April 08, 2005



I am glad that Pharrell is George Benson. I always liked that "On Broadway" song.

One of my musical heroes, Thomas Mapfumo, is going straight to the digital street with a new MP3-only album, Rise Up. I had a little trouble navigating the site, but I think I bought something. (UPDATE: The site is really slow and badly designed. I have no idea if I can actually access the files I bought. Sucky!)

A little to the east, reader Kataharine Mitchell writes from China, proving crunk is a universal state of mind:

"Now, every Sunday afternoon, I watch Peking opera in a cold, smoky theater no bigger than a Pentecostal chuch. The place is packed with old people—all Mao blue caps and quilted jackets—slurping tea from mason jars, smoking the Double Happiness, and spitting sunflower seed shells on the cool, concrete floor. The smells alone are intoxicating: struck matches, mandarin oranges, and the thick, colorful make-up best associated with Chinese opera and glam. The pipa player might doze off in the corner, but then a gong or erhu wakes him up. The old folks around me argue, in Chinese, whether or not I can understand the high-pitched warbling lyrics being sung by men dressed as women, or women as men. When loyal fans wave ten or twenty yuan notes, the performers adjust their elaborate wigs, or skillfully manipulate the long river sleeves of their exquisite silk robes to conceal their small fortune."

Or you can just stay home and ride to "808," by Big Boi, Bun B, Big Gee and Gee Rock, a track that didn't make it onto Speakerboxxx, did make it onto Got That Purp, and might make it onto Bun B's album, the lattermost tip courtesy of Joseph "Filmin' Sideways" Patel.

In 1997, Ui staged a meeting between an actual 808 and a fake Mapfumo. We called it "Blood In The Air." (Thanks to Nina Hale for the MP3.)

Posted by Sasha at April 8, 2005 11:15 AM | TrackBack