Tuesday, July 31, 2012

doing it north african style

what it is: doing it north african style
where i found: my old friend phil

My old friend Phil is deep into Morrocan music. So much so that he's there for a year living in medieval North African style and playing with the locals, posting a bunch of excellent photos for those of us who have regular access to electricity and don't wear jellabas. I wouldn't usually post about a travel blog, but this one is something special. Do it, Phil ("Fouad").

Monday, July 30, 2012

a poor form of entertainment

what it is: a poor form of entertainment
where i found it: some family members

On a recent family vacation my siblings were nice enough to tell me about a site called texts from last night. The site is meant to be a collection of drunken texts ("remember that text you shouldn't have sent last night? we do"), however, it seems like a bunch of them are bullshit, made up to be funny. Still, I can't stop reading them and, fortunately, they are ranked by readers, weeding out those that are boring, lame or unoriginal. Now you too can have immediate access to a constantly evolving world of messages such as "please come and rip my uterus out before it does it itself"  and "i tripped over a vacuum cleaner and fell into a beer pyramid".

Saturday, July 28, 2012

not so fast

Well, I spent a bunch of time making and posting a nice soul mix tape yesterday, only to have this subsequent comment brought to my attention:

The mix sadly appears to have gone kablooey as a result of some kind of intervention from the man. If there is another way to experience it. People like me would like it. 

I'll tell you what. I'll snail mail a CD-R to anyone who wants one. Just email your real world address to retrac at hotmail dot com with "soul" in the subject line. But the catch is you have to send me some sort of mix in return. Deal?

Thursday, July 26, 2012


what it is: soul
where i found it: harlem

One of the best things about having a job where I work with older black people is that I remain immersed in the parallel universe of the last 60 years of popular black music, including sounds made by the below individuals (not in exact order).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

movin' on up

what it is: sherman helmsley rumors/RIP
where i found it: word of mouth, confirmed by dangerous minds

For years I'd been hearing some story about the actor who played George Jefferson having walls in his house painted black, being an avid freebaser, being obsessed with the French psychedelic band Gong and buying billboards to promote them along the Sunset Strip. Well, he died yesterday and this story popped up with all the original source material and details. Sounds like fun. RIP.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

get me away from this infernal machine

Mr Becos is going on vacation for a week or so, hopefully ending up nowhere near a computer for much of the time. Every time you check here and there's no new post, promise me you'll go to the below site and keep refreshing the page until you feel satisfied:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

song indulgence

You just need
Some mellow jams
With R2D2 making a guest appearance
At the end of a long day

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

low rent 90s video overload

what it is: low rent early 90s video overload
where i found it: reader jpw 

Submissions from reader JPW are always noteworthy (how else would we have ever known about Rape Fear Masks and Gay Porn Interior Critiques?). I will paste his original explanation of today's entry below, but before we get there I should mention that 1) this is obviously not safe for work 2) this kind of montage never was quite was my aesthetic 3) i don't - and never have - liked white zombie 4) i wonder who could sit through 3 full discs of this shit 4) the "samples" on the site are quite substantial, that's the place to look.. With that I turn it over to JPW:

I enjoyed your last post about the goddam internet channel that has more stuff I want to waste my life watching.  In that same vein there was a wonderful cable access show I always enjoyed watching that really captured the feeling of overload I get when I ponder all of my entertainment choices.

It was called Concrete TV

Luckily it has been saved here on the internet.  Every episode consists of rapid cuts of people dying or being hit by cars interspersed with terrible porn, commercials and kid shows.  No clip runs for more than a second or two and by the time it is over you will feel as if you watched a week of regular 80s or 90s television.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the midnight sea is a bed and breakfast

what it is: interpreation of Dio's Holy diver lyrics
where i found it: my first band, "Night Stalker", which covered this song

I was complaining the other day about my inability to pentrate the meaning of Dio's lyrics, particularly for the song Holy Diver (for which Dio made this awesome, blade-centric video). And after 30 years, here's the answer:

This song is about Ozzy. Ozzy is the Holy Diver. The Midnight Sea is a Bed and Breakfast in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Dio feels Ozzy has been too long in Florida, kicking back and not working very hard. He wants Ozzy to "ride the tiger" meaning get back to work. He says of Ozzy: "You can see his stripes but you know he's clean" meaning Ozzy is capitalizing on his reputation for being a party animal, but in truth he is just a boring family man. "Siny diamonds" (wealth) are like the "eyes of a cat" meaning and "something's coming for you" meaning Ozzy's wealth and security are just an illusion, no one is ever really secure. "Race for the morning, you can hide in teh sun til you see the light" another reference to Ozzy in semi-restirement in Florida. Refrain "Between the velvet lies" the lies of the record companies, "there's a truth as hard as steel" means metal will never be fully coopted as a commercial commodity. "The vision never dies, life's a never-ending wheel" means no matter how hard Ozzy tries to be a successful former star, the muse that drove him to be a great rock singer will always be present, and eventually Ozzy will have to return to work. "You're the star of the masquerade, no need to look so afraid" is a freference to all of Ozzy's album covers, where he looks terrified. "Jump on the tiger, you can feel his heart but you know he's mean" means that Ozzy should get back to work, he can fel what he's supposed to be doing, and defying the muse will result in something bad happening. "Some light can never be seen" refers to people holding up Bic lighters at concerts, it is a dumb idea because the band can;t see them, the spot lights are in their eyes.- Briny, Beantown, MA

Monday, July 16, 2012

comics/the occult

what it is: comics/the occult
where i found it: young adult literature

I've been on a graphic novel kick recently, hitting everything from the Watchmen to Jim Woodring to  Brothers Hernandez to Lynd Ward (1929!), all of which I can recommend. Two series in particular, though, have proved that everything you've ever wanted to know about the occult, Satan and ritual magic can be found in the young adult section of the library. I'm talking about the Sandman and Hellboy. Ever want to know how summon, invoke or trap demons? How about how to trick Lucifer and his top ranking generals ? What about how the Nazis harnessed the powers of hell to aid in their attacks (it's easy)? Just how do you get Hecate to do your bidding once you draw down the moon and meet her at the crossroads? All of this stuff seems quite deeply researched, accurate to the old lore (as far as I know) and available for our teenage youth to enjoy. I guess it's the next step after third-grade-level learning about black magic, Sirius and demon dogs in Harry Potter. Look out.

Oh, and how could I have forgotten Alan Moore's From Hell, which lays bare the secrets of the Freemasons, murder rituals and Jack the Ripper?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

an eyeful

what it is: an eyeful
where i found it: network awesome (dumb name)

Who has time to watch six movies a day? Not me, but I like to browse anyway. Network Awesome is a consistent source of material that's worth watching, even if that means you don't have time to eat or take a bath. Their 7/11 installment is a perfect example. An early 90s Pixies live set reminding us of how intense, angry and inventive "alternative" (which means nothing now) music used to be. An early David Lynch film that makes you feel not quite right, a Richard Pryor Show episode that demonstrates some forthright and fearless race shit that would never fly on today's airwaves (people are too busy fooling themselves that everything has changed), a British TV show that attempts to show that TV shows are toxic. Etcetera. Good luck keeping up.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

via memphis

what it is: metal ecstasy
where i found it: album number three

Get ready, Mr. Downing is primed and ready for a Sunday and is about to enter an alternate universe via Memphis, Tennessee, of all places. If Elvis and the Killer did it, there's obviously a gate open around those parts.


what it is: ???
where i found it: nyoukis

Monday, July 9, 2012

the real stuff

what it is: the real stuff
where i found it: the unstoppable ras moshe

Between comments about his laundry, the unstoppable Ras Moshe continues to enthusiastically rip Facebook a new one by posting an everlasting stream of great, (frequently) black, revolutionary music from the last 50 or so years. This guy is  - and always has been - on a mission. Here are a few recent favorites:

Miles Davis 1969 5tet!

Rashied Ali Quartet

The Jazz Composers Orchestra

Ken McIntire - This Is the Instrument

Sioux Ghost Dance filmed in 1894

Johnny Mbizo Dyani

Ital Corner

Blues Up and Down

And that's just from the last few days. Far less than the tip of the iceberg . . .

Sunday, July 8, 2012

all theories point to bath salts

what it is: keepin' it real at the CBGB festival
where i found it: rolling stone, which i never read

Just when you thought that CBGB only existed as a "brand essence" for corporations to co-opt when they need to seem cool or authentic, Harley Flanagan of the Cro Mags shows up at the so called CBGB festival, bites and stabs his ex-band mates with a hunting knife, gets his leg broken by security, gives the finger to everyone and gets carted out in a wheel chair. Just in case people forgot what punk shows really used to be like. 

While searching for the above photo I also found this preposterous article.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

300 degrees next week

what it is: 300 degrees next week
where i found it: the southeast (which i always suspected would go up in flames)

Friday, July 6, 2012

god it's hot

what it is: my walk to work this morning
where i found it: the below video, between 1:05:50 to 1:09:08

Thursday, July 5, 2012

dub happiness

what it is: dub happiness
where i found it: old prince far i records

I recently came across this super Adrian Sherwood mix, which you can download for free, transfer to a cassette tape, pop into that boombox which is strapped to your bicycle, fire up a spliff, take your shirt off, put on some sunglasses and bless you neighbors with.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

happy fourth of july

summer mix tape

what it is: an early summer mix tape
where i found it: my vinyl inundated home

With all this news about Elmo and rape camps, it seems like it's about time for a new mix tape. Here you go.

Monday, July 2, 2012

more on hateful elmo

what it is: more on hateful elmo
where i found it: the ny times

The Times managed to identify and track down hateful Elmo (who I posted about last week), who is a guy who used to live in Cambodia and used to run a website called "rape camp". What else could possibly come next?