it work. Think less, but let it grow. Fame awaits. Give the people what they want. It’s not hard. Follow these steps, get it right, let yourself go, and soon you’ll go from a mess to the masses. This is your time!

    And so it goes.

    Littered through out this song’s verses and hooks, is an underlying sense of frustration, an audio visualization of the consumed artists who’s hit a wall, crumpled paper strung across the floor, teeth gnawing on a pencil, scratching his scalp, stuck, curious, wondering how and if this piece of work right here will be something big, or on a smaller scale, something worth repeating and/or returning. Underneath it all is the sound, the sound of a band, who’s backed away from the table, said “fuck it” and put all those worries, fears, and frustrations about hitting it big and making something popular into the song. You can hear it in the tight and precise rhythm section beneath Thomas’ vocals in the verses. You can hear it the way every sound, a throb of the bass, a tinker of the keys, a bang on the drums, is turned up to the nines, clear and sharp.You can hear it in Thomas’ knowing sneer in the bridge as he acknowledges what others want of him and his band “This is your time! Time to show it off!” Think less, but see it grow. Throw caution to the wind. Put that anger and frustration in a song, and see it grow, see yourself grow, “from a mess to the masses.”



  • 8/Grizzly Bear/Two Weeks


  • 9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll


  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say


  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You


  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • The Breaks.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "Seeking to make sense of Barack Obama's first year as president -- and why he has come across as competent but less magical than many Americans hoped -- I've been rereading his autobiography, "Dreams From My Father."

    To revisit that memoir is to be reminded of what a mixed-up childhood the president had. The brilliant but troubled Kenyan father who abandoned his teenage bride and their infant son. The footloose mother who took "Barry" to Indonesia with a second husband, then shipped him back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. The sense of alienation he felt as a young black man growing up with few African American friends or role models.

    Given all that rejection and dislocation in his youth, is it any wonder Obama became so invested in imposing order on his adult life? Chubby as a kid, wayward as a teen, he developed formidable personal discipline, down to his daily exercise routine and abstemious eating and drinking habits. He made a home for himself in Chicago and sought out the stability of marriage and fatherhood.

    Obama also aspired to bring order to the world around him. He set out to resolve urban disputes as a community organizer; he made peace between student factions as editor of the Harvard Law Review; he ran for office as a bridge-builder who could unite blacks and whites, Democrats and Republicans.

    As a candidate for president, that disciplined, linear, conciliatory approach to life helped Barack Obama defeat the fractious campaigns of Hillary Clinton and John McCain. It was exactly the right temperament to help Americans avert a fiscal and emotional meltdown in the early days of the financial crisis.

    But as the French say, we all have the faults of our virtues. In President Obama's case, the highly organized defenses he developed as a result of his dysfunctional childhood may have left him ill-prepared to confront the more unruly forces of cynicism, egotism and self-interest that hold sway in Washington, on Wall Street and on the world stage."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Lessons from Obama's first year
  • Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    8/Amerie/In Love & War

    Fearless. If you were to ask me to, in one word, describe Ms. Amerie Mi Marie Rogers, I’d shout out, with a quickness, FEARLESS. “No one on the corner has swagger like I”, she proclaims on the easy, breezy, contemplative ‘Swag Back’, to which I must reply, “gurl, sho’ ya right!”; Especially when one comes armed w/a CD as fiery and ferocious as this. Unlike her current contemporaries in the field, Amerie always sound genuinely hungry, fiery, and full of something to prove, track for track, note for note. Give her a beat, give her a melody, no matter the speed, no matter the tempo, she’ll ride it, she’ll KILL IT, she’ll tell it like it’s what she was born to do. The music doesn’t ask much of Amerie, but she asks much of herself, and more so than any other female R&B artist this year. Amerie unleashes what comes as it may, whether it be a heart felt yelp, a simmering coo, or an abrasive in your face declaration, highly reminiscent of the passion and fire present in a James Brown or a Tina Turner. Her “head is clear”, she’s “soul survivin’”…and she’s finally got her “swag back”, but honestyly, if you ask me, and as is evidenced by this hard-hitting LP right here, it ain’t ever really left.
    KEY TRACKS: Higher/Swag Back/Different People

  • 9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic


  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    8/Grizzly Bear/Two Weeks

    In the video for Grizzly Bear’s gorgeously arresting single Two Weeks, the band is alone, sitting side by side at the altar of a church, silent, lost in thought, letting the means to an end, and all interlocking thoughts come naturally, slowly, til that blissful explosion of peace, love, and clarity comes shining through and nothing else matters. The same can be said for the composition that soundtracks it all, a four minute exercise in pace, patience, and simplicity. Hark the Herald Angels sing, killing us softly with their song, as that piano line bounces and sways throughout, making it s presence known without getting in the way. Nothing more, nothing less. “Maybe sometimes, make it easy, take your time”, and soon you might find that all can (and will) unfold beautifully, as it does here.



  • 9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll


  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say

  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You

  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Sex and the City.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Amerie feat. Fabolous.

    More than Love.

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    9/Mos Def/The Ecstatic

    “What it is?”

    “Magnetic, the flows are athletic/Dimensions are perfected/But the static or kinetic is power.”

    I SAID, “Magnetic, the flows are athletic/Dimensions are perfected/But the static or kinetic is power.”

    “You are rocking with the fresh. You are rocking with the fresh. You are rocking with the Def…So shocking, never stopping. Always keep the beat on popping.”

    The Ecstatic.

    “What it is?”

    A 45 minute 16 track Hip-Hop LP steeped in the genre’s crate digging, knowledge droppin’ past. A headphone masterpiece, in which Mos does what he does, spit hot “fiyah”, drop that knowledge, croon, snicker, simply be he.

    “What it is?”

    A Hip-Hop LP steeped in that classic early to mid 90’s east coast Hip-Hop sound. A Hip-Hop LP that dips its feet in the musical terrains of soul, Afrobeat, jazz, funk, Latin Music, and Hip-Hop past and present.

    “What it is?”

    A Hip-Hop LP light on the skits and interludes (and those that do appear fit/work within the parameters of the album’s mood and flow), and light on the guest stars, save the instant head knock classic Auditorium feat. “The Ruler, a.k.a. Slick Rick.

    “What it is?”

    A Hip-Hop LP that rests on the head, shoulders, heat, and presence of the MC at the helm, asking you to ride along, listen, and hear what he has to say over the course of 16 tracks.

    “What it is?”

    A Hip-Hop LP starring an MC who “came here to win, and not to play”.

    “What it is?”

    “You know, we know, what it is. You don’t know? Here it is!”

    “Ecstatic nature black imagination activated true and living elevated, you are rockin' with the greatest.”

    Act like you know.

    KEY TRACKS: Auditorium/Quiet Dog/Life in Marvelous Times

  • 10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!


  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood

  • Top of the Pops.

    The Singles: 2009.



    AND



    9/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Zero AND Heads Will Roll

    Uplift. 9 times out of 10 when listening to music, we want to be taken some place higher. We wanna rave unto the joy fantastic, “shake it like a ladder to the sun”, sing/spit at the top of our lungs, and “dance til we’re dead.” Whether we’re a no name Zero, or “dripping in alchemy” and encased in chrome, we come to party, in search of good times, and here in these two tracks lies that escape, that almost spiritual like and euphoric trip to another place, where synths and guitars collide, beats rise in tandem with the emotional rescue found in the lyrics on the page and the energy encapsulated in Karen O’s vocals and the backing of the band. Climb higher, shake it like a ladder to the sun, and dance til your dead; Shut your eyes, do your thang, make the jaws drop. Climb higher and be taken to another place. These two songs wouldn’t have it any other way.





  • 10/Lily Allen/Fuck You


  • 11/The Knux/Fire (Put it in the Air!)


  • 12/Chrisette Michele/Epiphany


  • 13/Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West and Common/Make Her Say

  • 14/Lady Gaga/Bad Romance AND Shakira/She Wolf


  • 15/Peter Bjorn and John/It Don't Move Me AND Chromeo/Night by Night


  • 16/Amerie/Why R U


  • 17/Mos Def/Casa Bey


  • 18/Teairra Mari feat. Pleasure P/Hunt For You

  • 19/Wale feat. Lady Gaga/Chillin'


  • 20/Peaches/Serpentine (I Don't Give A...Pt. 2)


  • 21/The Dream feat. Kanye West/Walkin' on the Moon


  • 22/Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys/Empire State of Mind


  • 23/Kelly Clarkson/Already Gone AND Beyonce/Halo


  • 24/Lady Gaga/Paparazzi


  • 25/Taylor Swift/You Belong With Me
  • Friday, December 25, 2009

    Love & Happiness.

    The Albums: 2009.



    10/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/It's Blitz!

    It's a "soft shock" when you press play on this, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's 3rd LP. The youth, the vigor, the unabashed confidence, it's all here, but it's less abrasive, less in your face. This band still has a Fever to Tell, but they're gonna take their time this go round, talk slowly and speak softly while wielding that big stick of confidence. It's a "soft shock"", cause fresh out the gates we knew this gal and the boys in the band had it, and were ready for the big leagues, and this album sparkles with a conscious self aware sheen; A product of a band comfortable in their sound, highly knowledgeable of what they want and where they wanna go. This LP coasts on a wave of genuine versatility and vulnerability as relatable and easy as talking to your Fam, or your Romeo or Juliet on the phone. Calm, aware, jaunty, and softly abrasive, it's Bliss baby. It's Blitz!
    KEY TRACKS: Zero/Heads Will Roll/Hysteric

  • 11/The Flaming Lips/Embryonic


  • 12/Phoenix/Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


  • 13/Artic Monkeys/Humbug


  • 14/Wale/Attention Deficit


  • 15/Devendra Banhart/What Will Be


  • 16/Grizzly Bear/Veckatimest


  • 17/Chester French/Love the Future


  • 18/Jay-Z/The Blueprint 3


  • 19/Discovery/LP


  • 20/Mariah Carey/Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel


  • 21/Franz Ferdinand/Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


  • 22/Peter Bjorn And John/Living Thing


  • 23/Peaches/I Feel Cream


  • 24/Karen O and The Kids/Where the Wild Things Are Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • 25/Tegan and Sara/Sainthood