Archive | Music

8|8 Mixtape: Anger

Just Charlie - AngerThis week I recorded another mixtape for a local mixtape project called 8|8. It is eight songs long. This is the second such mix that I’ve made, the first one was Grand Imperial Mystic from December 2015.

Unlike the last mix this one has a very narrow focus: the emotion of anger. Each of the 8 people involved in the project (there are two groups, so 16, technically) were randomly assigned a different emotion to record a series of 8 songs to. My randomly selected emotion was anger.

This theme was not particularly easy because it demanded striking a balance between anger and music that I would want to listen to. I do not listen to much angry music. It was a fun project which forced me to go slightly outside of my musical comfort zone. It includes a lot of inside jokes and a few film references.

Download Link

“Anger” Mixtape MP3

This mix is 32 minutes long, 320kbps, and 78 megabytes in size.


  1. Black Sun Empire – Wasteland (feat. SPL)
  2. Bob Dylan – Masters of War
  3. Bassnectar – Seek & Destroy (Remix)
  4. Metallica – Seek & Destroy
  5. Black Flag – Rise Above
  6. The Eagles – Peaceful Easy Feeling
  7. Carly Simon & James Taylor – Mockingbird
  8. John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth

Sampled on this Mixtape

  1. Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump
  2. George Carlin on “The real owners”
  3. Bill O’Reilly “Doing it live”
  4. Howard Beale rant from Network (1976)
  5. “I hate the fuckin’ Eagles” from The Big Lebowski (1998)
  6. “Who needs the radio?” from Dumb & Dumber (1994)
  7. “You can’t handle the truth” from A Few Good Men (1992)
Published on January 30, 2016

Carpainter @ NASA



Carpainter, Yokohama-based founder of Trekkie Trax records (which has signed some tracks from Conrank) last weekend in Chengdu. Pretty sure his name is a reference to this boss in the 1994 SNES game Earthbound which I played as a kid. That obscure reference is up my alley.

Check out Carpainter on Soundcloud.

Published on January 25, 2016

Song of the Day #190: The City

Anderson .Paak – The City

Anderson .Paak released a new album earlier this week titled Malibu and his influence as a nouveau soul singer continues to grow. It’s remarkable see him transition from working with underground artists like Dumbfoundead and Wax to Dr Dre and the rest of the cast of features on this new album.

The song above is from his 2014 album Venice, which like his new album is a Los Angeles-reference.

Published on January 21, 2016

Ghostface Killah in Oakland

A few weeks ago I saw Ghostface in Oakland at The New Parish with Kensho. This was a different Ghostface from the one I had seen over 10 years ago at Sonar in Baltimore: this Ghostface was kinder, more softly spoken, and less braggadocios. In 2002 he was wearing three jackets, two hats, and about 15kg of gold jewelry. His temperament was that of someone who had just done a lot of cocaine: he seemed irate, irritable, and hyper-confident. In Oakland he was amicable and professional.

He brought another Wu-Tang member with him, Killah Priest, which was unexpected. The New Parish is a more intimate venue than Sonar, with around 200 people in attendance, so the show had a personable quality. It was a spectacular performance with little theatrics, just good, well performed music. It included all of the Ghostface songs that you would want to hear.

Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah

Ghostface Killah

One thing that surprised me about the evening were the opening acts. Asking Kensho who was opening for Ghostface – an honor for any performer within hip hop – he said that most of the artists were “Pay to play” (which was later confirmed by someone else at the same show). What this means is that the opening acts didn’t get their slot solely because of their skill or local influence, but because they elected to purchase a lot of tickets to the show upfront, and then sell them themselves. Basically an affiliate marketing scheme. Doing this gives these “up-and-coming” artists rare and valuable clout while hedging the promoters investment in booking a high-profile performer.

What this means for the audience is that we are subjected to sub-par performers who did not earn their position. It was a night of hearing one DJ after another clumsily work their way through sets that it seemed like no one in attendance was interested in hearing. It struck me as a shameful way to lead up to a legendary artist like Ghostface of the Wu-Tang, and I cringed many times as rappers struggled with the rhythm of their own songs and DJs awkwardly scratched off-beat. For a city as proud of its heritage as Oakland is, it was an underwhelming lead up to a highly anticipated show.

In the end it all worked out because the main act did not disappoint. Ghostface Killed it.

Published on January 13, 2016

Song of the Day #189: Fame

David Bowie – Fame

David Bowie passed away the other day. The degree of cultural response to his death – acknowledgement of his legacy and sadness at his passing – is remarkable.

Published on January 13, 2016

8|8 Mixtape: Grand Imperial Mystic

Grand Imperial MysticThis week I recorded a short mixtape to participate in a local music project called 8|8 wherein 8 people create mixes of 8 songs each.

This one is titled Grand Imperial Mystic and the subtitle is Supreme conviction, ambiguity, and the smell of gunpowder.

I don’t want to say too much about the meaning behind the mix. It will be more fun for you to listen to the mix and draw your own conclusions.

Download Link

Grand Imperial Mystic MP3


  1. Flying Lotus – Siren Song (Stan Forbee remix)
  2. Brother Ali – Uncle Sam Goddamn
  3. Alan Parker – Border Incident
  4. The Black Angels – Young Dead Men
  5. Clipse – Kinda Like a Big Deal
  6. Blu Mar Ten – All or Nothing (Conrank remix)
  7. Dumbfoundead & DJ Zo – Crushing Limbs
  8. DJ Shadow – Midnight in a Perfect World

Sampled on this Mix

  1. Robert Kennedy – Ripple of Hope speech (1966)
  2. Jerry Fallwell Jr on gun control (December 2015)
  3. Fox News on Josh Wheeler death (October 2015)
  4. Jocko Willink on perseverance
  5. Pastor Jamal Bryant on “My Enemy’s Worst Nightmare”
  6. South Park: Randy Marsh’s Bro Down
  7. Kennedy on Aeschylus

Notes & Links

Published on December 20, 2015

Song of the Day #187: Money

Lido – Money

Last week when I was in Seattle I caught a Lido show at The Crocodile in Belltown and it was an amazing show. Having only known Lido as a music producer, I didn’t know that he was such an accomplished musician at the age of 23.

Check out Lido on Youtube for some fantastic live performance videos, including a few with a full orchestra.

Published on October 30, 2015