Saturday, January 31, 2009


Thanks to the gentlemen and taste-makers over at BURLESQUE there is another new-age dance night for the kids of Minnehappiness.  It's called "BOMP!" and is held at Bedlam Theatre on the West Bank/Cedar area every last Friday.  I attended this affair because 1) it's within walking distance from my humble abode, 2) Jimmy 2 Times was on the DJ list and 3) everything BURLESQUE does is fun and cool without being pretentious.  Unfortunately milady was feeling under the weather and couldn't help me cut a rug.  Instead, my brother and I went.  Despite the lack of liquor (they only served beer and wine, with some coffee on the side) everyone was having a good time and were plenty loose.  
I was caught off guard by the type of crowd.  I couldn't believe how many hipsters there were in attendance.  Hell, I didn't even know Minneap had that many hipsters in the entire city.  I had the hardest time figuring out who was gay and who was a crazy kid on the fringe of culture.  Everybody was rocking pants and thrift-store joints plastered to their seemingly prepubescent frames.  In an event that epitomized the night, I found myself in the restroom pissing next to a dude with pants so tight he had to unbuckle and drop trough while behind me was a guy with his trendy flannel shirt completely unbuttoned, over his shoulders exposing a shaven chest and bright scarf that he had been "swinging around like a helicopter."  Around the corner was guy and gal-pal philosophizing about previous club-restroom experiences.  I was half-expecting to see Kanye in the stall.
I LIKE IT RAW!!! (but also mixed, thank you)
Unfortunately I got there late due to my brother sober-cabbing the tardy ladies and missed Jimmy's heat.  I caught Wes Winship rocking some crazy build-ups with square-wave madness then do his thing snapping up photos of the proceedings.  The Moon Goons were the last DJ's to rock the crowd.  Being a DJ myself, I'm hyper-critical of track selection and mixing techniques so take the following with a grain of salt.  While the Moon Goons definitely dropped some big-time crowd pleasers like classic Biggie and ODB's "I Like It Raw" that had the crowd buck, the way they did it was less than impressive.  Maybe it's part of their style (I haven't seen them more than a few times), but they neglected some basic DJ techniques and seemed to disregard the 4/4 meter and the 3/16 track pattern.  What this means is that the sound and vibe gets jerked around.  Ultimately the dancers get jolted out of their trance and back to sad reality.  It bugs me not only as a DJ but as someone who loves to dance.  The last straw was when a non-beatmatched train wreck occurred close to closing.  That was my cue to leave and start walking home.  I've seen the Moon Goons before and have enjoyed them and I don't mean to bash them.  They just seemed off last night.  Since they were the closers they didn't quite bring that dancefloor climax that is needed at the end of the night.  I wouldn't attend a show where they were the only group I was familiar with.  But if they're rocking out with some of the Minneap's best, I'll give them another try.

Speech Debelle, "Searching"

Just got this Ninja Tune label sampler and this track stood out like a sunny day in the UK. Speech not only has a beautiful voice rich with her English accent but girl can FLOW! She rides the rolling percussion like a pro. Her delivery had me bobbing my head while the portrait she paints with her lyrics about struggling to find an answer to all of life's problems had me near tears. Yeah, I'm a softie. I pick up so much new music that I rarely listen to a track more than once or twice. And I've played this track more than a dozen times within a few days. It's definitely worth your listen. Be sure to show your love on her myspace as well.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I'm Listening To on this Sunday

Oh, man!  I recently picked up two of these guys' albums and they have blown me away.  Out of Chicago, they are a jazz band comprised of 8 brothers on horns and Christopher Anderson funktifying the drums.  They started off as street performers and only started recording in 2004.  Most of their stuff is heavily influenced by classical jazz, but there is definitely a new-age funk in their swagger, especially when the drums get going.  There is also an occasional and welcome feature of soulful lady vocals.  They're a perfect soundtrack to a Sunday with some smooth tracks, some energetic tracks, and all uplifting.  Very much welcome on a midwinter Sunday here in Minnesnowta.  An excellent example: Jupiter

What I'm Listening To

I've gotten the audiophile bug and this is my first true audiophile-grade purchase.  I'm a vinyl fan, but I have a bunch of CD's that I was doing an injustice by playing them through my Macbook and mixer.  Plus, it was a pain to re-wire the mixer every time I wanted to listen to CD's.  I started looking for a decent CD player and lucked out with this one.  It's a Denon 1650AR CD player.  I found it on CL.  Dude was located in Uptown and kept it MINT.  He had the original box, styrofoam packaging, manual, and remote!  This has really breathed new life into my CD collection.  It sounds amazing even though I'm currently running it straight to my Mackie HR824's using crappy Radioshack RCA's and its less-than-ideal built-in pre-amp (supposed to use the line-outs and run it through a dedicated external pre-amp).  I still prefer vinyl, but I don't have the funds to invest into that portion of audiophiledom yet.

My records: aka money pit, tools, sanity, insanity, alpha