Ms. Education – Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)

Politics, Pop Culture, SnapTrakks, TrapperKeeper

MLH NS CM

Neurotic Society

We’re living in a joke time, metaphorical coke time
Commerce and guru men, run the whole world man
Broke world and debauchery, old world brutality
Cold world kills softly
Whole world works savagely
Greedy men and pride fiends program TV screens
Quick-scam and drag queens
Real life blast fiends
Think twice this past dream

Amy, Amy, Amy… Fare Thee Well, Immortal Parallel

Pop Culture, Soundtrek

Amy, Amy, Amy… I know I’ve been here before… Amy, Amy, Amy… she’s just too hard to ignore… Rhythmically she spins a spell – I know she’d wear me well… Amy, Amy, Amy… where’s her moral parallel?

Amy Jade Winehouse was our holiday. She was our release, our renaissance, our rehabilitation, and our rhythmic residency. She was her own body of work; she lived in the music, and through that magnificent manifestation she created a parallel world within and apart from the everyday mainstream anything.

In the midst of Neo-Prohibition Era America where false was ideal, imperial nudity was lauded, and deuces wild were on deck, Winehouse was our haven beneath said house of cards. Amy was a release. She was our speakeasy, her voice resonated with us as the hidden-in-plain-view perfection of human imperfection. She birthed a culture through her tales of love lost, found, and for which her heart would forever fiend. Her music brought us from the throws of auto-tune, from the perils of saccharine-infused ringtone jingles, high and away from the collective race to the bottom that was 2007.

She was our vantage into the vintage; our very own halfway point between Scott Joplin’s Post-Victorian Era Ragtime revolution, injecting the joie de vivre back into the mainstream, and Janis Joplin’s Post-Pleasantville Americana Blue-Eyed Psychedelic Soul. Amy was the embodiment of the Neo-Prohibition Jazz Era of modern music. She was the cause and the cure for our every cultural ailment. She was the radiant child, wise beyond her years – the rebellious child – but from the mouth of the basement baroness babe spoke truth. She provided a place for us to turn when the clock struck five, following our every dogged day, mourning every minute after the ninth lie.  She was our happy hour. She was our winehouse – our own special place where humanity was okay, where everyone was in the dark together, where the soul and the sin were the norm. Beneath the blinding light, neither she nor we knew better than what we had – and after nearly a decade of lost everything, all we had was our lone selves.

The Vaultt: Punch Drunk Post-Valentine’s Daylist Playlist

Soundtrek

Punch-drunk love hangover courtesy of the most rosy-cheeked forever-juvenile heartthrob this side of Justin Bieber got your Tuesday on pause? Well, that’s what the Valentines’s Daylist vault is for – the cause and cure… sit back, bask in the afterglow of el dia de los enamorados… A quick and dirty list lingering on the fringe of lunacy and true love – enjoi…

Oh love. Timelining through Cupid, St. Valentine, Aphrodite — her son Hermaphrodite — Cyrano de Bergerac, van Gogh,  John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Ike and Tina, the list. goes. on. For love to be so romanticized, it is quite a trying ordeal. On this most noted of all days dedicated to love, I’ve decided to venture down the road far less desired, but far more traveled. This path of great resistance may be long and arduous, but it makes for quite the soundtrack. It’s baneful. It’s adulterous at times. It’s abasing. It’s abstract and all-consuming. It’s fleeting. But, inevitably, it’s love. So for what it’s worth: enjoi.

Dime Dailies: Health Care Reform Playlist

Soundtrek, Uncategorized

President Obama is on the road promoting the historic health care legislation he signed into effect earlier this week. So I’ve decided to compile a quick primer playlist to accompany his journey and ours to and through this momentous bill, to cut through the jargon, and to break down the “can dos if you choose” of health care reform.

Bad Romance: because now you can get your lover’s ugly and disease without worrying about high premiums

Just a Girl: because it is no longer a pre-existing condition

A Dime, A Dozen: Amy Winehouse and Lil’ Wayne – The Inkwell

Anthropopogy // Culture, Soundtrek, TK:ATL, TrapperKeeper

Round 3 of “A Dime, A Dozen” brings us to the tatted – but oh so talented – tandem that is Amy Winehouse and Lil’ Wayne: The Inkwell.

ADAD AWLW

Seemingly limitless, infinite, amounts of ungodly God-given talent flow through the veins of these two. Amy and Wayne are those kids in the corner who your parents warned you about – but didn’t need to because they were out of your league anyway, in their own special way.

Amy Winehouse: Amy, Amy, Amy… if Lady sang the blues – this one soaked in them. Winehouse’s first album, Frank, saw a 4 year stint between its 2003 UK debut and its 2007 US release; in the time between, Winehouse didn’t sail across the pond – she swam the blue Atlantic, removed the skepticism from British soul, and brought artistry to a world in the midst of the red hot celebrity. Never had our generation been introduced to such an aged fresh sound. Amy single-handedly brought us back to the Jazz Age. The world wasn’t Winehouse’s stage this decade – it was her speakeasy. Winehouse’s atmosphere was pop’s antithesis: overtly underground, drug-addled, authentic, counterculture, apathetic to everything but the art, forever in a harmonic haze – and a microcosm of a society, hidden in plain view.

2003’s Frank was just that – a no-nonsense tale of twenty-something love – of course, we all know, it was far more than that: “Drake says you can’t bring the future back, but when Winehouse asks of herself in 2003’s Frank ‘Where’s my moral parallel?’ she defied that theory. Back to Black was the fateful answer – the artistic masterpiece, and beautiful disaster – but as it preceded the U.S. release of Winehouse’s true debut, pre-“Rehab Frank became the answer to its own question.” Keep in mind that our one-track-mark-and-mind culture first took note of the songstress in 2005, though, when she brought us Back to Black:

Where BtB was the assumed anti-rehab anthem, it rehabilitated a dead medium. A drug is anything taken to alter one’s current state of being. Where BtB reiterated our current state as a generation, it was also the escapist drug that true music can’t help but be, and yet the detox to the industry that forgot its roots.

While Paris, Lindsay, Mary Kate, and Co. slurred and stuttered over post-rehab statements, Amy said point blank: I won’t go. This foreigner felt so familiar – and that is why she is so iconic. Geographically, ethnically, musically, personally: we had never felt so innately connected to someone so human, yet so distant and unknown. She embodied our culture: immersed in the bright lights, but forever shielding ourselves in lieu of the intimacy of a nocturnal veil. The freaks no longer came out at night, the everyman freed themselves there. The moonlight was our sunlight, it fed and nourished our inner beasts. The world said our behavior was wrong, but it was a world of sub-prime lenders, warmongering politicians, backdoor lobbyists, and neo-conservative wolves in sheep’s clothing – or pseudo-emperors with none at all. Amidst a distorted reality of moral dichotomies we live in a comfort zone of taboos – and for the first time we had someone tell our tale; when Puritanical America was shining a fluorescent artificial light on the country, Winehouse brought us back to reality and Back to Black.

Her conviction, her authenticity, her truth was so desperately needed this decade. She was the anti-autotune embodied. “Fuck the fluff: I don’t wear makeup, I wear the same ballet flats everyday and everywhere – if at all, I take drugs, I take the blame, I take the mic, I’m the un-airbrushed face that has nothing left to give; I’m not a blemish on the general purity, I’m the rule and not the exception, and I am fresh because I am giving you the grit that you refuse to look at in the mirror – on the television, in the newspapers, in the offices (Oval included), in your home – every morning. It is what it is, and I am what I am: what about it?” She had no ulterior motive. She was so, so very real. She made us look at ourselves again; and though we denied it, we couldn’t deny her.

Then, there is the art. She croons in a way that makes doves cry. Winehouse’s melodies billowed like smoke christening our speakeasy. There’s nothing technical, “industry,” studio, or clean about Amy’s music – which is why it is beautiful, dirty, rich.

Lil’ Wayne: If we are Young Money, he is our older brother who just got their bachelor’s degree. More importantly – especially given this of all decades – though, Wayne is New Orleans: period. He is that Southern off-center, raw, artistic, eccentric, culturally rich, worldly, weathered, worn, eternally young – but forever established, embodiment of the joie de vivre. This decade we had a hub, a microcosm, a timeless capsule of a culture seemingly forgotten – in 2005, we let it sink. This decade we had a materialistic, money-hungry, maven christen the culture with the cries of bling-bling – in 2005, that fireman lit the fuse. Brownie did a helluva job; but Wayne rose Hell to bring NoLa back.

To go over Wayne’s discography of mixtapes alone this decade would be like going over each pair of Hammer’s parachute pants, or GaGa’s wigs: iconic individually, but arguably more iconic as a collective – and more easily summarized. From Droughts to Dedications – and everywhere outside and in between – Wayne brought the underground up top. Even the now-well-mossy Rolling Stone began listing the “Top Mixtapes of the Year:” check – mate, and please.

Tha Carter and Tha Carter II, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back: the formal foot-in-the-door, and the solidified foothold. Both sets are cultural phenomena, both interplanetary displays transposed amongst mere Earthlings – giving a glimpse of a distant artistic alternate atmosphere. Then the Jedi returned; then Tha Carter III landed; then the hat-trick – the trilogy, the trinity. Mainstream reception? MTV asked a certain t-shirt wearing country-pop figure at the 2008 VMAs who’s performance they enjoyed the most, she said Lil’ Wayne’s as when he came on stage a “glow” came off him because “this was the man who sold 1 million copies in a week.” 1 album, 1 million copies sold, 1 week, 2008: said. He is the last person this decade to accomplish such a feat – and quite likely ever. Wayne may be the first man to legitimately translate hype and hearsay – anticipation built from perfectly planned mixtape releases – into hard stacks, cash, and sales.

Backed by his Young Money conglomerate – or rather vice versa – Wayne is the second coming of the Carter: Shawn Carter. He hustled his way to the top and kept that hustler mentality with a new-found business man mindset. He set a new blueprint for a new generation – as the peer, not the patriarch.

Amy Winehouse and Lil’ Wayne: an endless well of inked talent. This tandem has scribed some of the most memorable and reflective tracks of the decade and our generation. They represent our raw selves, the most authentic representations of Pop. Wayne took the ice off for a minute and got dirty – so did we; Amy went back to black – frankly, so did weand again. In an era of perception blinding and veiling reality – these two were our moral parallels.

DimePieces: In Case You Missed It – 2000: “Try Again”

Pop Culture, Uncategorized

It being the last month of the decade everyone’s dropping their recaps of the 2000s thus far – Y2K bug, artists of the decade, monumental moments, etc. – but when I think of the decade in Pop I think back to the subtle moments – easily missed – that set the tone for everything that followed.

In case you missed it: Aaliyah’s “Try Again” was the decade’s first Female Video of the Year – a most apropos harbinger to the next 10 years of female pop and, oddly enough, politics as well.

“If at first you don’t succeed…”

“If you’re lookin’ for trouble, you came to the right place,” trouble: check; YouTube resolution as blurry as Brit’s that night: check.

Unforgettable, Vol. 5: Kanye West – Graduation

Pop Culture, Soundtrek


Graduation is that “October Song” masterpiece: a piece of art that needs no external interpretation because it is complete in and of itself. At the most superficial and benign level, Kanye is Alec Trebeck and Graduation is “Jeopardy:” a series of answers engaging you to question.

It is a fact that when immersed in the surreal, people’s ability to make sense of the world around them is increased. The fragmented fantastical enhances our ability to connect themes and build structure – when given fantasy we are best equipped to perceive reality.

Thus is Kanye’s Graduation. An artist of West’s caliber is beyond “this world;” his ability to connect words, ideas, art forms, the abstract and concrete, is unreal. Nowhere is this more present than in his masterful encapsulation of modern life – above and below: Graduation.

Unforgettable, Vol. 4: Amy Winehouse – Frank

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Pop Culture, Soundtrek, TK:ATL, TrapperKeeper, Vinyl Mind Flow

Amy Winehouse

Amy, Amy, Amy… born to blossom, bloom to perish, sleep to wake again. Drake says you can’t bring the future back, but when Winehouse asks of herself in 2003’s Frank “Where’s my moral parallel?” she defied that theory. Back to Black was the fateful answer –– the artistic masterpiece, and beautiful disaster –– but as it preceded the U.S. release of Winehouse’s true debut, pre-“Rehab Frank became the answer to its own question.

Unforgettable, Vol. 3: Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Pop Culture, Soundtrek, TK:ATL, Vinyl Cut Prose

As the old saying goes, “the sun never sets on England;” so the new saying seems to be, “the talent never fades in Britain,” and in both cases it is in the darkest moments where light burns brightest. Enter Amy Winehouse. Before Hov’s heavily-mediated man-on-a-mission 2009 Auto-Tune massacre, Amy killed it softly; before Roc Nation rocked “all black everything,” Amy Winehouse took it Back to Black. Let’s revisit the death and renaissance of rehab.

Re-Branding America: “It must be the shoes!”

Pop Culture, re:brand

When I grow up I want to be famous, I want to be a star, I want to be in shoe-vies

Nicole knows that just because California is broke, her ankles don’t have to be. Hopefully more stars on and off the court will take heed

Broke ankles are the leading cause of being broke for young stars. Dancers are equally prone to broke ankles as ballers — just ask MC Hammer, who wasn’t aware of the ankle insurance package when he shuffled his parachute pants into bankruptcy. You don’t even have to be “on your feet” to be afflicted though, ask Lindsay Lohan. Her Ferragamos just weren’t enough support on that fateful Summer’s eve of evasive driving; broke ankles, broke people.

Still not convinced? Fair enough. One final note though: broke ankles break people, and they break their dreams — anywhere, any time. Even aimless wanderers are susceptible: en route from one bar to the next pub, or public phone — I don’t judge — and bam! Snap, crackle, pop goes the ankles. What starts as a simple lack of proper shoe support and stability

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becomes

the-wino

was it Fielder-Civil; or was it the shoes?

Broke ankles. Broke people.

But it doesn’t have to end it tragedy, just look at Mr. West. With ankle insurance like his, no wonder they call him Mr. By-his-self-he-so-impressed — him and these fine fellows

And ladies, don’t let dresses get in the way of security. What is the only thing these three had missing when they got out of the car (other than their knickers):

26699820---paris lindsay and britney

ankle insurance. Heels + dress + car insures nothing — except a tabloid scandal. Luckily, dresses are covered in the insurance plan.

Watch this space: From style to safety — whether showstoppin’ or ankle poppin’ — look no further than your feet, because it always comes down to the shoes — literally.