King James has finally arrived.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
So here's the genius --- how to create a low-budget, high-impact Sesame Street character:
1. Start with teddy bear. Cut off ears. Cover in red fur. Attach two plastic eyes to head. Tack on an oval orange squeeze ball. Call it a "monster."
2. Give the toy a high-pitched voice --- one that appeals to babies and small children.
3. Give the toy a name that, when parents spell it, they say it. (Try it: E-L-M-O)
4. Write dialogue consisting of three to four word sentences, all in 3rd person, like "Elmo loves you" and "Elmo loves babies."
Anyway, what’s really important is that the guy who created Elmo is black!!! At first, I was all set to write a post about how corporate America (aka “The Man”) leveraged the ideas of a Black man without giving him full credit (see Elvis Presley or Marshal Mathers). Then I learned that the guy who created Elmo is still around and heavily involved with Sesame Street and Jim Henson productions.
And now that I think about it, that makes sense. I mean, only a black guy could come up with a voice that’s a cross between Little Richard and Phillip Bailey (see EW&F’s “Reasons” for an example). Plus Mr. Noodle is basically a Caucasian version of Stephin Fetchin (how’s that for karma).
So Elmo, I salute you. Keep in real, dawg.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Ok, this is an exaggeration. She actually likes Al Green; she just hates that I play his Greatest Hits album every chance I get. And it’s true; I do play him a lot (along with Earth, Wind, & Fire, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder). Why? Well, I find that most people can listen to his music without heartache. Plus, Al Green is the man; why wouldn't I play it all the time?! Anyway...
A few weeks ago, we had some guests coming over for dinner. Five minutes before their scheduled arrival, I slipped Al into the CD player. My wife, hearing the first bars of “Tired Of Being Alone”, decided then and there that this Al Green Greatest Hits album would no longer be played in her presence.
Well, I relented that day, but I decided to make a NEW Al Green CD with cuts that she hasn’t heard before. Besides “Happier Than The Morning Sun” and “Jesus Is Waiting” – both of which I’ve made available for download on the site before – here are some other cuts that she (and probably you) haven’t heard before.
- “Could I Be The One” – This was one of Green’s later recordings (recorded in 75, I believe, off the Al Green Is Love album). It’s a nice mellow slow jam.
- “I’m Glad You’re Mine” – This is the quintessential Al Green sound. Tight drum sequence. Organs. Funky guitars. And Al wailing about a woman. This is off the I’m Still In Love With You album).
- “Simply Beautiful” – Maybe the most beautiful track Al Green ever recorded. I have a YouTube clip of the song posted here; here’s the original (also off the I’m Still In Love With You album).
- “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” – Al does country... and it sounds great (in a “sit in a dark room and drink myself to sleep” way). I’ve blogged about the Call Me album before, but I’ll say it again: if you don’t have this album, GET IT. Every track is top notch. Al’s best album my far.
- “La-La For You” – This is a relatively new track for me. It was included as part of the Let’s Stay Together album. I like the chord progressions by the guitar.
- “Strong as Death, Sweet As Love” – My brother introduced me to this track about a year ago. I love it. It was recorded in 1974, but wasn’t released until much later (late 80’s actually).
Friday, May 25, 2007
Well, in a casually conversation with my wife the other day, I learned that she doesn’t get asked those questions (for those not keeping score, I’m black; my wife is white). I guess they must figure that black people can afford to live in the neighborhood. Of course, this pisses me off.
So now I can’t wait for the next solicitor to come by the house. In fact, I’ve already prepared my top five responses.
5. Naw sur, I’ze don’t own diz house. I’ze just a house negro. Let meez get da Massa.
4. Hmm… maybe you didn’t get the memo. They outlawed segregation some time ago.
3. Silence, before slamming the door in his face, though not before administering the Rakim “Death Stare.” (If you want to see the “death stare” in action, scroll to the 3:10 minute mark in the “Don’t Sweat The Technique” video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM5fNP-hr9Y)
2. Yes I owe this house... now get off my m[…] f[..]ing lawn.
1. Yes, I do. How can I help you?
I’m sure you’re like – “What? Why is that response number 1?” Well, despite whatever anger I might feel, I don’t believe I have the right to treat people poorly – even if I am treated with disrespect. It’s a classic case of WWJD.
Hat nod to Mutoni for inspiration on the blog post title.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Cuz ain’t nuthin but sweat inside my hand
So I dig into my pocket, all my money is spent
So I dig deeper but still comin up with lint
- Rakim, "Paid In Full"
Well, my master plan for getting paid isn’t going so well. Over the last two weeks I’ve made 37 cents – that’s not even enough money to mail a letter anymore.
Based on my current earning pace (5.5 cents per post), I’ll make 100 bones on my 18200nd post.
Looks like I’d better keep that day job.
That’s right, before this “Tuff Jew” (his words, not mine) started producing tracks for Paris Hilton (gag) and 50 Cent, he was a member of the legendary Roots crew. In fact, it was Storch’s keyboard work on Organix and Do You Want More?!!!??! that hyped a lot of people to Storch in the first place.
So now, while the Roots are still going strong making REAL music, Scott Storch is making hits for Lil’ Jon, Danity Kane (Puffy’s girl group), and the before-mentioned Paris Hilton.
So for a taste of when he was keeping it real, here are two tracks off Do You Want More?!!!??! – “I Remain Calm” and “Swept Away” (with the magnificent Cassandra Wilson).
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Our first winner… the Boston Celtics.
"Portland just stole our lunch money"
Sure, they’ve won 16 NBA Championships. But now they stink. They really stink. Their point guard –Sebastian Telfair - will be serving five to ten in Attica this time next year. Their coach – Doc Rivers - has gone 102-144 over the last three years (including an 18 game losing streak). Their GM – Danny Ainge - is in the running with Isaiah Thomas for the “Worst GM to ever run a marquee team into the ground” award. And their true “good luck charm – Red Auerbach – died last year.
You would think that given the last 21 years (Len Bias, Reggie Lewis, Duncan to San Antonio, Pitino’s hack job) some good luck would have to come the Celtics way. Unfortunately, the (ping pong) balls didn’t bounce the Celts’ way. Despite having the second-worse record in the league, the Celtics managed to lose again, this time by not winning one of the top two picks in the 2007 NBA draft.
So now, instead of spending the summer arguing if Oden or Durant was is the better choice, the C’s can weigh the pros and cons of Mike Conley Jr, Al Horford, or Yi Jianlian.
Friday, May 18, 2007
1) Don't Eat the Yellow Snow. Really, is there any point in explaining this one? I kinda liked it, but Coltrane thought it was crass.
4) Eating Cold Chicken Will Give You Worms: My father claims he never said this, but I promise, when growing up, hearing this phrase was a given. For some reason, my father took offense to me and my brother eating cooked poultry foods without heating them up. Of course, my father was of the belief that if you didn't burn your food, it was still raw. To date, I have never seen the man order a steak any less cooked than "well-done".
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I think that the producers’ choice of “Nutbush City Limits” ultimately did Melinda in. While Jordin and Blake sand more recognizable songs, Melinda was given a 1973 Tina and Ike Turner song. And while Melinda nailed it, she probably didn’t connect with younger fans.
But again, that’s ok because I’m sure Melinda will do just fine (just as Chris Daughtry or Jennifer Hudson).
And for those wanting a Tina Turner fix, here’s one of my personal favorites, “River-Deep, Mountain High”. It was produced by Phil Spector (using his famous "Wall Of Sound").
A few other notes…
Man, I love Jordin’s version of I (Who Have Nothing). It’s probably better than Shirley Bassey’s version. (Read my earlier post on this)
Don’t run out and pick up the new Robin Thicke album if you’re looking for the song that Blake did. “When I Get You Alone” is on his first album. I didn’t like the song when I first heard it a few years ago, but now I might give it a second listen. It’s so… adult. In fact, you can check this one out, too.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
9. Two Hyped Brothers and a Blog - This was our working title for a while, but ultimately we rejected it. Raise your hands if you remember the 1990's hit Doo Doo Brown (not to be confused with this version which is a little more explicit.)
6. World's Finest... Chocolate – This is an ode to two things. The first is the original Superman and Batman series… which told the tales of the two greatest comic book characters ever created. The second reason for the title is because of what might be the hardest candy bar ever created – World’s Finest Chocolate. My father would buy crates of this concoction when it was on sale (it was usually sold as part of a fundraiser). No lie… if the homes in New Orleans were build with this stuff instead of brick and mortar, then Katrina wouldn’t have been an issue.
5. So Fresh and So Clean and So Articulate – The OutKast/Joe Biden mashup. I’m just waiting for the T-Shirt to come out.
4. The Hibachi – Too bad Agent Zero broke his leg a few weeks before the playoffs; we weren’t able to see his annual choke job against the Cavs.
3. Tales of the One-Inch Afro – Our friend Mario Murray came up with this phrase. He used to urge us to not grown “one-inch afros” when we went to work. Of course, I listened to him.. I’m sporting a 1.5 inch afro as of this moment.
2. Eating Fried Chicken in the Dark – My brother picked this up from either Keenan or Kel (I can’t remember). I’m not sure of the entire context… I just know that one of them said that their superpower was “eating fried chicken in the dark.”
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Check out “You’re My Choice Tonight (Choose Me)”