Archive for the 'magazines' Category


High Art: Franklyn Ajaye blazes a trail for serious comedy

My Wax Poetics interview with Frankyln Ajaye: 

 Watching the women’s 20K race walking during the Olympics reminded me of Franklyn’s bit about "taking last at the Olympics." Thank the flying spaghetti monster for YouTube. 



Wax Poetics on Current TV

I have to confess that I never really watched Current before I started working on The Daily Fix. This pod is a good example of the kind of short form, "citizen journalism" that the network features. 



A while back, I had the good fortune to sit down and talk with one of my favorite comics, Franklyn Ajaye.  I also had the even gooder fortune of being paid to do it.  Franklyn is known to most people from his starring role in Car Wash and scene stealing turns in movies like Stir Crazy.  Check out the April/May issue of Wax Poetics to read "High Art:  Franklyn Ajaye blazes a trail for serious comedy."



This is why David Simon is such a badass.


From The Believer magazine interview conducted by Nick Hornby. 

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell. 


More news on the other war we’re losing

Image via Flickr user goldenratio

Another major newspaper comes out with a damning article on the drug war.

From The Washington Post:

Thirty-six years and hundreds of billions of dollars after President Richard M. Nixon launched the war on drugs, consumers worldwide are taking more narcotics and criminals are making fatter profits than ever before. The syndicates that control narcotics production and distribution reap the profits from an annual turnover of $400 billion to $500 billion. And terrorist organizations such as the Taliban are using this money to expand their operations and buy ever more sophisticated weapons, threatening Western security.Another major newspaper comes out with a damning piece on the drug war.

Also, in the newest edition of Foreign Policy magazine, Ethan Nadelmann makes the case for legalization.

A “drugfree world,” which the United Nations describes as a realistic goal, is no more attainable than an “alcoholfree world”—and no one has talked about that with a straight face since the repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933. Yet futile rhetoric about winning a “war on drugs” persists, despite mountains of evidence documenting its moral and ideological bankruptcy.


LA Weekly showing some soul

Whenever I see that one of my favorite black artists in the music industry is being reviewed in the LA Weekly, I think the following to myself, “Thank you Earnest Hardy.” 9 times out of 10, he’s the guy responsible for it.

This week’s issue finds Mr. Hardy devoting some ink to Donnie’s new CD, The Daily News. While so many black artists have busied themselves perfecting their neo-soul posturing, Donnie has just been about the business–black church terminology alert!–of just making good soul music. No neo involved.

A few pages later, Matthew Fleischer has a much too brief Q&A with Femi Kuti. I’ve written about how much of a badass his father, Fela was. I can’t think of a tougher act to follow. Femi is doing his thing at The House of Blues this Friday night. Alas, I will be busying playing the role of LA hipster and doing a set at The People You’ll Like at The Fusion Cafe downtown.

Femi performs “Black Man Know Your Self.”





It’s Judd Apatow’s world. We’re just living in it.

Knocked Up hits theaters tomorrow. If the trailer and the initial reviews are any indications, he’s got another hit on his hands.

The New York Times has an excellent profile of Apatow and some insight on what makes him tick.

Wired magazine lets Apatow and some of the stars of his various works give an oral history of his work, starting with Freaks and Geeks.


A better man wouldn’t mention this


I told you all about how great Wax Poetics magazine is.
My tight partner, Thorny, blogs about how great Betty Davis is.
Betty Davis happens to be on the cover of the current Wax Poetics.

Some might call that a coincidence. Some might call it complete and independent verification of how fucking hip I am. Who am I to say?


Your taste in music sucks. This will help.

Stop trying to convince yourself–and me–that Justin Timberlake is actually a recording artists worth paying any fucking attention to.

Stop watching MTV thinking, “They have to play something good eventually.” They don’t.

Stop trying to remember the names, faces and music of the latest blue-eyed soul sensation. They’ll be gone in a year.

It’s time to find out about some new music. Rather, some old music that you don’t know about.

Wax Poetics
(Full disclosure: I wrote something for these guys that has yet to be published.)

But the reason I pitched them in the first place was that it’s just an amazing, amazing magazine. Here’s what the folks at the Utne Reader had to say when the gave WaxPo the 2005 Utne Independent Press Award for Arts/Literary Coverage.

This lovingly rendered bimonthly recaptures those grooves that were lost, both literally and figuratively, when jazz, funk, and hip-hop went digital. Like the vinyl recordings to which it pays tribute, the magazine’s mind-altering illustrations and kinetic photographs beg for a frame, while the prose crackles with truth and soul.

Remember when you were a kid and your parent’s friends came over for those grown up parties? Things started off calmly enough, but eventually your enjoyment of The A-Team was disturbed by their loud conversation, the blaring of the record player and that strange smell coming from the patio. This is the kind of music they were listening to.

Take it for a test drive with some of their free online content.

Soul Sides
Soul Sides

Oliver Wang–aka DJ O-Dub–started this audio blog which led to the production of the instant-classic CD compilation, Soul Sides Vol. 1, in 2006. Vol. 2 is coming soon. He’s also the editor of Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide.

My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing DJ O-Dub in action at Star Shoes recently. There aren’t a lot of things that could cause us to brave the traffic nightmare that is Hollywood Boulevard, but it was worth it. Any idiot can cue up a few James Brown songs and call themselves a DJ. Wang has that special knack that all good DJs share of being able to play the song that you don’t technically know , but once it gets going, it feels like it’s always been one of your favorites.

A perfect example, The Impressions: We’re A Winner.

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