Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Funk

Last Friday was my last karaoke. Last Sunday I had a wedding. I cannot remember the last time that I danced so hard twice in one weekend. Maybe college. It was good times, and I'm glad that dancing is the way I'm exiting Iowa.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gonzo Salutes Yacht Rock + OST!

First, some announcements
1) Sorry for missing Friday Funk this week. I'm in the middle of a hectic chapter on the diss, had a roadtrip this weekend and am also gearing up to move, so things are a bit nutso over here.
2) Speaking of the moving business, I will be losing my Internet access sometime tomorrow for at least a few weeks. Consider this summer vacation!

But before I leave, I have something for you.

About a year ago, I was hipped to an online show known as Yacht Rock. A good friend of mine had raved about it, and I finally gave it a go. I watched all of the episodes in rapid succession, and was an instant fan.

Each episode of Yacht Rock recounts a (fictionalized) story from pop music history, all centering on the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the smooth sounds of artists such as Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates, etc.

It's goddamn hilarious. It's well written, the performance are brilliantly executed, and of course, the music is smoooooooooooth. Here's the first episode:

See the rest at Channel 101.

Ever since watching the series, I've been meaning to construct the Yacht Rock soundtrack. I finally got around to it. This is not every song featured in the series - that wouldn't fit on one disc.
But I tried to keep tracks that were the focus of particular episodes. There were some difficult cuts as always, but c'est la vie. So dear readers, I give you

Yacht Rock: Original Internet Television Show Soundtrack!

Enjoy, and stay smooth.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

we are the media

Two of my favorite things - popular music and media criticism - are artfully married in Nas' new video and single, Sly Fox.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Phunk

Although a latter day De La track, one that I was obsessed with when it came out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Madness: disc 4

I've been slacking a bit, I know. There was a holiday weekend (which included the Iowa City Jazz Festival - more on that later, perhaps), and I've been busy with research and writing. When I'm not working on the diss, I'm running or enjoying the Six Feet Under boxed set my lady got me for my birthday.

Anyhow, first, I give you the tracks on disc 3 from the previous post:

Disc 3
1. Intro
2. Coolio - Fantastic Voyage
3. Earth Wind And Fire - Lets Groove
4. George Clinton - Atomic Dog
5. De La Soul - Me Myself And I
6. Mary Jane Girls - In My House
7. The Time - Jungle Love
8. Rufus Thomas - Funky Chicken
9. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
10. Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright)
11. Brown, James - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1
12. Michael Jackson - Workin' Day And Night
13. Ready For The World - Oh Shelia
14. Jody Watley- Don't You Want Me
15. Madonna - Into The Groove
16. Cameo - Word Up
17. Ludacris - Stand Up
18. Prince And The New Power Generation - Sexy M.F.

And now onto the grand finale. Although I think disc three is (and should be) the high point, disc 4 is a good one, and as I mentioned earlier, much more solid than disc four on the last set. I'd say disc 4 of summer madness is my second favorite, and does a good job of keeping things hot. You'll notice I had some fun with the MJ track. I wanted to make it even more ridiculous (because it seemed a hillarious idea to me), but I held back.

Enjoy disc 4.

Overall I'm very pleased with how this set turned out, particularly in comparison the last set. I loved the last set, but I'm just getting more familiar with editing mixes with Cool Edit Pro, and I think that comes through. Hopefully you feel the same way.

So give it a listen this weekend when you're getting ready to go out, when you have people over for an impromptu dance party, or when you're working out. I've found that the music I like to dance to and the music that I like to run to are often one in the same. Go figure.

It may be a while before the occasion arises to make another epic dance mix, but who knows. I do have some ideas for shorter theme mixes, and I am toying around with the idea of podcasts for this blog, but I'm not 100% on it just yet. Time will tell, friends.

EDIT: tracklist for disc 4 in comments.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Funk - July 4th Edition!!!

Please rise for the national anthem:

Have a great holiday weekend, y'all!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

more on the iPod ban, running + music

Although a novice runner, I've made earlier mention of a current controversy at races/running events - runners' use of music devices.

Last month's issue of Runner's World had a nice little piece (actually a sidebar in a larger feature on music + running, which is a good read) on the matter. The article makes it sound as though there's a chance for a modification if not an outright reversal of the USA Track & Field policy, but that remains to be seen at the end of the year. No official word on what the situation will be in the Baltimore Marathon. The packet they have online for viewing is from last year, which does stipulate a ban on music devices. Chatting with folks who ran it last year though, it sounds like it was pretty much left up to the runners' discretion.

At any rate, here's the piece:
"Facing the Music - Is the Headphone Ban Changing Course?"
by Susan Rinkunas

The right song can fire up any tough run, but as of late, rocking out during certain races could get you and your iPod disqualified and barred from the event forever. This gadget discrimination stems from the inconsistently enforced headphone ban enacted in December 2006 by USA Track & Field, the sport's governing body, which sanctions 4,000 events annually.

The ban made headlines last year as 29 people were DQ'ed at Grandma's Marathon in Minnesota, while the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon blackballed 156 runners caught using MP3 players and cell phones. While these races took a strict approach to enforcing the ban, most others left it up to the runners to police themselves. "Race directors recognize there is a certain segment of people who will absolutely refuse to run without their headphones, and they do risk excluding those people," says USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer. "But we have a duty to ensure the safety of our events." According to Tracy Sundlun, vice president of Elite Racing, the organizers of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, the rule is a mistake and needs to be reworked. He says the races that are enforcing it are wasting time and effort that could be spent improving the quality of the event.

The rule will be reviewed at USATF's annual convention in December. "Is there a middle way between an outright ban and nothing at all?" asks Geer. "There might be, and I think that's what will be explored later this year."

Months ahead of a looming USATF vote, race directors on both sides of the issue are taking action. In March, the directors of Twin Cities and Grandma's marathons sent a letter to USATF in support of the ban. "There are a lot of people--officials, volunteers, emergency vehicles--on a racecourse besides runners," explains Scott Keenan, Grandma's executive director. "Participants need to be able to hear them coming and listen for instructions."

At the other end of the enforcement spectrum is the Portland Marathon in Oregon, where race director Les Smith promotes his event as headphone-friendly. "We have a controlled marathon course," Smith says. "It's not as if you're out there alone on a run."

The ING New York City Marathon--the world's largest 26.2-miler--takes a position between these two extremes. New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg believes headphone-wearing runners actually punish themselves. "We'd rather try to educate runners as to why it's better to run without headphones," says Wittenberg. "You miss out on the thrill of running with millions of spectators cheering you on."

Link to the original article

Check out other interesting & fun features in the Music Is Motivation portion of the Runner's World website.

Sidenote: Santogold's "Unstoppable" has become a summer running mainstay. Great cut from a great record.

I also love that she's wearing a KISS t-shirt.