Stephan Balleux

Those of you that tentatively keep an eye on this blog may have suspected that I have a fondness of skulls. I'm not quite sure where it came from, but I can promise that it's not going anywhere anytime soon. During my search of images for use in the creation of cell phone wallpaper, I came across and artist worth bumping to the forefront of this blog at the very least.

I present the dramatic work of Belgian artist Stephan Balleux.
He appears to be currently represented by Think.21 Contemporary Gallery (Brussels, Belgium). 
My Blackberry is going to look so badass.


Peur(s) du Noir

Spiders' legs brushing against naked skin…
Unexplainable noises heard at night in a dark bedroom…
A big empty house where you feel a presence…
A hypodermic needle getting closer and closer…
A dead thing trapped in a bottle of formaldehyde…
A huge growling dog, baring its teeth and staring…

"Rusty alleyways and vaporous ghosts painted by the masters of dread. Razor-sharp images that will slice your eye and nest there forever. Thrilling, disturbing and haunting. Bring the kids!" (Guillermo Del Toro)

Prima Linea


Hitchin' a Ride

I'm moving down south in less than two weeks, and our transportation has come into question because my Mini's transmission was allegedly made by German children. That being the case, I am looking into alternate means to the aforementioned end. After much search and debate, I'm pretty sure that I've found a best case scenario in the work of Robert Nightingale.

From the Designer:
"For best results position yourself at traffic lights, railway stations or air hangers. Subtly wait for the opportune moment (which is precisely 7 seconds before the initial point of acceleration) and attach the product as firmly as possible to the host vehicle (a brief run up usually does the trick), paying attention to ground clearance for ones feet and enjoy the ride…"


Ronald Jenkees

So it's my homie Rossome's birthday tonight, and after work my beau and I are expected to attend his Hall and Oates party. My boyfriend, the gentleman that he is, has selected the Hall portion of this costumed experience. This leaves me with the particularly difficult task of figuring out how I'm going to fake a mustache with only a few hours of prep time.

Like any diligent partygoer, I decided to do my research in the most reputable and reliable of places; namely the internets. During my search, I came across this killer (but not so helpful if you are looking for an Oates style stache) video on YouTube.

Needless to say, I instantly fell in love (sorry J.Abel(s)) and had to do more research into the world and mind of Ronald Jenkees. Turns out this dude shares more than faux staches with the world, on a mostly musical and always saccharine level. I found myself lost in his YouTube Channel for hours. If you need another example of his adorableness, look no further.

Harry Carey and Timbaland had a baby 'yall...
and he'll pop your head off.

...and then it happened...
The Great Ronald Jenkees took his hat off and donned a tux...
...for a webcam interview.

Clever character or superfly nerdsauce? Any way you slice it, Ronald is an interesting and obviously talented musician. If this online persona is in fact a ploy, act, or independent marketing tactic, it is no less genius than the music that he produces on a consistent basis.

Whatever. He's super fun.
Here's his most recent YouTube addition.

Europe - The Final Countdown (Jenkees Style)
Bill Conti - Gonna Fly Now (The Rocky Song Remixed)
Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) Podcast Intro


Funk Break

I made the very serious mistake of eating a delicious Whopper Jr® this afternoon, and was left with funk belly.
To balance it all out, I thought I would update my neglected blog with some YouTube sized luhvan.

Get tha Funk Out ma' Face - The Brothers Johnson

Tear the Roof off the Sucker / Give up the Funk - Parliament Funkadelic

Funky Stuff - Kool & the Gang

I Want to Take you Higher - Sly & the Family Stone

Fire - Ohio Players

Pusherman - Curtis Mayfield

Strangely enough, I found this gem after initially pasting this blog. What the blood clot, internet?
Here is some dude in a Burger King costume dancing to...

Brick - Dazz



Sigur Rós has launched a new video for their forthcoming single "Gobbledigook." Word has spread that Sigur Rós's new album has a name (með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust), a translation ("with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly") and a killer video to go with the previously mentioned radikillerosityness.

Download the single from their website here, and check out the video if you are into mostly naked peeps banging on nature and generally frolicking like hippies. It is worth the time and effort and not unlike an american apparel ad without the sensibly priced cotton clothing. If that isn't temptation enough, it has been banned by both YouTube and MTV (who assert that they still play videos when convenient). I present a humble screen shot as evidence of awesome...

Internet Sensation Inspirations

Watch the full episode of Canada on Strike to catch South Park's interpretation of recent internet sensations via YouTube.

What What in the Butt - Samwell

Dramatic Look Gopher

Afro Ninja

Laughing Baby

Star Wars Kid

Numa Numa

Tron Guy

Leave Britney Alone!

Asian Backstreet Boys

Chocolate Rain

Sneezing Panda


The Birdman

Artist Benjamin Verdonck is currently nesting on the Rotterdam Weena Tower. His week long performance “The Great Swallow” involves a nest, man, and a gaint egg.
*Spoiler alert Rotterdam*

"It's the tragic story of a man who comes, sees and in a final attempt to embrace his audience eventually falls." - via

He came. He saw. He nested. He laid an egg. He then plummeted 500 ft and asked people how they felt about it. They should have asked Knol Tate.

For the Fierce! arts event in Birmingham four or so years ago, a similar cage was affixed to the Rotunda.
Before THAT, the Birdman was hooked on the Anspach in his native Belgium.


Lace Fence

"LACE FENCE is a high-end metal fabric that gives new insights in how we can create unique environments.

The design, quality and density of the patterns are flexible. Meaning that for each application we create according to its function. For example to prevent climbing on, to hide or enhance its surroundings. To deal with harsh weather or to give an unique custom made look."

Seriously, if you can crochet a fence we need to be friends. Stat. I'm having trouble with HATS.


Six Degrees of Human Nature

Initially I was looking for hip hop videos featuring flaming garbage cans for my new favorite blog break project, Flaming Garbage Cans in Hip Hop Videos (a collaborative effort between myself and Monolith).

I cam across this gem, but to my dismay there are no flames in any of the garbage can clips. There is smoke, yes, but that just will not cut it. It's almost as annoying as what we've come to call "general fire" and the deceptive "flame like lighting."

Needing a break from my search, I thought I'd take the opportunity to play the sample game. I was under the distinct impression that Kool G Rap sampled Human Nature at some point, but I can't find confirmation. If anyone can back me up or shut me up I would be greatly obliged.

Nas - It Ain't Hard To Tell

2Pac - Thug Nature

SWV - Right Here

Michael Jackson - Human Nature

Madonna - Human Nature

Main Source - What You Need


Gnarls Barkley "Run" (may cause seizures)

The video for Gnarls Barkley's new single, "Run," may feature a cameo from Justin Timberlake, but it's still not quite ready to air on MTV.

That's because of its strobe effects, which caused the clip to fail the Harding Test -- guidelines established to prevent TV images from triggering epileptic seizures.

"I don't know exactly what's going on, but we're having issues. I think (the video) is cool. It works for me. But I'm not necessarily that easily seasick," he told Billboard.com. "We can't predict how people are going to interpret it."

"Run" centers around the fictional public access TV show "City Vibin"' and is set in the early '90s. Timberlake appears as the host of the program, on which Danger Mouse and fellow Gnarls Barkley principal Cee-Lo then perform the track.

With its new album, "The Odd Couple," nearing its April 8 release date, Gnarls Barkley are about to shoot a video for the second single, "Who's Gonna Save My Soul."




Relegate me to the geek table in the internet lunchroom if you'd like, but I've been playing chess online like it's my job. In fact, I wish that it was my job.

I know that there are those of you that play against your computer from time to time (thanks for the hints and undo options Mac!), but playing against other people is always more fun and generally includes a gang of trash talk.

Bring it to the TrailerParkNinja at gameknot for a correspondence based smack down...
I just signed up today; you should chess it too.

Internet Chess Club | Free Internet Chess Server

Come get some.



Track Listing

01 . The La's - There She Goes
02 . Belle & Sebastian - Get me Away From Here, I'm Dying
03 . Pinback - Penelope
04 . Minus the Bear - Pachuca Sunrise
05 . Band of Horses - Our Swords
06 . Modest Mouse - Trailer Trash
07 . Colin Hay - Overkill
08 . Ben Gibbard - They Don't Know
09 . The Diskettes - 1 2 3 4 5
10 . Half-handed Cloud - You've Been Faithfull
11 . The ELected - a Time for Emily
12 . Park - Conversations With Emily
13 . Say Anything - Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too
14 . Metric - Combat Baby
15 . Vox Vermillion - Controller
16 . Tegan & Sara - Back in Your Head
17 . Askeleton - Cities, Not the People who Live in Them
18 . The Brunettes - Cotton Candy
19 . Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Kiss Kiss
20 . Kings of Leon - Cha rmer
21 . Boxer - Mistaken for Strangers
22 . A Place to Bury Strangers - I Know I'll See You
23 . The Thermals - How We Know
24 . The Subways - Take me Away
25 . Ela - Professional Love
26 . The Format - Tie the Rope
27 . Spoon - Everything Hits at Once
28 . Britt Daniel & Conor Oberst - Let the Distance Keep us Together
29 . Get Set Go - Wait
30 . Olympic Hopefulls - Drain the Sea
31 . Nightmare of You - Ode to Serotonin
32 . Tilly & the Wall - You and I Misbehaving
33 . Woods - Skin and Bones
34 . Roma di Luna - The Face of my Friends
35 . Inara George - Fools in Love

Spring Fever



Some of you may remember Sifl & Olly, a short run MTV experiment that ranks as my favorite shows of all time. Mostly, the relationship between originators Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco reminds me of one I've share with the home slice T.Bag for the past twentysome years. They live together with young, clueless Chester. Their landlord wants the rent money, he wants them to get rid of the monkeys, and they put on a show every night.

"Sifl was the calmer leader of the show while Olly was more excitable and often broke into crazed furies. Their assistant, Chester (made out of an inverted mold for a Buddha statue combined with a sleeve), was a mumbling, often nonsensical character who still claimed to be great at everything. No real living people or animals ever appeared on the show (except the hamster during Precious Roy's foot long hamster sale), only puppets" (wikipedia).

As the show has been canceled for nearly a decade, one of the few sockhead bastions to survive the blast is YouTube.

Includes ninja exam, letters to Chester and the song Ninja of the Night.
...you are weak like the salted slug and your mind is slow like the sloth on sake...

How Sifl & Olly came into existence.
The Making Of | a glimpse behind the scenes

Sifl & Olly Season 1 Episode 10: (part 1) (part 2)
Blacklisted Nursery Rhymes / Calls: Problem in the Bathroom, Cheater, Landlord (Waterslide) / Rock Fact: What Human Oddity Will Forever Link Bjork & Will Smith? / Song: "Country Boy Song" / Precious Roy's Night Vision Goggles / News: Olly Won't Do The News / Calls: D&D Wizard Has Herpes, Wart Gems, Take Me Back To Mary's House / Chester: Pet Peeve / Rock Fact: What Is Queen Latifa's Real name? / Interview: Giganticus the Elephant / Song: "Lullaby Song"

Sifl & Olly Season 2 Episode 1: (part 1) (part 2)
Calls from the Public: Pennywhistle Swallower, Gremlin Exterminator, Zafo, Alien / Snailsuit Chester / Olly Moondust sings: "Star Lover" / Precious Roy's Elf Hotel / Interview: President of Shadows Inc. / Kickin' It Old School: "Fake Blood" / Interview: Brett the Gremlin / Chester: Getting Into TV / Craig Allen sings: "The Elf Song"

Sifl & Olly Season 2 Episode 2: (part 1) (part 2)
Calls: Olly's Mom (Fafoo's Recital), Madame Dominique / Chester: Naked Girl / Song: "Remember" / Precious Roy's Disaster Suit / Interview: Olly, Sifl & Chester Read Their Diaries / Kickin' It Old School: "Rock and Roll Friends" / Interview: Peto & Flek (Lost Episodes) / Letters to Chester: How To Break In Jeans / Song: "Empty Zippo Blues (Olly's Dylan Song)"

Sifl & Olly Season 2 Episode 3: (part 1) (part 2)
Sex Girl Intro / Calls: Cres Dude (Uncres), Webby Avalton, Mindblow / Chester: Tranquilized / Song: "Hawaiian Rap" / Precious Roy's Hooker Monkeys / Interview: Sex Girl Returns / Kickin' It Old School: "Prostitute Laundry" / Interview: Cooking With Aesop Jones (Waffles) / Letters to Chester: Picture Pose / Song: "Hair Of The Dog (Now You're Messin' With A Son of a Bitch)"

Sifl & Olly Season 2 Episode 4: (part 1) (part 2)
Calls: Worlock Wannabee, Zafo (Mt. Rushmore), Meteor / Letter To Chester: Modern Lover / Song: "65 & Over & Over" / Precious Roy's All Purpose Juicer / Interview: Breakfast Serial 2 / Kickin' It Old School: "Performance Art" / Interview: Hitch-hiker (Hit by the Car) / Chester: Water & Magnet Collector / Song: "Soda Pop (the magnetic car song)"

...skip a few...

Sifl & Olly Season 2 Episode 14: (in one fell swoop)
Calls: Sifl from Jail, Johnny Fucking Appleseed, Sifl Clone, Sports Talk / Chester Takes an IQ Test / Song: "Speed Reading" / Precious Roy's "Dangerous Don't" Dolls (Betty Blade, Elctrocutie Kitty, Pete Heat) / Interview with Sifls and Olly Clones / Kickin' It Old School: "Weird Day" / Interview: Grout's Trivia Trapazoids with Stealth, Precious Roy, Chester & Cres / Letter to Chester from Dewey Kraus in Prison / Song: "I Sure Do Miss The 80's"

United States of Whatever


Remembering Lamont "Big L" Coleman

Big L

Remembering Lamont Coleman
via hiphopdx

Put It On / Producer - Buckwild
MVP / Producer - Lord Finesse
No Endz, No Skinz / Producer - Showbiz
8 Iz Enuff / Featuring - Buddah Bless, Herb McGruff, Killa Cam , Mike Boogie, Terra, Trooper J, Twan / Producer - Buckwild
All Black / Producer - Lord Finesse
Danger Zone / Producer - Buckwild
Street Struck / Producer - Lord Finesse
Da Graveyard / Featuring - Grand Daddy I.U., Jay-Z, Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut
Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous / Producer - Lord Finesse
Times Iz Hard / Producer - Buckwild
I Don't Understand It / Producer - Showbiz
Fed Up Wit The Bullshit / Producer - Lord Finesse
Let 'Em Have It "L" / Producer - Craig Boogie

The Big Picture (Intro) Producer - DJ Premier
Size 'Em Up
Deadly Combination / Featuring - 2Pac / Producer - Ron G
'98 Freestyle / Producer - Lord Finesse
Holdin' It Down / Featuring - AG, Miss Jones, Stan Spit / Producer - Pete Rock
The Heist
The Enemy Featuring - Fat Joe / Producer - DJ Premier
Fall Back / Featuring - Kool G Rap / Producer - Shomari
Flamboyant / Producer - Mike Heron
Casualties Of A Dice Game
Platinum Plus / Featuring - Big Daddy Kane / Producer - DJ Premier
Who You Slidin' Wit / Featuring - Stan Spit / Producer - Pete Rock
Games / Featuring - Guru, Sadat X / Producer - Ysae
The Heist Revisited / Producer - Lord Finesse
The Triboro / Featuring - Fat Joe, O.C. , Remy Martin / Producer - Showbiz

Lifestyles ov da Poor & Dangerous (repress)| The Big Picture
(download via Megaupload c/o yours truly)


...helping the homie Jake Money pimp his internet duties as the Rhymesayers nerdsite monkey.

photo credit to Dan Monick

Atmosphere announce North American tour dates; to coincide with the April 22nd drop date for their upcoming release "When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold".

When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint The Road Gold.
Get your citrus krylon on, and meet me at Metro!

In the meantime, if you haven't already downloaded Strictly Leakage (complimentary Atmos LP), you've been asleep. A nostalgic nod while I'm lost in my music box awaiting my pre ordered shipment.

The Real Rhymesayers on YouTube

Recently, the masochists at the Onion asked Slug to whip up a Valentine's Day advice column featuring classic Daley wit and smcharm.
Peep game and pick up a few tips from a pro.

Dear Slug | the A.V. Club

can you digg it?


his master's voice

Today is a musical organization and inspiration day. As I continue to edit and organize my iTunes, I find myself obsessing about what I lack. When I need inspiration for my digital dig, I tend towards stream of consciousness list making (via stickies on my mac). As I was compiling, I came to a stark realization.

My parents had profound influence on my musical preferences, and this has become fodder for debate after debate. Most debates begin with my pops putting one artist in another's "box" for clarity. That drives me out of my mind, mostly because I recognize the urge and keep it to myself with said lists.

After watching the Grammy's, I had to find a box for Amy Winehouse that would stifle my dad's attempts to get my goat. I found one, and it's shaped like Dusty Springfield. It's probably been said by a million people before me, but they should stop putting people in boxes too (no bonsai kittens).

Just for good measure, here is today's ten minute music marathon list. For good measure, I've linked some YouTube love to my soundtrack for the day.

the kinks (waterloo sunset)
the chieftains (redemption song)
ray davies (in a moment)s
marianne faithfull (as tears go by)
pj harvey (good fortune)
jeff buckley hallelujah
tim buckley (i'm coming home again)
david bowie (oh your pretty things)
nick cave (red right hand)
tom waits (in the neighborhood)
roger waters (music from the body)
pink floyd (see Emily play)
harry nilsson (everybody's talkin')
jarvis cocker (don't let him waste your time)
pulp (this is hardcore)
the verve (sonnet)
damon albarn (strange news from another star)
blur (coffee & tv)
gorillaz (tomorrow comes today)
the good, the bad and the queen (kingdom of doom)
tv on the radio (staring at the sun)
yeah yeah yeahs (pin)
brian eno (st. elmo's fire)
roxy music (editions of you)
david byrne (glass, concrete & stone)
talking heads (psycho killer)
john cale (thoughtless kind)
the velvet underground (sunday morning)
lou reed (heroine)
nico (frozen warnings)
edith piaf (hymne a l'amour)
my brightest diamond (dragonfly)
the decemberists (here i dreamt i was an architect)
patti smith (because the night)
iggy pop & the stooges (the passenger)
the rolling stones (under my thumb)
the who (baba o'riley)
the pretty things (midnight to six man)
dirty pretty things (bang bang you're dead)
the libertines (up the bracket)
spoon (i turn my camera on)
the troggs (with a girl like you)
the byrds (eight miles high)
bob dylan (it's alright ma (i'm only bleeding))
joan baez (diamonds & rust)
neil young (heart of gold)
johnny cash & joni mitchell (long black veil)
emmylou harris (two more bottles of wine)
dusty springfield (i only want to be with you)
sophie b. hawkins (i want you)
johnette napolitano (suicide note)
vowel movement (dinosaur)
concrete blonde (joey)
blondie (hangin' on the telephone)
siouxsie & the banshees (love in a void)
elvis costello (oliver's army)
the mars volta (televators)
arcade fire (rebellion)
lcd soundsystem (movement)


Switch up in the Game

So I'm messing with another blog template...

I like it a bit better because it doesn't cut the edges off of my videos, but it shrinks my title.
All of my old posts are jumbled around (alignment of videos as pictures mostly) and I don't really feel the need to revisit the past.
Onward. If you find yourself digging, please don't judge the layout and enjoy the contents.

Happy Black History month.


Remembering Roy

Actor Roy Scheider passed away yesterday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock. Roy was battling multiple myeloma for the past two years. He was 75.

That's some bad hat, Harry.


YZ Myspace
Download Albums via Megaupload c/o TPN

New Buffalo

After watching my favorite Grammy's ever, I was inspired to blog. Not about one of the nominees, but about New Buffalo.

Back in 2005, Sally Seltmann wrote the song '1234' for Canadian singer/songwriter Feist. Feist added a few of her own lyrics and recorded the song, which is now a single from her new album 'The Reminder'. 'The Reminder' debuted on both the U.S. Billboard 200 and the United World charts at number 16.

As a songwriter, Sally's career has taken an upward turn with the success of '1234'. In addition to this, 1234 has secured a slew of award nominations [in both the Grammy's and the Brit Awards] for Feist. The song has also featured in advertising campaigns for the iPod Nano and Ebay Australia.

New Buffalo - Cheer Me Up Thank You

New Buffalo - Recovery

New Buffalo - Stay With Us MP3
New Buffalo - Emotional Champ MP3


Legendary Hip Hop Documentarian Passes

Tony Silver, died surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles on Friday February 1, 2008. His passing ended a courageous two and half year battle with brain cancer, a disease which he defied longer than anyone thought possible.

Tony Silver's Style Wars is recognized by educators, critics and a worldwide audience as the most important film to capture the original spirit and vitality of graffiti and hip-hop, emerging from New Yorks subways, streets and playgrounds into world consciousness. An urban kaleidoscope of spectacular street art, music and dance, the film is also a multi-perspective view one of the more potent social and artistic controversies of our time. It won the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival on its original release and was a PBS special. With the 2003 release of its 2-disc DVD, it is more acclaimed than ever. Silver's 2003 companion film Style Wars :ReVisited(34 mins.) updates the lives of 26 of the of the original films participants, together with other legendary figures of the time.


Let's Get Digital (5)

The lovely collaborators at Insound have compiled a mix for us, the interneters. Being a huge fan of other people's playlists, I jumped on the download bandwagon immediately. They had me at Hot Chip, Xiu Xiu, and Panther preview. Notice I didn't say Hüsker Dü? Wait... aw Sugar.

01. Faunts "M4 (Part II)"
from the album M4
Courtesy of Friendly Fire Recordings

02. Rings "Mom Dance"
from the album Black Habit
Courtesy of Paw Tracks

03. Hot Chip "Shake A Fist"
from the album Made In The Dark
Courtesy of Astralwerks/DFA

04. Dub Trio "Bay vs. Leonard"
from the album Another Sound Is Dying
Courtesy of Ipecac Recordings

05. The Big Sleep "Pinkies"
from the album Sleep Forever
Courtesy of Frenchkiss Records

06. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "A Teenager in Love"
from the album unreleased
Courtesy of Painbow Records

07. British Sea Power "Waving Flags"
from the album “Do You Like Rock Music?”
Courtesy of Rough Trade / Worlds Fair Label Group

08. Mike Ladd "Trouble Shot"
from the album Nostalgialator
Courtesy of Definitive Jux

09. Thao "Beat (Health, Life, and Fire)"
from the album We Brave Bee Stings and All
Courtesy of Kill Rock Stars

10. Hey Willpower "Hundredaire"
from the album PDA
Courtesy of Tomlab

11. Xiu Xiu "I Do What I Want, When I Want"
from the album Women As Lovers
Courtesy of Kill Rock Stars

12. Ida "Lovers Prayers"
from the album Lovers Prayers
Courtesy of Polyvinyl Record Co.

13. China Forbes "Everybody Needs Somebody"
from the album '78
Courtesy of Heinz Records

14. Bob Mould "The Silence Between Us"
from the album District Line
Courtesy of ANTI-

15. Panther "Puerto Rican Jukebox"
from the album 14 Kt. God
Courtesy of Kill Rock Stars

Camp Lo

Coolie High


Black Hollywood Freestyle; NYC 2007


Take a Moment

February 2nd, 2008., Minnesota lost a true O.G. - Big Kong, to a sudden brain aneurysm.

I still remember the first time I met Thomas "Kong" Kelly...

Years ago, Tina, Shahir, Muja, and I were our own little crew. It was a strange foursome, but we were mostly unfuckwithable. We ventured to the Country Bar one sleepy Sunday to find ourself surrounded by the cheapest of drinks and the worst of karaoke. We had considered leaving, if only to get the smell of fried food off of our clothes and the ringing of "Sweet Home Alabama" out of our ears, when Big Kong filled the door frame.

He joined our table, and the two-for-one's flowed like the mighty Mississippi. Since our meeting, he had always greeted me with a smile and a hug. He was a funny, strong, intimidating teddy bear of a man that will be greatly missed by any and all fortunate enough to have crossed his path.

There is a Kong shaped hole in Minnesota.

The funeral services will be held at the following:

High Praise Ministries, the Destiny Center
1200 North 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55411

The viewing will be from 10am - 11am, Weds 02/06/2008
The funeral will begin at 11am.

via Saucy Dame Deluxe



Emcee Spryte

I'd like to take some time out of my normal routine of blogging randomness to introduce you to an ally of mine. Mary Kay came into my life a few months ago and we became fast friends; she is a bright ray of light in what can be a dismal small town. Embarking on a burgeoning hip hop career, this female emcee entrusted me with her Press Kit. She whipped up an emotional bio, and I worked on editing it for the masses.

Take some time to listen to the tracks available on her MySpace, ReverbNation, or ThatsHipHop and hope to see her soon at a venue near you!

Shuffling between family members in rural Pulaski, a small town in Wisconsin laying claim to nearly two thousand people, Mary Kay was swayed by the beat at a young age. As an impressionable child she was captivated by pop stars on music television, and rap music soon took hold. "What really turned me around was RUN DMC. Holy shit; talking over beats... I was hooked" she remembers. At the formative age of nine, a family friend drove her to bustling Milwaukee to see Run DMC perform at Summerfest. "After that, all I could think about was Rhyming. I'd rap at home. I'd rap at school. In sixth grade, my friend Nicole and I did an oral report on the Egyptians. I got the instrumental for the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere" and rapped about King Tut."

Mary Kay spent most of her Middle School years buying cassette tapes and practicing her timing and delivery over the instrumental b-sides. A barn was her stage, her brother and sister her adoring audience, and a pilfered screw driver her utilitarian microphone. She memorized verses and would recite them for anyone willing to listen. Ice Cube, Too $hort, Tone Loc, the Pharcyde, Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and EPMD blared through her headphones. She had fallen in love with words, "the way they fall off of your tongue, the way you can add to the beat or effect it with different lyrics or sounds... the quicker, the better". She trusted her Adidas shell tops, baggy jeans, and gray hoodies to bely her femininity in the hip hop game. She was going to be a rapper, and MC Spryte was born.

After her parents divorced, she spun uncontrolled and unchecked. She began to doubt the existence of a higher power in her life, and insisted on testing her own limits. "I started running away from home, smoking cigs, hanging out at dry night clubs, smoking grass, and doing whatever I could to get away from the situation at home" she recalls. By her sixteenth trip around the sun, she had been arrested a number of times. She was running drugs, getting in fights, and quickly learning the cold ways of the streets. She earned her place within the family structure offered by a group of Gangster Disciples, or GD's. They had relocated from Milwaukee to Green Bay, and their home became her safe place.

She was comfortable as the only white face in a crowd because her brothers had her back and her front. "They taught me how to keep my self respect while hustling and being a female. I earned my place in the crew." She continues "I look back now and realize how lucky I am to be alive. I'd had my Jordans taken from my feet, and guns thrust in my face to intimidate me or test my loyalty. Dirt is dirt, and sometime shit gets pretty fucking dirty." It was around this time that she won her first freestyle battle in Milwaukee. It was possibly Hip Hop that kept her newfound family together "I loved sitting on the porch, blazing a blunt, and rhyming with my crew." She earned their respect, and relied on their support.

Being a runaway put strain on her blood ties. The cops would return her to Pulaski whenever she found herself in their custody, and her mother responded with anger and tears. At nightfall Mary Kay would return to her outlaws, on the run once again. Her brother and sister began to resent her for the pain she was unwillingly inflicting upon their mother, and her father didn't seem to mind as long as he wasn't bothered by a phone call from the precinct. "My grandmother Aubrey bailed me out of jail more than once. She always saw the good in me, no matter how much bad I did" Mary reminisces. "When I was seventeen and living back with my mother for the umpteenth time, I ran her phone bill up to a thousand dollars. She pressed charges and had me thrown in jail. I got two years probation plus restitution, and we didn't speak for the following three years." It was a time of turmoil, and money was tight. "I became really good at moving items that made a lot of easy cash. I kept my nose clean, my ears open, and put in foot work like I was told."

By the time Spryte turned twenty, she had turned over a new leaf. The boys she had been running with had all dispersed; had babies, moved away, or found themselves in prison. She began supporting herself through various serving positions, and trusted her mic skills to move her along a new path. "If a battle was abailable in a club, I jumped on the mic to represent women and my hometown of Green Bay." She honed her freestyle technique because in her world, "credibility on the streets is worth more than a multi million dollar deal." Outside of her comfort zone, Spryte was introduced to techno, breaks, and jungle beats. She began collaborating with friends that spun records and created Daydreams, her own promotional company to promote midwest DJ's.

She has made her presence known and shared stages with the likes of Mike E Fresh, Intrepid, DJ Bomber, Rhinogliphics, Frankie Bones, Paul Anthony, Dirty Dave Keup, Danny tha Wild Child, 3D, Jack Trash, Mark Almaria, KCZ, DJ Simple, Jes-One, Woody McBride, and countless other underground talents. She has rocked the mic throughout the midwest, and doesn't back down from an opportunity to battle and be heard. The crowd loves her, and the feeling is mutual. "They relate to my energy and my genuine love of underground music" she elaborates "My fans are the greatest. They support me and help to build through flyers and word of mouth".

Trackmaster T, a reggae singer and music producer with vision and an appreciation for Spryte's specific sense of style and swagger, invited Mary Kay to work from within his independent label based in Green Bay, Tracker Us Records. Together, they released a four song demo, and circulated three hundred copies at Dropfest, a local car show. Always on her hustle, MC Spryte is also working with Lost Voice Recordings out of Appleton, and Penmanship based in Sheboygan. She is currently working with different producers to illustrate her versatility, and can be seen performing with New Found Flavor, a reggae band she has come to claim as her own.

Her first full length album is slated to drop this spring, but rest assured that she is not resting on her laurels. "About nine years ago I found my path to the Goddess, and dedicated myself to Yoga and the study of the Ancients." she elaborates "but to discuss religion and faith we must be face to face. Just know that I am a spiritual being as well as an independent, beautiful emcee". With newfound spiritual guidance and the ability to create her own safe place, Mary Kay aka Emcee Spryte has found a way to overcome the indiscretions of her misspent youth. She has found a way to move forward and keep pushing the envelope that holds our preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman in the rap game. "I finally feel that I am ready to introduce myself to the masses, and not just the midwest; they know me well".

To know her is to love her, and this is a privilege that has been reserved for fans of underground hip hop in the midwest. Her light is set to shine on the masses, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for the formal unveiling of the Goddess.

website currently under construction



Whitest Kids You Know

First song about smoking weed with dinosaurs.
You're welcome internet...

Episodes from the newest season of The Whitest Kids You Know can be found at over at IFC.

Chasing Pavements

Adele - Chasing Pavements

Us Placers

CRS - Us Placers (not commissioned)

Drum Sequencer with Balls

This design for a tangible rhythm sequencer interface by student Peter Bennett is sleek & innovative.

Ball bearings are used to trigger drum sounds. Visual feedback is displayed from underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each ball bearing.

Each effect has a track on BeatBearing's plastic screen, and by dropping a ball bearing into a hole you activate that track's effect as a scanning light beam encounters it.

If Pete decides to up it to an eight track sequencer, we could have some hip hop checkers action. Coming to a coffee table near you!


Chocolate Addiction

Chocolate Agency has come up with this multimedia device that snaps on with a slap. The thin bracelet is designed using E-paper technology that’s rather high in contrast. This MP4 player will literally wrap an image around your wrist, and let you unwrap it to reveal a full screen.

No need to worry about batteries either, the E-Paper Slap Bracelet is powered by kinetic energy, so movement from your wrist is all it needs.

Having a touchscreen display occupy most of the front of your phone is one thing, but when you wrap the entire freaking phone -- front and back -- with touchable e-paper technology, you've got something pretty incredible. Enter the P-Per, an impressively simple and sustainable mobile phone combing features that were supposed to be incompatible: simple, advanced, green and unique.

Modeled after the E-Paper slap bracelet, it’s made of only 4 layers of sustainable materials, the “1 function, 1 part, 1 material” rule makes it easy to disassemble the materials for recycling. It has a transparent display for camera mode and a browser that spans the entire surface of the display.

Sadly, it's a figment of our collective imaginations for now...
Eat it, iPhone (eventually)

Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road

The story of a gay man (Eric Smith, responsible for slouch socks) who meets an old eccentric woman in South Beach, the friendship they forge and the wisdom she imparts.

Best part? She's a saucy 'ole minx that makes all of her own clothes...
Quicktime Video

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.



Jennifer Maestre

"My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure. There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture."

"To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together.
The beading technique I rely on most is peyote stitch."

"I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction."


Mark Khaisman Mixtape

"I work on the light easel, applying translucent brown packing tape on clear Plexiglas panels, the layers built up to create degrees of opacity. My main motivation is my love for classics. The images are archetypes derived from the cultural heritage: art, architecture, movies. I am trying to be faithful to the source, but in the process of interpretation all kinds of things happen. The reason is submerged in the shadows, the purpose is absorbed by the light, the cultural icon has become the personal experience."


Panda Bear

High harmonies, simple melodies and woven samples that feel like a kaleidoscope's perspective of Brian Wilson's brain. Although Pitchfork listed Person Pitch as the number one album of 2007, I still can't get enough of it. Damn you, Pitchfork.

Panda Bear - Bros

Panda Bear - Comfy in Nautica

Just because this is probably what you were expecting when you clicked the link; my aim is not to disappoint. Completely unrelated, but unrelentingly adorable nonetheless.

Helium; a noble gas.

I still remember how excited I was when these videos were critiqued by Beavis and Butthead...
Helium - XXX

Helium - Pat's Trick

...and the song that initiated my allegiance...

Helium - Honeycomb


Franz Ferdiwho?

Orange Juice - Rip It Up

Edwin Collins - A Girl Like You

Edwin Collins - You'll Never Know

...thank you Scotland.


My Pirate Disco

When Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice parted artistic ways this past spring, I was bummed. She gives light to what could otherwise be a dark show. I enjoyed their energies on stage and in the studio, and I think that Rice my be at a loss without her.
Damien Rice feat. Lisa Hannigan - 9 Crimes

Thankfully, we have a peek at what she has been currently working on. This video has been touted as her solo demo, and I've got say that I like where this is going.

Lisa Hannigan - My Pirate Disco (solo demo)


Pantalaine Presents Co-dependent Couture

Pantalaine Family Store in South Bend Indiana is my new Disneyland. They pulled me in with the Couch Dress, and the resulting ten or so minutes felt like a few worth sharing.

The Palantine Family will customize a dress out of as many afghans as it takes to cover whatever size seating unit you toss their way.

Not only that, but they let you pick two flower broaches that are probably smaller than the dress. I bet you didn't even know that you needed one flower broach, but you probably do, and this is your chance to get two.

I know that you're looking at the price tag thinking that it may just be the best deal you've seen on yarn in a while. You are savy, and I am intuitive. The overall value will melt your skull if you consider the broaches and inevitably hilarious fitting session!

I'm crossing my fingers for the possibility of the matching hooded shawl that will dance across my mind's eye as I drift to sleep yearning for a scratchy cumbersome accessory.

Truth be told, this Wind Up Dress Up scares me a little more than the Couch Dress did. The picture reads like an awkward before and after, and evokes feelings not dissimilar to those delivered by the Grady twins. Infer with me, if you will.

Two pathetically sad sisters work in a sweatshop knitting couch dresses in the tool shed next to their ranch home and inflatable pool. The eldest sister, Candace probably, keeps a stiff upper lip so that little Misty is lulled into a sense of false security.

One day, daddy comes home with his newest design! He's dubbed it his "Double Princess Fantasy Dress" and waves it infront of the girls, still grubby from a hard day's work. Some day they will look back upon the iridescent fairy dress. They will remember spinning around until they got dizzy, and holding onto each other in futile attempts not to fall.

They will remember the day that dress-up turned on them. Maybe next year they'll get out of the fast paced fashion industry and start a lemonade stand; bring it back to their entrepreneurial roots.

At this point I'm hooked and need to know what other amazing consumer goods I have been missing out on. Quite frankly, I'm mentally invested in this rag tag mom and pop joint.

If you're still reading, than you are too. There's only one thing to do; let's keep browsing.

I have no idea what is so super about these Super Sweats, or why there are random sleeves attached to one pant leg. Maybe this was a bad idea.

I'm pretty sure the girl with the butt sleeve didn't want to put her hand all the way in there. She's smart. She probably knew this was going to make its way onto the internet, given the lavish nature of the photo shoot.

Everyone looks happy and comfortable (is there some sort of text color that should be used to indicate sarcasm?). The jig is up. It's clear that they were hoping the sea foam green cans were going to sell the crap out of some very odd touchy pants.

What the duck sauce is going on in each and every picture? I clicked further and it hit me. This site is dedicated to selling clothes that are attached to other things. Usually other items of identical clothing, but sometimes couches. There are pajamas designed to facilitate a serious ass kicking via some sort of pillow tail aberration, and polo shirts to cement the already strong lefty solidarity.

Some designs are so quintessentially emo that I want to dig out my horn rimmed glasses, but then I remember how old their prescription is and doubt that its a match for my macbook. It sounds like a one way ticket to migraine city, and I'd rather squint at pictures of shoes that force you to walk like the Monkees or protect your toes during a spicy salsa (wait for it...).

There are pants that allow you to strap a child to the side of your leg, something I had never considered. Think of how much you'd save on a stroller! I'm sure the constant rocking of pops walking lulls the little tike directly into la la land while you are free to pass go and collect that $200.

If you have a few minutes, browse through their site. I found myself a bit more than bemused.

They've been selling this original gem since 1959 (I'm holding out for vintage and banking on eBay).