Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guest Post: Anger Management For Your March Madness

A guest post from my 13 (!) year old cousin:


What's going through the mind of a champion (and Kobe when he drops more than 30 points)
OR
What every underdog envisions in the tourney


So as I'm watching the second round games of the tourney and realizing how boring of a tournament this may turn out to be (and how so far, 37 out of my 48 picks have been correct), when something hit me: this year's amateur ballers striving to be the cream of the crop are going to be next year's NBA Draft picks - and the only true Cinderella this year is Arizona. But March Madness shouldn't be a time of "madness." In fact, I think it's just the opposite - until the Final Four anyway. It's when you spend your weekends watching over-hyped games - that either end with a conversial steal and dunk/lay-up by the best black guy in the game or that white guy who shoots 95.8% from the free throw line hitting 2 free throws in the "clutch" - while sipping down an ice tea, and checking your bracket every hour. While it may seem like an exciting display of basketball - much more interesting than the NBA - it's also a league of uncontrollable, extremely confused and usually lucky players and teams.

But what makes March Madness so special? TRADITION. March Madness was built on the success of UCLA, college basketball's Celtics, the amusement of watching the white guys at Duke who bust in the NBA, the coaches who just want to get their paycheck, the black guys from the Big East - oh and Dick Vitale hoarse throat. But most of all, it's the thrill of watching those with their backs to the wall beat those who owned the wall. It's about watching miraculous comebacks that you will never see in the NBA. The perfect example of this is Gonzaga against UCLA in '07 (I think it was in the Sweet 16). Down by about 16 or 18 points with 11 minutes to spare, UCLA was losing to Adam Morrison, who ends up seeing a picture of himself crying taped to his locker on his first day as a Laker (clever tricks by former-Bruins Ariza and Farmar). But Cedric Bozeman stole the ball, passed it up for a lay-up, and UCLA moved on. Even the greatest college player of all-time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar agreed to turning off his T.V. with three minutes left. It seemed hopeless. But in a classic defense vs. offense clash, Jordan Farmar and Afflalo led the Bruins to a victory. The ultimate comeback. A disciplined team against an offensive jugernaut. That's what basketball is all about.

Enough with the NCAA for now though. Believe it or not, the NBA season isn't over yet and there still is a heated MVP race between Kobe and Lebron, even though D Wade should make a run for it too. But as I was reflecting on the MVP candidates, I couldn't help but associate them with Shakespearean characters. Lebron James is the Julius Caesar of the NBA. Most call him "the king" and has hypnotized his "witnesses" in droves (ex. a regular two-handed lay-up, with no fancy tricks at all, get Lebron ay least top 3 finish on Sports Center). But Kobe, being the noble person he is, is Brutus. Well-respected and will go on to murder the king, but does it for the good of his republic (a.k.a. the Lakers) and not out of jealousy. D Wade is Marc Antony, often seen with and a close friend of Caesar, is not the most powerful in the kingdom but does find a way to deceive those around him in the end. And while we're making these strange comparison, Chris Paul is Octavius. Currently young and inexperienced but is a good work-in-progress and heir to the throne. Paul Pierce is Cassius, jealous of those above him and talks crap about them whenever he gets a chance. Verdict: Lebron will most likely win MVP, and when he does, you can bet Cleveland fans will start complaining about why he wasn't also awarded the Defensive Player of the Year honors (which KB24 should be a candidate for).

RECOGNITION from one of my heroes in sportswriting:
"Ben--

We're kind of on hold for the moment, since I"m trying to vacation and sort out some other stuff while sticking with my paid engagements. But some advice, from the FD perspective: It seems like there's like three different stories packed in here. I like your take on the Kobe/Bron/Wade axis, especially because it includes Paul. But I'd do it as several character studies that, while framed in terms of Shakespeaer, offer the characters as points of reference or comparisons, not X=Y.

I also think there's something to be said for the tradition/madness binary in the NCAA tournament, but doesn't the "tradition and excellence" part only sink in during the later rounds? The first week(end) is entirely nuts, and no one knows what's going on, and shit can seem largely random.

Best,

Shoals "

(ED NOTE: HOLLLARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!)

Brief Music Alert: check out MSTRKRFT's new album, First of God. (I'll try to review that album on another post).

The Black Eyed Peas are back -yup, that group with the black people and Fergie have reunited. If you've been to an NBA game, you've probably heard "Let's Get It Started" - and thought nothing of it. But the 808s in their latest single, Boom Boom Pow, make for a unique song, to say the least. Will.i.am's creativity and clarity along with Taboo's articulation are probably the greatest elements of the song. But the producer probably slacked off a little bit, allowing tens of seconds to pretty much be a bass pattern with vocals. But Fergie, amazingly enough, contributes that crucial swagger necessary to get airplay.

MUSIC

Justice vs. Ratatat (Bearbot Mash-up
) -A dope blend of We Are Your Friends and Seventeen Years

Intergalactic vs. DJ Khaled- If you miss the class of the Beastie Boys, and are looking for a good techno vibe - rap combo - you should download this track.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Throw your sets up


OR
Dudes, I got fuckin tanked at that day party BROOOOOOOOO.

There are completely different standards for being a casual fan of the NBA and the tourney. Even though I am "Lakeshow till my wake YO" (copyright Pesos 2009), there are other players and teams I can legitimately root for. This fandom is based on knowledge of said players game, personalities, history, etc, and you connect to them. The same can be said of the players you can't stand. You've seen them play, know something about them or their history, and can pinpoint what it is that makes them wack.

The Tourney is a whole different animal. There is no real logical explanations as to why certain teams are raised to world-beating maccabis and others to dream-squashing monsters. Our fandom is based on more than our bracket; it is an expression of our world view. We take these teams not as a group of basketball players, but as symbols for entire regions, philosophies and cultures. (Duke= college basketball scientology.) College teams mean more in general; fans of a team are usually alumni, who have sports as an active representation of their alma mater. It's not about the players, they are only representing the school, or in the case of me, some greater idea. I was enthralled by the 2006 Final Four matchup between UCLA and LSU because it matched up the "kids from L.A." and the "kids from LA". Farmar, Afflalo and co. were carrying the tradition of Los Angeles kids against the freakish bayou athletes led by Big Baby and Tyrus Thomas. That UCLA team played some of the ugliest games I have ever seen, but it didn't matter. Style meant nothing when the pride of your birthplace was at stake.

This is why the UNC-Gonzaga game is the game I am by far the most excited about in this entire tourney. Why? This is the rare occasion when we can combine the abstract forces that drive our fandom with real-life connections to the players. I am of course talking about Tyler "Ya bro, I'm PSYCHO T, WATCH ME JUMP INTO THIS POOL, SAE!!" (photo) Hansbrough against Josh "Who the fuck gets busted for possession of mushrooms" Heytvelt. This is going to be basketball culture war. The All-American, super-hyped, "Dickie V on his speed dial for on call handjobs " forward from the 2nd best program in college basketball history. Do you know how hard he plays? Well, you're gonna be told over and over again. He hits the gym He's God's gift to college basketball, everybody loves him, even though he has no real game and the best player on his team is Ty Lawson.
Then we have Heytvelt. The school that brought us Stockton and Ronny and Adam Morisson when people were still impressed cause he had diabetes. West coast mid major conference. And the dude is down with psychedelics. We need not look into ourselves to find who to root for in this game. The stars have aligned to show us the way.

(Note: We are accepting guest posts at any time. Stop being lazy you douchebags.)


(Note 2: You should be SOOO damn thankful for this track. Do you know how long I have searched for an untagged version of this remix. Do you know how much better Ludacris' opening is without Funkmaster Flex shouting out half of New York? And we are talking about young, just in the game, killing every remix Ludacris. And UGK is on this. This song is amazing.)

Friday, March 20, 2009

SOtD: Slackin'

DONE-ZO!

Yes Yes Y'all

Well, as you can probably guess from the headline, I have in fact survived finals. I have emerged the insomniac daze in which I wandered for the last week, ready to break it down. By my count I've missed 3 days of SOtD's... so here's a post to make up for all that! I'm falling back into my banger's habit though, so if you don't like to get funky to super loud basslines going WONK WONK WOOOOOOKAKAKAKAKAKA! then you probably will not enjoy this post as much. But if you are... FEAST YOUR EARS! BECAUSE I TELL YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, I'M GONNA BE BUMPING THESE TRACKS AT MAXIMUM VOLUME AT ABOUT 2 AM TONIGHT, AND I WANT TO SEE YOU ALL THERE UNDER THE BLACKLIGHT GETTIN' FUNKY. DO IT.

SOtD: WE'RE DONE WITH FINALS LET'S GET CRUNK EDITION: 3/17-3/20. AS ALWAYS - ARTIST - SONG - DOWNLOAD - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

STAGE ONE: DRINKIN' BEERS, SIPPIN DRANK:
1. - BLACK ELEMENT - IT'S ALL RELATIVE (FAMILY FIRST) - DOWNLOAD = WAIT, HIP-HOP? FROM BOSTON? WTF IS GOING ON HERE? Well, it's just too damn West Coast to ignore, ironically enough. Old skool sample heavy chorus, flutes and horns, laid back rhymes about your fam... put this on to keep the atmosphere mellow while sober people are still showing up...
2. - BUCKETHEADS - THE BOMB (JOHN MAZELLA REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = This one is really just good because that little vocal sample is so good, but just cause it's simplistic doesn't mean it's not a shitload of fun...
3. - DJ MEHDI - TUNISIA BAMBAATA (MERCURY REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = WHAT'S THAT? THE 30 RACK'S JUST ABOUT GONE? Sheeeeeit! The spot is starting to get a little crackin', people in the kitchen starting to take out the vodka, making screwdrivers and greyhounds (vod+grapefruit juice..it's dank. try it), all the dude's on beer 4 or 5, definitely a little loosey goosey attitude starting to spread... so we put on this track, somewhere in between an electro banger and morocco... Toes are definitely starting to tap...

STAGE TWO: SHOTS!
1. - HEAVYFEET - WE GETTIN CRUNK (A1 BASSLINE REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = A1 BASSLINE OWNS MY BRAIN! Alright, vodka just ran out, oh shit, is that a handle of cuervo? NAH BITCH IT'S TITO'S! AMERICA, FUCK YEAH! Pretty self-explanatory - the song is about getting crunk, and A1 Bassline is always sick.
2.- DESIGNER DRUGS - BACK UP IN THIS(LE CASTLE VANIA + TOO MANY REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = People are now legitimately drunk. Dance party is suggested. The vodka's gone, so now everyone's taking shots of crown or henny because that's what's left. Start the dance party off by combining fat speakers with this song's overwhelming and ever-building bassline. When that shit drops you'll feel it in your chest, look up, and realize shit just. got. real.
3. - JACK BEATS - GET DOWN - DOWNLOAD = OH MY FUCKING GOD. props to tommy la hancha blancha for turning me on to this song. God. Damn. Just the sickest wobbly bassline, backed up by a seriously fucking pumped beat. HIGH ENERGY LEVEL. The blacklight just came on, and is that a strobe? Seriously. Is that girl breakdancing?
4. - DANCE AREA - AA 24/7 (DIPLO REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = D-D-D-D-DIPLO! Straight genius from Diplo... jt pesos posted this a little bit ago, but it bears re-posting. At this point, everyone's breaking it down, every single drop of booze has been consumed, the strobe is bustin', and then... THUMP THUMP THUMP... Bmore beats dropping like bombs, straight LAZER bass slicing through... great way to mix it up a bit from the straight electro feel...
5. - MR.OIZO - POSITIF (DJ MANAIA REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = I'm tired of writing descriptions. The friendly bmore beat that opens the song is just a trick to get people moving for the crazy oizo synths. definitely everyone should be tanked if this is coming on. WOO! YEAH!
6. - A1 BASSLINE - BAD MAN HORROR THEME - DOWNLOAD & BADMAN HORROR THEME (MUSTARD PIMP REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = We've been over this. A1 Bassline is the shit. The Mustard Pimp remix turns it from a song in a guy ritchie movie's big scene to the song from guy ritchie's nightmares.

STAGE THREE: CROSSFADED.
1. ESSER - LET'S WORK IT OUT (A1 BASSLINE REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = It's 2:30 am, there's 5 people left and everybody's drunk is starting the turn into fatigue... fortunately, one fat j later, everyone gets a sudden burst of energy, and breaks it down hard one last time. Times like these call for fat beats but also that pop vocal hook, make everyone realize how much fucking fun the night was.
2. CALVIN HARRIS - I'M NOT ALONE (DEADMAU5 REMIX) - DOWNLOAD = 4 am, dance party offically over, black light off, normal lights on, everyone's just wiped, collapsed on the couch. Another j, dj software off, put this on in itunes and walk away and collapse yourself.. Let the beat wash over you, smile, and get ready for tomorrow night...

THE END

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Donuts? Why Not

Here's some random shit:
Keeping with the study music theme here at your favorite blog, I just uploaded two of my favorite tracks from J Dilla's instrumental masterwork Donuts. If you are not familiar with J Dilla or the album, No Trivia goes into way more detail than anyone ever needs. These are two of the smoother tracks that I love playing when I need a little instrumental relaxation. The album should really be listened to all at once, so go do some work. 


THANK GOD FOR THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. Some games that finally MEAN SOMETHING. As long as Duke and UNC lose quickly, I will be satisfied. (Spoiler: GO ZAGS!)

I have become completely bored with this NBA season. There seems to be an important game once a month, and then I completely forget about it a little while after. Nothing is going to change before the playoffs: The Cavs have too easy a closing schedule with too many home games to not get home court in the finals. The Lakers season has come to a point of static. Hopefully the road trip coming up will get their head straight, like the earlier 6-0 eastward swing, but there is nothing left to prove, nothing new to bring out, at least until "Bynumite" comes back. In a way, there is no point to the right now Lakers do anything but go through the motions. This is not the team that they will have in the playoffs, and there is no difference for them on a night to night basis in the standings. That's a problem for me, and the NBA as a whole. 

And there are no more funny commercials:

Spring break (I love old beer commercials):

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Song of the Day: Successful All-Nighter Edition

The Big Payoff

Song(s) of the Day: 3/16 & 3/17

SIGH OF RELIEF. *PHEW*. I sometimes amaze even myself with the lengths I will take my procrastination. No matter when I start working, or how long the assignment is, I simply cannot complete a paper a. more than 20 minutes before it's due, and b. without pulling an all-nighter. Something is wrong with me... I just can't bring myself to put pen to pad (well, finger to keyboard) until it's 2 am, and my higher cognitive functions are just slightly starting to erode. Once the caffeine I've been near-OD'ing on through endless pots of coffee peaks, it's a race against time to get as much written before I lose my ability to put together coherent sentences. I'm STILL feeling loopy, and I even got a couple hours of nap in. All-nighters make you feel like a crackhead once the sun comes out, and ruin your ability to be productive for the whole next day... so why do I do them? Besides my fundamental character defects, I think it's because I crave the relief that courses through your body when you're on the way back from turning in the paper, biking/getting driven by your roomate because he rocks/skating home, and your ipod 'shuffle songs' function just picks that absolute sunny day uptempo feel-good anthem you needed, and you realize you did it, you finished that motherfucking paper, and you're done with that class, and BAM! You're flying home but don't even feel like you're putting a dent in your energy level, head's bobbing, and everything is right with the world. Of course, then you get home and realize you're not gonna get anything useful done for the rest of the day, but oh well - crack a brew, enjoy the weather, and once you're bored of fucking around, get in bed, and feel your body just RELAX. See you tomorrow...

SOtD - 3 Part All-Nighter Edition - Artist - Song

Pt. 1 - It's 5 AM, 4 Pages Down, 6 to Go, So of Course I'm on Facebook: Audio Bullys - Flickery Vision (Rusko's Staying Awake Remix) - DOWNLOAD

Pt. 2 - The Big Payoff: Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up - DOWNLOAD

Pt. 3 - Sweet Oblivion: Booka Shade - Night Falls - DOWNLOAD

Download that shit! I guarantee you'll like at least one of the three (probably the Curtis Mayfield... but you never know!). If not, your money back and you can call me an asshole next time I see you.

Next Time, on TUWP 2: Barely Educated, ESPN personality David Thorpe actually answers my questions. Tune in tomorrow - same time, same channel!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Song of the Day: Study Sunday Edition



I'll Be Brief
Finals suck big fat donkey dick. Some days (like today) are spent not doing anything fun, but just studying, studying, and studying some more. Occasionally you can break up the monotony with an awesome activity like laundry - RAD! On days like these it just feels wrong to listen to bangers - just makes you regret your situation even more, plus it's distracting. Instead, you need some nice relaxing tunes to soothe your brain and calm your nerves (especially if you're pounding coffee/using stronger stuff). Classical is theoretically the best thing for studying, but honestly it's just not my bag. I used to use jazz (just put Coltrane's discography on repeat in itunes...) but eventually that got distracting. Fortunately I've got Bonobo's album 'dial m for monkey' which is a real nice chunk of instrumental chill-ness (I wish there was a less horrible word I could think of to describe their style, but I'm failing), grounded in the pairing of downtempo, hip-hop inflected drumbeats and subtle-but-effective basslines, with multiple haunting melodies layered on top, with flute riffs coming in and out to pique your interest. Basically it makes me feels like an educated philosopher in my study, which is what I need during finals week. Hopefully it does the same for you.

SOtD - 3/15 - BONOBO - WAYWARD BOB - DOWNLOAD

BONUS - One more from the same album, so you can get a little work done. - BONOBO - NOCTUARY - DOWNLOAD

"Always Anytime 24/7"- JT$ Hard Recap

Download this first: Dance Area- AA 24/7 (Diplo Remix) (Direct Link- DL quickly)
(I originally thought they said "Always Anti 24/7", which sounds dope to me, but looking back was a pretty weird chorus for a dance song.)

First of all, let me congratulate Dan on yesterday's post. Without mentioning that the post was one of the best we've put up, the fact that anything was written is an accomplishment in itself. I needed an extra day to get my head clear enough to write a post with anything resembling coherency. I'd like to thank Dan for spreading his feelings of peace and love. We like to give different perspectives here at TUWP, so I'm going to share some thoughts about the expericne. Here is my quick thoughts of the Hard 13 rave/ show/whatever the hell that was:

- Fuck all ages shows. You don't want to know how many kids had braces and headgear at this thing. 

D.I.M.- Played this house jam classic.  Reminded me of Italy. I was completely sober.


- I fully support hip-hop DJs like A-Trak(Kanye's former DJ and brother of Dave 1 of Chromeo, real name Alain Macklovitch, btw), , jumping into the electro scene by bringing some hip-hop influence to their remixes. Get money mi amigos. 
A-Trak brings the funk party on this track: Bounce. Illy. 

-For every white girl looking like a hooker from the 5th Element, there was a huge hombre rocking a baseball hat with a bandana over his mouth. In conclusion: LA is an interesting, ethnically diverse place.)

-My words to Dan during Erol Alkan: "You know why electro sucks? Because everybody is trying to be Erol Alkan, but nobody can touch him." Enough said. 
Grade: A

Diplo: This is the main reason I came to Hard 13 and the main reason for this long-ass blog post. I will admit to wasting your time until now, because this was where everything went beserk for me. Diplo singlehandedly destroyed the place, and I don't mean that in a good "dude killed it, he was so great!" kinda way, but in a "warplane dropping a bomb on suspected terrorist house and leaving the bodies of innocent civilians in its wake." That's what the dancefloor looked like after he left. 

Diplo came out a little after 1 am. With Lil fucking Jon. At this point many in the crowd were coming down from whatever drugs they had taken and just wanted to touch something and look at light shows. That is not the state you want an audience to be in when you have Diplo playing baltimore club music and fidget house with Lil Jon shouting his head off over it. The people could not keep up at all and I think dude just gave up and stuck to dubstep and threw in some hip-hop for fun. But fuck it, I love that he had the balls to be the only act on the bill that wasn't purely electro and fucked all the candy ravers up. "You wanna come to a rave and believe in PLUR(peace love unity respect, apparently), well, here's Lil Jon telling you to put your middle finger in the air and yelll "fuck them mothfuckas," with the video flashing "GET CRUNK". Beautiful. Extra points for baile funk and dancehall mixing it up:
Best part of the night: BMORE!!!! CROOKERS!
You might say, "Why would Lil Jon be at a rave?" Answer: Lil Jon is sampled in almost every single baltimore club song, and Diplo is a club DJ, not a rave DJ. Big ups to both of them. 

-Conclusion: Make sure your pills are not mellow for Diplo. 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Song of the Day: Hard 13 Edition

So! Brand new feature here on the blog that I decided to make happen about 34 seconds ago, because I was just sitting in my room, headbanging violently to Jack Got Jacked (Jack Beats Remix) by AC Slater, having flashbacks to 2 am last night when Erol Alkan (or was it Diplo? it's all kinda hazy now...) dropped this banger, and the bass just annihilated my fucking life, and when I pried my lids open and looked around I could see that everyone else was rocking out just as fucking hard, and not much beats that feeling.. .and I decided that I wanted to share a little slice of the tunes that get me through the day with all of you (that's right, ALL of you - all 5000. or 6. It's one of those two numbers). Anyways, from now on I'm gonna upload a song to mediafire for you to download and get funky to. It's not gonna be all bangers - just whatever song happens to seem appropriate for that day, and maybe a little explanation of WHY that song. They'll mostly be .mp3s, some .m4a's - if for whatever reason you're not using itunes and you want an .mp3 version, if you take the effort to post in the comments i'll take the time to convert the file and repost it. Sweet!

SONGS OF THE DAY

FRIDAY THE 13th RETROACTIVE SOtD - AC SLATER - JACK GOT JACKED (JACK BEATS REMIX) - DOWNLOAD
-Q: Why is this song different from other SOtD's? (the fifth passover question..)
A: Last night Dan and JT Pesos went to the HARD 13 rave/electro concert/whatever at the Shrine Expo Center for a night of drugs, dancing, old friends, new friends, insane light shows and $4 bottles of water. While Lil' Jon showing up for Diplo's set was pretty funny, by far the lastingest impression from the night was hearing the absolutely insane dubstep-inspired house banging bassline from this song drop. Broke it down so hard, and then after retiring to a friend's pad up in the valley and posting up on the couch for two of the fattest j's ever seen (seriously, it was like the joint that grew up in the blunt neighborhood, always got made fun of for being a skinny little j, and so grew up overcompensating by being more blunt-y than a blunt. Bob Marley woulda smoked something like this joint) - and proceeded to fall into a sleep-like state of deep relaxation in which this song just kept replaying in my head. Woke up, it was still there - walking around all sounding like a crazy person (from the perspective of people who don't break it down) making "bwwwaaaaoow buppa bwwaoooowwww" sounds. SO SICK. Play this when the party's raging, everyone's drunk and the shit's about to get real.

SOTD - 3/14 - THE TOUGH ALLIANCE - NEO VIOLENCE (SHAZAM REMIX) - DOWNLOAD
-Q:Why is this song different from other SOtD's?
A: Because it's dedicated to something we can all relate to, even if we didn't go to HARD 13 - that day after you raged it too hard, till 5 in the morning. The day when you crawl out of bed/off the couch at 1 pm, pull your face together, pound some water, smoke a little weed and cruise to a fat breakfast. Those mornings-that-are-actually-afternoons full of dazed looks, fucked up hair, hangovers, sunshine, constant retelling of all the awesome shit that happened (that you can remember), and a rich and deep appreciation for how amazng your life is and how much you love your friends. For these days bangers are a little too much - everyone just wants to chill out, and this track is soaked in australian sunshine-groove. A bassline borne out of some weird coupling of 70's funk and 80's synth, haunting vocals, and a beat that bounces but doesn't bash you over the head. Pile into the car, roll down the windows, put this on, and everybody bob their head and think about how awesome last night was, and no matter how much you wish you could back but can't, you'll always the friends and the memories.

- Dan

Friday, March 13, 2009

Like Your Parents


Not Angry - Just Disappointed

The Education of Trevor Ariza

Is there a more badass song than "One" to play after that? NO.

A brief little basketball related post here. So, espn.com, a website I frequent much more than I would like, has a stable of basketball writers. These guys get paid to write about ball all day (awesome!), and millions of people read their shit. In other words, while me and toobi are playing pick up games, they are playing in the NBA. They are the big time. One of my favorite writers is David B. Thorpe - he's a pro trainer who works with actual NBA players, so unlike most espn hacks he's not just making shit up - he's got real insight based on thousands of hours of working with, and watching tape of, nba players. He posts in-depth articles every week, and also has these weekly chats where people can ask questions and he answers them - stuff like this:

Steiny (NYC): If you had worked with Shaq on his free-throw shooting, how much do you think he could have improved? 5%? 10%?

SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:24 PM ET ) I'm as confident in my ability as he is in his. 75% would have been the goal to start.

One day, a chatter asked Thorpe for some more detailed info, so Thorpe told him to hit him up on facebook. Being the little opportunist I am, a facebook stalking of Thorpe appealed to me.. I so searched for "David Thorpe", scrolled through 10 pages till I found the one from Tampa Bay, Fl, then scrolled through 2 more to find the RIGHT one from Tampa. I probably weirded the hell out of two other David Thorpes by friend requesting them with a message about basketball, opera, and movie quotes. Thorpe, being a cool guy, accepted my friend request, and when I asked him if he would be willing to answer some questions for a blog post of mine, he seemed down. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least - here is a busy guy, getting paid to write about ball, willing to take time and answer the little guy's questions. Not to mention the sheer badassery of having David Thorpe, Pro Trainer and ESPN Analyst conducting interviews on MY blog - we would definitely be the most awesome 6-reader blog ever. So I cobbled together some questions about Trevor Ariza [Is "One" his theme song!? Fucking rad!], the freak athlete who is rapidly becoming my favorite Laker, and sent them over... and Thorpe got right back to me! Unfortunately, it wasn't to answer the questions, but to stall.

Feb. 17th (tues.) - I send the questions, Thorpe responds: "My pleasure! But I'm away with my family until thursday. Is it ok if I wait until then?"

Feb. 21st (sat.) - Still no response, so I shoot over a follow up email. Thorpe: "I'll have time to look at them this week. Doing rookies tomorrow and monday."

March 7th - Well, it's obviously been more than a week, and I don't wanna bug the guy, but I want my damn blog post! So I facebook him the questions again, under the 'just in case they got caught in the spam blocker' rationale. I mean that's the rationale I used - I know it's not true. Again, same day, Thorpe responds: "Dan-I'll get this taken care of this week."

March 13th - Well, wtf? I don't wanna be hassling the guy, and I'm tired of using this shit as an excuse for not posting, especially since Trevor just got moved into the starting lineup. He coulda just told me he didn't have time... but then I realize, hey, I already HAVE enough Thorpe answers for my questions - I read his chats all the time! - and this way I can make him agree with whatever point I'm trying to make. AWESOME.
So with no further ado, I present the exclusive Barely Educated Q & A with espn.com analyst David B. Thorpe!!!!

Here we go...

BE: Trevor pretty clearly is a valuable contributing member of the Lake Show, and I remember him always playing well in his brief chances in NY (where he was held up as part of Isiah's drafting acumen.. and can't hate on that! [just everything else]), and Orlando... basically noone's every denied he's a talented kid... so why did it take this long for him to get some consistent minutes?

SportsNation David Thorpe: The head coach makes all the difference.

BE: How many Brian Cooks is Trevor Ariza worth? 3? 5? Also, why does Brian Cook have the facial hair of a vagrant? Laker fans have only contempt for the Cookie Monster.

SportsNation David Thorpe: I honestly do not know.

BE: Let's assume that Orlando traded him b/c they thought he couldn't shoot the 3 (so vital in SVG's system). Although Ariza is no Ray Ray/Peja/etc., he's making about 30% of his attempts this year, and from my perspective at least, his stroke looks decent - maybe he'll never be a 40% guy, but 35% doesn't seem improbable to me, with more reps. Was this more a case of him always having had the fundamental ability but not being given the chance, or does his form look actually improved since his days in Orlando? Trevor seems to be a hard worker, so I could see either one.

SportsNation David Thorpe: It's no surprise players play better when being pushed.

BE: On that note, could you briefly assess his progress as a ball handler? When we traded for him the rep was that he was a jumper, that's all, but he's shown more than that in LA.

SportsNation David Thorpe: Honestly, I'm so impressed with his resurgence. He looks terrific. Credit their coaches. And him, of course.

BE: Finally, given all of the above, what do you see as Trevor Ariza's ceiling? Very-good non-All Star (a la battier/bowen)? Couple time all-star? Essential key to title runs (Dennis Green/Michael Cooper)? Something else?

SportsNation David Thorpe: He's impressed me a great deal. Can be an all-star. But he has a long way to go.


BE: It's been inspirational.

SportsNation David Thorpe: Seriously, I'm in the inspiration business. That's step one for coaches. So I sincerely thank you.

ps.
Bonus Questions: what's your favorite food? favorite hip-hop song if any? favorite opera? favorite seinfeld episode? favorite character? Is Lamar still Elaine with the way he's been playing? Who wins in a fight, Ronny Turiaf or Josh Powell (a.k.a. ronny 2.0)? Would you mind if I e-mailed you at some later date with more questions/ideas/whatever? Thanks again!

SportsNation David Thorpe: Enough-we don't know!!

Well, there you have it! Information straight from the experts! And yes, these are all direct quotes. Quite informative! Well this was a huge waste of time. Maybe me and Toobi will sit down and discuss these questions amongst ourselves next week... when we're not getting fucked in the ass by finals. And new starter Trevor Ariza is making high-flying plays on offense, using his plastic man arms on d, and never smiling. ever.

- Dan

BONUS: a really sloppy mix of the electro bangers i've been listening to recently... this time it is actually a mix and not a retarded .zip file (and I stopped using zshare b/c of the wait time), so fear not.. 25 megs! Fucking check it out! (or don't, it's pretty sloppy). This was pretty spur of the moment, once finals are over I'll have the time to actually sit down and get a more polished one out. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD [MEDIAFIRE]

Tracklist:
Artist - Track (Remixer) - [My comments...]
Sticky K - The Weirdo [props to rod for getting his LP out! check it here- BANDARI FUNK]
Lykke Li - Little Bit (Death to the Throne Remix) [I love any and all remixes of this track]
Audio Bullys - Dope Fiend (Tommie Sunshine & Udachi Remix) [Not that I endorse drug use...]
Proxy - Tha Raven - (Kasey & MPC Remix) vs. (Polymorphic Remix)
TC - Where's My Money (Caspa Remix - JACK BEATS RE-EDIT) [remix of the remix... DUBBY]
Foreign Beggars - Hit That Gash (DJ PrimeCuts Remix) [Misogyny! beat is dirty though...]
Qemists - Dem Na Like Me (A1 Bassline Remix) [A1 Bassline is the SHIT. More on him soon...]
Blackfinger - UMF (Supra1 Remix) [DUB]
E-40 & Lil Jon - Turf Drop (Dj Doza Remix) - [SF Electro Stylezzz.. The cut out of this one sucks]
Reset! - Gasa [Italian steez]
U2 - Get On Your Boots (CROOKERS REMIX) - [FRESH Crookers shit... it's been a while!]
Rusko - Woo Boost - [From Crookers' "We Make it Good" mixtape - get the whole thing here]

I love you all! THANK YOU CLEVELAND!!! And now, off to the shrine expo center for some loud noises.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

hard 13 is coming...

We're BACK (sorta)

Finals are not blog-conducive. Unless I really need to procrastinate, then I'll probably write up some kind of quick recap of HARD 13 this Friday. 


Eventually I'll put some recent mixes up, but this will do. 

so here's a mix I made a long time ago in one take...