Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, April 28, 2007 ]


EMP Thoughts

Since I realized that one person or another may stumble into this little corner of the world because of my recent participation in the EMP's Pop Music Conference 2007, I thought I'd offer a thought or two on the affair, which - though I was only there for about half of it - seemed a rousing, rowdy success.

Without giving short shrift to either the (many) highlights or the (occasional) lowlights of the weekend, I realized that one centralizing observation dominates my recollections. Namely, the hip-hop contingent came really strong this year, delivering a whole slew of smart, soulful presentations/screenings/etc., often in some sort of tandem. Jeff Chang once again came through like the MVP, doing several events over the weekend on hip-hop's roots and routes. (Although I literally couldn't be there for it, I figure I'm always gonna regret missing the panel Chang did with Joe Schloss, Garnette Cadogan, Ned Sublette and Oliver Wang, which - from what I hear - was unsurprisingly monumental.)

Elizabeth Mendez Berry delivered a heartbreakingly effective remix to her powerful "Love Hurts" piece (on the silence within hip-hop on violence towards women) from a few years back. Brian Cross and Henry Chalfant both screened parts of their compelling recent projects, Cross' "Brasilintime," and Chalfant's groundbreaking "From Mambo To Hip-Hop," both of which deserve the widest possible audience. Ali Colleen Neff and Roni Sarig brought the Dirty South, as did Shot Of Rhythm's new pals Dave Stelfox and Erin MacLeod, who tag-teamed a talk on Houston's pivotal chopped-n-screwed scene. Dave and Erin appeared on a panel dealing with local hip-hop that also featured a fine talk by one of Shot Of Rhythm's oldest pals, the mighty Wayne Marshall, who damn near started a dance party with his talk on the "zunguzung" meme in reggae, hip-hop and dancehall. There are more I'm missing, of course, but y'all get the point. In this post-Imus moment of confused, even destructive conversations, it was heartily refreshing to hear so much good, complicated talk about hip-hop's past, present and future.

Speaking of hip-hop's future, here's four more new tracks, picked up from around the cybersphere, all of which sound perfect for the summertime.

Tune in next time for Betty Davis, Chuck Brown and Mavis Staples...

Mark Ronson (feat. Rhymefest and Anthony Hamilton) - "Bout To Get Ugly"

Christelle Michelle - "Good Girl" (Spotted over at Muzik Bone)

Hurricane Chris - "A Bay Bay"

Nu World Era - "Fresh"

On the box right now: Jim Ford, THE SOUNDS OF OUR TIME.


Dove With Claws [12:06 PM]

[ Tuesday, April 24, 2007 ]



I'll be back with something more substantive soon, but here are a few of the greatest hits from the paper I gave at last weekend's Experience Music Project Pop Conference, titled "The Country-Soul Triangle: How Southern Soul Changed Country Music." There's gold in them hills...

George Jones and Johnny Paycheck - "You Better Move On"

Charlie Rich - "Life's Little Ups And Downs"

Irma Thomas - "Dance Me Down Easy"

On the box right now: Betty Davis, BETTY DAVIS (reissue). More on this later...


Dove With Claws [7:58 AM]