Sunday, May 29, 2011

Attn: Producers of The Office

Hire James Spader.

I may actually watch future episodes if you do.

"I saw an episode on how they make paper on Sesame Street"
He didn't exactly save The Practice, but he made the final season very interesting, won an Emmy for his work, and then had a show spun off for his character where he received 2 more Emmy Awards.

I don't' watch The Office, but I get the feeling that the character played by Spader in the season finale, might be a bit too dark to for the cast, but it would be great to see him wreck havoc like he did on The Practice/Boston Legal.

                       

I love him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Norwegian Wood



"Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you're doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don't want it anymore and throw it out the window. That's what i'm looking for"

First viewing of film: solid
Novel: good
Second viewing of film (shortly after reading the novel): errrr...not so good.

I have to stop doing that to myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kevin Durant - 2011 NBA Playoffs


"Knapsack on the back, that's just my flavor ock"

Grand Puba - 360 (What Goes Around) [SD50 Remix]


Rampage - Beware Of The Rampsack (Boyscout Acapella Mix) [Radio Edit]


Rough House Survivors - Check Da Back Pack


KD, bringing the 90s back.

The Best and Worst NBA Style, Round 2: Link

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A (Very) Brief Conversation: Cee Knowledge aka Doodlebug




Listen to these tracks...

A Tribe Called Quest - Push It Along


Digable Planets - It's Good To Be Here


Do they not appear to be similar in structure, or am I just reachin'? (bad pun)

Was this intentional? An homage or sorts? Black Eyed Peas also did something similar on their debut album -- the game show skits, recalling those appearing on 3 Feet High and Rising. It's something I've thought about since I first listened to the debut album by Digable Planets.

I shared my thoughts with Doodlebug, and he offered this:

"naw if it sounds similar to you it definitely wasn't intentional fam"

"...but don't get it twisted because we were and are big fans of ATCQ ya'meen"

There you have it. It appears it was just coincidence. I hope he didn't think I was accusing him of biting.

My laptop is still in for repairs, but when I get it back, I hope to have Matt join me again for more Native Tongues chatter, and I've managed to lock down my first artist interview. Exciting times...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bridesmaids (Paul Feig, 2011)





















I really like this movie poster.

The poses, and mean muggin'...very hip hop.

I'm coming off of my movie snob high horse to see this one. Paul Feig has a solid resume and from I hear, that cast is pretty funny.
Bridesmaids: Trailer

Monday, May 9, 2011

Put This On - Episode 5: Tradition



Jesse talks with Jay Walter, head of Made-to-Measure at J. Press in New York City about their classic American style. Then a talk with designer Thom Browne, who’s merged traditional aesthetics with fashion ideas, and become perhaps the most influential menswear designer of the last ten years.


That stripped tie, and red sweater is the business.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Chase Pt. 3: or how i learned how far i would go (though not far enough) to obtain unreleased music.












Yesterday, my co-worker approaches me, asking if I've seen the ebay auction for the Tribe tape.

"The whut tape?"

"The Tribe tape. Someone is selling one of their original demo cassettes on ebay. Description, Pubic Enemy, El Segundo...and 2 unreleased tracks"

"..." (mind blown)

I tell him to send me the link immediately. Sure enough it's already over $200. As a joke, I make a posting on my Facebook page. An attempt to gather a group of people to contribute money to acquiring this cassette.


There were a few joke replies, but then my friend Ryan tells me that he's willing to go splitsies. I got an adding machine by my side, so i'm figuring out how high we should go. Ryan tells me that he's willing to spend $200. Damn...he's serious. I'm nervous about dropping that much loot, but I agree to the total. We put in our bid. Less than an hour left, and we're the high bidder.

At this point, my reservations about spending $200 on a cassette are starting to disappear. I'm actually getting excited about it. In my mind I'm making dates on my calendar for sharing the cassette, Lord Stanley styles with Ryan. I'm thinking about future blog posts, and how I would share this rare item with the hip hop nation. Basically I'm getting a little carried away.

Moments before the auction ends, I get an email saying that we've been outbid. Reality kicks in. I check the auction, and it's now closed. The winning bid? $879.99!

I told my co-worker that I had got in on the auction item, but didn't win. He laughed at me and commented that "I guess you're not really that big of a Tribe fan". Shit...not enough to go that much out of pocket.

Thanks for indulging me and my story. The most I can offer now, are snippets, pics, and the description provided in the auction. I made sure to copy it all. I tiny piece of this hip hop history is better than nothing I suppose.

I only hope that someone shares these tracks in the future.

------

MEGA RARE 1ST DEMO TAPE BY HIP HOP LEGENDS A TRIBE CALLED QUEST!!!

THIS DEMO TAPE WAS GIVEN TO A FEW DJS IN THE LATE 80'S WHILE ATCQ WERE SHOPPING THEIR WORK!! I ACQUIRED IT WHEN A PROMINENT DJ LOST HIS STORAGE UNIT AT AUCTION!! HAND DRAWN ART WORK QUITE POSSIBLY BY Q-TIP OR RED ALERT! THIS DEMO WAS RECORDED AND SHOPPED BEFORE PHIFE WAS EVEN IN THE GROUP AND RED ALERT WAS HANDLING ALL THE PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT! THERE IS A RUMORED DEMO THAT WAS SHOPPED TO GEFFEN RECORDS AROUND THIS TIME WITH "CAN I KICK IT?" ON THE TAPE BUT THIS DEMO DOESN'T HAVE THAT SONG ON IT!! WHICH LEADS ME TO BELIEVE IT WAS RECORDED PRIOR TO THAT!

THE DEMO HAS 5 SONGS. 3 OF THE 5 ARE PRE MIXES OF WHAT EVENTUALLY SURFACE ON "PEOPLES INSTINCTIVE PATHS" WHILE THE OTHER 2 WERE NEVER RELEASED! I HAVE PLAYED THESE FOR FRIENDS AND THE LIKE AND NO ONE I KNOW HAS EVER HEARD THESE SONGS BEFORE!!

BY PURCHASING THIS TAPE YOU DON'T OWN THE RIGHT TO ANY OF THE UNRELEASED MATERIAL AT ALL!! AS I DON'T. I JUST HAVE THE TAPE!!! CHECK OUT THE SNIPPETS! TRACK LIST IS AS FOLLOWS AND CAN BE SEEN IN THE PICTURES!!

  
Beautiful...

1) DESCRIPTION OF A FOOL
2) PUBIC ENEMY
3) NATIVE TONGUE (UNRELEASED)
4) LEFT MY WALLET IN EL SEGUNDO
5) DUST (MY PAL) (UNRELEASED)

THE TAPE ITSELF IS IN GREAT CONDITION! I HAVE PLAYED IT THROUGH AND IT IS WOUND TIGHTLY. THERE ARE NO CRACKS. IT IS HOWEVER A BLANK TAPE WITH A DEMO ON IT. IT ISN'T A MIND BLOWING AESTHETICALLY PLEASING CASSETTE BUT IT IS A PIECE OF HIP HOP HISTORY!!!



UPDATE

Q-Tip Says:

"The tribe demo on ebay is not even the 1st one. About 20-30 of those circulated. The original one w/1st bonita is the real."

"the demo is still a worthwhile purchase."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beats Rhymes & Life: A Conversation



Last week, my homie, Matt Tassone and I were both lucky enough to see festival screenings of Michael Rapaport's Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Our thoughts on the film are as follows:

-----------

Old school, AOL Instant Messenger styles. Mostly raw, and unedited (grammar nazis, step off).

Boothe: Toronto Blue
Matt: Pittsburgh Black

ok, so let's start this off with a quote.
"Beats, Rhymes & Life is The Low End Theory of music documentaries"

is it fair to say that you enjoyed this film?

even more than i had hoped i would. i went to nyc specifically to see it and it was more than worth it

had i not had a plane to catch the next day, i would've tried to get rush tickets to see it again

and as the low end theory of docs, that makes it my favorite hip-hop one of all time

i enjoyed the hell out of it too


one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you in particular, is because of your background in film


i wondered if this was really a good doc, or was I just getting caught in the emotion of it


at the end of the day, i'm not sure it really matters

well, to be honest, i don't think i can separate myself from it to make a valid observation on that, but my inkling is that it was well done

it's surprisingly touching in places, very funny all through out and just has a great spirit to it

granted, you and i probably feel that more than others, but i think even non-fans would enjoy it. although, if someone is a non-fan of tribe, they clearly don't have any taste at all so perhaps they'd be more happy watching a dane cook special

haha

one aspect that really impressed me, was the animation in the film. in particular i like the work they did with the old photos, bringing them to life

i just loved that they included the busted ass jetta in the title sequence

just like in notorious when they had that one shot of biggie in a red and black lumberjack with a hat to match

yes indeed

ok, being tribe fans, was there anything in the origins section that you didn't know?

i didn't realize that the jungle brothers had actual family ties to red alert

but i think that's about it. again, though, it's one thing to read a bio for info like that. it's another thing to see it captured in a manner that communicates non-tangible things so well

seeing q-tip hug the principle form his high school, ali pausing to let that little kid zoom by on his scooter, etc. things like that really elevated it

that's why i'm leaning towards thinking it was good documentary filmmaking

yeah

the high school scenes were great. q-tip pounding on the table...got some great percussion sounds out of it.

i got the sense that most people in the theatre i watched it with, didn't know about Mike G, and Red Alert. I'm gonna play class nerd, stand up and say I KNEW THAT



one thing i wanna mention is that i was worried at the very beginning when they started by teasing the beef. it made me think they might go the behind the music route, but they didn't at all. i thought it was a great mix of the good times with the bad

the one thing that i wasn't aware of though, was the relationship between Phife and Jarobi. didn't realize that they were that close.

yeah, me too

apart from jarobi being a chef, i didn't really know much about him at all so most of that was new as well

ok, so i think the first really great laugh out loud moment was when they spoke about Tribe's presentation and attire. how did your audience react?

enough laughter that i missed a few sentences of what black thought said after that. there were a few places where lines got lost in bouts of heavy laughter

note to those reading: Matt saw the screening at Tribeca Film Festival, NYC. I saw it at Hot Docs in Toronto

i think phife saying he couldn't kick fruit punch got just as big of a laugh

and when they showed the seaman's furniture commercial. i actually remember seeing those when i first moved to nyc

it was kinda of startling seeing their clothing. i remember it being boho-ish, but not to that extent. it was fantastic

what was the first video of theirs that you saw? cause for me, it wasn't until 'check the rhime.' previous to that, i had just heard them on the radio

el segundo

so i don't have first hand memory of the clothes being that wild



let's talk native tongues


i had a strong emotional reaction to that part of the doc


especially when de la was introduced. ryan can confirm this...i kinda let out a "yes!"

me too. i get goose bumps when i heard 'buddy.' seriously

so to see that in a theatre w/ 300 people singing along was great

wow...there was one guy in our theathre who was rapping some parts, but to have the audience singing along to Buddy, that's dope

there was lots of singing along w/ our audience. rappaport had told everyone beforehand to get up and dance in the aisles if they wanted so i think that sorta set the mood for high audience participation



were you anticipating seeing more de la? i was

i loved every moment de la was in, and they happened to be in some very important scenes
i'm assuming you're talking about the 'i hope it's their last show' line from dave?

yup


very strong statement

two things that made that stand out so much - pos's reaction when dave said it, and the fact that de la look so relaxed and happy around each other. they still seem like their best friends

quite a contrast

another important scene was Maseo and Q-Tip's discussion

the shot they captured of Ali, was perfect

and what did you read into that? that they were siding w/ tip? or that they were there just trying to diffuse things with the understanding that tip is high-maintenance?

seemed like they were trying to diffuse things

yeah, that's what i thought too

it is another interesting contrast that phife seemed to always be flanked by his wife and family

but tip only had his boys around him

yeah


so in regards to the interviews


did anyone stand out to you in particular, with regards to the information or insight they provided?


is there anyone you might have wanted to see less, or more of?

i could've seen more than everyone. it could've been 4 hours long and i wouldn't have gotten bored

one of the things i was struck by is just how funny and engaging most everyone they talk to is

and it makes sense. that's why the music was so engaging. it was being made by intelligent, charismatic people

yeah

i was maybe a little struck by how on point pharrel was because i've never been a big fan of his

everyone else, it's exactly what i expected

questlove is always a great interview

prince paul is always funny

i found monie to be a little...grating

she is on her sirius show sometimes too

she made good points i suppose, but...i don't know...i think i'd prefer if she was a little more...classy?

i also found it funny that everyone from the native tongues can talk about how positive and everything they were and not seem to find any irony in mentioning the beatnuts in the same breath



haha


yeah...or Dres. The first Black Sheep album wasn't really that positive

yeah

and the second one sucked

i do want an answer as to why prince paul wasn't on midnight maruaders

yeah, that is odd


maybe his invite was lost in the mail


ok, do you think they did a good enough job of covering the musical elements of the band?

given the scope of the documentary and the time limitations, yes

that bit where tip is talking about the drums on 'can i kick it' was one of my favorite parts

yeah

i can't wait for the dvd as i've read there's loads more along those lines

and a little section about large professor, which i assume will be pretty music-focussed as well

i really like what Tip had to say about the near absense of melody in the music, and how it's made up for by the rhythm, and lyrics


the improvisation

yeah, that was pretty poignant

i'd also like to hear if tip was a theory on drums

if you go back and listen to the first three albums, he practically never uses fills or anything

they're just on a loop. they'll cut in and out, sometimes other percussion will be laid on top of them, but there's almost never any real changes

personally, i could listen to them talk about the music itself in terms of theory for a whole film

indeed

but i don't think that would be all that interesting to non hip-hop geeks

one thing i noticed...they sort of glossed over Beats Rhymes and Life, and The Love Movement

they did

rappaport said they just had to draw the line somewhere

i'm sure they hve a lot of footage discussing those albums in particular, but i would have loved to hear about what went wrong with those albums

and since those albums had much more input from outside the group, that's sorta where it made the most sense to stop

oh ok, so it was addressed during the Q&A?

actually, i think i read that in an interview

he said there was a full ten minutes on beats, rhymes and life that convered jay-dee and consequence that will be included on the dvd

good


not really the biggest cons fan, but let's keep it moving


a lot of the press, pre-screening hype (trailer) led me to believe that Q-Tip would be villified


how did you feel about him after watching the doc?

no different than i did going on

everyone i know that saw it basically said the same thing. no one in there comes off particularly bad and they can't understand why they wouldn't want it to be seen

like i said, i think most of the film comes off as a feel-good story about the music

that's what people are taking from it more than anything

yeah


well, i'll throw this out there


you tell me what you think


i thought Phife came off as overly sensitive

i felt more like he came off as unprofessional than overly sensitive

unprofessional as an interview subject, but i felt he was overly sensitve regarding q-tip

and i don't want to sound cruel, because his condition is a big deal

i just felt more unprofessional as far as the way he seemed to approach his career compared to tip

but I can't imagine (and i could be wrong) that q-tip would be that crude (cruel) to insult him on stage like


i think it might have been a misunderstanding, and Phife maybe used that to air out other issues he was having with Tip

when either of them complained about the other, i always got the sense that it was more about other things than what they were actually arguing about

exactly

so that's why i think it's hard to accuse either of them as being dicks or overly sensitive

because i never felt like i really got a sense as to what each was truly upset about

yeah


ok, so let's wrap this up


wait...i should add that the blue jacket Q-Tip was wearing in the park....dopeness

with the scarf? figured you'd be all over that

word


Beats Rhymes Life....


you would recommend this to fans of Tribe, Hip Hop, and music in general?

yup

yeah, when it hits theatres, there will be multiple viewings for me

me too

and i'm already salivating for the dvd w/ all the extras

indeed


alright matt...thanks for taking the time to chat with me

my pleasure