FUNKY FRIDAY – House Shoes’ Hip Hop Instrumentals

HouseShoes_Jordan_Rockswell_LASeries_4A long while back, I wrote a piece about Detroit hip hop ambassador [DJ] House Shoes. It seems that one of Detroit’s greatest champions of its music may finally be building some serious steam as he has had two (2) releases in 2010 with threats of more. Many of you might not understand why I would even make note of this, but I have been following Shoes’ career since 2000 when I purchased a CD by Detroit hip hop artist Paradime. Before I even knew of his future endeavors, I was intrigued by the fact there was a producer in Detroit by the name of House Shoes. Little did I know, when I finally came back home from my stint in college that he would be well on his way to becoming one of the most respected figures I would come to know personally.

Today, I want to share Shoes’ two recent projects. Both of which contain material that I have been sitting on for quite some time and I glad to see it finally be released for public consumption. The first I will share is his latest vinyl project released on All City Dublin, which features two instrumentals by House Shoes and three by Metro Detroit expatriate Jordan Rockswell. The project is the fourth installment of a series that features beats from artists that live in Los Angeles. It is available for sale now overseas. You can preview all of the songs on the site as well.

FlyingLotus_HouseShoes_Do-Over_Vol1
Amazon Link

The second project is another limited vinyl release that was released by Stones Throw Records, which you might recall is one of our favorite record labels. Unfortunately, this release is sold-out, but I will say the packaging is wonderful as I have two (2) copies in my possession.

This is what I am playing a lot lately. You can still buy the MP3s for the Stones Throw project (click the image on the left to buy) and if you got worldly pockets, you can get the other project shipped to you from the Netherlands. As a music fan and supporter of quality work, I will be buying it; even though, I already have the instrumentals on my harddrive.

If you want some free music offerings, check out the Shoes’ House podcast. Shoes has one of the best ears for music around and his taste is vast, much like mine. Have at it. You will be glad you did.

Music Industry Prediction: Smaller Guns Do Greater Damage

small gun
small gun

I am not a gun guy.  I hear rappers talking about them all the time though.  Using the “gun talk” references from many rappers, I am going to make an analogy of sorts regarding the record industry.

If the Big 4 major labels (Universal Music Group, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group) were guns, they would be some sort of machine gun like a Tommy Gun or an assault rifle like an AK-47.  In this piece, I would like to use the Tommy Gun analogy as I feel like that is the best imagery of their current effectiveness.  Think about it – you’re watching a Prohibition-era movie with the bad guy slinging a Tommy Gun rapidly firing in the general direction of the police.  The bad guys hits a couple officers, but he rattles of 100 rounds and only 3 out of 20 die.  As this is a movie of course, the bad guys always lose eventually. It is a bit ineffective, if you ask me, much like the major labels today.
Now independent labels are handguns. The heavier the acts they carry, the higher caliber of the gun they use. They do not shoot as much, but in the hands of a marksman they can be deadly with fewer shots. Much like Eddie Murphy’s characters in the infamously hilarious scene in Harlem Nights.


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Music Industry Prediction: Rise of the Personable Geeks

I know I have been on a bit of a hiatus, but don’t let the tumbleweeds fool ya.  There has been a lot going on in the world of music and culture.  I know if you are not getting your fix here, then you’re getting it elsewhere.  C’mon, it never stops, right?  We might get weary of the onslaught of material, especially as it gets repetitive, but it never ceases to be produced.  That is one of the reasons why I took a break.  The big question of “why am I doing this?” had to be addressed and it was not taking shrugged shoulders for an answer.  I am back though and ready for duty!  I hope you will be rejoin me.

tumbleweedAs the Peer Pressure Cooker, it seems to be my personal calling to sift through the items on the conveyor belt, survey them and give an appropriate marking to categorize its use.  Taxing as it is, gratification has come from a lot of unexpected places, which keeps me at it.  I have been most interested in the seemingly-distraught music industry as it tries to find its way again to financial prominence.  While the big guns (Universal, Warner Music, etc) have not found anything that they are cool with shooting yet, there are some smaller pistols that are liking these new targets just fine. Continue reading “Music Industry Prediction: Rise of the Personable Geeks”