Thursday 30 July 2009

Reasons why i love Youtube part 3

'Cause you can get Pilates instruction videos for free, whereas 6 or so years ago in those pre-Youtube days when we lived on bread, water and fading memories, you'd have had to shell out about £13 for a dvd narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow or suffer the embarrassment of joining a Pilates class.

Apparently Steven Seagal does Pilates and believes it to be the best method to beat stubborn belly fat and tone them abs up. Swear down he did as i read it in one of the men's health mags from Holland & Barrett. Good enough for Nico, good enough for you and me.

Really doe, this was intended to be a post on how Youtube is worthy of me constructing a bustling metropolis on its clit due to any old tv show you may happen to reminisce on during lunchtime drinks being on there in full grainy old VHS tape glory, with tonight's example being the episode of Ric Flair's old WCW spin-off chatfest Flair For The Gold where Ric and his faux-French maid Fifi had Vader and Harley Race on, but Youtube can get the bozack this evening as the clip has suspiciously vanished from its archive so a link had to be hastily gaffled from DailyMotion instead :

The one area where sites like Youtube and DailyMotion occasionally fail is when the old clips aren't quite as you remembered them. In this episode, for instance, i'd gotten it into my head that after Fifi had confirmed Ric as The Man to the inquiring Big Van Vader, that Vader went apeshit, smashed up the coffee table and stood there taunting Flair before the silver mulleted gawd cooly pwned Vader by smugly informing him that his Italian suit was bought for a price which exceeded what Vader paid for his home. Unfortunately, as the clip shows, thangs didn't quite happen that way.

Bonus Nature Boy permeated beats :

Here's T.I & UGK's Front Back Which contains the scenes where T.I does the Nature Boy walk which led to Flair suing T.I. Not only was this the best single from King (What You Know was more overrated than John Terry or Dunks or The Shawshank Redemption or Sushi or Bob Dylan) but it was also better than the UGK original :

T.I & UGK - Front Back

Sunday 26 July 2009

Martorial elegance # 26

As Barratt says when he mailed me this picture, it's a prerequisite for crap housewarming parties that some fuckwit produces acoustic guitar at some point.

For proof that great minds think alike, I refer you to this pearl of wisdom from a Fabolous freestyle :

You wanna sing like a parrot do?/
then dem boyz gonna do ya head like Jeff Jarrett do

Thursday 23 July 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums part 9

Philly's Most Wanted - Suckas

With a debut almost entirely produced by The Neptunes, Philly's Most Wanted coulda been contenders or, at least, the cheese steak city's answer to The Clipse. Too bad then that their album was less Lord Willin' and more "What the fucking lord were they thinking having every song featuring cringeworthy falsetto hooks and unsuitable beats which Usher probably rejected when searching Neptunes r&b production tapes for the U Don't Have To Call beat?" Suckas is the abandoned diamond amongst the faeces and BANGS with Mr Man and Boo-Bonic (hardly suprising the album flopped when the two rappers were so terribly named) recounting various examples of what a sucka is over a naggingly infectious standard pre-Grindin' Neptunes track, meaning it's a slight variation on the Superthug beat. Suckas Part 2, which some halfwits actually prefered to the original, had a song-stealing Beanie verse but suffered ruiniation at the hands of the various beat-switches and the hook, which is about as close to audio HIV as is scientifically possible.

Kurtis Blow - Do The Do

The highlight of Blow's sophomore platter Deuce and his 2nd best song after Hard Times. Not quite as good as the similarly monikered Doing The Do by Jeckyll & Hyde but still one of the finer slices of pre-Planet Rock and The Message disco-band rap with an absolute killer dum-dum-dum-dum-de-dum-duh-dum bassline. Both the Deuce LP and the 12" of Do The Do itself used to go for mere pocket lint until it was revealed some tampon commercial sounding LTJ Bukem tune sampled the drum break and 'intelligent drum & bass' loving ponces pushed the prices of both up to, on occasion, the £50 mark. More importantly than all that, though, is the trivia that this was the first ever rap song to mention Your Momma.

Husalah - Live Life Illegal

The Jacka - Murder Somebody

Jacka & Husalah's Shower Posse album was intended to be a conceptual collaboration based on the Jamaican coalition of gangs of the same name with the two Mob Figaz heavyweights rhyming over reggae tinged beats but laziness, label issues and incarcerations meant the album was never fully realised and ended up being just another hastily pasted together Mob Figaz album with a handful of stunning highlights, which is good enough for me. Hus's Live Life Illegal bears a clear Thizz Nation influence with its jocose rhythms sounding distinctly like something off one of the last Mac Dre albums and rumours that Hus' was actually imprisioned on flashing charges due to his claim in this that he spends his time "hanging out in the parking lot/pulling out my cock a lot" are still unconfirmed. Meanwhile Jacka's Murder Somebody is an O-T-T stream of nihilism which would make Prodigy or Beanie proud over hypnotic guitar and a squelchy fart bassline, which successfully manages to capture the whole Mob Figaz oeuvre of Bay Area gang$ta-rap mixed with a considerable east coast thug-rap influence in just under 3 minutes and a half minutes.

Real Live - Get Down For Mine

De La Soul - I Can't Call It

The High School High soundtrack hasn't quite been afforded the same status as other 90s movie soundtracks full of exclusive tracks which never appeared elsewhere like Menace II Society or even Above The Rim but, quality wise, it's up there with either of 'em. Wu-Wear by RZA, Method Man & Cappadonna and Pete Rock & Large Professor's The Rap World are the two cuts which made the most noise at the time but both pale in comparison to the inclusions by Real Live and De La. Get Down For Mine is as good as any of the highlights on Real Live's underrated album, with Larry O. being one of the better exponents of We-just-saw-Goodfellas-and-Casino mafioso rap and K. Def looping up Love Unlimited Orchestra's Strange Games And Funky Things to better effect than anyone has used it before or since (sorry EPMD). I Can't Call It, on the other hand, is some downbeat, wordplay laden, Stakes Is High era De La grumpiness with subtle flourishes of the Money (Dollar Bill Y'All) boopity-bips and Maseo cuttin' up dialogue from Last Night Changed It All. Pity the D'Angelo and Jodeci cuts on the soundtrack were shit, though, eh?

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever part 11

This is Maurice. Maurice is a friend of Sha Deezy's dad Metin and is someone who Sha Deezy and I have shared the company of when sinking a few drinks on numerous occasions.

Maurice had a behemoth heartattack a couple of weeks ago and got his Nikki Sixx on when he died for a few minutes before coming back to life. During those crucial couple of minutes when he flatlined he saw stuff. Stuff that, now he's on the mend, he's managed to sketch down. Post-death dream full of cliched iconography caused by lax of oxygen to the brain or genuine glimpse into the afterlife? You decide :

Although Maurice may have first hand experience of death and the possibility of what, if anything, comes after the human heart goes bump for the last time, here at The Martorialist we prefer to pour over this scene from Abel Ferrara's '96 mob chef-d'oeuvre (and dry-run for many a Sopranos actor) The Funeral for all our thoughts on theology and hold it to task for inspiring our own inability to take responsibility or blame for even the most mundane of errors.

Witness Jean Tempio (Annabella Sciorra, looking not quite as hot as she did as Gloria in The Sopranos) tell Ray Tempio (Christopher Walken) he'll more than likely burn in hell for avenging his brother Johnny's (Vince Gallo) death and Ray replying that he eschews all accountability for his actions as he blames them on god since nothing, according to "them Catholic scholars", happens without the god's permission :

I'm ashamed of nothin', I didn't make the world!

Sunday 19 July 2009

Martorial elegance # 25

Back in this post we discussed the unquenchable thirst metallers have for REPPING!!! no matter what the elements, where we focussed on the '93-til-infinity strand of metallers who hold Sepultura-era Max Cavalera as their main style icon and who laugh in the smugly punchable Ricky Ponting-like faces of rain, wind and arctic tempretures when sporting their 3/4 length camo' cut offs all day, e'ry day throughout the seemingly endless harsh British winter.

This time, though, we're gonna discuss their flipsise and turn our attentions to the vagaries of post-goth metallers for whom mere obstacles like glaring sun and sweltering turning-your-crotch-into-a-petri-dish humidity don't even come into consideration when sliding into their pvc kecks, pulling on their leather trench-coats, and climbing into their clod-hopping platform boots every summer morning.

Real metallerz don't die. They might reach middle age and then look even more ridiculous, but they don't die.

You have to hand it to metallers and their effortless ability to accessorize. The Django look is the new black, darling. His diminutive coffin rucksack probably contains little more than some tuna & sweetcorn butties, but here at The Martorialist we like to imagine he has a dead foetus in there, thus making the point that, unlike those goddamned Juggalo pussies who bow to the constraints imposed on us by regular society, real motherfuckin' metallers carry their decaying dead babies around with 'em on their backs :

Mr coffin backback goff' (thanks to B for the pic, btw) is also particularly noteworthy as, from the back at least, he could be the gormless goth whose bone-idle fiancée had him dragging her around on a leash as she indulged in a bizarre human-pet fantasy in a desperate bid to avoid having to do any housework :

But nothing had prepared her for the reaction of the bus driver who allegedly told the self-styled Goth and her boyfriend: "We don't let freaks and dogs like you on."

On a metal-related footnote :

Saw De La, with a little help from Prince Paul and a 10 piece band, do 3 Feet High And Rising in full the other night. Buhloone Mind State is their actual magnum opus but 3 Feet.. is probably the more interesting album to bring to life, innit? Think about it : would you rather see 'em play Transmitting Live From Mars and Take It Off OR Dave Has A Problem..Seriously and Long Island Wildin'? Yeah, exactly.

A fine evening and De La's band tackled the uneviable task of recreating old Cymande, Funkadelic, Sly Stone, Steely Dan, The Turtles et al samples more expertly than Public Enemy's slighly Level 42-ish session band belted out the James Brown/The JB's, Isaac Hayes etc samples during the It Takes A.. show in '08, but after seeing 3 of my favourite rap albums performed from front-to-back in the past 12 months the years are really starting to unfurl between that golden period back in '05/'06 when i saw The Stooges, Girls Against Boys, Dinosaur Jr and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion all soar through their respective rawk classics. It's been too long and right about i wouldn't say no to a Monster Magnet show with them giving their Spine Of God LP the full treatment.

Monster Magnet - Snake Dance

Monster Magnet - Spine Of God

They may have had a name like a Timmy Mallett catchphrase or a Partridge gameshow proposal but, damn, them Jersey boys were wild on their first couple of releases before their original guitarist departed.

Friday 17 July 2009

"But all my life I've searched for gold and this man is full of it!"

Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! is a movie I've wanted to see for years ever since I read a review of it in Empire and saw Alex Cox enthusing about it in the same reverential tones most moviephiles save for the works of Renoir on his Moviedrome season for BBC2 which featured the original Django, but, for some unfathomable reason, I never quite got around to buying it (why I bought practically every other movie in 4 Front Video's Spaghetti Western collection, including Django and the extrodinarily titled but excrutiatingly pisspoor Ringo And His Golden Pistol but not DJango Kill still stumps me) and managed to miss it when it was on TV in the late 90s as part of BBC2's Forbidden series, so in a fit of HMV browsing t'other day I finally bought myself a copy.

There's a lot right about it : the "motherless Mexican" taunts; Django/The Stranger emerging from the grave hand first; plenty of trademark Spaghetti Western looming close-ups and an experimental editing technique employed in Django's flashback montage scene; some fine scoring by Ivan Vandor which runs from sweeping to almost psychedelic to genuinely creepy; the gold stealing varmints strolling into the dystopian town known only as The Unhappy Place and being greeted by sickly men, children being used as footstools, creaking doors, singing girls with vampire fangs and gimpy hedgehogs crawling over the wooden walkways; a gang of gay cowboys led by a fat ginger landowner called Mr Sorrow and his yabbering parrot; some good shootouts throughout the movie with every character gunned down being completely lacking in morals and, thus, deserving their fate; various residents of said town plunging their hands into the sliced open stomach of the varmint Oaks who Django blasted full of golden bullets; the hot chick with the black hair; the supposedly crazy wife locked in the attic like some sort of Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre figure; the graphic scalping of the injun which was cut from the movie for many years; Django's Jesus-Christ-Pose when he's locked up in the jailcell and the wide-eyed bats twittering above him; the hot gold melting onto the guy during the house fire turning him into a molten bloke version of whatsherface from Goldfinger; and the two children pulling bits of string across their faces in the cemetary as they debate who's uglier in the final scene as Django surveys the tore-up cemetary before riding off into the hazy sunset.

Which, I realise, make it sound like a deliriously crazed masterpiece, but after all the hyperbole I've read and heard over the years I was expecting something more of a downright fucked-up, rabid bloodbath. I had visions of it being the original Django flick with the hallucinatory qualities of a Buñuel, the depravity of Cannibal Holocaust and the blood soaked style of Suspiria (the vivid crimson blood splatters and floods were probably an influence on Argento) with Django/The Stranger being less the O.G Franco Nero Django and more of a maniacal hellbent-on-revenge hybrid of Walker from Point Blank, Major Charles Rane from Rolling Thunder and Don Lope De Aguirre from Aguirre, Wrath Of God.

Not quite so, but a fine movie which blends Spaghetti Western and Italian Horror that I'm glad I've finally seen, and it was probably for the best I left it so long to see it because the movie which was released on VHS/played on BBC2 was an incomprehensible cut version and the dvd we have of it in the UK now is the full version, albeit with the cut scenes being in Italian from an original print. Damn you all for the slightly misleading, O-T-T hyperbole which pumped my expectations up to unrealistic proportions, and damn me even more for feeling disappointed when watching a great movie which can make a justifiable claim as the most peculiar Spaghetti Western ever. Peep Alex Cox waxing lyrical about it :

Completely unrelared note :

Oh shit, one of my favourite tracks of '09 has finally got a video :

G. Mane & G-Side - No One Duz It Betta

Monday 13 July 2009

Gang Wars : Banging In Little Rock

I've seen snippets of this 1993 HBO documentary before but some intrepid soul finally uploaded the whole thing last week, although it'll probably be gone by wednesday knowing how strict HBO are. It's basically a televisual My Summer Vacation with an extra sprinkle of white trash whiggas branding gang symbols into each other in country kitchens, brandishing automatic weapons and standing around rapping along to Dre Day.

Or, for those of you not versed in old Ice Cube songs, it's pretty much an episode of Ross Kemp On Gangs which details how gang culture spread into rural American cities like Little Rock, Arkansas at the turn of the nineties with a liberal amount of deluded downhick crackers playing gangster for comedic effect and plenty of scenes which involve various gang members of both colour sitting around jamming out to Dr Dre, Cypress Hill and MC Eiht songs.

But instead of being used to capture the soundtrack of the era, you sense they seem to be used as a rather heavy handed suggestion that gang$ta-rap was to blame for this infusion of thuggery into peaceful middle America. There's no accounting for the dumbness of white trash or the uncanny ability America has to blame its social problems on the influence of music (also see : the witchhunt against metal in the eighties when various mulleted Cleatuses started blasting themselves with shotguns and sacrificing cats after hearing non-existant backwards messages in Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest songs) and it's not really for a British pilgrim like me to comment, but if (and it's a very tenuous if) entertainment were to blame for helping gang culture spread like wildfire throughout American society then wouldn't mainstream movies like Colors, Boyz N The Hood and Menace 2 Society be just as guilty or even the chief culprits?

Whatever the case may be, this is a fascinating time capsule of early nineties America with a fantastic soundtrack.

Compton's Most Wanted - Compton 4 Life

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums part 8

Coz ft. Bun B - Rollin' Thru

Ah, the joys of, where a man can find hitherto unheard Bun B guest appearances on obscure 1996 west coast gang$ta-rap albums named after Roger Moore's last James Bond movie when casually browsing Bernard's section. Information about the album or Coz himself isn't exactly forthcoming (this album gets love in countries as far wide as Germany and Brazil judging by the mp3 blog links google brings up) but what i can tell you with a degree of certainty is that this N.O Joe produced track is some caliginous gank$ta shit which opens with a classic Bun verse and then continues with Coz holding his own for the duration of it. Vintage trillness by the way of the West.

Spoonie Gee - Spoonie Gee

Spoonie Gee - Hit Man

Although every male under the age of 40 on earth now knows The Godfather since it featured in GTA : San Andreas, and Spoonie's early tracks like Spoonin' Rap, Love Rap and New Rap Language are legendary, his long awaited debut album remains strangely underappreciated despite featuring the aforementioned GTA approved hit and having both both Marley Marl and Teddy Riley (*1) on board for production duties. The reason Spoonie fared better than a lot of his old school peers during the various mutations rap went through during the 80s and managed to drop classic shit from '79 to '89 is that his natural voice and effortless flow just sounded comfortable over anything (this is also why Slick Rick still gets work nowadays and always steals the show on any song he features on), whereas his peers were constantly tweaking their cadences to try and compete with LL and Rakim or sounding distinctly archaic compared to them by the turn of 1986. Didn't hurt him working with the best beatsmiths like Pumpkin, Davy Dmx and Marley Marl either, 'spose. Anyway, here we have Spoonie spreading love in his own direction with an eponymous ode to himself produced by Marley, which was the first tune to use the Ohio Players sample which later found fame on Mary & Puba's What's The 411? (*2); While Hit Man is a proto-New Jack Swing production by Teddy with Spoonie rapping about a ruthless killer for hire, who was, as Spoonie told Mike Allen, a real life former friend of his.

4-2 Tha Dome - One In The Chamber

4-2 Tha Dome - Blame It On Society

An EP rather than an LP, this short but sweet dose of mid 90s Alabama gang$ta-rap by the duo of G-Money and Mr Tre 8 is a compelling little release which chronicles life deep in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama over production which is an amalgamation of 60% Cali' G-Funk and 40% post-The Diary RAP-A-LOT style beats. These two tracks best demonstrate both sides of the 4-2 Tha Dome coin : ig'nant, male fantasty bullshit slicktalk on One In The Chamber and matter-of-fact introspective descriptions of getting by in a city which is ravaged by poverty, racism and corruption on the title track Blame It On Society, which is as close to what it'd sound like if Straight Up Menace by MC Eiht and I Seen A Man Die by Scarface had a bootiful baby boy.

Wise Intelligent - I'm Him

Wise Intelligent - A Genocide

Not only already forgotten, this one went by largely unnoticed by pretty much everyone, including me, other than the Fat Lace boys and Noz back in 2006. Here we find Wise retaining what made him so dope in the Poor Righteous Teachers days and making the rarest of beast currently found in the rap jungle : a modern conscious backpacker album by a veteran east coast rapper that's neither earnestly dull or hectoringly preachy. I'm Him is the self mythologising joint with Wise reminding us who he is; A Genocide, on the other hand, is Wise's take on Ice T's New Jack Hustler : a first person account of a shorty caught up in the streets and system, with added Contra conspiracies which manage to avoid the cliched sloganeering atypical of turds like Immortal Technique.

*1 - Check out Superix's recent Teddy Riley download-mix : Teddy Riley : King Of Swing which covers everything from Teddy's 80s tracks for rappers like Classical II, Spoonie Gee and Heavy D, to his classic New Jack Swing cuts for Guy, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat and Redhead Kingpin, right up to his 90s hits for M.J, Wrex-N-Effect and, of course, Blackstreet. The best mix of the summer so far.

*2 - Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba doing What's the 411? on YO! is one of my favourite tv performances ever :

The leisurely pace of the rendition, 'Puba in the finest
Polo had to offer at the time (why does Polo never fit me like that?) and denim-shorts which somehow manage to look fly on him, a young Mary lookin' like a even foxier version of Hilary from The Fresh Prince in a triple denim outfit, Puba's adlibbing during Mary's verse, Stud Doogie as the hype man par excellance.. perfection. Even better than that In Living Colour performance of 360 (What Goes Around) which Meaning Of Dope put up, although Puba's outfit is superior in that one.

Sunday 5 July 2009

A belated tribute to Mrs Slocombe

You may have looked like my step-grandad in drag but there was something so peculiarly erotic about your pussy double-entendres which managed to a reveal a slight glint in my undeveloped Jap's eye before i even knew what a pussy was.


Integrity - Vocal Test set to moshing puddy cats

Of course, no post containing a cast member of Are You Being Served is complete without this Louis Theroux clip :

Can't believe whoever upped the video missed the climax of the interview where racist cowboy finally snaps at Louis's constant chime of I'm Free! and informs Louis that he's not free because of the Jews, though. That's like a Mrs Slocombe double-entendre video with all the feline references beeped out or, indeed, a video of a moggy mosh-pit set to the strains of Vocal Test which stops before the best bit of the song when the wailing guitar solo starts.

Thursday 2 July 2009

Freshest kids

Came up on this classic Suckas To The Side tee by FreshJive/Raw Vibes in the vault recently, which basically translates as : i found it in a box with a bunch of old issues of Empire which have been festering for at least 12 years. Bought sometime around late 1993 from West Kirby Windsurfing, which was pretty much the only spot round these parts you procure tees from labels like FreshJive and Fuct plus Vans kicks like Chukkas and Half Cabs in the early - mid 90s, this is almost as old as that Black Flag Nervous Breakdown cover tee i gave Barratt which i think he still has.

Front :

Back :

Close-up :

XXL was the only size they had left of this one and, needless to say, it fitted like Homer's mumu so i never wore it. Still, nice to have it back then and even better to find it out of the blue now.

EDIT : Sifting through the box of Empires i just came across the august 1993 issue of R.A.D stuffed in a copy of Empire with an advert for West Kirby Windsurfing in it :

The term Real Talk is overused and somewhat annoying but the Danny Wainwright interview contained within where he admits his 2 favourite tv shows are Prisoner Cell Block H and the reruns of late 70s Grange Hill which used to be on BBC2 every sunday mornings in the mid 90s is just that.