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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grindin

Well here it is folks, summer 2010. Actually was enjoying a relaxing few weeks at home, but I am back in DC now, so I figured I would come with my summer play list up to this point.

1) WEST COAST PUNK
-Been on a SERIOUS cali kick recently for some reason. 2 albums I have been continually spinning are Pennywise- Full Circle and Bad Religion- Against the Grain. These two albums are great summer time listening with plenty of sing alongs. They remind me of skateboarding, jumping off tall things into water, and everything else I love doing in summer. Also shout outs to Rancid- And Out Come the Wolves. One of my all time favorite albums, especially good in the summer.

2) HIP-HOP
- Gotta say I have been a little underwhelmed by the rap game so far this summer. Major releases from Drake and Eminem. Drake record is okay, definitely some big radio play hits, but only so much I can take of his fake robot singing voice. The Em record I respect, not gonna front like I am a big Em fan, but I'm sure for "those people" it's a classic. New mixtapes from Rick Ross and T.I. are also pretty good, but I am still waiting for a banger. Listen to Roc Marciano in the mean time.

3) INDIE SHIT
- I'd say I've been spinning some weird college radio nerd shit recently, but there are a few indie bands I like. My top three picks would have to be 1) The XX 2) Best Coast and 3) Beach House. All put out cool albums in the last couple months, though not the best summer listening. I have also been jamming Lemuria, which is a pretty cool girl fronted band that just signed with Bridge 9? WTF? Also been checking out the new Walter Schreifels record, An Open Letter to the Scene, which features some cool acoustic covers of hardcore songs, from bands such as Agnostic Front and Civ. Keep an eye out for a new LP from Wilkes-Barre's own Gypsy in the next few months. Will be wild!

4) HOSTAGE CALM
- Wasn't sure if I should put this band in indie or punk so I gave them their own category. I discovered Hostage Calm about 3 months ago, when I first heard a track from their upcoming S/T record on Run For Cover records. Literally doing some of the coolest shit right now musically, and I am really stoked to hear their LP when it comes out in July. Their first LP sounds like Dag Nasty, a DC band that seems to get no love any more, and their new record sounds just wild and unique. I love seeing a band step outside what's currently "cool" and just come up with something out of the blue. Big ups to the song "Ballots/Stones", which you can check out at myspace.com/hostagecalmct

4) PUNK/HARDCORE
- Summer is the best for punk and hardcore. Definitely some cool releases that have been coming out. Some of my friends in Dead End Path put out a very heavy 7", entitled Death Walks Beside Us, on Triple B records, heavily influenced by Death Threat, All Out War, and Alice in Chains. Also a new record on that label from Richmond's Fire & Ice that is awesome. Sounds even more like the Icemen, Burn, Dynamo, etc. all the best NYHC that your average norman coreman ignores these days.
Show wise, his year's annual This is Hardcore festival is coming STRONG with one of the best fest lineups in recent memory. Features classic NYHC such as the Mags and SHEER TERROR, who haven't played a show in a couple years at least. Fest is also rounding up with three back-to-back sets from no doubt the 3 MOST IMPORTANT hardcore bands ever to come out of Philly, Blacklisted, Kid Dynamite, and Ink & Dagger. Definitely will be a great weekend, looking forward to it majorly.
Other notable shows will the 4th of July BANGER in Richmond. Down to Nothing's set will sure to be wild, hope I can make it out. Also looking forward to seeing Underdog with Cold World at the Jersey Shore in a few weeks. Those two together is always a great combo, and this show has my pick for best show of the summer.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good summer, and check in for more updates soon, as I am planning on having a radio show starting this week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thoughts on LOST




Well, it is with great displeasure that I am writing this article tonight, in the wake of the series finale of Lost, the show that has captivated the hearts and minds of America, including myself, for the past 7 years. I can't think of any show in my lifetime, or in the past, that has generated the amount of buzz and hype as Lost, as people across the world were hooked by its cliffhanger mysteries and complex plot lines. As someone who has watched Lost from basically Season 1, whereas most have gotten in the game late via hulu, dvd's, etc., the show has become such a regular part of my life that it's kind of weird to think I won't be watching it anymore.

So- some thoughts on the final episode. First off, I think it was cool how the final episode reunited everyone. I think it was great how the little "reconnection" scenes allowed us to remember the depth and storied past of many of the relationships, just as much of the last season has been about reminding us why we all loved Lost in the first place. Another thing I liked about this episode was that it really refocused the show on Jack. To me, Jack has always been THE main character, and it was kind of a bummer to me that they moved away from his story, but in the end, I believe they returned to the saga of the island as Jack's struggle. And in a sense, Jack's struggle embodies the struggles of many of us. By the final episode he is a broken man, having lost family, love, struggled with addiction, faith, and purpose, but in the end he follows his heart, and finds happiness, though, ultimately only through sacrificing his life. I was happy to see Jack finally end up with Kate. I just wish the ending was a little more clear cut (was the flash sideways reality, purgatory, etc?).

In the end, I think the reason Lost has been so successful is that it addresses those questions that we all must ask ourselves at some point. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Lost takes aim at these deep unanswerable and nagging questions. Ultimately, the central theme of Lost seems to be destiny. Every man is destined for greatness, though many, like Season 1-5/6 Jack, try to ignore their true calling until it's too late.

Overall, I have to say Lost is one of my favorite shows of all time. Both it's entertainment value as a mystery and drama, combined with its deeper philosophical messages, though at times heavy-handed, make it one of the most poignant shows of all time. In a world where many shows are content to stick to the family sitcom, Lost breaks out of the TV shell and dares to shake us up a little. It challenges us to look deeper, ask questions, and to find our own island in life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yes Y'all and You Don't Stop





Ah, yes. I'm coming straight at you from floor 1 of Lauinger Library, straight procrastinating finals style. We've reached that time of year again, the temperature is up and the #BEBZ are out, kid. Break out your purple label shit (logo secret) and let's get a look at what's popping off for SUMMER 2010: Part 1.

1) DIPSET DIPSET


Yup, just in time for summer, one of my favorite rap crews of all time, DipSet has finally reunited. Cam'Ron and Jim Jones squashed their 4-5 year beef. Reminds me of summer 2005, listening to Purple Haze and watching Fade To Black on the way to the Bahamas. 2000-2005 was the golden era of Roc-a-Fella, with the label just DOMINATING the rap game. They had Jay-Z, Kanye, Dip Set, Freeway, State Prop, etc etc. Literally ALL the best rap albums of the 00's came out on Roc-a-Fella, and this was a great time to be a rap fan. Hope this little reunion can spark some unity and bring HOV back to the crew after that nasty Def-Jam beef.

2) New Jams

For me it's too hard to pick just one album I'm stoked for this summer, so I will just name a few. On one side of shit we got the Tigers Jaw/Balance & Composure split LP, as well as the new Tigers Jaw LP. These are both two dope PA bands that have just gotten better with each release, so you know I'm psyched to see them team up. Also excited to see what Tigers Jaw has up their sleeve for this new LP, since literally they have impressed me more and more with each release. Also coming off Run for Cover Records is a newer band called Hostage Calm. Never really heard of them until I downloaded the RfC spring sampler and hear their new song, Jerry Rumspringer. DAMN it's a post-hardcore-poppy banger, and, after checking out their last LP, Lense, I will be sure to cop their new LP, also due out in the next few weeks.

In the rap game, there are a few things I am excited for. One is kind of a guilty pleasure, and that's the new Rick Ross LP, Teflon Don. His last album is literally the perfect summer-time pool party banger marathon, and I can only hope this new record matches up. With rhymes about ripping Miami on yachts, this album is sure to make the sound track for your summer party of choice, whether it be east coast style BBQ or west coast style gangster rap pool party shit. Also excited to hear new shit from Jay Electronica, as well as FREEWAY - again bringin the ROC and Philly back. Guilty Pleasure of the month: B.o.B.- Airplanes. Sure I kind of hate everything about this dude, but yall know I got a thing for Hayley Paramore and she sings the hook for this, which works really well for a rap song. I'm sure this song will be all over the place in the next 2-3 months.

and finally brrrrr....

3) Iced Coffee
Yea, weird, I know. BUT I have never really been a coffee fan before this round of finals. Drank it a few times in Italy just cause they have the illest coffee game, but something about hot drinks that I just can't get into. ICED coffee, however, is actually pretty good. Guess it's time to get my grown ass man game on. Can't drink a tea I'm 20+ gimme me a iced coffee and a LOLO button up!

Part 2 Coming Soon....

Monday, March 1, 2010

XXL Mag's 2010 Freshmen

Honestly, I haven't head much from these guys besides J. Cole and Wiz Khalifa. Some of these guys are absolute jokes though. OJ Da Juiceman, really?

Anyways, here it is from XXL:

The new breed of hustlers includes: Roc Nation’s first signee J. Cole, gangsta rap up-and-comer Nipsey Hu$$le, newly-minted Asylum lyricist Pill, 1017 Brick Squad member OJ Da Juiceman, indie-sensation Wiz Khalifa, G.O.O.D. Music’s own Big Sean, underground favorite Fashawn, Gary, Indiana rep Freddie Gibbs, West Coast phenom Jay Rock and the latest addition to the Atlantic roster, Donnis.

Also, next Monday, the 8th, XXL is posting its 2010 Frehsmen mixtape, which features a new track from each of these guys. And it's free.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't Call It a Comeback: What's Hot







Does anyone still read this? I doubt it, but in case...I am bored and figured I would write a new update. Anyway, obviously High Fidelity is not on the air this semester, but if you need something else to do you can tune in to my other show YAB (Thursdays 11AM-12).

So, haven't done this in a while, so I figured I will review some new ill shit.

#1) Un Proph├Ęte
This is a pretty dope movie, I've got to see. Seeing in how it is a French gangster flick, up for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, I can't help but draw comparisons to last year's Gomorrah. The movie is essentially the story of an Albanian Muslim dude who is thrown in a French prison, where he definitely does not belong. He is quickly thrown into some tough situations with the Corsican (pseudo-Italian) mafia, but is always torn between them and the other Muslims in the prison. This is an awesome modern European crime flick, but it was also cool to me because it touched a lot on the whole Muslim-European divide, as well as the European prison system, which is WILDLY different than our own. Must watch for any gangster/mafia movie fan. 8/10

2) Jay Electronica
Seems like most new rap shit I hear getting hyped is some weird electro-abstract Cudi clone BS, so I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to Jay Electronica's Victory. This is a pretty talked about mixtape, as Jay is a former producer of a lot of big names. Anyway, what you get are some pretty cool beats mixed with Jay's smart flow. There are a lot of cool samples, and it strikes me as just an all around creative mix tape. Look out for his LP to drop this spring. 7.5/10

3) Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan, the guy who has pretty much carried US soccer on his back for the past 5-10 years, is finally get a break. Donovan signed with English side Everton in January, and since then has been doing big things for the club, with 1 goal and 2 assists in only 7 games. I am glad to see an American finally getting a chance in England, and actually playing up to his potential. Best case scenario: Donovan ends the season hot with Everton going into the world cup this summer. Don't tread on me! 10/10

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak - Prizefight




Holy shit. That is all.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BRRRR


This new Gucci record has got some of the illest tracks I have heard in a while. Just a shame that when Gucci is finally blowing up, he lands himself in jail (again). As if October's mixtape trio of The Cold War: BrrrrRussia, Great Brrritain, and Gucciamerica weren't enough, this LP is definitely a standout. Beats + Rhymes are on point, and I would like to point out some great collab choices by Gucci. Most rap albums I listen today are littered with meaningless collabs, obviously intended solely to inspire radio play. Gucci picks his crew wisely though, and I like the idea of having Baby and Wayne guesting on the same track. Also Usher making an appearance? not sure if I am into it but the track is pretty fiery. Shout out to Mike Epps! 8/10