August 17, 2004



Thank you to Ange Mlinko for sending me her latest manuscript of poems, which is as consistently pleasing as the weird synthetic blue pillows I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond last week. We recommend her work without reservation. If you want to start somewhere, click on any of these green words, or go for the gusto and get her first book, Matinees. (I encourage you to buy it from SPD or Powell's, but neither have it in stock right now.)

Thank you to Hua for those two Pink Panther-themed mix CDs. He gave them to me months ago but I was a rude bastard and didn't listen to them until last week. They are, as usual, fabulous. (Hua introduced me to Clearlake's "Almost The Same" six months ago, and for that, we have renamed I-95 the Huaway.) Now I know about Claro Intelecto, Extra Produktionen, and the completely genius Red Astaire. Everyone look out for Sticker Shock in the 05.

Thank you to Matthew Ingram for sending me a ripping grime mix CD, unbidden and unannounced. That is some righteous shit. And thank you to grime fans everywhere who emailed to “correct” me and call me a “fucken idiot.” (What a glorious way to spell the word, adding a Middle English whiff to the verb, implying that the act of being fucked is complete and the accused’s lameness is a fait accompli, not an ongoing or fluid process.) You’re right—Mike Skinner, or his character, saw the hair-twirling thing on ITV, not in a magazine. The responsibility for that error is mine alone. As for the repeated messages to “Mrs. Mosley” that hip-hop is “TOTALLY” central to drum & bass, I offer this disagreement: a Winstons break and some Method Man drops does not hip-hop make, any more than a John Denver quote makes dancehall soft Cali rock. Not only does jungle roar along at a completely un-hip-hop-like clip, making the effect and function of the two forms totally distinct, there’s another acute difference that will tip off the close listener that the two genres are only superficially related: the part where nobody’s rapping. Hip-hop is wedded, old school or nu school, to the rapping of words over beats. Jungle has no verses and no hooks—all that yelling is hype man barking, which we love love love, but it is not the same thing as rhyming. (You’d think folks would like having their uniqueness celebrated, but identity is some unique shit.) Witness the fact that drum & bass continued way past the moment hip-hop samples disappeared and was still, correctly, described as drum & bass. The tempo? Still rave. The rhythmic emphasis? Still rooted in dancehall. Feel free to return to fuckenism and Go Home Yankee threats, but we cannot and will not stop. We will always love you.

(Not thanks, but a subtheme that someone can weigh in on: I've gotten three distinct and totally hot grime compilations in the mail from hardcore fans. How come some young millionaire funding a mindie hasn't put out one of these things? God bless Rephlex for adopting early, but that instrumental thing wouldn't convince anyone to stay past the first commercial. When d&b hit, we got a blazing and timely comp from Polygram/London/ffrr, for Hype's sake. Is this failure just evidence of the economy tanking? Is this the electronica dollar gone south? Couldn't DFA or somebody do this? Call Ingram, Jess and Luka, let them each curate a hot biscuit? Come on, trustafarians! Your destiny is waiting!)

Thank you to the mighty Julianne Shepherd for moving to New York, and also for starting a Lauryn Hill newsflash service. Is L boogie buying a Torah? Losing weight? Losing her religion? Tune in for hourly updates.

And thank you to Jennifer Lena for this link. Unlikely to swing Ohio but pressure is pressure.

Here's a small thank you to everyone, which will only seem like a gift if you don't already have it bookmarked and digested:

You can get cute little book summaries from, though it isn’t immediately apparent how. I asked the folks at Google, and they told me: “To target your search to Google Print pages only, you can use the 'site:' operator to restrict your search to the Google Print domain, For example, to search for a book titled "Superfudge," you would enter the following in the search box: superfudge

And you will get your results.”

Oh—and thank you to Hugo Chávez for being so goddamn gangsta. Fuck 537—you've got millions of chads to burn this time, Georgie.

Posted by Sasha at August 17, 2004 12:30 PM | TrackBack