A couple days ago, I blogged about a new feature on the AV Club called Random Rules. They have celebrities and whatnot put their iPods (or their iTunes, or their non-iPod MP3 players, or their WinAmp) on shuffle and write a graf about the first five songs that come up. No cheating.
Here's mine, but what's yours?
I was a Michael Jackson fan as a kid, I only came to Prince in college. I had dismissed it all as synth-pop garbage in my mind, but boy was I wrong. This is actually one of my favorite Prince songs, from Controversy, which is a cool album. Not as good as Dirty Mind, but the same kind of hard synthy funk that he moved away from when he got REALLY big. He played this song at a show my girlfriend and I went to at the Fillmore, Valentine's Day two or three years ago. Great show, although there was a group of REALLY drunk late-30-something white women who were REALLY awful.
Killer Mike -- Niggas Down South
This is from The Killer Mixtape, which he put out last year. Killer Mike might be the most underappreciated rapper out. He can really, really spit. He's got flows and his lyrics are great. He's sort of like Big Boi, but he has a ferocity in his flow and voice that Big Boi doesn't. His voice has impact. "Ask your older brother 'bout me / I'm O.G."
D'Angelo -- Playa Playa
This is from Voodoo, which is among my favorite records of all time. It's a vibey record, which is a word for shitty Maxwell albums and stuff, but the only other records that can match it for me in that department are Blowout Comb by Digable Planets and Fresh by Sly & the Family Stone. Not just a make-out record. I saw the Voodoo tour (again with my girlfriend), and it was probably my #1 concert experience ever. I await the followup patiently.
(an episode of This American Life)
Not sure if this counts. I've heard almost literally every episode of This American Life.
Raphael Saadiq -- Uptown
This is a great song from Saadiq, who coincidentally produced "Untitled" from Voodoo. He was also a member of Tony Toni Tone. It's about conflicts over leaving the hood.
Akon -- Gunshot (Fiesta Riddim)
This is from this great mixtape Akon put out last year called Illegal Alien Vol. 1. I dunno if there were more volumes, if so, I should get them. I love Akon's voice... it's tough to find a male singer suited to singing what's basically hip-hop. Akon's voice is thin, but it's really haunting. It's spry, too, or maybe sinewy. He can sing with hip-hop phrasing and it sounds right. The best song on this mixtape was a "freestyle" over the beat from Anthony Hamilton's "Comin From Where I'm From" called "Senegal," about Akon's childhood in Africa.
Via A Special Thing
Maybe you've seen their great Comedy Central Special, or seen them on stage at an event like SF Sketchfest. Maybe you saw one of the sketches they managed to get on SNL the years they were writing for the show, like "The Falconer." If you've never seen them, trust me, they're great.
But have no fear! Experience the magic of Slovin & Allen two different ways:
Download their (not work-safe) short film "Family Film" (right click and save as)
you could even check out this interview on mpempire.com
I really don't care who wins the Oscars. Usually.
This year, though, this year I really do have something to root for.
On this week's Sound of Young America broadcast, I'm going to have Andy Daly. Besides being the host of Comedy Central's "Crossballs," and being a former castmember of Mad TV, Andy is one of the funniest people I've ever seen improvise. More importantly, he's created "Mustache TV," which, he claims, is "The hip parlor game that's sweeping the nation!"
Apparently it involves placing mustaches on your TV set, then getting points when they land on a face. Or, I guess, a face lands on them.
"...so SHAKE EM!"
Keak da Sneak and E-40 are the ultimate Bay Area New Sincerity rapper combination.
This video for "Tell Me When To Go" is AWESOME.
Sound of Young America pal Nick Adams is about to start touring the world behind his new book "Making Friends with Black People." I'll try and get him on the show, but in the meantime, check out this interview with him in which he makes the following promise regarding what he'd do with his $$ if the book takes off:
Wait until Bjork tours again, then follow her from city to city filming a documentary that chronicles her African-American fans around the world. I call it, Black Fans of Bjork.
If you listen to the show, you heard me offer a brief memorial note for the late James Yancey, aka Jay Dee, aka Jay Dilla upon his passing. He was one of the greatest hip-hop producers ever, a revolutionary in the field. This article in the Detroit Free Press details his struggles with a rare blood disease, and later with lupus, which eventually claimed his life. His friends from the hip-hop world supported him in his last days, and his mother took care of him to the end, massaging his fingers when they swelled painfully from beatmaking in his hospital bed.
You can listen to NPR's rememberance of him here.
While he did have health insurance, his medical expenses were huge, and they've fallen on his mother. Friends from the hip-hop community are helping, but if you'd like to help, you can make payment to:
Mrs. Maureen Yancey
Donations can be mailed to:
132 N. Sycamore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Bank Wires can be sent to:
Wells Fargo Bank of Los Angeles, CA
Routing Number: 122000247
Account Number: 6043250676
Arrested Development is a wonderful, wonderful program. I hope it gets saved. Some lady from E! who's taken an interest says her source tells her it's 50/50.