Wednesday, January 10, 2007

If You Like Old Time Hockey...'ll probably hate this.

I've been busily cataloging my transition from Oakland beer-leaguer to New York beer-leaguer, playing ice hockey in Chelsea Piers' Division 6 for the Blue Bombers.



Monday, January 08, 2007

Product Placement

Oh, I almost forgot another new title that I picked up over Christmas: DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's Product Placement DVD.

Yeah, I know the DVD came out in 2004, and the tour was in 2001. But with all of the iPod-twiddling of celebuDJs like DJ AM and Steve Fucking Aoki, it's refreshing to watch/hear two accomplished turntablists showcasing the art form of DJ'ing. The entire show -- which I saw live at the Fillmore in San Francisco in 2001 -- features DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist mixing nothing but 7" wax. Beyond the feat of manipulating the smaller-form 45s as a true DJ should -- you know, scratching and cross-fading -- the music they select is infectious, old-skool and hilarious, including a sweet rapstructional on "Cooking With Gas".

It was amazing live, it's amazing to listen to, and fun to watch as they compile footage from the Product Placement's tour stops in Tokyo, the UK, LA, San Francisco and NYC. Like Mix Master Mike, who's as entertaining to watch as he is to listen to, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist actually perform as DJs, rather than head-bob mindlessly behind an iBook.

The DVD also comes with the companion CD, all for just $24.99. Discogs has a pretty good track listing of some of the amazing cuts featured during their 5-city tour.

Out With The Old, In With The New

What does going home for the holidays mean? Well, of course, drinking and going to one of my favorite record stores, Criminal Records in the A-T-L.

Year end makes you wonder what releases that you missed along the way. I had my brother in tow, and armed with fragmented bits of recommendations from work, we made a run to Criminal. I was also thinking about some of the year-end lists, like Idolator's Jackin' Pop 2006 Survey. Like trying to cram in all of the movies before the Oscars, I needed to get current.

And what better excuse for being derelict of my ShuffleLog duties than to listen to some of the new gear.
  • Band of Horses, Everything All the Time -- I really like this one, and it's no surprise that "Funeral" is topping the 2006 lists. It's a terrific single, plenty haunting, and it stands out as a little more rocking than many of the other almost acoustic numbers. "The Great Salt Lake" is another epic.
  • Interpol, Turn On The Bright Lights -- My brother recommended this one, their first. I'd heard plenty of Interpol back in SF, most notably "Evil" from their second album. I dig this record, but it's too bad that I bought She Wants Revenge's eponymous record before this one, since it's too easy to draw comparisons between the two. Lots of Joy Division-esque brooding on both, although Interpol are a bit more melodic where She Wants Revenge can be more plodding and monotone.
  • NaS, Hip Hop Is Dead -- I'll admit that most of the current rap (not to be confused with hip hop) like 50 Cent, Ludacris, Jay-Z, etc. leaves me cold. And while the occasional catchy track emerges ("In Da Club"), typically I'll bypass it unless it's in a cool mashup. But NaS is definitely making a statement here, and it's a good one. Plenty of dropping "nigga", but you gotta give him props for berating current MCs, daring them to "name a Big Daddy Kane lyric", and having a track in which he vows to "Carry On Tradition".
  • At The Drive-In, Kaya EP -- I knew I had heard of these guys, since they released their last full-length record on the now-defunct Grand Royal label, which was started by the Beastie Boys. This short but sweet EP showcases some solid hardcore, and while I don't like their successor band (The Mars Volta), I can get into this EP.
  • Prince, 3121 -- Bought this for my mother, since we got her an iPod for Christmas. Gotta love that Prince still brings it with songs like "Black Sweat".
With that, I present the last ShuffleLog of 2006 (from a while was scribbled on a piece of paper hastily as I got ready to go for a run, and it's been swimming around in my man-purse for a while). Enjoy!

ShuffleLog 13-December-06
  • The Postal Service, "Recycled Air" - Give Up
  • The Bravery, "Public Service Announcement" - The Bravery
  • The Bravery, "No Brakes" - The Bravery
  • Massive Attack , "Exchange" - Mezzanine
  • Morcheeba , "The Sea" - Big Calm
  • The Postal Service , "Sleeping In" - Give Up
  • Gabriel & Dresden , "Dub Horizon" - Bloom (Disk 1)
  • Atlas , "Compass Error" - GU024: Reykjavik
  • Foo Fighters, "In Your Honor" - In Your Honor (Disk 1)
  • Avatar, "Dub in Time" - GU024: Reykjavik
  • Arctic Monkeys, "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..." - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
  • The Lovemakers, "Is It Alright?" - Times of Romance
Holy cow, will you look at all of that symbolism?
  • Two from The Postal Service
  • Two from The Bravery
  • Two from GU024: Reykjavik
  • Two "Dub" songs
  • And a quad from The Lovemakers (also featured 5-Oct-06, 9-Oct-06, and 5-Dec-06)
Way to end the year with a bang.