I must begin with a heartfelt thank-you to Kevin for sharing this with me. Thanks, Kevin!
Shabazz Palaces crafted possibly the best hiphop album of the new millennium with Black Up, something I’ve documented here and here. Aside its status as a masterpiece of songwriting and innovative production, engaging places of the heart and mind which hiphop rarely acknowledges, the album serves as the blueprint for increasingly thoughtful and fun live appearances. This particular video is the most professional and high fidelity recording I’ve seen, so despite its brevity there’s no better place to start expanding your view of the group. Familiarity with the songs is not required for enjoyment – they’re evocative, head-nodding creations in any format – yet the pleasures multiply when contrasting the live interpretations of such meticulously sculpted album cuts. The hiphop I’ve seen in person tends toward one end or another: preformed backing tracks to emulate the recorded experience, or stripped down live-band approaches. The latter are often more fun yet distance the performers from what we hear at home. Shabazz Palaces seem to cut not a middle ground, but a third path to live nirvana, mixing the laptop histrionics and physical instrumentation with an experimental eye toward carving the feeling into something as disorienting and psychedelic as the album itself.
Since I actually sought this out on tv and stayed up to watch it, AND it turned out to be more than worth the time and effort, sharing seemed to be on order. It’s Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats of OFWGKTA.
So check this out and enjoy it as I have. Several times already. A few highlights: Their insane energy and enthusiasm. Tyler getting away with wearing the upside-down cross ski mask. The song itself, fucking great even when edited. The J-horror girl standing there doing nothing. The gnome. Felicia Day warily shouting “WOLF!” And of course the perma-grin final few seconds in which Jimmy Fallon carries Tyler piggyback, and a (possibly inebriated?) Mos Def shouts “SWAG, SWAG, SWAG!”
In my prior post sharing about Flying Lotus‘ recent appearance in Ann Arbor I mentioned the film Heaven and Earth Magic and shared a single image. Now I’ve come to find, there are not only two video segments from the event shared online, but a good portion of the insightful and honestly funny interview with the guys afterward. Basically the film is impossible to fully describe to the uninitiated. So just catch a bit yourself. This doesn’t convey the complete impact of the hourlong film and black-hole score in a dark theater, but it at least gives a glimpse to those who couldn’t make the show. Here’s hoping, as Flylo himself hinted at, they release this piece in some form, so everyone can share in the magic.
Watching this now, I’m brought instantly back to the warm realization that Mr. Ellison is as personable, endearing and humble as imaginable in person. That he has not only the chops but the charisma to be a star. It’s exciting to witness this artist’s skyward trajectory.
Not only that, but Dr. Strangeloop proved a worthy foil and equally appealing force. The man is quickly scaling my to-watch-for list. The best part is that the show aftwards blew everything about this event to dust. At least for a while. It was a unique experience to take in two entirely different sides of an artist in one day.
My mother’s been in the hospital for a few days now. Nothing catastrophic or life-threatening, thankfully; she’s doing relatively well at the moment but has more procedures and tests coming up and has been stuck in a room on the 4th floor for days. So I’ve got a little tribute, her self-proclaimed favorite song ever: The Righteous Brothers‘ eternal You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I don’t know if anyone could enjoy it as much as my mother does, though, but try if you’d like!
I just discovered this. The first track on Flying Lotus‘ breakthrough Reset EP, the video is suitably hypnotic and matches the song’s mood perfectly. So watch it. And listen to more of his brilliant work. I’ll be helping out on that front in an upcoming post…
New Gang Gang Dance material. It’s called Crystals, and it’s mighty promising. This is an epic on the scale of their earlier God’s Money centerpiece, Egowar. Which, as it happens, is my favorite track from these boundary destroying folks.
Yes, finalizing my last post reminded me of one of the best pre-release tracks I’ve heard in a long time. Yes, I’m speaking of their new live favorite. And yes, it’s beyond fucking incredible. Hit play, turn on the “HQ” version if possible (for the sound quality) and leave a comment about what you think. I have faith.