Beastie Boys live in Glasgow, Scotland

You really missed out if you never experienced the Beastie Boys live in concert.

I saw them twice back in the 1990s, first on May 17, 1995 during the Ill Communication tour and again on August 14, 1998 in support of Hello Nasty. Two times seems far too few now that I think about it.

But I’ll never forget the shenanigans shared on the way to and from the Convocation Center in Cleveland, Ohio each trip. Remind me to tell you all about it the next time we see each other.

Until then, relive the Glasgow, Scotland show from 1999 featuring Ad-Rock, MCA, Mike D and Mix Master Mike. I just did, and it was pretty damn great.

Blueprint: Persevere w/ Perspective

I planned to share my disbelief regarding what took place Friday in Paris, then I realized anything I wrote would be best served encompassing the issue as a whole.

That wasn’t going to happen. We just don’t have much time for that nowadays. But the magnitude of the tragedy, much like any other that’s happened during our existence, is a hard reality to digest when confronted with it.

I can’t imagine attempting to pick up and carry on from such tragedy. Or living with the imagery of horror that was witnessed firsthand.

Imagine having to persevere in search of a new perspective. It’s certainly something to think about. Allow Columbus, Ohio’s Blueprint to take you down that path…


AC/DC released “Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap” at right time

I’m not much of an AC/DC fan. Don’t love them. Don’t hate them. But they did hold my ear at different parts in my life.

One album stands out among the rest.

I was introduced to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap more than 20 years ago. And I believe it contains two of the band’s best songs.

Aside from the title track – a fitting classic in its own right – “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)” and “Ride On” remain at the pinnacle for me.


Mashup Music Monday: Pink Floyd & Bee Gees in “Stayin’ Alive in the Wall”

It’s unexplainable.

That’s really the only way to explain how “Another Brick on the Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd and “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees can coexist into one fascinating song.

Just know that where there’s brain-washed kids marching in a single file line circa The Wall there’s gonna be John Travolta working the butterfly collar via Saturday Night Fever.

Brillant mashup from Wax Audio.

Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

One of the best songs on one of the most creative albums of the year comes off even better in video form.

Kendrick Lamar released imagery for “Alright” earlier this week, a horn-infused and repenting track produced by Pharrell Williams and Sounwave. The black and white video, directed by Colin Tilley, pushes the same type of buttons the To Pimp a Butterfly album has already evoked from listeners.

It’s a refreshing seven minutes of cinema. You’ll want to run this one back a few times.

The Muppets mashup w/ Beastie Boys, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Biz Markie, Digital Underground & Naughty by Nature

Shout out to isthishowyougoviral on YouTube for giving the world 1990s hip-hop music video mashups featuring everyone’s childhood heroes The Muppets.

The footage below is synced perfectly with classic throwback tracks by the Beastie Boys, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Biz Markie, Digital Underground and Naughty by Nature.

The best part is how each clip has a different Muppet character featured in a lead role including Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Animal, Dr. Teeth and others.

We can only hope Jim Henson is somewhere smiling as widely as we are at this very moment.


B.B. King is dead, long live his blues

The longer we live the more people we’ll see moving on from this crazy world. It’s inevitable. Many will be famous, others closer to home.

Late Thursday word began to spread of the passing of blues guitarist B.B. King at the age of 89. Whether you dig the blues or not, you most certainly know that King ranks among the greatest guitar players of all time.

Born in Mississippi in 1925, his music was a reflection of his upbringing. It connected with people of all walks of life and backgrounds, such is evident in videos below featuring U2 and Big K.R.I.T., and it’ll continue to inspire and live on for countless generations to come. Just as it should.


Ice Cube (1990-1994) – Spotify Playlist

The four albums that unleashed the solo career of Ice Cube onto the world are a treasure in the history of hip hop.

Whereas stereotypes have largely perpetrated rap in certain ways over the past couple decades, the initial era of the former backbone of N.W.A. is worthy of revisiting as he’s helped legitimize social concerns for an entire group of people.

Once you get past the menacing attitude of the production and equally intimidating delivery of the emcee, there’s lots of depth to peel back within each album. Ice Cube in the early 1990s comes complete with commentary matching the times, which can be tough to digest upon first sitting if hesitant to soak it all in.

There’s scathing tracks about corruption of law enforcement and the prison system, and government degradation and racial tension, and tales of street life and sexual relations. It’s all packaged with punk rock bravado from a ghetto-American point of view.


Roots Manuva – “Stolen Youth”

I’ve always been attracted to the imagery of the music video. Too bad they don’t get much play anymore on television.

But the beautiful thing about the technology of the world today is that the music video fan has taken over where the big-budget directors have left off. So take that, MTV.

The “Stolen Youth” track by Roots Manuva has gotten the DIY treatment by Karina Tolmacheva and Balazs Kajcsa, each of whom captured its essence in different ways while adding to how powerful the song already is on its own.


Run Them Jewels Fast

El-P and Killer Mike have been delivering the goods as Run The Jewels for more than two years.

On “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” they employ former Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha for additional social commentary on one of the most outstanding tracks from their new album Run The Jewels 2. They then took things to an entirely new level with the release of the music video this week.

Described as “an artistic, playful, yet painful look at the modern day struggle between our everyday citizens and law enforcement,” the visuals brought to life by AG Rojas are powerful.

At its conclusion it’s as if each side has decided it’s far too much hassle to be hassling each other in the first place. Decide for yourself…

Playlist: Beck (1994-2014)

I never intended to make a post that’s in any way associated with the Grammy Awards.

Hell, I hardly even pay attention to the Grammy Awards, unless I’m wandering aimlessly on social media and happen upon the typically ridiculous placement of artists in categories of which they have no business earning an award.

But then Kanye West blasted Beck for winning album of the year, for an album I admittedly dismissed upon its release much in the same way I did Sea Change in 2002. And although I own multiple albums by both Kanye and Beck, I found West’s response to Beck’s triumph as equally annoying as nearly every other music fan.


Digital Underground lets the contradictions run wild in Future Rhythm’s “Want It All”

There will always be a special place in the hearts of old school hip-hop fans when it comes to a collective like Digital Underground.

While Dr. Dre was turning Parliament-Funkadelic samples into gangster rap soundtracks, Digital Underground used the P-Funk sounds of the past to keep the party jumping with a much less serious vibe attached to it.

My go-to album in the Underground discography is Sons of the P from 1991, but I was recently reintroduced to a hidden gem that was released long after many fans had lost track of Shock G and his Humpty Hump stylings.

In 1996 Digital Underground released the vastly mediocre Future Rhythm album with a track called “Want It All” buried at the end. It’s everything you’d expect from the crew: funk, humor, creativity.


Hanni El Khatib grooves out on new “Moonlight” album

I’m not even sure how to pronounce his name. Guess I’ll learn soon enough though after spending Tuesday’s release day listening to the San Francisco native’s impressive new Moonlight album.

It’s the third release for Hanni El Khatib since debuting with Will The Guns Come Out in 2011. Head in the Dirt followed two years later with an assist from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, so you can imagine what some of these new songs might sound like: bluesy guitar-driven grooves accompanied by boastful drum sounds that carry a shadowy mood throughout.

Having never heard either of those previous albums I had no preconceived notions before giving this one my full attention. And after having had my fill of Auerbach and the Keys over the years I can say I was hardly surprised when I read about their connection after spinning through this for the first time. Moonlight possesses some of the signature sounds of The Black Keys but comes to an end before drowning in that style.

Standouts include the title track, “The Teeth,” “Chasin’,” “Mexico,” “Servant,” and “Two Brothers.” But don’t just settle for the official album. Be sure to check out the Moonlight album mixtape by J.Rocc for a different twist that’ll keep you going until the sun comes up.