Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Shop talk

Is it just me, or does a fresh line make you the most confident man this side of the River Jordan?

Why is getting your hair washed (by a female--never a dude) so relaxing?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Little Lily

"Littlest Things" Lily Allen

One of my favorite songs on the album. Youtube is a monster.

and for those interested, it samples some theme song from a french show or something called "Emmanuelle" by Pierre Bachelet. google that jawn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Inner memories mar my mind...

I've been waiting patiently for the Live MTV/vh1 Amy Winehouse performance since I saw photos from the performance a few weeks ago on Today, they finally put the actual videos online. 4 songs: "You Know I'm No Good," "Rehab," "Back to Black," and "Love is a Losing Game." Her only accompaniment is an acoustic guitar.

The result: chill-inducing, gut-wrenching soul. Amy's been getting a lotta press lately. Usually when such a thing happens, you reach a point where you're just like "Enough already. She's good, but she's not that good." But the thing with Amy is, she really is that good. And not just in a musical sense, but in an artistic sense.

Believe the hype. All of it. Watching this performance made me love her and pity her simultaneously. Just listening to it put Koiner "in the land of the lost," but it was watching it that really twists ur guts and chills u to the core. She sounded like something between a cello and a trumpet, the strength, the delicacy, the beauty. But watching her, you knew that these weren't just songs. It wasn't a singalong. She was revealing herself to us, and it seemed as if she wasn't sure that we had earned such a privilege. She sat on her barstool as though she were naked and forced to be there. Watching it made me feel like I was, in some way, violating her. She never smiled, not even a grin to accent some of the witty lines that make her album so enjoyable. Her eyes stayed down, she never looked into the camera. At times, it seemed as though she weren't even there mentally. It seemed as though she was looking back into her past, sadly reminiscing of the heartache that produced an album so drenched in lonely torment.

I think much of this had to do with her simple accompaniment. There is an added level of comfort and security when you share the stage with a band and backup singers. (Indeed, it allows many of our less talented stars to camoflauge their lack of talent as well.) It can also infuse a performer with confidence. However, with minimal accoutrement, the covers are pulled back. Someone could be a very emotive singer in a choir, but suddenly become a shy mouse as a soloist. The crab no longer has his shell or his claw, it's pure meat. (I'm a cancer; i had to get that in.) And what I saw today in Amy, was that behind the wit and deprecating humor was pure sorrow. A sorrow like fire, refining her to the point of producing a true masterpiece in Back to Black, but also destroying her, consuming her like her well-publicized bouts with alcoholism and depression. Watching her sing "I just need a friend," during her performance of "Rehab," you're left thinking that it wasn't meant tongue-in-cheek. She really needs a friend. Her disillusionment at that point is almost tearfully palpable. You see--no, you feel--why and how a shot glass became a dependable anchor to a person plagued by dissapointment.

*Cue Ms. Angelou*

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Call Me... marred by memories of the "Littlest Things"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sharing is caring
^click and get. It's a zip file.

Now you too can act like a hipster at the next cool-guy shindig. First Mark Ronson, now Lily Allen? That's two free albums from ppl you've never heard of. I must be gettin soft.

Call Me... The Giver.

P.S. Don't tell the RIAA.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"They 'Youtubed' us? SHOOT THE VIDEO!"

Between Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, and his own album, Mark Ronson rules my media player right now. Here's the video for "Stop Me." Apparently, the song is burning up the UK charts (for good reason).

And here's the original version of the song by The Smiths.

Happy Easter folks. I'm headed home for the weekend. Sweet potato pie is waiting for meeeeeeeeee!!!

Call Me... no wait, stop me :-)

One more reason why I only watch HBO

"It's a miracle our government hasn't outlawed fat white women."

If you have HBO OnDemand, try and watch the whole episode.

Now I don't necessarily agree with his stance on drugs, (Maher is a pothead), but you gotta admit that ole head brings up some very good points.

Call Me... before I post again

Iran knows something we don't

^click this link to download the album

Mark Ronson is the man behind the boards on Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. His sister (Samantha Ronson) was signed to Rocafella back in the day but nothing really ever came of it (surprise). Either way, you ppl know I don't like sharing, but it's no real point in hoarding all this. Version is an album of covers, retooled by Ronson. Because u care, here are my personal faves: "Oh My God" Lily Allen, "Stop Me" Daniel Merriweather, "Valerie" Amy Winehouse, and "Outversion." "Stop Me" is definitely one-song playlist worthy. (And I'm sure this doesn't need mentioning, but all these folks are melanin-deficient. Merriweather is from the Land Down Under.)

And while I'm on the subject, holler at Lily Allen's album Alright Still. She's not another Amy Winehouse, and I feel bad for putting yall onto her after Amy cuz Amy's such a hard act to follow, but she's worth your attention too. Lily's pure pop tho. She also has a remix to her song "Smile" produced by Mark Ronson and featuring Wale, the best thing coming outta DC since the Republican Congressional majority.

The second wave of the British invasion is in full swing. Hope u folks have ur white flags ready. They'll need some place to run to after Iran gets done punking them.

P.S. U need to download winrar to open the file in the link. It's a .rar file which is like a .zip file. Don't say I never did nuthin for ya...

Call Me... but I prolly won't pick up.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Supply and Demand

So a lotta nothing's been happening of recent. I've informally been removed from the grad program at UPenn and placed into the Teacher's Certificate program. It's okay, don't shed any tears over it cuz I won't. I'm dissappointed in myself, but really it's for the better, and it'll save me quite a bit of dinero next year. Plus, I have an automatic hook-up (and a possible discount) should I decide to finish the Master's program at UPenn in the future. What it amounts to (pun intended) is about $10,000 less and class one weekend a month next year. (No Thursday classes!) I'm happy to say there are no hard feelings between me and the director of my grad program, the mother of DJ Drama.

On Friday, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. James Spady at the UPenn bookstore. If u don't know who he is, google him. I'm not wasting time to explain. Anyway, he teaches at UPenn and was speaking about a book he and two other ppl just published on Hip Hop. I went to meet him and one of the other authors, H. Samy Alim, but Alim was stuck in Cali and couldn't make it to UPenn. Oh well, I still got an autographed book. (Yes, I'm a nerd. Stop hating.)

Now, Spring is officially here, and with summer around the corner, all the retailers are breaking out the goods for the sunshine. Luckily, instead of going broke, I might make a few bones. Why you ask?

Because of these limited Nike Air Force One's. I know. You're looking at them and ur like "OK, enough about shoes already. It's just leather and rubber, Jonathan. And these aren't even that special looking." Yes, I'll admit, these really aren't that special. (They have some nice details tho). The real story behind the shoes is this: they are limited to Nike's top-of-the-line "Tier 0" retail accounts. Translation: you can't get em at the mall, only at cool-guy shops. Tier 0 accounts are located only in NYC, Cali, and--as of a few weeks ago--Philadelphia. The one and only store in Philly with a Tier Zero account is supposed to get them in sometime this week and when they do, Mr. Garr will buy at least four pair.
Why? Because I can expect to get at least 150% return on my investment by selling them to ppl all over the country who are making messes in their pants every time they see them. I used to be one of those ppl, sitting in his dorm room in the god-forsaken midwest, looking at shoes only available on the coasts and stabbing my hands with spoons because I knew I'd have to sell a woman's ovaries to get the cash to buy them from a reseller. My oh my, how the tables have turned. Except the game isn't easy as it was 3 years ago. Reselling sneakers is much harder to do profitably (I'll save u the explanations why) and profits from reselling have gone down substantially. Still, there's money to be made when the right shoe drops at the right time, and at the right places (and by "right places" I mean as few places as possible). It's pure economics. You don't need a degree from Olin or Wharton for that one.
Call Me..."Ur Pusha"