Thursday, May 26, 2005

Galang Galang

M.I.A., Live at Sonic Boom (Seattle, WA) 5-12-05

M.I.A., Galang (Live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show)

M.I.A., Bucky Done Gun (Live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show)

M.I.A., Bucky Done Gun (DJ Marlboro Funk Carioca remix)

Following up on the musical selections for the summer, I want to showcase M.I.A. to help get everyone through this shitty weather and remind you of dancing, sweating and tropical lands. We've already talked about our girl M.I.A. on this blog, but I have unfortunately not mentioned her since the release of her full-length album, Arular, a few months back. This album and the Diplo-produced mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism, that preceded have been in constant rotation for me. The mix of dancehall, baile funk, hip hop and bass is my soundtrack right now, and I can't imagine that this isn't getting everyone hyphy. Above are a few M.I.A. rarities that should hold you over until you have a chance to catch the live show touring now or buy the album.

The first one is a live recording of a set that Maya did at a Seattle record store a few weeks back. It's not the greatest sound quality, but it is a fun document and a good sense of what to expect at her next show. The next two mp3s are recordings from her appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show a few weeks ago. She plays two of her most recognizable hits, Galang and Bucky Done Gun, and it is so nice to see her playing on national TV and blowing up right before our eyes. The final one is a treat for anyone who has gotten into the whole baile funk thing over the last few years. DJ Marlboro remixes Bucky Done Gun, a perfect choice. It doesn't sound very clear, but it still gives you a feel for the anarchy and dirtiness of Rio's baile funk music. Much more to come on this.

-I went to the Rilo Kiley show tonight with TA and MC at the Trocadero, and it far exceeded my expectations. I had only heard a few songs here and there, so I wasn't very sure how I would do with an hour and a half of their music. Rilo Kiley. The music was a lot prettier than I expected, not at all the loud, punkish music show I was expecting. I would think that anyone into the country rock ish like Wilco, Ryan Adams or Lucinda Williams, those into into the thoughtful indie rock like The Postal Service, or just anyone into good music would feel right at home. Buy their albums here and see what you think.

-Also, I had a chance to check out the Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday with MC. The show only runs for through this weekend, and those tickets are sold out. Check Craig's List for people selling their extras. I wish that I could speak of a transcendant experience, an engagement with the master of Surrealism, . Instead, I can only speak of the horror I feel at being stuck in large crowds, the anger I felt at the PMA for selling so many tickets making it impossible to look at any work in peace, and the growing realization that people are inherently rude assholes who don't care about other people or their personal space. Oh, I can also speak on the sensation of having the breasts (or bellies) of short, living -dead Russian women in one's lower back and buttocks.

-More fallout from the Moe Cheeks hiring/Jim O'Brien firing. Check out Allen Iverson's take on the hiring here and here. Go here, here, here and here for the local media reaction. The blogs are speaking too, so go here and here for thoughts. Having had a few more days to think about it, I like the move more and more. While it sucks for Jim O'Brien, I don't think that he was the right guy to develop these young players. His handling of Willie Green and John Salmons was unacceptable, as they nearly lost a year sitting on the bench. His relationship with Webber was clearly awful, and Webber might be the key for this team next season. I don't understand the criticism about too many coaching changes, as I like the fact that this team is willing to make moves despite the costs. Most of all, it's just nice to have Mo Cheeks back in Philly, leading the Sixers just as he did when I was growing up.

-A few other nice Philly-related stories that I want to highlight. First, there is this nice Philadelphia Weekly cover story about the emergence of the Rotunda, the artists' space on the University of Pennsylvania's campus that has become a center and home for the neighborhood over the last 5 years. The threat of commercial development hangs over the space now, and it is nice to see a growing interest in keeping this not only a community space, but also a destination. I really like Alan Harkarvy's thoughts on making 40th Street an arts destination, as I love the big thinking about the city going on right now.

-The Gravity Games, the Outdoor Network's version of the X Games, are coming to Philly. That's right, the 2005 Summer Games will take place in our city. This is a great opportunity to contunue the delusion that 17 year old suburbanites on skateboards are athletes. Oh, my friends, the future in our country looks real promising to these eyes, real promising.

-For the Philly real estate market, another exciting development. Tony Goldman is one of the most famous developers in this country, responsible for the turnarounds in South Beach and Chelsea years ago. He has turned his attention to the 13th Street corridor (called B3 in the article for A Block Below Broad, in an attempt to create the worst neighborhood name since a Beirut developer called "Place Of Many Bloody Deaths") in Philly over the last 7 years, and it appears that this investment is paying off. After putting money into infrastructure improvements, Goldman Properties announced that they would begin condo conversions shortly. First up, the White Building at 102 South 12th Street.

-I have been meaning to bring some political links to my readers, but have not been staying on top of the news as much as I would like to recently. Go read this op-ed by Bob Herbert and this one by Paul Krugman, as they give a great sense of the mess that we are in now as a nation because of the decisions and agenda of the radical right. It is a great reminder why one might actually pay for New York Times content. More to come on this front, as I don't want to ignore these topics just because they are so sad and depressing.

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