But still, I’m sad and I want to cry about it for a minute.
CoCo Budda f/ UGK – “Let ‘Em Have It.” Hearing It’s all about Sweets/Fuck Optimos outta Chad Butler’s mouth does a pretty good job of cheering me up.
But still, I’m sad and I want to cry about it for a minute.
CoCo Budda f/ UGK – “Let ‘Em Have It.” Hearing It’s all about Sweets/Fuck Optimos outta Chad Butler’s mouth does a pretty good job of cheering me up.
J.M. Hendrix (Stevie on drums!), “I Was Made to Love Her.”
I thought all of last week’s annoyances in life could be soothed by a single Prince acceptance speech at the BET Awards and Sean P’s wordplay (that album will be called Mic Tyson). But oh damn–there are other things in life that have recently made me cranky and that I have yet to negotiate. And it’s strange, but they are all in liquid form:
The problem: I know about gas and how it’s killing the big blue marble, and I know about the gross and inhumane way it makes its way to the Chevron station around the corner. Everyone profits from the gasoline made of Nigerian oil except for the people of Nigeria. Your 19-year-old cousin from Nowheresville, FL is currently in the desert fighting to making sure my Civic has enough juice in its guts to get me to Coachella and back. I’ve seen the sad fallout from oil spills, the greasy pelicans, I’ve heard the fishermen from St. Bernard Parish who don’t know what to do with themselves right about now as expressed in their plaintive Cajun-accented speech (“Can you replace my heritage?” one asked BP reps a few weeks ago. “No, you can’t. And you gotta understand that it’s not just money; it’s more than money. You’re not gonna replace me being able to teach my kid how to fish”).
The newest horrible thing I’ve learned about gasoline is that, in an elaborate display of extortion-fu, the Unites States government is paying off Afghan warlords to allow us to use their roads to transport military goods to US troops, who are, of course, fighting Afghan warlords. And I think there’s something about heroin in there too. Supporting the gasoline industry is an evil necessity until I have enough money to get one of those nice vegetable-oil-converted-diesel numbers. Until then, I’m just another lazy American who can’t survive without her own car, passing the wind turbine generators on the drive to Coachella and thinking Gosh, what a logical, green source of energy!
The comforting factor: We’d have very few songs about cars, and probably no label known as Motown, without the Michigan industry that so reliably fed into our dependence on fossil fuels. Maybe Derrick May’s grandfather never would’ve raised a family in Detroit if he hadn’t gotten a job at the Ford plant, and then where would we be, music-wise? Would Milt Olinga have been born elsewhere and might not have taken up the vibraphone, and then, years later, maybe there would’ve been no “Award Tour” break? And what about Black Milk? Dilla? The MC5? Stevie? (I know I already covered this in mentioning Motown, but really think about that–a Stevie-less universe).
The steel industry would’ve been impacted too, which means the city of Gary, Indiana might never had appealed to Joseph Jackson as a place to raise a musical brood, and Philly would’ve been without plants and mills to lure in young men who needed jobs to support their growing families–and yikes, think about how your record collection would be suffering right now. See, BP’s not so bad!
related: Dawn dishwashing liquid.
The problem: Hey, Dawn really cuts grease! Great, but do you know how I know this to be true? Because they’re using Dawn to clean all those poor, sweet birds on the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana who are just trying to eat and flap their sad wings and make nests for their babies. Thanks to NPR a couple weeks ago, I know that the ingredient in Dawn that makes it especially effective in separating and breaking down petroleum so that it can be wiped away is…petroleum. You have to use some of the bad stuff to make the bad stuff go away–this is the same reason they give stimulants to hyper kids.
The comforting factor: None, currently–those pictures of defeated, gummy-winged birds haunt my dreams. Well, wait, there’s this:
Andrew Bynum’s knee fluid.
The problem: The fact that I’m so hyperaware of the daily status of the liquid that bathes Bynum’s patella means that I’m growing up. Like our worst secrets and the amount of money I truly spend at the record store, the inner workings of professional sports teams should be hidden. A young Logan knew nothing of salary caps and clauses, agents and collective bargaining agreements, but she sure as hell liked to see tall, magical men on her TV screen, flying and running fast. It was all innocent and fun. I’d like to go back there, please.
The comforting factor: Oh, you haven’t heard? THE LAKERS ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORRRRRRLLLLLLD. So I feel pretty great. I can do without innocence! Andrew says he’s now going to get that surgery he’s been postponing, but my question is, Why the rush? Let’s not be hasty now, babycakes. Playing through the pain seemed to work just fine a couple weeks ago.
The saliva of Cam’ron, plus the rum & Coke he drinks as mentioned in “Speakin Tungs.”
The problem: I haven’t been able to enjoy the Killa since I left irony behind in ’07, doggy. I haven’t been able to move past him naming a rap group Children of the Corn. And I most certainly haven’t been able to move get over the awful stop-start cadence in “Horse and Carriage.”
I also despise him for not yet making a song using this when, here it is, I’m laying it right here at his feet:
The comforting factor: I should (and will therefore make it a point to) lighten up. What’s one more double cheeseburger when you’ve been gorging yourself on instantly gratifying, fatty things for so long? Really, it’s not going to hurt. The “Speakin Tungs” instrumental is like sweet Bollywood love story music, so inspirational while I’m sweeping and mopping the apartment on a Sunday morning. I assure you that nobody can fucking sweep a floor like I can when that instro is throbbing through my headphones (I’m a nice, quiet neighbor) and into my heart and blood and limbs. Plus it’s got DOUBLE HANDCLAPS! In summation: boys should never wear pink, but I’ve enthusiastically listened to this song so often that I’m not even minding that apostrophe in his name so much anymore. That thing used to fill me with rage, remember?
The bloodstream of humans, as affected by Lupus.
The disease that felled James Yancey, it works by making the immune system foolishly attack and destroy healthy body tissue. And it’s back on my radar because Gaga keeps talking about how she thinks she has it.
The problem: In Dilla’s absence, everything I aurally love these days is slick and shiny and lacking in depth. None of it makes me think of things beyond my own flesh and hour-to-hour (sometimes minute-to-minute) enjoyment. Look above–I just wrote a thing about how much I enjoy a song by Cameron Giles. People, this is some real self-loathing you’re witnessing.
The comforting factor: There’s no withholding Dilla’s stuff. We work ourselves into a fever clicking around online for his musical delights. Everyone’s sharing his compositions still, he’s still on records and we’ll take what we can get, even though it’s been decades (in rap years) since his death. We’re more ravenous for his beats than ever.
The bloodstream of Eminem, which was carrying large amounts of benzos until very recently.
The problem: I know exactly what he’s put into his body because, thanks to his Atonement Tour 2010, he’s constantly yammering about it and making horrible songs in which he makes a searching and fearless moral inventory of himself–with the final moral inventory approval by Jimmy Iovine and Universal Music Group, Inc., all rights reserved. Other than the music being bad, the campaign is bad. If the newly-sober guy wants to apologize, it should be just you and him on the phone; if it seems like his apologies are making him money, I’m less inclined to believe his apologies. “Hey, sorry about those years when my brain’s reward system ruled my life. Catch me on 106 & Park later.” This whole offensive seems so album-sales-friendly rather than heartfelt, sacred and private as apologies should be.
[Also a real big problem: Em’s Bed-Stuy affectation when he talks, like a kid playing dress-up, which nobody ever, ever calls him out on. He should have the flat “a,” the flat “o.” You know what I mean. That midwestern inflection–Michigan, Fargo, Chicago, Minnesota, parts of Ohio, Sarah Palin. I know there are regional differences (please don’t email me with an indignant tone) but to us coastal people it all sounds the same. Ooooohh gaaash. Braaatwurst. Coooach Ditka. I’m a speech expert and I do not appreciate the way Em thinks he can convince me he grew up taking the A train to school. Nobody from Detroit sounds like that, and they don’t pronounce song “sawng.”]
The comforting factor: For every piece of Em coverage, there’s one fewer piece of Drake coverage. Yay for hiphop.
Kim Kardashian, the fragrance.
The problem: Oh god, there are so many. She’s yet another exotic pretty lady with fetishized body parts. She’s sort of an idiot when she talks in her babyvoice. She keeps fucking with her face (pulling it back and injecting into it, when none of that is necessary). Since this is America, this combination of looks and behavior has earned her lots of MC love and lots of cash–both of which make me jealous. She knows how to dress for her body type, and as someone who is shaped like a girl I can appreciate that, since shit like this was not made for girls who are shaped like girls. Whenever Kim does it real big, she gets accused of looking vulgar, because of the male hegemonic fear of the power of female sexuality. She could be a thinking, challenging bombshell if she applied herself. But her major flaw is that she uses her fame for nothing but fame. Like Lady Gaga?, you might ask. Uh, no, I would respond, because although Gaga mainlines fame into her veins like Kim does, Gaga also has a purer calling, a do-gooder mentality that manifests itself in her campaigns for AIDS research, her gay rights activism and her feminist leanings.
Alas, she didn’t create the rules of the game, so it’s bitchy of me to blame her for playing. Kim’s the symptom, not the problem. She’s not bad; she’s just drawn that way. And still, there is a problem–her perfume is delicious and warm. It smells like how it feels to have your lower back touched in a soft way (that’s for the ladies; they know what I mean), like wearing glossy black 5-inch Loubies that are so comfy ’cause they’re lined in sheepskin, like the first 8 seconds of “Time of the Season” played on a loop. The most difficult thing for me to reconcile here is not that the perfume exists, but that I want it. I place it in small amounts on my wrists, for free, thanks to Sephora’s sampling policy because I refuse to buy it. I can’t support Kim as a brand so I won’t participate in helping her business ventures succeed. But it’s not fair, because the scent makes me feel sexy and I strongly want it in my home so I can put it on my skin after a shower, when my pores are open and at their most absorbent. “Crisp top notes, lush mid notes, and a sexy drydown.” CORRECT.
The comforting factors: Maybe she’ll become a humanitarian. Maybe she’ll procreate with one of the System of a Down boys and make the most stunning and talented babies we’ve ever seen. Or maybe, in the biggest win of my life as a Los Angeles resident, she’ll become the life partner of Kurupt, they’ll each get a Kompressor and drive around town listening to Organized Konfusion all day on the (what else?) Kenwood.
The blood, sweat, and tears of soccer players (like John Pastil of Ghana here)
The problem: I don’t fucking care about the World Cup and I feel manipulated by global media trying to make me care. Thanks to Lit 101, I’m well-versed in Lacanian theory as applied to advertising–we’re motivated by feelings of lack, and the subsequent desire we feel can never be completely filled. So even though I love Don Draper, advertising is truly nefarious work–Nike uses our consumer anxiety to make us believe its products are necessary. Nike wants me to believe soccer is the great equalizer and that Uruguay or Ghana winning would make it OK that they are not invited to the G-20 summit because they are countries filled with corruption and poor people. Oh and there’s the fact that Nike still doesn’t pay its workers enough.
The comforting factors: It’s just impossible to dislike that Argentina team–Papi Maradona is the Ozzie Guillen of soccer, the Andre 3000 of music. Mike Tyson loves the squad. And I always get assessed as Argentine, based on my physical appearance, by dudes at the club (or I did, back when I used to go to the club), so I have sort of a funny allegiance to the entire nation.
Additionally, it would’ve been great if Ghana had won, because then the shackles of imperialism would’ve been thrown off, the IMF would’ve become democratic, pictures of Kwame Nkrumah would’ve gotten a lot of love on various Tumblrs, and everyone would’ve, for a few days at least, stopped associating the continent with AIDS, genital mutilation, and outsiders like Oprah coming in to Save the Day. Ghana, I want you to be economically and politically stable enough to save your own day!
More LA lovehate.
1. Ronald William Artest is appearing live and in person this afternoon to sign autographs at a Verizon Wireless store in Santa Monica!
Obviously I cannot attend due to the fact that I solely rep AT&T, plus I never ever go west of La Brea, though the temptation to ask Ron-Ron lots of burning questions about Queensbridge makes me almost consider going. Plus I bet you I’d be able to talk him into calling Kevin Durant and asking if his refrigerator is running. Y’know, just a lil pre-playoffs shenanigans. Then we’d laugh and laugh, me and Ron, and go to Fatburger (he’d pay) and we’d talk about how underrated Nore is as an MC. Sigh.
2. The LAPD will be out in force later today, holding motherfuckers back as white supremacists have a rally in front of City Hall. A group of fear-based Anglo males called the National Socialist Movement done got themselves a permit to hold their “Reclaim the Southwest” rally; there will, of course, likely be counter-demonstrators, and the police will be there to minimize clashes between the two factions and “allow both groups to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
“Counter-protest organizer Fred ‘Scorpio’ Smith of Watts said he anticipated a turnout of at least a hundred demonstrating against the white supremacists, whose rallies have spurred opposition in Riverside and San Diego.” Fucking with a dude whose nickname is Scorpio will likely result in you getting dealt with, so umm, watch your step, Danny Vinyards in the place to be. Oh, and keep an eye out for a special appearance by me, as I’ve been scheduled to give a speech about the comedic irony of a rally to “reclaim the southwest” being held on land that is “technically Mexico” since we “stole it from them.” Then I’ll clear a spot on stage and have sex with a bunch of black and Jewish dudes while all the dead-eyed white men sadly clutch their shaved heads.
3. On May 18, a box set of Otis Redding’s recordings from a series of 1966 live performances at the Whisky-A-G0-Go will be unleashed upon the world and available for purchase! In the words of the latest, greatest, most awful and most pleasurable slice of ear candy to emanate from my car stereo: ROGER THAT.
Live On The Sunset Strip contains 3 live sets, sequenced exactly as the sets unfolded, including Redding’s spoken intros.
“‘In 1966, Redding was 24 and defined not only the sound but the style and look of a true soul man. Tall and lanky, he was ready to drop to his knees and tear off the thin-lapelled jacket of his sharply pressed suit when it was time to deliver the goods,’ (the liner) notes read. ‘His ten-piece band was his personal, traveling amen-corner, urging him to testify night after night…His out-of-breath stage patter was warm and downhome. ‘Ladies and gentlemens,’ he addressed his fans, ‘holler as loud as you wanna — you ain’t home!’
The set marks the first time the live sets, which include ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,’ ‘Security,’ ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose,’ ‘Satisfaction,’ ‘Respect,’ ‘These Arms of Mine’ and ‘Just One More Day,’ have been available in their entirety.”
“Cigarettes and Coffee.” Give in to vices, advises the patron saint of Macon, Georgia. I would love to have another drink of coffee now/And please, darling, help me smoke this one more cigarette now/I don’t want no cream and sugar, ’cause I’ve got you now, darling…
Crack vials and junk bonds for everybody!
Thank you, face of Shawn, for wordlessly and accurately expressing my feelings about this. I’m frantically trying to reach Jello Biafra and Chuck D for comment.
You know the hammers’ll lose your cabbage, them dudes do damage/Send Zulu Nation through Reaganomics, we move them package. Love Mef and Styles P and the beat below; hate hatehatehate Fat Joe so much that even if I adopt an ironic stance I still can’t fool myself into not hating him. Similarly, LOVE Reaganomically produced hip-hop and punk fucking rock; haaaaate the fact that Reagan had to exist in order to make them so.
Now that things have settled down in Saints-Land, I’ve returned from the French Quarter and put my top back on and my beads away. And it’s not time to fill in my failure of a March Madness bracket yet. And the Lakers‘ inevitable domination over all who cross their path on the road to victory is still like a month away…so I’ve been needing some sort of sports-related thing to happen that I could celebrate and/or complain about. And then, thank you, here comes CNN with this piece about a Jamaican manning a dogsled team in the Iditarod race. A Jamaican! So wacky. So, you know, Fire pon Babylon of course, but also fire pon animal abusers. (The Iditarod, by the way, started as a way for freight to be transported across Alaska, and even though technology has progressed and there are superior methods for moving things now, people still like to strap harnesses on these poor, sweet beasts with their friendly eyes and wagging tails, and then call the whole thing a feat of human endurance. Also, there’s the fact that Palin exists. Goddammit, Alaska.)
Newton Marshall is the musher (real word? unclear) being profiled. “Hey, mon! … I’m from Jamaica. I’m running the Iditarod!” is a quote they attribute to him but it’s so cringe-worthy that I’m suspecting it comes from Jason, a CNN intern who listened to East of the River Nile a hundred times in high school. The fact that animal cruelty knows no geographic bounds is not lost on me, but for now can we just focus on the wonderful fact that Newton Marshall is the most Jamaican of Jamaican names I’ve heard in quite some time? Add a General, a Saw, or a Banton, a Ranks, and it’s a proverbial wrap. Barrington, Aston, Alton, Horace, Augustus, Coxsone; they all have those fancy names that make them sound like they’re members of the House of Commons.
Additionally, randomly and comically, the Jamaican dogsled team is “financially supported by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville cafes.” Uh, hold up? Hold up! So even though the Jamaican dogsled team is made up of rescued strays, even though they make the dogs run for 9 hours straight while in training, even though Sir Newton Marshall is content being a human novelty of color in a world of grizzled Caucasoid types and that makes me embarrassed for him, Jimmy Buffett being behind this somehow gets me on board, full-throttle. Jimmy Buffett, FYI you guys, sleeps on piles of cash and isn’t a businessman; he’s a business, man. Concerts, restaurants, a casino, tequila, the Miami Dolphins’ field, a dogsled team–Jimmy is the Jay-Z of yacht rock.
I am legally required to post “Margaritaville” at this point in the post, since the rhythmic pattern was ingrained in me as a child born to Caucasians in suburban southern California, I know all the words forward and backward, I hear it and suddenly I am eating a mayo sandwich on my way to a tennis match in my Top-Siders. Join me please, white people, in celebrating one of our most beloved community anthems.
I’d also like to sneak this in, a Jamaica-related piece of photographic beauty. I just saw this pic of Jimmy Cliff today, as Time did a photo feature about 2010 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Just too dope not to share.
Tom Browne – “Funkin‘ for Jamaica.”
I get hyped when I hear a drum roll,
When my mind is free/I know a melody can move me,
Whether or not the blood is red up in the gutter/Music is my bread and butter, and as a result,
I got a thousand old records in my crib.
My arms are sore due to my devotion to vinyl, as I am currently moving my entire analog life across 3.5 miles of Los Angeles landscape into my fabulous new apartment home. Please accept this, my humble explanation for lack of posts. I’ll be back, probably quoting Deck in “Triumph” because I’ll be feeling so damn good about myself. Successfully moving all your stuff into apt. 15 is the skinny-Caucasoid-girl version of Swingin swords like Shinobi.
Emo is, for the record:
everything sung into a mic in the greater DC area in the years 1976-1978,
Kurt Cobain from Bleach until like November ’93,
and nothing, nothing else. Oh and Def Jux, of course. Almost forgot.
And either this story is true, and I’m sad and mad and feeling like 1998 might actually be over and like I’m going to faint and then awaken briefly just to take a bottle of Klonopin mixed with some opiate of my choosing and die,
somebody’s got a new record coming out. Industry drones, please email me the real story. My life hangs in the balance!
Pat Robertson in Cleats vs. my ladyparts!
Presenting the first THIS GUY of the new year, Tim Tebow, pointed out and shamed on this here weblog because of his adoption of the tiiiiiired old routine that Christ-y types have always used: volunteering to instruct you (and me) on how to live. Must we do this dance yet again?
Tim, Heisman-winning QB for the insufferable Florida Gators, soldier for Christ’s army, and son of Evangelical missionaries, will appear with his mother in an antiabortion commercial during the “Super Bowl” (TM? All Rights Reserved? I should just call it The Big Game like on beer commercials). The Tebows will plead with ladies not to kill any tiny humans they may have growing inside them. Because it’s the Tebows‘ fucking business, that’s why.
The commercial has the creepily ambiguous title of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” which, during the Super Bowl, means Celebrate Red Stripe, Celebrate the Saints’ Victory, but which the Tebows will push as a catch phrase intended to make slutty ladies think twice about being slutty. As part of the deal, if every pregnant woman carries every pregnancy to term, Mrs. Tebow and Tim are going to offer to babysit, help us with the cost of raising a child, and make sure that all of the existing kids whose parents weren’t equipped to care for them will swiftly move into the Tebow family home. Oh wait, no. That’s not the case. [HuffPo]
Much to my amusement, Tim’s major at Florida was Family, Youth and Community Sciences. How strange – I too have studied this very topic, and I do believe that the research-based science of families and communities tells us repeatedly that when women aren’t trusted to make decisions about when they will give birth, Everything Gets Fucked Up. This includes Families, Youth, and Communities.
ANDANOTHERTHING: It’s rather upsetting that someone native to Florida – the state geographically closest to the nation of Haiti and the state home to the highest number of Haitian-Americans – is concerned about unborn baby people who aren’t here yet and who is starring in a multimillion-dollar commercial for Focus on the Family (ugh), when there are lots of people alive in Haiti right now who are dying and could use multi millions of dollars. YEAH I SAID IT.
Tim’s just the latest in a string of dudes who have that killer cocktail of deep cluelessness and aggressive pushiness, presented under the guise of spreading the word of peacemonger and poverty-fighter Jesus Christ. My response to these people, distilled to its essence, is: I’m grown, dude. I’m grown. Kindly remove your Bible from my reproductive system. And although football is beloved in apt. 302, the only person round here I want flowing like Christ when he speaks the gospel is a) uh, Christ; and b) uh, Robert F. Diggs in ’93. There are lots of ways to say back the fuck up (swoon, ’93!), but in 2010 there’s some growth occurring in apt. 302; sometimes cuss words are just so juvenile. Therefore, I’ll simply offer the gently suggestive Cool Out, Son.
Really, Tim, REALLY. Cool out, son.
. . .
The human body burns calories for energy,
Human civilizations and trade routes spring up around bodies of water,
Derek Jeter is not foxy,
Judd Apatow’s male characters are the opposite of what a dude should be,
manufactured beef sells records,
ambiguously ethnic-looking whitegirls in fur hats have it on lock,
the sun came up today, and
there are veiled references to drugs in popular speech and music.
My insatiable craving for coke n’ Ls is often played out in music on pop radio, and so far the adults in my life have been wonderfully unaware of this fact. There’s the world of family, and then there’s the world of narcotics in song, and never the twain shall meet. My mom and Radric Davis both use Pyrex, for example, and they both incorporate the weight and measure of things in the process of cooking, but it ends there. She doesn’t know her way around a Zshare link and she certainly does not Make the Trap Say anything. She is familiar with sociopolitical conditions in Atlanta but it’s only ’cause Nas lives there now. (She loves Nas.)
So now The Awl is deep in the dope game. It wants us all to know how down it is with the kids’ lingo and so it’s explaining to everybody what Jay-Z really meant when he mentioned LeBron and Dwyane “Spellcheck” Wade in the Greatest Song Ever in the History of November 2009, “Empire State of Mind.” I like a world in which Aunt Jean doesn’t know what kind of stuff I’m singing along with on the radio. I like her believing that a brick really is a brick, that the purpose of rubber bands is keep a lady’s hair back from her face, and that it absolutely does get cold enough to snow in Virginia (um, in August). You guys, the grownups totally know what we’re talking about now! NEW SLANG, STAT.
. . .