Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The sample is the flesh and the beat is the skeleton...

Listing to music in iTunes on shuffle is fantastic because every now and again a song that I have not heard in a long time gets played. Most recently that song was MacArthur Park by Richard Harris (note that i've embedded youtube clips that won't show up in the RSS feed).

You may ask why I have this song in my library. Some of you may recognize the Fact that this song is by the same person who played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter Films, but that is not why I have this song. The real reason is that it was sampled in the Song "Dreamy days" by Roots Manuva.

I get a certain amount of pleasure when I can match up a sample from a hip-hop song with the original. It is like a light bulb goes one "so that's where that came from".
I generally come across these connections while listening to internet radio stations playing classic rock, oldies, etc. I have two more parings that I'll share with you. The first is "in a broken dream" by Python Lee Jackson (Feat. Rod Stewart).

which was used to form the bassline of the Lovage song "lifeboat".

The vocal combination of Jennifer Charles and Mike Patton (Faith no more) make this entire album killer.

The last pair features the classic Beatles tune "across the universe"

The opening guitar riff is sampled and slowed down in Eligh's song "makeshift message". The new tempo/pitch is kinda haunting, and works really well with the rest of the song.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Best present EVER...

Mom is out of the hospital. Fortunately it was noting major, but her Crohn's flared up and she was in enough pain to spend a day or so in the ER. She's much better now and it finally feels like Christmas. Due to theses complications and the bad weather, Grandma and our Aunt and Uncle will be arriving tomorrow. Best wishes to you and your family.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Can you dig it!!!!

Baltimore slowly began to dig itself out from under the 20" of fluff that we received over the past day and a half. Most of the neighbors were out shoveling walkways, a welcome change from Urbana-Champaign where nobody shovels their sidewalks, and the expected banter of "where the hell are we gonna put all this stuff" was had. Back when I was in school at Binghamton we had this thing called "alternate side of the street parking". For those not familiar on odd days of the month, you can only park on the side of the street with odd numbered houses, and on even days, the even side of the street. Normally this is a huge pain in the ass, especially if you don't drive on a daily basis, because you have to move your car every day from Nov. to March. However when it snows it is a godsend as the plows come through and you move to the other side of the road into a nice clean parking space. It is kinda like the quote from Jacob's Ladder:
So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.
Baltimore does not have alternate side of the street parking rules, which means that I'll be riding in slop for the next few days, blah.

After digging out, I met up with Alex in fed hill for an espresso a some snow biking. After downing our black gold, we headed over to Federal Hill (the hill/park for which the neighborhood is named). Kids were out sledding which brings back memories of my youth as the big spot to sled in our town was just across from my back yard. It was a bit cold, but all in all it was a nice day for fun in the snow. Here is a shot of Alex rolling toward the downhill.
While at the park we watched at least three kids slam into parked cars at the bottom of the hill. All parties involved were OK, but it was a little disturbing seeing a kid go face first into the grill of a Ford. After cruising around the neighborhood for a while, I rolled back to Medfield. It was delightful to have more than one gear on my bike, as I'm used to rolling on the single speed madwagon within city limits. While the gradient is pretty steady from the harbor up, i'm usualy a bit over geared (and under geared on the way down). It makes me consider other options for a commuter, but I doubt that I'll take any action in the near future.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Having kept the rubberside down during the season, I figured my ass would be meeting pavement at speed in the near future. Remember it is not if you'll fall, it's when.

The most recent when was on my way to work yesterday morning. I was rapidly approaching the right hand sweeper at the bottom on the hill on 41st where it joins University Pkw. As I approached the corner I see that a sewer cap has burst and is spewing water into the intersection. Cars had been going through and creating a fine spray that had coated the pavement in black ice, bollocks. I threw a quick look over my shoulder to check for cars coming from behind, and I attempted to take the corner wide, but it was no go. Front tire pushed, and I'm sliding on my hip/shoulder/forearm faster than I can say "cocksucker". The good news is that I came away with just some bruising and abrasions. The bike took a pretty good hit as I managed to bend the steel riserbars and stem. Call me prejudiced but black ice just sucks, while clear/white ice is fantastic. The latter makes your drinks cold and helps reduce swelling when applied topically. However, the former often leads to situations where one needs to self-medicate and reduce swelling.

It seems that my sacrifice to old man winter was not well received, as he has taken it upon himself to dump a crap tonne of snow on the the mid-atlantic.

I figure that we've gotten about fifteen inches of snow, which happens to be three more inches than Canadian Hip-Hop/Reggae artist snow's debut album, there is something about a white kid from Canada toasting/chatting reggae vocals, but I digress. The snow is still falling and we may get up to 30 inches out of this storm which might be B-more's single storm record. Now I can look forward to more black ice from the typical thaw/freeze cycle that the moderate temps of Baltimore provides.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The holiday spirit...

With Hanukkah in full swing and x-mass just round the corner it is hard for me to not get caught up in the "spirit" of the season. That is until I see a gift like this:

I understand that this is a quote from a Winnie the Pooh book (said by Pooh to Piglet), and to most people it is a sweet and loving sentiment. To me it simply says, "My dearest, I'm a selfish bastard and I hope that I die before you so that I don't have to spend my last day in misery. No, my love, I leave it to you to die a miserable sod."

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I just got back from the "Naughty" launch party for Chesapeake Roller Derby. They are going with a holiday theme, with the "naughty" party being held at a local strip club, and the "nice" party being held later in the week at a more family friendly arena, the skating rink. Tronica (AKA: Tron, K.O., etc) is a member of the league so a few of us showed up to help support the league and their charity: The American Breast Cancer Foundation.
We didn't have the entire club to ourselves, but most of the people were there for the launch. That said, the club was still open to the general public and there were still girls working. I'll say working and not dancing as some of the girls had not flow or style. Jess agreed and she knows her stuff. She was even allowed up on the amateur stage to strut her stuff which was a big hit with the derby crowd.

Anyhoo, at one point I'm having a conversation with some friends and one of the girls from the club comes up and is just standing next to me for a few seconds. I break off my conversation and she starts in with some small talk in an effort to move some bills from my wallet to her garter. Not interested I play a long a bit. After a short while she lifts her garter dropping a not so subtle hint. I glance at the garter then back up to her eyes dropping a subtle hint that I'm not interested in tipping her. The rest of the conversation when like this:
her: "no?!"
me: "sorry."
her: "really!?"
me: "really."
her: "If you're gonna come to a strip club you should be ready to tip!"

Then she stormed off. It is best that she did because the bouncers were probably looking for an excuse to tap dance on someones skull, and bad mouthing a girl that works there is a sure fire way to get your teeth kicked in. Needless to say I was a little miffed. I'm there to support a friend and a charity. I mean if the "nice"event was held at the local nursing home would I be expected to sponge bathe every octogenarian I see?

Anyway all in all it was a good time, and if I'm lucky I'll win a raffle for a giant basket of booze.