I’ve been sick. and I had to take the part of this week off from work. I feel a lot better, but to tell the truth I still don’t know if I’ve completely eradicated the bug from my system. Nevertheless, I woke up well before my usual time the other day (I work a night shift) so that I could take advantage of a presale for a very special performance by the band most of my friends identify me with the most…. Sonic Youth.
I usually catch at least 2 or 3 performances by SY each year and a few months ago it was announced that this year they would do a few shows where they play their monumental 1988 release Daydream Nation in full.
Being one of my favorite bands and all it’s kind of surprising that I haven’t done a proper post solely dedicated to them as of yet, but I feel like throwing something together real quick would be doing them an injustice, and let’s face it, most of the posts I put up myself around here are pretty thrown together. I’m pretty sure my frequent name drops and other mentions throughout my assorted ramblings will suffice to give enough of a crash course. I mean, some bands are just too massive to try to sum up in one sitting anyway.
It is worth noting that in 2005 Daydream Nation was selected by the Library of Congress to be included in the National Recording Registry. I would like to think that as far as validation goes, that’s quite an honor. So instead of trying to summarize the album for you, I’ll treat this post more as a dedication and let the music speak for itself.
Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket
Sonic Youth is one of those bands that has surpassed the boundaries of most bands and within themselves have become somewhat of a culturall institution. You know the name you can always drop when in doubt if you get into pointless postulating with a bunch of hipsters or music snobs. For that reason you have a lot of people who run around proclaiming how much they love the band, but couldn’t name one song. If for some ungodly reason you are totally unfamiliar with Sonic Youth at all just know that they laid a lot of the benchmarks for independent rock as it exists today. I personally like to say that any music created after 1980 that does not inherently suck was either directly influenced or associated with Sonic Youth in some shape form or fashion. I’d like to hear someone contradict that with an example just so I can show you how strong their impact is.
So as not to come off as a complete poser when you quote me to sound cool… here’s n example of their innovative guitar mastery.
Sonic Youth – ‘Cross The Breeze
Ticket’s officially went on sale today and they will only be doing the Daydream Nation shows for 3 or 4 dates in the US plus a couple in Europe. Obviously I highly recommend you check it out. Also later this year Daydream Nation is slated for a 2-disc Deluxe Edition reissue which should include new rare and unreleased tracks.
Sonic Youth – Kissability
For todays bonus I present a few interview clips with the band from back when the album was first released almost 20 years ago as well as the video for their flagship song “Teenage Riot”. See how many cameos you can spot in the footage.
So Saturday I ended up going to the 2nd annual “Paid Dues Independent Hip-Hop Festival” in San Bernadino. The event ended up selling out amazingly and I’m really glad I got to go. Rilla was also in the house doing coverage for hiphopdx. Since I wasn’t hooked up with a press pass and couldn’t take pics, hopefully he’ll be able to post any leftovers from what he got for them.
I did managed to get hooked up with the VIP treatment though. Turns out that Murs is a pretty big fight fan, and my boy Jaytan happens to manage a few fighters. Apparenly they ran into each other in Vegas so he hooked up the passes. We rolled in with Daniel Puder to do a little PR and enjoy the amenities while nodding our heads to some of the best hip-hop being put out today. We started out the night by going to the VIP area and introducing Dan and Murs, then we headed out to catch the show. We actually rolled in late because of some prior commitments, so we missed a few of the acts I was looking forward to, but here is the recap of those that we did catch.
At one point during her set Jean introduced herself to the crowd. “My name is Jean Grae, and I’m no new jack. If you hear a girl on an underground track, chances are it’s me”. Thinking over it, I have to say she has a valid point. I personally haven’t followed her too much, but I do see her name popping up on everybody’s CD. Of course that inevitably leads to the conversation about the lack of serious female MC’s in hip-hop, but I don’t want to take anything away from Jean herself. She put on a rather enjoyable set I must say, especially being so unfamiliar with most of her material. Apparently she’s got a new joint with 9th Wonder on the way, so keep your eyes out for that. She’s definitely one to watch and she’s already proven she has staying power.
Jean Grae (w/9th Wonder) – Each Mornin’ (clean)
Jay is a really big Brother Ali fan and it’s easy to see why. The man can flow and he makes songs with a message. There was a pretty decent sing along going when he broke into Forrest Whitaker, but there were some points during his set where I was wondering why the crowd wasn’t more into it. I guess he’s still a little unfamiliar to the masses at large. That should be changing soon though. He’s got a new album dropping April 10th. He knows most of ya’ll already have a bootleg, but he ain’t mad… anymore. I still haven’t heard anything but the single, Truth is Here butI’ll be checking it out when it drops.
Brother Ali – Rain Water
Earlier in the night I actually ran into Gift of Gab while walking through the crowd. I actually met him before a few years ago, and he was still just as cool as before. This makes for the 4th or 5th time I’ve actually seen them in the past year alone and the show rocked as usual. I was glad to see they brought the full show with the keyboard player who was at Detour as well. That guy can seriously steal the show.
Blackalicious – It’s Going Down
At this point in the night we ran out to peruse the merch booths and I copped quite a bit of swag. There were a couple of guys called the Bash Brothers hawking their double CD for 5 bucks. I figure that in 2 disks they’ve got to have at least $5 of decent tunes so I snagged one up. I haven’t listened to it yet, but when I get a chance I’ll post a review. One of the cats gave me his email addy as well, so maybe we’ll put up an interview and whatnot.
Interestingly enough there was also a booth full of El-P gear. Since I’m calling his new joint an early candidate for album of the year, I picked up quite a bit of stuff from there, including a limited edition 7-inch with remixes of Smithereens and The Overly Dramatic Truth. Seeing that I was a pretty big fan and was grabbing the last of several items they had in stock, one of the dudes working the booth told me to come back in about 30 minutes. So by the time we swung back around there was El-P himself just hanging out and keeping it low-key. Considering the venom the dude can pack into his rhymes and some past experiences with other celebrities I know, I was prepared for him to be a little stand-offish or abrasive, but I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I got to talk to him for a little bit and told him I had been bumping the album all week, including on the ride up from LA. I also told him we’re giving away a copy here on The Alternakids. He was real cool and laid back. Humble too considering how much press he’s getting nowadays. I also found out he was gonna be performing as a surprise guest which made my day.
Here’s the thing about Sage Francis… I still think he’s fucking crazy. Whereas this is a turn-off with me for some acts (*coughOFMontrealcough*), it actually works for Sage. This is my second time seeing him rock it and both times I’ve said to myself, you gotta get up on this dude. I mean I’ve known about him for a while and my friend Becky stalks him like he stalks Natalie Portman, but I still need to own more of his catalog. Judging from the crowd though, I don’t need to do any introduction for him because I’m the one who’s doing the sleeping here.
Sage Francis – Can I Kick It (live @ Ocean Mist)
Then it was time for the act everybody came to see. The man who put the whole thing together and his partner in crime from Minnesota. The crowd was as hype as it got all night when Murs and Slug took to the stage. Ant actually joined them as well from the DJ booth as they ran through the majority of Felt 2 and rocked a medley of tracks from the first album as well. Taking time in between songs to throw some witty banter around and take jabs at each other, both of these guys know how to put on an entertaining show that keeps the crowd involved.
Felt – The Two
At one point they took a break in the action to give props to the man who “started this whole independent hip-hop shit over on the east coast” and El-P walked on from the side of the stage to rock the new single Smithereens. A decent bit of the crowd got into it as he tried to get some call and response going for the Stop Cryin’ bits of the chorus, but I guess a lot of people are still unfamiliar with the song. There was a little bit more of a reaction when DJ Mr. Len came out to do the Company Flow classic Vital Nerve though. After El rocked his two songs he reminded everybody about his show tonight at the Troubador (Which I will be missing due to being down the street at work. I’ll see him at Coachella though). If you’re free and in LA tonight I’d strongly recommend checking it out. I’ve read some reviews, and even critics who aren’t into the whole Def Jux sound at all had to admit his show rocked.
Atmosphere (feat. El-P) – Homecoming
Then Felt came back to close the show out and Murs had a little bit of news for everybody. It seems as though his next album is going to be released by Warner proper now. Having already flirted with a major for the release of his last album, this was only the next logical step. He made a promise to keep it real “making underground raw shit” no matter what, and said that if he’s gotta play politics with the monster, he’s gonna be the damn President. We ain’t mad man… do your thing, it’s about time you blow up. Of course you already knew you had my vote.
After that Murs closed out the show with the new National Anthem, but we’ve already posted that here before. So today as a bonus I’ll put up a track featuring Murs that I’ve been dying to post since last fall from Oh-No’s Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms with Galt MacDermot.
So I wanted this post to go up a couple days ago, but I had to wait for a few things to come through before I started making promises I couldn’t keep. It appears as though The Alternakids are starting to get rather popular in this here blogosphere, so I thought it’d be nice to give a little something back to those who have been down with us from the beginning.
This is a great week for music and especially for hip-hop in particular. This Saturday the Paid Dues Festival will be going down in San Bernandino, CA featuring Felt, Blackalicious, Cage, Brother Ali, Pigeon John and a bunch of other acts that’ll be sure to rock the house. There’s a chance I’ll be there now that I may or may not have the hook-up on some comped passes.
Also saturday night O-Dub from Soul Sides will be spinning some records over at Funky Sole in Hollywood. Being as how this is already one of my regular hang-outs, this is a special appearance that I do not want to miss. Of course this means I may have to decide between making the short trip up north and hanging out with my favorite bartender (that’s twice I’ve given you a shout out Natasha).
Another reason to stop by Funky Sole tomorrow would be to give some props to my man Egon from Stones Throw. Yesterday they re-released the infamous “Rough Draft” EP by J-Dilla including bonus tracks and a second disk of instrumentals.
Trade Secret #1: If you live in Los Angeles and buy any music from Amoeba Records, it always pays to ask them what kind of free goodies they have behind the counter:
This ain’t the first time I’ve gotten hooked up by the friendly staff over there either. I mean I’m starting to accept the fact that I’m kinda cute… but I ain’t that cute.
Trade secret #2: If you’re signed up to the Stones Throw email list you’d also have an exclusive Madlib remix of one of the Rough Draft tracks as well. You have to keep your eye on those guys over there, they throw hidden goodies up on the website all the time, so it’s to your benefit to pay attention.
Now… here’s some other things you might not already know about. If you haven’t heard, Daft Punk killed it with a late set at Coachella last year.
Daft Punk – Technologic (live at Coachella 2006)
Trade Secret #3: By the time you read this there will be a pre-sale going on for three dates of their US tour this year. I have to be crazy for telling you this before I’ve secured my own tickets, but the secret password for the pre-sale is “Robots”… very apropos.
Speaking of paying attention, if you’ve been reading for a while, you already know that we’re big fans of El-Producto around here. We talk about him all the time. And chances are you probably already know that “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” one of the most anticipated albums of the year dropped yesterday as well. I’m not gonna spend too much time talking about it here, because I have a strong feeling this albums gonna end up getting a review in our best of 2007 countdown, but here’s a sample to whet your appetite.
El-P (feat. Aesop Rock) – Run the Numbers
Trade Secret #4: What you may not know is that Cassettes Won’t Listen did a remix for Flyentology that’s only available as an mp3 download. I copped it from World’s Fair, and now you can cop it here. Check out the EPK for the album over on YouTube as well.
Now… what I’m sure will be news to you is that we want to find out who the biggest Alternakids fan is. So we’re giving away copy of the album to the person who can prove they’ve been down with us the longest. How do you prove that you say? Well we’re not gonna make it that easy. First of all if you read carefully, you’ll be able to find our email address (Not my personal email, the one for the site mo’fos). It’s been posted in previous updates and you can always find it in the fine print somewhere on the site.
So once you know the address, what should you send us? How about a message with the subject line El-P giveaway and a body that lists the names of all the previous posts where we mention El-P (In the main post not necessarily the comments… but bonus points if you can get those too). We also want to know if you listened to all of the tracks we posted, so give us the titles of El-P songs we’ve posted as well. (Yes remixes and featured appearances do count. Like I said, we talk about him a lot around here.)
And after all that sorry, but it’s not gonna be a first come first serve type of thing, because let’s face it… any greedy mo’fo (that’s twice in one post) without a job can sit here and scan the 70 odd previous posts we’ve put up real quick and figure all that out before anybody else. So we’re gonna give everyone a week to get their answer sheets in and then we’ll pick a winner based upon who can show us the most love. Now you may ask… what the fuck does that mean? Well, have you left us any comments? Have you linked us somewhere else on these lovely interwebs? Have you posted about us in forums you frequent? Iono… you tell me what you’ve done to prove your love. Is that too much to ask? Maybe, but we’re asking it anyway because we’re histrionic and well, Def Jux ain’t sponsoring this little experiment, it’s all coming out of pocket.
Now you might start paying attention, because you never know what we’ll be giving away next. I mean we already hooked you guys up for Detour.. we tried to give away tickets to Suicide Girls Burlesque, and well… there’s actually another giveaway that’s still up for grabs if you want it.
In the end, truth be told, we love you guys too. Thanks for reading and coming back. It was asked of us to post the Wereallgoingtoburninhell Megamix, which was only available for purchase at Def Jux shows. Well, in good conscious I can’t just post the whole thing for you to have for free (at least not all at one time 😉 ), but I can give you another little taste (for now).
The Godfather of Punk that is. Today we will begin to take a look at the career of one of the most influential rock bands of the late 60’s/early 70’s, whose groundbreaking music wouldn’t come to be fully appreciated until many years later. The band I speak of is Iggy and the Stooges.
James Newell Osterberg started his career as a teenager playing for several different garage bands from Ann Arbor, MI including the “The Iguanas”. Adopting the stage name Iggy Pop in reference to his former band, Osterberg would join brothers Ron and Scott Asheton along with drummer Dave Alexander to form “The Stooges”. Throughout the later part of the 60’s “the Stooges” would achieve local prominence by putting on wild and confrontational stage shows along with other local favorites such as the MC5. Iggy is often credited as the inventor of the stage dive and was also known to cut himself with glass on stage and smear his chest with raw meat, peanut butter, and/or his own blood, no doubt providing inspiration for a number of performers to follow, most notably G.G. Allin.
In 1969″The Stooges” released their self-titled debut. Produced by John Cale of the Velvet Underground, the album was largely ignored by both critics and audiences alike. Today however the influence tracks such as “1969” and “Now I Wanna Be Your Dog” (a song about bondage) would have on the forthcoming garage, punk and metal genres is evident. Keep in mind this is a full five years before The Ramones or the Sex Pistols even formed as bands.
The Stooges – 1969
The Stooges – Now I Wanna Be Your Dog
The following year saw the release of Funhouse, also largely underappreciated. This album is said to better capture the energy of the Stooges live performances. Witness rock history in the making:
The Stooges – 1970
In 1973, The Stooges would team up with David Bowie as producer to release Raw Power. Once again evading commercial success, this album would go on to be considered oe of the staple punk rock albums of the 70’s.
Iggy & The Stooges – Search and Destroy
Tensions among the band members as well as issues with drug abuse lead to the disbandment of the band for 3 decades, during which Iggy would go on to persue a solo career (to be summed up in a subsequent post). In 2003 The Stooges would reunite with Iggy for several songs on his album “Skull Ring”. The band would also go on to perform a live reunion tour.
Iggy and The Stooges – Skull Ring
2007 marks the proper return of the band with the release of “The Weirdness”. The album is produced by Steve Albini and features Mike Watt of fIREHOSE and The Minutemen on bass filling in for the deceased Dave Alexander. The album was released March 6 and will be followed by a US tour.
The Stooges – My Idea of Fun
Personally I’m hoping for a late Coachella addition as the tour is currently slated to be in the area around that time and a few dates are open which would correspond. In light of these hopes today’s bonus is from Coachella headliner Rage Against the Machine, covering “Down on the Street”
Rage Against the Machine – Down on the Street (Stooges cover)
El-P And Diddy? Oh no, he’s going to Bad Boy! No, he’s just getting shown the respect he deserved for the past 10 years.
Aesop Rock (feat. El-P) – We’re Famous
I could go on at length about so many things going on this picture that blow my mind, but I think it’s only fair to say that at some point musicians respect each other for more things than just music sometimes. Company Flow was the engine that pushed Rawkus into the forefront of hip-hop at a time when it was at it’s weakest. Now that his album is one of the most anticipated albums of the year, his old label, Rawkus is out to get him, or at least keep the man down. As a fellow blogger to us, read his words at iswyd.blogspot.com, but here they are word for every used, abused, misspelled and angry word
THE NEW RAWKUS RECORDS. SAME ASSHOLES THEY ALWAYS WERE.
so the other day me and my band took a picture with puffy. he had been in our rehearsal spot in brooklyn the entire week and we thought it would be something we would regret if we had missed the chance to get a flic with dude. this is for many reasons. there are the obvious points of irony (el-p and puffy in the same room together!?!?!?! but how? why?), as well as the fact that he is simply one of the most famous people in the world. so we went in to the hall and asked him if he would take a picture with us. he was on a conference call but told us as soon as he was done he would come in to our room and take a flic. yeah right, we thought. so 15 minutes pass and we had all but forgotten about it. we were in the middle of rehearsing TPC when the door swings open and puff walks in. i had a full band there so we just kept going with the song. diddy chilled in the corner dancing (i shit you not) and waving his hands in the air. when we finished he came over and we took a flic. he shook everyones hand, smiled, was gratious, asked for a cd then bounced. a true gentelman (at least to us). we couldnt wait to get home and put the picture up on our respective myspace pages. i have met a lot of people but there was something so hilarious and wonderful about this picture. maybe it was that we were all genuinely having a great time. the smiles you see are not sarcastic or smarmy, they are real smiles from a group of guys having a blast. and of course… el-p and puffy????? so up on myspace it went. out to all our friends it went. a proud and hilarious, unexpected moment of very differet musical worlds converging. one of the those rare funny/fun/cool moments that come out of no where and is completely unexpected but great.
in steps WWW.RAWKUS.COM.
these twisted, corrupted shit eaters who stole money from everyone they worked with, fired their staff a few days before christmas, signed amazing artists and never put their records out, blocked artists they had under contract from signing to other labels even after they had driven their label in to the ground and werent even functioning, sycophanttically attempted to attach themselves to anyone in the mainstream they possibly could, etc. etc. etc…
well here they are again. the “new” rawkus. launching again for any sad sap of an artist who wants to wake up one day and realize they are getting screwed, for any staff member who wants an honest pay only to eventually realize they are disposable. the “new” rawkus. the ones who are literally dispersing questionairs in europe to fans asking what type of music they should be releasing. the “new” rawkus. so these motherfuckers take the picture that was taken with my camera and post it up on their site with a news piece entitled something to the effect of: “company flows el-p and puffy?” that’s it. as though the picture is some sort of statement about me. as though the picture is proof of me “selling out”. then they have one of their staff members go around to various message boards like OKAYPLAYER and the post about it in any and every post about my new album. oh yeah? you like the el-p record? check out this picture of him and puffy! oh word? you think el is a dope producer? check out this picture of him and puffy!
the “new” rawkus, eh? great start, fellas. jump start your new era with a half assed smear campaign against the guy that literally delivered you the first album that jumpstarted your entire label. a guy you stole dough from, dissrepected, etc.
this is the kind of spirit that coarses through the clotted, stinking lifeblood of that label, and this is why i believe in my heart of hearts that the label is as corrupted and doomed as it ever was. there is no picture of me that exists that can wipe away the guilt of the way these guys operated and clearly continue to operate. there is no moment or image that can take away the fact that while you were whoring yourselves and destroying everyone that worked with you and believed in you i was doing what i thought was right, and still do.
how insulting. how pathetic. how mean spirited and how completely useless and missguided. get off my dick.
i would sooner spend an eternity hanging with puffy than involve myself with the douche bags behind rawkus, be it the old one or the “new” one. as far as im concerned you can keep that picture up there forever. please do. that one moment was more entertaining and fun and genuine than the enitre sum of our business relationship.
Company Flow – Magnetic, Opium…
It doesn’t stop there, the co-founders of Rawkus Records released their response to all the media outlets and here is what they had to say.
We thought the photo of you and Puff was cool. We posted it without comment. We immediately removed it upon request. But you had to go there… Straight attack our credibility and intentions with that slanderous rant. Keep in mind WE HAVEN’T SAID A WORD to you since 1998. Why are you salty? Be happy, you are successful and rich. Regardless of our obvious distaste for one another, we’ve admired Def Jux’s success and sincerely respect your roster of artists. But you had to go there……
El-P, your recent post has drawn attention to our intentions as promoters and marketers in the Hip Hop community.Haters, like you, seem to suffer from historical amnesia. We thought it was time we directly addressed the Hiphop community and post some facts.
Our mission at Rawkus.com is to create a vibrant supportive community for hip hop, including all factions and styles.The post showing El-P and Puffy was in no way meant to discredit El-P as an artist or producer. Puffy is a mogul and his appearance with an underground artist like El-P was news worthy and interesting. However, we have a strict policy against creating bullshit beefs and reserve the right to delete comments and posts that overtly create hate instead of fostering creative debate.This post was removed once it was brought to our attention that El-P was offended by it.
For the past ten years our mission has been to help artists promote and make money—a mission we were very successful at. We have contributed HEAVY financial resources into promoting Black Star, Mos Def, Kweli, Pharoahe Monche, Big L and many other underground artists in our history of Soundbombing, Lyricist Lounge, and 100s of 12” releases.
Our history is full of success and breakthroughs. Mos Def and Kweli have sold almost 1.5 million albums each and are both powerful stars now. While we worked together, Pharoahe Monche had two huge hits (“Simon Says” and “Oh No”) and sold almost 300,000 albums. We supported Common during his label
transition by successfully promoting “Respiration” and “1999.” Big L went GOLD! The Soundbombing and Lyricist Lounge compilations sold over 1 million copies. Remember “Body Rock”, “Definition”, “Ms. Fat Booty”, “Umi Says”, “Simon Says”, “The Light”, “Respiration”, “My Life”, “The Blast”, “Get By”, “Oh No”, “Flamboyant”, “Fortified Live”, “Universal Magnetic” and “End to End Burners”?
Of course we could not hit home runs every time, and some VERY talented artists experienced frustration as Rawkus hit temporary obstacles in dealing with MCA/Universal in 2003-2004.Everybody knows how treacherous the music industry is. If you stay in it long enough, you will have your fair share of doors slammed in your face- we have!You stay in the game because your will to succeed, far out weighs your fear of defeat. We are proud of RAWKUS.COM‘s growing community of driven artists and individuals. While the game has changed, our mission at RAWKUS is still on point; market and promote NEW under-appreciated artists and respect the older generation of hip hop. We firmly believe the community should decide the value of music, not critics or haters.
Jarret Myer & Brian Brater
El-P – The Day After Yesterday (instrumental)
Round 2. Fight! I’m thinking maybe he’ll go back in to record a special track just for Rawkus. Still, El-P’s album will be out March 20th, you’d be smart to have that in your stereo that same day. For now, check this out.
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