Sunday Sleaze

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Another fast weekend in Shanghai. Big thanks to everyone who came out to Shanghai All-Stars on Friday night! Next one is on February 7th.

Here’s a few tunes from my late-nite set at The Shelter on Friday. I got inspired by DJ Ozone’s 80s hip-hop set last week and wanted to mix early 80s hip hop with the Paradise Garage disco/morning music sound from around the same time in NYC. That early hip hop was so much more creative and positive than the “pop a molly get turnt up” shit that dominates the charts nowadays (not that I don’t play that sometimes). Time and place for everything.

T La Rock – It’s Yours

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Taana Gardner – Heartbeat

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The Treacherous Three – Feel The New Heartbeat

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Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

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Midnight Star – Midas Touch

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Rah Band – Messages From The Stars

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I first heard “Messages From The Stars” when Stones Throw Records boss Peanut Butter Wolf played at The Shelter last month. His set, basically a retrospective of dope music from the second half of the 20th Century, convinced me that Serato Video doesn’t have to be corny. Easily one of the best shows of 2013. Shout out to Henri for requesting and identifying this one!

TUESDAYS WITH HIP HOP: BEST HIP-HOP TRACKS OF 1992

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Hey fam sorry for the lack of posts lately. Been out in the real world, or hiding from it due to pollution and construction. But we’re back with a brand new radio show, coming at you every Monday not-live from Shanghai. This week we pay respect to the year 1992, ahead of Wednesday night’s COME CORRECT party at The Shelter.

In 1992, Clinton stepped into office, Dr. Dre dropped the Chronic, Mario Kart and Street Fighter II gave us calluses, and Wu-Tang Clan crept onto the scene out from the slums of Shaolin. There’s loads of good dancehall, jungle, and rock tunes from ’92 as well but in this first episode of Love Bang radio we count down the best hip-hop jams. West-coast gangsta rap for cruising in plush LS400s and cold NY street rhymes for blunt circles. Though this wasn’t the best year for hip hop ever, some of the best hip-hop tracks ever come from ’92.

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Catch Heatwolves and Caution from Love Bang guesting at COME CORRECT, Shanghai’s weekly hip-hop party, this wednesday Dec. 4th at The Shelter, which just turned six years old. One year living on Yongfu Lu is like 36 regular years. The theme this Wednesday is 1992, so expect at least 92 tunes from that year, everything from dancehall and rap to R&B and new jack swing.

LOVE BANG TOP TEN HIP-HOP TRACKS OF ’92

10. “How To Roll A Blunt” – Redman
9. ??
8. “I Missed The Bus” – Kriss Kross
7. “Let Me Ride” – Dr. Dre
6. “Crossover” – EPMD
5. “Halftime” – Nas
4. “After The Laughter Comes Tears” – Wu-Tang Clan
3. ????
2. ??
1.  ??

Here’s the direct link if you can’t access Soundcloud (it’s now blocked in China – why?)

And here’s a couple of tracks from ’92 you might have missed, that didn’t quite make it on this list.

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – On The Run (Untouchable Dirty Version)

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Apache – Gangsta Bitch

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I left off Pete Rock and CL Smooth I’m really not a fan of the raps. The beats and production are ace though. And I can’t stand Das-EFX, Fu-Schnickens, and all that gimmicky rap that dominated the charts. That’s why I say ’92 wasn’t the best year for hip-hop though a lot of good tunes and albums came out. If you know of some good jungle or dancehall tunes from ’92 please leave em in the comments!

That Mystic – An interview with producer Kingdom from Fade to Mind

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If you often read this site or go out to the Love Bang parties, you know we’re massive fans of Kingdom, the LA-based producer who makes dark, R&B-infused electronic music that sounds just as good through headphones on your bed as it does through subwoofers in the club. His HD productions are richer than eighteen-layer cake, punctuated with literally a kingdom of sounds, from phone rings to screams. It’s super high-definition music that combines bits of rave, dancehall, diva-vocals, vogue, various strains of club music, and of course that Masters at Work “Ha” sample.

He’s also on two of our favorite labels, Night Slugs and Fade To Mind, which Kingdom started in LA with friends Nguzunguzu, Total Freedom, and Prince William as a sister label to the mighty Night Slugs.

Ahead of his two shows in Shanghai this weekend, one at the Wood and Wires festival and another at The Shelter, I interviewed Kingdom via email about the intersection of  underground and pop music, album art, and what we can expect at The Shelter tomorrow night.

But before you get into the reading, I suggest throwing this mix on, which really exemplifies exactly how Kingdom melts the underground and pop worlds together into something beautiful.

Heatwolves: For those out there who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself real quick and briefly describe your sound?

Kingdom: You can just use my short bio:

“A leader in the new wave of American producers, L.A.-based DJ and label head Kingdom (aka Ezra Rubin) has built considerable influence with both his formidable discography and the output from his own imprint, Fade to Mind. Since 2007, his distinctively bittersweet productions—deep synths, R&B vocals, and apocalyptic drums—have coalesced into a spacious, meta­dimensional sound has become a major voice in club music worldwide. While living in New York he quickly gained a following thanks to his signature DJ sets which merged R&B, hip-hop, grime, rave, and subwoofer experiments. Critical acclaim for his early EPs Mind Reader (Fool’s Gold), That Mystic, and Dreama (Night Slugs) took him from NY to LA in 2010 to form new label Fade to Mind with close friends and collaborators Nguzunguzu, Total Freedom, and Prince William. He quickly expanded the roster to include such diverse artists as ballroom legend MikeQ and Kuwaiti­-born composer Fatima Al Qadiri. This year has seen Kingdom release a new 7-song EP, ‘Vertical XL’ (with lead single “Bank Head” featuring Kelela), and also curate and contribute production to the freshly released Cut 4 Me mixtape by Fade to Mind songstress Kelela.”

Heatwolves: In a recent interview you said “Female vocal R&B has been more or less absent from mainstream radio for about 5 years now so it’s just about to come back really strong. Our new project with Kelela is going to help with that.” Can your music become mainstream? I feel like that’s what you’re going for, especially on your solo releases, with tracks like “Let U No,” “Take Me,” and “Bank Head.” What’s your ultimate goal with music?

Kingdom: I will never do just one thing, though I do want to make pop music. My music is still experimental also. I’ve always played with going back and forth between the two. Female vocals have been pretty absent from the charts lately but it’s on its way back already. The reception of the Kelela mixtape proves that.

Heatwolves: You’re on mini-tour of Asia, with stops in Korea, Japan, and China. What promoted this? Have you played in Asia before?

Kingdom: I’ve played twice in Tokyo before and once in Seoul. This trip was prompted by the Tokyo booking first, which was a awesome show with a shop in Toyko called GR8, and then we built the other Asia shows around that.

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Heatwolves: The cover art for your Vertical XL EP was done by Shanghai-based Kim Laughton (ROM / Stockholm Syndrome) – How did you two link and what’s the story behind that album cover? Great cover art, it reminds me of the last scenes in Akira or an arms scrapyard.

Kingdom: Jude from the Thunderhorse collective recommended Kim to me, it was fun collaborating with him on that! I wanted the cover art to depict a rural / post-industrial abduction. Levitation and ancient ruins were also inspirations. I made a Photoshop mockup and Kim created all the renderings and added a bunch of the details.

Heatwolves: I read in another interview that you love driving. Why is that? What do you listen to in the car? Do you test tracks in the car? Do you have any  classic CDRs that have stayed in car-rotation through the years?

Kingdom: Living in LA for three years has drained that love a little bit sadly. Driving becomes just part of every day life. I think I romanticized it a little in NY because it was so novel. I still like longer trips though and driving in the suburbs. I listen to Electrik Red’s album “How to be a Lady” and some old CDs I used to DJ off of, and “The Claw” CDR, a Fade to Mind CD of live improvised collaborations between me, Nguzunguzu, and Total Freedom.

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Heatwolves: Speaking of driving, you live in LA now – can people make a decent living playing strictly music like what you and the Fade To Mind Crew play in LA?  Do you work a day job too? Do you DJ in LA or out of LA more? I’ve been to a Night Slugs party but never Fade To Mind – what are your nights like?

Kingdom: You can make a living doing anything if you try, work, have something interesting to say, or something that people wanna hear. I DJ more outside of LA more, in NYC, Canada, and Europe. We have built a solid scene in LA though. Our parties are dark and foggy, loud club music, cute people.

Heatwolves:Will that Masters At Work “Ha” sound ever get old? Or does that get a special pass?

Kingdom: It gets a special pass.

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Heatwolves: Your tracks always sound really polished and hit hard, even the earlier releases. What do you produce with now, and what did you produce “That Mystic” with?

Kingdom: I use Ableton Live, and I’m also recording from some keyboards and drum machines. All of my Eps before “Vertical XL” were all made on my 12” Macbook in my living room. For Vertical XL I set up a studio with more equipment.

 

Heatwolves: What is this Moleskin “Turnt On” track on your XLR8R innovator mixtape? Shit is crazy. Also, this is an “Innovator Series” mixtape – what exactly is your area of innovation?

Kingdom: Moleskin is a great new producer from the UK. I’m not sure what the innovator thing is for the mix series but I think I helped bring R&B and club music together in a new way around 2008. I was playing UK club music in NY before most people got into it there, mixing it with rap and R&B and dancehall I was hearing on local NY radio.

Heatwolves: I heard you have a ton of edits for shows that you don’t release – how many do you think you’ve done total? What do you make edits with? Can we expect a lot of those at the Shanghai show?

Kingdom: Yes, edits are my lifeblood. Total Freedom makes a lot of the ones I play at the shows too. I’ve probably made hundreds of edits, its hard to keep track, they are temporary objects.

Cassie – All My Love (Kingdom Edit)

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Heatwolves: What’s the worst experience/craziest story you’ve had at a gig, e.g. stolen bag, gang fight on dancefloor?

Kingdom: Shitty speakers and empty dancefloors… We’ve all been there.

Heatwolves: What are your top five female R&B songs? And also your top five favorite Hip Hop songs.

Kingdom: I truly can not play favorites. I would prefer to list some that are on my mind lately:

Tink “Somebody Else”, Schoolboy Q “Collared Greens”, Jhene Aiko’s part on Drake’s “From Time”, Asap Ferg “Hood Pope”, Kelela “Enemy”.

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Heatwolves: What’s next after this Asia tour?

Kingdom: Back to LA, doing the Nguzunguzu “Skycell” release party there on the 8th, and working on my next release for Night Slugs in my studio.

Heatwolves: Finally, what do you wanna say to peeps in Shanghai who haven’t heard of you yet?

Kingdom: If there’s Soundcloud in Shanghai they should listen to some stuff to get them ready! http://www.soundcloud.com/kkingdomm and http://www.soundcloud.com/fadetomind

And even better, head over to iTunes and buy his excellent Vertical XL EP and download the Kelela mixtape for free.
——–

Don’t miss Kingdom DJing at The Shelter on Saturday, Nov 2. 2013 with support by Mood Supply, Beardslap, and yrs truly. It’s only 60RMB – you’d be a fool to pass this up.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S GOOD IN SHANGHAI THIS WEEKEND – AUG 15 – 18 // 周末有啥好的

What’s really good in Shanghai this weekend…the weekend of 1997.

Oh snap. Had to work up the Hemmingway sweat after chillin with Dr. Jing last night just to write this. Too much lamb, too much goose. Coming a bit early this time as there’s so much on. Everything from two different Chinese hip hop acts on Friday night to Korn sharing a lineup with a Korean boy band, [pause], to Come Correct at The Shelter with the  legendary J. Rocc from The Beat Junkies on Saturday night. AND there’s a pool party on Saturday at that Xujiahui Oasis where you can catch a set by The Super Ayi Cleaning Team from 2PM – 4PM.

THURSDAY – VINYL NIGHT @ Logo

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“On the third Thursday of each month the society convenes to play their favourite records across all genres. All vinyl all night. Comfortable underground bar, cheap beer.” That’s friends from Push and Pull as well as a special guest from VOID tonight at Logo. No CDs, no laptops, no iPods, just good tunes on vinyl. Music leans more towards house, grime, dubstep, and techno.

THURSDAY – EXPERIMENTAL @ The Shelter

My friend and neighbor Laura from the Acid Pony Club makes beats all day and DJs all night – one of the hardest working cats in Shanghai. His Thursday affair on Yongfu Lu, “Let’s Get Naked And Listen To A Bunch of Drones,” brings your weekly dose of weird, trippy beats and film soundtracks. Here’s one of the latest experimental tracks he’s done, out on his SVBKVLT beat tape.

Friday – HIP HOP.

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Ok I got love for Hijack but I gotta rep two Chinese hip hop shows going down Friday. First off, you already know we got our club night Love Bang at 390 with local beatmaker/manga character Ceezy,  but you might not know about another show by Beijing rappers  阴三儿 (in3).  I don’t know much about dudes, but local friends tell me they’re some of the best MCs in China. “Real underground Beijing style.“ They’re on Friday night at Arkham with a RMB100 cover.  Peep some of their tracks over on Douban. Really nice tunes there.

Friday – ELECTRONIC

Most people know Dada Bar, but some newer heads might not know the history. Dada was started by Michael, a dude from The Bay Area, and before he started his own club he founded one of Shanghai’s original club nights pushing better music in a town full of shit tunes – Antidote. From humble 2005 beginnings in dungeon-of-vomit C’s Bar to packed nights at The Shelter, then parlaying all this into starting two of China’s most well-known underground clubs, dude deserves a lot of props. Well Friday it’s the 8th anniversary of Antidote, with a lineup of OG Antidote peeps – mostly local Shanghai dudes who’ve moved onto big tings themselves: B6, MHP, Fish, Ozone, and Drunk Monk. Sure to be good.

Saturday – ROCK AND DARK WAVE

There’s no better way to avoid attracting corporate branding than naming your band Astrofuck. That’s one idea that went into the name of this new band formed by three friends of mine: DJ Cavia, music-blogger don Andy Best, and singer Kaine. Saturday night they’ve got heaps of brand new material to play at Yuyintang, probably the best place in Shanghai to see a rock show, especially with that lush park in back. Check out their tunes over on Douban. Here’s what Andy had to say about the show, via Kungfuology:

“It will cost 40 rmb on the door and feature post-punk, experimental, gothy and dark bands. That’s probably an inadequate way to describe it. DJ Tzu Sing will open from 9 playing darkwave and industrial styles. Then The Other will play, then us doing a 45 minute plus set including completely new songs we have never played before. We also have HIMDONG closing out with some loop madness. It will be awesome and the perfect antidote to the thrown together, generalized, overpriced SH Summer Sonic night on over at the Stadium. I can say that cos SMG is a multi-billion corporation and we are just some friends putting on a 300 ppl show underground.”

Saturday – HIP HOP. J. ROCC AT THE SHELTER (yrs truly’s pick of the weekend)

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Yet another big name DJ passing through town – why should you care about this one? Cause he’ll murder your favorite DJ on the turntables and turn the party out. Coming out of LA, J. Rocc and his crew The Beat Junkies birthed an entire generation of hip hop artists during the 90s. Turntablism and party rocking with class is how they roll. This dude is an absolute legend who ran in the same circles as J. Dilla and Madlib. He’s on at 12:30AM at The Shelter and I’m expecting to dance non-stop for his two hour set. No idea what I’m gonna play after this dude from one of my favorite labels ever, Stones Throw. Plus we’ve got a scratch showcase by the god from Guilin LJ and sets by T-Plus and DJ Caution…don’t sleep on this one!!!

Peep this video of J. Rocc killing it at the Beat Junkies 20th Anniversary for a taste.

SATURDAY – CHARITY

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What if you had severe eye problems but couldn’t afford the surgery you needed, or even had access to the right medical facilities? Well this charity ORBIS literally flies around the world in a plane equipped with a full hospital onboard and performs surgery for kids like this on the spot. They’ve got a charity cocktail ball on Saturday night, with all proceeds from the RMB200 ticket going to their good cause. There’s no app for blindness yet.

SATURDAY – POOL PARTY

Yep, back at the same pool this weekend although this party comes to you via PX Productions, aka Panda Express. The homie Eoin from PX actually hooked us up with the pool so we owe them big. Catch DJ Caution and myself spinning from 2PM – 4PM. Really pumped to actually just play a set there instead of focusing on e.g. someone lost their ring or getting ice for drinks. Expect a lot of Three 6 Mafia and G-Funk. That’s at Wending Lu near Hongqiao Lu and just RMB80 to get in before noon.

Alight I could go on about Korn and Limp Bizkit both playing Shanghai this weekend, and how the shared lineup between the “inventors of dubstep” and a Korean boy band bound to attract hordes of tweens could create a potentially hazardous standoff between them and hundreds of metal fans in Shanghai Stadium, but I gotta go beat Conrank at squash. See you in the streets – come say what up if you’re out!

Oh PS, it’s not a rave! Please stop throwing this word around, it’s already lost meaning. If your sound system = some portable speakers with a USB-port that your friend helped you buy on Taobao, it’s not a rave. Also, there’s no such thing as a “private dinner for 150 people” that’s open to everyone on Facebook. Aight Audi 5,000.

Tuesdays With Hip Hop

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Anyone going to Jamiroquai tonight? It’s like $60 so…nope. But he has an invitation to our pool party on Saturday. It’s cool living in Shanghai and getting to time travel back to the year 1997. We’ve got Korn and Limp Bizkit showing up later this month and I’m half expecting my 8th grade history teacher and her Civil War reenactment loving husband to show up on a double decker bus and lecture about the Pentagon Papers or some shit. That dude told me some advice I’ll never forget: “If you shake it more than twice, you’re just playing with yourself.”

So what’s good with the hip hop? Let’s start this off in Chicago. My good friend Kzoo sent me a couple new tracks featuring Chance The Rapper and this is the best one. Great soulful beat.

Legit ft. Chance The Rapper – Such A Thing

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And another rapper from Chicago, Rockie Fresh, who’s on Rick Ross’s MMG label. Love this beat by Lunice but not exactly feeling the rhymes, e.g. “In 2013 I plan to buy too many cars.” He kinda makes up for it by making a reference to midwest home-improvement store Mendards though.

Rockie Fresh – Superman OG feat. Lunice

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Next let’s head down south to Baton Rouge for this tune by Mouse On Tha Track. Unbelievable beat – it’s like if Zapp and Roger made beats for Cash Money in 97. Kevin Gates for president.

Mouse On Tha Track – Nasty ft. Kevin Gates & Novakane

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And finally let’s get out to LA to check something new from the Stones Throw squad. Jonwayne, that mysterious, obese white dude with the beard and glasses, just dropped a mixtape I played more than once last weekend. Kinda reminds me of Edan, but with more influence from poetry than golden era arp.

Jonwayne – And Bullshit, feat. Zeroh

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Speaking of Stones Throw, I’m proud to announce that DJ Caution, T-Plus, and myself will be rocking with the one and only J Rocc from the Beat Junkies. This guy is an absolute LEGEND, who frequently collaborates with Madlib and used to tour with J Dilla. Cannot wait to dance for two hours non-stop. Huge shout out to Split Works for bringing him through and getting us on the lineup!

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Shanghai Dubstep from Steven Lorenz

Deep Dubstep right here from Steven Lorenz, the young Frenchman who’s never lived in France.

I first met Steven in 2009, when he was just 16 or 17 years old but already managing a club in Redtown called WTF, which later became the original Mao Livehouse. Back then he played almost exclusively electrohouse and minimal techno, but he’s since moved on to become the foremost dubstep producer in the city*

*to be fair, there’s not many others in Shanghai (or China really) producing dubstep…maybe not any, but Steven’s tracks are still really dope and I bet he’ll get released on some solid labels over the next few years.

Of course, dubstep, like house and rock, has fragmented into many subgenres, but Steven’s strain is of the original variety. Music for dem with they hoodie up and head down in a dark room with guns in the air. Think Viviek, early Skream, Deep Medi / DMZ, Distance…

As a DJ, dude mixes strictly on CD and occasionally vinyl. He’s technically much better than me and most other DJs in Shanghai, and he always gets really into his set, sometimes looking possessed while he’s mixing.

He’s also a man of integrity. Originally hired on as the stage manager for the MIDI electronic music festival, he quit because he simply wasn’t feeling it. He DJs almost exclusively at Sub-Culture parties and warms up for artists like Kode9, Tes La Rock, The Bug, and Desto.

Enjoy this track he just gave away for free, and stay tuned for more.

 

the uncle and his free range chickens.

happy monday to all. great weekend that started with Das EFX and a full band trying to come through Mao Live’s soundsystem (sound was fucking AWFUL..i just kept thinking “THIS is cacophony”)..really though I can’t imagine trying to manage eleven live instruments, two soul mamas on the mic, two extremely fucked-up rappers, and a DJ. that’s a fucking task. but still, i couldn’t understand a single lyric, and i’m a native English-speaker..

also, warm-up act Back To The Golden Age has now claimed the highest spot on my “acts in Shanghai that claim to be hip hop but are actually the anthesis of hip hop.” jesus christ you are so bad. you would think that with thirty people in your crew (including a few that looked like 8th graders), some of them would maybe like, not suck. but no.

also, in general, shouting “we represent the real hip hop!” 100+ time does not actually = representing the real hip hop.

still though i give this show points for being extremely entertaining and Das EFX not holding anything back or censoring themselves. also because Ceezy and MC One Con killed it with their early set. too bad they didn’t rock after..

if you were @ Shelter before 10PM on Saturday, you know some magic happened. a one-hour, all-Burial set by Kode9 on a well-tuned soundsystem. bass in the chest.

came back to Shelter at 2AM to catch the last 1/3 of Kode9′s set…juke music and jungle mixed impeccably. seriously the classiest mixing i’ve ever seen, on three CDJs no less. I was a bit nervous to play afterwards but i’m happy with the set, which was mostly rap (three 6/drake/etc) then booty music mixed with techno.

went to get my bike back from Lune yesterday afternoon and ran into this crazy uncle slanging chickens on the street. he wanted 17RMB for half a key, but i was like fuck that’s expensive and he got really mad. crazy uncle did not want me to take these pictures. love the juxtaposition of hypermodern architecture with scenes like this.

really feeling this new James Blake EP on R&S.

James Blake – Love What Happened Here

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#pat riley

busy week. dungeons and dragons tonight..

tuesday = FIST OF THE NORTH STAR @ Dada (seriously one of the most violent feature-length animes ever…exploding heads galore). 9PM with the Sub-culture fam.

wednesday @ mao livehouse w/French Horn Rebellion and Rainbow Danger Club

French Horn Rebellion – Beaches and Friends [edit: fuck these dudes]

friday @ mao livehouse w/MC One Consciousness, Ceezy, and Das EFX

saturday @ Lune for Pop Party then Shelter w/Kode9 (!!!!!!!)

will post some tracks soon, but you need to cop that new Juicy J mixtape “Blue Dream & Lean.” Shit is epic.