Pop Life

Wednesday, December 31, 2003


more fun than they look

Two of the best movies I've seen this year have been animated (three if you include all the digital work in Return of the King). The first was Finding Nemo, the second is The Triplets of Belleville, a remarkable French movie with practically no dialogue yet is a fully imagined and executed narrative. I won't bother with plot details - believe me, it's better to just let the film unfold on its own pace - but the visual and narrative imagination in this film was fantastic. It reminded me, on a very basic level, of Murasaki's brilliance though this film was far more comically surreal than anything Murasaki has done (and it goes without saying, much better than most of what you'd see from Disney). It's only showing in limited art house theaters and may not be around in your town for too long so try to catch it when you have a chance.
Permalink | |

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


mui - a wonder woman

Damn. Anita Mui died yesterday at age 40 after a very short bout with cervical cancer. 40! As an actress, I thought Mui had crazy class - it's a shame that most American audiences had to know her through Rumble in the Bronx which was well-nigh terrible. Mui kicked serious ass though in one of my all-time favorite HK flicks, The Heroic Trio.
Permalink | |

Monday, December 29, 2003


This isn't really music writing per se, but I was (again) scouring the soulstrut.com boards and came upon this amazing letter to no one/everyone by my man Alien Iverson (aka DJ Cosmo Baker) and I was so taken with it, I just had to share it. Feel this:

    :::GETTIN IN GONE:::

    and so here i am just sitting at a desk that belonged to my dead grandfather, who i did not know at all, and i am trying my best to recover from the last nights festivities. the hooverholler aka the challatronix aka what my mein meng tripledouble likes to call hooked-on-phonix was crunk. i drank too many beers, danced with too many women, threw too many bows, and today i pay the cost.

    im thinking about all that i have seen and suffered for these past days. im tasting this. im thinking of time ive lost, of people that i have lost. i know that i will lose much more of both in my life. i am powerless.

    im thinking about my mother. she is one of the most amazing people i have ever know, both vailant and frail. im sitting here, thinking of her, looking at what she gave me as a gift. this was most potent of "digs" that i could have ever axxed for.

    the 38 years never too late cause this is right now dig.

    all original posters - perfect condition

    *big brother & the holding company/bo diddly & bukka white - avalon ballroom 1967
    *jefferson airplane/mother earth/flamin groovies - filmore west 1967
    *the who/cannonball adderly/the vagrants - winterland/filmore west 1968
    *ten years after/sun ra/country weather - filmore west 1968
    *grateful dead/pentagle/sir douglas quintet - filmore west 1968
    *grateful dead/blood sweat & tears/spirit - filmore west 1969

    man, these shows. some of these lineups were sick. also, the art. its amazing - lee conklin, wes wilson, greg irons, stanley mouse - these dudes illustrated a generation.
    and thats whats up, because these posters are a peek at this time which is gone. much like the records that we all look for do. maybe thats what it is about our quest for records. maybe in looking for these grooves were actually looking to find a feeling, a feeling of what we might have seen as a simpler time, a time where we didnt have these worries, we think about that time that we didnt have and experiences that we never saw and the childhood that we want to grasp again, hold on to and define ourselves forever.

    included with the posters were copies of photos, unseen photos of my parents.
    my dead father, he has my face. he is filled with light. he is 18 years old in this photo. my mother is 17. they thought they had their entire life in front of them. they are filled with so much love that it makes me shiver inside. it is beautiful. i am filled with so much love that i think i might burst. i really dont have any idea of what is going to happen to me.

    i have to go now. thanks.

Permalink | |


One more example of music writing that kicks ass: "'90s Punk Decries Punks of Today" from The Onion.
Permalink | |


Ok, I admit - my latest internet obsession is tracking my main web pages (i.e. on my site) through Statcounter.Com, a free service that logs info on up to 100 visitors who come to your sites. Yes, it is INCREDIBLY egocentric of me but hey, half the time these days, my newly acquired caffeine addiction is keeping me up nights anyways so I might as well do something (un)productive. What could be more fulfilling at 4am then discovering that you have people from St. Louis...or Manila for that matter, reading this very blog? Try it - get your own Statcounter going and see if you can resist tapping over there every 15 minutes to see if anyone else from Seoul is surfing your site.
Permalink | |


another mad rapper

Ah, salty indie rappers. They've been the bane of my existence these past two years since I've been dissed by such illustrious folks such as People Under the Stairs, Louis Logic and Jean Grae (this is a whole 'nother story for another time but hey, please do buy those albums I linked to - it helps get my name out there even more).

Defari hasn't dissed me on record (not yet at least) but he's mad salty - salty at white rappers in the underground that he thinks are taking away from his music sales. This is from an interview on ThaFormula.Com:

    Defari - Yeah because I'm out here trying to get shows and a lot of these dudes are taking my money you understand? It's like a lot of these cats are taking my money. The Ugly Ducklings, Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, and all this shit that I ain't even heard of. I guess it's a lot of these young kids that always be on the computer that are into these MC's and these groups that kinda represent and look like them. When I hear these niggaz music I be like "damn that's horrible man." This shit is straight garbage.

Let's just spell it out: Defari thinks it's wack that white rappers are making money when he's not (never mind that Atmosphere's Slug is half-Black). Of course, many have noted that maybe the reason that Defari isn't moving Aesop Rock-like units isn't because of race but because Defari has yet to put out a good album (note: the folks at Allmusic.com, not exactly known as picky critics, only gave D's debut album, Focused Daily, 3 stars which, from what I remember of the album, is at least half a star too generous.

Anyways, I've had some interesting conversations with folks over this topic, including with friends/colleagues Hua, Jazzbo and Jon C. and you can catch even more at the Soulstrut.com forums. Suffice to say, Defari taps into some interesting questions, such as:

1) Is underground/independent hip-hop now the roost of white rappers?
2) If so, does it even matter? And if so, to who?
3) Is this a harbinger of what may come to pass on the mainstream/major label side of hip-hop, i.e. will rap music "go white" like rock did?

Expect more on this in the near future but drop your own comments below in the meantime.

Permalink | |


It's been forever, but I finally updated my playlists for my O-Zone radio show. You can now find playlists for all my shows in 2003 plus a few archived playlists from 1996, 2000, and 2001.
Permalink | |

Sunday, December 28, 2003


doin' it up brooklyn style?

Many of you have likely already heard the news but Jay-Z has joined a consortium trying to buy the New Jersey Nets and move them to Brooklyn. Architect Frank Gehry is already on board to design the new stadium which would be at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic in the heart of downtown Brooklyn.

I don't know enough about the human costs in making this move (assuming it even happens) - after all, redevelopment, even for sports facilities, always has positive and negative benefits to people already living in the area. That said, if it happens, my main hope would be that they would rename the Brooklyn Nets to something more...interesting. "New Jersey Nets" worked fine since you had that alliteration thing going on. But "Brooklyn Nets"? Yaaaaawn.

My vote - it's so obvious: Brooklyn Zoo. Can I get an amen?

ol dirty says: "amen!"

Permalink | |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com Blogarama - The Blog Directory <--(our gracious host)