Thursday, February 26, 2009

Teaching of the Vedas: Mantra One

Isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

Accompanying Music: "Money" by Attitude & Jackie Chain, via CocaineBlunts.


Music Stuff

You can now download Pizza Hut Taco Bell via TheMusebox who are going to help us brand ourselves the way Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, FedEx, Kinkos, Chase Bank, Bank of America, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Motorola have branded themselves. TheMusebox recently hired Andy Rourke, former bassist of the Smiths, to be their Director of A&R. This means someone from the Smiths may or may not have heard a song we made.

MGMT suing Nicolas Sarkozy over use of "Kids": ahahahaha:


Awesome: "Gordon Voidwell featured on RCRD LBL's fourth edition of Demo Days, a new weekly feature where they hand-pick a selection of A&R submissions in order to expose some great up-and-coming artists.": - I Smell Like Money. They called him "a Prince-fronted Passion Pit".


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Friday night I was telling someone that Bikram from Bikram Yoga is my cousin and I was talking about how theres some rich ass dude named Bikram walking around getting guap anytime someone does some yoga shit that's been around forever.....

From Telegraph (UK) yesterday:

India moves to patent yoga poses in bid to protect traditional knowledge

Beware: the spine-twisting yoga pose you strike in your gym or village hall is not just a struggle between your mind and body – it's also the subject of a global battle for patents pending.
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi Last Updated: 1:57AM GMT 23 Feb 2009

India has set up a team of Hindu gurus and 200 scientists to identify all ancient yoga positions or asanas and register each one to stop "patent pirates" from stealing its "traditional knowledge".

So far, they have added 600 asanas to India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library to stop so-called gurus in the United States and Europe patenting established poses as their own.
India has been angered at attempts by mostly American yoga teachers to patent moves from their classes as their own originals.

Since its arrival in Britain and America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it was popularised by Beatles guitarist George Harrison, among others, Yoga has become a $225 billion industry.

In India, however, it remains collective knowledge – practiced in public parks where gurus often teach fast breathing exercises, like pranayam, and different 'sun-salutations,' free of charge.

But as the number of Western yoga teachers has grown, there has been a steady increase in patent applications claiming each pose in their class is not part of the ancient discipline of mind and body, but their own unique invention. In the United States alone, there have been more than 130 yoga-related patents, 150 copyrights and 2,300 trademarks. Now India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library is being made available to patents offices throughout the world so they can establish whether the claim is a genuine innovation or "prior art" from Indian systems of medicine.

So far a team of yoga gurus from nine schools have worked with government officials and 200 scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to scan 35 ancient texts including the Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Bhagwad Gita, and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras to register each native pose.

The attempt by US teachers to patent traditional poses has caused disbelief and anger in India, where it has been practiced for around 6,000 years.

"Copyrights over yoga postures and trademarks on yoga tools have become rampant in the West. Till now, we have traced 130 yoga-related patents in the US. We hope to finish putting on record at least 1500 yoga postures by the end of 2009," said Dr V.P Gupta, of the CSIR, who created the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library.


Awesome: Sita Sings the Blues

Big ups to Sarah Riffu, aka "Bunty," for putting me on to this.

Nina Paley's "Sita Sings the Blues" is an 82-minute animated retelling of the Ramayana (Pronounced: Rom-eye-uhn, unless your one of them Southies with their own freak pronunciation.) set to '20s-era jazz. "Along with traditional 2-D animation there are cutouts, collages, photographs and scenes with hand-painted watercolors as the backdrop" (NY Times). Nina Paley ran into some legal trouble over the copyrights for some of the music she used, though due to an exception in some copyright joint, public tv stations can broadcast music without having to clear individual licenses and it's on tv. March 7, PBS. Trailer:


Reminder: Convivial Gentry Presents...

Come to this party Friday.
It will be loads of fun.


Music Roundup: What I'm Lissning To And Stealing From Other Blogs

First and foremost, Nah Right dropped another new DOOM track from the BORN INTO THIS promo. Here's DOOM dropping knowledge over J-Dilla's Lightworks (Sharebee).

And via, CannibalCheerleader, here's CELLZ (mp3). I just came across Cannibal Cheerleader and they have a great track-by-track review of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs upcoming album which I'm also excited for. I dropped one of the tracks here earlier and there are a couple of others floating around. I've enjoyed everything I've heard so far.

I'm a much bigger fan of Beirut than I often remember. Dude lived in the same building as me by the Morgan stop before I lived there and came back with a full band to film a couple of the songs for his take-away show of each track on The Flying Club Cup. I woke up on a Sunday at 11 AM, maybe hungover, and thought someone was playing the album until I saw the entire band filming Nantes in my stairwell. That was cool. A while ago there was a track called Venice going around that was much more electronic than anything I'd ever heard from Zach Condon, and I liked it. While I haven't heard any of the new album inspired by his time in Oaxaca, Mexico, I've listened to the entire Realpeople EP, which includes Venice and 4 other electronic songs, and am a big fan right now. Via All-Things-Go, here is the stellar My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille. Good song. Very good song.

NEXT - Cam is one of the only fools who can come close to touching DOOMs vocabulary game --> Golly I'm Gully, Look at his Galoshes Vs. 23 skidoo. (Ghost comes close too). Again via NahRight, practically the only hip-hop blog that matters, and thanks to Miss Info, who I didn't care much for until I started following her on Twitter, Cam'ron's new joint: I Used To Get It In Ohio (sharebee).






Monday, February 23, 2009

Music: New DOOM!!!

A tracklist has appeared for the highly anticipated BORN LIKE THIS by DOOM (formerly known as MF Doom formerly known as Zev Love X aka 1/2 of KMD who made one of the best rap albums of all time). Peep "That's That," which recently leaked, below. I specifically can't wait to hear a rap song called "MICROWAVE MAYO."

01 Supervillain Intro
02 Gazillion Ear
03 Ballskin
04 Yessir [ft. Raekwon] !
05 Absolutely
06 Rap Ambush
07 Lightworks !
08 Batty-Boys
09 Angelz [ft. Tony Starks] !
09 Cellz
10 Still Dope [ft. Empress Sharhh]
11 Microwave Mayo !
12 More Rhymin' [ft. Kurious]
13 That's That
14 Suppervillainz
15 Bump's Message
16 Thank Ya

Also new, via Kanye's blog, "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.


Art: IAAC Erasing Borders Passport to Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2009

Yes. Every year the Indo-American Arts Council puts together a collection of innovative art being made by South Asians in America and American-South-Asian-Americans. I've gone to the last 3 or so of these and look forward to the exhibition every year. While I'm a huge fan of old and new art being made in India, my own personal interests (obsession) with identity shit and the diaspora makes a lot of the pieces in this annual exhibition particularly dope to me and kind of a source of inspiration.

Take this jawn, "NYC Subway" (Mixed media, 23x26, '05) by Preet Srivastava, for example. I can dig it.

I came across Veru Narula's work at last years Erasing Borders exhibit and dug this piece he showed then, probably referring to Bhopal. He makes surrealist oil pieces related to global subconsciousness and is also a nice dood. Kathak Dancers, oil on canvas, 38x36:

This year Veru is showing The Digital Muse (Mixed media, oil on canvas, circuit board, string & glass beads -- 48 x 36 -- 2008):

And The Islamic Chess Revolt (oil on canvas, 48x36, 2006):

I'm also psyched to see Neil Chowdhury's work in person. Neil's work is inspired his travels to India, the land of his dad's birth. His father passed without telling him much about India and Neil's work, created from his travel photos, videos and writing, fuses together the realizations of his journey and the expectations he had built up for most of his life. Ancient vs. modern. Mythical vs. real. Imagined vs. lived.

"Cycles" -- digital photomontage, digital pigment print -- 2005:

"Street Madness" - 2006:

"Brahman's World" 2008:

"Another Man's Treasure" 2006:

This year's opening exhibition is at the Dowd Fine Art gallery at SUNY Cortland on Sunday, March 1st. Eventually it'll travel around appearing in a couple of spots in New York. The exhibit was curated by artist Vijay Kumar.


Friday, February 20, 2009

My Head Hurts




The best three rap albums of all time, in no order, are:

Ready to Die - Biggie

Black Bastards - KMD

and Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys

If anyone disagrees with me they are probably wrong. I know what I am talking about. Similar to Ludacris, I do it for hip hop. I also do it for trip-hop though I don't even like trip-hop or really know what it is. Also, I just ordered Paul's Boutique's new 20th Anniversary remastered reissue on vinyl and am soooooooooooooooooooper psyched for that to come in. That said, I still don't have a record player so I'm only going to listen to the mp3s. In addition to the vinyl and digital album, I think you get a DVD-like commentary version of the album where they talk about each track over that track. Pitchfork gave the reissue a totally appropriate 10.0 accompanied with a totally Pitchfork-y annoying ass review.


Eventually I will write a detailed ass joint about the album and it'll be very good. Everything I say about the album will be spot-on. I'll use big words only when necessary. I'll include clever anecdotes. I'll do it for hip-hop. Definitely.


Thursday, February 19, 2009



Music: More Toy Crisis + Fever Ray Video

The homie Bob "Boob" Weisz with another visual accompaniment to the Sade-on-LSD-esque-ass Ganglion of Lightnings video by fucking Toy Crisis. Dood Boob found this tape in his pops garage closet, "possibly from a CBS Veterans Day Special" from the 80s.

Previously World Premiered Here:

Here's a recently released video for Fever Ray's "When I Grow Up" (not to be confused with the jawn by the Pussycat Dolls). Fever Ray is Karen from the Knife's new solo project. Ees pretty:


The New Dance Craze Sweeping The Nation...

We had a Stanky Leg contest at work today. Nah, I'm just playing...



We on That YouTube/Das Race War: "Exterminate All White People"

"Activist and bookstore owner Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught African Studies 241 in the Spring 2005 semester at North Carolina State University speaking live on CSPAN."

And here are your Youtube Comment Stream Highlights:
  • SSNilsson says: "If it wasn't for us bringing over your 'Ancestors' over on slave ships you all would be still pulling earthworms out of African soil you dumb shit."
  • Denilson200 says: "It's about time we heard someone speak for us all and tell white people what we truly think about them. Stupid white fucks. They think we like them. THEY REALLY DO. A few smiles and the crackers are fooled."
  • Jrushi5: "Real sharp guy right there. He should stop by and visit us in Livingston Parish sometime."
  • 8dontworry8: "I've never read anything useful by Blacks (as you said they are 'ignorant')... Nor have I seen anything useful come out from them. Unless you count rape, killing, and rap as an accomplisment... Lol!"
  • Pur3pwnage (best Youtube name ever) says: "u stupid black piece of shit, you dont mind using the medicene, telephones, recources made by the white people. u ungreatefull piece of shit! i fucking swear that people like you are the ones discriminating and stopping elquality. i am a white male from england. i am 15 and share a huge interest in polatics. but i think everything you just said shows how one sided the ratial argument is. if a white man said all black people need to be exterminated we would be locked up. you racist son of a bitch"
  • SuliyanaSOS says: "Kunta Kinte times is a thing of da past so stop making it a big deal n exaggeratin cuz wite ppl arnt as dey used to be."


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fashion Week: Trovata + Marc + Band of Outsiders + Duckie Brown + Rag & Bone

Doing these fashion posts is the most nerve-wrecking thing for me. As you may know, I work in a very, let's call it, hetero-normative environment. Needless to say, Men's Fashion isn't a topic of frequent discussion at the water cooler. Although, did you know that another round of layoffs seems imminent at Merrill/Bank of America this coming Friday? Overall, Trovata, Band of Outsiders, and Marc Jacobs (who I usually kinda hate on) were the most up my alley. A lot of guys went overboard on the great depression angle (as Sara'o pointed out). I was pretty happy with the amount of men of color walking the runways of some high-end lines this year. As Sara'o said, it seems "white guilt is the new black." Lifted entirely from, here are some of my favorite looks from my favorite designers showing in New York this week:

Trovata: Trovata is one of the few brands I post about that I actually own an article of clothing from. The new line gains inspiration from Paris in the late 60s which is also the focus of Band of Outsider's new line. It's a pretty manly line. Love the duffle coats.

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Did Marc Jacobs really play Roxanne Shante at his Men's show 2 nights ago? That's awesome. Lots of layers. Classic brickwork. Really sweet sneakers and boots.
Band of Outsiders: This collection was inspired by Jean-Luc Godard's La Chinoise and also touches on late 1960s Paris.
Duckie Brown: Forward ass dudes. Ninja looking shit. A little too out there for me.
Rag & Bone: Music was curated by Thom Yorke who also wore their stuff during the Grammys (along with Weezy's who's hopped on board). I've maybe followed men's fashion for a year now but it all started when Jeremy and I would watch Full Frontal Fashion on NYC TV and saw Rag & Bone's line this time last year and couldn't lift our jaws off the ground. Duckie Brown and Rag & Bone both seemed to be influenced by Ninjas this year.



I think I want to get this little guy tattood on the back of my arm - sans the Air-India part. I've wanted a tattoo for some time now but never pulled the trigger. Though I've mostly joked about it, I've actually considered the cheeseburger tattoo on my lower back. Not just any cheeseburger, mind you, but a cheeseburger with 8 arms that each hold another cheeseburger. Holy blasphemy though! As Hari Kondabolu's Manoj character would say, that's a HinDon't! This guy though, he might be spot on. I'm something of a diaspora nut, though after leaving college the whole identity politics thing has taken a back seat in my life. That said, it's still my favorite shit to think about and follow, from music, to visual art, to fiction, etc. What's more representative of the South Asian diaspora than India's airline? Colonialism? Oh! Okay. But that would be a real difficult tattoo to conceptualize. I'd have to have a British soldier raping a map of India and that's kind of a downer so I'm going to stick with Air India Mascot Man, who we'll call Pinky (or Pappu) from now on. Hmm.. What do ya think? Is this a good idea?


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Music: Jackie Chain Freestyle

Jackie Chain fun facts: Jackie Chain is listed on Facebook as my favorite music. There are 5 other people that appear on the facebook list with Jackie Chain in their favorite music. Only 2 of these 5 actually have "Jackie Chain" listed, the others are like Jackie-O or this or that. One of these 2 people is my friend James from college, and the other is my friend James from high school. Crazy... I love the way he says "food" in this freestyle...

Jackie Chain is so hood. I guess he signed with Universal, so look out for a lot more Jackie Chain heading your way. Also, I can't understand the way people in the hood in Bama talk:


We on that Youtube: Reggae Roundup

Like four months later, Serani's No Games is still imprinted in my brain. So good:

Here's a joint Serani did with Bugle that Tal put me on to:

Click My Finger - by Erup. As Destinee1inAmillion commented on the youtube, this joint is "still a big chune.:

I'm So Special - Mavado. Are you so special? You cannot avoid this joint on Hot 97, still.

So Blessed - Mavado. Relatively new chune here.

Tal - What am I forgetting?


Music: Gordon Voidwell

Not to be confused with Gordon Gartrelle, Gordon Voidwell (fka Will Johnson) is a musician probably influenced in some way by the same Cosby Show this blog got it's name from. I don't know that for sure, but I assume so. Yo is that racist? It was such a good show. I mean, that can't be racist.

Gordon Voidwell makes music for cats that used to listen to a lot of underground rap but then got bored with that scene when it started getting... boring. He also makes music for people who aren't rooted in hip-hop, but who want to get down. On certain tracks, he pulls off the difficult task of making political commentary while not jamming it down your throat - using sexy dance beats to undermine that political commentary, but leaving both so you can pick and choose later when his joint's stuck in your head.

When I was a young teenager, music consisted solely of Hot 97, anyone on Def Jux, MF Doom, Juggaknots, J-Live, and that type of thing - never Anticon though. I'd go to Fat Beats every now and then. Percee P would sit outside selling CDs. I idolized mid-90s rap: Boot Camp Clique, Nas, Wu-Tang, etc. But then New York changed...

This is music for people that wanted to dance but couldn't because it was 2000 and New York was still holding on to the glorified age of black hoodies and black timbs that was no longer present. They clinged on to the nostalgia of Nas's Queens and Biggie's Bed Stuy but both of these hoods were changing. The New York of 2000 and onward was not New York of the 1990s. White people moved into town! The police followed them. Jay-Z started rapping about Hermes instead of Nautica. Kids that historically didn't listen to rap or even only listened to underground, started loving Dip Set and not entirely ironically. They liked it because it was FUN. Crunk was happening around the country and the Dips were the closest NY would come to it. While Rap was getting funner and people were leaning and rocking, it wasn't getting any smarter though. It was a very guilty pleasure.

Those are the rap kids that wanted to have fun. This is also music for non-rap people that want to have a good time. Maybe they hate rap/hip-hop songs that include the words "up in the club" because they don't go "clubbing" but still want music that they can dance to - just not in the fictional "club" blacks talk about because maybe that scares them. Maybe their brother got beat up at a "club." They'd prefer their urban dance music to pop off at a "bar" or maybe in the privacy of a Brooklyn apartment one moved to from the Midwest in hopes of following some kind of dream. They try, but they just can't get past the word "club." Beats me!

And so that's what I think. Remember when fools rocked Dapper Dan and danced at rap shows like in the Sugarhill Gang video? Remember when rap was influenced by Disco? Remember that before the NWA was catching on, a dude in California named Egyptian Lover RAN SHIT and did it with 808s and electronic music. Some fools were too hardbody for that and wanted to talk about how life wasn't a party, about how shit was tough in Compton. Some fools wanted to dance their way out of that specific thing - how tough shit was in Compton. Comparisons to Prince are sure to follow, much like they will for Boy Crisis who, while very different and situated in an entirely different scene, are of a similar vein in being rooted in soul and r&b but not purely in a revivalist fashion - aka moving. shit. forward. While on the one hand reclaiming electro-r&b for people of color from bands like Hot Chip, and maybe Boy Crisis though maybe not a la "ethnic band member," Voidwell's equally inspired by that school of music and it shows in his material. If fans of either came to a show for one of them and happened to catch the other, they'd be happy with both. I know I would.

Gordon Voidwell :

Bread (Via ZShare)
White Friends (Via ZShare)

* Also, look out for the DR/GV collaboration joint when that gets done. Yes.
* Also, you may remember Gordon Voidwell/Will Johnson from G Band Free, a "very, very fine band." (Whattup Sam, Whattup Chip, Whattup Jon).


New Music: Boy Crisis

Faithful three readers, I apologize for the lack of posting here. I took the long weekend to go Weed Edge and I don't regret it. Not one bit. For after all, blog, we weedheads and greedheads, with self-anointed street cred, emaciated fools look at us and note that we fed, we weed edge...

On to big tings...

Boy Crisis is a Brooklyn Buzz Band. Ever heard of them? They make music that is "danceable" and has "pop hooks." They have an "ethnic band member." They are well-liked by me. Boy Crisis is recording their upcoming album and it will be very good. I've had the pleasure of hearing a lot of the new stuff and even the demos sound great. If the Crookers version of Day and Night can get played on Hot 97 and urban radio stations across the hood, I don't doubt that Boy Crisis can do it. They have an "ethnic band member." While I can't leak the demos I was lucky enough to steal from Victor's computer when he wasn't looking, I can post a video Boob Weisz made for a remix of a demo of a new song of theirs called Fountain of Youth...


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