Late to the Party: BlakRoc


NTSIB could be all late-to-the-party all the time. Some music I am slow to warm up to (I’m just now starting to get on board with Local Natives). Some music I know I like, but I don’t really get into until years after I first hear it. Some music I don’t even know about until it’s old news.

BlakRoc falls into the third category for me, and I’m still mystified that I didn’t even know about this project this time last week. For others who may be as out of the loop as I have been on this: BlakRoc is a collaborative project between the Black Keys and Damon Dash of Roc-A-Fella Records. Dash helped bring a number of hip-hop luminaries in for the project, like Mos Def, Ludacris, Raekwon, Q-Tip and the RZA. The fucking RZA! Names even white people recognize! There’s even a from-the-grave appearance from Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

It’s no secret that the Black Keys have soul, and their groove-heavy music is a perfect, strong background for the rhymes laid down on this project. BlakRoc is fucking sweet, and NTSIB … Continue reading

John Fahey: Poor Boy

It seems that when one falls in love with music, when it becomes something one feels the need to know everything about, the more one moves forward, the further back one ends up. Or perhaps that’s just my own experience. I may be a special case (feel free to define “special” however you want there), but I find when I fall in love with a new artist, I want to know what moved him, who influenced her, what did they listen to that caused them to pick instruments and play? I’ve found many favorite artists whom I might never have heard otherwise that way: Doc Watson, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Django Reinhardt, etc.

So when A.A. Bondy listed “John Fahey’s right hand” alongside influences/inspirations like trains, people who play bowed saws and James Jamerson’s pointer finger, I had to look Fahey up to satisfy my curiosity. And, as with many of these backwards discoveries, I felt stupid for having never heard of the man before.

John Fahey was an exceptional finger-picking guitarist who was born in Washington, D.C., in February … Continue reading