The Wu is back on September 8th, led by Raekwon, on the forthcoming album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. It’s about time this new generation is reminded of how hip hop was and should be. Below is a track from the album.

Sick video, sick song, going be a sick album.

“House of Flying Daggers”

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Au Revoir Simone

August 21, 2009

I’d always been interested in Au Revoir Simone. Maybe it was the sexy sounding name. Maybe it was the sultry, endearingly heartfelt vocals I heard on several tracks. Whatever the magnetism, it wasn’t until today that I actually spent time with an entire record of their material. I gotta say, I’m into it. Yea, it might be subdued, or even, dare I say girlie at times, but shit if the music isn’t incredibly listenable. The subtle electronic textures that accompany the melancholy vocal accents (even if the lyrics aren’t meant to be so), remind me of the Postal Service. Yea, I went there. I honestly have no idea what these girls look like, but I can see them craned over their Moogs, hair cascading over their domes, clad in plaid shirts and tights. That may not even be cool garb for chicks, but it sounds hot to me. So do the two songs below from their latest album “Still Night, Still Light”:

“Knight of Wands”

“Shadows”

Roooooofs

August 20, 2009

rooftopI typically shy away from making guarantees, but I can promise you this: my next apartment in New York, wherever that might be, will damn sure have roof access. Rooftops in NYC are like adult pacifiers. For real. If you have access to your roof at your place or if you have a buddy that does, go up there, shut the fuck up and look around. Pretty isn’t it? Taking in the New York skyline from several stories up is an experience that can’t be paralleled and it’s one that has an uncanny calming effect, particularly at night. I don’t care how long you’ve been in the city or how jaded and cold New York has made you, the skyline never gets old. Whatever issues or problems that have worked your brain into a knot will dissipate. You know why? Because you’re on a rooftop in New York City goddammit and that’s pretty special.

It’s been a peculiar summer. June basically didn’t exist due to awful weather and I’ve been out of town essentially every weekend since for one reason or another. That just means one thing—much of the time I have left before the summer turns to vapor will be spent on a blanket on my roof with a boombox and a Modelo. Beeleeee dat.

100% American…Apparel

August 13, 2009

picture-18So I walked by my local American Apparel (AA) today on the way to work, and noticed a sign outside saying “Made in the USA.” I think it’s been there for awhile, but today was the first day I noticed. At first I cringed, then chuckled, and finally walked away shaking my head. To me, that sign together with American Apparel epitomes the current set of American values.

Cut corners to make $: American Apparel mass produces low quality clothing for pennies, but in neon colors and see-thru thin fabric, and label and sell them as fashionable and overpriced. I own one white shirt that looked and fit fine before I washed it. Now it looks and feels like a baby’s cloth diaper. If you gave a homeless person American Apparel to stay warm, he/she should probably spit in your face. The thing is, I can’t be the only who realizes this, but people still wait outside the door for these stores to open.

SEX SEX SEX, got your attention now: American Apparel either has the most brilliant marketing strategists or the laziest. All their advertisements consists of young, innocent looking girls barely wearing their wispy clothing posing provocatively. It’s genius. And these girls aren’t your Penthouse, Hustler looking pornstars, but the brown-eyed cute girls living next door who are secretly wearing see-thru bra and panties. Then American Apparel provides an easy way for girls, and guys, to look and feel sexy like their ads. Brilliant or lazy?

Tell me how to dress, how to think: Every few weeks American Apparel updates their window front with new combinations of clothing based on the latest fashion trends. And walking down the street in NYC is basically an imitation of last week’s mannequins. Why put thought into what you’re wearing when they do it completely for you. At AA, you can buy the latest fashionable jeans, jackets, shirts, pants, skirts, socks, shoes, belts, hats, panties, bras, shorts, accessories…I can go on. You can even buy baby clothing. How lazy does a parent have to be to buy baby clothes at AA? This behavior parallel’s the average American’s desire to be spoon-fed everything. Why think about what to wear when someone will do it for you? Why read books when people rehash the facts for you? Why do research on important discussion topics, such as global warming, foreign affairs, economics, health care, when the internet, TV, and newspapers will do it for you?

Anyways, I’m exhausted. This post might be my longest yet. Don’t worry, we’ll hit back with some more of the usual music, art, and culture posts in the future.