Wednesday, September 28, 2005

But she ain't messin' with no broke nigga...

Click on the link above if you want to watch the Kayne West performance at Abbey Road Studios in London with a full orchestra. You'll be glad you did. The sound is incredible!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Chloe Liberman (Sometimes Wong)

My friend Carrie published her first novel called "Chloe Leiberman (Sometimes Wong)". She had a groovy launch party for the book last week. DJ Catskillz (that would be me) got to spin some records at the start of the party before Matt from the Rapture got on the decks. Click on the link above for some shots of the guests. And buy Carrie's book because it's rad!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Got to love Gawker Stalker!

I think that DLR goes to my laudromat! It makes sense since he lives on Ludlow Street near Rivington. Check out what I spotted on Gawker Stalker!

"Saw David Lee Roth dropping off his laundry on Ludlow St. wearing his FULL NYC EMS uniform and gear."

It's got to be the same place on Ludlow where I drop off my laundry too!! I'll have to keep an eye out for him!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Does anyone watch SNL anymore??

Looks like this season might be ok to watch...

Saturday Night Live is kicking off its 31st season on NBC starting on Oct 1st. Upcoming guest stars include Steve Carell, Jon Heder, aka Napoleon Dynamite, Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, and cycling champ Lance Armstrong. Musical guests include Kanye West, Franz Ferdinand And Sheryl Crow.

Gee what are the chances that Lance Armstrong will host the show that his fiancee Sherly Crow is on. And they should get Mike Myers to host the show that Kanye performs on since they were put together on that the Katrina Benefit that Kanye West spoke out against Bush on. Go Kanye go!

Have you heard this track yet?

Friday, September 16, 2005

My man Robbie has a good heart

Robbie Williams was paid £1 million to sing at a birthday party - and gave it to charity.

Robbie, 31, sang to 300 guests at the 50th birthday bash of City broker Michael Spencer, says the Sun.

He sang for an hour, starting at midnight with "Let Me Entertain You" and finishing with "Angels" at Chateau Meuf de Grasse in the south of France.

One guest said: “It was an incredible party that must have cost at least £1.5 million.

“It had everything money can buy and then some. The vintage wine and champagne included bottles worth thousands.

“When Robbie came on people could not believe that he was there playing to them in such an intimate venue. It was a night no one will forget.”

Seventies band Sister Sledge also played, while two of France’s top chefs provided food. Mr. Spencer is the UK’s 138th richest man with £360 million.

*** Let's hope that Robbie didn't sing his new single "Tripping" which, in my opinion, is quite dreadful! Click here to listen.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fashion doesn't always rock...does it?

My friend Beth and I went to the Fashion Rocks show last night at Radio City Music Hall. It definitely had some cool moments and some not so cool moments. Some of the people in the audience were hideous! Beth and I laughed at all the air kissing that was going on when people greeted each other.

The highlight by far was DAVID BOWIE performing with one of my fave bands THE ARCADE FIRE! Followed closely by Duran Duran who did 'Girls On Film' and Billy Idol who peformed 'White Wedding'. Gwen Stefani was there to do her new track 'Cool' and she also sang a song with Pharrell and Diddy. Even though I don't dig their music - Alicia Keys, Rob Thomas, and Shakira put on a good show!

My friend Shirley was also there and she snuck me backstage after the show where I was hanging out by Duran Duran's dressing room. Simon walked right by me as did Mark McGrath who was the co-host. He's long gone from his frat-boy acting Sugar Ray days that's for sure. I also was near Lisa Marie Presley's dressing room. She is so tiny!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kayne West has got some balls - good for him!


September 4, 2005
Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?
La Jolla, Calif.

WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?

Do they take away with them an awareness that it has always been not only a great white metropolis but also a great black city, a city where African-Americans have come together again and again to form the strongest African-American culture in the land?

The first literary magazine ever published in Louisiana was the work of black men, French-speaking poets and writers who brought together their work in three issues of a little book called L'Album Littéraire. That was in the 1840's, and by that time the city had a prosperous class of free black artisans, sculptors, businessmen, property owners, skilled laborers in all fields. Thousands of slaves lived on their own in the city, too, making a living at various jobs, and sending home a few dollars to their owners in the country at the end of the month.

This is not to diminish the horror of the slave market in the middle of the famous St. Louis Hotel, or the injustice of the slave labor on plantations from one end of the state to the other. It is merely to say that it was never all "have or have not" in this strange and beautiful city.

Later in the 19th century, as the Irish immigrants poured in by the thousands, filling the holds of ships that had emptied their cargoes of cotton in Liverpool, and as the German and Italian immigrants soon followed, a vital and complex culture emerged. Huge churches went up to serve the great faith of the city's European-born Catholics; convents and schools and orphanages were built for the newly arrived and the struggling; the city expanded in all directions with new neighborhoods of large, graceful houses, or areas of more humble cottages, even the smallest of which, with their floor-length shutters and deep-pitched roofs, possessed an undeniable Caribbean charm.

Through this all, black culture never declined in Louisiana. In fact, New Orleans became home to blacks in a way, perhaps, that few other American cities have ever been. Dillard University and Xavier University became two of the most outstanding black colleges in America; and once the battles of desegregation had been won, black New Orleanians entered all levels of life, building a visible middle class that is absent in far too many Western and Northern American cities to this day.

The influence of blacks on the music of the city and the nation is too immense and too well known to be described. It was black musicians coming down to New Orleans for work who nicknamed the city "the Big Easy" because it was a place where they could always find a job. But it's not fair to the nature of New Orleans to think of jazz and the blues as the poor man's music, or the music of the oppressed.

Something else was going on in New Orleans. The living was good there. The clock ticked more slowly; people laughed more easily; people kissed; people loved; there was joy.

Which is why so many New Orleanians, black and white, never went north. They didn't want to leave a place where they felt at home in neighborhoods that dated back centuries; they didn't want to leave families whose rounds of weddings, births and funerals had become the fabric of their lives. They didn't want to leave a city where tolerance had always been able to outweigh prejudice, where patience had always been able to outweigh rage. They didn't want to leave a place that was theirs.

And so New Orleans prospered, slowly, unevenly, but surely - home to Protestants and Catholics, including the Irish parading through the old neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day as they hand out cabbages and potatoes and onions to the eager crowds; including the Italians, with their lavish St. Joseph's altars spread out with cakes and cookies in homes and restaurants and churches every March; including the uptown traditionalists who seek to preserve the peace and beauty of the Garden District; including the Germans with their clubs and traditions; including the black population playing an ever increasing role in the city's civic affairs.

Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what "modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii.

I share this history for a reason - and to answer questions that have arisen these last few days. Almost as soon as the cameras began panning over the rooftops, and the helicopters began chopping free those trapped in their attics, a chorus of voices rose. "Why didn't they leave?" people asked both on and off camera. "Why did they stay there when they knew a storm was coming?" One reporter even asked me, "Why do people live in such a place?"

Then as conditions became unbearable, the looters took to the streets. Windows were smashed, jewelry snatched, stores broken open, water and food and televisions carried out by fierce and uninhibited crowds.

Now the voices grew even louder. How could these thieves loot and pillage in a time of such crisis? How could people shoot one another? Because the faces of those drowning and the faces of those looting were largely black faces, race came into the picture. What kind of people are these, the people of New Orleans, who stay in a city about to be flooded, and then turn on one another?

Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.

What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.

And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.

And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.

I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.

They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.

Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it. We are Americans. We are you.

Anne Rice is the author of the forthcoming novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans is sinking man and I don't want to swim

I am very sad about the flooding devastion in New Orleans. I have been to that glorious city twice (once just after SXSW in 1998 and for a week to celebrate New Year's Eve 1999) and I will cherish my memories of it including the highlight of getting a tour of Kingsway Studios personally by owner Daniel Lanois when the Afghan Whigs were recording their final album '1965' there. (Notice how Track 11 on that album is called "The Vampire Lanois".)

While reading some articles about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, someone pointed out an old article written on Sept 11th, 2001 (weirdly). It's quite something.

Published on: September 11, 2001

And after seeing that article, it can't help but make me thing of a certain song by the Tragically Hip.

"New Orleans Is Sinking"

Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smokey blue-green
I can't forsake a dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim

Colonel Tom, What's wrong? What's going on?
You can't tie yourself up for a deal
He said, "Hey north you're south shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real"
Ain't got no picture postcards, ain't got no souvenirs
My baby, she don't know me when I'm thinking 'bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the lord above
And said, "Hey man thanks"
Sometimes I fell so good, I gotta scream
She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said, I swear to God she said...
My memory is muddy what's this river that I'm in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim

Save CBGB's?

I went to the concert in Washington Square Park yesterday. 800 people showed up to support the club. A bunch of bands played including Blondie and Public Enemy. (Click on the links to see the excellent coverage from the Brooklyn Vegan blog.) I ended up getting into the backstage area and was standing close to Debbie Harry at one point as well as Chris and Tina from the Talking Heads.

I also got to chat with Chuck D and Prof. Griff from PE. I used to work with those guys. Very awesome to see them. Even though I met Flav before I didn't bother saying hello. He was swamped with people around him. He attracts attention wherever he goes.

Fight the power. More on the concert here.