Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ed Banger Records In New York City

New York City, the event of the summer is nearly upon us. Ed Banger Records - Uffie, Sebastian, Busy P, Para One, the whole crew - are descending on Gotham next Thursday August 31st. On the real, this is a huge event, the perfect way to end the summer with a bang.

This has all come together late, so I'm gonna do my part to make sure that this event sells out and our friends from Paris play to a packed house.

date: Thursday, August 31 10 pm
place: Element 225 E. Houston (at Essex)
cost: $10 (presale at $15 (door)

Let's do this New York City (and Philly kids, let's take the Chinatown together!!!!). Look at the names associated with this one: Ed Banger Records, Project Matt and the Funtime Party Team, Vice magazine, Lauren Flax and White Lightning!, Insititubes and others. Most importantly, I will be there, Pound for fucking Pound, What more do you need? Get those tickets now friends.

In honor of this one, I will be dropping some more Ed Banger heat. If you have a blog, please get in touch and help spread the word for this one. More to come on this night.

A Date With Ed Banger

Beck, "Lost Cause"

I am about to get on the bus to NYC to catch the Ed Banger show and ezarchive has been a real bitch today. So, I figured I would say hi and promise lots of good tunes and links this weekend. Here's my favorite track of the moment, even though it's been out for years it still kills. Listen and cry.

Say hi if you see me at Element tonight; I will be the guy in a red and blue Le Tigre shirt, hipster glasses and Hoya blue and grey Nike Dunk highs. I hope that the Pound for Pound army is in full effect and even moreso that I can find a place to crash.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Morgan Geist - Unclassics #5

Victor, "Go On Do It (1984 original mix)"

Victor, "Go On Do It (Morgan Geist Breakfast Club dub)"

I've been threatening to throw up some Morgan Geist for a minute now, finally coming through. I figured that I would hype up his Unclassics series first, an amazing series of 12" releases that compile some of the forgotten gems from the whole early 80s electro/Italodisco/disco period. Geist then does a remix on the flip, which should explain why this is such an essential series.

Side A is just pure crack, as Geist has uncovered a proto-rap, Italian disco jawn where a dude raps in a monotone about picking up a hooker and f*#king her every which way but loose, including that most dirty of spots. It's pure genius, with the beats provided by the one and only Alexander Robotnick, a.k.a. Maurizio Dami, great drum machine breakdowns, even great female background vocals. Wow, I mean, I try not be all 80s nostalgic, but it definitely feels like music made a wrong turn when shit like this became obscure. Geist takes over the B side, dropping a sick, sick dub version of the original. It sounds like he has taken one section from the original and worked with that for the entire 7 + minutes. You'll notice a much more mid-range bass happening, which sort of mellows this version. Despite the fact that he has taken the vocals out and calmed things down, it sounds like even more is happening, as Geist has added much more micro sounds into the mix. Amazing stuff, two sides of electro-disco heat. Cop your 12" right now, you won't regret it.

-I mentioned the CT Senate race a few weeks back when Ned Lamont shocked DC pundits by beating incumbent Joe Lieberman. I mentioned how important this was, but never went deeper. Take a look at this interview Lieberman gave with the odious Glenn Beck on Beck's radio show and it should all be clear. Look at some of Beck's greatest hits (my favorite is his discussion of how long it took him to hate the 9/11 widows), the man Lieberman calls "friend" at the end of the interview. This man is not a Democrat, his loss will be a step forward and a warning to all other conservative enablers.

-I've decided to fully accept my inner hipster and buy a bike for city travel. I am wondering if any readers have suggestions on questions I need to ask when buying a used one. For Philly people, any recommendations on a store? I'm leaning towards Via on 9th Street, as they seem to have a good selection and decent prices. Get at me with any tips or recommendations, then make sure to pray for my safety.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bay Area Heat - I Got Grapes

Nump feat. E-40, Turf Talk and San Quinn, "I Got Grapes"

DJ Shadow feat. Nump, "Keep 'Em Close"

Yaaaaayyyyyyy Arrrrreaaaaaaaa!" I'm still trying to do this as a weekly, as I know how hard this shit is to come by and it really has grown on me the past few months. It's funny, when the South started to rise up a few years back, it was the same experience. At first, I hated it, thought it sounded weird and strange, undanceable and uninteresting. Then, one song would hit me perfectly and it would all make sense. From there, my concept of 'hip-hop' changes, as does the way I hear things.

Here's another heater from last year, Nump's "I Got Grapes," a smoker's anthem for all the 4:20 friendly. Like most stuff coming out the Bay, this one has numerous versions and remixes featuring pretty much everyone and anyone in the scene. This one comes off DJ Backside's Got Bay? Vol. 3 mixtape and features three of the biggest names in the game - E-40, Turf Talk and San Quinn. It's got that drums and percussion sound that defines the genre, plus the interesting cadences and party theme. Look for a re-release of The Nump Yard on September 19, more news on his myspace page.

Here's another track from the new DJ Shadow album, Outsider, featuring our boy Nump. I guess you can argue that this is proof that this sound isn't a fad, or you can just say that there are certain producers who are willing to exploit the next sound. It doesn't really matter, as long as people get to hear the people who started and sustain this movement. I can't say that this track, "Keep 'Em Close," is going to interest a lot of people. It's too slow and uninteresting to me, stupid gun shot sound effects that add nothing to the song. Maybe my expectations were too high, curious about what others are hearing from this album.

-The Clipse at Alife tonight for their Courtyard End of Summer Jam. RSVP ASAP LES LOL ROTLMAO BRB. Epic party, for real, the perfect way to start the night before you head to our next listing.

-New York, this is a crazy big week for you. The King of New York Project Matt is going to take care of you tonight and Thursday, do not sleep. Tonight head to the weekly party at Home Sweet Home down in Chinatown and get drizzed. Thursday night, you already know. Have you bought your ticket yet to Ed Banger Showcase at Element? Shit's selling, you will regret not being a part of the event of the summer. See the stickied post above for all info. Do the damn thing. If you are in Philly, holler at your bol if you want to get a car pool going or roll deep on the Chinatown bus.

-No mention of the hosted mp3s? No one commented on the fact that we have killed Yousendit here!?!?! Thanks to my bol K at Analog Giant for the advice, as we are both at the same point with much bigger things coming down the road. Songs are up for 7 days now and that's it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cruel Summer

Banamarama, "Cruel Summer"

My mother went back into the hospital early this morning, so there's gonna be light posting today. This recent development made this the perfect time to finally up this highest quality version of Banarama's stone-cold classic and theme song for the my past few months, "Cruel Summer." It's such a good song, does not get rocked nearly enough by DJs. Remedy this, my DJ friends or contribute to my Buy Pound for Pound a Mixer Fund. Can you name what great 80s movie this song played in and what scene? First person with the right answer gets an re-upload of their choice or a request for something I haven't gotten to yet. Holler.

-Philly, the dynamic duo of Low Budget and Brendan Bring'em are spinning tonight at Tragos. You know what to do, it goes down from 10 on.

-Will Donovan McNabb and Donte Stallworth be the new dynamic duo in town? We will see shortly, as the Eagles traded for the receiver today, sending the NO Saints Mark Simoneau and a 4th round draft choice. Sounds like a good move to me.

-To all the biters using my phrases and songs for their myspace pages, go to sleep. As my bol JR Writer reminds me, though, "Y'all won't stop until a bol stops writin'." I guess I'll just take it as a compliment. Ride or die.

Dylan Sunday - Theme Time Radio Hour #5

Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour #5 (coffee) (unlimited downloads)

Ahhh, baseball may have been the passion of my youth, but coffee is the passion of my lost mid-20s. For real, there is nothing better than sitting in a cafe drinking a nice cup of coffee, or a cappucino, reading a book or talking with friends. Almost every word that gets published here or in a newspaper or magazine is conceived of and written in a cafe in Philly or New York City.

There is no comparison, though, as Philly has amazing and lively cafe culture, while New York's has been an utter disappointment. From Last Drop to Hausbrandt to La Va to Mugshots to La Colombe to Gleaners, Philly is amazing. Each place has its own style and scene, but they all value great coffee, relaxed places to be yourself and spots to people watch. I have never found anything comparable in Manhattan, have some hopes for Brooklyn but can't say that it's anything more than a wish.

What do you all think? Philly, what are some other great cafes? NYC, what am I missing? Europe, do you laugh at us Americans for being so amateur at cafe life? Oh, and let me thank iced coffee for allowing me to finish this post after midnight!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tear Da Club Up Thugs - CrazyNDaLazDayz

Tear Da Club Up Thugs, "Smoked Out"

Tear Da Club Thugs, "Wet Party"

Tear Da Club Up Thugs, "Get Buck Get Wild"

I was trying to think of what to put up today before Bob Dylan Sunday and it occurred to me that it might be fun to make a post every weekend that focuses on a classic album that maybe has gone under the radar or would be cool to turn people onto who come here for one particular genre. In essense, this was all an excuse to put up tracks from the music that I have been listening a ton lately, the legends, Three 6 Mafia, the Triple 6, Oscar winners, but whatever.

This album, CrazyNDaLazDayz, is the only Tear Da Club Thugs release, which featured DJ Paul, Juicy J and Lord Infamous from Three 6. For myself and many, this is the best release ever out of the Hypnotized Camp Posse, as the paring down of the group makes for more consistent songs and for whatever reason, this is the angriest album the group ever made. There's very little of the horrorcore lyrics and sounds of the earliest albums; I guess it's most accurately the transition album from that sound to the party shit that's gotten them money and an Academy Award.

The songs above are some of my favorites, although there really were quite a few choices. It's an amazing album, 24 songs, sprawling, angry, violent, brutal, funny, misogynistic, drugged. It's probably not for everybody and may even offend some people, I don't know. For me, it's an amazing album, a sound progressing and a dark, foreboding stories about lost men, trying anything to get away from the craziness in their heads and hoods. I cannot recommend this one more highly, go and buy it if you don't own it already.

-I've decided that I want to have a daughter. Not sure what spurred this idea on; probably the little girl I saw today getting off the bus at 21st and Spring Garden, dressed in flower dress and Elton John star glasses, babbling away to her mother and whoever would listen, including the bus driver. Later, as we went in opposite ways, she stuck her tongue out at me and then waved. It was the cutest thing ever, and I realized that I would like to have a little girl that dresses in ridiculous clothing like pink kicks, crazy hair accessories, rainbow socks, straight hipster steez.

-On the real, Pound for Pound is going to be out of control this week with so much good shit that it really isn't fair: Switch a.k.a. Todd Henry, Scritti Politti, "Teabag Dat Hoe," Bay Area heat, Forward, Russia!, Lily Allen, more Padded Cell, Dirt Crew and more. Most importantly, the Ed Banger show in NYC jumps off and I will continue to help make this a sell-out. Check in often, you will not be disappointed.

Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous remixes

[Ed. note: This was supposed to have gone up yesterday, but blogger and yousendit prevented that.]

Nelly Furtado, "Promiscuous" (320 for my DJs)

Nelly Furtado, "Promiscuous (Axwell remix)"

Nelly Furtado, "Promiscuous (Morel's Pink Noise Vocal mix)"

It seemed like a good time to take another look at one of the hottest tracks of the summer, Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous." It held up well for me, although I don't listen to the radio much, so it may have long grown old there. Not much more to be said about it, grab it at the highest quality and play it out for a few more months.

The remixes take a similar approach to the Justin Timberlake ones from Friday. They serve more to make the original a little more danceclub friendly, housier so to speak, as opposed to complete reimaginings or darker shit. While it'd be nice to see a little more diversity in the remixers on these CDs, I can't say that I hate these versions. The Axwell remix starts out with just a cymbal beat, slowly adding some clipped vocals and keyboards, a nice teasing beginning. About two minutes it all comes together and the bass and drums take things up a notch. Interestingly, Axwell stops this and let's the Nelly/Timmy raps come in, shortcircuiting the first buildup. After the verses, it builds back up with some synths and cymbals, but it's not as much of a club stormer as I expected.

Morel's Pink Noise Vocal mix is my favorite, a harder edged, more banging version. This song had me with the hard drums right away, plus I like the fact that the beat doesn't drop out during the verses, which are completely intact. This would be my choice for a club version, although any good club should be fine with the original. I have a few more from this CD, let me know if there is any interest.

-I originally had mentioned the Danger! Danger! house party/rock festival. I hope that some Philly people made it out to the westside last night for this one, as it had to be a great time. I spent my night around Rittenhouse Square for the first time in ages; it's unbelievable how many people are out in that neighborhood, I really feel like things are gonna start popping up in new areas to . Thanks ED, DM, AZ, A + P for letting me tag along and not feel like a douche for not drinking. I even went to a Wharton party and nobody asked me to park their car or wondered how a hippie got in!

-Happy birthday to RV, who has crossed the quarter century mark. I hope that it was a boss(y) night, wish I could've been there to celebrate.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Justin Timberlake remixes

Justin Timberlake, "Sexyback" (DJs, grab it at 320!)

Justin Timberlake, "Sexyback (Linus Loves remix)"

Justin Timberlake, "Sexyback (Poker Face remix)"

Justin Timberlake, "Sexyback (Tom Novy Ibiza dub)"

Mang, this first single from Justin Timberlake just keeps sounding better and better to me. I just know that the ladies love this, can totally see it killing at a club. Beyond that, it just continues to prove that this boy can do the damn thing, especially if he is gonna let Timbaland lace him with hot m music. Just figured that I get the remixes up, as the Sexyback, Pt. 2 CD was released and these have been floating around. None of them touch the original, in my humble opinion. The Ibiza dub mix was everything I feared, straight from Ibiza 2006, so no acid house 1988 madness. Towards the end, when the soft jazz piano comes in, I was embarrassed.

The other two make the original a little more dancefloor friendly and both work nicely. The Linus Loves remix is the harder, more 4/4 one, which actually downplays Justin's lines in favor of Timbo's, an interesting choice. The Poker Face remix brings that percussion heavy sound in, mixed with an organ for what I imagine tribal house sounds like. That's a guess, as I really have no idea what that genre sounds like. While I normally shy away from anything deemed soft, lest I be labelled 'soft,' I like this one, nice and chilled out.

-New York City, Philly's finest DJ Low Budget will show the LES how it's done at The Delancey tonight. Head there, as it's about the only good thing left in the LES, now that I don't roll through! This is a Skullfuckers jawn, so you know it'll be ill and their fliers are dope and this is where you need to be tonight. For those who just can't stomach Manhattan (and believe me, I feel ya), head to Savalas where Jones of Caps and Jones is spinning.

-For my beloved Philly people, FiftyOne:FiftyOne has the scoop as always. Some nice things going down on this usually dull end of August weekend, especially that Jokers of the Scene appearance at the Seclusiasis' night at the Khyber. I missed them last Sunday opening for Dave P at the Walnut Room dropping electro heat, sounds like tonight is going to be a more eclectic soundtrack. Atza nice!

-If I don't make it there, it's because I'm still celebrating my team's Quizzo victory last night! We went to the Abbaye, we saw, we conquered. I want to thank my teamates for carrying us to victory: TA, MR, EO, AP, KA and LL. I came up big on the radical historians questions, as you ain't gonna get a Howard Zinn question by this guy.

The Knife - Marble House

The Knife, "Marble House (Rex the Dog remix)"

The Knife, "Marble House (Booka Shade's Polar Light dub)"

The Knife, "Marble House (Booka Shade remix)"

The Knife, "Marble House (PTR remix)"

I think that The Knife music I've put up as gotten the biggest reaction, except for maybe the Cassius "Toop Toop" and Justice remixes. So, here's a few more from the catalogue, another 12" released for their last album, Silent Shout. "Marble House" is another brilliant track, keeping in that 'haunted house music' vein we've mentioned. In fact, this one might be my favorite song on the album, love the vocals, the crisp instrumental

The remixes are a nice batch, starting with Rex the Dog's uplifting version. It's amazing how different this one sounds in comparison to the paranoic original. This one sounds perfect for a house set, as Rex the Dog has upped the BPMs and added some nice synth 80s sounds and it also sounds so uplifting that I want to cry.

Booka Shade puts together two reinterpretations, both of which bringing a dubbier sound to the mix. The Polar Light dub is way better than the obligatory dub version on 12" singles, as it isn't on some paint by numbers shit. He really redoes the entire thing, as it sounds nothing like The Knife's version. He takes out the vocals for the most part, drops the synth sounds, makes the bass more active. In fact, both Booka Shade versions sound similar to me; the remix differs mainly in the addition of congos/percussion, giving it a more natural, organic sound.

Finally, the PTR remix by PlanningToRock puts together my favorite version, stick closest to the original. PTR keep the vocals, but add an almost orchestral sound to the mix, complete with piano notes, strings, slowing it all down for optimal effect. This isn't for the dancefloor, but like the best of Bjork, it has a beauty in its oddness.

-Dope music blog alert: another night on earth. Chris has a great site going, covering a lot of the same music that I do here, but with far greater eloquence and sense of the history of dance music. I'm really digging his Friday Classics posts, which cover some of the influential names in dance music from the well-known to the obscure. But, best of all, there's a nice look at the influences like jazz, soul and afrobeat, something that I hope to do a better job covering down the road. Head over there now and show some love to my South African bol.

-I try not to make this blog too personal, choosing to focus on music, cities, politics, the world outside of me. However, I come to you tonight to ask for your opinion on a matter of import: Should I get a buzz cut? My hair is long now and I need to get a haircut. However, I'm leaning towards getting it buzzed off (not bald, mind you), but wanted to get opinions before I do. My thinking: this will be a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to put the past few months behind me. However, I'm afraid that this won't do that and I'll just look like an ugly asshole. Thoughts, opinions, votes, let's hear it, people.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Blak Jak - Bobbin' My Head

Blak Jak, "Bobbin' My Head"

Blak Jak, "Ride and Swerve"

Here's the latest Blak Jak track, which has been out for a few weeks. For those that don't know, Blak Jak is the latest rapper to emerge from the Atlanta scene, possibly the perfect example of that 'Southern' rapper I mentioned with Rick Ross. In other words, an amalgamation of all the regions of the South, bringing elements from each into a total package. "Bobbin' My Head" is a sneaky song, it kinda sneaks up on you after repeated listening. In fact, it's just like the first single, "Ride and Swerve," which started to get some attention up North after a few months. It's got a nice, simple, repeatable refrain, good verses. I'm still partial to "Ride and Swerve," with its great drum sound and general catchiness, but both have me anticipating the album, Place Your Bets.

-It's been too long since I hyped myself up. Have no fear, it's time again. Check out my latest for the Philly Weekly: an A-List preview of the free screening of Kill Yr Idols at the World Cafe Live - the documentary on NYC underground rock which I'm going to try to make next week - and a look at Philly underground legends Notekillers' show at The Fire. Grindin'...

-Speaking of great writers, Frank Rich's column from this past Sunday is magnificent, a brilliant takedown of the politics of fear that has risen up since September 11th. It's especially nice to see him hammer the pundit class that supported the Iraq War and call them out for their hysterical reaction to Joe Lieberman's defeat. Rich has always been one of my favorites, here's a chance to read him in topform.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Padded Cell - Are You Anywhere

Padded Cell, "Are You Anywhere"

Padded Cell, "Konkorde Lafayette"

Here's something a little darker for you kids, to coincide with that sinking feeling one gets when you realize August is almost over and that you left a drunk text message on your exes' cell phone proving what a jagoff you are. I mean, not that that happened or anything, I mean who would be such a dumb shit. Damn you Yards beer and T-Mobile's good reception! Hypothetically, of course.

Anyway, I first heard about Padded Cell from Turntable Lab's review of their two singles, much respect to that record store. Their recommendation was spot-on, as this is a great dark electro tune. Both songs on the vinyl harken back to the early 80s, that disco-not-disco period we look at a few months back (I haven't forgot about Volume 2). It's got a dancefloor sensibility, but it's just a little off, a little too dark and warped. The opening few minutes of "Are You Anything" are quite ominous, with a heavy, driving bass, some effects (synth, maybe?), some eerie vocal sounds. The real killer is the saxophone, which is way too underused in music today. I think the instrument is so associated with jazz that musicians shy away from it. But, it sounds great here (and on Cat Power's latest!), sealing that early 80s flashback. Love, love, love that buildup in the middle, which drops out in a sax solo. Yum.

"Konkorde Lafayette" is just as good on the B side. It's a little more open, using a played bass and congos. The whole thing is a little less claustrophobic, although I think that I like the lead single best. Again, you will notice that feeling of disco/electro that's just a bit off. Experimental disco, let's say. It sounds great, put it on your watch list at TTL.

-For the Philly party people, head to the special Driz Horse tonight at the Khyber. Julie G. and AJW have two very special guest DJs tonight, K Records' head honcho Calvin Johnson and Nation of Ulysses' Ian Svenonius - indie legends in the house! This has been one of the most consistent weeklies in the city and now is a good chance to jump on board if you haven't already. It's free, $1 PBRs and $2 well drinks all night, indie boys and girls having fun, just do it.

-For Svenonius fans, you can catch him earlier in the night giving a talk at Big Jar Books near 2nd and Market Sts. He'll be reading from his new book, The Psychic Soviet, and maybe discussing his music and life.

-To end on a funny note, peep this hilarious Stephen Colbert skit on running for Congress. "Us Asshole!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ascii Disko

Ascii Disko, "Dirty! Filthy!"

Ascii Disko, "Baphomet"

One of my favorite in the new generation of house/electro kids, Ascii Disko seem to be slept on by the blog world. My guess is that Ascii Disko, a.k.a. Daniel Holc, haven't been consistent enough with their releases, as their discography is pretty light despite being together since 2003. Hopefully, we can remedy this a little bit, as I think that people who have been fiendin' for the Digitalism, Ed Banger, dirty electro bangers will find a lot to enjoy.

These tracks come from the most recent album on Ladomat 2000, Alias. I'm prone to hyperbole, so let me just say that these are the greatest songs I have ever heard ever. No, seriously, they are some of the hottest tracks I've heard in a minute, especially the first, "Dirty! Filthy!," which features a dude repeating the words, "Dirty, filthy, rough" over a great bassline and keyboards. Definitely on my first mix, just FYI. The other track, "Baphomet," is quite nice too. The bass is simply enormous; I wish that I could hear this play on some amazing club system, it deserves it. It might be an even more dancefloor friendly song, as restraint seems to go with the vocals, making this one raaaaagggggeeeee. Buy the album here, highly recommended.

-To all the real downtown kids: head to Home Sweet Home on 131 Chrystie Street (that's south of Delancey for the record), where my bol Project Matt and Patrick O'Dell of Epicly Later'd will drop music that makes you want to fight and fuck. Guaranteed good time, more to come on NYC jumpoffs shortly.

-I truly thought that the video I posted about yesterday, where the President butchers the English language and clearly has no idea what he's talking about in regards to the Mideast, was the nadir. But wait, my dear readers, we hadn't even come close to the bottom I now realize. Today, we get this US News and World Report gem:

He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that.

That's right, folks, the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, Commander in Chief, likes to fart when meeting aides for the first time. I am speechless. [Via TBogg]

-I had other stuff to say, but I'd rather just leave you with that quote above.

Rescue Me

The Von Bondies, "Cmon Cmon"

Fontella Bass, "Rescue Me"

Aretha Franklin, "Rescue Me"

Every now and then, a show comes along that knocks me over. I don't watch much TV these days, but one show that I make sure to catch is Rescue Me on the FX network. It's close to joining my pantheon of great television shows, joining Homicide, Law and Order, early NYPD Blue, dramas that are as good as anything on the big screen. It's an amazing work of art, full of pathos, comedy, self-destruction, self-loathing and obscenities. That should explain why I think it's perfect.

I don't normally talk about my personal life, particularly after that disastrous post-breakup debacle. (Egads, what a time to hit Save Post that was!) But, it's difficult to talk about this show without discussing the fact that my father was a Philadelphia firefighter for 25 years. Yeah, yeah, it sounds so cool, riding on the fire engine, dalmations, blah blah blah. In fact, it's a horrible job where you risk your life everyday, your family waits for news that something bad has happened and you only get appreciated when one of your own dies. The show looks at this, but also looks at the ways these men handle the stress and pain (hint: booze!), the comraderie, the laughs, the bonding. Most of all, the show treats these men as men, flawed, angry, mean, loving, confused, neurotic, hurt. The tag for the show sums it all up perfectly: They Save Us. But Who Saves Them? It's at the heart of the show, a question that may never be resolved. It's eerily accurate on all fronts, from the firehouse to the depression to the family life.

The reason for this post at this time is that tonight is the season finale, a good chance to get on board and catch all sorts of big plot moves. I really think that if you catch one episode you will be hooked, no better time than now to put this theory to the test. You can grab the first two seasons on DVD if you do become a fan, as I hope to do when I take care of some pressing monetary responsibilities. The Von Bondies' song "C'mon C'mon" is the theme song, which totally works perfectly in the credits, and the other two are classic soul songs with the same title, "Rescue Me." So good, they almost hurt.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope

Regina Spektor, "Fidelity"

Regina Spektor, "Summer In The City"

I meant to get to Regina Spektor and her new album, Begin To Hope, while we focused on women performers. But, I realized that it was sorta offensive to make a big show of women performers, treating them as anomalies rather than talented artists doing big things like all the others we talk about.

Anyway, Regina is one of my favorites, an overwhelmingly talented singer/songerwriter, but with balls. I had her first album recommended by MC and it was spot-on, maybe I'll throw up a few tracks from that one later this week. What makes her super special to me is her refusal to be easy, to be pop, her fearlessness. She's been labelled as anti-folk, which sounds stupid, but I do like the anti-aspect. Her voice is unique and beautiful, her lyrics can go from silly to dark without losing anything and she isn't afraid of dissonant sounds in her music. This ain't that soft and easy shit that passes for singer-songwriter; this is more in the tradition of Dylan, Cash,

The songs above give a pretty good idea of what to expect on the album, as this is piano music and Regina and her lyrics first and foremost. These are my favorites, although I really could have taken any of the first six songs. What's amazing is that she works in a genre completely reliant on words and she's been able to put out two consistently great albums already. "Summer in the city, I'm so lonely, lonely, lonely." Sing it girl, sing it. Go here to buy the album, it's highly recommended. To all my electro, rap, bassheads, you need this in your life. True thugs know the value of a good cry.

-Watch this stunning footage of a recent press conference with George W. Bush talking about terrorism. Remind yourself that this is the President of the United States, the most powerful in the free world. I imagine that these clips will be used often in the future to show what strange and dark times these were. Am I the only one embarrassed?

-Thanks to all the good people in my life who've been getting me through the past few weeks. A lot of people talk about ride or die, but it's been good to see who really is. There are some changes in store this week for me and the site; we'll be moving to a host and the mpfrees will be up for as many people as possible for a week or 10 days, no more yousendit! On the personal, I'm gonna be getting my head shaved as a symbolic new beginning, MR and I have taken a pledge, beginning to get my urban magazine off the ground and making the future NOW. Most of all, I'm gonna try to be happy with who I am and change what I need to change, as I've been trying make too many people happy and fucking up just the same. So fucking focused, time to put things behind me. Ride or fucking die.

Tiga - Good As Gold

Tiga, "Good As Gold"

Tiga, "Good As Gold (Morgan Geist Monophonic mix)"

Tiga, "Good As Gold (Zdar dub mix)"

More goodness from Tiga's Sexor, "Good As Gold." This single got the vinyl treatment, with the original and two remixes dropping as a 12." The original was one of my favorites from the album, a real example of how talented Tiga is as a producer. It's not as perfect and danceable as "(Far From) Home," but that's what makes it so interesting. It's got a great beat, makes you feel like you are at the disco. But, the whispered vocals and effects and the echo treatment make this much more brooding and paranoid than your typical dance track. Tiga made this track with the help of the Soulwax brothers, a partnership made in some cool heaven.

The Morgan Geist remix is sick, sick, sick! Grab this one, people, great congos and acid house sounds in the beginning, Geist doesn't really fuck with the original too much. It's a bit too slow and reserved to be a dancefloor hit, but it's another good one from Geist. I need to get more of this dude ASAP. The Zdar dub mix seems superfluous, to be honest. It really just takes the vocals out, takes the temperature down a bit, doesn't seem to add much or a fresh take.

-As I promised, more blog recommendations. Next up, Graffe Giraph, a great dance music site that has the good taste to link to Pound for Pound. Seriously though, Greedy Gums, DJ Commie and Weakend Worrier have a great site covering a lot of the same ground we've been on these past few weeks. The Presets, Para One, Mr. Oizo, the list goes on and on. Head over there and read your new favorite blog.

-It turns out that coffee might trigger a first heart attack, according to scientists. Consider I write every post from a Philly cafe and drink enough coffee to kill an elephant, if any incomplete, gibberish post is published, it means I had a heart attack while finishing the post and my head hit the Publish button on blogger. Just a heads up.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dylan Sunday - Theme Time Radio Hour #4

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Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour #4 (baseball) (unlimited downloads)

We took a week off, recharged our Dylan battery after too much listening to "If You See Her, Say Hello" and "Idiot Wind." This episode on baseball is one of my favorites, a great subject dear to my heart and a quintissentially American one. Bob does not disappoint, choosing some great songs and adding his wit on a subject he clearly loves. A truly surreal moment comes on the 5th track; I shit you not, it's an interview with Charlie Sheen talking about baseball, where Sheen actually says, "It's really the only major sport that's not governed by time." You thought he was all about hookers and coke, huh?

I don't talk much about baseball here; not really sure why, as I do watch as many Phillies games as I can and I check the box scores for how Jewish ballplayers are doing. I played the sport for most of my life, grew up reading all the old biographies on Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, you name it. At some point, it just stopped being a passion. Maybe I burned out on it? Maybe it's just not as appealing to me today, too slow, too much of a time committment for a whole season? It kinda goes across the board; I just don't live and die with my teams, y'know? In fact, I kinda feel like it's a bad look, almost pathetic, to be a diehard. That's mostly a result of being in Philly and being around people whose lives depend on whether the Eagles win or lose.

How about you guys and girls? Do you find yourself still passionate about sports as you get older? Do you still get upset when your team loses? Have I killed the child in me for no reason?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Boys Noize Remixes

Lutzenkirchen, "Daily Disco (Boys Noize remix)"

Kaiser Chiefs, "Everyday I Love You Less and Less (Boys Noize remix)"

The Living Things, "Bom Bom Bom (Boys Noize remix)"

I just mentioned these guys recently in regards to their remix of Para One's "Dudun-dun," figured this would be a great time to hype some of their other work. All of the stuff that I have involves a Boys Noize remix, which seems to be their calling card right. Boys Noize, a.k.a. Alex Ridha, is one of those youngsters that makes me ask what I have been doing with my life. Bol was born in 1982, ferchrissakes! He wasn't alive for the Sixers winning the NBA championship with Doc and Moe and Moses and Andrew. Not even alive!

Okay, okay, I'll save all of this for therapy. All you really need to know is that this (and his other alias, Kid Alex) is a name to watch, another reason why this new electro/disco/house genre is the stuff I am listening to the most. The first remix comes from Lutzenkirchen's "Daily Disco," which gives you a good sense of his sound. Things really start to pick up around the halfway point on this one, as the bass comes up. Great drums and whatever causes that feedback sound that was all over the Para One remix. The Living Things remix sounds great, keeping the rock sound of "Bom Bom Bom" intact. He does add lots of effects and warps the voices at times to great effect, it sounds like he's still figuring things out.

The absolute banger here is the Kaiser Chiefs remix; you need this immediately. It's disgustingly good, an electro burner that has me ready to fight or fuck. Longtime readers know that is my main criterion for a classic song, and this one had me from the first few seconds. What I especially love about this one is the healthy use of vocals, as Boys Noize are not afraid to work with the original song. It works especially well on this one, as I luuuuuuvvvvvv the lyrics: "Everyday I love you less and less/You turning into something I detest/Everybody says you're turning in" So cold, so brutal, so good.

-Great quote from Justin Timberlake about his new album: "I wanted (the album) to look to a time when everything was just really sexy," he says. "Maybe everybody was coked up, but who cares? It was hot. It was all about sex." He had me at coked up. Also, check out the article for a hilarious quote about Taylor Hicks and the pressure if he was gay. The new album is a guaranteed purchase, JTimb; keep bringing the quotes.

-Hilarious new site showing us non-wingnuts what the right wingers see when they read the New York Times [Via Atrios]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rick Ross - Port of Miami

Rick Ross, "Push It"

Rick Ross feat. Jay Z and Young Jeezy, "Hustlin' (remix)"

Rick Ross, "Prayer"

Rick Ross' album, The Port of Miami, finally dropped this week. Hasn't "Hustlin'" has been out for like a year now? I feel like I've been saying "whip it real hard" for a long time. But, whatever, it's good to finally have another anticipated rap album out, hasn't really been a big year for the mega releases. For those who don't know, Ross comes from Miami and the Trick Daddy Slip N' Slide scene. He actually doesn't have as much of a bass sound as the association would imply; in fact, Ross seems like the latest Southern release that doesn't really adhere to any specific regional, but rather a general Southern vibe. Lil Wayne, T.I. and Chamillionaire are others who come to mind, who seem to smooth out the regional sounds of New Orleans, Atlanta and Houston for a more accessible sound. It's not a bad thing, as ya need to sell records to make money; the mixtapes seem to be where you get the realness and more of an attempt to distinguish one's sound. It's almost like a dual consciousness thing, two sides to every rapper today.

Anyway, Ross' debut is alright, nothing extraordinary. No song comes close to "Hustlin'," a true classic song. The whole album reminds me of Young Jeezy-lite, similar drug tales, flow (ending lines with the same words) and music; hell, one of the songs sounds very similar to "Soul Survivor." Unfortunately, Ross just doesn't have that X factor to take it to the next level, his rhymes don't quite do it for me the way Jeezy's do.

The above tracks are some of my favorites; I actually prefer the original version of "Hustlin'" with just Ross, but I imagine everyone has that and this one seems to be more popular anyway. "Prayer" is the final track on the album, complete with one of the more sinister beats and Ross talking about G-d. It's a fascinating ending to an album replete with drug dealing and money and killing, one of those contradictions that make this genre endlessly interesting to me. "Push It" is the not-so-subtle opener, a possible second single and a prime example of what the album offers. Go here to buy it for super-cheap, let us know what you think of this one.

-Read this essential editorial by cocaine, reminding us of why we've loved it for so long and assuring that we'll always come back in the end.

-Best headline I have seen in a minute: 'I see handcuffs' for the story on Haley Joel Osment's arrest for DUI and possesssion.

-Since I asked for your thoughts and well wishes, I wanted to let everyone know that my mother is back from the hospital and doing much better. Well, she's home, still not doing that well, but it's nice to have her out of that horrible place and back to annoy me on a daily basis. I feel like this is the beginning of things looking up again, so refocused.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bay Area Heat - I Got My Vans On

The Pack, "Vans"

The Pack, "Fight Fair"

DJ Shadow (feat. Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk), "3 Freaks"

I said that I would try to make this a weekly feature, Bay Area heaters, still tryna hold to that. This is a strange one, however, as these are not two songs I would hold up as examples of the new sound coming from that region. "Vans" sounds made for a snap rap set, sinister minimalist music, crazy raps about goofy shit. "3 Freaks" comes from DJ Shadow's next album, Outsider, and while it's interesting that he is doing his take on the music, he's got to be considered an interloper.

Whatever, I love "Vans," totally love the throbbing bass, whispering background voices and cymbals. Plus, Vans deserve their own theme song, as they should get way more love from people; clean, simple kicks that don't cost you an arm and a leg to cop. Plus, have you seen the shit that Nike has been putting out lately? For real, give this song a chance, as I know that everyone has heard the story how these guys got heard on myspace and everything leads a person to believe that this is a novelty. It doesn't sound like one to me; this works just fine for me, as does the even scarier sounding "Fight Fair." Again, this doesn't sound like go dumb shit to me, but maybe I'm wrong. Listen to that Halloween piano sound, great stuff.

DJ Shadow doesn't come off as much of a carpetbagger, bringing in heavyweights Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk to rhyme over his production. The song sounds siiiiiiccccckkk, lots of scratching and odd percussion, an almost Eastern feel at times. However, Keak and Turf make this a real winner, as they both bring great verses and energy to the song. I've never been a real huge fan of Shadow, as his music always leaves me cold. It's like the dudes who are amazing on the instrument and do all kinds of accomplished shit, but in the end it feels like an academic excercise. It's the same with Shadow, who is clearly talented. I feel like rappers bring out the best in him, like the whole Quannum jawn, and make him more interesting to my ears. Keak and Turf are far more interesting than any of the rappers associated with the Quannum project; I only hope that this isn't the last we hear of something like this.

-Great article by Fred Kaplan at Slate on how out of control the Pentagon's budget has gotten. It's frightening to consider that the military will be spending $530 billion in the next decade, not including the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan missions! I don't have one of those The Military Should Be Throwing Bake Sales bumper stickers, but this is ridiculous. Think of how a fraction of that money could go to international aid to fight AIDS, combat poverty and disease in the Third World, in essence fight the conditions that cause terrorism.

-I was at Tower on Broad Street today, buying my one millionth pair of headphones. While there, I noticed that nearly the entire Bob Dylan catalogue is on sale. I'm talking all of the bootleg volumes (1-3 boxed set $33, 4-7 $17), albums cheaper. Not sure if this is going on at all Towers around the country, but it's worth a look to see if you can finish your collection or get started with some of the classics (Blood On The Tracks, Blonde On Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited).

Para One - Dudun-dun

Para One, "Dudun-dun"

Para One, "Dudun-dun (MSTRKRFT remix)"

Para One, "Dudun-dun (Boys Noize remix)" (DJs, this is at 320)

Time to get back to Paris, as it's been a few days since I discussed one of the people making that city the epicenter of dance music right now (sorry Berlin) and I'm getting the shakes. Para One comes out of the Institubes scene, bringing an instrumental hip-hop sound that reminds me of Ghislain Poirier. They're both open to dancehall, the new sounds of house and electronica, but at heart, they're hip-hop producers. Para One's "Dudun-dun" was the first single to drop for his debut album, Epiphanie, and it's a doozy. It totally confounded my expectations, as this sounds so beautiful and hypnotic. The first two minutes is kinda harsh, with a scratching sound dominating. Around the two minute mark, the bass really gets going and Para adds some background vocals that become their own instrument and before you know it, it's sadly over.

MSTRKRFT come damn close to equaling the original, as they don't fuck too much with what Para One did. It still has a similar build-up, although the Toronto boys add more drums and keep that harsh synthesizer (?) sound throughout. The bass also comes down a bit and the singing is gone completely, giving this a harsher, more rock sound. I only know Boys Noize from their great Bloc Party remix on the Kitsune Maison compilation; here they bring a similar fuzzed out sound to the mix. Again, this isn't a crazy reinterpretation, really just adding and subtracting a few elements. The best part of this one is the oscillating bass that simply dominates this track from around the 3 minute mark. Sounds so good, definite dancefloor material.

-Cop the new Caps and Jones mix at The Stencil, as this Two of my favorite DJs in the world, doing it big for a half-hour. What more could you ask for, go grab it!

-The only way you can love another is to love yourself. In that spirit, check out my two latest pieces for the Philly Weekly. The first is a preview for hometown heroes The Roots, the second one is for a live hip-hop night put together by local group Subliminal Orphans. I actually got to talk this group via email, really great to hear from Philly people grindin' and put big things together. This is the biggest show they've put together, so show some love at World Cafe Live.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Cure Vs. Digitalism

The Cure vs. Digitalism, "Fire In Cairo (Digitalism remix)"

The Cure, "Fire In Cairo"

Here's another recent Turntable Lab purchase, Digitalism's remix of The Cure's "Fire In Cairo." It's a one-sided white label that seems to have had another pressing recently, grab your copy at TTL as soon as possible as this might be the last you see this gem. The British duo turn The Cure song into an acid house rager, with their sights set firmly on the dancefloor. They chop up the vocals quite a bit, so I'm not sure you're gonna have the goth teens goin' crazy in the clubs. But, everyone else will, as this one is out of control. It reminds me of some of the Trax Records stuff we got into a few months ago, it's that good. The drums are filthy, especially in the amazing run-up to the vocals.

Oh, and definitely give a listen to original version of "Fire In Cairo." It's funny, as I've listened to a lot of Cure lately, but almost exclusively the classic middle period: Disintegration, Pornography, Seventeen Seconds and Faith. I always forget about Boys Don't Cry, yet it might be my favorite. It's definitely got my favorite song in the title track and that indie, jangly sound that's so different than the orchestral, goth sound of the above albums. "Fire In Cairo" is a great song, only reviving my dream to have a party dedicated to the sounds of The Cure, The Smiths, Moz, etc. No bar should turn that down, guaranteed that everyone will get wasted rather than contemplate the emptiness and loneliness that is being sung about. Buy the album here, although I hope that readers already own all of the band's music.

-In order to balance the darkness of The Cure, check out Kitten War for pictures of the cutest kittens in the world. You get to vote in head-to-head matchups, but everyone is a winner in my book. I mean, if this site doesn't make you happy, you are doomed. It made me cry for my little one who I've given up, who makes these kittens look like Randy Johnson and Whoopi Goldberg. Dedicated to J.

-If that didn't make you happy, you know what might? Marriage! It turns out that this is now being mentioned as a cure for depression. I don't really know what to say about this, other than these researchers clearly did not study my parents or consider the effect of being with me for life.

Tiga - Far From Home

Tiga, "Far From Home (DFA remix)"

Tiga, "Far From Home (Digitalism remix)"

Tiga, "Far From Home (Chicken Lips Dub Deluxe)"

Here's another track that I have waited to put up without any reason. Unlike with "Shoulder Lean," this one immediately hit me when I got Sexor a few months back. It's in contention for single of the year at Pound for Pound (actually it's from 2005, I think, but it's that good!), a perfect electro-pop song, the shit that just makes me happy. Tiga raps the lyrics without messing up a hair, perfectly cool and untouchable. Behind that, though, there is a nasty bassline and a . You're gonna have to buy the CD to hear that one, as it's worth every penny. Do not sleep on this album, people, for really real.

The remixes are all over the place, which makes this one of those amazing singles that keeps on giving. It's amazing how different these three mixes sound, especially when you consider how definitive the original sounds. The DFA remix is my favorite, but I always jock those guys. This one takes the original and cools it off in proper DFA style, stretching the source to its max. Around the four minute mark, this shit gets real good, like one of the best DFA remixes I've heard. Things break down into just drums, then they add keyboard sounds and then percussion and bass, all in this repetitive, massive build-up, synth destruction in the last few minutes. Holy shit, I love this, you need it.

The Digitalism remix also is a tale of two songs. It starts off pretty minimal and innocent, crisp rock drums, but begins to pick up with a nice bass line around a minute and a half. Around three minutes, the duo destroys everything with a feedback-y bass, and from there on out, it's a real monster. Recommended. The Chicken Lips Dub Deluxe remix comes from a whole different world, a dubby, echo-y slow burner. You get a lot of live bass playing, giving it an almost funk feel at time. I like it a lot, wish I had more knowledge or appreciation for the dub music of the 70s. I feel like that it is an unacceptable blind spot for a blogger, I'm so ashamed.

So, buy Tiga's album immediately, okay? You can also cop both the DFA remix and Digitalism remix on vinyl at Turntable Lab. More on Tiga soon, hell more on all of these cats soon. Yeah!

-I've been sleeping on a lot of great blogs lately, been so focused on my own shit. I will remedy that starting now, as you need to check out Analog Giant immediately. K has one of the best blogs going today, a great mix of different genres and a clear love for music. You will notice some crossover between us, like Junior Boys, but who cares? Dude is up on shit and will be on our permanent link list as soon as I get my shit together. My favorite is this post when he goes off on the Pitchfork/indie scene, listen to this man kids, real talk. You also get Dabrye, A-Trak, good mashups, new Killer Mike and DJ Green Lantern's Beastie Boys mixtape. One of the good ones, make it a regular stop.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Shoulder Lean


Merilyn does the shoulder lean

Young Dro, "Shoulder Lean"

P$C feat. Young Dro, "Do Ya Thang"

T.I. feat. P$C and Young Dro, "Bankhead"

Mang, I slept on this one for a minute, my mistake. I finally gave it a real listen and it's moved up on the Top 10 singles of the year list with a bullet. Young Dro is a T.I. protege, dropping a full-length on Grand Hustle, his buddy's label, in a few weeks. Best Thang Smokin' isn't the first music he's made, as he actually had some minor hits down South a few years ago. But, "Shoulder Lean" is the one that's got him on BET and MTV Jams and #1 on the charts. This is fiyah, it's got an almost screwed feel to it; on my first listen, it took me a verse to realize that it wasn't. Dro's got everything I want: a drawl, street lyrics, great refrain. He actually has that rare in-between Atlanta and Houston thing going on, at least to my ears. He's got that slower, screwed sound, a little fuller than the snap sound, but also the lyrics that are made for a dance, the handclaps, the drum machine base.

The other tracks are just some Dro odds and ends. The first comes from T.I.'s other proteges, P$C; this was the first time I heard Young Dro, although at the time I didn't know he was "Shoulder Lean" Young Dro. This song was on the Hustle and Flow soundtrack, can't say it's that memorable. The other one comes from T.I.'s most recent album, King, an album I inexplicably ignored when it dropped. This track isn't bad, although Dro doesn't stick out at all. Make sure to cop the Young Dro album when it drops, as I'm hoping that this is the album where one of his TIP's crew gets to their boss' level.

-New York City, party like it's 1992! No, this is not some Prince B-side, but rather the latest Project Matt-endorsed party. That's right, motherfuckers, he's taking back the Meatpacking District from the models and brokers and bringing the freaks in. Go celebrate that epic year when was I was still innocent, Nevermind and The Chronic dropped and Clinton became President at Lotus.

Get on that list, hear King Solomon and DJ Soul tear it up with the shit you grew up on.

-I will have most of the upload requests filled by tonight. If you asked for something recently, take a look before they're gone again.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Urban Studies Help

Friends, fellow city lovers, academics,

I am coming to you for a little advice and help. I have been giving serious thought to going back to school to pursue my interest in cities, their cultures, their organization, etc. I am curious if there are any readers who have gone back to school with similar interests and could help me figure out what is the best line of study or what academic program is best for someone more interested in the theory of urban studies than the urban planning programs that seem to dominate. Any specific schools I should look at?

Likewise, does anyone know of any organizations that deal with urban issues in New York City that accept interns? Any guidance on career aspects of this interest?

Also, I am considering starting up an online magazine to look at these issues that interest me. If there is anyone out there who would like to be involved in putting this together, holler. I will have a seperate post down the road when this is closer to fruition asking for submissions and whatnot. Thought this would be a good chance to get in touch with likeminded individuals who could help me take this next step in my life. Sorry for being so selfish and personal, but this is a central aspect of this blog and a passion of mine. It will only benefit Pound for Pound in the long-run.


The Presets - Are You The One?

The Presets, "Are You The One?"

The Presets, "Are You The One? (Simian Mobile Disco remix)"

The Presets, "Are You The One? (Van She remix)"

I finally copped this one yesterday at TTL, a great banger from Modular Records, a great intro to The Presets. I know that this has been out for a minute, so sue me. Or you can just enjoy it, as it's a nice track and even better remixes. Modular kinda has a lock on the whole hipster rock scene, releasing tracks from Wolfmother, Chromeo and Cut Copy amongst others.

I can't say that I've heard all of their artists, but The Presets seem like the one that captures this dance punk spirit the best. Unlike say Wolfmother, The Presets' songs don't need the benefit of a remixer to get that dance feeling. "Are You The One?," off their debut album Beams, is not gonna be mistaken for a house song or anything, but the driving bass and handclaps make me want to dance (or my version of dancing which involves a lot of leg lifting and arm spasms). Give it a listen and tell me how great the breakdown with the almost-chant of "Are you the one?" is. Buy the album here, you can say you loved these guys way before they were playing shows at huge venues.

The remixes came out on the vinyl single, released originally, I believe, on DJ Hell's electroclash label International Deejay Gigolos. The Simian Mobile Disco remix is worth the price of admission alone and for the observant ones, a track already discussed here. Rather than reup, I just figured I'd give it to you again. The Van She remix is a totally different beast, one that ups the rock quotient, turning this into a loud, rawk tune. The drums sound like some dude with his shirt off and a beer next to his kit just going to town. The bass is less important, the synth-y sounds are gone, as there isn't time for subtlety on this one.

-Here is a great start to the week, as news just came that The Rub DJs - Cosmo Baker, DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven - have some downloadable sets on seems to have big things in store, always great to see local areas doing what they can to foster and spread the word about their people. [Via FiftyOne:FiftyOne]

-I meant to mention this on the last post, but Junior Boys are on tour now, doing the whole national/world trek. Get the full schedule here, they're playing Philly on September 8th at the North Star and NYC on the 7th at the Bowery Ballroom. I hope that they put a little more personality into these shows, as these are bigger venues and the whole laptop schtick might not hold up as well.

Junior Boys - The Equalizer

Junior Boys, "The Equalizer"

Junior Boys, "The Equalizer (Morgan Geist Graphic mix)"

Oh my G-d, I missed you guys and girls so much. It's been awhile since I've taken a day or two off from the blog, as someone once told me that if you aren't grinding, you won't be shining. I needed to recharge the battery, get some sleep, check with hipster sources about what's cool, the usual.

Anyway, I wanted to drop the other side of the Junior Boys' "In The Morning" 12" single. This one is actually my favorite of the two, both original and remix-wise, although they both have a similar sound and development. I love the huge, fart-ish bass on the original, a sound that features prominently on both of their album tracks. I think what seperates this one a bit is that it gets a little more of a pulse going, a consistent drive that gets your head bobbing. The vocals are gorgeous, as I love Jeremy Greenspan's sound and the nice refrain about springtime.

The remix is where it's at, introducing a name that I should have been discussing all along, Morgan Geist. Geist is the man behind Metro Area with Darshan Jesrani, Environ label head, one of the people pushing the new sounds of electro, house and disco with DFA Records, Kitsune, etc. Geist puts together a club track, something I want to hear when I'm out. It's got balls, it's not afraid to have a big, heavy sound like Junior Boys. He uses a bubbling bassline to make that happen, overshadowing the original in my opinion. This should give a good idea of Geist's sound and influences, as we'll do a better job discussing him in the future.

-The free Monday Movie night at the Troc features one of Pound for Pound's all-time favorite films, the classic Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I cannot begin to tell you how formative this film was on my sense of humor and movie tastes, one of the funniest, most original joints to ever drop. With Movie Quizzo beforehand, this is shaping up to be quite a Monday night.

-I got back on the NYC apartment grind yesterday, baby steps really, seeing one place. As always, if you know of anything available in the near future get at me. I also made a stop at The Strand and picked up a copy of Albert Fried's out of print The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster. Cheah! I also made a stop at Turntable Lab and picked up some goodies and a recommendation on a good cartridge and needle package. The DJ fantasy continues to progress, a last desperate effort to hold onto my youth. Best of all I got to hang out with my bol Ron Burgundy, as it had been too long. Good stuff, made up for my seat next to the bathroom on the Chinatown bus.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Junior Boys - In The Morning

Junior Boys, "In The Morning"

Junior Boys, "In The Morning (Alex Smoke remix)"

Since a recent comment suggested that every blog has put up the CSS Spank Rock remix, it only made sense to drop another track that is getting major blog play. The new Junior Boys album is about to drop on Domino, here is the first side of the 12" vinyl release. I'll drop Side B, the second track and a remix, shortly.

I almost don't wanna highlight Junior Boys, as MC turned me on their music in the first place and was absent from this birthday, leaving a huge hole in the festivites. She was up on this shit right away and took me to see them play the Upstairs at the Trocadero. She always did have a good taste in music, just bad taste in guys. Anyway, their live show didn't really do it for me, but I kept coming back to the albums and eventually it clicked.

This first single, "In The Morning," doesn't really break any new ground, continuing in the fine tradition of their last album, Last Exit. There's still that brittle electro-pop sound with the soft, falsetto vocals, a great combo of The Knife and New Order to my ears. They do seem to have a little more bottom now, as the bass sounds pronounced on the original, and this song has an even more melodic, pop sensibility. Obviously, I ain't hating that development. The whole thing sounds great, a collaboration, btw, between Junior Boys and Andi Toma of Mouse On Mars.

I am embarassingly behind on Alex Smoke, who has been coming up in the dance scene for the past year or two. His remix here is more on the glitch-y side, taking the original down a few notches, turning it into a chill, late-night song. Not really for the dancefloor, more something that should be the soundtrack to walking out in the bright morning light after a night in a loud, dark club.

-I had another nice night of celebrating my birth Friday, thanks to K, LL, MR, NR, KC et al for providing me with more fun and a memorable birthday weekend. I couldn't asked for a better time to help me forget the worries of the past month or two. It's nice to have a good friends who are there for you.

-I mentioned earlier in the week that my move to Brooklyn had been fucked up, finally had this confirmed today. I don't need much in life, don't need lots of money or toys, or honors, but I do need respect. These two people have shown me none, it won't be forgotten.

Friday, August 11, 2006

It's My Birthday

Go Jack, go Jack, it's your birthday. That's right friends, today is the day that I was born all those many years ago. How old am I? I'm in my 20s, you'll need to count the tears to get the exact age. I don't really have much reason for making this post, just wanted to use that picture and because I am totally addicted to getting comments on myspace saying happy birthday. I am a sad, tiny man, what can I say?

Actually, I celebrated last night with some North Side fun with quizzo at the Abbaye and beers and Low Budget at 700 Club. I want to thank TA, EO, MR, AP, KA and SS for turning out and not letting me pay and taking my mind off of the past month or two. I cannot begin to say how much fun I had and how great it was to be surrounded by people who you love and who stand by you no matter what. Ride or die shit, ya dig? For real, I had so much fun last night and couldn't ask for better company, better places, a better city. (P.S. To the rats who told the Quizzo Master that we were cheating: watch your fucking backs, y'all know what snitches get? Pound for Pound does not forget, this is your only warning.)

Anyway, we've got a post going up later with some new Junior Boys, hope you enjoy. If you are looking to get me a gift, know that I am celebrating my vinyl birthday, so buy me records. Or you can have Scarlett wish me a happy birthday. Or you can make the above scene happen. Your choice, thanks. Time for some cake.

anya bdaycake2

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Remixes by Spank Rock

Coldcut feat. Roots Manuva, "True Skool (Spank Rock remix)"

CSS, "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (Spank Rock remix)"

Teki Latex, ""Disco Dance With You (Spank Rock remix feat. Amanda Blank)"

I've been mentioning Spank Rock all year, in light of the numerous shows I've seen and the fact that their album YoYoYoYoYoYo is my favorite this year so far. However, I've done a terrible job showcasing their music, so it's time to remedy that in the coming weeks. My bol Naeem Juwan and XXXchange really are killin' shit, these remixes should be all the proof you need.

I actually heard about Naeem going into the studio with Coldcut months ago when I was working on a story for a newspaper on him that they didn't get published. It was such a huge name, hard to believe how fast things were moving for him. Anyway, he appears on "True Skool" with Roots Manuva, the UK hip hopper, which should inform you that this is going to be less of a booty bass song. It's got a heavy bass drum, a dancehall feel, lots of cool sci-fi sounds, best of all, great verses by all involved.

The other two might be better songs, imo. The first remix calms CSS down, turning "Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above" a funky, relaxed song. It's completely unexpected sound to be honest, and proof that XXXchange is far more talented and versatile than the Baltimore references indicate. The Texi Latex song is gold, a fun tune that I want to play out at a club immediately. It's got a great bouncy beat, female backup vocals, a sick verse from Naeem where he mentions Hollertronix. Always great to hear Amanda Blank, who keeps putting out hot guest spots, building up the buzz. Awesome, get this one now.

-As I slowly dip my toe back into the political waters, after the shocking and wonderful Ned Lamont victory last night, this article by Dahlia Lithwick on Justice Anthony Kennedy seems like a good jumping off point. Lithwick has always does an amazing job and this is a nice look at an important speech Kennedy gave about the value of ideas and respect for the law in a democracy. Those seem like radical ideas in these times. Plus, I like Kennedy because he sounds like a neurotic overthinker, a description that fits only the finest people.

-If you know me and are in Philly, hell if you don't me and see a guy in hipster glasses and blueish-grey cargo pants (what can I say? I'm a fashion disaster), come out to the 700 Club to say hi. It's gonna be nice to get out and relax a little after a shitty week, good to be at my favorite spot in the city, even better to be with the friends who matter.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Knife - SIlent Shout

The Knife, "Silent Shout (Williams Acidic Circuits remix)"

The Knife, "Silent Shout (Troy Pierce: Barado en Locombia mix)"

The Knife, "Silent Shout (Shindoe remix)"

The Knife seem to be one of the band's that people are dying to hear, putting out the kind of music that bridges lots of musical differences. I don't think that it so much covers all sorts of genres, it's more a case of a music that sounds so unique and necessary that people want to check it out.

Here are the remixes from the "Silent Shout" 12", the title track off of their now-domestically released album. It's clear already that other musicians are just as excited about this music, as there are so many great remixes out there from this album. The original is the perfect example of the duo's sound: haunted vocals, multitracked, skittish dance beats, brittle, cold.

The Williams Acidic Circuits remix (no clue who Williams is) gives the original some bounce with bigger drums and bass. This version extends the original and makes it a little more dance-friendly, a great version and maybe easier material for a DJ. The Barada En Lecombia mix is a strange one, not bad, just hard to describe. It definitely does not up the club quotient, hell it probably turns it down a little. It kinda fractures the original a bit, making it less cohesive and pulsing.

The real winner for me is the Shindoe remix, the final one on the single. This fucker is sick, starting with ominous bass notes and a hi-hat, building up from that to create a gorgeous, Aphex Twin ambient sound. The vocals even get thrown in, distorted and even more ominous. Listen to that bass, shit would be perfect for some sort of horror movie. Highly recommended.

-As I mentioned previously, I interviewed The Knife a few months back for an Anthem magazine article. Well, the new issue is out on newstands now and there is my article on the mysterious Swedish brother-sister duo and my mini-profile of Diplo's new label, Mad Decent. So fucking cool walking into Barnes and Noble and getting to see this great article on my favorite musicians in a gorgeous magazine. Links when they are available, but for now, go out and buy a copy and let me know what you think. The grind continues, editors holler at your bol immediately.

-I've only received 2 requests for uploads for any post that I have ever done!?!? I really expected more of a rush on the archives, but I guess that this makes my life easier. You have a few hours left to get those requests in, so far the new Timberlake stuff and Digitalism's "Zdarlight" will be back up for your enjoyment. Holler.