Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Philosopher Kings

Some photographer (Steve Pyke, if you must know) has taken a series of photos of the most renowned philosophers he could find. And when I say, 'the most renowned philosophers he can find,' obviously I mean pretty much any old philosopher who hasn't died yet.

The blurbs under the photos are cool, just little snap shot descriptions of each persons take on, you know, philosophical $hit.

Rakim Hearts Jadakiss and Loso

I've always rated 'Kiss as one of the best flows going around, nothing too shabby about his lyrics either (it's just that he's a member of the O.C./Ras Kass Gild of sick rappers who will never get the shine to match their ability), but I didn't think the G.O.A.T. would co-sign some of these other cats.

"Jada, he's the definition of the streets," the legendary MC said. "Jada, Styles P, the LOX, period. You throw on one of their joints ... I'm in the whip, I try to keep my cool in the whip. I don't like bouncing around, getting my crazy on, but it's certain joints you gotta wild out. Roll the window down, blast the joints, let it be heard. That's one of them groups that bang it out."

It's weird to imagine Ra' listening to the veritable legion of rappers that his style has spawned, but then again what would you expect - once someone attains 'legend' status they just sit in a calm sunlit room, all dressed in white, meditating and producing pure gold stools?

Where's Your Head At?

One of the best things about this clip is that one of the main dudes looks kinda like Roger Federer. And Roger Federer looks like the kind of 'pleasant on the surface, but maniacal on the inside' guy who would collect severed heads.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Dead Kennedys

So Kennedy dynasty patriarch Ted Kennedy has finally succumbed to brain cancer, aged 77. Although it's tempting to write his political career off as an underdeveloped conjoined growth on the back of brothers Jack and Bobby's monstrous and absorbing turns in the spotlight, that's probably a tad unfair.

In recent years he has fought admirably for health care reform:

At the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, the Massachusetts Democrat promised, "I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test."

Sen. Kennedy made good on that pledge, but ultimately lost his battle with cancer.

He had a questionable private past, but who the hell doesn't? A little womanizing, the odd hit'n'run - pretty standard stuff for the youngest son of a filthy rich bootleg baron-turned-respectable-businessman.

Oh, and if you think it's the end of the line for The Kennedy dynasty, think again.

The Kennedy family tree is monstrous.

F*&kin' Irish Catholics.

The Philosoraptor

Another shameless jack from someone else (thanks Tetterz).

Beeeeaaaaaaaat Booooooooooxxxxxx

Another nod to Miss Raena for the hook up.

Reason #3 Why The World Needs Argentinian Footballers

So obviously Diego Maradona is #1, and current Barcelona FC star Lionel Messi is #2 - but this little fleet of foot chap is definitely #3.

Sergio Kun Aguero. He's only 20. And he's soon to be Maradona's son-in-law. That's what you call 'well-connected' in Argentina.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Is A Picture Of Shaq With a Panda

Told ya.

Shout out to Raena for putting me up on this today.

Download 'Anything For You' J Wess Feat. Digga & Jerson Trinidad

It's out now on iTunes, or alternatively I'm sure you can track it down for free somewhere.

But, you know............. don't do that.

J's been criss-crossing the country doing some promo spots at clubs for launch nights. I guess we probably won't jump straight into full scale touring after the Flo Rida tour, it'll take a little while to build things up again and we might wait until we get another record out before we start living out of the suitcase.

Which is cool, it gives me time to lay down a bunch more tracks for my album.

Which, if I haven't mentioned before, I'm looking forward to releasing, just a little bit. Finally.

You Wouldn't Understand

I'm pretty sure I've posted about these guys before. They're without a doubt one of the top 100 reasons why TWNR, and they were tinkering with alternative dancey types of music well before it became popular to do so in "urban" circles.

This song was one of their last hurrahs as a notable Hip Hop group.

jungle brothers - brain
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pacino Set To Play 'Dr. Death' In New Movie

That's right. Michael Corleone is gonna play Dr. Jack Kevorkian in a new Barry Levinson project.

He's relinquished his usual pepper-and-salt locks for the role and stars alongside Susan Sarandon and John Goodman in the Barry Levinson-directed flick, due out next year. It's a none-to-cheery story about the US assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

It's sad to say, but at 69 years old we're not gonna have Al P around much longer for those iconic roles we all quote on the daily. This looks like it could be a great opportunity for him to add to his legend, one more time.

Vinnie Jones Attack Cardio

"Nothing burns calories like fear. The fact that I will be chasing you down like a fat tub of lard, will burn fat guaranteed!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ol' Mob Eyes

If you heard that Martin Scorsese was gonna do a movie about Frank Sinatra and his seedy mafia ties, you'd think, "That sounds pretty f*&kin' great," right?

Well, apparently The Chairman of The Board's (no Kiddie, I'm not talkin about The Biz) daughter disagrees.

As part of the two-year negotiations to secure the rights to Sinatra's life story and music, his daughter was appointed executive producer of the film, which is due for release in 2011.

''Marty wants it to be hard-hitting and showcase the violent, sexually charged, hard-drinking Frank, but Tina wants to show the softer side of her dad and let the focus be on the music,'' the New York Post quoted a source as saying.

Umm, yeah......... this movie is not gonna get made. Can you imagine Scorsese being open to suggestions? The guy made Mean Streets for f*&k's sake. Either go his way or don't go at all.

'Anything For You' J Wess Feat. Digga & Jerson - Out Friday!

That's right folks, you can grab the new J Wess track from iTunes from this Friday August 21.

Actually, you can buy 12 copies. And 47 CD singles. Each.

That should balance out any illegal filesharing.

Seriously though. Y'know.... DOWNLOAD IT. Then, one day soon, it'll be one of my songs you're downloading.

And then that'll be great for all of us and we'll have a big party.


I guess there's 2 ways of looking at today's Celtic 0-2 Arsenal result.

On the one hand, Celtic fought stoutly and tried to play football (rather than parking their whole team behind the ball), and can feel a little hard done by due to the nature of the 2 goals.

On the other hand, Arsenal were able to comfortably beat a team without having to click out of 'efficiency power save' mode.


Was a strange but enjoyable experience watching the game, I genuinely didn't mind who won.

Would be nice to see Scotty Mac score a goal in the return leg, though.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introducing.... Jon Cassettevetes

This is a stupid post.

It's simply to announce that, should all the current projects/albums I'm working on go to $hit, I will be reinventing myself and my new performing name will be Jon Cassettevetes.

So here's a story about director Jon Cassavetes and one of his hallmark polemic works.

Following three suburban family men into the maw of a midlife crisis brought on by a mutual friend's untimely death, the movie is set at a fever pitch that at times approaches outright hysteria. Rarely has depression been so manic.

And yes, I'll be looking to replicate that in the subsequent music I will make.

Coke Rules Everything Around Me

I'm sure most of you have already heard about this, but apparently most US bank notes contain traces of cocaine.

The drug gets on paper money during drug transactions and when people roll bills to snort cocaine powder, Zuo said.

Stress spurred by the worldwide financial crisis may be driving people to abuse cocaine, one of the most common illegal drugs in the world, Zuo said in a phone interview.

Ha, yup, that'd be it. Stress. On a serious note, I have to question these findings, as the research doesn't seem to have been exhaustive:

Asian drug-taking practices could conceivably be partly responsible for the lower percentages of cocaine-tainted bills. Zuo doesn't know, for example, whether Asian cocaine users inhale through rolled bills as many Western users do.


MJ's Still Got It

Yup, that's right. At 46 years of age, the G.O.A.T. can still smoke some fit, young Slamball goon.

That fadeaway jump shot is still perfection.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Status Update

We're pretty damn close to the release date for the new J Wess single Anything For You Feat. Me and Jerson Trinidad (August 21 is the jump off), and the Flo Rida tour is just around the corner too. So I've been getting the old tunes back into my memory bank for our shows.

It's such a weird experience pulling the songs you've performed a million times (but not for quite some time) back to the front of your brain. And it's a love/hate thing. As an artist, you want to be doing new stuff all the time. I think the creative process involves 'letting go' of previous creative endeavours so that you can feel like you're moving forward. Of course, this is at odds with the needs and requirements of a professional career in music - if you're lucky enough to have had hits in the past, you need to be grateful for that and suck it up when you're about to hit the stage and you really don't feel like performing that track you wrote 8 years ago and recorded 6 years ago.

That's the business.

Luckily, the J Wess stage show that we're putting together for this tour is a nice balance of past hits and new material off The Director's Cut (J's forthcoming second album).

Regicide, Another Reason Why TWNR

We all love Prince Harry, he's the crazy ginger kid party boy who calls his subcontinental mates "Pakies" and generally does dumb, entertaining stuff. But it's still important for rappers to let him know what time it is.

Dizzee Rascal told the Telegraph that a London gig promoter who was overseeing the prince's day out at the festival was to thank for the meeting. He added that he had joked to the prince that he would punch him "in the face" during the private meeting.

Some people say he's bonkers, but I just say he's well 'ard.

Union Dudes Are Still As Tough As Ever

I thought I'd post this excellent scene from G.O.A.T. flick 'On The Waterfront' as it ties in nicely with an article I was reading about labour unions perpetuating the tough guy stereotype here in Melbourne.

Among the exchanges recorded in the Australian Building and Construction Commission's statement of claim were mobile phone calls to a ''scab'' labour hire worker on the project during an April 1 car chase.

The calls, it is alleged, were from the phones of workers who had been earlier fired from another labour hire firm used on the project, Civil Pacific.

''You're f---ed. We know where you live. We are going to kill you and your family,'' said one caller during the chase.

''Don't you go on to the bridge again or you and your family are f---ed,'' another caller said.

It's tempting to assume that repeated attempts to emasculate the unions in recent years may have 'softened' them up. But that would be one big wrong a$$ assumption.

Also, I like the Arabic subtitles on the clip.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DRM Wants To Make $exy Time With You

Mr. Magain put me onto this.

It's wrong, but oh so right.

The Mighty Micks

I have two problems with this list of 100 Irish-Australian Big Shots.

The first is that I'm not on it, and the second is that Milo Kerrigan here isn't on it either.

And yes, I have posted a Milo Kerrigan clip before (thanks Che).

Monday, August 10, 2009

No Toast Until You've Had Your Twitter

I definitely don't consider myself a Luddite (I've got a blog, don't I?), but I'd say I have a healthy suspicion of the unquestioning, total and complete embrace of new technology. I don't, for example, automatically accept that any new innovation is going to make my life better.

So this article from the New York Times plays to my fears nicely.

“Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house,” she said, “like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four separate rooms.”

Technology has shaken up plenty of life’s routines, but for many people it has completely altered the once predictable rituals at the start of the day.

This is morning in America in the Internet age. After six to eight hours of network deprivation — also known as sleep — people are increasingly waking up and lunging for cellphones and laptops, sometimes even before swinging their legs to the floor and tending to more biologically urgent activities.

I guess I'd be cooler with this sort of stuff if most of the world wasn't living in fear of persecution or danger of starving.

"Network deprivation?"

F*&k off.

The Dodgy Brothers

Nothing to add. Just, great.

Porn For Hipsters

My girl Jen put me up on this ode to tight pants.

Entertaining, yet disturbing.

A Rat Among Rats

If you're not familiar with the stranger-than-fiction true story of South Boston Irish American Mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger, then the name Kevin Weeks will mean nothing to you.

Weeks was Bulger's muscle, and one of the last dudes to stand by his side after it became clear that he was co-operating with the FBI. Eventually, Weeks turned rat too.

Well, now he's out after serving just 72 months.

Not bad for admitting to murder.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Ah Jesus, I'm F*&$in' Dreamin' Here"

That's what Paulie Walnuts says to Tony Soprano when he is informed that their lifetime mafioso pal Pussy Bonpansiero is working for The Feds.

And it's exactly how I feel after having my worst Champions League qualifier fears realised.

Tony Mowbray's men will host the Gunners first in a tie sure to be labelled a Battle of Britain. The Bhoys qualified for the tough tie via a historic away victory at Dinamo Moscow.

It's true my friends, God really does hate us all. Well, me at least. For now.

Do I go with my blood, my tradition, upholding my Grandpa's proud Irish love of Glasgow Celtic FC?

Or do I choose my own affinity for, and organic attachment to, the stylish Frenchie-influenced fluidity of Arsenal?

No one knows, my friends. But I urge you to indulge in a chuckle at my misfortune.

Oh, and by the way, Tony's response to Paulie's lament (the title of this blog post) was, "Tell me about it. I been walkin' into walls all week."

Music Vs. Rap

As a nice counter point to my previous post about Rap (is it music?), I present to you Bibio.

My man Fabulous put me onto Bibio (and I still need to return the CD, which I will do very very soon, Fab). This guy makes beautiful music, and there's no arguing about it.

I don't see any incongruity between me loving to bang some Slaughterhouse when I'm going for a run, and soaking up some of Bibio's excellent Ambivalence Avenue LP on a sunny Sunday afternoon drive.

No one ever said evolution involved discarding things from the past as new things of similar inspiration start to take root.

You can keep loving it all. At least, I can. I can't speak for you........... weirdo.

Rap vs. Music

Shout to Che for sending me this yesterday, it seems a propos given the imminent release of the self-titled album from 4 man powerhouse crew Slaughterhouse (I'm sure at least a couple of them will become reasons why TWNR at some stage).

It also got me thinking about the nature of rap (at least, the kind of rap that these guys do) within the wider context of music in general.

When these guys get to flowing, watch out. They're all incredible, and it's truly impressive. But, as I was saying to Che, it feels more like watching 4 athletes running the 4 x 100M sprint than it feels like having the 'musical' experience.

That may be the reason I originally fell in love with this rap $hit - because we were saying F*&k The Police and barking rough raps over beats that took 'music' and sampled/mashed it up into this crazy, angry, bombastic, distorted, beautifully raw thing. Was it even music? Is it now?

I surely don't know. But I still love that crazy, beautiful, raw thing that first hooked me in, and these cats deliver it in spades.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hangtime And The Hoops

Just one quick post tonight, coz I'm off to Ding Dong Lounge for my man Weez's new night Hangtime (and if I don't see you there, then I hate you) - but it's an important one.

Tubby little Aussie legend Scott McDonald banged in a goal off his noggin to help nudge Celtic FC one step closer to Champs League football this season.

Now they go into the pot against the likes of Fiorentina, Lyon, and (gulp) Arsenal.

What will happen if they draw my beloved Gunners?

Will I be happy no matter who wins?

Will I even be able to watch it?

Will my brain explode?

Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Muhammad Ali Is Irish?

This post was supposed to be about this photo exhibition that celebrates the 125th anniversary of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), but then I noticed that there was an inexplicable pic of Ali in the midst of all the nostalgic black and white images of proud Irishmen excelling at their native sports.

Pretty Irish, eh?

Anyway, he is the greatest.

Cautionary Tale: What You Want Won't Make You Happy

Over coffee at Birdman Eating (probably the best cafe-style eatery in Melbourne) with some friends today, I discussed the common misconception that exceptionally attractive/successful/rich folks have perfect lives. I think we're all prone to self-pity at one time or another in our lives, and that's when we catch a glimpse of the magazine cover with Jude Law on the front and snort indignantly at the idea of him ever feeling the same way.

But of course, he (or whoever else) probably does. This is an interesting story about a rich, young, handsome, German footballer who just couldn't cope.

...most of the international football community has since Deisler's retirement struggled to come to terms with the background for Basti Fantasti's decision but this will presumably be revealed when Deisler's book ("Zurück ins Leben. Die Geschichte eines Fußballspielers." - "Back to Life - The story of a Footballer") co-written by Michael Rosentritt is published on September 29. According to the publisher, the book will uncover Deisler's passion and love of the game as well as his paranoia and depression. But the book will undoubtedly provide new ground for criticising the social trauma inflicted on young footballers and the unbearable pressure put on their fragile shoulders.

Particularly poignant is his realisation that, sitting in his mansion with his Benz in the driveway and more money in the bank than he could get through in a decade, he still felt that 'something was missing.'

I guess if you ain't right, you ain't right. And if you're rich, famous, or generally successful, you're assumed to be beyond it.

Then again, we seem to be pretty crap at understanding why people slip through the gaps no matter what their social standing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Music Is Dead

Well, that's what the 50-something record label executives would tell you. Me, I just say this graph shows what most smart people have been saying for years now: Bye bye physical, hello downloads.

Question is, will illegal filesharing, torrents etc. have a larger negative impact on download sales than bootleg CDs and tapes did on physical copy sales back in the day? I'm guessing yes. And that's gotta mean less overall sales, right?

Luckily, many (most?) artists are used to getting f*&ked by the record labels on sales so much that it was never a primary source of income for them anyway.

Start your own label.

Unleash Your Enthusiasm

This image is particularly relevant, given that I'm almost as devoted to Curb Your Enthusiasm as some hardcore Star Wars fans are to 'The Holy Trilogy.' And it's topical, given the arc of the upcoming 7th series of Curb.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the cast of Seinfeld - Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards - are set to appear in a multi-episode arc on Curb Your Enthusiasm season 7. This means, of course, that the cast of the long-running comedy that went off air 11 years ago will reunite with Curb star and Seinfeld co-creator David.

Pretty good news. Pretty, pretty, pretttttttyyyyyyyy good news.

Disney On Acid

I think it was my pal Raena (who's also been a big help putting together T Shirt designs for me) who put me onto these mesmeric illustrations.

Kinda disturbing, a little nightmarish, but beautiful nonetheless.

Don't Worry, Be Pentatonic

Bobby McFerrin, being the legend that he is.

Ga' Head, keep thinking he's all about this.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rule #1: Get Over Yourself (Or, 'You're Just Not That Into You')

I had an excellent 'Master of The Bleedin' Obvious' moment this evening.

Spent most of the afternoon in the studio. When I wasn't laying down some weird new joints for my record (one assumes the perspective of a nightclub toilet, another is an ode to Larry Bird), I was discussing various plans for the upcoming Flo Rida tour with J. Putting the show together, stuff like that.

It's amazing how energizing an afternoon like that is. I came home on a high, had something to eat and then went to play ball.

Now, it's just an open-age Hack Ball competition, but it's one of the better ones in our fair city of MEL. We got slammed. I mean, SLAMMED. And I got a corked thigh.

So right now I feel pretty $hitty, which is kinda stupid.

Long story short, this is life (or, as the quasi-political graffiti scrawl I once saw on the wall of an abandoned factory in North Melbourne said, "This Is Freedom, C*%#s"). Everybody always either feels the way I feel right now, or the way I felt after the studio session, or somewhere in between. It's a stupid little life, but it's the only one we get and it can be quite enjoyable.

The end.