Kool Keith — Tashan Dorrsett

Wow, so Kool Keith actually has a good new album, Tashan Dorrsett! (mp3s)

His rhymes and delivery are way better than his last few efforts–perhaps inspired by the actually *really good* production/beats this time provided by DJ Junkaz Lou. Kutmaster Kurt and other producers had sounded pretty tired on their last few efforts with Kool Keith. In contrast, DJ Junkaz Lou pulls out some really good drum samples and programming , samples, scratches, and awesome analog sounding synth parts. Kool Keith hasn’t had production this good since…well, forever. Some might say Dr. Octagon had good production…but this is equally as good. Keith does fall back into some scatological and bladder-oriented rhymes once again…but overall Keith and DJ Junkaz Lou keep it pretty inspired and fresh. Really surprised at a very good effort with some really nice beats/production work. I heard Beck recorded a few songs with him way back, they should finally release those.

Amazon: Tashan Dorrsett! (mp3s)

Deezer: listen to Tashan Dorrsett for free

The Larry Hutch remix of Supa Supa Supreme is a particular standout production-wise.

Tashan Dorrsett trailer on YouTube. Only one beat is featured (sans album scratches and lyrics).

Watching Japanese TV For Free Online

*Update* Here’s a new oneKeyHoleTV, a program for watching Japanese television shows online…

Okay, so searching Yahoo Answers for how to watch Japanese TV for free online, some sites mentioned are http://www.gyao.jp, http://www.crunchyroll.com, and http://www.veoh.com. Anyone want to give more background/explanation? For example the gyao.jp site is all in Japanese…for non-Japanese speakers/readers, where do you find the online TV shows? There were some videos with play icons, I clicked one, and an online form came up…with all the form fields in Japanese. Are there a few easy fields to fill out to watch Japanese shows online for free? For veoh, you have to download additional software…is it worth it, does it work well?

What are some good Japanese dramas/sitcoms to watch to learn Japanese? I would prefer not to watch just anime, variety shows, and music videos, which seem to come up a lot on searches for these sites. Please leave reviews/tips in the comments.

Here’s a list of some Japanese news and music programs online. For example, it’s easy to start watching Japanese news online at the Fuji News Network site at http://www.fnn-news.com/en/index.html or the Yomiuri site at http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/stream/.

A for-pay alternative might be something like getting the TV Japan channel via cable or satellite TV such as on Comcast in the US…

Watch Netflix Watch Now, Hulu, and YouTube Videos on Your TV

It’s awesome to watch Netflix Watch Now movies and YouTube videos online on a TV set instead of a computer/laptop monitor.  And movies like 28 Days Later, Enter the Ninja, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the Secret of Nimh for free on Hulu.  Many if not most flat screen TVs these days have a VGA PC jack on the back if you look closely enough that yo can hook your computer right up to; hey are just about big computer monitors. Most of the time you may already have a S-video out jack on your computer, so you’d just need to hook up to a TV with a s-video cable or s-video cable and s-video to RCA adapter. I was looking for USB to S-video, but couldn’t find anything good or affordable, looks like most of it is via the VGA port. You may be able to use a VGA to RCA adapter or t a VGA to HDMI converter such as this one.

BUT most important, look for these cables and adapters at Walgreens, on Amazon, etc., where you can get them cheap. DO NOT go to that ripoff Radio Shack, where for video stuff they only have Monster cables, etc, adapters that cost literally $21 that you can get elsewhere for $5. Or $50 for a HDMI cable (which you can get for $16 at CVS or Walgreens). What a ripoff. Plus they always ask for your phone number, address, etc. when you try to get a refund, which is a pain and a waste of time, not to mention kind of annoying–do you really want some Radio Shack teen salesman and everyone in the store hearing your name, phone number, and address? Way to lose my business, Radio Shack, especially when I found a s video cable next door at Walgreens for $5 that you were trying to charge me $20 for.

Beck’s New Masterpiece–Modern Guilt

Beck–Chemtrails video

Beck’s new album, Modern Guilt, is, surprisingly to me, super awesome. I’ve never been a real Beck fan. I’ve liked some of his stuff here or there, but a lot of his songs and albums seemed a little too much like explorations–his psychadelic stuff not quite authentic, his hip hop stuff a little lightweight, everything covered in a light sheen of irony that made the songs sound like the had “quotes” around them–like, hey, here’s a kind of cool kind of ironic “psychadelic” or “hip hop” song–mostly they seemed like “takes” on types of genres, kind of like he was taking notes and working on a sketchbook, with songs and albums just nods in the general direction of a type of song, a time period, a genre, etc. Like, “I’d love to make a great psychadelic or folk or hip hop song, but here’s a nice little quick pop song for you in the mean time. ”

But Beck has really created a mature artistic musical peak, level, an accomplishment with Modern Guilt. Everything sounds loose, tight, full of effort, effortless, accomplished, purposeful, complicated, simple, authentic, and great. There’s nothing ironic-sounding or immature or undeveloped-sounding here. Each instrument sounds great–and his voice sounds classic in a mature, classic pop singer, songwriter kind of way.

The album ranges from psychadelic songs, where the drums have that great authentic folk/psychadelic breakbeat kind of thing you might find in some Susan Christie, Bonnie Dobson, Karen Dalton songs–the drums, guitars, bass, keyboards have a sound somewhere between Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, the Beatles (especially Strawberry Fields), and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album–lots of mellotron, strings, other great 60s/70s/folk/prog touches, but nothing extraneous or too superficial. Plus there are occasional shades of 90s Manchester stuff like the Stone Roses, which is inevitable since so much of that drew on the same 60s and 70s psychadelic references–especially Ringo’s classic, funky drumming (for those of you that think Ringo was a bad drummer, listen again–it’s a whole different thing Ringo was doing, that you can hear in a lot of funk, hip hop, breakbeat, krautrock, electonic music, etc)–and other 90s and up alternative acts of course. All those years of making songs in “quotations” and experimenting with various styles and genres has finally paid off and gelled into one quite awesome, cohesive album.

There are a lot of touches of Sebastien Tellier here I think, especially the chorus on the song Youthless…that would be a cool show, Beck and Sebastien Tellier…

One of the most interesting things is that Modern Guilt was produced by Danger Mouse! Just today I heard this great Black Keys song, it sounded so good, I looked it up, and who produced it…Danger Mouse! Danger Mouse, you have the best understanding of how to record and produce songs so they sound authentic and real–just like songs did back in the 60s and 70s! Wow, good job dude!!! I’m very psyched–I’ve always wondered, “Why don’t people record songs in a way that sounds totally natural, like songs in the 60s and 70s, like on Brian Eno, and Beatles, and Led Zeppelin albums? What could be so hard about just recording music that sounds like it’s real and authentic and live?” Hats off to you, Danger Mouse!

Beck–Cold Ass Fasion video (off the Jabberjaw compilation)

Flying Lizards — Her Story; Flying Lizards — Money (Live)

Two great songs by the Flying Lizards.  Her Story is really great dubby experimental pre-Stereolab kind of stuff, and Money is a pretty funny new wave cover of the song “Money.”  Wish there was a video of their song “Window” or stuff from their excellent Fourth Wall album on Youtube.

Ace–How Long

Awesome–you know the song, “How long has this been going on?”  I always figured it might be Steely Dan, Hall and Oates, or the Doobie Brothers or something, but turns out it’s the band Ace fronted by Paul Carrack.  Smooth for sure.  Should be a Yacht Rock episode about this.

Jean Luc Ponty–Cosmic Messenger

Jean Luc Ponty’s Cosmic Messenger is a great, great jazz fusion/prog rock album. Some of his tunes can be had at the great BEEQ blog or the El Camaleon blog.