Monday, May 29, 2006

Why Anthony Bourdain is the Greatest Wit of Our Time

I had been meaning to post for some time on why Anthony Bourdain is the greatest wit of our time, but as I watched him in India, I can hesitate no longer. Derided as being impotent by a guru, begging for a mint julep at camel races, and reluctantly dismissing his hatred for vegetarian cuisine, it's abundantly clear that he is to our time what Vera Caspary and Joseph L. Mankiewicz were circa 1947 (that'd be Letter to Three Wives for any neophytes), and I cannot help but worship this man. All this on the heels of his miraculous Mexico-US border special of last week, demonstrating, as I've attempted to elsewhere already, why the immigration conflict is a matter of pure racism toward a culture leagues richer and more vibrant than ours could ever be (and one I still consider to be my own, as I know I was secretly switched at birth and am pure Mexicano through every inch of my bloodstream), and intolerance/cracker scumbag mentality. Leave it to Anthony to elucidate so well, and remind me why he's already made me long to move to Saigon and (theoretically) go to Moscow to eat reindeer solely to scare the hell out of American children. Did I say yet that I love this man? (Last sidenote: while I've accepted my tentative embracing of/fondness for Rachael Ray, I do still also love his rabid hatred of her.) xo, B.

Polishing a New Liq DJ Set

First off, I'm leaving Cybersocket as of this week (final brilliant issue out on Friday before it inevitably reverts back to fluff, as I attempt to limit my writing to this page and stick to the graphic endeavors I'd much rather be pursuing elsewhere), so any new work leads, freelance or otherwise, are much appreciated at the moment.

In the meanwhile, to populate this blog with something (namely sublime eye candy in the form of my Kinky boys, after hearing that they'll be performing for free – with Sidestepper – on the lovely Water Court at California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles on July 1, to be followed by Nortec with live tuba/banda musicians on July 28), I thought I'd add the track list of a DJ set I've been hard at work orchestrating on this Memorial Day. The ultimate destination may or may not be a loft party on June 6, but either way it never hurts to have an alternately blistering and tropically tranquil (and, as ever, eclectic) set in the arsenal.

Hope you dig/get your own dose of inspiration:

Anjali, Lazy Lagoon (Wiiija)
Nina + Chris, Agua (Far Out)
RSL, Inside Looking Out (Players)
Gotan Project, Queremos Paz (XL)
Funky Lowlives, Irreplaceable (Stereo Deluxe)
Oi Va Voi, Refugee (Matthew Herbert Big Band Mix)(Resist)
Rosalia de Souza, Samba Novo (Gianluca Petrella Mix)(Schema)
Wakal, El T'Nel (Prodisc)
Kinky, Soun Tha Mi Primer Amor (Bostich Mix)(Sonic360)
Barrio Jazz Gang, Linda Cancao (Sonic360)
Mojo Project, Free (Love Monk)
Directions, Don't Hold Back (Diaspora)
Los Amigos Invisibles, Ease Your Mind (Luaka Bop)
Jazztronik + Flora Purim, Dentro de Mim (Takuma)
Simon Grey, The Galactica Suite (Domu Mix)(Especial)
Reel People + Dyanna Fearon, Washing Away (Defected)
Nortec Collective, Olvidela Compa (Nacional)
Swing Out Sister, Happy Ending (Universal)
Bebel Gilberto, O Caminho (Guy Sigsworth Mix)(Ziriguiboom)
Ely Guerra, Yo No (Higher Octave)
Troubleman + Nina Miranda, Paz (Far Out)
Cheo Feliciano, El Raton (Tico)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rare Mint Nectar

The cover for Baltin CD #29, Rare Mint Nectar, is done at long last. Hope you dig. xo, B.

Spanish Ephemera

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Death of a Beautiful Man (R.I.P. DJ Dusk)

I was shocked and saddened to say the least when I opened my email the other day and discovered that DJ Dusk had passed away. Dusk was a beautiful man (and sonically lovely DJ who helped inform my salsa and Latin funk education), and I had had a giant crush on him since at least '98 or '99, going back to the Ritual Events days when the original incarnation of the Rebirth were just starting. I had just seen him at last month's Descarga at Little Temple, less than a month ago. I had also been having a hard time finding out details of what had happened, despite many memorial postings on Fusicology, the Root Down and Descarga pages, Z-Trip's MySpace page and more, but ran into Jun at the Brand New Heavies + N'Dea gig @ the Roxy on Thursday, and he told me that Dusk had been run over by a reckless driver. Another page I've read since has indicated that Dusk was walking a female friend back to her car and ducked in front of the path of her and the oncoming vehicle to save her life and take the hit himself. This is a horrendous loss of a lovely, lovely man, and will affect the L.A. music community – that he largely helped save from the malaise that had swallowed it up for decades via his contributions to the acid jazz scene and the development of such groups as the Rebirth, Build an Ark, Bat Makumba and more – for years to come. The remembrance I'll be going to will be Sunday's Lovely Day @ the Lost Souls CafĂ© downtown – with none other than the mighty Bembe Segue and Joy Jones. It's easy to feel guilty enjoying one's self, but by all accounts Dusk would want all of us to celebrate his memory. I'll also be saving to contribute something to the family via their MySpace page, and encourage anyone else to do the same. Rest in peace Dusk. xo, B.