Wassup Rockers

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the past their prime category.

Some Words and Images.

Went to see Gary Shteyngart read for his new novel, Super Sad True Love Story at Greenlight Bookstore. This involved me getting on the A and going express three stations past the stop I needed in order to reach the store, and barely making it on time, so that it was so mo’fucking crowded (Gary’s a rock star, don’tcha know!) that I basically didn’t even look for a spot to sit and listen. I just walked around the store instead, which was great because it was my first time at the store and I’d been curious about it. Really enjoyed the space, it’s very welcoming and bright.

In regard to the reading: I don’t know why, but I felt a bit iffy about the story at first, because it involved not only Koreans, but Korean Stuyvesant alumni, which I know a thing or two about. Okay, I went to Bronx Science, and I silently wept to myself wishing some really funny writer dude would share a few kind words about Bronx Science. Except the culture at Stuy and Bronx Science is basically the same, so it’s not that big a deal. Plus, my brother went to Stuy!

(He saw the second plane crash.)

Anyway, Shteyngart did win me over with his humor. Except not enough for me to buy a copy, though I’d like to point out it’s because I can’t afford it. I’m currently #246 on the queue to receive a copy from the library. Shouldn’t take me too long. I think for The Yiddish Policemen’s Union I was in the 500s when I first joined the line, so I’m not too bothered about my place on this line.

On my way home I listened to a recent interview of him with Leonard Lopate and, combined with the reading tonight, the more I’m convinced that Super Sad True Love Story is like a bastard Russian Jewish cousin of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s not just that both authors are immigrants. Ethnicity plays a huge role in the books, and there’s a strong speculative aspect to them, though the approach is different: Shteyngart’s novel is set in the future, whereas Díaz’s Oscar is a huge fucking nerd in love with sci-fi/fantasy. Also, there are significant female voices, and when Lopate asks Shteyngart about it, he says the same thing I heart Díaz say at readings: he tried it because he’d never really done it before. What with the recent Kakutani stamp of approval, could the Pulitzer be next?!?!

Hopefully I’ll get a copy soon and find out for you. Then again, you might as well find out for yourself if my theory flies.

I haven’t had much time on Racialicious lately and was pointed to this post that came out a week or so ago. I saw the title and for some reason the first title that came to mind was Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow (Kiffe kiffe demain), except as I read I learned they were focusing on a rising American trend, whereas Kiffe is about French Muslim girl. The book the post mentions actually sounds really cool because it fills in these complexities and diversity that exist within the Muslim communities in America. I only wish they’d given even more examples of this trend. Kiffe is not, by the way, an urban book. It’s set in the French suburbs. I must clarify, however, that the French suburban life is actually equivalent to inner-city American life. It’s where the lower-class ethnic minorities find themselves stuck… I’m not explaining this right, but if you want to get an example of what life in the French suburbs is like, I most definitely recommend La haine Anyway, I haven’t read Kiffe but I figure if it was good enough to be translated, maybe it’s worth checking out and should provide an interesting counterpoint to this rising trend of urban Muslim fiction.

Been watching some good TV. Obviously Mad Men has started again, but plenty a column inch has been devoted to the damn show and what else could I say? It’s brilliant, it’s brilliant, etc!

I do want to endorse Louie, Louis C.K.’s show. He’s been around a long time and he’s already got a built-in audience. If you aren’t his fan, please do check it out! It’s only half an hour a week and it’s this weird combo of great, funny, sometimes foul standup, bookending two sketch pieces. Except all the sketch pieces feature stories about C.K., or more specifically, a fictionalized version of C.K., and they’re goofy and uproarious and silly and yet sometimes they’re poignant and often incredibly intelligent. It’s low-budget and yet they do so much in the span of, what, 23 minutes? Its rhythm is so different to most of (all?) the stuff on TV right now.

It’s actually thrilling to watch.

The other show I’ve been enjoying is Huge, which is just a really well-written teen drama that happens to be set in a summer camp for overweight kids, which means that it features a lot of fat actors. And they’re great! I love the characters: as in real life there’s no clear antagonists and everyone has flaws as well as redeeming qualities, and unlike a lot of kids’ shows, the adults are as wonderfully rendered as the kids. Yes, Skins, I’m talking about you. It’s not cynical, and yet, it isn’t sappy either.

I’ve been keeping up with a couple of British panel shows. First is Mock the Week. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a soft spot for Frankie Boyle, and I’ve had a hard time with the show since he left it. I get particularly annoyed when someone lame is seated to Hugh Dennis’s right; it leads me to grumble that the guest is not worth sitting in “Frankie’s seat.” His absence has led to a lack of balance among the three team leaders. It would be cool if we could just get another regular, and not one who will mimic Frankie’s role as a fucking rabblerouser but will have a good rapport with the rest of the group. In fact, I’d argue that Russell Howard has try to fill Frankie’s shoes, but it’s hard to take him seriously. And this is coming from someone who likes Russell Howard.

The show itself has gotten such a reputation amongst comedians, notably Jo Brand and Rhod Gilbert, that it seems like a lot have given up on being on it because they think it’s too much work and stress with no guarantee they’ll get a favorable edit. And then there are those, like Mark Watson, who haven’t been invited back even though they’ve been good and likeable guests, if not always at the top of their game. Mind you, there might be plenty of guests who want to be on it and get good exposure, but their schedules may not leave openings for TV appearances. That really limits the number of guests who show up and not all of them are very good at jumping in on a show where the regulars have such a set dynamic amongst one another. Either way, if it doesn’t get consistently good during the rest of the season, I’m gonna jump ship.

It’s just as well because there are better panel shows out there. Such as Would I Lie To You?, which just started up its fourth season. They tend to get decent guests, not necessarily comedians. It’s pretty breezy and light-hearted, not least because the team leaders are great. It’s great for Americans, too, since it’s not about keeping track of British current events and more about personal stories.


Broken Commandments.

Shakira’s vid for “Lo hecho está hecho,” watch it here while it’s still embeddable, hehe.

This is a recent post from the new Idolator.

Like many, I’ve been pretty irked by the recent change of editorship on Idolator. One of the cool things about the site was its seriously in-depth look at the music industry, and much of the fun for me was reading about all the different ways the music industry has been imploding this past decade. Another thing that I loved about their departing editor, Maura, was that she was so pro-Sugababes and pro-Amerie. I’m a huge fan of both, and knowing that there was a high-profile ally out there made me feel less alone in digging them.

The posts so far have been pretty ho-hum, and I’m still trying to figure out whether the Idolator n00bs are just trying to mark their territory and settling in, or if this is just the way things are gonna be. I see that the topics of choice have been relatively similar–lots of top 40 shit, including a lot of American Idol stuff. Which would be fine, but…

Please refer to the aforementioned link. That’s not analysis. Saying, “I don’t really dig Shakira’s hair like this, I like it more like Taylor Swift’s pretty straight white girl hair,” is so superficial… Never mind that as a longtime Shakira fan, I’m very very touchy about her hair. I mean seriously, there’s no reason I should be so consumed and busy scrutinizing a stranger’s hair, but there you go, here’s my confession: the blondeness? Listen, to me, the blond hair is still a bad dream. Okay? Like, I’m still waiting for the dark hair to come back with a vengeance. I’m getting stressed out right this second just by posting about it. You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve talked to who see this light mane as a symbol of selling out, of conforming to American beauty standards, of of of (I’m just gonna say it!!) good hair. Not that Shakira’s hair is naturally kinky, but it sure as hell ain’t that light, and it’s curly, you know? I know that pop stars have to change constantly, but the controversy that her blond hair has brought through the years distresses me to no end! I’m so conflicted about it, about how it looks, what it means, why I should give a damn…

So I’m sorry, Idolator blogger lady, I’m sorry Shakira doesn’t look like a complete güera in the Letterman performance. FYI, it’s not even the first time she’s dread-ed her hair (and that link is a more recent example, too).

Jesus, I just reread my post. Why am I so angry? I need to sleep and calm down and stop trynna start shit. It’s not like the new blogger was implying anything in terms of race… or was she? Ack! Fuck it, I don’t ever wanna talk about Shakira’s hair ever again.

I’m Not Ready to Give Up.

Um, it’s Independence Day and I’m home. My parents are already asleep. They both worked today. I have my window open and I can hear people in a nearby house partying. I’m six floors up, but it’s impressive how well I can hear them. If I looked out I could probably see them, even. Well, in recent days I’ve been bumming around reading blogs and there’s been a lot of (fabricated) buzz about how reggaetón is dead. I don’t know about that. The people partying were just blasting “Lo que pasó pasó,” and I found myself singing along to it–and hilariously enough, I could hear people trying to shout along to Daddy Yankee. I could even hear them tripping along to the lyrics, since Daddy Yankee has that rat-tat-tat delivery style. Sure, it’s an older song, but the enthusiasm for the track is still there.

Ooh, they’re listening to a remix of “Qué tengo que hacer” now.

Anyway, I wouldn’t be so worried about reggaetón being dead. I don’t get where this is coming from, or why we’re worrying so much about it agora. It’s true that the sound of reggaetón has changed, it’s even more club ready, yeah? More synth-happy, less reliant on the dembow beat, and so on. But it’s like, don’t you want your favorite genres to grow and develop? I sure as hell don’t want my favorite musicians to get lazy and for their music to become stagnant. Like, I can’t wait to see 10 years from now how much the genre has changed. This is a great time for reggaetón: the novelty is over for the masses, but that is just invitation for innovation, don’t you think?

I think the weird thing, too, is that calling a music genre “dead” just invites nostalgia. See, the problem with nostalgia is that a set of people will grab onto this genre and proclaim that it can only sound “pure” if musicians stick to a set of rules. If people make reggaetón-by-the-numbers (FruityLoops, anyone?), it barely leaves room for creativity. And maybe less brave musicians will settle for this, probably at the suggestion of their label peeps or whatever, but you know that only the ones who expand on the sound will really shine.

Anyway, I guess this is my quite unfortunate semi-response to the following folks: W&W, Unfashionably Late, Marisol LeBrón, Raquel Rivera, and Racialicious. Clearly these posts dwell on all sorts of aspects in regard to the demise of reggaetón, and I haven’t really responded adequately to any of them in any sort of timely manner (then again, no one asked me to). But I do recommend that y’all read these posts if you haven’t already. Really thought-provoking, and I feel like they bring up questions relevant to all genres of popular music, not just reggaetón.

Aw, the music is being drowned out by all the (illegal) firecrackers. Okay, off to my continued non-celebration of my nation. Hope y’all have a good weekend.

One Last Trip.

Last night I decided to go shopping at the Virgin since it’s closing. This means I missed So You Think You Can Dance, so I spent the last few hours tracking down the performances (many props to Rickey!) and although there were a couple of clunkers, I’m really excited about this group of dancers. I’d give you a breakdown of my favorite dancers but at this point I feel like my judgment is clouded by all the handsome dudes. Seriously, the whole group of dancers is stunning. By the way, there’s a reason why I had to go hunting for the performance clips: Fox doesn’t put them on the show’s site. Travesty! You’d think that Fox would be kind enough to post the stupid show on their site, but apparently they can’t be bothered. Good move, you morons!

Anyway, the Virgin had hit the 70% off mark last night, and shockingly enough they’d moved enough units to have the lower level closed off! I don’t think I’ll go back again before Sunday, which is its final day. So here is a list of the things I bought in my final trip to the Virgin at Union Square:

Crash, JG Ballard
– The Jim DeRogatis bio of the Flaming Lips
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
A History of Violence, David Cronenberg
A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater
– That Arctic Monkeys DVD with that video for the one song of theirs I really dig and that features Stephen Graham
Primitive Love, Miami Sound Machine
– A Talk Talk Best Of
– A Stray Cats Best Of
Lotofire, Ely Guerra
Los de atrás vienen conmigo, Calle 13
Te quiero…, Los Temerarios
Citizen Boris, Golem
Vôo de coração, Ritchie

I need to explain my purchases. First, they’re pretty much down to shit now! There really isn’t a lot of great stuff so I do feel very happy and lucky to have gotten what I got. Seriously, even all the Spanish language Pop/Rock section is pretty much depleted. Second, the fact that everything is 70% off meant that I was willing to take more of a chance. The last three items listed, well, I’ve never listened to any of their stuff, but I thought I’d be adventurous. I’m especially curious about that Ritchie guy, who looks pretty goofy on the album cover–muito 80s, LOL. It’s too bad that I have a tendency to go for flashy and tacky, but I just couldn’t say no!!

Actually, there were definitely some items to which I said no, for various reasons. Sigh. They included a busted copy of an Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas album, as well as a Gram Parsons bio and Queens Reigns Supreme. Also, there was a Green Day bio I was eyeing… Yes, yes, my taste in music books is even odder than my regular taste in music. Now shut up about it.

I do feel ambivalent about this specific store closing, because as far as megastores went, its stock wasn’t so bad. Obviously it’s because the crowd around Union Square skews younger and more “indie,” so there was always a relatively decent vinyl section and stuff. (The Tower at Lincoln Center, in comparison, tended to have a more extensive classical/Broadway section.) I hope that a store like this closing means that the smaller, more specialized stores get to survive, whether it’s Other Music or, I dunno, Turntable Lab. Brick-and-mortar music and video stores are becoming a rare breed, that’s for sure, and you know something? It is really fucking inconvenient. Especially because the Virgin was the #1 choice for me to meet up with my friends when we hung out.

I leave you with a few highlights of my experience at the Union Square Virgin. I bought my Langley Schools record there, as well as the Young Liars EP. I got to see Franz Ferdinand throw a really nice in-store performance back when their first album came out. And perhaps the highlight of the highlights is this: I was in the store on August 14, 2003, when all the fucking lights in the city went out. Actually, I can easily say that it was one of the Top 3 worst days in my life, so it’s a shitty memory, but it’s a vivid one regardless. Stupidly enough, I didn’t steal anything from the store when the blackout happened. Haha. Damn my integrity.

Hm, I guess I kinda will miss the store. But I’m not surprised that they’re closing, c’est tout.

Speaking of music stores: Next Thursday, June 18, Insound is having a Warehouse Sale for the first time. So if you’re in NYC, you should definitely definitely check it out. I’m sure the deals won’t be massive, but imagine the shipping charges you’ll avoid! The details here. I’m not sure if I can go yet, but I’m gonna try. I highly recommend it! Although they push a lot of new stuff on their site, they still have plenty of back stock that is worth sifting through. I should know, because I used to pack everyone’s orders there. :D

Some Geekery.

– Wednesday eve I ran the fuck out of work and I made it just in time to the Broadway district.  Went to see August: Osage County.  It was tightly written, deftly acted, and beautifully staged.  There were a lot of genuine laughs and none of the actors had quirky/distracting acting styles.  Even though one of the understudies was in the production that night, the play still felt completely natural, like the entire acting team had been playing these roles together forever.  It was incredible how well everything meshed and I have to commend the director for that.  I admit that I was a bit of a hardass in the beginning, not wanting to get too involved with the story, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t move me.  I didn’t give an ovation, but I was very content that there was an emotional impact somewhere deep in my sorry little heart.

There was a pretty heavy revelation in the play that had no foreshadowing even, except when the scene where the revelation is revealed began, I understood from a mile away what was about to be revealed and so I braced myself for it.  My friend from work had warned me there was a big twist, true, but I didn’t know the nature of the twist.  All she told me was that this is not the sort of play to read before watching.  It seems that other people weren’t as ready, because the majority of the audience gasped loudly when the character finally dropped the bomb.  I could only giggle nervously when I heard everyone react.

Shameless namechecking: I’m pretty sure Lauren Hutton was in the audience.  The only reason I am kinda doubting myself about whether it was really her is that I couldn’t imagine her being as short as the woman I saw at the theater, what with Lauren Hutton being a model and all.  And I guess I couldn’t understand why she would be seeing the play a year after it opened on Broadway.  And I don’t even know if Lauren Hutton was bumming around NYC lately.  Does she live here?  But I stand by might words: I saw Lauren Hutton in the audience.

Regardless, it was well worth the money and the fact that I missed Lost.  But you mofuckers better believe I’m not gonna miss the Lost finale next week.  Hope it doesn’t suck, LOL.

– My friend from work and I went to see Star Trek today.  I am not a Star Trek person at all and my knowledge of it is minimal, so I was pretty much experiencing everything for the first time.  The movie was… kinda boring.  No, I mean… it was fun… it was okay, but it didn’t feel necessary.  Do you think it’s fucked up that I expect so much out of a fucking action movie?  Star Trek was slick, and noisy, and busy, with a lot of stuff, and a lot of good-to-great actors in bit roles, and a lot of redshirts.  There were some funny parts, too, I won’t deny it.  I liked a lot of the actors and I thought they were well cast, but when there’s so many peeps in the screen, it was like they barely got to do anything other than look good in their uniforms.  Each of the characters got a pivotal scene, or if not pivotal at least a spotlight scene, but mostly to serve either Kirk and sometimes Spock.  Other than Kirk and Spock, they have no internal growth that we can see, it just feels like a lot of cool actors wasted, c’est tout.  For example, I wish Uhura had (literally) kicked more ass, it’s like she only threw one punch, and her biggest contribution was to confirm something that Kirk said.  Oh, and I guess she played a love interest.  At least she took the initiative to kiss first.

The action was just okay, not especially well-choreographed, and I was particularly mad about the villain’s death.  It was very Darth Maul, you know, like this big looming evil presence that is discarded of fairly easily at the end.  I ended up wondering what the big deal had been with the dude.  Sheesh.  Most of the plot did make sense, which was nice, although a lot of it felt like going through the motions.  Y’know, just a lot of archetypes reaching familiar points of growth, like the rebel who grows up to be a leader, or the mixed-race dude who learns he doesn’t need to prioritize one of his races over the other and instead learns to love all of himself.  Et cetera, et cetera.

My biggest concern was that I never felt there was anything at stake.  As soon as Leonard Nimoy showed up I thought, “Well, no one has to worry about anything, everything will turn out just fine and dandy.”  It’s like, it finally hit me that in this alternate universe, the rules are so flexible I never really feel like anyone is really gonna get hurt and I’m never really gonna get emotionally invested.  Not that I want emotional manipulation in the form of  women in refrigerators and the like, but some real sense of struggle would have drawn me in more.

Another thing I think really sucks is that the movie was as good as it could have been, and I’m bummed that most likely, there will be a sequel that will just be more big explosions and playing it safe so as to please all the fans.

Oh!  And let’s not forget what we really learned in Star Trek.  (1) Cheating in tests is okay.  (2) If you ignore ALL the rules, you can still become captain of a starship and everyone will love you!!  (3) It’s fine to needle your anal-retentive frenemy into having a mini-emotional breakdown so that you can take over his job after he proves himself incapable of being level-headed enough to lead a team.

The previews were pretty wack.  The audience was mostly dudes, many at least in their 30s, though there were all these middle school boys, too.  There were some girls, many of whom were with their guys.  Okay, I’m out.  Live long and prosper, y’all.

Serious Talk About a Guy I Can’t Take Seriously.

[Edit: Jay Smooth finally made a little video about Asher Roth, and as you’d imagine it doesn’t really have to do with Asher Roth himself.  Click here for a more level-headed and eloquent discussion about Asher Roth than whatever my post says.]

I should tell you about my latest morning routine.  It involves watching music videos.  I flip between VH1 and MTV, and watch whichever channel is showing the less annoying video.  And if they’re both annoying, I flip to the morning news–which is pretty frustrating to watch, too.  In between videos one time, they showed a commercial for Asher Roth’s album, with a snippet of “I Love College.”

I was amused by it, but I didn’t think much of it.  I thought it was just a fun and breezy song that will probably be forgotten soon.  So recently Jay Smooth asked on his site whether he should talk about it, and I was surprised by the strong reactions from people.  As you will see if you click on the post, I traded some comments with one guy in particular.  What the guy was saying was that he felt weird liking Asher Roth partly because of the crowd it attracted; although this commenter saw (some) merit in Asher, he felt like Asher is emblematic of a certain type of person who might like shit like “I Love College” but don’t really care to delve deeper into hip-hop, and the commenter worried that he might be seen as one of those people, too.  I mean I know how painful it can be; I love love love music and it really upsets me to meet people who claim to love music too, but they eventually reveal that for them it’s just a superficial thing.

But I told the commenter that he shouldn’t really give a shit what other people think, because if you like (or love!) something, you can’t help it, so why not just enjoy yourself?  If you feel a spark–and you know those sparks don’t come often enough–shouldn’t you just let go and not listen to what other people say?

Well, tonight I (kinda) retract my statement.  Although I firmly believe that if you love something you shouldn’t get it twisted worrying how other people think of your likes and dislikes, I am starting to see why people don’t like Asher Roth.  Or rather, don’t like Asher Roth’s public persona–who the fuck knows what he’s like in private.  This Racialicious post delves into the several stupid things he’s said.  (Make sure to read the comments, too, since the readers bring up some great points from all sorts of angles.)

For me, the main issue is whether to ignore his musical existence and hope he goes away, cos what if we do ignore him and all he does is fester like a cancer on us? I’m very conflicted about Asher Roth, as you can see, and I’m also very conflicted about making this post.  Because my word count keeps increasing by the second and most of me is thinking, “Um… do I really give that much of a shit about this guy?”  I really don’t want to seem like one of those crotchety folk who are think that whatever latest thing is like, the work of the devil or whatevs.  I see him strictly as a novelty, it’s really not worth it to get so worked up about someone who’ll most likely fade away.  (If I end up being wrong about him fading away, though, I’m gonna be worrying a bit more, for sure.)  Anyway, that’s why I haven’t really researched much on him.  I know, I know.  That’s like a cardinal sin when talking shit: if you’re gonna talk shit about someone you should know everything about them so you can talk shit accurately.  And yet… just a few clicks here and there show he’s been saying some real wack stuff and it makes me averse to learning more about him.

So what did he say–out of all the dumb shit he’s said–that got me mad enough to write about it?  In this article, he is quoted as saying:

Roth addresses poverty and greed on the song “Sour Patch Kids.” And at his fans’ behest, Roth uploaded to his MySpace page “A Millie Remix,” a freestyle rhyme over Lil Wayne‘s “A Milli” beat, criticizing rappers who boast about having millions of dollars but “don’t share, don’t donate to charity.”

“When I dropped that … (I thought) ‘You guys are always going off about how much money you have. Do you realize what’s going on in this world right now?’ All these black rappers — African rappers — talking about how much money they have. ‘Do you realize what’s going on in Africa right now?'” Roth says.

“It’s just like, ‘You guys are disgusting. Talking about billions and billions of dollars you have. And spending it frivolously, when you know, the Motherland is suffering beyond belief right now.'”

So I read that and I pretty much gasped.  What is he thinking?!?!  “All these African rappers…”  My dear bro, lemme tell you something.  Most blacks in the US were like, kinda born and raised in the US?  Like, their ancestors might have been African but most of them are not.  Of course in recent years there’s been a new wave of immigrants from Africa (like Obama’s papa!), but what I mean is that you can’t just generalize and be like, “Y’all are African!  Why don’t you take care of Africa then!”  The quote is also ridiculous because the “suffering Motherland” needs help from all of us, we’re all implicated and we are all responsible for helping, so I don’t see why Asher’s singling out rich black rappers to donate their money away.  Since he brought up the subject, I think it’s fair of me to ask him what he’s done for people who are less privileged than he is.

And this brings me to another thing that bothers me about the quote: where does Asher get off thinking that just because a rapper is boasting about having a shitload of money, that the rapper really does have a lot of money.  I’m gonna guess that most of the rappers Asher listens to are mainstream rappers on major labels, and believe me, when you’re on a major, most of the cashflow ain’t going to the artist.  Oh, Asher, you’re on a major, don’t you know?  Steve Albini is a consummate asshole, but he sure knows his math.  After you give money to your manager and your lawyer and your producers and after you pay for the album manufacturing expenses and to the music video director and after all the payola* your label will pay for you to get radioplay and even to your stylist if you have one… well guess what?  You need to sell a shit ton of records to make millions of millions.  And believe me, I don’t mean like, 62000 records.  So don’t be preaching about “black rappers gotta do this and black rappers gotta do that with their money,” cos God knows how little they’re really making even if they’re boasting so as to make it seem like the rapper lifestyle is mad glamorous.  Let’s face it, the label honchos probably told the rappers to say that boastful shit because it sells…

(*About the payola comment: like steroid use in sports, nobody likes to admit it happens.  But don’t you find it odd that this guy seems to come out of nowhere?  He’s not particularly gifted as a rapper or a musician, and he’s obviously not winning over that many people with his charm.  I mean maybe, just maybe he’s been toiling and struggling and maybe all the stars aligned properly to give him so much luck, but I find it suspicious.  Maybe for some strange reason, his label thinks he will be profitable and they’re just pumping a looooot of money in all sorts of strategic places and they’re just manufacturing his popularity.  What’s the best way to get more hits on a YouTube vid?  Make it seem like the video has already gotten tons of hits so that it’ll pique people’s curiosity and make them wonder what they’re missing.  Same concept applies here.)

Anyway, even though I’m clearly seething, I try to tell myself that there are privileged people out there who get it.  So I leave you with the words with someone who gets it, and I can only hope that he will forgive me for quoting him so extensively and won’t feel offended that I’m bringing him into this silly post about some nobody who will be forgotten in about a month.

You have been trying to tell us to change for a long time.  You lecture us about the social pathology of the inner city and how we need to become more like you.  We need to move to the suburbs too.  We need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and abandon our “undesirables” the way you abandoned us.

We need to do this.  We need to do that.

We’re not the ones who did the most to create the problems.  We’re trying to face the problems you left us with.  We’re staying behind and trying to make things better.

We think the suburbs are what needs to be changed about America.  We think the suburbs are bad for America.

Socially, they intensify segregation and mistrust.  Culturally, they erode the sense of history, narrow the outlook, and dull the imagination.  Economically, they intensify inequality by isolating the rich and poor.  Then the poor lack access to good schools, hospitals, businesses, police, transportation, city services, concerned neighbors, and any of the things that would allow them to alleviate their situation.  The rich lack access to reality and any sense of proportion.  They run around in a comfort warp, taking everything for granted and misusing what they have.

– Upski, Bomb the Suburbs.

(Sometimes when I feel infuriated, reading Bomb the Suburbs makes me feel better.)

I’m sure it wasn’t Asher Roth’s idea to grow up in the suburbs and I’m not going to assume that his life was easy peasy.  But I think his words reflect a lack of comprehension of the world around him.  It’s like, he’s being challenged to think critically for the first time in his life about privilege, and instead of trying to learn and grow and understand, he’s kinda stuck in a defensive mode.  He obviously doesn’t have the vocabulary to talk about race because he hasn’t really had to talk about it before–not to the extent that people have been pushing him now that he’s a public figure.  The question is, is he willing to learn?

Oh, and by the way: I finally listened to what “I Love College” was really saying, and I was like, “Wait… he’s not extolling the pleasures of reading Aristotle and Zizek and writing papers where you get to use all those big vocab words you learned for the SATs?”  I feel like such a geek, but I’m damn disappointed that the whole song is about partying and not about like, learning and shit.  Haha.

Ugh, what am I doing still typing up this post?  I gotta catch me some sleep.  Will I wake up tomorrow and find out that this post makes no sense?

In Case You Were Curious, Which You Most Likely Were Not.

(1) I decided recently that Roy Orbison is fucking brilliant.  I find his voice quite strange.

(2) A couple of weeks ago I went to the Virgin on Times Square and found out they were closing.  Got some cool shit.  My biggest find was a fucking Man Recordings 12″ that features Deize Tigrona.  I chortled to myself at the fact that no one had bothered to buy it and I was giddy that I had the pleasure to do so.  I was so excited, in fact, that I kinda didn’t want to listen to it, because I was so fucking sure I’d be disappointed.  But I listened anyway.  And let me tell you something–now, I know you’re going to laugh, but I wish you wouldn’t–after listening to it, I was thrilled, but I also couldn’t figure out if I’d listened to it at the right speed.  I know it makes me sound like a moron, but I’m telling you, both sides of the single are so fucking weird, so many miles away from what I recognize as funk, that I am still kinda disoriented about it.  At the same time, this disorientation makes me feel even more excited about the 12″.  The A-side in particular is off the hook.  Hee!  I think it’s gonna be one of those songs, like “Ni Fu Ni Fa,” that I’m gonna listen to years from now and still think that it’s ahead of its time.  Seriously.

(3) I also bought a copy of Scratch half price, and thank the lord cos that shit was mad expensive originally.  I started watching it today, and I couldn’t finish it cos my parents told me to stop hogging the teevee.  I’m telling you, though, it’s really fun and just watching the footage of all those DJs slouched over their turntables is so beautiful.  Okay, the sounds, I don’t care much about the result of the sounds, but fundamentally, I find it really inspiring, because you know that for them to create the music that they do, they need to go crate-diggin’ for the most beautiful sounds to their ears, and they need to learn every element in a song intimately, and I’m awed by the dedication and discipline and pure love of music they show in doing that.  I know that I don’t hear music the way they hear music, and I’m fascinated by it.  I also think it’s amazing how they take a pre-existing work and they really reinterpret it, not unlike a singer covering someone else’s song.

(4) I bought a collection of poetry by Jose Garcia Villa (v. v. hard to abstain from adding accents in his name since I’m so used to it, but he’s filipino and I’m not sure if they use them over there).  I’m only telling you this because it’s National Poetry Month and I’m enjoying the book a lot.  I didn’t know of his existence until recently, when the AAWW had an event about him.  Like Tseng Kwong Chi later on, it appears that Villa was one of those cool kids hanging out downtown who has become nothing more than a footnote in pop culture history, even though both Villa and Tseng were serious artists with significant contributions to the scene.

Anyway, reading the book and enjoying really makes me wonder why I don’t read more poetry.  The dumb and easy answer is that I don’t get it, and I find a lot of other people telling me they don’t get poetry either.  I really feel like we’re not taught poetry very well.  The whole population can’t be averse to poetry–we must have been taught that somehow it’s lesser than other writing forms.  And that fucking annoys me!  In one sense I understand that times change and that different writing forms fall out of vogue.  For example, I’d say–without any scientific proof or naught, but still–we’re transitioning out of the era of the novel and more into some weird sort of non-fiction/memoir era (and I think blogs are helping this!), but it still bothers me that poetry is ignored because I think there’s still a lot that could be said and done with poetry.  Poetry came before the novel and I feel that the less literate people are in poetry, that means that works from hundreds and hundreds of years ago will become lost…  Seguro que yo sueno histérica, y yo sé que lo poesía no morirá por completo, pero me molesta que hay tanta tradición, tanta cultura y arte que la gente no aprecia y lo toman todo por idioteces solo porque alguien (some higher up) decidió que la poesía ya no importa tanto como otros géneros, y así es que las generaciones más jóvenes no aprenden el valor que tienen los poemas…  Bah!  Me duele la cabeza.  And so I make my exit.

Don’t Shush Me.

Déjenme ver:

First, if you’re in NYC this month, check out I Kiffe NY, a cultural festival organized by the French Institute Alliance Française which will take place starting tomorrow, October 6 until October 28. Basically, it focuses on urban culture in France, so they’re highlighting awesome shit like music, film, visual art, and dance performances, along with the requisite scholarly panels for those of you (like me!) who like that shit. A lot of the panels are free! Just make sure to check if they’re in French or English. The dance performances seem really fun, but they’re a bit more expensive, $25. It’s not Broadway prices, but still… you could buy a lot of falafels with $25. They’re organizing a CMJ showcase, too!

Second, I was just on Racialicious and found this post from a week or two ago on an ad that Daddy Yankee did to encourage voting… o algo así. The problem is that the slogan is, to say the least, confusing. “Vota o quédate callado.” I mean, that doesn’t sound like my vote is important or necessary or crucial in influencing anything. Well, the Racialicious folk and Raquel Rivera sum up the ridiculousness of this slogan way better than I could, definitely check out what they have to say.

So let’s talk about the song this guy SieteNueve giving Daddy Yankee shit for his politics. The Racialicious contributor says SieteNueve is a reggaetonero, but from the sound of the song… sooooo not. Which, to me, makes the message of this video even louder. No es solo una batalla entre demócrata contra republicano o lo que sea, también es como una batalla entre rap y reggaetón. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it? Either way, I’m digging the song a lot!

The reason I’m mentioning this even though it was posted a while back is that I haven’t heard much hollering about it. And, well, I love me some drama so I thought I would add fuel to the fire. Besides, I don’t think it’s a song that should be… er, shushed and forgotten.

Another thing: it may be because I’m listening to lightweight shit like “Especially For You” all the time (shut up shut up it’s an awesome song), but this dis track is like, the meanest shit I’ve heard in a while. It might be even meaner than Chandra’s “Kate.”

Haha, no no no. Chandra’s “Kate” takes the cake on mean.

In Limbo.

Hello all! My internet connection at home is still non-existent. I’ve been bumming around, reading Fuguet‘s Por favor, rebobinar, which has been surprising at every turn, I keep wanting to pull away and say that Fuguet is too cool for school, but he packs a mean emotional punch into his stories. True fact: I didn’t know what the word “rebobinar” meant until I was like, 200 pages into the book. I got curious so I googled it when I was at work, haha.

I missed Wire last night, who played a show at the South Street Seaport for free. I felt iffy so I stayed home… I’m sure I missed out with Wire pero bueno, ya están viejitos y solo conozco sus dos primeros discos, so I’m not that upset about it. I’m sure they put on a solid show.

I watched the National Spelling Bee, which I find equally suspenseful and infuriating. One of the few words I spelled perfectly was “huapango.” I’d never heard of the word, but they said it was derived from a Mexican geographical name o algo así, so I was able to guess it correctly without looking at the TV screen. The kid who got that word spelled the word incorrectly and was eliminated; I felt bad because “wapango” was a perfectly good guess, even “guapango” would have made sense. Sad. The kid who won was great, though; I appreciated that he took his time and really thought about the words before he responded.

I have decided that, although I’ve never listened to DJ /rupture‘s music, he is pretty much the awesomest person ever, mostly cos (a) he really really likes cumbia (omaigá, ¡yo también!) and (b) he wrote that feature on Fader about El Guinchito. Y’all should check out that recent post he made with the Julieta Venegas remix on it. I can’t wait for her to come to NYC! I had a wild fantasy that Anita Tijoux was gonna show up & janguear* con la Julieta and Bitman, but she’s gonna be busy in Chile that week, so… HEY WAIT THE FUCK UP. DJ Raff‘s MySpace says he’s playing with Bitman for the Central Park show. HOLY MUTHERFUCK. Acabo de desmayarme from the excitement yo!!!

Hey, TTSO posted an interview they did with Nuuro y también un tipo llamado Bufi. I’d never heard of the latter but I checked out his MySpace and that shit is solid, at least on first listen.

Sorry this post is all over the place. I’m putting off work and just going stream-of-consciousness.

“Another Day” by Jamie Lidell. Not that impressive, but he looks pretty fly in that suit. At least it’s not as disappointing as the video for “Pijamas” by Babasónicos.

* I have finally accepted that the Spanglish version of “to hang out” is spelled janguear and not hanguear, which is the way I’ve been spelling it for a while.

School’s Out… Forever!

Or more like, “School’s Out… until grad school!”

Yesterday was the NYU all-university commencement and I was pretty disappointed. It was as boring as I expected, but on top of that it was really really hot. Oh, the parents were all la-dee-da in the shade, but we graduates were right under the sun. A lot of kids took off their graduation gowns cos it was so hot. After all, that shit ain’t made out of breathable material.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o didn’t even speak—nor did Michael J. Fox. Not that it mattered cos it was hard to hear anything from the speakers. Everything sounded muted to me. You couldn’t see nobody except on the screen that was so far it appeared as small as the screen on my fauxPod (with worse resolution).

I peaced out at around 12:30, which means I missed the kid who ran out onto the field. Leaving the stadium I felt ambiguous about my last visit to Yankee Stadium. It’s such a historic venue, but it did feel worn down and now I’m not as surprised that they’re building the new one.

I just went home and finally watched my There Will Be Blood DVD while I lunched.

Tape Delay.

Uh, so I signed up for this Muxtape thing which will probably be destroyed in like 10 seconds by some party trying to sue the website (I can just feel it in my bones!). So far it’s not too hot. I’ve only been able to upload 1 song and it’s been taking superlong for the site to upload a second, longer song. Here‘s a link to my single uploaded song, anyway. It’s a totally brilliant song.

Oh! And I cannot praise Jamie Lidell’s new album enough. My friend J (see link on sidebar: Modern Things) totally hooked me up and this shit is beautiful. I think I’ll buy it on vinyl.

Last Thursday night I went to see Almost an Evening, which is actually a set of 3 brief plays written by Ethan Coen. I wrote a review about it as soon as I got home, but my internets was acting up and going craaaayzeee so it got fucked up and I had to delete it. I don’t have the heart to re-write it because the first time I wrote the review it was so brilliant and on-point, and I can’t replicate it. However, I do want to say that I loved it and found it hilarious. Like I got to see it for free (thanks to some special school offer) but I am seriously considering paying so I can see it again.

Peace y’all, gotta go listen to the new R.E.M. and write a review about it for school. I hope the album doesn’t suck, though it’s very likely it might.

So We Are History.

Yesterday I bought a CD player.  I mean like a portable one.  Y’know, like in the late 20th century.  I’m so glad, except for the pesky earphones.  The earphones son una mierda, but boy, the CD player is swanky.

I went to see There Will Be Blood again.  I went with my dad, and he was blown away with it.  I was blown away with it, too.  I want to go see it in the theaters again. My dad and I laughed so hard at the movie.  The whole audience did.  And you should have heard the collective gasp in the final scene.  It was fantastic.

The Grammys were last night.  I can’t believe Amy Winehouse got the visa.  But I can believe she got lotsa awards… apparently.  I didn’t watch, the Grammys are irrelevant.

Okay, off to do homework.


Wow, shit. I just found out on ONTD that Ayumi Hamasaki has gone completely deaf in her left ear. I used to listen to her a lot when I was younger, when I began high school and stuff. So apparently her hearing problems first started like eight years ago and obviously it wasn’t that bad then, but I guess she just aggravated the situation. She says she wants to keep singing, for the fans. Though I think a lot of it has to do with her own love for music–which I don’t question. Plastic and alien-like as she may appear now, I do think she loves music and wants to do the best job she can.

But she really needs to calm down! If she’d eased up and taken care of herself she wouldn’t be in this position. And she wants to gamble and try to keep singing? Just take a break, your haters will love you for it and your fans will totally understand.

I mean I know I’ve damaged my hearing from going to too many concerts… I’d be heartbroken if I couldn’t hear music anymore, you know? She should just go on hiatus and not make things worse for herself.

Here are a few songs from her catalogue, the first two are “acoustic orchestra” versions and the last one the original version:

Ever Free

Boys & Girls

Boys & Girls


Shit, I am such a sucker. I just downloaded the new Radiohead. I just couldn’t handle everyone going crazy over it, I got curious so there you go. I downloaded the album. I didn’t pay anything, but I did give up my personal information to the official site. We’ll see if they use my name and address for malicious reasons. You never know with Radiohead, what with Thom Yorke’s “malocchio” and all.

Okay, obviously I’m just being melodramatic. Well, I’m listening to the album and I’m happy to verify that I will never be a Radiohead fan. I do like some of their songs, and I did think some of the Thom Yorke solo was cool, but they’re just NEVER gonna be THAT BAND that ROCKS MY MO’FUCKIN’ WORLD. So I guess it’s good that I paid $0 for the album. I hear they’re cooler live, but obviously I’ll never get a chance to see them live, nor do I think it would be fair of me to snatch up a ticket that could go to a real hardcore fan. Oh, well.

I got a copy of the new Buck 65, Situation. It’s disappointing. I mean I didn’t finish listening to it, but it’s like, I’ve gotten past 10 tracks out of 17 and none of them really grabbed me immediately. I would still sleep with him if I had the chance, but the most recent stuff isn’t that memorable, sry2say. I do feel like some of the tracks will grow on me, but I dunno. If you’re already a fan you might dig it, but if you’ve never listened to him, this is NOT the right introductory album. The US-released This Right Here… isn’t a good introduction either, though I think it’s meant to be. Just go listen to Talkin’ Honky Blues, just cos it’s some weird shit, even now I get the heebie-jeebies when I hear the “Riverbed” bits.

Okay, enough ranting. My friend at Sup magazine is hosting a CMJ partay, sounds really fun. Y’all should go to it and get (responsibly) drunk. BTW, that link to the Disconap blog? Holy shit, I had no idea that Kylie Minogue had a new song out. I gotta tell you, it’s no “Step Back in Time,” but whatevs, I love her to pieces. SHE’S A SURVIVOR Y’ALL.

Oh, and here’s the vid to Calle 13’s “Pal norte” which features Orishas.

Can I just say, PG-13 (the singer girl in Calle 13) is incredibly talented. I love her! She’s so young, I can totally see her going off and doing her own solo shit. In the video below she is singing in my most favorite Calle 13 song ever, “Hormiga Brava.” Though I think it’s too bad that the vocals are so high cos you can’t hear all the intricacies of the song arrangement.

Punk’s Not Dead…

… But oh my God, Hilly Kristal is! The Wikipedia page has already been updated!!

Yikes! I don’t know what to say. Obviously an influential character, but not a very likeable fella. Just sayin’.


Some things I want:

(1) Last night I went on a frantic search for M.I.A.’s Kala, but now I’m not so sure I even want the entire thing. What changed my mind? Her most recent Morning Becomes Eclectic set. What was I thinking? A few weeks ago I downloaded a .zip folder with 30 second, and I deleted it because it was just aight and not as tight as I expected. The only song I really have fond memories of is “Jimmy.” Hehe. I guess I do want to listen to the album but I’m not desperate anymore. The album, I guess, will be good but not really my thing. In her MBE set she’s backed by Cherry, and I think they worked really well together. I didn’t care much for Cherry the last time Maya did a set for MBE, so that was a pleasant surprise. Not a particularly great set, but not a disaster. I don’t know, I really do like Maya’s music but she herself irks me. It’s annoying and taints my opinion of the music at times and it bothers me because I’m aware of my biases. Damn! So much inner conflict!

(2) That muthafuckin’ Junot Díaz! Goddamn! I saw someone with a copy of it today on the train, a paperback copy, which fucking baffles my mind–the book hasn’t been released yet! I want to know where this woman got the book and where can I fucking find a copy?!?! GAHHH!!!

(3) SODA STEREO EN NUEVA YORK.  I need the fucking date for when it’s happening, I need the fucking venue, I NEED A TICKET!

Here’s a couple of songs about wanting…

The Germs – Lexicon Devil

Bikini Kill – I Like Fucking


At work last night, our supervisor showed up to tell us ushers that she had great news.  So someone asked, “You mean the Spice Girls reuniting?”  Our supervisor agreed that this was great news, but she really meant we’re gonna get free ponchos for when it rains.  We’ve gotten rained out several times; we even cancelled last night’s show as well as on Wednesday.  Technically, a little rain isn’t too bad, but there’s been lightning too, and that’s dangerous.  It’s great not having to work as late but it gets tedious waiting for the weather to get better, and it’s disappointing not to see the actual performance.  I saw one of the crew people approach the leads last night to confirm that the show really was cancelled, and they looked  pretty bummed as well.  But I feel especially bad for the people who lined up for hours to get tickets.

Speaking of the Spice Girls, time has really proven that “Wannabe” is a terrible song.  But “Say You’ll Be There” has aged surprisingly well

Me Verás Caer.

I read some terrible news over at the Onion AV Club: Punk Planet is dead.  Isn’t that so sad?  I understand that there’s a lot of folks who don’t even buy magazines any more and all they do is go on Hype Machine, which is okay, I guess, but it’s sad because Punk Planet stayed independent for so so long.  Their view of punk, too, is incredibly broad, which I really appreciate.  Then again, this is also extra incentive for me to go out and buy We Owe You Nothing.  I recommend you do the same, the people included are super interesting.  Also, I think they are still going to keep their book imprint so maybe you can buy some of their novels and the like.  Es una verdadera pena.

In other news, I’m terribly conflicted.  I just found out that Calle 13 are playing the same night as Zoé + The Pinker Tones + Chetes.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to the Zoé since it’s free but it still kinda pains me to think about, and I sort of really do want to see Residente + Visitante + PG-13.  Damn.  Yeah, yeah, I know, you wish your life was as difficult as mine.  Haha.

Also, I was a li’l miffed in my previous post about this Soda Stereo reunion shit, but honestly I think if they came to the US I’d go.  I’m just, y’know, perfectly aware that they’re viejitos and that they hate each other and that they’re probably just doing it to feed their families.  Hard to believe they did get back together.  They must be getting so much dinero!

Soda Stereo – Danza rota

Soda Stereo – Ella usó mi cabeza como un revólver

¿Qué Más Quieres, Quieres Más?

This has to be the nicest, most interesting post I’ve read in a while. It’s got some weird shit (the Hector “El Father” item), some ridiculously cool shit (like that awesome Senator Obama reggaetón song), and also some bullshit (SODA STEREO REUNITING?!?!). OMG I can’t believe it’s true!

But bullshit aside the folks at La Onda Tropical make a good point: the new Manú Chao ain’t all that. You really have to wonder about Manú Chao’s work. Clandestino is amazing, and it still holds up. I also think that Mano Negra were really cool. But the post-Clandestino material has been kinda same ol’, lame ol’.

And, hey, check out the new M.I.A. vid for her first single, “Boyz”:

Hm, I love talking shit about her, but honestly I do like her music. I think I’ll forgive her for unleashing “Bird Flu” on us. That song was wack. The only problem with the “Boyz” vid is all the graphics, I can understand it’s part of her whole image but they’re way too distracting. It would have been pretty cool just watching everyone dance! Actually, here’s the “Making Of” vid, it’s easier to tolerate:

20 Going On…

I always complain about feeling old, which I know is ridic because I’m barely out of my teens. Well yesterday I hung out with three college freshmen, and I’m telling you, I felt OLD. Like, Rolling Stones old. Like, “Oh shoot, Harper Lee is still alive?” old. Okay, I’m overdoing it, but I was perplexed that I could be so different from people who are only 2 years younger (or maybe less) than me.

I know part of it is that I’ve distanced myself from the regular indie kids around me. I visit Super 45 instead of Pitchfork, I’ve got a Creative instead of an iPod, I like Café Tacuba better than Radiohead, etc. I dunno, as you can see it’s nothing major and I don’t think of myself as that different, but then I find myself with all these people and feel like I’m completely detached from the group of people I align myself with. I didn’t know half the bands these kids were talking about and I couldn’t decide whether I was missing out or they were wasting their time listening to things not worth hearing. I dunno.

I feel like one of the most important things about being a music fan is to really seek it out. There’s no time to be passive. If you love music, are you really gonna sit on your ass and wait for someone to tell you, “This is cool”? And if you don’t like what people tell you is cool? Are you just gonna sit around and mope about how much things suck, or are you gonna look for something that gives you the same high?

So I went to look out for that stuff and I found it, I love the shit I’ve been listening to, but now I feel very out of touch because none of my circle of friends really cares for it, and I haven’t really found anyone to share the music with. They’re out there, I know–thanks to Audioscrobbler! At the same time, however, it would be cool to meet a fellow Javiera Mena fan or Nuuro fan or a Zoé fan (see vid above) or even a Calle 13 fan in person.

Of course I’m not dissing the kids I was hanging out with. They were pretty cool and reminded me of what I used to be like freshman year. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Once again, I feel old as fuck.

Here’s some random tracks. The first is by Linton Kwesi Johnson, a “dub poet,” really awesome. The second is by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who I think is totally cute and has a sweet voice for country/folk/traditional shit. Both artists have been going at it for decades. I hope I last that long just being a music fan.

Linton Kwesi Johnson – “Making History
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – “Honey, Where You Been So Long?

¿No Lo Ves?

Yesterday I was at my friends’ apartment and my token hip-hop friend started blasting the Spanish version of “Irreplaceable.”

So during the “to the left, to the left” part my girl friend asks, “What’s she saying?”

“‘Ya lo ves, ya lo ves.'”

“‘You already see it?’ Why is she saying that?”

And I’m like “Uhh… ‘a la izquierda, a la izquierda’ doesn’t fit well.”

Strange, I know, since Beyoncé has a tendency to sing really wordy songs.

Anyway, the song was actually a remix version… in a norteño style!!! CAN I GET A WTF ANYONE? At first I was like, “Why does this sound like a third-rate Selena song…” Yikes, the remix was pretty painful to hear, less because it sounded bad but more in concept.

I mean, What up, Beyoncé? You’re not rich enough? Do you understand the meaning of overexposure? I wish she’d take a breather or something, you know, go to Popeye’s or shit like that. At least for like a year. I mean, how much more famous does she want to get? She’s one of the few bona fide stars around and she just wants more more more. Bitch calm down already! Maybe if you rested a little your music would be more impressive and we as an audience wouldn’t have to tolerate three crappy singles to get THE REALLY GOOD ONE.

The fact that she wants to profit on the Spanish-speaking population is pathetic. Hey lady! If we don’t got the money we’re not gonna pay, if we do, we already got your stupid album! Hello?!?! We loved J. Lo (and her behind) way before she released her all-Spanish album*. And you don’t see us abandoning Shakira just cos she’s doing the English thing, do you? There’s no need to record in Spanish cos (1) your accent ain’t all that and (2) we Spanish-speaking peoples have been tolerating Anglo music more than gladly ever since popular music got started, so seriously, whatever!

I’m just sayin’.

Totally unrelated: I’m pretty sure HAELER showed up in my neighborhood. Well, at least he (she?) got to my train station, haha. It was just shocking to see a tag in my neighborhood that I recognized.

*Well, we loved J. Lo more circa On The 6 and/or Selena but that’s beside the point, the point is that she works primarily in English and we don’t hate her for that. If you want a more informed opinion on her first Spanish release you should check out La Onda Tropical‘s take.

Hi Again.

Holy muthafuckin, I’m glad no one reads this because then I didn’t feel pressure to keep up everyday. Ever since like, five years ago I decided to try and write once a day, and when blogs got popular, I thought this was my chance to do this properly. Just to practice writing.

Anyway, I haven’t died or naught (if you couldn’t tell), it’s just that real life grabbed me by the neck and wouldn’t let go. And then I got the flu this past weekend and I’m finally shaking that off.

The great news is that I finally gave Babasónicos a better listen and I’m smitten. I downloaded Jessico a while back but today was the day I really decided to pay attention and I’m glad they don’t suck. A lot of times I hear about really venerated bands and I’m totally bummed by what I see or hear.

In other, unrelated news, I was shocked to see that one of my local Spanish channels was showing a Gloria Trevi concert special… I tuned in right when she was doing “Dr. Psiquiatra,” which I seriously consider to be a sharply written, catchy-as-hell song. The only problem was that this concert special was a current affair and not from the 90s. It was terrifying. You know how it is with aging pop stars and rockers… They do the same old moves that drove the kids crazy, but the spark is missing, they’re going through the motions cos they just wanna get paid.

I watched the Gloria Trevi special with a mixture of horror and fascination. It’s like, she was trying so hard to conjure up the magic that just emanated from her pores, but it’s not the same. Also, I couldn’t stop staring at the woman’s face… She’s had a lot a lot a lot of surgery. She doesn’t even look like Gloria Trevi la atrevida, she looks like Gloria Trevi who got wrapped up in a prostitution ring scandal and was jailed in Brazil for years before she was finally acquitted. It was tragic but I couldn’t stop watching. They would show the faces of her fans who were so excited and singing along, and I wished I was as enthusiastic as they were. It made me so sad.

Speaking of washed up artists, Michael Jackson apparently went to Japan so that fans could give him money and he could just chill waving hi WITHOUT EVEN PERFORMING. What a rip-off! At least we know how desperate he is; I guess he really is as bankrupt as people say.

Music that hasn’t disappointed me besides Babasónicos: Makiza and Aterciopelados. I just found out Aterciopelados are playing this weekend in NYC but it’s a 21+ show. I weep.

Anyway, here are some tracks:

Babasónicos – “Fizz” from Jessico.

Aterciopelados – “Buena estrella” from La Pipa de La Paz.

Makiza – “La Chupaya” from Vida Salvaje.

Gloria Trevi – “Dr. Psiquiatra” from ¿Qué Hago Aquí?