Friday, January 29, 2010

White Animal Sound Jamaica 2010 mix

I've been down in St. Elizabeth parish Jamaica for the past few weeks thanks to my awesome friends. Here's a mix of some the biggest tunes mashing up Jamaica right now. Everyone who has been down here recently should remember a few of these from the radio and clubs. Thanks to DJ Bag from the Wild Onion and all the Treasure Beach crew, Outlaw sound, Flex FM and Irie FM, "Rasta" in Junction and all the mixtape vendors!
Jamaica 2010 by White Animal
Download a .zip file of the individual tracks here:

Blak Ryno- Bike Back // Go-Go Club Riddim prod. by Russian
Konshens & Dario- Do D Thing
Vybz Kartel- Go-Go Club
Merital- My Money (Ha Ha)
Vybz Kartel- Nah Let Go // England Town Riddim
Vybz Kartel ft. Shebba- Do Me Dat
Busy Signal- Cah Buy Me Out // Feel Free Riddim
Ricky Blaze- I Feel Free
Ding Dong- Holiday
Serani ft. Ding Dong- Skip to my Lou
Mavado- House Cleaning
Mavado- Starlight // Produced by Steven "Di Genius" McGregor
Chino- Pon Your Head
Collie Buddz- Eyez
Busy Signal- One More Night
Busy Signal- Night Shift
Queen Ifrica- Nun Bwoy
Tarrus Riley- Love's Contagious // Coming in from the Cold Riddim
Tarrus Riley- Human Nature (Micheal Jackson)
Elephant Man- Nuh Guh Make It // Sleeping with a Broken Heart Riddim
Wasp ft. Alicia Keys- Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
Wasp- Unfair Officer

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things I <3 about New York

I'm leaving for Jamaica in the morning and I'm not sure if I'll be back to try and live in New York city anytime soon. I've been in NYC for the past few months and I feel like I've spent a distressing amount of that time engaged in the near-insufferable pastime of complaining about the city and what it has been offering me and whinging about things I don't like about it. I apologize to anyone who has had to entertain this nonsense. As a form of penance, here are a few little things that I truly do appreciate about this place, and of course this is just the tip of the iceburg.

Cheap food. This is a no-brainer. There are more under-ten-dollar meal options in New York than you can imagine and virtually every ethnic subgenre is represented. If you've been following this blog even intermittently you've already seen how much I appreciate and take advantage of this.

Talking to convenience store/deli/diner employees and cab drivers late at night. Somewhere in that giddy liminal space of an NYC party night you are bound to encounter a member of the sober, (generally) affable, and accommodating legion of New York's graveyard shift workers. Quite often, these folks are from exotic and far-flung places, and if you show even a rudimentary knowledge of their homeland and it's current events they usually will swell with pride and let you in on their opinions on them. If you read an international news story in the morning, there is a good chance that you could encounter someone from the location of that dateline later that night who can give you their insider's take. The fact that these opinions can often be eccentric, paranoid, racially charged or misinformed is irrelevant.
Talking to someone who is not condescending, belligerent or completely ignorant at that time of night is usually a refreshing change for them and they will express gratitude that you are even interested in their story. One of the best experiences I had in New York was talking to a fair skinned, blue-eyed ethnic Muslim from Azerbaijan who was slinging cheese fries and chili dogs in an all-night kiosk near St. Marks place. When I asked him about his faith his face lit up and he showed me how in between pumping nacho cheese he was reading the complete works of Rumi and the other ecstatic Sufi poets, in Farsi, on a bulky, outdated P.C. under the service window. "I do not drink, no drugs," he told me, "This poems, is my drug."
These type of encounters are readily attainable any night in New York. Just don't expect a discount.

Hot people. Sorry, rest of America, but most of them are here. Although being surrounded by babes all the time can be a curse as well as a blessing, there is no denying that if you spend a few months in New York and then fly into the Midwestern airport of your choosing, you will feel like you've been living in a cartoon and the producers have just suddenly outsourced the character design to some foreign firm with a drastically lower pay scale and quality standards.

Stomping on metal bulkhead covers, especially while walking home late at night. They are springy and make a satisfying booming sound. It's like jumping in puddles without the mess.

Watching people wearing earbuds groove to their music on the train. You can sort of guess what genre they are listening to from the manner in which they lightly tap their feet, silently snap, and rock back forth. There is a limit to my enjoyment of their enjoyment of their music, though: once they start to whistle or sing along it is funny for a like a minute and then just gets annoying.
I also appreciate that most of the Mexicans I have stood near that are wearing earbuds on the train are listening to Cumbia, which I can deduce from the tell-tale "Chi-chichi-Chi-chichi" of the claves in the song that they are listening to at what must be an ear-splitting volume. This makes me offer them an non-verbal, gestural "Que onda, guey?".
Tzochitl Soundsystem VS Toy Selectah – Hay Guey (via audioporncentral)

Seeing the City through the eyes of it's tourists. It's easy to take the place where you are living for granted and get jaded. But, when I see packs of Chilean hipsters or Parisian teenagers wearing brand-new Chuck Taylors, Wayfearers, and some design t-shirt they just bought walking around New York, taking in everything with an awe-struck look that seems to say "We are really here! I is a Ramone now?", you can't help but get a little excitement-by-osmosis.

Dancing to New York hip hop classics with New Yorkers
. As much as I've enjoyed the resurgence of disco, boogie and 80s funk that seems to be going on with the hipster DJ set in New York right now, there's still nothing that beats dancing to that rap shit with people that grew up in New York. It seems like no matter how lilly-white your party is there will always be at least one group of black or Puerto rican girls there looking fly and if you put on something like

they will go off. There is something Pavlovian that happens when real New Yorkers hear the first bars of "Hypnotize"- if they don't start dancing immediately, when Biggie says "Sicker than your average" they are powerless to resist. Follow that up with something like

Then you'll see big smiles all around, no more mean mugging, drinks in the air, mouthing lyrics and licking shots at the DJ. "Where Brooklyn at? Where Brooklyn at?"

One thing I don't like about New York, though is people's tendency to pontificate about it endlessly so I'll stop there. Next up on Animal Blanco: top things I like about sitting on a Caribbean beach eating fresh seafood and drinking an ice cold Red Stripe.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Udachi @ Trouble & Bass

The heavyweight bass champion sound system of NYC, Trouble & Bass, hosted the DJ/Producer Udachi for their holiday gala and we were there to soak up the subwoofery.
That's Udachi in the center along with Drop the Lime, Star Eyes etc. who were trading off with Dubstep, Bassline House, Grime, Bmore and dirty Rave Bangers. We rolled in after 2AM and the place was crawling with sketchball ravers who kept asking us for E and ketamine. At this point the smoking ban was out the window and the air was thick with menthol smoke. It was, as the song seh, "Whaa whaa whaa whaa, whaa whaa whaa whaa, whaa whaa whaa whaa whaa... BONKERS!"

Here's an Udachi mix to give you a taste.
Udachi - mix for under140 by udachi 01 Udachi - JellyRoll
02 SL2 - On a Ragga Tip (Breakdown remix)
03 Rico Tubbs - Work This
04 AC Slater - Grab You
05 Drop the Lime - Good Inside
06 Burial - Archangel - (Boy 8 bit remix)
07 Lo-Fi-Fnk - Change Channel (Jitset remix)
08 Nick Supply - Hizniz (Stupid Fresh remix)
09 Donald Glaude, DJ Dan - Stick 'Em (TJR remix)
10 Herve & Toddla T - How Y'all Like Me Now
11 AC Slater - Jack Got Jacked (Udachi remix)
12 Herve - Cheap Thrills
13 B Rich – Can’t Take What I Got
14 Rico Tubbs - Ghetto Funk Baby
15 Crookers - Sveglia
16 Body Snatchers ft Yolanda - We Here (Big Pimpin')
17 RQM - Miss Pacman (Oliver $ Remix)
18 Chocolate Party - Wickid (Mark Mendez remix)
19 Estaw - Weird All
20 Midfield General - Disco Sirens
21 Boltan - Creepy
22 NAPT - Gotta Have More Cowbell
23 Hot Chip - Ready For the Floor (Soulwax Dub)
24 Fake Blood - Fake Blood Theme
25 M83 - Graveyard Girl (Yuksek remix)

BTW, this Udachi feat. Jubilee song/video is retarded and hilarious.

Another food photo

Yo, what the motherfuck is the point of taking a photo and writing about some busted sushi I had on Graham ave.? What is the lesson to be learned here, don't eat sushi from a place where the whole staff is plainly from Bangladesh? If you don't know that already, you shouldn't be dining out. Go make yourself a sandwich. And pleaase, take a photo of that bitch, post it up, and rate it on a scale of 1 to who-gives-a-shit.
A food blogger? Who wants to be a food blogger in 2010? What am I, an intern for Rachel Ray's twitter feed?
Somebody start comping me some triple-digit meals and we'll talk. A food blogger?
That's about as fresh as wearing knockoff Wayfarers.
...C'mon Son!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Catering Part 3

My third gig catering? Oh, just a little party for someone called Dan Graham, a conceptual artist who, amongst many other things, turned concert footage of Black Flag and Minor Threat into high art. This was at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, Queens. His guests were some some artsy types called Mirror/Dash, AKA Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. All of these folks happened to be at the table I was pouring wine at, so I was at their side all night, fighting the urge to drop my professional decorum and be all "Teenage Riot is the best pop song evarr!"
I did risk my burgeoning catering career by busting out the iphone to take some clandestine snaps, which apparently is strictly forbidden at events like this, but that's not what you see here. I swiped these photos from the official website because they were like mine, but good.
The whole night was surreal. We were serving fondue to bunch of Downtown conceptual art weirdos and their lovely teenage socialite daughters as well as straight-laced SculptureCenter benefactors and older art patrons. Meanwhile they were projecting the aforementioned Black Flag footage as well as other strange rock and roll counter-culture themed videos by Graham overhead. Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon got up and read a weird astrological tribute to Graham with video of Rams behind them.Dan Graham is an adorable little eccentric genius man!
Mirror/Dash played an acoustic but still abrasive and confrontational set which most of the older crowd could barely wince their way through. Kim Gordon kicked over a folding chair to heighten this tension and reassert that she was still punk as fuck!
Later on the band Japanther played out in the freezing-cold open courtyard surrounded by bonfires, with my fellow servers weaving through the crowd distributing hot whiskey and "red-hot" cinnamon bark. Keep in mind I was getting paid good money to work this event. Madness!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Smalltown DJs- Best of 2009 mix

Anyone who was appalled by my last mix selection will be relieved that this week's choice actually involves some "good music" and "songs". There's quite a few of those on this best of 09 mix by Canada's Smalltown DJs, particularly in the second half. There are a few questionable ones as well ("Dominos" by Big Pink is a particularly painful choice), but that has always been Smalltown DJs role- to take you on a journey through white-people music that takes you just to the outskirts of your comfort zone and back again.
SMALLTOWN DJs - BEST 09 by Smalltown DJs
1) While you wait for the Others - Grizzly Bear feat. Michael Macdonald
2) Just ain't Gonna Work Out - Mayer Hawthorne
3) Stillness is the Move - Solange Knowles
4) Dominoes - The Big Pink
5) Nothing to Worry About - Peter, Bjorn & John
6) No You Girls (Grizzl Remix) - Franz Ferdinand
7) So Insane - Discovery
8) The Sticky - Black Moth Super Rainbow
9) Lizstomania (Classixx Remix) - Phoenix
10) Psychic City - Yacht
11) Blood Bank (Skinny Friedman edit) - Bon Iver
12) Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
13) Animal (Mark Ronson Remix) - Miike Snow
14) Shelter (Them Jeans Remix) - The XX
15) Cruel Intentions - Simian Mobile Disco feat. Beth Ditto
16) Walking on the Moon (U-Tern's Kris Menace blend) - The Dream
17) Bulletproof - La Roux
18) One Life Stand - Hot Chip
19) Rain Dance - The Very Best feat. M.I.A.
20) You Got the Love (The XX Remix) - Florence & The Machine
21) Night by Night (Skream Remix) - Chromeo
22) Pursuit of Happiness - Kid Cudi feat Ratatat & MGMT

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holiday Movie Round-Up!

The holiday movie season is behind us, and a historic one it has turned out to be. Attendance records were smashed and box-office grosses surged to new heights, all without a Martin Lawrence vehicle in theaters! Now that the haze of 3-D graphics and the greasy sheen of incredibly expensive partially-hydrogenated butter-flavor popcorn topping has receded, we are afforded a blessed moment of solace to reflect on the kaleidoscopic maelstrom of images that have been beamed relentlessly into our retinas and inner minds over the past weeks.

This week saw millions of Americans flocking to theaters to take part in a singular communal event: witnessing an earth shattering visual spectacle that would revolutionize how we watch movies. Of course, you already know what I'm talking about. Unless you've been living under a rock you've already sat, wide-eyed and jaw agape and let the transformative power of Alvin and the Chimpmunks: The Squeaquel wash over you. I'll get to my official review in just a moment, but first up, an scrappy indie pic that it is limited release now: The Avatar.
The Avatar is a new film from the visionary director Kirk Cameron, the genius behind The Titantic, several episodes of Growing Pains, and the uber-hot Left Behind film series, which were screen adaptations of the Fundamentalist Christian pamphlets about the Rapture and the impossibility of Dinosaurs that you can find in most Greyhound stations.

His new blockbuster was made using a host of new movie-magic technologies, including "The C.G.I." which is a process in which a movie is put into a computer, which can have amazing results, including turning many of the characters blue.

The special effects wizards also developed something called "Motion Capture" where real people are filmed and then digitized. And here's an Animal Blanco exclusive: raw footage from the set of The Avatar. Here are the human actors portraying the Na'vi people before their "motion" was "captured". This scene is one of their tribal ceremonies.

This powerful technology was heightened by the work of art director Lisa Frank, who brought the same whimsy and rainbow color palate to the film's creatures and environments that have made her Unicorn pencil cases so legendary.
But it's not all flying dragons and hot, hot blue alien sex. There is an amazing message here about imperialism, ancient wisdom, and the need all primitive tribal people have for a civilized white man to come sleep with their women and save them by teaching them how to use guns. This is a message every child deserves to hear.

And speaking of children, they are going to LOVE the Squeakquel! This movie has everything- crudely blended animation and live-action, awkward attempts at "urban" humor (i.e. watered down black culture being parroted by an animated, ostensibly white anthropomorphic chipmunk), respected comedians like David Cross and Amy Poehler gingerly dipping their toes into the fetid open latrine of career-killing family film roles, an awesome tagline ("Get Munk'd"), and best of all, the greatest actor of our time, Sir Jason Lee. Honestly, looking at this man's film role choices is like getting a preview of the Critereon collection of tomorrow. Maybe Lee's drive for greatness can be attributed to the fact that he is a Scientologist, as they are always admonishing their converts to strive for personal glory and self-realization. He certainly has done that by scoring a role in this, the mother of all event movies.

And speaking of mothers, yours is squarely in the demographic of It's Complicated.

I don't know about you but I am scandalized and offended by this poster and by this film's whole concept. The picture up there is bad enough: Alec Baldwin's smug, post-coital reverie and Meryl Streep's embarrassed dishevelment just forces you to wonder want kind of messy aftermath lies beneath that typeface-covered duvet.
But, as it turns out, that is what the film is all about: hardcore gratuitous middle-aged sex.
I mean, I enjoy pornography as much as anyone, but mature porn (or granny porn) is just not a subgenre that I think should be seeing the light of day in such a mainstream forum. Couldn't they just find some preternaturally sexual teenagers looking to make a buck like other pornographers?
No. Instead we have to sit through Baldwin banging Streep for 90 minutes. Doggystyle in the dining room. Streep riding Baldwin in the pantry. Then, back to the bedroom-- uh oh, who's that peeking in the window? Steve Martin, that's who, and he brought K-Y. Now what you've got on your hands is hot-pressed Streep panini. Is this really what people want to see when they go out for a nice night at the Multiplex? That famously prolific Baldwin spunk flying all over the screen? Meryl Streep, an Oscar winner, a goddamn national treasure, being vigorously sodomized by a man who's next film is Cheaper by the Dozen 3?

I think it's an outrage, and I'm boycotting it, along with every other movie in wide release this holiday season, including The Sherlock Homes, so that I can wrap up this round-up and rest up.. for next year! See you at the movies theater!