Miguel's Billboard Stage Dive: Hulk Hogan-Approved, But the Best Ever?

Categories: Five Spot

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Photo by Amanda J. Cain
Miguel on firmer footing, opening for Alicia Keys at Toyota Center in March 2013
In the Internet age, you become a sucker for things that happen instantly. There's no way around it. Everything that garners a reaction, whether positive or negative, will become meme'd and turned into a .gif. I'm pretty sure the more awkward moments of my life will be displayed in some pixelated form by my kids or whomever in 2032. When you become addicted, you're stuck until the next thing comes along.

That being said, all week I've been glued to Miguel's guillotine leg drop on a poor fan this past Sunday night at the Billboard Music Awards like the Zapuder film in JFK. I'm discovering new wrinkles, judging launch points and quoting "back, and to the left" like a madman.

It will rank as one of those weird moments where social media and live television made sweet beautiful love to one another, and I will forever raise questions and other thoughts about it, such as the following:


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5 Albums I'd Like to Read

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Novelize this, please.
I suppose it was inevitable that Rush wrote a book. To move from long-form albums with intricate plot-lines and involved character development to a multi-hundred-page novel with the same isn't really much of a leap, after all, and prog has always been at least a bit about bombast. What could be more bombastic than expecting a fan to sit through 66 minutes of music and 300 pages of the same story?

While it seems silly at first blush, it got me thinking about the nature of song. If you think about it, songs were stories first. The literary tradition arguably began with song, its melodies and rhyming verses acting as an aid to the re-telling of myth and history. Memorizing 600 words of prose? Painful. Memorizing a three minute song? I'm guessing you know how that goes.

With that in mind, it's clear that Rush just reversed the process, or turned it into a circle, with a story begetting a song begetting a story. If they can do it, certainly others can too. If you mix and match song writers and authors, I'm pretty sure you can come up with some pretty compelling work. Take these, for example:


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Walking Through the Five Stages of Grief with Ghostface Killah

Categories: Five Spot

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This weekend, my father and I had a falling-out.

The specifics of the exchange will not advance the narrative in any meaningful way. You just need to know that he felt one way about something and I felt another way about that same thing, and we let each other know that neither agreed with the other. (Those are the basics behind every argument, as I'm given to understand it.)

Now, in a threatening situation, my immediate thought, the thing my brain just shouts over and over again, is "PUNCH, MOTHERFUCKER, PUNCH!" It's why I've been kicked out of the last three basketball leagues I played in (fighting, fighting and threatening to fight, in that order) and it's how I ended up assaulting that plastic ficus tree that one time. I guess maybe I should be regretful that it's that way, but I'm not. Whatever. Sorry.


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Go Slow: A New Houston Playlist for Your Drive to Work

Categories: Five Spot

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For parents, it's hard to find a moment of peace.

Watching TV during the day? Please. Reading a book without interruptions that isn't about a gorilla that has to learn manners or whatthefuckever? Nope. Naps? Dude, forget that shit. I haven't slept during the day in five years. Best I've been able to do is sit still for a few minutes in a sort of open-eyed coma while my brain tries to figure out how my life went astray.

As such, I've come to cherish the incidental bits of quiet that happen during the day, including Car Time.


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Hey, Look: Chief Keef, Kanye, Future, 2 Chainz, Delo, Etc.

No dalliances, do wayward (and likely unrelated) anecdotes, no nothing. Just good, interesting music:

Chief Keef, "I Don't Like": There are some details* behind this song that might be interesting to, like, 80 people or so, but mostly this song is important because IT FUCKING ROCKS TITS. Plus, its spine, the acerbic claim "That's that shit I don't like" functions beautifully as quip, both in real life and on Twitter, the second of which might even be more important than the first, which is either really cool or really sad, depending on if you're my dad or not. Amar'e Stoudemire's braids? That's that shit I don't like. Wearing pants while I eat? That's that shit I don't like. So on and so on.

*The most compelling subplot: Kanye and 'dem made a remix that sucked. The producer of the original version took to Twitter to cut it up. It was the first time that Kanye ever looked so uncool. And it made me way sadder than I was anticipating. Ooh, since we're here....


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Devin the Dude Is Here to Satisfy You...and That's It

Categories: Five Spot

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Hello. It's Friday. And Devin the Dude is alive. So let's celebrate.

This is "You'll Be Satisfied," the first single from his upcoming EP, Seriously Trippin. It just came out. There are no tricks here and there are no gimmicks here. It is simply a traditionally Devin track, which is just about the best thing it could be: ultra-mellow, unconcerned and beyond cool in its I'm-gonna-dick-you-downdom*.

*Note: In one of Devin's greater feats, he manages to make the line "I'm gonna get you, gonna stick it in you" sound nothing like the threat that it would be coming out of anyone else's mouth.


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The Time Imaginary Cheese Upended A Perfectly Fine Music Experiment

Categories: Five Spot

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The original idea wasn't even that original, which is why it didn't work, I suppose.

In 2003, a ferociously cool writer named Rob Harvilla (Google him; he's a vocabularian superhero) wrote an article about how he played a Radiohead album for a group of fifth graders and then asked them to draw pictures while they listened to it.

Read it. It's smart and funny and fun.

I had intended to do the something similar, except I'd adjusted the premise slightly. Rather than using one group, I was going to use rap from different artists with noticeably different sounds, and rather than using fifth graders, I was going to use my four-year-old twin sons, and their friends, who are five, six and eight.

But it was a train wreck. The whole thing. All of it.

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What If? Five Potential Hosts For A Revamped Soul Train

Categories: Five Spot

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The news of Don Cornelius' suicide earlier this week left many stunned and hurt, especially those who were fans of the legendary TV show Soul Train. Noted for being the alternative to American Bandstand, the show ran from 1971 to 2006 opening the doors to young performers and countless generations starring at Don and muttering "Love, Peace and Soul" right along with him.

Even though the show lost its spark once hip-hop began dominating pop culture in the '80s and early '90s, classic reruns air today on various programming. Still, it would be remiss without thinking - what would Soul Train if they decided to bring it back full time and who could carry the legacy of hosting it?

Here are the requirements to be the host of the revamped Soul Train. One, you have to have a connection to your audience that doesn't make you seem like a curmudgeon, or at least not like that In Living Color "Old Train" skit. Two, you sort of have to be young America goes for that stuff. Three, you can't be Ryan Secreast. Should be simple enough, right? Good.

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Fourteen Years After His Death, Fat Pat's Legacy Continues Acting Bad For Scrilla

Categories: Five Spot

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In Huntsville, back somewhere around 2000, there used to be this club called The Tin Can. There are a bunch of reasons to remember The Tin Can; two stand out and another is unfortunately appropriate today.

The most nefarious of the three: It had to have been the most unsafe club in American history. Not because the people that went there regularly were unruly and dangerous, because they weren't. It was mostly college kids and, historically, college kids are total pussies. It was unsafe because, structurally, it was a goddamn furnace waiting to happen. It looked like a gigantic soup can had been cut in half and laid on its side. It was like whoever owned it had wanted to be an actual club owner but couldn't afford a proper venue, so he bought a discarded solid metal building, hired a DJ and said, "Hey, come to my new club. It's only $5 to get in. Free drinks before 11 for ladies. Oh, and by the way, pray to God it doesn't catch on fire or all of you bitches are going to be cooked alive. Alright laters, dudes."

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Somehow, Red Bull Has Become Very Important To Underground Rap In Texas

Categories: Five Spot

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A white guy, two black guys and a Mexican walk into a club.

Harharhar.

This coming Wednesday, February 1, Warehouse Live will host the inaugural show of the Red Bull Skooled tour. (If you've any concerns about the validity of the relationship Red Bull has rap, you're encouraged to read this, which is a review of the last rap-related event they threw. It was aces.) The premise of the Skooled tour is quite simple, and very respectable:

Five underground rap acts from Texas (each of the major cities has one, with Dallas allowed two because Dallas needs all the help it can get) have been selected to tour with some of Southern rap's greatest personas, including a demigod (Bun B), the greatest shit-talker alive (Mannie Fresh), a platinum selling man that had the Internet going nuts (Paul Wall) and probably the most famous Mexican in the hustle (Chingo Bling). The specific focus of the tour, besides offering free shows in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Ft. Worth, will be for the veterans to act as real actual mentors to the newbies. Historically, Texas -or, the South, really--has been wonderfully self-sufficient, so this happening here seems apropos.

Keep it moving for an easy-to-assemble playlist featuring the event's new kids.

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