Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It is rare that Los Angeles gets blessed with a plethora of Hip-Hop shows over a short span of time. Even though there is love for hip-hop here, it is just harder to tour the West for hip-hop artists because there is more distance between venues which costs more money and the regional differences in taste are potentially more extreme for hip-hop. Although MC Chris is rolling thru the Avalon on Thursday February 21st for some nerdcore hip-hop of the Adult Swim genre...the rest of the artists hitting town this weekend are West coast residents.

Tonight, in Long Beach, CA at the Vault is one of my personal favorites Del Tha Funky Homosapien. A member of Heiroglyphics, and MC on the original Gorillaz record, and 1/2 of Deltron...Del is simply awesome in concert. He has great stage presence and energy and his rhymes are so unique. He's got great diction on the microphone and he delivers with flavor.

Friday, at Crash Mansion L.A. is Los Angeles residents and Cleveland natives Bone Thugs N Harmony are going ghetto downtown. Some of Bone's recent albums, like STRENGTH & LOYALTY have had some good pop material, like "I Tried (feat Akon)", while maintaining their thug signature "9 mm" and their light singing-type flow ("Flow Motion") . I hope they drop the classic E. 99 & ETERNAL cuts, or even better - "No Surrender" from CREEPIN' ON AH COME-UP. Jupiter Rising will be playing support, and from what I hear they have a good live vibe.

Saturday THE COUP is headlining at Crash Mansion L.A. and it will be dope, I promise. Boots Riley (MC) has recently been on tour with Galactic, perfecting his live flow. I've seen him 6 times in the last two years and he gets better every time. If you want some live funky ass hip-hop, sort of Roots-esque...I would check out THE COUP.

If you are not on the hip-hop tip...check out LIONS at Spaceland on Saturday February 23rd.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Black Keys New Album

If you didn't know, the Black Keys are coming out with a new album produced by Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley; The Good, The Bad & The Queen; Dangerdoom; etc.). Black Keys hail from Akron, OH and are bad-ass, blues-like rockers. I am very excited to see how their sound changes with the influences of Danger Mouse and also how material produced by Danger Mouse translates to live performance.

Black Keys are performing in Los Angeles at the Wiltern on April 1, 2008. Tickets are currently on sale.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Vince Gill is a bad ass.

So, yeah, I admittedly watched the Grammy's a day late. BUT, I was skiing.

Anyhow, I thought the performances ranged from half decent to absolutely bad ass. But, most bad ass of all had to be Vince Gill snagging his award and asking Kanye if he'd ever accepted one from a Beatle?

Kanye's performance was easily the best. Despite the fact that I think his egotistical awards speeches make him look immature, impatient and douche-baggy, he absolutely stole the show on Sunday. "Stronger" was dope. I really dig the illuminated outfit and the illuminated specs. Kanye could use some work on his robot, but I'll cut him some slack cause he was rhyming too. The lights and Daft Punk pyramid looked kick ass, and once Daft Punk was pushing buttons....I was straight bananas. I liked how the cameras gave an aerial view of the Daft Punk guys. Kanye's orchestral/accapella version of "Mama" was obviously heart felt. He seemed a bit shaken at the beginning, but I thought he pulled it together.

Beyonce and Tina were cute together, especially when they did Rollin' On A River. Doesn't Tina Turner look kind of funny when she cocks her head to the side? I swear Beyonce was lip synching when she did that history of females in music though.

I liked that The Time did their Jungle Love dance, and that Rihanna joined in at the end too. But, what the fuck was Rihanna wearing? She reminded me of Bjork, in a bad way. Nonetheless, Rihanna can wail. Any hating I may have done on Rihanna in the past, I take it back. She was adorable when she won her Grammy. I thought it was comical (but also a little egotistical and douche-baggy) when Jay-Z repackaged what Rihanna was trying to say.

Alicia Keys also was straight gangsta. I really liked the interposed video of Frank Sinatra over her piano on the opening number. Her version of "No One" was better though. The orchestral add on was a nice touch, and Alicia was looking dope in that black outfit. When she walked out singing and then started playing keyboard one handed - she owned it. John Mayer was an interesting touch...but I didn't think the guitar sounded that great.

Foo Fighters were great, but Grohl was trying to hard to get the crowd fired up. The Beatles number was nice to watch, although "Love" is 20 times better in person. I was actually a little disappointed with Cirque De Soleil's adaptation for the Grammys. The gospel number though was stunning. The lead female could fucking wail. Her eyes were crazy buggy though - she looked a little like those dolls you squeeze where the eyes pop out.

I didn't listen to the country cuts.

What was that Black Eyed Peas weird mash-up performance at the end? I really didn't get it. It just seemed like a generically bad Black Eyed Peas rap...I write better rhymes than that in my sleep.

What the hell was Chris Brown talking about when he referenced DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince? I guess anything you say when you are wearing a white and red suit sounds ludicrous.

Herbie Hancock appeared genuinely surprised at winning his award. I liked that. I'll have to check out that album...

Congratulations to all the victors. Oh yeah, and Vince Gill is a bad ass.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Gnarls Barkley

The track is called "Run." It is just under 3 minutes and it is very catchy. It seems that Danger Mouse and the Cee-Lo combo really works no matter how they play it because this can hardly be called a hip-hop song. In fact, there is nothing hip-hop about it.

But, don't misunderstand...the song is GREAT. The hook is very catchy, about running away or something to that effect. Cee-Lo's voice is always incredible, and he displays his exceptional, gospel informed vocal range on this song. AND Danger Mouse leaves nothing to be wanted with his impeccable production.

For any Danger Mouse, Cee-Lo and or Gnarls Barkley fan...this is definitely worth the pick up. Their second album is allegedly coming out in March, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets delayed. Cop this single before it becomes the next "crazy" and we all get sick of hearing it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


In tribute and remembrance of Bob Marley, Groundation is playing a cover show at The Key Club tonight. Now, I have never heard of Groundation before,, but they seem like your traditional dub reggae band. The real kicker is that Will Bernard, former bay area guitarist supreme (he recently moved to New York) will be sitting in with them for the show.

If you are a fan of jazz music, reggae music or simply are mesmerized by a fantastic guitar player who can move their fingers with alarming speed and precision...than this is the show for you. Will Bernard is one of the top guitarists around, as a permanent member of T.J. Kirk and Fully Loaded, as well as touring with his own outfits Motherbug and the Will Bernard Trio. Although I do not know exactly what to expect tonight, I have high expectations.

The Hooliganz open the show (never heard of them either). $15. Doors open at 7:30.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I am no stranger to sold out shows. Hey, they are a good thing because the venue and the band both benefit tremendously. The only loser is the shut-out (or claustrophobic) fan.

On Saturday night my friends and I did not get into PBS at the Mint. We went at like 10:45, after the opener had been on an hour...but the line was at least 12 deep and they were saying tickets were sold out. I never thought the show would sell out, especially since their last show at the Knitting Factory only had about 50 people. Nice call on the show Wagatail Productions, but I guess it should be at a larger venue next time.

Hot Chip is playing on Monday at the El Rey and that show is sold out too. It sold out ridiculously fast. In light of recent experiences I think I will shift back to the pay in advance method of ticket purchase rather than the gamble at the door.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

PBS @ THE MINT (members of The Funky Meters)

George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste and Brian Stoltz, collectively known as PBS, are performing at The Mint ( 6010 Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035) on Saturday February 2, 2008. Delta Nove is the opener. Delta Nove is supposed to go on at 9 pm and PBS at 11:30 pm. Tickets are $20 at the door.

I have seen PBS once before, but have seen George Porter Jr. and Russell several other times. They are a tremendous rhythm duo and Stoltz plays a great guitar. George Porter Jr. is one of hte nastier bassists I've ever witnessed, especially when he plays slap. For any fans of New Orleans funk - this show should not be missed.


I think I am going to end the concert e-mail update and just send people a link to this blog. I will write about upcoming shows and shows I've seen...and that way I can write about music regularly, rather than me going out of my way to package all upcoming concert information into one e-mail.

Ripping Music

I've been staying up incredibly late recently ripping music to my hard drives. Most of it is old music from high school and college, some is music I've never listened to. In the last few weeks I've increased my data collection by 15 GBs. I'm now over 240 GBs and counting.

One of the ways I've been expanding my collection is through It is much more affordable then itunes. I am paying about 25 cents a track. Although they lack most mainstream hip-hop and R&B artists, they've recently added some T-Pain and T.I. Plus, they always have recent releases from Ubiquity Records and Stones Throw Records. They also have a handful of popular indie artists, a decent jazz catalog, as well as some good blues and jam records.

Of course I am still sticking with CD's. I just bought two today: the Superbad soundtrack and an enhanced version of Sly and the Family Stone's "Stand." I hope my collection keeps expanding, but I wish I had the cases for my older stuff.

Once I've got all my owned music on the hard drives, I'll start worrying about weening down the collection. I often find you may think you don't like a song, but upon reconsideration you find it enjoyable. That is why I am trying to record it all onto the hard drive first. I realize I've lost several discs that need replacement. Ice Cube's album "The Predator" and The Lost Boyz first album that had "Renee" and "Jeeps, Lex Coupes, Beamers and the Benz."