Monday, September 28, 2009

Aziz Ansari riffs on Kanye

Aziz Ansari, stand-up comic, member of Human Giant and now co-star on NBC's "Parks & Recreation" does a funny bit on his experiences with Kanye West.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

S.O.G. Crew live in concert this weekend

S.O.G. Crew will perform live Sunday at CT Community Church, 2699 Col. Durham St. Seaside. Above is the video for their song "Hard To Believe." You can check out more at

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Sleep of Oldominion: Trials and Smiles on the road

Nice blog post from Sleep of Oldominion, including a brief but positive mention of his performance in Monterey. You can view the blog here

, or read the entire post after the jump.

Trials and Tribulations of Indie-Rap Tours

“I’ll Never Beat the Clock on this Infinite Tour”

The troubles began the day before our first show in LA. We planned to leave a day early since LA is an 18 hour drive from Portland. I decided to take my own car rather than rent a car in order to keep expenses low, so I had some work done on it to make sure it was ready for the long trip. When I went to pick it up, my debit card was declined even though I deposited enough money in my bank account to cover all expenses. I called my bank and discovered that my debit card had been counterfeited and $800 had been taken from my account. Identity theft… sweeeeeet! The issue was resolved the next morning, which was the day of the show (an 18 hr drive away.)

Once this issue was resolved we started our journey to LA. We smashed all the way there, speeding pretty fast, but we didn’t arrive until 12:35 a.m. I went straight on stage and played a 45 minute set for a thinned out crowd of people who stuck around to see me. It was a good show but I felt a little rough around the edges from the long drive. After a couple of shows everything starting to come together; the shows were great and I was having a wonderful time. And then my wife’s grandmother passed away.

I didn’t really know what to do being that I was so far away, so I decided to fly my wife and son to Oakland so we could be together. This was a decision that I knew would make travel very tricky but I had to do it. We only had one more show in California and it was an all ages B Boy jam in Monterey Bay. We had to fly my brother Jon The Baptist to Albuquerque in order to make room in the car. Most of my family lives in New Mexico so it was a good place to set up camp. The B Boy battle ran over time so by the time I got on stage most of the crowd had left. This show was the first time my son had seen me perform so I felt blessed to do it. It was funny…he wouldn’t just stay and watch, he had to be part of it. So I ended up carrying him in my arms the whole peformance, which was only 15 mins. Babies are the new bling ha ha.

We left the next morning, making our way to New Mexico from Oakland. We decided to go through Las Vegas and stay the night with my dad. We ran into some pretty bad monsoon weather on our way and it looked like we’d be following that storm system for the rest of the tour. When we got to New Mexico the car started acting funny. It was shaking when the brakes were pushed, so I had to take it to a mechanic and fly to Texas for the next leg of the tour. I didn’t have enough money to fly everyone out so my family and my brother stayed in NM while DJ Zone and myself went to Texas for a few shows.

Our original plan was to fly into San Antonio and catch a ride to Austin where the show was, but during our layover in Houston there was a flash flood/ lightning storm and the airport was closed. It opened up but our flight was delayed and we would not make it in time to make the show. We ended up having a buddy drive from Austin to come get us and take us back. This was going to get us there late but it was still the better option because if we sped the whole way we could make the show. And we did. We got there 5 minutes before I had to go on stage.

The show had a good attendance and the energy was real good. This show was one of the best shows on the tour, but the other shows in Texas were good too. After Texas we headed back to NM to meet up with the family and rock some more shows. I ended up doing a show in Albuquerque with De La Soul and it was a great night. De la ripped it, we ripped it, and everyone had a blast. I can’t believe how long De La has been touring and they still look exactly the same. It’s like they don’t age. The next day we headed out to Colorado with my family and Zone in my car while my brother and manager drove in another car. The first show in Colorado was in Boulder at the Fox Theater. We were playing with DJ Newmark (who killed it by the way). There were a few heads who came out but it was not packed…and when that venue is not packed it feels very empty. Despite that fact, it was a great show. We then headed out to a venue called Mishuwaka where we played with Hay Stack.

The venue was outdoors and it had a river running behind it. Really beautiful setting. I was nervous prior to my performance because there were a lot of mainstream-ish acts who went on before me (or they at least made an attempt to make that kind of music) and the crowd seemed to love it. This made me feel like they would hate my music once I hit the stage with material from Hesitation Wounds. Thankfully, I was wrong. The crowd loved it. However, there was one guy who asked my manager “Who’s next?” When she replied that Whiskey Blanket was next he asked “Are they better than this guy?” My manager responded by saying that she didn’t think so and he said “So they suck then!” Apparently I didn’t impress this guy much. haha. I did manage to impress Hay Stack. He stopped in the middle of his set and gave respects to Whiskey Blanket and myself. He said, “Sometimes you come across a band or a lyricist that you just know is going to make it.” He said it made him smile seeing me and Whiskey Blanket smash it. It was a strange night overall but it ended being one of my favorite nights of the tour.

After Colorado I went back to NM and stayed for a week so I could spend sometime with my Grandfather whose health has been bad for the past couple of years. My Grandfather actually raised me, so his failing health has been extremely difficult for me to deal with (to say the least.) While I was there I wanted to help him out with some yard work and house work. I mostly just wanted to soak up as much time with him as possible and let him meet my son. After this brief break in NM, I packed up the family one last time and headed to Arizona. On our way to the Phoenix we blew out a tire while driving in the middle of nowhere. I had a spare but it was just a doughnut and it was too late to get a new tire. I could only drive 45mph on it, but that’s what we had to do in order to make the show. We were still about 200 miles away from Phoenix so it took a long time (driving at 45mph and all), but once again we made it to the venue just in time to rock the set. It was a good show. It was the last show. And as you can imagine, by this time I was more than ready to get back home.

The drive home was very chill; just me, my wife and my son. We made it a casual thing, turning the road trip into a mini vacation…mostly stopping and visiting our family up the coast en route back home. All in all, I had driven 13,000 miles by myself and rocked some twenty odd shows. I was also pretty broke from it all but I was home! To tell you the truth I can’t wait to do it again.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DJ Kazzeo Blog - 9.20.09

You knew it was coming: DJ Kazzeo weighs in on Kanye. Oh boy.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

RIP Roc Raida

Damn. Hip-hop lost another unique talent today. Roc Raida, world DJ champion and a member of the X-ecutioners, passed. I'll try and update a link with more details today, but you can check or for info. Above is a video from Roc Raida's 1996 DMC DJ Championship set. RIP Roc Raida.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Racist Backlash: This Kanye thing is getting carried away now...

After the jump, I posted a YouTube video with a collection of the racist comments people have been Tweeting in the aftermath of Swift/West-Gate. WARNING: It's very offensive, possibly NSFW.

It's also a really sad commentary on our post-Obama society.

Personally, I'm offended, but it's still useful knowledge: people are not and never will be afraid to express their racism and hatred in full view of the public. Just give them a reason and they'll oblige.

I'mma fall back on my Kanye-bashing for a second because this is pretty sobering.

Credit Rob Harvilla of Village Voice for the o.g. post, and Breihan for Tweeting the link.

Damn, this is just sad people.

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VMA's post mortem: Kanye = World's Biggest Hater; Beyonce & Taylor Swift = American Heroes

I guess I'll be calling this "Swift/WestGate" until someone comes up with a better name.

Last night's MTV Video Music Awards was a coup for MTV and, in the long run, for Taylor Swift. Sure, she shrank to about the size of of a dust bunny when Kanye rushed the stage and morphed into Dr. Evil, but she recovered and probably gained about 500,000 or so extra fans as a result. Expect her album sales to get a bump in the coming weeks.

Much has been made of Beyonce's class in surrendering the stage to Swift, but really B had no choice. It was either let Swift take a bow or run the risk of being sucked into the pit. I anticipate Beyonce's album sales will get a little spike as well, but that's typical of top VMA award winners, so it may be hard to tell if it's a direct result of her good will.

So basically, Kanye set up both Swift and Knowles for their big moment, while setting himself up for a huge backlash.

It will be interesting to see what kind of reception West gets on the Jay Leno Show when it premiers tonight. He's scheduled to perform with Jay-Z and Rihanna. The plot thickens.

Overall, this was probably the best edition of the VMA's in the past decade or so. Plenty of drama to talk about and not just centered around Swift/WestGate either (really, someone help me come up with a better name).

I walked into the newsroom this morning in the middle of a full-blown discussion of Lady Gaga's wardrobe selections. When she won her award, I was wondering if she could even see through that mask/veil she was wearing.

Highlights for me were Pink's performance which sparked a mini-debate with my girl and me. She insisted she was singing live, I argued she had to be lip syncing. Either way she killed it.

The Em/Tracy Morgan sketches were great. Em needs to get back on his acting game. He's nice.

And of course, Hov's performance was momentous. But what was up with Lil Mama? Her and Kanye need to split the meds in half from now on.

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Kanye's Wikipedia page gets nasty post-"Swift/West-Gate"

Click on the above image to get a full view of what it says. Wow!

Pitchfork staffer Tom Breihan posted this screen shot on his Twitter page. This was apparently taken immediately following Kanye's hater-moment at the VMA's.

Pretty much says it all, I think.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

*SMH* Why Kanye?

Peace to MC Lars for posting this on FB. Kanye has become quite the monumental hater.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Kylie Battlin performs “Danger” @ The Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam, 9.9.9

Pacific Grove High School grad Kylie Battlin recited Amir Sulamain's poem “Danger” this past Wednesday @ The Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam.

Battlin came in a close second in the state wide Poetry Out Loud competition. “Danger” was one of the poems she recited in the competition. Glad she's still around doing her thing.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Pretty good Jay-Z article in Village Voice

Former VV blogger Tom Breihan Tweeted on this article, and I gotta admit, this article gets it right. I'm pretty unapologetic in my Stan-ism of Hov, so this piece gives a nice perspective. Link here

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iTunes 9 is here

Apple held some big media event at its Cupertino headquarters today, where they launched a new line of iPods (the new Nano's look pretty tight) as well as the spanking new iTunes 9. I'm getting ready to write up a brief review of the new software, but in the meantime I figure I should ask folks what they think about this latest iteration. More after the jump.

Personally, iTunes is my primary music library resource. My digital collection is up to 33 GB now, I carry my 4 GB 3G Nano with me as my primary mobile library (it bumps nice in the Civic) and since I can sync my Palm Pre with iTunes (I'll have to use a third party app now with the iTunes update), iTunes is an essential tool in my day-to-day activities. How about for the rest of you? Just curious.

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DJ Kazzeo Video Blog - 8.29.09

Kazzeo. That SC B.S., he on it. He goes in a little bit on the city of Philadelphia and gets candid on DJ AM's passing.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

MC Lars 5-year video retrospective

Pebble Beach's most famous rapper, MC Lars, posted up a five-year retrospective of his video work (Geez, has it really been five years?). Above is his latest video, a collaboration with K Flay called "Single and Famous." You can view the entire retrospective @ The entire retrospective can be viewed after the jump.

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Video: Sledge Grits cover "The Climb"

Salinas' cutest sibling rock band, The Sledge Grits Band, gives Miley Cyrus a real run for her money on this cover of "The Climb." This is also some sort of trailer for their new web site,
You can also subscribe to their YouTube page @ Lots of fun videos and stuff there.These girls just don't quit.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Beat Video Blog w/ Tech N9ne

Semi-late pass here. This was shot Aug. 9 @ the Rock The Bells festival stop at Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View. KC's finest Tech N9ne on The Beat video blog. You can view it in the media player to the right.
Tech is a really cool, down to earth cat and professional as all get out. I had a great time meeting with him and chatting with him in person. So great to be in the presence of an MC with such a humble disposition. Props to Tech N9ne, Kazz Kaliko, and the entire Strange Records Crew.

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Kenny Neely - "Heartless" Live @ the Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam

The handsome, blonde-locked gentleman Kenny Neely gave a scorching rendition of of Kanye West's "Heartless" this past Wednesday @ The Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam. Video is to the right in the media player.

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