'Lauryn Hill: Past, Present & Future' (Mixtape)--Miss DJ Gemz...

One of my favorite DJ's,
Miss DJ Gemz just released a mix of old, new, and rare Lauryn Hill tracks. If you're unfamiliar with Miss DJ Gemz, she's the official DJ for The Tri-City Suns Basketball Team (DC), DJ'ed our SOHIPOTOME women in hip hop events back in March, and does DOPE remix projects:

"I wanted to share my newest project by my friend SJ and me. It features some of our favorite Lauryn Hill tracks, some of which you probably have heard, others which you might not have. The main focus was to showcase her voice and powerful lyrics."
Download Lauryn Hill: Past, Present & Future or listen to it here.

Where Is Hip Hop? Episode 54 w/ Randy Roper x Nanci O...

Where Is Hip Hop? is a weekly segment Randy Roper and I started over 1.5 years ago. Below is a breakdown:

WHERE IS HIP HOP? will give you information on the current state of Hip Hop in the world today as seen by Randy Roper aka Randy Exclusive, Music Editor of Ozone Magazine and Nanci O. We talk about who is hot and who is not, interviews, how we feel about certain albums and the direction of Hip Hop culture in the world today.

Think of us as the Roeper and Ebert of Hip Hop.

Get ready to be EDUCATED, INFORMED and ENTERTAINED. *********************************
  Yes, Randy and I talked about Rick Ross last week, but Bawse's official first week numbers had just been released. On this week's edition of Where Is Hip Hop?, Randy and I looked at the why and how of what occurred with Rozay's first week. Sidebar: Randy predicted 200,000, I was thinking more like 150,000.

If you're late, Teflon Don moved 176,000 units in it's first week out. If you're even more late, although Rozay moved that many in 7 days, Eminem still had the #1 album in the game, 5 weeks post release, with Recovery.

So while Rick Ross has *some* folks running around hollering they're BMF, Big Meech, Larry Hoover, Eminem has the crossover appeal on lock (Rhianna, anyone?). And as noted,
man titties doesn't sell records. In other words, Bawse doesn't have a female fan base or a crossover market. So if Rozay wanted to cross over, we discuss the artists that may help (even though it may hurt his street cred). Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and the like. Last, we speculate on how Teflon Don can break the one million records sold mark.

Where Is Hip Hop? Episode 54:



Instrumental music with strange intensity: Savage Knights on-air interview

Local multi-instrumentalist and composer Crowmeat Bob stopped by the WXYC studios on Monday Aug. 6 for an on-air interview, and played some of his own music and favorite free jazz cuts.

Download the interview.

Savage Knights playing a show on Aug. 10, at Nightlight with Vampire Squid from Louisville, Prehistoric Horse from NY, and Phantacist from Carrboro.

Dexter Romweber and the New Romans on Aug. 19th at the Station,

Archive.org is my favorite vice.

A lot of my workday is spent on Archive.org, watching and capturing old 16mm educational films much like this Sparkling Gem of a video, featuring a jumpsuit-wearing safety superheroine from space:

Archive.org also has a great audio resource section on their website, chock full of interesting little things to listen to. Here are some of my favorites:
  • The Conet Project: WXYC used to have this compilation, and I played the hell out of it. Creepy recordings of spy / number station broadcasts.
  • Netlabels: "This collection hosts complete, freely downloadable/streamable, often Creative Commons-licensed catalogs of (1500) virtual record labels" such as:
  • Mirakelmusik: For fans of the Maurizio Bianchi single that's been getting a lot of play on WXYC this summer, I've been streaming his Mokushi XVI album all morning.
Have fun committing time theft today !

Howl for Jesus (or something like that)

Every year, WXYC polls all one million (give or take) of its DJs to figure out the best releases of the year. Last year, it was Raekwon da Chef's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Vol. II. The year before that, it was Animal Collective's Merriwhether Post Pavillion. This year, I think it's safe to say that this guy's album is going to be the album of the year. Hands down. All we need now is someone to hook this this up with the Virtuous Woman people.

Dumistrescu Conducts the Hyperion Ensemble


one my many joys in life is watching youtube videos of conductors and this is one of my favorites. iancu (we actually have some of his stuff in our library!) normally is a pretty funky looking dude, and when his hands start waving, his expressiveness can't be topped.

on another day i'd end this post with a david keenan joke.

Lau Nau + Kuupuu

Improv collab. of two Finnish free-folk ladies, both oft-heard on XYC.

Lauryn Hill - Repercussions

Is this an ACTUAL new Lauryn Hill song? Is this even good? Does it matter? Now that she’s basically the William Forrester of hip-hop, anything that comes from the Lauryn Hill camp has to be treated as Internet Gold.

It seems like Ms. Hill is gearing up for a comeback, what with the whole her headlining Rock The Bells thing, plus she’s actually talking to reporters again, and now this. Though, again, nobody really knows whether this actually new, or just some long-lost song from the vaults that’s only now getting leaked. Listen to it while you can, because you can bank on her people demanding pretty much every leaked iteration of this song to be removed from the internets. As for whether her people will then demand that the internet be set on fire for even implicitly allowing this to occur, it’s anybody’s guess.

And just for the record, this song is kind of the shit.


The Pop Group Are Getting Back Together!

After disbanding for no reason (there probably was a reason) in 1981, The Pop Group have decided to give it another shot and have reformed to do some live dates, plus record an album if they can keep their shit together for long enough.

If you ain't already know, The Pop Group were a seminal post-punk band that got going right about as punk started happening, which makes them either (a) really, really ahead of the curve, or (b) not actually post-punk. Despite not being able to play their instruments particularly well, they managed to crank out two gems in "She Is Beyond Good And Evil" and "We Are All Prostitutes," plus a killer, noisy debut album, a pretty okay follow up and a split single with The Slits before the group disbanded due to internal differences. Their lead singer Mark Stewart ended up working with hellof dudes like Trent Reznor and other people who I can't think of right now, plus he kinda-sorta started trip-hop, so he's to be credited (or blamed, depending on who you're asking) for that.

Catch them in Italy and the UK this year (because you are definitely in Europe right now), or just gush to your friends that this super-obscure British band is getting back together even though you don't really know all that much about them (this is basically what I am doing), or if you actually like them, you already knew this was happening, which basically renders this blog post moot. Oh well, these are still some pretty good songs.



Don Carlo Gesualdo

Here's a nice, short (abridged) biography of the late Renaissance composer Don Carlo Gesualdo, which I found here. To summarize, he's an insane, awful man, who on multiple occasions attacked his spouses. His story is disturbing, almost matching the madness in his compositions:

[Carlo] Gesualdo’s passion for music began at a very young age, as with Mozart, and as a child he had no interests outside his lute and harpsichord and singing, apart from an interest in the other young boys that he sang with. As the second son he could indulge his interest as the running of the estate would fall upon the shoulders of his brother, Luigi, and not himself. But in 1584 his elder brother died and it became incumbent upon Carlo to produce the necessary heir. The bride chosen for him was his cousin Donna Maria d’Avalos and they married in 1586...Futhermore the marriage was not for love but procreation. A son was required to continue the line and to prevent the estate reverting to the Papacy. Donna Maria had already been widowed twice before the age of thirty, having been first married at the age of fifteen, and importantly, had already produced two children so was demonstrably fertile (she is also claimed to have been beautiful and charming). The requisite son, Don Emmanuele, was rapidly produced and within a couple of years the Prince had lost interest in her returning to his young men and music.

...[Donna Maria] would find a new love-interest in the form of young Don Fabrizio Carafa, Duke of Andria, himself married and father to four children.

In order that they could meet and indulge themselves thay had to bribe the many servants who were in constant attendance and affording no privacy; but they managed a two-year passionate affair before wind of it got to Prince Gesualdo. They were not so much discovered as betrayed by Don Carlo’s uncle, Don Giulio, who had himself approached Donna Maria and been rebuffed on many occassions. "...But when whispers came to his ears concerning the loves and pleasures of Donna Maria and the Duke of Andria, such was the wrath and fury which assailed him on discovering that the strumpet did lie with others, that straightway he revealed all to the Prince."

All might still have been well with Don Fabrizio suggesting that they should cool things as he was aware that knowledge of their dalliance was spreading, but Princess Donna Maria declared that she was not afraid of discovery and if he was then he should be a lackey not a Prince. She would rather suffer the sword than his betrayal. Thus he agreed that they would, if necessary, die for their love. Don Carlo laid a trap for them by announcing that he was departing on an overnight hunting expedition; and hunt he did by smashing down Donna Maria’s bedroom door discovering the pair in flagrante delicto (well they were actually asleep post-flagrante delicto) whereupon he set upon and murdered them both and ordered that their naked bodies be exposed to the public. The next day all the city flocked to see. Donna Maria’s stab wounds were mostly in her belly "..and more particularly in those parts which she ought to have kept chaste" and the Duke had even more grevious wounds. It is even reported that whilst the corpes were exposed a San Dominican monk ravished Donna Maria’s inert body.

Because of his rank Gesualdo was never brought to trial for these murders but it would seem they did affect him deeply and were possibly the start of a manic depressive mental illness. In atonement he, like Macbeth, razed the forest around his castle so that his shame could not be hidden by it and he built a monastery with a chapel for which he commissioned a painting showing himself, the wicked uncle, Don Giulio, the corpses of Maria and her lover...

...In spite of having murdered his wife another one was soon found for him. The Duke Alfonso II d’Este of Ferrara did not have an heir and wished to prevent his estate reverting to the papacy. He proposed that his cousin, Eleonora d’Este should marry Gesualdo to circumvent this. Gesualdo was persuaded, not by any beauty of Eleonora whom he had never met, but by the musical riches at Duke Alfonso’s court who was himself fanatical about music. In February, 1594 they were married in courtly splendour and the union was celebrated in many odes, sonnets and madrigals. The next couple of years were very productive for Gesualdo and he composed the four books of five-part madrigals for which he has become known. Every day the court musicians would assemble after dinner and sing for a couple of hours accompanied by an amazing range of instruments described by the chronicler Girolamo Merenda as including cornetti, tromboni, dolzaine (?), piffarotti (?), viole, ribecchini, lute,guitar, harp, clavicembalo, and an archicembalo which had several keyboards and a capacity for producing microtones.

Don Carlo Gesualdo may have become a great musician but he was not a good husband and conducted several affairs (dallying with both sexes) and there were rumours that he was cruel to his new wife, who by now had born him a son, Alfonsino. In 1596 he returned to Gesualdo without his wife and child intent on setting up his own musical court. The next year Duke Alfonso died and with him the musical tradition at Ferrara, and Eleonora and Alfonsino rejoined Don Carlo at Gesualdo. Don Carlo was already ill with asthma but he rapidly became afflicted with a manic depressive illness leading to a deterioration in his behaviour exhibited in sadism and masochism. He began to illtreat his wife, beating her and ignoring her and flaunting a pretty new mistress. Yet whenever Eleonora went away he would long for her and beg her to return only for the violence to start again. Don Carlo became so deranged that he felt he could have no peace unless he was beaten three times a day by a team of ten young men. He "...was unable to go to the stool, without having been previously flogged by a valet kept expressly for the purpose." He found it soothing to receive blows to the temple and other parts of the body...