Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, February 17, 2006 ]


Hip-hop follow-up

As our friend David Cantwell pointed me to, four tracks from the upcoming Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse collaboration, Gnarls Barkley, have leaked out. They are pretty fantastic, particularly the (faithful) cover of the Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone." The other tracks are great as well; suggests - unsurprisingly - that this'll be one to look out for. Any interested parties should be able to find the tracks without too much of a dig around the digital universe. They're worth it.

On the box right now: Various Artists, FROM THE LONE STAR TO THE GULF COAST.


Dove With Claws [8:27 AM]

[ Tuesday, February 14, 2006 ]


Hip-hop, and ya don't stop, and ya...hey, where'd ya go?

Here's a list - purely unscientific, based only on my personal "to buy" list - of hip-hop albums that were supposed to have been released in the last 6 months, either to be delayed or entirely disappeared from the schedule. As far as I know, none of these albums have a firm, specific release date at this point.

Cee-Lo/Jazze Pha
Nappy Roots
Bubba Sparxxx

This is ridiculous. I know that hip-hop release dates have never been made of the firmest cement in the warehouse, but come on. OutKast is apparently supposed to come out in APril, and Pharrell in May, but the others have totally disappeared from any schedule. (Scarface was supposed to be released today, perhaps the provocation behind this little tirade.) All of these albums qualify as favored (if not favorite) artist releases, so I'm hoping that the bizarre twilight zone where release schedules are made might cough a few of them out. Eesh.

On the box right now: Sharon Shannon, COLLECTION. Reviewed this for HARP magazine. Not everything on it is great, but there's enough moments of trad-Irish brilliance to qualify it as a repeat listen (programmed track list, of course) on the stereo. Faith and begorrah.


Dove With Claws [8:34 PM]

[ Sunday, February 12, 2006 ]


Come, let us go back to God

Went to Chicago today with some friends, to the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. I've never been to one of these events, which I've heard a lot of good things about, so I was eager to check it out. I've always had mixed feelings about the House of Blues - particularly its admirable, yet problematic, slogan "No Black, No White, Just Blues" - but I can't deny that I haven't spent as good a Sunday in quite some time. The food was excellent - from the baked hash browns to the fried chicken - and the performance somehow worked both for gospel neophytes and more experienced listeners. (I particularly loved the way that the first number acted essentially as a remedial class in call-and-response.) It was a really nice time, even though I'm still not sure how I feel about a building that puts voodoo dolls on the wall next to posters advertising an upcoming performance by Less Than Jake.

Still, it was great to get away, especially considering the fact that unhappy, unhealthy grad-school politics found their way into my life in the past couple days. Sitting with the spirit for a couple hours was refreshing.

Now, I'm off to grade a few more midterms before Dave Chappelle's on INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO. That, my friends, is must-see TV.

On the box right now: Al Green, FULL OF FIRE. Noticing a recent pattern? The ongoing reissue series of the Reverend's classic Hi Records output recently added 5 more of his albums, which have been in heavy rotation. Even relatively minor works, like this one, have industrial-strength doses of soul power.


Dove With Claws [4:01 PM]