Sunday, September 30, 2007

steelers - cards

well... we're not alone. Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay also won today, so getting beat by one of the top five worst teams in the league by last year's standings isn't so bad. I guess. A weekend of upsets?

This game was essentially lost by our O-Line.

We had 11 penalties for 72 yards, most of these were false starts.

Willie Parker was 19 rushes for 37 yards (1.9 yards-per-carry)

Ben got sacked 4 times, got hurried around a fucking ton.

I put it down to Russ Grimm fucking up our steez.

It also didn't help us that of all the people to be injured and out the game, it had to be these dudes.

Frankly, Ben's endzone pick was a bit too much, but can we not squeeze in our RB from the fucking 1 yard line??? Aren't we a run first team?

At least, if Cinci loses tomorrow night to the Patriots, we still maintain the lead of the AFC North. I think they might. Right now the NFL seems so bad across the board that it's really anyone's game any given Sunday, which is good I suppose, but it's like watching Arena league most of the time.

"I'm so glad I know absolutely nothing about football."

-J.P. Sartre

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fog Machines and Laser Rays

OK, not party related, but GW9K and I have a collaborative piece in this quarter's issue of The Crier, in which we take an Iraq war veteran down a few pegs. Shouts to Christine.

Aight let's do this.

Friday (NYC/PHI):
Shea or Citizens, either way you can watch the NL East race spiral downward to its inevitable conclusion. I saw the Mets last night, there is no fucking way that team is going to the playoffs.

Friday (BKNY):
Caps and Jones at Savalas.
The undisputable kings of "oh shit no they didn't" djing are back and celebrating the reincarceration of OJ Simpson. I will be here, throwing back Tecate and puking on people I only know on the internet.

Friday (PHI):
The Straight Dope at The Khyber with Seclusiasis (Dev79 and Stumble) and special guest Willy Joy.
Willy brings the Chi-town love, and hopefully some kind of tricked out bike. I hear they're into that up there.

Saturday (BKNY):
Korrupt at Studio B with Switch, Sinden and DJ Ayres.
Switch and Sinden guarantee well-engineered Euro house, Studio B guarantees sweaty NYU chicks. DJ Ayres might spin "When I Hear Mehdi."

Saturday (NYC):
Slap You In Public at 200 Orchard with Robot Blair, David Bruno special guest Runaway.
You can see Blair in the flix from DNCHRDIII. (Hi Abbey!) This is his party, and there will be disco. I will be here too.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

it don't stop

Our country deserves a great leader. The kind of man (or woman) who, when faced with incredibly tough choices about a batshit mistake of a war he (or she) started, clashes over the funding of said batshit war, a brewing race riot from a breed of racism we thought dead at least twenty-five years ago, and his (or her) nemesis touching down on our turf and talking mad shit, stands up and faces the challenge head on.

Unfortunately, we elected a man whose reaction to those difficult hurdles is to leak a scary video showing the ability of cyber criminals to theoretically fuck up a power plant, like it was the plot of a bad movie starring one of the bitches from Friends back from when the internet was in short pants.



Monday, September 24, 2007

On my grind

A few people have told me of their disappointment with the general scarcity of posts around these parts. Well, we've been working like slaves on some other projects. One of them is my weekly sports column at Philebrity, This Week In Balls.

To keep yourself sated with Just Sayin-ish brilliance, check out the whole archive.

-For those of you in New York, peep Skinny at the DNCHRD jawn Tuesday night.

-Also, I got word that our homeys Dr. Dog will be singing the national anthem at the Phillies game on Thursday. I'm still angling for a seat in that skybox, so I'll let you know if there's a special report to be had.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

i'm a movement by myself

OK first, not to get all Uni Watch on yall but the choice of throwbacks this season is nanners. The 'Lers rocked some off-kilter threads in week 2, no doubt. But the Eagles' entirely new/old colorway today was really bizarre. If I'm San Diego, I am a bit salty about someone else in the NFL rocking powder blue and yellow. I'm digging the yellow-intensive Washington gear though.

Anyways, I want to visit (revisit?) the Vince Young paradigm for a moment. Through a series of conversations, Shoals and I have been hammering out exactly what makes Young different/new to the position of quarterback. It's not just improvisation and independence, as many have pointed out. Favre and Manning are both great quarterbacks who basically run their teams from the field, to name a couple of obvious exceptions.

But Manning is, as westney put it, a nerd. I used to constantly lose hands at the poker table to a friend of mine whose power was his total knowledge of the game. He knew what chances to take better than any of us, and his knowledge of when it was smart to play the deceptively bad J8 suited (aka "hey I've got a face card!"), and when it wasn't always trumped our fucking terrible instincts. His confidence was entirely material, rooted in a secure awareness of his edge. And that is Peyton Manning. He doesn't call off punt teams because of his big ol' nuts, he calls off punt teams because he already knows how to score.

Favre, on the other hand, does run on pure confidence, but it's not an amicable "I GOT THIS". Favre is a gritty do-it-yourselfer. A cowboy, or McGyver. Or your average suburban dad trying to fix a piece of electronics he has no hope of understanding. (Green Bay: how does it feel to have Ray Romano as your quarterback?) There's something humble to Favre, something very utilitarian and utterly American. As an American man, you don't ask for help, you get the job done with the tools you are given (or--say it with me--the army you have). So he embodies a sort of lack of options, which his talent allows him to overcome. He prepares to overachieve because it is inevitable that somebody will not live up to expectations.

But Vince Young's parade of opportunistic 8 yard passes and magical 62 yard runs, all behind a joke of an offensive line, is something different. Young really is doing it mostly on his own. Routes are run, blocks are applied, but that's about it. Young only passes because it is impossible to not do so. If he had his way, he would run on his own on every down. He does the bare minimum required for team play, and that's it. It makes for exciting, ridiculous football and dude is a joy to watch, but Vince Young is playing an entirely different game than everyone else on the field.

Let me repeat it: Young is the football extension of a generation of self-starting rappers (especially in Houston) whose repeated declarations that they are the truth and a movement become self-fulfilling prophecies. Houston rappers have watched so much bullshit blow up from afar, while local artists regularly went almost platinum in Texas alone that conventional wisdom no longer applies. You can't really tell Paul Wall shit because he is a cheesy-looking white dude with bad punchlines about diamonds who sold a million albums. None of that computes, so why would anything? Similarly, you really can't be a one-man-team in football, but Vince Young is doing it. IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING.

As a final note, I need to say that none of these dudes are generals, in the traditional football-as-war analogy. There hasn't been one of those in at least a decade. The brainpower has fully migrated off the field. Good qb's can handle their troops when they have to, but the best strategizing occurs on the sidelines or in the booth. No matter who you put under center for Herm Edwards or Marty Schottenheimer, you will still get fatal clock management and cringe-worthy playoff losses.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

drive time

I used to watch the Steelers in St. Louis at a hotel bar in Clayton. Clayton is a funny little city in the first ring of suburbs which hosts a number of skyscraping office buildings, a sort of second downtown more convenient to exurban commuters than the inner core of the River City. It's full of mediocre restaurants and saps business dollars from St. Louis itself, but whatever.

Anyways, I used to post up there in the Marriot bar, eat chicken fingers and crush mad watered-down coffee. It was cheap and awesome, and there were always random fans straggling in from around the country, like the one really jolly dude in a Bucs jersey that was there yelling at the TV every week, come hell or high water. Dedication!

GW9K and I tried to watch the opening game this season in the Fox and Hound, Philadelphia's premiere destination for chubby uncomfortable girls and fat dudes wearing black and gold. It was fucking awful. So we dipped to another Marriot down the street, where we crushed some sub-par nachos and watched sub-par football. My girl went to trusted Steelers outpost 200 Fifth in Park Slope, Brooklyn and said it was more crowded than ever and thus really unpleasant.

Last weekend, I didn't even go out. I sat on my friend's couch in Minneapolis and watched the Vince Young extravaganza. And watched the Steelers beat down the Bills thanks to these dudes. It was dope.

What I'm saying is, even though I get down for the pageantry and violence of football fandom, more and more I really just want to enjoy the fucking game in peace. While sitting down. I mean, shit, I am more often than not either hungover, sleep deprived or both on Sunday morning. I'm not really trying to stand for three hours in a bar, Steelers or not.

(The one benefit of 200 Fifth is that they have a pretty ill brunch. Some weeks I'd get brunch and football. Really, that is the new American Dream.)

Here's a story about Suge Knight "butt-fingering" a prostitute.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Fog Machines and Laser Rays

I'll make this brief

Friday (Phila):

It's been a while since I been up in this piece, but I'm at Transit tonight. I'll be downstairs with the Hurrah boys. It's sponsored by Vice Magazine and Colt .45- free before 12 and free beer before 12. 10-3:30AM. Flyer here.

Saturday (Phila):

I've been excited about this for a while now- I'm guesting at Medusa with Bleached Black- longtime buddies and collaborators and longtime competitors when we had Philadelphyinz at the Khyber. But all rivalries are in the past and it's just good vibes from here on out. 21st and Chestnut, No Cover.Flyer here.

Tuesday (NY):

Skinny will be reppin P-yinz at DNCHRD III, thrown by Dewars and LVHRD. It's a competition where YOU bring the vinyl, and the DJ has to throw a dance party. The theme is 90s Dance music. The bol Skinny will be facing off against heads from East Village Radio and TurntableLab. The event is at B Side, 204 Avenue B btw 12th and 13th, 7pm-midnight.

Also, bring vowels.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hold this hold this take this take this

Cop this tape: DJ Ayres- Drugs

Ayres is one of our most respected peers and dude does his thing in just about every style imaginable, from Houston to Sweden, if you will. This tape has a bunch of popular house favorites from the last year or so and it contains my track When I Hear Mehdi, which is half the reason I'm posting about this in the first place.

But seriously, if you aren't up on your DJ Ayres, get learned and get ahold of some of his tapes (a few are free for you cheapskates).

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Steelers - Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers - 34
Cleveland Browns - 7

Wow. All this commotion I can't believe it. The undefeated Steelers lead the league with a top ranked rush defense and a grip on the division title. With Roethlisberger (a former rookie) tied for first in the league in touchdown passes, I can't believe it's just week one.

to break down the game...

Defense. Nothing wrong there. Having a hell of a day with Charlie Frye. Fun to watch. Almost made up for...

Oddly shitty offense in the 2nd quarter. After 17 points in the first 15 minutes, nobody seems able to catch a damn thing. Whatever mad fat fluid pep talk Tomlin gave them at halftime went in somewhere. 3rd quarter was right back on track.

No rushing touchdowns despite rushing the entire last 25 minutes of the game. Weird.

Apropos rushing, Davenport, the closet monster, broke about 35 tackles to get a first down. It was like Suge Knight came to him before the snap and told him if he didn't convert the 3rd down, he was going to hang Jeff Reed off a balcony by his ankles.

That punt that hit on the 2 and then bounced back to the 5 and just fell into place there. Also, Washington prevents the touchback. Special teams plays of the day.

Allen Rossum calls fair catch at the last second, if at all. I like that kind of Madden-esque trying to run the return no matter what. Good aquisition. I think they traded him for some Flav-r Ice in James' fridge.

4 flags on the Browns when shitty punter dude doesn't get the long snap down.

Cedric Wilson's reverse.

Matt Spaeth. That kid is a professional athlete that plays football in the NFL.

After Batch subs in, he doesn't get off just ONE pass? Couldn't hurt to give him some practice.

All in all, fun game. I drank a lot and passed out. Go Team!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Pirates fire Littlefield. See ya later, Fuck You.

Pirates fire GM Littlefield; interim replacement is Graham

Shout it from the highest mountian. Somehow, the Pirates made an intensely logical decision- if you have 6 consecutive losing seasons, you are a bad General Manager and you get fired. Wow. Was that so hard?

Littlefield hired- July 31, 2001

To be fair, let's examine his record since his first full season.

2002: 72-89 (.447)
2003: 75-87 (.463)
2004: 72-89 (.447)
2005: 67-95 (.414)
2006: 67-95 (.414)
2007: 61-79 (.436)

Littlefield fired- September 7, 2007



(yeah, right)


Fog Machines and Laser Rays


I know we didn't do much Steelers writing like we did last year, when we were all up on it around the beginning of the year. I guess other writing pursuits have distracted us. I've been writing about the Eagles for chrissakes. (At some point today The 700 Level should be posting another brief Eagles season preview I wrote).

But this weekend is HUGE on a few fronts- not only is it the beginning of the epic NFL Pittsburgh Steelers rapturous return to earth season, but it is also a REALLY DOPE PARTY WEEKEND in Philly.

Here's the rundown


-Jay Simplefly brings The Rub (sans Ayres) down from NYC to Fluid (4th and South). Mad New York fam sure to make the trip, because from 12-4 AM, its...

-Our boys Emil, Bo and Dan the Swede doing up White Tees White Belts at the Arts Garage (15th and Parrish).

-It's first Friday during the Philly Fringe Festival, and my boy Juston Stens (drummer of Dr. Dog) tells me he's going to be participating in some massive 50-drummer something-or-other at 2nd and Race Streets in Old City. I'd peep it if I were you. By the way- Dr. Dog hits the road with Wilco next week.


Philadelphyinz at Medusa Lounge, 21st and Chestnut Streets. NO COVER. Apt One, Skinny Friedman, SHEER INSANITY.


Pittsburgh ex-pats watch them Stillers at the Fox and Hound, 15th and Spruce. Really no other reason to ever go to that place, but this is a religious event we're talking about.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mean ass swagger

Skinny and I did a new mix for Shift Industries down in New Orleans.

You can grab the whole thing here as a free download.

Here's the tracklisting:

Philadelphyinz Podcast: Shift Industries

(Skinny Friedman…)
Armand Van Helden - Ultrafunkula
West Coast Crew - We Are the Crew
Escort - All Through the Night (Rapture remix)
DJ Smurf - Shake It (acappella)
LCD Soundsystem - Beat Connection (edit)
Skinny Friedman - Frozen Hands
Bonde Do Role - Gasolina (Radioclit remix)
Lime - Guilty (remix)
Newcleus - Space is the Place
Two Sisters - Hot Hot Beat
Do or Die - Money Flow f/ Twista

Mischa Barton Taints Pittsburgh (interlude)

(Apt One…)
Azoto- San Salvador
The Pack- Robocop
Jimi Hendrix- Crosstown Traffic (Apt One’s BooMix)
U-Tern- Pop Lock
Tuff Crew- What You Don’t Know (Apt One’s Mama Blend)
DJ Technics- We All Gonna
Raww- Don’t You Try It (Dub)
Turn Turn- Caprice Music (Skinny Friedman Remix)
Hott City- Feeling Love

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

on representing that world town

It's a shame that MIA had to blow up like she did. Not that she blew up and became the critical darling she is, but in that she didn't get her due until Diplo mashed her up (literally and figuratively) for Piracy Funds Terrorism. The bol Wes simultaneously gave hipsters a touchstone and a half (mixtapes, like rappers do, and mashups!), and associated her with Baltimore club music, which at the time was the kind of "oh you don't know?" thing that people wanted to find out about. Pair that with some flippant comments and lyrics about the PLO, and bang, suddenly she's famous.

I don't know what would have come of MIA had the chips not fallen that way. She snakes through genres and blends them all very effectively, but is hard to pin down. The unwashed masses like to be able to pigeonhole an artist--what do you do with a British/Sri Lankan electro-dancehall kinda rapper who uses a lot of patois and sings about mangos, terrorism, immigration and doin her ting? But that being said, "Galang" still slays dancefloors, as does pretty much all of Arular.

The problem with Kala is that it sounds like what somebody who had never heard MIA would think she sounded like from the hype. That is, Arular put MIA's musical influences first, whereas the new album puts her culture front and center. Covers of Bollywood disco? A rapper named Afrikan Boy? A Bmore club classic co-opted for the international struggle? The song "Bamboo Banga" (spelled like that, no less) The worst incursion is "Mango Pickle Down River", where MIA shoehorns herself into a five-year-old outsider-rap track by a few Aboriginal tweens.

Look, Kala is a really good album. "XR2" is a fucking incredible track, on par with "Galang". "Boyz" and "Bird Flu" work in ways they absolutely shouldn't, and "Bamboo Banga" is actually hot as fuck. As is said Bollywood disco cover, "Jimmy". "Hussel" works and, despite his name and the "you think it's hard now? come to Africa..." line, Afrikan Boy's contribution makes the song.

And more to the point, Kala, with its 8-bit artwork, odes to the wonders of pre-paid wireless and haphazard use of gunshots, actually has some potential as a provocative study on the third world's coming of age. The heavy Baltimore influence alone is either a sign that parts of the third world are catching up with the first, or a grim reminder that parts of the first world are slumping down to the third. But the line between commentary and orientalism is nuance. Kala has the subtlety of a Peter North facial.

The whole thing wreaks of corporate interference. After all, Arular went wood after barely delivering on the controversy that some expected from the line about the PLO in "Sunshowers". You can almost hear Jimmy Iovine, after hearing a more subdued first draft of Kala, ordering Maya banished from the country with a suitcase full of travelers checks, not to return until she has some really hamfisted third world lyrics that will make Jody Rosen pop a boner. ("I want a fucking song called 'Bird Flu'! Put some goddamn chickens in it!")

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