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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 Die Tryin’ seems to prove that old adage that you’re only as hot as your last single/album and that no artist is guaranteed longevity. If 50 can’t stay on top, we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that money or rep can buy your way to relevance. Pop music has never worked that way.
  • The P-Funk Mothership has landed…at the Smithsonian.
  • Mark Anthony Neal offers up “7 Marvin Gaye Songs You Should Know” (and surprise! “What’s Going On” isn’t one of them).
  • I’m loving Owen Pallett’s takes on analyzing pop music hits through a musicological filter. He’s got a semi-regular column in Slate and contributed to this six-song breakdown for Buzzfeed.
  • Amerie might trigger your epilepsy with “What I Want,” which finds her singing over what practically sounds like an unedited version of “Apache.”
  • Rich Median and Tucker & Bloom have collaborated on a 45 shoulder bag. Looks mighty tempting (save for the $275 price tag). (Photo above.)

  • The Illmatic Influence Infographic.” ‘Nuff said.

  • WEEKLY ROUNDUP 3-18-14


  • 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)
  • WEEKLY ROUNDUP, 3-3-14

  • 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 don’t know WTF I was thinking.

    Disclosure + Mary J. = F for Fabulous

    Ghostwriters revealed aka “The Worst Song You Never Knew Jay-Z Was Behind”

    If you never liked Oasis’s music videos, neither did Noel Gallagher.

    DJ Platurn gets his Hall and Oates on.

    I wrote a radio story about the history of the beat box.

    WEEKLY ROUND-UP (1-7-14)


  • 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?
  • WEEKLY ROUNDUP (12/8/13)

  • 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.
  • WEEKLY ROUND UP (11-24)

    In case you missed it…