November 1, 2007


By the time you’re reading this I’ll be en route to New York City. I’ll be there until next Thursday, so no blogging all next week. Sorry. But I’ve never been save for a six hour stretch I once spent at the Met and/or waiting for a Yankee game to get rained out. And I tend to live by the general rule that if you’ve never been drunk in a city you haven’t actually been there. This doesn’t count for Mormons, Priests or Emos.

In order to adequately prepare myself I’ve been listening to Tha’ Dogg Pound’s “New York New York” on repeat. Why? Because it was my favorite song when I was in the 9th grade and because it is awesome and because I am reasonably certain that Kurupt never spit a better verse (save for “Doggy Dogg World.”) Of course, I’ve never really dug into the solo Kurupt discography, but honestly, I think that’s a decision I’m alright with. And don’t think this is some sort of West Coast subliminal, I’ve been listening to “NYC Everything” to balance things out (you always know it’s a good week when there’s two Bobby Digital references).

I’ve got a million posts I’d like to write before I leave, but as Kurtis Blow once said, “these are the breaks.” But then again, Kurtis Blow was also the first rapper to ever pose shirtless on an album cover, which means that he’s probably directly to blame for this.

And Listening Is Pain…


There’s a good half dozen or so posts I wanted to write before I left that I’m just not going to get the chance to do justice to. So I’m just going to try to do my best Skeet on Mischa or Sexy Results (RIP) imitation. Bear with me. First things first, last Saturday night I saw Poison. And no, I’m not talking about Michael Bivens, Ricky Bell or Ronnie DeVoe, I’m talking Brett Michaels, C.C. Deville and a whole lot of hairspray. I’ve never really liked metal and I’m not about to pretend to because it’s supposed to show how eclectic and open-minded musically I am.

However, I will say that after watching an hour of Poison, I can’t help but respect them. They definitely rock out and even if their music sucks, as my friend put it, you can’t deny the fact that at every Poison concert in 1987 there were at least 14 girls with “Fuck Me Brett” signs. Which makes sense when you see them live. There is no denying the fact that those guys are rock stars in the purest form. The show also left me struck with one other unmistakable conclusion, no good rock star ever loses their hair. Really. Look at Bono, the guy completely sucks yet he still has a magnificent mullet. Brett Michaels? The guy looks like a fucking rock n’ roll unicorn. Billy Joel. Hairless as the women Hank Moody sleeps with (on another note: watch Californication immediately).

After watching Poison, I drove to a friend’s Halloween party, dressed as Hunter S. Thompson while listening to American Gangster, which seemed to make sense at the time because both men seemed to confirm the veracity of Bob Dylan’s “you gotta’ be an honest man to live outside the law” philosophy. At least, if you believe Jay-Z’s stories. Anyhow, American Gangster is a very solid and respectable comeback. Not 5 mics amazing, not on the level of Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint, or even Hard Knock Life Vol. 2, but certainly on par with The Black Album in 4 mics/7 or 8 very good songs territory. Hell, I’d probably put it ahead The Black Album were it not for that godawful collaboration with Li’l Wayne. And just when I was starting to tolerate the little rapping gremlin. Honestly though, what the fuck is the guy doing on a song called “Hello Brooklyn.”

You Should Hear the Song Where Wayne Raps About the Time Baby Bought Him A Gun Rack



Halloween also made me realize how depressing it must have been to actually be Hunter S. Thompson. Just wearing aviator shades, a pith hat and a Hawaiian shirt, people expected me to dance around and start yammering about inhaling ether and guzzling whiskey. Which is cool, I’m usually up for that sort of thing, but I felt like a trained monkey being asked to recite dialogue about being in Bat Country. After about two hours of pretending to pretend, the whole thing felt exhausting and I ended up sitting in the corner of the now almost empty party reading Catcher in the Rye. I suppose there’s irony in there somewhere, but I don’t have the time nor the motivation to try to pick it out at this juncture.

Two more shows in brief: Ghostface, Rakim and Brother Ali, all backed by the Rhythm Roots All-Stars was pretty great. Granted, this was my fourth time seeing Ghostface this year and even I have my limits, but I never fail to get amped up when I hear “Fish” or “Daytona 500” live. Rakim was Rakim. Shorter than I expected but consistently excellent and Brother Ali held his own against the other two better than you’d imagine.

I also saw Neil Young at the brand-new Nokia Theater. I really don’t want to talk about it. Before last night, I thought it was damn near impossible to go to a bad Neil Young show. But the Nokia Theater really did its best. Still, bad Neil Young is better than awesome Green Day any day of the week. Anyhow, Duke pretty much nailed the disenchantment we both felt and when I get back from New York I’m going to channel my rage into a diatribe for the LA Weekly about the sheer wretchedness of the place. Okay? Okay. I’m good. You’re good. We’re all good. Now I have to go to New York and do my best to embody the spirit of this film.

Oh Kermie


See you guys in a week.

MP3: Tha Dogg Pound-“New York New York”
MP3: RZA ft. Method Man-“NYC Everything”

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