Thursday, April 30, 2009

PSA: I Need to Find These Seersucker Shorts!

My seersucker shorts died last year. I've found it difficult to let go. There has been no replacement. I know. Obviously it's a downer for me as well...

But I've been trying to figure out how to move on, and I couldn't think it anything less than divine order when on only my 2nd (maybe 3rd?) reading of an US Weekly (for real, i'm not even trying to be highbrow or better than people who read US Weekly here) I would see Kanye wearing quite possibly the only pair of seersucker shorts that could replace -- dare I say, better? -- my beloved, dearly departed, basic white seersucker shorts. I took a picture via my iphone.

I know what you're thinking: In fact, this is the only picture missing from Obama's first 100 days. But that's only because he's smart enough to keep the agenda secret. Lest the hipsters get wind and make a mockery of it all. But he's looking for these shorts also, no question:

sereously eyem in such rush to get up i kant even bother to pruufreeed this. i uzually have to doo all sawts of spel-czech but no teyem this teyem, jus need feadbakk asap!!

i might even sign up for twitter for this. someone tell twitter if she can locate these shorts i'll sign up.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can Someone Tell Diddy About Black Cab Sessions?

For real, hip hop heads need a knockoff on this quick; its not straight biting, it's "inspiration." And Black Cab Sessions is a fairly inspirational idea: One song. One take. One cab. Tell me you're not a Lykke Li fan after this:

Now I know what the hipsters are talking about!

So yeah, fairly brilliant. And there's opportunity because it's an indie/rock dominated artist list; not trying to be racist or nothing, but I know if I pimp this site at an assimilated negro party they're not gonna know at least half the artists listed on the home page. And that's being generous and NYCcentric about it. So we could definitely get some black people up on this. Though it would officially kill the "black people can't get cabs" industry.

Mad emcees would rock the Black Cab though, and once Kanye got involved you know his cab's gonna glow or be a spaceship or something.

Hmmm, I wonder if Kanye can beatbox. It'd be hot to have him do the b-box for nas, jay, common maybe. Someone like that with strong presence, skills-cachet. Then they switch-off. You could get The Roots to rock that in a heartbeat, with Black Thought and ?uest and Scratch or Rahzel. Other duos: Dre and Em, RZA and someone from Wu. Doom and Mos Def. Andre and Big Boi. Then you could get the acoustic heads, i don't know who they are but ... oh yeah, wyclef. Lauryn Hill and someone. There's also the Def Poetry Jam type stuff from the urban cab-eligible oeuvre, which somewhat surprisingly is one of their most viewed clips:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reminder: TAN Reads Tomorrow

"Just a friendly reminder. A bunch of people will be having fun on Wednesday at the How I Learned Reading Series, and I just think that you are probably going to want to be one of those people."

How I Learned To Be Super Successful!
Wednesday at 8PM
Happy Ending
302 Broome Street between Forsyth + Eldridge

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mets Are Playing Like Mediocre Missionary Sex

Are you familiar with the Mets Are Better Than Sex? It's only the bestest sexiest Mets blog evar!! Well, my peeps over there got to peep Citi Field on Friday (I know you know, but is it in your active/conscious mind that "peep" can serve as both noun and verb?). They took some nice pictures (I'm dying to see Citi Field!), so please go on over there and check them out if you haven't seen the field yet (or even if you have).

One of the ladies in the crew is not only cute and smart, but a SIGN-MAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE, and she's always wooing Mr. David Wright:

You might think, eh, I've seen better. But that "a" in the "heart" pops out and actively beats. And it's two-sided. So yeah, top that!

AnyMet, the boys in Flushing aren't playing to a level worthy of this girl or the sign. Very middling, very boring, very unexciting seen-it-and-done-it-before kind of sex going on at Citi to open the season. Almost makes me think I might like real sex more than the Mets. But then Johan's turn in the rotation comes and I pop a louisville slugger, and wetness ensues, and ... well, I've said too much already.

If they don't fix it up in a hurry soon though, they're gonna lose girls like Dee and the only fan left will be this dude.
So please think about that next time you don't want to drive in a runner in scoring position, Mr. Wright, Mr. Beltran et. al.

Sexy Signage Help Mets Win First Game at Citi Field [Mets Are Better Than Sex]

SWC image: via

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

In Search of the Hipster Grifter

we'll be digging in deeper this weekend on The Hipster Grifter (followups here, and here)

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan has been on the case.

And now the accessorizing has begun, (via freewilliamsburg, unironic tees, natch)

i'll be out in Hipster HQ (williamsburg) doing street-reaction, early afternoon, so look for the non-connable negro if you want to get something off your chest. or, if you're kari (you have a friend in TAN, Ms. Jabar).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet Larry Wilmore: Future Baron, Father to Black Paris Hilton

in case you missed it, we ran these outtakes from my interview with Larry Wilmore on Gawker over the weekend.

The original interview ran in support of Larry's book, I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts, on The Daily Beast's book blog.

The hosting on gawker got messed up (that's what happens on the weekend), so I'm reposting here sans megaupload ads. it's a little small, but you can go peep on gawker if size matters.

cheers, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Looks Like a Consensus Ixnay On the Asher Roth-ay

So the reviews of the much-hyped Asher Roth album Asleep in the Bread Aisle are streaming out, and the wisdom of crowds appear to be in agreement that the lp is sort of like a nap in the ... huh, what? Oh. Well, they seem to think it's boring.

Primary problem appears to be there's just not enough hot fire to carry an album. I called the single Lark a banger, and everyone likes that beat, with some feeling the flow some not. But after that, I Love College (the song that put him on the map), and "As I Em" (his statement on all the Eminem white-rapper comparisons), there doesn't appear to be much in the way of crowd motivating. A quick roundup:.

Byron Crawford: I was all set to find something to like about this album, just for the sake of being a contrarian, but I couldn't. This isn't a very good album at all. The first half is at least listenable. The second half? Not so much.

Pitchfork: on the single Lark, "To be fair, he can flow (that's what biting Eminem's style will do) but content-wise, it's... nothing. All sandpaper-smooth edges, corny blowjob jokes, and pointless pop culture references, like MF Doom's talentless hack stepchild."


The Rap Up: not as bad, "The album kicks off with a bang but never quite sustains that intensity. Still, there are some magical moments here."

Spin: The single may be a brilliantly dopey confection, but the rest just feels like someone's marketing plan. Lacking the lyrical gymnastics and personality of his mix tapes and freestyles, Roth's debut boasts a laziness that borders on contempt.

To be fair, Loud records founder Steve Rifkind is a spotlighted review on Asher's site The Daily Kush, and he apparently calls it a Top 5 album evar! I'd link it, but it requires all sorts of id/registration to go to the post directly. Pass. Also, Rosh is on Rifkind's label and I have a nagging feeling that's influencing his judgment on the matter. I could be wrong though.

Anyash, it's floating about on the nets now so you can seek and decide for yourself if so inclined. I'm of the mind that Roth may become more interesting if we look at him as an example of what pitchfork mentions in their blurb on him, "That's the feeling of the top-down promotions game, where the guy has industry-generated buzz before he even has a hit single or an audience to speak of."

Asher in his interviews, and live performances transmits a certain authenticity, but there is so much thought obviously put into his artist image/identity that it's not difficult to imagine those grubby corporate fingertips getting too hands-on with the actual work and over-massaging until the album's a generic blob of silly-putty.

And even some of these live bits, look like one of those scenarios where you don't want to hate, but you might feel resistant to how much head-nodding he's doing:

Sucks when dudes get you exercising and sh*t out of joy for their demo, or else make you feel uncomfortable for not gesticulating your enthusiasm with as much force and rah-rah as they. Maybe he is just one of those dudes. Even the informal intimate encounters feel like he's putting the marketing squeeze on for a testimonial.

Cool freestyle, like if your friend's a rapper and just likes to freestyle as you walk to the bar. But you could forget about it after the next facebook status update that comes across your line of vision. And that "come on, guys" is telling ... come on what? do a cartwheel?

In any event, I'm inclined to blame the system, not the man. And if he's got the fire for real he's certainly young enough to survive a little bubble bursting.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Music to Mention at Cocktail Parties: Op Swamp 81

Hat tip to Phonte of Little Brother and The Foreign Exchange, his itunes review put me up on some hot fire that goes by the name of: OP Swamp 81. He says:


Anything with Bilal Salaam's name on it is automatic coppery, but "Decompose" had me sittin in my living room rockin back and forth fannin myself with that good church fan (you know the one with martin Luther Kaing on the front, and an ad for a funeral home on the back?)

Excellent work, peoples. I am officially on the jock of everyone involved in this project.

*scraps next album, goes back to the drawing board*

word, well with support like that, I had to peep. And consider this the blog co-sign. Up on the right is the ep cover, how it should look in your itunes coverflow.

"Decompose" is the joint, but not online. Here's a song called "Another Day"

Even better than the music, their myspace isn't all littered up yet with fan crud, so if you start talking about them TODAY you can definitely still put "ahead of the curve" on your business card. I used helvetica typeface on mine! Also, you can stop talking about Kanye and Lil' Wayne as much as you do. And maybe impress a hipster chick who doesn't go to cocktail parties. Jeah.

The ep is on itunes, and only has a handful of songs. Kind of like the "Yeah Yeah Yeahs" and "The Strokes" before they blew. Not sure if they have that kind of upside in terms of notoriety/celebrity, but they have that kind of skill.

More fuel for your too-cool-for-blogs cachet: the name "Op Swamp 81" references some realness, and they describe their sound as a mix of :

and this:

now all you have to do is go find a mainstream dude on the street still talking about Gnarls Barkley, and blow their medulla oblongata with some style and substance.

Your Matrix of Morality

this ran on Gawker over the weekend, here's the tease:

Hey baby, what's your major? Philosophy? Oh yeah? Me too. Wait? David Brooks said what? God/Print/Hip Hop/Web2.0/Print/Facebook andPhilosophy is dead??? And then 446 unemployed philosophy majors commented in protest??? Oh, hell no.

So, um, hell yeah, earlier this week David Brooks waxed Gladwellian while filling in for Bob Herbert with a column breathlessly headlined "End of Philosophy." But it was more about "Reassessing Morality." Or as he phrases "moral thinking." Whatever....

[click Matrix or link for the rest]

The Morality Matrix [Gawker]

The Melanin Matrix

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Announcement: TAN Reads, Makes "Super Successful" Themed Jokes

I will issue a reminder on this next week, as we get closer to the Apocalypse. But for now, this press release should do the trick. TAN will be reading at the "How I Learned..." reading series.

At this series, see, people talk about how they learned things, like the last one was "how i learned my adolescence is over. cool, huh? I mean: cool, huh!!! So this one is about "how i learned to be super successful" and y'know I almost didn't have the resume to participate, but then I showed Blaise a trick i can do with my middle two toes, and now, well, I'm sorry I decided to write more in this intro rather than go right to the announcement ...

Not my area of expertise PERSONALLY. I'm eager to learn some tips from these talented people while laughing and drinking successfully with you. It will be hilarious, educational, AND DEEP. Enough to make Oprah punch air.

The How I Learned Reading Series presents:


(Writer, "The Assimilated Negro," Gawker, New York Times, NPR, several enviable accomplishments)

(Comedian/Writer, The Dave Hill Explosion, King of Miami, This American Life, basically a renaissance man)

(as seen, coincidentally, in a TAN Party Crash)
(Writer/Playwright, Have You No Shame? And Other Regrettable Stories, Ars Nova, also gorgeous and crazy-popular)

(Writer, The Adventures of Cancer Bitch, plus a list of successes that would seriously blow your mind)


Wednesday, April 22nd, 8PM

302 Broome Street
(between Forsyth & Eldridge)
Look for the hot pink awning that says "XIE HE Health Club."
(212) 334-9676
Get directions


PATRICE EVANS is a writer whose blog The Assimilated Negro (T.A.N.) was cited by MSNBC and The Houston Chronicle as "first in a string of blogs that act as a virtual shrink's sofa for those tackling the tricky topics of race and class." Patrice and his work have sullied the reputations of venerable media institutions such as the New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, and, um, Gawker. His first book NEGROPEDIA, an encyclopedic send-up of the modern black experience in post-racial America, will be published by Crown/Three Rivers. When not tugging at the strings of his fraying sanity on TAN, he blogs for NBC New York, among others.

DAVE HILL is a writer, performer, musician, comedy-type person, artist, thinking man, and thief. Soon he is to steal your heart. He has written for the New York Times, Salon, Blender, Huffington Post, Guitar World, and a bunch of other people too. Aside from appearances on HBO, MTV, VH1, Spike TV, Court TV, you may also know him as the star of the wildly popular King of Miami program on the MOJO network or as the host of the live chat/variety/donkey show called the Dave Hill Explosion. In addition to having been on public radio's This American Life, Dave has also rocked America (and even parts of Canada) as a member of such critically-acclaimed-but-not-so-popular-as-to-be-considered-a-sellout bands as Uptown Sinclair, Cobra Verde, and Sons of Elvis. Lately, he has been rocking people into submission as the singer and guitar player for Valley Lodge and also the guitar player for Children of the Unicorn. There is talk of stickers. He has the best website on the internet at

RACHEL SHUKERT is a playwright, author and sometime performer. Her first book, Have You No Shame? And Other Regrettable Stories, was published in 2008 by Random House/Villard. Rachel's plays, which include Bloody Mary (NYIT Award nominee), Johnny Applefucker, The Worshipped, Sequins for Satan, and Perfection (with Neal Medlyn), have been produced and developed by Ars Nova, Soho Think Tank/Ice Factory, the Williamstown Theater Festival, the EVOLVE Series at Galapagos, the Prelude Festival at CUNY, as well as extensively throughout the Netherlands. She is also the co-founder of the theater group The Bushwick Hotel. Rachel's writing has appeared in Nerve, Heeb, and McSweeney's and in the anthologies 2033: The Future of Misbehavior and Best Sex Writing 2008, among others. She is currently working on her second book, The Grand Tour, which will be published by Harper Collins in the spring of 2010. Visit her at

S.L. WISENBERG is in town from Chicago with The Adventures of Cancer Bitch, the only nonfiction book she knows of without a subtitle. Kirkus Reviews called her book "deeply personal, often darkly funny....Tart and scary." Her other books are Holocaust Girls: History, Memory & Other Obsessions (essays) and The Sweetheart Is In (stories). She co-directs the MA/MFA in Creative Writing program at Northwestern University. She's received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has learned to be successful at: emptying drains from a fresh mastectomy site, getting friends to decorate her bald head with peace signs and anti-war messages, and living one-breasted (sort of like an Amazon but not quite). Her blog is


How I Learned is a brand new monthly reading series featuring a mix of writers, comedians, bloggers and performers as chosen by hostess Blaise Allysen Kearsley based primarily on personal hygiene and make out prowess. Offering fact, fiction, and everything in between, How I Learned strives to share invaluable life lessons against a dimly lit, self-indulgent, sexually tense and booze fueled backdrop. It's education that works.

Blaise Allysen Kearsley (also known as Blaise K because she's lazy) is a writer, photographer and veteran blogger who has appeared at PS122, Lolita, Bowery Poetry Club and Collective Unconscious. Her writing has been published in Nerve, Vice and The Black Table, and in the books Mortified and Cringe. She has been written up by Gawker, Gothamist, several major New York publications, a glossy British magazine for teen girls, and a newsletter for young orthodox Jews who live in Toronto. She doesn't blame you for being jealous.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Ridiculously Priced Table Collection, by Ralph Lauren

Just in time for spring, and the recession.

Tables designed by Ralph ...
Pricing inspired by Retarded ...
the status is yours to keep....

we present the so-ridiculously-priced-you-have-to-blog-about-it table collection, by that most trusted name in aspirational American assimilation....

Our first item, we have a slab of brown wood over this-better-not-be-aluminum-we-payed-too-much-for-it-dahling. Lamp, reading material not included. Price: $17,000

Next up, for our young starter-home bargain-shoppers, we have your grandmother's dining room table. Just as you remember it, fresh and gleaming after a recent Pledge™ job. Price: $14,085

Finally, we have glass -- that's right, glass! -- over those hopefully-not-so-aluminum sawhorse legs you saw earlier. Redundancy is an underrated feature in a collection like this. Price: $16,395

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On Eminem's New Video "We Made You", and What's Different This Time Around

The new eminem video is in rotation on every urban hip hop blog at the moment. Because of Em's departure from the game it actually provides perspective on how far technology, new media etc have come since Marshall Mathers was last dominating the scene.

Back when he first blew up, if you were looking for minority (as in smaller, not racial/cultural) opinions and voices you had to go out of your way to seek them out. The public perception/reception of an artist was part of the whole music marketing infrastructure where the money/labels controlled the message. But now anything that comes out is guaranteed to have a good spread of Stans, Haters, Crazies, Thoughtful Opinionators chorusing in the comments.

In Eminem's case specifically, his albums have always had an intriguingly stark dichotomy between his white people songs and black people songs: he had the mainstream songs intended for mass consumption, lush with pop culture references sing-song hooks, and rhyme-schemed for accessibility. Then he had those songs that reflected his background as an underground emcee used to freestyling, battles, dense hyper-lyricism-as-end. This is the former:

You can argue Em's pop rhyming is still denser/"harder" than most, but it's really about the artist intent. At the turn of the century it would have been difficult to get a comprehensive sense of the response to this ethnocultural dichotomy in his music, though everyone was certainly aware of it. You could get it out of reviews from journalists that ponder such angles, but not direct from the masses. Without having a melange of multicultural friends with varying degrees of background and interest in hip hop it was all speculation as to whether "My Name Is" or "Without Me" was cheesy to the black dude who grew up with hip hop, vs. the white girl in college who loved it. That sort of thread. But now it's something you can track closely via the related niche blogs, and, as I see it, it sort of platforms the art/music/product as window into the thin-slicing mind.

um, in mercifully shorter terms: a song like this is made to provoke reactions; it's almost more of an art piece than his actual "serious" songs. But it's only now in 2009 that we have the ability to treat it as such, before all takeaways were tied to its ability to generate money.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Modern Ladies Guide to Advertising: Ok To Talk Bush Now

AdFreak cues us in to some liberated female ad campaigning. Is this the start of a new reinvigorated Femadvertising™ trend? Are the not-so-fresh ads about to get a lot more fresh edgy? What would ladies sing about tampons if they weren't being censored all the time? Can insider access to girls pooping be far behind?

Anyvassar, I'm just saying, if you like it then you better put a ring on it.

She is woman, hear her roar! About bush.

you've come a long way, baby! no, really. congrats.

image via Copy

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Racism Can Turn Black People Into Toothpaste

I'm someone who finds the straightforward in-your-face racism boring, and quite frankly, offensive. Yeah, it's the bizarro racism that really turns my melanin burgundy. To wit this commercial for an herbal toothpaste:

1. little white (copy updates w/ probably Asian) girl needs big black dude to monkey-climb the post for her balloon. honestly, I wouldn't flinch myself, but the black people-monkey allusions are still dangerously touchy territory in 2009 for anyone to be toying with in an ad campaign.

2. Making sure if you thought the gorilla climbing the tree was inadvertent racism, we have the crazy mother scooping her child up because a black guy in a tanktop and shorts just climbed 500 feet to retrieve her daughter's balloon ...???

3. Then with 20 seconds remaining in the clip, our poor balloon-fetcher returns to what appears to be his one-bedroom apartment in a suburbanish housing complex, where we find out he retrieves balloons and scares moms regularly, sleeps on a giant toothbrush, and turns into -- i'm guessing here -- herbal toothpaste. Ahh yes, makes me want to get those cavities out right now!

So i have no idea why, and i'm all a fan of going outside the box or whathaveyou, but this racist Donnie Darko-meets-Colgate approach to advertising just seems a little off the mark for me. But maybe this is what you need to do these days to get the kids to brush their teeth.

via: copyranter

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mos Def Meets Less Def?

As we see so often in life, it's about being comfortable with your environment. That instills confidence, allows an individual to project intelligence, command respect etc. Even the most ferocious of minds are easily tamed outside of their natural habitat.

To demonstrate we present Special Agent Mos Def, here providing valuable insight into the popularity of cultish hip hop favorite MF Doom:

Honestly, I wasn't fully persuaded on DOOM until this video. Mos speaks with authority, almost oblivious to the presence/opinion of others.

On the flip side, in a less alpha-dominant position the mighty Mos flails a bit in the presence of the permanently-domineering -- and obvious former rapper in a past life -- Christopher "Start Snitchin'" Hitchens:

I mean, ok, sure, you win Hitch. You usually do. But that's cause you're not showing up to talk about "how a n move the crowd like an old negro spiritual." What you know about THAT, Mr. Taliban Expert??

More to life than knowing about current events, son. word.

Still, I bet even the black Dante would give props for never backing off the beef. Chris always keeps it realer than most, and if Jon Stewart isn't KRS-One then Hitch mos definitely is. Cheers.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Presenting iDaft: iBiggie, iEm, iWeezy Soon to Follow?

iDaft makes your laptop better faster stronger etc.

click on the pic. play with the sampler. rinse. wash. repeat.

lots of what we in the business call "Annoyance Upside" here, be sure to share the link with the kidz.

this is fun, but it's even funner to imagine all the songs you can lay out in samples on your iMPC3000-phone, i went with the recognizeable-hip-hop-names playlist, but how soon until your whole music library can be rendered into 16 pad samples? Good times, good times.
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