Wednesday, August 30, 2006

O' Donny Boy

I'm sure that both the Black Hammer and MC Abstract Douchipster will agree with me wholeheartedly on this, if you're ever having a day that's kind of down in the dumps and this song comes on, man you have just hopped on a one way train to sadness time station, transfers available to frownytown.

"A Song For You" by Donny Hathaway

Same thing goes for "Air from County Derry", or "Danny Boy" as it's known to most Americans. "Air from County Derry" is an old tune that has had literally of hundreds of different sets of lyrics written to it, for some reason "Danny Boy" has just emerged as the most famous. I recently found out that the words were written by an Englishman who never set foot in Ireland throughout the course of his life and I'd by lying if I said I wasn't pretty bummed by this news. Nevertheless, (always the more) he did somehow manage to write beautiful lyrics for this song.
I love that the one in the middle, Ciaran Nagle, looks like a bum, even in a tux.

"Danny Boy" by the Three Irish Tenors

Johnny Cash also does a version of this song on his fourth album with Rick Rubin and American records. I love Cash, so strongly it could make most heterosexual men uncomfortable, but I have to say I prefer the Irish Tenors doing this song. Something about Cash's growl just seems slightly ill-fitting for this tune. I'm sorry, Johnny.

rockin and a rollin

So all summer, I was supposed to be working on an independent study in Spanish, and I left it all for today, a whole courseload of work, so I'm gonna make this quick. Anyways, I was listening to music while I did some work, and a Wilco song came on. It then occured to me I've never talked about how much I love Wilco. Years ago, a friend of mine left a CD in my car that they were supposed to have burned for a friend. That friend never got that CD and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot entered my music collection. About a year later, I picked up Being There. I think I prefer them when their sound leans more towards country than indie rock, but I'm pretty much always down with their rock and roll.

Wilco's frontman Jeff Tweedy has released some live recordings of him doing Wilco stuff and other stuff and there's a lot of fun energy in these recordings.

This song kind of reminds me of "Stay" by Jackson Browne?? I mean, it's sort of a stretch, but just the way he says "we got solid state technology..." triggers something in my memory. Great songs, both of em.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

sunday, sunday, sunday

So I was at a friend's two nights ago, getting ready to watch the Sunday night bakefest block of TV (Entourage, Lucky Louie, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and I ended up watching the tail end of the show Deadwood. I haven't really gotten into the show too much, but I have to say I really think it's wack. It's like they took Sopranos throwaway scripts and dressed everybody up in cowboy suits. I mean, I'm sure cowboys swore all the time, but did they really say cocksucker and motherfucker? Anyway, over the credits they played a version of "Mary, Don't You Weep" that was kind of bad. Not awful, just kind of uninteresting. It totally would have been much better, although probably less fitting, if they'd used this version.

"Mary, Don't You Weep" by Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers

Maybe it's just because I've been listening to mad Sam Cooke again lately, but hearing another rendition of it was pretty offensive to my ears.

"You Send Me" by Sam Cooke

For some reason, whenever I've been listening to Mr. Cooke, this seems to be the song that ends up stuck in my head. I could sing this song to myself all day, it's such a simple, beautiful melody.

Gettin Lif'-ted AGAIN

So I caught this track "Beast Mode" over at Spine Mag and... damn. Mr. Lif joins Akrobatik to spit over what I think is the most ridiculous club beat I've heard in a really long time. Just hearing this makes me wanna be drunk enough to dance and rub up on the ladies with the big booties. If I had one complaint about the song, it'd be that it sounds like "Pass the Courvoisier". The big difference is that this song doesn't suck.

"Beast Mode" feat. Mr. Lif by Akrobatik

and another thing that's been bothering me lately

Why is Inspectah Deck fucking awesome when he's alongside the Wu and then lame otherwise? He was my favorite in the Clan way back when, but I mean, his solo stuff is just doodoo.

this is poop
"Do My Thang" by Inspectah Deck

this is the shit

"Triumph" by the Wu Tang Clan

"ProtectYa Neck" by the Wu Tang Clan

He stars both those songs off so goddamn well, but on the new shit he sounds like a totally different rapper. I don't know what his problem is.

100th POST!!!

This is the 100 post here at Cigarbox Guitars, and it's been a while since I posted, so I decided to bum everyone out. It's what I do.

Well, the new Mountain Goats album Get Lonely (with some of my favorite cover art in a long time) came out a week ago. I can officially declare it a success. John Darnielle finally sounds comfortable in a studio, and the atmosphere of his songs reflect it. Also, as the album focuses on a breakup, this is one of the most depressing albums I have ever heard.

Get Lonely - The Mountain Goats
The titular track from the album is one of the most heartbreaking. As Darnielle describes the difficulties of finding comfort in life after a breakup, it sounds as if he could break down at any second. The chorus is that break down, as he breaks from life to "get lonely". The strings in the chorus are devastating. They add weight to his words and truly make this a more accomplished composition than alot of his other studio work.

New Monster Avenue - The Mountain Goats
If anything negative can be said about this album, it's that too many of the songs are too slow moving. This is not one of those songs. In the same way that the strings were the driving force behind the song "Dilaudid" on last year's album The Sunset Tree, here the drums give this song a nice propulsion. The drums are constant, and the drama in the lyrics seems to rise and fall with them.


New Amsterdam - Elvis Costello
Not to be completely depressing, I will add this. I took the title of the Mountain Goats album Get Lonely to be a call up to the great Elvis Costello album Get Happy. The cooler Elvis made this an album of quick squirts of amazing songwriting, and his vocals melodies have never been better. Also, I was in Amsterdam earlier this year, so any song with that place in the title I will enjoy right now.

(as a quick aside, Elvis Costello's recent cameo in The Ballad of Ricky Bobby where he has no lines and just sits next to Mos Def is freaking fantastic)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Although this has nothing to do with music,

I think I'm falling for George Jefferson's wife.

What a cool lady.

crack, crack, crack city rockers

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about duets and he played me this track I'd never heard before.

"T. Biggums" feat. Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow by Oh No

The song focuses on the less comical side of Dave Chappelle's crackhead, Mr. Tyrone Biggums, as he asks his mother for some crack money. Perkins and Muldrow both nail their respective roles as Tyrone and Mama and this beat is on point.

If you're looking for a song that doesn't show the downside of crack, then you should check out this one

"Crack City Rockers" by Leftöver Crack

Friday, August 25, 2006

Immortal Technique

So I had never really gotten into Immortal Technique before, even though I've had a couple tracks in my collection for a while now. I was sitting here listening to iTunes on shuffle though, and his track "Dance with the Devil" randomly came on and blew my fucking mind. I mean, tons of rappers have done songs about falling into the underworld of thugs and crime etc, "oh it's so bad, this lifestyle, even though I glorify the cock out of it", but the way Technique tells it is unlike any rendition I've ever heard, even if it is the same old story. I honestly can't even go into too much detail, cuz it's chilling enough that I'll feel weird writing about it, just believe me that it is an intense fucking tale. A little predictable maybe, but a great story and song nonetheless.

"Dance with the Devil" by Immortal Technique

There's some blank space at the end of the track before another song starts. I don't know what song that is, or if it's part of "Dance with the Devil" but it is not nearly as good.

aright so I was lying

The douchipster isn't the only one who digs this song.

"Eternal Flame" by the Bangles

It's Freedom Fri (es) day at Cigar Box Guitars!

I was never a big fan of the stupid franco bashing that went on after they refused to back our invasion of Iraq. One of the worst things to come out of it was the ridiculous redubbing of French fries as freedom fries, French toast as freedom toast, etc. I hate that. So yeah, this friday I'm saying Fuck You to anyone that was in favor of freedom fries. Not that this is really relevant to current politics, but every now and again I still spot a "boycott france" bumper sticker, so Fuck those people.

Oh HEY, while I'm on the subject of France, I guess I can share this awesome song from the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville.

"Belleville Rendez-Vous" by Mathieu Chedid

Everything about this song is great. The guitar scratching is fantastic, the vocals all tiptoe back and forth between absurdly comic and straight up awesome. From what I've been told, the version in English isn't nearly as good either. Something about the flow of the French language just appeals to my ear musically.

On another note,
The forthcoming Decemberists album, The Crane Wife is really not doing it for me. Maybe I can hope that since it's not due out for a while (Oct. 3) that it will be touched up by then, but I don't know if that'll really make a difference. I'm really having trouble putting my finger on it, but something about this album just doesn't sound like the decemberists. I mean, first of all, there's very little energy on the album, but even the slow songs don't have that same feel. It kind of reminds me of some of Colin Meloy's solo stuff, which for the most part, isn't that exciting either. I'm actually not going to post any of the tracks since the one I already posted is really the only one I thought was worthwhile. This is a pretty big letdown for me. It's good to know though. Better I know now, rather than have to hear it on the streets later.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

not autumn yet

Yes Green Hornet, summer is ending. I will miss the summer. Here's a song to get some nostalgia pumping as you think back to the last three months:

A Summer Wasting - Belle and Sebastian

Let's not let the seasonal depression get us down too much. First off, summer is too fucking hot. Second, autumn has some cool things: football (both American and English) start, trees look cooler, and we get to see women wear summer clothes when it's too cold because they don't want to admit it's fall. So here's a song to listen to in the autumn.

Autumn Sweater - Yo La Tengo

And if you need something else to tell you summer can't really be too great, here it is:

Summer Jam - Craig David ft. The Artful Dodger

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

it's coming

"Two Headed Boy Part 2" by Neutral Milk Hotel

Fall is coming and you can't stop it. Time to start making those "jacket weather" playlists for your iPod. Time to settle in for that sweet seasonal depression. Goodbye blue skies, hello gray. We here at Cigarbox-Guitars love us some autumn.


J Dilla Jay Dee

Everyone out there should go and buy "The Shining", J Dilla's latest posthumous release. The more people that buy it, the more it makes up for me pirating it online. I gave my donation to the dilla fund via T Shirt purchase though, so I'm set. Anyways, this album has guest rhymes from Pharoahe Monch, Busta, Black Thought, Common, and some others, and all the beats are Dilla beats so you really aren't gonna go wrong.

"Baby" feat. Madlib and Guilty Simpson by J Dilla Jay Dee

It's also the Gza's 40th birthday today and the man is still swinging lyrical swords.

Good for him.

"Pool of Blood" feat. Jus Allah by the Gza

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ted Leo for Free-O

It would be in your best interests if this Friday, you got yourself over to Southstreet Seaport (I think it's over there) to see one of the best goddamn showmen in Rock and Roll today, live in concert, for free. The only time I've ever seen Ted Leo live was at a Lookout! Records showcase where I had to sit through like a hundred of his shitty labelmates (what happened to lookout?) before I got to hear him rock and it was still worth every second of standing around in the post smoking ban smelliness of CBGBs. The douchipster and I also ended up getting stranded in a Sbarro's for a while, where he confessed his love for the song "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles, but I digress.

"Sword in the Stone" by Ted Leo

Listening to the Pharmacists as a whole is always a good time, but I have to say I really enjoy the sound that Ted achieves when it's just him and his guitar. Even if it's not what he's playing anymore, you can totally tell that this guy grew up in punk rock bands and I love it. While we're on the subject of Ted Leo growing up, I should mention Chisel. After rocking around New York's 80's hardcore scene, Ted bounced down to the D.C. scene, where he formed Chisel. If you're not familiar with them, I highly suggest you check em out.

"On Warmer Music" by Chisel

Monday, August 21, 2006

samplus ad infinitum

So it's not that uncommon for multiple songs to gank the same sample, I wrote about one example of it not that long ago with Ghostface and M.I.A.'s different interpretations of Dr. Buzzard's "Sunshower". See what I think is an even cooler production phenomenon is the sampling of a sample.

The sample in question? Ini Kamoze's "World A Music"

"World A Music" by Ini Kamoze

Just as is, this song is really nothing special in my mind, which is why it's so interesting that it could make such a great sample with that famous line, "out in the streets, they call it murrrrderrrr". I really prefer "Hotstepper" to this song overall. That song was on FIRE back in the fourth grade.

So from there, we find ourselves with Jr. Gong.

Mr. Damian Marley twisted one line from "World A Music" into one of the most infectious hooks in recent history. To his credit, the youngest Marley has made a lot of awesome music that hasn't been exposed to the masses in the way "Jamrock" has been. Regardless of his other songs though, "Welcome to Jamrock" is radio gold, plain and simple. There was a time in my life where I loved Hot 97 and airhorns (I still love the airhorns) and I owe it all to this wonderful song. This and "Satisfy Her" by I Wayne, but that's a story for another day entirely.

"Welcome to Jamrock" by Damian Marley

The success and the rockingness of the single brought us a ton of remixes, but most stuck to just throwing their own verses on and naming their own city along with the chorus. It works sometimes, it fails other times, but either way it's never terribly exciting. Busta and Kano both offered up versions in this fashion. Kano's is pretty cool. Busta's, ehh.

"Welcome to Jamrock New York" by Busta Rhymes

"Jamrock Freestyle" by Kano

Now, enter Human Crack in the flesh, A!

Juelz was the first one I heard to pop up with a new take on "Jamrock" that wasn't just a new rap done over the same beat. Dipset may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't my cup of tea. Or at least one variety of tea among many that I do enjoy. One of the things that I love about this song is that Juelz samples a great hook, uses it for the beat, then makes his own great vocal hook to go over it. Maybe there'll be some disagreement out there over whether or not "Murder Murder Murder Murder Ma Murder" constitutes a great hook, but as is the general rule with the Diplomats, it's not neccessarily about content, it's all about delivery.

"Murda, Murda" by Juelz Santana


I got the new Decemberists album, expect a full critique by Thursday or maybe later, who knows. There's a new female vocalist who pops up, I dunno how a feel about it. This track is pretty cool though, partially because it makes me think about the New York Yankees being speared by knives on guns.

"Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)" by the Decemberists

there is no band

I say Roy Orbison, and you probably think of the song "Pretty Woman". But get that song out of your head for a second to hear what this guy was really about.

Crying - Roy Orbison
This song has more emotion in it's 3 minutes than most films have in 2 hours. From the opening words, to the phenomenal build up at the end of this song, Roy Orbison sounds like he is crying. His words pour out of him in such a personal way. The power of Orbison's voice keeps this from sounding like 30 years early emo. When he kicks up that falsetto at the 1:46 mark, he can bring a tear to your eye. He brings it back down and let's the band take him home in a fantasticly produced 1960s fashion. That last note he sings (on the word "you") is shiver inducing.

I'm not even really a film student (I do take alot of film classes), but I do know it is some kind of film student cliche these days to love David Lynch's film Mulholland Dr. While I try not to bow down to the alter of Lynch as most film students and professors do these days (Blue Velvet is not a masterpiece, it's barely watchable), I will say that Mulholland Dr. is an enigmatic, heavily-toned classic.. And if anyone wants to have a discussion on what the hell is going on in the film (yes, it can be that confusing), I'm always down.

Llorando (Crying) - Rebekah Del Rio
The best scene in this film is hands-down the theater scene. I won't go into explaining the scene, but the two main women go into a theater, and there is a woman who sings a Spanish version of Roy's "Crying". Her name is Rebekah Del Rio. Her version is just her singing. In the film, the song is absolutely heart-wrenching.

in case this has been too dramatic for you...

"Turtles Are No Fun"

too bad he still looks like the famous Jett Jackson

The cover for Lupe Fiasco's forthcoming Food and Liquor has been released.

Supposedly the release date is September 19th now. I'm still looking forward to it.

on a side note,

I haven't posted any review of the Rhymefest / Wu Tang show or any of the pictures from it and in general, I've been keeping up with the site less and less. I'm currently working two jobs and in the process of dropping out of school, so things have been a little hectic. So my posts may get a little less frequent for a while, but they will still be there, and eventually, things will pick up again.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fishscale Friday, get high day

So lately I'd been scribbling out some of my thoughts about Fishscale, talking about some reasons why I had mixed feelings about it, this and that, but then maybe it was the combination of catching the Webster Hall show, seeing all the energy live and whatnot, and a small piece of proof that someone other than the contributors has ever read this page, that just made me not feel like trashing it anymore. See I have this tendency, sometimes, just sometimes, I'll take an opinion that's contrary to some established norm. I don't even do it consciously most of the time, it just seems to work out that way. So I think I might have just been searching for bad things to say about the new album, since not too many other people had. I mean, maybe it's true to say that Ghostface will never sound as raw and powerful as he does on "Wisdom Body", but is it really a fair comparison? 25 and 36 are two totally different places in a person's life and it comes through listening to differences in the aggressiveness of Ghost's flow and the structure of his rhymes. Further illustrating that "different time, different place" theory, I was skimming through articles online and found this quote about the cuban linx album in an XXL article,

"We wrote it in South Beach. It was just me and
Rae down there for two or three weeks. It was
recorded in the basement of RZA's old house in

Staten Island. We had a lot of good luck in that room.
We was in our prime. Back then I was punchin' a lot of
rap n----- in their face, and n----- was getting beat up
in the clubs. We were banned from everything. They
wouldn't even let me in the Tunnel. N----- was scared to
death when I was out there wilding. I was fucking n----- up,
robbing n-----, fucking a lot bitches, just doing dumb shit -
and I'm rhyming. We was on it. We was going in at the time.
We did everything. Rap n----- sniffed coke, too. Black n-----
sniffed coke, too. Black n----- was street n-----. I was a dusthead.
Rae didn't really like that high. We was young n----- getting a
lot of shit poppin'. Talking shit about n-----, all types of shit.
I used to drink a lot back then, which is why I sound
so aggressive on a lot of shit."
-Ghostface Killah

I mean, when you describe it like that, how could you even hope to recreate it, or better yet, why would you want to? It captures a very specific timeframe and a youthful desire that just doesn't last forever, but age and experience open up the doors to so many more possibilites for the music. We happen to live in a time where talented and untalented rappers alike love to flaunt how many bricks/rocks/pounds/etc they move. It's certainly nothing new, but would it really be the same phenomenon it is if a certain Spectral Faced Murderer hadn't teamed up with the Chef on that famous purple tape? I'd tossed about the idea that this could be just a corny attempt to cash in on the latest trends in Cocaine rap, a la Busta Rhymes (although Busta does a good job with it). I think I'm going to go with an idea the Douchipster mentioned however, that Ghostface came out and demonstrated that an edgy album, drug related or not, can still be radio friendly, creative and well executed. I mean, honestly, isn't "Big Girl" a great song? And as much as I love Cuban Linx, Supreme Clientele, etc I don't think the guy who refused to spot Woodrow a dollar for two cracks would've been enlightened enough to spit a song like "Big Girl". Not that Fishscale is better, it just shows a matured Ghost. I think as far as personal favorites go, mine is still gonna be Pretty Toney, but ya know, that's just me.

the elder statesman

"Big Girl" by Ghostface Killah

the elder soulsman

"Holla" by Ghostface Killah

young and hungry

"Wisdom Body" feat. Ghostface Killah by Raekwon the Chef

Friday, August 18, 2006

fishscale friday

It’s Fishscale Friday here at Cigarbox. Green Hornet and me are legitimate fan boys, and I am immensely jealous that he met him last night. But anyways, I’m going to go through some of the highlight albums of Ghost’s career. I will include most of his solo albums and some other great ones here. I’m holding myself to posting just one song from each album. Here we go:

Album: Liquid Swords (GZA album)
Favorite Song (with Ghost): 4th Chamber

“4th Chamber” is one of the RZA’s best beats. The beat is like a black hole, it’s so dense. It sucks you in, instantly forces you to listen. The first guy out of the gate on this track is our subject, Ghostface. His verse here is ferocious, yet understated. His voice perfectly fits the mood of the album, and it mirrors the GZA’s. Him, along with the other guest stars on this album know who is the star of this album, and they let him have his stage. He lets you wait until the 4th verse (after a very decent Killah Priest verse, and a great verse from the RZA before he got older and started sounding like a retarded robot) for the GZA to tear shit up. But Ghost sets the stage. He makes the song what it is, and does exactly what a guest rapper is supposed to do: set up the main guy. He would have his time.

Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (Raekwon album)
Favorite Song (with Ghost): Criminology

On an album that could be the score to a mob movie, this is one of the most cinematic songs. The album is just as much Ghost’s as it is Raekwon’s. Unlike on Enter the 36 Chambers where Ghostface functioned almost like a hypeman (albeit a fantastic hypeman), here Ghost is every bit as important as Raekwon in forwarding the intricate story of the album. On the song “Criminology”, Ghostface shows he has a distinct voice in rap.

Album: Ironman
Favorite Song: (tie) Wildflower, All That I Got Is You

Underrated in the overall annals of Wu solo albums, the only thing Ironman lacks is a bad song. With a little more cohesion to the overall album aesthetic, this could have been a classic up there with Cuban Linx. Picking a favorite song was such a difficult process because of the amount of great songs. I chose “Wildflower” first for it’s relation to a recent Ghostface hit song “Back Like That”. Wildflower has Ghostface throwing harsh words towards a woman who did him wrong while he was on tour. While on “Back Like That” where he at least acknowledges that he was partially to blame, here it is all blame towards the girl.

“Remember when I long-dicked you and broke your ovary?
You crab bitch, chickenhead hoe, eatin' heros”

Nuff said

“All That I Got Is You” is truly a hip hop to tug at your heartstrings. Mary J. Blige gives us a soul wrenching chorus while Ghost gives us a depressingly realistic look at his childhood and his love for his mother. Mike Skinner’s sappier songs might have been born right here.

Album: Supreme Clientele
Favorite Song: Apollo Kids

On this album, Ghost is still rapping about selling drugs, but now he rapping about a lot of other things too. These songs are abstract often, as Ghost seems to care more on this album about how his words sound than about how the words are. But on this song “Apollo Kids” him and Raekwon are rapping about dealing, but the narrative is fractured, as it is on most of the album.The words come out in a stream-of-consciousness blur. It’s like James Joyce with a beat.

At this point, Ghost has truly come into his own. He grew up for this album. Gone is the raw, Wu hypeman of albums past. Here is the veteran of rap, and the first of the Wu solos to be able to remain artistically viable without the RZA (although he did produce 3 of the songs on this album).

Album: Pretty Toney
Favorite Song: Be This Way

This album is just as much a soul album as a hip hop album. Ghostface doesn’t just have choruses with soul samples, he has truly incorporated the genre into every facet of most of these songs. What could have become an indulgent genre exercise turns out to be a fantastic album with enough bangers to be played at any party. The song “Be This Way” is a good example of the vibe of this album and is the best example of how the soul and hip hop were mixed to well on this album.

Album: Fishscale
Favorite Song: (tie) R.A.G.U., Underwater

So we are finally here to this day at Cigarbox’s namesake. To me, it’s just as good, if not better than all the rest of the albums named here. Some of the best producers (Just Blaze, MF Doom, J Dilla, and Pete Rock to name a few) , some of Ghost’s best verses, and some great guest spots make this album fantastic start to finish. Here Ghost’s topic is, what else: drug dealing. But after making albums that were a little left of center as far as mainstream rap is concerned, here Ghost shows that he can keep his roots of abstract artistic rap, and still make songs that would be great on the radio.

As different as his past albums were, here you can see Ghost jumping from style to style, as if he has perfected what he did in the past and here is the showcase. R.A.G.U. would easily go onto Cuban Linx as its beat sounds like that album, and it features Raekwon in top form. Underwater is a surrealist approach to hip hop. In the song Ghost describes a trip underwater led by mermaids. The song is so vivid as to make you think he actually lived it.

Fuck You, It's Fishscale Friday!

This week in lieu of our regularly scheduled Fuck You Friday, we here at cigarbox present "Fishscale Friday". I met Mr. Starks last night after a fantastic Wu concert and got to snap a picture with him, despite being the most starstruck I've ever been. I wasn't going to put the picture up here at first, ya know keep my internet anonymity and all, but I love this picture.

For any readers who don't already know me in person, that's me in the middle. I have to run to work, but rest assured, today holds more Wu Tang blog goodness, more talking about Ghostface, and more subpar digital pictures.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

5 Songs for a Broken Heart

There cannot be good without bad. The one law of life that most people can agree on. So with love, loss is always there to follow. How we deal with these situations is where things get interesting. Some may watch television and go through a tub of ice cream, and some may hit a bottle of beast. One thing that is consistent with any kind of love loss however is the sad songs that we listen to. So while I am sitting here listening to the saddest songs I wonder what the best post best break-up songs are. The songs we listen to make our feelings vocal whether they are feelings of anger or depression. So I have compiled a list of songs that correspond to each stage of healing after a break up:

I was a Fool to Care- James Taylor

This piece has more in its words than in its melody. Mr. Taylor is simply a man with his guitar in this song. This song is a battle of conscience. The listener can almost see Taylor sitting with an angel and a devil on his shoulders as he is trying to come to the realization that he should be giving up. I enjoy his decision in not doing a lot musically with the song because it comes out as more of a personal confession in its simplicity.

James Taylor- I Was a Fool to Care

Ex-Factor- Lauryn Hill

With a voice comparable to silk, Lauryn Hill’s ex-factor is one of my favorite songs just because it is beautifully recorded. What makes this song even better is the fact that she wrote and produced the song. Her words are eloquent and honest, and have the ability to feel exactly what she is feeling. Her voice is really what puts her over the top in this song though. Her soft crooning in the beginning of the song makes her sound as if she is begging, which by the end of the song turns into a pleading for both parties to let go. It is a wonderfully put together piece that will serve as an after breakup mint.

Lauryn Hill- Ex-factor

For All We Know- Donny Hathaway
While this song has been recorded by many legends (Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, etc.) I chose this version of the song because Hathaway’s voice has the ability to chip away the heart like an ice pick. This is possibly one the sweetest songs ever written, and Hathaway does an amazing job interpreting this song. He slowly builds on the emotion of the song, ending with an amazing use of his falsetto. Musically his use of the piano is phenomenal. The somber strokes of his piano that intro the song makes it sound as if the piano is crying for him. All in all this song tugs on the old heartstrings and should be listened to even if you are completely content.

Donny Hathaway- For All We Know

Giving Up- Donny Hathaway

Yes it is another Donny Hathaway song. What can I say the guy wrote sad songs and he did them well. This song bleeds morose vibes probably better than Marilyn Manson. The eerie violins along with Hathaway’s crooning let the listener know that if they were in a good mood to start they will not be by the end of this ballad. This song is wonderfully produced with the horns and his piano really giving this track a heart wrenching quality.

Donny Hathaway- Giving Up

Dry Your Eyes Mate- The Streets

This track is so honest it sounds as if he slit his wrists right on the sheet music. Skinner goes through every emotion felt after a big loss. His storytelling ability in the song is skillfully done as you can almost see and feel the scene he is describing. The listener can become Skinner, and can feel the every emotion he has written about. Skinner does a fantastic job with this song, and although it is a very sad song it does provide some hope for love’s fallen soldiers

The Streets- Dry Your Eyes

OK Crunk

I know, I know. This blog has only been running for a few months and I keep mentioning Radiohead. I just keep finding interesting things about them. And I swore to myself I was gonna hold off and not say another word about them for a while...BUT THIS WAS TOO GOOD!

Get this:

A guy named DJ GYNGYVYTUS (and yes, apparently you are supposed to spell his name in all caps) made a free online album of crunk-style hip hop instrumentals based on Radiohead songs. Yes, Radiohead and crunk finally meet.

The songs themselves are pretty loosely based on the Radiohead songs, each taking a recognizable part from a Radiohead song and basing the beat around it. But they are recognizable. The BEST thing is the song titles. Here is a tracklist (with actual song title in parentheses):

Skeet Spirit: A Crunk Tribute to Radiohead
.1 Fitter, Hyphier (Intro) (Fitter, Happier)
.2 Skeet Spirit (Street Spirit)
.3 No Sizzuruprises (No Surprises)
.4 The National Headbustaz Anthem (The National Anthem)
.5 Flamboastin' Android (Paranoid Android)
.6 Creepin' (On Dat Ass) (Creep)
.7 Talk Show Hoes (Talk Show Host)
.8 Snaps Out (Knives Out)

Song title highlights are debatable (to me a four way tie between tracks 2, 3, 6, and 7), but there are also a few highlights in the music. While songs like "No Sizzuruprises" and "Creepin' (on dat ass)" are poorly executed and fall flat on their faces, songs like "National Headbustaz Anthem" and "Skeet Spirit" come from parental melodies that actually lend themselves to becoming nice little romps through an artistically questionable genre.

Now, the link is to the site that you can download this entire thing for FREE, so even if you do it just to make fun of it, you really should go download this thing.

Erreday, eh erreday I'm hustalin

So, over at ohword, they posted up an "exclusive remix" of Rick Ross' "Hustlin'". I don't want to give away the joke, but you reeally should listen to it. It's funny.
and I guess, why not just have other versions, ya know for reference.

"Hustlin'" Remix feat. Busta Rhymes by Rick Ross

"Hustlin'" Remix feat. T.I. by Rick Ross

"Hustlin'" by Rick Ross

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nas, Nasty Nas

A while back I wrote a short piece on a couple of my favorite collaborations in recent history, the first one mentioned being Nas' appearance on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Recently, I've had my ears opened up to a Damian Marley song featuring Mr. Escobar and I have to say that it too rules. Personally, I prefer Damian Marley's voice when it's a bit more on the singing side than the rapping side (not to say I don't love the shit out of "jamrock"). The beat is smooth with a nice ambient feel, with some nice Ella crooning laced in there.

"Road to Zion" feat. Nas by Damian Marley

Just a reminder, time's running out to get your tickets for Wu Tang...