Friday, January 29, 2010

No Alarms, and No Suprises.

A Moment of Clarity.



Words.

"WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE, REMEMBER THE FEARLESS, REMEMBER THE DREAMERS, REMEMBER THOSE WHO REPRESENT THE GHETTO...THE FAIRY TALE OF NOTHING TO SOMETHING. I'M BRIEFLY SADDENED BY NEGATIVE COMMENTS, BUT I HAVE TO REMEMBER THOSE PEOPLE ARE SCARED, INCAPABLE OR JUST PLAIN IDIOTS. WE ARE THE FUCKING ROCK STARS BABY. NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE MY NIGGAS!! NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE! IT'S FUNNY TO ME WHEN FASHION BLOGGERS DOWN OUR OUFITS AND THEN SUPER JOCK OUTLANDISH SHIT ON THE RUNWAY BUT THEN THEY DRESS MAD PRUDE AND DON'T LIVE FASHION. WE LIVE IT MAN. FUCK THAT, WE LIVE IT!!! WE LIVE IT SO HARD PEOPLE LIVE THROUGH US! WE REPRESENT YOUR INNER SPIRIT!! THE CHILD IN US ALL, THE BRUTAL HONESTY, THE NAIVETY, THE BRAVE WARRIOR, THE ADRENALINE THAT ALLOWS A MOTHER TO LIFT A CAR IF HER CHILD WAS TRAPPED UNDER IT! REMEMBER, THERE WAS A TIME WHEN EVERYBODY DISSED MICHAEL JACKSON EVERY CHANCE THEY COULD. IMAGINE THE PRESSURE OF BEING A TRUE ICON. VERY FEW HUMAN BEINGS ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE CONSTANT HATE!!! IF WE DON'T DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE SHIT, YOU BEAT US UP VERBALLY AND MENTALLY, LIKE A CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHER BEATING A CREATIVE STUDENT INTO SUBMISSION. I CAN HEAR YOU SCREAMING 'COLOR INSIDE THE LINES!!!' WELL FUCK YOUR COLORING BOOK, COLOR BY NUMBERS APPROACH TO LIFE. AT THE END OF THE DAY WHO ARE WE HURTING??? OH "THE NEW BLACK???" SINCE BARACK IS PRESIDENT BLACKS DON'T LIKE FUR COATS, RED LEATHER, AND FRIED CHICKEN ANY MORE?! WHEN YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND CULTURAL SETTINGS, BOUNDARIES, AND OUR MODERN DAY CASTE SYSTEMS, THEN YOU CAN FEEL THE GLORY AND PAIN FROM THE DAYS OF KINGS IN AFRICA TO THE NEW KINGS OF THE MEDIA. LET THE BALL PLAYERS DANCE AFTER THEY SCORE! IT'S LIFE MY NIGGAS, IT'S LIFE! REMEMBER CLOTHING IS A CHOICE. WE WERE BORN NAKED!!! FRESH IS AN OPINION, LOVE IS OBJECTIVE, TASTE IS SELECTIVE, AND EXPRESSION IS MY FAVORITE ELECTIVE. NO MORE POLITICS OR APOLOGIES!!!"-Kanye West

  • KANYE WEST BLOG
  • For Your Consideration.



    Hot Chip. One Life Stand.

  • Stream here.
  • COLOURS.

    One Mo'gin...

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Speech Therapy - Post-Racial
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    Daily Show
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    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

    Eye of the Tiger.


    Heart of a Lion.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "There is a specter haunting America: the specter of a saner, updated version of Ross Perot. He is lurking out there, ready to ride the free-floating anger and distrust of Washington. He is out there now in one of his homes or private jets, getting madder by the day. He is large of ego, full of money and cranky in mien. When he enters the arena, he’ll say that Washingtonians, all of them, are a bunch of failures. Over the past five years, Washington has tried to reform Social Security, immigration, health care and energy policy. All of these efforts have either failed or are close to failure — thousands of people working millions of hours and in all likelihood producing nothing.

    He’ll point out that Washingtonians, all of them, breed selfishness. Republicans refuse to accept tax increases. Democrats reject spending cuts. They’ve put the country on a highway to a fiscal crisis, and there are no exit ramps.

    When he comes, he’ll present himself warts and all. Yes, I’m an obnoxious S.O.B., he’ll say. But you need me right now. Yes, I am a blank slate, but people are so desperate that they’re voting for blank slates. When he comes — this billionaire Simon Cowell, this political Bobby Knight — he will change the political landscape, at least for a time.

    If I were one of those fellows advising Barack Obama, I would tell him that you can either get run over by that saner Ross Perot or you can be the saner Ross Perot. You’re not ornery, but you are a bit of a loner. You’re not a billionaire with a huge ego, but that’s because you’re not that rich. God gave you self-esteem. You might as well use it for good.

    ...You made a good start in the State of the Union address, I would tell him. In that speech, you began to reclaim the mantle of the permanent outsider.you made it clear that you will not be going down with the Congressional Titanic. You took a few steps toward recapturing your image as the last thoughtful reformer. Now you have to embrace that role with a vengeance..."

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Perot Option
  • "WHOSE HOUSE?"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Usher.

    Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home).

    MIXTAPE FRIDAYS!!!



    BASEMENT TRACKS!

    SIDE A

    1/Outstanding/The Gap Band
    2/Blow the Whistle/Too Short
    3/Put it in a Love Song/Alicia Keys feat. Beyonce
    4/Superstition/Stevie Wonder
    5/Get Naked (I Got A Plan)/Britney Spears
    6/The Payback/James Brown

    SIDE B

    1/Bad Romance/Lady Gaga
    2/Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)/The Jacksons
    3/Sleepyhead/Passion Pit
    4/Brother Sport/Animal Collective


    Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    FEEDBACK.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "The conventional wisdom was wrong, as usual. Some in the punditocracy expected President Obama to tack toward the center, others expected him to run to the bosom of the Democratic Party’s liberal base. He did neither. By the end of his State of the Union address, when he summed up the whole speech in three words -- “I don’t quit” -- you had to take him at his word.

    ...There were no fall-off-your-chair surprises in Obama’s speech, but many people might have been surprised by the style in which he delivered it. Obama didn’t sound like a president buffeted and beleaguered by the political fates. He sounded determined, patient, forceful, good-humored, at times even mischievous. He looked relaxed and in control.

    ...maybe the Republicans -- and the Democrats, too -- realized that Obama was speaking over their heads to a nation that is fed up with “Washington” and “government” and “partisanship.” For the first time in months, it seemed to me, Obama reconnected with the language and themes that got him elected.

    I’m for change, he was telling the assembled members of Congress. What about you?"

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: POSTPARTISAN: The punditocracy was wrong about Obama's speech
  • Up Out My Face!

    New flava in ya ear!

    Mariah Carey feat. Nicki Minaj

    Up Out My Face.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    "Come Disconnect the Dots!"

    With Of Montreal, Solanage Knowles, and the Jackson 5's I Want You Back, LIVE!



  • PITCHFORK: Video: Susan Sarandon and Solange Crash of Montreal NYC Show
  • Coming Attractions.

    Usher.

    Hey Daddy.

    A Preview.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Oh by the way...

    THIS. IS. THE. REMIX!



    New flava in ya ear!

    Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce.

    Telephone.

    A Remix by the fellas of Passion Pit.

  • Stream here.
  • More, More, MORE!

    A Moment of Clarity.


    Don't talk about it, BE ABOUT IT!

    Words.

    "It's ironic that President Obama could never be convincing as populist in chief. He had a modest upbringing -- his family was on food stamps for a time -- and he needed scholarships and loans to pay for his fancy education. He is no stranger to the struggles of everyday Americans.

    By contrast, George W. Bush was born to Old Money and raised amid great wealth, privilege and power. Yet Bush was able to project an Everyman folksiness that made people forget his patrician heritage. Obama just doesn't give off that guy-next-door vibe. Even if he were to roll up his sleeves, loosen his tie and start talkin' like his predecessor, droppin' his final g's left and right, nobody would buy the act.

    So I hope the White House pays no attention to the critics calling on Obama to cultivate a more populist image. Regaining the political initiative will be a matter of substance, not style -- and also a matter of passion.

    Bringing in David Plouffe, the architect of Obama's brilliant election campaign, is a smart move that will surely help the president deliver his message more effectively. But part of that message has to be a clear sense of Obama's bottom line. It's not enough to use variations of the word "fight" more than 20 times in relatively brief remarks, as he did Friday in Ohio. At some point, he needs to -- metaphorically, of course -- actually slug somebody.

    I'm not talking about perceptions here. The point isn't that Obama should be seen slapping opponents and obstructionists around as a way of demonstrating his presidential alpha-maleness. It's that if Obama's agenda is as vital and necessary as he says it is, the White House should make its actions match up with its words..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Obama can't create change with words alone
  • Skeletal Lamping.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

    Skeletons.



  • PITCHFORK: Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Skeletons"
  • Money Talks.

    Starring the United States Supreme Court.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Supreme Corp
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
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    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T!

    "Do you know what that means?"




    Free spirits.



    Words.
    For Your Consideration...

    "Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 by assembling a broad coalition of Democrats and independents, but since the summer, independents have been deserting Obama's cause, and not only in Massachusetts.

    That's what has White House strategists and Democrats in Congress most worried about this fall's elections: Independents, the country's most fickle voters, are in the driver's seat. They're unhappy about the economy, worried about the potential costs of the Democrats' healthcare bills and disappointed that Obama's promises of bipartisanship didn't come true.

    And they're quick to fire a party that isn't delivering the goods -- as they did in Massachusetts' special Senate election last week.

    ...Since 2006, there has been a massive "dealignment" from party allegiance, with more voters calling themselves independents today than at any time since the invention of modern polling. In Massachusetts, more than 50% of voters actually register as independents -- in part because that allows them to vote in either party's primary. And the trend isn't confined to New England; nationwide, the number of voters who call themselves independent has risen to 37% in the Gallup Poll, against 33% who identify themselves as Democrats and 27% as Republicans.

    In recent months, independents' sentiment has started to swing away from the Democrats. Over the course of 2009, the share of independents who said they "leaned Republican" grew from 31% to 40%; those who leaned Democratic dropped from 47% to 38%.

    Many of those independents voted for Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008, but they didn't turn into liberals along the way. The independents' underlying ideology has actually been fairly stable, even if their voting pattern hasn't.

    "They're conflicted centrists," said Andrew Kohut of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which did a major study of independent voters last year. "They are closer to the Democrats on social issues, but they're closer to the Republicans in being skeptical about big government."

    That last factor is part of what's hurting Obama and the Democrats now. Independents are "leery of government control of healthcare," Kohut said, "even though they say they favor healthcare reform.

    ...In any case, most independents -- contrary to claims from the "tea party" camp -- are looking for bipartisanship and centrism, not bloody-shirt populism. Bruce Reed, a former aide to President Clinton who now heads the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, says Obama needs to make a more dramatic move back to the middle -- much as Clinton did after losing Congress to the Republicans in 1994. Reed says his party's problem is straightforward: Liberal leaders in Congress overestimated their mandate and overreached.

    "Among some Democrats, there was a hope that because the country had so many problems, people would welcome an all-out government effort," he said. "But Americans are as reluctant as they always have been to rely on government to solve problems."

    In Massachusetts and elsewhere, he said, voters "are sending a message that they want Obama to be the president he campaigned as" -- a centrist, not a liberal. "They want him to succeed, and they want Congress to help."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Independents are calling the electoral shots
  • Ain't that America!



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "All last week, commentators recounted the dramatic swing in the national mood between this January and last. In 2009, President Obama was talking about bending the arc of history. In 2010, it doesn't look like he can bend enough arms to get healthcare reform through Congress.

    Americans are not happy. We're on the downside of a familiar cycle: the bitter disillusionment that follows outsized hope. What could be accomplished in Washington isn't matching our expectations. And although Obama's fall has been steep and hard, he's not alone. Traditionally, a new president's party loses ground in the election that follows his inauguration. What's surprising is that we never seem to tire of the vaunted hope that gets the cycle going in the first place.

    What's going on? Are we schizophrenic? Gluttons for punishment? Are we so addicted to the possibilities that, even when reality mugs us, we can't wait to dream again? Why hasn't the mountain of disappointing political realities -- presidents, parties, causes and processes -- turned us into a nation that stops caring?

    The answer to these questions lies in the contradictory heart of the American character. On the one hand, we pride ourselves on our idealism. On the other, we fancy ourselves sturdy realists. If the U.S. were a cartoon character, it'd be a cheerful fellow with his head in the clouds and his feet planted squarely on the ground..."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Cycle of promise and reality in U.S. politics shifts into overdrive
  • CONTROVERSY!


    Go tell it on the Mountain.

    Words.

    "Populism" is the most overused and misused word in the lexicon of commentary. But thanks to a reckless decision by Chief Justice John Roberts's Supreme Court and the greed of the nation's financial barons, we have reached a true populist moment in American politics.

    The Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision last week giving American corporations the right to unlimited political spending was an astonishing display of judicial arrogance, overreach and unjustified activism.

    Turning its back on a century of practice and decades of precedent, a narrow right-wing majority on the court decided to change the American political system by tilting it decisively in favor of corporate interests.

    An unusually blunt headline in Friday's print edition of The New York Times told the story succinctly: "Lobbies' New Power: Cross Us, and Our Cash Will Bury You."

    Think of this rather persuasive moment in a chat between a corporate lobbyist and a senator: "Are you going to block that taxpayer bailout we want? Well, I'm really sorry, but we're going to have to run $2 million worth of really vicious ads against you." The same exchange might take place on tax breaks, consumer protections, environmental rules and worker safeguards.

    Defenders of this vast expansion of corporate influence piously claim it's about "free speech." But since when is a corporation, a creation of laws passed by governments, entitled to the same rights as an individual citizen? This ruling will give large business entities far more power than any individual, unless you happen to be Michael Bloomberg or Bill Gates.

    ...If average voters came to see government primarily as an instrument of the banks, why should they believe that the same government could help them on matters of health care and employment? This problem was aggravated by puffed-up, self-involved U.S. senators who conspired to make the legislative process look as ugly and chaotic as possible.

    ...President Obama was right to invoke Teddy Roosevelt in his radio address on Saturday. American democracy and the square deal in government for which TR battled are in jeopardy."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Supreme Court ruling calls for a populist revolt
  • For Your Consideration.



  • PITCHFORK: Twenty Great "Simpsons" Music Moments
  • SEX!

    A Conversation with Willie of Day 26.

    For Your Consideration.

    New flava in ya ear!

    She & Him.

    In the Sun.



  • PITCHFORK: New She & Him: "In the Sun"
  • Saturday, January 23, 2010

    "OOH YEAH!"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Mario.

    Ooh baby.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    "CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!"

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
    Fox News Covers Scott Brown's Victory
    www.thedailyshow.com
    Daily Show
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    Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


    EARLIER:

  • Red Dawn.
  • Nanny Nanny Boo Boo.


    Scenes from Scott Brown's Victory Party. Massachusetts. Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

    Words.

    "If Republicans turn up the volume any more in the gloating over their Senate victory in Massachusetts, Americans are going to need hearing protection.

    At a Wednesday-morning news conference called by House GOP leaders, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) claimed to speak for the American people when she asked: "Mr. President and the majority, can you hear us now?"

    "The American people spoke in Virginia," she continued, imitating the Verizon commercial that has been adopted by conservative "tea party" activists. "Can you hear us now?"

    "The American people spoke in New Jersey. Can you hear us now?"

    "And they certainly spoke last night in Massachusetts," she concluded. "Can you hear us now?

    Of course they can hear you, Congresswoman. A deaf man could hear you.

    What the American people don't hear is any offer by the Republicans to compromise with Democrats on health care, climate-change legislation, fiscal matters or much of anything else.

    If anything, Scott Brown's surprise victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday seems to have left Republicans with the belief that their "party of no" strategy is working. After the Republican House leaders pronounced all the things they don't want to do -- "end . . . scrap . . . reject . . . has to be stopped . . . no to this . . . no . . . not to embark . . . isn't working" -- they cut off questioning after a couple of minutes and left.

    ...The Republican reaction to the Massachusetts results could be summarized in four words: nana nana boo boo..."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Scott Brown gives Republicans a reason to say 'Yes!'
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    "I'M A MOTHERF***ING HEADLINER, BITCH YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW IT!"

    "PROCESS IT!"

    "NEW SHIT!"

    Of Montreal.

    Enemy Gene.

    A preview.



  • PITCHFORK: Watch of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Play a New Song: "Enemy Gene"
  • "DO! YOU! KNOW! WHAT! TODAY! IS?!"

    "IT'S OUR ANNIVERSARY!"

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    Red Dawn.

    A Moment of Clarity.



    Words.

    "Given its importance in the issue of the moment, the Massachusetts vote is going to be analyzed as a referendum on President Obama's healthcare reforms.

    ...But if the lessons gleaned from Massachusetts stop with healthcare, something far more profound and potentially disruptive will have been missed. There is a deep and increasingly restive anger stirring in the country.

    ...Much of the disaffection in Massachusetts came from self-described independents. That's significant because independents are concentrated in middle-class suburbs where physical and economic security are overriding preoccupations. Today, those anxieties are both real and justified, though not as critiques of Obama's first year.

    ...The mass unemployment that followed Wall Street's meltdown upset even that precarious balance, and the situation is even worse than the unemployment figures suggest. According to work done by Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the congressional panel appointed to oversee the bank bailout, 20% of all Americans are either jobless, underemployed or simply have given up looking for work. One out of every eight Americans is on food stamps, and one out of every eight U.S. mortgages is in default or foreclosure. The wholesale flight of American employers from the responsibility of maintaining traditional pension plans forced tens of millions of 401(k) participants into the equity markets to secure their retirements. The crash erased $5 trillion from their accounts.

    Scolds would have you believe that middle-class Americans were complicit in the financial collapse because of their profligacy. Warren points out that the numbers state a different case. "By the early 2000s, families were spending twice as much (adjusted for inflation) on mortgages than they did a generation ago," she wrote recently, "for a house that was, on average, only 10% bigger and 25 years older. They also had to pay twice as much to hang on to their health insurance. . . . Families today spend less than they did a generation ago on food, clothing, furniture, appliances and other flexible purchases, but it hasn't been enough to save them."

    As employers have come to regard their employees as little more than another fixed expense, layoffs have become a routine tool for manicuring quarterly profits. Thus, even those lucky enough to have full-time jobs have little security in their current positions -- in which, as the current productivity numbers show, they're forced to work ever harder for less -- and none about their future, including retirement. This shift of economic risk onto the backs of the middle class has allowed the top 5% of income earners to amass a share of the country's wealth unmatched for a century.

    There's the real source of the country's anger."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: The lesson of Massachusetts? Anger
  • "You know how I do. And you know how I flow..."


    Coming soon...

    New flava in ya ear!

    Gorillaz feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack.

    Stylo.

  • PITCHFORK: New Gorillaz: "Stylo"
  • Wild Things.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Beach House.

    Walk in the Park.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Year One.



    Words.

    "With his poll numbers shrinking and pending healthcare legislation more controversial than ever, President Obama's critics are celebrating his much-diminished presidency.

    And if unemployment numbers don't improve, the president may not just be a diminished president but a finished one.

    Still, Barack Obama will today complete one of the more successful first years of any modern president. Love him or hate him, Obama has demonstrated that he can be both president and presidential in the face of some galactic challenges.

    And if his competence (and luck) hold and he learns how not to overreach, who knows? Obama may well emerge down the road as one of America's better presidents.

    Obama's critics on the left and right, and a good many people in between, clearly don't see it that way. For them, he's both a threat and a disappointment. The president has validated Republicans' worst fears about big government, and he's betrayed his base's dreams for real reform. For both, Obama has emerged as a kind of empty suit, long on rhetoric, short on action, with a set of confused priorities that are driving the nation deeper into debt.

    But like a judge in platform diving at the Olympics, any fair and honest evaluator of the president's first year needs to take into account the degree of difficulty of the dive.

    ...Our greatest presidents (Washington, Lincoln and FDR, I would argue) were both transactors and transformers. They addressed the crisis at hand, left the nation stronger and created a legacy on some big political, economic or social issue that changed America for the better and forever.

    Obama aspires to be one of those. As the first African American president, he looks to Lincoln; inheriting the worst economic crisis since the Depression, he draws a line to FDR; and on the verge of pushing through huge healthcare reform, he sees LBJ (the master legislator) in the rearview mirror. If this isn't the behavior of a guy who sees himself as a historic figure, what is?

    And herein lies the problem: A president who wants to be transformational is trapped in a dysfunctional political system of oppositional Republicans, unruly Democrats and overly grandiose goals of his own making. He has no large Roosevelt or Reagan coalitions to support him; no martyred predecessor to unite the nation; no nation-wrenching crisis that compels the public to accept bold change and follow his lead.

    A year in, Obama may well be coming to realize that while politics is about what people want, governance is about what they get. And maybe, for a high-minded, ambitious and overly confident (even arrogant, at times) Barack Obama, this isn't such a bad thing for him -- and for us.

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: Obama's first year: A good start if only a start


  • EARLIER:


  • Captain America.
  • The Breaks.


    Massachusetts: Battle Royale.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "As of this writing, Bay State voters appear poised to do the unthinkable: elect a Republican to fill the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly half a century. Even more amazing is that the Republican in question, Scott Brown, turned his campaign into a referendum on healthcare reform, the keystone of the Obama agenda and the North Star of Kennedy's career.

    Even if Brown loses today, that it was even close should shake Democrats to their core. They outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 in a state Barack Obama won by 26 points. Massachusetts hasn't sent a Republican to the Senate since 1972, when Edward Brooke (the first popularly elected black senator) was reelected, and haven't sent even a nominal conservative since velociraptors roamed Beacon Hill. All this on the heels of stunning GOP gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia last fall.

    It's impossible to imagine a more direct, and democratic, repudiation of Democratic governance..."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: The filibuster rule is the least of Democrats' problems
  • Coming Attractions.

    Freedom '10.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Clipse.

    Freedom.

    Play that Beat!

    Believe me, I adore playing an old school hit like nobody's business, but sometimes there's nothing better than putting on one of your favorite long players, and enjoying it for what it is: a tip-top, start to finish "headphone masterpiece".


    Rhythm & Soul.


    Little Radio. Early fall. Downtown Los Angeles. A Monday I believe. The show has come to a close and the free Dewar's is running on E. The only people left behind are those of us who are unemployed, folks looking for a good time, and those straggling about denying the fact that yes, it is a Monday, and the working week is far from over; in fact, it's just begun. I blame Britt Daniel and Co., who just put on one of the best shows 18 dollars can buy. They got this hootenanny started, and had the place jumpin' jumpin'. Why would we want to leave? I didn't. I got lost in thought and conversation, busy people watching, catching up with old cronies, and scoring more Dewar's. [For free!] Stuck in this moment I studiously glanced about the crowd, and that's when I saw him standing in the middle of the now empty with litter strewn about it dancefloor looking around like a lost kid in a shopping mall, and sticking out like Conan O'Brien, all height and limbs, Britt Daniel. OhmyGod! OhmyGod! OhmyGod! No one else see this? At that moment I knew that I wanted to walk up to him and say something, anything rather, but I didn't. Why? Cause all I had was this:

    TAUWAN: [taps B.D. on the elbow] Excuse me.
    BRITT: [Turns to acknowledge me. Smiles. (I hoped)]
    TAUWAN: [Smiles back] Uh. Hey. Great show man. As always. I just wanted to, uh, say thank you.
    BRITT: Oh, no problem man...
    TAUWAN:...[still smiling]...Yeah, so, uh, have a goodnight!...

    Aren't you glad I kept my distance and let Mr. Daniel disappear into the backstage ether?

    But how badly did I want to let Britt know that he and his bandmates are loved, and that they should be thanked for just making real, genuine, straight laced rock and roll infused with passion, rhythm, and soul [Yeah, I wanted to be THAT fan]. I have been a Spoon fan since Kill the Moonlight, and with each album and performance thereafter Spoon have upheld that unwritten and unspoken pact artists hold with their fans, that with each release and live show, [no matter how big or small] you will be handsomely rewarded for all your troubles; for sticking it out with us, and being a fan. And like Kill the Moonlight and Gimme Fiction before it, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga does just that. There's no bombast, no outlandish flights of musical fancy or moves to tickle your funny bone. Just four guys from Austin with a few guitars, a horn section, and fiery tinkering of the keys all coming together to evoke a movement, a feeling, steeped in reality, so drenched in soul that you just can't help but sit back, re-secure your headphones, and let these 10 compositions "take care of you tonight." The beauty's in the clarity and its simplicity, something many artists can't seem to find or get right, and THAT is why the fellas in Spoon are special, and why they need to be thanked.
    KEY TRACKS: The Ghost Of You Lingers/You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb/Black Like Me

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Coming Attractions.



    Um, what the fuck was that?

  • VIDEOGUM: Be Good Johnny Weir Is About What Exactly?
  • This can't be life.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Young Cash feat. T-Pain.

    I Support Single Mothers.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Don't Stop Til You Get Enough.

    Captain America.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "As Barack Obama approaches the first anniversary of his inauguration as president, a faculty friend of mine renders what strikes me as the right assessment: "If he were a student, I'd have to give him an incomplete."

    That's no surprise, and it is certainly no cause for embarrassment. For all the journalistic focus on the first 100 days of FDR, no president, not even Roosevelt, accomplishes his most significant goals within weeks after being sworn in, and few make their mark in the first year. There's a good reason that the Founders gave presidents four-year terms. Even when it was a fraction of its current size, the government was relatively immobile. The larger the bureaucracy and the more clotted the political system, the more resistant is Washington to political change.

    As the inheritor of two wars and a huge financial crisis, the young man from Illinois, relatively new to town, clearly was under pressure to deliver decisions more quickly than those who have come to office in calmer times. But his first task was to build his own government, and he accomplished that feat with a skill that belied his lack of executive experience.

    ...The broad outlines of an Obama domestic agenda have become clear during this past year. The giant economic stimulus bill that passed with next to no help from the Republicans in the early months has accomplished less in saving jobs than had been hoped. But it averted catastrophe and, with luck, could produce bigger dividends in this second year.

    ...there have been few irreparable setbacks, and the potential for more substantial accomplishments -- including health-care reform -- remains.

    ...Politically, he is notably weaker than when he began. Not, as some of his critics maintain, because the voters have tuned him out or become indifferent to his well-crafted speeches but because none of the goals most important to the American people have been achieved. The most consequential of those, and the one with the shortest timetable, is easing the unemployment that has crippled so many families and this year will confront state and local governments with painful budgetary choices.

    After running up record debts coping with emergencies, Obama is short of resources with which to reform health care, education or anything else. He badly needs a strong economy soon. Without it, the Republicans, no matter how strident and negative they may be, cannot help but benefit in November."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: To regain public favor, Obama needs a good economy and jobs
  • Headbanger's Ball.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Nappy Roots.

    Ride.

    SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!

    For the people...

    Mos Def.

    Umi Says.

    Austin City Limits.

    Get Lifted.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Adam Lambert asks...

    WHATAYA WANT FROM ME?

    A "New flava in ya ear" Production.

    Remington Steele.


    From Mike with Love...

    Words.

    "Poetic justice is a beautiful thing. Republican Party grandees were all set to use Michael Steele in the most cynical way. Now it's becoming clear that Steele has been using the users all along.

    Republicans must have thought that electing Steele as their national chairman was a brilliant stroke. The 2008 presidential election had been a debacle for them. The Democratic Party was on top of the world, with the first African American president taking office amid a national outpouring of goodwill. Among the mediocre field of contenders for the Republican National Committee job -- at that point, after all, who would want it? -- there was one intriguing option. Why not begin the process of rebranding and renewal by installing the first African American party chairman?

    Steele was smooth and charismatic. He was effective on television, in a wall-of-noise sort of way, and he clearly loved the limelight. African Americans, Latinos and Asians had rejected the party in historic numbers, and smart Republican strategists understood the long-term implications of allowing the GOP to be pigeonholed as almost exclusively white and Southern. With Steele, the face the party presented to an increasingly diverse nation would be strikingly different. It would also be fraudulent, but hey, this is politics.

    By now, however, it's clear that Steele had an agenda of his own.

    ...In one of a series of television interviews to promote the book, Steele opined that the party had no chance of regaining control of the House in this year's midterm elections. This note of pessimism -- probably true, but not likely to motivate GOP activists and donors -- upset Republicans on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post reported that during a conference call, an unidentified "top congressional aide" told members of Steele's staff: "You really just have to get him to stop. It's too much."

    But Chairman Mike never stops. His response: "Fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.""

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: With new book, Michael Steele turns the tables -- again -- on GOP
  • Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Colours.


    More than this.

    Words.

    "The furor over Sen. Harry Reid's remarks about President Obama's race, reported by The Times in several articles, has gone way overboard. His remarks, however -- that Obama is "light-skinned" and speaks with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one" -- may yet prove useful in sparking a badly needed, frank conversation about race in America. Indeed, we can never understand what Reid meant -- and our reaction -- unless we have this conversation.

    Though I accept Reid's apology and take the president at his word that this is a nonissue, we must be honest with ourselves about the context of what Reid said. It is true in America that our white brothers and sisters have a different level of comfort with people of African descent, and that their personal comfort impacts and influences opportunities in employment, grading in schools, civic engagement -- and especially voting. Additionally, many African Americans learn the art of "code switching," where our outward display of attitudes and behaviors is sometimes geared toward what we believe will help our white counterparts feel more comfortable, even as we act and talk differently when the company is exclusively or predominantly black. This has much to do with how we look, dress and speak.

    ...Lest one thinks that this question has been raised only recently, I am reminded of a line from an old folk song sung by black slaves, as reported by social scientist Russell Ames in 1950: "Got one mind for white folks to see, 'nother for what I know is me."

    ...While racial politics in the U.S. have indeed changed over the past half a century, they haven't change enough to allow African Americans to let down their guard. Americans simply cannot suddenly abandon their long-held biases about dark- versus-light-skinned black folks or those who talk in standard English versus what some perceive as urban or "ghetto" slang.

    ...Perhaps Reid's remarks can serve as an invitation for us to continue this conversation about race and move us closer to true racial understanding."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: BLOWBACK: Reid flap shows the need for a conversation on race
  • Rockin' Robbin.


    This can't be life.

    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "If you held a contest to pick the worst thing a politician could be called at this moment, my nominee would be Wall Street Liberal.

    ...And what institutions are held in lower esteem right now than those represented by the words "Wall Street"? The left has always disliked Wall Street. Populists of all stripes have gone after financiers since the days of Andrew Jackson. And the right can cast Wall Streeters as the recipients of Washington's largess. Oh, yes, and they were the highfliers who tanked the American economy.

    ...If you want to understand why President Obama's standing in the polls is not where it used to be -- and also why the populist-sounding Tea Party movement has gained so much traction -- consider that some significant part of the American voting population has come to see the administration as both too liberal and too tied to Wall Street.

    Never mind that Obama is not really all that liberal (read any of the liberal bloggers if you doubt this) and never mind that Wall Street is fighting Obama on financial reform, particularly on his excellent proposal to create a financial consumer protection agency. The fact is that the Wall Street tag is sticking, and Obama was always going to battle the L-word.

    ...Moving the tax burden toward the financial sector is thus a matter of both justice and political necessity. The best thing that could happen to Obama would be for him to have a fight or two with Wall Street and the big banks on behalf of balancing the budget. It is precisely the way to shake off both ends of the Wall Street Liberal tag.

    This also has the benefit of challenging the Tea Party movement to come clean on whether it really is populist, or merely using populist rhetoric to pursue the same old low-tax, low-regulation agenda that got us into this mess.

    Will the Tea Party crowd come out against taxes on banks and finance in the name of their libertarian principles? If they do, what kind of populists are they?

    After a year in which progressives played defense, it's time to call some bluffs."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Obama needs to cut his Wall Street tag
  • The Youth.

    New flava in ya ear!

    The Bangz feat. The New Boyz

    Found My Swag.



    What?! Huh?! NO! (I know, I know, "YOU'RE A JERK!")

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Parks & Recreation.

    Featuring RZA and ?uestlove of The Roots.



  • PITCHFORK: Video: RZA and ?uestlove Spoof/Pay Homage to "Parks and Recreation"
  • "LET'S WORK!"

    An Ongoing Discussion.



    Words. For Your Consideration...

    "For too long, academic elites and politicians -- both Democrats and Republicans -- have oversold us on the necessity of getting a college degree. We have reached the point at which it has become almost un-American to admit that for a sizable number of our young people, college is a waste of time.

    According to a growing number of demographers and labor experts, the U.S. soon will be experiencing a severe shortage of skilled workers. Blue-collar baby boomers are retiring, but schools aren't preparing the next generation to take their place. Our nation needs blue- collar workers -- skilled mechanics, machinists, welders, carpenters and electricians, as well as computer, solar and cable technicians, etc. -- just as much as it needs college grads.

    As one retired plumber told me: "No one is going to outsource your local repair guy. If you've got a trade, you've got it made."

    Most European countries offer a strong two-track system -- one for the trades and one for the university -- whereas the majority of our high school graduates have no employable skills whatsoever. Of course kids should be encouraged to consider college and achieve academically, and they shouldn't be pushed into a noncollege track against their will. But we are currently ignoring an important cadre of students who need something different."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: 'If you've got a trade, you've got it made'
  • Monday, January 11, 2010

    The E.N.D.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Omarion.

    Speedin'.

    "Uh, I feel kinda silly doin ' this, but..."

    Love Jones.

    For Your Consideration.

    Rihanna's next single.





  • WEAREPOPSLAGS: Rihanna unveils single artwork for ‘Rude Boy’
  • Dirty Harry.

    A Moment of Clarity.


    "Let's call the whole thing off!"

    Words.

    "CNN is aflutter. Bloggers are calling it a "big-time" mistake. Newspapers describe the "racially tinged" remarks as "sensational." What is this "juicy revelation"? Apparently, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid privately told two journalists in 2008 that Obama was more electable because he's "light-skinned" and lacked a "Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

    ...Lost in all the handwringing and shock, however, is any clear explanation of what's wrong with Reid's comment. Clearly, using "Negro dialect" is about half-a-century behind the times, but does anyone think Reid meant ill by his anachronism? Moreover, as the recent kerfuffle about the 2010 Census revealed, "Negro" is still used by a non-trivial number of older black folks. In 2000, for example, more than 50,000 people went the extra effort of writing-in that they identified themselves as "Negro" (over-and-above the millions who checked the box for "Black, African-Am., or Negro").

    And what term would you use? Ebonics, a neologism coined in 1975 from ebony and phonics, is now laughably dated. Linguists currently refer to "black or African-American vernacular English," but that hardly rolls off the tongue. Yes, Reid (and the Census) should get with the times, but using dated language with no bad intent should hardly be grounds for days of media analysis, conscience-stricken mea culpas or organized damage control.

    ...Reid's statement that Obama could choose to use a "Negro dialect" is Linguistics 101. Everyone "style shifts" or switches their manner of speech depending on the context, politicians especially so. Given American history, such color and culture hierarchies in voting preferences should be unsurprising. That Reid would highlight these advantages for Obama's candidacy merely reflects the fact he's a savvy politician (if not a savvy commentator about race). Pointing out political realities is not the same as endorsing them. Moreover, as CNN Political Analyst Roland Martin noted, Reid's comments would have been entirely unremarkable in a discussion among a group of adult African Americans, almost all of whom have seen and experienced forms of color and language bias.

    Even a cursory knowledge of black history suggests colorism shapes which blacks attain leadership positions (I'm looking at you Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois and Douglas Wilder). So, given all the evidence that Reid was right, what's he apologizing for? Perhaps, Reid's real faux pas was talking about our "post-racial" America as if race still mattered."

  • THE ROOT: Was Harry Reid Right?
  • Friday, January 08, 2010

    "Did you realize you're a Champion in their eyes?"...

    A Moment of Clarity.


    The Final Countdown.

    Words.

    "It's exhausting, this fight to believe that Gilbert Arenas is a better guy than he seems. Exactly when is he going to start acting like it? As opposed to the scattered, seven-faces-of-Gilbert split personality on display? When will he pull himself together into a whole, consistent, coherent person? Because so far all we have are versions of him.

    Arenas bears a series of tattoos on his legs that he calls Black Rushmore: images of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and President Obama. When he first displayed them, they seemed nobler than the usual body art, more interesting than the inked tiger on his chest. They bespoke a guy who, beneath his teasing, was susceptible to meaning, conscious of things beyond himself. But now they just seem like costuming. The guy might as well have tattooed a feather boa onto his neck, for all the emblems seem to mean to him.

    Two of those men, of course, were slain by gunfire. You would think that would have occurred to Arenas when he laid out four guns in the Wizards locker room over a card game called bourré, and rat-tat-tatted his fingers at his teammates the other night. But it obviously escaped him, perhaps because he was too preoccupied with his standoff with Javaris Crittenton, and seeing which one could act more facetiously street.

    Is there anything more ridiculous than a soft guy pretending to be hard? Arenas had an admittedly painful childhood -- a mother who abandoned him, a struggling father who raised him in a Van Nuys, Calif., apartment -- but there is nothing in his background that suggests he knows anything about real gangsterism. He has played a game for a living since he was 19 years old. You get the sense that guns are adornments to him. Like jewelry. One of the weapons he pulled out in the Wizards locker room was patently absurd, a gold-plated Desert Eagle that is the same model used in the Austin Powers movie "Goldmember."

    What a weak-willed, fraudulent gesture, to pretend to be someone lesser instead of someone better. And that's the deeper offense that Arenas has committed; it's what underlies our anger at him, and our sorrow for him, and our bafflement. The most winsome, talented young man in town is indefinitely suspended from the NBA, and facing a grand jury, because he stepped down instead of up. He didn't have a strong enough sense of self to shrug off a quarrel, and had to go one-up on the dumbest guy in locker room.

    ...Like most people who have watched Arenas over the last few years, I've always liked him immensely. I believe he's an essentially gentle man, edgy but not malicious, and that his lightness is genuine. Humor is an understandable and damn effective mechanism for coping with pain. But it's time he defined who exactly he intends to be in this world. The Gilbert we've had up to now is a figment, a sketch. He has all the substance of a tattoo."

  • THE WASHINGTON POST: Who is Gilbert Arenas? Even he doesn't seem to know
  • Into the Wild.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Animal Collective.

    Brother Sport.

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Promise, Promise, American Promise!

    A Moment of Clarity.


    America.

    Words.

    "Another tipping point has also been on my mind lately, and it's left me no less melancholy. In this case, the threat is to my own country, the United States. We Americans too seem to have passed a tipping point. Like the glaciers of the high Himalaya, long-familiar aspects of our nation are beginning to seem as if they are, in a sense, melting away.

    In the last few months, as I've roamed the world from San Francisco to Copenhagen to Beijing to Dubai, I've taken to keeping a double- entry list of what works and what doesn't, country by country. Unfortunately, it's become largely a list of what works elsewhere but doesn't work here. In places such as China, South Korea, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland and (until recently) the United Arab Emirates, you find people hard at work on the challenges of education, transportation, energy and the environment. In these places, one feels the kind of hopefulness and can-do optimism that used to abound in the United States.

    As I've traveled from China's gleaming, efficient airports to our often-chaotic and broken-down versions of the same, or ridden on Europe's high-speed trains that so sharply contrast with our clunky, slowly vanishing passenger rail system, I keep expanding my list of what works here at home and what doesn't.

    Over time, the list's entries have fallen into three categories. There are things that are robust and growing, replete with promise, the envy of the world. Then there are those things that are still alive and kicking but are precariously balanced between growth and decline. Finally, there are those things that are irredeemably broken.

    ...I started keeping these lists because I was searching for things that would banish that dispiriting sense that America is in decline. And yet the can-do list remains unbearably short and the can't-do one grows each time I travel..."

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES: America's can't-do list
  • Grindin'.

    Still Standing.

    New flava in ya ear!

    Trina.

    That's My Attitude.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    O.O.C.

    "And the winner is Mariah! (My Girl!)...SPEECH!"

    "We on fire up in here!/It's burning hot!/We on fire!"

    New flava in ya ear!

    Lil Wayne.

    On Fire.