Category Archives: Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ayyy

Van Morrison, 08/31/45.

A reallll sonofabitch, I bet this one is. 5’4″, drinking problem, poetic.

Basically I learned about romance as a small child from Stevie, Marvin, Joni, Isleys, and Van.
And later, Maxwell and from Beth Gibbons, how to be full of love and misery.

“Sweet Thing” will make you want to fornicate with the human nearest you; use its powers for good, not evil. “Tupelo Honey.”

standin in the sun darlin.

fishing, rain, and, of course, the water.
Van Morrison – “And It Stoned Me”



Everything means less than zero.

GQ mag ranked America’s 25 douchiest colleges since I guess they felt like this needed to be done? The whole list is pretty predictable–Ohio State, Arizona State, Texas, Notre Dame, USC (I love ‘SC but, yeah, I see it)–and filled with the expected references to rich kids in blazers chugging substances. I do like the Paul Wolfowitz mention, though (U of Chicago; hey! Just like noted THIS GUY, Firas!) and the mention of NYU teeming with “Yeah, I did that when I was 17”-ers (’cause that one’s true). That part about OSU dudes writing letters to Maurice Clarett is rather comical, too. Brown is ranked #1 because according to GQ, the height of d-baggery for college kids is putting together fundraisers and using fancy terms like cultural hegemony; the writer of the piece even pulls out that old “limousine liberals” dis like it’s ’96! Clever! At least the writer is an equal-op critic, though: Charter College in Wasilla gets a place on the list (“‘FREE LEVI’ sticker on the bumper of a Dodge Ram dually,” that’s kinda great), and those Jesus-y types down at Bob Jones U get appropriately clowned. I enthusiastically endorse this.
I can’t seem to find a byline for this piece, however. Bring ’em out bring ’em out, GQ! You ashamed of your writing staff?

And then there’s Morehouse, the winner of the coveted “We Need a Black School” slot on the list. I just hadn’t done enough cringing yet this morning; I’d be lost without you, Gentlemen’s Quarterly! Let’s do this.

First of all, don’t nobody disparage the alma mater of Tre Styles and get away with it. I am not the one.

Additionally, the description makes my racism feelers get a little tingly. That whole blurb just makes me feel antsy and uncomfortable, even if I can’t articulate it. But I’ll try:

Look how psyched this guy (anonymous GQ writer) is on his description. “Fonzworth Bentley douche.” That’s not funny ’cause it’s not 2003. The inclusion of the term “black socialite.” (Black socialite, the writer says, in case you missed it). And OH those wacky Black collegians with their hip hop shows and the way they get all militant, despite the fact that they’re well on their way to law school! The anonymous writer’s point that Morehouse is filled with overachievers. Except wait, being an overachiever alone is not d-bag-ish, so why is the school on the list? Because it’s a Black school, filled with Black overachievers! And that’s…um…douchey (?). It is, anonymous GQ writer says, if you are a Black overachiever who has the nerve to claim that there’s a white power structure in place while living it up in your fancy sweaters, presiding over your fraternity. No white power structure would allow men of color to get Bachelor’s degrees and host music showcases, see? So douchey and unnecessarily complain-ey, those Morehouse dudes! Anonymous GQ writer(s), Schoolly D is on line 1 for you.

Since I excel in etymology, Def Jam in the ’80s, El-P, hips, ’90s everything, bearded white man music, and little else, I had best stop my rant now. I’m not too eloquent when it comes to discussing cultural identity and notions of power and privilege in America. The GQ piece and all similar content is better left to my dude Cornel West. Or Harry Allen. Or bell hooks. But since everybody knows I love a weird segue in a blog post: it’s Declan McManus’s birthday (08/25/54),

he has ruled my life with his songwriting and melody-writing abilities, and here he is, singing about racism in a subversive and thought-provoking way. OH ELVIS.


I hope you’re all free to Wu-Tang today


’cause I’m serving cake and ice cream in apt. 302 in celebration of Gary Grice’s birthday! The dreamiest Wu god of them all, I luhhh him ’cause on wax/DAT/mp3 he paints better visual pictures than Francis Bacon. Remember how he had like 2 lines on “Triumph”? Whatthehellwasthat? I can forgive, RZA, but I can’t forget.

On a man-made lake there’s a sheet of thin ice/Where unskilled skaters couldn’t figure 8 twice. Aw damn, GZA is the best. We’re gonna listen to his verse in “Clan in da Front” and and I will marvel at every line. Then we’ll listen to “Labels” and “BIBLE” and I will just be so obnoxious with enthusiasm, you guys; I’ll go on and on about the intelligence of this man and his way with words, and after like 2 Red Stripes I’ll be giggly and tipsy and I’ll decide it’s reallll hilarious for me to say that GZA’s so goddamn smart, he’s so knowledgeable, he is, in fact, a GENIUS. And then I’ll probably say, Oh hey, do you know what’s both sharp as hell and smooth like water at the same time?? GZA’s verses, of course, but also swords made of liquid! Then we’ll all get vaccinated ’cause his logo’s on our skin, and think about how Gary slayed MCs back in the rec room era and how you never thought to use the term “rec room era” but when you heard it you were like, Jesus, that’s perfect.

Bernhard Goetz what he deserves.
Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers.
Low-key like seashells.
Catch a swollen heart from not rollin smart.
Kick somethin live/Stop chirping like Nextel.
Like Fred Sanford, in the business for the junk of it.

You people think Rae’s my favorite, which he is, but only on Mondays and Thursdays. And you think that Ghost is my favorite because of The Doll,

but, you see, this is simply because they have not yet made a GZA doll.

(PS – get me a GZA doll and I will immediately become your personal loveslave, chef, supernerd, cheerleader, nurse, librarian, secretary,
and music buyer. You kinda need me, admit it.)

not his greatest verse, but um, hello: “The king’s the kick, the queen’s the snare/The bass are minor pieces that move in a pair”? SWOON.


Happy birthday, epic musical humans: Phil Lynott, 08/20/49. KRS-One, 08/20/65.


I know you wanna step to me, kid! It’s yet another post celebrating the birth of dudes who have a special place in my heart and in my record collection (that’s the same place).

Thin Lizzy were so dope, and BDP were so dope. Right??

I was an English major but really, that’s all I can come up with on HeightFiveSeven today about these men.
(Also, look at baby Eric B. with baby KRS up there! Adorable.)

This is not going to be my most well-written post, I’m telling you that right now, but since I have the floor, I will simply say:

“The Boys Are Back in Town” ranks really high up there in the category of Raise-Your-Tecate-Triumphantly-Bro songs. It’s a joke to some of us now, a corny county fair jam, but whenever it comes on the car radio it’s 1976 all over – Sugar Ray Leonard won the gold medal in the Olympics, The Band broke up and made my dad cry, Legalize It came out. And the combination of roughness in its lyrics (dudes brawling) with the sweet harmony of Phil and his bandmates was all over pop radio.
I’M SO ’70s, people, and for that I will NOT apologize.

Mountain Goats – “The Boys Are Back in Town”


KRS has no self-esteem problems, teaches/philosophizes/blastmasts, and is really good at saying couplets into a microphone in a way that is both educational and entertaining. Both of those things! At the same time! Here’s your dude talkin about how he’s a Leo while some riffraff ruin a perfectly good wall with their painting. I didn’t know which song to post in honor of his date of birth, so I randomly went with 1 of the 14,000 bangers he’s created over the years. Probably because of the drums. I’m so predictable. Also, I’m SO ’90s and for that I will NOT apologize.


Posdnous, 08/17/69

Out of the heavens August one-seven, sixty-nine
Born I, wonder why with the thoughts to rhyme
Til there was no longer thoughts to dream
When an unpolished demo led to limos at the age of eighteen
Accompanied by the screams, Plug One
Shot up with fame like Novocaine, it made me numb
So numb I wouldn’t been able to feel
N—as diggin in my pockets for my currency reels

Wonce Again Long Island”

Glory glory hallelu! He likes Twizzlers, and he likes the Alligator Bob, and his favorite movie is um, Bloodsucking Freaks, just like you know who. It’s Plug One’s birthday, gang!

I forgot to give him a nod in my OMG, I Just Realized That All MCs Who Wear Glasses Are Dope” post from July ’09 because I’m super duper wack, but I am still filled to the brim with love for this man’s lyrical stylings and I don’t need to prove myself to you. His name is so silly (sop + sound, backwards. Um, I guess), I’m sorry, but that wit of his is so fresh. Every once in a while over the years, you might have noticed, MCs cover topics like the perils of rap fame and the desire to hold onto your identity even though sometimes you don’t even know what that really means. Pos is still the best at this, I have decided.
On your web log, you can make the decisions.

Hip hop different-ness in ’89 was realer and riskier, I like to think.
(It’s probably true, but who can say for sure). Anyway, album situations unleashed that year were things like Follow the Leader, Walking with a Panther, Ghetto Music, Road to the Riches, It’s a Big Daddy Thing, The Cactus Album, Unfinished Businessannnnd 3 Feet High and Rising. (Umm, side note, 1989 was not a terrible year for rap-dom) So once again, the word of the day in apt. 302 is context when we think about hip hop history. It’s fun thinking about things being new and sort of changing the game, yes? It’s fun to appreciate. In closing, happy birthday, Pos.

2 beauties from Pos‘ work history, selected by me, based on the very important fact that they make me happy:

“Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”*.
Dear AT&T, you continue to incur my wrath by refusing to offer this as a ringtone. Stop acting bitchy.


The “Judgment Night” soundtrack…’member?
Ugh, it’s so cringe-y and SO ’90s to put stylistically differing musical forces together just to be cute (“Biohazard and Onyx together, YES. FINALLY.”)

However, sometimes it came out nice. Like this.

De La & Teenage Fanclub – “Fallin



PS, thanks for putting him on in ’08, Jake One! I always love a good Pony Boy reference.


2 Greats: James Taylor


I’m doin my thing, you new to the game

Don’t hate, “Celebrate” pa, Kool and the Gang
I don’t have a big crew, just Dru and Starang
And a couple of loose screw dudes boostin‘ your chain

The beat-digging nerd in me and the folk-music-raised-me nerd in me get along so nicely! Therefore, I would now like to proclaim my love to both

James “JT” Taylor, Kool & the Gang singer and vocal ruler of ten thousand roller-skating rinks in 1982, AND

James Taylor, solo sensitive man singer and Carly Simon impregnator.

Despite this blogger being a ’70s funk dorkstress who often cuddles with her vinyl copy of Wild and Peaceful, I think I maybe possible actually like ’80s Kool & the Gang better than ’70s Kool & the Gang! Oh my! And it’s all ’cause of James “JT” Taylor’s voice, so buttery.
(or maybe it’s just that I still have unresolved Mase and Sean Combs Anger Issues due to the
desecration of my precious 1974 banger “Hollywood Swinging”?).

“Too Hot” is about relationship conflicts,
“Get Down On It” is about getting down on it,
“Joanna” is about a lovely female type named Joanna and the fact that she never lets him down, especially at night (hollerrrr),


this song’s about me, walking down Fairfax Ave. on a 75-degree Saturday in a cotton sundress; don’t let anybody tell you different.


Remember what I said before, about his buttery vocals? Ummm, yeah, that part at the end, around 3:30.
PS, today’s his birthday (08/16/53)!

In part II of the post, all I do is post a picture of the other James Taylor and hope you guys understand how he was like my mom’s Elliott Smith, kind of sort of, singing about substances and loss while playing guitar.

Beautiful, dark-haired, baby James Taylor circa 1970 was the best.
Pre-balding, pre-soccer-mom, pre-awful-covers-of-Marvin-Gaye-songs James Taylor was the best.

“Sweet Baby James”


This song’s like a waltz, in 3/4 time.
And it sounds so soothing, like a lullaby, because that’s what it is –
a goodnight song he wrote it for his baby nephew just after he was born. Aw.


Ronnie Spector, 08/10/43.

(Sorry he’s hovering over you even in this blog post, Ronnie;
This pic was just too wonderful not to include.)

This song drove Brian Wilson completely fucking bonkers and it would have been nothing without Ronnie’s voice. I normally freak the hell out over Hal Blaine’s drums (00:36 – 00:40) and the key change 24 seconds in, but her baby-ish, strained cry just says it* so perfectly if you are a girly girl such as myself.

It’s from August 1963 because of course it had to be released in the summertime. Of course.
Enough typing; we’re wasting time. Let’s step inside the echo chamber and listen to some desire dipped in sweet honey. Play.

The Ronettes – “Be My Baby”


Is this a blues song? It is, ’cause I say it is. And you know I will adore it/Til eternity.

* “it” cannot be put into words. Sorry.


MCA, 08/05/65!

’cause you know Y…A-U-C-H
taking all MC’s out in the place!

As far as I know, the only Buddhist who’s a braggart about having money, juice, and twin sisters in his bed,
got rhymes that are rough and rhymes that are slick, got more rhymes than Phyllis Diller and got rhymes like Abe Vigoda,
what’s runnin through his mind comes through in his walk,
steps inside the motherfucker and he gets his flow on,
can magically make
“and this is me, y’all, I MC, y’all/My name is MCA and I still do what I please”
rhyme somehow (??),


dope enough to be the only one sans hat in this pic. BROOKLYNNNNN.

What can I say? Really…
I’m just another lady blogger with an unnatural affection for Judeo-Brooklyn mic-brandishing types who had the good sense to be produced by Rubin and the Dust Brothers. And they, in turn, love overripe fresh skeezed California females/with 3-inch cherry red press-on Lee nails, so uh, we’re kinda meant to be, MCA and I.
Adrock is the one with the key to my heart, because I’m kinda corny and predictable, but Yauch’s the one with whom I’d discuss escaping the cycle of suffering and rebirth…oh, and the Knicks‘ backcourt, of course. Dude loves his Knicks. In sum, he’s like the stable older brother whom my mom would prefer I go out with.
Sorry, Mom.

That raspy voice was always pretty dope, his flow on “A Year and a Day” was always pretty dope, he produced Bad Brains, he was able to make an impression in a troupe with another dude named Adam in it, Boyz N the Hood” woulda been SO WACK without him, plus he plays bass in all the Boys’ instros
‘Cause Yauch’s on the upright, the shit just ain’t funny
got fat bass lines like Russell Simmons steals money

Exhibit A, an OG “Let’s try to get Logan to take her pants off” jammy that is nothing, NOTHING, without Yauch’s 4 strings:


“Professor Booty”
But like a pencil to a paper I got more to come
One after another you can all get some

Jimmy Smith – “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Babe.”
(Attn, people of Earth: I was meant to be alive, and of fornicating age, in 1974.)


. .


James Hetfield, 08/03/63. Max Yasgur’s farm. Sean Combs. Po & Monch.

1. If you’re gonna be a complain-y white man, at least do it right, get yer approach straight, and be all angry about it instead of whiny.

Thank you for demonstrating the proper technique, James Hetfield! Happy birthday!

DRUMS at 02:13, yes please.
Burton composed this, and it’s his bass at the beginning–not a guitar! Heavens to Mergatroid!

ON (on, on, on…)

Because I am my parents’ child, I had to post this or I would’ve gotten disowned:

Previously unseen Woodstock photos!

This summer sees the 40th anniversary of the festival once billed as ‘three days of peace and music’. In celebration, previously unseen images will be published as part of Woodstock Experience, a partnership between Genesis Publications and the Idea Generation gallery.
(The Guardian)

If you can sing like Richie Havens, please stop by apt. 302 sometime soon, very soon, so that I can, um, show you something.
You don’t need to call first.

When Sean Combs says
Thought I told you that we won’t stop!, he’s right, ’cause he’s been successfully making my life less wonderful for soooo long now (most recently by slangin Red Stripe).

I think maybe his old age has stopped him from wanting to play this game with me so much, though–he is filling me with less rage after I witnessed this show last night just before bed:

Have any of you people seen Making His Band, on this “Music TeleVision” channel? I am confusing myself with this post, because I am: a) giving Biggie’s producer/groupie/umbrella-holder some genuine accolades, and b) unironically posting a link to an MTV program. WHAT’S BECOME OF ME.

Sean is trying to put his 84th band together, holds auditions all over for young musicians, puts a bunch of ’em in a house to fight and cry and carry on in between recording sessions, and then makes comments to the camera (these youngins are not reaching their full potential, blah blah) while chewing on a toothpick. The show could use a little more Dy-lannn, but these kids are way more talented than us and are sangin and playin “American Boy” and Keyshia Cole and doing it so nicely. Plus they have a superdope violinist, and 2 or 3 girl drummers that might make the cut and everyone KNOWS I LOVE a girl drummer. Brockett on keys (above) has the World’s Dumbest Name for a Human, but makes me hold my breath when he plays. And the way it all comes together during the final auditions in the first episode, when they’re instructed on stage by the musical directors in their version of that DeBarge song* (“bass and drums only, here we go”; “bring in the chords…2, 3…all this love“) and the kids obediently follow like they’re 45-year-olds instead of 19-year-olds? I can’t handle it, it’s so nice-sounding, my jealousy of their talent is overshadowed by my teary-eyed, music dork pleasure in watching it on my TV screen, etc, etc. And did I mention that judges include Om’Mas from Sa-Ra and Nisan Stewart–he’s a drummer and he looks like GZA.

microphone cords tangled from being star spangled.

Use your imagination:
This is where the video clip WOULD HAVE GONE if MTV/Viacom weren’t so bitchy and ripped the video embed feature away, out of my heart and off of HeightFiveSeven.

(But here’s the link to it.)

[“Cause I really love you bay-beh
Are you certain?
“Oh I really love you darlin
Sing like you certain.

LOL, vocal director Romeo Johnson!]

The show is on Monday nights. You had best hurry up and catch it before Ness and Fred start scrappin again and Diddy shuts down the studio.


4. Nobody likes a Logan-less Organized Konfusion reunion. GODDAMMIT.