Vinyl Review: The Notorious B.I.G. âÂ Ready to Die
âYour Discman may be obsolete these days, but a near quarter century later, Biggieâs first-person storytelling, boundless lyricism, smart sense of humor, and charming persona on Ready to Die are as relevant and affecting as ever.â
MC Chris has blown past the nerdcore label to become one of the most interesting minds in music. Sure, he could rock the mic for the comics-convention set indefinitely, but he clearly has a broader audience in mind. His latest, MC Chris Is Dreaming, concludes a kind of trilogy with an ambitious set centered on dreams and A Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s one of the rare hip-hop records on which the skits generate real excitement.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 11/9/16
Revisiting this record after decades of alt-rock radio play, it’s refreshing to know that everything still stands up. The singles have been ran into the ground, and lord knows I never need to hear “Devil’s Haircut” again, but “Jack-Ass” is like a revelation. That swimming, relaxed mood provides a glimpse into what Beck would do on his follow-up, Mutations, and the switch-up from what is — at its heart — a blues record still feels as fresh as it did 20 years ago. Start to finish, this is a record which stands the test of time. Much like Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, or RZA as Bobby Digital, this is the sort of music to which most musicians have yet to catch up to.
The name Phil Canty might ring a bell, but if you’ve heard of Canty, it’s probably because of the production work he has done under the name P. Morris. In this guise, he has worked with Kelela, Feist, Chilly Gonzales and Fat Tony. Canty lived in Lawrence for quite a while but is now in Los Angeles. This past July, Canty, with singer, songwriter and director Maal A Goomba, released the excellent album Good Morning, I Love You, via the Bear Club Music Group collective. Canty and Goomba started that label together, and it has released the majority of both of their work.
I spoke with Canty by Skype about the minimalist, genre-hopping Good Morning, and about the history of Bear Club.
Read the full Q&A at the Pitch. Published 10/11/16
[caption id="attachment_18942" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi[/caption]
The past few months have yielded some especially strong local releases. The psychedelic rock of Lawrence Psychic Heat, AY-MusiK’s positive hip-hop, the Uncouth’s throwback oi — there’s something new for just about any taste. And five of the acts behind the best such recordings are playing in the area over the next week. Here’s what they have to say.
Read all the reviews and interviews at the Pitch. Published 8/30/16
If you’ve not read Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree, you can be faulted for thinking that the Fat Boys were just another novelty group, the likes of which littered the ’80s. However, for thems what know, the Fat Boys actually started out as the Disco 3, winning a talent competition sponsored by Swatch in the early ’80s, and gaining popularity through a series of MTV commercials.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on The Fat Boys & A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at Cinepunx. Published 7/6/16
"Last night’s show in downtown Lawrence might have drawn the most patient crowd I've ever seen. For real: I can't even conceive of the tolerance required to stand on hot concrete and cram in with 7,500-some of your fellow sweaty Lawrencians and not lose your goddamn mind. After a series of equipment issues and a weird freestyle thing featuring members of the opening acts, Public Enemy didn't take the stage until about 10:30."
Read "Public Enemy brought the noise but not the party to Lawrence last night" at the Pitch. Published 6/26/16