Friday, September 29, 2006

White Dove at Studio B Tonight

My girl Shelly and June D are dropping their monthly jawn tonight in Williamsburg and it is a must-attend.

Portugal the Man - How The Leopard Got Its Spots

Portugal the Man, "How The Leopard Got Its Spots"

Portugal the Man, "How The Leopard Got Its Spots (Blake Miller remix)"

Oooh boy, this song is real nice. It comes from the relatively unknown Portugal the Man, an indie rock band straight off the mean streets of Alaska that should be getting some of that blog hype that far more undeserving bands reap. This song, "How The Leopard Got Its Spots," comes off their debut release, Waiter You Vultures.

The remix comes from Blake Miller, lead singer for LA based band Moving Units. The remix is even better than the original, a great indie dance track complete with emotional vocals, nicely repeated throughout. The drums sound phenomenal, make this more dancefloor ready, should be perfect for any one willing to take a chance or looking to impress some cute girls with assymetrical hair and ironic tube tops. I fit into both categories, for the record.

This song was sent to me by one of NYC's best DJs, DJ Never Forget. If you are reading this between 7 and 9 pm, head to Little Radio and download his radio show RIGHT NOW (click on Tune In Now). Finger On The Pulse Radio is an amazing two hour broadcast, a great chance to hear some of the newest shit, some older gems, all spun by a great DJ with special guests (most weeks). I have it on good word that bol might be working on a new mix and testing it out tonight. What's that? You haven't heard his other mixes? Check out his Going to Work mix now, which I've been hyping a lot lately.

-White Lightning! at Home Sweet Home tonight with Lauren Flax, Sleazemore and DJ Dara doing an old school rave set!!!!!!!!! Night Time at Don Hill's with Tim Sweeney and live performances by Chromatics and Glass Candy. DirtyDownNYC in the basement at Lit with Certified Bananas, San Serac and DJ Morgan Lewis. Cot damn, NYC, big fucking night.

-Cool concert at Irving Plaza tonight as well, a benefit for the Creative Commons featuring Mike Patton's Peeping Tom and DJ sets by Pound for Pound favs Diplo and Girl Talk.

-Philly, sorry but I've had a traumatic end of the week and will not be doing anything. As always, in such cases, check out my boys at fiftyone:fiftyone for what's good in the most good city in the world.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Martini Bros. - Big and Dirty

Martini Bros., "Big and Dirty"

Martini Bros., "Big and Dirty (Tiga remix)"

Since Tiga will be destroying New York City tonight with a DJ set, I wanted to bring his name back to the blog. Here's an older jawn that holds up well today, although the Tiga remix outdoes the original quite a bit. The original isn't bad, it just seems to be too unfocused and not bass-y or filthy enough. I mean, the fucking song is called "Big and Dirty" and the Martini Bros. have a dude rapping about "Big and dirty is how they like it" and they insist on putting in some airy, synth sounds and sucking the urgency and sex out of the song.

Tiga knows what's up, as this one is right in his wheelhouse. Anyone who has heard Sexor (and who hasn't? Ahem) should know that he does dirty and filthy well. The remix strips the song down to its bass and drums bones and drops out most of the rapping, leaving us with a dirty house banger, ready for the clubs. Highly recommended.

There aren't a lot of events that I consider must-attend. NYC tonight has one such event. Tiga , the Montreal house producer/DJ, spins at Hiro Ballroom tonight, a very rare chance to hear the man spin this year, especially in the US. I almost wanna take the bus up, but I'm gonna leave it up to everyone else to do this up big and let us know how it goes.

-Oh, don't forget this Hiro Ballroom jawn is the official after-party for the Ladytron/CSS show at Webster Hall earlier in the night, the second of two shows

-Chris Devlin, Spank Rock's DJ, spins at the Walnut Room in Philly with Issac Jordan

-Also in the 215, Mates of State at the Church tonight, Sufjan Stevens at the Tower Theater (three nights at Town Hall in NYC starting tomorrow night)

-A great editorial by Harold Myerson on the "moderate" Republican scam of people like Lincoln Chafee. This is a must-read for those idiotic liberals and progressives who think John McCain is a savior.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks

Peter Bjorn and John, "Young Folks"

Peter Bjorn and John, "Young Folks (Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve Re-animation mix)"

Peter Bjorn and John, "Young Folks (Tomas Andersson remake)"

Here's one of those amazing songs that seems to come out of nowhere, one that a friend tells you about and you can't stop listening to from the first moment. In this case, I owe it to DJ Never Forget, a.k.a. GB, a.k.a. the man behind Finger on the Pulse. He dropped it Friday on his weekly radio show and it was just like, "Hell yeah!" He gave credit to Philly's Dave P, who dropped this at Making Time a few months back (and ironically, I think I remember it from then). So thank those two music mavens for this.

Peter Bjorn and John are a Swedish trio who sorta came out of nowhere. They've got that indie sound that isn't afraid to make perfect pop fit for the dancefloor. On "Young Folks," the group is joined by Victoria Bergsman on vocals.

-Caught them on Conan last night, check out Scissor Sisters on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (foreshadowing, foreshadowing)

-Driz Horse at the Khyber tonight in Philly - Julie G and AJW back from Europe, Steve Bloodbath guest starring

-Matt Yglesias on the torture "compromise" and its meaning for our country

Cybotron - Clear

Cybotron, "Clear"

Cybotron, "Industrial Lies"

Well, my appointment to see a place in Williamsburg was cancelled. What does this mean? It means that I am so filled with frustration that I'm gonna burst. Something's got to give. I'm living at home, I'm dealing with my dysfunctional family, I'm in love with a girl who won't talk to me, I've got all female friends, I'm drinking enough caffeine on a daily basis to kill a horse. Something has to give! What else does this mean? It means that you get extra posts today and this week, as I get to write, write, write.

What gets me out of a pissy mood the fastest? You guessed it, electro!!!! And this is one of the all-time, stop before you pass Go if you do not own this, essential singles, "Clear." Cybotron was the duo featuring Detroit techno legend Juan Atkins before he was that Juan Atkins and Rick Davis. This jawn helped define the nascent electro sound, that brilliant noise of drum machines, breakbeats, vocodered vocals, filthy bass lines and madness. Oh my Lord, you need this in your life. To make it all the more worthwhile, DJs, both songs are at 320 bit rate, which means that you need to add them to your set. In fact, if you know I am coming, it's damn near necessary.

Don't sleep on the B-side, "Industrial Lies," by the way. Great piano intro, political lyrics perfect for today, a great precursor to the later Underground Resistance, Detroit techno ish, guitar solo straight out of a hair metal greatest hits CD. Yeah!

-I've been meaning to hype one of my favorite blogs going, Papeuss. Bol has almost identical taste in music as Pound for Pound, has always contributed great comments here and is French. What more could you want?

-In the spirit of my recent efforts to move on and grow up, I'm announcing here first that I'll be selling my sneaker collection in the near future, figured that I'd give my dear readers the first chance to get some kicks. DS Jedis, DS Splatters, DS Tiffanys, NDS Portland AF1s. Once those are gone and I see what kind of money came in, there might be some worn and NDS OG Dunk his, DS mid 90s AF1s (when the leather was buttery and yummy). Oh, before you get too excited fellas, these shoes are all sizes 12 to 13. That's right, big feet, know what I'm sayin'. Get at me with offers or else they end on eBay.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tom Vek - Nothing But Green Lights

Tom Vek, "Nothing But Green Lights"

Tom Vek, "Nothing But Green Lights (Digitalism remix)"

It's been too long since we've taken a look at something come off of the Kitsune label of Paris. I can't think of a better way to break that silence than with this Tom Vek 12" single, featuring one of the best tracks from his album We Are The Sound and a Digitalism remix. The original is a great intro to Vek and his sound, as he has what can be described as a electro-soul thing going on. Here, it's

The Digitalism remix is dope, real dope. It basically takes the soul angle out and replaces it with nothing. Listen and you won't believe how minimalist this sounds, how stripped down the track becomes. It's definitely my favorite, although I'm not sure that this one could make it on the dancefloor.

-Following up on that speech, I had to highlight this Keith Olbermann comment from his MSNBC news program, which followed up on Clinton's interview on Fox News. The fucking ending, when he looks at the camera and says, "Are yours the actions of a true American?" is just plain gully. Who's next? Who else will stand up and fight back? Democrats? Journalist? We're waiting.

-Shit, mang, you're bol is getting all political and committed and cause-related now. Last night, I attended the bi-weekly meeting of NABR, the organization established to stop the establishment of casinos in Philadelphia. I don't have enough space to discuss all the atrocities behind this legislation or how bad this will be for the city. Please join up on their myspace page. Check out their website and sign up for the email listserve there. Look for a post in the next few days about the online urban journal/zine that I mentioned before. It's time for that to begin, as I have too much to say about my cities. Get in touch if any of this interests you, please.

-I will be in one of my favorite cities again this afternoon, New York City, although I'll be up and back before you can say Chinatown bus. For the record, I am not checking out this place.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Air - Alpha Beta Gaga

Air, "Alpha Beta Gaga"

Air, "Alpha Beta Gaga (Jackson remix)"

Air, "Alpha Beta Gaga (Mark Ronson vocal remix)"

I'm feeling in a good mood and wanted to extend that to everyone in an attempt to overcome those cases of the Mondays. This song always puts me in a good mood, no matter what. Hell, Air is kinda made for those moments of blissful happiness, aren't they? They really do reprsent the opposite end of the spectrum to the music I have been critiquing recently, a ephermeral, quasi romantic group that offers none of the brutal machine music or offensive lyrics.

Here's one of my favorite Air songs, "Alpha Beta Gaga" off of Talkie Walkie. It's got the wonderful flute-sound melody, a nice relaxed pace and a beautiful, lushness that one expects from the Parisian duo. The real heat, though, is the Mark Ronson vocal remix, featuring Rhymesayer. Everyone knows my disdain for backpackers and their hip-hop, but this one just kills. Ronson ups the tempo to nice effect, gives it more of a bottom end and turns this one into an even better song. It's got that older, party vibe to it, with the whistling and hands in the air lyrics and general upbeatness. Yeah!

-One reason I am feeling so good is that I had a chance to watch the Fox News Clinton interview that aired last night. Bubba fucking destroys this moron Chris Wallace (how he could be the son of Mike Wallace, I'll never know), when Wallace ambushes with some canned right-wing lie about Clinton being responsible for 9/11. This one is for all the people who have been waiting for someone to stand up to the right wing smear merchants, cowards and liars. It's a thing of fucking beauty, for really real, watch it now.

-As always, Philly runs NYC. Tonight, catch Low Budget and Dan the Swede destroying Sway. This one makes me kinda sad, not just that I'm not gonna be there. Monday night at Sway was the first party I went to in NYC last Fall, it holds some special memories. It definitely feels like the place MC and I first got comfortable going out in NYC, a nice safe spot for two Philly transplants. It's sad to think about the cool events there with her, from seeing Disco D spin for the first time to the Philly night with Low B and Cosmo Baker to meeting CN for the first time. I cannot recommend this party more highly, as Roxy Cottontail has put together one of NYC's best weeklies here.

-Despite the emo stuff above, I'm feeling very good and rested and thoughtful after this weekend. It was a great chance to reflect and expand on some of the thoughts I've been having these past few months. I'm excited to be back writing here, as I have so much good music to share. You can expect to see some more Miami bass and ghettotech, Forward Russia, some Philly DJ remixes, either Dylan or Lily Allen album review and a few surprises. For real, we're gonna be on some blastoff shit, through the ozone, yahear?

Dylan Sunday - Theme Time Radio Hour #9

Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour #9 (Divorces)

A little late with this one, but I like Dylan Sunday and so just pretend, okay? Here's the next installment of Bob Dylan's radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour. We'll probably take a little break from these shows, unless there is a great outpouring of comments for this to continue. I guess I'll leave up to you, my dear readers. Speak or I will speak for you.

Anyway, here's a sad topic to bring up, as there's nothing good to say about this one. As a recently divorced person, I can attest to how awful this is. It seems like a common thing today, yet it's such a devastating one, especially for the kids. Of course, as George Constanza said, "I'm the result of my parents having stayed together, so you never really know."

This episode is not one of my favorites. While it's cool to hear the old country tunes, this one is just overloaded with them. It's interesting how half of the songs are railing against modern society and divorce, the other half are discussing their own divorces. My favorite moment lasts about 7 seconds. It's when Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame gives a show ID; I love her, she even sounds cute. Anyway, enjoy and weigh in on the future of these posts.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

John Zorn - Spillane

John Zorn, "Two Lane Highway Part 1"

In honor of John Zorn being named a MacArthur Genius fellow, it seemed like a good time to take a look at one of his many brilliant albums over the years. Quite possibly one of the most important artists of the 80s to today, a huge influence over the way I hear music. I first came to Zorn's music through his more straightahead jazz projects like Masada and the Sonny Clark tribute band. While those are still amazing works to my ears, it was projects like Locus Solus, Naked City and the Big Gundown that just blew my mind.

Spillane is quintessential Zorn, a tightly composed work that incorporates all of his myriad of influences: hardcore, jazz, Morricone film scores, surf rock, film noir, you name it. Obviously, the main work, "Spillane," is a homage to the great noir author, but I didn't want to give away the whole album. It's one of Zorn's greatest works and reason enough to buy the album. However, I've given you a piece of the middle part of the album, Part 1 of "Two Lane Highway." It isn't really the best way to get into Zorn, as you miss the sax and duck calls, a lot of the madness that defines the man's sound. However, you do get a beautiful song performed amazingly on guitar by Mr. Marc Ribot.

I think that there has always been a strange tendency to dismiss Zorn, the downtown scene, even the No Wave of DNA and Sonic Youth as pretentious and arty. I don't know, I've never gotten that. In fact, Zorn was the first major figure before DJs took over that embraced pop and avant-garde music, celebrated the unheralded like Burt Bacharach, Carl Stalling, Napalm Death and on and on. Yes, the music sounds crazy and weird, but so what? Give it a listen, I promise that it is worth the time and effort. Before you know it, you will be a Zorn junkie and diving into one of the most massive catalogues around.

-Stephen Colbert had a great segment (Click on Who's Not Honoring Me Now) making fun of Zorn and his music, including an amazing look back at Colbert's documentary with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hip-Hopketball: A Jazzabration. The good folks from WFMU have the clip and some link fun.

-I was in Zorn's neck of the woods today, as I headed up to NYC this afternoon. Not too bad, although I did get stuck in the bathroom seat on the bus heading up and trust me, it's hard to get that urine smell out of your nostrils. Shout out to the F and N/R (I was N/R virgin, she was slow and gentle, like I like it), my girl LM, the crazy, fucked-up relationships I got gossip on that actually made me feel way better about myself, Ozzie's on 5th Ave for the iced tea and chance to read (Brooklyn, step your fucking cafe game ASAP, this place was not legit either) and as always my McDonald's on Delancey. Not sure about the places I saw today, but I feel like we (that's the royal we) are getting closer. I'm also beginning to feel like NYC will be mine and there will be no ghosts haunting me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Night Madness

Okay, I had to write one quick reminder to my people, as there is so much going on no matter where you are in the US of A.

-Philly, you have nowhere to be but the Trocadero for Spank Rock, Rod Lee, Plastic Little and many more. Mayhem, insanity, epic. It's that simple, do not miss this night.

-NYC, get your ass to Williamsburg and attend the latest edition of Finger on the Pulse at Royal Oak. DJ Never Forget and will get all the skinny jeans kids dancing, as

-Finally, for those on the opposite of the country, thanks to my girl Z, head to the TV On the Radio in-store at Amoeba at 6 and Phoenix at the Wiltern later. More to come from her helpful listings, but that covers you for tonight.

Have fun out there this weekend, live it up for me, dance, drink, kiss, hug, love, support your local parties, DJs and clubs.

Happy New Year a.k.a. L'Shana Tovah Part 2

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Well, it's that time of year when Pound for Pound slows down to observe the High Holidays. For the first time, this holiday, Rosh Hashanah, and time of year is really beginning to make sense to me. While it's most notable as a time of repentance and apologies, it's not necessarily meant to be so punitive.

RH told me a great retelling of a sermon she heard years ago in shul about the meaning of the High Holidays. The rebbe said that this is not a time for one to have regrets and beat yourself about all of your mistakes; rather it is intended as a time of turning towards, turning towards the world (tikkun olam), towards your friends and family and most importantly yourself. As one who tends to self-hate, it was a great way to view this time of reflection and fits in quite nicely with a lot of my own thinking and writing recently. I hope to use this week to continue this process of warming, turning towards people and causes.

Happy New Year to those celebrating and best wishes for the upcoming year! We'll be back with regular posting on Sunday with lots of goodies to make up for the lost time. I'm going to be staying in tonight and tomorrow, as it seems like a good time to take it easy and read and think. Be good everyone, back soon.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

DJ Godfather - Who Run This

DJ Godfather, "Who Run This (dirty)"

DJ Godfather, "In Your Mouf"

It's been way too long since I threw up any ghettotech, so what better time to do it than a few posts after talking about bringing sensitiveback in hip hop? Well, I never claimed to be perfect and can't really imagine not listening and hyping Detroit's finest. This one is pretty standard fare from one of the genre's heavyweights, DJ Godfather.

-To make up for the cold beats and offensive lyrics, let me get all emo and talk about The Office season premiere. I am so excited to see what happens between Pam and Jim; I've been watching this promo by NBC all day and getting completely emo. I mean, these two belong together, for fuck's sake!. Check out all the clips of Pam and Jim that fans made, which shows that they are meant for each other and that Office fans have way too much time on their hands. I have a feeling that this will not be the happy ending everyone hopes for, which I respect the show for doing. However, fellas (and ladies), heed Michael's advice: "Never, ever give up." Love is the only thing that matters in the end, don't just let it go away if your heart believes in it.

-West Coast, I asked you to step your game up and let me know what's going down on the Left Side. Well, Versus magazine has the jump-off for all the San Fran people, hosting a party at Madrone Lounge with the Trackedemicks providing the music. The focus is on dancing, so go do that.

-I will be at Quizzo, finally defending our title after a few weeks off. I'm riding my bike there, may G-d have mercy on me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Soulwax - Nite Versions

Soulwax, "Teachers"

Soulwax, "Compute"

Here's a few classics from Soulwax off of their 2005 album, Nite Versions, which was a remix of their Any Minute Now album from earlier in the year. It's hard to believe, but the Dewaele brothers really did rework the original quite a bit, achieving that rare feat of a great remix album in its own right.

Why Soulwax today? Because they're doing a live set in Philly tonight tonight tonight! Not only that, but we're also getting a DJ set from their alter ego, 2 Many DJs, along with Dave P and JDH. This is one of the final stops of the Radio Soulwax tour, a rare chance to catch these guys live in the U S of A, doing the Nite Versions stuff. In fact, this is the first ever appearance of Soulwax in Philly, brought to you by the good folks who bring you Making Time. To bring it all full circle, you can learn all the basics about tonight from my preview in this week's Philadelphia Weekly!

-That's right, people, Pound for Pound continues his journalistic advance. This week, I have a big profile of my bol Naeem and Spank Rock, in advance of their show at the Trocadero this Friday night (check the sticky later tonight at the top of the page). Also, I have a preview of two poilitical events in the city, a reading by my bol Frank Rich and a fundraiser for LitPac at the Khyber, and one for Digable Planet's Cee Knowledge show at World Cafe Live. Cheah! That's four stories in one issue. Can't stop, won't stop.

-As I congragulate myself profusely in this post, let me also congragulate reader, commenter and friend EO on her new little baby, Talulah Grace. She was an abandoned kitty that EO took in and gave a home. She's the second most beautiful cat I've ever seen, a distant second to the gorgeous Jezebel C, who was like a feline Grace Kelly, Scarlett Johansson and Audrey Hepburn wrapped up in a little hipster, kosher, cigar-making package and I miss her. *single teardrop* I am so happy for EO, as this is such a good thing that she has done by rescuing this little girl. I have had the pleasure of meeting her and can say that she is sweet, a kisser and a skinny minny. I look forward to seeing her grow up and get fat and happy to make up for the tough times so far.

-Some disco-not-disco and Miami bass (or ghettotech maybe) tomorrow, plus some politcal outrage and whatever else comes to mind.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Money Rap

Ludacris feat. Pharrell, "Money Maker"

Lil' Scrappy feat. Young Buck, "Money In The Bank"

I wasn't really trying make some point by putting these two songs up, although it does reinforce my statement that rappers luuuuuuvvvvvvsssss talking about money and how much they have. Let me reiterate that this does not bother me. In fact, I love hearing and seeing the bling shit and love buying shit and having money as much as anyone. I think that the post from Monday was really an attempt to hope for a break, the introduction of a more vulnerable side to the music. It was not an attempt to say that this shit has no place in the art form. I mean, how could I say it, when it's all I put up here?

Of the two songs, the Lil' Scrappy is the keeper in my opinion. I have always like Scrappy and think that he has put out some of the hottest songs of the past few years. This one has a nice screwed vocal refrain, a good verse by Young Buck, who really is the only thing redeemable and really great stuff from Scrappy. I really like his style and flow a lot, I'm hoping that this new album holds a few hits and he gets the attention I think he deserves.

Everyone knows and loves Ludacris and hear he teams up with Pharrell in one of those dream matchups that rarely produces the results one hopes and expects. This is another case of slight disappointment, as Luda drops some average verses with the obligatory Pharrell sung refrains and a laid-back beat. I'm not sure if this one will be a hit, as it just seems disposable, like everyone was going through the motions. But, it's a bit of dry time on radio, so you never know.

-New Yorkers, New Yorkers, relive the days when you were young and invicible and had bright futures at 1992. This jawn is brought to you by Oscar D'Leon, King Vashtie and my bol Project Matt at Lotus in the Meatpacking district. Expect lots of early 90s hip-hop, spun by DJs Soul and Wilspin. Get out hear some classics, see how the beautiful people live and have much fun.

-For those in Philly, head to the best bar in the city/state/country/world, 700 Club, for a advance screening of the new Vice DVD, The Vice Guide to Travel. DJs Dryw Scully and Andrew Luxton will spin afterwards, there is going to be free shit and the video sounds like it's a mus-see.

John Starlight - Shadowbreaker

John Starlight, "Shadowbreaker (original)"

John Starlight, "Shadowbreaker (Boys Noize Remix No.1)

John Starlight, "Shadowbreaker (Boys Noize Remix No. 2)

Here's some huge electro-y madness for everyone to get back into the groove of things here. John Starlight is an alias of Zombie Nation, the better known project of Mr. Splank. He's a well-regarded techno producer and DJ, with releases on Kompact recently. If "Shadowbreaker" is an example of what techno sounds like today, then it's definitely not what I expected. This one reminds me of the "Acid Never Sleeps" jawn we upped last week, a minimal, bottom-heavy, echoing club track that doesn't really seem like it should be. The original version has this wonderful creakiness to it, literally, as it sounds in the beginning like a sample of a door opening. From there, you get a nice, acid-lite song that has great, heavy drums and a crackling bass that never detonates, sadly.

Boys Noize bring two remixes, not quite sure why, to be honest. It's the first one that kills, imo, as the German boys let the bass loose in the second half of the song. Having heard Dave P spin a few weekends ago, opening for MSTRKRFT, what made his set so amazing was the use of tension. That buildup of a minimal track, even extended a bassless interlude until the crowd was ready to go nuts and then BOOM! He would drop a huge bassline and things would go to the next level. Boys Noize have utilized that on the first remix to great effect, adding in some great synth, haunted house sounds along the way. Remix 2 isn't bad; in fact, it sounds a helluva lot like the first one, so I'm not really sure I understand the intent there.

-Completely unrelated to anything, but did everyone see this article about the prevalence of men on the "down low"? A study of New York City men pegged the number at almost 1 out of 10. Is this possible? Am I that naive to think that this number is incredibly high? I mean, what the fuck?

-I just wanted to say that it has been a full month without a drink! What a horrible experience, yikes! I don't think anyone realizes how essential alcohol is to social life and dating. But, with the help of my partner in crime MR, we did the damn thing. I'm going to keep going and try to do 2 months, as I think that the good effects are outweighing the awkwardness and diminished fun. Onward and upward, my dear readers.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bringing Sensitiveback: An Essay Part 2

I'm sure many of you are wondering what Part 1 could possibly have to do with Pound for Pound. I can't really say for sure what it will mean for this site, although I do hope that there will be a clearer sense of committment to my city, cities, causes I believe in, that my readers believe in, an attempt to work against the very soundtrack I provide at times.

Which leads me to part 2 of this essay. I am a proud member of the hip-hop generation, born at its outset, raised on its sounds, it has been the soundtrack to my biggest moments and memories. I consider it the foundation of this site and its aesthetic, from the early hip house sounds and Miami bass to the New York shit of the 90s (Wu, Mobb Deep, Gang Starr) to the Southern ascendancy (Three 6, Screw, Bun and UGK, crunk, snap). Over the past few years, I feel like there has been a growing number of voices expressing disgust at present-day hip-hop, centering on the misogynistic and money-obsessed lyrics and videos.

Having finished I Don't Want To Talk About It, Terrance Real's exploration of male depression, I want to put forth a new reading of rap music. It isn't perfect and is overly reductive, but what theory isn't? I want to people to see rap as a reflection of a traumatized generation of young men, men and boys raised in violent surroundings, enduring suffering at an early age, forced to be tough and never experience pain or show weakness. Is it any wonder that the songs are about inflicting violence and disrespecting women and enemies and about the glory of money and cars? I would argue that it fits perfectly with the expected reaction of men in this society, where boys are told to never cry and to be the strong, silent type. To find meaning in their work and the rewards that go with that.

Let me make clear that this is not intended as an excuse or rationalization for these demeaning lyrics and offensive images. It's not. It's partly an effort to put this into context. From there, I want to ask some questions, which I don't really have any answer to yet. What can we do as a hip-hop community or generation to change this scenario? To move beyond the easy course of misogyny and hate towards something more open.

I don't know and must add that the music I find myself most attracted to is the stuff that I am talking about now. I love the cold, mechanical beats and the stories of killing and sex and asses. It's the aesthetic of this blog, from Miami bass to electro to Three 6 Mafia to New Order and Joy Division (the coldness moreso in those last two cases). I just want to be clear that I have as much to answer as anyone, and I don't have any answers.

The best ways I can think to escape this are the inclusion of more female voices to the critical reception of the music and to this blog, bringing a real critique of the music from a perspective that I cannot have. I cannot experience what sexist lyrics do and how they effect me. That would be a start.

It's a start, but it would still leave a long way to go. I fear that female critics would be silenced as outsiders, attacked as men-hating feminists or whatever other tactic reactionaries use. No, the real change will need to come from within. Is there a way for hip-hop to open itself up, to engage rather than intimidate? I'm not certain, as clearly this isn't the shit that I'm listening to and posting about. The one way out that comes to mind is Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By," one of the greatest songs ever. For starters, it's a banger, evidenced by the fact that this is a staple of Low Budget's sets, as anyone who has been at 700 Clubs on a Thursday night will attest. More importantly, it's a song about unrequited love, about being rejected, passed by. It's one of those rare moments in hip-hop. It's a song about love and vulnerability and it makes people dance and put it on their iPods and mixes.

What do you think? Are you offended by hip-hop? Do you feel like this is much ado about nothing? Is hip-hop being held to a higher bar than other art forms? What about the music of the Stones or rock's sexist past and present? Should hip-hop be seen as fantasy, a projection and even transgression? Does this post seem to new-agey and psycho-analytic? Is the future I know that there are quite a few women readers (Ladies Love Pound for Pound, FYI) and I really would love to hear their thoughts and critiques of the music I post. I don't have answers, but in some way I think that this is best. I think that this is a topic that should lead to discussion and potentially more understanding from all involved.

For those who made it to the end, here's some music that was mentioned in the past two posts. Nothing you don't already have, but figured I needed to somehow make up for all of this pontificating.

The Pharcyde, "Passing Me By"

Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone" [live]

The Smiths, "I Know It's Over"

Bringing Sensitiveback: An Essay

[Disclaimer: This post is a rambling, incoherent mess. It came to me late two nights ago and has felt urgent since then. I'm not sure it will be of any interest to anyone other than me, so be warned. I don't plan on getting more personal here, just felt like I needed to put my thoughts down.]

"Where are all the good men dead: in the heart or in the head?" -Debbi Newberry

That quote above comes from a great, underrated movie, Grosse Point Blank, and has always stuck with me. It seemed like a chicken or egg question until recently. In the past few weeks (months, perhaps), I have come to see a clear answer to the question and realized how wrong I've acted until now.

Saturday night, walking my bike back home, I came through the Parkway, the majestic boulevard that is the site of many of Philly's great museums, looking at the Logan Circle fountain, realizing how beautiful the scene was. At the same time, listening to Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone," I see the homeless camping out on the patches of land along the avenue. For a long time, I've seen this sight as an embarrassment for the city, worried what visitors seeing this thought. Last night, it suddenly came upon me how cold I've become, how distant and uncaring. These are people, without homes, sleeping on the streets of my city, uncared for, alone, suffering.

When did I get like this? Why and how did I go dead in the heart? I've been living so long trying to stay cold and dead, avoid being hurt, that I was actually surprised at the thought of these men and women as fellow human beings. And that's sad. Sure, I've linked to political stuff here, called Bush an idiot, read the papers and form opinions on the issues, but so what? How has that changed anything? What causes have I become a part of and dedicated myself to?

I'm not sure if these thoughts reflect any one else's thinking, but I imagine that there are others who wonder what they are living for, what is the bigger cause that we struggle and fight for. I hope that this site can begin to reflect my growing realization in the need to fight for something and someone, the need for connection in this world. The time has come for me to start living it, to become an adult, as there is nothing lost in trying to become more human. As Dylan sneers, "When you ain't got nothin', you got nothin' to lose/You're invisible now, you ain't got no secrets to conceal."

I can't think of any better ending place for this post than a quote from the greatest man who ever lived, Steven Morrissey. I've quoted this lyric often, but it's going to be a daily struggle to live it day to day.

And you even spoke to me, and said :
"If you're so funny
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
And if you're so clever
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
If you're so very entertaining
Then why are you on your own tonight ?
If you're so very good-looking
Why do you sleep alone tonight ?
I know ...
'Cause tonight is just like any other night
That's why you're on your own tonight
With your triumphs and your charms
While they're in each other's arms..."

It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
Over, over, over, over
It's so easy to laugh
It's so easy to hate
It takes guts to be gentle and kind

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dylan Sunday - Theme Time Radio Hour #8

Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour #8 (Weddings)

Here's the latest episode of Bob Dylan's XM Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour. This week's topic should be familiar to anyone in their mid-to-late 20s, when weddings seem to happen constantly and one is always buying a gift. I don't know about any of this since I am in my early 20s, but I've heard the horror stories.

For those of us who are single, weddings are an even worse experience, a time to contemplate your own loneliness and the seemingly impossible odds that you will ever find the right person. All while being herded to that wonderful ghetto table of the lonely and desperate, put together like some petri dish, as everyone waits to see the effects of alcohol and loneliness on the single guests.

I never thought that I would get married, always considered it an archaic concept (oh, to be young and Marxist again), later just associated it with the bad marriages I saw around me. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize what a beautiful concept it could be, for those who truly commit to it and their partner. I'm content with that huge shift, will begin worrying about finding said partner in a few months or so. At that time, I will circulate a questionaire for potential spouses, asking the important questions like income, education, bra size, dowry, tolerance for neurotic, self-absorbed, self-loathing, cold, distant, hostile men, importance of sexual pleasure, their acceptance of sexual disappointment. The basics, really, we'll take it from there. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Peru Ubu - The Modern Dance

Pere Ubu, "Nonalignment Pact"

Pere Ubu, "Real World"

Pere Ubu are a name often referenced, rarely discussed and listened to. I always think of them like great European authors or foreign directors, shibboleths for pseudo-intellectuals and snobs to exclude. They're one of those bands who are played like a trump card, a name that has a level of obscurity and difficulty to make others feel stupid and unknowing. I remember coming across their name often, usually as some reference to post-punk or the real good music that people didn't appreciate enough. I eventually took the dive and bought some of their stuff, and I figured it might be a good starting point for a weekly look at some great albums. I'm forseeing this weekly Saturday post as a big brother kinda thing, a chance to put people up on some stuff that maybe they wouldn't have known about or were to intimidated to purchase. As an only child, I've always been sensitive to that feeling of having to learn everything my self, from drugs to girls to music.

The Modern Dance was Pere Ubu's debut album and is the most highly regarded by fans and critics, right beside their second album, Dub Housing. I'm not sure how to describe it genre-wise, as one of its charms is how unique it sounds. I guess it's best to call it post-punk, garage art rock, bringing a sense of songwriting, rhythm and outright weirdness to punk music. The band that comes to mind when I listen to one is Talking Heads, as both clearly couldn't stand the constrictions of punk and wanted to bring any and all influences into the mix. That, combined with the literary lyrics and great bass, set them apart in the late 70s.

The first song above, "Nonalignment Pact" is one of the best songs I have ever heard. For real, when I play walking around, I start to dance unconsciously. It begins with feedback and microtones, then bam! You get one of the best rock songs of that decade, imo. It sounds as influenced by the Beach Boys or doo-wop, as it does the Sex Pistols. "Real World" gives a good sense of the second half of the album, when the band gets more experimental and arty. If you like this one, then you will love the album. If not,

-I made it to Johnny Brenda's opening night last night and just wanted to let everyone know that the space is amazing. It's got gorgeous wood floors and bar, a balcony, perfect sight lines, an elevated stage, the whole nine yards. My only complaints were the volume, as shit was way too loud for the size of the space and there is a narrow passageway to get from the front room/bar to the concert section. They'll need to make sure that people don't clog that section up. But, those are small potatoes, really, especially when you think that this was the first big night and they've had no time for tweaking. For real, this is another jewel for Philly, another reason to move here and I cannot wait to see how this ups the music scene in the city in the rest of the future. Thanks to TA and EO for joining me, as it was great night on the northside, in spite my headache.

-I picked up my bike today and it is so gorgeous! Thanks to the good people at Via Bicycles on 9th Street for their help and guidance, as they really made it easy for someone who knew next to nothing about bikes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Killers and Jacques Lu Cont

The Killers, "When You Were Young (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke remix)"

The Killers, "Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke remix)"

I'm still totally loving the first single from The Killers, "When You Were Young." Here is the first remix available, from the amazing Jacques Lu Cont and his Thin White Duke moniker. Lu Cont takes the original and makes it dance-floor ready, but without relying on the typical move of throwing the vocals over a house beat.

-Philly, I ain't forgot you today. Huge weekend, as always. The biggest event is the opening of Johnny Brenda's new concert space in Fishtown. They're have a special series of concerts this weekend, before the regular schedule gets rolling next weekend. Tonight, you get Mazarin and Asteroid #4. Stop and say hello to the guy in the red and blue striped shirt, that's me, pretending that not drinking isn't that bad.

-If I weren't heading there, I would most certainly hit The Gossip show at the Church with Erase Errata. One of my favorites and a truly underated band. I will put up a track or two from the riot grrls with rhythm shortly. Lots of great shows coming up from R5, will hopefully catch some of them.

-Finally, your favorite Philadelphian, Pound for Pound, had a big moment this week. Yours truly had his first big piece come out in the Philadelphia Weekly in their Fall Issue. It's a look at Ticketmaster's policy of auctioning off the best seats for big concerts and its impact on fans. While it may not be a look at Miami bass or big boobs, it's an interesting subject I had never really considered. Your bol is really fucking grindin' now, stay tuned for bigger and better things in the next few months. Editors, get at me now, before I start shinin'.

TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain

TV On The Radio, "I Was A Lover"

TV On The Radio, "Wolf Like Me"

G-d, this seems like one of the most hyped, most anticipated albums of the second-half of the year. TV On The Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain is getting love from everyone, lauding like only a new Bob Dylan album. It's kinda caught me off-guard, to be honest, as their debut album was very good, but it didn't seem to be that huge. Plus, in the indie world, it's hard to get any love after the inital buzz wears off.

In that spirit of openmindedness, I decided to not let me inner hipster hate this CD immediately. Actually, I was super excited for Return To Cookie Mountain (in spite of the awful title) and it exceeded my expectations. It's dense, experimental, hypnotic, one of those rare works that remains simultaneously pop and uncommitted to the structure of that genre. The thing that always draws me in to their music is lead singer's Tunde Adebimpe, one of those rare great voices in indie music. It most reminds me of Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, that same earnestness, emotion and skill. It's the music that takes the bands in different directions, as Bloc Party work in the post-punk frame and TVOTR seem to have a much broader pallette of influences.

This album shows how ambitious the band is, bringing mechanical beats, drones, beautiful melodies, post-punk into an album. The best comparison imo is to the Liars' recent album, in terms of the adventurousness and ambition. Highly, highly recommended, buy your copy immediately.

-Another great Brooklynite has put together a great piece of music. Mr. Greg Bresnitz, a.k.a. DJ Never Forget of Finger On The Pulse fame, has dropped a dope mix for everyone to hear, so head over and grab it immediately. This was my soundtrack for the ride home on the Chinatown bus, and has been the soundtrack for a lot of the writing I do. It's a fucking phenomenal work, lots of great dance music, some indie, mixed beautifully, what more can I say?

-White Lightning tonight at Home Sweet Home with Lauren Flax, Kim Ann Foxman and Dirty Jean. Still Life opens a new store on Orchard (btwn Grand and Broome) with a party tonight, can't wait to see the new flagship on my next visit. Finally, Steven Bloodbath is spinning at Beauty Bar on 14th Street. Downtown kids, stand the fuck up!

-Keep your fingers crossed on this apartment I saw, as it's a great spot with three cool girls as roomates (we're real close to having a Three's Company thing going on, I mean my name is Jack for chrissakes! Let's do it). I doubt that I'll get it, since it sounds like there's another 20 people. I wonder if my dear readers should write them and vouch for my genius, coolness and general desirability. Hmm, I'm not sure. Shout out to the girls for being so nice, Internet Garage for allowing me to talk to you, the Bedford Cheese Shop and Cafe for the coffee, the beautiful girls walking down Bedford Ave. and the L for being on time and getting me where I need to go.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bay Heat - Federation

Federation, "18 Dummy"

Federation feat. E-40, "Stunna Shades"

This is gonna be a quick post, as I'm heading up to New York City shortly to see an apartment. It's been a minute since we dropped some Bay Area heat, so we needed to remedy that immediately. These are not the newest shit, but until I find a source for that, it'll have to do. Federation might be the definining group in the hyphy scene, dropping some of the best known tracks and coining a lot of the terminology (or at least making songs using that). The sickness here is "18 Dummy," a thundering track that kills, kills, kills. I especially love the computerized voice that drops the "18 Dummy" refrain, it gives the whole song a sort of futuristic feel. Dig the massive bass, as it wouldn't be out of place on some grime track on the pirates or coming from a DJ Scud track or something. Yeah!

"Stunna Shades" ain't too shabby either, dropping the instrumental for Corey Hart's dope "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night," giving a nice 80s, keyboard sound. E-40 guests, nothing too exceptional from anyone. It's good, but I wouldn't say it's amazing. Mr. Pilly Wonk of Nation of Thizzlam had even more ambiguity, getting sick of the hyphy gimmicks. For those of us not as knowledgable of the scene, it works better. Give it a listen, more Bay comin'.

-I asked the West Coast to step it up and it looks like they did. Tonight in LA, the first night of the Radio Soulwax tour kicks off with 2 Many DJs, Soulwax, Dave P and JDH. It's going to down at The Vanguard and would seem pretty essential for anyone within range.

-Keep your fingers crossed on this apartment I'm seeing tonight; if you know of something available, are looking for a roomate or have a friend searching, please holler. I finally feel like I can move and make the city my own and not feel like I will be haunted or unable to go out in certain areas and whatnot. For the first time in a long time, I feel good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Riot In Belgium - The Acid Never Sleeps

Riot In Belgium, "The Acid Never Sleeps (3 AM Rough Rave version)" (320, the new dank!)

Riot In Belgium, "The Acid Never Sleeps (Boys Noize 909 Disco remix)" (320)

Here's a huge club tune for y'all, one that's been getting a lot of love from the DJs/producers we've been looking at here. It's on FabricLive 28 by Cut Copy (which is filthy good and makes me want to just up full versions of the entire album for the rest of the month) and Tiga has said it's one of his favorites recently. One listen to the vinyl single and it's not hard to see why.

"The Acid Never Sleeps (3 AM Rough Rave version)" isn't anything too crazy, a nice simple acid track that features a cool vocodered voice repeating the "The acid never sleeps." It sorta sneaks up on you like acid, seeming all harmless and before you know it you're laughing like a madman and seeing your friend turn into a lion. The Boyz Noise remix doesn't change things up too much, adding some cool old school rave siren sounds and generally making this one a little more fun. I'd probably go with that one as the winner, what does everyone else think?

-There may be a riot in Manhattan tonight, as Philly invades and conquers as usual. Misshapes is celebrating Fashion Week and the release of their new magazine with a party starring Low Budget and Dave P. and Sweatheart. Holy shit, that's a real serious night, NYC. Real serious. Have fun, just recognize that Philly runs shit now, yahear?

-I'll be in NYC tomorrow afternoon, so if anyone would like to greet me in Chinatown at the bus stop with a sign reading Pound for Pound, I'd like that. Otherwise, just hope that this apartment viewing(s) work out and that the bus doesn't have another bathroom leak spewing an unknown liquid into the bus. Emphasis on the latter.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Bass Is Back

Scarlett (That Girl)

Gucci Crew II, "Sally (That Girl)" (320, all DJs play this for g-dsakes!)

That's right, motherfuckers, your bol has finally gotten his act together. We're taking Pound for Pound back to its roots, back to the booty days, when Miami bass and ghettotech and Bmore club ruled here. I'm embarassed to realize how long it's been since we upped any music from these genres, but I've been trying so hard to keep up with music today that I lost sight of the past. We're gonna remedy that from here on out, dedicating a few posts a week to the earlier shit, the foundations of all that we listen to today.

We're gonna start out slow, dropping two of the most famous, classic Miami bass tracks of all-time. I'm actually kinda worried that many people won't already have these, as it still seems like these songs (and the whole genre) are unknown. Above is a stone-cold classic, Gucci Crew II's "Sally (That Girl)." The boys warn us about that girl in the neighborhood, the maneater who has a guy for every day of the week. The cautionary tale is told over a great drum machine beat, phenomenal.

-All pictures this week will be of Scarlett Johansson, in honor of her upcoming movie, one of my most anticipated films of the year, Black Dahlia. This is all part of my ongoing effort to get a date with Scarlett, as that pussy Josh Hartnett ain't on her level. I mean, does the dude even have a blog? Holler.

-Everyone needs to check out this video of Keith Olbermann's editorial at the end of his MSNBC show, especially if the sour taste of Bush's speech yesterday and the ABC movie filled with lies remains. His last line, "May the country forgive you," is the gulliest, ballsiest, most amazing thing I have seen in a while.

Steven Bloodbath remixes

Dogs are the new bling

Beyonce and Jay-Z, "Deja Vu (Steven Bloodbath remix)"

Spank Rock, "Far Left (Steven Bloodbath remix)"

Teairra Mari, "No Daddy (Steven Bloodbath remix)"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Cheated Hearts (Steven Bloodbath remix)"

I'm gonna do my best to get back to covering local music, as I've slipped off recently as I've tried to stay on top of everything else going on. Check back here for the weekly Philly post that we had going a few months ago, covering DJs, bands and anyone else doing big things in the greatest city on Earth.

A good person to jump back in with is DJ Steven Bloodbath, one of the most talented DJs in Philly now. He's the man behind the Monster monthly that's taken over the Starlight Ballroom, he was involved downstairs at the Pop-off Shack and started the Sunday night all-you-can-drink madness at the Khyber, Kill Your Liver. He's also a member of the Town Jewelerz, although I'm not sure if they still exist.

These remixes are a great intro to the Bloodbath style, which covers lots of ground musically and is unafraid to cover popular music. That can mean 80s shit that most of us turn our nose up at (yours truly included) like Van Halen and Bon Jovi to r&b tracks from today. That's why I think that he has already gained a following here, as he wants people to have fun not prove how obscure his tastes are. I'm not sure if he'd agree, but it seems an extension of the Hollertronix aesthetic with a twist, the focus on rocking a party while also opening people up to new music.

The remixes are very good; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs one is probably my favorite, but that might just be because "Cheated Hearts" is still one of my favorite songs of the year. Love how he tames the original and makes it a little more danceable, but without simply resorting to some weak house beat. Instead, he lets the amazing vocals shine, brings the drums up, adds some effects and voila! You have a great remix. They're all recommended and you know you can trust me, right?

-His most notable party might be KillYourself, the Tuesday monthly Fluid jawn that should easily fill your need for hair metal, PBR, cock rock, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and slow dances. He and Ian St. Laurant give you another reason to be glad you live here in Philly and not elsewhere. Get there at 10 tonight and get $.25 PBRs for an hour. That's 4 for a $1 for the truly deranged.

-For those in NYC, my bol Project Matt puts his stamp on Fashion Week tonight. In the latest edition of Escape From the LES, Matt brings DJ Clark Kent and the Misshapes people all together in one spot. Matt's spinning in something called the Lotus Room, so you know that this is gonna be a gully night.

-Left Coast, let me know what's doing or are you just gonna let the East Coast run Pound for Pound?!?

-More to come later, as we're gonna drop some heat, some bass heat, some Miami bass heat!!!!! Yeah yeah yeah!!!! 3 weeks without a drink, shout out to my partner in this one, we gonna make it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

N.Y. State of Mind

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A photo of a World Center Tribute made from the ashes of the building

Nas, "NY State of Mind" (HQ 256)

It seems essential to mention New York City today, on the day it proved itself resiliant and tough beyond any measure. I don't know how to memorialize this day, to be honest, as it's a day that brings up so many emotions and thoughts. It would be nice if we made a real committment to honor and remember this day, without disgraceful documentaries or 24 news coverage. I actually spent most of my serious work at college looking at collective memory and how it is shaped in the context of the Shoah. It's always struck me how little memory we have, how little reflection we

Above is one of the greatest songs ever made, Nas' "NY State of Mind." It's one of the finest examples of New York art, up there with Scorcese's Mean Streets, Luc Sante's Low Life, Hubert Selby's novels, Henry Roth's Call It Sleep, Law of Gravity and so much more. It's a tale from the streets, from the heart of the city in all of its darkness and violence. Listen to Nasty Nas' stories, the gunplay, the project scenes, running from an attack, the clockers, the basehead zombies, the cops. Listen to the pain and nightmares that lie behind the City That Never Sleeps ("I never sleep, 'cos sleep is the cousin of death"), the paranoia and fear that permeates. Nas' lines come at you so fast and relentless, mirroring the city that he loves.

Most of all, this is an expression of the NYC attitude, the never-say-die, grindmode, entrepeneur mindset that makes the city tick. It's about the hustle, about survival in the toughest of times and I can't think of a greater tribute to that greatest of cities on the day it was attacked and scarred. Bloodied, but not bowed.

-Speaking of NYC, I have recovered from my first attempt at finding an apartment in that great city and am embarking on a more concerted effort again. It truly has been one of the worst experiences I've ever had, a constant stream of rejection, lies and two-faced people. Two recent examples should give you an insight into what it's like to search on Craig's List for a place to live. One place in Williamsburg, a few roomates, big loft, sound good. I subsequently learn via email that the apt. is connected to a studio space that is infested with RATS!

A tribute to the firefighters and police who risked their lives that day near the WTC

Dylan Sunday - Theme Time Radio Hour #7

Bob, first wife Sara Lowndes (nee Shirley Noznisky) with their young son and future Wallflower Jakob

Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour #7 (Father)

Here's the next installment of Dylan's XM radio show, covering that always-fertile ground of fathers (and sons, by extension). It's the usual mix of songs and talk, including a brief interview with Elvis Costello. I don't know much about Dylan, having never really wanted to get into the obsessive background knowledge about the man's life. I believe that he had a cool, distant relationship with his father, Abraham Zimmerman. I'm curious to look at how much that impacted his writing, as the bonds between fathers and sons (or the lack thereof) are still an unexamined source of pain and sadness.

I don't want to get all emotional and personal, but Dylan's music does do that to me. It's been a strange time lately, as I've been doing a lot of personal exploration and confronting my faults and demons. Dylan's music seems to have travelled all of these roads before me, he seems to confronted the darkness and made it out the other side. I loath being a fan of any artist, obsessing and glorifying one person, but Dylan's songs break down that resistance more than most. "Visions of Johanna", "If You See Her Say Hello," hell all of Blood On The Tracks alone takes you the heart of sadness in a way little else can. What's the point of this? Just want to remind everyone why I dedicate every Sunday to the man, Bob Dylan, why his music needs to be explored by any one reading this blog, from my electro heads to the indie kids to the hip-hoppers. You don't have to like him (hell, I respect those who are honest and admit they don't), but please give it a listen.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Peech Boys

Peech Boys, "Don't Make Me Wait (extended version)"

Peech Boys, "Don't Make Me Wait (original 12" dub mix)"

In honor of last night, I wanted to up some classic 70s disco, Loft shit, as the whole scene at Medusa reminded me of those halcyon days of dancing, sweat and music, in some hidden, basment space smaller than your apartment.

Peech Boys are essential for anyone interested in this period of music, produced by the legendary DJ Larry Levan of Paradise Garage. Listen to "Don't Make Me Wait" and you will hear the blueprint for James Murphy and DFA stable - hand claps, throbbing bass,

-One word to describe last night at Medusa: Holy fucking shit!!!! It was amazing, filthy, debaucherous, everything I could have hoped for and more. I got there on the early side, right around 10, with an already decent sized crowd. Within an hour, it wss completely packed and the place was going nuts. Dave P destroyed (his sense of timing is impeccable), the MSTRKRFT boys did the same. Almost completely vocal-less dance music all night, mostly newer ish, with the occasional look back. Much more on the house, electro side of things, people did not stop dancing until 2 am when the lights went on.

-Philly, can't stop, won't stop. Tittsworth at the Walnut Room, Baltimore invades our fair city, armed with lots of bass. Yeah!

-NYC, Fashion Week starts off tonight with a bang, as Return to New York is bringing some serious names back to spin and play. Arthur Baker, Larry Tee, Junior Sanchez and Tommie Sunshine are some of the DJs, Foreign Islands playing live and John Robie, early electro pioneer, is too. Wow, way too good for the crowd I expect to attend at Happy Ending. But, fuck it, models can get buck, get wild too, plus the drugs should be amazing.

-Great Eagles game today, the defense and offense both looked solid. Not great yet, but I definitely see both sides getting to that level in a few games. I'm not doing fantasy football this season, as I wanted to save the money and protest the fact that I still haven't received all of my money for winning the league last year. It's kinda sad, as I miss refreshing some random game to see if my RB gained a few yards or no. But, I'm gonna try to put that money to better use (more to come on that soon) and stay focused on bigger things. Good luck to everyone with their teams.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Justin Timberlake -

Justin Timberlake feat. T.I., "My Love"

Justin Timberlake feat. Clipse, "Sexyback (remix)"

Since the "Sexyback" remixes did so well here, I figured that I would up one more track from the new album, Future Sex/Love Sounds. "My Love" is my favorite track on the album, a little more in Timberlake's wheelhouse than the first single. It's more romantic and sweet than sexy and hard, a better fit for his talents and image. The Timbaland production is the star of the show, as he puts together one of his most memorable songs in a while, a synth monster with a stuttering, insistent drum machine, claps, a deliberate, well-paced tempo. Unbelievably hot. But don't front on Justin, all you hard guys who think he's too soft or gay or whatever. Don't be so ashamed to admit that you love this, you love JTimb and that falsetto singing about love and romance and all that shit you want. He's in great form here, almost on the verge of a scream when he really starts to let loose vocally. T.I. drops a decent verse, a nice counterpoint to Timberlake's girlier sound and persona. Heater, folks, grab this and put it on your next mix to your loved one, DJs spin this out and watch people start making out.

I also threw in another "Sexyback" remix, this one featuring the incomparable Clipse. Good stuff, always good to have anything with Pusha and Malice. Also, another good example of how big a fan Justin is of hip-hop, his willingness to engage the music with its best producers and rappers. Keep it up, Justin, we love you here at Pound for Pound.

-Lauren Flax. Dave Morelli. Dave Elliott. White Lightning!. Justin Timberlake album listening at 10. Home Sweet Home. Yes.

-I just had to say something about The Presets show Wednesday night at the Khyber. A-may-zing, possibly the best concert of the year (I don't have a girlfriend anymore, so yes, I do make up Top 10 lists, FYI). I had high hopes for the show, evidenced by the fact that I walked from Northern Liberties by myself to attend. But, it far exceeded those expectations, as the duo played perfect live dance/rock music. It was loud and poweful, like a great rock show, but it had a mechanical, beats driven sound that had people dancing. Hints of New Order, Bloc Party, Kudu, all the shit that I like, done with impeccable skill and style. Catch them on this tour, you will not be disappointed.

Oh, and can I just say how much I love you Philly? It was so amazing to see an entire crowd dancing and going crazy and completely unconcerned with what the people around them were thinking. You are the best city in the world, I have no doubts.

-Speaking of good times for me, my new pieces for the Philadelphia Weekly are out and they are two of my favorites. Check out my preview of the Junior Boys show tonight at the North Star, which I will probably attend. Even better, I got to do the A-List piece for MSTRKRFT at Medusa!!!!! Holy shit, this is gonna be bonkers,

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cassius - Eye Water

Cassius feat. Pharrell, "Eye Water"

Cassius, "Toop Toop"

New Cassius, people, new Cassius! Here's the next track off of their album, 15 Again, this one features the ubiquitous Pharrell. It's an interesting track, to say the least. On first listen, I thought it was awful, on par with the duds Pharrell has dropped solo recently. But, with each listen, it started to get catchier and catchier, Pharrell's voice worked for me more and more and subsequent listens were more and more necessary. The lyrics of the song were the biggest hurdle, tackling environmental and political issues. Hearing Pharrell rap/sing "car emissions" is my idea of a good practical joke, but not a great song. But, with each listen, the idea of a Planet Earth after all of the wars, when we have killed each other off in war and destroyed our environment, becomes more palatable. Is it idealistic, simple shit? Sure, but what's wrong with that? The music reflects this hippie-ish perspective, a gentle, electro sound. Peep the hair metal guitars toward the end, or the stutttering conclusion that mirrors the end of the world foretold.

Be warned, this song is not for everyone. It's not really a club banger, it's surely no "Toop Toop," which might be the song of the year and needs to be heard by everyone. I'm curious to hear what people think, as I know that it's hard to sit on the fence with Pharrell. Grab the album when it comes out, as this is gonna be hard to ignore.

- "Toop Toop" reminds me of the Ed Banger night; one of the best moments came when Mehdi or SebastiAn, can't remember which, dropped that one and the place went ape-shit. You need to get this one DJs, drop this in your sets ASAP. One other highlight that night was Rage Against The Machine 's "Killing In The Name." Seriously. It sounded so great on a huge system, everyone knows the lyrics, it just went hard. Keep it in mind, that band is totally slept on.

-More cool links to Pound for Pound: pH over at the Turntable Lab blog, TTL Estoy Con Estupido, repped us for that Ed Banger show. Thanks for the look, good to see that he came through that night and enjoyed himself, as it really was a special night for NYC music-wise. Also, an adult soccer league in Brooklyn featuring DJs and TTL employees with lots of fights? For real? How do I get a part of this when I move? Your bol was all-League twice, no lie. Get at me, I need to be a part of that.

-Holy fucking shit Philly!!!! The Clipse are coming to town in early November, thanks to R5 Productions. Things just keep getting better, believe it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Presets - Girl and the Sea

[Music will be up later, get out and hit up some of these events]

The Presets, "Girl and the Sea (album version)"

The Presets, "Girl and the Sea (Goodwill edit)"

The Presets, "Girl and the Sea (Captain Comatose remix)"

The Presets, "Girl and the Sea (Cut Copy remix)"

We've talked about these guys, The Presets, recently, feel like they are one of the more exciting bands out there at the moment. Soooo, time to drop another of their singles with remixes, "Girl and the Sea."

The Presets are playing tonight at the Khyber, super cheap, not to be missed show at one of the best venues in the city. Best of all, you can walk right upstairs for my girl JG's Driz Horse night. Special guest DJ Dave P, making this an unofficial afterparty or during-party or something. Indie kids, let me see your hands. Holler at your bol if you see him; finding a white guy with a beard and black framed glasses will be like shooting in barrell, unfortunately.

-Earlier in the night, make sure to catch Philly's own Joshua Marcus opening for the Grey Reverends at the Standard Tap in Northern Liberties. Josh is a member of Like Moving Insects, a local band that will get a lot more attention down the road, and an all-around good guy; he'll go on around 9 with his bluegrass-y, acoustic tunes. I will be in attendance, curious to see how music goes down at one of the city's best restaurant/bars.

-51:51, as always, have more on what's going down. DJ Krush at Fluid in Philly, Curtis Vodka in New York City with Catchdubs. Party's at that crazy hotel on Rivington, THOR, which always seemed like a sanctuary for lost investment bankers and Eurotrash. I'd gladly attend either, but you know how I love me some indie girls.

-Oh, and since this month is all about feeling good, I just wanted to let everyone know that we broke 3000 visitors in one day for the first time yesterday! Definitely another goal that I've had in mind, another goal achieved. The grind don't stop, bigger things in store.

Tampa Tony - Bobbahead

Tampa Tony, "Bobbahead"

Yung Joc feat. Trae, "It's Goin' Down (remix)"

Oh shit, I have been waiting to put up this up for hot minute. Cot damn, this is my shit. Tampa Tony's "Bobbahead" dropped recently, the next snap track heater. Tony is a protege of Trick Daddy and the Slip 'n' Slide label, but he sounds more a part of the snap scene of the ATL. The sound here is sick, sick, sick; all snaps, bass and drum machines, minimalism at its finest. This shit makes me wanna fight or fuck, which makes it a 10 in my book. I especially love Tony's voice, with its drugged out, almost slurry sound. The way he lets each word slowly slip out is amazing, making this that much better. Highly, highly recommended. Cheah!

The other track is a lesser-known remix of the single of the year, Yung Joc's "It's Goin' Down." This one features Asshole by Nature Trae, one of Houston's finest and hopefully the next name to jump off down there. Trae really does have one of the most intimidating voices rap's ever heard, a deep, forceful voice that might be better used as a preacher or something. Trae drops the first verse, then you get the rest of Joc's verses. Good stuff, although I still love the original most of all.

-My bol and your favorite blogger JT will be on the radio this afternoon, doing the 2-5 slot on WPRB 103.3. He's the special guest on Maria Sciarrino's show, she of Her Jazz fame. For those not in the Philly area, and for that matter those not in the, like, 2 mile radius that picks up PRB, tune in online at and enjoy the rawk music.

-A message to the mouse that scared the pee out of me last night by creeping onto my nightstand: this is an act of war. You have provoked a peaceful person and I shall now bring my wrath down. I'm not talking some humane trap, call the exterminator shit. No, no, I'm talking glue traps and pain, I'm talking torture and mutilation as a warning to all your little buddies to stay the fuck away. We're get on some Lord of the Flies, paint my face with your blood, loincloth, kill Piggy shit, straight crazy steez. You brought this on yourself is the sad part.