Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2.5 Perfect Minutes

I need a fat girl, fat girl
(fat girl tonight)
I need a very, very fat girl
(fat girl tonight)
I'm in the mood, the mood
(I'm in the mood)
I need some food, some food
(I need some food)
I'm feeling rude, so rude
(I'm feeling rude)

I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
I know that you want, girl you want
(want it tonight)
And you gonna do, you gonna get a lot of it
(get it tonight)
Get it galore, galore, galore
(get it galore)
Till you won't want no more, no more, no more
(want no more)
And that's for sure, I know for sure
(that's for sure)
See the girl, see the girl
(in there)
See the girl, see the girl
(in there)

I need a fat girl, fat girl
(fat girl tonight)
I need a fat girl, fat girl
(fat girl tonight)
I'm in the mood, the mood
(I'm in the mood)
I need some food, some food
(I need some food)
And I'm feeling rude, so rude
(I'm feeling rude)

I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
Get it galore, galore, galore
(get it galore)
Till you won't want no more, no, no, no, girl
(want no more)
You won't want no more, no more, no more
(want no more)

I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
I say now, when you feel it girl
You gonna say it's (so nice)
See the girl, see the girl
(in there)
See the girl, see the girl, in the girl
(in there)
See the girl, in the girl, see the girl
(in there)

Keeping the Faith

Let's call it an honor to point in someone's direction. We got nothing but mad props for the man w/ the Funky 16 Corners plan. Go. Bring your respect. He's a master archivist.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What We're Hearing

It is easy enough to throw the image of Josephine Baker around. We think the difficulty is to make something of the music. This is not because the music offers less than others do -- it is not aesthetically deficient. Not at all. It is so surfeit one overimagines. We think it might turn out to be a story as simple as Phillis Wheatley's, or for that matter Richard Wright's and Dexter Gordon's: travel against the sun for opportunity.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Putting Language on the Blues

Wanna be happy?
Then buy our blues.

Do You Really Wanna Know About Some Gangsta Sh*t

If you follow me, girl, I'll turn your money green.
If you follow me, girl, I'll turn your money green.
I'll show you more money than Rockefeller ever seen.

All evil's got a root.

While We're On The Subject

This is what we mean by widely documented, but obscure.

Proof that There Is Plenty to Say

One of our role models referred us to this monumental interview w/ Anthony Braxton. Anyone who believes Braxton when he says he is not interested in entertaining, has been sorely mislead. But then that's the all about it of trickery, isn't it.

Some chestnuts from the path of the interview:

"I am merely a student of music. ...I am forty years old in this period, and I have been able to discover many things, but I cannot believe how ignorant I am."

"I'd like to [record] 5,000, 10,000 records. ...Why not?"

"I was fortunate to not be flexible."

"My motto was always play or die, so either way I'd win."

"I had to find some way to partition variables so I didn't repeat myself."

"I have always seen my music visually. I have always seen my music in terms of shapes and colors."

"In 1966, I decided not to name my music 'The Sun Comes over the Mountain,' or 'Braxton's Blues.' So rather than give the compositions verbal titles, ....I would move to express a visual title that would express the operatives of a give composition."

"I started in the middle, and moved forward and backward at the same time."

On the on hand, Anthony Braxton is widely documented. On the other hand, he is as obscure the unrecorded music of the 1880s. Riddle me this.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Two Quotes

"I'm proud to acknowledge my debt to the Reverend Satchelmouth. He is
the Beginning and the End of music in America."

-- Bing Crosby

"It's like gold being poured out of a cup."

-- Louis Armstrong

A Method

"The first chorus I plays the melody, the second chorus I plays the
melody round the melody, and the third chorus I routines."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What We're Hearing

The tuba/conga/alto groove on the old India Navigation Records slab Bush Baby remains a standout.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Footnote Factory: Sources

The OB4CL project on the Blue Light is leading us down a number of paths: Iceberg Slim, Schooly D, Kool G Rap, N.W.A., Ice T., Abe Ferrera: They're all in the OB4CL closet.

While we were rummaging around and we found a buncha orphans, too. We gonna adopt a couple for further consideration, maybe even study, later on. 2 Live have their fans, and their place is forever in the books. We are 'specially interested in their legal entanglements, which were many and can be sorted into piles: obscenity entanglements and private property entanglements. The obscenity problems are interesting mainly because 5 years afterwards it was like they never happened. Therefore, as a studied in failed legal action we want to come back to:

  • Mathieu Deflem, "Rock, Rap and Censorship." At least in 1993, the whole episode seemed important to legal scholars and sociologists.

We need to go back into the archive and pull out the legal records on the obscenity write up. Then there's the private property cases, that all come down to the SCOTUS. Turns out that these transgressions of property rights were much more offensive, and that the determination remade the industry, shaking change out of one person's pockets and into another's w/ every spin. Here we have a primary source:

And then finally, a couple of interviews worth taking in:

We'll rewind back to this mark again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bridge Ain't Over

Obviously. We've been lissening to Olu Dara work it every which way -- back, forth, side to side. Among other places, he travels to the unnastanding of sea we're working -- back, forth, side to side. Take on "Out on the Rolling Sea." And he's got a voice that would make Louis Armstrong say "yes."

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Case You Wanted to Know

The founders [of the juice company] picked the Odwalla name from a musical piece by The Art Ensemble of Chicago. According to the song, Odwalla was a leader who guided the "people of the sun" out of the "gray haze." The love-bead-swapping, flower-powered founders believed their Odwalla beverages would help create "a clearing in 'the gray haze' of the processed foods market."


We're marinating on the difference b/t "delacratic" & "slang rap
democracy." Maybe close to the difference b/t socialism and black
market economies.


We find Kanye's site more convincing than we thought it might be, and then we are not surprised, except at ourselves for doubting.

Nevertheless, we must also shout out the brilliant Kahinde Wiley's name @ the same time. Any resemblance is what it is, here:

Just Biting

We were seeking someone else's wisdom to guide us this morning, and though we found it, we also found teacake stories hiding in the cut. We resist the temptation to hate, one way or the other because teacake stories are always full of unresolvable grievances, and offer this found wisdom instead:

Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs?
Where is your tribal memory? Sirs,
in that grey vault. The Sea. The Sea
has locked them up. The Sea is history.

Mainly in triplets, the St. Lucy poet then tells a story that echoes much of our recent thinking on the powerful figure of the ocean that has transported us recently. We find the figure in the voices of many thousands gone, from Phillis Wheatley to Langston Hughes, the saints who help us find our way on this long road.

Then came the white sisters clapping
to the waves progress,
and that was Emancipation --

jubilation, O jubilation --
vanishing swiftly
as the sea's lace dries in the sun,

but that was not history,
that was only faith,
and then each rock broke into its own nation;

From there he patiently builds a counterstory to the poem's three page narrative just concluded:

then came the synod of flies,
then came the secretarial heron,
then came the bullfrog bellowing for a vote,

fireflies with bright ideas
and bats like jetting ambassadors
and the mantis, like khaki police,

and the furred caterpillars of judges
examining each case closely,
and the dark ears of ferns

and in the salt chuckle of rocks
with their sea pools, there was the sound
like a rumor without any echo

of History, really beginning.

We're not sure what to make of the not resolve at the end, but we take it for the not resolve that it is. In the meantime (which is the period that matters), we find ourselves attracted to the way Walcott has animated the natural world -- in the fashion of the griot -- with human characteristics. Let's leave it at that and come back to it. Wind that back.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Putting Language on the Blues

"I heard a record Louis Armstrong made called 'West End Blues.' And I liked the feeling he got from it.... Sometimes the record would make me so sad I'd cry up a storm. Other times the same damn record would make me so happy."

Hold on to that.

Did Anyone Else in the 20th Century Work This Hard?

We're looking over the field and cannot see where it ends. On and on and on and on.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Autobiography 032010

The Word

It's just major right here, you know son.

We handling the earth right now. Y'all n*ggas don't even know. You know what I mean? If it wasn't for us trying to enlighten y'all n*ggas w/ all types of flows and flavors, the game wouldn't be the same.

No doubt. You gotta come provocative, n*gga. You know what I mean? Sh*t gotta be spinetinglin, w/ mad styles and crazy dangerous, I mean, bust your sh*t open beats. You know what I mean?

It's like, yo, n*ggas don't even know, son. We gonna play some funky shit. Pay up. Pay up. Pay up.

Here, hit this Henny.

Friday, March 19, 2010

And Then, As It Crosses the Ocean...

We find new power in the figure of the sun -- from Phillis Wheatley to Jessie Fauset, to lucky ol' man that Stevie Wonder wants to blame in his exquisite unhappiness.

Meanwhile, on the Other Side of the Atlantic...

There is some serious sh*t going on . You should go here, and say thanks to the photog who gave us our visual today (not our property, you see -- we're not really thieving, are we?).

We cannot say how much we wish we knew more about everything in this story.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where the Crates Are

We have much respect for the people who run Hip Hop is Read. They have a clear and simple focus, and we go back anytime we need the real answers on who's zooming who.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the Stacks

We are working our way through Terry Teachout's valuable Pops. At this point let us make two generous observations. First, the book's greatest strength is that it is aware of Louis Armstrong as a writer -- someone who made an effort to put his thoughts down on paper for others to read. Second, Teachout is a subtle reader of the multiple Armstrong memoirs.

We are left, even without finishing, wishing for more. Those prospects we will lay out as we go further.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What We're Hearing

Looking to the east this AM. That Fela's work is great goes without saying -- in fact, the work presses its greatness into our hand. What should be observed, though, is the brilliance of the English language work. It is an approach to language that would make Ghostface wonder who his father really is.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Commentary on Recent Posts

Over @ the Blue Light we've thrown down a post on Betty Davis (see below as well).

The process has lead us to work the Missy Elliott Tip a bit today. We remain impressed w/ how she owns and works through the tradition.

Let's call it good in this post, just in the recognition that this thread in the fabric is a full of color.

Footnote 3: Only Built 4 Cuban Links

Go here and learn more.

Footnote 2, Part 2: Only Built 4 Cuban Links

Picturing the samples.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

While We're On The Subject

The contradiction: there's sex on the one hand and beauty on the other. How do you turn those into power when you, your people have had little or none that they can speak of? Some examples:

What We're Working Through

A friend asked us where to start w/ Betty Davis, so we'll be throwing some stones in the pathway over @ the Blue Light in the next 24 to 48. We think the right way to do it is to start in two places at once: the contradictions and fact that she's not off center, she's in the mainstream of the tradition.

What We're Hearing

We're doing some archeology on Louis Armstrong and, of course, it leads us to the precursor of precursors, King Oliver.* Me must observe as we study how much his bigga figga reminds us of Chris Wallace.

* Now is the wrong time to do the whole thing on the impossible archeology of precursors -- the one that takes us through Bunk Johnson and Buddy Bolden. It's a prayer to a loa who lives between the oceans and who tempts us to resurrect the many thousands gone.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What We're Hearing

Sailing across the Atlantic the other way, finding the creole force in effect. We know how little we know 'bout this sound, and don't know how we'll learn more.