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Tuesday, 28 February 2006
BSOTS 014 - vibes on the black hand side (pt. two)
Now Playing: silence...and the constant hum of the hard drive...
Topic: my podcasts

here's part two...just managed to squeeze it in before march first comes and dark-shaded souls aren't important for another 365 days. some rock, some soul, some hip-hop. from the sublime to the surreal to the just plain scary (you'll know it when you hear it...). i think the actual title of the blackalicious joint is "your move" instead of "you move," but i only go by what they tell me in the pmn.

speaking of which, the network features a version of bettye lavette's "let me down easy" (the beautitful closer of this podcast) that i can't seem to find anywhere else. did a search of sister's lavette's albums on amazon.com, but only found a live version and an uptempo version for the clubs. and it's not on her album from last year, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise. that one's on some cover tune/redefining soul concept album type stuff, where lavette takes on works from singer-songwriters like sinead o'connor, aimee mann, and others. thought i could find some information at epitaph, since they released that album. but bettye's profile and discography isn't even up there yet. they're making it hard for a brother that wants to come correct for the listeners.

so for now, the whereabouts of the version i played are unknown to me. my apologies. any soul scholars wanna help a brother out, please do...

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qpe*mcgarrett (buy it at bleep.com)
blackalicious*your move (feat. life savas) (buy it at amazon.com)
teba, crosby & red lion*blackness anthem
phil moore browne*occupants of dead space
wade austin*who bears the love (buy it at luv-productions.com)
pesa #2 (psa from public enemy)
dalek*classical homicide (get the MP3 here)
bettye lavette*let me down easy

background music:
qpe*milk (buy it at bleep.com)
madlib*understanding (comprehension)

other key info: afropunk documentary, hoodhype podcast, daily source code

Posted by macedonia at 12:56 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006 5:57 PM EST
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Tuesday, 14 February 2006
BSOTS 013 - vibes on the black hand side (pt. one)
Now Playing: blackalicious - you move (feat. life savas)
Topic: my podcasts

this show is a result of seeing what i could do about celebrating black history month and doing it via podsafe music. i think i fared better than i thought i would; this will definitely be a two-parter. still not entirely sure how i feel about this show. maybe it's my bad mood, maybe it's being really hard on myself, maybe it's being REALLY upset over dilla's death. actually, i feel like i talked way too damn much on this show, but what's done is done.

this podcast includes hip-hop, soul, drum and bass, and some leftfield electronics. the show was pretty much recorded when i found out about Jay Dee - totally shocked. so i recorded a brief statement in light of that, which serves as the introduction for the show. also, the roy ayers song is not called "soul in the whole," but "funk in the hole." with that said, let's get started...

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in memoriam: james yancey aka jay dee/j dilla
nadir*the revolution is now (buy it at cdbaby.com)
hired gun*dedication
jadox*it does not compute (feat. mane azeem)
j dilla*airworks (buy it at itunes)
roy ayers*funk in the hole (platinum pied pipers remix) (buy it at rapster records)
nadir*superstar (buy it at cdbaby.com)
daniel givens*light travel (fetch the future) (buy it at bleep.com)
sankofa bass project*on the mountain top
theory*the towers

background music:
qpe - until
soundscraper - forty days fortified knights

other key info: voxunion.com, nadir's official website

Posted by macedonia at 12:16 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006 6:06 PM EST
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Monday, 30 January 2006
news round-up for january
Now Playing: dread daze - free your mind
Topic: articles

i'll keep it brief: a number of articles this month worth checking out...

Michael Eric Dyson turned in something special this month in tribute to MLK. be on the lookout for what sounds like an eye-opening documentary on hip-hop. it's a perspective that needs to be told. the fact that a brother's taking the lead this time shows hope for the hip-hop masses yet.

can't believe we've lost three great men of soul: two of them singers, another a songwriter. finally, inspired by the latest rolling stone magazine cover, sister rosa clemente penned an article in regards to Jesus, hip-hop, and kanye west. sigh...i get the point, but i'm more than skeptical (as evidenced by my response to the article found in the comments section).

Posted by macedonia at 5:09 PM EST
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BSOTS 012 - survival vibes from 2005 and elsewhere (pt. three)
Now Playing: prince paul - confessions of a beat junkie
Topic: my podcasts

this show concludes the 2005 overview while still allowing a few songs from other years to sneak in and be a part of the fun. click here to download the show.

add to my PodNova

show notes are as follows:
ekayani and the healing band*lazy afternoon sun (buy at CDBaby.com)
david last*the push pull (buy at bleep.com)
baba israel and yako*state of emergency
tricky*antimatter (buy at amazon.com)
roche/louis*sizzle (buy at solosrecords.com)
lovespirals*love survives (buy it at lovespirals.com)
speak*essence (evan stone's pmn link)

other key info: the femm nameless, bleeps-oh-six compilation, macedonia's faves of 2005

Posted by macedonia at 12:10 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006 6:03 PM EST
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Sunday, 15 January 2006
macey's faves of 2005
Now Playing: NFL playoff game: chicago bears vs. carolina panthers
Topic: music appreciation

wanted to make sure i got around to writing about albums and songs that stayed on my turntable, in my CD/media player, or just got stuck in my head this year. for some of the choices, i'll include links to where you can stream or download songs. collect them all and you'll have a BSOTS best of 2005 online mix tape of sorts. can't say no to free music, right? plus, hopefully it'll help lead you to some works you may not be familiar with or encourage you to drop dollars on a release you may have been curious about. i would also provide a list of releases i didn't get around to, but why depress myself like that? let's do this...


MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE - Tide's Arising [ABB Soul]
everything that this man's been involved in, i've liked. *Tide's Arising* does not disappoint. uptempo and downbeat future soul that keeps the body and the brain engaged. check "Slide," "Heaven," and "State Of The Mental" for the best moments.
click here to stream or download "Heaven"

DANGERDOOM - The Mouse and The Mask [Epitaph]
when i first learned about the heavy use of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup on this project, i thought somebody was joking. somehow or another, Dangermouse made it work. as for MF Doom, to call him a clever wordsmith is putting it lightly. Doom's just sick, a rhyme sayer that will always have you hitting the rewind button just so you can make sure he said what you think he said. yeah, this one's a keeper.

FULL - Desperandum [Handpicked/Madpeeps]
the "rocktronic charismob" tightens up its game and manages to make an accessible avant-pop album with rock guitars firmly in hand while losing none of the free jazz sensibility that made their previous effort so engaging. lead vocalist Ms. Wings is a star that shines even brighter on this release. the whole world needs to know about this band.

JNEIRO JAREL - Three Piece Puzzle [Ropeadope]
Brooklyn native. Philly resident. MC/DJ/producer. it's insane how great this album is. somewhere between A Tribe Called Quest at their pinnacle and the finest moments from Madlib's catalog is Jneiro Jarel. no lie. go cop this joint. NOW.

DAVID LAST - The Push Pull [theAgriculture]
whimsical and just plain fun, David Last's debut channels dub through demented dancehall and carnival-style hip-hop beats. expect the unexpected.

JAMIE LIDELL - Multiply [Warp] - UK
never would i have expected an album like this from one-half of Super Collider. a wonderful mix of past, present and future soul, and Jamie gets kudos for crooning his ass off. sounding like an updated version of a Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones collaboration one minute, then classic Stax Records 45s the next. brilliant.
click here to stream or download "When I Come Back Around"

M.I.A. - Arular [XL]
perhaps my wife said it best while watching M.I.A.'s backup dancers shake their rumps across Central Park's Summerstage: "she's not a revolutionary...she's the daughter of a revolutionary." point taken. even so, this remains one of the best political/party albums to come out in a long time. my joints include "Galang," "Sunshowers," "Bucky Done Gun," and "$10."

NNNJ - Monkey Straddle [theAgriculture]
perhaps the strongest release from theAgriculture in 2005, this debut album from Nnnj bowls you over with shape-shifting maturity. jazz-inspired dub occasionally flirting with hip-hop rhythm structures, a number of the songs almost take on an otherworldly quality. words are hard to come by, but it makes more sense with each and every listen.

NOUVELLE VAGUE - (self-titled) [Luaka Bop]
here's another project that could've fallen flat on its face if it wasn't handled correctly. take two guys with a love for '80s synth-pop and punk tunes, throw in some vocalists and have them sing the lyrics to said tunes (even though they never heard the originals), then dress it up in a cocktail lounge background. doesn't sound good on paper, does it? do yourself a favor and listen to it anyway - it's great. covers of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and a bunch of others. guilty pleasure of the year.

PREFUSE 73 - Surrounded By Silence [Warp] - UK
some weren't down with this album, claiming that producer Scott Herren got his pseudonyms mixed up and spiked his Prefuse 73 efforts with too much Savath & Savalas. perhaps that's because this album represents Herren's most kaleidoscopic view of hip-hop yet, as well as his most star-studded. while the representation of MCs is strong on this effort (El-P, Ghostface, Beans, Aesop Rock, GZA, Masta Killa...), some of the best collaborations are with The Books, Claudia & Alejandra Deheza, and Tyondai Braxton.
click here to stream "Hideyaface"

PLATINUM PIED PIPERS - Triple P [Ubiquity]
one of the best hip-hop soul full-lengths to drop in who knows how long. Wajeed and Saadiq bring their A-game on this one. special guests include Sa-Ra, J-Dilla, Tiombe Lockhart, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and others. fantastic.

ROOTS MANUVA - Awfully Deep [Big Dada] - UK
while nothing on here isn't as career-defining as his underground classic "Witness (1 Hope)," Awfully Deep has all the elements to make this Manuva's breakout album. clever rhymes, tight beats, and choruses that stay in your head for weeks on end. further proof of why Americans have no business frontin' on UK hip-hop any longer.

SOUND DIRECTIONS - The Funky Side of Life [Stones Throw]
possibly Madlib's finest moment this year. an offshoot of the Yesterday's New Quintet project, the Beat Konducta leads a jam session featuring members of Breakestra, Antibalas, the Dap-Kings, and others introducing original tunes and remaking sampled classics. if you needed any reminder that jazz is Madlib's first love, here you go.

STEVE SPACEK - Space Shift [Sound In Color]
lead vocalist for the group Spacek comes through with his solo debut. slightly more down to earth than what he does with Spacek, but still miles ahead of a lot of soul releases out there. beats supplied by GB, J-Dilla, and Spacek himself.
click here to stream or download "Dollar"

DWIGHT TRIBLE & THE LIFE FORCE TRIO - Love Is The Answer [Ninja Tune] - UK
much props to Carlos Nino for getting brother Trible together with the best in present-day beat-making. spiritual jazz vocals float over head-nodding rhythm structures supplied by Madlib, Sa-Ra, Daedalus, J-Dilla, and Nino. Absolutely stellar.


THE ALMIGHTY K.O. - "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" [MP3]
the fact that it uses the instrumental for Kanye's "Gold Digger" (another song that got stuck in my head throughout 2005) is only half the story. made in response to President Bush's actions during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, K.O. comes correct with humor undercutting the anger. sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying, and clearly K.O. understands this. even better than Mos Def's "Katrina Klap."

BLOC PARTY - "Tulips" [Dim Mak]
this song wasn't on their EP, nor did it appear on their Silent Alarm full-length. the tenderness and sensitive interplay between the band members on this song makes it one of the strongest in their catalog.

BOARDS OF CANADA - "Chromakey Dreamcoat" [Warp] - UK
i have yet to hear the latest album by BOC, but if the rest of it holds up to this song, it'll make for quite a session.
click here to stream or download this song...

CAURAL - "She's Everywhere I Look" [Consumers Research and Development]
i hold Caural (real name Zachary Mastoon) in the same regard as someone like Prefuse 73. this piece taken from the Hazardous Materials compilation is proof positive of his mind-blowing talent. heavy drums, melancholy piano, and dreamy, meditative chords equals continuous rewinds.
click here to download or stream this song...

COMMON - "The Corners" [Geffen]
i could try frontin' on this one, but it's no use - the minute Kanye's production kicks in, i'm head noddin' HARD. plus Common sounds hungry on the mic again. and it never hurts to have The Last Poets put in their two cents as well. this is how a single from an album is supposed to sound...

DARONDO - "Didn't I" [Ubiquity]
of the three songs i've heard so far from the Gilles Peterson Digs America compilation, "Didn't I" stays on lock in my head. it's the ultimate soul slow jam, and i can't believe that no one's unearthed this one already - it's too pretty to stay unnoticed. straight up - this is baby makin' music right here...

EDAN - "Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme" [Lewis]
taken from his Beauty And The Beat full-length, Mr. Humble Magnificent schools us with a positive education in hip-hop MCs. probably one of my favorite hip-hop songs of 2005. (side note: don't sleep on the track "Torture Chamber" either, featuring a hungry-as-hell Percee P on the mic...)

FOUR TET - "Smile Around The Face" [Domino]
Kieran Hebden nailed it with this one. swirls of sonic happiness shower down on you everytime you play it. absolutely impossible to be in a bad mood when this one's on - song titles don't lie.

JAMIROQUAI - "Feels Just Like It Should" [Epic]
the lead single off Dynamite, Jay Kay and company still manage to surprise. the song's a spaced-out, guitar-driven good time. some still weren't convinced, so Sa-Ra came in and worked their magic with a remix. either version will do.

KOUSHIK - "Be With" [Stones Throw]
some focus on the brilliance of Madlib to the extent of overlooking the rest of Stones Throw's roster. if you do, you'll miss out on great artists like Koushik. "Be With" brings the harmonies of '60s psychedelic rock into hip-hop's playground. gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it...

LITTLE BROTHER - "Lovin' It (feat. Joe Scudda) [ABB]
Phonte Coleman, Big Pooh, and 9th Wonder just kept bringing it to us. This single from their major label debut The Minstrel Show is essential head nod material.

M.E.D. - "Nightlife" [Stones Throw]
produced by Madlib for the Push Comes To Shove album, this joint should've been stamped heavy rotation on mainstream urban radio stations across the country. M.E.D. sounds great on this one and the beat compliments him nicely.

OUT HUD - "One Life To Leave (A Requiem)" [Kranky]
featuring members of !!!, this was the rockin' rumpshaker of the year. slinky synths, killer female vocals, and a bassline that kept you movin'. hearing this was all you needed to hear to know that the album was gonna be the bomb.
click here to download or stream an alternate version of this song...

TV ON THE RADIO - "Dry Drunk Emperor" [MP3]
between the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, TVOTR was given plenty to write about. and it all came out in one brilliant composition. blazing guitars, vocal harmonies that evoked pain, anger, and even a glimmer of hope. just...plain...beautiful.
click here to download or stream this song...

Z-TRIP - "Breakfast Club (feat. Murs and Supernatural)" [Hollywood]
taken from Z-Trip's debut album - a reminder that rap joints are supposed to be fun. smiles are Kool-Aid wide when this one's on the soundsystem. rhymin' about breakfast cereals and saturday morning cartoons...now, that's what i'm talkin' about...
click here to download or stream this song...

Posted by macedonia at 5:01 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006 5:18 PM EST
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Friday, 13 January 2006
Now Playing: wfmu holiday party (wfmu.org)

a few days ago, beth went to pick up morphy's ashes from the animal hospital. she called me up at work completely distraught. "i should never have come here alone," she sobbed. it took a couple of minutes for her to regain her composure so that she could drive home.

i can't quite believe that a cat that once took up most of the bed whenever he stretched out now fits into a tiny tin can. 11 years ago, i would've scoffed at the idea of mourning over a cat. but everytime i get home and i instinctively look up at the third floor window expecting to see him, that's how i know i want him back just as much as beth does.

i miss him. a lot.

Posted by macedonia at 12:23 PM EST
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Sunday, 8 January 2006
BSOTS 011 - survival vibes from 2005 and elsewhere (pt. two)
Now Playing: NFL Football - New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers
Topic: my podcasts

the first podcast of the new year and we're storming out the gate. click here to download. show notes are as follows:

intro: macey's new year resolution
audion - rubber (buy it on iTunes)
christian walt - promise
koushik - be with (buy it on iTunes)
a.b.e. (anthems of a bygone era) - latin groove (on the pmn)
3rd party - freestyle
tv on the radio - dry drunk emperor

radio bsots updates include the voice mail line (206-202-2298) and the myspace page.

Posted by macedonia at 3:14 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006 6:09 PM EST
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Friday, 6 January 2006
when you've heard lou, you've heard it all...
Now Playing: daiki and little wings - orange sweet town
Topic: articles

six days into the New Year and already we lose a great one...my main man Lou Rawls...to cancer.

my wife's gonna be devastated.

Posted by macedonia at 5:29 PM EST
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Now Playing: Daiki and Little Wings - Orange Sweet Town
Topic: the Christian walk

sometimes, a believer needs to speak to themselves as a reminder of who they are and whose they are. when the world calls you everything but a child of God, and when those that are supposed to represent His word go about it in all the wrong ways (and it seems that these voices have the tendency to speak the loudest), these are the times that you have to retreat from all those voices and remember what God told you.

excuse me while i take a moment to do so...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
-Jeremiah 29:11

Posted by macedonia at 5:24 PM EST
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Sunday, 1 January 2006
pourin' out some catnip for my homie...more on morpheus
Now Playing: the bridge on nyc tv channel 25

in some ways, i can't bring myself to write a eulogy, so the long and the short of it is this: morpheus suffered a stroke brought on by a blood clot which traveled down to his legs...resulting in the loss of movement thereof. in addition, he had a heart murmur that we didn't even know about. a week before this happened, beth and i noticed him limping around the house. he seemed to favor one of his front paws over the other, so we figured there was a splinter in his paw (we have wood floors in our apartment and they're not in the best of shape).

the night it happened, we had just come back from a friend's going away party. he was in his favorite hangout spot - the bathroom window deep set behind our toilet. beth checked in on him and he didn't sound like himself. she picked him up, put him down on the floor, and he dragged himself away by his front paws due to the loss of his hind legs. beth called the animal hospital, i washed out his carrier, and we got him situated to go.

he yowled for the entire car ride over. i thought that he just didn't like being cooped up. turns out he was in a lot of pain. we would learn that his time was short. any procedure to buy him some more time would have cost more than we could pay and would be too painful for morph to go through. so as much as it hurt, we put him to sleep. this was early saturday morning, december 17, 2005. he was only 11 years, 7 months old.

weeks afterwards, we still look for him when we come home from work. there are days i still think that i have to feed the cat when i get home. beth still gets distraught, sometimes wondering if there was some sign she could've recognized sooner, if she did the right thing by putting him to sleep. beth has had a number of cats in her life when she lived at home, but morpheus was her cat. he was her baby in a sense. she picked him out while she lived up in albany, coaxing him from under a dresser with a cat toy, and carried him home in a cardboard box. he was a tiny kitty, all ears and a scrawny body. beth was a mother to him.

as for me, morpheus and i had our own thing. sometimes antagonistic, but there was love there. prior to morph, i didn't like cats. when he was a kitty, i had a particular disdain for him. but somehow or another, he won me over. completely and totally stole my heart. when it came time to put him to sleep, i wanted to be anywhere else but that room. it was easily one of the most depressing moments of 2005.

morphy faked me out, in a way. as often as i used to tell him that he was a full-grown cat still acting like a kitten, he wouldn't hear of it. in his mind, he was all kitten, no matter how old he was. he retained a youthful energy right up until his last hours with us. even with the slight limp, he was still the morph we knew. in the end, i have to believe that we did the right thing. i think he would've been miserable being poked and prodded and having to get an IV and treatments and all. if he couldn't be maniacal morph anymore, if that side of him couldn't be tapped into at will, it would've been devastated. far be it from me to try to gaze into the mind of a cat, but i can only imagine that it would've upset him something terrible had we taken a different route.

at least beth and i can say that his youthful, energetic years outweighed his last few hours of pain. at least we can say that we gave him a nice home with a lotta love - more than he could stand at times (as the picture below clearly shows). morpheus was the cat that changed my attitude about cats completely. for that, he will always hold a special place in my heart. it will be quite some time before we get another cat. there may be other cats, but there will never be another morpheus.

okay, so i did write a eulogy. good thing, too - it's been bottled up for weeks. i loved that silly cat. he will be greatly missed.

Posted by macedonia at 11:51 PM EST
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