Thursday, May 12, 2005

dj heavygrinder

heavygrinder:: drum n bass//breaks//hard//house

seattle-native turned LA-resident, DJ HeavyGrinder has been spinning in the city of angels since 1998. Since landing in La La Land HeavyGrinder has killed the decks of White Lotus, the Key Club, and the Sunset Room while traveling to France, Japan, Atlanta, Hawaii, San Francisco, DC.-- ok, you get the picture. The girl is popular!

Let this Drum n Bass goodie called 'Equilibrium' jump start your Thursday evening and when you get a chance, check out HeavyGrinder's website.

AUDIO//Equilibrium//DJ HeavyGrinder//February 2005// MP3

Sunday, May 08, 2005


veronica:: sexy house

mtv Canada darling DJ/producer Veronica has been rocking the Vancouver scene, and the rest of the world, for years. Known for her phantasmagorically sexy house beats, Veronica has organized numerous all female nights in Vancouver and held several residencies. The accolades are plentiful as well: #1 DJ for 2002 by the readers of the Georgia Straight, 3rd Best DJ in WestEnder Magazine, and a nominee for Best Gay & Lesbian DJ.

AUDIO//The Sweetest Sounds//DJ Veronica//MP3

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Monday, May 02, 2005


wayna:: soul//jazz//hip hop//r&b

honey soul's blog has a wonderful peek into the sweet, soulful sounds of Wayna, an underground siren who's stage presence and originality caught the attention of Stevie Wonder.

Visit the site to catch some tracks from her album, Moments of Clarity, Book I.

LINK//Honey Soul

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

rena jones:: transmigration

rena jones:: electronica//IDM//breaks//world

rena Jones is still one of those undiscovered gems for many people, at least those outside of San Francisco's electronica scene. She is a sound engineer and string manipulator of violin and cello, an audio engineer with a celestial voice, and a composer/producer whose range covers old world beats and contemporary electronica.

This is essentially the backbone of Transmigration,Rena's second solo album that is a soulful, downtempo journey of tabla, sarod, dumbek, bansuri, ney, and Banzantar influenced ethno beats melted with broken beat, IDM, and innovative strings.

Visit Rena's website for a lovely discography and more information.

AUDIO//Transmigration//Rena Jones//April 2005//Autumn

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sunday special:: sy smith

sy smith:: soul//funk//electrofusion

we Southern girls love the unexpected lagniappe. I've decided to make a habit out of throwing in some extra divas that don't fit the normal genres featured on puradiva, kinda like a special dish.

In this spirit, I'd like to present Sy Smith: Emmy-nominated singer/producer/songwriter whose latest album, The Syberspace Social, is already getting airplay on KCRW.

As a singer, Sy has been a back-up vocalist for the likes of Whitney Houston, Meshell N'degeocello, and Usher and has done on the spot lyrics for Macy Gray and Christina Milian. But those days are over, and with a sublimely gossamer voice and catchy hooks, Sy is propelling herself to the forefront.

Check out a little teaser called "Time" and find more lovely, spacey flavored tracks at Sy's website.

AUDIO//The Syberspace Social//Sy Smith//April 2005//Time

Thursday, April 28, 2005

hold my gold: a white girl's hip hop guide

hold my gold:: satire on hip hop//race//gender//culture

50 cent is revolutionizing pop culture as we know it. Through his music and image, the well-muscled rapper has taught hip hop connoisseurs and novices alike important lessons, like how to spell PIMP... and how to stunt. His persona has even inspired a book meant to guide hip hop envious white girls out of their wack-ass worlds and into a crunk life-- enter Hold My Gold: A White Girl's Guide To The Hip Hop World.

Hold My Gold is a satire on the marketing/pop culture trend that is hip hop from the perspective of two white girls, Amanda McCall and Albertina Rizzo. Amanda is a Central Park West chic that once worked for The Late Show with David Letterman and Albertina has been an editor and publicist. In an interview with Yale Daily News, the two explained how the 2003 MTV Music Awards, during which 50 Cent poured from the heavens out of giant, jewel-encrusted pimp cup and a love affair with gangsta rap made them realize that this book was a necessity. "I realized that I love [50 Cent] and hip-hop so much that I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to helping white girls like myself to love hip-hop, " Amanda asserts. Whether she's serious, I can't tell, since the rest of the interview is filled with silliness, but their book definitely takes a light-hearted approach to what mass media insists is urban epitomized: Cristal, flossin, chronic, thuggin, and of course, G-Unit.

Through chapters on Da Basix (hip hop influenced vocab words), social etiquette, accessorizing, the art of looking like a video ho, and a history of hip hop, the authors aim to show any suburb dwelling quasi-socialite how to dewackify her house, replace her Sex & the City martini with Hennessey, and add some bling to her J Crew cardigan.

The book's publisher, Simon & Schuster (send any angry mail to them, please, and not me), is a large publishing house that rarely backs anything that won't sale. So what makes them think this book has an audience, and why did this book happen in the first place? Because commercial hip hop has become ubiquitous. It's undeniably the biggest selling genre for many music labels, such as Universal Music Group. And being able to make money for the industry giants means being worthy of becoming a marketing trend. And becoming a marketing trend makes you cool as hell.

But, things can only be marketed if they're compacted into easily defined images and catchphrases. Which is where the trouble starts.

It happens with everything, from the success of Viacom/Bravo's Queer Eye landing Tom a Pier 1 contract, to Bratz dolls having competing toy manufacturers scrambling to sell playthings to tween girls. So, why shouldn't two white girls be able to make a little dough off the ridiculousness that America accepts as hip hop culture? It's deliciously unexpected.

For many critics and hip hop purists, these are sad days for hip hop. The subject of women's objectification, homophobia, violence, anarchy and various other hip hop buzz words have been discussed ad nauseum, so I won't do that here. But bottom line, commercial hip hop is about to change and become more like underground hip hop. Tired of being laughable and formalistic, it's starting to incorporate Afro Punk sounds, return to consciousness and fun, and love itself again.

But maybe we can giggle at the past along the way.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

b-girl be: a celebration of women in hip hop

b-girlbe:: art//dance//dialogue//djs//fashion//film//graf//
history//media//poetry//rap//b-girl bbq

from now - June 11, 2005, the Twin Cities' own Intermedia Arts will be hosting b-girl be, a Women in Hip Hop summit celebrating women's accomplishments in all aspects of the genre. There will be networking and seminars to sharpen skillz and resources for creating aerosal art, poetry, film, rap, dance, and all other related art forms.

Featured artists include DJ Kuttin Kandi, aerosal artist Lady Pink, documentary photographer Martha Cooper, and B-Girl Asia One.

The B-Girl Be Summit will be held from June 2-5 and passes are available at $30. Passes go on sale May 1; those interested should call Intermedia Arts at 612/871.4444 or visit the website.

LINKS//Intermedia Arts

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