Friday, September 22, 2006

Music that matters

current song- mr. small pants/ Odd Nosdam

Aight, this is one record you can't sleep on, I was so moved by this one I had to write about it. Two words to describe this: fucking unbelievable.

Not long ago there existed a period of time where I listened to nothing but one album. Over and over again I would replay this album and never get tired of it; it was like a drug to me. When I was in class, at work or in any other situation that I was not able to listen to music, all I could think about was this one album and how I couldn’t wait to get home so I could listen to it. I am talking about the great offering from producer/beat maker extraordinaire Odd Nosdam (pronounced Odd Nose-dam) of the intellectually superior and unique conglomerate of abstract rappers, artists, musicians, producers, DJs and poets known as Anticon. For those of you who are not ‘schooled’ in the increasingly popular sub-genre of underground hip-hop and rap, I’ll let you in on a little secret; anything by these folks is guaranteed to be great.

The album I am talking about is Burner. What got me hooked is more a story of happenstance than anything else. Burner had been sitting in my i-pod for about a week before I actually listened to it. Looking back, it makes me sad to think that this incredible work of phonic art sat dormant for so long without me hearing it. What these twelve compelling and beautifully haunting tracks do is paint a picture of life in multiple stages of beautiful turmoil and lofty chaos. Burner is an amazingly crafted aural landscape with dabs of real life throughout the masterpiece leaving you floating along in the world that Odd Nosdam has created. The first time I listened to Burner I didn’t press the pause or stop buttons a single time. I was taking a walk through a desolate part of Richmond, VA and the scenes that I saw fit perfectly with what I was hearing. Certain tracks especially catch me, but of course they are best heard as a whole, they are best heard as Burner. The tracks entitled 11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 1 and 11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 2 work together as a primer for what comes just a few scant minutes later- an eerily calm sounding track called Untitled 3. This song features the mysterious and sexy vocals of Jessica Bailiff. It’s superb. What’s interesting about this track is that you can’t easily understand the lyrics but her vocals seem to function more as an instrument than anything else. The only complaint I have is, even though it clocks in at a healthy six minutes, it seems to end too soon leaving you wanting more.

The scenes that Burner paints are those of urban decay and real life, there is no sugar coated landscape here. It’s taking a walk along the ‘wrong side’ of the tracks and into the industrial parts of the city, along the train tracks and factories and old graffiti covered warehouses. The songs Mr. Small Pants and 11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 2 are walks through the downtrodden parts of the city, along the rows of dilapidated houses and storefront churches where old black ladies sit on their front porches and remember days when things were different. Odd Nosdam seems to find the most interesting things in the most mundane of places. He is able to show the genuine beauty of the inner city, in all its raw, dirty and rough-edged glory. Burner is a passion filled album that is able to generate thoughtful emotion from those that listen to it.


check these Anticon cats out

Friday, August 25, 2006

current song- back and forth- alias & ehren (anticon)

Just updated my archive of freight goodness. check it out, don't sleep on this! for the love of freights

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sweet site

current song- goodbye blue sky by Pink Floyd

Holy crap! When I saw this site earlier tonite at work I was amazed and couldn't wait to get home to play around with it. A lot like Google Earth (awesome program!) Windows Live Local is a site that you can go to and type in an address and then get a bird's eye view, literally, of your chosen point and it's photo quality and rather detailed, even more so that Google Earth. I was surprised at the quality and clarity of it. This is great for terrorists and stalkers so that makes it a little scary, but it's still pretty damn cool! I could play with this for hours easily! In fact, I am going to finish this post so that I can fool around with it some more. Peace...
Oh yeah, thanks to my friend Christen for showing it to me!

$200 cash and an amputated foot

current song- far away eyes by the rolling stones

since I had to work the shit shift the whole weekend my life has not been the same, in a matter of speaking because I am not used to sleeping during the day and out all night. The last part of the previous sentence reminds me of that James Gang song Funk #49. He's like 'out all day, sleep all night/ I know where you're goin...". That songs is great. So as I was saying about the shift messing my regular schedule up, I didn't go to sleep the other night until around 8am because I was just so thrown off. As a result I had some odd dreams. This one, for instance, was weird. I dreamt that I was walking around in a creek near an industrial section with lots of buildings and all of a sudden I looked down in the water and saw this wallet. I picked it up and there was nothing in it. I kept that wallet though and kept on walking and soon thereafter I looked down in the water and I saw a foot and a wallet under it, poking out between the toes. I reached down and pulled the foot and it just came out of the water, it had been severed off it's respectable leg, it was real weird. It was really pale and leathery and like your skin gets after being in a bath or swimming pool for a long time, it was like a prune, if you will. So I held the foot and then I took the wallet and suprisingly there was a lot of money in there, I guess I must have counted $200 because that's the figure that sticks out in my head. Shit was weird, but the wierdest thing about it was that I was not too freaked out by it in my dream. My mom was there and so I told her about it and she said that I should probably turn the money in. I was going to keep it but then I thought that I probably should turn it in to someone and report my findings because that what should have been done, it was a foot in the creek for godsake.

Monday, July 17, 2006

North Dakota and 17 cents

current song- karma payment plan by modest mouse

I had to work this morning from 4am to 9 am, that's what I call the shit schedule. It's not that bad because then once you are done you can go home and not have to work the normal hours in the evening. It was nice as hell today and I really wanted to do something so I took my dog for a walk. I got back home and laid down and ended up sleeping pretty much the bulk of the day. It was pretty lame but that's what you do when you work the shit schedule. A few hours ago I went out the local subway, which doesn't really mean anything because there are about 4 subways around here and if you drive 8 miles there are many more. I went to one of the local Subways to get a delicious veggie sandwich and as I pulled into the driveway this dude keeps on looking at me. I knew he was probably going to ask me for money or something so I stayed in my car and pretended that I was doing something important. I get out of my car and this fucker walks up to me like he's my boy and is like "hey baby, what up yo. Hey man, can you do me a favor?" I knew this was coming. He wanted to know if I could give him some money and if I could go 'over there to the Texaco' so that I could give him a jump because his car was broken down or something. He wanted money so that he could get hot dogs for his kids and then he said something about child support, I didn't really pay attention. I tried as hard as I could to play dumb but it's hard to find anyone in this day and age who does not know what 'money' or a 'jump' is. I was then asked if I could use my credit card to buy hot dogs. What the hell? I was like, "well, I really can't right now because I am meeting my mom here. She's from out of town. He asked me where she was from and I said "North Dakota." I'm not sure if he knew where that was, but then he was like "c'mon man, it'a only take a second man!" Yeah, it'll only take a second for him to steal my shit. So I said, "yo, maybe after I meet my mom. I don't know when she'll be here so I gotta stay right here." then he was like "damn man, gimme some change then." at this point I was glad to give him some change so he would get the fuck out of my face. I know this sounds quite harsh but I know who really needs money or help and who doesn't, you know the saying "beggars can't be choosers"? I reach into my change box which I had just cleaned out the night before as a matter of fact and gave him something like 17 cents. He took it and then looked at it and was like "aight man you can have this back!" and then walked away. Then next time someone comes up to me and has a story like that I am going to be the first one to ask for change.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weird things I saw tonight

current song- Bloody Mary by Stonewall
I was driving home with my dog after walking along the traintracks catching some fresh pieces and sweating the whole way because it's pretty damn hot here in Anytown, USA. Anyway, I am about 2 blocks from my place when I stop at a red light. I look over and see this lady in a wheelchair in the road and she was talking but I couldn't understand what she was saying. Light turns green and she gets up out of the wheelchair and walks over to the first car in line and gets in the car. It's this red Miata with the top down and some guy in his mid fifties driving it. I'm like 'what the hell dog? Did you see that?! What the hell is that?" My dog didn't respond, he just sat there. So after like 15 seconds they finally go and so I decide to follow them because I thought that was just a little bit odd. I follow them for a few blocks and then the dude tries to lose me by taking a left onto this side street. I continue to go straight knowing full well that I can take a left at the next street and catch up again with them which is exactly what happened. I followed for a few more blocks until I became bored with the whole thing. I found that strange nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Arguing with a conservative

current song: Why am I so tired? - smashing pumpkins

Ever tried to argue with a conservative, or any one of the other equally dangerous sub-categorized zealots? You are never able to win. You can't win, it's impossible because they won't listen to you. They will hear you but they won't actually listen to you. I've been in this situation many times and eventually gave up the whole notion of even trying t carry on an intelligent conversation with one. It's not possible. They are always right. Not literally, but they always think that they are right and anxiously wait for you to finish so that they can talk. One time I was talking to one of these scary people and could really not even get a word in edgewise. I was told that our current president george w bush was actually very intelligent. That's right, the word intelligent was used , not smart, but 'intelligent'. I found it funny because not only can the man not speak proper English, he doesn't know what most of the shit that comes out of his mouth even means. He's a shit-talker. Good examples of crimes he has committed against the English language are:
  • "The great thing about America is everybody should vote."
    —Austin, Texas, Dec. 8, 2000
  • "They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000
  • "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000
  • "Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about."
I'm tired so I am going to sleep now.

freight 'o the day

Monday, March 13, 2006

current song: push- zombie nation
Apparently there are certain cities and jurisdictions here in america that have considered putting a blanket ban on pit bulls. The topic of animals is one subject that i do not shy away from. i am very passionate about a few things and animal rights is one of them.

As a person who lives with a pit bull, I could not believe the stupidity and ignorance of the idea of banning pit bulls from the city. I reside in Anytown, USA and yes, pit bulls can be a problem, like any other dog. Why can they be a problem? Because of the pieces of trash that abuse them, thus making them react in an adverse way. Those are the people (actually they are garbage, not people) that should be banned. Those morons that give pits a bad name probably don't deserve to live, in all actuality. I try to be an ethical person and such, but the only thing that banning pit bulls will prove is that the one(s) who are responsible for this ordinance are completely missing the point and are, dare I say, ignorant and foolish. Why have stiffer penalties not been established and handed out instead? Banning a certain breed of dog is much like banning a race or an ethnicity. It makes no sense and is just a 'quick fix', a weak, foolish and 'easy way out', completely overlooking the real issue, that being that the owners are responsible for turning these dogs into monsters. American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred as fighting dogs but this was outlawed over a century ago so the idea that pit bulls are these monsters is unfounded in the present day. That's a misconception that I suppose the media has perpetrated and apparently people take it at face value.

Most of the people who own pits are not the ones who give them a bad name, but there are those few who do and that is why this has been a problem. If need be, the city should investigate these 'dog attacks' and then take them on a case-by-case basis instead of issuing a blanket ban. I am not saying that these dog attacks do not happen nor am I making light of them. I offer my condolence to anyone who has been attacked and/or killed by dogs. However, the fact remains that some of the attacks, more than likely, were provoked in some way or another. It still does not make it right or OK that these attacks occurred, but there should be investigations into these attacks, checking out all the pertinent information. Who the dog belongs to, an investigation of where these people live and if they have any criminal record, what kind of crowd they associate themselves with, etc. Other questions, which I'm sure are routinely asked should be, "Why did the dog attack?", " Was there provocation of any kind?" Also, children need to be taught to respect animals, most importantly these dogs because, unfortunately sometimes they are abused and will attack because of the way they were treated, thus bringing us back to the reason I am writing this. Unfortunately the majority of these attacks occur because these dogs were abused. I don’t tolerate the excuse of "Well, they are trained to attack." When someone 'trains' a dog to attack, that's called abuse. 'Training' is when a dog is taught to behave.

Much stiffer penalties should be imposed for dog fighting. Not only is it sick, cruel and unfair to the dogs but it creates a public problem and is dangerous. What if these dogs got out into the general public? What would happen? That's right, they would attack more than likely. It should also be a glaring warning sign that the people who engage in dog fighting show signs of sociopathy.

I have said my piece and have let it be known that I feel very strongly on this matter, hopefully this will bring to light a few things and perhaps make some think twice and, the ultimate though rather lofty goal, is to change legislation for the better. These dogs, as well as all dogs and animals deserve to be treated with respect. They should be shown the same respect that people are shown. We tend to have this elitist attitude that somehow we (humans) are above all other living things. My simple refutation to that big-headed idea is, put simply,’ bullshit'.

Freight 'o the day

Sunday, March 12, 2006

God made me late for work

this is the first post.
current song:youth of america- the melvins
it was nice as hell today so I decided I was going to do some benching down by the river before I had to go to work. There's nothing like being out in the nice weather near the train tracks with my camera checking out the graffiti on the freights. I was hoping to meet up with a friend of mine but our paths never crossed. That's probably all for the better though because then I would have had to hang up my 'fun' jacket and put on my 'work' jacket and make my way to work leaving behind the great weather for the sterile insides of a building with few windows. As I was making my way to my car a man, looking a lot like a younger Fidel Castro, approached me and asked me if I went to college. After about a minute or so of talking he made it clear to me that God was going to have something to do with this conversation. My hopes of some nice philosophical conversation were dashed when he began to say that he was not going to bring religion in this yet he continued to push it, albeit in a poorly attempted covert way, on me. By this time I was anxious to look at my cell phone to check the time but I didn't have to because he watch caught my eye. "Shit!", I thought. "It's 4:20 already." I had to be at work at 5 and I always left at around 4:30. This was beginning to be a waste of my time. To make a long story short, I ended up praying with him because otherwise I would have had to stay around and listen to how I was wrong in assuming that the possibility of a higher being could not be proven or disproved; in his mind not only did a higher being, God as he called it, exist, but he could prove it to me. He told me this and I was a little interested in just how he could prove it to me, but I had to get to work. He said "I know that God exists, without a shadow of a doubt and I could literally show you but we don't have time for that right now, because you need to get to work." That was convenient. I guess I am going to hell. I was about 15 minutes late. Thanks God. ;]