Sam's Blog
2.28.2004
 
This was originally supposed to be a comment to Oliver’s excellent reading of the political implications of the gay marriage issue, but it got too long for his comments field.

In addition to Oliver’s comments, I wanted to add how proud I am to be a resident of San Francisco. I think that history will vindicate Newsom’s actions, as well as frown upon the separate-but-equal platform espoused by the opposition. Newson is catching a lot of heat -- and sadly enough from people in his own party -- but I believe he will eventually be hailed as a pioneer. We should applaud him not only for having the convection of standing behind his beliefs, but for having the foresight that those convictions will eventually be accepted by a majority of Americans. And call me an unguarded optimist, but I think that the tide is already turning.

The only thing that embarrasses me about this whole fiasco is that I didn’t support Newson in the first place. Actually, that isn't the only thing that embarrasses me; I am so ashamed that more democrats haven’t come to his support because they believe that this isn’t the right time for the battle. You don’t get all Machiavellian when people’s civil rights are on the line, and this demonstrates the democrats general lack of conviction and not their political savvy. George Bush deserves to lose, but they don't deserve to win.
 
2.15.2004
 


Other rappers you won't find on TRL.

Subliminal. The cover of The Light and the Shadow depicts a hand covered with mud holding a star of David. His lyrics have lines like "This country is vacillating like a cigar in Arafat’s mouth." In a song called "Divide and Conquer," Subliminal laments, "We're nurturing and arming those who hate us." At his concerts, fans chant "Death to Arabs." Welcome to the highly-politicized world of Israeli hip hop. On the other side of the divide, there's Nafar, an Arab Israeli who has a very critical view of Israel government and society. Nafar Quote: "Tupac, when he said ‘It’s a white man’s world,’ spoke to me because I live as an Arab in a Jewish world." Interestingly enough, Nafar used to be a protégée of Subliminal, but when the infantada began in 2000, they begin to drift apart and there is currently a bitter rivalry between the two that is documented in the movie "Channels of Rage." In the movie, Nafar sings, "What's that? Another Arab's been shot," and tells an interviewer he can understand why a Palestinian blew himself up in a Tel Aviv club.

If anyone knows where I can secure either a CD from Subliminal or Nafar or a copy of the documentary, please let me know.

 
2.11.2004
 
This guy should collaborate with Dip Set Taliban star Jewlz Santana.

Excepts:

According to the UK's Observer newspaper this Sunday, rap artist Shaikh Terra calls for British PM Tony Blair and US President George Bush to be "thrown on the fire" in his song Dirty Kuffar (unbelievers).

The song starts with images of US marines in Iraq cheering as one of them shoots a wounded Iraqi lying on the floor.

It finishes with images of the hijacked planes flying into the World Trade Centre towers in New York with sounds of the rappers laughing.

One of the video's most brutal images shows an Islamic fighter in Chechnya executing a captured Russian soldier with a machine gun.

Another image shows photographs of US Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice with the words "still slaves" superimposed across their bodies.
 
 
Peep out my David Banner review at SFWeekly. I’m not sure how I feel about bringing personal anecdotes into my reviews, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Good album, though I’m not sure that I like it as much as Mississippi.
 
2.10.2004
 


Salon.com recently reinterpreted our leader’s interview with Tim Russert using Orwell’s Duckspeak.

George W. Bush, the doubleplusgood doublespeaker!
In his interview on "Meet the Press," the president proved he has mastered the Orwellian art of duckspeak.

Orwell’s Definition:
"Newspeak vocabulary was tiny, and new ways of reducing it were constantly being devised. Newspeak, indeed, differed from most all other languages in that its vocabulary grew smaller instead of larger every year. Each reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought. Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak, meaning 'to quack like a duck'."

Translation of Bush’s interview with Russert:

Tim Russert: On Friday, you announced a committee, commission, to look into intelligence failures regarding the Iraq War and our entire intelligence community. You have been reluctant to do that for some time. Why?

President Bush: Quack quack quack winning the war against the terrorists. Quack quack war against terrorists quack war quack hide in caves quack quack quack shadowy networks quack rogue nations. Quack good intelligence system. We need really good intelligence quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack fighting this war on terror.

[Russert, noting that the Iraq intelligence commission will not report until March 2005] Shouldn't the American people have the benefit of the commission before the election?

Quack gave it time quack didn't want it to be hurried quack strategic look quack big picture quack war on terror quack dangerous world quack dangerous world quack war president quack war on my mind quack I see dangers.

The night you took the country to war, March 17th, you said this: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised ... How do you respond to critics who say that you brought the nation to war under false pretenses?

Quack weapons quack war against terror quack we were attacked quack every threat quack every threat quack every potential harm to America quack war on terror quack weapons quack suicide bombers quack funding terrorist groups quack dangerous man quack stockpiles of weapons quack capacity to produce weapons quack weapons quack capacity to make weapons quack Saddam Hussein quack dangerous with weapons quack Saddam Hussein quack dangerous with the ability to make weapons quack dangerous man quack dangerous quack a madman quack imminent quack imminent quack new kind of war quack no doubt in my mind quack Saddam Hussein quack danger to America.

In what way?

Quack have a weapon, make a weapon quack he had weapons quack he had weapons quack make a weapon quack weapon quack shadowy terrorist network quack Oval Office quack terrorists with airplanes quack harm America quack worst nightmare scenario quack terrorist networks quack deadly weapons quack strike us quack president of the United States' most solemn responsibility quack country secure quack Saddam Hussein quack Saddam Hussein quack madman.

Now looking back, in your mind, is it worth the loss of 530 American lives and 3,000 injuries and woundings simply to remove Saddam Hussein, even though there were no weapons of mass destruction?

Quack life is precious quack sacrifice for this country quack our praise quack.

BTW, I'll preemptively head off any criticism (because I know that you have at least the capability to criticize me) by saying that I know the bird in the picture is a turkey.
 
 
Pazz and Jop, courtesy of Jeff Chang's Blog (cantstopwontstop.blogspot.com).

ALBUMS
1 OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista)
2 The White Stripes Elephant (V2)
3 Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers (S-Curve)
4 Radiohead Hail to the Thief (Capitol)
5 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever to Tell (Interscope)
6 The Shins Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)
7 New Pornographers Electric Version (Matador)
8 Basement Jaxx Kish Kash (Astralwerks)
9 Drive-By Truckers Decoration Day (New West)
10 Dizzee Rascal Boy in Da Corner (XL import)


SINGLES
1 OutKast "Hey Ya!" (Arista)
2 Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z "Crazy in Love" (Columbia)
3 The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" (Third Man/V2)
4 Kelis "Milkshake" (Star Trak/Arista)
5 50 Cent "In Da Club" (G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
6 Johnny Cash "Hurt" (Universal)
7 Fountains of Wayne "Stacy's Mom" (S-Curve/Virgin)
8 R. Kelly "Ignition-Remix" (Jive)
9 Junior Senior "Move Your Feet" (Atlantic)
10 Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z "Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)"
(Sequence)


Wow. I'm just blown away. The albums are all indie rock and hip hop. And I actually wouldn't mind listening to a mixtape of the singles, excluding White Stripes of course (and probably Junior Senior - haven't heard it). Who's Fountain's of Wayne, btw? It's a safe list, no doubt -- -- the format ensures that -- but it could've been and it has been a lot worse.
 
2.09.2004
 
From an LA Times joint interview with Jack White and Andre 3000:

Jack White: I feel hip-hop generally isn't regenerating itself like it should. There has been 15 years of almost the same stuff over and over again. If I see one more video with sports jerseys and gold chains, I'm going to..."

Andre: Exactly. I agree.

My take: I don't completely disagree, but it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because Jack White has been so adoment with his hatred for hip hop.

A previous Rolling Stone article with Jack White (that i lifted from Jay Smooth's blog).

RS: You're not a hip-hop fan.
JW: Not particularly. I find OutKast and Wu-Tang Clan interesting. But I consider music to be storytelling, melody and rhythm. A lot of hip-hop has broken music down. There are no instruments and no songwriting. So you're left with just storytelling and rhythm. And the storytelling can be so braggadocious, you're just left with rhythm. I don't find much emotion in that.

My take: We're all entitled to our own opinions, but some of the shit that Jack White is saying is just fucking stupid. Maybe he needed to "regenerate" his own opinions, cuz they're on a 1984, "hip-hop-ain't-real-music" tip. To be honest, I could really care less about the White Stripes. I know that Andre ain't feeling hip hop anymore, but still...
 
2.04.2004
 
"As of this year DEAD PREZ, THE COUP, COMMON , TALIB,THE ROOTS, or artists like them or wanting to be like them have to be more confrontational within the House Of Rap and Hip Hop to maintain the voice of sense. It’s a damn shame that in 2003 the DIXIE CHICKS made 98% of the rappers look like soft, clueless, happy ass slaves . An army of intelligence that at least procts and bulids the peoples minds bodys, and souls anyone?" -- Chuck D
 
2.03.2004
 
Future Primitive Sound proudly presents an exhibit from acclaimed international artist Mode 2. Don’t miss the first solo American exhibit from one of Europe’s most talented contemporary artist.

Opening Party: February 26th, Future Primitive Sound Headquarters (597 Haight St. at Steiner), Afterparty at Milk.
Display Running: February 26th through April 25th

Mode 2 is one of Europe’s foremost graffiti artists and is known as one of the artform’s pioneering character artists. Mode first reached an international audience was on the cover of the seminal introduction to the European graffiti-writing scene, “Spraycan Art” (Thames & Hudson). He painted murals around the suburbs of Paris for the bicentennial of the French Revolution , briefly assisted famed French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino in 1990; and in 1991 he created a backdrop for a short film by Costa Gavras celebrating the 25th anniversary of Amnesty International. Throughout the 90s, he painted various murals including a 50m-long underpass for the city of Waneroo, Australia in January 1995. He was a key speaker for the “Hip Hop; A Cultural Expression” seminar held at Cleveland State University in September 1999. Mode also had a one-man exhibition at the Old Museum Arts Centre where he held a conference on graffiti-writing, mural art, and their role in the community. He went on to paint a large mural in 2002 in the town of Omagh, Ireland that commemorated the 28 victims of the 1998 car bombing.

In the summer of 2002, Mode collaborated with the photographer Harri Peccinotti on the Damiani Calendar project, executing drawings of a model as Peccinotti took pictures. Since then, Mode has contributed to “Santa’s Ghetto,” an exhibition and shop for his prints and original pieces as well as those of Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, or 3D from Massive Attack. He also exhibited with Swifty and Mitch in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Candela Music Festival in October 2003, and participated on a documentary project called “Roots & Culture” with an independent mauritian production company.
 
2.01.2004
 
Masked Supervillain MF Doom Descends Upon San Francisco

It was a little after 10pm and the crowd was already packed onto the lower floor and had begun siphoning into the upper level, which wrapped around the DNA’s small stage like a giant "U" and had twinkling Christmas lights dangling from its sides. Dazed from a nasty case of the flu, it was surprising that I’d made it through the door. But I was there to either confirm or deny the existence of one MF Doom AKA Sev Luv X AKA Victor Vaughn, whose faceless personas were mythologized on Internet message boards, whose raspy voice and unwavering flow hung lorded over an otherwise stagnant underground, and who had never performed in San Francisco until tonight.

Sandwiched between two kids arhythmically bobbing their heads to opening DJs Joe Quixx and the Specialist, I watched Graffiti artist "Think" scrawl MF DOOM across a canvas behind the stage as a mob of photographers crowded around. It was just past 11, and we weren’t expecting Doom for at least an hour. But when midnight came and went, and DJ troupe the Oakland Faders hit the stage, the weeknight crowd was already beginning to grumble a collective "what the fuck?" It wasn’t until 1:35 that the lights dimmed, and a mysterious, husky figure took the stage.

In denim shorts, a tee that barely covered his belly, and a two-inch thick mask that obscured his face, Doom could’ve been anyone. And watching the throngs of fans who pushed forward and mouthed every lyric of every song -- from KMD classics to "Rhymes Like Dimes" to more recent songs like "Curls" and "One Beer"-- I started to think that maybe anonymity’s the point. After all, what is a villain without a mask? When you can rock a club without a DJ -- with nothing but mask and a microphone – and when you have a drunken crowd hang on every one of your syllables, what’s the point of revealing yourself? Walking away from the show at well past 2, I didn’t feel that I knew Doom any better, but I no longer felt that I had to, that some things are best left behind masks.

 
 
damn right, it's better than yours

 
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Selected Published Features :

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  • Boom Box 200 - The Worst CD Ever
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