Thursday, November 27, 2003
I checked out the Scratch Tour
last weekend at the 9:30 Club
, featuring The Spooks, Rahzel, Jazzy Jay, Z-Trip, and the X-Ecutioners.
The Spooks and Rahzel played most of their sets off of an Instant Replay
(if ya don't know, it's basically an overgrown MP3 player with a couple of bells and whistles)... This is definitely the equivalent of playing your whole set off of a DAT player, a practice that was so vilified just a few years ago. I'm really not mad, just curious... Who determined that the Instant Replay, and its cousin, the Short/Cut
, are okay for performing the same function?
So then, Jazzy Jay comes out and does his whole set with FinalScratch
, the jont that lets you control the playback of audio files on your computer with regular old turntables. Then, just to buck the system some more, his turntable of choice was some straight-arm blicka (Vestax or Stanton, couldn't tell) instead of the venerable SL-1200. Who says this cat is old school? But, uh, since he played all but one song off the computer, why'd he have three crates of records on stage with him? Just as stage props? Sounds like criminal neglect of your vinyl to me...
Z-Trip did his thing. Honestly never heard of him before seeing his name on the bill, but I left as a fan. Respect here, boss.
Besides his tables, Z-Trip had a CDJ-1000
with him. Between the rampant Instant Replay, FinalScratch, and CD turntable use at this DJ-focused concert, the vinyl purists in the crowd were probably having fits. But the X-Ecutioners' set brought them back down, keeping them from any extreme kirk-out behavior. It goes without saying that the X-Men (eff Marvel and their lawsuit... I've always been DC Universe kid anyways...) tore it up... Their minds work differently than the rest of us. Sick.
Good concert, but looking around the audience, I definitely felt like I was representing the high-end of the age demographic there, and I'm not sure how cool I am with that. And speaking of grown folks and hip-hop... last week's show (Book did the 1st hour; shout-out to RBI and friends for trooping up for Hour 2):
Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew- Keep Risin' to The Top (Remix)
Mos Def- Mos Definite
Pharoahe Monch & Ras Kass- Do U See What I See
Jay-Z- Public Service Announcement
Kevin Brown- Nitefall
Little Brother- On The Way
KRS-ONE- Outta Here
Common- Funky For You
Break/ Mystery Beat
De La Soul- Much More
Slum Village- Fall In Love (Remix)
Kevin Brown- Allways (Remix)
Fakts One f/ Little Brother- Grown Folks
Break/ Gripe Of The Week
Heron Gibran- Midnight Forum Freestyle
Prochi- Midnight Forum Freestyle
Heron Gibran, Prochi, RNL, Mr. Mojo, Decompose, & RBI Freestyle/ Interview
Fugees f/ A Tribe Called Quest & Busta Rhymes- Rumble In The Jungle
Gangstarr- Deep Concentration
Jungle Brothers- I'm Gonna Do You
Mobb Deep- Peer Pressure
Just-Ice- Going Way Back
Public Enemy- Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
House Of Pain- Word Is Bond
A Tribe Called Quest f/ Large Professor- Keep It Rollin'
Heather B- No Doubt
RBI, Heron, and Prochi were just a few of the many talented artists who contibuted to, and helped produce, "The Midnight Forum Mix CD, Volume One,"
in stores now. Get the jont.
No work today, so sleep in, but make sure you catch Book's lunch mix at noon on WPGC
, you DC/MD/VA people...Stylus' is at Sanctuary on Saturday for "Synergy," so be there, sucka. Kat's Korner starts at 8:30, and leads right into his set around 10.
Nas did say that, "sleep is the cousin of death," but don't fight the effects of the tryptophan... Let it do its work, and enjoy the rest.
Saturday, November 22, 2003
I would've posted sooner, but I vegged out all week watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the new Michael Jackson story.
Sike. Even I
have more of a life than that.
The post-9/11-media-re-focus-on-real-news era has officially come to a screeching halt. There's no way that story deserves as much ink as it's received. Michael's weird. Who didn't know? Does the media really need to dedicate any more time to re-hashing this very obvious fact?
And that makes eight sentences I've wasted on the subject. Let's move on.
(In classic DJ Stylus "I'll-tell-you-about-it-afterwords" fashion) Two bananacal parties over the past week or so that you probably missed: The Flow Thursdays Scorpio birthday bash at One
in Baltimore that Will Rock's crew, Unruly Productions/Promotions/Entertainment/Everything
, threw on the 13th; and the Midnight Forum
fundraiser at Ozio's in DC on the 18th. Whoo. I'd throw in the Beat Society
joint at Ben 'N Mo's into the discussion, because Ill Mind, Oddisee, Roddy Rod, 9th Wonder, Asheru, Bahamadia, and Little Brother ripped it, but of the twelve of you who ever peep this site, most of y'all were there, so it doesn't fit the joints-you-missed category...
The show last weekend-- More love for Will Rock-- he actually kept his word and showed up. And of course, Book was there, too. Turn your selector switch from safe to semi, aim downrange, and scan your sector:
Afrika Bambaataa- Fusion Beats
Juelz Santana- Down
L.- May I...?
Kelis f/ Nas- Popular Thug
Raekwon- The Hood
Fam-Lay- Rock N' Roll
Busta Rhymes- Fall Back
Mark Ronson f/ Saigon- Diduntdidunt
Lumidee f/ Nore- Crashing A Party
A Tribe Called Quest f/ Erykah Badu- ICU (Doin' It)
Memphis Bleek- Need Me In Your Life
Philly's Most Wanted f/ DJ Kool- Shake
Funkmaster Flex f/ LL Cool J- What's Up Shorty?
Floetry f/ Mos Def- WannaBeWhereUR
Kool G Rap- Breaka Breaka
Onyx- Mama Cryin'
Break/ Mystery Beat
Main Source- Friendly Game Of Baseball
Eric B & Rakim- The Ghetto
Kevin Brown- Nitefall
Jeru Tha Damaja- Dirty Rotten Scoundrel
Nottz f/ DMP- Uncutt Raw
Nas- It Ain't Hard To Tell (Remix)
A Tribe Called Quest- Can I Kick It (Remix)
Crooklyn Dodgers- Crooklyn
Masta Ace Incorporated- INC Ride
Little Brother- On The Way
Fakts One- Grown Folks
Dilated Peoples- Marathon
Big Daddy Kane- Any Type Of Way
Ghostface Killah- Flowers
Alkaholiks- Daam! (Remix)
MC Lyte, Bahamadia, Nonchalant, & Yo-Yo- Keep On Pushin'
Break/ Gripe Of The Week/ Outro
I ran into someone at the Beat Society joint who's trying to do a set on tonight's show... We'll see if that actually comes to pass. Another friend I saw there got an XM radio
for her birthday earlier this week; young lady, you better listen, I'm giving you a quiz on it Monday...
Catch Book doing the WPGC
noon mix at 11:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting November 25th. That's big.
Catch Stylus' next Synergy set on the 29th (next Saturday) at the Sanctuary in NE DC, with the strong lead-in courtesy of Kat's Korner
. The flyer says it runs from, like, 10pm-5am. Yikes. That's big, too.
Catch me at a club somewhere (or any spot, really) trying to work up the courage to talk to a jawn... that's always entertaining. And if I actually manage to find the heart to step up, watching me trip and stumble and fumble and drop the approach? Bonus laughs!
Monday, November 10, 2003
Lately, it takes at least an hour at night to clear my head enough to be able to fall asleep... Random thoughts circa 1:57 this morning:
--I skipped work last Wednesday to watch "Matrix: Revolutions." Every fan of the series should see it, even though it's the worst of the bunch.
--My ongoing obesession with Jessica Alba might be strong enough that I'd actually go see this nearly-guaranteed-to-be-horrible movie with Mekhi Phifer that she's got coming out. Oh well, I did watch "Two Can Play That Game" and "Deliver Us From Eva" just to see Gabrielle Union...
--"Hey Ya" is dope, as is the entire "Love Below" album, but I'd rather not encourage the singing rappers thing so much, lest the trend get out of hand. The occasional joint is okay-- never been mad at "Winky's Theme," "Umi Says," "Hailie's Song," or "Automobile" (at least Dre 'n 'em weren't taking it that seriously); but when a cat who built his or her brand name on emceeing decides to go hard with the crooning-- to the point where he or she only raps for 5 or 6 minutes on the entire album-- it's a problem, or at least a sign of a problem to come.
The Q-Tip joints that-- was it Arista?-- decided not to release immediately come to mind. I remember having the same beef when "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" came out; that album was dope, too, but the "MTV Unplugged" jont that followed proves just how bad it can get when the singing rappers go un-checked.
--Optimus Prime is Jewish? (okay, no more "Family Guy" right before I go to bed...)
NEW SHOW LAST WEEK!
Guest DJ Will Rock from Unruly Productions in Baltimore swung through, and followed up Book's set... Damn it was gully.
Ultimate 3 MCs- Ultimate 3 Live
Blahzay Blahzay- Danger
MOP f/ Jay-Z- Put It In The Air
Neptunes f/ Dirt McGirt- Pop S---
De La Soul- Watch Out
Kevin Brown- NItefall
Nas- It Ain't Hard To Tell Remix
Diamond & The Psychotic Neurotics- Best Kept Secret Remix
Kanye Weat f/ Mos Def & Freeway- Two Words
OC- Time's Up
Kevin Brown- Always Remix
Omega- Shake It Up
Gangstarr- The ? Remainz
Ludacris- Stand Up
Mos Def- "Takeover" Freestyle
Violator f/ G-Unit- Gangsta S---
Anthony Hamilton f/ Scarface & Jermaine Dupri- Comin' From Where I'm From Remix
Fabolous- Make U Mine
Alicia Keys f/ Nas- Streets Of New York
Kanye West- Through The Wire
Timbaland & Magoo- Indian Flute
Jay-Z- Girls, Girls, Girls
Spliff Star- Shot Right Now
Tha Rayne- Didn't You Know
Loon- Down For Me
Heat- Excuse Me Baby
Drag-On- Put Your Drinks Down
Da Band- Bad Boy This Bad Boy That
Cee-Lo- I'll Be Around
DMX- Get It On The Floor
Fabolous- Now Ride
Obie Trice- S--- Hits The Fan
Will's amped about doing the show... He says he'll be back next week... Lock and load, kiddies.
Saturday, November 08, 2003
Dag. Did I mention that I was playing with ?uestlove yesterday? Again? At Andalu in DC? Maybe it's because I didn't get the call (email) until I was one foot out of my cubicle yesterday evening.
If you were at SAKI back in August, you might have an idea of how out of hand it was. If you were there last night, you now know that it was actually MORE out of hand than SAKI was. If you missed both, I'm sure your peoples are haranguing you at this very moment so I'll steer clear.
Ahmir showed up hella late as they were playing in Baltimore before the party. I was cool, for awhile. Until I started running out of records. The room was still hot though, didn't have to start recycling joints. I kept 'em on blast on the front burner. Ahmir cranked all the way until 4am and the walls were sweating up in that joint.
So I finally got to drop the "Hey Ya" joint for a crowd. Consensus on the street and in my own mind is that the current Outkast record is irresistable. Despite the overwhelming approval, I was stumped about how I could drop a record faster than anything I usually play (that joint has to be over 130bpm), break up the flow of my set and still keep folks engaged. My worries were unfounded. Bammas were pogo'ing around the room like they were front row at a rock show for a snotty Britpop garage band.
And that's whassup.