Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Good, Bad & Ugly

This was taken on LA's 405 freeway at 6pm. Swear to god it wasn't in some forest. Beautiful, isn't it?

First, The Ugly
It's only Wednesday and already had two 30 second encounters that went a little something like this.

Him: Hey, so, where you from?
Me: Me? I'm from here. In LA. Like mid-city.
Him: Nawww (exasperated sigh) I mean, like, where are your parents from?
Me: Ugh. (walk away)

I'm just wondering when peeps are gonna realize that question is like me asking a complete stranger I just met, "Hey, so, how many inches are you down there?" As in, both question should be filed in the "None of yer damn business" category of common sense. If you think that he was "just trying to be friendly," please re-read the previous sentence. Or proceed if you just don't get it. (And yes, this is just a random unrelated rant. Move along.)

The Bad
Bad cuz I'm jetting off to Minneapolis and NY for the next week, and I'll be missing these upcoming shows in Los Angeles. But it's pure goodness for you though - you lucky party people you. If anyone knows of dope events or spots in either of these cities where I'll be lurking around, please holla!

July 26 Thursday :: Stevie Wonder & Macy Gray at BB King's in Universal Citywalk
July 29 Sunday :: Guru's Jazzmatazz at El Rey
July 29 Sunday :: Project Blowed's (Sis)tem Mixtape Release Party at Copacabana

AND (are you paying attention?!?) a free in-store at my favorite place to get dusty - 33 Third - featuring a certain hip hop artist whose name rhymes with "ramen." More info here . Believe it.

The Good
Does it get any better than Brasilintime? I'm not sure. If you haven't heard by now, Brasilintime is what happens you throw our best turntablists together with world-class American and Brazilian drummers. Yeah, it's pure chaos. But samba style - the kind of frenetic energy that leaves you feeling all spiritual. I almost packed my shit and moved to Brazil after watching that last 30 minute sequence. It was a sensory overload. But I just came home and downloaded these joints that were featured in the film instead. It'll have to do until I get to go dig in Brazil one of these days.

[MP3] Black-Eyed Peas :: Fallin Up
will.i.am sampled Jorge Ben's Comanche for this track.
[MP3] Jorge Ben :: Capoeira
[MP3] Stan Getz + Astrud Gilberto :: Girl From Ipanema

And finally, peep this amazing Dilla tribute also from Mochilla Films. It features Pharcyde's
Runnin where Dilla sampled Stan Getz's Suadade Vem Correndo.

It really is bigger than hip hop...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Get Downnn Summer Cookout

It’s officially mid-summer now. And if you haven’t been to at least one bbq and one bonfire at Dockweiler Beach, now is the time to rally the homies. We here at Get Downnn would love to host a summertime bash for all 9 of our loyal readers, but unfortunately, we neither have the willpower to organize such a thing nor have the money to pay for ringers to attend such an event. So please accept in its place - an e-summertime musical cookout of sorts. Kick up your feet and enjoy a nice cold brew of whatever you got in your fridge, cuz here we go…

Summertime jams are lifesavers for those of us who are not fortunate enough to be scampering around the globe every goddamn weekend (Refer to Hippo’s post below and proceed to glare at him). Hell, the most traveling I do is down the 405 freeway everyday, and where would I be without music in my sorry-ass-excuse-of-a-vehicle to drown out the bitter thoughts in my head? Oh, that’s right – I’d be called Bruce Banner.

My three picks for cruising down Pico, windows rolled down, the hot Santa Ana wind blowing in your face, eyeing the Oki Dog stand and wondering whether you should pull over:

[MP3] William DeVaughn :: Be Thankful for What You Got
[MP3] Floetry :: Floetic
[MP3] Tribe Called Quest :: Bonita Applebum (Hootie Remix )



My question is, who rolls down Pico WITHOUT stopping by Oki Dog ?!?! I mean, a chili burger, big bag of fries, and horchata for $4.75!? All made to order by two Japanese homies and that spazzy Peruvian girl Sandy. Hippo may have nearly died after finishing an entire Oki Dog, but it's still the tastiest heart attack wrapped in a tortilla you'll find anywhere...good times. The best thing is, after you're done gorging yourself, you can jaywalk across the street and hit up 33 1/3 and dig up gems like a slightly worn 89 cent Nina Simone Live album or $1.99 Jodeci , or better yet, be like debstar and flirt your way to $15 off your purchase.

[MP3] Black Milk :: Sound the Alarm
This is one joint you have to straight bump. No listening to this without your speakers on blast and that subwoofer kicking. "Sound the Alarm" is the banger that will set the party off with a chunky, grizzly beat and head noddin' flows.
[MP3] Fat Joe :: The Shit is Real (DJ Premier Remix)
This one is far from new, but if Premier isn't the truth, I don't know who is. Forget about what Common said about finding the new Primo in Kanye, his sound is straight untouchable (check out Common's "The People" if you're confused about what I'm talking about).
[MP3] Q-Tip :: Say Something For Me.
THE panty-dropping hip hop joint of the summer.
[MP3] Hieroglyphics :: Make Your Move (feat. Goapele)
Ok, I know this one is 4 years
old, but I just discovered it (on a homie's MySpace page, thanks, SON!!!). I don't know how I slept on it, but with an easy beat and with Goapele on the hook, this one is perfect for nite time cruising.

|bruce banner|


So I get the call from banner saying I need to put some songs up before I leave, so I'm literally doing this post on my Iphone (good thing I don't have to make a call on this thing) as I get ready to board a plane...so it's short and sweet. For some reason, I always equate summer jams with ol' skool. Without further ado, here are my summer jams (limited to an 8GB library) :

[MP3] Def Tech :: High On Life
For all the Japanese beach BBQs I'm about to have! KANPAI!
[MP3] Bobby Caldwell :: Kalimba Song/My Flame
To cool off to.
[MP3] Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm :: Getting Nasty
Did I mention BBQs?
[MP3] Zapp :: Be Alright
For cruisin' down any blvd. with the top up, windows down and AC on full.
[MP3] War :: Summer
Is it even possible to have a post on summer songs, without this? I don't think so. Best ol' skool summer jam ever.

Favorite summer movie? Without a doubt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Travellin' Man

Like ‘Pac used to say, “What do you mean you don’t know…I get around”, I’m on the road again…this time across the Pacific to Japan. I CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THOSE RECORD STORES UP IN SHIBUYA!!! Y’all better GET OUT DA WAY, GET OUT DA WAY!!! Anyways, here are some of my favorite songs to bump to when strollin’ through the streets of Tokyo.

[MP3] Lunch Time Speax :: Man Track
[MP3] Schadaraparr :: DubiDu What?

{The Beastie Boys of Japan. Truly one of the first groups to do hip-hop in Japan. They should really have their own post…in time. Here's a favorite video as well.}
[MP3] Mos Def :: Shinjiro
{I thought if I put up either “Travellin’ Man” versions, it’d be too obvious. Besides I was more in a DJ Krush kind of mood.}
[MP3] Dev Large :: Fantasia (Dirty Raw Bobo James Remix)
{This is the type of illness that you can only find in Japon.}
[MP3] Supercar :: A.O.S.A.
{The Japanese Radiohead. They should also have their own post…sorry banner, I mean they should have another post.}
[MP3] M-flo feat. Namie Amuro :: Luvotomy
{The best of both worlds. Amuro’s Sweet 16 Blues cover was the equivalent to Janet Jackson’s janet for teenage boys everywhere. Anyways, I can’t wait to see M-flo in concert in Yokohama!!! Another group that deserves their own post. Here’s a couple of my favorite videos too.}

Asian Kung Fu Generation gets some love here too. Even though their music doesn't really do it for me, I love this video...totally feels like something Michel Gondry or Spike Jonze could have done.

Also, welcome aboard Debstar, it’s always nice to have someone else point out banner’s flaws.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's A Celebration

Someone (thanks for the love DJ El) just emailed me and said that they've been following the blog for almost a year now (damn, this blog has been around for more than a minute now...and we didn't even give it it's proper due). So this being long overdue and since I've recently put down the drum sticks to take up the theremin (an instrument where you play the 'air', used in a lot of old 1940's Sci-fi movies)...and let's not forget what started this whole thing off (1st post), I thought this was appropriate.

Long overdue, thanks to all of those for the continued support.


Friday, July 06, 2007

My Block

After reading debstar's last blog on bay area music, I was reminded of the connection between music and place and all the anthems artists put out to the cities where they came up. Sometimes I wish I could have grown up in a place like LA, Brooklyn, Chicago, or any of
the many cities that have songs dedicated to them. Unfortunately, growing up in somewhat obscure places like Steveston, British Columbia and Sacramento, I never got a chance to bump a tribute to my city (but I do remember in high school we all went batshit when Pac hollered "Sacramento where you at!?!" in "California Love").

Even though Steveston's biggest claim to fame was as a historic fishing town and the salmon capital of the world, it was still, in my mind, THE place to be. Nothing could beat riding on my bmx with my best friend Kevin to the dirt jumps at Steveston Park, getting so caught up in ping pong we forgot about Japanese class, or scrounging for cans to recycle so we could blow the refund on chips, a coke slurpee, and a day at the arcade. To this day I still remember --and sometimes long for-- that feeling of complete and utter freedom we had those endless summers where we would do everything but nothing.

No matter where you're from, most people have a deep attachment to the place where they grew up. From memories of the corners where they would spend their summers, to the 7-11s where they would endlessly loiter, and the distinct smells, sounds, and sights that defined their block, where we came up is a source of pride no matter where it is. Maybe more so than any other genre, hip hop is rooted in a sense of place, and just about every MC has a few verses, if not entire songs, dedicated to their corner. So until the Steveston or Sacramento hip hop scenes blow up, here are some of myfavorite tributes to everyone else's hoods.

[MP3] Murs :: LA
No doubt Tupac's "To Live and Die in LA" is the song of choice for most Angelenos, but I love how Murs’ tribute acknowledges LA in all it’s beautifully messed up glory. Plus, between Murs and Tupac, who’s REALLY from LA?

[MP3] Blue Scholars :: Inkwell (Remix)
If anyone’s going to put Seattle hip hop on the map, Blue Scholars will. What else can I say, this remix is straight bangin' and quite appropriately samples from fellow Seattleite Modest Mouse's "Float On".

[MP3] J-Live :: Travels
Ok, this one is more autobiographical than a tribute to his hometown of Brooklyn, but with that infectious bassline and easy flow, I just had to throw this one in.

|bruce banner|
damn my blogs are getting wordy.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Must Be the Water

There's a soul food joint in San Francisco near Giants stadium that's owned by a Vietnamese American guy who's originally from Louisiana but then moved to the Bay and finally came through with his dream of opening up a down home soul food restaurant. $9 for a plate of fried chicken and 2 sides, and there's also catfish, cornbread muffins, po' boys, lemonade served in a Mason jar, and all the good stuff in between. Oh, and he rides a very pimped out Harley. Talk about collision of cultures. Random, I know. But that's what's so great about the Bay Area. Things just sort of collide. And when I'm away from the Bay, I long to be grubbin at the cozy little conundrum known as Hard Knox Cafe.

Bay Area music seems to settle comfortably into the eclectic mess that is the Bay Area. While the dot com industry bust might've disturbed this dynamic in many ways, there's still a lot of beauty to be found in the culture that's kept under wraps. What I love about these artists is that they are Bay Area local favorites who have somehow managed to keep their own flavor without blowing up.

[MP3] Sugar Pie Desanto + Etta James :: In the Basement
Sugar Pie Desanto is a tiny lady with some gritty vocals. Grew up in the Bay Area and now lives in Oakland. I hear her live performances are amazing.

[MP3] Goapele ft. Zion I + Casual :: The Daze
[MP3] Goapele :: Closer
Love this girl. She's probably the only person who can rock a tie-dyed shirt and make it look hawt! I hope everyone has Closer, but I'm posting it just in case you've slept on it.

[MP3] Keyshia Cole ft. Lil Kim + Missy Elliot :: Let It Go
New joint by Keyshia. No more singing hooks for P. Diddly. No sir.