Thursday, September 29, 2005

Music Response Vol.2:Hip-Hop Anonymous

I'm not a huge hip-hop guy but there are some amazing albums that I'll give respect to. Even if you don't feel urban beats check these out and you may change your mind.

1. Original Soundtrack - "O.s.t" /The people under the stairs

These guys actually rap about real stuff. Not money, bitches, and bling. Weed, deep metaphors, and slick puns over some of most addictive hooks I've heard to date. Nothing resampled here. THis is the real deal underground hip-hop. The gems on this album are "Acid Raindrops" and "Empty bottles of water." Get on it.

2. Be/Common

I was not a fan of Electric Circus so I was pleasantly surprised when I popped this one in cd player and found that every track on this album could easily explode on hot 97. The album is produced by the Kanye West, the hoboken based rapper now made infamous by his less than tasteful diatribe during a Hurrican Katrina Telethon where he said "George Bush hates black people" Check out "Go" and "The Corner". A huge departure from their former album "Electric Circus" Common has found their footing with "BE".

3. Illmatic/Nas

The legendary lyricist Nas can serve up some sick rhymes - "Life's a bitch and then die, that's why we get high". It's hard not to emphatize with such a pristine outlook on life.

4. Greatest Hits/2pac

I'm from the east coast but I feel 2pac much harder then Biggie. Is that wrong? Will I revive the east coast vs. west coast war with this comment? 2pac is a grimey ass nigga and at least in my perception comes through completely authentic. His image reflects the ganster rapper portrait much more accurarately than the corpulent and raspy voiced Notorious B.I.G's in my estimation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


After my meetings in Tampa were completed, my colleague and I decided to hit up the trendy Ybor City. From what I hear its the hoboken of Florida. Fair enough, we call a taxi where Osama bin Laden's rebellious teenage son pulls up blasting the most offensive JihadHip-Hop I've yet to hear.

It's like they put 2 afghani's in the recording studio at Abu Gharib and told them they would be tortured until they put out an LP. I mean I've heard some of albums come out Gitmo and they were nowhere near this bad. 20 minutes later we are cruising the strip of Ybor city looking for the "hot spot". Keep in mind its monday nite so the streets are all but empty. we get the lowdown from Osama Jr. and find out ybor has a main strip with all the bars and is flanked by 2 titty bars at opposite ends of the strip. We start getting closer to one and notice that the landscape is starting to rapidly deteriorate into the oh too familiar ghetto blueprint. I asked Osama to turn around and we were deposited at a sports bar. My narration here will suffer from self imposed censorship which is necessary to protect my reputation as a stand up guy. At 3 am I find myself in a convenient store with my drunk colleague loading up on assorted potatoe chips, cheese dip, honey buns , beer, and cigarettes. For whatever reason I decided against the 2 day old chili cheese dogs in the fridge. Apparently even drunk people have limits to their nutritional depravity. 7 hours later and I'm in a Jet Blue plane writing this blog entry. Till next time...

Jet Set and Match

This week I was in Tampa, Florida for some meetings. Starting the day at 5 am on monday I shuffled past the bright eyed cats loitering in the bathroom. Briefly contemplating peeing on one, I proceeded to get dressed and head out to the front of the apt where the inevitable black stretch limo awaited. When you travel as much as I do, the once nice stretch limo starts resembling an ominous black hearse.
An hour later I'm at JFK International checking in at the Jet Blue Kiosk.

It was my first time flying this venerable discount carrier and I'll be honest- I was floored. Clean, orderly and above all timely. We actually boarded at the exact time printed on the boarding pass. There weren't 100 people confused people clogging the boarding area. They actually board the back and the front of the plane in tandem. The rear boards via the tarmac and the front via the jetway. This is pure genius. If there was a nobel prize for aviation logistics you know who gets my vote. Inside the plane, I quickly realized what the Jet blue experience was about. A businessClass experience in every seat. Unbelievable leg room, a directTV tv console on every headrest and 2 PPV movie channels. Movies could be bought for 5 dollars via the credit card swiper located next to the LCD screen.

Also, the headphone jack was the normal one, not the fucking infuriating 2 or 3 prong ones on some airlines (Continental I'm looking in your shitty direction) that only offer MONO sounds. The drink service wasn't via trolley but pleasantly conducted by a flight attendant taking individual drink orders. She then came around with a basket of assorted snacks such as pretzels, doritos, chocolate chip cookies and even biscotti. There were a total of 3 attendants for the cabin , and since there is no first class cabin, there is a much faster response time. All in all Jet Blue was hands down the most pleasant experience I have had in the air in my 100,000 plus miles I've flown.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Ok so Im gonna try and regularly drop music picks. This is the first installment. I won't necessarily be making recommendations on new music, just whatever Im really into at the moment.

Rise Against/Siren Song of the Counter Culture
Some of the best punk I've heard in a long ass time. These guys have a political agenda (as you can tell from the name) but don't we all? Check out tracks "Give it all" and "dancing for rain"

Motion City Soundtrack/Commit this to Memory
A recommendation from Vito and Booger. Airy vocals over synths and a killer rhythm section their newest album "Commit this to memory" is definitely the soundtrack of your next road trip.

Dinosaur Jr./Without a Sound
One of the quintessential albums of the early 90's alt rock movement, J Mascis found his niche with the slacker following that bands like Malkumus' Pavement later capitalized on, embodies with lyrics like " I feel the pain of everyone/then I feel nothing"

Oasis/What's the Story Morning Glory
The band's infamy that stemmed from a comment by frontman Noel Gallagher saying how they were better than the beatles is what was ultimately their commercial downfall. Luckily from a musical standpoint they rock and rock hard as only brits know how. WOnderwall is prob. the worst song on this album and its definitely one of my all time fav songs if that helps putting things into perspective.

blue balls in dance halls

women readers i implore you to enlighten me. For awhile now I have been a resident of this wonderful town, and during this ongoing tenure have endured many a nite at the local bars and lounges. With so much nitelife one would surmise that that the singles scene here would be booming. Perhaps that is the case, but for this 1 brown guy, that conjecture remains inherently flawed. Because even if a woman is single here, she isn't ever really. Because there is in her mind an exact replica of a demi-Greek God here on earth wearing a striped Banana Republic shirt and a monthly pass for the path in his back wallet. I blame a few sources for conjuring such an image in her mind, such as chick flicks, the christian ultra conservative WASP-ish right wing, and
MTV. But i digress.....
To fit into this mold is quite a formidable task, and honestly an effort I just dont wan't to undertake. Because guess what? I work pretty hard 5 days a week. On the weekend I don't wanna do a goddamn thing. That includes force feeding small talk to someone who has immediately dismissed me as a love interest before I even shook her hand. You can tell by looking at her eyes and reading the body language. You know I can tell immediately? When I introduce myself, if the girl doesn't ask how pronounce my name I know she has 0 interest in meeting me. Trust me no one I ever met got my name right on the first try. Let me rephrase that- any non-indian I have ever met has been able to say my name right on the first try. A girl who is like, "how do you say your name again?" is polite and has at least some desire to talk to me.
So there you have it: that's my secret so if you're a girl you best be coming correct. So basically you could be Brad fuckin Pitt, who just came back from an orbit around Jupiter and got awarded the Purple Heart last month, but because he is wearing black shoes with a brown belt, he isn't getting the time of day from any hoboken chicks. It's really that bad. I know because I've been there. Everyday i see hot women with doofy ass white dudes. I ponder the beginnings of such a pairing. I think I have a better chance of proving the unified field theory than understanding how these people get together. The towel is in my hand and wavering over the ropes of the ring. So ladies, please enlighten me. Or just blow me? Either way it will be a tremendous help.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

IO needs to STFU

you, as my avid and fervent blog reader may be wondering why there has only been 1 post in the last 3 some odd weeks. The answer lies in the unparalleled idiocy of a company called Cablevision. You see it all started 2 weeks ago when I moved to my new apartment, which was lacking broadband internet access. I called Cablevision up and signed up for their Optimum Online Service and scheduled someone to come out the saturday i was moving in. Well, low and behold the door bell rings and in comes a self-proclaimed reggaetone artist, not from cablevision but some 3rd party company. He comes in and starts looking for the cable outlets in the apartment and after 10 minutes promptly tells me that he can't install the modem because he can't find them. Meanwhile my opinion of this guy has just plummeted faster than his hopes and dreams of performing at the Apollo one day. I walk over the wall and point to an outlet that is basically just a cover screwed into the wall.
" I think its behind there"
"Nah yo, that ain't it"
"I'm pretty sure it is"
"naaaaaaaaaaaah B"

Common sense would dictate that since the apt never had cable, but was prewired for it, as most new apartments are, that this outlet would have the cable's behind it. But nooooo, Tony yayo has other ideas. He leaves and tells me that he is scheduling Cablevision to come out. Gee, funny since I called them last week to have someone come out here. Instead they send this 8 mile reject. Days go by and no call from Cablevision about my appointment, so I decide to call and set one up myself. They said no problem we'll come out on saturday between 8 and 11. Unfortuntely I didn't have the hindsight or restraint to realize that friday night would be one hell of a drinking event and consequently didn't hear my cell phone go off at 9:08 am the next morning.
THe voicemail was as follows:

" This is cablevision. You have missed your appointment."

Fuck sakes. What a warning! I mean to call me after the fact; that's just got classy written all over it. Rub the fact in that I was hungover and drunk as hell at 9 am. Luckily my other roomate was up and there were some overnite guests sleeping downstairs. When asked if they had heard the doorbell ring , not one of them answered yes to hearing it. Something was afoot.... Furious, I call them back to ask the technician to come back. I am told that this is not possible and that I will need to reschedule. Week 1 without internet has just been completed.
I call them on sunday and ream the customer service rep. He promised to have someone out first thing tuesday morning between the hours of 8 and 11 AND for them to call me an hour before they come so I can make sure that I am home. Tuesday morning arrives, and I get up at 7:45 to make sure I dont miss them. Meanwhile I told my boss that I would only be an hour late in anticipation of an early and successful install. 8 comes and goes. So does 9,10, and 11. At 11 I call shanikwa from cablevision customer service asking her what the hell the deal is. She says that it shows in the system that the guy came at 9:08 am and I missed it. umm yea that was last week. She apologizes that the system is wrong and says that the technician will be there at noon. So I wait and wait until 2 when no has yet arrived. I call back and get the most apathetic black woman on the other line.
I'd bet my soul she was fat and had a bad weave. Some things carry through clear on the phone and this hellish image was one of them. She told me that my appointment was from 8-6 and that I would have to wait till 6. Who the fuck gives a 10 hour time frame?? Don't I have better things to do then stay glued to the doorbell for 10 fucking hours? I can't even go out and get a bite to eat, or go run errands. 10 hours! So around 5:45 i throw in the towel. I walk over to my old apt to pick a few remaining items from the move, during which I get a call from.... Guess who?!
Good, give yourself a pat on the back. They tell me that a technician is on his way. It is not 6:30. He is a full 7 and half hours late, a fact I make sure to drive home to the lady on the other end of the phone. 10 minutes later 2 sweaty dudes great me and start looking for the cable outlets. THey immediately goto the cover on the wall, the same cover that Tony Yayo vehemently rejected as housing the precious cable. Out come the screwdrivers and out pops the cable. Fuck you Tony!!!
If you were here i'd battle rap you and then uppercut your jerry curl. Anyway 2 hours later i was happily online and slowlynursing my revenge .

Monday, September 05, 2005


it's funny how once you get a taste of the good life, normal everyday things seem so bland. Last night was my college roomate's wedding at the Walddorf Astoria NYC. Black ties and prada dresses filled the cathedral sized halls of the reception area. Silicon implants swelled the plunging necklines of the women all hailing from beverly hills. Even the grandma's were off the hook. And believe me this is BEFORE i started drinking. Arriving there at around 6 pm we walked into the cocktail rooms where a classical quintet was playing in each of the 2 rooms. Imported caviar and a gray goose martini bar flanked by multiple giant ice sculptures comprised the center of the larger of the 2 rooms. Champagne with essence of peach and chambord were handed out fervently as I did a doubletake at the women dressed in traditional Japanese garb serving up fresh sushi and sashimi. The caliber of women here was the highest I'd have scene outside the glare of my computer screen. Every girl was a dime. I knew from the start I had no shot; even more so than usual. You see, I am not jewish , nor am I rich enough to allow these women to overlook that fact. I tried playing off the sephartic angle awhile back but I was caught red handed when I told a girl that I had never wailed, let alone at some wall in Jerusalem.
A few drinks later all the young men are led to a side room where a table filled with grey goose, chivas and kosher food sat in the middle. We were about to witness the groom sign the wedding contract. Seemed harmless enough until the old men and some of the groom's friends broke out in traditional jewish hymns. Shots were passed back in rapid succession and shouts of "l'chaim" reverberated off of the cathedral ceilings. An hour or so into the wedding and already we were well on our way to a marathon nite of spirit imbibing. Next was the actual ceremony. We walked into what for all intents and purposes was a complete outdoor garden brought into this huge room in the Waldorf. Trees with lillies lined the aisle and the huppah was decked out in flowers and lillies as well. Feeling thirsty, Larry decides to go get us drinks. What he comes back is something out of Leaving Las Vegas: tall pint glass filled to the brim with Goose. The reception went on for about 30 minutes, climaxing under the heel of the groom's feet when he smashed the glass and the crowd yelled "Mazeltauf!".
We filed into the banquet hall to the most amazing room I've ever seen. Huge ceilings, romantically lit balconies, concert lighting, and the same lilly trees that I saw earlier were the centerpieces at the tables. At each table sat a bottle of Goose, patron, 3 bottles of wine, pellegrino and some other "designer" water. Another ceremony commenced as the groom was lifted in a chair and hoisted amidst some boisterious jewish music. We circled and danced and even yours truly was immersed in the dancing, holdings hands with random men in a huge circle. The dancing in circles coupled with the endless vodka shots made for an interesting start of motion sickness as I disengaged and headed back to the table. a total of 5 bands played on the main stage that would have rivaled the one at PNC arts center. There was a black bland, a hispanic band, a russian band, and 2 other mixed ones complete with costume, dancing, and shirtless black men with bad dreadlocks. "Damn reggie i heard of dreadlocks, but shitlocks??" The food was soo good that the next morning I shit out a diamond. I think it was a princess cut. There was a chocolate fountain, which as it hypnotized me I fantasized about coating on of these Milfs in it and having dessert in the privacy of her suite. The dancing and drinking went on infinitely and it was the late hour of 3 am before the bride threw the bouquet. Everyone was in bad shape. My table was full of frat boys that insisted on pouring out shots every 2 minutes. I cut out with a friend back to boken at the ripe hour of 4 and dreamed of a better life, scheming to make the millions that would make this nite return when it was my time.