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Friday, 27 February 2009
both sides archives: album review - common
Now Playing: dope sandwich - coming of age
Topic: 2005 reviews
y'know, i really ought to do better about moving the reviews and rants on this site to the blog. it would be a lot less cluttered that way. while new podcast postings tend to be the big draw, it's nice to reminisce about older albums and see if the same feelings still linger of if they've changed with time. so with that in mind, let's start dusting off some of those BSOTS reviews. if time permits, i'll dig into a few from the ON THE VERGE years as well.

this review was the last that was written for the BSOTS site prior to the podcast starting up. Radio BSOTS began in august of 2005; this review was posted one month earlier and is written by my man, hired gun. knowing him, i'm sure he wants this common back and not the guy that dropped universal mind control last year. thing is, however, THEY'RE THE SAME CAT, but i'm sure i'll get into that with h. rap gunn next time i see him. and another thing: there are a number of people who couldn't get down with electric circus when it first dropped that love the album now that it's several years down the line. i'll have to find out mikal's thoughts on that one, too...

{jason randall smith}

Record label: Geffen
Format: 2xLP/ CD
Release date: 24 May 2005

Common has become an enigmatic figure over the decade plus that he has graced the mic. He's been respected universally as one of the most gifted lyricists of his generation. Much like Nas, Common's career has seen many odd twists and nearly as many manifestations, though of a more subtle variety. When we had last seen him he was exploring a much more experimental side, dressing in knitted pants and reportedly been pussy whipped by the alien, Erykah Badu. This resulted in a huge question mark placed next to this new album.

Quietly, Common (again, much like Nas) probably got a free pass for Electric Circus (we all have to search our inner self sometimes, and it's not always pretty...). But people still begged the question: "Where is Common going to take us now?" Common gives his answer with the single "The Corners." We basically get the Chicagoan rhymer coming full circle and connecting the points from past to future.

Be is not Common's greatest work. It arguably falls right between One Day It'll All Make Sense and Like Water For Chocolate (depending on who you ask), but the truth is this is one of his most well rounded albums, highlighting all of the things we love about Common. Clocking in at about 40 minutes, we get to see a focused, matured, and very hungry Common reminiscent of his Resurrection period. He shows that he still has the intangible introspection and soul searching that we loved from One Day... on cuts such as "Love is," "Real People," and "Faithful." The quick wit, punchline-laced explosions of "Chi-City" and the album intro causes us to remember Common Sense as he was on past efforts. With Kanye West and J-Dilla on the boards (only for two tracks) and backed up by John Legend and the Last Poets, there is a glimpse of that (*gag*) Neo Soul sound from Like Water..., but with just a little bit of that radio polished twist that only Mr. West can bring. Surprisingly, Kanye doesn't really pull a full Pharrell, and only weighs in vocally for four songs (which is still way more than enough).

If there is a knock, it actually might be its strength: Common runs the gamut of topics and sounds on this album, but doesn't go all the way. The beats are lacking a really heavy hit. Songs like "Go!" and "Testify" don't stand out or contribute much to the feel of the album. Still, Be as a whole work is one of those albums on full rotation (no skips) and you'll find yourself falling in love with Common all over again.

{mikal lee (hired gun)}

Posted by macedonia at 12:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 February 2009 12:27 PM EST
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Thursday, 26 February 2009
unauthorized biography of martin luther king and barack obama
Now Playing: dj center - tout passe [pushthefader.com]
Topic: music appreciation

kinda late to the party on this one and it's my own fault, but i'm sure there are heads who haven't seen this video yet.

there's been a lot of talk comparing our new president barack obama to the reverend dr. martin luther king, jr.  perhaps they both have the gift of eloquence and oration, but for me that's where it ends.  towards the end of rev. dr. king's life, he was making connections between poverty, racism, and miltarism that brother barack wouldn't be able to do and still have any hopes of being commander-in-chief.  very few talk about the post-"i have a dream" speech dr. king, but that's where you'll find the more radical and revolutionary preacher and leader.  meanwhile, connections between the two figures (mostly due to a matter of timing) during obama's acceptance speech at the democratic national convention, his victory speech as president-elect and inauguration speech were virtually inescapable.  again, as public speakers, both are brilliant.  politically, they're further apart than convenient timing would suggest.

even though i have some ideological differences with brother barack, my prayers are certainly with him and the first family.  and i can't front on those that suggest that the rev. dr. king ran so that obama could fly.  so with that in mind, here's the fourth installment of the unauthorized biography series by shaun boothe.  the video treatment is, as always, masterfully done.  can't wait for next month, though...he does JIMI HENDRIX next.  that one should be hot...

Posted by macedonia at 5:08 PM EST
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macey on the half show...
Now Playing: nickel & dime radio w/dj small change (wfmu.org)
Topic: other people's podcasts

new this week in the o.p.p. category, my heads me-saj and jason from the half show gave me a call a while back to talk about podcasting and the state of hip-hop. it was a great conversation.  i think the show turned out really well, especially the footage from their search to go see the Biggie Smalls movie, only to come up empty.  i love their on locale or en route recordings, those are always great.  plus, me-saj and jason have a great chemistry together and their banter back and forth never ceases to crack me up.

click here to check out that episode.  and if you're not already subscribed to their podcast, do yourself a favor and set yourself up.  it's always a blessing when a new show gets delivered...

Posted by macedonia at 1:08 PM EST
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Thursday, 19 February 2009
reviews for impose: madlib and dr. who dat?
Now Playing: radio freetown w/dj franc o {wfmu.org}
Topic: 2009 reviews

the last two reviews i wrote for impose magazine are now online.  the new album by dr. who dat? is considerably darker and more spacey than his last one.  meanwhile, madlib the beat konducta has never been better.  his latest is a tribute to j. dilla and it's gorgeous from start to finish.

Dr. Who Dat? - Beyond 2morrow

Madlib - Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6: A Tribute to...

Posted by macedonia at 5:04 PM EST
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Wednesday, 18 February 2009
BSOTS 080 - 2008 recap (pt. two)
Now Playing: madlib - beat konducta vol. 5 - dil cosby suite
Topic: my podcasts

seeing as how it's almost the end of february, what say we finally get the 2008 recap done, m'kay?

egadz starts things off with a beautiful instrumental lying somewhere in between electronic and alternative avenues, but wouldn't exist without hip-hop turntablist influence. oddisee follows with slick production for phonte and big pooh of little brother to lace lovely, as always. idiot savant comes through with another memorable one (wonder how the cure fans out there will react to this one), phashara holds it down for chi-town and hip-hop with thoughtful words that ease us into the piano-led crush of dj sun, wonderfully remixed by genre jazz. then it's up to western canada for a bonafide head nodder from moka only.

what's the science? the chemistry that obviously exists between carlos nino of build an ark/life force trio/ammoncontact fame and john robinson (lil' sci) from scienz of life. i reviewed abel okugawa's album recently and thought it was really beautiful. i kept coming back to "reparations," so it was only right to have that song in the mix as well. after that, the ghostly international label drops a gem in the form of michna's "swiss glide." it's hip-hop with a trombone in it, what's not to like? myself was the secret weapon last year - his protest in disguise album is a force to be reckoned with. and if you're gonna get harder, you'd have to follow up with the black panther of rap, paris a.k.a. p-dog, the original "bush killa." "don't stop the movement" is the first song on his new album, acid reflex, and it is GOOD, y'all. really good. definitely recommended for all the public enemy and x-clan fans out there.

ah, j*davey. i'm totally crushing on the lead vocalist, i admit it. and "slooow" only makes me more infatuated with miss jack davey. damn good song. singer/songwriter ben senterfit keeps up the sexy flow with "hush", a song i found out about through ariel publicity. and then, the show stopper: "amsterdamn" by yoome, a collaborative project between producer tony trimm, renee louise-carafice, and serengeti (youtube video available at the top of this entry). this episode ends with beyond absence's "space trip," a quiet and introspective tune that has really grown on me. 2009 is shaping up to be another great year for music and i can't wait to see what the world of podsafe sounds has to offer.

download ||| rss feed ||| subscribe to podcast in itunes

add to my PodNova

go here to stream shows.

you can contact me via twitter, facebook, or email.

id drops courtesy of fave and ej flavors. theme music produced by cy tru. background music is "bathing" by techniken defunkus.

other key info:
macedonia's playlist on blip.fm
cupid's hunt: podcaster/blogger roll call and twitter link
51st grammy awards: who won
my love for music

1. egadz! - "what we are destined to do" {iTunes | Napster}
2. oddisee - "delusional (feat. little brother)" {iTunes | Napster}
3. idiot savant - "ice princess" {iTunes}
4. phashara - "the storm" {iTunes | amazon mp3}
5. dj sun - "dubai (genre jazz remix)" {iTunes}
6. moka only - "starfish" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
7. what's the science? - "the natural" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
8. abel okugawa - "reparations (feat. regime change)" {album website}
9. michna - "swiss glide" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
10. myself - "keep the fire burning"{iTunes | Rhapsody}
11. paris - "don't stop the movement" {iTunes}
12. j*davey - "slooow" {iTunes | Napster}
13. ben senterfit - "hush" {artist website}
14. yoome - "amsterdamn" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
15. beyond absence - "space trip"

free ioda promonet downloads:

Carrots and EggsMoka Only
"Starfish" (mp3)
from "Carrots and Eggs"
(URBNET Communications Inc.)

More On This Album

Magic MondayMichna
"Swiss Glide" (mp3)
from "Magic Monday"
(Ghostly International)

More On This Album

Acid Reflex (Radio Safe Version)Paris
"Don't Stop The Movement" (mp3)
from "Acid Reflex (Radio Safe Version)"
(Guerrilla Funk Recordings)

More On This Album

podsafe music network Music Provided by IODA Promonet

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Posted by macedonia at 8:40 AM EST
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Wednesday, 4 February 2009
reviews galore...
Now Playing: new music from bbe records
Topic: 2009 reviews

with the BSOTS grammy episode behind me, i was able to finish up some music reviews for reviewyou.com.  there's a total of four that i recently wrote for them, which cover the following artists:  desmond drive, dan freedman, ronii, and a beautiful silence.  if you want to know what they're all about, why not click on a link and read the review?

in addition, i have three reviews that i'm writing for impose magazine, getting back into the swing of things with them.  the first of three reviews the new album from PPP.

Posted by macedonia at 1:24 PM EST
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Thursday, 29 January 2009
BSOTS 079 - grammys on shuffle...
Now Playing: some new hot ish from my man hired gun...
Topic: my podcasts

Gnarls Barkley - "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?"
Uploaded by DowntownMusic

thanks for checking out Radio BSOTS episode #79, released as a part of the 51st GRAMMY Nominees Podcast Premiere. i'm really excited to be a part of this project. this episode is focused squarely on artists and songs that are nominated and the caliber of talent here is guaranteed top-notch. we're gonna put a freeform spin on the ceremony, hence the title GRAMMYS ON SHUFFLE. electronic dance music makes up about half the playlist, along with some alternative fare and a little bit of hip-hop as well. big shouts to the Recording Academy for even considering looking towards podcasters to further their promotions game, and for allowing this mixed genre episode to take place.

there are two artists that weren't included in the playlist, but wanted to mention. first off, zappa plays zappa is up for best rock instrumental performance for "peaches for regalia," one of my absolute favorite frank zappa tunes of all time. father frank continues to be a constant source of musical inspiration for me and his son dweezil has grown into a fine musician and more than capable bandleader. with him around, the musical legacy of the zappa family trust is in good hands.

also, keep tabs on the radiohead album in rainbows, which has been nominated for album of the year. seriously, how crazy would it be if that album won? think about it: an album that was independently released by the band to their fans on a pay-what -you-will sliding scale. what if that album took home the grammy? what kind of a ripple would that make in the music industry? too wide-eyed of a dream? perhaps. but i'm tuning in anyway just in case i'm right (lol).

should this podcast episode peak your curiosity and you want to tune in as well, the grammys take place on sunday, february 8, 2009 on CBS. check your local listings for times. certainly hope that you enjoy this show and come back to hear more of what Radio BSOTS has to offer...

download ||| rss feed ||| subscribe to podcast in itunes

add to my PodNova

go here to stream shows

you can contact me via twitter, facebook, or email.

theme music co-produced by macedonia and techniken defunkus. background music is the instrumental version of "hot on both sides" by techniken defunkus.

other key info:
friday favecast
sunday soundtrack podcast
todd kelley a.k.a. the big la on flowink.com
will.i.am's lost change album at itunes
erykah badu's "honey" video on youtube

1. m.i.a. - "paper planes" {itunes}
2. daft punk - "harder, better, faster, stronger (alive 2007 radio edit)" {itunes}
3. hot chip - "ready for the floor" {itunes}
4. brazilian girls - "good time" {itunes}
5. moby - "i like to move in here" {itunes}
6. gnarls barkley - "who's gonna save my soul" {itunes}
7. sergio mendes - "funky bahia (feat. will.i.am. and siedah garrett)" {itunes}
8. they might be giants - "clap your hands" {theymightbegiants.com}
9. lupe fiasco - "superstar (feat. matthew santos)" {itunes}
10. erykah badu - "honey" {itunes}

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Posted by macedonia at 12:42 AM EST
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Wednesday, 28 January 2009
prelude to a podcast premiere...
Now Playing: dj void - reconnected (pfradio.com)
Topic: my podcasts
in less than 24 hours, what is arguably the biggest edition of Radio BSOTS will take place. for those that don't know, i am participating in a podcast premiere for THE GRAMMYS alongside fave nite of friday favecast, doug fresh of sunday soundtrack, and todd kelley from flowink.com. i was originally contacted on twitter by a member of the recording academy. using artists and songs nominated, they were looking for genre-specific shows and thought i'd be interested in covering hip-hop artists. honestly, considering most of the names in that category who are up for a grammy, i didn't think i could do it without compromising the show's integrity. i'm not about jockeying artists i have no interest in and i'm not about to start now.

i was already thinking it, but it took my wife's prompting for me to ask about the possibility of a mixed genre show. while i didn't feel comfortable going all in on rap, there were a number of artists within the dance/electronic category that i was more than happy to represent for, namely daft punk, hot chip, brazilian girls, and moby. things started coming together after that, especially when i heard relief from the recording academy's side about finding someone to get down with the electronic dance side of things. two weeks ago, i'm on the phone with a grammies rep during my lunch break, pitching to them an idea: GRAMMYS ON SHUFFLE. it didn't even feel like a pitch while i was doing it, although it was definitely a pitch. i really thought i could make a mixed genre show work relying heavily on electronic selections, then seguing into some alternative and closing out on a hip-hop note. to my surprise, the pitch was convincing.

the thing that's been on my mind this week was how my regular listeners are going to take to this show. right from the opening monologue, it feels different. truth is it's supposed to be different. it's a potential introduction to my show for people who follow the grammies on twitter and facebook and frequent grammy.com. yesterday, the anxiety kicked in after working on the show the night before and only getting 2.5 hours of sleep. what if the longtime listeners don't dig it? what if this show marks the end of what Radio BSOTS was intended to be? a lot of questions came up in my obviously sleep-deprived state. not being alert and low on energy allowed the devil to grab a foothold in my situation and mess with me. upon telling this to my wife, she was loving, supportive, and told me to do my thing, as well as confirming my doubts being the devil doing what he always does.

so yes, this is definitely on some "best foot forward" type stuff. not like that isn't the case any other time on the BSOTS channel, but it's especially so now. i'm trying not to make this a big deal, but it is in a way. the idea that the recording academy's even taking the time to acknowledge podcasting as a viable source and promotional tool is a big deal. the fact is that there are a lot of categories and a lot of lesser-known artists that are nominated for a grammy. a podcast is a great way to shine the spotlight on talented men and women that aren't getting the shine that they should, but have gotten the grammy nod.

things are changing. a bad economy allows people to think outside the box, i guess. so here we are. it's almost time. the show is complete. ten songs, just under 49 minutes, featuring the biggest artists that i've been able to play on my show so far. the episode's nice and compact and hopefully sensible in its sonic twists and turns. "GRAMMYS ON SHUFFLE" premieres tomorrow. as it reaches new listeners and potentially a new audience, i certainly hope that longtime residents of camp lo-fi will dig it as well. like i said, it feels different, but all of the artists featured are those that i listen to and greatly respect. and since that's the case, the integrity remains intact. that was my biggest concern in all of this. i hope and pray that the lost hours of sleep and hard work brings you a well-produced episode that you will enjoy.

thursday, january 29, 2009. RADIO BSOTS episode #79: GRAMMYS ON SHUFFLE. the podcast premiere jump-off, if you will. i'm ready. and i hope you are, too...

Posted by macedonia at 5:17 PM EST
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Friday, 23 January 2009
january episode of us and us on motion radio
Now Playing: music to spazz by with dave the spazz on wfmu
Topic: my podcasts

it's a new year and a new start for us and us on motion radio.  this is probably one of my favorite shows so far.  lots of great material from 2008 from the likes of flying lotus, james pants, jazzanova, lykke li, aaron jerome, katalyst, and a bunch of others.  this one felt good.  and hopefully it will give you the same feeling.

click here to check out the show and/or tracklisting...

Posted by macedonia at 3:56 PM EST
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BSOTS 078 - 2008 recap (pt. one)
Now Playing: selections for the upcoming grammy podcast...
Topic: my podcasts

the first BSOTS show of 2009 finds us looking back on the year prior and why not? it's the usual tradition and 2008 deserves to be looked at through this lens: it was a great year for music, especially material that was podsafe and blogsafe. normally, i talk about these songs during the show, but time and a sore throat prevented me from getting in-depth on the mic. since that's the case, let's get into it here...

substantial starts us off with a great take on an old jazz standard, but making hip-hop music the focal point instead. from there we visit southern california for an excellent selection from presto (blu is in top form on this one). tru-paz is a hip-hop group based in toronto and i imagine their stage show would be interesting, judging from their lead single. butta verses represents alongside joell ortiz and both come off over this beat - gotta love the b.t. express sample that gets worked on this joint. hip- hop meets jazz on the misled children/odean pope collaboration. some say the misled children is an actual group, others say it's just one guy. i have no idea. all i know is that odean pope's a real person and a damned good saxophonist.

creative commons tracks are well represented on this show. had to get it started with a cut from my favorite netlabel of 2008, budapest's own budabeats imprint. the whole suhov ep is fantastic, an absolute no-brainer of a free download. next up: some dark hip-hop on the experimental tip from soulsonic courtesy of germany-based plain audio. if you're a fan of prefuse 73, you might want to pay close attention to "even if" from apes on tapes, a pair of producers from italy with a fantastic netlabel release on homework records. after that, it's a killer track from moonstarr courtesy of the public transit recordings label in toronto.

one of my favorite podsafe artists from last year is serengeti. his dennehy album was easily one of the most original rap full-lengths released in 2008, so i had to represent for him one more time. astronauts of antiquity is a newcomer to the show, but a stellar group with a wonderful album. "soup de jour" features none other than c-knowledge (aka doodlebug) of digable planets. the recloose joint is another one i've been holding onto for way too long. been digging this cat ever since his first single dropped on carl craig's planet e communications label. since then, recloose has moved from detroit to new zealand and has become quite the saxophone player. "red road" is one of the quieter moments from his perfect timing album.

unfoundsound records remains a favorite netlabel for me. every now and then, they release regional compilations celebrating the sounds of a particular city. philly time! gave props to the city of brotherly love and included a cut from KING FREAKIN' BRITT!!! he appears under his scuba project and it's a gorgeous tune. after that, more sonic beauty in the form of praveen & benoit, then pitching it to the always reliable cy tru to close things out. 15 tracks down, 15 more to go. here's hoping you enjoy part one of the 2008 recap...

download ||| rss feed ||| subscribe to podcast in itunes

add to my PodNova

go here to stream shows

you can contact me via twitter, facebook, or email.

id drops courtesy of india from astronauts of antiquity, darrenkeith wyatt, and ej flavors. theme music produced by cy tru. background music is the instrumental version of "hot on both sides" by techniken defunkus.

other key info:
macedonia's playlist on blip.fm
blocsonic website and twitter feed
foundation media
january 2009 edition of us and us for motion radio

1. substantial - "my favorite things (feat. steph)" {UndergroundHipHop.com | iTunes}
2. presto - "pour another glass (feat. blu)" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
3. tru-paz - "young nation" {iTunes}
4. butta verses - "rock mics (feat. joell ortiz)" {iTunes}
5. the misled children meets odean pope - "four track" {iTunes | Rhapsody}
6. suhov - "funny" {free download}
7. soulsonic - "osr"
8. apes on tapes - "even if" {free download}
9. moonstarr - "break it down" {free download}
10. serengeti - "under the underground"{iTunes | Rhapsody}
11. astronauts of antiquity - "soup de jour"
12. recloose - "red road (feat. justin chapman & genevieve marentette)" {iTunes}
13. king britt presents scuba - "spring" {free download}
14. praveen and benoit - "embers" {Buy at iTunes | Buy at Rhapsody}
15. cy tru - "hybrid pulse"

free ioda promonet download:

"My Favorite Things" (mp3)
from "Sacrifice"
(QN5, Inc.)

More On This Album

podsafe music network Music Provided by IODA Promonet

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Posted by macedonia at 8:40 AM EST
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