Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bolitics, Wolitics et al



With the news that Edwards is going to drop out of the primary race, I can't help but think- the primary process is super duper fucked up. Essentially, a bunch of libertarians in New Hampshire, a bunch of farmers in Iowa and a bunch of drawling South Carolinians made most of the choices for the rest of the country. Not to mention that the Democrats stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates for voting earlier, disenfranchising those big, politically important states. By the time Pennsylvania votes on April 22, long after the upcoming "super Tuesday," I'm sure I won't even have any choices left at all. What a stupid process.

Should you vote all at once? Probably not- cross-country campaigning is too costly for a lot of the candidates. The localized process makes it so that the Bill Clintons and Mike Huckabees get their message out and gain momentum. Once again, the highly monetized political system in the US sinks a good idea.

How about voting in regional blocks, separated by a few weeks? Four or five regions? Debates in between. That keeps travel somewhat manageable and it keeps the issues slightly narrowed- Michigan is more similar to its midwestern neighbors than it is to, say, South Carolina.

I suppose I'm most disappointed because Edwards was the guy who refused to give in to the Democratic campaign's "sporting event" vibe. While Obama and Clinton were busy scoring media points while making oblique statements about grand ideals like "change,""leadership" and the like, Edwards was talking about poor people and health care. He basically sunk his own campaign by refusing to give in to the media's sound byte boxing match and instead talking about boring shit like policy. I guess he got what he deserved for thinking people were voting on the basis of competence rather than voting for the person with whose personality they would most like to project themselves.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Fog Machines and Laser Rays



This week is kind of sparse after last week's insanity (if you'll recall, Philly was the center of the universe last week). Here's what we got.

Friday (Philly)

Money Folders @ Arts Garage (15th and Parrish)
The second installment of Zilla Rocca and Co.'s rappity rap party with Skinny and I on the wheels. The whoadie DJ Stumble of SmartTech is coming out of hibernation to fill in for Skinny, whose Dad is getting married this week. Mazel Tov to Flatbush Charlie.
10-3:30AM. $10, ladies free before 10:30.

Saturday (Philly)

Bleached Black @ Medusa Lounge (21st and Chestnut)

Mike, Andrew, Kyle and Jeffery welcome Lovefingers and the bol Ron Morelli, who looks like me but is in fact an entirely different person.

10-2, Free.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You should know



Sebastien Tellier is cold dumbdumb retarded. I'm not mixing my ethnomusical geographic descriptions wantonly here either. He goes dumb with his fanny pack on. He's French, but he wishes he was Italian. He dresses like he's ready for some yachting. He's hype in that mellow sort of way. He makes atmospheric electro-disco. Following me? No?

OK, so the hyphy part comes in because he has a very particular type of hipster sex predator aesthetic he's trying to cultivate. It's marketing, man. Dude is the Scweez (The Dummy Retarded Mexican, for those unfamiliar) to Bangalter's E-40. He goes dumb in between the sheets. Gas, scrape, dip = Coke, champagne, dick. This is 2008, we're too materialistic and AIDS-ridden to have insane coke orgies in the back of a disco. We just caricature debauchery and sell it.



La Ritournelle was probably the track of '06. Basically, it was the only piece of music in late 2006 or early 2007 that make my basalt musical superego register anything resembling a less-than-superficial human emotion.* Sexual Sportswear, buried in Q4 like any decent Jay-era Def Jam album, shredded December, '07.

So he's got an interview up in The Fader, plus a new promo track called Divine, which kind of sucks. It's like an early French Beatles Cover band went forward in time and brought back a Casio. Not a good look. But the interview is entertaining to read and leaves me with the impression that I don't want any girl I fancy anywhere near Sebastien Tellier because he's going to seduce them with mood disco and his swishy white pants and have unspeakably filthy sex with them. He's like one of those dudes who preys on foreign exchange students at the Sorbonne or something- he's got an accent, and even though he can't help it, that gives him an advantage.

Whatever.

Some select quotes:
First I wrote the album for a year. Guy-Man came home, heard some songs. After a couple glasses of Champagne, he agreed to work on the album...

I wanted to record erotic music, I wanted to excite people in an Italian way...

In my erotic fantasies, sportswear is very important. I prefer to put down a mini short rather than lift up a mini skirt...
A yo.

Sebastien Tellier - Sexual Sportswear

*- I heard a remix of La Ritournelle by some dude named Jake Bullitt at some point and it was fresh. I looked around for it and found shit. If you know where to find it, holler.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

R.I.P. Ernie Holmes

Passed away last night in a car wreck. Rev. Holmes was an original Steel Curtain tackle and a beast on and off the field. He'll be remembered for being a man who shaved his head into an arrow, who killed a cow for his birthday and who shot at a helicopter with a shotgun. He still shares the team record for most consecutive games with a sack (6). After winning 2 rings with the Steelers, he became an ordained minister. He'll be missed by his parish and the Steelers diaspora.

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Fog Machines and Laser Rays



To call this weekend "insane" would be a gross understatement. Basically it's ONLY heavy hitters.

FRIDAY

Tonight at Fluid nightclub (4th and South Streets), Skinny and I are holding it down at a special Philadelphyinz night featuring DJ Tittsworth, who not only a good dude but one of the best and most in-demand club music DJs out there.

If you don't believe me, check out Discobelle's 12 Days of Tittsmas series of mega posts.

This event is FREE before 11:30 (and just $5 afterwards) if you sign up for the internet-only guestlist. GET ON IT HERE.

SATURDAY

I don't have all day to tell you about how great these events are, so I'll just trust that you know that these are all illin:

-Emynd and Bo Bliz featuring one of my other favorite Baltimore whoadies, Scottie B at the Barbary- Frankford and Girard.

-Glass Candy of Portland, Cullin Stalin and Dave Nada of Taxlo, Diplo, Low Budget and Dave P at the Mad Decent Mosoleum, 12th (Ridge really) and Spring Garden.

-Akon, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Kid Sister and A-Trak at Solo Nightclub on Delaware Ave.

-Mad Pu$$y Fool's Gold afterparty at Transit (6th and Spring Garden) featuring Kid Sister, Nick Catchdubs, Dirty South Joe, DJ Sega and Brendan Bring'em.

HOLY SHIT.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Get on the funk train



Former Phillie/Cub/Ranger Doug Glanville has an Op-Ed in the New York Times about baseball and the fear of getting old. I would have liked to include it over on Philebrity, but it has nothing to do with my column this week.

Glanville is Penn-educated, and he was always the locker room go-to-guy for a quote- mostly because he understood how to speak without using cliches. Reporters loved the fact that he was intelligent enough to comment on the game using some second-order thinking. Baseball players, for all their folklorish glorification, are high school educated at best, even the "college" educated ones. Most Latin players have less. Furthermore, most of these guys are the jock assholes who had kids like YOU doing their homework that whole time anyway. I always kind of imagined baseball writers looking at pencil-neck, .250-hitting Glanville as "one of us."

Anyway, his Op-Ed piece isn't exactly profound, but it's the best first-person insight we're going to get into the mind of an aging ballplayer in the steroid era. Everything else we read about that time (and trust me, there will be a zillion books when Sosa et al retire), is going to be a dry "as-told-to" book. Here's the meat of it:
I retired at the ripe old age of 34 following a season of sunflower seeds and only 162 at-bats. I had been a starter the year before. In this game, change happens fast.

Human nature wants to put the brakes on that rate of change. While your clock is ticking, faster, stronger and younger players are setting up their lockers next to yours. They usually have better sound bites and lower salaries, too. In 1998, I was the new kid in Philadelphia, battling Lenny Dysktra for the center field job. Five years later, I was mentoring another new kid, Marlon Byrd, so he could replace me. Faced with that rate of career atrophy, players are capable of rash, self-serving and often irresponsible decisions. Enter steroids.

There is a tipping point in a player’s career where he goes from chasing the dream to running from a nightmare. At that point, ambition is replaced with anxiety, passion is replaced with survival. It is a downhill run and it spares no one.
Read the whole thing here.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

We're Fucked

Steelers 2008 opponents and why they'll beat us:

Home:
Texans - Mario Williams got 14 sacks this season against good left tackles.
Colts - Sayin'...
Chargers - Nothing shows off aging inside linebackers like LT.
Cowboys - God just don't like us right now.
Giants - New Yorkers get real upset when they have to come to Pittsburgh. They'll play mad.

+division (3-0)

Away:
Jaguars - They've won 4 in a row. The last time we beat them was in 2004 by 1 point.
Titans - If the second best scrambling QB in the AFC South can make our D look like a wet paper towel twice in one season...
Patriots - "...and so that's when Donnie and I stopped watching the game in the 3rd quarter."
Eagles - We'll beat the Eagles. Fuck the Eagles.
Redskins - Bill Cowher will be their coach. Or so I've heard

+division (2-1, loss to Ravens)

good thing we drafted a punter...

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Up jump the boogie



No, don't adjust your whole steelo, that's Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter rapping a perfect cover of Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight at his inaugural ball Monday. ?uestlove of The Roots on the wheels, fuckin up a bit actually. Nutter was actually a DJ in the early 80s, so that's his shit right there. When I was writing for Phawker I had a Q & A with him about DJing that never got published because campaign season got too hectic. It was vetted with his publicist, he saw the questions and then never got around to it.

On his first day in office, Nutter declared a crime emergency and then threw a big party at City Hall with free food and coffee. He stood and shook hands with people for six hours. Anybody could come, it was free. The line was easily close to a mile long.

It's a new day in Philly. I, for one, am excited.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

tell tell tell



Thoughts on The Wire episode 5.1 coming this week. Still mulling. But respect the cake my girl baked for the occasion.

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Sad trombone



That fucking sucked. It was made somewhat better by the fact that a half-dozen people at The Rub in Brooklyn came up and offered condolences of some kind or another. And Cosmo Baker shouted out Pittsburgh. So that was good. Besides, this team clearly wasn't Super Bowl caliber anyway, relative to the rest of the field. But, most of the Steelers woes were a matter of poor execution, not a matter of lack of talent (the offensive line excepted). Despite what people may say about the puzzling 3rd down quarterback sweep near the end of the game (would anybody have bitched if they just ran Najeh for no gain and took 40 seconds off the clock?), the coaching was generally good on both sides of the ball. Arians put together a fantastic offensive unit given the protection problems and Tomlin avoided judgement errors for the most part. On to next year.

Offseason laundry list:

1. Fire Special Teams coach
2. Trade up to draft the best O-lineman available
3. Potentially put an exclusive franchise tag on Alan Faneca, money allowing (why has nobody mentioned this yet? This lets Faneca get his money without having to make the 3-year commitment.)

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