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Sunday Links Party

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-‘Improvising a Jazz Tune Puts Your Brain In An Altered State’ from ‘Scientific American
“As compared with the memorized melody, the improvised jam elicited stronger activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain active in autobiographical storytelling, among other varieties of self-expression. Supporting the altered-state notion, activity dipped in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (an area linked to planning and self-censorship), which, the researchers point out, is similar to what happens during dreams. They note that the same pattern might show up in all kinds of improvisations, from solving problems on the fly to riffing on a topic of high interest—such as, say, your favorite jazz musicians”

-’World Party’, a sorta underrated album, right?!

-Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One: World War 4 by Nitsuh Abebe from ‘Pitchfork Media’
Unlike a lot of OhWord’s readers, I don’t pretend to not read If you’re not reading it, you miss stuff this really wonderful piece by Nitsuh Abebe. Actual criticism, the review connects Badu’s album to the Rev. Wright controversy, hip-hop nostalgia and lots more. I’m not a fan of this album at all– it’s total music critic “masterpiece” bait– but the review’s excellent.

-The return of Joseph and Christopher to blogging: Good!

-‘A Groin Slapper’ by Armond White from New York Press
Once again, Armond White comes through and takes big dumb Hollywood comedies at least as seriously as every other critic takes big dumb Hollywood “art” movies. Only tangentially-related, but I’m not going to write a whole blog on it or anything, so I’ll stick it here. The weird response to the ‘Sex & the City’ movie and its fans is really weird. Once again, why movies like ‘Super Bad’ or ‘Knocked-Up’ are celebrated for their insularity and pandering to a certain audience while a movie like this is dismissed is sort of depressing. Luckily, I don’t date the kind of girls that watch ‘Sex & the City’ so I’ve never had to watch an episode to increase my changes of getting laid, so I’m not commenting on the show itself, as much the strangely sexist reactions (I mean really, even ‘Newsweek’ noticed) so many critics have to the movie. At the same time, it’s really fun how Jennifer Hudson undoubtedly plays some vaguely Mammy-ish role in a movie that at the least, has some like feminist-type intentions. It’s fun when political correctness hits a wall like that.

-‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats’ by Grandmaster Flash
Don’t know anything about this and didn’t know it existed until a few days ago, and haven’t read anything about it anywhere, but it could be interesting. Skimming the first chapter, it was unfortunately already giving hints that it’s more a super-idealized version of Flash’s life than the real-thing, but I’m sure there’s some gems in there.

-Lil Wayne Official Tracklisting (Maybe): I dug through all the this-coming Tuesday releases at my work on Friday and amongst styrofoam peanuts was ‘Tha Carter 3′. The tracklisting on the back is as follows: 3 Peat, Mr Carter, A Milli, Got Money, Comfortable, Dr Carter, Phone Home, Tie My Hands, Mrs Officer, Let the Beat Build, Shoot Me Down, Lollipop, La La, Playing With Fire, You Ain’t Got Nuthin On Me, Dontgetit (called ‘Misunderstood’ on leaks). Inexplicably, ‘Mrs. Officer’, ‘Let the Beat Build’, and ‘Playing With Fire’ have the word “Bonus” in red written next to them which I guess means they’re bonus tracks? In the middle of the album? This tracklist’s a little better than the one of the leak but it still doesn’t fix the albums flaws. Having the Thicke, Valentino, and then ‘Let the Beat Build songs all in a row gives the album this like mid-album crooner cycle, which is good, but it creates this terrible ‘Lollipop, ‘La La’, ‘Playing With Fire’ three-fer that’s near-unlistenable. Current favorite Carter line: “Damn/Everybody in a bank act friendly”

No homo on that picture. So yeah, it’s all over and Barack Obama’s got the nomination. Good. People are still talking about Clinton as Vice President, which besides being a really alienating ticket, would be a problem for another reason. The like, taboo thing has been the reality that Obama could be shot but the real “taboo” would be that if H-Rod was V.P, what’s stopping her from picking-off Barack? It wouldn’t be the first time for the Clintons, you know? Just saying…

-DJ Excel ‘That’s What a Pimp Does’: Baltimore Club producer and BMore Original owner, artist, and everything else, DJ Excel has this highly-entertaining track that you’ve maybe heard somewhere before, but is worth revisiting.

-‘Be Thankful For What You Got’: This has been getting more plays around here than ‘Tha Carter 3′ or that boring Lil Wayne rip-off Wale, or whatever else I’m supposed to be listening to. No doubt you’ve heard that titular track on this but every song’s nearly as good. It also has this really modest but utopian outlook on the world that moves it beyond being simply this laid-back soul album that you want to like drive-around to on painkillers and beer. ‘Give the Little Man a Great Big Hand’ opens and closes with these perfect applause sound effects as DeVaughn explains the importance of celebrating the guy that’s not in a three-piece suit and behind a desk. As usual, it’s something the Warren Buffett wannabe rhymers could learn from. ‘You Can Do It’s about how you shouldn’t drink too much at a party, which is good advice too. Really great thick drums, perfect organ solos, the occasional fuzzy guitar, Bacharach-style background vocals…it’s good.

YouTube Fun-Time

Christmas in June!

It’s like Christmas or something when you go to YouTube and there’s new, obscure videos of some artist or musician you like and recently, Monique spotted this great clip of Italian Prog-Weirdo Franco Battiatio, playing a clip of ‘Energia’ off his absolute classic ‘Fetus’, staring intently and bad-assed. If you haven’t heard ‘Fetus’, well here it is: Franco Battiato ‘Fetus’. One of the albums I’d take on the Mother-ship, as Dallas Penn might say.

Written by Brandon

June 8th, 2008 at 5:40 am

Posted in lazy post, links

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