Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas Presents to YOU!




OK, here are two criminally-out-of-print-in-the-states records that you would do well to seek out, because they are both classics.

First, Gwen Guthrie's Padlock EP. Guthrie was an R&B backup singer with a fairly undistinguished career when she somehow got a chance in the early 80's to record an EP at Chris Blackwell's famous Compass Point Studios. Reggae superstars Sly & Robbie, who were then at the top of their game, played on and produced the initial recording sessions. At the time, they were the darling of the rock world, producing records for everyone from Bob Dylan to Mick Jagger. (It doesn't get much better than their version of "Baltimore".) After Gurthrie recorded her vocals with Sly & Robbie in Jamaica, the resulting tracks were sent to NYC to be mixed by Larry Levan, who was then also at the top of his game. Levan was the most prominent DJ and producer in NYC's garage music scene, producing dance records for NYC labels West End and Prestige. (His classic songs include the dub version of NYC Peech Boys' "Don't Make Me Wait" (which, strangely, isn't on YouTube), Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" (sampled by many, including De La Soul and Ini Kamoze), as well as his remix of Arthur Russell's "Is it all over my face".) Between Guthrie's vocals, Sly & Robbie's playing and production, and Levan's mixing, the Padlock EP is a fairly unique combination of 80's R&B, dub reggae, and proto-house.

Second, Lefty Frizzell's Songs of Jimmie Rodgers. After recording a series of hit singles, Frizzell was given the chance to record an album, which was a new idea at the time (the LP being a new technology). He chose to record a tribute to his childhood idol, the great Jimmie Rodgers. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the record executives didn't like this idea, since they thought of Rodgers as passé. But the resulting record proved them wrong. Frizzell's versions channel the essence of Rodgers' style to an amazing degree. Some of them, in particular, Frizzell's version of "California Blues", seem to distill the essence of Rodgers' own songs, even moreso than Rodgers' own versions. And I think Frizzell's version of "Treasure Untold" is probably one of the most beautiful love songs of all time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Documentaries About Los Angeles

Blue Neon Light: Michael Connelly's Los Angeles (2004)
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles (2009)
East LA Interchange
Great Streets: Sunset Blvd (PBS) (2000)
Inventing LA: The Chandlers & Their Times (2009)
James Ellroy: American Dog (2006)
James Ellroy's Feast of Death (2001)
Laura McKenzie's Travel Tips: Los Angeles
Los Angeles Now (2004)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
Los Angeles Street Cars: The Final Years (1992)
Los Angeles: The Early Days
Los Angeles: Video Postcard (VPI) (1989)
Los Angeles: Video Visits (1989)
Modern Marvels: Los Angeles (2006)
The New Los Angeles (2005)
Pacific Electric Vol. 2: Remembering The Red Cars (1998)
Rescue Me: Los Angeles' Skid Row
Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles (BBC) (1972)
Shotgun Freeway: Drives Through Lost L.A. (1995)
The Towers (1957)
Video Visits: Lights, Cameras, Los Angeles
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (2009)
Wonderland (1977)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Marina Car Wash


I love this painting. It is hanging on the wall of the "viewing platform" of the Marina Car Wash, on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greenbrier Bunker


When trying to imagine what underground bunkers are like, these are the sorts of pictures that I like looking at the most.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Apartment" Postcard

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moses


It's been too long since I posted a picture of Moses. I took this photo last week, after Moses and I went on a walk around one of my favorite places in DC, the Franciscan Monastery and Gardens.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ouch!

From a 1957 article summarizing a 1887 debate that was pivotal in establishing Franz Boas as a central figure in anthropology:

"The opinions [Boas] expresses may justifiably be characterized as anti-scientific ... We belabor this point for we have so often heard of the rigor Boas brought to ethnology from his sojourn in physics. We are unable to see wherein he exhibits this rigor."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marginalia

In the margin of my 1957 printing of Peter Geach's Mental Acts someone has written "It has been suggested that 'rouge', 'rot, and 'red' are not co-extensive."

There was a time when you could say that kind of stuff and get away with it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Classic Beats and Riddims

How awesome is it that the following songs have been so influential in hip hop and reggae?

In hip hop, The Shadow's 1960 recording of "Apache" (which was inspired by the 1954 Burt Lancaster movie of the same name), was covered by by a studio band put together in 1972 by Michael Viner (as the result of the unexpected success of his score for the B movie "The Thing with Two Heads"), which was then adopted as a semi-official B Boy anthem by hip hop DJs in the Bronx (such as Grandmaster Flash) in the late 1970's, before being sampled countless times since then, by everyone from Nas to The Roots.

In reggae, Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra's equally mellow "An African Beat" has had a similarly wonderful influence on reggae, as more than one well-researched YouTube videos demonstrate.

Google Search


Here's what happens when you search for "Eskimos". I hope this means that people will get it if I make a joke about the number of Eskimo words for blue in the title of a talk I'm planning to give.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Michael Mann Mug


Last time I checked out Etsy, I came across some paintings based on Michael Mann's films. This time I came across this mug, based on Mann's "Thief".

Friday, October 15, 2010

Goodbye, Sweet Friend


I lost one of my favorite pens this week, on the subway. (I had taken this photo of it just last week.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

History

Went to a grad school alumni event tonight at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The good part: the director of the museum gave an awesome talk about how the urban immigrant experience defines America. The bad part: the other alumni consistently asked "questions" that took the form of advice: i.e., "Have you ever thought about drawing upon the Ellis Island record search in order to research the history of the people who lived here?" I'm being serious. It was obnoxious and annoying. The director had already told us how they've done extensive research on the 7,000 (!) people who lived in their particular tenement building from the 1860s to the 1930s. So, yes, they've thought about consulting the records at Ellis Island. And they've done a lot more than that.

There was one moment of justice, however. It was when another alumnus volunteered that "As someone on the Board of Directors of a historic home, let me tell you that you should look into whether there are any reports of ghosts in this building. If you talk about those reports, it will greatly increase the number of visitors." The director's response was perfect. He said two things.

(1) We already have so many visitors we're turning away 20 people a day.
(2) We've actually gotten a number of awards recently for our historical rigor. (The unspoken implication being: WE'RE FUCKING HISTORIANS HERE, WHO ARE TRYING TO GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT ABOUT THE ACTUAL HISTORICAL RECORD. GHOSTS DON'T EXIST. SO WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO INCLUDE THEM IN OUR HISTORY OF THIS BUILDING.)

I mean, seriously. I lose all respect for historic buildings when they launch into their "ghost story" mode. Encouraging that kind of bullshit undermines the whole point of historic preservation in the first place.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clifford Clinton's "The Clock Strikes Twelve"



In 1945, fresh from having brought down LA's corrupt mayor, police chief, and DA, Clifford Clinton (the owner of Clifton's Cafeteria) published a pamphlet called "The Clock Strikes Twelve". In it, he outlines his proposals for the future of LA. I just got my copy in the mail.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What I Think I Think

I know I think that there are truths about what's good and bad, beautiful and ugly, just and unjust. What I don't know is why I really think this. I think I think it simply because I think truth functions as a kind of regulative ideal in all of these different domains, that without it you simply couldn't take seriously our ordinary practices of making and critically evaluating claims made within these different domains. Of course, there are a whole host of different sorts of philosophical attempts to make sense of how we might take these ordinary practices seriously without reserving a role for truth (or, more precisely: reserving a role for a univocal concept of truth that is the same across these different domains). But I guess I think all of these philosophical attempts fail. And, furthermore, I guess I think they're all bound to fail, that only a univocal concept of truth could occupy this function. It would be good to see someone raise precisely this question and really get a handle on the different sorts of responses that philosophers have to it. I'm going to try to raise in the paper I'm working on, but it remains to be seen whether I succeed.

Target Sighted


From the Navy Museum. See also.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jello Skyline


From the You Are Here exhibit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Standard Meter Bar


This is a, if not the, standard meter bar, at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. Looks like it's a meter long to me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A. J. Liebling Obituary from the NY Times (Sunday, December 29, 1963)


I love it when you buy a used book and find a newspaper clipping left in it by the previous owner. This was in a used copy of Liebling's Normandy Revisited.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quoting Myself

"It would be too strong to say that the one sound a recording cannot represent is the characteristic sound of that sort of recording being played, but it’s not far from the truth." (Unpublished manuscript, 2010)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Office Additions



Two new additions to my office:

Top: a TASCAM DAT recorder. Got it free on Craigslist, from a guy who is renovating his post-production facility in Tribeca. There's also a Serato box hiding behind the DAT recorder, that I got used on eBay.

Bottom: a Doug Hansen watercolor from 2005, of the original WAND pressing of "Louie, Louie" being played on a portable Columbia record player. This was a gift from Nat & Melody.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FLW Hotel


Early morning view from a room at FLW's Price Tower. The copper sheeting on the outside prevented us from picking up free WiFi.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Momo!


Saw this at Surfas yesterday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fruit Smack


If you ask me, "Fruit Smack" is a better name than "Kool Aid".

My Dad and I saw this at the Hastings Museum earlier this summer.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hot Dog Shack Redux

I re-opened my hot dog shack again this summer. It's been dormant for ten years. Here are the hot dog recipes I made for peeps:

1. El Capitan Crunch: with spicy mustard (from Philippe's), pineapple salsa, and crushed potato chips.

2. The Kim Jong-il: with sweet German mustard, cabbage kimchi, and Sriracha sauce.

3. The Buffalo Dog: Buffalo wings hot sauce, crumbled blue cheese, and chopped celery.

4. The Nutty Professor: Hoisan sauce, peanuts, and steamed spinach.

5. The Currywurst: curry ketchup and curry powder.

6. Mac & Please: mac & cheese, Kraft EZ cheddar, and Sriracha sauce.

7. Chicago Style.

8. Lincoln Log: cream cheese, sauerkraut, and spicy brown mustard.

9. The Hot Chiuaua: black beans, cotija cheese, pico de gayo, and green hot sauce.

Chickenboy


This is my new favorite t-shirt.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quick Summary of Problems for Spectrum Inversion Thought Experiments

For spectrum inversion thought experiments to be philosophically interesting, the variations in color experience that they wonder about have to be behaviorally indetectable. Here's a quick summary of some of the asymmetries of color space that would make variation detectable:

1. The most saturated yellows are lighter than the most saturated reds and blues.
2. There are more distinguishable hues between blue and red than there are between yellow and green.
3. Dark yellow is a qualitatively different color than yellow (it appears brown), whereas dark blue is still blue.
4. Desaturated bluish-red is a qualitatively different color than saturated bluish-red (it appears pink), whereas desaturated greenish-yellow is qualitatively similar to saturated greenish-yellow.

(All of these asymmetries are taken from Alex Byrne's excellent Stanford Encyclopedia article on the topic. I'm merely summarizing them for your convenience.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jimmie Rodgers' Influence in East Africa


From Nolan Porterfield's Jimmie Rodgers: The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler (p. 200).

Here's what Chemirocha sounds like.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Water and Power Building



Photo from the internets.

The Water and Power Building is one of my favorite buildings in downtown Los Angeles, rivaled only by the Bradbury Building, the Bonaventure Hotel, and the Los Angeles Theater. To my knowledge, it was first discovered by the movies in Omega Man, but it has recently been used by Inception as well. I loved seeing it in Inception, but I do worry that its use there was slightly unmotivated. In terms of shitty uses of awesome locations, however, it's hard to compete with 500 Days of Summer's use of the Bradbury Building.

Two quick things about the building:

1. As I understand it, it was originally designed to have all of its lights on all the time, so that it would simply glow at night. In the photos I've seen of what this looks like (which I can't seem to find online), the sheer beauty that results from this effect is a partial argument against environmentalism.

2. In what has quickly become my favorite book about L.A., Reyner Banham has this to say about the Water and Power Building:

"[T]he only public building in the conventional sense of the word, the only public building in the whole city that genuinely graces the scene and lifts the spirit (and sits in firm control of the whole basis of human existence in Los Angeles) [is] the Water and Power Building of 1964 by Albert C. Martin and Associates. In daylight it is a conventional rectangular office block closing the end of an uninspired civic vista and standing in an altogether ordinary pool full of the usual fountains, but at night it is transformed. Darkness hides the boredoms of the civic centre and from the flanking curves of the freeways one sees only this brilliant cube of diamond-cool light riding above the lesser lights of downtown. It is the only gesture of public architecture that matches the style and scale of the city." (116)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Music Supervisor


Went to a party at a music supervisor's house in Silver Lake last night. This is a partial view of his very well-organized CD collection. You can see some classic soul and R&B box sets in the middle. The best part was that he had a video projector set up on the deck outside, which he was using to project YouTube videos on the wall. He played a combo of other people's music videos as well as his own. They were mostly video mashups.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Top Five L.A. Books

Here's my current list of my five favorite books about L.A.:

1. Reyner Banham, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies
2. Matt Maranian and Anthony Lovett, L.A. Bizarro
3. Kevin Roderick and Eric Lynxwiler, Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles
4. Jeffrey Stanton, Venice California: 'Coney Island of the Pacific'
5. Jim Heimann, California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Notes



Notes that have been left for me this summer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LAPD Museum


We went to the LAPD museum this past weekend and saw a couple of bullet-ridden cars from the North Hollywood shootout, including this police car.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday Evening in 304


One of my favorite things about the summer is that I really get to appreciate Friday evenings. There's a kind of closure to the week that I don't get during the rest of the year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Harmonic Convergence

Apparently, Chicken Boy has a cameo in the opening sequence of my favorite movie, Q: The Winged Serpent. I must rewatch it to confirm.

The Runza


I saw Charles Phoenix's history of 3-D slide show last weekend. Early on in the show, he mentioned that he was just in Nebraska, where he had a Runza. The funny thing was that the only two people in clapped in recognition were me and the random dude sitting next to me (who was from Nebraska). My Dad and I tried them a few weeks ago. I think they would be best if the ground beef was complemented with something like Peter Luger's creamed spinach.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lucha VaVoom


When I first got to LA a few weeks ago, we went to Lucha VaVoom at the Mayan Theater downtown (which itself is featured in Save the Tiger, which is the movie my parents saw the night before I was born).

Here's a taste of what it's like:

Crazy Chickens
The Birth of Little Chicken

video

The best part was when one of the commentators said over the PA, "Tonight is why the Tea Party will never take over America, because they'll never understand this shit. They should make way for the Tequila Party."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

LA Day


Partly inspired by my new favorite documentary we went to the following today:

"Our Town" (The Watts Towers)
USC campus (What is it about their campus that makes it seem so sterile?)
The Velaslavasay Panorama (Luckily, we got there right as the light and sound show climaxed. We waited almost an hour for it to happen again, but it didn't come. The images seemed to be moving on the wall when it happened. Some of the other visitors who missed it would go downstairs and ask the docent whether the panorama was supposed to do something.)
Nickel Diner (Batting 100% on taking people here. Everybody loves it.)
Museum of Neon Art
Bullocks Wilshire (We were able to sneak into it, no problem.)
The Great Wall of Los Angeles
The Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles (Got to talk to Chickenboy's Mom, which was wonderful all around. She made a movie about him years ago. I encouraged her to screen it somewhere soon. We also talked about putting together a Googie architecture tour. She and some of her friends did one years ago.)
Scoops
HMS Bounty
"Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" at LACMA
Kibitz Room at Canter's (saw a pair of pretty mediocre bands)
Outdoor back patio at La Cabana

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Venice is Wet!


So, wonderfully, amazingly, it turns out that LMU's library has an enormous collection of historic postcards, including a fair amount of postcards of Venice Beach. I made a reservation today with the special collections librarian to check it out. And I came across this gem. It almost, just almost, makes everything okay. As we all know, however, that's no longer an option.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pee Wee at the Orpheum


I watched "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" at the Orpheum last week and saw Paul Reubens interviewed afterwords (where it was revealed that Judd Apatow is going to produce a new Pee Wee movie, one that Reubens is currently in the process of writing--though I wish they would just make the "Evil Pee Wee" movie that Reubens wrote years ago). The gags-per-minute ratio in "Big Adventure" is amazingly high. But what I was most struck by about it was how Pee Wee's iconic outfit, especially his suit, is so similar to the suit, Cary Grant's outfit in "North by Northwest". Support for this claim can be found in the movie itself, insofar as when Pee Wee character's story is made into a Hollywood movie (that is, the movie within the movie), he is portrayed as being a James Bond-like spy. And, of course, James Bond is based on Cary Grant.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)



It's Franny's-level good. Not as good as Una Pizza or, dare I say it, Motorino.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Your Bedroom vs. Your Mind


Compare and contrast.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Collection


How's this for a sweet item in your book collection? It's George Washington's copy of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It was in Herbert Hoover's book collection.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Months

In the past two months, I have organized a conference with five outside speakers, organized an additional eight talks outside of the conference, given five talks myself, attended six conferences, supervised my first dissertation defense, DJ-ed twice, supervised the music for a French-themed party, visited DC five separate times, spent the night in fourteen different cities (in four different countries), and led adventure days in Long Island and London.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hamburg Inn No. 2 (Iowa City)


Had a burger today at the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City, which is regularly listed as one of the best burgers in the States. Fairly simple burger, with almost nothing on it, so it was all about the patty. Cooked thoroughly through, it almost had a crunchy exterior (which is something I like). My favorite patty in that regard--the one that best achieves the perfect combo of crunchy exterior and juicy interior--is still the one at Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Office Space


Saw this in the dog section at LL Bean yesterday. Which came first, Innotek or Initech?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Currywurst


I first had currywurst last fall, when Mike R. and I went to a new place in the East Village. Here's a currywurst I had in Cologne. The Cologne one was spicier (due to the spicy curry ketchup) though the sausage itself seemed more like a hot dog (not in a bad way). The beer in the background was the best Kolsch that I had on my trip, mainly because it actually had some flavor and was less bland than the others.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Beach Boys


Saw several of these tags around Cologne and Bonn.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Smell of Los Angeles

"I smelled Los Angeles before I got to it. It smelled stale and old like a living-room that had been closed too long. But the coloured lights fooled you. The lights were wonderful. There ought to be a monument to the man who invented neon lights. Fifteen stories high, solid marble. There's a boy who really made something out of nothing."
(Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, 1949)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Party Poster


Saw this in Bonn yesterday. Yes, it is exactly what it appears to be. I guess I would fit right in.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

German Bread


Had this bread with dinner the other night. My German friends said they really miss it when they travel abroad. It's very dense and fairly bland. They said that foreign bread tastes too airy for them and that it doesn't fill them up the way this bread does.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Backstage


I really miss that spy-sized digital camera I used to have, because I would bring it everywhere with me. As it is, I end up taking most of my photos with my phone, which isn't really that effective.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Berlin


Für mich bitte eine Wernesgrüner!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

London Adventure Day

Got a late start, but here's what I did yesterday:

Wellcome Collection: Henry Wellcome's collection of medical oddities, including a tanned bit of Jeremy Bentham's skin, with a bunch of writing on it.
Stern's Music: sadly, the world's best African music store no longer exists as a retail establishment.
Pret a Manger: they really need to bring their cucumber and tuna sandwiches to the States.
Muji: how absurd is it that three of the stores and restaurants that I first came to love abroad (in three different countries: Cosi in Paris, Pret a Manger in London, and Muji in Tokyo) now all have branches just a couple of blocks from my office in NYC?
Sir John Soane's Museum: still one of my favorite interiors in the world. It's funny that I like both minimalist modern interiors and cluttered folk art environments (that end up looking a lot like Soane's very non-folk art, but nonetheless very cluttered, interior).
Hunterian Museum: more medical oddities.
Cordings: tweeds.
Sounds of the Universe: Soul Jazz's record shop in Soho.
Liberty: fabrics.
Mentone Hotel: quick trip back to the hotel to drop stuff off.
Thomas Carlyle' House: Carlye, like Charles Babbage, hated noise, so he built a soundproof study on the top of his house. Turned out not to be as quiet as he wanted. It has no windows on its walls, but it's actually flooded with light from a skylight. I would love to have a small garden in the back like his. Here's the library he founded, when the librarian from the British Library turned down his request for a private room (apparently because of something Carlyle said about him).
Chelsea Physic Garden: contrary to what my tour book said, they were closed when I got here, so I couldn't see their recreations of mini-greenhouses built to transport ferns, that I had just read about.
Harrod's: bought Moses a present.
Michelin House: Conran's
Old Knightsbridge Village Pub Walk: tour of Knightsbridge and Kensington.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pizza Express


Maybe next year.

Moses


Here's a photo my Mom recently took of Moses playing with a squeaky pig toy I got him at Harrod's.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Typical DZM Set List

Here are the songs I played last night (in order):

MC Eiht and LA Nash, "Professional Stone Crooks"
Ice Cube, "It Was a Good Day"
Ohio Players, "Funky Worm"
NWA, "Dope Man"
Above the Law, "Black Superman"
Tupac, "Keep Your Head Up"
Pharcyde, "Passin' Me By"
George Duke, "Reach for It"
WC and the MAAD Circle, "West Up"
Watts Gangstas, "Watts Riders"
Brownside, "Drama on the Eastside"
Nipsey Hussle, "Hussle in the House"
Daz Dillinger, "It's Going Down"
Dorrough, "Ice Cream Paint Job"
Dogg Pound, "Itz a Good Day"
The D.O.C., "It's Funky Enough"
Mack 10, "Foe Life"
Fabolous feat. Nate Dogg, "Can't Deny It"
Dazzie Dee feat. Dolemite, "Unda Da Table"
Dre, "Let Me Ride"
Mack 10, "Hoo Bangin'"
Above the Law, "Livin' Like a Hustler"
Rick James, "Mary Jane"
DJ Quik, "Let You Havit"
Battlecat, "Out Here"
Ice Cube, "You Know How We Do It"
King Tee, "Dippin'" (Remix)
Nipsey Hussle feat. Snoop Dogg, "The Life"
Tupac, "Can't C Me"
Hi-C, "Got It Like That"
Dre, "Ain't Nothin' But a G Thang"
Snoop, "Gin & Juice"
Mack 10, "Only in California"
Tupac, "I Get Around"
Foesum, "Just Get Down (G-Shit)"
Westside Connection, "Gangsta Nation"
NWA, "Express Yourself"
Daz Dillinger, "Our Daily Bread"
Dre, "Deep Cover (187)"
Westside Connection, "Let It Reign"
Tupac and Snoop, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted"
DJ Quik, "Dollaz + Sense"
Dru Down, "Pimp of the Year"
Rohff and Big Ali, "Dirty Hous'"
Lil Wayne, "Fireman"
Rich Boy, "Throw Some D's"
Birdman, "Always Strapped"
Nelly, "Country Grammar"
Jay-Z, "Dirt Off My Shoulder"
Lil Wayne, "Jerk Off Your Shoulder"
Cam'ron, "Oh Boy"
Chamillionaire, "Turn It Up"
Nelly, "Grillz"
Beyonce, "Check On It"
Kayne, "Finer Things"
Wale, "Big Spender Freestyle"
Wale, "Bump"
Huck-a-Bucks, "The Bud"
Pure Elegance, "One Leg Up"
All-N-1, "Mandingo"
Rare Essence, "Freaks Come Out"
Rare Essence, "Hey Buddy"
Jay-Z, "Empire State of Mind"
Rihanna, "Umbrella"
Doors, "Five to One"
Jay-Z, "Takeover"
Kanye, "Jesus Walks"
Rich Boy, "Get to Poppin'"
MIA, "Paper Planes"
Jay-Z, "Can I Get a ..."
Nelly, "E.I."
G Unit, "Poppin' Them Thangs"
Dre and Tupac, "California Love"
Chingy, "Right Thurr"
Snoop, "Drop It When It's Hot"
Dre, "Bad Intentions"
Soulja Boy, "Donk"
Soulja Boy, "Booty Got Swag"
Al Green, "Here I Am"
Jackson Five, "ABC"
Charles Wright, "Express Yourself"
Dre, "Fuck With Dre Day"
Fatman Scoop, "Fuck It Up Right Now"
Biggie, "Hypnotize"
MOP, "Ante Up"
DMX, "X Gonna Give It To You"
Jay-Z, "99 Problems"
Led Zeppelin, "Moby Dick"
J-Kwon, "Tipsy"
DJ Kayslay, "Thug Luv"
Tiger Ranks, "Party Wit' Me"
Turf Talk, "The Soil"
Wisin and Yandel, "Rakata"
Biggie, "Juicy"
Lily Allen and Wale, "Smile"
50 Cent, "If I Can't"
Snoop, "Bitch Please"
Terror Squad, "Lean Back"
Dom Omar, "Dale Don Dale" (Remix)
Juvenile, "Back that Azz Up"
Kane and Abel, "Toot It Up"
AV8, "Let's Get Ill"
Dre, "Next Episode"
Big Pun and Fat Joe, "Twinz"
AV8, "Next Reggaesode"
Cutty Ranks, "Limb by Limb"
Lil Kim, "Big Momma Thang"
Miley Cyrus, "Party in the USA"
Biggie, "Party and Bullshit" (Mashup)
Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Sweet Home Alabama"
Joan Jett, "I Love Rock and Roll"
White Stripes, "Icky Thump"
Weezer, "Beverly Hills"
DJ Kool, "20 Minute Workout"
Rare Essence, "Dirt Off My Shoulder"
Rare Essence, "Got Money"
Jay-Z, "Izzo"
Jay-Z, "Lucifer"
Lil Wayne, "Got Money"
Mr. Vegas, "Hot Gal Today"
Jay-Z, "Run This Town"
Def Lepard, "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
Blackstreet, "No Diggity"
Kanye, "Get Em High"
Drake, "Stuntin"
Talib Kweli, "Get By"
Kanye, "Golddigger"
Jay-Z, "Bonnie and Clyde" (DJ Crooked Remix)
Swizz Beats, "It's Me Bitches"
Crooklyn Clan, "Chooze One"
Daddy Yankee, "Gasolina"
Panjabi MC and Jay-Z, "Beware of the Boys"
Gotty Boi Chris, "Huslaz At"
Eric B and Rakim, "Paid in Full" (7 Minutes of Madness Remix)
Jay-Z, "Excuse Me Miss"
TI, "Bring Em Out"
Wale, "Chillin"
Jackson Five, "I Want You Back"
Beyonce, "Crazy in Love"
DMX, "Party Up in Here
Ice Cube, "Check Yo Self"
Snoop, "Ain't No Fun"
Biggie, "Going Back to Cali"
Mista Grimm, "Indo Smoke"
Stevie Wonder, "Superstition"
James Brown, "Talkin' Loud"
ODB, "Got Your Money"
AV8, "Everybody Bounce"
Fatman Scoop, "Be Faithful"
DJ Kool, "Let Me Clear My Throat"
Cypress Hill, "Insane in the Membrane"
Wreckz N Effect, "Rump Shaker"
Dr. John, "Right Place, Wrong Time"
Bar Kays, "Holy Ghost"
Beastie Boys, "Hey Ladies"
Tom Tom Club, "Genius of Love"
Mariah Carey and ODB, "Fantasy"
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, "It's Nasty"
AV8, "Disco Inferno Break"
Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"
Styz, "Renegade"
Usher, "Yeah"
Stevie Wonder, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered"
Brick, "Dazz"
Ice Cube, "No Vaseline"
MC Lyte, "Search 4 the Lyte"
Aerosmith, "Walk this Way"
Run DMC, "Walk this Way"
Petey Pablo, "Freek-a-Leek"
Joe Budden, "Pump it Up"
DJ Ace, "I Shot the Sheriff" (Mashup)
DJ Ace, "Could You Be Loved" (Mashup)
Kanye, "Stonger"
Metallica, "One"
Run DMC, "Peter Piper"
Biz Markie, "Just a Friend"
Rare Essence, "Overnight Scenario"
Huck-A-Bucks, "It's Time (64 Times)"
Wale, "Breakdown"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Movie Idea

"Billy Wilder ... spoke often about an idea he had for a movie about the Crusades. It would, he said, open on knights in shining armour as they prepared to ride off to war. There would follow a montage of the crusaders as they kissed their wives farewell and locked them securely into their chastity belts. We would see the knights mount their horses and ride off for the Holy Land. Then, Wilder said, he would cut to a modest little shop on a cobble-stoned lane. A wooden sign would wave gently in the twilight: 'PIERRE COUR LE LION, LOCKSMITH.' We would then move in for our first sight of the village locksmith. It would be Cary Grant."

--from Graham McCann's Cary Grant: A Class Apart (pp. 116-117).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Moses!


Photo of Moses sitting by Mkunde.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

DR NAT


is in the house!

For real.

And if you want to check out some serious shit, read his dissertation. I'm already assigning it to grad students.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Note to NYC Subway/MTA

Instead of pretending to operate 24 hrs a day, why don't you close at midnight (which is what effectively happens much of the time anyway) and fix the tracks then? As it is, the tracks are in shitty shape (as evidenced by how bumpy they are) and you end up being closed during the daytime on weekends, which is seriously inconvenient.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bazin's Metaphors for Photography

In "The Ontology of the Photographic Image", André Bazin introduces a number of different metaphors for understanding what a photographic image is like:

1. mummy
2. sarcophagus
3. terra cotta statuette of a dead person
4. arrow-pierced clay bear
5. oil portrait of royalty
6. flower
7. snowflake
8. Holy Shroud of Turin
9. decal
10. transfer
11. fingerprint
12. hallucination that is also a fact
13. insect trapped in amber

At the very least, you've got to give him props for coming up with so many different metaphors in a nine page essay.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sartorialisted

I was just Sartorialisted on the streets of Palermo. It was fairly clear that it wasn't my linen outfit, or my excessively exposed chest hair, that was the object of interest. It was my Japanese Nikes, the ones with "Nike" written in katakana on the back of them. Does this justify wearing them at a wedding in San Antonio tomorrow? I think so. Fuck wearing a suit.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Concepts & Interests

Here are four possible ways in which you might think concepts and our interests are related:

1. They are completely unrelated. This is the view many modern philosophers have had about concepts of primary properties, that unbiased inquirers are bound to converge on a use of them, which just shows how they are completely independent of our interests. I think the main problem with this view is just that it seems naive to think that history is irrelevant to the process of identifying properties, as this view presupposes.

2. Our interests completely determine the extension of our concepts. Call it nominalism, idealism, or, as I prefer, relativism. The main problem with this view is that it can't explain how we could be wrong about anything.

3. The extension of our concepts is "shaped" but not determined by our concepts. On this view, our use of concepts depends upon our interests but our interests do not wholly determine their extensions. The main problem with this view is that it is unstable. On the one hand, if it makes sense to draw a distinction between the extension of the concepts themselves and the shaping of that extension done by our interests, then it collapses into the first view, since that distinction ends up lining up precisely with the primary/second property distinction as it is traditionally drawn. On the other hand, if it become impossible to draw a distinction between the extension of the concepts themselves and the shaping of that extension done by our interests, this view collapses into the second view, since it become impossible to identify the role played by the world itself in determining the extensions of our concepts.

4. The extension of our concepts is determined by the world, but which concepts we use is determined by our interests. On this view, the traditional distinction between primary (that is, interest-independent) and secondary (interest-dependent) properties is denied, and it is granted that the process of identifying any sort of properties depends upon one's interests in those properties, which is historically determined. But whether something has those properties or not is completely independent of history. This is the view I prefer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Worst People to Interview


From Joseph Mitchell's "My Ears Are Bent"