Vinyl, like any other narcotic, is measured in weight to truly assess its value. I went on a digging excursion and got so much vinyl that it made my goddamn car’s passenger seatbelt sensor go off. And that, my dears, is how you know you’ve had a successful dig.
“Let’s boogie,” says Bill on the cover. “It’s Logan’s BIRTHDAY!”
For Disco Bill, Cosby got Wah Wah Watson and Oscar Brashear (credited, sadly, as Oscar BrashMEAR) to come into the studio and record some passable ’77 joke-funk! I never listen to this record but every March 29th there’s an honorary playing of “Nasty Birthday” in my apartment while I dance in front of the mirror in my fisherman hat and Army jacket, eat cupcakes, and think about the fleeting nature of time and the beauty of growing as a person with each passing year. It’s a day of mixed emotions, you guys – on one hand, I gotta thank Bill for his influence on every comedy professional of the last 50 years, and for Mongo Slade and for being responsible for my introduction to style/beauty/swagger icon Jayne Kennedy, whose appearance at the beginning of Let’s Do It Again showed me how to wear the fuck out of a tiny dress while responding to dehumanizing street harassment with grace and aplomb.
On the disturbing other hand, however, is the fact that the Cos has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women, comedy game Darren Sharper. I wish that were a joke but it’s not. And matter how many times I see the Stevie Wonder episode of The Cosby Show (and get excited when he goes, “Put a little more high on the Synclavier”), I cannot unlearn this information. Luckily, this record was found in the dollar bin, with Bill seeing no profit from it in 2014, so my feminism should remain unquestioned. In closing, LET’S BOOGIE! It’s my birthday.
Photo that makes me giggle:
1- a present from Stax in ’71 for his success, it’s a metal/sex beast made by Lucifer’s minions in a GM plant for the purpose of getting nice, respectable young ladies like me out of their dresses.
The photo above, that Ginsberg poem, James Brown in Rocky, jazz, rap, and the Stankonia cover are all pretty fresh, but generally I feel outraged and sad when I think about the country I am from, America. Scroll back some; you’ll see it in previous posts about the death penalty, Rick Ross, John Boehner, FEMA. It’s not the day of celebration that the checkout lady at Vons would like me to believe (“You saved $8.02! HAPPY 4TH!”). But I’d still like to keep it positive today, in the form of a birthday compare & contrast for two American super Gs who were both born on Independence Day: Al Davis and Bill Withers! (1929 and 1938, respectively).
I’d also like to point out that non-graphed commonalities that both men share include being revered in my childhood home and both continuing to be revered in my adult home, apt. 680 – and not just because they both have a Dr. Dre Connection!*, god you guys think I’m so easy:
Al: NWA’s attire in promo photos. Ice Cube hosting that “30 for 30” episode.
Bill: his “Kissing My Love” provides the drums for “Let Me Ride” and a hundred other quality rap songs. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” the fucking JAM (7), was produced by Dre and is built on the “Grandma’s Hands” intro. Teddy Riley doesn’t have a good voice but remember how stellar his Shorty get dowwwn, good lord/Baby got ‘em open all over towwwn was?
Duke understands me, clearly, based on his little piano anecdote. He understands most women, I guess. He also had a compulsive need to be around melody, so he understands me on that level too. Clearly.
Duke also said It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, the sixth-greatest “ain’t”-related colloquialism after
Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing,
Ain’t that a bitch,
King Kong ain’t got shit on me,
It ain’t trickin if you got it, and
It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t haaaa–aaave none. (sorry, Mom)
Ellington and Coltrane – “My Little Brown Book.” OH THIS ONE’S A KILLER, beautiful but sad and a killer, so let’s all remind ourselves about the joy of this one if it gets to be too much. You can feel it all over! (You can feel it all ohhhver, people.)
I hate it when you can’t pick just one favorite ridiculous bathing suit RZA mug photo out of the bunch.
It’s my birth date and here are the 2 songs that’ll be in my head all day (I mean, other than “Recently,” of course):
The Falcons’ (old-timey Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd!) love song for the birthday girl- “I Can’t Help It.” Falling in love, head over heels, etc.
Pete Rock instrumental for the birthday girl walking down the street.
Obviously MCs are mythologized in my head and they kind of talk to me as I make my way through each day, giving me pep talks and inspiring me with joyful and creative wordplay. Yancy Thigpen couldn’t catch me sleepin; On my feet is venom/see I’m dressed to kill (I always wear heels to work), blah blah. Their births, therefore, must be celebrated. It just so happens that Biggie’s birthday falls on this particular Spring day in which so much is irritating and sad. Sorry, Chris.
Oil-covered animals are washing up ashore, I hate HAAATE that dash in The-Dream’s name, Arizona, Texas, and Kentucky are in a 3-way battle for Evil Supremacy within these United States (the “Atlantic Triangular Trade,” fucking hell), and Christopher Wallace is gone and he’s never coming back (never, not EVER). Then there’s this “6 Unexpected Ways to Turn Him On” story today, pushed hard by Yahoo (I refuse to put the exclamation point; I’m an adult). I knew I’d have to make fun of it before I read one word in the body, as “turn him on” is so comical, like something from Cosmo in ’86. This feature is part of the larger body of Internet theme pieces that compile alluring qualities of people of each gender – a theme that is annoying and stupid, but that I wish I had thought of because people really seem to love it, as evidenced by their enthusiastic comments and such. People get riled up when you tell them to do this, and not to do that, if you want someone to love you.
This particular list is BS, I’m afraid, as there are no statements of requirements related to sex, a girl maintaining a nice weight even after babies, voting appropriately, and possessing the good sense to be quiet when she knows that talking would just ruin the moment. Even I look for these qualities in girls and I’m not even looking to date a girl. It’s just human decency.
1. She Appreciates “Nontraditional” Beauty. I love feedback – the squealing sound produced by guitars held close to amps. Feedback sounds like a rusty door, a dying cat, or a pack of whales crying in the ocean. When I share the ultimate feedback song, Smashing Pumpkins’ “Drown,” with a girl, she usually refers to the feedback-laden ending as “senseless noise.” But in my opinion, it’s a carefully orchestrated, creative way to use a sonic element of the guitar.
I’m not sure why I can’t just walk away from this one instead of dignifying it with a response, but I must take the bait and address that “dying cat” reference. Girls don’t like to be reminded that animals die (please refer to the second paragraph of this post) – especially if they are sweet and furry animals like kitties. Further, JIMI is the feedback don; his version of the Star-Spangled Banner is the song you must play in order to gauge a lady’s sensitivity to the mating call of the guitar. Additionally, there is an annoying band from Los Angeles called the Silversun Pickups that bite the sound of Billy Corgan & co. like it’s ’94 all over again (which, of course, it is, but only when it comes to rap music). Basically, I’m just leading up to this: I wish one of my favorite rappers would do an “Ava Adore” freestyle.
2. She Faces Reality. People avoid reading about bad things that happen in the world, but it’s important to have perspective and realize the world is good – and bad.
Is this even true? I only give my body and time and energy to someone who is brilliant and strong, appreciative of my smarts, affectionate, and can give a rough estimate of when Rawkus started to go downhill. Therefore, I simply don’t know what most mortal human boys like and need. So is this one true or not? Realize the world is bad? I thought a sunshiny outlook was best. Do boys like a girl who watches CNN and then discusses world issues, frowny-faced and with a heavy heart? Is the art of escapism not appreciated among you? Please inform. (FYI, she should be watching BBC World News instead.)
3. She Doesn’t Do What Everyone Else Does. The media embraces certain things, and many people follow. But, to most guys, followers are boring, and independent thinkers are sexy. Set trends on your own and buck established ones.
This one is just disingenuous, since “independently thinking” is probably only acceptable inasmuch as it does not interfere with a girl’s commitment to shaving her legs and taking her birth control. I should’ve ignored this one on sheer principle, since “The media embraces certain things” is a poorly constructed sentence opener that just makes no sense and now I’m complicit in its promotion on the Internet. Nice, Logan.
4. She’s Tuned in to the World. A few weeks ago, I read about a disease wiping out entire colonies of bats along the East Coast. The article confirmed my worst fears: As the bats disappear, the insect populations they feed on will explode. When I relay this story to most women I meet they say, “Why should I care?” There seems to be a dearth of people who have a passion about the world.
Science is the greatest and any girl worth marrying knows that, but 1) fuck a bat, and 2) all bugs should die because it scares me when I see one unexpectedly. And, really, who isn’t tuned into the world? Are we not assuming that all girls read the paper and watch Rachel Maddow every day? Because we should assume that, as this is the standard to which we should be holding our girls. Anyway, we’re spending too much time on this. Let’s tune in to some world events. There’s new Oddisee to discuss and obsess over. And pull your head out of your ass, because Texas is trying its hardest to get back into the Confederacy.
5. She Can Tell a Good Story. Storytelling is a gift that requires a sense of timing and an understanding of an audience. A good storyteller is intriguing but hard to find.
It’s the birthday of Biggie Smalls, the fourth-best storyteller after Aesop, Slick Rick, and Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction, and any lady worth dating is obviously going to know that. I can’t really tell a story for shit (I mix up my metaphors and get nervous from the pressure), but goddammit if I can’t hand you a list of 100 microphone kings with great narrative ability. This would make me wife material if it weren’t for the fact that I refuse to participate in the institution of marriage until it’s legal for my beloved gays to do the same – in every state. So, for now, you and I will just sleep together and go record shopping together, but part ways after that and return to our own apartments for quiet time, personal time. It’s rough, I know.
6. She Can Talk About “Boy Stuff.” Sometimes, I spout off “boy stuff” (read: sports) and unfairly expect a girl to keep up, but I do talk about my fair share of “girl stuff” – cooking, fashion, hair – to deserve a few conversations about serial killers and horror movies.
Cronenberg and Argento, obviously. But the serial killers thing? Is that true? I feel so lost.
I know about Gacy and the clowns, and I guess there’s something cool and outlaw-ish about those guys as a whole if you sort of detach yourself from the emotion -the taking of human life and evading the law, pretty G – but a whole conversation about serial killers is off-putting to me and the rest of my ladies, all the chickenheads from Pasadena to Medina. Boy stuff, if you must mark it as such and place it over on that side of the room (away from girl stuff), should maybe be reserved for talk between you and your boys. Not every girl cares about basketball and funny old pictures of KG at the high school prom, even though in a perfect world every girl would because that’s some of the best stuff in life. Also, why are your gender attitudes cribbed from Father Knows Best?
I wish Big were here, but I’m OK. (I say this because I want to be). Devin the Dude still makes albums, I’m loving the delicious LeBron-Delonte dramaticals, plus I found out that me and Rizz use the same technology portal!
Being the proud owner of a trusty Toshiba laptop makes a girl feel alluring and classy, like a tall, lanky, and spectacular music producer with kung-fu, chess, and comic book fetishes. Once again, Robert saves the day. WU-TANG, UBER ALLES.
DJ Anthony – “Brooklyn Bomb.”
Bron-Bron to New York maybe, Elena Kagan’s preference of sexual intercourse partner somehow means something, trappin may be dead at this point, and the color of the sky above has changed, but nothing else matters on May 13 except for the fact that the god Stevie was born on this very day in 1950. If you think of a way to capture in language the influence of this man, you’re kind of a jerk for trying but I’m jealous of your ability. (PS, call me; we should probably be sleeping together).
This is the best song I could think of to post, because of each beautiful and perfect note from that clavinet, and because Bobbito played it right after “Tears of a Clown” at Wonderfull ’05 and it made me collapse right there on the floor, a quivering mass of estrogen and joy. Familiarity breeds contempt, they say, except when you’re talking about the Stevie Wonder catalogue.
“We Can Work It Out.” Saginaw > Liverpool.
I’ll never fully come to terms with the fact that rappers actually age like mortals, but at least I can throw together a humble tribute to one of the greats in my humble corner of the Internet. Ghosty turns 40 today; here’s a dispatch from my emotional landscape:
• The Pill, too, was born on this day (in 1960). Without being too crass, let’s just say that the birth and subsequent music of Ghosty has given me sexual freedom in a way only equaled by oral contraceptives.
• The Taurean man is known to be affable and friendly, but in such need of stability that he can become possessive and stubborn. He’s also prone to brooding and dark moods. I think we all remember the “I’m just a lonely old man and people don’t know that” incident of 2007. I was a wreck for almost a week, you’ll recall, worrying and saving up money for a plane ticket to NY so I could hug him.
Bruno Spoerri – “Hymn of Taurus.”
• Sexually depraved lyrics. Having recorded with El-P, Mobb Deep, Doom, Styles P., Kool G Rap. Songs about white women in knee high boots and bracelets. The high-pitched, breathless flow. The way I feel totally out of the loop sometimes when I listen to the slang and can’t keep the fuck up, yet I just want more and more. Keeping it weird.
(just an unorganized collection of things I love about him)
• Back-in-time pretend time: on 9 May 1970, “American Woman” and “Turn Back the Hands of Time,” noted displays of bassline prowess, were riding high on the charts. Psychedelic Shack just came out (March), “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” was on the radio. Funkadelic came out. Wilson Pickett, “Get Me Back on Time, Engine #9.”; The Spinners, “It’s a Shame”; Stevie’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” with that joyous collision of bassline and tambourine as an opener–all of ’em were new and were immediate classics. The Derek & the Dominoes album with “Layla” on it came out. Next month, in June 1970, Band of Gypsys will come out. In the fall, Paranoid by Black Sabbath will come out. Obviously baby Dennis Coles was destined for musical greatness, being born in this musical climate. Meanwhile, the only groundbreaking musical thing that happened in apartment 15 last week was Gucci leaving So Icey.
Just the sheer craftsmanship of this song. Grab your headphones and indulge me, please.
And with today being what it is, I’m pulling out the old “Ghostface and your mom have a lot in common” post from last year.
This tall, handsome man from New York who has the face of a ghost could absolutely come over to your house for some coffee and lovely conversation with your mom, over there in the breakfast nook. Ragu and nutmeg, Camay, scales of fish, Betty Crocker: mothers understand these references in Toney’s breathless high pitch. Plus you got all those mentions of actresses, American presidents, kings, emperors, French-Canadian chanteuses, a bunch of athletes (tennis, football, boxing, wrasslin’), Colombian businessmen, game show hosts, ’60 and ’70s soul singers, ’80s pop stars, messiahs, ex-“Today Show” hosts, Rat Pack-ers, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike (sorry)…it’s really so obvious that Toney and the moms of the world could chat about pop culture for an extended period of time. (Hi Ego Trip, it’s me again. I’m really disappointed in you for not seeing this first.)
It weakens my argument to have to omit certain lines because not everybody’s mom would catch the references that mine would, but there’s still enough convincing material here. For example, I feel that I can be honest and admit that I had to leave out that Sonny Carson mention from “Murda Goons”; as fresh as my own mom is, she is unfamiliar with Sonny. However, I’m proud to say that I could include any verses mentioning Slick Rick, since my mom is quite familiar and could even pick him out in some sort of group Def Jam photo if asked (you would too if you had me for a daughter). Similarly, I included the Brian Urlacher and Jay Cutler stuff in case your mom watches football like mine. PS, the only Jaime Summers in a middle-aged mom’s world should be Lindsay Wagner, and my mom doesn’t understand the verb “to train” the way it’s used by Ghost* and I’m fine with that. Ssshhhh.
Puppy love, gorgeous face, amazed by lip gloss
Cherry scent, when the princess spoke yo it bounced off
Mole like Marilyn Monroe, threw a rose in her mouth
Wherever God go will be Mrs. Coke
– “Child’s Play”
Wu-Tang Clan spark the wicks and
However, I master the trick just like Nixon
– “Bring Da Ruckus”
I ran the Dark Ages, Constantine and great Henry the Eighth
Built with Genghis Khan, the red suede Wally Don
– “4th Chamber”
Blow backs in, flip raps like forty-eight bundles
Dinner plates, deadly front gates, celeb Bryant Gumbel
– “We Made It”
With starwriters like I fucked Celine Dion
Stuck everything that’s the god’s honest beyond
– “9 Milli Bros.”
Thanks to the revolver, Ramik had the leap from the heat
Like he was Frogger, bang monster King Arthur
Guns older than Bob Barker, graze comin out the nose barrel
Trouble maybe, then we from Harvard
– “Who Are We”
Sho nuff, hit the bank and thrust
Cool Nauticas, *Jamie Summers got trained on the tour bus
– “Iron Maiden”
I know this chick from the hood named Courtney Cox
And her brain is easy to pick like faulty locks
That’s how the God do, Motown twenty-five
My orals like Smokey’s voice, little moist, but choice
– “Stay True”
Kiss the pyramid experiment with high explosive
I slapbox with Jesus, lick shots at Joseph
– “Daytona 500”
Burgundy minks, whips with sinks in em
Broccoli blown, illa disease breath, elephant skin
Meet the black Boy George, dusted on my honeymoon
– “Stroke of Death”
That’s the same kid that cut his wrists, talkin bout the cuffs did it
He ran away, frontin majorly, eyes like Sammy Davis jr.
– “The Grain.” Pretty much his whole verse. (Queen Elizabeth, Vanna White, the Pope.)
Slinging the backs of five Cleopatras
A cocaine chef, I stretch money like elastic
My raps is bigger, dynamics with the muscle advantage
Jay Cutler on dust, when I blam shit
– “Rec-Room Therapy”
Fly shit like Curtis Mayfield and his intro
Throw this in your whip, convent, your tens blow
– “Ghost Showers”
As I stroll the globe and terrorize the planet
With a Bill Clinton mask and them Playskool hens
– “The Mask”
I give a order to my peeps across the water
To go and snatch up props all around the border
And get far like a shootin star
‘Cause who I are, is dim in the light of Pablo Escobar
– “Protect Ya Neck”
You two-faces, scum of the slum, I got your whole body numb
Blowin like Shalamar in eighty-one
Sound convincin, thousand dollar court by convention
Hands, like Sonny Liston, get fly permission
Laying n—as like ceramic tile
I’m like Urlacher, beasting at the top of the pile
– “New Wu”
Chop the O, sprinkle a lil’ snow inside a Optimo
Swing the John McEnroe, rap rock’n’roll.
Aiyyo spiced out Calvin Coolidge, loungin with 7 duelers
The Great Adventures of Slick, lickin with 6 rugers.
The Betty Crocker, marvel cake stakes admissor
wax janitor, black Jack Mulligan from Canada
– “Bells of War”