Check the official video for M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes”: 

  

In my humble opinion, thebest single of 2007. I imagine her life is just one big, progressive party. Catch the Beasties’ cameo near the end. 

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Big News Day.

August 15, 2007

I can cling to these tidbits for the rest of the month!

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So 8 Diagrams has been pushed back, AGAIN. The new date is November 13, the third anniversary of ODB’s death. Furthermore, Cuban Linx II is on “freeze” to focus on the 8 Diagrams project. In some ways, its hopeful to see this much stalemating and delaying because its definetly a return to the old Wu tradition of driving fans mad with anticipation. Hopefully they don’t drag it out too long, unfortunately they don’t have the staying power they once had.

Some really exciting news on 8 Diagrams comes in the form of a collaboration with John Frusciante, and Dhani Harrison, the son of the late, great Beatle on a remake of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Apparently Dhani is a huge Wu fan. With solid verses from Meth and Ghost, this is hopeful news about a project that once seemed a half-hearted chance to cash back in on dying fame.

Meanwhile, in robotic French dance world…..

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After dissappearing off the face of the Earth for a while then launching an orgasmic audio and visual attack on worldwide audiences via their ALIVE 2007 tour. They plan on making sure everyone gets a piece. So if you couldn’t grab a ticket or aren’t a fan of sweaty undulating masses, they plan on releasing a live album of their June 14th stop in Paris. The album is poised to include a bonus disc with their encore.

Also, thanks to the New York fans that submitted footage from the August 9th show, an Oliver Gondry directed video for the live single “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” should surface.

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So far no word on when their robot road trip film Electroma will be available to the masses.

Oh, and the first review of Kanye’s Graduation is out, looks good

Been waiting to see him get his since “Rock N’ Roll.” Hype Williams and Skateboard P. Good to have friends in high places.

World Premiere

VA is definetly holding its own. Fam-lay’s DAT MISSILE is coming this fall.

The stages of Lollapalooza returned to Chicago’s Grant park for an all you can eat buffet of musical legends, trendsetters, and newcomers alike.

First off was Ghostland Observatory, completely unknown to me. This Austin, Texas duo consisted of a pigtailed vocalist/guitarist and a dracula-caped synth player. Their music was souful electro-rock or as they describe it, “a robot making love to a tree.

The sun was hot (seems to be the trend of the summer) so we took refuge in the shade to catch the end of Charlie Musselwhite, the talented bluesman. Nice to see an elder statesman of music mixing it up with the young folks, catching his show is a good way to beef up on your music history.

Electric Six rocked hard and hilarious. Dick Valentine strutted the stage, taking time to due situps during guitar solos and “get political,” telling the crowd that all the ladies were to meet him at the Sears tower where the band had built a giant microwave to send them thirty years into the future to impregnate themselves with the dying George W’s last seed. sign me up for that revolution. “Synthesizer” and “Dance Commander” were highlights.

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Drifting to the Bud Light stage, M.I.A was beginning her set. Her chunky beats rocked the throngs as she ran through cuts from Arular as well as new material from the upcoming KALA, including the single “Boyz.”

Perry Farrell was wiry and virile as ever, spewing champage like a fountain and leaping through a rampant set with his new outfit, Satellite Party. The encore of “Jane Says” was a statement to the staying power of the iconic celebration of the alternative musical world.

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As Daft Punk prepared to close out the night, the lights of Chicago provided an astounding backdrop for the duo.

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Two Parisian robots peered out from their pyramid and the crowd erupted with excitement. The lights and music thumped nonstop for the entire set, the stage show took their musical genius to another level, mixing up to three of their tested house classics at one time into a single flowing mix that rocked the crowd into an undulating mass of dance denizens. The encore brought a costume change that had them shrouded in darkness only outlined in vibrant red LED. The stage show was the final encompassing element to the creative genius of the mysterious duo.

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While we’re in the mood: Daft Punk – Human After All (Justice Remix)

Rock The Bells, July 28th

August 10, 2007

Excuse my tardiness, I’m not lazy, I was just letting the sheer majesty of the platform sink in…Right.The voyage began early on Friday morning as my cohort Miles and I, brains reeling with the foreboding thoughts of 13 hours alone with nothing but ourselves in an automotive cage of molded metal and dusty plastic interior, launched into cruise control and headed east.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketNext morning we hopped a train to Lexington and 125th, where crowds of ticketholders mobbing the buses, resisted the transportation attendant’s futile attempts to corral us into a line. We slid on the bus and jetted off to Randall’s Island.By noon, the sun was already hot in the sky. Security moved quickly and we were in the venue, easily two hundred yards of grass with a massive stage at the far end, and the smaller Paid Dues stage lining the fence near the other.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketRahzel and Supernatural were doing their thing, keeping the crowd live as they prepared for the mounting task of standing rigid in the hot New York sun just to catch a glimpse of the epic lineup of legends new & old.Jedi Mind Tricks set a hectic pace with a quick set, Vinnie Paz’s angry delivery and brutal energy failed to captivate most of the crowd as patrons were still filing in. To his credit, he was the first to set off a long line of variations on the proclamation “Fuck Bush!” There is still hope for anger, individuality, and struggle in Hip-Hop.If Jedi Mind Tricks were angry, then Immortal Technique was livid on another level. His chaotic performance dotted with ad-libs and hectic verses from the likes of Pumpkinhead and the “Big, Beligerent Motherfucker” Poison Pen. With his native Harlem on the horizon, Technique was in his element. His set was quick and hurried as the ever-growing crowd was preserving their energy for more prominent acts to come.The intensity of the event exploded out of its binds as Pharaohe Monch, with a surprisingly talented backing band took the stage. Pharaohe, clad in simple khakis and white tank, controlled the show and captivated with the skill of a street preacher. He ran through several songs off his acclaimed new album Desire as hands began to raise and move with the beat. To close, his DJ hit us with the infamous Godzilla sample, and it hit hard. “GET THE FUCK UP.” Simon Says takes the title for the first crowd shaker of the event. EPMD’s legendary status may have been largely lost on the predominately frat-boy-with-cargo-shorts mass, but they were an epitomic testament to the true power of this growing “world-class hip-hop platform.” Erik and Parrish were alive and well and they played the crowd like it was business as usual. The show hit hard, and it was apparent that EPMD was still in business and well deserving of the praise they received for laying much of the groundwork for all the acts gracing the stage that day.The relentless sunshine proved challenging for Rahzel and Supernatural as they fought the to maintain the dehydrated, sun-soaked crowd. Nat prevailed with the “three MCs” laying down near-perfect impersonation freestyles of Slick Rick, Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes over Rahzel’s vocal percussions.The afternoon brought an escalating curve of performances, each building in length and hip-hop grandeur.Talib Kweli rushed out with “I Try.” The crowd was live as his bohemian compatriot, Mos Def joined him to run through the duos Blackstar hits “Definition” as well as “Respiration.” Mos Def traveled the stage, letting his soul shine with a scattered catalog, notably letting his inner Black Jack Johnson shine on “Ghetto Rock”Keeping in tune with the backing band performance, Public Enemy brought it LIVE. Chuck D ran the stage like a field, launching his microphone from one end and meeting across the stage to catch it. Flavor Flav was raw in all his glory, stopping the show to bring his children on stage and introduce them and thank the crowd for supporting his recent stereotype-fulfilling ratings pull on VH1. The highlight had to have been the special appearance made by Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Chuck, Flav, and Scott shredded through “Bring the Noise.” 20 years strong and PE still has it.The Roots took charge with their loud Family Stone-esque show style. Jamming through a medley of Game Theory cuts and a double time version of the anthem “The Seed 2.0.” The sousaphone player would have been an unlikely edition in many hardcore performances, but the shining silver mouth fit right in with the group’s musicianship and Black Thought’s skill as a lyricist, vocalist, and crowd pleaser.Cypress Hill were rugged, running through “Insane in the Membrane” “Hand on the Pump” and “How I Could Just Kill a Man.” B-real and Sen Dog held it down for the west coast and jumped into a jam on Bobo’s drums followed a cameo by a giant Buddha. Joint in hand, B-real jumped into “Rock Superstar” to close out the set.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWu jumped off hard, the speakers bumped the greatest get-you-hyped line as the 8 remaining gods took the stage. “BRING THA MOTHA F*CKING RUCKUS!” the crowd was literally a sea of W’s held aloft as we all caught the blast of the wu’s hyped verses. Method Man, ever the crowd pleaser, struggled with the drained fans that had stood in place with little food or water for upwards of 6 hours. Our legs were hardened like rods, we were soaked with sweat and Wu’s disorganized and misdirected energy failed to flow out and get through to the back reaches of the crowd.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketTo their credit, Wu-Tang is one of the most legendary crews in the game and as they ran through their catalog of classics, even the security with his back to stage mouthed every line they brought. The requisite ODB tribute was touching, but the crowds affection was dwindling.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAll in all, Wu-Tang are still legends in their own right, ending with their astounding highlights including Redman joining Meth on stage for “Da Rockwilder” and the closing single “Triumph” off of 1997’s Forever. All were blessed to see the remaining eight gods plus Cappadonna and Streetlife on one stage at this astounding event.The sun dropped as the gods retired backstage and Rage’s classic red star background was unfurled. The crowd grew restless as many including myself were realizing that they were about to witness one of the most talented, influential, and controversial bands of the 90’s back on stage for the second time since their reunion.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe quartet walked on stage, Zack greeted the crowd “Hello, we’re Rage Against the Machine from Los Angeles, California” A stark contrast against the lavish and scattered stage presence of the MC’s before them. Then, they kicked into contestedly the tightest and angriest live performance I have ever witnessed. The energy was unstoppable. Zack’s delivery was cathartic, channeling the frustration and exhaustion of the enduring crowd.The crowd moved as one organism, propelling me to the front through the lubricated masses. Morello towered over the crowd; sweat pouring as he ripped through riff after riff. Zack was relatively quiet between songs, choosing to sip tea as if the pure anger and rage he was professing was an unaffecting element. Instead he laid darts with his subtle lyric swap on “Killing in the Name” with “some of those that hold office are the same that burn crosses.”Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketZack did have something to say, however about the “fascist fucks over at FOX News” about their reports that he believed Bush should be assassinated. He was quick to correct, stating that he wanted to make sure that he and his cabinet were tried as war criminals first, then hung and shot. Big difference, Hannity.They broke into the overwhelming force of “Wake Up.” My comfortable suburban life was behind me and in that moment I was fighting for the freedom of those around me. The political and musical climate was left with a gaping hole after Rage disbanded and it was evident that for the moment, it had been wholly plugged with resistance that was alive and well, taking the stage with clenched fists in the air.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketStraggling out, my legs rigid from dehydration and my body zapped from exhaustion, the motto of the show stuck with me: Represent + Recognize + Respect. What had played out before a hungry crowd today was a proof of hip-hops collective prowess. A smattering of some of the greatest from all eras, influence and geographic location came out to represent hip-hop as a progressive, controversial, but necessary voice of a population. Just as we suffered under the torturous sun, they gave us nourishment toiling on stage to breathe hope into those that had drowned in the overwhelming monotony of the current social climate. Those single smatterings of artists were the forbearers of a resurgence of conscious, captivating music.

Just to hold you over.

August 8, 2007

So Wu’s 8 Diagrams won’t be dropping until October 23 if all goes well. I’m thinking of running a pool on how many times it will get pushed back. I think its already been twice.

Anyway, Rae’s group Ice Water released their first street video. Nothing like a chubby man cookin fishscale to get you gully:

Just picked up UGK’s two disc as well. Bun B and Pimp C are legends in their own right, hopefully they’ll get some recognition for their past paid dues. Check back to hear more on that. Its alway good to hear from Big Boi and Dre as well. Thank God for this gem of an anthem.