What I’m listening to

July 16, 2010

Divided into groups so you can skip the parts you don’t care about:

ROCK and/or ROLL

Jamie Lidell – Compass

Technically Lidell is a former electronica square-pusher who is now doing R&B and funk.  But he has time for other genres too, including this folky title track from his third album.  Here it is paired with visuals from the game “Red Dead Redemption,” which it played a key role in.

Jose Gonzalez – Veneer

Speaking of “Red Dead,” this summarizes why the game was so absorbing to me, and why my girlfriend probably considered hiding my copy.  This is what happens in the game when you first enter Mexico.  (This song isn’t on “Veneer” but it gives you a taste of the beauty of Gonzalez’s music.)

Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

For indie rock this is pretty high-profile.  I beg your forgiveness, but frankly I don’t have the energy to read the reviews in Alternative Press every month any more.  But here’s what matters: it’s a damn good album.


Big Boi – Sir Lucious Leftfoot… The Son of Chico Dusty

OutKast fans can rejoice because half of that classic group finally released something, after several years of label drama and non-music-related BS.  Hip hop fans can rejoice because this right here is the best rap album of the year… and it’s only July.

Homeboy Sandman – The Good Sun

This cat is just weird.  Video below isn’t from this album, but from his previous one – however, I find the video so low-rent charming and his flow so bizarre in this song that I just had to throw this up.

Roc Marciano – Marcberg and AG – Everything’s Berri

No video here, but let me just say this: if you miss old school boom bap with grimy production and sedate flows, and above all that immersive, cinematic quality that made “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” a classic, check out both of these.  I especially dig “Snow” off of “Marcberg” and that very-70s cover art for “Berri.”  Both albums are nice.


Busy Signal – D.O.B.

Excellent album in general (though his debut “Step Out” remains his best), but this dark, poverty-focused track with Bounty Killer is the high point for me.

There’s also, rather weirdly, a few semi-covers of popular hit songs.  This one really works for me and I couldn’t even explain why.  I only wish Busy would get past the autotune trend – his voice is so effective without it.

Black Dillinger – Love Life

This track is so huge, reminding me of old Sizzla cuts such as “Like Mountain.” The digital version of “Love Life” has been out for a spell (since January or so) but the CD still doesn’t exist, which is a shame.  Anyway, give this a listen.


Hooded Menace – Never Cross the Dead

Death metal mired in sludge, taking one horrible crawling step at a time in your direction.  Hooded Menace’s concept is based on the sleazy, cheesy Eurohorror “Blind Dead” series of movies:

…and the music is SO fitting to that premise.  Also: best metal cover art of 2010, without question.

Sabbath Assembly – Restored to One

Sabbath Assembly is Jex of Jex Thoth – a sonorous-voiced woman who sounds imported from both the 70s and a Frank Frazetta painting – along with Dave Nuss of the No Neck Blues Band and a guy who produced Sunn O))).  The concept behind the album is to take a bunch of hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgment (key excerpt: “They were often viewed as Satanic on the grounds that they worshipped both Christ and Satan. Their belief is that Satan will become reconciled to Christ, and together will come at the end of the world to judge humanity, Christ to judge and Satan to execute judgment”) and realize them with fleshed-out arrangements and a serious evil hippie, Manson cult vibe.  It’s 60s flower rock meets 70s doom metal meets seriously weird religious fanaticism, and if I thought they believed in what they’re singing, I’d be a little concerned.  But as is, it makes for really interesting listening, almost like an alternative reality soundtrack to “The Wicker Man.”


Can it still be a circle jerk if I’m the only one masturbating?

May 27, 2010

Forgive my blue humor, Diane.  What we have this morning is a link to a blog called Witchpolice, which has very kindly re-hosted and re-posted my Sizzla remix album, and interviewed me about the thing to boot.  I suppose it’s pretty masturbatory for me to prattle on so much about my own project, and doubly so to link from my blog to theirs – but anyway, it was really nice of them to do this, and they asked a lot of good questions.  Stand-up guys, good blog, check it out.

Is this offensive?

October 28, 2009

My good liberal sensors might just be poorly calibrated, but doesn’t this seem kind of offensive?  From emusic.com’s listing of an obscure reggae album by Bigga Haitian:


The correct title is right there, emusic.  Binghi MAN.  Mr. Haitian may spell his first (er, nick-) name “Bigga,” but he doesn’t always have to type with a extremely cliched Jah-may-kon accent.

(By the way, this album is good.  Recommended, mon!)

Well that was fast

November 7, 2008

I love it when my favorite things come together.  In this case, dancehall singer Sizzla has a tune dedicated to our new president elect.  Even the Jamaicans are happy for us…

Check it out here.


September 25, 2008

1. Goodfellas/Frank Sinatra/veal parmigiana.  Some combinations are so obvious, I probably could have left them off this list.  Nonetheless, this combo platter of mob guys, a singing mob guy, and unethically-raised meat slathered in tomato sauce and cheese is a feast for the senses, even if it will leave you feeling a little guilty and sick to your stomach.  Here’s a veal recipe and a Frank recommendation.  If your conscience bothers you, sub in chicken or Quorn for the veal, Tony Bennett or Brent Spiner for Ol’ Blue Eyes.  But don’t try to swap out the mafia guys – you might get stomped on:

2. The Harder They Come/Jimmy Cliff/fried plantains.  Another serving of obviousness, but we may as well get it out of the way early.  Fried plantains are easy to make and delicious, and you really can’t have tropical island or Latin American cuisine without them.  As for the movie and the Jimmy, here’s a ready-made slice of both:

3. Tombs of the Blind Dead/Hooded Menace/paella.  This slow, eerie Eurohorror cult classic was made in Spain – hence the paella, a Spanish staple akin to the more familiar (to Americans anyway) jambalaya.  As for the Hooded Menace (“Who?” I hear you asking), they’re a new death/doom metal band about to release their debut on Razorback Records, they’re great, and they’re directly inspired by the blind dead movie series.  So it was an obvious choice.  Anyway, here’s an indifferently edited and voiced trailer for “Tombs of the Blind Dead”:

4. Repo Man/The Sex Pistols/Food.  This is nothing but a brazen plea to one of my dear friends: watch “Repo Man,” fucker, it’s funny!  “Repo Man” is becoming a lost cult classic – you hear less about it every year, even though it remains Emilio Estevez’s best work (take that, “Young Guns 2!”) and holds what is near the top of the list of must-see Harry Dean Stanton performances.  For the Pistols, the obvious choice is the bullocks – but you also can’t go wrong with taking a tangential ride down “My Way” Road (which brings us back to “Goodfellas” territory, coincidentally) ((Special Double Parentheses: that video is well, WELL worth your time)).  Finally, if you don’t get the “Food” thing, all I can say is this: put it on a plate, son.  You’ll enjoy it more.

5. The double-your-pleasure seafood special: Jaws & Moby Dick/Ahab & Mastodon/shrimp tempura roll & pan-seared tuna.  Too… much… linking….  Want… to… kill… self.  OK, let’s just run through this real quick:

  – “Jaws” is a classic movie by Steven Spielberg that basically created the blockbuster summer movie.  It holds up today as (in my opinion) the best of its breed, even better than “The Empire Strikes Back” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” 

  – “Moby Dick” is of course a book, but it was also a movie a few times, including a decent made-for-TV version with Patrick Stewart as Captain Crazypants (that was his name, right?).  Pretty soon it’s going to be a shitty blockbuster with its soul removed (super-spectacular quote: “Our vision isn’t your grandfather’s ‘Moby Dick’… This is an opportunity to take a timeless classic and capitalize on the advances in visual effects to tell what at its core is an action-adventure revenge story.”).  So take your pick.

  – Ahab and  Mastodon are two separate metal bands who decided to turn “Moby Dick” into a concept album.  In both cases this works way better than you’d think.  Ahab’s album in particular sounds exactly like what I imagine you’d hear after a whale mauled you and you were drifting to the bottom of the ocean, many dark fathoms deep.

  – Shrimp tempura roll is one of my favorite sushi rolls that doesn’t cost a zillion dollars.  This recipe for pan-seared tuna I have never tried, but it sounds awesome.

Now here’s the 50s “Moby Dick” with Gregory Peck, which I have never seen, but looks pretty good:

6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy/Led Zeppelin/bread with butter and honey, cheese, apples, cold cured meats.  A movie about hobbits, some music about Mordor, and an array of simple Shire food.  Definitely a good plan for whiling away an entire Saturday one week.

Remix review

September 24, 2007

Reggae-reviews.com has posted a very flattering review of my recent remix project, which I thought I would link to:


Just scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

Free stuff

August 29, 2007

The project is finished.  Here it is for anyone interested.  For those of you too lazy to scroll down, this is a remix album featuring Sizzla acapella tracks over new dancehall riddims constructed by me from spaghetti western soundtrack samples and newly recorded instrumental bits.  The .zip file in the link contains cover art and notes.  It was a bigger pain in the ass than I thought it would be, so enjoy it, you bastards.