Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, April 08, 2005 ]


Locked and downloaded

Goodies found in my first day of downloading in a long time:

-Ying Yang Twins' "Wait," quite possibly the foulest song I've ever heard, yet easily one of the best-sounding singles of the year.
-Amerie's "One Thing," an R&B single that everybody's been hyping the shit out of, and for good reason.
-Demo version of The Rolling Stones' "Love Is Strong," sung by Keith Richards. Much better than the released, Mick-sung version.
-Speaking of Keith, a live version of Keith and Rockpile playing Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock."
-Robbie Fulks' cover of "Billie Jean."
-Old-school hip-hop favorites, like Kris Kross' "Jump," Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P." and Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back."

On the box right now: 2Pac, GREATEST HITS, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [1:13 PM]


Ch-ch-ch-changes , up-up-up-updates and other sh-sh-sh-shit

-Added Jeff Chang's website ( to the links on the left. It's all kinds of cool.

-Changed Tiff's website over to her new live journal (

-Acting on something I saw on Tiff's new journal, I found out that I act 25 according to BlogThings' "What Age Do You Act" quiz. (You can take it yerself at I actually would've guessed a higher number, particularly since I had to admit that, in question #8, that I would have to head home after meeting people for lunch since it "was all I had time for."

-Worked on one of my major semester papers yesterday, trying to determine if the almost-completed first draft was good enough for me to edit (some parts significantly), or if I should trash it and start over again.

On the box right now: Sir Douglas Quintet, COMPLETE MERCURY RECORDINGS, Disc 2.


Dove With Claws [8:17 AM]

[ Wednesday, April 06, 2005 ]


One nation under a groove

I spent the last few hours hanging out with an incredible group of people, some of whom I knew previously and others whom I'd never met. At the center of the group was Jeff Chang, whose book CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP: A HISTORY OF THE HIP-HOP GENERATION is - without question - the best book ever written about hip-hop, and one of the best books written about the last 30 years in American history. A beautiful, insightful piece of work, the book is clearly a reflection of Chang himself, a rich soul who the gods speak through. Anybody who cares about music or the country oughta check out CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP, as it will free your mind (and your ass will follow).

The rest of the group was brilliant, which isn't that unusual in Madison, Wisconsin, and multicultural, which is all-too-unusual. A true cross-section of young, hip-hop intellectuals and activists, the crew at State Street Brats that I was so honored to be a part of for a few hours this evening was the kind of group that suggests that revolution is possible. While I won't mention everyone who was there who deserves recognition, I will give a major shout-out to Roberto Rivera, whose hip-hop educational activism - now being run through a group called Elements For Change - might could change the world. I'm proud and happy to call Roberto my friend, I'm amazed that he respects me as much as he seems to, and I'm hopeful that we can collaborate on his attempt to, in his words, "use hip-hop as a pedagogical tool by which to excite and inform young students, particularly those who are otherwise ignored." Right on, Brother Rivera, and I hope I get to be at least a small part of the journey...

Anyway, I'm feeling very good tonight, and I hope that my excitement translates, as I really feel that hip-hop intellectuals, like Jeff Chang, Roberto Rivera and (to a much lesser extent) yours truly, represent a new beginning, a new sunrise. It ain't nothing but a party, y'all, but I'm not gonna stop 'til I reach the top. Yes, yes, y'all!

On the box right now: Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet, COMPLETE MERCURY RECORDINGS, Disc 1. This is the kinda shit that alters your consciousness...

Dove With Claws [9:24 PM]

[ Monday, April 04, 2005 ]


Funny business

From seminar today, discussing Ralph Ellison's foundational 1952 novel INVISIBLE MAN:

PROFESSOR (who was a guest discussion leader this week): "Do you think that Ellison might be referencing 'Popeye' in the yam vendor scene?"

STUDENT: "I was wondering about that. Was 'Popeye' around when Ellison would've been writing?"

PROFESSOR: "Well, I can remember 'Popeye' when I was 5 or 6 years old..."

STUDENT: "So, like, the 1930s?"

(class, me included, falls into gales of laughter)

Now, the student didn't really mean to imply that the Professor was in his mid-70s, but what was really funny about it was that the professor didn't look a day over 50. (He may actually be older than that, but it ain't showing.)

On the box right now: Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, ESSENTIAL. Ooh, that's sweet...


Dove With Claws [4:17 PM]

[ Sunday, April 03, 2005 ]


The truth hurts

"In some way, the Iraqi insurgent and the poverty-stricken American soldier are the same. They are both being asked to sacrifice their lives for a victory that can never be theirs."
-Arundhati Roy

"When war threatens humanity's destiny, as it does today in Iraq, it is even more urgent for us to proclaim with a loud and decisive voice that peace is the only way to build a more just and caring society. Violence and arms can never solve human problems."- Pope John Paul II

On the box right now: Bobby Fuller Four, NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN.


Dove With Claws [9:12 AM]