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Saturday, March 11, 2006

iPod/music/Chappelle's block party

I haven't done a rambling and/or music-centered post in a while. This really shouldn't be it, since I've got more pressing things to do (I've got to finish typing up some notes for a math lecture I've got to give in a week). But we just got back from catching "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" at the Metreon, and it's got me back into some music.

So just now I erased our old iPod (crazy that 2.5 years consitutes old in our day and age), since it's stuck on hold, and the only way I can navigate is with the in-line remote--which means I can only click " and " to cycle through songs sequentially. Short of getting the thing fixed, which I think is unlikely, what I'm going to do is just load up the most recent additions to my iTunes library.

So I created a smart playlist for those recent additions, and put only that on the iPod, so that I've got a manageable 50 songs on there now. What I've added to my libarary since Feb 3: the Rashaan Patterson disc we borrowed from Little Man, a handful of Breakdown FM podcasts, and a bunch of tracks downloaded from breath of life and soul sides.

Which brings me back to my point: the Chappelle movie triggered me to get back to the music. In addition to going mobile with the new iPod config, here's what I want to be doing:
  • Getting to soul sides and breath of life on a regular basis--which I already do...but also reading the essays as I listen to the tracks
  • Revisiting some of that 90s hip-hop neo-soul that the Chappelle flick got me thinking about again, which I haven't been listening to much lately: basically exactly the lineup of the block party, plus Tribe (as the progenitors), plus D'Angelo (the only one lacking from the lineup)
  • Getting back to some jazz. I thought I had written here, but apparently I didn't, that I'm listening to less jazz in SF than I did in Ann Arbor. Actually, that's true of both recordings and live shows. How cool that one of Dave's asides in the movie was him recommending we all study Thelonius Monk.
I had some other thoughts about the movie that I was thinking about writing up, but probably won't get around to it. One of those thoughts was how that group of musicians--that school of 90s hip hop and neo-soul, what this VV blogger called the Okayplayer aesthetic--is the closest some of us come to have a contemporary culture that we (have) connect(ed) with. But I wasn't articulating that idea too convincingly to Anj just now, so I'm not even going to try to explicate it in writing. I will just say that I'm glad I caught Common and the Roots a handful of times in that period that they were our zeitgeist, and regret not seeing Mos Def in that period.

I had some other random thoughts, but it turns out a surprising number of them are subsumed among the things that that VV blogger learned while watching Dave Chappelle's Block Party. (That blogger's got a name--Tom Breihan...give credit where credit is due--something I just gleaned from sepiamutiny's reblogging policy. One more thing: I've got to get to "Status Ain't Hood" more regularly.)

For instance, I actually did read "?uestlove's mammoth OKP post from immediately after the show"--which goes to show I was wasting a fair amount of time on music blog around that time; I also thought Jill Scott just about sang Erykah off the stage; and seeing/hearing Lauryn again gave me goosebumps too. (I appreciate all the more after reading and listening to this masterful week on breath of life.)

Ok, enough on all that. Got to get to typing some math.

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