I got an email from my friend Matt last night that said, "Well, you won't have Ray Manzarek to kick around anymore." This was a reference to an argument we had, Matt and I and another friend, Dave, very late at night this past New Year's Eve. We've known each since grade school, the three of us, and we got into music together in the way that lots of adolescent suburban boys do: classic-rock-first. We all loved the Doors as kids, I had a poster of Jim Morrison in my room in front of which I used to bow my head in prayer. We all mastered the distinctive [...]
23 Replacement Similes For Humans To Use Once All The Animals Are Dead And No One Knows What "Animals" Were
Now that we're well on into our planet's sixth mass extinction event, and with recent news that we're charging towards environmental catastrophe faster than ever, it's time we start thinking about contingencies not in terms of "if" but in terms of "when." Let's say, just for argument's sake, that the human species will survive. Some people, like Annalee Newitz, author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction, think we will! But even if she's right, certainly, there will be changes we'll have to get used to. Besides the hilarious "Great, I'll have beachfront property" jokes the wittier among us [...]
Trevor Tahiem "Busta Rhymes" Smith, Jr. occupies a singular place in hip-hop history. He is a super-good rapper, blessed with a flow as quick and nimble and flexible as any we've ever heard. He's never put together truly great songs, though, or albums you want to listen to all the way through. He's perhaps most famous for his guest appearances on other peoples' songs—beginning with his jaw-dropping verse on A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" in 1991, he earned a reputation as the genre's greatest scene stealer. (Andre 3000 has since stolen that crown.) What Busta is, though, I think, is hip-hop's greatest video artist. He is the [...]
"A recent news story claims that Tim Dog 'may be up to his biggest scam yet'—faking his own death. WREG in Memphis interviewed Esther Pilgrim, one of the women featured in this Dateline story back in June of last year, who had been one of many victims reportedly swindled out of money by the rapper, and she alleges that a death certificate for Timothy Blair (the Dog’s government name) has not been found by a private investigator she hired. The news station also did some diggin’ and supposedly didn’t come up with anything either. And here’s the kicker: their P.I. did, however, locate an Atlanta address 'active' since last [...]
Once when I was driving on Route 80 in Pennsylvania, I passed a car being driven by a man holding a book open between his two hands on the steering wheel. It was a thick book, like a big novel, and he was reading it while driving 65 miles per hour on the highway. This seemed like one of the more dangerous things I had ever seen. So I hope Gunplay doesn't try to, like, look up any particular passages of scripture while he's rolling. But this is a great song.
There's been plenty written about how great Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar's album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city is. So much that I'm left with feeling like I have little of value to add to any conversation about it. But the video for "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe," came out today and it inspired in me a thought(!) First of all, it's really good. Watch it. Secondly, jumping back and forth in tone as it does, it makes a nice point about how complex everything is—death, religion, fashion, mourning, partying, solitude, unity, nature, all this stuff. All sorts of paradox. Which starts to come as close to truth, I think, [...]
"The psychological definition of loneliness hasn’t changed much since Fromm-Reichmann laid it out. 'Real loneliness,' as she called it, is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the 'shut-upness' and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is 'real loneliness' the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse—unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person. Fromm-Reichmann even distinguished 'real loneliness' from mourning, since the [...]
If you're like me, you've been waiting 26 years to find out what happens next in Lou Gramm's "Midnight Blue" video. What becomes of our hero, the oily gearhead bohunk in the black leather jacket, and his sexy paramour, the restless one who did not care that he was just a troubled boy looking for a double-dare? What of the next day? After they ride off under the moon in that gorgeous cherry-red convertible? What does this world have in store for them once the sun has risen and shined its light on their midnight fling with romantic fate? Well, fellow very old idiots dreamers, our prayers have been [...]
Here's the new video from one of our favorite young artists, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire. In it, the Brooklyn rapper raps two new songs, "Noble Drew Ali" and "The Cauldron." I don't know why he called the video "Nightfall at the Thames." But then, I went to school in New London, Connecticut, and there's a river there called the Thames. But it's pronounced with the "Th" sound like "the," and "ames" like it rhymes with "James." So who knows why anyone does anything the way they do it? Not me.
"Human astrocytes certainly inspired the mice. Their neurons did indeed build stronger synapses. (Perhaps this was because human astrocytes signal three times faster than mouse astrocytes do.) Mouse learning sharpened, too. On the first try, for instance, altered mice perceived the connection between a noise and an electric shock (a standard learning test in mouse research). Normal mice need a few repetitions to get the idea. Memories of the doctored mice were better too: they remembered mazes, object locations, and the shock lessons longer." —Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center implanted human brain cells into the brains of baby mice and the mice turned out smarter [...]
I had started to post the new video from stately Brooklyn art rockers The National here a moment ago. But then Pitchfork alerted me to the fact that the video was a remake of the one above—from '80s Russian band Zvuki Mu. And the original is better. So we'll go with that. The National have a new album, Trouble Will Find Me, coming out on the 20th, and this past weekend they played a single song for six hours straight at the MOMA PS1 museum in Queens. Here's the set list from that show.
I had never before heard the phrase "the cigarette community." But like so much of what comes out of the mouth of veteren Queens rapper Noreaga, I find it to be an irresistible mix of tough-guy ridiculousness, bizarro-world genius and huggable humanity. Talk about "no filter." The guy is just an amazing personality. UPDATE: Joe Budden responds!
Here is a new video from the hardest working man in showbiz and his two bandmates. Besides an album coming in June, a newly released book about heavy metal and a newly relaunched magazine, Awl pal, ego trip founder, Mass Appeal editorial director and White Mandingo Sacha Jenkins has just signed on to co-write a forthcoming Beastie Boys memoir—one that will deviate from the standard memoir format into what the Times' Ben Sisario describes as, "a pastiche of voices, images, irreverent humor and pop-culture reference points" modelled after the magazine the group published in '90s, Grand Royal. In other Beastie news, gather a deep sigh in [...]
"Is it peculiar that she twerks in the mirror?" Janelle Monae asks in her new duet with Erykah Badu. The answer is that if I looked, sounded, danced, wrote music or made videos even a small fraction as awesomely as either of these two, I wouldn't do anything but twerk in the mirror all day every day for the rest of my life. There is no way to not love this.
"To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trend-setting, backwards-pants wearing one-half of Kriss Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris—the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him." —Donna Kelly Pratte eulogizes her son Chris, a.k.a. "Mac Daddy," who was found dead yesterday at his home in Atlanta, of an apparent drug overdose. He was 34.