Tag Archives: Kanye

Personal Soundtrack

9 Jan

The Song

 

Nuthin’ To Do by Common

In 2013’s world, Common is a suave, well-built character actor with a velvety voice who occasionally lays down above-average rap verses on the side.  That’s a bit of a departure from the Common of nearly twenty (holy shit) years ago, who climbed to the top of the underground hip-hop scene behind hungry, sensitive, and brash verses that found the sweet spots on top of and within iconic beats from the legendary Chicago producer No I.D.

Common’s early records are head-spinning combinations of a warm, laid-back and funky production aesthetic paired with wordy, breathless, and at times frenetic lyrical verses.  The apex of this period is Resurrection, and within the underground hip-hop world at the time of its release, Resurrection was monumental – the match between Common and No I.D.’s vintage productions was a match made in hip-hop Head heaven.

What makes Resurrection so noteworthy, apart from Common’s performance, which is compelling, is the career-defining production from No I.D., who produced nearly all of the record.  For No I.D., Resurrection represents not only the producer’s best body of work, but also a clear example of the producer’s musical signature, and of the aesthetic contributions he made to hip-hop that continues to influence the genre today.

No I.D. is often referred to as the godfather of Chicago hip-hop, and he has long been a mentor and partner with Kanye West.  One listen to Resurrection, and you know exactly where Kanye got the inspiration for many of the production touches he used to propel his stardom and influence the global music scene.

The production of Resurrection sounds almost timeless, forever encapsulated in a fuzzy cloud of old jazz and soul samples, dusty drum hits, and undeniable grooves bubbling from the low end.  Everything comes off sounding like a fresh vinyl record even if the tracks are streaming through a computer.  It’s a warm sound that still manages to hit hard and get heads nodding.

“Nuthin’ To Do” is a standout track on Resurrection, presenting a strong example of the album’s best qualities.  The old-school sample of choice on this track is a smoky saxophone, sounding out and glancing off into the ether while the bass line keeps things tight with the drums and the record scratches at just the right times. This is the sound that Kanye rode to superstardom, and it’s still influencing him today – and the work of every other hip-hop artist out there aspiring to be the next Kanye.

No I.D. was doing it way before everyone else, and he was doing it the best on Resurrection.

The Activity

The mournful bleat of Miles’ horn trickles out through an unknown and unseen window, crawling over brownstone bricks and finding your ear just as you set your head back and close your eyes against the Day.  Right now the Day is earning the mental capitalization you’re giving it with the aggressive heat and humidity it’s tossing around like a statement of purpose and power.  The temperature has hovered just above 100 degrees for several hours, and with the sun sitting firmly in the highest part of the sky, things show no sign of abating anytime soon.  You half-crawled over to this front stoop solely because of the light shade its steps offered; the vinyl explorations of jazz icons is the least of your concerns as the sweat cools momentarily on your forehead.

As you collect your breath and allow your body temperature to retreat from dangerously high levels, the sluggish aura of the city begins to lull you into a hazy state unique to days like these.  Before you know it, the brassy blows from Miles and Co. have taken over every other sound around you and now brush against your face lightly with the force of a light breeze.  Every blast from a sax sets you off even further from reality, a fact that you don’t begin to appreciate until you next open your eyes.

Your first indication that things are not entirely normal comes with the young couple walking hand-in-hand across the street from you.  His denim overall and snap-back combo could probably be overlooked as a forward-thinking fashion throwback, but the distinct patterns of her dashiki and bold beats of her boxy boombox are noteworthy.  The thing she’s holding is enormous, and as you look around your side of the street, is not alone.  There are shiny metallic boom boxes everywhere – in open windows, on front stoops, cradled under arms of every passersby.  And with another blink, you realize that they’re all playing the same music.

Upon the recognition of the deep musical grooves now completely surrounding you, you also start to notice that each sonic beat is accompanied by the appearance of vibrant stripes and squiggles of color on the urban landscape.  These bits of color squirm around, diverging from and bumping into each other with patterns that are completely in sync with the music of the moment.  You haven’t seen anything like this since the glory days of Tribe and Common Sense, and it’s not a bad way to spend the day.

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Hot Routes: Week Sixteen

15 Dec

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Sixteen

This will be the final regular-season Hot Routes for 2012.  The routes were mostly crisp and on-time this year, and hopefully we were able to keep feet tapping and tickets winning.  Things were a little rough in the first couple weeks of the season, but the ship was righted, and if you followed along (and if gambling was legal) there would be money in your pockets.  Things will close with a bang next week, with a Swanky Bowl Preview + Hottest 2012 Albums extravaganza, so get ready.  This week, we’ll help you prep for your holiday party by tossing out some Swanky-approved Xmas jams.

 

Tampa Bay (6-7) at New Orleans (5-8)

The pick: Tampa Bay (+3.5)

The track:  Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Based on their name, music, and seemingly deep affection for Christmas, I always imagine the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a group of heavily-bearded Russians whose eyes are wild with vodka and the patriotic fervor of a pre-fall Soviet Union.  I’m assuming these guys honed their skills in the wild tundras of Siberia while concurrently nurturing a deep-felt love for Father Christmas and whatever ancient rituals that part of the world partakes in around this time of year.  Then, one fateful day, a traveling musician stumbled into the Orchestra’s hut/cave, and introduced the gentlemen to the wonders of the electric guitar.  The musical fires were lit, and we have the charged-up wonders of “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo” to power our holidays.

 

Green Bay (9-4) at Chicago (8-5)

The pick:  Green Bay (-2.5)

The track:  Wonderful Christmastime by The Shins

The Bears seem like they peaked early on in the year, and this week isn’t doing them any favors.  The Packers under Rodgers always play the Bears tough, and Jay Cutler’s got a neck injury now to add to the long list of injury gifts his O-line has given him this year.  The Packers should be giving at least a field goal.

 

Denver (10-3) at Baltimore (9-4)

The pick:  Denver (-3)

The track:  Hey Guys! It’s Christmastime! by Sufjan Stevens

Another prolific producer of Christmas music is Sufjan Stevens.  The talented singer, musician, composer, etc. dropped a FIVE DISC holiday release this year, and the all-encompassing weirdness and earnestness of the project is an awesome thing to behold.  There are covers of holiday standards, done every which way imaginable, and then there are Xmas originals with names like “Christmas Unicorn.”  “Hey Guys!” is a tightly produced, stirring alternative carol from this mad holiday genius.  It’s ready to soundtrack the climactic scene of Wes Anderson’s future holiday movie.

 

Detroit (4-9) at Arizona (4-9)

The pick:  Detroit (-6.5)

The track:  White Christmas by The Drifters

The Cards clearly aren’t going to lose by 58 points every week.  But after several days of watching last game’s embarrassments on tape, and then having to see John Skelton’s Damaged Psyche still at quarterback, the team’s motivations coming into the last games of the season are highly questionable at best.  The only reason this line isn’t higher against a still-dangerous Lions team is that it’s at home.  That will just make the boos louder.

 

Seattle (8-5) at Buffalo (5-8)

The pick:  Seattle (-5)

The track:  Christmas In Harlem by Kanye West

 

New York (8-5) at Atlanta (11-2)

The pick:  New York (+1.5)

The track:  Xmas Time Is Here Again by My Morning Jacket

 

Last Week’s Record:  6-0

Overall Record:  45-31

Hot Routes: Week Six

5 Oct

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Six

LSU (5-0) at Florida (4-0)

The pick:  Florida (+3)

The track:  Apocalypse Dreams by Tame Impala

Florida over LSU is the popular upset pick this week, and while I don’t think it’s as big of a lock as some analysts are saying, I do think the Gators have a great chance to win or at least keep it within 3 points.  The Swamp will be a very hostile place for an LSU team that has already looked shaky against lesser competition like Towson.  What’s a Towson?

 

Miami (4-1) at Notre Dame (4-0)

The pick:  Miami (+14)

The track:  Lady High (Kanye West vs. Chromatics) by Carlos Serrano

I don’t normally get into ‘mashup’ remixes – while they could be interesting at first listen, it usually starts to seem like a novelty gimmick shortly thereafter.  The end result is often just going back to the original songs because they’re still better on their own.  This particular mix by Carlos Serrano stands out however because it’s got a hauntingly banging beat, and it features some of my favorite old-school Kanye verses.

 

Georgia (5-0) at South Carolina (5-0)

The pick:  South Carolina (+1)

The track:  So Bright by Pretty Lights

This is a pretty even matchup on paper, but I think there are a few key things going in S.C.’s favor that will allow the old Ballcoach to take this victory.  First, the Gamecocks are at home, and that stadium is going to downright rowdy.  Second, Georgia just lost their top WR for the year, and that could lead to some uncertainty for their high-powered offense.  Finally, S.C.’s defense is an elite unit that might be the most talented in the country.  They’ll bring everything they’ve got against Georgia.

 

Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

The pick:  Vikings (-6)

The track:  Unpretty (Follow Me Remix) by TLC

Allow me to dip back into the late 90s for a moment with some TLC slow burn action.  I can’t say I was meaning to listen to an old TLC ballad when I came across this sultry remix, but there’s something about this song that brings up some pleasant nostalgia for the grade school days.  Also, electronic touches look pretty good on TLC.  “No Scrubs” dubstep mix coming soon?

 

Chicago Bears (3-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

The pick:  Bears (-5.5)

The track:  Blue Velvet (Penguin Prison Remix) by Lana Del Rey

This line isn’t bigger because the Bears are traveling on a short week.  I still think Chicago will win by at least a touchdown though, because the Jags are just not a very good team.  The Bears’ opportunistic D will have plenty of chances to take advantage of the eventual Blaine Gabbert mistakes.

 

Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)

The pick:  Ravens (-6.5)

The track:  Honey by Swim Deep

I don’t know what exactly it is about this song, but it is oddly catchy in a way that I can’t totally explain.  My best guess is that it’s mostly due to the mid-90s power-pop anthem heart that is beating strongly underneath its indie exterior.  With its “Ooo, ooo baby” hook and idealistic vocals about dreaming and cute girls, this will sound perfect over the ending credits of American Pie 5.

Last Week’s Record:  5-1

Overall Record:  13-15

Hot Routes: Week Two

7 Sep

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Two

The second week of Hot Routes welcomes the National Football League into the mix.  Making game predictions for the first couple weeks of football season is a dicey proposition, at least for the way I approach things, because the lack of in-game action makes it hard to get a good feel for the makeup of teams.  Every year, there are some teams that just don’t have ‘it’ – despite whatever hype they’re getting from the national media, you know they’ll crumble when it counts, or will get roundly beaten by a team no one saw coming.  And on the flip side, there are some teams that do have ‘it’ – an edge, a confidence, maybe just an overall feeling that things are going to break in their favor this year.

When you can find teams on both ends of the ‘it’ spectrum, whose true selves are preferably under the national radar, then that’s when you can start to build up a successful wagering run.  To find those teams, you need to pay attention to games.  Which we are currently in short supply of.  So let’s do the best with what we’ve got:

Oklahoma  State (1-0) @ Arizona (1-0)

The pick:  OK State (-11)

The track:  Clique by Kanye West, Jay-Z, Big Sean

The latest hard-hitting banger from Kanye’s upcoming G.O.O.D. Music album features a menacing beat underlying verbal boasts from Big Sean, Jay and ‘Ye.  As is becoming the norm, Kanye steals the lyrical show with his all-over-the-place third verse.  Mr. West covers being neighbors with Tom Cruise, muses on his own depression, and even dips into national security with a George Tenet name-check.  This particular clique offers a lot of entertainment value.

Also looking to provide some entertainment value is the match-up between Arizona and OK State in the desert.  OK State’s dismantling of Savannah State in their opener should be kept in perspective, but it at least serves as a reminder of the Cowboys’ ability to maintain their offensive firepower in 2012 even after the departure of QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon.  On the other side, Arizona has some offensive tricks of their own behind their enigmatic head coach Rich Rodriguez.  The problem for Arizona is that they still have a ways to go in the Rich-Rod era to match the explosiveness of OK State, and their defense most certainly won’t be able to contain the Cowboys for very long.  Arizona might score some points, but I don’t think they can come within two touchdowns.

 

Nebraska (1-0) @ UCLA (1-0) 

The pick:  Nebraska (-5.5)

The track:  Angels (Shiny Objects Rework) by The xx  

The xx are favorites for remix artists, and that’s been especially apparent in the run-up to their new album Coexist.  The new tracks are great, and assorted artists have rushed out to put their own spins on minimalist slow-burners like “Angels”.  One such artist is Shiny Objects, who made a play-date with “Angels” and brought their synthesizers along with them.  The result is a funky, pounding groove straight out of a 1980s teen slasher flick.

On the game side of things, it can be tough to get behind either team in this one.  You’ve got QB Taylor “Tribal Tat” Martinez with Nebraska, and then the overall ‘bleh’ factor that is Jim Mora, Jr. and recent UCLA football history.  I’ll take the Cornhuskers – Tribal Tat Martinez looks like he’s a much-improved player this season, and Nebraska looks like they can make a decent amount of noise in the Big 10 this year.  UCLA is getting way too much credit for beating up on Rice, and Nebraska should be favored by at least a touchdown here.

 

Wisconsin (1-0) @ Oregon State (0-0)

The pick:  Wisconsin (-7)

The track:  Lyrics To Go (Tumblin’ Dice Remix) by A Tribe Called Quest

Wisconsin smashed on Oregon State early last season to the tune of 35 – 0.  And yes, that was in Wisconsin, and they had current NFL phenom Russell Wilson behind center.  But Oregon State is still Oregon State, and Wisconsin is still too good of a team to not put a hurting on the Beavers.  Wisconsin will also be coming in to this game with the extra motivation of proving that their underwhelming performance in the season opener was just a fluke.

After a (presumably) rough beating at the hands of Wisconsin, Oregon State players can at least look forward to a nice little Saturday/Sunday relax sesh.  They can rehab their various bumps and bruises, burn some of that Oregon green, and vibe out to the jazzy goodness of Tumblin’ Dice’s take on “Lyrics To Go.”

 

Georgia (1-0) @ Missouri (1-0)

The pick:  Missouri (+110)

The track:  Earthforms by Matthew Dear

Taking a bit of a chance with this game.  On paper, Georgia should be the favorite, and since the spread is only 2 points at the time of this writing, that should appear to be the best pick.  Georgia, however, seems to be a bit overrated this year.  For whatever reason they’ve been given a lot of respect despite not having a great track record in tough games over the last couple of years.  Missouri, on the other hand, is going to be incredibly fired up at home, in their first game as a member of the SEC.  Things are going to get straight bananas in that stadium on Saturday, and Georgia is going to have to step up and handle it.  I’m putting my (fake) money on Missouri riding that home-field emotion.

If Missouri is in need of some extra half-time entertainment on Saturday, they could always turn to Matthew Dear.  “Earthforms” sounds as if Dear has been going through some of his old Fatboy Slim records lately.  The track rides a tight little bass line and could soundtrack a dance scene in any number of teen comedies from the mid-90s.  Just get some high schoolers, some choreographed dance moves, and you’ve got yourself some mid-game entertainment.

 

Arizona Cardinals (0-0) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-0)

The pick:  Seahawks (-3)

The track:  Disappear Always by Wild Nothing

Moving over to the first week of the NFL, this first game up between the Seahawks and the Cardinals looks almost too good to be true.  The Hawks are riding a lot of momentum from a preseason in which they looked good on both sides of the ball and found themselves a breakout star QB in Russell Wilson.  The dark horse contender buzz around Seattle is steadily building.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals dragged their feet in deciding to go with John Skelton as the starting QB over Kevin “party ‘stache” Kolb, giving a clear signal to everyone that either option is not ideal.  The rest of the team doesn’t look very promising either.

The NFL picks this week are going to be tracked by two songs from Wild Nothing’s recently released album, Nocturne.  This album is a great collection of blissfully rocking tunes.  A standout section comes with the two-track swing of “Disappear Always” and “Paradise.” “Disappear” starts things off with a shimmery electric guitar line that propels itself forward into an instrumental breakdown before giving way to “Paradise,” an expansive track that features a strummed guitar hook distilled from the pure essence of Sunny Beach Days.  Nocturne looks to be a welcome weekend soundtrack choice.

 

Miami Dolphins (0-0) @ Houston Texans (0-0)

The pick:  Texans (-13)

The track:  Paradise by Wild Nothing

It’s normally a risky move to go with large spreads in the first week of the NFL season.  The 2012 Miami Dolphins, however, have a had a pretty rough preseason and have had most of it played out on Hard Knocks.  The leaders of the organization did not look particularly effective in their TV appearances, and the poor team performance in preseason games only emphasized the downtrodden vibe surrounding the team on the eve of the regular season.  When Chad Johnson, the mouthy receiver who just got arrested for a disturbing domestic violence incident and who is no longer on an NFL roster, comes across as one of the more compelling characters of your franchise’s preseason, you’re in trouble.  The Dolphins are in for a rough season.

Still shimmying to Wild Nothing.

Last Week’s Record:  2 – 2

Overall Record:  2 – 2

Friday Relief

6 Apr

It’s Good Friday, which means it’s also G.O.O.D. Friday.  Throw Kanye’s newest crew cut on at your family Easter/Passover party and ride it out.

What says the holidays like “Something about Mary, she’s gone off that molly/ Now that whole party is melting like Dali”

Mercy, Kanye.

 

Friday Relief

9 Mar

The parallels between urban and agricultural lifestyles are thin, but one thing that holds both communities together is a love for their roots. Our favorite street influence, Kanye West, teams up with a bearded farmer, Zach Galifianakis, in this unforgettable anthem to the land.

T.J. Lavin’s Masterpiece Theatre: Episode One

26 Jan

[Our ongoing Swanky coverage of The Challenge: Battle of the Exes.  For an introduction, go here.  And now we know that Vinny keeps his shirt on in the pool]

808s & Heartbreak

Comparing a show about ex-lovers to a breakup album seems pretty obvious, but if the shoe fits, we’re going to wear it.  Kanye’s 2008 album, “808s & Heartbreak” was an emotional and personal piece of work.  The skeletons from his recent breakup are strewn all over minimalist productions and haunted vocals, with the occasional burst of bravado breaking forth in a particular verse or beat.  The album was uneven, but it was a deeply felt, unique, and quality work from a visionary artist that helped to usher in a new style of hip-hop [hey, Drake] and pointed towards the great things to come.  The messy pieces of lovesickness in “808s” laid the way for the passionate expansiveness of “A Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” much like the uneven parts of Battle of the Exes’ first episode point towards greater things.

TJ Lavin’s line in this episode – “You like money more than you hate each other” – sounds like it could have come straight from Kanye’s discarded lyrics pile.  Episode One had many of the ‘twisted love gone bad’ themes expressed in “808s”.  There was the weird, darkly sexual union with Abe and Cara Maria, who now both look like they work the “Pirates of the Carribean” ride on breaks between seasons.  There was the angry, don’t-fucking-touch-me attitude with Jasmine and Tyrie; any kind of non-violent ending for these two would be a borderline miracle.  The infatuation with porn stars shines bright with Dustin and Dunbar, the latter of which, incidentally, looked to be the second coming of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man while walking that honey plank.  And then there was the ‘I tend to sleep with the closest person in my vicinity, and you’ve happened to be that person at several times, so I guess let’s just bone some more’ union of Wes and Mandi.  Most of these people have probably lived out a few Kanye verses in their lives, and Battle of the Exes is all the better for it.

Episode One definitely had its slow points, and mostly laid the foundation for many of the storylines that should lead to emotional and physical  fireworks in the “Dark Twisted Fantasy” portion of this season.  The producers seemed to put the most emphasis on the Diem-CT relationship, indicating that could be headed for a sorely-needed CT meltdown in the near future.  Meanwhile, Wes’ aggressive strategy nearly got the best of him this year, but he was gifted a final showdown with quite possibly the least-appealing pair in Challenge history, Red-face and What’shername, and thankfully sent them home to irrelevance.

The muted, catchy, uncomfortable, and promising sounds of “808s” hang over Episode One, and while better things are on the horizon, it was still worth the time.

Dancing In The Desert, Pt. 3

25 Jan

 

[With the Coachella lineup just announced, excitement is running high again for this year’s installment of the Southern California music extravaganza.  Here at Dan Swanky’s, we wanted to push past the breathless hype and get the gritty details about what the Coachella experience is all about.  Lucky for us, our resident Steed made his first trip to the festival last year, and offered to give us a rundown of his time there]

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

After two days of toeing the line at Coachella, I woke up on Day Three with a little bit less fire in my belly than I had the previous two days.  My head was pounding, and part of me wanted to stay right where I was, curled up in the warm sun on the soft turf of the golf course.  Oh, yeah – I woke up that day on the golf course, 12th hole I think, that ran next to our rental house.  My Australian flag was still around my neck and serving as a blanket, but Ibis was nowhere to be found, and my name had been carved into the soft grass with the hole-marker, which looked like it had been javelined several feet away.  I also wasn’t wearing any pants, once again, so I brushed off the cobwebs and took a brisk jog back to our house, which woke me right up and got me raring to go dance once more.  At this point, I figured I would deal with the emotional and physical reckoning on Monday.  I was going to go all in on this one while I still had the chance.

I rustled up the DJ Collective from their various resting spots, and we got a couple hours of pre-gaming out of the way before hopping in a party bus that someone had parked on the front lawn the night before and abandoned.  Whoever left the bus there had also left several cases of beer and Ciroc in the back, so we took our time getting over to the concert grounds and were in a fine mood by the time we parked.  I guess I was in too fine a mood, because as we were walking through security, I told the security guard to At Least Kiss Me If You’re Going To Touch Me Like That, and I was briskly taken over to “HQ,” which was a trailer next to the Main Stage filled with sobbing girls and passed out bros.  I was able to muster my charm and kept it coherent enough that the Stern Police finally let me go on my way, but not without taking all of my 5-hour energy stash, and taking my ‘Benadryl’ for Safe Keeping.

As I made my way out of HQ, I realized that I had lost my group, and had no phone or any other way to contact them in the ambiguous mass of people spreading out in the meadow before me.  I needed a cold Heine to rest my nerves after the Security run-in, so I headed over to the nearest beer garden.  After grabbing a drink, I struck up a conversation with a lively group of bros, all wearing mid-90s Vin Baker jerseys, who suggested that I try spotting my friends from the Ferris Wheel.  One of the Baker Bros also handed me a fresh beer, which he said was White Elephant brew.  He winked as he said this, but I figured what the hell and polished it off before heading over to the Wheel, so I could get on there before the good tunes started.

I hopped on a solo car on the Wheel, and as I started to circle up to the top, I felt a quick little surge of adrenaline, that went away almost as suddenly as it came.  Looking back, that was like the first little rain drop you get before the hurricane hits, but at the time I shrugged it off.  As my car went one rung past the top of the Wheel, I got a clear view of Sahara, and amid a sea of waving bods, saw the glorious stuffed bunny that I had worked on the day before.  At that point, I understood that the little fellow had made the bunny to be used as a signpost, and as I was realizing that, the White Elephant from the Baker Bros finally made its presence known.  I could no longer sit still.  The car on the Wheel was slowly making its way down to the ground, but I couldn’t really wait any longer, so I clambered on to the outside and shimmied my way down the scaffolding to the ground.  Security was not too happy about my early departure, but my legs were pumping before I even hit the ground, and I was off running the fastest quarter-mile you’ve ever seen to Sahara.

I got in to Sahara at the start of the Ducks [Duck Sauce] show, and as they pumped out the electro jams, I grooved my way up to the bunny and re-united with my buds.  I was enjoying myself near the stage for a bit, when something about the music must have triggered the other part of the Elephant, and things began to take a turn.  I has already been getting nervous about the giant inflatable duck that was on stage for the show, and when the “Big Bad Wolf” song started, I decided that the duck needed to go and I made a run at it.

To get to the duck, I had to clear the fence around the stage, and my running start for the jump was hindered a bit by the wet grass and the big crowd – I ended up catching my shins on the fence and whipping my forehead into the back of a security guard.  This dazed me for a second but didn’t put me out for the count.  The guards picked me up and shipped me out of the Tent, telling me to Take It Easy, and as I stood in the grass collecting myself, I could hear the faint tunes of Chromeo, and I followed the seductive dance beats to the outdoor stage.

By the time I got to the Chromeo stage, the mild concussion I had sustained earlier had met up with the White Elephant and all I could do was put my seatbelt on and hope for the best.  I saw some of the DJ Collective in the crowd, and they passed me a pair of Party ‘Bans to help with the sensitivity to light.  For some reason, as soon as I put the ‘Bans on, I became convinced that I was actually Chromeo himself, and that it was up to me to put on the best fucking dance show that the crowd had ever seen.  For the next hour, I proceeded to do just that, completely oblivious to the actual band performing on the stage behind me.  I was throwing keyboard licks around like no one’s business, unleashing dance moves that screamed Sexual, and one point I even brought myself to tears.  By the end of the show, I was sweating profusely and wasn’t quite sure how I had gotten there.  One of the Collective buds told me to follow them to Kanye West, the capper to the whole festival, and I obliged.

For the majority of the weekend, there had been loose talk flying around about Kanye’s show and all of the special guests he was going to bring up.  Jay-Z, Beyonce, Will Smith, and Coldplay were all being tossed around as names, but as we waited for the show to start at the Main Stage, I became convinced that I was the special guest the show would have, to take it over the top.  All I had to do was figure out a way to make my epic entrance, and then I could do the Twista lines on “Slow Jamz” and it would bring the whole house down.  As I was looking around frantically to find my way in, Kanye came gliding over the crowd in a crane contraption, and I knew what I had to do.  As soon as he got back on to the stage, I crept over to the base of the crane and started to shimmy up the side, towards the platform on the top.  I figured that once I was up there, Kanye could just toss me the mic and we’d go from there.  I got about 6-7 feet up the crane neck before some Boy Scout spotted me and yelled for help getting me off.  I tried to keep climbing, to keep the dream alive, but as Kanye started in on “Hell Of A Life” some security guard crawled up after me like a goddman spider monkey and I tumbled back to earth after a brief struggle and a taser shot.

It took four security guards to round me and the Elephant up, and after doing a quick check to make sure I hadn’t broken anything, they told me my weekend was over and began to escort me out to the parking lot.  I told them that We Would Meet Again, and they said You’re Probably Right.  The next several days would be a long recovery session, filled with doctor’s visits and marathons of Friends, and even though I eventually came back to full health, there’s a part of me still laying out there in the grass of the Polo Grounds.  Until next year, my friends, until next year.”