R.I.P. Chilly B of Newcleus

Newcleus' "Jam On It" is the origin of my Poolside series. That's because this song was literally wherein I became obsessed with rap. I'm old school if you don't know it. Remembering cousins Sean and Michelle bumping this from a mini-boombox by their backyard pool, and me, dancin' and wonderin' how I could inject more of this into my life. This is sad, especially since I think this is one of those bands that never got their due -- mixing Clinton's fantastical sci-fi Mothership with the burgeoning electro-funk/rap scene.

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Yeah. Honestly I have no idea exactly what or who Unknown/Thriller is -- I'm guessing the UK. I'm guessing they have an extensive "quiet storm" collection. I'm always searching for that elusive Dayton sound to regenerate itself into DJ/Laptop/UCreate culture. Slowly but surely. This is like those scant scratched up records that I've found so far, emitted from a basement battle, through the air ducts, suffocated in opium smoke from the den upstairs. Find me more.


Winterpocalypse or Snowmageddon?

Not sure which of those two descriptors fits, but I honestly don't remember a winter like this since I was two years old (that was the Great Blizzard of 1978). What you see here was only the first drop. It got much much worse.


Jim Shepard Will Get You Signed

I, like many people on the Beach, have plenty of anecdotal nonsense about experiences in the presence of the late Jim Shepard. For a barely legal quartet from South Western Miami County, playing their first show, to have the man in your scant audience, stopping you in motion to whisper in your ear that he "would get you signed," was the pinnacle of our existence and giving plasma at the same time. Fast forward many years later and I'm sitting in Walt's Lounge, and Shepard's last record is stinking up the place in a box under his booth. Spray Paint. He delivered me a copy and a beer and a brief monologue about how I'm in the consensus that really does consider Photograph Burns as one of the five best "pieces of art" ever created. I still am in the consensus. But admittedly, I was too young to hear the Vertical Slit the Pre-Slit, the hours of tape the man recorded through his years. I'm constantly digging. Someone's gonna let it all out -- this bountiful enigma that needs unearthing. For now, you need to get over to Forever Lowman and catch up. Slowly but surely.


Hue Blanc's Farewell to Favre

So little brother's always saying the best reality show on earth is SPORTS. I tend to agree, especially after my roller-coaster ride with the Minnesota Vikings this past season. For most of my life, Brett Favre has been the arch-enemy - the bane of my existence. When he chose the Vikings as his final bow (?) I had to eat the fact that Lex Luther was joining my team. Purple kryptonite now was my captain. It think perhaps it was a honeymoon of sorts, we came so close -- and by the end of that fateful game with the Saints, I knew that by embracing my (new) inner Favre, I had learned my lesson. He got me from the inside. Live by the Favre, Die by the Favre. And I even rooted for the Bengals week in and week out for penance. Still, knowing his legend, and what he is capable of -- he owes the fans of Minnesota another try at that championship season.

Imagine what the past few years have been like for a band from Wisconsin? The dregs, mang. For many a boy in WS, Favre is a turncoat, comparable to Jesus becoming Judas with a change of uniform. It was such a tragedy, some, namely one, Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones, make a whole 7" inch affair (their first for Columbus Discount) dedicated to Favre's eulogy. This is likely one of the most hilarious and deadly serious sports/rock tie-ins in the history of underground music. Not that the tunes here have anything to do with our Wrangler-clad hero/antichrist -- the Joyless Ones are a hard nut to crack, in terms of terms. Terms to describe them. It's not that's it's difficult or impenetrable, quite the contrary, this is bare bones, sometimes "Smuggler's Choice" gets so smoke-filled though, that those earnest melodies and scrappy knuckles get obscured. This is a record, that like a quarterback that's won you game after game of hall of fame play, is reliable and comfortable, stripped of any aesthetic other than the aesthetic to work for the listener. That said, the guy is known to throw an interception now and then, but like the rough touch of Hue Blanc's crew, he rarely apologizes for those. R.I.P. Brant.



Not much is known about Pauly Fuemana AKA OMC, the Polynesian born, New Zealand-based musician/producer, other than his one moment of glory -- "How Bizarre." The song is the definition of one-hit (number one hit) wonder, going to radio in 1997 with a simple pop hook flowered with Polynesian rhythms and his mimic-able sing-speak cadence. The top-selling single in N.Z. history -- quite a feat given the wealth that country produces. Odd fact: "How Bizarre" is also rumored to be Mike Rep Hummel's favorite song. How Bizarre. Please take some time today to remember Fuemana once again -- and realize we wouldn't stop to consider Louis Bega upon his passing. OMC's Top 40 contribution is permanent. I listen to this weekly.