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Chicago soul historian/DJ/enthusiastic Bob Abrahamian passed away at age 35. Never had the pleasure/honor of meeting him. His passing seems like a tragic, shocking loss for the city. Isolated stems, highlighting Karen Carpenter’s vocals. Where I teach (CSU-Long Beach), the Carpenters are one of the most famed alum and there’s a performance center donated by them. Karen’s death is one of the (too many) premature losses that pop music has suffered. The continuing struggles of 50 Cent to try to assert his relevance 10 years after Get Rich or […]

Continue reading WEEKLY ROUND-UP 6-8-14



J-Zone talks about his favorite drum breaks. DJ Cable puts together a great video mix of ATCQ songs/videos. Jefferson Mao interviews former Def Jam publicist Bill Adler (dude is a straight legend).

Everything you ever wanted to know about the making of Hard to Earn.

This James Brown biopic could suck but I’ll still go see it.

Some scandalous MFer stole from drummer James Gadson. Crosstown postage, now with more Hendrix. Before they were a mob music clique/click, they were in a marching band. (h/t egotripland)
Continue reading WEEKLY ROUNDUP 3-18-14


Saun & Starr: the newest Daptone duo. A dedication to DIY 7″ boxes. J-Zone gives the drummer some (because the drummer ain’t have none in a long time). Slate breaks down the implications of De La Soul’s digital V-day present. Amerigo Gazaway brings together Mos Def and Marvin Gaye. And oh yeah, we turned 10. Soundwaves Radio interviewed me, as did the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. And if you haven’t peeped Soul Sides Vol. 3 yet, whatchu waiting 4?


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Jesse Thorn’s NPR show, Bullseye, recently aired a short interview he did with me about two of my favorite recordings. I talked about 3 Ft. High and Rising (since that album literally and profoundly change the course of my life) as well as one of my favorite rediscoveries of 2013, that De Vons 7″. Two corrections though: the intro guitar on De La’s “Eye Know” isn’t Steely Dan; it’s the Mad Lads. And second: Northern Soul began in the 1960s, not 1970s. I […]

Continue reading WEEKEND ROUNDUP 1-25-14



Pop Danthology 2013 happened. Cue “man, all pop music sounds exactly the same” complaints. Pharrell hears in colors. Or sees in sound. Or something like that. Listen to my piece on Buhloone Mindstate then read the companion essay. Supposedly “everyone” is going back to vinyl if by “everyone” you mean 2% of music buyers which sounds more like “some” than “every” but what do I know?



Joni Mitchell, Billy Idol, and one very pliable cat.

Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip create a mixtape. Rar-rar-rar .

Beyonce decides to blow up the internet. Mercy.


Rob Sheffield hates “Blurred Lines” so much, he fantasizes about “punching this song in the nose.” A$AP Mob and Meth rewind it back to project hallways, brick Motorola phones and all camo everything. Lagrima + In the Mood For Love = the video for “Tony & Maggie.” Numero Group lets it snow. Purple. Chris Read is busy in the mix with both an ode to Midnight Marauders and the Funky Drummers. Classic Drug References drop a 7″ box set (above). And I talk to Analog Africa’s Samy Ben Redjeb.


In case you missed it…

NPR’s “The Mix” presented a Northern Soul special. Pillows is the new instrumental album from Rahlou, of Gummy Soul. Amazon.com is now in the used vinyl game. Bob Dylan wins the internet with the video for “Like a Rolling Stone.” (Note: my 8 year old watched this video 7 times in a row). Kanye West also released a video that won the internet…just in a different way. I wrote about Tiger’s Milk Records and their new Peruvian music comp. Lady has a new 7″ about to drop. DJ Platurn talks […]

Continue reading WEEKLY ROUND UP (11-24)