Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween! I thought I'd take a break from listening to The Misfits to bring you some treats.

Check out this little short my good friend Adam Bogus (yes, that's his real name, I'm jealous too), a film major at Carnegie Mellon, did called 'Peaches.' It's only about two minutes and as I know from years of talking about our mutual favorite show Seinfeld, Bogus has a great sense of humor .

Also, some new music from two fantastic up and coming bands. Yeasayer recently announced that they will be releasing their second album, entitled Odd Blood, on Secretly Canadian early next year. I'm a big fan of 2007's All Hour Cymbals, though the album's first three tracks far out shined the rest of them. Hopefully the band can reach their full potential on next year's Odd Blood. But they have released the first single, called 'Ambling Alps, via their website. All you have to do is enter your email and you get a free download. Easy enough.

Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors have also released a song off of their upcoming EP Temecula Sunrise called "Ascending Melody." Check it out on Hype Machine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kyp Malone vs. Jean Kambanda

In no way do I mean to trivialize the absolutely horrific events of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, but while watching PBS' terrific documentary Ghosts Of Rwanda today in class, I couldn't help but notice the eerie similarity between TV On The Radio guitarist/vocalist Kyp Malone and Prime Minister Jean Kambanda.

Luckily, Kambanda is behind bars for life, so I think we can successfully rule out any possibility that they are one in the same. While we're on the subject of Malone, my two favorite tracks off of his debut solo album, 2009's Rain Machine, are up on Rain Machine's myspace. Check them out here.

October 28th, 2009

Not really much of a theme to today's post, just thought I'd share a couple things I've been digging today. We finished this great movie today in my French class today called L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment). The film follows Xavier, a young French man enrolled in a post-college educational program called Erasmus, which puts him in a cramped apartment in Barcelona with other students enrolled the program. Each of his roommates hail from a different country, and while the characters interact in a mix of Spanish and English, Xavier narrates his life in French. The movie succeeds in the excellent chemistry between the members of the apartment as they each learn more and more about each other and themselves through their romantic involvements, past and present, and experiences in the city of Barcelona. In addition to its humor, the movie tackles many deep emotional and psychological questions and the lessons we learn. I highly recommend it, the beautiful shots of Barcelona, strong performances and interplay between languages all add to the films artistic merit. Not to mention it also features the always stunning Audrey Tatou. Oh yeah, and the only two songs used throughout the film are Radiohead's "No Surprises" and Daft Punk's "Aerodynamic." Pretty awesome.

I've also been reading this interesting book for my environmental class called The End Of The Wild by Stephen M. Meyer. It's pretty depressing but you can't argue with the stark facts that Meyer's present about the state of the world around us. Current conversation ethics focus too much on economics or human resourcefulness, he says. We have accelerated species extinction at an alarming rate and we have reached the point where our lifestyles and the way we assess environmental problems will not allow us to prevent the further marginalization of nearly all species. I tend to be an optimist when it comes to the future of the environment but Meyer's is perhaps not far off in his prediction. Whether we can reverse or damage or not, the situation calls for dire action.

Good news from the world of DOOM! Producer Madlib and presiding hip hop king DOOM (formerly MF DOOM, also known as King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, etc.), assuming the alias Madvillain, have announced that they are working on a follow up to 2004's Madvillainy, in my opinion, one of the greatest collaborations and rap albums of all time. The album will feature guest work from Dave Sitek(!) of TV On The Radio and Mos Def. Above you can hear some new early sketches from the forthcoming album, premiered by DJ JROCC. The delightful surprise of this year's Only Built For Cuban Linx... Pt. II has convinced me that records with ridiculous anticipation and hype can follow through, so my hopes are high.

I had the extreme misfortune of sitting through the track "Can't Stop Partying" from washed up, indie rock nerds Weezer's upcoming LP Raditude. The song, which uses the exact same corny, overbearing chord progression in MGMT's "Kids," also features the always annoying Mr. Carter, aka Lil' Wayne. And guess what! The Weezy/Weezer collaboration is about as terrible as you can get. If you're still curious enough to check out this abomination, you can hear it here, but take it from me, its a waste of your time.

That's all for today. Hopefully we'll have some album reviews coming your way soon. Until next time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some Cool Photography

I've always really dug photography. Growing up my dad would always carry his Canon SLR with him, taking particularly beautiful snapshots of natural beauty, whether it be the trees turning during fall or a colorful sunset from our backyard. Last year, my good friend got a Nikon Digital SLR and the first semester of school I went totally overboard with it. We must have put 1200 pictures on that camera. But I've always really wanted to take a photography class and learn the logistics of photography, so I could I could call myself a 'photographer.' Anyway, I wanted to direct your attention to a couple photographers and pieces of work that I think are awesome.

My friend turned me on to the Boston Globe's photo blog called "The Big Picture." Every few days they present a new series of photo's focusing on a current event or common theme. Particularly compelling is the recent collection on the 2009 UN World Drug Report. The pictures are sobering to say the least, highlighting drug related violence in Mexico and drug production and addiction in the Middle East and South America. Here are a few shots I think are amazing, but definitely check out the whole series and the Big Picture's other entries.

Also, check out the work of my friend who I mentioned early in the post Pat White. In addition to being a sick dj and all around heady chiller, he is sick at photography. Check out his photo blog.

Here's some other cool work from an acquaintance from back home. Here a couple ones I enjoyed from his blog.

And while we're on the subject, I've taken a couple photos over the years I like to think are pretty sweet.

Definitely check the Big Picture weekly, the work they feature is always fantastic. I'll probably be doing a separate posting about the work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, another amazing photographer. Until then, check out the prolific back catalogue by the photographers listed above.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nas- "Doo Rags"

While me and Mike are still putting the finishing touches on our first legitimate, well though out posts for Woosamonsa Road, I thought I'd go ahead and give you a preview of what kind of music composes the wide array of material we label as 'good shit.' Exhibit A: Nas' undeniably smooth styling on "Doo Rags," the first track off of 2002's The Lost Tapes. While the album, composed mostly of outtakes from the I Am... and Stillmatic recording sessions, was underwhelming overall, 'Doo Rags' is Nas simultaneously at his illest and corniest. But honestly, the immediately recognizable bouncy piano line and catchy beat that follows never fail to get me swaying back and forth.

The doo rags are back, fitted hats, snorkels and furs
Riker's Island buses still packed, what's the word?
The drinkers stay drinkin, or puffin they herb
And I'm, still enjoyin life's ride; one mo' time
The doo rags are back, fitted hats, snorkels and furs
Riker's Island buses still packed, what's the word?
The drinkers stay drinkin, or puffin they herb
And I'm, still enjoyin life's ride; right?
Nasty's nostalgic verses and choruses about everyday life invoke the same lyrical depth of his 1994 classic Illmatic, albeit presented in an entirely different sonic context beat-wise. Even in the current hip-hop climate, where the introspective/body-moving piano line is entirely overused and often executed improperly, "Doo Rags" manages to present Nas in top notch lyrical form while remaining unique, even from anything on Stillmatic. It's a shame that the other 12 tracks on The Lost Tapes are such a disappointment (okay, I can tolerate "Poppa Was A Playa" every once and a while). So put down that cognac, ash your blunt and take a moment to reminisce with the help of "Doo Rags."

Monday, October 19, 2009


First, let me begin with a short intro for Woosamonsa Road.

My name is Chris. Mike and I decided to start this blog, Woosamonsa Road, because we share nearly identical musical tastes. Woosamonsa Road is a road that me and Mike used to drive on throughout high school. We would usually get real high and proceed to blast whatever hip-hop we were listening to at the time through the speakers of our friends' A6. Years later, I would find that Mike and I had managed to neglect any further discussion of music past the mandatory high school soundtrack of Nas, 2pac, and Big L. When we finally did breach the subject, we found that our tastes were eerily similar. So eventually, after spending literally hours on end talking, swapping opinions on the artists and the albums we dug, recommending music to each other, we decided, 'hey, why not be semi-productive and put our opinions on the internet!' Thus, Woosamonsa Road was born.

When we were discussing the name, we both pretty quickly came to the conclusion of the title that you see above. To be honest, to me it was always just a road with a funny ass name and some funny ass memories attached to it. But without trying to sound cheesy or pretentious, I think that Woosamonsa Road, like almost everything else from our collective adolescence, holds a deeper meaning. The road is dark, winding, surrounded by trees, filled with creatures of the night. Driving through with your brights on, you're lucky if you see one other car pass you by. Lamp posts occasionally pop up, usually signaling the presence of some decrepit, spooky farmhouse on the side of the road. Hell, there's even one spot of the road where you can put your car in neutral and watch it roll uphill (a 'gravity hill,' for the paranormally-inclined)! Everyone believes what the want to believe, but there's no denying this road is a force to be reckoned with.

And though the picture you see above of Woosamonsa Road doesn't really offer any vivid portrait of what I am describing above, it does show the other side of Woosamonsa. During the day, and especially in autumn, the drive through the woods on the road is absolutely breathtaking. One of my favorite things about Woosamonsa, and the area of New Jersey we both grew up in, is the ability for one to escape the ugly industrial realities of cities like Trenton. Woosamonsa Road cuts through the dense woods that surround Hopewell Township, but other than the pavement itself, nature mainly remains untouched. As I said before, only a few quaint houses and farms pepper the scenic drive through the woods. A definite duality exists. At night, the menacing road that will seemingly swallow up your car in the middle of the next hairpin turn. During the day, a beautiful scenic drive that reminds all those who travel it the beauty of nature.

I remember my freshmen year of college, over winter break I became more or less obsessed with the album Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective, an album that would probably grace the number 1 spot on both me and Mike's all-time lists. A few days before Christmas, Mike, me and a few other friends drove around all night under the influence of some decidedly psychedelic substances. The album was the soundtrack of our adventure, an adventure that took us down Woosamonsa at least once that night. I remember the sheer sense of childish awe and wonder I had as I looked out at the dark woods around me being transformed by chaotic, powerful pieces of music like "For Reverend Green" and "Chores." It was definitely one of the more memorable trips on Woosamonsa, though all of them certainly fall under the category of 'memorable.'

Again, without trying to sound contrived, I feel like perhaps Woosamonsa had more of a lasting effect on me that I have ever previously considered. Even when I create goofy electronic tracks out of Garageband loops on my Macbook, I use the alias DJ Woosa. The road itself has taken on a deeper meaning for me. Woosamonsa is the unknown but also the beautiful. And that's how I'd describe all the music that I consider to be my favorite. Music that rejects the confining yellow parallel lines of conventionality and ventures into the dark forests of the unknown. The result is something inherently beautiful. So I hope you will join both Mike and I on one of our forays on the twisting road that although we have ventured down so many times before, remains mysterious and unknown. Hopefully, you will enjoy what you hear/see/feel.

Above all, Woosamonsa Road is a vessel for Mike and I to channel what we find artistically worthwhile in this world. Whether it be music, video, text, etc., we hope that you will see the common thread that runs through the material we feature on here. If you like what you see, come back again. That's all we can really ask. Thank you.